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Country News Digest, June 2020

2020 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul
2019 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2018 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

June 30, 2020 - Meghan Patrick took home the Juno Award for Country Album of the Year for "Wild As Me" in the Canadian version of the GRAMMYs on Monday. Bluegrass group The Dead South's "Sugar & Joy" was named Traditional Roots Album of the Year. Due to COVID-19, the awards were handed out virtually.... »»»
June 30, 2020 - Tanya Tucker, Jake Owen, Michael Ray and Brett Young are among the artists participating in the Concert for Love & Acceptance at 7 p.m. eastern tonight. The annual event celebrates LGBT Pride Month and will be broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. Ty Herndon, Kristin Chenoweth and CMT's Cody Alan will host the event.... »»»
June 29, 2020 - Chase Rice, who played a non-socially distanced concert Saturday and posted a video of it receiving backlash, claimed in an online post on Monday that he was concerned about fan safety. Rice headlined an outdoor show on Saturday night for almost 1,000 people at the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, a... »»»
June 27, 2020 - 26, 2020 -Six nominees will vie for Entertainer of the Year at the 31st Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards in Nashville on Oct. 1. Due to a tie in the voting, there are six nominees instead of five: Balsam Range, Billy Strings, Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Sister Sadie and Special Consensus.... »»»
June 26, 2020 - Canadian singer Tenille Townes, who released an EP earlier this year, is out with her major label debut, "The Lemonade Stand," today. Townes is part of a resurgence of female singer/songwriters releasing music. Townes has gained airplay with "Somebody's Daughter." Produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church,... »»»
June 26, 2020 - A former participant in The Voice, Kameron Marlowe, signed to the Columbia Nashville imprint, the label announced today. "I couldn't be more excited to be joining the Columbia team," said Marlowe, a native of Kannapolis, N.C.. "It still feels like a dream that I haven't woken up from.... »»»
June 25, 2020 - Luke Bryan will have to wait until next to be Proud To Be Right Here. The singer said he would postpone this year's dates of his tour until next year. "With the health and safety of my fans, team and venue staff being a top priority we feel it is best to postpone my Proud To Be Right Here Tour.... »»»
June 25, 2020 - The Dixie Chicks are now The Chicks. The trio made the announcement today via social media, a decision made in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and resulting actions to combat racism. The Chicks are the second band to change its name. Two weeks ago, Lady Antebellum became Lady A.... »»»
June 25, 2020 - Lindsay Ell announced today that her sophomore album, "heart theory," is coming Aug. 15. The first song released is "wAnt me back," which was co-written with Kane Brown, Matt McGinn and Lindsay Rimes. "heart theory," Ell's first album since "The Project" in 2017, is a personal concept album comprised... »»»
June 24, 2020 - Mandolinist Mark Stoffel, known for his playing with Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, signed with Mountain Home to release his second solo album, it was announced today. "I couldn't be prouder and happier to see my new record released on Mountain Home Music Company," Stoffel said.... »»»
June 23, 2020 - Carly Pearce and Michael Ray have called it quits after eight months of marriage, People reported. "This was a hard decision. It wasn't something she wanted to have to do," a source close to Pearce told PEOPLE. "This hasn't been a quarantine realization - it was a last resort." Ray, 32, and Pearce,... »»»
June 23, 2020 - Eric Church will world premiere his single, "Stick That In Your Country Song," this Thursday, ahead of its June 29 add date at country radio. Church initially teased the release in a video sent directly to members of his Church Choir fan club. "I wanted you guys to hear from me first that a new single... »»»
June 23, 2020 - Old 97's returns with their 12th album, "Twelfth,"on Aug. 21 on ATO Records. Twenty-seven years in, Old 97's still features its original lineup - lead singer Rhett Miller, guitarist Ken Bethea, bassist Murry Hammond and drummer Philip Peeples. The album's cover image of former Dallas Cowboys star... »»»
June 22, 2020 - Willie Nelson and his sister, Family band member Bobbie Nelson, authored a book, "Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band," which will come out on Sept. 15. The memoir is about the bond between Willie Nelson and his only sibling. After being abandoned by their parents as very young... »»»
