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Anticipation Grows Over New Waylon Jennings Album

Waylon Jennings.

One of most anticipated albums this year is Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings.  And with longtime friends and fans of the legendary country outlaw getting a preview of the album, the buzz is continuing to grow.

There was never an artist like Waylon Jennings. It’s such a joy to hear his honest voice, his integrity and his quintessential badassness on this new record. What a great thing for posterity that these recordings exist and were finished by Robby Turner with such care and honor.  – Rosanne Cash

The pure beauty of Waylon’s voice – unlike any other I ever heard – has the powerful honesty and heart of the man himself. Like his outlaw companions Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, they broke the mold when they made him. I do believe ‘I Do Believe’ is the only one of these I’ve heard before, and I could listen to it forever.  – Kris Kristofferson

The songs on the album were recorded shortly before Jennings death in 2002.  Jennings wrote 11 of the 12 songs on the album and 11 of them have never been released before.  The album was originally recorded with Robby Turner and a decade later, Turner painstakingly finished the tracks to the specifications of Jennings.  Turner worked with musicians such as Reggie Young, Richie Albright, and Tony Joe White.

Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings of Waylon Jennings will be available on September 11 through Saguaro Road Records.

New Waylon Jennings Album 10 Years After His Death

waylonjennings

A brand new album will be released ten years after country music legend Waylon Jennings death in September. The new album will be filled with the final recordings made by the icon in his last few years. “Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings Of Waylon Jennings” will be released on Saguaro Road Records. Eleven of the twelve songs on the album were written by the legend, who recorded all the tracks with Robby Turner with just Waylon’s guitar and vocals, and Robby’s bass. The duo had planned out the rest of the instrumentals for the tracks together, but were never able to complete the album.

Ten years after Waylon’s passing, Robby is releasing the album as a tribute to his friend. He returned to the tracks to complete them with Waylon’s vision for what will be Waylon’s final album. He brought in musicians that had known Waylon to help honor his vision: Reggie Young, Richie Albright, and tour mate Tony Joe White.

“Waylon knows he’s surrounded by friends and all that hear this will feel as if they know Waylon in all his authenticity,” explains his widow, country singer Jessi Colter.

See the full track listing, and album cover, below:

CONTEST: Win a Copy of The NEW Waylon Tribute

Waylon Jennings.

On February 7th, 2012, a very special tribute album will be released. “The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated To Waylon Jennings, Vol II” features some of country music’s best voices paying tribute to the outlaw himself.  We have your chance to win yourself a copy of the album! To enter, just follow the instructions below.

“I feel like this project could very likely break another sound barrier,” says Jessi Colter, Jennings’ widow. “Waylon was so original. For his songs to be sang by other people and to take me somewhere else is not an easy task.”

Dierks Bentley, Josh Thompson, Hank Williams Jr., Jewel, Justin Moore, Jack Ingram, Montgomery Gentry, Colt Ford,  and many more artists pay tribute to the legendary singer.  The album is available now for pre-order on iTunes, but you can get your chance to win one of two copies below:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Dee Jay Silver

Dee Jay Silver

In today’s music, it is common to hear a remix of some of your favorite songs; even heartfelt power ballads have turned into dance hits with the help of some of music’s most talented DJs. And just when you thought DJ’ing couldn’t become anymore unique, enter Dee Jay Silver, the first DJ to be signed to a major Nashville record label. Dee Jay has played in premier venues in virtually every major market in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, but has ultimately found his home in Nashville. Whether he is touring with Jason Aldean and playing in sold out stadiums, performing on the American Country Awards, or remixing the work of some of country’s best known artists, Dee Jay is bringing his talents to the fans of country music in a myriad of ways. Dee Jay took some time out of his day of “bad television” while he recovered from the ACAs in Las Vegas to talk with me about his music, his favorite tour stop to date, and his future plans (which included getting back to Nashville stat!). 

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Michael Ray

michael-ray-music-interview

Here at Keepin’ It Country, we take a lot of pride in introducing our fans to new artists who are primed to be the next big thing. Today, we’d like you to meet Michael Ray, a future country superstar from Florida who’s determined to make success happen the old-fashioned way. There are no shortcuts in-store for Michael, who recently signed a deal with Warner Music.

We chatted with him about everything from his early days playing music with his grandpa to his influences and his brief stint on reality TV. Throughout the interview, his genuine love of country music and its fans truly shone through and we couldn’t be more excited to watch his star continue to rise over the next few years.

Born into a musical family in Eustis, Florida, Michael Ray was always surrounded by music. His father, grandfather, cousin and uncle had a band, and from the moment Michael could walk, he had a guitar in his hand. At the ripe old age of ten, he decided to start pursuing music and joined forces musically with none other than his grandpa.

“I joke all the time – I had probably 3 friends that were my age and everyone else was older. I was like the adopted grandson of like 20 different sets of grandparents.” Michael laughs as he recalls playing shows all through middle school and high school with his grandfather and his elderly friends.  “A lot of them would come down to Florida for the winter and that’s when we’d get busy. They were all retired and they weren’t around their families, so I’d step in. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It helped form who I am today and gave me a real soft spot for old people.”

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Andrew Pope

Andrew Pope Music

Andrew Pope (no relation to Cassadee, The Voice fans!) is a country musician from Alabama who isn’t afraid to dig deep into the roots of country music in his blooming career. Andrew’s first two singles, If Waylon Could See Us Now and Rowdy Side, were released in 2012. Andrew, who was signed to MillTown Music, released his first full album at the end of 2012. Andrew hopes to release his sophomore album in 2014 and we wanted to make sure that our Keepin’ It Country readers were able to meet Andrew and get to know the artist behind the music before his next big project. So, without further adieu, we introduce you all to Andrew Pope!

Randy Travis to release new album Influence Vol 1

Randy Travis.

Country music legend Randy Travis has announced plans to release a brand new album this October. “Influence: Vol 1 – The Man I Am” will be his 21st studio album, and he’ll be paying tribute to his musical heroes on the tracks.

About his new record on Warner Music Nashville, and his musical heroes, Randy said:

“When I think of my musical heroes of yesteryear, or the younger stars of this year, I am reminded that it is true we learn from the ones ahead of us, and teach the ones that follow.  They are the reason I chose to make this album.”

Earlier this year, Travis released a duet with Joe Nichols paying tribute to his longtime friend, George Jones, titled “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum,” which he debuted at the 2013 CMA Music Festival in June.

Check out the official album cover and track list below:

New Artist Spotlight: JJ Lawhorn

JJ Lawhorn.

What would you have done to see the early days of Eric Church, Justin Moore, or even Gary Allan‘s careers? Country music fans who played their cards right were able to see one of the new underrated talents on the Blake Shelton Cruise last week with JJ Lawhorn. The 19-year old signed to Average Joe’s Entertainment in 2011 and he’s your good ol’ Southern boy – who isn’t afraid to make sure everyone knows it, too. The singer, who was raised on a family farm, stole the spotlight in one of the many atrium shows on the NCL Pearl last week.

JJ might not be a name that country fans are familiar with yet, but they soon will be. He’s hitting the road with Colt Ford on the “Answer To No One Tour,” and with his gritty songwriting style and rocking vocals he’ll soon be taking over radio. Fans who are looking for someone along the lines of Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, or even Eric Church should keep their eyes peeled to this newcomer.

We had the chance to get to know JJ during the Blake Shelton Cruise, and as the week went on, word about his performance had spread to the passengers. His final show was a packed one- with two levels of the atrium watching the young singer with the rock-styled vocals. His influences on his writing are obvious: he calls Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings his influences in his official bio. JJ is a rebel, one of the new branches of Nashville that’s finally getting the spotlight thanks to the success of Brantley, Eric, and Gary.

Willie Nelson’s Exclusive Performance & Interview With Yahoo! Ram Country

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The one and only country legend Willie Nelson recently sat down with Yahoo! Ram Country on his tour bus during a stop in New Haven, Connecticut. In this exclusive interview with Ram Country, the music icon reflects on collaborating with Snoop Dogg for his latest album (who would have ever thought that would have happened?), his ‘outlaw’ years with Waylon Jennings, his musical legacy and more.

Check out Willie’s exclusive interview below with Yahoo! Ram Country and also be sure to check out Willie’s exclusive soundcheck performances of “Always On My Mind,” “On The Road Again,” “Cold War With You,” and “Whiskey River” behind the cut!

Internet Sensation Julia Sheer Signs Management Deal

julia sheer

What do millions of hits on YouTube get you?  If you’re Julia Sheer, it gets you signed to Upward Management in Nashville.  The 19-year-old singer will be managed by Liesl Menning Haynie and Jason Greene.

You can bet your boots that Waylon didn’t do it this way.  But Justin Bieber did and it’s worked out pretty well for him.

It’s a new age and today’s artists have the benefit of an Internet audience.  In Sheer’s case, that audience is gigantic.  A few years ago she began posting videos on her YouTube page of her performing covers of artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry.  “Big deal,” you might say.  ”Lots of aspiring singers post videos!”  True.  But very few of them rack up the views that Sheer has.  So far her videos have more than 42 million hits.  That includes more than 3 million views of her original song “You Will Never Be,” which she co-wrote.  In addition, she has nearly 200,000 likes on her Facebook page.

Whether all of these hits and “likes” will translate into record sales and concert tickets sold, is still to be seen.  Right now Sheer is writing more songs in Nashville and has begun work on her debut album.

Nope, Waylon Jennings didn’t do it this way.  But who’s to say Julia Sheer (and others of the Internet Age) can’t?  Stay tuned!