THE ROYS Make Grand Ole Opry Debut On Friday, November 1

Source: Webster PR

2013 ICM Bluegrass Artist of the Year Top SiriusXM Bluegrass Junction’s Most-Played Albums List


TheRoys_2013_publicity_lrgNashville, Tenn. (October 31, 2013) – Bluegrass brother/sister duo THE ROYSwill make their Grand Ole Opry debut tomorrow, November 1, when they join Little Big TownJosh Turner, The Marshall Tucker Band, Chris JansonSara HazeJeannie SeelyJesse McReynoldsJim Lauderdale and others for the Opry At The Ryman show.  THE ROYS will appear on the 7:00 p.m. segment.  More information can be found at  Out-of-area fans can enjoy the show via live broadcast at

For Lee and Elaine, the night will be a dream come true.  “It has been a lifelong dream to perform on the Grand Ole Opry and I’m still in excited shock that we will be living it tomorrow night,” exclaims Lee.  For his sister Elaine, “holding it together” best describes her reaction to the invitation.  “My whole being went numb.  This is just an incredible opportunity and an honor,” she adds.  “And I thank God for answering my prayers in His own way and in His own time.”

THE ROYS’ current Rural Rhythm Records CD, GYPSY RUNAWAY TRAIN, continues to top SiriusXM’s Most-Played Albums list for October.  The disc is #15 on Bluegrass Unlimited’s Top 15 Bluegrass Albums chart and their single, “Gypsy Runaway Train,” is #19 on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Top 30 Singles chart (November).  The duo is still “reeling” from winning last week’s Inspirational Country Music Award for Bluegrass Artist of the Year for the third consecutive year.

Previously honored with the five additional ICM awards (2012 No. 1 Inspirational Country Single, 2012 & 2011 Bluegrass Artist of the Year and the 2010 & 2009Duo of the Year), THE ROYS continue to bring the best of Bluegrass to audiences near and far.  They have toured across the U.S. and performed in Europe and in Australia and shared the stage with Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Blake Shelton, Doyle Lawson, Janie Fricke, Collin Raye, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Sara Evans, Rhonda Vincent and others.  Lee and Elaine have enjoyed high-profile TV gigs, including performances on Fox & FriendsDaytimeThe Daily Buzz, ABC’s What’s The Buzz, GAC’s Headline Country, RFD’s Campfire Café and Larry’s Country Diner and more. THE ROYS were featured in the PBS television special Pa’s Fiddle: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler.

Stay social with Lee and Elaine at theroysonline.comFacebook and Twitter.

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Source: Webster PR

BIG KENNY OF BIG & RICH HEADS TO NEW YORK CITY IN SUPPORT OF CMA AWARDSAppearances set for Fox & Friends, Access Hollywood, Bloomberg TV, ABC News Now, The Better Show, among others


07_16_13_BK_ES_Promo_861Nashville, Tenn. (October 31, 2013) – Big Kenny, one-half of multi-platinum country duo Big & Rich, is headed to New York City in support of “The 47th Annual CMA Awards,” airing Wednesday, November 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.  Big & Rich are nominees in the Vocal Duo of the Year category.
“I’m so excited to be going up to New York City … I love that city and everybody in it,” said CMA Awards nominee Big Kenny. “We are honored and happy to be nominated for the CMA Awards again this year – we have some exciting new music coming out and can’t wait for everybody to hear it! So tune in Wednesdaynight on ABC — you’ll be glad you did! Now go out and love everybody!”You can catch Big Kenny when he appears on ABC NewsNow (11/4), Access Hollywood (11/4), Bloomberg TV (11/4), SiriusXM (11/4), Fox & Friends (11/5) and The Better Show (11/12).

Hosted for the sixth consecutive year by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will air live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Tickets for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” are officially sold-out, marking the fifth year in a row the ceremony has sold out in advance.

The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by more than 7,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade organization to promote an individual genre of music. The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest-running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards moved to ABC in 2006, where it will remain through 2021.

“The 47th Annual CMA Awards” is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer, Paul Miller is the Director, and David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.

For more information, visit, or follow the conversation on Twitter with #CMAawards.




Guitar auctions raise funds online and during Veterans Day concert

(October 21, 2013) NASHVILLE, TN – Ryman Auditorium and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Lynyrd Skynyrd, will pay homage to vets with a Veterans Day celebration and fundraiser on November 11, 2013. Partnering with Gibson Brands and 105.9 The Rock, proceeds from a special auction will benefit Guitars for Vets (G4V).

Prior to the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on Nov. 11, the Ryman will host a preshow plaza party starting at 5:00 p.m. Attendees will enjoy live music while they check out guitars which are to be auctioned online and as part of a silent auction at the concert. Puckett’s “Trolley Parton” will be on site and any concert-goers riding motorcycles will be allowed to park on the Ryman drive as space allows.

