Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sawyer Brown Teaming up with Compassion International

Country Super Group Sawyer Brown Teaming up
with Compassion International


High Intensity Performers Focusing Energy
on Ending Child Poverty
Sawyer BrownNashville, TN (November 30, 2011) -- High energy country super group Sawyer Brown hopes to bring Compassion to their fans.  The group is joining forces with world-renowned child advocacy organization, Compassion International, to fight global child poverty.

“I always want to be a good steward of the many blessings God has given me,” explains Mark Miller, lead singer for Sawyer Brown.  “Being involved with Compassion International will give me the opportunity to give back.”

Sawyer Brown hopes to inspire its fans to sponsor children through Compassion International.  The Group will also travel into the field with Compassion in early 2012, to see first-hand, the work they are a part of with Compassion International.

Sawyer Brown first rose to fame in 1983, after winning the national TV talent competition, Star Search.  The group has since recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 songs, including the number one hits, "Step that Step", "Some Girls Do", and "Thank God for You".

The group has also won an assortment of awards including 1985’s Horizon Award from the Country Music Association, 1997’s Vocal Group of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, and five Vocal Band of the Year trophies from the TNN/Music City News Country Awards.

Sawyer Brown is the latest country act to embrace Compassion International since it reached out to Country music earlier this year.  Other acts include television icon and Hee Haw star Lulu Roman, 90’s hit maker John Berry, Marty Raybon, former lead singer of super group Shenandoah, Nashville Star winner Buddy Jewell, singer Jeff Bates, up-and-coming all girl group The Lunabelles, and bluegrass duo The Roys.  The Roys actually have Compassion International signage on their tour bus.

“They guys of Sawyer Brown are known for their big hearts, throughout the country music industry and around the world,” says Zane King, Artist Relations Regional Director for Compassion International.  “What a privilege to have them as part of our Compassion team.”

“Sawyer Brown has always been known for its ability to energize an audience,” says Todd Stewart, also of Compassion International.  “If anybody can motivate people to help eradicate world poverty, Sawyer Brown can.”

Aloe Blacc - Gold für den Soul-Überflieger!
Universal Music Bild

Aloe Blacc
Gold für den Soul-Überflieger!
Die Erfolgsgeschichte des Ausnahmekünstlers Aloe Blacc wird weitergeschrieben. Nachdem seine erste Single „I Need A Dollar“ aus dem aktuellen Album „Good Things“ auf fast jedem Radiosender in Dauerrotation gespielt wurde und irgendwann jeder diesen Song kannte, war klar, dass man von Aloe Blacc noch viel hören wird. Durch ihn wurde man erst auf die Modern-Soul-Bewegung aufmerksam, die er als einer der bekanntesten Protagonisten mit ins Leben gerufen hat. Und auch inhaltlich ging es ihm immer um weit mehr als nur gute Unterhaltung. „Für mich hat Musik die Aufgabe, unser Zusammenleben, unsere Gesellschaft zu verbessern“, sagt Aloe Blacc. Und er selbst geht auf „Good Things“ mit gutem Beispiel voran. Offen singt er von Arbeitslosigkeit und Obdachlosigkeit, der ungerechten Verteilung von Vermögen in unserer modernen Geld-Gesellschaft, dem Mangel an Mitgefühl, der rücksichtslosen Plünderung von Ressourcen. „Things ain’t right“ heißt es an einer Stelle des Songs von „Politician“, und Stücke wie „Miss Fortune” oder „So Hard“ sprechen eine ähnlich eindeutige, nachdenkliche Sprache. Der US-amerikanische Schriftsteller und Biograf des ikonischen HipHop-Produzenten J Dilla, Ronnie Reese, hat Aloe Blacc einmal als „The Robin Hood of Recession“ beschrieben. Und damit den sprichwörtlichen Nagel auf den Kopf getroffen.

Geboren wurde Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III alias Aloe Blacc als Sohn panamaischer Einwanderer in Los Angeles. Seine Umgebung hat ihn stets stark geprägt. Die Merengue- und Calypso-Platten, die seine Mutter spielte, als er ein kleiner Junge war. Die kalifornische Rap-Szene mit ihrer freigeistigen Verspieltheit. Und natürlich seine Latino-Wurzeln, die Aloe Blacc vor allem auf seinem Debüt als Solosänger hochhielt: „Shine Through“ von 2006 bot neben gut abgehangenem Kopfnickertum und charismatischem Crooning auch Versatzstücke aus Merengue, Salsa und eine hinreißende Liebeserklärung an „Patria Mia“, seine Heimat. Ein schillerndes Spektrum verschiedenster Einflüsse, lose zusammengehalten von Aloe Blaccs Experimentierfreude und seiner Liebe zur Musik.

