When Stone met Osmunson, he actually did not have immediate intentions to return to performance, as he already had his plate full with songwriting and production work. However, a casual jam session made both realize that this was a musical pairing that had to be pursued. After playing their songs for colleagues and receiving glowing feedback, Stone decided to make the plunge back into life as a performing artist...and part of what promises to be one of the year's most intriguing new duos. We had a moment to chat with both Osmunson and Stone about their decision to pursue American Young, how their respective musical journeys have brought themRead More »from Meet Country Duo American Young: Familiar Faces, New Sound
- Our Country – Thu, Dec 5, 2013 3:31 PM ESTIf the two faces in new duo American Young seem familiar to country fans, that shouldn't come as a surprise. Kristy Osmunson was the founder and fiddle player for (the now defunct) Bomshel, while Jon Stone has had success as both a solo artist and a Nashville songwriter/producer who's engineered hits for such names as Lee Brice and Rascal Flatts.
Taylor Swift will probably be pleased when the Grammy nominations are announced on Friday. Her album Red is likely to be nominated for both Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Odds are she'll also be in the running for Best Country Solo Performance (for "Begin Again") and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (for "Highway Don't Care," a collabo with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban).
Swift's 2008 blockbuster Fearless won both Album of the Year and Best Country Album.
Three other past winners for Best Country Album, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill and George Strait, also have albums in contention in that category this year, though they may be hard-pressed to make the final five.
Here are the likely nominees and runners-up for Best Country Album and in the two performance categories in the country field.
The eligibility year closed on Sept. 30. The awards will be presented on Jan. 26 at Staples Center.
Best Country Album
Albums by Swift, Kacey Musgraves and Blake Shelton were nominated forRead More »from Grammy Predictions: The Country Category
- Our Country – Wed, Dec 4, 2013 1:24 PM ESTFor lack of a simpler way to put it: There's Jake Owen, and then there's Jake Owen.
How else to describe a musician who one day is racing go-karts against professional NASCAR drivers, getting in trouble with the cops the day before his wedding, and playing a show the same day doctors removed the tip of his finger(more on that later)...but at the same time, updates his social media with tons of shots of his adorable baby daughter, takes his family along on tour, and looks up to his mom and dad as role models.
I’ve always been the kind of person that’s always, you know, I live on the wild side a little bit," Owen says with a grin. "I just like taking chances and living life to the fullest."
That he certainly has done in the past two years. Owen supercharged through 2012, not only with his musical career (he scored his second No. 1 on the country chart with "Alone With You" early in the year, followed by two more chart-toppers), but hitting a bunch of life milestones in quick succession. InRead More »from Jake Owen Juggles Two Sides: Living the Wild Life as a Hubby and Dad
- Our Country – Tue, Dec 3, 2013 12:02 PM ESTMusic lovers (and especially country music lovers) received an early Christmas treat in the form of the new holiday movie Angels Sing, which went into limited release last month and wowed with a fantastic cast including Harry Connick Jr., "Nashville's" Connie Britton, Lyle Lovett, and not one but two country legends: Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
Of course, a film containing so many musical powerhouses wouldn't be complete without the actors providing a great soundtrack; and Kristofferson rises to the occasion here by covering Nelson's Christmas classic "Pretty Paper" (which was also a hit for Roy Orbison in the '60s). In this exclusive clip, the film's cast and Kristofferson himself discuss the song, the feeling and emotion behind it, and what it means to take on Nelson's moving holiday tune this season.
Angels Sing is a modern-day take on the beloved holiday themes presented in such classics as It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street: Connick Jr. plays a man who'sRead More »from Kris Kristofferson Discusses His Touching Cover of 'Pretty Paper'
- Our Country – Sat, Nov 30, 2013 12:20 PM ESTGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)Garth Brooks undoubtedly has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season — not the least of which is a new deluxe boxed set, Blame It All On My Roots, which hit stores this week . However, during an appearance on the "Ellen Degeneres Show" Friday, the country icon saved his most grateful words for his wife, fellow musician Trisha Yearwood.
"I've got to tell you, if you like her and don't know her, you'll love her," Brooks enthused about Yearwood. "If you love her and don't know her, you'll worship her. She's the real deal."
"I never knew it could be like this," he noted of his marriage. "I never knew that every day you could wake up and feel like this. I have God and I have Ms. Yearwood to thank for this."
Brooks told DeGeneres he was so smitten by Yearwood that he even recognized the spark at their first meeting in 1987 — when he was barely into his second year of marriage to first wife Sandy Mahl. "I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife," he told the talk-show host. "ButRead More »from Garth Brooks Gives Thanks for Trisha Yearwood: “I Never Knew It Could Be Like This”
- Our Country – Wed, Nov 27, 2013 3:25 PM ESTFILE - This June 16, 2011 file photo shows inductee Garth Brooks performing onstage at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in New York. In stores Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, is Brook's “Blame It All On My Roots,” eight-disc box set containing a blast of newly recorded material. Brooks heads up a concert special Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, that CBS will broadcast live from the Wynn resort in Las Vegas.(AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)Leave it to Garth Brooks to make a grand exit: On Friday, CBS will air its “Garth Brooks Live from Las Vegas” concert, which documents the superstar's very last show at the city's Wynn Resort, where he's enjoyed a 3-year residency. The country crooner stopped by the “omg! Insider” newsroom this week to talk about his decision to make his final appearance at the Wynn a live concert special.
While hanging out with "omg! Insider," Brooks also talked about his new boxed set, which hits stores Thursday. The compilation, titled Blame it All on My Roots, features Brooks covering a variety of favorite songs by artists that influenced him over his lifetime. "None of them are better than the originals," he admitted, "but they were fun to do."
He also discusses Thanksgiving dinner, cooked by — of course! — his wife, fellow musician and celeb chef Trisha Yearwood. When asked what his favorite holiday dish is, Brooks gave the obvious answer — turkey — but then quickly amended that with a list of,Read More »from Garth Brooks Talks Final Wynn Show, New Boxed Set, Thanksgiving Dinner!
- Our Country – Wed, Nov 27, 2013 2:03 PM ESTMiranda Lambert at 2013 CMAsIf you were one of the many who watched this year's Country Music Association Awards earlier in the month and were stunned by Miranda Lambert's sexy, trim figure — you may also have wondered how she managed to achieve such visible results in a seemingly short amount of time. The tabloids certainly wondered as well, and apparently Lambert herself has had enough of the chatter. Defending herself against rumors of weight-loss surgery, the country star took to her official website to address what she calls "trash talk"...and she wants fans to know that in her book, there are no shortcuts to fitness.
"Though I NEVER care what the tabloids have to say about me… I wanted to address this certain story they are running this week and set the record straight. I DID NOT have surgery to lose weight," Lambert said. "That is ridiculous. I lost my weight the healthy and good old fashioned way. Watching what I eat and working out with my trainer Bill Crutchfield. As for the assumed number of poundsRead More »from Miranda Lambert: I Did Not Have Surgery to Lose Weight
- Wendy Gellar | Our Country – Wed, Nov 27, 2013 12:48 PM ESTGolden Carrot Equine Rescue: Anza, CAIt's a fact: Nobody works forever, and that includes our animal as well as human friends. One of the hardest-working species, horses, are hit particularly hard at retirement with issues such as arthritis and other disabilities that result from a lifetime of physical hauling, racing, riding, and rodeo. However, although their work days may be over, they still have a lot of life left in them!
Luckily, there is someone out there who cares about giving these older workers a peaceful and dignified retirement. Road Trip host Marc Istook headed out to Anza, Calif., to meet a very special horse lover, Casey O'Connor, who operates the Golden Carrot Equine Rescue. O'Connor, a former legal secretary, decided to follow her heart's passion and has now devoted her life to rescuing and caring for older and disabled horses. The animals can depend upon a "forever home" at the rescue, and do not have to worry about working again if their condition does not allow it.
O'Connor, who runs her rescue with theRead More »from Road Trip: Meet Amazing ‘Horse Healer’ in Anza, CA
- Lyndsey Parker | Our Country – Tue, Nov 26, 2013 5:57 PM EST
Britney Spears may be making headlines this week for her eighth album Britney Jean, but her younger sister Jamie Lynn stole a bit of her thunder by unveiling the video for her debut single, "How Could I Want More," on Tuesday — the same day that Britney's album started streaming on iTunes.
Jamie Lynn Spears's music couldn't sound more different from the clubby electropop of, say, Britney's Vegas-ready banger "Work B----." "How Could I Want More" is a mature country ballad produced by Georgia singer-songwriter Corey Crowder and dedicated to her fiancé, Jamie Watson. And the song's video is stark and simple, shot in a recording studio with just a few lightbulbs for atmosphere and not a single scantily clad dancer in sight.
Although 10 years separate these sisters in age, a side-by-side comparison of their material almost makes it seem like 22-year-old former Nickelodeon star Jamie is the elder Spears.
However, fans eager to hear a different side of Jamie Lynn Spears can check out her duetRead More »from Jamie Lynn Spears Makes Her Video Debut — and Upstages Britney?
Honoring the great combination of holidays that's upon us may be easier than you think. Especially if you're a country music fan.
Wait, what?! Believe it. We brought John Rich, whose new variety show, "Rich at Night," debuts on TV Guide Network Monday night, into our New York City studios to treat us to a little Thanksgivukkah ditty and give us some tips on what he refers to as a holiday "juggernaut."
While Rich is not Jewish, he admits he's learned an appreciation for the culture thanks to a dear friend.
"It sounds like you're at a bar mitzvah," he said after performing his "mashugana"-filled tune before explaining. "One of my go-to players in Nashville is named Jonathan Yudkin and he's … like a one-man string section. I've known him for 15 years. Any Yiddish or old school stuff I know, I know from Jonathan Yudkin."
Apparently, that stuff he knows is quite a bit. Enough, in fact, to help him whip up a tune on the spot and come up with eight easy tips – one for each night of the FestivalRead More »from John Rich's Guide to a Country Thanksgivukkah
News for You
- Pop singer Miley Cyrus named MTV's best artist of 2013
Miley Cyrus, the pop star who caused a sensation with her raunchy performance at this year's MTV Video Music Awards, was named best artist of 2013 by the cable TV network on Tuesday. MTV said the singer dominated the music charts and the headlines with the release of her album "Bangerz," her jaw-dropping performances at awards shows and her hosting stint on the television sketch show "Saturday Night Live." "She is the third artist to receive the distinction of being named MTV's Best Artist of the Year with past honorees including Katy Perry (2012) and One Direction (2011)," MTV said in a statement announcing the results. Cyrus, 21, was also ranked MTV.com top artist, based on fan visits to the site, and had the most watched video of 2013 with her live performance with singer Robin Thicke at the VMAs. In an MTV documentary released in October, the "We Can't Stop" singer admitted that she was out to shock and to push the boundaries.
- Obama and Castro shake hands, Zuma humiliated at Mandela memorial
By Stella Mapenzauswa and Steve Holland JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of two ideological opponents that reflected the anti-apartheid hero's spirit of reconciliation. But the peace and harmony did not stretch to South African President Jacob Zuma, whom the crowd at the rain-soaked Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg booed and jeered as he prepared to give his closing address. Mandela's death at the age of 95 has diverted attention from a slew of corruption scandals in Zuma's administration, while underscoring the gulf between South Africa's first black president, a giant of the 20th century, and its fourth. "But what Zuma speaks, he doesn't live.
- Newly found Johnny Cash recordings to be released 30 years later
A dozen newly discovered recordings made by late American country singer Johnny Cash three decades ago will be released next year as an album, Sony Music's Legacy Recordings said on Tuesday. "Out Among the Stars" will be released on March 25, the record label said, marking the first time the recordings will be available to the public. The 12 songs, which include two written by Cash, were recorded for Columbia Records in Nashville, Tenn., in 1981 and in 1984, but the record company passed on releasing them before dropping Cash from the label in 1986. The recordings were found in 2012 when Cash's son, John Carter Cash, and Cash experts were cataloging the "Folsom Prison Blues" singer's song archive.
- Julie Andrews missed NBC's live 'Sound of Music'
- Justin Bieber visits Philippine typhoon victims
- The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store
App Store Official Charts for the week ending Dec. 9, 2013: