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Archive for the ‘Civil Wars’ Category

Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Chris Stapleton to be Featured on “Southern Family” Album

Southern Family

Producer Dave Cobb will be releasing a star-studded concept album entitled “Southern Family” on March 18th, 2016. Cobb has already worked with some of the biggest contemporary stars of country music.

He’s produced albums for Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Shooter Jennings. This February, he’s up for two Grammy Awards – Album of the Year for Chris Stapleton’s Traveller and Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) for his production work on albums by Stapleton, Jason Isbell, A Thousand Horses and more.

This March, he’s set to take things a step further with the release of a new concept album called Southern Family. Produced and conceived by Cobb, the album will feature twelve songs by Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown, Chris Stapleton (with Morgane Stapleton), Jason Isbell, John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Shooter Jennings and more. The concept of the album revolves around the artists writing new songs about growing up in the South or performing songs that were important to them.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the album’s central idea, Cobb said,

“the more I thought about it, everybody has a great story, about their parents, their grandparents or brother and sister. I wanted to have really talented artists custom write and do songs that mean a lot to them, and also just make the song that maybe they wouldn’t put on their record. The deep song, or the song that doesn’t fit in the queue or wouldn’t be a single. I wanted them to do the most honest song they could do.”

Muscle Shoals Documentary to Premieres on PBS

Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, Muscle Shoals is the birthplace of some of the most important and influential songs of all time, from artists ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Wilson Pickett, the Rolling Stones to Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys to the Civil Wars. At the heart of the Muscle Shoals phenomenon is visionary Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to make music for the generations. He is responsible for the indelible “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. The story of the small town with the big sound, Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier’s Muscle Shoals premieres on Independent Lens, hosted by Stanley Tucci, on Monday, April 21, 2014, 9:00 – 11:00 PM ET on PBS (check local listings.)

Featuring interviews with dozens of singers and musicians who bear witness to the magic of Muscle Shoals — including Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, and Percy Sledge — Muscle Shoals pays joyful tribute to the birthplace of such iconic hits as “I’ll Take You There,” “Brown Sugar,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,”  “Mustang Sally,” “Tell Mama,” “Kodachrome,” “Freebird” and “Mainstreet.” Muscle Shoals is the place where, even before the Civil Rights Movement, the color of your skin didn’t matter once the music started. Or, as Keith Richard says, “it’s rock and roll heaven, man.”

Country’s GRAMMY Nominees Represent a Variety of Sound


“The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!” was an amazing show of musical talent and diversity with remarkable performances and an Album of the Year category that carries an eclectic group of nominees that stretch across four genres of music.

Country music was well represented last night with an electrifying performance from Taylor Swift.  Even from Sydney, Australia Taylor captured the night with her rendition of “I Knew You Were Trouble.”   Opening her performance Taylor was in a white and gold angelic like gown surrounded by dancers who appeared to be at a masquerade ball.  Halfway through the performance, in true Taylor fashion, her wardrobe changed to a flirtatious black lace outfit.   One thing is certain, Taylor knows how to entertain and she owns the stage.  Taylor received 4 GRAMMY nominations, including Album of the Year, Best Country Song for “Begin Again,” Best Country Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Highway Don’t Care” with Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.

Keith Urban and R&B artist Miguel paid tribute to Bill Withers with a killer performance of “Ain’t No Sunshine.”   It was a slow, sexy and very soulful rendition of the oldie but goodie GRAMMY award-winning song.     Keith is already a four-time GRAMMY winner and could add another to his mantel for his collaboration with Tim and Taylor on “Highway Don’t Care.”

It was a big night for country music newcomer Kacey Musgraves who earned four nominations.  The “Follow Your Arrow” singer is likely to take home at least one win.  Kacey received nominations for Best Country Song for Miranda Lambert‘s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” on which she was a songwriter, as well as receiving a nod for her own release, “Merry Go ‘Round.”  Kacey also netted a nomination in the Best Country Album group for Same Trailer Different Park.  She represents country music for Best New Artist — an all-genre category which includes Taylor’s tour mate Ed Sheeran, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, plus Macklemore + Ryan Lewis.

