Monday, June 11, 2012

Country Music News International June 11. 2012

Here is your Country Music News of the day. Your Country Music News is supported by Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages. Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Steel Guitar Nashville, , HelpCharity, , Bobbe Seymour, , Katsy Redstar

Der Newsletter darf veröffentlicht werden auf Euren Internetseiten und an Eure Freunde weiter geleitet werden. Solltet Ihr gerne einige der Interviews veröffentlichen wollen, kurze Rückmeldung an mich.

Country Music News:

Video Flynnville Train Exclusive Concert at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge






'Nashville in New York' with Jane Bach, Sandra Piller, Kati Mac, Billy Lee, and Jake Holmes

David Frizzell’s Book on the Life of His Iconic Brother is Nominated for Award for Excellence

Rhonda Vincent Helps Raise $10,000 For Michael W. Smith's Rocketown

Musik News Allgemein:

Information for all new Newsletter readers:

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Country Music News International
Editor / Publisher
Christian Lamitschka
An der Pfingstweide 28
61118 Bad Vilbel
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Fax: ++49 6101 544622

And The CMT Award go to ...


Luke Bryan Wins Male Video of the Year For the First Time

Jason Aldean Wins First CMT Award 

 Carrie Underwood added two more CMT MUSIC AWARD buckles to her collection this evening winning the coveted VIDEO OF THE YEAR award for “Good Girl” and COLLABORATIVE VIDEO OF THE YEAR with Brad Paisley for “Remind Me” at the 2012 CMT MUSIC AWARDS.  Luke Bryan took home MALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR (“I Don’t Want This Night to End”) , a first time win for him in this category.  Multi-platinum group Lady Antebellum won GROUP VIDEO OF THE YEAR (“We Owned The Night”) for the third straight year, and Miranda Lambert scored her third consecutive trophy in the FEMALE VIDEO OF THE YEAR category, this year for the touching song, “Over You.”

            Scott McCreery claimed the USA WEEKEND BREAKTHROUGH VIDEO OF THE YEAR (“The Trouble with Girls”); Jason Aldean took home his first CMT award for CMT PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR (“Tattoos on This Town”) from his 2011 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR performance; and Thompson Square walked away with their first-ever buckle for DUO VIDEO OF THE YEAR (“I Got You”).

            The show’s opening performance, a stellar mash-up with Lady Antebellum’s “We Owned the Night” and Hot Chelle Rae’s mega-hit “Tonight Tonight,” was followed by  a surprising, star-filled opening segment that CMT fans have come to expect each year.  Featuring political rivals, incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney chiming in on a satirical campaign between hosts Toby Keith and Kristen Bell, the show open also featured NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Bon Jovi, Steve Kroft (“60 Minutes”), Maria Menunos and Mario Lopez (“Extra,”) and Robin Meade (“HLN”).  After making their grand entrance in a life-sized red solo cup, a nod to the Toby Keith hit, the twosome kicked-off the party. 

            The night was filled with performances including Luke Bryan’s “Drunk On You,” Zac Brown Band who performed their new single, “The Wind” and Pistol Annies “Takin’ Pills.”  Family trio The Band Perry sang their latest single, “Postcard From Paris” and Little Big Town rocked the boat with the summer anthem “Pontoon.”  The legendary Willie Nelson made a rare appearance to perform “Roll Me Up” with Toby Keith, Jamey Johnson, Zac Brown Band and Darius Rucker and Kenny Chesney introduced his new single “Come Over” to fans.  Host Toby Keith premiered his rollicking number “Beers Ago” and Carrie Underwood wowed with “Good Girl.”  Rascal Flatts closed the show with “Banjo,” featuring a surprise appearance by rock band Journey with whom the trio sang the classic hit “Don’t Stop Believin’.”  

            For the first time ever, the show included two live outdoor performances, which allowed fans to pack the streets of downtown Nashville.  Hank Williams, Jr. got rowdy with Brad Paisley singing “I’m Going To Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams All Night Long” and Eric Church raised a glass to fans with “Drink In My Hand.”    

            Hosts Toby Keith and Kristen Bell proved they were a dynamic duo on-stage, being joined by presenters Lauren Alaina, Jason Aldean, CMT’s MY BIG REDNECK VACATION host Tom Arnold, REDNECK ISLAND host Steve Austin, Big & Rich, Luke Bryan,  “American Idol” finalists Colton Dixon and Skylar LaineRonnie Dunn, CMT ONE COUNTRY spokesperson Sara Evans, 2012 Indianapolis 500 Winner Dario Franchitti, “Twilight” star Ashley Greene, pro skateboarder Tony Hawk, Alan Jackson, Jake OwenHayden Panettiere, Kellie Pickler, actress Denise Richards, television and movie star Dax ShepardJordin Sparks and The Band Perry and Carrie Underwood.  

            For the fifth year in a row, the CMT MUSIC AWARDS featured a second concert stage sponsored by Nationwide Insurance that included performances by Lauren Alaina, Casey James, Jana Kramer, Scotty McCreery, Kip Moore and The Farm.

   simulcast the live 2012 CMT MUSIC AWARDS online, and interacted with fans throughout the telecast with live Twitter (@CMT) and Facebook updates from the red carpet and backstage, driving #CMTawards to become a top trending topic throughout the live show.  Viewers were kept in the loop as Lauren Alaina hosted “Twitter Tracker” presented by Verizon, spotlighting the hottest trending topics throughout the show. also served as an online hub for all fan interaction surrounding the show with live streams of the red carpet and more. Exclusive content can be found on and CMT Mobile, and CMT will later bow the awards on its digital all-music channel, CMT Pure Country, and the HD network, Palladia.

            The 2012 CMT MUSIC AWARDS will re-air on the following days/times: Thursday, June 7 at 4:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.; Friday, June 8 at 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, Jun 10 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The evening’s winners are as follows:

Best video of the year; awarded to the artist (male, female, group/duo or collaboration) and the video director. Final nominees announced during live telecast, with final voting held online at during the show.
•   Carrie Underwood – “Good Girl”

Best video by a male artist; awarded to the artist
•   Luke Bryan – “I Don’t Want This Night to End”

Best video by a female artist; awarded to the artist
•   Miranda Lambert – “Over You”

Best video by a group; awarded to the artists
•   Lady Antebellum – “We Owned The Night”

Best video by a duo; awarded to the artists
•   Thompson Square – “I Got You”

Best video from an artist's major breakthrough album; awarded to the artist (male, female, or group/duo)
•   Scott McCreery – “The Trouble With Girls”

Best video that featured a special collaborative appearance by artists; awarded to the artists (individual, group or duo)
•   Brad Paisley with Carrie Underwood – “Remind Me”

Musical performance on a television show, series or variety special on CMT; awarded to the artist (individual, group or duo)
•   Jason Aldean – “Tattoos On This Town” from 2011 CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR

Michael Dempsey executive produced the 2012 CMT MUSIC AWARDS alongside director Joe DeMaio.  John Hamlin and Margaret Comeaux served as executive producers for CMT.



Nashville, TN (6.10.12) ALLEN & ASHCRAFT took advantage of bringing their music to Nashville for the CMA Music Fest.  Before the guys left town, they left their brand of music on all who experienced the bands new country sound and their high-energy stage show. 

I have been attending the CMA Music Fest since its inception in 1972, when it was “Fan Fair,” so I have seen my share of these events. I was there when Alabama was a hit, then Reba, Alan Jackson, Garth, Martina, and I was lucky enough to have seen all of the acts before they were successful, and also those that never came back to Nashville, but for the first time in my music life I witnessed first-hand the birth of the next superstar’s in country music-ALLAN & ASHCRAFT with their super dynamic band.

From the first note of their set at Honky Tonk Central on Broadway June 8th at 4PM until their last note around 5PM, with a jammed packed house….I realized I was watching success before my eyes.  That old saying “they had them in the palm of their hands,” was never more evident than during that one hour set of in your face country music, awesome vocals, super harmony, great arrangements, superb rhythm section, and most of all, they owned the stage they stood on, and they owned the crowd.  It was perfect for a video of how to be successful in the music business.  Allen & Ashcraft knew exactly what to do when they stepped foot on that stage.  A stage is like owning land acreage, and in this case A&A owned every inch of the Honky Tonk Central first floor acreage.  They had the crowd out on the street dancing, screaming for more, and trying to squeeze into HTC.

I watched as the group took the crowd to new heights of excitement with their music.  Everything worked like a well-oiled machine as the guys cranked it up full speed ahead, brought their music engine to full max as the crowded honky tonk was going wild with meeting and loving these two super entertainers, with a band that was full bore on every song.  They were also given support by the crowd joining in singing on just about every song, except for the ones that were the new songs from A&A’s new CD project, “Allan and Ashcraft.”  By the time the band played “Let’s Get Gone and Cornfield,” from the CD, the crowd was singing along on both of their news songs, and you could feel the energy in the song “Cornfield,” the energy of “this song is going to be a hit.”

