Thomas Rhett commanded the stage last night during his sold-out show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works. The concert benefited two local charities with over $50,000 going to The Caleb Wilson Foundation and hundreds of gifts for the Middle Tennessee chapter of Toys For Tots. Thomas Rhett performed his multi-week #1 smash “It Goes Like This,” his new single “Get Me Some Of That,” and several other songs from his debut album. Additionally, he sang an acoustic version of “Round Here,” which he wrote and Florida Georgia Line took to #1 on the Country charts. The Cadillac Three kicked off the night with a high-energy set that showcased their “country fuzz” sound.
Having disposed of a disruptive Thanksgiving, Music Row returned to the business of giving itself awards Monday (Dec. 2) by staging two No. 1 parties back-to-back at Marathon Music Works, a converted factory near downtown Nashville.
Honorees at the first party were songwriters Thomas Rhett , Rodney Clawson and Chris Tomkins, whose "Round Here" was a two-week No. 1 single for the duo Florida Georgia Line
FGL members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard also attended.
Songwriters Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Jimmy Robbins were spotlighted at the second party. Their composition, "It Goes Like This," was a three-week No. 1 for Rhett.
Rhett, who had the pleasure of celebrating both his first No. 1 as a writer and as an artist on the same day, is the son of Akins, himself a breakthrough country act on Decca Records in the mid-1990s. Rhett Akins' top hits were "Don't Get Me Started" (1996) and "That Ain't My Truck" (1995).
The performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI, along with the Valory Music Co. and Republic Nashville Records, sponsored the party. Rhett records for Valory, Florida Georgia Line for Republic.
Got all that?
Party-goers arriving at Marathon Music Works entered an open, warehouse-size performance space with a wide, elevated stage at one end and a bar at the other. Gigantic, slow-moving fans set between the steel roof girders stirred the air overhead. Areas at the sides of the main area, separated by black curtains, served as kitchen and interview rooms.
A few minutes after the event got underway, Scott Borchetta, head of the record labels, came to the stage and good-naturedly exhorted the crowd: "Come this way or they'll shut the bar off ... 'cause that's how we do it 'round here."
After Borchetta's repeated urging, most of the celebrants clustered near the stage, leaving the food table and bar temporarily abandoned.
Black uniformed waitresses threaded through the crowd bearing hors d'oeuvres trays to ensure that no one fainted from hunger as the lengthy proceedings proceeded.
Borchetta brought the three "Round Here" songwriters and Florida Georgia Line to the stage, as well as Joey Moi, the song's producer. Then he turned the microphone over to BMI's Jody Williams.
Likening Florida Georgia Line's rise to a rocket ship taking off, Williams asserted the duo was "the definitive game-changer of this era of country music." He further noted that FGL's "Cruise" had just won the single of the year prize at the American Music Awards and the duo had been featured in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Williams cited Clawson for having won BMI's country songwriter of the year award last month and pointed out that Clawson had co-written six of the 50 songs then honored. Several other Clawson songs, Williams added, are currently climbing the charts.
Speaking for ASCAP, Ryan Beuschel congratulated Tompkins for having scored his ninth No. 1 with "Round Here." He reminded the crowd that Tompkins has already won two Grammys for his songs and that his "Drunk on You" was recently named an ASCAP country song of the year.
Publisher and songwriter Craig Wiseman praised the cross-pollination of musical talent on the current country scene and lauded the singers, songwriters and producers for refusing to "stay in the same lane."
"It's just nuts," he continued. "It's just a big musical swirl. ... ['Round Here'] was a seriously cool record."
Rhett, a BMI writer, then stepped forward.
"I've been to several of these [No. 1 parties] and always wondered what it would be like to be the one talking," he said. "This is it."
Sweeping his hand toward those standing behind him onstage, he said, "You're all good people."
FGL's Kelley came up next.
"It's been a wild ride this year," he said, "and it wouldn't be the same without all of you."
Hubbard, his singing partner, agreed.
"[This is] why you move to Nashville," he observed. "It's all about the song. These guys are writing and creating songs that are taking over radio."
Following a brief pause during which the principals posed for photos, Borchetta returned to the microphone to tell a story.
He said that three years ago he decided the Big Machine Label Group he captains had signed enough artists for the time being. However, his A&R chief, who scouts out potential artists and songs to record, insisted that he take just one more meeting.
That meeting was with Thomas Rhett. Borchetta said that every song Rhett sang for him, starting with "Beer With Jesus,"was "really good."
The longer he listened, Borchetta said, the more he thought, "This must have been what it was like to have signed Roger Miller."
Turning to Rhett, Borchetta added, "I'm so glad you signed with us. ... That first No. 1 [for an artist] is the drug we're all addicted to."
Rhett told the crowd that his dad had emailed him the demo of "It Goes Like This" and that everyone he played it for liked the song. Still sounding a bit overwhelmed by the rush of good fortune, Rhett said, "I never imagined that my first No. 1 party would be a double No. 1 party."
Borchetta also singled out the single's producer, Michael Knox, for his work in creating a record that has now sold more than 1 million digital copies.
As the speeches continued and more awards handed out, Rhett and his father stood side by side, drinking it all in.
Williams recalled going to Chicago to see Rhett perform in a bar there for only 10 or so patrons. What impressed him, he said, was that Rhett took the time to "engage personally" with everyone in the room.
Such attention to bonding with fans, Williams suggested, may have accounted for the fact that both Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean relied on Rhett this year as an opening act.
Of Akins, Williams recalled, "I think I signed Rhett to BMI about the time Thomas was born."
"It Goes Like This" is Akins' 14th No. 1, Williams said.
Beuschel explained that Robbins signed his first publishing contract only 18 months ago and has since had two No. 1 songs, the first one being Blake Shelton's "Sure Be Cool If You Did." He has had 50 songs cut, Beuschel added.
Hayslip, on the other hand, is something of a late bloomer, Beuschel pointed out, having scored his first No. 1 only three years ago after more than a decade of effort. He has twice won ASCAP's songwriter of the year award.
Hayslip and Akins are longtime friends and co-writers. Akins expressed pride in his son's successes and noted that "It Goes Like This" went No. 1 on his birthday.
Rhett singled out his wife for particular praise. He thanked her for accompanying him on the road and for "putting up with some of these idiotic girls hanging on the front row" of his concerts.
Borchetta concluded the party by announcing that Rhett will be one of the artists to perform on Country Radio Seminar's New Faces Show early next year.
Genre-defying, GRAMMY-winning band, THE MAVERICKS, will lend their signature sound and intoxicating polyrhythmic beats to the PBS audience to help raise funds during the network’s December pledge drive programming. This Saturday (11/30), throughout December, stations nationwide will air The Mavericks: In Time. The special television event will feature hits like "All You Ever do is Bring Me Down" and "Here Comes the Rain” in addition to infectious new tunes such as "Come Unto Me" and “Back In Your Arms Again” from their latest album, IN TIME (The Valory Music Co.).
Cuban-American lead singer Raul Malo’s pristine vocals mixed with the garage band ferocity of talented musicians Robert Reynolds, Eddie Perez, Paul Deakin and Jerry Dale McFadden will mesmerize audiences throughout the special. High Five Entertainment’s Emmy award-winning team produced The Mavericks: In Time, a 90-minute DVD, which will be exclusively available to those who pledge support their local PBS stations.
The Mavericks: In Time will air nationwide in several major markets, including Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle and Nashville. Check your local PBS listings here for additional markets, airdates and times.
Nearly 20 years after their first major label release, a plethora of industry awards and an indefinite divergence, The Mavericks have returned with the same “magic” they were known for, garnering critical acclaim for both their new music and exhilarating live shows throughout the U.S. and the U.K. They have also appeared NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and CBS This Morning.
Justin Moore‘s dad, Tommy, makes easy conversation. He’ll greet you with a warm smile and a strong blue-collar handshake, and he’s quick to share stories and details of his son’s life that a less trusting man might hide. He has a round face that’s punctuated with two blue eyes the singer’s fans will recognize. He stands an inch or two taller than Justin and — like the famous singer — makes meaningful eye contact while talking about how his son got from Poyen Ark. to Nashville, Tenn. It doesn’t take much urging to get him started.
Ten years ago, when young Justin left for Music City, his parents and an aunt and uncle helped him move. The ‘Point at You’ singer is an only child who would have been happy spending a lifetime in the town he grew up in, so the separation was painful. Tommy recalls crying with Justin’s mother all the way from Nashville to Memphis. They turned on the radio for a distraction, but it was just one sad country song after another, so they punched it off and drove listening to each other sniffle and the bumps of the highway.
“Yeah, I didn’t figure they’d stop (crying) ’til they got home,” Moore tells Taste of Country, smiling as he reaches back for that memory. “I bawled and squalled too.”
“I was one of the guys in my class that wanted to stay home. I didn’t want to get the heck out of dodge and go to school or whatever, but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to do this for a living,” he continues. “And … to watch them drive away, I’m sitting there in an empty apartment as an 18-year-old kid and I’m going ‘What in the world am I doing?’ I’ll never forget it, I just sat there and cried. I had no idea why.”
