Marries Bandmate Miranda Lambert's Tour Manager
Amos Lee, Jason Mraz Contribute To New Zac Brown Band Album
• The Zac Brown Band has revealed some details about its forthcoming album, “Uncaged,” due out July 10. Brown calls it the culmination of the “powerful chemistry that’s developed by living, traveling and working as a band. We’re always trying to push the barrier of our musicianship, and I’m proud to say that there is a little bit of something for everyone.
Special guests on the 11-song set include Amos Lee singing on the track “Day That I Die,” and New Orleans' Trombone Shorty contributing trumpet and trombone on “Overnight.” Jason Mraz is among the songwriters on the project, along with Southern Ground artists Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan, and Levi Lowrey.
“This is first record that we’ve made from start to finish in one thought,” said band member Clay Cook of the project. “The previous albums have been a collection of songs. This is an album.”
The album was recorded at various studios across the South, including Atlanta; Asheville, N.C.; Nashville; and Key West, Fla. It is the band’s first album since 2010’s “You Get What You Give” and its first as a seven-piece outfit following the addition of percussionist Daniel de los Reyes.
“We sat and played djembe one night until our hands bled,” Brown says of meeting de los Reyes. “I love his spirit.”
• Trace Adkins was on deck this week for Fleet Week to New York City, and is set to perform during the live broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. First, Adkins kicked off the 25th anniversary of Fleet Week New York on Wednesday, as nearly 6,000 military personnel, including U.S. Navy sailors, U.S. Marine Corps personnel and sailors from U.S. Coast Guard arrived in the city. He boarded the U.S.S. Wasp to welcome the ship’s crew, then performed a free concert for sailors at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.
Thursday night, Trace will perform the national anthem to kick off the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s 21st annual “Salute to Freedom” dinner, where Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be among those honored. He’ll also do a full band show later that night.
On Sunday night (May 27), Adkins will perform during the National Memorial Day Concert, which will air live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol from 8:00-9:30 p.m. (ET).
• Dolly Parton’s top 5 hit from 1971, “Coat Of Many Colors,” has been added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. One of 25 recordings that are selected each year that are deemed “historically, culturally or aesthetically significant,” the addition of Parton’s song now brings the Registry’s total number of recordings to 350. Also included in the registry this year were Leonard Bernstein’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” and Parliament’s “Mothership Connection” and one other country song, Patsy Montana’s “I Want To Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart.”
Set Includes Duets With Brad Paisley And Merle Haggard
Hank Williams Jr. has enlisted some special guests for his next album, “Old School, New Rules,” due out July 10 on his own Bocephus Records imprint. The 12-song set includes a duet with Brad Paisley on the amusingly titled “I’m Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams,” as well as a new duet with country legend Merle Haggard on his No. 1 hit from 1980, “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink.” The first radio single from the set is “That Ain’t Good.”
“I’m excited about this new album,” Williams says in a prepared statement. “I’m definitely ‘old school,’ and I am making music with ‘new rules.’ People know I’m gonna say exactly what I think, and this album is exactly that.”
Here’s the album’s full track listing:
1. Takin’ Back The Country
2. I’m Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams (with Brad Paisley)
3. Three Day Trip
4. Old School
5. We Don’t Apologize for America
6. You Win Again
7. Cow Turd Blues
8. Who’s Takin’ Care of Number One
9. That Ain’t Good
10. Keep The Change
11. Stock Market Blues
12. I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink (with Merle Haggard)
Singer Says He Wants To Work With ‘People I Trust And Love’
Joe Nichols has split from his record label, Show Dog-Universal Records, a label partly owned by Toby Keith.
Nichols informed his fans of this career development in a series of tweets on May 20 that started with this message: “I’d like to thank Show Dog Universal for doing the right thing. I’M FREE!!!!!” A follow-up tweet said, “My plans are to make a record with people I trust and love and be at a happy home (label). Haven’t feel this good about things in a long time.” Later that day, he added this tweet, “Just 2 be clear, I’m VERY thankful 4 showdog and what they have done 4 me. Our relationship has just reached its limits and I wish them luck.”
Nichols, who recently welcomed a new baby girl to his family, got his start on Universal South Records in 2002 and landed eight top 10 hits there, including the No. 1s “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Gimmie That Girl.” He became part of Show Dog when that label merged with Universal South.
Hunter Hayes Gets A Guitar Endorsement
• In the strangest awards show pairing since Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth teamed up to host the American Country Awards, Toby Keith (right) will be partnered with actress Kristen Bell to co-host the 2012 CMT Music Awards, set for June 6 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The show will be televised live on CMT and CMT.com at 8 p.m. (ET).
The show will include performances from Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band.
• Ronnie Dunn has released a new version of his latest album, including two exclusive bonus tracks, at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations and crackerbarrel.com. The CD, “Ronnie Dunn – Special Edition,” includes the 12 songs Dunn released last year, plus previously unreleased bonus tracks “I Love My Country” and “Keep On Lovin’ You.” A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to Wounded Warrior Project, a charity that benefits our veterans.
• Taylor Swift was awarded the Woman of The Year Award at Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. The top award honors “the achievements of a trailblazing female artist over the past 12 months, and acknowledges her overall success in the music business and her leadership in embracing the changing industry.” At 22-years-old, Swift is the youngest ever Woman of the Year winner.
Among the achievements she was honored for, Swift is the only woman in music history to release three No. 1 albums in a row, each selling more than five million copies, putting her in the company of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Michael Jackson. With the release of her most recent album, “Speak Now,” she made history on the Billboard Hot 100 by charting a record-breaking 11 songs from one album in a single week. In addition, Swift also currently holds the Billboard Hot 100 record for the most Top 10 debuts by an artist in the 53-year history of the chart. Her self-titled debut album holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard 200 chart.
• Hunter Hayes has been named brand ambassador for instrument maker C. F. Martin & Co. The young singer will take his Martin guitar with him on the road this fall when he joins Carrie Underwood on her “Blown Away” tour.
“It is an absolute honor to be named an official Martin ambassador and to be recognized by the Martin family,” Hayes says in a press release. “The Martin brand is a name I can trust. They make timeless guitars and prove themselves time and again with their elegant tone and sound. The craftsmanship that goes into every piece is one that has shaped some of my favorite music, and is certainly at the forefront of my own sound. I can’t wait to show off my new Parlor 42-style model on the road.”
Reserves A Theater For A Midnight "Avengers" Show
After last Saturday night’s show in Indianapolis, Brad Paisley treated his band, crew and the fellow artists on his Virtual Reality World Tour to a surprise private screening of “The Avengers” in 3D. Paisley rented out the Hamilton 16 IMAX movie theater in Noblesville, Ind., for a midnight showing. Before the movie started, Paisley welcomed them all and gave a big thank you for the tour’s successful opening weekend.
Pictured, from left, are Love and Theft, Kristen Kelly, Jana Kramer, Paisley, The Band Perry, and Scotty McCreery.
Singer Still Ailing From Persistent Infection
Country music legend George Jones was admitted to a Nashville area hospital again today for treatment of a persistent upper respiratory that has already forced the cancellation of many of his shows this year and required at least one previous hospitalization.
The Country Music Hall of Famer will undergo testing and evaluation. Concerts scheduled through June have been cancelled, and will be re-scheduled where possible.
First Project From The Group As A Trio
Gloriana will release its second studio album, “A Thousand Miles Left Behind,” on July 31. Members of the trio had a hand in writing all 11 tracks including current top 20 single “(Kissed You) Good Night.”
The band had to re-group on the album—then already in progress—after Cheyenne Kimball abruptly left what was then a quartet last summer.
“Like any new act, we were finding ourselves on the first record—in the recording process and as musicians,” says Gloriana’s Tom Gossin. “The new album really just feels like us, who and where we are now, to the point where we know exactly what we want to do and how to get there.”
“We’ve grown up a lot as a band and have really honed in on our skills and found our sound,” band mate Mike Gossin says of the new project.
Adds the band’s Rachel Reinert, “On this record, we wanted to tell stories and I think people will be able to relate to a lot of these songs because they’re honest and come from a place that’s real.”
Gloriana released its debut self-titled album in 2009 and went on to win the fan-voted American Music Award for breakthrough artist that year, and the Academy of Country Music Award for top new vocal group in 2010.
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