Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mid-Week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News...January 25, 2017

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of January 21-22:

1 KEITH URBAN Blue Ain’t Your Color *
3 BLAKE SHELTON A Guy With a Girl
4 BRETT ELDREDGE Wanna Be That Song
5 TIM McGRAW How I’ll Always Be
6 THOMAS RHETT Star Of The Show
8 GRANGER SMITH If The Boot Fits
10 CHRIS YOUNG Sober Saturday Night
11 MAREN MORRIS 80s Mercedes
12 ERIC CHURCH Kill A Word
14 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less
15 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots
16 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
20 HIGH VALLEY Make You Mine


Luke Bryan’s Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour Launches in May

Support Acts Include Brett Eldredge, Lauren Alaina, Craig Campbell, Adam Craig, Seth Ennis, Granger Smith 

Days after wrapping the 2017 Crash My Playa concert vacation in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Luke Bryan announced he will start a new summer tour in May.
The Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour kicks off May 5 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with Brett Eldredge. Lauren Alaina, Craig Campbell, Adam Craig, Seth Ennis and Granger Smith will open for various dates. Tickets for select shows go on sale Friday (Jan. 27) through Live Nation’s Country Megaticket.
Bryan will perform the National Anthem before kickoff at Super Bowl LI at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Feb. 5. The final 16 shows of the Kill the Lights tour starts Feb. 16 in Huntington, West Virginia with Eldredge.
Bryan will advise Blake Shelton’s team on season 12 of The Voice. His episodes were taped in Los Angeles last week.
Here’s a list of Luke Bryan’s concert dates, including various festival appearances which are not part of his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour:
May 5: Nashville
May 12: Bristow, Virginia
May 13: Hartford, Connecticut
May 18: Moline, Illinois

June 1: Cincinnati
June 2: Cullman, Alabama (Rock the South Festival)
June 3: St. Louis
June 9: Little Rock, Arkansas
June 10: Tulsa, Oklahoma
June 16-17: Atlanta
June 23: Hershey, Pennsylvania
June 24: Mansfield, Massachusetts
June 25: Columbia, Maryland

July 1: Dauphin, Manitoba (Dauphin’s Countryfest)
July 13: Bethel, New York
July 15: Cleveland, Ohio
July 16: Holmdel, New Jersey
July 21: Kansas City
July 22: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
July 26: Cheyenne, Wyoming (Cheyenne Frontier Days)
July 28: Central Point, Oregon (Country Crossings Music Festival)
July 29: Mountain Home, Idaho (Mountain Home Country Music Festival)

Aug. 5: Detroit Lakes, Minnesota (WE Fest)
Aug. 12: Syracuse, New York
Aug. 13: Oro-Medonte, Ontario (Boots and Hearts Music Festival)
Aug. 17: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Aug. 18: Charlotte, North Carolina
Aug. 19: Raleigh, North Carolina
Aug. 25: Darien Center, New York
Aug. 26: Saratoga Springs, New York
Aug. 27: Jones Beach, New York

Sept. 1: Lexington, Kentucky (Red, White & Boom Festival)
Sept. 6: Scranton, Pennsylvania
Sept. 8: Philadelphia
Sept. 9: Pittsburgh
Sept. 15: Indianapolis
Sept. 16: Chicago
Sept. 21: Austin, Texas
Sept. 22: Houston
Sept. 23: Dallas

Oct. 12: Concord, California
Oct. 13: Wheatland, California
Oct. 14: Mountain View, California
Oct. 19: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Oct. 21: Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct. 26: Phoenix
Oct. 27: San Diego, California
Oct. 28: San Bernardino, California


Carrie Underwood on the Mom Thing, Wife Thing

“We’re All Just Trying to Be Everything” 

