Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mid-week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..May 17, 2017

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of May 13-14:

1 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
2 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
4 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know *
6 JOSH TURNER Hometown Girl
8 JASON ALDEAN Any Ol’ Barstool
9 KENNY CHESNEY Bar At The End of the World
10 DAN & SHAY How Not To
12 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE God, Your Mama, & Me
13 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
14 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
17 BLAKE SHELTON Every Time I Hear That Song
18 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
19 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem



Chris Stapleton’s From a Room, Volume 1 is Week’s Top-Debuting Album

Luke Combs Rides “Hurricane” to No. 1 on Country Airplay Chart

One hundred and six weeks after Chris Stapleton hit the Billboard country albums chart with Traveller, he’s back at No. 1 with a new collection, From a Room, Volume 1.
And get this: Traveller, after all this time, is still at No. 2!
From a Room debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 all genres listing, right behind Logic’s Everybody.
Blowing in (I couldn’t help myself) at the top of the country airplay songs chart is Luke Comb‘s “Hurricane.” It arrives there after a 30-week swoop.

There are three other new albums — Colt Ford‘s unpunctuated Love Hope Faith (at No. 7), Upchurch’s Son of the South (No. 29) and Ryan Upchurch’s Summer Love EP (No. 35). (Upchurch and Ryan Upchurch are the same.)
Moving back onto the chart are the Zac Brown Band‘s Jekyll + Hyde (No. 46) and Tim McGraw‘s Damn Country Music (No. 48).
There are also three new songs, led by A Thousand Horses‘ “Preachin’ to the Choir” (arriving at No. 58), and followed by Chris Young‘s “Losin’ Sleep” (No. 59) and Parmalee‘s “Sunday Morning” (No. 60).
Brooke Eden returns to the fray at No. 56 with “Act Like You Don’t.”
The No. 3 through No. 5 albums, in descending order, are Keith Urban‘s Ripcord, the eponymous Brett Young and Florida Georgia Line‘s Dig Your Roots.
Willie Nelson‘s God’s Problem Child, which was last week’s top album, now nestles at No. 6.
Completing the Top 5 songs array are Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” (last week’s No. 1), Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know,” Kelsea Ballerini‘s “Yeah Boy” and Dierks Bentley‘s “Black.”
See you at the CMA Music Festival. That’ll be me waving from an air-conditioned limo while quaffing mimosas.


Carter Family’s Music Alive and Well in Willie Nelson

Historic Recordings Are Revisited in American Epic on PBS 

A song’s enduring popularity is hard to predict, but Willie Nelson still routinely performs “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” in concert almost a century after A.P. Carter wrote it.
Nelson’s love of the Carter Family is a key element in American Epic, a three-part historical documentary premiering Tuesday (May 16) on PBS.
“I grew up hearing all their songs. I was a huge fan of theirs all my life,” Nelson says in the first episode, titled “The Big Bang,” which tells the story of the Carter Family — A.P. and Sara Carter along with Sara’s cousin, Maybelle.
Noting that the original trio essentially helped form the foundation of country music, Nelson adds, “I think once you hear the original Carter Family, you don’t have to explain why they were special.”
 T Bone Burnett, Jack White and Robert Redford are the executive producers of American Epic, described as “a journey to the birth of modern music.” The film follows the recording machine’s trail across the United States in the 1920s in search of unknown artists who transformed American music. Legacy Recordings last week released American Epic: The Collection, a five-CD boxed set featuring 100 historic recordings by country pioneers such as the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, along with blues and regional music by Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, Joseph Falcon, the Memphis Jug Band, Lydia Mendoza and many others. American Epic: The Soundtrack, a single-disc compilation containing 15 songs, is also available.
Additionally, a concert film titled American Epic Sessions will air June 6 on PBS. It will be accompanied by the release of American Epic: The Sessions, a collection of new recordings produced by White and Burnett after an engineering team reassembled the very first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s.
Recorded with a single microphone to a record-cutting lathe powered by a weight-driven pulley system of clockwork gears, the innovative project includes performances by Alabama Shakes, Ashley Monroe, the Avett Brothers, Beck, Bettye LaVette, Elton John, Los Lobos, Taj Mahal, Pokey LaFarge and Rhiannon Giddens, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, and Nelson and Merle Haggard.
White’s Third Man Records will release a triple-LP version of American Epic: The Sessions on June 16 and is also issuing audiophile vinyl collections from the documentary.


