January 2018 Member News



The CCMA invites any members in good standing to submit industry relevant information for consideration and inclusion in The Source. As such, any news or statements presented in this part of the newsletter are not necessarily representative of and/or endorsed by the CCMA. Please send your news items for inclusion to thesource@ccma.org and note COAST TO COAST in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, include one high resolution photo, and a link to extended content. 


Tenille Arts has had a suitcase full of dreams come true since she made the move to Nashville two years ago, but nothing like what just happened on Monday night. The powerhouse singer/songwriter made her national television debut performing her original song “Moment of Weakness” on ABC’s top-rated The Bachelor. “I’m a huge fan of the show,” said an elated Tenille about appearing on the The Bachelor. “When I found out we had the opportunity to send in a song, I thought about a positive love song I wrote a year ago with Adam Wheeler and Rick Huckaby. It’s crazy, because the song sounds like we wrote it specifically for the show. I think everyone on the show has to have a moment of weakness where they finally let their guard down and fall in love. This song describes that vulnerable moment perfectly!” The episode featured Tenille performing the song for Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. during a special date. “Moment of Weakness” is now available on iTunes and has been serviced to country radio via PlayMPE.


2017 may have been Augusta Ray’s biggest year yet, but she plans to make 2018 an even bigger success. For Augusta Ray, a new year means new music! Throughout her busy 2017 tour schedule, Augusta has been splitting her time between her home in Nashville and her home in Toronto, writing for a project that is set to be released later on this year. On February 2, Augusta will be kicking off her list of tour dates in a big way when she opens for Canadian country star Brett Kissel on his We Were That Song Tour in Thunder Bay!


International country music star and 24-time CCMA Award winner Gord Bamford recently released his eighth album, Neon Smoke. The release is currently supported by a 29-date Canadian tour which hits markets large and small from coast-to-coast, ending on March 2 in Kelowna, B.C. before heading to Australia for a string of shows. While in Australia, Bamford will be attending the 2018 Country Music Channel Awards (CMC) on March 15, with nominations for International Artist of the Year and International Video of the Year for his single “Tin Roof”, which reached the #1 spot on the CMC Top 50 chart late last year. Bamford was recently awarded certified Gold Music Canada awards for albums Is it Friday Yet? and Country Junkie, and a certified Platinum award for “When Your Lips are So Close”. He was also awarded certified Gold Music Canada awards for the singles “Drinking Buddy” and “Don’t Let Her Be Gone”. The new album Neon Smoke’s debut single, 2017’s summer anthem “Livin’ On Summertime”, broke the Top 10 on the Canadian country music charts. The follow up single “Ain’t It Grand” saw Gord Bamford joining Blue Rodeo’s charismatic frontman Jim Cuddy to duet on this catchy, fun and ultra-Canadian gem.


After wrapping up 2017 with two shows in Halifax, Dean Brody kicked off 2018 with an appearance at the CMA Songwriters Series on January 23 in Toronto. Dean’s latest single, “8th Day” has been climbing the charts since its release in November and is currently in the Top 15.


For those of you in Ontario, it’s membership renewal time at the at the Country Music Association of Ontario. Now is the time to renew and enjoy the benefits of your membership for another year. In the near future, the CMAOntario we will be announcing details for this year's awards show and one of the benefits the provincial association’s members receive is the right to vote for the CMAOntario Awards. CMAOntario is working year-round to help the Ontario country community develop skills and connections in both the business and artistic aspects of their emerging careers and the organization works continuously to build partnerships with the music industry to provide performance opportunities for Ontario country artists. To renew your membership, visit the CMAOntario website, click on "Membership" and follow the instructions.


How many people can say they’ve played the drums all their life? Colleen Rae feels truly blessed to have been able to share the stage with such a positive soul. How inspiring has it been to learn from Randy Busby; how to balance family, career, church and friendships with such genuine happiness. His smile showed everyone his love for life! Collen Rae is saddened to announce that her dear friend and bandmate, Randy Busby, passed away after a courageous battle with prostate cancer at the age of 70. She sends her thanks to everyone who has expressed their sympathies and shred their stories of Randy. Colleen Rae was sure to keep her promise to Randy to “keep the band going” by having their first performances without him last weekend. Randy will be lovingly remembered and dearly missed by his family and bandmates, all of whom will miss Randy smiling while behind his drums, keeping his band in time. 


Country 107.3 broadcaster, Randy Owen, received a surprise visitor in Tillsonburg, ON on New Year's Day – Terri Clark! During a live interview, the multiple CCMA Award winner announced she's releasing a new single, "Watered Down Whiskey", next month - a duet with Dallas Smith!


