Tag Archives: John Rich

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: Garth Brooks Live from Las Vegas!

Garth Brooks Las Vegas

This past Friday night, Garth Brooks‘ Las Vegas show aired live on CBS from The Wynn to fans’ delight, and the highly anticipated television special certainly did not disappoint! With 8.7 million viewers spending their Black Friday nights curled up on their couches, watching one of country music’s best, the special doubled Lady Gaga’s recently aired Muppets event. Clearly fans do not live by the old cliche “out of sight, out of mind,” and are eagerly awaiting the day Garth announces that he will be bringing his show back out on the road!

Clad in work boots, baggy jeans, a hoodie, and a Wynn Las Vegas baseball cap, Garth owned the stage on which he was only accompanied by a guitar. With stories from his childhood and brief covers of songs on which he grew up, Garth entertained the live and television audiences with his sense of humor, charisma, and stellar vocals. While sharing tales about his large family and their many adventures during Garth’s childhood (such as riding shotgun and fearing for his life as his mother’s lead foot took over the vehicle), Garth covered some of the influential songs that impacted his career. The show could best be classified as “stand-up comedy … with a guitar.”

Garth also “surprised” the audience with a cameo by his superstar country vocalist wife, Trisha Yearwood, who joined her husband on stage for a performance of the couple’s “In Another’s Eyes.” Before leaving the stage, Trisha also gave us a brief sampling of one of her most infamous songs “She’s In Love With the Boy.” Luckily for us diehard Garth fans, we were also blessed with performances (albeit mere clips) of some of Garth’s oldies and goodies, including “Somewhere Other Than the Night” and party classic “Friends In Low Places.” Perhaps the most incredible moment of the night, at least for this particular huge Garth fan, was the performance of “Shameless.” Not only does Garth own the Billy Joel cover every time the words slip through his lips, but during this specific performance, Garth let go of his true and tried stage companion (his acoustic guitar), and sang a portion of the song a cappella. At that point, 8.7 million hearts simultaneously melted.

The two-hour event was a blast from the past, as well as a glimpse into the future, of Garth’s country career and left fans craving more … especially to the tune of a 2014 tour. Between the release of Garth’s eight-disc Blame It All On My Roots boxed set and the live airing of his final Las Vegas show, fans are buzzing about the possibility of Garth coming out of “retirement,” hitting the road, and sharing his music — new and old — with country music fans across the world.

Not only did fans of country music sit with their eyes glued to their televisions on Friday night, but Garth’s peers in the country music industry tuned in to watch their beloved idol entertain the masses. Below are some of our favorite reaction tweets from country musicians:

@DierksBentley: still the man… #garthbrooks

@carrieunderwood: Loving this #GarthBrooks special! Saw the show in Vegas a few years ago…so much joy and love for music! #Inspired #FellowOkie

@TheSwonBrothers: Who does Chuck Norris fear?? #GarthBrooks

@KCMuessigmann: Garth Brooks is the single greatest entertainer EVER born. Biggest influence on my music, as well as every other mid-20′s artist out there.

‏@jodeemessina: OMG! Watching Garth special. He is amazing! Some people have just “got it”. Ha. He just happens to have a LOT of it. Rock on Garth! Xoxo

@TheFarmMusic: That’s about as good as it gets folks …a true entertainer. #Garth

‏@johnrich: Watching #Garth right now. Country music’s Elvis! Also, I never realized how much he and @glennbeck look alike. Am I right?

@mallaryhope: Garth Brooks is the best ever. The end

@WillHoge: there’s some jackass on CBS TOTALLY ripping off Chris Gaines right now. He should sue this dude

@cavanaughmusic: Garth brooks is the man for a reason

If anything became evident during this event, it is that “retirement” has not affected the stunning vocals of this iconic performer, nor has time away from the limelight hindered his ability to bring a memorable show to his fans. Here’s to hoping that Garth is ready to travel the world again for one more “Rodeo”!

