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Country Cruising 2020


The Charlie Daniels Band

Port Show Appearance

From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 81, Charlie has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.

Trace Adkins

A Nashville icon for more than two decades, Trace Adkins has made his mark on the country-music industry. 11 million albums sold. Time-honored hit singles. Momentous, fiery and always memorable live performances. GRAMMY nominations. CMT and ACM awards. Nearly 200 million plays on YouTube. Hell, even a slew of movie and TV roles have come the Grand Ole Opry member’s way. But ask Adkins what’s left to prove in his career and the small-town Louisiana native says it’s simple: the itch remains. To create. To collaborate. To continually feel the excitement that comes after whipping up a new song out of thin air and laying it down to tape. It’s what, after all these years, he says he still craves. “It’s an adrenaline rush and I love it,” says Adkins, who is back in the studio working on a new project.

Sara Evans

She’s had five #1 singles, sold millions of records, won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and claimed a Country Music Association trophy for her signature song, “Born To Fly.” It’s tough to imagine many accomplishments Sara Evans hasn’t already checked off her bucket list.

And yet, with the release of her eighth studio album, Words demonstrates that she’s still willing to leap into the unknown, taking greater control of her career and calling the shots in a way that’s unusual in country music – particularly unusual for a woman in the genre.

Sara Evans

Neal McCoy has released fifteen studio albums on various labels, and has released 34 singles to country radio. In 1993, Neal McCoy broke through with the back-to-back number 1 singles No Doubt About It and Wink from his platinum-certified album No Doubt About It. His commercial success continue into the late 1990s with two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits. A seventh Top Ten hit, the number 10 Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On, came in 2005 from his self-released That’s Life.

Mark Wills

Mark Wills has captivated fans and listeners for over two decades. He achieved his first top-charting success at the young age of 23 and has maintained a longevity in the music business that many artists can only dream of. His mission is to create country music filled with depth and meaningful substance to create lasting memories through the words.

David Nail

A chart-topping songwriter and Grammy-nominated frontman, David Nail has spent a decade leaving his unique mark on modern country music. He reaches a new creative peak with 2018's Only This and Nothing More, a record that matches his longtime melodic chops — as heard on Number One hits like "Whatever She's Got" and "Let It Rain" — with atmospheric rock & roll guitars, lush keyboards, drum loops, and rule-breaking arrangements. This is the sound of David Nail turning a new page, kicking off the newest chapter in a book that continues to unfold.

Jenny Tolman

There Goes the Neighborhood, the debut album by Jenny Tolman, casts the clever newcomer – hailed by Sound Opinions as a “storyteller par excellence”.

Tolman conveys her songs with “the sass of Nikki Lane mixed with the clever wordplay of Brandy Clark,” according to Rolling Stone, making a scintillating statement about the complexities of modern femininity by exploring her own womanhood through a make-believe town.

Danielle Peck

Artist/SiriusXM Personality/Host


Whether you’ve heard her hosting SiriusXM’s Y2Kountry, hosting a festival or performing for her fans, Danielle has established herself as a multifaceted talent in the music industry.

Ray Scott

“I worked my ass off on Music Row. Tryin’ to get on the radio Like Alan said, ‘those wheels turn slow’ And I had to tell ‘em all where to go When they tried to make me a pop star I got me a honky tonk heart” Ray Scott, “Honky Tonk Heart”

Those words say it all.

With a distinctivesouthern voice as traditional as the signature black cowboy hat he wears, Ray Scott garnered attention from“The Row”in the days before modern condos took over historic houses. Warner Brothers released his debut album, My Kind of Music, to critical acclaim and a top 40 single in 2005. But typical music business politics combined with a deafening change in the country radio market did not work in Ray’s favor. Or did it?

What followed from the label split two years later was the birth of the digital format and a “Rayincarnation” of sorts. Never one to quit on his calling, his own self-awareness fully emerged, and a new busload of fans joined him for the ride. For those seeking more than girls, beer cans and moonlight by the lake, Ray’s heartfelt vocals and down to earth lyrics resonated. Independent releases Crazy Like Me (2008) and Rayality (2011) not only gave him a physical product on the roadbut garnered a high number of digital sales and support from Sirius XM. “Drinkin Beer” and “Ain’t Always Thirsty” received SiriusXM airplay. And so did one of his most well-known singles, “Those Jeans” from the Rayalityalbum, produced by Dave Brainard (Jerrod Neimann, Brandy Clark).

 

Dirty Grass Soul

Proudly hailing from the musically rich foothills of Cleveland County (Shelby, NC), Dirty Grass Soul has been entertaining audiences across the Carolinas and beyond since their formation in 2011. With a sound that draws much influence from traditional music of the North Carolina foothills, Dirty Grass Soul manages to bring a new, refreshed, and re-energized sound to their music that falls somewhere between country, bluegrass, and southern rock & roll reminiscent of acts like The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band. Rather than simply relying on heavy guitar leads, Dirty Grass Soul offers instrumentation that mixes in a heavy dose of fiddle, pedal steel guitar, and banjo in addition to the guitar. DGS is lead by founding members Kevin Dedmon (Fiddle, Vocals, Guitar) and Lance Watson (Bass, Mandolin). They are joined by Tommy Smith (Electric Guitar),Dedmon's brother Kris Dedmon (Banjo), Glenn Miller (Pedal Steel Guitar), and Jared Miller (Vocals & Percussion).

After touring the Carolina's behind their self-released debut album "The Long Way", as well as shows with the likes of many of premier national bands under their belt, Dirty Grass Soul has earned a reputation as one of the southeast's emerging Southern Rock/Alt. Country bands.  Following up their 2016 release of The Long Way, DGS is slated to release their newest project "New Day of Work" August 23, 2018!

Whether it is the hint of bluegrass, outlaw country, or rock & roll you hear in each song, their sound is uniquely Dirty Grass Soul. From Dedmon's down home/working class lyrics to the blazing instrumental breaks, Dirty Grass Soul is sure to offer a little something for everyone. Be sure to visit www.DGSoul.com & follow or “like” Dirty Grass Soul on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates about the happenings of the band.

 



5 NIGHT CARIBBEAN CRUISE

November 9 - 14, 2020








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TRACE ADKINS

TRACE ADKINS

A Nashville icon for more than two decades, Trace Adkins has made his mark on the country-music industry. 11 million albums sold. Time-honored hit singles. Momentous, fiery and always memorable live performances. GRAMMY nominations. CMT and ACM awards. Nearly 200 million plays on YouTube. Hell, even a slew of movie and TV roles have come the Grand Ole Opry member’s way. But ask Adkins what’s left to prove in his career and the small-town Louisiana native says it’s simple: the itch remains. To create. To collaborate. To continually feel the excitement that comes after whipping up a new song out of thin air and laying it down to tape. It’s what, after all these years, he says he still craves. “It’s an adrenaline rush and I love it,” says Adkins, who is back in the studio working on a new project. “There’s nothing else like that,” the Louisiana naive offers. “That is still my favorite thing to do in this business. Go into the studio with just some lyrics and a melody and then let the finest musicians in the world help take it and turn it into something magical. It liberates me. I just dig it!”

Working with some of Nashville’s most respected songwriters, Adkins continues to find ways to connect with his fans through music while recording what he describes as autobiographical songs throughout his career. “Over the years people have asked me ‘How could we get to know you?’ Well, if you really wanted to know who Trace Adkins is go back and listen to the album cuts on the records I’ve done over my career. Those are the songs that reflect where I was in my head at the time I made that record.”

It’s an interesting change of perspective for Adkins, however, when he hits the road for a slew of his now legendary live gigs. Where the studio offers him unique insight into his current state of mind, onstage, when revisiting his classic songs like “You’re Gonna Miss This” or “Every Light in the House” nearly every evening, he says he’s taken back, if only for a brief while, to earlier moments in his life.

“It’s hard to describe, I gotta be honest,” he says of being overcome with emotion and reflection when trotting out some of his time-tested cuts for adoring audiences. “I’ve gotten to the point now where I’ll be onstage singing ‘Every Light In The House Is On’ and I look down at the crowd and realize that person right there wasn’t even alive when I recorded that song.” He laughs. “To watch their face go, Oh, that’s a cool hook, it’s like ‘Oh my god, that’s the first time that person ever heard that song!’”

Adkins says he’s profoundly touched that he serves as an inspiration to a younger generation of country artists, much in the way he revered icons like Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard when first moving to Nashville. “I dig it. I want to be in that position,” he says of taking the reigns as an elder statesman of the genre. “I want to be looked at that way. I want those guys to think and know they can walk up to me and ask me anything and know that I’m here for them and I’ll help them however I can. I relish that position.

With one million followers on Spotify and over one billion spins on Pandora (10 million spins per month), the longstanding country icon has yet to lose any of his trademark passion and killer instinct for his craft. The 57-year-old is as fired up as ever to be back on the road this year, taking his music to the fans once again. “I get a kick out of it. I still enjoy the camaraderie, the band of brothers, your crew and your band. I’m an old jock. I like team sports,” he says of a continued passion for touring. “I like it when the new guy is closing for me and we turn it up a notch or two and just absolutely kick his ass. You go out and put a boot in somebody’s ass!”

Ask Adkins where he goes from here and he’ll say it’s quite simple: keep doing what he knows and loves. Performing. Creating. Inspiring. He adores it. And, he adds, he knows so many of his lifelong fans, and new ones to boot, do too. “I’m gonna go out there and find those people,” he says with a laugh of the coming months. “I’m gonna bring a band and turn it up real loud! And we’re gonna have a good time!”

DAVID NAIL

DAVID NAIL

A chart-topping songwriter and Grammy-nominated frontman, David Nail has spent a decade leaving his unique mark on modern country music. He reaches a new creative peak with 2018's Only This and Nothing More, a record that matches his longtime melodic chops — as heard on Number One hits like "Whatever She's Got" and "Let It Rain" — with atmospheric rock & roll guitars, lush keyboards, drum loops, and rule-breaking arrangements. This is the sound of David Nail turning a new page, kicking off the newest chapter in a book that continues to unfold.

