January 2013 Archives - Country Songs Online

Archive | January, 2013

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Jana Kramer Ready For The Next Step

Posted on 27 January 2013 by Bill West

Jana Kramer is one of the latest breakthroughs in modern country music.  She has received the distinction of having one of the fastest rising debut singles for a solo female in recent history as her debut single “Why Ya Wanna” made her an instant player peaking at number three on the country airplay charts.

Jana Kramer

Jana Kramer

One of Kramer’s claim to fame is her movie star good looks.  The Detroit native, born 12/2/1983, has also established herself in the Hollywood acting community with roles large and small in TV shows like One Tree Hill (Alex DuPree) and reoccurring spots on Entourage. “The guys usually notice me from Entourage and the girls remember me from One Tree Hill,” she says.   But soon more will find her familiar from her singing and sultry videos on CMT.

Kramer released her first album called Jana Kramer (mostly produced by Scott Hendricks) on June 5th 2012 and has also released the single “Whiskey.”  She also has a remake of the song “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” on the soundtrack to the film Footloose.

Kramer’s personal life is followed by the usual showbiz gossip rags that note she was once married to Mike Salais aka Michael Anthony Gambino (divorced in 2009) and married

again to Johnathon Schaech (they quickly divorced within about a month.  On January 20th of 2013 she became engaged to country singer Brantley Gilbert (the date is his birthday) after months of quietly building the  relationship out of the public eye.

Kramer credits her mother and grandmother for getting her into country music saying her grandmother was constantly playing

Jana Kramer / Emblem

Jana Kramer / Elektra

cassettes of Patsy Cline as she was growing up. She’s a fan of The Voice and says she would love to record a duet with Adam Levine (of Maroon Five).

She is currently touring with artist like Brad Paisley and tracks her tour dates at JanaKramer.com

Twitter @kramergirl

photos Elektra

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Jamey Johnson Is Keeping Country Alive

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Bill West

jamie johnsonJamey Johnson is one of country music’s true singer songwriters.  His country lyrics speak to true traditionalists and include a modern look into the gritty underbelly of the genre’s darker side.

Born July 14th 1975 in Enterprise, Alabama Johnson first broke through into the mainstream of country listening with his well received single “The Dollar.” The story song became a country radio hit in 2006 and started his progression into the spotlight.

Johnson has since written and recorded a Song of The Year winning tune called In Color that also received accolades not only from radio airplay but also from it’s inclusion on the album “That Lonesome Song.”  The album was lauded by many country aficionados as one of the best albums of 2008  for it’s biting lyrics and dark real-life songwriting performed in the voice of it’s well worn songwriter.

In fact, songwriting is where most of Johnson’s fame is founded as he is often remembered for his notorious Song of The Year acceptance speech at the CMA Awards for his writing of the song “Give It Away” for George Strait.

More recently Jamey Johnson’s tribute album to Hank Cochran called “Living For A Song” received a coveted four star rating from Rolling Stone magazine.

Jamey Johnson records for Mercury Records Nashville and published updates at his website http://JameyJohnson.com

jamie johnson

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Gary Alan – Every Storm Video

Posted on 14 January 2013 by Bill West

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Miranda Lambert’s Next Move

Posted on 11 January 2013 by Bill West

MirandaAll eyes are on country music hottie Miranda Lambert as she comes into her own as country music’s next big superstar woman.  Lambert has had astounding success lately with accolades for her song writing (Over You won her a song of the year honor) and Female Artist of the year wins.

How will Lambert top such success?  She also has to stand beside the jaw dropping mass media success of her husband Blake Shelton who is enjoying unprecedented fame for a country star.

Lambert was born in Longview Texas (born Miranda Leigh Lambert November 10th 1983) to a musical mom and dad.  Dad at least as her father Rick Lambert wrote and performed country music.

Lambert, like former tour mate Chris Young, got one of her big breaks on the now defunked TV talent show Nashville star where she ended up coming in third (Buddy Jewell became the breakout star of her season). To this day she aligns with music competition show contestants as a knowing mother figure having “been through it.”

Still her radio success has been, until recent years, slow and hard fought.  Her early singles like Kerosene and Me and Charlie Talking got limited airplay (although may are revisiting Kerosene).  All that changed after a few big songs like Gunpowder and Lead and more recently with The House That Built Me, White Liar, Baggage Claim and the award winning Over You (gut wrenchingly written with and about Blake Shelton’s deceased brother).  She has even launched a new female vocal group and album  called the Pistol Annies to strong interest.

With the recent major awards success and A List Hollywood status her house hold has just acquired thanks to Network Television attention there’s no telling where Miranda Lambert’s road will travel next.  More television, another headlining tour, and perhaps a late 2013 album may be in the works.  There’s will be more tweeting for sure.  Follow her tweets @mirandalambert.

Lambert’s official website is MirandaLambert.com

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Chris Young Plays ABCs Nashville

Posted on 10 January 2013 by Bill West

Chris YoungChris Young is forging a huge career in country music.   Next up he will get some major face time on ABC’s Nashville this month and it’s happening at a time when traditional country music is starting to slide out of vogue, and country songs are crossing over to pop more and more.  Still Young has a string of real hits to carry him through until a time comes and hats and twang and weeping fiddles get more credit.

Young has always had that twang.   He grew up just outside of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN (born Alan Chris Young June 12, 1985) where you can’t avoid the country influence or the recording industry money.

His undeniable “big break” was as a contestant of Nashville Star in the shows early years.  He won the contest along with a recording deal on RCA Nashville.  Still the accolades and fans from the show were not enough to land Young a real hit record as his two singles from his self named debut album failed to crack the country Top 40.

Although he released Voices in May 2008 it never became a hit until it was later rereleased in late 2009.   The “Voices” album launched big hits to finally plant Youngs flag as one to watch in country music.   Gettin’ You Home, The Man I want to Be and Voices all hit number one. With the release of his third album “Neon” his momentum and stellar music pushed him even further.  His lead single from the album, Tomorrow was a quick success as was the fan favorite You.  Both hitting number one.

Young has joined major tours with Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean and looks to continue to work his way into headlining his own show like his Liquid Neon Tour.

With the release of Neon in 2011 Young stepped away from his signature cowboy hat to go hatless.  It was a move he says was not over calculated but fans noticed.

He continues on a path to become one of the young A-listers winning awards at the American Country Awards and the CMT Music Awards.

Next up he showcases his acting chops with a guest spot on the ABC hit series Nashville.  The episode – also featuring Brantley Gilbert will air January 23rd.

Find out more about Chris Young at his offial website from RCA ChrisYoungCountry.com

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Little Known Facts About The Zac Brown Band

Posted on 08 January 2013 by Bill West


Zac Brown October 2009

Some country music fans think the Zac Brown Band is and overnight success story.  The Little known fact is they they have been working hard for years to build a strong audience and were a successful traveling country folk rock band long before the breakthrough success of their signature song “Chicken Fried.”

His Albums The FoundationYou Get What You Give and Uncaged are top sellers but it took a while to get there.

Zac Brown has always called Georgia his home and  in 2002 Zac Brown put together his version of the band that quickly took on a touring schedule of about 200 dates a year.   Each year the band’s following grew thanks to dynamic jam band performances and a focus on true musicianship, solid song choices and dazzling live performance.

In 2003 he released a little know album called “Far From Einstyne” and followed it up with “Home Grown.”  Home Grown featured Chicken Fried and Whatever It Is.  Two songs that would later make it onto the album “The Foundation” and become major radio hits that continue to be played in heavy rotation to this day.

The band consists of Brown, Jimmy DeMartini, Coy Bowles, Daniel de los Reyes, John Driscoll Hopkins, and Clay Cook.   Cook was playing with the Marshall Tucker Band and collaborating with Shaun Mullins and John Mayer prior to joining Brown.  Another little known fact according to Wikipedia is that Cook was  an addition to the band after the release of Chicken Fried and that he and Brown actually attended and graduated High School together but were not acquainted then.

Zac Brown opened his own southern fried restaurant and music club called “Zac’s Place” with his father in 2004.  The joint, located in Lake Oconee, Georgia, was soon sold and Brown took the show on the road.   His food obsession is still woven into his material and products as he offers rubs, sauces and food items and highlights culinary delights as part of his current day “Southern Ground Music and Food Festivals” (in Charleston and Nashville).

Brown has also proven to be an entrepreneurial artist launching his own record label (Home Grown) in 2003 and released several independent small batch records under that name.  He has created Camp Souther Ground and has his own leather goods production.  Later the band got a strong start with mega concert promoter Live Nation when the company dabbled in artist “360” and label deals (larger names like Madonna were inked to deals worth upwards of 120 million over ten years).

The song “Chicken Fried” was originally released to country radio with some early success by the Lost Trailers (who later has the hit Holler Back).  In a controversial move Brown pulled the singles rights to the song because he planned to record and release on his own album.  The move proved to be a wise one as the song (his debut single) ascended to number one on the country radio charts in November of 2008.  It began a string of number ones for the band that made “The Foundation ” a smash and winning the Zac Brown Band a Grammy for Best New Artist in early 2010.

More recently Zac and the Band have branched out into more elaborate touring including a growing music and food festival that features on stage box seats and big name guest appearances.




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Tim McGraw One Of Those Nights

Posted on 04 January 2013 by Bill West

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Hunter Hayes Somebody’s Heartbreak

Posted on 04 January 2013 by Bill West

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Biggest Country Albums of The Year

Posted on 03 January 2013 by Bill West

Taylor Swift Red2012 was another big year for country music.   The Billboard Year End Rankings just came out and although Adele’s 21 grabbed the best selling number one slot for the second year in a row (a record feat) the top ten was chock full of Nashville brewed country.

Taylor Swift makes the cut at number two with Red.  Swift has made the year end list three other times in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

One Direction, Mumford and Sons and Justin Bieber round out the top six (One Direction has 2 albums in the mix) but the rest of the top ten is all country.

Arista Records

Arista Records

Carrie Underwood continues to “blow away” sales numbers with her latest effort which ends 2012 with 1.2 million units in sales, followed by Luke Bryan’s Tailgates and Tanlines, and the underrated “Tuskeegee” collection of duets from Lionel Richie with 1.07 million.  Jason Aldean’s recent release of Night Train took only a few months to sneak into the number ten slot with 1.2 million in sales.

night trainThis was a significant showing for country according to Billboard.com.  They state that previously the country genre has only claimed up to four slots and you have to go back to 2002 and 1992 for those successes.

Taylor Swift starts the new year with a number one week with Red topping the Billboard 200 all genres Album chart.

The full year end stats are available at Billboard.com

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