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10 songs for Mother’s Day

Carrie Underwood and her mom.

Us here at Keepin’ it Country want to wish all the moms out there a happy Mother’s Day! Just in case you’re looking for a playlist of songs to help celebrate the weekend with your Mom, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite country songs about moms. Take a listen to our list below and let us know what YOUR picks are for mother’s day.


A personal song written by Carrie herself to her mom is our first pick for our Mother’s Day playlist. The music video features Carrie and her real life mom, as pictured to the side of this post, on her wedding day as she tells her mom that she doesn’t need to worry about her daughter, because she learned from her. “Mama’s Song” was the fourth single from Carrie’s “Play On” album, which was co-written by Carrie with Luke Laird, Kara DioGuardi, and Marti Frederikson. BONUS: The video also features Carrie’s real-life husband, Mike Fisher.


Check out the rest of our picks below: 

The Henningsens to release debut album in July!

The Henningsens.

New Arista Nashville trio The Henningsens will have a tough summer to beat this year, as the multi-talented family band releases their debut album, titled American Beautiful, on July 2, and prepares to join superstar Brad Paisley as a guest on his Beat This Summer Tour presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, beginning May 9.

With GRAMMY®-winning, multi-million-selling producer Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride) at the helm, The Henningsens’ American Beautiful album spotlights not only singer Clara Henningsen’s beautiful and expressive lead vocals together with incredible family harmonies and the musicianship of brother Aaron and father Brian, but also the trio’s gifts for vibrant and picturesque songwriting, with one or more of the family co-writing every track on American Beautiful.

The album is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

The Henningsens continue to climb the country airplay charts with the fresh energy of their title track and debut single, “American Beautiful,” now on the verge of the Top 20. Co-written by Clara, Aaron, and Brian Henningsen and Brett Beavers, “American Beautiful” is perched this week at #25 in Billboard and #21 in Country Aircheck.

Fans can watch for the family in concert as the Paisley tour, also featuring special guests Chris Young and Lee Brice, launches in St. Louis, MO, on May 9, with dates currently running through late August.

DVR Alert: Kelleigh Bannen on Hart of Dixie

Kelleigh Bannen

EMI Recording artist Kelleigh Bannen will be making a special appearance on a Halloween-themed episode of The CW’s “Hart of Dixie.” She’ll make a cameo role as herself as she performs her debut single “Sorry On The Rocks” along with “Be A Man” at the local bar. Her episode on Hart of Dixie will air on the CW on Tuesday, October 30th at 8 pm EST.

She made her Grand Ole Opry debut last night, which is something the singer was understandably pretty excited about. She shares:

“Having grown up in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry holds a particularly special meaning for me because I’m that much more aware of what the Opry has meant to Country Music and to my hometown. I cannot wait to stand in that circle and at the same time I’m scared to death!”

Kelleigh is currently in the middle of a radio tour across the United States as she promotes her lead-off single. Her debut album on EMI Records is being produced by Paul Worley and Jerry Smith, and is expected to be released sometime in 2013.

The Henningsens Launch First Radio Tour

The Henningsens.

Sony Music Nashville’s newest group, The Henningsens, are finally hitting the road for their first radio tour with the major label. The family trio is made up of father Brian Henningsen on bass, guitar, and vocal; son Aaron on guitar and vocals, and daughter Clara on lead vocal and guitar. The group has written songs for the likes of Wynonna, The Band Perry, and Sara Evans. Brian and Clara co-wrote The Band Perry’s two week number one single “All Your Life.”

As a special stop during their radio tour, the trio will make an appearance at Fenway Park in Boston on Thursday, September 13th to perform the national anthem before the Red Sox take on the New York Yankees.

Their first single “American Beautiful” will hit country radio this December. The song is a co-write by all three members, along with Brett Beavers. Their debut album is being produced by Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride),  and is set to be released in 2013.

Stay tuned to Keepin’ it Country for the latest on this new country music trio.

Lady Antebellum Reveal Christmas Album Details

Lady Antebellum.

Looks like we’re getting a lot more Christmas spirit this October. Country music super-trio Lady Antebellum have revealed plans and a track listing for their brand new Christmas album “On This Winter’s Night,” which will hit digital and physical music retailers on October 22nd.

The group’s Hillary is pretty excited about releasing her own holiday album for country music fans. She shares:

“I love the excitement, the child-like spirit of innocence and just about everything that goes along with Christmas. My little sister will be 12 this Christmas and it is always so sweet to see her wake up every Christmas morning and wonder what Santa brought her. It was that way for me growing up and it’s so amazing to be able to spend that time with her now.”

Charles Kelley adds:

“The perfect winter’s night for me would be with all the family together.  As you get a little older and everybody has their jobs and then families and kids, it definitely becomes harder to get everybody together at once. It would be pretty special to have the whole family in the room and get back to where we were as kids…all waking up on Christmas morning, walking down and having that tradition.”   

