Clare Cunningham gives a mesmerizing Opry performance at her debut during Music City Irish Fest 2023.Read More
Author: Bethany Bowman
Music Spotlight: Aliyah Good
I remember Jamie O’Neal telling me that her 17-year-old daughter accompanied her when she re-released her mega-hit “Somebody’s Hero.”
Now, O’Neal’s daughter, Aliyah Good is 19 and is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Professional Studies at the Frost School of Music in Miami. And while she is first to admit that going to school while pursuing an artist’s career is quite the juggle, she is fortunate enough to attend a university that understands what she is doing. Frost School has programs for people like Good who are college students who want to get an education but also want to pursue their careers.Read More
Music Spotlight: Molly Lovette
With an upcoming Country Radio Seminar (CRS) performance on Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Omni Hotel, Molly will be showcasing her newest single, “Better Than You, along with some of her other most popular singles that precede it.Read More
Music Spotlight: SACHA
One thing I have learned while writing my blog is that there is a lot more to Canadian country music than Shania Twain. The Canadians love their country music and have given us Tenille Arts and Tenille Towns, Lindsey Ell, Terri Clark, Brett Kissel, Manny Blu, Kimberly Dawn, Tebey, and country rocker, Cory Marks to name a few.
Therefore, When I heard Sacha sing at a writers’ round recently, I was not a bit surprised to find out that she was from Ontario, Canada. Now living in Nashville, I met up with her at CMT’s Next Women of Country and scheduled an interview.Read More
Kasey Tyndall Releases New Music
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After seeing Kasey Tyndall at the Listening Room with the Song Suffragettes in 2019, I immediately set up an interview with the energetic songstress and featured her in my Music Spotlight column at the beginning of 2020.
When I ran into Tyndall again at the Next Women of Country event in January of 2023, I knew we were long overdue for a follow-up interview.Read More
American Idol Alum Taylor Hicks Releases New Single, ‘Porch Swing’
Season 5 American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks debuted his newest single, “Porch Swing” on the Bobby Bones Show on President’s Day.
But before that, we sat down to catch me up on what had been going on since he won American Idol in 2006.
Hicks said he always wanted to be an entertainer.Read More
Craig Campbell Releases ‘The Lost Files: Exhibit A’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Since the neo-traditional country artist, Craig Campbell launched his Grindstone Recordings label in 2020, he has released music and banking even more cuts over the last few years. Answering the call of his fans, he released The Lost Files: Exhibit A album on February 17.
He stated, “We had a hard time finding some of these songs because the hard drives got misplaced. Then with some, you had the hard drive, but they wouldn’t open. They were literally lost files.”Read More
Music Industry Spotlight: Crowd Surf Founders Cassie Petrey and Jade Driver
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – One of the things that has most surprised me as an entertainment journalist is how many people it takes for a song or singer to become notable. Besides the artist and the songwriter (who may or may not be the same person) there are backup bands, producers, and…Read More
CMT Crossroads: FOR KING + COUNTRY and Jimmie Allen Airs February 28
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of the most fascinating shows on CMT is its innovative series, “CMT Crossroads,” which pairs country artists with musicians from other genres.Read More
Music Spotlight: Hillary Reese
NASHVILLE. Tennessee – Hillary Reese comes from a big sports family in Mississippi full of coaches and teachers. But she and her brother both desired to do music instead. (Her brother, Parker Reese, has a degree in Music Education.)
“We were not coordinated and couldn’t throw a ball to save our lives,” Hillary Reese said.Read More
Music Spotlight: HALIE
NBC’s Songland Winner and American Songwriter Alum, Halie has released “Heart Of A Man” for Valentine’s Day.Read More
Music Spotlight: Christopher J. Essex
No stranger to the spotlight, former Broadway actor Christopher J. Essex has released the perfect song for Valentine’s Day, “Time On You.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Siena
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my favorite things is discovering new talent, often ahead of the labels and music industry. PR teams pitch me an artist, and if I like what I hear, I schedule an interview. When Dead Horse Branding sent the song, “Sass” by new country artist Siena (Paglia), I was hooked by the title alone.
It turns out that this real-life Las Vegas cowgirl can sing quite well. With her debut single, she has just enough twang to keep us old-timers interested, but with lyrics that are fresh and relatable to the younger set.Read More
Kelsea Ballerini to Appear on CMT Storytellers on February 16th
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – CMT announced that GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-platinum country superstar and 2023 CMT MUSIC AWARDS co-host Kelsea Ballerini is set to headline the third installment of the famed music series “CMT Storytellers,” premiering Thursday, February 16th at 10p/9c with additional airings on Sunday, February 19th at 11a/10c (CMT) Friday, February 24th at 8p/7c (CMT Music) and Saturday, February 25th at 10a/9c and 6p/5c (CMT Music).Read More
Music Spotlight: Casi Joy
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Casi Joy has been singing publicly since she was 5 years old. Her first performance was a talent at her hometown’s local talent show near Kansas City, Missouri. Not being from a musical family, her parents were a little confused by her desire to become a singer.Read More
Chris Janson Releases ‘All I Need Is You’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Before I got the email, I thought it was about time for some new Chris Janson music because it had been a few years since he put new music out. Fueled by Mountain Dew®, Janson’s high-octane show puts this human hummingbird right at the top of my all-time favorite live performers.Read More
Music Spotlight: Emily Ann Roberts
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I think of what country music ought to sound like, a voice like Emily Ann Roberts’ comes to mind. I suppose part of the reason she sings and talks “right” to me is that she was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, not too far from where I was reared.
Naturally, I wanted to learn more about this gifted Tennessee girl.Read More
Music Spotlight: Colton James
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Colton James hails from a small town near Franklin, Virginia. Both of his grandmothers played piano and organ at church, while his mother had a strong singing voice. James started singing at church at age four and continued making music at church and in plays at his Christian school.
“My mother sang in church but my Granny on my dad’s side was a West Virginia honky tonk granny, and she might have a little drink here and there,” he said.Read More
Music Spotlight: Wendy Starland
I met Wendy Starland at a party in Nashville celebrating an upcoming original music competition TV show that will air on MTV later this year. When we arrived, everyone was clamoring to get a picture with her. She was so beautiful that I was taken aback. However, I wondered why she was there.
It turns out that Starland is a musical maven. One of the show’s producers told me that she was a brilliant songwriter and that I needed to meet her. After we met, I asked if she wanted to be featured in my Music Spotlight column, and she gave me her phone number.Read More
Tom Wopat Releases ‘Simple Man’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Long before Luke Duke was sliding across the hood of the General Lee, Tom Wopat was making music. He has been singing since he was a child and thought one day he might make a career of it. He studied opera in school while simultaneously performing in a rock band.Read More
Becca Bowen Releases Debut Album
Several years in the making, Music Spotlight artist Becca Bowen has released her debut album, Like You’ve Never Been Loved, and it is not to be missed.Read More
Music/Author Spotlight: Aiden Adams
I’ve featured hundreds of artists and even a few authors. But when I got the email about Aiden Adams, I found that he has written six books and several songs. And he is eight years old.
The first book that he wrote is titled “There Are No Sheep In New York City.” His dad, Neal Adams, is an author and illustrator.Read More
Spotlight on Miss Tennessee Lauren Dickson
NASHVILLE, Tennessee-Miss Tennessee 2022 is Lauren Dickson. The Parsons native and Miss Lexington 2021 was selected from a class of 36 candidates to become Miss Tennessee on June 25. Dickson is the 69th Miss Tennessee.
This year, Lauren Dickson represented Lexington, Tennessee (population 7915), right next to her hometown of Parsons, Tennessee (population 2,082). They are located midway between Nashville and Memphis, right off I-40.Read More
Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens Receive the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- On a Sunday night that was years in the making, Brenda Lee and Ray Stevens were honored with the Cecil Scaife Visionary Award, which raises money for the Cecil Scaife Endowment at the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University.Read More
Music Spotlight: Ashley Cooke
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After hearing her on Sirius XM the Highway and seeing her fun and vibrant social media posts, I was instantly drawn to Ashley Cooke. I was excited to feature her in my column.
After winning the coveted Country Showcase at Belmont College, the communications major was just starting her new career path when the pandemic hit and forced the recent college graduate to temporarily move back home.Read More
Kimberly Dawn Releases New Song for the Holidays, ‘Life Changing’
Kimberly Dawn is setting out to change lives for the better this holiday season with her new single, “Life Changing.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Shaylen
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Shaylen grew up in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. It was there that she first began performing, singing in church, and acting in local children’s theater. She also sang in her school choir and took private vocal, piano, and guitar lessons.Read More
Music Spotlight: Jo Smith
After a detour that took her to Somalia, Jo Smith is back with her debut full-length album, ‘Wyoming,’ a sweet and somber record that will bring you all the feels.Read More
Holiday Organization and Wellness Tips from The Home Edit
NASHVILLE, Tennessee –I interviewed Netflix’s dynamic duo Clea and Joanna, from the Emmy-nominated show Get Organized with The Home Edit, to get their organization and wellness tips for the upcoming holiday season. And even though Clea is in the process of finishing her cancer treatment at Vanderbilt, they were gracious enough to speak to me for a few minutes.
The Home Edit was founded in 2015 by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin in Nashville, Tennessee. Brought together by a mutual friend, it was friendship at first text, and a business partnership immediately thereafter.Read More
WhistlePig and Brothers Osborne Release Limited Edition Whiskey
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – WhistlePig Whiskey and Grammy Award-winning country music duo and reigning CMA Duo of the Year Brothers Osborne are celebrating 100 for all, all for 100 this holiday season with the launch of their new whiskey collaboration. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100% Rye Whiskey, created for and selected by John and TJ Osborne, to celebrate those who give 100% in the name of greatness.Read More
Project Supergroup to Air on MTV
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Project Supergroup is a first-of-its-kind music competition series that implements a new and innovative “build a band” from scratch concept that showcases exceptionally talented musicians who play, write, and sing.Read More
Daniel Borge Releases ‘Backseat Backroad’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- One of my previous Music Spotlight artists, Norwegian-born Daniel Borge, has one of the most interesting “how I got to country music/Nashville” stories of anyone I have ever interviewed.
Unfortunately, when the ball had just begun rolling, the pandemic hit, and he could not travel and pursue his dream.Read More
Music Spotlight: Julie Roberts
Julie Roberts returns to country music with a powerful new album on ONErpm’s distribution and marketing services. Listen to ‘Ain’t In No Hurry’ available now.Read More
Music Spotlight: Colony House
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I got the press release that a Nashville-based rock band, Colony House, was releasing their fourth studio album on February 3, 2022, I was intrigued, because in this town we don’t have a lot of modern rock bands. All four band members are from Tennessee, with two being from Franklin.Read More
Music Spotlight: Mackenzie Carpenter
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Those who follow my column know I find a lot of my new artists from the Song Suffragettes or SiriusXM’s The Highway. On The Highway, They feature new artists who are often named as their “Highway Finds.” And while I’m not always crazy about every new musician they feature, when I heard Mackenzie Carpenter’s “Can’t Nobody” a few months back, it was love at first listen.Read More
Music Spotlight: Leah Marie Mason
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Leah Marie Mason is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter from North Carolina. She comes from a musical family, and her dad was a drummer.
“We were always around music. My dad loves rock music,” she said.Read More
Music Spotlight: Erin Kinsey
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Although she only vaguely remembers it, I met Erin Kinsey at a Writer’s Round in a side room at the Bavarian Bierhaus at Opry Mills in March of 2021 and we still weren’t sure if we should even be gathering.
Long before Kinsey officially launched her country music career, the Texas girl was already a full decade into it. Her parents had her in every sport, club, and extra-curricular activity they could think of. She played tennis, basketball, and soccer and even took piano lessons. They wanted to help her figure out what she loved. Their goal was to help her find a career born out of passion.Read More
Edi Callier Wins The Road to Nashville
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I was invited to attend a reception that celebrated one of King Charles’ charities, The Unity of Faiths Foundation, (TUFF) who are co-organizers of The Road to Nashville songwriting contest, I knew it was going to be a spectacular event.Read More
Duke Spirits Launches The Masters Music Series
NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Launched on October 7, Duke Spirits teamed with a talented group of artists for its latest project, The Masters Music Series. Hosted by Runaway June’s Jennifer Wayne, The Masters Music Series is a live performance video series that unites an accomplished group of musicians and writers, showcasing and supporting both emerging and established artists through various programs and initiatives. The series will release two videos each week on Duke Spirits’ YouTube channel.Read More
Music Spotlight: Ian Munsick
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Ian Munsick comes from a musical ranching family. They were and are real-life singing cowboys. Under the tutelage of their fiddle-playing father, Munsick and his two older brothers grew up playing everything from bluegrass to The Beatles.
Ranching was how their father provided for them, but in the evenings, the family would often play music around town. They did rodeos and private events while traveling around the Rocky Mountain region.Read More
Music Spotlight: Taylor Edwards
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Taylor Edwards has been singing since she was a toddler. Her parents remembered that at age 3 she would jump on a table in a restaurant and start singing.
Her parents thought, “Oh goodness, this one, she likes the attention.”Read More
Music Spotlight: Chapel Hart
NASHVILLE, Tennessee –Before the rest of the world discovered Chapel Hart this summer on America’s Got Talent, I was a fan. They had come across my newsfeed, and I sent an email inquiring about a possible interview in 2021. When I never heard back, other artists got pushed to the forefront.
This summer Chapel Hart electrified America with the original hit “You Can Have Him, Jolene.” Multiple people contacted me asking if I had heard them sing. I determined then that I had to interview this dynamic trio because they truly were unlike any other group I had ever featured.Read More
Music Spotlight: Noah Hicks
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- If there is one thing that means something to me in country music, it is authenticity. Are you singing your truths or just latching onto the newest country fad?
Noah Hicks is probably the most authentic country guy I have ever interviewed. He is a fifth-generation farmer from Carrolton, Georgia. The land he tilled with an air-conditioned tractor is the land his grandfathers plowed with a mule.Read More
Exclusive: Cory Singer Premieres ‘Chance of a Lifetime (The Truth)’
Before I discovered my love for traditional country music, Americana, and bluegrass, I loved big-band and Broadway music. I prided myself on knowing the big show tunes from all the famous musicals.
When I heard Cory Singer’s song “I Still Love You,” I thought, “Wow, I wonder which musical this song is from. How have I missed it before now?”Read More
Music Spotlight: Brei Carter
Brei Carter has established herself in the songwriters’ community as a smooth and sometimes edgy songstress who melds country, soul, and southern pop into one fused style as shown in her debut album ‘Brand New Country.’Read More
Music Spotlight: Chase Wright
NASHVILLE, Tennessee –In the past few years, a name that kept showing up in my feed was Chase Wright. (Not to be confused with another country singer/songwriter, Chase Rice.) Recently, as I was driving to work, I heard SiriusXM The Highway’s Storme Warren talking to Chase Wright. He invited him to become SXM The Highway’s next “Highway Find,” a platform that has launched many artists’ careers from Florida-Georgia Line to Carly Pearce.Read More
Music Spotlight: The Buckleys
The Buckleys family band from Australia is a distinctive, original trio whose music brings hope back to the currently stale popular music scene with their newest EP, ‘Take It As It Comes.’Read More
Little Kids Rock Rebrands as ‘Music Will’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee- As part of a five-city tour to promote their new branded non-profit Music Will (formerly known as Little Kids Rock) founder Dave Wish spoke to me about their latest adaptation.
The former first-grade teacher started Little Kids Rock because his students didn’t like their current music program. He asked them what they wanted to play and at the time, they said, “Ricky Martin” and “Selena.” He began to teach the kids to play the music they wanted to hear and eventually it led to teaching other teachers to do the same.Read More
Opry Member Gene Watson Releases ‘Outside the Box’
NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Known among country fans and fellow artists as the “singer’s singer,” Gene Watson is celebrating 60 years in the music business – and shows no signs of slowing down.
Watson has more than 75 charted titles, 23 Top 10 hits, six Number 1 country singles, and five Number 1 gospel hits. I asked the Opry legend why, at age 78, he felt the need to make another record.Read More
Music Spotlight: Drake Milligan
Not only is Drake Milligan a finalist on American’s Got Talent, his full-length debut album Dallas/Fort Worth’ is coming out September 15th.Read More