Saturday, February 22, 2020


Today, everyone is focused on politics in Nevada and who won the popular vote. Politics schmolitics. You put a bunch of donkeys and elephants in the same room, you just get big piles of crap. 

Well, we thought we’d do our own caucus in the country music community with the focus not on votes, but on positive actions. Here are our winners of the Lovin’ Lyrics Country Caucus 2020.

- Ava Paige, Jason Matthews and Bryan Wayne

These three people are some of the most talented singer/songwriters but that’s not all they have in common. They are all fighting a much more personal battle than getting their music heard. They are each fighting health battles. 

Ava, a teenager, was diagnosed with leukemia last year. Instead of letting it win the fight, she is determined to be a sur-thriver. She spends her days in treatment and her free time is spent writing songs with some of country’s best writers, singing on Nashville stages and even singing the National Anthem for the Nashville Predators. She is a sur-thriving boss.

Jason, a hit writer with cuts including “Must Be Doing Something Right” (Billy Currington) and “Break Down Here” (Julie Roberts) has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments after being diagnosed with throat cancer a year ago. With the support of his biggest fan (and wife) Debbie, his resolve is strong to continue doing what he loves the most. Not only has this past year strengthened his desire to write and perform at his best, it has also strengthened his faith in God. 

Bryan, best known for writing the Tommy Shane Steiner hit, ”What If She’s an Angel” is using his own diagnosis with terminal ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) to spread awareness of the disease in a positive way. Several of his friends, including Ashley Gorley, Neil Thrasher, Bonnie Baker, Jason Blaine, Joanna Janet, James Otto and Big and Rich came together in 2018 to perform his songs and knowing he would be losing his voice, Bryan recorded an album, “While You Wait” for his family so they would always be able to hear it. He currently promotes various causes related to ALS and shares his story with the world. He wants others to know that while yes, it is deemed as terminal, you can still live your life positively.

- The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt and Tanya Tucker

These artists have all proven one thing - fans have not given up on country music and want to hear what radio won’t play. Just ask the thousands of attendees of their shows.

The Oak Ridge Boys (Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban) are constantly busy proving that good music and great entertainers have staying power. The Country Music Hall of Famers are on the road more nights than most current Top 40 artists (125 nights or more), sometimes 2 shows a day, including a Christmas tour, playing to sold out venues night after night. When they aren’t on the road, they’re in the studio recording new music or making television appearances and radio interviews. They are currently spokesmen for AARP and helping fight fraud.

Travis Tritt is also a busy son of a gun - he is on a sell out acoustic tour (which I can honestly say is a MUST SEE show. His voice is stronger than ever), he’s recording not only a brand new album, but making guest appearances on other artists songs including Hot Country Knights and Cory Marks. He also was a judge on TV’s “Real Country” along with Shania Twain and Jake Owen which showcased up and coming “real country” artists.

Tanya Tucker ... a new kick ass album and multiple recent Grammy awards. Enough said. She wins.

- Mickey Guyton

Mickey Guyton, one of the best and overlooked female voices in country music, left mouths hanging open, tears rolling down faces and industry executives asking themselves what the hell were they thinking with her emotional performance at this years Country Radio Seminar. The song, “What Are You Going to Tell Her”, co-written by Victoria Banks, is a matter of fact story of struggles that Mickey and other females deal with every day. Many artists were trying to make a lasting impression last week but this was the moment that won CRS. Well radio, what are you going to tell her now?

- Cash Creek (Kimo Forrest, Monty DeVita and James Blaylock)

As if these guys didn’t have enough going on between writing and recording their own music, their weekly podcast “Cash Creek Club”, their once a month live show at Music City Bar and Grill - “Cash Creek Club Live” with superstar headliners like T. Graham Brown, Wade Hayes, Heidi Newfield, Tim Rushlow and Richie McDonald among others and Kimo touring the country as guitarist with country supergroup, Alabama, they have now started their own record label, CCB Nashville and have been working to help new artists like RT Johnson, Angela Oliver, Mercy Shine and others establish their own budding careers. These guys are ALWAYS a positive influence in a not so positive industry. It’s great seeing artists support each other.

