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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

jamie johnson

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Introducing Canaan Smith We Got Us

Posted on 07 January 2012 by editor

Mercury Records singer/songwriter Canaan Smith will release his debut single, “We Got Us,” to radio on January 9. Just in time for the single to hit radio, Country Weekly has named Canaan as one of twelve artists to watch in 2012.

The story of “We Got Us” is a couple in love who take a leap of faith and set out on their own fueled by only their affection for one another.


“Getting to be the voice for this song is a feeling like no other,” Canaan says. “It felt special when we wrote it, and I’m stoked to see the positive early feedback at radio! Thanks for all the support!”

Caanan Smith

Canaan Smith / Mercury

Canaan performed “We Got Us” to an audience for the first time at the Universal Music Group Nashville CRS luncheon held at the historic Ryman Auditorium last March.

Canaan’s debut album will release later this year, but fans can now purchase “We Got Us” via iTunesWe Got Us - Single - Canaan Smith

“This album is my life 3-and-a-half minutes at a time. I wrote what I was feeling, and we cut it like we wanted it to sound. Getting to work with my longtime heroes (producers Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten) has been everything I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to share my stories.”

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Scotty McCreery Presents Clear As Day – Review

Posted on 03 October 2011 by editor

Scotty McCreery

When was the last time country music had a teenage boy that had a shot at making hits?   Billy Gilman din’t have a shot like Scotty McCreery, and McCreery has delivered a super easy to listen to debut album that will please Idol fan base and SHOULD be mainstream enough to deserve substantial radio play.

McCreery has already proven himself as a draw.  So much so that he’s already inked a deal to open Brad Paisley’s tour in 2012.      On Idol it was clear to show producers from early on that Scotty had a massive following and it translated to higher Idol ratings.  On the Idol arena tour there was a good degree of Scotty mania with sold out arenas after the previous year’s lackluster attendance.     As the reigning Idol winner McCreery had an extra long set list on the tour and he sold the most merch at the tables.  He’s proving himself as more than normal teen back at school too.

With his debut album, Clear As Day, McCreery combines his surprisingly rich country pipes to some quality Nashville songwriting and producing with JUST ENOUGH High School perspective.   His voice is unique too.  Perhaps more versatile than Josh Turner or Trace Adkins.   Taylor Swift has been successful providing the voice for that age group – but there has never been a charismatic boy (a jock too!) that has had this kind of shot.

Clear As Day is a sweet slice of southern life.  Obviously handpicked by Scotty, the songs revolve around girls, mama, trucks and High School.    A breath of fresh air for Nashville.

McCreery shines on flirty fun pop country nuggets like “Write Your Number On My Hand” and “You Make That Look Good” but also soars with super vocals on the current single “The Trouble With Girls.”    The songs stand up solidly next to anything on country radio.  Do radio programmers hear it or will they need to play catch up after he drops jaws with what could be blockbuster first week sales?

Clear As Day – Track List

ILove You This Big

Clear As Day / Mecury Records


1. Out of Summertime
2. I Love You This Big
3. Clear as Day
4. The Trouble With Girls
5. Water Tower Town
6. Walk in the Country
7. Better Than That
8. Write My Number on Your Hand
9. Dirty Dishes
10. You Make That Look Good
11. Back on the Ground
12. That Old King James

Overall Grade:  A

Don’t Miss:  “You Make That Look Good” – fun for all and sure to make his teenybopper fans swoon.  Also “Walk In The Country” an old Keith Urban and  the Ranch song gets new life.



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Scotty McCreery Has Country Fans Screaming

Posted on 11 August 2011 by editor


Scotty McCreey is trying to stay grounded.   The 2011American Idol is real country and Music Row finally has a young man to connect with fans under 40.  Here we go…  While Scotty studies American history, the 17-year-old country singer is also busy making some of his own.

Scotty McCreery

In May, he won Season Ten of American Idol, becoming the youngest male winner in the show’s nine-year history. A record-breaking 122.4 million votes were cast for Scotty and runner-up Lauren Alaina. The final show garnered 29.3 million viewers and 38.6 million people tuned in to see the winner’s name announced.

A week later, he made country music history when his debut single, “I Love You This Big,” earned the highest debut for a new artist’s first single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart since at least 1984. The song, which hit the Top 20 in seven weeks, is one of the fastest-rising debut singles for a new country artist in history.

He’s recording his debut album for Mercury Nashville/19 Recordings/Interscope. He recently made his Grand Ole Opry debut and performed with Josh Turner at Nashville’s LP Field during CMA Music Fest. He’s performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Today show. He is currently performing through September with the American Idols Live tour.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a career in country music,” Scotty says. “I just never thought it could happen. I had never really given myself a chance. Idol gave me the chance and I ran with it. I’m having a good time with it. It’s what I wanted to do and I’m making a career out of it.”

His debut single, “I Love You This Big,” was not only the perfect single to perform for American Idol’s finale moment, but it was a wonderful way to launch his country career. “It just thanks everybody,” he says. “You can take it to the fans, to my family or my savior Christ– ‘I love you this big.’ There are so many ways you can interpret this song, and that’s why I loved it so much, because anyone can relate to it. It fits me well and I hope I’ll be singing it for 30 years.”

Scotty’s debut album will offer the best of both worlds – traditional country with a contemporary flavor. “My music is obviously country and it has some old influences in it,” he says. “I grew up with Hank Williams and Conway Twitty. I listened to other artists like Tim McGraw and Josh Turner too, but I love a contemporary feel with an old soul in it.”

And that’s exactly how his producer, Mark Bright, describes him. “He is an old soul. It is an incredible thing, that someone that age fully understands what is before him and is completely unaffected by that. I have never seen anything like it in my life. He loves it and he understands the opportunity he’s been given and he wants to work, work, work to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Although much of the nation is already familiar with Scotty’s rich baritone voice, Mark says Scotty will reveal a few surprises on his debut album. “His voice is shockingly great,” he says. “Everybody knows Scotty has a deep voice, but what a lot of people don’t know is that he has a pretty high range. His listeners will get to hear the nuances, emotions and actual range of his voice.”

Scotty, who was born in Raleigh, N.C., and raised in Garner, N.C., grew up in a musical household with his older sister, Ashley. By age 3, he was singing “The Muffin Man” to anyone who would listen, and a few years later he was repeating the words of those around him in a song. His father, an electric systems analyst, and his mother, a real estate agent and school teacher, sang in the church choir, as did their children. “I was the first one who ventured out to do different things,” says Scotty, who performed church solos.

His grandmother gave Scotty a book on Elvis Presley when he was in pre-school, so Scotty began walking and talking like The King. His mother listened to artists such as Conway Twitty while driving, and Scotty quickly fell in love with those sounds. He still vividly remembers his first country concert, a show featuring George Strait, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack.

He began guitar lessons at age 10 and was so hooked that he started sleeping with the instrument. “I would wake up and have my guitar and my friends would be sleeping,” he says. “They would give me a look and I’d be like, ‘All right,’ and put the guitar down so they could go back to sleep. But they were really accepting of it. They would say, ‘Learn this song,’ and I would play it for them. When we became teenagers, we would drive around listening to ‘Your Cheating Heart’ and ‘Okie From Muskogee.’”

Scotty sang in his school choirs since elementary school, including the high school group that travels nationally and consistently wins competitions. His voice dropped dramatically when he was about 13. “I didn’t notice a difference, but my mom said it fell off a cliff,” he says. “There was no real cracking.”

He wasn’t happy when he remained assigned to the choir’s tenor section. “I picked him up from school one afternoon and he had a big math test,” his mother, Judy, recalls. “He said, ‘Mom, I have big news, really big news!’ I said, ‘Oh, you killed the math test.’ He said, ‘No, much bigger than that. She put me on bass in chorus!’ It was that big on his radar screen in life.”

He performed locally at Christmas events and at Bullfeathers Restaurant. His rendition of label mate Jamey Johnson’s hit “In Color” helped him win Clayton Idol and gave him the confidence to perform more frequently in public.

His parents, as well as his chorus teacher, believe something else gave Scotty the confidence to perform in public – pitching baseball. Following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a baseball pitcher, Scotty learned to pitch at an early age. “When you are a pitcher, all eyes are on you,” says his mother, Judy. “You have to be focused and able to handle pressure.” It turns out that Scotty is as pitch-perfect on the mound as he in onstage: in his last varsity high school game, he pitched a complete shut-out and struck out nine batters.

Of course, he had an even better season on American Idol. He was attending church camp during last summer’s American Idol auditions in Nashville, so he auditioned in Milwaukee strictly for the adventure of it all. “It was just a summer vacation for us just to see what they would say to me and what feedback I would receive,” says Scotty, who worked part time at a grocery store before the show. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be the next American Idol.”

The advice he got during American Idol is the same he’s been receiving from country legends such as Roy Clark, Mel Tillis and Charley Pride: don’t change. “The reason I made it this far is that I was real on television,” he says. “I didn’t try to be somebody I wasn’t. What you see is what you get – Scotty on TV, Scotty off of TV. I think that is why I have come this far. I don’t plan on changing. I don’t think Hollywood or Nashville will get to me.”

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Scotty McCreery on THR

Posted on 05 July 2011 by Bill West

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Shania – Today Video

Posted on 24 June 2011 by editor

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Randy Montana Set To Release

Posted on 16 June 2011 by editor


Randy Montana

Mercury Nashville will release singer/songwriter Randy Montana’s self-titled debut album on July 26 to all digital retailers. Montana’s album is produced by famed producer Jay Joyce and includes “Ain’t Much Left Of Lovin’ You,” and his current single “1,000 Faces” which is currently a free download on the iTunes Country Page. Fans can download the video for free here Also on the album is the loved track “Last Horse,” which features Emmylou Harris on harmonies.

Randy has spent most of 2010 and 2011 on the road touring. He’s opened for hit artists such as Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Sugarland and this summer he will open for superstar Taylor Swift with stops in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Foxboro, to name a few.

Montana has already been receiving praise from the media. The January 2011 issue of Southern Living magazine boasts newcomer Randy Montana as one of five “Best New Artists” in their Best of the South feature. People named him as a “Must-hear artist” while USA Today’s Brian Mansfield tweeted “2010’s not quite done & already I’ve found my 1st favorite song of 2011: @RandyMontana’s ‘1,000 Faces’.”

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Randy Montana 1000 Faces

Posted on 08 January 2011 by Bill West

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Easton Corbin Album

Posted on 06 December 2009 by Bill West

Easton Corbin's New Album

Easton Corbin's New Album

You’re going to start hearing a new song on the radio that sounds a lot like a new George Strait tune called “A Little More Country Than That.” It’s slowly creeping into the mainstream playlists and it should keep building through the holidays to be a January hit. But it’s NOT George Strait. Instead, it’s another young gun out of Mercury Records Nashville named Easton Corbin.

Update:  THE OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE HAS BEEN UPPED TO MARCH 2ND. Right around the time the label will be pushing for number one oh his first single.

Mercury Records is also the home of a similar sounding Billy Currington and Sugarland.

Easton Corbin’s MySpace

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