Guitars for Vets is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007. G4V currently operates over thirty chapters in fifteen states with the assistance of over one hundred volunteers nationwide. G4V’s mission is to share the healing power of music with Veterans who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other injuries. G4V pursues its mission by providing free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit to Veterans enrolled in its program. To date, G4V has awarded over two thousand guitars to Veterans. This event will serve as a kick-off for the formation of a new Nashville chapter of G4V. Wounded Warriors supports the organization and will select the first two veterans to participate in the G4V Nashville chapter. Gibson will provide guitars to be awarded to these Veterans.

Lynyrd Skynyrd has long history of paying tribute to military veterans. The band has made donations to Wounded Warriors through the Lynyrd Skynyrd Foundation in the past. The band also dedicates their classic hit “Simple Man” to servicemen and women, past and present, at nearly every show.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to support the launch of this very cool charity in Nashville,” said band member Johnny Van Zant. “Anyone who plays music knows the therapeutic benefit of spending time with an instrument on a regular basis. I have no doubt Guitars for Vets will have a positive impact for veterans in Music City. ”

“As an American guitar maker with its headquarters in Nashville, we’re honored to support Guitars for Vets in its mission here and throughout the nation,” said Gibson Brands CEO and Chairman, Henry Juszkiewicz. “We’ve had a long relationship with Guitars for Vets through the Gibson Foundation as well as with Lynyrd Skynyrd. We couldn’t be more excited that the band will be helping us kick off the Nashville chapter of a charity devoted to healing heroes through music.”

“This is an incredible way for Guitars for Vets to join the community in Music City,” said Outdoor Music recording artist and G4V ambassador Markus Fox. Fox is a former active duty combat Marine and is also a guitarist and singer-songwriter. “To participate in this event on Veteran’s Day supported by rock and roll icons Lynyrd Skynyrd is amazing. It’s something I’ll never forget.” Fox will perform on the Ryman plaza from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., just before doors open for the concert that evening.

Fans can also enter to win a Gibson Les Paul guitar, a pair of front row tickets, meet and greet passes and a Nashville City Pass from the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. at Harley Davidson of Cool Springs or online at now through November 6.

Online Guitar auction featuring Gibson guitars, autographed Ryman Hatch prints and more starts November 1 and runs through November 15. Check back here for more details in a link to bid coming soon.

For more information about Guitars For Vets go to

To purchase tickets to the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at the Ryman November 11, click here.

For more information about Markus Fox go to



Los Angeles, CA (October 30, 2013) – 2101 Records/Capitol Records recording artists Midnight Red are a fresh new force on today’s pop landscape.  Joey, Thomas, Anthony, Eric and Colton were proud to perform for America in New York last week when Z100 DJ Elvis Duran selected them as his October Artist of the Month on The Today Show.  The show drew Redheads from across America armed with red wigs, and homemade signs, hoping to catch a glimpse of the boy band.  Their fans, dubbed the redheads, got much more than they bargained for, when after the taping the band performed a free show and had a pizza party for fans, some who had camped out since the night before.

Set for the MTV Artist to Watch tour with Austin Mahone, which has been postponed, the boys of Midnight Red are always ready to connect with fans.  “When we found out about the tour being postponed, we all just looked at each other and were like, well, let’s see what the fans are saying,” said Thomas Augusto.  “Then we went to twitter and found so many fans inviting us to their homes.  So we all thought ‘why not?’.  And that is exactly what they did in the Atlanta area,” adds Colton Rudloff.

Midnight Red pulled their tour bus into the subdivision, rounded a few corners and ended up at the doorstep of Fayetteville, Georgia resident Samantha Weir.  With a little surprise help from Samantha’s mother, Midnight Red was soon performing for a group of friends before sitting around the campfire to make smores.   “This is exactly what we love doing,” says Eric Secharia.  “We put so many smiles on those fans faces.  It felt so great to surprise Samantha and her friends.”  CNN and Showbiz Tonight picked up the surprise segment; you can catch the whole thing here.

Continuing the promotional support of Midnight Red’s current single ‘Take Me Home’, the five boys have earned accolades with outlets including BillboardAccess HollywoodGlamoholic and FUSE TV. Their killer dance moves and all American charm earned them E! News’  ‘Hotties of the Week’ spot.  Additionally, the band lent their talent to the in-famous NOH8 campaign to promote marriage, gender and human equality, regardless of the cultural group one many associate with.

Additionally, the band will make stops at this year’s Holiday radio shows. Complete list is below and visit for updates. 

11/29               WIOQ              Philadelphia, PA
12/03               WPXY              Rochester, NY
12/05               WKRZ              Wilkes Barre, PA
12/06               WRVQ             Richmond, VA
12/07               KHTS               San Diego, CA
12/08               KLJT                Tyler, TX
12/11               WERO             Greenville, SC
12/12               WKSE              Buffalo, NY
12/13               WKSZ              Green Bay, WI
12/14               B-96                 Chicago, IL
12/15               WDZH              Detroit, MI
12/16               WJHM              Orlando, FL
12/17               WAEZ              Johnson City, TN
12/19               KKHH               Houston, TX

About Midnight Red:

United by their intensely pure talent and passion for music of all kinds,Midnight Red’s members hail from all over the U.S.: Joey Diggs, Jr. is a Los Angeles native, Thomas Augusto was raised in rural Texas, Anthony Ladao is from Seattle, Eric Secharia grew up in Burbank, and Colton Rudloff comes from Buffalo, New York. As the second signing to the partnership between Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriter RedOne’s 2101 Records and Capitol Music Group, Midnight Red is now teaming up with RedOne (Lady Gaga, U2, J.Lo, Pitbull) to create a debut album that showcases their powerhouse vocals and harnesses the combustible energy of their live show.

