ARTICLE: Academy Of Country Music Honors Awards

September 17, 2008 Academy of Country Music Honors Awards, Nashville TN

The Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville TN was home to The Academy of Country Music Honors Awards. An invite only black tie crowd enjoyed strolling through the historic halls during the social event prior to the awards show. The show opened with a warm country welcome and remarks by ACM Executive Director, Bob Romeo. The ever lovely, talented and highly respected artist on her own, Martina McBride, hosted the special event, with help introducing awards by multi-award winning country music artist Richie McDonald and television legend, Ralph Emery.

Performances during the evening included, a tribute to Fred Rose by hit song writer, Rivers Rutherford; Joe Nichols, Jon Randall and Connie Smith performed songs in tribute to Bill Anderson; Amy Grant, Raul Malo and Le Ann Rimes entertained those in attendance for a tribute to Brenda Lee; A high energy performance by Ernie Haase & Signature Sound of hits by the Oak Ridge Boys and in honor of Conway Twitty, songs were sung by Glen Templeton and Emily Portman who are the stars of “It’s Only Make Believe”, and Luke Bryan and Josh Turner.

The Academy of Country Music Board of Directors votes for the recipients of these special awards and presents them to the deserving recipients during special ceremonies.

A new category announced and presented this year was the Poets Award, which recognizes a songwriter or songwriter(s) for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contribution throughout their career in the field of country music. The 2008 recipients of the ACM Honors Poets Award were presented to:

Bill Anderson, who in the past 50 years of his music career has written songs for some of the biggest names in country music, including himself. “Whisperin’ Bill” continues to write hit songs after six decades of beginning his singing career and is a huge part of the on going entertainment at the Grand Ole Opry.

Fred Rose, who founded the very first country music publishing house in Nashville. Fred is inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and his Acuff-Rose Music is still one of the most successful publishing companies in Nashville.

The ACM Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award is presented to those artist who represent outstanding pioneer qualities. Pioneer Awards in 2008 were presented to:

Brenda Lee, who started her career in the 1950’s before she was even a teenager. She is the only woman in history to be honored by both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Oak Ridge Boys, who have roots in Gospel music, but found enormous Country music success with 17 number one hits during three decades of performing and entertaining.

Conway Twitty, started his music career with a pop hit, “It’s Only Make Believe” but he was a huge country music sensation and a big hit with the female fans for his deep and sensual voice and lyrics. Twitty had a record breaking 40 number one hits over the course of his career, either as a solo artist or with his duet partner, Loretta Lynn.

Porter Wagoner, who will always be remembered for his flashy stage outfits and his welcoming warmth which made everyone feel welcome when he performed. Porter was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years. Porter was involved in many aspects of the country community including television shows, the Opryland Theme Park and his roll in Clint Eastwood’s film, Honky Tonk Man.

The Jim Reeves International Award is not necessarily given to an artist, but to any individual for outstanding contributions the acceptance of country music throughout the world. The ACM Honors presented the 2008 award to:

Dick Clark, who is best known for his show American Bandstand. He was dubbed “America’s Oldest Teenager”. Dick Clark brought the Academy of Country Music Awards to television in 1979, and over the years has been host, producer and backstage interviewer. His son R.A. Clark continues as executive producer bringing country music exposure worldwide.

A category for Musicians, Bandleaders and Instrumentalists stands out on it’s own. With the outstanding talent in these categories, picking only one recipient to recognize is not an easy task. Winners for the BMI Honors Awards are as follows:

Top Guitarist of the Year – Dan Huff

Top Piano / Keyboard Player of the Year – Matt Rollings

Top Bass Player of the Year – Michael Rhodes

Top Percussionist / Drummer of the Year – Shannon Forrest

Top Steel Guitar Player of the Year – Paul Franklin

Top Fiddle Player of the Year – Stuart Duncan

Top Specialty Instrument Player of the Year – Jerry Douglas

Audio Engineer of The Year – Justin Niebank

Producer of the Year – Mark Wright

INTERVIEW:Melissa Jones

By Bev Moser

Melissa Jones, a thirty-something mom with a close connection to the military is following her heart and her childhood dreams. What started as a home-made gift for her father has grown into a full blown country music career and she is excited and ready to share her music with the world. I was invited to the big release party at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville and after we sat down and visited about all the challenges and rewards of the music business.

Bev: Wonderful show! WOW, what a performance and what a wonderful crowd at the famous Wildhorse Saloon. Congratulations! How does it feel to have that behind you?

Jones: I had a blast at the show. But now, it is kind of sad, because that is something I had wanted to do for so long and we worked really hard to put this together, and now, it is over. It is almost like postpartum depression after all the buildup and anxiety and wonder, and then … boom, it is here and now what? We are very busy planning for more shows and I am preparing for the next CD, so you just keep on pushing ahead.

Bev: I know your brother, Jake, was injured in IRAQ , so the song “Red White & Blue Night in Georgia” has a very special meaning to you. Tell me what emotions do you feel personally as you perform this song?

Jones: That song has emotions that never go away, and each time I perform it, it feels brand new every single time. There are so many things and so many parts to the song. When I first heard it, all I could think of was my brother’s wife Jamie, because at the time they had three small children. Then when I recorded it , it was right after he had been injured the first time in Iraq, so my thoughts and emotions were pulled towards him, and after meeting all the wives, kids and the people in the military hospitals, you see so many faces and hear all their personal stories, so they all come to mind as I am singing the song. I can honestly say I see different people in the song every time I sing it depending on who I have just met.

Bev: How did the Charity, HOPE FOR WARRIORS come about?

Jones: Jake is a two Purple Heart recipient from the Iraq war, so he is a big part of how the charity became involved. They heard the song and wanted my message of hope to be brought to the families and loved ones, and that itself is a great feeling. We decided to make a special CD available just for the military families with proceeds going to the charity.

Bev: You did not start your career until you has already lived a lot of what life has to offer, is there a reason you waited?

Jones: There is a reason. Nine years ago, my youngest brother was killed in an accident in my dad’s shop. And he really is the reason for my career. I decided then, that none of us know how much time we are given here on earth and I had always dreamed of being in the music business and wanted to perform, but I had children and other reasons I used as excuses, but when he was killed it opened my eyes and made me realize if I was going to follow my heart and chase my dreams, then I needed to do it. The other thing is, I think because of all the different things I have gone through, the death of my brother, being a mom, and a single mom at that, feeling the emotions of knowing someone you loved is at war and being injured and having his wife and kids here and watching them go through it - just all of these things helps me connect with my fan base.

Bev: The 1st song you recorded was a Patsy Cline song for your dad on his birthday, which song and why did you choose that particular song for him?

Jones: My dad always loved Patsy Cline. He listened to all the older artists as I grew up. The CD really was one of those things you do on a whim. His birthday was approaching and I just decided to go to some random recording studio and put together a compilation of his favorite songs. He had not heard me sing for a long time and he bawled when he listened to it, and really everything started to go crazy from there. My dad has now been my manager for the last nine years. Both my parents are amazing and support me 100% and then some.

Bev: Recently you toured over 19 military bases and met with the soldiers and performed for them, what was your favorite part of this tour? And what was the least favorite part?

Jones: I absolutely and honestly can say that I never expected this, but to be welcomed and embraced by these people and to receive the love and their open arms for what I am doing is and was the most wonderful feeling in the world. These military families stick together. In this world nowadays, we do not even know our neighbors, and in the military bases, you see and feel this genuine care for each other. It was just the best. And it was like that at every one I visited. The only bad thing about it, was to be gone from my children for so long.

Bev: I know you have been singing a long time, since you were very young, and yet this is the 1st CD to be released. How does it feel to be a wife and mother and finally reaching this part of your dream?

Jones: It is so awesome. Most people say I did this backwards, but it feels so great to see all of my accomplishments, including my children and all I did before I started my career. My goal is to be successful, and sing at the Opry and have a big hit so I still have big dreams, but to be this far is absolutely unbelievable.

Bev: Looking at the other cuts on your CD, which songs are your favorites to perform?
Jones: I really like to perform the old, old classic songs. Me and guitar or me and piano .. that is my favorite way to perform.

Bev: Did you have a hand in writing any of the songs on your CD?

Jones: “Tell Me Another Lie” is on the current CD project, but I have a lot more I would like to see make it to future CD’s

Bev: If you could choose anyone, past or present to perform with, who would it be? What about write with?

Jones: I want to do a full blown show and performance with Keith Urban! He is absolutely the sweetest person. I opened for him at a show in Utah, and I just love him. He treated me very well and is just fun to be on stage with. Writing would be either Merle Haggard or Vince Gill. I love the stories they tell. I am not a fluffy bubble gum kind of lyrics person, I like stories, even tho I have one about Kenny Chesney’s butt on this CD, but it was all just done tongue in cheek for fun. Anyone who knows me can tell you I am just having fun with this song and it is not the kind of artist I aim to be.

Bev: Tell me about one of the most embarrassing things ever to happen on stage?