June 22, 2020 - Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi will participate in the first-ever Live Nation U.S. drive-in concert series, Live from the Drive-In in July. The events will be held July 10-12 in Indianapolis, Nashville and St. Louis. Paisley will headline performances in all three cities.... »»»
June 22, 2020 - Cassadee Pope announced this morning that she would release a new acoustic disc, "Rise and Shine," on Aug. 7. Pope said she would put out two of the songs this Friday - "Let Me Go" and "Built This House." This marked the first time that Pope has helped write all of the songs on one of her releases and co-produced.... »»»
June 22, 2020 - Rascal Flatts announced their new EP "How They Remember You" will be released July 31. The seven-track EP includes six unreleased tracks along with their rendition of Kenny Rogers' "Through the Years." The trio hit the Opry stage in Nashville to perform their brand new single and title track "How They... »»»
June 19, 2020 - Veteran country singer Clint Black returns to action with "Out of Sane," his first album since 2015's "On Purpose." Black self-produced the disc, his 12th studio album. The lone cover among the 12 songs is a cover of Harry Nillsson's Everybody's Talkin'." Big-voice Pennsylvania native Gabby Barrett... »»»
June 18, 2020 - The Americana Music Association Foundation announced Thriving Roots: A Virtual Community Music Conference, a new online music industry conference experience slated to take place Sept. 16-18. The virtual conference will feature programming with Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Mavis Staples as well as AMAF... »»»
June 18, 2020 - Elizabeth Cook will release her new album, "Aftermath," on Sept. 11on Agent Love Records/Thirty Tigers. The lead single, "Perfect Girls of Pop," is debuting today. The video was directed by Curtis Wayne Milliard. Produced by Butch Walker (Green Day, Weezer, Taylor Swift), "Aftermath" is an album about... »»»
June 18, 2020 - Kane Brown announced today that his Worldwide Beautiful Tour will kick off in Texas in March 2021. Brown postponed the tour in March due to COVID-19 after playing five shows. Brown tweeted, "Can't wait to see you all again." Worldwide Beautiful is the name of a new song that Brown dropped two weeks... »»»
June 17, 2020 - Canadian singer Colter Wall will put out self-produced album, "Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs," from La Honda Records/Thirty Tigers on Aug. 28. Wall and his band put down 10 new songs at Yellow Dog Studios in Texas. From his previous recording sessions with Dave Cobb at the helm, Wall... »»»
June 16, 2020 - Live From Here, a live radio variety show hosted by mandolinist Chris Thile, will end its run, a victim of COVID-19. The show hosted music and comedy on a weekly basis. "Live from Here has always been about bringing people together. It has been a joy to connect with you in person, on the radio, and... »»»
June 16, 2020 - - Twisted Pine, once a straightforward, Boston-based bluegrass act, will expand its musical horizons with more of a string band sound on their new album, "Right Now," coming Aug. 14. The first single is "Don't Come Over Tonight." "You could call it, 'neo-folk indie soul avant jazz jam grass-icana'... »»»
June 16, 2020 - The International Bluegrass Music Association announced today that this year's IBMA World of Bluegrass will take place virtually due to COVID-19. The planned conference, showcases, awards and festival performances will be presented as an online experience Sept. 28-Oct. 3, with the possibility of... »»»
June 15, 2020 - Lady A, the newly-named country trio, has reached out to Lady A, the Seattle-based blues singer, who was upset last week with the decision by the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum to change with the same name she has been using for years. "Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A.... »»»
June 15, 2020 - Kenny Chesney announced 2021 dates today for his stadium tour, which was postponed for this summer due to COVID-19. Chesney's Chillaxification Tour will visit 18 venues with the same lineup of special guests: Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion and Michael Franti & Spearhead. "I kept talking to... »»»
June 15, 2020 - Brittany Howard topped the Americana Music Association nominees for its 19th annual Americana Honors & Awards with five this morning. Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker and Nathaniel Rateliff snagged four, while The Highwomen took three nominations. This year, the association has decided to further... »»»
June 14, 2020 - Katherine Williams-Dunning, the 27-year-old daughter of Hank Williams Jr., was killed Saturday night in a car crash. Williams-Dunning was driving an SUV, which was towing a boat. The car crossed the highway median and rolled over before stopping on the shoulder. Williams-Dunning died in the crash,... »»»