Seitdem ist ganz Erstaunliches passiert. Mit „Good Things“ nämlich hat Aloe Blacc seinen musikalischen Fokus geschärft – und damit seinen Horizont erweitert. Die Texte haben sich vom Persönlichen ins Politische gewandelt. Und parallel hat die Musik eine klare klangliche Identität entwickelt. Es ist der Soul-Sound der späten sechziger und frühen siebziger Jahre, der für dieses Album Pate stand. Der Sound von Curtis Mayfield und Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway und Bobby Womack. Und doch ist „Good Things“ meilenweit davon entfernt, ein bloßer Aufguss einer längst vergangenen Ära zu sein. Aloe Blaccs unvergleichliche Stimme holt diese Musik wie selbstverständlich ins Hier und Jetzt, lässt selbst die ganz großen Themen so einfach klingen lässt, dass sie uns alle erreichen. Denn „I Need A Dollar“ heißt eben immer auch „Wir brauchen eine Mark“. Du, ich, wir alle.

Aufgenommen hat Aloe Blacc „Good Things“ mit Leon Michels und Jeff Silverman vom New Yorker Produzententeam Truth & Soul. Gemeinsam mit den Dap-Kings (den Architekten des Sounds von Amy Winehouse) bilden Truth & Soul seit einigen Jahren die Speerspitze einer ganz neuen Soul-Bewegung. Mit staubigen Mikrofonen, organischen Bassläufen und satten Bläsersätzen schaffen sie ihren eigenen musikalischen Wunderkosmos – der gleichzeitig vertraut klingt wie das Knistern deiner tausendfach gehörten Lieblingsplatte. Analoge Wärme in einem digitalen Zeitalter. Seele statt Software, und eben ganz viel Wahrheit.

Und auch live versteht es Aloe Blacc perfekt das Publikum in seinen Bann zu ziehen, er hat den richtigen Sound zur richtigen Zeit und seine Live-Power ist einfach unvergleichlich. Das konnte er auf zahlreichen, ausverkauften Konzerten in Deutschland und weltweit dieses Jahr vor einem begeisterten Publikum unter Beweis stellen.

Nachdem bereits „I Need A Dollar“ Goldstatus erreicht hat, freuen wir uns mitteilen zu können, dass das Album „Good Things“ mit über 100.000 verkauften Tonträgern jetzt ebenfalls mit Edelmetall ausgezeichnet wird. Das ausverkaufte Konzert am 22. November in München war die perfekte Gelegenheit um dem Künstler persönlich die Goldscheibe zu übergeben. Und man kann sich schon jetzt mit „You Make Me Smile“ auf eine weitere Singleauskopplung aus „Good Things" freuen, die im Frühjahr 2012 erscheinen wird.

Manchmal braucht es eben einen kleinen Blick zurück, um einen großen Schritt nach vorne zu gehen. In eine Zukunft voller guter Dinge. Die Zukunft von Aloe Blacc.

Country Music News International November 30th 2011

Here is your Country Music News of the day. Your Country Music News is supported by Lucy Angel, http://www.LucyAngel.com , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , HelpCharity, http://www.MySpace.com/HelpCharity , Bobbe Seymour, http://www.MySpace.com/BobbeSeymour , Radio4Humans, http://www.Radio4Humans.de , Katsy Redstar http://www.myspace.com/KatsyRedstar , International Festival of Country Music http://www.bb-promotion.com/de/veranstaltungen/international-festival-of-country-music

You can publish the Newsletter to your websites or forward to your friends. If you want to publish some of the interviews, please contact me.

Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages. Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Lucy Angel, http://www.LucyAngel.com , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , HelpCharity, http://www.MySpace.com/HelpCharity , Bobbe Seymour, www.MySpace.com/BobbeSeymour , Radio4Humans, http://www.Radio4Humans.de , Katsy Redstar http://www.myspace.com/KatsyRedstar , International Festival of Country Music http://www.bb-promotion.com/de/veranstaltungen/international-festival-of-country-music

Der Newsletter darf veröffentlicht werden auf Euren Internetseiten und an Eure Freunde weiter geleitet werden. Solltet Ihr gerne einige der Interviews veröffentlichen wollen, kurze Rückmeldung an mich.

