Monthly Archives: October 2014

Sam Hunt’s Montevallo


enhanced-14422-1410282499-9On October 27th, Montevallo, the debut album by the new hot country music artist Sam Hunt, was released. Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally produced this Country Pop album under the label MCA Nashville. New music is always so exciting especially from a very new and already popular Country Music artist. It is also exciting to see that Sam Hunt wrote all of the songs on the album with some help but for the most part he is the main writer. This is his first studio album ever! Before this album he came out with the popular single, “Leave the Night On”, which is on Montevallo. Hunt also released “X2C,” a four song EP, intended as a preview for his first studio album. The EP debuted on the No. 36 on the Billboard 200 and No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. This is the only music he has with his label MCA Nashville.

images-1Though he’s taking the spotlight as a solo artist for the first time, Hunt is not exactly new to the Country Music industry. Before signing with MCA Nashville he had a 15 song mix tape and one single called “Raised On It”. He has also co-written a few popular songs, like Kenny Chesney’s 2012 single “Come Over”, for which he received an award from ASCAP. Hunt also wrote two singles released in 2014: Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight”. Even though he has had recent success with music it hasn’t always been his passion. Sam Hunt was a college football quarterback at both Middle Tennessee State University and University of Alabama at Birmingham. After college he was briefly signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs.

So as you can see this is Sam Hunt’s first actual step onto the country music scene. So far he has had lots of positive feedback from fans. His single made it on US Billboard Hot 100 38 times. I expect that Montevallo will experience the same type of success since the single is from the album. It will be very exciting to see how listeners will react to the album.  I love when I am able to discover an artist early on in their career because you can watch how they grow in their music and how they transform throughout their career. Definitely give Montevallo a listen when you can it is a very fun listen that will get you singing along as well as make you a new fan of newcomer Sam Hunt. He is currently on his CMT Tour: Up in Smoke with Kip Moore and Charlie Worsham that started in September and will continue through November at venues across the U.S.


1. “Take Your Time”
2. “Leave the Night On”
3. “House Party”
4. “Break Up in a Small Town”
5. “Single for the Summer”
6. “Ex to See”
7. “Make You Miss Me”
8. “Cop Car”
9. “Raised on It”
10. “Speakers”


Filed under News, Reviews

Small Time Country: Texas Style

I have been exposed to a lot country music in my time growing up Texas, but something that strikes me is the fact that a lot of people these days don’t seem to listen to as much Texas country music as one might think, especially those that live here. I have only recently been immersed into the Texas Country music scene and over the past 2 or 3 years its has grown on me like wildfire. For me at least Texas country has the flare and rhythm that Nashville and big time artists are missing.


Last year I went to Music Fest in Steamboat, Colorado. Don’t ask me why there is a giant Texas country music festival in Colorado. There just is. And it’s a ton of fun. But I digress, while at Music Fest I saw many performers from Turnpike Troubadours, Cody Johnson, Randy Rogers, Cory Morrow, Jack Ingram, Roger Creager, Kevin Fowler, etc. and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard these people before. They were all so good and I found myself no being able to get enough. There was something about the voices, the messages, and the fiddle that captivated me.

I learned that I loved the Red Dirt sound with the over-powering fiddle and the drunken lively audience that made Texas country so much more fun to listen to and dance to, among other things. I realize that not everyone likes a good ho down but I just couldn’t see how people wouldn’t like this music or at least appreciate it. The Texas country music scene has slipped back under the radar from its glory days in the 70’s with Willie and Weylon and perhaps many of the artists prefer it that way. Willie and Weylon were known as outlaws for a reason.

I suppose that could be a factor as many Texas country artists consider themselves outlaws refusing to conform to the industry standard that Nashville has set. I understand this and trust me, it makes the whole experience a lot more fun for those of you looking for a good time and a rowdy crowd.

Cody JohnsonA few artists I recommend for those of you wanting to dip your toes into Texas country check out Cody Johnson who’s hit single “Me and My Kind” is at the top of the Texas charts and Kevin Fowler who’s “100% Texan” and “Beer, Bait, and Ammo” are classic. Also, check out the Josh Abbott Band who gained some national attention for their single “Oh, Tonight”.

I realize that a lot people do, in fact, listen to Texas country music, but I want to get the word out that Texas country is more than just music its a life style, a story, a wild ride, but more importantly a good time.

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Filed under Live Music, Texas

My picks for this years CMA Awards!

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 9.02.10 PMWell, its that time of the year again! The biggest night in country music is coming up next week, the CMA awards. It airs next Wednesday on Nov 5th at 7 PM, I sure hope anybody who’s enrolled in this class watches to see who takes home what awards this year and with Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley as the hosts, its sure to be a fun, musical night. Since I love country music so much I’m going to breakdown the nominations in a couple different categories and make my picks, hopefully as accurately as possible! Now I will point out that along with my own opinion I did do some research to decide my choices so let’s see how many I can get right this year!

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.56.50 PMAlbum of the Year: I believe Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party will take the prize this year. This album sold over 2 million copies and won Billboard Music Award’s Country Album of the year title earlier this year. I feel like we’ve seen Luke Bryan only grow since 2009 when he released his first big single “Do I”. Crash My Party released six singles all of which were widely successful.

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 8.58.13 PMEntertainer of the Year: KING GEORGE! What more do I have to say? Honestly I believe it would be a complete injustice if Strait didn’t win this award this year. For his “Cowboy Rides Away Tour” he pulled out all the stops bringing in tons of different artists for his farewell tour to enhance the fan experience. He HAS TO and WILL win. It’s also worth noting that he took this category in this years ACM awards also.

New Artist of the Year: This one is going completely off whom my favorite is and it’s a toss up between Cole Swindell and Thomas Rhett. I think Rhett may have the edge over Swindell because Swindell has just recently gotten hot with 3 singles released; where as Rhett has been around a little longer and has released 5 in the last 3 years and his “It Goes like This” and “Get Me Some of That” were really hot in 2013. Although, I personally like Cole Swindell’s voice the best!

Song of the Year: I believe “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice will take the cake on this one. This song sold 1,028,000 copies in the US. This song pulled the emotions of all the country listening women in America when we found out Brice wrote it for his then fiancé to be performed during their first dance. This song hit the tops of the Billboard country charts and had a lot of radio airplay (still does). But I must mention that this song is in good competitive company with “I Hold On”, “Follow Your Arrow” and “Automatic” in the mix!

Vocal Duo of the Year: Anybody who thinks anyone besides Florida Georgia Line will win this award must be out of his or her mind! Of the nominees, if I could put money on FGL winning (don’t worry I cant really, NCAA rules) I would put it all on them. Last year they won this exact award from CMA and they for sure did not disappoint us with their music since! (They also won top duo in this years ACM awards in April) “This is How We Roll” and “Dirt” have been their most popular singles this year, both becoming at least platinum certified singles.

So what do you think? What and who will be remembered at this year’s CMA awards?



Filed under Awards, News

Alabama’s Own: Hank Williams

Unknown Growing up in Alabama I’ve learned a lot about Hank Williams in my lifetime. Hank was born on September 17, 1923 in the small town of Mount Olive, Alabama. Hank’s family had little money when he was growing up. His family moved around many small towns throughout southern Alabama when he was a boy due to his father working for a lumber company. Hank was born with Spina Bifida Occulta, which led to many drinking and drug problems later in life and his death at the age of 29.

Enough with the boring stuff. Junior year of high school I took a class which was titled Southern Culture. We learned anything and everything there is to learn about the south, 2360756some which include: food, animals, plants, but most importantly music. It was taught by a guy named Phil Proctor, whose a teacher at our high school, but he’s also a musician. His band (The Deluxe Trio) plays anything that you can think of that involves country and or blues. You can find his website here Halfway through the semester Mr. Proctor took our class on a field trip to see one of Hank Williams childhood homes in Georgiana, Alabama.  I know many of ya’ll are probably thinking, “Wow, this is what kids from Alabama do in school.” But no, it was actually really interesting.

Hanks original house in Georgiana burned down while him and his family lived there, but they moved down the road to 127 Rose Street. Georgiana, Alabama is about an hour and a half from my home in Mobile. His home is now turned into a museum, and you can see many valuables in the home that influenced Hank to become who he was. We got to stand on the porch where Hank learned how to play guitar from a street singer named “Teetot”. Being a foolish high schooler I obviously did not take any pictures at the time, and now regret that. Luckily I was able to find some off of the internet…

mdmd1fcl4zg2axmuz4ibHank’s family eventually moved out of this house in 1937 and relocated to Montgomery, Alabama. Even though Hank lived in multiple houses growing up, this home in Georgiana is specifically known to be where his musical success started to take off. Hank Williams died of a heart attack on January 1st, 1953 in the back of a Cadillac. When they found him, he was accompanied with empty beer cans and half written lyrics. I never really realized the influence Hank Williams had on country music before I took this class. His impact on country music has grown since his early death at the age of 29. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, and Dinah Washington have all done covers of his work. His son, Hank Williams Jr., has also done covers of his fathers songs, and also has made a name for himself in the country music industry. In 1961 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame, and in 1985 inducted into the Alabama music hall of fame. I hope this blog has helped you learn a little more about Alabama Native Hank Williams, let me know what ya’ll think!

“Hank Williams.” Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

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Filed under Classic Country, Honky Tonk

5 Reasons Why the Dixie Chicks Need to Have a Reunion Tour

I love the Dixie Chicks. They’re possibly my favorite band and what’s sad about this is even though they’re my favorite, I’ve never seen them live. I constantly check their website to see if they’ll ever tour again and every time I check is a disappointment. I need to see them live. For this reason, I have decided to make a list of five reasons why the Dixie Chicks need to have a reunion tour.

The cover of my all time favorite album Wide Open Spaces

The cover of my all time favorite album Wide Open Spaces

1. Their music is timeless
You know those songs that you hear on the radio over and over again and get so annoying that you can’t stand to listen to them? I don’t think a Dixie Chicks song could ever be one of those. I could listen to their songs one hundred times and still not get tired of them. I don’t know what it is about them, but their songs are catchy, meaningful, and, in my opinion, true country (but more on that later). Seeing the Dixie Chicks live would make these songs even more timeless for me because there’s just something different about hearing a song live and not just on recording. For some reason, I think hearing them live would make me want to listen to them even more.

 2. The Dixie Chicks are true country

Yes, there is some pop in many of their songs, but I still think the Dixie Chicks are true country. They use country instruments like the banjo, fiddle, and steel guitars. Their songs are about country living, love, and nostalgia. They also just have that country sound and twang to them that makes them so connectable. Country concerts are my favorite because, well country music is my favorite kind of music, and country concerts are just so much more fun. You can dance and sing and really connect to the artist in ways you can’t with pop artists.

The girls at one of their last concerts in 2003

The girls at one of their last concerts in 2003

 3. They are great performers

It is hard for bands and artists to sound just as good live as they do when recorded, but the Dixie Chicks are very good at this. Natalie Maines has such a cool and unique voice and it sounds just as amazing live as it does recorded. I can only say this based on the recordings of their live performances, but I’m going to go ahead and assume she truly does sound that amazing. The girls also love their music and love performing it for people and you can see this in any recordings of their live performances. I would love to be able to experience this talent and love for music in person, but I can only do that if they have a reunion tour.

4. They need a comeback

Ever since “the incident” in 2003 when Natalie Maines insulted President George W. Bush, the Dixie Chicks have really struggled to win back the approval of the huge fan base they had in the late 90s and early 2000s. A think a reunion tour will allow the girls to reintroduce themselves and get some of their fans back. I think that if the girls came out and performed their songs and made no statements on the past and simply played their music, people could look past “the incident” and remember why they love the Dixie Chicks. They make great music and I don’t think it is fair for them to not be able to make music because of one mistake they made.

An example of the negative reactions the girls got after "the incident"

An example of the negative reactions the girls got after “the incident”

5. I have never seen them perform live

I know this is selfish, but it’s probably the most important reason why I think the Dixie Chicks should have a reunion tour. The last time they performed in Texas, or even in the United States, was December of 2006. That was EIGHT years ago and I was only 12 years old. At this point in my life, I never really went to concerts and the Dixie Chicks weren’t a huge part of my life. So basically, I never really had the opportunity to see the Dixie chicks because they stopped touring in the United States before I ever really wanted to go see them. I am absolutely obsessed with them now so I think it’s only fair that they tour again so I can see them.

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Filed under Lists, Live Music, New Country, Texas