MusicRowPics: 2015 ‘MusicRow’ Awards At ASCAP

• June 24, 2015 • 
The 27th annual MusicRow Awards were presented yesterday (June 23) during a ceremony at ASCAP’s Nashville offices. MusicRow Publisher and Owner Sherod Robertson led the proceedings which honored Breakthrough Artist Sam Hunt, Producer of the Year Jay Joyce, Breakthrough Songwriter Michael Carter, Song of the Year “Girl Crush” and The Top 10 Album All-Star Musician Awards.
Click to see the winners list or read exclusive event coverage by Bobby Karl.
All photos by Bev Moser.

MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015
MusicRow Awards 2015

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame: “HITS FROM THE HALL”

Had a fantastic time last night at our second “HITS FROM THE HALL” fund raiser at City Winery Nashville. GRETCHEN PETERS, JIM COLLINS, SHANE MCANALLY – you all put on an incredible show! Thank you for supporting the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame!

(l-r) Shane McAnally, HOF member/NaSHOF Board Chair Pat Alger, Jim Collins, HOF member Gretchen Peters, NaSHOF Executive Director Mark Ford
Photo Credit: Bev Moser * Moments By Moser

MusicRow Magazine: Bobby Karl Works The ‘MusicRow’ Awards

• June 24, 2015 • 
Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Eric T. Parker, Warner/Chappell's Ben Vaughn, "Girl Crush" songwriters Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey, BMG's Kos Weaver, Universal Music Publishing Group's Kent Earls, and MusicRow's Sherod Robertson and Sarah Skates. Not pictured: Lori McKenna. Photo: Bev Moser.
“Girl Crush” wins Song of the Year. Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Eric T. Parker, Warner/Chappell’s Ben Vaughn, “Girl Crush” songwriters Liz Rose and Hillary Lindsey, BMG’s Kos Weaver, Universal Music Publishing Group’s Kent Earls, and MusicRow‘s Sherod Robertson and Sarah Skates. Not pictured: co-writer Lori McKenna. Photo: Bev Moser.

Chapter 497
This year’s MusicRow Awards party had exceptional hospitality, a happy vibe and, most of all, a pervasive feeling of conviviality and comrade-ship.
“Thank you, Nashville,” said Sam Hunt’s grateful manager Brad Belanger. “This is our community.”
“There is nothing like doing what we do, and doing it with our friends,” said songwriter Liz Rose.
“This is my family, basically,” said songwriter Michael Carter.
Hunt won Breakthrough Artist. Carter won Breakthrough Songwriter. Rose won Song of the Year for “Girl Crush,” with her cowriters Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna, collectively known as “The Love Junkies.”
This year’s event was staged at ASCAP on Tuesday evening (6/23). ASCAP’s Mike Sistad greeted the crowd and brought MR’s Sherod Robertson to the stage.

Sherod Robertson,
Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Sherod Robertson, manager Brad Belanger on behalf of Sam Hunt, Breakthrough Songwriter Michael Carter, Song of the Year co-writers Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose, and ASCAP’s Mike Sistad. Photo: Bev Moser

“Welcome to the 27th annual MusicRow Awards,” said Robertson. “Our awards started in 1989, the year that Taylor [Swift] was born. We all love to be early adopters [of talent], and these awards allow us to do that.”
Among the stars who won their early industry awards from MusicRow are Blake Shelton, Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Chris Young, Joe Nichols, Phil Vassar, Luke Bryan and the Zac Brown Band, as well as Swift.
Here’s hoping this year’s honorees follow in their footsteps. Thanks to his work with Eric Church, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne and Cage the Elephant, Jay Joyce won his first Producer of the Year award.
“He promises he will continue to push the envelope for our town,” said Melissa Spillman, accapting on Joyce’s behalf.

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Eric T. Parker, Neon Cross's Melissa Spillman, and MusicRow's Sarah Skates and Sherod Robertson. Photo: Bev Moser.
Neon Cross’s Melissa Spillman accepts Producer of the Year on behalf of Jay Joyce. Pictured (L-R): MusicRow’s Eric T. Parker, Spillman, and MusicRow’s Sarah Skates and Sherod Robertson. Photo: Bev Moser.

When Michael Carter won the Breakthrough Songwriter award, he was almost overcome. “What the hell!?” he exclaimed. “I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just so cool to get to do this for a living. Wow, this is nuts. Thank you to everybody who’s been a part of it. Thank you for supporting songwriters and letting somebody new come into the fold.”
Carter is Luke Bryan’s bandleader and Cole Swindell’s producer. He co-wrote three No. 1 songs as his first hits: Swindell’s “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight,”  Bryan’s “Roller Coaster” and Thomas Rhett’s “Get Me Some of That.”
Sam Hunt’s win as Breakthrough Artist was something of a surprise, since Swindell has been cleaning up in this area lately. “This guy has that IT factor,” explained Robertson. “He’s the happiest artist I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Belanger. “We’ve got some cool stuff on the road ahead.” Hunt had just one day off this week to move into his new house, and this conflicted with the ceremony.
Song of the Year co-writer McKenna lives near Boston and was also a no-show, but her “Girl Crush” collaborators were delightful at the mic. “This is so fun,” said Liz Rose. “Everybody’s been so awesome to embrace this song.” Added co-writer Hillary Lindsey, “It’s a pretty cool thing in this town and with this song.” Rose and Lindsey took the stage to powerfully perform “Girl Crush” as the event’s finale.

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Sherod Roberston, songwriter Michael Carter, MusicRow's Sarah Skates. Photo: Bev Moser.
Breakthrough Songwriter is presented to Michael Carter (center) with MusicRow’s Sherod Roberston and Sarah Skates. Photo: Bev Moser.

The MusicRow Awards is the only industry event that honors Music City’s session professionals. This year, everyone who won last year was a repeat winner, with the exception of first-time honoree Steve Marcantonio, who tied as Engineer of the Year with 11-time prior winner Justin Niebank.
Background vocalist Wes Hightower won his category for the thirteenth time. “I’m thankful for every single one of them,” he said.
Aubrey Haynie won his eighth fiddler award. Ilya Toshinsky won his sixth guitar honor. Keyboard player Charles Judge earned his fifth award. “Thank you, MusicRow, for doing this,” he said in appreciation of the magazine’s musician recognitions.
Jimmie Lee Sloas won his fifth bass player award. Drummer Greg Morrow won his fourth. Steel player Russ Pahl earned his second.
Dave Pomeroy of the Musicians Union was proudly snapping photos.

Manager Kerri Edwards (Luke Bryan, Michael Carter, Cole Swindell) and MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson.
Manager Kerri Edwards (Luke Bryan, Michael Carter, Cole Swindell) and MusicRow Publisher/Owner Sherod Robertson

Also working the room were Randi Perkins, Randall Himes, Bobby Rymer, Bob Doerschuk, Dale Bobo, Eric Paslay, Eric T. Parker, Erika Wollam Nichols, Susan Collier, Suzanne Lee, Charlie Monk, Chuck Thompson and Alison Toczylowski (who has recently married and plans to adopt a shorter last name, Webber).
ASCAP’s hospitality could not have been lovelier. Chef Michael Mirriam whipped up barbecue sandwiches, chicken satay bites, hummus & pita chips, Italian sausage slices, veggie plates, ham sandwiches, cheese & cracker samplers, blueberry & watermelon medley, salsa & chips, spiced meatballs and cucumber sandwiches, not to mention desserts.
Byron Gallimore, Barry Coburn, Ben Vaughn, Bev Moser, Beth Gwinn, Bill Wence, Becky Harris, Brett James, Carey Barlowe, Celia Froehlig, Cyndi Forman, Doug Johnson, honored guest U.S. copyright registrar Maria Pallante (I told her we threw the party just for her), James Elliott, Jessica Nicholson, Kos Weaver, Kent Earls, Kelsey Grady, Pat Higdon, Ryan Hurd, Rusty Martin, Rich Fagan, Sarah Skates (with her adorable family), Sherrill Blackman, Tracy Gershon, Troy Stephenson and Woody Bomar enjoyed themselves and the event.

Pictured (L-R): MusicRow's Sherod Roberston, vocalist Wes Hightower, steel guitar player Russ Pahl, keyboardist Charles Judge, engineers Steve Marcantonio and Justin Niebank, and MusicRow's Eric T. Parker. Photo: Bev Moser
The Top 10 Album All-Star Musicians. Pictured (L-R): MusicRow‘s Sherod Roberston, vocalist Wes Hightower, steel guitar player Russ Pahl, keyboardist Charles Judge, engineers Steve Marcantonio and Justin Niebank, and MusicRow‘s Eric T. Parker. Photo: Bev Moser

MusicRow Magazine: Little Big Town Tour Halted Due To Jimi Westbrook’s Vocal Cord Surgery

• June 17, 2015 •
Little Big Town backstage at LP Field following their performance at CMA Music Festival last weekend. Photo: Bev Moser
Little Big Town backstage at LP Field following their performance at CMA Music Festival last weekend. Photo: Bev Moser

