Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Gregg Aaron Brown, Nashville 2013

Interview with Gregg Aaron Brown, Nashville 2013

Can you please interduce yourself, who you are?

My name is Gregg Aaron Brown, formerly Gregory Brown.

How did you become a producer?

I came to Nashville at a fortunate time. I moved here from Duluth Minnessota in January 1985. I grew up playing country music with my father, he had a country band. I started playing guitar with him when I was fourteen and played with my dad for about five years, we played two to four nights a week. It was a great education, particularly when it came to country music. I started to make a brake for it and came down to Nashville in January 1985. I finished my BA degree in a college here in Nashville called Belmont and was fortunate enough, to get my foot in the door at Warner Brothers Nashville. I did odd jobs for a while, working in different departements, radio promotions and ANR. But the real turning point for me was, when I was working with a producer that was cutting records in house, a gentleman called Barry Beckett, he was a part of the rythm music show, the rythm section, a great keyboard player. I was fortunate enough to book his sessions, listen to songs, just basically getting things ready for his recording sessions. So I became more involved with that environment and was meeting all the great studio players and songwriters in Nashville. Working with Barry really was the turning point for me. Not long after that, I wanted to produce records as well. We were really fortunate, at the time, we had a small studio at Warner Brothers on the second floor that Jim Ed Norman had created, Jim Ed was the Head at Warner Brothers Nashville. I checked into the studio on weekends, cutting whatever I could, I had met an individual when I was finishing my degree at Belmont, by the name of Chris Austin. Chris was just a fantastic multi instrumentalist from Boone North Carolina. He went on the Road to play with Ricky Skaggs as part of his band. We became friends and he eventually contacted me, wanting to record some of his own records and pursue a solo career. We went upstairs on a saturday and we cut Delmore Brothers’ song called „Blues Stay Away From Me“. There was me playing accoustic, Chris on accoustic, Dave Pomeroy was on upright bass and my cousin Jack Purcell played drums. Jack is now head of promotions at Big Machine Records. As a result of cutting those songs, we got Chris a deal at Warner Brothers as an artist and I did a producer contract, they gave me a guarantee, I had a little more courtage for looking for acts, starting acts, these kind of things. That was kind of the beginning of my production career. Not long after that, I came accross some recordings that an artist out of Atlanta Georgia had done, his name was Travis Tritt, I listened to those sides and I thought this guy is really great. There was just a little more edge to his tonality. Not long after that, we were able to sign Travis and we started the process to get ready and produce records with him as well.

Do the artists usually come to you or do you contact them?

It works both ways, you keep your ears and eyes open. You try to stay active and try to find artists and music that excites you. The door gets knocked on both sides.

What is it like to be a producer, is it difficult?

Business has changed so much, it seems like during the 90’s, it was a real kind of a heyday for Nashville. There was a lot of money being spent and a lot of acts getting signed. Most of the major labels split off into sister labels, so there was a lot of activity at that time. I guess, I never really found the process difficult at all. I mean you had certain challenges at times, working with certain artists and maybe some temperament, but I was very fortunate to work with great people and all kinds of singers and artists.

Do you prefer certain music styles to others?

I like working with really expressionistic soulful singers, particularly those that write their own material. I find it really tends to translate into things, being more personal while at the same time, it’s also an enjoyable process because there are so many great songwriters here in Nashville, as there has been for decades. Working with artists who don’t tend to write as much of their own material, creates enough for me to really connect with music row songwriters and publishers and try to find great songs to make great recorts. You can take a good song and make a good record, and you can take a great song and make a great record. Both aspects are really enjoyable. I guess tonally I tend to grab a take towards one of two things, really hard, traditional country to things that are more edgier in the lines of Hank Jr. and Waylon and things that have a little sharper edge to it. I guess I don’t particularly enjoy so much the contemporary aspect of where country music is right now. I tend to be either wide left, or wide right.

I noticed, that you have produced CD’s that have won double and triple platinium awards.

I have been fortunate to work with some great acts. You take your time to try to get the right record together that transpires. In the marketplace it’s always kind of a fine line between art and commerce. You try to be artistic at the same time as in business to sell music. Just try to do your best to cover both aspects of what drives you in this business.

Do you also produce other styles of music or just country music?

I produce whatever excites me. I love great rock’n roll, blues and traditional country. I’m just getting ready to release a record on a rock’n roll band out of Louisville Kentucky called the Bluestown, which is a throwback to your earlyer classic Rock. I just like things that are simple in groove for the most part.

Are you working on a project right now?

