Releases Will Include A Mix Of New And Archival Material
Willie Nelson fans have a lot of new music to look forward to thanks to the 78-year-old music legend’s new deal with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. The agreement calls for five brand-new Nelson albums, with the first scheduled for release this spring.
Upcoming Nelson projects from Legacy will include newly recorded songs and performances, as well as archival releases, all personally curated by the artist, and drawn from all phases of his career.
As curator of his catalog, Nelson will work with label archivists to select recordings—including previously released and previously unreleased tracks—for inclusion in newly compiled collections, and as bonus material on new editions of existing titles.
“I'm really happy to be back home with Sony Music,” says Nelson, who recorded for Sony’s Columbia imprint 1975-1993. “We share a great history, and I’m looking forward to many more years together.”
Singer Returns To The Concert Stage This Week Following Throat Surgery
Keith Urban will head to Sydney later this month to begin filming the Australian version of “The Voice,” for which he will serve as a coach. Urban plans pop back and forth between Australia and the United States over the next few months to do the show, while maintaining a busy schedule here in the U.S. that includes his annual benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, set for April 10 in Nashville.
This Friday night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Urban will make his first concert appearance since having throat surgery last fall.
“It’ll be a blast spending a little time in Australia working on ‘The Voice,’ getting the opportunity to try and help some killer raw talent blossom,” says Urban in prepared statement. “And I have a feeling that being immersed in that new kind of ‘everything is possible’ energy, will have a real inspiring and liberating effect on creating new music for my new album.”
Much of Urban’s time over the course of the year will be spent at home in Nashville, where he’s already begun writing and finding songs for that next album. No release date has been set.
Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Edens Edge Also On The Bill
Rascal Flatts won’t wrap its current Thaw Out Tour until Feb. 18, but the hard working band has already announced plans for its next outing. The American Band Tour will kick off June 15 in Hartford, Conn., with 23 cities announced so far. Sharing the all-band bill with the Flatts will be Little Big Town, Eli Young Band and Edens Edge in the opening spots. The duo Thompson Square will replace the Eli Young Band for two July shows in Dallas and Houston.
“We are always looking for new ways to re-energize our live shows,” says Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus in a press release announcing the tour. “We thought bringing out these bands, whom are among some of our favorite vocal groups, would make a great night of entertainment.”
The band’s new album, “Changed,” is due out April 3.
‘Act Of Valor’ Inspires Songs From Numerous Stars
A slate of country stars have contributed songs to the soundtrack of the upcoming film, “Act Of Valor,” in theaters Feb. 24. The action thriller stars real-life active duty Navy SEALs alongside a cast of actors. Among the artists who provided songs inspired by the film are Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Trace Adkins, Jake Owen, Wynonna Judd, and Montgomery Gentry. They join previously announced contributor Keith Urban, whose song “For You” rolls under the film’s end credits.
Other soundtrack songs include Sugarland’s “Guide You Home,” Lady Antebellum’s “I Was Here,” Adkins’ “If the Sun Comes Up,” Lori McKenna’s “Two Soldiers Coming Home,” Owen’s “The Best I Can,” Montgomery Gentry’s “What It Takes,” Josh Kelley’s “The Best of Me,” Hunter Hayes’ “Where We Left Off,” and Judd’s “Whatever Brings You Back.”
The soundtrack will be released Feb. 21.
Singer Will Visit More Than 30 Cities
Randy Travis is continuing to celebrate his silver anniversary as a recording artist by launching a concert tour, which kicks off Feb. 10 at Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Ore. Additional shows will span the U.S. and Canada, hitting more than 30 cities including already announced dates in Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Calgary, Alberta. More shows are still being added to the schedule.
Travis marked the beginning of his 25th year in the industry last June with the release of the “Anniversary Celebration” album on Warner Bros. Records, but there’s a bit of fuzzy math involved in the continuing celebration. His first Warner Bros. single, “On The Other Hand,” was actually released 27 years ago, in 1985, and became the first of his 16 No. 1 hits. Long before that, however, he (just barely) charted a single in 1979 under his birth name, Randy Traywick.
Reflecting on his career milestone, Travis says in a press release, “I’m surprised at how fast the first 25 years have gone by. It feels like only five.”
Their ‘American the Beautiful’ Duet Is Already At iTunes
Husband and wife team Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have been tapped to open this weekend’s Super Bowl XLVI by singing a duet version of “America the Beautiful.” The Feb. 5 performance will be their first TV performance together since their wedding last May.
Their duet version of “America the Beautiful” is already available on iTunes as of today.
After the Super Bowl airs, Shelton will be front and center once again with the 10 p.m. (ET) premiere of the second season of NBC’s “The Voice,” for which he serves as one of four celebrity coaches. Lambert will also make a return appearance on the show this season.
Plus, Danny Gokey Ties The Knot; Darryl Worley Lands New Record Deal
• After stops in Australia and Canada, Dierks Bentley will bring his Country & Cold Cans Tour back to the U.S. this spring with 20 cities to be announced in the coming weeks. Eli Young Band will rejoin Bentley for the run, along with a combination of Will Hoge and The Cadillac Black in the opening slot. The tour kicks off in Los Angeles April 13 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, with tickets for the first show going on sale Feb 10. Other dates and on-sales will roll out by market over the coming weeks. The run will include a tour stop in Alaska, which Bentley says will give “new meaning to cold cans.”
• Sugarland lead vocalist Jennifer Nettles’ voice is heard singing a snippet of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” in a new, 30-second commercial for Pepsi MAX that will debut during Super Bowl XLVI. The commercial, entitled “Check-Out,” also features an appearance by Regis Philbin.
• Rascal Flatts appear to have a new documentary film in the works. Guitarist Joe Don Rooney tweeted yesterday, “Working on #changed behind the scenes documentary today. Really gives an open eye into what this project is all about.” The ban’s new album, “Changed,” is due out April 3.
• Singer and season eight “American Idol” finalist Danny Gokey wed Leyicet Peralta (pictured at right) Jan. 29. The couple announced their engagement in late December.
• Darryl Worley has signed a recording contract with Tenacity Records/Crazytown, and will release his first single for his new label home, “You Still Got It,” in March. Worley previously recorded for DreamWorks, 903 Music and, most recently, Stroudavarious Records. He’s notched three No. 1 between 2002 and 2005, “I Miss My Friend,” “Have You Forgotten?” and “Awful, Beautiful Life.”
Duo Loses Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Equipment In Florida
The Bellamy Brothers became the victims of crime during a recent music video shoot in the Florida Everglades.
Thieves broke into rental cars and production truck in use by the duo and their crew and stole thousands of dollars worth of production equipment being used for the shoot, as well as a personal iPad and digital camera.
“The police told us that most of the electronics were offered to a local pawn shop right after the theft, but the owner turned the equipment down after suspecting it had been stolen,” says David Bellamy in a media release. “Fortunately, the video cameras and guitars were not taken, probably due to their size.”
The singers recently spent four days in several Florida locations shooting four different music videos with Austrian pop music singer DJ Ötzi. Their collaborations are planned for release in international markets. Shoot locations included the Everglades, Miami’s seaplane port and warehouse district and the Florida Keys.
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.