Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Today's Country Music Countdown & Country Music News...Wednesday December 21, 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


Cold Beer Conversation With Randy Rogers

2017 Promises New Music, New Tour, New Duets Album With Wade Bowen 

It’s easy to listen to Randy Rogers talk until the cows come home.’s cold beer conversation at Nashville’s Winners bar covered almost everything from family, to songwriting, politics and run-ins with rock legends.
At the time of our Q&A, he was proud to have co-written “Walk Away” with rising artist Cody Johnson on Johnson’s latest album Gotta Be Me. It’s a gut-wrenching ballad about a cheating wife whose spouse confronts his wife’s other man at a bar.
“That’s one of the songs that when we wrote it, I felt like I co-wrote the next thing to change country music,” Rogers admitted. “I’m so thankful it made the record. The cheating wife doesn’t always necessarily get talked about. It probably happens every night in America.”
“I think he’s Chris LeDoux, Garth Brooks and George Strait all rolled into one,” Rogers said of Johnson, his friend of eight years. “He’s a dedicated songwriter, a good dad and a good husband. He’s got a really bright future ahead of him.”
Between sips from a longneck bottle, Rogers revealed his 2017 is pretty much mapped out. In January, he will head into the studio with Wade Bowen to record Hold My Beer Vol. 2, the follow-up to their 2015 duets album Hold My Beer Vol. 1. Known for performing more than 100 shows a year, the Randy Rogers Band will start a new tour on Jan. 6 in Deadwood, South Dakota, with Rogers performing select acoustic solo shows between dates.
 On Jan. 19, he will perform a solo acoustic set at the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C.’s Black Tie and Boots 2017 Presidential Inaugural Ball in Oxon Hill, Maryland. The annual event started in 1953 as a pre-inaugural cocktail party for president Dwight Eisenhower and has grown to become one of D.C.’s most prestigious events leading up to a presidential inauguration. “I plan on being in the studio for the first part of the next year and hopefully have a new Randy Rogers Band album out in the fall,” Rogers said. “What we’ve done as a band consistently for years is put out new music every 18-20 months, so you can expect the same thing. We’re still going to move forward and make records.”
“Now’s my time to focus on what to say next and what direction to go in,” he added. “The last record was really country, you know. I don’t know whether we’re going to stay in that vein or go a different path. It’s kind of fun, though, because we tour so much. We’ve got such a great fan base, it feels like we can be honest with where we’re at in our career, and people respect that. We just gotta figure out what’s next.” It seems like the current state of country radio has created a fan demand for the music you continue to make and for the acts like Cody Johnson. Does it feel that way when you perform live?
Rogers: It’s really funny that you bring that up, because I’ve actually been noticing us gaining new fans, which I don’t know that that has happened in a while. But it just seems that people have finally kind of turned their head a little bit more to the left. I don’t know, ears have kind of perked up. I mean, the successes that Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson and Jason Isbell have had, it’s weird because I’m nothing like any of those guys. And I don’t profess to be. However, I think that has really helped a genre of music that is in a way needing a revival of sorts of creating hardworking music. If I could be a part of that, that would be great.
It’s interesting because for me, I’ve been doing this so long and I do have an identity as the Randy Rogers Band. People are used to a product that they get from us. It just seems like a lot of people now are kind of listening again. There’s a lot of cool kids out there that don’t necessarily like what they’ve been force-fed and they’re making a difference. Go look at the album sales.
In its first week out, Cody Johnson’s Gotta Be Me, outsold albums by artists who have had No. 1 hits, and he is an independent artist.
That’s tangible proof of what people desire.
It’s hard for songwriters to make a living off streaming services, but at the same time, they get people to shows.
Comparing the mechanical royalties for the albums that sold millions of copies in the ’80s and ‘90s, comparatively to today with streaming services, it’s a crying shame. I’m not a political human being and I don’t profess to be in the know of all the bills, laws and all that shit. I think the more light we can bring to this subject, hopefully it will be a great thing for people who are creative and children who are also thinking about writing their first song or starting their first band. There has to be a way where you can get paid for being creative. I have faith in our government, too. I think they’ll figure it out.
It’s all about making the future brighter for the next generation of rising musicians. I know Wade is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I heard you had a run-in with him in Asbury Park and Wade wasn’t there. Tell me that story.
Randy Rogers Band, we were on the road and off on a Sunday, so we decided to pick up a gig at the Wonder Bar. It’s right down the street from the Stone Pony. So we joked, “What if Bruce would be there that day?” It was us and Reckless Kelly, and we were soundchecking. Then Springstreen rode in on his Harley with a couple of his buddies, and they went up to the bar and ordered something to drink. They sat there and watched us soundcheck — both bands.
I approached him and basically just said, “My buddy Wade and his family are just huge fans and honestly bigger fans than I am. Of course, I love you, Boss.” But Wade named his son Bruce after him. He signed a menu from the bar for Bruce and it says, “To Little Bruce.” I think Wade was on the West Coast, and it was just random. Springsteen was out for a ride on his bike. Totally random.
He couldn’t have been more kind and gracious. He sat, talked amplifiers with the guitar players and took all the pictures we wanted. He signed a couple of guitars for us. He told us he normally doesn’t do that, but he could tell we weren’t going to sell them on eBay.
What did Wade think of all this?
I called Wade and asked, “Do you want to talk to him?” And Wade goes, “No! Hell, no!”
Who reminds you of what good storytelling is?
God bless Guy Clark. I loved every story that Guy Clark told. I think Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett’s big buddy, is the epitome of a storyteller. It seems like every time I go see him play a show, I always hang on to every word and try to learn from it. He’s as close to a modern day Townes Van Zandt.


