PictureCourtesy Bands on The Run Facebook
October 21, 2014 (Toronto, ON) – Bringing together some of the biggest acts in country music for over 10 years, Open Road Recordings is celebrating three of its own with the announcement of the Bands on the Run tour. This fall,The Road HammersDoc Walker and Blackjack Billy will hit the open road in Canada to spread country music coast-to-coast.

After two decades and six award-nominated albums, legends of Canadian country music Doc Walker released their eighth studio album The 8th today. Featuring the Top 10 hit “Put It Into Drive” and summer favourite “Shake It Like It’s Saturday Night”, the latest single from the upcoming album, “That’s How I Like It”, has already reached Top 40 status with Chris Thorsteinson’s strong vocals accompanied by Dave Wasyliw’s classic harmonies in this loving homage to their wives.

The 8th, the duo’s most honest album released to date, was recorded at Noble Street Studios in Toronto, ON and Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN. Produced by award-winning producers Gavin Brown (Metric, The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies) and Justin Niebank (Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Eli Young Band), The 8th is an intimate 10-track collection that gives fans a deeper look into the lives of Thorsteinson and Wasyliw.

With the certified PLATINUM single “Booze Cruise” under their belt, Blackjack Billy also released their debut album Rebel Child today. Since the release of “Booze Cruise”, which has sold over 300,000 downloads worldwide, Rob BlackledgeNoll BillingsJeff Coplan, and Brad Cummings have established themselves as one of the must see acts in country music.

Representing country music from south of the border during the Bands on the Run tour Blackjack Billy will showcase their high-energy, redneck rock band style, which can be heard in their tracks “Get Some”, “Got a Feeling” and the brand new single “Sugar Cane”. Produced by the band’s own Jeff CoplanRebel Child is the band’s personal invitation to fans to join them for a good time.

No strangers to the road, The Road Hammers will be pounding the pavement alongside Doc Walker and Blackjack Billy for the cross-country Bands on the Run tour. Led by Jason McCoy, the trio recently released their fourth albumWheels, which debuted as the #1 Canadian country music album. With two Top 20 Singles “Get On Down The Road” and “Mud”, which was certified GOLD, the road warriors’ third single “I’ve Been Everywhere” will no doubt garner a few accolades and a couple of laughs from the official video that was recently released via YouTube.

Stretching from Fredericton, NB to Vancouver, BC, the Bands on the Run tour will see three of country music’s best play 19 dates across Canada. Combining Blackjack Billy’s wild twist on southern country, Doc Walker’s legendary artistry and topped with The Road Hammers’ unbeatable live performance style, Bands on the Run will deliver a once in a lifetime experience to small towns throughout the country. 

A full list of Bands on the Run tour dates can be found at their official website. Tickets can be purchased via bandsontherun.ca.


Nashville, TN (October 24, 2014) – 2014 CMA “Vocal Group of The Year” nominees, The Band Perry, took time out of their busy touring and recording schedule last week to give a Master Class at Belmont University’s School of Music in Nashville.  

With Massey Concert Hall as their backdrop, the sibling trio shared the backstory on how they started in the music industry, which included raising money for sound gear by selling homemade caramel apples door to door and traveling around the southeast to play shopping malls, campsites and restaurants. The band stressed the importance of perseverance, a strong support system, and accepting constructive criticism. They also mentioned the development of stage presence in addition to technical skills. 

