Ty Herndon and Kristen Chenoweth Release ‘Orphans of God’

When country crooner, Ty Herndon announced he was releasing a duet with the talented Tony Award Winner, Kristen Chenoweth, I wanted to find out how this came to be.

With Herndon, he grew up singing from a young age and never really had a choice. He comes from a musical family and they traveled the south singing at camp meetings and tent revivals. He even considered being an evangelist at one point. His family listened to the Grand Ole’ Opry and singers like Tammy Wynette.

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Music Spotlight: Cole Bradley

Country singer and songwriter, Cole Bradley, is a rising star in the North American music scene.

Even though his parents weren’t musical, Bradley’s grandparents were and he started singing at age five. One of his first memories was singing along to Garth Brooks in the back of his Mom’s Toyota.

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Make It Up As We Go Podcast

Before COVID even hit, the multi-talented Scarlett Burke was looking for a way to distribute her music on a new platform. The producer/actress/singer/songwriter was not interested in touring but was interested in sharing her music.

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Music Spotlight: Larry Fleet

I stopped when I first heard “Where I Find God” on the radio. The words to the song were so pure and real that I wanted to hear it again and again. I wasn’t familiar with Larry Fleet but read somewhere that he was from Chattanooga. I had to find out more about this gifted singer/songwriter.

It turns out that Fleet is not from Chattanooga, but currently lives there with his wife of six years and his young son, Waylon. He is from White Bluff in Dickson County just west of Nashville.

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Music Spotlight: Wino-Strut and Friends

When I saw/heard David Phillips’ (aka wino-strut) video for his newest single, “Natural Home” I knew this was someone I wanted to interview. The song had an interesting, old school sound that I wasn’t quite sure if it was Americana, Outlaw Country, or Rock’n’roll.

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Music Spotlight: Church of Roswell

I was intrigued when Candi Carpenter, who has one of the strongest voices in country music, announced that she, along with British rocker, Josh Doyle, were forming a new conceptual collective duet called the Church of Roswell.

I interviewed Carpenter last year right before she performed for Dolly’s 50 Year Opry Celebration. Doyle and his pop/punk band, the Dum Dums, were a recognizable force in the early 2000s when they toured England extensively. They sat down with me recently and helped me connect the dots concerning their newest endeavor.

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Tanya Tucker Releases ‘Live From The Troubadour’

In 2019, Tanya Tucker released her first full-length record with new songs in twenty years. Produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings, the album While I’m Livin’, would go on to win a Grammy for Country Album of the Year, and the song, “Bring My Flowers Now,” would win Country Song of the Year in January 2020.

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Shenandoah to Release New Music November 13

 When I heard that Shenandoah was releasing a collaboration album, I thought it would be a greatest hits album. What I didn’t expect was a record with all new songs paired perfectly with a plethora of current country artists.

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Music Spotlight: Jordan Tice

What happens when you take a person who was raised in a bluegrass family and give him a degree in jazz/classical guitar? Jordan Tice, a musician’s musician, is what you get.

Tice grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where both of his parents played bluegrass. His mother played fiddle and his dad played banjo and they were involved with the local bluegrass scene.

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Music Legend Eddie Van Halen Dies of Cancer at 65

Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band Van Halen into one of hard rock’s biggest groups, fueled the unmistakable fiery solo in Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It” and became elevated to the status of rock god, has died. He was 65.

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Music Spotlight: Highway Women

The Highway Women is an all-female country blend (country, rock, pop) music band like no other bringing a musical movement to support other women in country music and beyond. They are comprised of singers Kristen Kae, Drew Haley, Bailey James, and Heather Harper.

The group started in 2016 and has had various members since then, but the current group has been together for about a year. They don’t have a lead singer as they try to equally share the singing responsibilities.

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Music Spotlight: Calvin Lee

Regardless of how famous a person may or may not be if the music can’t stand alone, there is no point in an interview. Accompanied by Trick Pony’s Heidi Newfield and Keith Burns, with his debut single, Calvin Lee sings a timeless anthem, My America, that paints a nostalgic story about pulling together through hard times, which is sure to resonate with the listeners.

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Music Spotlight: Cory Marks

As a kid from Canada who played hockey and wanted to become a pilot, Cory Marks might be the last person who you would expect to explode on the Southern Rock/Country Music scene. But after listening to his unapologetic, raw, yet real song, Outlaws and Outsiders, I wanted to find out what he was about.

Marks grew up in North Bay Ontario, Canada, about three hours north of Toronto. North Bay was a big hockey town and also a prominent military city hosting an important Air Force base in North America. Every summer Marks and his family attended the air shows in August which provided the young boy driven desire to become a pilot. Not only that, but he was also on hockey skates at age three. (His brother plays professional hockey.)

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Heidi Newfield Releases the Highly Anticipated Barfly Sessions, Vol. 1

When I interviewed Heidi Newfield in April 2020, I provided the “where she came from” story of this Northern California horsewoman and how she learned the harmonica, became part of the group Trick Pony and wrote the timeless lyrics to Johnny and June.

Now, on August 28, after releasing multiple singles, she has finally released her sophomore solo album and it is well worth the wait.

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Music Spotlight: Jamie O’Neal

Those who have been following country music their whole lives know already who Jamie O’Neal is as an artist. Off her first album, Shiver, released in 2000, she had two number one hits, “There Is No Arizona,” and “When I Think About Angels.” Her next top ten hit came in 2005, “Somebody’s Hero.”

I wanted to find out more about this country star who was born in Australia. Having no Australian accent, O’Neal said, “I was born in Sydney, Australia, where my parents (Jimmy and Julie Murphy) were performers who moved to America when I was two. I always say that I am the opposite of Nicole Kidman who was born in Hawaii and was raised in Australia. It was the opposite for me, I was born there but raised in the U.S.”

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Music Spotlight: We the Kingdom

We The Kingdom is a multigenerational family of musicians, including esteemed producers and songwriters Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, NeedToBreathe, Bethel Music, Crowder), and Scott Cash, who are brothers. Ed’s daughter Franni, his son Martin and close friend Andrew Bergthold are also part of the group. Ed and Scott’s dad played guitar while their mom played piano resulting in a home filled with music. Despite there being an eleven year age gap between them, as both Ed and Scott entered their teens and early 20s, they embarked on similar individual journeys as touring artists.

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Kanye West Files to Appear on Ohio Ballot for 2020 Presidential Election

Kanye West, the popular rapper and social icon, has officially filed to appear on Ohio ballots for the 2020 presidential election, according to Fox 5.

West, who announced he would run for the presidency on July 4, submitted paperwork to the state on August 5.

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Music Spotlight: Derek Jones

Even though Derek Jones’ dad was a drummer and his grandmother played piano, he never played music until later in life.

“We always had music going on at the house at our supper table. If Dad was in charge of the music, we listened to Allman Brothers, Marshall Tucker, Grand Funk Railroad but if Mom was in control [of the music], we listened to Lionel Richie, Jim Croce, stuff like that,” he said.

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Music Spotlight: Tyler Rich

Tyler Rich grew up in Northern California in the small town of Yuba City. He grew up listening to country music with his mom and rock n roll with his dad.

“My Uncle [Tim] always had his guitar at every family function. He was always playing. He didn’t know genres, he just knew good music,” he said. “He would play, Tom Petty, Credence Clearwater, George Strait, Brooks, and Dunn or Garth Brooks. He even played Michael Jackson and the Beatles as long as it was good music.”

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Author Jake Brown Releases a New Book About What Happens Behind the Scenes in Nashville’s Music Industry

Jake Brown knows more about the music industry than any human I have ever met. Being that he just completed his 50th book, Behind the Boards: Nashville, he writes memoirs and provides a plethora of behind the scenes’ antidotes for all music genres.

Brown said he got interested in what goes behind the scenes when he was a kid. His mother took him and his brother to see the Bon Jovi –Slippery When Wet concert. At the concert, Brown and his family had such terrible seats that they couldn’t see the stage much. However, one thing Brown could see was what was happening behind the stage.

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Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard Lead Americana Awards

Singer songwriter Brandi Carlile has had a productive year and that’s led her to be the leading nominee at the Americana Honors and Awards for her roles as a solo artist, a member of the group The Highwomen, as a producer and as a songwriter.

In the nominations announced Monday for its September awards show, the Grammy-winning artist has a total of seven nominations, including artist of the year as a solo artist and duo/group of the year with The Highwomen, which includes Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby. Rocker Brittany Howard, who has won Grammys with her band Alabama Shakes, is up for five nominations, including artist of the year and album of the year for her solo album “Jaime.”

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Music Spotlight: Adam Sanders

Nashville, Tennessee –  A native of Lake City, Florida, Adam Sanders knew at an early age that music would be his life.

“My mom likes to say I could sing before I could talk. It was as far back as I could remember. My earliest memories were dressing up like Alan Jackson and singing ‘Chattahoochee’ and ‘Don’t Rock the Jukebox,’” he said.

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Emily Hackett Releases Heartfelt ‘Handle’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – I first interviewed Emily Hackett in October 2018 when she was featured in my Music Spotlight column. There has been a lot of shifts in the music world since then and we were able to talk about how that is affecting her/the industry.

As mentioned in my column, in 2018 Hackett released her EP By the Sun, and in 2019 she released its counterpart By the Moon which landed her as one of CMT Next Women of Country for 2019.

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Music Spotlight: Brian Callihan

Born and raised on a small farm in South Georgia, Brian Callihan was your typical country boy as he hunted and played baseball and football. However, he found his true passion when he started listening to Keith Whitley.

