Saturday, April 15, 2017

Week-end Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..April 15, 2017 (Now with links)

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of April 15-16:

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

 COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS! Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

Looking Back at Some of the Music Videos From 1997 is celebrating its 20-year anniversary on Friday (April 14), but a lot of people didn’t understand what was going on with the new technology – specifically an innovation known as the Internet — when the website launched on April 14, 1997.
“People thought we were crazy when we launched,” according to CMT Broadcast and post production operations vice president Martin Clayton, who supervised the website’s creation. “No one at that time understood the power of the Internet.” began as, one of the first major music websites among all genres, and was rebranded as in 2001,
Much has changed in two decades, but continues to be an online authority for country music news and entertainment while providing an online home for CMT series such as Nashville, Sun Records, Still the King, I Love Kellie Pickler and CMT Hot 20 Countdown and a wide array of music specials, including the CMT Music Awards, CMT Artists of the Year and CMT Crossroads.
The week the website launched, Billboard’s No. 1 country single was Clay Walker’s “Rumor Has It.”
Check out the video for Walker’s No. 1 hit and some of the other videos you might recall from’s first year — when dial-up modems were still on the cutting edge.

Faith Hill Living Life in Rocky Road Ice Cream

"Vanilla Gets Boring After a Couple of Days" 

So this is what it’s like to be married to Tim McGraw: more rocky road, and less vanilla?
Faith Hill didn’t exactly specify who was the rocky road and who was the vanilla in her life in a new story on Fox News. But it sounds like she was referring to her husband and their nearly 21-year marriage.
Hill was making the ice cream analogy in order to express her thoughts on lasting love.
“Look, there is no secret. Either you like one another or you don’t. You want to stay married or you don’t. You work at it, or you don’t. Simple as that. It is not always easy and there are moments that are rocky,” Hill said at first.
Then she added, “I would rather live a life in rocky road ice cream than vanilla any day of the week. Honestly, vanilla gets boring after a couple of days.”
Hill and McGraw are currently on tour together, and she admitted that it’s been a while since she’s done something this big.
“I haven’t been on a stage like this in 10 years and that is no lie. I can tell you right now I am fired up,” she said.
The Soul2Soul Tour kicked off on April 7 in New Orleans, and continues in Birmingham, Alabama on April 21.


Glen Campbell’s Final Album Adiós Lands June 9

Features Guests Willie Nelson, Vince Gill and Family

Glen Campbell will release his final album titled Adiós on June 9. According to People, the 12-song collection was recorded in Nashville following the 80-year-old’s 2011 Alzheimer’s diagnosis and his subsequent Goodbye Tour in 2012.
Kim Campbell, his wife of 34 years, says the inspiration to record the album was sparked after an afternoon visit with Carl Jackson, Glen’s longtime banjo player and a mutual friend who set the couple up on their first date more than three decades ago.
Although Kim describes the recording sessions as “heartbreaking at times” because of Glen’s struggles with dementia, the Grammy-winning singer was “clearly ecstatic about being in the studio.”
Willie Nelson appears on “Funny How Time Slips Away,” a Nelson original that has been covered and popularized by Joe Hinton, Al Green and Junior Parker. Vince Gill joins Campbell on “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me).” The couple’s children, Ashley, Shannon and Cal, also appear on the collection.
Pre-orders come with an instant download of the album opener and Harry Nilsson cover “Everybody’s Talkin’.”
Here is the complete track listing for Campbell’s Adiós:
1. “Everybody’s Talkin'”
2. “Just Like Always”
3. “Funny How Time Slips Away” with Willie Nelson
4. “Arkansas Farmboy”
5. “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)” [Intro] Roger Miller
6. “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)” with Vince Gill
7. “It Won’t Bring Her Back”
8. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
9. “She Thinks I Still Care”
10. “Postcard From Paris”
11. “A Thing Called Love”
12. “Adiós” 


Eric Church’s Thursday Show Lasts Until Friday

“It’s Just Us and You" for Three Solid Hours 

Everybody stayed.
That’s what struck me about Eric Church‘s Chicago show on Thursday night (April 13).
That Church could not only draw a crowd of 18,000, but that he could keep them in the arena well past midnight.
No one was rushing home to relieve the babysitter. No one needed to get out early to beat the parking lot traffic jam. No one seemed worried about how they might feel in the morning. It felt like no one even considered leaving until Church left.
Maybe because going into the concert, Church’s fans knew just what to expect.
“You know the deal,” Church said a few songs into his 185 minutes of music.
“It’s just us and you,” he said of the tour’s straightforward, no-opener concert bill. “All night long. Because of my history in this city and where we came from, you’re gonna get a little something extra. My apologies to everyone else. We’re gonna sing, we’re gonna play, we’re gonna be here as long as you wanna be here. If you guys meet me halfway tonight, I promise this: they will be talking about this show for a long time. Deal?”

The other unspoken deal Church made with the crowd was that he would spend time on every inch of the stage. So when he wandered out to the front of the circle stage at 8:45 — with just an acoustic guitar — and opened the show with “Mistress Named Music” backed by his band and about 20 members of the Valparaiso High School choir, that was about the only time he stayed in one place.
As Church ran around the circle, stopping to play for all the fans filling the Allstate Arena seats, the fans in the pit inside the circle, and the fans behind the stage in the Choir Loft, he seemed determined not to let anyone feel left out.
But when he did slow the energy down to tell a story — like the one about playing Chicago’s Joe’s Bar 11 years ago when only about ten people showed up — the crowd quieted down to listen to every word.
Church played 37 songs, which took a little more than three hours, and only two of them weren’t his.
One of the two was Church’s country take on the blues standard, “Sweet Home Chicago.” And the other was “Bible and a .44,” a tune he performed with the singer-songwriter behind it, Ashley McBryde. Church called her his favorite new artist, and a whiskey-drinkin’ bad ass.
The set list, Church explained, changes every night on this tour. But the cadence of the show felt like it must’ve been orchestrated to keep things interesting. Church blended the hit songs with the deep cuts, and the old stuff with the new stuff.
And as if Church needed proof that his fans did indeed dig the old stuff, when he started the first verse of “Record Year,” fans down in front handed him their own albums to sign. One was his 2006 debut Sinners Like Me, and one was 2009’s Carolina.
But the new songs went over just as well. Church may be the only artist who could play all ten tracks off a new album — Mr. Misunderstood — and turn every song into a crowd singalong.
After a brief 20-minute intermission (it actually came 15 songs in, so it wasn’t technically “halftime” as Church kept calling it), he told the crowd that he was not going to use the weeknight as an excuse to cut the concert short.
“I do not give a shit it’s a Thursday night. I don’t care,” he said.
“I knew we’d get to this point tonight. We’re this close to breaking through and tearing the damn place down. I mentioned earlier where we came from. That was bars and clubs and little shitty dives. That’s in our DNA. That’s my fave place to be. So this next song, if you’ll help me, we’re gonna turn this place into a bar,” he said before starting “Jack Daniels” and serving shots of the Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey to anyone within arm’s reach.
Here is the set list for Thursday’s (April 13) Holdin’ My Own Tour live at Chicago’s Allstate Arena:
Part One:
“Mistress Named Music”
“That’s Damn Rock and Roll”
“The Outsiders”
“Knives of New Orleans”
“Drink In My Hand”
“How ‘Bout You”
“Over When It’s Over”
“Cold One”
“‘Round Here Buzz”
“Mr. Misunderstood”
“Kill a Word”
“Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”
“Smoke a Little Smoke”
Part Two:
“Ain’t Killed Me Yet”
“Guys Like Me”
“Lotta Boot Left to Fill”
“Record Year”
“Chattanooga Lucy”
“Two Pink Lines”
“Like a Wrecking Ball”
“Sweet Home Chicago”
“Bible and a .44” with Ashley McBryde
“Country Music Jesus”
“Give Me Back My Hometown”
“Jack Daniels”
“Before She Does”
“Mixed Drinks About Feelings”
“Three Year Old”
“These Boots”
“Holdin’ My Own”
“Sinners Like Me”
“Like Jesus Does”


