Wednesday, July 26, 2017

MID-Week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News..July 26, 2017 (Now with links)

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of July 22-23:

1 THOMAS RHETT Craving You w/Maren Morris
3 BLAKE SHELTON Every Time I Hear That Song
4 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It
5 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
6 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
8 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem
10 FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE God, Your Mama, & Me
11 JUSTIN MOORE Somebody Else Will
12 OLD DOMINION No Such Thing As a Broken Heart
13 DUSTIN LYNCH Small Town Boy
16 JON PARDI Heartache On The Dance Floor
17 KIP MOORE More Girls Like You
19 JASON ALDEAN They Don’t Know
20 CARLY PEARCE Every Little Thing



Ashley McBryde Sings of Brighter Days in Powerful New Single

Arkansas Native’s Adoptive Home Co-Stars in New Video for "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" 

There’s a new badass in town, and her name is Ashley McBryde.
Superstars like Eric Church and Miranda Lambert can’t stop singing her praises, and one listen to her current single “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” will show you why.
With a true grit and raw vulnerability, McBryde’s songs cut to the bone, and tell real-life stories about real, human experiences. That’s exactly what inspired “Dahlonega.”
McBryde’s morning was off to a rough start the day she was to meet the song’s co-writers Nicolette Hayford and Jesse Rice.
“We had all had a really bad day,” McBryde revealed. “Not ‘one of the worst days of my life,’ but I had one of those days where nothing was going right. I got a crack in my windshield on my way to work, I got sick and had broken a guitar string all within an hour and a half.”
And hers wasn’t the only day that had gone south.
“On top of that my co-writer, Jesse, was late, but bless his heart, when he walked in we could tell he’d had a night that was just as rough as ours,” she added. “That’s how we got on the subject of having the worst day ever, and that’s when Jesse started talking about his car breaking down in Dahlonega, Georgia.”
Keeping with the theme of art imitating life, McBryde decided to film the video for the song right in her new home of Watertown, Tennessee, with her friends as extras.
“I am really excited and proud that we were able to film it in the Watertown/Lebanon area with real people, having a real good time.”
The ACM award-winning filmmaker Reid Long, who also directed Church’s “Mr. Misunderstood,” led the charge for McBryde’s shoot that day.
“Reid was really able to capture the energy surrounding this song, because you can’t fake something like that.”
No, you can’t. McBryde certainly doesn’t. She’s as real as it gets.

Florida Georgia Line and Backstreet Boys Unite for CMT Crossroads

Hour-Long Concert Special Premieres Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. ET

Florida Georgia Line and the Backstreet Boys will perform their biggest hits together on an all-new CMT Crossroads, premiering Aug. 30 at 10 p.m. ET.
The hour-long special will feature new collaborative arrangements of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” “As Long As You Want Me,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” “H.O.L.Y.,” their No. 1 collaboration “God, Your Mama, and Me” and more.

The two multi-platinum acts are performing together this summer on select stadium dates on the Smooth Tour 2017. A sold-out show at Boston’s Fenway Park on July 7 with hip-hop’s Nelly and rising artist Chris Lane was the first of their three stadium concerts together.
“It’s been really cool to collaborate with the Backstreet Boys in so many different ways this year,” Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley said in a release. “And to be able to take our friendship — and smooth new dance moves — up a notch with this full-blown concert together is going to be epic!”
“Getting us all under one roof in Nashville will be fire,” Tyler Hubbard said. “We can’t wait to jump in on each other’s songs and add our flavor to ones we grew up listening to!”
“Being such fans of each other, this is a really fun way for us to put our mark on our songs,” the pop group’s Brian Littrell added. “It’s going to be a fun night with seven guys who really admire one another. I’m looking forward to what comes of it!”
Florida Georgia Line’s 11 No. 1s on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart include “Confession,” “Sippin’ On Fire,” “Sun Daze,” “Dirt,” “Stay,” “Round Here” and “Get Your Shine On.” The award-winning duo’s breakout smash “Cruise” holds the record for the longest running No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart. The Smooth Tour continues on Thursday (July 27) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it will reunite with the Backstreet Boys on Saturday (July 29) at Minneapolis’ Target Field.
In 2013, the Backstreet Boys celebrated their 20th anniversary with the release of their latest album In A World Like This. The group’s world tour of the same name was extended multiple times, resulting in what became its biggest tour in over a decade. The Las Vegas residency Backstreet Boys: Larger Than Life opened at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood in March, and work on a 10th studio album is underway.
The special comes on the heels of strong growth for CMT, which just notched its highest-rated fiscal 3rd quarter since 2014 with 14% year-over-year growth among Adults 18-49. Furthermore, CMT has posted 32 consecutive weeks of year-over-year growth with Adults 18-49. Competitively, CMT ranks as the fastest growing Top 50 (non-news) channel with Women 18-49.
CMT Crossroads debuted January 13, 2002 with Elvis Costello and Lucinda Williams and has since showcased iconic musical pairings including Alison Krauss and Robert Plant; the Avett Brothers and Randy Travis; Ray Charles and Travis Tritt; Dave Matthews and Emmylou Harris; Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire; Def Leppard and Taylor Swift; Sting and Vince Gill; John Mayer and Keith Urban; Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood; Stevie Nicks and Lady Antebellum; Katy Perry and Kacey Musgraves; and Alicia Keys and Maren Morris to name a few.


