Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Pre-sale tickets for this limited engagement begin tomorrow, Aug. 8;
Tickets for the general public go on sale Monday, Aug. 13
TWEET:  It’s official! Country music’s hottest couple @TheTimMcGraw and @FaithHill bring their #Soul2Soul to @VenetianVegas beginning Dec. 7 #Vegas
LAS VEGAS (August 7, 2012) – Collectively, they’ve sold 70 million albums, won eight Grammy Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 14 American Music Awards, seven People’s Choice Awards and 26 Academy of Country Music Awards.  Today, at a live ‘town-hall’ press conference, The Venetian® Las Vegas announced the biggest musical event in its history – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill “Soul2Soul.”  This limited engagement, which opens on Dec. 7 and covers 10 weekends through April 2013, will take place in the 1,815-seat Venetian Theater.  A ticket pre-sale will begin tomorrow and tickets for the general public will go on sale Monday, Aug. 13.
“Soul2Soul” at The Venetian will mark the first time in six years that McGraw and Hill have performed together in the United States. “Soul2Soul” will feature an all-new production with innovative lighting and set design technologies that were synonymous with the “Soul2Soul” concerts.  The Venetian Theater will also be modified to accommodate this new production.  These “Soul2Soul” concerts will include many of the no. 1 hits that have made them, both in their own right, two of the most significant entertainers of our generation.
“We are creating a show that will be completely different from what we've done before - and might ever do again," said Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. "In arenas and stadiums, you're always faced with the challenge of finding ways to make people feel closer to the action, no matter where they might be sitting. Now everyone will be close, so it opens up all kinds of creative possibilities and we're looking forward to exploring those so that we can really give our fans something truly special."
“It’s not every day that Las Vegas welcomes such stellar star power to the Strip,” said John Caparella, president and chief operating officer of The Venetian, The Palazzo & Sands Expo. “Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are country music’s first couple and we are proud to have such extraordinary talent. When they hit our stage in December it will surely be the hottest ticket in town.”
McGraw and Hill have been dominating the music charts since the early ‘90s and began performing together in 2000 in their record-breaking “Soul2Soul” tour, becoming that year’s top grossing and most successful U.S. tour. Their success continued in 2006 when “Soul2Soul II” returned to the road. It became the highest grossing country music tour of all time, the most attended of the year in any musical genre and remains the highest grossing multi-year North American tour in country music history.
McGraw, whose hits include “Live Like You Were Dying,” “Everywhere” and “Real Good Man,” has sold more than 40 million records worldwide and dominated the charts with 32 no. 1 singles.  He's won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Music Awards, three People's Choice Awards and numerous other honors. With 7.8 million spins at radio, McGraw was deemed Artist of the Decade from 2000-2010 by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems.  Also an accomplished actor, McGraw’s film credits include “Country Strong,” the Academy Award nominated “The Blind Side,” “Four Christmases,” “The Kingdom,”  “Flicka” and “Friday Night Lights.”
Hill’s nineteen-year career has been highlighted by the sale of more than 30 million records worldwide, during which time she has celebrated thirteen no. 1 singles and twenty no. 1 videos. She was the first female artist to have three studio albums – 1999’s “Breathe,” 2002’s “Cry” and 2005’s “Fireflies” – all debut consecutively at no. 1 on Billboard’s Top Pop Album Chart and Country Chart.  Hill is a five-time Grammy Award winner, who has also won three Country Music Association Awards, 12 Academy of Country Music Awards, four American Music Awards, and four People’s Choice Awards.  For the fifth consecutive year, Hill is once again the voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football’s weekly show open. 
Members of The Venetian’s loyalty program, Grazie, as well as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s official fan communities and Clear Channel subscribers will be able to purchase advance tickets through the pre-sale starting tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 10 a.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m. Performances are scheduled for 8 and 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, 8; 14, 15; Jan. 18, 19, 25, 26, 2013; Feb. 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, March 1,2; April 12, 13, 26 and 27.
Ticket prices are $95.50, $175.50 and $255.50 and $295.50 inclusive of tax.  A limited number of VIP Packages – including preferred seating in the first two rows, a complimentary pre-fixe dinner at a select resort restaurant, two complimentary drinks at the show, a merchandise credit and more – will be available for $1,000, inclusive of tax. Performance dates and times are subject to change. Tickets are available for purchase at any Venetian | Palazzo Box Office, online at venetian.com or by phone at 702-414-9000.   
For more information on Grazie and to become a member, please call Grazie Services at 702-414-1500 or visit www.venetian.com/Grazie-Loyalty-Program.
For more information on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill go to www.timmcgraw.com or www.faithhill.com.

