Blog Archives

Martina McBride Rides Her Soul Train

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Photo credit: Glynis Carpenter

Country Music headliner Martina McBride’s catalog overflows with powerfully communicative performances. The playful “I Love You,” the heartbroken ballad “Wrong Again,” and the empowering anthems “Independence Day,” “This One’s for the Girls” and “Wrong Baby Wrong” unfold along clear lines of melody, which the five-time CMA Award winner animated with her own distinctive phrasing and interpretive sense.

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“CMA Country Christmas” Celebrates the Holiday Season on ABC-TV

John Legend. Photo credit: John Russell/CMAFor Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of “The CMA Awards” and “CMA Country Christmas,” there’s a world of difference between the two ABC-TV specials. It ultimately comes down to one word.

“Tension,” he specified. “There’s a lot of tension in the room for the Awards show because there’s so much riding on who’s going to win and it’s a live broadcast. The Christmas show is very different. It’s warm and open. People are there to have a good time. “

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Bucky Covington Blazes a Path toward Fire Safety

Bucky Covington and members of the Nashville Fire Department film the “Be a Hero/ Save a Hero” PSA in September. Photo credit: Tim Miller Spectacular entrances are traditional at the CMA Awards along the Macy’s Walk of Stars, but it’s safe to say no one will soon top the 2012 arrival of Bucky Covington, who showed up aboard a vintage Nashville Fire Department truck as red flashers whirled.

Aside from fulfilling every kid’s fantasy, Covington chose this vehicle to inspire support for firefighters who lost their lives or suffered debilitating injuries while on the job.

This story begins about a year ago, when the young singer got involved with Help the Good Guys, which supports the families of firefighters and police officers killed or injured in the line of duty. “The first guy I met through them was Brad Dean, a carpenter who volunteered with the fire department in Birmingham, Ala.,” he recalled. “Fifty percent of his body from the waist down had been burned in a fire, which made it impossible for him to work.”

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NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Florida Georgia Line

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line. Photo credit: Adam TaylorYou don’t need to know that Tyler Hubbard comes from Monroe, Ga., or that his partner in Florida Georgia Line, Brian Kelley, comes from Ormond Beach, Fla. It’s the music that lets you know these two guys know how to kick it in the studio and onstage, Dixie style.

Scheduled to release Dec. 4 on the Republic Nashville imprint, Here’s to the Good Times is a pastiche of prickling banjo, walloping backbeats and muscle guitar, run through a blender of Country, Southern rock and a hint of hip-hop.

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Carl Black Keeps It Country

That Chevy Silverado in Kip Moore’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” video didn’t just happen to be out in that field when the cameras started rolling. No, it was borrowed from the Carl Black Chevrolet Automotive Group, whose support has helped shift more than a few young Country artists’ careers into high gear.

The dealer’s ties to Country reflect the musical preference of its president, Mike Bowsher. Even before the Nashville store opened in June 2003, Bowsher had built Carl Black’s business in Atlanta (Kennesaw and Roswell, Ga.) by advertising year-round on partner Country radio stations and offering live performances, hot dogs, burgers and other snacks, all for free, via its “Live on the Lot” events.

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MAROON 5 To Perform Exclusive Concert For Guests Attending “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! – Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night”

Post-Show Event Will Immediately Follow the One-Hour Live Broadcast

CBS Entertainment Special — Airing at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT — Will Announce Nominations for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® Live for the First Time Ever from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Three-time GRAMMY®-winning group Maroon 5 are set to perform an exclusive concert for guests attending “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night®.” The concert will immediately follow the one-hour live nominations special — which will feature performances by Luke Bryan and Maroon 5, and will be co-hosted by two-time GRAMMY winner LL COOL J and six-time GRAMMY winner Taylor Swift. The show — which will announce nominations in several categories as well as feature performances by past GRAMMY winners and/or nominees — will take place live for the first time ever at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday, Dec. 5, and will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network (www.cbs.com) from 10 – 11 p.m. ET/PT (9 p.m. Central). Additional performers and presenters will be announced shortly. For updates and breaking news, please visit www.grammy.com, and The Recording Academy®‘s social networks on Twitter and Facebook: www.twitter.com/thegrammys, www.facebook.com/thegrammys.

