Kenny Chesney Produced Willie Album Hits Shelves In January

Brody Vercher | December 13th, 2007

  • Songs like Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”, Martina McBride’s “Independence Day”, and George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning” chartered considerably lower than other songs from these artists’ catalogs, but are sometimes considered signature songs; even over higher charting singles. With that in mind, Country Universe wants to know: What is the definition of a hit?
  • Sarah Borges, Lucinda Williams, Joe Ely, and Patty Griffin all scored a spot on PopMatters list of The Best Singer-Songwriter Albums of 2007.
  • A while back there was a lot of hype about Kenny Chesney co-producing Willie’s next album. It looks like the results of that partnership are about to come into fruition. Moment of Forever hits the shelves on January 28 and includes songs from an eclectic mix of songwriters.
  • Eric Normand–who has worked with Toby Keith, Vern Gosdin, and Daryle Singletary–paints a bleak picture of the life of a Nashville musician.
  • Check out Chet Flippo’s Christmas list. He wants someone to get Kellie Pickler a world map and some geography lessons and someone else to find “Nashville’s Lost Rhinestone Mines.”
  • Do you view hearing your favorite artist in a TV commercial as a welcome development, a disheartening transgression, or somewhere in between?
  • Take Country Back‘s Top Picks of 2007. Of the ones I’ve heard they’re very excellent choices.
  • Watch Willie Nelson’s anti-dogfighting ad on Still Is Still Moving.
  • Travis Tritt filed a lawsuit against his record label, Category 5, for fraud and breach of contract.

    Tritt says that [Ray] Termini misrepresented Category 5’s skill and competence as a record company, its financial resources and its ability to honor its financial obligations. He claims that he was denied the complete creative control as promised, as well as money for promotional travel and royalty payments.

    There’s also allegations that Termini illegally used Medicaid funds from a nursing home where serves as CEO to start his label.

  • UPDATE (10:40 AM): One of our readers just let us know about Termini’s response, which he emailed to Country Aircheck.

    “It is amazing that Travis Tritt and his mental midget management would choose to read headlines and take them as the gospel. One day at a time the truth about my healthcare company is being told. It is no secret to Country radio and folks on the inside of the music profession that Travis and his manager are difficult to work with at best – his track record with radio speaks for itself.

    “Our label is not the first to have to deal with his over-the-top ego, which is driven by a massive insecurity complex. He has cost my label a fortune and has been uncooperative from the onset. For years he sang, ‘I’m gonna be somebody,’ [and] it’s a shame that that somebody turned out to be who he is. He has openly blamed Country radio, his past labels, just about every radio promotions person that has ever worked for him, CMT, GAC and the CMAs for his lackluster record sales and fading career. Knowing the people from all of these groups, I feel as though I am now in good company as a result of his attack.”

  • See what Wyclef Jean has to say about Big & Rich.
  • The script for Beer For My Horses has been completed with filming to begin in February. Toby Keith describes it as an “action-adventure film that is also situationally funny,” and even has a cameo for Mel Tillis. And while we’re on the subject of Tillis, he has a role in another movie called Palo Pinto Gold. It’s a Western set in the late 1800s and features country music singer Trent Willmon as the lead actor.
  • Even more Mel Tillis news. As if his movies weren’t keeping him busy enough, he’s in the process of writing a novel and updating his biography.
  • Go read Jim Malec’s interview with Suzy Bogguss on Denver Westword. Good stuff.

    Do you still consider yourself a practitioner of country music?

    I love country music. I play The Grand Ole Opry every couple of months, and I keep it country there. I have had such an opportunity to try different styles. My friend Robert Earl Keen told me once that I shouldn’t apologize for being a singer. It’s what I always wanted to be. I did not have aspirations to be a “country star.” I always wanted to tell a story, and that is what led me to Nashville: great songs.

  • Rosanne Cash’s brain surgery was a success and she’s expected to make a full recovery.
  • Universal Music signed two-time Dancing with the Stars winner Julianne Hough to a record deal and expects to release a country single in early 2008.

    Julianne almost didn’t take the job on the ABC show for fear it would make people skeptical of her singing efforts. “I almost didn’t do it because I’ve wanted to sing and act more than I wanted to dance,” she says. “I want people to take me seriously as a singer. I have a different sound that will hopefully set me apart from other people.”

    Her MySpace currently has two songs available.

  • And last, but certainly not least, give Hollerin’ Ben Cisneros a big ol’ welcome for diving in with The 9513 crew as our newest writer. His first article certainly got the discussion flowing: The Promise and Impact of Taylor Swift.
  1. Chris N.
    December 13, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I got the Willie Nelson advance yesterday, and it’s … interesting. I’ll have to live with it a bit.

