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Kenny Chesney Plays Austin City Limits

Posted on 28 April 2009 by Bill West

Chesney's Second Greatest Hits CD Drops May 19th

Chesney's Second Greatest Hits CD Drops May 19th

Austin – When it comes to roots, rock and country music, very few establishments set the bar as high as PBS’ “Austin City Limits,” now in its 35th season. The acclaimed show which has – among the many legendary artists — hosted Van Morrison, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, Ray Price, Neil Young, Ray Charles,  Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, Arcade Fire, My Morning Jacket, Tammy Wynette, the Allman Brothers, Allison Krauss and John Mayer will have a special one hour Kenny Chesney performance, taping May 12.
“There is so much history when you look back at the artists who’ve played ‘Austin City Limits’ over the years,” says the man who has sold over a million concert tickets each of the past 7 summers – and stands as the biggest ticket seller of the 21st century. “If you wanna know about American music, about Texas music, about music that comes out of the South – whether it’s the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic – or songwriters like Jackson Browne and John Prine, Western swing like Asleep at the Wheel or classic country like Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette… that’s the place you go.
“And with everything I’ve been able to do in my career, it’s still an incredible honor to be asked to do ‘Austin City Limits.’ That’s a whole other kind of music show…”
For Chesney, who closed out last week’s Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California with a rave review on EW.com – Entertainment Weekly’s online presence — that offered, “This is feel-good music, performed in a no-muss, no-fuss style by a 12 piece band that never overshadows Chesney’s straightforward, muscular style…,” this is an opportunity to offer a more intimate picture of who he is and where his music comes from.
“When you go in there – and you think about all the people who’ve come before you – you really want to stand and play and sing and let the songs have their moment,” Chesney says of his “ACL” game plan. “This is about getting to the basics of what I learned when I first came to town: a good song sung from an honest place. Let people sense who you are, and do it with the best songs possible.”
For Chesney, who releases Greatest Hits Two on May 19, there are plenty of songs to choose from. Since releasing “Young” at the end of 2001, he has scored multiple week #1s including “There Goes My Life,” “Summertime,” “Beer In Mexico” and “The Good Stuff,” as well as chart-topping duets “When The Sun Goes Down” with Uncle Kracker and “Down The Road” with songwriter/singer Mac McAnally.
“I can’t think of a better place to revisit the songs of the past 8 years,” Chesney says. “’Austin City Limits” is all about the music… and these songs – for me – have certainly withstood the test of time. What a great place to play them and get to consider what they’ve meant to me and a lot of other people.”

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Chesney Steps Into The Sun

Posted on 20 April 2009 by Bill West

Chesney's Second Greatest Hits CD Drops May 19th

Chesney's Second Greatest Hits CD Drops May 19th

Uncasville, CT:   He’s taken an elevator. He’s run through the crowd. He’s taken a magic carpet. He’s walked through a reveal. So when the man who’s sold a million tickets each of the past seven summers wanted to do something different – it took almost two years to create the technology and safety test what he was thinking.

But Friday night at the Mohegan Sun, Kenny Chesney emerged from under a camera stand at the back of the arena floor, stepped over a bar that was rising – and began swinging towards the stage. Only this swing – that more resembled a trapeze it’s so small – doesn’t just run to the stage on a track; it is wired to go right and left as well as side-to-side, allowing the high-energy showman to literally fly to any section of the floor he wishes.

On the ride to the stage in Uncasville – where the he played to two beyond capacity crowds who snapped up the tickets in less than 12 minutes – Chesney rode low over the fans heads, high-fiving and waving, as he moved to the right, then to the left. His rig also allows him to turn in mid-air, so while starting facing the stage, by the time he lands, he has been spun around to be facing the audience.

“I knew this was something we could do,” Chesney says with a laugh, “it was just a matter of figuring out how to make it safe enough – because there’s not a whole lot holding me up there. And, obviously because we’re not on a track, but cables, there needed to be different kinds of systems in place to make it work… but the tech people we work with figured it out.

“And what’s so cool about this entrance — beyond the way it feels when I’m up there flying, which is a rush – is if I want to take somebody a beer in the back of section 6 or whatever, I could. We’re still really learning what all the swing is capable of doing (and how to do it), but just being able to literally cover the entire floor last night was insane. It’s even more of a rush for me than running through the crowds to get to the stage.”

Further adding excitement to this year’s entrance is the surprise selection of songs. Not his obvious and expected “Beer In Mexico” or “Live Those Songs Again,” but the traditionally-set-ending “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” which sets fans on notice that this is going to be one heckuva ride. Many of the hi songs from the show will make-up his Greaest Hits II collection which will be available on May 19 and features his new single “Out Last Night.”

“This year, I wanted people rocking from a whole different place from the moment we hit the stage,” Chesney allows. “What better way to say, we’re gonna hit you harder than ever than to open with the song we’ve bringing the show to its peak with for the last several years? Cause if we’re starting there, then you know, we’re starting pretty high and climbing from there.”

“And I gotta tell you: those fans… those fans were so loud, so live, so ready… I knew we missed the crowds and being on the road, but they made us never wanna go home! That kind of energy, to create it, to feel it, to be part of it… that, to me, is what you go to concerts for!”

Chesney’s Greatest Hits Vol 2 is out May 19th

‘Be As You Are’
‘I’m Alive’ (featuring Dave Matthews)
‘Out Last Night’
‘Down The Road’
‘When The Sun Goes Down’
‘Living In Fast Forward’
‘Beer In Mexico’
‘There Goes My Life’
‘Anything But Mine’
‘I Go Back’
‘Never Wanted Nothin’ More’
‘No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems’
‘The Good Stuff’

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ACM Award Winners 2009

Posted on 06 April 2009 by Bill West

Underwood Pleasantly Surprises With Entertainer Win

Underwood Pleasantly Surprises With Entertainer Win

Many fans will be talking about Jabba The Dress (Underwood’s wardrobe) but there was a lot to talk about at the CM Awards last night.   Jamie Foxx said it right… change was happening.   

Vegas was pop-pin last night as the hillbillies of Nashville classed up the joint with some incredible wardrobe and dazzling music.   There was also a good ratio of big Hollywood stars there (Nicole Kidman is now a mainstay and Matthew Mcconaughey has the funniest moment of the night with his white boot Strait intro).

The big change came with who won the big awards.  There was new blood for sure.   Young blood too with Taylor surprising many with a well deserved album honor and Carrie Underwood becoming the first female to win Entertainer since the Dixie Chicks.  There was also a little change with an opening star medley paced with Brooks and Dunn’s Play Something Country that was kinda clunky but at least it was something new.

Other highlights included Trace Atkin’s tear jerking Vets salute,  Flatts stripped down “Here Comes Goodbye” (Levox’s vocals have otherwise been horrible on live TV) and Carrie’s mega dress and perfect performance of “I Told You So”.   Did anyone else expect Randy Travis to pop out from under the dress and finish the duet?  

 The partial list of winners is as follows:

Entertainer of the Year: Carrie Underwood

Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift

Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Top Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood

Top Vocal Group:Rascal Flatts

Top Vocal Duo:Sugarland

Top New Male Vocalist: Jake Owen

Top New Female Vocalist:Julianne Hough

Top New Vocal Duo or Group:Zac Brown Band

Single Record of the Year: “You’re Gonna Miss This”, Trace Adkins

Song of the Year: “In Color”, Jamey Johnson

Video of the Year: “Waitin’ on a Woman”, Brad Paisley

Vocal Event of the Year: “Start a Band”, Brad Paisley with Keith Urban

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Posted on 02 April 2009 by Bill West

Defying Gravity Is Urban's 5th Studio Album

Defying Gravity Is Urban's 5th Studio Album

I think that’s the cryptic lettering on Keith Urban’s knuckles in the liner notes in Defying Gravity his new CD just released this week. Let us know if you know what that means…

Easier to decipher is his liner note love letter to his bride:


There is in fact a lot of ooeey gooeeey love on Defying Gravity but it just the thing to make his female fans swoon just a bit more.   Missing is a bit of guitar masculinity and almost any resemblance to  country style music.

Urban has never been the traditional type but -in the past- always seemed to make an effort to add in some plucky guitar and banjo fun to get us not to think twice about it. It’s always been quality over trying to sound country.    On the latest effort there’s barely a hint of banjo on a few tracks and there is an overall pop/ac feel.  Has he abandoned trying to stay in the “country music  club?” Time will tell…  Either way he’s alway’s quick to praise the genre.

Urban still has a stronghold on country radio and it’s fans as he proved with the initial chart topping single Sweet Thing.  Plus kudos for writing eight of the eleven tunes here. No doubt there is lots of quality on “Gravity” including happy tunes like “Why It Feels So Long” and “Kiss a Girl.” We love the idea of a Radney Foster remake (I’m In) but please lose the cheese drum track next time around.

Now can you tell us what “NSIUCNODLAEY LLIOFVEE” means…

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