Thursday, December 4, 2014

Folk-Americana Artist Mary Beth Cross Releases Techno-Pop-Dance Version of 'Babes in the Wood'

            DENVER (December 2014) – Award-winning folk-Americana artist Mary Beth Cross is exploring new musical territory by releasing a techno-pop-dance version of the late Irish songwriter Noel Brazil's classic song, "Babes in the Wood".

             Cross's new single features re-mixed vocals from an existing recording with the electronic wizardry of Nashville producer/arranger/keyboardist Matt Stanfield. Her smooth soprano vocals are energized with vocal echoes, drifting synthesizers, electronic pulses, and heavy percussion. The atmospheric, rhythmic recording is a sharp contrast to the popular folk version she recorded for her last album, "Beyond Good and Evil". She describes the newer dance version as darker and more moody, creating an atmosphere of mystery and evoking the imagination of the listener -- a full departure that reaches a new audience.

            "You might call my techno-pop recording of 'Babes in the Wood' a creative endeavor," said Cross, who recently received the "2014 Folk-Country CD of the Year Award" from the National Traditional Country Music Association. "There are times when we need to step out of our comfort zone. In this case, I wanted to help listeners experience the deeper subconscious meaning of the battle between Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. The latest version of the song is both beautiful and haunting."

            In the lyric, Brazil paints a striking picture of the battle between good and evil. For Cross, his message is both troubling and reassuring. Predatory wolves are lurking about to sabotage one's dreams. Families fall apart, criminals do harm, and the innocent become prey.

            "There's a Big Bad Wolf lurking inside all of us," the artist continued. "The song brings to light the process of our childhood innocence maturing into adulthood and the choice of becoming the predator or prey, and finding a balance of the two within ourselves. By bringing this to one's consciousness, we can make the choice to allow others to co-exist without a ruthless battle, living in peace and harmony. I believe that the hope for the planet lies in the balance of progress and thoughtful living."

            "Babes in the Wood" is available for download at CD Baby and iTunes. To download the song at iTunes, visit .

            Cross is already hard at work on a new "Babes in the Wood" song video. The elaborate production is set for release in February 2015.

            "I plan to release the video just before heading to 'Folk Alliance International'," said Cross, who also is staying busy with live performances. "It will be a visual story of the wolf in nature at Yellowstone and mankind's living in harmony with the Earth, nature, one another and ourselves."

            Cross received national exposure in 2013 with the release of her fourth CD, "Beyond Good and Evil". The project, which was produced by Dave Bechtel, landed a top-five ranking on Airplay Direct. Critics around the world praised the album, with Country Music News International calling it worthy of "Americana CD of the Year". In 2014, she received the "Folk-Country CD of the Year Award" at the Old-Time Music Festival and Convention.

            The CD gives voice to the pioneer spirit of the American frontier with original songs and cover tunes. Cross spent more than a year penning songs reflecting the grit and determination of the adventurers who blazed a trail from the East to the West in search of what they treasured most: beauty, adventure, land, new opportunities for work, and freedom from oppression. Although she didn't write it, her folk-Americana rendition of "Babes in the Wood" remains a favorite.

            The artist has also performed extensively across the U.S. and Canada. Highlights include Folk Alliance International in Kansas City and Toronto; the Black Rose Acoustic Society in Colorado Springs and Black Forest, Colo.; radio station KRFC-FM’s “Live @ Lunch” show at Colorado State University; the “Colorado Performing Arts Jamboree” in Golden, Colo.; Swallow Hill Music in Denver; Metropolitan State College in Denver; the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto; the Denver Coliseum; the Colorado Association of School Nurses in Breckenridge, Colo.; the Fall Out Urban Arts Center in Minneapolis; the "Summer Concert Series" in Arvada, Colo.; and the Musicians United to Protect Bristol Bay Concert in Raleigh, N.C. In 2015, She will visit Paris for a performance at the "European Independent Film Festival".

            When she isn't on the road performing, Cross is busy writing songs for her fifth album. The project, which is set for release in 2015, will reflect on what it feels like to be home. Like her other albums, including "Beyond Good and Evil", her songs will offer "thoughtful, soothing music for thoughtful living".

            “I’ve discovered that people are yearning to find acceptance and solace in a dizzying world of pressure-filled expectations,” Cross added. “People long for an authentic, non-formula approach.

