Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Country Music Countdown, News, & Sports Wednesday July 27,2016

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of July 23-24

1 JASON ALDEAN Lights Come On
4 KEITH URBAN Wasted Time
5 ERIC CHURCH Record Year
7 JON PARDI Head Over Boots
9 DAN & SHAY From The Ground Up
10 JAKE OWEN American Country Love Song
11 SAM HUNT Make You Miss Me
13 JUSTIN MOORE You Look Like I Need A Drink
14 DAVID NAIL Nights On Fire
15 FRANKIE BALLARD It All Started With A Beer
16 KIP MOORE Running For You
17 BRAD PAISLEY Without A Fight
18 ZAC BROWN BAND Castaway
19 BLAKE SHELTON She’s Got a Way With Words

Badger bandits, rodeo justice and the end of a beloved sidewalk

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.



Few Bureau of Land Management rangers patrol the vast Bears Ears region of Utah, so it hasn’t been hard for grave robbers to loot Native American artifacts, or for vandals to carve their names on sandstone petroglyphs. But Utah Republican Rep. Mike Noel is a staunch opponent of any federal management of public lands, and he holds humanity blameless. The real culprit, he said recently, is the small but fearless badger:  “All we can see today are badger holes,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We have to get a handle on these badgers because those little suckers are going down and digging up artifacts and sticking them in their holes.” The nonprofit Center for Western Priorities expressed no little amazement at this notion of badger prowess, observing that Rep. Noel seems to believe that badgers can “operate a rock saw to steal petroglyphs, spell and carve ‘F**k You BLM’ into rocks, and shoot firearms into petroglyphs.” You’d think that, with talent like that, one of these days an ambitious badger might even run for the state Legislature.  
“She was able to pry the cat’s jaws open,” said a deputy sheriff in western Colorado. “She’s a hero.” He was talking about the fierce mother who went head-to-head with a mountain lion –– and won. The mom, whose name has not been released, heard her 5-year-old screaming in the backyard of their home in Woody Creek, near Aspen. Running outside, she saw that the lion had her son’s head gripped in its jaws. She yanked one of its paws down and then went for its jaw, forcing it to open wide enough for her child to escape. After the lion fled, reports CBS Denver, both mother and son were treated in a hospital for cuts and bruises.

Let’s give a whoop and a holler to honor Oregon rancher Robert Borba, who pulled his horse out of its trailer, leaped into the saddle, and brought down an escaping bike thief with a lasso to the ankle. “I seen this fella trying to get up to speed on a bicycle,” Borba told the Medford Mail-Tribune. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot. I just don’t run very fast.” Borba, who uses a rope every day to make a living, said of his lasso: “If it catches cattle pretty good, it catches a bandit pretty good.” As Borba slowly dragged 22-year-old Victorino Arellano-Sanchez across the parking lot, Arellano-Sanchez must have felt like he’d landed a part in a Hollywood horse opera. Looking up from the pavement, he asked the mounted cowboy, “Do you have a badge to do this?” David Stepp, who watched the action from his car, couldn’t stop laughing: “I’ve seen it all, but I’ve never seen anything like that in my entire life.” Adventure Journal reports that the erstwhile bike-napper was charged with misdemeanor theft.

The early-summer heat wave that set records across parts of New Mexico, Arizona and California inspired residents to attempt legendary culinary achievements, such as frying eggs on the sidewalk, says The Week magazine. One woman in Phoenix was more ingenious: She turned her parked car into an oven hot enough to bake cookies. The extreme heat also brought tragedy: Three hikers and a mountain biker died when temperatures rose above 120 degrees.

Careless campers in southern Colorado have been forgetting something important: They start campfires without any trouble but neglect to put them out. Forest rangers found 30 unattended or abandoned campfires during just one weekend, which doesn’t bode well for the hot dry weeks coming up. Over the last decade, “careless human acts” of that sort have caused nearly half the costly, destructive fires that have ravaged national forests and grasslands, says the Pueblo Interagency Dispatch Center, including one started in early July near Nederland, Colorado. Putting out campfires isn’t that hard; you just need water, a shovel and a little patience. Or better yet, maybe don’t start one at all. 

There’s an intersection in the town of Hayward, in Northern California, that’s been reverently watched by geologists for almost five decades, says the Los Angeles Times. Over time, the curb at the corner of Rose and Prospect had slid dramatically askew, with the eastern half wrenched a foot north, and the other side pulled south, thanks to clashing plates belowground. The Hayward fault, which runs beneath Hayward, Berkeley, Oakland and Fremont, is a “tectonic time bomb,” according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and geologists said the town’s “faulty curb” served as a vivid indication that an earthquake was ready to blow at any time. Yet town officials had no idea that the curb was famous — geologically speaking. “We weren’t aware of it,” said Kelly McAdoo, assistant city manager. So not long ago, the town replaced the unsightly curb with a wheelchair-accessible ramp. But what can you say? It wasn’t really their fault.


Carrie Underwood’s Son’s One Splash Worth a Million

Running the Numbers on Isaiah’s Belly Flop 

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher’s 17-month-old son Isaiah has officially mastered the belly flop. There’s no denying that after watching the Instagram post of his cautious technique in their kiddie pool earlier this week.
But also noteworthy is his parents’ ability to share the tiny video of his tiny feat and together get a combined 912,500 likes.
Underwood posted it and had 831,000 likes, and Fisher did it for 81,500 likes. That adds up to almost a million. 
 And I think what that means, when you really analyze the numbers, is that Isaiah is adorable and his parents know just how to share a little bit of their family with all of their fans.


Dierks Bentley Adds Nine Fall Tour Stops

He Can’t Get Enough of the Road 

When I saw Dierks Bentley in Chicago this summer, it seemed like his fans couldn’t get enough of him. And now it appears that the feeling is mutual.
Bentley announced on Monday (July 25) that the very last shows of his Somewhere on a Beach tour will not, in fact, be the two at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre at the end of September. He is going to keep the party going by extending his tour through the Fall.
Starting on Oct. 13 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bentley, Randy Houser and Drake White & the Big Fire will hit nine more cities throughout the Midwest and the South before wrapping his year on the road.
“We’re about 30 shows in so far, and I feel like we are just getting started,” Bentley said in a press release. His big-city, headlining tour kicked off back in May.
“The songs from the new album are really connecting like nothing I’ve experienced before,” Bentley said of his latest album Black. “The band and crew are in a great groove and we’re having the time of our lives out there. I love having Randy out there with us, and I’m looking forward to picking up Drake and his guys for the rest of the fall. We’re going to make summer last as long as possible out here on the ‘Beach.’”

Tickets for the brand new shows go on sale on Tuesday (July 26).
In addition to Fort Wayne, the new tour stops include:
Tusacaloosa, Alabama
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Lexington, Kentucky
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Columbia, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Knoxville, Tennessee
Roanoke, Virginia
Green Bay, Wisconsin


For Brad Paisley’s Sons, Film Scores Come First

Huck and Jasper Not Always Country Fans 

I’m sure Brad Paisley’s sons Huck and Jasper love Brad Paisley songs. And yet, Paisley himself admits that they have a current obsession with a different kind of composer.
“I’m not sure if I’m raising them correctly or completely wrong,” Paisley admitted in a new Billboard story. “You know what they listen to more than anything? Film scores.”
Huck, 9, and Jasper, 7, apparently request movie soundtracks more than any other kind of music.
“They love like Star Wars and Indiana Jones — John Williams stuff — and The Dark Knight, Hans Zimmer,” he said. “My oldest is so obsessive about that stuff, it’s all he wants to listen to in the car.”
Paisley said that even during something as mundane as a trip to the grocery store, Huck will want to heighten the drama a little.
“What’s really funny about that is we’ll be going down the road, like driving to Whole Foods, and it sounds like it is high stakes. After, he’ll be like, ‘Put on Demi (Lovato)!’ and we’ll listen to her, but then it’s, ‘Let’s do The Flash!’”
One of the family’s friends has a boat in Marina del Rey, Paisley says, and during a recent outing, Huck asked for some music that kind of rocked the boat.
“We went out in the harbor, and (Huck) was like, ‘Can you play Jaws?’ It freaked the captain out so much that he came running. We had to turn it off.”


Chris Stapleton Brings Traveller to New York City

Underdog-Made-Good Delivers Genre-Hopping Sound to a Historic Stadium 

NEW YORK CITY — Just as the success of his 2015 debut album, Traveller, signaled an unlikely renaissance of authenticity in country, Chris Stapleton’s show at Forest Hills Stadium on Saturday (July 23) provided further proof that the 15-years-in-the-making “overnight sensation” can kiss his underdog days goodbye.
The historic, 14,000-capacity venue, the original home to the U.S. Open, has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Frank Sinatra in its time. But on the evening in question, a Kentucky boy with only one album under his own name was the center of attention for the thousands who filled the stadium.
When Stapleton took the stage after kindred spirit Brandy Clark’s sharp opening set, even before he played a single note, it was clear he was sticking to the keeping-it-real approach that had already made him a Grammy winner and platinum-seller. His stripped-down setup found him backed only by a bassist and drummer, plus his wife Morgane Stapleton providing vocal harmonies. Stapleton left the heavy lifting on both vocals and guitar for himself and didn’t let that load falter for a moment.
The Waylon Jennings beat and dusty-road vibe of Stapleton’s ACM Award-winning “Nobody to Blame” showed off the singer’s soulful, commanding pipes and his knack for trenchant, bluesy guitar leads right from the get-go. He doubled down on the Southern rock swagger in his sound with “Midnight Train to Memphis,” a blues-baked stomp that goes back to his time with bluegrass mavericks the SteelDrivers. By the end of the slow-burning, swampy “Outlaw State of Mind,” Stapleton was really ratcheting up the raw, dirty guitar tones, even flirting with some feedback to end the tune.
While tracks from Traveller made up the bulk of the set, Stapleton didn’t eschew tunes from the decade and a half he spent as a songwriter for other artists before his solo debut. “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey” was never a single for Gary Allan, but it was one of the best tunes on his 2003 album, See If I Care, and it was fascinating to hear a funkier version of the outlaw anthem from its author, appropriately dedicated to the whiskey drinkers in the crowd.
Stapleton’s link to first-generation outlaw country was further limned by the discernible dash of Willie Nelson present in the acoustic waltz-time tune “More of You,” He looked back to his songwriter-for-hire days again with the heartache-heavy ballad “Either Way,” recorded by Lee Ann Womack on her 2008 album, Call Me Crazy.
Speaking of Willie influences, after unleashing a raw-throated howl on the good-time ode to the herb “Might As Well Get Stoned,” Stapleton seemingly couldn’t help commenting, “It smells like me and somebody out there have something to talk about.” One of the only Traveller tunes not composed by Stapleton turned up next, as he leaned into the dark, minor-key, Don Sampson-penned “Was It 26,” before underlining his debt to Waylon once more with a new song, “Hard Living.”
Stapleton’s wife Morgane took the lead on a slow, R&B-based version of the 1930s Jimmie Davis song “You Are My Sunshine,” transforming it into a sultry soul ballad much the way Ray Charles did with classic country tunes on his milestone 1962 record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, though hubby’s blistering, bluesy guitar solo brought to mind Buddy Guy more than anything else.
Introducing his Top 20 hit “Traveller,” Stapleton gave the crowd a bit of its backstory, which apparently involved a drive through the desert in a ’79 Jeep Cherokee (sounds about right).
The way Stapleton dug into his Top 40 tune “Fire Away” underscored one of his greatest gifts as a vocalist (besides his barn-size voice) — he never over-sings. Though he’s capable of enormous intensity, he consistently doles it out tastefully and sparingly. “The Devil Named Music,” about an itinerant song man’s love/hate relationship with the road, led into “Tennessee Whiskey,” giving the crowd the biggest charge of the evening. Written by Dean Dillon and the late Linda Hargrove, the song had been a hit for George Jones in 1983, but Stapleton’s version brings a Van Morrison-meet-Sam Cooke soul feel to the tune, and his alternately gliding and burning vocals proved more than equal to the task.
After returning to the stage alone for an acoustic encore of the mournful, moving “Whiskey and You,” Stapleton was rejoined by the band for the smoldering blues tune that ends his album, “Sometimes I Cry,” coming on more like a reincarnated version of Chicago blues hero Otis Rush than anything out of Nashville. But for a set — and a sensibility — touching on everything from classic country and Southern rock to straight-up soul, that kind of eclecticism seemed to make plenty of sense.