It's also the most collaborative album of his career. Billed not as a solo album, but as a project by David Nail and the Well Ravens, Only This and Nothing More finds its frontman leaving behind the familiar comfort of his longtime record label and, instead, uncovering new ground with help from two longtime partners. Those collaborators are multi-instrumentalist Andrew Petroff and producer Jason Hall.

Years before the three musicians teamed up to create Only This and Nothing More, they toured the country together as road warriors, with Petroff playing bass in Nail's band and Hall serving as the group's monitor engineer. It was a bonding experience, filled with sold-out shows, bus rides from town to town, and creative sparks. The sparks fly once again with Only This and Nothing More, whose songs straddle the boundary between country storytelling, indie rock instrumentation, pop hooks, and the southern twang of Nail's voice.

"In the beginning, there were no expectations," says Nail, who recorded the project in Hall's home studio in south Nashville. "We'd build new songs out of guitar grooves, drum loops, or bass licks. We'd record our parts on the spot. It was very spontaneous. One of our only rules was, we weren't going to chase anything specific. It needed to happen naturally."

Gradually, a distinctive sound took shape. Inspired not only by his country roots, but also the guitar-heavy stomp of Oasis, the reverb-heavy wash of Ryan Adams, the rhythmic punch of the Black Keys, and the anthemic swell of Kings of Leon, Nail and the Well Ravens co-wrote a collection of songs that placed a contemporary spin on older sounds. Over the course of three different recording sessions, they both created and captured tracks like "Cheatin' on Me" (a waltzing ballad that's retro and modern, like a digital remix of a 1950s sock-hop hit), "Over" (a gritty nod to the British Invasion bands of the 1990s), "Heavy" (which updates the sounds of '80s pop/rock for the current decade), and "The Gun" (the album's most haunting number, rooted in a fictional story about family violence). Fueled by adrenaline and coffee, all three collaborators shared the workload equally, with Andrew Petroff handling much of the instrumental duties — including the electric guitar, whose spacey textures helped inspire the album's overall tone, as well as bass, drums, synthesizers, and digital loops — and Nail providing the lyrical and melodic ideas.

"It was great to watch David explore these new sounds without having to worry about the boundaries and limitations of multiple different people telling him what to do," says Hall, who pushed the singer's melodies in a string of spontaneous, in-the-moment takes. "He was open to anything. He was free."

"There were no rules during the songwriting and recording," adds Petroff. "We just aimed for whatever felt right in the moment. Every day, we'd start from zero. We'd jam together over a drum loop or a weird synth sound or a guitar effect, and that would inspire David to come up with new melodies. We'd follow the spirit of the song, wherever it led."

The result is David Nail's most sonically adventurous work to date, as well as his first release as an independent artist. With one foot planted in the organic sound of his country past and the other pointing toward newer territory, he shows off the full range of his abilities. He's a country crooner one moment, an indie rocker the next, and a diversely compelling frontman throughout.

Most importantly, he's an artist following his muse, making music without rules or regulations. David Nail and the Well Ravens spread their wings with Only This and Nothing More, and the result — with its soundscapes, digital elements, guitar fuzz, and lush wall of sound — is the soundtrack to Nail taking flight.

JENNY TOLMAN

JENNY TOLMAN

The line between gossip and psychotherapy is sometimes mighty thin.

There Goes the Neighborhood, the debut album by Jenny Tolman, casts the clever newcomer – hailed by Sound Opinions as a “storyteller par excellence” – as a member of a highclass, white trash welcoming committee, an observant woman who sees other people on her own fictitious block through a humorous, surface-scraping veneer.

Tolman conveys her songs with “the sass of Nikki Lane mixed with the clever wordplay of Brandy Clark,” according to Rolling Stone, making a scintillating statement about the complexities of modern femininity by exploring her own womanhood through a make-believe town.

Music provides the ideal vehicle for Tolman to examine a sometimes-painful world with a blast of sardonic humor as she continues to distance herself from very difficult teen years and fully embrace her bold, brazen adult viewpoint.

“We live in a society where you’re told not to feel things,” she says. “But that’s literally what you survive off of: your feelings and your instincts.”

That Tolman would turn to music to find her way makes complete sense. She grew up in Nashville, the daughter of a talent buyer who started in music as a member of a barbershop quartet, the Indian River Boys. Interacting as a concert professional with the likes of Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and The Oak Ridge Boys, the Tolmans established a safe home environment while treating stardom as if it were run of the mill.

But safety turned to danger as she reached dating age. She endured a rocky, threatening relationship as a teen – the kind that leads to courtroom drama and restraining orders. She became extremely withdrawn but found with her first efforts at writing hat music helped her process the confusion and agony.

“Those songs were very sad and very self-therapeutic,” she recalls. “But that was a crazy time in my life. I had anxiety problems and felt so lonely and so isolated from everything that seemed ‘normal’ and that I believed I ‘should be doing.’ That was a chapter of being young and not understanding what was going on around me.”

She developed quickly, and the songs progressed. The darkness in the songs evolved into hope, and that positivity helped her take pride in her hard-won individuality, much like the women she already admired in music, including Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton and Alicia Keys.

“I would always try to fit in with everybody, but I didn’t,” Tolman remembers. “Now it’s so clear – I don’t want to be like anybody else. I just want to be like me, because if I’m like everybody else, then I’m nobody.”

She started playing open-mic nights and guitar pulls in Nashville, timidly at first, but music professionals invariably recognized her singular creative talent. That included songwriters such as Mark D. Sanders (“I Hope You Dance”), Rory Bourke (“You Look So Good In Love”) and Marty Dodson (“Must Be Doin’ Something Right”), plus producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Niemann), who was enamored with the sultry-but-vulnerable quality in her voice.

Tolman and Brainard began writing regularly, and he helped her connect with the wry influences in her arsenal, including Roger Miller, Bobby Bare and Shel Silverstein. As their writing relationship continued, the dramatic, weighty attitudes of some of her earlier songs soon evolved into witty, slice-of-life writing, often using gossipy observation to demonstrate how relationships with others can provide insight about one’s relationship with themselves.

A chunk of those songs coalesced into There Goes the Neighborhood, taking a sort of Desperate Housewives approach while portraying a series of women who are at once lovable and neurotic. Building the album as a cast of characters allowed Tolman to inject pieces of her own personality into each storyline without making it entirely autobiographical. She casts the other women’s eccentricities with a stark humor, then takes a deep dive into the dark corners of her own self-doubt.

The album vacillates from the “coupon-clipper with a push-up bra” who flirts with the butcher in “Work It” to the woman battling cruel inner voices in “Love You Too.” Particularly revealing is “So Pretty,” a song that explores a bout with jealousy. It comes from Tolman’s own heart, though the real story is reshaped to depict a woman who discovers that her hatred for a perceived rival is unfounded.

“I had entered into a relationship where my boyfriend was still good friends with his ex, and I was very threatened by that at first,” Tolman recalls. “I wished she wasn’t so pretty and so sweet. I wanted her to be a monster, but she wasn’t. So ‘So Pretty’ was inspired by that, but ended up being written from a little bit different point of view.”

That’s serious stuff, but it’s balanced throughout There Goes the Neighborhood. It includes several interstitial skits that literally advertise her artful humor, plus edgy statements (“Ain’t Mary Jane”), picturesque amusements (“High Class White Trash,” “Work It”) and songs of unbridled commitment (“Till My Tank Is Empty,” “Used To My Cooking”).

“There’s a huge thread of self-perception and body image and being pretty and being feminine, and a whole take on all of society’s pressures,” she says of the songs. “That, to me in my life, is the most prevalent issue right now: women empowerment and women disempowerment at the same time.”

In the end, There Goes the Neighborhood is a sort of Gladys Kravitz take on relationships, a snoopy, busy-body approach to figuring out how other people work. But in the process of looking at those other characters, Tolman’s own relationship with herself begins to make sense. Her darker, brooding period has given way to a lighter, funny Jenny Tolman who embraces a glass-half-full approach to life.

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND

Port Show Appearance

From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 81, Charlie has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.

Raised among the longleaf pines of North Carolina, Charlie began his career playing bluegrass music with the Misty Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in 1967, he began making a name for himself as a songwriter, session musician and producer. Elvis Presley recorded a tune Charlie co-wrote titled “It Hurts Me,” which was released on the flip side of “Kissin’ Cousins.” He played on such landmark albums as Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and tried his hand at producing the Youngbloods’ Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind.

His own unique voice as an artist emerged as Charlie recorded his self-titled solo album in 1970 for Capitol Records. Two years later he formed the Charlie Daniels Band and the group scored its first hit with the top ten “Uneasy Rider.” Since then the CDB has populated radio with such memorable hits as “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and of course, his signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1979 as well as single of the year at the Country Music Association Awards.

The CDB performed 100+ concert dates in 2017, including performances on the Grand Ole Opry and will perform another full concert schedule in 2018.

“I love what I do,” says Charlie of his 60-plus years in the music business. “I look forward to entertaining people. When show time gets here, I’m ready to go, ready to go play for them. It’s a labor of love. I just thank God I make a living at what I enjoy doing.”

Whether performing in the hit 80s movie Urban Cowboy, singing on Easter Sunday at his local church or leading an all-star cast at one of his famed Volunteer Jams, Charlie just exudes joy whenever he steps on stage and he’s always been quick to provide a platform for other artists to shine. In 1974 he invited some friends to join him at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium for an all-star concert he dubbed The Volunteer Jam. The event continued for years and was broadcast in the U.S. and internationally. Over the years, the Jam featured a diverse line up that included Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Roy Acuff, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Crystal Gayle, James Brown, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant, George Thorogood, Kris Kristofferson, Little Richard, Tammy Wynette, Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, B. B. King and the Allman Brothers.

As diverse as his live shows have always been, his discography has also reflected Charlie’s love of multiple genres. In 1994 he released his first Christian album, The Door, on Sparrow Records. The album won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Best Country Album and “Two Out of Three” was named video of the year by the Christian Country Music Association. In 1997, Sony Wonder released Charlie’s first children’s album, “By The Light of The Moon: Campfire Songs and Cowboy Tunes’.

An astute businessman as well as talented musician, Charlie launched Blue Hat Records in 1997 with his longtime personal manager David Corlew. The label released such memorable albums as Blues Hat, Tailgate Party, Road Dogs, Fiddle Fire: 25 Years of the Charlie Daniels Band and his first bluegrass album 2005’s Songs From the Longleaf Pines and 2007’s album Deuces, featuring duets with Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Bonnie Bramlett, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee and Darius Rucker.

Over the course of his career, Charlie has received numerous accolades, including his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was presented the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and was honored as a BMI Icon in recognition of his songwriting. He also received a star on the Music City Walk of Fame.

Any conversation with the legendary artist, however, rarely includes any of his accomplishments. He’d rather shine the spotlight on the many causes that are close to his heart. He’s always been a staunch supporter of the military, and for several years headlined a special concert at David Lipscomb University benefiting the Yellow Ribbon Program which provided scholarships for veterans. Among those who have supported Charlie Daniels for an evening of great music include Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, Clint Black, Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Rascal Flatts, Lee Greenwood, Darryl Worley, the Grascals, and actor Gary Sinise.

Charlie also lends his time and talent to numerous other charitable organizations, including the Jason Foundation Golf Classic, an organization that targets teen suicide prevention, and the Galilean Children’s Home in Liberty, KY, which provides a home for abused and neglected children. “I’ve been affiliated with them for a long, long time and it’s just a great place,” Charlie says of the home founded by Jerry and Sandy Tucker. “They take in babies whose mothers are going to prison. They give kids a good stable Christian home and love them. It’s just a wonderful place.”

For many years, Charlie has been the host for The Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf Classic & Angelus Concert in Hudson, FL, a benefit for The Angelus, a full-time residential facility and day school program for the severely handicapped. He has been a member of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Professional Advisory Board and has been a longtime supporter of the T. J. Martell Foundation and its numerous events aiding cancer research. He was the headliner for many years for the Christmas 4 Kids concert at the Ryman Auditorium, a fundraiser that provided a happy holiday for needy children.

Charlie says of using his celebrity status to aid worthy causes, “I have a very unique opportunity because of being in the music community, you try to give back to some extent. I do feel like people should. We should all do as much as we can.”

In 2014, Charlie Daniels with David Corlew founded The Journey Home Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, whose mission is to help the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

For Charlie’s birthday in 2016, 3 Doors Down, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Chris Stapleton, Travis Tritt, Larry the Cable Guy and more joined him to celebrate the milestone at his 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam on November 30 at Bridgestone Arena. A portion of the proceeds from the sold out concert were donated to the The Journey Home Project.

Charlie’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, gave him a bookend to his memoir, Never Look At The Empty Seats, an autobiography that was released Oct .24, 2017. The book includes stories about his life, his career, experiences along the way and a wee bit of advice to those who would like to pursue a career in music. Daniels legendary musical career of over 60 years, won him a Grammy Award, earned inductions into the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and sold over 20 million records.

Memories, Memoirs & Miles - Songs Of A Lifetime-Charlie Daniels current cd that was released Oct. 20th, 2017, chronicles the musical journey of the Country Music Hall of Fame member through the years. In his book, an autobiography / memoir of his life, Charlie writes about his earliest musical influences starting with Bluegrass, then came his days of playing the clubs and honing his craft, entertaining! He then moved to Nashville where he was introduced to session work, playing on three Bob Dylan albums, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning. Then came the CDB years, through Southern Rock and Country, Gospel and Patriotic hits. This album is perfect for listening along while reading his book, “Never Look At The Empty Seats” in which Charlie presents a life lesson for all of us regardless of profession:

“Walk on stage with a positive attitude. Your troubles are your own and are not included in the ticket price. Some nights you have more to give than others, but put it all out there every show. You’re concerned with the people who showed up, not the ones who didn’t. So always give them a show, and never look at the empty seats!”

- Charlie Daniels latest studio album, Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E

The new ten-track album was released Oct. 26th and features lead vocals, guitar and fiddle by Daniels, James Stroud on drums and percussion, Billy Crain on guitar, and Charlie Hayward on bass.

"Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E is the culmination of a long held desire of James Stroud and myself to do a project together," says Daniels. "We had worked together, with James in the capacity of producer, which had resulted in some of our most successful albums for The Charlie Daniels Band, but James is one of the finest and most soulful drummers in the business and I figured we could get together, musician to musician, and come up with something special. We just needed a vehicle in the form of songs that would fit the bill."

Daniels describes the new recordings as "Downhome, Swampy Rock meets Funk with a little taste of 'Delta' type of style."

Charlie Daniels, beloved American icon, author, and patriot, has penned a new book that shares his signature wit and powerful lessons that he’s learned from traveling and playing all around the world. Let’s All Make the Day Count: The Every Day Wisdom of Charlie Daniels (Thomas Nelson, Nov. 6, 2018) is an entertaining and impactful book for those who have enjoyed his daily “let’s all make the day count” tweets and want to hear more personal stories from his life.

“I have leaned heavily on my personal journey and the times I’ve knocked my head against various walls through the years while learning life’s lessons,” Daniels said. “I’ve excerpted segments of my highest and lowest times, my most devastating defeats and most rewarding victories, and how I’ve come to truly value making the day count, every single day.”

