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Garth Brooks will not be competing for “show of the year” at this year’s CMA Awards. Brooks – a seven-time winner of the acclaimed country music honor, considered by many to be a major prize in the format – said Wednesday that “it’s time for someone else to get that prize.” Here’s more on what led to his decision. Now, for the rest of this week the music news is coming out of Music City.

New tune by Randy Travis

Nashville inductee and neutral torchbearer Country Music Hall of Fame Randy Travis released “Fool’s Love Affair” this week, his first single due to a near-fatal stroke that damaged his voice in -2013. A search-free demo that Travis followed around 1984, here’s the story behind how his beloved baritone went back to the airwaves.

Ask before using

As the 2020 election approaches, dozens of musicians are urging campaign committees to ask permission before using music during political demonstrations. A letter sent to the Republican and Democratic leadership outlined the risks included in aligning artists’ music with certain political beliefs without prior consent, saying “… weaken the campaign process, disrupt voting public and ultimately distort the elections. ” Penned by the Artists Rights Alliance, the Nashville writers who sign the letter include Jason Isbell, Sheryl Crow and Mary Gauthier.

Bonus interview: In the second aid of new music this week, Christian writer Chris Tomlin tells The Tennessean how he ended up writing a new album with some of the biggest stars of country music.

Noise from Nashville

“Masterpiece”

Yes, we reviewed Taylor Swift’s surprise album, “folkore.” And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, it’s excellent. Read why one critic of the U.S. Network today thinks it’s her masterpiece here.

You turn this song around

Does it have a confluence of top-notch Kentucky writers of a classic country? Yes please. Inductee Ricky Skaggs’ Country Music Hall of Fame and singer-songwriter Larry Cordle join fast-growing penman Tyler Childers for a cover of the early 1980s hit, “Highway 40 Blues, ”released Wednesday via Spotify Sessions.

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