An Afternoon on the Water With Jake Owen

American Love Lands July 29 

Hand Jake Owen an ukulele and he’ll be quick to bust out his go-to tune. Hugging the little instrument to his chest while standing on his Malibu M235 speedboat, he sings Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” for a few passengers onboard for a 30-minute cruise on Nashville’s Cumberland River. When it was time to whistle, the whole party joined in and sang.
“It’s amazing,” he observed, “just hearing you sing, and how a song can just be two chords and a voice, that’s all it needs.”
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is a perfect signature song for Owen. No matter what life throws at him, he remains blessed with a genuinely positive personality. In his first decade as a signed artist, he’s weathered at least two personal storms. He’s felt the pain of cancer after watching his father Steve Owen fight the disease and win in 2013. The end of his three-year marriage with Lacey Buchanan was part of the 2015 summer of country breakups (Reba McEntire and Narvel Blackstock split after 26 years of marriage; Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton called it quits after 10 years together including a marriage of four years). Then again, his marriage to Buchanan brought him his greatest joy in 2012: his daughter Pearl.
Through it all, he has come out the other side with more humility and a deeper appreciation for life.
On Music Row, he is known as being a good friend to the songwriter. His first No. 1 “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” was also a first No. 1 hit as a songwriter for Eric Paslay. Owen’s second No. 1 “Alone With You” was also a first country No. 1 for hit-maker Catt Gravitt. Owen has had additional success with songs co-written by with the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston, who is among the lyricists behind the 2014 summer anthem “Beachin’,” the lead title single from Owen’s fourth studio album and his current Top 10 hit, “American Country Love Song.”
 Owen’s personality comes with a sincere willingness to help others. According to the TC Palm, his annual hometown shows in Vero Beach, Florida last December raised more than $175,000 with proceeds going to nine local charities and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. “I try and live my life that way,” Owen says when conversation briefly turns to his staying positive. “It’s really hard to take your life as an artist and really 100 percent parallel it with your music. There’s always going to be songs like ‘Eight Second Ride,’ where the lyrics are, She said, ‘Hey boy, do you mind takin’ me home tonight?/‘Cause I ain’t never seen a country boy with tires on his truck this high.’ I wrote that when I was 18 years old at Florida State University. At the time, that’s what I was doing in college and everybody wanted to hear songs about big trucks. That’s not me now. But I still play that song because it’s such a big song. So my point is, even though you can hone in on who it is you are and what you do, sometimes it takes a long time to chip away at it to really focus on how you want your music to sound, and how you want it to be perceived. I do believe this record is the closest to that for me of anything I’ve done.”
“I feel like I’ve been lucky because I’ve had my record deal for 10 years,” he adds. “I can look at those 10 years as a really cool building process to where I’m going now. It’s like a launch pad really. I’ve learned a lot about me. I’ve learned a lot about how to make music. I’ve learned a lot about what I want to say in music and how I want the music to sound. And I’ve also learned a lot about how I want to portray my personal lifestyle along with the music, and it’s really what’s helped me bring it all together.”
We’re in good company for our interview with Owen: there are fish jumping and turtles breaking the water’s surface. With temperatures hovering around a swampy 95 degrees, being out on the water is Owen’s favorite office to test new music before releasing an album. His latest, American Love, passed the test.
It’s a genre-bending collection of 11 mostly feel good anthems with sonic allusions of Ben Harper, Steely Dan, Jimmy Buffett and JD Souther. The genesis of his new musical direction started with the title track written by Grammy-winning hit-maker Luke Laird and Johnston. Upon the first listen of the demo, Owen fell in love with the song’s Garageband horns.
“We have a three-piece horn section on the road with us now,” he says. “Not only am I loving it, but the fans are loving it. It’s something they can see that’s different. The guys playing horns in the band are loving it because it’s something new for them, too. It’s a growing process.”
He feels confident that American Love was the right opportunity to do something different by following his top country icons who have experimented with different sounds. It was Cowboy Jack Clement’s idea to add mariachi horns to the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire.” And one of Owen’s favorite tracks by Hank Williams Jr. reeks of New Orleans jazz. While motoring upstream, he scrolls through his iPhone, looking for Hank Jr.’s “Women I’ve Never Had” and blasts it on the boat’s supped up stereo system.
“I tried to parallel my album with a lot of my influences from Van Morrison to Hank Williams Jr.” he says. “Merle Haggard used horns on ‘Stay Here and Drink.’”
