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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”!

Country stars react to George Jones’ passing

george jones

It’s been a tragic few days for country music stars and country fans. The legendary George Jones passed away in a Nashville hospital, and country stars have reacted in shock and sadness over the loss of an icon. See what some of your favorite stars have said about the great George Jones:

 

Brad Paisley:

“George Jones’ life is an example of so many wonderful things. How someone’s God-given gifts can make this a richer, better place.  How one human being can overcome adversity, addiction, and life threatening obstacles time and time again.  That it is not the stumble or fall that counts, but the willingness to stand again. How a keen sense of humor and a twinkle in a person’s eye can still prevail even after all of life’s hard knocks.  How mistakes, missteps, and bad choices are not the end of the world if a person chooses to turn them into something good. And George’s life is above all the strongest example of how the love of a great woman can get a man through anything. All of this made its way beautifully into every note of the greatest voice country music will ever know.  And one of the greatest friends you could ever have.

We miss you already, George.

Brad”

Dolly Parton:

“My heart is absolutely broken.  George Jones was my all time favorite singer and one of my favorite people in the world.  My heart goes out to Nancy and all his family and friends.”

Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts:

“He was the greatest country vocalist that ever lived! Through the years we have all tried to emulate the passion in his voice, but no one can fill his shoes.”

Merle Haggard:

“The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen.” 

Easton Corbin:

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of my all time heroes, George Jones. Georges’ music was real and he was able to touch thousands through his songs. Not only was he a great singer, but he also had the ability to make you relate to every one of his songs, no matter who you are. He and his music will remain timeless in the world of country music. My thoughts and prayers are with his family through this difficult time.”

Blake Shelton (via Twitter):

Just landed in LA. Listened to “The King Is Gone” and “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes” over and over again just like always. Can’t accept it. Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…

Kelly Clarkson (via Twitter):

Sad to hear about George Jones passing. That man touched a lot of lives with his music. Thanks for setting the bar for the rest of us. #RIPGeorgeJones

Read more reactions and quotes below:

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:

Nick Hoffman from The Farm Performs Random Acts of Gratefulness

The-Farm-CountryMusicIsLove

During the holiday season, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the chaos of  our own lives. Nick Hoffman from the Farm took some time out of his schedule to pair up with FM 106.1 in Milwaukee for “Random Acts of Gratefulness.” Set to the Farm’s new song, “Be Grateful,” if this video doesn’t bring a smile to your face, we just might have to call you the Grinch.

Opry Goes Pink Announces Additional Performers

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On Tuesday, October 30th, the Fourth Annual Opry Goes Pink event will take place. Kellie Pickler (a country artist who has already made a huge impact this year, shaving her head in honor of her friend who was going through chemotherapy to fight her battle with Breast Cancer) will flip the switch on the Opry’s barn backdrop, turning it pink for the night. The show will also include performances by The Farm, Mindy Smith, The Isaacs, Kristen Kelly, Jimmy Dickens, Sarah Darling and others. There will also be activities recognizing breast cancer survivors and the continuing fight against the disease. Five dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to Women Rock For The Cure. You can click here to buy your tickets to this event.

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!

The Farm Live Stream Including Q&A and Performance on June 26 at 5PM CST

The-Farm-CountryMusicIsLove

THE FARM‘s first single “Home Sweet Home” is currently climbing the country charts, and the Warner Music Nashville band will be streaming a special performance and Q&A session for their fans tomorrow, June 26th at 5:00PM CST. THE FARM is made up of Nick Hoffman (vocals, fiddle), Damien Horne  (vocals, keyboard, guitar) and Krista Marie (vocals, guitar). Their self-titled album will be hitting stores on July 17, 2012, but make sure to check out www.thefarmmusic.com and don’t miss this exciting live stream!

Rodney Atkins Gives Back

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Country megastar, Rodney Atkins, will host the “2nd Annual Music City Gives Back” benefit concert on Tuesday, June 5th, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The show, which begins at 5:00pm, will feature an all-star lineup, including Clint Black, Thompson Square, Lee Brice, Josh Thompson, Jana Kramer, The Farm, Mallary Hope, and The Willis Clan. With the help of sponsors Wrangler, Cricket Wireless, Carl Black Chevrolet, and GAC, fans will be able to enjoy a night of great music at no cost and have the opportunity to contribute to the American Red Cross. Donations may be made on-site.

“Last year was such a great experience to close down Broadway and to raise money and awareness for the American Red Cross we decided to do it again. This is an organization that helps so many people in all of our communities and they need support not just when disaster strikes. Looking forward to getting out there and working with Wrangler Western Wear and Cricket’s Muve Music to raise awareness and party with everyone in Music City,” said Atkins.

If you would like to participate in this event, but are unable to attend, you can stream the concert by visiting Wrangler’s Facebook page.

The Farm Announce Album Release Date

The Farm.

Country music songwriting trio THE FARM made a big announcement on their Facebook page last night. Their debut album will finally be released on July 17th to both digital and physical music retailers. Their self-titled album will feature their current single, and the first song they ever wrote together, “Home Sweet Home.”

Here’s a little bit on what the group had to say about this big piece of news:

“Dreams do come true….

We poured our hearts and souls into this music… A SPECIAL thanks to Country Radio, our co-producer: Danny Myrick, all the great songwriters that we co-wrote with, Warner/Elektra Records, New Revolution, our managers & agents and especially to ALL THE FARM FANS for your support!!!”

Read the announcement on their Facebook page here and wish the group luck! You’ll be seeing a lot more from them this year, and they were chosen as one of our Ones To Watch for 2012. Read our exclusive interview with Damien Horne, Nick Hoffman and Krista Marie right here on Keepin’ it Country.

Ones To Watch: THE FARM

The Farm.

Here at Keepin’ it Country, we value songwriting and real country music. Country music has always been about the song writing and story telling, and our next act in our “Ones To Watch” feature is the shining example of that. I had the chance to sit down with THE FARM shortly after their Grand Ole Opry debut. THE FARM is made up of three song writing best friends: Krista Marie, Nick Hoffman (who has been part of Kenny Chesney‘s band for years,) and Damien Horne. The three sat down together in 2010 to write a song, and then, as they share in our interview, the rest became history. Find out exactly how the trio decided they were “all-in” and why we think we’ll be seeing big things from the group over the next few years.

Krista, Nick, and Damien share what it was like to play the Grand Ole Opry, how hard it is for Krista to work with two boys every day, what Nick learned from Kenny Chesney, and what fans can expect from their debut album expected out later this year. THE FARM is Keepin’ it Country’s Ones To Watch for 2012: