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Country News Digest, January 2019


2019 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May
2018 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2017 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

January 31, 2019 - Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist Harold Bradley, who played on hundreds of country, pop and rock recordings and helped forge a new sound in Nashville with his brother, passed away on Thursday at 93. Bradley, who was considered part of The A-Team of Nashville recording musicians, played on songs... »»»
January 30, 2019 - Dan + Shay are at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending Feb. 2 with "Tequila," which has been on the chart for 54 weeks. Veteran Texas singer Cody Johnson debuted in first with "Ain't Nothin' To It," his first major label release. On the albums chart, Luke Combs was... »»»
January 30, 2019 - The Country Music Association, which recently announced its new international artist-focused touring series, Introducing Nashville, added back-to-back performances at Blue Note Tokyo in Japan in late March. Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson and Lindsay Ell will play Tokyo on March 30. Prior to Japan,... »»»
January 30, 2019 - Chris Janson will release "Good Vibes" as the lead single of his forthcoming album. The song will be shipped to country radio and available at all digital media partners on Feb. 8. "I'm blessed every day I wake up," said Janson. "To get to write songs and play music and be part of this special... »»»
January 30, 2019 - Wynonna has signed with ANTI- Records, she announced today. "Now more than ever, I am on a mission to rediscover the reason I got into this business," Wynonna said, "and Anti- is giving me the musical freedom to do that." As an example, Wynonna recorded an a capella version of the classic Nina Simone... »»»
January 29, 2019 - The Junos, Canada's Grammys, announced its nominations today. Country Album of the Year nominees were: We Were That Song Brett Kissel (Warner) A Small Town Christmas Jess Moskaluke (MDM Universal) Country Music Made Me Do It Meghan Patrick (Warner) Feels Like That The Reklaws (Universal) New... »»»
January 29, 2019 - The Country Music Association presented industry honors at the 2018 CMA Touring Awards last night in Nashville, recognizing Country Music's top touring professionals. Louis Messina, CEO of Messina Touring Group, was honored with the CMA Touring Lifetime Achievement Award. Messina received the honor for... »»»
January 29, 2019 - The iHeartCountry Festival returns on May 4 with Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line among the acts. For the sixth straight year, the fest will be at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Dan and Shay, Luke Combs, Little Big Town, Lauren Alaina, Old Dominion, Chris Janson, Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots... »»»
January 29, 2019 - Jerrod Niemann returns to the road with his Live in Concert; Jerrod Niemann Tallboys And Short Stories headlining tour this spring. Starting in mid-March, will play his own material, including from his most recent "Old Glory" CD with covers of country classics. Tour dates are: March 15 - Knuckleheads... »»»
January 28, 2019 - Sony Music Nashville has signed Tennessee native Robert Counts to the label. "I just can't believe that my music has caught the attention of a major industry powerhouse like Sony Music Nashville," said Counts. "This label has been home to many of my own artistic influences and musical heroes over the... »»»
January 28, 2019 - Mason Ramsey will launch the How's Your Girl & How's Your Family Spring Tour 2019 in late March. Ramsey will start the tour at the Druid City Music Hall in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on March 22 and end up in Milwaukee, Wisc. at The Rave II on April 26. Tour dates are: March 22 - Tuscaloosa, AL - Druid City... »»»
January 28, 2019 - Chris Young officially impacts radio today with "Raised On Country" garnering 65 country station adds. Written by Young, Cary Barlowe and co-producer Corey Crowder, the 33-year old entertainer paid homage to Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Joe Diffie, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Hank Williams Jr. in his new single.... »»»
January 27, 2019 - Texas country singer Cody Johnson will have the lone country disc on the Billboard top 10 when the charts come out on Tuesday. Johnson's major label debut, "Ain't Nothin' to It," opens in ninth with almost 35,000 units (23,000 in album sales). Johnson previously released his music on his own CoJo label.... »»»
