Friday, September 23, 2016

New Music Video From Love and Theft - "Candyland"

New Music Video From Aaron Lewis - "That Ain't Country"

The Last Bandoleros Release New Self-Titled EP This Week

Artist: The Last Bandoleros
Album: Self-Titled EP
Label: Warner Nashville
Release date: 9/23/16

The Last Bandoleros, the pop country band featuring Tejano star Emilio Navaira's sons Diego and Emilio IV, just announced the release of their debut EP. The six-track record, on Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville, is streaming now on Spotify.

The Last Bandoleros -- Jerry Fuentes, guitar and vocals; Derek James, guitar and vocals; Emilio Navaira IV, drums and vocals; and Diego Navaira, bass and vocals -- is being marketed as a country act, but the songs on their debut EP play in the shadow of The Mavericks, drawing from all kinds of different influences including Tex-Mex, country, rock and pop. 

“When we originally started we were looking for a name that had a little bit of Spanish or Mexican sort of flare … Every single word that we came up with that had a little bit of that twist to it was already taken. Finding a band name is so ridiculously difficult,” they collectively explain.
“We were like, ‘Well we’re not the first Bandoleros because there’s already one so we might as well be the Last Bandoleros.’ The Last Bandoleros is cooler in hindsight, anyway.”

Track listing:
Where Do You Go?
Get Down
I Don't Want to Know
Take Me to It

New Music Video From Maggie Rose - "Love Me More"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New Music Video From Kelleigh Bannen - "Welcome To The Party"

New Music Video From 30 Of Country Music's Finest - "Forever Country"

"Forever Country" artist list: Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood.

New Music Video From American Young - "Soldier's Wife"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dean Brody Readies Beautiful Freakshow For Release Next Month

Artist: Dean Brody
Album: Beautiful Freakshow
Label: Universal
Release date: Oct. 21, 2016

Multiple-time Canadian Country Music Association Award-winner Dean Brody has announced that he'll be releasing his sixth new record late next month. According to the press release, The new project is a combination of new and old school influences, from modern country to a classic twist with a few guests to help out.  In an interview with Stephen Cooke from Local, Brody talked about the new project:
"This new record is kind of a conglomerate of chaos," says Brody with a chuckle. "This is the problem with me, I love writing so much that I'm always trying different things. I don't know if it's a weakness or a strength. There's a reggae song that I wrote called Beautiful Girl   as you know I love Bob Marley and I love the vibe   that has a country lyric. I try all these different things, but my lyrics are always country. I try to stick to that, and tell a country story, but I just can't sit still when it comes to sitting down in the studio and going, 'We can use a pump organ? We can used a hammered dulcimer? We can get away with this? Let's try it!' "
The eclecticism is best exemplified by the title track, which features a whistled hook, harmonica, surf guitar and a vocal contribution by Halifax rapper Shevy Price that combines the California desert with Los Angeles night life.
"It's so old school that it's new," enthuses Brody. "It's arguably the most pop song on the record, but the harmonica part is so amazing, it reminds me of a spaghetti western soundtrack. It's out there, but it's not. It reminds me of old westerns and old Hollywood. There's a baritone guitar that comes in on the second verse, and the song is all about people from two different cultures falling in love and crossing that line. It's just like Romeo and Juliet, or an interracial romance that some in society might find offensive, but it could be a beautiful thing."
Other surprises in store on Beautiful Freakshow include a fun cover of the Sam Cooke classic Another Saturday Night, and the wistful ballad Blueberry Sky, that builds to a powerful climax thanks to a guitar solo assist from one of Brody's idols, Vince Gill.
"Vince's guitar part is soooo good!" he gushes. "I followed the patterns as far as my records go, with stuff that's rooted in traditional country as well as stuff that pushes the edges. I love doing both, and with an old world country song with a Vince Gill solo, it just doesn't get any better than that; you can sense the motive and the drive that goes into it. And then Time has a lyric that is reminiscent of a Clint Black kind of song. But then we've got songs like Bush Party and Beautiful Freakshow that are more towards the Sam Hunt end of the country spectrum. That's what I love about our genre, it's the ability to infuse it with so many different instruments and production elements."

New Music Video From William Michael Morgan - "I Know Who He Is"

Monday, September 19, 2016

Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas Features Collaborations With Vince Gill & Mac McAnally

Artist: Amy Grant
Album: Tennessee Christmas
Label: Amy Grant Music
Release date: Oct. 21, 2016

Amy Grant will unveil her first all-new Christmas album in nearly 20 years on Oct. 21, just in time for the holiday season. A collection of 13 new recordings offers a blend of originals and Grant's own spin on popular yuletide classics.

