Sunday, November 29, 2015

New Music Video From Emerson Drive- "Good Hurt"

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Edge of Country Releases: Upcoming Live Albums From Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, John Prine, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joni Mitchell & Bob Dylan in 2016

While they don't fall directly under the country music umbrella, several of these rock or folk-leaning artists easily fall into the roots-oriented music category. Several big names have upcoming live performance releases in early 2016 to look forward to if you're a fan of any of them.

Artist: Bonnie Raitt
Album: Same Old Love: The Minneapolis Broadcast 1979
Label: Sutra
Release date: Jan. 15, 2016

In 1979 and with her big commercial breakthrough still being more than a decade away, Bonnie Raitt was well on her way to blending raw blues, R&B and rock into a decidedly more adult contemporary style. Typically for the time, when this show was broadcast in 1979, Raitt was on the road promoting her then new Warner Brothers album, The Glow. Since her first Warners LP, Give It Up in 1972, Raitt had expanded her live line-up from an acoustic duo consisting of herself and bassist Freebo, to a full-fledged electric band playing a much more hybrid style of blues, rock, R&B and folk, than she had in her early years. This show marked the end of nine weeks on the road, and the band is as tight as any Bonnie has ever worked with. She opens with "Baby I Love You" and moves straight into Sam & Dave's classic "I Thank You." The gig moves from one highlight to the next. Raitt's take on Mable John's "You're Good Thing Is About to End" is a particular standout, as is "Angel from Montgomery." The show also features a one-two punch of "Runaway" (Raitt had achieved a hit in 1977 with a rocked-up version of the 1961 Del Shannon number) and raucous replay of Robert Palmer's "You're Gonna Get What's Coming." The show closes with a powerhouse version of "Under the Falling Sky" featuring Pat Hayes' smoking harmonica work. When Raitt performed this show at the Orpheum in Minneapolis, she and her band were only a few months away from the historic No Nukes rally held in the fall of 1979 in Battery Park, New York City. That event, organized by Bonnie, would forever place her on the top-table of activist artists, and she has consistently supported multiple causes to this day.

Artist: Tom Petty
Album: In the Coliseum: Live Radio Broadcast, Jacksonville, Florida, 1989
Label: Goldfish Records
Release date: Feb. 12, 2016

From a gig at the Florida Coliseum in Jacksonville during summer of 1987, this show finds Tom and the Heartbreakers (Mike Campbell on lead guitar, Benmont Tench on keyboards, Howie Epstein on bass and mandolin, and Stan Lynch on drums) on tour to promote the April '87 release Let Me Up ( I've Had Enough). This particular show however featured only one cut from the album, Runaway Trains, notably omitting the record's hit single "Jammin' Me," a song composed by Petty and Campbell with Bob Dylan. The band were in playful mood however and performed a total of five rousing cover versions and a number of old favorites to compliment the one new song. Petty would neither tour nor record with the Heartbreakers again for another four years, in the meantime he became a founding member of the super-group The Travelling Wilburys following which he recorded and released his first solo album before reuniting with the group in 1991.

Artist: John Prine
Album: Bottom Line: 1978 New York Broadcast
Label: All Access
Release date: Jan. 15, 2016

This live performance from John Prine was broadcast live by King Biscuit on July 11th 1978 from the Bottom Line Club in New York's Greenwich Village, several years into the man's career. His debut album had been released to huge critical acclaim, albeit somewhat modest sales (reaching only 153 on Billboard), in 1971 on the Atlantic label. Featuring such legendary numbers as 'Hello in There' and 'Angel from Montgomery' (versions of both are featured) it was voted into Rolling Stone's All Time Greatest 500 Albums list in 2003. The tour, of which this gig was part, was performed in support of Bruised Orange (1978), Prine's 5th studio album, and the lengthy 30-song set list features no fewer than 6 of the album's 10 cuts, although strangely John omits to perform the marvelous title track. The remainder of the songs played are a mix from 3 out of 4 previous albums (he doesn't play anything from his sophomore record, 1972's Diamonds In The Rough) plus a smattering of cuts yet to be released at show-time, but made available on 1979's Pink Cadillac and post-1980 releases. A few well-chosen covers are additionally played, including a rollicking versions of 'Treat Me Nice' (from the pens of Messrs. Leiber and Stoller of course) and a nice 'Ballad of a Teenage Queen' - made famous by Johnny Cash but composed by Prine's friend Jack Clement.

Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Album: Back for More in '94: FM Radio Broadcast from Atlanta, Georgia 1994
Label: Goldfish
Release date: Feb. 12, 2016

The horrific 1977 plane crash that wiped out members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and their entourage, including the man who had led the group across the best part of a decade, the inimitable Ronnie Van Zandt, was at the time seen as the end of the group. Those surviving members reunited only once to perform an instrumental 'Free Bird' at Charlie Daniels' charity event Volunteer Jam V in 1979, otherwise the group went on hiatus for the next 10 years, with four ex-members performing and recording as the Rossington-Collins band between 1980 and 1983, choosing a female lead vocalist to avoid claims that they were merely a rebooted Skynyrd. through this period. In 1987 however, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a full-scale tour with five major members of the pre-crash band; survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle, along with guitarist Ed King - who had left the band two years before the crash - and with Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, taking over on lead vocals and as primary songwriter. The show presented on this CD was performed at The Lakewood in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 24th, when the band performed a dynamic set featuring many LS classics alongside a superb new composition in 'Devil In The Bottle,' which has gone on to become a live favorite.

Artist: Stevie Ray Vaughn
Album: Happy New Years Blues: Live FM Broadcast from Atlanta, GA, December 1986
Label: Hobo
Release date: Jan. 15, 2016

By late 1986, Stevie Ray Vaughan had been through rehab in London and, according to all reports, was feeling like a new man. His dependency problems, which had haunted him right through his career, were, he felt, now behind him and he was intent on two things; getting back to playing the blues and helping others overcome their own, similar problems. He achieved the former with ease and passion - this was, after all, what the master guitarist existed to do. The latter did not come so naturally, but SRV made commendable effort in his oft-witnessed stage announcements, advising and guiding his audience members, sharing the wisdom he had garnered in going through the hell he had suffered. The concert featured on this CD is taken from an FM radio broadcast, transmitted live from the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, on New Year's Eve '86, was clearly a dynamic event. Stevie and Double Trouble perform with gusto and flare, whilst the audience are wild with ecstasy. Joining Vaughan on stage after the new year kicks in is none other than guitar legend Lonnie Mack, and the two bluesmen bounce off each other beautifully for a magical rendition of Mack's 'Oreo Cookie Blues,' which ends this extraordinary performance and readies Stevie Ray to enter what, tragically, would become the final, albeit majestic, era of his career - and sadly his life.

Artist: Joni Mitchell
Album: Bread and Roses Festival 1978
Label: Iconography
Release date: Feb. 12, 2016

The second annual Bread and Roses Festival of Music, held at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley over Labor Day weekend 1978, 2nd - 4th September, proved to be one of the most exciting musical events of the year. The three-day concert series was sponsored by singer Mimi Farina's Bread and Roses organization, which supported free live entertainment in Marin County hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation clinics. The highlight of the '78 festival was the appearance on the evening of Saturday 2nd by Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock. Joni had not performed in public since The Band's Last Waltz in November of '76, and this show marked the first time she had teamed up with Hancock. Herbie joined Joni onstage after a couple of solo numbers, and together they performed two songs from Joni's upcoming album featuring her words and jazz great Charlie Mingus' music. The tunes were challenging to say the least - 'A Chair In The Sky' painted a stunning visual portrait of the aging, ailing Mingus alone in New York and featured moments of dissonance and moments that swung. On the Sunday afternoon Joni and Herbie played a couple more numbers to help boost poor ticket sales, and with another rendition of 'The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines' notably different to Saturday's version plus a charming 'The Circle Game', with The Persuasions, Tim Hardin, Tom Paxton and Odetta - all of whom had played that afternoon - helping out on vocals, it was magical indeed. This CD also boasts a couple of dynamic bonus cuts, recorded a decade later but again featuring Joni and Herbie Hancock, but now alongside a plethora of further jazz masters; Wayne Shorter, David Sanborn, Bobby McFerrin and Larry Klein. The occasion was an episode of the Showtime Coast To Coast TV show - a program dedicated to live performance, regularly presented by Hancock who would play alongside the studio guests.

Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: Minneapolis Hotel Tape & The Gaslight Café: September & December 1961
Label: BDA
Release date: Jan. 15, 2016

Further to BDA's previous collections (Carnegie Hall & The Minnesota Party Tape) comes the third album in the 1961 series of rare and previously unreleased Dylan material, this time showcasing an early stint at the infamous Gaslight Cafe in NYC's Greenwich Village, and the December recordings made at his friend Bonnie Beecher's apartment back in Minnesota - the same venue that witnessed the 'Party Tape' in May of the same year. Dylan played the Gaslight a number of times but this particular performance is one of only two for which any recordings exist - it is believed to be the set he played there on 6th September '61. Bonnie Beecher's apartment (aka the Minneapolis Hotel) was a regular stopping off point for Bob on his way home to visit his parents in Hibbing, and while there he would often play in front of old college friends. This recording was made a few days before Christmas - on 22nd December 1961- en route to spending the festivities with his folks. The recording here features all the known songs that were recorded, except those the 5 that have previously been released by Sony on various of the Official Bootleg Series or on the Highway 61 cd-rom. Both recordings here feature the very best sound recordings known to exist making this CD both a hugely important historical document and a delightful collection of Bob Dylan's earliest work.

New Live Grand Ole Opry Performance Music Video From Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell- "Mutineer"

Amanda Shires is joined by her husband Jason Isbell to perform "Mutineer", a song by Warren Zevon, live on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Live Performance Music Video From Eric Church, Smokey Robinson, Rhiannon Giddens & Aloe Blacc- "Kill A Word"

This past Friday, the Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, presented by A E Networks and iHeartMedia took place in Los Angeles. Eric Church, alongside Rhiannon Giddens, Smokey Robinson, Aloe Blacc and the Jason White Singers, performed Church’s brand new “Kill A Word.” Watch it below.

New Music Video From Joey+Rory- "It Is Well With My Soul"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Live Recording Of 1977 Dolly Parton NYC Concert To See Release In Feb. 2016

Artist: Dolly Parton
Album: Country Girl in the Big Apple: Live at The Bottom Line, New York City 1977
Label: Golden Rain
Release date: February 12, 2016

From the press release: In 1977, Dolly Parton was still in the process of becoming a household name. With a number of country hits and a moderately successful television variety show behind her, she was making the transition to world-class performer and her US chart-topping hit single, 'Here You Go Again,' released that year, would begin taking her where she wanted to go. Despite the high profile pressure, Parton was extremely comfortable with her audience and any apprehension she had coming into the Big Apple was long gone. Speaking as if she was performing to family and friends in her own living room, Parton tells the audience about everything - who inspired each song; the fact that she went that afternoon to friend Lily Tomlin's one-woman Broadway show, and that she took the time to buy new shoes while in Manhattan. They told me people in New York City don't like country music, Parton exclaims early on, but you people LOVE country, dontcha? From the very moment Dolly hits the stage, her undeniable magnetism propels her forward, but her music is the real selling point.

Track listing:
1. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
2. All I Can Do
3. Jolene
4. There'S No Place Like Home
5. My Tennessee Mountain Home
6. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
7. Coat Of Many Colors
8. Applejack
9. Light Of A Clear Blue Morning
10. I Will Always Love You
11. Getting In My Way
12. Me And Little Andy
13. How Does It Feel
14. Holdin' On To You
15. The Seeker
16. You Are/i Will Always Love You (Reprise)
17. Love Is Like A Butterfly

Marie Osmond To Release New Music Is Medicine Album In January 2016

Artist: Marie Osmond
Album: Music Is Medicine
Label: All Of Me Records
Release date: Jan. 22, 2016

Marie Osmond will unveil her first solo album in five years and just her second in more than 25 years this coming January with the release of Music Is Medicine.

"I'm a woman who kind of just follows her intuition, and it was like, 'You need to record an album. You need to talk about life, about second chances and finding love again and the spiral that things can go through,'" says Osmond. "And I'm like, 'I'm old!' You know, they don't play women on the radio who are over 30. And it's like, 'Why record this album? Don't do this.' And everything within me logically says, 'What? Why am I doing this?' And everything in my heart and soul says 'People need to know that it ain't over. It's just not over until the fat lady sings – and I have Nutrisystem. So I'm singing."

Osmond describes the disc as "more contemporary. I'm a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll, what can I say," she says.

Another song from the album features a duet with Marty Roe, lead singer of the country group Diamond Rio, on a song that addresses second chances in finding love, something Osmond says she knows about.

"It says, 'I'd love to be your last.' And it's just, oh my gosh, it's just a beautiful song," she says. "The songs are beautiful, and I think they'll touch hearts."

In 1973, Osmond had her first taste of solo success with her rendition of "Paper Roses," which climbed to the top of the country music charts and broke into the top five on the pop charts. The subsequent album bearing the single's title also did well with country music fans. She would go onto chart country singles well through the 1980's.

New Music Video From Dean Brody- "Love Would Be Enough"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Interview Flashback- Behind Ba-Oom Papa Oom Papa Mow Mow- Richard Sterban From The Oak Ridge Boys

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 September 2009 on The 9513.

Throughout the history of country music, there has been a handful of defining voices on historical songs that have forever etched themselves permanently onto the radio dial. Few have been more identifiable than the bass singer of the Oak Ridge Boys, Richard Sterban. His “ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow” background singing on the best-selling record in Nashville recording history, “Elvira,” is one of those etchings. 

The Oak Ridge Boys are one of those groups that nearly anyone in or out of country music recognizes. Between 1976 and 1989, they had 17 number one Billboard country music hits with such standards as “Fancy Free,” “Bobbie Sue,” “American Made,” “This Crazy Love,” and “No Matter How High.” When added to a career that includes other popular singles such as “Ya’ll Come Back Saloon” and “Thank God For Kids,” the four key components of the Oak Ridge Boys are easily and undeniably one of the most popular bands of their generation. 

Fast forward to 2009, and the band has released a brand new album for Spring Hill Records called The Boys Are Back.  Shooter Jennings, the son of the late country music legend Waylon Jennings, brought them together to sing back-up on his album, The Wolf.  It was here that they met a producer that took them on a new musical journey. When asked about the album's content, bass singer Richard Sterban commented, "If there's something I could compare this to, it would be what Johnny Cash did in the later part of his career.”  

Ken Morton, Jr.- So just how many “ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow’s” have you sung over the years?

Richard Sterban- (laughing)- That’s an interesting question- one I don’t think I’ve been asked before. A lot of times, people ask me to sing “ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow.” I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me how many times I’ve done it. I don’t think there’s even a way for me to begin to count- even imagine- how many times I’ve done it over the years. That is by far the most requested and most played song the Oak Ridge Boys have ever had. Of course “ba-oom papa oom papa mow mow” is my part of the song.
I’m asked to do it a lot and over the years, its had to have been so many thousands of times. Hopefully, I’ll just be doing it a lot more into the future as well. It’s still the largest selling single record ever to be recorded in Nashville. To this day, it’s something that we’re excited about.

KMJ- I’ve always wondered something. On a career-defining song like “Elvira,” it obviously is viewed as a blessing, but I could also see it somewhat overshadowing a career’s worth of recording. Any thoughts about that?

RS- I think it’s obvious that the Oak Ridge Boys are a lot more than just “Elvira.” There’s no question about that. We’ve just had too many good records over the years and some really good “meaningful” records over the years. A song like “Thank God For Kids” comes to mind. That’s probably one of the more meaningful songs we’ve ever cut. At the same time, I don’t think “Elvira” shadows any of the other music. I think “Elvira” is simply the song that makes people want to come hear us to start with. And then they get a chance to hear all of our other stuff as well. I think it works together pretty well. Believe me, though, if we had a chance to go record another “Elvira,” we’d jump at the chance. I think anyone in the music business would tell you the same thing. If you were able to look at any record that big, of course we would- anyone would- want to do it again. Hopefully over the years, we’ve combined the popular stuff like “Elvira” and the meaningful stuff and meshed them together into something wonderful. 

KMJ- You guys have sold over 30 million records. How do you measure success these days, is it still by record sales, live shows or something else entirely?

RS- The thing that we’re most excited about is that after all of these years, we’re still doing this. I’ve been an Oak Ridge Boy for 36 years. Joe Bonsall came about a year after I did- he and I have been doing this 35 or 36 years together. And William Lee Golden and Duane Allen have been in the group for over 40 years. So the fact that we’ve been able to do this for this long and experience this kind of longevity in the music business is pretty phenomenal. It’s pretty mind-boggling, actually. So many of the country music acts that were our contemporaries have retired. But we have not. The Oak Ridge Boys have no plans on retiring. We’re still having fun doing this. We love everything about our career. We still enjoy taking our music live to our audience. It’s still the most fun thing that we do. Most days, when we are on the road, we live for that night to get up on stage and do our music live. It’s because even after all these years, it’s what we love doing. You’d find that all of us thoroughly enjoy the creative process, too. We love getting into the recording studio and creating new music. Then that new music creates a new exciting component to our live shows. That new music added to our big hits adds to the show and makes for a great concert. The fact that we are doing it after all these years, and still doing it at this level, it speaks volumes. We may not get the radio airplay that we were used to and that might not always transfer to the kind of record sales that we would like to have, but I think we’ve learned to be innovative over the years. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. With all the ways that are open to market music on the internet now, we’ve tried to be innovative there. And our music is still selling very well. 

KMJ- You have a brand new album out called The Boys Are Back. What was the theme or mission behind the album?

RS- Shooter Jennings had a lot to do with making this project a reality. About 2 years ago, he called us and asked us to sing on a song on his album called The Wolf. There’s a song on there called “Slow Train.” He called and asked us if we’d like to sing and we said, “Sure!” We’d jump at the chance to work with a guy like Shooter Jennings. We remember Shooter when he was just a boy hanging out at the studio with his dad while we were recording. Now that Shooter is all grown up and has a thriving career of his own, we were glad to do it. It was very ironic that we went to the same studio here in Nashville right on Music Row where his father recorded and the original outlaw movement was started. It’s a historic place. And we had a great time hanging out with Shooter. While we were recording that project, we met Shooter’s young producer, a guy by the name of David Cobb. We hit it off with David and he took a liking to us. When the project finally came out we went and did a showcase with Shooter and the place, City Hall, was packed. It was packed with a younger audience, a younger audience than what we normally draw out. We did “Slow Train” with Shooter and the place went crazy. Then we did “Elvira” and surprisingly, they knew every word to the song and they were singing right along with us. We had a great time there that night. The album was born that night with this new young producer with the thought that we might do something different from what we’ve been doing in the past. We worked it out with our label and he was able to come produce our project, The Boys Are Back.  He had a vision for us that was a little different from what we’ve been doing. He saw us as a true blue American act with an ability to do a lot of different kinds of music. That’s what he tried to do on this project. The very first song he sent off to us was a version of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” He said that he wanted us to do this song. Instead of doing the instrumental parts with instruments, he wanted us to do the instrumental parts vocally. We thought, “Wow, this might be an interesting thing to do.” When we heard that song, we knew it was going to be something different. None of us on our own would have chosen “Seven Nation Army.” He started bringing in other material to us. He brought in John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” He brought in some beautiful ballads. He had us do Neil Young’s “Beautiful Bluebird” which is a totally different direction. He even found this old spiritual that was so old that it was written before copyrights. He actually had to go to the Smithsonian Institute to find the original lyrics to this song. It’s the coolest thing on the record- an old spiritual called “Troublin’ Mind.” Jamey Johnson wrote a great ole song for us called “Mama’s Table.” Jamey, as you know, is one of the hottest things in our business. There’s downright country on this album, there’s some gospel, there’s rock and roll and there’s beautiful ballads. There’s even some blues. It’s a great example of what the Oak Ridge Boys are all about. David really found the heart and soul of the Oak Ridge Boys in this new project. 

KMJ- You’ve always walked down a fine line between gospel and country music. Has that line blended at all over the years or do you see it more divided than ever?

RS- I don’t think there’s a division at all. For us, I don’t think there ever was. We just recently did a project with Bill Gaither. Bill Gaither is one of the most successful people ever in gospel music. I think there’s something about gospel music and country music that go hand in hand. In some ways, especially for us, it’s difficult to separate the two. We’ve had a lot of success over the years combining these two forms of music. We all grew up singing gospel, it is part of our heritage. We still, to this day, include gospel in every one of our shows. We’re a country music act first, but we still believe strongly in everything gospel. 

KMJ- Any thoughts or hopes of making it into the Country Music Hall Of Fame someday?

RS- I think it’s an honor that we would all love to have, to be inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. And I think someday it will happen, hopefully it’s just a matter of time. When I look at every one that is in the Country Music Hall Of Fame and every one that is not in there yet, I think the people who are responsible for choosing who is elected to the Hall Of Fame will look at the Oak Ridge Boys. I think we’ve accomplished enough in this industry of country music. I think we’ve made enough of a contribution to the industry in general. I think it’s something that will eventually happen. I think it’s an honor we hopefully deserve and something we’d all be honored to see happen sometime in the future. 

KMJ- Over the years, there’s been lots of moving parts in and out of the Oak Ridge Boys, but the current four members have spent an amazing 152 total years as part of the group. Do you foresee a time when you or the four of you aren’t part of the group but it moves forward?

RS- That’s an interesting question too. In the short term, in the near future, I do not foresee that happening. I think we have to be realistic and realize that nothing lasts forever- even the Oak Ridge Boys. But we are all in extremely good health. I think health is the key to our future. As long as the good Lord blesses us with good health, I think you’ll keep seeing us doing this thing. We plan on going back into the studio next year and recording some new music. It’s still what we all love doing after all these years. We love doing this- none of us have plans of retiring any time soon. None of us can fathom in our minds anything we’d rather be doing than this. 

KMJ- I know you were a part-owner of the Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball team for nearly 30 years, how did that come about and what has baseball meant to you in your life?

RS- I think everyone that is successful has to have some kind of diversion and I think baseball is my diversion in life. I’m a huge sports fan and I love all kinds of sports. I love to watch the Titans go play. I love to watch Vanderbilt basketball. But I especially love baseball. When I was three years old, my uncle took me to my very first baseball game and it was an experience that hooked me on the sport. I’ve been hooked ever since. When professional baseball was brought back here to Nashville I was able to buy in and for 30 years, I was able to call myself an owner of a baseball team. It was something that was near and dear to me. This year we had new owners that came into Nashville, and they bought us all out. So I’m no longer an owner. But because of my love of baseball and the Sounds, they have made me the official team ambassador for the Nashville Sounds. So I can still walk around the place still like I own part of the place. I still go to batting practice. I get to hang out with the players. I even cut a radio spot for the club for the local radio stations. So my heart and soul is still very much there. I have many fond memories over the year of my ownership and involvement with the Nashville Sounds. I’ve gotten to know many players over the years and feel like I had a very little part of getting to the bigs. I’ll be going out to watch Vanderbilt baseball fall practice pretty soon. I’ve gotten to know Tim Corbin, the head coach, real well. He even came to one of our recording sessions on the last album. It’s something that’s very much part of me. 

KMJ- What is country music to the Oak Ridge Boys?

RS- I think country music is our life. It really is. It’s just what we are and what we are all about. We’ve been very blessed and fortunate to have a great deal of success singing country music. We can look back on a great career and a great many accomplishments in country music. But at the same time, we’re still excited about our future. We still look forward to what lies ahead of us. We’ll be doing 150 to 160 dates a year and we’re already booking dates for 2011. The business has been very very good to us over the years and hopefully we’ve done everything to contribute something back. Hopefully people remember us for that. We’re four gentlemen that are very fortunate to be where we’ve been for all these years. We’re more blessed than most people in this life and country music has everything to do with that.