I Draw Slow's Album, Redhills, Now Available on Pinecastle Records

I Draw Slow's Album, Redhills, Now Available on Pinecastle Records
Columbus, NC August 7, 2012 - Irish bluegrass/folk artists I Draw Slow have released their critically acclaimed project, Redhills, on Pinecastle Records prior to their U.S. tour this fall. The band and Redhills have been featured on Irish television and reviewed by influential Irish music magazines and blogs and now the album has come to the U.S. Radio stations around the country are already playing their new album.
"...this one is absolutely stellar...I love the old time fiddle sound on the album." - Billy Meyers, WRFL
"Their release is beautiful - absolutely beautiful.  What a wonderful collection of songs, and the arrangements are, again, beautiful." - Martin Anderson, WNCW
"Beautiful Music from I Draw Slow,   I love that sound that is both ancient and fresh at the same time." - John Roten, WPEK/WMXF Mountain Music Time
The songwriting duo of siblings Dave (guitar) and Louise (vocals) Holden along with bandmembers Adrian Hart (fiddle), Colin Derham (banjo), and Konrad Liddy (bass) came together to form I Draw Slow in 2007. All five members have toured the Irish and European circuit as well as spending time in the U.S. The band has created a mesmerizing sound somewhere between bluegrass and celtic. They perfectly blend Appalachian and Irish music while transcending both. Bluegrass and Appalachian music owes much of its pedigree to Irish music and I Draw Slow brings that sound full circle.
The band has filmed two music videos featuring tunes from the Redhills album. The video for “Goldmine” has a cast and crew of dozens, including professional actors and actresses in full costume. The video for “Swans” was recorded live on a hill in South Dublin in one take with five microphones and is mandatory for anyone interested in the band. Together the videos have over 50,000 views. The band’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/idrawslow also contains more live performances of the band from TV shows, clubs and festivals.
I Draw Slow on Facebook
Visit the website at http://idrawslow.wordpress.com/
I Draw Slow at www.pinecastlemusic.com
About Pinecastle Records:
Pinecastle Records was created nearly 22 years ago as a favor to a friend and has since grown into a legendary label with nearly 250 releases in its catalog including titles from some of the most influential musicians in the bluegrass genre such as Eddie Adcock, The Osborne Brothers, Jim and Jesse and Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen. Pinecastle has always placed an emphasis on fostering the talents of bluegrass up and comers and has helped with the growth of the careers of Terry Eldredge, Jesse Brock, Josh Williams, and Kristin Scott Benson, among others. Today, Pinecastle is headquartered in the mountains of southwestern North Carolina owned by businessman and medical doctor, Lonnie Lassiter.

Colt Ford Releases Declaration of Independence

Colt Ford Releases
Declaration of Independence

In Stores Today, August 7

Nashville, TN (August 7, 2012) -- Colt Ford's Declaration of Independence hits stores nationwide today, August 7.  The highly anticipated 15-track fourth studio release from country music's favorite lyricist features collaborations with Jason Aldean, Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men, Kix Brooks, Montgomery Gentry, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker and more. Produced by longtime collaborator Shannon "Fat Shan" Houchins and all-star producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts,) Colt Ford is making a statement with his best album ever.

"This album is very real and honest and by far the best record I’ve ever made,” Colt says with pride.  “The last two records—I stand up and cheer for them—but I tried to make a lot of people happy on the last two records and I took the edge off of it. On this record I put the edge back on there.”

Declaration of Independence, released on Ford’s own Average Joes Entertainment, will no doubt go down as one of the most noteworthy releases this year, which is saying a lot for a man who has already sold nearly one million albums and over three million downloads.  From planting his patriotic flag on the album’s first track, "Answer to No One, "and closing the album with a prayer on the poetic, honest, and heartfelt "Angels & Demons," which features a conversation with God, the Athens, Georgia native has covered every human emotion on this record and then some.

Colt’s list of guest superstars on Declaration of Independence is an impressive one. Jason Aldean, for whom Colt co-wrote the smash “Dirt Road Anthem,” lends his vocal talents to “Drivin’ Around Song,” while Jake Owen adds his unique spin on “Back,” the album’s first single. His collaboration with Darius Rucker on “Way Too Early” is another of the album’s highlights. Meanwhile, Kix Brooks of Brooks & Dunn fame guests on “All In” and label mates Montgomery Gentry add their distinctive gusto to “Ain’t Out Of The Woods Yet.”

