Tuesday, September 22, 2020

MICHAEL RAY RETURNS WITH NEW SINGLE “WHISKEY AND RAIN”

First New Music Since 2018’s Amos, Available on All Platforms This Friday, Sept. 25 and at Country Radio Oct. 26


Michael Ray has spent the last few months traveling between Nashville and his hometown of Eustis, Florida, where he grew up in a family of musicians, watching his grandfather’s band The Country Cousins, learning his first guitar chords at 8-years-old and eventually joining them on stage.
 
“If I start feeling real down, I just need to go down there for a few days to see everybody. I’ll get rejuvenated with my family. Something about being on that dirt just does a lot for me,” shares Ray. “This year helped me realize that going back home allows me to move forward, being around the people who would say, ‘We know you can do it’ when I would say, ‘I think I can do it’ as I was getting started.”
 
Now, with two hit albums, five RIAA Gold-certified songs, three No. 1’s and both feet firmly planted on the ground, Ray is readying his third project – a bridge between country’s past and present – with lead single “Whiskey And Rain” set for release Friday, Sept. 25. Pre-save “Whiskey And Rain” HERE.
 
“I miss story songs that you have to listen to all the way through to understand. This song is everything I love about country music – traditional Country music, like Tim McGraw and Earl Thomas Conley, and I want to bring that back,” shares Ray. “This is the music I originally came to Nashville to make, and I’m grateful to have this opportunity for fans to get to know me better as an artist.”
 
Written by Josh Thompson and Jesse Frasure and produced by Ross Copperman, “Whiskey And Rain” echoes two of Ray’s heroes, Gary Stewart and Gary Allan, melding vintage sounds with modern Country in sad commiseration:
 
Yeah whiskey and rain coming down, coming down
Splash of bourbon in a glass
Yeah pouring something on the pain
Let it drown, let it drown
Trying to wash away the past
Since my blue sky, sunshine, whole life
Hopped on that midnight train
‘Til the bottle runs out or the clouds roll away
It’s just the whiskey and rain
 
With touring currently on hold, Ray has established a weekly virtual series, Honkytonk Tuesday, where he is joined by surprise guests to perform their favorite ‘80s and ‘90s tunes.
 
“We started recording after we created Honkytonk Tuesday, but I knew I wanted to do this project before we put the series together,” Ray elaborates. “Creating Honkytonk Tuesday made me fully dive-in to that sound, and it was the perfect segue into ‘Whiskey And Rain.’”
 
To date, Ray has been joined by Clint Black, Mark Wills, Marty Raybon, Aaron Tippin and Steve Wariner, among others. Honkytonk Tuesdays are streamed live on Ray’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter at 7 p.m. CT and shared on Instagram immediately following the stream.
 
“Whiskey And Rain” follows the release of “Her World Or Mine,” with the official music video starring Chad Michael Murray garnering over 19 million views on YouTube since its premiere with “Good Morning America” and ABC.

AMERICAN IDOL WINNER LAINE HARDY SETS SEPTEMBER 28 LIVE STREAM CONCERT BENEFITING RED CROSS DISASTER RELIEF



Rising country star and ABC’s American Idol winner, Laine Hardy, is set for a September 28th live stream concert benefiting American Red Cross Disaster Relief. The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT with music starting at 7:30 p.m. CT. Following the devastating damage that Hurricane Laura brought to the Livingston, Louisiana native’s home state last month and the recent landfall of Hurricane Sally along the Gulf Coast, Laine felt a strong calling to give back in some way.  The show, which is free and open to the public, will encourage fans to help people affected by disasters like storms, wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org/lainehardy  The gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. For more information on how to help and to tune in on September 28th visit HERE.

“Hurricane Laura hit west of my hometown and me and my family stayed safe and did not have any damage. So many others here in Louisiana cannot say the same,” says Laine.  “And last week the Gulf Coast was hit by Hurricane Sally, these are really tough times for so many and I’m honored to work with American Red Cross to help out any way I can.”

The event is already off to a great start, with a generous individual donor offering a 1:1 matching gift up to $10,000 in support of disaster relief work across the country. Visit HERE on September 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. CT to watch Laine perform his latest song, “Tiny Town,” recent hits “Ground I Grew Up On,” “Let There Be Country,” and more!

Laine Hardy was six when he picked up his first guitar and later joined his brother playing at local clubs and bars for upwards of six hours a night, inspired by artists ranging from Morgan Wallen to Luke Combs and Elvis Presley to Mark Broussard.  After winning American Idol in 2019, Laine focused on songwriting and touring, headlining shows in Denver, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Lexington and more.  His 2020 “Ground I Grew Up On” virtual tour garnered over 2 million views in April and May.

While Louisiana is home, Nashville is where he was destined to be.  There he met producer Michael Knox (Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett) and the pair went to work on several new sides releasing in 2020.  His latest, “Tiny Town” (Michael Tyler) was released on July 10, and tracks “Ground I Grew Up On” (Brandon Kinney, Josh Thompson, Brett Beavers) and “Let There Be Country” (Jason Afable, Steve Moakler, Tim Nichols) were released April 10 on Buena Vista Records/Industrial Media’s 19 Recordings – tell the stories of Laine’s childhood on the bayou where on an average day you would find him fishing, riding his four-wheeler, spending time with his family and dogs, and feasting on jambalaya or his Korean grandmother’s homemade kimichi.  For more information about Laine Hardy, visit LaineHardyMusic.com.


Monday, September 21, 2020

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL PARTNERS WITH AUSTIN CITY LIMITS FOR FIVE DECADE CAREER RETROSPECTIVE ON OCTOBER 31


All of the greats were ahead of their time; Archimedes, Nikola Tesla, The Beatles. The Grateful Dead meshed string band music and rhythm & blues to create an entirely new scene and the Rolling Stones carried a rock and roll torch into stadiums and onto television screens worldwide, but in the world of Americana music and Texas’s cosmic outlaw country, there was one group telling old stories and rallying new fans well before those genres even had a name—Asleep at the Wheel. On October 31st, ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel, a special retrospective of the band’s appearances on public television’s beloved Austin City Limits program will premiere nationwide on PBS. From performing on the series’ very first episode to modern-day collaborations with legends like Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett (in total, the band has appeared on eleven episodes), Asleep at the Wheel have woven a 50-year thread through Texas and American music history, and Austin City Limits played a quite the part in it. Fans can experience the journey right from the beginning this Halloween when ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel airs; more information including a full broadcast schedule is available at acltv.com.

ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel is only the kickoff of a coming year-long celebration of the band’s five-decade milestone. This past week, Asleep at the Wheel’s fearless leader and founder Ray Benson took part in “Thriving Roots,” AMERICANAFEST’s virtual conference, announcing the coming special and screening an hour-long interview and documentary produced by the Texas Music Office for all digital festival attendees to enjoy. Additionally, Benson and Asleep at the Wheel are currently being featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Outlaws and Armadillos exhibit and as part of the Whitliff Collection at Texas State University’s museum.

Fans, new and old, should stay tuned in to asleepatthewheel.com in the coming months because Benson and Asleep at the Wheel are just getting started with their big celebration. 
 
ACL Presents: 50 Years of Asleep at the Wheel setlist:

“The Letter That Johnny Walker Read” - 1976
"Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” - 1978
“Get Your Kicks on Route 66” - 1996 
"Roly Poly" ft. The Texas Playboys - 1993
“Hesitation Blues” ft. Willie Nelson - 2009
“Nothing Takes The Place of You” - 1976
“Blues for Dixie” ft. Lyle Lovett - ACL Hall of Fame 2015
“Let Me Go Home Whiskey” - 1976
“After You’ve Gone” ft. Willie Nelson, Freddy Powers, and Johnny Gimble - 1981
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love ”- 2015
“Boogie Back to Texas” - 1988 
“Milk Cow Blues” - 2015
“Miles and Miles of Texas” - 1996, 2002, and 1980
“Choo Choo Boogie” - 1978, 1988, and 1996
“Pancho and Lefty” ft. Willie Nelson - 2009
“Take Me Back to Tulsa” ft. The Avett Brothers and Vince Gill - 1996, 2015, 1978, and 1976
“Cotton Eye Joe” - 1980

Monday, September 14, 2020

TRAVIS TRITT TO RELEASE FIRST NEW SINGLE, "GHOST TOWN NATION", IN OVER A DECADE

Single set to Release on Sept. 25

Produced by Dave Cobb, new single rallies fans to leave the pressures behind and focus on the simple pleasures of country life

Photo Credit: David Abbott

CLICK HERE TO PRE-SAVE "GHOST TOWN NATION"

Over three decades after having launched his extraordinary music career, one of Country music’s most notable artists, Travis Tritt, is set to release a new single “Ghost Town Nation” on Sept. 25; the first release off his highly-anticipated forthcoming album, produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, The Highwoman, Brandi Carlile). 

Written by Aaron Raitiere and JB Strauss, “Ghost Town Nation” is an energetic song that sends the message of making the best out of a bad situation. Filled with guitar-riffs and Tritt’s rich vocals, the song rallies for when times are tough, and the pressures run high, to head to the country and focus on the simple gratifications of living life outdoors, such as the fish biting, the garden growing, the fire burning, moonshine, and more.

Tritt sings, “Well, I tell ya one thing that we all got in common; we ain’t gotta worry when the sky starts fallin', No need to panic when the lord comes callin', cause it’s all just a part of the show.” The song continues, “We’ll load on up, take it out to the woods, where the fish are still biting, and the eating’s still good.”

Tritt spoke about the song, saying, “I loved the overall groove of the song when I first heard the demo, but what really hooked me was the lyrics. At a time when so much of the country was on pandemic lockdown, I think the idea of escaping to a secluded spot in the woods was very appealing for a lot of folks. It reminded me of a 'country folks can survive' theme. I personally know a lot of folks that still do this regularly.”

Like other notable artists, such as Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash, Tritt is one of a few current country artists to be labeled as an “outlaw.”  His music is influenced by some of the format’s most timeless artists like Jennings and Cash, along with George Jones, Conway Twitty, Emmylou Harris, and more.  

Earlier this year, it was announced that Tritt signed a record deal with LA-based label, Big Noise Music Group.  Tritt is finishing up his new original full-length album, which is due out next year.

Travis Tritt’s albums, seven of which are certified platinum or higher, have led him to amass more than 30 million in career album sales, two GRAMMY® Awards, four CMA Awards, including the CMA Horizon Award (now known as the New Artist Award); a Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist, an invitation to become a member of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry and a devoted fan base that has filled venues coast-to-coast. He is also dubbed one of “The Class of ‘89,” which includes Country music superstars Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Alan Jackson; all of whom dominated the charts in the ‘90s. 

Among his eleven studio albums and numerous charted singles are five number ones and 20 Top 10 hits, including “Help Me Hold On,” “Anymore,” “Can I Trust You with My Heart,” “Foolish Pride,” “Best of Intentions,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “Here’s A Quarter,” “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive,” and more. 

Additionally, throughout his extraordinary career, his talents have crossed over into film and tv, where he appeared in Rio Diablo (1993), The Cowboy Way (1994), Tales from the Crypt (1995), Sgt. Bilko (1996), Fire Down Below (1997), Outlaw Justice (1999), Touched By An Angel (1999), Blues Brothers (2000), Yes, Dear (2004), Brother’s Keeper (2013), Forever My Girl (2018), and more.

Travis Tritt continues to sell-out shows and stays authentic and relevant to country music fans across the globe. His distinctively soulful voice and exceptional guitar prowess continue to be front and center.  Tritt’s forthcoming new album marks his first original album release in over thirteen years. An album release date will be released at a later date.

For more information or a full list of Travis Tritt tour dates, visit his website TravisTritt.com and connect with him on social media.



TENILLE TOWNES WINS TWO ACM AWARDS

WINS IN BOTH NOMINATED CATEGORIES: NEW FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR AND MUSIC EVENT OF THE YEAR 

DEBUT ALBUM THE LEMONADE STAND RELEASED TO CRITICAL ACCLAIM


Tenille Townes is the winner of two awards at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards: New Female Artist of the Year and Music Event of the Year for “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Caylee Hammack and Elle King. Winning in both of her nominated categories, Townes will perform during the live awards show, which will air this Wednesday, September 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT on CBS. 

These accolades continue a breakout year for Townes, who is also the most nominated artist at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards with six nominations and recently released her acclaimed debut album, The Lemonade Stand, on Columbia Nashville in partnership with RCA Records. Produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town), the album consists of twelve songs written by Townes and continues to receive widespread critical praise.

Recent critical praise for The Lemonade Stand:
 
“it’s ultimately hopeful, empathetic, and supremely welcome at a moment when it’s easy to start feeling like everything looks pretty bleak”
- Rolling Stone 

“The Lemonade Stand is a good country album just about any way you spin it…Tenille Townes has the talent and energy that turns country singers into country stars.”
- Paste

“Although the rising country music artist is only 26 years old, the depth of emotion she reveals in her songwriting would suggest someone who has lived a much longer life.”
- Women’s Wear Daily 

“stellar…a perfect marriage of her razor-sharp melodic sense and Joyce’s stop-on-a-dime production”.
- The Tennessean 

“overflowing with longing, love and light…a unique sound in country, containing a fierceness that's a perfect fit for her passion-packed lyrics”
- People 

“finds her a confident and credible artist clearly capable of courting widespread crossover appeal…one of country’s most promising up and comers”
- American Songwriter

Lyrically, Tenille Townes’ American debut The Lemonade Stand may be the best of 2020…the humble master of turning a social statement into a poetic, concise and melodic country song”
- Taste of Country 

“flush with Townes’ signature message songs—deep and thoughtful ballads that tug at the heartstrings with evocative lyrics and haunting melodies.”
- Nashville Lifestyles

“With a curious and probing spirit, Townes infuses a distinct sense of wonderment into the stunning album that reflects her equally beautiful soul.”
- Sounds Like Nashville 

“It’s the kind of refreshing country music you didn’t even know your life was thirsty for”
- CMT 

“there’s nothing more integral to Townes’ first full-length career venture than this sense of community…continues the tradition of country music as a storytelling medium.”
- Forbes 

“Whether the ambiance in her songs welcomes in elements of carefree pop, country-leaning strings or unembellished acoustic guitar, Townes sketches truth throughout every song”
- Music Row 

“Townes possesses empathy in spades”—The Boot 

“a true reflection of Townes and her craft…If Townes is the source of inspiration for aspiring female country artists, then the industry is in very good hands.”
- NY Country Swag 

“well crafted, anthemic masterpieces”
- The Country Note

Of the album, Townes reflects, “The Lemonade Stand is a collection of songs that mean so much to me and are the way I see the world in this season of my life right now. I want this music to be like a gathering place, where people can come and be filled up. I hope this record reminds people of who they are, that they are not alone, and reminds them of their dreams. This record is the dream that I had when I was a seven-year-old kid singing along in the backseat of the car. She would really be freaking out right now.”

In celebration of the album release, Townes recently raised $89,000 during her virtual “Big Hearts For Big Kids” fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting two organizations: Sunrise House (a local youth shelter in Townes’ hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta) and Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee’s Troop 6000 (an initiative that supports girls without permanent housing in the Nashville area). In the eleven years since Townes started the annual fundraiser, “Big Hearts For Big Kids” has raised over $2 million. Hosted at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, the event featured Townes performing songs from the new album as well as special at-home performances from Dierks Bentley, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Andy Grammer, Mickey Guyton, Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Lori McKenna, Chrissy Metz, John Osborne and Lucie Silvas. 

The release of The Lemonade Stand adds to breakthrough series of years for Townes, who is a MusicRow 2020 Next Big Thing Artist, an iHeartCountry’s “On The Verge” artist and has been included in Amazon Music’s “2019 Artists To Watch,” CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” iHeart Radio’s “Artists To Watch in 2019,” “The Bobby Bones Show’s” “Class of 2019,” CMT’s “Listen Up” and the inaugural class of “Opry NextStage.” Additionally, she is featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum’s new American Currents: State of the Music exhibit. 

THE LEMONADE STAND TRACK LIST 

1. Holding Out For The One
2. Where You Are  
3. Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)
4. Lighthouse
5. White Horse
6. I Kept The Roses
7. When I Meet My Maker
8. Come As you Are  
9. The Way You Look Tonight
10. Find You
11. Somebody’s Daughter
12. The Most Beautiful Things