Loretta Lynn’s Wouldn’t It Be Great Arrives Aug. 18

Celebrates 85th Birthday With New Album Announcement and Opry Shows 

Loretta Lynn turns 85 today (April 14) and has announced she will release her new album Wouldn’t It Be Great on Aug. 18.
Like her 2016 Grammy-nominated Full Circle album, Lynn mainly recorded the new 13-song collection at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee with producers Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash.
The album includes new versions of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” her first No. 1 “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin'” and “God Makes No Mistakes” from 2004’s Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose album, plus new songs “Ruby’s Stool,” “Ain’t No Time To Go” and “I’m Dying For Someone To Live For.”
Her birthday celebration continues this weekend with two performances on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Both Friday (April 14) and Saturday’s (April 15) shows are sold out.
Her new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum opens Aug. 25 and is scheduled to run through June 2018.
Here is a complete track listing for Wouldn’t It Be Great:
1. “Wouldn’t It Be Great” (Lynn)
2. “Ruby’s Stool” (Lynn, Shawn Camp)
3. “I’m Dying for Someone to Live For” (Lynn, Camp)
4. “Another Bridge to Burn” (Lynn, Lola Jean Dillon)
5. “Ain’t No Time to Go” (Lynn, Russell)
6. “God Makes No Mistakes” (Lynn)
7. “These Ole Blues” (Lynn, Russell)
8. “My Angel Mother” (Lynn)
9. “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin'” (Lynn, Peggy Sue Wells)
10. “The Big Man” (Lynn, Camp)
11. “Lulie Vars” (Traditional, arrangement by Lynn)
12. “Darkest Day” (Lynn)
13. “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (Lynn)


Keith Urban Surprises Nashville With a Pop Up Concert

Honored at Grammy on the Hill Awards in Washington, DC 

Keith Urban surprised Nashville with a pop up show on Thursday night (April 13) at the local music club 12th & Porter.
Leading up to the gig, the night was billed as “Little Bit of Everything” on the venue’s website. Urban entertained with more than two hours of live hits and covers including “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” “Without You” and his current single with Carrie Underwood “The Fighter.”
He dedicated “867-5309/Jenny” to his wife Nicole Kidman and covered “Some Days You Gotta Dance” and Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker.”
At one point during the show, he welcomed a fan named Lisa Nicole onstage to sing Miranda Lambert‘s part on “We Were Us.”
At last week’s Grammy on the Hill Awards in Washington DC, Urban was the recipient of the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award for his contributions to the music community and music education programs. The event also recognized Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) for their support of music and the arts. The annual event celebrates America’s cultural institutions of music and the arts and highlights critical issues affecting music creators’ rights.
Urban will perform at several major country music festivals this summer, including the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 11.


Sam Hunt Is Getting Married on Saturday

Details on His Wedding Weekend 

To quote Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road,” it looks like he and his fiancée are going to take it slow just as fast as they can.
Hunt and Hannah Lee Fowler have only been officially engaged since January, but on Saturday (April 15), they are going to officially tie the knot.
The intimate wedding is reportedly taking place in Hunt’s hometown of Cedartown, Georgia (the same town that inspired Waylon Jennings’ 1971 album Cedartown, Georgia).
Nashville bridal designer Olia Zavozina is said to be designing dresses for Fowler and her bridesmaids, and suits for Hunt and his groomsmen.
Hunt doesn’t have another show scheduled until May 9, so maybe that means the newlyweds can enjoy a nice, long honeymoon.


