Music Spotlight: Casi Joy

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Casi Joy has been singing publicly since she was 5 years old. Her first performance was a talent at her hometown’s local talent show near Kansas City, Missouri. Not being from a musical family, her parents were a little confused by her desire to become a singer.

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Chris Janson Releases ‘All I Need Is You’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Before I got the email, I thought it was about time for some new Chris Janson music because it had been a few years since he put new music out. Fueled by Mountain Dew®, Janson’s high-octane show puts this human hummingbird right at the top of my all-time favorite live performers.

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Music Spotlight: Emily Ann Roberts

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I think of what country music ought to sound like, a voice like Emily Ann Roberts’ comes to mind. I suppose part of the reason she sings and talks “right” to me is that she was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, not too far from where I was reared.

Naturally, I wanted to learn more about this gifted Tennessee girl.

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Music Spotlight: Colton James

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Colton James hails from a small town near Franklin, Virginia. Both of his grandmothers played piano and organ at church, while his mother had a strong singing voice. James started singing at church at age four and continued making music at church and in plays at his Christian school.

“My mother sang in church but my Granny on my dad’s side was a West Virginia honky tonk granny, and she might have a little drink here and there,” he said.

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Music Spotlight: Wendy Starland

I met Wendy Starland at a party in Nashville celebrating an upcoming original music competition TV show that will air on MTV later this year. When we arrived, everyone was clamoring to get a picture with her. She was so beautiful that I was taken aback. However, I wondered why she was there.

It turns out that Starland is a musical maven. One of the show’s producers told me that she was a brilliant songwriter and that I needed to meet her. After we met, I asked if she wanted to be featured in my Music Spotlight column, and she gave me her phone number.

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New Country Music Label Baste Records Launched for Anti-Woke Artists

A new country music label is recruiting and promoting anti-woke artists, launched by the young founder of The Post-Millennial. Matthew Azrieli, who is also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist, started Baste Records to promote talented country singers who are struggling to survive in the mainstream music business due to their right-leaning political and cultural views. He’s brought on talent like Chris Wallin, also a singer and songwriter who has written music for some of the biggest country stars, including Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Trace Adkins. 

Azrieli told The Arizona Sun Times that he started Baste Records because music is a passion. He wanted to “provide a healthy outlet for conservatives, instead of just complaining.” Baste Records intends to appeal to a certain niche, the center right, instead of attempting to have a broad appeal that risks alienating factions. He pointed out Netflix is an example of an entertainment company that is engaging in the latter, angering both conservatives and the transgender community, causing it to lose market share. He said, “Cultural and political identities are driving entertainment media.” 

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Music/Author Spotlight: Aiden Adams

I’ve featured hundreds of artists and even a few authors. But when I got the email about Aiden Adams, I found that he has written six books and several songs. And he is eight years old.

The first book that he wrote is titled “There Are No Sheep In New York City.”  His dad, Neal Adams, is an author and illustrator.

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Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens Receive the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- On a Sunday night that was years in the making, Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens were honored with the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award, which raises money for the Cecil Scaife Endowment at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University.

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Music Spotlight: Ashley Cooke

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After hearing her on Sirius XM the Highway and seeing her fun and vibrant social media posts, I was instantly drawn to Ashley Cooke. I was excited to feature her in my column.

After winning the coveted Country Showcase at Belmont College, the communications major was just starting her new career path when the pandemic hit and forced the recent college graduate to temporarily move back home.

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Music Spotlight: Shaylen

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Shaylen grew up in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was there that she first began performing, singing in church, and acting in local children’s theater. She also sang in her school choir and took private vocal, piano, and guitar lessons.

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WhistlePig and Brothers Osborne Release Limited Edition Whiskey

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – WhistlePig Whiskey and Grammy Award-winning country music duo and reigning CMA Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are celebrating 100 for all, all for 100 this holiday season with the launch of their new whiskey collaboration. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100% Rye Whiskey, created for and selected by John and TJ Osborne, to celebrate those who give 100% in the name of greatness.

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Project Supergroup to Air on MTV

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Project Supergroup is a first-of-its-kind music competition series that implements a new and innovative “build a band” from scratch concept that showcases exceptionally talented musicians who play, write, and sing.

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Daniel Borge Releases ‘Backseat Backroad’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my previous Music Spotlight artists, Norwegian-born Daniel Borge, has one of the most interesting “how I got to country music/Nashville” stories of anyone I have ever interviewed.

Unfortunately, when the ball had just begun rolling, the pandemic hit, and he could not travel and pursue his dream.

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Music Spotlight: Colony House

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I got the press release that a Nashville-based rock band, Colony House, was releasing their fourth studio album on February 3, 2022, I was intrigued, because in this town we don’t have a lot of modern rock bands. All four band members are from Tennessee, with two being from Franklin.

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Music Spotlight: Mackenzie Carpenter

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Those who follow my column know I find a lot of my new artists from the Song Suffragettes or SiriusXM’s The Highway. On The Highway, They feature new artists who are often named as their “Highway Finds.” And while I’m not always crazy about every new musician they feature, when I heard Mackenzie Carpenter’s “Can’t Nobody” a few months back, it was love at first listen.

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Music Spotlight: Erin Kinsey

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Although she only vaguely remembers it, I met Erin Kinsey at a Writer’s Round in a side room at the Bavarian Bierhaus at Opry Mills in March of 2021 and we still weren’t sure if we should even be gathering.

Long before Kinsey officially launched her country music career, the Texas girl was already a full decade into it. Her parents had her in every sport, club, and extra-curricular activity they could think of. She played tennis, basketball, and soccer and even took piano lessons. They wanted to help her figure out what she loved. Their goal was to help her find a career born out of passion.

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Edi Callier Wins The Road to Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I was invited to attend a reception that celebrated one of King Charles’ charities, The Unity of Faiths Foundation, (TUFF) who are co-organizers of The Road to Nashville songwriting contest, I knew it was going to be a spectacular event.

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Duke Spirits Launches The Masters Music Series

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Launched on October 7, Duke Spirits teamed with a talented group of artists for its latest project, The Masters Music Series.  Hosted by Runaway June’s Jennifer Wayne, The Masters Music Series is a live performance video series that unites an accomplished group of musicians and writers, showcasing and supporting both emerging and established artists through various programs and initiatives. The series will release two videos each week on Duke Spirits’ YouTube channel.

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Music Spotlight: Ian Munsick

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Ian Munsick comes from a musical ranching family. They were and are real-life singing cowboys. Under the tutelage of their fiddle-playing father, Munsick and his two older brothers grew up playing everything from bluegrass to The Beatles.

Ranching was how their father provided for them, but in the evenings, the family would often play music around town. They did rodeos and private events while traveling around the Rocky Mountain region.

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Music Spotlight: Taylor Edwards

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Taylor Edwards has been singing since she was a toddler. Her parents remembered that at age 3 she would jump on a table in a restaurant and start singing.

Her parents thought, “Oh goodness, this one, she likes the attention.”

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Music Spotlight: Chapel Hart

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –Before the rest of the world discovered Chapel Hart this summer on America’s Got Talent, I was a fan. They had come across my newsfeed, and I sent an email inquiring about a possible interview in 2021. When I never heard back, other artists got pushed to the forefront.

This summer Chapel Hart electrified America with the original hit “You Can Have Him, Jolene.” Multiple people contacted me asking if I had heard them sing. I determined then that I had to interview this dynamic trio because they truly were unlike any other group I had ever featured.

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Exclusive: Cory Singer Premieres ‘Chance of a Lifetime (The Truth)’

Before I discovered my love for traditional country music, Americana, and bluegrass, I loved big-band and Broadway music. I prided myself on knowing the big show tunes from all the famous musicals.

When I heard Cory Singer’s song “I Still Love You,” I thought, “Wow, I wonder which musical this song is from. How have I missed it before now?”

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Music Spotlight: Chase Wright

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –In the past few years, a name that kept showing up in my feed was Chase Wright. (Not to be confused with another country singer/songwriter, Chase Rice.) Recently, as I was driving to work, I heard SiriusXM The Highway’s Storme Warren talking to Chase Wright. He invited him to become SXM The Highway’s next “Highway Find,” a platform that has launched many artists’ careers from Florida-Georgia Line to Carly Pearce.

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Music Spotlight Artist Devon Beck Releases ‘Homewrecker’

I first featured Devon Beck in April of 2021, after being immediately drawn to her developed sense of songwriting. At the time, she was 18 years old and had only been performing publically since she was 16. But to hear her songs, it was like she was born to be a singer/songwriter from the get-go.

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Ernie Haase and Signature Sound Release ‘Decades of Love’ Record

Those acquainted with gospel music are sure to be familiar with the celebrated music of the Ernie Haase and Signature Sound quartet. After a young Haase completed his debut with the popular Cathedrals in the 1990s, he formed his own gospel quartet in 2003 whose familiar heartfelt sound is well known by the Gaither set and Christians worldwide.

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Music Spotlight: Donny Van Slee

Donny Van Slee is a Florida boy from the rural town of Weeki Wachee Springs, home of the famous live mermaids. Growing up, Van Slee was shy and his dad bought him a guitar to help him. Later, influenced by the bands he loved – Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – he took lessons, but his main focus in school was soccer.

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Music Spotlight: Grace Leer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Grace Leer is a country music singer from Danville, California. She is an American Idol alumnus who started singing at the young age of six. She recalls entering a talent show and singing Selena’s “Dreaming of You.” That was when she fell in love with being on stage.

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Music Spotlight: Charly Reynolds

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -When I discovered Charly Reynolds on Instagram nearly two years ago via live stream, she had an infectious energy that made me want to learn more about her.

Now on the cusp of her newest release, “Rodeo,” I was able to learn more about this charismatic country artist.

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Music/Author Spotlight: Alisa Childers

Earlier this year, my brother told me about Alisa Childers, who recently wrote a book about Christian apologetics. Not only that, she was a former member of the contemporary Christian music group ZOEgirl back in the early 2000s and she was married to someone with whom we attended college.

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Randy Houser Announces Sixth Studio Album, ‘Note to Self’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Randy Houser has earned four Number One singles, including three consecutive hits: “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” and “Goodnight Kiss.” “We Went” marked his fourth number one song. He has also had two Top 5 hits: “Boots On” and “Like A Cowboy.”

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Music Spotlight: Katrina Burgoyne

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I first heard Katrina Burgoyne’s song, “I Wanna Get Away With You,” there was something infectious about the spirited song that made me want to learn more about the artist.

Australian-born Katrina Burgoyne is from a musical family. Both of her grandfathers were performing musicians.

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Train Strikes Pure ‘AM Gold’ in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – June 21 marked the summer solstice, hence the first official day of summer. For the many who braved the extreme heat and high humidity at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Summer began precisely at 7:00 p.m. central time. That is the moment John Popper and Blues Traveler took the stage and ignited an amazing night of music, with John Popper and company bringing the groove to the party.

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Music Spotlight: Sweet Tea Trio

When I interviewed Sweet Tea Trio earlier this year, I knew they had a new EP in the works, but they were unsure of the release date. So I waited until Sugar Rush was released to share their story.

Alabama natives Victoria Camp, Kate Falcon, and Charity Bowden make up an all-female harmony group called Sweet Tea Trio. They met through a mutual vocal coach in Alabama.

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