Near-lifelong singers and dancers hailing from wildly different backgrounds,Midnight Red saw its inception when Anthony and Eric met through their mutual vocal coach. A star dancer for Monsters of HipHop, Anthony had tried out as a backup dancer for Janet Jackson at age 12, then made it to the final round of auditions only to find he was too young to go on tour. After Anthony connected with Eric (through a vocal coach), the two reached out to Thomas, who soon relocated to L.A. from his rural Texas hometown to join the group. A self-described music obsessive “raised by MTV,” Thomas devoted his high school years to scouting out any opportunity to sing onstage, and had crossed paths with Eric through a singing competition when he was 15. Next, the group tracked down Colton after stumbling across a YouTube video of the aspiring singer/school-chorus star covering Jesse McCartney’s “Leavin.’” To round out the lineup, Midnight Red’s then-manager tapped Joey, another aspiring singer who was attending California State University, Northridge (and whose singer/songwriter father, Joey Diggs Sr., had recorded vocals with the likes of Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, and Rod Stewart).

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Source: Webster PR

Special VIP package available at

Nashville, Tenn. (October 30, 2013) – Recognized worldwide as the “greatest living country singer,” George Jones represented everything about Country Music and was loved by fellow artists, musicians, producers, publishers, songwriters, video directors and industry executives.  On November 22nd, Nashville and beyond will honor the music legend with an all-star tribute, the date that George was to perform the final show of his illustrious career.

“I am so excited how this show has evolved and I will be forever grateful to the artists that are coming to honor George,” says Nancy Jones.  “The evening might be long, but I don’t think people will be upset as they will witness the best musical tribute Nashville has ever seen with so many artists performing George Jones songs.”

Playin’ Possum! The Final NO SHOW talent list: (in alphabetical order based on first name, not order of performance)
Alabama, Alan Jackson, Baillie & the Boys, Big & Rich, Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Bare, Brad Paisley, Brenda Lee, Chad Warrix (Halfway to Hazzard), Charlie Daniels, Collin Raye, Craig Morgan, Dailey & Vincent, Daryle Singletary, Dierks Bentley, Eddy Raven, Emmylou Harris, Eric Church, Eric Lee Beddingfield, Gary Morris, George Strait, Greg Bates, Gretchen Wilson, Jamey Johnson, Janie Fricke, Jeanne Pruett, Jeannie Seely, Jessi Colter, Jett Williams, Jim Ed Brown, Jim Lauderdale, Jimmy C. Newman, Jimmy Wayne, John Conlee, John Michael Montgomery, Josh Turner, Kathy Mattea, Kentucky Headhunters, Kid Rock, Larry Gatlin, Lee Ann Womack, Lee Greenwood, Leona Williams, Lisa Matassa, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Lynn Anderson, Mandy Barnett, Mark Collie, Martina McBride, Megadeth, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, The Oak Ridge Boys, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Ray Stevens, Reba McEntire, Rodney Atkins, Ronnie McDowell, The Roys, Sam Moore, Shooter Jennings, Stonewall Jackson, Suzy Bogguss, T. Graham Brown, Tanya Tucker, Teea Goans, TG Sheppard, Thompson Square, Tracy Lawrence, Travis Tritt, and Vince Gill … plus some surprise guests!!!!

Although the show is SOLD OUT, a special VIP package which includes a show ticket, a VIP pre-show reception with Nancy Jones, and other special items are available on a limited basis.  These packages are only available at

Playin’ Possum! The Final NO SHOW is being produced by Mike Smardak of Outback Concerts, with Suzzane Skinner serving as Talent Producer, Kirt Webster serving as Show Producer, Bobby Birkhead serving as Music Director, Sherry Hohimer handling VIP ticketing, fan club, and serving as assistant to Nancy Jones, and Getty Images will serve as exclusive photojournalists for the evening.

About George Jones
George Jones was the #2 best-charting country artist of all time, with a staggering list of hit singles since the ‘50s.  The Beaumont, Texas native also has 143 Top 40 hits to his name, has received two Grammy Awards, was a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor recipient, is a Country Music Hall of Fame member, was presented with a GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 and holds a National Medal of Arts medallion.

George Jones, often referred to as the “the greatest living country singer” was on his farewell tour titled “The Grand Tour,” when he passed away. The icon’s hits, “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair”, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”, “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” will surely become standards for honky-tonk cover bands for years to come.

For more information on George Jones, please visit

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Source: Webster PR

Nashville, Tenn. (October 30, 2013) – Iconic singer, songwriter, musician, actress and philanthropist DOLLY PARTON announces a New Zealand concert date as part of the Australasian ‘Blue Smoke World Tour’ starting in February 2014 at Auckland’s Vector Arena.

Dolly Parton returns to New Zealand next year for the first time in over three decades performing at Auckland’s Vector Arena on Friday, February 7 2014. Dolly’s latest studio album of all new material “Blue Smoke” will be released worldwide on Dolly Records with a release date to be announced soon.

“New Zealand, here I come again.  We have a lot of new and exciting things for the show and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I love my fans in that part of the world.  You’ve been so very good to me for so many years and I know that we’re gonna have a wonderful time.  It’s a long way from home in your part of the world, but I know I’ll feel like I’m right at home.  So New Zealand, I’m coming home.  Wait up!”

In 2011, Dolly continued to receive accolades for what was her most successful European and Australian tour of her 45-plus year career – The Better Day World Tour! During the 2011 tour, Dolly performed for record-breaking attendances in both Europe and Australia, surpassing her previous attendance records.  In 2008, Dolly performed 17 European shows to over 170,000 fans, surpassing her then-best 2007 European tour, where she played 21 shows for over 140,000 people.  Each of these treks grossed in the tens of millions of dollars and established Dolly as Europe’s favourite and most successful country artist.

Dolly fans get ready for an opportunity like none other!  Dolly Parton is about to announce some very exciting news, and she thinks you’ll like what she has in store.  New VIP packages are coming out for this upcoming tour that include access to Dolly’s personal wardrobe and instruments, a backstage tour, and an opportunity to meet Dolly.  Keep your eyes peeled for these packages.  You won’t want to miss out! For the latest VIP Experience updates, please

Tickets go on sale at 9am Friday November 11

My Live Nation members can be among the first to access tickets during the exclusive pre-sale commencing 2pm Wednesday November 6.  Sign up at



For all the latest tour, VIP Experience and ticketing information please visit

Hashtag: #BlueSmokeWorldTour


My Live Nation pre-sale: 2pm November 6 until 5pm November 7
Ticketmaster pre-sale: 2pm November 8 until 5pm November 10

For complete tour and ticket information, visit:

About Live Nation Entertainment:
Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, comprised of four market leaders:, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation is the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five eCommerce sites, with over 26 million monthly unique visitors.  Live Nation Concerts produces over 20,000 shows annually for more than 2,000 artists globally.  Front Line is the world’s top artist management company, representing over 250 artists.  These businesses power Live Nation Network, the leading provider of entertainment marketing solutions, enabling over 800 advertisers to tap into the 200 million consumers Live Nation delivers annually through its live event and digital platforms. For additional information,

Give It All You’ve Got.

Give It All You’ve Got.

There’s no magic formula to being successful in the music business. What works for one artist won’t work for another artist. You can belong to the next big fad and ride that success or you can claw your way to the top the hard way. Either way you can’t expect to maintain success unless you give it all you’ve got.


When I stop to think about the music I like and the artists that I dig deep into the catalog of, the number one thing that attracts me, that enamors me, to them is their passion.

I have thousands of artists in my collection by virtue of compilation albums and singles. If I like a song, I buy it. It really is that cut and dry. I like it all from timeless classics to silly and cheesy songs. There is a time and place for everything and my tastes are wide and varied. I had a music teacher ask me once what music I liked. I replied that I listen to all kinds of music. She pointed out that really I didn’t, since there were music styles that I’ve never even heard, so how could I like “all” of it. It’s something that has stuck with me as I continue on my music adventures in life. In a pure black and white world, she was right; I haven’t heard a lot of the music that’s out there. In my little corner of the world at the time, I had listened to everything that I knew of.

I’ve always had diverse tastes in music, from day one. Digital outlets have made it much easier to listen to all kinds of music and then buy what you love or like and skip over what doesn’t please your ears. I grew up in a different world, an analog world. If you wanted a song, you could sometimes buy a single. In most cases, though, you had to buy the whole album. You couldn’t always listen before you bought it, so you had to take your chances with new artists that you had only heard one song from.

Back then, music was still a business, but albums weren’t three radio singles and a bunch of filler. Albums were package deals and every effort was put in to make each album a package of good songs. Most artists gave their everything at the time to make those albums something special. You have to remember that there was no MySpace, no ReverbNation, no SoundCloud and no CD Baby. You had the radio, live concerts, albums and a few select television appearances to sell your music. That’s it. The channels of distribution were limited.  Radio singles were limited to a maximum of about three and a half minutes or so.

Most of the songs recorded up until the 1970s were no more than that three and a half minute in length. Some were less. On albums, you could have songs that were longer, if you didn’t mind that they probably wouldn’t get played on the radio. The album became the second best way for an artist to sell themselves. The first was the live show. Before YouTube, careers could be made on live shows and how an artist did in front of a crowd.

Modern technology has made it easier for more artists to get noticed, so I have no ill will against the technology. Believe me when I say I love how it has brought more and more music into my life and made my collection grow by leaps and bounds. However, artists can get famous on a YouTube video before they ever perform live. I am of the school of music fans that live for live music. If you can’t perform live, I have a hard time singing your praises. That modern technology has made it so you can sing perfectly when in the studio, but not so good when you sing live in person without the aid of all that technology.

