Saturday, March 23, 2013

Country Music News International March 23. 2013


Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.com . Your Country Music News is supported by, Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Dellenbügler, http://dellenbuegler.de , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , HelpCharity, http://www.MySpace.com/HelpCharity

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 von Country Music News International http://www.CountryMusicNewsInternational.blogspot.de . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Courtyard Nashville Downtown http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bnadt-courtyard-nashville-downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitmusiccity.com , Dellenbügler, http://dellenbuegler.de , Tennessee Tourism, http://www.Tennessee.de , Steel Guitar Nashville, http://www.SteelGuitar.net , HelpCharity, http://www.MySpace.com/HelpCharity

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Country Music News International
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Christian Lamitschka
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ANDY GRIGGS Interview & Story

ANDY GRIGGS Interview & Story

Andy Grigg’s thoughts on HIS CURRENT ALBUM, THE NEWTOWN TRADEGY & HIS EUROPEAN TOUR.

Country Music is the one music genre your where fans follow you through your life, both professional and personal, with its up and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly.

One country star has had his share of all the above. Andy Griggs is no stranger to the rain. Now it’s time for his sunshine in life and song.

Andy Griggs says, “There is no defining a style of song. As long as there’s soul, it has a place in music.”  Griggs took these words to heart when he set out to record and produce his latest music project ‘Naked,’ which is all acoustic. “I’m addicted to pure and raw feelings that are as still and quiet as the wind. Throwing your heart out there whether it’s healthy or broken!”

With “Naked,” Andy stripped away the high tech production keeping it raw, no frills, one engineer, and armed with just his guitar. Andy, with his gritty, earthy and soul-filled vocals, penned original tunes for his new offering, as well as covered songs from artists that influenced him, like Waylon’s “Old Timer” and Willie’s “Angel Flying Too Close To the Ground.” Country Weekly bestowed it with 4 stars, the highest rating Griggs has had on any album, and iTunes (the largest distributor of digital music) put their stamp of approval on the albums they believe to be significant additions to the musical landscape. So much in fact, that Griggs’ 13-song album was deemed “New and Noteworthy” on their country page.

I ask him, about co-writing some of the songs on the album and is there one that is his favorite and if so, what’s the story behind that?

He says, “Well, you definitely have songs that gravitate to your heart, more so than others, but I find it difficult as an artist and a songwriter to differentiate yourself between the two. That’s a hard job, because as an artist, you’re trying to find the best song. As a writer, the songs are your children. It’s not real easy to pick out ‘a better song’ than the other if you wrote it because you’re too attached. Every one of the songs you’ve written, or most songs you’ve written, have come from a room inside your heart. That room isn’t really more important or less important than another room. One may become a hit song, and one may not.

“For example, we’re trying to decide on what song I should release next as a single. We have it narrowed down to two songs; one I wrote, one I did not write. The one I did not write is ‘Don’t Let Go.’ The one I did write was ‘Lead You Back to Me.’ I’m not a true judge of it because one of them is my child and the other is not. That’s like asking a daddy at a ball field, ‘Hey who’s the best player out there?’ Well, the dad is gonna say his own kid, right or wrong! So, it’s a tough one, but I guess you just look for that one song that gravitates to your heart longer. It remains with you not for six months or eight months, but a year or two years.

After a moment, Andy continues, “I guess I wrote 50% of the songs on there, and I did some covers, and even a few Waylon Jennings covers. A lot of artists are more comfortable on stage with a support group (a band) and high production, but I’ve always felt more comfortable without a support group. I feel more comfortable ‘Naked’ … no pun intended! I’d rather just sing with my guitar.”

Andy recently released a single called ‘Twenty Little Angels,’ about the school shooting in Connecticut, co-penned with award winning songwriter and friend Bobby Pinson. Griggs and Pinson were grief-stricken over the incident. Their collaboration 'Twenty Little Angels' tells of the tragedy and asks questions we all have asked and want to know the answers to.

“How did these sweet, pure, innocent children get 'caught up in someone else’s hell?'” asks Andy. “We do believe these little angels are in heaven now so we tried to put things in perspective by sharing our personal feelings to calm our anger and soothe our grief by writing a song that would bring comfort to us and to all affected by this tragedy."

Andy says, “This is where my heart and mind have been for the last few months. So even though I have lots of shows between now and my tour to Europe, most of my mind will be on that single and getting it as far as it can on the charts. Proceeds from that single will go to the families of the Connecticut shooting. I grieve for the families, and I want the tidal wave from Music Row to Connecticut to start.”

‘Twenty Little Angels’ is dedicated to the families of those affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT.  Proceeds from the song will be donated to the
Sandy Hook School Support Fund managed by the United Way of Western
Connecticut.

Griggs notes, "There's not enough that can be done for this cause but by downloading this song, everyone's small contribution can make a big difference to the families of these 'Twenty Little Angels.'"

I ask Andy what has been one of the biggest professional hurdles he has been through this year.

