PLA Media Congratulates Its Breakthrough Clients on CMA Close Up
Who New to Watch Honor
The Country Music Association’s publication CMA Close Up has released its “Who New To Watch” 2014 list and, once again, PLA Media is proud to see five of its roster among the selected artists. Hannah Bethel, Mitch Goudy, GB Leighton, McKenzies Mill and Tim Sweeney are among the list making it the third consecutive year that PLA Media clients have made the cut.  Within the last three years, CMA Close Up has selected fifteen of PLA Media’s clients for its “Who New To Watch” section.
“The ‘Who New to Watch’ section in CMA Close Up serves as a benchmark for an artists who have put in the hard work and dedication to make it in this highly competitive industry,” says Pam Lewis, President of PLA Media. “We are excited to once again have several acts on the list and look forward to what 2014 has in store for this talented group.”
HANNAH BETHEL: Artistic and bubbly songstress, Hannah Bethel’s latest single and music video, Medicine, showcases her youthful and infectious personality and is the second single off of Bethel’s recent album, The Freedom EP. Renowned Nashville music critic, Robert K. Oermann, comments on the song by saying “jaunty, bopping, good-natured and sung with verve…Hannah has a very cool Appalachian vocal style.” Hailing from Northern Michigan, this edgy and vibrant songstress got her big break after being a contestant on the hit Fox reality show “X Factor USA” in 2011. Since then, her talent has been noticed by many and has secured four songs on the debut album of Momentum Label Group’s Rachele Lynae, including Rachele’s single Fishin’ For Something, which was written by Bethel and Lynae.
MITCH GOUDY: Wrapping up his successful radio tour, this country newcomer is making his way into the hearts of country music fans with the release of his debut single Blow These Speakers Out. This single, which is off his debut album, WILD, includes 13 songs that all accentuate Mitch’s personality and authentic country vocals. Hailing from the cornfields of southeast Iowa, Mitch grew up with a sense of pride about who he is and a strong notion of what he believes. His interest in country music began when he first picked up a guitar after suffering a traumatic knee injury that would forever limit his ability to play sports. This nineteen year-old has been rocking stages large and small across the country. He’s become a regular at saloons and clubs, wows crowds at state and county fairs alike, and has even opened for top acts around the country including Joe Nichols and The Oak Ridge Boys.
GB LEIGHTON: North Star state native and Midwest seasoned performer GB Leighton makes his national country debut with Get Up, a project directed by Average Joes Management. For Leighton, who was also recently honored by as a Top 10 Country to Watch in 2014 as well, this project and supporting tour is something his fans of all ages and interests can enjoy and it serves as a personal milestone for this cancer survivor.  Leighton’s music has clearly left a lasting impression in the Midwest as fans have inked themselves with his lyrics. One would expect to find his “heartland country” on iPod menus, but this father of two boys is truly serving up a taste of country at GB Leighton’s Pickle Park in Fridley, MN. “It was a bar that I had played for years and when it fell into the current owner’s hands, he told me he was going to name it after me and my songs.  How cool is it to walk into restaurant and see food named after your tunes! To stay updated on GB Leighton, visit             
MCKENZIES MILL –  McKenzies Mill, the North Carolina reared and southern-fried rock n’ roll duo, recently signed with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment for exclusive representation. A double shot of wins created a series of opportunities for the duo. Justin and Ryan joined Brad Paisley, The All American Rejects and the Far East Movement on the line up at the Bud Light Port Paradise Music Festival after taking the grand prize in a fan voted contest sponsored by Bud Light, Facebook and Sonicbids. The duo also entered a battle of the bands sponsored by MGM Grand, Country Jam, Crown Royal, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill and Roper Apparel. Fighting through three rounds of hopefuls, the duo traveled to Minneapolis and Dallas for the competition. The grand prize win in Dallas secured the duo performances at the NFR Rodeo Finals in Vegas and the main stage at Country Jam in both WI and CO, in addition to  receiving a $10,000 shopping spree courtesy of Roper Apparel. Their sibling Tar Heel harmonies and relentless energy fueled their rapidly growing fan base securing appearances at NASCAR’s Speed Street Festival in Charlotte, NC, the esteemed BayFest in Mobile, AL, Bud Light’s Port Paradise Music Festival in Nassau, Bahamas, and both Country Jam USA festivals in Eau Claire, WI and Grand Junction, CO. To stay updated on McKenzies Mill, visit
TIM SWEENEY: Tim Sweeney’s inaugural CD, This Time, boasts an impressive collection of self-penned songs that highlight the highs and lows of his sometimes turbulent, never boring, journey to country music success.  Its themes cover all the country criteria: drinking, young love, break ups, trucks, trailer parks, and chasing dreams. But unlike many country albums of today, This Time has a deeply personal touch to it. The album’s first single – Baby, I Try ForYou – is especially poignant because Tim wrote it for his son Timmy, who has Down syndrome and is autistic. The passion and determination ring clear in Tim’s uncanny vocal versatility. From his tender tenor upper range, to the bottom of his resonant baritone register, Tim punctuates every song with personality.