Let’s All Make the Day Count includes 100 readings that cover such topics as starting again after loss; standing your ground; how to be successful; how to show people you care; choosing your words carefully; and many more. Daniels accompanies every story with a Bible verse and a short takeaway.

Daniels also released a companion CD of the same name on Nov. 2, available exclusively at Walmart stores, released by Blue Hat Records, distributed by BFD.

The CDB will perform 100+ concert dates in 2019 with no signs of slowing down.

DANIELLE PECK

DANIELLE PECK

Artist/SiriusXM Personality/Host

Whether you’ve heard her hosting SiriusXM’s Y2Kountry, hosting a festival or performing for her fans, Danielle has established herself as a multifaceted talent in the music industry.

An accomplished recording artist and performer, Danielle knows of which she speaks, having travelled that path on the way to completing How Freedom Feels, her third studio album, soon to be released. No stranger to country fans, she's enjoyed chart success with songs including "I Don't," "Findin' A Good Man" and "Isn't That Everything," and has cultivated a loyal fan base on the road, performing hundreds of shows both as a headliner and in support of country music's biggest names. But while music has driven her life since childhood, it's only recently that she's centered it in a deeply personal place.

"When I first came to town I had been writing songs by myself and performing them on the road," she explains of early years with her Ohio-based band. "When I got to Nashville the big thing was co-writing, so I had to learn how to write with someone else. I felt like I always had to have 10 ideas and was always writing toward the catchy song, the clever turn of phrase, something I thought radio would want. It wasn't so much about what was inside of me, where I was at or what I believed. A lot of the songs I wrote back then are great, but I've learned to let go of some of that and write from a more personal perspective."

Not only has her writing style evolved into the current artist she is today, but she has utilized her talents in other areas. When she’s not performing shows, you can hear her every weekday from noon-4pm CST as the host of SiriusXM’s Y2Kountry Channel 61, where she gets to play some of her favorite music by her friends, but also gets to share some of the good stories from years of touring with fellow Y2K artists. Additionally, she has hosted several Y2Kountry Specials featuring artists such as Sara Evans, Rodney Atkins, Randy Houser and Gretchen Wilson. When not broadcasting to all of North America, you may find her hosting your local/regional music festival, corporate function or charity event. Be on the lookout to where she will pop up next.

MARK WILLS

MARK WILLS

Mark Wills has captivated fans and listeners for over two decades. He achieved his first top-charting success at the young age of 23 and has maintained a longevity in the music business that many artists can only dream of. His mission is to create country music filled with depth and meaningful substance to create lasting memories through the words.

Mark has released a total of seven albums including a patriotic album in 2001, Looking for America. As an avid supporter of the US Military, he has more than a dozen trips to entertain our troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Korea and Italy, among others.

Mark now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife Kelly and his two daughters. In his spare time, when he’s not writing, recording, or touring, Mark enjoys hunting in the great outdoors and spending time with his girls. Mark is a dedicated parent, philanthropist, outdoorsman and jokester; but, more than anything else, he is an an artist and songwriter who helped to create the foundation for what country music is today!

RAY SCOTT

RAY SCOTT

“I worked my ass off on Music Row. Tryin’ to get on the radio Like Alan said, ‘those wheels turn slow’ And I had to tell ‘em all where to go When they tried to make me a pop star I got me a honky tonk heart” Ray Scott, “Honky Tonk Heart”

Those words say it all.

With a distinctivesouthern voice as traditional as the signature black cowboy hat he wears, Ray Scott garnered attention from“The Row”in the days before modern condos took over historic houses. Warner Brothers released his debut album, My Kind of Music, to critical acclaim and a top 40 single in 2005. But typical music business politics combined with a deafening change in the country radio market did not work in Ray’s favor. Or did it?

What followed from the label split two years later was the birth of the digital format and a “Rayincarnation” of sorts. Never one to quit on his calling, his own self-awareness fully emerged, and a new busload of fans joined him for the ride. For those seeking more than girls, beer cans and moonlight by the lake, Ray’s heartfelt vocals and down to earth lyrics resonated. Independent releases Crazy Like Me (2008) and Rayality (2011) not only gave him a physical product on the roadbut garnered a high number of digital sales and support from Sirius XM. “Drinkin Beer” and “Ain’t Always Thirsty” received SiriusXM airplay. And so did one of his most well-known singles, “Those Jeans” from the Rayalityalbum, produced by Dave Brainard (Jerrod Neimann, Brandy Clark).

Then came his 5th studio album in 2017—Guitar for Sale, produced by Michael Hughes.

“I appreciate that he's the most stubbornly genuine artist that I know - a guy who refuses to compromise or follow any other inspiration other than his own feelings and experiences. He doesn't give a damn about what anybody else is doing, he just wants to find and execute his vision, “says Michael.

So then, it’s no surprise that the two friends paired up again forHonky Tonk Heart, the new EP out March 1. With catchy electric and steel guitar licks from the get-go, you’re in for a boot steppin’, whiskey drinkin’, feel good time. But don’t mistake the two smoky bar tunes (Honky Tonk Heart, Trainwreck) for fluff pieces because Ray is anything but. If he sings it, it’s because he’s been thru it, he believes it, or he currently lives it (or sometimes all three). His rip roarin’ honesty is just as strong in the ballads as it is in the uptempos. Ray’s vulnerability resonates with the most heartbroken, yet hopeful of souls in “It Is What It Is” and “Leave this Town.” The EP comes full circle, ending on a sweet love note with “Thank You Baby.”