January 25, 2019 - King Calaway released its self-titled EP on Broken Bow Records The label only announced the signing a few weeks ago. "We are over the moon to finally have these new songs out for people to listen to. As a group, all we want is to make a positive influence with our music, and we hope everyone who listens... »»»
January 24, 2019 - Randy Travis will release his autobiography in May. Thomas Nelson, a division of HarperCollins, will put the memoir, "Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life," on May 4. Travis talks about everything from a troubled, working-class childhood in North Carolina to... »»»
January 23, 2019 - Chris Stapleton will continue his "All-American Road Show" through 2019 with newly confirmed performances this summer and fall. The shows will kick-off July 9 at Allentown, Pa.'s PPL Center and conclude Nov. 2 at Louisville's KFC Yum! Center. Special guest openers include Margo Price, Brent Cobb,... »»»
January 23, 2019 - Carrie Underwood became a mother again on Monday. The singer announced that she and husband Mike Fisher had a boy on Monday morning in Nashville. "Jacob Bryan Fisher entered the world in the wee hours of the morning on Monday...his mom, dad and big brother couldn't be happier for God to trust them... »»»
January 22, 2019 - John Berry has been diagnosed with throat cancer, he revealed today. Treated with antibiotics for a tonsil infection that started in November, Berry completed a 21-city Christmas tour without incident, but it never cleared up, even after a second round of antibiotics and steroids.... »»»
January 22, 2019 - Randy Rogers Band will release "Hellbent" on April 26, an 11-song disc produced by four-time Grammy winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton)> the release of its new 11-track album Hellbent on April 26. The first single from RRB's eighth album is "Crazy People," going for ads on Feb. 15.... »»»
January 22, 2019 - Hunter Hayes will release his first official single in three years, "Heartbreak," on Friday. The song is the prelude to his third studio disc slated to come out later this year. Hayes, 28, has released songs over the last three years, but none were considered singles. "I remember the day I wrote... »»»
January 22, 2019 - Trace Adkins will launch his Don't Stop Tour 2019 on Feb. 9 in San Antonio and continues across 39 different cities through November. "I'm excited to get back on the road," said Adkins. "I am loading up the buses and bringing my band, a new set and new music to my Don't Stop Tour 2019, and I'm looking... »»»
January 22, 2019 - Luke Bryan announced his 2019 "Sunset Repeat Tour." Bryan hits the road on May 31 in Philadelphia, PA at the BB&T Pavilion. Opening acts are Cole Swindell and EMI/32 Bridge Entertainment recording artist Jon Langston. DJ Rock will also appear on all dates. Tour dates are: May 31 Philadelphia,... »»»
January 21, 2019 - Guitarist Reggie Young, lead guitarist in the American Sound Studio house band, The Memphis Boys and a leading session musician, died Thursday at 82 in Tennessee. Young played on recordings of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Willie Nelson and The Highwaymen.... »»»
January 21, 2019 - Garth Brooks said "Fun" will be the name of his upcoming studio album. Brooks revealed the news during "Inside Studio G," a weekly Facebook Live series airing every Monday on his Facebook page at 7 p.m. eastern. Brooks has already released a honky tonk-styled tune, "All Day Long" and the ballad "Stronger Than Me.... »»»
January 21, 2019 - Country Music Hall of Famer Maxine Brown Russell, a member of The Browns, passed today at Bowman Hospice in Little Rock, Ark. from complications of heart and kidney disease at 87. Her family was by her side. As one-third of the popular country trio The Browns, the group had hits with "The Three... »»»
January 20, 2019 - Mandolin Orange and Tyler Childers are among the acts playing this year's edition of the Pickathon Festival in Oregon in August. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Rateliff's first time playing Pickathon with two different bands), Khruangbin, Lucius, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Fruit Bats, and... »»»
January 20, 2019 - Brantley Gilbert debuted the video for "What Happens in a Small Town" last week. Shaun Silva produced the video. Guitarist Lindsay Ell plays on the song. "Every word of this is true," Gilbert said. "You know, it's not the big things that really get you when you break up with someone you love in a... »»»
January 18, 2019 - Ronnie Milsap, who is in the midst of celebrating his 76th birthday, is out with "The Duets."" The set features a series of recordings with the likes of Kacey Musgraves, George Strait, Willie Nelson and Jason Aldean. Milsap co-produced the 13 tracks with long-term collaborator Rob Galbraith.... »»»
January 17, 2019 - A Thousand Horses are out with a new song, "My Time's Comin'." The song is expected to be on the band's next disc, "Starting Fires," slated to be out this year. Dsave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) produced the set. He also was behind the controls for the band's country debut, "Southernality,"... »»»
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January 17, 2019 - Maren Morris released a new song on Thursday, "Girl," and also announced an extensive headlining tour - Girl: The World Tour - that will take her across the U.S. and across the Atlantic to shows in Europe and New Zealand. The tour kicks off March 9 in Chicago and will also play the Ryman along with... »»»
January 17, 2019 - Molly Tuttle will release her debut album, "When You're Ready," on April 5 on Compass, it was announced today. "Take the Journey" is the first song released from the disc, which will follow an EP that did raised her profile, "Rise." The 2018 Americana Music Award-winner for "Instrumentalist of the... »»»
January 16, 2019 - Kelsea Ballerini released a new take on Shawn Mendes' pop smash, "Lost In Japan" to Spotify along with her single "Miss Me More." Recorded in Nashville at Sound Stage Studios, the Spotify Singles are available now. "When Shawn's record came out, 'Lost In Japan' immediately was my favorite," said Ballerini.... »»»
January 15, 2019 - Rock The Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival announced its "Next From Nashville" line-up along with the Main Stage and Sunset Stage. Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett will headline the April 12-14 fest in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Other performers are Flo Rida, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Elle... »»»
January 15, 2019 - Tucker Beathard, who had a hit with "Rock On" in 2016, but never released a CD, has a new home - Warner Nashville. Beathard inked the contract following the independent release of the first installment of his debut double album, "Nobody's Everything," on Nov. 30 on his own label, Mother Tucker.... »»»
January 14, 2019 - A new Townes Van Zandt record will drop in March, 46 years after they were recorded and 22 years after the Texas singer/songwriter died at 53 "Sky Blue" is a collection of unreleased versions of songs and two new songs set for release by TVZ Records and Fat Possum Records on March 7, which would have... »»»
January 14, 2019 - Jason Aldean announced his Ride All Night Tour today, launching May 3 with back to back nights in Uncasville, Conn. Kane Brown will open shows along with Carly Pearce and Dee Jay Silver, hitting more than 30 cities nationwide. Tour dates are: April 12 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Tortuga Music... »»»
January 14, 2019 - George Strait, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves, Alan Jackson and Keith Urban will be the among playing a tribute concert for Loretta Lynn in April in Nashville. Brandy Clark, Darius Rucker, Jack White, Little Big Town, Margo Price, Martina McBride, Pistol Annies and Trisha Yearwood were... »»»
January 12, 2019 - Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Zac Brown Band will headline the seventh edition of the Faster Horses Festival in Michigan. The festival is in Brooklyn, MIch. on July 19-21. Brothers Osborne, Danielle Bradbery, Old Dominion, Lindsay Ell, Morgan Evans, Randy Houser, LANCO, Kip Moore, Maren Morris,... »»»
January 11, 2019 - Randy Houser takes a different turn on "The Magnolia," his fifth album. The lead single is "What Whiskey Does," featuring ace songwriter Hillary Lindsey. Houser produced the 12-song album with Keith Gattis. The disc was originally slated to be released on Nov. 2. Houser adopts a bluesy and more... »»»
January 10, 2019 - The Highwomen supergroup of Margo Price, Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires may not exactly become a reality. But it appears that something is brewing with Carlile and Shires, according to Shires. "I accidentally jumped the gun when I spoke w/ WFPK about my idea for a The Highwomen," Shires said on Twitter today.... »»»
January 10, 2019 - Old Dominion will postpone three shows in February to enable lead singer Matthew Ramsey to undergo foot surgery. The shows are Feb. 14 at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, which is now June 13; a Feb. 15 show at US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Ia., pushed to March 31; and a Feb.... »»»