When the guys completed their set and were able to get off stage, they were greeted by their new fans wanting to shake their hands, get their autographs, buy their CD, and just tell the guys how much they loved their music.  I was there, I heard the music, seen the show, witnessed the crowd reaction, and I know enough about music to know that Allen & Ashcraft will be a success story of great magnitude in the near future, and I can truthfully say I watched a superstar duet team being born right before my eyes and ears.

The band left immediately to return to Indiana for a personal appearance on June 9th, but they left behind a completed package of who Allan & Ashcraft are, why they are headed for super success, and the great ease they found new fans to extend their fan base to all points in the U.S., and Europe.  Listen to their new single playing at radio now, and check out their website, and get to know them, and you will see and hear for yourself.  They are here for the long haul.



R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Professional Entertainers) was the initial beginning for CMA Music Fest Week, and what a kick-off it was, with “R.O.P.E.’s Breakfast With The Stars.” It was not the official kick-off of CMA Festivities, but it was considered the best country music show to open the week here in Nashville, Music City USA, home of the Grand Ole Opry and Traditional Country Music. If you missed our show, then you missed pure country music at its best. The following is the list of artists who were in attendance: Mel Tillis Brenda Lee Jean Shepard Charlie McCoy T.G. Sheppard George Hamilton IV Geo. V Jim Ed Brown Moe Bandy Mac Wiseman Jan Howard Ronnie McDowell Freddy Weller Roni Stoneman Bobby Lewis Bobby G. Rice Exile Karen Wheeler Helen Cornelius Leona Williams Robyn Young Kelly Lang Rattlesnake Annie Jett Williams Johnny Moore Dianne Sherrill Just so everyone knows, R.O.P.E. does not stand for retirement of professional entertainers and never has, the definition been so wrong by so many. Gathered in the New Nashville Nightlife Theatre as you can see from above, were a group of artists, including 5 Grand Ole Opry Legends, and 4 Country Music Hall of Fame Members, along with some of country music’s great names. These artists attended this breakfast to be with their fans, and you would have to have been there to understand this gratifying morning of camaraderie, picture taking, autograph signing, and a healthy breakfast. No road managers or personal managers telling the fans to step back and not to get too close to the stars, just great fans paying honor and enjoying their favorite artists. The band was awesome and the artists were as awesome as they ever were in the prime of their careers. No ego’s were brought into this theatre, and the fans were in true form, loving every minute of this super show by having time together to spend with their favorite artists. It was an event of importance because of the attendance which was a sold-out crowd. Fans from Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, and other countries, gathered to be close to these great artists. For me to give you a run down on who sang what, and how the fans enjoyed each artist, and all of the pictures, handshakes, autographs, and hugs, etc., would be lost by my memory, because all I could do was watch and listen as each artists, and I truly mean each artist was greeted by the entire audience as they sang one of their most successful songs. I want to mention how the program began. Ron Elliott, member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame played an instrumental version of “America” to pay tribute and honor to our military men and women, those we have lost and those who are still serving, and all of the veterans, the widows and widowers of those who have passed. Host for our breakfast was who it should be, Keith Bilbrey, and as usual he carried the program from start to finish with his knowledge and history of each artist, and their place in country music. Keith is missed so much by all on the radio airwaves, and we were proud that he accepted our invitation once again to host Breakfast with the Stars. Thank you Keith-you are the best of the best. Missing from the line-up were Dickey Lee, who had called me the night before our June 6th event to advise me that his brother had been killed in an automobile accident and he was leaving to go to Mississippi to be with his family. Please keep Dickey and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Also, Jeannie Seely’s husband, Eugene Ward, who is R.O.P.E.’s legal counsel, was hospitalized overnight and Jeannie and Gene could not be with us. Razzy Bailey was a no-show, and T. Graham Brown had lost his voice from a concert the night before and his doctors advised that he not sing or talk for a couple of days. We understand these things happen, but we sincerely hope that Eugene and T. Graham are doing better. One of the best parts of my morning was that Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry Legends, Jean Shepard and her husband Benny Birchfield came to the breakfast because they wanted to see their longtime friend Mac Wiseman, and to be with their fans. When Mac arrived he asked to be seated right beside Jean & Benny, and then that is when all of the talking started. I never seen three friends try to catch up on old times, memories, and all were making sure that they got all the news they could from each other. Mac looked great and this event was one of the first ones that Mac has attended for many months, and it was so great to see him with his artists friends, and his fans. He has been so important to R.O.P.E., and is still a member of our Board of Directors. Brenda Lee and Mel Tillis spent time together getting caught up on the country music news, and their long friendship. I could go on and on about how the artists, who were seated together in the middle of the room, wasted no time in greeting each other and sitting down and talking about how long it has been since they had seen each other. Like I said, you would have had to have been there to witness the excitement in that room. We were extremely grateful to Ch. 4 news for covering our event, and for the fine article written by Peter Cooper of The Tennessean, which appeared next day in the paper. I hope this short article with some interviews, will give you an idea of how great the feeling was to see these artists mingling with their fans-it was as good as it gets. No loud music, plenty of steel guitars and fiddle, and just plain pure traditional country music. I hope you will feel that you missed a super show, but I want you to know that it will happen again next year, so make your plans to come to Nashville 2013 for the country music week, and I can promise you that you will not regret your choosing to come and enjoy our Breakfast with the Stars. A special thanks to all of the artists who gave of their time and talents to attend this show. It gives hope that country music is alive and well and in the good hands of what country music was meant to sound like. There is “NOT DOUBT” in my mind that we are seeing a turning point in what we hear on country radio, because of the stations who have grown tired of playing music called country, but in reality there are few and far between great country records out in today’s so called country music. I am wondering when our industry will no cater to artists such as Lionel Ritchie, (I love his pop music) to use our country music as a stepping stone to success because they cannot keep their careers alive in their own genre of music, so they come over to country, and the record labels embrace them as big names that will only help country music. That is hogwash. REAL COUNTRY MUSIC WAS SEEN AND HEARD THIS PAST JUNE 6TH AT THE NEW NASHVILLE NIGHTLIFE THEATRE WITH R.O.P.E.’s BREAKFAST WITH THE STARS. Before I end this article, on behalf of our Board of Directors, we want to thank Kenny and Diana Jansen for making this one of the most memorable functions that R.O.P.E. has ever had. If you have not been to the New Nashville Nightlife, I urge you to make a stop there when you get the chance to do so. It is right down the street from the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Music Valley Drive. They helped make our event, one that will be continued each year because of the requests from the fans who said they would be back if we would have another Breakfast with the Stars, and that is exactly what we are going to do. Writer: Marty Martel© Video Interviews: Christian Lamitschka



