Awfully damn tired of posting items of this sort. But, can't not. The Country Music world recently lost a HUGE legend in Mac Davis, then more recently Jerry Jeff Walker, now word is confirmed that Billy Joe Shaver has passed away. Official press release below. Prayers for all of those hurting from this enormous blow.
"Just like the songs I leave behind me
I'm gonna live forever now..." Billy Joe Shaver, "Live Forever"
Billy Joe Shaver, the Texas singer-songwriter who was a key player in the Outlaw Country movement, died this morning, October 28, 2020, following an illness.
Shaver’s songs are better known than he was. The author of such acclaimed country tunes as “Old Five and Dimers Like Me,” “I’ve Been to Georgia on a Fast Train” and “Ride Me Down Easy,” Shaver had his songs covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, the Allman Brothers, and Elvis Presley. He was honored with the first Americana Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting in 2002, and was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Shaver’s hardscrabble songs reflected his often-tough life. Born in Corsicana, Texas on August 16, 1939, Shaver was raised mainly by his grandmother; his father left before he was born and his mother had a job in Waco, some 60 miles away. As a youth, he spent more time working on family farms than in school. As he wrote in his song “Fast Train,” “I have an eighth grade education … I got all my country learning picking cotton, raising hell and bailing hay.”
His grandmother gave him a Gene Autry guitar when he was 11; however, his grandfather gave it away several years later. Shaver left home at 16 to serve in the Navy and afterwards took a series of jobs, including one in the professional rodeo. After losing several fingers in a sawmill accident, he decided to do what he really loved to do: write songs.
In 1965, Shaver hitchhiked to Nashville in the back of a cantaloupe truck. Camping himself at the office of country singer Bobby Bare, he convinced the Nashville star to listen to his songs. Impressed, Bare signed him to a $50 a week job as a songwriter. Bare recorded “Ride Me Down Easy” and other musicians took notice of his tunes too. Kris Kristofferson did “Good Christian Soldier” and Tom T. Hall “Willie the Wandering Gypsy and Me.”
Shaver’s big break arrived with Waylon Jennings’ landmark album Honky Tonk Heroes. Ten of the 11 songs on Heroes, which has been hailed as the first, and arguably best, Outlaw Country record, were written or co-written by Shaver. One of these songs, “You Asked Me To,” was a Top 10 hit for Jennings and later covered by Elvis Presley.
Shaver’s debut album, the Kristofferson-produced Old Five and Dimers Like Me, came out in 1973 on the Monument Records. Shaver went on to release more than 20 albums for such labels as MGM, Capricorn, Columbia, Zoo/Praxis, New West, and Sugar Hill Records. His 2007 album, Everybody’s Brother (Compadre Records), earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Southern/Country/Bluegrass Album and his most recent release, 2014’s Long in the Tooth (Lightning Rod Records), was his first to chart in Billboard’s Top Country Albums.
While he experienced many successes in his life, Shaver also had more than his share of tragedies. In 1999, he lost his mother to cancer as well as his wife, Brenda, a woman he married three times (and divorced twice). On December 31, 2000, his son Eddy died of a heroin overdose. Shaver had teamed up with his guitarist son for several highly praised albums in the 1990s. Then, on July 4, 2001, Shaver suffered a massive, and nearly fatal heart attack while performing on stage. He later received some unwanted notoriety when, in 2007, a bar argument wound up with Shaver shooting the other man. Shaver was acquitted of charges, and wrote about the incident in the song “Wacko From Waco.”
One of Shaver’s signature songs, “Live Forever,” was performed by Robert Duvall in the film Crazy Heart. A long-time admirer and friend, Duvall cast Shaver in his 1996 movie The Apostle, and Shaver later acted in such films as Secondhand Lions, The Wendell Baker Story, and Bait Shop. Duvall also produced the documentary A Portrait of Billy Joe.
Shaver’s music attracted many illustrious admirers over the years. Johnny Cash, who covered Shaver’s “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Some Day),” ((also a tremendous hit for John Anderson)) called him “my favorite songwriter,” while Willie Nelson, a frequent Shaver collaborator, declared that “Billy Joe is definitely the best writer in Texas.” Bob Dylan not only has performed Shaver’s “Old Five and Dimers Like Me” in concert, but even name-checked him in his tune “I Feel a Change Comin’ On.”
Shaver’s song catalog has been classified, in All Music, as “among the greatest in the whole history of the (country) genre. The Washington Post once noted, “When the country outlaws were collecting their holy writings, Billy Joe Shaver was carving out Exodus.” Shaver himself said, when talking about songwriting, that “when you write songs, and you write good songs, people will always remember you. Words will always outlive us. And if your name is attached to those words, you’re gonna live forever.”
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"You go to church but you don't pray
Scared of the words they make you say
You don't know if He'd listen anyway..." Jared Ashley, "Stained"
"Stained" showcases our imperfections (even the ones that keep you from sleeping at night) in a new light - specifically, a light like the one shining through a Sunday window pane. Perfectly stained. -TCC
Singer/Songwriter Jared Ashley is set to captivate listeners with the release of his latest single “Stained”.
The beauty of songwriting is manifested when an artist is able to capture common feelings in colorful and exciting ways. Ashley expertly relays the idea of wanting to love a woman for who she is, while suggesting that pain and faults are part of God’s perfectly blended masterpiece. This single provides fans who crave its optimistic message with a most powerful and uplifting listening experience. Written by Ashley and Nick Sturms, “Stained” is available to stream and download on all digital platforms now.
“Songs like Stained I feel are a gift; they almost write themselves,” explains Ashley, “As an artist, I feel very lucky this song came to be because I think, or at least my hope is that it will make an impact on someone out there somewhere because it's a message which needs to be heard by all. Love yourself no matter who you are!”
It was after moving to Nashville and building rapport as a live performer at venues like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge that Ashley discovered what it truly meant to be an artist.
“I’m a songwriter first, and I became an artist because I wanted people to hear my songs,” Ashley says.
Jesse Iwuji, a personal friend of Ashley’s, is an American professional NASCAR driver, who competes part-time in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado for Reaume Brothers Racing and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the No. 13 Toyota Supra for MBM Motorsports. Ashley and Iwuji met while doing events for the United States Navy Exchange and Navy Entertainment supporting American troops and their families serving abroad.
"I'm so happy for Jared and what he's done in his music career," Iwuji said. "I met him in 2019 during a tour of appearances we did at multiple US Navy bases and learned how both of our lives both had similar type journeys - chasing our dreams in worlds most would say we could never make it in. He became a country singer and I became a NASCAR driver, all after serving our country in the Navy. His new single will be at the top of my playlist I listen to before my next NASCAR race!"
The single title will be featured on the side of Iwuji’s car on September 25th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the South Point 400. Fans around the world will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind release!
For more information, visit www.JaredAshley.com.
Stream/Buy “Stained” at smarturl.it/jaredashley
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About Jared Ashley:
Born in Hobbs, NM, near the oil fields on the Texas-New Mexico border, Ashley relocated to Newnan, GA with his dad as a small child. Inspired by the revitalization of country music in the early ’90s by artists like Travis Tritt and fellow Newnan native Alan Jackson, Jared came to claim country music as his own. After high school, Jared joined the Navy, serving four years aboard the USS Independence and USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carriers. He spent much of that time stationed in Yokosuka, Japan while also serving two tours of duty in the Persian Gulf. Jared moved to Nashville the following year, assembling a band nearly as soon as he arrived. His talents quickly landed him the coveted weekend gig at the world-famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on lower Broadway. The gigs at Tootsie proved to be a tremendous break for Jared, giving him the opportunity to meet and impress numerous Music Row executives at his shows and make his first foray into the recording studio. It was there that Jared also met the booking agent who began to mold Jared into the road warrior he has become.
After placing fifth on Season Four of “Nashville Star” in 2006, Jared used the exposure to further his ability to tour and build a fanbase as a live artist, even without the benefit of a record deal. More confident with his abilities to write songs as well as spot the special ones from other writers in the Nashville community, Ashley headed into the studio in 2010 with co-producer Bobby Terry to create an album for his fans. The music also brought Jared to the attention of Blaster Entertainment, a multi-faceted Ohio-based entertainment company. Jared was soon signed for management representation, and it was an easy decision for both parties to sign him to a record deal when the company’s Blaster Records division launched a full Nashville operation in 2012 behind the release of albums by Hank Williams, Jr. and Aaron Lewis.
Ashley will continue to tour and release new music. Visit www.jaredashley.com and follow on social media for the latest information.
Set to Release “Ghost Town Nation” on Sept. 25
Travis Tritt is set to release a new single. Titled “Ghost Town Nation”, the song is the first release off of Tritt's highly-anticipated forthcoming album produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Highwomen, Brandi Carlile). The new single is now available for pre-save here.
Written by Aaron Raitiere and JB Strauss, “Ghost Town Nation” is an energetic song that sends the message of making the best out of a bad situation. (Read The Country Club's interview with Raitiere).
Tritt sings, “Well, I tell ya one thing that we all got in common; we ain’t gotta worry when the sky starts fallin', No need to panic when the lord comes callin', cause it’s all just a part of the show.” The song continues, “We’ll load on up, take it out to the woods, where the fish are still biting, and the eating’s still good.”
Tritt spoke about the song, saying: “I loved the overall groove of the song when I first heard the demo, but what really hooked me was the lyrics. At a time when so much of the country was on pandemic lockdown, I think the idea of escaping to a secluded spot in the woods was very appealing for a lot of folks. It reminded me of a 'country folks can survive' theme. I personally know a lot of folks that still do this regularly.
Earlier this year it was announced that Tritt signed a record deal with LA-based label Big Noise Music Group. Tritt is finishing up his new original full-length album, which is due out next year.
Among his eleven studio albums and numerous charted singles are five number ones and 20 Top 10 hits, including “Help Me Hold On,” “Anymore,” “Can I Trust You with My Heart,” “Foolish Pride,” “Best of Intentions,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “Here’s A Quarter,” “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive,” and more. Earlier this year he helped things get heated with his guest vocals on Hot Country Knights's smash hit "Pick Her Up" and his guest appearance in their oh-so-stylish video (which has received close to 2 million views) when actress Tiffani Thiessen found herself lucky enough to be taken out to a country club (see below).
Travis Tritt continues to sell out shows and stays authentic and relevant to country music fans across the globe. His distinctively soulful voice and exceptional guitar prowess continue to be front and center.
An album release date will be released at a later date. His ravely-reviewed 2019 live in Georgia album Homegrown is available now here orhere on 2 discs (oh and you can pick up "Pick Her Up" here).
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For Whom the Bell Tolls: T. Graham Brown, ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons, J.D. Shelburne and more gather together with country trio Chapel Hart to sing praises (and curses) in premiere video "Jesus & Alcohol"
Singing amongst chapel bells and a no-show husband to-be, Chapel Hart good-naturedly pour out uptempo harmony with lesson-learned lines like "Folks always said booze was no good for me...Jesus always said to love thine enemy...so I hold this bottle..." to welcome in the listening congregation from the get-go. In its hilarious video take for the single, the trio find themselves surrounded by Reverend Billy F. Gibbons, "best man" J.D. Shelburne and country-soul legend T. Graham Brown. Fittingly, J.D.'s "Church Pew Bar Stool" has been high atop CMT's 12-Pack countdown for some time now, while T. Graham is no stranger to guest spots in videos where church is a fixture (just see Trace Adkins's recent video for "Mind on Fishin'") nor to turning Wine into Water. CMT exclusively premiered the video and there's a countdown clock for its live YouTube premiere. For now, watch it here, above (courtesy CMT). -TCC
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Rising country powerhouse trio Chapel Hart turn water into wine and come up with nothing short of a miracle for their debut single, “Jesus & Alcohol.” Pouring up a double shot of passion and soul, this song simultaneously welcomes fans into the world of gospel and whiskey. These New Orleans natives raise the bar with clever lyrics that instill faith in the belief that in any setting, whether that be at church with a Bible open or a bar with bourbon in hand, God continues to remain by our side. Their major video debut features a slate of celebrity cameos and was premiered exclusively by CMT on Tuesday, September 8th, and will premiere on Chapel Hart's YouTube channel at midnight CT.
Watch here: https://youtu.be/1_bMgoPAlTY
“Whether you prefer to lean towards wine and spirits or the Holy Spirit, Jesus & Alcohol is definitely the song to get you through,” says Trea Swindle.
“We hope that our music will unite people from all walks of life. At the end of the day, music is the one thing that can bring us together,” says Devynn Hart.
In a world of uncertainty and turmoil, Chapel Hart stands tall as a triple threat to deliver a carefully crafted, playful tune that lifts spirits high and builds a sense of hope in the hearts of all who listen. Gracefully strutting their way to stardom, Chapel Hart conquers all challenges that come their way and rise to the top with passion, hard work, and dedication. This trio has taken the globe by storm, raining their talent down on every audience they entertain. Pull up a barstool, grab a drink, praise the Lord and join the world in celebrating the long-awaited release of “Jesus & Alcohol!”
“I can sum up life in 3 words... GOD. MUSIC. LOVE. God is the source for EVERYTHING you need... just ASK! Music is THE language! Love is 100% the cure! Now let’s play some music!” says Danica Hart.
The music video features cameos from legendary ZZ Top frontman Reverend Billy F. Gibbons, country/soul legend T. Graham Brown, hit singer/songwriter Deborah Allen, CMT favorite J.D. Shelburne, The Voice’s Kyndal Inskeep, and more!
The single and video (at midnight CT) are available for download and streaming on all digital devices at smarturl.it/jesusandalcohol.
About Chapel Hart:
Music in its purest form comes from the soul, the heart, and the life experiences of a person. For Nashville/New Orleans recording artist Chapel Hart, those experiences began in Poplarville, MS. The Grammy-nominated Danica Hart, her sister Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle belong to a large family that boasts a total of 108 grandchildren. Like many from their family, the ladies of Chapel Hart have been singing together since they were toddlers.
While Chapel Hart has claimed the field of singer/songwriters, their live performances have been applauded with rave reviews. Their shows are more than just another concert experience. That special family blend of harmonies whether a cappella or backed by their full band, will stop you in your tracks. While they may have come from humble beginnings, their shows bear no witness to that. They come at you full throttle, confident, and with high-energy. Their beautiful ballads will make even the toughest weep while at the same time offering hope to those in need. Their rocking country songs will have you fist-pumping in the air while knowing full well a bit of joy in a broken world has just fallen upon you.
Being the first female band to ever headline the New Orleans Jazz Festival in Innsbruck, Austria, these ladies have thoroughly proven the ability to move any audience, regardless of language barriers. They are managed by mega-producer Jeff Glixman of KANSAS fame and business partner Darrick Williams. Chapel Hart has performed around the world, captivating thousands with their own unique blend of country soul. They are without a doubt one of the hardest working groups to have emerged from Nashville by way of New Orleans.
#NationalAmpersandDay #ZZTop #HelpMeJesus #WeddingFail #ChurchPewBarStool #TuesdayTunes
He's spending time in the sand, man.
In his first 2020 release and the first since his Christmas EP, All Through the Night: A Christmas Collection, Texas native singer-songwriter and actor JT Hodges (known for his hits "Hunt You Down," "Goodbyes Made You Mine" and "Sleepy Little Town," which spent two weeks at No. 1 on Sirius/XM's The Highway), is releasing new single and video "Sandman" on the one year anniversary of Hurricane Dorian having devastated the Bahamas, hoping to remind the world that the vibrant community of the Abacos, Bahamas still needs assistance with relief efforts, showcasing both the destruction of the natural disaster and the beauty of the island in his new video. Local Bahamian musician, Stumpy, lends his vocals and traditional Goombay style drums to the track, pairing with the laid-back, beachy lyrics that together beautifully illustrate the island's culture and surprisingly replenished spirit. CMT exclusively premiered "Sandman" with a broadcast debut and will continue to air the video throughout the week. (See video below).
Call me the sandman, put a Goombay in my hand
I’m a palm tree swaying, reggae playing, down by the bayin' kind of guy
Where there’s a white beach, you can bet that you’ll find me
In a Marley tank top and some old flip flops watching waves rock
That’s right, call me the sandman
The video, co-directed by Hodges and Cristy Nielsen, is shot in a pop-up style to not only show but tell viewers the story of "Sandman" and relief efforts including Team Ghosts, a privately funded grassroots movement on the ground in the Abacos since Dorian hit. Island locals like Stumpy and guitarist Lucky are featured throughout the video, the most prominent of them being students from Cooper's Town Primary School, who thanks to organizations like Team Ghosts are finally returning to school this month for the first time since the hurricane.
"Sandman" was co-written by Hodges and Brandon James years ago and took on new meaning when the singer flew down to volunteer after the category 5 hurricane devastated the Bahamas. Hodges played "Sandman" while hanging out with locals. Their immediate connection to the song inspired him to record the single and video in the Abacos and feature local musicians. A portion of proceeds from "Sandman" will go toward the continued re-building of the Abacos.
Hodges is also in the studio working on all-new music for release later this year. Keep up with him (if you can!) on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and visit JTHodges.com.
#EricPaslay #NewMusic #HeartbeatHigher #Songwriting #NiceGuy
Phil Vassar Returns to TV for More Music Taste-Makers in Season 2 of "Songs from the Cellar" - Giveaways on the Way!
PHIL VASSAR’S SONGS FROM THE CELLAR BACK FOR SEASON TWO, THIS TIME ON CIRCLE TELEVISION
Following its wildly popular debut, Phil Vassar’s television show Phil Vassar’s Songs from the Cellar will return for more cavernous song creations on September 10 at 7 PM CT for a follow-up season on its new home, Circle Network, with new episodes airing every Thursday night. Viewers can catch up on Vassar’s show with a first season marathon beginning at 2 PM CT leading up to the premiere.
Hi. I'm a member of the country club. Country Music is what I love.