The Boot News Roundup: Mo Pitney + Wife Emily Expecting Second Child + More
Welcome to The Boot's News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.
Congratulations are in order for singer-songwriter Mo Pitney, who's expecting his second child in 2020! According to Taste of Country, Pitney and his wife Emily are expecting their new bundle of joy in July. When Baby Pitney arrive, the little one will join the couple's first child, 3-year-old big sister Evelyne Nadine, who was born in 2017. -- AM
Following the tragic death of their young son River in 2019, country star Granger Smith and his wife Amber have established the River Kelly Fund. Amber Smith announced the creation of the fund, which will raise money for charitable organizations "close to [the couple's] hearts" in honor of River, on Instagram in late December. "Since his passing, we knew we wanted to keep spreading his big legacy, light and joy across the world by helping others in need," Smith says of River, who drowned at the family's home in June. "By donating to the River Kelly Fund, you are not only spreading joy, but also transforming lives for the better. We have one life to live and we hope to live it with purpose, gratitude and compassion." -- AM
Orville Peck will play Coachella 2020. The masked cowboy singer-songwriter, who gained acclaim with his 2019 album Pony, is part of the three-day festival's Day Two lineup. "Old Town Road" singer Lil Nas X and contemporary Christian artist Lauren Daigle, meanwhile, are part of Coachella 2020's Day Three lineup. The annual multi-genre music festival is scheduled for April 10-12 and 17-19 in Indio, Calif. -- AS
Rockabilly icon Sleepy LaBeef, born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff, has died at the age of 84. LaBeef's family announced his death on Facebook on Dec. 26, noting that LaBeef "died at home, in his own bed, surrounded by his family who loved him, and whom he dearly loved." According to Rolling Stone, LaBeef had been a rockabilly staple since the 1950s, scoring hits including "Every Day" and "Blackland Farmer." -- AM
Brandi Carlile and Mavis Staples will headline the 2020 Roots N Blues Festival, set for Oct. 2-4 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Mo. Event organizers are ensuring that every single slot at Roots N Blues 2020 will include a female artist, as they and other festival crews pursue equitable gender representation at music festivals more broadly. “While we have set a 100-percent benchmark for 2020, we are not changing our format to become a women-only festival in subsequent years,” Roots N Blues co-owner Shay Jasper explains in a statement. “However, we have pledged a long-term commitment to more equitable gender representation in all future years of this festival.” Tickets for the 2020 Roots N Blues Festival are on sale now, and more artists will be announced in the coming months. -- AM