The 2021 CMA Music Fest will be canceled for a second year in a row because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Country Music Association announced on Tuesday the decision to cancel the June event, which started in 1972 as Fan Fair. It was also canceled last year.
“While we are optimistic with the pace at which COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our many artists, crew members and fans together safely for the full CMA Fest experience we know everyone has come to expect,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said in a statement.
Country Music Hall of Fame legend Ronnie Milsap follows up his all-star Duets, featuring Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Billy Gibbons, Luke Bryan and George Strait, with a 10-song slice of the soul country he’s inhabited for the last half century. A Better Word for Love explores the R&B-steeped sound that has long been the 6-time GRAMMY award-winner and 3-time Country Music Association Male Vocalist of the Year winner’s trademark. Teaming with longtime co-producer Rob Galbraith, the pair sought to celebrate the genre-blurring kind of country that led him to an unprecedented four CMA Album of the Year Awards, as well as the coveted CMA Entertainer of the Year. “I have been blessed to work with some of the very best songwriters in the world,” Milsap reflects. “Over the years, they’ve kept bringing me unbelievable songs, and in some cases, they’ve let me hang onto them because I loved them so much. We wanted to build this album around them, so they wouldn’t be treasures only Joycee and I could hear.” More at https://ronniemilsap.com/
Oh Boy Records—the country’s second oldest artist-owned independent label and the oldest in Nashville—celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a series of special releases and events. Founded in 1981 by legendary singer, songwriter and musician, John Prine, along with his longtime manager, Al Bunetta, Oh Boy has gone on to release more than fifty audio and video recordings and continues today as a vital part of Nashville’s independent music community with the recent signings of emerging artists Tré Burt, Arlo McKinley and Kelsey Waldon. Of his initial inspiration to start the label, Prine had shared, “Every time I’d go to a little concert hall or a club, I was filling it up. So I thought, ‘Why not make music just for those people.’” Prine’s widow and President of Oh Boy, Fiona Whelan Prine shares, “As long as there are people who want to listen to good music, who will value the singer-songwriter then we will keep on going.” To commemorate the milestone, Oh Boy will share a new documentary series chronicling the label’s rich history and legacy via their YouTube page. Watch the official trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5C-NQ4D6b8&feature=youtu.be. More at www.ohboy.com.
Brett Young previews new music with the release of stomping tempo tune “You Got Away With It” (BMLG). A sky-scraping chorus anchors the buoyant new track of unexpected love. Crafting smooth lyrics and a mix that flows with his signature croon, Young teamed up with longtime producer Dann Huff and co-writers Justin Ebach, Ashley Gorley, Jon Nite and Jimmy Robbins. Listen to “You Got Away With It” here: https://BrettYoung.lnk.to/YGAWIPR “We’ve been recording a ton of music over the last year and I couldn’t wait any longer to share some of the material from this new chapter,” Young said. “’This song was a blast to write, and ultimately pushed me into a bit of a new sonic territory in the studio that I’m really proud of.” The momentum for Young’s latest Top 10-and-climbing single “Lady” continues to build following six back-to-back No. 1 hits. He was named ASCAP’s 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year and has also garnered nominations from ACM, Billboard, Teen Choice, CMT and CMA Awards. For additional information, visit BrettYoungMusic.com.
Carly Pearce hosted a live streamed concert event February 24 for her new album, 29 (Big Machine Records) in which she shoulders her own tough truths throughout. The CMA Award-winning singer/songwriter crafts a classic return to the genre with the seven-song collection, exploring the pain and courage that allows space for growth. The Kentucky native has carved her place in Country music writing about life as it’s lived. Honing her natural talent as a 16-year-old performing full-time at Dollywood to harsh perspective in adult relationships, the experiences guided her Platinum-certified, No. 1 hits “Every Little Thing” and “I Hope You’re Happy Now.” Teaming with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, Carly mines vulnerability with the same candor that defined Tammy Wynette. As the siren warnings of “Next Girl” climb into Top 30 at Country radio and her catalogue bursts over 1 billion streams, Carly marks a new chapter coming of age.
Preshias Harris is a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, ‘The College of Songology: The Singer/Songwriter’s Need to Know Reference Handbook’ is available at www.collegeofsongology.com Follow her blog at www.nashvillemusicline.com.