Exclusive: Frank Ortega dishes on a new revealing documentary, his forthcoming album and love of Lee Ann Womack

Frank Ortega

Singer-songwriter Frank Ortega hails from Phoenix, Ariz., a city that supplied him with a promising (and wholesome) all-American lifestyle. Early on, in fifth grade, he and his buddies decided to become the "three trumpeteers" and pick up the brass instrument. While his friends quit two weeks later, he continued to nurture his love of music and that soon lead him to teach himself guitar and piano, fueling his talents as a true musician.

Nashville Gab recently spoke with Ortega about his "awesome" upbringing, as well as his forthcoming album (set for this fall) and a documentary featuring some of the most prominent studio musicians in Music City (and much more).


Continue ReadingExclusive: Frank Ortega dishes on a new revealing documentary, his forthcoming album and love of Lee Ann Womack

Rodney Atkins’ America’s Heroes Celebration (from the mailbag)

Enjoy a weekend of music, food and fun on Jekyll Island this August for Rodney
Atkins' America's Heroes Celebration Weekend. Dedicated to the brave men and
women who serve in our nation’s military, this weekend celebration will bring
together families and friends for several exciting events including a spotlight
for one of the biggest names in country music.
Throughout the weekend of August 16 – 18, artists will perform at a variety
of venues around the island, ending with a concert from country music all-star
Rodney Atkins. On Sunday, August 18, Atkins will rock the stage of the Jekyll
Island Convention Center to entertain crowds in a mega-salute to the men and
women of our military.
The east Tennessee-native will rock the Jekyll Island Convention Center
stage with songs off his yet-to-be-released new album, in addition to hits such
as "Take a Back Road," "Farmer's Daughter" and "These are My People." Atkins
will take the stage at 5 p.m., following opening act Rose Falcon, who will begin
at 4 p.m.


Continue ReadingRodney Atkins’ America’s Heroes Celebration (from the mailbag)

2013 Is NOT The ‘Year of The Woman’… It’s Just A Cute Misogynistic Slogan


For those who are familiar with my articles, you’ll know
that I am a proud feminist. I have spent most of my country-listening life
consuming almost exclusively female artists. That wasn’t a deliberate choice,
but rather one based simply on the music I liked, which sounds and lyrics I
preferred. For me, the women's music was better.

But the country music industry is one that tends to sideline
female artists, particularly in the wake of the newly masculine marketing that
resulted in the ignoring of many female superstars of 10-20 years ago (I
have previously written about this
). Despite this, 2013 has seen person
after person claiming this year to be the ‘Year
of the Woman’
(a term I hate, we’re a gender not an animal on a Chinese
calendar). It’s true, there are plenty of female artists coming out the
woodwork and saying something: Ashley
Monroe, Kacey Musgraves, Holly Williams, Pistol Annies. Of course, women making
proficient, insightful music have always been there, it’s just the men of music
journalism ‘discovered’ that women can suddenly do something cute and use their
brains to make intelligent music. Maybe Shania showing her belly during the 90s
made them forget.

My scepticism aside, has all this positive press about women’s
musical abilities over the masculine trend of beer and truck songs actually
affected how they perform in sales and on country radio? Well, the answer is I’m
not sure. For the past month I’ve been collecting data from all 5 of the
Billboard country charts: Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital
Songs, Country Streaming Songs, and Top Country Albums. I have also been paying
general attention to these charts for most of the year so far and let’s be
honest with ourselves; the women everyone is raving about simply aren’t making
the dent in the charts they being built up to make.


Continue Reading2013 Is NOT The ‘Year of The Woman’… It’s Just A Cute Misogynistic Slogan