Zac & George – Red Wine & Roses

NSW based country-pop duo Zac & George are set to release their highly anticipated second single, ‘ Red Wine & Roses’ today through MGM. The new single showcases Zac & George’s country-pop vocals delivering a high energy Nashville-style jam that effortlessly mixes soulful harmonies, big hearted guitars, and killer hooks. ‘Red Wine & Roses’ was produced by Melbourne’s MSquared production duo (Michael Paynter and Michael De Lorenzis), the team behind some of the most successful country-pop tunes of the past 12 months.

Zac & George have put together an eye-catching music video, filmed by award-winning videographer Jay Seeney, which flawlessly accompanies the singles up-beat, contemporary, country vibe.

Following the release of their debut single” Jump Right In”, Zac & George sold out their first ever ticketed show in March 2022. The February 2022 release of “Jump Right In” was recorded by Smith Curry in Nashville, and was also featured in multiple Apple Music and Spotify playlists including “Country Risers” and “Next from Nashville”. “The response we received from Jump Right In has been phenomenal. We weren’t sure what to expect and can’t wait to release more of what we’ve been working on”, says George, hailing from the small NSW country town, Gundaroo, located in the Yass Valley.

In 2018 Zac & George took out second place in the highly competitive and equally prized Toyota Landcruiser Country Music Busking Championships. They also won the Coca-Cola Battle of The Bands that same year. The boys then went on to win the People’s Choice award at the Emerging Talent contest at the Gympie Muster that same year. In 2020, they featured on the Toyota Stage at the Park at the Tamworth Country Music Festival on the opening night.

This is just the beginning for Zac & George, who will follow their new single “Red Wine & Roses” with more music they have spent years developing in both Australia and Nashville.

Allison Forbes – Angry In Suburbia

“People do stupid things when they’re bored.”

The latest single from alt-country rebel-rouser, Allison Forbes, channels her rock n roll roots in this gritty, relentless delivery that echoes the feelings of many through the pandemic. Stuck inside, stuck in boredom, and maybe searching for entertainment in the wrong places to stay occupied. From the critically acclaimed album ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ produced by Matt Fell, ‘Angry in Suburbia’ features Forbes’s whisky-soaked, gravelly vocals, and showcases a rock anthem that will have the volume up and the windows down.

Three years ago Tamworth-bred country artist Allison Forbes had the world at her feet. Her debut album ‘Bonedigger’ – produced by Oz country legend Shane Nicholson – had come out in early-2020 to near universal acclaim, debuting at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country charts.

It was the second highest-selling independent record across all genres in that heady first week, with Forbes’ distinctive take on outlaw Americana near omnipresent on country radio, topping numerous radio charts in the process.

It’s hard to imagine things going better for the mould-breaking singer-songwriter – Forbes and ‘Bonedigger’ would go on to score four prestigious Golden Guitar nominations at the 2021 Tamworth Country Music Festival, and be voted Most Popular Female Artist at the 2020 Independent Country Music Awards – but then… the COVID pandemic struck.

Instead of Forbes being able to hit the road and consolidate the hard-fought traction she’d achieved with ‘Bonedigger’ – connecting with her existing audience and winning over new fans with her captivating live show – the country plunged into lockdown and the hard-fought momentum began slowly ebbing away.

Such immeasurably poor timing would have justifiably broken many artists, but instead Forbes doubled down and poured her heart and soul into what would become her brilliant second album, ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’. It’s a collection which hones and magnifies Forbes’ indubitable talent to create an album conceived in and forged by adversity, yet which transcends its tough-times genesis courtesy the stunning empathy and compassion which floods through these beautifully rendered tales of loss and grief.

“It was really an album that I didn’t know that I needed to make until I wrote the songs, and even now looking back on it I didn’t realise how relevant it was going to be,” Forbes admits. “Everyone was experiencing a lot of loss, including myself. I lost one of my best friends fairly early during the pandemic – I’ve also dedicated the album to him – and I think that loss tied in with a lot of other confusion, and a bit of angst as well. There’s a muse that’s a common thread through the songs.

“They’re definitely the most personal songs I’ve ever written. I usually tend to be quite metaphorical when I write, which is not something that I’ve ever done on purpose – maybe it’s been a fear of revealing too much – but the songs here are very, very close to the bone.”

