Sixth Album Due Out Feb. 7
Dierks Bentley’s new album, “Home,” hits retailers next month (Feb. 7), and is already garnering rave reviews from music critics like CMT.com’s Chet Flippo. It will be Bentley’s sixth studio album, and his first mainstream country project since 2009, following his 2010 foray into bluegrass music with “Up On The Ridge.”
The new set features a vocal collaboration between Bentley and Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild (on album track “When You Come Around”), as well as a musical collaboration with bluegrass music stars Sam Bush and Tim O’Brian (on “Heart of a Lonely Girl”). Daughter Evie also reportedly makes a special guest appearance on the album’s closing track, according to Flippo’s review.
“I definitely stepped away and explored some things that were more on the fringe of country music for a little while,” Bentley says in a press release. “So, this record feels fresh. It doesn’t feel like a continuation of any other project or series of recordings. I love being able to try different things musically, and I’m so thankful my fans have followed me to those places. But, I feel like my real ‘Home’ is in the center of country music.”
The album includes his recent hit, “Am I The Only One,” as well as current single “Home.” Bentley co-wrote six of the project's 12 tracks.
Here’s the complete track list:
1. Am I The Only One
2. Gonna Die Young
3. Tip It On Back
5. Diamonds Make Babies
6. In My Head
7. Breathe You In
8. The Woods
9. When You Gonna Come Around (featuring Karen Fairchild)
11. Heart Of A Lonely Girl
12. Thinking Of You
‘Emotional Traffic’ Will Feature A Duet With Ne-Yo
Curb Records today released cover art and details of what is expected to be Tim McGraw’s last album for the label. As previously reported, “Emotional Traffic” will be released January 24. The set is once again helmed by McGraw’s longtime producer, Byron Gallimore.
The new, 12-track album includes McGraw’s most recent No. 1 hit, “Felt Good On My Lips,” as well as his current single, “Better Than I Used To Be.” Both of those songs, as well as new track “Right Back Atcha Babe,” are already available at iTunes via an exclusive deal struck by the label.
Also included on the album is a collaboration with R&B star Ne-Yo on one of the tracks, “Only Human,” for which Gallimore relinquishes production duties to McGraw’s longtime bang member Darran Smith. Another of the album’s tracks, “I Will Not Fall Down,” was written by McGraw and Martina McBride, along with Brett and Brad Warren (aka The Warren Brothers).
Here’s the album’s full track listing.
2. Right Back Actha Babe
3. One Part, Two Part
4. I Will Not Fall Down
5. The One
6. Better Than I Used To Be
7. Touchdown Jesus
8. The One That Got Away
9. Felt Good On My Lips
10. Hey Now
11. Only Human
12. Die By My Own Hand
Singer’s Collaborations Have Produced Some Great Pairings
Miranda Lambert apparently loves to collaborate with other artists, and her efforts to branch out and share her talents have produced some memorable pairings, including several good ones with her husband, Blake Shelton. Here are our top 10 favorite Lambert duets.
10. Miranda and Dia Frampton, “The House That Built Me.” Lambert shared her hit song with “The Voice” finalist Frampton in the NBC show’s first season finale. Frampton was being coached by Shelton, so Lambert was keeping it in the family by lending her support to the eventual first runner-up. Watch it here.
9. Miranda and Buddy Jewell, “Today I Started Loving You Again.” The two artists shared the stage frequently on the first season of “Nashville Star” in 2003, which Jewell eventually won, with Lambert taking third place. That same year, Lambert joined Jewell on his self-titled debut album with this re-make of the Merle Haggard-penned song. Available on iTunes.
8. Miranda with Dierks Bentley and Jamey Johnson, “Bad Angel.” Not technically a duet since all three singers are featured prominently, but it’s just too good not to include here, particularly Lambert’s step-out vocal parts. It’s a track from Bentley’s 2010 bluegrass-inspired album, “Up On The Ridge.” Available on iTunes.
7. Miranda and Blake Shelton, “Red River Blue.” A track from Shelton’s 2011 album of the same name oddly doesn’t credit this song as a duet, although Lambert makes a substantial vocal contribution. Available on iTunes.
6. Miranda and Blake Shelton, “You’re The Reason God Made Oklahoma.” By now, everyone knows the story of how this power couple first met on the set of a 2005 CMT country duets special where they performed this song together, but it’s worth re-watching their obvious chemistry unfold—and hearing their harmonizing—in this re-make of the David Frizzell and Shelly West No. 1 hit from 1981. Watch it here.
5. Miranda and Jason Aldean, “Grown Woman.” A terrific track from Aldean’s 2007 “Relentless” album that was never released as a single. Available on iTunes.
4. Miranda and Carrie Underwood, “Travelin’ Band.” The two sexy stars took the stage together at Country Radio Seminar in 2010 at a showcase organized by their mutual record company, Sony Music Nashville, and they’re both clearly having a blast performing this version of the Creedence Clearwater Band classic for radio programmers and media. Watch it here.
3. Miranda and Blake Shelton, “Better In The Long Run.” The couple laments the end of love on this track from Lambert’s new album, “Four The Record.” Available on iTunes.
2. Miranda and Blake Shelton, “Draggin’ The River.” A couple fakes their own death and goes on the lam from her disapproving father on this funny track from Shelton’s 2010 “All About Tonight” EP.
1. Miranda and David Nail, “Strangers On A Train.” One of the best tracks from Nail’s underrated 2009 “I’m About To Come Alive” album, this song about a chance encounter on a train and an imagined romantic encounter is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. Available on iTunes.
Have a favorite we missed? Leave a comment below.
Wedding Will Be The Singer’s Third
Wynonna Judd and her musician boyfriend, Scott “Cactus” Moser of the country group Highway 101, got engaged on December 24. The couple is currently touring together as Wynonna and The Big Noise, and Moser is producing Judd’s next album. No date has been announced for the wedding, which will be the third marriage for the 47-year-old Judd.
Moser, now 54, first gained fame as the drummer for Highway 101, which landed ten top 10 hits between 1987 and 1990, including four No. 1s. The band won the CMA vocal group or the year trophy in 1988 and 1989. Moser continues to tour with Highway 101 as well as with his new fiancée, Judd.
Groups Of Three Become An Even More Popular Band Configuration
Executives who staff Nashville’s Music Row have long been accused of finding an act that works, and then signing a dozen more just like it. Whether by coincidence or truly by design, that’s a scenario we’ll see play out in 2012 with the rise of country trios. Particularly front and center will be the two male/one female configuration that has worked so well for Lady Antebellum and, even more recently, The Band Perry.
Attempting to make its mark in 2012 will be family band The Henningsens (right), which has already provided pals The Band Perry with their current hit, “You Lie.” Sony Music Nashville has signed the trio from Illinois, consisting of father Brian, son Aaron and daughter Clara. In addition to The Band Perry, their songs have also been cut by Sara Evans, Wynonna Judd and other artists.
Also at bat will be new Warner Music Nashville trio The Farm (left), which released its debut single, "Home Sweet Home," to radio recently. The band—a refreshingly interracial country music act—consists of longtime Kenny Chesney band member Nick Hoffman, plus musician/songwriters Damien Horne and Krista Marie.
One other band was forced into the two-men/one woman configuration this year by the abrupt departure of a member, but they’re making things work as a trio. Gloriana went from quartet to trio in 2011 when Cheyenne Kimball left the band shortly after finishing recording Gloriana’s second album. Remaining members Mike and Tom Gossin and Rachel Reinert chose not to replace her, and are instead re-working the album’s songs and artwork to represent their new, slimmed-down format.
Similarly, new all-girl band The Lunabelles (right) lost a member this year and have now re-cast themselves as a trio after their first single failed to catch fire at country radio. Gone is multi-instrumentalist Alex King, the only unrelated member of the band, which now comprises sisters Olivia, Dominique and Gabby Arciero.
(Two other acts—Love & Theft and Trailer Choir—followed the path of Sugarland and went from trios to duos with the loss of one member each.)
Another trio, Edens Edge (left), began to establish itself in the country music world this year with a top 20 (and climbing) debut single, “Amen,” and an opening spot on Brad Paisley’s tour. This group is bucking the trend a bit with a one-male/two female configuration.
Meanwhile, the Sony-signed band Pistol Annies—which includes Miranda Lambert in its ranks—had a successful debut album in 2011, joining Carter’s Chord and The Lunabelles in the all-female country trio category.
All of these new and established bands will be attempting to follow in the footsteps of one of country music’s best-selling—and still hugely popular—trios. With 20 million albums and 25 million digital downloads sold, as well as 13 No. 1 singles to its credit, Rascal Flatts has set the bar high for country music trios of any gender.
Singer To Wed In Late January
Former RCA Nashville recording artist and season eight “American Idol” finalist Danny Gokey recently got engaged to girlfriend Leyicet Peralta (pictured with Gokey). The couple is planning a wedding for late January 2012.
A message posted on the Web site of Gokey’s charity, Sophia’s Heart Foundation, says Gokey “is thrilled to have found Leyicet, who also shares his passion and desire to help children and families in need. Accordingly, Danny and Leyicet have requested to their wedding guests that all gifts be in the form of a donation to Sophia’s Heart.”
The couple also posted a personal statement, saying, “We are thankful for so many of the blessings God has given us. It is our desire to see homeless children and families be kept together and lifted back on their feet through the help of Sophia’s Heart. We love and appreciate you all.”
Gokey serves as CEO for the foundation, which he started in memory of his late wife Sophia, who passed away three years ago of a heart-related illness at age 27. Peralta’s occupation was not revealed in the engagement announcement.
New Tune Also Features The Civil Wars
Taylor Swift surprised her fans by releasing a new song in iTunes overnight. The tune, titled “Safe & Sound,” also features hot duo The Civil Wars, an act Swift has long championed. It’s the lead single from the forthcoming soundtrack to the film “The Hunger Games,” opening March 23, 2012.
Swift wrote the song with acclaimed producer T Bone Burnett, as well as The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White. Burnett is also producing the soundtrack, which will be released next year in advance of the film.
By this afternoon, “Safe & Sound” had shot to the No. 1 position atop the iTunes top 10 singles chart. The Civil Wars' White, left, and Williams, right, are pictured at an event with Swift and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott.
The Allman Brothers, Diana Ross Also Among The Honorees
Glen Campbell and George Jones (pictured) are among the artists chosen by The Recording Academy to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at a special ceremony Feb. 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, just prior to the Recording Academy’s 54th annual Grammy Awards the following night.
They will be joined by additional Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the Allman Brothers Band, Antonio Carlos Jobim, The Memphis Horns, Diana Ross and Gil Scott-Heron. All of the honorees will be formally acknowledged during the Grammy telecast on CBS.
The Lifetime Achievement Award honors performers who have made contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. Recipients are selected by The Recording Academy’s national board of trustees.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.