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NEW RELEASES: FLICKERING FORWARD (UPDATE)
Niall, Future-Thug, more. (10/23a)
THIS CHART STORY IS PRETTY IN P!NK
P!nk is BIG. (10/20a)
GREIN ON GRAMMYS: SURPRISES ON THE GRAMMY BALLOT
Expect the unexpected. (10/23a)
THE GRAMMY CONVERSATIONS,
TAKE TWO
Singers and songwriters talk shop. (10/23a)
HITS GRAMMY SPECIAL
You buy ad now, yes?
WE WILL NEVER EAT PIZZA AGAIN
Of course, we said that last time.
EMINEM
The cypher vs. the cipher.
A WHOLE NEW CHESSBOARD
You can't tell the players without a trade rag.
Music City
THE GRAMMY CONVERSATIONS: KANE BROWN
10/23/17

Interview by Holly Gleason

Kane Brown may well be the new face of country music. Raised poor by a single mother, he understands hardscrabble reality, and he writes with surprising candor about what life at the margins feels like. Like Merle Haggard before him, he also finds ways to connect through the heart. Also like Haggard, Brown has managed to embrace something classic in the genre while at the same time creating an idiom that is distinctly contemporary. The planets have aligned for the 23-year-old newly minted star, with a #1 radio hit in “What Ifs” featuring former classmate Lauren Alaina, as well as the just-released Kane Brown Deluxe Edition (RCA Nashville/Zone 4), a gazillion streams and a life the former Target/Lowe’s employee never thought possible.

Tell me about Kane country.
Well, I know how I grew up. It was family, very respectful, very well-mannered. You open a door for a female. That’s the definition of a Southern gentlemen. My mom raised me and my little brother, and she struggled some, but she made us dinner every night. We all ate around the table, like a family—and no elbows on the table. Some people think country is whiskey, trucks, dirt, mud. But you look at me and you don’t see that.

Musically, are you country?
In today’s country, yes. If you put me with...

...Read More

ALL'S WELL WITH ATWELL, TRIPLE 8'S NEW ASSOCIATE PARTNER
10/23/17

Jesse Atwell has been upped to Associate Partner at Triple 8 Management, partners George Couri and Bruce Kalmick have announced. Atwell, who's been with the Austin-based outfit for six years, most recently served as SVP of Marketing. 

“Jesse started with us six years ago by tackling digital marketing,” Couri declared. “He has since grown to lead a team of 10 marketing professionals helping us grow our artists in both conventional and never-before-achieved innovative strategies. It’s only natural to officially call him what he has become over time: a partner.” He added that, as part of his new duties, Jesse would now be the one to get rid of us whenever we call.

“With Triple 8 Management, George and Bruce have built an innovative, artist-first organization,” said Atwell. “I am elated to be given this opportunity to serve our clients and staff in a deeper, more holistic way. But don't make me talk to those idiots from HITS. Please."

You can tender your congratulations to Jesse here.

THE GRAMMY CONVERSATIONS: JON PARDI
10/21/17

Interview by Holly Gleason

 Jon Pardi’s going to the dump. With all the touring, back-slapping and showing up over the past year or two, real hardcore country’s last great hope has finally said, “Enough.” So with a truckload of old pipes, fence posts and “a stupid trailer I shouldn’t have bought,” he’s finally getting rid of the clutter before embarking on his own Lucky Tonight Tour, with Midland and Runaway June opening for the man who’s finally headlining his own shows. With a nomination for Best New Artist at November’s CMA Awards, Pardi is riding a ton of momentum, all for sticking to his guns when it came to musical decisions—and throwing down the gauntlet for country’s classic roots. The brand of honky-tonk Pardi delivers on California Sunrise (Capitol Nashville) grabs Garth Brooks’ energy, Luke Bryan’s youth and Brooks & Dunn’s engorgement to create a slot of his own on the radio dial—the album has spawned three #1s. And he’s not about to slow down.

