Rising country artist, Tiera Kennedy, delivers a song from her upcoming debut album, “Jesus, My Mama, My Therapist,” to country radio, a tune that is as gutsy as it is fun.Read More
FRANKLIN, Tennessee-Many have been fascinated by George Jones’ storied life. He is possibly the greatest male vocalist in county music history with 79 top ten hits and 10 number ones including “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” a song often considered as the greatest country song of all time. But his addiction to drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed his career.
This addiction affected his relationships with women, including his volatile marriage to Tammy Wynette. However, when he met Nancy Sepulvado in 1981, his entire world changed.Read More
Whey Jennings is as great a performer as you would expect him to be, but his path to stardom has not been an easy one.
When the singer was around six years old, he picked up a microphone that Jessi Colter left on a chair backstage at his grandpa’s show. Young Whey Jennings pranced out onto the stage and began singing “Mamma’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” Jennings’s grandpa Waylon Jennings shouted out, “Hey hold up there Hoss…wait for me!” Waylon went to pickin’ and when the song was finished, the crowd went nuts.Read More
Erin Kirby is a country music singer from the small town of Jasper, Georgia, just north of Atlanta. She got her start in music by being in pageants, the kinds that have talent as part of the criterion. She did community service-based, natural pageants that don’t allow makeup for ages nine and under. Erin completed in pageants singing pop tunes until she was about 12 years old. Pageants gave her a place to sing and showcase her talent.Read More
Heartland is back and better than ever says People Magazine and I couldn’t agree more. The ACM, CMA nominated, and platinum-selling group returns for the first single in over a decade with “No Tomorrow.” The “live-for-today anthem” (MusicRow), is available now from Yellowhammer Music Group.Read More
Travis Tritt released his first-ever gospel project, Country Chapel, on Friday, a record that was more than three decades in the making. Comprised of original songs informed by his childhood roots along with several favorite gospel covers, Tritt brings new life to these touching tunes which are sure to please the country and gospel fans alike.
The album was produced by Dave Cobb and released by the Gaither Music Group. Tritt filmed a segment at the Lovelace Barn with the talented Gaither band, where he shared the sentiments behind several of the songs.Read More
I get sent tracks from artists daily, so many that I can’t listen to everything that gets sent to me. But when I happened upon Alyssa and Wayne Brewer’s cover of George and Tammy’s “Golden Ring,” I stopped in my tracks. They were so good that I wanted to learn more about the gifted duo.Read More
When I went to see Music Spotlight artist 12-year-old Brooklyn Summer play at Opry Mills last year, her then 14-year-old friend, Johnathon Heilbroun, played too. I already knew how good Brooklyn was but was quite surprised at how talented Heilbroun was. I knew I would eventually get around to learning his story as well.Read More
When I received information about Tyler Reese Tritt, I knew she belonged to someone famous (Travis Tritt is her dad). But what mattered to me was whether she could sing.
The answer is a resounding “yes.” Tyler Reese Tritt sings as naturally as many of us breathe. She said that her dad got her the Disney Princess videos when she was a tot, and her mother added that she would run around the house in her diaper singing “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid.Read More
When I saw the rock band NEEDTOBREATHE had new music coming, a bell went off. Weren’t they a band that my kids used to listen to? Indeed, they are.
NEEDTOBREATHE is an American rock band from Seneca, South Carolina. The band is composed of Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass), Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, keys), Randall Harris (drums, percussion), and Tyler Burkum (guitar). I interviewed Lovelace to get more information on their band and their upcoming 9th album, CAVES.Read More
Laine Lonero is from Louisiana, where she studied opera and musical theater as a child. No one in her immediate family sings at all. The classically trained artist started lessons at age six and where she learned the basics of how to sing properly.Read More
O.N.E The Duo is a mother-daughter duo from California. Daughter Prana Supreme is the child of Tekitha and RZA, the de-facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan.Read More
When I was sent William Beckmann’s song, “She Can’t Be Found,” I was mesmerized. It sounded like something from Johnny or Waylon with a little bit of Elvis thrown in. Surely that young man who I saw on Instagram wouldn’t be singing a song that sounded like it was straight out of 1970s country. I was impressed.Read More
Johnny Dailey discovered his love for country music as a kid riding around in his cousin’s truck listening to songs in the rural town of Argo, Alabama, just north of Birmingham.
