Category Archives: NBC

REVIEW: The Swon Brothers in South Florida

Photo by Sara Kauss / www.sarakaussmusicians.com

S wonderful! ‘S marvelous! That’s what rang through my head as I watched The Swon Brothers tear up the South Florida Fair stage during their “Swoncert” (try saying that … it rolls right off the tongue) in front of a rowdy crowd. After seeing The Swon Brothers live, this much is clear – these boys were born to be on stage.

The Voice Season 4 Finalists, Zach and Colton Swon, spent their show covering songs ranging from country to classic rock to classic country rock. The boys barreled through the starting line with a cover of Randy Houser‘s “How Country Feels” and quickly transitioned into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band‘s “Fishin’ In the Dark” (much to our amazing photographer friend, Sara Kauss‘, excitement). The guys manifested their uncanny abilities to harmonize with one another without ever making evident that one brother’s vocal prowess is any more superior than the other.

The Swon Brothers Ship Debut Single, “Later On” to Country Radio

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Arista recording artists, The Swon Brothers, have officially announced “Later On” as the debut single for their upcoming album. After playing it live, in a celebrated return performance to The Voice in December, the Team Blake finalists have been drumming up anticipation for this release.

The single shipped today to country radio stations and although, the official radio airplay date is set for March of this year; fans have been able to download the song from iTunes since December. Within 24 hours of its availability, listeners pushed “Later On” to #1 on iTunes’ Top Country Song charts!

The duo is pleased that the song is resonating with their fans as much as it does with themselves. Zack Swon was quoted as saying, “We are beyond blessed and excited to be releasing our very first single on Arista Nashville! We believe that with the love and support from our fans this song has big potential.”

“We’ve waited and prayed for this moment our whole lives and it’s finally here! We are more than ready to meet all the folks at country radio and want to say thank you in advance for welcoming your two new brothers to the family!” added by his brother, Colton Swon.

For now, The Swon Brothers are hard at work with producer Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans) on their debut album under Arista Nashville. The date for the album may be set for later this year, but fans who just can’t wait, can download the debut single, “Later On”, here.

And for fans who just can get enough of this fun and talented brother duo, you can catch the replay of their performance on The Voice, here.

DVR Alert: Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale

Kelly Clarkson's Cautionary Christmas Music Tale

Try saying that title three times fast!

As you have probably seen advertised recently (during The Sound of Music, The Voice, or a myriad of other NBC specials), Kelly Clarkson is bringing some of her best assets to the network for her Cautionary Christmas Music Tale. Specifically, Kelly will bring her talent, sense of humor, and impressive cast of characters in her life to a television audience.

During this special, Kelly presents the brattiest possible version of herself (“Scrooge, diva’d out,” she calls the character) while trying to enlist celebrities to appear in a Christmas special. “We’re doing a show within a show, kind of like White Christmas,” Kelly says. “Let me tell you this, though … it’s nowhere near that good. I love what we’ve done, but that’s a classic.”

Kelly’s show will feature musical performances from mother-in-law, Reba McEntire, along with Trisha Yearwood, both of whom appear on Kelly’s Christmas album Wrapped in Red. The show will also include cameos by Jay Leno, Matt Lauer, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, William Shatner, Danica Patrick, Heidi Klum, Community‘s Ken Jeong and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy‘s Jai Rodriguez will make appearances. Oh, and did we mention Blake Shelton … as an elf?

This will be an event that Kelly fans and country fans will not want to miss! Tune in to NBC or set your DVRs tonight for the 10:00pm EST airing of Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale! And check out some behind-the-scenes footage of the special, featuring Kelly Clarkson and Blake Shelton:

Review: The Sound of Music Live

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Taking a classic Broadway show and movie and recreating the story in front of a live television audience cannot be an easy task. Doing same in a world of social media and skeptics ready to pounce … well, that is probably as easy as climbing a mountain and attempting to escape the Nazis. As a whole, this particular The Sound of Music guru thought the production was impressive, the sets were spectacular, and the hard work of everybody involved was certainly evident.

Let’s start at the very beginning … The moment Audra McDonald opened her mouth when the production began, there was no question that the part of Mother Abbess could not have been better cast. This fact held true throughout the entire production, but we will get back to Mother Abbess later, because her rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” deserves a separate discussion.

Kelly Clarkson Releases “Underneath the Tree” Video

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Just hours after Billboard announced that “Underneath the Tree” is a #1 hit on AC Radio, Kelly Clarkson continues to sleigh with the release of her official video for the song. The video features a performance and behind the scenes clips from her forthcoming NBC TV Special, Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Music Tale.

The video features cameos by Reba, Trisha Yearwood and Blake Shelton in an elf costume. Yes, you read that correctly.

The Sound of Music Trailer

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The trailers are starting to trickle out as the cast of the live production of The Sound of Music prepares for a landmark televised event. Carrie Underwood, along with a stellar cast, will bring the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein movie to life one night only on live television. The three-hour broadcast, billed as “The Sound of Music Live!,” will air on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on December 5th. Check out the brief teaser below for your sneak peek into the cast’s rehearsals.

EXCLUSIVE: Catching up with The Voice’s Brandon Chase

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It’s no secret that Brandon Chase of NBC’s The Voice is a favorite here at Keepin’ It Country. We had the chance to catch up with Brandon last week after his Voice Battle round aired. As usual, he was incredibly humble and gave us some insight into his journey on the show thus far.

Although only a few seconds of Brandon’s battle round actually aired on television, we were thrilled with Brandon’s big win. He told us that it was beyond difficult to keep that secret. “Keeping the secret of the Blinds was hard and the Battles was equally, if not more difficult.. I so wanted to say ‘Yeah I made it’ but I contained myself.”

For his battle, Brandon went up against 15-year-old, Emily Randolph and performed “Tiny Dancer.” Both the song choice and his competitor made him nervous, as he admitted he wasn’t too familiar with the Elton John track. “I wasn’t super familiar with the song and didn’t know that Tim McGraw had a version,” Brandon tells us. “But after hearing that version, the choice made a lot more sense to me. It ended up being an incredible song for my voice. It really compliments my tone and shows off my range more than a song I might’ve picked would have.”

Julie Andrews Speaks Out About Carrie Underwood Recreating Her Iconic Role

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As an avid The Sound of Music fan (okay, geek … I know every line and I’m not ashamed of it!), it has crossed my mind on several occasions whether Julie Andrews has an opinion on the upcoming live performance of the classic, award-winning film, starring country music megastar, Carrie Underwood. Well, the original cinematic Fraulein Maria has spoken!

“I think she’s great,” affirmed Andrews who was nominated for an Oscar and a Bafta for her performance as the iconic governess. “It’s going to be the original show, I believe, and I think after 40 or 50 years it’s probably time somebody else had a crack at it.”

Meanwhile, Carrie has been spending time auditioning children for the production. Carrie predicts the children will be one of the best parts of the production. “I think once we get in there and I start working with the kiddos, I’ll probably get favorite moments in the show once we start working on it.”

As far as having the opportunity to perform the classic songs from the original production, Carrie explained, “Right now, I’m happy with them all, and I’m happy I get to sing them.”

The three-hour live television production will air December 5th on NBC.

Cassadee Pope Releases Her Debut Album Tracklist

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As you all know from a story we posted last week, Cassadee Pope is leaking tracks from her debut album, “Frame By Frame,” every two weeks. Now, Cassadee has released the titles of the eleven songs on her album, due out in stores on October 8th. The track list is as follows:

1. Good Times; 2. Champagne; 3. Wasting All These Tears; 4. I Wish I Could Break Your Heart; 5. Everybody Sings; 6. You Hear A Song; 7. This Car; 8. One Song Away; 9. Easier To Lie; 10. 11; 11. Proved You Wrong

Cassadee Pope Gets Personal with Rolling Stone

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Cassadee Pope recently sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss her up and coming country music career. In the article, Cassadee discusses the overwhelming interest of people regarding why Cassadee chose to travel down the country music path, rather than continuing down the path she previously trekked.

For those of you who don’t know, Cassadee was previously involved with a band called Hey Monday, which is best known as a former opening act for Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard, as well as part of the 2010 Warped Tour bill. Now, since her Season 3 win on NBC’s The Voice, Cassadee has been exploring her country music options, ultimately choosing to sign with a major Nashville label (Big Machine) and record a country album (Frame by Frame, due out on October 8, 2013). Cassadee explains to Rolling Stone that her decision to embark on a country music career was personal, as the genre is allowing her to tell stories, get personal, and experience a new-found sense of vulnerability.