Last week, country mega-star Mitchell Tenpenny performed an acoustic livestream show at Nashville’s Pegleg Porker where he played fan-favorite hits in their upstairs event space. The show was hosted by Prevacid and was streamed live on TikTok.Read More
Music Spotlight: Noah Riley Teal
Noah Riley Teal is an Americana singer, songwriter, and guitarist who will be releasing his debut self-titled album on July 7th. His latest single, “I’m Coming Around” is out now.Read More
Music Spotlight: Spencer Crandall
I remember the first time hearing Spencer Crandall’s song “Made.”
The lyrics Cause soulmates aren’t found they’re made/ Yeah, we choose each other every day/ Even when we bend, we know we won’t break/ We just bounce back better ’cause/ Soulmates aren’t found/ they’re forged in the same fire/ Work at it even when we get tired/ Making ups out of downs/ doing all that it takes/ ‘Cause soulmates aren’t found/ they’re made stopped me in my tracks.Read More
Music Spotlight: Tigirlily Gold
I first met the sister duo, Tigirlily Gold, back in 2022, when they were part of a fundraiser for one of my favorite charities, Music Will. I knew then that I wanted to feature the effervescent pair.
When I recently heard their megahit “Shoot Tequila” on Sirius XM’s The Highway, I was reminded that it was time to contact them.Read More
Music Spotlight: Jay Allen
When rising artist Jay Allen debuted the song “No Prayer Like Mama’s,” I knew this was the artist I wanted to feature for Mother’s Day Weekend. To be honest, the lyrics just wreck me, and I suppose that is what a good country song does.
Allen grew up in a little Midwest town in Iowa where his dad owned a restaurant called Joe’s Country Grill. That’s where his dad met his mother when she was a waitress. Because they both worked at the restaurant, Allen spent much of his younger years there.Read More
Joe and Linda Chambers, Eric Church, and Butch Spyridon Receive Stars on Walk of Fame
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Three more stars last week were added to The Music City Walk of Fame.
May 4th marked the 25th ceremony where Star 98 was awarded to Joe and Linda Chambers, Star 99 was awarded to Eric Church, and Star 100 was given to Butch Spyridon.Read More
Music Spotlight: Amanda Kate Ferris
When I heard the howling pedal steel-soaked guitar on the song aptly named “Pedal Steel,” a touching song about the Grand Ole Opry, I knew I needed to interview the artist as soon as possible. I was not surprised that Amanda Kate Ferris was from a musical family.
What did surprise me is that Ferris’s mother, Kathy Wright, was one of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. I was excited to find out more.Read More
Music Spotlight: Conner Smith
One thing that I have learned by writing this column is that the country music that young people like (who are the biggest consumers of digital music) is not always the same as the music that I like.
But sometimes artists can bridge that gap. Twenty-two-year-old Conner Smith is such an artist. I know exactly why he is so popular with the younger set. But it was his writing ability that impressed me most. He is a gifted songwriter. He has been writing songs since age six. He scored his first publishing deal at age 16. Not only that, I also learned that he was born in the same town in East Tennessee where my children were born, Cleveland.Read More
Music Spotlight: Lily Grace
Lily Grace is a seventeen-year-old powerhouse vocalist from Australia who recently moved to Nashville to chase her music career dreams.
Naturally gifted, Grace began singing at 10 years of age. She dived deeper into music a mere six years ago when she was gifted her first guitar at 11 years old.Read More
Music Spotlight: Colleen Rae
I’ve been Facebook friends with Colleen Rae for more than 12 years. I knew she sang country music but had not heard much from her until recently.
Rae is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She grew up in a family that loved music, when they celebrated birthdays and the like, they would break out the guitars and start to jam.Read More
Music Spotlight: Mark Taylor
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Rising Nashville artist and Maryland native Mark Taylor has had a guitar in his hand since he was two years old and has never looked back.
