Tuesday, February 21, 2012



Country Rocker and Rancher's Image to Appear on
NASCAR Driver Mike Wallace's Car

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 21, 2011– Country music sensation and avid NASCAR fan Chris Cagle will "get his NASCAR on" when he sings the national anthem prior to the upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on February 25.  In addition to performing during Saturday’s race, Cagle also will ride "shotgun" with friend and NASCAR driver Mike Wallace, when Cagle's image appears on the decklid of Wallace’s No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet car.

"Just being in Daytona during the kick-off of the NASCAR racing season is a big deal, but when I found out I was going to be featured on the car, it was unbelievable! On top of that, getting the call to sing our National Anthem before the Nationwide Series race...it's a dream come true!," Cagle expressed.

Wallace shares his enthusiasm. 
“It’s going to be fun to have my friend Chris Cagle on our car. He’s an excellent country artist with songs everyone can relate to in life. Maybe we can inspire him to write a song about racing for us,” said Wallace, who will open the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Daytona International Speedway.

Cagle plans to enjoy the monumental day with his wife Kay. "I am a huge NASCAR fan and a dear friend to Mike Wallace and his family! This is going to be an amazing day for me and something I never thought I'd have the opportunity to do! I'm going to enjoy every single moment, not to mention, the pleasure of introducing my wife to one of the greatest spectator sports that America has to offer," said Cagle.
Chris Cagle's performance of the national anthem with air at 1:18 P.M. EST/12:18 P.M. CST on ESPN.

About Chris Cagle:
Born in DeRidder, La., and raised "all over," Chris Cagle was signed to Virgin Records by Scott Hendricks in 2000. Chris quickly earned critical and commercial success and attracted a legion of fans that included industry heavyweights and country fans alike. His first number one smash, “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” remains a fan favorite.  From 2000-2008, he released an almost nonstop catalog of chart-topping songs, but in 2008, Chris bowed out and retreated to Marietta, Oklahoma, a place where he could reconnect with his roots and take a break from the industry. He spent the next couple of years staking his claim on home life and embracing a lifelong dream: building his family’s home, “Big Horse Ranch,” with his own two hands, nail by nail.

Cagle's musical character and burning ambition never wavered and 2012's album is, in more ways than one, a new lease on life.  The new record is his homecoming – a rekindling of his creative flame and a roaring reminder of his rock-infused country roots.  Chris' music has been firing people up for over a decade, and this time around, Chris is chomping at the bit for an energetic reintroduction to the country music community that’s been a long time coming.

For full list of upcoming tour date visit: www.chriscagle.com/tour

“Got My Country On” single, ringtone and the rest of Chris’ musical catalog is available on iTunes: http://bit.ly/n67Fj5

Watch the “Got My Country On” music video here: http://bit.ly/oC5H2F

To learn more about Chris, visit: www.chriscagle.com/about





Nashville, TN...(February 21, 2012)...Country music entertainer and award-winning TV host Craig Morgan took a break from his busy schedule readying for the launch of his new album to visit a local school today.  While at Dickson Middle School, an hour west of Nashville, Morgan donated 15 Dean acoustic guitars to the music program and talked with Mr. Elston’s 8th grade class about the importance of music.  While there, the class got a brief guitar lesson from Morgan and even wrote a quick song together.

“Music has always been such an important part of my life,” says Morgan.  “I’m happy to give back so that others can share in that experience.”

Craig Morgan is gearing up to launch a brand new album, THIS OLE BOY, in stores next Tuesday, February 28th.  The lead single is currently in the 20s on the country charts.

ABOUT CRAIG MORGAN:One of country music’s best-loved artists, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits:  “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “International Harvester. His newest single “This Ole Boy,” currently climbing the country radio charts, is the title track to his upcoming sixth studio CD, releasing February 28, 2012. Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a country music and TV sensation, Craig Morgan spent over 10 years of active duty in the Army and an additional nine years in the Army Reserves.  He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award. In addition to a prolific country music career, he hosts the award-winning show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” every Saturday on The Outdoor Channel. For more information on Craig Morgan, please visit www.craigmorgan.com or follow him on Twitter @CMorganmusic.