Morrison’s name came up a few times when the Q&A turned to what music he normally listens to on the water. “Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Moondance album,” he says. “That record came out more than 40 years ago, but there are so many songs on that record that just made me feel good.”
Next, he plays “Crazy Love.”
“It’s just a good song,” he says. “Like, ‘We had love. We had crazy love.’ It’s just that young love song, but this is 40 years old and it’s still relevant. And that’s how I approach my music. It’s not just about right now. It’s about 20 years from now or 40 years from now. Is somebody still going to be listening to my music? If they are, how do I want them to feel then? Hopefully the same as now.”
Following his reputation of being a friend of the songwriter, Owen co-wrote only one song on the collection, the contemplative “LAX.” The rolling ballad has him dipping heavily into ‘70s California country with his vocal sharing the spotlight with a pedal steel and acoustic guitar.
“There’s a lot in that song,” Owen says of “LAX.” “There’s a storyline about a girl who moves out to L.A. obviously to become something. You wish her the best, and you hope it works out. Then there’s the love side part of the song, too, where the narrator is explaining these little intimate details about her, but really using L.A. as the metaphor for her. It’s just cool.”
Yes, that’s Chris Stapleton on the very danceable “He Ain’t Gonna Love You,” which Owen says was an early favorite for the album. “I found it a couple years ago and fought for it really hard,” he says. “A couple other artists wanted it, recorded it and it didn’t make their albums. So, I ended up getting it back. When I did get it back, we rushed to record it. This was at a time before Chris went out on his radio tour for his first single ‘What Are You Listening To?’ and before even his Traveller album.
“Then you fast forward all these years later, I’m at a point at my life where I’ve got new music coming out, and he’s obviously got a whole lot going on. The timing just worked out great and they were gracious enough to allow him to lend his voice to a song he wrote as well, which is another great thing. But then also, if I put this song out as a single, I don’t ever want to come off as a person that’s trying to jump on a bandwagon or something of Chris Stapleton. I’ve always been a huge fan of him, but I’d be crazy to not talk about how lucky I am to have him on a song with me and use his awesome voice to help me sound better.”
 At the end of the day, Owen just hopes his fans feel happy listening to his new music. When asked what he wanted the songs to be for his fifth album, Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” came on. “This song,” he says. “It’s a good example. Here’s a totally different genre. But why this song works is the same reason a song like Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ worked. It just makes you feel good. If you’re the kind of person when I gave you music that feels good and you’re like, ‘I don’t like that,’ No. 1, that’s not the kind of person I want to be around. But also, I don’t feel like they’re listening to it for all the right reasons. Music is about gaining something from it.”
The No. 1 thing fans will gain from listening to American Love is that Owen nails singing about young love. “This whole record really evolves around that feeling of being young and having a girlfriend or that first love,” he says, “that feeling of butterflies that you get having a young love and that feeling of staying out a little later than you should, which comes in ‘After Midnight.’ And then, ‘American Country Love Song’ talks about that feeling of nervous new love. I think, too, the same reason we listen to songs like ‘Jack & Diane,’ or some of the Kenny Chesney songs, you can look back and remember where you were when you heard those songs and who you were with. That’s kind of the whole reasoning behind the songs for me on the album.”
Toward the end of the interview, it was mentioned that his daughter Pearl picked out the pink metallic detail emblazoned on the boat’s hull. But he’ll get another chance to pick a color for the next boat. Malibu apparently sends him a new one every summer.
“She’s good,” Owen says of his adorable three-year-old daughter. “I was kind of hesitant at first on how I wanted to disclose my life with my daughter, being a single dad and respecting her mom. It’s just a different thing. When you’re putting your kid out there like that, she has no control over it really at this age. So, I don’t ever want her to grow up and be like, ‘Gosh, I wish dad wouldn’t have put me online for the world to see when I was a kid all the time.’ But I also, I’m proud of her. I’m proud to have her. I want people to see her, but I don’t do it all the time.”
When it was time to head back to the Commodore Yacht Club, he dropped the engine into gear to show the high wake the boat makes. The afternoon with Owen made the drive back to civilization hard. But it’s nice to have an escapist’s album like American Love as a souvenir.
“That’s really what it is and I think that’s what music is,” he says. “It’s an escape. Sometimes music is also used to bring you to exactly where you need to be at that specific moment. That’s what it was for me. It was an escape at the time, too, from kind of what I was going through. But it’s also a way to to bring me back down to reality.”

