Tag Archives: Keith Urban

Country Music Blog Rodeo: The Year of the Country Crossover

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Over the last few years, country music has certainly expanded beyond the old stereotype of boots, big hair and ten-gallon hats. Artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum have huge pop hits, the Zac Brown Band & Jason Aldean sell out Madison Square Garden and the Scotty McCreerys and Tate Stevens of the world rise to fame via televised talent shows. On the flip side, Mumford & Sons get played on country radio, UK-lite-rocker Ed Sheeran tours with Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson performs on the CMA’s. Over the last few years, it has become commonplace for country musicians to dabble outside of their genre, and if January of 2013 is any indication, this trend is only going to continue into 2013.

Interestingly enough, I grew up claiming that I loved all music “except country.” (Seriously – I think I wrote that on my Myspace…don’t judge me, I’m from NY.) However, after being taken to see Rascal Flatts at Madison Square Garden, my perspective on the genre completely changed and I was hooked. Now I’ll listen to anything from Garth to Reba to Taylor to Jason. However, if you were to ask a purist of country music, they’d probably argue that Rascal Flatts is just a boy (err, man) band in cowboy boots, Taylor is a dubstep-loving pop act and Jason’s renegade hick-hop style bastardizes country music. Yet, on the heels of Aldean selling out a show at New York’s Madison Square Garden in mere minutes, I’d argue that the biggest development of country music in 2013 will be the pure magnitude of its reach and ability to cross over, while also openly welcoming those who dabble and stretch the ideas of what typical “country” is.

Tim McGraw album details!

Tim McGraw.

Country music icon Tim McGraw is revealing more details about his highly anticipated release “TWO LANES OF FREEDOM.”  His first album for Big Machine Records will be released on Feb. 5, 2013 and is set to prove once again that on stage and on record, he remains dedicated to delivering music that is innovative, heartfelt and authentic.

 “I feel like I’ve progressed in my work, and I’ve always strived to get better,” says McGraw. “On my last album, I was discovering some new sounds and new things that I wanted to do, scratching the surface of the direction I wanted to head. This album was a way to reach a little further back, to all that I’d done throughout my career, and bring both sides together—it’s a combination of that discovery, along with some rediscovery.” 
On “TWO LANES OF FREEDOM,” the sense of nostalgia comes through on the hard-driving current single “One of Those Nights.”  The reverie of that song, though, is countered by the humor and joy of “Southern Girl” or the feel-good hangover of “Mexicoma.”  McGraw maintains that it was the album’s title track that really established the tone for the entire project.
“When we cut ‘Two Lanes of Freedom,’ there was such a freshness to it,” he says. “The track has this sort of Gaelic drive to it and really sets a palette for the whole record because it’s so visual—it has that summery, hazy image and I think that made the whole record open up for me.”
McGraw reaches some especially emotional depth in his performances on such songs as “Number 37405,” the lament of a singer-turned-convict.  Most powerful of all might be “Book of John,” a wistful account of a family going through the journal left behind by its late patriarch. The album closes with “Highway Don’t Care,” a breezy yet complex track that features Taylor Swift (the song is featured as number 13 on the album as a nod to her) and Keith Urban.
Check out the official cover and track listing below and let us know what you think! Will you be picking up a copy next year?

Nashville Is On the Globe

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The Golden Globe, that is. This morning, the nominees for the 2013 Golden Globe Awards were announced, and Nashville certainly made a showing; and we mean both “Nashville” the television show and residents of Nashville whose names you might recognize from the world of country music.

In the category of Best Actress, Television Drama, ABC’s “Nashville” was represented by a nomination for Connie Britton (who plays Rayna James in the highly coveted television series). In the category of Best Supporting Actress, Television, ABC’s “Nashville” was again represented by a nomination for Hayden Panettiere (who plays Juliette Barnes). Also getting nods for their involvement in film projects are Keith Urban and Taylor Swift. Keith lent his vocals to the soundtrack for “Act of Valor” with his song “For You,” while Taylor’s “Safe & Sound” was included on “The Hunger Games” soundtrack.

Good luck to the Nashville noms! Tune in on January 13 to see if any of the Golden Globes make their way back to Music City!

Keith Urban Announces First Leg of Tour

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This morning, Keith Urban fans were eager for the artist’s big announcement. At 9AM CT sharp, the announcement was made: the artist is hitting the road in the New Year.

