Big & Rich's Gravity Set to Blast Off

Big & Rich's Gravity Set to Blast Off with Historic Launch on September 23rd
Duo to Appear on TODAY Concert Series, The Queen Latifah Show, The Chew, Imus in the Morning, Huckabee, and more

Gravity, the latest album from hit-making duo Big & Rich since 2011, is set to hit stores on Tuesday, September 23rd with a major roll-out. As part of Gravity’s release, Big & Rich are promoting their current hit single, “Look At You,” and setting the stage for album release week where John Rich and Big Kenny will be making stops in both New York City and Los Angeles.

The dynamic duo, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary, are scheduled for the TODAY show on Thursday, September 25, 2014, powered by a full band performance. In addition, they will perform on Imus in the Morning, Huckabee, The Better Show and make an appearance on The Chew. After leaving the Big Apple, Big & Rich will head to Los Angeles to appear on The Queen Latifah show among others. Full details with air dates will be released soon.

Gravity, which contains 11 tracks, is the multi-platinum act’s fifth studio album and the inaugural project of their new label, Big & Rich Records.

  1. Gravity Track Listing:
  2. Look At You
  3. Lovin' Lately (feat. Tim McGraw)
  4. Gravity
  5. Brand New Buzz
  6. Rollin' Along
  7. Run Away With You
  8. Lose A Little Sleep
  9. Don't Wake Me Up
  10. That Kind of Town
  11. Thank God For Pain
  12. I Came To Git Down



Jake Owen Throws Giant Beach Party For Fans In Nashville

Jake Owen Throws Giant Beach Party For Fans In Nashville
Special First-Time Performance Of New Single “What We Ain’t Got” With Songwriter Travis Meadows
After announcing across his social sites just days before, country star Jake Owen threw Nashville’s largest beach party for fans last night, Monday (8/18) at BMI. Taking it up a notch from the wildly successful block party last year, the capacity crowd gathered for the talented singer’s free concert, where he performed a dynamic set, including his PLATINUM-certified, #1 summer anthem “Beachin’.” Music industry insiders were also on hand to present Jake with a plaque for his Beachin’ milestone pre-show.

Jake Owen
Photo Credit Nick Rau
Concert highlights included songwriter Travis Meadows joining Jake onstage for a memorable performance of his emotional new single “What We Ain’t Got” and special guest Mike Posner appearing for a crowd-jumping rendition of “Cooler Than Me.” Lee Brice, Sonia Leigh, Dan + Shay and Brothers Osborne also made surprise appearances throughout the night and openers Old Dominion and The Cadillac Three got the crowd revved up.

Jake is currently on his major nationwide headlining run - DAYS OF GOLD TOUR 2014 - which delivers the party atmosphere with a stage set designed to resemble his hometown Riverside Café, including tiki bars, nautical ropes and palm trees. Presented by Discover Boating, the sizzling tour covers 75-plus cities.

Touring in support of his latest album DAYS OF GOLD, the RCA Nashville project is the follow up to the GOLD-certified BAREFOOT BLUE JEAN NIGHT album, which has sold well over 5 million tracks.

Previously taking home ACA and ACM Awards, the Vero Beach, Fla., native has ascended to one of Country music’s leading male vocalists with five #1 smashes – GOLD-certified hits “The One That Got Away,” “Anywhere with You,” PLATINUM-certified “Alone with You,” “Beachin’” and 2X PLATINUM “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”

Jake’s DAYS OF GOLD is available now via this link:
For tour dates and more, visit, on Facebook at, and follow him on Twitter @jakeowen.



Lipscomb University Launches Free MOOCS

 Lipscomb University Launches Free MOOCS
Lipscomb University’s first free MOOCS, designed for Tennessee’s classroom teachers, launch today

The first of Lipscomb University’s 10 proposed MOOCs (massive open online courses) designed to prepare Tennessee’s teachers, both pre-service and in-service, launched today.

The first course, Introduction to Tennessee Academic Standards, can be accessed at This course is the first MOOC offered by Lipscomb University through the College of Education’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation.

The MOOCs were financed through a $571,000 grant from the Governor’s Online Innovation Fund of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Increased development of MOOCs statewide is a part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” initiative to enhance Tennesseans’ access to higher education.

Lipscomb is the only university in the state offering MOOCs focused on Tennessee’s college and career readiness standards and associated strategies and one of only two Nashville universities offering them in education topics at this time.

The courses were designed with a facilitator’s guide so they can be incorporated easily into teacher preparation programs in universities across the state. Tennessee universities can use the free online courses and facilitator’s guides as part of their curriculum, or they can agree to provide course credit, at their own determined tuition rate, for students who complete the facilitated versions of the courses on their own.

“In order for student achievement in Tennessee to continue its improvement, new teachers must be ready to implement the state’s rigorous academic standards from the moment they enter the classroom,” said Lipscomb College of Education Dean Candice McQueen. “A free MOOC open to any new and working teachers allows all Tennessee teachers to focus some of their time on making sure top-quality standards are met and all students are college- or career-ready.”

The MOOCs were developed by the Lipscomb College of Education’s Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation, and while designed for undergraduate teaching majors at any university, they can be taken for free by anyone. Course two, Planning and Assessing for Learning, is expected to be launched in September, and course three, Pedagogical Shifts to Instructional Strategies, is expected to be launched in October.