“’Honky Tonk Heart’—the song—is my life, and it’s an ode to all the troubadours like me runnin’ up and down the highways doin’ what we do for the love of real country music, ‘cause it’s what we bleed. My new Honky Tonk Heart EP is the first glimpse into a new era of creativity that kicked in just after the release of Guitar For Sale. I’ve been crankin’ out one new song after the other in the last couple of years. I can’t wait to lay ‘em on ya. There’s a lot more to come. To quote one of the new titles, I ain’t ‘Nowhere Near Done’. . . . see ya’ll out there soon!” ---Ray

SARA EVANS

SARA EVANS

She’s had five #1 singles, sold millions of records, won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist Award and claimed a Country Music Association trophy for her signature song, “Born To Fly.” It’s tough to imagine many accomplishments Sara Evans hasn’t already checked off her bucket list.

And yet, with the release of her eighth studio album, Words demonstrates that she’s still willing to leap into the unknown, taking greater control of her career and calling the shots in a way that’s unusual in country music – particularly unusual for a woman in the genre.

Words is the first project on Evans’ own label: Born To Fly Records, appropriately named after that CMA-winning signature song, which celebrated risk and adventure. Much is familiar about Words. Evans’ voice is warm and strong, the songs are authentic and memorable, and the actual words themselves resonate with the realities of everyday life.

 

But the album was an eye-opening experience for Evans as a creative force. As the head of her own small, flexible company, she was able to take a streamlined approach to building it. Instead of subjecting the music to multiple departments, each with their own view of one part of her career, Evans approached it with an instinctual, gut-level focus on making a project that represents the 2017 version of Sara Evans.

“The only thing I had on my mind with this album is just Grammy-level songs and the coolest music that I can find,” she says. “I didn’t really go about it in any other way. I wasn’t catering to any part of the business. There was never a thought in my head of ‘Will this work on country radio?’ So what has happened with the music is that it is still very much Sara Evans music. It’s just a little bit deeper than I’ve gone in the past.”

There’s an irony there – part of the reason that Sara Evans is one of country’s iconic modern singers is that her music has worked so well on country radio, at concert halls and amphitheaters, and in fans’ personal playlists. And the music she’s made to date is authentically her. But where Born To Fly narrowed the crowd of voices around her, Words is distinctively Sara Evans. For a woman who always tackled the music her own way, the new album is 100% her own.

It’s a big reason that the album is titled Words. The songs generate a number of words – flexible, commanding, sassy, daring, loving, hopeful, resilient – that all embody parts of Evans’ inimitable persona.

“Songs are a combination of words and melodies, and it’s the words that matter most to me,” she says. “When we go into these pitch meetings, people always ask, ‘What are you looking for? Are you OK with doing something that’s a little more pop?’ I always tell them, ‘Just play me great lyrics.’ That’s what I’m looking for.”

Evans co-wrote three of the album’s 14 songs, instinctively picking material along the way that matches her world view. Thirteen additional females racked up writing credits on the project, including Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Pistol Annies’ Ashley Monroe, The Isaacs’ Sonya Isaacs, Hillary Lindsey (“Blue Ain’t Your Color”), Caitlyn Smith (“Wasting All These Tears”), Heather Morgan (“Beat Of The Music”) and Liz Hengber (“For My Broken Heart”).

“A Little Bit Stronger,” Evans’ pensive, heartbreak anthem that spent two weeks at #1 represents a look at the journey thus far, one that’s kept her firmly in the forefront of country music for a solid 20 years. Born and raised in Boonville, Missouri, Sara grew up listening – like much of her audience – to a mix of country, pop and rock on the radio. She began singing with the family band when she was five and made her first attempts at recording as a teenager, committing to a creative path with her move to Nashville in 1991.

Smitten with country’s legacy, her version of Buck Owens’ “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” won the approval of songwriter Harlan Howard – a Country Music Hall of Fame member who authored Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces” and The Judds’ “Why Not Me” – and of George Jones, who personally invited her to open for him at the historic Ryman Auditorium on the strength of her first album.

That project – Three Chords and the Truth,produced by Dwight Yoakam’s then-guitarist, Pete Anderson – arrived in 1997 to critical acclaim. It accurately represented a key piece of Evans’ musical personality, yet it missed other elements that were likewise influential.

“If I could go back and whisper in my ear, I probably would have advised myself to go a little bit broader with the music and not make such a hillbilly record,” she says. “I was in this mindset that I was gonna be a female version of Dwight Yoakam. That’s a part of who I am, but it’s not all of who I am. I also grew up listening to Stevie Nicks and Phil Collins and so I wish I would have rounded myself out a little more on that first project.”

She clearly learned from the experience. Her resume now includes 14 Top 20 country hits, ranging from her reassuring first #1 – “No Place That Far,” featuring background vocals by Vince Gill – to the neo-traditional “Suds In The Bucket” to the elegant, spiky pop feel of “Slow Me Down.”

