First Published April 2023
WILSON WINS BIG
Multi-award-winning singer/songwriter, LAINEY WILSON took home two CMT awards – Female Video of the Year and Collaborative Video of the Year with HARDY – at the 2023 CMT Awards on 2nd April. As one of the fastest growing artists in Nashville, Wilson led this year’s award show with four nominations, the first woman to do so in two years.
Following the performance of her latest single Heart Like a Truck on the 2023 CMT Awards, the critically acclaimed track jumped two spots on the Country Aircheck/Mediabase chart giving Wilson her third US #1 hit. Wilson has a strong history with CMT, from first being recognised by its prestigious Next Women of Country franchise in 2019, to receiving her first CMT nomination in 2021 and first CMT performance in 2022, before being honoured as CMT’s 2022 Breakout Artist of the Year, and most recently joining the likes of Ingrid Andress, Madeline Edwards, Morgan Wade, and Alanis Morissette to perform You Oughta Know at this year’s award show to honour of the 10th anniversary of CMT’s Next Women of Country.
“I cannot thank my fans and CMT enough for their ongoing support throughout my career,” said Wilson. “To be able to perform alongside absolute trailblazers while also being nominated in the same category with some of Country music’s best is something I could have only dreamed of a few years ago.”
While Wilson adds to her growing list of #1 hits, including platinum-certified Things A Man Oughta Know, Never Say Never with Cole Swindell, and most recently Heart Like A Truck, her latest collaboration with HARDY, wait in the truck, continues to climb the charts, currently sitting in the top 5. Not to mention, Smell Like Smoke – originally heard on the critically acclaimed TV show Yellowstone and featured on her latest album Bell Bottom Country – is #1 on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 weekend countdown.
Already this year, Wilson has completed a 28-date sold-out US headlining tour, been honoured as Billboard’s Women in Music’s 2023 Rulebreaker, started touring stadiums with Luke Combs as support on the US leg of his World Tour, and performed as a main-stage artist overseas in the UK and here in Ireland at the C2C: Country to Country festival.
Wilson is the CMA 2022 Female Vocalist of the Year, CMA 2022 New Artist of the Year, and ACM’s 2022 New Female Artist of the Year, and has earned the enthusiasm of the industry. Having been named to nearly every Artist to Watch list, being crowned Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2021, and earning CMT’s 2022 Breakout Artist of the Year honour, the Louisiana native is one of Nashville’s hottest and most buzzed-about new artists.
Landing her first #1 with her PLATINUM Certified ACM Song of the Year, Things A Man Oughta Know, nearly ten years to the day after leaving her small farming community in a camper trailer to chase her dreams, Lainey has won over legions of fans with her signature Bell Bottom Country sound and aesthetic, which blends traditional country with a modern yet retro flare.
A prolific and sought-after songwriter having co-writer credits on songs by artists including Luke Combs, Flatland Calvary and more, Lainey is a fresh, fierce voice in Nashville, delivering CMA nominated album of the year with her label debut, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’. With a rockstar stage presence, her artistry has taken her across the globe, performing for sold-out crowds throughout the US, UK, and Germany with notable names like Jon Pardi, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, HARDY, Jason Aldean, Ashley McBryde, and more. After topping the country radio charts for a second time with the two-week #1 hit, Never Say Never with Cole Swindell, she achieved her third #1 song with Heart Like a Truck, whichsits in the #1 spot at the time of writing, while HARDY collaboration wait in the truck sits just behind in the Top 5. Her critically acclaimed album Bell Bottom Country reached #9 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart, and quickly rose to #1 on iTunes charts, amassing over 240 million on-demand streams to date.
Most recently, Lainey made her acting debut in Season 5 of the smash hit series Yellowstone, and was also named Tractor Supply Brand Ambassador, adding to her growing list of endeavours.
~ BELL BOTTOM COUNTRY, the brand new album from LAINEY WILSON, is OUT NOW.
TOWNES ON TRACK
An astute observer of the human condition, TENILLE TOWNES’ discography is rife with stories that reverberate with heavy truths. Embracing good and bad, high and low, her singular voice and deft storytelling connects across geography and generations. Coming next from the revered songwriter, CCMA Entertainer of the Year, and two-time JUNO Award winner is the Train Track Worktapes, a five-song project to be released April 21st.
