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Ballerini, Stapleton, Old Dominion win ACM new artist honors

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 – Chris Stapleton, Kelsea Ballerini and Old Dominion were named today the New Male, Female Duo/Group of the Year respectively by the Academy Of Country Music Awards.

These awards mark the first-ever ACM Award wins for Ballerini, Stapleton and Old Dominion. Ballerini is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, Stapleton leads the ACM nominations with six additional nods, including Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year, and Old Dominion received a nomination for Vocal Group of the Year.

This is part of a great stretch for Stapleton, whose "Traveller" debut CD has topped the charts for many weeks. He was a surprise winner of three Country Music Association awards in November. Stapleton took the honor over Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Chase Rice and Chris Janson.

Ballerini, a Tennessee native with hits including "Dibs" and "Love Me Like You Mean It," won over Cam, Mickey Guyton and RaeLynn.

Old Dominion, which has hits with "Snapback" and "Break Up With Him," beat out A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne, Maddie & Tae and Parmalee.

Previously fan-voted, the newcomer categories are now all incorporated into the professional membership voting process this year.

The awards, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will be broadcast live from Las Vegas on April 3 at 8 p.m. live eastern/delayed Pacific on CBS.

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CD reviews

kelsea CD review - kelsea
Once unheard of, more than a few of today's country queens don't necessarily stick to their own genre. Kelsea Ballerini's most streamed track by far is her collaboration with The Chainsmokers, "This Feeling." That's not to say the rest of her catalog did poorly. Ballerini scored a top five country album out of the gate with her debut in 2015. "The First Time" had great flavors of R&B and sounded very assured for a come-out roll. Sophomore effort »»»
Old Dominion CD review - Old Dominion
Old Dominion has gained a following on the heels of two albums of lively material. Their self-titled third release stays the course and delivers a dozen radio-friendly songs. The hyper positive lead single "Make it Sweet" sets the stage with an ode to the brighter side of everything. Most tracks are upbeat but, ironically, there is not an official party anthem or even a drinking song. The closest they get is "American Style," which is laden with standard innocent imagery »»»
From A Room: Volume 2 CD review - From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards. Stapleton also garnered the Male Vocalist of the Year for his second time. Now seven months after that release, "From »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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