The SMI Podcast, hosted by Brandon Harrington, featured an interview with 12-time No.1 hit songwriter, Josh Osborne. The 72 minute podcast follows Josh’s journey from signing his first publishing deal to earning his latest No.1s.
The Washington Post describes the “two-minute-and-45-second earworm” as not only the country song of the summer, but also one of the top songs for 2017 across all genres. With the announcement of its 25th week atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, “Body Like A Back Road” has broken the record as the longest standing No.1 Country song in the chart’s history.
Entertainment Focus talks with Jo Smith about her new EP, upcoming music and UK debut at the Nashville Meets London Festival.
Entertainment Focus says, “Rising star Jo Smith is about to be the next big thing in country music, with her single Old School Groove already getting a great response in the States.”
Smith speaks about her music’s influences, collaborations and even fan reactions.
People Country dives into Walker Hayes’ family life, music career and details everything else in between. Hayes speaks about influences such as his six children, ultra-supportive wife and even his background in classical piano.
People describes the artist’s lyrics as “wildly creative” and compares him to great legends. Hayes says that his songs are “really just journal entries from my life. I started writing songs about dollar stores, my kids, experiences with my wife. I just started writing about the truth because really that’s my expertise.”
"Walker Hayes details his journey in the industry, shares inspiration for his 8Tracks and reveals the story behind his new single, “You Broke Up With Me.” Hayes also speaks about his opportunity for a second chance in music and details how this time is different than the first time around. "I have ultimate freedom to write the truth. To me that's the biggest difference — and I got a haircut,” Hayes says.”
Whiskey Riff describes Jo Smith’s style as a unique blend of contemporary country and classic Motown. Whiskey Riff sits down with Jo Smith to talk about upcoming projects, her journey so far and her single, “Old School Groove.”
The Tennessean has tapped Walker Hayes as one of Nashville’s hot new artists. Hayes asserts that authenticity is key for new artists to keep in mind. “My stuff is authentic, and it’s 100 percent who I am,” Hayes says. “I don’t think I could have found that avenue to reach people with my music without the people I’ve met in this town.”
CMT dives deep into the artist evolution of Jo Smith, calling Smith’s current music, "Sassy, frank, warm, bold and real.” Smith candidly admits that it took years to figure out who she is as an artist, but remarks that her journey is filled with gratitude for her past experiences and lessons learned among the way. “That’s the whole thing of learning to listen to your inner voice,” Smith says. “I know that sounds super corny. It took me my first decade in Nashville to know that that little thing inside was what I should listen to.”
Rolling Stone Country has named Jo Smith one of ten “new country artists you need to know” in May 2017. Rolling Stone Country recommends Smith for fans of Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini and Sixties girl groups.
"I grew up in South Georgia listening to my dad’s country and Motown records, and it was so important to me to blend those influences on my new EP,” Smith says. "My single 'Old School Groove' sets the tone perfectly of who I am as an artist, and I'm so proud the world is getting to hear it."
Sarah Skates • March 17, 2017 •
SMACKSongs artist Jo Smith has released the first song from her debut EP for the label. “Old School Groove” is a Motown-inspired torcher set to steel guitar. It was revealed as a Highway Find on SiriusXM’s “The Highway” earlier today (March 17).
The four-song project, titled Introducing Jo Smith, was helmed by award-winning producers Jesse Frasure (Thomas Rhett) and Shane McAnally (Sam Hunt, Kacey Musgraves), masters of blending classic R&B with contemporary country.
“Old School Groove,” which was written by Ben Burgess, Bobby Huff and Smith, yearns for the 1960s when a lover’s heart could spin like “vintage vinyl.”
“I love how this song connects with people,” says Smith. “There is a reason that vinyl is making a comeback, and I think this song captures the essence of that time.”
Smith has a lot to celebrate. Earlier this week, the Country Music Association announced that Smith will perform on the 2017 CMA Fest Broadway Stage.
Read more: https://www.musicrow.com/2017/03/jo-smith-drops-old-school-groove/
William Michael Morgan earned a No. 1 hit with his debut single, “I Met a Girl.” The song, from Morgan’s freshman album, Vinyl, was written by Shane McAnally, Old Dominion‘s Trevor Rosen and Sam Hunt, before the latter two had record deals of their own. Morgan says that, although he didn’t write the song, it resonated with him when he recorded it, and rings even more true now that he has a baby girl and is engaged to Runaway June‘s Jennifer Wayne.
Recently, McAnally, Rosen and Morgan sat down with The Boot and other reporters to recall the day the song was written, and the path it took to become Morgan’s first hit.