Tennessee Christmas features an updated recording of the Amy Grant Christmas standard, "Tennessee Christmas," 6 new songs and traditional Christmas favorites "Baby, It's Cold Outside"(featuring Vince Gill), "O Come All Ye Faithful" & "Joy To The World."

Recorded in her home studio in Nashville, Grant collaborated with producers Mac McAnally (Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride), Marshall Altman (Marc Broussard, Frankie Ballard) and Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band) to bring this project to life.
"I've loved traveling the world with my guitar, but my favorite musical memories have happened right here at home around Christmastime with family and friends," she said. "I hope we've captured some of that magic to share with all of you this holiday season!" 
With over 6 million Christmas records sold, all of Grant's holiday projects have been honored with RIAA platinum or gold certification. This holiday season, she will tour extensively across the country sharing music from "Tennessee Christmas," as well as her most popular Christmas hits.

Grant's career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multiplatinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. Grant's chart success has been consistent throughout her career, with six No. 1 hits, 10 Top 40 pop singles, 17 Top 40 adult contemporary tracks and multiple contemporary Christian chart-toppers.

Tennessee Christmas Track Listing:

1. Tennessee Christmas
2. To Be Together
3. Christmas For You And Me
4. Melancholy Christmas
5. December
6. White Christmas
7. Joy To The World
8. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside
10. Christmas Don't Be Late
11. Still Can t Sleep
12. Another Merry Christmas
13. O Come, All Ye Faithful

Interview Flashback - Talking Bob Dylan Influence With Love and Theft

I have been blessed to write contributions/reviews/interviews/opinion pieces for several country music and roots-oriented websites and publications over the years including Saving Country Music, Nashville Scene, Country California, Country Weekly, American Noise, The 9513 and Engine 145. As a regular contributor to the last two in that list, I did close to a 100 interviews with different artists- and since both of those great sites have come down, I will reprint some of those interviews here to give them a home in perpetuity. This interview was originally published in January 2010 on The 9513.

1984. Ronald Reagan is re-elected President. The Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. Transformers are unleashed on the world. And from three different points across the United States, three baby boys are born that will eventually form the country group, Love and Theft. 

Stephen Barker Liles grew up in Palm Harbor, Florida on early gospel and contemporary Christian music. Eric Gunderson was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina developing a deep love for his family’s favorite artists such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and the Eagles. Brian Bandas spent his youth in Austin, Texas. His was a very music-oriented family with his grandfather and uncle both were well-respected jazz players. 

All points converged on Nashville just a few short years ago when all three came to Music City looking to make their mark in country music. They first began working with one-another as songwriting partners, but as they began to work out demos, they realized that they had something unique in their ability to fluidly trade lead vocals and in their love of harmonies. From there, Love and Theft was born. 

They signed with Disney’s Carolwood Records- now Lyric Street after a consolidation- and opened up for Taylor Swift’s 2008 World Tour. (Swift’s song “Hey Stephen” is widely accepted to be written about Barker Liles.). In March of this year, they released their first single, "Runaway" which ran away to number ten on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. They followed up that with the debut of their first album, World Wide Open.  

The 9513 had a chance to catch the guys in person before going on to do a fundraising performance for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project to chat about their first full year on the national music scene. 

Ken Morton, Jr.- I recognize the name of the band from an old Bob Dylan album, what made you guys decide on that as a band name?

Brian Bandas- We are influenced heavily by all kinds of classic music. It could everything and anything by Dylan, Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash- anything in that classic musical style. When we started looking for a name, we started going through old discographies of artists we had idolized for years. We came across that name and loved the phrase. And as songwriters, who better to pay tribute to than Bob Dylan? We think he’s one of the best songwriters of all time. And there you go.

KMJ- How did you guys all meet up in Nashville?

Eric Gunderson- We all got there around the same time but we didn’t know each other then. We all dropped out of college and moved to Nashville with the hopes of getting a publishing deal or a record deal somehow. We all met through the songwriting community in Nashville. We met through some mutual friends of ours and different roommates we were living with. We actually wrote a track together- it’s the last track on our album called “Drowning” together. We recorded in the attic of my house and when we were putting the harmony part on there, we thought, “Wow, this is pretty cool.” And now we’re Love and Theft. 

KMJ- You guys mentioned some classic country artists that you were influenced by. Are there some more modern country artists who you’d say you influenced by as well?

Stephen Barker Liles- Tim McGraw is one. And the fact that we’re going to be on his tour next year is amazing.

BB- Yeah, that is pretty amazing.  George Strait. I think I have every single one of his albums. And he has a lot of albums. (Laughing)

KMJ- For someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to hear your new album, World Wide Open, describe it from the artist’s perspective.

BB- We wrote everything on there and our first goal was to not have any filler. We didn’t want to have three or four good singles on there and fill up the rest with eight more tracks. We wanted to put the same amount of energy and passion into every song. We wanted every song to stand on its own. We feel like we accomplished that. It’s definitely a work of passion, it’s all very personal to us. Everything comes from something in our lives, something that’s happened to us. Any of us could sit down and write a song about anything.

SBL- Like Bill Nye the Science Guy.

BB- It’s about one of us coming into the room and saying, “This just happened in my life,” and us writing a song about it. It’s writing about it from that point of personal place. That’s something we’re proud of, that sort of raw kind of authenticity. It’s a little scary kind of baring your soul like that. You’re kind of open to the world like that. 

KMJ- Is that where the title of the album, World Wide Open, comes from?

BB- Absolutely. Eric wrote that song about a specific situation he found himself in and after he wrote it, we all felt it applied to our own lives and to the band as a whole. This ride could go anywhere, we just don’t know where. 

KMJ- It’s not often that bands will share lead vocals like you guys do. Was that a conscious decision to do it differently or did it just evolve that way?

EG- A little bit of both. We all came into it as solo singers. So I don’t think any of us were anxious or willing to totally give up the lead vocals. We all love to sing and we all love that time when we get to sing solo. 

SBL- If you look at the Eagles, they tried it out that way. And it worked out pretty well.

BB- Yeah, we’re huge Eagles fans. 

EG- As for as lead vocals and group harmonies, that’s really what we’re striving towards. It really never ever came up though between us who would sing what. I never had to defend my position and say, “No no no, I want to sing too.” No one even ever asked that question. We all sing. We just all kept singing. 

KMJ- Were you guys ever encouraged to do it differently and find that one lead singer?

SBL- (Stephen pretends he’s a music executive) “How are you guys going to do that without one lead singer? That’s impossible to establish.” We just told them, “You know, we’re going to try it.” 

EG- Especially when we were going around looking for a record deal at different studios. I don’t remember who it was, but they were like, “You guys sound great, but I can’t see this ever working in this town. It’s hard enough with one lead singer, I don’t know how they’ll ever react positively to three.” Which is valid I guess.

BB- But that was definitely one of the biggest responses and reactions to our thing. “We love it… but the multiple lead singer thing isn’t going to work.” But through all of our songs, we’ve never had a problem of who was going to sing what. It’s never really mattered. I think the three of us have worked enough together so we know who sings what parts best. Now it’s only our first record… (laughter from all three)

KMJ- What’s been the highlight of the year for each of you so far?

SBL- The Jason Aldean Tour was the highlight for me. Oh, and playing the Grand Ole Opry. We’ve got a chance to play the Grand Ole Opry three times this year which is awesome. And this last time, we got to play the Ryman. Incredible. 

EG- For me, that’s probably our favorite thing this year. It was our second time playing at the Ryman. The first time we got to play a J.D. Souther tribute. That was an incredible honor for us. We got to get up there with Lee Ann Womack. But then we got the chance to go up and do the Grand Ole Opry right there at the Ryman. So that was pretty special. 

BB- For me, it was Jimmy Fallon. For years, that was one of my little pipe dreams. “Someday, I’m going to be on the Late Night Show.” That was the coolest thing for me.

KMJ- Great experiences for you guys. Stephen, you wrote a track on Martina McBride’s latest album Shine called “Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong.” That has to be a pretty remarkable accomplishment for you this year in itself.

SBL- Yeah. I mean songwriting is my favorite thing in the whole world. I was very honored that she picked it to record. And I just found out it’s going to be her next single that’ll be coming out right around the end of the year. I’m so very excited about that. 

KMJ- You guys opened up for Taylor Swift in 2008. How important was that to your successful launch?

EG- At that point we didn’t have a single. We didn’t have a record.

SBL- Anything.