Just like so many other women out there, Carrie Underwood has a lot of titles. And about 99 percent of them have absolutely nothing to do with being a country star.
“I feel like with all the hats that I do wear — that’s just a woman thing. That’s a mom [thing], a wife [thing]. We’re all just trying to be everything to everybody and keep it all going,” Underwood revealed to
Because of that kind of life she’s living right now, she doesn’t hold herself some kind of unachievable standards, either.
In fact, sometimes, it’s just a monkey bars kind of day.
“You fit workouts in whenever you can. Sometimes I take my son to the park and I’m like, you need to play [and] I need to work out.
“Hey, there’s some monkey bars — I can do some pull-ups. There’s some steps — I can do some step-ups. There’s a bench — I can do some dips,” she said.
Her son Isaiah doesn’t care what she’s doing, she said, because he’s just going down the slide and having a grand time.
“So sometimes, your life and the things that you wanna do all collides and you’re just trying to make it all happen at the same time,” she said. 


Chris Stapleton, Blake Shelton Continue Their Chart Triumphs

Lady Antebellum Back in Action With “You Look Good” 

Shhh! The charts are still dozing, with Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller and Blake Shelton‘s “A Guy With a Girl” still holding on, respectively, at the top of Billboard‘s country albums and country airplay lists.
However, Sturgill Simpson‘s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth enjoys a big bump, bounding from No. 19 last week to No. 3 this, no doubt a consequence of his recent and much-lauded appearance on Saturday Night Live.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth sold 6,034 copies this week, compared to 1,408 last week. This is the album’s 40th week on the charts.
There are two new albums to note — the Infamous StringdustersLaws of Gravity, which debuts at No. 26 on first-week sales of 1,191 units, and Natalie Hemby’s Puxico, bowing at No. 31.
Dylan Scott‘s self-titled collection returns to prominence at No. 43, while Dan + Shay‘s Obsessed bobs back in at No. 50.
On the airplay listing, Lady Antebellum‘s “You Look Good” is the highest debut, arriving at No. 27. It’s been quite a recording hiatus for the trio, which last topped the airplay chart in 2014 with “Bartender.”
The only other new song is Drew Baldridge‘s “Rebound,” featuring Emily Weisband. It enters at No. 59.
Returning to action are Tucker Beathard‘s “Momma and Jesus” (No. 55) and Ryan Follese‘s “Put a Label on It” (No. 60).
The No. 2, No. 4 and No. 5 albums, in that order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord, Miranda Lambert‘s The Weight of These Wings and Jason Aldean‘s They Don’t Know.
On your list of things to do to become a country star, add this one: Name yourself “Chris.” This week’s airplay countdown features recordings by Chris Young, Chris Stapleton, Chris Janson and Chris Lane. My personal favorite: Chris P. Kreme.


Chris Young: Vince Gill Is a Joy

“The Nicest Guy, Period” 

It’s not every day that you meet one of your idols and he is better than you even imagined.
More often that not, it’s one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations.
But when Chris Young met Vince Gill, he lucked out.
“It’s been really a joy to get to know somebody that I’ve looked up for so long,” Young said in a recent radio interview.
“You know, you put people like that on a pedestal. So he’s so far exceeded what my expectations of meeting him were and being around him would be,” he added of his “Sober Saturday Night” duet partner. Young co-wrote the song with brothers Brett and Brad Warren.

“Vince Gill might be the nicest guy, not just in country music, just period. He’s always going out of his way and spending time working on someone’s project, like he did with me with ‘Sober Saturday Night.’ Or whether it’s doing charity shows, benefits, just his time, he gives up so much of it.
“He’s just always so nice with everybody,” Young added.


