Celebrities and music industry professionals gathered at the CMA office building on Friday, October 31st to capture their freshly shaved faces in support of No Shave November. Pictured (L-R): Front Row - Christian Bottorff (CMA), Bill Macky (Black River), Brian Rhoades (Black River), Greg McCarn (Black River), April Johnson (Country Aircheck), Robin Rhodes (Premiere), Josh Easler (RCA) Middle Row: Sean Patrick McGraw (Artist), Tim McFadden (Tim McFadden Management), Wendy Newcomer (Country Aircheck), Reid Benson (The Primacy Firm), Keithan Melton (Magic Mustang Publishing), Ethan Helms (Cold River), Keith Kaufman (Center Stage Tour Productions) Back Row: RJ Curtis (All Access), Ben Balch (CMA), George Briner (Valory), Chris Loss (Stoney Creek), Chris Skinner (The Primacy Firm), George Meeker (State Farm), Mike Wilson (Black River)....Photo Credit: Christian Bottorff
Nashville, TN (October 31, 2014) – Participants of the fourth annual No Shave November benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital united at the CMA building in Nashville on Friday, October 31st, to capture their freshly shaved faces before the competition was underway. Music industry and radio station professionals, along with some of today’s hottest country stars have thrown away their razors for the month, and are allowing their facial hair to grow freely.

Donations raised through November will help St. Jude continue to find cures and save children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Supporters who were unable to attend the group photo are encouraged to post a date-stamped Day 1 photo to www.facebook.com/nsnforstjude. Capping off the campaign, awards will be given for best beard, the worst beard and many more during the celebrated “Beard Bash” in Music City on December 1st. 

No Shave November is using all platforms to encourage the music industry to recruit as many men (and dedicated women) as possible to join the team, and to donate at least $30 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This year, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, has been appointed as 2014 Chairman of the Beard. In 2013, NSN raised an impressive $220,000 for the organization, with $396,000 raised over the past three years to support St. Jude. 

Participants can still register at www.nsn4sjk.com 

About No Shave November:
Possibly the most ingenious charitable scheme ever devised, No Shave November helps some of the world's sickest children by asking participants to do nothing. Literally. Knowing that shaving sucks time out of each day and money out of men's wallets, a couple of guys at a Nashville record label came up with a plan: Stop shaving for a month, but put a positive twist on it by donating the money saved - at least $30 - to a worthy cause like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In just three years, the effort has spawned thousands of beards and, more importantly, thousands of dollars in donations to St. Jude. 
PictureCourtesy FarmBorough FB
"We've been dreaming about bringing a country festival to New York for a long time, and we feel like the time is right now," says Brian O'Connell of Live Nation, which is teaming with Founders Entertainment for the event. "New York City is a global destination. Country fans from all over the world can come to the city and take advantage of all it has to offer, while enjoying three days of the best country music acts too."

The festival, named FarmBorough, will take place on Randall's Island June 26th-28th. It will be headlined by Dierks BentleyLuke Bryan and Brad Paisley. Other artists appearing during the three-day fest include: Wade Bowen, Brandy Clark, Maddie & Tae, Kip Moore, Ashley Monroe, The Cadillac Three and Dwight Yoakam. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.

"Country singers playing in New York is always a big deal, whether they're playing the smallest club or bar, or Madison Square Garden," says Bentley, who announced the festival on NBC's TODAY show. "It's a big deal to play here, so to combine that with a country music festival…To have one now in the city really justifies the moment that country music is having."

FarmBorough will also spotlight undiscovered talent with a "Next From Nashville" stage. 
Three-day passes starting at $225 will go on sale Thursday, November 6th.

For more information visit FarmBoroughFestival.com

NB. When I initially heard there was going to be a country festival in NYC my first reaction was "meh" thinking it would be the same old same old. But one look at the line up and you know this festival thought outside of the box for acts. Mind you not farrrrr outside, but they are bringing in quality artists that make real good music and put on a pretty terrific live show (I have seen many if not all of these acts live). Some of the must see artists include Striking Matches, Lindsay Ell, The Railers, Chris Stapleton, Wade Bowen, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark and Brothers Osborne. I'll say further there is Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three and Dwight Yoakam (and of course Dierks!). And for $225 the price is very decent for NYC. See ya there!

