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INTERVIEW: CMA Award Winner and Grammy Nominee Deana Carter

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, Read More »

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Exclusive Interview: Paul Jolley

If you know the name Paul Jolley, chances are you were introduced to him by a little show named American Idol. If you don’t know the name Paul Jolley yet, it’s time Read More »

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Exclusive Interview: Dave Barnes

The name Dave Barnes is synonymous with awesome. By day, he’s an independent musician who just recently released his eighth studio album, Golden Days. By night, he’s a bit of a Nashville Read More »

Image courtesy of Kari & Billy

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Kari & Billy

Kari Nelson and Billy Arnold (collectively referred to as Kari & Billy) are a couple bound by love and marriage, as well as their talents for music. Kari has toured with John Read More »

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Exclusive Interview: David Fanning

Although you may not know the name David Fanning just yet, chances are if you’ve turned on country radio recently, you’ve heard a song he’s had his hand in. Since arriving in Read More »

Make Your Music Video Cameo!

Jo Dee Messina

Jo Dee Messina has released her sophomore single off her upcoming independent album, Me. The sassy, no nonsense track, “A Woman’s Rant,” speaks of the struggles a woman faces with having to spread herself so thin that she just can’t seem to catch up with her own life.

And what makes a cheeky song even better? An accompanying music video! Jo Dee wants to share this music video with fans out there who can relate to this song, so, once again, she is calling on her fans to assist with a project! This music video (similar to how Jo Dee approached her album) will be for the people, by the people, starring the people! So, how can you get involved?

1. Visit Jo Dee Messina’s official website by clicking here;

2. Capture clips of how “A Woman’s Rant” personally resonates with you;

3. E-mail your video, along with an explanation/story, to womansrant@jodeemessina.com; and

4. After you have sent the e-mail, post your video to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #womansrant.

If your video is chosen by Jo Dee, your name and a portion of your story will appear in the final video!

What are you waiting for? Get out there, record the craziness of your everyday life and share it with Jo Dee so you can be a part of this special fan-oriented experience. We can’t wait to see your rants!

Image Courtesy of Jo Dee Messina

Hank Williams Jr Named As Additional Headliner To Taste Of Country Music Festival

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Hank Williams Jr has been named as a headliner for this year’s 2nd Annual Taste of Country Music Festival. This iconic performer will be hitting the stage as part of a bevvy of acts that will be on at the Hunter Mountain Resort between June 13 to 15, 2014.

Williams was announced along with artists Eric Paslay, Leah Turner, The Cadillac Three and Jamie Lynn Spears. They will be joining the previously announced list that included: headliner Brad Paisley, co-headliners Dierks Bentley and Brantley Gilbert, and Randy Houser, Thompson Square, Craig Morgan, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, Chase Rice, Blackjack Billy and Gwen Sebastian.

Although a relatively new festival, only in its second year, the Taste of Country Music Festival has already become one of summer’s most highly anticipated events. The “Pretty Early” price level tickets are sold out, but y’all can take advantage, still, of the “Not So Early” pricing at www.tasteofcountryfestival.com. For a limited time, general admission tickets start at the Not So Early price of only $150.00 for a 3-day pass, and VIP packages start at $525.00 for a 3-day VIP “Outlaw Pass” with “Super Outlaw Pass” and “Ultimate Outlaw Pass” packages available as well. Information on VIP package details and pricing, hotel accommodations, mountainside camping, directions and more is available online. But, will Hank Williams Jr being announced, these tickets are not expected to last much longer!

Photo: Taste of Country Music Festival official logo

Dierks Bentley Releases RISER BIRD Game in Celebration of RISER Album

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Fans of the short-lived game Flappy Bird will love Dierks Bentley’s version of the game dubbed RISER BIRD.  The game replaces the little yellow flapping bird with the thunderbird image that has grown to represent Bentley’s current project.

“There are so many addicting games about birds right now, and we thought it would be funny to create our own RISER BIRD game,” explains Bentley. “I’m all about finding interesting ways to get music out to the fans, and this is just supposed to be fun.”

The game is available online in celebration of Bentley’s album RISER, released on Tuesday.  Not only can fans enjoy playing the game, but they can also preview Bentley’s new music while playing.

With all this fun, the game could easily become another one of those addicting bird games Bentley described. Good thing too because gamers are eligible for some awesome prizes!  One grand prize winner will win a trip to attend Bentley’s RISER TOUR rehearsal in Nashville, while five additional fans will win autographed copies of RISER.

Think you’re ready to rise to the challenge? Take on RISER BIRD here. If you love the game and the music you hear while playing, buy Dierks Bentley’s latest album here!

