Monday, January 15, 2018

Ashley McBryde's Girl Goin' Nowhere Set For March 30 Release

Artist: Ashley McBryde
Album: Girl Goin' Nowhere
Label: Warner Nashville
Release date: March 30, 2018

Lauded by the New York Times for her “clean, powerful and slightly creamy voice,” Ashley McBryde has been dubbed as an “Arkansas red-clay badass, with the swagger of Hank Jr. and the songwriting of Miranda Lambert” by Rolling Stone. McBryde caught the attention of some of Nashville’s most raucous entertainers, landing her on dates opening for Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, and Miranda Lambert. The Washington Post raved, " McBryde's blue-collar storytelling and straightforward singing set her apart," including a set during her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage, notably sharing "Girl Goin' Nowhere," the title title track from her forthcoming Jay Joyce-produced LP for Warner Nashville slated for release on March 30. McBryde's debut single, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,” is rising on the charts on country radio now.

1. Girl Goin' Nowhere
2. Radioland
3. American Scandal
4. Southern Babylon
5. The Jacket
6. Livin' Next to Leroy
7. A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
8. Andy (I Can't Live Without You)
9. El Dorado
10. Tired of Being Happy
11. Home Sweet Highway

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Country Radio Loses Two Iconic Voices - Hairl Hensley & Tom Perryman Pass Away

K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

The new year has proved very painful for the Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame, losing two members in the past two weeks.

Hairl Hensley: the "dean of Grand Ole Opry announcers" died on December 31. He was an Opry announcer for 35 years, second in tenure only to the great Grant Turner. In addition to his work on the Opry, he also was a beloved DJ on WSM, broadcasting both country and bluegrass shows. For years he hosted a 15-minute morning program called "The Early Bird Gets the Bluegrass" at 5 AM, as well as a Monday night bluegrass/interview show.

Hensley had a marvelous sense of humor. I remember hearing him play Tom T. Hall's "Ravishing Ruby" one night; and, when the trumpet part came in during the chorus of the song, Hairl slipped in a trumpet playing the "charge!" call over it. But that wasn't his best gag, and I would be remiss if I didn't tell my favorite Hairl Hensley story.

Massey-Ferguson Tractors sponsored a portion of the Opry at one time. Hensley took the script book and did a little "alteration" of the script for the Massey-Ferguson ad: he crossed out "Massey-Ferguson" and wrote, in its place, "M.F." If you think that sounds funny, you should have heard Eddie Stubbs read it that way one night: "These M.F. tractors are the best you can buy."

Aside from the jokes, he was a great DJ with a vast knowledge of country and bluegrass, and he genuinely loved the music he played.

Hairl Hensley was 81.

Tom Perryman: from humble beginnings in eastern Texas, Tom Perryman moved up to become one of the most important DJs in the 40s and 50s. He had a keen ear for good music and went out of his way to help up-and-coming acts of the day, such as Jim Reeves and Ray Price, get their music played on radio.

Perryman died January 11th after years of failing health.

In addition to his eagerness to turn a song he believed in into a hit, Perryman was also a good businessman. After Jim Reeves found success he and Perryman became business partners, buying radio stations in eastern Texas (including the one where Reeves got his start, KGRI in Henderson, Texas).

In the foreword to Perryman's biography, Keepin' It Country, Ray Price explained his long friendship with Perryman and how the DJ worked tirelessly to get country stars' songs the exposure they deserved. Price summarized Perryman's commitment simply: "He helped everybody."

Tom Perryman was 90.

Farewell to these two giants of country music broadcasting.

New Music Video From Caitlyn Smith - "This Town Is Killing Me"

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Eric Church Collaborator & Bandmate Jeff Hyde To Release Own Album, Norman Rockwell World

Artist: Jeff Hyde
Album: Norman Rockwell World
Label: Jeff Hyde Records
Release date: February 23, 2018

Already a Grammy-nominated songwriter and longtime member of Eric Church's touring band, Jeff Hyde makes his solo debut with Norman Rockwell World. Produced by fellow songwriter Ryan Tyndell, the 10-track album arrives February 23.
Over the past dozen years, Hyde has written many country hits for other artists, including Eric Church's chart-topping singles "Springsteen," "Record Year" and“Round Here Buzz.” A long line of artists including Alan Jackson, George Strait, Bobby Bare, Luke Bryan, Charlie Worsham, Nikki Lane and Becky Buller have also put their own stamp on his songs, but still much of his material remains unused. It’s a natural result of Hyde being one of Nashville's busiest songwriters, in an industry where more songs are written than are ever heard.
Norman Rockwell World rounds up 10 of those untouched compositions, including songs written alongside fellow hitmakers Michael Heeney, Clint Daniels, and Casey Beathard.
"When you write for a publishing company for years, you eventually wind up with songs you're proud of that are just sitting on a shelf," says Hyde, who landed his first publishing deal in 2005. "That was part of the reason for doing this record. We wanted to take some of those best songs and give them a life."
A native of Marshall, Texas, Hyde moved to Nashville in 2001. He was raised on the sounds of artists such as Keith Whitley, Tom T. Hall, and The Statler Brothers — chart-topping country singers who wrote many of their own hits. "You could turn their records around and look at the back to see who wrote the songs," he remembers, "and the singers were also the writers. I always knew songwriting was the core thing I wanted to do in the music business. I wanted to start with that foundation, anything further would be a bonus.”
Per the press release:
Norman Rockwell World roots itself in Hyde's songwriting chops, and also introduces him as a talented vocalist who delivers a song with the same finesse he uses to spin a lyric. He sings each song in a welcomingly strong voice, one that may be familiar to Eric Church's fans who have seen Hyde play acoustic instruments and sing harmonies in Church's band for more than a decade. He beefs up his sound with everything from banjo riffs to mandolin solos. The music itself nods to his longtime influences — including 1980s trailblazers like Don Williams, Whitley, and Vern Gosdin — without losing its modern appeal.
With his solo debut, Hyde plants one foot in the classic twang of his favorite writers, then points the other toward more progressive sounds. This is the sound of a country veteran getting his overdue share of the spotlight, stepping up to the mic for a batch of songs that are as warm and slyly nostalgic as Norman Rockwell's artwork itself.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Live Performance Video From Brett Young and Carly Pearce - "Whiskey Lullaby"

We don't often show fan-shot videos, but this duet with up-and-comers Brett Young and Carly Pearce is good enough to be an exception to the rule. Here they are at Nashville's Marathon Music Works covering the Brad Paisley/Alison Krauss iconic hit, "Whiskey Lullaby." 


Friday, January 5, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Music Video From Anderson East - "Girlfriend"

The official music video for Anderson East’s new song, “Girlfriend,” is premiering today. Written by East, Dave Cobb, Aaron Raitiere and Avicii, “Girlfriend” is from East’s new album, Encore, which will be released next Friday, January 12 on Low Country Sound/Elektra Records.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hear It Here: Brothers Osborne New Single, "Shoot Me Straight"

Here's the first single release from Brothers Osborne since repeating as Vocal Duo of the Year by the Country Music Association.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Day The Music Died: To Those Country Music Lost in 2017

Glen Campbell
K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

Here are the people from the world of country and bluegrass who sang their final song in 2017.

Tommy Allsup (January 11, complications from hernia surgery, age 85): album producer, western swing performer, and session guitarist who lost his seat on the ill-fated Buddy Holly plane in February 1959.

Chuck Berry (March 17, heart attack, age 90): rock and roll's daddy had a major impact on country music as well, with enough Chuck Berry-penned tunes becoming country hits to warrant his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Billy Joe Burnette (December 29, 2016, heart attack, age 76): rockabilly singer-songwriter who wrote the Red Sovine cross-over tear-jerker "Teddy Bear."

Dr. Benjamin H. Caldwell Jr. (May 8, long illness, age 82): a Nashville physician who did country music a gigantic favor in the 1970s by spearheading a movement to save the Ryman Auditorium from demolition.

Glen Campbell (August 8, Alzheimer's disease, age 81): session guitarist and one-time Beach Boy who became a massive success in country and pop, earning his way into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His poignant farewell albums and public battle with Alzheimer's put a familiar face on the dreaded disease.

Steve Chapman (July 29, unknown cause, age 74): guitarist who worked with Ernest Tubb, Bill Anderson, and Mandy Barnett.

Dave Evans (June 26, long illness, age 66): bluegrass performer who worked with Larry Sparks and had his own band, Dave Evans & the River Bend.

Bob Forshee (May 11, unknown cause, age 80): country music songwriter who penned Darrell McCall's early hit "A Stranger Was Here" as well as songs recorded by Jimmy C. Newman, Jan Howard, and others.

Troy Gentry (September 8, helicopter crash, age 50): half of the 90s/00s superstar duo Montgomery Gentry.

Wendell Goodman (May 21, unknown cause, age 81): husband and manager of rockabilly and country legend Wanda Jackson.

Hairl Hensley (December 31, illness, unknown age): Country Music DJ Hall of Fame member who was the voice of the Grand Ole Opry and early-morning bluegrass music on WSM for decades.

Alan Jabbour (January 13, cancer, age 74): old-time fiddler who was the founding director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Blake Johnson (June 4, heart attack, age 33): bluegrass musician who worked with Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, James King, and others.

Michael Johnson (July 25, long illness, age 72): singer and songwriter who had country ("Give Me Wings," "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder") and pop ("This Night Won't Last Forever," "Bluer Than Blue") hits.

Danny Lee Jones (February 3, cancer, age 77): bluegrass musician who was a member of Bluegrass Alliance and the Bluegrass Generation, and worked with the Goins Brothers and Bill Monroe.

Rhubarb Jones (April 2, heart attack, age 65): Country Music DJ Hall of Fame member who also announced for the WWF.

Pete Kuykendall (August 24, long illness, age 79): bluegrass songwriter (under the pseudonym "Pete Roberts"), performer (as part of the Country Gentlemen), and promoter. His love of bluegrass led to the founding of the premiere magazine for the genre, Bluegrass Unlimited.

Sam Lovullo (January 3, natural causes, age 88): the producer of the long-running country comedy variety series Hee Haw.

Geoff Mack (July 21, natural causes, age 94): Australian country singer/songwriter whose best-known song was "Americanized" into the huge Hank Snow hit "I've Been Everywhere."

Don Markham (February 24, long illness, age 85): "Here comes Don!" was Merle Haggard's typical introduction to the saxophonist who played with Haggard's band the Strangers after leaving Johnny Paycheck's band.

Grover "G.C." McCoury (February 27, stroke, age 87): the older brother of Del McCoury had his own regional bluegrass act, the McCoury Family.

Billy Mize (November 1, long illness, age 88): Bakersfield Sound singer and songwriter, best-known for writing the Charlie Walker hit "Who Will Buy the Wine."

Leon Rhodes (December 10, illness, age 85): one of the great guitarists in country music who made a huge mark on the sound of Ernest Tubb (remember Tubb's call of "and Leon!" in "Waltz Across Texas").

Kayton Roberts (July 13, stroke, age 83): Steel Guitar Hall of Fame member who played for years with Hank Snow.

Curly Seckler (December 27, natural causes, age 98): Bluegrass Hall of Fame member who was part of Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners, Flatt & Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys and member of Flatt's "Nashville Grass."

Mark Selby (September 18, cancer, age 56): session musician (Kenny Rogers, Wynonna), singer, and songwriter (including the Grammy-winning "There's Your Trouble" by the Dixie Chicks).

Ben Speers (April 7, Alzheimer's disease, age 86): member of the legendary southern gospel group the Speers Family.

Billy Stewart (March 24, illness, age 85): the brother of Redd Stewart who served as fiddler for Little Jimmy Dickens, Lonzo & Oscar, and others on the Opry in the 1950s.

Tammy Sullivan (April 21, cancer, age 52): part of the bluegrass gospel band the Sullivan Family.

Mel Tillis (November 19, respiratory failure, age 85): Hall of Fame singer and songwriter with a career that spanned six decades.

Greg Trooper (January 15, pancreatic cancer, age 61): Americana singer/songwriter who had his songs covered by acts such as Steve Earle and Vince Gill.

Jo Walker-Meador (August 16, stroke, age 93): the longest-serving executive director of the Country Music Foundation, she was responsible for the expansion of the CMA, the Hall of Fame, and country music as an industry.

Don Warden (March 11, natural causes, age 87): Steel Guitar Hall of Fame member who played in Porter Wagoner's band and became Dolly Parton's manager beginning in 1967.

Don Williams (September 8, short illness, age 78): Country Music Hall of Fame singer and songwriter known as "the Gentle Giant" for his quiet baritone voice that delivered over 40 years' worth of love songs to the world.

Norro Wilson (June 8, illness, age 79): Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member who wrote songs ranging from "The Grand Tour" to "A Very Special Love Song."

Bob Wootton (April 9, unknown cause, age 75): longtime guitarist for Johnny Cash's "Tennessee Three" who joined the band after Luther Perkins' death.

Gil Wright (April 30, unknown cause, age 87): member of the legendary background vocal group the Anita Kerr Singers.

Joe Wright (January 3, unknown cause, age 79): the original lead guitarist for Marty Robbins' backing band, the Teardrops.

Farewell, and thank you for the music.

And finally, sadly:

Hannah Ahlers, 34, Beaumont, CA
Heather Alvarado, 35, Enoch, UT
Dorene Anderson, 49, Anchorage, AK
Carrie Barnette, 34, Garden Grove, CA
Jack Beaton, 54, Bakersfield, CA
Steve Berger, 44, Milwaukee, WI
Candice Bowers, 40, Garden Grove, CA
Denise Burditus, 50, Martinsburg, WV
Sandy Casey, 35, Redondo Beach, CA
Andrea Castilla, 28, Huntington Beach, CA
Denise Cohen, 58, Carpinteria, CA
Austin Davis, 29, Riverside, CA
Thomas Day Jr., 54, Corona, CA
Christiana Duarte, 22, Torrance, CA
Stacee Etcheber, 50, Novato, CA
Brian Fraser, 39, Walnut, CA
Dana Gardner, 52, Grand Terrace, CA
Keri Galvan, 51, Thousand Oaks, CA
Angie Gomez, 20, Riverside, CA
Charleston Hartfield, 34, Las Vegas, NV
Christopher Hazencomb, 44, Camarillo, CA
Jennifer Irvine, 42, San Diego, CA
Nicol Kimura, 38, Placentia, CA
Jessica Klymchuk, 34, Valleyview, Alberta
Carly Kreibaum, 33, Sutherland, IA
Rhonda LeRocque, 42, Tewksbury, MA
Victor Link, 55, San Clemente, CA
Jordan McIldoon, 23, Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Kelsey Meadows, 28, Taft, CA
Calla Medig, 28, Jasper, Alberta
Sonny Melton, 29, Paris, TN
Pati Mestas, 67, Menifee, CA
Austin Meyer, 24, Reno, NV
Adrian Murfitt, 35, Anchorage, AK
Rachel Parker, 33, Manhattan Beach, CA
Jennifer Parks, 36, Lancaster, CA
Carrie Parsons, 31, Seattle, WA
Lisa Patterson, 46, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
John Phippen, 57, Valencia, CA
Melissa Ramirez, 26, Bakersfield, CA
Jordyn Rivera, 21, San Bernardino, CA
Quintin Robbins, 20, Henderson, NV
Cameron Robinson, 28, St. George, UT
Rocio Guillen Rocha, 40, Eastvale, CA
Lisa Romero-Muniz, 48, Gallup, NM
Christopher Roybal, 28, Denver, CO
Brett Schwanbeck, 61, Bullhead City, AZ
Bailey Schweitzer, 20, Bakersfield, CA
Laura Shipp, 50, Thousand Oaks, CA
Erick Silva, 21, Las Vegas, NV
Susan Smith, 53, Simi Valley, CA
Tara Roe Smith, 34, Okotoks, Alberta
Brennan Stewart, 30, Las Vegas, NV
Derrick "Bo" Taylor, 56, Oxnard, CA
Neysa Tonks, 46, Las Vegas, NV
Michelle Vo, 32, Los Angeles, CA
Kurt Von Tillow, 55, Cameron Park, CA
Bill Wolfe, Jr., 42, Shippensburg, PA

These fifty eight individuals were killed when a gunman opened fire on 22,000 fans at an outdoor country music concert headlined by Jason Aldean on October 1 in Las Vegas. Additionally, 546 other concertgoers were injured.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Interview Flashback- Harper Simon Casts His Own Shadow On Debut Album

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 April 2010 on The 9513.

It’s not often you can take lyrics direct from a song and get a snapshot of the man. But for Harper Simon, the lyrics from “Tennessee” come close to doing just that. Simon's father, the famous Paul Simon, wrote the lyrics to this song, which Harper refers to as a "mock-autobiographical" country tune you can listen to HERE.
And then I rambled around/ Drove my car from Slumberville to Lonesome Town
Joined a band, but it didn't go/ So I booked some time on Nashville's Music Row
Hush now/ Everybody get low down/ I didn't want no electric guitars in the background
I'm trying to concentrate on how you find serenity
When you're born in New York City/ But your Mom's from Tennessee
And I got issues/ Hell, I got pain
There's a lot I can't remember/ Even more I can't explain
No it don't make much sense to me
Still I'm proud my Mama comes from Tennessee
Simon released his self-titled debut album in October of 2009 and distributed on Vagrant Records. He produced the album himself and put together an all-star Music City band including harmonica player Charlie McCoy, pedal steel player Lloyd Green, drummer Gene Chrisman (Dusty in Memphis), bassist Mike Leech (Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds), pianist Hargus Robbins, (Patsy Cline's Walkin' After Midnight), and even fellow famous son, Sean Lennon.

Fair or not, the comparisons between Harper and his father, Paul, are evident as soon as the album begins. The vocal stylings are strikingly similar and the production has a classic 70’s feel to it. The album is part rock and roll, part folk, part country and obviously influenced by the humor and lyrical style of Simon and Garfunkel- albeit Simon and Garfunkel with a steel guitar.
The 9513 had a chance to sit down with Harper and talk to him about his new album and his Nashville influences.

Ken Morton, Jr.- Thank you, Harper for taking some time out of your busy schedule to spend a few minutes with us at The 9513.

Harper Simon- No problem, I’m happy to do it.

KMJ- You have a brand new album that came out late this last year. From the artist’s perspective, how would you describe it?

HS- I would just describe it as an album- closest to rock and roll- filled with songs and guitar players with lyrics that are honest.

KMJ- The album struck me as an interesting cross of genres- and perhaps even locales in New York and Tennessee- as you sing in the song “Tennessee.” It’s a fresh take between country and rock and roll. That seems somewhat of a unique sound out in today’s marketplace- do you feel that way?

HS- I hoped it would be- it is my own sound. I hoped it would be an interesting sound out there. I hoped it would be fresh to use veteran Nashville musicians and there was a lot of classic music I was listening to. It’s interesting when you combine them up with other players from pieces of my other career. Some of those are from New York, some from Los Angeles and some from more of the alternative rock and roll scene. It was material that wasn’t as typically formulaic and we had a lot of fun interpreting it. That was my concept.

KMJ- Obviously the rock and roll side can be traced through influence through your dad. Has it been your time in Nashville that has been the country influence- that other side of the coin? 

HS- Like perhaps my mother? 

KMJ- That could be it too. You tell me. 

HS- Actually, none of it comes particularly influenced from either my mother or my father. Like on the steel playing, I knew Lloyd Green primarily from his work on the Byrds albums. The Byrds were a rock band that came to make psychedelic country music. Now there’s a clear tradition of counter-cultural rock and roll people using country music to say what they want to say. I come out of that tradition, I guess. I wanted an element of that in my album, anyways. Just an element of it.

KMJ- Any interview probably includes some reference of your father in it. You guys wrote a couple tracks together for this album. What was it like growing up with a father that was as entrenched in the music business as your father was?

HS- That’s almost impossible to answer. It’s hard to say what it was like to grow up like that in a sound bite for an interview. But I can tell you we had a really good time working on this record together on the record and co-writing a couple of songs together. It was a real pleasure. It’s not something I intended to happen or something I asked him to do. It just happened in a natural way.

KMJ- The artwork on the album is very unique- a minimalistic pencil drawing of an airplane. Is there some background to that? 

HS- I’m glad you asked. It’s the artwork of a famous artist from England named Tracey Emin who is a big art star there. I’ve always been a fan of her work, even from early on. She has become a friend of mine and I just thought there was something appropriate about the image of the airplane. After all, I’d been travelling for this record. And I admire her work and I was honored she wanted to contribute. 

KMJ- What kind of musical influences out there today are you finding interesting? Where are you drawing inspiration from?

HS- Me? So many people. I just came from a music festival in Mali (the Festival au Desert) and I played with a band named Tinariwen. There were so very interesting. I like a band a lot called King Khan and the Shrines. I like what they’re doing a lot. When I’m out here in L.A., I get to play with all kinds of people like David Rawlings and Gillian Welch who are both very inspiring. I love playing with David. And then there’s artists that inspire me like Arthur Lee and Love and the Rolling Stones. There’s also all kinds of country music. And bluegrass music. Even punk rock music. 

KMJ- I want to thank you for your time. Being a country music based site, The 9513 typically ends each interview with a question of what country music means to you. Because you cross lines a bit more than most, I’ll put a twist on it. What does the country music influence on rock and roll mean to you? 

HS- Country music is one of our great American art forms. The country song is perfect structure. It’s the story of America. It’s been used in so many different ways, now. It’s incredibly adaptable. It can be used in very traditional ways or it can be used in completely radical counter-cultural ways like somebody like Bob Dylan. And it still works. When Bob Johnston brought Bob Dylan down to Nashville to make Blonde On Blonde, it changed country music forever. It brought the rock and roll world to country music. I think the rock and roll world fell in love with Nashville country music after that. The greatest songwriters of the century and certainly of our culture come from country music. Hank Williams. Johnny Cash. Merle Haggard. George Jones. They’re all great American artists.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Nashville's Chris Roberts (One Flew South) Cuts Key Song For Upcoming Chris Hemsworth Film, 12 Strong

For Chris Roberts, whose The Way West album was one of That Nashville Sound’s favorite dozen albums of the year in 2015, expression through music takes many a shape- with it always ending in a deep passion for the song.  It draws on his history in Broadway’s bright lights in New York (in the production of The Civil War and last fall in the Dan Fogelberg musical Part of the Plan), blissful harmony across the country radio airwaves (as part of Decca-signed trio One Flew South), shared stages with the likes of Willie Nelson and Neil Young (at Farm Aid), and many years as his church’s music director in a congregation that reads like a who’s who of the music business (St. Augustine’s).

He's gotten cuts with artists from Julie Roberts to The Swon Brothers, ABC’s Nashville and a couple of other television shows. But Chris Roberts isn’t a stranger to contributing to major film soundtracks. His first contribution was the whimsical “Friends For Life” for Disney’s Fox and the Hound 2 film.  Last year, along with Tony Esterly and Austin Jenckes, Roberts penned the main track for the action feature film, Assassin’s Creed.  Entitled “My World,” the track accompanied the movie trailer and was featured on the album’s soundtrack. It demonstrated the versatility of one of Nashville’s unsung heroes in writing the right song for the right project.

Now, Roberts (teamed again with Esterly as well as Claire Wyndham) has written and sung the track "Right Choice" for the upcoming Chris Hemsworth film opening up January 19 titled 12 Strong: The True Story of the Horse Soldiers. 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban. Watch the trailer below and you can hear Roberts singing behind the music bed in the video.

The singer/songwriter has been in the studio working on a yet-to-be-named new EP that he plans on releasing in 2018.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Family Christmas Prayer From Our Family To Yours

Each year on Christmas, I break from the country music news and reviews and share a little piece of our personal family experience. My grandparents met back in the 1930's and had three children. They had more children who then had more children. And each Christmas, that huge family gathered together at the Christmas holiday for family time, a meal and presents. It also included a prayer. What was originally written by grandfather, and then written by my father, then handed off to be written and read by me now has my own son doing the reading duties (with us co-writing it together.) These are each of those prayers going back many decades. For those that might find it of interest, I've archived many of them going back to the 1970's on a site that I put together HERE. From our family to yours, may this little message be a reminder to treasure each moment with your loved ones and not take any moments for granted. Merry Christmas.
Dear Lord,

How can we possibly share how grateful we are to have been placed in this room with a family so rich in love.

In great families like our own, no matter individual roles or circumstances, all members help each other to succeed. In John chapter 13, verse 34, Jesus tells us, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Appreciation for Him is actively showing love and gratitude for family members. And for that, we are eternally grateful for the support we have in this room.

We’ve been shown by example that those who believe and follow the family-first model are firmly committed to helping their family succeed. In good and bad times, which all families have, we’ve faithfully remained loyal to each other. Family members look towards our familial strength for love, support, and answers to our problems. We work together to resolve emotional, economic, and spiritual challenges. Family members strengthen each other when we follow God’s teachings and the example of Jesus Christ. We treasure this time we get to spend together as a result.

Strong families provide the necessities of life such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. But more important, in strong families we learn how to both give and accept love, be effective communicators, and be responsible citizens. We learn the values of honesty, integrity, sincerity, humility, and hard work.

Lord, thank you for this blessing of bringing each of us into this family. In some cases, blood brought us together. For others, it was the bonds of marriage or friendship. Together, we are all stronger and richer than being apart… and for that we are eternally grateful.