In all, Colt wrote or co-wrote 14 of the album’s 15 tracks and those familiar with Colt’s lotta-fun-legacy shouldn’t be surprised that Declaration of Independence is chock-full of good time anthems and left turns.  To purchase Declaration of Independence online, visit www.budurl.com/ColtDOI

Declaration of Independence Track Listing: 
1. "Answer To No One" f/JJ Lawhorn
2. "Drivin' Around Song" f/Jason Aldean
3. "All In" f/Kix Brooks
4. "Ain't Out Of The Woods Yet" f/Montgomery Gentry
5. "Back" with Jake Owen
6. "Dancin' While Intoxicated (DWI)" f/LoCash Cowboys and Redneck Social Club
7. "It's All" f/Jeffrey Steele
9. "Hugh Damn Right" f/Laura Bell Bundy
10. "Room At The Bar" f/Corey Smith
11. "All Of My Tomorrows" f/Russell Dickerson
12. "Happy In Hell" f/Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men
13. "50/50"
14. "Way Too Early" f/Darius Rucker
15. "Angels & Demons" f/Lamar Williams Jr.

For up-to-date information on Colt Ford, visit www.coltford.com

Billy Ray Cyrus Performs At The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s 2012 Gala

Billy Ray Cyrus Performs At The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s 2012 Gala on Saturday August 4 in Saint Paul
Nashville, TN – (August 7, 2012) – Multi-platinum recording artist Billy Ray Cyrus, his wife Tish Cyrus and daughter Brandi attended the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s 12th annual “So The World May Hear” Gala on August 4, 2012 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre. The country music singer/songwriter/actor brought the house down with his performance.
“It is about the gift of love. It is just incredible that they go all around the world to give people their first chance ever to hear, to sing, to dance, to communicate. It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of it,” shared Cyrus when asked about the Foundation.
The evening’s soiree brings awareness to and benefits the organization’s efforts to give the gift of hearing. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits more than 100,000 hearing aids to people in need in the U.S. and around the world each year and has conducted missions in more than 97 countries.
Currently, Cyrus is in the studio putting the finishing touches on his forthcoming album titled Change My Mind to be released October 23. He is set to make his debut in the Broadway play Chicago on Nov. 5, and will continue his run through Dec. 23.
For additional information on Billy Ray Cyrus, please visit www.billyraycyrus.com

Starkey Hearing Foundation

Photo 1: Pictured (L-R): Michael Johns, K'naan, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Norm Crosby, Starkey Co-Founder Tani Austin, President Clinton, Starkey Founder Bill Austin, Billy Crystal, Forest Whitaker, Billy Ray Cyrus, Glenn Frey, Okello Sam
Photo 2: While backstage at the event, Cyrus had a chance to catch up with President Bill Clinton

Photos Courtesy of Starkey Hearing Foundation



NASHVILLE, Tennessee (August 7, 2012) - Mark Newton and Steve Thomas proudly announce the addition of Matt Wallace to the StillHouse Band line up. Wallace will start performing with the band in the next few weeks during live shows and will be in the studio with Newton and Thomas as the band works on their upcoming CD to be released later this year or early 2013. The addition of Wallace to the group brings a solid, experienced bass player as well as baritone and lead singer to the ensemble.

Wallace grew up in the Knoxville, Tennessee area and continues to live there today with his wife and two sons. He has toured with some of the best in bluegrass to include his most recent position as bass player for David Parmley and Continental Divide. Additionally he performed with Paul Williams and The Victory Trio and had the opportunity to work with the band as they won the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music America Award for Gospel Band of the Year.  Wallace has also toured with Audie Blaylock and Redline and filled in on bass duties with Newton and Thomas earlier this year, turning that opportunity into a new job.

“I am very excited to play with Mark and Steve. I have always played in bands with an emphasis on traditional bluegrass music. However, I am looking forward to making good music that may not exactly be considered traditional bluegrass with Newton and Thomas and the StillHouse Band.” Said Wallace.

Newton and Thomas are well known for their contributions to the field of bluegrass, country, and other forms of acoustic music as artists, producers, writers, and vocalists having toured and performed with such greats as Bill Monroe, The Seldom Scene, The Virginia Squires, The Knoxville Grass, Del McCoury,  Brooks and Dunn, The Whites, Barbara Mandrell, and The Osborne Brothers to name a few. Their shows are high energy and run a spectrum of musical genres reaching from Merle Haggard cover tunes, to bluegrass standards from Flatt and Scruggs, and some of their own material.