EG- We didn’t have anything. Halfway through that tour we recorded a live EP because we wanted people to have something that wanted it something to take home. But it was really important because it gave us the opportunity to go out in front of 6,000 to 10,000 fans almost every single night. And it helped to fine-tune our live show and our acoustic show. There wasn’t any pressure to out there and sound like our record because there wasn’t a record. We could go out there and work on performing in front of a huge audience. So it was really unique in that perspective. And it was very cool for them to take a chance on us. 

KMJ- You guys mentioned the upcoming tour, you’ll be going out with Lady Antebellum and Tim McGraw. How many dates- how long will you guys be out on tour?

EG- I think forty-something dates.

SBL- It goes from April to August. 

KMJ- So you won’t be seeing anyone you know- no family or friends- for five months, will you?

BB- But that’s how it’s been all year long, anyways. I think we’ve only been home 30 days the whole year. But we love it.

SBL- Yeah we do. We had like six days off at home. And I started to feel weird. We hadn’t had that many days off all year. So I actually had to go to Florida to take a vacation and go do something. 

BB- It does feel weird. I know for me, I get antsy if I’m not doing something with the band, if we’re just not doing anything.

KMJ- This last one’s meant pretty open-ended. What is country music to Love and Theft?

EG- For me, country music is really just all about the song. Songwriting is such a big part of country music. From Johnny Cash to Waylon to Hank to all these others great songwriters- all those great writers that came before us make it really inspiring to go back and listen to their songs and then go write a song. It’s cool to me to see that they were writing about some of the same things back then. It’s just the world evolving and moving on a bit. It’s about relationships and the things you love. It’s all about the songwriting. 

BB- That has been the other thing that has been eye-opening through this process. It’s the fans. It’s these people that are passionate about it. They put it on as they’re driving across the country or are listening to it as they’re working in the shops or whatever it may be. This is their soundtrack of their life. And they embrace it passionately. We’re constantly blown away by what it means to people, what a huge part of people’s lives it is. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New Music Video From Corb Lund - "S Lazy H"

1986 Merle Haggard Live Concert Recording Uncovered & Turned Into Upcoming New Album

Artist: Merle Haggard
Album: Live at Church Creek Station '86
Label: Javelin
Release date: Dec. 2, 2016

Earlier this week, we reported on a new George Jones live concert album. Now, That Nashville Sound is pleased to announce that there's a similar project coming out from the late Merle Haggard. Just a few months after his passing, fans of The Hag are going to have another new project to add to their music collection. A new live album of a 1986 concert performance will be hitting our ears in early December titled Live at Church Creek Station '86.

Church Street Station - one of the longest running country TV shows ever - aired on the Nashville Network in the 80s and featured classic performances by many iconic country stars. Country music legend and pioneer of the classic Bakersfield Sound, Merle Haggard graces Church Street Station with a memorable night of music and his biggest hits, including "Okie From Muskogee," "Mama Tried" and more.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Farm Aid Live Performance Music Video From Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss - "I Ain't The One"

Farm Aid Live Performance Music Video From Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss - "Make the World Go Away"

New Music Video From Keith Urban - "Blue Ain't Your Color"

Loretta Lynn Announces New Holiday Album Release, White Christmas Blue

Artist: Loretta Lynn
Album: White Christmas Blue
Label: Legacy
Release date: Oct. 7, 2016

50 years after her very first holiday album, Loretta Lynn is back with a second, releasing the October 7 release, White Christmas Blue.

The album debuts "White Christmas Blue," an original song penned by Loretta Lynn and Grammy Award winner Shawn Camp (who's written #1 country hits for Garth Brooks, Josh Turner and Brooks & Dunn, collaborated with Loretta since 2007, and provides acoustic guitar and backing vocals on White Christmas Blue). White Christmas Blue is the second volume of the Cash Cabin Recordings and part of a planned multi-album deal with Legacy Recordings.

Loretta's first collection of seasonal songs since 1966 (and her second release this year for Legacy), White Christmas Blue premieres 12 studio performances including new versions of two original compositions ("Country Christmas" and "To Heck with Ole Santa Claus") which first appeared on Country Christmas; soulful interpretations of traditional carols ("Away in a Manger," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silent Night"); in-the-moment contemporary takes on seasonal pop standards ("Winter Wonderland," "Frosty the Snowman," "Jingle Bells," "White Christmas") and the title track.  The album concludes with Loretta's heartfelt recitation of the beloved seasonal story "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

White Christmas Blue is the celebratory successor to Loretta's first Legacy release, Full Circle (her 40th Top 10 country album and her highest-charting album ever on the Billboard 200).

New Music Video From Dolly Parton and Pantatonix - "Jolene"