Jason Aldean and the Tale of the Christmas ‘Dillo

Wants Unwanted House Guest Gone 
 For all those hosting unwanted house guests this holiday season, Jason Aldean feels your pain.
There is an armadillo in his neighborhood that loves exploring his front yard, but it leaves a path of destruction every time it visits.

“It’s been tearing up the yard for the last couple of months,” he said in an Instagram video. “And I put out traps, I put out all kinds of stuff. I can’t catch the dude. I’m sitting here looking out the bedroom window and there he is — laughing at me.”
His wife Brittany can be heard in the background calling it her, “angel.”
“Angel,” he repeated. “I’m gonna shoot him with a shotgun.”
“No, you’re not,” she said. “I’ll shoot you.”
If the Aldean’s are game for having dillo for Christmas dinner, Argentinians have a 9,000-year-old recipe for roasted armadillo on the half shell.


It’s Cassadee Pope vs. Dustin Lynch on Lip Sync Battle

Spike Series Heads Into Country Territory This Wednesday 
 Cassadee Pope is not afraid of a little competition. Especially when that competition is fellow country singer Dustin Lynch.
The two will face each other Wednesday (Dec. 21) on Spike’s hit series Lip Sync Battle, and she revealed in a show preview that she is surprisingly not nervous.
But she is worried about one very real threat: Lynch’s charm.
“He can charm his way right into America’s heart,” Pope admitted.
She will be lip syncing along to Panic! At the Disco’s 2006 pop-punk single “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies.” Before Pope won season three of The Voice, and became one of country music’s newest faces, she fronted her own pop-punk band Hey Monday, which may give her an advantage as she battles Lynch, who will be syncing along to Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy.”

On the Spike preview clip, Pope even tried some trash talk for Lynch.
“You are trash,” she said, sounding like she meant exactly none of it.
Hosted by LL Cool J with commentator Chrissy Teigen, the “Country Holidays” episode of Lip Sync Battle airs Wednesday (Dec. 21) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Spike and CMT.