New Music Video From Mickey Guyton- "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Blake Shelton Christmas Album Generates Dollars For Charity

Artist: Blake Shelton
Album: Christmas
Label: Special release through Kohl's
Release date: Nov. 2015

Blake Shelton has joined forces with Kohl’s and their Kohl’s Cares initiative to help children this holiday season. Blake Shelton Christmas, a CD featuring several tracks from the singer’s 2012 holiday album, Cheers, It’s Christmas, will be available to purchase for $5, with 100% of the net profits going to support kids’ health and education initiatives in communities nationwide. Some of the tracks that appear on the CD include “Jingle Bell Rock” featuring Miranda Lambert, “Oklahoma Christmas” featuring Reba and a rendition of “Silent Night” featuring Sheryl Crow. The special 10-track Christmas CD is available here. Some of the other items available include several children’s books, plush animals, and even a holiday cookbook and coloring book.

You can purchase the new album here.
 Track listing for Blake Shelton Christmas is as follows:

“Jingle Bell Rock” – featuring Miranda Lambert
“Oklahoma Christmas” – featuring Reba
“There’s a New Kid in Town” – featuring Kelly Clarkson
“Home featuring” Michael BublĂ©
“Winter Wonderland”
“Silent Night” – featuring Sheryl Crow
“The Christmas Song”
“Blue Christmas” – featuring Pistol Annies
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

“Silver Bells” – featuring Xenia

New Music Video From American Young- "Something To You"

Lennon and Maisy Get Surprise Album Release With Music From ABC's Nashville

Artist: Lennon and Maisy Stella
Album: The Nashville Cast Featuring Lennon & Maisy Stella as Maddie & Daphne Conrad
Label: Big Machine Records
Release date: Nov. 20, 2015

Big Machine Records, in partnership with ABC, Lionsgate and Opry Entertainment, has released The Nashville Cast Featuring Lennon & Maisy Stella as Maddie & Daphne Conrad. The 11-track EP is now available across digital retailers today.

Lennon & Maisy are a Canadian music duo composed of sisters Lennon Ray Louise Stella (age 16) and Maisy Jude Marion Stella (age 11). They were born in Ontario but now reside in Nashville. Lennon & Maisy are the daughters of Brad and Marylynne Stella, who perform together as The Stellas.

The Nashville Cast Featuring Lennon & Maisy Stella as Maddie & Daphne Conrad Track List:

 1. “Joy Parade” (Jill Andrews/Josh Leo)
2. “Heart On Fire” (Sarah Buxton/Blair Daly/Kate York)
3. “Ho Hey” (Jeremy Fraites/Wesley Schultz) *
4. “Rockin’ & Rollin’” (Sean McConnell/Levi Hummon)
5. “Telescope” (Cary Barlowe/Hillary Lindsey) **
6. “We Got A Love” (Jill Andrews/Lori McKenna)
7. “Beyond The Sun” [feat. Lennon Stella] (Claire Guerreso/Aaron Espe)
8. “Share With You” (Garrison Starr)
9. “I’ve Got You (and You’ve Got Me)” (Jacob Davis/Shelley Skidmore/Bob Moffatt/Clint Moffatt)
10. “Have A Little Faith In Me” [feat. Maisy Stella & Will Chase] (John Hiatt)
11. “A Life That’s Good” (Sarah Siskind/Ashley Monroe)

*Produced by T Bone Burnett and Gabriel Witcher
**Produced by T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller

New Music Video From Hank Williams, Jr. and Eric Church- "Are You Ready For The Country"

Rissi Palmer Releases Second Project This Year With The Release Of Holiday EP, 3

Artist: Rissi Palmer
Album: 3 EP
Label: Baldilocks Records
Release date: Nov. 20, 2015

Says, Rissi, "I am extremely excited to announce my Christmas EP, simply entitled 3!!! The project features three songs: the original "Christmas Through Your Eyes" (co-written by yours truly) , the gospel tinged "Children Go Where I Send Thee", and the classic "The Christmas Song". Physical CDs will ship Dec. 1."