The real competition for country music will be in the Best Country Album category.   All 5 albums in this category hit #1 as a Billboard Top Country Album and are seriously strong contenders.  Jason Aldean’s‘ Night Train was released in 2012, but was still spinning strong on radio through all of 2013.  Tim McGraw’s Two Lanes of Freedom packed on the hits for him this year and it would be great to see him return to the GRAMMY stage with a win.   Based on a True Story put Blake Shelton at the #1 Billboard spot for three weeks and could earn him his first GRAMMY.    Taylor Swift’s Red album was undeniably a favorite for country radio and fans this year.

Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” received a nomination for Best Country Solo Performance.  Darius admits he doesn’t necessarily have to win, but he felt the song certainly deserved the nomination.  Hunter Hayes also received a nomination in this category for his upbeat, fun-loving “I Want Crazy” single.  Rounding out this category is Lee Brice’s “I Drive Your Truck,” Miranda’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Blake’s “Mine Would Be You.”

The Best Country Duo/Group performance nominees show the true range of today’s country music.  Little Big Town’s “Your Side of the Bed” would be a great follow-up to their win for “Pontoon” in 2012.  A great surprise in this category is to see the traditional side of country music being represented with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s nomination for “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”    The Civil Wars came away with a nom for “From This Valley.”  Although the duo is no longer performing together, the magic The Civil Wars make together still shines through.     Rounding out this category is Kelly Clarkson’s duet with GRAMMY award winner Vince Gill.  “Don’t Rush” was a big hit with country radio and the fans seemed to love the throwback sound.    Again, the undeniable team of Keith, Tim and Taylor make “Highway Don’t Care” an obvious threat in this category.

This year’s country music GRAMMY nominees represent a variety of sound and music.  While the songs and artists who received nominations are well deserving there was a noticeable absence of some of country music’s most popular artists.  Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party and Florida Georgia Line’s Here’s to the Good Times are two of the best-selling county albums in 2013, but were passed over for nominations for Best Country Album.   FGL was also missing from the Best New Artist category.  Lady Antebellum’s last two albums, Need You Now and Own the Night both won the Best Country Album honor in earlier years, but Golden was completely shut out.

The excitement is building and with both fun country newcomers and veteran artists nominated, the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be a surefire battle to the end.

Be sure to tune in on “GRAMMY Sunday,” Jan. 26, 2014, as The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.  Let the countdown to the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards begin!

The 56th GRAMMY Award Nominations


Nominations for the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® were announced tonight by The Recording Academy® and reflected one of the most diverse years with the Album Of The Year category alone representing the rap, pop, country and dance/electronica genres, as determined by the voting members of The Academy.

Below are the nominees in the country music categories of the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards®:

Album of the Year:
Red — Taylor Swift
The Blessed Unrest — Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories — Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City — Kendrick Lamar
The Heist — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Best New Artist:
Kacey Musgraves
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Ed Sheeran

Best Country Solo Performance:
“I Drive Your Truck” — Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy” — Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel” — Darius Rucker
“Mine Would Be You” — Blake Shelton

Best Country Album:
Night Train — Jason Aldean
Two Lanes Of Freedom — Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park — Kacey Musgraves
Based On A True Story — Blake Shelton
Red — Taylor Swift

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:.
From This Valley – The Civil Wars
Don’t Rush – Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill
Your Side of the Bed – Little Big Town
Highway Don’t Care – Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
You Can’t Make Old Friends – Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton

Best Country Song
Begin Again  – Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
I Drive Your Truck – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary, songwriters (Lee Brice)
Mama’s Broken Heart – Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
Merry Go Round – Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
Mine Would Be You – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan, songwriters (Blake Shelton)

A complete list of nominees is available at

The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on “GRAMMY Sunday,” Jan. 26, 2014, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live in high-definition TV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

This year’s GRAMMY Awards process registered more than 22,000 submissions over a 12-month eligibility period (Oct. 1, 2012 – Sept. 30, 2013). GRAMMY ballots for the final round of voting will be mailed on Dec. 11 to the voting members of The Recording Academy. They are due back to the accounting firm of Deloitte by Jan. 8, 2014, when they will be tabulated and the results kept secret until the 56th GRAMMY telecast.

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