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We are back with our “Video Picks of the Week.”
Brantley Gilbert is one of my new favorites. He’s the perfect mix of country and rock, and I love the tone of his voice and overall vibe.
Brantley was signed to Valory Music Group in 2011, and you definitely know him for his songwriting skills as well. Most notably, he has written songs for Jason Aldean and Colt Ford. He was a co-writer on “Dirt Road Anthem” and “My Kinda Party,” both of which were eventual mega-hits for Aldean.
This week’s pick is Brantley’s music video for his single, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” The track is the second single off of his album “Halfway To Heaven.” The album is available on iTunes!
Continue reading for our live performance and cover song video picks…
Randy Travis is celebrating his 25 years in country music with the people who made it possible for the legend to have such longevity: His fans. The Grand Ole Opry member is taking his music on the road with stops all across North America. The silver anniversary tour starts Feb. 10 in Grand Ronde , OR and will make at least 30 more stops along the way. (For a complete list of tour dates, visit his website here.)
The tour is the latest part of the party celebrating Travis’ milestone. In June, Warner Bros. Records released of the Anniversary Celebration album. The 17-track album features guest artists who teamed with Travis to cover his classic tracks and some original offerings. The guest singers include Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Kris Kristofferson, Carrie Underwood, George Jones, Zac Brown Band, Lorrie Morgan, Jamey Johnson and many more.
Travis has had 18 #1 singles and 29 top-10 hits. His lifetime sales are more than 20 million, making him one of country music’s biggest sellers of all time. His honors include seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music statuettes, 10 American Music Awards, two People’s Choice awards, seven Music City News awards, eight Dove Awards and five Country Music Association honors.
You’d think that after 25 years in the business, there wouldn’t be anything new for Travis to experience. Not true. What you’re about to read is from a first for him: His first interview session via conference call! It may have been foreign territory for Travis, but he sounded relaxed as he talked about the upcoming tour, changes in the making of music and if he’s finally embracing technology:
James Otto is pretty excited about another artist’s single this week. Zac Brown Band will be releasing “No Hurry,” a song James co-wrote with Zac Brown and Wyatt Durrette. It’s the fifth single off the ACM/CMA and GRAMMY-nomined album “You Get What You Give.”
“When I got the call, my wife and I stopped what we were doing and started dancing around the kitchen of our house, we were so excited.”
The slow-down-and-smell-the-roses themed song is special to James, who recently welcomed the birth of his daughter Ava Katherine.
“When she came along, I realized it was time to slow down and focus on what really mattered to me in this life — and that was being there for those unrepeatable moments of her first steps, words and discoveries…and I’m still in ‘no hurry’ to let those little moments go.”
James, who always puts family first, is planning to return to touring in 2012 to promote his new music and album “Shake What God Gave Ya.” Right now, however, he’s still celebrating the release of his song with the Zac Brown Band.
“There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing one of the most successful bands in country music right now is going to release your song,” he said. “I’m simply blown away, and utterly humbled.”
There’s nothing we here at Keepin’ It Country love more than live music, so it only made sense to put together a list of some of our favorite live tracks to share with you all, our lovely readers! This particular list is made up of only live tracks from 2000 – 2012, mostly because trying to go through the entire live history of country music turned out to be a bit daunting. Also, all tracks in consideration had to have been released commercially at some point, so no bootlegs here! (Though that could easily be another list.)
Now that the fine print is out of the way, check out our picks below!
10. Love & Theft – “Don’t Wake Me” – Live in Savannah EP
Love & Theft’s performance of “Don’t Wake Me,” off of the band’s Live in Savannah EP, highlights everything that’s great about the group. Three (now two) great looking guys singing perfect harmonies on killer pop-country songs. Any cut from this album could have made our list, but this was a personal favorite. The band gained certain notoriety when Taylor Swift wrote “Hey Stephen” about member Stephen Barker Liles, but if Love & Theft can keep their moment going with live shows like this one there’s a good chance they’ll give Rascal Flatts a run for their money in a few years.
9. Kenny Chesney – “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy – Live Those Songs Again
Kenny Chesney has long ruled the country music touring circuit; one of the few acts in any genre that can consistently sell out stadiums, so it should be no surprise that he made our list. “Tractor” is a reminder of exactly what makes Kenny so fun to see live. It’s a fun summertime party with the best soundtrack.
Check out the rest of the list after the jump!
The Country Music Association has just announced the second round of performers for the 2012 edition of CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Faith Hill, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, the Zac Brown Band and Rascal Flatts will be part of the superstar line-up in June. They join previously announced performers Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, and The Band Perry for the festival which runs June 7th through to the 10th in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. It’s the first LP Field night-time performance for Eric, and Faith will be returning for the first time since 2008.
Tickets for the festival have already been on-sale on Ticketmaster. Prices start at $115 for a four-day package to see country music’s biggest stars. A limited amount of four-day parking packages are also available through Ticketmaster while quantities last. Additional artists are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Billboard has just released all of the 2011 year-end charts and it’s no surprise that, on the Country Music Artists chart, Taylor Swift came out on top. Billboard came up with the rankings based on album and single sales, radio airplay, touring revenue, streaming and activity on social media platforms. Check out the full Top 10 below.
1. Taylor Swift
2. Jason Aldean
9. Brad Paisley
10. Luke Bryan
For Billboard’s Top 10 Country Albums and Songs of the Year, click through the jump!
The Zac Brown Band are bringing their sold-out Red Rocks September shows to CMT tomorrow. The special, taped live with 20,000 fans of the “Knee Deep” group at the Colorado Amphitheater will make its premiere on CMT tomorrow. CMT will air the 5-song “Zac Brown Band – Live At Red Rocks” special at 10:30 am EST tomorrow morning. The special includes a brand new track “Sweet Annie,” which was previously unreleased.
The 30-minute television special will re-air on December 13th at 11:30 am EST for those who will miss it tomorrow. Fans can also watch the special on CMT.com in its entirety, or on the all-new digital channel CMT Pure.
The special’s full set list is as follows:
Keep Me In Mind
It’s time for you to weigh in on the CMA Album of the Year category!
The nominees include: All About Tonight – Blake Shelton; My Kinda Party – Jason Aldean; Speak Now – Taylor Swift; This Is Country Music – Brad Paisley; and You Get What You Give – Zac Brown Band.
Who would you like to see take home the trophy?
CMA Album of the Year
Total Voters: 15
Next up… Single of the Year!
With some of the biggest and best songs of the past year, it’s a battle between “A Little Bit Stronger” – Sara Evans, “Colder Weather” – Zac Brown Band, “Don’t You Wanna Stay” – Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson, “Honey Bee” – Blake Shelton, and “If I Die Young” – The Band Perry.
Single of the Year goes to the artist(s) and producer(s).
Which hit is your favorite?
CMA Single of the Year
Total Voters: 10