Music Spotlight: Katrina Burgoyne

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I first heard Katrina Burgoyne’s song, “I Wanna Get Away With You,” there was something infectious about the spirited song that made me want to learn more about the artist.

Australian-born Katrina Burgoyne is from a musical family. Both of her grandfathers were performing musicians.

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Train Strikes Pure ‘AM Gold’ in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – June 21 marked the summer solstice, hence the first official day of summer. For the many who braved the extreme heat and high humidity at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Summer began precisely at 7:00 p.m. central time. That is the moment John Popper and Blues Traveler took the stage and ignited an amazing night of music, with John Popper and company bringing the groove to the party.

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Music Spotlight: Sweet Tea Trio

When I interviewed Sweet Tea Trio earlier this year, I knew they had a new EP in the works, but they were unsure of the release date. So I waited until Sugar Rush was released to share their story.

Alabama natives Victoria Camp, Kate Falcon, and Charity Bowden make up an all-female harmony group called Sweet Tea Trio. They met through a mutual vocal coach in Alabama.

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Rock Legend Jim Seals of ‘Seals and Crofts’ Dies at 80; Leaves Behind Musical Legacy That Honors Family, Affirms Life

Jim Seals, co-founder of internationally successful soft-rock duo Seals and Crofts (pictured above, left), died on Monday, after a lingering illness following a stroke in 2017. Seals, who had homes in Costa Rica and Hendersonville, Tennessee, is believed to have been at his Tennessee home at the time of his passing.

The duo’s primary success came in the years between 1972 and 1977, though hits such as “Get Closer,” “Diamond Girl,” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again” have since become woven into the fabric of popular culture, continuing to permeate classic-pop formats across the board.

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Music Spotlight: Michael Shaw

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- After interviewing nearly 200 artists, you think I would learn not to be surprised when I delve into someone’s “How they got to Nashville” story, but hearing country-western singer/songwriter Michael Shaw’s story even stunned me.

Michael Shaw was born in Indiana but remembers growing up in Kentucky and Michigan, and later, Ohio.

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Music Spotlight: Scott Stevens

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Once my friend told me about a tribute that Scott Stevens had written about his grandfather and uncle, I knew I had found the perfect song to share on Memorial Day.

Scott Stevens is a country music singer/songwriter from East Tennessee who recently released the single “Missin’ You” to country radio off his debut country record Every Hat Is A Cowboy Hat. He is also a Civil Rights attorney and lawyer.

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Music Spotlight: Alyssa Jacey

I keep writing my Music Spotlight column because of the stories. And while we all appreciate the music that these singer/songwriters bring to us, it is the stories of these tireless individuals that keep me coming back to my computer to share what I have learned with my readers.

For the first 25 years of her life, San Diego native Alyssa Jacey trained to be a dancer. She took her first dance class at age 4. She started in ballet and later added tap and jazz. Hip-hop was the craze, and that’s what the young performer aspired to be: a hip-hop dancer. She began competitive dancing with a troupe and performed all over the west coast.

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Music Spotlight: Sammy Arriaga

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – A lot of people, myself included, are trying to wrap their heads around Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and exactly how they work. When I got asked to interview a country artist, Sammy Arriaga, who was successfully using NFTs in promoting his music, I was interested.

Sammy Arriaga is a Miami-born Cuban American. While his father occasionally sang and played guitar, he discovered his love for music on his own. He has been writing lyrics and downloading instrumentals from the internet since his early teens. He taught himself how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos.

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Exclusive: Adam Warner Releases ‘Reason to Redneck’ Lyric Video

Adam Warner hails from the farm country of southern Illinois, quite near to where my mother and her family lived. This area is so consumed by farming, specifically corn and soybeans, that you really do feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere.

Just like my mother and aunts, both of Warner’s grandmothers played piano and sang at church. His mother was involved in theater and singing as well. He was certainly not the only one in the family who did music but would be the only one who chose it as a career path.

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Music Spotlight: Restless Road

When I heard “Growing Old With You” by Restless Road on the radio, I was not familiar with the group, but their song really resonated with me. When I was given the chance to feature them in my column, I jumped at it.

Restless Road is comprised of Zach Beeken, Garrett Nichols, and Colton Pack who did not grow up together and are actually from three different states. Beeken is from Iowa, Nichols is from Alabama and Pack is from West Virginia. Almost nine years ago, Pack and Beeken were on a show called The X Factor. (The third member, Andrew Scholz, would eventually be replaced with Nichols.) They started the band on that TV show. They met Kane Brown on that show as well.

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What Bill Maher Didn’t Know: U.S. Among Most Radically Pro-Abortion Nations and Most Pro-Lifers Are Women

HBO’s Real Time host Bill Maher said during his show Friday he was shocked to discover several facts about abortion he never knew until after the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in the case that ultimately could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that created a right to abortion.