“Dreams,” he answers. “They do have their own price tag. Everybody thinks you’re living the dream. Statistics say....”

Which leads me to ask him, “On your new journey with your new album, and the new single, what is the one thing that would be your dream that you would like to see come to pass in the next six months?

“Probably the big thing on my mind would be for ‘Twenty Little Angels’ to do something big,” he replies promptly. “Not for personal gain, but I would like to see money be raised for Connecticut. Again, I don’t [just] grieve for the children, I grieve for the families. I felt like everyone else did that day. If you didn’t feel like throwing your remote control against the wall and bust it, then you’re not human. I thought; how can I make a difference? What can I do? Well maybe I can write a song that people can buy that would cost $1.00. That’s a small ripple in a big ocean, and it doesn’t sound like it can make a difference, but if we all stand together and do that, then that ripple becomes so big.

“My mind before the shooting and the Christmas holidays was ‘Naked.’ I lost my brother right before Christmas, and I remember feeling the agony of seeing his presents under the tree. What do you do with his presents? What do you do with his stocking that was hanging from the mantel? My Christmas will never be the same; the Connecticut families’ Christmases will never be the same. I’ll be honest with you, Christmas was not a great time for me, and that’s how those families are.”

Andy has been absent from the country scene for a while. For a couple years, he’s been concentrating on getting his music back on track. I ask him what has been the biggest focus been besides his music? Has it been touring, has it been the studio, has it been songwriting?

“Well, it’s been a combination of everything,” he replies. “I’ve been going through a lot of life changes. When it comes to life changes, man, I’ve been going through them. Talk about losses, and gains and limps. It is hard to conduct an ongoing career when that’s where my heads been. So I think that now that I’m among the living, my focus is music. Not just songwriting, not just touring, not just the studio, but all of the above. That’s my passion; it’s the only thing I know to do. I would hate having to get a 9 to 5 job because I would suck at it. Most people are really good at one or two things. Well I haven’t found my second thing. So all I have is my music.”

Is he excited about his upcoming tour dates in Europe?

“Am I excited about going to Europe? Heck yeah!” Andy says with a wide grin.  “It’ll just be me and my guitar. That's my favorite time to shine. Outside of Canada or Mexico, I’ve never been overseas. I’ve never gotten on a plane and flown over an ocean. I’ve always wanted to go to Europe, and, shoot, I can’t believe it! Here I am about to get ready to go to Europe. This is one of my dreams come true.”

I ask Andy if he has any expectations, when he gets over there, of what he wants to do besides concerts and music.

He thinks for a moment. “You know, outside of singing and meeting European people who look like me but speak a different tongue, and then… no, I don’t have any expectations. Hell, I don’t know what to expect,” he laughs.

Will he be performing songs that he’s currently working on right now?

“Yeah, I guess so, “ he says. “It’s one of those deals where I don’t know what else to perform, just have to wait and see. I don’t know if they want Waylon Jennings or Hank Williams. As far as things I want to see over there, this probably won’t be the time to be tourist. I’ve always wanted to go to Berlin and take a train to Normandy, and tour France. I’ve always wanted to see Omaha beach…”

If Andy wants to be a tourist on his next visit, I am sure the country fans in Europe will welcome him with open arms!

INTERVIEWER NOTE: Andy is a passionate artist, about life, music and song. You could see his heartfelt emotions about the Newtown tragedy weighing heavily on his shoulders. For info on Andy and to download the single, “Twenty Little Angels,” and his album “Naked” visit andygriggs.com or visit itunes.com.

All contents copyright (c) 2013 by Preshias Harris. All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author.


Preshias Harris

Country Thunder launches Five Days of Giveaways!

Country Thunder launches Five Days of Giveaways!

Prizes include an autographed guitar, music from today’s
hottest country acts and the Grand Prize – a trip to 'Vegas!

 
Nashville, Tenn. (March 22, 2013) – With festival season just around the corner, Country Thunder is excited to announce the launch of  “Five Days of Giveaways,” a prize-packed promotion with several winners selected between March 20 and March 24 at 11:59pm CT. Throughout the campaign, prize packs with music from today’s top Country acts, including Little Big Town, Taylor Swift, Toby Keith and more will be awarded daily, and on Saturday, the prize gets even better as one fan will receive a Gig Pack including an acoustic guitar signed by Darius Rucker and Martina McBride, a gig bag, and all of the essentials to start playing guitar! For the final Grand Prize giveaway, one lucky winner will storm their way to Vegas when they receive round trip airfare and two tickets to the 3rd Annual ACM Fan Jam in Las Vegas on April 7, 2013! To enter, visit http://bit.ly/WE8iy4 or visit Country Thunder’s Facebook page for more information – www.facebook.com/countrythunderUSA.

Country Thunder music festivals take place in Florence, Ariz., (April 11-14, 2013) and Twin Lakes, Wis., (July 18-21) and feature today’s hottest country acts, including Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen and many more. For the complete line-ups, ticket information and all things Country Thunder, please visit www.countrythunder.com.

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