Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jamie Lynn Spears Launches Official Merchandise Store

jls_at_tank_white
Hey Jamie Lynn fans, Jamie has just launched her official online store!  On her site, you will find a collection of t-shirts and tank tops that are uniquely Jamie Lynn! There are a few other items available also, be sure to go check them out at JamieLynnSpears.com.

EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Jo Dee Messina’s “Me” on Monday

Jo Dee Messina

It feels like forever ago when I first spoke with Jo Dee Messina and her album, Me, was months away from its big release. It also feels like eons ago when I began this weekly track-by-track album review, counting down until March 18th. It is hard to believe that tomorrow is March 18th and Jo Dee’s album will finally be making its way into your phones, iPods, cars, and homes.

To wrap up this “Me on Monday” series, I saved the first track on the album, “Not Dead Yet,” for last. Strategically, “Not Dead Yet” made sense as the final track for review because it sends a very important message to country music fans … Jo Dee is still here, and she is ready to remind you why she was nominated for two Grammys and is a chart-topping hit-maker. Regardless of the hard times Jo Dee faced with her former record label, this bold, confident, talented artist hasn’t let it get the best of her. Instead, she barreled through the difficulties and forged her own path. This song let’s those who doubted her abilities to succeed on her own know how very wrong they were.

Jo Dee sings, “You can put me down, you can count me out, I’m not listenin’ to you. I’ve paid my dues, gotten bent and bruised, I’ve walked a thousand miles in these shoes. I’m here and I’m well. I’ve felt the fire, I’ve been through hell. I’m a little out of breath, but baby I’m not dead yet.” In a song that drips of honesty and forthcomingness, Jo Dee admits the road has seemed dim and, sometimes, there is no clear path at any given moment, but she is ready to hit the ground running anyway. In this song of art imitating life, Jo Dee quips (likely aimed toward her former label) that she will not allow anybody to take her down, as she has enough life left in her to create her own destiny.

And, a charmed destiny she has created, especially considering the caliber of her new albumMe, which will be available tomorrow. From front to back, this album will bring you strong, hard-hitting tracks, as well as emotional ballads that will choke you up and make you sympathize with Jo Dee and/or the character she portrays in the song. From beginning to end, this album will provide you with must-hear tracks, impeccable vocals, and a variety of instrumentation that will appeal to fans of several different styles of country music. I am so excited for you to finally hear what I have been hearing for all of these months, and I thank you for trusting me to guide you toward this album and take you on this weekly ride. I guarantee the destination was well worth your wait.

I would like to extend a very special thank you to Jo Dee Messina and Team JDM for believing in me and adopting me into their special circle to promote this album so vigorously over the last couple of months. It has been a distinct honor and privilege to be involved with such fabulous people.

INTERVIEW: CMA Award Winner and Grammy Nominee Deana Carter

DC

She is likely best known for her debut single, “Strawberry Wine,” but singer/songwriter Deana Carter has a plethora of albums, songwriting credits, award nominations, and a CMA Award on her shelf. Admittedly, I bought Deana’s first album in 1996 (with the hologram cover, thank you very much!) and I couldn’t resist kicking off our interview with a play on the CMA Awards Album of the Year Nominee Did I Shave My Legs For This? So, to answer the burning question you all have, no, Deana did not, in fact, shave her legs for our interview. She also did not imbibe any strawberry wine because “it’s not Friday yet!” After I got these (likely) very much anticipated references to Deana’s breakout project out of the way, I was able to hone in on what this talented, poised, hardworking, and unbelievably sweet musician has been doing as of late.

REVIEW: Sara Evans’ “Slow Me Down”

Sara Evans Slow Me Down

Sara Evans has been climbing the charts and playing through your stereo speakers since the late 1990′s, and if there is one thing we can say about Evans, it is that nobody can slow her down. At a time where it seems that a lot of our favorite veteran female country singers are releasing new music, Evans is back with an album, Slow Me Down, that will not disappoint. With three duets (two of which might surprise you!) and several new solo tracks to introduce, Evans reminds us all why she entered the hearts of country music fans many years ago and why she has remained in our hearts since.

On this, Evans’ seventh studio album, the pristine artist proves that her music career remains full speed ahead. Slow Me Down kicks off with the chart-climbing title track, which talks about a relationship that is nearly over, but before one of them walks out the door, the other is given a final chance to hurry up and say the right thing. “Slow Me Down” is an appropriate start to this eclectic collection of tracks because, right from the beginning of this album, Evans hits the ground running with potential hit after hit.