"We are excited have Matt join the group." said Newton.  "We have had the pleasure of playing a few shows with him this past Summer where he filled in on bass duties. He did an exceptional job and we are happy to have him on board and look forward to great things to come!”

Matt Wallace is supported by Genz Benz, NS Design, D'Addario, Holmes Bass Violins, and Peterson Tuners.

Additional details on Mark Newton and Steve Thomas are available at www.marknewtonmusiccom or www.stevethomasmusic.com 



NASHVILLE, TN (August 7, 2012) – Amid a sea of industry change that has seen major creative empires and labels rise and fall, the strength of Curb Records, which was founded in 1963 by Mike Curb while attending California State University as a student, remains intact.
Curb 50 on iTunesOn the eve of a half-century of success and in the midst of a field of gold standard milestones, Curb Records is a rare and enduring independent force of influence in the land of giants.

As Curb Records celebrates its 50th anniversary in the business of making and selling music, the success of the label and its founder are inseparable.

At the half-century mark as a creative brand, Curb’s presence eclipses history as the longest operating record label with the same ownership.  Accumulated accolades include:

     432 #1 Records
  • 323 singles
  • 109 albums
     1,514 Top Ten Records
  • 1,102 singles
  • 412 albums
     4,518 Charted Records
  • 3,231 singles
  • 1,287 albums
Today, Mike Curb is one of the most prominent figures in the music/entertainment world and presides over his own independent record label that is recognized as one of the most successful in music industry history.

If Curb has a magic formula for success, it might be captured in the portrait of its artistic family. Throughout the early years, Curb scored success with artists as diverse as the Stone Poneys (featuring Linda Ronstadt), Eric Burdon & War, Sammy Davis Jr., the Osmond Family, (including Donny & Marie), Lou Rawls, Exile, the Righteous Brothers, Solomon Burke, Gloria Gaynor, the Hondells, the Arrows (featuring Davie Allan), Debby Boone, Shaun Cassidy, Roy Orbison, the Electric Flag (featuring Buddy Miles and Mike Bloomfield), the Sylvers and the Four Seasons.

In 1969, Curb merged his young label with MGM Records and became the President of MGM.  Under his reign, he boosted MGM’s war chests with a litany of hits, some of which he produced.  His signings brought a new emphasis on Nashville based artists including Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Hank Williams Jr., Don Gibson, Mel Tillis, Ray Stevens, and Eddy Arnold. Curb also served as president of Verve Records, the historic jazz label, and scored a coup by signing superstar Tony Bennett.  During the same period, Mike Curb went on to receive the Billboard Overall Producer of the Year Award, and he acquired the highly coveted BMI Award for writing Hank Williams Jr’s first #1 single, “All For The Love Of Sunshine”.  He also won the BMI Award for composing the theme song to Clint Eastwood’s motion picture, Kelly’s Heroes - “Burning Bridges” which was a worldwide hit by the Mike Curb Congregation.

In the 80’s, Curb Records signed such emerging artists as Lyle Lovett, The Judds, Don & Phil Everly, Sawyer Brown, Chris Hillman’s Desert Rose Band, Jeffrey Steele’s band Boy Howdy, The Bellamy Brothers, Ronnie McDowell, Hal Ketchum and The Righteous Brothers who delivered the triple platinum selling album and single “Unchained Melody.”

Throughout the 90’s, Curb Records continued to establish ground as an independent force to be reckoned with.  The label surprised many with the meteoric launch of superstar Tim McGraw, whose album Not A Moment Too Soon went on to become one of McGraw’s top selling albums to date.  All told, Curb Records has sold over 40 million units and produced over ninety seven billion impressions at radio with Tim McGraw’s music.  By 1997, Curb was Billboard’s #1 country label in four major categories for albums and singles and recognized as the overall #1 country label in the industry according to Nielsen SoundScan.  Additional milestones for Curb in the 90’s included the signing of teenage superstar LeAnn Rimes whose single “Blue,” became an industry phenomenon who crossed multiple genres.  Rimes’ “How Do I Live,’ co-produced by Mike Curb and written by Diane Warren, earned the label a Billboard Award for the longest running record of the 20th Century on Billboard’s Top Hot 100 chart.  Curb also co-produced LeAnn Rimes’ “You Light Up My Life” which became the first album to debut #1 on Billboard’s pop, country, and contemporary Christian charts.  Co-published by Curb’s publishing division, “You Light Up My Life” won both an Academy Award and a Grammy.  This credit brought further honors to the Curb Publishing division—a side of the indie giant too often overlooked.  Curb’s publishing interests have scored more than 100 ASCAP, BMI and SESAC award winning songs including the first record in Billboard history to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Chart – Garth Brooks “More Than A Memory”.  History was in the making when Curb published and released Lee Brice’s record, “Love Like Crazy” which was Billboard’s #1 record of the year in 2010 and the longest running song in the history of the Billboard chart.  Curb recently co-published “Crazy Girl” by The Eli Young band which was the 2012 ACM Song Of The Year and Billboard’s most played song of 2011.