January 9, 2019 - Country traditionalist Marty Brown will be back with a new disc this year. Brown announced on Wednesday that he signed with Plowboy Records with a single dropping in February. Brown, 53, has released four albums. He put out on MCA Records 1991's "High and Dry," 1993's "Wild Kentucky Skies" and 1994's... »»»
January 9, 2019 - Tracy Byrd is heading back on the road for an extended tour starting in February. Byrd, who has been inactive in recent years outside of Texas, will play some dates with fellow Beaumont, Texas artist Mark Chesnutt. Byrd has released 34 singles and 10 studio albums, including four certified gold, one... »»»
January 9, 2019 - Florida Georgia Line announced today it would launch the Can't Say I Ain't Country Tour" in June. The tour starts four months after the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly releases its fourth studio album of the same name. The dates kick off on June 13 at Walmart AMP in Rogers, Ark Dan + Shay and... »»»
January 9, 2019 - Steve Earle & The Dukes will return with "GUY," a tribute to Guy Clark, on March 19 on New West. The 16-song set is comprised of songs written by one of his two primary songwriting mentors, the legendary Guy Clark. "GUY" appears 10 years after his Grammy Award winning album "Townes," his tribute to his... »»»
January 8, 2019 - Luke Combs was back atop the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending Jan. 12 with "This One's For You." Dan + Shay's "Speechless" spent its seventh week atop the Hot Country Songs chart. On the albums chart, Dan + Shay were second, up three, with their self-titled disc.... »»»
January 8, 2019 - Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, The Avett Brothers and Maren Morris will be among the country and roots acts playing this year's Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee in June, it was announced today. Other acts slated to play include Brandi Carlile, Trampled by Turtles, Shovels & Rope, Ruston Kelly, who is... »»»
January 7, 2019 - Blackberry Smoke will perform a series of stripped down shows this spring as part of its "Break It Down Tour," the band's first-ever acoustic tour. Tickets for the performances, which include stops in Lexington, Ky., Kalamazoo, Mich., Ithaca, N.Y. and New York - go on-sale this Friday at 10 a.m. local time.... »»»
January 7, 2019 - Steve Ripley, the driving force behind The Tractors, died Thursday, Jan. 3at the age of 69. He passed peacefully in his home, surrounded by love and family, according to the band's website. Most known as the leader of The Tractors and for his 19-year ownership of Tulsa, Okla.'s The Church Studio,... »»»
January 7, 2019 - King Calaway, a sextet with members hailing from Europe and the U.S., signed to Broken Bow with a self-titled debut EP out Jan. 25 via BBR's Stoney Creek Records imprint. The band consists of Caleb Miller, Chris Deaton, Simon Dumas, Jordan Harvey, Chad Michael Jervis and Austin Luther and came together... »»»
January 4, 2019 - Balsam Range, the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year, is out with "Aeonic," today on Mountain Home. The western North Carolina-based band consists of Buddy Melton, Darren Nicholson, Caleb Smith, Tim Surrett and Marc Pruett. All take a turn on lead vocals except Pruett.... »»»
January 4, 2019 - Aaron Watson announced today he would release a new disc, "Red Bandana," this year. Watson also released a new single, "Kiss That Girl Goodbye." Watson wrote the uptempo song himself. As usual, Watson will release the album on his own BIG Label Records and distributed by ADA Worldwide.... »»»
January 4, 2019 - Chris Young is out with a new single, "Raised on Country," which pays homage to Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Joe Diffie, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Hank Williams Jr. Going for ads Jan. 28, the track, written by Young with co-producer Corey Crowder and Cary Barlowe. The song is presumably on a... »»»
January 3, 2019 - Mitchell Tenpenny, who achieved country's biggest new artist debut of 2018 last week, will perform his hit "Drunk Me" on NBC's TODAY show on Tuesday. Tenpenny, who will sing during the 9 a.m. hour, released his full-length major label debut, "Telling All My Secrets," about three weeks ago.... »»»
January 2, 2019 - Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) will make their debut on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Jan. 8, performing their new hit "Speechless." The song is first on the charts with Dan + Shay's smash "Tequila" second. Dan + Shay sang "Tequila" and "All To Myself" on Dick Clark's New... »»»