Tag Archives: Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton To Release New Album, “Blue Smoke”

Photo courtesy of Sony Music Masterworks

Country legend and entertainment icon Dolly Parton is back with new music!

With an incomparable career spanning nearly five decades and countless chart-toppers and awards, Parton is set to release her new album, Blue Smoke, on May 13th through Sony Music Masterworks and Dolly Records. This will mark  her 42nd album release… talk about impressive! The seven-time Grammy Award winner will also be hitting the road for tour dates in the United States, England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Get ready, fans! Check out all of the details below!

Exclusive Interview: Mandy Barnett

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Mandy Barnett is a Tennessee born and raised country singer who got her start at the ripe old age of five years old. Mandy knew music was her calling because “it was just natural. It was something that just flowed from me early on.” Mandy began by singing at church and soon progressed to performing at Dollywood for a couple of summers. In fact, Mandy was involved with Dollywood during its inaugural year and was fortunate enough to even perform with the legendary Dolly Parton. Because of her involvement with Dollywood at that time, Mandy had the unique honor of singing Happy Birthday to Dolly as Dolly was lifted out of a cake. When asked about her experience with Dolly, as an aspiring singer at such a young age, Mandy explained that it was “really exciting.” Mandy continued to tell us about how Dolly is “such a sweet person, and when you meet Dolly, you are meeting a real star. She’s very humble and very sweet, and there’s just an aura about her that is something else. She is iconic, as you like to describe her.”

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!). 

CMA Awards Favorite Moments

Blake and Miranda

Another CMA Awards night has come and gone, but certain moments left lasting impressions on our staff. If you follow us on Twitter, you know we spent the majority of the show cracking on Sheryl Crow‘s hair, Dolly Parton‘s assets, Zac Brown Band‘s beards, and Kacey Musgraves‘ b****y resting face. While those particular things set the stage for our jokes, puns, and #sarcastictweets, our staff compiled a list of our other favorite moments of the night. The following are those award show memories that are ingrained in our minds:

Exclusive Interview: Janelle Arthur

Janelle Arthur Interview

Janelle Arthur (@JanelleOArthur) is perhaps best known, at this time, as a contestant from Season 12 of American Idol. A true beauty, inside and out, the Tennessean country singer and guitarist left her life behind and embarked on the journey that so many hope to experience, but a mere few ever will. After placing fifth in a season of the most epic singing competition to ever land on American television, Janelle has been hard at work launching her solo career. We were fortunate to catch up with the incredibly sweet, personable, and inspiring artist to discuss her childhood, Idol journey, and what her bright musical future holds.

Janelle was born in Oliver Springs, Tennessee and began singing certain words before she could even speak them. Immediately it became clear that music was going to be a huge part of Janelle’s life. From that point forward, Janelle began performing around her hometown and in school, which led to a gig that most country-loving kids would be beyond honored to land. At eight-years-old, Janelle was cast as a young Dolly Parton at the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Janelle’s mom was instrumental in her landing the part, as, after seeing an advertisement for the show in Country Weekly, she called Dollywood and inquired as to whether a child performer was needed. The phone call took place at just the right time, as production was looking for a little girl Janelle’s age to portray Dolly. Janelle’s mom asked if she could bring her to the audition, and thereafter, without hesitation, Janelle was immediately cast in the role.

Sarah Darling and Guy Penrod Performing ICM Awards

Sarah Darling ICM Awards

In 2009, rising country music star Sarah Darling spent days at her grandfather’s hospital bedside as he battled a serious illness. A spiritual man, he comforted her greatest fear of him succumbing to the fight by sharing his thoughts on the meaning of life, and what happens when someone leaves this world. Forever moved by what she heard in those precious moments, Darling later sat down with Nashville songwriters Dave Robbens and Billy Austen and wrote the song, Knowing What I Know About Heaven, never knowing years later, internationally-known Christian recording artist and former lead singer of the Gaither Vocal Band, Guy Penrod, would make it be heard by millions around the world. In celebration of the song’ success, Darling and Penrod will perform the song together as a duet for the very first time at the 2013 Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Awards on October 24, 2013. Penrod is nominated in the “Entertainer” category at the awards.

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Mariah Grace

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We had the chance to chat with rising country star, Mariah Grace. She couldn’t have been sweeter and opened up to us about everything from songwriting to releasing her first EP to her faith and her musical inspirations. Despite an impressive resume that includes magazine features, high-profile performances and acclaim, she remains grounded, humble and thankful for everything that’s come her way so far.  Without further ado, meet Mariah Grace.

KIC: For those readers who may be ‘meeting’ you for the first time in this blog, can you give us a little bit of a back story as to how you began performing? 

MG: I have been singing my whole life. My family has always said I was singing before I could talk. When I was only a few months old I was humming and singing twinkle twinkle little star with my Mimi who was an amazing singer, and My Momma said she knew then that God had blessed me with my gift to sing. I first stepped out onto a stage to perform at age 2, and have been performing ever since. My whole life I have been in front of the camera, in front of a crowd, and singing everywhere and anywhere I could and for everyone and anyone. The stage is my home.

KIC: You list Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton as your biggest inspirations – What do you take from them and are there any current artists you idolize?

MG: I have looked up to Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton my whole life. They have both taught me to go after what I love, and to never give up. I idolize anyone who goes after their dreams. As for an artist right now that I idolize, That would hands down be Carrie Underwood. I am so blessed for all of the country music artists before me who make it possible for girls like me to be living out our dreams. I have certainly been blessed with the best of them. My fellow artist friends and mentors have helped me so very much.

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton reunite on new album

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Country music icon Kenny Rogers will be teaming back up with Dolly Parton on his brand new album! The two pair up on “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” the title track from his new record due out October 8th on Warner Music. It was thirty years ago, almost to the day, when Kenny and Dolly recorded “Islands In The Stream.”

It’s a big deal for Kenny, who shares his excitement to be working with Dolly again:

“What a thrill it was for me to work again with my buddy, Dolly Parton, and what a special song.  Working with Dolly is always a little like going home.  Everything felt comfortable.”

With a collaboration of producers, including Kyle Lehning, Warren Hartman, and Dann Huff, You Can’t Make Old Friends is Rogers’ first country album since the release of Water & Bridges in 2006.  Kenny considers this upcoming release the most varied and complete album of his lifetime.

“I can honestly say this may be the best album I’ve ever recorded.  The musical diversity is extraordinary. It goes from songs I would normally sing, to songs I would normally never even listen to.  In this business, you do albums to both grow artistically, and for the sheer love of music.  We chose what I think are the most diverse and best songs I’ve ever had access to.”

You Can’t Make Old Friends showcases a certain familiarity that can be expected from Kenny Rogers, along with fresh twists of creativity that see the versatile Grammy Award-winner stretching his artistry into new musical territory.  In addition to the great story songs and love songs Kenny has become well known for, flavors of rock and roll, soul, gospel, southern rock, zydeco, and sounds of the Southwest are embraced in this bold recording.

he digital download of You Can’t Make Old Friends is available for the very first time today on iTunes here: http://smarturl.it/kennyrogers.  Customers who pre-order the new album on iTunes will also receive an instant download of the “You Can’t Make Old Friends” duet.  Special pre-sale bundles, including a physical copy of the CD, are being offered at www.kennyrogers.com.

Kenny Rogers has already had a massive year in 2013, including the announcement of his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame this fall.  Rogers also performed on the main stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival to a colossal audience on the grounds and around the UK as it was televised on BBC.  His Through The Years World Tour has included stops in Morocco, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada and the U.S.

This fall and winter, Rogers’ tour will roll on with more U.S. and Canadian dates, including the Christmas & Hits Through The Years Tour, his annual holiday performances, in late November and December.  In addition, a novel Rogers co-wrote with Mike Blakely, What Are The Chances, is being released today (September 3rd) and Rogers’ New York Times Best Selling autobiography, Luck Or Something Like It, will be released in paperback on September 27th.

 

10 songs for Mother’s Day

Carrie Underwood and her mom.

Us here at Keepin’ it Country want to wish all the moms out there a happy Mother’s Day! Just in case you’re looking for a playlist of songs to help celebrate the weekend with your Mom, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite country songs about moms. Take a listen to our list below and let us know what YOUR picks are for mother’s day.

MAMA’S SONG – CARRIE UNDERWOOD

A personal song written by Carrie herself to her mom is our first pick for our Mother’s Day playlist. The music video features Carrie and her real life mom, as pictured to the side of this post, on her wedding day as she tells her mom that she doesn’t need to worry about her daughter, because she learned from her. “Mama’s Song” was the fourth single from Carrie’s “Play On” album, which was co-written by Carrie with Luke Laird, Kara DioGuardi, and Marti Frederikson. BONUS: The video also features Carrie’s real-life husband, Mike Fisher.

 

Check out the rest of our picks below: 

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Trinity Bradshaw

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Trinity Bradshaw is a budding artist you ought to pay attention to. This country singer-songwriter is making a name for herself here in Canada with several notable accomplishments under her belt. The 21-year-old native of Summerside, Prince Edward Island was named 90.3 Amp Radio’s Amp Radio Rock Star earlier this year, a competition that saw her and others being judged by top music execs. She was also declared the winner of Sugar Crisp’s The First 15, a Canadian national songwriting competition, in 2011.

 

2013 is proving to be an exciting year for the young artist. Trinity is set to play at some major festivals, including Musexpo in California, the Calgary Stampede and Big Valley Jamboree. Moreover, her self-titled debut EP will be released tomorrow (May 7th) and we’re certain that it will be just the beginning of what is to come from this Canadian talent.