Jason Aldean on Raising a Boy

And How He Gets a Shot of Adrenaline 

I’ve always loved how open and honest Jason Aldean is during interviews. He is very willing to talk about anything.
But at last weekend’s Country Thunder concert in Wisconsin, there was one question he wouldn’t answer for Chicago’s WEBG. Aldean revealed that he and his wife Brittany already have a name picked out for their son — due later this year — but he is keeping it under wraps until he is born.
“Coming soon,” was all Aldean would say about that. But he did talk about what it will be like to have a boy around.
“I have two older daughters, 14 and 10, but this is the first boy on either side of our families,” he said. “I sort of raised (the girls) up to hunt and fish. I basically did all the stuff with them that I would do with a boy. I wanted them to have an appreciation for the outdoors, and he’ll be no different.”
“I’m excited to buy him some cool shoes and boots. I can do all his Christmas shopping at Tractor Supply,” he said with a laugh.
When the talk turned to music, Aldean said there are two things he loves most about his career: playing live and recording.
“Being on stage playing is my favorite part of the whole thing. That’s really why I got into this business,” he said. “And getting in studio and cutting new music is a breath of fresh air, too. It’s just kind of a shot of adrenaline for everybody.”
Aldean said his next album should be finished in a couple weeks.


Kelsea Ballerini Casually Drops Drop Date

Unapologetically Due in 101 Days 

Kelsea Ballerini fans woke up to some very big news on Tuesday (July 25).
Her next album has a name and a due date.
The way she announced it was super casual, just like the other social media conversations she always has with her fans and followers.
“November [3] my sophomore album ‘Unapologetically’ will be released. whoomp there it is…,” Ballerini wrote, sending out her tweet from somewhere in the Good Morning America studios, where she was hanging out to perform her latest single, “Legends.” 
Ballerini’s debut album The First Time was released more than two years ago.


Garth Brooks, Luke Bryan Bring the Joy

Artists Go Beyond the Music for Fans 

Sometimes, what goes on behind the scenes of a massive country show is almost as life-changing as the music.
For Luke Bryan fan Francis Stanaway, 88, that meant a chance to have a very touching moment with her favorite country singer. Stanaway has a terminal illness, but that didn’t stop her from going to his recent Kansas City show, meeting Bryan, and taking the opportunity to touch his famous backside. She also gave him a birthday gift of Lay’s potato chips and Topsy popcorn.
And for Garth Brooks fans Wesley and Katy Hansen, it might mean a free college education for their baby girl.
At Brooks’ recent Los Angeles show, the Hansens held up a sign that said, “Working on a full house. Boy? Girl?” He pulled the couple on stage and helped them discover that their baby due in December is a girl — a girl who will now be named Brooks. Then, with the entire crowd as their witnesses, Brooks told the couple, “If I am still alive when Brooks goes to college, we will pay for her college.”
Let’s hope Brooks Hansen doesn’t choose Harvey Mudd, where a four-year degree already costs $280,000.


The Faster Horses Camp That Built Me

Eight Highlights from a Weekend of Roughing It 

Other than the occasional week at summer camp when I was little, I have never camped camped. But with all the music festivals that encourage it, I started wondering if I should give it a try.
I had about a million reasons why it was a terrible idea, and why an indoorsy girl like me could never take four nights of roughing it. But then there was a boho hippie angel on my shoulder who convinced me that I’d have the time of my life under a canopy of patio lights, sipping rosé all night with like-minded country fans, swapping stories about our favorite songs and bonding over lyrics that changed our lives.
And she was right.
One of my best friends from Detroit had just bought a vintage 1969 Airstream, so we decided to meet halfway between Chicago and Detroit and make the travel trailer our home sweet home at the Faster Horses Festival in Brooklyn, Mich. The Three-Day Hillbilly Sleepover would be my first attempt at camping, and the Airstream’s maiden voyage for us.
It didn’t start out exactly as I’d hoped, which was that I’d be like the girl in Miranda Lambert’s “Airstream Song,” with homemade curtains living just like a gypsy. Because first of all, it’s not easy to maneuver a 31′ X 8′ trailer onto a campsite. That took some blood, sweat and tears. Then once that was done, I flagged down the water truck to fill the tank for $45. And once that was done, I plugged the Airstream into the electrical on the site. But after some old-school mechanical troubleshooting–because we didn’t have the owner’s manual or the ability to download one–we realized that the water didn’t work if the air conditioner was running.
Forced to make a choice between plumbing and not melting, we chose air conditioning. So that meant no working toilet, no shower, and no running water for rinsing dishes, washing hands, or brushing teeth. Fortunately, the campground had a permanent building with bathrooms and showers, which just kind of made it feel like living in a college dorm.
After three days of that, the lack of water was the thing I hated most about roughing it. But there was so much that I learned to love about roughing it.
1. The staff. On Sunday night (July 22), during the late afternoon, a storm came through a forced the evacuation of the festival grounds. My camp ambassador came out in the rain and knocked on everyone’s RV doors and told us to roll our awnings in. I never would’ve known that, so I was so grateful for his concern. In fact, the rest of the festival and camp staffers were just as helpful and genuinely friendly — like they were just as glad to be there as I was. I’ve been to enough fairs, fests and venues to know how rare that is.
2. The neighbors. Maybe I just lucked into the best neighborhood/campsite, but it felt like I’d moved into the place for the nicest campers. It was like they loved the camping as much as they loved the country music. I guess I’d expected that people would see the camping as a necessary evil when you want to go to concerts that aren’t near any big hotels. But I was wrong. They were literally all happy campers. And during the day — or after hours — when new friends walked by our site, the conversation was easy. Best of all, we all had a love of country in common, and I talked to dozens of fans who had stories to tell about concerts they’d been to, artists they’d met, and pictures they’d taken.
3. Special Ed’s Donuts.
About a five-minute walk from my site was a little white school bus with a line wrapped all the way around it. When I went to investigate, I could smell the donuts before I even saw the Donuts sign. They were the best donuts I’ve ever had in my life — so fresh and warm that the glaze almost melted off — and I went back every day. To be honest, a couple times each day. I was on a strict glazed-donuts-and-rosé diet all weekend.
4. The walkable commute. I’m always over-thinking how I will get home after a concert, especially one that’s not in my neck of the woods and in the dark. But this festival had that covered. I could’ve easily jumped on one of the trams that stopped right outside my campsite, but I chose to walk every night — because donuts. It only took about ten minutes for me to walk from the Airstream to the stage (I also knew enough to pack sensible cowboy boots that could cover a lot of ground).
5. I’m outdoorsy now. I’ve never been a lover of the great outdoors, but camping kind of unearthed a little bit of that in me. No matter how big your rig is, it gets claustrophobic after a while. So we set up a few outdoor chairs under our awning and under the patio lights we’d strung, and I found myself wanting to spend all my time out there. And it didn’t hurt that even when I wasn’t at the festival, the festival was close enough that I could hear the music as if I was right in front of the stage. On Saturday evening, for example, we had a little Dan + Shay singalong at our campsite happy hour.
6. Nobody trashed the bash. There were signs all over the festival and the campgrounds not to trash the bash, and reminders that your mom is not here to pick up after you. And it looked like everyone did their part to keep Faster Horses beautiful. They also made it easy to tidy up, with ample trash cans near the stages and a reliable curbside trash pick-up service in the campgrounds.
7. Room to move. Because I’d never camped, I assumed that once the trailer was in place, everyone’s RVs would be packed into a campground like sardines. But I was dead wrong. Our site was 30′ X 50,’ and the Airstream was 31′ X 8,’ which left an outdoor living space big enough for hosting neighbors without ever feeling crowded.
8. No cell service. Normally, this is the kind of thing that drives me insane. I have texts to send, tweets to tweet and pictures to post. Not to mention keeping up with all the artists who were performing at Faster Horses. So I missed a lot by not being in touch–like the picture Miranda Lambert posted of her view of the crowd of 40,000, saying, “This. It’s like a dream. All the people who showed up for country music. Thanks for an incredible night. #girlsincountrymusic #holyshitballs.” But because no one at the fest could be very connected, everyone was looking up at the show instead of down at their phones.
Now that I am a legit camper — I already wrote down the dates for the 2018 festival in my calendar — I realized what this experience did for me. When I was packing my car on Thursday, I didn’t really want to go. But by Monday morning, when I was packing my car to come home, I didn’t want to leave.
Fans who were unable to attend can catch the full Faster Horses experience on CMT Hot 20 Countdown airing Saturday and Sunday (July 29 and 30) at 9 a.m. ET.


Jillian Jacqueline on the Art of Individuality

Rising Artist Talks New Single “God Bless This Mess” and Finding the “Guts in the Room” 

It was a hot summer afternoon the day I sat down with Jillian Jacqueline, one of the most buzzed-about artists on the scene, to discuss her new music and her inspiring journey.
Dressed sharply in a red, floral print blouse and a pair of killer metallic Topshop boots, Jacqueline’s warmth and kindness entered the room before she did. But what began as a perfectly delightful chat quickly morphed into something of a master class with one of Nashville’s brightest rising stars.
Jacqueline’s road to this breaking moment in her career has been a long one — both rewarding and at times a little bumpy, but chock full of teachable moments that have made her arguably one of the wisest and most self-aware women on Music Row.
“I thought about it the other day, the timeline of my career,” Jacqueline told “It’s been twenty years that I’ve been doing this. I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to be a singer. I’ve been doing this since I was seven years old. And sometimes I feel like what is taken as confidence is simply just me not knowing how to be anything else. It’s just who I am.”
But getting to that place of ownership doesn’t happen overnight. For Jacqueline, there was a lot of growing and growing up to do, and some of that has continued in her recent years on the Row.
“I think a lot of us have to try different things and in the last several years in Nashville I have,” she said. “You just have to keep doing what you do until eventually that energy begins to work in your favor and that window opens for you.
“I was just trying to be completely honest with myself during that time because I’m naturally pretty bad at doing things I don’t want to do.”
And there is a peace in taking ownership of who you are, and it reads all over Jacqueline’s face and in her body language. She has a very calming presence. She’s bright, real, honest, conversational — qualities all perfectly mirrored in her lyrics.
“I attribute a lot of what I do lyrically to how much I read as a child,” she said of her songwriting. “I read a lot of different types of books and I kept a lot of journals and diaries, because I was obsessed with words. So for me, when I approach songs, I want every single line to make me feel like, ‘Oh, that’s so weird, I’ve never heard that before.’ And sometimes in writing groups that gets me into trouble, because they’re like, ‘Nobody would say that!’ and I’m like, ‘I would say that. So let’s say it.'”
And that right there is the essence of Jacqueline.
“I think I maybe just have a knack for wanting to be different. I think my mom encouraged that a lot.”
From day one Jacqueline’s mother has been incredibly supportive of her daughter’s talents and career, always encouraging her to be her own person.
“She would say, ‘Do your thing. Do it differently than everyone else.’ And I felt that was really accepted.”
So it’s no surprise that the acceptance and celebration of individuality is at the core of everything Jacqueline does. From her style to her music, she truly marches to the beat of her own drum.
“I get the question a lot: ‘What makes you different?’ I’m thinking to myself, ‘I am just me.’ I think if everyone really sat down with themselves and did something that felt purely them 100%, it’s different.”
But individuality has universal appeal. As we talked about the songs on her new project, transparency became the word and theme du jour, because for Jacqueline, pure honesty will always translate.
“It’s your take on those bigger themes — love, loss, family, celebration — your take on those things is what makes you unique,” she said. “We’re all going to write songs about love, but you’re going to have a very specific experience that I want to hear about. What time of night was it? What was his name? What were you wearing? How did you feel?”
Painting a picture — that’s what Jacqueline does best. Songs like “Sugar and Salt,” “Reasons,” “Sad Girls” — they all paint visuals so vivid you can practically see the story playing out in your head as the song plays.
The same goes for “Bleachers” a song about just being where you are and blooming where you’re planted.