Songwriter Andrew Dorff Dead at 40

Hits Include Kenny Chesney's “Save It for a Rainy Day,” Hunter Hayes' “Somebody’s Heartbreak” 
Songwriter Andrew Dorff, whose hits included Kenny Chesney’s “Save It for a Rainy Day” and Hunter Hayes “Somebody’s Heartbreak,” died Monday (Dec. 19) at the age of 40. The place and cause of death have not been officially announced.
Among Dorff’s other major cuts were Martina McBride’s “Ride,” Blake Shelton’s “My Eyes” and “Neon Light,” Ronnie Dunn’s “Bleed Red,” Old Dominion’s “Shut Me Up,” Gary Allan’s “Kiss Me When I’m Down” and William Michael Morgan’s “Missing.”
“There simply are no words for the unbearable loss my family and I are feeling today,” Dorff’s father and fellow songwriter Steve Dorff wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday (Dec. 20). “May God bless … Andrew, the best friend any father could have. Your light will forever shine in my heart and in all those who were lucky enough to know you.”
In a statement issued on behalf of Nashville Songwriters Association, International, the group’s president, Lee Thomas Miller, said, “Our songwriting community is small and close, and this loss will hurt us all deeply. Andrew was a good man and a good friend. He was an elite songwriter at the peak of his life and career.”
Four of his compositions have earned BMI’s Million Air Awards, which the performance rights organization confers on songs that have been played 1 million times each on radio.
Prior to moving to Nashville to concentrate on songwriting, Dorff was a recording artist for Sony and Lost Highway.
He is the brother of Hollywood actor Stephen Dorff. Their father’s songwriting credits include George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way but Loose.”


Recording Academy Honors Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers and Ralph Peer

Among 2017 Lifetime and Trustees Award Honorees 
Charley Pride, Jimmie Rodgers and Ralph Peer have been recognized with the Special Merit awards from the Recording Academy, the organization that hosts the Grammys. Pride and Rodgers will be honored with Lifetime Achievement awards, while Peer will be honored a Trustees Award posthumously.
Pride is a three-time Grammy nominee, winning 1972’s best country vocal performance for “Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs,” 1971’s best sacred performance for “Did You Think to Pray” and best gospel performance for “Let Me Live.”
Rodgers is the father of country music. Peer recorded him during 1927’s famous Bristol Sessions in Bristol, Tennessee, which is considered the “big bang” of modern country music. The sessions led to the popularization of music by both Rodgers, the Carter Family and the genre itself. His most famous hits include “Way Out on the Mountain,” “Blue Yodel (T for Texas),” “Blue Yodel No. 4,” “Waiting for a Train” and “In the Jailhouse Now.” Rodgers was the first inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. Twenty-five years later, he was inducted as a founding father at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Peer managed Rodgers until Rodgers’ death in 1933 and was one of America’s earliest musical innovators being the first of his kind to record music in the field. He recorded country music’s first stars including Fiddlin’ John Carson, Stoneman Family and Vernon Dalhart. In 1927, he oversaw Tennessee’s famous Bristol Sessions. By the 1930s he was publishing songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer and jazz composer/arranger Don Redman.
According to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Peer claimed to have conceived the idea of a rival publishers’ group to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) five years before Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) came into being in 1940. When it did, Peer split his catalogue between ASCAP and BMI (a daring move then, standard practice today). At Peer’s death, his publishing company Peer International was America’s biggest BMI publisher; his other publishing company Southern Music Company was among ASCAP’s top twenty.
The Recording Academy’s additional 2017 lifetime achievement award honorees include Shirley Caesar, Ahmad Jamal, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, the Velvet Underground, Thom Bell and Mo Oslin.
The Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates performers who have made outstanding contributions of artistic significance to the field of recording, while the Trustees Award honors contributions in areas other than performance.
The 59th annual Grammy Awards air live from Los Angeles on Feb. 12 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.


When Brett Eldredge Found His Big Voice

Hated to Practice, Loved to Sing 
 When Brett Eldredge thinks about Christmases past, he always thinks about his very first solo.
“The year when I first started singing solos in the choir loft at my church, there was this magic moment when I found my big voice. I would just get out there and belt it out,” Eldredge told me about growing up singing in the tiny Grace Lutheran church in tiny Paris, Illinois.
“It was me and my grade school choir teacher, who was the organ player at church,” he said. “I hated to practice, but I loved to sing. That made me fall in love with Christmas music. It was something deep down in my soul.”
 Backstage at the CMA Country Christmas taping in November, Eldredge added that his whole family’s holiday tradition revolves around that very church. They go back every year and sing the same songs, the same carols and the same songs that are on his new album Glow. When everybody held their candles, he would always see how close he could get his hand to the fire. “I still do that,” he said. “I’m not going to lie.”
This Christmas, Eldredge’s plans include hanging out with his “1,000 cousins,” going to his aunt’s house and eating the best cooking and drinking the best drinks.
“It’s the perfect way to end the year,” he said.

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