Stars Set To Perform Include Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley And Many More
Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley are the top line talent lined up for a newly created country music festival, Watershed, set to take place Aug. 3-5 at the scenic Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Wash., near Seattle.
In addition to the three headliners, other artists confirmed for the three-day music event include Kix Brooks, Sara Evans, Brantley Gilbert, Thompson Square, Uncle Kracker, Dwight Yoakam, Tracy Lawrence, Reckless Kelly, The Lost Trailers, Steve Holy, and newcomers Jon Pardi and Thomas Rhett, among others. A local stage will feature regional acts each night. More artists are set to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Watershed Music Festival will feature a limited capacity of 25,000, and will offer lawn terrace seating and camping options. The Gorge is also home to the annual Sasquatch! Music Festival.
Three-day passes for Watershed go on sale May 5 at Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com.
Artist Scored First As A Songwriter, Then As A Singer
After first packing his resume full of hits he wrote for other artists, including the Garth Brooks No. 1 “More Than A Memory” and the Eli Young Band’s more recent No. 1, “Crazy Girl,” Lee Brice is finally attaining those kinds of chart numbers as an artist as well.
His 2010 hit, “Love Like Crazy,” became the year’s most played song, peaking at No. 3. Then earlier this month, fresh from his song of the year win for “Crazy Girl” at the Academy of Country Music Awards, the gruff-voiced singer finally landed his first No. 1 as a performer with “A Woman Like You,” an accomplishment he says gave him “a big, big sigh of satisfaction.” The single has sold more than a half million downloads to date.
“A Woman Like You” was the lead single from his sophomore album, “Hard 2 Love,” which just hit stores this week.
Going into the studio to make “Hard 2 Love,” Brice felt like he had something to prove. “I felt like I could make a record as good or better than the last record, so I was actually really excited and really anxious to start working on it,” he tells One Country. But after his record label, Curb Records, gave the green light for Brice to co-produce the project and take full artistic control, a bit of nervousness set it.
“Once I found out the label was going to let me just go make the album I wanted to make, how I wanted to make it, and with [whom] I wanted to make it, then the pressure got on,” he says. “I wanted to go be creative and do all these things, but when I got it done I was like ‘Well, I hope they like this ’cause it’s all on my shoulders.’ Now that I’ve pleased them and they really trust me, it’s such a great place to be in, even for the next record.”
Brice says he poured his heart into the album, for which he co-wrote eight of the 13 songs. “I didn’t just go cut songs, I spent countless hundreds of hours on the whole process,” he says, even lying in his bunk on the tour bus painstakingly working out the song sequencing.
With a total of five producers credited on this album, including several of his songwriting buddies, Brice says he took on the role of “the thread between all of it to keep it cohesive. That’s how we went about it,” he explains. “That’s how we’ll continue to go about it. When I want to make some music with my friends, we’ll go record the song, and whoever gets producer [credit] gets producer [credit].”
It’s been nearly two years since the release of his debut album, “Love Like Crazy” whose title track took an astonishing 55 weeks to ascend the country charts, breaking a chart record for longevity in the process. Brice admits that was a frustrating time, mostly because he wanted the song to get its due, even though he didn’t write it.
“I knew if enough people heard it it would impact their lives,” he says. “I knew what the song could be. So when it was potentially stalling or failing in moments during that [time], that was frustrating because I wanted the song to see that light of day that it deserved. It eventually did, but it did take a while.”
But during that same year of watching the single slowly ascend, Brice graduated from touring in a van playing gigs that paid not much more than pizza and gas money to traveling in a tour bus and performing in much better venues. He’s most grateful that he now has the opportunity to take better care of his band.
“Every big success takes you to another stepping stone, another level,” he says. “Those were big levels for me going from a van to a bus, and being able to treat my guys [the way] they deserved, so that was a blessing. With ‘A Woman Like You,’ there’s another level we’re stepping up on, and the more hits we have, the more levels we’ll step up on, and I’m excited about that.”
He’s planning to take his personal life to new levels as well. Brice got engaged to longtime love Sara Reeveley in January, and just after the ACM Awards earlier this month he moved his fiancée and their three and a half year old son, Takoda, to his Nashville home from Ohio, where mother and son had been living. Brice says the wedding plans are still in the works, but the couple is considering a spring 2013 ceremony.
Meanwhile, look for Brice to hit one more milestone when he makes his late night TV debut on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” May 1.
Plus, Love and Theft To Perform On ABC Drama ‘GCB’ Sunday
• Nine-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt has been chosen as the recipient of the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance. The award will be given to Raitt during the group’s 11th annual Honors and Awards ceremony, slated for Sept. 12 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Previous recipients have included Gregg Allman, Wanda Jackson, Asleep at the Wheel, Jason & the Scorchers, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Chris Hillman, Levon Helm and Emmylou Harris.
Raitt, whose music often blends blues, rock and country, has been influential in shaping American roots music, but has had surprisingly little country crossover success in her career. In fact, her only charting country song was “Don’t It Make Ya Wanna Dance,” from the “Urban Cowboy” film soundtrack. That song peaked at No. 42 in 1980.
• An ailing George Jones (right) has postponed all of his performances through May 20, including the entire Canadian run of his tour. The Country Music Hall of Famer is recuperating from upper respiratory infection and continues to rest at his Franklin, Tenn. home. Although his publicist says Jones is doing much better, doctors are ordering mandatory recovery time. In all, nine dates have just been postponed, in addition to several others called off in the last few weeks.
• Country duo Love and Theft will perform their current top 30 single, “Angel Eyes,” during a scene in next week’s episode of ABC’s new drama series, “GCB.” The episode featuring the duo airs Sunday, April 29 at 10 p.m. (ET). “Angel Eyes” is the debut single from Love and Theft’s forthcoming self-titled album, being released on July 24.
“Performing ‘Angel Eyes’ on ‘GCB’ was definitely a killer experience,” says the band’s Stephen Barker Liles. “I started watching the show from episode one and I really love it. I grew up a preacher’s kid so I can closely relate to a lot of the dialog. We are thrilled to be involved with such a fun new show!”
Adds band mate Eric Gunderson, “Being a part of ‘GCB’ was a blast. The cast was so easy to work with and they made us feel right at home. It was cool to see the film side of the entertainment business and get a taste of what acting is all about.”
This Year Marks A Decade Of Keith’s Performances For U.S. Troops Abroad
Toby Keith recently embarked on a 12-day, five country USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour, traveling to the Middle East to lift the spirits of troops and their families. Just four days into his tour, Keith has already performed for more than 3,900 service members stationed in Bahrain and aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, among other locations. He is pictured here with troops in Bahrain.
This marks Keith’s 10th year doing USO tours. Since his first in 2002, he has traveled to more than 14 countries and participated in nine USO tours. Among the countries he’s visited are: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Iraq, Italy, South Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan and Macedonia. In total, he has participated in 211 USO shows and meet and greets on more than 100 military installations.
On the current tour, Keith will continue his tradition of visiting remote forward operating bases that don’t often get entertainers.
Plus, News From Carrie Underwood, Jamey Johnson, Jana Kramer And Montgomery Gentry
• Zac Brown Band has returned to the studio to work on their forthcoming third studio album, “Uncaged,” which is set for release on July 10. The album will also mark the official debut of ZBB’s newest member, world renowned percussionist Daniel de los Reyes. The band now numbers a whopping seven members, six of whom are pictured.
Brown tells AP that the new line-up “creates a new kind of pulse within the band” and the music is “really about making people dance.”
• Jamey Johnson has recorded a duets album of songs by the late Hank Cochran. Buddy Cannon is producing. Cochran is best known for writing such classic songs as “Make The World Go Away” “I Fall To Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “Ocean Front Property,” “The Chair,” and “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” among many others.
• Singer and hockey fan Carrie Underwood recently made a friendly wager with Tim Hattrick and Willy D. Loon, the morning hosts at country radio station KMLE in Phoenix over the second round NHL playoff series between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators. If the Coyotes win the series, Underwood (who is married to Predator’s center Mike Fisher), will have to sing one of Tim and Willy’s Coyote Songs when she comes to town on tour in October to perform at the Coyote’s Arena. If the Predators win, Tim and Willy will eat a vegan diet for an entire month from a menu provided by Underwood.
• Singer and actress Jana Kramer has set June 5 as the release date for her debut album, Kramer, who is best known for her role of Alex Dupre on “One Tree Hill,” has already sold 250,000 digital downloads to date, including her debut single “Why Ya Wanna.” She also recently made her Grand Ole Opry debut.
• ABC’s “The Revolution” made a visit to Nashville in early April to tape an episode that will feature Montgomery Gentry taking the show’s fashion expert, Tim Gunn, to some of the city’s hottest clothing stores. The episode will air tonight (April 26) on ABC.
Duets With Cartman, No Word On Whether He Kills Kenny
Brad Paisley as a cartoon? That’s just what you’ll see if you tune in to Comedy Central’s “South Park” tonight (April 25). Paisley visited the South Park Studios in California last weekend, and was invited to be part of the next episode, an unusual move since animated shows can often take months to create.
The cartoon Paisley will make two appearances in tonight’s episode, which airs at 10 p.m. (ET). He plays himself, and will be seen singing the national anthem before a Denver Nuggets basketball game. Later in the show, Paisley duets with Eric Cartman, one of the main characters.
Paisley has tweeted about his visit to “South Park” a couple of times already, including posting the picture below, where he poses with, from left, Kenny, Cartman, Kyle and Stan.
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