School is letting out for a few months; dads are firing up the bar-be-cues; pools, lakes and beaches will be packed with families celebrating warm days together. It’s the unofficial kick-off to summer…and it’s Memorial Day Weekend.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. However, by the turn of the 20th century, Memorial Day celebrated Americans who have sacrificed their lives in all wars. The holiday also typically marks the start of the summer vacation season.
Some of your favorite country artists talk about their favorite summertime activities – besides traveling around and performing for fans – as well as what it means to be free because of the brave men and women willing to fight and sacrifice for our freedom.
AUDIO: Dierks Bentley, whose own father was a World War II veteran, talks about the sacrifices made by U.S. servicemen and women.
Dierks (Memorial Day) OC: …upon them. :37
“On the most basic level, I think, for me on the road, I just think about being gone two, three days at a time, maybe a couple of weeks at a time, you know. That seems like a long time when you have kids and family, but these soldiers, they’re gone for months and years at a time – they’re doing 12 to 15 to 18 months -- and they have family back home. That, in itself, is such a huge sacrifice, and that’s just the beginning of it. That’s just scratching the surface of what these guys [and gals] are doing every day – preparing for battle, actually being in battle, being wounded in battle, sometimes dying in battle. So, this country obviously, we would not exist without those courageous men and women, and our future depends upon them.”
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about the freedoms he’s able to enjoy because of those fighting for our right to be free.
Eric Church (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms.
“It’s about, especially the soldiers I come in contact with on the road, and not only that, to be able to make the music that I’m able to make, to say what I want to say, and that freedom to be able to do those things and to be in a country where we’re able to do that and to be in a country where we’re able to play that stuff on the radio. I don’t think you’re going to have any American argue that America isn’t the best place to live, and I’m certainly one of them. I’m very proud to be from here and very proud that we have the soldiers. I know there are a lot of other countries out there in the world that don’t want to live the way we do, and that’s fine, they can keep living the way they are, but I’m very proud of it. I think that’s a time to celebrate being proud to be an American and celebrate those freedoms…and celebrate the people that are over fighting for those freedoms.” AUDIO: Josh Turner talks about his boat, which will most likely be on the water when he’s not on the road this summer.
Josh Turner (Summer) OC: …just ride. :12
“I have a nice boat that I got a couple of years ago. I have it set up for saltwater and fresh water. I’m not much of a water skier, my legs are too skinny for that, but I just try to tube and have fun and just ride.”
AUDIO: Keith Urban wrote and recorded last year’s hit, “For You,” for the film, Act of Valor, which was inspired by real life events and stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs. After hanging out with the SEALS, he was very impressed with their commitment of service.
Keith Urban (SEALS mantra) OC: …conviction. :30AUDIO: Kelleigh Bannen says she’s very thankful for our men and women in uniform.
“They have a mantra, and they say 'the only easy day was yesterday' and they had this spirit of brotherhood and that's a particular thing that's the way in which, I think, it exists is very specific to the Seals. I mean, military in general have this very strong brotherhood code; it's a particular kind of thing in the Seals. As was the testament, to Lt. Roark who is the lead guy in the film; when he was interviewed and talked about funerals he had been to, and he says ‘There isn’t really any one of us who isn't just a little bit jealous of the guy who's died,’ and ok, I heard that, that's a particular way of being that I cannot relate to. That is an unbelievable depth of commitment and conviction.”
Kelleigh Bannen (Memorial Day) OC: …our families. :10
“I am so thankful for our men and women in uniform, and it is their sacrifice and them putting their lives on the line that allow us to be able to celebrate with our families." AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says they’re overwhelmed by the huge sacrifices that both the military and their families make in order to be free.
LBT (Memorial Day) OC: …whenever we can. :44
KAREN: “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl…she’s 21 years old, and she has a third baby, and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home and doing a great job and the best that she can, and he’s serving our country. He’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she, and so are those children. And we just can’t take it for granted. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.”