Photo courtesy of Dierks Bentley’s official website

Review: Dierks Bentley ‘RISER’

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From the opening strains of “Bourbon in Kentucky,” the mood is set for RISER, an album that Dierks Bentley describes as his most personal yet. Although the opening track was released as a single, it never quite took off, but sets the mood for an album of depth and reflection, sprinkled with humor and all held together by Bentley’s gravelly rasp.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Bentley admits that this album comes from a different place than many of his others. Although previous endeavors touched on the heartbreak that ultimately comes with dating and relationships, this album comes from a different heartbreak, the death of his father, and the instability of life with the birth of his third child. “The record I had originally made, my dad was alive at the time and my wife and I had two kids. Life was stabilized,” Bentley says to the magazine. “And then all of a sudden my dad passed away. Then my wife got pregnant and my son was coming, which was just a whole mix of emotions for me.”

The album is truly a journey through Bentley’s psyche, highlighted immediately by his current single “I Hold On” and the equally-reflective “Here On Earth.” The former has Bentley clinging to things such as his old truck, his first guitar, his faith and his wife, while the latter was inspired by the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting and asks the bigger questions about life. “The only answer I’ve found for all this hurt,” Bentley sings, “Is there ain’t no answers here on Earth.”

Review: Levi Lowrey’s Self-Titled Album

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From the moment you begin track one, it becomes apparent that Levi Lowrey‘s self-titled album isn’t your typical type of modern country, and that’s okay. What quickly exposes itself is a polished and well thought out album that is as much of a lyrical triumph as it is a musical one. If you’re looking for songs about cold beer, cut-off jeans or tailgates, you’re in the wrong place. However, if you’re looking for substance and songs that touch on deeper issues of faith (“That Is All,” “I’ve Held the Devil’s Hand), family (“Urge for Leaving”) and things like the status quo (“Barely Getting By”), look no further than Levi Lowrey.

Levi is one of the mega-talents signed to Zac Brown‘s Southern Ground Artists and a co-writer on the ZBB hit “Colder Weather.” Additionally, this album was executive produced by Zac Brown, but aside from some formidable fiddling and an incredible beard, don’t expect a ZBB copycat here. The album kicks off with the up-tempo country-rock groove of “Picket Fences” that sets an immediate tone. The musical journey then weaves through incredible highs and lows, Levi’s voice ranging from impressive grit and gruff to soulfully soothing and warm, before concluding with an impressive cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” that would make Ozzy proud.

Brandon Chase Prepares to Release First Single “One”

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It’s no secret that we here at Keepin’ It Country are huge fans of Brandon Chase. We interviewed him long before he was on The Voice and are thrilled to bring you some exciting news! Brandon will release his debut single “One” to country radio on March 4th, but he’ll be world-premiering it on air tomorrow with 99.5 KPLX The Wolf in Dallas. Be sure to listen here at 7:30 am central.

Brandon debuted the single last week at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville to radio stations from across the country with positive response.  Additionally, he’ll promote the single at Day Break with Ron Corning on February 28 and Good Morning Texas on March 4th.

 ”I’m so excited to release the first radio single from my debut album,” says Brandon. “After years of hard work, I’ve finally found my sound.  I can’t wait for people to hear it!”

“One” will be available at all digital outlets on March 4th including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

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

VIDEO: Lee Brice Releases Lyric Video for “I Don’t Dance”

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When Lee Brice married Sara Reeveley in April 2013, he decide to write the song the couple would dance to for their first dance as husband and wife. The result was “I Don’t Dance,” a beautiful love song that would cause any woman to swoon.

The ACM nominee for male vocalist of the year, released the lyric video for the track to Country Weekly and we are absolutely obsessed with this song.

Watch the lyric video for “I Don’t Dance” here:

Video via  Country Weekly .
Image via Facebook.

Carrie Underwood Receives the Humanitarian Award at CRS

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In her song “Change,” Carrie Underwood sings, “The smallest thing can make all the difference.” These powerful lyrics demonstrate how small and simple actions can make a great impact on the world, something that Underwood has strived to do throughout her career.

On February 19 at the opening ceremony of Country Radio Seminar (CRS), Underwood was honored for her generosity with the Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award.

Since her American Idol win in 2005, Underwood has given back to those in need in a variety of ways. She established the CATS (Checotah Animal, Town, and School) Foundation in her hometown of Checotah, OK to give back to local animal shelters, schools, and the town. She also donated $1 from every ticket sold on her Blown Away Tour to the American Red Cross – a donation that totaled over $1 million. Most recently, Underwood spent a number of days in January volunteering at a local animal shelter, combining her passion for animals with her love of giving back.

Exclusive Video: Cole Swindell’s Acoustic Version of ‘Chillin’ It’

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Chances are that you’ve heard Cole Swindell‘s huge hit “Chillin’ It.” However, we guarantee you’ve never heard it like this!

Watch Cole’s exclusive acoustic performance here:

Video and Image via Radio.com.