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Archive for the ‘Country Music News’ Category

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “The Things That We Are Made Of” out May 6th

mary chapen carpenter

The Things That We Are Made Of, the new full-length album by renowned and beloved singer, songwriter and performer Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be released May 6th. The album features eleven new songs, including the lead track “Something Tamed Something Wild,” which premiered yesterday at Rolling Stone and can now be heard/shared via Soundcloud. Of the song, Rolling Stone praises, “…beautifully sums up where she’s been and sets the stage for what’s yet to come…’Something Tamed Something Wild’ and indeed the entire new album finds the songwriter at her most thoughtful and also at times sweetly whimsical, perfectly capturing the buoyant spirit of her early successes and also serving as a reminder that she remains one of the most grounded, sentient songwriters of her generation.”

In celebration of the release, Carpenter will return to D.C.’s legendary Wolf Trap for a special performance on July 2nd. Tickets will go on-sale on Saturday, March 19th. Additional tour dates to be announced shortly.

The Things That We Are Made Of was recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium and Low Country Sound studios during the spring and summer of 2016. In addition to Carpenter (vocals, electric/acoustic guitar), the album features Cobb (electric/acoustic/gut string guitar, percussion, Moog, Mellotron), Annie Clements (bass), Brian Allen (bass), Chris Powell (drums, percussion), Mike Webb (piano, B3 organ, reed organ, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes) and Jimmy Wallace (piano, B3 organ).

“Working with Dave felt great from the first day of our sessions. He is always willing to try something new, believes that ‘yes’ is the only answer, and surrounds himself with wonderfully talented and generous musicians; by the end of the project, I felt as if I was a part of a new family.”

Cobb adds, “I wanted to work with Mary Chapin because very few people can cut with words like she can. She’s an absolute poet and legend. I was so happy to collaborate on this album together.”

CMA Hosts Triple Play Awards to Top Songwriters

cma triple play

Nashville’s top tunesmiths were recognized today as CMA Triple Play Awards were presented at the Seventh Annual CMA Songwriters Luncheon. Seventeen songwriters received the Award, which is presented to those who pen three chart-topping hits in a 12-month period.

“Songwriters keep Music City playing and I’m honored to return as host for this important event celebrating this significant milestone in their careers,” said Troy Tomlinson, President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Nashville and CMA Board member.

“We are very pleased to recognize these talented songwriters and songwriting artists for this impressive accomplishment and significant contribution to Country Music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Their craft evokes emotion and we are grateful they’ve chosen the Country format to share their rare talents with the world.”

Honored at today’s luncheon were recipients Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Zach Crowell, Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley, Tyler Hubbard, Sam Hunt, Brett James, Jaren Johnston, Brian Kelley, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, and Brad Tursi.

In attendance were Akins, Copperman, Crowell, DeStefano, Gorley, Hubbard, James, Laird, Lindsey, McAnally, and Osborne. Also present were hit tunesmiths from ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, as well as songwriter members of CMA and representatives of some of the most successful publishers in Music City.

For the first time since CMA began an annual recognition program for the Triple Play Awards, the Association presented THREE Triple Play trophies to one songwriter. Gorley had NINE songs reach No. 1. The three Triple Play Awards bring Gorley’s total number of Triple Play honors to seven.

“Being on stage today with so many friends is a great feeling,” Gorley said. “We are all thankful for the CMA and the community of Nashville for respecting and recognizing us as songwriters, and awarding what we do behind the scenes. I’m thankful to be a part of the day.”

Copperman, DeStefano, and McAnally each received two Triple Play trophies, all having six songs race to the top of the charts, bringing their Triple Play Awards career totals to two, three, and four, respectively.

Akins and Laird received their fifth Triple Play Awards during the luncheon. Receiving their first Triple Play Award today were Copperman, Crowell, Hubbard, Hunt, Johnston, Kelley, Ramsey, Rosen, and Tursi.

Hubbard said, “It’s a true honor as an artist to be a Triple Play winner, to be recognized as a songwriter and to do what I moved to Nashville to do. My dreams keep coming true every day.” Kelley, who was unable to attend the ceremony, added, “Creating music is my passion. And to be able to sit down and write a song and then either perform it myself or have another great artist perform it, well, it’s really its own reward. Receiving a recognition like this is really the icing on the cake, and I’m so grateful.”

Seth England a Partner at Big Loud Mountain, FGL’s publisher said, “We met Brian and Tyler in 2011 both as FGL and aspiring songwriters. From day one we knew they had the ability to write big songs for years to come. Knowing them as well as we do, this CMA Triple Play Award means as much to them as anything they’ve ever received. Of course they love writing songs for FGL, but to have their peers record songs they’ve written is a major accomplishment to them and this year will be one they remember forever. Congrats guys.”

Upholding CMA’s mission of recognizing excellence in the format, the Association presents honors to songwriters through a variety of events each year including the CMA Awards, during which the CMA Award for Song of the Year is presented on the annual broadcast to the winning songwriters, and in a rotating category for songwriters in the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame. CMA also proudly presents official No. 1 Medallions throughout the year to congratulate and honor songwriters at No. 1 parties.

In alphabetical order, the recipients of CMA’s Triple Play Award included:
• Rhett Akins: “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Young & Crazy”
• Ross Copperman: “Beat Of The Music,” “Don’t It,” “Smoke,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” “Strip It Down,” “Lose My Mind”
• Zach Crowell: “Where It’s At,” “House Party,” “Hell Of A Night”
• Chris DeStefano: “Rewind,” “Something In The Water,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Little Toy Guns,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Smoke Break”
• Ashley Gorley: “Play It Again,” “Yeah,” “I See You,” “Just Gettin’ Started,” “Don’t It,” “Tonight Looks Good On You,” “Kick The Dust Up,” “Young & Crazy,” “Nothin’ Like You”
• Tyler Hubbard: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”
• Sam Hunt: “We Are Tonight,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time”
• Brett James: “I Hold On,” “Bottoms Up,” “Something In The Water”
• Jaren Johnston: “Beachin’,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Raise ‘Em Up”
• Brian Kelley: “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,” “Burnin’ It Down,” “Sun Daze”
• Luke Laird: “American Kids,” “Sunshine & Whiskey,” “Talladega”
• Hillary Lindsey: “Shotgun Rider,” “Girl Crush,” “Little Toy Guns”
• Shane McAnally: “American Kids,” “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Say You Do,” “Wild Child,” “Young & Crazy”
• Josh Osborne: “Leave The Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “Wild Child”
• Matthew Ramsey: “Say You Do,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”
• Trevor Rosen: “Say You Do,” “Sangria,” “Break Up With Him”
• Brad Tursi: “A Guy Walks Into A Bar,” “Save It For A Rainy Day,” “Break Up With Him”

For more information, visit and

Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker, Oak Ridge Boys & MORE Sign on for 2017 Country Cruise


More than a dozen superstars with over 400 hits between them will perform on the 2017 The Country Music Cruise when it sails through the Caribbean from January 27th through February 3rd, 2017. Vince Gill leads the superstar lineup, making a special appearance in Key West on January 28th. The party continues when Charley Pride, The Oak Ridge Boys, Brenda Lee, Lee Greenwood, Tanya Tucker, Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley’s Good Ole Boys Reunion, Dailey & Vincent, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, Wade Hayes, Jo-El Sonnier, Sylvia, Deborah Allen and Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys join cruise host Lorianne Crook and guests as they sail aboard Holland America’s luxurious MS Oosterdam (known for its world class art and Waterford crystal sculptures) from Tampa, FL to Key West, Cozumel and Costa Maya. The Country Music Cruise franchise is the ultimate country music experience and has sold out every year since it was launched in 2014.

“There is absolutely nothing else like The Country Music Cruise for fans,” says Vince Gill, who appeared on the inaugural Country Music Cruise in January 2014 and will return for a special performance in 2017. “So many great country artists perform in intimate settings and guests have a lot of fun getting to know those artists a bit better, all on a world class ship in the beautiful Caribbean. Don’t miss it!”

“The Country Music Cruise… what a great idea,” says Joe Bonsall of The Oak Ridge Boys. “Take a handful of legendary acts and a few thousand of the most appreciative fans out there… Throw in some Caribbean islands and lots of great food and BOOM… Something very special! It’s hard to imagine a cruise any better!” “I love The Country Music Cruise,” adds his bandmate Duane Allen. “Not only is the ship full of the greatest fans on planet earth — country music fans and friends, there are shows going on all the time, all over the ship, with more than a dozen top artists. Oh, and did I mention that the food is great? The StarVista people really know how to throw a party. BIG TIME!”

“We just returned from the 2016 sailing and had a blast,” said Mike Jason, Senior Vice President of Live Entertainment at StarVista LIVE. “The Oak Ridge Boys again kicked off the cruise with their high energy show, Kenny Rogers performed in the last year of his touring, Randy Owen electrified the crowd and Bobby Bare made a very special appearance. There were special Gospel shows, an Opry Show at Sea, a hilarious Family Feud featuring T Graham Brown and Johnny Lee, a number of incredible jam sessions and all kinds of interactive artist events. All the artists were great and the guests had any number of opportunities to meet and mingle with the stars. This was the ultimate country music party. We can’t wait until we sail in 2017 with more legendary artists, more great performances and more fun events. Most of all we look forward to meeting new friends and seeing old ones.”

The 2017 Country Music Cruise will be highlighted by dozens of live performances, bring back some of the most popular onboard activities from the franchise’s previous sailings and add a wide array of new artist-based events. Select artists will make special appearances at the Gospel Hour, during songwriter workshops, guitar playing seminars, panel discussions, Q&A events, cooking exhibitions, album listening parties, autograph sessions and many others.

Every person aboard the The Country Music Cruise attends mainstage concerts, daily activities and gourmet meals, all included in the cabin price. Fares start at just $1,975 per person. To book a cabin, call toll-free 877-266-2686 or go to

A Weekend at St. Jude Changed My Life

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We’ve all heard the radiothons, seen the commercials and heard the tearful tales associated with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.   I always sympathized, empathized and cried, but honestly…I never truly understood until now.  Last weekend, I had the pleasure and blessing to attend the St. Jude Country Cares Seminar in Memphis.   I had the privilege to walk through the doors of St. Jude and talk to patients, parents and doctors…and it changed my life.

Country music has had a long standing relationship with St. Jude, raising over $650 million.  In reality, this is an amazing feat and tons of money.  However, with an operating budget of over $2 million a day, it’s just a drop in the bucket for the fight against childhood cancer.  Thankfully,with the continued help of generous people, St.  Jude will eventually rend itself useless by curing themselves right out of a job.

I’ve always heard that St. Jude was more than just a hospital, but until I saw it for myself, I didn’t quite understand.  St. Jude goes beyond not charging parents and patients for care, but they literally take care of every detail so families can concentrate on getting well.  St. Jude takes care of treatments, food, shelter and transportation for patients.  The hospital takes care of every single financial burden a family may endure while caring for a child with cancer.

While the numbers are impressive and the statistics prove progress is being made; what truly makes St. Jude remarkable is their attention to details in the small things.  Teenagers enjoy a teen room where proms, graduations and time to “chill” are hosted.  Teens fighting for their lives get to feel “normal” around other kids their age, celebrating milestones big and small with others who are just like them.

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Children are carted to and from treatments in red wagons down brightly colored walls painted in murals of the seasons and walked through their procedures with a stuffed animal who help them walk through their treatments beforehand.  Instead of fear and uncertainty, the halls of St. Jude are clothed in Faith, Hope and Love.

While most may think that the children would look back on the years spent fighting cancer with sadness in pain.  However, most St. Jude patients look back on their journeys fondly.  Many return to the hospital later in life to work as doctors, nurses, researches and more.

I can’t quite explain my journey this weekend.  But I can tell you the overall feeling I left with is hope.  Even the parents who told their stories of loss were full of hope and gratitude.  Gratitude to have been a part of something like St. Jude.  Something that will one day lead to the cure of childhood cancer.  Every patient that walks through the front doors is part of the next patient’s journey via the research that’s collected and studied.  With every patient, more is learned and treatments are improved ultimately leading to the cure rate going up.

The bottom line is…when your dollars (yes dollars) are given to St. Jude, they are spread around the globe via the knowledge shared.  Because St. Jude isn’t part of the typical grant system, their discoveries are immediately spread across the globe with the ultimate goal of curing more children.  What can be better than that?

There aren’t words or pictures that can really tell you how much my weekend at St. Jude meant to me.  The only way one can truly understand is to walk through those doors yourself and take a tour, which I strongly urge you to do.  In the mean time, there is no amount to small that will help children fight for their lives.

“They’d rather have a million people give $1 than one person give a million,” Brooke Eden.

You can see our photos from our weekend at St. Jude here.

Donate to St. Jude by clicking the button below to save the lives of children worldwide.



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