New movie about Williams’ last days to be previewed at free event

The Last RideNew York, NY (June 8, 2012) – Hank Williams wasn’t just an influence in country music, he influenced all American music.  The New School, with special thanks to Oxford American Magazine, will present a free screening of The Last Ride, the new film about the mysterious final days of Hank Williams.  Following the screening, a panel will discuss Hank Williams and his historic place in American music.
The event will be held at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street in New York, NY at 6 pm on June 20th.  The screening and panel discussion are free.  No tickets or reservations required.

Many of today’s legendary singer/songwriters have already declared the significant influence Williams played in their music.

Years before Bill Haley recorded “Rock Around the Clock,” Hank created “Move It On Over” - the first song using the rhythms Haley would use - rhythms that would become the main stays of Rock and Roll!

The Rolling Stones have said, “(Hank Williams) influenced our music, throughout our careers.”

Bruce Springsteen remembers “…sitting in my apartment listening to Hank Williams over and over.”

The late Ray Charles said, “Hank saved a lot of careers including mine.”

Bob Dylan says, “I started writing songs when I heard Hank Williams sing.”

The Last Ride begins a one week exclusive engagement June 22nd in the Cinema Village Theater, 22 East 12th St, to be followed by a national showcase theatrical release.  Starring Henry Thomas, Jesse James and Kaley Cuoco, with Fred Dalton Thompson, The Last Ride has been described by Oxford American Magazine editor, Mark Smirnoff as, “A hypnotic romp about what is possibly country music’s most tantalizing true story.”  Terry Stewart, CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame says,“Finally, we get a compelling glimpse of both the man and the legend” and Hank’s daughter, Jett Williams muses, “It rattles around in your head for days after you see it.”

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the legendary, Pulitzer Prize winner, Hank Williams and his historic place in American music.