Two-Time Dove Award nominees fall victim to Thanksgiving theft http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.com/2011/11/two-time-dove-award-nominees-fall.html




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Viele Grüße

Christian

Country Music News International
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Christian Lamitschka
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Interview with Tom Huebner of Tom Huebner and the Real Deal


Interview with Tom Huebner of Tom Huebner and the Real Deal

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Tom Huebner:  We play original country rock that’s guitar-oriented, with a focus on vocals and vocal harmonies and solid, original songwriting.



Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

Tom Huebner:  Well, my wife and band partner Dottie Escue and I had a baby about a year and 9 months ago, so our daughter’s been the big highlight. As a result, we’ve stayed pretty close to home here in the San Francisco Bay Area, playing clubs and festivals in Northern California while the baby gets bigger. We’ve got some great players working with us and we get a great response when we play out. Dottie’s got family in Nashville, so we plan to take the music out there next year.

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how's it doing?



Tom Huebner:  The name of our most current CD is Highway 43, which was released on the indie Camel Records label. It got a nice review from a website in the UK called americana.uk when it came out that led to interest from radio in England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. At the time, money was tight and the label couldn’t help us with tour support, so we were unable to follow up on that initial interest with a tour. Here in the U.S., the record has gotten some radio play in various localities around the country. I’ve got the songs for a follow-up CD and we’d like to get back in the studio to record, soon. Dottie was not with the band when Highway 43 was recorded and we now have two new original recording that feature her on background vocals. The tunes,
„When Push Comes to Shove,“ and „If Angels Didn’t Fall,“ can be heard on our website, www.tomhuebner.com and at www.myspace.com/tomhuebnerandtherealdeal. , People can also hear a song there that I wrote and recorded with my former band,
Key Lime Pie, called „Lonely Man,“ which was on a album entitled Cookin’.



Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?



Tom Huebner:  Highway 43 is an imaginary place based on a road I like traveling in the Sierra Nevada foothills called Highway 49. I used to do a lot of road trips with my grandfather when he was alive and the title song, Highway 43, is about those times. He was a great storyteller who loved country roads and the mountains and was also a citrus farmer who grew oranges.  I spent a lot of time in his groves with him when I was a boy.



Lamitschka:  Do you write the songs yourself? If not, how do you go about finding the songs for your CD?



Tom Huebner:  Yes, everything on the CD is my own writing. I’ve been working on the craft for a long time and have lots of tapes and notebooks and things that I keep bits and pieces of ideas in. Sometimes I get a song all at once and sometimes I take an idea I’ve had for ten years in the back of a notebook and put it together with a new idea to get the complete song. I’ve been hugely influenced by the songwriting technique of people like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, both of whom have said that they will always and without fail, trust and acknowledge The Muse when they’re writing. Neil has said that he never, ever ignores the call of his creativity and will drop everything to get his ideas down. His songs will draw you in like no one else can, so I strive for that in my writing – not failing to get the water out of the well when it’s rising. I also never, under any circustances, censor the first drafts of my songs. Just turn on the tape machine and let it roll. And I’m really fond of old-school 4-track tape decks for the purpose, altlough I do use Protools at home some. I’ve heard Tom Petty say that the songs always came easy and I’ll bet they do becasuse he doesn’t censor himself at first. I may come back and do many drafts of a song before I get the music and lyrics right, but with the initial ideas, I just want them to flow through me.

Lamitschka:  What is the difference between your last CD and your current one?

Tom Huebner:  The next CD is definitely going to rock harder. For example, we have one tune called „10 Miles Outta Memphis“ that’s about a guy who’s got a few dangerous compulsions – ie, dangerous women, with dangerous substances and dangerous driving habits, all set to a rockin’ boogie beat. It’s got the musical influences of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Johnny Cash all rolled up into it. I’m also big fan of the Rolling Stones and what Keith Richards calls „guitar weaving,“ where the guitar parts weave and play off one another. We love bands like The Black Crowes, and that classic, southern-tinged, bluesy rock, that features great guitar riffs, with some keyboards thrown in. My dad played boogie woogie piano and I guess I’ve just got that in the blood, so to speak, hearing so much of that style of music growing up.



I wanted the first album (Highway 43) to be a bit of an experiment with acoustic instruments and textures associated with country blues and bluegrass – mandolin, fiddle, acoustic guitar, accordian, upright bass. The songs I was writing at the time sort of called for that treatment. Tunes like „Highway 43,“ „San Antonio Rose,“ „Lafayette Louisiana on a Saturday Night,“ and „Daddy’s Gonna Rock You,“ all have an acoustic feel that has roots in country, cajun/zydico and bluegrass styles. Our next album will definitely be a departure from that and will really rock a lot harder. It’s also going to feature Dottie on lead vocals on at least two songs.