But Evans has been expansive in other parts of her public life, too. She’s co-authored a trio of books for Thomas Nelson; advocated on behalf of the Red Cross; became an active contributor to the community in Birmingham, Alabama, where she’s lived with husband Jay Barker for nearly a decade; and established a lifestyle blog — A Real Fine Place —that captures her flare for fashion, beauty and cooking. That blog also demonstrates that she understands, and lives, the solid, practical American work ethic that’s alive and well in her fan base.

“Kim Kardashian will post, ‘Oh my gosh, you guys, look at this new Dolce Gabbana thing that I got,’ but everything is so high-end,” Evans says. “My fans are in middle America – you know, country music listeners, small town, exactly what I come from – and so I’m like, ‘Well, I totally found this incredible belt in Target and I put it with this nice shirt.’ Mine is completely relatable. I feel like the All-American girl-next-door that you could be a friend and go have coffee with.”

Evans is such a sign post for women in country that when the producers of the Nashville TV series wanted to ensure its realism, they sought out Evans as a consultant to help them understand firsthand the dynamics of operating as a touring country singer and a mom, specifically informing Connie Britton’s character, Rayna Jaymes. With the formation of Born To Fly Records, Evans now has a life-meets-art moment, with her real life embodying the label-owner role that Jaymes took on with the fictional Highway 65 Records. Not that Evans has any intention of copying the on-screen character.
“I’m not trying to be Rayna Jaymes and I certainly don’t want to die in a car wreck,” Evans says with a laugh.

What Evans does want to do is represent the full panorama of her artistic vision. By handpicking the team around her and making self-expression the priority of her work, she’s found songs that continue to connect her to the emotional core of her audience, and to adhere to that Born To Fly embrace of risk and adventure.

“I don’t use that word a lot, resilient, but I would say that’s the best way to define me as a person,” Evans says. “I feel so blessed, but at the same time, there’s blood, sweat and tears in every single thing that I’ve gotten in this life. I have gone out and just really, really sold it, and I’m still doing that to this day.”

Doing it her way. As a mom. As a record company entrepreneur. And, mostly, as a distinct artist still excited about her unique journey.

NEAL MCCOY

NEAL MCCOY

Neal McCoy has released fifteen studio albums on various labels, and has released 34 singles to country radio. In 1993, Neal McCoy broke through with the back-to-back number 1 singles No Doubt About It and Wink from his platinum-certified album No Doubt About It. His commercial success continue into the late 1990s with two more platinum albums and a gold album, as well as six more Top Ten hits. A seventh Top Ten hit, the number 10 Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On, came in 2005 from his self-released That’s Life.

Music of Your Life, a big band jazz and country amalgam with Les Brown, Jr. recorded for a public television special, appeared in 2011, with a new studio album, XII, finally arriving in 2012. In 2013 he released Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride, Neal’s long time friend and mentor. 2015 brought the Big Band Standards CD You Don’t Know Me. Neal has been on 15 USO Tours around the world and continues to say it’s one of the achievements he’s most proud of. He is also the recipient of multiple Humanitarian awards from The Academy of Country Music, The Country Radio Broadcasters and The Masonic Grand Lodge. In 2016 Neal has again made a move to continue his patriotic values by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance “Live” on his Facebook page every morning. He’s reached millions of viewers all over the country and around the world. Neal still maintains a very busy touring schedule all through the year. Make sure to catch a show when he’s near because as Neal says “No two shows are the same!”

http://www.nealmccoy.com

 

DIRTY GRASS SOUL

DIRTY GRASS SOUL

Proudly hailing from the musically rich foothills of Cleveland County (Shelby, NC), Dirty Grass Soul has been entertaining audiences across the Carolinas and beyond since their formation in 2011. With a sound that draws much influence from traditional music of the North Carolina foothills, Dirty Grass Soul manages to bring a new, refreshed, and re-energized sound to their music that falls somewhere between country, bluegrass, and southern rock & roll reminiscent of acts like The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band. Rather than simply relying on heavy guitar leads, Dirty Grass Soul offers instrumentation that mixes in a heavy dose of fiddle, pedal steel guitar, and banjo in addition to the guitar. DGS is lead by founding members Kevin Dedmon (Fiddle, Vocals, Guitar) and Lance Watson (Bass, Mandolin). They are joined by Tommy Smith (Electric Guitar),Dedmon's brother Kris Dedmon (Banjo), Glenn Miller (Pedal Steel Guitar), and Jared Miller (Vocals & Percussion).

After touring the Carolina's behind their self-released debut album "The Long Way", as well as shows with the likes of many of premier national bands under their belt, Dirty Grass Soul has earned a reputation as one of the southeast's emerging Southern Rock/Alt. Country bands.  Following up their 2016 release of The Long Way, DGS is slated to release their newest project "New Day of Work" August 23, 2018!

Whether it is the hint of bluegrass, outlaw country, or rock & roll you hear in each song, their sound is uniquely Dirty Grass Soul. From Dedmon's down home/working class lyrics to the blazing instrumental breaks, Dirty Grass Soul is sure to offer a little something for everyone. Be sure to visit www.DGSoul.com & follow or “like” Dirty Grass Soul on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates about the happenings of the band.