Saturday, December 14, 2019

New Music Video - Gavin DeGraw and Chris Young Cover Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" (CMT Crossroads)

Hear It Here - Joe Diffie and Marc Broussard Cover Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Pride and Joy"

Joe Diffie has just released his first-ever vinyl LP in time for the holidays. Despite being one of the premier radio honkytonkers in the 1990s, releasing 13 albums and earning more than 20 songs on the Billboard Top Ten over the years, he had never released a vinyl project. Until now. Only 500 vinyls have been made and are available through his website, each numbered and signed by Diffie himself. The track listing includes 11 of his #1 hits and also includes a new cover of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride & Joy” sung with Marc Broussard. You can here a version of the cover below.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

One Flew South Releases Previously Unreleased Christmas Song, "Pipes of Peace"

11 years after the debut of their first and only album, the trio of One Flew South (Chris Roberts, Royal Reed and Eddie Bush) released a previously-unheard Christmas song that was recorded during their time on the Decca Record label called "Pipes of Peace." The song was written by Roberts and Marcus Hummon (writer on such hits as "Cowboy Take Me Away" by the Dixie Chicks, "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans, and the Rascal Flatts version of "Bless the Broken Road".) 

Said, Bush on the song, "This One Flew South Christmas song recorded during the Decca records period, as Last Of The Good Guys was being prepped for release, and it's first single "My Kind Of Beautiful" was about to go out to radio. It's based on the historic moment in the first world war, where British and German soldiers laid down their weapons in honor of the Christmas holiday that was upon them. We sang "Silent Night" in German, and if memory serves, that's Marcus Hummon singing the English lines over the "Stille Nacht" refrain."

Produced by Marcus Hummon, assisted by Dave Matthews
Engineered, Recorded and Mixed by Dave Matthews at The Sound Kitchen, Nashville, Tn.
Written by Marcus Hummon & Chris Roberts

Monday, December 9, 2019

That Nashville Sound's Best Albums Of 2019- A Year-End Best Of List

The amount of great music that has been released into 2019 has been nothing short of remarkable. We live in an incredible time. The internet, YouTube and a variety of digital platforms give independent artists a more playing field to get their music heard than ever before- and as a result, we have more options at receiving that music than at any time in our history. From all parts of the world, artists are contributing to this incredible umbrella of music we call country music. True, a few stakeholders have a clear stranglehold on what's being heard on country radio, but clearly the tide has shifted and we are seeing time and time again, the ability of cream to rise to the top and artists become wildly successful without the support of the radio dial.

Albums still matter. Patrick McGuire wrote this in ReverbNation and I've read it several times and wanted to share: "Albums still matter because they tell the unique story of who a band is at a specific moment of time that one or two singles just don’t have the ability to do. Imagine if the songs from ... The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band were released one at a time over the course of a year. Yes, the songs would still be incredible, but the meaning of these hugely important albums would be far less impactful. Whether it’s a concept album or not, good albums feature some sort of story or larger narrative whether it’s in the lyrics or instrumentation. Singles can’t tell the stories albums can." The platform of the album continues to be a tapestry that unites songs into a thematic quilt.

A handful of those 2019 country music releases stand out above all others. That's where this list comes in.

Here's a list of our favorite albums over the last few years for comparison:

2005 - Gary Allan - Tough All Over (tie)
           Lee Ann Womack - There’s More Where That Came From
2006 - Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
2007 - Alison Krauss & Robert Plant - Raising Sand
2008 - Lee Ann Womack - Call Me Crazy
2009 - Eric Church - Carolina
2010 - Zac Brown Band - You Get What You Give
2011 - Pistol Annies - Hell on Heels
2012 - Marty Stuart - Nashville Volume 1- Tear The Woodpile Down
2013 - Brandy Clark - 12 Stories
2014 - Don Williams - Reflections
2015 - Chris Stapleton - Traveler
2016 - Ryan Beaver - RX
2017 - Jason Eady - Jason Eady
2018 - Ashley McBryde - Girl Goin' Nowhere

These are the albums that struck an emotional chord and moved this listener to fall in love with their projects over and over again.

1. Erin EnderlinFaulkner County – Timeless. In a single word, that’s how you can describe Enderlin’s new album. It could literally be picked up and dropped into the 60’s with the best of Wynette, the 70’s with Emmylou, Loveless in the 80’s or Womack in her best 90’s (and everything since) music. There’s nary a throwaway line on the whole project. Pain, loss, substance and storylines interweave seamlessly like classic mini movies at the small-town cinema. Producers “Moose” Brown, Jamey Johnson and Alex Kline let the production perfectly compliment the depth of the lyrics. The steel guitar aches like the hearts on those achy love-lost numbers. No song embodies the project more (or rips your heart out) like “Broken,” a story of giving up a child to break the cycle of self-destructive family history. “A broken limb from a crooked family tree. When you have got that kinda history, it’s hard to break free. When’s broken’s all you know, it’s all you know how to be.” It’s poetic virtuosity. Timeless.

2. Austin JenckesIf You Grew Up Like I Did - The album features a seamless blend of blues, folk, and country, combined with his unmistakably soulful vocals from this The Voice participant from season #5. Jenckes’ gift is in conveying vulnerability and isolation in a way not often seen in country music during the recent bro-country era like on tracks “Fat Kid” (a co-write with Lori McKenna) and “If You’d Been Around,” a deeply personal ballad about the father he lost to suicide when he was 16. “I’ve been searching for a long time trying to figure out what I wanted to say with music — I want to connect with people on a deeper level. I don’t want to do it just for the sake of moving my career forward. To me, music is healing and it’s meant for more than just that.” Jenckes vocals are commanding and comforting at the same time, but it’s his rich depth of songwriting that make this project so spectacular.

3. Jon PardiHeartache Medication – This project is everything that a mainstream major label artist record should be. This is traditional country music at its finest modern moment. Right out of the gate, he makes a statement. Pardi’s “Old Hat” asks what’s wrong about keeping those old-school music traditions alive and asks “when did old-fashioned become so out of fashion?” With a big country sound with plenty of fiddle, it feels like Pardi is making a statement. Pardi is operating in his own lane, but one that’s been paved by all the neo-traditionalists that have come before. He’s developing a sound that pays homage to his heroes and influences, but also works in the modern charts. Pardi may have launched his career in 2014 in the middle of the bro-country movement, but this doubling down of his honkytonk style has Pardi producing one of the most entertaining albums of the year.

4. Jack IngramRidin’ High Again – If you’ve ever heard Jack play live, you’ll know that the conversation in-between the songs are sometimes as important, more revealing and entertaining as the songs between the stories. As Jack grows in his role as elder-statesmen of the Texas Music Scene (do he and Ray Benson inherit that role from Guy Clark and Willie Nelson?), he leans on this skill heavily on his latest album. The songs have a lived-in backstage feel to them – almost like you’re in the studio watching demos being cut. But what binds consistently from song to song is a firm handle of songs rooted in stories about real people. One of those, “Sailor and the Sea,” is an absolute devastating dedication to his hero, the previously mentioned Clark. The title itself is a tip of the hat to Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1975 record Ridin’ High, which followed up his well-known Viva Terlingua! classic. The rest of the record has Ingram reconnecting with his Texas roots, including covering Clark’s “Desperados Waiting For A Train,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Jesus Was a Capricorn,” Willie Nelson’s “Gotta Get Drunk,” Rusty Wier’s “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance,” and Hayes Carll’s “Down The Road Tonight.”
5. Mike & The MoonpiesCheap Silver and Solid Country Gold – This album was probably the most ambitious and greatest undertaking of all of the albums on this list. Imagine an Austin-based Red Dirt-born honkytonk band doing a strange, yet brilliant collaboration with the London Symphony. Imagine Elton John’s famed Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra album but in country music form. The depth of the strings are perfect and provide a rich sound behind the skilled songwriting across the whole project. In a world where country acts find the need to collaborate with rappers and pop artists to stretch their boundaries, a country act bringing a modern version of The Nashville Sound is a welcome respite.

6. Tyler ChildersCountry Squire - Tyler Childers is the Michelangelo of Appalachia right now, producing music with beautiful poetic lyrics, incredible instrumentation, and a cast of backing musicians that will make you appreciate his work no matter where you’re from. With songs rooted in his hometown, they center on life as a blue-collar son and the everyday man, giving them a substantive feel with a heavy influence on their authenticity.

7. The HighwomenThe Highwomen – Do you hear that? That’s the revolution headed up by Brandi Carlile against the system. Being a politically-active gay female in this crazy conservative male-dominated (both executives and on radio) music industry might normally be hurdles for success. But tell that to her GRAMMY, CMT and Billboard awards that she’s pulled home as a solo performer. With a big assist from Shooter Jennings, she’s relaunched the career of legend Tanya Tucker- with her producer role on her new album up for another GRAMMY for Record of the Year. And if that’s not enough, she co-founded the country music supergroup The Highwomen with Amanda Shires and Maren Morris, later adding Natalie Hemby to complete the line-up. The record is a whole lot of things. As widely discussed across music media, the entire project came together in a search for female representation in country music. That and the line-up make it noteworthy. But there’s a lot more to this album than that statement. What makes it special is the fantastic songwriting, magnificent harmonies, and powerful performances that take every preconceived notion we had for The Highwomen and exceeds expectations at every turn.

8. MidlandLet It Roll – In this age where the amount of music being released is greater than in anytime in our history, it’s harder than ever to develop a unique sound. Midland has done just that, however. This throwback-leaning outfit runs through all the classic country topics including, but not limited to, cheating, drinking, road-dogging and leaving. But there’s such cleverness to how they run through these themes, they make everything old in country seem new again.

9. Del BarberEasy Keeper – Leaning on folk/singer-songwriter stylings as much as country, Barber has a poet’s heart. Imagine a countrier James Taylor and that’s your analogy for this album. The understated productions gives breathing room for the depth of the verse. Throwaway lines are deeper than the wishing well on the song “Leads You Home.” “The bucket couldn’t go deep enough to get the wish that fell.” The project is truly special collection of stories, full of characters with small-town flaws and generally-overseen virtues.

10. Luke Combs
What You See Is What You Get – Let’s face facts. In 2019, it seems like only the young pretty people get a seat at the table. That’s one of the clear reasons why you know talent has risen its way to the top and made Luke Combs country music’s most improbable superstar. There’s something more authentic and relatable when the artist that’s singing to you looks like us average Joes. With his big booming country voice, Combs knows that his 90’s inspired country honky-tonk rabble-rouser country music is his wheelhouse and he does it really really well. From the complete ear-candy “Beer Never Broke My Heart” to the closing piano-driven “Better Together,” it’s terrific. Song topics never vary from tried and true themes of love, having a good time and good old-fashioned sentimentalism- and that’s perfectly okay. He’s one of us.

11. Josh Grider and Drew KennedyLive at Main Street Crossing – Quietly and with a growing former regional Texas reach, Grider and Kennedy (best friends and singer/songwriters that call themselves the Topo Chico Cowboys when playing together) have written some of the smartest and richest music coming out of the Lone Star State over the last decade or so. Here on Main Street Crossing, they play some of their favorite hits and favorite deep cuts while backing one-another. Kennedy has a wicked sense of humor and some of the stories in between the songs are laugh-out-loud funny- so much so, I found myself looking forward to the commentary almost as much as the songs in-between the stories. And that’s what makes the project truly special. Each artist has a gift of storytelling that comes through their songs easily and unforced, bringing the listener along like they were a passenger with them on those long lonesome highways of Texas.

12. Flatland CavalryHomeland Insecurity – This five-piece band out of Texas released their sophomore album this year and it shines brightly, making it the epitome of the Red Dirt scene. Their songs pour out harsh realities of broken relationships, lessons that learned along the way and ask some questions that are frankly still looking for answers.

13. Vince GillOkie – As Vince Gill has entered this latest phase of his career, he has chosen a path to make music that lights his fire. Whether it be his Western swing band he plays in weekly, or this, a highly personal collective of songs that reveal the man, they’re rich in message and heartfelt in delivery.

14. Cody JinksAfter the Fire/The Wanting – Former rocker-turned-songsmith Cody Jinks released two full albums in back to back weeks and each of them highlight his phenomenal strength as a songwriter. Each record has a somewhat loose lyrical theme with After The Fire focusing on the aftermath of events and The Wanting focusing on opposites like light vs dark and good vs evil.

15. Sheryl CrowThreads – Crow was quoted before this album was released as complaining that the album isn’t valued in this modern age as much as it used to be (or should be). Then she went out an proved just why it’s as important as ever. She called in every favor from every musical friend she knows and put together the strongest collaborative music collection of the year. Guest-names like Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, Chris Stapleton, Joe Walsh, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks and more make the project rich in diversity, truly interesting and an incredible tribute to Crow’s own heroes and influences.

16. Reba McEntireStronger Than The Truth
17. Cody JohnsonAin’t Nothin’ To It
18. The Rhyolite SoundMojave Gold
19. Miranda Lambert - Wildcard
20. George StraitHonky Tonk Time Machine
21. Brooks & Dunn - Reboot
22. Randy HouserMagnolia
23. Whiskey MyersWhiskey Myers
24. Willie NelsonRide Me Back Home
25. Aaron LewisState I’m In
26. Stoney LaRue - Onward
27. Trisha Yearwood Every Girl
28. Charles Wesley GodwinSeneca
29. The Randy Rogers BandHellbent
30. Jamie FloydNew Girl

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Josh & Kristi Grider Record New Collaborative Live Album

The husband and wife team of Josh and Kristi Grider recorded a live album together on Friday night in front of a studio audience at Gruene Records in New Braunfels, TX. 

Josh said on his Facebook account, "It's been almost twenty years coming...but it's never too late! Kristi Foster Grider and I are FINALLY going to make a project together. A good portion of the project will be a live recording..."

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.