Dierks Bentley Comes "Home" At Last

Dierks Bentley Comes "Home" At Last
By Kip Kirby
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
Imagine that you’re the president of a large record company. One of your most successful Country artists approaches you with the concept of making a bluegrass album. You’re pretty confident the album has little or no chance of radio airplay and that your artist could be talking about a year and a half or two off the charts, but he’s passionate and committed and willing to take the risk. What do you say?
If you’re Capitol Nashville’s CEO and President Mike Dungan and the artist is Dierks Bentley, you say “yes.” That’s the position Dungan found himself in two years ago when Bentley pleaded for the chance to cut Up on the Ridge, a bluegrass venture that would align him with some of the finest musicians of the genre. Although two singles were eventually released and the album received widespread critical acclaim (including two CMA and three Grammy Award nominations), it also effectively stemmed the tide of consecutive chart-topping successes Bentley had been enjoying at Country radio. But when the singer put out “Am I the Only One” in March 2011— his first Country single since Up on the Ridge — it instantly sandblasted a trail straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Country chart, securely reestablishing Bentley as a force to be reckoned with.
As Dungan describes it now, it was as if Bentley had never been gone. “A lot of people said, ‘That’s really courageous for you and for Dierks to do this,’” said the label chief. “And sure, it’s always a concern when you lay off like that. But we always felt that it would just be a question of coming back with strong music. When you come back with something strong, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been off.”
“Am I the Only One” resonated with Bentley’s Country fans. But adding another wrinkle to the decidedly not-by-the-rulebook scenario was timing. The single was originally intended to be the first track from a Bentley follow-up Country CD produced by Jon Randall Stewart from Up on the Ridge. Since the album was nearly finished, Capitol strategically timed “Am I the Only One” to coincide with the album’s anticipated street date in 2011. But Bentley felt the album wasn’t ready and asked for more time. With label approval, the artist returned to the drawing board — and back to the same team of producers and musicians who had worked closely with him over nine years of Country successes. With Brett Beavers and producer and former engineer Luke Wooten at the helm, the project began to take on a more characteristic mainstream shape. Some songs were retained (such as “Am I the Only One” and “Home,” both produced by Stewart). Other songs were scrapped and replaced.
From a marketing point of view, the delay could have been costly. But Capitol decided to trust Bentley’s solid fan base and popularity at radio and released “Am I the Only One” in the spring of 2011 without an album waiting in the wings. The gambit paid off with Bentley’s first No. 1 hit since 2009 and bought needed time for the artist to fashion Home.
“This record reflects this time in my life,” Bentley explained. “It’s about my family, something I never had in the past. I’m married now, I’m a father. My records have always been a snapshot of my life. It’s never been about putting my voice with a great song and trying to make a hit, as much as where I am in my life and hoping that my fans can laugh with me or party with me or get serious with me.”
Believing the instrumentation, arrangements and song choices mirror a more matured perspective on his part, Bentley describes the record as having the power and the punch of modern Country though rich in traditional acoustic instruments, including Dobro and mandolin. Said Wooten, who has known the artist for more than a decade, “I think the bluegrass album really made Dierks step up his game in terms of his guitar playing. He matured so much lyrically and musically, and I think he gained a much-deserved credibility for his musicianship.”
Dungan put it a slightly different way. “Dierks launched his career as a fun guy. But he’s developed into a much more serious artist. I think he got tired of singing the same kind of fun ‘frat boy’ themes. This record is a nice balance between the fun Dierks and the more sublime artistic side of him that’s who he is now.”
Another twist is that Bentley spent more time writing songs for this album than for any other album he’s made yet ended up including more outside material on the finished CD. (Six cuts are Bentley co-writes, six are by other songwriters.) The shift in balance was intentional. “I can’t imagine how many thousands of outside songs I listened to and my producers listened to,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I really wanted this album to be a collection of the best songs I could find. I have a lot of friends in the songwriting community, and this was definitely a conscious attempt on our part to find great songs.”
“This is the first time Dierks has cut this many outside songs,” added Wooten. “It was a long year for him, because he put a lot of heart and soul into it. When you’re as prolific a songwriter as Dierks, it’s probably a difficult thing to do, but I think he felt like he wanted to do something different on this record. And that’s typical Dierks. He’s always trying to find new ground. When you listen to this album, it definitely is a Dierks Bentley record, but musically he goes to places he’s not gone before.”
Nothing exemplifies this better than the album’s title cut, “Home,” which Bentley wrote with co-producer Brett Beavers and Dan Wilson. From the moment it was released in October 2011, the song struck a deeply rooted chord with Country fans, showing all indications of becoming a bona fide signature record for its artist. “When we were tracking that one, you could just tell the musicians, every one of them, knew it was something special,” said Wooten. “I remember it was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon when we started working on it, and it was so obvious that everyone could feel that there was something really powerful happening with that song.”
Despite the somewhat unorthodox chain of events — how many other albums have their first single released nearly 12 months before the CD comes out? — Capitol’s Dungan is gladly taking a carpe diem marketing approach. “First of all, we’re blessed with the fact that we’ll have had two hit songs on this record by the time the album hit (Feb. 7). That was not intentional, but we’re certainly working it to our advantage. Once we all got the shared vision of what Dierks was trying to do and understood that the album wasn’t going to be ready by the time we went through the life of the first single, we knew we weren’t going to be able to capitalize on momentum. So it became more a question of, ‘OK, now it’s going to be like a bonus. Now the album can have a sticker on it saying, ’Featuring the Hits!’ It’s not the first time in history that it’s been done this way. We’re going to lean heavily on the fact that there’s already value in this package.”
Home won’t disappoint die-hard fans of the artist’s lighthearted feel-good approach, with songs like “Diamonds Make Babies” (written by Jim Beavers, Chris Stapleton and Lee Thomas Miller),“Tip It on Back” (Tully Kennedy, Ross Copperman and Jon Nite) and “Am I the Only One” (Beavers, Randall and Bentley). Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town shares a duet with Bentley on “When You Gonna Come Around,” by Jamie Hartford and Gary Nicholson. Noting that “Little Big Town is so talented it’s ridiculous,” Bentley invited Fairchild to join him on the track; two days later they were in the studio together recording the tune. There’s even a strong family connection on this album: Bentley’s 3½-year-old daughter Evalyn makes an unheralded appearance singing with her daddy on “Thinking of You” (Beavers and Bentley), a bonus hidden track at the end of Home.
Bentley’s producers planned the child’s brief duet as a surprise birthday present for Bentley who was in Washington, D.C., that day, performing at the White House. “It’s the last song on the CD, the CD is called Home, and the last word sung is ‘home’ when Evie says, ‘Dada’s home.’ You know, we’re up there onstage trying to kill every night and there’s so much energy, but this song talks about the other 22 hours off the stage, the pain of missing someone. There’s no pain like missing a kid. I thought, ‘Am I really going to go there, put my kid on a record?’ But it’s true and honest and personal. Looking back on this album down the road, the years will go by, but I’ll always have this moment to remind me.”
With upcoming tours in Canada and Australia, and spring and summer festivals across the United States, Bentley is gearing up for what may be his biggest year. Country fans and radio are welcoming him back with open arms, and he’s got the full support of his record company.
“This is an artist that from day one we’ve been in love with,” said Dungan. “We want to be in his life for a long time to come.”
That feeling is mutual. “I’ve still got a lot to accomplish as a songwriter and as a musician, but I’m taking things one step at a time,” summed up Bentley. “I really like how my life is going now. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’m really looking forward to 2012.”
On the Web: www.Dierks.com




