Monday, March 17, 2014

Country Music News International March 17. 2014

Country Music News International March 17. 2014

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , Lucy Malheur

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 von Country Music News International . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , Lucy Malheur

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Stephanie Grace Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International

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Stephanie Grace Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International

A vibrant force on the scene, Stephanie Grace is ready to stake her claim in country music with electrifying vocals, genuinely sweet songs, and an exuberantly fresh personality that is mixed with a dose of attitude, charisma and charm. This 17-year-old is making her dreams come true with determination and vision and not letting anything stand in her way. Meet Stephanie Grace
With her roots laid down in Douglassville, PA, a small town near Reading and not far from Philadelphia, Stephanie has always been around country music. “Country was literally all I listened to,” remembers this teenage girl. “My parents listened to country radio nonstop and my mom used to play Lorrie Morgan in the car when we were driving to school.” The passion for singing continued throughout her childhood. “I always loved to sing,” recalls Stephanie. “When I was two, I danced around the house singing Old McDonald into an egg beater over and over. Even when we sat in a circle singing songs in kindergarten, I was always the loudest, even though I was a very shy kid.” One would never imagine that stage fright once bothered this now sharp performer as she graced the stage with notable acts already including Taylor Swift, Easton Corbin, Gloriana, Josh Turner, John Michael Montgomery, Scotty McCreery, and Bucky Covington. This shyness went away after her first grade talent show performance of What Dreams Are Made Of (from the Lizzie McGuire movie). “When I told my mom I wanted to sing in this talent show, she couldn’t believe it. I surprised the entire school when I got up there to sing. I loved the adrenaline rush I felt on stage and that’s when I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.” She continued playing at local restaurants, fairs and carnivals, getting comfortable singing in front of an audience. This paid off when she won Pocono Junior Idol and Kids Country Idol in 2006. It was around this time when she met Al Brock, President of Spin Doctors in Nashville. “He used to work at a local country station. He told me he was moving back to Nashville to start a promotion company and I’d be his first client. It turned out he held true to his word. He has definitely helped jumpstart my career and I can’t thank him enough!” With a busy schedule traveling, performing, songwriting and visiting radio stations, this vivacious girl is still focused on her education first and foremost. As a junior at Agora Cyber Charter School, she is no stranger to the difficulties of balancing her personal life with a music career. “Cyber School is very new to me, but I think it will make traveling and focusing on my music a lot easier. Education is super important to me and I’m glad we found a method that works with my schedule!” This country songstress now has more than 70 songs in her catalog and dreams of inspiring others through lyrics that frame her daily experiences and casual conversations. Songwriting was something that didn’t come naturally at first, but only a few years after her first attempt; you can’t get her to stop writing. “As an 8 year old, I was a little frustrated because I really didn’t have much to write about. Two years later, school was getting rough and my grandmother passed away. I decided to give it another try, and the words just started flowing.” With musical influences spanning from Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Adele and Colbie Caillat, she credits her continued success to her loving family and supportive group of friends. “It’s all a girl can ask for. I’ve been very blessed. My parents constantly remind me that the day it’s no longer fun, I don’t have to do it. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.” Stephanie is aiming high to fulfill her dream, and she knows that working hard will get her there. Her ultimate dream is to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and complete a world tour. “While I can’t be sure what the future holds, I know that as long as I’m singing country music, I’ll be living my dream!”

CD: RICH BELLERT Cowboys & Wranglers Poetry

Cowboys & Wranglers Poetry
Deck of Cards - Daddy's Pink Rose - Old Barns and Old People - So God Made A Farmer - Grandpa Has A Special Job - God's Heavenly Choir - Mulga Bill's Bicycle - Travis the Cow Dog - Man's Best Friend - Little Joe the Wrangler - Chips and Peas - A Cowboy Toast - Christmas Round the Campfire - Mary's Little Donkey - The Dying Hobo - Ode To The Housefly - An Ode to the Clothesline - Born To This Land - Where Ponies Come To Drink
First off, this is not just a 'cowboy poetry' project.  The very first 'story' Deck of Cards, has some incredibly beautiful organ style music behind it.  Wow, Red Sovine and his wonderful way of telling a story with music behind his voice is back.  We hear the same lovely organ music playing 'The Old Rugged Cross" on "Old Barns and Old People."  I believe this is my favorite one.  Rich has a nice slow way about him, easy to understand his words, easy to get right into the story he is telling.  "So God Made A Farmer" is another of my favorites. I originally heard it done by Paul Harvey, and here it is again with the mild mannered Rich Bellert telling the story.  This is followed by one of Baxter Black's favorite stories "Grandpa Has A Special Job."  We even hear Rich sing a little 'Amazing Grace," and a bit later he sings "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window."  I had to find out who was doing the really nice keyboard work behind Rich, and lo and behold, it's another of my favorites, Red Johnson from Minnesota.  Rich also used the studio facilities of Red, and the mix is extremely well done. "Oh Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" is another good vocal interpretation, but the story "A Cowboy Toast" is even better.  I love the sound of that old-timey organ.  It sounds and feels just like the old pump organ in the little white church out on the prairie I used to go to. It's especially good on Rich's story "Christmas Round The Campfire."  The remainder of the stories are told without the old organ, but they are just as good.  The really nice thing about Rich's cowboy poetry is the 'moral' it holds, the sincerity of the writer, and certainly the sincerity of the story teller.  We'll get to hear Rich at the LeMars Festival, Aug 25-31, and hopefully Red will provide some of that old-time organ music behind him.  CD's available at
Review by Bob Everhart
for Country Music News International 


