New Music Monday: Keith Urban- Little Bit of Everything

Happy Monday from Music City, y’all!

One night last week I was conversing with a friend about spotting famous people in Nashville, and she mentioned that she saw Keith Urban pretty often in the area she lives in. And in completely perfect timing, Keith sang his brand new single “Little Bit of Everything” on the American Idol finale the very next night.

It feels very summery, and it’s definitely catchy. I mean, I’m not really sure if Keith can ever go wrong, so I’m not surprised. Click here to watch the video of the performance on the American Idol Season 12 finale Thursday night.

Here’s to hoping this post will bring me a little good luck, and I’ll run into Keith and Nicole next time I’m in Green Hills… now wouldn’t THAT be great timing? 🙂

You can download “Little Bit of Everything” on iTunes here or stream it on Spotify here. Enjoy!

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

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New Music Monday: The Pistol Annies- Hush Hush

It’s somewhat of a Southern tradition to keep quiet about your problems and make everyone believe your family is perfectly wonderful, especially at church. The Pistol Annies nailed that notion in their newest single, “Hush Hush.”

The Annies’ new album was released on May 7th, and this is the first single from it. As I sat in my room last night in Nashville (yes indeed, I live here now!), I saw the music video and just smiled. It’s hilariously accurate… enjoy!

 

Happy Monday! You can stream the Pistol Annies’ new album, Annie Up, on Spotify here and find it on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Album Review: Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park

The first time I heard Kacey Musgraves’ name, my supervisor at 106.1 WNGC was adding it to the night playlist. I didn’t have a clue who she was, and I’d never heard her debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round.” But, as soon as I did hear that first single of hers, I was hooked.

Her first album was released on March 19th, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. Lately I’ve been using Spotify quite often, and it took me probably only one stream all the way through the album to recognize that it was definitely worth the buy on iTunes.

“Merry Go ‘Round” is a new perspective on small-town life, and boy is it honest and true. One-horse towns tend to be romanticized often in country music, but Kacey tells it like it is– teenage pregnancy, drugs, and trailer parks. The album title comes from a line in this song: “Same hurt in every heart; same trailer, different park.” The music video is also worth a watch:

But that first single isn’t the only gem on this record– in fact, they’re all wonderful. Kacey herself has a writing credit on every song on the album, and though she shares credit with other big names in country songwriting, her honesty is the common thread of this album.

“It Is What It Is” is an obvious continuation of the raw statement of fact she gave in “Merry Go ‘Round,” and the rest of the album continues with its realizations and messages about life, sans any semblance of a sugar coating. “Blowin’ Smoke” and “Stupid” are particularly catchy and upbeat songs about talking smack over cigarettes and looking like a fool because of love, respectively. “Follow Your Arrow” is a peppy song with a positive message encouraging the listener to do what their heart desires and not care what people think of your actions.

“My House” follows suit with a picture of a life on the road where happiness is the people you’re with. She makes it obvious that friends and relationships are far more important than a fancy house: “No matter where we go, we’ll never be alone. Anywhere beside you is the place that I’ll call home.”

One song I can’t get enough of is “Step Off.” The sound of the song is relaxed and content, but the music itself almost has some sass to it. I almost don’t want to say this for fear of putting Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves on the same plane when they’re very different artists… but this song is almost a more direct version of Taylor’s “Mean.” It’s a song for those people who can’t stand to see you succeed, and as a college kid trying to figure out how to make a name for myself in a highly competitive world, I can completely relate to “Step Off” and its warning to eternal pessimists who want nothing more than to undermine everyone but themselves.

“Silver Lining” speaks to the fact that rewards don’t come without risk and hard work, and “I Miss You” is a testament of exactly what can come of risking comfort for success. “I Miss You” is a nostalgic tune about someone who was left behind in a rise to success. Even though leaving a familiar life to chase a dream can be incredibly rewarding, especially for someone as talented Kacey Musgraves, it still requires sacrificing, and sometimes that brings the bittersweet reality of a fading friendship or relationship.

“Keep It to Yourself,” “Back on the Map,” and “Dandelion” are the more personal tracks on this album. “Dandelion” is a sad comparison between a weedy flower and a relationship that always leaves a painful mark. “Keep It to Yourself” tells the story of someone who’s ready to move on after a love broke their heart, but its tune has just enough of a mellow sadness to still carry a little bit of sadness toward that ended relationship. “Back on the Map” first looks back on a past mistake, then has a hopeful tone to it as Kacey sings about looking for someone to pull her out of a low period and help her get back on her feet emotionally.  Overall, I love this album. As a songwriter myself, I respect Kacey’s ability to be honest and still write something that sticks in a listener’s mind. She’s previously written for other artists, and in fact, she penned “Mama’s Broken Heart,” which is on Miranda Lambert’s album Four the Record, and it’s at the top of the charts at the time of this post. Kacey’s version of the song is a little less “in-your-face” than Miranda’s, but it definitely deserves to be heard, even though it isn’t on Same Trailer Different Park.

The honesty of these songs is a big draw for me personally, as is the acoustic-driven, occasionally folk-rock influenced sound sprinkled throughout Same Trailer Different Park. With a debut album as humble and excellent as this, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kacey Musgraves.

You can stream “Same Trailer, Different Park” on Spotify here, or buy the album on iTunes here. You can also find Kacey on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with what she’s doing.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

New Music Monday- Ashley Monroe’s New Album

To continue on my little “traditional country” kick, I looked into Ashley Monroe’s new album, Like a Rose.

Ashley is a member of The Pistol Annie’s, and her voice contributes wonderfully to the group’s sound, but her solo music has a fantastic sound as well. I am SO in love with her sound. It’s old-timey, but not outdated. She uses a perfect amount of musical elements to add some old-fashioned flair.

Here’s the video for the title track:

 

If you enjoy this song, you can find Ashley’s new album Like a Rose on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Throwback Thursday: 10.11.12

Scotty McCreery performed at the Brad Paisley show that I never got the chance to write a review for, and he sang this song during his set. Scotty’s voice doesn’t have the same distintive sound that Travis’ does, but it was a fantastic cover of a classic song nonetheless. I remember hearing this one growing up, and I’m pretty sure I could sing it before I even knew what t-r-o-u-b-l-e would spell!

Song: “T-R-O-U-B-L-E”
Artist: Travis Tritt
Album: The Very Best of Travis Tritt

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

Show Review- Kicks 101.5 Country Fair

When a friend asked me in July if I wanted to see Alan Jackson last weekend, I knew I couldn’t say no. If country music royalty existed, Alan Jackson would definitely be of that noble heritage, and I almost felt as if I couldn’t call myself a true country fan until I’d seen a legend like him in a live performance setting.

Alan was the headlining act of the Kicks 101.5 Country Fair, put on by one of the major country radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia. The show was held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, Georgia on Saturday, October 6th. Corbette Jackson, Jana Kramer, and Clay Walker also performed.

Because my friend Shelby and I were coming from Athens, we didn’t make it in time to hear Corbette Jackson play. We arrived right after he had finished, and we staked out our spot on the lawn just as Jana Kramer’s gear was being moved onto the stage.

I saw Jana Kramer play as a part of Brad Paisley’s Virtual Reality Tour several weeks ago (I never got around to writing a review– please forgive me), and her set was only the slightest bit different from that performance. She sang several songs from her debut album, including “I Hope It Rains,” “King of Apology,” “One of the Boys,” and of course her first radio hit, “Why Ya Wanna.” She also threw in a few covers of current pop songs and some classic rock. Her set was enjoyable, but the whole time I felt like she was trying harder than was really necessary, and there was almost an unnatural air about her. She was born and raised in Michigan, so I’ll chalk up her lack of relaxation on stage to her non-Southern heritage 😉


Between Jana Kramer and Clay Walker’s sets, some of the on-air personalities from Kicks 101.5 came out on the stage to recognize a Purple Heart recipient. He brought his girlfriend out on stage and gave a heartfelt little speech about how important loved ones are to those who serve in the military. To make a long story short, by the time he walked off the stage, his girlfriend had become his fiancee! It was quite a sweet proposal.

During the lag between the proposal and Clay Walker, Kix Brooks himself came out with just a guitar and sang “Red Dirt Road” as well as one other song. He was sort of an MC for the event, but I’m glad he performed as well.

After what seemed like quite a while, Clay Walker took the stage. I grew up listening to some of Clay’s hits, most notably the catchy, quasi-tropical, “Then What?” He did play that song, as well as a few of his other older songs like “If I Could Make a Living” and “Live, Laugh, Love.” I had forgotten that he also had a few recent hits until he played “Fall” and “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.” One thing I noticed is that he never shied away from difficult melodies and high notes like some artists do when they’re afraid of messing up something that’s on the recorded version of the song; it’s a small thing, but I definitely noticed and gave Clay some mental quality points in my own mind for being fearless. His set was longer than I expected, but the longer duration wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Alan Jackson finally took the stage around 9:15 PM. From the moment he walked out, it was obvious that he was truly just a “Small Town Southern Man” who could play some good country music. Despite his incredible success, his humility was evident throughout his entire performance. He played a good number of his classic hits that are still heard on the radio even today, and I was proud to know almost every word. His band inserted a few riffs and runs here and there to shake things up. The fiddle player introduced “Little Bitty” with a melody that incorporated the Andy Griffith theme, and of course I shed a few tears at the sound of that sweet tribute. Alan played just about every song that was iconic to his career, including “Don’t Rock the Jukebox” and “Livin’ On Love,” just to name a few, but he also played more recent hits like “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” and “Good Time.”


The most emotionally intense performance of the night was undoubtedly “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” which beautifully captures the emotions of Americans following September 11th, 2011. I used that particular song in my July 4th post (which you can find here), but there’s nothing that could compare to the haunting emotions that came with Alan’s live performance of the song.

The entire show was most definitely well worth the drive and the fair amount I paid for my lawn seat. I’m so glad I got the chance to see a country legend like Alan Jackson in concert, and it’s not something I will soon forget.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

New Music Monday- Brad Paisley: Southern Comfort Zone

I saw Brad Paisley live in concert several weeks ago, but I’ve been so insanely busy that I never found the time to write a review for his incredible show. To make up for my lack of a review, I wanted to feature Brad’s rockin’ new song, “Southern Comfort Zone” this week!

I am a Southern girl through and through, and as soon as the song began, the voice-over tributes to all things Southern made me tear up with pride, especially Andy Griffith’s voice. I found the lyrics to be relatable to my transition to college– when I got here, I realized just how many different cultures are present in the world outside of my semi-rural Georgia bubble. I absolutely love that Brad chooses to convey complete respect and even awe– not ignorant hatred– for those who have been raised in a different culture than his own.

The musical sound of this song is certainly not typical of Brad Paisley’s signature feel, but nonetheless, I definitely don’t hate it. It has a driving, almost pop-rock beat to it, especially when the chorus kicks up with a prominent cymbal part. It does, however, have a swanky guitar interlude– I’m convinced that a Paisley song simply can’t be without one!

Just as he did in “This Is Country Music,” Brad Paisley has managed to honor a culture in “Southern Comfort Zone” that is very close to my heart, and I will always admire him as a songwriter for that ability.

If you haven’t listened to the song all the way through, I encourage you to watch the official lyric video and pay special attention to the lyrics as well as the extra voices lending some extra southern heart to this tune.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

Throwback Thursday: 9.20.12

This week has been nonstop madness for me, so I chose this song because I can truly relate to it! This is another one of those songs that I remember hearing countless times as a youngster, probably due in large part to the fact that my parents loved Alabama (and still do!). But I ain’t complainin’!

If you– like me– are “in a hurry to get things done” and you’ve been “rushin’ ’til life’s no fun” lately, take a few minutes to slow down and enjoy a classic Alabama song. I promise you won’t regret it!

Song: “I’m In a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)”
Artist: Alabama
Album: 16 Biggest Hits

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

Throwback Thursday: 9.13.12

When I’m in Athens, my radio is almost always on 106.1 WNGC simply because they not only play Nashville’s latest and greatest, but they also play a good amount of older music, including the 90s country I grew up listening to. I most definitely don’t have anything against current country hits, but there’s something about the sound of 90s country that I can’t get enough of. I think I’m partial to it because its sound is embedded in my soul… or at least in my childhood memories 🙂

Sammy Kershaw released this song the year I was born, and it’s one of those songs that’s been stored in my subconscious mind for heaven knows how many years because I quite literally grew up hearing it. I hadn’t heard it in quite a while until I moved to Athens last year, and now I hear it on the radio quite often. With that fiddle line and Sammy Kershaw’s distinctive voice, how could it not get stuck in my head from time to time? I can’t say that I mind it!

Song: “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful”
Artist: Sammy Kershaw
Album: Haunted Heart

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

 

Kenney Chesney in Athens– who knew?

Today in one of my music business classes, the talent buyer from the 40 Watt Club here in Athens, Georgia came and spoke about her job and the business of venue management in general. As she talked about booking bigger names, she casually mentioned that Kenny Chesney had played at the 40 Watt. I was completely unaware of this, but I now know that his video with Uncle Kracker for “When the Sun Goes Down” was partially filmed in the 40 Watt! If you look in the background, you can see a sign in the video that’s inside the 40 Watt and carries its name.

Hopefully, Dierks Bentley’s video for “Tip It On Back” will be released soon, and I can share with you my rise to stardom (kidding!) as it begins with an appearance as an extra in that video. That video was also filmed in a legendary Athens venue, the Georgia Theatre (read the whole story here!).

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie