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On March 4th, the Nokia Theater will host the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s All for the Hall fundraiser, making it the first time this event has been held in Los Angeles in three years.
“California, with its rich country music history, has proven to be a supremely appropriate and welcoming location for this event,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “In fact, some of the state’s contributions to our genre are the subject of our very popular limited-engagement exhibition, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and California Country, whose run we’ve extended through the end of 2014. Los Angeles has always given our All for the Hall event a very warm welcome, and we look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in March.”
This year’s fundraiser will be hosted by actress/singer/film producer Rita Wilson, and feature performances by Country Music Hall of Fame members Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris. Joining them will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Heart and Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Mraz.
When Austin Webb first visited Nashville in 2010, he drove from his hometown of Williamston, South Carolina in the middle of the night and arrived at Johnny Cash’s grave. There, he sat and played a mix of his own songs and those by the famous “Man in Black,” in what he tells us was a “spiritual moment where I truly found out who I was and who I was to become.”
The next morning, he “walked into the Waffle House, put on a Patsy Cline 45 and sat down for breakfast.” Almost immediately, he struck up a conversation with an older gentleman.
He may not have known it when he sat down at Waffle House, but that day would change his life. The man he started talking to was Charlie Louvin, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. “He told me I reminded him of Kris Kristofferson. He didn’t realize Kris was my biggest influence, and that’s still the biggest compliment of my life.” After that fateful meeting, Louvin invited Austin to see him play that night, where he invited him on stage and the two remained friends until Louvin’s death in 2011.
Although he had been writing poems since age 9 and performing since 15, it was another event in 2011 that would change his life. It was then that he won a local songwriting competition and headed to Music City. “I immediately quit my job and moved to Nashville the next day.”
Texas country star John David Kent has accomplished a lot so far in his musical career, with his accomplishments ranging from age 14 to now, and we want to introduce him to you! He has been playing music professionally since he was 14, has appeared on Letterman and Conan, and he signed his first major record deal at age 16. Not too shabby! He has received critical praise in the NY Times, Dallas Morning News, Lone Star Music Magazine, Billboard, American Songwriter, and many more. We were introduced to his music and we just had to share!
His sophomore album, Before the Sun Comes Up, spawned the Top 10 single “Until We Turn Around,” and Kent wrote or co-wrote 8 out of the 10 tracks, including UWTA. We are looking forward to John David’s future success and wanted to share our interview with him below:
For those who are hearing about you for the first time, tell us a little bit about yourself! I grew up in a very musical family. Both of my parents play instruments, and played music from all genres on the turn table around the house as I was growing up. The music from that time and those experiences heavily influence me to this day. I started playing drums when I was 4, and began teaching myself piano around 8, and picked up lots of other instruments along the way. I signed my first record deal at the age of 16 as a member of the alt-rock band Radish, and I’ve been touring the world since then, and never looked back!
What was your first encounter with music and what made you decide that you wanted to pursue a career in music? My dad had a country band (Second Wind) when I was 4 or so, and I remember him taking me over to the drummer’s house and seeing his drums in the living room. It was the first “real” drum set I had ever seen, and it looked like a space ship, or something with magical powers. I used to sit right beside the drummer during their rehearsals while the other kids played, and I just soaked it in. I can’t remember audibly saying I wanted to play music “for a living”, but the bug definitely bit me early.
What has been the biggest challenge so far for you in your career? Patience!
What are some of your biggest influences when it comes to writing and singing? Tell us a little bit about a typical writing session for you. Some of my favs are Roger Miller, Tom Petty, Steve Miller, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson. Most of the time I sit down with the guitar or at the piano and start strumming/playing some chords. If something starts to vibe, I’ll start just kind of singing gibberish over them, and if I land on a melody, a lot of times lyrics will come simultaneously and that’s what the song ends up being about. I think there is a spiritual aspect going on when you’re being creative and it consciously or subconsciously influences your work.
Is there one song you’ve written that you’re more proud of than others? I’m really proud of ‘Loves Just Another Word”, a song on my first album. I wrote it based on an actual event/experience and didn’t have to bend or shape the lyrics to make them rhyme. And I’m really proud of the message that’s in there.
You recently released a new album called “Before The Sun Comes Up,” tell us a little bit about the story behind it. I wanted to make an up-beat/summertime/feel-good album, and I think we captured that vibe pretty well with this new album. A lot of the songs are written from a “young man coming of age” perspective. I got to relive my past while writing a lot of the songs.
If you could go on tour with anyone, who would it be? There are lots of people I would like to go on tour with….. I love being on the road and the bonds you build with the people you tour with; the camaraderie, the brotherhood/sisterhood.
I saw that you’ve built your own studio and started your own record label. Tell us a little bit about that! I built “The Vault” recording studio about 13 years ago. It’s built in an old downtown bank building from the early 1900′s and still has the original vault. I use it as a live echo chamber like a lot of the studios back in the day had before effects units existed. Our label office runs out of the same building. I love being involved in all aspects of the business.
What is your highest ultimate dream/goal as an artist? I want to continue to release albums and tour world-wide.
You’ve had a lot of success in Texas, any plans to migrate to Nashville? I spend quite a bit of time in Nashville and will be spending much more time there in the new year. I have lots of friends there, and I love the energy in that town.
Lastly, where do you see yourself in 2014? Touring more nationally, doing lots of writing, and hopefully another tour in Europe
Lighting Fire Round:
Guilty pleasure: I don’t really believe in “guilty pleasures”. I think you like something or your don’t, and you should own it either way.
Biggest pet peeve: gossip
One song you wish you’d written? ”God Only Knows”
Most played song in your iTunes? ”The Warrior”
Dream duet partner? Carole King
For more information about John David Kent:
Country artists may just be the most patriotic out of any genre of music. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that if we were to put together a list of every country song that pays tribute to the military, that we’d have a never ending playlist. With tomorrow being Memorial Day in the United States, we wanted to put together a list of country songs that can help fans remember what this holiday is all about. From artists that perform for USO troops serving overseas, to artists who have hit singles with a remembrance theme, we put together our list for a 2013 memorial day playlist. Our picks aren’t in order.
Check out our picks below and let us know what songs you’ll be listening to for the rest of the weekend.
AMERICAN SOLDIER – TOBY KEITH
Originally released in November 2003 as a single from his album “Shock’n Y’all.” The song was a co-write by Toby with Chuck Cannon and became a number one hit on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs Chart for four weeks. It was inspired by the times Toby had met USO troops serving overseas, and he wanted to find a way to show his support for them and their families. The video was directed by Michael Salomon and filmed at an actual US Air Force Base in Edwards, California with off-duty soldiers, reservists and their families.
We had the chance to speak to country singer-songwriter Craig Campbell about his brand new record “Never Regret” out on May 7th. The “Family Man” Georgia native called us to talk all about his brand new sophomore record, if there was a difference between this record and his last, his brand new single, why respect is so important to him, and how Luke Bryan crashed his set shirtless.
Check out our exclusive interview with Craig below and let us know what you think of his new album. Did you pre-order your copy yet? What’s your favorite Craig Campbell tune?
Keith Urban‘s “We’re All For The Hall” benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will return for the fourth consecutive year.
The show, which will feature an all-star lineup, will take place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on April 16th, 2013. Some of the invited artists include Keith, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Rosanne Cash, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver and Hank Williams, Jr.
This year’s theme will be “Rebels and Renegades, the Outlaws are IN”. The past three benefit concerts have raised a collective $1.5 million, which is directed toward the Museum’s operating expenses, caring for the collection, exhibitions, programs, and more.
Museum board president Vince Gill created All for the Hall, an artist-led fundraising initiative for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Funds raised from the concert also go toward preservation efforts, exhibitions and educational programs about the culture and value of country music.
“The purity in making music on your own terms – to create art in your own way – for me, is at the heart of the outlaw spirit,” said Urban. “It’s those outlaws that we celebrate this year, who not only made it possible for a guy like me to do what I love, but who play a pivotal role in the strength of Country music’s diversity.”