Importantly though – despite the serious themes threading through the narratives – ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ is far from a grim listen, with a healthy dose of hope and positivity never far from the surface.

“I always do have a glimmer of hope in my songs, I’m a really optimistic person at heart,” the singer smiles. “I wouldn’t want it to be completely sombre and depressing. I always want there to be a little bit of something – a little bit of hope that life will continue or that things will get better. I always aim to have positivity shining through even the bleakest moments.”

Having already spawned three strong singles in ‘Pieces Of Silver’, ‘Only Got One Road’ and ‘Save You Now’, this time around on ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ Forbes’ songwriting acumen was abetted by the skills of ARIA Award-winning producer Matt Fell (Troy Cassar-Daley, Shane Nicholson, John Williamson), who – working remotely from his Leichhardt studio – helped bring her fledgling ideas to stunning fruition, both in terms of song arrangements and the crack band he pulled together for the occasion.

And while the music on ‘Dead Men Tell No’ Tales is undeniably of the country persuasion, the intoxicating blend of traditional country, alt-country, folk, rock and bluegrass – unified by Forbes’ commanding vocals – defies easy classification, not that it’s of any concern to Forbes herself.

Despite the troubled times which ushered ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ into the world – and the many opportunities sadly missed due to circumstances far beyond her control – for Allison Forbes nothing is more important than simply being true to herself.

“It’s a double-edged sword to try to be yourself and be authentic – being authentic and really honest means more to me than anything – but it’s difficult because I guess I’m not really a game-player: I don’t follow the same path as a lot of the successful artists. I’m coming to terms with the fact that mainstream success may be something I’ll never have, but I’ll always be me, and I’m okay with that.”

Tyler Hubbard – Dancin’ In The Country

EMI Records Nashville recording artist Tyler Hubbard has today released his debut solo product “Dancin’ In The Country”. Tyler has also announced he will release his highly anticipated debut solo album will hit early next year, on January 27. The EP features five additional songs to his already released single “5 Foot 9,” and tracks “35’s” and “Way Home.”

Dancin’ In The Country is a project of specially selected songs for the fans in advance of Hubbard’s upcoming album and for his live shows this fall on Keith Urban’s “THE SPEED OF NOW WORLD TOUR.”

“We’ve been releasing new music throughout this summer, and now I’m so pumped to be sharing even more of my new project – these songs have been waiting to be heard!” says Hubbard. “Though the album is coming early next year, I put together this collection of music especially for the fans, as I get ready to go on tour. I can’t wait to hear the crowd sing these songs with me as I hit the road for the first time as a solo artist.”

Hubbard’s debut solo single, “5 Foot 9,” which Billboard calls a “promising introduction to Hubbard’s solo music,” and MusicRow says is the “soundtrack song for summer,” has over 63M global streams. The song quickly moved inside the Top 50 on the streaming chart in its first four weeks and claimed a Top 10 spot on the Country Streaming Chart last week, along with entering Top 20 at country radio. “5 Foot 9” is currently No. 14 on the Pandora all-genre Top Spins chart, No. 19 on the Apple Music Top Country Songs chart and No. 15 on the Spotify Country Top 200. The song hit peak rank of No. 83 on the Spotify Top 200, holding 55 straight days on this chart. The single has landed on TikTok’s Top 5 U.S. sounds with over 275K creations to date and it has also placed No. 8 on the Shazam Top Country Chart and sits at No. 86 on the Shazam Top 200 USA Chart. Hubbard’s second release, “35’s,” entered the Spotify Top 200 Country Chart just three weeks after launch and has nearly 3M total global streams. With 772K first week global streams, MusicRow praises Hubbard’s third solo release, “Way Home,” by saying, “Hubbard’s solo career continues to gain ground with this new track.”

Craig Lloyd – Take The Wheel

Craig Lloyd’s new single ‘Take The Wheel’ is a Garth Brooks style ballad, co-written and produced with Golden Guitar winners Carter & Carter at the helm. Craig says “‘Take The Wheel’ is a story of hope. Hope that a greater being can help to guide and steer us through difficult times of loss, fear, and regret. I’ve always loved singing, but I had an extremely demanding career, so before 2019 hadn’t considered pursuing music. Then ‘the other side of me’ just had to come out…’

Craig began his adult career as a Police Officer, working the streets of London before advancing to Scotland Yard. Seeking new experiences, he relocated to Australia, worked for the police force, ambulance services, then the Melbourne Metro Fire Brigade. He met his now wife, had a family, towed a caravan exploring Australia, before settling in rural Victoria in a small country town called Alexandra. This is where he discovered his ‘other side’ and after a ‘Taste of Tamworth’ concert in the local town hall spoke with Lyn Bowtell who encouraged him to apply to the Academy of Country Music. He was accepted and headed off to start his newest adventure – country music.

“It’s a wonderful new phase of my life. You won’t find many country singers in the British Police force, and I doubt any at Scotland Yard” laughs Craig, who now weaves some of his venturesome moments into his songs.

That he is influenced by his Country music heroes like Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and George Strait is obvious, not just in his style, but also in the way he approaches a song. Whether it is his own personal narrative, commentaries on others’ lives, or completely fictional, Craig is all about the story. Reminiscing, Craig says that it wasn’t until very recently that he realised where his love of country music came from… secretly listening to ‘Whispering Bob Harris’ the king of country radio in England, in the dark, on an old tape player, under his pillow, hiding from his parents.

Craig has already supported and worked with Australian artists including Fanny Lumsden, Lachlan Bryan (The Wildes), Lyn Bowtell, Roger Corbett and Dobe Newton (The Bushwackers), Catherine Britt, Carter & Carter, Dom Italiano and Elisha Francesca.

With his debut album ‘The Other Side of Me’ due for official release at the 2023 Tamworth Country Music Festival, his current radio single ‘Take The Wheel’ gives us a wonderful taste of what’s to come, with soulful vocals and great musicianship that takes us on an emotional journey.

Craig says ‘Take The Wheel’ is a story of hope. Whilst it’s not his personal account, it is a cumulative story of friends and family, and draws inspiration from their lives. “I’m so proud of ‘The Other Side of Me’, it’s my first album, I had wonderful co-writing experiences, I got to work with Carter & Carter, Adrian Hannan, Roger Corbett and some world-class musicians to produce the songs, and I get to tell my stories. What could be better?”

Briana Dinsdale – Irresistible Force

Rising Country Singer-Songwriter Briana Dinsdale Releases New Single ‘Irresistible Force’

Briana Dinsdale’s fourth official single release ‘Irresistible Force’ is the perfect representation of her mature level of musicianship for her youthful age. Her unique, Country-Americana flaring sounds navigate their way through the ambient tones and moving lyrics based on her experience with teenage heartbreak. Co-written with Golden Guitar winner Melody Moko and produced by Melody’s husband Michael Muchow (Moko), ‘Irresistible Force’, truly is… irresistible force.

“To me ‘Irresistible Force’ is definitely the most heart wrenching songs I’ve put into the world. I wrote it with Melody Moko and I am so proud of how the song has turned out. It’s raw, honest, captivating, and heart-breaking yet heart-warming. I really hope that other people who may have had their heartbroken can connect and reminisce on those valuable moments”.

Brisbane based artist Briana Dinsdale has already achieved at 18 years what some folks could only dream of in a lifetime. A firm favourite with key industry tastemakers, Briana’s distinct and refreshing style of country has garnered support from the likes of the Country Music Association where she was recently announced by Tamworth’s CMAA as the 2022 Keith Urban Scholarship Award Winner – an incredible achievement by such an exciting and gifted, rare musical talent.

Her debut single ‘Ball And Chain’ smashed opening targets all round, heading straight to number 15 in the Australian Independent Music Chart and charting on many independent charts around the world. Her live performances are also worth noting. At home on the stage since the age of eight, Briana has performed at the Gympie Music Muster, Tamworth Country Music Festival and on the Melting Sunsets line-up alongside Pete Murray, The Whitlams and more. Furthermore, Briana was awarded the Bronze award by the International Singer Songwriter Association in the Emerging Artist of the year category when she was only 17.

Briana has also received support from further afar with a steadily growing fanbase consistently following her next move. With only a handful of releases out, the artist has been achieving undeniable feats, a reflection and credit to her multi-talented musical prowess and maturity. Watch out for this young star on the rise!

Jimmie Allen – Down Home

Signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Jimmie Allen has been blazing trails since the beginning of his breakout career.

Multi-platinum, GRAMMY and NAACP Image Award nominated, CMA and ACM winner Jimmie Allen has released his third studio album Tulip Drive.

“This is the first [album] where I chose to write songs about my own personal experiences, thoughts and hopes… A lot of these songs are based off things I went through when I was in later in high school and college, at a place where I was just learning a lot of life lessons from my grandmother,” he has said of Tulip Drive.

The result is a body of work that reflects Allen’s signature approach to music, including appearances on the 17-song record that range from fellow stars (Jennifer Lopez, CeeLo Green, T-Pain) and rising talent (Katie Ohh) to family ties (his 8-year-old son, Aadyn).

Allen kicked off the release celebration last night at the iHeartRadio Theatre in Los Angeles with an interview and performance at the iHeartCountry Album Release Party with Jimmie Allen presented by AT&T Dream in Black, which video streamed on iHeartRadio’s YouTube along with being broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Mainstream Country stations. Watch Allen’s performance of “be alright” from the party now.

The lead single from Tulip Drive, “Down Home” – which takes shape as a letter to Allen’s late father – continues to climb the country airplay charts and has garnered more than 20 million global streams. The song has been hailed by Billboard as a “winner… a musician vessel detailing both precious moments he spent with his father, but also how life has progressed since his father’s passing” and a “power ballad that exudes sincerity” by MusicRow.

The music video for “Down Home” was co-directed by Allen & Chris Beyrooty and filmed between Allen’s hometown of Milton, DE and nearby town of Lewes, DE; a poignant visual complement to the song, purposely shot in black & white to keep focus on its subject matter and featuring many locations vital to Allen and his father’s relationship – Allen’s childhood home, the baseball field his father taught him how to play on, and his father’s favorite restaurant, among others.

Much like Tulip Drive’s predecessors, the album’s title is deeply personal to Allen’s family ties – Tulip Drive is the name of the street in Lewes, DE his late grandmother lived on. Allen’s 2018 debut album Mercury Lane was named for the street Allen grew up on, and his 2020 & 2021 releases, Bettie James & Bettie James Gold Edition, were named for his grandmother (Bettie Snead) and father (James “Big Jim” Allen), who passed away in 2014 and 2019, respectively.

Allen has been on the road on the Down Home Tour since its sold out start in February. The 20+ date trek marked his first solo headline tour and will conclude with the second annual Bettie James Fest on August 13 at Hudson Fields in Milton, DE. This year’s slate of performers include We The Kings, Lainey Wilson, Neon Union, Chayce Beckham, JJ Rupp and Kounty. Allen will once again serve as headliner for the festival, which he established in 2021 in honor of his grandmother father.

Earlier this year, Allen was nominated for Best New Artist at the 64th Annual GRAMMY® Awards, Male Artist of the Year at the 57th ACM Awards (which he co-hosted alongside Dolly Parton & Gabby Barrett) and Outstanding New Artist at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. He is the reigning CMA New Artist of the Year and earned his third career No. 1 with “Freedom Was A Highway” in February.

Beyond Sippy Creek – Open Road

Queensland country rock band, Beyond Sippy Creek, return with their brand-new single ‘Open Road’, telling the real-life story of what it’s like to be a young country musician, hitting the open road with your mates, and doing what you love most … Playing live music!

Kaleb Rowe, Tate Doneathy, Emily Derksen, and Ethan Robinson are Beyond Sippy Creek, a country rock band based on the Sunshine Coast QLD. All four members of the band met whilst high school students studying their craft at the Australian Music Conservatory Sippy Downs, three years ago.

They shake the foundations with pure energy of modern country rock, providing a great sound with a dynamic front man, and punchy guitar tones supporting their multi-harmony vocal delivery.

It’s their diverse range of styles and their performance that reflects a young, pure, down to earth experience that is Beyond Sippy Creek.

Sari Abbott – Too Much Space

Too much space brings community disconnect.

Community and connection with others is at the heart of Sari Abbott’s new single, ‘Too Much Space’.

Inspired by the events of the COVID-19 lockdowns and physical distancing, the Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter penned ‘Too Much Space’ when shops closed down and people became worried about being close to each other, in a usually inclusive community.

“I remember walking down to Noosa Junction and everything being closed on a Friday and it was so weird because usually there would be five musicians playing all night,” she said. “It had a feeling of loneliness and emptiness, and everyone got a bit scared of each other. I feel like the whole community went downwards and being a tourist spot, people became suspicious of interstate number plates.”

Sari said she felt disconnected and separated in a community where people were usually talkative and friendly to each other, and so this song was born.

Adding to the COVID-19 theme of the song, ‘Too Much Space’ was penned via a Zoom co-writing session with Cass Hopetoun and Blake Dantier.

“I was feeling like my home was becoming a ghost town and they were feeling the same and had experienced the disconnection between people and community,” Sari said.

With the release of ‘Too Much Space’, Sari hopes to encourage people to reconnect as life returns to normal.

“I think a lot of people are feeling like this, and we are all a community, but suddenly that all changed,” she said.

“As we wrote in the song, I hope we can be side-by-side not miles apart and maybe we can just hit restart and start being people together again. As much as it can’t change people’s opinion on the matter, maybe some people will realise they miss talking to their neighbours and they’ll have a coffee with them and start reconnecting.”

Noosa local Chris Kay shot the accompanying video for ‘Too Much Space’, using the Sunshine Coast as the set.

James Robert Webb – Lovesick Drifting Cowboy

Lovesick Drifting Cowboy – the follow up single to James Robert Webb’s First #1 Hit

• Lovesick Drifting Cowboy already has over 7 Million views on TikTok!
• Spotify > 49,000 on 287 playlists
• Youtube Video Views: >13,000

• The Music Row Independent Artist of The Year notches his 10th Top 40 on the Country Breakout Chart and is on track for a seventh consecutive Top 30 appearance.

• Already a #11 hit at Texas Regional Radio Report, Lovesick Drifting Cowboy was just 2 spins away from his second Top 10.

• Knocking on the door of Top 40 Billboard Indicator and already Top 30 on Music Row.

“Lovesick Drifting Cowboy is a solid song. It’s got that southern rock country vibe that we all need, even if we don’t think we do.”
– Colby Ericson, PD, Host 35 South Radio

“should be the official song for every Honky Tonk!!”
– Steve Kelly, PK KKOW, KPGG, Pittsburg/Joplin/Texarkanna

Following up his Texas (TRRR) #1 hit “Stealing Home,” James Robert Webb’s brand new single, “Lovesick Drifting Cowboy” is a Hank Willliams-inspired country standout with grit. The song benchmarks the first of a series of self-produced singles for the 2022 Music Row Independent Artist of the Year, who accepted the honor at the Music Row Magazine’s 20th Annual Country Breakout Awards in February (more here ).

Co-written with Shelby Lee Lowe and Victoria Powell, the inspiration for the single’s title came from Hank Williams’ band The Drifting Cowboys and his song “Love Sick Blues.” With dynamic vocals and textured instrumentation, “Lovesick Drifting Cowboy” is destined to echo the success of Webb’s prior releases.

About the song, Webb says:

“We wrote this song pre-pandemic, back in 2017. It was inspired by country icon and legendary songwriter, Hank Williams, Sr.. The title of the song itself is a nod to both Hank’s band and his famous cover of Love Sick Blues. It was one of his most enduring songs even though his team didn’t want him to record it.

Everyone has an opinion on Hank, but I consider him the original outlaw country artist. He was also just a massive superstar and a big component of his music was pop and blues.

For me, [Lovesick Drifting Cowboy] is a more visceral song. I wanted the record to update that Hank Sr. country roots sound by way of the blues. That’s certainly what Hank was and I wanted to pay homage to that. When I listen, I can see Hank’s band travelling down that dusty Lost Highway. There’s also an edge that reflects my influences–it’s definitely a preview of what’s to come for me as an artist.

It appears that 2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for the independent artist, whose previous single not only gave him his first, #1, it became his 9th MusicRow top 40, peaking at #25–and his fourth consecutive Billboard Indicator top 40. The Oklahoma-native will also be releasing a 100-proof white-aged whiskey later this summer, in honor of the 2021 chart-topping hit, “Okfuskee Whiskey.”

Praise From Radio

“James Robert Webb has taken himself to the next level. Little Waylon vibe Charlie Daniel’s too, Country through and through!”
– Doris Day, KXIA, Marshalltown, Iowa

“If you want to know why JRW is the Music Row Independent Artist of the Year just listen….’nuff said!”
– Mike Thomas, PD/MD, KFAV, Warrenton, MO