AUDIO: While Luke Bryan’s on the road with his Dirt Road Diaries Tour this summer, he’s going to check out some places where he can catch up on his favorite summer pastime – fly-fishing.
Luke Bryan (favorite summer activities) OC: …the family. :10
“My favorite summer activity is definitely the opportunity to go fly-fishing out West when I’m out there touring, or really, just fly-fishing anytime…and obviously, getting a week off down at the beach with the family.”
MEMORIAL DAY LINERS: Billy, Easton, Church, Paslay, Jon, Josh, Keith, Lauren, LBT, Luke, Sugarland (AUDIO) 5/17/13
LINER Billy Currington (Memorial Day)
“Hey guys, I’m Billy Currington. I just wanted to say thank you to all our servicemen and women and their daily service to our country.”
LINER Easton Corbin (Memorial Day)
“Hey everybody! It’s Easton Corbin here, wishing you a happy and safe Memorial Day, and I also want to send a special thanks out to our men and women in our Armed Forces.”
LINER Eric Church (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hey everyone, this is Eric Church, hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.”
LINER Eric Paslay (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay, hope you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Jon Pardi (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER: Josh Turner (Memorial Day)
“This is Josh Turner, wishing you a safe and Happy Memorial Day holiday.”
LINER Keith Urban (Memorial Day Weekend)
“Hi Everyone, this is Keith Urban. Please take time to remember all those who sacrificed their lives during this Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Lauren Alaina (Memorial Day)
“Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Happy Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER LBT (Memorial Day)
“Hi! This is Little Big Town. Take time to remember our fallen heroes during this Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Luke Bryan (Memorial Day)
“Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, hoping you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.”
LINER Sugarland (Memorial Day)
“Hey! We’re Sugarland, and we just wanted to say thank you to all our servicemen and women and their daily service to our country.”
George Strait has a Birthday App, where you can send a message to the King of Country Music, as he turns 61 on Saturday (May 18th). You can find it on Facebook, and it also allows you to call in and record a congratulations message for what will hopefully be his 60th No. 1 single with "Give It All We Got Tonight." In addition, you can hear a clip of the song and have a link to buy it sent to your phone. The app also features all of the celebrity messages to George and a video piece from him about the new album!
Click here to leave a message.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Friday, May 17, 2013 – Platinum-selling Capitol Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker will release his third country album, True Believers, on Tuesday, May 21. The album, produced by Frank Rogers, features the current smash hit single “Wagon Wheel” which has just been certified Platinum by the RIAA. In support of his new album, Rucker will perform on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on May 21 and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on May 22.
“I could not be more proud of this album, and I can’t wait for the fans to hear it,” said Rucker, who co-wrote ten of the twelve tracks. “They have always been my ‘true believers,’ and I hope they love the new music as much as I do.”
The album is aptly named, as Rucker’s fans are indeed "true believers." His official Facebook page (facebook.com/dariusrucker) recently surpassed one million fans, while the music video for “Wagon Wheel” has received more than six million views on YouTube. Directed by Jim Wright, the video features guest appearances from Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” stars Jase, Korie, Sadie, Si, and Willie Robertson.
True Believers Track Listing:
“True Believers” (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
“Miss You” (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
“Wagon Wheel” (Bob Dylan, Ketch Secor)
“Love Without You” (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally)
“Radio” (Darius Rucker, Luke Laird, Ashley Gorley)
“Lost In You” (Darius Rucker, Mark Nesler, Phillip White)
“I Will Love You Still” (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
“Take Me Home” (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers, Monty Criswell)
“Shine” (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
“Heartbreak Road” (Darius Rucker, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins)
“Leavin’ the Light On” (Darius Rucker, David Lee Murphy, Phil O’Donnell)
“Lie To Me” (Darius Rucker, Rodney Clawson, Bob DiPiero)
Rucker’s first two country albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966 both topped the Billboard Country Album Chart and produced five No. 1 singles including “Come Back Song,” “This,” “Alright,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” He received the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year in 2009. Last October, Rucker fulfilled a childhood dream when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Last week Rucker launched the True Believers Tour on May 9 in Estero, Fla. The tour will visit more than 20 cities across the U.S. before wrapping up in Clarkston, Mich. on June 30. Joining him on select dates will be special guests RIAA platinum-selling Rodney Atkins, top-charting country singer Justin Moore, and 2013 ACM New Female Vocalist winner Jana Kramer.
Upcoming True Believers Tour dates:
May 17, 2013 | Savannah, Ga. | Savannah Civic Center*
May 18, 2013 | Alpharetta, Ga. | Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park*
May 19, 2013 | Knoxville, Tenn. | Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum**
May 24, 2013 | Little Rock, Ark. | Riverfront Park**
May 30, 2013 | Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum Complex*
May 31, 2013 | Simpsonville, S.C. | Charter Amphitheatre at Heritage Park*
June 1, 2013 | Virginia Beach, Va. | Patriotic Festival*
June 6, 2013 | Morrison, Colo. | Red Rocks Amphitheatre**
June 9, 2013 | Grand Prairie, Texas | Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie**
June 13, 2013 | N. Lawrence, Ohio | Clay's Park Amphitheater**
June 14, 2013 | Buffalo, N.Y. | Coca Cola Field+
June 15, 2013 | Baltimore, Md. | Pier Six Pavilion**
June 20, 2013 | West Long Branch, N.J. | The MAC at Monmouth University**
June 21, 2013 | Bangor, Maine | Waterfront Park**
June 22, 2013 | Gilford, N.H. | Meadowbrook-US Cellular Pavilion**
June 27, 2013 | Toledo, Ohio | Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre**
June 28, 2013 | Highland Park, Ill. | Ravinia Festival**
June 29, 2013 | Normal, Ill. | The Corn Crib**
June 30, 2013 | Clarkston, Mich. | DTE Energy Music Theatre**
* denotes Justin Moore and Jana Kramer
** denotes Rodney Atkins and Jana Kramer
+ denotes Sheryl Crow, Rodney Atkins, Gloriana and Jana Kramer
Rucker will once again host his sold-out, fourth annual “Darius and Friends” benefit concert in Nashville, Tenn. on June 3 at the Wildhorse Saloon. The event, which unofficially kicks off CMA Music Festival week, benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
For more information, please visit www.dariusrucker.com.
AUDIO: Darius Rucker says he branched out on his new album, True Believers.
Darius Rucker (third album) OC: …with great stuff. :49
"I think the first two records, especially the first record, I wanted people to know how much I love the music with the first two records. And then the second record- Frank and I even said to each other, you know, let’s just pick up where we left off of the first record. It wasn’t really trying to do anything new. We were just trying to do- we just had more to say with the first record so we just wanted to pick up where we left off and write songs like that. Well this record, it was totally different. It was, you know, okay now we gotta- this is an important record. Now we gotta wow them, we gotta get some songs that are really going to blow people away. And you know, I didn’t feel like I had rest on anything that I had done before. I couldn’t rest on the last two records because even though they had been successes. I had to really go out and prove to everybody that we could make a great record. And so when we were writing, we thought that, even the guys we decided to write with --- we had written with everybody, so let’s get the guys that we know were going to come up with great stuff.”
Acclaimed country artist Jennifer Nettles announced today that she will release her first solo album this fall. The power vocalist – and multiple Grammy, AMA, ACM Awards, CMT Awards and CMA Awards winner – has enlisted the help of esteemed producer Rick Rubin on the project. Rubin, previously co-president of Columbia Records and founder of Def Jam Records, has worked with a variety of artists such as Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Sheryl Crow, The Avett Brothers, Lana Del Ray, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dixie Chicks.
"I am absolutely thrilled and wholly proud to be working with Rick”, said Nettles. “If you ask any musician who is on their producer ‘bucket list’, Rick would be on each and every one."
