Posted on 15 February 2013 by Bill West
Posted on 13 February 2013 by Bill West
Eric Church and Miranda Lambert lead the way in the nominations for ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards. The cowboy hat topped trophy’s will be handed out live on CBS in LasVegas on April 8th. Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan (both Entertainer nominees) are set to host.
The full list of nominees is at The ACM Site.
The Academy has the expected names in the Entertiner category but it is still a shock for some country fans to NOT see names like Keith and Kenny in the list.
Blake has been the man these days but there’s no denying Jason Aldean’s surge or Eric Church’s buzz. This is a category to watch.
Newcomer Kacey Musgraves surprises many in this years big female list but the real battle will be with the blondes.
A lot of new names in the Duo category. It’s up for grabs.
Posted on 06 November 2012 by Bill West
Posted on 01 November 2012 by Bill West
Longtime country music fans remember the day when the songs were traditional and the big names were super familiar. It changes with the time. In 1989 there was a new “class” that launched a NEW COUNTRY movement. Names like Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, and Mary Chapin Carpenter were all breakthrough artists that year. Interestingly it was they year one of our new leaders, Taylor Swift, was born.
Now, almost like the circle of life, country music is ushering in a new class of stars. These days the genre is casting away stars like Alan Jackson and George Strait to make room for these new names.
Jason Aldean is on top of the mountain as a male vocalist with new country songs spiking to number one at radio and online with downloads and album sales. His 2012 album “Night Train” surprised critics with another instant jump to number one on the all genres Billboard Top 200. His ascent to the pinnacle was clinched with his signature song “Dirt Road Anthem” that blended a modern rap vibe with real country lyrics. His latest releases promise rabid fans that there’s more to come.
Taylor Swift is a somewhat polarizing leader in the new team. Her country songs are undeniably pop leaning, but over one million albums sold in one week (she’s achieved those sales twice) can not be ignored. She is, in fact, bigger than country music now. Still she carries the torch for the country genre and is almost always introduced as a COUNTRY superstar. Swift hit her pinnacle with her most country sounding song so far. The fan favorite “Mean.” It’s hard to tell just how high her star will rise but there’s now doubt she is a good influence for younger fans.
Lady Antebellum is a trio primarily from Georgia (like Aldean). They launched in 2006 with a self titled album and have not slowed down since. The trio broke through to mainstream audiences with the powerful ballad “Need You Now.” That went on to garner pop and mainstream airplay. Three members Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelly (brother to singer Josh Kelly) came up with the unique name after noting some of their early press photos had a very “antebellum” feel. Fans often shorten the name to just “Lady A.”
The Zac Brown Band is another game changing group. Lead singer Zac Brown (again, from Georgia) set the table for early success by building a strong jam band following in smaller clubs in the South East. Shortly after number one airplay of “Chicken Fried” they were playing arenas, then stadiums and creating their own music festivals. The unconventional and organic approach struck a chord with all music fans winning them a Grammy Award for best new artist and a non stop string of number one songs. The ZBB album “Uncaged” was one of the groups strongest sets to date.
Eric Church is perhaps the freshest face in this line up. After years of struggling to get significant airplay he has seemed to lock into his fan base and his sound. He built his base of followers with dynamic live shows and party songs like “Smoke A Little Smoke.” Watch for mainstream music industry and critics to really start to pay attention to Church as his concert tickets continue to sell out (and bigger rooms keep filling) and his album sales sell more and more. Church’s sound (with help from “Pontoon” producer Jay Joyce) has a gritty experimental vibe to it but his vocal twang is almost as country as Willie Nelson.
A few that almost made the list include Blake Shelton (starting to peak with Network TV exposure), Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery (radio has not caught up to his massive record sales and fan base yet) and Hootie front man Darius Rucker. These new voices are leading the way to a new country revolution.
Posted on 30 October 2012 by editor
Eric Church is one of the biggest names in Country Music and Song these days. His lyrics make country fans think. His albums are selling platinum, and his radio songs are beginning to hit number one on a consistent basis. The CMA Awards are sure to come.
Church didn’t have such a blazing hot start. North Carolina native Kenneth Eric Church and was signed to Capitol Records Nashville he built his base at a slow and steady pace. In 2006, when he was first signed to his record deal he released “How ‘Bout You” to lukewarm response. The country song with lyrics about good ole boy country music with a Waylon back beat and swagger peaked at #14 on the Country charts. The other two songs released from his debut album “Sinners Like Me” stalled in the teens.
Still, Church was building a ground swell of fans diligently working clubs and doing dynamic shows that his core audience got addicted to. The combination of lyrics with attitude and punchy production (thanks in part to the talented Jay Joyce) was beginning to gel.
With the release of the album “Carolina” radio was slowly paying attention. But only enough to get him a few unenthusiastic top tens. The last release from “Carolina” was one that may not have charted that high but became a true hit for Church. “Smoke A Little Smoke,” sounded different on the radio. It got attention and became a signature song in rowdy live shows.
In 2008 he married Kathrine Blassingame and together on 10/3/11 they welcomed baby Boone.
With the length of time it takes for country songs to work through the radio system “Smoke A Little Smoke” was building it’s own fan base and peaking the interest of radio when it was time to release “Homeboy” another polarizing but dynamic song that had a viral effect on listeners. The one two punch of Smoke and Homeboy clicked with fans and his subsequent release of the album “Chief” was explosive.
Chief debut at number one on the Billboard all genre charts. A feat that gets attention in Nashville as well as the entire music industry.
The 145 thousand unit first week sent him to the “next level” in country. The songs that followed “Drink In My Hand‘” and “Springsteen,” (a song touted by Rolling Stone Magazine as a single of the year in 2011 – before it was named as a sing) locked in number one status.
He has been nominated for five 2012 CMA Awards and appears on Jason Aldean’s new album Night Train in the song “The Only Way I Know.”
Church has announced plans to take time off from studio albums to instead tour and release a LIVE album in 2013. His Blood Sweat and Beers Tour is already selling out large arenas and it’s clear that that the Erich Church story is just beginning.
Posted on 27 September 2011 by editor
Posted on 05 May 2011 by editor
To some modern country artists, the words critics are using to describe Eric Church’s forthcoming third studio album may seem off-putting, but to the trailblazing mutineer and his equally passionate fans, the terms: “strange,” “aggressive,” “wild,” and “rare,” couldn’t be more complimentary. What has been buzzing as the most experiential, head-turning country album of the year will take place on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 with the release of Church’s third studio album, Chief, to stores nationwide, courtesy of EMI Records.
“I have a theory that all of us [artists] only get a small window of time to make records when people will really listen and care,” said Church. “It’s up to us to move the needle. People like Waylon and Cash or Garth and Strait,– they all took the format and said, ‘We’re going over here,’ and they each changed the direction of the music a little bit– helping to make it what it is today.”
That desire to move the needle is the very reason Church has chosen to use the successes of six Top 20 country singles (“How ‘Bout You,” “Two Pink Lines,” and “Guys Like Me” from his 2006 critically-acclaimed debut, Sinners Like Me; “Love Your Love The Most,” “Hell On The Heart,” and “Smoke A Little Smoke” from his sophomore release Carolina) and an ACM Award for New Solo Vocalist of the Year to push the creative envelope even further with Chief. Church took a month off and went to a secluded cabin in North Carolina to reflect and write the entire album which he later recorded in Nashville with producer, Jay Joyce (Patty Griffin, Cage the Elephant), who also produced his previous two releases.
The songs that resulted from the diversion illustrate Church’s impressive range and infinite creative canvas. Songs like “Drink in My Hand” and “Hungover & Hard Up,” illustrate his ability to connect with a rowdy audience. Other songs like “Springsteen” and “Like Jesus Does,” reveal a deeper emotions complemented by sophisticated song structures; and then there’s “Homeboy” –the provocative lead single—and Church’s fastest-rising career single to date– that’s already turning heads and causing critics from USA Today and Billboard to champion the release.
The “alive and breathing” feel of the new music inspired Church to name the album, Chief, after a nickname given to his grandfather, and one he has consequently adopted over the years out on the road. “When it’s show time, I put on the sunglasses and the hat, and that’s how people know it’s game time. This album was made from a live place; we recorded it with the live show in mind, so it just seemed right to make that the title,” he adds.
With the release of his third studio album, Church hasn’t forgotten the true captains of his career –his loyal fans. “More than anyone else, we have built are career on the backs of the fans,” he says. “We have not had a lot of TV exposure or number one songs, but we have had music that stirs passion, we put on shows that stoke the flames of that passion, and our fans have carried the torch. Our music belongs to them.”
1. Creepin’ (Eric Church / Marv Green)
2. Drink In My Hand (Eric Church, Michael P. Heeney, Luke Laird)
3. Keep On (Eric Church / Ryan Tyndell)
4. Like Jesus Does (Casey Beathard / Monty Criswell)
5. Hungover & Hard Up (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
6. Homeboy (Eric Church / Casey Beathard)
7. Country Music Jesus (Eric Church / Jeremy Spillman)
8. Jack Daniels (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Lynn Hutton)
9. Springsteen (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Ryan Tyndell)
10. I’m Gettin’ Stoned (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Casey Beathard / Jeremy Cradey)
11. Over When It’s Over (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
Posted on 25 March 2011 by editor
Nashville, TN – EMI Records Nashville’s Eric Church had his songwriting play out in his personal life recently when he and his wife Katherine found themselves “sittin around waiting on two pink lines.” Although Eric’s 2006 single “Two Pink Lines” was about the anxiety surrounding a pregnancy test, Church and his wife of three years are thrilled to announce that they are expecting their first child this Fall.
“Katherine and I are very excited and are looking forward to becoming parents,” shares Church. “This year has gotten off to an amazing start for us and this news has made it so much better than we could have ever anticipated.”
Church is the ACM New Solo Vocalist Of The Year and now a nominee for ACM New Artist Of The Year. The 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards is broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. Voting for ACM New Artist Of The Year started on March 11 at 2pm PT through April 3 at 5pm PT (www.voteacm.com).
Church recently released his new single “Homeboy” (USA Today’s Pick Of The Week) from his third studio album to be released later this year.