Canada Country Aircheck Issue 10

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Singer/Songwriter Nicole Rayy

A dynamic and powerful force of musical talent! Since she began writing music when she was a teenager, the essence of Nicole Rayy’s music has always been, first and foremost, to express herself as honestly as possible. When pressed for musical comparisons to her musical ability, the Oakville, Ontario-born Rayy is reluctant to provide. For as long as she’s been playing music, she has been herself. Comparisons are easy to fall back on, but for Nicole, her music should always speak for itself. Nicole Rayy first blasted into the Canadian Country music scene in 2012 with the release of her debut EP “Only Everything”. Recorded with award-winning musician, composer, and producer Lance Anderson of Cherry Beach Sound and enlisting the talents of top Country guitarist and CCMA Hall of Fame recipient, Wendell Ferguson, Only Everything was a strong debut for Nicole, showcasing the diverse range of emotion and vocal range through her songs with a subject matter that is personal as much as it is relatable. It wasn’t long after the release of “Only Everything”, that people began to take notice of her talents. Invitations to perform at festivals and venues followed. She has opened for such country music legends as Aaron Pritchett, toured across the nation, and rocked the stage at such events as Manitoulin Country Fest, The Calgary Stampede, and multiple industry showcases throughout Canadian Country Music Week, including this year’s “Rise and Shine” – celebrating female artists, alongside fellow singer songwriters, Alee, Genevieve Fisher, Raquel Cole hosted by Julie and Carli Kennedy. Nicole also has the honour of performing at the World Music Festival in Shanghai, China, for the second year, where Nicole’s music proved to be a hit among the enthusiastic crowds.

Nicole’s latest album is the highly-anticipated Dig, produced at Noble Street Studios in Toronto by renowned Record Producer/Writer and Musical Director Doug Romanow, whose long list of clients include Justin Bieber, Johnny Reid, Chantal Kreviazuk, and the Canadian Country Music Awards. Released in Fall 2016, the album continues in the theme of uncompromising honesty and challenges listeners, as well as Nicole herself, to dig deep down to the emotional core of themselves. From the tale of devoted love that is Follow You Down and the bitter, empowering anthem of Done With This Town, the high energy of Bow and Arrow to the title single Dig, which goes into the desire to get serious and dig past the surface of a relationship, the album showcases Rayy’s tonal range and relatable sentiment perfectly. With a sound that is distinctly her own and a creative ambition that knows no bounds, Nicole Rayy feels right at home either on a stage or in a recording studio and will never stay put in one place for too long. She will always keep learning, she willl always keep writing, she will always keep singing… And she will always be herself.

We sat down with Nicole for a Q & A 1) Cam is in China on her Honeymoon. What were you there for?

As always, it was so great to see everyone and catch up. It’s like crazy family reunion that I look forward to every year!

I had the privilege of performing in Shanghai China, for the second time, as part of the World Music Festival 2016.

5) You have a new album “Dig” tell us what fans can expect from the album?

3) I have said for years there is a big market outside of North America for artists to tap into like Australia, England and even France. Do you see China as a big market?

The single Dig is about wanting to dig deeper into a relationship. About needing to go beyond the surface level and really dig into getting to know someone on a deeper emotional level. “Ready to go looking for a diamond in a coal mine, boy you know we’ll find it if we Dig.”

This album is a reflection of my life over the past few 2) What were the audiences like and how did years. I’ve always found it easier to express myself they accept your music? through my music and this new album is like sneaking a page out of my diary. These songs really ‘dig’ With two shows, Sunday evening at the Hub in into my emotions and say exactly what I wanted to Hongqaio and the finale act Monday night at Xinsay. I think listeners can see a lot of growth in my tiandi, I am still on a high from the crowd’s response! songwriter since my first EP back in 2013 and I hope I think I speak for myself and the incredibly talented to always continue to improve my craft. The album, band I had with me, when I say even though we were Dig, tells the story of many different stages of a on the other side of the world, I definitely felt at home relationship, from the beginning stages to the realizabeing up on those stages. The people of Shanghai were tion that it’s over and moving on is the only choice. I unbelievably kind and welcoming. From the packed hope the honesty of the lyrics on this album are what crowds singing along to the cutest young fans express- people relate to, what touches their lives in some way. ing their love for my music, I’m so truly touched by That is why I love making music because music brings their excitement and love for my music in Shanghai. people together; it’s how we know we are never alone This is why I make music to move people and touch in how we feel. their lives in some way and this experience truly touched mine. 6) Tell us the story behind the single Dig