Shane McAnally: It was just kind of a typical writing day, where we all just get together. At that time, we wrote with Sam a lot, and not necessarily, at that point, for any specific project, or if he was going to be an artist. We didn’t know; we were just writing. We were writing at that time a lot; Trevor wasn’t as busy as he is now, nor was Sam.
It was just one of those days where, I don’t really remember how it all came together. I would be surprised if any of us came in and said, “Let’s write a song, “I Met a Girl;”” that doesn’t sound like something we would start with. But the chorus and the flow and the way that’s laid out feels very much like something we would start with, and then probably would have written something …
When you have that many colors and that many pieces, it’s kind of nice to just land on something simple like “I Met a Girl.” It really gives you room to color up the verses with “tilt-a-whirl” and “blue-jean pearls” and things like that.
Trevor Rosen: I remember when [label executives] Scott Hendricks and Cris Lacy brought us in to listen. They said, “We cut this song on this new artist. You’ve never heard of him, but we’re proud of it.” When I heard it, I thought it was a lot different than the demo; it was very country, but it was beautiful and amazing. But, at the time, there was this real movement at radio, where they weren’t playing songs like this. I thought to myself, “I don’t know if this will ever get played, but it really sounds cool and amazing,” but it was very different.
William Michael Morgan: I fell in love with with the song. Obviously I wasn’t a writer on it, but that was one of the things that I fell in love with, was the pictures … That’s what really caught my attention as far as wanting to cut the song.
I think it was one of those songs that, out of the whole session, it was one that we couldn’t stop listening to, and one that really just kind of pried at us.
McAnally: “I Met a Girl,” those are real images that he keeps talking about; those are real things that happened to us. The three of us in the room were trying to go back to moments — My little girl thinks that “I Met a Girl” is about her. It was actually written before she was born, but I do love that it can live in that world, because now I kind of can’t remember that it’s not about her.
Read More: Story Behind the Song: William Michael Morgan, 'I Met a Girl' | http://theboot.com/william-michael-morgan-i-met-a-girl-lyrics/?trackback=tsmclip
1/26/2017 by Marc Schneider
Back in its heyday, Fred Foster's Monument Records had quite a knack for signing future songwriting legends, including Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton and Roy Orbison. The label shuttered in 1990 before being revived a few years later, notably breaking the fiery Dixie Chicks. Now, the imprint's iconic name, logo and genre-bending ethos are being resurrected once again, as part of a joint venture between Sandbox Entertainment founder Jason Owen and songwriter/producer Shane McAnally, in collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment.
Sony Music has confirmed the venture, with CEO Doug Morris calling Owen and McAnally a "great team and a terrific addition to the Sony Music family." The revived imprint will operate out of Sandbox's Nashville offices, with support from its parent in New York City. UMG Nashville's Katie McCartney has been brought in as senior vp of marketing and label operations. Kelli Porter, formerly of UMG, has been tapped as manager, marketing & label operations
The label's first singings include singer-songwriters Caitlyn Smith and Walker Hayes, both of whom McAnally says are "impossible to compare to anyone else; they are true originals and originality is what we intend to build Monument on."
"It has always been in my nature to create new paths and identify unique opportunities for artists, especially for those who don’t necessarily fit into one particular box," Owen said in a statement. "I’ve been waiting to find the perfect scenario, to explore that passion and take it to the next level, and this partnership with Shane and Sony is the perfect opportunity to purposefully sign and market excellent music from unique, one-of-a-kind artists, regardless of genre boundaries. It is something that we believe is needed."
Formerly of Universal Music Group, Owen founded Sandbox in 2010 as a full-service artist management and marketing firm. Its clients include Kacey Musgraves, Dan+Shay, Little Big Town and Charlie Worsham, among others, as well as the estates of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash. McAnally has penned tracks for Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and others.
Country Music Hall of Famer Fred Foster had singer-songwriters in mind when he co-founded the original Monument with Buddy Deane in 1958. "If your artist can write, you don’t have to go out and break your back searching for a hit," Foster told Billboard last October. "Plus, I also wanted someone that was readily identifiable, that didn’t sound like anybody else. If you’ll notice, all those people (Parton, Orbison, Nelson), you know them immediately."
Read more: http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7669714/monument-records-sony-music-label
A family of companies linked to Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and record producer Shane McAnally will become the new anchor tenant for the former longtime home of Jim Owens Entertainment Inc. on Music Row.
SMACKSongs Publishing and SMACK Management will occupy the 5,000-square-foot first floor at 1110 16th Ave. S. under a long-term lease signed after the office building just changed hands for $1.89 million.
Songwriter rooms, a studio and a media room are planned as part of interior and exterior renovations that Nashville-based Allard Ward Architects designed for the two-story, roughly 7,100 square foot building.
In addition to space the SMACK companies will occupy under the lease with new building owner MB Nashville LLC, 1,860 square feet will be available for lease on the second floor.
MB Nashville, whose registered agent Michael Baum also is SMACK's chief operating officer and McAnally's partner, bought the property from motivational speaker Steve F. Diggs.
Local architectural historian Robbie Jones said the property has historical significance as originally the home of Mrs. Lettie Sweeney, who opened the short-lived Belmont Records in 1953. That music publishing house predated Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut recording studio by a year.
Around 1964, that original house was replaced by a service station and auto repair shop that underwent significant renovations in the 1980s and 1990s into the current office building.
Jim Owen Entertainment has moved from the property at the corner of 16th and Edgehill to 63 Music Square East. That company, which is known for country music radio and TV productions, is producer of the "Crook & Chase Top 40 Countdown" radio show and retained branding of The Nashville Network.
Dane Bryant, a broker with Lura Bainbridge Real Estate, represented Diggs in selling the property. Broker Jason Keckley of Great South Real Estate & Development represented buyer MB Nashville.
After writing seven No. 1 songs for other artists, Old Dominion are finding similar success for themselves. The band have topped the country charts for the second time with their latest single “Song for Another Time.”
The song follows in the footsteps of previous two-week No. 1 “Break Up With Him” and the group’s Top 5 “Snapback.”
“When we went back into the studio to record ‘Song for Another Time’ to ensure it made Meat And Candy, we had initially pitched that song to Chesney to record,” Old Dominion frontman Matthew Ramsey says in a press release. “It was one of the first times I can remember an artist telling us we needed to save a song for ourselves, so thanks Kenny!”
The song currently sits at No. 1 on both the MediaBase and Billboard charts. Ramsey, Brad Tursi and Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion wrote “Song for Another Time” with Matt Jenkins.
“It definitely added something that we felt was missing on our album, and so to have it hit No. 1 feels really good as we trusted our instincts and as it turns out, they were right,” Rosen adds.
Following the success of two No. 1 singles, the band is hard at work in the studio preparing for their follow-up album with producer Shane McAnally. Tursi says they will never be able to “truly describe” what their first album did for them and how it changed their lives, and Ramsey agrees.
“It’s an incredible feeling to be on the receiving end of this much love from the fans, our friends at radio, the songwriting and music community …” Ramsey concedes. “We’ve learned there are so many people who have to be behind you in order to get to live this dream and to receive recognition like this with the validation of a No. 1 on the charts, and to each and every one of them, we want to say ‘thank you.'”
Read More: Old Dominion Notch Second No. 1 Single | http://tasteofcountry.com/old-dominion-song-for-another-time-charts/?trackback=tsmclip
CMT has revealed “17 for 2017” which spotlights country’s hottest new artists. CMT will follow each artist through their yearlong journey and capture pieces that will be featured across CMT platforms.
Shane McAnally Reveals Story Behind Song Written for The Shack
Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Lori McKenna Help Solve Question of Film's End Theme
by alison bonaguro 12/5/2016
How do you even begin to write the end theme for a film?
First, according to Shane McAnally, you have to get up off the floor.
“Keep Your Eyes on Me” — the song he wrote with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Lori McKenna for The Shack — is starting to make the social-media rounds for a couple of reasons. One, it’s the first song McGraw and Hill have done together since “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” in 2014. And two, The Shack is one of the most highly anticipated films for 2017.
McAnally shared the story of how the song came to be.
“One of the most amazing projects I’ve ever had the honor of working on. Earlier this year, @thetimmcgraw @faithhill @lorimckennama and I sat in a theater and watched an early screening of this unbelievable spiritual experience,” McAnally said on Instagram, “and after Lori picked me up off the floor — we all started working on, what came to be, the end theme for #theshack.”
McGraw and Hill both shared the song and the movie trailer on social media as well, tagging McAnally and McKenna.
The film is based on The New York Times best-selling book about Mack Phillips, a man who struggles spiritually after the disappearance of his young daughter. McGraw has a small role in the movie, too. He plays Willie, a friend of Phillips, played by Sam Worthington.
Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and Brett Eldredge have also contributed to the film’s soundtrack.
The Shack will be in theaters on March 3.
By Kelleigh Bannen October 6, 2016 1:00 PM
Courtesy of Kelleigh Bannen
Every other Thursday, Kelleigh Bannen will provide behind-the-scenes analysis, stories and insight into Music City’s No. 1 export, with help from some of Nashville’s top songwriters, artists, executives and producers. Taste of Country will debut each new episode of her This Nashville Life podcast, and Bannen herself will introduce it as a guest writer. Thoughts and opinions expressed by Bannen are hers alone and do not reflect the opinions of Taste of Country, unless she’s talking about #TomatoGate, in which case, yeah … she’s spot on.
We’ve made it to Episode 4 of the This Nashville Life podcast, which we’re calling, “That’s Not Country!” This week’s episode features an interview with hit songwriter and producer Shane McAnally. He’s written No. 1 hits like Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere With You,” Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” and most recently, Dierks Bentley’s “Different for Girls.” He’s also the producer behind the song “Forever Country,” which brought together 30 of country music’s biggest acts to mark the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards.
Have you ever noticed that people love to say, “that’s not country!”
I look up the music video for Sam Hunt’s “Take Your Time” on YouTube. It has over 110 million views and over 12,000 comments. A lot of the comments are people discussing Sam’s “hotness,” or expressing their desire to be his girlfriend. But a lot of the comments touch on liking it because it’s country, or not liking it because it’s country, or liking it because it’s not country and then arguing about what’s country. But that’s Sam. His songs are pretty progressive. Maybe this conversation is to be expected?
Now I look up Eric Church’s “Record Year” — 14,933,000 views, over 1000 comments, similar discussion. Some mention of “outlaw country” and whether this song is or isn’t “outlaw country.” But the conversation about what is and isn’t country rages on.
So, why all the time and energy arguing over what is and isn’t country on the internet? Is it just that the internet makes trolls of us all? Brings out our worst? But this isn’t just run-of-the-mill hate. This is a really specific critique. Instead of “I don’t like this,” it’s more like “this isn’t country, so it sucks!”
It got me thinking: what is country music, and what is great country music? Is it as simple as Harlan Howard’s definition of “three chords and the truth”? And why is it that people seem to love to hate on anything that doesn’t meet their definition of “country music”? I wanted to bring Shane in on this particular episode, because who better to talk about what is and isn’t country than someone who has been so heavily involved in songs that span the extremes in country music? On one end we have Brandy Clark and Kacey Musgraves, and on the other we have Sam Hunt. I have to say, Shane really surprised me with his honesty and vulnerability in this interview. And I find his answer to “What is country music?” particularly interesting. Perhaps there is something inherently authentic about connecting over sadness. And if there’s one theme that most people claim they want out of country music, it’s authenticity.
On a comical note, my co-producer Kevin reads us some of the YouTube comments that are on the music video for my 2013 single “Famous.” It’s hilarious and makes me want to hide under my bed.
Ultimately, I think we just scratched the surface with this topic; there’s just so much to say. If you’re interested in continuing to brew on this subject, I would point you to two songs from entirely different perspectives: Walker Hayes’ “Your Girlfriend Does” and Aaron Lewis’ “That Ain’t Country.” Check them out and let us know what you think on Twitter at @KelleighBannen. And you can subscribe to my podcast at iTunes.
As always, thanks for listening.
Read More: Kelleigh Bannen, Shane McAnally on This Nashville Life Podcast | http://tasteofcountry.com/kelleigh-bannen-shane-mcanally-this-nashville-life-podcast/?trackback=tsmclip
Jessica Nicholson • October 6, 2016 •
Dierks Bentley and Elle King welcomed songwriters, publishers, label executives, media and more to Nashville venue Moto on Tuesday (Oct. 4) to celebrate the No. 1 hit, “Different For Girls.”
ASCAP’s Mike Sistad and Robert Filhart led the festivities. Among those making remarks were Global Music Rights’ (GMR) Randy Gimmett, SMACK’s Robert Carlton, UMG Nashville’s Royce Risser (filling in for an ailing Mike Dungan) and producer Ross Copperman.
The Gold-certified hit marks Bentley’s 15th career No. 2, and King’s first country No. 1 single.
“Different For Girls” was penned by GMR writer Shane McAnally and ASCAP writer JT Harding. The longtime co-writers earned their first No. 1 songs together six years ago, when they penned Kenny Chesney’s “Somewhere With You.” “Different For Girls” is McAnally’s 19th No. 1 song, and Harding’s fifth.
Speaking about Harding, McAnally noted, “He brings joy to the room. Even when you write a song like this, you leave the room feeling like you learned something about bringing positivity to the world.” He continued, “Ross Copperman, you handled this song with such care. I could have become just an artful moment on a record, but you took this to where it sounded like the radio without compromising the lyrics and the message. That is hard to do. Thank you for taking such good care of this song.”
“I knew this song was special when Robert Carlton starting texting us about it when it was just a recording on Shane’s phone,” said Harding. “It’s scary to think about what Nashville would have been like for me without you. Everywhere I go, people ask me, ‘What’s Shane McAnally like?’ I tell them he’s the hardest worker I’ve ever met and he’s so quick to share credit. He believes in songwriters, especially up-and-coming writers, and Nashville is so lucky to have you. Also to my new publisher Rusty Gaston, thank you for believing in me.”
“I never thought that this would happen,” said King. “Thank you guys for writing a great song. It wouldn’t have existed without you guys working so hard on this.”
“It really changed my life,” said Bentley of the song. Describing the party atmosphere and subsequent recovery from life on the road, the singer thanked the songwriters “who know you better than you know yourself sometimes, and see paths for your career that you don’t even get a chance to see, because you’re just not fully conscious — other than when you’ve had two or three vodka Redbulls and it’s time to go onstage.”
He added, “A big part of the success has been the reach into the community. It’s taken me a while to realize that—12 or 13 years. You make great records when you balance out your own songs with great songs from the community.”
Joking about releasing other people’s songs as singles, he concluded, “It’s four in a row now I’ve cut. I need to maybe pull one of mine out at some point. I’m really thankful for that. Singing with Elle was a dream come true. Thank you guys for a great song and a great couple of years.”
“Different For Girls” is nominated for Musical Event of the Year at the upcoming 50th annual CMA Awards, while Bentley also has nominations in the Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Black) and Video of the Year categories.
By Billy Dukes October 5, 2016 6:00 PM
Modern country music will take a backseat at the 2016 CMA Awards next month. Instead of the usual push of current songs from new albums, today’s artists will honor the history of country music.
Country Music Association board member and songwriter Shane McAnally says CMA executive producer Robert Deaton talked to various management teams and producers and found consensus that this year — the 50th annual CMA Awards — should be about more than the latest singles.
“Everybody has kind of taken their respective hats off of trying to promote something that’s happening right now,” McAnally explained during a No. 1 party celebration for Dierks Bentley‘s “Different for Girls,” a song he co-wrote with JT Harding. “That doesn’t mean there won’t be some of that, but I think we’re definitely going to see a lot of throwback and I’m really excited about that.”
“I do know there’s going to be a lot of heritage artists, so you’re going to see a lot fewer current singles being pushed,” McAnally adds.
No performers for the 2016 CMA Awards have been announced. Typically it’s the hottest artists at the time of the ceremony — artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Pop or rock acts often team up with country names for one-of-a-kind live collaborations. That may not be the case this year, although McAnally admits that he does not know which songs and artists will be included yet.
For the 50th annual ACM Awards in April 2015, producers changed up the script so artists had a chance to play a medley of hits instead of just a single song. The result was a fast-paced concert built around an awards show that worked to please fans of all ages and backgrounds.
Few specific details about the Nov. 2 ABC broadcast of the CMA Awards have been revealed, although it was announced that Dolly Parton will receive the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Both icons are included in “Forever Country,” a massive country mashup that featured 30 artists singing three classic country songs.
Read More: 2016 CMA Awards Performers to Honor History of Country Music | http://tasteofcountry.com/2016-cma-awards-history-of-country-music/?trackback=tsmclip
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:01 a.m. EDT
The countdown is on to Friday morning’s release of “Forever Country,” the new single commissioned by the Country Music Association to mark 50 years of the CMA Awards. Put together by super-producerShane McAnally , the new recording combinesDolly Parton ’s “I Will Always Love You,” Willie Nelson ’s “On the Road Again,” and the lateJohn Denver ’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
But the man behind the hits ofKenny Chesney andOld Dominion wasn’t always sure it would work.
“ Joseph Kahn , the video director, was the one who… said that he liked the idea of a mashup and I was really opposed to it," Shane confesses. "I thought that...might compromise the integrity of the full songs. Country music is about...stories and I certainly didn't want to go in and start chopping up people's songs. And he said, 'Why don't you just try? Just throw some ideas around and see what happens.'”
So Shane set about trying to turn a list of 40 classic country songs into something new.
“I was literally laying in bed thinking about these songs,” he recalls, “and I could hear 'I Will Always Love You' over 'Take Me Home, Country Roads.' And I wasn't sure that it would work, but I was like, 'If this is a possibility, this might really work!' So I got up and sort of sang the idea into my phone.”
With the help of 30 CMA winners, Shane’s initial idea evolved into “Forever Country,” which premieres Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, with Joseph Kahn’s epic music video following on Tuesday.
You can get a sneak peak of the artists involved, fromKeith Urban toDierks Bentley toReba , Trisha Yearwood and many more, at ForeverCountry50.com .
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