As he signs his recording contract with Sony Music Nashville, Logan Mize (center) is pictured with (l-r): Dennis Entertainment’s John Dennis and Charly Salvatore; Big Yellow Dog Music co-owner Carla Wallace; Sony Music Nashville Chairman & CEO Gary Overton and A&R VP Jim Catino; Kelly Donley, attorney with Safford Motley PLC; and Big Yellow Dog Music co-owner Kerry O’Neil. Photo credit: Alan Poizner
Nashville, TN – Kansas native and heartland country rocker Logan Mize has signed a recording contract with Sony Music Nashville, where he joins the family of artists on Sony’s Arista Nashville imprint. His first single for the label will be the fun-loving “Can’t Get Away from a Good Time,” co-written by Mize, Blake Chaffin, and Kelly Archer. The song will ship to country radio on November 17, with an official airplay impact date of January 19.

Propelled by early support from SiriusXM’s The Highway, “Can’t Get Away from a Good Time” is already becoming a fan-favorite, with the digital single having sold in excess of 75,000 copies to date.

An in-demand live performer, Mize has opened for such artists as Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, and many more. Beginning November 13, fans can watch for Logan on the road with headliner Dustin Lynch on the 2014 Taste of Country Christmas Tour.

Fans have also seen Mize performing two songs in a 2013 episode of The CW’s Hart of Dixie, as well as being featured as the artist on stage in the Cotton TV commercial, “The Fabric of Hayden Panettiere’s Life.”

www.Facebook.com/LoganMize; on Twitter @LoganMize

ASHEVILLE, NC --   Tellico is the most recent product of Asheville NC's thriving roots music scene, its members well schooled in bluegrass but with an unbridled organic Appalachiacana sound, and they are excited to be debuting an album in 2015. Tellico features the singing and songwriting of Anya Hinkle (guitar, fiddle, vocals) and Stig Stiglets (bass, vocals) with Aaron Ballance on dobro, as well as Jed Willis on mandolin and clawhammer banjo. After playing together late last year, three former members of the Asheville bands Dehlia Low (Anya, Aaron, and Stig) and Town Mountain (Jed) decided the combination of so much history together and the excitement of a new project was so compelling that they decided to form Tellico. 

Well known for their rootsy, authentic singing and vocal harmony, as well as in the hard-edge nostalgic yet modern themes of their songwriting, the quartet combines some of the finest voices, songs and instrumental prowess in western North Carolina and beyond. In previous lineups, the band's members have performed at some of the nation's most prestigious festivals and venues including MerleFest, Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival, Bristol Rhythm and Roots, Mountain Song Festival, and the Freight and Salvage. Aaron also won the Rockygrass Dobro Competition in 2010. Anya, Stig and Aaron also recorded under the Rebel Records label in 2011 for Dehlia Low's Ravens and Crows album as well as three other independent releases with their previous band between 2007 and 2010.

Folks are excited to hear the new music and within the first 24 hours of launching a 33-day Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their debut album they had met their goal of $7500. By day nine, they had surpassed it to reach $10,000. The band is wowed by all of the support which will not only enable them to make the album, but also to expand their calendar and get their music out to more listeners across the country. Tellico has reached a beautiful milestone in this campaign and now has a bit over 100 backers! This campaign has always been about getting the music out there and growing a community around that effort and they still have more than halfway to go.

Seeing such a positive response from the community, the band would like to grow the Tellico family over the remainder of the campaign to double the amount of backers to 200 at any reward level! Getting involved before the CD is even made allows them to get as many CDs printed as they can, which will shipped out to backers before the album even releases to the public. In addition, becoming a backer means becoming a part of the project, and a feeling of investment in the album's recording and release, as well as helping to provide us more financial options than if you were to purchase the album after it is released. Backers become Tellico’s record label, the band digs it, wants you to join them in this and for you to bring your friends along for the ride too!

The songs that will be on the album reflects the sights, sounds, and feelings of living in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina capturing the resonating and universal themes of love, disaster, cheatin', loss, busking, dreams, and change. The blend of Anya and Stig's committed, authentic vocals with Aaron's flowing and soaring dobro and Jed's textured and expressive mandolin bring to the songs their foundation, rooted in the mountain music they grew up with, but taken to somewhere unique. 

By becoming a backer for our upcoming album, not only do you get an autographed copy of the disk mailed right to your door, but also other perks only available to backers, like personal thank-yous, limited edition hats, shirts, crafts and stickers, demos and pre-release tracks, photos from the studio and project updates. Most importantly though, you join us in the process creating this album. It's a big world but it becomes smaller when we connect with each other. And more fun. 

What folks are saying about Tellico:
"Tellico's music is easy enough to understand at first: acoustic music rooted in Appalachian traditions that is memorable and well played, with a female lead singer whose voice is as dreamy and sad as it is soulful and sweet. But there's so much more to it than that, and uncovering all the layers of what makes Tellico special can become a kind of captivating mystery story. Here you have members of bands Dehlia Low and Town Mountain making music that is both true to their roots but unique and fresh. It's music that can appeal to die-hard old-time, bluegrass, ragtime and blues fans while bending the ears of folks who never liked songs that even came close to a pair of overalls. Front and center is the voice of Anya Hinkle, who reminds me of Billie Holiday in a Carter Family setting; she seals the deal. I'm very much looking forward to hearing their first album." --Joe Kendrick, WNCW 88.7 FM & Producer of Lingua Musica, Asheville, NC

"Delivering an authentic Appalachian string band sound aesthetic with modern but timeless lyrics, Tellico defines Asheville Americana. These musicians will touch your heart and mind with their cabin porch informed vocals and tasteful instrumentation….every song’s a ‘keeper’”. --Davis Tracy, WDCV Carlisle, PA & Bluegrass@Dickenson

"It strikes a chord in me...it sends chills up my spine.” --"Hippie" Jack Stoddart, Jammin' at Hippie Jack's Americana Festival and Council for Americana Roots Music

"I knew from the first moment I heard Anya sing that I had found the voice I craved to hear once again--a voice that is both unique yet beautiful, with a truly authentic quality. I can't wait to review the forthcoming Tellico release.” --Dennis Brunnenmeyer, KVMR, Nevada City Limits, Nevada City CA

Find out more about Tellico and stay up to date on their news at: tellicoband.comfacebook.com/tellico &twitter.com/TellicoBand

PictureCourtesy jodeemessina.com
October 27, 2014 – Multi-Platinum selling country superstar Jo Dee Messina released her brand new single, “He’s Messed Up,” from her critically acclaimed studio album ME.  The single, has been one of the Top 20 most downloaded and most streamed singles on Play MPE for the last three weeks and was just featured on the new radio show On The Horizon on SiriusXM The Highway (Channel 56) last week. The rock-infused track, written by Messina and Alyssa Bonagura, features back-up vocals by the fans who helped make Messina’s new music happen as Kickstarter backers, including a 14 year old who took the day off from school to be a part of the record.

“I had originally written part of this song with Pink in mind intending to co-write with her during her tour stop in Nashville. However, schedules being what they are, it didn’t end up working out but when I took it to Alyssa she had some great additions,” said Messina. “It’s just a fun song that I loved having the Kickstarter backers be a part of! I am so excited by the positive response I have been getting from fans out on the road and from radio.”

Messina is currently out on the road in support of her latest album ME, which is being dubbed her best album to date combining an alluring mix of up-tempo songs and heartfelt tunes on the 12-track album. ME showcases the journey Messina has been on since parting ways with her record label in 2012.  Breaking out with her own Dreambound Records Messina launched the most successful Kickstarter campaign out of Nashville to make this album and give fans a voice.  Known for her electrifying live performances and powerhouse vocals, it comes as no surprise that Messina’s ever-growing devoted fan base across the country continues to surpass expectations with their support. 

For more official Jo Dee Messina news go to www.jodeemessina.com
Follow Jo Dee on Facebook www.facebook.com/jodeemessina and Twitter www.twitter.com/jodeemessina. 

PictureCourtesy Big Loud Mountain
After leaving a mark on country radio with his high-energy single “Tippin’ Point,” rising country star Dallas Smith has released his new follow-up anthem, “Wastin’ Gas.” Premiering on SiriusXM’s The Highway today, the infectious single is a shout-along song that celebrates the no-particular-place-to-go mentality of young love on a full tank. The song is now available at iTunes and will be featured on his upcoming Big Loud Mountain EP, LIFTED.

The country newcomer brings a fresh slant to country, with a wall-of-sound approach that combines the vocals of country with the crunch of rock. The title-track to Smith's last EP,TIPPIN’ POINT, set the record for the fastest Canadian country single to go GOLD, and has since been certified PLATINUM. The six-song project also features fan-favorites “Slow Rollin’,” “Wrong About That” and “Nothin’ But Summer.”

His energetic live shows and compelling tunes have caught the attention of headlining acts, including music legend Bob Seger and superstar duo Florida Georgia Line who have previously selected him for coveted opening slots. In 2015, Smith will launch his headline TIPPIN’ POINT Tour across Canada.

Hailing from British Columbia, Smith brings a healthy dose of rock and roll power to his brand of lively country music. Producer Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen) captured his unique energy and unmistakable vocals on his award-winning breakout Canadian country debut, JUMPED RIGHT IN, and Smith has teamed up with him again for his forthcoming project, LIFTED. Amassing national appeal, the CMW Radio Awards winner netted three 2014 CCMA Award nominations including Single, Album and Male Artist of the Year and is the first Canadian country artist to have 8 singles reach the Top 10 at radio in Canada. 

“Wastin’ Gas” is now available here.

For more information on Dallas Smith and tour dates, visit DallasSmithMusic.com 

PictureCourtesy Stoney LaRue Facebook
Stoney LaRue's new album, Aviator, was released today, October 27th. Produced by Frank Liddell and Mike McCarthy, it is LaRue’s first record on the eOne Nashville label.

Consisting of fourteen tracks, thirteen of which he had a hand in writing, he has said, "I want that human element to still be apparent in my writing." He released the lead single "Golden Shackles" as well as the video for the song "First One To Know" in August.

LaRue is set to make his Grand Ole Opry debut Saturday, November 15th. He has said, “I can’t stop pinching myself about my Opry debut. I mean, when I got the news, I couldn’t speak because that has been the one event and I mean, event that has been at the top of my career list since day one."

LaRue is considered one of the top acts of the Texas Music Scene. He consistently plays over 200 shows a year yielding over 250,000 tickets sold last year alone. His 2011 self-released Velvet debuted at No. 3 on the iTunes chart, as well as Top 15 on the overall Billboard Country Music Chart. Additionally, the Texas Regional Radio Awards named Velvet Album of the Year along with his Male Vocalist award in 2012. Stoney has sold more than 400,000 albums and tracks.

CMT PURE released the video for 'Aviator.' You can watch it here

For more information visit his official website.

PicturePhoto Credit: Amy Phillips
Singer, songwriter, actress and entertainer Amber Hayes is set to release her new 5-track EP, titled Running Out Of Memories, on Nov. 4, 2014.  

The album, which is released through GMV Nashville/A-OK Entertainment, will be available on iTunes, Amazon and other major digital retailers. Running Out Of Memories features three new songs that are produced by Bobby Terry, a remix of her previously released tune, “Me & Loretta,” and a new rendition of “Cotton Eyed Joe,” which was in the family-film, Cowgirls ‘N Angels 2: Dakota’s Summer.

Hayes comments, “I am so ready to share new music with Country music fans. I've wanted to work with Bobby Terry for a long time and I'm so excited to do so on this project. He has always blown me away with his talent. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent looking for and co-writing these three new songs and I feel like they are just right for me.” 

