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It’s no secret that Kelly Clarkson is one busy lady. She’s planning a tour with Maroon 5, prepping for a wedding to Brandon Blackstock and releasing infectious ear candy with each single. Her latest offering of country confection comes in the form of “Tie It Up,” a twangy tongue-in-cheek ode to courtship and wedding bells.
When she released the single cover, fans wondered who she was actually tied to. Was it her fiance or just some perfectly-manicured hand model? Clarkson revealed yesterday via video that the hand-in-question does in fact belong to her hubby-to-be. Judging from his adorable awkwardness in front of the camera, methinks he’ll be leaving most of the future modeling gigs to his bride.
And while she’s not being adorable in photo shoots, she continues her quest to slay every song you’ve ever heard and make it just a tad bit better. Click to see her become one of Mumford‘s honorary sons on this incredible version of “I Will Wait.”
Although you may not yet recognize the name Levi Lowrey, we’re positive that you’ve heard a song he had a hand in crafting. He was a co-writer on the Zac Brown Band‘s mega-hit “Colder Weather” and is preparing to release his self-titled, sophomore album February 25, 2014 through Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Artists.
The album was executive produced by Zac Brown at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville and includes a laundry list of talented collaborators and musicians including Clay Cook (Zac Brown Band), fiddler Ross Holmes (Mumford & Sons/Cadillac Sky), Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) and performer, producer and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Mac McAnally. The album was co-produced by Clay Cook and Matt Mangano, with the entire thing recorded from start to finish in two weeks.
Pre-order is now available through iTunes.
In addition to releasing his new album in February, Lowrey will be touring, both on his own and as an opener for the Zac Brown Band in arenas across the midwest and the south. Notable dates include two nights in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for “Sun, Sand & Southern Ground” at the Hard Rock Hotel, and album release concerts in Atlanta (2/25) and in Nashville (2/27).
We had the chance to speak to up-and-comer Joel Crouse before his birthday show with Taylor Swift in Toronto. It just so happened that Joel, a singer-songwriter with Show Dog Universal in Nashville, turned 21 while here in Canada. It’s a big birthday for Americans – as 21 is the legal drinking age in the United States (it’s 18 or 19 in Canada depending on the province). After joking about how he can finally go out on the town without having to perform at the venues to get in, we discussed what it’s really like opening for a superstar as big as Taylor, what he thinks about Canadian country music fans, and his debut single “If You Want Some.”
Joel is a fun guy with a great voice. Get to know Joel in our second interview with the rising young star. He’ll be releasing a full length album with Show Dog Universal later this year – and reveals a few details about it with us!
Check out our exclusive interview with Joel Crouse below and don’t forget to tell us what you think!
Mercury Records’ rising newcomer Kacey Musgraves has just been added to a major festival. The singer-songwriter will represent country music at this year’s Bonnaroo Festival. She shares the stage with music heavyweights Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, and country icon Dwight Yoakam. Bonnaroo takes place June 15th through to the 16th in Manchester, Tennessee. Are you planning on going?
It’s been a pretty big year for Kacey, who released her debut country album “Same Trailer, Different Park” which was a number one on its release. Her first radio single, “Merry Go ‘Round,” was certified gold a few weeks ago by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). She’s also performed on the Ellen Show, had songs featured on the hit television drama “Nashville,” and opened for some pretty big acts.
What music festivals are you planning on going to this year?
It’s the eve of the release of “Wasted on Love,” the first single from country piano-man Josh Charles. The song will be released via Downhome Records/ THC: Music/Ingrooves/Fontana, and is Charles’s first single since 2011′s critically-acclaimed “Life Ain’t Fair.” In addition to releasing his single this month, Josh recently went to Nashville, where he recorded with Grammy Award winner, Toby Wright and he’ll be backed by Blake Shelton‘s touring band, Rob Byus, Tracy Broussard, Kevin Post and Beau Tackett.
We discussed his background, who he’d LOVE to duet with, country music in NYC, his oddest job (hint: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up) and more! Plus, what’s it like to open for Blake Shelton? Read on to find out!
Over the last few years, country music has certainly expanded beyond the old stereotype of boots, big hair and ten-gallon hats. Artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum have huge pop hits, the Zac Brown Band & Jason Aldean sell out Madison Square Garden and the Scotty McCreerys and Tate Stevens of the world rise to fame via televised talent shows. On the flip side, Mumford & Sons get played on country radio, UK-lite-rocker Ed Sheeran tours with Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson performs on the CMA’s. Over the last few years, it has become commonplace for country musicians to dabble outside of their genre, and if January of 2013 is any indication, this trend is only going to continue into 2013.
Interestingly enough, I grew up claiming that I loved all music “except country.” (Seriously – I think I wrote that on my Myspace…don’t judge me, I’m from NY.) However, after being taken to see Rascal Flatts at Madison Square Garden, my perspective on the genre completely changed and I was hooked. Now I’ll listen to anything from Garth to Reba to Taylor to Jason. However, if you were to ask a purist of country music, they’d probably argue that Rascal Flatts is just a boy (err, man) band in cowboy boots, Taylor is a dubstep-loving pop act and Jason’s renegade hick-hop style bastardizes country music. Yet, on the heels of Aldean selling out a show at New York’s Madison Square Garden in mere minutes, I’d argue that the biggest development of country music in 2013 will be the pure magnitude of its reach and ability to cross over, while also openly welcoming those who dabble and stretch the ideas of what typical “country” is.
Carrie Underwood is going to continue to be a little bit everywhere, as she’s been announced as the latest performer added to the superstar line-up of the GRAMMY awards. While we aren’t sure if she’ll be performing new single “Two Black Cadillacs” or “Blown Away” at the award show, we’re confident she’ll be one of the highlights of the night.
Other performers at the 55th annual GRAMMY Awards include Taylor Swift, Mumford & Sons, and Rihanna among many other stars.
What song do you hope Carrie sings at the award show? The GRAMMYs air live from L.A.’s Staples Center on CBS on Sunday, February 10th at 8 pm EST.
Country superstar Grammy nominees Hunter Hayes and Taylor Swift were chosen to appear on the 2013 Grammy Nominees Album. The album, which will be released on January 22 by Capitol Records and Grammy Recordings, will feature Hunter’s “Wanted” and Taylor’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. Hunter is nominated for Best New Artist, while Taylor’s single is up for Record of the Year. Also featured on the album is country music’s stepchild, Kelly Clarkson, as well as Taylor’s current opening act, Ed Sheeran.
Xenia was the most interesting contestant on the first season of NBC’s The Voice. One of the last two surviving members of Team Blake, she surprised everyone with her strong performances and pretty vocals. Viewers found themselves rooting for Xenia during the first season, and we caught up with her earlier today to see what life has been like since The Voice for the 17-year old talented singer. She released her first EP “Sing You Home” in December on Universal Republic Records, and thanks to Blake Shelton, she recorded a duet with one of her favorite artists of all-time.
See how being on The Voice has shaped her, what she learned coming from the competition, why she’s thankful Blake is in her corner, and what fans can expect from her this year. Here’s a hint: Xenia will be big and we haven’t seen the last of her. She’s our final “Life After The Voice” feature.