Sunday, September 20, 2020

Earl Thomas Conley Set To Release Posthumous Album Promised Land: The Lost Album On Sept. 25

Artist: Earl Thomas Conley
Album: Promised Land: The Lost Album
Label: BFD/Audium Nashville
Release date: September 25, 2020

A collection of previously unreleased songs by the late country legend Earl Thomas Conley will soon see the light of day. On Friday, September 25, BFD / Audium Nashville will release Conley's Promised Land: The Lost Album, a compilation of a dozen tunes originally recorded by Conley in 2000 and 2001.
Erinn Scates, Conley’s youngest daughter, believes Promised Land is one of her father's most creative projects. "This collection of music was one of dad’s last endeavors of putting together an album,” she says. "Here you will find some of his most thoughtful lyrics and heartfelt mementos. Dad was a man who wore many hats. A painter, a craftsman, a sketch artist but music, most of all, was his truest passion.”
Conley, a talented songwriter, wrote/co-wrote all twelve Promised Land tracks in the early and mid ‘90s. Around that time, he recorded some of the songs as demos but the tracks were never released. At the dawn of the new millennium, Conley circled back to the tunes and cut them. 
"This album is long overdue as Earl had always wanted to release just 'one more album,'” says Carole Scates, Conley’s longtime significant other. “The sound and composition of these songs reflect the '90s, the time period which they were originally written. Earl Thomas Conley was an artist in every sense of the word. His talent knew no bounds, and he will remain in our hearts for the rest of our days.”
"To his loyal fans, thank you for loving him as much as we did,” adds Erinn Scates. "This last album is dedicated to you and the man who spent the last years of his life devoted to it.”
Promised Land was produced by the late Nelson Larkin. 
Promised Land - The Lost Album Track Listing:

1. Better Said Than Done (Earl Thomas Conley, Charlie Allen Bouton, Nelson Larkin) 
2. Love’s the Only Voice (Earl Thomas Conley, Carole Scates)
3. Workin’ My Way Down (Earl Thomas Conley, Bob Corbin, Bat McGrath)
4. How Much Heartache (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
5. My Heart's Just Her Old Stompin’ Ground (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds) 
6. That’s What a Fool Deserves (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
7. Takin’ Me Away From the Promised Land (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds) 
8. Those Clouds I’ve Been Walkin’ On (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds) 
9. I Still Love the Girl (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds) 
10. Your Love is Worth it All (Earl Thomas Conley, Nelson Larkin, Ron Reynolds)
11. Physical Attraction (Earl Thomas Conley, Wade Kirby, Randy Scruggs)
12. She Just Wants to Dance (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds) 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Josh & Kristi Grider Release New Collaborative EP, Live At Gruene Records

Artist: Josh & Kristi Grider
Album: Live at Greune Records
Label: Bootstrap Records
Release date: 9/18/2020

The husband and wife team of Josh and Kristi Grider recorded a live album together back last December in front of a studio audience at Gruene Records in New Braunfels, TX and now are releasing a collaborative EP together titled, appropriately, Live at Gruene Records.  

Says, Josh, "Last December, back when we thought 2019 was the most trying year in recent memory and we all couldn't wait for 2020 to arrive, Kristi and I had the cool opportunity to play a Living Room Sessions concert at Gruene Records here in New Braunfels.  That evening we decided to also press record and see what happened. She and I were joined by her producer, and our good friend, Nolan Burke on guitar, Sean Rodriguez on bass, and Chris Compton Drums on the tubs.  We basically set up in the main tracking room and did a recording session in front of a small gathering of fans and friends.  Kristi and I are very excited for this to be in the world.  To say it's been a long time coming is a bit of an understatement.  We can't wait for you to hear it."

Josh and Kristi Grider have been making a life, musically and otherwise, for nearly twenty years together. Each has followed their own professional path and occasionally those paths have crossed, but question comes up again and again, "when will you guys do something together?" On December 6th at Gruene Records in New Braunfels, TX Josh and Kristi finally did just that. Kristi has been featured on a number of Josh's solo recordings as duet partner and background vocalist, and hrough the years there have been a number of shows on which they've performed together—but never an official project. Kristi released her first EP earlier in 2019 landing her in the top twenty on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts and establishing herself as far more than a great singer, but a great writer as well. Charisma, honesty, and talent is one thing...but the bond and the stories that twenty years as a couple brings to their performance is what truly sets them apart.

Track listing:
Birds of a Feather
Snowin' on Raton
The Moon
Goodnight Sweet Dreams
Man on the Mountain

Here's the accompanying music video from the couple for "Birds of a Feather."

Friday, September 18, 2020

Tyler Childers Drops Surprise Old-Time Fiddle Album Called Long Violent History

Artist: Tyler Childers
Album: Long Violent History
Label: Hickman Holler Records/RCA Records
Release date: 9/17/20

In a surprise album drop (in more ways than one), Tyler Childers released an old-time fiddle album yesterday titled Long Violent History that will dedicate its proceeds to The Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund, established in 2020 by Senora May and Tyler Childers to bring awareness and financial support for philanthropic efforts in the Appalachian Region.

Childers' latest work features a collection of eight instrumental fiddle tunes — "Send In The Clowns," "Bonaparte's Retreat," "Camp Chase," "Midnight on the Water" and more. 

The album closes with a ninth song called "Long Violent History," a Childers original that finds the singer addressing civil unrest and systemic racism. 

He sings, "Now what would you get if you heard my opinion conjecturing on matters that I ain’t never dreamed/ In all my born days, this white boy from Hickman, based on the way that the world’s been to me/ It’s called me belligerent, it’s took me for ignorant but it ain’t never once made me scared just to be/ Could you imagine just constantly worrying, kicking and fighting begging to breathe?" 

Musician and album contributor Don Beamons had this to say about the new project, "For this epic recording session in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, Tyler Childers and his bandmate Jesse Wells meticulously curated a modern string band known as “The Pickin’ Crew”. This group of stellar Americana artists included myself, 5-string Kentucky banjo specialist John Haywood, mandolinist Andrew Marlin, guitarist Josh Oliver, upright bassist John R. Miller, fiddler Chloe Edmonstone and cellist Cecelia Wright. Although Tyler has been playing the fiddle for under a year, his style and technique as learned under the tutelage of Jesse Wells proves that Kentucky string band music is in his blood. The tunes presented in this album Long Violent History showcase the variety of fiddle styles that are profoundly represented in the American music lexicon."

He goes on, "The century old songs presented on this record represent a time capsule and a musical artifact. Tyler’s tintype photograph on the cover transcends the modern era and harkens back to the birth of American Popular music of the 1920’s when songsters and Tin Pan Alley songwriters created hits for Broadway. His presentation of Kentucky music and his debut as a fiddler are a reminder that roots music is still a thriving community. Listen to the music, meditate with it, flow along with the melodies, and let the rhythm seep into your mind. These songs are meant to last another hundred years, yet it is supposed to tell a new story about the struggles that lie within our generation. Tyler Childers, placing his fiddle on the wall chose to premiere only one original song where he sings: "Long Violent History," a final powerful and poignant statement. Backed by the Pickin’ Crew, the nine tracks invite us into Tyler’s world deep within the mountains of eastern Kentucky where the blue grass, the high weeds, and the kudzu grow. This environment created the perfect inspiration for the record, and it’s been an honor to add some extra magic to the sessions."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood & Thomas Rhett Among Big Winners In 55th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards

Winners have been announced for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, live from Nashville. 15-time ACM Award-winning artist Keith Urban hosted the show featuring three iconic Nashville venues including Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. For the first time in ACM Awards history, Thomas Rhett and Carrie Underwood tied for the Academy’s highest honor Entertainer of the Year Award – the first ever tie in that category. This is Rhett’s first win in the Entertainer of the Year category, and Underwood’s third win, making her the most awarded female in the ACM Entertainer of the Year category.

Old Dominion won Group of the Year Award for the third consecutive year and won their first Song of the Year Award for “One Man Band” with Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi each receiving an additional win as songwriters. This marks two overall wins as a group, with Ramsey, Rosen and Tursi leading the night with three individual wins, each.  Miranda Lambert continues her reign as most-awarded artist in ACM Awards history with 35 wins, after taking home this year’s trophy in Music Event of the Year category for “Fooled Around And Fell In Love.” Dan + Shay won Duo of the Year marking their second win in a row in the category.

The evening continued with more first-time wins including Luke Combs earning his first Male Artist of the Year Award and his first-ever win for Album of the Year for What You See Is What You Get. Maren Morris won her first Female Artist of the Year Award and her first Music Event of the Year for “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” alongside Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King. Blake Shelton won Single of the Year Award for “God’s Country” making this his first-ever win in the category.

Previously announced, Riley Green won New Male Artist of the Year and Tenille Townes won New Female Artist of the Year. Townes also won her first Music Event of the Year Award and both performed on the telecast and are featured on the newly released “On The Road Again (ACM Lifting Lives® Edition)” single, Willie Nelson’s timeless hit, featuring the ACM New Artist Nominees Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Caylee Hammack, Cody Johnson, and Morgan Wallen, joined by Nelson. Produced by Ross Copperman and Jimmy Robbins. Proceeds from the single will benefit ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund to be disbursed to individuals in the Country Music community who are currently in need of pandemic relief assistance.

This year’s 55th ACM Awards featured an all-star lineup of collaborations and memorable performances featuring 24 performances, including 41 hit songs. The awards telecast kicked off with Entertainer of the Year nominees performing a medley of each of their greatest hits. Luke Bryan performed “Rain Is A Good Thing,” Eric Church performed “Drink In My Hand,” Luke Combs performed “When It Rains It Pours,” Thomas Rhett performed “It Goes Like This” and Carrie Underwood performed “Before He Cheats.”

Global superstar and two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift, returned to the ACM Awards stage for the first time in seven years with a world premiere performance of “betty” off her record-breaking new album Folklore.  55th ACM Awards host Keith Urban performed the world television premiere of his new single, “One Too Many” with international pop icon P!NK, from  Urban’s new album out Friday, Speed of Now. Mickey Guyton made her solo ACM Award performance debut with “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” featuring surprise guest Urban on piano. Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani performed their latest single “Happy Anywhere.” Eric Church opened his performance with “Ragged Old Flag” a poem read by Johnny Cash which led into his single “Stick That In Your Country Song.”

In celebration of the 95th anniversary of the Grand Ole Opry, newly crowned three-time ACM Entertainer of the Year winner, Carrie Underwood, honored trailblazing female Opry members by performing a medley of songs including Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing,” Reba McEntire’s “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia,” and Dolly Parton’s “Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That.”

Additional performances included first-time ACM Awards performer Jimmie Allen (“Make Me Want To”), Kelsea Ballerini (“hole in the bottle”), Gabby Barrett (“I Hope”), Kane Brown (“Worldwide Beautiful”), Luke Bryan (“One Margarita”), Luke Combs (“Better Together”), Dan + Shay (“I Should Probably Go To Bed”),  Florida Georgia Line (“I Love My Country”), Riley Green (“I Wish Grandpas Never Died”), Miranda Lambert (“Bluebird”) featuring Songwriters Natalie Hemby & Luke Dick, Tim McGraw (“I Called Mama”), Maren Morris (“To Hell & Back”), Old Dominion (Medley of “One Man Band,” “Written in the Sand,” “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback,” “Song For Another Time,” “Hotel Key” & “Make It Sweet”), Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi (“Beer Can’t Fix”), Tenille Townes (“Somebody’s Daughter”), and Morgan Wallen (“Whiskey Glasses”). Presenters included Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, ACM National Radio Personality of the Year Winner Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker, Runaway June and CeCe Winans. Rucker also gave a sneak peek of the National Museum of African American Music, scheduled to open this Fall in Downtown Nashville.