Dierks Bentley on What Glues Things Together

“You Have to Have Some Ups and Downs” 

When Dierks Bentley sits down to make a set list for a concert, he tries to keep things interesting.
In an interview with the Hartford Courant newspaper in Connecticut, Bentley explained why he doesn’t just play the party songs.
“I have a set list full of songs about parties and girls, and I rely heavily on those songs during a live show,” Bentley said.
“That’s where a lot of the energy comes from, those party songs. But I think the most important songs in the live show are the ones in between those huge, uptempo hits, the ones that kind of glue the whole thing together.”
You can’t have a roller coaster that goes downhill the whole time, Bentley said, so you have to have some ups and downs.
“You have to find ways to take the audience on a ride,” he said. “I know what those (hit) songs are going to do, that they are going to get the audience crazy. What can I do between those songs to make the ride different?”
Once the last encore’s been played and Bentley retires from the road — hopefully not any time soon — he says he will probably live out his golden years out west somewhere.
“When this career is over, I’ll be in Wyoming or Montana or back in Arizona,” he said. “I love Nashville, and I plan to be here for many years to come, but I’m not looking for another job.”

Brantley Gilbert, Wife Amber Share Baby News

"When I'm By Myself, I Lose a Few Tears" 

If you saw Brantley Gilbert at his February concert in Louisville, Kentucky, you might have noticed that he was a little more emotional than usual.
Because that’s the night he found out his wife Amber was pregnant. According to People magazine, Amber surprised her husband on his tour bus before the show.
“She handed me a box and there were three pregnancy tests in there and all of them were positive. I think I stared at it for at least two minutes without saying anything because I was literally in shock. We’d been told it was just not in the cards, and I’m staring at this answer to many, many, many prayers,” Gilbert said.
The news has him crying like a baby, he added.
“I’m pretty good around other folks now, but when I’m by myself, if I look at one of the pictures from the doctor’s office,” he said, “I lose a few tears.”
The Gilberts have been married almost two years, and have been trying to conceive ever since. They’d been to a fertility specialist, and were told that it was unlikely that Amber would get pregnant without in vitro fertilization.
They plan to raise the baby — their first — in their hometown outside Jefferson, Georgia.
“In the middle of a day, I’ll find myself smiling about nothing,” he said. 


Cam Explains All the Yellow

Signature Color Is Her Sunshine

It’s rare to find Cam wearing anything other than yellow. It has become the “Burning House” singer’s signature since her debut album was released in 2015.
And she recently explained her thinking behind it.
“Yellow is just a positive, friendly color,” she said in a Q&A with “I find that I feel happier and am in a better mood when I’m wearing yellow, but also that people are nicer to me when I’m wearing yellow, so I’m just drawn to it.
“Also, I’m from California, so yellow for me is like me getting to have a little bit of my California sunshine wherever I am.”
She also admitted she wants to get that California feel from the home she shares with her new husband Adam.
“I really wanted to incorporate pieces of California into the design, since my husband and I are both from there and we were married there,” she said. “Being on the road so much, it just feels so great to go home and have a space where I can unwind and relax. I spend so much time on airplanes or on the bus with multiple other people, so I love coming home to just my husband and our dogs. It helps me recharge for the road again.”
When the conversation turned to music, Cam shared a few of her recent influences. And not all of them are country.
“I kind of get inspiration all over the place. I’m really inspired by artists that try to progress their genre, like Kendrick Lamar, Sturgill Simpson, Blake Mills and Bon Iver,” she said. “Also, I love me some Haim!”
But country is still her first love, because of the lyrics and the storytelling.
“I love being able to tell a story and express emotions in songs,” Cam said, “and there’s just so much of that in country music.”


Loretta Lynn Moves to Rehabilitation Following Recent Stroke

Country Music Hall of Fame Member Hospitalized Since May 5 
Country Music Hall of Fame member Loretta Lynn is undergoing therapy at a rehabilitation center after being hospitalized in Nashville for a stroke she suffered on May 5 at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The news was posted Monday afternoon (May 15) via social media.

A note on her official website added, “Loretta, who just celebrated her 85th birthday, has been advised by her doctors to stay off the road while she is recuperating. Regrettably, upcoming scheduled shows will be postponed.”
Famous for hits such as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” “Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Fist City” and “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath,” Lynn was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988.
Grand Ole Opry member Crystal Gayle, Lynn’s youngest sister, posted an update last week.


Chris Stapleton on the Balance of Things

Why We Need Two Kinds of Country Songs 
 Chris Stapleton has a knack for writing songs that head directly to the top of the country charts. Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer,” Thomas Rhett’s “Crash and Burn,” Darius Rucker’s “Come Back Song” and Kenny Chesney’s “Never Wanted Nothing More” are a few that he’s co-written.
But he also knows that for every big ol’ radio hit, there is also room for another kind of hit. Those are the ones Stapleton calls “move-the-needle” songs.
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning, he talked about how there’s a place for both kinds of songs in country music.
“When you’re a songwriter, that’s part of your job is to write those songs,” Stapleton said of the radio hits. “But there’s two songs kinds of songs you can have on radio: There’s songs that can be a hit, and there’s songs that move the needle and can be impactful for an artist.”
His advice for writing the latter? Try to be as timeless as you can be.
But he explained why the world is better off when there is a balance of the deep and the not-so-deep country songs.
“We need the hits, because they pay for the move-the-needle songs. And they’re all part of the same wheel,” he said. “Everybody likes to listen to a song because it’s fun, and nobody wants to sit around and listen to ‘I-really-have-to-analyze-these-lyrics’ songs all the time.
“I don’t see myself as some kind of fightin’-the-good-fight guy. But I always feel like if you don’t like one kind of music or the other, it’s just not for you. I’m only worried about what I’m doing or how I present music. I just try to do things I want to listen to, and I think that’s what everybody else is try doing, too.”
Stapleton’s major label debut album Traveller has sold 2 million copies, so he must be on to something. And his new one, From a Room: Volume 1, has already sold more than 200,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at No. 1 on Billboard‘s country albums chart.


See Lady Antebellum’s Smokin’ New Video for “You Look Good”

They Bring the Funk and the Horns to Their Latest Single 

No, Lady Antebellum, you look good, especially in this brand new video for their soul-powered single “You Look Good.”
The trio’s sexy swagger is on full display in the smoking video directed by Shane Drake and Roger Pistole, which takes us to a small, hole-in-the-wall type club — you know, the kind of place where a real party happens.
Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are sweating it out and working the stage with their signature harmonies as the crowd works it out Dirty Dancing-style on the dance floor.
There’s some serious flirting going on in the crowd and we see a story brewing, but it looks like we’ll have to wait ’til the next installment to find out what happens next.
“You Look Good” is the debut single from their forthcoming album Heartbreak, set for release on June 9. The trio’s You Look Good World Tour kicks off May 26 with special guests Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young.


Faith Hill: Arrows Are Headed Everywhere

The Logistics of a Nearly Empty Nest 

I am in the exact same position that Hill and her husband Tim McGraw are in: Two kids have moved out, and only one is still at home.
But just because the nest is 2/3 empty, there are still family logistics to handle. I know it, and Hill knows it.
“I have always really, really, loved working with Tim,” Hill said in a recent radio interview about touring with McGraw. “Just, logistically as the mom that puts the schedule together for the family, it just made it so much easier.”
But what she’s coping with now — both at home and on the road — is that not everyone calls their house in Nashville home.
“Now with arrows going a million different directions and kids growing up, it becomes more difficult,” she said, “and I like all my chickens in one basket. But that has changed.”
For example, on their current Soul2Soul tour, she explained, they won’t have all three kids on the bus.
“They’ll be coming in and out to see us, occasionally, but for me, I think about it more from the practical standpoint of actually really making the logistics happen for our family.
“To still be together and thrive and function,” she said.
No matter who is there, though, the Soul2Soul tour will thrive and function when it picks back up on Thursday (May 18) in Montana.

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