No news yet on when the album might be released, but count us here at That Nashville Sound very intrigued. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

New Music Video From Mary Chapin Carpenter - "Our Man Walter Cronkite"

Of the song, Carpenter shares, “Growing up, Walter Cronkite was in our house Monday through Friday, presenting the news as The Most Trusted Man In America, as he was known in his time. My parents raised us to believe that people in jobs like Cronkite's told the truth; they raised us to believe in a world that reaches out to those who need help, that does not turn away from those less fortunate, or homeless, or those forced to leave their country because of the threat of violence, poverty and persecution. The arms were there to hold them, the eyes to see them, and the hearts of the world were there to love them. Because that was the right thing. It’s a different time now. I miss my parents, and I miss Walter Cronkite.”

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Write You A Song Podcast: Shane McAnally - Authentic and Real

We share another new podcast from host Tom Mailey from Bonneville radio station New Country 105.1 KNCI in Sacramento. Tom is a country radio veteran with over 30 years of experience in Seattle and Sacramento and a key partner in our Golf & Guitars Children's Charity Music Festival, a little event in our twelfth year that has raised well north of a million bucks for kids and individuals with disabilities. It highlights the songwriters in our industry and is entitled Write You a Song. It's his hope that this podcast will shine a little overdue spotlight on the talented men and women who, mostly behind the scenes, write the songs that become part of our lives. You know their words and music, but maybe not their names: Write You a Song will feature some of country music’s biggest songwriters--like Jeffrey Steele, Brett Warren, Ashley McBryde, Tim Nichols and more.

If country music's songwriting community has one common denominator, it could very likely be Shane McAnally. With over 40 #1 songs since breaking through in 2010 with Kenny Chesney's "Somewhere With You" (which he co-wrote with JT Harding), McAnally has emerged as gifted a writer and producer as Nashville has ever seen. Seemingly without effort, he navigates between pushing the style of contemporary country music (Sam Hunt), while still giving plenty of attention to country's traditional roots (Midland). He's also comfortable working with artists who aren't so easily labeled (Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark). And he is undeniably country music's most high-profile songwriter: as a coach on NBC's breakout songwriting TV show Songland, McAnally has demonstrated for the rest of America not only his talent for turning a phrase, but his innate ability to work with others to bring out their best.

And while he makes his success look easy, it isn't, nor has it been, and that makes his accomplishments all that more impressive.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Loretta Lynn To Release Book On Friendship With Patsy Cline In 2020

Book: Me & Patsy Kickin' Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline
Author: Loretta Lynn and Patsy Lynn Russell
Publisher: Grand Central
Release date: April 7, 2020

Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter icon in every sense of the word.  Her groundbreaking career spans almost 60 years, with such famous hits as "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" and "Coal Miner's Daughter," as well as a biographical film and book of the same name. With more than 45 million albums sold worldwide, multiple gold albums, and numerous awards and accolades, Loretta is the most awarded female country recording artist and the only female ACM Artist of the Decade. She's known not only for her still-incredible voice, but also for her down-to-earth quality, quick wit, and humor. Patsy Lynn Russell, Loretta's daughter, is a singer-songwriter and music producer in her own right who has made it her mission to keep her mom's story and legacy alive for future generations of empowered women. Together, they've come together to write a story about Loretta's close relationship to another country music icon, the incomparable Patsy Cline. This new memoir shares the never-before-told story of the remarkable relationship between the legendary country queens Cline and Lynn.
"Full of laughter and tears, this eye-opening, heartwarming memoir paints a picture of two stubborn, spirited country gals who’d be damned if they’d let men or convention tell them how to be. Set in the heady streets of the 1960s South, this nostalgia ride shows how Nashville blossomed into the city of music it is today. Tender and fierce, Loretta & Patsy is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that defined a generation and changed country music indelibly–and a meditation on love, loss and legacy."
The dear friends had known each other for only 18 months when Patsy was tragically killed in a plane crash at 30 in 1963. But they packed a lot of memories into that short period of time. “Patsy showed my mom, who was 28, how to shave her legs,” Loretta’s daughter reveals. “My mom still has the razor Patsy gave her — it’s in her [Coal Miner’s Daughter] museum at her ranch in Hurricane Mills [in Tennessee].”

Eerily, it was a car crash that first brought the women together. Patsy was in the hospital recuperating from injuries she’d suffered in an auto wreck when she heard Loretta sing “I Fall to Pieces” on a live radio show broadcast from Ernest Tubb’s Record Shop in Nashville. The lesser-known Loretta dedicated Patsy’s hit song to her along with get-well wishes.

“Patsy’s husband, Charlie Dick, drove down to the record shop that night and told my mom that Patsy wanted her to visit Madison Hospital,” says Patsy Lynn. “My mom said she was nervous because she thought Patsy may not have liked her singing the song. But of course she did, and from the start, they became the best of friends.”