Singer's Father/Manager Will Serve As General Manager
Singer/songwriter Jamie O'Neal has joined forces with her father to launch her own independent record label in Nashville, Momentum Label Group. O’Neal is best known for the three top five hits she landed between 2001 and 2005 when she was signed to major labels Mercury Records, and then Capitol Records Nashville: “There Is No Arizona,” “When I Think About Angels,” and “Somebody’s Hero.” She will oversee all aspects of the new label venture, including serving as the producer to some of the artists on the roster.
“I’m so excited about this amazing opportunity,” says O’Neal in a press release. “I’ve had my own studio for many years, and being a part of the creative process has always been one of my favorite things about the music business. By having our own label, we can now help introduce the world to some exceptionally talented new artists.”
O’Neal’s father and manager, Jimmy Murphy, will serve as Momentum’s general manager and partner. Murphy has spent his whole life in the music business, beginning as a recording artist in New Zealand, where he was a star on the “Australian Bandstand.” Most recently, his songs have been featured on the “Desperate Housewives” soundtrack and “America's Funniest Home Videos.” In addition to managing O’Neal, Murphy also oversees the careers of his other daughter, Minnie Murphy, as well as Momentum's flagship artist, Rachele Lynae.
Lynae’s debut single, “Party ’Til the Cows Come Home,” will be released in March.
Singer Calls His Grammy Nomination Category ‘The Holy Grail’
Eric Church will be attending this weekend’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles as a first time nominee. In a rangy interview with the music industry Web site Radio-Info.com, he talks about how it feels to be up for the best country album Grammy, and shares his thoughts on a variety of other topics, including becoming a first-time parent, being inspired by Bob Seger, his current tour, opening act Brantley Gilbert, and the status of his next album. An excerpt from the interview is below. The full text is here.
Q. How does it feel to be a Grammy nominee?
A. The Grammy is the Holy Grail. If you want an award, you want a Grammy, and if you want a Grammy, you want the Grammy for album of the year. It’s the most coveted, so it’s quite an honor. It’s my first nomination, and I’m looking forward to kind of taking it all in. I don’t have any expectations [of winning], but I’m going to go.
You became a first time father to son Boone (pictured) in the fall. How’s fatherhood so far. Do you feel like it’s changed you?
I know it’s going to change me. I just don’t know how it affects me musically. I’ve got a ways to go on that one. But it’s been great. The schedule is unbelievable. It’s 24/7, full time. I knew that, but you don’t [really] know it until you go through it . . . [But] it’s been fun getting to know him and we’ve had a lot of fun at home.
But fatherhood hasn’t influenced your songwriting just yet?
I put so much into [current album] “Chief,” that I’ve not even written [for the next album], really. I emptied the tank on that one, so it’s going to be a while before I get that going . . . I haven’t even thought about writing yet. I’m taking a pretty extended break from the writing process.
Given how well “Chief” did, are you thinking of going back to that cabin in the woods where you wrote it?
Maybe just for superstitious purposes. I think that’s what made this record unique. I’d love to maybe figure out what’s going to make the next record unique and, again, we’re early in the cycle . . . We’ve got a lot of time before we have to figure out exactly what is next and how we’re going to tackle that next challenge.
What are fans seeing on the Blood, Sweat & Beers tour, which launched last month?
It’s our first arena headline tour. It’s very in your face like our shows always been. It’s my job to figure out how to create the same passion and energy that people feel in these clubs and theaters in a place that’s really big.
How do you do that?
A lot of it is still keeping it about the music. I think sometimes people tackle that from a different angle [like] ‘How much stuff can I blow up’ or ‘How many different things can I do?’ Yes, there’s an element of that, because it’s entertainment, and you’re competing with a lot of different people, to give them value for their money. But I still think it comes down to [whether] the people in the front impart that passion all the way back. If people can feel it from the front row to the back row because of the music, and because of the way the fans are interacting with the music, then I think that’s what gives the show uniqueness.
I watched Bob Seger when we toured with him. He had sound. He had lights. He walked out there and stood in front of a microphone, and I watched people from the front row to the very top of that arena lose their minds over every song—fists in the air, they never sat down. I learned a lesson. He had no video screens and people who probably had binoculars to see went nuts. For us, it’s a matter of that balance of keeping it about the music and still providing an experience that’s maybe a little more in your face and rock and roll than what most shows will be [this] year.
Why did you choose Brantley Gilbert to go on tour with you?
Brantley’s a guy that came up the same way. He built a very impressive fan base in bars and clubs before he had any radio success or any real exposure. I know how hard that is, so I have a lot of respect for that. What’s funny is a couple of years ago he got on my radar because a lot of bars and clubs where we held attendance records in the Southeast, he started breaking them. Some of those records I thought would stand forever. When the Blood, Sweat & Beers tour was born, I though it was fitting for him to be one of the guys who’d go out with us.
Does that make you feel competitive when he’s out there breaking your records?
Sure, I love that. I think that’s great. When I was in that [opening] spot, I went out there to step on it and pushed that pedal all the way to the wall if I could. I think that’s healthy and good. The show’s better for the fans if it’s that way. I should feel that every night, because I’m going to bring it up another notch.