            An accomplished vocalist and tunesmith, Cross moved to Denver in the 1980s to pursue a nursing career. Her music is influenced by the rural farmland and forests of her Wisconsin upbringing and the Rocky Mountains where she currently resides. She carefully chooses acoustic instrumentation to bring her story-driven songs to life. Her music represents a few of the cultures that have contributed to what has become American music today, including the banjos of African immigrants; the pipes, whistles and percussion of Celtic music makers in the British Isles; and the horns, accordions and fiddles of French cafes. Cross's recordings spotlight her soaring, pure-tone soprano vocals.

            "Through the sweet purity of her voice, Mary Beth has captured the underlying haunting story in 'Babes in the Wood'," said artist Dierdre Keohane, partner of the late Irish songwriter Noel Brazil. "I know Noel would be proud of this version."

            Matt Stanfield is known around the world for his beautiful, strange, evolving and hauntingly addictive arrangements featuring forward-thinking piano. He has worked with artists such as Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Natalie Grant, Jonas Brothers, Newsboys, and Chris Thomlin.

            To learn more about Mary Beth Cross or her music, call (303) 842-1587, send an email message to, or visit or

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

'Artlightenment' to Bring Film, Art, Fashion and Song to Nashville from Nov. 13-15

     NASHVILLE – "Artlightenment", the annual multi-media art show and film festival that showcases dozens of  visual artists, painters, sculptors and filmmakers is slated to run Nov. 13, 14 and 15 at The Celebrity Centre (Old Fall School Building), 1130 Eighth Ave. S. in Nashville. 

     Created by painter, sculptor and film producer Robyn Morshead in 2009, the three-day event also will feature workshops, live music and a fashion show, making it a vital force in Nashville’s creative community. The theme for this year’s festival is “The Light Side of Art” with a spotlight on the works of underwater photographer and filmmaker Christy Rogers, a visionary artist who uses the refraction of light on her subjects to create beautiful images reminiscent of the paintings of Rubens and Caravaggio. Her work, which is being shown internationally, is currently on display at the Angers Nantes Opera House in Angers, France. "Artlightenment" will be the only opportunity to see her large-format prints in Nashville. She will host a special pre-show seminar, “My Career in Underwater Photography and Film”, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

    This year’s festival will also highlight the works of landmark photographer Raeanne Rubenstein whose photos have graced the pages of numerous publications such as People Magazine and The New York Times. Rubenstein will host a talk, “The Funny Side of Art and Film”at 7p.m. Thursday.

    Actress Carla Christina Contreras will kick off "Artlightenment’s" film festival at 6:30 p.m. Saturday with her talk, A Long and Successful Acting Career”. Contrera's recent film works include "Two Eggs" (with Tom Skirret), "Self Offense" (Official Selection in more than eight film festivals), "Static" (11 awards including Best Actress), as well as the feature film, "Summer Snow".  Some of her other works include "Army Wives", "America’s Most Wanted", and a co-starring role in "Following Her Heart", which starred Ann-Margret, George Segal and Brenda Vacarro.

     The festival is proud to feature "The MTSU Paris Project", three films produced by well-known documentary filmmaker Tom Neff and shot by student filmmakers from Middle Tennessee State University's Electronic Media Communications Department.  The films center on the unlikely cross-cultural exchange between Paris, France and Murfreesboro, Tenn., as MTSU student-filmmakers traveled there to make these extraordinary documentaries about contemporary French artists, their work and methodology.

     Three-Day Tickets for "Artlightenment" are $15. Ticketholders have access to all exhibits and workshops, as well as the film festival and closing-night awards and fashion shows. For more information on the "Artlightenment 2014 Art and Film Festival" and to purchase tickets, visit:  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Songwriters to Honor the Late Patricio Tower with Memorial Service, Show and Silent Auction

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 2014) -- Nashville area songwriters will take the stage at two separate events on Nov. 15 (Saturday) to honor the late Patricio Tower, an aspiring songwriter and taxi driver who died from a heart attack after suffering a brutal beating in downtown Nashville.
Patricio Tower

          Tower will be honored during a memorial service from 1-3 p.m. at the Center for Spiritual Living Nashville, 6705 Charlotte Pike in West Nashville. Tunesmiths also will put on a special songwriters show and silent auction in his memory from 6-7 p.m. at the Commodore Lounge, 2613 West End Ave. More than a dozen songwriters will perform at the events, including Lisa Aschmann, Michael Laidley, and Chuck Whiting. Donations from both events will help cover Patricio's medical and funeral expenses and provide support for his widow, Roxanne. 

         "Patricio was a wonderful, kind and giving man who was loved by many in the Nashville songwriting community," said long-time friend and co-writer Michael Laidley. "Losing him in such a tragic, senseless way is an absolute shock." 

          Witnesses reported that Patricio was attacked on Oct. 31 shortly after he arrived at a United Neighborhood Health Services clinic to pick up medical prescriptions. The 57-year-old taxi driver was rushed to Centennial Medical Center with a broken jaw, broken collarbones, fractured ribs, and a severely injured eye. He died from a heart attack following emergency reconstructive surgery.

Patricio and Roxanne Tower
          Roxanne, who is recovering from a head injury sustained in an automobile accident, continues to live at the couple's home in Old Hickory. The Towers' adjusted gross income ("in the uninsurable income gap") disqualified them from receiving medical insurance through Obamacare or Medicare. Roxanne hopes to continue operating the taxi vehicle they rented. 

          Donations may be made to the Patricio Tower Memorial/Medical Fund at To donate items for the silent auction on Saturday night, contact Michael Laidley at (615) 947-6726 or

Monday, November 3, 2014

'Tunesmithing' to Feature Five Songwriting Acts on Nov. 19 in Nashville

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 2014) -- The monthly "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase will spotlight five professional songwriting acts from 7-9:30 p.m. Nov. 19 (Wednesday) at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. (near Music Row).

Lisa Aschmann
          Taking the stage for 25-minute performances will be Lisa Aschmann (cuts by Art Garfunkel, Diamond Rio and others), Terry Bell, Kelley Cline, Sam Cooper, and Jason Kabler. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

         Publicists Chuck Whiting and Scott Johnson will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. "Tunesmithing" is sponsored by Whiting Publicity & Promotions, Music City Arts Update, Striking Moon Music, and Shine Time Records and Books.

Terry Bell

          "Tunesmithing" was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for tunesmiths at all levels.

          For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write, or visit

Kelley Cline
Sam Cooper

Joshua Nelson

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dancers 'Twist and Shout' for Sir Paul McCartney


     NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 2014) – Dancers from the Belmont University Theatre and Dance Department "twist and shout" to a performance by The WannaBeatles during the "Welcome Back, Paul" party and Concert in downtown Nashville on Oct. 16. The dance troupe joined the Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band and hundreds of fans for a festive celebration honoring Sir Paul McCartney at Rippy's Bar & Grill. The former Beatle performed later across the street at the Nashville Arena. Donations from The WannaBeatles' event benefited the W.O. Smith Community Music School in Nashville. Special guests on the show included singer/songwriter/educator Suzahn Fiering, who recently was presented the "Honored Friend Award" from Paul McCartney himself. For more information about The WannaBeatles, visit (Photo by Jessica Jackson)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hit Songwriter Casey Kelly to Headline 'Tunesmithing' on Oct. 15

     NASHVILLE -- The monthly "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase will spotlight five professional songwriting acts from 7-9:30 p.m. Oct. 15 (Wednesday) at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. (near Music Row). 

     Taking the stage for 25-minute performances will be Scott Barrier, Leslie Ellis, Casey Kelley ("The Cowboy Rides Away"/George Strait), Sarah Spencer, and CJ Watson & Asteria Lux. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Casey Kelly

     Publicists Chuck Whiting and Scott Johnson will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. "Tunesmithing" is sponsored by Whiting Publicity & PromotionsMusic City Arts Update, and Shine Time Records and Books

     "Tunesmithing" was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for tunesmiths at all levels. For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write, or visit

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The WannaBeatles to Stage 'Welcome Back, Paul' Party and Concert on Oct. 16

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2014) – The WannaBeatles have walked the Grammy Red Carpet, appeared on a national TV talk show, and performed for thousands of Beatles fans from coast to coast -- but they "still" haven't met their idol, Sir Paul McCartney.

             So with tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, the popular Beatles tribute act is offering Paul another chance to say “Hello, Goodbye” to them. This time band members will host a “Welcome Back, Paul” party and concert from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 16 (Thursday) at Rippy's Bar & Grill at 429 Broadway, just hours before McCartney’s own Nashville concert across the street at Bridgestone Arena. Fans of Paul (and “with a little luck” Paul himself) can enjoy the celebration under the tented top floor of the venue or at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Avenue below. Donations from the event will benefit the W.O. Smith Community Music School in Nashville.