Quite a bit of news this week, so we'll get right to it...........
John Denver never lived in West Virginia, but his song that uses the name...."almost heaven, West Virginia," in it's lyrics, is now West Virginia's official state song.  The state legislature has adopted Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads."  It was a hit in the 1970's.  According to KHAZ radio, "The song has been a part of West Virginia psyche for decades. Oddly enough, the effort to make Denver's song a state song was launched by the widow of "Gilligan's Island" actor Bob Denver, but the two Denvers are not related.   "Denver" is not John's real name, it's Duseldorf or something like that.
Mel Tillis is recovering from heart surgery, conducted last weekend in Nashville.  The 81-year old country singer required a routine heart procedure and is expected to make a full recovery.  According to his daughter Pam, "He's already cutting up and cracking jokes with his nurses."  He left the hospital on Friday, March 14.
Wow bluegrassers, better check your wallets.  The IBMA in collaboration with the American Steamboat Company is producing two 9-day "Bourbon & Bluegrass" riverboat cruises on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, from St. Louis to Cincinnati - Aug 29-Sept 6, and then back to St. Louis Sept 6-13.  Rhonda Vincent & Rage, Chris Jones & Night Drivers, and Storefront Congregation are doing the entertaining.  Here's the good news, the cheapest ticket is $3,699 per person.  Well, it goes up from there.  Lots of extras of course which you can pay for as you travel along.  Tell you what, come see David Davis & the Warrior River Boys, Larry Gillis and Swampgrass, and Bluegrass Playground on Monday, Aug. 25th at LeMars, Iowa, at the fairgrounds, plus nine other stages of acoustic entertainment going, and we'll let you see it for a mere $15 per person.
Some new developments at the LeMars Festival.  The One on the Mountain stage is going to change.  It's difficult to sit in the sun to watch the show for one thing.  They will move to another stage.  We will use the stage that was theirs, now called the Round Barn Stage exclusively for workshops, meaning we will have two workshop locations. And when the workshops are over, we are going to ask Freddy Larson to take his 'late-night jam' to that location.
Tex and Mary Schutz have announced their headliners for the Hastings, Nebraska, festival at the fairgrounds there.  Set for Sept. 4-5-6, it features Ron Williams (the son of Leona Williams, he was at Wahoo last year), Al Weekly, fiddler Terry Keefe, Van Bradley, A Little Bit of Heaven, and Eichor and Awe as the mainstays.  Tex and Mary also perform. Mary had been working closely with Roger Tibbs from New Zealand, an incredible yodeler and vocalist of the first order, attempting to get him on a regular show in Branson.  This was materializing when Roger's daughter became desperately ill, is now receiving treatment in Australia, with mom and dad present, so no tour to the USA at this time.
Nashville's biggest record selling artist, Taylor Swift, who by the way started her career doing some pretty decent country music, has slowly drifted away from what even Nashville calls 'country' these days.  All of this, much to the distress of many of us who hear no connection of any kind between their 'country' and our 'country.'  Those big push-aside CEO's from New York City that piled their money on changing country music and it's sound, are now stirring in their camelback chairs, somewhat worried about the aforementioned Taylor Swift.  She's dumping her long time publicist Paula Erickson.  Why?  She's moving even further away from the country-pop that she is currently doing, and worse, moving completely away from Nashville.  Now those same great money spenders can't put Taylor in their media mill and bask in the lovely glow.  It won't be there anymore for them, and we're talking 26-million albums sold, with 75-million downloads on the Internet.  31 top-40 country singles with 13 of them hitting number one. Whew.  I'd be worried too, the hillbillies are coming, the hillbillies are coming.  No doubt to take country music back, which they own of course.  They're going to reclaim their word 'country' and I'd be worried too, since the most discriminated music in the USA, is that musical genre.  A financial 'tip' to the money-worriers.  Try your money on bluegrass.  That's where the former fans of Taylor will probably go, back to the 'real-deal.'  Even unpretentious folk music who sing without the 'box' why yes, they can 'really' sing, is going to be better than the 'lets pretend we're country' who are now the old timers.
Good friend Mark Brine has a neat song on Face Book called "A Tribute To Ernest Tubb," which he wrote.  He got to sing it on Ernest's 'Midnight Jamboree' when Ernest was still on it.  Tubb passed away two months after the experience.  This is a remarkably well written song, with a very attractive yodel at the end.  You should be able to just go to Facebook and type "Mark Brine" in and find it.  Mark says 'it's like it is."
Just in.........Sherwin and Pam Linton will be at LeMars on Monday, August 25th, backing little Delaney Johnston, along with a few other tunes from Sherwin and Pam. They'll be on between two power house bluegrass bands, David Davis and the Warrior River Boys and Larry Gillis and Swampgrass from Georgia.  Fantastic Monday I call it.
There's a new video out on Johnny Cash "She Used To Love Me A Lot."  This is a strange kind of song, one of those he did with T-Bone, but I believe the video demonstrates what Johnny is singing about.  He's singing about America.  The 'she' in the song is America.  Not sure this will work for you, but you can try it.  If you know what he's singing about it makes more sense.  This is the same song that David Allan Coe took to the number 11 spot on the charts in 1985.  The Cash version is gripping, haunting, and an incredibly sad rendition with 'America' as the one that used to love him a lot.
Heads up on your festival calendar this year.  There's a lot of good ones out there, but we'll be telling you about the ones Sheila and I are on first.  The 10th annual Heritage Music Fest is held at the Jefferson School Gym in Elk Point, South Dakota.  Well managed event by Elaine Peacock, herself a very vibrant singer and promoter.  The gym is air conditioned, and you'll find some exciting entertainment there all day, Saturday July 19th, 11am to 8:30pm.  Along with Bob & Sheila, you'll be especially well treated to music  by Terry Smith, that master songwriter from Nashville who wrote "Far Side Banks of Jordan' for Johnny & June Carter Cash.  Clarence Hayden from Missouri, Pat Boilesen from Nebraska, Rick & Harriette Andersen from Iowa, The Bumblebee Polka & Variety Band from South Dakota, Nathan Wheeler from Iowa, Wilbur Foss from South Dakota, and DJ Langel from South Dakota.  And you will also get to hear Elaine Peacock too, as well as a couple of songs by her and her husband.  The proceeds of the concert go to the Elk Point Masonic Lodge which hosts high school scholarships and child identification programs.   Bring lawn chairs for your own comfort, and stay for a delicious roast beef dinner.  There's a jamming area if that is your desire, and there are also concessions and baked goods available.   Country, Old-Time, Gospel, and Variety at it's best.
Question to Harriette Andersen???? If Rick refuses to take a nap, is that resisting a-rest?
Jake Simpson, our favorite Oklahoma fiddler flew to Sarasota, Florida to put some fiddle leads on a studio session of June Webb.  Remember June?  She's a lovely blonde lady who came to LeMars a couple of times.  She's got a magnificent country voice, one of those lucky few with the 'gift' of music.  She was Roy Acuff's lead vocalist, the only female he had singing with him, and also worked a lot with Hank Williams, Sr.  Jake filled in the fiddle parts, and as he listened to the studio tapes, he took the time to comment on some other missing parts, consisting mostly of guitar licks, which he promptly added to the session.  He was in Sarasota for a couple of days, and then flew back to Oklahoma so he wouldn't miss any of his regular gigs.  According to the Sarasota 'June Webb Headquarters' they are immensely pleased with how Jake played, how he acted, and how he helped.  Thanks Jake, good job well done!
Old Timers Musicians Reunion and Jam Session Saturday April 19 at the American Legion, 1511 South Union, Des Moines, Iowa.  11am-5pm  All welcome!
April 11-12-13 SPRING-FEST at the Oak Tree in Anita.  Mark your calendar, it's going to be a wonderful weekend of great music.  We're already getting a lot of reserved seats, some are coming 12 at a time, so if you are wondering, it might be a good idea to make a call and see how we are doing.  712-249-5989 is our cell phone while in Texas. Lots of incredible talent on this show, actually there are four shows.  You can get a weekend pass for all four for $20, or it's $7 a show regular admission, $10 a show if you reserve your seat.  Friday 7pm; Saturday 1pm and 7pm; and Sunday 10am.  Friday night expect to hear Bobby Awe and Red Johnson as special guests.  A full line up of super talent on the Saturday afternoon show, and Saturday night a special performance by Curt Shoemaker and his band from Kansas.  Then at 10am on Sunday expect to see Cowboy Church with Scott Davison and his special guest Brook Turner.  Wonderful weekend, join us for a great time.  Full concession stand with hot-dogs, polish's, popcorn, candy, drinks, and some surprises.  Redwood Steakhouse open for evening meals; Weathervane Café (just across the street) open for great Farmer's Breakfast and Lunch.  Pioneer Music Museum and America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame open free of charge all weekend.
The last recordings of Ray Price (he passed away in December of 2013), are being released for sale.  Name of the album is "Beauty Is," released on AmeriMonte Records, and available at Wal-Mart, Crackerbarrel, and other similar outlets.  They're going to release it starting April 15.  Wonder why they wouldn't do this before Mr. Price died?  According to Fred Foster who produced the session, with help from Vince Gill and Martina McBride, "Ray called me in 2012 and said, 'I think I have one album left in me, I'm not well you know.  I want to do one last one and I want to do it with you."
Acoustic Music Jam, March 22nd, noon-6pm at the Community Center, Boelus, Nebraska
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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