Music Spotlight: Andrew Hopson

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Rarely do I agree to write a story on a person based on one single. But when I heard the song “Stronger Than That,” it was a no-brainer for me. I knew I had to interview this up and coming artist. Andrew Hopson is a true country boy from Tazewell, Tennessee (located where West Virginia meets Kentucky), whose music will bring you back to the traditional honky-tonk sounds of Hank, Willie, and Waylon.

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Song Suffragettes Celebrate 6th Anniversary at The Listening Room

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Nashville’s all-female, singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, celebrated their milestone sixth anniversary on Monday with two rounds featuring nine women singer-songwriters including Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely.

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The Tennessee Star Report: Leahy Music Group’s Frank Leahy Says Music is Created When You Are Free

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcasting live from Music Row on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by Frank Leahy, a member and only brother of the musical group Leahy.

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Stride Left Hand: Michael Patrick Leahy Welcomes Maria Leahy of Leahy Music Group to Talk About Her Family’s Musical Influences

On Wednesday’s the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed new-found distant cousin, Maria Leahy of the Leahy music group, to the newsmakers line.

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Music Spotlight: Jennifer Higdon

Nashville — When I created my Music Spotlight column that would tell an artist’s “where they came from” story, never did I ever imagine interviewing the three-time Grammy-winning and 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer Jennifer Higdon. However, Nashville’s Symphony Publicist Dave Felipe advised that I needed to hear her story, and I am thrilled to tell it.

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Music Spotlight: Regie Hamm

I’ve known Regie Hamm for many years and my husband grew up with him. I even know the highlights of his amazing career, but what I didn’t know was his “where I came from” story. So finally after nearly three years of entertainment reporting, I decided it was time to sit down with this remarkable songwriter/artist/blogger.

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Music Spotlight: Mia Morris

When I first heard Mia Morris play and sing with the Song Suffragettes, it was obvious that she was super-talented. What I did not know initially was that this young musician was just 15 years old and that playing for the Song Suffragettes is just a small part of what this talented rock drummer does. I had to find out more about her.

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REVIEW: Peter Schweizer’s ‘Profiles in Corruption’ Exposes the Grubby Corruption of Our Power Elite

Profiles in Courage deserves its place in that vast mythopoeic enterprise the public knows as Camelot. But a much more important book is Peter Schweizer’s Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elites.

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Recommended: Great Books to Resist Cultural Indoctrination

Those classics that are called the Great Books are most closely associated with Mortimer J. Adler and Robert Hutchins.1 When Hutchins became president of the University of Chicago in 1929, he hired Adler to teach philosophy in the law school and the psychology department. Upon arriving, Adler, rather brashly he admits, recommended to Hutchins a program of study for undergraduates using classic texts. Adler had taught in the General Honors program at Columbia University begun in 1921 by professor John Erskine. Hutchins asked him for a list of books to be read in such a program. When Hutchins saw the list, he told Adler that he had not encountered most of them during his student years at Oberlin College and Yale University. Hutchins later wrote that unless Adler “did something drastic he [Hutchins, referring to himself] would close his educational career a wholly uneducated man.”2 Hutchins remained president for 16 years before serving as chancellor until 1951, and the following year, they did something drastic.

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Music Spotlight: Aubrie Sellers

Even though everyone in her family is from Texas, this daughter of country music royalty was born in Nashville. Aubrie Sellers’ father is artist/songwriter Jason Sellers and her mother is Lee Ann Womack. Her step-father for most of  her life has been Carnival Music owner/producer Frank Liddell.

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Review: ‘Richard Jewell’ Is Clint Eastwood’s Latest Portrayal of the Greatness of Ordinary Americans

Something really interesting is happening at Malpaso Productions, Clint Eastwood’s movie production company. Eastwood’s films, especially in recent years, portray the best in the American character through real stories of ordinary Americans called by events to stand up and shine. In his latest, “Richard Jewell,” Eastwood continues exploring a theme I’ve called “American Greatness in the Shadow of 9/11.” The result is a body of work that is awe-inspiring and unlike anything we have seen before in American cinema.

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Music Spotlight: Heidi Raye

Nashville, TN  It is not surprising at all when a country music singer says they come from a small rural town. What is surprising is when that small rural town is in Canada. Heidi Raye was born and raised on a hobby farm Dawson Creek, British Columbia, a place that she describes as the Texas of Canada. Her dad was a John Deere salesman and a Pro Team Roper while her mom was a Pro Barrel Racer. She began singing in church when she was 3, learned to play guitar when she was 12, and then began exploring songwriting soon thereafter. The only genre of music she was exposed to was Country Music. “We say ‘y’all’. I didn’t know it was only a southern thing until I moved to America.”

