Tuesday, June 11, 2013
6:27 PM Christian Lamitschka No comments
Lady Antebellum’s Strategy for Song Selection
By Erin Duvall
© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.
It’s been only five years since Lady Antebellum released its self-titled debut album, which propelled the group toward millions-upon-millions of album and single sales, seven Grammy Awards and six CMA Awards. In 2009, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott solidified their superstar status with the crossover appeal of the power ballad “Need You Now,” which they’d written with Josh Kear. And their newest album, Golden, debuted at No.1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart.
During the Golden sessions, though, sales and crossover possibilities were far from top priorities. “We wrote a lot on the road, so a lot of songs, like ‘Generation Away’ (written by Haywood, Kelley, Scott, Brad Warren and Brett Warren), were written with that thought of, ‘How is this going to translate live?’” Kelley explained. “We talk a lot about wanting more and more tempo songs, especially as singles, and that’s what drove us to release ‘Downtown’ (Luke Laird, Shane McAnally and Natalie Hemby). As our live show grows, you really want songs that get people out of their seats.”
The key to achieving that was to channel the energy from their tour into jamming with their road band whenever the opportunity presented itself.
“We actually get up there and soundcheck every day when we’re out on the road,” Haywood said. “Sometimes the band will start jamming and we’ll jump in. Then we’ll take it backstage and finish it. That’s actually how, on the last album, we wrote ‘Wanted You More’ (Haywood, Kelley, Scott plus members of their band: bassist Dennis Edwards, guitarist Jason “Slim” Gambill, keyboardist Jonathan Long and former member Matt Billingslea). Some of these songs are seven or eight writers on a song, but for us it’s all about getting the best song and whatever it takes to get there.”
While in the midst of their “Own the Night World Tour,” during which these jam sessions were taking place, the group stayed in contact with their longtime producer, Paul Worley, sending him songs along the way.
“They’re always making music,” Worley said. “That’s their way. If they’re together and the band is together, they turn the artist area in the venues into their world. They’re constantly writing, recording, pulling the players in and jamming. They don’t waste time hanging around.”
The key to the album’s appeal is in the songs. Five of its 12 tracks came from outside writers. Whatever the source, though, Kelley calls Golden the “best batch of songs we feel like we’ve had in a long time.”
“As the producer, I don’t care who wrote the songs,” Worley said. “What I care about is that the songs we’re recording are great. Really savvy artists understand that. Lady A understands that. There were some really honest and straightforward emails about songs. We’ve all worked together for so long that we don’t really have to cover up what we think. We’re not walking on eggshells with each other.”
“We wanted to make sure our sound evolved, and one way to do that is to use outside writers,” Kelley said. “As a songwriter, you tend to have a certain style. Putting your songs up against outside songs challenges you. That’s one way we’re able to stretch our sound.”
“They’re different melodies and lyrics than those we naturally gravitate toward when we’re writing,” Scott added. “We relate to them just as much as those we write ourselves, but that in itself was an evolution. It was also one of the smartest decisions we’ve made for this record.”
Every song had to prove itself to make the project. “Each outside song was for a specific reason, to take us to a place we didn’t capture when we wrote,” Haywood noted. “’Downtown’ took us to this place of having fun, partying, jaywalking, smoking — all these fun things. We didn’t have a song like that. ‘Nothin’ Like the First Time’ (Sarah Buxton, Jedd Hughes and Hillary Lindsey) reminded us of some of the nostalgic songs we put out before, and we were like, ‘We haven’t written one like that this go-round. Let’s grab that one.’ Each of them fit a piece of the puzzle for what we wanted for the record.”
To find these songs, the trio did look to traditional sources; the chart-topping first single “Downtown” was pitched to them by their label. But a few came to them by less conventional methods.
“’Get to Me’ (Lindsey and James Slater), for example, was in the running for our last record,” Scott recalled. “For whatever reason, we didn’t record it. Then Charles was going through his iTunes library with a fine-tooth comb and found it and sent it around.”