If the crowd’s response in the last two years is any indication, I think China is a huge potential market for country music. With the love and excitement I received in Shanghai I am definitely hoping to return to China in the future to be a part of the World Music Festival again, maybe even do an entire tour of China. I think other country artists would definitely feel at home bringing their music to China. 4) How was Country Music Week for you in London? Country Music Week for me this year was one of my busiest yet! I was excited to be a part of many showcases this year including the all woman showcase ‘Rise & Shine’. It was so empowering to be a part of a show featuring such talented woman (Twin Kennedy, Alee, Genevieve Fisher and Raquel Cole).


What’s ahead for you for 2017?

I already have some big plans in the work for 2017. I’ll have a brand new single coming out at the beginning of the year and will be heading to Nashville this winter to do some more writing. I’m also going to be spending some more time in Winnipeg. I’ve been working closely with many musicians there so it will be great to spend some more time with them and play some more shows in Manitoba. 2016 has been a really great year for my music and I’m looking forward to what’s to come in 2017!

Top DMDS Downloads for October 11th to October 17th OCTOBER 11TH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Brad Paisley “Today” (Sony) The Abrams “Champion” (Warner) Endless Summer “Amen For Women” (Road Angel) Chad Brownlee “Somethin’ We Shouldn’t Do” (MDM/Dale Speaking Promo) Hunter Hayes “Yesterday’s Song” (Warner)

OCTOBER 17TH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

James Barker Band “Just Sayin’” (Universal) Garth Brooks “Baby, Let’s Lay Down And Dance” (Pearl/Sony) Gord Bamford “Fall In Love If You Want To” (Sony) Granger Smith “If The Boot Fits” (Sony) Endless Summer “Amen For Women” (Road Angel)

OCTOBER 12th 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Abrams “Champion” (Warner) Brad Paisley “Today” (Sony) Endless Summer “Amen For Women” (Road Angel) Mikaila Cooper “Roadside Jesus” (Indie/Principle Projects Promo) Adam Karch “Those Steady Lights” (Indie/L. Tutty Promo)

OCTOBER 13TH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Gord Bamford “Fall In Love If You Want To” (Sony) The Abrams “Champion” (Warner) Endless Summer “Amen For Women” (Road Angel) Chad Brownlee “Somethin’ We Shouldn’t Do” (MDM/Dale Speaking Promo) Andrew Frelick “When I Was Little” (Indie/L. Tutty Promo)

OCTOBER 14TH 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Garth Brooks “Baby, Let’s Lay Down And Dance” (Pearl/Sony) Gord Bamford “Fall In Love If You Want To” (Sony) James Barker Band “Just Sayin’” (Universal) Nicole Rayy “Dig” (Indie/A. Wilson Promo) Brad Paisley “Today” (Sony)

Most Added This Week Aaron Goodvin “Woman In Love” Artists Then and Now & Forever Thomas Rhett “Star of the Show” Blake Shelton “A Guy with A Girl” Jon Pardi “Dirt on My Boots” Kenny Chesney/Pink “Setting The World On Fire” second week at number 1 Top Canadian on the Charts is Dallas Smith “Autograph” at # 7 Aaron Goodvin “Woman In Love” Most Added chart #31 this week. New Album from Nicole Rayy “Dig” New Album Dean Brody “Beautiful Freakshow”

Who to Wat It is a long and sometimes a hard road in the music business. From the small stages to the major festivals takes putting out great music to building a strong fan base. Keith Urban once told me when I asked for his advice for newer acts. He said “Play everywhere you can, as often as you can.” Vince Gill told me “Don’t do it for the money or the fame do it because you love it.” Today we feature acts that have seen success in 2016 and acts that are well on their way to the next level.


