Archive for the ‘You Tube, Vimeo’ Category
by: Brittany Hodak
What do you get when you combine 30 of the biggest country stars on the planet and three of the most beloved songs of all time? ”Forever Country,” an impressive video mash-up of talent dreamed up by the Country Music Association to help promote the 50th CMA Awards, which air live on Nov. 2.
The video, which features big-name artists singing parts of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again” and Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” debuted last night on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. The show’s exposure helped the “We Are The World”-esque song once again rise to the top of the iTunes Country chart, where it first appeared last Friday when the single was released.
CMA Awards co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood join Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, George Strait and other A-listers on the project. The idea for the song and its accompanying video was born at a CMA board meeting as a way to celebrate the milestone of 50 years of Awards. Grammy and CMA Award-winning producer and songwriter Shane McAnally produced the track, which most artists recorded their parts on during the CMA Music Fest in June. The video was produced by Grammy-winning director Joseph Kahn, whose biggest artist-wrangling moment prior to this was directing 15 guest stars in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video.
“When I first heard the idea of the mashup, I was like, ‘How’s that’s gonna work?’ because they’re three very different songs by three very different artists,” Underwood says. “I’m honored to be a part of it, and to be singing parts on ‘I Will Always Love You,’ which I actually do in my tour set, so it’s perfect.”
Despite her initial skepticism, the mash-up works surprisingly well. The song clocks in at just over four minutes, with most artists singing just one or two lines. “The people that came to it early had to cover a lot of ground, because I didn’t know if every line would be covered,” McAnally
“Some of those people were really generous with their time, singing a lot more than what ended up on the track. As we neared the finish line, it came down to some folks literally having just one line left they could sing, and it was like, ‘Please, God, just let this work with their voice.’”
Parton, Nelson and Denver are all former CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year nominees. “It’s a great honor and I’m glad to be part of it,” Willie Nelson says of the reimagining of his classic song. Urban, up for the Entertainer trophy this year, says “I’ve played ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ many, many times. As geographic as the song is in so many places, it’s also incredibly universal. I think that’s why songs like that transcend everything, because it’s about home and very universal, human things,”
The full list of artists in the video includes: Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood.
The 50th Annual Country Music Association Awards will air live from Nashville on ABC on Nov. 2 at 8 pm EST.
At some point during Neil Young’s Farm Aid set every year, he says, “Let’s get Willie out here. Is Willie back there? Willie are you back there?” This year, they sang “Are There Any More Real Cowboys.”
by: Stephen Betts
In 2003, American icon Willie Nelson was the centerpiece of an all-star 70th birthday tribute with performances from Kenny Chesney, Shelby Lynne, Steven Tyler, Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, Leon Russell, Paul Simon, Wyclef Jean and more. Captured for a CD/DVD set called Live & Kickin’: Willie Nelson and Friends, the event was taped at New York’s Beacon Theatre and features some of Nelson’s most legendary compositions, including “Crazy” and “Night Life,” along with songs by other writers.
One tune heard during the USA Network special, falling into the latter category, was “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” a song penned by songwriter-publisher Fred Rose in the Forties and previously performed by Hank Williams and Roy Acuff. Three decades later, the mournful ballad would become a signature tune for Nelson when he recorded it for his 1975 concept LP,Red Headed Stranger.
Introduced by Nelson’s longtime friend (and fellow songwriting legend) Kris Kristofferson, one of the most affecting performances of the special was country-pop superstar Shania Twain’s rendition of “Blue Eyes,” which the casually attired Canadian – in jeans, a cap and Willie T-shirt – performed while seated next to Nelson, who was standing and playing Trigger, his trusty vintage guitar. In addition to his distinctive jazz-inspired picking, Nelson adds harmony vocals to Twain’s reverent and expressive performance of the song, which became his first Number One country hit as an artist in October 1975.
Twain, who will celebrate her 51st birthday on August 28th, was riding high on the country and pop charts at the time this special was recorded. Up!, her fourth studio LP and third consecutive album to sell more than 10 million copies, was her first to be released in three separate versions for the pop, country and world-music markets. As a bonus during the TV taping, Twain and Nelson teamed for an exuberant performance of one of the singles from Up!, “Forever and for Always,” which (minus Nelson’s contributions) would go on to become a huge crossover hit in the U.S., and a Top Ten single in Twain’s native land, the U.K., Austria, Germany, Ireland and Romania.
Billy Ray Cyrus performs “Stop Picking On Willie” with Willie Nelson live at the Farm Aid concert in Tinley Park, Illinois on October 4, 1997.
By Beville Dunkerley
“Can you believe they’ve never built a statue for his dad here?” Billy Ray Cyrus asks, after a compliment on the old Hank Williams Jr. T-shirt he’s wearing underneath a weathered leather jacket. “Let’s start a movement!”
He’s only half-kidding. Cyrus has immeasurable reverence for the country music legends who paved the way for musicians like him. One of his most prized possessions is a handwritten letter from Johnny Cash, and he can tell story after story about greats such as Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and Carl Perkins visiting his Tennessee home to make music with him and even mentor his kids. (Jennings himself taught Cyrus’ now-uber-famous daughter, Miley how to play “Good Hearted Woman” on the guitar.)
Plotting a new album while also filming his CMT sitcom, Still the King, Cyrus was determined to make collection honoring his heroes, filling it with cover songs and titling it Under the Influence. But along with the fact that there are a few other albums with that same title — including one from fellow country superstar Alan Jackson — came one big thing getting in the way of making a full covers album: his songwriting. Cyrus found himself in a creative headspace that reflected his influences like never before.
“What I was writing from was my real life,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “The music kinda runs a thin line between Still the King and [my character] Burnin Vernon and Billy Ray Cyrus and the little boy who [was bullied] at school meets this guy who grew into an old man who saw all these things that my life has been: Twilight Zone meets country music meets Hollywood. It’s finding that thin line between reality and the music.”
Thus the new title of his album out today (September 9th), Thin Line. The title track came to Cyrus after a meeting with CMT about his wildly irreverent show. Executives asked him to describe the plot in one sentence, and his answer was, “Well, it’s like a thin line between Elvis and Jesus.” He picked up a guitar that same night and cranked out lyrics about the thin lines between both serious and comical things: “It’s a thin line between hate and love, the gates of hell and heaven above,” he sings, balancing that out with the more lighthearted, “It’s a thin line, between Willie and the law.”
That’s one of several tips of the hat to Willie Nelson on the LP, as Cyrus covers “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” followed by an original tune he wrote back in 1989, “Stop Pickin’ on Willie” – a longtime favorite in his live shows but never recorded until now.
“In combining this album with tributes to my heroes and the new songs, it was me trying to make a concept record. To me, the model of a concept record is Red Headed Stranger, by Willie Nelson,” Cyrus explains. “I always wanted an album that went from song one to song 10 and told a story. As the pieces started falling in to place, the sequence started making sense. It’s all one circle.
“In , I did Farm Aid and I went on Willie’s bus – which is an adventure all to itself,” Cyrus continues, “and somewhere through the fog, I got my guitar out and sang ‘Stop Pickin’ on Willie.’ He said, ‘You mind if I come out and play that with you?’ I said, ‘That would be the greatest thing in the world.’ So recording this tribute to Willie is going full circle.”
Other cover songs on the album include a brooding take on Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” a Joe Perry-assisted interpretation of Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time,” and stripped-down, reverent renditions of Merle Haggard’s “Going Where the Lonely Go” and Waylon Jennings’ “I’ve Always Been Crazy.” Jennings’ son, Shooter joins Cyrus on the tribute to his father, and also on “Killing the Blues,” a cover of the John Prine classic. The Shooter-Cyrus pairing was the younger musician’s idea, and Cyrus knew instantly the perfect song.
“Waylon was at my kitchen table and had a vision,” he recalls of one of many chats he had with the late legend. “He said, ‘I had this crazy dream: You recorded ‘I’ve always been crazy, but it kept me from going insane.’ Well, I wanted to record it right then, but I was at this label. . . and they didn’t let me. So, Waylon ended up joining me [instead] on a song called ‘We the People.’ Time went by and then we lost Waylon. That’s one of the things that saddened me the most. . . I kept thinking, ‘Some day I’ve gotta record that song, because he said he saw me doing it.’ Years go by and Shooter contacts me and says, ‘I wanna do a record on you.’ So I told him what his dad said.”
Joining Jennings and Aerosmith legend Perry on Thin Line’s long list of special guests is Shelby Lynne, on the title track and on Johnny Cash’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (written by Kristofferson). Lee Roy Parnell is heard on the Jennings tribute. Rock gods Bryan Adams and Glenn Hughes are featured on the first single, “Hey Elvis” — a hit for Adams back in 1997 and the perfect match for Cyrus’ album, given its lyrics about how new music will never measure up to that of the King. Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Kenley Shea Holm lends vocals to “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Cyrus’ son, Braison makes his debut paying tribute to a hero he shares with his dad, Merle Haggard, on “Going Where the Lonely Go.” And closing the album is an original track written by Cyrus with daughter Miley — and something he calls more of a prayer than a song. “Angels Protect This Home” was born of social and environmental issues weighing on both their hearts.
No matter if it’s a family-made original or interpretation of a classic, the songs on Thin Line bleed together into one traditional concept album – what Cyrus was going for in the first place.
“It all boils down to three words: keep it real,” he says of his strategy. “All the greats — Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, they all said the same thing: ‘Keep it real, and make your music because it’s your truth.’ I thank God I had friends around me to share that wisdom.”
by: Jake Harris
Country music legend Ray Price died in December 2013, but his legacy lives on, specifically though the actions of artists like Willie Nelson.
Austin’s favorite Red-Headed Stranger wrote and recorded the love ballad “It Always Will Be” back in 2003. Price recorded the song on his last album, 2014’s “Beauty Is…” which was released shortly after his eath.
Now, “It Always Will Be” appears in Nelson’s upcoming album, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price,” which will be released Sept. 16.
Nelson and Price have a long history that stretches back to the early 1960s, when Nelson played bass in the Cherokee Cowboys, Price’s touring band. His time with the band was brief, but the two of them became great friends over the years and even recorded a double album together in 2007.
The recording of the song is a full-circle moment for Nelson, he said in a video teasing the album’s release.
“People ask me who my favorite singers are, and I say, well, there’s Ray Price and there’s Frank Sinatra,” Nelson said in the video. “I don’t think there’s ever any doubt that one day I’d do a Ray Price tribute album.”
Album producer Fred Foster said, ” Ray said to me, ‘I don’t care what we do, I want to do ‘It Always Will Be.” And I know this would please Ray, that Willie’s doing this tribute to him…As much as Willie admired Ray, Ray equally admired Willie.”
About the album:
Willie has teamed up with a pair of longtime friends (producer Fred Foster and conductor/arranger Bergen White) who, like Nelson, are American country music veterans with deep connections to the legendary Ray Price. Foster and White worked together to complete Ray Price’s final album, Beauty Is…, at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studios, where Willie Nelson has returned to create the magic of For The Good Times: A Tribute To Ray Price.
Follow Willie Nelson on Spotify – http://smarturl.it/WN_Spotify?IQid=yt…
Follow Willie Nelson on Twitter – http://smarturl.it/WillieNelson_TW?IQ…
Like Willie Nelson on Facebook – http://smarturl.it/WillieNelson_FB?IQ…
Visit the official Willie Nelson website: http://willienelson.com/