Panelists include, Harry Thomason, director of The Last Ride, award winning director/producer of TV series, including Designing Women, mini-series such as The Blue and the Grey and director of events including both Presidential Inaugurals of President William ClintonAlso appearing will be Hank Williams’ daughter, Jett Williams, singer/songwriter with four songs on the film track and the award winning author of, Ain’t Nothin’ As Sweet As My Baby: The Story of Hank Williams’ Lost Daughter plus one of the film producers, Benjy Gaither, son of the Gospel legends, Bill and Gloria Gaither and creator of The Last Ride sound track/album.  Other panelists will be announced later in the week.

The movie’s soundtrack, to be released by Curb Records on June 19th, plays an integral role in the telling of this story.  It contains some of the best-known Hank Williams songs as well as new material written specifically for the film.  Performers include Jett Williams, Michael English, The Isaacs, the late Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings plus numerous country and gospel artists.


Josh Turner
Credit: George Holz
New Album, Punching Bag, In Stores June 12; Performance on TODAY Show June 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn.– It's a jam-packed weekend for Josh Turner as he gears up for his new album release, Punching Bag, in stores next Tuesday, June 12 (MCA Nashville). Tonight, Friday, June 8, fans can catch the exclusive special Josh Turner: Packing A Punch at 11 p.m. CT / 12 a.m. ET on Great American Country (GAC). Then, he'll be a featured performer on Sirius XM's Superfan Concert Series Friday, June 8 at 7 a.m. ET (re-airs listed below); and Wal-Mart® hosts Soundcheck: Josh Turner at where Josh performs five songs from the album and gives an exclusive interview about his inspirations behind the songs on Punching Bag. Fans can also see him perform on NBC's TODAY Show on Wednesday, June 13.
In Josh Turner: Packing A Punch, viewers will join Randy Travis, Scotty McCreery, John Anderson, legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Kryzewski, producer Frank Rogers and BMI executive Jody Williams as they share what drew them to the multi-platinum, GRAMMY-nominated country artist - who has been called "country's most recognizable voice." He will perform "Why Don't We Just Dance," along with new music, "Time Is Love," "Punching Bag," and "Pallbearer." Cameras will also take fans behind-the-scenes to Josh’s writer’s cottage on his home property where he wrote many of the new songs that appear on Punching Bag
Fans will be able to purchase the new album in Wal-Mart® stores nationwide as well as on iTunes and other digital platforms.
For more on Josh Turner, visit


Episode featuring Nashville premieres June 11, 2012 at 10:00PM ET/PT


Nashville, Tenn. – June 8, 2012 – Country music star and award winning TV host Craig Morgan is set to appear on Travel Channel’s new series “Hotel Impossible” on Monday, June 11.   In the upcoming episode, Morgan joins hotel “fixer” Anthony Melchiorrias he travels to the historic Fiddler’s Inn in Nashville, a 202-room independent hotel located in the Music Valley section of Nashville, right across the street from the Grand Ole Opry.

Despite its prime location, the music has stopped for the once iconic Fiddler's Inn. Upon his arrival, Melchiorri is shocked to find the hotel’s lobby lacks personality, has no place for guests to congregate and is basically a gift shop filled with uninspired Nashville souvenirs. For this historic hotel to survive, it must redecorate, rebrand & reconnect with its country music roots. Melchiorri plans a surprise food truck competition hosted at the hotel -- judged by country music star Craig Morgan!  Morgan also offers an acoustic performance of music from his recently released CD This Ole Boy for hotel guests and event attendees. Catch the episode’s premiere on Travel Channel on Monday, June 11 at 10:00PM ET.

This appearance adds to Morgan’s small screen resume’ as he appeared on “Army Wives” earlier this year and recently filmed a role on “Rizzoli & Isles” to air later this summer.  His own show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” enters its third season on the Outdoor Channel starting July 1st.

Craig’s new album THIS OLE BOY, featuring the latest single “Corn Star” is available everywhere music is sold.

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 latest single “Corn Star” is the follow up to Morgan’s Top 15 hit and title track “This Ole Boy.” The new album, his first release on Black River Entertainment, boasted a Top 5 debut on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart when it released on 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” on The Outdoor Channel with season 3 set to debut July 1. For more information on Craig Morgan, please visit or follow him on Twitter @CMorganmusic.

