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Friday, September 19, 2014

SINGLE REVIEW: "WHAT WE AIN'T GOT" - JAKE OWEN

SINGLE: "What We Ain't Got"
ARTIST: Jake Owen
REVIEWER: Alyse Smith
Follow Alyse on Twitter at @ASmith1300



Jake Owen’s newest single “What We Ain’t Got” displays why we all love him as an artist.  I reviewed this song before as a “Songs of Summer” song, as my favorite off of his “Days of Gold” album.

Jake always has that ability to make your day a little better. His songs leave you thankful for your life and/or thankful for his music. They range from light, upbeat songs like “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “Eight Second Ride” that you can’t help but smile when you hear them, fun drinking songs like “Who Said Whiskey Was Meant to Drink a Woman Away?” and “Nobody Feelin’ No Pain” which are songs about how a girl’s dancing towards him throughout the night after she gets a little whiskey in her and a night’s celebration released this as a live version where he stops and tells the listener what he and his friends had previously done, respectively. There are also the songs with heavier fare and important messages such as this one and “Green Bananas.”  A veritable smorgasbord of stories, each with their own evocator. As evocators go “What We Ain’t Got” is most assuredly one of Jake’s most powerful, if not his most powerful to date. Written by Travis Jerome Goff and Travis Meadows, the impeccable artists who have concocted such a storm of longing ache and striking beauty that you can’t help but get swept up in it. Jake manages to convey every second of this, as his vocals are incomparable in this song. As though this song was never meant for anyone else, it is exceedingly well-suited for Jake. Raw talent streaming forth from his voice, nothing has ever sounded like this from him before. The simple piano background used is all that is needed to accompany this song, as this is sole focus on his voice and the story within the song. It would be so interesting to hear the full story behind this song, what Travis’ Jerome Goff and Meadows were thinking of when they wrote it and how Jake Owen connected to it and what he has derived from it ... a song about running after what you want most, until you realize you’ve left what was most important behind.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

KENNY ROGERS JOINS DAN RATHER ON AXS TV'S 'THE BIG INTERVIEW,' TUES., SEPT. 24


PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 18, 2014) – Country Music Hall of Famer, multi-award-winning songwriter/singer, consummate entertainer and acclaimed actor Kenny Rogers sits down with veteran newsman Dan Rather for an in depth interview where he discusses his legendary five-plus decade career on AXS TV’s THE BIG INTERVIEW, Tuesday, September 24 at 8pE/5pP.

In the hour-long interview, filmed on stage at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum to commemorate the opening of the career-spanning exhibit, Kenny Rogers: Through The Years, Rather questions Rogers about his start in the music industry as a jazz musician and chronicles his path from that auspicious start to becoming a country music icon. Throughout the interview, Rogers provides heartfelt answers about his humble beginnings, his love for a good story in a song and fondly recalls his mother’s pearls of wisdom that he still follows today.

Rather covers all major aspects of Rogers career from his early days as a singer/bass player with his high school doo-wop quartet the Scholars, the jazz trio the Bobby Doyle Three, folk rock group the New Christy Minstrels and country/rock band the First Edition to what led him to start his solo career. Additionally, the two Houston natives talk at length about the history behind the GRAMMY® Award-winning Song of the Year “The Gambler” and his success performing duets with established artists such as Lionel Ritchie and Dolly Parton.

Truly one of the most influential country music artists of all time, Rogers is still performing nearly 100 shows a year in front of live audiences worldwide, packing stadiums and venues with fans that have enjoyed his music for decades. Rogers accolades include charting a record in each of the past seven decades, recording 24 No. 1 hits and 12 No. 1 albums, and being one of the highest selling artists ever, with over 120 million albums sold worldwide (one Diamond album, 19 Platinum albums, and 31 Gold albums).  A trailblazing artist, Rogers was the first country artist to consistently sell out arenas and quickly became a pop superstar as well – his 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10's is fourth-best all time among men, trailing only Elton John, Neil Diamond, and Elvis Presley.

Rogers has received hundreds of awards for his music and charity work, including three GRAMMY® Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards, 18 American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards and six Country Music Association awards.  His current critically acclaimed album, You Can’t Make Old Friends (released on Warner Bros. in 2013), became his 22nd Top 10 Country Album.  The title track duet with Dolly Parton has earned GRAMMY® Award and CMA Award nominations. Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and also received the CMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"WAY BACK WHEN" WEDNESDAY - "PLEASE COME BACK TO BOSTON" - DAVE LOGGINS


We’re reaching way, way back this Wednesday… Digging through and dusting off the cassettes back. Although a song everyone’s familiar with, it’s been covered by many great artists over the decades. My personal favorite cover is Kenny Chesney’s live version off his 2004 “When the Sun Goes Down” deluxe album. Indeed, it is Dave Loggins’ “Please Come to Boston.”

Penned by Dave Loggins as well as sung by him, “Please Come to Boston” has been a nomadic anthem since its mid-70’s arrival. Unlike many of those who have covered it, the original has more of an old rock and roll hippie sound combined with country ... a John Denver and Lennon combined sort of sound perhaps. It’s always so interesting to hear how influenced by their surroundings the eras of music have been. The original 1974 version of “Please Come to Boston” has always sounded the best, as nobody sings it like Loggins does. Perhaps because it’s the version many grew up with and are most familiar with. Perhaps because listening to the original, you can see why so many have chosen to cover it. A few famous names that are “The number one fan of the man from TN” are: Reba, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell and Kenny Chesney. 

"Please Come To Boston" ... a song to remind us of the less-sung about but all too real parts of travel, and one that always inspires such interesting stories.

Contributor: Alyse Smith
Follow Alyse on Twitter at @ASmith1300