- KFrog’s Heather Froglear, WGAR’s Carletta Blake,  CountryAF’s Cody Clark, Country Superstars 102.3’s Marty Young, KRTY’s Indiana Al and KOKE FM’s Rita Ballou

Now y’all know how I feel about today’s country radio, I rarely listen anymore because of the corporate politics and behind the scenes BS, the lack of variety, blah blah blah. That being said, I love a lot of the dj’s, PD’s and Music Programmers. They usually have no real control over what is and isn’t played yet these are some of the best when it comes to supporting new signed and unsigned artists. They talk about them on social media, bring them in for local shows and tell their listeners how much they personally like their music. They can’t buck the system on the air but they subtly find ways around it off the air and myself and many others appreciate them for it.

HLE Radio’s Brian Carpenter, Hunter Logan, Randy Finchum and Steve Roberson

HLE Radio is an independent Christian Country internet radio station that is keeping faith alive in an environment where it was once part of the everyday playlist but has since become a rarity. They showcase music and artists with a positive message.

- WQDR 94.7 FM Raleigh, NC 

This is our local large market station based in Raleigh, NC. WQDR plays the gamut, Top 40, classic country and even local unsigned artists. What? Did she say UNSIGNED artists? Yes, she did. They have a Homegrown Country show on Sunday nights showcasing NC local artists. What a concept! They dare to play unsigned artists ON THE AIR and still are nominated and WIN multiple ACM/CMA large market station awards. See? You CAN still be a great station and play outside the corporate playlist. 

- Country Watch and The CM Beat

Country Watch and The CM Beat are just like us, independent music bloggers. They simply love music, support those who create it and want to shine the spotlight on the artist, not themselves. Nicki (CW) and Emily (CMB) work hard to showcase great new music, spend hours doing it because they love it and simply want to help. Thank you both.

There ya have it. See? Much better than political monkey poo flinging. I like our Caucus better.

Friday, February 21, 2020


If you're looking for new artists and you're getting tired of the same old Top 40 repetition on today's country radio, check out these names you may or may not be familiar with. Some songs listed are new, some may have been out for quite awhile, and all are of various styles because one taste doesn't suit all palates. Some may also be veteran artists that you might already love or some of country's most talented songwriters.

I'm simply introducing you to artists you might enjoy and music you might connect with. There's such a wide world of artists and songs out there to broaden your listening base and beyond what radio is telling us is good music. Don't limit yourself to radio when there are so many other outlets where truly good music can be found.

If you find yourself liking any of these artists, please follow them on social media and let them know you enjoy their music. Please be sure to talk about and share any of the songs and artists you like on this list. I'm sure they'd appreciate it! One more thing, if you stream or download a song, please be sure to leave a review. These help the artists and their teams more than you realize. If you like the song, let them know why you love it. If not, be constructive and honest (not mean) about why you don't like it so much.











Tuesday, February 18, 2020


8th Anniversary Cruise Already Over 70% Sold Out

Josh Turner (Special Appearance 1/27), Mark Chesnutt, Lee Greenwood, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sawyer Brown, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Fortune, Asleep At The Wheel, John Schneider, Lacy J. Dalton, Wade Hayes, Johnny Lee, Mo Pitney, Mandy Barnett, Ashley Campbell, Grand Ole Opry At Sea, Cruise Host Lorianne Crook, Elvis Tribute Artists 
and More To Be Added

Voyage Sails From Fort Lauderdale to Freeport,
 Key West and Cozumel January 24-31, 2021

Just as the sold-out 2020 Country Music Cruise arrived back in port, StarVista LIVE announced the exciting lineup for the 8th annual Country Music Party At Sea. Neotraditional Country artist Josh Turner will headline a special performance for passengers onboard in Key West, and Mark Chesnutt, Lee Greenwood, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sawyer Brown and many more fan favorites will entertain guests on the Eurodam, one of Holland America’s stunning Signature-class ships. The seven-day cruise will depart from Ft. Lauderdale on January 24, 2021 and make stops in beautiful Freeport, Key West and Cozumel before returning on January 31.

