Miranda Lambert.

REVIEW: Miranda Lambert – Platinum

Miranda Lambert released her fifth album on Wednesday, choosing a simple play on the word Platinum for the title. She could be referring to her platinum blonde hair but, seeing as how Read More »

(Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Miranda Lambert Talks “Platinum”

Miranda Lambert recently discussed her upcoming album, Platinum, with ABC News Radio. Platinum is set for release on June 3rd, and the 5-time ACM Female Vocalist of the Year is writing all Read More »

Paul-Jolley-Interview

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 »

dave-barnes-golden-days-interview

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 »

Herrold Sisters

Exclusive: Interview with The Herrold Sisters

Hannah and Abby Herrold, collectively The Herrold Sisters, are a sibling singer-songwriter duo from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fifteen-year-old Hannah and twelve-year-old Abby may be young, but they certainly have big dreams and they Read More »

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

Jo Dee Messina Kiss

We are only eight days away from the release of Jo Dee Messina’s new album, Me. Where did the time go?! With only two Mondays left before the release, we have three tracks left to get you excited for before the album officially drops. This week we want to introduce you to “Strong Shot of You” and “Love on a Maybe,” which are two more tracks on Me that will have you dancing in the driver’s seat of your car.

“Strong Shot of You” may have lyrics that are classified as “typical country” because you could get drunk if you imbibe the beverages mentioned in the first verse; however, the song itself is anything but. “Strong Shot of You” actually trades in the booze for a man, as Jo Dee orders up “those burnin’ kisses that go down easy” and “a hit of your love, just a little buzz in your ninety proof” from her bartender. While Jo Dee sings about how tipsy she already is from this man’s kind of lovin’, she certainly does not shy away from placing the order again … and again. This song is one that you will blast as you are getting ready to go out for a night on the town and stands out from the rest of the album, as it borders the more modern country rock that is so prevalent on today’s radio, while maintaining Jo Dee’s signature sound.

“Love on a Maybe” slows things down a bit … until the chorus, where you can’t help but bob your head and dance to the beat. When I heard the lyrics to this song, I said out loud to my co-worker, “ugh, sounds like my life!” and I am confident that many of you out there will relate. “Love on a Maybe” tells the story of a relationship where every time they get close, the man pulls away, leaving her wondering where exactly they stand. Then, without fail, he comes back around as if he never strayed. In this song, Jo Dee finally puts her foot down and tells him that the back and forth needs to stop and he is either in or he’s out, and if he’s in, it is about time he proves it! Jo Dee sings, “Can’t come back around, can’t come back around, getting my hopes up, just to tear them down. I, I don’t need you for a minute, don’t stand there tellin’ me you’re in it, ’cause I need you to show me you won’t leave me hangin’, no. I can’t give, give up my love, no, I can’t give my love on a maybe.” This song sends a message of independence and confidence, and tells women not to allow the uncertainty of men’s minds to control their hearts. Message received, Jo Dee!

Remember, Me will be released NEXT TUESDAY, March 18th, and is already available for pre-order now on iTunes. You can also pre-order a bundle package from Jo Dee’s website while supplies last!

Image courtesy of Team Jo Dee Messina

Miranda Lambert Ready to go ‘PLATINUM’

Miranda-Lambert-Platinum

In case you were counting, June 3rd is 85 days away. That means we only have to wait 85 more days for new music from Miranda Lambert, as her highly-anticipated album, Platinum, hits stores that day. It may seem like a ways away, but the album will be Miranda’s fifth and comes over two and a half years after her last record.

“From the day you kinda go I need to start looking for songs and writing songs, it feels like no matter how much time you have, you’re rushed,” Lambert said to ABC NEWS. “And so I didn’t want to rush it at all. To me it’s all about timing and making sure that you can feel like you can finally sit there and go, OK, the album’s done, and never have a moment where you go, I wish we could change that or I wish we had a different song.”

The album will feature 16 new tracks, and continue her expansion across genre and subject matters. To Lambert, it’s a collection of tracks that reflect her current life, as fans have already heard on the first-single “Automatic.” Country fans are also in for a girl-power treat when Lambert pairs with fellow blonde bombshell, Carrie Underwood, on “Something Bad.”

“We’re really rocking in country music and we’re coming together as a force,” Lambert says of the duet.. “To me, like, if you’re sitting on the front row, you might want to scoot back. It’s a force. It just feels exciting to me. I’m ready to rock.”

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.”

Eric Church Releases Second Video In Cryptic Series

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A distraught young woman, given a second chance. A mysterious funeral dated back in 1995. A present day heated altercation in a garage. An angry young man taking out his frustrations on a classic car with a bat. Sound like you’re watching the latest series on prime time? Is this by David Lynch?

Nope.

That was all part of Eric Church‘s video “San Destino Rising: Movimiento De Una” which, set up his latest video “A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young.” All the players are back, moving the storyline along, this time with Eric singing solemnly interspersed. This unique way of sharing the stories he tells in song on his album The Outsiders is a great way of getting fans involved in them. Says Eric:

“I love mysteries. That’s kind of where this whole video thing, when we started this teaser thing, we already had the concept for what these videos were gonna be. And we wanted it to be this big mystery, level of intrigue, that just was fun for fans that we could have this thing of trying to figure it out and looking at where clues were.”

Fans are encouraged, as the videos are released, to pay attention to the clues and characters that Eric and his team are laying down. After all, don’t we all want to know whose funeral is going on on the roadside?

“All the characters that are in that, light will be shed on them as we go through this single process and video process. Throughout this entire album, that storyline will continue to play out and the ending is quite remarkable. We’ll get to that one day.”

We are definitely looking forward to it!

Photocredit: John Peets

Maggie Baugh Fiddles Her Way Into America’s Hearts

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Thirteen-year-old musician, Maggie Baugh, was recently brought on stage by the legendary Charlie Daniels during a show in South Florida. Maggie, a fiddle playing extraordinaire, not only assisted Daniels during the iconic song “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but also kicked the event off with the National Anthem.

We were so impressed with Maggie (and fell in love with her stage presence and personality) that we had to share it here with all of you! Check out the videos below from the South Florida event:

First Round of ACM Performers Announced

acm-award-nominees-announcement

The Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced ACM Award nominees Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban and The Band Perry are scheduled to perform on the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  The ceremony, which will be co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, is produced for television by Dick Clark Productions and will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

REVIEW: David Nail’s “I’m A Fire”

David-Nail-Im-a-Fire-Review

When it comes to country music, there are few vocalists out there who have the power and skill of David Nail. The MCA Nashville artist released his new album, I’m A Fire, today and just like the title suggests, Nail is warm, roaring and unbridled.

The album’s title and same-name track is particularly personal to Nail. He says, “There’s so many moments on this record that make me think about the last for years that I’ve been married, and ‘I’m a Fire’ just sums it all up. It (the title track) says ‘I’ve walked through flames, come out on the other end, and the foremost reason is because of you.” It’s definitely a bright spot of the album.

Although, the album comes on the heels of its lead single “Whatever She’s Got” hitting #1, it doesn’t rely solely, or really much at all, on that formula. Although “Whatever She’s Got” was a bonafide bouncy hit, Nail shines brightest on the moodier offerings, including the Bob DiPiero, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally penned track, “Burnin’ Bed.” The tracks wraps you in immediately, with Nail mysteriously crooning “Tangled. Vodka. Midnight. Can’t stay. Taxi. Goodnight.” Another immediate standout is the slow burning ember, “The Secret,” an ode to an affair that literally goes to the grave. The track epitomizes country music at its finest. “I can’t help, but think about all that we could’ve been had you not stayed here and settled for a life with him.” Nail croons, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, buried is the secret that was us.”

Other highlights of the album include “When They’re Gone (Lyle County),” featuring the incomparable Little Big Town on background vocals. The foursome add an incredible depth to the track that quickly elevates it from good to great. The Glen Campbell cover “Galveston” features LeAnn Womack, and like the collaboration with LBT, Womack’s vocals only elevate the track and force us to wonder where she’s been and queue up “Last Call” to play after I’m A Fire ends.

“Kiss You Tonight” is the album’s second single and although it’s decidedly less catchy than “Whatever She’s Got,” it’s still a solid track with a hint of earworminess. “I’ve been trying to do without you, but I can’t give up this fight.” Nail pleads, “Everything will be alright if I can just kiss you tonight.”

Much like Dierks Bentley‘s RISER, released last week, this album is a hyrbid of a departure combined with natural progression for David Nail. It relies more on guitar than piano and shows Nail flexing his impressive vocal chords over varied melodies, lyrics and emotions. It’s been a bit of a rough ride through bro-country music lately, but albums like I’m A Fire and RISER give us high hopes for Nashville’s most talented leading men.

Buy I’m A Fire here: http://smarturl.it/qr01kb

Toby Keith and Fans Announce Shut Up & Hold On Tour

Toby Keith

Over the weekend, Toby Keith informed his fans via Twitter of a huge announcement coming Monday. Little did they know, the fans played a key role in the big reveal!

Keith enlisted the help of his fans in announcing his 2014 Shut Up & Hold On Tour in a YouTube video. Fans of all ages submitted videos of themselves saying, singing, dancing to, and even acting out his lyrics, “Get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on.” The clips were put together in a montage video, which Keith tweeted yesterday.

The tour, presented by Built Ford Tough, F-Series Trucks, kicks off at the end of May and continues through the end of September. With stops from coast to coast already scheduled and more dates to be announced, fans will surely be able to catch Keith in a nearby city this summer.

Check out the list of dates announced so far and keeping checking Toby Keith’s website for details and additional dates:

Dallas Smith Releases TIPPIN’ POINT EP

dallas smith tippin point ep
Dallas Smith is currently one of country music’s hottest newcomers, and his highly anticipated EP, TIPPIN’ POINT, hits stores today. The six-song EP was produced by Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen) and features the single “Tippin’ Point,” co-written by Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard and The Cadillac Three‘s Jaren Johnston. The track has already sold 100,000 digital copies and set the record for being the fastest Canadian country single to go GOLD.

“I’m so excited to share this new music with Country fans,” says Dallas Smith. “I wanted this EP to have lots of energy and feel like you were at a live show. It’s meant to be cranked up!”

The EP is Smith’s debut U.S. release on Big Loud Mountain Records/Republic Nashville and features fan-favorites “Slow Rollin’,” “Wrong About That” and “Nothin’ But Summer.”

Smith’s energetic live shows and compelling tunes have caught the attention of headlining acts; music legend Bob Seger previously selected him for a coveted opening slot on his Canadian tour. This Spring, he’ll join Florida Georgia Line’s HERE’S TO THE GOOD TIMES TOUR in Western Canada.

TIPPIN’ POINT EP Track Listing
1. Tippin’ Pont
2. Slow Rollin’
3. This Town Ain’t A Town
4. Wrong About That
5. A Girl Like You
6. Nothin’ But Summer

Smith’s TIPPIN’ POINT EP is now available via http://smarturl.it/smEPiT.

Stream Sara Evans’ New Album Now!

Sara Evans Slow Me Down

Multi-platinum selling recording artist, Sara Evans, is set to release her highly anticipated seventh studio album, Slow Me Down, on March 11th. Starting today, fans can stream the full album exclusively at saraevans.CMT.com and on the recently launched CMT Artists App. The album is also available for pre-order at http://smarturl.it/itunesslowmedown and fans will instantly receive a copy of the title track “Slow Me Down,” which is steadily climbing the charts.

Slow Me Down comes over two years after the release of Stronger, Evans’ second Billboard Country Album Chart #1. Slow Me Down is Sara Evans at her finest, with her signature powerful vocals that will serve as a reminder of why she has had a level of success reserved for few. Evans co-wrote three of the album’s eleven tracks and some of Nashville’s finest songwriters are represented on the album. Slow Me Down includes Evans collaborating on three tracks: “Better Off” with country legend Vince Gill; “Can’t Stop Loving You” a duet with Isaac Slade of The Fray; and a cover of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You,” which features Gavin singing harmonies. This album is what fans have waited for and newcomers are bound to fall in love with.

For more official Sara Evans news go to www.saraevans.com.