Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mid-week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..April 26, 2017

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of April 22-23:

1 LAUREN ALAINA Road Less Traveled
2 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
3 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road *
5 JON PARDI Dirt On My Boots
6 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
10 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
11 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know
12 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
13 DAN & SHAY How Not To
15 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
16 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
17 TRENT HARMON There’s A Girl
20 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE God, Your Mama, & Me



Eli Young Band Comes Full Circle With Fingerprints

Sixth Studio Album Lands June 16
On the surface, there’s some basic math behind Eli Young Band.
They’re four guys — Mike Eli, James Young, Chris Thompson and Jon Jones. They’ve been in a band since 2000. So that’s 17 years of making music together, and there are four kids among them.
“There’s eight children total, counting us,” Thompson joked during our interview.

Add their career achievements together, and that takes their basic math to more complex algebra.
They’ve released five studio albums, two EPs and one live collection and have garnered 24 music award nominations, three No. 1 Billboard country airplay hits and a Grammy nomination for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.”
Then their formula gets even more complicated with the travel involved.
They’ve lost count over the airline miles, tour buses and band vans they’ve been through on the road. They estimate they easily can put 100,000 miles on a tour bus a year because their gigs are constant. The odometer on their last ride was nearing 1 million miles before it was destroyed by a fire in January — an experience no artist ever welcomes or wants.
Add the pallets of beer, and Eli Young Band have experienced one crazy trip in country music.
“There was a point when we were sponsored by a beer company, and we’d get a pallet of beer a month,” Jones said.
“Early in our career when we still lived in Denton, Texas, the three of us lived in this 1,200-square-foot little band house, and the truck would pull up in the front of the house and they’d start bringing in all this beer. They’d put it in the kitchenette dining area and it would fill up that entire area.”
And they’re quick to say that none of it would be possible without the unwavering support of their fans. Their triumphant sixth studio album Fingerprints, out June 16, is for them.
“We wanted to make a record we knew our fans would like,” Thompson said of their next collection. “We’ve been afforded the chance to make all kinds of different records, experiment and do different things. At this point in our career, we wanted to make a record that served them and made them happy.”
Including their current single “Skin & Bones,” most of the 11-song collection celebrates commitment and faith in one another. Eli co-wrote the song with hitmakers Lori McKenna and Phil Barton.
“There’s a reality to love that all of us see and live every day,” Eli explained. “It’s not a fantasy all the time, and I wanted a love song like that. It’s based in reality. My wife and I have been together for a long time. And there comes a point when you’ve been together for so long that who you are starts intertwining both of you. So, where she ends and where I begin becomes a little muddy.”
The opener “Saltwater Gospel” sings of finding heaven on some beach somewhere. Although they know they’re not mean to be together, couples reunite in “Never Again” and “A Heart Needs a Break,” while the sexy title track tells the story of a heartbreaker who leaves a lover like a guilty criminal leaves the scene of a crime.
“That’s a song we’ve been kicking off our live show with,” Jones said of the title song. “And in a way because we have so much music we’ve recorded over the years that people know, to start the show with something they haven’t heard, and that song kind of hits you, it’s fun to watch.
“By the end of the song people are singing along,” Eli added. “We knew right away that song was going to be incredible for the live show, and starting the show off with it has been really telling about how that song is going to be perceived by fans.”
So how do they balance satisfying the need to stretch creatively from album-to-album, while serving what their fans want?
“I think the creative part comes from the lyrics,” Young says. “And then we get to choose what we write about and sing about. But I think for this record, we went in knowing that we wanted whatever we recorded to get back to come full circle and get back to what we had originally started when we started our first records. We just wanted to recapture that, and so we strove to do that. I think that hopefully comes through on the record that this was a cohesive record on all of our accounts.” 


Sam Hunt Takes Airplay Crown With “Body Like a Back Road”

Keith Urban’s Ripcord Continues as Top Country Album

Will someone please trot over to Music Row and wake up the record labels? They seem to be dozing this week. Where’s that torrent of new albums and songs we’ve come to expect in the spring — the ones propelled into prominence by the Grammy and Academy of Country Music awards shows?
First, though, let’s cease the righteous harangue to note that Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” has arrived at No. 1 on Billboard‘s country airplay list, concluding a relatively brief 12-trek.
And Keith Urban‘s recently revivified Ripcord is spending its second straight week as the top country album.
There’s just one new album breaking into the Top 50. It’s Hosier’s Paving My Way, which debuts at No. 37. Justin Moore‘s Kinda Don’t Care pops back in at No. 49.
Two other albums show notable momentum: Blake Shelton‘s If I’m Honest leaps from No. 17 to No. 8, and The Legend of Johnny Cash collection vaults from No. 34 to No. 13.
We count two new songs: Jake Owen‘s “Good Company” (No. 53) and Brooke Eden‘s “Act Like You Don’t” (No. 59).
Completing the Top 5 albums array in descending order are Chris Stapleton‘s Traveller, Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots, the eponymous Brett Young and Hunt’s Montevallo.
While these are all worthy packages, the number of weeks they’ve been on the charts illustrates the dearth of strong new material. Ripcord has been on for 50 weeks, Traveller 103, Dig Your Roots 34 and Montevallo 114.
Only Brett Young — with a 10-week life span — can be considered a newcomer.
The No. 2 through No. 5 songs are Josh Turner‘s “Hometown Girl,” Jason Aldean‘s “Any Ol’ Barstool” (last week’s No. 1), Luke Combs“Hurricane” and Kelsea Ballerini‘s “Yeah Boy.”


Dylan Scott: “Nothing Is an Overnight Success”

Louisiana Native Gets Ready for Summer Festival Season
 There were only so many professions available growing up in the small Louisiana community that raised rising artist Dylan Scott.
His hometown is Beekman, Louisiana, a 15-minute drive north from the nearest small town, Bastrop. For years, the area’s primary employer was International Paper until the company closed its local mill in 2008.
Folks driving through Bastrop always knew they were getting close to town when the smell of paper pulp would fill the air.
“Where I’m from,” Scott tells, “you’re either farming, or you go work offshore oil rigs, or you work in a mill somewhere. Growing up, I had my fair share of summer jobs working in paper mills, construction jobs, roofing houses and what not. That’s just what you do. You grow up, you get married, you have kids, and you work at a paper mill or wherever you can to support your family.”
 Scott is one of those rare types of people who knew their calling at an early age. All he ever wanted to do was go into the family business — music. As a child, his father was often on the road playing guitar for Freddy Fender, Freddie Hart and other country acts and would come home with epic tour stories from Nashville and beyond. “I was 16 when Taylor Swift came out,” Scott said. “And I was thinking to myself, ‘Well, if she can do it, why can’t I go do it?’ And my dad told me back then, ‘It’s not an overnight success.’ That kind of goes with everything. Nothing is an overnight success.”
After graduating from high school, Scott did make the move to Nashville, and Music City has been home ever since. But no matter where life takes him, Louisiana will always be in his heart.
“Louisiana’s home,” Scott said. “Don’t get me wrong — I love Nashville. Nashville is home now to me. I’ve been here now for seven years. But anywhere I’m at, home is Nashville and it’s Louisiana. That’s where I was for 19 years of my life and that’s where my family still is. There’s always going to be a piece of me there, for sure.”
Scott has been on the road nonstop since the August 2016 release of his self-titled debut on Curb Records. Online, he’s a viral sensation, with his latest single “My Girl” garnering more than 29 million Spotify spins to date. Others like “Lay It onMe,” “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy” and his lead single “Crazy Over Me” have been played on Spotify up to 11 million times, and he sees those numbers translate to big audiences at his live shows.
“It surprises me every time I get onstage,” he said. “Three or four years ago, we went to Montana and played for 12 people. Now we’re playing anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people. Some people are driving three or four hours to our shows, and it kind of blows my mind, to be honest with you, because knowing where I’m from and how I grew up, for people to spend their hard-earned money to watch us play, it’s crazy.”
He returns to his home state for a performance at the Bayou Country Superfest in New Orleans on May 26, two days before his first wedding anniversary with his wife Blair. The couple started dating in high school and tied the knot back home in Bastrop on May 28, 2016.
“‘My Girl’ is about my girl,” Scott said of his latest hit. “It’s about my wife. I was 15 and she was 16 when we started dating. When I sat down to write this song, I wanted to write about stuff that we did together and all the things I get to see in her that nobody else is going to pay attention to but me. I’ve been with my wife for 10 years now. People ask what inspires my music, and it’s definitely her.”
Scott will take his brand of country to several musical festivals this summer starting Friday (April 29) at Stagecoach in Indio, California. He’s also scheduled to appear at the Windy City LakeShake in Chicago on June 25 and Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 2. 