David’s latest single “Sun Set On It” has been climbing the charts at radio, making it his latest Top 40 single! The video for the track, his third single off his sophomore EP Downtown Kids was also released in November 2017 and can be seen here.


Last January, independent country artist Doc Yates released his first album, Sweat it Out. Since that time he has also had two additional singles with MCC Recording Studio released to Canadian radio. He has enjoyed radio play across the country, while making the Top 10 DMDS downloads for indie artists. Doc's second single "Four Fingers of Whiskey" was also featured nationally on CBC Radio’s As It Happens. Doc was fortunate enough to be selected to play the main stage at Rogers Hometown Hockey in Kingston, and the upcoming FEO Showcase in Hamilton. He has also been invited to play Dauphin’s Countryfest 2018, after the organizer heard Doc's music on the radio. Doc has his eyes focused on the future and will keep working hard to continue doing what he loves in 2018, which is writing and playing great music by night...and treating his patients by day!


Donny Lee is bringing more of his Best Of Country Music Show from Nashville back home to Canada in 2018. He had successful shows in Camrose, Medicine Hat and Spruce Grove in the fall of 2017 and will continue to book shows in Alberta before he plans on branching out to other provinces. His next show dates include a private party for the Canadian Military in Edmonton in early March, Bert Church Live Theater in Airdrie on March 3, Lloydminster Vic Juba Theater on March 5, Festival Place in Sherwood Park on March 8 and the Kananaskis Rodeo in Coleman, Alberta on April 28. More Canadian dates to come! Donny is releasing more music to Canadian radio in 2018 and his song “Chip And A Chair” is getting worldwide attention in the line dancing community! 2018 is promising to be a very exciting year for the Donny Lee camp.


Shae Dupuy is excited to announce that she will begin her Let The Good Times Roll Tour starting in St. Catharines, ON on February 16! Stopping in cities all across Canada, Shae is also thrilled to announce that she will be opening for Cold Creek County at Maxwell’s in Waterloo, ON on February 23. Shae looks forward to seeing you on the road!


Following the recent success of her single "Waiting on You", and having her debut album selected as the #1 Critics Pick: Best Country Albums of 2017'by Billboard, Canada's Lindsay Ell sets the stage with the release of her second single "Criminal". The Calgary-raised superstar is making waves worldwide and at home on and off the stage. She kicked the year off with a Canadian radio tour, and singing the Canadian National Anthem at the NHL All-Star Game. Lindsay will remain busy throughout 2018 as she goes on tour with both Brad Paisley and Sugarland. More Canadian dates coming soon!


Hunter Brothers are celebrating an extended stay in the Top 10 with their hit single, “Born and Raised”. The song is in heavy rotation on Canadian country radio, making this their most successful single to-date. Hunter Brothers will be spending time writing in early 2018 in anticipation of sharing new music.


Leaving Thomas’ debut self-titled EP released on January 26, 2018 and includes their current single “Blame It On The Neon”, which has been featured for five weeks running on SiriusXM The Highway’s “On The Horizon” and was added into rotation at CMT to a viewership of over 95 million. The duo had a great time celebrating at their album release party in Calgary on January 25.


Canadian country singer/songwriter Mike LeBlanc, known for his unique blend of traditional country music with an edge outlaw, was honoured to have been named an official nominee at last weekend’s ACMA Awards in the category of Video of the Year for “Rich Man Poor Man”. Congrats to all on a great weekend!


Lisa Nicole has released her official music video for her single "Mad About It". Watch the video HERE and be sure to share! "Mad About It" is now at country radio in Canada; please request the song at your favourite station! Lisa will be touring in February to promote the single and embarking on the road to Nashville to write and sing until July.Upcoming appearances:
February 9 – Charles Bailey Theatre - Trail, BC
February 10 - Burdicks Nightclub - Colville, WA
February 16/17 - Wild Bills - Banff, AB
February 19 - Ironwood Stage & Grill - Calgary, AB
February 21 - Cabri Hotel - Cabri, SK
February 23 - The Foundry - Thunder Bay, ON
February 24 - Cheers the Village Pub - Thunder Bay, ON
February 27 - The Cadillac Lounge - Toronto, ON


The Lovelocks are currently out on a radio tour in support of their new single “Staycation”, which was released to Canadian country radio on December 25 and has already reached over 200,000 streams! Be sure to check out the “Staycation” lyric video which was released after the single hit 125,000 digital streams.


