Tag Archives: Gretchen Wilson

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Kari & Billy

Image courtesy of 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 Rich and Big & Rich, and has also played with artists such as Gretchen Wilson, Steel Magnolia, Trace Adkins, and Joanna Smith. Billy has played shows with Craig Morgan, Tracy Byrd, Daryle Singletary, Rhett Atkins, Mark Wills, Vern Gosdin, Aaron Tippin, Confederate Railroad, Chad Brock, David Kersh and more. Despite their successful pasts and distinct backgrounds, the two crossed paths and decided to travel down one road, hand-in-hand, and take the journey through music as a pair.

REVIEW: Brooke Eden at the South Florida Fair

Brooke Eden

Brooke Eden is a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, and a whole lot of talent jam-packed into a pint-sized package of girl power. A South Florida native, Brooke was welcomed home from her current residency in Nashville, Tennessee, as she took over the main stage at the South Florida Fair and performed a lengthy set, never once losing an ounce of her energy. Brooke’s setlist was cleverly crafted with original songs laced between a selection of cover songs that could have been written for Brooke herself. The interplay between covers and originals ensured that the audience’s excitement never waned and that the crowd was glued to every song, anticipating what would come next.

Brooke opened the show with Gretchen Wilson‘s “Here For the Party” and immediately shared her energy with the audience, proving that the choice to stop in on a cold South Florida night was a wise one, indeed. Brooke showed her versatility throughout her entire show, covering soloists, duos, and groups without fail. From The Band Perry to Florida Georgia Line to Adele to Big and Rich, Brooke captivated her audience, bringing the heat to a winter night as she danced around the stage with a presence comparable to the incredible Miranda Lambert.

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Two Story Road

Two Story Road
If you attended Sunday night’s incredible StageIt show with JillandKate, you were already introduced to new country duo, Two Story Road. This husband and wife team won over a ton of fans with their incredible harmonies and infectious enthusiasm, but will continue scoring new fans with each performance and song release. We had the chance to chat with Brandon and Jamie (Jamelle) Fraley before the show about everything from their musical history and solo successes to their favorite date spot and biggest musical inspirations.
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?
 
TSR: We both have been singing and performing our whole lives. Most of our singing growing up was done in church. We were both very active in our high school choirs, singing at various competitions. We moved to Nashville (Brandon from OH and Jamelle from VA) to attend Belmont University and both graduated as vocal majors with a degree in Music.  
 
KIC: How did you each end up with your solo gigs? Was it straight from Belmont to big stage?
 
Brandon: I was lucky enough to get a co-publishing deal with Sony Music Publishing right out of college and started collaborating as a programmer with Tommy Sims, a Grammy award winning writer & producer in town, on various records that he was working on. Eventually my name circulated around Nashville and I found myself getting a call to audition for Gretchen Wilson. The same thing happened a few years later in regards to touring with Danny Gokey. Nashville is definitely a town where the more you can grow your “network”, the better off you’ll be. 
 
Jamie: Since Brandon graduated a few years before I did, he had a bit of a head start, but I was able to meet everyone he was working with. Right before I graduated from Belmont, Brandon was working with Jaci Velasquez on her “Unspoken” album. Over the course of that album, Jaci and I became friends and 2 months after I graduated, I found myself singing background vocals on her tour. I stayed with her for a little over 4 years. While on tour with Jaci, I also sang with two other notable Christian groups, Avalon, and Point Of Grace. Through all of that, I met and became friends with bass player Mark Childers who later became the band leader for Carrie Underwood. Mark was nice enough to give me the chance to audition to be Carrie’s background singer when the position became available and the rest is history! 

Two Acts, Two Duos, One Night, One Great Cause

j&k2sr

As you all know, we are having our next Stageit show this Sunday, October 20th, at 8:00pm EST with one of our staff’s favorite duos, JillandKate. However, the night just got even better, as Jill and Kate have teamed up with country music duo, Two Story Road, and the two duos will share the Keepin’ It Country Blog Presents Stageit stage as our first collaborative show to date!

We have introduced you to Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier in the past, but the girls have done so much since our initial exclusive interview with them exactly one year ago that we need to boast about some of their achievements and projects. When we introduced you to JillandKate, the girls were working hard on promoting their album Heart of Stone. The girls continue to perform their music, while continuing to entertain their fans with new and unreleased songs in their catalogs, blogging, making music videos, creating jewelry, and flying up the iTunes charts. They have also released the live version of Heart of Stone, which continues to prove why these girls are on their way to being one of the hottest duos in Nashville.

