The 2011 Festival on the Rivers will be April 29 - May 1.
Jeff Bates doesn’t cherry pick his life for the high spots. Whether he’s writing or singing a song, he’s always emotionally honest. You heard that quality in such of his RCA Records hits as “The Love Song,” “Rainbow Man,” “One Second Chance,” “I Wanna Make You Cry” and “Long Slow Kisses.”
Now comes the compelling CD, Jeff Bates, the singer’s debut
collection for the Black River Music Group. Jeff’s was the guiding hand
in 10 of the album’s 13 songs. Bates teamed on the album with such
stellar co-writers as Lonnie Wilson, Kim Williams, Ben Hayslip, Brandon
Kinney, Jimmy Yeary, Robert Arthur, Kirk Roth, Jim McCormick, Jason
Matthews and Kenny Beard. Paul Overstreet, Deborah Allen, Frank Rogers
and Casey Beathard also contributed songs.
“It’s the most honest and accurate representation of me and my music yet,” Bates proclaims. “Nobody told me what to sing or write, what direction to go with it, or how it should be done. We all just went into the studio and did our best to bring life to words I’d written on paper. And the words written on paper? Well, those came from little pieces of the life I’ve lived.”
The stories of his adoption, meth addiction and jail time have been bared honestly for the media and country music fans, but there’s so much more to the man that Jeff Bates has become. The album captures snapshots of what’s most important to him: strong family ties, the love of a good woman, appreciation for the workin’ man, and his unfailing religious beliefs – all buffered with a quick smile and sense of humor. Overall, it’s a body of work filled with surprising insights and intimate confessions told in Bate’s own rich voice.
Jimmy Nichols, who co-produced the album with Kenny Beard and Mickey Jack Cones, agrees with that assessment. “Working with Jeff on this new album,” he says, “reminded me of why I came to Nashville—great songs, great singing and passion for the music. Jeff is the future of country music, but he never lets us forget its past.”
A native of Mississippi, Bates signed with RCA Records in 2002. That association yielded two albums—Rainbow Man in 2003 and Leave The Light On in 2006—plus seven charted singles: “The Love Song,” “Rainbow Man,” “I Wanna Make You Cry,” “Long, Slow Kisses,” “Good People,” “No Shame” and “One Second Chance.”
When he was released from his label deal in 2006, Bates balanced his time between a busy tour schedule and songwriting – exploring a slightly different direction that was “a little rougher around the edges, a little more progressive, a little more of ME and the music I really feel inside.” The music that came from that time of reflection and freedom captured the ear of Black River Music Group who immediately signed Bates as their flagship artist.
The first single from the new album is the driving up-tempo “Don’t Hate Me For Loving You.” Jeff Bates will be released April 8.
Watson and Nash
Watson & Nash is a Nashville based country artist/songwriter/production duo formed by Joe Nash and Shay Watson. The duo fuses together tasteful harmonies and melodies with a Country meets Pop/Rock production to create a fresh, unique sound. When taking breaks from the road you'll find W&N writing and producing songs not only for themselves but for a wide array of artists.
Collectively and individually Watson & Nash have recorded, wrote with, and/or performed on playbill with numerous artists including: Tanya Tucker, Gretchen Wilson, Charlie Daniels, Tammy Cochran, Georgia Satellites, Sidewalk Prophets, James Clay and Wade Hayes amongst others.
Watson & Nash have worked together in both a writing and performing capacity for almost a decade. The two met around 2001 while Shay was speaking on songwriting at a workshop in Nashville, TN. At the time, Joe was writing, performing and producing while living in West Virgina. The two struck up a friendship and with Shay's encouragement, Joe soon made a move to Nashville. At that time, Shay was touring with his own band Ten Mile Drive. Joe began working on a solo career and kept ties to Shay, working with him on occasional projects. A few years passed, Shay's band had come to an end and after a brief solo run, he and Joe began discussing the idea of putting together a duo.
After a couple years touring the country and performing, the duo are
back in the studio, writing and recording songs for their anticipated
Watson & Nash set out to create a unique sound for themselves by incorporating tight Everly Brothers style harmonies with a contemporary country production. Influenced by duos such as Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry and Americana/rock artists such as Tom Petty and John Mellencamp, Watson & Nash set forth writing and recording their freshman project, Mile Markers. Notable songs from the album include, 'Bring It On', which was picked up by Fox Sports for usage and Tough People Do, a song that sets an encouraging tone for the overall album 'feel'.
At the young age of five, Shane Owens' parents gave him a set of drums, and at age six he started singing in the church choir. The choir had members of all ages, but the youngsters powerful voice drew most of the attention, especially on his favorite hymns, like I'll Fly Away.
While Owens was still quite young, his father, who was also a singer, and his mother separated. Owens and his older twin sister, who were born exactly one minute apart, stayed with his mother, who never missed the Saturday night broadcast of The Grand Ole Opry out of Nashville.
Country music was always playing in the Owens household. Artists like Don Williams, Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs were often heard, while George Jones and Vern Gosdin became particularly influential in Owens' work.
During high school, sports and other school activities took up most of his time, but after graduation in 1990, Owens found a guitar teacher, the highly acclaimed Shelly Commander, and put his focus back on music. Commander immediately recognized Owens' talent and put him to work playing in Commander's band on the weekends. The band line-up changed three of four times, but Owens always remained a member.
He won the Jimmy Dean Country Showdown State Competition in Alabama two years in a row in 1995 and 1996 and made it as far as the national semi-finals. He first went out on his own in 1996, when he and his backup band played the Civic Center in Ozark, Alabama with Conferderate Rail Road. Not long after, Owens married. He and Lisa are now the proud parents of two boys, ages five and ten and he still calls Alabama his home.
Owens, now 38, never stopped performing. He has shared the stage with many of Country's top artists, including Hank Williams Jr., Lori Morgan, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Kenny Chesney, Pam Tillis, Ronnie Milsap, Billy Dean, Keith Urban, Exile and dozens of others, while touring all over the South. The tracks on Owens' Rust Records CD are the best he has done thus far. He wrote seven of the 13 tunes himself, while the remaining tracks were written by his various music industry friends.