Sunday, July 17, 2011

Michael Martin Murphey To Perform At Wedding of David Lauren, Lauren Bush

Michael Martin Murphey To Perform
At Wedding of David Lauren, Lauren Bush

 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Legendary hitmaker Michael Martin Murphey will be the featured musical performer at the September wedding of Lauren Bush and David Lauren.

For the fashion world, the couple may be the closest thing America has to royality as the wedding is the union of two very famous American names: Lauren Bush is the daughter
of Neil Bush and President George W. Bush’s niece, while David Lauren is the son of fashion icon Ralph Lauren.

"Out of all the people I could've met and fallen in love with," Bush, laughing, told Harper's Bazaar. "It's just ironic that David would end up with someone named Lauren."

Murphey has been friends with the Lauren family for years.
In fact, Murphey helped the Lauren’s find the ranch they purchased and now call home in Western Colorado. The private wedding will be held on the Lauren property.

When Murphey asked the younger Lauren what kind of clothing he should wear, Murphey was told “wear authentic cowboy clothing.  Seeing how you dressed is how we got interested in western wear in the first place.”

The couple has requested that Murphey and his band - including guitarist Pat Flynn, son Ryan Murphey and bassist Gary Roller - perform “Vanishing Breed” for their first dance.

Michael Martin Murphey has left an indelible mark on the American Music Landscape with massive hits like “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “Long Line of Love”, “Cherokee Fiddle”, “What’s Forever For” and many more.  He is the number one singer of American Cowboy Music, outsold only by Marty Robbins. His 2009 release, Buckaroo Bluegrass, earned him a Grammy nomination.  His newest release, Tall Grass and Cool Water, is the third in a series of his musical exploration of the ties between Cowboy songs and Bluegrass music.

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Ashton Shepherd – Where Country Grows (CD Review)

Ashton Shepherd – Where Country Grows (CD Review)


1. Look It Up 2. I’m Good 3. Where Country Grows 4. I’m Just A Woman 5. More Cows Than People
6. Beer On A Boat 7. While It Ain’t Rainin’ 8. Tryin’ To Go To Church 9. That All Leads To One Thing
10. Rory’s Radio

Label - MCA Nashville
UPC - 602527642536
Release - 11 July 2011
Lyrics – Included
Www1/2


Three years have drifted by since the debut album SOUNDS SO GOOD was released by this native from the tiny hamlet of Leroy, Alabama. It won the plaudits of the music press but it had limited commercial success during its 54 week duration on the Billboard Country charts, peaking at #16. This modern-day Loretta Lynn grew up listening to traditional country music and her unique old school sound was born out of her Pickin’ Shed in the backyard. The 24-year old Ashton Shepherd is not a structured 10 – 3 writer, songs come to her when she senses true home-grown feelings that reflects pragmatic real-life situations as opposed to what might appear in a glossy show-biz magazine.

On this sophomore release she touches base once again with producer Buddy Cannon who calls upon the services of many notable players. Shepherd has 3 solo song credits but to stretch herself musically and give this album more of a commercial edge she shares her pen on 5 songs with some top tunesmiths.

The first single and lead off put-down number ‘Look It Up’ gained a #19 slot on the country chart accompanied by a humorous video. This swampy kiss-off song was written by Robert Ellis Orrall (‘A Place In This World’ - Taylor Swift) and eastern Kentuckian Angaleena Presley, a coal miner’s daughter, who as “Holler Annie” is a member of Miranda Lamberts new all-girl trio Pistol Annies. Shepherd not only slams the door on her womanizing husband but has fun dissecting her partner, rubbing his nose in the southern-dirt and insults his intelligence: “The word is faithful” she sings in its opening line and in the second verse “Let's try “liar”, just look it up”. With a large dose of southern backwoods drawl she delivers the final body blow: I said go, goodbye, get lost, get out, get gone the word is “over” look it up.

Shepherd procures the assistance of Nashville Songwriter Hall of Famer Dean Dillon and Dale Dodson on the mid-tempo ‘I’m Good’, which has a contemporary feel. After dodging the curve balls coming down the telephone line a resolute woman reminds her apologetic ex of the heartache she’s been through – “I've cried a river, but you don't remember”. His hollow words will not heal her wounds and suggests to him he makes this the final call, and like this strong willed lady has done, moves on: You tore me down piece by piece but believe me there's plenty of me left, Boy I'm good, gettin' better at being my best

Bobby Pinson the co-writer on a string of number one’s with Sugarland provides the paint for Shepherds canvas on the upbeat second single and title cut ‘Where Country Grows’. Heading down the sparsely populated dirt roads with the smell of honeysuckle in the country airwaves it’s full of southern imagery. It describes the things that a country lifestyle is born out of: Ooh, it's in the earth and the church and the words that we speak slow ,That's where country grows.

