Monday, June 29, 2015

Musicians Invited to Experience NAMM’s Music Industry Day on July 11

     CARLSBAD, Calif. (June 2015) – NAMM will open its doors to musicians, songwriters, and sound and recording professionals during Music Industry Day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 11(Saturday) at Nashville’s Music City Center. 

     Music Industry Day offers a once-a-year opportunity to demo new music instruments and products, attend workshops, enjoy live performances, and network with industry leaders at Summer NAMM, an exclusive, trade-only event. Tickets are available now for $10 in advance, $20 at the door.

     Music Industry Day will feature acoustic sets by Dustin Lynch, Louisa Wendorff, Tony Lucca, and Sabrina Lentini on the NAMM Acoustic Nation Stage. Crooner Lynch hit Billboard’s No. 1 Top Country Albums chart with his self-titled debut then followed up with “Where It’s At (Yep Yep),” a successful single that became a summertime anthem. Singer-songwriter Tony Lucca received national attention as a runner up on NBC’s The Voice and has enjoyed a thriving career on the live touring circuit with several top musicians such as Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. A social media star buoyed by one very “obsessed” fan on Twitter (Taylor Swift), Louisa Wendorff is known for her wildly popular mashups of hit songs, which receive millions of views. 

     The 32nd Annual American Eagle Awards, presented by the National Music Council, bring major star power to Music Industry Day. This year’s awards honor the life-long musical contributions of Charley Pride, Kris Kristofferson, Jim Lauderdale, Jim Halsey, Sherman Halsey and Nashville’s Music Makes Us. The event will occur from 12-1 p.m. in the Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom with live performances by Rosanne Cash, Jack Ingram, Charley Pride, Jim Halsey and The Oak Ridge Boys.

     In addition to musical instrument and product demos from more than 1,600 music product brands, Music Industry Day will feature workshops designed to bolster careers in music. Workshops developed in partnership with NewBay media include The Insider’s World of Hit Songwriting, moderated by award-winning singer-songwriter Thornton Cline, as well as 10 Tips for Killer Guitar Tone and The Pedal Summit, must-attend sessions for guitarists, bassists and gearheads alike.

     In the afternoon, attendees are welcome to join Kala and REMO-sponsored ukulele and drum circles in the lobby. Full performance, workshop and event info can be found online:

     Music Industry Day passes can be picked up on Level 2 of the Music City Center, beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 11. Tickets are $10 online in advance, $20 on the day of the event. Learn more and buy tickets at

About NAMM
The National Association of Music Merchants (
NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,900 member companies located in 102 countries. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Country Artist Scott Coner Releases 'When The Angels Cry' Video on Domestic Violence

By Chuck Whiting
MCAU Editor

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 2015) – Hit country artist Scott Coner has released a new song and accompanying video that reveal the often unspoken but devastating impact of domestic violence on married women.

            Scott says he was inspired to write his latest single, "When The Angels Cry", after his wife Cyndi recounted some heartbreaking incidents that happened to her mother more than 20 years ago. Scott recorded the song with top-tier session players in Nashville, and the couple teamed up to shoot a stirring video on their rural farm near Franklin, Ind. The artist hopes the song and video will be a meaningful tool for organizations that are helping abused women realize their own potential while encouraging men to overcome a lifestyle of abuse.

            To download "When The Angels Cry" song or video, visit the artist's website at, his Facebook page at, or You Tube at .

            The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in five women have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Startling statistics show that on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

            "I think I am passionate about the issue in part because of my own wife having to live in an abusive situation as a teenager," said Scott, who has recorded songs with legendary artists such as Tanya Tucker and T. Graham Brown. "But there is more to it than that. I hate to see anyone lose her self-worth and identity because of someone else. We all deserve a voice, and we all deserve respect."

            Scott wrote the song late one afternoon while he wife was preparing dinner. It tells the story of a woman who is abused by her husband night after night. In the lyric, the woman pleads with her spouse to stop. "You've taken all that I am... There's nothing left of me but this broken wedding band... Please don't hit me again... Please don't take my life... Look into these eyes for God's sake... That's your wife."

            Stylistically, "When The Angel's Cry" was a departure for Scott, who loves to rock the house with high-energy country tunes. Given its dark topic and overall feel, he decided to keep the recording simple and bare. For the recording session, he was joined at Nashville's 515 Studio by Clint Black keyboardist Dane Bryant, Martina McBride guitarist Mike Waldren, and veteran engineer Logan Schlegel. A special console was loaned to Scott by Rob Royer, a member of the legendary 1970s pop band Bread. The resulting sound is organic, tender and heartfelt.

