Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MID-Week Country Music Countdown & Country Music News...August 9, 2017 (Now with links)

COUNTRY CHART Weekend of August 5-6:

1 RASCAL FLATTS Yours If You Want It *
3 THOMAS RHETT Craving You w/Maren Morris
5 KEITH URBAN The Fighter w/Carrie Underwood
6 COLE SWINDELL Flatliner w/Dierks Bentley
8 JUSTIN MOORE Somebody Else Will
9 MIDLAND Drinkin’ Problem
10 OLD DOMINION No Such Thing As a Broken Heart
11 DUSTIN LYNCH Small Town Boy
12 JASON ALDEAN They Don’t Know
13 JON PARDI Heartache On The Dance Floor
15 KIP MOORE More Girls Like You
17 CARLY PEARCE Every Little Thing
18 KENNY CHESNEY All The Pretty Girls
19 KANE BROWN What Ifs w/Lauren Alaina
20 BRETT ELDREDGE Something I’m Good At



Granger Smith Tells His Love Story

“Happens Like That” Raises the Music Video Bar and Brings in Two Very Special Cameo Appearances 

Granger Smith can tell you firsthand that love can happen in the blink of an eye.
The Texas native’s newest single “Happens Like That” is a nod to the wisdom your mama always imparted on you — that love often comes along when you least expect it and hits you out of nowhere.
To help bring the song’s story to life in the video, Smith enlisted the help of the other person in his life all too familiar with this feeling — his beautiful wife Amber. (The two met when she starred in his music video for “Don’t Listen to the Radio.”)
Together, they take you on the journey of the relationship from the first glance across a crowded room to the proposal to marriage to eventually starting a family. And, yes, that is their son making a cameo appearance.

Directed by TK McKamy, Smith really stretched his music video muscles for this one.
“This has been the most extensive music video I’ve done, and we’ve done a lot of them,” he said. “We shot the video in a massive cornfield and a silo and it gives the video this mysterious tone. TK had a vision that the imagery would be kind of like a memory and these lightning strikes make time pass through these stages of life and love.
“It was amazing to have my beautiful wife Amber and my son, River, on set. My three kids have now all made cameos in my videos.”
Way to keep it all in the family, buddy.
 CMT is also hosting a chance for you to meet Smith. The “Happens Like That” sweepstakes is ready to send a lucky winner and a guest to West Palm Beach, Florida, on Nov. 17 to meet him and be a VIP at his show.


Thomas Rhett on the Life Changes That Shaped Him

“You Can Try to Plan … But You Really Have No Clue” 

Thomas Rhett had no idea just how much his life would change in the first grade.
That’s when he first met his current wife, Lauren Akins, and his love for her has provided inspiration for some of the biggest songs of his career, including the award-winning “Die A Happy Man.”
“I think it’s just one thing that I know really well,” Rhett, 27, tells of his love for his wife. “I’m not perfect at it but I have gotten to learn how to harness what me and Lauren have to try and put it into song. Since I know so much about our relationship, what better subject for me to write about than something I know very well.”
These days his phone is loaded with more pictures of their adopted daughter Willa Gray than it is with his original song ideas. Within the next few weeks, he and Lauren will be parents of two baby girls under two. 

“You can try to plan, and plan, and plan and try to envision yourself where you’re going to be at 35, but you really have no clue,” Rhett said. “For the majority of people, events happen in your life that take you one way or another that ultimately leads to where you are now.”
The title track of his third album Life Changes, available Sept. 8, chronicles the various changes in Rhett’s personal life that made him into the man he is today. Co-written with his father Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure and Ashley Gorley, the verses paint a picture of Rhett starting out writing songs in college and wondering whether anyone will ever hear them. Then he sings of proposing to Lauren at 22 and later breaking the news to his parents that they’re going to be grandparents of a adopted baby from Uganda.
“While I was wrapping my head around being a dad,” Rhett sings, “a big wrench got thrown in the plans we thought we had. Now Lauren’s showing, got one on the way. Yeah, that’s two under two. Hey what can I say?”
And Rhett wouldn’t change it for the world.
“Adoption is an amazing thing,” Rhett said of adopting Willa Gray. “When you can take a child who might not have had anything else in life but to be in an orphanage until they’re 18, I think it’s a great thing for you to do. It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But we wouldn’t take it back for the world, and we were more than willing and so glad to fight for her and bring her home. Now that she’s here it’s like she was always with us in the first place.”
“Unforgettable” follows his No. 1 Maren Morris duet, “Craving You.” His next show is Aug. 17 in Brownsville, Oregon. 


Kelsea Ballerini Shares Her Start with Cosmo

Finding Out “What Is It You Want to Say?” 
 The cool thing about the music industry, Kelsea Ballerini says, is that there is no set way to make it, or to make it happen. That’s what she told Cosmopolitan for their, “How I Made It story.”
So what Ballerini did first was write songs like the ones she heard from Taylor Swift, Shania Twain and Faith Hill. But as she quickly discovered, “No one wanted to hear what I had to say because it was already said.”
Her Plan B was to go away and figure out: What is it you want to say? What do you want to be about? What do you want to stand for?
And when she did that, and started taking herself really seriously, then people listened. “People were like, ‘Oh, she means this,'” Ballerini said.
Looking back on the trial and error that paved the way for her in Nashville, Ballerini wouldn’t really want to do it any other way. “I think it’s OK to love (other artists) and OK to take notes from them and learn from them, but I think discovering what you want to say in your voice is the most important thing you can do as an artist,” she said, “especially as a female.”
Even after earning her bona fides and becoming an undeniable power player in country music, there’s one thing that never gets old for Ballerini.
“I still freak out when I hear my song on the radio,” she said.
Ballerini’s sophomore album Unapologetically arrives Nov. 3.


Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard Gets Tail-Wagging Welcome

Harley Is the Ultimate Super Fan 
If you love dogs as much as you love country music, then Tyler Hubbard’s new Instagram video will be the one you watch over and over. And over. It’s was taken when he got home from the road on Sunday morning (Aug. 6) and his golden retriever Harley was there to greet the tour bus.
As Florida Georgia Line’s bus rolled into the Hubbard driveway, his wife Hayley — off camera — tells the dog, “Look who it is!” The rest of it is just a lot of youthful canine enthusiasm as Hubbard tries to exit the bus with Harley refusing to leave his side.
He hashtagged it #goldensandgirls because the Hubbards found out late last weekthat the son they were expecting is actually going to be a daughter.
 It’s very unusual for a noninvasive test that analyzes fetal DNA found in the mother’s blood to be wrong. Some obstetricians claim that the gender tests are 99 percent accurate, which would put the Hubbards in the other 1 percent.

Last Weekend’s Greatest Hits

The Best Tweets You Might Have Missed 

For most of us, August just means that summer is winding down and back-to-school days are right around the corner.
But for the artists in the country music world, it’s just another month of doing what they do: touring, making music and goofing around at home and backstage. Like the way Thomas Rhett caught his daughter and his wife playing on the porch. And the way Dierks Bentley fished out a lot of living during his downtime. And how Jesus took Kacey Musgraves‘ wheel. And how Jake Owen offered his Idaho followers a beer-for-surfing trade. And the way Cole Swindell appreciated some fans braving the storm for his show. And how Brad Paisley tried to hook Kevin Jonas up with South Park. In other news, Carrie Underwood took advantage of not being on tour, and went to bed early. 
Thomas Rhett: “#kissmonster”
Dierks Bentley: “did a lot of LIVING this week. fully recharged. thanks”
Kacey Musgraves: “Trailer broke in Banff. Thank you, Jesus, for not letting it fly off the side of the mountain.”
Jake Owen: “Looking out at a purrrrty lake here in Idaho pre show and looking to get a surf sesh in! I’ll buy gas and beer.”
Brad Paisley: “Hey @SouthPark , @kevinjonas wants to see if he and his bros are in the celebrity video tonight…”
Carrie Underwood: “My Sat. night update: after much consideration (2 minutes worth), I decided it is, indeed, time for night nights. I should be asleep by 9.”


Scotty McCreery on “Five More Minutes” and His Top Life Lessons

“You’re Going to Make Mistakes, and You’ve Got to Learn From Them and Move On”

Lock them doors. And never, ever open your door at 2 a.m. for a stranger.
That’s just one lesson American Idol winner Scotty McCreery has learned in his first 23 years of life. In his 2016 autobiography, Go Big Or Go Home, he recalled the 2014 incident when he and some friends from NC State University were held up at gunpoint at an apartment in Raleigh while watching Gladiator and having late night Cook Out.
McCreery recalled feeling helpless and afraid. At the time, he hoped the intruders didn’t recognize him dressed down in his Wolfpack cap, shorts and a t-shirt. The good news is they didn’t. In the end, one of the robbers turned himself in and two others are suspected of being involved.
Now McCreery has carry permit, and he makes sure to lock the deadbolt of every door he enters. But he has never been the kind of person to be victimized by the experiences life throws at him. He stays positive and looks at every decision he’s made in life as an opportunity to grow.
“Getting robbed kind of put things in perspective for me pretty quick,” McCreery said during our 23-minute interview. “It was obviously unexpected, and it still affects me today. I don’t leave a door or go inside a house or anything without locking the deadbolt now. We were at the beach house the other day and it was 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Dad was outside, and I accidentally locked him out. It just kind of makes you appreciate life more and appreciate time with your friends and family more. It can all be over in a flash.”

That’s what McCreery’s newest song, “Five More Minutes,” is all about. He co-wrote the song with Frank Rogers and Monty Criswell two weeks after his grandfather died.
“I guess I’m at a point in my life when everyone is looking back whether it’s on high school or college,” McCreery said. “I had just lost my granddaddy and was writing with Frank and Monty. I knew the songs that Monty had written. He’s a guy who knows how to talk about feelings and really put pen to paper and get them sounding right. He was the one who kind of had the idea for the song. We ran with it, and it became more about life, my different experiences and wishing we could all have a little bit more time. The day we wrote it, I knew it was special.” Are you writing for a new album?
McCreery: Yes. I’ve probably got most of the record done. And the second half, we pretty much have the songs ready we just have to go into the studio and cut them. I’m still writing songs but most of them are kind of there.
It’s exciting. It’s crazy to think I haven’t had a dang record out since 2013. I mean, it’s just wild, but it’s exciting and I’m ready to get back in the saddle.
What stories that you want to be known for?
I just want to be impacting folks lives in a positive way. My main goal in all of this is to be able to do that through music. “Five More Minutes” for me is the first song that’s really had some meat and potatoes that folks relate to, and that’s the kind of music I want to sing.
You’ve got to have fluff sometimes and all that, but to have a song that impacts people and makes them think back to a specific moment in their life and it’s healing for them, that’s amazing. I’m really enjoying having the song out, and this is the kind of music I’d like to keep putting out.
The lessons you discuss in your book would be helpful to any artist interested in pursuing music professionally. But not that many musicians in the spotlight are willing to be that transparent.
I haven’t got too much to hide. It’s all kind of out there. But I think everybody goes through experiences for a reason. And you can learn from that and show others what you’ve learned. I had that opportunity in the book to talk about things I’ve been through — good and bad. I mean, I went on the biggest show on television, traveled the world with my idols — Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts — but there are some tough moments like getting robbed at gunpoint. I’m still young and have a lot to figure out in life, but if you’ve learned something, share your knowledge and spread that.
How long did it take you to get used to the idea of making mistakes in the spotlight and being comfortable with that?

My whole life, you’re going to make mistakes and you’ve got to learn from them and move on. But being in the limelight kind of made me clam up because I was so scared about, “What if somebody if they saw me doing this?” It’s not like I’d be doing crazy stuff. It just made me more conscious of it.
You never want to let people down especially the people you care about most.
Exactly. And American Idol painted me out to be some holier than thou, good kid who’s never messed up a day in his life and that’s a lot of live up to. But to a lot of folks, that’s who they see you as. It’s something as simple as drinking a cold beer. I’d hide that from everybody. But that’s me. I enjoy it and if grandma Sue is a fan of Idol and doesn’t like it, then that’s all good. But you can’t stray away from who you are. And you’ve got to be yourself, and you’re going to make mistakes and keep on going.
Was your girlfriend Gabi comfortable being written about in your book?
It took her a while before she really got comfortable with all this and she’s still not. She’ll go to the red carpet with me but she won’t do pictures. She’ll just kind of watch from a distance. She tries to go to different shows with me. Day by day she gets a little more into all this. She told me the other day, “I can see myself moving to Nashville one day.” I said, “I told you you’d love it.”
How does keeping a home base in North Carolina help you stay connected to what your fans are going through on a daily basis?
That’s kind of been a very grounding thing for me is getting back home, seeing friends, family and folks who knew me before all this. In the nicest way, they truthfully don’t care.
They love it, and they enjoy seeing what I’m doing. But when it comes down to it, they like me for me and they like hanging out just like the good times we’ve always had. And that’s been good for me.
As far as the music goes, it’s been nice this last year to be in Nashville a lot more and having a place here for the first time ever. That’s been a better way to make this record. I feel like it’s been a lot more natural and a lot more fun to make it here. But Raleigh and Garner, they’ve been grounding for me.
What would be some of the top lessons that music has taught you?
Perseverance would be No. 1. and work hard because Lord knows in this business nothing comes to you easy. It’s kind of cliché, but it’s tough to not to have fun in the music business. I love this and I want to do this every day of my life. I can’t tell you a single day of my life I hadn’t sang a song or did something in music. Singing is second nature.


See Joe Nichols Tackle Sir Mix-a-Lot Hit in Hilarious Viral Video

Don’t Miss His Countrified Cover of Rap Smash “Baby Got Back”
 What more can he say? Joe Nichols likes big butts, and he cannot and will not lie about it
As he told in a recent interview, Nichols obviously plans on keeping things traditional country, but he’s also committed to keeping a sense of humor by offering a hilarious, truly spot-on cover of “Baby Got Back,” Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Grammy-winning, double-platinum certified hit from 1992.
You may be skeptical. We weren’t sure a country version of this particular song would work, either. However, there’s an old saying that if a song is good, a song is good.
One person who gave it a thumbs-up is Sir Mix-a-Lot, the master and originator of the quintessential rump-shaking smash. He even makes a cameo appearance in Nichols’ video.
It’s all in good fun, so don’t worry. His new album, Never Gets Old, features his current single “Hostage.” There’s no denying that twang.

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