“We didn’t cut it, but luckily no one else had either,” Haywood said. “I reached back out to Hillary Lindsey and it was like, ‘Is this still free?’ She said it was and then, obviously, it goes through the channels.”
“Because we’re songwriters too and part of that community, it’s fun to go to the source, to be able to go, ‘We absolutely love this song,’” Scott continued. “There’s a method to going through the publishers and having it run through all the proper channels, but especially someone like Hillary, having such a great relationship with her, we can call her up or shoot her a text.”
Personal relationships also assisted in securing and recording “Better Off Now (That You’re Gone”), written by Will Hoge and Brian Layson and included on Hoge’s 2003 album, Blackbird on a Lonely Wire.
“I’ve had that record since college and I always thought it was great,” Haywood said. “I was listening to it, probably while running, and it was like, ‘Gosh! We could make a cool version of that!’’’
Spirit was as important as song selection to Golden, specifically in the trio’s decision to reach back to that first eponymous album and its fresh, new energy. “Our life experiences only naturally work their way into the way you write, the way you sing,” Scott reflected. “I sing completely different now from the way I did on the first record. We can never go back and be the same people we were when we recorded it. But we can definitely approach it the same as we did the first record and bring in the experience we’ve had over the past six years.”
5:36 PM Christian Lamitschka No comments
Singer Weston Burt to Premiere on CMT Pure, CMT.com & CMT MobileNashville, TN (June 11, 2013) – Singer Weston Burt will be heating up the airwaves this summer with the exclusive worldwide debut of the cutting edge video, “Lucky Sometimes” on multiple platforms. The premiere will be featured on CMT Pure, CMT.com and CMT Mobile on June 12, 2013. “Lucky Sometimes” is being celebrated as a revolutionary film technique, serving as the first of its kind in country music. The Stop Motion editing platform is directed by Stokes Nielson. Nick Harley served as executive director for the groundbreaking video.
Exclusive Worldwide Debut of Cutting Edge Video,
“Lucky Sometimes,” Set for June 12
Exclusive Worldwide Debut of Cutting Edge Video,
“Lucky Sometimes,” Set for June 12
"Wow, one of the most innovative, eye catching videos we're ever debuted! It captures the fast paced energy of this contagious summer hit!” says CMT Senior VP Music Strategies Leslie Fram.
“It's always fun to push the creative limits and retain the visual entertainment level. Weston's single and high energy performance was a perfect fit for this experimental cinematic clip," adds HitShop Records President Skip Bishop.
Weston Burt, a Fort Payne, Alabama native is deeply rooted in the traditions of Southern rock and country. Musical influences for the 27-year-old singer/songwriter include Garth Brooks, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the iconic group Alabama.
He is gearing up for the national stage as country’s next breakout male vocalist. Earlier this year, Weston launched a national radio tour, promoting his debut single “Lucky Sometimes.” “I’m a hardworking guy from Alabama who loves country music,” he says. “And I’m ready for my shot.”
5:07 PM Christian Lamitschka No comments
Trace Adkins’ Tonight Show Appearance with Colbie Caillat (6/12) will be First TV Performance of “Watch The World End With You” by the Country Star and the Two-Time Grammy Winning Singer/Songwriter
Adkins Also Plans Fan Q&A on CMT Facebook Page on June 12 @ 3pm EST / Noon Pacific
(June 11, 2013 - Nashville, TN) – Veteran hit-maker Trace Adkins kicked summer off by winning All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, raising over $1.5 million for the American Red Cross and releasing Love Will… his 11th studio album (Show Dog-Universal). However, despite accolades and powerful performances, he has yet to share the stage with two-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Colbie Caillat who appears on the album’s poignant first single, “Watch The World End With You,” - until now.
On Wednesday, June 12, Adkins and Ms. Caillat will give their first televised performance together on NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” Of the soul-searching single, USA TODAY wrote, “Not many guys could pull off a love song about the apocalypse, but danged if Adkins doesn't make it sound romantic.”
Adkins, however, gives the credit to Colbie, “This song is about undying love and two people who feel exactly the same way about each other. It needed a voice that was feminine and strong. Colbie’s voice is pure, sultry and soulful all at the same time and I am honored that she could join me on this powerful song by Brett Edlredge.”
While at Leno, Trace will host a Facebook Q&A with fans at 3:00pm Eastern / 12:00pm Pacific on the official CMT Facebook page. Using the new Facebook feature, Replies, the quality of the conversation will be more direct than ever, since users can reply directly to comments and start a conversation thread. This new feature helps users manage multiple conversations on a post, and ensure that friends visiting the page always see the best conversations.
Love Will… is available now (http://smarturl.it/ituneslw) and tackles the world’s greatest emotion. Guests include Colbie Caillat, the esteemed Harlem Gospel Choir and rock/country veterans, Exile. About the album, the Associated Press wrote “… the tall, muscular former oil rigger concentrates on romantic themes, some of which push at the steamier edges of conservative country music conventions - as on his cover of the Exile pop hit "Kiss You All Over."” Country Weekly applauds, “Love Will . . . isn’t a collection of schmoopy, saccharine ballads. The songs are solid and lyrically diverse, exploring love—from the unrequited kind of “So What If I Do” to the eternal in “Watch the World End” to the downright heartbreaking in “If the Sun Comes Up.””
ABOUT TRACE ADKINS: Grammy-nominated Trace Adkins’ trademark baritone has turned albums into Platinum plaques, with over 10 million albums sold, cumulatively. The member of the Grand Ole Opry has a hit list that includes “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” “You're Gonna Miss This,” “Ladies Love Country Boys,” “Songs About Me,” “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk ,” “I Left Something Turned On At Home,” “Every Light In The House,” “Hillbilly Bone (Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins),” “Hot Mama,” “I'm Tryin',” “Just Fishin’,” “Then They Do,” “Chrome,” and “More.” In 2011, Trace’s album, Proud To Be Here debuted atop the Billboard Country Chart and his eleventh studio album, Love Will… was released May 14, 2013 on Show Dog-Universal Music.
He a television personality whose integrity and wry humor served him well when he was named winner of NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice in May 2013 with over $1.5 million raised for the American Red Cross. He created and hosted GAC’s “Great American Heroes,” series that honors great deeds by every-day Americans and, for three consecutive years, he has hosted FOX’s American Country Awards.
Additionally, Adkins is a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program, the American Red Cross and has performed seven USO Tours. He was humbled to serve as Honorary Grand Marshall in the 2013 Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC. As an actor, Trace has played a tough as nails biker in The Lincoln Lawyer (starring Matthew McConaughey) and as an author, the 6'6" oil-rigger recounted his rise to fame, brushes with death and battles with personal demons in his 2007 autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck.
COLBIE CAILLAT - Two-time Grammy winning singer songwriter Colbie Caillat caught a generation’s imagination with her first hit single “Bubbly”, which become one of the best-selling digital tracks of all time. . Her first album COCO debuted at No. 5 and raced its way past the multi-Platinum barrier. Her second album BREAKTHROUGH broke at No. 1 and was honored with two Grammy nominations; that same year, Colbie won two Grammys for her collaborations with Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift.Her most recent studio album ALL OF YOU netted Caillat her sixth platinum single in Brighter Than the Sun, which was featured in more than 20 films and tv shows. Last year, Caillat released her first holiday album ever, CHRISTMAS IN THE SAND, which featured duets with Brad Paisley, Gavin DeGraw and others. Caillat works for honorable causes including the Surfrider Foundation, Save the Music, Farm Sanctuary, the Humane Society of the U.S. Her new studio album is due later this year.
4:52 PM Christian Lamitschka No comments
If you’re a big country music fan, then you just might have made the trip to the mecca of all events, Nashville’s annual sold-out signature week – the CMA Music Festival. And if you were one of the 80,000 visitors per day to the mothership (the new Music City Center), then you likely met country music’s hottest breakout artists Branch & Dean from the label SSM Nashville Records.