Steve & Heather push Nashville

“French-Fried Country” Dominates TWO Nashville Venues Tonight with
French Country Favorites, Steve & Heather

France is known around the world for fine wines, incredible food and the Eiffel
Tower. France is, however, lesser known around the world for its country music.
Ask any French country music fan and they’ll tell you that there’s “French country
music” and there’s “French-Fried Country.” Pardonnez moi? French-Fried
Country?!? France’s Steve & Heather explain, “It’s our brand of country music.
We’re backed by six very talented musicians who bring a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to
our sound. We play mostly original songs, but when we do covers, they’re totally
remodeled in the Steve & Heather style.”
Steve & Heather take the stage tonight at Silver Dollar Saloon (110 2nd Avenue
North Nashville) from 6 til 7pm, and then they make a quick run over to Puckett’s
Nashville (5th and Church) from 8 til 9, in a show presented by and
Vara Entertainment, hosted by Billy Block with special guest Charlie McCoy.
Experience French-Fried Country…with Steve & Heather tonight in Nashville, as
part of the fun of CMA Music Festival 2012.
# # #
Find out more at

The Steep Canyon Rangers Release music video

The Steep Canyon Rangers Release music video and webisode series in support of Rounder release “Nobody Knows You” 

NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 7, 2012 - Grammy nominated, IBMA Entertainers of the Year, the Steep Canyon Rangers, have released new videos in support of their 5th album, “Nobody Knows You.” Gaining international notoriety as bandmates with entertainment icon Steve Martin, these videos are bringing the Steep Canyon Rangers to audiences beyond their already devoted bluegrass, folk, Americana and jamband fanbase.
The Steep Canyon Rangers released their first official video, for the upbeat foot-stomping song “Long Shot,” which was filmed in their home of Brevard, North Carolina. "Long Shot," is being featured on CMT’s Pure 12-Pack Countdown. The band is mobilizing fans to stream the video and vote for them on
"The traditional bluegrass group from North Carolina have demonstrated talent for more than sonorous harmony and breakneck fiddle instrumentals," says Stacey Anderson, of the New York Times. This proves true in the next set of videos the Steep Canyon Rangers have put together. A series of webisodes that highlight each individual member of the quintet. They have released five videos, one per member, including Charles Humphrey III (bass/vocals), Mike Guggino (mandolin/vocals), Graham Sharp (banjo/vocals), Nicky Sanders (fiddle/vocals) and Woody Platt (guitar/lead vocals).
Each video includes band members discussing such topics as why the band came together and background on how they found their individual paths in music. The videos highlight the unique talents of each member of the Steep Canyon Rangers. These videos will give fans and critics alike a taste for their musical styles and influences.
The Steep Canyon Rangers will continue a rigorous tour schedule throughout this summer as a quintet and with Steve Martin. “The Steep Canyon Rangers, with whom I have had the great pleasure of touring and have shared the wonderful honor of IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award,” says Martin, “are not only great musicians who continue to explore both the new and old styles of bluegrass and bring a fresh energy to the traditions of American music, but they are also really fun on a bus.”



Husband/ Wife Duo Defy the Statistics To Take
“Duo Video of the Year” Crown for Hit Single “I Got You”


(NASHVILLE, TN) – Last night, Country music fans voted Thompson Square’s, “I Got You,” the winner of the coveted “Duo Video of the Year” at the CMT Music Awards.

The carefree, up-tempo crowd favorite and follow-up to the #1 anthem, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” was a Top 10 hit on both the Billboard and Mediabase Country charts.

Directed by Wes Edwards (who also directed the video for Thompson Square’s #1 anthem, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” and “Glass (Version T2)”), “I Got You,” is a spoof on the classic Sonny & Cher Show.  Husband/wife duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson played every single character featured in the video – from talk show hosts to fire eaters.  
(Watch “ I Got You” here: )