The WannaBeatles
            "Paul’s people have been trying to set up a meeting with us for months," quipped band member and two-time Grammy winner Dennis Scott. “All kidding aside, it would be a dream-come-true to finally meet him."

            The band will serenade Paul with many of the songs the former Beatle made famous. Special guests on the show will include singer/songwriter/educator Suzahn Fiering. Fiering recently was presented the "Honored Friend Award" from Paul McCartney himself for her contributions to the Liverpool School for the Performing Arts. The band will make its grand entrance from the "Big Love Bus", which will circle around the street and pull up to the venue's entrance at 3:45 p.m. Radio stations Mix 92.9 and 96.3 Jack-FM will provide live coverage. Show attendees (and hopefully Sir Paul) will also be treated to a "big surprise" on the Arena steps.

            It will be the second time The WannaBeatles have honored The Beatles by performing on Rippy's Roof. On Jan. 30, 2009, the band delighted fans and onlookers (even the mayor) by commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Fab Four's legendary rooftop performance in London. The "Welcome Back, Paul" party and concert will get fans in the mood as they enter Bridgetone Arena to hear the McCartney himself.

            "Even a wave from Paul would be exciting,” noted band keyboardist Nathan Burbank. "The closest we’ve come yet to meeting him was at the Grammys and our own 'We Wanna Meet Paul' video."

            The WannaBeatles walked the Red Carpet in Hollywood in 2012 after receiving a Grammy nomination for their CD, "Fab Fan Memories – The Beatles Bond".  Knowing Paul would be in attendance, they mounted a month-long "We Wanna Meet Paul" campaign with an original tribute song that drew much media attention. Scott, Burbank, Cumming, and David Toledo’s seats inside The STAPLES Center were a stone’s throw away from Paul, but their brush with greatness was still just slightly beyond their reach.

Suzahn Fiering receives the
"Honored Friend Award from
Sir Paul McCartney.
            The band has reached new career heights since then, releasing a song and video honoring Betty White (who beat them out for a Grammy); recording their first album of original Beatlesque songs titled "We're Still Rockin'"; joining 19 fellow Beatles tribute bands from around the world for a 50th anniversary tribute video for the Fab Four's first hit, "From Me To You"; and appearing on the Fox News "Huckabee" show with host Mike Huckabee, who deemed them to be “the ultimate Beatles tribute band”. But no matter where they go, fans still ask the same question: “So, have you met Paul yet?”

            "Paul’s not getting any younger, and neither are we,” said group guitarist Bryan Cumming with a smile.  “I’d hate to see him miss his BIG chance to meet The WannaBeatles”.

            To which drummer David Toledo added, “We just want what every Beatles fan wants – to thank Paul for the music that changed our lives”.

            The WannaBeatles' "We Wanna Meet Paul" video has been viewed approximately 20,000 times. It features the band performing its Paul tribute song at various Nashville landmarks, including the Union Station Hotel.  Scenes include an "Abbey Road"-inspired stroll across a painted crosswalk and a fan-crazed chase after a London town car containing a cardboard cutout of Paul McCartney.

The "Big Love Bus"
            The lyrics to their upbeat tune humbly states “... to shake his hand is all we want to do. And say thanks to Sir Paul."

            "That may sound like a lot to ask," Scott added. "But when you’re a Beatles fan, anything is possible."

            To learn more about The WannaBeatles or the "Welcome Back, Paul" party and concert, visit or send an e-mail message to To view the video of the song, "We Wanna Meet Paul", visit . To see The WannaBeatles appearance on "Huckabee", go to . Follow the event at Twitter with the hashtag #welcomebackpaulparty.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Nancy Moran and Fett to Offer Online Workshops for Artists

          NASHVILLE -- For the first time ever, Nashville recording engineer Fett will be teaching his Fett’s Recording Turbo-charge online program for a second time in one year, starting Sept. 16.  His popular, six-week, intensive program focuses exclusively on improving front-end recording techniques.  It’s helpful for anyone who wants to achieve professional, “broadcast-quality” recordings.  

          In related news, Americana singer-songwriter Nancy Moran will be offering her Ultimate Booking and Touring online program starting Sept. 23.  Nancy’s popular, four-week, in-depth program is aimed at performing musicians who want to have more (and better-quality) gigs through expert booking techniques.  It’s very detailed and hands-on, and Nancy walks artists through the entire process of professionally booking gigs and tours.  Students have reported career-altering results from what they learned in this program.

