Saturday, March 11, 2017

(BROUGHT BACK) Weekend Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..March 11, 2017

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of March 11-12:

2 CHRIS YOUNG Sober Saturday Night
3 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less
5 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots *
8 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
9 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
10 DUSTIN LYNCH Seein’ Red
13 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
14 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
15 GARTH BROOKS Baby Let’s Lay Down & Dance
16 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
18 HIGH VALLEY Make You Mine
19 TRENT HARMON There’s A Girl
20 CHRIS JANSON Holdin’ Her


Marty Stuart’s Way Out West Is a Vivid Trip

He and His Fabulous Superlatives Explore a California Groove 
 Marty Stuart is taking the flavor of the American West overseas this weekend during the three-day, three-city Country2Country Festival, where he and his band are sharing the bill with the Zac Brown Band, Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne for shows in London, Dublin and Glasgow.
That particular flavor is at the center of Way Out West, the just-released concept album Stuart recorded with his longtime allies in the Fabulous Superlatives. As evidenced by the initial video for the title track, the album is a rich, somewhat trippy visit to California music history.
What it’s not, however, is a direct homage to California, even though the influences of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, the Beach Boys and the Ventures are on prominent display for anyone who remembers them.
“It didn’t need to be another tribute to Bakersfield,” Stuart said earlier this week on a visit to CMT’s offices in Nashville. “That’s been done, and every time Merle’s music or Buck’s music comes on the radio, it takes all those tribute records and puts them back in their place.
“This album was about a much broader span than just the Bakersfield contribution. With the California information being the impetus of it all, when you take that and put it in the broader setting of the Mojave Desert and drawing from the Byrds and Link Wray, it’s a lot more fun.”
There’s also an Old West vibe that originated from Marty Robbins’ 1959 album, Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.
“You cannot do a record like this without tipping your hat to Gunfighter Ballads and ‘El Paso’ and ‘Big Iron’ and all those songs that came from there,” Stuart said. “I’ve owned that album on every format it’s been offered on since I was a kid.
“My mother named me for Marty Robbins. … He was probably one of the most versatile people who ever worked in this town. He had it all. Time stands still when you hear him sing.”
Way Out West, produced by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell, was recorded in California at the legendary Capitol Records studio and Campbell’s M.C. Studio. Stuart and Campbell first worked together when Petty and the Heartbreakers served as the backing band on Johnny Cash’s 1996 album, American Recordings II: Unchained. Campbell also contributed to Stuart’s 1999 album, The Pilgrim.
Stuart said Campbell was the logical choice to produce Way Out West.
“To make this record, I couldn’t do it in Nashville,” Stuart said. “I knew it needed palm trees and blue sky and desert air and all the things the West offers that the South doesn’t have. I knew I needed a shepherd — a producer of sorts — who had an overview of the entire American music system and what we were trying to do and could get us there into places we’d never gone to as a band anymore.”
The studios played a major role in the album’s direction.
“Campbell’s house is like a guitar emporium,” Stuart said. “Think of a sound, and it’s there hanging on the wall.”
Stuart’s only experience at the Capitol studio was several years ago when he produced a track for singer-songwriter Beck.
“That was the only time I’d ever been there, but I knew that Capitol in Hollywood was part of this record,” Stuart said. “We were in the ‘A’ room. I think Bob Dylan had the ‘B’ room commandeered. But we walked into to the ‘A’ room, and I said, ‘Is this where “Wichita Lineman” was cut? Is this where “Ode to Billie Joe” was cut?’ And the answer kept being, ‘Yeah.’
“I swear, there is Capitol Studios and then there’s every other studio on the planet Earth. It is the ultimate, paramount of sound in the United States of America. It is a magical place.”
The instrumental work of Stuart and his band is prominently featured on the new album.
“If you look back into the Superlatives’ body of work, we’ve always included instrumentals,” he said. “But when we got up to the line of that ‘love letter to California music’ like we’re doing here, all of a sudden there’s the Ventures and all that surf rock that happened out there. If you look at just right, there’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between what Buck Owens and the Buckaroos played on ‘Buckaroo’ and what the Ventures were playing. It’s all that twangy instrumental stuff.”
The music video director Reid Long created for “Way Out West” is easily one of the most inventive country-related productions to ever come down the pike. When it’s suggested that the video is a little emotionally jarring, Stuart says, “Good. That’s what it’s supposed to be.”
Continuing his mission to preserve country music history, he still felt the need to create “something that looks different, that sounds different, that feels different but that doesn’t look like we’re abandoning ourselves.”
He adds, “I think we accomplished that with the video. It disturbs people sometimes. The first one was my mama. She said, ‘What are you doing singing about pills.’ I said, ‘Did you make it to the end of the song? My advice is don’t take pills. It took me 14 years of sobriety to write that song.’
“She said, ‘Well, I hope somebody makes it to the end of the song to hear that.'” 
Stuart acknowledges that he’s known a lot of people who took pills.
“It was just a part of the deal,” he said. “When I first got to town in 1972, nobody thought anything about it. Nobody thought it was illegal. There were doctors all over town writing prescriptions for pickers and bus drivers. It was just part of the vocabulary around here: ‘You got anything? What do you need?’
“It got out of hand, and it ruined a lot of lives and ruined a lot of marriages. It wrecked a lot of bands. It is a progressive disease, and it goes crazy on you. But, yeah, I can tell you anything you want do know about the subject.”
Any singer or musician who releases a new album will tell you they’re excited about their latest music. More than three decades after releasing his solo debut album, Busy Bee Café, in 1982, Stuart is clearly taking special pride in Way Out West.
“We’re already performing it live,” he said. “Every single song works live, and people are responding to it in a way that’s making me go, ‘Whoa!’ We haven’t had a response like this off of new songs — ever. They’re singing along to the second chorus and jumping up and down.
“Something’s going on here, and I like it.”


Keith Urban Covers Miranda Lambert Hit

"Bear With Me," He Asks 
 Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry is the place where so much country music magic happens. Like Keith Urban, armed with just a guitar, covering Miranda Lambert‘s “Vice.”
And even apologizing because it was the first time he’d done it before.
“I’m gonna play you a snippet of a song that I love at the moment,” Urban says before he starts singing.
“I’ve never played this, so Miranda, bear with me. But this is a great song, even if it is weird that the guy is holding shoes in his hand at 7 a.m.,” he says before he starts singing.

The song — one Lambert wrote with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne — was nominated for two Grammys this year, and is up for three Academy of Country Music Awards.
Lambert must approve of Urban’s cover, because she retweeted the Opry’s video to all her fans and followers. 

                                   Image result for carrie underwood images   

Carrie Underwood Calls Reese Witherspoon Her Style Icon

Pretty, Feminine and Ladylike Trumps Edgy

In a new video on Refinery 29, Carrie Underwood answers 29 quick questions. So I learned a few new things about her.
Like that her first job was working at a gas station. And that she owns more than 250 pairs of shoes, and she’s kind of embarrassed about it. And that she can bench press 100 pounds.
But the part I love the most was when she talked about how Reese Witherspoon was her style icon.
“Nothing’s ever too edgy or whatever. It’s all very pretty and feminine and ladylike,” Underwood said.
And all of that pretty and feminine and ladylike style looks best with lean, toned legs, the kind Underwood says she gets from doing squats and lunges, while she’s holding weights.
She also reveals in the interview that she and her husband Mike Fisher are currently building a new home and that musically she is going to be in in a “very creative space this year.”


Rachel Bilson and Kaitlin Doubleday Are Headed To Nashville

New Characters and a New Trailer for the New Episodes 

Rachel Bilson (The O.C., Hart of Dixie) and Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire) are coming to Nashville.
In recognition of the Nashies’ unwavering support of the series, Bilson and Doubleday chose to announce the news directly to the fans on social media after the mid-season finale of Nashville Thursday (March 9) evening.
Nashville will also be a bit of a reunion for Bilson, who worked with series regular Chris Carmack on The O.C..


Brad Paisley’s New Album Features Mick Jagger, John Fogerty, Timbaland

Love and War Also Includes Song Paisley Wrote With Johnny Cash

Mick Jagger, John Fogerty and Timbaland are among the guests on Brad Paisley’s new 16-track album Love and War, set for release on April 21. Country Music Hall of Fame members Bill Anderson and the late Johnny Cash are also represented on the project.
Anderson provides guest vocals on “Dying to See Her,” a song he wrote with Paisley. “Gold All Over the Ground” was written by Cash and Paisley.
Paisley opened the Rolling Stones stadium concert in Nashville in 2015 and jammed with them on “Dead Flowers” during the British rock band’s set. He’d previously opened their 2013 show in Philadelphia.
Paisley’s album, Jagger appears on “Drive of Shame,” a song the two of them wrote with -Matt Clifford.
Fogerty and Paisley co-wrote the album’s title track, and the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman performs on it.
Timbaland, the R&B/hip-hop artist-producer, is featured on two tracks — “Grey Goose Chase” and “Solar Power Girl.”