Two Story Road is categorized as a “new” country duo, but make no mistake — Jamelle and Brandon are no strangers to the country music scene! Both Belmont University graduates, Jamelle and Brandon have each hit the road with some of country music’s biggest acts and have worked with some of Nashville’s most prestigious executives. Jamelle has worked closely with Tommy Sims (Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton, and Sheryl Crow), but perhaps her biggest gig to date has been touring as a background vocalist for country powerhouse, Carrie Underwood. Brandon is also quite familiar with touring with extremely well-known artists, as he hit the road with Gretchen Wilson and Danny Gokey, also hitting the stage with Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, and Sugarland. After years of hitting the road separately, the talented couple decided to merge their talents, working with Tommy Sims and Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, and Sara Evans), and are ready to travel their future musical path as a united front. As so eloquently stated on http://www.twostoryroad.com, the Fraleys bring to the table “[t]wo incredible stories, finally traveling down the same road.”

We are so excited to see these two duos come together on Sunday night on our very own stage. This is history in the making and would hate for any of you to miss this event! To purchase your Stageit ticket (which is conveniently “pick your price”), click here. Remember, all ticket proceeds are benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, so not only are you going to experience fantastic music, but you will be supporting an amazing cause!

Gretchen Wilson To Release Holiday Album

gretchen wilson country in my heart

Gretchen Wilson will be decking the halls a bit early this year with the release of her first Holiday album, Christmas In My Heart, to be released on October 8, 2013. The 10-song album will be released on Wilson’s Redneck Records and will feature a mix of traditional songs and original tracks.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” said Gretchen. “We really took our time and came up with a fun mix of classic songs and found some great new songs to record.”

The album’s original tracks include title-track “Christmas In My Heart” written by Greg Barnhill, “Santa I’ve Been Naughty” by Robert Simbeck and Frank Michels and “If You See Rudolph,” written by Trent Willmon, Jenee Fleenor & Rob Byus.

Classics include “Blue Christmas,” “The Christmas Song” and “Have A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Christmas In My Heart Track Listing:

1. Christmas In My Heart
2. Santa I’ve Been Naughty
3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
4. If You See Rudolph
5. Nuttin’ For Christmas
6. Silent Night
7. Have A Holly Jolly Christmas
8. The Christmas Song
9. I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas
10. Blue Christmas

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: CMChat’s One to Watch — Abbi Scott

abbi scott.

Abbi Scott is an Indiana teenager who is in her senior year of high school and looking forward to graduation (much like all other high school seniors!). However, Abbi is not your typical high school senior. While Abbi has her face in textbooks, she has her sights set on music, and there is no stopping this country girl from making her dreams come true! Abbi describes herself as “a true country girl, living on twenty-five acres, and . . . in love with the outdoors.” Abbi has been compared to Miranda Lambert, Gretchen Wilson, and Kelly Clarkson, and values these music industry phenoms’ strong work ethic and ability to maintain a sense of humor.

Gretchen Wilson returns to St. Louis to tape live DVD

Gretchen Wilson. photo credit: gretchenwilson.com

In May of 2004, Gretchen Wilson celebrated the release of her record-setting Here For The Party cd with several hundred of her closest friends at the famous St. Louis nightclub The Pageant. On October 15, 2013, Gretchen and her band will return to The Pageant to perform the ground-breaking album in its entirety for the first time. The one-night-only event will be recorded for a live STILL Here For The Party CD and DVD, which are set for release in May of 2014 to commemorate the cd’s 10-year anniversary.

Here For The Party was Gretchen’s first of three consecutive albums that debuted at #1. Her “Redneck Woman” anthem hit #1 after only 12 weeks on the chart and camped out there for five record-breaking weeks. The album went on to sell over six million units and earned Gretchen considerable acclaim and a mantle full of awards.

 “The Pageant and St. Louis in general are really special to me for many reasons,” said Gretchen, who grew up in nearby Pocahontas, IL and cut her musical teeth performing at many St. Louis clubs. “It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since we released Here For The Party, and we’re excited about the fans in St. Louis being a part of this event.”

Tickets for the October 15 performance and taping at The Pageant are extremely limited and will go on sale Friday, September 13, 2013 at GretchenWilson.com and Ticketmaster. In keeping with Gretchen’s lucky number 27, all general admission tickets will be $27.00. Reserved balcony seats will be $35.00.

Doors will open at 7:00pm, and music will begin at 8:00pm.

Through her own Redneck Records label, Gretchen released a new country album entitled Right On Time in April, the 13-song Rock covers record Under The Covers in May, and a new Christmas cd is due out in the fall.

Gretchen Wilson joins ESPN for NASCAR coverage

Gretchen Wilson.

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Gretchen Wilson will be featured in ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins with the Sunday, Sept. 15, event at Chicagoland Speedway.

Wilson, who has appeared at numerous NASCAR races and had a connection to racing as a child, will narrate and appear in the opening teases of the telecasts of the 10 races, with each tease tailored to the racetrack hosting that week’s event. In addition, her music will be featured through the entire Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on ESPN.

“Just as NASCAR appeals to a great cross-section of American people, the same can be said for Gretchen Wilson’s blend of song and attitude that has made her an icon of the music industry for the past decade,” said Rich Feinberg, ESPN vice president, motorsports, production. “We look forward to showcasing her music and personality during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.” 

Wilson exploded onto the country music scene in 2004 with her smash hit “Redneck Woman” and has since scored three No. 1 albums. The critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter has won virtually every award for which she’s been nominated, including trophies from the Grammys, ACM, CMA, AMA and more. CMT listed her “Redneck Woman” video at No. 11 in their Top 100 videos in 2008. Her first book, the autobiographical Redneck Woman: Stories from My Life, landed her on the prestigious New York Times Best Seller List.

Gretchen formed her own record company, Redneck Records, in 2009, and her “I’d Love To Be Your Last” single from her “I Got Your Country Right Here” CD received two Grammy nominations. She has three album releases this year, including a new country offering entitled “Right On Time” and the 13-song rock covers record “Under the Covers,” both in stores now, and a Christmas CD that will be released in the fall.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be associated with NASCAR and ESPN as we begin the Chase,” said Wilson. “Many of the fans who show up at our concerts on Saturday nights are watching the races on Sundays. I’m honored to be a part of this great American tradition and look forward to seeing the fans at some races this fall.”

Wilson, who has sung the national anthem at several NASCAR races, became interested in the sport as a child.

 “I’ve been a racing fan ever since my uncle ran dirt tracks outside St. Louis when I was a kid,” she said. “He would let me clean the mud out of the wheel wells with a 2×4, and I thought I was part of the pit crew. This has already been an exciting season, and I think it’s about to get crazy.”

Wilson’s musical contributions to ESPN also will be featured online at www.espn.com/music with updates on Twitter at @espnmusic and @ESPNNASCAR. Wilson is on Twitter as @gw27.

Nine of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will air on ESPN, with the race on Saturday night, Oct. 12, at Charlotte Motor Speedway airing on ABC. The season ends at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Auction #6: Autographed Gretchen Wilson package

Gretchen Wilson.

Our next item up for auction is a pretty cool autographed package courtesy of Gretchen Wilson. The winning bidder will win ONE (1) autographed “Here For The Party” album, ONE (1) autographed camouflage hat, and ONE (1) autographed 5×7 picture.

All proceeds from our online auctions will go directly to those in most need following the disaster. The United Way will use all our donations for helping victims and NOT for administrative fees.

To bid, please use our plug-in below and click the “PLACE BID” button. To put the auction on your watch list click the “WATCH” button. Donations will be accepted via PAYPAL, check or money order in USD. You are also able to place your bids by e-mailing lydia@keepinitcountryblog.com and we will add it to the plugin for you. IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS WHEN BIDDING simply input “anonymous” as your name when placing the bid, but please use your real e-mail address so we can contact you. Other bidders will NOT be able to see your e-mail address.

Good luck and thank you for your support! The entry plugin is below:

DVR Alert: Gretchen Wilson to co-host The View

Gretchen Wilson.

Three weeks after kicking off the release of her critically-acclaimed Right On Time album with a performance on “The Today Show,” Gretchen Wilson heads back to New York to guest co-host “The View” on Thursday, April 25, 2013. She will join Whoopie Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters, as longtime co-host Joy Behar transitions out of the show.

On joining the panel for the day, Gretchen said:

“I’m not sure if they knew what they were getting themselves into, when they booked me for the show. This will be completely different from what I do every day, but I’m really looking forward to hanging out with these strong women and maybe even stirring things up!”

Gretchen’s first album in three years, the 13-cut Right On Time, hit stores nationwide on Tuesday, April 2. Associated Press said of the new music, “…Wilson rocks as hard as she desires while choosing songs that represent her lifestyle and point of view – just as she always has…it continues the fiercely autobiographical stance that distances Wilson from most modern country artists in all the right ways.”

Following the taping, Gretchen will head to Foxborough, MA for a Friday performance at Toby Keith‘s I Love This Bar & Grill. For Gretchen Wilson news, tour dates, merchandise and her exclusive Club 27, visit GretchenWilson.com or facebook.com/GretchenWilson.