Jessica went viral when she posted a video of her hearing her single “workin On Whiskey” on radio for the first time. When listening to Mitchell’s music, she makes it very easy for you to latch onto her inviting melodies and the genuine, soulful nature of her words. The rich tone and hopefulness in her voice grabs you and pulls you in – and once the song is over, you can’t help but feel as though you have personally connected with her on a deeper level. 2016 saw Jessica play all the major festivals and we will hear a lot more from Jessica in 2017.

FAST RISE TO STARDOM FOR COLD CREEK COUNTY Cold Creek County is a Canadian country rock group. Its members are Doug Oliver, Josh Lester, Brandon Scott, Trevor MacLeod and Justin Lester. They were founded in 2013 and signed to Sony Music Canada in 2014. Cold Creek County come by their name naturally. Cold Creek, which runs through the rolling hills, apple orchards and villages in central Ontario near locations the band members call home. Band members literally cross Cold Creek to get to each other’s

homes. They have released four singles off their debut album all HAVE reached into the top 20 with “Our Town” reaching number 7 “Till The Wheels Come Off ” topped at 15 “Beer Weather” # 18 and “Still That Way” their current single still climbing the charts. They spent the summer playing coast to coast at every major festival. They are currently in the studio recording their next album.

tch in 2017!


Jojo Mason (born February 26, 1990 in Regina, Saskatchewan) is a Canadian country music singer-songwriter. Mason moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 2004 to play hockey at the junior ranks but suffered a herniated disk. Later, he met songwriter/producer Dan Swinimer and worked on developing his vocals. He signed to Manicdown Productions in 2014 and released his debut single, “It’s All Good”, in early 2015. It reached the top 10 on the Billboard Canada Country chart. Mason’s second single, “Good Kinda Love”, was released in November 2015. He signed to 604 Records for the release of his third single, “Red Dress”, in May 2016. 2017 looks bright to say the least for Jojo Mason.

“BOW CHICKA WOW WOW” THE SINGLE THAT BROGHT MEGHAN PATRICK TO STAR STATUS Meghan released her debut album, Grace & Grit, on April 29, 2016. Prior to setting out as a solo artist, Patrick was the lead singer of the popular roots act The Stone Sparrows. The Stone Sparrows released an EP and a full-length album before the members parted ways amicably in 2013 after playing their second Boots and Hearts Music Festival. Since going solo, Patrick signed a recording contract

with Warner Music Canada, and a publishing deal with Olé Nashville. Her debut album, Grace & Grit, was released on April 29. In making this album Patrick worked with producers Justin Niebank (Vince Gill, LeAnn Rimes), Vince Gill, Chad Kroeger, Chris Baseford (Nickelback, Avril Lavigne) and Carly McKillip. We are sure 2017 will be a big year for Meghan and well deserved.

JAMES BARKER BAND A PARTY BAND REACHING INTO THE TOP 10 IN 2016 The James Barker Band are from Woodville Ontario and include members James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen and, Bobby Martin. Their first single was Lawn Chair Lazy which reached #5 on the Billboard charts. Signed to Universal Music they just released their second single “Just Sayin’” We couldn’t find any bio info on the band. They have been a huge success in 2016 and will continue into 2017.

Here we spotlight five Indie Artists that we feel are set for stardom in the near future. Being an Indie artist is very difficult because all the expenses are out of pocket from recording to releasing to tracking and it leaves little for promotion. Indie artists usually depend on social media and local performances to build their fan baase. We have so much talent in Canada it was hard to choose who we feel will break through in 2017. We chose Andrew Frelick, Lauren Mayell, Adam Karch, Stevie Jewel and Steve Rivers. We plan on featuring more next week.


Dynamic and determined are just two words that can best describe Halifax, NS born country artist, Andrew Frelick! Growing up in nearby Bridgewater, NS, Andrew is a natural talent delivering rich vocals, country guitar, and a polished live off the floor sound. Rapidly building momentum following artist showcase performances during the 2015 CMA Fest & CCMA weeks, Andrew is making his mark in country music, and is definitely one to watch. It just so happens

that Andrews Aunt is none other than Carrol Baker. Andrew has just released a cool new single “When I Was Little” and will be opening for Carrol in November. The thing that caught our attention is that Andrew is a family man first (just follow him on social media) and music is a close second. Andrew has made a mark in the Martimes and Nashville and we see him breaking nationally across Canada in 2017.

FUN, FOCUSED, DRIVEN, DISCIPLINED SHOWS THROUGH IN LAUREN MAYELL’S MUSIC Steeped in culture, tradition and landscape magnificence, Calgary is also home to some of the world’s most recognized names in music. Enter Lauren Mayell, who is quickly making a name for herself in the country genre while embodying the warmth and charm that her hometown is. Lauren’s bigger than life vocals, heartfelt and poignant lyrics, coupled with a profound stage presence caught the attention of country superstar George Canyon and Calgary-based producer, Graham Sharkey. The two quickly became three, with Lauren recording a 5-song EP under the guise and direction of the always-in-demand gents. This body of work catapulted Lauren into the media, adding live performances to her schedule, all the while deepening her certainty that music is where she belonged. Nominated for Alberta Country Music Association’s Female Country Artist of the Year (2012, 2014-15), Lauren was also nominated as ACMA’s Fan’s Choice of the Year for 2012 through to 2014 consecutively. Having opened for Wes Mack, Dean Brody and Dr. Hook. Lauren’s current single is “Better Believe”. We believe Lauren will break through in 2017 with national success and a solid fan base.

STEVIE JEWEL SINGER/SONGWRITER MAKING A NAME FOR HERSELF ACROSS CANADA AND USA Brad Paisley once told us to be successful in this business attend one of the Universities in Nashville like Belmont which is famous for turning out stars like Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Josh Turner and many more. Stevie is in her last year at Belmont and headed for success. Stevie has performed in NYC, LA, Las Vegas and Chicago this year with great response. She has received radio airplay across Canada and plans are in

the works to release her music to the US market. With her strong songwriting and singing skills Stevie is one to watch in 2017.


With a live show of high energy and excitement, Steve’s reputation has led him to open for national acts such as Eli Young Band, Frankie Ballard, Trace Adkins, Parmalee, Eric Paslay, Gregg Allman, Josh Thompson and Charlie Worsham. Established as one of the most exciting new artists in country music today Steve Rivers continues to perform on many notable stages in both Canada and the US making him a rising entertainer sure to watch out for in 2017!

Steve Rivers current song “Where There’s Smoke There’s Whiskey” has officially hit over 70,000 plays on Spotify. As Steve says it’s Canadian made and Tennessee Inspired. Steve’s new album ‘No Boundaries’ – now available – has been highly anticipated by fans and music industry professionals across North America and his new single “Where There’s Smoke There’s Whiskey” is gaining fast attention.

MELISSA HUNT TAKING COUNTRY MUSIC BY STORM! Melissa Hunt standing 6ft, she is as talented, driven and down to earth as she is tall and ready to make her first footprint in Canadian Country Music. Performing live across her home province and the Maritimes she and her support team are preparing to campaign her first single “Smoke and Cinders” release and radio tour. Melissa strives to pave her way into the Canadian country music scene and 2017 is looking bright for Melissa Hunt to breakout across Canada and beyond.

FAN LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE COMING OCTOBER 21ST “GO COUNTRY” Research shows that country fans more than any other genre want to get as much information as they can about the stars and about new and emerging artists. Not only are fans passionate about their favourite music and artists they also live the lifestyle that country living has to offer. Go Country is a lifestyle magazine that focuses first on the music and artists. We will do feature articles on new and emerging artists. We will spotlight the Top 10 artists to watch in 2017, we will review albums and singles and more.We will also bring readers articles of interest to the country music fan. We will spotlight What’s cooking, Home Decor, Automotive, Hunting and Fishing and more. We suggest you consider an ad to reach our exclusive fan base. We promise our rates will fit even the smallest of budgets. For more information e-mail us today

NEW ALBUM FROM DEAN BRODY “BEAUTIFUL FREAKSHOW” Following an eventful weekend at the 2016 CCMA Awards, Dean Brody is set to release his sixth album, Beautiful Freakshow, on October 21. Thus far for Brody, 2016 has epitomized the importance of taking risks with his craft and refusing to settle for the status quo. This past weekend in London Ontario, Brody took home a total of four CCMA Awards for what has truly been a game-changing song for him, the platinum-selling, “Bring Down the House”. It won awards for Songwriter of the Year, Single of the Year, CMT Video of the Year and Top Selling Canadian Single of the Year.

is the #1 selling Canadian Country single (#5 overall), receiving an incredible amount of initial support online, as many fans commented on social media that they were moved to tears by his incredible performance and the lyrics to the song. Brody currently had 3 singles in the Top 50 Selling Country Singles on iTunes.