Callihan said when he was around 10 or 11 years old he got a “Keith Whitley’s Greatest Hits for Christmas,” which was his dad’s favorite singer.

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Commentary: America’s Rock-n-Roll Architect Little Richard Has Died

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as “Little Richard,” died on Saturday at his Nashville home. He was 87. Millennials and such may be unaware of the man and the great American music he pioneered.

As the big-band era of the 1940s began to wane, musicians opted for smaller combos. They pounded out a rollicking sound with a heavy backbeat, honking saxophones, percussive pianos, and simple lyrics that lingered in the mind. When Chuck Berry sang “roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues,” that was the music he was talking about. By the mid-1950s, rhythm and blues had been rebranded as rock and roll, and Little Richard was the king.

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Music Spotlight: Heidi Newfield

Nashville, Tennessee –  Even though I was familiar with the country/rock band, Trick Pony, the first time I was aware of Heidi Newfield the solo artist was when I heard “Johnny and June” on the radio in 2008. When I learned that Newfield was going to be one of the guests performing at the Her Song fundraiser for Thistle Farms at Third and Lindsley/Backstage Nashville, I got tickets to help a good cause and see some awesome female artists in an intimate setting. Fortunately, I was able to meet and secure an interview with Newfield who has one of the most beautiful, raw, bluesy voices I have ever heard.

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Music Spotlight: Smallpools Stumbles Home to Nashville

Nashville, Tennessee —  Naturally, Nashville is known for its country music scene, but due to the popularity of the city with all the young people who come for college or to visit, there is a strong alternative rock culture growing here as well. The latest band to move to Nashville…

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Music Spotlight: Stephanie Owens Talks Family, Faith, and Country Music

Nashville, TN — Stephanie Owens grew up in a musical family. Her dad was a high school choral director and her mom was a classical organist. She knew from a young age that performing was what she born to do. “I had an old turkey-baster for a microphone and ran…

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Brett Young to Receive ASCAP’s Songwriter-Artist of the Year Award

Fueling momentum from his Platinum debut album and four consecutive No. 1 singles, Brett Young has now been named the 2018 ASCAP Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year. Young will be celebrated at the 56th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on Monday, November 12 in Nashville. The Songwriter-Artist of the Year Award…

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces Nominees for 2019 Induction

Fans can cast their vote for inductees at Rockhall.com/vote or in person at the museum in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Four New Inductees Added Into Music City Walk of Fame

Walk of Fame group picture

Four more stars were awarded on Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame. Brenda Lee, Jeannie Seely, Ray Stevens and Ben Folds received the 81st, 82nd, 83rd and 84th stars on the Walk of Fame. Inductees are recognized for their significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and for contributing to the world through song or other industry collaboration.

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Michael W. Smith, TBN to Host Free Concert At Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Aug 30th

Michael W Smith

TBN announced it will partner with three-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Michael W. Smith to present a free concert and worship event at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, August 30th at 7 p.m. “Surrounded: A Night to Pray, Worship and Be Awakened” is free to the public and will begin…

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Kenny Chesney Comes Home to Nashville and Shatters Nissan Stadium’s Attendance Record.

Kenny Chesney came into Nashville’s Nissan Stadium with two No. 1s in the space of three weeks – sharing David Lee Murphy’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” then hitting the top of the Country Singles chart for two weeks with his own “Get Along” – and the No. 1 selling debut…

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Grand Ole Opry and Luke Combs Make Songwriters’ Dreams Come True

Luke Combs and friends

Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Luke Combs teamed with the Grand Ole Opry to create a rare & matchless moment on the Opry stage last night. Combs, who debuted on the Opry stage in 2016, chose to honor the collaborating songwriters from his Platinum-selling debut album This One’s For You and deluxe album This One’s For…

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David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney Celebrate Hit Song, ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’

Kevin Chesney, David Lee Murphy

When CMT’s Katie Cook talked of friendship, dreams and hard work, the entire third floor of ACME Feed & Seed burst into cheers. As waiters passed trays of hot chicken’n’waffles and fried green tomatoes, David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney were being feted for the feel-good summer anthem “Everything’s Gonna…

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‘It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter’ Awarded Three Silver Lions at Cannes Lions International Festival

It all begins with a song

It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter, a new documentary that takes an in-depth look at Nashville’s songwriting community, was awarded three Silver Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity recently. “This documentary portrays the strength of Nashville’s creative community and of its…

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Whiskey Myers Finds Musical Home on the Range With Kevin Costner Series, “Yellowstone”

Whiskey Meyers

Whiskey Myers has tapped an enthusiastic audience on the Kevin Costner Paramount Network drama “Yellowstone.” With an on-camera appearance and three songs featured on the hit series so far, Whiskey Myers’ music is reaching a new, fervent audience that has propelled three of the band’s albums to the Top 10 of the…

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