What’s the biggest change from this time last year?We’re not doing any more opening slots. Either it’s direct support or headlining, not the first of three [laughs]. We’d done seven years of that!

Headlining is fun, right? And you’re calling the tour Lucky Tonight. Are you nervous about having to sell all your own tickets?
We’re in all of the House of Blues clubs, and they’re all sold out, even the balconies. We’re playing Billy Bob’s and The Row in Milwaukee. We’re 300 shy of 3,000 sold at this baseball field in Savannah, and both Joe’s shows in Chicago are sold out. We were going into Ed Warmer’s [Chicago] clubs when we started, doing 200—and now, well, it’s our crowd.

 And it’s also your sound. You’re actually a country artist playing country music. And you’ve booked a tour that leans into that concept with Midland and Goodbye June.There’s definitely a need, and people are ready for that sound again. People hear these songs and they want more. When we were putting together the tour, those definitely fit the bill musically. And they’re friends too, so it’s not just the music, it’s the whole vibe. To be a traditional artist today, you have to rock out; you have to be an entertainer with high energy and bring it.

 

How so?To be a traditional country artist, you still have to be able to throw down and keep up with Florida Georgia Line. I was raised on Garth, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam and Mark Chesnutt. In a world of soft traditional versus Garth traditional, I’m a little more Garth [laughs]. It’s Eric Church, too—country, but it’s rocking.

You’re funny.
I’m just trying to get to the dump. But you know, you gotta have that “sell beer” factor. 



There’s buzz on you around the Grammys, possibly even Best New Artist. What do you think about that?
I’ve always loved the Grammys, because it’s all genres. As an artist, a producer, a songwriter or a singer, those are from your peers, so for a country guy to be considered—wow. I was just excited when they nominated Don Williams a few years back, that record with his old bus on the cover. But something with Bruno Mars? John Mayer? Rap? Pop? Rock? All that? Well, it’d be amazing, especially because I do try to represent country everywhere I go.

"To be a traditional artist today, you have to rock out; you have to be an entertainer with high energy and bring it."

And without switching your sound or your clothes, you’re making an impact.
All the people at my label, even the ones who went to Sony and still check in, told me the same thing: “It’s a marathon, not a race.” Standing here right now, it’s a fairy tale or a dream come true. To have a label stick by me for seven years? Now that’s belief.

JON PARDI: SCRATCHING
THE SEVEN-YEAR ITCH
10/21/17

Interview by Holly Gleason

 Jon Pardi’s going to the dump. With all the touring, back-slapping and showing up over the past year or two, real hardcore country’s last great hope has finally said, “Enough.” So with a truckload of old pipes, fence posts and “a stupid trailer I shouldn’t have bought,” he’s finally getting rid of the clutter before embarking on his own Lucky Tonight Tour, with Midland and Runaway June opening for the man who’s finally headlining his own shows. With a nomination for Best New Artist at November’s CMA Awards, Pardi is riding a ton of momentum, all for sticking to his guns when it came to musical decisions—and throwing down the gauntlet for country’s classic roots. The brand of honky-tonk Pardi delivers on California Sunrise (Capitol Nashville) grabs Garth Brooks’ energy, Luke Bryan’s youth and Brooks & Dunn’s engorgement to create a slot of his own on the radio dial—the album has spawned three #1s. And he’s not about to slow down.

What’s the biggest change from this time last year?We’re not doing any more opening slots. Either it’s direct support or headlining, not the first of three [laughs]. We’d done seven years of that!

Headlining is fun, right? And you’re calling the tour Lucky Tonight. Are you nervous about having to sell all your own tickets?
We’re in all of the House of Blues clubs, and they’re all sold out, even the balconies. We’re playing Billy Bob’s and The Row in Milwaukee. We’re 300 shy of 3,000 sold at this baseball field in Savannah, and both Joe’s shows in Chicago are sold out. We were going into Ed Warmer’s [Chicago] clubs when we started, doing 200—and now, well, it’s our crowd.

