GRAMMY®-WINNING, PLATINUM-SELLING AMERICAN IDOL TAYLOR HICKS APPOINTED TO ALABAMA MUSIC HALL OF FAME BOARD NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Alabama Music Hall of Fame is proud to announce the appointment of GRAMMY®-winning, platinum-selling American Idol Taylor Hicks to its Board of Directors. Hicks, a Birmingham native, won “American Idol’s” blockbuster fifth season “with gray on his head, soul in his heart, Alabama in his palm (Los Angeles Times).” As a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame board, Hicks’ will support the Alabama Music Hall of Fame’s mission to honor, support and increase awareness of Alabama’s vast array of music achievers.
Zac Brown, frontman of multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, today announced the launch of Zac Brown Collective, a new entertainment and lifestyle branded parent company. Formerly known as Southern Ground, the reimagined company expands its portfolio of brands, further rising Brown’s artistic and entrepreneurial pursuits to new heights. Zac Brown Collective brings together the best and brightest minds in music, film, food, fashion, custom design, and American-made gear to form a company made up of brands that are fully grounded in the “American experience.” Continue reading
Kudos to ZAC BROWN of SOUTHERN GROUND/ELEKTRA/WAR‘s ZAC BROWN BAND on raising $1.7 million for his non-profit project, CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND, during the second annual “EVENING TO REMEMBER” fundraiser. Guests this year included Chef EMERIL LAGASSE, assisting BROWN’s Chef RUSTY HAMLIN with the dinner menu, and “Avengers” star CHRIS HEMSWORTH. Both donated items to the evening’s live auction, and the ZAC BROWN BAND performed a set. CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND stretches across more than 400 acres and serves children ages 7-17, from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and religions.
On this day in 1946 one of the most iconic musical voices of all time was born, and would go on to inspire countless performers to let go of their inhibitions and take to the stage in a way that had never been done before him. In honor of Freddie Mercury‘s legacy, we’d like to share with you some amazing performances of some of our favorite country stars paying tribute to the man who fronted Queen. Zac Brown Band performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” Dwight Yoakam covers “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” The Band Perry performing “Fat Bottomed Girls (starting at about 1:30)” Billy Gilman performs “The Show Must Go On” on The Voice Sugarland, Little Big Town, and Matt Nathanson join together to perform “Somebody To Love”
A personal favorite of ours here at Country Music News Blog, Zac Brown Band is doing a little looking back as they share a live recorded video for their latest single “Roots”. The video was shot during their Welcome Home tour. As he said himself, “This is in memory of every dive bar that I’ve played in this town.”
Sitting atop a knoll of rolling pastureland, Camp Southern Ground’s Peterson Dining Hall has been described as “an open-armed gesture of welcome to those arriving at camp”. Offering breathtaking views of the campus’s dense greenery, the completion of the Dining Hall marks a major milestone for Camp Southern Ground. With its opening, we can offer a transformational experience not just to our campers, but anyone looking for a unique venue in a beautiful, natural setting. A Note From Zac Brown As a former camp counselor, I know how a positive camp experience can transform a child’s life. My dream is that children of all abilities will have an opportunity to experience the magic of the outdoors. Thank you for helping us create an amazing place for kids to learn and grow. – See more at: http://www.campsouthernground.org/#sthash.F0cFz6c0.dpuf THE VISION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE A two-story, state-of-the-art design, Zac Brown’s vision for the Peterson Dining Hall was brought to life by world renowned architectural firm Perkins + Will, along with the construction teams at DPR and Structor Group. This one-of-a-kind, 100-year build features materials sourced locally, including a natural zinc exoskeleton with a terraced boulder waterfall feature, as well as an interior ceiling made with sustainably harvested sapele mahogany donated by Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars. Acting as the interior focal point is a 26-foot-high brick fireplace flanked on either side by large windows – allowing for an overabundance of natural light to flood the room. FAMILY-STYLE DINING For our campers, the dining hall offers an additional space to connect with new friends, as they dine family-style on nutritious and gluten-free meals prepared using the produce harvested from our organic garden. The food will be served from the lower level kitchen utilizing ultra-modern dumbwaiters. The dining hall is an extension of our Programs of Purpose: Nutrition, in which our campers will experience a meal created from start to finish – understand where their food is coming from, as well as the nutritional value behind it – all while dining in an unparalleled space. COOKING UP NEW IDEAS The dining hall will also serve as Camp Southern Ground’s culinary headquarters. Our talented chefs will work in the hi-tech kitchen to grow the camp menu to reflect our gluten-free nutrition plan for entrées, side dishes, and baked goods as well. When camp officially opens, the dining hall will be able to serve up to 300 campers plus 150 counselors, staff and volunteers. PLAYING HOST In 2016, the Peterson Dining Hall hosted two major events at the new venue: The 2016 Cattle Barons Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Indian Motorcycle Riders Group. American Cancer Society’s Cattle Barons Ball The American Cancer Society proudly hosted the very first event in the Peterson Dining Hall on the campus of Camp Southern Ground. On November 5th, more than 360 guests and 40 volunteers donned their favorite western attire to dance the night away at the Cattle Baron’s Ball. Guests enjoyed live music, dancing, bidding Continue reading
Zac Brown To Receive CRS 2017 Artist Humanitarian Award; Peter Smyth To Receive Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award To be presented Feb. 22 during CRS 2017 (Nashville, Tenn. – Jan 5, 2016) – The Country Radio Broadcasters have announced Zac Brown as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Artist Humanitarian Award and former Chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Peter Smyth, as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award, to be presented during Country Radio Seminar 2017; following the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday, February 22nd, 3:30-4:00 p.m. The CRB Artist Humanitarian Award was created in 1990 by the organization’s board to honor those Country music artists who have exhibited exceptional humanitarian efforts during their career. Past recipients of the annual award have included Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Trace Adkins, Randy Owen, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks and Charlie Daniels, among others. Zac Brown is a strong supporter of multiple philanthropic causes including his own Camp Southern Ground which was inspired by his experiences as a camp counselor. The program at the Georgia-based state-of-the-art facility is an inclusive camp that combines children with neuro-developmental disorders with mainstream children. Its mission is to provide extraordinary experiences for these children to recognize and magnify the unique gifts within themselves and others in order to profoundly impact the world. Additional organizations that Brown is committed to include GRAMMYS on The Hill, GRAMMY U, MusiCares, Robin Hood Foundation and The USO. Three-time GRAMMY winner and multi-platinum artist Zac Brown, of Zac Brown Band, is one of music’s most heralded acts. The latest platinum-certified album ‘JEKYLL + HYDE’ (Southern Ground Artists/John Varvatos Records/Big Machine Label Group/Republic Records) marks the band’s fourth consecutive No.1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart. Zac Brown Band has earned a historic series of fifteen No.1 hit radio singles and is only the second band to top both the country and active rock formats. The Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award is given at the discretion of the Country Radio Broadcasters Board of Directors to recognize an individual in the Country Radio industry who has displayed a magnanimous spirit of caring and generosity in service to their community. This award is named in honor of CRB Board member Tom Rivers, who died in 2004 at age 38 of bronchial asthma. Rivers, known for his work at WQYK, Tampa/St. Petersburg and WUSN, Chicago, was highly regarded for his public service. An active philanthropist, Smyth currently serves on the Board of Directors of New England Baptist Hospital and the One Hundred Club of Massachusetts, an organization dedicated to enhancing the welfare and safety of the families of public safety officers and firefighters. Additionally, he is an Advisory Board member of the Home Base Program of Boston, which provides clinical care, education, research and support services for military veterans and their families throughout New England. Smyth is a past member of the Board of Trustees of Emerson College and is a Continue reading
CONCERT TO BE STREAMED LIVE, NATIONALLY ON STAGEIT – EVENT TO BENEFIT ENDURING HEARTS ATLANTA, GA — On Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m., singer/songwriter John Driskell Hopkins (of Zac Brown Band) and members of the Atlanta Pops Orchestra — Atlanta Pops Ensemble — will perform a StageIt holiday concert at The Vista Room to benefit the non-profit Enduring Hearts. Enduring Hearts raises critical funding for pediatric heart transplants so the hearts children receive operate as efficiently and effectively as possible without needing a second heart transplant. It’s a cause near and dear to Hopkins. Tickets for the December 18 event are $50 and include a three-course meal and the concert — a live auction will also take place with prizes courtesy of Hoffman & Associates, LLC. In addition, 10 percent of proceeds from all merchandise sales will also be donated to Enduring Hearts. Viewers on StageIt will also be able to bid on the live auction and, for a $25 donation, will be entered in a raffle to win one of 5 sets of a John Driskell Hopkins autographed CD (Hopkins and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra’s In the Spirit: A Celebration of the Holidays) and songbook (The Moose & the Golden Spike). Live Charity Auction Prizes: Two tickets and a suite at Phillips Arena with limo service to/from event — may be used for a Hawks game or live concert (based on availability)Two-nights of accommodations for two at Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, MS “This is a unique organization that is directly impacting the lives of kids (and their families) who have had to undergo heart transplants,” said Hopkins. “I believe music transcends all things, so to be able to partner with such an inspiring organization in its fundraising efforts through music is both an honor and privilege for me.” “John was kind enough to play at golf tournament earlier this year, and, more recently, he lent his many talents to create a songbook with Always Saturday, a group of artists who create songs and stories for worthy causes,” said Enduring Hearts Executive Director Ankur Chatterjee. “We are truly blessed to have the love and support of a big-hearted, creative artist like John.” The songbook, entitled The Moose & the Golden Spike, is an illustrated storybook with downloadable, themed songs featuring Hopkins, the Zac Brown Band singer-songwriter, as a storyteller. The goal of the project is to fill the hearts of 500 heart transplant kids across the country with songbook gift packs. The books will be for sale at the concert and online at Friends Fill Hearts. “Music has the power to heal,” said Atlanta Pops Orchestra Guest Conductor Tom Gibson. “John has been a great partner to us, so we can’t think of a better way to thank him than to be a part of supporting this great fundraiser for kids in need. We hope music fans from all over Georgia will come out to not only enjoy a great holiday concert, but to also support Continue reading
Blog Rodeo March 2013: How the Mainstream Realized Country Music Sells and Why I Fell In Love with It. I moved away from my home state of Texas almost 15 years ago, and moved on to good ole Memphis, TN, arguably one of the most important cities in the U.S. as far as music is concerned (hello, mo-town, Elvis and the blues…). That being said, I have been exposed to whole lot of different music, at a whole lot of different phases in my life and I am better off for it. Interestingly, despite my state of origin, it wasn’t until I arrived on the scene in Northwest Arkansas that my true love for country music began to blossom. Yes, I knew who the big players were, and when in Memphis I listened to our local country station Kix 106 on a regular basis. Still, I knew about 1% of what I know now, which is considerably more. I’m telling you all this because I feel my back story places me in particularly interesting perspective when answering the March Country Music Blog Rodeo topic; “Why is the mainstream media loving so much on country music these days?” Country Music Sells. I’ve studied communications and the media for a few years now, and the easy answer to this question is far less romantic that most folks might want to admit. When surveying the media landscape as it exists today, it is impossible to deny that country music is everywhere. ABC plays host to the CMA Awards and the CMA Country Christmas annually, and debuted their prime time soapy drama, Nashville and Reba’s new sitcom Malibu Country in the fall. NBC has experienced major success with reality competition series, The Voice in large part due to Blake Shelton‘s ability to draw a crowd and create a buzz. FOX continually churns out the next big country star via American Idol while CBS continues to air the ACM Awards every year. Meanwhile, country artists are getting cameos on shows like Hart of Dixie and The Bachelor, and more and more, for better or worse, country stars pop up in the mainstream gossip rags, and also on the covers of more legitimate news sources, like InStyle. Everyone is looking to get a piece of the country pie, and it’s for one simple reason, country music sells. Country Sells Because of the Fans Marketers, network execs and anyone who is paying even the smallest bit of attention have realized that country music offers a fan base that is loyal and willing to spend their hard earned dollars on their favorite artists. This conclusion is in no way a major revelation, and not really the point I want to make. What interests me is not that savvy business people have finally figured out country is a niche they can target but that this niche even exists and that it’s so strong. Plainly put, I’m interested in that fact that country fans are so loyal. As I said Continue reading
Zac Brown Band Sings National Anthem Today at 2013 BCS National Championship Game in Miami, FL! Zac Brown Band is headed to warmer weather today as they’re set to perform the national anthem at the 2013 BCS Championship Football Game in Miami, FL. Alabama will be playing against Notre Dame in the big game today, January 7th. Four members of my favorite country group, Zac Brown, Clay Cook, Jimmy De Martini and John Driskell Hopkins, will be singing the anthem before the game kicks off. I’m sure that they will provide a lovely start to the game before the football players start kicking each other around. Next up for ZBB, the band will be playing shows at various dates and locations over the next couple months before jumping on for select dates with Kenny Chesney and his 2013 No Shoes Nation Tour. Find details below.