Brad Paisley Makes Nostalgia New Again

Yearbook Messages Express the Best of Intentions 

Life is full of lasts.
That’s what I’ve been thinking almost every day, as my last child is spending her last days in high school.
And just when I think I might be able to keep my tears at bay, Brad Paisley releases a song that makes it all so much more bittersweet.
In his “Last Time for Everything,” he sings that there is always a last. A last call. Last chance. Last song. Last dance. And the picture he paints of that time in everyone’s life tells such a vivid story, complete with fake IDs, George Strait cassettes and mullets.
“‘Last Time for Everything’ has a hyper focus on those high school years,” Paisley explained in a radio interview.
“You get the sense for the first time in high school that life is a fast-moving machine. You also realize that things change,” he said, “and once they do, they’re changed forever.”
Paisley wrote the song with Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson, Chris DuBois and Mike Ryan. He said his intention with the song was to write something nostalgic that didn’t feel like something you’d already heard.
“I’m looking for that thing that feels like those songs that you love that sort of deal with ‘those were the days,'” he said.

Anderson and DuBois came up with the title. To Paisley, the heart of this song is reveling in the things that are never going to happen again.
“Sometimes you realize that in the moment, and sometimes you don’t. You realize it at high school graduation. It’s one of those moments in life, one of the first times.
“You’re standing there in that cap and gown and you’re looking at these people that you’ve been on this journey with, and you’re hugging and you write it in the yearbook, ‘We’ll always be friends’ or ‘Friends forever.’ Whatever. Yeah … but no,” he said.
“You miss that,” he said, “but life keeps going.”
“Last Time for Everything” is featured on Paisley’s brand new album, Love and War.


Hunter Hayes: “Art’s Not Easy to Find”

The Search for Creativity at Age 25
 Hunter Hayes at 25 might not sound exactly like Hunter Hayes at 18.
And he’s more than cool with that.
“I feel like I went through a big change going from 18 to 25. I went through a lot of figuring it out, and the music was driven by that,” Hayes told Billboard.
“This record has been about getting rid of all those things in the way and being truly creative, like I was, in the deepest way, with the first record,” he said of his new music.
But he also says that he is not ever trying to recreate the first record and that he tries not to stay anywhere that feels too safe.
“We search, because art’s not easy to find,” he said.
His search is currently underway, he says, and he called it a pretty serious journey.
“It’s been a lot of big changes and embracing. You’d be surprised how many times you can get in your own way when you’re working on that, and I did. It’s been an ongoing effort to learn that it’s OK to struggle with that and it’s OK to be vulnerable.
“I think that’s why I’ve entered into this sort of era where it’s just like, I’m ready. There’s nothing about me that is scared or feels like anything is sort of missing,” Hayes says, adding, “My heart is full.”


Is Blake Shelton a Shania Twain Superfan?

She Says He Knows All Her Songs 
 As the coach to the coaches on The Voice this week, Shania Twain talked to Entertainment Tonight about meeting Blake Shelton for the first time during the show’s tapings.
“He is just really sweet and kind. He was very nurturing and caring and welcoming to me. A true gentleman,” Twain said, adding that Shelton told her he knew all of her songs. Which makes sense, because Shelton moved to Nashville in 1993, the same year that Twain’s debut album came out.
Shelton’s girlfriend — Gwen Stefani, who met Twain during the 2003 Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show — inserted herself into the ET interview to say that her favorite Twain song is “You’re Still the One” from 1998, off of her Come on Over album. (That album is very much still the one. It is the best-selling country album of all time.)
“I had a amazing time going back and listening to all of the songs … and then getting to know you a little bit … it’s been Shania week for me. I can’t wait for the new record because I can’t wait to hear what you have to say,” Stefani said of Twain’s upcoming album, due out in May. 


Kelsea Ballerini vs. Thomas Rhett

Who's in Which Corner? 

I get that boxing is a solid workout. And I get that workouts are important when you’re out on tour.
But, still, I just cannot wrap my head around the concept of Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini boxing.
Do they just bob and weave? Are they perfecting their footwork? Did they buy their own boxing gloves? And most importantly, do they ever head into the ring with each other?
In a recent radio interview, Rhett explained how their unorthodox workouts have been working out.
“Kelsea’s in such good shape,” he said. “I mean, I brought a boxing coach out on the road, and so she was working with my boxing coach here in
town and now we all kind of box together on the road.
“It’s pretty hilarious,” he admitted.
After a string of Canadian dates, Rhett will get back on the road here later in May, and Ballerini will be heading out on tour with Lady Antebellum. 


Brothers Osborne Hit the Beach for New Album

Working on Follow-Up to Their Critically-Acclaimed Debut Pawn Shop
 Poor John and TJ Osborne.
The ACM and CMA-winning vocal duo of the year Brothers Osborne has had to endure the most dreadful conditions as they record their next album.
Just kidding. They were in paradise.
The siblings hit the Gulf of Mexico to work on brand new music, and with those two, you know the oceanfront property hang was as great as the music being made. 
 Prepare yourselves as you scroll through their Instagram feed: You’ll be pea green with envy. And you’ll also want to be besties with their Aunt Fay.


Brad Paisley, Bill Anderson, John Fogerty and Timbaland Live on Lower Broadway

Perform Live at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
 “There are 500 bands covering John Fogerty songs tonight, but we’re the only one doing it with John Fogerty.”
That’s what Brad Paisley said according to Nashville’s Tennessean while playing next to Fogerty live at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Sunday (April 23) night. 
 NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 23:  John Fogerty and Brad Paisley perform onstage at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge after the Brad Paisley LOVE AND WAR Album Launch Event on April 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Sony Music)
 Paisley, Fogerty, Bill Anderson and Timbaland were performing at the famous Lower Broadway honky-tonk to celebrate the release of Paisley’s latest album Love and War. The 90-minute set included classic rock covers, Paisley hits and a few of the collaborations from the new album. 
 NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 23: Timbaland and Brad Paisley perform onstage at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge after the Brad Paisley LOVE AND WAR Album Launch Event on April 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Sony Music)
The honky-tonk show capped a private world premiere of the Love and War visual album at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The visual album will be available through Apple Music on Friday.
Before signing off for the night, Paisley tweeted that he has more announcements on the way. 


Last Weekend’s Greatest Hits

The Best Tweets You Might Have Missed 

What a weekend, right?
If you weren’t able to scroll through the country artists’ social feeds, this is what was going on in Nashville and on the road. Carrie Underwood caught up on some binge watching, Dierks Bentley finally put a cowboy hat on, Lee Brice‘s wife Sara and their sons surprised him live onstage for the couple’s fourth wedding anniversary, Jake Owen modeled a new Kohl’s suit on his tour bus, Brett Eldredge played a tourist in Málaga, Spain and Kelsea Ballerini had a Lower Broadway fail.
 Carrie Underwood: “Oh, just spending my Saturday watching a “Friday the 13th” marathon on TV…”
 Dierks Bentley: “When in montana…ha. hell of a time with@cswinde2and this guy @jonpardipics. Love this big sky country. #west”
 Lee Brice: “What a perfect gift having my boys surprise me on stage last night. Happy anniversary my love!”
 Jake Owen: “Flamingo suit on point. Found it at Kohls for 79 bucks. Hellllllllooooooo”
 Brett Eldredge: “I am king of this castle and I will rule this land with laughter and ridiculous dance moves…will you join me?”
 Kelsea Ballerini: “Tried to be a true Nashvillian and go out to Broadway after the show tonight. Lasted 5 minutes. #NOPE”

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