Exclusive Interview: Ross Cooper

Ross Cooper

In today’s country music, it is common to find new artists putting a pop/rock twist on tracks, sometimes blurring the lines between what is truly defined as country music and what is more often referred to as “Top 40.” Enter Ross Cooper, a native-born Texan who couldn’t have the heels of his cowboys boots dug deeper into classic country in every sense of the word.

Ross grew up in a rodeo family, so, naturally, he became involved with rodeo at a young age. However, his mother, albeit a rodeo lover herself, was also involved in music. Growing up, Ross’s mother had a guitar, but, for some unknown reason, he (like many kids) took piano lessons. Finally, Ross reached the end of his rope with the piano, put his cowboy boot down and told his mother he wasn’t playing piano any longer and wanted to take guitar lessons instead.

Once his mother agreed to let Ross make the instrument switch, he also began writing songs. The first song Ross wrote was when he was ten years old and it was with his mother on piano, and, admittedly, the song was “terrible.” In junior high, Ross decided he wanted to start a band, “because that’s what you do!” and he got together with a few friends, one of whom’s mother owned a local blues bar. The group would sneak into the bar and play their Sunday night jams. By the time the group entered high school, they had a well-groomed band.

While Ross was making music with his friends, he was also becoming more and more involved with the rodeo. Ross was a bucking horse bareback rider through high school and even quit football during his sophomore year to focus on riding. He continued on this path through college and then started to pro rodeo. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Ross tore his knee, not once, but twice, and was required to take time off from rodeoing. At that point, he had to figure out what path to take moving forward, as he was still playing music regularly. “Music kinda filled the gap, so much to the point that I had to make a choice between the two. So, here I am.”

REVIEW: Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic, and Emily Brooke in South Florida

Sara_Kauss_Photography_JSE

Occasionally you go to an intimate show and are fortunate to experience an incredible performer up close and personal. Very rarely are you able to have that experience multiplied by three. On February 26th in Jupiter, Florida, Nashville recording artist, Sarah Darling; UK chart topper, Jenn Bostic; and local teenage prodigy, Emily Brooke, shared the stage at Tiki 52 for one night only … And it was a night that attendees won’t soon forget.

Emily Brooke opened the night with a bang, almost literally, as she took on Miranda Lambert’s “Kerosene.” As always, Emily charmed the crowd immediately with her soulful voice, stunning guitar playing, and adorable personality, made especially apparent by the huge smile that crossed her face when the audience joined her in a loud “HA!” during this hot opener. In true Emily Brooke fashion, she introduced almost every song, told cute little stories, made herself giggle, and, like a seasoned professional, swiftly returned to her set list seamlessly. A crowd favorite was Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel,” which Emily introduced and then, elatedly, said that she heard someone in the audience say how much she loved this song. Onlookers sang and clapped along as Emily strummed the guitar and crooned this popular tune that oftentimes receives a warm reception and rave reviews. Other highlights of Emily’s set list included Hunter Hayes’ “All You Ever,” The Civil Wars’ “Devil’s Backbone,” and original song (on Emily’s Here Right Now album with a corresponding video on YouTube) “Dance Hall.”

EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Jo Dee Messina’s “Me” on Monday

Jo Dee Messina

We are getting close, folks! As more information (and a new single/music video) begins to emerge, the March 18th release of Jo Dee Messina‘s album, Me, is drawing closer and closer. Can you feel the excitement?!

We were recently able to catch up with Jo Dee, and she specifically mentioned our next featured track from Me due to its pop roots that stray from the pure country sound you may be accustomed to from this country starlet. The track, aptly titled “I’m Free,” celebrates complete abandonment from something/someone who is weighing you down. As you know, Jo Dee broke the chains that bound her to her former record label and has since experienced more freedom with her musical and career choices.

In the first verse, Jo Dee sings “You tried with all your might, you had to have control. You held on so tight, you almost crushed my soul. And now I’m breaking from these chains, not looking back again.” While some may relate this song to a former relationship, others may apply the lyrics to other situations when they have felt as though they were stuck with no escape. Regardless of what you hear when you listen to this song, the beauty of this track (and all of the others from this album) is that its message is something to which everybody can relate. The chorus of this song proudly boasts “Hey, look at me now I’m flying, ’cause you ain’t got the best of me. Yeah, these wings will take me higher than you thought I’d ever be. Look at me, I’m free.” This track truly mirrors Jo Dee’s place in her career and does so in the most empowering of ways.

“I’m Free” is somewhat unique to Jo Dee’s usual sound, as it is closer to pop rock than country, made especially apparent by the stellar electric guitar arrangement in the bridge of the song. Make no mistake though … a slight stray from a normal sound does not mean a stray from the sensational vocals with which fans have fallen in love. Jo Dee’s voice in this song is as effortless and flawless as you would expect from this artist who is an expert in her craft. “I’m Free” proves that this singer/songwriter can conquer anything she puts her heart, mind, and soul into, and this opinion will surely be echoed by fans as they listen to Me from front to back.