The reigning ACM “Vocal Group of The Year” shared their strategy on how they grew “from a band to a brand,” encouraging students to find their own voice and focus on what they do best and what makes them unique.  They also lent advice on coping with the rigors of breaking into the music business, a challenge very familiar to many of the young performers in the room.  At the end of the hour, the band answered questions from the students, and then treated the audience to an impromptu acoustic performance of their quintessential hit, “If I Die Young.” 
"It was great to have Kimberly, Reid and Neil speak to our music students," said Dr. Cynthia Curtis, Dean of The College of Visual and Performing Arts.  "Practical advice from professional musicians is an integral part of our students' education, and we could not have scripted this Master Class any better. The Band Perry offered our students real-life information about what the combination of talent and hard work can bring. Coming from an intelligent, accomplished and relatable act like The Band Perry, this advice was exactly what our students needed to hear as they begin to pursue their own professional careers."
L to R: Neil Perry, Kimberly Perry, Reid Perry and Kristy Reeves (Red Light Management)
The Band Perry (center) poses for a quick photo after their Master Class session with Belmont University School of Music Students.
PictureCourtesy Miss Jill PR
Atlanta, GA – Singer-Songwriter Michael ONeill set his sights on releasing his fifth independent album, I Like It Like That, on January 20, 2015 on his own label, Sleeping Trout Records with distribution through MDI out of New Mexico. This new cd filled with his poetic lyrics, his expressive voice and infectious melodies are complimented by a knock out group of studio musicians backing him – Tony Braunagel (Robert Cray) on Drums, Dean Parks ((Steely Dan) on guitar and  Johnny Lee Schell (Bonnie Raitt) on guitar just to name a few. The record was created at Ultrasound Studios in Studio City, CA produced by ONeill himself, Mr. Schell and Mr. Braunagel.

Based in the Los Angeles area, Michael is a story-teller, a troubadour that commands his audience to listen hard to his lyrics.  As the first song, “Raise A Glass” begins, Michael is toasting to his friends, family and life as he leaves them behind when he tours. Every traveling musician appreciates the normalcy in life but has to answer the call of the road to make a living.  It’s what makes them who they are, restless but content. ONeill comes armed with vignettes of open-eyed romance, highway drama, and hard-earned tenderness – vocalized with the assurance and attitude that comes only from experience. 

One of 13 children, he got started in music early and by the age of 24, he cut his teeth opening his first tour for a then-unknown band called U2.  As the tour ended in Los Angeles, ONeill found himself signed with legendary manager Don Arden (father of Sharon Osbourne) with a record deal following.  ONeill put together a band that featured a young John Shanks (producer of Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morrisette) Kenny Gradney (Little Feat), and jazz saxophonist, Boney James. He spent the better part of the next ten years touring with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn and penning songs with Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Steve Cropper (Booker T. and The MG's), and Jason Scheff (Chicago). His band held down a weekly gig at the hottest club in town, The Central (now The Viper Room), playing to packed houses. As the '90s approached, ONeill left Southern California for his hometown in the Pacific Northwest to raise horses and focus on his family. “I retreated to gain some perspective and try to keep my family together,” ONeill says, “I did pretty good on the perspective part.”

Whether sweetly acknowledging the stirrings of new love (“When You Come Around”, “Let It Rain”), or offering up a testament to fast women and the pleasures of seduction (“Real Deal”,” I Like It Like That”), they share a common thread; these songs are as honest as they are vulnerable. An artist who writes love songs to cities and states as well as people, “Colorado” is pure Americana. Michael is a strong original voice among West Coast singer-songwriters.

PicturePhoto Credit: Joe Lemke
Warner Bros. Records’ Frankie Ballard kicked off his energetic LIGHT ‘EM UP TOUR on Thursday, October 16th at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, MN. As part of the exclusive Live Nation Ones To Watch tour with Skype, the run serves as the “Sunshine & Whiskey” singer’s first headlining trek, with stops in 19-cities between now and December.

To kick off the dynamic tour, Ballard teamed up with the brand new Live Nation Channel and Yahoo Screen, which is an exclusive live music channel that can deliver one exclusive convert live stream a day, and has featured popular artists such as Lady Antebellum and Dave Matthews Band. 

He will continue his LIGHT ‘EM UP TOUR this weekend, with stops in Louisville, KY (10/24) and Indianapolis, IN (10/25).

