Saturday, August 19, 2017

Country in the NEWS:..August 19, 2017 (Charley Pride New Release)

 

Charley Pride: “I’m in the Business of Selling Lyrics, Feelings and Emotions”

He and Producer Billy Yates Talk About Music in My Heart
 
Charley Pride has one of the best and most distinctive voices in the history of country music — or even pop music, for that matter — but the 83-year-old gets right to the point when it comes to talking business.
“I’m in the business of selling lyrics, feelings and emotions. …That’s what’s keeping me so strong,” he says, when discussing Music in My Heart, his first new album in six years.
That doesn’t mean he’s been taking it easy down in his Dallas headquarters. He still goes on the road, performs concerts, sells CDs and continues to be amazed by the adulation of the fans.
“I’m blessed,” the Country Music Hall of Fame member says of that loyal following and their hunger to purchase some of his albums, including the self-produced stuff he did before his six-year absence from the recording studio.
“When I come out, they jump up and applaud,” he says. “They hear one line and they applaud. By the time we get into ‘Is Anybody Going to San Antone,’ they’re screaming.
“Then, about middleways of the show, someone will call out ‘Charley, you’ve still got it!”
While that voice of approval makes the singer happy, the gentleman who some might call the “Jackie Robinson of Country Music,” figures people haven’t even heard him at his best yet.
“When I cut this last album and listen to what I’m doing right now, the thing is I might be getting better. I’m still learning,” says the star who was just the second African-American artist to make it as a Grand Ole Opry star. DeFord Bailey, the harmonica player who performed with Roy Acuff back when he was “The King of Country Music,” was the first.
Pride became a star in the segregated South not because he was black, but despite it. And his tool for survival and equality was the mellow voice.
“I’m pleased that the good Lord blessed me with this voice,” he says.
And it is that voice that captivated Billy Yates, much-honored songwriter and journeyman county performer and producer, who took the helm for the recording of Music in My Heart.
“I wanted Charley to sound as young and vibrant as we possibly could, Charley doin’ what he does,” says the producer who was hand-picked for the project after Pride and his wife Rosine familiarized themselves with his previous production projects.
“I hadn’t done one in six years,” says Pride. “The last three I did, I was my own producer. My wife and I was kinda talking. … And she said, ‘Why don’t you find someone to produce the next one?'”
That’s when Yates’ reputation as a painstaking producer came into play, and the Prides selected him for this project.
“This Billy Yates, it was wonderful working with him. He not only is a good singer and a good songwriter, but he’s a good producer,” says Pride.
It didn’t take Yates long to answer in the affirmative, even though the scheduling was a bit tricky because of the men’s schedules.
Pride would need to come into the Nashville sessions when his schedule worked in unison with that of Yates, who remains plenty busy in Branson, Missouri, where he is one of the stars of a revue called Raiding the Country Vault, a 24-song Vegas-style spectacular.
“We got three big screens behind us and we tell the story of country music,” Yates says. “And we’ve got a million-dollar laser light show. It’s fun to be a part of.”
It made it a little tough to fit in a producer’s tasks, but Yates was not going to pass up the opportunity to produce an album on Charley Pride.
“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I said ‘obviously I’d love to do it,'” says Yates. After all, how many times does a fellow get to produce an album on one of the biggest stars in the history of country music?

Yates says he and the Prides “decided it was worth the time, making the time to make it happen.”
“He had a lot of songs he’d loved for many years. We did some of those songs. Whatever he was feeling strong about, we’d go into those songs,” says Yates of the partnership.
“We just sent songs back and forth,” says Yates. “He kept wanting my input. I said ‘If it’s something you love, it’s worth considering.'”
Yates really didn’t know Pride before the process began of selecting songs and musicians to put together the album.
“I’d only just met Charley here and there and at the Opry (where Yates has performed 40 times and where Pride has always been a crowd favorite).
“We didn’t know each other on a personal level at all. We’d sit down at Cracker Barrel the first couple of times and talked about the vision for this record.”
He said both men had strong visions of what this album should be, and they worked together to make sure that is exactly what they got.
“Being asked to produce a record on Charley, I wanted it to be as strong as it could possibly be. I wanted to make sure Charley was sounding great,” says Yates.
“The amazing thing to me, the takeaway, is his stamina and drive and ability to come in and give it what he’s got. He went way beyond what most young artists could do. I couldn’t do it.”
Despite the wear and tear of flying in from Texas and recording this new album, Pride’s voice didn’t falter, according to Yates.
“I think for 83, his voice is pretty amazing. He has sang a lot (in his career), worked hard through the years, but his voice quality is amazing. He just sounds that way,” says Yates.
“A lot of older artists lose it. He’s still got it.”
Yates — who wrote “Choices,” the late-career lamentation for George Jones, as well as its virtual companion “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” and a slew of other classic-style country music songs — knew he was working with a master.
And it was a master with not only a great singing voice but a man of cultural significance.
“Being a real fan of all the great, the real country music, our history, our lineage … the opportunity to become friends with Charley Pride was a big deal to me. The opportunity to tell a bit about the story of his life was a real labor of love for me.”
And it was playing right to his love of traditional country music, popular in Branson and in Norway, but oft-overlooked in an age of tight jeans, beer drinking, pickup trucks and shaking butts … the fraternity-boy-worthy “love” songs that seem to populate the tops of the charts.
Yates — and Pride — knew what kind of music they should be putting together.
“I know the certain sound that gives me goose bumps,” Yates says. And, of course, that sound is traditional country music.
“What I wanted to accomplish on this Charley record is to be very traditional, true to what that is, and wanted to be respectful of what Charley’s style is.”
He draws a long breath. “I have such a passion for this real country music. I love the people. It’s sort of a ministry in ways.”
It should be noted that the ministry, while perhaps struggling on Music Row, has hordes of listeners and fans — many quite young — in Europe, where Yates has been playing to full houses for 14 years.
“The thing about doing the thing in Europe is you never get too old for that,” he says, with a laugh. “They don’t care how old, fat and bald you are. They support you and come see you play.”
Even so, there aren’t too many things that can compare with producing Charley Pride. The men have become close friends and already are picking out songs for a Pride duets album to be produced this autumn. Five songs Pride recorded during these sessions weren’t used on the current album. They could become duets or perhaps fodder for another Pride album down the road.
Yates, while proud of his friendship and partnership with Pride, gives most of the credit to the singer.
“This is Charley’s record. It’s not my record,” he says, adding that he hopes it paves the way for him to work his studio expertise with other country classicists.
“This experience made me a better producer. … Hopefully in the future there will be other opportunities because of it, an older artist who wants to make a record and wants to be produced by someone who ‘gets it.'”
The 54-year-old country traditionalist will use this record as a calling card when seeking out those veteran artists, because, quite simply, it’s a fine album that even the producer doesn’t tire of hearing, according to Yates.
“I put that in my truck and I listen to it and I think ‘Oh, man, I’m really proud of it.”

Country in the NEWS:..August 19, 2017 (Aubrie Sellers)

 

Aubrie Sellers’ Intergalactic, Sci-Fi Glam “Paper Doll” Takes on the Copycats

Singer-Songwriter Delivers Latest Installment of Empowering Music Videos
 
One week ago, CMT premiered Aubrie Sellers’ stellar and perfectly timed video for “Magazines” as part of her campaign to empower girls everywhere by tackling the stereotypes surrounding today’s woman. Now, she’s back with “Paper Doll,” an intergalactic-glam ode to the importance of standing out in the crowd.
Inspired to take a stand and make a statement after seeing films from the 1950s and ’60s not portraying women in a fair light, the singer-songwriter decided to turn the concepts on its ears in a way that instead empowers women, using the music videos for the songs “Magazines” and “Paper Doll” as her outlet and acclaimed L.A. based director Millicent Hailes as her guide.
She said both songs are about “phoniness in different forms.”
“Magazines” took a shot at celebrity culture by taking on the 1957 classic Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn in a way that questions how we view women in society.
Inspired by the 1953 cult sci-fi film Cat-Women of the Moon, “Paper Doll” takes on the ever-growing homogenization of the female aesthetic and persona in society and how it’s important to embrace who you are and not be like the rest.
 In a behind-the-scenes video, Sellers talks about the “eye-opening experience” of touring and really putting herself out there with her current, unconventional record. She says she excited for new music and what comes next — and so are we.

Country in the NEWS:..August 19,2017 (Lady Antebellum)

 


Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott Expecting Twins

She and Husband Chris Tyrrell Share the Moment They Told Their 4-Year-Old Daughter 
 
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and husband Chris Tyrrell found the most adorable way to tell the world that they’re expecting twins. Via social media, the couple posted a video of them warmly sharing the news with their first child, daughter Eisele Kaye.
Eisle, who turned 4 last month, appears to be as elated as her parents upon learning that she’ll have two siblings early next year.
 The news of the twins was revealed Friday (Aug. 18) — just a day after Scott and Tyrell announced that she is expecting in February 2018 and that Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood and wife Kelli Cashiola-Haywood will welcome a daughter in December.

Country in the NEWS:..August 19, 2017 (Josh Abbott)

 

Life Imitates Art on Josh Abbott Band’s New Album

Until My Voice Goes Out Dedicated to Musician’s Father 
 
Josh Abbott agrees with the famous Oscar Wilde saying, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
The Texas musician just didn’t know how much that saying would apply to the band’s the Josh Abbott Band latest album Until My Voice Goes Out while it was being made.
On Feb. 3, the band was in its second week of recording when Abbott was pitched a song by hit-maker Rodney Clawson (Kenny Chesney’s “Til It’s Gone,” Blake Shelton’s “Sure Be Cool If You Did”) and the Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston (Keith Urban’s “You Gonna Fly,” “Raise ‘Em Up”). It was a heart-wrenching ballad about the loss of a father titled, “Ain’t My Daddy’s Town.”
Abbott liked the song, but the band tends to keep a strict policy of recording material that’s autobiographical. Abbott’s father, Charles David Abbott (known as David to his family and friends), was alive and well. And Abbott thought it would be disingenuous to release a song with such a strong message at the time. He thanked them for the opportunity and passed on the song.
But that same afternoon, his father left work early with a severe headache and extreme dizziness — two early warning signs of stroke. He couldn’t think straight or drive himself home. A coworker got him home safely, and he took a pain reliever and then napped.
Six days later, the family was at the hospital. Abbott’s father had suffered a stroke on Feb. 9.
“It was almost like it was from a movie, like it was made up to make you feel even more crushed by the story,” Josh said during our CMT.com interview. “But it was very real.”
Abbott stayed with his family for three weeks while the rest of the band recorded the album without him. David underwent brain surgery, but his recovery was tough, and his prognosis was grim. On Feb. 28, with his dad still in the hospital, Josh made the decision to go back into the studio and record all of his vocals for the album, leaving out “Ain’t My Daddy’s Town.”
“The name of this album, Until My Voice Goes Out, seems like it was almost meant to be,” Josh said. “I’m not trying to win awards for explosive vocals here. I just want to sing these songs in a normal way and not try to have the most beautiful sounding voice ever. That’s how we approached it.”
On March 1, Abbott flew back to the hospital to be with his family. The next day, just before midnight, David passed away. The last song Josh played for his father before his death was a mix of the album’s title song. It was the last piece of music he ever heard.
Abbott can’t share the story of losing his father without getting emotional.
“My dad and I were very close,” he said. “Talking about it kills me. I kept thinking about ‘Ain’t My Daddy’s Town’ all of March, April and May. What are the odds that I would get a song pitched to me about a dad dying?”
With the rest of the collection mixed, mastered and ready for release, Abbott went back into the studio to record the song. And he reworked a few words in Clawson and Johnston’s original lyrics so they would be more applicable to his father’s life story.
“In the second verse, there were some lines about going to the VFW and drinking beer with the boys,” Josh recalled. “My dad never served [in the military]. He never went to the VFW, and my dad didn’t drink. He was 42 years sober. He hadn’t had drink since college.
“But the timeliness of how it was sent to me made a huge impact in my life, and it feels like that song was written for me.”
The timing of when Abbott co-wrote one of the album’s love songs, “I’m Your Only Flaw,” for his fiancé Taylor Parnell is also intriguing. At the time it was written, she was two months pregnant with their first child, but the couple didn’t know it at the time.
“What’s really cool about that song,” Abbott said, “the second verse says, ‘When I think of courage, being brave while feeling small,’ it’s really like that — being brave while feeling small. And we wanted to name our daughter something cool, right? And so we looked up girl names for brave. And Emery was a girl name for brave, and that’s how she got her name. So that song named our daughter. That’s just the kind of stuff I think musicians do. We’re hippies like that.”
Until My Voice Goes Out also marks a sonic departure from previous works by the band. For the first time in the group’s history, the band added horns to the album’s uptempo numbers and a lush string arrangements by Rob Mathes (Tony Bennett, Sting and Bruce Springsteen) to its ballads.
“When I told the band about adding horns and strings, they thought I was crazy,” Abbott admitted. “If you think about it, how many country albums have horns and strings as a theme on the entire album?
“I think it was a risk because we already had a very specific sound. We rely heavily on the fiddle and the banjo as our instrumentation in our band. We have as many solos on fiddle and banjo as we do on electric guitar, which is pretty rare in country music already.”
While the band doesn’t plan to do another album with similar instrumentation in the near future, they do plan on adding live horns and a bigger string section to their upcoming tour.
“This is an entirely different Josh Abbott Band show and sound, and if you don’t see this tour, then you won’t see this production because we’re not going to do it forever,” he said. “I’m excited because not only are the horns and strings going to be on the new music, we’ve also integrated them into some of our catalog. For songs like ‘Wasn’t That Drunk,’ ‘Amnesia’ and ‘Oh Tonight,’ and ‘She’s Like Texas,’ they’ll have strings. Songs like ‘Hangin’ Around,’ ‘My Texas’ and other ones, they’ll have the horns.”
The Abbott families, both musical and immediate, helped Josh maintain personal strength while recording the album in such a trying time in his life.
“My perspective on life has changed,” he said, “I look at my mom, and I just wonder what she’s thinking. She’s in her 50s and she has to live for maybe another 20 years, maybe longer, without her husband. And that’s got to be really tough on her.
“My brother, he had a baby in January and, of course, we had little Emery in May. And my mom never had daughters. I think my mom having two baby granddaughters within the same exact time period she loses her husband, it’s not cathartic. It was willed by a greater force.”
Until My Voice Goes Out is dedicated to David Abbott. He would have been 63 on Saturday (Aug. 19).

Country in the NEWS:..August 19, 2017 (Jana Kramer)

 

Jana Kramer: In Nashville to Stay

"You Just Have to Be Here"
 
If you want to be a country singer, Jana Kramer says, you have to hang your hat in Tennessee.
“I tell people all the time that if they want to sing country music, they need to move to Nashville. You need to dive in. Go to open mic nights. Talk with people. All of that,” Kramer told me. “You just have to be here.”
Kramer moved to Nashville six years ago to do just that, after gaining TV fame in her role as Alex Dupre on One Tree Hill. And she feels blessed that Music City welcomed her with open arms.
“Nashville seems to have said, ‘Wow, she’s staying, and she works really hard.’ This is my home. It’s where my family is,” she said of her life there with her daughter Jolie.
And even though Kramer is on the verge of releasing a brand new single “I’ve Done Love,” she has made time to take on some other passion projects.
She’s writing a book about the twists and turns her personal life has taken in the past year, she’s starting a podcast about the joys and faux pas of motherhood, and she’s been teaching her girlfriends to play euchre — the card game she grew up on in Michigan.
All of that time in Nashville has made Kramer into a different kind of artist than she was when she released her 2012 debut single “Why Ya Wanna?”
“On that first album, I was all about making everyone happy,” she said. “Now I’m all about making me and my fans happy. I’m choosing each song carefully.
“As an artist, you grow and you give. So now as independent artist, I’m happy with that because I know what fans want. And I can do exactly that. My fans have been good to me with every up and down. I have people backing me who believe in me. When I play live and they’re singing every word, I think, ‘This is exactly why I do what I do.'”

Country in the NEWS:..August 19, 2017 (Various Artists New Releases)

 

Ray Wylie Hubbard, Brandy Clark Deliver New Albums

Jerry Douglas Band, Dale Ann Bradley Also Release Fresh Music 

Singer-songwriters Ray Wylie Hubbard and Brandy Clark and bluegrass greats Jerry Douglas and Dale Ann Bradley are among the artists delivering new albums Friday (Aug. 18).
At age 70, Hubbard isn’t slowing down or losing his sense of humor with the release of Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can. Lucinda Williams and Eric Church make guest appearances on the title track, with Patty Griffin joining Hubbard on “In Times of Cold” and the Bright Light Social Hour featured on “The Rebellious Sons.”
After released an exclusive limited run of Live From Los Angeles on vinyl in April for Record Store Day, Clark is offering a wider release of the project recorded last year at the Hotel Café in Hollywood.
To call Jerry Douglas a bluegrass musician is only telling part of the story, and the Dobro wizard continues to expand musical boundaries on What If, the debut studio album by the Jerry Douglas Band. With violinist Christian Sedelmye, bassist Daniel Kimbro, guitarist Mike Seal, drummer Doug Belote, saxophonist Jamel Mitchell and trumpeter Vance Thompson, the band takes on a diverse collection of music, including “Hey Joe,” the rock classic Douglas had already covered once in a completely different arrangement.
Dale Ann Bradley, a true musical treasure, is currently nominated as female vocalist of the year at the upcoming International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. It’s an award she’s already won five times, and she has also been selected for induction into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2018. Meanwhile, her new self-titled album features a duet with Vince Gill on the Stanley Brothers’ “I Just Think I’ll Go Away.”
Singer-songwriter Emily West gained airplay at country radio with “Rocks in Your Shoes” and “Blue Sky” (a collaboration with Keith Urban). The Iowa native returns with Symphonies, a five-song EP that leads with “Don’t Ever Go to Paris When You’re Lonely.”
As previously reported, Friday’s new releases also include the Josh Abbott Band’s Until My Voice Goes Out.

Weekend Artist of the Day..August 19, 2017...Kelsea Ballerini (Now with links)

Kelsea Ballerini

(Read all about Kelsea Ballerini after the video)



Kelsea Nicole Ballerini[1] (born September 12, 1993)[2] is an American country pop singer and songwriter. She is signed to Black River Entertainment, and released her first album The First Time in 2015. She received a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Life and career

Kelsea Ballerini was born in Mascot, Tennessee,[3] and grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee.[4] Her father, a country radio programmer, is of part Italian descent.[5][6] Her mother has worked in marketing for Thomas Nelson Bible publishing and a sponsorship company.[6] She started taking dance lessons at three and stopped ten years later.[7] She sang in the church and school choirs.[5] She wrote her first song at 12 for her mother[8] and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, three years later.[4] She attended Lipscomb University for two years until she pursued a musical career.[9]
At 19, she signed a deal with Black River Entertainment.[4] In late 2014, she released her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It", which debuted on the Country Airplay chart in October 2014.[10] She released a self-titled extended play for the label in November.[11] She was named one of CMT's Next Women of Country in 2014. She performed for the first time on the Grand Ole Opry on February 14, 2015 and sang "Love Me Like You Mean It".[5] For the chart dated July 4, 2015, "Love Me Like You Mean It" reached number one on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, making Ballerini the first solo female country music artist to score a number one hit with her debut single since Carrie Underwood did so with "Jesus, Take the Wheel" in 2006, and only the eleventh in history to achieve the feat.[12] Ballerini also became only the fifth solo female country music artist to score back-to-back number one hits with her first two singles when "Dibs" reached the top of the Country Airplay chart. She became the first to do it since Jamie O'Neal in 2001.[13] The album's third single, "Peter Pan", was released to country radio on March 21, 2016. "Peter Pan" reached number one on both the Country Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts in September, making Ballerini the first solo female country music artist to top both country music charts simultaneously.[14] This achievement also made her the first solo female to send her first three singles to number one since Wynonna Judd accomplished the same feat in 1992.[14] The album's fourth single, "Yeah Boy", was released to country radio on October 10, 2016. In early 2017, Ballerini was named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 – Music list at number two.[15][16] In 2017, Ballerini received two Academy of Country Music Award nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year and Video of the Year for "Peter Pan."[17] In June 2017, Ballerini released "Legends" as the first single from her upcoming second studio album.[18]

Influences

Ballerini has been influenced by both artists in the pop music and country music field. Originally influenced by pop music, Ballerini states "I grew up on top 40 pop. I didn’t know what country music was, which is so funny because I grew up on a farm in East Tennessee."[19] Ballerini lists Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and NSYNC among these early artists influencing her.[20][21] It was not until Ballerini heard "Stupid Boy" by Keith Urban that she decided to delve deeper into country music by listening to albums by Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Dixie Chicks. Ballerini cites Shania Twain as her greatest influence.[22] She also frequently performs songs originally recorded by Alison Krauss.[23]

Personal life

Ballerini lives with her fiancé, Australian country music singer Morgan Evans. They became engaged on Christmas Day 2016.[24]