It has already been a busy week in the country music world, and it’s only Wednesday! Taylor Swift has headlined the news in recent days with the announcement of her new album and accompanying single, but there has been breaking news all week surrounding some of the biggest stars in country music!
Today is Wednesday, August 15, and this is the latest edition of MCE Weekly.
George Jones To Retire From Touring
After recent battles with his health, George Jones announced this week that he will embark on a farewell tour in 2013, after which he will retire from the touring circuit. The Grand Tour, named after his 1974 hit, is rumored to include 60 cities, with specific dates, locations, and venues to be announced in the following weeks.
George is also planning to record a new album, which is reportedly expected to feature a number of Dolly Parton-penned songs. He is currently on the road now, with his next show slated for this Friday (Aug 17) in Savannah, Georgia. We’ll have updates surrounding his farewell tour when they become available. This will be one tour no true fan should miss…the final dates in the career of a music legend.
Lawsuit Brewing Over “Backwoods”
Justin Moore achieved quite a bit of success with his 2009 single, “Backwoods.” The song has been downloaded more than 300,000 times, and Moore is regarded as one of the more promising young artists on the country music circuit, backed by his record label, Big Machine Records.
But apparently, there is a debate, and oncoming legal battle, ensuing over the rights to the song. Nashville songwriter Bobby Carmichael has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the song was stolen from him. Carmichael claims to have written the song eight years ago along with fiddle player Britton Curry, while the tune is currently credited to Moore, Jamie Paulin, and Jeremy Stover. Carmichael and Curry are seeking $150,000 for each act of copyright infringement.
Moore and Big Machine Records have both declined to comment, but representatives of all sides are due in court on October 1st in Nashville.
Ashton Shepherd Leaves Record Label
In a continued depressing trend that has become all too familiar in recent months, Ashton Shepherd has apparently parted ways with MCA Nashville, her record label since 2007. No specific reason has been given for the split, other than the two parties were looking to go in different directions. Ashton released two albums with the label, ‘Sounds So Good’ and ‘Where Country Grows,’ with her hit singles including “Takin’ Off This Pain” and “Look It Up.” A new album is apparently in the works for Shepherd, with the focus now shifting to a label to release it.
This news comes only weeks after it was announced that Lee Ann Womack had left MCA Nashville as well. Other recent artist-label splits have included Josh Thompson leaving RCA Records, Ronnie Dunn leaving Sony Music, and Kellie Pickler parting ways with BNA Nashville.
JaneDear Girls Split Up
Susie Brown and Danelle Leverett, collectively known as the JaneDear Girls, have reportedly split up. Apparently, news first broke when it was announced that their scheduled performance at the 8th International Dogwood Festival had been cancelled back in April.
Further details explain that Brown and Leverett are both pursuing solo endeavors, so perhaps musical direction is the main reason for the breakup. While Brown is working a solo country album, Leverett is reportedly leaning more toward an indie/pop sound under the Nelly Joy title. We’ll keep you in the loop of the developments involving both of these projects as we learn more details.
New Album Announcements
Ricky Skaggs and John Hiatt have both announced that they’ll release new albums next month. Skaggs is co-producing his album, ‘Music to My Ears,’ due in stores on September 25. Songwriter Gordon Kennedy shares the producing credits, while the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb lends vocals on one of the record’s tracks, “Soldier’s Son.”
Meanwhile, Hiatt will also be releasing new music on September 25, titled ‘Mystic Pinball.’ The record will be available on CD and in a limited edition vinyl version as well.
Crocs vs. Taylor Swift?
And why not end this MCE Weekly with a bizarre story? Co-founder of Crocs George Boedecker was arrested in Colorado recently for suspicion of drunk driving. But apparently, he blamed his “girlfriend” for the entire incident. So who is his girlfriend, you may ask. Who else, but the lovely Ms. Taylor Swift!?!?
Via a police report, Boedecker claims that Swift was in the driver’s seat of his car, but she ran off when the two had a fight, pointing to a random yard nearby and said that she went to Nashville. Boedecker didn’t full anyone with his obviously and ridiculously inaccurate story, and after verbally abusing officers, was eventually arrested.
Taylor hasn’t commented on the issue, nor do we really expect her to at all.
Be sure to check back next week for another edition of MCE Weekly, recapping and reacting to the week’s most interesting (and sometimes bizarre) stories in country music.