Maher said until the media frenzy over the leaked draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court could be poised to uphold the right of states to regulate abortion, he was unaware the United States keeps company with the likes of China, North Korea, and a couple of other countries that allow unlimited abortion, and that most pro-life individuals are women.

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Music Spotlight: Ainsley Costello

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Ainsley Costello comes from a musical background. When her dad, James Costello, was young, he moved to Los Angeles to “do the whole music thing” in much the same way that Costello has moved to Nashville. At one point he was in a touring band and toured the world. And even though he now has a day job, he was always in revolving bands, playing shows and playing music in the house.

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Brett Kissel and 98° Team Up for New Single, ‘Ain’t the Same’

When I heard that the Canadian Country Music multi-award winner, Brett Kissel was releasing a song with 98°, I was excited and curious at the same time. The group’s song, “Ain’t the Same” isn’t exactly country, pop, or R & B, but it is fantastic. Once I heard it, it went straight to my Beach playlist.

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Music Spotlight: Dustin Collins

Dustin Collins had been around music his whole life. His dad and uncle were musicians. They were in and out of the recording studios in Kentucky and Nashville when Collins was a child.

He recalls, “I just kind of grew up around it and learned how to sing and play guitar when I was, 10 and 11 years old. It’s always been something that I love to do. I kind of fell into this job when I started writing songs and I met some other songwriters in Nashville.”

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Fifth Annual Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival Returns to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch

The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival (TMMR) is a unique, four-day event held in central Tennessee that’s all about motorcycles, music, comradery, and the outdoors. It will be held at the majestic 3,500-acre Loretta Lynn’s ranch and campground just an hour west of Nashville on held May 19 – 22 and will be the first big event to take place at Loretta Lynn’s ranch since the catastrophic floods from last August. TMMR is presented by Harley-Davidson® and produced in partnership by the Loretta Lynn family and R&R Promotions, a specialty agency with decades of motorcycle event promotions and deep ties in the national motorcycle family.

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Music Spotlight: Dakota Poorman

From Maple Valley, Washington, 29-year-old singer/songwriter Dakota Poorman is a breath of fresh air in the stale pop-country atmosphere.

As a child he recalls, “I really loved music. I was bathed in a very eclectic taste in music. I listened to Bob Seger, John Fogerty, Pink Floyd, The Doors, the Eagles, and even Patsy Cline and Muddy Waters. I was exposed to a ton of great music back when music was music and had meaning.”

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Music Spotlight: Michael Rix

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first time I recall seeing Michael Rix was when he played banjo in the Bank of America marketing campaign commercial for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Country Music. Even though the banjo originated in Africa, seeing a black, banjo-playing country musician in the 21st century is/was not very common.

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Grammy Winner Rory Feek Celebrates Self-Reliance with First-of-Its-Kind ‘Homestead Festival’ in Tennessee

The Homestead Festival, a first-of-its-kind outdoor event, will make its debut on June 3-4, 2022, at Grammy-winning and New York Times best-selling author Rory Feek’s 100-acre historic farm in Columbia, Tennessee. Combining music and meaning, the two-day affair features musical performances, including headliner Kevin Costner and Modern West, as well as master-class lectures by prominent homesteading community leaders such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, and many others.

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Music Spotlight: Karissa Ella

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Even though I am not much of a whiskey drinker, I am always drawn to a good whiskey song. Something about the solace of sipping the stuff leads to a deeper examination of one’s true self.

Karissa Ella’s newest single “Whiskey Whispers Your Name” is all that and more. They led me to further delve into this rising singer/songwriter and find out what drives her.

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Stephen K. Bannon’s WarRoom Interviews Corey Lewandowski at Mar-a-Lago ‘Rigged’ Premiere

The Star News Network provided the connection for this interview of Corey Lewandowski at Mar-a-Lago by Stephen K. Bannon on Tuesday’s WarRoom Battlefield to talk about the importance of the film Rigged and widespread election fraud.

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Neil W. McCabe Reports from Mar-A-Lago About the Premiere of New Film ‘Rigged’ Detailing Voter Fraud

WarRoom Battleground’s Stephen K. Bannon talks with Neil W. McCabe of The Star News Network live outside Mar-a-Lago before the premiere of The Rigged 2020 Election.

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Dierks Bentley, Keb’ Mo’, Bobby Bare, and Connie Smith Receive Their Stars on the Walk of Fame

Music City Walk of Fame inductees Dierks Bentley, Keb’ Mo’, Bobby Bare, and Connie Smith represent the diversity of Music City in the first ceremony since the pandemic.

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Homestead Festival to Be Held June 3rd and 4th in Columbia, Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The Homestead Festival, a first-of-its-kind outdoor event, will make its debut on June 3-4, 2022, at Grammy-winning and New York Times best-selling author Rory Feek’s 100-acre historic farm in Columbia, Tennessee. Combining music and meaning, the two-day affair features musical performances, including headliner Kevin Costner and Modern West, as well as master-class lectures by prominent homesteading community leaders such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Joel Salatin, Justin Rhodes, and many others.

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Music Spotlight: Ian Flanigan

Ian Flanigan hails from Hudson Valley’s Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, not far from the site of the famed Woodstock festival.

But where you might remember him is from Season 19 of NBC’s The Voice.

I wanted to find out how he got from there to The Voice and now living just outside of Nashville.

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Michael Ray Releases Video for ‘Holy Water’

Michael Ray grew up in a family compound off a dirt road in the small town of Eustis, Florida, just a few miles from a tiny old country church where Sunday service would be held, where communion often carried over to tall tales of his grandparents’ days running moonshine up the East Coast.

And even though he did not write the song, when he first heard “Holy Water” it took him right back to being a boy in that church, sitting in a wooden pew listening to some of the greatest truths that he holds onto to this day.

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Music Spotlight: Alyssa Bonagura

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -The first time I heard of Alyssa Bonagura was when she played with Ruby Stewart as part of The Sisterhood band when Ruby’s dad, Rod Stewart, played Bridgestone Arena in August of 2018. The two performed their tune “Half Way” with Stewart’s band before dad returned to sing “Forever Young” with them. They also sang with Cyndi Lauper on her iconic hit “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.”

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Music Spotlight: Country Radio Seminar

Country Radio Seminar is one of the most significant events in Nashville, as it brings country radio and music industry professionals together to educate each other, enhance skills, facilitate business, and promote the growth of the industry.

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Music Spotlight: Hippies and Cowboys

Hippies and Cowboys bring a fresh vintage flair in their new single, taking you back to the days of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, CCR, and Aerosmith. Recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, the band’s debut single, “20 to Life” is not to be missed.

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Music City Spotlight: Music City Rollin’ Jamboree

One thing that most native Nashvillians will tell you is to avoid the party buses. They are often full of young, drunk tourists and are to be avoided at all costs.

However, when a publicist/friend told me about the Music City Rollin’ Jamboree, she advised, “It’s different.”

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Music Spotlight: Josh Kiser

NASHVILLE, Tennessee- When I went to the Project K-9 Hero fundraiser at the Nashville Palace, besides meeting some precious canines, I got to see some of the artists I had previously interviewed and learn about some new singers/songwriters who also performed in the famed songwriters’ rounds. One who particularly stood out to me was Josh Kiser. Even at his young age, he had that traditional country vibe that I favor, and the songs he sang had clever lyrics, like they were written by a veteran songwriter.

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Jasmin Bade Premieres Lyric Video ‘Rent’ with The Tennessee Star

After previously being featured in a Music Spotlight column, Australian singer/songwriter Jasmin Bade released her new single, “Rent,” and its accompanying lyric video today with The Tennessee Star. “Rent” provides a bittersweet twist on the struggle to move on from a past relationship. Bade co-wrote the song with Emily Kroll, who penned the No. 1 hit “Just About Over You” by Priscilla Block, and Brian McKenna, son of Nashville songwriting legend Lori McKenna.

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Exclusive: Duo Hemp & Denim Release ‘Stay’ Video for Valentine’s Day

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The favorite retro-rock duo, Hemp & Denim has released a new single, “Stay” for Valentine’s Day. The song is about genuine love and love is what everyone needs right now in this world. The accompanying lyric video for “Stay” is debuting today exclusively to The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. The lyrics illustrate the hardships and triumphs that come with any loving relationship.

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Music Spotlight: Teddi and Bobby Cyrus

NASHVILLE, Tennesee- Before you ask, yes, Bobby Cyrus is related to Billy Ray Cyrus. Bobby Cyrus is Billy Ray Cyrus’ younger cousin. They both hail from the same region around Louisa, Kentucky where bluegrass music was a prominent part of their heritage. Their grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher and church music was an integral part of their upbringing.

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Music Spotlight: Brooklyn Summer

The first time I saw Brooklyn Summer was on Instagram. Something about her made me stop to find out more about her. When I heard a few songs and found it she was just 11, I was blown away.

Even though she is from Los Angeles and has quite a different accent, the energy that Summer puts in her performances reminds me of a mix between a young Brenda Lee and today’s Calista Clark.

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Music SpotlIght: Noah Guthrie

Even though Noah Guthrie played Roderick on Season 6 of Glee in 2015, making music has always been his aspiration. As a very young child, the South Carolina native grew up going to recording studios with his dad and step-mom who were both background singers.

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Music Spotlight: Rob Mayes

I attended RomaDrama Live! last year initially because several of the artists I had featured in my column were part of the entertainment. And of course, it was fun to see and meet the popular actors of favorite romance dramas and Hallmark movies. But what I wasn’t expecting was for one of the actors to be a genuinely talented country music singer/songwriter.

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