Friday, September 20, 2019

#NOWPLAYING: SONGS YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO - FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20


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 purchase and 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.

#SHARETHEMUSIC

THIS WEEK'S ARTISTS

"TURN THE PAGE"



"THANKS TO YOU"



"EVERY DAY KIND OF LOVE"



"SLOW AS I COULD"



"BACK TO YOU"



"PROSPECTOR"



"RAINBOW"



"OLD HAT"



"HEARTBEAT OF A SMALL TOWN"



"THE DAMN TRUTH"




Thursday, September 19, 2019

CHUCK DAUPHIN: A TRUE COUNTRY CLASSIC EARNS HIS WINGS


If there is one thing that has always drawn me to country music, it's the people. I love the music, the stories, the tradition, but there's just something about the people that makes it special. One of those people is my friend Chuck Dauphin. I know I've talked your heads off about him since he was first admitted to hospice but I'm gonna keep talking about him because people like Chuck need to be talked about. Those of his character and his calibre are few and far between so when you are lucky enough to connect with a rarity like Chuckadoodle, you talk about him.

Chuck (aka "Crazy Chuckie) passed away yesterday, 9/18, at the young age of 45, after a long battle with multiple issues related to diabetes and yes, those who knew him will miss him immensely, however instead of being sad, I am sure that we're also all happy that he's no longer in pain, he's back with his loved ones and singing along as part of country music's most heavenly choir of voices. He was crazy alright ... crazy about country music, those who create it (Kenny Rogers was his absolute favorite, total fan boy), country radio, the  and most of all, he was crazy about the people. He didn't care where you came from, the color of your skin, your political affiliation, or if you had warts on your nose. People are people and he treated everyone the same. He was friends with big names and he was friends with Ordinary Joe from Normal, IL. He just loved people, he truly did and we loved him.

Chuck worked as a broadcaster at WDKN radio in Dickson, TN for 18 years before being promoted to program director. He also spent time at WNKX in Centerville, TN and Nashville’s WSM-AM. He was the listener's best friend, always friendly and ready to talk about all things country and would play songs that people wanted to hear. His listeners loved him, loved hearing his stories and loved just carrying on a conversation with him. That's the kind of guy he was, outgoing and personable. He was also the creative mind and pen behind hundreds of  articles published in Billboard magazine and various online music media outlets. If you know country music, then you have seen or heard the name Chuck Dauphin. You could find him anywhere around Music City, smiling and singing along in an Opry pew as his musical heroes sang his favorite songs, in the crowd at various CMA Fest shows, at local venues supporting new and upcoming artists or sharing a meal with his friends at some of Nashville's favorite restaurants. Quite literally, Chuck was everywhere and he will still be everywhere long after his passing.

I first met Chuck online about 8 years ago and we became fast friends. He was always willing to help me, a fledgling independent promoter/blogger sitting in her bedroom office on the coast of NC, learn the ropes, who to connect with, who to stay away from and he taught me that the best way to win an audience who truly connects with what you do is to do it honestly and to do it MY way. Be authentic. He taught me how to avoid getting caught up in the bubble and stay just to the outside, close enough to see inside but far enough away so the industry vortex didn't suck me into the wrong elements. He always said "Speak from the heart, speak your mind in a positive way, and support the music from a place most seem to have forgotten, the soul" and people will listen. He was right. He didn't care about making a million of connections, he only cared about making the right connections. I'm glad he felt I was one of those connections because he sure was for me. I would send him random notes in the mail just to make him smile and remind him how good of a person he was when he needed to hear it most and to boost his spirit during his down times. I will miss sending those and getting a call or text from him telling me how much he loved getting them.

My fondest memories both involve 4 of our favorite guys, The Oak Ridge Boys. When the Country Music Hall of Fame said that they would be making the announcement for the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees, we both KNEW the Oaks were finally gonna get their day. We were gonna riot if they didn't. (It may have only been a 2 person riot, but it was gonna sound like more than that.) He attended the announcement ceremony and called me. He was all giddy and giggly so I knew something was up. He said that there "Oaks related people" sitting in the audience. He didn't hang up once the announcements began, he let me listen in so it was like being there live. When they announced the Oaks were in, we both went nuts. He called me after all was over and all he said was "Ooom papa mow mow" and we just talked Oaks stuff for about an hour. He did the same thing during the actual medallion ceremony and that mean the world to me. He was just that kind of person.

Chuck left a huge impression on country music and I sure hope that in his absence, we all learn from the blessings he left us and that we can somehow repay him by showing more respect to the genre as a whole and seeing it as he did, something to be proud of, something to revere and I hope that we all treat each other with the kindness he showed to so many of us.

Thank you Chuckadoodle (my nickname for him, among many ... LOL) for just being you. I'm sure glad you're up there watching over all of us. We couldn't ask for a better, crazier guardian angel. You are loved. You are a true country classic. You earned those wings darlin.

Until the day we meet again,

Jenn

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

CAM SURPRISES ICONIC WILLIAMS FAMILY UP-AND-COMER SAM WILLIAMS, INVITES HIM TO MAKE OPRY DEBUT

Grandson of Hank Williams and Son of Hank Williams Junior to Make Opry Debut October 9


Country superstar Cam surprised singer/songwriter Sam Williams at the final stop on her OH, THE PLACES WE'LL GO! European tour Saturday night (9/14), inviting the son of Hank Williams Jr. and grandson of Hank Williams Sr. to make his Grand Ole Opry debut in front of a sold-out crowd at Berlin’s Huxley's Neue Welt.



“The moment Cam asked me, I was too focused on our last night singing together and it almost didn’t even register in my brain,” Williams told Wide Open Country of the surprise invite. “After singing ‘Jolene,’ I came off stage and balled like a baby. I pressed an emergency exit button side stage, frantically trying to FaceTime everyone I knew. This happening is truly historic and I am so excited.”

Williams recently released his latest single "Weatherman" (9/6) - an “electrifying cover” (Sounds Like Nashville) of his father’s 1981 hit. The tune has already been added to Apple Music's Breaking Country and Country Roads playlists, Amazon's Fresh Folk & Americana playlist, Spotify's New Music Nashville playlist and Pandora’s New Americana Now and This Year In Americana playlists.

He recently returned to the U.S. after a successful run opening for Cam at all eight stops of her OH, THE PLACES WE’LL GO! European tour, which kicked off September 1 with a show at Belfast, Ireland’s Empire Music Hall and included performances in London, Sheffield, England, Manchester, U.K., Amsterdam, Netherlands, Paris, France and Hamburg, Germany.

He released previous single, "Gemini" on June 21 - the last day of Gemini season. Praised by many for his voice "exuding equal parts power and grace" (Rolling Stone) that seems to "rise from another spiritual plane," (Sounds Like Nashville) the CMT "Must-See Indie You Need To Know" is poised to leave his own legacy on country music, unafraid to push his own creative limits and break through the self-inflicted limitations that threaten the genre as a whole.

Gemini’s are known for keeping others on their toes. Just like his father, Hank Williams, Jr., Blake Shelton, Prince, Paul McCartney, Boy George and more, the charismatic acts excel at almost anything they put their minds to. Inspired by “the new Nashville” with artists like Margo Price, Tyler Childers, Ruston Kelly and more blurring genre lines, Williams feels it’s his time to share the art he’s been crafting in the studio. Influenced by artists from Billie Eilish to Dolly Parton, his sister Holly Williams to Drake, it’s easy to see why so many have been keeping an eye on him in anticipation of what’s to come.

