Music Spotlight: Lockwood Barr

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  Several months ago, I heard a crazy good banjo player on Instagram. The musician was CMA Fest performer, Lockwood Barr. A few weeks ago when she posted her original holiday duet with Barrett Baber’s “Christmas in Memphis,” I knew it was time to interview the multi-talented artist.

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World-Renowned Producer Fred Mollin Releases ‘It’s Great to be a Kid’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  Fred Mollin is an award-winning American and Canadian record producer, musician, film and TV composer, music director, music supervisor, and songwriter whose discography spans 35 years. He has produced records for Jimmy Webb, Johnny Mathis, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lamont Dozier, and America, and has composed music for Beverly Hills, 90210, Friday the 13th (movies and television), Forever Knight, Hard Copy, and many more. Mollin rose to prominence early in his career by co-producing (with Matthew McCauley) Dan Hill’s international hit record, “Sometimes When We Touch”, in 1977.

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Music Spotlight: Hemp and Denim

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Hemp Meadows and Denim Skye are lifelong musicians who have been married for 35 years. Denim sang in a church choir and school musicals in her hometown of Washington, DC. She got her first guitar when she was 13. She played in local bands. A division of Filmways Corporation recruited Denim to LA to form a psychedelic folk trio. After her foray, Denim gave up music for a while and became a graphic artist where she worked for the iconic magazine Tiger Beat.

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Music Spotlight: Gracee Shriver

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Belmont student and former NBC’s The Voice contestant Gracee Shriver hails from Owasso, Oklahoma.

Shriver started singing lessons at age nine to give herself something to do. About a year after starting lessons, she got her first guitar and began writing songs.

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Ryan Weaver Releases ‘Let’s Talk About Heroes’ for Veteran’s Day

Ryan Weaver is a high-energy, all-American, rockin’ country music artist who proudly served as an active-duty Black Hawk Aviator, Chief Warrant Officer 3 in the United States Army.

Although he had a short history of playing the violin as a child/teen, everyone in his family was in the military so that is the path he initially chose for his career. (Weaver’s grandfather was in WWII and his dad was a Marine along with two brothers and a sister who also served.)

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Music Spotlight: Abby Anderson

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I saw Abby Anderson open for Radio Romance and Midland in 2017, I immediately knew that I wanted to interview her even though I had recently started writing my column.

Fast forward 4 years when I got an email stating that Anderson was releasing a powerful new anthem, and finally I got the privilege to interview the effervescent songstress.

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Music Spotlight: Juna N Joey

NASHVILLE,  Tennessee – Even though Juna and Joey Defeo are just 16 and 19 years old, they have been singing together for quite a while. They got their affinity for music from their grandparents. Their paternal grandfather was an opera singer in Italy and their maternal grandfather was in a country band who played “pretty much anything with strings.”

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Music Spotlight: Kolby Cooper

Musician Kolby Cooper smiling

Kolby Cooper is among the best songwriters I have ever interviewed. I wanted to find out how this 22-year-old got so talented so quickly.

Cooper got interested in country music as a child while riding around in a cattle truck with his dad. They would listen to artists like Waylon Jennings, Chris LeDoux, and Randy Rogers. He picked up a guitar at around age ten. When he learned to play he began writing as well. He was 12 years old when he wrote his first s

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Travis Tritt Cancels Multiple Concerts Due to COVID-19 Vaccine and Mask Requirements

On Monday, multi-platinum selling and award-winning country music artist Travis Tritt announced he will not perform at venues that require proof of COVID vaccination, mask mandates, or testing. As a result, Tritt’s shows in Muncie, Indiana on Oct. 23, Philadelphia, Mississippi on November 6, Peoria, Illinois on Nov 11, and Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 13 have been canceled.

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Tennessee Legend Dolly Parton Set to Hold First Concert Since 2016 to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Victims

Tennessee native and famous country music singer Dolly Parton is set to hold her first concert since 2016 that will raise money for breast cancer victims. All of the proceeds from Parton’s “Kiss Cancer Goodbye Benefit Concert” on October 24th will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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Music Spotlight: A Tale of Two

If Bonnie and Clyde had been musicians instead of bank robbers, they would have been the vocal duo, A Tale Of Two. Combining the best of Americana and Blues melodies with timeless “Southern Gothic” storytelling, Nashville-based A Tale Of Two is an undeniable rising duo in today’s Roots Music scene. Meeting in the local Nashville Jazz venues, Award-Winning vocalist Stephanie Adlington and guitarist Aaron Lessard began performing and writing together, recognizing their artistic chemistry.

A Tale of Two’s inspiration comes from an earlier time and place. In the 1930s, Adlington affirms that “the culture of the time was a lot more interesting than it is now. But of course, we romanticize it. We weren’t there.”