Singer Picked Up By Texas Police For Public Intoxication
Randy Travis was imprisoned overnight in Texas after being picked up by law enforcement officers on a charge of public intoxication, according to multiple media reports.
The Associated Press says Travis was arrested in Denton County in North Texas early Monday morning after he was spotted in his parked vehicle in front of a church in the town of Sanger with “an open bottle of wine and Travis smelling like alcohol.”
He was brought to Denton County jail about 1:30 a.m. and released six hours later, apparently after he’d had time to sober up. That's his mug shot on the left.
A longtime resident of Arizona, the 52-year-old Travis now lives in the town of Tioga near Sanger, according to AP.
The singer has issued an apology for behavior he says “resulted following an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl.”
Travis, who launches a concert tour Friday, says he’s “committed to being responsible and accountable.”
As previously reported here, last September Travis collapsed during a performance in Fort Worth, Texas. According to the Burleson Star, Travis was in the middle of singing his hit “Three Wooden Crosses” when he suddenly stopped and said his vocal cords were giving out. He attempted to continue, but stopped again, stumbled sideways with his guitar and “pitched forward” onto the front of the stage, according to witnesses.
Travis eventually walked off stage on his own while giving the audience a thumbs up. His tour manager blamed the incident on dehydration, caffeine and a bad reaction to over-the-counter allergy medications.
Trio Will Present At This Weekend’s Grammy Awards
With a career plan that evidently calls for total world domination, Lady Antebellum will take its headlining Own The Night our to Europe for 11 shows this summer. Plans call for the trio to perform in Ireland, Scotland, England, German, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway between July 10 and 27.
Says the band’s Dave Haywood in a press statement, “Every time we’ve gone over to Europe, the fans there have given us such a warm welcome. It’s an honor for us to be able to travel abroad and share our music with so many other countries. Plus, we love to get out and sightsee and really experience each place we visit. Europe is going to be a blast!”
Meanwhile, the tour continues domestically, but the band will take a quick break from it this weekend to appear on the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, where they will present and are also nominated for best country album.
Gloriana Will Also Perform At The Post-Race Show
Rodney Atkins will be the headline entertainer for the 13th annual St. Jude Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon in Nashville April 28. Gloriana will also be on the bill for the post-race show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
The musically themed race attracts more than 30,000 runners, walkers and 6,000 junior racers, who will take on the 26.2 and 13.1-mile courses as many of Nashville’s best live bands perform along the route. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis is the charity partner for this year’s event.
“For all these people to come out and push themselves to this great of a length for such a good cause is exciting and definitely something to celebrate,” says Atkins in a prepared statement. “It will be a fun night and I’m looking forward to being a part of it all.”
New Single Goes To Radio Feb. 23
Carrie Underwood’s new CD will be released on May 1.
This will be the fourth studio album on 19 Recordings/Arista Nashville for the five-time Grammy winner, who once again teams up with producer Mark Bright for the project, which has not yet been assigned a title.
As previously announced, “Good Girl,” the album’s debut single co-written by Underwood, will be released to country radio on February 23.
Cyrus Opens Up About The Price Of Fame In 2013 Release
Amazon Publishing will publish “Hillbilly Heart,” a memoir by Billy Ray Cyrus, in hardcover and ebook in Spring 2013. In the book, “Cyrus opens up about his rebellious early years, the life-changing success of his first album, and the toll that fame has taken on his personal life and family,” according to PR materials for the project. “With great candor, Cyrus talks about the challenges of parenting his superstar daughter Miley Cyrus (pictured with her father), and the role faith has played in his life.
“Cyrus also describes how his breakout role in David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ led him to his first series, the critically acclaimed ‘DOC.’ From there, he and his daughter, Miley, joined the Disney Channel, where ‘Hannah Montana’ began an entirely new chapter of his life. He underwent the pressure of acting as the best father in America on the show, when the reality was much more complicated.”
Cyrus says of the book, “I learned early from the book of Psalms that: ‘The truth will be your shield and your buckle.’ I’ve always loved that. You only get one chance to tell your life story. This is my chance to set the record straight. I realized that over the years that there have been untruths and misconceptions about me, my music, my life, my family and our dreams. I’m going to lay out the facts starting from [birth date] August 25, 1961 and work my way to the present, even if it stings a little.”
New Album Of The Same Name Due In May
Colt Ford will kick off the first leg of his 2012 Declaration of Independence Tour beginning April 6 in Albany, Ga. Average Joes Entertainment label mates The Lacs, JB and the Moonshine Band, Rehab and Lenny Cooper will open for Ford on the 20-city tour, which wraps in Belvin, Ark. on June 9.
Fans who purchase pre-sale tickets will be sent an exclusive, four-song EP with never-before-released cuts from Ford, The Lacs, JB and the Moonshine Band and Cooper.
To ensure all ages can enjoy the show, family friendly zones have been created at the venues.
“I have the most die-hard, rockin’ country music fans and they come in all ages,” explains Ford in a press release announcing the tour. “When I look out in the crowds I see people anywhere from six to 60 years old. I really wanted to set up an all ages tour and create ‘family friendly’ zones to play for everyone that enjoys my music. This ‘Declaration of Independence’ tour will offer just that: fun for the whole family and then some!”
Ford is currently in the studio preparing his fourth studio album, also called “Declaration of Independence,” to be released from in May.
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