- Chris Willman at Our Country20 hrs ago
For a lot of country fans, it won’t just be a crazy summer in 2014 but a “5-1-5-0” summer, thanks to Dierks Bentley presiding over his first true headlining tour after being part of countless package deals during his first decade in the majors. And Bentley’s new collection, "Riser," which just debuted at No. 1 on the country albums chart, has a few tailgating-suitable anthems that’ll help get everyone in the mood for "What Was I Thinking" and "Tip It On Back."
At the same time, "Riser" also has the most contemplative and personal moments we’ve heard on any of his seven albums to date, as discussed in the first part of our two-pronged interview with Bentley. In this second part, we talk to him about maintaining the tricky balance of being both a road dog and a family cat.
YAHOO MUSIC: Last summer you toured with Miranda Lambert. This summer, you’ll be the headlining a tour in sizable venues for the first time. What took that long?
- Our Country20 hrs ago
Time certainly flies: This month marks the 20th anniversary of superstar Tim McGraw's very first hit single, “Indian Outlaw,” which cracked the Top 10 of the Billboard Country Singles charts in March of 1994 and also became a crossover hit.
Until then, McGraw had been trying to make it in Nashville for roughly four years. “Indian Outlaw” cracked Music City open for him, and eventually led to his first No. 1 album, "Not A Moment Too Soon." However, this success didn’t come without a little controversy.
Or, make that a lot of controversy. Namely, in the form of serious criticism from Native American groups who said that the lyrics -- which included references to wigwams and tomahawks -- promoted stereotypes. The then-chief of the Cherokee Nation said the tune was “offensive,” resulting in a few radio stations taking it off the air.
The producer of the song, James Stroud, himself was originally wary of releasing it as a single. He related to Great American Country in 2011 that he initially urged McGraw not to even cut it.
- Laura Ferreiro at Our Country1 day ago
"Who Will Save Your Soul." "You Were Meant for Me." "Foolish Games." Twenty years ago struggling singer-songwriter Jewel Kilcher, who had spent time living out of her van in Southern California, began recording tracks for what would become her debut album.
Within a year, she'd be known simply as Jewel and that album, "Pieces of You," featuring a mixture of folksy confessionals, emotive ballads and pop ditties, some of which were surprisingly political, was a smash hit, on its way to 12-times-platinum status.
Now, after a detour to dance music (2003's "0304") and country (2008's "Perfectly Clear"), Jewel is returning to her roots, with a project she decribes as a "companion album" to "Pieces of You."
- Our Country2 days ago
David Nail released his much-anticipated third album, "I'm A Fire" this week to rave reviews from critics and fans. The singer offered up his thoughts on the set's moving title track exclusively to Yahoo Music, explaining that it's a "bona fide love song" and essentially an ode to his wife of nearly 5 years, Catherine.
"It was really inspired by the relationship that I have with my wife," Nail notes. "To me, 'I’m a fire' means, 'You made me a better man…I am what I am because of you. This feeling I have for you burns because of what you are."
Nail further details how life on the road can sometimes put wear and tear on a marriage, but that he and his spouse manage to work things out every time due to this special "fire" they have for each other.
Rounding out Nail's romantic words are glimpses of his actual wife watching him work in the studio. Enjoy this exclusive and intimate look behind-the-scenes of Nail's real life!
If you'd like to catch Nail on tour, you can keep up with his schedule here.
- Our Country2 days ago
The Eli Young Band have seen a lot of things happen since meeting each other in college some time ago: Number one hits, major label deals, career-defining album releases, marriage, fatherhood. Still, the main thing that matters is that they've hung in there all this time... together .
"We’re the same four dudes," singer Mike Eli asserts. "We’re just living different; we’re in different places in our lives."
Guitarist James Young agrees, explaining that the journey the band has taken has allowed them the unique ability to mature together, all the way up to their latest release, the highly anticipated "10,000 Towns," which hit the streets March 4. "We all grew up together, and I think we all grew up recording together too, from the first record to where we are now. This new record, it really feels more reflective and kinda looking back on the past, to where we are right now.
"We’re just in such a great place and we’re all very blessed with the success we’ve been given. I think that really comes across in our newer music."
- Our Country3 days ago
Music City is about to get a treat! Country power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert,who were voted "Most Desirable Celebrity Neighbors" in real estate blog Zillow's annual poll last year, are moving to town.
Shelton and Lambert, who are famous for holding fast to their Oklahoma residency, finally decided to make the plunge and purchase a house in Nashville. We haven't seen photos of the new abode, but we're willing to bet Mr. and Mrs. Lambert-Shelton will be able to relax in style while working on their respective new releases.
It probably comes as a big surprise to most fans that the couple have never put down roots in Nashville -- seeing as they've staked their claim on Music City. The pair have firmly established themselves as the reigning king and queen couple of country, having won the Country Music Association's male/female artist of the year awards four consecutive years in a row. However, they've chose instead to make Shelton's native Oklahoma home base since their 2010 wedding.
- Our Country7 days ago
Country stars are known for having big hearts when it comes to giving back, helping out, or lending a hand, and Gary Allan is no exception. The singer is coming to the aid of a 3-year-old Louisiana cancer patient with an unusually twisted story: Her family was scammed by someone claiming to be friends with another country star, Jason Aldean.
Addilyn Roberts was diagnosed with leukemia last fall. A high-school acquaintance of her father's, Kyle Nunn, offered to help raise money for Addilyn's medical treatment, claiming he had connections to Aldean and could plan a benefit concert featuring the musician. He even recruited a local Louisville bar, Baxter's 942, to help.
However, Nunn was arrested on January 31st: Police say he pocketed the $9,000 that had been raised so far and was never planning any kind of benefit show. He was charged with two felony counts of theft by deception. Aldean had no knowledge of the incident and has not commented publicly regarding it.
- Chris Willman at Our Country9 days ago
In a genre that prides itself on being real, Dierks Bentley remains among the real-est, whether he’s doin’ a lot of leavin’ or a lot of rising. With this week’s release of his seventh album, "Riser," Bentley again proves himself one of the best and most relate-able country stars we’ve got. It’s a collection that covers even more territory than usual, including the subjects of being a parent, losing a parent…and, not to stray too far from the country music zeitgeist, partying.
We sat down with Bentley in Nashville last week for a conversation about the new album and how it changed direction mid-stream (or almost at the end of the stream, actually). In the first installment of our two-part interview, he talks about how a project that started out being heavily influenced by his father’s death ultimately came to be a more upbeat affair, for reasons both commercial and personal.
RAM COUNTRY: Speaking of "risers," your single “I Hold On” has been a riser on the chart.
BENTLEY: Yeah. A slow riser. That’s the way I am. That describes me perfectly.
- Chris Willman at Our Country13 days ago
It's a perennial question in Nashville: Who's gonna fill their shoes? But with the focus more than ever on hunky young talent, the question these days is really: Who's gonna fill Florida Georgia Line's shoes?
If there's a good answer to that, you're sure to find it at the annual New Faces show at the Nashville Convention Center. Traditionally the climax of the Country Radio Seminar conference, this dinner concert with arena-ready production values showcases the five freshman acts that radio programmers have voted the most likely to succeed. It's an honor nearly as coveted as winning Best New Artist at the CMAs or ACMs. And it's also a chance to prove to the FM gatekeepers that they'll beat the sophomore jinx.
For 2014, four of the five performing honorees — Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Charlie Worsham, and Thomas Rhett — were male, showing the continued difficulty women are having breaking through in the genre. The fifth, Cassadee Pope, further established that TV contest boosts remain the best bet for females trying to break the bro-country ceiling.