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Steve Wariner Releases ‘Feels Like Christmas’ Today

Nashville, Tennessee – Multi-Grammy®, CMA, and ACM Award-winning performer Steve Wariner has released a new Christmas album, Feels Like Christmas Time, today, October 15. The album features newly imagined arrangements of Christmas classics including “Silent Night,” “The First Noel” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” as well as six original holiday tunes, all written by Wariner.

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Music Spotlight: The Woods

Nashville, Tennessee – The Woods comprised of Raquel Cole, Dan O’Rourke, Leland Rooney are all incredible musicians, songwriters, and singers in their own right – and when they come together the sound is truly magical – think Little Big Town meets Midland. After hearing them play together at the Analog Room in the Hutton Hotel, I wanted to find out how this eclectic and diverse trio discovered each other.

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REVIEW: Eastwood’s ‘Cry Macho’ Delivers Another Classic, Bucks the ‘Hollywoke’ Trend

Only one man in Hollywoke today could make a movie as old-fashioned, straightforward, and ultimately uplifting as Cry Macho, and trigger half a dozen progressive landmines in 104 minutes. On the surface it’s the simple tale of a broken-down old Texas cowboy who goes to Mexico City to half-rescue, half-kidnap a rich rancher’s troubled son from his nefarious ex-wife. But deep down, it’s an elegiac cinematic poem about manhood old and young, womanhood, regret, loneliness, and second chances. Clint Eastwood corrals all those wild horses on both sides of the fence, as a marvelous director and an onscreen icon — sadly the last of the latter — while bucking the politically correct wallow of his Industry peers.

For Cry Macho is a western, despite the modern trappings of cars and phones. That is a forbidden genre to Hollywoke because men are men and women are women, hard as it has  tried to inject feminism into it with pathetic results (The Quick and the Dead, Bad Girls, Godless). And if there’s any genre Clint Eastwood is a master of, it’s the western. He’s been making them off and on for 65 years. Now he’s added a fine contemporary one to his legacy.

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Music Spotlight: Creed Fisher

Creed Fisher

With over 22 million combined streams on Spotify and over 17 million views on YouTube with past releases like “Life of A Workin’ Man,” “The Way That I Am,” and “Old School” Texas-born and bred southern rock artist Creed Fisher is one of the most streamed and popular artists I have ever featured.

Fisher hails from Odessa, Texas, where his family’s roots trace back to his granddad, who was highly involved in the oil game back in the fifties. He started writing songs/poems at age nine. He states that “it wasn’t very good” but it was the beginning of his fruitful songwriting career.

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James Robert Webb Releases ‘Stealing Home’

Dr. James Robert Webb is a successful radiologist who just happens to be an accomplished country music singer/songwriter. When I interviewed him in April of 2020, he was getting ready to release a self-titled album as the nation was going into lockdown.

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Music Spotlight: Bridget Caldwell

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Singer-songwriter Bridget Caldwell does not come from a musical family. They loved music, but did not play or create music.  Her mother had “exquisite” taste in music and would play anything from Bonnie Raitt and Hank Williams to Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald.

Caldwell said she has always been a loud, boisterous kid and in third grade when she was cast as Snow White in the school play, her love for musical theater began. One day she started singing, her teacher ran down the hall to get her mother who was a special needs teacher, and said, “You have to come to hear this.”

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Ed Asner, Winner of Seven Emmys and Star of ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and Pixar’s ‘Up,’ Has Died

Ed Asner, the veteran actor who starred in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and the spinoff Lou Grant show, has died at the age of 91.

“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” read the tweet from Asner’s official Twitter account. “Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”

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Music Spotlight: Jasmin Bade – Exclusive First Listen Premiere of ‘X’s & Y’s’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  –  Jasmin Bade first discovered country music when she was six years old. It was Christmas time and she heard the Australian-country artist Kasey Chambers. Her aunt and uncle were playing her record and “fell in love with it” and wouldn’t stop singing her songs all the way home.

Besides Chambers, her mother would play Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley and the (Dixie) Chicks. Bade soon started guitar lessons and would take any chance she could to play. She would play on the streets (called busking in Australia) for pocket money. By ages 7 and 8, young Bade was singing in shopping centers.

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Mike Richards Out as ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Following Resurfacing of Controversial Remarks on Podcast

Mike Richards has stepped down as the host of “Jeopardy!” just days after being appointed the new host, following the resurfacing of past inappropriate comments made on a podcast.

“Dear Team – it pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter,” Richards wrote in a statement released by Sony, adding that the company will now “resume the search for a permanent syndicated host,” and will bring back guest hosts in the meantime.

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Music Spotlight: Bailey James

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – When I first heard Bailey James’ voice, I wondered how does a 16-year-old know how to sing like that? She is now 18 and her vocals are even more powerful. I was pleased to finally get an interview arranged.

James has been singing for almost as long as she has been speaking. Her first memory of music was while riding in the car with her father. He took her to ballet and played “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Walk The Line.”

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Music Spotlight: Minnie Murphy

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I heard Minnie Murphy sing was when Jamie O’Neal was performing at RomaDrama in Franklin. O’Neal said, “Come on up and join me.” Murphy was holding her one-year-old son, but that didn’t matter. She just belted out her part with ease. Her love of music and singing rang true. I was even more excited to get to interview her.

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Music Spotlight: Max Gomez

Being a journalist from Nashville, there plenty of talented guitar players that I meet and interview. But I don’t find many traditional, western folk stylists who appreciate the old sound of blues mixed with some Americana. Max Gomez is the exception to the rule.

Gomez was raised in the rarefied musical micro-climate of northern New Mexico. He got a job playing guitar alone and singing when he was 15 in his hometown of Taos, New Mexico. His job was to play at this fancy steak house bar where people would come out to dance. He was supposed to play the guitar in such a way so they could dance.

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Music Spotlight: Firerose

Firerose is an Australian singer and songwriter who moved from Sydney to Los Angeles at age 19. Even though her music has a dance-pop vibe, with her fiercely personal lyrics, she is as good a songwriter as any country lyricist out there.

Firerose states she grew up in a musical family. She was writing songs as soon as she could speak. She was born with a gift and she knew it was hers to cultivate.

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Lifest Music City Was a Party with a Purpose

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The inaugural Lifest Music City was held at the Hideaway Farm outside of Nashville and was a tremendous accomplishment. Seeing as many of the popular contemporary Christian artists call Nashville home, it just made sense to branch out to Tennessee.

States Lifest founder Bob Lenz said, “When we heard that the Johnny Cash property was available Chuck Tilley, who started Atlantafest said, ‘So what do you think about doing Lifest down here?’ All I kept seeing in my mind was all of these families coming together to have a party while learning about the message of Jesus through music. I thought wow what better place than right outside of Nashville Tennessee?”

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Music Spotlight: The Hobbs Sisters

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  When I first heard The Hobb Sisters, I stopped dead in my tracks. I am all about family harmonies but these two were next level. I guess that’s what happens when you have identical twins who are naturally gifted singers.

Lauren and Hannah Hobbs were encouraged to sing as young children by their grandfather, Pappaw John. He played the guitar and banjo by ear and would sing along with them.

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Exclusive: Innovo Management Presents ‘Hometown Hero’ Contest

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Hometown Hero is a program designed to help a musician(s) who went above and beyond during the pandemic to help others.

Hometown Hero is open to all music genres from anywhere in the world! Anyone can nominate an artist they believe is a Hometown Hero, including self-nominations!

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Music Spotlight: Gracie Carol

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Gracie Carol is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. As an athlete, Carol only remembers hearing her parents play country music as a child.

She recalled, “Every time we played games or practiced, my parents would be in the car just blaring new Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson and George Strait and all the late 90s and early 2000s songs from country radio.”

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Music Spotlight: I Am They

I Am They are a pop worship band comprised of Matt Hein (vocals, guitar), Abbie Parker, (vocals), Brandon Chase (vocals, guitar), Justin Shinn (keys), and Nicole Hickman (drums).

What started as a one-night Halloween Harvest Night worship music event in 2008 for a church opening a new building in Nevada, turned into an event involving multiple churches. Matt and his church reached out to five other churches in the area which brought all those churches together in unity out of worshiping and fellowship. “Over 300 attended the event which was big news for us and our small town of Carson City, Nevada,” Matt reminisced.

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RomaDrama Live! Adds Musical Performances to Weekend Event

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – In true Music City fashion, RomaDrama® Live!, is adding live musical performances scheduled to take place during the weekend event, to be held July 30-August 1 at The Factory at Franklin in Franklin, Tennessee.

In addition to the already announced stellar list of TV stars RomaDrama® Live! is bringing to Nashville, Tennessee, favorite music stars from the Nashville Area will also be performing.

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Exclusive Premiere: Jarod Grubb’s Tiki Bar on the Beach

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  About as far away as you can get from a beach, Jarod Grubb grew up near Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.

Like many young boys, his dream was to be a professional baseball player. And he was good enough to get a scholarship to play baseball in college.

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The Isaacs Release New Single ‘The American Face’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Multi-Grammy nominated family group The Isaacs (mother Lily, daughters Becky and Sonja and son, Ben) who have been enlisted by Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Paul Simon, Vince Gill, and many more for their remarkable harmonies, are gearing up to release their new album, American Face on August 13.

I interviewed Lilly Isaacs concerning the upcoming record and new single.

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