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Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town And Carrie Underwood Are First Artists Announced To Perform At 2013 CMA Music Festival

CMA Fest Lineup

Nashville’s Signature Music Event Benefits Music Education And Will Once Again Be Filmed for ABC Television Special

The one-of-a-kind, award-winning CMA Music Festival takes over downtown Nashville for four days this summer, Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, with a star-packed lineup that includes Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, and more artists to be announced soon.

The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. More than 40 years later, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature music event, which annually attracts tens of thousands of fans from all 50 states and around the globe and has raised millions of dollars for music education. The event will once again be filmed for an ABC Television special airing later in the summer, shining a national spotlight on both Country Music and Music City.

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Announcing First Ever Country Music Blog Rodeo

FOCUS on the 615 will join several independent blogs to discuss country music!

FOCUS has been invited to participate in the first ever Country Music Blog Rodeo! Thanks to Country Music News Blog, several independent country music blogs will come together to chat about country music! We’d like to thank them for this opportunity and for such a great idea! Read more from CMNB below:

Next week, a group of some of the top independent country music blogs across the U.S., and even a couple across the pond, will be getting together to launch the first ever Country Music Blog Rodeo! Through individual posts, links and social sharing, we’re coming together to chat about what we all love the most…country music! For this inaugural Blog Rodeo, we’ll be discussing what’s to come in 2013 for the country music scene. With brand new tours, lots of new music, newcomers and seasoned artists on the rise, and so much more already happening, this year promises to be a BIG one for country music artists, fans, bloggers, industry folks and everyone in between, and all THAT is exactly what we’re going to be talking about!

So, be looking for posts featuring a unique perspective from each of the sites on the list below onTuesday, January 22nd! After you’ve checked out our thoughts for what will be happening in 2013, you can join in with our live Twitter Chat and share what you’re looking forward to in 2013, and we’ll even be giving away some fun country music prizes to fans! Get ready to rodeo!

Blog Rodeo Twitter Chat:

  • Date: Thursday, January 24th
  • Time: TBD
  • Find us: #BlogRodeo #CountryMusic

Country Music Blog Rodeo Participants:

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Thank you to the management of Fontanel who was kind enough to invite FOCUS to enjoy their Christmas dinner show called UNWRAP THE SONGS OF CHRISTMAS.  This showstars hit songwriters,Will Robinson and James Dean Hicks, which is running up until December 23rd.

We really enjoyed the delicious meal and the setting was really nice inside their Studio Gallery with a stage set up festively for the holiday show.  Continue Reading →

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Christmas Traditions From Some Of Our Favorite Artists


We thought we’d ask some of our favorite artists to share some of their Christmas traditions and here’s what they had to say! Enjoy! Continue Reading →

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The American Country Awards

American Country AwardsLast night was the third annual American Country Awards (ACAs), broadcast live on FOX from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The two-hour special featured performances by co-hosts Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and a surprise performance by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

With nine awards, including Artist of the Year, Luke Bryan received the most awards, followed by Miranda Lambert, who received three awards. Following her two wins this year, Carrie Underwood has earned 11 ACA awards, the most ACA honors of any artist. Lady Antebellum’s wins in Artist of the Year: Group and Single of the Year: Group, plus their five previous awards, make them the group with the most ACA honors ever.

Fans logged on to to cast votes in support of their favorite country music artists not only in traditional categories, but also in a previously unrecognized area – touring – encompassing the entire spectrum of country music. Continue Reading →

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RAWards In Nashville


Talk about your stylish event in Nashville! I loved the energy that filled the room the entire night at Mercy Lounge and one of the coolest, most stylish crowds I’ve ever seen assembled under one roof.  Models, dancers, visual artists, musicians, make-up artists, hairstylists, and filmmakers all assembled together to create what was an electric, fun-filled night!

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A Candle to You: Remembering Tony Lopacinski

Family, Friends and Fans Join For One More “Tailgate Tuesday” At Dan McGuinness

Tony LopacinskiAbout a year and a half ago the music community lost a great musician and wonderful man, Tony Lopacinski. On Tuesday, his friends and family gathered to celebrate his life and music in a very special performance at Dan McGuinness Irish Pub.

Tony was a multi-talented singer/songwriter/instrumentalist who penned hits such as “We Weren’t Crazy” by Josh Gracin, eventually becoming his bandleader. He also toured with Train as their guitarist, as well as playing with Shelly Fairchild, Julie Roberts and others. At the time of his passing, he was concentrating on his band Tailgate South. He passed away in June of 2011 after a 15-month battle with cancer.

Tuesday saw the patio at Dan McGuinness full, as Tony’s friends and former collaborators took the stage to sing his music. Among the artists were Nashville songwriting standouts Mike Willis and Devin Belle, and former Tailgate South partner Mickey Kelley.

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55th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees



1. Record Of The Year

Lonely Boy
The Black Keys
The Black Keys & Danger Mouse, producers; Tom Elmhirst & Kennie Takahashi, engineers/mixers; Brian Lucey, mastering engineer
Track from: El Camino

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Kelly Clarkson
Greg Kurstin, producer; Serban Ghenea, John Hanes, Greg Kurstin & Jesse Shatkin, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer
[RCA Records/19 Recordings Limited]

We Are Young
Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe
Jeff Bhasker, producer; Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dawson & Stuart White, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer
Track from: Some Nights
[Fueled By Ramen]

Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye Featuring Cambria
Wally De Backer, producer; Wally De Backer & Francois Tetaz, engineers/mixers; William Bowden, mastering engineer
Track from: Making Mirrors
[Universal Republic]

Thinkin Bout You
Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean, producer; Jeff Ellis, Pat Thrall & Marcos Tovar, engineers/mixers; Vlado Meller, mastering engineer
Track from: Channel Orange
[Def Jam]

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Taylor Swift
Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, producers; Serban Ghenea, engineer/mixer; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer
[Big Machine Records]

2. Album Of The Year

El Camino
The Black Keys
The Black Keys & Danger Mouse, producers; Tchad Blake, Tom Elmhirst & Kennie Takahashi, engineers/mixers; Brian Lucey, mastering engineer

Some Nights
Janelle Monáe, featured artist; Jeff Bhasker, Emile Haynie, Jake One & TommyD, producers; Jeff Bhasker, Pete Bischoff, Jeff Chestek, Andrew Dawson, Emile Haynie, Manny Marroquin, Sonny Pinnar & Stuart White, engineers/mixers; Chris Gehringer, mastering engineer
[Fueled By Ramen]

Mumford & Sons
Markus Dravs, producer; Robin Baynton & Ruadhri Cushnan, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Channel Orange
Frank Ocean
André 3000, John Mayer & Earl Sweatshirt, featured artists; Om’Mas Keith, Malay, Frank Ocean & Pharrell, producers; Calvin Bailif, Andrew Coleman, Jeff Ellis, Doug Fenske, Om’Mas Keith, Malay, Frank Ocean, Philip Scott, Mark “Spike” Stent, Pat Thrall, Marcos Tovar & Vic Wainstein, engineers/mixers; Vlado Meller, mastering engineer
[Def Jam]

Jack White
Jack White, producer; Vance Powell & Jack White, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer
[Third Man/Columbia Records]

3. Song Of The Year

The A Team
Ed Sheeran, songwriter (Ed Sheeran)
Track from: +
[Elektra; Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing]
Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
[RCA/Bystorm Entertainment; Publisher: Art Dealer Chic]

Call Me Maybe
Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen & Josh Ramsay, songwriters (Carly Rae Jepsen)
[604 Records/Schoolboy Records/Interscope; Publishers: Jepsen Music Publishing, Regular Monkey Productions, Crowe Music Publishing]
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
Jörgen Elofsson, David Gamson, Greg Kurstin & Ali Tamposi, songwriters (Kelly Clarkson)
[RCA/19 Recordings; Publishers: Universal Music Publishing MGB Scandinavia, Perfect Storm Music Group/Sony ATV Music Publishing Scandinavia, BMG Gold Songs, Kurstin Music/EMI April Music]

We Are Young
Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe)
Track from: Some Nights
[Fueled By Ramen; Publishers: WB Music, FBR Music, Bearvon Music/Rough Art/Shira Lee Lawrence Rick Music/Way Above Music/Sony ATV Songs]

4. Best New Artist

Alabama Shakes
Hunter Hayes
The Lumineers
Frank Ocean

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Star-Studded GRAMMY Nominations Concert to Hit Nashville Wednesday

Taylor Swift and LL Cool J Host The Show Airing LIVE on CBS at 9pm CST

GRAMMY Nominations Concert

Tomorrow night is a big one in the entertainment world. The GRAMMY Nominations Concert is taking place… right here in Nashville! That’s right, CBS is airing the show LIVE from 9-10 CST for the first time ever directly from Bridgestone Arena. And FOCUS is gonna be there!

Hosted by Taylor Swift and LL Cool J (just odd enough a pairing to be spectacular), the night will include performances by Hunter HayesLuke Bryan, Maroon 5, Ne-YoThe Whofun.Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry (performing together as a tribute to Johnny Cash), plus more! Oh, and they’re also announcing the nominees for Music’s Biggest Night, complete with special guest appearances.

And for those lucky enough to be AT the event (I’ll wait as you get over turning green from envy)… Maroon 5 will be performing an exclusive performance after the live broadcast. Stay tuned for more!

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Show Review: Josh Abbott Band @ Exit/In

Josh Abbot Band

FOCUS was recently invited to attend the Josh Abbott Band show at Exit/In.  This is another band that is new to us at the site and we appreciated the invitation to see them perform.

Josh Abbott Band hails from the great state of Texas bringing with them that unmistakable Texas sound blended with contemporary country music.  Great musicianship mixed with equally great stage presence, provided a night of great music that seemed to be enjoyed by all! It was a packed crowd in there.  From the moment they took the stage, the crowd was completely captivated by them–singing along and dancing to the music.

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