Tickets for “The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night” and exclusive post-show concert with Maroon 5 are on sale now and are available online at www.ticketmaster.com or via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at 800.745.3000.  Read the rest of this entry

Dierks Bentley Dedicates a Day to CMA

Through the CMA Songwriters Series, fans around the United States and abroad continue to experience first-hand the creativity of those behind-the-scenes Nashville pros who write hits for the stars. At most of these shows, they benefit as well from hearing one participant who straddles both sides of the line between writing and performing.

That honor went to Dierks Bentley when he performed in a Songwriters Series show Sept. 6 at New York’s Joe’s Pub. But he also devoted that morning to a visit to PS 103, the Hector Fontanez School, in the Bronx, where a CMA donation of $20,000 enabled the school to open a music program for students for the first time. To commemorate this first outreach beyond the Nashville area of CMA’s Keep the Music Playing program, the artist shared his thoughts with an assembly of fourth-graders about the value of learning about music – and was delighted when they started singing along as he performed “5-1-5-0,” which they had rehearsed prior to his arrival.  Read the rest of this entry

Dierks Bentley Returns to CMA Songwriters Series in New York

On Sept. 6, former CMA intern Dierks Bentley renewed his ties to the organization during a visit to New York City. Midday was devoted to a visit to PS 103, the Hector Fontanez School, in the Bronx, where a CMA donation of $20,000 enabled the school to open a music program for students for the first time.

To commemorate this first outreach beyond the Nashville area of CMA’s Keep the Music Playing program, the artist shared his thoughts with an assembly of fourth-graders about the value of learning about music – and was delighted when they started singing along as he performed “5-1-5-0,” which they had rehearsed prior to his arrival.

“It’s a great honor to be a part of this, to get a bunch of musical instruments to the classroom so teachers for the first time can have music as an option for their curriculum,” he reflected while on his way out from Manhattan for this event. “I’m really excited to see how all the money that’s been raised through CMA is being used here.”  Read the rest of this entry

Nashville Welcomes the Johnny Cash Museum

Downtown Nashville will soon be getting a new celebrity attraction that promises to become both a tourist mecca and a destination for music scholars from around the world. It’s the Johnny Cash Museum, dedicated to celebrating the life and career of CMA’s Country Music Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash.

Officially sanctioned by the Cash family, the museum claims to house the largest collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia in the world. Its creation was the brainchild of California businessman Bill Miller, whose friendship with the singer began when Miller was just a boy.

“I became a Cash fan when a third-grade classmate of mine brought a copy of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison to school for a show and tell session,” Miller recalled. “The teacher put the record on the turntable. There was electricity in the air and I was hooked.”

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NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: JT Hodges

Counting down the days to his self-titled debut, JT Hodges proclaimed August “Prize Month.” On his various social sites, he invited fans to vie for more than 160 prizes, ranging from personalized handwritten notes to autographed guitars, photos, hats, and Copperpeace guitar straps. Fifty lucky winners got their Twitter addresses included in the album’s liner notes.

Clearly, Hodges knows both sides of the music business. That’s no surprise: His parents met as band members. Their son grew up at their high-profile studio in Forth Worth, where he learned the ropes, from cleaning bathrooms to laying tracks. By the time he moved to Nashville, he was ready and eager to launch his career.

Signed in 2010 to Show Dog-Universal Music, Hodges’ rock-toughened style won notice from SDU President Mark Wright, who shares production on the young artist’s debut project, which marries crisp instrumental tracks and high-impact vocals. (One track was produced by Don Cook, Wright and Ross Copperman.)  Read the rest of this entry