Image courtesy of Jo Dee Messina

EXCLUSIVE REVIEW: Jo Dee Messina’s “Me” on Monday

Jo Dee Messina

With one month to go until the release of Jo Dee Messina‘s new album, Me, I am still recovering from the emotional roller coaster that was caused by last week’s featured song, “Say Goodbye to Superman.” To offset the heartbreaking ballad that I had on repeat all last week (okay okay … I was still listening to it this morning), this week the feature songs (yes, plural) are the upbeat “Take It” and “He’s Messed Up.”

“Take It” is a song that, undoubtedly, can be translated into an anthem of freedom for Jo Dee, as she embarks on the new journey of an independent artist. In a true art imitating life moment, Jo Dee sings “I’m breaking free from these chains that bind me; anything that ties me down.” “Take It” is a song about embracing what lies ahead, rather than letting the weight of the world stay on your shoulders. The song teaches a lesson about letting go, looking forward, and hitting the accelerator without hesitation. Drop your convertible top, roll down the windows, crank this song on high as you cruise down the street. Nothing is going to hold you back, and if you have a moment of doubt, let Jo Dee’s words and actions inspire you!

“He’s Messed Up” is a unique song for a very special reason — Jo Dee’s fans were involved in the recording of this track. During the chorus, there are background responses to the lyrics, as well as clapping throughout. The voices and hands you hear belong to fans who donated to the Kickstarter project to produce this album. The message in this song is that, no matter how much you wish someone will change for you, it is inevitable that the person will always remain the same. Jo Dee encourages those who have had the lingering thought of “he will change for me” to put on their walking boots because, to put it simply, “he’s messed up.” You will find yourself bopping your head side to side and/or up and down as you listen to this song that is reminiscent of a No Doubt sound … if Gwen Stefani suddenly acquired a twang. The highlight of this track, other than the cameo by supportive fans, comes early in the second verse, but you will have to pre-order the album and/or follow Jo Dee on Facebook and Twitter to uncover this highlight!

Remember, there are only five weeks left until Me is released. You can pre-order the album now on iTunes and receive two immediate downloads (“Peace Sign” and “A Woman’s Rant“).

Breakout Artist Sarah Davidson Releases Self-Titled EP March 25

uroDD4xEaVWSb-DEW0E4XUbnZu6yv2hqad2_xvtV53U

Sarah Davidson is setting herself up to be a breakout artist of 2014 with the release of her self-titled EP.

The EP, recorded in Nashville under the helm of producers Brian Kolb (Jerrod Niemann) and Dino Paredes (The Avett Brothers and Johnny Cash), is a 5-reflection of Davidson’s personal and professional growth over the last several years. “I want to put out music through my albums that tells a story, that is authentic to what my life is. Just basically living my life open and putting out music that parallels that.” says Davidson. The EP showcases Davidson’s broad range of musical style: from the audio come on of the debut single “Drink You Up”, to the poignant ballad “Get Out” and the breezy ode to youth “Ride Around”; there is sure to be something to appeal to every fan of country music.

Backed by the Suretone label and bolstered by being featured on TNT’s new unscripted drama Private Lives of Nashville Wives (debuting Feb 24 at 10/9 CT), as not only one of the stories they follow through the drama, but also penning and singing the series theme song “Bright Lights, Big City”, Davidson is sure to be poised for stardom.

Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic, and Emily Brooke Take the Stage Together For One Night Only

Images courtesy of Sarah Darling, the Grand Ole Opry, Emily Brooke, and Sara Kauss

What do you get when you bring Sarah Darling, Jenn Bostic, and Emily Brooke together for one night only? An evening jam-packed with incredible talent and fun, as well as the unique opportunity to see three extremely different artists team up to entertain one South Florida crowd. Sarah, Jenn, and Emily have decided to join forces with Tiki 52 (a Jupiter, Florida restaurant/bar) and Miller Lite on Wednesday night, February 26th, for a show like no other. In one show, the audience will get a well-known, long-time country artist with charted hits and television cameos galore; a country/pop artist with a collection of awards and acclaim in the United Kingdom; and an up and coming country artist who is sure to be among the next wave of young talent entering the music industry. And, as if that isn’t enough, the concert will benefit “For the Linds,” an organization created in memory of Warner Music Nashville’s Lindsay Walleman, who passed away from Sarcoma at the young age of twenty-eight. Does it get any better than this?