Country Round-Up: 8th June

Here’s your round-up of all the recent country music news:

NASHVILLE

We were hopeful that Nashville would be saved from extinction. Lionsgate Television has been actively trying to find a new network for the show that stalled at the end of season 4. ABC’s decision to cancel the show had its vast legions of fans despairing last month.

It now appears that the show may be saved after all. The future home for the show appears to be CMT which obviously makes perfect sense. The real reason that the show was cancelled by ABC was viewing numbers. Although we are passionate about our music and the culture that surrounds it these numbers didn’t satisfy the executives at ABC who demanded more.

CMT‘s expectations are lower however at this seems a natural fit. The original cast are still on board and signed up to long term deals so we can perhaps expect more than season 5. Nothing is signed yet but we can be optimistic that the show will be saved.

CMT AWARDS

Today is the day for the CMT Music Awards. What can we expect? Little Big Town will be joined by Pharrell Williams to perform a track from their new album ‘Wanderlust’ which is released on Friday. This is sure to split opinions!

On safer ground we have performances by Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett.

Collaborations include Blake Shelton and The Oak Ridge Boys. Billy Ray Cyrus and Cheap Trick. Dierks Bentley and Elle King. Fifth Harmony and Cam. Keith Urban with Brett Eldredge and Maren Morris. Pitbull with Leona Lewis and Cassadee Pope and Kenny Chesney with Barry Manilow….ok we may have dreamt the last one.

LUKE BRYAN

Whilst Luke Bryan has grown out of his annual Spring Break appearances and album releases he has confirmed that his annual Farm Tour will go ahead as expected. It’s now into its eighth year and is held to raise scholarship funds for students in farming communities.

To make up for the loss of the Spring Break music he is releasing a Farm Tour EP. The eight show tour kicks off in October and will be held mainly on farms in the US Mid West.

JON PARDI

Whilst we are to highlight the vast depth and talent that creates our chosen music genre it is inevitable that attention tends to be focused on the mega selling artists from the US. Such is the competition and quality of output, it is easy to overlook just how successful some of those artists are.

Take for example John Pardi. He is someone who most in the UK would consider has a low profile. However his single ‘Head Over Boots’ has now been certified gold standard for 500,000 sales and streams. His earlier single ‘Up All Night’ had a similar accolade in 2014 and his new album ‘California Sunrise’ is released on 17th June. We will be keeping a closer check on Jon and will be reviewing that album soon.

MAX T BARNES

Max T Barnes will be coming to Europe to promote his new album ‘Storms Of Life’. Dates will also include UK and Ireland venues. He is best known as a very respected Nashville songwriter and in the nineties received a number of awards for his compositions. He has written nine #1 singles.

We expect an evening of traditional country music and storytelling.  The dates are

June 11  Tuar Ard Art Center  Athlone Ireland

June 16  Deane and Decano  Belfast

June 23  Kokomo Guilford

June 24  Onslo Arms  Chandon

June 26  The Bandstand Godalming  and 3 Lions Farncombe

July 1  Allingam Arms  Burdoran  Ireland

July 16  Deanes Deli Vin Cafe    Belfast

July 26  The Marketplace Armagh

July 31  Songwriters show   Devon

August 4  Robin 2  Wolverhampton

August 5 Gilly’s Country Club   Wakefield

August 7  Pentney Bowls Club  King’s Lynn

August 9 Matt Molloy’s  Westport Ireland

August 17  The Marketplace  Armagh

August 19  Deanes Deli Vin Cafe Belfast

DIERKS BENTLEY – ‘BLACK’

Whilst we were commending Jon Pardi on his achievements, let’s not overlook the sales power of the premier artists. Dierks Bentleys album ‘Black’ was released 2 weeks ago. It made number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart this week. This is the chart that tallies sales from album sales, song sales (10 songs actually equal one album) and streams (1500 streams equal one album). ‘Black’ debuted at #2 with 101,000 units sold including 5 Million streams. Wow!

This is just the first week. Now it might not be the best album released this year, but you have to hand it to the guy. He did good. A full review of the album can be found on our site.

CONWAY TWITTY SONGS UNEARTHED

The Tennessean is reporting that new Conway Twitty songs may have been unearthed. Twitty died at the age of 59 in 1993 but several unpublished songs may have been found.  It’s an interesting story and can be found here:

http://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/2016/06/06/possible-new-conway-twitty-songs-unearthed/85503532/

NEW RELEASES

What’s coming this week you may ask?

Brandy Clark – ‘Big Day In A Small Town’

Frankie Ballard – ‘El Rio’

Little Big Town – ‘Wanderlust’

Tara Thompson – ‘Someone To Take Your Place’ (EP)

Kris Kristofferson – ‘The Complete Monument and Columbia Album Collection’

Drew Baldridge – ‘Dirt on Us’