Monday, February 11, 2013


“Better I Don’t” Singer To Take The Stage This Friday, February 15

Chris Janson

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Photo Credit: Kristin Barlowe for Bigger Picture Group
Nashville, TN – (February 11, 2013) – Bigger Picture Group’s hot country newcomer and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Chris Janson will make his Grand Ole Opry debut this Friday, February 15. Janson will perform on the legendary stage his addictive new single “Better I Don’t,” which is quickly climbing up the charts and was the second most added song to country radio playlists nationwide the week of release.
"Words can't describe how humbled I am, that I've been asked to play the Grand Ole Opry,” shares Janson. “This will be my greatest career highlight, hands down. Dreams do come true. I'm so grateful."
Janson will join Josh Turner, Craig Morgan, The Black Lillies, Jimmy Dickens, John Conlee, Ricky Skaggs and more, in Friday’s lineup, which begins at 7:00 PM.
Since releasing “Better I Don’t,” Janson is already garnering nationwide buzz from media and fans alike. With undeniable charisma, Janson brings a blue-collar, working-class, boot-stomping hillbilly redneck attitude to bear on every live performance, earning him opening slots for music legends Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr. The talented songwriter co-wrote Tim McGraw’s fastest rising single of his career with “Truck Yeah” and began writing at just 18 with an impressive group of musicians from the likes of Guns N' Roses to Bill Anderson. “Better I Don’t” is featured on his debut full-length album produced by Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band), which is expected for release later this year. The Perryville, Missouri, native first broke onto the Nashville music scene when he landed a year long, four show a day gig at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Nashville’s Lower Broadway.
To listen to “Better I Don’t,”
Keep up with Chris Janson at, on Facebook at or follow him on Twitter: @Janson_Chris



(Feb. 11, 2013) - Nobody Knows You from Bluegrass sensation Steep Canyon Rangers was named Best Bluegrass Album at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, held Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.

This is the band’s first GRAMMY win and second nomination. They were nominated in the same category at the 2012 ceremony for their album Rare Bird Alert, a collaboration with comedy icon Steve Martin.
Nobody Knows You, released April 10, 2012, is the seventh album from the North Carolina-based group and their Rounder Records debut. Met with critical and commercial acclaim, Nobody Knows You - co-produced by 9-time GRAMMY winner Gary Paczosa - is fueled by deft musicianship, original songwriting, distinctive vocals and creative arrangements that eschew all formulas.
The band’s GRAMMY win comes less than a week after they disembarked from their inaugural floating bluegrass festival, Mountain Song at Sea. Featuring performances from groups such as Punch Brothers, The Del McCoury Band and David Grisman Sextet, the Mountain Song at Sea Bluegrass cruise brings the group’s annual Mountain Song Festival to the high seas.
Coming off their GRAMMY win the band will continue touring extensively, including stops at MerleFest and Telluride Bluegrass Festival. They will also be performing multiple shows with Steve Martin, joined on select dates by singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, including appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (April 23), The View (April 24) and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (May 6).
SCR will begin recording their next album at Levon Helm Studios in late February with Larry Campbell producing. Campbell is a three-time GRAMMY award-winning producer and currently serves as musical director for the Levon Helm Midnight Ramble concerts. He has produced for artists such as Helm, Bob Dylan, B.B. King and Sheryl Crow, as well as toured as a multi-instrumentalist with Helm, Dylan and Buddy Miller.
The Steep Canyon Rangers are Mike Guggino (mandolin), Charles Humphrey III (bass), Woody Platt (guitar), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Graham Sharp (banjo). The group first formed during their college days at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ten years later, the band has only deepened their commitment to roots music performing with fierce instrumental prowess, but also providing deeply moving songwriting and harmonies, infusing traditional bluegrass with contemporary themes and arrangements.
For more information, please visit

Nobody Knows You tracklist:
1. Nobody Knows You
2. Rescue Me
3. Easy To Love
4. Between Midnight And The Dawn
5. As I Go
6. Natural Disaster
7. Ungrateful One
8. Summer Winds
9. Open Country
10. Knob Creek
11. Reputation
12. Long Shot

Kind Words:
"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, 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." - Steve Martin
“The traditional bluegrass group from North Carolina have demonstrated talent for more than sonorous harmony and breakneck fiddle instrumentals; they also served as world-class straight men when they backed Steve Martin on a spate of prominent festival dates, including a gig at the 2010 Bonnaroo festival. Their 2011 record with Mr. Martin, Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), was whimsical and adroit; this performance will revolve around the lead vocals of the member Woody Platt, who is quite the charmer himself.” - Stacey Anderson, New York Times
“[The album’s] dozen songs do a fine job of telling you just who the Steep Canyon Rangers are in 2012. The Steeps’ sound is decisively bluegrass, but while they don’t break the rules, they leave them badly bent, avoiding the usual formulas. Though it’s the overall sound of the Steeps, informed by the past, but not bound by it, that really sets the band apart. The feel is a bit like a tightly disciplined, song-oriented jam band.” - Bluegrass Unlimited