          The arts professionals are offering a Back-to-school Bundle of both programs for a discounted fee.

          Artists can take these programs from anywhere in the world, from the comfort of their own computer, and at their own pace (although the workshop leaders strongly recommend keeping up with the weekly materials and live group Q&A calls because there’s so much rich content to cover).

          You can find out all about Fett's Recording Turbo-charge program at

          You can find out all about Nancy’s Ultimate Booking and Touring program at

        You can find out about the Back-to-school Bundle of both programs at

SongU Launches 'Be The Change' Songwriting Competition

          NASHVILLE -- Help encourage others with a song! SongU has launched the "Be The Change" songwriting competition to do just that. 

          From Danny Arena and Sara Light: As songwriters, one of the important roles we can serve is reflecting upon current topical issues in society. From social commentary songs like "Ohio" (Kent State), "Papa Don't Preach" (Teenage Pregnancy) or "Same Love" (Gay Rights) to hope inspiring songs like "The Sunny Side Of The Street" (The Great Depression), "You've Got A Friend" (MusiCares, etc.), and "It's Gonna Be All Right" (Hope / Inspirational) , songwriters possess the ability to be an active part of the changing social fabric of society through song.

          Upon reacting to the recent death of Robin Williams, actor Alan Alda said, “Can we turn the loss of this artist we loved so much into something that pushes back against the ravages of despair? Maybe our grief can be transformed into an awakening…saving countless other lives.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, statistics shows that suicide attributed to depression claims more than 38,000 American lives each year—significantly more than people killed in car accidents or by homicide and almost identical in number to causes of death from breast cancer or prostate cancer. The World Health Organization reports that by 2030, depression will outpace cancer, stroke and accidents as the world's leading cause of disability and death. Despite the statistics, it remains a health problem “that often gets little attention” according to Jeffrey Lieberman, Chairman of psychiatry at New York's Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

           We are challenging you to write a song in any genre that addresses the topical issue of giving someone hope when they may feel hopeless. Lyrically this can run the gamut in terms of how you approach the song. So think of a few approaches before deciding on one. Approaches like "Tomorrow", "You've Got A Friend" or "It's Gonna Be All Right" work universally because they remind people they're not alone and that things can get better. So think on it before deciding on an approach.


           This song challenge is open to all songwriters, whether or not they are members. You can write the song alone or with a co-writer.

          This will be an elimination style competition with two rounds.
  • ROUND 1 DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 30th. For round one, you are to post a link to your completed song on our Facebook Page at under the pinned top that says "BE THE CHANGE SONGS". Completed songs do not have to be demoed. Worktapes are fine but should be clear and audible. The 10 songs that earn the most "likes" on our Facebook page by OCTOBER 15 will move on to Round 2.
  • ROUND 2 - In round two, we will challenge the writers of the Top 10 songs from Round 1 to put together a video to their song that can be shared on social media to help spread the message. This does not have to be an intricate video. It can be a video like a slideshow of people holding various cardboard signs, quotes, sayings which has proven an effective technique in other viral videos (see 
          Just go to the Facebook page at and find the topic at the top that says "Be The Change Song Challenge". Read the additional guidelines before posting the link to your song.


          Nope. There is no cost to participate. You retain all rights to your song. This can be the first song you've ever written or you can be a seasoned writer. The only thing you need is a song you've written and a desire to be part of the change. 


         Let's make a difference 

Visual Artist Gail McDaniel to Teach Watercolor Painting Classes in Brentwood and Nashville

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2014) -- Gail McDaniel, an acclaimed watercolor artist/instructor who was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year" in 2012, will teach a series of watercolor painting classes in Middle Tennessee this fall for artists at all levels.
            * Two separate watercolor painting classes will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Tuesdays beginning Sept. 16 at Brentwood United Methodist Church, 309 Franklin Road. The classes will meet from 9 a.m.-noon and 6-9 p.m. on Sept. 16 and 30; Oct. 14, 21 and 28; and Nov. 4, 11 and 18. Tuition is $150 for eight, three-hour sessions.

            * A watercolor painting class will be offered to intermediate and advanced artists on selected Wednesdays at Plaza Artist Materials, 633 Middleton St., in downtown Nashville beginning Sept. 17. The class will meet from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sept. 17; Oct. 1, 15, 22 and 29; and Nov. 5, 12 and 19. Tuition is $165 for eight, three-and-a-half-hour sessions.

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required.  Both check and credit card payments are accepted.  For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (615) 599-5115 or send an inquiry to Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at

            McDaniel has taught watercolor workshops on three continents and in Central America. She has trained more than 1,200 different artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted.

            "My classes provide opportunities for watercolor artists to develop their skills and find success," said McDaniel, a traditional watercolor artist who is best known for her vibrant use of colors when depicting images from nature and real life. "I'll be demonstrating the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that I have developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. I show my students everything I know, holding nothing back. My goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed."

            McDaniel also has helped raise almost $90,000 for the arts in area public schools through the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards". The fund-raising effort earned McDaniel and her husband, Ken, a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. She was invited to be the featured artist for the "Martin's Master Show" in Brentwood, Tenn., in November 2009. She recently received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame. The PENCIL Foundation in Nashville named her 2012 "Volunteer of the Year". An eighth-generation Kentuckian, she has been named to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            McDaniel, who lives in Williamson County, gained international notoriety in 2001 when she was named an associate member of the Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network in London, England, and invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France.
            A native of Kentucky, she has studied under 37 noted art instructors. The artist’s reputation as a budding artist grew in 1984 when she was commissioned to paint a family landmark by Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn. She has had 52 solo exhibitions during her career. The Brentwood Public Library hosted her first Tennessee solo art exhibition in 1994.  In 1996 and 1997, she was invited to design the theme poster for the Nashville Symphony’s "Italian Street Fair".  In 1998, she was commissioned to paint 18 watercolor paintings for a permanent collection at the newly opened Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Franklin, Tenn.  A year later, she was commissioned to paint 13 pieces for the annual Nashville Scene N-Focus social calendar.

            In 2000, she became a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, teaching weekly art classes. A year later, she was commissioned to paint a promotional streetscape of four homes for Newmark Homes and five other paintings for the Nashville Home Builders Association/SunTrust Bank 2001 "Parade of Homes". In 2003, she traveled to Giverny, France, and painted in Monet’s Garden. She has judged local, regional and statewide art shows, including a statewide competition at the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville.

            In 2005, McDaniel was commissioned to paint the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music", a PENCIL Foundation fund-raiser starring LeAnn Rimes. A local newspaper spotlighted the artist after she created a poster commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce. 

Americana Music Fest to Offer Educational and Career-Building Opportunities for Artists

     NASHVILLE -- The Americana Music Festival will offer a host of workshops during its Nashville run from Sept. 17-20. Schedule:

2-3 p.m.
Storming The Gates… Networking In The Digital Age
Dave Delaney, award-winning author, social media strategist and host of New Business Networking radio, will lead attendees though a series of modern day networking techniques to allow you to make the most of your relationships and share the best practices on how to get and keep people’s attention in the digital age.
Dave Delaney – New Business Networking / @davedelaney
3:30-5 p.m.
Website Demo Derby
Website optimization can be a daunting task for anyone, but this esteemed panel of digital marketers, designers and website platform developers will share real time advice on how to maximize your most valued asset online, your website. Sites will be reviewed in real time with suggestions from the audience.
David Dufresne – Bandzoogle, Moderator / @bandzoogle
Charles Alexander – Outside the Box Music / @musiccharles
Michelle Conceison – Market Monkeys @marketmonkeys
Tommy Stalknecht – Bombplates / @bombplates
Dave Cool – Bandzoogle / @bandzoogle
10-10:45 a.m.
#SEknOw: Help fans find your band!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has long been the painful task for digital agencies and super-savvy marketers who, supposedly, hold the secret ingredient to marketing online.  Robby Towns, Director of Digital Strategy for Music Biz, is here to pull back the curtain and simplify the process around metadata, keywords and targeting by giving very simple, straight-forward and actionable instructions on how to do it all yourself.
Robby Towns – / @nestamusic / @MusicBizAssoc
11-12 p.m.
YouTube Masterclass
Google may be planning to roll out their own streaming music service in the near future, but in the meantime, it’s free video upload video service, YouTube, has exploded and become a de-facto music discovery platform and internet radio station.  Margaret Hart, head of Artist & Label Relations, along with Jessica Frech, successful YouTube artist and viral content genius, will walk attendees through proper set up and monetization and optimization techniques, as well as discuss the benefits of regularly scheduled content as a way to create community, market directly and sell items directly to fans.
Margaret Hart – Artist & Label Relations/Google @themghart
Jessica Frech – Artist / @jessicafrech
2–3 p.m.
The Power of FREE
FREE can be a powerful word and has been a controversial topic for the music industry.  Passionate advocates for FREE will convene to alert attendees on how to value their offers and what to ask for in return for content.
Stevie Zea Escoto – Moderator / Girlilla Marketing /@GirlillaStevie
Derek Webb – Noisetrade / @derekwebb
Katy Kirby – Thirty Tigers / @katsuzak
Daniel Higbee – Secret Road / @secretroad
Scott Aegis – Sync Up / @syncupnola
3:30-5 p.m.
Content Strategy – What, Why, Where and How?
The old adage is that “Content is KING." While this still remains true in the voracious digital age, another part of that saying should be “Distribution is Queen,” as together they are the perfect compliment to one another and necessary for anyone trying to tell their story to the world.  This panel will dive deep into content strategy and distribution for content of all types and will present an actionable plan for what to shoot, where to post, how to find partners to drive awareness and why any of it means anything at all.
Jamie Lynne Younger – Warner Music Nashville / @JamieLynnYngr 
Rachel Whitney – Borman Entertainment / @racbarn
Jon Romero – Vector Management / @romerojon
Artist – TBD
11-12 p.m.
Cause Marketing in the Digital Age
In this day and age there is no shortage of people doing great work for their fellow man.  Often times, an alignment with a movement can be very beneficial to all parties involved.  This panel will dissect the kinds of partnerships in the marketplace today, what cause partners look for, what the ask is of artist and fans and how to make the most of the “good deed” without losing the spirit of why you’re committed to lending a helping hand.
Lucia Kaminsky – Warner Music Nashville / @luciakay
Ben Greene – Feed The Children / @bentgreene
Faithe Dillman – Marbaloo / @marbaloo
Drew Holcomb – Artist / @drewholcomb
Teri Watson – St. Jude / @stjude
2-3:30 p.m.
BandPage & Spotify Masterclass
Newly partnered platforms BandPage (a direct to fan platform specializing in distributed offers) and Spotify (the largest music streaming platform in the US) will co-present an informative “how to” discussion for fans to understand the comprehensive value of the partnership for artists at all levels.  Topics will include best practices for playlisting and marketing, distributed offers, Spotify notifications and much more.
Copeland Isaacson – Spotify / @copeisaacson
Ty Jacobson – BandPage / @tyjacobson1
3:30-5 p.m.
Copyright Reform: Where Are We Heading?
Copyright reform is something almost everyone in the music and entertainment business wants to see happen, but nobody agrees how. Congress has never been more dysfunctional, but there are forces attempting to write legislation. Who are the players and what are the key issues? Will raw power of various interest groups overwhelm good public policy? Is there hope for songwriters and artists to make a fair living in a streaming music economy? What might and should happen to synch licensing in a modern video-driven culture? 
Jay Frank – Founder, DigSin / @futurehitdna
Craig Havighurst – Writer / Speaker / Host, Music City Roots / @chavighurst
Howell O’Rear - Copyright Attorney, McInteer & O’Rear / @howellorear

Americana Music Festival to Spotlight More than 175 Musical Acts in Nashville from Sept. 16-20

     NASHVILLE -- The Americana Music Association has added more than 20 artists to its already acclaimed list confirmed for Americanafest 2014.  Additionally, the Association has announced new pricing tiers to expand audience access to the 175+ showcases.  The festival schedule is posted here. 
     In addition to the premier pass, the Americana Music Festival & Conference Registration, the Association has created other ways to experience music that is, as described by the New York Times, "authentic and notional" with a $99 festival wristband and Avett Brothers ticket offer for the general public.