Jones: I have never tripped, no clothing mishaps, but I have read about a lot of undone zippers, but I have yet to have any of my own. I have had several close calls as I tripped on cables going up stairs or backstage, but nothing yet in front of the crowd. My dad and I discuss stuff like that so I am prepared and if you know me, you know I would just laugh and create a new verse to some song about it and keep on going. It would be as though we planned it and the show goes on.

Bev: While on the road and on tour, what is one of the worst experiences you have had so far?

Jones: Definitely the worst experience ever in my career to this point happened while on stage while we were performing. It was in the middle of a song, and it was a very sentimental and serious song, and I started coughing like crazy and my eyes were burning, and when I turned to get water and I looked at the band they were all coughing too and started to stop playing. Someone had sprayed pepper spray as a gag joke up in front by the stage at one of the tables. They had to evacuate and completely clear the venue and cancelled the rest of the show. It was terrible. Needless to say this person is banned from the venue.

Bev: Melissa, thank you very much for your time, and again for inviting me to share this time with you. I really admire you for all you have done and are doing, and I am blessed to have met you. I wish you much success and hope all your dreams continue to come true.

Jones: Bev, you are such a sweetheart and I cannot wait to see you again. I will be back in Nashville soon to start with the new project so I hope we can see you again. I have very much enjoyed getting to know you too and thank you for all the photos and the time you have taken to do this with me too.

INTERVIW: Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels Interview PAINTING A BRIGHT FUTURE
Pre-Fundraiser Interview Benefiting St Jude’s Children's Hospital
By Bev Moser

Painting a Bright Future presented by Stanford Financial Group, a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, will be held on Tuesday, September 23 at 5:30 p.m. at The Palm Restaurant hosted by Grammy-Award winner Charlie Daniels and his wife Hazel. This event will include a cocktail reception followed by The Palm’s signature “Surf & Turf” dinner, a live and silent auction, and a special toast by Charlie and Hazel Daniels. I had an opportunity to visit with Charlie Daniels about his involvement with this charity event and his passion for helping children.

Bev: Charlie, you amaze me, you will be celebrating your 72nd birthday in October. The majority of people think of slowing down, retiring and just enjoying life doing the simple things, you are busy as ever touring and traveling the country, hosting fundraisers and involved in many other community charities, what inspires you to keep going at the speed you do?

Charlie Daniels: I love what I do, I get to do it with a bunch of people I love, and it is just hard for me to imagine my life without touring being a part of it. I simply love what I do.

Bev: You and Hazel are hosting a fundraiser to benefit St Jude’s Children’s Hospital at the Palm next week, have you ever kept track of how many benefits you have done for St Jude’s? Did you have a hand in naming it Painting A Bright Future?

Charlie Daniels: No I have never kept track, I do a lot of different things for them, sometimes we play at the auction or whatever and this is just one of the different things I do for them. If you look at St. Jude’s record over the years, when they 1st started out, they had like a 60% cure and survival rate and now, this is close to 95%, but still that is not good enough, they strive to make it 100%. They are just good people and I just very much support them. No I did not have anything to do with naming it, I just go and show up. Everyone else does all the work and I just show up and have fun.

Bev: I know you do a lot for different children’s charities and youth program’s, are those that benefit the young your favorites to donate your time too?

Charlie Daniels: I cannot think of a more noble charity than something that benefits the children and youth. When you go to St. Jude and you see their mission and you see first hand what they have accomplished, you realize that God has got to have his hand on that place and the healing that goes on there because so much has been accomplished in the last 40 years. It takes a million dollars a day to keep the doors open at St. Jude’s, and no child is ever turned away, regardless of income or insurance, even if you cannot pay, they will not turn you away. Most of the money raised for them is done through small charitable events such as the one we are doing at the Palm.

Bev: You are patriotic to the bone and not afraid to vent your political or religious beliefs, which in some ways is a big contrast to the benefit you are about to host for the children, if you had to choose only ONE thing to support and be vocal about, what would you choose?

Charlie Daniels: I cannot even imagine myself doing that. I have to follow my heart and I would not be true to myself if I said I could only support the children and not support our soldiers. I have to go where my heart leads me and those are two things that go hand in hand, because without the protection by the troops, we would not be able to provide for the children.

Bev: Another event you do is coming up in November. You will be holding the Charlie Daniels Christmas for kids, how many years have you been doing this and how did you first become involved with this project?

Charlie Daniels: Gosh I am not sure how many years, it has been awhile now. Let me give you a little background on this. It started when some of the bus drivers for the artists wanted to do something for the underprivileged children, so they started to take them on their busses to the larger retail outlets and give each of them money to go in and Christmas shop. A few years later it was decided we needed a concert to go along with this and that is when I got involved. All the talent is free, everyone who performs volunteers their time, and we raise money for underprivileged children to be able to shop for Christmas. The most amazing part is these kids who do not even have things themselves, don’t try and buy toys or things for themselves, and it is so touching and a worthwhile project. The show is a great show and it is held during the Holiday Season when people are in a giving mood, and I know I am very proud to be a big part of this.

Bev: You have done many shows to support the military men and women, are you still doing any touring for the troops or do you have any planned at the moment?

Charlie Daniels: Probably next Spring we will go back over to Iraq. I am involved with a group called Stars for Stripes. Nothing is definite yet, but I think we are aiming for Springtime.

Bev: It has been a momentous year for you, finally being asked to join the Grand Ole Opry. I am sure you have been asked this a million times, so let me make it a million-one. How does it make you feel to have the honor of being an Opry member on your list of accomplishments?

Charlie Daniels: I certainly did not think it was ever going to happen and when Martina came out and invited me to join the Opry I was floored. I have played at the Opry many times, but to me, not having my name in the book with all the great artists that have been there throughout the years meant so much to me. I am absolutely ecstatic about being a member. It means the world to me.

Bev: You are up for the Musician of the Year award on the upcoming Inspirational Country Music Awards, so let me ask you this, of all the awards you have won, which has the most special place in your heart or is the one that you are most proud of?

Charlie Daniels: I am proud of them all, and I have them from the ACM’s, CMA, Grammy’s, wow, you name it, but really the ones I am most proud of are the platinum albums. Those are what I am the most proud of.

Bev: The last CD project you released was, DUECES in 2007, do you have another in the works?
Charlie Daniels: I always have something in the works. (chuckling) I am doing a Christmas album for next year.

Bev: Of all the projects you have released, is there one song or one cut which you can honestly say is your favorite song, not necessarily to perform, just your all time favorite among all your songs?

Charlie Daniels: I really don’t. I look at everything I have done as a body of work and I could never narrow it down to just one, it is just hard to say I have a favorite.

Bev: How involved are you on the ranch these days? What is your favorite thing to do there?

Charlie Daniels: Not so much involved with the day to day things. I have a couple guys who do it for me on a full time basis. When I am there I enjoy just being able to go out and shoot a gun, and ride a horse, hit some golf balls or fish on the pond. I never run out of things to do, but I run out of time to do them.

Bev: Is there anyone you have not performed with yet that you would really like too?

Charlie Daniels: BB King

Bev: Future plans? What is all in the works?

Charlie Daniels: Nothing different really, I am basically doing a lot of the same. Touring and making records and doing more charity work like this.

Bev: Charlie, I really want to say thank you very much for your time, and again for inviting me to share this time with you. I want to wish you much success with the fundraiser and all your charity work.
Charlie Daniels: Bev, you are so welcome and I look forward to talking again soon.

For more information on this fundraiser, you can contact Susan Keel
Tickets are $250 per person or $2,000 for a table of eight. Reservations may be made by calling (615) 742-3193.
Further information on Charlie Daniels can be found at

(reprinted with permission by Music News Nashville)


(Reprinted with permission Music Row Magazine / Slugfest Records)

Artist News Thursday (9/18/08)by Michelle Ross

Slugfest Records recording artist Brittini Black recently celebrated the release of her debut CD Good Happens at The Rutledge.

(L-R): Joe Mattis, Black, Nancy Peacock and Queenie Mullinix.

Photo: Bev Moser

Moments By Moser, Always Sumthin'

oh my, another whirlwind of a couple weeks! No complaints, just sometimes hard to catch my breathe! And last week . that was literally, as I had the same allergies half of TN suffered from!

Covered Brittini Blacks CD release celebration at the Rutledge last week - she is an amazing young woman - her reviews are all listed on my blog, check them out!

I am working on the Next Big Nashville review .. it will be submitted soon!!

Spent the majority of the weekend finalizing my new website - I am proud to say it is online and ready for the world to see. I am still tweaking it, but it has been a long and ongoing project for awhile, so I am glad to have a presence of my own. I want to find more outlets and publications to showcase my reviews and promote the artists, so if you know of anyone looking .. let me know! (never hurts to throw a little shameless self promotion out there) Check back often as I will be adding events and articles as I cover them.

This week I am attennding and covering the ACM Honors Awards and also interviewing Charlie Daniels and attending his fundraiser for St. Judes Children's Research at The Palm, and I have an interview with country recording artist newcomer, Melissa Jones, so watch for the photos and articles coming soon (on both my own website and MNN)

Next week is busy again as I attend a Showcase for the Drew Davis Band and also a lil shindig with George Jones ... and who knows what else will land in my lap before the week is over.

I have been busy networking and meeting with friends in the industry bouncing ideas off of them ... drumming up more gigs. I love my life.

Til I slow down again ... enjoy the photos and articles .. comments always welcome!

INTERVIEW: Brittini Black

Brittini Black -
Good Things Happen to Those Who Waitby Bev Moser

Brittini Black is a music fanatic. According to her mother, Brittini started singing herself to sleep at age three. By the time she was eight years old, Brittini was singing harmonies, and by age 12, as a member of mother-daughter duo Sandra Lee & Brittini, a plan had been mapped out to pursue a career in music. And she's been following that map with certainty, recently releasing her debut CD and taking Nashville by storm.

Bev: Wonderful show and what a wonderful crowd, congratulations. How does it feel to have that behind you? Brittini: It feels incredible. I have been waiting on this for soooooooo long. I have been singing since I was three and then as I grew up I sang with my mom, and we had some airplay as a duet and we were opening at some pretty big name concerts when I was 16 and there have been times when I thought, WOW, we made it and then things would fall through. Then a few years ago I thought I had a record deal, I was told I did and it just did not happen, so there have been so many close calls and after awhile you begin to get almost so you don’t believe it is going to happen, even though you are out there and singing, and now, this finally feels so right, I could not be happier with everything. I have a great team behind me and we are doing things in new ways which I am really excited about so I am happy and cannot wait to see what is yet to come. Bev: You got very emotional during your thank you’s at the release party, I can imagine that the old cliché’ about good things happen to those who wait rings true? Brittini: Yes, it really does. I have never had that happen to me on stage before. Anyone who knows me personally knows I am an emotional person, but everything leading up to that night had been a little overwhelming and I think to step out there on the stage and see all the support out there and have this party to celebrate all our hard work, I was so caught up in the moment, and I could feel the love in the room and it was so cool for me to have everyone there to celebrate with me. Bev: Well, like you said, you have been singing since you were very young, do you mind me asking how old you are right now and also if your last name, Black, is your own name or a stage name?Brittini: (laughing, Brittani admits) well I am 25 and yes, Black is my real name.Bev: This is your 1st CD, is this first you ever made, other than demos? Brittini: My mom and I had one we had done on our own, but this is the first real one for me and the first time my fans could buy it in stores and online. and this has been such a cohesive project and I am so ready and so excited. Bev: Your video for “Good Happens”, was showcased at the CD Release Party and was received very very well, by the end the crowd was clapping and cheering, were you nervous before it ended wondering how it would go?Brittini: Not nervous, the few people who had seen it prior to that had such a positive response and I think the song itself is a happy feel good song. Shooting the video had gone seamlessly and everything came together so well, we squeezed a three day shoot into 8 hours and it just all worked out so we are thrilled with the finished project. What made me more happy was the fact that the people in the video were there, and got to see it for the first time with me and share in the moment. Bev: Where was the 1st stage you performed on? With your mom? Brittini: I have been on stage and performing pretty much all my life. I grew up doing church stuff and competitions, but the first time actually on stage in front of a crowd was when my mom and I opened for Lonestar at a fan appreciation concert. It was when they were pretty big and there were a lot of people in the crowd. I remember being overwhelmed and a little scared, and yet it was one of those times in my career when I really thought we made it because we signed autographs after our set for three hours. Bev: You attended Belmont University, and were a very recognized name, being asked twice to perform the BEST OF THE BEST Show at the Ryman, is that correct? Was that your most memorable time while attending Belmont?Brittini: Actually I performed twice at the Commercial Showcase, twice at the Country Showcase and then once at the Best of the Best. Everything I did while at Belmont was great, but I would say that the Best of the Best was a highlight and probably most memorable just because we performed with Brad Paisley, who is one of my favorites and he is also a Belmont Alum, so that in itself was inspiring to realize a few years before that he was where I was and look where his career has gone, and we were performing at the Ryman, which for any country artist is a pinnacle moment. Everything about the night was unbelievable and surreal. You felt like it was a huge industry event and very professional and not just a school performance.Bev: You have written with some of Nashville’s finest and biggest names, who is your favorite or who you seem to really connect with? Brittini: Tammy Hyler, who wrote Martina McBride’s “I love You” and Collin Raye’s #1 hit “I Can Still Feel You” is one of the writers I really admire and enjoy collaborating with. We are really close on a personal level, and I have met so many more bigger names through her – she actually has quite a few songs on this CD. Tom Douglas wrote “God’s Will”, another Martina hit, and “Little Rock” for Collin Raye, along with hits by Alabama and so many more and I just love him, and everyone really has been so nice and open. Victoria Shaw who wrote Garth Brooks “The River” is my other favorite writer I really enjoy working with her.Bev: Which songs are your favorites to perform, new or old, regardless if they are your songs?Brittini: It can change depending on if it is acoustic or a full band performance, but, I really am enjoying “Knock Me Down” which is on my CD and the song I closed the performance with at my CD release party. It is a fun song you can get into. The lyrics are fun and you can just get into the character and be animated and have a lot of fun on stage while performing it.Bev: You wrote several songs on this CD, the 1st release which is also the Title cut. Do you prefer to write your own?Brittini: I really, honestly want to make sure overall I have the best songs on my project and songs that I can relate to and the fans, and that I feel I really perform well. I write a lot, but I do not want to isolate myself to only singing my own stuff. And from the perspective of a songwriter, to get songs cut is not always easy, so I want to support the songwriting community too. Bev: If you could choose anyone, past or present to perform with, who would it be? Brittini: Ohhh, there are so many really, but in Country music it would by Bryan White. I grew up listening to him and watching him perform and I wanted to be the female version of him. He pushes the envelope just a little from the Country music trends, he mixed the Pop influences into his songs and that is exactly what I want to do. I remember seeing him and LeAnne Rimes perform once and I wanted to be her on stage with him so badly. If I could choose someone who is not Country, I would love to do something with Michael McDonald. Bev: Your style has been described as singing hope filled songs, is that something you hope to continue, to sing inspirational country or is it just where you are at the moment? Brittini: It is something I aim for, but it is also where I am at the moment, because I am always positive in my own life and I feel it is very important to remind people through my music that it is not always going to be like this, that there is something better coming and it will get better. I like to help people and it is a big part of who I am in general. It was not really something we tried to do or set out to do with this project, but I am glad it did all come together this way, it really portrays who I am. Bev: Tell me about the project you are involved with, Breakout: The Road To Stardom.Brittini: My mom has been working on this for some time, four or five years now. It is very exciting, because it picks up where American Idol and Nashville Star leave off. It shows what it is really like when you get a record deal and win contests like this. People in general who are not a part of this industry have the misconception that once you have hit, that all at once you are rich and live in a mansion and live this glorious life and it is not like that at all. It is hitting the road and doing all the promotional things like radio and interviews and little shows to get your music out there. This is what I like to call a reality documentary. We are striving for release next Spring or Summer, and it is being pitched to the networks now. This project follows the lives of five people, myself included, who are all Country music artists, we are all about in the same place in our careers and it just lets people see our lives and what really happens and how hard we have to work to be a success. Bev: What is the most fun thing about being an artist and performer?Brittini: This is going to sound cliché’, but it is simply that I get to share my music. I know I would be singing no matter what, even if it was in my bedroom, but to be able to sing on stage and share that with people is the best feeling. Seeing fans connect with what I do, and seeing their reaction and responses is simply amazing. Too see a smile or hear the stories on how it affects them is so special to me.Bev: Tell me about one of the most embarrassing things ever to happen on stage. Brittini: If anyone ever saw the old pictures of what I wore or how I fixed my hair, oh my goodness. I look at those in horror. Otherwise, I have not had any real embarrassing moments. I did have dream one time before one of my big showcases at Belmont, and the whole stage was a huge trampoline and I feared I would jump right off the stage, and I told that story while on stage and after I did, I was a little embarrassed I did .Bev: While on the road and on tour, what is one of the worst experiences you have had so far?Brittini: The only thing that comes to mind was one showcase that was a big deal and pretty huge in general, and I had no voice and I was so sick, and I was freaking out, it was not my best performance, but I did it and I learned from it, but it was hard for me.Bev: Brittini, I want to thank you very much for your time today and again for inviting me to share this special time with you. Is there anything you would like to add or to say that we have not covered today? Brittini: You are so welcome, I have enjoyed our time together. The biggest thing is just to remind my friends and fans to go out and buy the heck out of my album and come to see me at my shows. I am really looking forward to everything that is coming up.

For more about Brittini Black, visit her website at
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)


Brittini Black CD Showcase Review -
Good Happensby Bev Moser

Brittini Black was the guest of honor as she entertained her guests at the Rutledge in Nashville on a Monday night in Sept. The venue was standing room only with some of Nashville’s finest from Music Row on hand to help her celebrate her long time coming CD “Good Happens.” Slugfest Records President, Joe Mattis,Nancy Peacock, who is A&R for the label along with Director of PR and Publicity Queenie Mullinix, welcomed long time music industry icons such as Billy Block, from Billy Block’s Western Beat and Hank Adam Locklin, from the Country Music Association. Also on hand was Brittini’s mom, Sandra Lee, who Brittini performed with as a duet earlier in her career. With a voice described as “soulful but uniquely her own”, Brittini gave the crowd what they came to hear, from ballads and songs filled with inspiration to lyrics filled with spunk and delivered with attitude. Black has it all going for her, a beautiful young woman with a warmth and inviting charisma, add to her powerful voice and gift of showmanship that commands the attention on stage she deserves. Brittini Black is here to stay and mark my words she will be on the stage accepting an award in the very near future for “New Artist” or “The Horizon Award” or both! Her honesty and ability to put true felt emotion behind the lyrics is a natural talent and this young lady beams with joy as she does what she was born to do. Singing six songs from her new release, Brittini opened the show with the viewing of her music video for “Good Happens”, which was shot on location at Tanya Tuckers estate outside of Nashville and several of the actors in the video were on hand at the Rutledge to see the final production. The final notes of the music video found everyone on their feet clapping, whistling and cheering and as a thank you, Brittini and her manager, Sandra Lee, had very unique and beautiful hand painted prints made of the scenes from the video made up in a panoramic poster and gave them as a thank you to those who contributed to the project. Brittini autographed and personalize them for each of those in attendance.During the reception, Black also promoted her upcoming participation a new unscripted TV show titled “BREAKOUT: The Road to Stardom,” scheduled to air summer 2009. Be sure to watch for more information on this to be released by STAR TOUR on their website Her music has been described as “hope filled” and her goal is to make a difference on the music scene. I think she already has. For more information and upcoming performances by Brittini Black, visit her website at or on

(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

INTERVIEW: Curtis Peoples

Curtis Peoples - Coffee Shop Arena Rock by Bev Moser
A songwriter with an understanding for what it takes to make a great pop record, Curtis Peoples crafts songs that fans of rock to acoustic folk and pop can enjoy. Recently, Curtis performed at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley and sat down with Bev to discuss his thoughts on performing, touring, his pet peeves and what inspires him. Curtis is a very fan-oriented person and it shows in his demeanor one-on-one as well as on stage. He is very humble and honest in his responses and you can hear his enthusiasm when he speaks about his career and music. August 19th marked the release of his debut album with ten well-crafted songs that showcase his talents as a songwriter and artist.
Bev: Welcome to Nashville. Is this the first time you have played here in Music City?Curtis: No this is the 5th time I have played Nashville. I have played at “The Basement” one time, otherwise we enjoy coming here to 3rd and Lindsley. When we played “The Basement” my friend Tyler Hilton was making a video and they asked me to come and be a part of it since we are such great friends, so it was all about the road trip and we ended up at the venue .. was very cool. Bev: How does Music City differ from any other cities you have played in? Curtis: Honestly, Nashville scared the hell out of me for so long because it was so different. It is in a way like playing in LA, but it is really out of my comfort zone, or it was for a really long time. I always felt like I was playing rock music in a country town, when, really, there are all kinds of genres here. What happened was that a lot of my friends started to move here, like Charles Kelly from Lady Antebellum and some other friends and we would come to town we would all stay at his brother Josh’s house, so there would be like 15 of us there and it became “home away from home” and it became much more comfortable after that. I have a lot of friends I really miss when I am gone who live in Nashville now, so this is becoming more and more home for me now.Bev: Of all the songs on the new album, which is getting the most popular or favorable response and most requested and why?Curtis: I really thought it would be all the ballads, because the genre that I am somewhat following, it is their ballads that people tend to like but there are not that many ballads on this album. My favorite song on the record is called “All I want” and it has definitely become a fan favorite. I really believe in this one. I think it could be the one to really put my name out there. When I made this record, I went into the studio and said I wanted to make a rock album ..I want it to emulate Tom Petty and Bon Jovi, and my producer Marshall Altman was all about that and I think he did a great job. There is a song called “Holding Me Down” that someone told me the other day sounds like Rick Springfield and it made my day – so those two songs are the ones right now I am getting the most feedback on and most requests for.Bev: Traveling from venue to venue, when you arrive in a new city, what is one of the 1st things you look for? Curtis: I try and find a cool bar or diner and then something familiar, like a McDonalds or Arby’s so it balances out and I feel good about where I am. I am not a big sight seeing kind of person as far as checking out a new city, but I need to know within like my two block radius of where I am staying and so on what is where. My main thing is I need to see the venue and know how it is laid out and what is what, then I calm down and I can relax. Once I get to the venue and know what is going on, then everything else is just okay.Bev: Anything in particular that inspires your writing or is it random thoughts and feelings? When you have a block .. what do you do to refresh yourself and get back into the mode of writing?Curtis: I am quality over quantity when it comes to song writing. If something does not really feel like I have to constantly play the same thing over and over when I sit down, and it does not really grab me – then I will scrap it if it does not hit hard. I am such a music fan, especially pop music, from the Beatles to Van Halen, I like making songs that I want to hear over and over and over myself. And I do not mean that in a selfish way, but I mean it as to say that if I had to go out and buy this record what would it have on it that would make me want to have it. So usually an older artist inspires me. I have this old Pearl Jam book that I had back in high school, and whenever I really get stuck I look at it. It has all these live shots from their early era or whenever the Grammy’s are on or big awards shows I just want that so badly and it usually inspires me to be creative and play. Bev: If you had your choice of anyone to write with who would it be? And Why? Curtis: Paul McCartney, he would be my dream. I think that he and I are sorta the same spirit when it comes to how we write and think. He is hopeful and positive. He has always been someone who inspires me anyway and I would love the opportunity to write with him on a project. Bev: Same questions, but performing, anyone past or present you would love to perform with?Curtis: U2, Bono, is the ultimate rock star. Bono is the mix of all of the great rock artists. He can be so passionate and serious and then he can be so ridiculous and totally over the top and he does it all. U2 shows totally blow my mind, so that would be the ultimate person to perform with. What he does live is what I aim for.Bev: Worst experience on the road? Curtis: You know I play in some of the smallest and weird places and that in itself never bothers me, but I think sometimes you expect much bigger and I am one who always puts so much pressure on myself and that sometimes can create a really bad experience for me and it takes me a couple days to get back to myself and find my balance. San Diego, where I am from, we were doing a Joe Cocker song, I tried to get up on this chair or a stool and in two seconds it fell and I went ass-backwards and it had been one of the best shows ever up to that point and after that, it was all I could think of. And to everyone else, no one cared, but to me it was so rough. Bev: Any other embarrassing stage stories? Curtis: I have forgotten some lyrics in some big ways and that is always embarrassing, but the worst moment was one time I had gotten this shirt while on stage and someone convinced me to try it on right there. And I saw the pictures later and thought OMG I am never doing that again .. I am very white and not very muscular and I have a majority of girls in my fan base so they all thought it was hilarious and all of a sudden there are 90 U-tube videos out there of me taking my shirt off on stage, so that is definitely my most embarrassing moment so far on stage. Bev: How about pet peeves of being an artist? Curtis: So many. I call them the Larry Davidisms, because I am the musical version of that guy. My pet peeves are small things – down to things like when we are on tour and on this particular one we have books that our tour manager put together, a great book with our whole itinerary and so on and they call it the TOUR BIBLE and I hate that reference, and then when someone has an interview over the phone and someone calls it a PHONER, ohh gosh, I hate that term, and I hate it when people cover “There Ain’t No Sunshine” cause I have heard it like a million times… these are the little weird things that bother me. I also don’t like pandering, there is something singer songwriters do that especially those who came out of the John Mayer era, a fake phonic of sensitivity .. they try too hard to imitate it and that makes me crazy or breathiness .. most people just read their modern singer songwriter book and are trying to emulate everything in it and it drives me nuts. Some things don’t bother me til they happen and then I will find myself asking myself why it bothers me so much. Bev: What do you enjoy most about being an artist? Dislike? Curtis: I do not care if I make five dollars or five million dollars, when my album comes out and people come up to me or email me and tell me how much they like it, that is the coolest feeling, it never ever gets old. We travel all over and what a cool job to have and it took a lot of work even to get to it at the level I am at now and it is just so cool. I miss my family and home of course, so I dislike that, but I think what I dislike most is on the off days I am kinda lost. I don’t know what to do with myself when we are on the road and I am not home but in some random town where I don’t know what to do or where to go. I usually end up at the movies and that will calm me down. Bev: In 50 years, looking back at the life of Curtis Peoples, what do you want to be remembered for most? Curtis: I pride myself in treating people well and fairly and I think that has helped myself as an artist and gotten me where I am today and try to remember peoples names or at least their faces or something about them and I really want to be able to continue to do that, and of course I hope to have a couple big hits too that people recognize me for. Something that really set the world on fire, even one song. Bev: Is there anything in particular about this album you really want to say about it or about yourself that no one ever asks you in an interview? Curtis: I hope people really see hat I mean when I call this “coffee shop arena rock”. I want people to really have a good time when they hear my stuff. I hope when they have a party or a BBQ that my album is one people put on, that it is one they want to dance too and that this is a really good record and that this is honest music from me and I am not making a record that just sounds like I could be on the radio. Bev: In closing I would like to thank you for your time and wish you great success as both a song writer and a performer. I am looking forward to the show. Are you doing anything in tonight’s performance that you are not doing anywhere else? Curtis: I never rehearse banter, it is off the cuff and I never plan what I am saying. Even when it falls flat I can come out with something .. I appreciate the improv of the set. I hate it when shows are so rehearsed even down to when to say what and you can go to show after show and you get the same thing. It works for some artists, don’t get me wrong, but for me, each show is unique and new. For more on Curtis Peoples, check out his website at or
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

