Saturday, December 17, 2016

Country Music Countdown & Country Music News...Saturday December 17, 2016

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of December 17-18:

2 OLD DOMINION Song For Another Time
3 BRETT ELDREDGE Wanna Be That Song
4 BRETT YOUNG Sleep Without You
5 KEITH URBAN Blue Ain’t Your Color
6 TIM McGRAW How I’ll Always Be
8 JASON ALDEAN A Little More Summer Time
9 BLAKE SHELTON A Guy With a Girl
10 GRANGER SMITH If The Boot Fits
11 THOMAS RHETT Star Of The Show
12 MAREN MORRIS 80s Mercedes
13 DUSTIN LYNCH Seein’ Red
14 ERIC CHURCH Kill A Word
15 CHRIS YOUNG Sober Saturday Night
18 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
20 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less


CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Big & Rich Visit Naval Support Activity Bahrain 


Every day around the world, thousands of U.S. military members perform the noblest thing you can possibly do with your life — protect our nation and make the world a safer place for our children and our children’s children.
These brave men and women can’t be thanked enough.
For the first-time ever, CMT Hot 20 Countdown and Big & Rich partnered with Armed Forces Entertainment for Hot 20’s inaugural military entertainment trip overseas to Naval Support Activity Bahrain to honor those who serve this holiday season. NSA Bahrain is home to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and U.S. 5th Fleet.
For those who failed geography in school, Bahrain is a Middle Eastern island nation in the Persian Gulf that is sandwiched between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, thousands of miles away from home on U.S. soil.
While there, CMT taped two specials — the Hot 20 Video of the Year Countdown, airing Saturday (Dec. 17) at 9 a.m. ET/PT, and Hot 20 Holiday Salute, airing Dec. 24 at 9 a.m. ET/PT. This weekend’s special will feature the performance premiere of Big & Rich’s new song “For the Party” in front of a small group of sailors at guard mount, where they prepare for a 12-hour shift protecting the base.
Later, the duo delivers a full concert to thousands of service members on base including a performance of their hit “Comin’ to Your City,” and one lucky individual has the opportunity to join the guys onstage.
Cody Alan will test his physical strength and endurance when he joins four branches of the armed forces for their early morning training, including pushing a fire truck, flipping tires and more. Alan also will also sit down with an NSA Bahrain Commanding Officer to discuss the importance of the base in that region, as well as what has surprised him about living in Bahrain.
“It is sure an inspiring experience to get an up-close look at our U.S. Naval base in Bahrain, which is host and home to a very large multi-national coalition force working to support operations and providing stability and peace in the region,” Big & Rich’s Big Kenny said. “The focus, discipline, knowledge and integrity that we witnessed of the security forces and command there is superb. I can say with great pride and assurance that our nation is represented well on the front lines of freedom by the men and women of the US military. It was an absolute honor and a blast to play some country music for all the folks there and say thank you on behalf of all of us back home in the USA. We are blessed beyond belief.”
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Miranda Lambert Joins Brent Cobb Live Onstage in Nashville