Keith’s first leg of his 2013 North American tour will feature stops right across the United States throughout the summer months of next year. Dustin Lynch and Little Big Town will be joining Keith on tour.

Check out the video Keith and friends posted announcing the tour, as well as the announced dates:

Walking In a Winter Sugarland

JENNIFER NETTLES

Christmas is coming a little early this year for Jennifer Nettles and friends. On November 3, Jennifer will host a CMA “Country Christmas” in Nashville, Tennessee at the Bridgestone Arena. Along with Jennifer, the following artists will be bringing the seasonal spirit to Nashville: Dierks Bentley, Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry and Keith Urban.

Nominees for ACAs Announced

AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS: LOGO

The nominees were just announced earlier this morning for this year’s American Country Awards. The third edition of the fan-voted award show will once again air live on FOX from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. While the co-hosts remain the same with Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, there is something new about the award show – the addition of the “Song Of The Year” category which will honor country music’s top songwriters of 2012. The nominees for Song of the Year are determined by the National Songwriters Association International (NSAI). The award show will air live on December 10th on FOX at 8 pm EST.

Artists leading all nominees this year are Luke Bryan with seven, and Lady Antebellum tying for second with Zac Brown Band with six nominations each. Eric Church and Taylor Swift both have five nominations each. Check out the full list of nominees below and let us know who you’ll be voting for. Fans can vote at theacas.com for their favorite artists, and make sure to tune in December 10th to see who wins!

Performers and presenters will be announced shortly, so stay tuned for that announcement too!

VIDEO: Country Stars Unite For St. Jude’s

Lady Antebellum. photo credit: Greenroom PR / Brantley Gutierrez

In what might just be the world’s biggest cover of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” stars from all over the United States have teamed up to help promote the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. From the Nashville side of things, appearing in the below video is Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker and Alabama. The video also gets a little help from Robin Williams, Jimmy Kimmel, Jordin Sparks, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston, Betty White and more!

Take a look below and see if you can name all the cameos:

AUDIO: Keith Urban Host New Opry Ads

Keith Urban.

Keith Urban is one busy guy lately. The newly-added American Idol judge is the voice of the Grand Ole Opry radio ads, which will start airing across the United States this week. In the ads, which there are three, they relive the moment when Trace Adkins announced Keith as a new member of the Opry, and Keith invites fans to come to the Show That Made Country Music Famous and to try out the new Opry mobile app.

Check out all three ads below and make sure to let us know what you think about Keith representing country music on Idol:

Keith Urban Officially Joins American Idol

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The rumours have finally been confirmed – this January, Keith Urban will be one of the judges on the 12th season of American Idol.

On Friday, we reported that Keith had quit his coaching position on Australia’s version of The Voice. Now, after weeks of speculation, Keith is set to sit alongside the other judges: Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj.

The four-time Grammy winner is undoubtedly sparking excitement among the Idol folks:

“… Keith is another great addition to Idol – he’s one of the biggest stars in country music and I know that our fans and contestants will fall in love with him,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.

Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia stated, “… Keith is one of country music’s true stars who brings with him charm, wit and knowledge about the industry.”

With a new album in the making and this new position on Idol, it’s safe to say Mr. Urban will be quite busy in the months ahead!

 

Keith Urban Quits Australia’s Voice

Keith Urban.

It’s officially over for Keith Urban as a coach on the Australian version of The Voice. In a statement released earlier today, Keith admits that he needs more time to work on his album, and although he’s enjoyed his time on the Aussie version of NBC’s mega-hit singing competition, he needs to set his priorities straight. The news comes with rumors swirling that he’ll be the newest judge added to American Idol.

In his statement released with the Australian station that airs the program, Keith shares:

“I’ve been so fortunate to have been a part of The Voice. And as much as I’d love to do it again, it’s clear that the recording and promoting of a new album, a tour and other commitments, will keep me from being a part of the second season.”

Keith continues:

“To everyone who sang on the show, I thank you, you’ve inspired not just me, but countless others. To everyone behind the scens and to my on camera family Darren, Delta, Joel and Seal, thank you for making it so much fun. Keep watching Australia!”

Keith’s role on The Voice had pushed him into a more mainstream audience in Australia. While he appeared on the program, two of his Greatest Hits albums took over the charts, giving him his first number one record in Australia.

What do you think? Do you want to see Keith on American Idol?