Sunday, May 28, 2017

Week-end Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..May 27, 2017 (Now with links)

 COUNTRY CHART Weekend of May 27-28:

1 LUKE COMBS Hurricane
2 BRETT YOUNG In Case You Didn’t Know *
3 SAM HUNT Body Like a Back Road
8 DAN & SHAY How Not To
10 BLAKE SHELTON Every Time I Hear That Song
11 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
12 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
14 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
16 THOMAS RHETT Craving You w/Maren Morris
17 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem
18 JUSTIN MOORE Somebody Else Will
20 TIM McGraw & FAITH HILL Speak To a Girl



Allman Brothers Band’s Gregg Allman Dies at 69

Founding Member Dies at Home in Georgia 

Gregg Allman, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band and long-time solo artist, has died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He was 69.
A statement on his official website says, “Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times.”

Later in his life, Allman experienced a series of alcohol and drug related illnesses that often led to show and tour cancellations. According to Billboard, he was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.
Born Gregory LeNoir Allman in Nashville Dec. 8, 1947, Allman and his older brother, Duane, were raised by a single mother after their father, Willis Allman, a captain in the U. S. Army was killed by a hitchhiker in 1949.
While studying for her nursing degree, Allman’s mother enrolled her two sons in Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn., near Nashville. Neither boy liked nor flourished in the rigid environment. Ultimately, Allman graduated from a Florida high school in 1965.
Allman traced his interest in music back to two main sources: attending a Jackie Wilson concert in 1960, at which Otis Redding, B. B. King and Patti LaBelle also performed, and learning the rudiments of guitar playing from one of his grandmother’s neighbors. It was Duane, however, who became an ace guitarist while Gregg served their various bands as keyboardist and vocalist.
In their formative years, the Allmans formed the band Allman Joys and Hour Glass before rolling out as the Allman Brothers Band in Macon, Georgia, in 1969. Besides the brothers, the original band featured Dickey Betts on guitar, Berry Oakley on bass and Butch Trucks and Jai Johnny Johanson on drums.
Signed to Capricorn Records, ABB released three albums The Allman Brothers Band (1969), Idlewild South (1970) and At Fillmore East (1971) before Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident on Oct. 29, 1971.
Gregg would helm the band in its subsequent incarnations but would often work as a solo act or leader of his eponymously named group. Despite ABB’s popularity as a performing band, that popularity did not translate into radio airplay. In its first 10 years of recording the Allman Brothers Band had only one radio hit, Bett’s “Ramblin’ Man,” which rose to No. 2 on the pop charts in 1973.
That same year, Allman recorded his first solo album — Laid Back — contemporaneously with the Allman Brothers Band recording its fourth studio album, Brothers and Sisters. The band experienced great commercial and touring success throughout the 1970s but was routinely shaken by internal dissension and massive drug use.
The inter-band turbulence was magnified when Allman testified against one of the band’s roadies in a drug case, resulting in the roadie being sentenced to a 75-year prison term, which was later overturned. Allman thus became an outcast in his own band.
In 1975, the original Allman Brothers Band recorded its last album, Win, Lose or Draw. Allman, who had been dating the pop star Cher, married her in June 1975 and began spending most of his time with her in Hollywood. The union lasted for two years, producing a son, a disastrous joint tour and a barrage of tabloid headlines.
The Allman Brothers Band reunited in 1978 and after one more album for Capricorn switched to Arista Records. Despite changes in producers and management, the band never quite hit its stride and broke up again in 1982. Heavy drug use was again cited as a big part of the troubles.
Allman spent most of the 1980s living with friends in Sarasota, Florida, doing little musically and consuming up to a fifth of vodka a day. “No two ways about it, the ’80s were rough,” he told an interviewer. “It was seven years of going, ‘What do I do?'”
He and Betts teamed up to perform together in 1986. They also re-united the Allman Brothers Band for two concerts that year, but tension among the members continued, cutting the reunion short. Late in the decade, Allman recorded two solo albums for Epic Records, the first producing the radio hit, “I’m No Angel.”
Coming together again in 1989 for its 20th anniversary, the Allman Brothers Band would continue to tour and record intermittently until 2014. During this period, Allman tried his hand at acting, appearing in the movie Rush Week in 1989 and the crime drama Rush in 1991.
The Allman Brothers Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Allman was so drunk during the ceremony he could not complete his acceptance speech. After seeing a tape of his actions, he felt so humiliated he vowed to quit drinking and drugging. In this he succeeded by hiring around-the-clock nurses to help him through his withdrawal.
Still health problems continued to plague him. He underwent a liver transplant in 2010 and was forced to cancel several concerts in 2011 and 2016. He released his sixth studio album, Low Country Blues, in 2011 and his second live album, Live: Back to Macon Georgia in 2015. His next album, Southern Blood, was scheduled for release this year.


Country Stars Eulogize Gregg Allman

Jason Aldean, Randy Houser, Jason Isbell, Little Big Town and More Pay Tribute to Rock Icon
 As the writer behind Southern rock anthems like “Whipping Post,” “Midnight Rider” and “Melissa,” Gregg Allman’s memory will be eternal in the music he made with the Allman Brothers Band and as a solo artist. He died at his home in Savannah, Georgia on Saturday (May 27). He was 69.
Jason Aldean, Randy Houser, Jason Isbell and Little Big Town are just a few of the musicians who have honored his memory online.
Jason Aldean: “This one hurts a lot. This was one of my heroes. RIP Gregg Allman… #allmanbrothersband #greggallman”

Sheryl Crow: “Broken heart. Gregg Allman I will miss you. #RipGreggAllman”

Charlie Daniels: “Gregg Allman had a feeling for the blues very few ever have hard to believe that magnificent voice is stilled forever”

Randy Houser:
“Sad to hear about @GreggAllman. Grew up on the Bros. One of the most soulful men to ever get close to a microphone. Rest In Peace sir.”

Jason Isbell: “Goodbye, Brother Gregg. When @amandashires was pregnant, @GreggAllman pointed at her belly and said ‘It’s gonna be a girl. I’m never wrong.'”

Little Big Town:
“What a loss. So heartbroken and yet so grateful for his voice and talent. You will be missed.”

John Mayer: “Eternal love and life to Gregg Allman.”

Brad Paisley: “What a legacy @GreggAllman leaves behind. Jam on in the great hereafter.”

Margo Price: “Goodbye @GreggAllman”

Rascal Flatts: “We’ve lost another legend, but his legacy will live forever. Rest In Peace, Gregg Allman.”

Chris Stapleton: “The first time I ever set foot in an amphitheater, I opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd & the Allman Brothers. I’ll always be grateful for that moment and the wealth of musical influence. RIP Gregg Allman”

Keith Urban: “My heart breaks today at the passing of soul brutha Gregg Allman. Blessings and peace to all the Allman family.”

Charlie Worsham: “There won’t be another like him. rest in peace, Gregg Allman”


