Kenny Chesney always seems to keep pace with the best of them and he does it again at the start of 2013. “Pirate Flag” (Blue Chair/ Columbia Nashville) is the one that has many of our panel raving. The act that is always on everybody’s “favorite” list is Lady Antebellum. They keep building stronger each time out and “Downtown” (Capitol) is just adding to their already valuable stock. Country star Jake Owen is as hot as any Country recording artist can be these days. “Anywhere With You” (RCA Nashville) is the latest from Jake and it’s another solid gem. Kip Moore is not doing so bad either. Case in point is the single “Hey Pretty Girl” (MCA Nashville) that is building on our charts by leaps and bounds. Watch for some big weeks ahead for this gem. Eric Church has most certainly had an award winning few years. He’d like to keep it that way with “Like Jesus Does” (Capitol/EMI). Recording artist Aaron Lewis is also picking up some rave reviews from his latest track. “Forever” (Blaster) is the song that seems to be doing the trick. I really love the new single from Easton Corbin. “All Over The Road” (Universal/UMG) is the one that seems to be bringing in top calls at radio from coast to coast. Get set and ready for Henningsens. They band together for the prolific and wonderful “American Beautiful” (Arista Nashville). Check those building numbers soon. Miranda Lambert continues as strong as any Country gal can be. She put on quite the performance at this year’s Grammy Awards and keeps the fires burning ever so bright with her “Mama’s Broken Heart” (RCA/RLG). Miranda’s man Blake Shelton is not doing too bad either. In addition to his day job on The Voice (NBC) he’s taking the single “Sure Be Cool If You Did” (WB/WEA) for a spin around the block to rave reviews. Carrie Underwood put on one amazing performance at this year’s Grammy Awards. Her smash hit “Two Black Cadillacs” (Arista/RLG) also heads to the top of many of our reporters playlists and for very good reason. New Music Award “winner” Kelly Parkes is off with another chartbuster. “As Good As Me” (Ocala) is the one that could find her in the winner’s circle again next year. Taylor Made are also “on fire” again at Country radio. This award winning act is a “break-out” with their new “That’s What Life Is” (Little General) track. Darius Rucker continues to impress our panel and for good reason. Make sure to check out “Wagon Wheel” (Capitol) and throw a few extra spins his way. The Florida Georgia Line seems to be building a solid list of believers. “Get Your Shine On” (Republic) sets the introduction and the rest is up to the listeners and radio to do their thing. There have been nothing but good words all around for the latest Rascal Flatts single. “Changed” (Big Machine/Universal) is one of their best to date. Doug Newnum & SOS Renewal has been making some huge impressions on our panel. The single that keeps making things happen is “Giving My Best” (Platinum Plus). Love And Theft continue to impress listeners and programmers alike. “Running Out Of Air” (RCA Nashville) is the one with the magical touch. Toby Keith seems to keep things going strong and that’s a good thing. “Hope On the Rocks” (Show Dog/Universal) is oh so good. We are so thrilled to be a part of CRS once again this year. You know I’ll be a busy guy doing many interviews and that’s what this is all about. I’d also like to give a “shout out” to all of the recent “winners” for this year’s New Music Awards. In this issue you will see some of the talent including this month‘s “cover-girl” Kelly Parkes. She’s a remarkable talent and recently picked up a well-deserved award. There are many new independent artists out there that truly deserve your attention and respect. New Music Weekly will continue to “lead the charge” when it comes to breaking new artists especially in the Country arena. Well, enough about us and news about breaking artists and hits. Now it’s time to get down to the business at hand, and that could lead to all of us getting in trouble.