Branch & Dean were featured at this year’s four-day event with a full schedule of packed house performances and a meet-and-greet booth for up close and personal fan interaction. Sunday night, as Branch & Dean played live to a standing-room-only audience at Honky Tonk Central, a three-story megalith of a venue in the famed blocks of Lower Broadway, The Country Music Association released reports of a 14 percent increase in attendance over last year’s event.
Perhaps we will never know what or who is responsible for the record-setting crowds packing the very heart of the music city to the tune of a whopping 320,000 visitors, yet we do know that fans and industry alike are warming up to Branch & Dean like a kettle on a potbelly stove. In a recent edition of MusicRow Magazine’s online Weekly Chart Report –known widely as the authority among country music critics, the publication said this, “Branch & Dean‘s “The Dash” is making fast inroads.”
Duo members Steve Branch and Marlon Dean Scallan grew up in the small Jacksonville suburb of Macclenny, Florida, and after 15 years of friendship the twosome officially paired in 2011, as Branch & Dean. Their second single which was released last month entitled, “The Dash”, is a tribute to Steve Branch’s only son Theron Steven William Branch, who passed away on March 15, 2013, following a long struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. “The Dash” follows their debut single, “Your Ol’ Lady’s Gone”, which hit country radio 11 months ago and quickly became a sensation earning an all-time record of most weeks at No. 1 in the history of the British Hotdisc Chart.
Dean Scallan says of the CMA Music Fest week, “The out pouring of love from country fans, radio, and music row has been incredible. We’d like to thank by name some of the folks who took the time to come out to our shows: Jeff Miller from Young Country TV, Matt Bjorke of Roughstock.com, the incomparable Joe Guercio, Ed Salamon – legend and former Executive Director of Country Radio Broadcasters, Katy Salamon of WSIX-Nashville Clear Channel Broadcasting, Lee Williams from UK radio, journalist extraordinaire Kris Midgett, and Ed Morris of CMT, to name a few.” And to their fans and supporters, Steve Branch adds with sincerity, “I like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and thoughts. You will never know how much your Facebook messages, emails, calls, and love have lifted my family and me up in this hard time. God Bless you and I love you all.”
Terry Smith, Terry Eldredge, Dierks Bentley, Jamie Johnson, Danny Roberts, Jeremy Abshire, Kristin Scott Benson
8:56 AM Christian Lamitschka No comments
Dierks Bentley and The Grascals backstage at Riverfront during CMA Music Fest. Dierks surprised fans with an appearance during the award winning bluegrass band’s performance; joining in on the tune “American Pickers” which was co-written by Jamie Johnson, Iodine and Jeffrey East. Dierks later brought his two young daughters onstage to the delight of the crowd and Terry Eldredge danced with one of the little girls. Dierks is a co-writer (along with Jamie Johnson and Ronnie Bowman) on the title cut of The Grascals’ Grammy-nominated album, Life Finds A Way.
Credit: Laughing Penguin Publicity
7:03 AM Christian Lamitschka No comments
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2013 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL WITH 80,000 FANS http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/2013-cma-music-festival-with-80000-fans.html
The Band Perry Welcomes “The Fans Perry” http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/the-band-perry-welcomes-fans-perry.html
“FAN FAIR” RETURNS….WELL, ALMOST http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/fan-fair-returnswell-almost.html
KIP MOORE STADIUM PERFORMANCE http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/kip-moore-stadium-performance.html
Lady Antebellum PING PONG & SONGS to benefit LadyAID http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/lady-antebellum-ping-pong-songs-to.html
TOBY KEITH DRINKS AFTER WORK http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/toby-keith-drinks-after-work.html
Dave Adkins & Republik Steele Debut at #7 on Billboard http://countrymusicnewsinternational.blogspot.de/2013/06/dave-adkins-republik-steele-debut-at-7.html
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6:53 AM Christian Lamitschka No comments
2013 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL SETS NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD WITH 80,000 FANS
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