Friends Perform Surprise Collaboration of Platinum Track 

“Splittin’ logs, smokin’ hogs, feedin’ leftovers to a three-legged dog.”
It was the main song idea Brent Cobb he had stuck in his head going into a co-writing session with the Cadillac Three’s Neil Mason. Listing all the simple country stuff they love — Redman tobacco, grandpa’s two cents, singing hymns, skippin’ stones — they finished the track and called it “Old Sh!t.”
“I said, ‘I know it’s weird, but it’s just some of that old shit, man,’” Cobb recalled live onstage during his show with Adam Hood at Nashville’s Basement East on Thursday night (Dec. 15). “It’s just that old shit that I grew up doing. My granddaddy raised hogs and we had chickens. We didn’t know who would do it. but low and behold but low and behold, one of the greatest people I’ve ever met did.”
That’s when he welcomed to the stage surprise guests Miranda Lambert with tunesmith Mando Saenz on harmonica to sing the song. Holding a can of Coors and dressed down in a toboggan, an Otis Redding Revue sweatshirt and jeans, Lambert backed Cobb on harmony vocals while Saenz blew on his harp.
The night included live selections from Cobb’s latest album Shine On Rainy Day and a 45-minute performance by Hood, whose set was heavy on his 2011 album The Shape of Things. Both songwriters co-wrote “Go ‘Ol Days” with Lambert on her latest two-disc album The Weight of These Wings. Saenz co-wrote “Bad Boy” on album two, The Heart.
Their friendships goes way back. Cobb and Lambert co-wrote “Sweet By and By” for 2016’s Southern Family compilation and she was a key facilitator in getting Hood signed to his first publishing deal with Carnival Music in Nashville.
In 2007, Lambert was introduced to Hood’s music while passing through New Braunfels, Texas, with her mother Bev when their car broke down. While waiting for a hotel vacancy, the pair ended up at Tavern on the Gruene, where Hood was plugging his album Different Groove on Ray Wylie Hubbard’s KNBT radio show. Since then, Hood has released 2011’s The Shape of Things and 2014’s Welcome to the Big World. He is now signed with Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound and Warner/Chappell Nashville.
Throughout the night, Lambert was spotted being a loyal fan singing along to every song in the venue’s VIP section with a group of friends and her boyfriend Anderson East.
Kentucky songwriter Tyler Childers kicked off the show with an acoustic mix of originals, Pink Floyd’s “Time” from Dark Side of the Moon and Willie Nelson’s “Time of the Preacher” from Red Headed Stranger.
It was a totally original Nashville night.


Why Blake Shelton Has Christmas All Year Long

And Why '80s Sitcoms Top His List 
 Here’s what I learned about Blake Shelton when he was on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night (Dec. 15): He seems to love Christmas music as much as he loves ’80s sitcoms.
And that for him, both are appropriate entertainment all day — and all year — long.
First, Shelton explained why he listens to holiday music even after the gifts have been opened and the eggnog’s all gone.
“All year long I listen to it. I listen to Anne Murray, I listen to Michael Bublé, I listen to Andy Williams. I love Christmas. I love Christmas music,” Shelton said.
“See, I don’t want to let go the day after Christmas,” he added. “So I’ll keep it going.”

 When talk turned to his ironic love of The Golden Girls — a show that aired from 1985-1992 but now seems to be on TV 24/7 — Shelton said Dorothy, portrayed by Bea Arthur, was his favorite Girl.
“I just think her sarcasm on that show is incredible,” he said, quickly adding that Benson, the main character on the sitcom of the same name that ran from 1979 to 1986, had the same kind of wit.
“That guy was such a smart ass,” he said of the character played by actor Robert Guillaume.


Maren Morris: “Just Be a Person”

Recognizing the Exhausting Side of Celebrity 

When Maren Morris sat down with Chelsea Handler on her Netflix talk show Chelsea, the two women had a heart-to-heart chat about the one big thing Morris has learned since her country music career started to take off.
“A really big thing I’ve learned — and I think it’s so liberating — is when you realize no one knows what they’re doing,” Morris told Handler. “That’s so (expletive) funny to me.”

 Morris added that she will not be one of those famous people who maintains kind of an unreal image.
“It’s exhausting to be that way. I look at some celebrities and I’m like, ‘Just be a person for two seconds. And then you can go back to being prissy and perfect,'” she said.
Morris’ Twitter bio — “Following a dream one hangover at a time” — proves that prissy and perfect are so not her.


For Tim McGraw, Practice Is Harder Than Work

Lessons From His Coaches Along the Way 

These are the things that Tim McGraw loves: ol’ stray dogs, guitars playin’, one-room churches, backroad walks, front porch swingin’, sunset skies and bonfire nights.
That’s according to the chorus of his latest single, “How I’ll Always Be.”
And in an Instagram video McGraw posted recently, he also seems to still heed the advice he got from coaches when he was playing baseball as a teenager.
“My coach always told me that practice has to be harder than work. So I think if you work really hard before the show, you get conditioned so that by the time the show gets here you’re really ready to go,” McGraw says in the video that blends some vintage photos with brand new ones.
As for the song, it sounds like McGraw likes how the lyrics bridge the gap between old and new, too.
“‘How I’ll Always Be’ is one of those songs that, to me, just felt like the stories and the songs that I grew up listening to and loving,” he says, “but also sort of the songs that I built my career on.”


Reba McEntire Releases Faith-Based Sing It Now Two-Disc Set Feb. 3

Books Ryman Headlining Debut for Feb. 15

Reba McEntire will release a double-disc collection of inspirational music titled Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope on Feb. 3.
Album one is comprised of new arrangements of 10 traditional hymns and features Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood on “Softly and Tenderly,” which is available now. The Isaacs appear on a medley of “In the Garden/Wonderful Peace.” Album two features 10 new inspirational originals, including “I Got the Lord on My Side,” which McEntire co-wrote with her mother Jacqueline McEntire.
A new arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me,” the first song McEntire sang in public, bookends physical copies of the compilation. Exclusive Amazon versions close with the bonus tracks “I Need to Talk to You” and “Meanwhile Back at the Cross.”
McEntire co-produced the album with her band leader/musical director Doug Sisemore and Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus in his home studio.
She makes her headlining debut at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Feb. 15. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Reba, Brooks & Dunn: Together inVegas will return to The Colosseum at Caesars on Feb. 22.
Here is the full track listing for Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope:
CD 1
1. “Jesus Loves Me”
2. “Oh, How I Love Jesus”
3. “When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder”
4. “Oh Happy Day”
5. “Amazing Grace”
6. “I’ll Fly Away”
7. “In The Garden/Wonderful Peace” (featuring The Isaacs)
8. “Swing Low Sweet Chariot/Swing Down Chariot”
9. “How Great Thou Art”
10. “Softly And Tenderly” (featuring Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood)
CD 2
1. “Sing It Now”
2. “Angels Singin’”
3. “God And My Girlfriends”
4. “Hallelujah, Amen”
5. “There Is A God”
6. “I Got The Lord On My Side”
7. “Back To God”
8. “Angel On My Shoulder”
9. “From The Inside Out”
10. “Say A Prayer”
11. “Jesus Loves Me (Reprise)” (physical copies only)
Amazon Bonus Tracks
11. “I Need To Talk To You”
12. “Meanwhile Back At The Cross”


How Kelly Clarkson’s Miracle on Broadway Makes a Difference

Charity Concert Will Feature Kelsea Ballerini, Reba McEntire, Charles Esten, RaeLynn 
During a recent press conference in Nashville, Kelly Clarkson got visibly emotional at least four times while talking about the beneficiaries of her second Miracle on Broadway charity concert.
The show is Friday (Dec. 16) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Nashville‘s Charles Esten, Reba McEntire, RaeLynn and the SteelDrivers. Ronnie Dunn was forced to cancel his appearance after coming down with a cold and sore throat.
Proceeds from Friday’s show will support Alzheimer’s disease and memory care research through Abe’s Garden, literacy through the Nashville Public Library Foundation, feeding the hungry through Second Harvest Food Bank and music education at the W.O. Smith Music School through Clarkson’s Fruition Fund with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
“I love Texas, so it’s hard for me to claim any other state, but I love Nashville,” Clarkson said. “Since I’ve been here over 10 years, I’ve found it’s a great community of people. The people who benefit from this show are part of your community. And they’re more likely to be helpful and better citizens if they’re more productive in a positive way than they are when they’re left behind and feel like no one cares. … I’m going to cry.”
Representatives from each organization were on hand to share how Miracle on Broadway makes a difference in their respective causes.
“We have 42 beds and 45,000 people in Nashville with this disease,” said Michael Shmerling of Abe’s Garden, an Alzheimer’s care center. “It’s not as if everybody’s going to have a chance to go to a facility like this, but by sharing the information and the lessons we’re learning in nutrition, diet and in-home care, we hope to elevate the care for everybody.”
“Over the course of its lifetime, the Nashville Public Library Foundation has raised $43 million for literacy programs,” the Nashville Public Library Foundation’s Kent Oliver said. “We know that when kids aren’t read to, up to 50 percent of kids going into kindergarten are not ready to read, which is a huge deal.”
The Second Harvest Food Bank was among the beneficiaries of Clarkson’s first Miracle on Broadway concert in 2014.
“We serve 46 counties, so that’s half of the state of Tennessee,” Second Harvest’s Jaynee Day said. “One in seven Tennesseans and one of five children in Tennessee does not know when their next meal will be coming from, and that’s critical to the success of our community. We have a variety of different programs — an emergency food box program and a mobile pantry. For every $1 that we receive, we can provide four meals. So over 400,000 meals have been provided by Kelly, her entire team and by the community.”
“The W.O. Smith Music School offers 50-cent music lessons for students who qualify for reduced and free lunch programs,” the school’s Jonah Rabinowitz said. “Instruments are also provided for free. There are more than 230 instructors who teach for free every single week. For the last 18 years, every single music student who has come through the program has graduated from high school.”
Clarkson says the night will feature a live collaboration with students from the W.O. Smith Music School, plus various other collaborations with the cast.
“I have a lot of songs to learn,” Clarkson admitted. “But I’m singing with people, and they’re singing their own stuff. We’re involving W.O. Smith in the most epic way. I love it. We’re lucky we live in a very talented community. I’m super excited about the lineup. Kelsea and RaeLynn moved their schedules to be a part of it.”
A text-to-donate campaign is in the works for the show, and there will be stations set up at the arena to collect non-perishable food items. One ton in food donations to feed the hungry in Middle Tennessee was collected at the 2014 Miracle on Broadway.
Tickets for Friday’s show are on sale now.


Blake Shelton Says It’s On

Sundance Head Deserves Success 
Blake Shelton‘s contestant Sundance Head won season 11 of The Voice on Tuesday night (Dec. 13).
But is that win alone cause for celebration? Or should the world wait until Head has some success off the reality show stage?
“I want to say one more thing here, because it’s important. This is Season 11 of The Voice, and I’m sitting here right now next to a guy who has won over America’s hearts,” Shelton said at a press conference after the finale, urging the music industry to take some initiative for Head’s next steps.
He went on to list Head’s accolades, popularity and his self-penned “Darlin’ Don’t Go” as reasons why he deserves all the support he can get.
According to his website, Head is the “founder of soul country,” and he spent his season on The Voice belting out songs from country’s newcomers like Maren Morris and Cole Swindell, along with tunes from veterans like the Judds and Keith Urban.
“This is the guy that I think can break the mold and become a star out of this show,” Shelton added. “And I give my word that I’ll put my work in, and I know (Sundance) will. This guy deserves to be a star, and there’s no excuses anymore. We need to make the record and put the work behind it that he deserves, to have this success that he deserves.”
After the finale, Shelton tweeted the same kind of message about what’s ahead for Head. 


Frankie Ballard Honors One of His First Fans

Final Shows of 2016 Support For the Linds Sarcoma Fund 
Before they rise to the level of headlining in arenas and amphitheaters, most country acts signed to major labels start out performing in radio station conference rooms throughout the nation.
Frankie Ballard will never forget his first radio tour because it connected him with one of his earliest supporters. Her name is Lindsay Walleman, and his final shows of the year this weekend are dedicated to her memory. In April 2013, the Warner Music Nashville radio promotion representative passed away at age 28 after a three-month battle with sarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer.
“Lindsay was the promo rep, which means she got our songs played on the radio,” Ballard explains. “When you first go on a radio tour you start realizing how the power of radio really works. Somebody from Bakersfield, California, is all of a sudden a fan of your music because of those relationships. I was experiencing all those things for the first time with her.”
 Walleman was one of the biggest cheerleaders for all the artists she represented, including Brett Eldredge, Charlie Worsham and Gloriana. “She was just a magnetic person,” Ballard adds. “She would walk into a room and smile, and everybody would want to talk to her. I’ve never had people like that. I didn’t know that’s what having a record deal meant either. So she was very special to me, and this was such a violent thing that happened to her. She’s diagnosed and a few months later, she’s gone.”
Fulfilling her last wish to start a fund supporting sarcoma research, Walleman’s family and friends launched the For the Linds Sarcoma Fund through the T.J. Martell Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from Ballard’s back-to-back shows at Michigan’s Kalamazoo State Theatre this weekend will benefit the initiative.
“This is the eighth year in Kalamazoo, and the charity is different every year,” Ballard says. “But this was the first year we’re going to try to do two shows instead of one show. And so it was a big thing, and I thought now is the time when I can potentially write a worthwhile check to something I really care about, which is definitely Lindsay. It’s also a homecoming show for me. I get to look out and see a bunch of faces I haven’t seen in a while.”
Ballard’s two-night stand at the Kalamazoo State Theatre starts Friday (Dec. 16). Fans can donate directly to the For the Linds Sarcoma Fund through the T.J. Martell Foundation’s website.

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