Saturday, April 8, 2017

(BROUGHT BACK) Week-end Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..April 8, 2017 (Now with links)

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of April 8-9:

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



Nashville’s “Sing Me Back Home” Honors Merle Haggard

Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, John Mellencamp Join All-Star Tribute to an Amcerican Icon 

“I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d do it all over again.”
That was Merle Haggard‘s answer to a question about his life in an interview that played over the onstage video screens at Thursday’s (April 5) “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” tribute at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The country icon certainly lived a uniquely rich and colorful, and the artists who appeared onstage honored him to the hilt.
Taking place on what would have been his 80th birthday and the first anniversary of his death, the night served as a celebration of the art and life of the working man’s poet.
The sold-out show featured more than 30 performances with his son Ben Haggard and Merle’s longtime band, the Strangers, performing with several celebrity guests.
Before the night was over, those musical tributes were provided by Aaron Lewis, Tanya Tucker, Bobby Bare, Connie Smith, John Anderson, Toby Keith, Jake Owen, Chris Janson, Buddy Miller, Miranda Lambert, Rodney Crowell, Jamey Johnson, Alison Krauss, Alabama, Hank Williams, Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Avett Brothers, John Mellencamp, Kacey Musgraves, Ronnie Dunn, Lucinda Williams, Billy Gibbons, Dierks Bentley, Warren Haynes, Sheryl Crow, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Willie Nelson. Ben’s mother and Merle’s widow Theresa Haggard sang backing vocals for most of the night.
During an intermission, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and other government officials issued a proclamation naming April 6 Merle Haggard Day in Music City and presented the Haggard family with a medal of honor, recognizing Merle’s dedication to the U.S. military.
And if anyone was curious as to who’s going to fill Haggard’s shoes, several performances showed that country’s future is in good hands. Ben kicked off the night with “No Time to Cry,” an Iris DeMent song Merle recorded for his album 1996. Janson’s harmonica solo and Owen’s rich low-end vocals on “Footlights” received one of the show’s first standing ovations.
Lambert delivered a reverent version of “Misery and Gin,” and Musgraves was relaxed as she lead the band on “Rainbow Stew.” Dierks Bentley appeared onstage to sing Merle’s version of the holiday-inspired “If We Make Through December.”
Other highlights came as Toby Keith, Scotty Emerick and Mac McAnally sang a medley of “Carolyn,” “Daddy Frank” and “Old Man From the Mountain” and Hank Williams Jr. lit up the stage with “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.”
The music marathon wrapped with Richards and collaborations with Nelson. The Rolling Stones guitarist received the honor of singing the night’s title song, “Sing Me Back Home,” and then Nelson joined him onstage for “Reasons to Quit.” Chesney played Lefty to Nelson’s Pancho on the Townes Van Zandt song “Pancho and Lefty.”
Then rest of the cast joined them onstage for the finale “Okie From Muskogee.” 

Ben Haggard, Don Was and Buddy Cannon served as musical directors for the concert. Additional musicians who played onstage were the McCrary Sisters, guitarist Audley Freed and multi-instrumentalist Sam Bush.


Outlaw: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings Premieres Friday (April 7) on CMT

CMT Hot 20 Is All-New From the ACM Awards 

Filmed live at Austin’s ACL Live at the Moody Theater in July 2015, the two-hour special will celebrate the life and music of the late Country Music Hall of Famer with performances by Willie Nelson, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Kris Kristofferson, Toby Keith, Alison Krauss, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Bingham, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Shooter Jennings, Buddy Miller, Jessi Colter, Robert Earl Keen and Bobby Bare. The show will also have in-depth interviews with the artists and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.
The project was created by Keith Wortman and Mark Rothbaum, along with Colter and Shooter Jennings. Grammy winners Don Was and Buddy Cannon served as music directors for the project.
The CD/DVD set and digital download are available now from Amazon.
Additionally, relive all the Vegas action from the 52nd annual ACM Awards on an all-new CMT Hot 20 Countdown, airing Saturday and Sunday (April 8-9) at 9 a.m. ET/PT. Co-hosts Cody Alan and Katie Cook will have backstage interviews with Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Jon Pardi and more. Plus, the show will highlight the 2017 class of Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. 


Video Premiere: Lucie Silvas Faces Inner Demons With “Smoke”

CMT Next Women of Country Singer-Songwriter Takes Us to a Dark Side 

Lucie Silvas is about as lovely and warm as they come, but she gets into quite a shadowy character in her delectably dark and twisty video for “Smoke.”
Rife with temptation, dark emotions and dangerous choices, Silvas’ character in “Smoke” tackles a battle with inner demons in the form of various characters and vignettes displaying her incredible versatility as a storyteller.
The video is the final installment of her trilogy directed by Patrick Tohill, which began with the video for “Letters to Ghosts” followed by “Villain” and, finally, “Smoke.”
So who is the mysterious “villain” in this trilogy? Could it possibly be Silvas herself? You’ll have to watch to find out.


Singers and Songwriters Flash Back to Their First Time

ACM Awards Red Carpet Conjures Vivid Memories 

For Dean Dillon, it happened under the Fesslers Lane overpass.
When he told me about the first time he’d ever heard one of the songs he’d written on the radio, his memory of it was so clear, you’d think it happened yesterday. Not 38 years ago.
“It was in 1979, I was under the Fesslers Lane overpass in Nashville–driving under it–and a song I wrote called ‘Lying In Love With You,’ came on. Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius had recorded it. I remember that first time, and that I pulled over and cried to think that one of my songs was good enough for somebody to want to play,” Dillon told me on the red carpet at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas.
Since then, he’s written hits for Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and many others, but he’s probably best known for having written or co-written more than 55 songs for George Strait, including classics such as “The Chair,” “Ocean Front Property,” “Marina del Rey,” “I’ve Come to Expect It From You,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “She Let Herself Go” and “The Best Day.”
“Now when I hear one of the songs I wrote,” the veteran hit maker laughed, “I wonder how long it’s gonna take the check to get to me. But it still feels good to hear it and to know you’re still in the game even after all these years.”
“Tennessee Whiskey,” a George Jones hit he co-wrote with the late Linda Hargrove, was nominated for the latest ACM’s song of the year, thanks to an updated version by Chris Stapleton.
“That’s all I do, man,” Dillon said. “I’m a songwriter who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes it.”
I asked other artists about their first big memory, and they all seemed to remember it well.
Scotty McCreery: “America Idol had finished night before, and I had to take a red-eye flight back home to go take an AP English test for college credit. When I got in the car after my flight landed, ‘I Love You This Big’ came on immediately. I was freaking out and was all over the road. I’ll never, ever forget that.”
Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild: “Our first ACM Awards performance was about 11 years ago. We did ‘Boondocks.’ It was just the four of us on a little stage all by ourselves, with acoustic guitars, maybe for about a minute. I bought brand new green and black cowboys boots for that show, and I spent more on those than my rent was.”
Charles Esten: “The first time I played the Opry, I knew too much. I knew what an honor it was to stand in that circle and sing. It meant so much. But that meant I was nervous, you know? And I learned an important lesson that night: Never open with a quiet slow song, because the audience will hear your voice quiver.”
William Michael Morgan: “The first time ‘I Met a Girl’ came on the radio, I cried like a little baby. Then I called my mama, and we just bawled together. I was in Nashville, and the station had told us the song was gonna play sometime within the hour. So I listened the whole entire hour. You dream about that moment, but you still can’t really fathom it.”
Luke Combs: “I remember that I was in Phoenix, in the car, and I didn’t even know ‘Hurricane’ was going to be on. It was just so many dreams realized for me in that moment. I didn’t cry, but it was rush hour, so being stuck in traffic was good for me to just listen. Now when I hear it, I turn it up. How could you ever turn it down? Every time it spins, I know that people believe in me.”


Cole Swindell: Shots Before or Drinks After?

ACM Awards Changes He's Made Over the Years 
The first time Cole Swindell performed at the Academy of Country Music Awards, it was just a fraction of a song.
“At first, I’d be performing on the show for about 30 seconds. I’d be excited, but so anxious. I think I had to do a shot right before I went on,” Swindell told me at this year’s ACM Awards before performing with Dierks Bentley.
“But this time, it’s the whole song. And it’s with Dierks. I’ve waited a lot of years to do this, so I want to be as prepared as possible. But then after we do ‘Flatliner,’ when I step off that stage, we’ll be having drinks,” he said.
Swindell grew up watching the ACM Awards on TV, and calling radio stations to request songs, he told me, so he remembers what it feels like to be on the other side of things.
“I remember so clearly when I found out my song was going to be on the radio. I was in my producer’s truck, and we cranked it up,” he recalled. “I couldn’t believe that it was my song coming on that radio.
“It’s one of those moments that doesn’t even feel real.”


Carrie Underwood: “That’s My Man”

Says Husband "Truly Has the Sweetest Heart" 
 Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators was recently nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, and I think it’s safe to say that no one is more excited about the honor than his wife Carrie Underwood.
 The Clancy Trophy will ultimately go to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and makes humanitarian contributions in his community.
“There’s so many guys that do a great job that are leaders and do work in the community, and there’s so many guys that are deserving of that award,” Fisher told “I appreciate it that they think of me that way. That definitely means a lot.”
“I feel like I’ve been blessed and given a platform to play this game, and I enjoy helping and I think that’s why there’s a greater purpose than just playing hockey.
“That’s where you get your real satisfaction, I believe, is doing some of those things to help other people and just be more about other people than yourself. If you can do that — and sometimes I wish I could do more and did more — but those are some of the fulfilling things, knowing that you’re given the ability for a reason and to use it in the right ways,” he said.
Some of the groups Fisher contributes his time and talent to include the Nashville homeless facility Room in the Inn (serving the homeless community), the Cottage Cove Urban Ministries (serving inner city youth) and the Rocketown youth outreach facility.


Go Behind the Scenes With Devin Dawson in “All on Me”

See the Singer-Songwriter in His Element in New Performance Video 
 That fresh, groovy and laid-back sound of swagger you hear coming through your speakers is newcomer Devin Dawson.
The singer-songwriter hails from California — Orangevale to be exact, just outside the walls of the famed Folsom Prison. Dressed mostly in black and clothed in mystery much like a country icon who once performed there, Dawson is also setting out to forge his own path in country music.
His edgy look, his unique vibe and his soulful, blues-infused sound, you’ll pick Dawson out of crowd with ease.
For a sneak-peek at Dawson behind-the-scenes, check out this performance video of his debut single, “All On Me” taped at The Chapel Studios in Nashville.
Dawson is currently out on the road with another artist playing by her own rules — Grammy-winning mover-and-shaker Maren Morris.

Brett Eldredge and Co-Writers Celebrate a
No. 1 Single 
“Wanna Be That Song” Party Convenes With Nashville Under a Tornado Watch 

Clearly inspired by some of the more harrowing episodes of Survivor, ASCAP and BMI staged a celebration for the writers of Brett Eldredge’s “Wanna Be That Song” Wednesday afternoon (April 5) at a hard-to-find bar in an out-of-the-way section of Nashville during the height of rush-hour traffic while the city was under a tornado watch.
The tornado never materialized, deterred, no doubt, by the lack of valet parking.
Even so, a sizable crowd ultimately trooped in under overcast skies to the aptly named Back Corner saloon in the now-ritzy Germantown to salute Eldredge and his co-writers, Scooter Carusoe and Ross Copperman.
Beth Brinker spoke for ASCAP, the performance rights society with which Carusoe is affiliated. Josh Tomlinson represented BMI, the home zone for Eldredge and Copperman.
Brinker noted that Carusoe was celebrating his fourth No. 1 with “Wanna Be That Song.” He also wrote or co-wrote the Kenny Chesney hits “Anything but Mine” and “Better as a Memory,” as well as Eldredge’s “Mean to Me.”
Tomlinson praised Copperman for having racked up his sixth No. 1 single and for having co-written nine of the songs on Eldredge’s current album, Illinois.
Josh Van Valkenburg, from Sony/ATV music publishing, came forward to acknowledge producer Frank Liddell, who stood watching in the crowd.
He quoted the advice Liddell had given young songwriters during the recent Academy of Country Music Awards show when he stood with Miranda Lambert to accept her album of the year trophy for The Weight of These Wings.
“Tell the truth,” Liddell had advised fledgling composers. “It makes you more interesting.”
Liddell came to the stage to speak on behalf of Carusoe, who writes for his publishing company. After tracing their history together and praising Carusoe’s versatility as a writer, Liddell concluded by saying, “He can do anything.”
Of Copperman, Van Valkenburg said that every time he turns in a demo, “You’re going to get a great song that sounds like a finished record.” Eldredge, he added, is “somebody who writes [songs] because he has to.”
John Esposito, head of Eldredge’s record label, rhapsodized about the singer’s vocal abilities and proclaimed that his recent Christmas project, Glow, was one of the best holiday albums ever recorded.
Eldredge informed the celebrants that the song being honored was the second he’d co-written with Carusoe and the fourth with Copperman.
He mused that “years down the road” when the plaques are put away and the parties are over, “all that matters are the people you’ve celebrated with. … It’s all about the journey to get here.”
He concluded his remarks by spontaneously breaking into the chorus of “Wanna Be That Song.”
The crowd cheered, cameras clicked and by the time the room emptied many minutes later, the sky was sunny again.

Tim McGraw Has No A-Game for Dancing

Don't Expect Him to Move Like Florida Georgia Line With the Backstreet Boys 

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are on the verge of kicking off their Soul2Soul — The World Tour 2017 tour on Friday (April 7) in New Orleans.
So McGraw spent some time on the phone with The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans and talked about the tour, the new single and, of course, his gone-viral reaction to the Florida Georgia Line/Backstreet Boys collaboration at the recent Academy of Country Music Awards.
McGraw was particularly impressed Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley’s choreography with the Backstreet Boys.
“When Brian was doing the dance moves with them, that’s what really got my attention. It was fun that he got up and was doing that. I would have never had the (guts) to do that,” he said, adding, “I don’t have an A game when it comes to dancing.”
So maybe fans who come to see the McGraw-Hill show won’t see any synchronized dance steps, but they will get to see the couple singing some songs together. Maybe even new ones slated for their upcoming duets album.
That album is one McGraw says was a long time coming, noting that they just had to wait for right moment for the stars to align.
“We always wanted to do a duet album together, but, gosh, we were having our success, our solo success, then do a duet on each other’s projects, and it would do well,” he said. “But the timing was never right with what was going on in our life, and with the kids and where they were in their lives.
What’s different now is that two of their three daughters are in college, and McGraw and Hill decided that maybe now would be a good time to at least start searching for new songs.
“We decided we were going to start looking for songs to see what we could find, and we started finding some great songs and got really excited about it,” he said. “We felt like it would be an album of great songs, and, for us, we never wanted to take the songs for granted or just do a duet project to do a duet project …
“This might be the only one we do, and we want it to be something we were proud of in every single way.”

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