Garth Brooks confirmed today (September 19) at a tour press conference in Atlanta, GA that his highly-anticipated new album will be available on November 11. The yet-to-be-titled album will be released on Pearl/RCA Nashville and will feature his current Country radio single, “People Loving People.”
Fans can pre-order the album at garthbrooks.com and ghosttunes.com. In addition to the album, fans can order an additional mega bundle including all eight studio albums digitally updated, the new double live 25th Anniversary Edition featuring 30 songs along with 30 videos, an instant download of “People Loving People” and the bonus track, “Send ‘Em On Down The Road.”
Brooks, who in 2000, was certified by the RIAA as the No. 1-selling solo artist in U. S. history and has sold 134 million albums to date, virtually receiving every music award possible, is currently on his world tour.
Jessica Nicholson • September 18, 2014 •
• • •
SESAC recently hosted a gathering of industry executives to celebrate the release of The King of Broken Hearts, a documentary of the life and career of singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale. The feature was produced and directed by Jeremy Dylan. The King of Broken Hearts, which was released Sept. 15, is available at jimlauderdale.com.
• • •ASCAP singer-songwriter Hannah Dasher recently hosted a performance at historic RCA Studio B. The invitation-only event was attended by label execs, Grand Ole Opry’s Pete Fisher and other industry members. The performance included a short set by Dasher, followed by an after-party in the BMG Chrysalis parking lot.
Jessica Nicholson • September 16, 2014 •
Bobby Karl • September 10, 2014 •
There’s no tension among nominees and no bated-breath announcements. We already know who the winners are, so we’re free to just relax and enjoy the music.
And the music is definitely in the spotlight. The segments of Tuesday’s Academy of Country Music show at The Ryman Auditorium (9/9) devoted to the Poet’s Award winners were particularly memorable for their performances.
The late Jack Clement was honored by Shawn Camp delivering a delightfully rhythmic “I Guess Things Happen That Way” and by Billy Burnette’s rockabilly romp through “Ballad of a Teenage Queen.” Daughter Alison Clement accepted the honor. “I figured since he was getting a Poet’s Award, a poem might be in order,” she said before reciting verses penned in praise of her pop.
Poet’s Award winner Dean Dillon received equally moving performances. Rodney Clawson sang that most sublime of Country compositions, “The Chair.” Lee Ann Womack was searingly soulful on “An Empty Glass.” “When I think of Country music, I think of Dean Dillon,” she said.
“This award isn’t about me, but about all the people who helped me along the way,” said Dean in accepting. He took pains to single out the late Hank Cochran as a mentor. “I want to thank my mama for having me, God for saving me and country music for loving me.”
The late Buck Owens was saluted by Dierks Bentley with “Love’s Gonna Live Here.” Dwight Yoakam delighted the Ryman crowd with a Buck medley. Buck’s son Buddy Alan accepted on behalf of the family, thanking the Academy of Country Music: “For about 60 years they have supported Buck Owens music and we are so grateful.”
Jack Ingram took the Kris Kristofferson classic “Sunday Morning Coming Down” into new realms of loneliness. Then Will Hoge made “Me and Bobby McGee” come alive all over again. In presenting the Poet’s Award to Kris, Jack called him, “one of our finest living American songwriters…of all time.”
“This is a religious experience for me,” responded Kris. “This is the place [the Ryman] where I first came – I was still in [Army] uniform – when I came to Nashville…..I feel like I am in church, and I can’t thank you enough.” The Poet winners weren’t the only ones saluted in song. Songwriter of the Year awardee Shane McAnally was treated to a once-in-a-lifetime trio of Kelly Clarkson, Hillary Scott and Kacey Musgraves singing his tunes together. Superstar Kenny Chesney presented the award. “You taught a lot of people about songwriting,” praised Kenny, whose version of “Somewhere With You” was Shane’s first No. 1 hit.
“These songs are who we are,” said Shane on behalf of his fellow songwriters. “I put a lot of myself into these songs. It’s a huge deal to get up here and represent [the songwriting community].”
The late Bob Beckham won the Pioneer Award. Tony Joe White performed a hypnotic, psychedelic-blues treatment of “Polk Salad Annie” in his honor.
Living legend Brenda Lee presented the award to Bob’s widow and daughters. “Bob was one of the most influential music men in Nashville,” said Brenda. “Beckham has had so much to do with who and what I am,” she added. “He was my friend, like he was to so many here tonight.” Bob Beckham was her opening act when she was a teen pop superstar. He provided her with Kris’s “Nobody Wins,” which paved the way to her second career as a country headliner. He produced “Big Four Poster Bed,” her sophomore country smash.
The music for Mae Boren Axton Award winner Paul Moore was provided by The Oak Ridge Boys. They drew a standing ovation for their spirited performance of “Elvira.”