“It’s a little bit more anthemic than what I’ve done in the past,” she admitted. ‘Prime’ was kind of that, too. And I wanted to write something that was just fun and easy to sing to. I’m not really good at the happy-go-lucky songs to be honest, that song was a quirky way to say something universal and fun.”
But at the heart of Jacqueline’s style in life and in music is the desire to get straight to the heart of the matter.
“A friend of mine describes it as the juice — she says ‘I just want to find the juice in the room.’ Me too! I gotta feel the guts here, what’s really going on,” she said. “I think the reason music can be so powerful is because you’re sharing something that is so naked.”
Enter her song “God Bless This Mess,” her brand new single and possibly the most vulnerable tune Jacqueline has ever recorded. It’s another departure for her, but a different type of moment that changed and impacted her for the better.
The song began when her collaborator and producer Tofer Brown took a turn on her childhood piano, the only thing her father saved from her childhood home. Brown had the title in mind, and as soon as he began to play, Jacqueline just began to sing.
“We wrote the chorus write before we sat down to eat dinner. And we thought, ‘That felt really cool and interesting. Wow, that just fell out.'”
Some songs just happen like that, like magic — they knew it was special. And even when they hit a lyrical stumbling block, they didn’t give up. Instead they turned to the one person they knew would understand the humanness of the song better than anyone else: Grammy-winner Lori McKenna.
“We took it to her and just she started talking for a while, and she just said, ‘Here’s to the brokens.’ And I was like, ‘What did you just say?’ And she said, ‘Here’s to the brokens, the misfits and wannabes.’ She simplified what we were trying to complicate, and that’s why she’s Lori McKenna,” Jacqueline said confidently.
“She captures what I like to call ‘the kitchen sink moments,'” Jacqueline added. “Every woman in every part of the world can relate to where you’re standing over the kitchen sink and just feeling all the feelings. And she writes about them. She was the perfect person to take that idea to.”
But the song didn’t originally land in the stack designated for Jacqueline herself. It was actually on hold for a year with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. When they didn’t cut it, her label moved quickly to convince Jacqueline to do so.
“I just hadn’t thought about it for myself,” she recalled. “I took several more listens and when we brought it into the studio with the band, they loved it. And now, it’s one of my favorite ones to play. I think it sticks with the audience more than I even realized it would.”
Sometimes, she admitted, the songs really do pick you.
“It really was the catalyst for me to realize that the album was creating me and I wasn’t creating the album.”
And it’s a beautiful creation, the artist and message birthed throughout this whole process, one the entire world can learn a thing or two from Jacqueline as she takes her show on the road with the legendary Dwight Yoakam, another force in music driven by individuality and realness.
“I did not want to be disappointed [and] it’s everything I’d dreamed of,” she said of touring with Yoakam. “His voice sounds so great. His melodic sense growing up for me, when I would hear ‘Fast As You,’ or ‘A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,’ I thought that was unbelievable. I’d never heard anyone else in country sing quite like that.”
For Jacqueline, coming into your own, releasing music that is authentic and playing that music for fans feels like a dream.
“Growing up listening to the radio and always wanting to be on the radio, just hearing those voices come through and the stories they were telling — to know that someone is hearing my songs somewhere in their bedroom or their car and they’re feeling it enough to tweet me or replay or save the song — it’s overwhelming,” she said with a smile.
“That’s all you can hope for,” she added, “the chance to say something honest and have it resonate with other people.”

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