Known for his energetic live shows, Ballard will amp it up even further on the Florida Georgia Line 2015 ANYTHING GOES tour. He has also landed coveted opening slots for Jake Owen, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and longtime idol Bob Seger.
Since releasing his first #1, GOLD-certified smash “Helluva Life,” Ballard has lit up the country music scene. The Battle Creek, MI, native continues the hot streak with his follow-up infectious anthem “Sunshine & Whiskey,” which has sold over 460,000 copies to date. Currently Top 10 at Country radio, the tune is quickly approaching the top of the chart. Both songs are featured on his latest album,SUNSHINE & WHISKEY, which debuted in the Top 5 on the BillboardCountry Albums Chart, and ROLLING STONE noted as “required listening.” Produced by Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard), the project captures the newcomer’s unique blend of blues-infused, country rock and his undeniable guitar prowess on every song.

For more information check out FrankieBallard.com.
Keep an eye out on www.facebook.com/onestowatch for a chance to connect with Frankie via Skype on the road.

PicturePhoto Credit Ben Enos
Nashville, TN – October 21, 2014 - RCA Records Nashville artist Chris Young is prepping his passport as he makes plans for his first shows in Germany while making his second visit to Australia and third trip to London and the UK to bring his 2015 A.M. WORLD TOUR to international audiences.  

The A.M World Tour will earn new stamps in Young’s passport as he heads to Australia, with headlining shows set for Melbourne (3/11/15), Sydney (3/13/15) and a return visit to CMC Rocks The Hunter Festival in Ipswich (3/14/15). While en-route to the land down under, Chris will take top-billing at Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu, Hawaii for his first full concert in the Aloha State. International fans can later catch the full throttle, hit-packed show with headlining stops in London (9/14/15) and Dublin (9/17/15) before making his inaugural run in Germany for dates in Munich (9/19/15), Cologne (9/20/15) and Berlin (9/22/15). Young will kick off the Fall 2015 run of shows with a two-night stint in Switzerland for the Gstaad Festival (9/11-12/15). Additional worldwide dates are expected to announce in the coming weeks.

The 29 year-old singer made his inaugural trip to the UK and Ireland in 2013 for the CMA Songwriters Series. That same year he made his CMC Rocks The Hunter debut. In 2014 Young made another trek across the pond for shows in London, Dublin, Stavanger, Oslo, Gotteborg and Stockholm. 2015 will mark his third consecutive year to share his show with international audiences.

Join the conversation on FacebookInstagram and Twitter  
For more information visit www.chrisyoungcountry.com.

PictureCourtesy Shock Inc
AUSTIN, Texas - Anyone who gets near singer-songwriter Shelley King's new album, Building a Fire, is bound to feel the lava-like heat of the passion churning at its core. But she's about to kick the temperature up even higher with a video for the title song, currently in production with a screenplay by the Subdudes' John Magnie, the album's co-producer, and videography by Blake Miller. The finished product will feature footage of King's incendiary live performances interspersed with actors conveying the storyline.

Meanwhile, word continues to spread about the album, on King's own Lemonade Records, whichAXS Examiner has already labeled "one of the best CDs to come out of Austin this year." A cover story in Buddy magazine (click here to see) neatly encapsulates both the album's vibe and the prevailing tone of critical praise with the following description:

"The slow, almost aching traditional 'I Know I've Been Changed,' delivered in King's strong, sultry killer of a voice over full - but never overdone - music and backing vocals, defines Building a Fire."

King's warm, rootsy voice and well-honed songwriting are stronger than ever on her seventh album and second co-production with Subdudes Magnie and Steve Amedee; the trio also co-produced her acclaimed 2009 release, Welcome Home. King and the Subdudes are slated to perform together three times in November; her current tour also includes dates with Marcia Ball, who features King's harmony vocals on a song on her new album. The longtime friends will enjoy even more hang time when they reconvene on the Delbert McClinton & Friends Sandy Beaches Cruise in January.

For tour dates and more information visit shelleyking.com

PictureCourtesy Willie Nelson Facebook
New York, NY - October 22, 2014 - Legacy Recordings will release Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie's December Day, the first installment of the Willie's Stash archival recordings series, on Tuesday, December 2.

An eclectic album collaboration from outlaw country legend Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie Nelson, December Day debuts intimate new recordings of the siblings performing 18 songs they love.

As brother and sister growing up in Abbott, Texas, Willie and Bobbie Nelson learned to read music and play instruments as pre-teens under the tutelage of their grandparents, who raised them.  They played together in Texas bands early in their careers and Bobbie has been an essential member of Willie's Family Band since its official formation in 1973.  Willie and Bobbie's deeply intuitive musicalbond, formed and developed through of decades of practice and spontaneity, can be felt throughout December Day.

With songs personally selected by Willie and Bobbie, December Day includes new versions of gems from Willie's extensive songwriting catalog ("Permanently Lonely," "My Old Peculiar Way") alongside some surprising cover tunes (Al Jolson's "The Anniversary Song," Irving Berlin's "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "What'll I Do" and "Always").

The album's sound is augmented by contributions from other Family Band members, including harmonica player Mickey Raphael and the late Bee Spears on bass on "What'll I Do," recorded during his poignant last session with Willie.

In his first-hand observer liner notes for December Day, Family Band member Mickey Raphael provides fascinating details of the album's performances and insights into the artists' creative process.

"As long as I can remember, Willie and Bobbie, who ride together on Willie's bus, spend some of their traveling time jamming on their favorite songs," Raphael writes.  "Bobbie has a travel size keyboard on the bus and Willie's guitar, Trigger is always by his side. This is where the idea forDecember Day was born. 'Why not record our favorite songs like we play them for ourselves?,' Bobbie asked....

"....When it comes to a brother-sister collaboration with the longevity of Willie and Bobbie, there is beauty in keeping things simple. 'Less is more' is the underlying theme. We've heard these songs before but not like this. The spontaneity born out of familiarity is what this record, December Day, is all about.

"It's not rocket science, it's alchemy."

The Willie's Stash series will present a variety of releases, personally curated by Willie Nelson, culled from decades of recording and touring, a singular career that's established Willie Nelson as an American musical icon.

December Day is Willie's fifth release since signing to Legacy Recordings in 2012. His last Legacy release, Band Of Brothers, was released in June 2014 and hit No. 1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart.

December Day is produced by Buddy Cannon and recorded by Steve Chadie at Pedernales Recordings Studio in Austin, Texas.

Musicians on the album include Willie Nelson (Trigger) and Bobbie Nelson (piano, B-3 organ) with Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Kevin Smith (bass), Bee Spears (bass), Billy English (drums, percussion) and David Zettner (acoustic guitar).

Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie
December Day
(Willie's Stash, Vol. 1)

1. Alexander's Ragtime Band (Irving Berlin)
2. Permanently Lonely (Willie Nelson)
3. What'll I Do (Irving Berlin)
4. Summer of Roses / December Day (Willie Nelson)
5. Nuages (Django Reinhardt)
6. Mona Lisa (Ray Evans & Jay Livingston)
7. I Don't Know Where I Am Today (Willie Nelson)
8. Amnesia (Willie Nelson)
9. Who'll Buy My Memories (Willie Nelson)
10. The Anniversary Song (Al Jolson & Saul Chaplin)
11. Laws of Nature (Willie Nelson)
12. Walkin' (Willie Nelson)
13. Always (Irving Berlin)
14. I Let My Mind Wander (Willie Nelson)
15. Is the Better Part Over (Willie Nelson)
16. My Own Peculiar Way (Willie Nelson)
17. Sad Songs and Waltzes (Willie Nelson)
18. Ou-es tu, mon amour  (Emile Stern & Henri LeMarchand) / I Never Cared for You (Willie Nelson)



PictureCourtesy NPG PR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 21, 2014) – Country music’s budding duo The Rankin Twins premiered their brand new music video for “Never Yours To Break” today exclusively on The Boot. 
Click HERE to watch the visually stunning video.  

Known to keep a fresh approach to their musical style and delivery, The Rankin Twins are uniquely offering up a music video per month leading up to the release of their forthcoming EP Good Vibes on December 2, which was produced by Ken Tondre at the Compound Recording Studio in Austin, TX. “Never Yours To Break” marks the fourth video installment in the series. Country songstress Kimberly Kelly lends her vocals to the track and also makes an appearance in the video, which was filmed by James Hill in Austin, TX. Amy explains, “’Never Yours To Break’ is the first song and video for us to collaborate with another female artist and it's one of our dear friends Kimberly Kelly. So, this was a really fun song for us to put on the EP.”  

The twins have plans to continue to tour throughout the year to give fans a preview of their new project. For more updates and to keep up with The Rankin Twins please visit:  

The Rankin Twins tour dates:
10/25 – Concerts on The Bay – South Padre Island, TX
11/7 – Love & War – Plano, TX
12/2 – Lone Star Music – Gruene, TX
12/3 – Mean Eyed Cat – Austin, TX
12/5 – Masones – Houston, TX
12/6 – Stubb’s BBQ – Austin, TX
12/19 – Choctaw Casino – Idabel, OK
12/20 – Choctaw Casino – Broken Bow, OK
12/27 – Dosey Doe Music Café – Conroe, TX  

Gord Bamford (center) accepts the 2013 CMA Global Artist Award from CMA Board members Jeff Walker (l) and Ted Ellis.
Fresh off dual CCMA Awards and the CMA's biggest international honor, Canadian country superstar Gord Bamford is set to launch at stateside country radio. 

Top U.S. program directors, stations and their listeners will soon learn why Bamford is one of country's biggest names in Canada. They'll also see why Gord's south of the border touring forays have been winning over audiences and earning rave reviews from U.S. media. In short, Gord Bamford is taking his 2014 U.S. touring success to the next level.

Canadian fans, media and music industry surely aren't surprised by Bamford's growing appeal, as the Canadian Country Music Association's 2014 Male Artist of the Year has been one of the most prominent artists in any genre in his native land. In addition to the Male crown, Gord also received the CCMA for Single of the Year - "When Your Lips Are So Close."

Recognition isn't limited just to Canada, however, as the Nashville-based Country Music Association bestowed its Global Country Artist Award on Bamford in September. The annual honor is the highest award given by CMA to an artist originally signed outside the U.S.

Earlier this year, stateside touring stops had local media commenting on the amazingly polished "newcomer" to the country scene. Major press hits included the Lansing State Journal, the Denver Post and a video interview with Taste Of Country. The Phoenix New Times raved that Bamford "put on one hell of a show."

Gord Bamford has won an astounding 19 CCMA awards since being named Top New Male in 2008, when he was actually a newcomer. His current Canadian release Country Junkie debuted at No. 1 on the country album chart, spurred by the gold-certified No. 1 smash "When Your Lips Are So Close." Country Junkie was nominated for Canadian Country Album of the Year at the Juno Awards. But Bamford's philanthropic efforts may be even more dear to him. The Seventh Annual Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic raised more than $500,000 this year, bringing his foundation's lifetime total to just over $2 million. That money is used to support a wide variety of worthy children's charities.

An Oklahoma native brought up in the Pentecostal church, which he’s since departed, 21-year-old Parker Millsap will make you a true believer with his self-titled debut album. Accompanied high school buddy Michael Rose on bass and fiddle-player Daniel Foulks, the young tunesmith delivers his religious-laced parables, character-driven narratives and relationship tales with the fire-and-brimstone fervor of a preacher, restoring our faith in the power of song.    

Influenced by the dust-bowl neutrality of John Steinbeck, Millsap’s memorable creations include the wife-murdering bible-thumper of “Old Time Religion,” the self- made church-on-wheels minister in “Truck Stop Gospel,” the questioning believer of “When I Leave,” the meth cooks in “Quite Contrary” and the gambler who spends all his money buying lottery tickets in “Yosemite.” Filled equally with ghosts and guilt, as well as an objectivity that invites listeners to paint themselves in each picture, Millsap’s songs teeter on the fine line between gospel and the blues, sin and redemption, God and the devil, heaven and hell… from the pulpit to the back pew.  

To view the video for "Truck Stop Gospel" visit here