Sunny Sweeney Digs Deep on Trophy

“I’m Proud of the Things I Say, and I Wouldn’t Say Them if I Wasn’t.” 

The best part about Sunny Sweeney is she makes finding the positive in bad situations a fine art.
She proved she’s a master at her craft live on Wednesday (March 8) at Nashville’s release show for her fourth album, Trophy. The Texas native entertained for 90 minutes, delivering songs about things that just need to be said (“You Don’t Know Your Husband”), things that are better left unsaid (“Backhanded Compliment”) and songs she jokes that make her father real proud (“Bad Girl Phase”).
“If you get offended easily, you need to loosen up,” she warned.
Between selections, the band drank from commemorative golden trophies her husband bought specifically for the occasion. Will Hoge, Kree Harrison, Natalie Stovall, Shannon LaBrie and hit-maker Heather Morgan were among the artists spotted in the audience hanging on Sweeney’s every word. Diehard fans held their phones up high to record “Whiskey Richard,” which she says is definitely not about her husband, Jeff Hellmer.
“It’s about my friend Tara’s husband,” she said onstage. “She has nothing to do with the music business. She does something fancy with computers. She called me and said, ‘I have a song idea for you.’ I ran as fast as I could to write this song.”
Then she lit into the waltz about a man who has trouble making love when he’s under the influence of alcohol. She sang, “Whiskey Richard, all things considered/You gave it all that you had/Whiskey Richard at least you’re a good kisser/I wish I had a bone to pick/I got the short-end of the stick.”
Trophy‘s title track is a wry takedown of her husband’s ex-wife.
“He’s great,” Sweeney said onstage about her other half, “except he comes with 5-foot-2-worth of baggage. And I heard that the baggage was calling me his ‘trophy’ wife. So I wrote a song about it. And everybody’s like, ‘Are you going to let her hear it?’ I’m like, ‘I’m going to hand-deliver it to her.'”
Produced with Dave Brainard, Trophy offers some of Sweeney’s most revealing music to date. The 10-song collection kicks off with the sounds of a pedal steel on “Pass the Pain,” a tear-in-my-beer weeper she wrote eight years ago about that one afternoon she spent drowning the pain of her first divorce in alcohol. She confronts a potential addict in “Pills” and taps into themes of love and belonging in “Grow Old With Me” and “Nothing Wrong With Texas.” In “Bottle by My Bed,” she shares her sadness and frustration of not having a child.
“Evidently there’s a lot of people that have gone through the things that I’ve gone through in the attempting to make a baby department,” Sweeney said over the phone during our interview. “And nobody wants to talk about it. But you should see these emails that people have sent me since ‘Bottle by My Bed’ came out. These people are standing in solidarity with me. I’ve been personal before, but this is another level of opening up myself. Maybe it’s going to help somebody.” My favorite part about the music is the way you expose pain as an opportunity to grow.
Sweeney: You have to learn from everything. I guess you don’t have to. But I chose to. I mean, I’ve gone through some deep things in my life that I never I’d go through when I was 15 years old. I thought you grow up, you get married, you have kids, you have the perfect relationship with your husband, he loves your family, your friends, and you have a really cute house on a hill and you have a dog. Those are the things that I thought would happen.
That is not the way it turned out for me. I got divorced and I thought, “Oh, my God, I failed.” But because I met my first husband, we went to a bar that I would have never gone to in my life, which is where I ended up meeting my second husband who is everything. I hate saying everything happens for a reason, but it does. And then you just have to find out why in your mind that things happen and then learn from it.
Is there another underlying significance behind the title?
I love one word titles. I find them a lot easier to remember. “Trophy” is kind of the song that bridges what I feel people know me for in my past music — the snarky, smart ass-y kind of stuff. And that song, content-wise, bridges where I have been to hopefully where I’m going.
But so many men relate to that song, and I did not think that would be the case. I thought it would be something only women would relate to. But a lot of men have said, “You have written my life.”
Was “Pass the Pain” the hardest song to write?
Not really. Basically when I was going through the beginning stages of a divorce, I found myself at Loser’s in Nashville one day drinking by myself. And I thought, “This is embarrassing. What are you doing?” Like I had that talk with myself.
The reason I wanted to start the record with it is because of the steel intro. There’s not really a lot of steel in country right now. It’s just so country, and I just love it so much. I thought this may be the one chance to start a record with steel and maybe somebody has been longing for that. Maybe not. They might hate steel guitar. But I don’t know how you could hate steel guitar because it’s the most beautiful instrument on the entire planet.
Have you seen your audience grow because of a fan demand for this kind of music?
I have, and because I’m so open with my fans, I feel like a lot of times my fans are open with me. Whether they agree or disagree with what I’m saying, they are very passionate. And I encourage that because I’m like that. I want people to tell me how they feel. I want my husband to tell me how he feels and I want my friends to tell me how they feel because when you don’t, that’s when you get in weird situations.
All of my songwriting heroes have said, “Write what you know.” And so I write what I know, and all I know how to do is sing country music. I can’t sing other types of music. I never really tried, but I don’t know that I would like it as much. I’m sure a lot of it is personal, but that’s what I know. I’m not proud to have gone through a divorce, but I do know what it’s like to go through it. And there’s shit situations in life that you have to turn into a positive. I’m proud of the things I say, and I wouldn’t say them if I wasn’t. 


Five Memphis Landmarks to Visit From Sun Records

Tour the Living History of the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll 
 As a Memphian living in Nashville, CMT’s Sun Records got my hometown right.
Fans will feel the Memphis heat watching all the actors sweat through their vintage clothes. Beale Street on the show is hopping with the best live blues and soul food this side of the Mississippi. The gospel music in the church that the young Elvis Presley sneaks into shakes the soul.
But the best part about the series is it offers an authentic look at the living history of the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. And music fans can visit most of the landmarks featured on the show today.
Here are five original Memphis places from Sun Records fans can see on their next trip:
Sun Records (706 Union Ave.): The show is based on a famous jam session at Sun with Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins that Cowboy Jack Clement and Sam Phillips recorded on Dec. 4, 1956. At the time, Perkins had a recording session booked with Lewis when Presley dropped in with his girlfriend at the time. Realizing the potential of the moment, Phillips called Cash to come over for a few minutes. Once he arrived, all four huddled around Presley at a piano and they played every type of music they knew — blues, bluegrass, gospel, pop and R&B.
Phillips called a reporter from Memphis’ Press-Scimitar and the bureau chief of the local UPI service to cover the event. In the paper, Phillips called it his “Million Dollar Quartet,” and remembered it as a day that meant a lot to the the four stars because Sun gave them all their start in music. In The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, Peter Guralnick’s biography on Phillips, he says, “The only way I can best describe exactly what happened that day is to liken it to a spiritual awakening through music.” Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., tours are given at the bottom half of every hour from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Elvis and Trixie-photog Mark Levine  

The Arcade (540 S. Main St.): The diner where Presley tries to serenade his girlfriend Trixie is the Arcade Restaurant in the South Main Arts District. Founded in 1919 by Speros Zepatos, the diner has the honor of being the city’s oldest restaurant. The menu offers various breakfast items, Greek cuisine and sandwiches named after movies that have been filmed there including 21 Grams and Mystery Train. Presley’s favorite — a peanut butter and banana sandwich — is also on the menu. The South Main Arts District is also the home of the South Main Farmer’s Market, Friday Night Art Trolley Tours and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.

MEMPHIS - OCTOBER 03:  The Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee on October 3, 2016.  (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images) 

Peabody Hotel (149 Union Ave.): On the show, the outside of the Peabody Hotel serves as theatre where concert promoter Colonel Tom Parker scalped tickets for his client Eddy Arnold. The Peabody has a legacy of being the South’s Grand Hotel. In 1933, a small flock of North American mallard ducks were placed in the hotel’s lobby fountain, starting a tradition that continues today with the March of the Peabody Ducks. The famous fowl live in luxury on the rooftop and make daily marches at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The National Ornamental Metal Museum (374 Metal Museum Dr.): Later in the series, Phillips seeks treatment at a hospital that is actually an abandoned Marine hospital that’s next door to the National Ornamental Metal Museum. Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, it’s one of the most unique destinations in Memphis and offers rotating exhibits, a permanent collection and a sculpture garden that’s surrounded by 100-year-old trees. Mark Twain once called its view of the Mississippi “the best between Cairo and New Orleans.”
Big River Crossing (Channel 3 Drive): In episode one, Presley takes Trixie to his “secret spot” down by the Mississippi under the Harahan Bridge, which now home to the Big River Crossing. At nearly a mile in length, it’s the longest public pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi, connecting Tennessee to Arkansas. The Arkansas side has more than 70 miles of riverside trails atop the Mississippi levee system. The bridge is free and open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m.

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