This afternoon, Little Big Town shared news of member Jimi Westbrook’s upcoming surgery on its Facebook page. The band is canceling or rescheduling its concerts through the end of July.
Little Big Town posted:
With heavy hearts we want to let you guys know that Jimi will have to undergo surgery next week to remove a polyp on his vocal cord. As a result, doctors have ordered him to rest his voice and completely recuperate before we continue touring. All shows through July 30th will be cancelled or rescheduled.
It breaks our hearts to let you guys down, but Jimi’s health is the most important thing and he is expected to make a full recovery with rest and treatment. We will keep everyone updated on Jimi’s progress. Thanks for your understanding and support. – K,K,J & P

Songwriters Singing For Coffee

May 3 ·
Honored to have had the amazing talent last night for our show at the Downtown Art Crawl. We heated up Nashville last night. So many people to thank for helping to pull this off and make it the event that it was!! Thanks to Billy Alexander not pictured here for his amazing talent and love. Special thanks to Eddie Robba and his group CTM Writers Ink, Audio-Technica USA , Breedlove Guitars , LR Baggs, Starbucks, Fifth Third Center, Downtown Nashville Partnership & The Downtown Art Crawl. Thanks for being so welcoming!!
You can't miss when you have a lineup like this.
Marcus Hummon, Ella Mae Bowen, Chris Roberts, Autumn McEntire, Jeff Cohen, Scott Reeves, Pete Sallis & Greg Friia!
Photo Credit - Bev Moser : Merle Haggard Receives Radio Broadcasters’ Award

9.2.2011  Merle Haggard Receives Radio Broadcasters’ Award

Ed Salamon, Jack Ingram, Merle Haggard,
Emmylou Harris, Carl Jackson
Photo Credit: Bev Moser
“I was supposed to sing tonight,” Haggard told the audience when he first came onstage. “I didn’t know if I’d be able to do it or not [because] I’m fighting pneumonia. I think I’m winning.” He thanked everyone who had prayed for his recovery from cancer. “I certainly needed it,” he said.
by Edward Morris
Merle Haggard’s ongoing clash with lung cancer hasn’t made him any less sharp-tongued than he was in his glory days.
In Nashville March 3, 2009  to accept a career achievement award from Country Radio Broadcasters, the feisty superstar used the occasion to lash out at the former head of his one-time label, Epic Records.
Prompting the outburst was Emmylou Harris’ wistful performance of Haggard’s self-penned 1985 hit, “Kern River,” a tune she ranked as her Haggard favorite. “The first time I heard that song,” she told the audience assembled in the Renaissance Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, “I almost drove off the road because it’s just so good.”
Her praise of “Kern River” evidently ignited Haggard’s memories of a man who didn’t like the song at all. “I want to say that there was this other guy — I can’t remember his name — he was head of CBS, and he made fun of my song. He said, ‘Who in the hell knows where Kern River is at?'”
Someone in the audience shouted out the name Haggard had apparently forgotten — Rick Blackburn, who helmed CBS Records (of which Epic was a division) from 1980 to 1988.
On another occasion, Haggard recalled that Blackburn said, “I’d like to tell you one more time. I don’t like ‘Kern River.'” Haggard continued, “And I said, ‘That’s about the third time you’ve told me that.’ He said, ‘It’s more like five times.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’m about five times short of telling you to go to hell.'”
By now, the crowd was roaring with laughter. But Haggard wasn’t through yet.
“I said, ‘Who do you think you are? You’re the son-of-a-bitch that sat at that desk over there and fired Johnny Cash. Let it go down in history that you’re the dumbest son-of-a-bitch I’ve ever met.'”
[Blackburn, who dropped Cash from the label in 1986, the year after “Kern River” came out, took Haggard’s tirade in stride. Reached Wednesday (March 4) at his home in Nashville, Blackburn told, “He’ll get more pleasure out of that [comment] than I’ll get grief.”]
Prior to Harris’ performance, Jack Ingram saluted Haggard by singing his 1982 hit, “Are the Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver).” Ingram accompanied himself on guitar, while Harris was backed by Carl Jackson on guitar and Phil Madeira on accordion.

SESAC: SESAC Signs Artist/Songwriter David Adam Byrnes

SESAC Signs Artist/Songwriter David Adam Byrnes

Pictured (left to right): SESAC’s Shannan Hatch and Byrnes.

Artist/songwriter David Adam Byrnes has signed with SESAC for representation. The Arkansas native, who has opened shows for the likes of Chris Young, David Nail, Colt Ford, Justin Moore and Thompson Square, has recently released a new single, “Alcoholiday.”
Photo: Bev Moser