This weekend, Jennifer will be in Las Vegas as a presenter at the Billboard Music Awards on May 19TH.
It was proclaimed Scotty McCreery Day in Garner, North Carolina on Tuesday (May 14th). Scotty – who took time off from his busy touring schedule to return home – marked the occasion by giving back to his hometown and his former school, Timber Drive Elementary.
The 2011 American Idol winner presented flowers to his former music teacher, Beth Palmieri, and donated seven new Lenovo computers to her classroom. He also delivered cases of peanut butter to Amy White, founder and director of development of Community of Hope Ministries in Garner.
Scotty is currently making his way up the country charts with his latest single, "See You Tonight."
Nashville, TN – May 15, 2013 – The seven-time GRAMMY winning trio Lady Antebellum scores their third consecutive debut this week atop Billboard’s all-genre Top 200 Chart with their fourth studio album GOLDEN, which sold more than 167,000 copies in its first week.
“It’s been so fun to get feedback from our fans,” said Hillary Scott. “There are so many ways for us to hear from them and I love finding out how people are relating to different songs. We’re really proud of this album and thankful for all the fans and to Country Radio for supporting both ‘Downtown’ and now 'Goodbye Town’ this week!”
People awarded the new album 3.5 out of 4 stars, calling it “their best yet.”
"...GOLDEN] proves the trio can credibly expand their canvas as songwriters and artists without sacrificing the lush harmonies and seductive melodies that helped get them to their current golden state.” - The Boston Globe
“Lady Antebellum shine on their new album, GOLDEN, offering up a bittersweet batch of bright, rich tracks that often hide a deeper layer…” – Rolling Stone
“Lady A continues to experiment and grow while sounding like no one else in contemporary country music.” – Associated Press
“...GOLDEN, the band’s fourth and finest album.” – Washington Post
“Imparting honest lyrics with spot-on harmonies swathed in infectious melodies, GOLDEN is ultimately a shining example of what Lady Antebellum does best. With it seamless mingling of poignant ballads and upbeat tunes, it’s a stone cold winner from country music’s top trio.” – American Songwriter
This Sunday, Lady A will appear on a special edition of ABC's 20/20 and perform their new single “Goodbye Town” on ACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night on CBS.
Since their 2006 inception, Lady A has risen quickly to become Country Music’s most influential current group. The group has won the “Vocal Group of the Year” honor from both the CMA and from the ACM’s three times in a row, earned seven GRAMMY awards and sold 11 million albums worldwide. Nine of the band’s singles are certified Gold, with four surpassing the Platinum mark. For a full list of upcoming performances and for more info on new music, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.
AUDIO: Lady Antebellum's Dave Haywood talks about finding the best songs they could for this album.
Lady A (album) OC: ...we can find. :43
"We go through a lot of songs. We also, I think, got pitched the best songs we've ever gotten pitched. For us, the best song wins, you know, whether or not we wrote it, whether or not it came from someone else, whether or not we wrote it with our entire band, with eight people. To u,s what matters is the song and we line 'em all up together and you know, I think the cream rises to the top. There were a couple songs that we've had for a long time and a couple that came in, I mean we wrote 'Golden' the last- late at night, and the next morning recorded it in the studio. So, there's a couple that come in last minute that, we just kind of have that excitement for late in the game. But there's some -- 'It Ain't Pretty' -- some of these songs, we've had for a year or two and some of these that we actually looked at for the last record. So, it's good to have a big pile for us and to have to really sift through and find the best 10,11,12 that we can find."
Luke Bryan and Little Big Town are among the first-round of performers for this year’s CMT Music Awards. They’ll be joined by Taylor Swift, Hunter Hayes and the Pistol Annies for the June 5th show, which will be hosted by Jason Aldean and Kristen Bell live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The awards are fan-voted, and you can begin voting now until June 2nd at CMT.com. Luke and Eric Church, along with Miranda Lambert, lead the nominations with four each.
Eric Church and Lionel Richie have been tapped to perform at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival, which takes place October 4th-6th and 11th-13th at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas.
Luke Bryan has received RIAA double-platinum certification for his Tailgates & Tanlines album.
Easton Corbin is scheduled to perform during a special performance at the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday (May 21st). The Opry will salute heroes of the U.S. military with a red carpet arrival parade to recognize the 40th anniversary of the return of American troops from Vietnam. Other performers include Craig Morgan, Diamond Rio and Lee Greenwood.
Kip Moore appeared on the nationally syndicated Bobby Bones Show on Wednesday morning (May 15th) to serenade Marisa, a listener and big fan. He sang his current hit single, "Hey, Pretty Girl," and after he was finished, Marisa's boyfriend proposed. By the way, she said, "Yes." Check out the sweet video below.
George Strait released his new album, Love is Everything, this week. He says the song, written by Pat McLaughlin and Casey Beatherd, was the perfect title for the new collection. “If you don’t have love, what do you have? I don’t care if you have love for your wife, your husband, your children, your dogs or horses, golf clubs, you know, love is what makes the world go ‘round,” he says. “It says a lot of things about what you do out of love, and you do ‘em, not because you have to, but because you want to.”
Love is Everything features what looks like to be his 60th number-one single, “Give It All We Got Tonight.”
AUDIO: George Strait talks about the title track for his new album, Love is Everything.
George Strait (Love is Everything) OC: …love the song. :34
“If you don’t have love, what do you have, you know? I don’t care if have love for your wife, your husband, your children, your dogs or horses, golf clubs, you know, love is what makes the world go round. And I just think it was the perfect title, plus it’s a beautiful song written by Pat McLaughlin and Casey Beatherd. Just a beautiful song, and it says a lot of things about what you do out of love, and you do ‘em, not because you have to, but because you want to. And so, I just love the song.”
Nashville – (May 14, 2013) – Luke Bryan, the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year, will release his fourth studio album on August 13th, as announced last night on The Late Show with David Letterman. Luke performed the project’s first single, “Crash My Party,” on the show.
The August 13th release is the follow up to Luke’s most successful album to date tailgates & tanlines, which has now been certified Double Platinum. tailgates & tanlines contains three back-to-back Platinum singles, was the 8th best-selling album of 2012 and has sold 7.2 million tracks. The summer album also releases on the heels of Luke’s his most successful spring break series album, Spring Break…Here To Party, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart this past March.
Luke takes his “Dirt Road Diaries Tour” back on the road this weekend on May 17 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The tour is slated to run through the end of October. For additional information on the tour and tickets please go to www.lukebryan.com or www.livenation.com.
Luke’s recent Academy of Country Music Award wins for Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Event (“Only Way I Know”) with Eric Church and Jason Aldean, along with his first-time ACM hosting duty with Blake Shelton, are just a few of the career highlights Luke has enjoyed lately. Additional accolades include multi-Platinum albums sales, back-to-back #1 singles and his first #1 album debut. His spring break shows in Panama City Beach, Florida this past March brought in 120,000 fans during the two-day concert event and his performance at the Houston Rodeo was the second largest attendance in the rodeo’s history with 75,000 fans.
Luke has placed a total of six career singles at #1 and was named the #1 Artist of 2012 and #1 Male Artist of 2012 by Country Aircheck. Billboard named tailgates & tanlines the #2 Country Album and the #3 Country Artist Album of 2012 and claimed Luke as the #3 Top Country Artist of the Year. Also
in 2012, Luke took home 11 music awards, including a record nine wins at the American Country Awards as well as his first American Music Award.
Luke is currently nominated for four CMT Music Awards including Video of The Year and will perform on the show Wednesday, June 5th.
Nashville, TN – May 13, 2012 – Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due this fall that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it’s reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extralevel of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s current album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry. Bentley is currently out on the road playing sold out arenas and amphitheaters on the Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley: Locked & Reloaded Tour through October.
For a short trailer on RISER and updates on when the first single will be revealed, check www.dierks.com.