“I had two sisters, so my cousin became more like a brother. He would always have the latest and greatest country albums to come out like Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley, and even some Texas songwriters like Jack Clark and Jerry Jeff Walker,” he said.Read More
Lewis Brice is a singer/songwriter from Sumter, South Carolina who has been on my short list of artists that I wanted to interview for several years. He and his talented brother Lee Brice have an innate gift for putting words to music in a manner that relates to so many.Read More
Not being raised in the world of country music, I missed out on knowing about a lot of key players who are part of the foundation of what Nashville has become. Radney Foster is one such person.
While writing my column for the past six years, Foster’s kept coming up, but I was unfamiliar with his work. Then I saw an interview where Darius Rucker credits Foster for the reason he is in country music.Read More
The Dryes are a married, musical couple from North Carolina. I first heard of Katelyn and Derek Drye when they were featured in the Duke Spirits Masters Music Series. However, their biggest claim to fame was when they shared their extraordinary chemistry while performing on NBC’s The Voice. Their cover of Kenny and Dolly’s “Islands in the Stream” garnered them a spot on Blake’s team in 2022.Read More
I get invited to see many bands and events in Nashville. One invite was to see the country-rock band, Century Drive at the NashHouse Southern Spoon and Saloon, the week of CMA Fest. By now, I should no longer be surprised at the caliber of talent on any given day in Nashville, but once again I was blown away. Though hailing from Bend, Oregon, this band was as tight and rocking as any southern rock band I have heard.Read More
“Talking In Circles With Clint Black” marked a milestone this week by celebrating the taping of their 50th show. “Talking In Circles” airs every Saturday night at 10 p.m. (EST), 9 p.m. (CST) on Circle TV immediately following the Grand Ole Opry. Now in its fourth season, the concept of “Talking In Circles” is similar to “Inside The Actors Studio” expanded to include musicians and comedians.Read More
Even though I am a bit older and have a certain style of music that I gravitate towards when a young artist blows up, I am smart enough to pay attention. The younger set are the biggest consumers of digital music, and what they think and like often drives what radio stations play and record labels pay attention to.Read More
Don’t let his Hollywood good looks fool you. When it comes to being a genuine country boy, Austin Moody is the real deal. Born several miles south of the birthplace of country music (Bristol, Tennessee) in Kingsport, Moody was raised on a farm and surrounded by music. They raised cattle and sheep, and he was a proud member of the 4H Club.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Country duo Chris Ramos and Ben Chism who make up BoomTown Saints are an unlikely pair. Until a few years ago, they didn’t know the other existed. I wanted to find out how they ended up together, especially since being a professional country music artist was never on either of their radars.
Ramos is from southwest Florida but has been in Nashville for 25 years, where he started his career being an IT guy and then became a pharmaceutical representative. Eventually, Ramos became an independent consultant helping pharmaceutical companies commercialize their products.Read More
Kyle Petty is a former NASCAR driver turned racing analyst who has become one of the most popular personalities in all of sports. As a member of one of NASCAR’s pioneer families, Kyle is as much a product of racing as he is of his famous father, Richard Petty “The King,” and grandfather, Lee Petty. His son Adam Petty also raced before a tragic racing accident in 2020. While his name will forever connect him to NASCAR, Kyle Petty made significant strides outside of racing in music and philanthropy.Read More
As I continued writing my Music Spotlight column, a new name kept popping up: Anne Wilson. In 2022, Wilson won a Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, “My Jesus.” She won Songwriter of the Year and New Artist of the Year. She also sang a duet with Hillary Scott which won Bluegrass/Country Roots Song of the Year, “Mamas.”
The reason I had never heard of her before is because Anne Wilson, who is 22, has only been singing for a few years.Read More
Many know I love the history of American music. My husband and I enjoy documentaries about the various singers/bands who create the soundtrack of our lives. We can’t even tell our stories without including the popular songs that we remember and love.
Pat Boone is one of the most beloved pop artists of the 20th century. At age 89, he was a favorite of my parents. His daughter, Debby Boone, was popular when I was growing up.Read More
One of my favorite groups to interview is the music competition show’s finalists. To make it to the finales of any of the shows, artists normally have talent in spades. The actual winners are often untouchable, but those who rank in the top 10 are usually fabulous performers.
Pryor Baird is no exception. From Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice in 2018, Baird had all four judges vying for him to be their team. While he would ultimately go with Blake, it didn’t really matter because not only could he sing with a bluesy, Muddy Waters grit, he was different. And more importantly, he was memorable.Read More
Last week, country mega-star Mitchell Tenpenny performed an acoustic livestream show at Nashville’s Pegleg Porker where he played fan-favorite hits in their upstairs event space. The show was hosted by Prevacid and was streamed live on TikTok.Read More
Noah Riley Teal is an Americana singer, songwriter, and guitarist who will be releasing his debut self-titled album on July 7th. His latest single, “I’m Coming Around” is out now.Read More
I remember the first time hearing Spencer Crandall’s song “Made.”
The lyrics Cause soulmates aren’t found they’re made/ Yeah, we choose each other every day/ Even when we bend, we know we won’t break/ We just bounce back better ’cause/ Soulmates aren’t found/ they’re forged in the same fire/ Work at it even when we get tired/ Making ups out of downs/ doing all that it takes/ ‘Cause soulmates aren’t found/ they’re made stopped me in my tracks.Read More
I first met the sister duo, Tigirlily Gold, back in 2022, when they were part of a fundraiser for one of my favorite charities, Music Will. I knew then that I wanted to feature the effervescent pair.
When I recently heard their megahit “Shoot Tequila” on Sirius XM’s The Highway, I was reminded that it was time to contact them.Read More
When rising artist Jay Allen debuted the song “No Prayer Like Mama’s,” I knew this was the artist I wanted to feature for Mother’s Day Weekend. To be honest, the lyrics just wreck me, and I suppose that is what a good country song does.
Allen grew up in a little Midwest town in Iowa where his dad owned a restaurant called Joe’s Country Grill. That’s where his dad met his mother when she was a waitress. Because they both worked at the restaurant, Allen spent much of his younger years there.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Three more stars last week were added to The Music City Walk of Fame.
May 4th marked the 25th ceremony where Star 98 was awarded to Joe and Linda Chambers, Star 99 was awarded to Eric Church, and Star 100 was given to Butch Spyridon.Read More
When I heard the howling pedal steel-soaked guitar on the song aptly named “Pedal Steel,” a touching song about the Grand Ole Opry, I knew I needed to interview the artist as soon as possible. I was not surprised that Amanda Kate Ferris was from a musical family.
What did surprise me is that Ferris’s mother, Kathy Wright, was one of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. I was excited to find out more.Read More
One thing that I have learned by writing this column is that the country music that young people like (who are the biggest consumers of digital music) is not always the same as the music that I like.
But sometimes artists can bridge that gap. Twenty-two-year-old Conner Smith is such an artist. I know exactly why he is so popular with the younger set. But it was his writing ability that impressed me most. He is a gifted songwriter. He has been writing songs since age six. He scored his first publishing deal at age 16. Not only that, I also learned that he was born in the same town in East Tennessee where my children were born, Cleveland.Read More
Lily Grace is a seventeen-year-old powerhouse vocalist from Australia who recently moved to Nashville to chase her music career dreams.
Naturally gifted, Grace began singing at 10 years of age. She dived deeper into music a mere six years ago when she was gifted her first guitar at 11 years old.Read More
I’ve been Facebook friends with Colleen Rae for more than 12 years. I knew she sang country music but had not heard much from her until recently.
Rae is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She grew up in a family that loved music, when they celebrated birthdays and the like, they would break out the guitars and start to jam.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Rising Nashville artist and Maryland native Mark Taylor has had a guitar in his hand since he was two years old and has never looked back.
“My dad was/is a huge influence on my music career. He paid his way through college playing cover gigs in bars. By the time I was two years old, I was playing nonsense chords on a little guitar. By the time I was six and seven, I was playing in his band with a bunch of his friends,” he said.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- From the first few measures of a twangy guitar, I knew instantly when I heard “Speed of Broken Heart” that Kinsey Rose was going to be an artist I would want to feature. As they say, people who date have a “type”; the same can be said for me regarding country music artists. I have a type and when I hear it, I know it’s going to be gold.Read More
Ryman Auditorium unveiled the latest addition to its Icon Walk this morning with a statue honoring American music icon Charley Pride. The detailed bronze likeness was added to the permanent outdoor exhibition on the historic venue’s grounds ensuring the country music trailblazer will forever remain part of the Soul of Nashville.
Created to honor those who have contributed significantly to the historic venue and Music City, Charley Pride’s statue joins likenesses of beloved legends Loretta Lynn, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Bill Monroe, three of the most profound musical innovators in country and bluegrass music.Read More
One thing I have learned is that Texas Country is its own thing. It has a traditional, devil-may-care attitude and many of our favorite artists (i.e., Willie Nelson, George Jones, George Strait, and Miranda Lambert, to name a few) come from the independent Lone Star state.Read More
Premiering April 13th, Circle TV partners with Nashville-based singer/songwriter and Music Spotlight artist to bring the network’s newest series, “Ultimate Fan Fest.”Read More
Julie Williams has released the first song off her upcoming EP, “Wrong Mr. Right.” Learn about the fascinating path that took her from Tampa, Florida, to Duke University and eventually turned into Williams becoming a singer/songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Jake Worthington first wowed America in 2014 as a teen from LaPorte, Texas, when he became a finalist on NBC’s The Voice. Fast forward ten years, and the traditionally influenced country artist has put out a lot of music but is just now releasing his debut album.
He recently signed with Big Loud Records and fitted in perfectly with current country heavyweights like Hardy, Morgan Wallen, Larry Fleet, and Lauren Alaina.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Doing what I do, I get sent a lot of artists to check out. A Facebook friend told me to check out the Jaye Madison band. I listened and they could absolutely sing. But normally I deal with PR representatives or managers. In a few days, I got contacted by 37-Media about this amazing new duo, Jaye Madison. This time I really paid attention. Their song “Down” was unlike anything I had heard in a while. It wasn’t country, but it did have a rock/soul/R&B vibe and it was outstanding.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee-Country Radio Seminar (CRS) is an annual convention designed to educate and promote exchanging ideas and business practices in the country music industry, specifically emphasizing issues relevant to country radio. CRS 2023 was held at the Omni Nashville Hotel last week.Read More
Clare Cunningham gives a mesmerizing Opry performance at her debut during Music City Irish Fest 2023.Read More
I remember Jamie O’Neal telling me that her 17-year-old daughter accompanied her when she re-released her mega-hit “Somebody’s Hero.”
Now, O’Neal’s daughter, Aliyah Good is 19 and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Professional Studies at the Frost School of Music in Miami. And while she is first to admit that going to school while pursuing an artist’s career is quite the juggle, she is fortunate enough to attend a university that understands what she is doing. Frost School has programs for people like Good who are college students who want to get an education but also want to pursue their careers.Read More
With an upcoming Country Radio Seminar (CRS) performance on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Omni Hotel, Molly will be showcasing her newest single, “Better Than You, along with some of her other most popular singles that precede it.Read More
One thing I have learned while writing my blog is that there is a lot more to Canadian country music than Shania Twain. The Canadians love their country music and have given us Tenille Arts and Tenille Towns, Lindsey Ell, Terri Clark, Brett Kissel, Manny Blu, Kimberly Dawn, Tebey, and country rocker, Cory Marks to name a few.
Therefore, When I heard Sacha sing at a writers’ round recently, I was not a bit surprised to find out that she was from Ontario, Canada. Now living in Nashville, I met up with her at CMT’s Next Women of Country and scheduled an interview.Read More
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After seeing Kasey Tyndall at the Listening Room with the Song Suffragettes in 2019, I immediately set up an interview with the energetic songstress and featured her in my Music Spotlight column at the beginning of 2020.
When I ran into Tyndall again at the Next Women of Country event in January of 2023, I knew we were long overdue for a follow-up interview.Read More