Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(BROUGHT BACK) Mid-week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..April 5, 2017

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of April 1-2:

1 MICHAEL RAY Think A Little Less *
2 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots
4 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
5 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
9 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
10 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
12 CHRIS YOUNG Sober Saturday Night
13 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
15 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
16 DAN & SHAY How Not To
17 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know
19 TRENT HARMON There’s A Girl
20 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It



RaeLynn’s Wildhorse Gallops Into First Place on Country Albums Chart

Luke Bryan Boasts Most-Played Song With “Fast”
RaeLynn debuts at No. 1 this week on Billboard‘s top country albums chart with Wildhorse.
A former contestant on The Voice, it’s the her first visit to such rarefied air, although she has lodged three singles on the country airplay chart, the highest-ranking one of which, “God Made Girls,” made it all the way to No. 16 in 2014.
RaeLynn also sang backup on Blake Shelton‘s 2013 single, “Boys ‘Round Here.”
Luke Bryan has cause to whistle a merry tune, as well, with “Fast’ arriving this week as his 16th song to peak the airplay rankings.
There’s not much going on elsewhere — just one other new album (Lindsay Ell‘s EP, Worth the Wait, which debuts at No. 28) and one new song (Thomas Rhett‘s “Craving You,” featuring Maren Morris, which also bows at No. 28).
Returning to action on their respective charts are Aaron Watson‘s Vaquero album (at No. 48) and Michael Tyler‘s song “They Can’t See” (at No. 60).
The remaining Top 5 albums, in descending order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord (last week’s No. 1), Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots and the eponymous Brett Young.
The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Jon Pardi‘s “Dirt on My Boots” (last week’s No. 1), Lauren Alaina‘s “Road Less Traveled,” Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool” and Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road.”
So how about a couple more examples of the Title Tales game, just to expand the narrative possibilities? Something like “It Ain’t My Fault/The Way I Talk” (Brothers Osborne/Morgan Wallen) or “With You I Am/Outta Style” (Cody Johnson/Aaron Watson).


Brothers Osborne: Backstage at ACM Awards

Never Faltered, Wavered or Compromised 

It’s rare when one duo wins both the vocal duo and new vocal duo in one night at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
But when it does happen, it’s a testament to that band’s ability to stand out among both newcomers and more seasoned duos.
Which is exactly what happened on Sunday night (April 2) for Brothers Osborne.
They beat out LOCASH, A Thousand Horses, Maddie & Tae and Dan + Shay for the new duo win and Big & Rich, Florida Georgia Line, Maddie & Tae and Dan + Shay in the vocal duo category.
And when they came backstage to talk about the awards, they were ready to continue their Vegas-style celebrating.
“To be holding not one, but two?” John Osborne said. “It takes a long time to process this. I’ve been celebrating my ass off for the past couple nights, and everyone’s been like, ‘Take it easy, the ACMs are tomorrow.’
“I’m like, ‘I’m at the ACM Awards. This is the time to party.’ Tonight we’re gonna put a hurtin’ on ourselves.”
The brothers added that winning two ACM Awards might change the public’s perspective of them, but it would never change their music.
“We’ve never faltered, we’ve never wavered, we’ve never compromised,” he said. “We just did our thing, no matter what.”
While the brothers discussed how they’d display their new ACM Awards when they got back to Nashville, TJ Osborne said he felt conflicted.
“I kind of narcissistically want you to walk in my house and see the awards,” he laughed. “But then I’m like, ‘Am I gloating a little bit?'”


Jon Pardi: Backstage at ACM Awards

“I Just Keep the Peace” 

If you want to criticize any of the pop, hip-hop or dance influences you hear in country music, just don’t do it in front of Jon Pardi.
After being presented the new male vocalist trophy at Sunday night’s (April 2) Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, he came backstage to talk about the kind of music he’s making and why he’d never bash any other artist’s music.
“I will never, ever speak out against somebody who is living the dream and doing what they want to do, because that’s what I’m doing,” Pardi said. “I’m mixing country with kind of a modern twist to it.
“So I just keep the peace. Because in my mind, I’m just a guy playing country music.”
Pardi cites Dwight Yoakam as an influence.
“I love traditional country music, and I feel like there’s a need for it and a want for it,” he said. “But I enjoy everybody in country music.”
You’re missing out, he thinks, if you don’t mix pop with some fiddle and steel guitar to get an old school sound that’s progressive.
As for Pardi’s ACM Awards performance of his hit song “Dirt on My Boots,” he pointed out that during the three-hour show, his band was the only one with a fiddle player.
“I think I was the only guy with a fiddle in the band tonight. I can play in Texas now,” he joked in reference to Alabama’s 1984 “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band).”


Little Big Town: Backstage at ACM Awards

“We Cheer Each Other On”
 Before Little Big Town headed up to the stage to accept their trophies for vocal group of the year at Sunday night’s (April 2) Academy of Country Music Awards, there was some hugging to be done.
Band members Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman and Phillip Sweet hugged Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts — their competition in the category — because of the camaraderie in country music apparently.
“It’s just the coolest thing. We’re all friends, and we all root for each other. And we cheer each other on,” Sweet explained when the band came backstage after their win.
“And we love the music they’re making,” he said.
Fairchild added that the members of Little Big Town are all fans of the bands who shared this year’s vocal group field, which also included the Eli Young Band and Old Dominion.
“Lady Antebellum stole the show,” she said of their performance of their new song “You Look Good.”


Jake Owen, Rodney Crowell Added to Merle Haggard Tribute

“Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” Set for Thursday in Nashville
 Jake Owen, Rodney Crowell, Aaron Lewis, Chris Janson, Buddy Miller and Tanya Tucker and have been added to the list of performers at an all-star tribute to the late Merle Haggard.
“Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Thursday (April 6), which would have been the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s 80th birthday. Haggard died April 16, 2016.
As previously announced, the concert will also feature performances by Willie Nelson, Keith Richards, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley, Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., Toby Keith, the Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Ronnie Dunn, Alabama, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lucinda Williams, Ben Haggard, John Anderson, Connie Smith and Bobby Bare.
The event is being taped by Blackbird Presents, a media company that has previously produced concert specials honoring Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Gregg Allman, Mavis Staples and others.


Jerrod Niemann Honors His Wife in New Video

“God Made a Woman” Tells His Love Story 

We knew Jerrod Niemann had a sentimental side, but we’ve never heard anything as sweet as his new single “God Made a Woman.”
It’s the story of a guy seemingly lost in the world — at least the world of bar-hopping and hanging around until closing time — until he meets the woman who changes it all. She also changes him for the better.
For Niemann, this song is a peek into his personal life. In a post on his Facebook page, he revealed that the tune “really is a biography of my path and my journey to finding my wife.” He married Morgan Petek in 2014.
In a world where commitment and personal growth are often considered four-letter words, it’s beautifully refreshing and reassuring to have an autobiographical love song of redemption in the mix and on the radio.

Choreographing the ACM Awards’ Best Dance Number

Florida Georgia Line, the Backstreet Boys (and Tim McGraw's FOMO) 

It’s hard to say what was better: Florida Georgia Line’s flawless execution of the “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” dance — or Tim McGraw’s response to it?
Or even the quick tweet that FGL sent out about McGraw’s Fear of Missing Out?
 The synchronized dance routine with the Backstreet Boys was one of the big moments from Sunday night’s (April 2) Academy of Country Music Awards, and while it was a last-minute decision, FGL’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley didn’t commit to the iconic ’90s boy band dance lightly.
“After rehearsal yesterday, we walked off thinking, ‘We gotta learn the dance moves and we got to do it together, otherwise we’re selling ourselves short. So let’s go big, let’s do it,” Hubbard told Billboard.
“It took us all day actually,” he said of how much time they put in to learning the moves. “Nick (Carter) and Kevin (Richardson) sent us a little video last night so BK and I — as we were falling asleep — we were watching dance videos trying to learn it.”
Carter even came by their hotel on Sunday to spend some time coaching them on the steps.
And just like any other skill, this dance took practice, practice, and more practice.
“I got a picture from Tyler, he’s in the mirror, it’s a selfie,” Kelley said. “He asked, ‘Is this the right move?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, brother, that’s the right move right there.”