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Commentary: Ford v Ferrari and the Virtue of Courage

There is a scene in the terrific new film Ford v Ferrari where Henry Ford II grills his lieutenant Lee Iaccoca about the failed bid to acquire Enzo Ferrari’s racing car enterprise. Ford learns that Ferrari has a message for him, and Iacocca dutifully delivers: “He said Ford makes ugly little cars in ugly factories.”

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Music Spotlight: Town Mountain

Town Mountain is a bluegrass band featuring guitarist and vocalist Robert Greer, banjoist Jesse Langlais, mandolinist Phil Barker, fiddler Bobby Britt, and Zach Smith on bass – they will be playing at Nashville’s Station Inn December 4th and 5th with surprise A-List guests.

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Movies to Watch This Weekend: Fast Cars, Crime Fighting Women and a Con Man Being Changed

An American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) put personal issues aside and fight against corporate interest to build a fast car for the Ford Motor Company. To truly test the car’s speed, the two take on Enzo Ferrari’s cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

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Music Spotlight: Historic Studio B

RCA Studio B is a historic landmark that initially helped Nashville to earn the name of Music City. Located at 1611 Roy Acuff Place, in Nashville, Tennessee, Studio B was part of the beginning of the renowned Music Row to which musicians still aspire. Between 1957 and 1977 over 18,000 songs were recorded at Studio B, and over 1000 of them became hits.

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Music Spotlight: Levi Hummon

Nashville, TN Levi Hummon is a rarity when it comes to singers and songwriters. He was actually born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, “literally on ‘The Row’” as he explains. His father, Marcus Hummon, was and still is an accomplished songwriter and he wrote songs like the Grammy Award Winning “Bless the Open Road” (Rascal Flatts), “Ready to Run” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” (Dixie Chicks), “Born to Fly” (Sarah Evans) along with songs for many country music artists, including Top 40 singles for Tim McGraw, Wynonna Judd, and Alabama. His mother, Becca Stevens, runs a non-profit, Thistle Farms which helps women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction get a second chance at life.

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Music Spotlight: Candi Carpenter

Long before Dolly Parton tweeted her praises on October 9, 2019, Candi Carpenter was on my radar.  I had heard about her via Kalie Shorr and the Song Suffragettes and had been following her for over a year. I finally got the chance to meet up with her. Carpenter’s ‘Where I Came From” story is like none other.

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A Black and White Film, a Cop Movie and Deadly App Are on This Weekend’s Movies to Watch

This film follows the story of two lighthouse keepers (Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe) in the 1890s who try to not go crazy while living on a secluded and mysterious New England Island. However, these two lonely gentlemen start to lose their minds and become affected by their worst nightmares.

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Music Spotlight: George Ducas

When I initially heard George Ducas sing at Bluebird café, I didn’t realize he was an accomplished songwriter with quite a few songs under his belt.  What I did immediately perceive was what strong, smooth vocals he had and how was completely at ease he was in the intimate setting. When I interviewed Ducas a few weeks later, I was shocked to find out that he had no previous formal musical training. Here is his story.

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A New ‘Joker,’ an Out-of-this-World Drama, and a Mountaintop Adventure Are at the Movies This Weekend

  A Joker, an astronaut, and group of climbers await you at the movie theaters this weekend. Joker: What some people consider the movie of the year, Joker hit the big screen Friday telling the origin story of Gotham City’s favorite villain. Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a failed comedian, is…

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Eric Church Celebrates Two No. 1 Songs: ‘Round Here Buzz’ and ‘Some of It’

Friends and media assembled Tuesday to celebrate Eric Church’s two most recent Number 1 hits, “Round Here Buzz” (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Luke Dick) and “Some of It” (Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Bobby Pinson, Clint Daniels) in BNA’s Hangar # 9.

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Music Spotlight: Kyle Rife

The night I interviewed Abi Hoffman at the Bluebird Café I met two other songwriters. Greg Friia, who was a mentor to Abi in Nashville and Kyle Rife who is an accomplished guitar player and had recently co-written songs with Darius Rucker, Joel Crouse and Ed Sheeran. I knew right away I wanted to interview him as soon as we could get it arranged.

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Hootie and the Blowfish Rock Sold-out Crowd in Nashville

Twenty-eight years after performing their first Nashville show at the revered rock club Exit/In, Hootie & The Blowfish brought their Group Therapy Tour to the city’s Bridgestone Arena for a sold-out show Saturday night.

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