INTERVIEW: Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson:
Number One Party For A Small Town Southern Man by Bev Moser

Recently, ASCAP held a #1 party for Alan Jackson's "Small Town Southern Man." During the party, Alan sat down with media and talked about the song. Bev Moser of Music News Nashville was on hand to participate in the Q&A
Q: Your good buddy George Strait just celebrated 56 number one hits and he said for him it never gets old and that the last one was just as great as the 1st one, can you talk about for you and your career, especially for songs you don’t even anticipate even being hits that you write just for your own pleasure and amusement? Talk about that feeling; is it still the same as it was? Alan: Well I don’t think it will ever be as exciting as the first song; I don’t care what you say. Your first single is totally different. Your first #1 especially. I think people like George and myself have been around for so long that it is really just more of a privilege for us to still be on the charts at this point in our careers. So that said, it is almost more meaningful than some of the others in the past. Q: With these autobiographical songs or elements in these songs that you have written can you talk a little about the album and the songwriting and how they came to be? Alan: Well some of these songs have some autobiographical lyrics in them, and some are just things you make up. It is pretty standard country music is how I would describe it. There is everything on there from life and love and dying and just getting by to a song about Jesus, so this album covers just about everything in the spectrum of country music. Even bologna sandwiches. Q: Good Time is your new country single, and the title cut on the album, what constitutes a good time for Alan Jackson? Alan: Well ya know, I have a lot of different interests. Like some of the lyrics in the song, I like to have a drink or two and have a good time out on the evening, but being a married man with a family sometimes Denise and I are lucky just to be able to get out by ourselves to a restaurant. Other than that, I am outside all the time, water is my favorite place and I enjoy staying on the lake or river or the ocean. Q: This album is somewhat a return to traditional Alan Jackson sounding music, how does it feel to have so much trademark success with this again?Alan: Well we really never left it. The thing with Allison Krauss was a special project and was not intended to be a change in direction or anything, and this was our first studio album in several years. I guess the gospel album just kind of jumped out there, on its own and took up a little time, as did the Allison project. When we got ready to make another album it was really nothing different than it had been my whole career. It was like being on cruise control and we just put it all right back into that.Q: You and Denise are heading back to Noonan tomorrow – can you tell us what that is for and being honored in your home town and what that means to you? Alan: Yeah, we are going to Noonan, GA, Coward County, they have started a tradition of recognizing people from that area that have contributed something to the Arts or something and from how I understand it, I am not exactly sure, but I guess because of my music career and her book that we qualified to be recognized. There is also an author from the area who will be honored. Q: Can you talk about returning to CMA Music Fest every year and the importance of that? Alan: Well I have been doing it for pretty much every year as long as I can remember. I do not go sign autographs like I did in the early years, but I always play the concert. It is one of the easiest things I can do for my fans because I live here and I am usually around. People who have been faithful to that event travel from all over the country and it is a vacation for them and it is the best thing I can do. No reason not to do it. Q: Alan can you talk about the project that Bob Dillon contacted you about finishing the songs that Hank Williams started? Alan: This is a project he is putting together that they had lyrics that Hank Williams had started and not been put to music or recorded. They asked artists from all genres to pick a set of lyrics and finish writing them if needed be and then put a melody to it. I recorded mine over a year ago. It was really cool to be able to do that. I have not heard when it is supposed to be done or released. I do know there were a lot of great artists involved in it. Q: Has it sunk in that you are the most nominated CMA artist that anyone else in the industry? Alan: well there is no doubt I have been very lucky at the awards shows over the years and I remember the day when I would be nominated five times and leave with nothing and everyone would always say, next year is your year, so every year I am still included I am privileged to still be included after all this time. Q: Was it your idea to lead off with Small Town Southern Man?Alan: No, I wanted to come out with Good Time. I think since Five O’clock Somewhere, my songs have been, Remember When and then the gospel thing and felt like I needed something more up-tempo and fun, but the label wanted Southern Man. Looking back it was a good choice, because it was winter time and more typical of what people expected of me. Q: Alan, with Mothers Day coming up, can you talk a little bit about Denise and her success as an author and how with your daughters how has it been to have her in the limelight and you step back a little bit? Alan: I think it has been great for them to see her do something out there that is not typical for a parent. She is a great role model for them anyway and always has been, so I think they were surprised but know that it was very special for her to do that. Q: Are your songs pitched to anyone else or do you simply record your own?Alan: I do not sit down and write everyday. When it comes time for an album, I usually start scrambling and putting things together. BMI has my publishing catalog, but I never turn anything in so they do not have anything to pitch. I have a bunch in the catalog that are good. A couple I keep dragging out thinking I will record but just never do. I guess if I wrote anything I thought would fit someone else that I knew I was not going to sing, I would be happy to pitch it to them.Q: Alan, following that same line was Small Town Southern Man written for this album or was it something you had been sitting on for awhile? Alan: No, all of this stuff was brand new except for one I wrote last summer. Most all of it is brand new. Q: The new song seems to be quite a tongue twister. Can you talk a bit about working it up for the live show and was it a challenge to perform live? AJ - The first time we started to play it I thought I did not know if I could get those words out, but after you play it a few times it comes pretty natural. I always thought it would make a good contest on the radio to make people say that line, I have been working all week, I am tired and I don’t want to sleep, I want to have fun, it’s time for a good time. It is like the line two all beef patties, lettuce, special sauce, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun!
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)


Collin Raye: That's My Storyby Bev Moser

The new Collin Raye "SELECTED HITS" album is unique in that it contains six great songs and is available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores for under $6. In addition to two new songs ("A Soldier's Prayer" and the equally powerful "Quitters") the album contains four of Collin's biggest hits ("That's My Story," "Little Rock," "I Think About You" and "Love Me" ) all recorded "live" with the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra in front of an audience of 8000 who sang along. It is first time that live recordings of these have been available and there is a six-minute interview with Collin as a bonus feature.
Bev: Thank you so much Collin for your time this afternoon and sharing with me your new music and the thoughts on your new CD. Let’s talk about the new cd “SELECTED HITS” – who’s idea was it to market it in this way? Collin: Wal-Mart came to me and suggested this means of marketing, because people now days can go online and download just one or two favorites, this is more economical because you get the six songs PLUS you get the two new ones and some interview segments. I think it is a great way of doing it.Bev: I know you feel this is the wave of the future, do you see it as a way to save the traditional CD vs digital downloading?Collin: I think it remains to be seen, and in a way this is the last straw or valid shot to get records back on the shelves in record stores. Basically you cannot sell them as singles for a dollar, because they can do that online. You have to offer them something for their money in addition to that. I think the time to really tell will be Christmas, because for six bucks it is a perfect stocking stuffer. If it does work, then yes it could save the retail end of the music business as far as CD sales go. Bev: Are these songs available as downloads, or will they be or are they exclusive to this CD only? Collin: They are available on my website, but as a CD it is an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart. It makes sense to me as a buyer, for example a Trisha Yearwood song and I see two new songs plus the ones I already know are my favorites, I know I am going to enjoy that purchase. Bev: I have read where proceeds from the first one, "A Soldier's Prayer," go to Wounded Warrior Project ( The non-profit veterans association, based in Florida, helps people who have been severely injured in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere adjust to their new circumstances. Can you tell me more of this project and how and why you became involved in it?Collin: It happened very very quickly and these folks were thrilled to have the attention and they wanted to show us everything they did and do. I have always had a soft spot for soldiers anyway and veterans. It is actually ran by wounded warriors, people who have fought and been wounded. So they know first hand what the others are going through. The wounded soldiers it seems tend to become the forgotten souls among our service men and women, because when someone gives the ultimate sacrifice and dies, we praise them and honor them like we should, but the wounded are kind of an ugly side that no one wants to look at so they are the ones who really do need our help.

This organization is perfect. I spent some time with Captain Dan McConnell, who was an Apache helicopter pilot, 30 years old, who crashed in Iraq and lost his right arm and of course was right handed. No complaints or requests for sympathy. His only complaint was that the Army won't allow him to fly any more. These guys are all so amazing. We did a video that is very special and I think pretty amazing and at the end their web information is at the end.Bev: There is another new song on this CD called Quitters, talk to me about this song, did you write it or how did you choose this particular song and what does it mean to you personally?Collin: No, I did not write it, it was written by Neil Thrasher, George Canyon, Wendell Mobley and I have been a fan of Neil for a long time. Teddy Gentry of Alabama and Michael Curtis found it and put it on hold for me, they are the producers of this project. It got to me emotionally the 1st time I heard it. I have always had a soft spot for people with issues such as this, and I have a granddaughter who fits the description of the song as well, so it really brought it home for me personally and emotionally. You understand the day to day struggles they go through as well as those caring for them. Bev: You are also involved in a second project that was just released – called - Songs 4 Worship: Country, a praise-and-worship CD by Time Life. There are quite a few big names on this project as well, how did you come to participate with The Oak Ridge Boys, Bryan White, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Linda Davis, The Wilsons, and the album's co-producers, Teddy Gentry (of Alabama) and Michael CurtisCollin: Michael Curtis and Teddy Gentry again, they wanted to expose these wonderful Christian songs to the country fan base. I personally have never recorded a country song. So this was very exciting for me. I have wanted to for a long time and then to be included with all these wonderful people was even better. I did a very old up-tempo song written by Marty Raybon and Michael Curtis, and Marty did the demo and for me to try and make this better was a challenge. It was a very special project.Bev: You have been an icon in the music business for many years and have several huge hits, what has your favorite song been and why?Collin: My favorite song of mine was written by Tom Douglas called Love Remains it was a single that went top five, and I always feel so lucky to have recorded it, it sums up life in about 3 1/2 minutes. My favorite of another artist, would be Trisha Yearwood's The Song Remembers When, and was written by Hugh Prestwood who wrote On The Verge for me. The 1st time I heard her sing it, she introduced it and I got weepy, and then to find out one of my favorite song writers wrote it just made it all come together. Bev: I know that Muhammad Ali is one of your hero’s .. can you talk to me about why he is a hero and what you might say to him should you get to meet him? Collin: That is tough. I actually have a friend who is trying to make that happen. Because of Muhammad's current condition, he does understand you, but is not able to speak back to you, so communication is complicated. I don't know what I would say. I have met one of his daughters, who is just a doll. She is just like him. I would probably say something like "let me be the 80 millionth person to tell you bad you are" I do not know another human being from the 20th century in the entertainment field that transcended everything about himself. To me, he is bigger than life and as a fan of boxing, what he did as a fighter is unbelievable. The greatest thing to me though, is that since his retirement, and since being struck with Parkinson's disease, I have never once heard him say or heard about him saying one word of self pity or remorse. He travels half the year and does fundraisers and signs autographs to everyone who asks and the line is done. He stops for everyone and he is always trying to be a goodwill ambassador. His life story is just a great success story. Bev: As you have matured as a person and in the industry, what are some of the major changes you see that have affected who you are and how you are perceived as an artist?Collin: I think the negative has turned into something positive being that the power the major labels hold, have started wielding and making big judgment errors. From some unknown reason it was as if the powers that be all got together and said let's just focus on one thing, one kind of sound and obviously the audience shrunk. It changed the way we all did business and where our audience was. So we had to look at alternative ways of reaching our fans. Used to be a label stuck with you, nowadays, you get one shot with a label and if you are a hit they stand behind you and if not, you are on your way out the door. I think one of the biggest changes for the positive has been the internet. It takes the control out of the big labels and powers that be so to speak and brings us back to the creator of the music and the listeners and the masses can speak. Some of the changes are hard to accept, but I think it is moving in the right direction. A lot of artists have their own labels now too. So control is definitely changing.Bev: On the same note, as an artist I know you have come to understand how the music changes people and how deep the lyrics can reach into the hearts of the fans and those who may not have been a fan until a certain song reaches them – does this affect the song selections you record? Collin: When I sit down to do a song listening, or even if I am writing, I never go in say I am looking only for this or that. I let the songs speak to me and try not to plan the outcome. I think you run into disappointment when you do that. I try and let the song dictate the direction and the action. When I hear one that affects me, I know I can make it affect others. I do not have to manufacture emotion when I am in the studio. That to me is the beauty of the journey.Bev: Before we wrap up, is there anything you want to say to your fans and listeners or something we did not touch on you wanted to talk about today? Collin: I have a live Christmas album available on my website, I wanted it to be traditional with the old favorites, we did a couple of live shows last year and we recorded them. It will not be retail this year, only website sales. Bev: Thank you again Collin for your time and for giving us your talents. I am looking forward to hearing more great stuff from you in the future.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)


Katie Armiger CD Showcase at The Rutledgeby Bev Moser

A CD showcase and release party was held for a standing room only crowd of music industry executives, fellow artists, family and friends at the Rutledge on Wednesday August 20, 2008 for Katie Armitage. Hosted by her label, Cold River Records and The AristoMedia Group, Katie took to the stage to perform several of her cuts on her new CD “BELIEVE.”I have always considered myself one who enjoys the lyrics of a song, more so than the artists who perform them on stage or cut them on an album, but seventeen year old Katie Armiger not only can sing the heck out of a song on stage and perform with a maturity and delivery well beyond her age, she also wrote or co-wrote all but one song on her 11 song CD. Katie is the complete package. I have watched this young artist over the last year or so and covered many of her live performances, and with this new release, you can feel the hard work she has put into the artist she honestly is. “Believe” is truly a reward of the efforts she has put towards making it as a big artist in the music industry and will get much deserved attention. Her current single “Unseen” is a showcase of her vocal talents and abilities, the one and only song she did not have a hand in writing on this project, but delivered with passion and power. She proves she has what it takes to play in the arena with the big names with this song. “Trail of Lies” will make anyone believe she has walked this path of deception and you can tell by watching and listening while she performs that it is one of her favorites. This is a song that so many people can relate too and so well delivered you want to keep hitting the repeat button at the end of the song and hear it again. “Make Me Believe” , a re-mix from her first project with a very heartfelt and powerful message , combined with Katie’s ability to put her heart and soul into the flawless delivery will grab the attention of Music Row and her audience and make everyone aware of her powerful, yet refreshing sound. Katie is definitely going to shine with this CD and be around for years to come.

You can visit Katie online at or myspace at

(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)


Sam Bush - A Little Bit Of Everything by Bev Moser

Sam Bush hosted the 2007 IBMA Awards show at the Grand Old Opry house in Nashville TN as well as performing with his band. I caught up with him backstage to get a glimpse of the man and his music.Bev: It is great to spend some time with you and I am very honored to be able to take a peek into your career. It has been a very busy week for you, not only with all the IBMA events, but for you personally, can you tell me what was it you have enjoyed the most? Sam: I like going to the convention center to hear people pick. So many of them, maybe 95%, so their knowledge of music is amazing and of course I like to go to the trade show and vendors downstairs because I am a collector of instruments and catalogs since I was a kid. Gibson makes a Sam Bush model, so I like seeing all the new instruments. Bev: Are you nervous about hosting the awards? Sam: No, not nervous, anxious to get it going. It is interesting how you come to put a safety net in front of you when you are holding something as small as a mandolin, and walking out there, without that is a strange . It is the craziest thing. But we have rehearsed enough and I feel comfortable. Bev: Can you tell me about the title cut of your new DVD "On The Road", why did you choose this as the title of the DVDSam: On the Road is an old song , John Hartford wrote it and we included it on our last CD, this song is in 5/4 timing, which is one two three, one two the way John does it, because he wrote this on the road, and you are always all messed up not knowing where you are waking up and everything is out of order so he figured he may as well write it in a messed up time signature. Being it was a live show taped for the DVD, On The Road just seemed an appropriate title. The video featuring Emmy Lou Harris is also included on the DVD which is a very cool thing. Bev: You also have a new CD out called Lapse in Seven – what does the title mean?Sam: It is definitely a title which makes people ask what it means. Lynn and I used to have an old dog named Ozzie, and he lived to be about 15. But before that I would listen to him and when he drank his water, he would be in this cadence, and this rhythm, and I counted out the beats per measure and it was seven beats, so 7/4 timing and he was literally lapping in seven and if you listen closely to the end of that cut, we edited on where I had put my tape recorder down next to his water bowl and the amazing thing is, that he is in time with us. I really did make up a rift to go around the timing of his and then we finished the tune. Bev: you just never know what will inspire you when you wake up in the morning do you? Sam: No that is true.Bev: Much of Laps in Seven pays tribute to old friends and musical influences – how have these old friends and influences made you who you are today?Sam: There is a song, I Wanna Do Right by Lil Feat, there is an old Charlie Monroe tune, and I got to do a duet with one of my biggest hero’s, John Luke LaPonte and do it as a duet, it was so interesting as we did our part here, he did his part in Paris France and emailed it back. We used to joke about phoning our parts in and now, we do it via the internet. Bev: "I Wanna Do Right," pays homage to Gulf Coast hurricane survivors and features an R&B duet with Little Feat's own Shaun Murphy – what can you tell me about this particular cut and also the duet, how did that come to be?Sam: Jeff Black and I got together to write a song, and it was not long after Katrina, which was and still is a mess. I had this chorus about how I Wanna Do Right and we decided that there were a lot of people thinking the same thing that were victims of Katrina. All in all it is about people. It was our hope people could get back to their regular lives and jobs, families and houses. Bev: You have worked with some of the industry’s greatest artists- from Trisha Yearwood, Allison Kraus, Dolly Pardon, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Bella Fleck and the Flecktones just to mention a few – is there one artist in particular you have not worked with that you would love too? Sam: Eric Clapton is one, I have always been a huge fan. Bob Dillon is another. I have been very fortunate. Bev: When new groups and bands tell you that your wide-range choices of material and rock-based acoustic grooves, as well as the captivating, high-energy live shows have influenced them, how does it make you feel and what pressure do you feel by this, if any? Sam: All in all, it is very gratifying. They are responsible for their talent, but if anything I have ever played has influenced them. Then yeah, it is very gratifying and humbling. Some of these musicians come up and tell me and the band how they have listened to us and we were a part of them becoming who they are, well I think a lot of these new groups are much better than I am .. so I think it is amazing each new generation that the bar is being raised. I have always felt I had to better myself and continuously raise my own bar to keep up. I have room to grow. Bev: What is the one thing you enjoy most about playing and recording music?Sam: The feeling I get when I get to play and sharing it . I was never in this to be a solo performer. I love the feeling when you are up there on stage with the others and you bounce off their music. There is such a positive sense of energy and if we are excited then it grows to the audience. Bev: Going back a few years, In the winter of 1997, the New Grass Revival and you reunited for an appearance on The Conan O'Brien Show as the backup band for Garth Brooks. How did that come to be, do you remember?Sam: Garth opened for us back in Oklahoma before he had his record deal and he always dug our band and enjoyed the song we did called Callin’ Baton Rouge and he liked Do Whatcha Gotta Do and recorded both of those songs. When he did he hired us to play on them and it was great because all we had to do was play exactly what we had been playing all this time and that is exactly what Garth wanted us to do. So really it was a fun experience because the Revival had already broken up before that. Bev: I want to thank you again and appreciate the time speaking with you. I know you will do a great job hosting the awards and have a great time. We all look forward to more Sam Bush music.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