June 12, 2020 - Lady A may have changed its name on Thursday from Lady Antebellum, but apparently the move by the country band has angered a Seattle blues singer, who has gone by the name Lady A for decades, according to Rolling Stone. Lady Antebellum changed its name following the discussion about race relations in the U.S.... »»»
June 12, 2020 - A new song from the late John Prine, "I Remember Everything," was surprisingly released on Thursday at the end of a fundraising tribute concert Prine died on April 7 at 73 from COVID-19. Written by Prine and his longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin, the song was recorded last year in Prine's living... »»»
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June 12, 2020 - Mary Chapin Carpenter's new album, "The Dirt And The Stars," will be released Aug. 7 on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers). The title track was released today. Produced by Ethan Johns (Ray LaMontagne, Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon) and recorded entirely live at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios... »»»
June 12, 2020 - Having experienced solo careers and reality show journeys, Craig Wayne Boyd, Casey James and Adam Wakefield announced this week the formation of their new group, Texas Hill. Wakefield and Boyd competed on separate seasons of NBC's 'The Voice" and James on ABC's 'American Idol." Boyd won season seven of... »»»
June 12, 2020 - Carolina Story will release its sophomore album, "Dandelion," on Sept. 4 via Black River Americana. The husband and wife duo of Ben and Emily Roberts released "Hold Of Me," an autobiographical new track about finding strength in one another while weathering life's storms. "'Hold of Me' is an... »»»
June 12, 2020 - Lori McKenna's new song, "Good Fight," is debuting today. The song appears on her upcoming CD, "The Balladeer," out July 24 on CN Records via Thirty Tigers. "'Good Fight' is an ode to those hiccups every relationship has to endure. But if you're both willing to fight it out there must be something in... »»»
June 12, 2020 - Maren Morris debuted two new songs today, "Just for Now" and "Takes Two." Morris recorded both songs during sessions for her "HERO" CD, which came out last year. Morris wrote "Just Now" with her husband Ryan Hurd and collaborator Busbee, who died last year. Morris penned "Takes Two" with Sarah Aarons... »»»
June 11, 2020 - Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Brandi Carlile, Vince Gill and Jason Isbell will be among the musicians participating tonight in Picture Show: A Tribute Celebrating John Prine. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. eastern across multiple platforms, including Prine's YouTube and Facebook channels plus Twitch.... »»»
June 11, 2020 - Lady Antebellum has changed its name to Lady A in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and protests in the U.S. about the treatment of African-Americans. The trio of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelly made the announcement via social media. The reaction on Twitter was mixed.... »»»
June 11, 2020 - The AMERICANAFEST will be canceled this September, another victim of COVID-19, the Americana Music Association announced today. However, the AMA will hold its annual awards show from the Ryman on Sept. 16 with nominees announced this coming Monday, June 15. The organization also teased special events... »»»
June 10, 2020 - The Stagecoach country music festival and its sister Coachella music festivals were canceled for this year, by the health officer of Riverside County, California. The cancellation order by Dr. Cameron Kasier was "a result of the worldwide epidemic of COVID-19 disease....Riverside County has 9,950... »»»
June 10, 2020 - Singer Mickey Guyton and others in the Nashville African-American music community will participate on Thursday in a second panel on the role of African-Americans in the industry. After the conversation last week, a follow-up question and answer session on "Being African American in the Nashville Music... »»»
June 10, 2020 - The delayed Margo Price CD, "That's How Rumors Get Started," will be out July 10, she announced today. The disc was slated to be out May 8, but was postponed due to concerns about COVID-19. Price also put out a new single, "Letting Me Down" and video for the song directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch,... »»»
June 10, 2020 - Ruston Kelly announced today he would release a new album, "Shape & Destroy," on Aug. 28 on Rounder Records. Kelly debuted a new song and video, "Rubber," today. Co-produced by Kelly and longtime collaborator Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Dreamland Recording Studios in upstate New... »»»
June 9, 2020 - Steve Earle released a new song, "Times Like These" (Acoustic Version), today on the heels of his acclaimed "Ghosts of West Virginia." The song was recorded late last week. Earle said to Spin magazine, "This is a song I wrote for a moment at the beginning of the Trumpian nightmare that I planned on... »»»
June 9, 2020 - Billy Strings announced a live streaming/virtual touring project set to kick off on July 16 in his adopted hometown of Nashville. The Streaming Strings 2020 Tour will feature nine shows on this livestream-only tour performed in crowdless venues throughout Music City from the bluegrass-based Strings.... »»»
June 9, 2020 - Drew Green, who helped write a song for Florida Georgia Line, now has his recording deal. Green signed with Villa 40/Sony Music Nashville. Green is the second artist to ink a record deal as part of an exclusive, long-term, joint-venture agreement between Sony Music Nashville and the new imprint... »»»
June 8, 2020 - Traditional country singer James Hand, who did not release an album until he was in his 40s, died at the age of 67. Hand's recording career started in 1999. The next year, he released his breakout sophomore LP "Evil Things" on Cold Spring Records. In 2005, he signed with Rounder Records, releasing "The... »»»
June 8, 2020 - Granger Smith released today a collaboration of his current single "That's Why I Love Dirt Roads" featuring Christian Rapper Lathan Warlick. Smith's wife, Amber, introduced him to Warlick's Instagram several months ago and was drawn to his rebranding of different songs that portray his own... »»»
June 8, 2020 - The Cadott Country Festival in Wisconsin will be postponed from August to June 2021, another victim of COVID-19. The festival was slated to feature Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley and Kane Brown. "Country Fest organizers have been pushing through to make our August 2020 festival happen.... »»»
June 5, 2020 - Tyler Farr, who had a hit with "A Guy Walks Into a Bar," is back with a four-song EP produced by Jason Aldean. The singer signed Farr to his Night Shade label, his first signing. Farr's previous release was "Suffer in Peace" from 2015. John Baumann, a member of The Panhandlers, is out with "Country... »»»
June 5, 2020 - Trace Adkins released a new song "Mind On Fishin,'" accompanied by a music video starring T. Graham Brown. "As a man who still likes to fish about every evening, 'Mind On Fishin' is very relatable to me," Adkins said. "The song, co-written by one of my favorite writers, Wynn Varble, along with... »»»
June 4, 2020 - Sturgill Simpson will livestream from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Friday. Fans can tune in at 7 p.m. on, the YouTube or Facebook channels, as well as the apps for AppleTV, iOS, and Android. The stream will be simulcast on Simpson's Twitch and YouTube channels.... »»»
June 3, 2020 - Kane Brown released a new song, "Worldwide Beautiful," in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last week and the resulting protests. The mid-tempo song with a soulful feel deals with black and white relations and has a hopeful tone. Brown wrote the song with Shy Carter, Ryan Hurd and Jordan Schmidt.... »»»
June 3, 2020 - Grand Ole Opry band member and long-time session guitarist Jimmy Capps died on Tuesday at 81. Capps played on such classics as "Stand By Your Man" - Tammy Wynette," "He Stopped Loving Her Today" - George Jones, "The Gambler" - Kenny Rogers and * "The Rose" - Conway Twitty. Capps also played on George... »»»
June 3, 2020 - Alan Jackson's "Small Town Drive-In" concerts planned for this week in Alabama will be rescheduled due to potential tropical weather issues. The shows at drive-in movie theatres in Cullman and Fairhope, Ala. are being rescheduled for next week due to the weekend threat of tropical weather on the Gulf Coast.... »»»
June 3, 2020 - Mickey Guyton, one of the few African-American artists in country music, released the song "Black Like Me" on Tuesday. Although written a year ago, Guyton just put out the song in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin. Guyton co-wrote the song with... »»»
June 3, 2020 - The Country Music Hall of Fame announced the layoff or furlough of almost 175 employees. The CMOF will remain closed through the end of the month as a result of COVID-19. A total of 73 staff members will be laid off with another 101 being furloughed, effective June 18. The cuts affect a total... »»»
June 1, 2020 - Country artists, ranging from Darius Tucker to Thomas Rhett, weighed in, expressing their XX at the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis one week ago. After a weekend in which protests around the U.S. resulted in violence and at least one death, country musicians took to social media to express their... »»»
June 1, 2020 - The Beau Weevils - Charlie Daniels, James Stroud, Billy Crain and Charlie Hayward - created a virtual quarantine jam session of their song "Geechi Geechi Ya Ya Blues." The tune, which was originally released on the group's 2018 project, "Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E," premiered this morning.... »»»