Wynonna Judd Takes On 2013 with New Music, New Shows and More! Wynonna Judd has had her share of trials and tribulations over the years, but this is one woman that just can’t be held down for long. In true form, this country icon is taking on 2013 with lots of new developments including new music, a feature documentary, and a spot on popularity reality TV hit Dancing with the Stars! “I focused on being a wife and a nurse for the last seven months and now I’m doing something for myself. The main word for me this year is ‘risk.’ I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and doing something that a lot of people tell me is crazy—but they get it.” -Wynonna She and husband Cactus Moser experienced tragedy shortly after their wedding when Moser was involved in a motorcycle accident and subsequently had to have his leg amputated. The couple’s story is the subject of the hour long documentary, “Wynonna and Cactus: The Road Back,” which aired on GAC on Monday, March 18th. Also on Monday, Wynonna’s new single, “Something You Can’t Live Without,” which will be featured on her Moser produced upcoming album was sent to country radio and is available on iTunes! As if that’s not enough though, she debuted on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars with a cha cha routine, and did a pretty good job! One thing is for sure, this Judd has enough energy and charisma to really be a stand out on the show! We love Wynonna around here at CMNB headquarters, and we are anxiously anticipating her new album and can’t wait to see how she does on DWTS!
The Band Perry Announce Title for Upcoming Album, Pioneer! The Band Perry have slowly been eeking out details on their upcoming and highly anticipated sophmore album release. First, they debuted their brand new single, “Better Dig Two,” followed up with the announcement of the release date, April 2nd, and now, they’ve unveiled the album title, Pioneer! All that’s left unknown is the track listing, and I’m sure that will come out soon enough. In the meantime, check out the special video from The Band Perry below. You can also follow along with Twitter by using #Pioneer. The Band Perry Announce Album Title, Pioneer.
Review: Lady Antebellum Offer Up Sassy New Single Downtown! Anyone who knows me knows I am not the biggest fan of Lady Antebellum, it’s just not my kind of music. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to newly released single “Downtown.” The new tune will be featured on the trio’s brand new album set to release later this year. Modern Country and Sass! I can’t say that this song is terribly country but then that’s not what I expect from Lady A anyway. It does, however, have a modern country beat and a lot of tone-y electric guitar work, particularly in the solo, that gives it a swaying bluesy feel. In this respect, it is a great song for the bars and clubs to get people up dancing, and I can see it being hugely popular there. Hillary Scott takes the lead vocals on this one with Charles Kelley backing up, and I think this was the correct decision, as his husky vocals can seem a little too laid back for this kind of track. Instead, Hillary brings out some so far unnoticed sass that a lot of people have been complimenting her on. I mean, we need more sassy females right? This adds a certain sexiness to the song which I’m sure isn’t going to hurt its sales and airplay at all. Smooth Vibe and Punchy Beat. Musically, we have a bassy guitar riff, simple yet effective, and it’s underlying the verses really enhances it, and let’s it fester as an earworm. The pre-choruses strip down to begin anticipation for the release of the chorus, which delivers, with a punchy drum beat, incorporating a variety of bluesy ornaments and flairs. From here, we run into the more interesting second verse, which in true modern country style builds on the drum part, with more decoration and a fuller mix. We also get some counterpart going on with the spoken vocals of the boys showing their appreciation in between Hillary’s vocals and beats of the second pre-chorus. The song appears to be trying to combine a smoother vibe and a more punchy one, if you listen to the way in which the instruments are used; I would say they pull it off. One thing I think country fans will have an issues with, however, is the vocal effects used on Hillary at the end of each chorus. I’m not technically- minded enough to explain what they used, but it does bother me a little and pushes the song more towards the pop domain. Appealing Lyrics! Lyrically the song reminisces of a love where they would always go out Downtown, and party, and hang out, and now their life together is boring and the song’s narrator is itching to get out again, be shown off, and generally have a good time. The line “you might be tired, but I’m not” pretty much sums up the song, and as previously mentioned Hillary’s sass really works here. Maybe this is for the Continue reading
