Bobby Osborne to Celebrate 50 Years as Opry Member; Zac Brown Band to Release The Grohl Sessions; New Music Videos
- Dave Grohl has produced a brand new EP for the Zac Brown Band; The Grohl Sessions, Vol. 1 will be released on December 10.
- Garth Brooks had a triumphant return to television on Friday night with Garth Brooks: Live from Las Vegas. 8.7 million viewers watched the two-hour special, which won its time slot.
- Eric Church landed on the cover of Billboard magazine. An excerpt from the cover story: “Church was already at the vanguard of contemporary country’s rock movement, but The Outsiders blurs the lines even further. The first single, the title track, contains even more of the rough electric guitar and big booming drums that define Church’s live shows. It’s dark and loud, and without the North Carolina accent in Church’s vocals it might find itself in between Kings of Leon and Linkin Park on rock radio. But its rebel attitude…and the twang in the vocals put it squarely in the world of country music. Like a modern-day Lynyrd Skynyrd, Church manages to be simultaneously more rock’n’roll and good-old-boy than anyone else out there–no easy task.”
- Toby Keith cut the ribbon on his OK Kids Korral, a facility for children receiving cancer treatment at the Oklahoma Health Center Campus in Oklahoma City.
- A bunch of The Voice fans are ticked off that the singers and show omitted the word “Lord” from “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”
- Taylor Swift sang with Jon Bon Jovi and Prince William at the Winter Whites Gala last week.
- Lynn Anderson blew out a tire on the way to the George Jones tribute concert last month and suffered a minor head injury in the subsequent accident.
- Peter Cooper wrote about the magic of Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for The Tennessean.
- Chuck Dauphin of Billboard interviewed Deana Carter about her new album, Southern Way of Life: “There’s one song that I wrote by myself on the record called ‘Do Or Die.’ That’s when I was at the bottom – when I didn’t know if I was going to make it, or if I would do records again. I was looking at this little boy who was relying on me to take care of him. It was a real heavy time. I sat in the kitchen floor, and like the song says, I was wondering how I was going to take care of my son and me. Right after I said my prayers, Kenny Chesney cut ‘You And Tequila,’ and that did well. So, that was a gift, and being able to write through that, I’m so grateful to be able to share that. I feel I did that with the first record. I had time to write about a lot of different kinds of experiences. Now, it’s more seasoned – similar experiences coming through things like being a mom. It’s not all about me anymore.”
- Kellie Pickler, Florida Georgia Line and Brett Eldredge all performed during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last week.
- Our friend Stephen Deusner interviewed Mindy Smith about her excellent new EP, Snowed In. An excerpt of their conversation: “I know what Christmas is to me, but I also know that not everybody shares that idea of Christmas. So I think it’s important to present a collection of songs that can move different people for different reasons. It’s about making sure you’re not alienating someone who is on a different journey. On all my albums I’ve tried to speak from the heart and not make any bones about where I’m coming from, but I want to leave it open so people can take from it what they need. It’s a tricky balance.”
- Jack Ingram unveiled a new tune called “You’re My Amen” on the Ray Benson-hosted Texas Music Scene.
- Musik Mafia members Shannon Lawson and Jon Nicholson have formed a new group called El Camino. You can stream their new, self-titled EP here.
- Jamey Johnson has a new collaboration with Shooter Jennings and Twiggy Ramirez, a trippy little cover of “You Are My Sunshine.”
- The Huffington Post named Rhonda Vincent’s A Dream Come True as one of the all-time “Best Albums with the Worst Album Art.” “Hey, look! Your Sunday School teacher made an album! Hailed today as one of the best bluegrass records of the past 30 years, Rhonda Vincent’s first album may also have one of the all-time dweebiest covers. The hair. The sequins. The font. The blush. The lavender. The hair. Everything about this screams the early ‘80s (which is all the dorkier considering that the record came out in the early ‘90s). But if you are able to unsee that awkwardness, the performances on this extraordinary debut are all utterly thrilling.”
- Cody Alan will be the new host of the overnight radio show After MidNite beginning January 6.
- Bobby Osborne will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a member of The Grand Ole Opry next year; he’s planned a special tour to commemorate it.
- Lauren Alaina has released her rendition of “Grown Up Christmas List” to benefit Special Olympics.
- My Kind of Country’s Jonathan Pappalardo revisited Alison Krauss and Union Station’s Paper Airplane: “Paper Airplane is everything a contemporary country/bluegrass/roots record should strive to be. A fully-formed album, it executes a winning yet tired formula in a new light. All the required themes of an AKUS music project are present – heartbreakingly sad songs presented as ballads and sung exquisitely – yet the album feels more like a rebirth than a recession. It never rests on its laurels and surprises the listener around every bend. But what’s truly remarkable is when most singers do whatever it takes to get noticed, Krauss doesn’t sell herself out for the price of fame. She doesn’t work her butt off at chasing her youth but instead records songs from an adult woman’s perspective. She smartly acts her age without appearing matronly. Without being anything she isn’t, she stays true to her roots and shifts the focus off her and onto the music, where it belongs in the first place.”
- Ray Price was released from the hospital just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving at home.
- Rita Ballou posted Wade Bowen’s holiday song, “O Holy Night,” over at Rawhide and Velvet.
- The 14-year old daughter of singer/songwriter Ray Lawrence, Jr. is missing. She was last seen in the Phoenix area.
- Amber Hayes is offering a holiday track called “Uh Oh, Looks Like Snow” as a free download on her website.
- Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson’s Wreck & Ruin won Best Country Album at the ARIA Awards.
- New music videos from the past week or so:
Payton Rae – “Gone Girl”
One More Girl – “Love Like Mine”
Lee Kernaghan – “It’s Only Country”
Sara Storer – “Come on Rain”
Tom Keifer – “The Flower Song”
Granger Smith – “Miles and Mud Tires”
Gary Allan – “It Ain’t the Whiskey”
Jamie Lynn Spears – “How Could I Want More”
Emily Hearn – “Found a Heart”
Jake Bellows – “Meaning Wrong”
- Roger: Fabulous interview and fantastic new music that I will listen to over and over again.
- Applejack: It's not just you, Andrew L. I just listened to the clips on Amazon, and the autotune effect is terrible.
- Andrew L.: Is it just me or does Strait sound horribly autotuned on the clips for the new live album? I can't …
- Juli Thanki: You'll get to hear it pretty soon: The Wall Street Journal is going to stream the album on their website …
- Leeann Ward: Way to go to David Cantwell for getting a name drop! Great interview, Juli! Womack's new album is awesome! I've not always …
- Jonathan Pappalardo: Great interview as always, Juli! The new album is fantastic. "Same Kind of Different" is my favorite cut although "Fly" is …
- Dave D.: Good interview. Looking forward to the new record, and particularly interested in hearing her version of Brennen Leigh's "Sleeping with …
- nm: I guess it's not surprising that a singer who gets her songs all over the place, the way Womack does, …
- SunsetPark: As a Pennsylvanian to this day, thanks for the list. I haven't heard the Quecreek song and so can't …
- Paul W Dennis: I would urge readers to check out the Billy Edd Wheeler salute on October 18, 2014. Billy Edd Wheeler is …