Carrie Underwood won the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award. For her, The Swon Brothers (who were once in school alongside her), did a medley of “Til I See You Again” and “Wasted.”
“You’ve always been so good to me,” stammered Carrie to the crowd. “I had all kinds of stuff to say to you guys tonight, and it’s all gone.” She became weepy, then added, “I am so honored, and I am so thankful, and I am so blessed.”
Nashville TV show stars Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio (who both hail from overseas) did a splendid rendition of “If I Didn’t Know Better” to salute both of the Jim Reeves International Award recipients, Rascal Flatts and Steve Buchanan. ESPN commentator and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow presented the honor to Rascal Flatts. “You guys have spread inspiration and hope and love,” said Tim.
“The first award we ever won in our career was an ACM Award,” said the group’s Gary LeVox. “It’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride,” said Jay DeMarcus. “It’s been 15 years, but we’re not done yet,” added Joe Don Rooney.
Steve Buchanan’s Jim Reeves International Award was presented by the Opry’s Pete Fisher. He noted that the Buchanan-produced Nashville is now seen in nearly 100 nations around the world, which brings new tourists to the city every week. “The very best that Nashville and Country music have to offer have Steve’s name attached to them,” said Pete. Steve is presently working on a musical about Hee Haw with songwriters McAnally and Brandy Clark, among others. In accepting, he couldn’t resist plugging this year’s season premiere of Nashville, which is September 24.
In closing, he thanked his wife, publisher Ree Guyer Buchanan. “She truly is what makes this world a very special place for me.”
The Academy’s Career Achievement Awards went to Toby Keith, who accepted via video, and to one of this year’s Country Music Hall of Fame inductees Ronnie Milsap. The event’s host was Jake Owen, who opened the evening with Milsap’s “Back On My Mind Again.” The second Milsap musical tribute came from Hunter Hayes, who delivered “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World,” with an injection of “Smoky Mountain Rain.” Jake led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday,” in honor of Hunter’s 23rd birthday.
“Hunter, you sounded so good,” said Ronnie. “Jake, you sounded so good….I appreciate this award so much. I’ve got a place for it at home, all ready.”
Host Owen set the tone for the evening: “This is about putting down our phones, our texts and our Instagrams and taking a moment to celebrate the people who made Country music,” he said.
Things started slowly with ACM New Artist honoree Justin Moore presenting the Industry Awards. Billy Bob’s Texas won its eighth Nightclub of the Year honor. The Moody Theater, home of TV’s Austin City Limits, won its first Small Capacity Venue of the Year award. Medium Capacity Venue went to the Grand Ole Opry House, also for the first time. Bridgestone Arena won its third ACM award as Large Capacity Venue of the Year.
Nicole Moore won her first ACM award as Talent Buyer of the Year. Two Mohegan Sun Wolf venues were not present to get their Casino of the Year awards. But Brian O’Connell was fully present to get his sixth Promoter of the Year statuette.
“I want to put this on Instagram, Facebook and everything to remember this night,” he said as he snapped a “selfie” of the Ryman audience. “I’ll never forget it.”
Thomas Rhett presented the Studio Recording Awards. Michael Rhodes (bass), Charlie Judge (keyboards), Paul Franklin (steel), Justin Niebank (engineer) and Dann Huff (producer) were present. Shannon Forrest (drums) and Bryan Sutton (special instrument) were not.
First-time guitar winner Rob McNelley stole this section of the show. “There’s still a lot of artists I haven’t recorded with yet,” he noted. “And to you, I say, ‘615-260-8007.’”
Speaking of musicians, the house band was Jerry Roe (drums), Glen Duncan (fiddle), Brent Mason (lead guitar), Jedd Hughes (guitar/utility), John Jarvis (keyboards), Wyatt Beard & Liana Manis (background vocals), Glenn Worf (bandleader/bass) and the aforementioned Paul Franklin (steel). The musical director was Frank Liddell.
Mingling in the audience were Butch Baker, Butch Waugh, Mike Fisher, Mike Kraski, Tim Fink, Tim DuBois, Eric T. Parker, Erika Wollam-Nichols, Joey Hemphill, Joe Galante, Second Harvest’s Jaynee Day, John Briggs, Justin Levinson, Gary Overton, Dave Pomeroy, T. K. Kimbrell, Randy Goodman, Luke Lewis, Leslie Fram, Charlie Monk, Celia Froehlig, this year’s Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Mentor honoree Pat Higdon, Shatzi Hageman, Teresa George, Clarence Spalding, Bill Mayne, Sherod Robertson, Bob Romeo, Rod Essig, Diane Pearson, Chaley Rose, Karen Clark, Blake Chancey, Tom Baldrica and Tony Brown.
