Country Concert Souvenirs

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Michael Smith Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud

Michael Ross Smith, 44, of Brentwood, Tenn., pleaded guilty today to making a false material statement under oath in a bankruptcy case, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

During the plea hearing, Smith acknowledged that he filed for bankruptcy and then committed bankruptcy fraud by providing false testimony, under oath, during an examination conducted by the U.S. Trustee. Smith falsely testified that he was no longer employed by a Nashville business at the time of the examination. Subsequently, the United States Trustee discovered that Smith continued to be employed by the business as the President of Sales, earning an annual base salary of $150,000.

Bankruptcy fraud carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Smith will be sentenced on August 5, 2015.

The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Department of Justice that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigation to enforce the Bankruptcy Code.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI with assistance from the U.S. Trustee. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie N. Toussaint and Special Asst. U.S. Attorney Lloyd E. Mueller.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Singer-songwriter @AmyEWilcox Releases Music Video for New Summertime Single, “Summer In Slow Motion”

Singer-songwriter Amy Wilcox has released a new music video for her single, “Summer In Slow Motion.” Produced by Dusty Barker and directed by Justin Clough .

Written by Wilcox, Lisa Goe and Jordan Schmidt, and produced by Schmidt, “Summer In Slow Motion” is an upbeat party anthem about enjoying the long days of summer with friends.

Of the new single, Wilcox commented, “Lisa, Jordan and I were all talking about how excited we were that summer was finally coming and how every year, we always say, ‘I’m really gonna make this one count,’ and then it just flies by. The idea behind ‘Summer In Slow Motion’ is that you have to do everything you can to make every second count. Do the things you truly want to do and have fun. Just remember to slow down, appreciate what you have and make every moment worth it.”

Born in Oklahoma and raised in Arlington, Va., Wilcox first moved to Music City to play Division 1 soccer at Vanderbilt University. While majoring in history and economics with a minor in communications, she topped the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was a leader in shots-on-goal percentage for the Vanderbilt Commodores.After graduating from Vanderbilt, Wilcox took to the road to pursue music full time and began playing at bars and honky-tonks all over the U.S.

Wilcox was also a featured cast member on A&E’s “Crazy Hearts: Nashville.” The show documented the lives of up-and-coming Nashville artists and Wilcox is featured on two tracks from the Original Soundtrack, now releasing her highly anticipated single since coming off the show.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bounty Hunter Kills Country Singer Randy Howard

Country singer Randy Howard was killed Tuesday in a gunfight with a bounty hunter who was trying to detain him, according to authorities.

The 65-year-old singer, who performed alongside Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings and cracked the country singles chart in 1988 with his take on Johnny Cash’s "Ring of Fire," was reportedly at his home in Lynchburg, Tenn. on Tuesday night when a bounty hunter arrived and attempted to detain Howard for missing a court appearance.

The two men opened fire and Howard was killed.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine told Billboard that the bounty hunter was trying to take Howard into custody on a warrant charging him with fourth-offense DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm while intoxicated and driving on a revoked license.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Willie Nelson - It's a Long Story: My Life

The definitive autobiography of Willie Nelson

"Unvarnished. Funny. Leaving no stone unturned."

. . . So say the publishers about this book, "It's a Long Story: My Life", I've written.

What I say is that this is the story of my lifeWillie Nelson - It's a Long Story: My Life, told as clear as a Texas sky and in the same rhythm that I lived it.

It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. Of my childhood in Abbott, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest, from Nashville to Hawaii and all the way back again. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold.

It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and barrooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it.

My life gets lived on the road, at home, and on the road again, tried and true, and I've written it all down from my heart to yours.

Willie Nelson

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams

Hank Williams, the quintessential country music singer and songwriter, died alone in the backseat of his Cadillac on New Year’s Day, 1953. He died much as he had lived: drunk, forlorn, suffering from a birth defect, wondering when the bubble would burst. Having sprouted out of nowhere, like a weed in the wilds of south Alabama, he was gone at the age of twenty-nine.

Now, with Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams, his definitive biography of the man and his music, Paul Hemphill takes the reader on a journey through Hank Williams’s life and times: his dirt-poor beginnings as a sickly child, learning music from a black street singer, refining it in raucous rural honky-tonks during the Depression, emerging as a star of the Grand Ole Opry. Uneducated, virtually fatherless, an alcoholic in his teens, unlucky at love, Hank mined his experiences to write songs that will live forever.

Hemphill, author of The Nashville Sound and the son of a long-distance trucker from Alabama, brings his background to bear on a story that often reads like fiction. He has unearthed many fresh details in Williams’s life, but most importantly, he has explained that life and given it the lively telling it deserves.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Walk of Fame Park to Officially Reopen with Induction of Loretta Lynn and Jack White

Mayor Karl Dean, joined by Metro Parks and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., announced that GRAMMY-winning artists Loretta Lynn and Jack White will be inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame and join in the official ribbon-cutting of the newly-renovated Walk of Fame Park. The event will be at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 and is free and open to the public.

"I can't think of a better way to celebrate the reopening of Walk of Fame Park than with the induction of Loretta Lynn and Jack White – two very diverse artists," Mayor Dean said. "They represent what is best about Nashville with music that spans multiple genres and generations. They are great ambassadors for the creative community in our city, and I congratulate them on this wonderful honor."

Both the induction ceremony and ribbon-cutting celebration will take place at Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues. In addition to the inductions of Lynn and White, the new plaque design for all of the renovated stars will be unveiled.

"Individually, Loretta Lynn and Jack White have each made an enormous impact on Nashville's music scene," said Ken Levitan, NCVC Board Chair and President of Vector Management. "Collectively, the impact of their collaborations has been felt exponentially and worldwide. The Walk of Fame showcases our diverse history and illustrates to fans from all over the world why we are Music City."

"The improvements at Walk of Fame Park will enable the city to take better advantage of one of the busiest event parks downtown," said Tommy Lynch, director of Metro Parks and Recreation. "The park will feature more usable green space and better electrical and sound capabilities, and it continues to celebrate the Nashville Music Garden, which is home to nearly 300 roses, including some that are very rare."

The Music City Walk of Fame was created in the fall of 2006 on Nashville's Music Mile, a roughly one-mile stretch that connects downtown to Music Row.

The Walk of Fame is a landmark tribute to those from all genres of music who have made significant contributions to preserving the musical heritage of Nashville and have contributed to the world through song or other industry collaboration. With the addition of Loretta Lynn and Jack White, the Walk of Fame boasts 63 stars. Permanent sidewalk medallions with the artists' name displayed in a star-and-guitar design will be installed in the sidewalk along the Music Mile.

The Music City Walk of Fame is an official project of Music City, Inc., the charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC), and is produced with the support of founding sponsor Gibson Guitar and sponsors Durango Boot, Hard Rock Café, the City of Nashville and Metro Parks. Nominations are open to the public and are accepted in the categories of Artist, Musician, Songwriter, and Producer/Music Industry Executive. Application forms are reviewed by the Music City Walk of Fame anonymous selection committee.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's whiskey

Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America’s most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America's Whiskey traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America’s political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself.

Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting—and sometimes exasperating—industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon.

A tale of innovation, success, downfall, and resurrection, Bourbon Empire is an exploration of the spirit in all its unique forms, creating an indelible portrait of both bourbon and the people who make it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Letter from @PredsNHL to all of #Smashville

Dear Nashville Predators Fans,
On behalf of the Nashville Predators ownership group, staff and players, thank you for your outstanding support throughout this season and for turning Bridgestone Arena into a sea of gold during our playoff series against Chicago. Losing in the playoffs is always painful, especially considering how hard our team worked and how close we came to advancing to the next round.  We share your pain and we are still coming to grips with the fact that our season has ended.

