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Laura Bell Bundy and Jessie James Decker Join Songs for Sound Hearoes Tour

Laura Bell Bundy Jessie James

Songs for Sound, a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for the 360 million people worldwide suffering from hearing loss, kicks off its 12-week nationwide Hearoes Tour on Aug. 15 & 16 at the Chicago Air & Water Show.

The Hearoes Tour is a planned mobile campaign with a sponsor-branded screening vehicle which will travel around the country visiting air shows, retail, schools and clinics totaling over 60 stops and reaching over 5 million people to help raise awareness around hearing health and prevention among Veterans and their families. Attendees will receive free auditory screenings, equipment demos and other information and giveaways.

Supporting the awareness campaign, stage, film, television and Country music star Laura Bell Bundy will perform at major air shows across the U.S. while Country singer and television personality Jessie James Decker closes out the Hearoes Tour inaugural run at the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show in Pensacola on Nov. 7.

“I am proud to support Songs for Sound and the Hearoes Tour,” said Bundy. “This campaign will help restore hearing for Veterans and children all across the country so they too can enjoy the sweet sound of music.”

The Hearoes Tour is sponsored by Cochlear America, a global provider of hearing implantable technologies such as cochlear implants, and Phonak, a global provider of hearing technologies such as hearing aids.

Hearoes Tour stops with free hearing screenings include:

  • Aug. 15-16 – CHICAGO AIR & WATER SHOW (Chicago, IL)
    Laura Bell Bundy performs National Anthem
  • Aug. 22-23 – KANSAS CITY AIR SHOW (Kansas City, MO)
    Laura Bell Bundy concert performance on Aug. 22
  • Aug. 28-Sept. 3 – AMERICAN LEGION NATIONAL CONVENTION (Baltimore, MD)
  • Sept. 18-19 – JOINT BASE ANDREWS AIR SHOW (JB Andrews, MD)
    Laura Bell Bundy concert performance on Sept. 19
  • Oct. 24-25 – SEA & SKY SPECTACULAR (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 1 – GREAT GEORGIA AIR SHOW (Peach Tree City, GA)
    Laura Bell Bundy concert performance on Oct. 31
  • Nov. 7-8 – BLUE ANGELS HOMECOMING AIR SHOW (Pensacola, FL)
    Jessie James Decker concert performance on Nov. 7

Additional high-profile songwriters and performers will be announced for Hearoes Tour stops in clinics, schools, retail centers and intimate donor-focused events.

“Most people probably don’t know that hearing loss/ear disease is the number one disability reported among troops returning from overseas, yet most can be prevented or treated,” said Jaime Vernon, Songs for Sound founder. “Due to lack of awareness and access, only five percent of those able to benefit from a cochlear implant are being treated and less than 10 percent of the hearing aids needed globally are being produced. This is why we’re thrilled to be able to combine mobile health screenings and music to shed light on these important issues and help support and educate veterans, their families and the public through our Hearoes Tour.”

Lexi Vernon and Gary LeVox

Lexi Vernon and Gary LeVox

“As a musician, I live and breathe music and can’t imagine a world without being able to hear,” says Gary LeVox, Rascal Flatts vocalist, Songs for Sound supporter, and uncle to seven-year-old, Lexi Vernon, a bilateral cochlear implant recipient who has performed on stage with him at Songs for Sound events. “I know Lexi lives life to the fullest, enjoying the gift of music which can become a reality for so many others with the help of this tour.”

Lexi Vernon is the inspiration behind Songs for Sound, which was founded by LeVox’s brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Jaime Vernon.

For additional information on Songs for Sound, visit www.songsforsound.com.

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Pure and Simple: Dolly Parton Shines at Ryman Auditorium

Dolly

When you think of the iconic and often flashy Dolly Parton, the words “pure and simple” don’t usually come to mind. But during her recent performance at the Ryman Auditorium, she used her songs to tell the story of her life; a young simple girl who wanted to be so much more.

The special performance was a benefit for the Dustin J. Wells Foundation, which raises funds for the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville, Tenn. Dustin Wells, the nephew of Dolly Parton’s producer and bandleader Kent Wells, died in a tragic car accident ten years ago. The Wells family created the foundation in his memory, raising money for a local organization dedicated to teaching music to young people who may not be able to afford lessons otherwise.

Students from the W.O. Smith kicked off the night with a 2-song performance, showcasing their musical talents. Kent Wells also performed an original song that he had written in honor of his nephew, before bringing Dolly Parton out.

The 90-minute set was simple and elaborate all at once. The stage design was elegant and the backing band was smaller than her usual ensemble, but it gave the look and feel of an authentic, biographical theatre performance.

Dolly Parton

A self-proclaimed “Backwoods Barbie,” Dolly told the story of her humble upbringing through songs like “Tennessee Mountain Home” and “Jolene”. One of the highlights of the night was her a Capella rendition of “Little Sparrow,” that brought the audience to a standing ovation. Throughout the night, she sparkled in an all-white pant suit, adorned with rhinestone accents, with matching instruments: a glittering dulcimer, a shimmering banjo, a sparkling electric guitar.

If you didn’t know who Dolly Parton was before the start of the show, you certainly knew by the end of it. She had the crowd on their feet singing along to “9 to 5” before closing the show with an effortless, sincere performance of the iconic “I Will Always Love You,” dedicated to her fans over the years.

Pure and simple? A shimmering and brilliant performance by one of country music’s greatest treasures.

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Kix Brooks’ Passions Collide with a New Steak Out and Arrington Vineyards’ Harvest Party

Kix Brooks

“One of the most versatile guys in country music” (Rolling Stone) Kix Brooks continues to generate substantial viewership with his debut television series Steak Out with Kix Brooks on the Cooking Channel. As ratings continue to surge with unusually high male viewership for the network, the multi-faceted entertainer’s Tuesday night tradition resumes in New Orleans, LA tonight (8/4 at 8:00P CT), stopping at Galatoire’s Restaurant, Charlie’s Steak House and Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse.

“I couldn’t be more excited to hear that everyone is having as much fun watching ‘Steak Out’ this summer as we had making it,” shares Brooks. “This week’s episode is in one of the best cities in the country and next week I’ll be hanging out at my favorite place anywhere, Arrington Vineyards. We’re going to make a little noise, drink a lot of wine and raise some money for a good cause – I know it’s going to be a blast!”

As one-half of country music’s most successful duo of all time and co-owner of Nashville’s award-winning winery Arrington Vineyards, Brooks will host the fourth annual Harvest Party on August 15th just outside of Nashville, TN. The free all day family-friendly event includes live music from Brooks along with hot air balloon rides, dishes from Simply Living Life’s Food Cottage and discounted wine, with all proceeds benefitting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

With more than 30 million album sales under his belt, Kix Brooks continues his career as a solo touring/recording artist while simultaneously exploring new paths. Brooks’ impressive resume also includes three CMA National Broadcast Personality of The Year awards for his radio show American Country Countdown, hosting his Kickin’ It with Kix radio show five nights a week, lead acting and film producer credits, along with his role as a regular columnist for Country Weekly.  Brooks & Dunn recently completed the first run of a one-of-a-kind residency REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together in Vegas at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. New dates have been announced for the critically-acclaim show‘s second run through the end of the year. For more information and a full list of upcoming appearances, visit www.kixbrooks.com.

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Jennifer Nettles and Label Part Ways

Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles and her label, UMG Nashville have parted ways. According to Country AirCheck, no official word has been given as to where the singer will go next, but it’s our guess she’ll be signed quickly after her album, That Girl, debuted at No.1.

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