            "So often in my writing process, I record new music pretty quickly," Scott added. "'Angels' was a song that lived with me for years. I recognize that this song isn't a 'feel-good' piece, but I felt I had to record it. I don't know how it will be received. But if the song and video help one person, it will be worth doing a thousand times over."

            Cyndi, who runs the family's Cynnamae Media Productions, brought the black and white video to life with realistic scenes of a Southern woman battered by an intoxicated, uncaring husband. In the end, the victim finally decides to run away. But when she opens a closet door to get her suitcase, a Bible falls out onto the floor. Listeners/viewers can hear Scott singing the chorus. "When the angels cry... You can almost taste the tears... Flowing like a river... It's been dammed up for years...."

            "To me, the Bible signifies hope and resolve in knowing there is a better life out there for her," continued Scott, who noted that the video features performances by a local couple and Scott and Cyndi's youngest daughter, Taylor. "One of the things I wanted to point out is that abuse happens in all parts of society."

            Scott Coner has recorded songs with a who's who of country legends including Tanya Tucker, T. Graham Brown, and Charlie Daniels. Scott's single "Maybe She Lied", a duet with Tucker on Reedy's Dream Records, hit number one on the United Kingdom's Hot Disk Top 40. Other songs, including "Sanibel" (a duet with Brown) and "Reedy's Dream" (with vocal and instrumental contributions from Daniels) have been heard on terrestrial and online radio stations around the world. Also an emerging author, Scott recently penned the book "Lynyrd Skynyrd: Ronnie Van Zant and Me" with Gene Odom, a survivor of the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash.

            To learn more about Scott Coner or to download his songs and videos, visit

(Photos by Cyndi Coner)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chakra Bleu Releases Electronic Dance Single 'When We Dance'

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 2015) – Hit Americana/rock/pop artist Chakra Bleu is expanding into the electronic dance genre with "When We Dance", a new single featuring the keyboard wizardry of former Wynonna music director Harry Sharpe and engineering by former Donna Summer bassist John Billings.

            Released by Nashville-based 1746 Records, "When We Dance" is described as a "magnetic, pulsing recording that captures the timeless, passionate moment of a couple dancing closely together on the dance floor." The rhythmically entrancing recording was mixed by Billings, with keyboards by Sharpe and lead guitar by Paul Allen, a veteran musician who has toured with Big & Rich, Richard Marx and others. 

            To download "When We Dance", visit or iTunes at .

            Bleu's latest release follows a string of hit singles that have climbed into the top 10 on various charts. Her most recent single, "All of Me", recently hit number seven on the NMW Top 40 Main Chart and number 10 on the NMW Hot 100 Chart, with airplay on terrestrial and online radio stations around the world. Another recent single, "The Shadow", reached number four on the same chart, where it remained for six weeks.

            "I'm having the time of my life," said Bleu, who sings, plays guitar, and writes most of her own music. "How many artists get the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most successful musicians of all time? 'When We Dance' was written on my guitar, yet I knew it would need keyboard arrangements and an electronic dance beat to bring it into its full element. Harry Sharpe did an excellent job adding an infectious vibe to the recording."

            Bleu, also a visual artist, said she wrote the tune while reflecting on a dancing experience with an old flame. For the cover art, she painted herself twirling hand-to-hand with the bearded man on a glowing dance floor. 

            "Dancing closely together with someone can be intensively passionate," the pop artist added. "When two people become interested in each other, it seems that the desire to dance together is natural. Becoming lost in the music, engaging closely in each other's energy, can be a euphoric feeling in and of itself. That's what I wanted to bring out with 'When We Dance', and I believe we've succeeded."

            Bleu also expresses these sentiments in her lyric, which includes editing contributions from Mary L. Boyd. The artist uses her Pretenders and Bowie-esque vocals to draw the couple into a mesmerizing embrace. "I hear our bodies whisper in a language of their own... Pull me into you and take me home... Losing ground I slip into another world... I'm letting go so baby hold me close."
            The recording, which was mastered by Jim DeMain at Yes Master Studio, is available for digital download at a host of online retailers, including iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Sony Music Unlimited.