 (Getty Images)

Rio drug dealers using Olympic rings to sell cocaine


Who says the Olympics aren’t boosting the Brazilian economy?
The latest news coming out of Rio suggests that the games are indeed serving as a catalyst for local business — just not in the way you might expect. And probably not in the way the Brazilian government envisioned, because it’s not legal business.
Apparently drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro are taking advantage of their country’s hosting of the games to drive sales:
 And what’s more, they’re even doing so responsibly! “USE LONGE DAS CRIANCAS” translates to “USE AWAY FROM CHILDREN.”
No word yet on whether the IOC will seek out the dealers to punish them… But not for selling cocaine of course; rather, for copyright infringement. Remember, non-partners of the IOC or national Olympic committees can’t use the word Olympics, or any Olympic-related slogan or logo, for commercial purposes.
We’re going to guess that the seller of this cocaine has not paid millions of dollars to the IOC for the exclusive rights to use those Olympic rings on their product.

Rio scrambles to fix Olympic Village after Australia boycott

 Athletes, including Brazilians, are staying in hotels rather than the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, because of problems such as blocked toilets and leaky pipes (AFP Photo/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

The official opening of the Olympic Village in Rio turned to fiasco with the discovery of blocked toilets and leaky pipes, prompting Australia to call the facility "not safe or ready."
Even Brazilian athletes who were meant to have started taking up lodgings in the brand-new complex from Sunday were being kept in hotels instead.
Britain's delegation said it, too, had encountered some "maintenance difficulties," but added it was staying in the Village as planned.
Rio's Olympic organizers said such teething problems plagued all Olympic Games. They promised that "adjustments" were being made to resolve the problems.
The Olympic Games -- the first to be held in South America -- are to open on August 5, less than two weeks away.
The lack of preparedness in the Olympic Village was another embarrassing blow for host Brazil, which is struggling to show all will be well with the Olympiad.
It is already facing low ticket sales, general public apathy amid a deep recession, fears over the Zika virus, and a spike in street crime as police complain of lack of resources.
Australia's delegation highlighted the poor state of the Village, 31-building complex located in the Barra da Tijuca district in the west of Rio de Janeiro designed to house more than 18,000 athletes and coaching staff over the coming weeks.
"Problems include blocked toilets, leaking pipes, exposed wiring, darkened stairwells where no lighting has been installed and dirty floors in need of a massive clean," the head of the Australian team, Kitty Chiller, said in a statement.
During a test involving taps and toilets being turned on in apartments on several floors, "water came down walls, there was a strong smell of gas in some apartments and there was 'shorting' in the electrical wiring."
Chiller later told reporters: "This is my fifth Olympics Games, I have never experienced a Village in this lack of state of readiness at this point in time."
She added that, "in our mind, our building is not habitable" and the Australian team would stay on in nearby hotels.
But she said a team of plumbers was already at work to fix the problems, and "I am reasonably confident that we will be able to enter the Village on Wednesday."
The rest of the village, she said, "is one of the best" she had seen.
A spokesman for the British delegation confirmed similar problems to AFP, but noted "this is not uncommon with new-build structures of this type."
Rio's mayor, Eduardo Paes, tried to laugh off the matter, according to Brazilian media reports.
"We are going to make the Australians feel at home here. I'm almost putting a kangaroo out front to jump for them," he said.
He also boasted that the Village was "more beautiful and better" than the one in Sydney in the 2000 Olympics.
New Zealand Olympic Committee chef de mission Rob Waddell said the village was not completely ready when he arrived last week but the issues had been resolved and Kiwi athletes were beginning to move into their allotted accommodation.
"We were disappointed the village wasn't as ready as it might have been when we arrived and it hasn't been easy. Our team has had to get stuck in to get the job done," he said in a statement.
- Russia to participate -
As dire as the Australian description of the Village sounded, one of the 207 delegations was relieved on Sunday to find out its athletes would be able to make it to Rio at all.
Russia, whose participation had been uncertain following revelations of state-run doping, hailed a decision by the International Olympic Committee to not impose a blanket ban on all its sportsmen and women.
The IOC ordered individual sports federations to decide whether Russian competitors should take part in the Rio Games.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko responded by telling R-Sport news agency: "I am absolutely sure that the majority of the Russian team will meet the criteria."
If all the obstacles in the Village are surmounted, the athletes will find a self-contained community planned to have all the services they need over the 17-day Olympiad.
The official lodgings are shared rooms, all fairly basic, fitted with anti-mosquito devices to prevent the spread of Zika. Hundreds of thousands of condoms were also being supplied.
There is a gigantic eating hall, a smaller restaurant, and prayer rooms for different faiths.
There is even a "mayor" to head up the athlete welcoming ceremonies: Janeth Arcain, a retired Brazilian basketballer who won a silver Olympic medal in 1996 and a bronze in 2000.
- Boosted security -
Security, naturally, will be high around the complex, and around Rio generally.
The arrest Thursday of 10 Brazilians suspected of planning attacks during the Olympics revived memories of the Munich Games in 1972 when an armed Palestinian group took Israeli athletes hostage and killed 11 of them.
Brazilian Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes said the suspects were "absolutely amateur," "disorganised" and had no specific targets.
But recent attacks, such as the one on July 14 in Nice, France that killed 84 people, have prompted officials to bolster their security plans, notably by reinforcing checks and screenings.
From Sunday, some 50,000 police and soldiers are being deployed in Rio to protect sports venues, tourist spots and key transport areas.

  • What: Sprint Cup circuit
  • Where: Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, PA
  • When: Jul 31, 2016, 1:48 PM
  • Race Length: 400.00

Jeff Gordon driving Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 88 at Indy and Pocono


CONCORD, N.C. (July 20, 2016) – Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, has not been cleared by physicians to compete in at least the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events as he continues to recover from concussion-like symptoms. He will miss the races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 24) and Pocono Raceway (July 31).

Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will be the team’s substitute driver at Indianapolis and Pocono. He most recently raced in the 2015 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gordon, who grew up in Pittsboro, Indiana, ranks third all-time with 93 career victories in the series, including six at Pocono and five in the Brickyard 400 – both records.
Earnhardt underwent further evaluation Tuesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program. The driver said this week on his “The Dale Jr. Download” podcast that he has been experiencing issues with balance and nausea. He will not travel to Indianapolis or Pocono.
“Our focus is giving Dale all the time he needs to recover,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “There’s nothing we want more than to see him back in the race car, but we’ll continue to listen to the doctors and follow their lead. What’s best for Dale is what’s best for Hendrick Motorsports and everyone involved with the team. We’re all proud of him and looking forward to having him racing soon.”
Gordon, 44, has made all 797 of his career Cup starts for car owner Hendrick. He competed in his 23rd and final full-time Sprint Cup Series season in 2015.
“Jeff’s a team player,” Hendrick said. “I know he’ll be ready, and I know Dale has incredible trust in him. It’s going to be an emotional weekend (at Indianapolis) with Dale not being there and seeing Jeff back behind the wheel. Greg (Ives) and the team did a great job at New Hampshire, and they have the full support of our organization.”

Wednesday's Featured Country Artist...July 27, 2016...Travis Tritt

 Today's Featured Artist

Wednesday...July 27, 2016

Travis Tritt

(Read all about Travis Tritt after the videos)


James Travis Tritt (born February 9, 1963) is an American country music singer, songwriter, and actor. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1989, releasing seven studio albums and a greatest hits package for the label between then and 1999. In the 2000s, he released two albums on Columbia Records and one for the defunct Category 5 Records. Seven of his albums (counting the Greatest Hits) are certified platinum or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); the highest-certified is 1991's It's All About to Change, which is certified triple-platinum. Tritt has also charted more than 40 times on the Hot Country Songs charts, including five number ones — "Help Me Hold On," "Anymore," "Can I Trust You with My Heart," "Foolish Pride", and "Best of Intentions" — and 15 additional top ten singles. Tritt's musical style is defined by mainstream country and Southern rock influences.
He has received two Grammy Awards, both for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: in 1992 for "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," a duet with Marty Stuart, and again in 1998 for "Same Old Train", a collaboration with Stuart and nine other artists. In addition, he has received four awards from the Country Music Association, and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992.

Early life

James Travis Tritt was born in Marietta, Georgia on February 9, 1963 to James and Gwen Tritt. He first took interest in singing after his church's Sunday school choir performed "Everything Is Beautiful."[3] He received his first guitar at age eight and taught himself how to play it; in the fourth grade, he performed "Annie's Song" and "King of the Road" for his class, and later got invited to play for other classrooms in his school.[4] At age fourteen, his parents bought him another guitar, and he learned more songs from his uncle, Sam Lockhart.[5] Later on, Tritt joined his church band, which occasionally performed at other churches nearby.[6]
Tritt began writing music while he was attending Sprayberry High School; his first song composition, entitled "Spend a Little Time", was written about a girlfriend whom he had broken up with.[7] He performed this song for his friends, one of whom complimented him on his songwriting skills.[8] He also founded a bluegrass group with some of his friends, and won second place in a local tournament for playing "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys".[9]
During his teenage years, Tritt worked at a furniture store, and later as a supermarket clerk. He lived with his mother after she and his father divorced; they remarried each other when he was eighteen.[10] He worked at an air conditioning company while playing in clubs, but gave up the air conditioning job at the suggestion of one of his bandmates.[11] Tritt's father thought that Tritt would not find success as a musician, while his mother thought that he should perform Christian music instead of country.[1]
Through the assistance of Warner Bros. Records executive Danny Davenport, Tritt began recording demos. The two worked together for the next several years, eventually putting together a demo album called Proud of the Country.[1][12] Davenport sent the demo to Warner Bros. representatives in Los Angeles, who in turn sent the demo to Warner Bros.' Nashville division, which signed Tritt in 1987.[13] Davenport also helped Tritt find a talent manager, Ken Kragen. At first, Kragen was "not interested in taking an entry-level act," but he decided to sign on as Tritt's manager after Kragen's wife convinced him.[14]

Musical career

1989–1991: Country Club

Tritt's contract with Warner Bros. meant that he was signed to record six songs, and three of them would be released as singles. According to the contract, he would not be signed on for a full album unless one of the three singles became a hit.[13][15] His first single was "Country Club." Recorded in late 1988 and released on August 7, 1989,[16] the song spent 26 weeks on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, peaking at number nine.[17] It was the title track to his 1990 debut album Country Club, produced by Gregg Brown. The month of its release, Tritt burst a blood vessel on his vocal cords, and had to take vocal rest for a month.[13] Second single "Help Me Hold On" became his first number one single in 1990.[17] The album's third and fifth singles, "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" and "Drift Off to Dream," respectively peaked at numbers two and three on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts, and number one on the Canadian RPM country charts;[18][19] "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" also went to number one on the U.S. country singles charts published by Radio & Records.[13] "Put Some Drive in Your Country," which was released fourth, peaked at 28 on Hot Country Songs.[17] Country Club was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in July 1991 for shipments of one million copies, and double-platinum in 1996.[20] In 1990, he won the Top New Male Artist award from Billboard.[2] The Country Music Association (CMA) also nominated him for the Horizon Award (now known as the New Artist Award),[13] which is given to new artists who show have shown the most significant artistic and commercial development from a first or second album.[21]
Brian Mansfield of Allmusic gave the album a positive review, saying that "Put Some Drive in Your Country" paid homage to Tritt's influences, but that the other singles were more radio-friendly.[22] Giving the album a B-minus, Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly compared Tritt's music to that of Hank Williams, Jr. and Joe Stampley.[23]

1991–1992: It's All About to Change

In 1991, Tritt received a second Horizon Award nomination, which he won that year.[2] He also released his second album, It's All About to Change. The album went on to become his best-selling, with a triple-platinum certification from the RIAA for shipments of three million copies.[20] All four of its singles reached the top five on the country music charts. "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" and the Marty Stuart duet "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," respectively the first and third singles, both reached number two, with the number-one "Anymore" in between. "Nothing Short of Dying" was the fourth single, with a peak at number four on Billboard;[17] both it and "The Whiskey Ain't Working" went to Number One on Radio & Records.[13] "Bible Belt," another cut from the album (recorded in collaboration with Little Feat), appeared in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny (the lyrics for the song, however, were changed for the version played in the movie to match the story line). Although not released as a single, it peaked at number 72 country based on unsolicited airplay and was the b-side to "Nothing Short of Dying."[17] "Bible Belt" was inspired by a youth pastor whom Tritt knew in his childhood.[24]
Stuart offered "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore" to Tritt backstage at the CMA awards show, and they recorded it as a duet through the suggestion of Tritt's record producer, Gregg Brown.[25] The duet won both artists the next year's Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.[17] Tritt and Stuart charted a second duet, "This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time)," which went to number seven in mid-1992 and appeared on Stuart's album This One's Gonna Hurt You.[17] This song won the 1992 CMA award for Vocal Event of the Year.[2]
In June 1992, Tritt received media attention when he criticized Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" at a Fan Fair interview, saying that he did not think that Cyrus' song made a "statement".[26] The following January, Cyrus responded at the American Music Awards by making reference to Tritt's "Here's a Quarter".[27] Tritt later apologized to Cyrus, but said that he defended his opinion on the song.[28]

1992–1993: T-R-O-U-B-L-E and A Travis Tritt Christmas

Tritt and Stuart began a "No Hats Tour" in 1992.[29] In August of that same year, Tritt released the album T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Its first single was "Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man," a song written by Kostas. This song, which featured backing vocals from Brooks & Dunn, T. Graham Brown, George Jones, Little Texas, Dana McVicker (who also sang backup on Tritt's first two albums), Tanya Tucker and Porter Wagoner, peaked at number four.[17] Its follow-up, "Can I Trust You with My Heart," became Tritt's third Billboard number one in early 1993.[17] The album's next three singles did not perform as well on the charts: the title track (a cover of an Elvis Presley song[30]), peaked at 13, followed by "Looking Out for Number One" at number 11 and "Worth Every Mile" at number 30.[17] T-R-O-U-B-L-E became the second album of his career to achieve double-platinum certification.[20] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic thought that T-R-O-U-B-L-E followed too closely the formula of It's All About to Change, but said that the songs showed Tritt's personality.[31] Nash gave the album a similar criticism, but praised the rock influences of "Looking Out for Number One" and the vocals on "Can I Trust You with My Heart."[30]
One month after the release of T-R-O-U-B-L-E, Tritt issued a Christmas album titled A Travis Tritt Christmas: Loving Time of the Year, for which he wrote the title track.[32] He also joined the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly stage show and radio broadcast specializing in country music performances,[33] and filled in for Garth Brooks at a performance on the American Music Awards.[34] By year's end, Tritt and several other artists appeared on George Jones's "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair", which won all artists involved the next year's CMA Vocal Event of the Year award.[35]

1994–1995: Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof and Greatest Hits

In early 1994, after "Worth Every Mile" fell from the charts, Tritt charted at number 21 with a cover of the Eagles' "Take It Easy".[17] He recorded this song for the tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles (released through Warner Bros.' Giant Records division), which featured country music artists' renditions of Eagles songs.[36] When filming the music video for this song, Tritt requested that the band, which was on hiatus at the time, appear in it. This reunion inspired the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over Tour, which began that year.[13]
His fourth album, Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof, was released that May. Its lead-off single, "Foolish Pride", went to number one, and the fourth single, "Tell Me I Was Dreaming", reached number two. In between these songs were the title track at number 22 and "Between an Old Memory and Me" (originally recorded by Keith Whitley[37]) at number 11.[17] The album included two co-writes with Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and guest vocals from Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, Jr. on the cut "Outlaws Like Us".[38] The album achieved platinum certification in December of that year, and later became his third double-platinum album.[20] Allmusic reviewer Brian Mansfield said that Tritt was "most comfortable with his Southern rock/outlaw mantle" on it, comparing "Foolish Pride" favorably to "Anymore" and the work of Bob Seger.[38] Alanna Nash praised the title track and "Tell Me I Was Dreaming" in her review for Entertainment Weekly, but thought that the other songs were still too similar in sound to his previous works.[37]
1995's Greatest Hits: From the Beginning included most of his singles to that point, as well as two new cuts: the Steve Earle composition "Sometimes She Forgets" and a cover of the pop standard "Only You (And You Alone)". The former was a top ten hit at number seven, while the latter spent only eight weeks on the country charts and peaked at number 51.[17] Greatest Hits was certified platinum.[20]

1996–1997: The Restless Kind

In April 1996, Tritt and Stuart charted a third duet, "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best," which appeared on Stuart's album of the same name and peaked at 23 on the country charts. The song won both artists that year's Country Music Association award for Vocal Event, Tritt's third win in this category.[17] The two began a second tour, the Double Trouble Tour, that year.[13]
Tritt charted at number three in mid-1996 with "More Than You'll Ever Know," the first single from his fifth album, The Restless Kind. The album accounted for one more top ten hit, a cover of Waylon Jennings's "Where Corn Don't Grow", which Tritt took to number six in late 1996. This song's chart run overlapped with that of "Here's Your Sign (Get the Picture)," a novelty release combining snippets of comedian Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" routines with a chorus sung by Tritt.[39] "Here's Your Sign (Get the Picture)" peaked at 29 on the country charts and 43 on the Billboard Hot 100, accounting for Tritt's first entry on the latter chart.[17] The other singles from The Restless Kind all failed to make Top Ten upon their 1997 release. "She's Going Home with Me" and "Still in Love with You" (previously the respective B-sides to "Where Corn Don't Grow" and "More Than You'll Ever Know") were the third and fifth releases, peaking at 24 and 23 on Hot Country Singles & Tracks. In between was the number 18 "Helping Me Get Over You", a duet with Lari White.[17]
Unlike his previous albums, all of which were produced by Gregg Brown, Tritt produced The Restless Kind with Don Was.[40] It received positive reviews from Thom Owens of Allmusic, who said that it was the most country-sounding album of his career.[41] Don Yates of Country Standard Time also praised it for having a more "organic" sound than Tritt's other albums.[40]

1998–1999: No More Looking over My Shoulder

In 1998, he and several other artists contributed to Stuart's "Same Old Train," a cut from the collaborative album Tribute to Tradition; this song charted at number 59 on Hot Country Songs and won Tritt his second Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.[42] He also performed on Frank Wildhorn's concept album of the musical The Civil War, singing the song "The Day the Sun Stood Still".[43] By year's end, Tritt also released his final Warner Bros. album, No More Looking over My Shoulder. It was his first of four consecutive albums which he produced with Billy Joe Walker, Jr., who is a session guitarist, producer, and New Age musician. The album was led off by the ballad "If I Lost You," which peaked at number 29 on the country charts and number 86 on the Hot 100.[17] Michael Peterson (who recorded for Warner Bros.' Reprise label at the time) co-wrote and sang backing vocals on the title track,[44] which went to number 38 country in early 1999. The album's third and final single was a cover of Jude Cole's "Start the Car" (previously the B-side to "If I Lost You"), which peaked at number 52.[17]
Late in 1999, Tritt recorded a cover of Hank Williams's "Move It On Over" with George Thorogood for the soundtrack to the cartoon King of the Hill.[45] This cut peaked at number 66 on the country charts from unsolicited airplay.[17]

2000–2002: Down the Road I Go

Soon after leaving Warner Bros. Records, Tritt signed to Columbia Records and released the album Down the Road I Go in 2000.[1] The album's first release was "Best of Intentions," his fifth and final number one hit on Billboard.[17] It was also his most successful entry on the Hot 100, where it reached number 27.[17] The next two singles, "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" and "Love of a Woman," both peaked at number two on the country charts in 2001, followed by "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde" at number eight. All three songs also crossed over to the Hot 100, respectively reaching peaks of 33, 39 and 55.[17] Tritt wrote or co-wrote seven of the album's songs, including "Best of Intentions,"[46] and collaborated with Charlie Daniels on two of them.[47] "It's a Great Day to Be Alive" was originally recorded by Jon Randall, whose version was to have been included on an unreleased album for BNA Records in the late 1990s.[48]
Maria Konicki Dinoia gave the album a positive review on Allmusic, saying that Tritt "hasn't lost his touch."[46] Country Standard Time also gave a positive review, saying that it showed Tritt's balance of country and rock influences.[49] An uncredited review in Billboard magazine called "Best of Intentions" a "gorgeous ballad," comparing it favorably to his early Warner Bros. releases.[50]

2002–2005: Strong Enough and My Honky Tonk History

In September 2002, Tritt released his second album on Columbia Records, Strong Enough. Its first single was "Strong Enough to Be Your Man" (an answer song to Sheryl Crow's 1994 single "Strong Enough"[51]) which reached number 13. The only other release was "Country Ain't Country," which peaked at 26 on the country charts.[17] William Ruhlmann gave the album a generally positive review on Allmusic, saying that he considered its sound closer to mainstream country than Tritt's previous albums.[51]
Also in 2002, Tritt performed on an episode of Crossroads, a program on Country Music Television which pairs country acts with musicians from other genres for collaborative performances. He performed with Ray Charles.[52] Tritt contributed guest vocals to Charlie Daniels' 2003 single "Southern Boy", and recorded a cover of Waylon Jennings' "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" to the RCA Records tribute album I've Always Been Crazy. Respectively, these songs reached 51 and 50 on the country charts.[17]
Tritt's tenth studio album, My Honky Tonk History, was released in 2004. This album included three charting singles: "The Girl's Gone Wild" at 28, followed by the John Mellencamp duet "What Say You" at number 21 and "I See Me" at number 32.[17] Other songs on the album included a cover of Philip Claypool's "Circus Leaving Town" and songs written by Gretchen Wilson, Benmont Tench and Delbert McClinton.[53] Thom Jurek rated this album favorably, saying that it was a "solid, sure-voiced outing"; he also thought that "What Say You" was the best song on it.[53]

2007–present: The Storm and The Calm After...

Tritt exited Columbia in July 2005, citing creative differences over My Honky Tonk History.[54] He signed to the independent Category 5 Records in February 2006, and served as the label's flagship artist.[55] In March 2007, a concert promoter in the Pittsburgh area sued Tritt, claiming he had committed to play a show, but then backed out and signed to play a competing venue. Tritt's manager denied he had ever signed a contract with the promoter.[56] Tritt released his first single for Category 5 in May 2007: a cover of the Richard Marx song "You Never Take Me Dancing."[57] It was included on his only album for Category 5, The Storm, which American Idol judge Randy Jackson produced.[58] The album featured a more rhythm and blues influence than Tritt's previous works.[57][58] "You Never Take Me Dancing" peaked at number 27 on the country charts; a second single, "Something Stronger Than Me," was released in October,[59] but it did not chart. Category 5 closed in November 2007 after allegations that the label's chief executive officer, Raymond Termini, had illegally used Medicaid funds to finance it.[60] A month later, Tritt filed a $10 million lawsuit against Category 5, because the label had failed to pay royalties on the album, and failed to give him creative control on The Storm.[61]
In October 2008, Tritt began an 11-date tour with Marty Stuart. On this tour, they performed acoustic renditions of their duets; Tritt also performed five solo shows.[62] Tritt signed a management deal with Parallel Entertainment in December 2010.[63] He continued to tour through to 2012 and into 2013, with most of his shows being solo acoustic performances.[64] Tritt acquired the rights to the songs on The Storm and re-issued it via his own Post Oak label in July 2013 under the title The Calm After...[65] The re-release included two covers: the Patty Smyth and Don Henley duet "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough", which he recorded as a duet with his daughter Tyler Reese,[66] and Faces' 1971 hit "Stay with Me".

Personal life

Tritt married his high school sweetheart, Karen Ryon,[84] in September 1982, and moved into an apartment with her. They stayed together for two years, while Tritt worked at an air conditioning company and Karen at a Burger King, and divorced two years later.[85] After going to court, Tritt was ordered to pay alimony to Karen for six months.[86] When he was 21, he married a woman named Jodi Barnett,[87] who was 33 at the time.[88] He divorced her shortly after signing with Warner Bros. in 1989; the divorce finalized one month before "Country Club" was released. Tritt wrote the song "Here's a Quarter" the night he received his divorce papers.[89]
He married Theresa Nelson on April 12, 1997.[47] They have two sons: Tristan James (born June 16, 1999) and Tarian Nathaniel (born November 20, 2003),[90] and one daughter, Tyler Reese (born February 18, 1998).[47]