Digital is great, but analog was better. Again, if it weren’t for digital distribution I’d be real limited in what I can listen to and the new music I can find. Digital recording and manipulation is a whole other beast, I am not always a fan of everything it produces. Specifically if it makes amazing singers out of mediocre singers and takes the heart and soul out of the music.


Albums were more important that singles – the entire project was the product. Singles were what were played on radio and what got people to buy your records. So they were important. But in the days of vinyl, you had to have a full record of quality songs to keep your fans. You couldn’t have two songs and fill out the record with fluff material. Not many people would continue buying your records. No artist wants to be a one-hit wonder. No matter what you think, you don’t get rich off of one song. For me, the album always had cuts that were better than the radio singles. The singles are what caught my ear, but the album is what would win me over to the artist and want to hear more from them.

Digital distribution has made the single easier to get. No more looking for 45s or cassette singles at the record store. People can hear a song on the radio and go to their phone and listen to it again or buy it right on the spot. They may never buy or listen to another song by that artist again. There’s no attachment to the artists that make the music. There is a large portion of music fans who never buy full albums if they don’t have to. Honestly, that has as much to do with economics as it has to do with anything else. Being able to listen to every song, or a sample there of, before you buy is something that couldn’t be offered before the digital revolution.

These days if you have the time and the determination, you can listen to every new song coming out and buy what you like and skip what you don’t. Artists are migrating towards the finish it and get it up and available to hear or buy as they go. Record labels have a lot to do with that. It’s easy to blame the business side for the hurry up and make music aspect of why albums these days have more and more filler. The people in charge of the bottom line at record labels want to make as much money as possible. When something is selling, they hurry up and release artists before they are really ready to be released. They don’t want to miss the trend.

Music fans get bombarded with all these new artists until they all start to look and sound alike. Then the next big thing comes along and the later comers to the last big thing are blamed for that thing’s downfall. Artists take the heat for mediocre releases when it fact most of those artists have lost control of their own music to the record labels. The business overrules the creativity and the quality. The amount of new artists overwhelms the music listeners. It’s too much. Some move on and other retreat back into what they already have until they hear something new or new to them that fulfills their musical thirst.

When you have an artist putting out albums year after year and sometimes multiple albums or EPs in a single year, some music fans are put in the predicament of not being able to keep up. Economics become a factor at that point. When you consider the price of albums, concert tickets and merchandise, it gets expensive fast. Although today’s music fans have more music available to them than ever before, money is not unlimited. Technology had an answer for that, too.

File sharing became a big deal when the digital revolution took hold of the music world. However, without the file sharing problem, we may not be as far advanced in digital distribution as we are. An album cannot always be released in every corner of the world for every artist. Bootlegging has been around as long as recorded music has existed I’m sure. While record labels started promoting the flavor of the month, file sharing allowed classic albums and artists, new artists and obscure music to be shared among the masses. This gave life to older artists and allowed new artists to become discovered.

It also created the digital single. The digital single gave the ability for an artist to record one song and become famous before they had enough material for a full album. I have lived long enough to see that one song can be deceiving to the general music listener. That one song could be well produced and well performed, but it doesn’t mean that the artist can deliver a whole album of those songs.

Let’s go back to the topic of this blog, give it all you’ve got. If you have one great song and a bunch of okay songs, releasing that one great song is a good way to see how people respond to you. At the same time, music isn’t a career for everyone. No matter how much you love it, without a loyal audience and the ability to win a crowd over with a live show, it’s a lot of work to be able to make a living at it. You have to give everything of yourself to just break in, let alone maintain it. So that one song may be great, but if you can’t fill a whole album how far are you going to go in this business?

Anyone can record a song or video and post it online for the world to hear. They do it because they love it or for fun. If you want to make a career of music, you have to be willing to give every ounce of yourself to what your want to achieve. You heart, your soul and your whole being have to be in for the long haul. Music is not a get rich quick scheme. Most musicians are far from being rich. When you look at numbers for every superstar there could be thousands of artists and musicians wondering how they are going to make their rent or car payment. New artists can struggle for years before they get discovered. If it’s their passion, it’s worth that struggle and the product is usually much better than those who are in it just for the celebrity.

Not all superstars are half-heartedly into their career. I try not to generalize anyone; there are millions of artists in this world and everyone has had a different path to their current level of popularity. A true overnight sensation is a very rare breed. Most work for years and years before they get their break. Those artists are really the catalyst for this particular blog entry (and probably a few more in the future). You have to want to make it to succeed at any level. It’s so much more than just a good looking artist who can sing or dance or play an instrument proficiently. You can go through all of the motions, but if your heart isn’t in it for the long run, it won’t have any soul. It’ll be a paycheck and that’s it. If that’s what an artist wants out of music, go work at a record store.

Making a living at performing music for a living isn’t about the paycheck. It’s about the natural high in performing and sharing a piece of your soul with others. Audiophiles can tell when you are going through the motions. I can tell when an artist is going through the motions to get a paycheck.  Yes I am being hard on artists in general, but as someone who is passionate about music I expect that when I pay for something I feel as if I got what I paid for. That statement isn’t to lessen performance art to dollars and cents. I have to be realistic. As an adult I have bills and responsibilities that must come before my love of music. Not by choice, have you, but by necessity. Buying a concert ticket is all good and fine when the bills are paid. If the bills aren’t paid, that concert ticket can’t be purchased. So as much as I would like to go to every concert I can, I have to be selective.

My tastes lead me to artists that have proven to me that they give their all in everything they do. The albums, the concerts and the whole kit and caboodle – has to make it worth my while to do more than just listen. The genesis for this post and the ones that will follow is that I have fallen in love with so many artists that have worked their tails off and seem to be overlooked in this overly commercialized music industry we have today. They are deserving of all the attention and accolades they get, but they are still teetering on the brink of superstardom. They deserve superstardom, but it’s almost as if the general populous of music fans will never get to hear them. Radio isn’t friendly to artists that are cross-genre specimens unless there is a big payday in it for them.

When an artist’s music crosses genres it can be hard to give them the exposure they need to leap that huge hurdle from the next big thing to superstar.  These artists make a living, but are far from making a comfortable living. They live on the road promoting their passion, their craft, and hope that it becomes easier somewhere down the road. They are away from home, their families and friends more days than they can count. They live their passion and can’t turn their back on their music and go back to that day job. They want to be the best at what they do.

They don’t get there by practicing when time allows or playing a gig when they can. They live the music. They play or practice every day. They jeopardize relationships with family and friends to perform music. They give all of themselves to their music. There are more of those kinds of artists in the world then there are the partying celebrity artists who have entourages six miles long. When you latch onto an artist that is on the rise, I think you become invested in their success as milestone after milestone is reached. You grow with them and they become ingrained in your life. You see the passion and you have as much as they do for their music. You’ll defend them and their music against their critics. When an artist gives their all, the fan base returns the favor.

A lot of music out there is missing that heart and soul. Artists who give their all recognize those fans that have grown with them. They know who to thank for their success. Working hard is the biggest part of the puzzle, but the fans are the next biggest piece. The celebrity is such a minimal part of being an artist. You don’t need it to make music, but you wouldn’t have it if you didn’t make music. You can’t be successful without the fans. Great artists of all levels know that. The fad audience, the trend followers and so forth are great for any fan base, but they may not stick around when that next big thing comes along. You have to make them life-long fans.

The only way, in my eyes, to do that is to prove to them that the music matters more than the celebrity. Artists have to win fans and keep them for the long haul. When artists are around for thirty or forty years, it’s because their core fan base remained loyal and enjoyed the music they created. They saw the passion for performing and recording music that no matter how cheeky or how serious spoke to them in a way that stuck with them for a lifetime.

I grew up listening to a variety of music, from career musicians to one-hit wonders that never performed again. Actors and actresses that could sing, and singers and musicians that could act, my collection has all kinds of artists. Not all of them are awarding winning or commercially successful artists. Knowing that some of them have platinum records or are in this or that hall of fame is not as important to me as the music they put out for me to hear. They don’t have to sing perfectly or play with virtuoso skills; they just have to give it all they’ve got. They have to love what they do.

I don’t expect every singer to sing as well as Jose Carreras or Luciano Pavarotti. I do expect them to sing every song as if they mean it. If it’s a silly song, be funny about it. If it’s serious be genuinely serious about it. If it’s a love song, be passionate. Even if you didn’t write it, sing as though you did. Put yourself in character and make me believe that you love what you do and that you’re the best at it.

That being said, don’t sing what you weren’t meant to sing. Know your limits and work within them before tackling what you’re not ready to. Musicians and vocalists are always learning and expanding their repertoires as they evolve over their lifetime. Some people just aren’t meant to sing certain songs. If you work to your best strengths, you’ll go farther than if you try to be someone else. Just be yourself.

It is difficult to be yourself when there will be suits and ties that want the next big thing and will mold a new artist into what they think they should be. You can lose your identity that way. You can give your all and it won’t be fulfilling because you are forced to be someone else. When you make it and then gradually revert back to being who you were before they changed you, you will lose a lot of fans who only know you for what you became successful with. The heart and soul has been taken out of music where the business takes the performer out of the art. My rant about being yourself becomes very difficult to live by if you won’t get anywhere by letting someone else transform you into what they think you should be…and you let them.

I could say that if you allow someone to change who you are to be famous than you really didn’t want to be a career musician, you wanted fame and fortune. You gave up yourself to be famous and on the top of the heap. However, I can’t argue that sometimes you have to give it to even get noticed. I’ve seen this business of music evolve so much that I get it. I understand why people go on television talent shows in order to make it. They are passionate about music, but they don’t fit the cookie cutter mold of what the suits and ties think will sell. They do give everything they got, but they are still rough around the edges and that exposure on television can help make them better. They allow themselves to be coached and ‘owned’ by the music professionals on the staff of the show. It’s not as bad as it sounds though. The difficulty comes in when the next crop of contestants come along and you, a finalist, are no longer given any exposure and become a ‘where are they now’ storyline.

You did give it your all, you had to. You had to show that this is what you really wanted to do. The exposure you received gave you the ability to play shows and record an album or two. You got your feet wet. What these shows don’t prepare you for is what all artists experience in their career – the low years. The years that you prove that this wasn’t a spur of the moment decision to become a singer or a guitar player, you continue on fighting to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry. Those down years will separate the determined, passionate artist from the fame seekers pretty quick. If music is your life, you will find a way to keep it all going through those down years, you’ll find a way to continue to provide for yourself or your family when the bills come due. If you stick it out, you will find your place in the music business for years to come and may even see a resurgence in your career.

I am not an expert on making it in music, but I have learned that you have to work hard to make a successful run of it. You have to give everything you’ve got. You have to want it more than the fame and fortune that may go with it. I love music, I love going to concerts, I love watching concerts and performances on television. I used to watch every awards show there was. I still watch some, but I find myself cringing at the performances that now dominate those awards shows. Not all of them are horrible and not all of them are spectacular. There are just enough that are downright awful, though, that I find myself disenfranchised with the whole experience. I used to enjoy awards shows. I can’t anymore. It’s about the spectacle or the same ten artists that were on the last awards show. I just don’t get it anymore.

I’ve worked in the music business for about fifteen years. I’ve been listening to and buying music my whole life. I know what I like. I played the violin for ten years throughout school. I know that if I had practiced more I would have been better than I was. I enjoyed it. I wish I had kept up learning the guitar and the piano. I can read traditional sheet music, something which a lot of modern musicians can’t do. I can’t read tablature in any way shape or form, however. I have helped promote artists and tours from both sides of the business – as an employee and as a fan. Things have evolved so much over the years. The artists who’ve worked there asses off over the years are still around – working, performing and making new music.

Those are the artists that I admire the most. They work hard and do it because they love it. They don’t know what else they would be doing if it weren’t for music. It’s all they ever wanted. It’s also the most important thing I’ve learned from them. Give it all you’ve got. You have to enjoy what you do inside and out. You will not last if you are only going through the motions. Despite what some naysayers may think, it isn’t all about the money. True these artists have to pay their bills like everyone else. But they play music because it is the only thing they love to do. If you think every artist with an album, an award or a platinum record will live high on the hog for eternity, I ask you to read up on the business of music and see how little some of them get from some record deals.

Not every artist has a fifty room mansion with eclectic treasures throughout the house. Not every artist has a fancy sports car. In fact, some don’t even want that. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love what they do. It doesn’t mean they are just going through the motions if they have all that either. You can, if you take the time to look, can see who is and isn’t going through the motions and riding a wave that has long since flattened out. You can tell when an artist keeps going after they shouldn’t. You can tell when the next Internet sensation isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. You can’t say they aren’t giving their all, but you can say they aren’t good enough to make a career of it.

Much like every rant I make, I end up showing that both sides of the coin have value. I am just saying, though, that I think artists sometimes forget the hard work required to keep their success and a lot of fans don’t realize how much work it is to be a famous or relatively famous musician.

I guess the moral of this post is that you have to really love what you do and good things will come. It may take years, but someday those artists deserving of accolades will get them. The ones who want to play music will still play music whether it’s around the corner or around the world. Sometimes it takes a while to reach the right audience amidst a sea of artists being marketed by conglomerates who are ruled by the bottom line.

Live up to the hype you create or your fans create. Not everyone will like what you do or how you do it. When you build that fan base, don’t take advantage of them and they will remain life-long fans. Once you get the attention of the mainstream, don’t let it change you. Continue to give your heart and soul for your passion.

More to come on this topic as I’ve ventured way off the eleven pages I wrote out on paper about this topic – if you’ve never read one of my blog posts, this is kind of normal. I’m good at going off on tangents. I’m long-winded too. Sometimes when I write, I get reminded of things that are related, but may not matter to the topic at hand. I write them down in the course of making my notes and therefore my posts and my writings tend to wander all over the place. I probably never go into enough depth as I write it all out, but I will post them anyway and go back later and do it up right. I get so behind in documenting my thoughts they turn into short stories or chapters from a book.  I’ll type up exactly what I wrote for another entry – although I’m sure it’s just as A.D.D. as this one is.

If you’ve read all this nonsense that I hope at least flows even if it goes off topic, thank you. I’ll try it again here soon.

Country Entertainer Lisa Matassa Sings National Anthem LIVE On The Golf Channel, October 30

Source: So Much Moore Media

Country Entertainer Lisa Matassa Sings National Anthem LIVE On The Golf Channel, October 30

 2013 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Final To Reach 120 Million Homes

Lisa Matassa head shot

Nashville, TN (October 29, 2013) -Country entertainer LISA MATASSA will sing the National Anthem live from Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the opening ceremony of the 2013 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Final onWednesday, October 30 at 9 p.m. ET.  The LIVE UNDER THE LIGHTS event broadcasts globally on-air and online to over 120 million homes and celebrates the new partnership between Long Drivers of America and Golf Channel/NBC.  North American broadcast dates include:Wednesday, Oct. 30, 9 p.m.,Thursday, Oct. 31, 4 a.m.,Monday, Nov. 4, 12:30 a.m.,Sunday, Dec. 1, 11:30 a.m. andMonday, Dec. 2, 4 p.m.  The international schedule can be found at

While Matassa isn’t a golfer herself, she does admire the sport since her husband Frank competed in Long Drive events in 2009.  “I’ve been lucky enough to sing our anthem at two Major League Baseball games this summer,” Lisa notes.  “I’m thinking the golf crowd might be a bit quieter than the ballparks,” she jokes.  “But it’s Vegas – so who knows!”

Lisa’s current single, the attitude-infused “I Won’t Ask,” is moving up the Country charts, landing at #44 this week.  The track is also spinning on Aol Radio’s “New Country First,” Slacker Radio’s “New Country First” Channel, “Ladies Of Country” Channel and’s“Big Country” Channel.  The companion video, shot in Austin, Texas, is currently in rotation on, CMT Pure!, ZUUS Country, ClubCom Network’s Country Reel,, Sidewalks TV, and additional outlets.

Matassa’s whirlwind summer kicked off with her CMA Music Festivaldebut, her Grand Ole Opry debut (during the celebration of the U.S. Postal Service’s limited-edition Johnny Cash Forever stamp), and an appearance at the inaugural Taste of Country Festival in New York. This summer alone, Lisa has shared the stage with Lady Antebellum,Carlene Carter, Jamey Johnson, her “tweet buddies” The Oak Ridge Boys and Randy Travis.  She continues with tour dates throughout the fall, including the “Playin’ Possum! The Final NO Show” November 22 in Nashville.  She’ll wrap the year at home in New York with family and close friends.

Lisa’s social circle keeps on growing with nearly a half-million Twitter followers and almost 200,000 Facebook friends.  Fans can learn more about Lisa on her website.

About Long Drivers of America:  Long Drivers of America is a dynamic golf event company that specializes in producing events for long drive professionals.  The company is owned and operated by long drive pioneer Art Sellinger.  Founded in 1995 and based in Roanoke, Texas, LDA is best known for staging the annual RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, the premier event in power golf.  For more information visit

About Golf Channel:  As the fastest-growing network on television, Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla.  The Golf Channel cable network, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes worldwide through cable, satellite and wireless companies.  As part of the NBC Sports Group, professional golf coverage on NBC is branded “Golf Channel on NBC,” further extending the Golf Channel brand to NBC’s broadcast audiences.  Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, added to a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s best news, instruction and original shows.  Golf Channel’s digital platform of businesses is led by, a leading golf destination on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf, as well as services that help the recreational player with how to play, what to play and where to play golf.

THREE-PEAT For THE ROYS: Duo Wins Third Consecutive Inspirational Country Music’s Bluegrass Artist of the Year Award

Source: So Much Moore Media

Nashville, TN (October 25, 2013) – Brother/sister duo THE ROYS pulled off a “three-peat” at last night’s 19th Annual ICM Faith, Family & Country™ Awards, winning the organization’s coveted Bluegrass Artist of the Year Award for the third consecutive year.

“Speechless,” is how Elaine Roy describes her feelings upon the announcement.  “It’s hard to put into words just how much this means to us,” adds her brother Lee.  “We are humbled once again.”  THE ROYS were previously honored with the following ICM Awards: 2012No. 1 Inspirational Country Single (“I Wonder What God’s Thinking”),2012 & 2011 Bluegrass Artist of the Year and the 2010 & 2009 Duo of the Year.

The Awards event capped off the 2013 ICM Faith, Family and Country Convention that began October 20 at Two Rivers Fellowship at Opryland.  The week included the annual ICM Faith, Family and Country Talent ShowThe Power Source #1 Party, annual membership breakfast, seminars, incredible live music and much more.

In addition to winning their most-recent award, THE ROYS were honored to act as presenters during the show.  They shared those duties with American Idol’s Melinda Doolittle, The Voice’s Holly Tucker, Jim Ed Brown, Former NBA Player Mike Glenn, and Andy Griggs.

The show streamed live on and will air on The TCT Network, GEB America, National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), The Worship Network and Total Living Network (TLN), reaching a record-breaking potential audience of over 1.6 billion around the world.  National television correspondent and host of Inside Edition Megan Alexander returned as host of the event.

In other news, the dynamic Bluegrass duo’s current CD, GYPSY RUNAWAY TRAINis riding high at the #1 spot on Sirius XMBluegrass Junction’s Most-Played Albums list for October.  GRT is the third Rural Rhythm Records’ project of Lee and Elaine’s to land in theTop 5 on BILLBOARD’s Bluegrass Album Chart.  The “Gypsy Runaway Train” single is #25 on this month’s BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED National Bluegrass Survey Top 30 Song Chart.  ZUUS Country continues to play the “Gypsy Runaway Train” video on their Americana Currents show.

Stay social with Lee and Elaine at www.theroysonline Facebook andTwitter.