Just as the title of the album indicates, the new record, produced by Matt Rovey, is a fascinating mashup of Brody’s broad range of musical preferences, best epitomized by the title track, “Beautiful Freakshow”, which features a rap vocal contribution by Halifax native, Shevy Price. From the pop-meetscountry vibe of “Bush Party” (released this During the CCMA Award broadcast, Brody summer, and the #1 Most Added Single at performed “Time”; a relatable, country ballad the time of release), to hints of other genres about the impending nature of the ticking intertwined with traditional country, there is clock as we go on about our lives, and the truly something for everyone on the album, second song released digitally from his forth- which contains 10 tracks. coming album. After only a week, the song



If you remember it was about a year or year and half ago that a consultant had said there was no room on country radio for female artists because they didn’t test well. He went on to compare the male vs female as a salad and then called the males the lettuce and the females the tomato’s. As you can imagine that set off a storm from both female artists lead by Martina McBride to female fans who complained to radio. At that point when you looked at the charts you saw that female artists only accounted for maybe 8% of the top 50 songs played. We took a look at the charts this week to see if it had improved and we are happy to report that on this weeks Top 50 songs female artists accounted for 16% of chart space. So it is moving in the right direction. Let’s look at the make up of the country audience. The country audience is made up of 51% female and 49% male. The question comes into play do females

want to hear songs from a female perspective or are they drawn to hearing the male perspective. I don’t think it quite that simple. Each week we receive a lot of new music as do radio stations. Most of the new songs received are from female artists. So when radio makes a decision on who to add it comes down to lyric content, quality of recording and obviously the raw talent of the artist. It is competitive for both female and male artists due to the fact that radio stations have limited playlists and songs have a longer life today so not many spots open each week for new unproven music. Radio is a business that is based on audience size so as a programmer you need to make sure you don’t lose any listeners. Newer artists that have broken through include Kelsea Ballerini, Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, Meghan Patrick and lately Jessica Mitchell all have had strong material, great production and powerful voices.

It is kind of a strange market out there today because you have these artists and then you have other artists that have a strong fan base and are making it without much or no radio airplay. Brandy Clark, Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price as examples all are great artist, great lyrics but little airplay. Here is the thing... they have a strong fan base. Brandy Clark just toured England and she sold out everywhere she went. Kacey Musgraves is playing to sell out crowds and is the artist of choice for George Strait as his opening act. If you read our recent article on Margo Price she was turned down by 32 labels. So she took it upon herself and recorded at the famous Sun Record recording studio in Memphis. She had to record late at night because of the fact the studio is open for tourists during the day. Frustrated as she was she didn’t give up and it was one of her band members that told he Jack White was a fan. She made contact and they brought her in gave her a guitar and told her to sing for them. They signed her and her first major TV appearance was Saturday Night Live. Still with little or no radio airplay Margo is no longer playing in dive bars to empty audiences. Now in all fairness it is not only females that are turned down by record labels. Garth Brooks and many other artists have been turned down by everyone in town. Garth almost gave up and decided to make one last trip from Oklahoma to Nashville where he got signed by Capital and the rest is history. I have said it before today artists have a bit of advantage with being able to build a strong fan base using social media, internet radio, music blogs, and their own web site. Build your fan base, fans love to discover new artists and if they like your music they will be your strongest supporters. It’s a lot of work keeping up with all the social media sites but the returns can be success in the music business including breaking through on radio.

It always comes down to raw talent the song and the delievery of that song and having strong production. Follow your heart and sing songs that you can associate with. I remember Jo Dee Messina telling one day she could never sing a song that she did not believe in. She felt in order to sing a song she had to have either lived the lyric or had a strong connection so she could make it believable for listeners. Look at your competition I mean you have Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Cam, Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Jess Moskaluke, Jessica Mitchell, Meghan Patrick, Brandy Clark, Kascey Musgraves, Madeline Merlo, Margo Price and many more waiting in the wings. So radio is much more open to female artists today then they were a year or year and a half ago. We have seen an increase in chart action from 8% to 16% and I think it will continue to grow. One of the trends that seems to be of interest in the Nashville Music Circles is female groups. I have heard a few and I can see it as the next big thing. The music has changed to where we have gotten away from “Bro Country” (thank God) and we are getting back to stronger lyrics which is what has drawn fans to country music for generations. Songs they can associate with and songs that are relate to their lives. When asked recently King George Strait felt that country music was getting back to more traditional sounds. Find songs you can believe in and look at expanding into different markets around the world like England, Australia and even China as we saw in our feature with Nicole Rayy. I believe that there is room for traditional, contemporary country and there is room for male and more female acts on country radio today.

How Music Streaming Helps Broadcast Radio Bridge Ratings have done an interesting survey showing that Streaming Helps Terrestrail Radio. The latest Bridge Ratings study looks at broadcast listening behavior among those in the sample who also spend at least 30 minutes a day listening

will be most inclined to want to hear. Even in today’s competitive environment, radio programmers listen to as many of the new releases as they can and make judgments as to which are apropos for on-air exposure. It is this curation of music that brings listeners back to radio; to hear the best of the best which are often added to personal music collections or on-demand streaming service accounts. A similar pattern holds true for those that stream music on-line. They like to hear songs they know, but a higher percentage also like to discover new music.

to on-demand music services such as Pandora or Spotify. This year’s study revealed that 84% of the panel listened to a music-based radio-station during the survey week; 61% listened to an on-demand service. And time-spent-listening for radio is being impacted by time spent with on-demand music services. Interestingly, the number of times or occasions of listening have increased for both sources of music consumption. Why does the panel in this survey listen to music radio? They listen for songs they know as well as to discover new songs or songs they were previously unaware of. They listen for companionship, local information and for the curation of music that radio provides. Radio program managers are more capable than ever to know which songs their city and listeners

This survey was done in 2014 and we recommend that you visit Bridge Ratings as they have tons of information and surveys you can use. You can visit them online


Andrew Frelick When I Was Little

Jasen Ridge Deep Water

Barbara Lynn Doran “Half Hearted Love”

Renee Lamoureux

Chantal Preston


“Just Wing It”

Eli Barsi “Screamin ‘ Jimmy”

Jessica Rhaye Arlene Quinn “Life Is Good”

Ally Kearley “Still The One”

“Good To Be Alive in the Country”

Florida Georgia Line shared an unforgettable night with friends, family and a capacity crowd of fans in their first-ever headline appearance at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Thursday Night. Over the 90-minute set, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley dished out nonstop, high-energy entertainment that included surprise appearances by Backstreet Boys, Nelly and Jake Owen. Reviewing FGL’s milestone concert, The Tennessean wrote, “Florida Georgia Line is on fire and the soldout, multi-generational audience at Bridgestone Arena Thursday night fanned the flame. … The duo’s energy and charisma stretched to the venue’s furthest points.” Before the pyro-fueled pair took the main stage, FGL was honored at an exclusive party backstage filled with industry guests. Big Machine Label Group EVP/ BMLG Records President Jimmy Harnen presented them with a plaque commemorating 2X PLATINUM sales for their #1 single “H.O.L.Y.” that topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for an astonishing 18 weeks. Kelley responded by acknowledging that it’s been “crazy, humbling and extremely special to get to this point” and promising “this is our hometown show, y’all, so we’re going to rock it!” And they did. After opening sets by Kane Brown, The Cadillac Three and Cole Swindell, FGL’s band thundered into “This Is How We Roll” as Kelley and Hubbard descended from the ceiling on two platforms. Throughout the evening, they pumped up their performance with jaw-dropping special effects and scenery: pillars, jets of fire erupting in sync with their

songs and spectacular bursts of steam shooting upward from across the stage. Juxtaposing their typical high-octane vibes, the duo made their way to a separate stage near the back of the venue to perform next to a laid-back campfire and a forest of towering trees seemed to appear from nowhere; a setting that laid the perfect foundation to sing the title track from their newest album, DIG YOUR ROOTS. The full set also included “It’z Just What We Do,” “Round Here,” “Confession,” “Stay,” “Smooth,” “Dirt,” “Get Your Shine On” and their latest chart-rising single, “May We All” featuring Tim McGraw. They also shared the spotlight with Backstreet Boys on “God, Your Mama, and Me” from FGL’s latest album, an ebullient Jake Owen on “Sun Daze” and Nelly, who helped bring the night to a rousing close on “Ride Wit Me,” “Hot In Herre” and “Cruise.” At one point, as tens of thousands of fans cheered rapturously for their hometown heroes, Hubbard responded, “Nashville! You sound absolutely amazing!” Clearly that feeling was mutual. FGL is deep into their DIG YOUR ROOTS TOUR, which continues through 11/17. Since introducing their breakout vibes in 2012, FGL has earned prestigious honors from the AMA, ACM Awards, CMA Awards, Billboard Music Awards and CMT. Their previous releases – 2X PLATINUM debut HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES and PLATINUM ANYTHING GOES – have attributed to sales surpassing 26 million tracks and more than 3.5 million albums worldwide.


More superstar performers have been added to Country Music’s Biggest Night™, including Kelsea Ballerini, Garth Brooks with Trisha Yearwood, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, and Kacey Musgraves. “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 2 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network. Today’s lineup joins previously announced performers Paisley and Underwood, as well as Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Keith Urban.

“The CMA Awards will include moments that pay homage to our past 50 years, but it is also a celebration of the past 12 months and the artists and music that have resonated with the industry and our fans,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The lineup of performers is outstanding and represents the legacy of County Music as well as our future.” Ballerini, who received her first CMA Awards nominations in 2015, received her second-time nods for both Female Vocalist and New Artist of the Year in 2016. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Brooks returns to the Entertainer of the Year category after being nominated in 2015 (he has won four times). He has a career total of 11 CMA trophies and 32 nominations. He will be performing a medley of beloved Country classics with Yearwood. Bryan, who is the reigning Entertainer of the Year, is nominated again in 2016 (he received his first nomination in the category in 2013). He is also nominated for Musical Event of the Year for “Home Alone Tonight,” featuring Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. Florida Georgia Line has received seven CMA Awards nominations and four wins, including three consecutive trophies for Vocal Duo (20132015) and one for Single of the Year (“Cruise”). They are nominated for Vocal Duo in 2016. Lambert, who is the most awarded female in CMA Awards history with 12 wins and 39 nominations, received a nomination for Female Vocalist of the Year (she is a six-time, consecutive winner in the category). Little Big Town is nominated for Vocal Group of the Year, an Award they have won four times (2012-2015). The group has also won Single of the Year twice including “Pontoon” in 2012 and “Girl Crush” in 2015.

McGraw, a 38-time CMA Awards nominee, received three nominations this year including Male Vocalist; and Single and Music Video of the Year for “Humble and Kind.” McGraw only receives one nomination for Single of the Year, but can receive an additional trophy as producer. Musgraves, who won New Artist of the Year in 2013 and Song of the Year in 2014, is nominated in 2016 for Female Vocalist of the Year. Winners of “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting CMA members. The third and final ballot closes Tuesday, Oct. 25 (6:00 PM/CT). Ballots will be tabulated by the professional services organization Deloitte & Touche LLP. CMA sent out an e-mail yesterday asking everyone attending this years CMA Awards to come dressed formal. Here is the note “I wanted to let you know that this year we are asking for the audience to wear black tie/formal attire in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the CMA Awards.” Makes sense to us it is a big event. _________________________________________


ment agency ZinePak, pairs an 80-page magazine and 20-song CD with trading cards featuring the 2016 CMA New Artist of the Year nominees. The ZinePak includes fun facts, photos, and artist interviews and insights that bring “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” to life. Limited copies of the package will available at Walmart stores nationwide and beginning Friday, Oct. 21. The sale price is $11.88, while supplies last. “The ZinePak is great representation of the songs and artists that are nominated for the 50th Anniversary CMA Awards and a great way for fans to learn more about their favorite nominees. Having this product available exclusively in Walmart nationwide is another avenue to support our industry and to interact and connect with the fans,” said Damon Whiteside, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. ________________________________________


Celebrating her high flying, third consecutive #1 single surrounded by planes and parachutes, Kelsea Ballerini and her music industry supporters toasted to the success of “Peter Pan” at a massive party held last Wednesday in a Nashville airplane hangar. Standing alongside the song’s co-writers Forest Glen Whitehead and Jesse Lee, Ballerini told the assembled crowd it takes the hard work of many different people to climb so high. “This is bigger than me,” she said, before concluding with a promise to keep aiming for the stars and to make her believers proud. It is the first chart-topper for Lee and the second for songwriter/producer Whitehead, who also co-wrote Ballerini’s “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

A Perfect Christmas Gift for someone. The CMA Awards is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a limited-edition, commemorative fan package. The package, created by New York-based entertain-

COUNTRY CRUISING ANNOUNCES CONCERT SCHEDULE FEATURING COUNTRY MUSIC’S HOTTEST ACTS DALLAS SMITH, CHRIS YOUNG, KELSEA BALLERINI, MONTGOMERY GENTRY, LOCASH AND MORE With one of the hottest lineups at sea, Country Cruising is set to sail in January 2017. The experience will feature on-board activities unmatched by other cruise lines including nightly shows on the main stage, performances around the ship, autograph sessions, a songwriters workshop, line dancing, artist photo opportunities and more.

Late Night Deck Party: Chasing Crazy/Clark Hill Jam Session Colony Club Stage: Ray Scott, Lucas Hoge Wednesday Early Main Stage Show: Kelsea Ballerini Late Main Stage Show: Chris Young Pool Stage: Lucas Hoge, Dallas Smith, Halfway to Hazard, Tate Stevens Colony Club Stage: Olivia Lane, Lucy Angel For more information about tickets and payment plans, visit ________________________________________


Country Cruising Performance Schedule: Saturday Main Stage Shows: Charles Esten and Clare Bowen, stars of “Nashville,” Sail Away Party: LOCASH Colony Club Stage: Ray Scott, Dallas Smith Centrum Stage: Lucas Hoge Sunday Main Stage Shows: Montgomery Gentry and Phil Vassar Deck Party: Halfway to Hazard Late Night Deck Party: Diamond Rio Colony Club Stage: Tate Stevens, Olivia Lane, Lucy Angel Monday Main Stage Shows: Montgomery Gentry and Phil Vassar Deck Party BBQ: LOCASH Pool Stage: Olivia Lane, Ray Scott, Lucy Angel Colony Club Stage: Dallas Smith, Lucas Hoge, Tate Stevens Tuesday Early Main Stage Show: Chris Young Late Main Stage Show: Kelsea Ballerini Sail Away Party: Diamond Rio

Garth has released a new single on his Pearl Records called Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance a song that Garth had a hand in writing. He says it was a title in his song title book forever and he decided to write it. Is it a Hit or Miss? Email us at

LESS THAN THREE MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATES IT’S 28TH YEAR It’s hard to believe but Christmas is less than three months away. Cool Broadcasting is proud to offer A Country Christmas for radio stations across Canada, USA and Europe. A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS has been on the air for 27 years and 2016 marks our 28th year. This 12 hour special spotlights the stars of country music talking about their family traditions, what Christmas means to them, that very special gift they got and lots of music of the season.In fact we program on average 15 songs an hour and for our Canadian affiliates we include the required Can Con. As one programmer said “I really think Country Christmas is a terrific program. We get great feedback on it every year. People love that we aren’t just a music jukebox over the holidays.” A Country Christmas has become a listener favourite and is heard each year across Canada, USA and Europe and listeners love the show and look forward

to it each year. It is produced in such a way as you can run an hour a day leading up to Christmas and then repeat the whole special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are the only 12 hour show that is focused on country music and the stars of country music. One listener wrote “Christmas is a magical time of year. I can’t think of abetter time than to have family and friends, opening presents feating all while A Country Christmas plays on the radio. I listened with my family as a teenager and I have carrie the tradition over to my own family now.” A Country Christmas works on a market exclusive basis. For more information or to order this special for your market send us an e-mail at