The Avett Brothers (Photo Provided by the
Americana Music Association)
     The $99 Americanafest Wristband /Avett Ticket Bundle gets you a wristband for admission into all showcase venues to experience more than 175 acts over four nights and a ticket to the Avett Brothers at the Riverfront show on September 20th.   This bundle package is only available via
     $50 wristbands get you admission into all venues to experience more than 175 acts over four nights and a weekend stocked with music and community events. Wristband holders are invited to select sanctioned cocktail parties and weekend events. (Wristbands do not get you admission to the Riverfront stage.) Wristbands are currently on sale at Grimey's New and Preloved Music, 1604 8th Avenue South, Nashville, 37204 or at The Groove New and Used Vinyl & Cd's , 1103 Calvin Avenue, Nashville 37206 and online at
     The Festival & Conference Registration ($365 for members / $465 for non-members) is the premier ‘pass’ to experience the “Booming Genre” (Entertainment Weekly) offering priority admission toall showcase venues and invitation only events; access to daytime educational panels and parties; a ticket to the critically acclaimed Honors & Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium and the highly anticipated Avett Brothers show in Nashville’s Riverfront Park. Click here to purchase your Festival & Conference registration.  Walk up rates will go up to $500 so act now and save.
List of Artists Confirmed for Americanafest 2014
(Sign up or log in at to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.)
Andrew Combs
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Allison Moorer
Amy Ray
Angaleena Presley
Anthony D'Amato
The Audreys
The Avett Brothers
The Barefoot Movement
Ben Miller Band
Billy Joe Shaver
Black Prairie
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings
The Black Lillies
Bobby Bare Jr.
The Bros. Landreth
The Brothers Comatose
Bradford Lee Folk
Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay
Brooke Russell & the Mean Reds
Buddy Miller
The Cactus Blossoms
Cale Tyson
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Carlene Carter
Carolina Story
Caroline Rose
Chatham County Line
Chris Smither
Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys
Cory Branan
Cory Chisel's Soul Obscura
The Danberrys
Danny & The Champions of the World
David Ramirez
The Deadly Gentleman
Del Barber
The Devil Makes Three
Doug Seegers
The Duhks
The Dustbowl Revival
Elise Davis
Elizabeth Cook
Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo
Ernie Hendrickson
Ethan Johns
The Fairfield Four
Frank Fairfield
Grace & Tony
The Grahams
Grant-Lee Phillips
Green River Ordinance
Greensky Bluegrass
Gregory Alan Isakov
Griffin House
The Haden Triplets
Harlan Pepper
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer
Hayes Carll
Holly Williams
The Hot Nut Riveters
Howard Fishman
Howlin' Brothers
Humming House
Humming People
Ian McLagan & The Bump Band
Immigrant Union
Israel Nash
J.D. Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers
James Maddock
Jamestown Revival
Jason Eady
Jim Lauderdale
Jim Oblon
Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons
Joe Henry
Joe Pug
Joe Purdy
John Moreland
Jonah Tolchin
Jonny Two Bags
Josh Ritter
Joshua James
JP Harris & The Tough Choices
Kristina Train
Lake Street Dive
Laura Cantrell
Lauren Shera
Lee Ann Womack
Leftover Salmon feat. Bill Payne of Little Feat
Leo "Bud" Welch
Lera Lynn
Liz Longley
Los Colognes
Luther Dickinson
The Mae Trio
Marah Presents: Mountain Minstrelsy
Marty Stuart
The Mastersons
Matt Andersen
Matt the Electrician
Matthew Mayfield
Matthew Perryman Jones
Matthew Ryan
The McCrary Sisters
Michaela Anne
Mike Farris
Miss Tess & the Talkbalks
Moot Davis
Music City Doughboys
Nathaniel Rateliff
New Country Rehab
NQ Arbuckle
Oh Susanna
Otis Gibbs
Over the Rhine
Packway Handle Band
Parker Millsap
Parsonsfield (formerly Poor Old Shine)
Paul Burch
Paul Thorn
Pete Molinari
Peter Bradley Adams
Phil Cody
Phil Madeira
Police Dog Hogan
Promised Land Sound
Quebe Sisters Band
Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run
Rhett Miller
Robbie Fulks
Robby Hecht
Robert Ellis
Robyn Hitchcock
Rodney Crowell
Ruthie Foster
Ryan Montbleau
Ryan Tanner
Sam Outlaw
Sammy Brue
Sean Rowe
Shakey Graves
Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band
The Silks
Sleepy Man Banjo Boys
Smith & Weeden
Sons of Bill
Steep Canyon Rangers
The Stray Birds
Sturgill Simpson
Suzy Bogguss
Tim Carroll
Todd Snider & Friends
Tom Freund
Tony Joe White
Trigger Hippy (feat. Jackie Greene, Joan Osborne, Steve Gorman, Tom Bukovac & Nick Govrik)
Truth & Salvage Co.
The Vespers
Webb Wilder
Whiskey Myers
Whiskey Shivers
Willie Sugarcapps
Willie Watson
Zachary Lucky
Zoe Muth