“We want to thank Country radio, Stoney Creek Records, our manager and entire team – as well as Wes Edwards who made an awesome video that really showed off our personalities,” said Keifer Thompson backstage while dutifully holding his wife’s stilettos after the long work day.
“Additionally, we want to say thank you to all the fans who have changed our lives forever,” Keifer continued.
“Thanks also to Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum for taking us out on tour with them and helping us make a whole new circle of fans,” said Shawna Thompson.  “A few years ago we were selling boots and buckles at a shop downtown to make ends meet – so it feels really good to be getting one right now!”
Especially significant about the win is that Thompson Square defied the typical split-vote statistic that follows artists nominated twice within the same category.  The reigning ACM Duo of the Year’s fan showing was so strong that it overwhelmed the typical awards show curse and propelled Thompson Square to victory.
Adding to the good news, Thompson Square’s latest hit single, “Glass” soared into the Top 20 on the Mediabase Country Chart this week.  The powerful, romantic ballad that The Washington Post hailed as a “poignant meditation on human vulnerability,” showcases a more serious side of Thompson Square, flag-shipped by Shawna Thompson’s powerhouse vocals.
It’s been an extraordinary year for the husband/wife duo who celebrated 13 years of marriage in May.  In fact, Keifer and Shawna Thompson pounded the pavement for all of that 13 years in the music industry before finally signing to tiny independent label Stoney Creek Records.  The young married couple worked odd jobs, played bar shows and knocked on countless closed doors during that time.
One of those odd jobs was as bartenders at Nashville’s Lower Broad night spot The Wheel.  This week, Keifer and Shawna returned to their old stomping grounds for an exclusive, in-depth profile with E! News.  It was at The Wheel that Keifer and Shawna were both bartending when Broken Bow Records President/ CEO Benny Brown signed them to his brand new independent label Stoney Creek Records (sister label to Broken Bow Records and home to Jason Aldean).
The reigning ACM “Vocal Duo of the Year,” Thompson Square has earned an astounding list of accolades in its first year on the Country music scene. The husband/wife duo’s #1 smash, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” earned them 2 GRAMMY Nominations as well as an American Music Award, 2 CMA, 5 CMT Music Award nominations, a Nationwide “Best New Live Act” nomination as well as a 2012 Teen Choice Award nomination for “Choice Country Group.”  Keifer and Shawna Thompson are also winners of 3 fan-voted American Country Awards.  “AYGKMON” is nearing Double Platinum sales status, was the #1 Digital Soundscan Single for 5 weeks straight, the #1 Country Ringtone for 12 consecutive weeks and was iTunes’ 2011 Country Song of the Year.  Thompson Square’s whirlwind year has seen them on national tours supporting Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum as well as gracing the stages of The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, Fox & Friends All American Concert Series and the 45th Annual CMA Awards. Thompson Square (or T2) ended 2011 as Billboard’s #1 New Country Artist in terms of digital sales and the #6 New Artist across all genres.
Next up, Thompson Square will perform tonight (Thursday, June 8) at The Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville as part of the A Concert for Cystic Fibrosis charity benefit along with Randy Houser, James Wesley, Kristy Lee Cook and Parmalee. Doors open at 9:30 pm and general admission tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

For more information visit

PHOTO CAPTION:  Keifer and Shawna Thompson pose backstage - winner's envelope and stilettos in hand - at the Bridgestone Arena on June 6, 2012, moments after winning the CMT Award for Duo Video of the Year for their hit, "I Got You."


Lead Single, "Shinin' On Me," at Radio Now
Jerrod Niemann
Photo Credit: Jeremy Cowart

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --  For Jerrod Niemann, 10 is a magic number. He began performing at the young age of 10, was nominated as the ACM New Artist Of The Year after 10 years of songwriting in the music business, and Monday night, signed autographs for a full 10 hours after his Fan Club Party at the 2012 CMA Festival. Now, the platinum-selling, "Lover, Lover" hit-maker will release his sophomore major label album release, Free The Music, in the 10th month, on October 2 (on Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville). Fans can pre-order it on Amazon now by clicking here:
"Free The Music is an album where I wanted to do just that," says Niemann. "It's a project honoring many different layers and colors that have appeared in the country genre since recorded music began."

It took Niemann a full two years to record Free The Music, but he wanted to record it from a non-traditional standpoint, regardless of time. He used brasswind horns throughout, and had his live band lay down the tracks instead of hiring studio musicians. Moreover, he used a recording technique called The Clasp during the production of each song on the record.
Once again joining forces with Dave Brainard (Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury) who co-produced the new album with him in Nashville, Niemann's unique musical flare is evident on the entire record, especially the song "Real Women Drink Beer," (which is the theme of many of his merch items). Blending two extremes: rockabilly and reggae together, Niemann created a sound that sounds well, very much like country.
Niemann co-wrote the new album's first single, "Shinin' On Me," with friends Lee Brice, Rob Hatch and Lance Miller. He also collaborated with guest vocalist Colbie Caillat on the soulful ballad, "All About You."
For more information on Jerrod Niemann, visit