 And it’s also your sound. You’re actually a country artist playing country music. And you’ve booked a tour that leans into that concept with Midland and Runaway June.There’s definitely a need, and people are ready for that sound again. People hear these songs and they want more. When we were putting together the tour, those definitely fit the bill musically. And they’re friends too, so it’s not just the music, it’s the whole vibe. To be a traditional artist today, you have to rock out; you have to be an entertainer with high energy and bring it.

How so?
To be a traditional country artist, you still have to be able to throw down and keep up with Florida Georgia Line. I was raised on Garth, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Dwight Yoakam and Mark Chesnutt. In a world of soft traditional versus Garth traditional, I’m a little more Garth [laughs]. It’s Eric Church, too—country, but it’s rocking.

 You’re funny.
I’m just trying to get to the dump. But you know, you gotta have that “sell beer” factor. 



"To be a traditional artist today, you have to rock out; you have to be an entertainer with high energy and bring it."

There’s buzz on you around the Grammys, possibly even Best New Artist. What do you think about that?
I’ve always loved the Grammys, because it’s all genres. As an artist, a producer, a songwriter or a singer, those are from your peers, so for a country guy to be considered—wow. I was just excited when they nominated Don Williams a few years back, that record with his old bus on the cover. But something with Bruno Mars? John Mayer? Rap? Pop? Rock? All that? Well, it’d be amazing, especially because I do try to represent country everywhere I go.

And without switching your sound or your clothes, you’re making an impact.
All the people at my label, even the ones who went to Sony and still check in, told me the same thing: “It’s a marathon, not a race.” Standing here right now, it’s a fairy tale or a dream come true. To have a label stick by me for seven years? Now that’s belief.

ALDEAN ISN'T BACKING DOWN
10/20/17


Jason Aldean's recent performance of Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" on Saturday Night Live from 10/7 is now available for purchase and streaming across digital platforms here

With additional partners joining the ranks, the proceeds from the Broken Bow star's tribute will go straight to the Direct Impact Fund, which supports victims of the Las Vegas shooting. 

And Aldean is giving fans a few other opportunities to aid in the victims' recovery. A "We Won't Back Down" t-shirt is available for purchase here. You can also donate by texting VEGAS to 91999. 


LIFTING LIVES IN LAS VEGAS
10/19/17



The Academy of Country
Music's philanthropic arm, ACM Lifting Lives, will be allocating $250k to three different organizations in a gesture supporting those affected by the Las Vegas shooting.

The organization receiving the most funds will be the MGM Resorts Foundation's Victim Relief & First Responders’ Fund, which was created to provide humanitarian aid to victims and those affected as well as organizations serving first responders. They'll be receiving $200k. 

The National Compassion Fund will receive $25k—all of which will be distributed directly to victims. The final $25k is to be given to Friends of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Foundation to help provide counseling and support to victims, their families and first responders.

“This money will go a long way in aid­ing the healing and recovery of people who so desperately need it,” said ACM CEO Pete Fisher. “Our sizable contribu­tion to the MGM Resorts Foundation not only will aid victims, but will send a very special sentiment to our long-time part­ners in Vegas.” 

To make your own contribution to the organizations mentioned above, you can click here for the MGM Resort Foundation, here for The National Compassion Fund or here for the Friends of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. 

ONE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
10/19/17

Patch Culbertson has been tapped as the new VP of A&R at Big Loud's record label division, effective immediately. Culbertson will report to label President Clay Hunnicutt and company Partner Seth England.

...Read More









CMA AWARDS TAP PERFORMERS
10/18/17

Garth BrooksEric Church, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Chris Stapleton and Thomas Rhett are among the first round of performers announced for The 51st Annual CMA Awards that will be held 11/8 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and air on ABC.

Co-host Carrie Underwood is also slated to schedule as are 16-time CMA Awards winner Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Old Dominion and Jon PardiBrad Paisley is joining Underwood as co-host for the 10th consecutive year.

... Read more