At the launch of the 21st century Curb Records had established one of the strongest country rosters in Nashville.  Superstar artists such as Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Jo Dee Messina, Hank Williams Jr., Wynonna, Lyle Lovett, Clay Walker, Trick Pony, and Rodney Atkins were consistently pushing out hit product.  In 2001, and for the first time in the history of music business, Curb Records became the first independent label to be named Billboard’s Country Music Label of the Year.

Building on the success of country, Curb expanded throughout the new millennium to play a major role in the contemporary Christian genre with artists such as multi-award winning “Female Artist of the Year” Natalie Grant, multi-Dove winning group Selah, Plumb, MIKESCHAIR, Michael English, and Nicol Sponberg all producing hits. Curb’s own personal involvement in contemporary Christian music began with the early signings of groundbreaking artists such as Larry Norman, 2nd Chapter of Acts, DeGarmo & Key, Debby Boone, and continued into the 80’s & 90’s to include Stryper, Whiteheart, Patti Cabrera, Jonathan Pierce, and Fernando Ortega.  Curb also continues to serve as Chairman and Partner in Word Records, the oldest gospel record company in history.

In 2012, this their 50th Anniversary, label success on the scoreboard already includes:

Breaking Lee Brice as one of the most exciting new artists in country music in recent memory. His Hard 2 Love album debuted with a trifecta as the #1 Digital Country Album, #2 Billboard Country Album and Billboard’s #5 best selling album on the Top 200 Chart across all genres.  The album has already scored a #1 single and a platinum certification for its lead single, “A Woman Like You”.

Rodney Atkins’ has produced his 7th number one record with the title track to his current album, Take A Back Road.

Curb’s January 2012 release of Tim McGraw’s Emotional Traffic, debuted as Billboard’s #1 Country album and the single “Better Than I Used To Be” became McGraw’s historic 100th Top 5 record on the Billboard charts.

Curb Records has achieved over 300 number one records on the Billboard chart and Mike Curb recently received a star on both the Music City Walk of Fame and the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In April of this year, Natalie Grant was named Female Vocalist Of The Year in the annual Dove Awards – her 5th win in the category. Curb again took home honors with Grant’s “Your Great Name” having won Worship Song Of The Year.  Curb’s Christian Division was again honored with dual wins by Selah for Inspirational Album Of The Year and Inspirational Song Of The Year (“Hope Of The Broken World”).

New projects still ahead in the coming year include new releases from LeAnn Rimes, Andy Gibson, Wynonna, Plumb, Rachel Holder, Michael English and more. Also in 2012, Curb revitalized subsidiary imprint Sidewalk Records which plans new music from Heidi Newfield, Clay Walker, Morgan Frazier, Dylan Scott, and a new duet between Tyler Dean and Ashley Gearing.

Mike Curb exclaims, “We’ve been successful in large part to our employees, our artist roster, radio and a huge passion for music that inspires people across the globe.  We are forever up to the challenges of the next half century and look forward to expanding upon our success.”

Michael Lonstar - THE DUETS

Neue CD von Michael Lonstar (www.michaellonstar.com)
AE 40020 Amazing Records

Aufgenommen in den Jahren 2010/2011 von Billy Yates, Dean Miller und Michael Lonstar. Erschienen 01.10.2011.

MICHAEL LONSTAR, DER Countrystar in Polen, Sänger, Gitarrist, Songschreiber und noch vieles mehr, hat für diese CD die Créme de lá Créme an Countrymusikern versammelt und mit ihnen ein wirklich schönes und hörenswertes Album zusammengestellt. Aufgenommen wurde dieses teils in Nashville, teils in Polen. Michael singt bzw. spielt bei allen Liedern mit verschiedenen Duett-Partnern. Ausgenommen das letzte Lied (Coffee Story), das singt er solo.