This was the eighth annual ACM Honors event.
“I want to tell you on my behalf how much it means to me to be on this stage and rubbing shoulders with these people,” said Jake Owen in summation.
Kelsey Grady • September 5, 2014 •
Also on the bill was Brooks’ wife and superb vocalist Trisha Yearwood, who emerged halfway through the show for a duet of “In Another’s Eyes,” followed by “XXXs and OOOs (An American Girl),” “How Do I Live,” “Wrong Side of Memphis,” and her latest single, “PrizeFighter.”
Singer-songwriter Karyn Rochelle opened the show. Rochelle penned songs including Kellie Pickler‘s “I Wonder,” “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful,” “Red High Heels” and Yearwood’s “Georgia Rain” (from 2005′s Jasper County), as well as “Let The Wind Chase You,” “This Is Me You’re Talking To,” and “Cowboys Are My Weakness,” (all from 2007′s Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love). Rochelle’s self-titled album released Sept. 2 on iTunes.
All photos courtesy of Bev Moser/Moments By Moser.
Many of the young Teammate ProCamp basketball players weren't even born when country music superstar Garth Brooks quit performing more than a decade ago. But they cheered, posed for photographs and gave high-fives to the affable Brooks during a celebrity appearance Saturday at the camp in the gym at Elk Grove High School.
"Be on a team," Brooks told the 150 children, explaining how he couldn't have returned to the concert circuit or formed his Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation without lots of good teammates.
Brooks told the 150 kids from the local Boys & Girls Club, the Salvation Army and the Oasis Trailer Park that even though they might look different or come from different backgrounds, they are all on the same team.
"Love one another. Have fun. Play your sport," Brooks said.
Kicking off his Garth Brook World Tour on Thursday with his first of 11 concerts in Rosemont, Brooks said one of the benefits of his tour schedule is that the travel provides him and his charity more opportunities to meet with kids across the nation.
"Now that we're back on tour, the parties are back in every city," Brooks said of the camps, which are free. "I love these kids."
He didn't offer any basketball tips. "You can look at me and see that I don't play," Brooks, 52, said with a laugh as he patted his belly. But Brooks did bring along a teammate who could pick up that slack for him -- his longtime friend Bill Self, the head basketball coach for the Kansas Jayhawks.
"We played together on the same softball team for seven years," says Self, who met Brooks when they both were students at Oklahoma State University in the 1980s.
Self, who left his coaching post at the University of Illinois for Kansas, where he won an NCAA championship, clearly could offer kids plenty of basketball tips. But he yielded the gym floor to Brooks, who removed his trademark black cowboy hat as he shook hands with his young fans and their coaches.
"This is his show, not mine," Self said of Brooks, praising the singer for being so personally involved in charity work. "Sometimes it's good not to be the quarterback, and be a good teammate. That's what I'm doing right now, being a good teammate."
By Bobby Karl • August 22, 2014 •
BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
I guess everyone was in the mood for some kind of big, non-denominational bash.
And I do mean “big,” as well as “everyone.” Nearly 500 people RSVP’d for the Leadership Music 25th Anniversary party on Thursday (July 21).
And I do mean “non-denominational.” Attendees came from dozens of different show-biz duchies. Record label royals, publishing moguls, agency titans, media mavens, studio gurus, producing princelings, organization queens and folks from far-flung corners of the entertainment world gathered at what was easily the epic schmoozathon of the season.
The gala took place at Rosewall, a cavernous party space in the Gulch. Its brick-walled, warehouse corners were decorated with blow-ups of iconic Nashville logos such as those of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, The Bluebird Café and Robert’s Western Wear. One niche held a souvenir photo booth where attendees gathered for gag snapshots with their buddies. Another had a place where various class portraits were taken.
The graduating class with the most attendees was 2011’s. That would include such fabulons as Ron Cox, Ramon Cisneros, John Ingrassia, Jennifer Schott, Chip Petree and Jim Catino.
“We have graduated more than 1,000,” said LM exec Debbie Linn. No wonder the party was so packed. Debbie, Jeff Walker and Diane Pearson all attempted to address the throng. They could barely be heard over the din. Even the excellent, amped-up blues-rock of the Guthrie Trapp Trio was merely background sound.
The guest list included such singer-songwriters as Felix Cavaliere, Victoria Shaw, Robert Ellis Orrall, Jim Photoglo (who has a new CD), Trey Bruce, Dez Dickerson, Frank Myers (who was just on Letterman backing singer Robby Johnson on Tuesday), Byron Hill, Pat Alger, Bill Lloyd and Trent Summar.
Trent was there on the arm of new LM participant Casey Summar. Other “power couples” making the scene included David & Karen Conrad, Steve & Ree Guyer Buchanan, Roy Wunsch & Mary Ann McCready, Ken & Shelia Shipley Biddy, Wayne & Pat Halper, David & Melinda Gales, Doug & Linda Edell Howard, Byron & Missy Gallimore and Beverly Keel & Ronnie Steine.
My double-syllabic friends working the room included Billy Block, Butch Baker, Susan Stewart, Skip Stevens, Marshall Morgan, Mark Montgomery, Mark Mason, Mike Milom, Lisa Lee, Craig Campbell and Fletcher Foster. Then there were such “twins” as Vanessa Davis, Michael Davis, Dixie Carter, Joanna Carter, Becky Harris, Cheryl Harris, Craig Hayes, Dan Hays, Shelby Kennedy, Gene Kennedy, Janie West, Steve West, Charles Dorris, John Dorris, Jay Williams and Sally Williams.
Some of my favorite producers were there. In addition to Mr. Gallimore, you had your choice of Garth Fundis, Kyle Lehning, Mark Wright, Jim Ed Norman and Tony Brown. Visiting alumnus Roger Sovine said he was impressed with how many vets were still around, citing Mr. Brown, Mr. Norman and Mr. Wunsch, as well as Joe Galante, Bill Denny, Joe Moscheo and his former BMI confederate Joyce Rice.
Whitney Daane paid me one of the nicest compliments ever. “You are a Comforting Constant,” she said. I did feel like I was in the midst of several generations of the Nashville music business. So what I replied was, “I just stand in one place and let the industry swirl around me. I’ll never be rich, but I always have the same job.” Which is more than you can say for 90 percent of the others working the room. Bless them all.
I’ll just give you one rep from each letter of the alphabet to give you some idea of just how diverse the crowd was: Drew Alexander, Tom Baldrica, Todd Cassetty, Patti Donahoe, Pat Embry, Mark Ford, Tracy Gershon, Stan Hitchcock, Bill Ivey, Brian Jones, Andrew Kintz, Kevin Lamb, Scott McDaniel, Dave Nichols, John Ozier, Dave Pomeroy, okay there are no “Q’s,” Jonah Rabinowitz, Tamara Saviano, Sarah Trahern, sorry no “U’s,” Mike Vaden, Stacy Widelitz, there are also no “X’s,” Jonathan Yudkin and Jim Zumwalt.
We dined on mini ruben sandwiches, beef & blue cheese on toast, pork meatballs with spiced mustard in pretzel rolls, caprese crostini, shrimp & scallion cocktails and chicken endive cups, plus assorted fruits, crackers and cheeses. Full bars operated on opposite sides of the party warehouse.
I spotted an engineer vortex posing in the souvenir zone. “We can’t hear, but we can pose,” joked Gary Paczosa, who was in a scrim with Ben Fowler and Jeff Balding. I posed with Sherod Robertson in front of a Smokehouse backdrop. We looked splendid.
As the party wore on, the place heated up, as did the conversational pace. Chatting away as we headed into the bash’s second hour were such lovely ladies as Erika Wollam-Nichols, Denise Stiff Sheehan, Debbie Fleischer-Robin, Debbie Carroll, Deb Varallo, Nancy Cardwell, Melanie Howard, Cyndi Forman, Phyllis Stark, Teresa George, Jenny Bohler, Holly Bell, Katie Gillon, Tinti Moffatt, Leslie Fram, Lynn Morrow, Paula Roberts, Cindy Wilson, Lisa Harless, Anita Hogin, Laurie Hughes, Suzanne Kessler, Liz Kiley and Alicia Warwick.
The guys did their fair share of gabbing, too. Just ask John Lomax, John Beiter, John Shackelford, John Styll, Tim McFadden, Tim Wipperman, Tim Fink, Pat McMakin, Pat Finch, Tom Collins, Tom Roland, Al Bunetta, Al Moss, Charlie Monk, Charlie Lico, Chuck Aly, Bobby Cudd, Bobby Rymer, Rob Simbeck, Rod Essig, Harry Chapman and Barry Coburn.
Not to mention Sam Lorber, Craig Havighurst, Chris Parr, Larry Stessel, Jim Blumstein, Ken Paulson, Lon Helton, Dale Bobo, Ed Benson, Dwight Wiles, Rick Murray, Ted Hacker, Don Cusic, David Crow and Jeff Gregg plus such long-time faves as Arthur Buenahora, Bret Wolcott, Hank Adam Locklin, Aaron Hartley, Sherrill Blackman, Walter Campbell, Earle Simmons, Trip Aldridge, Chip Peay and Justin Levenson, kind fellows one and all.
I’m telling you, this party was big, big, big.
Members of Leadership Music’s Class of 2012. Photo: Bev Moser, Moments By Moser