21 International Country Artists Rocked CMA Music Festival

Twenty-One International Country Artists Help Kick-Off CMA Music Festival at 2012 Global Events Twenty-one international Country artists representing five different territories performed in downtown Nashville at the annual Global Events showcases, held June 4-5 during CMA Music Festival week. The Chevrolet Presents: 2012 CMA Global Artist Party was held Monday, June 4, at The Stage on Broadway and featured performances from Bob Corbett (Australia), Emerson Drive (Canada), Morgan Evans (Australia), Vickie Evans (New Zealand), Adam Harvey (Australia), High Valley (Canada), Craig Morrison (Australia), Jess Moskaluke (Canada), O’Shea (Australia), Gary Quinn (UK) and Joe Robinson (Australia). Husband and wife artist duo O’Shea hosted the Monday evening event. American Country icon and special guest Gene Watson also performed a set during the CMA Global Artist Party when his scheduled duet partner, Ireland’s Lisa McHugh, was forced to withdraw from the lineup due to emergency back surgery. The annual CMA Presents: Aristo Global Show, hosted by Australian Adam Harvey, was held Tuesday afternoon, June 5, at The Second Fiddle. Performers included Baylou (Australia), Clayton Bellamy (Canada), Rick Caballo (Australia), Adam Gregory (Canada), Pete Kennedy (Ireland), Colm Kirwan (Ireland), Josh Macumber (Canada), Raintown (UK), Jessica Ridley (Canada) and Travellin Rose (UK). Both Global Events performances were streamed online via Nashville-based new media and marketing company AristoWorks and carried live at (CMT Canda), (CMA),, and (CMC Australia). “This year’s Global Events showcases were a huge success as we enjoyed some fantastic music from nearly two dozen different artists,” said AristoMedia President/CEO Jeff Walker. “The shows were extremely well-attended and, for the second year in a row, we streamed both events live around the world, which gave our performers’ fans a chance to celebrate with us.” Previous performers at the annual Global Events showcases have included: Tommy Emmanuel, Marlee Scott, George Canyon, Troy Cassar-Daley, the McClymonts, Jasmine Rae, Johnny Reid, The Road Hammers and Doc Walker, among others.

'Nashville in New York' with Jane Bach, Sandra Piller, Kati Mac, Billy Lee, and Jake Holmes

It Will be 'Nashville in New York'
with Jane Bach, Sandra Piller,
Kati Mac, Billy Lee, and Jake Holmes

Bringing a country music tradition to Manhattan, Jane Bach, Sandra Piller, Kati Mac, Billy Lee, and special guest Jake Holmes are set for "Nashville in New York," a pair of songwriter rounds which will take place this June at two famous night spots, The Bitter End and The Living Room.

Leading the performances will be Jane Bach, writer of hit songs for Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina and others. A frequent performer at writer's rounds in cities from coast to coast, Bach will be the host as well as one of the singers. "A writer's round program is one of the best ways for an audience to get up close and personal with the writers and their songs," Bach notes.

"These will be evenings of subtle excitement," says Piller, who will be performing numbers from her current album, "Days Like These," as well as from her new 6-song EP, "Love Goes On," dedicated to her late husband, Michael Piller.

Appearing with Piller and Bach will be Emmy-nominated NYC singer-songwriter Kati Mac whose song, "Only Love," was the theme for the daytime drama, "Guiding Light." In addition to singing on numerous commercial jingles, she has toured or recorded with Sting, Meat Loaf, and Nona Hendryx. Also appearing will be Billy Lee, writer of "The One" (a Top Five hit for Gary Allan). Making a special appearance at The Bitter End show only will be Jake Holmes, writer/performer of "Dazed and Confused," which has been recorded by the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin.

Both events will follow the classic format of the round, where each songwriter plays one of their songs, followed by the next writer, and the next, and so on. They can join in with each other, add harmonies, contribute a guitar riff, perform a little percussion, or just listen along with the audience.

The Bitter End show is Monday, June 11. The Bitter End is at 147 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and LaGuardia), New York, NY 10012; Phone: (212) 673-7030. Showtime for Monday, 6/11 is 7:30pm.

The Living Room show is Thursday, June 14. The Living Room is at 154 Ludlow St., New York, NY 10002, Phone: (212) 533-7235. Showtime for Thursday, 6/14 is 8:30pm.

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