JOHN BERRY CELEBRATES 60TH BIRTHDAY AND 40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HIS FIRST ALBUM, “HUMBLE BEGINNINGS” WITH LIMITED RELEASE


Grammy winning singer/songwriter, John Berry, celebrated his 60th birthday performing in Panama City Beach and the 40th Anniversary of his first album, which he self-released on vinyl and titled it Humble Beginnings in September 1979. He wrote all of the songs himself. The musicians that joined Berry on Humble Beginnings were some of Berry's dearest friends. His band consisted of Dick Falcone on bass guitar, Mark Ensley on drums, and Perry Barton played piano and background vocals. The album was recorded and re-mixed at The Basement, Chamblee, Georgia with piano tracks recorded at Landmark Christian Church, Doraville, Georgia. There is a picture of the little studio on the back cover. Along with recording there, Perry and John would load the gear into his van and set it up late at night at his old church and use their wonderful grand piano. It was this first album that started a tradition to always place a clock somewhere in the cover of the album with the time set at the release number.  A limited number of the collectors edition of the original vinyl is available at johnberrystore.bigcartel.com.

Berry’s early music was influenced by Cat Stevens, John Denver, Harry Chapin, Kenny Loggins and Neil Young, no traditional country artists were on his radar at that time, but his sweet-sounding tenor made the most of his country-flavored pop material with all its well-rounded edges.

“I started playing acoustic guitar in 1972 and I didn’t grow up listening to country music,” Berry admits. “But my music lent itself to that marketplace.”

The project is comprised of ten songs, written by John Berry, trying to put to music his heart as a young man. "I can honestly say that I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, but I did have my dear friend and fellow musician, Perry Barton, right there beside me as we tried to figure it all out. If nothing else it was a great learning experience and I wouldn’t trade the time we spent working on these projects at The Basement for anything. That little studio, as primitive as it was, was a place that I really learned who I was, and who I wasn’t." reflects Berry. "It’s hard to believe it was 40 years ago. Hopefully I’ve grown!"

His third album, Waiting For You, is also being made available. These two vinyl albums are the only remaining original vinyl records before he signed a record deal. By late 1981, Perry had joined a great Atlanta band, The Joe Band. "They were so flippin’ good!!! I would go to hear them play as often as I could. I was a bit of a nuisance I’m sure, but I loved to hear those guys play," exclaimed John Berry. The Joe Band lent their talents to the making of Waiting For You.  Berry explained his reasoning, "Growth was certainly going to happen when you have talented people with you. I was still trying to learn how to write songs and how to sing without sounding like I was singing in a choir!" The Joe Band, comprised of Jody Worrell, Ken McNeil, Jim Durand, Perry Barton, and Michael C Steele became good friends of Berry and eventually, Steele left that band and came to play in Athens, Ga with Berry in the Spring of 1985 and has continued to play in John's band today. More information on this album is available at www.johnberry.com.

Berry added, "Not all history is pretty, but it’s mine. I own it. It’s how I got here. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey back in time, if nothing else it will help you appreciate (and be thankful for) the present even more!"

John Berry – Humble Beginnings Tracklist:

If I Ever Do Get Famous 
Century Center 
The Master
Old John Brown
Song For October
Call Me Crazy
Guitar Picker
To Make You See
Miracle
Saturday Night

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Berry worked the Atlanta club circuit and released five more independent albums. His breakthrough came in 1993, when his first album on a major label, Capitol, went platinum with sales of more than 1 million copies. He followed that with a second Capitol album, “Standing on the Edge,” which included the hit song “Your Love Amazes Me.” “Your Love Amazes Me” went to No. 1 on the country music charts, earning Berry a Grammy Award nomination and other honors. Another cut from that CD, “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye,” was also nominated for a Grammy.

Catch John Berry on tour as he wraps up his 2019 tour and prepares for his 23rd Annual John Berry Songs and Stories Christmas Tour.

2019 Tour Dates:

9-19-19 - Sugar Hill, GA - The Bowl at Sugar Hill
10-20-19 - Hilderbran, NC - Central Baptist Church
10-24-19 - Alexander, AL - Benjamin Russell HS The Heart Behind the Music Series