“These courses were developed based on input from the Ayers Institute advisory board, which includes leaders in teacher preparation programs from across the state,” noted Julia Osteen, MOOC program director at the Ayers Institute. “These advisors and the teachers in the pilot test group described the courses as well-structured and relevant to today’s classrooms without being too much of a workload burden.”

Through a combination of online resources, Powerpoint, video of model teachers conducting lessons and take-away practice activities, the online modules demonstrate creative ways to engage students and align curriculum with the Tennessee academic standards.

“Pre-service teachers, still in college, don’t have a lot of hands-on experience in the classroom. So to be able to see model teachers in action, demonstrating effective ways to incorporate career and college readiness standards in every day lessons, is very valuable,” Osteen said. “According to the pilot audience, that is one of the most valuable aspects of the Ayers Institute MOOC.”

The practice activities are intentionally designed to be useful later in the teacher’s own classroom, and students can go through the course at their own pace, Osteen said.

To see the MOOC, or other educator preparation materials from the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning and Innovation, go to



Music Legend Ray Stevens to Release New Gaither Gospel Series Album

Country music legend Ray Stevens is set to release an all-new Gospel album on August 19. The new recordings titled Gospel Collection, Volume One, mark Stevens' first project as part of the Gaither Gospel Series.

The release, produced by Stevens, captures some of today’s most popular hymns and Gospel classics performed with that signature voice that has entertained audiences for decades. Gospel Collection includes "The Old Rugged Cross/Rock Of Ages," "Amazing Grace," "Farther Along," "Turn Your Radio On," "Old Time Religion/When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder" and more.

"This is my first Gospel album in years," describes the comedy and country music icon. "I'm really excited about it. I love the songs and worked long and hard on the arrangements, but the coup de gras is being presented as part of the Gaither Gospel Series. I hope everyone will enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it."

Gospel Collection is part of a TV special airing on Dish TV, DirecTV, AT&T Uverse, GaitherTV, TBN, RFD, FamilyNet, CTN, GMTN, Guardian, Liberty, TCT and TLN. It will air in Canada on Vision TV, CTS, The Miracle Channel and Hope TV.

The new music collection coincides with the recent release of Stevens’ book, Ray Stevens' Nashville, an extensive memoir that details not only his storied career but also offers a behind-the-scenes look at the growth and boom of Nashville’s entertainment scene which he has observed and been a part of for decades.

Gospel Collection will be distributed by Capitol Christian Distribution and will available at retail stores and digital outlets worldwide including iTunes, Amazon and For more information on Ray Stevens, visit or his official Facebook Page.

Gospel Collection Track Listing:

1. Swing Down Chariot/Swing Low Sweet Chariot

2. Shall We Gather At The River/Down By The Riverside

3. Dry Bones

4. Farther Along

5. Have A Little Talk With Myself/Just A Little Talk With Jesus

6. The Old Rugged Cross/Rock Of Ages

7. Old Time Religion/When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder

8. Onward, Christian Soldiers

9. Amazing Grace

10. Turn Your Radio On

11. The Preacher And The Bear

12. If Jesus Is A Stranger (Check Your Circle Of Friends)



Nashville Restaurant Week Returns

Local Eateries Gear Up For Nashville Restaurant Week August 18-24
Biannual Event Celebrates Locally Owned Restaurants With Special Menus And Prices

More than 50 locally owned restaurants are making preparations for Nashville Restaurant Week, returning Aug. 18-24, where diners can enjoy week-long special menus and prices.

Participating restaurants are members of the Nashville Originals, the city’s not-for-profit independent restaurant association. Together, the Originals work to preserve the culinary identity of the community and sustain each other as restaurateurs.

“Restaurant Week has become a very popular way to celebrate the home-grown culinary landmarks that add so much to our vibrant city,” says Tom Loventhal, president of the Nashville Originals and an owner in the Noshville Delicatessens and Blue Moon Waterfront Grille at Rock Harbor Marina. “As Nashville continues to gain national attention, it’s important that we support our own. For customers, it’s a great time to try a new restaurant or take advantage of a special menu deal at an old favorite.”

Participating restaurants’ prix fixe menus are typically set at $2.14, $15.14, $20.14, and $30.14, respectively. Many Originals members are offering three-course lunches or dinners featuring an appetizer or salad, entrée and dessert. And with new members including Two Ten Jack, Sole Mio, Martin’s BBQ Joint and more, diners have even more great options to choose from.

Restaurant Week also encourages chefs to be creative when putting together their special menu items—preparing dishes the restaurants wouldn’t necessarily serve otherwise.

At Saffire in Franklin, you can choose a signature Ribbon or New South Caesar salad and an entrée like creole shrimp and grits or blackened fish tacos for just $20.14. And at Midtown Café, dinner guests will enjoy a two-course meal with wine pairings, including specialty dishes like grilled mahi mahi with lobster mac & cheese, marinated Memphis-style roasted pork tenderloin or a roasted duck breast.

Established in 2006 as the city’s not-for-profit independent restaurant association, the Nashville Originals are locally owned and loved culinary institutions, ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. Together, the Originals support each other as fixtures of the growing culinary community that continues to enjoy national acclaim.
 For more information, including menu details, visit


Mid-TN Newspapers

Mid-TN Television Stations

Mid-TN Music Scene

© Mid-TN Today 2000-2014