  1. Cowboy’s Gone (mit Buddy Jewell)
  2. Radio Friendly (mit Billy Yates)
  3. Another Night, Another Dollar (mit Georgette Jones) - Honkytonk
  4. One Inch To The Bottom (mit Billy Ryan) – bluesig-swingend
  5. Sidewalk Country Picker In Nashville (mit George Hamilton V)
  6. Song To Think About (mit Mandy Strobel) – sehr gemütvolle Nummer
  7. Highway Guardian Angel (mit Billy Yates)
  8. Most Likely To Fail (mit Jamie Lee Thurston)
  9. Livin’ In A Slow Lane (mit Dean Miller)
  10. The Lord Is My Shepherd (mit George Hamilton IV & V) – langsamer Walzer mit Klavierbegleitung
  11. Twangy Lead Guitar (mit Bernd Marty Wolf) – sehr flott und tanzbar
  12. United States Of Mind (mit Michelle Conner)
  13. Coffee Story (Michael Lonstar solo) – folkig

Jede Nummer für sich sehr zu empfehlen.

Text: Eliza (ACMF-Ambassadorin für Wien, Bluegrass Bühne Österreich) wien@acmf.at



Dove Award-nominated Country Music Duo to Release Second Gospel
Album on September 4

 Pre-orders Available Starting Today Via i-Tunes

Nashville, Tenn (August 7, 2012) - After sparking much controversy and support with their first Gospel album, respected multi-platinum selling Country music duo and Dove Award nominees The Bellamy Brothers will soon release their second Gospel composition.  Pray For Me, set for a late summer release, features 14 original Gospel songs with heartfelt, inspirational messages and is one of more than 50 albums released by Howard and David Bellamy.  The album will be released on September 4 and is available for pre-order today via i-Tunes.

The Bellamy Brothers have received much support and recognition in their career spanning almost four decades, including two Dove nominations and a GRAMMY nomination for the Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.  Named the Top Country Duo by Billboard, the pair has also set the record for the most duo nominations from both the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the Country Music Association (CMA).

The group’s first Gospel album, Jesus Is Coming (And Boy Is He Pissed), sparked much controversy with the title track but was later nominated for two Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and received rave reviews from critics.   The success of this album, along with their history of singing Christian music from an early age, pushed the duo to create their second Gospel album.

“We decided to record our second Gospel album because Gospel and Christian music is one of our favorite genres,” says David Bellamy.  “We also received such a great reaction from our Jesus Is Coming album we did a few years ago, it seemed like a natural progression from that album to the new one.”

“Creating this new album was a labor of love for us, and an element we hope we can always add to our variety of projects,” explains Howard Bellamy. 

The duo is more widely known for their success in Country music, although they’ve gained respect in the Gospel and Pop genres as well.  The Bellamy Brothers have received numerous No. 1 hits on both the Pop and Country charts.  Their hit “Let Your Love Flow” received the distinguished BMI Five Million Performance Award in 2009, and broke into the UK Top 20 Country charts again—34 years after its release.  The hit was also featured in a UK television commercial and on the critically acclaimed AMC television series “Breaking Bad.”

Pray For Me Track Listing:

1.  Jesus Ain’t No Stained Glass Window
2.  Pray For Me
3.  Holy Roller
4.  Spirit In The Sky
5.  Suppertime
6.  God Ain’t Finished With Me Yet
7.  Hypocrites In Heaven
8.  Hymn To Him
9.  The Spanish Bible
10.  Number Of Breaths
11.  New Man In The Suit
12.  Rodeo For Jesus
13.  Guardian Angel
14.  Hand Me My Bible