Luke Bryan Joins The Voice

Compares It to His Colgate Country Showdown Days 
Luke Bryan is going to be Blake Shelton‘s latest sidekick on The Voice.
So he will be the one who works with Shelton’s team of contestants during the rehearsals for the battle rounds.
And in an interview with The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, Bryan said it kind of reminds him of his days competing in the Colgate Country Showdown.
“I think if you’re in the final rounds, you’ve got something to be proud of, in my opinion,” Bryan said. “When I won the Colgate Country Showdown, I was fired up.
“I can’t imagine even being on The Voice. What an inspiring moment for them in their lives.”
But Bryan thinks this particular part of the reality show’s competition is rough on everyone.
“Certainly when you add the dynamic of pairing them together and making them compete, this stuff works for TV, but I just want people that truly love singing,” he said. “I just want them to be put in a situation where they don’t ever have to really give up on it.
“The day you quit music, that’s the day you’re done. If you keep at music, I think that’s when you can keep striving and keep making yourself better.”
His plan is to tell the contestants on Shelton’s team the best thing he can tell them to lift them up, he said.
“Early in my career, I was so nervous about big moments, I didn’t even enjoy them,” he admitted. “I just want to help these people settle into who they are and enjoy the moment.”


Eric Church Goes the Distance at Minneapolis Concert

Delivers Three-Hour, 37-Song Set During Holdin’ My Own Tour
 MINNEAPOLIS — George Strait’s Vegas concerts have been featuring 33 or 34 songs. Garth Brooks typically delivers 24 to 29 tunes per show. Eric Church trumps them with 37.
That’s right — 37! Chief has recorded only 57 songs on his five albums. By contrast, King George has scored 45 No. 1 hits, and GarthGantuan has sold a whopping 135 million albums.
Church always does things his way. His three-hour, 37-song, no-opening-act marathon Friday night (Jan. 20) at sold-out Target Center in Minneapolis featured every selection from his latest Mr. Misunderstood album, eight tunes each from Chief and Sinners Like Me, six from The Outsiders and five from Carolina.
At this fifth concert of his Holdin’ My Own Tour, Church promised that every night of the tour would have a different set list. And, of course, every night would be a two-set endurance test.
“I’ll try to kill you, or you try to kill me,” he challenged his fans — the Church Choir, 19,000 strong Friday night — early into the concert. “We’ll see who does it.”
No wonder he started the second set with “Ain’t Killed Me Yet,” with its power chords ringing throughout the NBA arena.
The evening commenced with a single white spotlight focused on a lonely microphone stand with a recording of the late pop hero Jeff Buckley’s version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” playing over the speakers. That served notice that Church was in session.
Chief hit the stage by himself with an acoustic guitar, kicking off “Mistress Named Music.” After a verse and chorus, Church’s band suddenly appeared at the back of the stage. Before the song was over, white-robed members of Minneapolis’ Washburn High School choir joined in.
Church then put the pedal to the floor, tearing through “That’s Damn Rock & Roll,” the noisy, snarling “The Outsiders” and the roaring, slashing “Knives of New Orleans.”
Throughout the long evening, Church worked his way around the spare, backdrop-free stage with its semi-circular runway (with fans in the pit). There were microphone stands at various spots on the stage, so fans on the sides and behind the stage got up-close attention.
A four-sided video screen was suspended over the stage, offering tight shots of those aviator shades and that crooked Church smile. All the video footage was in black and white — except during the encore number “Holdin’ My Own,” which offered full-color close-ups of Church. Similarly, the lighting scheme during most of the concert was white, though in the second act there were splashes of red, green, blue and even orange at times.
The color-conscious superstar dressed in a plain black T-shirt, blue jeans and gray cowboy boots, with those familiar sunglasses and “Chief” stamped on his guitar strap and on the grande mug from which he sipped. The bottle from which he chugged was labeled “Jack Daniel’s” because he broke it out in the middle of the second set when he sang “Jack Daniel’s,” a 2011 album track from Chief, to the delight of the Church Choir.
Whether official Church Choir members or just congregants, the fans stood all night long (save for the 20-minute intermission for a beer and bathroom run) and responded vociferously. It didn’t matter if it was ballads with big drums (“Carolina,” “Round Here Buzz”) or party pieces (“Drink in My Hand,” “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”), the reception was thunderous.
But perhaps the most over-the-top reaction was for the hits from Mr. Misunderstood, namely the title cut and “Record Year.” Two other selections from that album, the funky “Chattanooga Lucy” and the cry-in-your-shot-glass “Mixed Drinks About Feelings,” were big winners in concert, as well, thanks partly to the contributions of backup singer Joanna Cotten, who was never introduced by name.
The Church Choir helped out on vocals a few times, especially on “Springsteen,” which the singer introduced as being a song that combines melody and memory.
He didn’t talk a whole lot during the performance but just enough to seem friendly and informative. He did offer short sermons about his early Twin Cities appearances at the Cabooze bar and State Theatre and about his two young sons, before singing about lessons learned in “Three Year Old.”
Church seemed less sure of himself in what he called the “audible” portion of the second set. Apparently, the band didn’t know what he was going to play. Looking down at the lyrics, he seemed a bit tentative on “Hungover and Hard Up” but found his footing on the ensuing “Young and Wild” and “Lightning.”
Proving that he likes to mix things up, Church dusted off “Two Pink Lines” from his 2006 debut album, reimagined as sort of a spare riff rocker.
The home stretch found Chief in his comfort zone, with “These Boots,” “Springsteen” and the encores of the island-lite “Holdin’ My Own” and “Like Jesus Does,” rendered solo on electric guitar.
At song’s end, the elated but spent Church, who had hit the stage more than three hours earlier, triumphantly waved his arms in the air. And the cheering Church-goers seemed just as exhilarated and exhausted.


Keith Urban: A Guy Among Girls at the Grammys

He Cites "Rich History of Strong Female Artists"
 In just a few short weeks, on Feb. 12 to be exact, Keith Urban will find himself surrounded with women.
When the 59th annual Grammy Awards show airs, he will be the lone man in the category for best country solo performance. And when the Academy of Country Music’s Tempo magazine asked him how he felt about that, it sounds like he cares less about what it says about men and more about what it says about women and the music they’re making.
“I just think of it in terms of the work itself,” Urban said. “I think there’s always been a rich history of strong female artists and country music, that’s never changed.
“It’s just the cycle of what the music is in at any given time. The bro-country thing happened and that has been what it’s been.”
And looking back on this particular Grammy category — which became a combination of best female and best male performances starting in 2012 — the list of male nominees definitely gets shorter every year, and the list of females gets longer.
In 2013, there were five males and one female.
In 2014, there were four males and one female.
In 2015, there were three males and two females.
In 2016, there were two males and three females.
“Women were still making great records all through there, and I think these results at the Grammys is sort of a testament to that, too,” Urban added.
In the best country solo performance category, Urban’s “Blue Ain’t Your Color” is up against Brandy Clark’s “Love Can Go to Hell,” Miranda Lambert‘s “Vice,” Carrie Underwood ‘s “Church Bells” and Maren Morris“My Church.”


Luke Bryan: “It’s a Little Chance to Serve”

On Singing the Super Bowl of Songs
When Luke Bryan was asked to sing the national anthem at the 2017 Super Bowl, he didn’t say yes.
He said, “Hell yes.”
According to People, Bryan was 100 percent in when he was asked to sing at the big football game on Feb. 5 in Houston.
“I never served in the military — that’s something I wish I had had the opportunity to do, but I feel like this is my way of honoring my country. It’s a little chance to serve,” Bryan said.
As enthusiastic as he is, though, that doesn’t mean he won’t be a little anxious about the two-minute performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“Is the anthem challenging? Yes. Is it nerve-wracking? Yes. But I moved to Nashville to follow my dreams and singing the national anthem on that stage doesn’t get any bigger,” he said.
Bryan may be pulling for the Atlanta Falcons, but mostly, he’ll be focused on doing the anthem justice. And once he walks off the field, he said, he will shake off that pressure and be ready to enjoy some football.
The Kill the Lights tour picks up Feb. 16 in Huntington, West Virginia with Brett Eldredge and Brett Young.


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