Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Country Bites News snippets April 7 - April 13, 2014

Country Bites News snippets April 7 – April 13, 2014

SOURCES / LINKS shown in RED

UK & IRISH News

Meet the new UK band The Shires representing the Nashville sound! Formed in mid 2013, meeting through a friend on Facebook, the duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have performed at C2C & are currently recording their debut album! click the SoundsLikeNashville link to get a free download "I Just Wanna Love You" (Demo; 160kbps) MP3 + All the Nashville music news
                                                 
Lisa Redford joined BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris in an Under The Apple Tree Session.

Suzy Bogguss performed tracks from her album of Merle Haggard songs on BBC Radio Scotland's Another Country with Ricky Ross - BBC Page She also appeared on Showcase TV Inside Music Row >> YouTube

Bob Harris was joined in session (First broadcast Thursday 10 April) by US superstar Eric Church, singing songs from, and discussing his new album "The Outsiders". "I really see this album as a game-changer for us," Eric says of his fourth album and the follow-up to his platinum breakthrough Chief. "I want people to understand that we're here and that we will be reckoned with."
>> Listen to a segment from the programme where Bob and Eric discuss the changing face of country music (something to which Mr.Harris has described as a “Tipping Point Moment”) and his observation on the reaction to the Zac Brown Band at the C2C Festival at the O2 in London in March.



BH - One of the things that is so interesting at the moment is how much of the new music that is coming into the charts in Nashville, and we're not talking about left field necessarily, but big selling music in Nashville right now, is demonstrating influences that you wouldn't necessarily expect in country music from a new young generation that maybe did listen to some rap on their radio station and did listen to some heavy metal and whatever and its all feeding into the music now.
EC - For me the rock 'n' roll element (I'm a child of the 80s) there's a lot of rock ‘n’ roll I absorbed, it's authentic, it’s not me trying to be rock ‘n’ roll. I grew up listening to as much as that as I did to country in that time. That's what made me up. For the next generation hip hop was massive when they were growing up that's what they absorbed. I think you hear it now in country. I think that's authentic to me because that's what made them up artistically, it's always been that way.

EC - Music is supposed to evolve, that's a natural progress. Rock ‘n’ roll today does not sound like it did in 1957 either and I think that's by design and that's the evolution of it, so I don't get caught up in the boundary part of it very much.

BH - The Zac Brown Band rounded off the evening on Saturday night at C2C. It was very interesting to see the reaction to them because the traditionalists there at the O2 that night didn't like the idea of this band up on stage doing Metallica covers and Led Zeppelin covers and all of that..
“The great thing about Zac Brown Band is the music comes from a real place. It’s not formulaic, it’s not manufactured. It’s a spontaneous living breathing thing. Yes, it’s different. Yes, it’s adventurous. But most important of all, it’s just damn good.” says Eric Church the co-writer of their new radio single "All Alright".

Ward Thomas, twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward-Thomas remained on the “B” BBC Radio 2 Playlist for the week commencing April 12, 2014 with their new single “The Good And The Right” (>> Official Video) taken from their "Footnotes" EP which was released on iTunes & Amazon on April 6, 2014.
"Ward Thomas, The Good and the Right" on Radio 2" - Alex Lester (April 7) BBC Playlist Page
"That's Ward Thomas, The Good and the Right" - Janice Long (April 8) BBC Playlist Page

"The Good and the Right, Ward Thomas" Patrick Kielty (April 8) BBC Playlist Page
"That's Ward Thomas" - Alex Lester (April 10) BBC Playlist Page
"Ward Thomas and The Good and the Right" Janice Long (April 11) BBC Playlist Page
"The Good and the Right, I don't know anybody like that do you? its Ward Thomas" – Richard Allinson (April 12) BBC Playlist Page
I did promise you Ward Thomas, two very talented twins from Hampshire. Now they're about to tour in Tennessee the home of country music, probably Nashville, buckle on the bible belt. Talk about bringing coals to Newcastle and those country boys down there in Nashville think they're fantastic, so do we"..."You can understand why there's so much fuss about them" - Terry Wogan (April 13) BBC Playlist Page

Ward Thomas were also the subject of a Record of the Day feature, which is an independent company publishing a weekly PDF magazine and a daily email newsletter featuring the most relevant and up-to-date music and media news imaginable.
They wrote: Country music still seems to be openly reviled within the British music industry. Yet it often brings some of the finest crafted songs and killer melodies, quite frankly. Radio 2 is the genre's biggest supporter in the UK and it's where Ward Thomas has recently found a welcoming home, thanks to legends like Bob Harris and Terry Wogan, and now a place on the station's B list with this excellent track. ......They went down a storm at last month's C2C Festival at London's O2 and are currently Stateside, cementing their reputation as one of the hottest new acts in country music.

UK CHART NEWS

Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart (Week Ending April 19, 2014)
Folk singer-songwriter Sally Barker the Finalist in the VOICE UK moves 102-46, selling 5,706 units of her cover of the Olly Murrs hit “Dear Darlin’. Written by Olly Murs with Ed Drewett, Jim Eliot it was first was released on 26th May 2013 by Epic as the third single from the album RIGHT PLACE RIGHT TIME.

Official UK Top 100 Album Chart (Week Ending April 19, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) falls 4-6 in its second week at retail with sales of 10,374 copies (Last week’s sales were 19,347 sales). The album is Cash's highest charting studio album ever, only his 1969 live set Johnny Cash At San Quentin peaked higher, reaching #2.

Official UK Country Album Chart (Week Ending April 19, 2014)
Johnny Cash with OUT AMONG THE STARS (Columbia) stays at No.1 for a second week
Martina McBride with EVERLASTING (Vinyl Recordings) debuts at No.2
Carlene Carter with CARTER GIRL (Rounder) debuts at No.3
Emmylou Harris with the remastered expanded update of WRECKING BALL (Nonesuch) returns to the chart at No.13
Dan+Shay fall 11-16 with WHERE IT ALL BEGAN (Warner Bros) in their second week (The current Billboard Country #1)

On the Hotdisc Chart (April 13, 2014 Chart)
Bertie Higgins, with "Just Another Day In Paradise" stayed at No.1 for a second week on the Hotdisc Top 40.
Jamie O'Neal (making her debut on Hotdisc) who last week had the Hot Shot Debut blowing in at No.3 edged up one rung to No.2  with her cover of the Juice Newton hit "The Sweetest Thing" as former 2-week chart topper M Callahan with “Chicken On A Chain” slipped by 2-3.
In their second week on the chart from the Hotdisc #184 April 2014 promo disc saw Ray Scott with his witty "Gotta Quit Drinkin'" hold at #4, Billy Yates with self penned “As I Kiss My World Goodbye” moved 6-5, Jeff Griffith with “She’s All I Ever Drink About” stayed at No.7, D K Davis with “Waitin’ On The Weekend” climbed into the Top 10 (15-9)


TREAT YOURSELF for EASTER!

The Hayley Oliver Band with “Bright Side Of Life” (written by Tom Paden and Carol Elliott) made news as they climbed 8-6 to grab themselves yet another British and Irish Hotdisc chart topper to add to their growing collection of No.1 singles as it became their 11th success. Their previous 2013 singles “Right Person At The Right Time” (8 weeks at #1), “Could I Be More Blue” (5 weeks at #1), “Good Old Days” and “The Hand That Rocked The Cradle” (9 weeks at #1) all topped the British summit.
However it's been a while since they topped the main Hotdisc Top 40 ranking which dates back to July 2010. What a year that was for them when all of their three #1 singles “Another Lonely Night”, “Tell Me Why” (Karla Bonoff) and “I'm A Little Bluer Than That” (Irene Kelley”) went to the top.
Many of  the 1000 DJ’s and Industry music contacts across Europe who receive the promo disc have always rated The Hayley Oliver Band favourable as have the main UK Press publications (CrXss Country, Country Music People, Maverick) who handed out 4 and 5 Stars glowing reviews to their June 2013 release of ABINGER GROVE. However all this critical acclaim has not resulted in success at the major online retail sites with fans and radio listeners showing little interest to purchase their latest set. It has rarely troubled the top 1000 places in 9 months on the Top 1500 iTunes Country Album Chart and has not showed its face on the chart for many weeks. On Amazon UK it has a current ranking of #85,555 in MP3 Albums. How to transform chart success into retail sales appears to be the biggest hurdle and challenge for UK country artists, particularly those making original material.     

Also advancing up the Top 40 chart was Ireland’s Philomena Begley & Ray Lynam’s duet “The Fire Of Two Old Flames” (16-12), British artist Gary Curtis with “Crazy Love” (17-11) and David Starr with “Underneath The Clear Blue Skies” (19-15). Those who freshened up the Top 20 tier were US act Markus Fox (22-16) with “I’m Still Coming Home” (written by Mike Lane and Joe Lickteig) , Canada’s Domino with “All We Need Tonight” (Writers Luanne Carl and Dave Woods) made a 23-18 climb and Britians Mexican Joe Walker rounded out the top 20 with a 25-20 hop for “Louisana Saturday Night” (Bob McDill)

UK COUNTRY ALBUM RELEASES

(1 April 2014) Dan + Shay – Where It All Began (Warner Music Nashville)
12 Tracks/ Time: 41:37 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
(1 April 2014) Charlie Daniels Band - Off the Grid- Doin' It Dylan (Blue Hat Records)

(1 April 2014) Hank Williams III - Ramblin Man (Curb Records)
8 Tracks/ Time: 26:15 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com
(1 April 2014) The Infamous Stringdusters - Let It Go (High Country)
11 Tracks/ Time: 39:29 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 

(7 April 2013) Mary Sarah - Bridges: Great American Country Duets (AGR Television Records) CD - MP3 - Amazon.com (Import $33.99)  
UK Album reviews: Country Music Peopleflyinshoes


(15 April 2014) Rodney Crowell - Tarpaper Sky (New West) 11 Tracks/ Time: 42:08

(15 April 2014) The Secret Sisters -  Put Your Needle Down
12 Tracks/ Time: 43:40 CD - Amazon.com - US iTunes - Sleeve Art Photo
>> WatchLonely Island" performed by The Secret Sisters and "I Cannot Find A Away" (Live)

(15 April 2014) Oak Ridge Boys - Boys Night Out (Cleopatra Records)
14 Tracks/ Time: 49:29 MP3 - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com
(15 April 2014) Randy Rogers Band - Homemade Tamales - Live at Floore's (Room 8 Records) 2-CD 26 Tracks/ Time: 1:47:29 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 

(15 April 2014) Ray Price - Beauty Is..The Final Session (AmeriMonte LLC)
12 Tracks/ Time: 41:29 CD - MP3 - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com - US iTunes

NEWS
  • Arista Nashville duo The Swon Brothers made their Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday, April 12th to a packed audience (>> Video). "We've dreamed about playing the OPRY since we were kids and to know that we are going to actually get to sing on that stage is an overwhelming feeling," said Zach Swon.
  • Taylor Swift has shattered ticket sales records in China after her upcoming show in Shanghai sold out in just one minute.
  • Tickets for the May 30 show at the city's Mercedes-Benz Arena were in such demand, fans turned the concert into China's fastest sell-out in history, according to Country Weekly magazine. The gig is one of seven Swift has lined up in Asia for the latest leg of her Red Tour. The other shows in Tokyo; Jakarta, Indonesia; Manila, Phillipines; Bangkok; Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia have also sold out.
  • Scotty McCreery is off to the races. He's set to perform at the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville on May 2 with special guest Cassadee Pope.
  • In hopes
    of aligning themselves as the antithesis to the whole “bro-country” phenomenon gripping popular country music with its laundry list, truck and beer, mud-splashed and moonshine-soaked stereotyping, a couple of female artists have decided to adopt the new “bra-country” term to help separate the women from the bros. 
  • >>  Sheryl Crow KNCI 105.1 interview
TOURS

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill closed out their Soul2Soul residency at The Venetian in Las Vegas Saturday April 12th. Faith took to Twitter to mark the occasion. "We would like to thank the incredible staff & crew at The Venetian for their hard work and hospitality during both runs of #soul2soul," Faith posted.

COUNTRY AWARDS

As a country artist Luke Bryan dominated the "Billboard" Music Awards Nominations. He's up for Top Male Artist (all genres) his album, CRASH MY PARTY gets noms for Top Billboard 200 Album and Top Country Album, and Luke is nominated for Top Billboard 200 Artist. Florida Georgia Line racked up three. The Billboard Music Awards will take place in Las Vegas Sunday,
May 18, and will air live on ABC.

Country-related categories:
Top Male Artist:
Luke Bryan, Drake, Eminem, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake
Top Duo/Group:
Florida Georgia Line, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, One Direction, OneRepublic
Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Beyoncé, Luke Bryan, Eminem, One Direction, Justin Timberlake
Top Social Artist:
Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, One Direction, Rihanna, Taylor Swift
Top Country Artist:
Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift
Milestone Award Presented by Chevrolet:
Imagine Dragons, John Legend, Luke Bryan, Ellie Goulding, OneRepublic, Carrie Underwood

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Beyoncé (Beyoncé), Luke Bryan (Crash My Party), Drake (Nothing Was the Same)
Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP 2), Justin Timberlake (The 20/20 Experience)
Top Country Album:
Garth Brooks ("Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades of Influences")
Luke Bryan ("Crash My Party"), Florida Georgia Line ("Here’s to the Good Times")
The Robertsons ("Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas")
Blake Shelton ("Based on a True Story")
Top Country Song:
Luke Bryan, “Crash My Party”; Luke Bryan, “That’s My Kind Of Night”
Florida Georgia Line Featuring Nelly, “Cruise”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
Blake Shelton Featuring Pistol Annies & Friends, “Boys ‘Round Here”
Top Christian Album:
Alan Jackson (Precious Memories: Volume II), Skillet (Rise)
Third Day (Miracle), Chris Tomlin (Burning Lights), Various Artists (WOW Hits 2014)

TV

  • Fifty Shades Of Play: CMT Crossroads will celebrate its 50th episode by pairing Kacey Musgraves with pop star Katy Perry
  • David Letterman to Retire from CBS in 2015: He told the studio audience: 'It's been great … but I'm retiring'. As of next year, Letterman will have hosted “Late Show” on CBS for 22 years. He logged 11 years as host of NBC’s “Late Night” before famously being passed over at NBC for Johnny Carson’s throne on “The Tonight Show” — over Carson’s objection. Letterman has logged more than 6,000 episodes during his long career.
  • Billboard: ABC's 'Nashville' Shoots For Ratings Boost With Concert Tour & Soundtrack It’s a toss-up whether "Nashville" will return to Nashville. Just two months ago, the hourlong soap set in country music’s epicenter appeared destined for cancelation — according to a source, crew members were informed they should look for work come May. Season-two ratings have steadily eroded since an audience of 6.5 million watched the Sept. 25 premiere. The show’s audience was 5.2 million on its last broadcast — March 26 — according to Nielsen. Its season average is 5.5 million. But the lack of hits on ABC’s schedule has put "Nashville" on life support. And a source close to the production tells Billboard that the network “has invested heavily in the show” and that “by no means is it on its last legs.” A flurry of activity will close out the season for the Lionsgate-ABC-Opry Entertainment drama starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, including a new soundtrack, a live tour and TV concert special.
The Nashville concert tour (Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Chris Carmack) is a big hit. Tickets for the trek's stops in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. sold out within minutes of going on sale earlier this month. Now, the cast of the ABC TV hit has added another concert date: Monday, May 5 at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. 


MUSIC NEWS

Samsung & Deezer sign major European music deal  (Press release)
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., announced today a key partnership with one of the world’s largest and most diverse music streaming services, Deezer. With the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 smartphone, Customers will be given six months of free access to Deezer’s Premium+ service, delivering enhanced sound quality (320kbps) and access to music recommendations by Deezer’s own network of music editors. The offer represents added value to the customer of up to €60.

Billboard Story - Suffolk'svery own Ed Sheeran's new single "Sing," which Pharrell Williams co-wrote and co-produced, should make a noteworthy debut on Billboard Hot 100. Highlights of the chart, which blends songs' sales data, via Nielsen SoundScan, and airplay and streaming figures, according to Nielsen BDS, will post on Billboard.com on Wednesday (April 16). With his segue from folk/rock to R&B-flavored pop on "Sing," Sheeran appears headed for a debut perhaps in the Hot 100's top 40.
Music and pictures are hard to get rid of
One's man's treasure is another man's junk
BBC iPlayer Page: Business Boomers - 2. Real Storage Wars ....A look at businesses that have boomed despite tough economic times. This episode discovers why Britain came to have the biggest self-storage industry in Europe.

"CD's I don't know why I'm storing the CD's. I think it’s old technology but I'm not really ready to get rid of them yet"

"In the age of MP3's there is no use in having these anymore?"
"It isn't, I'm using SPOTIFY now, we have it on the computer we have it on the phones"
This is luxurious isn't it.  I don't really need to be storing them here, so I'll get rid of it!


Are Amazon UK encouraging us to hoard even more jewel cases and CD’s?
Amazon introduced the AutoRip service in 2013 which means that whenever you buy a CD or a vinyl album you also get free MP3 versions.
An example of this is Eric Church’s new album THE OUTSIDERS. If you buy the CD album for £9.45 you get the MP3 version (worth £8.99) for FREE.


DO YOU STILL LOVE JEWEL BOX CDs !
What is more, customers who have bought physical music from the online retailer in the past will find that it is now all available in digital form in Amazon's CloudPlayer.
This could be rather scary - Amazon started selling CDs in the UK back in 1999, and you may find the evidence of your past musical tastes rather distressing! But how attractive will this feature really be?
You might think most music fans were rapidly abandoning CDs for digital downloads, so that this kind of hybrid service would soon be irrelevant. Paul Firth, head of music for Amazon UK said “he's confident there is a large body of consumers for whom Autorip will be attractive”. The company still shifts a lot of CDs, and the sales are growing in the UK, which means that it has a growing share of a shrinking market. In the US, where the service has been live since January 2013, it has helped grow sales - those CDs which are licensed for Autorip were selling faster than those that aren't. BBC Technology.

SINGLE / ALBUM NEWS

  • Gene Watson returns with a new album, set to release June 10, 2014. Here is what his official press release had to say: “Country Music legend, GENE WATSON, announces his latest album, My Heroes Have Always Been Country, is set to release June 10, 2014 on his Fourteen Carat Music label with distribution worldwide by CIMS-Think Indie Distribution.
  • LeeAnn Womack, who after more than a decade run with UMG’s Nashville labels, spent time plotting her next move. The CMA Award winner announced April 11th what that move would be with a new album on the way, to be produced by her husband Frank Liddell and it will be released via Sugar Hill Records. The album is set to be released in September, 2014. “When I was looking for the right home for this record,” Womack says, “I knew I wanted a label where passion for music and artistic integrity drive the decision-making, the people who bring the music to the fans. Beyond the incredible work Sugar Hill has done with Nickel Creek, Sarah Jarosz and Bryan Sutton, they have a broader way of looking at where music can go and why it matters – and for this very personal record, it seemed like the perfect fit.” ....On the new project, Lee Ann Womack worked with a core band of Matt Chamberlain on drums, Glenn Worf on bass, Duke Levine on Guitar, Mac McAnally on acoustic guitar, piano and steel guitarist Paul Franklin. It was recorded live on the floor with minimal overdubs. 
  • Singer-songwriter Jessi Alexander has released DOWN HOME (Lonesome Vinyl) a 9 track album on April 1st via UK iTunes
  • Related post: The Tennessean, Peter Cooper On Music: Jessi Alexander gives up and finds success (Jan 26, 2014)

PRESS RELEASES

  • Eric Church’s The Outsiders World Tour will launch in North America on September 11, 2014 (Bossier City, La. CenturyLink Center) with 31 arena dates announced through to (Dec. 13 Birmingham, Ala). Opening the tour on different dates throughout the first leg will be rising country music duo Brothers Osborne, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Brandy Clark (Oct/Nov), or the hard rocking band Halestorm.
  • Dolly Parton is scheduled to support the release of her latest studio album, Blue Smoke, with a broadcast on QVC, live from Nashville, Sunday, April 27 at 7 PM (ET). The hour-long show will feature Parton performing, live in front of a studio audience, songs from Blue Smoke as well as a few of her greatest hits! Walmart have an extended version of Dolly's new CD with 4 extra tracks and if you pre-order it comes with a signed Booklet!
  • The 21st Country Thunder music festival took place this past weekend where country music fans descended on historic Florence, Arizona, the event hit capacity crowds. 67,793 Kernels of Popcorn popped for Kettle Corn, 21,359 rolls of toilet paper used, 57 tons of garbage…Read more Fun Facts
  • Luka Bloom is set to release his latest project, HEAD AND HEART, on May 6. The new album represents a creative turn for the beloved Irish singer/songwriter who has earned legions of fans with his heartfelt original songs.
  • Natalie Stovall and the Drive are set to make their Grand Ole Opry debut on Tuesday, May 6th. The buzz worthy group have been named “Artist to Watch in 2014” by: Country Weekly, Billboard, Taste Of Country, Roughstock, Music Times, and more.
ARTICLES
  • Billboard 615: Kacey Musgraves Loves Katy Perry's 'Whimsical'Ways: Watch
  • The Tennessean: Brad Paisley talks about his favorite 'River Bank'+ great Gallery Photos
  • American Songwriter: Painting Landscapes: A Q&A with Rodney Crowell...One of the themes of this album is reflection, a kind of “emotion recollected in tranquility.” Did you set out to make that a theme or did it naturally develop that way? Well, the discussion between myself and [guitarist] Steuart Smith was landscape painting and we talked about Cèzanne a lot, and we tend to talk in terms of art [when discussing] music. Our sense was that we were recording these songs that had a certain amount of pastoral landscape tonality to it. There were other songs that I recorded that in the end were songs that were very worthy of being on the album, but the decision was to let the pastoral watercolors set the tone for this album....
  • LA Times ACM Awards: Brad Paisley debuts bro-baiting new single 'River Bank'
  • The Tennessean: Ray Price tells his wife 'I love you' with last album.....Price recorded the album while battling for his life, but "Beauty Is" trades on loveliness and gratitude, with lush strings cushioning Price's vocals. Asked by WSM air personality Eddie Stubbs if any vocal tuning or other digital enhancements — technology that aids nearly every modern major-label country recording — were used, engineer Kyle Lehning laughed and said, "Oh, no. Ray Price was a professional."..Read More / Gallery Photos
  • Policy Mic.com: 17 Things 'Nashville' Gets Really Wrong About Nashville by by Brittney McKenna

INTERVIEWS
Lee Williams the CEO of CMR Nashville ("Europe's #1 Country Music Radio Station") talks to the stars of the TV show 











Private Lives of Nashville Wives (Watch >> Trailer) TNT turns the spotlight on the women of Music City in the unscripted series. #NashvilleWives premiered in February 24th following a group of accomplished, opinionated and driven women--who happen to be married to some of the biggest players in the country music industry as they deal with professional challenges, family issues and social relationships. The show provides an alluring glimpse behind the scenes of one of America's most unique and vibrant cities. 
Follow then on Facebook - Episode-2-Recap


Lee Williams in this London interview talks to Suzy Bogguss about her new Merle Haggard inspired album LUCKY and her career.


BOOKS
Read an Excerpt from Josh Turner’s New Book

MAGAZINES
Download April’s edition of Magazine Of Country Music

LISTEN
  • Tim McGraw featuring Faith HillMeanwhile Back At Mama's” new single from forthcoming September album Sundown Heaven Town
  • Listen to Josh Thompson's "new single "Wanted Me Gone" impacting radio April 28th
  • Listen to Eli Young Band "Dust", Turn the radio UP, Roll the windows down! #27 and climbing the charts
  • Sample snippets of Jamie O'Neal's upcoming CD "Eternal" and pre-order at Amazon.com.
  • Exclusive Premiere of Cowboy Jack Clement's "Let the Chips Fall" at No Depression His final album, “For Once and For All” drops July 15th on IRS Nashville.
SPOTIFY COUNTRY
For users of this online music streaming service here are some of the more recent additions and recommendations.
When it's free and easy on Spotify who needs music piracy?

Hank Williams III – Ramblin' Man - 8 Tracks released April 1, 2014
Ronnie Dunn – Peace Love and Country Music - 14 tracks released April 8, 2014
Rodney Crowell – Tarpaper Sky - 11 Tracks released April 15, 2014

The Infamous Stringdusters – Let It Go  - 11 Tracks, out April 1, 2014
Dan + Shay – Where It All Began - 12 Tracks, out April 1, 2014

Martina McBride – Everlasting - 12 Tracks released April 8, 2014
Carlene Carter – Carter Girl - 12 Tracks released April 8, 2014
Sam Bailey – The Power of Love - (Covers Shania’s “From This Moment On” & Faith Hill’s “There You’’ Be”)

Debate: Is Spotify killing the music industry?
Thanks to piracy and the Youtube explosion, for the first time consumers had the chance to stop paying for music. Record sales plummeted, record companies’ profits fell and, perhaps most importantly, there was little to no investment in new talent and a huge amount of pressure on artists who did get signed. 
With six million paying subscribers, some commentators hail Spotify as the saviour of the music industry. Six million is undoubtedly a massive number by any account; but the reality is that Spotify needs at least 10 times this amount before they can start thinking about paying artists properly. Spotify is no saviour: it is perpetuating the problems of an already dying industry....Spotify certainly occupies an acceptable space between the guilt ridden piracy route and buying an over priced CD for £10. However, with the industry average offering slightly less than 0.4p a stream – this means that 1 million streams of a song would generate about £3,800. It is unrealistic to suggest that most songs will receive anywhere near that amount of plays.
Furthermore, most of the Spotify’s payouts go directly to the label; the artists and songwriters see little of this profit. In 2010, Lady Gaga claimed that she personally received a $167 cheque for over 1 million plays of her song ‘Poker Face’ on Spotify; it is important to remember that there are few songs as ubiquitous and over played as ‘Poker Face’.....

Business Time.com: Spotify and YouTube Are Just Killing Digital Music Sales
Now, with a deluge of  music streaming services letting fans listen to songs for free, the digital download may be going the way of the CD and the cassette tape before it.U.S. digital track sales decreased for the first time ever in 2013, dropping from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 
CD sales also continued their ongoing decline, dropping 14 percent to 165 million. Digital album sales were stable, staying at 118 million sold last year. Meanwhile the number of songs streamed through services like Spotify, YouTube and Rhapsody increased 32 percent to 118.1 billion.
The rise of streaming has been swift. Spotify just arrived on U.S. shores in the summer of 2011, but it has become a lightning rod for controversy thanks to a chorus of artists who decry that paying musicians a fraction of a cent per listen is unfair........However, the music industry’s core problem—that lots of fans just don’t want to pay for music—remains an issue. Most people use the free, ad-supported version of Spotify, and the company recently expanded its free offering to mobile devices. The most popular platform for listening to music among young people is YouTube, which is almost entirely free. If these businesses can convert lots of free users into paying subscribers, artists, then record labels and the companies themselves will be awash in money. A premium subscriber to Spotify, Rdio or Google’s streaming service spends $120 per year on music, or enough to buy about 12 digital albums. That’s plenty to sustain the industry?!!!
In America, regarding digital sales in 2013, saw a 1.0% decline in revenue from downloads to $2.8 billion which suggest that consumers may be shifting away from owning music towards streaming services that give them access to large catalogs of music, such as Spotify, Beats Music, Slacker and Rdio. Sales from CD's, vinyl and other physical formats dropped 12.3% in 2013.
Billboard published the first Quarter sales for 2014 in the US. Country music albums sold 8,076,000 (Physical sales 5,280,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 2,796,000 (down 12.3%)) which is 19.7% down at the same point in 2013 (10,052,000 sales)
Country wasn’t alone in that decline. Altogether the entire industry sold 312 million downloads, down 12.5% from Q1 2013. All genres moved a total of 61.7 million albums, which likewise marked a 16.6% fall from 2013 numbers

Jumping Onboard: The Times And The Sunday Times are now throwing in Spotify for FREE. Listen to the music you love instantly, with a year of Spotify Premium. Free when you subscribe to the Ultimate or Digital packs, saving you £119 over 12 months. So as well as award-winning journalism every day, exactly the way you want it, you’ll get unlimited ad-free music.

WATCH
  • Flashback Thursday: Tom Jones "Say You'll Stay Until Tomorrow" The Welsh singing stud hit No. 1 in February 26, 1977. The song was Jones's first and highest-charting country music hit. Spending ten weeks within the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs). It peaked at #40 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
  • Glasgow's Ashton Lane cover "One Voice" by The Wailin Jennys in their latest Kitchen Session
  • In a lost animated interview, Johnny Cash talks about gospel music, pain killers & singing w/ Elvis
  • Martina McBride performs her cover of the Etta James classic "In The Basement" on TV show Arsenio.
  • Jess Moskaluke performs "Cheap Wine and Cigarettes" live on CMT
  • JJ Heller new record "I Dream of You", it's the title cut of her album out April 29, 2014 on US iTunes.
  • Nickel Creek perform "Rest Of My Life" Live On Soundcheck
COUNTRY FASHION
Taylor Swift was seen out in New York City wearing a pair of Hudson Hampton Hackney Denim Rolled Shorts ($128.00), a pair of Sam Edelman Sawyer Oxfords, a new Dolce & Gabbana Agagta Shoulder Bag ($1,677.00) and a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses ($154.90) in Red - Fashion Image
She was also spotted shopping in NYC wearing an Oasis Embroidered Mombassa Skater Dress ($103.48) - Fashion Image

