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CMA songwriters head to England

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 – The Country Music Association's CMA Songwriters Series is coming to England and Ireland for the first time with performances in February 2012 scheduled for London, Belfast and Dublin, CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore announced today.

Bill Anderson, Clint Black and host Bob DiPiero will head overseas. The international tour, which combines artists and writers singing their songs and talking about them, will be known as CMA & BMI Present the CMA Songwriter Series.

"The CMA Songwriter Series began in 2005 in New York and has expanded to cities across the U.S. including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Washington D.C.," Moore said. "The popularity of our music overseas and the appreciation the audience in the U.K. has for our songwriters made this a good fit and an opportune time to travel the series abroad. And it is terrific to have BMI as a partner in this exciting initiative."

"I think it's great," Anderson said. "I've toured there several times as an artist and have always been amazed at the fans' depth of knowledge concerning country music. This will be my first time appearing as a writer. I have a feeling that I'll find great interest in how the songs are created, as well as performed."

Anderson admits that the musical connections between the U.S. and U.K. are closer than they appear - especially between the bluegrass roots of the format and traditional Celtic sounds. "Put on a Bill Monroe record, close your eyes, and you can feel yourself being transported back to an earlier time in Ireland and Scotland," he said. "Those folks dug the wells from which our music sprang."

Black said, "It's as close to sitting around with a bunch of songwriters as you can get without sitting around with a bunch of songwriters."

DiPiero, a member of CMA's Board of Directors, has been hosting the Songwriter Series since its inception at Joe's Pub in New York City six years ago. "When we began the series in 2005, I never dreamed it would include such an honor as being asked to perform in England and Ireland," said DiPiero. "These CMA Songwriter shows are one-of-a-kind performances by some of the very best songwriter/storytellers on the planet. I've never seen a more honest, authentic, entertaining musical performance anywhere. When I get to perform with Icons such as Bill Anderson and Clint Black, I feel like a fan with the best seat in the house."

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