Interview: Jaida Dreyer Discusses Her Upcoming Debut Album, Songwriting Process, What’s Next and More! Jaida Dreyer has the kind of voice that makes you stop what you’re doing and listen. Recently, I had the chance to chat with this talented country singer/songwriter, and she is just as compelling when she isn’t singing! Her latest single, “Half Broke Horses,” is a powerful and personal tune that hits radio this month, and will no doubt have country fans wanting to get to know Dreyer better. Check out the interview below, and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for this gal on the rise! You’re a songwriter as well as a singer. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. I’ve always had quite the imagination. I used to write elaborate stories in elementary school. As things got more interesting, and I had my ups and downs my stories became poems and then my poems became songs…Before I moved to Nashville, I’d never done any co-writing, and I quickly learned that Nashville is a very co-writing oriented town, and I learned that that’s a good thing. Someone might look at your idea a little differently than you did. I try to make time to write by myself most days, took work out my brain. You know its a muscle, and I never want to lose the ability to write a song on my own. Do you typically pull from personal experience? Where else do you find inspiration? On this first record, especially that song, I drew a lot from my life. It makes it a lot easier sing…maybe not easier to write about, though (laughs)…I also get my inspiration from a lot of other different places, catch phrases, headlines, other people’s lives…I was very very proud of this song [“Half Broke Horses”], but I was afraid to play it for my Mom. She’s my biggest fan, but she’s also my biggest critic. That was our life I was writing about. When you put those things out there for people to know…things that are so personal…it makes it a little weird. I think, can I say that? But I’ve learned that other people have gone through those same things and its cool to see how people relate to it. Your upcoming album has a bold title [I Am Jaida Dreyer]. So, what can we expect the project as a whole? You know I wanted to make a record that sounded nostalgic but also modern. I wrote or co-wrote everything on it, and I feel like its a good representation of who I am and where I am in my life. It’s a labor of love. A lot of blood sweat and tears went to this baby. Literally! [laughs] Are there any particular artists that you grew up listening to that inspire you? Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earl, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton – listening wise. Then when I moved to Nashville some really cool artists embraced me and kind of took me Continue reading
Tim McGraw’s Latest New Album Two Lanes of Freedom Available Now. Tim McGraw‘s highly anticipated new album, Two Lanes of Freedom, finally released today (Tuesday, February 5th). The new record features eleven tracks (the deluxe version offers up four additional songs), and it seems to offer up to slightly different versions of McGraw. On one side, there is the party anthem belting (hate to say it) trying to stay young Tim with songs like “Truck Yeah.” On the other hand, there are more traditional sounding, heart string strumming tunes like “Nashville Without You,” “Annie I Owe You a Dance,” “Tinted Windows,” and “Number 37405.” On yet another hand all together, there is the Tim that is continuing to push the boundaries of “country” with pop infused upbeat tunes, like “Southern Girl” (complete with a little autotune thrown in…), “Mexicoma,” and “It’s Your World,” that could easily crossover to Top 40 stations like The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, and (of course) Taylor Swift have done in recent years. Speaking of Tswift, there is the collaboration with her and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care,” that is sure to appeal to just about everyone. Its a pretty good song, and their three voices really meld together well. Essentially, with Two Lanes of Freedom, Tim McGraw gives a healthy selection of tracks to music fans across the country, right on over to pop, spectrum. For his first album release on Big Machine, following the Curb Records debacle, I think this is setting the right tone for McGraw. He still has a lot left to offer fans, and he isn’t afraid to keep pushing boundaries. I really feel like he’s trying to say, ‘I’m not done yet,’ and from what I’ve heard on this record, I’m okay with that. Find the deluxe version here, and the regular version here via iTunes. Next up, Tim heads out on his Two Lanes of Freedom Tour with Brantley Gilbert and Love and Theft. Two Lanes of Freedom Complete Track Listing. 1. Two Lanes of Freedom 2. One of Those Nights 3. Friend of a Friend 4. Southern Girl 5. Truck Yeah 6. Nashville Without You 7. Book of John 8. Annie I Owe You A Dance (Deluxe Version) 9. Mexicoma 10. Number 37405 11. It’s Your World 12. Tinted Windows (Deluxe Version) 13. Highway Don’t Care (feat. Taylor Swift & Keith Urban) 14. Truck Yeah (Live) (Deluxe Version) 15. Let Me Love It Out of You (Deluxe Version) Watch: Tim McGraw’s Most Recent Video for One of Those Nights.
Gary Allan Hits with Full Force with New Album Release Set You Free. Gary Allan‘s single “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain),” featured on his new album which dropped last week, is already a run away success having reached Gold status earlier this month. After listening to Set You Free from beginning to end and over again, it’s simple to see that “Every Storm” is in good company with the other eleven tracks featured on the new record. Allan’s album has that rocker edge to it that we all know and love, and each song reaches right in and grabs a hold of you, pulling you in with well-written lyrics, haunting and/or catchy melodies and Gary’s gruff but velvety vocals. Poetry of a Broken Heart. The major theme on this album is easily heartbreak. Even songs like “You Without Me” and “One More Time” that aren’t strictly about broken hearts and relationships are still heart wrenching because the love and desire for a life well lived he describes are just so intense! Even though most of the songs share different variations of this common thread, each song still manages to be poetic, unique and powerful. There is a different story for each track, and each is as compelling as the next. With “Sand In My Soul,” it is easy to visualize the beach, the tiki bar, and a lone figure drinking alone then shuffling off to his room as the world moves on around him. Anyone who has loved can relate to the addiction metaphor (“stoned mind” “jonesing for another kiss” “high on love” “strung out on a woman”) employed in “Hungover Heart.” As you listen to the album, each track is just a vivid as the next and it’s difficult to not have an emotional reaction to the music. Two songs which stand out from the heartbreak theme are “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” and “Good As New.” Both of these tracks are optimistic and bolstering. Like the heartbreak songs, these two tunes don’t deny the hurt in the world, but highlight it, and in the process emphasize just how good the good things really are in contrast. This lyrical quality is in keeping with the more mournful tunes as it still maintains a poetry and powerfulness that is certain to touch listeners. It’s The Little Things. Besides having 12 well-written, compelling and unique songs on Set You Free, there are little details embedded in each song that add musical diversity to the album as a whole while setting the tracks apart from each other. In “Bones” there is a strong presence of harmonica that gives it a serious groove. The intro to “It Ain’t The Whiskey” features an organ riff that immediately caught my attention. With “Sand In My Soul“, the fiddle stands out and really adds an extra layer of sorrowfulness to accompany the lyrics. When we get closer to the end of the album “Drop” really shakes things up with a jazzy/bluesy quality that increases Continue reading
Interview: Singer Songwriter Rose Falcon Talks Upcoming Release 19th Avenue Vol 2 EP! Up and coming country singer songwriter Rose Falcon has a new EP, 19th Avenue Vol. 2, releasing next week and she took a couple minutes to chat with me and discuss the upcoming project, her influences, and more! The single aspect that stands out the most in Falcon’s music is the honesty in her well-written lyrics. There is a very feminine and simultaneously strong quality in the quiet songs featured on the upcoming EP. She claims influences like Tammy Wynette, Patty Lovelace and Reba McEntire, and it’s easy to connect the dots between these iconic artists and this rising star. Rose’s songs are lyrically raw and personal, and musically have hints of roots and Americana. She had this to say of the tracks and her personal “sound” featured on the upcoming EP, “It’s fairly organic, not a lot of fancy production and lyrically driven. The instruments are meant to paint around, highlight the song the best they can without taking away or distracting from the lyrical content.“ This is not surprising to hear from someone who grew up around songwriters (her father is legendary singer – songwriter Billy Falcon), spends four days a week co-writing songs and who loves living Nashville, TN which she suggests is home to best singers and songwriters in the whole world! Falcon is authentic, and in a way the simplicity of her songs is what gives them staying power. There are lots and lots of talented folks in country music these days, but not everyone can cut it as a writer. So, I was curious about her particular process and style. “I co-write a lot. It’s a process of giving and receiving what I call ‘gifts’. Someone you write with might have a gift to give you, an idea and you have to be open to that. Or one day I might have a great idea to offer. You end up with something you wouldn’t of had if you hadn’t been working with that person on that day. It’s a really magical process, and I think that God is a part of it in every step.“ In the tracks featured on Falcon’s 19th Avenue, you can hear how invested she is in the words and the stories they tell. I have no doubt that as her star continues to rise, country fans who get to listen to her music will find it relatable and this will draw them in and keep them listening. I also have a feeling that Falcon would be a wonderful singer to catch live…hope I get the chance soon! Be sure to check out the new EP when it releases Tuesday, January 29th, and stay tuned for more from Rose in the next year! Find her on Twitter and iTunes!
Randy Houser’s New Album How Country Feels Well Worth the Wait! With the first few guitar strums and drum beats of “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight“, the first track on Randy Houser‘s new album How Country Feels, country fans are sure to be hooked. This first song has more of a pop edge than I expected from Houser, but its feel good, live in the moment lyrics immediately made me feel warm and happy (despite the cold January chill right outside my window!). From that first song, the record just gets better and better as it balances between a variety of sounds, themes and rhythms. Upbeat and Living In The Moment. Tracks like “Growin’ Younger,” “Top Of The World” “Absolutely Nothing,” “Goodnight Kiss,” and “Let’s Not Let It” keep things on the livelier side going back and forth between pop-ish (“Goodnight“) and more rock-ish (“Growin“). Lyrically, these songs encourage focusing on the important things in life and living in the moment in that way only a country song seems to be able to do. Anyone of these songs would be perfect for a Friday night bonfire or a lazy afternoon, and country fans are sure to have them playing on repeat. Slow and Bittersweet. On the other hand, Houser, slows things down and strikes a bittersweet note with the lovesick tune “The Singer“, almost ballad-esque tracks like “Power of A Song,” and “Like A Cowboy,” and the gospel tinged “Along For The Ride.” The music and lyrics of these tracks add an extra dimension to the album when placed along the faster songs, and proves that Randy Houser is capable of offering fans more than just one brand of country. Southern Rock Vibe. This album also embodies a broad spectrum of a southern rock vibe that is distinctly heard in three of the songs, title track “How Country Feels, “Shine” and “Sunshine On The Line.” If you were to put these three songs on that southern rock spectrum “How Country Feels” is at the least intense end with more pop-country mixed in with the electric guitar. “Sunshine On The Line” rests at the opposite end of that spectrum bordering on an almost hard rock sound opening with an intense guitar riff and raw vocals from Houser. “Shine” features a blue collar storyline, noticeable keyboards and more electric guitar than you hear from the average mainstream country tune. It’s not quite as intense as “Sunshine” and lacks any of the radio pop friendly elements in the title track, so it rests in the middle of the spectrum. Altogether, this southern rock vibe just adds yet another layer to Randy’s already complex sound heard throughout the album. A Heck of a Duet. One of the best moments on this album, though, is the powerful duet between Houser and CMNB favorite Kristy Lee Cook on “Wherever Love Goes“! Houser’s and Cook’s voices blend perfectly and compliment each other wonderfully. One thing I really appreciate is the mellow production on this song, the music is toned Continue reading
Rose Falcon Releases New EP This Month, Watch Sneak Peek! NYC born and Nashville raised Rose Falcon will release a new EP, 19th Avenue Vol. 2, January 29th, and you can get a sneak peek at her creative process below! Just hearing the way Rose talks about music, her writing process and why she has a drive to create, it’s easy to understand that she has the potential to go a long way in the country music industry. She has some real talent and a strong drive, and we can’t wait to hear more from her! Watch the video to get to know Rose just a little bit better, and stay tuned for reviews and more on Falcon! Meet Rose Falcon!
Thompson Square Announce New Album Just Feels Good Release Date and Track Listing! This weekend, country duo Thompson Square, took to multiple media outlets to make announcements about their upcoming album release, Just Feels Good! They gave fans a sneak peek of their new album cover via their appearance on CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown Saturday morning, and unveiled the track listing in a Sunday morning featured in USA Today. Just Feels Good is the husband/wife duo’s sophmore album, follow up to their well received debut which featured the hugely popular “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not.” The lead single from the new album, “If I Didn’t Have You,” is already performing well, and continues Kiefer and Shawna’s trend of producing romantic clearly autobiographical ballads. Keifer suggests too, that most of the songs on this album reflect their journey together as a musical duo. “There are a lot of fun, upbeat songs on this new album. It’s very diverse and kind of all over the map. The songs on the album are autobiographical and tell the story of our journey over the last few years – an incredible journey that I am still trying to wrap my head around.” -Keifer Thompson Shawna also reflects on their journey that we’ll hear in these songs, sharing that the two were blessed to come so far and work with other talented folks in the industry. “Only a few years ago we were playing to 5 people a night down on Lower Broadway in Nashville. Over the last couple of years we’ve been blessed to play to crowds of 30,000 people touring with Jason Aldean, Lady A and Luke Bryan. So many of our dreams have come true and it’s so much sweeter because I’ve gotten to share them with not only my husband but my best friend.” -Shawna Thompson The new album features 13 total tracks, 5 of which Thompson Square co-wrote. Find the complete track listing below, and mark your calendars for the March 26th release date! Thompson Square Just Feels Good Complete Track Listing. 1. Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About (Keifer Thompson, Shawna Thompson, David Lee Murphy, Brett James) 2. Here We Go Again (Keifer Thompson, Shawna Thompson, Vicky McGehee, David Fanning) 3. You Don’t Get Lucky (David Lee Murphy, Bob DiPiero, Tom Shapiro) 4. That’s So Me And You (Keifer Thompson, Vicky McGehee, Kyle Jacobs) 5. I Can’t Outrun You (Kyle Jacobs, Joe Leathers, Ben Glover) 6. Testing The Water (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Hillary Lindsey) 7. For The Life Of Me (Keifer Thompson, Shawna Thompson, David Lee Murphy, Brett James) 8. If I Didn’t Have You (Keifer Thompson, Shawna Thompson, Jason Sellers, Paul Jenkins) 9. Here’s To Being Here (Keifer Thompson, Shawna Thompson, David Lee Murphy, Brett James) 10. Just Feels Good (Bobby Pinson, Brett Warren, Brad Warren) 11. Maybe It’s You (Kyle Jacobs, Vicky McGehee, Kyle Sackley) 12. Run (Ross Copperman, Michael Davey) 13. Home Is You (Jon Nite, Jimmy Robbins)