COUNTRY GOSSIP

  • Trisha Yearwood's home in Brentwood, Tennessee -- just south of Nashville, is on the market for $2.2 million (image).  As Trisha prepares to spend more time in Nashville with her husband, Garth Brooks, they'll be living on his land north of town. She tells The Tennessean, "It doesn't make sense to have all of it."
  • Miranda Lambert fires back at Tabloid rumors with new song "Priscilla".....writer Natalie Hemby took that conversation with Miranda and wrote "Priscilla," a song that finds Miranda reaching out to Elvis Presley's ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, for advice on how to deal with Blake's growing fame.
  • DJ Jerry House says Brad Paisley is a cat guy: “He’s about half-Persian. He’s looking at you but thinking of catching a fish, like all cats do.”
ACM Awards Gossip
  • The possible Baby Bump award went to Carrie Underwood at the ACM's. She looked like she had a little bump on her tummy plus her dress had fringe. She said 2014 would be the year - Image
  • We understand Kacey Musgraves was offered a shortened performance, much like Lee Brice’s, but turned it down. What were those discussions? We went back and forth. It started as a shorter performance, and she declined. We came back with something a bit longer, and it eventually came down to her wanting a full performance. We kept pushing at time, but couldn’t make it work. No disrespect to songwriters, but the viewing habits of the public are now at about 1.5 minutes. And you can get across a huge and emotive performance in that time. Lee proved that - RAC Clark (Executive producer of the 49th Annual ACM Awards)
  • Rascal Flatts ACM lip-synching story....Turns out, it's not that uncommon an occurrence ... and not because country singers can't sing. "There have been plenty of people who have lip-synched on our show," awards producer RAC Clark
PHOTO
  • Herefordshire's very own Sasha McVeigh performs onstage during the ACM Week Kick Off Party at The Linq on April 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada - Image - Image Follow her on Facebook
  • ACM & Cabela's Great Outdoor Archery Event during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at The LINQ on April 5, 2014 in Las Vegas: Tyler Hubbard, Brantley Gilbert and Dustin Lynch attend - Image - Luke Bryan and Lee Brice - Luke Bryan, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard 
  • David Nail thinking about the next club he will showcase a new swing album at the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic - Image
  • Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, Frankie Ballard and Jake Owen attend the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic
Caption competition: Hillary told me to go see Dolly, they were  Helluva big - 
I’ve now joined the Bra-Country club

BIRTHDAYS
April 14: Loretta Lynn (1935), Stuart Duncan (Nashville Bluegrass Band) (1964) 
April 15: Roy Clark (1933), Sam Bush (New Grass Revival) (1952) 
April 19: Bekka Bramlett (1968),
April 20: Sally Barris (1962) Wade Hayes (1969), Johnny Tillotson (1939), Doyle Lawson (1944) 

R.I.P
James “Jesse” Winchester May 17, 1944 – April 11, 2014
Jesse Winchester, the American musician and songwriter entered hospice care on April 7th. He died at his home in Charlottesville, Va., Friday morning (April 11), at age 69 following a battle with cancer. His music blended folk, country and blues and he found his greatest success as an artist in the folk music genre.
Martin Murphey enjoyed a Top 5 country hit in 1986 with Jesse’s song, “I’m Gonna Miss You, Girl.”
Jesse was born in Shreveport, La., but lived in Canada for a time when he moved to that country in protest of the Vietnam War. He returned to the U.S. after President Jimmy Carter granted pardons to those who had left the country to avoid the draft.
Last year, artists such as James Taylor, Vince Gill and Jimmy Buffett participated in a tribute album of Jesse’s songs titled Quiet About It. Jesse had completed an album of his own, A Reasonable Amount of Trouble, which is slated to be released later this year.
His highest charting recordings were of his own tunes, "Yankee Lady" in 1970 and "Say What" in 1981.
Winchester is probably best known as a songwriter, with his works being recorded by many notable artists, including Patti Page ("Brand New Tennessee Waltz”), Elvis Costello, Nicolette Larson ("Rhumba Girl"), Jimmy Buffett ("I Wave Bye Bye", "Nothin' But a Breeze"), Dan Seals ("Gentleman of Leisure"), Joan Baez ("The Brand New Tennessee Waltz2), Anne Murray ("Wintery Feeling"), Reba McEntire ("You Remember Me" - Rumor Has it 1990), Wynonna Judd ("Just Like New", "Let's Make a Baby King" - Tell Me Why 1993), The Mavericks ("O What a Thrill"), The Everly Brothers ("The Brand New Tennessee Waltz") and Emmylou Harris ("My Songbird" - 1998 Spyboy), David Ball ("Freewheeler" - 2004), Cheryl Wheeler ("Defying Gravity" - 2005) , Claire Lynch ("That's What Makes You Strong" - 2009), George Strait ("A Showman's Life" - Here for a Good Time 2011), Lyle Lovett ("Isn't That So" - 2012) and Don Williams ( "If I Were Free" - 2014)

Rollingstone: Jesse Winchester Dead at 69, Singer-Songwriter Became Anti-War Icon