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BMI And Dualtone Celebrate “The Lumineers Day” In Nashville

Photo credit: Steve Lowry

BMI and Dualtone celebrated one of Americana’s hottest acts yesterday afternoon with a special awards ceremony in the BMI lobby. The Lumineers were presented plaques honoring the successes of their 3x certified Platinum debut album and certified Gold follow-up album Cleopatra. In addition, three platinum singles – “Ho Hey,” “Stubborn Love,” and “Ophelia” – and two gold singles – “Flowers in Your Hair” and “Cleopatra” – were recognized. BMI’s Vice President of Writer Publisher Relations, Jody Williams, presented the group with MillionAir awards in recognition of 3 million radio performances. The ceremony concluded with a special surprise from Williams: a proclamation declaring September 14, 2017 “The Lumineers Day” in Nashville signed by Mayor Megan Barry.

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Exclusive Debut: GRAMMY-Nominated Singer/Songwriter Matthew West’s “Jesus & You”

GRAMMY-nominated Christian singer/songwriter, Matthew West, has a brand new lyric video for his song, “Jesus & You”, that we’re excited to make it available to you on FOCUS on the 615!

This is new track from his upcoming album, ‘All In’, which will be releasing on September 22nd.

Watch it by clicking here or going to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqFitKCDRAg  We’re loving it and think you will, too!

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Matthew West is a four-time GRAMMY® nominee, a multiple-ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter/Artist of the Year winner and Dove Award recipient, and was awarded an American Music Award (2013), a Billboard Music Award (Top Christian Artist, 2014), a K-LOVE Fan Award (2016), and named Billboard’s Hot Christian Songwriter of the Year (2016). West also received a Primetime Emmy® Award nomination for Original Music & Lyrics for “The Heart of Christmas” from the film of the same name. In addition to his own recording career, he has co-hosted the K-LOVE Fan Awards three times and has more than 130 songwriting credits to his name, including cuts by Rascal Flatts, Scotty McCreery, Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, and Mandisa, among others. Selling more than 1.6 million albums to date (TEA), West’s discography includes acclaimed releases: Live Forever (2015), GRAMMY-nominated Into The Light (2012), The Story of Your Life (2010), Something to Say (2008),  History (2005) and Happy (2003).

Well known for communicating stories through song, Matthew West has received thousands of stories from around the world. His latest studio album, Live Forever, continues that storytelling theme and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Sales Chart. He has obtained numerous No. 1 singles, most recently with “Grace Wins,” while achieving a record-setting No. 1 for 17 straight weeks at radio with “Hello, My Name Is” and “The Motions” for 15 weeks.

Adding author to his list of accolades, West has written five books to date: Give This Christmas Away, The Story Of Your Life, ForgivenessToday Is Day One, and his newest release, Hello My Name Is. He is also passionate about providing hope and healing through the power of prayer and story, so along with his father Pastor Joe West he founded popwe, a non-profit ministry helping others to craft, share, and live a more meaningful life. Please visit popwe.org for more information.

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Artist Spotlight: Get To Know Airpark

Photo credit: Melissa Madison Fuller

Nashville-indie rock duo, Airpark, will release their second EP entitled, ‘Early Works Vol. 2’ on September 15th.  They’ll celebrate with a show at The High Watt in Nashville on September 20th.  Don’t miss it!

The Nashville-based duo is made up of brothers Michael and Ben Ford, who formed the band after their previous project, The Apache Relay, called it quits.  With Airpark, the brothers create deconstructed pop music, focusing on songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients.

1) How did you get together as a group?

 

“We’re brothers and have been playing music together since we were 11 and 12. Our previous project disbanded in 2015 and we took a solid year to write and record with no preconceived notions. The formation of our duo came out of that time and we formed officially in late 2016.”

 

2) Where are you from?

 

“We grew up right outside of New Orleans. It was awesome to be exposed to all the music of that area while growing up. It’s something I have only become more thankful for the older I get.”

 

3) How would you describe your sound?

 

“Our taste is pretty eclectic and it’s always tricky trying to be objective about your own art. We consider it to be groove focused, alternative pop.”

 

4) What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome as artists?

 

“I think continuing to be vulnerable with your writing and knowing that your letting people into the most personal aspects of your life. That’s also what seems to make for the best art though…”

 

5) What has been your favorite, most memorable experience so far?

 

“We recently did a run of dates with Tennis. Not only are we fans of their art but they were wonderful people to be around.  Their crowds were also very receptive to our tunes.”

 

6) What do you like to do when not making music?

 

“We’re both big film nerds these days. We love going to the Belcourt Theater to see movies and documentaries. We also go to 3rd Coast Comedy occasionally to check out their improv.”  

 

7) Tell us about your newest song and/or album out.

 

“It feels like a continuation of our first EP but more filled out sonically. On our first release we really kept it very intentionally minimalistic. With this collection of songs it naturally wanted to grow and we allowed that to happen.”

 

8) Do you enjoy the songwriting process and do you write your own songs?

 

“We’ve been writing our own songs since we were 11 and 12. I’ve always found the process of songwriting to be pretty elusive. Every song seems to come together differently and often times seemingly at it’s own pace. It can be the most rewarding thing in the world and the next moment, the most frustrating. For us, that’s what keeps the process intriguing.” 

 

9) What’s next for you?

 

“Heavy, heavy touring behind the new release. We’ll be on the road pretty regularly from now until Thanksgiving. A lot of these shows will be our first time playing some of these cities. We’re looking forward to seeing how the new songs come across.” 

 

10) Favorite place to eat in Nashville.

 

“Dino’s! The Porter Road Butcher burger with their fries. It’s a glorious thing.” 

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Lady Antebellum Brings The House Down In Nashville

Photo courtesy of the GreenRoom PR.

In what was the last stop of the North American leg of the YOU LOOK GOOD world tour, Lady Antebellum brought the house down along with tourmates, Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young.

Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena held a capacity crowd that was dancing and singing along with all 3 acts all night long.  As Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott put it: “It’s been two years since we took this stage” with Charles Kelley chiming in that they were prepared to “leave it all out on the stage”.  They did just that.  After taking a break to work on some special projects they wanted to do, Lady Antebellum is back and better than ever.

Photo courtesy of the GreenRoom PR.

Brett Young opened the night with a great performance to an appreciative crowd.  Midway through, he was presented with a multi-platinum achievement plaque by record label president, Scott Borchetta, along with other members of his team for his debut album and singles.  This is only the start of what is sure to be a successful career from the handsome, tall tunesmith.

Next, Kelsea Ballerini took the stage in an energetic performance entertaining the crowd with hits from her debut album and sprinkling in a few new tunes from her upcoming release.  Vibrant as ever, we look forward to hearing more from the always adorable artist who took the country world by storm right out of the gates and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, thankfully.

Finally, Lady Antebellum closed out the show with singing hits from their first album all the way through their current release.  They were enthusiastic and better than ever sharing how happy they were to be doing what they love for so many years in a heartfelt moment as they slowed it down a bit singing a few songs acoustically giving the band a break.  One of my favorites from that segment was their rendition of Shania Twain’s classic hit,“Still The One”.

“Without getting too nostalgic, this is a dream come true for us to close out this tour in Nashville,” said Charles Kelley. “For over ten years we have walked this journey with everyone here tonight and we couldn’t feel more blessed. Thank you to everyone who helped us make this tour the most unforgettable journey yet.”

My favorite moment of the night is when they brought out the full horn section from Nashville School of Arts to join their 2 incredible horn players that usually tour with Justin Timberlake, but joined them while he is on a break from touring.  They finished off their single from the current album, “You Look Good”, in stellar fashion creating my favorite memory from the evening.  Also loved the opening with just the two added horn players energizing and hyping the crowd on stage alone for a couple of minutes serving as the intro of the always incredible Lady Antebellum to enter the arena’s huge stage.  They poured their hearts out all night long and had a spectacular conclusion with an encore of “Bartender” transitioning into their mega crossover hit, “Need You Now”, and leaving the stage to a standing ovation from a very appreciative crowd.

They succeeded in accomplishing what they sought out to do, leaving it all out on the stage in a stellar performance lasting nearly two hours on a beautiful, cool, crisp fall-like evening in downtown Nashville.

Thanks, Lady Antebellum, for adding so much to the country genre with your harmonious sounds and constantly bringing your fans something fresh and new with each release for over 10 years. From their humble start playing at 3rd & Lindsley to packing arenas around the world, we hope to continue hearing from them for many more years to come. They are a must-see concert whenever they come to town.

Photo courtesy of the GreenRoom PR.

 

 

 

 

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Artist Spotlight: Sandra Lynn Talks About Newest Single, “Hey California”, And Much More

Photo credit: Jean Claude

Get to know this California native and talented country artist. Hear all about her newest single and much more below!

What’s the name of your new single and what is it about?

“My latest single is called, ‘Hey California.’ It debuted on Radio Disney during their ‘Country Spotlight’ hour, and its the first single off of my upcoming debut full-length album that’s in the works to release soon. It’s a song that I co-wrote with songwriter/producer, Dave Brainard. When Dave and I first sat down together to write it, I told him I wanted to write a song that had a little bit of a Beach Boys vibe to it. My parents always listened to the Beach Boys’ records when I was a child, and I remember especially loving their Endless Summer album. I also wanted to write a country song that gave a nod to my Southern California roots—a song that has a Summertime, playful, California dreamin,’ vibe to it.”

Did you write the song? 

“Yes, I co-wrote it with Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter, Dave Brainard.”

What artists inspire you most musically?

“As a child, I always looked up to female country music artists such as Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, the Dixie Chicks, Shania Twain, and Sara Evans. The list goes on…I always remember hearing these powerful female voices on country radio when I was a kid. I remember the first time I heard Deana Carter’s song, ‘Strawberry Wine’, come on the radio. I remember exactly where I was at the time—out in Chino, CA in the car with my mom, parked at a stoplight, and that song came on the radio…it’s the song that made we want to sing and write country music. I also looked up to artists such as the Beach Boys, Sheryl Crow, and Michelle Branch, and I think you can hear some of those influences in my latest single.”

What lead you to pursue music? How did you get your start?

“I started performing from a young age. I began dancing when I was three, acting when I was five, and singing when I was seven. Performing has always been in my blood, and I’ve always loved country music. As I said previously, when I heard ‘Strawberry Wine’ first come on the radio, that was when I knew I wanted to sing and write country music. In fact, I definitely had one of my childhood dreams fulfilled recently when I got to write with Deana Carter. It was such a surreal experience, and when we first met, I told her I was having a ‘geek-out’ moment with her because she’s the reason I wanted to sing country music ;).”

What is the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome as an artist?

“Being true to who I am as a person in my artistry. In other words, the common phrase, “be yourself.” It sounds cliché, but I 100% believe it. As human beings, we all want to connect with one another—we all want someone to relate to us in one way or the other—and we all live in a fickle, on-demand world these days. Music is subjective, but music is also an escape. The artists and music I’ve always connected to are the ones that lay it all out on the line—the ones that are vulnerable, where I feel like I can relate to them in some way. That’s what I strive to do with my own music in the hopes that it will resonate with new listeners and fans.”

Three words to describe yourself. 

“Charismatic, funny, kind”

What do you like to do when not making music?

“My husband and I love traveling, hiking, wine tasting, game nights with friends, visiting with family, and our five cats.”

What’s coming up next for you?

“My official music video for “Hey California” will be releasing really soon, so I’ll be excited for you to check that out! We filmed it out in Los Angeles, CA in iconic locations such as the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame,’ the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and up and down the coast of Malibu. It also features my friend and actor, Liam McNeill as our ‘Mr. Hey California’ in the video (Manchester by the Sea). We’ve got some live dates booked out on the road as well that are coming up, and lots more music coming for ya! I’ll be sharing all of these updates and more on my social media (@sandralynnmusic) and my website (www.sandralynnmusic.com) so make sure to check those out, as well as head over to Spotify to hear ‘Hey California!'”

Watch talented country artist Sandra Lynn’s playful tune called, “Hey California” by clicking here.  Love the vibe to this one, and like holding on to a little bit of summer as we start to change seasons!

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Jon Pardi Plays To A Sold Out Crowd At George Dickel’s Porch Sessions

On Saturday, August 12th, country singer Jon Pardi played to a sold out crowd at George Dickel’s 3rd installment of their summer concert series called Porch Sessions.

It was a balmy summer night with the audience dancing and singing along in pure delight to the country singer’s more traditional sound.  The George Dickel whisky was flowing and it was a truly festive atmosphere at Cascade Hollow, a picturesque setting and the distillery’s home.

For me, it was a perfect way to enjoy the last remnants of summer as I enjoyed some great music from a rocking chair sitting on the porch at George Dickel Distillary out in the beautiful countryside sipping on my George Dickel Dickelade cocktail while taking it all in away from the crowd.  I’m pretty sure this is just what they intended when creating the series.  Maybe I took it TOO literal? Well, sometimes you just need to slow way down and take in all of the simple things life has to offer.  This is one of them.

The final Porch Sessions is taking place the end of September, and I’m sad to see it come to an end.  I have certainly enjoyed my visits out to George Dickel’s Cascade Hollow in Tullahoma.  Just a short day trip down the road from Nashville.  Tours of the distillery are available daily and encourage everyone to take a day off, sip on some Dickle from a rocking chair on their porch taking in the beautiful surroundings of the serene countryside setting that is Cascade Hollow.

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Kip Moore And Tony Hawk Are Bringing Us The “Music City Skate Jam” On Sep. 10th

On Sunday, September 10th, country singer Kip Moore and professional skateboarder Tony Hawk are bringing the “Music City Skate Jam” to be held at the Music City Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville.

Gates open at 3pm beginning with music from Dee Jay Silver, followed by a performance from Jordan Davis, a skateboarding demonstration from Tony Hawk, and a headlining concert from Kip Moore.

Ticket prices range from $25 for general admission and up for various VIP packages.  Full details of VIP packages and tickets are available for purchase at: www.kipmoore.net

Proceeds raised from this fun day to benefit skateparks.

We are giving away a pair of silver VIP tickets to one lucky winner on Friday, September 1st at 12pm central thanks to Universal Music Group.  Find us on our social media pages for details how to win.  Better hurry!

Twitter: @focusonthe615

Instagram: @Focus_on_the_615

Also, don’t forget Kip Moore’s newest album, ‘Slowheart’, is coming out just before on September 8th.  Can’t wait to hear new music from this talented artist!

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Jon Langston and Walker McGuire Perform at BMI’s Rooftop on the Row

Country up and comers Jon Langston and Walker McGuire entertained guests of BMI at their 4th Annual ‘Rooftop on the Row’ concert series on Tuesday night (August 15). The country duo of Walker McGuire, composed of Jordan Walker and Johnny McGuire, kicked off the night with songs such as their Top 40 single, “‘Til Tomorrow”, and “What’s Her Name” – a self proclaimed true story about their time in Mexico.

Jon Langston followed the up and coming duo to close out the show and entertain guests during the sunset. Langston performed his hit “Forever Girl” as well as a medley of hits from artists such as Jon Pardi (“Dirt on My Boots”) and Tim McGraw (“Real Good Man”) before closing out the night with his current single, “Wrong Girl Right Time”.

Both performers are artists to watch out for in 2018. The night was sponsored by George Dickel, Cumulus Radio, Samuel Adams, and Texas Roadhouse and all sponsors were on hand to make sure guests had a great summer night on the BMI rooftop. Head on over to Focus on the 615’s Instagram for more from BMI’s Rooftop on the Row and events throughout Music City!

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William Michael Morgan Rocks BMI’s Third Rooftop on the Row Concert Series

BMI Nashville had a successful launch of their ‘Rooftop on the Row’ summer concert series this past May and the momentum has kept on going. On Tuesday night, William Michael Morgan took the stage after performances from up and coming artists Fairground Saints and Payton Taylor, and he didn’t disappoint. Before performing his hit “I Met A Girl”, Morgan nailed a cover of a song from one of his idols, George Strait, when he performed “Check Yes or No” on BMI’s rooftop overlooking Music City. The Rooftop on the Row series is presented by George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey with sponsors including Nash FM, Samuel Adams, Texas Roadhouse, and YETI Coolers – all of which were on hand to make sure attendees were well fed and had a drink in their hand.

This was the third of five ‘Rooftop on the Row’ series and the next one will feature Walker McGuire.

For more information on William Michael Morgan and find out where you can see him out on the road, head here!

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Watch Shania Twain’s Brand New Video, “Life’s About To Get Good”

Shania Twain is back, and she has a brand new video! Watch it right now be clicking here.  We can’t wait to hear more!

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