Dave Haywood explains how the album came together:

“We recorded this album in two sections, but both times were in the summertime. It is always weird to be in the studio working on Christmas music in June and July, so we decorated the entire studio, we really did. We brought out lights, fake trees and decorated the place to get in the Christmas spirit. You’d leave the studio, and it’d be 100 degrees out in Nashville, but nonetheless, a great experience.“

Between legs of their “OWN THE NIGHT 2012 WORLD TOUR” earlier this year, Lady A hit the studio in Nashville to record the new collection where they also return as co-producers alongside veteran producer Paul Worley. For the festive release, the trio penned the album’s title track and created their own arrangements for two of the disc’s additional 11 holiday classics.

Check out the official track list below and let us know if you’ll be picking up a copy:

Eric Church Leads CMA Nominations

Eric Church. photo credit: John Peets.

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

“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?

PHOTOS: ACM Lifting Lives Camp with Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, and More!


Throughout the week, the 3rd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp has been taking place in Nashville, TN with some of country’s famous faces volunteering their time to help out. The music camp is a week-long residential program open nationwide to those with developmental disabilities who are talented in music. ACM Lifting Lives camp has partnered with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, which is for individuals who have been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder similar to Autism but with musical ability or intense music interest. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the camp, which allows the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities to enhance their training and research and to dedicate their service to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

So far this week, the campers have had the opportunity to participate with some of country’s biggest stars, including Lauren Alaina, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge, Jana Kramer, and hit singer/songwriter David Lee Murphy and producer Paul Worley.

Third Annual “Lifting Lives” Music Camp


ACM Lifting Lives® and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities will partner again for the 3rd Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp, June 18-June 22, 2012, in Nashville. Country artists Lauren Alaina, Big & Rich, Luke Bryan, Brett Eldredge and Jana Kramer, along with hit singer/songwriter David Lee Murphy and renowned producer Paul Worley, have selflessly agreed to volunteer their time with the special-needs campers throughout the week.

The camp is a week-long residential program open to individuals with developmental disabilities. The camp’s mission is to study Williams syndrome and other developmental disabilities while providing music enrichment through performance and education. ACM Lifting Lives funds the costs of the camp, in addition to providing scholarships to several campers.

Kalleigh Bannen Signs With EMI Nashville

Kelleigh Bannen.

EMI Records Nashville has signed singer-songwriter Kalleigh Bannen to its roster. The Nashville native is currently in the studio working on her debut album with the major label, and is expected to release her first single later this year. Paul Worley and Jerry Smith are working with Kalleigh on the album.

She lists the Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Patty Griffin as her influences. She’s currently in pre-production of her record in Nashville. Congratulations, Kalleigh and we can’t wait to see what kind of magic you make in the studio.

Full List Of 2012 ACM Nominees

acm awards

Congratulations to all the nominees for the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music! Here’s the full list of nominees for the April 1st award show. Watch who wins live on CBS from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton will once again return to co-host the night.

For the fifth year, fans will select the winner of the Academy’s most prestigious honor, Entertainer of the Year, and for the fourth year, the New Artist of the Year category will also be opened up to fan voting. Nominees for New Artist of the Year were not announced in the press conference today because fan voting for those semi-finalists will close on January 30 (see page 2 below). The winners of Entertainer of the Year and New Artist of the Year will be announced live during the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.

Kenny Chesney leads with nine nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, a category he has won four times since 2004. He is nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year, a category he has been nominated in nine times previously. He is twice nominated for Album of the Year for Hemingway’s Whiskey, as both artist and producer, and also earned double nominations for Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year as both artist and producer for “You And Tequila” with Grace Potter. Chesney is also nominated for Song of the Year for “You And Tequila” with Grace Potter.

Jason Aldean is nominated for six awards, including his second consecutive nods for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He is nominated for Album of the Year for My Kinda Party, and has nominations for Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” featuring Kelly Clarkson. He is nominated for Video of the Year for “Tattoos On This Town.”

Lady Antebellum leads group nominations with five nods, including Vocal Group of the Year, which they have won for two consecutive years. They are also nominated for Album of the Year as artists and producers for Own The Night, and for Song of the Year and Video of the Year for “Just A Kiss.”

Reigning Male Vocalist of the Year, Brad Paisley, is nominated for four awards, including his fifth consecutive nomination for Entertainer of the Year and eighth nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year, which he has won five times consecutively between 2006-2010. He received two nominations in the Vocal Event of the Year category for “Old Alabama” with Alabama and “Remind Me” with Carrie Underwood.

Toby Keith received three nominations for “Red Solo Cup,” including Video of the Year, which he last won in 2003 for “Beer For My Horses.” He also received a double nomination as artist and producer for Single Record of the Year for “Red Solo Cup.” Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill is also nominated for Nightclub of the Year in Minneapolis, MN (a nod that is not among Keith’s total nominations count, because it is awarded to the venue itself not it’s owners).

Reigning Entertainer of the Year, Taylor Swift, leads solo female nominees with three nominations, including her third consecutive nod for Entertainer of the Year. If Swift wins Entertainer of the Year, this will be her second consecutive win in that category. Swift is nominated for the fifth time for Female Vocalist of the Year, and for the third time for Video of the Year for “Mean.”

See the full list of nominees below: