Toby Keith Sets Record Low for No. 1 Debut; Billboard Touring Awards Finalists; Hank Williams Reinterpreted
- Kenny Chesney slipped to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 this week with his album Hemingway’s Whiskey, but for the second week in a row a country album topped the chart in its debut week. This time, it was Toby Keith‘s Bullets in the Gun with 71,000 copies sold. It’s his fourth No. 1 and set a new record for the lowest-selling debut No. 1 since SoundScan started powering the chart in May of 1991.
- Sugarland will stream a live online concert next Monday — the day before the release of The Incredible Machine — as part of American Express’ Unstaged music series.
- The Secret Sisters, consisting of Laura and Lydia Rogers, joined World Cafe host David Dye for a fairly in-depth interview about their background, particularly in the church. Fast forward to about the 16:18 mark to hear the sisters sing a portion of “Rock of Ages” a capella.
- GAC posted the track list for Tim McGraw‘s new compilation, Number One Hits.
- The categories in yesterday’s announcement of finalists for the Billboard Touring Awards mostly lack country stars, with the exception of the Top Package category, “which goes to the top-grossing tour with three or more artists on the bill throughout its run.” All three finalists belonged to country music and included:
Brad Paisley’s H2O tour, with such artists as Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson the bill; Tim McGraw’s Southern Voice tour, with Lady Antebellum, and Taylor Swift’s 2010 tour with Kellie Pickler and Gloriana on board.
- Watch Trace Adkins talk about his allergic reaction to alcohol and his candid thoughts on Blake Shelton in an interview on Chelsea Lately. (via CMT)
- The ninebullets.net bloggers and its readers listed their top five favorite truckin’ songs.
- Wanda Jackson on collaborating with Jack White for her new album of covers, The Party Is Over:
‘It has a good variety of the genres. I think he wanted to kind of showcase all the various types of music that I’ve done through the years — some country, some gospel, some rockabilly, some rock ‘n’ roll. It’s got all of that, and we threw in a Bob Dylan song, “Thunder On the Mountain,” just to be safe,’ laughs Jackson. ‘I had some reservations about doing the album at first, which is maybe surprising to some. But it was going to be very contemporary, and I was not quite sure that I could pull it off. [...] Jack knew exactly how to pull out what sound he wanted. He was relentless in making me sing it until he got it the way we needed it.’
- Donna Hughes interviewed The Secret Sisters for The Boot.
- Blake Shelton kicked off his first headlining tour last night in Denver, Colorado.
- Come Nov. 2, Sarah Jarosz will digitally release The New 45, which is new recordings of her song “My Muse” (YouTube) and the Bill Withers song “Grandma’s Hands” (YouTube). Her next full-length album will be released in the spring. (via Country Standard Time)
- Songs:Illinois posted a stream of “Covington Girl” from David Olney.
- In an interview with Peter Cooper, Shawn Camp talked about the emotion of having his sophomore album shelved 16 years ago:
“It’s kind of a mind trip to walk in here,” Camp said, looking around the brick building at 1815 Division St., the Warner company’s Nashville home in 1994. “Back then, well, it was a traumatic experience. You pour your heart into something, and it just lays on a shelf for years. [...] For years, I wouldn’t even listen to that music because it just broke my heart.”
- Little Big Town and Chris Young announced winners of the CMA Broadcast Awards.
- NPR published a backstage video interview with Justin Townes Earle from when he visited Mountain Stage, plus audio from his set and banjoist Laura Boosinger‘s set.
- Singer-songwriter Jeremy McComb has a starring role in a forthcoming web series called Big Country Blues.
A five-part country music web series that follows Grayson ‘Big Country Ricker’ – a poor country singer weighed down by his job, his dysfunctional family, and his small town life. But when Grayson gets the chance to try out for a country music reality show, he leaves Kentucky for the first time and heads to Nashville with his girlfriend and his buddy, Walt “Double Dubs” Wheeler.
If you go back and check out our inaugural podcast, McComb played a couple of acoustic songs for host Kelly Dearmore (performance starts at about the 30:38 mark).
- Leeann Ward: Um, that's too much geekery for me to follow, Sam! My husband would understand you though.:)
- Jack Williams: Alabama Shakes won the AMA Emerging artist award couple of years ago. Also, classic soul influenced artists like Bettye Lavette, …
- Applejack: It certainly seems to me like the inclusion of St. Paul and the Broken Bones stretches the limits of how …
- Stuart Munro: Yes, that's the issue: is the tent so big as to have no boundaries? What *isn't* Americana? Is jazz? Is …
- Jack Williams: Um, roots music, that is.
- Jack Williams: Well, Americana is a pretty big tent. Classic southern soul falls under my personal definition of root music.
- Stuart Munro: Is it just me...or does the idea of St. Paul and the Broken Bones being an Americana act really strain …
- Sam G.: Loki Is playing Hank Williams in a new movie, and Thor bought the rights to a book about him. I …
- 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.