"Whiskey and Rain" excels with half-full top 20 chart entry
Michael Ray's made top marks in country music (see the full "Whiskey and Rain" video below complete with emotional ending) - and he's not watering anything down on his new EP (well, unless you count the holy variety). -TCC
“I read the Waylon Jennings’ books and I watched the Loretta Lynn documentaries,” Ray shares. “I did all this ‘research’ and thought, ‘Okay this is how they did it. They got in their cars and went bar to bar, fan to fan. That was the only thing I knew about breaking into the music industry at the time. So that’s what I set out to do, and thanks to some of my ‘professors’ in Eustis, I was able to break through in a similar way.”
Now, after garnering over 1 billion global streams, over 650,000 album equivalents, over 100 million YouTube views, three No. 1 hits and five RIAA Gold-certified singles, Ray has essentially earned his doctorate in country music, and that knowledge is shared through this seven-song collection Higher Education.
“It feels incredible to finally have these songs out there,” shares Ray. “I’ve already felt even closer to fans as they sing back to me onstage every night. It lets me know that songs like ‘Whiskey And Rain’ and ‘Picture’ resonate with them, just as they resonated with me when I first heard them or began writing them.
“There’s nothing better than music to make you feel less alone, to get you hyped up for a good time or as a soundtrack to reminisce on the past,” Ray continues. “I hope this album opens the door to fans to help them feel like they know me better not only as an artist but as a person too.”
Written by Tim Montana, Derek George, Jeremy Bussey, Monty Criswell and Frank Rogers, and produced by Ross Copperman, Ray is joined by Lee Brice, Billy F. Gibbons, Tim Montana and Kid Rock on one of the first songs recorded for the album in the fall of 2020. The title track is a defiant and rebellious anthem about going through life, learning a lot along the way, and coming out of it stronger, having let it change you without hardening you.
They all said I wouldn’t amount to nothin’
But I know a thing or two ‘bout a thing two
Ain’t gonna tell it all but I’ll tell you something
There’s a lot of things that they don’t teach in school
I got my higher education
Good ole boy, bad reputation
School of hard knocks with a 4.0
Learning how to rock, learning how to roll
Having made his Opry debut in April 2015 with the help of his grandfather’s guitar, as of last month Ray has already just marked his 58th Opry appearance in those six years.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Ray was joined by special guests for a unique edition of his Honky Tonk Tuesday series, which landed the Florida native on the No. 32 spot on Pollstar’s 2020 “Top 100 Livestreamers.” The show took place in person at The Nashville Palace as well as virtually and can be re-watched on Michael Ray's Facebook page.
Higher Education track list:
1. Whiskey And Rain (Josh Thompson, Jesse Frasure)
2. Just The Way I Am (Michael Hardy, Ben West, Josh Miller)
3. Holy Water (Ashley Gorley, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson, Michael Hardy) *NOTE not the same as song with the same title recorded by Big & Rich
4. Picture (Michael Ray, David Garcia, Michael Hardy)
5. Higher Education feat., Lee Brice, Billy F. Gibbons, Tim Montana and Kid Rock (Tim Montana, Derek George, Jeremy Bussey, Monty Criswell, Frank Rogers)
6. Live Without You (Michael Hardy, Jessi Alexander, Corey Crowder)
7. Didn’t Know I Was Country (Michael Ray, Taylor Phillips, Ashley Gorley)
Catch Ray on the road with his Just The Way I Am 2021 tour as it continues before wrapping in the fall at Tortuga Music Festival. Tickets are available at MichaelRayMusic.com. He's also joining Tracy Lawrence's annual "Mission Possible" November event in Nashville alongside Lainey Wilson and Dustin Lynch. Tickets here: www.eventbrite.com/e/tracy-lawrences-missionpossible-turkey-fry-benefit-concert-tickets-174510213747
Just The Way I Am 2021 Tour Dates (headlining unless otherwise noted):
Sept. 4 Touchdowns & Tunes Paducah, Ky.
*Support to Brantley Gilbert and Ashley McBryde
Sept. 10 Washington State Fair Puyallup, Wash.
Sept. 17 Allegan County Fair 2021 Allegan, Mich.
Sept. 18 Swine N Dine Paxton, Ill.
Sept. 23 Island Hopper Songwriters Festival Ft. Myers, Fla.
Sept. 24 Kern County Festival 2021 ` Bakersfield, Calif.
Sept. 25 Tunes & Tacos Festival 2021 Yuma, Ariz.
Sept. 30 The Blue Note Columbia, Mo.
Oct. 1 Joe’s on Weed St. Chicago, Ill.
Oct. 2 Dusty Armadillo Rootstown, Ohio
Oct. 8 Bluestone Columbus, Ohio
Oct. 9 8 Seconds Saloon Indianapolis, Ind.
Oct. 12 Von Braun Center Arena Huntsville, Ala.
*Support to Lee Greenwood, Big & Rich, Crystal Gale and Dustin Lynch
Oct. 14 Six String Grill & Stage Foxborough, Mass.
Oct. 15 Granite State Music Hall Laconia, N.H.
Nov. 14 Tortuga Music Festival Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
*Support to Jon Pardi
#countrymusic #newmusic #billygibbons #whiskeyandrain #opry
NEW DOUBLE VINYL LP RELEASE HAS HAPPY GIRL MARTINA MCBRIDE SEAING BLUE AND FEELING #BLESSED *SEE GREATEST HITS TRACK LIST*
Martina McBride is currently on quite a ride opening select dates for Alabama and begins Blake Shelton's Heroes and Friends tour with Trace Adkins (just in time for new music from Trace), Tracy Byrd, and Lindsay Ell in September. And it seems only fitting that the woman behind "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues" would produce sea blue vinyl.
DOUBLE VINYL AVAILABLE NOW
NEW MARTINA MCBRIDE - GREATEST HITS: THE RCA YEARS
BUY SEA BLUE VINYL AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT WALMART NOW
The black double LP is available on MartinaMcBride.com and select retailers. View all retailers carrying McBride’s Greatest Hits: The RCA Years in all formats and order it now here.
She will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her signing date with RCA Records, her first record deal, on Oct. 1, 2021 later this year.
DOUBLE LP: Martina McBride – The RCA Years
Track Listing: Side A
#Martina #MartinaBestKnown #MartinaGreatestHits #BlakeSheltonTour #TraceAdkins #WomeninCountry #ThisOnesfortheGirls #Blessed
Hello, loneliness. The musical storyteller world has been dealt some brutal blows this weekend. Still reeling from the loss of the incomparable Tom. T Hall (even if you somehow didn't know of him you still knew his songs - including the one which made (and still makes) so many of us want to move to Harper Valley and sock it to the PTA...he also had a special way of putting in a good word for little baby ducks...but I digress), Don Everly, the other half of iconic duo The Everly Brothers has now passed away. He was 84. Chronicle below courtesy of Country Aircheck. -Melissa Coker
Chronicle: Don Everly, half of the Country Music Hall of Fame duo The Everly Brothers, passed away today (8/21) at the age of 84. Born Isaac Donald Everly on Feb. 1, 1937 in Brownie, KY, Everly first sang with his late brother Phil and mother and father, Ike and Margaret, as The Everly Family in the 1940s. As a duo, the brothers first gained attention from Nashville musicians while still attending an area high school and began writing and recording their own music in 1956. The following year, “Bye Bye Love,” written by fellow Hall of Famers Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, hit No. 1 setting off a string of hits that included “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Problems.” From 1957 through 1958, the duo toured with Buddy Holly. The Everly Brothers signed with Warner Bros. in 1960 and recorded “Cathy’s Clown,” later re-released by Reba McEntire. In 1961, both brothers enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, but additional success continued with “That’s Old Fashioned (That’s The Way Love Should Be)” being their last entry in the top 10 in 1962. Between 1957 and 1962, only Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and possibly Rick Nelson outsold The Everly Brothers.
In the 1970s, the brothers began releasing solo music and officially broke up in 1973 before reuniting 10 years later. During his solo run, Don found some success on the Country charts with his band, Dead Cowboys, and recorded “Everytime You Leave” with Emmylou Harris for her 1979 Blue Kentucky Girl album. The Everly Brothers continued to perform together periodically until Phil’s death in 2014 (Chronicle 1/6/14). The pair were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class of 1986 and were named to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Don was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019 and was awarded the organization’s first Iconic Riff Award for his rhythm guitar intro to “Wake Up Little Susie.” Service details are unknown.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A storyteller and lover of sharply-drawn characters, Erin Enderlin has a way of turning a song or even just a thought into an outstretched hand to the lonely or ashamed. While she first turned heads as a godsend to those aching for an artist with some golden-era country backbone, she has since emerged as a literary songwriter and superb vocal artist. Enderlin’s new song, “If I’m Not In Hell” is available everywhere today (and as for the song's story - SPOILER ALERT - the full lyric is "if I'm not in hell I'm gonna be"). Listen here.
“I wrote the song with two of my best friends, Kayla Ray and Kimberly Kelly,” shares Enderlin. “They are incredible artists and writers, and we all love old school country music. I had written the title down in my idea book, and I knew they were the perfect people to help bring it to life. It’s honestly one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever been a part of and captures all my favorite elements of a country song. What can I say, sad songs make me happy.”
Enderlin’s new song captures the pain and anguish that comes with the complex web of consequences from losing the one you love. Dripping with fiddle and pedal steel guitar, it mines the vein of classic country heartache reminiscent of genre giants such as Patty Loveless and Alan Jackson. The song’s raw emotion captures a moment in time, without a nice, wrapped-in-a-bow, things-get-better ending—honesty that is signature to Enderlin.
The Arkansas-native released her full-length album Faulkner County in November 2019 to critical acclaim.
The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum included Enderlin in their annual American Currents exhibit, featuring her in the Unbroken Circle section of the exhibit, which positions contemporary artists who have had breakthrough years with those who have influenced them, placing Enderlin with one of her heroes, Reba McEntire.
In late 2020, Rosanne Cash heard and loved “Queen of Marina del Rey,” a Faulkner County album standout with saloon-worthy piano and a short story’s worth of lyrical detail. Cash is name checked in the song, along with her friend, Elton John. Cash sent the album to John, and his response to the song’s boozy, campy swagger was to invite Enderlin onto his podcast, Rocket Hour.
A member of the 2018 CMT “Next Women of Country” class, Enderlin joins Tanya Tucker during the 2021 CMT Next Women of Country Tour on select dates in September.
Clip of "If I'm Not in Hell" at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley (credit Melissa Coker)
Upcoming CMT Next Women of Country Tour dates supporting Tanya Tucker:
Sept. 14 Bluebird Theater Denver, Co.
Sept. 17 Kessler Theater Dallas, Texas
Sept. 19 The Heights Theater Houston, Texas
Clay Walker's new project suits him to a "T" (and Tuesday, August 3 brings him to the Grand Ole Opry)
Country music mainstay doesn't disappoint on Texas to Tennessee, released July 30 following massive popularity of and staying power success of "Need a Bar Sometimes" video - the singer/songwriter co-wrote all ten tracks
Walker’s Texas To Tennessee album was produced by Michael Knox and Jaron Boyer ("Somewhere on a Beach), and recorded in Nashville and Galveston, taking its title literally and symbolizing his storied career journey between his hometown and adopted Nashville home.
His "Need A Bar Sometimes” single has garnered nearly 8 million video views, and it has been No. 1 or No. 2 on CMT's 12 Pack Countdown every week for several months. Fresh off a run of shows with Tracy Lawrence, Clay's Texas To Tennessee joins a body of work that already includes four platinum albums, 31 charted singles and 11 No. 1 hits.
"I got to write with the best writers in country music," he says. "Every writer on this album is accomplished, most came in with ideas they thought fit me or developed ideas I brought and it led to real cohesiveness in all these songs."
Track listing for Texas To Tennessee:
1. Anything To Do With You (Clay Walker, Brandon Kinney, Shane Minor, Mike Mobley)
2. Need A Bar Sometimes (Walker, Jaron Boyer, Josh Mirenda, George Birge)
3. Catching Up With An Ol' Memory (Walker, Boyer, Birge, Lalo Guzman)
4. Country Side (Clay Walker, Boyer, Lynn Wilbanks)
5. Cowboy Loves A Woman (Walker, Jennifer Hanson, Mark Nesler)
6. Texas To Tennessee (Walker, Hanson, Nesler)
7. I Just Wanna Hold You (Walker, Boyer, Ben Stennis)
8. Loving You Then (Walker, Jaron Boyer, Brad Rempel, Stennis)
9. You Look Good (Walker, Boyer, Michael Tyler)
10. One More (Walker, David Lee Murphy, Justin Weaver)
Josh Turner Marks Special "Man"iversary with televised/streaming Opry Performance, Album Rerelease and Tour Dates
by Melissa Coker
During the Saturday night Opry broadcast for June 19, "man of the hour" Josh Turner shared that his forthcoming album re-release will see updated liner notes and even updated videos for the project. (WATCH him, along with performances from Sawyer Brown, Elvie Shane and Kyle Petty IN THIS CircleTV video, embedded below AND featuring commentary by Nan Kelley).
Turner has turned some pages in his storied career, from beseeching audiences against a ride on that “Long Black Train” on his debut in 2003 (or criminally-underrated follow-up “What It Ain’t” complete with video wherein Turner charmed as host of pretend match game show Love, Not Love) to recording with Randy Travis to showing off his husky, come-hither narrative with selections such as “Your Man” to fun-lovingly booming about his better half with “Firecracker” or extending a hand in “Would You Go With Me?” Award-nominated across genres, this artist is a guy who knows how to navigate a story song.
He's shared his sunny spiritual side with mostly-gospel album I Serve a Savior (which wisely contains his previous single release “Me and God” and a live recording of “Long Black Train”) and gotten back to the basics with established classic country hit takes on Country State of Mind (released in August). CSoM’s collaborations on country throwbacks feature artists including Randy Travis on “Forever and Ever, Amen,” Kris Kristofferson on “Why Me,” Chris Janson on the title track, John Anderson and Allison Moorer. Turner takes on well-known standards cut by Keith Whitley, Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, Patty Loveless, Vern Gosdin, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Waylon Jennings and both the Jr. and Sr. varieties of Hank Williams.
“I knew the artists I wanted to represent,” explains Turner, “and I chose songs that exemplified who each of these artists was from my perspective.”
In March “Your Man”—written by Chris Stapleton, Jace Everett and Chris DuBois—was certified as a 3-times-platinum single.
On June 25 (one day before his Murfreesboro, TN show), Turner will release Your Man: Deluxe Edition, featuring three additional live tracks not on its original release. Pre-orders are available now and the release will also be available on vinyl.
Josh Turner will perform Saturday, June 26, at 7 p.m. Find tickets for this and more tour dates on ticketmaster.com.
#opry #countrymusic #newmusic #countrystateofmind #yourman #manofthehour
A light at the end of an overly-traveled tunnel? Coming months could finally see a long-awaited (to put it mildly) shift in programming from GAC, which lost any connection to music long ago (aside from an occasional artist tour bus making a pop-in on a bus makeover rerun) in favor of RVs, log cabins, and bargain hunts. -TCC
An official statement says newly-formed GAC Media, LLC has purchased Great American Country (GAC) from Discovery, Inc. GAC Media was created by former Hallmark Channel President/CEO Bill Abbott in partnership with Hicks Equity Partners. Terms of the purchase have not been disclosed. GAC Media has also purchased independently-owned equestrian-themed channel Ride TV. Abbott will serve as Pres./CEO of GAC Media.
"Consumer interest in family friendly programming that enriches lives and offers safe entertainment options remains as strong as ever," he says. "GAC and Ride TV represent cornerstone assets in this respect, and we look forward to growing both channels."
William Lee Golden, member of GRAMMY® Award-winning and Country Music Hall of Fame group The Oak Ridge Boys, tells all with the release of his new autobiography titled Behind the Beard, written with Scot England.
“When you write your life story, and you decide to bare everything, it’s kind of scary. It feels a lot like getting naked…in front of the entire world. Now that I’ve committed to it, there is one thing going through my mind…if I was going to get naked in front of everyone, I probably shouldn’t have waited until I was 82 years old,” shares William Lee.
“William Lee is the face of The Oak Ridge Boys to many people. When people think of the Oaks, they think of that guy with the beard. Of course, he’s much more than that…as you are about to find out.”– ORB Joe Bonsall
The amusing, poignant, and brutally honest memoir takes readers on a journey from William Lee’s humble Alabama childhood and teenage roots to singing on stage with his favorite group (and many of the details in between).
“I am honored to be a part of William’s book, and I look forward to reading it. Imagine that…I’m with the guy almost every day of the year, and I’m still looking forward to finding out things that I don’t know about the man.”– ORB Richard Sterban
""I know William has a lot of stories he wants to tell in this book, and I support him 100 percent. He has a lot of fans who want to read about the interesting life he has led.” – ORB Duane Allen
Behind the Beard not only takes readers on an exclusive look into William Lee’s vision of turning a gospel group into one of the biggest acts in country music history and stories of 50 years on the road with The Oak Ridge Boys, but dives deeper into personal hardships he faced throughout his life. William Lee divulges the real reason he was away from the group for nine years, his first wife’s one-of-a-kind reaction when she learned he had been unfaithful, and how he made his return to the Oaks. He also addresses the burning questions about his iconic beard such as when and why he started growing it and if he will ever cut it?
“William Lee Golden is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But he is a person who knows who he is. He has dedicated his life to helping people. William is a man of integrity and honesty, and you will read his very honest words in this book,” shares Jim Halsey, Manager of The Oak Ridge Boys.
Fans will want to reserve their copy of Behind the Beard, which includes over 200 rare, never-before-seen photos from William Lee’s personal collection, read about his past, and learn about his vision for the future with his family and The Oak Ridge Boys. Autographed copies, personally signed by William Lee, are also available and will ship as soon as he autographs yours!
To order Behind The Beard, visit www.williamleegoldenbook.com or Amazon.com. To Order Autographed Copies of Behind The Beard visit www.williamleegoldenbook.com
Along with the launch of his autobiography, William Lee is involved in several other upcoming projects, including the release of The Oak Ridge Boys’ new album Front Porch Singin' on June 11, which is the group's fourth collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb. William Lee is also working with his sons, ‘The Goldens,’ to release three new rock, country, and gospel albums.
Hi. I'm a member of the country club. Country Music is what I love.