“Being in motion is my favourite state. I love the hum of the engines and the blur of the evergreens out the window, in any mode of transportation. I really do believe that home is not a place, but a feeling that you get,” said Townes. “And being on the road, singing songs for people and feeling a part of a collective brought together through music, that feels like home to me.”
Conceptualised, written, and recorded on a charity train trip that covered nearly 3,000 miles, the Train Track Worktapes is a collection as unique as the experience it was born from. A tradition in her native country, the CP Holiday Train benefits local food banks when their need is greatest, as each attendee brings donations to catch the free concert that occurs right on the train cars, the doors folding down to become a stage. During their fifteen days onboard last December, Townes and her band played sixty-five shows to crowds ranging from dozens to thousands in communities across southern Canada.
“The generosity of everyone bringing donations to their local food banks as we travelled along was a reminder to me of how much good there is in the world, especially in the heart of the smaller, remote communities. In between all these shows, I made it my mission to write about what it felt like to witness that, ride the high and capture what I was feeling on the trip,” said Townes.
Across the five tracks, the gifted raconteur explores concepts such as what defines home, living life in motion, fulfilling a troubadour spirit, and feeling joy so all-consuming you fear its end. The songs came quickly, faster than Townes had ever experienced, with an urgency that reflected the constant momentum she and her band were feeling on their travels. She couldn’t deny the burning need to capture the experience in the most universal way: through song. With stripped-down, roots-driven sonics that call back to her debut release, Living Room Worktapes, Townes’ transcendent vocals shine with raw emotion.
Townes, a producer on the project alongside guitarist Jaxon Hargrove, and her band got resourceful with their setup. A suitcase turned into a kickdrum. Tin foil and paper bowls became a shaker. Teacups made the perfect substitute for a triangle. They borrowed equipment and microphones from the train cars housing the stage and gear. Recording mainly in the train’s caboose, sometimes capturing takes in twenty-minute spurts between shows, the group allowed the rattle and rhythm of the train to sink into each song in its natural, fated manner.
“This collection of songs will always represent that travelling spirit. I hope anyone who listens feels like they are riding right there with us,” said Townes.
~ TRAIN TRACK WORKTAPES, the brand new EP from TENILLE TOWNES, is available everywhere from April 21st.
NEW EVANS EP IS ALL FROM THE HEART
MORGAN EVANS has released the music video for his latest song, On My Own Again, via YouTube Premiere. The emotional but uplifting track, written by Evans alongside Zach Kale, Geoff Warburton and produced by Chris DeStefano, is off his upcoming Life Upside Down EP, available from April 21st. The beautifully shot video features footage taken from his five-part documentary series directed by Peter John and showcases Evans’ travels from around the world as he picks up the pieces and looks forward to a life full of thrilling uncertainty.
“Eight shows, seven countries, three bicycles, two goats, andone camel. For a song documenting a poignant moment in my life, I thought it’d be appropriate to make a video the same way. I invited the guys behind the ‘Over For You’ music video and the docuseries on the road in Morocco, Europe, Ireland and the UK for one of the adventures of my life so far”, shared Evans.
On My Own Again follows Evans’ viral single from the Life Upside Down EP, Over For You, which has received critical praise from outlets ranging from Us Weekly, E!, Entertainment Tonight, The Bobby Bones Show, Taste of Country and more. Describing the single, Billboard wrote, “many of the best songs come from heartbreak, and this is absolutely one of Evans’ best releases to date.” People observed Evans “channeling his heartbreak into song,” and CMT raved that Evans, “places his heart on the line.”
“I called the EP ‘Life Upside Down’ because this collection of music could only have come from this time, when my life felt exactly that”, said Evans. “To me”, he continued, “these five tracks journey through unexpected heartbreak, self-rediscovery, new beginnings and a new found gratitude for the present moment.”
Recently, Evans wrapped his co-headlining U.K. Day Drunk Me Tour with Mitchell Tenpenny and performances on three headlining stages at C2C Festival, including to a crowd of 20,000+ in London. He is currently on the road with Brett Young in the states for Young’s 5 Tour 3 2 1 and will also provide support on select dates with Billy Currington.
~ LIFE UPSIDE DOWN, the brand new EP from MORGAN EVANS, is available everywhere from April 21st.