The Story Behind Rascal Flatts’ Prom Anthem

“Our Night To Shine” Among Nostalgic Moments on Back to Us

Every high school prom requires the essentials — the dress, the tux, the ride, the boutonniere, the corsage, dancing shoes and a killer soundtrack.
Rascal Flatts‘ Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney are part of the soundtrack for prom 2017 with “Our Night to Shine” from their forthcoming album, Back to Us.
Front man Gary LeVox co-wrote the soaring power ballad with hit-makers Chris DeStefano and Travis Hill for Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine, an annual worldwide prom for people with various developmental disabilities. The 2017 event was held on Valentine’s Day weekend and honored 75,000 people with special needs in 375 locations across the country and in 11 different countries.
Towards the end of the song, a choir of people with special needs from the Kennedy Center sing with the band as the music fades out.
“Everyone is crowned king and queen of the prom and they dress to the nines and walk the carpet,” LeVox told of the annual Night to Shine event. “It was just magical. It’s life-changing for them, for us and everybody involved. It’s their anthem.”
There are several nostalgic moments on Back to Us, Rascal Flatts’ 10th album as a band. The funky bonus track “Roller Rink” goes back in time where slow skates with first loves were the highlight of middle school life. “Hands Talk” mixes feel good ’60s soul grooves with Phil Collins-style percussion. Big funk horns surprise on “Vandalized,” a song co-written by Chris Stapleton and Luke Laird. Lauren Alaina appears on song six “Are You Happy Now.”
“Country music right now is so open,” Joe Don Rooney added. “It’s awesome how open and broad it is. It has Chris Stapleton’s style and sound – that rugged bluesy kind of country — all the way to as pop as it gets. To have all that to work with, all the songs coming from all these stylistic artists and different writers with some of the stuff we wrote, as well, it just gave Jay as a producer some credence to just go there. There’s a little bit of ’80s, some ’90s in there, and it was just no rules — just great songs and a lot of fun.”
Back to Us lands May 19. Pre-orders come with instant downloads of the current single “It’s Yours If Your Want It” and the title track. 


Michael Tyler Steps Into the Spotlight

Rising Artist Talks Jason Aldean Influence and Debut 317

Michael Tyler is unlike any small-town country boy you’ve ever met.
Born in Thayer, Missouri, Tyler grew up listening to everything from the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears to Johnny Cash and Mel McDaniel, and on Poison and Def Leppard live in concert.
His eclectic musical influences slowly began to come together in a fresh, unique way — intriguing enough to catch the attention of acclaimed producer Michael Knox, the man behind artists like Kelly Clarkson and one of Tyler’s heroes, Jason Aldean.
Together, Knox and Tyler set out to create a debut album fully encompassing every nuance from every part of Tyler’s musical experience, and they nailed it. Listening to the project, you get a clear sense of where Tyler came from and who he is — a young soul who is wise beyond his years.
317, is a solid mix of melodies and messages. Sure, there are your fun, feel-good songs like “Here’s To The Nights” and “Play That Party Song,” but there’s also a wide range of emotional depth explored in songs like “They Can’t See,” “Songs About Missouri” and “Interstate,” the powerful closing track to the project.
For Tyler, that’s one that hits home. When he talks about home, he recalls a carefree, rural upbringing with his family and friends, where life was good and easy.
“We always had something to do, you know? We could do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted,” he told “I went from sleeping with the window open, listening to crickets, to listening to the interstate.”
The interstate and all it symbolizes would become a key player in writing process for this record.
Raised in a town of about 2,000 people, Tyler has witnessed the changes that time and progress bring to places. The day he sat down to co-write with Grammy-winning producer Nathan Chapman, he quickly discovered he wasn’t alone in that experience.
Chapman brought in an idea called “Interstate,” and was talking with Tyler about growing up on his grandfather’s tobacco farm. Chapman eventually grew up and moved away, but the real story began when he tried to go back years later, Tyler remembers.
“Down the road, [Chapman’s] parents passed, he had kids of his own, and when his kids got older, he wanted to take them to the farm and show them where he grew up, knock on the door and ask if we could walk around,” Tyler recalled. “When he was on his way there, he said he got turned around and lost and couldn’t figure out how to get there. It was a big thing to him. He finally realized he was on the property on this brand new interstate. They’d taken the tobacco farm and put an interstate right through the middle of the it.”
A similar incident outside of Missouri drew a personal connection for Tyler, so together, he and Chapman set out to write the song for Chapman’s grandfather.
And the passing of time isn’t the only subject matter tackled on Tyler’s debut. The collection’s lead single “They Can’t See” speaks to the personal pressures and struggles young girls and women face in today’s society.
 Didn’t see that one coming from a 23-year-old guy, did you? But that’s the kind of guy Tyler is, and was raised to be — a true gentleman.
“I had a good mama,” he said with a sincere smile.
So it makes sense that “They Can’t See” is his personal favorite song on the project.
“I feel like it’s the most ‘me’ song deep down on this record,” he added. “It’s the most positive song to me. Growing up in a small town, you get taught the things they were teaching 50 years ago, a hundred years ago. And one of those things is to treat a woman like a lady.”
Now, he’s on to other lessons about music and life on the road. Fortunately for Tyler, he’s had a few excellent teachers. For starters, the duo LOCASH, who’ve had Tyler on their tour since November, 2016.
“It’s been nothing but great times every night,” Tyler says of the tour. “They’re always positive. They try to make the room smile everywhere they go. I’ve gotten so much motivation out of their story, just knowing how they’ve been hammering away for fifteen to twenty years, and now they’re killing it and selling out shows and topping the charts.”
Another lesson in perseverance comes from one of Tyler’s biggest influences, ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean.
Tyler remembers the first time he heard Aldean’s Hicktown and calls it a turning point in his life.
“When Aldean came out,” he said, “I was like, ‘Holy crap. That’s what I want to do.'”
The music helped him hone in on his own sound. And now, Aldean is a friend and mentor.
“He told me, ‘You just have to keep doing what you’re doing. Your stuff is cool. Believe in yourself and just do it,” he said.
Tyler already has a No. 1 smash as a songwriter with Dierks Bentley‘s “Somewhere On A Beach,” a SESAC Song of the Year (which was supposed to be Tyler’s debut single, but you don’t say no to Dierks).
Life is one big “Is this my life?” moment for Tyler right now. He travels the country doing what he loves, he hangs out with his hero at awards shows.
“Of course, I’m so thankful,” he said. “It does feel like a dream a lot of the time. Especially last week when were riding back from the ACMs. We’d celebrated with Aldean for a little bit after he’d won Entertainer of the Year, and on the way back, I said, ‘Dude, we just celebrated with Aldean. This is the guy that got me into the music that I’m doing now.’
“This is the dream,” he continued. “This is what I moved to Nashville to do. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do my whole life, and it’s happening right in front of me. It’s hard to take in sometimes. I think you just have to be confident in your music and believe in your craft.”
And use it for good, which is what Tyler is aiming to do. For him, the most important thing is for his fans to feel the positivity.
“Definitely positivity,” he says confidently of his musical purpose. “‘They Can’t See’ for example is a very positive message for women and young women and whoever else is feeling the weight of society the way it is right now. Everyone just has to remember that it’s not about the way people perceive you. It’s the things people can’t see that make a person a person.”
He smiles and says, “I want the songs to leave them feeling awesome, feeling good and ready to take on their day.”


Shania Twain Joins The Voice

To Advise Season 12’s Top 12 

Shania Twain is heading to The Voice to advise season 12’s top 12 contestants starting April 24 on NBC.
Previous key advisors on the show have been Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nate Ruess and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
The top 20 singers will compete for the final 12 spots starting Monday (April 17) when the season goes live.
Twain received the CMT Artist of a Lifetime honor at the 2016 CMT Artists of the Year celebration last October. That night, she confirmed plans for a new album and was honored with a live all-star tribute by Kelsea Ballerini, R&B vocalist Jill Scott and pop star Meghan Trainor.

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