Steel Guitar News February 11. 2013

This is Vic Lawson. The news this week is that the new Peterson tuners will finally be here just in time for Valentine’s Day. So guys, tell your wives and girlfriends to call us for a gift card or to place an order. They will be priced at $156.99 which includes the leg clamp. The tuner by itself will be $119. We have been told we are the first dealer getting these tuners. We were emailed the following description from Peterson. The Peterson StroboPlus HD™ is an ultra high-resolution strobe tuner with our largest illuminated display ever featured in a traditional strobe format. Chromatically tune any instrument confidently to the exacting standards that experienced musicians demand or use any of the over 90 exclusive Sweetened Tunings™ that are developed and optimized for your specific instrument. Use the built-in mic, plug in or use a clip-on pickup to tune your instruments quickly with its smooth, real-time display or program your custom tunings using our *PetersonConnect™ online utility. Via a simple firmware update, the StroboPlus can be upgraded to include our popular metronome, the BodyBeat Sync®. The same metronome engine can be available in the StroboPlus HD complete with the vibe ouput! (Vibe Clip™ optional.) PetersonConnect is a new way to configure your Peterson products and program your own tunings. Simply download the free PetersonConnect program and register your tuner. Each time you connect your tuner to your computer, it will check to see if there are any firmware updates that are needed for your product and also find any configuration changes, new tunings, or sweeteners that you have added to the profile for your product. The PetersonConnect tool allows you to easily alter the settings you want to appear on your tuner. You can create your own tunings and sweeteners as well as synchronize the settings between multiple Peterson tuning equipment that supports PetersonConnect. (PetersonConnect is not currently available but will be online soon.) On another note, let me tell you about what we do to every guitar here at Steel Guitar Nashville before a guitar is put on the floor and internet for sale. Although we can’t take the time to de-rod every guitar, we start with a thorough cleaning. We cut the strings off and use a mild cleaner to get the majority of the dirt off. Then we use a special cleaner for the changer and get all the built up grime out of it. Next we lubricate the changer with the proper lubricant. Continuing, we oil the rollers with a light oil and free any sticky ones. We polish the end plates, necks, pedal bar etc. and polish the mica or lacquer with the proper product for the finish. We string up the guitars with new strings and after the guitar is clean, our main focus is the mechanics. We make sure everything is adjusted correctly, i.e. stops, ratios, half stops, splits and so on. Any problems found are fixed. Any parts that need replacing are replaced. We want you to be able to buy a guitar from us and be confident that it works and performs the way it should. We get quite a few guitars for repair that players have purchased elsewhere and we end up fixing other people’s messes. We hope you’ll keep this in mind when looking for a good used guitar. You may find a better price on Ebay, but may end up spending more overall if you have to send it to us to be brought up to standard. For everyone curious about Bobbe’s health, he is doing well. He does have minor surgery scheduled this week which is expected to help a lot. Bobbe is focusing on his health and determined to come back as strong as ever. I’m glad to say we are now a Telonics dealer so we will be able to serve your needs with their products. We have had many inquiries about their pickups and volume pedals and it’s our desire to be able to provide what the steel guitar community wants. Telonics is known for high-end pro-audio gear. www.tpa-az/page2.html Steel Guitar Nashville 123 Mid Town Court Hendersonville, TN. 37075 (615) 822-5555 Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday


Nashville, Tenn. – February 11, 2013 … Grammy nominated songwriter James T. Slater can now add two more major cuts to his ongoing list of impressive career achievements with the release of Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom album that hit stores last week. Slater penned two tracks that can be found on the Accelerated Deluxe edition of the album, including the fan favorite “Mexicoma” (written with The Warren Brothers – Brett and Brad) and “Annie I Owe You a Dance” (written with Tom Douglas).
Fans fell in love with “Mexicoma” when McGraw first introduced them to the Latino-infused tune last summer while on the road with Kenny Chesney on the Brothers of the Sun Tour. The song could easily be a summertime anthem for McGraw as he launches into his new Two Lanes of Freedom Tour, starting in May. Slater’s other cut on the highly-anticipated project, “Annie I Owe You a Dance,” is a poignant ballad about following through on forgotten promises that will move the listener to tears long before the song’s final notes.
In addition to the two cuts on the McGraw project, Slater currently has a slew of songs on several other projects, such as Carrie Underwood’s “Forever Changed” found on her platinum-selling album, Blown Away, and the current Top 30 and climbing hit single by Gloriana, “I Can’t Shake You.”
James T. Slater is a Grammy-nominated songwriter, having penned hits such Rascal Flatts’ smash “Unstoppable” (which was also featured as the theme for the Vancouver Olympic games), Martina McBride’s Top 5 hit “In My Daughter’s Eyes” (nominated for a Grammy in 2004), Jamey Johnson’s “High Cost of Living” (nominated at the 2009 Grammys for Country Song of the Year), Kellie Pickler’s “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again” and “100 Proof,” John Michael Montgomery’s “Forever” and Jessica Andrews’ Top 20 single “There’s More to Me Than You.” Other artists who have cut songs written by Slater include Kenny Chesney, Rodney Atkins, Lorrie Morgan, Mark Wills, Fisher Stevenson, Sheila E and Julio Iglesias, Jr.
For more information on James T. Slater, visit

Line-Up Of Hit Songwriters Announced For Bob Kingsley's Acoustic Alley at CRS 2013

Line-Up Of Hit Songwriters Announced For Bob Kingsley's Acoustic Alley at CRS 2013
Songwriters Continue To Increase Presence At Country Radio Seminar
(Nashville, TN - Feb. 11, 2013) For the second consecutive year, “Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley” will return with an all-star lineup of hit songwriters.
Rhett Atkins, Tom Douglas, Marv Green, Ben Hayslip, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Wendell Mobley, Jeff Stevens and several surprise guests are set to perform at the event, which is presented by Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 and co-sponsored by SunTrust Bank.
This year’s event will be held on Thursday night (Feb. 28) from 7 p.m. until midnight at the Renaissance Hotel’s Belmont Room. Food and beverages will be available. A CRS badge will be required for admittance. 
“I’m a lifelong fan of songs and songwriters, and if there’s anything that increases my appreciation of good music, it’s hearing the writer tell the story behind the song,” said Bob Kingsley.
CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne added, "Combining the lineups for the Acoustic Alley with WCRS Live! and KCRS Live!, the growing importance of songwriters for Country Radio Seminar in undeniable."
As previously announced, Love and Theft, JT Harding and Jonathan Singleton have been announced as the lineup at this year’s KCRS Live! and The Warren Brothers (Brad and Brett) and Thomas Rhett are co-headliners of CRS 2013’s WCRS Live!.
CRS 2013 $499 Regular registration rate expires this Friday, Jan. 15.  On-site registration increases to $599 effective February 16th.
About Country Radio Seminar: Country Radio Seminar is an annual convention designed to educate and promote the exchange of ideas and business practices in the Country music industry, with specific emphasis on issues relevant to Country radio.  CRS 2013 will be held Feb. 27 – March 1, 2013, in downtown Nashville, Tenn., at the Nashville Convention Center.  Visit for more information or contact Kristen McRary at 615-327-4487. Follow CRS on Twitter here and use the hashtag #CRS2013 to join in reporting from CRS 2013.

8th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival

8th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival
New Name, New Venue, Legendary Lineup

A Full Day Of Blues Music And Family Enjoyment 
At Our New Location, Moorpark College 
(Formerly The Simi Valley Blues Festival) 
Benefits The American Diabetes Association & Local Charities  
   (MOORPARK, CALIF) - New name, new venue, legendary lineup: Michael John's 8th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival takes place Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd., Moorpark. Gates open 10 a.m., music starts 11 a.m. Tickets $25 in advance, $30. day of show. Kids 12 and under free with adult. Plus food and craft vendors; guitar giveaway signed by all the artists; special kid's area; and silent auction including new autographed Fender guitar signed by Johnny Rivers, and photo opportunity (with Rivers). Info: or call the Festival Hotline: (805) 501-7122. Festival proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association and local charities. Presented by the Ventura County Blues Society.

    This year's 8th Annual Ventura County Blues Festival is headlined by musical living legends: Johnny Rivers and Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds; plus talented national acts guitarist Kenny Neal; keyboardist-vocalist Dona Oxford; Preston Smith and the Crocodiles; and Michael John and the Bottom Line. Special Guest Emcee: Actor/musician, Mickey Jones. Another capacity crowd is anticipated this year, so purchase tickets now in advance.
                                                                        Johnny Rivers                         
                                                     The Headliners...