Running Out Of Memories track listing: 
1.     "Running Out Of Memories" – Amber Hayes, Bill Diluigi, JP Williams
2.     "How Can I Feel" – Rebecca Lynn Howard, Elisha Hoffman, Jody Aaron Friedman
3.     "If I Were In Your Boots" – Adam Fears, John Northrup, Tiffany Jena Babson
4.     "Cotton Eyed Joe" – Dance Remix – Amber Hayes, Charlie Kelly
5.     "Me & Loretta" Remix (re-release) – Amber Hayes, Brady Seals, Brian Eckert 

A lyric video for “Cotton Eyed Joe” can be viewed here
To preview the new music, visit Hayes' official YouTube page here

In addition to the release of her new music, Hayes has re-launched her website. The site features new images, digital spotlights and more. 

For more information about Amber Hayes, view her website at www.AmberHayesMusic.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter

PictureCourtesy Kristian Bush
Multi-platinum recording artist Kristian Bush performed his Top 35-and-climbing hit “Trailer Hitch” on NBC’s TODAY show this morning and announced an exciting new partnership with Goodwill Industries International. 

The partnership is inspired by “Trailer Hitch,” which reminds us that we collect so many things that we don’t need, and we can’t take it with us when we go… so why not “give it away”? The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of Goodwill’s mission to transform lives through the power of creating jobs.
“When I learned more about Goodwill® and what they do with the proceeds from donations -- how those donations help create jobs -- I was really excited to join the effort,” said Bush. “If you are interested in creating change in your community, donating to Goodwill is a great place to start. It is so much more than a thrift shop."
By using the catchy, irresistible hook of “Trailer Hitch,” Bush will join Goodwill in spreading the word that when fans “give it away” to Goodwill, the revenue from the sale of donated clothing, electronics, and small household goods goes directly to help find employment for people in their communities with disabilities or disadvantages.

For more information on Kristian Bush, visit www.kristianbush.com

Watch the video here: http://www.today.com/video/today/56310567#56310567

PictureCourtesy hillcountrybk.com
"Every night I have a new hometown," sings Connor Christian in the title track of the latest release from Connor Christian & Southern Gothic, New Hometown (February, 2013). Those words could be the mantra of many touring bands, but in the case of "CCSG" as their fans affectionately know them, those words are more than just a metaphorical description of the troubadour lifestyle of a band on the road. They are a nod to the beginnings of a band – not just its members, who come from places as far and wide as Los Angeles to Russia – but also its music, an amalgamation of roots-rock, country and Americana.

"We don't like to box ourselves in," says Christian. "But we hear from fans all the time that our blend of sounds and influences is one of the things they love. When we get on a stage, it just clicks. It's seamless. And based on the way people are reacting, it must be working." It's working indeed. From the fiddle-driven and harmony-rich opener "Sheets Down", to the country-ballad swoon of "Only Need You", "(She's) My Salvation" or "Back in Dixie", to the unapologetic, raunchy swagger of "When I'm Gone", or the instrumental twin-fiddle blast of the aptly-named "Fiddler", New Hometown is an 18 song joyride. Produced by Christian and John Briglevich (Goo Goo Dolls, Edwin McCain), this is roots music crafted by a restlessness of spirit, born from the travels of a true troubadour.

CCSG has spent the better part of the past three years on the road. When not headlining, they've shared stages with such artists as Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Corey Smith, Big & Rich, Uncle Kracker, Gloriana, STYX, ZZ Top, Heart, Foreigner, and more. "It works," says Christian in regard to the varying nature of the audiences. "We've played to country crowds, rock crowds, young crowds, old crowds. We've played to jam band audiences and we've played bluegrass festivals. The response with all of them has been fantastic."

Fantastic enough for Billboard Magazine to notice. CCSG was named "Artist on the Verge" in Billboard's Best Bets of 2012 issue. "It's pretty crazy," says Christian of the accolade. "I hope it's a harbinger of things to come."

"We've traveled the world," says Christian. "We find the people, the stories - there's always something familiar, no matter where we go. So when we get to play songs that are shaped by those people and those places, somehow it always feels like we are home, no matter where we are."

Watch the video for "Sheets Down" here

Where: Hill Country Brooklyn
When: Friday, November 7th
Time: Doors 10/Show 1030pm $12-15