Tours Feature Kassi Ashton, Ashley Campbell, Chris DeStefano, Tenille Townes, Drake White and Charlie Worsham
Swedish Artist Jill Johnson Performs as a Special Guest in Scandinavia
Tickets On Sale Friday, August 3
NASHVILLE – Building on the annual sell-out success of CMA Songwriters Series in London and following the first U.K. and European tours last fall, the Country Music Association’s critically acclaimed CMA Songwriters Series has announced tours in the U.K. and Europe Oct. 8-22. Featured artists include Kassi Ashton, Ashley Campbell, Chris DeStefano, Tenille Townes, Drake White and Charlie Worsham. Tickets are on sale this Friday, August 3 at CMAsongwritersseries.com/sws-international.
CMA Songwriters Series has a track record of launching new artists through its intimate storytelling format, which allows audiences to get to know the artists, their journey and the stories behind their songs. The upcoming dates introduce Ashton, DeStefano and Townes to international audiences. They join Campbell, White and Worsham who have toured internationally and appeared at London’s C2C: Country to Country festival.
With Sweden known for its rich tradition of songwriting, the tour will also feature Sweden’s Platinum-selling Country artist Jill Johnson, joining the lineup in Stockholm and Oslo. Johnson is host of the Sveriges Television (SVT) award-winning documentary series “Jills Veranda Nashville,” which invites Swedish artists to explore Nashville with Johnson.
“Presenting this very Nashville experience in an international setting not only makes for a magical evening, but it truly forges a deeper connection to the music for new audiences,” said Milly Olykan, CMA Vice President, International Relations and Development. “The artists on this tour represent a true cross section of Country Music and we’re honored to be part of their journey as they build their international base.”
The tour dates continue to further CMA’s global expansion initiatives. In the U.K. alone, Country Music streaming is up more than 50 percent this year compared to 2017, where 78 percent of Country fans listen to a greater and more varied number of Country artists compared to last year, while 80 percent of Country fans are interested in and seek out more live Country Music shows and events. Germany has seen a 22 percent growth in new Country listeners on streaming platforms over the last five years. Earlier this spring, CMA visited both the U.K. during C2C: Country To Country festival—where the CMA Songwriters Series held a sold-out show at London’s indigo at The O2—as well as Australia during CMC Rocks QLD festival.
Featuring Ashley Campbell, Chris DeStefano, Drake White (excluding Stockholm), Charlie Worsham with special appearance by Jill Johnson (Stockholm and Oslo)
Oct. 8 – Stockholm, Sweden – Nalen
Oct. 9 – Oslo, Norway – Oslo Konserthus
Oct. 11 – Hamburg, Germany – Laeiszhalle
Oct. 12 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Zonnehuis
Featuring Kassi Ashton, Ashley Campbell, Chris DeStefano, Tenille Townes
Oct. 16 – Glasgow, Scotland – St. Luke’s
Oct. 17 – Liverpool, England – St. George’s Hall
Oct. 18 – Gateshead, England – Sage Two
Oct. 20 – Manchester, England – RNCM
Oct. 22 – London, England – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Kassi Ashton is one of Nashville’s most compelling rising stars. Signed to UMG Nashville in conjunction with Interscope Records, the California, Missouri singer/songwriter has been making a name for herself thanks to her authentic songwriting and soulful, rich voice. Huffington Post gives Ashton “mad props for her songwriting and stage presence” while CMT calls her “fearless” and notes “her point of view is inspired and her storytelling knows no bounds.” Ashton recently released her auto-biographical song “California, Missouri,” where she paints an unconventional portrait of life growing up in her small town. Named “Who to Watch” by Huffington Post, The Tennessean and radio personality Bobby Bones’ “Class of 2018,” she also caught the attention of Country superstar Keith Urban. Describing her as “such a unique, original creature,” Urban featured Ashton on his song “Drop Top” for his latest album Graffiti U. Read more at KassiAshton.com.
Following in the footsteps of a famous parent is never an easy path, and Ashley Campbell, the daughter of music legend Glen Campbell, initially pursued dance and acting. But when Campbell was asked to learn banjo for a part in a play, a spark was lit and her calling was found. Soon Campbell was studying with banjo luminary Carl Jackson (her godfather and longtime member of Glen’s band) and mastering her technique. She would go on to join her father’s touring band, including his poignant Goodbye Tour in 2011-12, and appear in the award-winning 2015 documentary “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.” The family affair continues with the release of her debut album The Lonely One, which was co-produced by Ashley Campbell and her brother Cal Campbell. Her older brother Shannon Campbell contributes vocals and guitar in addition to having co-written the track “Looks Like Time” with her. Read more at AshleyCampbellMusic.com.
Chris DeStefano is a Grammy award-winning American singer/songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. The prolific songwriter has had multiple No. 1 songs with artists Carrie Underwood (“Good Girl,” “Little Toy Guns”), Billy Currington (“Hey Girl”), Brett Eldredge (“Don’t Ya,” which he also produced), Luke Bryan (“That’s My Kind of Night,” “Kick the Dust Up”), Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood (“Somethin’ Bad,” later reworked as the opening theme for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”), Rascal Flatts (“Rewind”) and Jason Aldean (“Just Gettin’ Started”). Underwood’s “Good Girl,” which DeStefano co-wrote, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in 2012. He also co-wrote Underwood’s seven-week No. 1 song “Something in the Water.” DeStefano and American songwriter Josh Osborne co-wrote Australian singer Morgan Evan’s current single “Kiss Somebody,” which won Country Work of the Year at the APRA Music Awards in 2018.
Jill Johnson is one of Sweden’s most loved artists and has put Country Music on the Swedish map both through her own studio albums, where she’s collaborated with several prominent American Country songwriters and critically acclaimed tours, but also with the help of the successful Sveriges Television (SVT) series “Jills Veranda Nashville.” In addition to the release of her own music and tours, Johnson has hosted three seasons of “Jills Veranda Nashville,” the most recent in the latter part of 2017, and recorded a duet album with American Country artist Doug Seegers. Johnson has also toured Europe, including one season with the critically acclaimed show “That’s Life” at The Theatre in Gothenburg as well as a tour of Sweden, taking “That’s Life” to the classical venue the China Theatre in Stockholm. In the summer of 2017, Johnson’s EP Rodeo was released, which was a sequel to For You I’ll Wait from 2016. She also released her 2017 Christmas album Christmas Island, a collaboration with conductor and musician Anders Berglund. Read more at JillJohnson.se.
Canadian-born Tenille Townes has the lyrical fortitude of Griffin or Lori McKenna, the soulful nature of Chris Stapleton or even Adele, but Townes is paving ground all her own. Working on her debut LP with Jay Joyce, Townes started her journey to becoming one of Country’s most promising new artists back in rural Canada, in the backseat of a car. Once settled in Nashville, Townes spent her days songwriting and her nights at guitar pulls or at the Bluebird Cafe, studying everything she could. Eventually, she scored a publishing deal with Big Yellow Dog and headed into the studio with Joyce. Together, they tapped into her organic nature and her sheer ability to tell a story and emote it through the visceral range of her vocals – tender, bluesy, wise and full of wonder but never naive. Read more at TenilleTownes.com.
Named one of No Depression’s 7 Male Artists to Breakout in 2018, Drake White is going to put together the PIECES. His PIECES EP is available now and features five new tracks, two of which he co-wrote. This follows his debut album SPARK, which has earned praise both commercially and across his loyal fan following. The 2016 Taste of Country Fan Choice Awards Album of the Year is a 12-track labor of love that showcases his exemplary songwriting with a rock-infused, organic Country sound and signature foot-stomp. The sultry song “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” hit the top spot on SiriusXM’s The Highway with its deeply personal lyrics and pulsating groove. It also earned White the honor of International Song of the Year at the British CMA Awards. Fans from all genres voted White as CBS.com’s GRAMMY “Artist of Tomorrow” as he continues to stun crowds with his incredible live show and soulful voice. Drake, along with his band The Big Fire, has previously toured with superstars including Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Toby Keith and more. It is no wonder that the Alabama native was featured in Entertainment Weekly’s New Artists Who Will Rule 2017, Rolling Stone’s 10 Country Artists You Need To Know and Billboard’s Hot New Country Artists to Watch. Major corporations have also taken notice with Geico showcasing his song “Heartbeat” in their national television campaign. White recently wrapped a second leg on Kip Moore’s PLEAD THE FIFTH TOUR and is currently on the road for additional headline dates. Read more at DrakeWhite.com.
To see Charlie Worsham on a stage, you immediately understand what he understood from the beginning: it’s where he was meant to be. As a talented multi-instrumentalist and student of great songs, he’s developed a unique modern Country sound built around the traditional acoustic instruments he grew up on. Starting in his hometown of Grenada, Mississippi, Worsham was always out playing somewhere. From the Opry at age 12 to the local Missionary Baptist Church to the back-road blues joints he wasn’t even supposed to know about, much less play in, wherever he found a stage, he played. With his energy and showmanship onstage and his understated Mississippi “yes sir” and “no ma’am” offstage, it’s easy to understand why so many in Nashville’s music community are rooting for him. After studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston, he moved South to Nashville. For the last two years, Worsham has divided his time between writing songs, being an in-demand studio musician for other artists and playing his music live — sharing stages across the country with Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift and others. Read more at CharlieWorsham.com.