    Johnny Rivers: With seventeen Gold Records, twenty-nine Chart Hits and over thirty million records sold, this legendary singer/songwriter and producer continues to perform before sellout crowds worldwide, remarkably at an age (70) when most people are happily retired. The "Secret Agent Man" has many other accomplishments and has made significant contributions to the history of rock 'n roll. River's long list of hits include "Baby I Need You Lovin," "Maybelline," "Memphis," "Mountain Of Love," "Poor Side Of Town," "Rockin Pneumonia & Boogie Woogie Flu," "Secret Agent Man," "Seventh Son," "Summer Rain," "Swayin To The Music (Slow Dancin)," "The Tracks Of My Tears" and many more. In 2009 Rivers was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame.

Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds
   Savoy Brown Featuring Kim Simmonds: Legendary ... a Blues/Rock institution ... true innovators. These are just a few of the ways Savoy Brown has been described over the past forty years by music critics and fans. One of the earliest of British blues bands, Savoy Brown, with founder guitarist Kim Simmonds at the helm, helped launch the 1967 UK blues boom movement that brought blues music back to the USA invigorating the style forever. In the process, the band became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970's. Their influence now stretches into modern rock as we know it today.
                                               Also Performing....        
   Kenny Neal: Kenny Neal is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist widely renowned as a modern swamp-blues master. His new release, Hooked On Your Love, follows the triumph of his multi-award winning 2008 comeback album, Let Life Flow. An outstanding success, the CD raked in accolades including three prestigious Album Of The Year awards, two Song Of The Year awards for the title track, and two Artist of the Year honors for Neal. It was clear that Kenny touched something deep in the blues community with his soulful guitar playing and uplifting songwriting, and his hot streak continues. Hooked On Your Love covers the plethora of accomplished roots styles Kenny has become known for: a tasty musical gumbo of swamp-boogie, jazz, R&B, and straight-ahead blues.    
  Dona Oxford: Santa Claritan Doña Oxford earned her reputation as a top-notch keyboardist and vocalist while playing with such legendary performers as Keith Richards, Bob Weir, Levon Helm, Phil Upchurch, Buddy Guy, Son Seals, Mark Termonti (Creed), Jimmy Vivino (Conan O'Brien Show) and her idol, former Chuck Berry sideman and Father of Rock & Roll Piano, Johnnie Johnson.

   Preston Smith & The Crocodiles: The 2013 VCBS IBC Winner,  Preston Smith has crafted his own irresistible original songs and colorful stage show. His expressive showmanship and varied musical influences have endeared Smith to fans all over the globe. He keeps the crowd on its feet with eyes glued to the stage, a bluesman to the core. Smith's music can be heard on Movie soundtracks as well as numerous TV commercials, and he has appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His snarlin' guitar sound blends with his screamin' harmonica work to produce a raw, soulful treat for any music lover. In addition to his guitar, harmonica and vocal work, Preston soars over the solid backbeat set by the tightly wound rhythm section of the Crocodiles.

   Michael John And The Bottom Line: Michael John, Founder and President of the Ventura County Blues Society, is also the Founder of the Ventura County Blues Festival and leads his band The Bottom Line. Since the festival's inception, Michael John & The Bottom Line have performed and donated their music which now has become an annual tradition for the festival kick off. When you combine family and lifelong friends you get a special musical bond that touches the hearts and souls of all music lovers alike. The band consists of Michael John (lead singer, guitar, harmonica), Michael John's son Mikey Mo (lead guitar), Steve Nelson (electric, stand-up Bass), Eddie Z (tenor, alto sax), Jeff Dellisanti (tenor, baritone sax), and Tom "T-Bone" Broderick (drums, backup vocals). The group attracts people of all ages with their blend of Swing to more contemporary rocking blues. They have received national airplay and have won multiple awards including placing in the top ten bands in the finals for the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennessee. In 2006 Michael was awarded the All Access Magazine award for "Best Male Vocalist."


                                                    A History....

   Michael John's Ventura County Blues Festival, formerly the Simi Valley Blues Festival, was the vision of Simi Valley resident Michael John Basowski. John (who also recently founded the  Ventura County Blues Society) has been a musician all his life and had always dreamed that someday he could do something which would make an impact on his community.

   Being a blues musician, the idea of a blues festival was the ideal way to turn his dream into reality. At the first festival - held in 2006 - Michael John teamed up with the local non-profit organization Write4Hope, who was instrumental in helping with the logistics for the event and made it possible to hold the first three blues festivals in Oak County Park in Simi Valley.
   Simi Valley resident musician/actor and celebrity figure Mickey Jones has emceed the Simi Valley Blues Festival every year since its beginning. In addition, Michael John's family and friends have donated their time and talent to help make this event a yearly success, with over three thousand attendees at the 2012 Simi Valley Blues Festival


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