ARTICLE: Bluebird 25th Anniversary Celebration

Bluebird Cafe's 25th Anniversary Party at BMI Nashville

by Bev Moser
A beautiful Spring evening atop BMI, one of Nashville's icons on Music Row honored another historic icon in the music industry and the woman who is responsible for entertaining fans and tourists and giving a home to aspiring writers, artists and long time industry favorites. The rooftop party held at sunset brought Nashville's finest together for an evening of music, laughter and a social gathering to celebrate 25 years for The Bluebird Cafe. A token "shhhhhhhh" fan was handed to each guest upon arrival, not to indicate that quiet was the expectation at this event, but as a souvenier and reminder of the intimate and quiet atmosphere that The Bluebird Cafe represents. The Jay Patten Band played while the crowd mingled until Jody Williams, BMI, held up a very large sign with the same "Shhhhhhhhh" wording to get the attention of the crowd gathered for the evening. Jodi gave a heartwarming welcome along with some words of appreciation for the opportunity to honor Amy Kurland, owner of The Bluebird Cafe, before turning the microphone over to Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell and then, famed music row writer and frequent guest at The Bluebird Cafe, Thom Schuyler, who both honored Kurland with accolades for her continued success with the Bluebird Cafe, which opened in 1982. Presented to Kurland was an oversized poster which had been personally autographed by the artitsts and writers in attendance at the party.Amy Kurland beamed with pride as she accepted the mic herself and was asked to say a few words. The list of thank you's was too long to name every writer and artist who has made The Bluebird Cafe a must see for those visiting Nashville and for those who's dreams of becoming the next big artist or hitmaker as they sit among the writers in the round and share the stories behind the song and give a personal touch to the music.

Among some of the names Kurland did mention, were her parents who were in attendance at the party that evening, her business partner Bob White aka Roberto Bianco, Sandra Bullock and the late River Phoenix for the movie The Thing Called Love in which The Bluebird Cafe was a main event and focal point during the movie, Kathy Mattea who put The Bluebird Cafe on the map when she did a national televised interview from The Bluebird Cafe on ABC's "Good Morning America", Garth Brooks who was discovered at a writers night on stage at The Bluebird Cafe, as well as hit songwriters Jonell Mosser, Don Schiltz, Gary Burr, Hal Ketchum and many many others.

The last person Amy recognized and said a very heartfelt and special thank you to was the man she described as having "good hands", her husband Kelly, and then went on to explain that it was because he was always there for her in the middle of the night when the bathrooms were backed up, light bulbs needed changed or any one of the the other things it takes to keep The Bluebird going.Some of the guests attending were singers , Hal Ketchum, Michael Johnson, Danny Flowers, Jonell Mosser, Crystal Gayle and Mark McGuinn along with songwriters Jim Photoglo ("Fishin' in the Dark"), Alex Call ("8675309 / Jenny"), Don Henry ("Where've You Been"), Kent Blazy ("If Tomorrow Never Comes"), Dave Berg ("If You're Going Through Hell"), James Slater ("In My Daughters Eyes"), Becky Hobbs ("I Want to Know You Before We Make Love"), Benita Hill ("Two Pina Coladas"), Victoria Shaw ("The River"), Gary Burr ("What Mattered Most"), and Fred Knobloch ("Baby's Got A New Baby"). In typical Bluebird Fashion, as the evening sky turned to dusk, some of the songwriters took to the stage and sang special songs dedicated to Amy Kurland and The Bluebird Cafe, bringing the special event to an appropriate and very personal close.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

ARTICLE: 13th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards 2007

13th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards

by Bev Moser
Big Winners include: Alan Jackson’s “Precious Memories” won the Inspirational Country Album Of The Year Del Way won Entertainer of the Year Josh Turner won Mainstream Country Artist of the Year.
I was honored to attend and photograph the taping of the 13th Annual Inspirational Country Music Awards held at the historic Acuff Theatre in Nashville, TN. Co-Hosted by Del Way, TBN radio host and multi-award winning Christian artist along with the “Queen of Clean, Chonda Pierce. Both kept the audience laughing with their wit and charm. At one point in-between taping Chondra pulled Del out to the center of the stage and yelled out for her mother, who was in the audience, telling her this is the person who’s CD she just gave her and said she wanted “more of.. well here is “more” .. Del happily ran into the crowd to hug her mom and pose for a photograph. A very touching moment. During the show, many times I caught myself smiling and feeling the warmth and love of the artists during their performances. One of these came during the very heart-touching dedications of the #1 song “Moments” by Emerson Drive to the loss of their former bass player, Patrick Borque, who passed away in October. Jason Meadows video for his song “18 Video Tapes”, which introduces us to the families and especially the children of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice during the war, had me in tears. And I was not alone in wiping my eyes as I looked across the audience. The night held some special performances for those in attendance. Richie McDonald, former lead singer of Lonestar, sang his new song titled, “Hey God” which is simply a prayer of thanks set to music. Lee Greenwood, who is a country legend, sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and Tammy Cochran sang her heart out with her new single “Where I Am”Audience members were treated to many wonderful and big names in the music industry who performed during the awards ceremony including Mike Hammock, Brad Cotter, Mike Manuel, Del Way, The Bellamy Brothers, Blue County, Cross Country, Mary James, Corey Brooks, Sharen Spielman and Branded. Each of the performances were powerful and inspiring.Those presenting the awards were funny, beautiful, charming and delivered some touching moments of their own and were assisted by the beauty of Miss Tennessee USA 2008, Hailey Brown and Miss Tennessee Teen USA, Natalie Phillips. Presenters included Rhonda Vincen, Andy Griggs, Rich McCready, Trent Tomlinson, Jason Meadows, Margo Smith and Holly, The Fox Brothers, Lawrence Bishop, James Payne, Sandra Dee, Chunky Nelms, Barry McGee, Miko Marks, Russ Murphy, Laura Bryna, John Sines Jr, Greg McDougal, Tommy Brandt, Steve McGranahan, and Mike Rimmey.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

ATICLE: Bluebird On The Mountain July 2007

Another beautiful summer evening in Tennessee and a very large, sold out crowd gathered at the Dyer Conservatory to enjoy the camaraderie, stories and laughter as Bob DiPiero, Victoria Shaw and Jim Photoglo took the stage under the stars and stage lights. Rick Chappell representing the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory opened the evening with a welcome, introductions and acknowledging the lady who brought everyone together, Amy Kurland owner of the famed Bluebird Cafe, who was lounging front and center and enjoying the music under the stars along with her husband, Kelly Kurland. Victoria Shaw took a moment to also point out that congressman Jim Cooper was enjoying a pleasant evening of stories and song as he sat up front near the stage.Bob DiPiero started the round, although the chairs sit in a row facing the crowd, by stating he would include the street the song was written on as part of his narrative for each of the songs he would perform during the evening, and each of the writers who followed him did the same, which added not only a history to the song, but added some very funny stories on why they were on that particular street. He opened the night with Shenandoah’s hit “The Church On Cumberland Road.” Stating he is a self proclaimed Italian hillbilly he went on to tell the story of how in 1983 after writing Reba’s “I Can See Forever In Your Eyes” and spending nearly every dime of his earnings he was forced to write another hit, which produced the first big hit for him with the Oak Ridge Boys “My Baby Is American Made.” The song poignantly mentioned item by item the things he spent his money on after his first hit. Throughout the evening, Bob performed many of his hit songs including “You Can’t Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl”, Cowboys Like Us” and several others, including “Gone” which was a huge hit for Montgomery Gentry. Victoria Shaw followed DiPiero with her first number one and my all time favorite song “The River”, recorded by Garth Brooks. Throughout the evening Victoria joked several times about her love of shoes and would lift her legs to reveal her bright red sandals which were followed by much laughter from the audience. Victoria brought two very special guests with her to perform on one of her songs, her two daughters, Ruby, age 8, and Ava, age 6. The crowd rose and gave them a standing ovation after their performance of Waikiki Cowboy, a fun upbeat song about a cowboy in Hawaii. Bob took full advantage of his audience and the fact Victoria was a proud mama and joked about her being a stage mom, to which Victoria then made reference to her own mom, who was in the audience, and told a story of how she could always see her mom helping her breathe as she sang on stage.

