Here is your round-up of all the latest country news and new releases!
Ones To Watch
Having spent almost 3 weeks in the home of country music and sampling the country sounds that are heard on the radio in the US, we are delighted to report that the biggest new name is undoubtedly William Michael Morgan. His single ‘I Met A Girl’ was all over country radio. He releases his debut album ‘Vinyl’ in September and if this is as good as the EP he will be a huge star. A great singer and the best EP we have heard for ages.
Who will be next? We IMPLORE you to check out Corey Kent White. His EP ‘Long Way’ came out in May and seems to have disappeared off the radar. It’s superb and almost matches WMM’s. Please give this guy a chance. If the title track from the EP was played on country radio it would be a huge hit.
Another favourite is Drake White. He has just released a superb album ‘Spark’ and is destined for greatness. He has paid his dues and is currently opening for Zac Brown Band on their US tour. Check him out singing ‘Making Me Look Good Again’ in the ‘Jam in The Van’ session on YouTube. Sublime .
Anyone excited by the news that Dwight Yoakam is releasing a bluegrass album? You can be sure that we are. It’s called ‘Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars’ and is released on 23rd September. We know it will be an 11-track album that will reprise many of his own classic songs in a bluegrass style. He has released details of the tracks that are included
What I Don’t Know
Free To Go
Sad, Sad Music
I Wouldn’t Put It Past Me
Two Doors Down
Home For Sale
Please, Please Baby
Gone (That’ll Be Me)
We are guessing that the last track is a Prince cover. Now that’s going to be interesting.
Gary Quinn/Luke & Mel
There’s a really good show upcoming at Gullivers, Manchester on 7th September. Gary Quinn and Luke and Mel are joint headliners but have now enlisted support from Robbie Cavanagh and Thorne Hill.
Outlander join them on 5th September in Newcastle, Sean Kennedy and Lisa T on 6th September in Glasgow, and for the London gig on 8th September support is The Southern Companion.
Go out and support these guys, folks!
Country Stars Open Bars
We doubt if we have too many millionaires who have made their fortune from singing country music in the UK. It’s a little different in the US of course. Alan Jackson has just paid $5.75 million for a bar in downtown Nashville. AJ’s Good Time Bar will open at 421 Broadway. For those that know the area it was formally The Wheel Cigar Bar. The premises occupy 3 stories and AJ’s will have a rooftop bar. Jackson is promising that it will be a Honky Tonk that plays real country music.
The country stars are expanding in the area. Dierks Bentley is opening a bar at 400 Broadway and John Rich of Big and Rich is also opening Redneck Riviera later this year, also on Broadway.
We have voted in the preliminary CMA Awards and the final nominees will be announced on Wednesday 31st August. The awards will be held at the Bridgestone Arena on 2nd November and Brad and Carrie will host again.
Zac Brown Band
Zac Brown Band continue to set attendance records. Last weekend they were in New York and Boston. Over 3 nights, 111,000 fans saw them perform. In Boston they performed 2 shows and each show was totally different in terms of set lists. The shows were broadcast on Pay Per View for those not able to get a ticket.
The only downside to this is that you were not guaranteed to hear ‘Chicken Fried’ or ‘Toes’! They have come a long way since we first saw them performing at Shepherds Bush Empire!!
Ronnie Dunn has now moved across to Big Machine records and releases his first album for the label on 21st October. It’s entitled ‘Tattooed Heart’ and is produced by Rascal Flatts’ Jay Demarcus. The album also features a collaboration with Reba McEntire .
The new single is ‘Damn Drunk’ which features Kix Brooks.
“Ain’t No Trucks in Texas” (Tony Martin, Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher)
“Damn Drunk” with Kix Brooks (Liz Hengber, Alex Kline, Ben Stennis)
“I Worship the Woman You Walked On” (Bob DiPiero, Mitzi Dawn Jenkins, Tony Mullins)
“That’s Why They Make Jack Daniels” (Jim Collins, Tom Hambridge, Tony Martin)
“I Put That There” (Deric Ruttan, Jonathan Singleton)
“Young Buck” (Jaren Johnston, Jeremy Stover)
“I Wanna Love Like That Again” (Ronnie Dunn)
“Still Feels Like Mexico” featuring Reba McEntire (Tommy Lee James, Jon Randall)
“Tattooed Heart” (Antonio Dixon, Kenneth Edmonds, Sean Forman, Ariana Grande, Matt Squire, Leon Thomas, Khristopher Van Riddick Tynes)
“This Old Heart” (Jim Beavers, Jonathan Singleton)
“Only Broken Heart in San Antone” (Steve Bogard, Jeff Stevens)
“She Don’t Honky Tonk No More” (Ronnie Dunn, Nikki Fernandez)
You may have seen our recent interview with Maren Morris. She told Dan that she is collaborating with Alicia Keys for CMT Crossroads. It will air on 2nd December. Keys will be joining Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus on the 11th season of The Voice in September.
Cody Johnson/Blake Shelton
We loved the recent Cody Johnson and Blake Shelton story last week. We reviewed Cody’s album a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely. On its first week of release it was poised to enter the charts at number one until Blake’s record label decided to re-promote his last album ‘If I’m Honest’ by offering it online for $0.99. Even with our recent rubbish exchange rate this is about 75 pence for the whole album
Needless to say, Blake got the number one spot! Cody tweeted soon after – “Congrats to Blake Shelton on the success of his new record. Proud to be #2 to a guy like him. Be sure to go to google play where you can buy his ENTIRE record for 99 cents”
Upcoming Album Releases
Florida Georgia Line – ‘Dig Your Roots’
Charlie Daniels – ‘Night Hawk’
Reba McEntire – ‘My Kind Of Christmas’ (Yes, we know. Why release this in September??)
Waylon Jennings – ‘The Lost Nashville Sessions’
Jason Aldean – ‘They Don’t Know’
Billy Ray Cyrus – ‘Thin Line’
Ward Thomas – ‘Cartwheels’
Singles Hitting Country Radio
Eric Church – ‘Kill A Word’
Chris Lane – ‘For Her’
Carrie Underwood – ‘Dirty Laundry’
Cody Jinks – ‘I’m Not The Devil’
Brandy Clark – ‘Love Can Go To Hell’