2019 Christmas Songs and Stories Tour:

11-22-19 - Marietta, GA -Marietta Performing Arts Center 
11-23-19 - Lynn Haven, FL - Gretchen Scott Nelson Performing Arts Center
11-24-19 - High Point, NC - High Point Theater
11-29-19 - Shipshewana, IN - Shipshewana Event Center
11-30-19 - Washington, IN - Washington High School Theater
12-1-19 - Chillicothe, OH - Majestic Theatre 
12-3-19 - Ironton, OH - Ironton High School Auditorium
12-5-19 - Jeffersonville, IN - Jeffersonville Plaza 
12-7-19 - Detroit Lakes, MN - Historic Holmes Theater
12-9-19 - Big Rapids, MI – Williams Auditorium Ferris State University
12-11-19 - Newberry, SC - Newberry Opera House
12-12-19 - Wilkesboro, NC - Wilkes Community College 
12-13-19 - Albany, GA - Albany Municipal Auditorium 
12-14-19 - Watkinsville, GA - Oconee County Civic Center 
12-16-19 - Augusta, GA - Imperial Theatre
12-17-19 - Gainesville, GA - Pearce Auditorium 
12-18-19- Dothan, AL - Dothan Opera House 
12-19-19 - Breman, GA - Mill Town Music Hall 
12-20-19 - Tifton, GA - Tift Theatre 
12-21-19 - Macon, GA - The Grand Opera House 
12-22-19 - Gallatin, TN - The Palace Theatre 

The current single, “The Richest Man,” continues to make an emotional impact with fans and receive rave reviews. It is no surprise that John Berry quickly sells out venues all over the country.  The Entertainment Nexus once described the award-winning entertainer as "one of the most remarkable voices in music."

The current album by John Berry, Thomas Road, is available on digital formats for streaming and download here and can be ordered from his website 

For the latest information, keep an eye on www.johnberry.com.

JIMMY BOWEN PAYS TRIBUTE TO EARL THOMAS CONLEY AT INTIMATE GATHERING AT THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME


Photo Credit: Donn Jones

L-R Neal McCoy, John Armstrong, Erinn Scates, Tony Stephens, Jimmy Bowen, Wade Hayes, Michael Pyle, Dale Ann Bradley, Blake Shelton, John Anderson, Devon O'Day, Curtis Jay Hiner, Mike Hansen, Joe Diffie, Luke Bryan, Bill Cody, Kat Scates, Jason Alden, Dan Drobac, Carole Scates, Dave Agerholm, Fred Conley

Jimmy Bowen had a successful run with Earl Thomas Conley for seven years in his band playing acoustic guitar and also played mandolin on "Brotherly Love." Bowen was recently honored play onstage as he joined other Artists who were fans of Conley and gathered at the CMA Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Tuesday (September 10, 2019) to pay tribute to Earl Thomas Conley. The event was hosted by Bill Cody and Devon O’Day from WSM-AM 650 who added their favorite stories of Conley.

“Earl and I talked a lot on the bus late at night. We were both night owls. What I found really comforting as an artist myself, is his outlook on the industry. He would talk about how his generation were all working for the same goal. The important thing he stressed is the fact they all sounded different. Every artist was creative in their own way and recorded songs that fit them and their vocal style,” Bowen stated as one of his favorite memories of touring and playing with Earl Thomas Conley.

Before a near capacity crowd, the group of entertainers talked about Conley’s influence on them and sang his songs. All agreed that Conley’s music had a depth to it that continues to influence country music today.

“His music and life was amazing. The band getting back together brought back so many memories of the time we spent together. We laughed, we cried, and we remembered what a great writer and entertainer Earl was. His lyrics were so real and told a story or love, happiness and occasionally sadness. He was a mentor, a friend and true country singer/entertainer. He was a musical icon and I dearly miss him,” stated Jimmy Bowen. “The tribute of his life and music was celebrated with such love, feeling and emotion, that I know he was smiling down from heaven, saying, You boys did good, as he often always did after a show. The tribute and Earl's music will live in our hearts forever and so will he, Earl Thomas Conley!”

Jimmy Bowen has been creating music for more than three decades and, thankfully, has even bigger plans for the future. His new single, “Blood Red Moon,” was co-written written by Sonny LeMaire, Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James. The new music is available for streaming and download on all online digital platforms here.

Stay current with Jimmy Bowen on his website jimmybowen.com