Wednesday, March 29, 2017

(BROUGHT BACK) Mid-week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..March 29, 2017

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of March 25-26:

2 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots
3 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less
5 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
6 CHRIS YOUNG Sober Saturday Night
7 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
12 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
13 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
14 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
16 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
17 HIGH VALLEY Make You Mine
18 DAN & SHAY How Not To
20 TRENT HARMON There’s A Girl



Brett Eldredge: A Hometown Hero for Illinois

Heads Back to Paris, in the Spring

On Friday night (March 31), Brett Eldredge isn’t just going back to the baseball fields of his hometown to play games.
He’s actually going home to Paris, Illinois to make his old Laker Stadium new again. And while he’s in town, he’ll be putting on a show for a few thousand friends, family and fans in his beloved Paris High School gymnasium.
“The ultimate dream is to come back to your hometown to say thanks,” Eldredge says.
The special will feature the exclusive performance, an in-depth interview and an intimate look into the people and places that shaped Eldredge — and the other two heroes Chris Stapleton and Darius Rucker — from a young age. CMT Hometown Heroes premieres on Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Jon Pardi Parties at No. 1 for Third Week With “Dirt on My Boots”

Keith Urban’s Ripcord Is Once Again Top-Ranked Country Album
These boots are made for stayin’. At least that’s the message imparted by Jon Pardi, whose “Dirt on My Boots” stays parked at the top of Billboard‘s country airplay chart for the third straight week.
And speaking of tenacity — We were, weren’t we? — let’s thrust a jaunty thumbs up to Keith Urban for the fact that, in its 46th week, his Ripcord has bounced back into the No. 1 slot on the country albums list.
Alas, there are no new albums to report. But there are four that have made a comeback — Luke Bryan‘s Tailgates & Tanlines (No. 43), Brad Paisley‘s Hits Alive (No. 45), Justin Moore‘s Kinda Don’t Care (No. 49) and Michael Ray‘s self-titled release (No. 50).
Maren MorrisHero leaps from No. 28 to No. 17, and last week’s No. 1 album, Josh Turner‘s Deep South, goes deeper South to No. 11.
There are only two new singles — Tim McGraw and Faith Hill‘s “Speak to a Girl,” which bows at No. 19, and Garth Brooks’ “Ask Me How I Know,” hopping aboard at No. 52.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs cluster, in descending order, are Bryan’s “Fast,” Lauren Alaina‘s “Road Less Traveled,” Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool” and Michael Ray’s “Think a Little Less.”
Parading in directly behind Ripcord within the Top 5 albums are Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller, Little Big Town‘s The Breaker, Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots and Brett Young‘s Brett Young.
All that’s decent in me cries, “Stop!” But there’s so little activity on the charts this week that I thought we’d have another go at Title Tales, the game in which we link together two or more song titles on the chart to tell or suggest a larger story. For example, “Momma and Jesus/Woke Up in Nashville” (Tucker Beathard/Seth Ennis).
Then there’s “In Case You Didn’t Know/Ask Me How I Know” (Brett Young/Garth Brooks), “Do I Make You Wanna/Think a Little Less” (Billy Currington/Michael Ray) and, of course, the inevitable “Watered Down/Drinkin’ Problem” (Trace Adkins/Midland).


Carrie Underwood Signs with UMG’s Capitol Nashville

Joins "The Fighter" Collaborator Keith Urban and More at New Label Home 

Carrie Underwood has left Sony Music Nashville’s Arista imprint, her original label home following her American Idol win in 2005, and has signed a new worldwide deal with Universal Music Group’s Capitol Nashville.
Underwood’s new labelmates at Capitol include Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Mickey Guyton, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jon Pardi, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban.
“It’s so inspiring to me as an artist to feel this excited about the future,” Underwood said in a press release. “The incredible team at UMG shares the heart and passion I have for music as well as the drive, and their innovative spirit has shown that together the possibilities are endless.”
“I also want to be sure to thank every single person who has played a part in my recording career so far,” she added. “I will be forever grateful to them for all we achieved together.”
All six of her albums released with Arista, Some Hearts, Play On, Carnival Ride, Blown Away, Greatest Hits: Decade #1 and Storyteller, have achieved RIAA platinum status or multi-platinum status. She is a two-time ACM entertainer of the year, and a seven-time Grammy winner with 14 No. 1 hits. Her Storyteller Tour — Stories in the Round was among Billboard‘s Top 25 Tours of 2016.
She is the CMA’s reigning female vocalist of the year and has co-hosted the CMAs with Brad Paisley for the last nine years.
She heads to Sunday’s (April 2) ACMs in Las Vegas with nominations for female vocalist and entertainer of the year.


Dierks Bentley: Rookie Moves Are Behind Him

Hopes to Keep ACM Awards Loose with Luke Bryan 

If Dierks Bentley was nervous during his co-hosting duties at last year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, it didn’t show.
“Last year I was the rookie and really didn’t know what to expect,” Bentley told Billboard about the 2016 awards show.
“From start to finish, being part of the creative conversations from the monologue to my performance makes the whole experience ­something I look that much more forward to this year. The show was loose and a lot of fun with Luke,” he said.
And this year, Bentley says, will be more of the same.
“I definitely want to carry that into this year,” he said.
In addition to his hosting gig, Bentley is nominated for three ACM Awards: album, male vocalist and vocal event of the year.
Win or lose, though, he is up for everything Vegas has in store over ACM weekend.
“My favorite part of the ACMs is the ­environment in Vegas, when all of Nashville comes to town. This show is just a total party, and I always look forward to getting out there and seeing everyone,” he said.


Now Luke Bryan Has Tips for Blake Shelton

Tables Turn on The Voice
There was a time, about nine years ago, when Luke Bryan was getting advice from Blake Shelton. It was when Bryan was opening for Shelton somewhere in Wisconsin, and he filmed some of Shelton’s tips for his very first episode of LBTV (He called the moment “Words of wisdom or pure BS?”).
But on Monday night (March 27), it was the other way around.
Shelton brought Bryan on The Voice to help his contestants bring their best to the competition.
And Team Blake was definitely better off because if it.
“Luke and I have worked together a lot over the years. Nobody’s been more excited by his success than I have,” Shelton said.
Some of Bryan’s best advice of the night went to Josh Hoyer and TSoul when they were getting ready to sing Wilson Pickett’s 1965 bluesy classic, “In the Midnight Hour.”
“Commit with full voice, and work the mic,” Bryan told them.

He also lavished praise on the two hopefuls, telling them, “Y’all compliment each other” and “Don’t try to overdo that when you’ve already got the goods” and “That ‘waiting waiting waiting’ that just pulled me into y’all, hook line and sinker.”

Darius Rucker: A Hometown Hero for South Carolina

Goes Homes and Gives Back to Charleston 

On Friday’s (March 31) CMT Hometown Heroes, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Darius Rucker donating his time, talent and treasure to the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital.
Rucker went back to Charleston’s MUSC for a surprise visit, and brought with him everything he needed to remodel and redecorate the teen lounge in the hospital.
It’s a hospital Rucker knows well, because his mother was a nurse there when he was growing up in Charleston. “I feel like it’s my obligation to do as much as I can,” Rucker said of the project that’s so close to his heart, “because this town’s been so good to me.”
While Rucker was there, he performed a few hits for the MUSC staff and the patients.
The special will feature exclusive performances, in-depth interviews and an intimate look into the people and places that shaped Rucker — and the other two heroes Chris Stapleton and Brett Eldredge — from a young age. CMT Hometown Heroes premieres on Friday (March 31) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.


Chris Janson: “I Believe in Staying in Your Own Lane”

Finds Out About ACM Nomination in a Traffic Jam and Talks Sophomore Album 

On the morning the ACM nominations came out, Chris Janson and his wife Kelly were driving home in Nashville’s bumper to bumper traffic after a long night of red-eye flights.
He was running on fumes and had no patience for the driver who had just cut him off.
“I could tell the lady in front of me in this SUV was on her phone probably checking e-mails and she cut in right in front of us,” Janson recalled during our interview. “We had no coffee yet that morning and my whole thing was like, ‘I’m about to let her have a piece of my mind.'”
Road rage normally isn’t Janson’s thing. Later during our Q&A, he admitted cutting people off in traffic is one of his bad habits. But that particular morning was a bad time to test his patience. So he jerked his car to confront the other driver and then his world stopped.
“I rolled down my window and it was my brand manager, Lisa Ray,” he said. “She was checking her e-mail to call us and tell us we had been nominated. We were so thankful. We really are. So we were in our car on the way home to get our kids and just going back to normal life for a few days when we found out.”
Anyone who has seen Janson live knows his ACM nomination for new male artist is deserving. Years of playing marathon sets on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, opening national tours for Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton and headlining his own Buy Me a Boat Tour has made him a master at working a crowd.
But at the end of the day, he’s just thankful for the opportunity to support his family by working a job he genuinely loves. He starts Sam Hunt‘s 15 In a 30 Tour with Maren Morris and Ryan Follesé on June 1 in Cleveland, Ohio, and a sophomore album is expected sometime this summer.
“Most people get freaked out like a sophomore album is a make it or break it situation,” he said. “Not for me. I had a big enough breakthrough album that a second album is like icing on the cake. You’ve got to go into it knowing it’s going to work.
“I’ve written some very timely pieces for this new record,” he revealed. “Some things I think are going to hit all scopes of life — love, happiness, sadness, funny sides of politics — not even politician politics. It’s just being observant of things in the world that we live in, the changing of the guard.”
When asked what subjects are hard to write about, he said everything is fair game.
“I’m always going to be a family guy so I’m always going to be writing and singing about that lifestyle because I believe in keeping those traditions alive,” he said. “Bottom line, I’m sticking with the same old me. I’m sticking to what works — blue collar, working man music. But it’s all fair game. If I’m three lines in and think, ‘This is a great song, but I probably wouldn’t sing it,’ I think, ‘Maybe someone else will sing it.’ Anything goes as long as it’s clean, classy and fun. I’m never going to write anything raunchy or just totally out of my realm. I believe in staying in your own lane.
“I finish recording in just a few weeks so it remains to be seen what’s going to be on the next album,” he said. “We over record a little bit and then we’ll dwindle the tracks down to 10 or 12 songs and get with it.”

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