February 21, 2012 – Grammy Award winning producer Byron Gallimore and music industry veteran Jim Wilkes today announced the launch of a new Nashville-based record label, Streamsound Records. The label, which officially formed in Fall 2011, also announced that it has inked an exclusive distribution deal with Sony Music Nashville. 

Streamsound Records will be focused on a unique artist development strategy that will see the release of one artist at a time. The first, Jaida Dreyer, who has been nurtured by Gallimore over the past few years, will release her debut single this March.

Gallimore, who has produced or co-produced nearly fifty #1 hits with the likes of Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Sugarland, Martina McBride and Lauren Alaina, will serve as the label’s creative visionary.  Wilkes, who has also worked with Gallimore on various publishing and management ventures, will oversee Streamsound’s business operations.

“I’ve been interested in starting a label focused on and dedicated to developing artists,” said Gallimore. “The intent is to work with and nurture them – to give them the time that is needed to hone their craft. This business is all about great songs, talent, passion and drive.  I really do believe that we’ve found all of that in Jaida.”

“At the end of the day, this business is all about the talent and the people that you have supporting that talent,” said Wilkes.  “We intend to create a culture that takes the time needed to combine good old fashioned hard work with a strong creative business strategy.”

Streamsound has already begun to form a first class team of individuals who collectively will bring decades of experience in off line marketing, digital and social media marketing and sales strategies and radio promotion.  In particular, Streamsound has hired veteran Mike Wilson, who headed up promotions at RCA Nashville and was instrumental in taking over 100 country singles to the top of the charts, will head Streamsound’s radio division.  He’s amassed a staff of regional representatives including Teresa Ford, Steve Pleshe, Brad Howell and Jamice Jennings.

Country Music News International February 21. 2012

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Mervyn Conn Interview

Mervyn Conn Interview

The International Festival of Country Music returns to Wembley Arena on Sunday 26th February 2012 and with just a week away Steve Cherelle from BBC Radio Essex / Kent who is a compere talks to legendary Mervyn Conn the festival promoter who promoted the festival which ran for 23 years from 1969 to 1991 at the Wembley Arena.

Steve Cherelle (SC) - Getting people to go to shows when there’s so much choice for what people can do, and the Internet is such a wonderful thing when you can see people live on their videos and download music. To fill a show up is quite a task these days. There is a big show coming up next weekend. It’s a MASSIVE MASSIVE Country music show probably the biggest I would say there has been for many years and there are THOUSANDS of people going which is great news. Thank you to the man who has put the show on, his name is Mervyn Conn, Hello Merv.

Mervyn Conn (MC) - Hello Steven how are you dear?

SC - I’m good where are you at the moment Merv?

MC - I’m sitting in my office, my den, in my house, speaking to you (laughs)

SC - Has it been busy on a Sunday there with the phones ringing?

MC - Err, no I try not to. I have that every day of the bloody week

SC - You are always doing stuff aren’t you? You’ve got a day off now, we know it’s a week away now from the big day. It’s been a massive amount of preparation, organization for you and your team. Is everything coming together now?

MC - Yes it is. We’ve had some horrendous problems. Of course bringing something back after 20-years is monumental because I don’t have the same team that I had 20-years ago because not only did we do the 6-7 festivals that we did each year but we also did 200 live concerts with the Johnny Cash tours, Tammy Wynette tours plus musicals that I did and other things that I did beside country music. Of course all those people have gone except a couple that I’ve recouped back to me and it’s been a task training people into this and of course times have changed. I had to learn as I’ve gone along how we have to change the marketing of this.

SC - But it’s going well, I’ve seen and heard it on lots of radio and seen it in pretty well much all the big papers. It’s all over the Internet and in the last few weeks I know that the ticket sales, there has kinda been a rush, and it’s gone up. I think that’s the way things are these days isn’t it.

MC - I’ve had to do some special deals. We’re now giving the top price tickets as a special deal now. You buy one and you get one free. It’s a 2-4-1 deal on top price tickets which we did with the Daily Express Group newspapers. We’ve left that open so if somebody wants to buy top price tickets they will get 2.

SC - You see that’s just the way the world is now. It a longtime since the old days of the festival but these days people want that with so many deals there are bargains all over the place and people want to get a deal, so that’s kind of moving with the times isn’t it?

MC - Well that’s something that I’ve had to learn since starting this. When I first started this the recession wasn’t as bad as it is now, unemployment wasn’t as hard and a lot of my customers, the country music people, they’ve been hit pretty hard. So I would rather them have the benefit of any loss that I’m personally going to make. Ermm, which I am going to lose money, is for them to have the benefit of 2 tickets for 1 now.

SC - There are thousands of people going to the show the line up is VERY strong. We know that Lonestar are on Reba McEntire, Asleep At The Wheel, we’re going to talk with Ray Benson from Asleep At The Wheel a little later and Raymond Froggatt’s on George Hamilton IV is definitely on isn’t it, he’s over?
MC - Oh yes George is coming. We’ve got George Ducas , we’ve got ummm, I haven’t got the line up in front of me. We’ve got 14 ACTS ON! In all the years that I’ve put on the festival I’ve never put 14 acts on in one day. It starts at 2:30 and goes onto 11 o’clock.

SC - That’s great

MC - Even at the price of the ticket its phenomenal value for the customer and I’ve never let my customer down.

SC - It’s going to be like a rolling show, we’re going to kick off about half past 2 and it’s just going to keep going isn’t it? There’s a very small break but the way its going these things tend to run over I’m sure that probably won’t be a break it will just carry on and when we do a band change over people will have to dash out, grab a quick fag and then come back on.

MC - Well we’ve planned for 3 intervals during the course of the day as people have to go and have a wee. So we’ve tried to do it the best way possible. There will be 3 intervals I’ll make sure of that. When people go out they will want to buy some merchandise and look round the stalls that are there and also some of the artists will be on at the various stalls they have got there. So they can shake hands and meet everybody. I hope to meet a lot of my old friends and customers from years ago.

SC - That will be nice. We’ve got Reba McEntire, Asleep At The Wheel, Lonestar, Ricky Skaggs who we had a lovely chat with. Narvel Felts, George Ducas, Will Banister, George Hamilton IV. Pig Earth are they going to be there?

MC - Yes

SC - They’ve done some of the country music festivals this year, Tim McKay, Raymond Froggatt, John McNicholl who is a MASSIVE Irish act my good self Steve Cherelle and your obviously going to get up and say a few words aren’t you?

MC - I’ll say a few words to my customers, why not?

SC - (laughs) I like that call them customers

MC - (laughs)

SC - That’s nice, they are your friends

MC - They’re my friend but they are buying a ticket so they are customers

SC - I know they are. I think it’s nice to call them customers because they keep returning. Merv, enjoy your week in the run up to it. Try and enjoy it now I suppose and I’ll find you on the day. I’ll look for yer.

MC – Mate, look forward to meeting you and I’m sure you’ll do a good job compering the show

SC – I’ll do me best for you

MC – God bless to you

SC – I’ll see you next week. Thanks very much Mervyn Conn the promoter.

(interview ends)


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