“I’m looking forward to seeing y’all on The Country Music Cruise 2021 in Key West,” said Josh Turner. “I’ve heard this crowd loves traditional country music, and I’ve got a few of those songs up my sleeve! I’m looking forward to spending a warm winter day singing some good ole country music with everyone.”

Booking is open now, and The Country Music Cruise 2021 is already over 70% sold out. Guests are encouraged to make reservations soon to ensure the best rates and choice in cabins by visiting or calling toll-free 866-476-2879.

In addition to Turner, artists already booked include Mark Chesnutt, Lee Greenwood, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sawyer Brown, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Fortune, Asleep At The Wheel, John Schneider, Lacy J. Dalton, Wade Hayes, Johnny Lee, Mo Pitney, Mandy Barnett and Ashley Campbell.

Back by popular demand will be the Elvis Tribute Artists and a very special Grand Ole Opry at Sea performance event. Celebrated television and radio personality Lorianne Crook returns as Cruise Host.

“For guests, the cruise is a week they will never forget,” said Mike Jason, StarVista LIVE Senior Vice President. “Great traditional country music, lots of country stars performing in intimate settings, mingling with guests and sitting in with various other artists and all of it on a world class Holland America ship. I’m with Lorianne Crook when she says it’s her favorite week of the year!”

Guests onboard The Country Music Cruise have unprecedented opportunities to meet and mingle with the stars aboard what has been called the ultimate country music party. In addition to more than 50 live performances on seven stages, cruisers can socialize with their favorite artists at theme nights, panel discussions, Q&A sessions, jam sessions, meet and greets, autograph sessions and more. The non-stop entertainment also includes Country karaoke, Gospel Hour, dueling pianos, line dancing and costume contests.

Fares for The Country Music Cruise 2021 include main stage concerts, daily activities, delicious meals and so much more. To book a cabin, call toll-free 866-476-2879 or visit


Trace Adkins has sold 11 million albums over the last two decades with hits like “You’re Gonna Miss This” and “Every Light In The House Is On” fueling his live shows. With a new album on the horizon, Adkins is taking the music to the people in 2020 on his new tour, The Way I Wanna Go Tour 2020. The 27-stop jaunt begins April 15 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with stops in Biloxi, Mississippi, French Lick, Indiana and Cheyenne, Wyoming along the way.

The 6’6”, deep-voiced Grand Ole Opry member, who has earned numerous GRAMMY nominations and taken home multiple CMT and ACM awards, has little left to prove but says he still craves the rush of recording albums and performing live for his die-hard fans, some of whom weren’t even born when he started touring.

“I’ll be on stage singing ‘Every Light in the House Is On,’ and I look down at the crowd and realize that person right there wasn’t even alive when I recorded that song,” Adkins says, laughing. “To watch their face go, Oh, that’s a cool hook, I like this… it’s like, ‘Well, these songs still resonate today and are tried-and-true hits.’ It’s pretty special.”

Catch the fiery Louisiana native and his band at one of the below stops. Pre-sale tickets for select dates are available now. Join the free Trace Adkins Online Community at to unlock the pre-sale password.

Trace Adkins’ The Way I Wanna Go Tour 2020

4/15/2020                   American Music Theatre                                Lancaster, PA
4/16/2020                   Packard Music Hall                                        Warren, OH
4/17/2020                   The Ritz Theatre                                             Tiffin, OH
4/18/2020                   Midland Theatre                                             Newark, OH
4/19/2020                   Capitol Music Hall                                         Wheeling, WV
5/7/2020                     Clay Center                                                     Charleston, WV
5/8/2020                     Del Lago Resort & Casino                              Waterloo, NY
5/9/2020                     Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races     Charles Town, WV
5/15/2020                   IP Casino Resort & Spa                                   Biloxi, MS
5/16/2020                   Delta Downs Racetrack Casino                       Vinton, LA
6/27/2020                   Frederick Brown Jr Amphitheater                   Peachtree City, GA
7/2/2020                     Fraze Pavilion                                                  Kettering, OH
7/3/2020                     French Lick Resort Casino                              French Lick, IN
7/5/2020                     Dauphin’s Countryfest                                     Dauphin, MB, CAN
7/8/2020                     Northern Wisconsin State Fair                        Chippewa Falls, WI
7/9/2020                     Red River Valley Fairgrounds                         West Fargo, ND
7/10/2020                   Gathering On The Green                                 Mequon, WI
7/11/2020                   Hodag Country Fest                                         Rhinelander, WI
7/17/2020                   Sunset Station Hotel & Casino                        Las Vegas, NV
7/18/2020                   Peppermill Concert Hall                                  West Wendover, NV
7/19/2020                   Cheyenne Frontier Days                                  Cheyenne, WY
7/29/2020                   Neshoba County Fair                                       Philadelphia, MS
7/30/2020                   Tailgate N’ Tallboys Festival                           Taylorville, IL
8/1/2020                     Jackson County Fair                                        Maquoketa, IA
8/7/2020                     Manitoulin Country Fest                                 Little Current, ON
8/13/2020                   Missouri State Fair                                          Sedalia, MO
8/15/2020                   Chase County Fair                                          Imperial, NE
8/21/2020                   Antelope Valley Fair                                       Lancaster, CA
9/25/2020                   Oklahoma State Fair                                      Oklahoma City, OK
11/9-11/14/2020        Country Cruising 2020                                   Tampa, FL

See all upcoming dates and info at:

Friday, February 14, 2020


Live Debut of Single on Today in Nashville

Named One of Top Eight Artists To Watch in 2020 
by Maverick Magazine

Following recent success of their 2019 releases “Til The Cow’s Come Home,” “Drive” and “These Hands,” the on the rise Country music trio, Lockeland (Michael Boris, Kyndon Oakes and Mark Vikingstad,) have announced the digital release of “Keep Us Young” ahead of an exciting year of new music and live shows. The new music, written by Boris, Oakes and Vikingstad, is an ode to those feelings sparked as young love ignites was premiered yesterday as an Exclusive first listen on Billboard Country. The song is available for streaming and downloads on all major digital music platforms.

“The three of us were inspired to pen “Keep Us Young” as a tribute to our parents, who have all been happily married for thirty-plus years,” shares Lockeland. “Strong relationships like theirs serve as an incredible example of how true love can keep couples young at heart.”

Lockeland’s live debut performance of “Keep Us Young,” their first single for 2020, aired during a live performance on Today In Nashville show on WSMV and can be viewed here.

Fronted by lead-singer Kyndon Oakes, Lockeland represents all that’s important about traditional U.S country, with a contemporary production standard. As a trio, their individual talents compliment each other instinctively resulting in a well polished, three-part harmony sound. Since the launch of the trio’s debut single, “Til The Cows Come Home”, Lockeland was selected as a regular full band stage act on the world famous Wildhorse Saloon stage in Nashville, appeared on the CMA Spotlight Stage (CMA Fest 2019) and opened for Big & Rich on two separate occasions in 2019. The group recently embarked on an international tour (canvassing England and Scotland) where the trio provided direct support for CAM at Millport Country Festival and shared the stage at the Long Road Festival with Kip Moore, Josh Turner, LANCO and loads more.

Stay current with everything Lockeland on their website: