Wednesday, May 22, 2013

THE BAND PERRY TELEVISION APPEARANCES

Photo Credit: Ben Krebs
FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE
 
 
THE BAND PERRY WRAPS UP WEEK OF COAST-TO-COAST NATIONAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES 
 
Sibling Trio’s Trek Encompasses Major Events On ABC, CBS, FOX & NBC Networks
  
Nashville, TN (May 22, 2013) – Republic Nashville Superstar trio The Band Perry just wrapped a weeklong trek from coast-to-coast with national television appearances, which were broadcast across ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC networks.
 
The Band Perry kicked off the media blitz in Los Angeles at the season finale of FOX’s American Idol (Season 12) where Top 5 Finalist Janelle Arthur joined the trio for a show-stopping performance of “DONE.” The tune was co-written by Neil and Reid Perry – along with John Davidson and Jacob Bryant – and is on the cusp of Top 10 at Country radio.
 
Less than 12 hours later, the troupe landed on the East Coast to perform on Friday before a record-setting, sell-out crowd of 5,400 at Solomon, MD's Calvert Marine Museum and Saturday’s (5/18) Preakness in Baltimore. The event coincided with Armed Forces Day, giving The Band Perry a special opportunity to salute the military during NBC’s telecast of the race. Later Saturday night, The Band Perry headlined a show for nearly 15,000 fans at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
 
Following the late-night concert, The Band Perry made their way across the US for the Billboard Music Awards (5/19), which aired live on ABC. During their high-energy performance of the Platinum-certified, multi-week #1 smash “Better Dig Two,” the trio executed a rousing drum line, which had the audience on the edge of their seats and online fans engaged as “The Band Perry” began trending on Twitter.  
 
The Band Perry was also featured on CBS Sunday night during the ACM Presents: Tim McGraw Superstar Summer Night television special. TBP showcased another electrifying performance of “DONE.,” which was taped last month in front of a packed house at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
 
Today, the band picked up a nomination for the 2013 Teen Choice Awards in the category of Choice Country Group. The awards will air on Sunday (August 11) on FOX. Fans can vote once daily here. The Band Perry also garnered a nomination for Group Video of the Year from the 2013 CMT Music Awards for their video for "Better Dig Two." Fans have the opportunity to vote through June 2 on CMT.com.
 
Later this month, they will hit the road as special guests on Rascal Flatts' LIVE & LOUD TOUR.
 
ABOUT THE BAND PERRY: Since releasing their self-titled debut album on Republic Nashville in 2010, The Band Perry has ascended to dizzying heights. Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Neil and Reid, the band has notched a string of hit singles, including the quadruple-platinum “If I Die Young” (which climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Country and AC charts), the platinum “You Lie,” and the gold-certified Country #1 “All Your Life” as well as “Better Dig Two,” from their sophomore release PIONEER, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and #2 All Genre. The project, produced by Dann Huff, sold nearly 130,000 copies in the first week and has received acclaim from top critics across the country. They’ve also enjoyed sold-out headlining dates and a showering of honors, including multiple ACM, CMA, and CMT Music awards, as well as Teen Choice, AMA, ACA, and Billboard Music award nominations — all of which has cemented the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history. The Band Perry is currently the face of Outnumber Hunger,  which is in its second year and helps secure meals for the 1 in 6 Americans who struggle with hunger. 
 
For more on The Band Perry, visit thebandperry.com and "join the family" at thefansperry.com.

TRACE ADKINS KISS YOU ALL OVER

"KISS YOU ALL OVER" ON NEW TRACE ADKINS PROJECT
And New Band Biography On The Shelves
 
NASHVILLE -- May 22, 2013 -- Trace Adkins enthusiasts will have one more reason to cherish his new Love Will album when they hear him chime in with the band Exile on the group’s 1978 classic, Kiss You All Over.  There’s more lyrical testosterone in this 5-minute seduction smoothie than can be absorbed in a single listening.  Adkins is such an Exile fan that he’s also included in Love Will the song “Come See Me,” which Exilers J. P. Pennington and Sonny Lemaire co-wrote with Kenny Beard. 
 
Also new on the shelves is a band biography -- Life In Exile: A Journey Home.  Penned by Eve Nicole Lemaire (daughter of Sonny Lemaire), the book covers the band's 50 years from an insider's perspective, and includes interviews with founding, past and current members of the band.
 
Now celebrating its 50th year of performing, Exile was recently inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of
Fame.

George Strait with next Number 1

GEORGE STRAIT’S LOVE IS EVERYTHING DEBUTS AT NO. 1
ON BILLBOARD COUNTRY ALBUMS CHART
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- (Wednesday, May 22, 2013) – Love Is Everything, the new album from MCA Nashville recording artist George Strait, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart this week, selling 119,843 units in its first week. That also earned Strait the No. 2 position on the Billboard Top 200. The album contains the hit single “Give It All We Got Tonight,” which Mediabase named as the most played song on country radio this week, earning Strait an unprecedented 60th No. 1 song. Love Is Everything is Strait’s 40th studio album.
 
“This has been a fantastic birthday week,” said Strait, who turned 61 last Saturday (May 18). “I’m thankful that my fans are excited about the new album and enjoying the music.” 

Love Is Everything, which Strait co-produced with longtime collaborator Tony Brown, continues to receive great reviews, including:
 
 “His voice is in superb form and … the album sparkles. Among the highlights is ‘That’s What Breaking Hearts Do,’…. conjuring sensibility similar to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘All That Heaven Will Allow.’ ‘Blue Melodies’ is a reminder of how effectively a heart can be broken by a voice, an acoustic guitar, and lyrics that succinctly summarize when a sentiment is ‘too sad to sing.’”  - Boston Globe
 
“Since he began churning out country hits in 1981…Strait has cultivated a kind of stoic dependability unmatched among his peers. On Love Is Everything, his stirring new album…. [Strait’s] vocals feel newly vulnerable, particularly in ballads like ‘Blue Melodies’… and the gorgeous ‘I Just Can't Go On Dying Like This,’ which Strait wrote back in the mid '70s….He's putting more of himself in the music, too....There's the unusually vivid language in ‘That's What Breaking Hearts Do,’ which Strait co-wrote with his son Bubba…. But neither of those cuts prepares you for ‘I Believe,’ another song by George and Bubba Strait (with Dean Dillon) that appears to be about the shooting last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School. ‘The night's as clear as a big desert sky / But it's hard to see stars with these tears in my eyes," Strait sings over delicate acoustic fingerpicking, "Yeah, it's hard not to cry / There's 26 reasons why.’ ‘I Believe’ goes on to ponder ‘broken hearts that'll never beat the same’ and ‘shattered lives still reeling from the pain,’ yet insists in a chorus swollen with strings that ‘there's someone who's looking after me.’ Carefully rendered and unabashed in its optimism, it's as personal as anything Strait has ever recorded. And it's completely devastating.  Three stars.” – Los Angeles Times 

Strait kicked off 2013 in high gear for the first leg of his The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. Only the June 1 show in San Antonio’s Alamodome remains in the sold out tour. Known as the “house they built for George,” the Alamodome sold out within an astounding six minutes of going on sale. The Country Music Hall of Fame member is the highest ranked country act on Pollstar's 2013 Worldwide Tickets Chart. Dates for the second leg of his tour, taking place in 2014, will be announced later this year.
 
For more information on Strait, Love Is Everything, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour and more, visit www.GeorgeStrait.com.
 

Darling Parade Artist of the Year

Darling Parade Lands Nomination in
"Make a Band Famous" Category at O Music Awards


Band named Channel One’s 2012-2013 "Artist of the Year"
 
Nashville, Tenn. (May 22, 2013) – Darling Parade marches onto a nomination at this year’s O Music Awards in the “Make a Band Famous” category. The winner of the inaugural award will be named one of MTV's coveted Artists to Watch and have the opportunity to perform at the O Music Awards, plus get a shot to perform during VMA weekend in August. To cast your vote for Darling Parade and to see the full list of nominees, head over to: OMusicAwards.com.

There are currently 10 bands up for the honor, and on May 31 only five will remain. The awards, which honor innovators in music, culture and technology, air June 19 at 7 p.m. ET as part of "Live Music Day," a 24-hour, live-streamed party featuring performances from around the country. More than 50 bands will perform and Roots drummer ?uestlove will host an all-day drum-a-thon to serve as the party's heartbeat.

“Being nominated for the OMA's ‘Make a Band Famous’ award is a huge opportunity, and could really be a game changer for our band,” said Nate McCoy. “We can't wait to see who comes out the winner!”

With millions of votes cast, Channel One News, the leading television news network for teens nationwide, has announced Darling Parade as the winner of their their 2012-2013 "Artist of the Year" competition. Channel One is a digital content provider focused on encouraging young people to be informed, digital-savvy global citizens.  The Peabody and Telly award-winning news program is broadcast to more than 5 million young people in upper elementary schools, middle schools and high schools across the country.  Darling Parade beat out 32 other acts that have been featured as “Hear It Now” artists of the week for the honor.

“We’re thrilled to showcase emerging musicians on the show each week as a part of our Hear it Now program. Artist of the Year is an especially fun way to find out which band is the fan favorite of the season. We’re happy to support Darling Parade during this exciting time in their careers,” said Karen Knapstein, Managing Editor, ChannelOne.com.

"Winning ‘Artist of the Year’ is an amazing thing to us since we all grew up watching Channel One every day,” said Kristin Kearns. “Our fans were incredibly supportive, and we're honored to be this year’s winner."

Darling Parade's music and other information is available now at video.channelone.com.

About Darling Parade:
Darling Parade’s music has been featured extensively on ABC Family’s "The Lying Game," The CW’s “Flygirls," Syfy's "Stargate Universe," and Showtime's "Shameless." They’ve shared the stage with Cassadee Pope, Chevelle, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Stephen Jerzak, Plumb, The Ataris and more. Their music has been reviewed and featured by AOL, MSN, Billboard, Pollstar, Last.FM, Metrolyrics.com, RDIO, Spotify and more. Darling Parade was chosen to star in Supercuts’ national “Rock the Cut" campaign that will begin airing in summer 2013.

For more information, visit www.darlingparade.com.

TIM McGRAW OFFERS LIVE TRACKS TO FANS

 
TIM McGRAW OFFERS LIVE TRACKS TO FANS FOR THE FIRST TIME WITH "McGRAW OVERDRIVE SERIES LIVE"
 
 
Nashville, TN - May 22, 2013 - Superstar Tim McGraw will be releasing live tracks from his TWO LANES OF FREEDOM 2013 Tour, powered by Pennzoil, for the first time ever this summer as part of his new program "McGraw Overdrive Series Live."  The first track, "Southern Girl," will be available starting this Friday, May 24 exclusively at timmcgraw.com with four other live songs to be released on June 7, June 21, July 12 and July 26. Fans will be able to purchase tracks individually or all five together.  All of the songs featured will be from McGraw's Big Machine Records debut, TWO LANES OF FREEDOM.  
 
"The sound and energy from a live show gives an entirely new perspective to any song," said McGraw. "I'm always looking for ways to give the fans something extra.  If you're at the show, it's a cool memory to add to your playlist. And if you couldn't get a ticket to the show that night, you can still hear some of what happened and maybe feel like you were there.  It's a first for me to release live tracks this way, and that's exciting."
 
"McGraw Overdrive Series Live" is powered by nugs.net, the premier platform for live music distribution and webcasts for artists ranging from Metallica to Pearl Jam to Phish. Founder and CEO Brad Serling adds, "No major country artist has ever released live tracks direct to fans during a tour like this, and we're thrilled to help McGraw break new ground."  
 
Coming off sold-out shows in Pittsburgh and Detroit this weekend, McGraw's TWO LANES OF FREEDOM 2013 Tour continues to heat up the summer with Tampa Tribune commenting that, "While some artists tend to appeal to a particular fan base, McGraw continues to grow new audiences, who enjoy his shows for the same reasons fans launched him on the path to megastardom 20 years ago."  The tour continues this weekend with stops in St. Louis, MO (5/23); Chicago, IL (5/24); Cincinnati, OH (5/25) and Darien Lakes, NY (5/26).

New Album by Mike Scott & Friends

New Album by Mike Scott & Friends
 
HOME SWEET HOME Now Released

 
 
May 22, 2013 (Nashville, TN) — Home Sweet Home by Mike Scott is Now available on iTunes, Amazon and other fine digital and CD retailers.  The album is also available now to radio programmers and DJ’s via. AirPlay Direct.
 
Rural Rhythm Records is saluting the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865) with an instrumental album titled Home Sweet Home, which contains 14 songs that were popular during the Civil War Era. 
 
Mike Scott (producer & performer) has assembled an all-star group of musicians to pay tribute to the popular parlor songs, minstrel songs and marching songs from this era, which are now known as traditional standards.  Joining Scott on this album are awarding winning players Adam Steffey, Rob Ickes, Bryan Sutton, Aubrey Haynie, Tim Stafford, Mike Compton, Ben Isaacs, Jeff Taylor and Scott Miller.
 
“I am so excited about this Civil War Era project.  My own banjo heritage traces back to both of my grandfathers.  Also, my great grandmother “Verdie” on my dad’s side played banjo and was born during the 1860’s Civil War period.  I never had the opportunity to meet any of them, but I am proud to carry on the banjo legacy in our family”, says Mike Scott.
 
The songs on Home Sweet Home could be heard during the 1860’s in America’s major cities, small towns, rural areas and soldier encampments during the Civil War.  The song “Ashokan Farewell”, written by Jay Ungar, and heard throughout the Ken Burns Civil War TV series was included in the collection due to its familiarity to this period in time based on the TV series popularity.  150 years later, these 13 American musical treasures can be enjoyed again on this special collection.  These songs should not be lost and forgotten, but passed down to future generations as a part of America’s musical heritage.
 
Mike Scott says, “I dedicate this project to those who broke through the pages of our nation’s history and paved the way for a better America.  I hope these tunes will touch you and give you a reminder of a period of time captivated as part of our nation’s journey to unity and freedom.  May it bring you joy, put a smile on your face and put some ‘giddy-up’ in your step”!
 
Mike Scott is seen by millions of TV viewers each week during prime-time on RFD-TV, (72 million households), performing with Ronnie Reno & Reno Tradition on the RENO’S OLD TIME MUSIC SHOW.  He also is the host of the new music TV series BEHIND THE DREAMTM currently airing on BlueHighways TV. 

Country Music News International May 22. 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

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




HANK WILLIAMS JR. KICKING OFF SUMMER WITH "OLD SCHOOL, NEW RULES" TOUR http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/05/hank-williams-jr-kicking-off-summer.html




Dave Adkins & Republik Steele Head to Nashville With Hot New Album http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/05/dave-adkins-republik-steele-head-to.html

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Country Music News International
Editor / Publisher
Christian Lamitschka
An der Pfingstweide 28
61118 Bad Vilbel
Germany
Phone: ++49 6101 544613
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Interview with High Valley

Interview with High Valley

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?

High Valley: We are a three-part harmony country band with rocking country vibes and some bluegrass influence with mandolin and banjo. 

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

High Valley:  Last year was amazing! We were nominated for a JUNO Award and got to play in the JUNO Cup. Our second single, “Let It Be Me,” went to #1 on CMT and we were able to be a part of a world record-breaking harvest. All kinds of amazing things happened! 
  
Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

High Valley:  We chose Love Is A Long Road as the name of our album because we believe love is something that lasts forever. Love is unconditional. But we wanted to use "Country terms," so we called love a "Long Road".

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

High Valley:  We actually write most of our own music. However, when we don’t, we listen to tracks that songwriters send to us and narrow it down to those that resonate with us the most. It’s really important for us to write and perform songs that we feel a real connection with.   
Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what's the story behind it?

High Valley:  One of my favourite songs is called "Never took Her Dancing". It’s a pretty sad song about making sure you love people while they are around. You have to listen to it!!
It combines the sounds of an accordion and a banjo. Pretty unique and pretty awesome if you ask me!
  
Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

High Valley:  I would say that our musical inspiration comes from bands like Diamond Rio, Blackhawk, Alabama and also bands like Eli Young Band and Little Big Town. A lot of harmony groups because what we grew up on.
Our family also inspired our love for music. Our parents and our three sisters taught us how to sing and play. Music has always been a huge part of our family life.

Lamitschka:  What was your big break that got you into the music business?

High Valley:  Paul Brandt really helped us out and continues to help and mentor us. He really encouraged his fans and the industry to take us seriously and they did. Our big break was probably when Paul had us perform with him at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Awards.
   
Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

High Valley:  One time, Brad’s pants ripped wide open during a show. It was horrible and awesome all at the same time. We fixed the problem with duct tape and then forgot the words to the rest of our songs.

Lamitschka:  Describe what a perfect day is like for you.

High Valley:  Wake up, eat chocolate with ice cream, play guitar, eat a bacon cheeseburger, play mandolin, put on nice cloths, eat a cookie, do a show, sit on the bus and eat nachos and salsa.

Lamitschka:  Most careers don't last as long as yours.  What's given your career the staying power?

High Valley:  The fact that we love music, don't know anything else and don't want to know anything else. It really is our life and passion!






Michael Martin Murphey On ABC TV

Michael Martin Murphey To Appear This Weekend
On ABC TV’s Born To Explore with Richard Wiese


PIERRE, South Dakota — Michael Martin Murphey, whose new album, Red River Drifter, is set for release on July 9, will appear on the Emmy-nominated Born To Explore with Richard Wiese when the program rebroadcast their segment, “Where The Buffalo Roam” on Saturday, May 25 on most ABC television stations.  (Check local listings for times.)

Murphey was in the beautiful Black Hills of western South Dakota, participating in the popular annual event, “The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup” last fall, and visited with Wiese for the program.

The 71,000 acre park, filled with lush forests, quiet and serene meadows and majestic mountains boasts one of the largest publicly-owned bison herds, nearly 1,300 strong. Each fall, the ground rumbles and the dust flies as cowboys, cowgirls and park crews saddle up to bring in the thundering herd. The annual roundup is scheduled for the weekend of September 27.

In addition to discussing the history of the area and the roundup with Wiese, Murphey also performs his hit, “Wildfire.”

Murphey’s forthcoming Red River Drifter marks a return of sorts for the genre-busting artist.  Drawing from a deep well of influences that includes classical to country, blues to bluegrass and folk to jazz, Murphey is perhaps best known for his huge hits, “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “What’s Forever For,” “Long Line of Love” and “Geronimo’s Cadillac” among others.

In recent years Murphey has been exploring the similarities between bluegrass and American cowboy music. But for Red River Drifter, he brought in some very eclectic and unexpected elements to the writing process. “I wrote songs that drew from what is inspiring me at this point in my life,” he says. “Every style was fair game.  We intentionally did not follow formulas or rules.” The result may well be his finest album yet!

A multiple Grammy nominee, Murphey has earned six gold albums and performs more than 150 shows per year. As a songwriter, his work has been covered by John Denver, Lyle Lovett, Johnny Lee, Kenny Rogers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and a host of other recording artists.

Wiese is the host and an executive producer of the television program Born to Explore with Richard Wiese™, which airs weekly on ABC and debuted September 3, 2011. Its second season premiered October 6, 2012. In a successful first season, Born To Explore’s™ positive cultural and environmental message reached viewers around the world, and resulted in several awards. The show was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Children’s Television Series,[2] and garnered a SABRE award for "Product Placement" along with Travel Canada.[3] Wiese has continued to receive acclaim alongside the show, and gained more accolades of his own.

As an extreme adventurer, his stated goal is to inspire young people and spark their interest for discovery and the love of outdoors.[4] He says that Born To Explore™ is a way to encourage this growth and environmental activism, as well as educate his audience on exotic cultures and animals.
 

Darius Rucker Does It All


Darius Rucker Does It All                                   
By Kip Kirby
© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
Darius Rucker wasn’t expecting interruptions during his Grand Ole Opry set on the night of Oct. 2.
He was nearly through with his performance, playing songs from his upcoming third album True Believers and enjoying the response from the sellout house. Then, Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher stood up in the audience, stopping the show and inviting Rucker to answer questions from fans. When the final audience member took the microphone, there was an audible gasp as Rucker realized it was none other than Brad Paisley. Nothing could have prepared him for what came next: Paisley’s invitation for his good friend to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
That moment, and the audience’s joyous reaction, underscored the Country community’s embrace of Rucker as one of its own. His journey toward this achievement began years ago back in his home state of South Carolina, long before the singer had become a household name as front man for Hootie & The Blowfish. Growing up, Rucker listened to all kinds of music: “Hee Haw” with his mother on Saturday nights, church music on Sunday mornings, big band swing standards, beach music, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll. Rucker’s musical explorations took him into all kinds of genres, and he sang along enthusiastically to them all. It never occurred to him to limit himself to one particular style or format.
“Ever since I was a kid, I was always baffled by the different labels for music because it seemed to be the same notes and the same words,” said Rucker. “I sang everything I heard and let the music take me wherever I wanted to go. I just thought all singers could sing everything. Later on, I realized they can’t.”
Rucker’s vocal versatility extends beyond the ranges of pop, rock and Nashville. In 1995, he received a personal invitation to sing at Frank Sinatra’s celebrity-studded 80th birthday gala in Los Angeles, where he performed “The Lady Is a Tramp.”
“That was one of the great days of my life! They sent us this great arrangement of ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’ that sounded exactly like ‘I Only Want to Be with You,’” Rucker said, referring to the hit single by Hootie & The Blowfish. “So we started in, but then I said, ‘I don’t want to play it like that. I want to do it exactly like Sinatra did it live at The Sands in ’64. I want Quincy Jones’ arrangement of it. Can we get it?’ They said, ‘Sure.’ So we get there that night, we’re all in zoot suits and we do the Quincy Jones arrangement — and we just killed it. When we got finished playing, Mr. Sinatra stood up and made me come over and shake his hand. It was really a great, great moment.”
Rucker continues to appear as a regular featured guest with the Peter Graves Orchestra, performing big band standards at charity events around the country. Graves admits that in the beginning he was hesitant about bringing in the lead singer for Hootie & The Blowfish to sing American songbook classics. But prior to their first show together, Rucker flew in several days early to rehearse. It didn’t take long for the orchestra leader to change his mind.
“Like everyone else, my jaw hit the floor,” Graves said, whose orchestra was Sinatra’s hand-picked ensemble for 20 years on shows throughout the Southeast. “He doesn’t try to mimic Frank (Sinatra). He’s still Darius, but he does the music justice. He did his homework and he came prepared. I see people all the time trying to work outside their genre and it doesn’t work. Darius is one of the rare ones who can make the programming switch inside his own head. For me, one of the biggest things is his smoothness and the way he phrases. It’s such a distinctive voice. It brings a lot of uniqueness to what he does.”
Frank Rogers has been Rucker’s producer and frequent co-writer since the singer signed with Capitol Records in 2008. “I’ve worked with him on rock tracks for commercials,” he said. “And I’ve seen him do his Sinatra thing. The other day, we did an R&B thing for a rap artist who wanted Darius to do the hook to the song. He’s just a great storyteller and conveyor of emotion in music.”
Rogers is quick to add that in his opinion, few artists should expect to pull off what Rucker does. The producer’s phone rings constantly with calls from what he refers to as “other-genre’d artists” who want to make the jump into Country Music. “I tell them all ‘no’, because it doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “With Darius, the honesty is there. Yes, he was a big rock star, but he comes across as a country boy from South Carolina because that’s who he is at heart. He grew up with Country Music at the same time he grew up with beach music and R&B and rock. He’s had a lot of influences, but when he sings a Country song, it’s honest. He doesn’t have to pretend that he’s got a twang. He sings in his natural voice. You put a rock band behind it, it’s still Darius singing. You listen to an early Hootie record, it doesn’t sound any different than what we’re doing now in terms of his singing or pronunciation. He always sounds like him — and it works.”
Rucker’s love of Country Music runs deep. It also skews toward the unpredictable, the unexpected and sometimes even under the radar. “Don’t get me wrong,” he insisted. “I love Dwight (Yoakam). And Lyle Lovett is somebody I never give enough credit to. But I’ll never forget flipping channels before work at the record store one day and seeing the video for ‘Crazy Over You’ by Foster & Lloyd for the first time. I’ll never forget how blown away I was. And when I heard ‘Mary and Omie’ by Nanci Griffith, from Once in a Very Blue Moon, it began another avalanche of music for me. I thought these guys were big stars. I didn’t know they weren’t.”
It’s no secret that while on tour with Hootie & The Blowfish, Rucker loved to slip Foster & Lloyd and New Grass Revival CDs onto the bus sound system. He also told his bandmates on more than one occasion, “Someday I’m going to make a Country album.” So when Hootie decided to take a break, Rucker did what he had long hoped to do. His plan was to simply lay down some tracks at a studio in his hometown of Charleston. Never did he anticipate being offered a major label Country deal, figuring that his rock reputation might make acceptance from fans and Country radio an uphill climb.
“But I was never afraid of hard work,” Rucker explained. “Mike Dungan, who signed me to Capitol, told me he called the 13 most important people he thought were tastemakers in Nashville and told them he was signing me. Twelve of them told him he was crazy. But Capitol let me make the record I wanted to make, and then they asked me to go to work. All of a sudden, ‘Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It’ (written by Clay Mills and Rucker) comes in and it’s on Country radio. I’m on the radio again — only it’s Country!”
Ask Rucker if he makes any concessions when singing Country Music, or if he changes his approach at all when shifting to Sinatra standards or Hootie hits, and he shakes his head. “Are there any differences stylistically? I’m sure there are,” he acknowledged. “But it’s not something I can really say because it’s here inside. The thing for me is, I love it all and I can do it all. When you know you can do it, you just go out and sing it.”
As for artists in other genres who might be interested in following Rucker’s footsteps into the Country spotlight, his advice is blunt: “If you’re not a Country fan, don’t come here to make a buck, because they’re gonna see right through you.”
On Rucker’s new album, True Believers, he wrote or co-wrote all but two of its songs, including the title cut, which is also the first single. Additionally, he’ll be headlining his own tour for the first time in 2013. With a string of No. 1 singles, award nominations and soaring album sales, Rucker has undoubtedly brought a new range of fans into the Country format — which is where Rucker intends to stay.
“There’s no offer in rock that could financially, spiritually or emotionally make me happy or put me where I am right now,” he said. “It takes years and years to get to the point where you feel you’re actually getting it. I don’t want to be a big pop star. I just want to sing Country Music.”
On the Web: www.DariusRucker.com
On Twitter: @DariusRucker

HANK WILLIAMS JR. KICKING OFF SUMMER WITH "OLD SCHOOL, NEW RULES" TOUR

HANK WILLIAMS JR. KICKING OFF SUMMER
WITH "OLD SCHOOL, NEW RULES" TOUR


Concert Dates Announced in Celebration of Latest CD 
 
NASHVILLE, TN (May 21, 2013) — Grammy Award winner Hank Williams Jr. is gearing to launch a 2013 summer tour in celebration of his latest album, Old School, New Rules.  Cities among the concert lineup include Detroit, Orlando, Atlantic City, Biloxi and many more.  Known for his powerfully charged performances and trademark style, Hank will take the stage with a string of hits along with new tunes that showcase his distinctive vocals and extraordinary musicianship.

“I always have fun playing shows.  I love to get out in front of my loyal fans and making my mark on this great country,” says Hank Williams Jr.

Hits for the country superstar include "Family Tradition", "Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound", "Old Habits", "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight," "A Country Boy Can Survive" and "Red, White & Pink-Slip Blues" and more. As a multi-instrumentalist, Williams' masterful playing skills include guitar, upright bass, fiddle, steel guitar, banjo, piano, harmonica, drums.  Known as driving force in the music industry, Williams continues to be empowered by loyalty to his homeland and remains committed to songs that are patriotic and sung from the heart.

2013 Hank Williams Jr. Tour Schedule
(check website for updates and additional dates)

06/08 Morton, MN- Jackpot Junction Casino
06/21 Alpharetta, GA- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
06/28 Detroit, MI- The Fox Theatre
06/29 Kettering, OH- Fraze Pavilion
07/12 Pensacola, FL- Pensacola Civic Center
07/13 Orlando, FL- UCF Arena
07/19 Atlantic City, NJ- Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre
07/20 Fredericksburg, VA- Job.com Pavilion
07/26 Southhaven, MS- Snowden Gove Park
07/27 Guthrie Center, IA- Guthrie’s River Ruckus
08/17 Tower, MN- Fortune Bay Resort Casino
08/24 Beaumont, TX- Lamar University
08/31 Portsmouth, VA- Ntelos Wireless Pavilion
09/01 Cherokee, NC- Harrah’s Cherokee
09/06 Concho, OK- Lucky Star Casino
09/07 Newkirk, OK- First Council Casino
09/13 Bossier City, LA- Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
09/14 Biloxi, MS- IP Casino Resort and Spa

For more information, please visit www.hankjr.com

ABOUT HANK WILLIAMS JR:
Williams has no doubt had a long and successful career and continues to make sparks in the industry. In October 1982, Williams had nine albums on the Billboard music charts at the same time, a feat unequaled by any other living artist. Hank has received 16 songwriting honors from Broadcast Music, Inc., had 10 #1 singles, 13 #1 albums, 20 gold and five platinum albums and a double platinum (Greatest Hits, Vol. I). In 1987, Hank won the first of five straight Entertainer of the Year awards voted to him by his peers, and won his first ever Grammy. As a touring artist, Hank was a pioneer in bringing arena rock production values to country music, and he remains one of the most consistent ticket sellers in music, period, as generation after generation gets turned on to one of the most dynamic live performers ever to take the stage.

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