Photo by Cody McCarver / Chuck Rhodes and Bob Franks of Audium Records flank country music duo Scott and Todd Smith of Smith & Wesley, recent winners of the Music Row Independent Artist of the Year at the Country Radio Seminar.

At the time of this writing, tickets remained for JFest, Riverbend, Bonnaroo and Moon River, the four largest music festivals in our area. To be fair, JFest and Riverbend don't really cap their ticket sales, but conceivably could if too many were sold for the spaces.

According to numerous reports, Bonnaroo, which has a cap of 80,000 tickets officially, is likely to sell out in the next few weeks, which would make it one of the earliest sellouts in its almost 20-year history.

Moon River has not sold all of its 11,000 tickets yet, which is notable mostly because it sold out in eight hours two years ago after three years in Memphis and in about 24 hours last year. It will likely sell out, but that eight-hour mark sure raised the bar, didn't it?

I know that festival planners in recent years have been focusing on the total experience. But for you who buy such tickets, is it lineup, fan experience, price or a combination of things?

* In addition to building on his own solid music career, Cody McCarver has become an advocate for several area artists over the years, and while Smith & Wesley are perfectly capable of doing just fine by themselves, they have McCarver in their corner.

So it was no surprise to have gotten an email from McCarver over the weekend bragging on the North Georgia brother act for winning the Music Row Independent Artist of the Year honor at this year's Country Radio Seminar.

The award is based on radio spins across the country. Scott and Todd Smith also signed with Audium Records recently. The duo's latest radio hit is "The Little Things," which has had more than 700,000 views on their Facebook page at

They had some previous chart success with the singles "Sweet Life" and "You're the One" from their "Choices & Chances" album.

The seminar is produced by the Country Radio Broadcasters and is a three-day event for folks in the industry.

* Congratulations to Telemonster and The Smoky Nights for winning rounds one and two of the annual Road to Nightfall competition. Rounds three through five are Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 27-29 at Granfalloon.

The five winners will compete on March 7 at Songbirds for the right to headline one Friday night at Nightfall. Plus there are some cash and prizes for winning, as well.

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

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Photo by Tammy Arroyo / Scott Smith, left, and brother Todd Smith of Smith & Wesley are shown with Jamie O'Neal, Bob Frank, Collin Raye and Chuck Rhodes at the Country Radio Seminar.



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