            According to Dave Carew, a writer for the blog Underground Nashville, Bleu is "hands down one of the most original and distinctive pop/rock/Americana artists ever to grace the underground Nashville music scene. Inspired by everything from the styling of bands like Heart and the Cowboy Junkies, to transcendent New Age thought, she has forged, over the past decade, some of the most uplifting, eclectic, thought-provoking, and empowering music ever created in Music City USA."

            Born and raised in Spokane, Wash., Bleu grew up with a passion for music and the outdoors. She started writing songs in middle school and performing with jazz choirs and grunge bands in high school and college. On weekends, she headed to the mountains for hiking and camping. After college, she lugged her guitar and synthesizer to Paris, only to lose her green card a year later. She spent the next two years back home in Washington working in secondary education. But a trip to Nashville changed her life. Successful performances at the Bluebird Cafe and other venues convinced her to move to Music City to pursue a professional career as a singer-songwriter. 

            Bleu's music accomplishments have been substantial since then. One of her recent singles, "The Shadow", quickly climbed various NMW charts, reaching number four on Top 40, number four on Hot 100 A/C, number five on Top 40 Internet, and number one on Indie Top 40 (where it remained for six consecutive weeks). Her sixth album, "Souvenir", generated five top-40 hit singles on various charts, with the song "Addicted to You" receiving "Spotlight" recognition in Cashbox Magazine. Other hit singles from previous albums include "When I Hold Your Hand" and "Hopelessly in Love". 

             "I want to be as inclusive as possible, providing music that is inspiring, empowering and joyful," added Bleu, who returns home to Spokane every summer for songwriting, while enjoying the outdoors of the Great Northwest. "My songs speak to individuals from every walk of life."

            Bleu said there is nothing better than playing live in front of enthusiastic audiences. She has performed at a wide range of Nashville venues, even taking the honors of being the showcase artist for BMI and Bluebird Cafe shows. She is the recipient of the prestigious "Arena Award", an honor bestowed to legendary artists such as Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Jo Dee Messina. 

            Selections from her latest album, including the hit singles "All of Me" and "The Shadow", can be downloaded at iTunes at or her website at . Her latest video single. "Love Me Like My Guitar" can be viewed online at .

            Music industry veteran Gary Lefkowith is overseeing radio promotion. Whiting Publicity and Promotions is handling publicity.  
            For more information about Chakra Bleu or to hear her music, visit To book the artist for an upcoming event, send an e-mail message to .

Saturday, June 6, 2015

CMA Music Festival to Kick Off With Free Concert All Day June 10

            NASHVILLE – The day before gates open to the 2015 CMA Music Festival, CMA is throwing a free kick-off concert all day June 10 at the foot of Broadway to get Nashville and every fan that flocks to Music City for the "ultimate country music fan experience" into the spirit of the Festival.

            CMA has announced the performers for the CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage featuring SiriusXM popular show, "Highway Finds". The event, curated by SiriusXM and hosted by "The Highway’s" on-air talent, will occur from 10:15 a.m.-7 p.m. June 10 (Wednesday).

             “The CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert has been extremely popular with our fans and adds another day of free music to the event,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “It is just another way we can thank the local fans for supporting the Festival while also welcoming Country Music fans from around the country and world to Nashville.”

            The Kick-Off Concert will feature performances by A Thousand Horses, Greg Bates, Annie Bosko, Ruthie Collins, Jessie James Decker, Clare Dunn, Haley Georgia, Haley & Michaels, Sonia Leigh, LoCash, Jackson Michelson, Logan Mize, Jess Moskaluke, Old Dominion, James Otto, Outshyne, Parmalee, Carly Pearce, Adam Sanders, Canaan Smith, Dallas Smith, and Sundy Best.

Clare Dunn (Photo by Carlos Ruiz provided by Country Music Association)

            The CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert will occur at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, located at the foot of Broadway at First Avenue. Gates will open at 9:30 a.m. for the general public.

            CMA has also announced this year’s "National Anthem" singers for the 2015 CMA Music Festival. Katie Armiger will perform the "National Anthem" on Thursday, June 11 at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage. Each night a special guest will be performing the "National Anthem" at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field. Thursday night it will be Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, followed by Restless Heart on Friday, Kellie Pickler on Saturday, and Lee Greenwood on Sunday.

            Festival-goers can visit for the complete schedule.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Nashville Musician/Visual Artist Laura Powers to Host Show-And-Tell Parties in June for New Jewelry Product

NASHVILLE – Nashville musician/visual artist Laura Powers will host several show-and-tell parties in June for a new jewelry product that allows women to save, repair and display unpaired family heirloom earrings.

Individuals can tell stories about their heirlooms and learn how to create gold or silver pendants from lonely, solo or broken earrings during storytelling and demonstrations at various times on June 10 and June 14. All attendees will receive a sterling silver necklace as a thank-you gift.

Each one to two-hour session will be limited to four to seven women. Event times are 3 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. June 10 (Wednesday) and 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on June 14 (Sunday). Complimentary wine, sparkling waters, noshes (and laughs) will be served. To reserve a seat, call Powers at (615) 646-7325.
Laura Powers

“I’ve heard many stories from friends and family members who have lost precious jewelry heirlooms given by grandparents, parents, spouses and others,” said Powers, who plans to launch her new life-changing jewelry product later this year. “Some of them are tearful when they tell their stories. Most of the time, we end up tossing the solo studs or post earrings into a jewelry box and forget about them.”

Powers hopes to hear heartfelt stories she can share with others as part of a product marketing campaign. She also plans to show attendees how her new product will allow them to inexpensively transform their unpaired earrings into lovely pendants, with no modifications needed.

“This isn’t a sales event in any way,” Powers added. “It’s more of a preview with storytelling and demonstrations. I’d love for women to bring their boxes of lonely earrings and try them on our samples. Their feedback will be invaluable during this crucial point in my journey.”

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Washington Entertainment Connection Launches 'Thursday Night Rock'

            SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 2015) – The rock band Nexus will headline “Thursday Night Rock”, a new weekly concert debuting on June 4, 11, 18 and 25 (every Thursday) at the historic Fire Station 1 Restaurant and Brewing Co., 8131 Georgia Ave. in downtown Silver Spring, Md. 

             “Thursday Night Rock” is sponsored by Washington Entertainment Connection and Bigshot Records in partnership with Fire Station 1. WEC also represents the popular Nashville tribute band, The WannaBeatles, and is looking for new musical acts to represent across the Southeast region.

            If you happen to visit the Washington, D.C., area in June, Nexus will perform rock/pop classics and originals from 8-11 p.m. on June 4; 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on June 11; 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on June 18; and 8-11 p.m. on June 25. Admission is $10 at the door for individuals age 21 and over. For more information, call (301) 441-8899, Ext. 5 or visit Learn more about WEC by visiting

Nexus performs at The Bethesda (Md.) Blues & Supper Club
            “This is a great opportunity to hear one of the D.C. area’s most successful rock bands,” said Nexus drummer/percussionist Brian Choper, who founded WEC and its affiliate Bigshot Records in 2003. “We eventually plan to spotlight other acts on our growing roster, as well as host showcases for emerging and professional artists.”   

            The six-member Nexus offers a high-energy mix of rock, pop, rap, reggae, blues funk, power ballads and grunge for nightclub venues, private parties, fundraisers, corporate events, concerts and festivals. WEC is an artist management, recording, video and booking firm based in Greenbelt, Md. Its Bigshot Records division signs, develops, records and books musical acts of all kinds. 

            Fire Station 1 Restaurant and Brewing Co. operates in a 101-year-old historic landmark that formerly housed Silver Spring’s National Guard Armory and first fire station. The venue offers a wide range of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, subs, wraps, burgers, entrees, pizzas and desserts. Music lovers can also enjoy a variety of beers, wines and mixed drinks. Fire Station 1 is located 3 miles north of Washington, D.C., across from the B&O Railroad Station and close to all Silver Spring Metro locations. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

'Tunesmithing' Songwriters Showcase to Celebrate Jazz and Blues Music On June 17

         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 2015) -- "Tunesmithing" will spotlight five professional songwriting acts in jazz and blues music from 7-9:30 p.m. June 17 (Wednesday) at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. (near Music Row). 

          Attendees will enjoy original songs by the jazz/blues/pop duo Kelley Cline & Chuck Whiting, award-winning jazz/folk/Americana singer-songwriter Suzahn Fiering (LIPA "Honored Friend Award" from Sir Paul McCartney), jazz/blues singer-songwriter-author Les Kerr ("Americana Boogie"), blues/country singer-songwriter Eddie Paul ("Young and Dumb"), and blues singer-songwriter Shannon Anne Williford (leader of the band Delicious Blues Stew). 

Suzahn Fiering performs at "Tunesmithing" in 2014. (Photo by Chuck Whiting)

          Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. 

          "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Whiting Publicity & Promotions, Music City Arts Update, and Shine Time Records and Books. The monthly show 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