Rissi Palmer experienced a lifetime of milestones when she released her self-titled debut album in 2007. As one of country music's most promising new stars, Rissi received widespread attention across all media platforms including print features in Ebony, GIANT, Newsweek, Parade, People, Rolling Stone and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few. She made numerous national television and radio appearances such as the CBS Early Show, NPR's Tavis Smiley, and Sirius XM's Dr. Maya Angelou's Show on "Oprah & Friends." She was invited to perform at the White House and the Grand Ole Opry upon numerous occasions. And as if all that wasn't enough, Rissi also made music history as the first African-American female to chart a country song since 1987 with the release of her debut single, "Country Girl."

In the past eight years since that explosive ride in the music spotlight, Rissi moved from Nashville to North Carolina, where she married the love of her life in 2010, gave birth to her daughter, Grace, in 2011, and recorded a children’s record, Best Day Ever in 2013. This holiday album follows up the release of The Back Porch Sessions that was released earlier this year in May.

New Music Video From William Michael Morgan- "I Met a Girl"

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Vince Gill Album Down To My Last Bad Habit Set For Feb 12, 2016 Release

Artist: Vince Gill
Album: Down To My Last Bad Habit
Label: MCA Nashville
Release date: Feb. 12, 2016

Award-winning MCA Nashville country star Vince Gill revealed via NPR his new album Down To My Last Bad Habit is set for release on February 12. As part of the announcement, NPR has an exclusive first-listen of Gill’s lead single (co-written with Richard Marx), “Take Me Down” featuring Little Big Town.  Gill wrote/co-wrote, co-produced and is a featured musician on all 12 songs on Down To My Last Bad Habit. One of the tracks, "My Favorite Move" is a co-write with Ashley Monroe, an artist whose last two albums he's produced.

“Forty years into this, it’s still as much fun as it’s ever been to play music,” notes Gill. “At the end of the day, what I get excited about is doing something I haven’t done before. When I record a song, I feel successful if I’ve accomplished something new.”

You can hear the new track "Take Me Down" below.

1. Reasons for the Tears I Cry (Vince Gill)
 2. Down to My Last Bad Habit (Vince Gill, Al Anderson)
 3. Me and My Girl (Vince Gill)
 4. Like My Daddy Did (Vince Gill)
 5. Make You Feel Real Good (Vince Gill)
 6. I Can’t Do This (Vince Gill, Catt Gravitt, Brennen Hunt)
 7. My Favorite Movie (Vince Gill and Ashley Monroe)
 8. One More Mistake I Made (Vince Gill, Adrianne Duarte)
 9. Take Me Down w/ Little Big Town (Vince Gill, Richard Marx, Jillian Jacqueline)
 10. I’ll Be Waiting for You w/ Cam (Vince Gill, Leslie Satcher)
 11. When It’s Love (Vince Gill, Richard Marx)
 12. Sad One Comin’ On (A Song for George Jones)  (Vince Gill)


Thursday, November 19, 2015

New Music From Mallary Hope- Hear It Here

Many music aficionados will remember Mallary Hope as the singer/songwriter who released "Love Lives On" back in 2010 to country radio and who had a duet on one of Darius Rucker's albums. Formerly signed to Universal Music Group (MCA Nashville), she's been busy getting married (in 2014) and recently becoming a mom for the first time.  She's also remained very active within Nashville inner-circles as a songwriter. Hope co-wrote Lauren Alaina's "Georgia Peaches" and "The Locket" among other tracks. Her Facebook bio promises a new EP is in the works as well.

But fans don't have to wait for the EP to hear some of the new music she's been working on as she's recently posted some new demo tracks to her Soundcloud account. That Nashville Sound has brought some of them here for you to listen to and enjoy.  The tracks range from some spiritual-themed music to some tracks that will remind of her early radio-friendly country hits.