Victoria’s plea for the sound technician to turn down the sound of crickets again had the crowd erupting with laughter. On a serious note and following Bob’s initial statement to tell the location or street where the song was written, Victoria told how she started writing “I Love The Way You Love Me”, which was recorded first by John Michael Montgomery and later the pop band Boy Zone, on the New JerseyTurnpike on her way to Pennsylvania when she first fell in love with her husband and finished it in Nashville with Lari White’s husband, Chuck Cannon. The song represents so much of her love for her husband she sang it to him at their wedding. Jim Photoglo started off his set with the Faith Hill recording, “You Give Me Love” which was the song used for the final episode of Mad About You. He shared with the audience how he started in the business as a James Taylor wannabe and how he took to the highway with his guitar and a sleeping bag and a lot of time on his hands. After Victoria’s girls left the stage he shared his own song about babies called “Baby Looks Good On You”, pointing out the obvious physical and emotional changes a woman goes through before delivery and adding some comical lines about the intimate and creative ideas that are born out of desire during this time. J

im’s son, Griffin who was enjoying the show stage side, stole the lime light from Jim at the mention of fixing up their home to sell it and it was more than apparent the young Photoglo is not anxious to leave his neighborhood. The closing song for the evening turned into a sing a long as Photoglo started the classic Nitty Gritty Dirt Band hit “Fishing In The Dark” which has also been recorded by Garth Brooks. After the show the artists moved inside the observatory where they signed autographs, took pictures and sold CD’s and t-shirts. The crowd also enjoyed the other stars by looking through the Seyfert telescope from the observatory tower and the star chamber. For more information on the observatory, go to The next Bluebird on the Mountain is scheduled for August 11th and will showcase the talents of Jelly Roll Johnson, Fred Knobloch, Don Schlitz and Thom Schuyler.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

INTERVIEW: John Tigert

Recently, Bev had the opportunity to sit down with John Tigert, Make-It-Big Records' new hot artist. John has a new CD out called "If I Could Be 10," and the first single off the album, "Coming Home," is about the troops overseas. Bev and John talked about his new material, his career and what comes next.
Bev: Tell me about the first single?JT: Well the song is called Coming Home. Basically we’re trying to let the troops that are over in Iraq and Afghanistan and all the troops all over the world who are fighting for our freedom know that we care about them. And that we can’t wait for them to come home. And we are going to be here for them, you know if they need anything. We are taking a portion of the proceeds and giving it back to the family’s who have soldiers missing or have fallen in Iraq. We are currently working on our web site where you will be able to get our single. The web site is
I first wrote this song about something else a long time ago and I started researching the internet and watching the news about all these soldiers coming home from war and the people were welcoming them home with such open hearts and love that I was just blowing away. There was one soldier in particular, Matt Maffin, who is missing in Iraq and with each day his family and the whole town has yellow ribbons in hope that he will come home and that really grabbed me and meant a lot to me so I wanted to let people know that we do can.Bev: Any idea on the release date of the current project?JT: It is going to be in the fall I don’t have an exact date yet. But we are working on everything right now. But you will be able to go to the web site and purchase the single as well as the video and the full album as well here very shortly. There is contact info on there if you would like to reach me or my crew and ask any questions.Bev: What did you grow up listening to?
JT: Oh wow, that’s kind of crazy. When I was very young you could listen to two types of music in my house and that was country or western. I kind of rebelled and I liked Elton john and Billy Joel and bands like Journey and then I got into bands like Led Zeppelin and Boston, Iron Maiden, Judus Priest. The Scorpions, Motley Crew, you know I got into the heavier side of rock. About 17 years ago my friends dared me to go up and sing a country song and I kind of liked the change and then I seen Garth Brooks sing and I said now there's a man to reckon with.Bev: With a Rock –n- Roll band in high school .. How has the transition into country affected you and your music?JT: Well I brought the passion of the first old school country when they sang a song it meant something. So I brought that and the edginess of rock and a little of pop music and put it together to make my style you get a little of everything which is not like anybody else. Like it or leave it, its me.Bev: What difference do you notice in the fans – and kinds of fans in the different genres?JT: That’s a crazy question because I thought there was a major difference when I first started. But in the last show I did which was Comstock in Nebraska I noticed they are there to just have a good time and if you treat them good and you’re a guy like me and go walk through the crowd and shake peoples hand and sign autographs there the same. They just don’t bang there heads.Bev: I know one of your lucky charms is a medal given to you by a decorated soldier. Do you have any plans in the works for going over and entertaining the troops as many artists do?JT: We don’t have anything lined up yet but we are working on that. It is something I would love to do for our troops. When that soldier came up to me and gave me his cap with his medal of excellence and told me that they give these to use when we do excellent work and that is what I had done that day it brought tears to my eyes and really moved me, it was real. I want to be real in that aspect. If Carrie Underwood can go over there then there's no reason I can’t.Bev: Does your faith play a role in your writing?JT: Well, I thoroughly believe in God. And I am not ever going to say anything other than that because I have seen and experienced a lot of things growing up that a lot of children should not have seen. My father dying and my sister being killed and friends dying and going through rough times. But it was God putting his hand on me and I felt it and realized that I needed to get my stuff together and be the man he put me on earth to be. So when I write my songs I write them straight form the heart.Bev: If you could write with anybody in the world, your ideal co-writing partner, who would it be?
JT: Neil Young, because he has been one of the more incredible writers. Also John Rich is incredible they have what it takes to be a great writer. I feel that they have captured pain and sorrow in there music and that is something that has not been captured in country music of today.Bev: How about duet partner? Who would your ideal duet partner be?JT: Wow there are so many incredible ladies. Trisha Yearwood has done many songs, also Sarah Evans who I have a huge crush on. Ever since I have heard her first sing there has been something about her voice. I would love to do a duet with her. She has a enchanting persona.Bev: Do you have any particular idols in the industry?
JT: Garth brooks, Keith Urban, and Brad Paisley, and Vince Gill because they are real and bring it to the table. Anybody who can get up there on stage and bring it to the table I think is the bomb.Bev: So far what is one particular memory of your career that really stands out?JT: Like I said before while I was in Comstock Nebraska opening up for Jason Aldean and that soldier came up and gave me his medal I was just blowing away and it really meant something to me. Also I was reading my email and there was a lady soldier who I had sent a mp3 song to and told her I hoped she liked it emailed me back saying they had flown a flag with 8 injured soldiers who had listen to my song and loved it in my name later they sent that flag to me and it has meant a lot to me as wellBev: Do you remember the first time you ever performed or did anything in public?
JT: Well I was actually 14 at the time and it was in Pasadena Texas, I was playing hard rock in the battle of the bands and we had won the contest. When they were giving me the award I had asked why they picked me and they said they liked me and my energy that I didn’t just stand up there and play my instruments that I got into it and gave a real show.Bev: What’s your worst pet peeve?
JT: Iam a freak when it comes to things being on time and going in a positive way. If I am walking and there is a brick wall in my way I will turn and walk the other way and I mean that in a positive way. Some people try head butting that walls and never win. I believe you need to just keep moving on and go around that wall.Bev: If you could turn back time and relive any part of your life, what would it be or are you happy with where you’re at?
JT: I would go back to the time before my grandma died and stop touring and to stand by her and tell her that I love her. Bev: What’s next on the horizon for you?JT: Well we just got the video finished, also we got the single finished, the cd is going to be coming out in the fall of 07 and it should be kickin hard by the first of the year. I am ready to start rockin' and rollin' out on the road. Also Id like to get on the road with a major act and open up for them.Bev: What would you most like people to say about John Tigert when they look back in fifty years?
JT: I want them to say that was the nicest guy they ever met and he had a heart as big as Texas.

For more about John, visit his website at:

(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)