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Nashville or LA: Session Aces Rate Two Schools of Recording

CMA Close Up/CMA/By Michael Ross
During a recent conversation, session guitar whiz Guthrie Trapp casually referenced a distinction between classic Nashville studio procedure and what he described as Los Angeles or New York types of sessions being done in Music City.

Inside Tips from a Vocal Coach to the Stars

Gary Allan with Dr. Gaelynn Garrett/CMA Closeup/ By Tricia Despres
There was a time when a singer's voice disorders were mainly about crisis management. But recently, preventative treatment has become important, es­pecially in Nashville, where the voice is one’s moneymaker.

How to Thwart Music Equipment Theft

Guitar/CMA/ By Randy Rudder
From rock stars to up-and-comers towing U-Haul trailers, too many artists and musi­cians have been victims of equipment theft. Whether it’s Tom Petty and the Heart­breakers losing five vintage guitars during a soundcheck to a sticky-fingered security guard, or Country newcomer JJ Lawhorn being ripped off for $4,000 worth of gear from his band’s van while checking into a hotel in Valdosta, Ga., no one is immune. But everyone can more effectively deal with and prevent equipment loss.

Country Artists Invest in Custom Guitar Straps

Instrument Straps/CMA/ By Jeff Walter
A guitar strap is more than a means to support a piece of musical equipment. It’s also a canvas for personal expression and for helping audiences see exactly who you are.

Country Artists Take a New Spin on Vinyl

Will The Circle Be Unbroken/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Randy Rudder
Not since the early 1990s has the acronym “LP” had currency in the recording world. Yet it’s creeping back into the nomenclature among some Millennials and members of Generation Y as they discover the wonders of vinyl albums.

50 Years after the Crash: Remembering Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins

Patsy Cline/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Eileen Sisk
The Grand Ole Opry suffered the biggest loss of talent in its 87-year history when a small plane carrying Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, along with Cline's manager Randy Hughes, crashed on the evening of March 5, 1963, in a heavily wooded area roughly 100 miles west of Nashville. Now, 50 years after the crash the we are remembering Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Secrets of Country Record Production

CMA Close Up/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Fett
Many of today’s Country albums and singles share certain production sensibilities. Over the past 20 years or so, they’ve come to adapt numerous production techniques from other genres – particularly rock, pop and R&B – to the point that, if you strip away the vocal, fiddle and pedal steel, the remaining tracks sometimes don’t sound that “Country” at all. This may partially explain why more Country songs cross over to other charts than in the past. But how do you balance this success against the idea of “keeping it Country”?

How Country Stars Build Their Road Crews

CMA Close Up/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Mark Crawford
Country Music wouldn’t be where it is today without great artists. But those stars couldn’t grow their audiences without virtuoso road crews. In many ways, the road crew is just as important a part of the tour as the performer. As Chris Cagle put it, “Everyone is pretty much part of the band. We’re all in it together. If the front-house guy has a bad day, no matter how well the band plays, we suck. If the monitor engineer is off, we can’t hear ourselves play and we’re off. Everybody is vital. We’re all part of the team.

Nashville Welcomes the Johnny Cash Museum

Johnny CashNashville, TN -- By Kip Kirby
Downtown Nashville will soon be getting a new celebrity attraction that promises to become both a tourist mecca and a destination for music scholars from around the world. It’s the Johnny Cash Museum, dedicated to celebrating the life and career of CMA's Country Music Hall of Fame member Johnny Cash.

Nashville Pros Rate the Top Country Guitarists of All Time

Hank Garland/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Tim Ghianni
Back in 1966, John Sebastian noted in his song “Nashville Cats,” that “there’s thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar pickers in Nashville,” each of whom “played clean as country water.” Years later, he recalled, with a laugh, someone “with too much time on their hands” went through the local AFM book from 1966 and found out “I was only 30 off.”

Country Stars Share Tips on Surviving Tour Bus Fires

 Lee Brice’s bus burns in Isle of Palms, S.C. Nashville, TN -- /CMA/ By Joseph Hudak
Jerrod Niemann had just climbed aboard his tour bus after a March benefit show in Chattanooga, Tenn., for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital when his friend and fellow artist Lee Brice smelled something all too familiar — the acrid odor of a bus beginning to burn.

Happy Trails for All During the Roy Rogers Centennial

Roy Rogers courtesy Wikipedia/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- By Eileen Sisk
Few entertainers have become as much a tour de force in popular culture and Country Music as Roy Rogers. Last year, he was honored at several centennial celebrations. On screen, Rogers was a “Mr. Nice Guy” who outsmarted villains, treated ladies well and kissed his horse but never his girl. Onstage, he dressed sharp and put his music first. Offstage, he valued his fans, faith and family while triumphing over adversity and tragedy.

New Frontiers Open for Paperless PR

CMA Close Up/CMA/ Nashville, TN -- by Jeff Walter
As the means for delivering and consuming music continue to grow more sophisticated (and more digital), so do the choices for promoting that music and the artists who create it. Such is the case with electronic press kits (EPKs) and video news releases (VNRs), tools that share the same basic goals of their non-digital predecessors: getting airplay, inspiring reviews and other media coverage, facilitating bookings and winning the attention of music consumers.

Remembering Kitty Wells, 1919-2012

Kitty Wells/CMA/ By Bob Doerschuk
Country Music has weathered seismic changes since May 1949, when Kitty Wells stepped up from her gig as “girl singer” with Johnnie & Jack and their group and stood alone behind a microphone at Owen Bradley’s Castle Studios. She had agreed to record a song written by J.D. Miller and pitched by Troy Martin. It didn’t thrill Wells or her husband, Johnnie Wright of Johnnie & Jack, but she agreed to cut it mainly for the $125 session fee.

Artists Benefit from the Kickstarter Revolution

John Hartford Kickstarter Program/CMA/ By Jeannie Naujeck
When Chuck Mead set out to make Back at the Quonset Hut, an album of classic Country songs, he wanted to kick the project up a notch.

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