David co-hosted a songwriter panel with Augusta Ray in early January at the Cornerhouse Cafe in Stouffville. Put on by Diva and Don of Whistle Radio, the seminar was well-attended and much valuable information was shared. The seminar was followed by an open mic where some stellar talent was displayed. David had three songs picked up by Q108 Kingston off his GRAMMY-submitted third album Traveling Truthfully. The first single off David’s fourth album out of love, called “Love In Your Eyes” has been receiving a warm reception from international radio (26 countries). On February 22, David will perform a feature set at Urban Music Salon, hosted by violin virtuoso Tom Hamilton. 


After an incredible 2017 with big performances as the CCMA Gala Dinner & Awards and the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Jessica started 2018 by joining Dean Brody, Levi Hummon and Marcus Hummon for the CMA Songwriters Series on January 23 in Toronto. Often referred to as country music’s Adele by media outlets across Canada, Jessica who is set to release her debut album Heart of Glass this spring, will also bring her richly unique sound and powerful storytelling capabilities to Johnny Reid’s Revival Tour, as direct support on his extensive outing of 46+ dates.


Join Jess each week for #MoskalukeMonday where she’ll feature clips from “Jess Moskaluke: Home Movie”, her 2017 CMT Canada special. Check out the first #MoskalukeMonday post featuring Part 1 here, and keep an eye out for more as Jess prepares to release her latest single “Past The Past” to radio on February 2.  


Saskatchewan’s Amy Nelson started 2018 with her sophomore single “Hey Love” breaking into Australia’s Top 10 on the Kix Country Radio Network (the only commercial country radio network in Australia). Currently sitting at #6, “Hey Love” follows the success of Amy’s debut single “ish” which stayed in the Top 10 for four weeks and her recent signing with Social Family Records (Universal Australia). Amy is currently on tour down under with Alberta’s The Dungarees. Their schedule includes multiple performances at the Tamworth Country Music Festival (the largest music festival in Australia). Still self-managed and considered independent in the Canadian market (as she has temporarily opted out of the Canadian portion of her deal with Social Family Records), Amy returns home to Canada in early spring to arrange the Canadian release of her third EP, which features songs produced by Jeff Johnson, Dan Swinimer and Bart McKay.


Brett Young’s “Like I Loved You”, co-penned by Young and ole legacy songwriter Jesse Lee, closed 2017 and opened 2018 at the #1 position on numerous country radio charts on both sides of the border. The song, which was written by the two friends while sharing breakup stories over lunch, has connected with millions of fans across Canada and the US. Jesse Lee previously enjoyed chart-topping success with the co-writing of Kelsea Ballerini’s “Peter Pan”, which also reached the #1 position on a number of country radio charts, and was certified Gold by Music Canada and Platinum by the RIAA in the US.


The Road Hammers released their latest single, “All Your Favorite Bands” on January 3. The cover, originally recorded by Dawes, shows the softer side of Canada’s beloved Hammers and features Clayton Bellamy on lead vocals.


Producer/writer Douglas Romanow finished another year as one of the Musical Directors for the CCMA’s Country Music Week events, backing up artists including Tim Hicks, Meghan Patrick, Dean Brody and Jess Moskaluke; and receiving another standing ovation at the CCMA Gala Dinner & Awards with powerhouse, Jessica Mitchell. Doug produced Alessia Cohle’s new record, Wild-Eyed Wanderer, and is currently working on new releases for Nicole Rayy and newcomer Lennon Daniels.


Sons Of Daughters had the unique opportunity to appear on CTV’s hit new show The Launch. The CCMA Discovery Program alumni appeared on the January 24 episode and performed for music legends Nikki Sixx and Scott Borchetta. To learn more about The Launch, CLICK HERE.


Following the releases of Anthony Tullo’s hot summer song, Shotgun Ready”, REBEL and REBEL TOUR 2017, things are getting even hotter! Polish superstar/promoter Grzegorz (Greg) Plecha’s interest has spawned a management deal that will bring Anthony to Europe this summer. Songs from REBEL and Switching Tracks have already been heard on Polish radio. Top music critic in Poland, Korneliusz Pacuda, was so impressed that he immediately featured Anthony on his radio special. Pacuda says, "Antonio has a strong raspy voice and it stands out over many." Anthony is part of a massive European campaign that will establish him in Poland with two headlining festival dates on the table. The summer tour’s highlight: headlining Piknik Country Festival, which will be featured on television in Poland and via continued airplay at major radio. Celebrating its 35th year, Piknik Country is the oldest/largest international country music festival in Eastern Europe with an attendance of 50,000+. Anthony’s also slated as a headliner at the Krasnik Country Festival. The international release of REBEL is distributed through ILS Group/Universal Music Group. Former manager and producer, Peter Linseman, negotiated a sync licensing/publishing agreement for Anthony with Moondog NYC, which provides music/productions for the likes of PepsiCo, Cartier, Victoria’s Secret and more.


In the past three years, sister duo Twin Kennedy has released two albums, toured across North America, and has won the hearts of country radio and fans alike. Following the release of their sophomore album A Twin Kennedy Christmas this past holiday season, Carli and Julie Kennedy are being honoured by their alma mater with a 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Victoria. Each year at Alumni Week the University of Victoria Alumni Association, in partnership with the faculties and divisions of the university, present Distinguished Alumni Awards to outstanding members of the alumni community. The recipients are selected by their respective faculties or divisions based on a number of criteria, including career accomplishments or service to their community. The duo created an impressive legacy by combining their classical training and country roots to not only establish their signature sound and unique live show, but to also develop their Classical to Country Workshop geared towards young musicians. Visiting elementary schools, high schools, and community music programs, Carli and Julie help music students craft their skills and find their confidence on stage.


The legendary Ian Tyson was inducted into the Association of Country Music in Alberta’s Hall of Fame this past weekend in Red Deer. Tyson, who was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1989, is also the recipient of the Order of Canada.


Ashlynne is starting off the New Year with a bang! Named by Canadian Aircheck Magazine as one of the 18 to watch in 2018, Ashlynne released her fourth single, “Love You Anyway”, to Canadian country radio. The single, she says, speaks to her personal journey, making the lyrics of the song her most honest and (heartbreaking) of ballads yet – when words fail, music speaks. In the UK, Ashlynne has released her first single to radio, “Take Cover”, and charted #33 in the first week on radio! In the USA, Ashlynne has been chosen by Backstage Entertainment as one of the performers at The New Music Showcase during Nashville's Country Radio Seminar Week. Keep an eye on Ashlynne, she's working hard to make 2018 a banner year.


“Extra-Ordinary” is the new, tongue-in-cheek offering from The Western Swing Authority and hilarious special guest, Jason McCoy (of The Road Hammers). A character tune, “Extra-Ordinary” is written and performed in the style of Roger Miller, Little Jimmy Dickens or a guest on “The Muppet Show”. This tune doesn’t take itself too seriously. The successful partnership between great music, amazing guests, lots of humour and fresh new material is the focus for The Western Swing Authority's newest project, which will be released later in 2018. Give it a listen by CLICKING HERE. Have a laugh. Be “extraordinarily” entertained. 


Paige Williams’ debut EP, California Country, is now available on all digital retail stores! Two singles from the EP have been released so far to Canadian radio: “Ain’t No Saint”, and her latest, “Give You Hell”. She will be releasing her next single, “So Smooth”, to Canadian radio in late February. Make sure to give a read as to what the Boot has to say about another cut on her EP. Paige has gone from singing the National Anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Anaheim Ducks to getting her original song, “Welcome to My Life” placed in the independent film, Wake (starring Bijou Phillips and Jane Seymour), and another self-penned tune, “Gone” placed in May The Best Man Win (an indy production starring Rob Riggle of The Daily Show and Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live). Her song, “How Did Our Love Change” was also featured on a Nickelodeon TV show. Paige also received award consideration as a nominee for Producers’ Choice in the Best Single category at the Los Angeles Music Awards and was a contender in the “Single of the Year” category for the prestigious Indie Singer/Songwriter Association.


The CCMA is proud to acknowledge the altruistic acts of charity and kindness demonstrated by our members. If you or someone you know has done something that you feel deserves recognition, please send your recommendations for consideration to thesource@ccma.org and note COUNTRY CARES in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, include one high resolution photo, and a link to extended content.


On Friday, January 26, Unison Rocks returned for the fourth year to Toronto’s High Park Curling Club. The sold-out charity bonspiel saw the Unison Rocks trophy pass into new hands and raised a recording-setting $25,000 for the Unison Benevolent Fund. For more information on this event, and the upcoming Ottawa Unison Rocks event, CLICK HERE.




The Canadian country music industry suffered the devastating loss of artist manager Janice Starodub on New Year’s Eve at the age of 49. Janice Anne Starodub passed away peacefully at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre surrounded by her family, husband Phil and three children, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Please continue reading about the indelible impact Janice will leave on our business by CLICKING HERE.