There is no doubt that this season, both the regular season but especially the playoffs, was an important learning experience for our very young team. A team that, based on what transpired throughout the year, will continue to grow and develop and be a team that will compete for the Stanley Cup every year for years to come. Among the keys to playoff success, in addition to a strong team and playoff experience, are health and good fortune. Playing without Captain Shea Weber for four games and center Mike Fisher for three certainly increased the challenge but our young players stepped up admirably. Losing double and triple overtime games while outplaying Chicago, games where one bounce of the puck would have changed a loss into a win, tested this teams’ character. They responded by fighting back to win Game Five on home ice and push the Blackhawks to the very end of Game Six.

A re-tooling of our team began just two seasons ago. In that short time, we acquired Filip Forsberg, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro; we drafted Seth Jones and Kevin Fiala (among other young prospects) and we changed course with the addition of Peter Laviolette as our head coach this season.  While we are disappointed to not be playing today, it is a measure of our progress that in two years we have gone from finishing the regular season in 27th place in the NHL in the 2012-13 season, to 19th in the 2013-14 season to 6th in the 2014-15 season. And Coach Laviolette has certainly transformed our team into a more aggressive, offensive and exciting club to watch.

Not many outside of our organization predicted great things for the Predators entering the 2014-15 season. Yet in many ways, it was a special season. From a 15-5-2 start that led to the best record in the NHL through 60 games, to the second best home record in the NHL, your franchise record 30 sell-outs helped transform Bridgestone Arena into a true home ice advantage. From the outstanding rookie season of Filip Forsberg, to the creative playmaking of Mike Ribeiro, to the Vezina finalist goaltending of Pekka Rinne, to the dominant play of the NHL’s top defensive unit led by Shea Weber and Roman Josi, this team improved in many areas.  And the future is even brighter as we witnessed during the playoffs when Josi, Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis—all under 25—went toe-to-toe with some of the best offensive players in the game. Up front, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith had career years while Mike Fisher added 19 goals in only 60 games.

Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. To have a chance to win the Cup, a team must qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We not only took that step but we are well-positioned to be a Cup contender for many years to come. In addition to the players you are watching in Nashville, there are several promising young players in our pipeline. Among them are NCAA goal-scoring leader Jimmy Vesey and KHL goal/scoring leader Steve Moses; as well as Colton Sissons, Victor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala and Austin Watson, all playing, or soon to be playing in Milwaukee.

Your Predators’ ownership group is committed to continue to build upon the successes of this past season and deliver the end result we are all after, the Stanley Cup...  The partnership with you, Predators’ fans and our players, staff and owners is one we are all very proud of and it is what drives us to make you and our community proud of the Nashville Predators each and every day.  You have our word that we will not rest until we bring the Stanley Cup to Nashville.

Again, thank you for your ongoing support. We are already working on and looking forward to a great 2015-16 season as the best is yet to come. Your support makes all this possible and is sincerely appreciated.


Tom Cigarran

Monday, April 20, 2015

Details on Arrest in Bomb Threats Against Several @MetroSchools

An individual was arrested and charged in a federal complaint with sending threatening communications by interstate commerce, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The charges resulted from an investigation into multiple bomb threats and threats of extreme violence at several schools in the Nashville area and in the Northeast.

According to the federal complaint, beginning on March 16, 2015, approximately 16 schools were the targets of bomb threats or threats of violence. The schools targeted in the Nashville area include, Cane Ridge High School; John Overton High School; Antioch High School; Hume-Fogg High School; Strattford High School; and McGavock High School. Also targeted by the threats were schools in Brockton, Massachusetts; Whitman, Massachusetts; Burke, Virginia and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI; the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Fairfax County, Virginia Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent.    

The defendant is a juvenile and federal law precludes the dissemination of additional information. A criminal complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

United States Flag Should be Flown at Half-Staff Today to Honor President Abraham Lincoln

In accordance with a Presidential proclamation issued Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the United States flag is to be flown at half-staff today, Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in honor of a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln.

Flags should remain at half-staff until sunset on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

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