Tickets will go on sale on March1st at 10AM CST. For ticket and VIP package information, visit Ticketmaster.com.
With the CMA’s coming up on Thursday night, country fans everywhere are buzzing with anticipation over who will claim the biggest awards. Will Taylor repeat as Entertainer of the Year or could someone else finally upset her shocked face? Could Kelly Clarkson score a major upset for female vocalist? Is there really any other choice besides “Red Solo Cup” for music video of the year?!
Even OUR staff couldn’t agree, so read on and let us know who you think will score big on Thursday night!
“In Color” singer Jamey Johnson is getting ready to start the media rounds for the release of his brand new album. His album, “Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran” will be released on Tuesday, October 16th. He kicks off his media appearances tomorrow on the syndicated radio program Imus in the Morning, and on Friday he’ll perform alongside Alison Krauss on the Late Show With David Letterman on CBS at 11:35 pm EST. Alison is one of the several artists making guest appearances on the record. On Monday, October 15th, Jamey will sit down with WSM-A/Nashville at 7 pm CST with Gaylord Classic Country for a chat with Eddie Stubbs.
Artists appearing on the record include Asleep At The Wheel, Bobby Bare, Hank Cochran, Elvis Costello, Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Leon Russel, George Strait, and Lee Ann Womack.
Jamey will shortly be revealing plans for a brand new tour.
Check out the full track listing below:
Eric Church tops the list of final nominees for “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” with five nominations. The reigning CMA Female and Male Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton each received four nominations. Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Little Big Town, and Taylor Swift each received three nominations for Country Music’s Biggest Night™.
“The depth and variety of talent represented by this year’s nominees is outstanding,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “From Country Music legends, to cross-format favorites, to current superstars, and an exciting crop of artists who have jumped to that next level – the 2012 CMA Awards are going to be an exciting evening of entertainment for any fan of great music and memorable performances.”
“The 46th Annual CMA Awards” will be hosted for the fifth time by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood and broadcast live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Thursday, Nov. 1 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
For the seventh year, the announcement of the final nominees in five of the 12 CMA Awards categories was made live on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” with Aldean and Luke Bryan delivering the news from the heart of New York City’s Times Square. They then dashed to nearby B.B. King Blues Club and Grill to announce the finalists in the remaining seven categories during a press conference that was made available across the world via live stream at CMAworld.com.
“It was terrific to be able to announce our nominees for Country Music’s top honor on the world’s biggest stage and be able to share it with the industry and fans,” Moore said.
Church received his first CMA Awards nomination last year for New Artist of the Year. A year later, he tops the list of nominees with five including Male Vocalist; Album for Chief, which was produced by Jay Joyce; Single of the Year for “Springsteen,” also produced by Joyce; Song of the Year for “Springsteen,” written by Church, Ryan Tyndell, and Jeff Hyde, a member of Church’s band; and Music Video of the Year for “Springsteen,” directed by Peter Zavadil.
Lambert and Shelton were close behind with four nominations each, including a shared nomination for Song of the Year for “Over You.” Only a handful of married couples have penned Song of the Year nominees including “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” by Ed and Patsy Bruce (1978), and two songs by Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer: “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” with his third wife Darlene Shafer in 1985, and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” with his fourth wife Lyndia Shafer in 1987. Tammy Wynette and George Richey wrote “’Til I Can Make It On My Own” with Billy Sherrill, which was nominated for Song of the Year in 1976, but they did not marry until 1978.
See the full list of nominations below. Do any surprise you?
One of the things that stands out about country music is the story telling of its songs. It’s a sad state of affairs when artists today start to worry more about selling number one hits than they are about staying true to the story telling nature of the genre. That’s not the case with Jason Charles Miller, the latest artist to sign with Render Records in Nashville. He released his first album on the label on July 4th, and the Hollywood-based country singer is staying true to the genre – putting together an album of story telling songs on “Natural Born Killer.”
With the rise of rock infused country music, Jason might just be the hottest new thing to hit the scene. While he doesn’t dress or act much like Luke Bryan or Blake Shelton, he still put together one of the hidden gems of country music this year.