Love and Theft Return for Act Two

Love and Theft Return for Act Two
By Sarah Skates
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
Love and Theft has made its big debut — for the second time.
The band’s self-titled album, released July 24, is a showcase of its evolution in recent years. Members Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles approached their latest effort very differently from their first album, with a new team of players boosting their careers.
The band has experienced a reincarnation of sorts since its first album, World Wide Open, was released in 2009 by Lyric Street’s Carolwood Records. Member Brian Bandas exited the group and Lyric Street shuttered, but Liles and Gunderson rallied.
The duo signed to Sony’s RCA Records Nashville and entered agreements with Vector Management and EMI Music Publishing. They teamed with producer Josh Leo and recorded songs by writers other than themselves for the first time. And today, Love and Theft is ready to be reintroduced to Country Music fans.
Just like any other rising artist, the band recently took to the road to share its new music. They gladly spent 12 weeks visiting radio stations to promote the lead single, “Angel Eyes” (written by Jeff Coplan, Gunderson and Eric Paslay). But unlike most new acts, Love and Theft is already familiar with this routine.
“We’ve been on radio tour for six years,” Liles said, with a laugh. He and Gunderson were casual and unpretentious on this morning at the Sony Music Nashville offices, swapping stories as easily as they trade lead vocals. Liles is extra cozy, taking meetings in a pair of fuzzy house slippers. They get along well and seem to have a blast everywhere they go. Both laughed hysterically while watching a cell phone video of one of their favorite recent adventures — a trip to the Caribbean, where they discovered a herd of beer-drinking hogs.
They’ve grown close since being introduced several years ago by a mutual friend who is also an up-and-coming artist, Mercury Nashville’s Canaan Smith. Liles and Smith met while competing in the Colgate Country Showdown in their home state, Florida. They ended up in Nashville, where Smith eventually introduced Liles and Gunderson. The future members of Love and Theft bonded over their similar backgrounds.
“We have a lot of things in common,” Liles explained. “We were born the same year, 1984. Our mothers were born on the same day and year within 200 miles of each other. We both went to private schools and are both preachers’ kids. We grew up singing harmonies in church.”
With the cell phone videos put away, Gunderson and Liles grew more serious when discussing their new music. Platinum plaques line the Sony walls, and the duo was in awe while checking out those commemorating Josh Leo’s work. His hit track record includes 21 No. 1 albums, with clients including Alabama, Emerson Drive, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Restless Heart.
“Working with him, we got to make a record like we always wanted to make,” Liles said. “A classic producer like that, he does it the old-school way, playing live with the band in the studio and not adding a bunch of tracks later on.”
Gunderson and Liles joked that they met Leo through Match.com, but it was actually Jim Catino, VP, A&R, Sony Music Nashville, who paired them with the producer. “I suggested Josh because he has a good track record with groups,” Catino said. “So I thought he’d be a great match. Josh and I had been on the lookout for a project to work on together. We’ve been friends for a long time and I’m a big fan of his work. I introduced Josh and the band, and they hit it off creatively and personally. It ended up being a perfect match.”
Leo and Catino helped guide the band through the recording process, following a very different blueprint than that of its debut release. On World Wide Open, Love and Theft was a trio that wrote or co-wrote every song. The group turned the finished project in to Lyric Street, which then released it. Its debut single, “Runaway” (Liles, Canaan Smith and Rob Blackledge) went on to become a Top 10 hit as well topping the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
A longtime fan of Love and Theft, Catino enjoyed following the band’s success with Lyric Street. “I’ve been aware of them for several years,” he noted. “We tried to sign them the first go-round. I’ve always loved their music and dug the guys from the first time I met them. When we finally had the opportunity to work together, Gary Overton (Chairman/CEO, Sony Music Nashville) and I looked at the roster. We didn’t have a duo, so we had room for Love and Theft. The timing was good for us as a company, plus I had a good gut feeling.”
Equipped with more music business experience, stronger songwriting skills and a new label and producer, Gunderson and Liles recognized the importance of cutting the best available songs for the new album. “For the first time in our career, we did song pitch meetings,” Liles said. “It was really fun because we got to hear hundreds of songs from all across Music Row. There are so many good songs out there, and I can’t believe we got to record some of them.”
“For whatever reason, we didn’t even give other people’s songs a shot back when we made our first album,” Gunderson added. “We knew the caliber of songs that were out there, but we just didn’t know how to get our hands on them. We’ve made so many friends over the years here that are incredible writers, so to embrace that this time around was really amazing.”
“It was a little perplexing that they’d never recorded outside songs,” Catino said. “They are great writers, but when we started working together, they were very excited to hear what the town had to offer. They just wanted to cut great songs, which is always a smart move on an artist’s part, as long as they creatively fit what their brand is and what they are trying to accomplish with their music. We found some great things for the project that fit their sound and the direction we were going for. They also wrote about half the record, so it all married up great.”
In fact, Gunderson and Liles are focused on songwriting like never before. They say they are devoting more time to it and taking greater pride in the craft. The results speak for themselves: Between the two of them, they have scored cuts by Bucky Covington (“Baby Run,” written by Gunderson, Liles, Bandas and John Kennedy), Martina McBride's “Wrong Baby Wrong" and Sawyer Brown's “Ain’t Goin’ Out That Way” (both by Liles, Robert Ellis Orrall, Brad Warren and Brett Warren) and Canaan Smith's “We Got Us” (Liles, Smith and Tommy Lee James).
In addition to the focus on quality songs, Love and Theft wanted to create a new sound for themselves. “We are older and more mature now,” Gunderson pointed out. “We wanted to get away from that slick, polished sound of the first record. I wouldn’t say our sound was ever really what was portrayed on our first record. People would come to our live show or see us when we were on tour with Tim McGraw, and they’d say we were way better live than on our record.”
“We had a lot of creative talks shortly after signing them, talking about what direction we wanted to take this album,” Catino added. “They wanted to go back to the sound they had early in their career, when they were playing clubs. They wanted to go back to an organic feel, which was more about their vocals and harmonies.”
The production on “Amen” (Derek George, Neil Thrasher and Bryan White) embodies the sound Love and Theft wanted to capture. Actually, it set the tone for the entire album. “It was one of the songs we cut early on,” Catino said. “The rest of the project filled in around that track. There are some really fun songs on the record, but there are some pretty deep lyrics too. We covered all the bases.”
One of the serious tracks, “Town Drunk” (Natalie Hemby and Daniel Tashian), is a standout. The story of an alcoholic father and his neglected daughter is one of the outside songs that caught the band’s attention and helped add dimension to the album.
“When we were looking for a song to round out the record, something with a cool, almost artistic feel, that’s when we found ‘Town Drunk,’” Catino recalled. “When the album was finished, it turned out to be everyone at the label’s favorite song.”
“I expected it to be a drinking song,” said Liles, remembering the pitch meeting. “But halfway through the demo, I started crying. I’ve never had a relationship with my mom’s dad because he was an alcoholic. At the end of the song, when the little girl is grown up and happily married and has a baby, it’s like that baby is me.”
This summer, the band is meeting plenty of new fans and reconnecting with old ones on Brad Paisley’s Virtual Reality tour, which continues into the fall. Throughout their journey, Love and Theft are savoring the opportunity to reclaim their position in the Country Music spotlight.
“We feel very confident and passionate about the team of people we have around us,” Gunderson reflected. “It’s a well-oiled machine. Everybody knows their job and does it really well. It allows us to focus on what’s important: performance, songwriting — the music.”
On the Web: www.LoveandTheft.com

Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson of Love and Theft.
Photo credit: Jeff Lipsky

Country Music News International August 7. 2012

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternationa.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, Flynnville Train, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flynnville-Train/36616757595 , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , HelpCharity, http://www.MySpace.com/HelpCharity , Bobbe Seymour, http://www.MySpace.com/BobbeSeymour , Katsy Redstar http://www.myspace.com/KatsyRedstar

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Main Street Entertainment is happy to announce the Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road and Skip Cherryholmes Quintet concert to be held at the Old Rock School, Valdese, NC on September 14, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $16 pre-sale and $18 door.  For more information call:  (828) 879-2129.
The bluegrass-rich area of North Carolina has produced one of the finest bands touring the national circuit – Carolina Road.  Lorraine’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes this band one of the most popular bands among fans today.  Lorraine has been fronting Carolina Road for over a decade now and has seven national recordings to her credit.  She won International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA), Recorded Event of the Year in 2006 and 2009 as the pioneer of the Daughters of Bluegrass.  Performing nationwide from East to West coast, all across Canada and Europe, this band has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass.  The band has performed on a bluegrass cruise for eight years, hosted the Canadian Bluegrass awards, and has averaged sixty bluegrass festivals in the US and Canada annually.  Recently, Lorraine was the featured artist on syndicated radio, Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, and Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine.  Carolina Road signed with Rural Rhythm Records, a national recording label, in 2010.
Lorraine has also been crowned “Lady of Tradition” for her relentless dedication to presenting and promoting that traditional bluegrass sound. Her latest effort, Back to My Roots, is resonating with bluegrass fans and critics alike, proof that her titles are well-deserved.  "After 20 years of being a musician, 6 years as a side person in other bands and 12 years on the road full-time as band leader of Carolina Road, I am confident that I got it right this time! Carolina Road is Back to our Roots, right where we belong," Lorraine Jordan, Josh Goforth, Ben Green, John Bradley, and Tommy Long make up the Carolina Road Band.  www.carolinaroad.com
Also appearing at Old Rock School along with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road will be the Skip Cherryholmes Quintet ( Interview Cherryholmes ).  Skip Cherryholmes, formerly a member of the Cherryholmes Family Band, formed his own band in 2011.  Skip Cherryholmes, Gena Britt (co-founder of Daughter’s of Bluegrass), Jamie Harper, Travis Anderson, & Chris Harris have teamed up to form The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet. Everyone get ready for some phenomenal, hard-driving bluegrass with some of the mu­sic’s most stellar & creative mu­sicians & showmen! 
Lorraine and Gena Britt will be performing a tune together during the show from the Daughters new project.       www.skipcherryholmesquintet.com

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