For the first time in the show’s history, the 55th ACM Awards took place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic Country Music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Artists who performed from the Ryman include Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Riley Green, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Thomas Rhett featuring Jon Pardi, and Tenille Townes. Performances from the Grand Ole Opry House included Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Dan + Shay, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Mickey Guyton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Morgan Wallen. Artists at The Bluebird Cafe included Jimmie Allen, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert featuring songwriters Natalie Hemby and Luke Dick, and Tim McGraw. Fans also enjoyed a virtual collaboration by Keith Urban and P!NK as well as a virtual Bluebird Cafe performance with Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani. Multi-ACM Award winning artist Trisha Yearwood delivered a special performance from the Opry House of “I’ll Carry You Home” from her critically acclaimed album Every Girl for the In Memoriam, paying tribute to those we have lost in the Country Music industry.

Following is the list of winners in the 13 categories voted on by Academy members:


Entertainer of the Year:
Thomas Rhett
Carrie Underwood

Female Artist of the year
Maren Morris

Male Artist of the year
Luke Combs

Duo of the year
Dan + Shay
Group of the Year
Old Dominion

New Female Artist of the Year
Tenille Townes

New Male Artist of the Year
Riley Green

Album of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
What You See Is What You Get – Luke Combs
Producer: Scott Moffatt
Record Label: River House Artists/Columbia Nashville

Single of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
God’s Country – Blake Shelton
Producer: Scott Hendricks
Record Label: Warner Bros. (Nashville)
Song of the Year [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
One Man Band – Old Dominion
Songwriter(s): Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi
Video of the Year [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
Remember You Young – Thomas Rhett
Director: TK McKamy
Producer: Dan Atchison

Songwriter of the Year *(Off Camera Award)
Hillary Lindsey

Music Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
Fooled Around And Fell In Love – Miranda Lambert Featuring Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack & Elle King
Producer: Jay Joyce
Record Label: Vanner Records/RCA Records Nashville

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Live at the Grand Ole Opry - Ashley McBryde - "Home Sweet Highway"

Ashley McBryde performs “Home Sweet Highway” as part of the Grand Ole Opry’s live broadcast on Saturday, September 12th, 2020. You can tune in to additional Opry Live broadcasts on WSM 650 and Circle Network Saturday nights at 8/7c pm.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

New Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Album To Be Released November 13

Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: Johnny Cash And The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Columbia/Legacy/Sony
Release date: November 13, 2020

17 years after his death, Johnny Cash's most iconic songs are being reinterpreted with his vocals by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and will be released as an album in November.

Produced by Nick Patrick and Don Reedman and recorded at the fabled Abbey Road Studio 2, Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is the latest in a series of RPO albums showcasing classic recordings by timeless artists in sublime new musical settings. Producers Reedman and Patrick consulted with John Carter Cash, who serves as Executive Producer, in making the career-spanning selection of 12 Johnny Cash master recordings centering the album.

Performances range from archetypal Cash classics like "Man In Black" and "Ring Of Fire" to essential musical collaborations including "Girl From The North Country" (Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash), "The Loving Gift" (with June Carter Cash) and "Highwayman" (with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash).

Below, you can listen to their interpretation of his iconic "Ring of Fire" and below, hear Johnny's son John Carter Cash talk about the project and how it came to be. 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

New Music Video From Steve Azar - "Coldwater" (featuring Cedric Burnside)

New Music Video From Devin Dawson - "I Got A Truck"

The long-awaited new music from Atlantic Records/Warner Music Nashville breakout Devin Dawson is finally here with his soaring new single, “I Got A Truck.” Inspired by conversations he had with country music icon Tim McGraw, the anthem for dream chasers everywhere follows his GRAMMY-nominated, multi-week No. 1 single, “God’s Country,” that he co-wrote for superstar Blake Shelton.