  2. Kelly
    December 13, 2007 at 10:37 am

    -Pop matters actually made a decent list, since they stayed mainly away from typical country fare.

    -I find myslef nervous, yet curious at the new Chesney/Nelson collabo. I think Chesney’s a dork, but I have a hard time thinking Willie doesnt know what he’s doin’, he’s been great at recognizing talent and finding gold within unlikely combos before.

    -Wyclef’s comments remind me that there is a lot to be said for quality crossover (stress on the quality part) acts that are impresarios as much as artists.

    -I like my fave bands music to be in commercials, but I don’t like it when they sing a jingle (“ford truck man”, I am talking to you)as opposed to simply featuring actual work recorded for albums vs. trucks.

  3. Brody Vercher
    December 13, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Chris, does it have a Chesney beach vibe to it?

    Kelly – I was a bigger fan of Joe Ely’s Silver City album that came out this year than I was of Rattlesnake Gulch. I like the Patty Griffin album, too, and still need to listen to the Sarah Borges one.

  4. Kelly
    December 13, 2007 at 11:36 am

    The Sarah Borges disc is good stuff. She has that Neko Case/Kathleen Edwards vibe of unique voice, respectful of tradition, but brash enough to do her own thing. Josh Ritter is also on the list and is also great. His early discs (golden age & hello starling) were folk with a twang, but his last two are more straight ahead singer/songwriter style folk….

  5. Chris N.
    December 13, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    It is not beach-y in the slightest (no steel drums that I’ve noticed), although it bears all the other sonic trademarks of the last few Chesney records. It’s interesting to hear Willie’s voice in the middle of that slick, polished sound.

  6. Brody Vercher
    December 13, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Kelly – I’ll give those a listen. Thanks for the recommendations.

    Chris – Our address is on the “About” know, in case you felt the irresistible urge to share a copy or something :P

  7. Chris N.
    December 13, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I’m afraid that would be a betrayal of the good folks at Universal Music Group.

  8. Hollerin' Ben
    December 13, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    lots of good stuff today. well done.

    Our friend Paul W. Dennis had a great insight on the comments section over there. will many of these radio “hits” be lasting? I think not. “disposable” is the new “lasting” in country music, haven’t you heard?

    Willie Nelson man. He’s just been all over the map since the Spirit/Teatro period. I wish him the best, but I am not happy with him for further helping Kenny Chesney along down the whole “producer/songwriter/shaper of country music” avenue by legitimizing him. Now that monkey can say “hey man, I produced a Willie Nelson record and wrote a song on it” weak.

    That Eric Nourmand article was sad huh? Damn. There sure is a lot of cheery music coming out of a place where life seems so challenging and fraught with peril.

    Is Travis Tritt’s name charcoal? cause he just got burned.

    Yeah, I’m so sure that Beer for my Horses is a laugh riot.

    well done on the interview Mr. Malec

  9. Rick
    December 13, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Crap, it’s bad enough that the mainstream country realm is being taken over by American Idol contestants, but now dancers from “Dancing With The Stars”! When contemplating just how low mainstream county can sink, I’m more and more convinced of the reality of the concept of a bottomless pit……

  10. mikeky
    December 14, 2007 at 9:04 am

    well, i’m not a kenny chesney fan, but if it’s willie nelson, it’s worth listening to. maybe kenny is trying to break out of the rut he’s in. if so, he needs to hang out with legends like willie. he’ll learn something. and willie is the man to listen to. he is, after all, one of the best songwriters to ever walk this earth. no joke.

  11. Peter
    December 14, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Mikeky you have once again hit the proverbial nail square on the head – rather than imagining the scary prospect of the Chesnifying of Willie, let’s be optimistic and hope for the Nelsonification of Kenny.

  12. Hollerin Ben
    December 14, 2007 at 5:22 pm


    hey, it totally worked with Toby Keith right?

  13. mikeky
    December 14, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    if the set list on the ‘moment of forever’ cd is any indication, we’re looking at a williefication of kenny. not the other way around. at least in terms of the material. ‘gravedigger’ (dave matthews). ‘gotta serve somebody’ (bob dylan). ‘louisiana 1927′ (randy newman). ‘it’s always now’ (willie nelson–another one of his zen buddhist methodist missives). this doesn’t exactly sound like the newest kenny chesney hits collection. it resounds a little louder and rings a little deeper.

    let’s hope kenny chesney took notes.

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