Thomas Rhett: Backstage at ACM Awards

"This Is Not Happening"

Thomas Rhett’s intuition isn’t always right.
Like on Sunday night (April 2) at the Academy of Country Music Awards, he was wrong about who would win male vocalist of the year and song of the year.
“Going into the night, my wife and I usually have a hunch if we think we’re even in the running for an award or we don’t have a chance at all,” he said backstage after the show.
“And I think we both thought we had no chance for either of those awards. Maybe that was me selling myself short,” he said.
When they called his name, he said, he almost couldn’t leave his seat.
“I just looked at Lauren and said, ‘This is not happening. And I’m not going.’ And she kept hitting my leg saying, ‘Go! Get up there!’ That was super surreal. …
“I still don’t know what to say. I’m still processing that,” he said, specifically about the male vocalist win. “Because all the people in that category are people I respect and look up to more than anyone else in the world. Those people have made me want to be a better singer.”
It was just as surreal when they called hia name for the song of the year for “Die a Happy Man,” which he wrote with Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur.
Winning that ACM Award is special, he explained, because he is first and foremost a songwriter.
“And I think that’s the coolest award I could be given as a songwriter,” he said.
He devoted some of his backstage remarks to his father, singer-songwriter Rhett Akins.
“When I think about who taught me to sing in the first place, it was my dad,” he said. “Still to this day, I think that my dad is one of the best songwriters and best performers that I’ve ever gotten to witness.
“And so being able to watch him write songs at 8 years old, go on the road with him at 9 years old and get to sing in his encores on the road, I feel like that has been the main influence on me vocally and me as a songwriter and as a performer.
“I owe dad a lot of credit for that, for sure.”


Miranda Lambert: Backstage at ACM Awards

“Country Music Is About Truth”

LAS VEGAS — There’s a line in Miranda Lambert’s “Vice” that had her on the verge of tears when she talked about it backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night (April 2):
I wear a town like a leather jacket/When the new wears off, I don’t even pack it.
“That’s my favorite line on that song,” Lambert said. “Maybe one of my favorite lines on the whole record.”
The day she wrote that song had been a particularly hard one, she recalled backstage after she’d won both female vocalist of the year and album of the year.
“It was right in the middle of a lot going on in my life. To me, country music is about truth and about what’s really going on,” she said. “Whether it’s happy or sad or somewhere in the middle.
“And so for me, in the past couple of years, it’s happened to be a little more sad than happy. But now it’s moving in another direction. I’m really glad that people can relate to an emotion like that.”
Two of her producers joined her onstage to accept the album of the year award for The Weight of These Wings, and she was singing their praises backstage.
“Glenn Worf’s played on every one of my records and been a co-producer, and Frank Liddell has been producing me for every album that I’ve ever made,” she said.
“And we’ve grown up together and gone through stuff together, and it’s sharing those moments with real people who have real emotions. We can all sort of grab on to each other’s and use it for our art. And that’s such a blessing.”
Even though Lambert keeps on winning at a time when she feels ready to pass the ACM torch, she talked about how honored she is to be the one leading the way for whoever comes next.
“I’m really so thrilled that I can still help lead the charge for women in this business at any level — that I can keep pushing forward, and make way for other women to do the same thing,” she said.
“But I’ll be happy as a clam when it’s somebody else’s turn. I really will.”


Backstage With Jason Aldean at ACM Awards

“Every One of Us Wants to Win” 

LAS VEGAS — After winning the Academy of Country Music’s entertainer of the year award on Sunday night (April 2) — for the second year in a row — Jason Aldean came backstage to talk about how important the award is to him.
And he was especially candid about how important winning is to him.
“Whenever any of us are up for any of these awards, we all want to win,” Aldean said. “Anybody can come up here and blow smoke up your ass and tell you it’s just nice to be nominated. Whatever. I’m here to tell you, every one of us wants to win. I promise you, every one (in the category) of them wanted to win.”
This particular award is not just an automatic rite of passage once you get to a certain level of fame or commercial success. It’s not just a given.
Aldean learned that after leaving the stage and running into Tim McGraw.
“I was backstage talking to McGraw earlier, and he comes up and congratulated me. He said, ‘Congrats, man. I never won that award.’ I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’
“To me, that’s baffling. And it kind of tells you what kind of company you’re putting yourself in when you win that. It’s just so hard to get it. And to get it twice, it’s unbelievable.”
Aldean was 11 years into his career when he won it last year, he said, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen when you think it’s going to happen.
“I was so happy to get it once. I’ve never made any bones about when it comes to that,” he said of last year’s win. “I would forfeit anything I’ve got to get that award one time. You can have everything else I’ve got. I just want entertainer once.
“I was so happy to get it last year, I never cared if I got it again, honestly.”
His post-show plan included hitting some parties, visiting a few blackjack tables, but mostly, celebrating with his band and crew.
“It’s got my name on it, but there’s about 50 people that should have their names on this award,” he said. “It’s a big deal to us. It’s the biggest award of the night for a reason.”

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