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TAYLOR’S LOVER: READING BETWEEN THE LAYERS
It goes deep in places. (8/23a)
THE GRAMMY CHEW:
ALBUM CONTENDERS
These machers have one-track minds. (8/23a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
IT’S TAYLOR’S TIME
Looking at her big week from a different angle. (8/23a)
LOVE FOR LOVER FROM SCOTT AND SCOOTER
An olive branch? (8/23a)
UNDER HIPGNOSIS: MERCK CATALOGS HIS PLAN (PART 1)
From the horse's mouse (8/23a)
TAYLOR SWIFT!
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift? Taylor Swift; Taylor. Swift. Taylor Swift!
TAYLOR SWIFT.
Taylor Swift...  
TAYLOR SWIFT?
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift.   
TAYLOR. SWIFT.
Taylor!
Music City
MIDLAND ROLLS INTO TOWN
7/31/19

With new album Let It Roll due to drop on 8/23, the men of Big Machine's Midland turned up at L.A.'s Grammy Museum for a thoughtful Q&A with the org's Scott Goldman and a mini-concert. The convo was filled with the trio's trademark smart-alecky wit as well as some thoughtful ruminations on the creative process and the band's history (including shout-outs to genius collaborators like Dann Huff and Davíd Garza). The performance, meanwhile, boasted such killer new material as "Mr. Lonely," the silky "Put the Hurt on Me" and rockin' "21st Century Honky Tonk American Band," as well as prior hits "Drinkin' Problem" and "Burn Out." We managed to sneak in by disguising ourselves as actual journalists. 

GOLD DOMINION
7/31/19

To celebrate the gold certification of their sophomore RCA Nashville set, Happy Endings, Old Dominion joined label and management luminaries for this glittering photo op. Later, Sony Music Nashville COO/EVP Ken Robold further commemorated this milestone by getting a 24-karat grill. Seen further establishing their dominion are (l-r) SMN VP A&R Taylor Lindsey, RCA Nashville SVP Promo Dennis Reese, SMN SVP Sales/Streaming Caryl Atwood, Morris Higham Management's Will Hitchcock, Robold, the band's Brad Tursi, Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey, Geoff Sprung and Whitt Sellers, SMN boss Randy Goodman, Morris Higham Management President Clint Higham, SMN Sr. Dir. Marketing Paige Altone and EVP A&R Jim Catino.

PRWEEK'S 40 UNDER 40: JAKE BASDEN
7/31/19

Celebrations are in order for BMLG’s SVP of Publicity and Corporate Communications Jake Basden, who has been named on PRWeek’s annual 40 Under 40 list. Joining execs from Nike, Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, Starbucks, PepsiCo, PayPal, Facebook, and Spotify, among others, as well as agencies like Edelman and Ketchum, the University of Oklahoma alum is the only music company PR professional named on this year’s list.

Basden, who joined Big Machine in 2011 as a “publicist who could take the music label to the next level,” writes PRWeek, was a key figure in helping the label become the first to make Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list.

“I have been blessed to work with some of the most singular artists in the genre, as well as helping realize the unique vision Scott Borchetta has for this company. Scott’s leadership combined with the caliber of our artist roster makes you want to do more and reach higher," shares Basden.

Prior to joining BMLG, Basden was a Media Relations Director for Edelman in the sports and entertainment area. Now, he has over 25 artists, various corporate initiatives across the entertainment industry, and was also voted CMA’s Publicist of the Year in 2018. PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 ceremony will take place in NYC on 10/24. Jake has been singled out for additional recognition due to the trauma he's suffered while dealing with us.

MOORE BEER PLEASE
7/30/19

Nashville’s Big Machine Distillery welcomed friends, family, and industryites last night (7/29) to guzzle limited-edition Big Machine Beer, Justin Moore’s “Late Nights and Longnecks” IPA. In celebration of his fifth studio album of the same name, out via Valory/BMLG, label head Scott Borchetta and team welcomed Moore prior to his four-song set, which included his current Top 5 single, “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home,” as well as recent tracks “Why We Drink,” “That’s My Boy” and “On the Rocks.”

Pictured above after a wild game of Beer Pong are (l-r) Valory Music Co. President George Briner, Moore, Borchetta, and L3 Entertainment’s Peter Hartung.

SUNNY-SIDE UP FOR BRADEN
7/30/19

Country artist Tyler Braden has inked with 50 Egg Music, the publishing and artist development venture co-founded by Tali Canterbury and Jonathan Singleton and co-owned by Luke Combs. The deal is in partnership with Sony/ATV; Braden has also with Triple 8 Management for representation. Braden joins a management roster that includes Eli Young Band, Chase Rice, Josh Abbott Band, and Scotty McCreery, among others, and is repped by Braeden Rountree and Austin Neat at WME

Canterbury shares, “Our vision at 50 Egg is to help launch careers, and Tyler’s signing is a strong testament to all our belief in his talents as a writer, vocalist and performer.” Braden, who worked as a full-time firefighter up until last month, adds, “From the miles traveled, the people you meet, the naysayers and the supporters, the life long friends, the sleepless nights, the free shows, the shows where you're paid with a plate of food and, most of all, the fans you meet and really connect with – those are the small victories that keep you going. You do it all in the pursuit of that once in a life time big break.”

Triple 8 co-founder Bruce Kalmick says, “We are excited to officially sign him to our management roster in partnership with Pete Olson.” Olson adds, “Talent, work ethic and persistence are all things I look for in clients and Tyler definitely checks every one of those boxes. He knows what he wants and he knows who he is as a writer and artist. We are thrilled to partner with Triple 8, 50 Egg and Sony ATV.”

Pictured below are (l-r) Kalmick, Sony ATV’s Katie Kerkover, 50 Egg Music’s Joey Harris, Canterbury, Braden, Master Craft Management’s Olson, Singleton and Sony ATV’s Josh Van Valkenburg.

SCOTT STEPAKOFF GETS SMACK-ED
7/30/19


Nashville-based publishing company, SMACKSongs, has signed songwriter Scott Stepakoff to an exclusive publishing deal. Stepakoff joins a roster of writers, producer and artists, all led by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne

Since moving to Nashville in 2004, Stepakoff has landed cuts with stars including Tim McGraw, Kelsea Ballerini, Jake Owen, Walker Hayes and more. 

“I am so fired up to be part of the SMACK team,” shares Stepakoff. “I have had the honor of writing songs with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne over the years, and I am a big fan of the family/songwriter driven environment they have built at SMACK. You really get the feeling when you walk in the building that you are in on something special. I am grateful to Robin Palmer and Lee Krabel for believing in what I do."

“I’ve had the privilege of writing with Scott for years, so it’s a very seamless transition for us to now be working together. He is a songwriter’s songwriter and always makes everyone in the room better,” said McAnally. “I am so honored he is trusting SMACK to help take his career to the next level, which our team will undoubtedly do.”

FAST FORWARDING PAST THEIR HITS MENTION
7/29/19

On the occasion of the Country Hall of Fame and Museum's panel discussion Conversation: Living in Fast Forward (about the lavish book chronicling Kenny's Chesney's live shows, among other topics), the professionals captured above revealed that while they are all somehow affiliated with Chesney's No Shoes Nation, they are free to obtain pedicures. Seen just before taking Kenny's boat for a quick turn around a man-made lake filled with Blue Chair Bay Rum are (l-r) photographers Jill Trunnell, Glen Rose and Allister Ann, Chesney, CHOF&M CEO Kyle Young, book editor/frequent HITS editor Holly Gleason, Museum Editor Michael McCall and art director Heather Lose.

RUSTY NEVER SLEEPS AS NEW SONY/ATV NASHVILLE BOSS
7/25/19

Sources confirm that Rusty Gaston is the new Nashville chief at Jon Platt's Sony/ATV, succeeding the exiting Troy Tomlinson, who is moving over to UMPG's Music City division.

The Texas native established himself with the pubco THIS Music, which has reps such writers as Jessi Alexander, JT Harding, Ben Hayslip and more, including co-owners Tim Nichols and Connie Harrington.

Gaston's start date is TBA. Stay tuned for further details.