As it is with most people, you’ll learn more about Moore by talking to his parents and those close to him then you will through talking directly to him. Like his dad, Justin isn’t guarded. But he’s quick to deflect compliments — often in a self-deprecating way — and even quicker to hide his soft side. That’s changing, and his career is better for it. Listening to ‘Off the Beaten Path’ and songs from previous albums can be like reading his diary if you know what to listen for.
Also sitting poolside on a picture-perfect Arkansas Sunday afternoon is Pete Hartung, Justin’s manager. The New Jersey native looks to be a little younger than Tommy Moore, but both men are full of energy. Pete’s build is more athletic, like someone who runs marathons and looks good in fleece vests from Patagonia. The story he tells is that he first heard Justin’s voice at a midway-style karaoke booth and knew immediately he had to work with him. Hartung lived in Nashville, but didn’t have much music experience at that point. Before Justin he’d only worked with … actually, before discovering the then teen singer, Pete hadn’t managed anyone.
Convincing Tommy to sign off on the arrangement took work — in fact, the man Justin’s daughters call Grumpy (it’s ironic) wouldn’t even meet Pete at their home. He told him they could only meet in a public setting. Both joke about it now, exaggerating Hartung’s New Jersey accent, which has flattened significantly through the years.
“I would have never moved to Nashville if it weren’t for him,” Moore says of Hartung. To this day, the two have never put their business relationship in writing. It’s been a handshake arrangement that has stood the test of time, including three long years between the time Big Machine Label Group’s founder Scott Borchetta told Justin he’d sign him, and when he actually did.
“He’s one of those people now that I can’t imagine my life without, you know,” Moore says, as his wife and daughters finish breakfast 50 yards away. “We just have kinda done things a little different, a little unorthodox for what most of Nashville is and does. The way I run my camp is — I do what I wanna do and we do the things collectively that we wanna do and feel comfortable with, and we don’t really worry about the Nashville model, so to speak. And that’s one of them.”
It’s 7:15AM and Moore has just hugged his family goodbye before beginning an extremely busy week of media. Taste of Country was his first stop, and he’s still a little sleepy from debuting his new music the night before. From here — a fishing campground called Gaston’s in Lakeview, Ark. — he’ll go to New York City and call as many radio stations nationwide as he can. He’s hunkering down for an exciting journey, but you can tell he’ll enjoy returning home when it’s over.
Home is in Poyen now. Between daughters, Moore and his wife Kate decided to move back, leaving Nashville as a six-hour road trip (he hates to fly) they’d make often, but not call home. Together, they live on a piece of property that’s been in the family for decades. During a weekend in which Moore’s label brought several radio stations together for an album release celebration, Kate mostly hangs back. As expected, however, she has the best and most revealing stories.
Kate Moore is from Houma, La. She has strikingly dark hair and dark eyes — like a younger version of Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town. She’s thin (I’d Want It to Be Yours’ is not about this girl), maybe an inch shorter than her husband and dresses casually, but with her own unique southern flair. She’ll likely pull off shorts and cowgirl boots better than most women.
“Good grief,” Justin says when he learns that Kate may have outed him as a softie by sharing the story of how they met. It happened as everyone was around a campfire enjoying a s’mores … and more than a few adult beverages. “Keep in mind that was 12 years ago,” he assures.
It goes like this: Both were on separate senior trips when they came together on the beach. She stole his heart in a black and white floral dress. He stole hers with a song — a pop song. While neither will fess up to the exact tune, enough prodding reveals that it was by a boyband, perhaps ‘N Sync or the Backstreet Boys, as they were hot in the early 2000s.
Here’s where it gets mushy: Justin provided the details of that dress. In fact, he’s made her keep it all these years. “Sleeveless, really long dress,” he says without the front of embarrassment he put up just seconds earlier. “Satin or silk or something. She was gonna throw it out a couple of years ago and I said, ‘You gotta keep that.’ I don’t know if she’ll ever wear it again, it’s probably not in style now.”
Kate admits she won’t ever wear it again, but she clearly enjoys telling the story. The couple were married in September 2007, on the very day that Moore signed his recording contract with Big Machine Label Group. “We were married for 15 minutes, and we’d been working on trying to get it done for awhile and (Pete) goes ‘Sign this,’” Moore says, laughing. “So I didn’t even tell my wife that. I signed my record deal at my wedding.”
You can credit Kate for exposing Justin’s soft side professionally, as well. ”Til My Last Day’ was a favorite of hers and one that proved to be a big hit. She urged him to release ‘Point at You,’ another hit, and there are several other love songs to be found on ‘Off the Beaten Path.’ His favorite song from the project is ‘That’s How I Know You Love Me,’ a sexy love ballad that’s slower than anything he’s ever cut. It’s impossible not to believe he’s thinking of his wife of six years when he sings it. It’s also impossible to not believe she melts like she did 12 years ago when she hears him sing it.
So there it is, the key to his success. Moore’s best songs have a name and a title, whether it’s ‘Grandpa’ and ‘If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away’ (both about his grandfather), ‘Small Town U.S.A.’ (Poyen), ”Til My Last Day’ and ‘Point at You’ (Kate) or the follow-up to ‘Point at You,’ ‘One Dirt Road.’
“Every time I’d play it I’m going, ‘Golly, this reminds me of my grandma.’ I really don’t know why,” Moore says of that song. She and Moore were also very close before she died several years ago.
“I think some of the people I grew up listening to — Alabama, Charlie Daniels, Hank Jr. — they always cut songs about their lifestyle and what they did, their routine, what they loved etc …” he adds. “And I always thought that was really cool, you know. Cause I felt like I knew them, these people.”
On record release day, the family planned to blanket area Walmarts, picking up copies of ‘Off the Beaten Path’ at each stop. Kate says this is the first time Justin has been home on that day, so he’ll join her in her morning-of tradition of going to the store to buy about 20 copies, just to keep. Tommy hits about every other Walmart in the area to do the same thing, she says, and one guesses his extended family will also contribute significantly to his first week sales total.
When it’s over, between the end of the media blitz and the beginning of his Off the Beaten Path Tour on Nov. 1, Moore will soak up being a family man. Cooking, cleaning, painting his toenails with his daughters … these are the things he enjoys as much as bass fishing, watching University of Arkansas football and singing country music. These are the things that will build stories for his future albums.
The celebration was in full swing last night (10/6) for the Big Machine Label Group during “COUNTRY MUSIC’S BIGGEST NIGHT!” At the 47th Annual CMA Awards Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban were honored for “Highway Don’t Care” with Musical Event of the Year and Music Video of the Year while breakout duo Florida Georgia Line scored Vocal Duo of the Year and Single of the Year for their multi-platinum smash “Cruise.” Swift was also presented with the prestigious Pinnacle Award for her international appeal and success across the genre.
Arkansas native and hit singer/songwriter Justin Moore will perform a free public concert on Friday Sept. 13 at the University of Arkansas, beginning at 7 p.m. Held in parking lot 56 on campus, the special event is sponsored by Razorback Athletics and will be a part of Family Weekend, which amps up the excitement for the Arkansas’ home football game against Southern Mississippi at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14. Justin will attend the game as a special guest of the University of Arkansas, cheering on his favorite team … the Razorbacks!
“I'm thrilled to marry two things that I love together, Country music and the Arkansas Razorbacks,” Justin said. “There is no better place for me to play on a Friday night than my home state of Arkansas and no better place to be on a Saturday than up on the hill. “The fact that we can do both at the same time, is very cool. Not to mention, it coincides with the album coming out. Can't wait to call the Hogs!”
“We are pleased to help kick off the University of Arkansas’ Family Weekend with a free concert by Arkansan Justin Moore,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “We appreciate Justin coming to be a part of this special weekend that brings families together for a variety of activities throughout campus. The concert will also be an opportunity for country music fans to get exclusive content from Justin. We hope fans will take advantage of this opportunity to return to campus and enjoy some great music the night before we take on Southern Mississippi.”
Justin, who was raised in Poyen and currently resides in Little Rock, will perform songs from his first two GOLD-certified albums, JUSTIN MOORE and OUTLAWS LIKE ME, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. The projects include three #1 hits – “Small Town USA,” “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and “Til’ My Last Day” – many of which he co-wrote from experiences in Arkansas. He will also debut new music from his upcoming album OFF THE BEATEN PATH, including his latest Top 10 “Point At You,” slated for release on 9/17. Justin will also stick around after Friday night’s concert to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans.
Further displaying some homestate pride, Justin and Razorback Athletics are teaming to offer custom merchandise. An exclusive package (limited edition CD, official Razorback branded Justin Moore t-shirt) will also be available in the tent outside of Hog Heaven at Bud Walton Arena.
Throughout his career, Justin has sold nearly five million digital downloads and his music has been featured on the ABC hit drama “NASHVILLE,” Hannity & Colmes and NFL Rewind. Justin has been profiled by publications from The Washington Post and People Country to Billboard and USA Today. While he has toured with Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert, Justin will kick-off headline dates this November with the OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR. For tour dates and more, visit www.moorejustinmusic.com.
Fans attending the concert should park in one of the designated university parking lots after 5 p.m. Lots available for parking include 56, 56B, 56D, 60 and 46. A university parking map is available online at parking.uark.edu.
Tickets for the Arkansas vs. Southern Mississippi football game on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium are available online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by contacting the Razorback Ticket Office at 1-800-982-HOGS (4647). Kickoff for the game is set for 11:21 a.m.
For more information on Razorback Athletics, follow @ArkRazorbacks on Twitter.
Title Track Has Sold Nearly 500,000 Downloads Hot Newcomer, “Owns The Country Chart.” - USA Today Will Headline Shows During Album Release Week In Jacksonville, Atlanta, Chicago And Minneapolis
Nashville, TN (August 22, 2013) -- Thomas Rhett announced today that his debut album IT GOES LIKE THIS is set for release October 29 on The Valory Music Co. The singer/songwriter, who USA Today recently claimed “owns the Country chart,” has been burning up the airwaves this summer with the album’s Top 15-and-rising title track. Nearing sales of 500,000, “It Goes Like This” continues to be the best-selling Country single on the iTunes Country Singles Chart, just behind Luke Bryan. Thomas Rhett will also be headlining a string of album release club shows on street week, hitting top markets Jacksonville (10/31), Atlanta (11/1), Chicago (11/2) And Minneapolis (11/3).
"I'm so pumped to finally be releasing my first album! My music has evolved so much since I started making this record two and a half years ago and it's representative of all my experiences along the way…the tours I've been on and the fans and friends I've made at our shows across the country,” said Thomas Rhett. “I'm very lucky that I've had the chance to experience so much and thankful for every moment. I just tried to pour it all into the songs we recorded.”
The hot newcomer’s 12-track debut was produced by Jay Joyce, Michael Knox and Luke Laird. The project will feature two Top 15 songs – “Something To Do With My Hands” and “Beer With Jesus,”— that helped Thomas Rhett land a record deal and kickoff his career. During a recent stop at the Iowa State Fair, he previewed“Front Porch Junkies,” which is quickly becoming a fan favorite.
To reveal the album cover, the Georgia native engaged his fans with a unique social media campaign. Utilizing #ThomasRhett across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, fans “unlocked” video content from his childhood and ultimately -- the album cover. Watch the 16-video collection via reveal.thomasrhett.com to get a glimpse into Thomas Rhett’s musical upbringing, including rare images with his dad (and hit songwriter) Rhett Akins.
IT GOES LIKE THIS Whatcha Got In That Cup (Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Craig Wiseman) Something To Do With My Hands (Thomas Rhett, Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Stapleton) Get Me Some Of That (Michael Carter, Rhett Akins, Cole Swindell) Call Me Up (Luke Laird, Rhett Akins, Shane McAnally) It Goes Like This (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jimmy Robbins) Make Me Wanna (Thomas Rhett, Bart Butler, Larry McCoy) Front Porch Junkies (Remix) (Thomas Rhett, Brad Warren, Brett Warren, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear) *Remixed by David Huff In A Minute (Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley) Take You Home (Ashley Gorley, Chris Tompkins, Rodney Clawson) Sorry For Partyin' (Thomas Rhett, Barry Dean, Jimmy Robbins) All American Middle Class White Boy (Thomas Rhett, Jay Joyce, Brett Warren, Brad Warren) Beer With Jesus (Thomas Rhett, Rick Huckaby, Lance Miller)
Rhett will continue playing the new music out on the road with Jason Aldean’s NIGHT TRAIN TOUR through October. For dates and more visit www.thomasrhett.com.
JUSTIN MOORE ANNOUNCES HIS OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR ALSO STARRING RANDY HOUSER PLUS SPECIAL GUEST JOSH THOMPSONJuly 24, 2013 0 Comments
Justin Moore will truly take his fans on a unique journey with a new headlining tour in support of his September 17 album release on The Valory Music Co. The OFF THE BEATEN PATH TOUR hits the road on November 1 in Springfield, Mo., and will continue throughout the spring. The 57- city trek also stars Randy Houser and special guest Josh Thompson.
“I can't express, in words, how excited I am about this tour. The success of the OUTLAWS LIKE ME TOUR gave us the opportunity to step it up a notch this time around. From the production to venue size to Randy and Josh, we're taking it to another level,” said Justin. “I consider Randy Houser and Josh Thompson to be two of my best friends in Nashville, and, I've said numerous times, I believe they are the two most talented singer/songwriters in our format. We are thrilled to welcome them to our second headlining tour and know that they will help us tremendously. As a fan, I can't wait to watch them play … It's gonna be a party every night!”