Lamitschka:  What will your next single be?

Tom Huebner:  I’m not quite sure at this point and I think it will be a collective decision between the band, the label and the producer. Right now, I’m leaning towards releasing „When Push Comes to Shove“ and „If Angels Didn’t Fall“ as a single. We’re currently in the process of re-mixing „When Push Comes to Shove“ so that we can release it in the best possible light. Once we finish the re-mixing process, we’ll put both of these songs on itunes and people will be able to find them there. There’s a couple of other unreleased songs that might be candidates as well. We’ll just have to see.



 Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Tom Huebner:  If I could change one thing, it would be to see the industry return to a time when a new artist was given the opportunity to develop over two or three albums, rather than the current mode of giving an artist one shot to go gold and if you don’t, then you’re gone. Two examples of artists that we might never have heard of had they been trying to make it in today’s industry are John Denver and Bruce Springsteen, both of whom didn’t have great commercial success until their third albums. Imagine if we had never gotten Born To Run from Bruce because his label dropped him after the first record sold poorly. I know that times have changed and filesharing has changed forever the way record sales happen and I think most of us who are „unsigned“ or who are trying to make things happen on our own, or are with a small indie are really struggling to find what the new model for success is going to be. I still think that a label can be very important for an artist, particularly a new one, if the label can offer two things – promotional assistance and tour support. It’s not too hard to make a pretty good record on your own these days, using digital technology. And an artist or band can work the „social networking“ thing, ie, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, ect. on one’s own pretty well, including designing one’s own website. But, pomotion, distribution and tour support are really tough hurdles for a new artist to overcome on his or her own. I’m not sure where the answers to these issues lie and I’m just trying to hang in there long enough to be successfull. For me, the big hope now is that someone else might record one of my songs and thereby create the cash to be able to plough back into the enterprise for touring and promotion. I’ve thought all along, for example, that if an independent artist could get a few good reviews, get some radio and internet exposure and then somehow be able to track just where your listeners are, then you could focus your tour on the places where your audience actually is – and then go there.



Lamitschka:  As an artist, you have so many tasks such as recording, touring, interviews. What do you like best, what's your favorite activity?

Tom Huebner:  I love playing live. I always have. There’s just something about getting in the zone with your guitar and having the crowd with you – it’s indescribable and totally addicting! I’ll always be ready to play for as long as I’m allowed in this life. It’s my total passion and I hope I can still do it when I’m eighty. I must say that I really love the studio recording process, though. If you have the right place to be creative and the right people around you, it can be a magic like no other. I was blown away the first time I heard an album I’d worked on in a real recording studio, mixed and then played for us. You read about how the Stones made Exile on Main Street, how they did it in a villa on the French Riviera with a mobile studio, staying up all night for a whole summer, just trying out ideas and getting the right feel and going over it until they had this amazing, rossetta stone of a rock album that we’ll never see the like of again, simply because a record label would never put up with that kind of schedule and the kind of cost it must have taken to record it that way, today. But, there’s a lot we can still do with the right people and the right inspiration. I really love the „live“ studio recordings that Tom Petty has been doing during the last couple of years, both with his old band Mudcrutch and with The Heartbreakers on their album Mojo. These recordings have a warmth and intimacy that’s just beautiful to hear. I’d love to make an record like that – more of a live, in-studio work, in the future – and Dottie would too, so perhaps we will.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Tom Huebner:  I love spending time with my family, visiting friends – jamming just for the fun of it with other musicians. I’ve done a bit of organic gardening over the years. We had a really great one this year with lots of heirloom tomatos, string beans, strawberries, cucumbers, squash and herbs. I’m planting garlic here in a couple of weeks that I’ll harvest next summer. Dottie and I would love to farm if we could. We’d do it like Doc and Merle Watson did – farm in the summer and tour in the winter! The Napa and Sonoma wine country isn’t too far from us – great wines and food up there. I also love surfing and used to do it a lot more before the kids came along. It’s something I’d like to do more of again, when I get the time.

 Lamitschka:  Many music fans today get their information about artists online. Do you have your own website and what will fans find there?

Tom Huebner:  Yes, you can find out more about us, including biographies, pictures, music downloads, ect., by going to www.tomhuebner.com. You can also visit us at www.myspace.com/tomhuebnerandtherealdeal, or follow us on Facebook at Tom Huebner and the Real Deal. The CD Highway 43 can also be purchased at CD Baby.com and at www.camelrecords.net. and songs can be purchased individually on itunes.

 Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your European fans?



Tom Huebner:  It’s great to see such genuine passion for American music like country, blues and roots-rock there in Europe. We’ve heard about some wonderful music festivals that would be awesome to be a part of – and we’d do some club dates, too. We would love to come over and I hope that we can. If the interest from people is there, then we’ll make it happen.

Christian Lamitschka ( Ch.Lamitschka@t-online.de )

Two-Time Dove Award nominees fall victim to Thanksgiving theft


Two-Time Dove Award nominees fall victim to Thanksgiving theft
 
Georgia musical group copes with what is next

The Marksmen Quartet of Murrayville, Ga. were stranded when their white Ford travel van, white enclosed Country Boy trailer and all their instruments, costumes and equipment were stolen, according to Earle Wheeler, group leader.
The multi award-winning group were traveling Thanksgiving weekend to perform at the annual Myrtle Beach Bluegrass Festival in South Carolina when they stopped about 12:30 for an overnight stay Nov. 25 at the Quality Inn on Dunbarton Drive in Florence, he said.
When the group came out at 7:30 a.m. the next morning they found their vehicle gone and the five men left standing there figuring out how to reach their performance and how they would perform it without their instruments.
“Needless to say we were surprised by the predicament,” Wheeler said. “But there is a reason for everything under heaven.”
He said that the outpouring of support for the group when they reached their destination was such a blessing.
“The bluegrass folks have been so good to us,” he said. “Other performers loaned us their instruments to do the shows. Many supporters have reached out to help us financially because the future is still uncertain as to how we will replace everything that was taken. Like any music ministry we rely on those that support our efforts.”
One of the regular means of support is by consumers purchasing product from their concert table or website but the theft took away hundreds of CDs, DVDs as well as specialized display racks and materials, he said.
Wheeler formed the group in 1967 and after 44 years on the road, the quartet which currently records for Rural Rhythm is one of the most awarded country and bluegrass gospel groups performing today (www.marksmenquartet.com).
After the group arranged transportation to reach their performances, the police located their vehicle in Berkeley County, SC left in a disabled condition, Wheeler said.
“There was no trailer, instruments, sound equipment, or stage costumes, boots or other items to be found,” he said. "I have yet to see the van but they tell me they have done damage that makes it undrivable."
Inside the van, the police did recover Wheeler’s Bible.
“That’s the one thing they probably really needed to keep,” Wheeler said. “We were driving the van and trailer while we looked for a 25,500 gross vehicle weight bus to travel in. Costs of operating a larger bus have made it difficult to keep one on the road.”
Lead singer and songwriter Mark Wheeler said losing one’s instrument is like losing an extension of you.
“Many of these were specially made for us, in fact two cannot even be replaced because they were the first or a one-of-a-kind,” he said. “We hope that the authorities will locate the instruments but even if they don’t, we will do our best with whatever the Lord provides.”
Among the stolen instruments with cases are: 2008 Mossman Texas Plains guitar with mahogany sides and back and a big sound hole serial number 08078; a 1991 Mossman Texas Plains guitar with rosewood sides and back and a serial number beginning with 91; a 1999 Mossman Wheeler Gospel all mahogany guitar with serial number 990506; a one-of-a-kind late 1990s Mossman resonator guitar all mahogany with F holes with no serial number; a 1973 Gibson Mastertone banjo, and a blonde Engelhardt upright bass model number em1b with serial number  91443.
If anyone has information on whereabouts of the trailer or the band’s equipment they should contact, the Florence Police Department 843-676-8800 or the South Carolina Crime Stoppers hotline at 888-CRIME SC (274-6372). Callers need not reveal their identities.
If anyone wishes to assist the Marksmen Quartet, their mailing address is 1312 Post White Hill Road, Murrayville, Ga. 30564 or their office number is (706) 864-2951.

Eilidh Patterson - This Is Now (CD Review)





Eilidh Patterson - This Is Now (CD Review)


1. Lydia 2. Grand Scheme Of Things 3. Sometimes I Pretend 4. Whatever The Weather
5. That Was Then, This Is Now 6. Chances Are 7. Thought You’d Be Mine 8. This Room
9. My Love 10. Breaking Up The Concrete 11. It’s Alright 12. You’ll Soon Be Home

Label - Eilidh Patterson © 2011 Eilidh Patterson
Release - September 30, 2011
UPC - 0609132758485
Time - 49:45
Genre - Singer/Songwriter
Www

Two years ago I was introduced to Eilidh Patterson’s music on a live radio broadcast when she was appearing at The Belfast Songwriters Festival in America. I was floored hearing songs like ‘Still Learning’ from her debut album WHEN THE TIME COMES. She eclipsed many of the major artists appearing there. Fans of American songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman will already be acquainted with Eilidth as she has lent her voice to the BACK TO LOVE album as well as opening for and singing back up vocals as a member of her band on tours in the UK, The Netherlands and on dates in America and similar plans could well unfold down the 2012 pipeline. Since meeting Chapman at a song writing retreat at The Giants Causeway in Ireland she has somewhat taken her under her wing and become something of a mentor to her in recent years, saying: Eilidh Patterson’s voice is velvet and air. The richness of her sound and her songs is something beautiful to behold and she is definitely an artist to watch!”

Exactly two years on, this sophomore album THIS IS NOW is a dream come true for the 28-year old Derry, Northern Ireland born and Belfast based Eilidh (pronounced I-Lee , a Scots-Gaelic name meaning Helen or ‘ray of sunshine’) . She started taking piano lessons as a 6-year old and in her late teens developed a love for the guitar. At the age of 17 she dreamt of recording an album in Nashville and this year it materialized! She has made about a dozen visits to Music City over the last 4-5 years making many contacts in its vibrant community. In February 2011 she met songwriter / producer Lee Holland at a House Concert in Nashville. Patterson was drawn to his musical style and approached him with the idea to produce her album. From those Wintery months things quickly snowballed and she returned in the summertime to record in old school fashion, 12 songs in 12 days, at Hill Studios on Music Row, engineered by Brad Hill.

As well as producing Holland plays electric guitar, 12 string guitars, drums, bass, percussion, background vocals and throws in body slaps for good measure too on this project. He compliments Eilidh on her straight forwardness and a purity which comes through in her voice and song writing skills. Of the 12 songs she wrote 11 and co-wrote the other on this digipac presentation complete with lyrics.

The standout acoustic opener ‘Lydia’ sets the tone for what is to follow. This gentle Celtic flavoured number features soft accordion by Jeff Taylor (Elvis Costello, Vince Gill) who also adds piano, whistles and pump organ on subsequent tracks. As life goes on this sweet song tells of an Easter newborn child – “Once in a while a baby’s smile will melt your heart like snow melts the snow” sings Eilidh and also advice when those school days arrive – “it can be your oyster if you let it, girl

The fast moving ‘Grand Scheme Of Things’ has a catchy chorus and ripping electric guitar solos which looks at the wider picture of a little girl, now a grown woman, prepared to live life to the full, experiencing both the joys and pains that colour her years, but with no regrets.

The beautiful ‘Sometimes I Pretend’ with its delicate piano and gentle cello (Justin Saunders) has a magical openness and ambience. It relates dreamy thoughts back to when love felt fresh, cast like a whirlwind on starlit nights but has sadly become extinguished adjusting to life’s pressures and changes. The female protagonist isn’t seeking perfection but longs for a house that once more feels like a home, with love that can be renewed.

On the questioning folky ballad ‘Whatever The Weather’ a simple gratitude is imparted, despite the changing seasons of life, to a partner for the companionship of each passing day, after lonely hours endured end when love is found.

The atmospheric and slow paced title cut ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’ with its weepy pedal steel Kenny Hutson (Vigilantes of Love, Kim Richey) relates a sad tale where love has gone sour and the master plan is shattered. It was written when Eilidh was an eighteen year old. Guest player Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station fame adds some delightful strokes across the dark landscape on resonator guitar.

On the break-up song ‘Chances Are’, after untruths, miracles seem but a distant reality to re-ignite a passion to lighten a heavy heart. With the echoes of a hollow pump organ ringing out the emptiness, pain and heartache spills over onto ‘Thought You’d Be Mine’ as a couple have gone their separate ways. It’s time to move on and not dwell on the past, on the dark ‘This Room’ despite compelling feelings to stay remembering those fonder memories left behind.

The wispy ‘My Love’ reaches out to a lover and serviceman in a distant land but the affection is so strong it remains beside her.
On the brighter mid-tempo ‘Breaking Up The Concrete’ love bursts to gladden a heart like a trees roots breaking through the cracks, but then thunder clouds loam over a relationship, reducing it to rumble.

It’s Alright’ written with song writing pal Ben Glover who hails from Glenarm, N.Ireland depicts a complicated world where love are but lines on a sandy shore that will be quickly washed away. After drawing breath those broken hearts thankfully heal – there is a silver lining.

The sparse closer ‘You’ll Soon Be Home’ was written by Eilidth in her late teens and its roots are drawn from an interest in gospel music when along with her sister and father (himself a gifted songwriter who didn’t pursue a music career) they played and were immersed in the genre as a trio. Songwriter Julie Lee adds backing vocals along with renowned musician and writer Tim O’Brien who plays soft fiddle as those pearly gates of heaven open at the end of a weary road. The album is dedicated to Patterson’s grandmother, who, at 95, sadly died during the recording process.

The quality of the production throughout is excellent, and is best appreciated on hard copy. Unfortunately I would have liked to have heard more light than shade and was left a little flat by its ending when listening from head to toe. Eilidh is a gifted songwriter, with a natural and clean vocal. I look forward to brighter, more upbeat tunes and variable subject matter in the mix on future projects.


Livewire

Various Artists: Hot & New Country Music Vol. 3 (CD Review)





Various Artists: Hot & New Country Music Vol. 3 (CD Review)




Label - Sbc (Sony Music)
Release - September 30, 2011
UPC - 886979531420
Time - 77:52
Wwww1/2

1. Brad Paisley - Old Alabama (Featuring Alabama). 2. Jerrod Niemann - What Do You Want
3.
Thompson Square - Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not 4. Kenny Chesney - Somewhere With You
5.
Sara Evans - A Little Bit Stronger 6. Chris Young - Voices 7. Kevin Chase - Let’s Get Dirty
8.
Miranda Lambert - Heart Like Mine 9. Darius Rucker - This 10. Shania Twain - Today Is Your Day
11.
Lennerockers - White Mice, Pink Elephants And Strong Brown Liqueur
12. Brad Paisley - This Is Country Music 13. The Band Perry - You Lie 14.Jason Aldean - My Kinda Party 15. Billy Currington - Let Me Down Easy
16.
Carrie Underwood - Mama’s Song 17. Luke Bryan - Someone Else Calling You Baby
18.
Zac Brown Band - Colder Weather 19. Kenny Chesney - Live A Little 20. Blake Shelton - Honey Bee


"All good things come along in threes" is an old German proverb but in 2011 this certainly rings true with this wonderful selection crammed full of some of the hottest country singles in recent times. HOT & NEW COUNTRY MUSIC VOL 3 offers another splendid compilation following hot on the heels of Volume 1 & 2 released from Sony Music.

The set opens with Brad Paisley’s terrific chart topping toe-tapper ‘Old Alabama’ which pays tribute to one of the legends, and all time top groups in country music, ALABAMA. The super group are shortly due to receive a special honor—the Greatest Hits Award—at the “American Country Awards,” on Dec 5, 2011. Paisley’s ‘This Is Country Music’ co-written with Chris DuBois is also included which reached #2 on the Billboard chart of March 12, 2011. It captured many of the feelings Brad loved about the genre when growing up.

Jerrod Niemann’s sensitive and soulful ‘What Do You Want’ from his album JUDGE JERROD & THE HUNG JURY, a #4 hit, it was certified gold in April 2011. It was the third single from the album and the follow-up to the #1 single ‘Lover Lover’. This acoustic break-up number with its gentle organ melody and some Latin-flavoured percussion was written by Niemann with Richie Brown and Rachel Bradshaw who sings a tasteful harmony and is the daughter of a former NFL quarterback. For Jerrod, personally it was therapeutic as he wrote this when hitting a very low ebb - "I wrote this song 'cause I had ran that girl clear off to India. ... So, for me, I had really lost everything with her in Nashville” he said.

With the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the air Keifer Thompson plans his next move with his wife Shawna Thompson on ‘Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not’ (written by Jim Collins and David Lee Murphy). This playful romantic song gave duo Thompson Square their first number 1 hit on April 9, 2011 and currently a marker as a career song.

AGR recording artist Kevin Chase who hails from New Brunswick, Canada showcases his hard-driving rocking songLet’s Get Dirty’ to a European audience pulled from his 2011 CD HOLD ON TIGHT. (Youtube Video) With the motor running hot this was a summertime release on July 29th, 2011.

Kenny Chesney offers up two songs from his album HEMINGWAY'S WHISKEY. Firstly the tortured soul track ‘Somewhere With You’ (writers Shane McAnally and J.T. Harding) which carried a lot of mental baggage from a previous relationship. It stayed at #1 for 3 weeks after hitting the top spot in January 29, 2011. With its opening and closing riffs fans of rock group The Who will warm to 'Live A Little’ (Love A Lot) written by Shane Minor/David Lee Murphy which is a song Chesney says defines him and a sound he likes to create on tour. It topped the Country songs chart for one week in May 2011.

Sara Evans wrings every bit of emotion out ofA Little Bit Stronger’ penned by Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott. This was the lead-off single on Sara’s comeback album STRONGER, it gained a platinum certification and made the cut on the soundtrack for the Country Strong movie. Following on from Chesney’s #1 this held the top spot for 2 weeks in May 2011. Succeeding on Sara’s success Miranda Lambert’s ‘Heart Like Mine’ (Travis Howard, Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe) drawn from her album REVOULTION is a catchy number with a strong melody. It climbed to the top on May 28, 2011 after its January release.

Darius Rucker blesses his role as both a husband and parent – “Thank God For All I Miss, Cos’ it Lead Me Here To This” he sings on ‘This the opening track from his album CHARLESTON, SC 1966. It was co-written with Frank Rogers and Kara DioGuardi and released as the second single in November 2010 and granted Darius his number-one place on April 30, 2011.

Something of a bonus is to find Shania Twains current single ‘Today Is Your Day’ secure a place on this disc. After a 6-year hiatus Shania is back! This being her first single to have a crack at a chart showing since her duet with Billy Currington on ‘Party For Two’(2004). This new single released on June 12, 2011 was used as a vehicle to promote the documentary series Why Not?with Shania Twain which appeared on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Written by Shania and co-produced by renowned names David Foster and Nathan it became the theme song for the series. It had limited success peaking on the Billboard Country chart at a lowly #36.

Joining the American country superstars with the only European representation are German band, and new to me Lennerockers. AGR Television Records decided to include this previously unreleased song ’White Mice, Pink Elephants And Strong Brown Liqueur’ which is fun and goofy number and is on their brand spanking new album HIGH CLASS LADY The Best of the Lennerockers. It is one of 3 brand new songs by the rock 'n' roll and country outfit who have been playing for 27 years to audiences in 20 countries across the globe.

Three times winners at the 2011 CMA’s The Band Perry include their 3rd single ‘You Lie’ (writers Aaron, Brian and Clara Henningsen) from their self-titled album. This lead-off song received gold certification for sales and reached #2 on the charts. A hurting Kimberley Perry features on lead, as the songs female narrator she feels the anger by a partner's cheating.

Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party’ packs a punch as the lead-off high energy single and up-tempo title track which was written by country rocker Brantley Gilbert whom has just scored a number one with his single Country Must Be Country Wide. Jason re-recorded the song and released it in August 2010 and it made a #2 position.
With the smell of perfume in the air the sultry and silky smooth ballad ‘Let Me Down Easy’ (writers Mark Nesler and Jennifer Hanson) provided Billy Currington with a fourth consecutive number one hit at the start of April 2011 taken from his album ENJOY YOURSELF.

Carrie Underwood’s somewhat clichéd but inspirational and satisfying ‘Mama’s Song’ makes a showing which like her smash hit ‘Undo It’ she teamed up with writers Kara DioGuardi, Martin Frederiksen and Luke Laird ( writer of “Temporary Home”). Mama’s Song became the fourth single release from the album PLAY ON and just fell short of a number one peaking at #2 (Jan 12, 2011) on Hot Country Songs held off by Reba McEntire and Tim McGraw.

Luke Bryan feels left in the dark and questions his former lovers motives and honesty as she’s quick to hitch a ride elsewhere and move on so soon after a break-up on ‘Someone Else Calling You Baby’, from the pen of Bryan and his producer, Jeff Stevens. The song on Luke’s DOIN’ My THING 2010 album, with it’s crunchy guitar this fast paced number gave the 2011 CMA New Artist nominee a #1 party, when some 6 months after its release, it went on to top the chart on February 6, 2011.

The Zac Brown Band’s popular ‘Colder Weather’ was up for 2 CMA nominations for Single and Song of the Year composed by Zac Brown with band member Coy Bowles joined by Wyatt Durrette and Levi Lowrey. It was the albums second single from YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE, where geography, timing and adverse conditions frustrate a ramblin’ man from being with his lover. The song had 2-week duration at #1 in April 2011.

This 77 minute sampler rounds off with 2011’s most popular track ‘Honey Bee’ (writers Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip) which had a 4-week reign at #1 for 2011 CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton. For a male country singer it has become the fastest selling digital song to break the 500,000 mark.

Verdict: It’s widely available in Germany (link) and an import for the UK market. If you don’t own these songs already then this could be the perfect seasonal gift to celebrate a feast of some of the hottest country tunes of 2011. It hits a home run with me – Enjoy it!

Livewire


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