Yes, me and my partner Isak Levi have initiated a series of live shows called Branded Nashville. Initially, we’re really focusing on artists who have a great independent spirit and first and foremost have really helped to brand Nashville to the great community that it is, when it comes to diversity of musical genres. Associated with Revelator Recordings, our Production Company and Independent Label, we’ve created „Branded Nashville“ and have been doing a series of live shows. Below our creative compound, there is a live entertainment venue downtown Nashville, called the Rutledge. So we’re running that series twice a month and incorporating great music from hillbilly country, rock ’n‘ roll to blues and americana. we’re recording every show live, multi track and filming everything. Over the course of the rest of the year, we will be creating different compilations associated with those shows. It’s just partnering up with some businesses here in Nashville. Between businesses, our sponsers, supporters and the artists, it really creates a great environment for light modern people and musicians as well as a great networking opportunity for those involved.

Are you still with Warner Brothers?

No, I was with Warner Brothers in the 90’s, but I’m an independent producer now for about 15 years.

Do you have your own studio here?

Yes, we have a great little creative compound off 4th avenue south, associated with a live entertainment venue called the Rutledge. I do a lot of pre-production and over dubs. I still use other studios here in Nashville for tracking. I worked a lot in a studio in Franklin Tennessee called The Castle, one of my favorite places here in Nashville, a great residential studio, it sits on about 46 acres and is very peaceful. I still do mixing in RN studios in Memphis with my buddy John Hampton, as well as doing some tracking in a studio over in Berry Hill called Treasure Island. So over the years, you kind of develop your approach in the people, venues and studios that can really induce in making things roll in a pleasurable, creative process.

Interview: Heidi Duss / Foto: Marco Duss for Country Music News International



NASHVILLE – The ABC Television Network and the Country Music Association (CMA) have announced that “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will air Wednesday, Nov. 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/EST). The ceremony will be held in the heart of Music City from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., and will be televised live on ABC.
“The CMA Awards is recognized as ‘Country Music’s Biggest Night’ and that is what sets us apart from every other award show,” said Ed Hardy, President of the CMA Board of Directors. “This is the night we recognize the best in the format – as chosen by the industry – and it is undeniably the most highly anticipated event of the year for our constituents. It’s a night to honor our finest performers, songwriters, record producers, musicians, and music video directors.”
“The 46th Annual CMA Awards” were presented on Nov. 1, 2012 at the Bridgestone Arena and were hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. The CMA Awards presentation was televised live on the ABC Television Network.
The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by more than 7,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was the first trade organization formed to promote an individual genre of music in 1958.
Winners of “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting members of CMA. CMA Awards balloting is officiated by the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP.
The eligibility period for the 2013 CMA Awards is July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
The second ballot will be emailed to CMA members Tuesday, Aug. 20. Voting for the second ballot closes Friday, Aug. 30 (5:00 PM/CT). The final nominees in each of the 12 categories will be announced in September.
Winners of “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible CMA members. The third and final ballot will be emailed on Thursday, Oct. 10. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Monday, Oct. 28 (5:00 PM/CT).
Ticket information for the CMA Awards will be announced later this summer with information available at Or follow the conversation on Twitter with #CMAawards.
“The 47th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer and Paul Miller is the Director. The CMA Awards will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.
The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest running, annual music awards program on network television. The Awards have aired on ABC since 2006. ABC will be the network home of the CMA Awards and CMA’s other two television properties, “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” and “CMA Country Christmas,” through 2021.

Keep It Redneck With The LACS

Hit duo, The LACS, is set to release third studio album
“Keep It Redneck”
August 20, 2013 via Average Joes Entertainment
Recently featured in the Wall Street Journal; Celebrating 68 consecutive weeks on
Billboard Country Albums chart with “190 Proof”
NASHVILLE, TN (July 25, 2013) – Country duo, The LACS’, third studio album, “Keep It Redneck,” hits shelves August 20, and not a day too soon for legions of loyal fans who can’t seem to get enough of “them LACS boys.” Produced by Shannon “Fat Shan” Houchins and Phivestarr Productions for BackRoad Records, “Keep It Redneck,” is available for preorder on iTunes next Tuesday, July 30.  Watch the trailer for the music video here.
The LACS, made up of Clay Sharpe and Brian King, recently celebrated national recognition with a major cover story in the “Arena” section of the Wall Street Journal which focused on their unique ability to connect with fans at their live shows and with their recorded music.  Fan demand has fueled album sales to just over 200,000 albums to date, and positioned the duo on Billboard’s Country Albums chart for an incredible 68 straight weeks for their previous album, “190 Proof.”
“The LACS have grown exponentially in the past couple of years and are poised to grow even more with the release of “Keep It Redneck,” says Shannon Houchins, CEO of Average Joes Entertainment. “They know and understand the importance of giving their fan base what they want musically and do exactly that with this new album.”
Key songs include the title track, “Keep It Redneck;” a play-it-loud and proud new song which proclaims the importance of staying true to your roots, incorporating crunchy riffs and the bounce that LACS fans love.  "Relacs" introduces Season 12 American Idol contestant, Sarah Ross, on this fun, beach-themed, summertime song.  Reminiscent of Colt Ford's smash hit, "Dirt Road Anthem," the radio friendly, "Kick Dust," has a message that resonates with every fan - getting away from life and hitting the back roads.  Another key track certain to become the "Field Party" anthem of the year, Colt Ford and newcomer JJ Lawhorn join the LACS rockin' out the "Field Party.”  Other tracks to watch for include "Smoke Stack," one that will make mud-boggers and diesel-drivers proud, and “She’s Runnin’,” the tale of love gone wrong – LACS style.
“Keep It Redneck,” in true LACS fashion, fuses musical genres and epitomizes the new sound in country music which they have helped to originate.

Country Music News International July 25. 2013

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CERRITO’s Twist To Country Music

CERRITO’s Twist To Country Music Brings New Audiences To The Country Music Scene
CERRITO’s Career Moves Into High Gear with International Success
(Nashville, Tenn. – June 27, 2013)  Checo Records recording artist CERRITO is garnering a new crowd of fans with his unique twist to traditional country music. Alternating between English and Spanish and shifting between the two languages, his “South of the Border Sound” is a blend of two of the most popular musical formats; Hispanic and Country.
The Rhode Island born artist has been performing professionally since the ripe age of 16. A huge opportunity came to him in the 80’s after he moved to Los Angeles, where he found that the Spanish native singer, Charo, was hosting auditions for her shows. He quickly brushed up on his Spanish and auditioned for the show and made it. He performed for three years with Charo, and shortly thereafter he began headlining his own performances.
The bilingual country star wowed crowds at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in Nashville at the Chevy Roadhouse Stage, where he performed his newest hit single, Hot Pepper Doll. During his set, CERRITO introduced ‘Hot Pepper Dolls’ from Switzerland who entertained the crowd with a line-dance that was crafted from a variety of different cultural musical influences, including Hispanic, German, Australian, Mexican, Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, French, American, South African, and Italian music.
CERRITO has been profiled in many publications and his latest album, CERRITO y Las Chicas de Country (CERRITO and The Girls of Country), is country music’s first bilingual collaboration project that has scored three number one singles in the New Music Weekly Country chart. His voice is known in over 15 countries, scoring him national chart presence. His unique combination of traditional country music with a Spanish flare has attracted a large array of country music fans across the globe. CERRITO is currently in the studio recording a new album, set for release in Spring 2014.
For more information, visit CERRITO's website here.

CERRITO performing at the Chevy Roadhouse Stage during the 2013 CMA Music Festival.


Reid & Neil Perry Earn First #1 As Songwriters
Second Consecutive Chart-Topper From PIONEER
     Nashville, TN (July 24, 2013) – Superstar sibling trio, The Band Perry, tops the charts once again with their fourth #1 song "DONE." With prominent beats, direct lyrics, unyielding vocals and a bold title, the Gold-certified smash dominates both the Billboard and Mediabase Country Charts this week. “DONE.” also establishes a special songwriting milestone for Reid and Neil Perry, who co-wrote the single with John Davidson and Jacob Bryant.
“Neil and I wrote ‘DONE.’ with the spirit of the underdog. We've worked a long time to get here. Celebrating 15 years since our first family band show – it’s accomplishments like this that make all the hard work count for something. We still have a long way to go, but for today we are relishing the moment,” acknowledges Reid Perry.
Neil Perry adds, “’DONE.’ is our show opener. It's like song therapy for the fans and us. We all raise our fists in the air and shout a unified 'Ugh!’ From there on out, the rest of the night is like recess. We are so thrilled about this #1.”
Earlier this month, “DONE.” also secured The Band Perry their second consecutive multi-week #1 single with a two-week run on both the BDS Canada Country Airplay and Mediabase Canada Country charts. The trio is also slated to perform on the Canadian Country Music Awards in Edmonton, Alberta, on September 8.
““We are proud of what DONE. has accomplished for the 3 of us. Mostly though, we are proud of what it has meant to our fans. They've taken this lyric and made it the soundtrack of their breakups, their tough times, their struggles. We write for the people and we thank them for making this one #1,” says Kimberly Perry.
“DONE.” also marks the second consecutive hit from PIONEER, The Band Perry’s sophomore release on Republic Nashville. The Dann Huff produced project debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and – in the US and Canada – has already produced the platinum, two-week #1 “Better Dig Two.”
The Band Perry is nominated for two Teen Choice Awards for Choice Break-up Song (“DONE.”) and Choice Country Group. Fans ages 13-19 have the chance to vote once a day via leading up to the August 11 telecast on FOX at 8P ET. Cementing the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history, The Band Perry has previously earned multiple ACM, CMA, and CMT Music Awards; AMA, ACA, and Billboard Music Award nominations and a string of hit singles. Their self-titled debut album featured the quadruple-platinum “If I Die Young” (which climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Country and AC charts); the platinum “You Lie” and the gold-certified Country #1 “All Your Life.”
In addition to enjoying their own sold-out headlining dates and most recently breaking an attendance record with an audience of 21,000 in West Fargo, ND, The Band Perry is currently on the road with Rascal Flatts for the LIVE & LOUD TOUR.

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