The two writers again combine on the steel and fiddle-laden ‘More Cow’s Than People’. Like its character Bobby in the first verse who returns from the city lights Ashton loves and treasures the small town life and is the reason she hasn’t felt the urge to up-sticks and head for Music city. Away from busy music schedules she’s a hard working mum and pea farmer selling the produce out of the back of a truck. As she cranks up the twang like a tractor “It ain’t much of nothin’ she declares. But she’s happy with the peace it holds the unpolluted light and those endless ‘Bama skies: There ain’t no doubt why I live out, Where there’s more cows than people.

The solo cut ‘I’m Just A Woman’ is a slow-paced ballad has all the hallmarks of an early Patty Loveless work whom Shepherd cites as an influence. The opening and closing melody is remarkably close to Brad Paisley’s ‘Too Country’. Ashton spills the beans on a woman’s persona. She knows her man tries his best but she needs him to appreciate her feelings. Sometimes she’s proud and happy other times she cries when she’s sad. She doesn’t want to be ignored like the bills on the table with a wish that he will shoulder some of life’s burdens that weigh heavily on her.

Beer On A Boat’ written by Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip (who together wrote Blake Shelton’s chart topper ‘Honey Bee’) along with Marv Green (co-wrote ‘Amazed‘ for Lonestar, ‘All The Women I Am’ and ‘Consider Me Gone’ for Reba McEntire) would make for a great fun-packed summertime time. As the weekend sun beats down and “the world looks better in a cool pair of shades” Shepherd invites halve the town to jump aboard and crack open a beer or two!

Ashton gets reflective on While It Ain’t Rainin’ written with Troy Jones (co-wrote ‘People Are Crazy’ for Billy Currington & ‘Shiftwork’ for Kenny Chesney). Life’s challenges can shift similarly to weather patterns -“Rainbows today are gone tomorrow”. Quarrels are likened to “downpours” and those “blue skies” can’t be traded and living is valued.

The snappy country two-stepper ‘Tryin’ To Go To Church’ (co-written with Brandy Clark & Shane McAnally - ‘Cry’ and ‘The Day She Got Divorced’ for Reba McEntire) speaks of a beer fuelled gambling addiction which she fights as much as the “heifer” who prises her hubby way. When the chips are down the devil proves the winner and the good lord is put on hold when, or if, things will ever change for better!

The melody on the tense ‘That All Leads To One Thing’ seems strangely familiar. Shepherds syllables are as stretched as the feelings of angst in a marriage gone cold. A wife can no longer take all the alibis and excuses and her bags as packed: I’ve been to the bank this morning and a lawyer has been seen. As the track dies away with the strain of a fiddle and an eerie screech on a guitar her wedding ring is left on the kitchen table and the open door creaks – She’s gone!

The outstanding ‘Rory’s Radio’ which anchors this collection is a nostalgic and personal song. Shepherd lost her older brother Jeff in a car accident in 1999 when he was just 23 years old. "He lived a big life, and he made an impact on my life," Shepherd shares. She pays homage to him in this ballad. She keeps his memory alive relating to days she spent with him and his best friend Rory Dunigan. As a mischievous teenager Shepherd speaks of feeling all grown-up, buying wine for her “big brothers” and heading down the road in Rory’s pick up listening to Hank Williams songs. She fondly recalls the drag racing, night-fishing and eating crawfish sitting under Tombigbee Bridge – “So innocent of this big old world that I now know”... “Were all married now and we have kids But don’t think that we don’t look back and remember” she sings.

Ashton and husband Roland Cunningham are expecting a baby girl this Autumn who will join big brother James aged 5.
As regards this second baby if you’re a country-holic and enjoy it with generous helpings of twang then I suggest you - Look it up


Livewire

RURAL ROOTS MUSIC COMMISSION ANNOUNCE 'CD'S' OF THE YEAR

RURAL ROOTS MUSIC COMMISSION ANNOUNCE 'CD'S' OF THE YEAR
 

     LeMars, Iowa.....The home of the largest ice cream manufacturer in the world, Blue Bunny, is also home of the Rural Roots Music Commission.  Formed eight years ago to honor recording artists and original song composers working in what the Commission calls 'rural' music, has finalized the 2011 'CD of the Year' awards.  The President of the National Traditional Country Music Association, Bob Everhart, was on hand to make the announcement public.
     "When the Rural Roots Music Commission formed eight years ago, the first premise on the table was whether we were going to try to 'stuff' artists into a definitive 'box' or whether we were going to create a 'box' to fit the artist.  From my personal point of view, nothing is so flexible as creative works, especially in music.  It's stupid to call the music we hear today on corporate-controlled radio stations, 'country' music when there is no sustaining connections to country music of the past.  That was the second thing on the table when the Rural Roots Music Commission formed.  Are we going to try to deal with major-label releases and treat them as 'country' records, which they aren't, or are we going to acknowledge there is a tremendously huge number of talented and creative geniuses in America (and around the world) that better understand the 'content' of what a real country music record should consist of. This has led to some interesting developments in how the honors are bestowed from a rural point of view.  A point of view that originates in rural America.  Yes, we should even say we 'live' in the country.  Iowa is one of the most rural of America's states.  Our rich farmland is selling for unbelievable prices, just recently Branden Janowski, a 33-year old software executive, bought 430 acres of Iowa farmland for $4 million dollars.  That's an amazing observation of where rural Iowa is today.  It is also a reflection of how we select deserving 'real' country music artists and composers," Everhart said,  "we consider each and every one of them as very valuable to this music genre"
     Francis Hahn, a retired CIA operative, who serves on the RRMC advisory board, noted.  "Politics has always played a role in just about everything that happens in a democracy.  However it certainly dampens the enthusiasm generated by deserving artists who never get even a mention for their work in a corporate controlled music environment.  We hope that somehow, we can bring a little compassion and intelligence back to the music world of what genuine country music is, and once was."
     Everhart went on to add, "There is a tremendous amount of time spent on each and every CD we receive for these awards.  I personally review them for Tradition Magazine first.  Tradition Magazine is the house organ of the National Traditional Country Music Association (formed in 1976).  Every subscribing member receives it.  Next the CD's are reviewed by the Rural Roots Music Commission, and the best (usually the ones that receive honors) is passed along to those small rural radio stations that still play 'real' country music."
     "It is with great honor that I announce the winners of this years awards" Everhart said.
 
BEST CLASSIC COUNTRY TRIBUTE CD OF THE YEAR - "Classic Country" Sean Benz of Windom, Minn.  A tribute to Johnny Cash  - foleybenz@msn.com
BEST OLD-TIME COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Play Charley" Charley Boyter of Penrith, Australia - sandra@charleyboyter.com.au
BEST CONTEMPORARY ORIGINAL GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR - "Verily Abide" Janet Cline, Oakland, Nebr. - creativecsg@yahoo.com
BEST WESTERN CD OF THE YEAR - "Round Em Up" T.J. Casey, Billings, Mont. - tjcasey@tjcasey.net
BEST ORIGINAL COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Traditional Sounds of Norville Dollar" Norville Dollar, Festus, Mo. -
BEST JUNIOR COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Just Like Slim" Jordan Garner, Blight Park, Australia - jordan@jordangarner.com.au
BEST COWBOY CD OF THE YEAR - "Windmill In The Sunset" Earl Gleason, Belen, NM - earlanddarla@earlgleason.com
BEST TRADITIONAL COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Doing What I Do" Clarence Hayden, Richmond, Mo chayden57@yahoo.com
BEST TRADITIONAL COWBOY YODEL CD OF THE YEAR - "Yodeling Familiar Trails" Tom Hawk, Cumberland, MD tom@tomhawkyodeler.com
BEST JUNIOR PERFORMER CD OF THE YEAR- "Songs From The Heart" Emma Lin Heyen, Council Bluffs, Ia tracicomstock@gmail.com
BEST TRADITIONAL BLUEGRASS CD OF THE YEAR -"Flickertail Holler" Flickertail Holler, Cummings, ND sethmulder@hotmail.com
BEST RURAL COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Cup of Joe" Johansen Sisters, Norfolk, Nebr johansensisters@hotmail.com
BEST JUNIOR INSTRUMENTALIST CD OF THE YEAR - "Piano Hymns & Southern Gospel" Nikolaas Kooi, Inwood, Ia thekoois@alliancecom.net
BEST OLD-TIME BLUEGRASS CD OF THE YEAR - "Tradition With A Twist" Little Roy Lewis & Lizzy, Lincolnton, Ga littleroyandlizzy@comcast.net
BEST BLUEGRASS GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR - "The Water Is Wide" - The Link Family, Lebanon, Mo lance@linkfamilymusic.com
BEST COUNTRY MUSIC TRIBUTE CD OF THE YEAR - "Hillbilly Heaven - Sherwin Linton, Minneapolis, Mn lintonent@asol.com
BEST CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY CD OF THE YEAR - "Cookin' Up Country" - Maggie Mae, Oxford, Wi magiemae@mags.net
BEST AMERICANA CD OF THE YEAR - "Music Beneath the Mesa" - Jonathan Lee Pickens, Ramah, NM inscriptionrock@7cities.net
BEST OLD-TIME FAMILY MUSIC CD OF THE YEAR - "The Reeds" - Punjo Reed, Mountain View, AR punjo1@gmail.com
BEST BLUEGRASS CD OF THE YEAR - "Sandy Creek Pickers - Sandy Creek Pickers, Lincoln, Nebr admin@sandycreekbluegrass.com
BEST CLASSIC BLUEGRASS CD OF THE YEAR - "Josh Slone & Coal Town" - Josh Slone, Littcar, Ky cooksong@verison.net
BEST ORIGINAL GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR - "Crazy World" - This Side of Sunday, Council Bluffs, Ia driche@pottcosheriff.com
BEST LEGACY CD OF THE YEAR - "Sings Patsy Cline" - Sandy Uttley, Huntington, PA - sku162@verizon.net
 
     "The awards will be made 'in-person' at the 36th annual National Old Time Country, Bluegrass, & Folk Music Festival and the Pioneer Exposition of American Rural Lifestyle," Everhart added.  "That's a pretty long name, but it is self explanatory.  We are just like a county fair, except all of our attention is devoted to rural music rather than carnival rides and who had the biggest hog.  That's why we are members of the IAFE (International Association of Fairs and Expositions).  We're the 'other' county fair.  It all takes place at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in LeMars, Iowa, August 29 through September 4th.  There are ten sound stages running from 9am to midnight every day, and well over 650 participating musicians, songwriters, performers, entertainers, and just plain pickers, all seven days.  All of the 'CD of the Year' awards will be made on the main stage, which is where Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, and Jeannie Seely will appear.  Other greats too, including Johnny Cash's daughter Kathy, who will help with our tribute to her father, as well as judge songs in our songwriting contest.  Also expect super-picker Eddie Pennington from Kentucky, Bonnie Guitar from Washington, Terry Smith from Nashville, Peter Daskalov from the Czech Republic, Greta Elkin from Ireland, Ben Steneker from Holland, and an entire "Outback Country Show" from Australia.  All of these participants are concerned about 'why' real country music doesn't receive the same honor and attention that pseudo-country music, which we hear on the radio, does?  We have nice flat ground for RV's to park, for as little as $12 a day with an electric hook-up.  Admission is $15 per day (all activities), or a 7-day pass for $60.  Great food on the ground consistsof the Culver's Restaurant, Tailgater char broiled Iowa steaks, Oklahoma chicken and fish, even 1919 rootbeer floats made with Blue Bunny ice cream.  There's a tepee village with lots of busking, and even arts and crafts.  We tell people who spend their dollars in gasoline, why drive a thousand miles to see one show, when you can see a thousand shows in LeMars, Iowa for a lower price."
     Everhart can be reached at bobeverhart@yahoo.com or 712-762-4363
 

New Music from Bearfoot! Free Download Available Now!

New Music from Bearfoot
Free Download Available Now!

  Bearfoot previews new album with free single giveaway, music video and extensive tour schedule.  
 
 
 The culmination of live performance prowess and a refreshed return to the studio, Compass Records is excited to offer this free download of "When You're Away", an exciting new track from Bearfoot. This "teaser" single is a unique sampling of new material from their upcoming album. This is the first recording to include new members PJ George (Bass), Todd Grebe (guitar, vocals) and the illustrious Nora Jane Struthers on lead vocals and guitar, who joined Bearfoot founding members Angela Oudean (vocals and fiddle) and Jason Norris (mandolin, fiddle) in mid-2010. Download "When You're Away" HERE

Poised for release in September 2011, the new album is nearing completion being produced by veteran bluegrass/acoustic producer and mandolinist Brent Truitt (The Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss) in Nashville, TN, and will feature several new band compositions, including new material from Nora Jane and Todd Grebe.  With dates and locations ranging from their roots in Alaska to the warm beaches of Florida, the band has been touring full-force since late 2010 and all of 2011, developing the new material and perfecting their live performance.

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