Eric Church Gives His All in Nashville

Night One of Holdin’ My Own Tour Closer Draws 18,996 Fans

Eric Church was in the middle of “Springsteen” on Friday (May 26) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena when he held up a fan’s banner that summed up everything about the 2017 Holdin’ My Own Tour.
In big capital letters, it simply read, “BEST [EXPLETIVE] TOUR EVER.”
When Church returned it to its owner, a woman in a black cowboy hat, he knelt down close to see her face and they exchanged a few words. She was just one of his 18,996 fans at night one of Church’s two-night tour closer — a show that lasted nearly four hours.
The concert set a new attendance record previously held by Bon Jovi when the band drew 18,514 fans to the Bridgestone in February. Church has a another chance to beat his new record with Saturday’s (May 27) finale.
Four songs into Friday’s set, he held up his right hand and said, “I, Eric Church, do solemnly swear to give you every damn thing I have tonight.”
And he delivered on that promise, entertaining with 39 songs including deep cuts, his hits, the Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed” and “Steal My Kisses” by Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals.
There was no pyro needed throughout the night. Church and his band were fire all on their own. The only special effects were video screens hanging from the rafters that projected all the action onstage in black and white.
When his lighting illuminated the entire arena, thousands of fans could be seen coming apart at the seams to the music. The sight of his choir made Church visibly emotional behind his dark Ray Bans at least twice during the show — a timeless production he could stage for the rest of his life, and his fans will adore it every time they see it.
Those who had the best view were in the pit encompassed by Church’s 360-stage. They were surrounded by the band shredding on their instruments the entire night. Among the musical highlights from night one’s set were Church taking his vocals to Al Green registers on “Carolina,” his Hammond organ crawling on “Wrecking Ball” and his vocal standoff with backing vocalist Joanna Cotton on “Creepin’.”
He brought out 15-year-old McKinley “Mickey” Smay, who appears on the cover of Mr. Misunderstood, to perform the album’s title track with him. The East Nashville Magnet School Choir backed up the band on the show opener “Mistress Named Music.”
He took shots from Predators glasses with friends backstage during “Jack Daniels,” signed vinyl copies of his albums during “Record Year” and autographed boots (and a crutch) during “These Boots.”
Church will perform at Nissan Stadium on June 9 during the 2017 CMA Music festival. Eight more shows have been added to his schedule this fall starting Sept. 2-3 in Stateline, Nevada. The new shows will feature alternating guests Brothers Osborne, Margo Price and Ashley McBryde. 


Steve Earle Searches for a Good Heart in “Lookin’ for a Woman”

New Album So You Wannabe an Outlaw Is an Homage to Outlaw Country 

In his new song, Steve Earle is looking for a woman and not just any woman — a good one, who won’t treat him mean, break his heart, and leave him lonely and restless and itching to rebel.
This is the stuff outlaw country is made of right here, and if anyone can tell you a thing or two about outlaws — it’s Earle.
He is behind timeless albums like Guitar Town, Copperhead Road, Train a Comin’ and Transcendental Blues has captivated music enthusiasts across all genres with his blend of country, folk, rockabilly and blues.
But on his forthcoming album with the Dukes, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, he says on his website that he’s, “unapologetically out to ‘channel’ Waylon [Jennings].”
The collection is Earle’s tribute to outlaw country inspired by Jennings with some acoustic folk arrangements, country twangers and barn-burners. Among the songs is a duet written and performed with Miranda Lambert and a farewell tribute to the late Guy Clark.
The lead track, “Lookin’ For A Woman,” was written by Earle for the television hit Nashville at the request of his pal, Americana mainstay Buddy Miller. The song didn’t get used, but landed on Earle’s project.
And this video for the song puts it all into motion.
Part performance and part story, the video follows Earle and his band from a live show at the historic Continental Club in Austin to the streets of New York, a city Earle has called home for the last decade.
So You Wannabe An Outlaw arrives June 16.


Dierks Bentley Introduces Extreme Tour Ritual on CMT Hot 20 Countdown

“Don’t Fight It. Invite it.” 
Dierks Bentley fans are already familiar with his annual polar lake jump tradition on New Year’s Day.
Well, that tradition has gone mobile in a new extreme ritual he practices on his What the Hell Tour, and he invited CMT Hot 20 Countdown‘s Cody Alan to try it recently backstage in Cincinnati. 

At every tour stop, Bentley gets a 65-gallon garbage can, fills it with ice and water, strips down to some swim trunks and steps into the icy bath where he does some meditative breathing exercises for at least 20 minutes.
“It’s something I try to do daily actually,” he told Alan. “We have EMTs standing by because you never know.
“This is where I get all my energy for the show. You come in here, you do this for 20 minutes and then you walk out onstage and then you’re just ready to rock … You’ve got to breathe your way through it. Don’t fight it. Invite it.”
The polar plunge is a form of cold therapy called the Wim Hof Method, and it was developed by a Dutch daredevil nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold. Wim Hof holds the world record for being able to be submerged in ice for nearly two hours. Apparently practicing the Wim Hof Method results in some major health benefits including a fortified immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality and the production of endorphins.
When Alan tried it with Bentley, he endured the ritual for an impressive 13 minutes (although it felt like the icy water was making Alan’s skin melt off by minute seven).
Alan also got Bentley to talk about touring amphitheaters with Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell and pick the better co-pilot between the two openers.
“They’re both terrible man,” Bentley joked. “I guess Cole is better because he doesn’t touch as much [stuff]. He’s good chillin’ it.”
 CMT Hot 20 Countdown is all new on the road with the What the Hell Tour on Saturday and Sunday (May 27-28) at 9 a.m. ET/PT. The episode will feature interviews with Nashville’s Hayden Panettiere and Lennon Stella, celebrate the 25th anniversary of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” and host the world premiere of Brooke Eden’s music video “Act Like You Don’t.” Scotty McCreery will also talk about his powerful new song “Five More Minutes.” 


Jason Aldean Tours Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit

Asphalt Cowboy Runs Through Nov. 5

When Jason Aldean and his family previewed his new exhibit at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Thursday (May 25), his children were getting their first impressions of their father’s life before “Hicktown” broke out in 2005.
After getting a private tour with his family, Aldean delivered a few remarks in the Rotunda and said that for any artist, to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame in any capacity is an honor.
“It’s pretty amazing,” he said, “I think being able to come here today and walk through with my wife, my daughters, my parents and go back and look at things that I haven’t seen in a while. Some things I haven’t seen in a long time.
“For my kids, they don’t know anything other than this. But to go back and see that it always wasn’t like this, I think was probably kind of cool for them. And so it’s been an amazing ride for me.”
 NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 25:  Singer-songwriter Jason Aldean and family at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Celebrates Opening of Jason Aldean Exhibit on May 25, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 25:  A view of the Jason Aldean Exhibit  during Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Celebrates Opening of Jason Aldean Exhibit on May 25, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum) 
 NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 25:  A view of the Jason Aldean Exhibit  during Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Celebrates Opening of Jason Aldean Exhibit on May 25, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum)
He went on to thank a few key people on Music Row who believed in his music from the start, including his longtime producer Michael Knox. He discovered Aldean at an Atlanta club and brought him to Nashville 20 years ago.
“For things early in my career to be a struggle and to not come easy,” Aldean said, “it made me appreciate things a lot more when it finally did happen. And the reason it did happen was because I tried to surround myself with a great group of people.”
On display now through Nov. 5, Jason Aldean: Asphalt Cowboy features personal memorabilia and keepsakes from his days as a rising musician, including a Young Guns set list, his high school graduation photo, his first guitar and much more. 


Eric Church on His Intermission Anxiety

“Are These People Going to Leave?” 

When Eric Church announced that he’d be playing for about three and a half hours on his new tour, and that there’d be an intermission, I wasn’t so sure it would work.
And Church wasn’t either.
He told Nashville Scene that when he finally got to the point in his career when he had enough music to fill more than three hours, he started having second thoughts.
“It’s been the tour I waited on my entire career — to be able to go out and play three-and-a-half hours. In some ways I’m pretty sad about it. You wait this long for it, and you don’t know if it’s gonna work,” Church said.
And on the first night of his tour, he remembers thinking, “OK, how are we gonna pull off an intermission, and what’s going to happen? Are these people going to leave? Are they going to stay?”
It sounds like Church’s hope was that he’d be about 100 minutes in, and then at the half, his fans would think, “Man, I can’t believe they played that, I wonder what’s in the second set?”
Church said that the intermission inspiration came from bands like Phish, the Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic.
“They’ll do the intermission thing. A lot of the jam-band world does it, and I’ve found that so fascinating,” he said.
Another concert commitment Church has made is that he refuses to let the best seats go to ticket resellers. According to the Scene, he has canceled more than 33,000 ticket orders that seemed suspicious.
Church’s fans have had his back for 12 years, and now he’s got theirs.
“I want that same guy or girl who didn’t have kids then, to bring their family and be able to afford it. As opposed to going, ‘I can’t pay for a 400-dollar scalped ticket.’
“I want that same guy there,” Church said, “because he’s been part of the journey.”


Thomas Rhett Shares Plans for Mushy Album

His Fourth Record Will be One for the Kids
Thomas Rhett is not going to make an all-Willa album. But he did recently admit that the last 20 song titles he came up with were all about his 18-month-old daughter.
“I feel like the whole next record is going to be a pretty mushy one about my kids,” Rhett told told Lousiana’s Advocate (He was quick to clarify that his forthcoming record due out later this year was written before bringing Willa home, so that one will only have a couple songs that allude to how drastically life can change).
“But on the fourth record, for sure, there’s going to be a lot about my children.
“How can you not write about people that you’re with every day and that make you laugh and make you want to just go outside and take a deep breath for a minute,” he said.
He also knows that having Willa and another new baby at home is going to change the way he tours, or at least, how bad he feels when he leaves to play on the road. So he is gathering advice from his artist friends who’ve been there before.
“I texted Jason Aldean the other day and said, ‘How do you ever leave the house and not feel guilty?’ He said that feeling never really goes away, but that when you leave the house now, you get on the bus for a different purpose,” he recalled of the conversation.
“‘Before you had kids, it was all about going out there and trying to win at awards shows and sell as many tickets as possible and trying to have multi-week No. 1 (singles). After you have kids, you still want those things. But at the forefront of your brain is, ‘How can I give my child the best life humanly possible?'”
Aldean told Rhett that that’s what helps him get on the bus on the weekends.
And the new father revealed, “That’s the best piece of advice I’ve gotten so far.”


Lady Antebellum Packs Horns for New Tour

North American Run Launches in California with Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young

With every new tour, Lady Antebellum‘s Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott look forward to rearranging some of their biggest hits for their loyal fans.
So on their all-new You Look Good Tour, launching Friday (May 26) in Bakersfield, California, their catalogue will get a fresh twist with the addition of a live horn section.
“The horns have been such a fun new part of our sound musically,” Dave Haywood said during our interview with the band. “For ‘Looking For a Good Time’ and ‘Love Don’t Live Here,’ we’re actually adding some of the horn players on those songs. So, to be able to have something to elevate some of the older songs, too, is fun.
“Once horns walk out, it always feels like a party.”
Another big thrill for the band is the chance to share the stage with openers Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young. The three acts are even joining forces to have a special live collaboration planned for the Lady A set.
“We love to tour with our friends, and having another girl is awesome,” Scott said. “I’m so excited about that. And we’re getting creative with having a moment in the show where we bring them back out. We’ve got some things up our sleeves for Brett and for Kelsea to come back out during our show and other fun moments I think the crowd will love.”
For now, live collaborations with the Lady Antebellum children — Eisele Kaye Tyrell (3), Cash Van Haywood (2) and Ward Charles Kelley (1) — will have to wait.
“Cash is getting close to holding a guitar,” Haywood revealed. “He’s watching our videos and singing along every night. I think he’s preparing for the debut performance, which maybe we should work out onstage.”
“The age gap as they grow older will only narrow in their abilities to play together,” Scott added. “Eisele is just bossing everybody around right now. She is a total girlboss.”
The You Look Good World Tour will visit 65 cities across six countries in 2017. The initial North American schedule includes stops in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Nashville.


Granger Smith on Luke Bryan’s Invitation

“This is an Absolute Gift” 

After a very thorough tour of the summer fair and fest circuit, Granger Smith will be joining Luke Bryan‘s tour in the middle of September.
So I wondered what it would be like for Smith to go from playing his own shows — packed with his own very loyal fans — to opening Bryan’s shows.
“We do a lot of shows on our own, but I definitely know my place in the world of country music,” Smith told me when he played a show in Chicago recently. “And being the first of three openers for Luke Bryan is definitely my place.”
Since Smith considers Bryan to be at the top of his game, he said, to be able to share a show with him is an honor.
“This is an absolute gift. To be able to share the fans, warm them up, and hopefully win them over is a big reason that I cannot wait for the tour,” he said.
My next questions was about Smith’s alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr. Would he show up at any of the Bryan shows?
“That’s up to Luke. Because it’s his show. When I was on the Florida Georgia Line tour, they always wanted Earl. They were adamant that he end the show. They’d say, ‘We have to have Earl,'” Smith said. “But if Luke has any reservations about Earl, we’ll respect that.”

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