Tag Archives | Country music

Sara Evans Offers Advice To Young Female Artists At Change The Conversation Event  

Country music star Sara Evans joined members of Change The Conversation last night, where she spoke candidly about her personal and professional journey and performed several songs from her new album, Words, on Tuesday from The Steps at WME.

In addition to performing the title track from the album set for a July 21 release, Evans also debuted new songs “All the Love You Left Me” and “Marquee Sign,” as well as an acoustic version of platinum chart-topper “A Little Bit Stronger.”

This is a landmark project for Evans as the first release on her new label, Born To Fly Records. Fourteen female songwriters, including powerhouses Ashley Monroe, Caitlyn Smith, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott, Liz Hengber, Sonya Isaacs and of course Evans herself, contribute their words to the stunning, upcoming record.

“I want to talk about why we need to change the conversation,” Evans said during the event. “When I first got my record deal, women were dominating country radio. We had Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, LeAnn Rimes, Shania Twain, Patty Loveless and on and on. I was fortunate enough to join that group of amazing women.

“So we need to change the conversation and figure out why it is not that way anymore. Why are there not enough women on country radio? Women artists are amazing and they have so much great music that we want to hear and we need to hear, so let’s change the conversation.”

Change the Conversation is a coalition designed to help create an even playing field for women in country music and was formed by Tracy Gershon, Beverly Keel and Leslie Fram in 2014.

It was formed initially to create an informal salon-like atmosphere where women could get together and develop productive ways of solving the problem but has quickly grown into an organization of gaining influence. The organization funds research and hosts events where industry experts address their segments of the industry.

The event, which was sponsored by WME and One Hope Wine, began with a conversation between Evans and Tracy Gershon, a co-founder of Change the Conversation who also helped with A&R duties for this album. “Sara Evans has been one of the most influential and admired country artists of the last two decades, so when she spoke about the importance of changing the conversation, the female artists in the room were inspired and invigorated,” Gershon says.

Adds Change the Conversation co-founder Leslie Fram, “Sara’s impact is undeniable and she proved it again during her performance for Change The Conversation at WME.  After the performance, so many artists said they were moved by the power of her new songs and vocals.”

About Sara Evans: Multi-platinum entertainer SARA EVANS is at the top of her game. With five No. 1 Country singles including “No Place That Far,” “Suds In The Bucket, “A Real Fine Place To Start,” “Born to Fly,” and “A Little Bit Stronger,” which spent 2 weeks in the top spot and was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A., Sara thrills audiences across the U.S. playing close to 100 shows each year. Her “stunning, country voice” (Rolling Stone) has earned her the prestigious Academy of Country Music Top Female vocalist accolade as well as numerous American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Country Music Association, CMT and Grammy Awards nominations. In addition, the CMA awarded Video of the Year honors for her hit chart-topping single, “Born to Fly” from her double-platinum album of the same name. In 2014 Evans released her critically acclaimed seventh studio album Slow Me Down, which debuted at #2 on the Country Album Chart and landed in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, winning over fans and media alike and dubbed her best album to date. Named one of People Magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” Evans’ career also includes the platinum-selling studio albums Real Fine Place and Restless and the gold-certified No Place That Far. Sara continues to forge a bold, creative path with the launch of Born To Fly Records, distributed by Sony RED, and will release her highly anticipated eighth studio album, Words, on July 21, 2017.

In addition to a prolific country music career, Sara is an accomplished author, lifestyle blogger and Red Cross ambassador who in 2008 was presented with the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization.

For more information on Sara Evans, visit SaraEvans.com and ARealFinePlace.com and engage with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Chris Biano Announces Reality Series “Breaking Country” Airing Exclusively On YouTube Every Sunday Night

“Breaking Country,” a new television worthy web-based reality show that follows aspiring artist Chris Biano on his pursuit to become a country music star,  premiered May 7th exclusively on YouTube. Biano who moved from Dallas, TX to Music City four years ago to chase his dream, quickly realized how hard it really is to make waves in the country music industry.  

“Breaking Country,” a 20-week series produced by a Franklin, TN based marketing firm, follows his journey as he learns to navigate the world of writing appointments, gigs, vocal coach sessions and everything else that goes into a country music career while also juggling a long distance girlfriend of four years and a day job. 
“When I moved to Nashville I realized there was a never ending pool of talented people who work tirelessly on their craft,” says Biano.  “I wanted the world to see all the sacrifice, hard work, and dedication of someone trying to make it in this industry.  ‘Breaking Country’ is my way of doing that.”
The series features some familiar faces including country star Bryan White, who’s had six chart-topping songs, Title Boxing franchise owner/trainer and Season 12 contestant on The Bachelorette James Fuertes and Biano’s good friend and writing partner Brandon Chase from Season 5 of The Voice. 
“Chris is really using his creative skills to create something unique that an artist in Nashville hasn’t done,” says Bryan White. 
“Chris has a kind of focused determination that you have to have not only for success in fitness but also the music industry,” praises James Fuertes. “Honestly, that’s what it takes. You create goals and you focus on what’s ahead; one step and one day at a time.” 
“I’m so excited for everyone to see this and to be a part of such a cool thing,” says Brandon Chase. “Fans are going to love seeing the ‘real Nashville’.
View the Season 1 trailer here.
View “Breaking Country” episode 1 here.
Tune in every Sunday night at 7:00 pm central here for a new episode.
For extras and behind the scene footage, click here.
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1 NIGHT. 1 PLACE. 1 TIME.: A HEROES & FRIENDS TRIBUTE TO RANDY TRAVIS ADDS WYNONNA, JEFF FOXWORTHY, ALISON KRAUSS, BEN HAGGARD, NEAL MCCOY AND PHIL VASSAR

Joining the star-studded tribute to Randy Travis on February 8, 2017, will be Wynonna, Jeff Foxworthy, Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Neal McCoy and Phil Vassar. Tickets for the highly anticipated event are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena Box Office.

The event, titled 1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes and Friends Tribute to Randy Travis, will also feature performances from Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Kane Brown, James Dupre, Montgomery Gentry, Chris Janson, Jamey Johnson, Scotty McCreery, Joe Nichols, Michael Ray, Collin Raye, Ricky Skaggs, Kenny Rogers, Michael W. Smith, The Bellamy Brothers, The Randy Travis Band, Ricky Traywick, Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner with more still to be announced.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Randy Travis Foundation; a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises money for stroke research and rehabilitation.

“Randy and Mary Travis and I are extremely overwhelmed with the artists that are lending their talents for this special night. Once they found out that Randy needed help to fund the Randy Travis Foundation everyone started calling. Funds going into the foundation will help fund numerous stroke research and rehabilitation programs. This will only be one night, one time, and one place and will never happen again. Almost 30 artists have confirmed so far. They will perform with Randy’s band as well as join Randy in his first public performance since his life-altering stroke. We are prepared for there not to be a dry eye in the house,” said producer of the event and Travis’ manager, Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group/Ontourage Management.

In October, Randy Travis was officially inducted into The Country Music Hall of Fame. The multi-platinum country giant suffered a massive stroke in 2013 and has since made miraculous strides towards recovery. He recently sang “Amazing Grace” at his Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony as well as the tagline to his iconic “Forever and Ever, Amen” at the 2016 CMA Awards in November alongside numerous country legends and stars.

1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes and Friends Tribute to Randy Travis is produced by Mary Travis along with Tony Conway of Conway Entertainment Group/Ontourage Management, Mike Smardak of Outback Concerts of Tennessee, Inc. who is also the promoter of the event and Kirt Webster of Webster and Associates.

About Randy Travis
With lifetime sales in excess of 20 million, Randy Travis is one of the biggest country record sellers of all time and the most recent inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame class of 2016. His honors include seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music statuettes, 10 American Music Awards, two People’s Choice awards, seven Music City News awards, eight Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and five Country Music Association honors. In addition, three of his performances earned CMA Song of the Year honors, “On the Other Hand” (1986), “Forever and Ever Amen” (1987) and “Three Wooden Crosses” (2003). To date, he has 18 No. 1 singles, 29 top-10 smashes and more than 40 appearances in feature films and television shows to his credit. Ten of his albums are Gold Records. Eight are Platinum. Two have gone Double Platinum. One is Triple Platinum and another is Quintuple Platinum. In 2004, Randy was honored with his own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is honored on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, TN. He has been a member of the cast of the Grand Ole Opry since 1986. Since his near fatal stroke in 2013, with the help of his wife Mary and vigorous physical therapy, Randy continues to make improvements in his speaking, walking, and yes, singing.

About Wynonna
Five-time GRAMMY winner and New York Times bestselling author, Wynonna has always revolved her career around telling stories. Whether performing alongside her mother as one half of the legendary country duo The Judds, or pushing the boundaries on her own mega-successful solo path, Wynonna’s ability to reach the heart of the human spirit through her bold and unflinching honesty, is the entertainer’s true gift.

Respected by the millions of fans who are drawn to her music and undeniable talent, Wynonna’s rich and commanding voice has sold over 30-million albums worldwide spanning her remarkable 33-year career. Once dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline,” this iconic performer has received over 60 industry awards, with countless charting singles, including 20 No.1 hits such as “Mama He’s Crazy,” “Why Not me,” and “Grandpa, (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days).”

About Jeff Foxworthy
Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most respected and successful comedians in the country. He is the largest selling comedy-recording artist in history, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and best selling author of more than 26 books. Widely known for his redneck jokes, his act goes well beyond that to explore the humor in everyday family interactions and human nature, a style that has been compared to Mark Twain’s. He can be seen in his new comedy special with Larry the Cable Guy, “We’ve Been Thinking” which is currently streaming on Netflix.

About Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss effortlessly bridges the gap between bluegrass, roots music, country, rock and pop. She has released 13 albums and has sold more than 12 million records to date. With 27 wins, she is the most awarded female artist in GRAMMY history. She has received a multitude of other honors, including nine Country Music Association awards, and 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. Her 2007 album Raising Sand won six GRAMMY Awards including Album of the Year, and 2011’s Paper Airplane with her longtime collaborators Union Station won the GRAMMY Award for Best Bluegrass Album and topped Billboard’s Folk, Country and Bluegrass charts.

Alison will release her new album Windy City on Feb. 17th. The album is a beautifully curated collection of classic songs that was produced by legendary Buddy Cannon. The lead track, “Losing You” is available now.

About Neal McCoy
Neal McCoy has released fifteen studio albums on various labels, and has released 34 singles to country radio.In 1993, Neal McCoy broke through with the back-to-back number 1 singles No Doubt About It and Wink from his platinum-certified album No Doubt About It.His commercial success continued into the late 1990s with two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits.A seventh Top Ten hit, the number 10 Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On, came in 2005 from his self-released That’s Life.

Music of Your Life, a big band jazz and country amalgam with Les Brown, Jr. recorded for a public television special, appeared in 2011, with a new studio album, XII, finally arriving in 2012. In 2013 he released Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride, Neal’s long time friend and mentor. 2015 brought the Big Band Standards CD You Don’t Know Me.Neal has been on 15 USO Tours around the world and continues to say it’s one of the achievements he’s most proud of. He is also the recipient of multiple Humanitarian awards from The Academy of Country Music, The Country Radio Broadcasters and The Masonic Grand Lodge.In 2016 Neal has again made a move to continue his patriotic values by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance “Live” on his Facebook page every morning. He’s reached millions of viewers all over the country and around the world.Neal still maintains a very busy touring schedule all through the year. Make sure to catch a show when he’s near because as Neal says “No two shows are the same!”

About Phil Vassar
Country music hit maker Phil Vassar is a piano-pounding powerhouse on stage who taps into his audiences via social media for song requests throughout his more than 135 shows a year. Phil’s reign of signature songs include 10 No. 1 singles and 26 Top 40 hits ,including “Carlene,” “Just Another Day in Paradise,””Six-Pack Summer,” “That’s When I Love You” and many more.

Follow Phil at philvassar.com and #noPHILter to learn about his upcoming US Album, European album, European tours, and his webisode series, “Songs from the Cellar.”

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CMT’s Next Women Of Country

CMT's Next Women Of CountryCMT recently celebrated their next class of female country artists at City Winery in Nashville this past November with their annual “Next Women Of Country”. Continue Reading →

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DUSTIN LYNCH JOINS STAR-STUDDED MUSICAL LINEUP DURING PBR FINALS WEEK

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PBR (Professional Bull Riders) has announced an additional music act to an already star-studded musical lineup that will perform for fans during PBR Finals Week in Las Vegas (Oct. 29 – Nov. 6). Joining the list of star power is popular country music artist, Dustin Lynch. Continue Reading →

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Christmas Came A Little Early: A Very Kacey Christmas Available Oct. 28th

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Christmas came a little early this year as we enjoyed a special preview  of Kacey Musgraves’ first Christmas album out October 28th. 

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“Love Can Go To Hell” – Ashley Gearing

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Ashley Gearing’s “Love Can Go To Hell” is honest and speaks about real relationships.

“I wanted to record that song for me and all my girlfriends – twenty somethings,” the 24-year-old said. “Love happens to everyone. Sometimes it’s really great and sometimes and it’s really bad.”

Gearing and her team added “Love Can Go To Hell” to her 6-song, self-titled EP at the last minute.

“We just knew we had to put that song on there,” Gearing said. “It really represented a different side of me as an artist. It’s kind of a jarring title. And then you listen to the song and it represents something totally different than you thought it would.”

Gearing signed to Curb Records at 16. She pursued college and graduated from Belmont University 2 years ago with a major in Entertainment Business and minor in Public Relations.

“I was really anxious to get started on this new EP,” she said. “It was a really long process because I really wanted these songs to represent who I am as a 24-year-old.”

Gearing was inspired by female artists who were great storytellers like Celine Dion, Martina McBride, Carol King, Shania Twain and Faith Hill. She’s also a fan of Motown and soul artists infused with a country background.

“I was born in the time when songs were so meaningful,” she said. “That was one of our requirements when we started looking for songs. We want them to be fun songs that you can sing in your car but also meaningful.”

Gearing is writing a lot right now, building her artistry in the Nashville community and developing relationships within the music industry. She said both the competition and support can be overwhelming as a young person in the music scene.

“My advice to anyone just coming in is to keep your head down and focus on what you’re doing rather than getting distracted by everyone else’s timeline,” she said.

Ashley Gearing is just scratching the surface.

“The great part about Nashville is there are a lot of people who want to help you and succeed with you,” she said. “I think we can all succeed at the same time doing a lot of different things.”

Ashely Gearing’s signature black roses were a popular gift in February for Valentine’s Day and a perfect representation of her latest single.

Among the recipients was Bobby Bones of the Bobby Bones Show. He made a “Making a Murderer” style documentary about the anonymous roses, complete with a guessing game that finally led him to discover they were from Gearing.

Check out “Love Can Go To Hell” and the rest of Gearing’s EP on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Keep up with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Love and Theft – “Whiskey On My Breath,” Aliens and Drinking with Pets

Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft with Alanna Massey of Focus on the 615

Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft with Alanna Massey of Focus on the 615

Love and Theft is making a stand about addiction with their latest single “Whiskey On My Breath.” The duo, comprised of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles, has dealt with losing family members to alcoholism.

“It’s a pretty heavy topic,” Stephen said. “But it’s not all about drinking. It’s just about addictions in general. Almost everyone has their own addiction. It doesn’t have to be alcohol. It could be social media.”

GUILTY 🙋🏼

The single skyrocketed from #200 to #2 on iTunes with a little support from the Bobby Bones Show.

“Bobby heard ‘Whiskey On My Breath’ and really related to it,” Eric said. “His mother died of alcoholism at 46.”

Eric struggled with alcoholism and was proudly 311 days sober at the time of our interview.

“Singing about it every night when I was still drinking was almost like I was giving myself a guilt trip in a way,” Eric said. “I was getting up there singing about the one thing that scared me to death more than anything – whiskey on my breath. It’s been good to get away from it and change my lifestyle.”

Eric’s new go-to drink is soda water or Diet Coke with a few limes. Stephen still enjoys an adult beverage every now and then.

“I drink vodka and water pretty much because you’re hydrating while you’re drinking.”

Good strategy, Stephen! That’s not his only advice about drinking.

Stephen, since you’re a year older and so much wiser than Eric, give us your words of wisdom. This is your legacy!

Eric: Give us like half of a tweet – so you get like 13 characters or something. Make this count, this is it. This will live on forever. Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Barker Liles’ words to live by.

Stephen: You’re not drinking alone if your pet is with you.

Eric: Wow.

Stephen: It’s for all the pet lovers out there.

Eric, what’s the deal with your Twitter bio: “Life coach, alien expert, ceiling fan collector…follow me”?

Eric: Oh just two things I’m really passionate about. I’m really obsessed with aliens and area 51. No I’m kidding… I just put it on there as a joke. And then I watched an episode of something on TV where this guy collected oriental fans, and I thought it was so weird and strange. So I thought I’d put it on there, too. None of that’s true.

Stephen: CMA Fest we could get Love and Theft fans… for the fans.

Eric: Oh yeah the ones where you mist yourself!

OK guys… back to the important stuff. What do you have going on this year?

Stephen: We’re traveling all year playing tons of shows. We’ve been doing about 100 shows a year for 6 or 7 years. Some years we’re gone 200 days. There’s no telling how many shows we’re gonna do this year. We’re on pace for a lot.

Eric: It’s been the busiest beginning of a year for us as far as acoustic shows go.

Stephen: I’m gonna have a Companion Pass at the end of the year if I keep flying Southwest!

“Whiskey On My Breath” soaring to the top of the charts, drinking with pets, aliens and a busy year ahead. There ya have it, folks – Love and Theft!

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Darryl Worley – Embracing Change

 

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Darryl Worley and Alanna Massey at Country Radio Seminar

Change is in the air, and Darryl Worley is embracing it.

“Country radio has been so inundated with things that I really don’t understand, like music that doesn’t speak to me on many levels,” Worley said. “I got a little bit of a hope and a hint that may change.”

Worley has a big year ahead of him – a greatest hits album, his first Christian album and a documentary of his travels to war zones.

“If that change is in the air, this would be the right time for me to try to get back on the radio,” he said. “It sounds like a good place to almost start over.”

He has spent a lot of time in Muscle Shoals, Ala., preparing to release his 2-volume greatest hits album.

“That’s kinda like home away from home for me,” Worley said. “It’s where I started out as a songwriter, so it’s sorta been like a homecoming to go down there with a bunch of folks I used to hang out with. We’re having a blast.”

Worley’s Christian album will release later this year, but don’t expect it to sound anything like his country music. He said it’s very uplifting, yet it has a nature of the blues.

“It’s coming from life’s lessons I’m passing on that could help people through tough times or situations,” he said. “It’s gonna speak to people I think on a whole different level, and we’re excited about that.”

As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Worley’s documentary “Unsung Heroes: Music and Memories” will illustrate his experiences entertaining soldiers, seamen, airmen and marines all over the world. Worley said he wanted to do something to uplift them. The raw and real footage spanning 5 years will shine a light on what American troops do for our country.

“It’s a powerful piece, and I can’t wait for people to see it,” he said. “I’m very proud of it.”

Worley left us with a little advice for upcoming musicians:

“Figure out who you are musically and don’t let anybody change that. If you know who you are, if you really know who you are, they’re not gonna want to change you anyway. They’re gonna go, ‘Man, that’s just what we were lookin’ for.’ That’s the most important thing. I believe it with all my heart.”

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BLAKE SHELTON, TIM MCGRAW AND DIERKS BENTLEY TO HEADLINE 2016’S THREE-DAY TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL APRIL 15, 16, AND 17

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Country superstars Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley will be hitting the beach as headliners at this year’s Rock The Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival, where tens of thousands of fans will enjoy the endless sun, songs, sand and surf.  After last year’s sold out festival, the one-of-a-kind music at the beach event added a third day in 2016 to accommodate an even bigger star-studded lineup of some of music’s hottest talent. Tortuga Music Festival will take place Friday, April 15, Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17, 2016 on the sands of Fort Lauderdale Beach Park in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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