Exclusive Interview: Introducing Michael Ray

michael-ray-music-interview

Here at Keepin’ It Country, we take a lot of pride in introducing our fans to new artists who are primed to be the next big thing. Today, we’d like you to meet Michael Ray, a future country superstar from Florida who’s determined to make success happen the old-fashioned way. There are no shortcuts in-store for Michael, who recently signed a deal with Warner Music.

We chatted with him about everything from his early days playing music with his grandpa to his influences and his brief stint on reality TV. Throughout the interview, his genuine love of country music and its fans truly shone through and we couldn’t be more excited to watch his star continue to rise over the next few years.

Born into a musical family in Eustis, Florida, Michael Ray was always surrounded by music. His father, grandfather, cousin and uncle had a band, and from the moment Michael could walk, he had a guitar in his hand. At the ripe old age of ten, he decided to start pursuing music and joined forces musically with none other than his grandpa.

“I joke all the time – I had probably 3 friends that were my age and everyone else was older. I was like the adopted grandson of like 20 different sets of grandparents.” Michael laughs as he recalls playing shows all through middle school and high school with his grandfather and his elderly friends.  “A lot of them would come down to Florida for the winter and that’s when we’d get busy. They were all retired and they weren’t around their families, so I’d step in. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It helped form who I am today and gave me a real soft spot for old people.”

Country stars react to Mindy McCready’s suicide

Mindy McCready.

It’s been a tragic twenty-four hours for the country music community after learning about the passing of singer Mindy McCready. The “Ten Thousand Angels” artist was found dead from an apparent suicide last night in Arkansas. Mindy was 37 years old and leaves behind a six year old and a nine-year old son.

See what some of country’s brightest stars had to share about the sad news:

Oak Ridge Boys: We sang “Farther Along” last night in honor of Mindy McCready. One day we will know!!!!!

John Rich: Very sad to hear about Mindy McCready. When I was in Lonestar she was our label mate and we were friends. A tragic end to a talented life.

Jana Kramer: So sad to hear about the loss of Mindy. What an insanely talented woman.

Michelle Wright: As you may know Mindy McCready has passed on. She was a young promising country music artist in the mid ’90′s but faced a number of challenges and I’m so sad that she lost the battle with addiction and mental illness which can also cause depression. I’ve been sober now for several years and I know how hard it can be sometimes. RIP Mindy.

Jimmy Wayne: RIP @mindymccready We met 14 years ago @ Acuff & Rose. Who’d thought 14 years later on this day…. #why

Jason Blaine: Sad to hear about the passing of Mindy McCready. Thoughts & prayers for her young children. Tragic situation.

Carrie Underwood: I grew up listening to Mindy McCready… so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them…

See more reactions below:

John Rich & Friends Benefit Announced

John Rich.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and John Rich have announced the return of the John Rich & Friends Concert. This year’s benefit show will take place on June 5th in Memphis, Tennessee’s Cannon Center. The line-up is a pretty big one, with expected guests Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler, Big & Rich and Jeff Foxworthy. The event is the kick-off to 2012′s Fedex St. Jude Class golf tournament.

St. Jude is celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year, and the hospital aims to provide exceptional health care to children who are fighting cancer. What makes St. Jude unique is that they believe that no child or family should have to pay for treatment while battling the disease. It’s something that John believes strongly in:

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital holds a very special place in my heart, that’s why I’m excited to kick off the Fedex St. Jude Classic with the John Rich & Friends concert. I don’t know how you could spend your time any better on this earth than to support something like St. Jude. It’s truly God’s work – taking care of them babies.”

St. Jude is planning an entire week of events during the golf classic to help support the hospital.

DVR Alert: John Rich Co-Hosting TODAY Show Thursday

John Rich.

The country music takeover might almost be over for NBC’s TODAY show, but not before an0ther big star gets his turn to sit in the co-host seat. John Rich, one half of superstar duo Big & Rich, will co-host the forth segment of the morning talk show tomorrow morning. He’ll help out Hoda Kotb with co-hosting duties during the program.

John will also make an appearance on the 23rd on the Fox News Channel program “Red Eye with Greg Gutfield.” His episode will air at 3 am EST on the channel.

 

CONTEST: Win An iTunes Gift Card From GCB

gcb

ABC is putting together one heck of a sound track for their newest television series, “GCB.” The show follows the story of Texan Queen Bee Amanda Vaughn, (played by Leslie Bibb), who returns home after 20 years, but there’s a little payback for the original mean girl of the town. Will she be welcomed back with open arms, or will her town preach her the golden rule while stabbing her in the back? Everything’s always bigger in Texas… including the drama! The show is based off of the book “Good Christian Bitches” by Kim Gaitlin.

While the sound track for the show isn’t available until May 8th on Elektra Nashville, fans will get the chance to preview a new song each week on iTunes. Star Kristin Chenoweth (who plays Carlene Cockburn) contributes three tracks to the compilation album, including a duet with co-star Miriam Shor on the classic “This Little Light Of Mine”. Other artists featured on the super-star CD include John Rich of Big & Rich, the JaneDear Girls, Emily West, Dean Alexander, Damien Horne, Joanna Cotten, Don Derby, Jaime Hanna, and Bum Steers.

 

We’ve teamed up with ABC to give our readers the chance to purchase the tracks from the sound track each week with a $15 iTunes gift certificate. Two readers will receive the gift card courtesy of ABC. To enter, follow the instructions on the form below. The contest is open immediately until midnight EST on Wednesday, March 14th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail within 24 hours of the contest closing, then have 24 hours to respond or new winners will be chosen. Only readers with United States mailing addresses can enter this one.

Don’t forget to tune in to GCB on ABC on Sundays at 10 pm EST!

NRA Country Volume 1 Now Available!

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Fresh off the press is This is NRA Country Volume 1, a unique project featuring various country artists such as Charlie Daniels, Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, and many others. The artists on this album compilation sing songs that speak about what NRA Country is all about, including support of our U.S. military, appreciation for the great outdoors, and love of family. The CD is available now exclusively through nracountry.com  and can be purchased at this LINK.  

Tracklisting:

1. Justin Moore “This is NRA Country”

2. Hank Williams Jr. “A Country Boy Can Survive”

3. Montgomery Gentry “My Town”

4. Rodney Atkins “Cleaning This Gun”

5. Trace Adkins “More Of Us”

6. Craig Morgan “I’m Country”

7. Charlie Daniels “In America”

8. Josh Thompson “Way Out Here”

9. John Rich “Shutting Detroit Down”

10. Lee Brice “She Ain’t Right”

11. Rhett Akins & Dallas Davidson “Opening Day”

John Rich Honored With First-Ever Angels Among Us Award

bigandrich

John Rich, known for being one-half of the duo Big & Rich, was honored this week with the first-ever “Angels Among Us” award at the Country Cares For St. Jude Kids seminar held last week in Memphis, Tennessee. John was presented the award by Alabama front man Randy Owen. The award recognizes a member of the country music community who demonstrates a commitment and dedication to children battling cancer at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“St. Jude holds a very special place in my heart. It’s like no other place and I’m just so honored to help raise awareness for this organization and to receive the first-ever Angels Among Us Award from Randy.”

Country Cares For St. Jude was started by Randy Owen in 1989. He’s raised over $400 million for the cause since the beginning.

John Rich Kicked Off Plane For Being Drunk

John Rich.

TMZ is reporting that Big & Rich singer John Rich was kicked off a Southwest flight yesterday for being under the influence of alcohol. He was flying from Las Vegas to Nashville when the flight crew decided he was too drunk to fly with them at 10:50 AM local time.

TMZ is also reporting that John got into a verbal argument with some passengers before boarding the plane. They also say that John was calm and co-operative when he was asked to leave the flight by the crew and left without an incident.

A representative from Southwest confirmed to TMZ that a passenger was escorted off the flight, but they will not name who it was. The representative also confirms that the passenger was booked on a later flight and did make it.