“My dad was/is a huge influence on my music career. He paid his way through college playing cover gigs in bars. By the time I was two years old, I was playing nonsense chords on a little guitar. By the time I was six and seven, I was playing in his band with a bunch of his friends,” he said.Read More
Music Spotlight: Kinsey Rose
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- From the first few measures of a twangy guitar, I knew instantly when I heard “Speed of Broken Heart” that Kinsey Rose was going to be an artist I would want to feature. As they say, people who date have a “type”; the same can be said for me regarding country music artists. I have a type and when I hear it, I know it’s going to be gold.Read More
Ryman Auditorium Adds Charley Pride Statue Its Iconic Walk
Ryman Auditorium unveiled the latest addition to its Icon Walk this morning with a statue honoring American music icon Charley Pride. The detailed bronze likeness was added to the permanent outdoor exhibition on the historic venue’s grounds ensuring the country music trailblazer will forever remain part of the Soul of Nashville.
Created to honor those who have contributed significantly to the historic venue and Music City, Charley Pride’s statue joins likenesses of beloved legends Loretta Lynn, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Bill Monroe, three of the most profound musical innovators in country and bluegrass music.Read More
Music Spotlight: Donice Morace
One thing I have learned is that Texas Country is its own thing. It has a traditional, devil-may-care attitude and many of our favorite artists (i.e., Willie Nelson, George Jones, George Strait, and Miranda Lambert, to name a few) come from the independent Lone Star state.Read More
Music Spotlight Artist Julia Cole Hosts Circle Network’s ‘Ultimate Fan Fest’
Premiering April 13th, Circle TV partners with Nashville-based singer/songwriter and Music Spotlight artist to bring the network’s newest series, “Ultimate Fan Fest.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Julie Williams
Julie Williams has released the first song off her upcoming EP, “Wrong Mr. Right.” Learn about the fascinating path that took her from Tampa, Florida, to Duke University and eventually turned into Williams becoming a singer/songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.Read More
Music Spotlight: Jake Worthington
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Jake Worthington first wowed America in 2014 as a teen from LaPorte, Texas, when he became a finalist on NBC’s The Voice. Fast forward ten years, and the traditionally influenced country artist has put out a lot of music but is just now releasing his debut album.
He recently signed with Big Loud Records and fitted in perfectly with current country heavyweights like Hardy, Morgan Wallen, Larry Fleet, and Lauren Alaina.Read More
Music Spotlight: Jaye Madison
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Doing what I do, I get sent a lot of artists to check out. A Facebook friend told me to check out the Jaye Madison band. I listened and they could absolutely sing. But normally I deal with PR representatives or managers. In a few days, I got contacted by 37-Media about this amazing new duo, Jaye Madison. This time I really paid attention. Their song “Down” was unlike anything I had heard in a while. It wasn’t country, but it did have a rock/soul/R&B vibe and it was outstanding.Read More
Country Radio Seminar 2023 Recap
NASHVILLE, Tennessee-Country Radio Seminar (CRS) is an annual convention designed to educate and promote exchanging ideas and business practices in the country music industry, specifically emphasizing issues relevant to country radio. CRS 2023 was held at the Omni Nashville Hotel last week.Read More
Music Spotlight/Opry Debut: Clare Cunningham
Clare Cunningham gives a mesmerizing Opry performance at her debut during Music City Irish Fest 2023.Read More
Music Spotlight: Aliyah Good
I remember Jamie O’Neal telling me that her 17-year-old daughter accompanied her when she re-released her mega-hit “Somebody’s Hero.”
Now, O’Neal’s daughter, Aliyah Good is 19 and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Professional Studies at the Frost School of Music in Miami. And while she is first to admit that going to school while pursuing an artist’s career is quite the juggle, she is fortunate enough to attend a university that understands what she is doing. Frost School has programs for people like Good who are college students who want to get an education but also want to pursue their careers.Read More
Music Spotlight: Molly Lovette
With an upcoming Country Radio Seminar (CRS) performance on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Omni Hotel, Molly will be showcasing her newest single, “Better Than You, along with some of her other most popular singles that precede it.Read More
Music Spotlight: SACHA
One thing I have learned while writing my blog is that there is a lot more to Canadian country music than Shania Twain. The Canadians love their country music and have given us Tenille Arts and Tenille Towns, Lindsey Ell, Terri Clark, Brett Kissel, Manny Blu, Kimberly Dawn, Tebey, and country rocker, Cory Marks to name a few.
Therefore, When I heard Sacha sing at a writers’ round recently, I was not a bit surprised to find out that she was from Ontario, Canada. Now living in Nashville, I met up with her at CMT’s Next Women of Country and scheduled an interview.Read More
Kasey Tyndall Releases New Music
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After seeing Kasey Tyndall at the Listening Room with the Song Suffragettes in 2019, I immediately set up an interview with the energetic songstress and featured her in my Music Spotlight column at the beginning of 2020.
When I ran into Tyndall again at the Next Women of Country event in January of 2023, I knew we were long overdue for a follow-up interview.Read More
American Idol Alum Taylor Hicks Releases New Single, ‘Porch Swing’
Season 5 American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks debuted his newest single, “Porch Swing” on the Bobby Bones Show on President’s Day.
But before that, we sat down to catch me up on what had been going on since he won American Idol in 2006.
Hicks said he always wanted to be an entertainer.Read More
Craig Campbell Releases ‘The Lost Files: Exhibit A’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Since the neo-traditional country artist, Craig Campbell launched his Grindstone Recordings label in 2020, he has released music and banking even more cuts over the last few years. Answering the call of his fans, he released The Lost Files: Exhibit A album on February 17.
He stated, “We had a hard time finding some of these songs because the hard drives got misplaced. Then with some, you had the hard drive, but they wouldn’t open. They were literally lost files.”Read More
Music Industry Spotlight: Crowd Surf Founders Cassie Petrey and Jade Driver
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – One of the things that has most surprised me as an entertainment journalist is how many people it takes for a song or singer to become notable. Besides the artist and the songwriter (who may or may not be the same person) there are backup bands, producers, and…Read More
CMT Crossroads: FOR KING + COUNTRY and Jimmie Allen Airs February 28
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of the most fascinating shows on CMT is its innovative series, “CMT Crossroads,” which pairs country artists with musicians from other genres.Read More
Music Spotlight: Hillary Reese
NASHVILLE. Tennessee – Hillary Reese comes from a big sports family in Mississippi full of coaches and teachers. But she and her brother both desired to do music instead. (Her brother, Parker Reese, has a degree in Music Education.)
“We were not coordinated and couldn’t throw a ball to save our lives,” Hillary Reese said.Read More
Music Spotlight: HALIE
NBC’s Songland Winner and American Songwriter Alum, Halie has released “Heart Of A Man” for Valentine’s Day.Read More
Music Spotlight: Christopher J. Essex
No stranger to the spotlight, former Broadway actor Christopher J. Essex has released the perfect song for Valentine’s Day, “Time On You.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Siena
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my favorite things is discovering new talent, often ahead of the labels and music industry. PR teams pitch me an artist, and if I like what I hear, I schedule an interview. When Dead Horse Branding sent the song, “Sass” by new country artist Siena (Paglia), I was hooked by the title alone.
It turns out that this real-life Las Vegas cowgirl can sing quite well. With her debut single, she has just enough twang to keep us old-timers interested, but with lyrics that are fresh and relatable to the younger set.Read More
Kelsea Ballerini to Appear on CMT Storytellers on February 16th
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – CMT announced that GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum country superstar and 2023 CMT MUSIC AWARDS co-host Kelsea Ballerini is set to headline the third installment of the famed music series “CMT Storytellers,” premiering Thursday, February 16th at 10p/9c with additional airings on Sunday, February 19th at 11a/10c (CMT) Friday, February 24th at 8p/7c (CMT Music) and Saturday, February 25th at 10a/9c and 6p/5c (CMT Music).Read More
Music Spotlight: Casi Joy
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Casi Joy has been singing publicly since she was 5 years old. Her first performance was a talent at her hometown’s local talent show near Kansas City, Missouri. Not being from a musical family, her parents were a little confused by her desire to become a singer.Read More
Chris Janson Releases ‘All I Need Is You’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Before I got the email, I thought it was about time for some new Chris Janson music because it had been a few years since he put new music out. Fueled by Mountain Dew®, Janson’s high-octane show puts this human hummingbird right at the top of my all-time favorite live performers.Read More
Music Spotlight: Emily Ann Roberts
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I think of what country music ought to sound like, a voice like Emily Ann Roberts’ comes to mind. I suppose part of the reason she sings and talks “right” to me is that she was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, not too far from where I was reared.
Naturally, I wanted to learn more about this gifted Tennessee girl.Read More
Music Spotlight: Colton James
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Colton James hails from a small town near Franklin, Virginia. Both of his grandmothers played piano and organ at church, while his mother had a strong singing voice. James started singing at church at age four and continued making music at church and in plays at his Christian school.
“My mother sang in church but my Granny on my dad’s side was a West Virginia honky tonk granny, and she might have a little drink here and there,” he said.Read More
Music Spotlight: Wendy Starland
I met Wendy Starland at a party in Nashville celebrating an upcoming original music competition TV show that will air on MTV later this year. When we arrived, everyone was clamoring to get a picture with her. She was so beautiful that I was taken aback. However, I wondered why she was there.
It turns out that Starland is a musical maven. One of the show’s producers told me that she was a brilliant songwriter and that I needed to meet her. After we met, I asked if she wanted to be featured in my Music Spotlight column, and she gave me her phone number.Read More
Tom Wopat Releases ‘Simple Man’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Long before Luke Duke was sliding across the hood of the General Lee, Tom Wopat was making music. He has been singing since he was a child and thought one day he might make a career of it. He studied opera in school while simultaneously performing in a rock band.Read More
New Country Music Label Baste Records Launched for Anti-Woke Artists
A new country music label is recruiting and promoting anti-woke artists, launched by the young founder of The Post-Millennial. Matthew Azrieli, who is also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, started Baste Records to promote talented country singers who are struggling to survive in the mainstream music business due to their right-leaning political and cultural views. He’s brought on talent like Chris Wallin, also a singer and songwriter who has written music for some of the biggest country stars, including Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Trace Adkins.
Azrieli told The Arizona Sun Times that he started Baste Records because music is a passion. He wanted to “provide a healthy outlet for conservatives, instead of just complaining.” Baste Records intends to appeal to a certain niche, the center right, instead of attempting to have a broad appeal that risks alienating factions. He pointed out Netflix is an example of an entertainment company that is engaging in the latter, angering both conservatives and the transgender community, causing it to lose market share. He said, “Cultural and political identities are driving entertainment media.”Read More
Becca Bowen Releases Debut Album
Several years in the making, Music Spotlight artist Becca Bowen has released her debut album, Like You’ve Never Been Loved, and it is not to be missed.Read More
Music/Author Spotlight: Aiden Adams
I’ve featured hundreds of artists and even a few authors. But when I got the email about Aiden Adams, I found that he has written six books and several songs. And he is eight years old.
The first book that he wrote is titled “There Are No Sheep In New York City.” His dad, Neal Adams, is an author and illustrator.Read More
Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens Receive the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- On a Sunday night that was years in the making, Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens were honored with the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award, which raises money for the Cecil Scaife Endowment at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University.Read More
Music Spotlight: Ashley Cooke
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After hearing her on Sirius XM the Highway and seeing her fun and vibrant social media posts, I was instantly drawn to Ashley Cooke. I was excited to feature her in my column.
After winning the coveted Country Showcase at Belmont College, the communications major was just starting her new career path when the pandemic hit and forced the recent college graduate to temporarily move back home.Read More
Kimberly Dawn Releases New Song for the Holidays, ‘Life Changing’
Kimberly Dawn is setting out to change lives for the better this holiday season with her new single, “Life Changing.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Shaylen
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Shaylen grew up in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was there that she first began performing, singing in church, and acting in local children’s theater. She also sang in her school choir and took private vocal, piano, and guitar lessons.Read More
Music Spotlight: Jo Smith
After a detour that took her to Somalia, Jo Smith is back with her debut full-length album, ‘Wyoming,’ a sweet and somber record that will bring you all the feels.Read More
WhistlePig and Brothers Osborne Release Limited Edition Whiskey
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – WhistlePig Whiskey and Grammy Award-winning country music duo and reigning CMA Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are celebrating 100 for all, all for 100 this holiday season with the launch of their new whiskey collaboration. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100% Rye Whiskey, created for and selected by John and TJ Osborne, to celebrate those who give 100% in the name of greatness.Read More
Project Supergroup to Air on MTV
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Project Supergroup is a first-of-its-kind music competition series that implements a new and innovative “build a band” from scratch concept that showcases exceptionally talented musicians who play, write, and sing.Read More
Daniel Borge Releases ‘Backseat Backroad’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my previous Music Spotlight artists, Norwegian-born Daniel Borge, has one of the most interesting “how I got to country music/Nashville” stories of anyone I have ever interviewed.
Unfortunately, when the ball had just begun rolling, the pandemic hit, and he could not travel and pursue his dream.Read More