All posts in October 2012

Darius Rucker to Release New Album January 22

Darius Rucker

Capitol Records Nashville

Darius Rucker will release his third country studio album, True Believers, on January 22, 2013. Darius wrote 10 of the album’s 12 tracks, including the title song and debut single, which is already in the Top 20 and climbing.

“For this album, we really paid attention to what our friends and fans were telling us on the road,” Darius said. “The result is an album that I’m so proud of because my fans really have been the true believers since I released my first single to country radio. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it on January 22.”

Darius’s first two country albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966, both topped the Billboard Country album chart and produced five No. 1 singles. Darius once again worked with producer Frank Rogers on the project.

True Believers Track Listing:

  1. True Believers
  2. Miss You
  3. Wagon Wheel
  4. Love Without You
  5. Radio
  6. Lost In You
  7. I Will Love You Still
  8. Take Me Home
  9. Shine
  10. Heartbreak Road
  11. Leavin’ The Light On
  12. Lie To Me

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Junior Brown, ‘Phantom of the Opry’ – Exclusive Song Premiere

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Junior Brown

A lifelong country music fan, singer-guitarist Junior Brown first garnered attention in the early 1990s with his unique double-neck "guit-steel" guitar (his own invention) and some striking music videos for such tunes as "Highway Patrol" and "My Wife Thinks You're Dead."

Since his recording debut, his albums have included 12 Shades of Brown, Guit With It and Semi Crazy. Now, for the first time in seven years, he returns with the just-released six-song-EP called Volume Ten, which features a tune that's perfectly timed for Halloween, called "Phantom of the Opry." (Listen to the song below.)

Country Stars Remember Favorite Tricks and Treats

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Tim Sloan, AFP

Ghosts, goblins, witches, vampires, zombies ... and Dolly Parton, of course, are just a few of the popular costumes you may see strolling your neighborhood tonight looking for tricks or treats. We all remember our favorite Halloween duds, and especially all the candy that makes our dentists cringe this time of year. The Boot rounds up spooky stories about the holiday from Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan, Casey James and more of our favorite country stars.

Dierks Bentley remembers an unusual Halloween tradtion. "To me, as a kid, Halloween was fireworks, blowing up stuff around home. We were all about M-80s in the mailboxes and bottle rocket wars."

Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum remembers a very embarrassing Halloween costume. "I was a die (half of a pair of dice). I had a big cardboard box that I had painted white and had the polka dots and stuff. I was walking up this hill to and literally fell back down the entire hill, rolling in this giant cardboard box that I couldn't do anything about. I rolled down about 50-feet."

BMI Awards 2012 Honor Tom T. Hall as Songwriting Icon

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Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Tom T. Hall was honored as a BMI Icon during the performing rights organization's country awards dinner last night (Oct. 30) in Nashville. The singer and songwriter, whose tunes have earned him the nickname the Storyteller, let someone else tell his life story during the invitation-only gala. BMI's Del Bryant reviewed the 76-year-old legend's career and praised his contribution to music.

"He came to town with a guitar and $46," Bryant recalled, before referencing some of Tom T.'s most famous tunes. "He writes about what he observes and he has brought us a cast of unforgettable characters in his songs, including Clayton Delaney, Ravishing Ruby and the mother from Harper Valley."

Taylor Swift ‘Red’ Album Sales Already Over One Million!

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Big Machine

Taylor Swift roars into the history books -- and the top of the Billboard 200 and Country Albums charts -- with some mighty sales figures for her just-released album, Red. Selling more than 1.2 million copies last week in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, the first-week figure is the highest sales number since 2002's The Eminem Show.

Taylor is the only female artist (and the fourth artist ever) to hit the one million figure twice since SoundScan began tracking actual sales in 1991. Her 2010 set, Speak Now, sold 1.04 million in its first week.

Kristian Bush’s Halloween to Include Songwriters, Zombies and ‘Doctor Who’

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Larry Marano, Getty Images

Sugarland's Kristian Bush prides himself on two main things: his parenting and his songwriting. This Halloween, the father of two has had to make a few compromises in order to nurture both of those passions.

"I do like to get dressed up and I love to go trick or treating," he tells The Boot, "but this year, I won't be able to go since I'm playing the CMA Songwriters Series in Nashville."

While he'll be performing alongside Brantley Gilbert, Brett James and Bob DiPiero, things will be a bit more spooky in Atlanta for his daughter, Camille, and son, Tucker.

Kellie Pickler Tickles the Opry Pink

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Schmidt Relations

Kellie Pickler flipped the switch, turning the Grand Ole Opry pink, last night (Oct. 30). The songstress was among several singers who performed on the legendary stage as part of the fourth annual Opry Goes Pink show, which raises money and awareness for breast cancer.

The evening, which is held in conjunction with Women Rock for the Cure, honors those who have overcome breast cancer, and those who are still battling it. In addition to Kellie, Sarah Darling, Little Jimmy Dickens, Kristen Kelly, the Farm and Mindy Smith were all on hand to perform.

Florida Georgia Line & Greg Bates Recall Favorite Halloween Costumes

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line photo courtesy of Republic Nashville.

The costume is one of the most important parts of celebrating Halloween. Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard remembers one Halloween when money was tight so he got creative with what he had on hand. He ended up as a convincing Flavor Flav, the rapper known for wearing a big clock around his neck.

“I mean I had the wig, I did the paint, I did the everything,” he said. “Put it this way, I was hanging out with some of my best friends and they didn’t know that it was me. It was intense. I had the shades…”

Tyler even had a fake grill to cover his teeth and earrings. His bandmate Brian Kelley saw photos and was blown away by just how much Tyler resembled the rapper. “I was like, ‘Holy, wow!’” he said. “It was awesome.”

Greg Bates names the year he dressed up as Captain Planet as his favorite Halloween. His mom and grandmother made his costume, which left him more than a little blue.

“It was a full jumpsuit with fake muscles and we had blue face paint and we dyed my hair green,” he said. “What was funny was my mom apparently bought a lot of blue face paint because my brother was a Smurf that year. We were kind of the blue people that went out and we still have pictures and we laugh about that and how we were so goofy as kids. And all I wanted to be was Captain Planet.”

Check out our special Halloween Gone Country section to learn what costumes other artists deem their favorites!

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Dallas Davidson, Luke Laird Are BMI’s Top Songwriters, Tom T. Hall the Icon

There was wall-to-wall glamour and lots of hugging and backslapping Tuesday evening (Oct. 30) as BMI, the performance rights organization, honored its top songwriters and music publishers

Stars Come Out for Songwriters at BMI Awards

The performing-rights organization BMI held their annual country awards celebration last night (Oct. 30) in Nashville, honoring their most successful songwriters, artists, publishers and a living legend, to boot.

Prior to the ceremony, stars including Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride mingled with their peers, while others walked the black carpet to share their thoughts on being part of such a prestigious event. Many were already decorated with medallions forecasting the outcome of their evening. "Everyone that won something isn't wearing them necessarily, but since this is my first year as a BMI writer being here, I'm geeking out just a little," Chris Young said. "It's a dream for anyone that's a singer/songwriter." Chris earned his awards for "You" and "Tomorrow" at the evening's festivities.

Justin Moore was also spotted wearing the BMI medallion, but was most in awe of the other writers on the carpet. He told Country Weekly, "This place is full of so much talent. When I first moved here, I was cautiously optimistic. It was something I always wanted, but I don't think I ever allowed myself to believe that this was ever really going to happen so I wasn't let down if it didn't."

Alabama's Randy Owen proudly wore a medallion for Brad Paisley's "Old Alabama." "These things come along very rarely," he said on the carpet. And although he's pulled back from performing as frequently, he's still writing songs. "I actually enjoy writing much more because I can spill my guts," he shared. "It's something I have to do. But I can't write on an airplane headed somewhere under stressful conditions [when I] have no guitar. If I could just find all those lyrics I've written on planes and be able to put them to music, I might have something else."

BMI recognized 50 songs during the evening's ceremony, including Rodney Atkins' "Take a Back Road," written by Rhett Akins and Luke Laird, as Song of the Year. Songwriter of the Year recognition went to Luke, along with Peach Picker Dallas Davidson, who also received the honor last year with buddy Rhett Akins.

One of the many highlights from the event included Tom T. Hall being saluted as a BMI Icon. During his speech, he turned to the attendees sitting behind the circular stage and laughed, saying, "I bet you're tired of looking at country-and-western butts!" Then he humbly added, "I thought the Icon award was for special people. And then I got a call about six weeks ago and found out I'm a special person. . . . I'm up there with Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Kristofferson and Willie. It's pretty good company." Tom T. was honored with a musical performance from artists including The Avett Brothers, Dailey & Vincent and Toby Keith, who sang "Faster Horses."

Another magical moment came when Wynonna's husband, Cactus Moser, was helped to the stage after his publishing company was recognized for The Band Perry's hits "All Your Life" and "You Lie." Moser lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident in August just two months after the couple married.

Following the awards ceremony, guests trickled into the BMI lobby, where they enjoyed cocktails and dessert from local gourmet food trucks.

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