Lady Antebellum have been one of the highlights of country music in the pop world over the last few years, and with the release of their lyric video for “Downtown” today it seems likely they’ll stay atop the chart for the foreseeable future. The song has a relatively simple verse/chorus/verse pop structure, but there is a sincerity in the music that is near impossible to deny. Everything about your being will want to like this song, so stop waiting around and click below to enjoy “Downtown.”
“Downtown” will be available for purchase on all digital retailers beginning next Tuesday, February 5.
If you enjoy Lady Antebellum, check out OS act Bronze Radio Return!
These are exciting times for Darius Rucker. Not only is he out on the “Own the Night” tour with Lady Antebellum but he’s ready to release his third album. The hotly-anticipated record will follow the much-loved 2010 release Charleston SC 1966 that debuted at the top of the country charts and his now-platinum debut album Learn to Live, which was released in 2008. And that’s just the beginning.
He’s musically partnered with a host of other artists, including Lionel Richie for a duet of “Stuck on You” which is on Richie’s album Tuskegee. He also remains very involved in several high-profile charity events, including this month’s Third Annual “Darius and Friends” benefit show in Nashville which raised money for St. Jude Children Research Hospital.
Rucker took time out from his busy schedule to talk to OurStage about his new album, his current tour, and just what inspired him to become a musician, anyway.
DR: We will probably be playing the new single soon. When I play, audiences can expect a lot of music from both records [Learn to Live released in 2008 and Charleston SC 1066] and some cool cover songs. I’m just trying to have fun.
OS: On the fan boards, some folks say you always play Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Why do you play it so often?
DR: I always wanted to play it! The funny thing was, I was rehearsing with the band and my drummer (the band leader) said “Have you ever wanted to play ‘Purple Rain?'” I had never played it because I didn’t know if it would work in a country set. Now we always play it. If I don’t play it, I get nasty emails. So we are always playing it now.
That’s what John Taylor of Duran Duran recently told Time Out Melbourne on the subject of illegal downloading. When I read Taylor’s comments, I applauded as if his band had just completed a rousing encore of Skin Trade. Finally, a pop star who understands what it’s like to be low on cash but high on music.
Back in the old pre-Internet days, before iTunes, Amazon and having access to the latest hits 24/7 on YouTube, if you couldn’t afford to pay to listen to the music you loved anytime you wanted to, you had to improvise. For me, and, apparently, for Taylor, that meant pushing a tape recorder up the speakers of the radio, waiting for your favorite song to come on, pressing play when it did, and praying for no outside noise to interfere with the sweet music coming from the speakers.
Looks like Scott McCreery is the next pop-country super star.
The American Idol alum seems to fit the bill pretty well. A clean cut crooner with faith to spare, a couple of singles under his belt and a charming “golly, gee shucks” attitude. No surprise that his debut record moved a ton of units in the first week and made chart history. The 200,000 copies of Clear As Day sold in the first week was good enough to net McCreery the second best debut of the year. Now the question is what makes this young kid so unique, aside from his success?
It’s exactly that. In a field that doesn’t have that many youthful stars, McCreery is young”he really was a kid, for all intensive purposes, until his eighteenth birthday on October 7th. Sure, there’s the likes of Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum but can you think of any other established country music stars that aren’t old enough to drink? There’s a reason why his newest video takes place in chem class (and it’s just an honors course too, it won’t even count for college credit).
Lady Antebellum has a spark. There’s something about the way that Hillary Scott’s clear voice meshes with fellow lead vocalist Charles Kelley’s rougher tones. The way that the two of them sing, weaving their voices back and forth to tell a story, combined with the way that these two powerful voices can give and take seamlessly is so special. The combination of their voices creates an effect which evokes double the emotion, showcases double the talent and makes for an all-around great listen.
There have been many country acts who use both male and female vocals to add variety to their sound, but few have been able to mesh the voices as successfully and as consistently as Lady Antebellum. Many artists choose to create a solo album and then feature duets with other singers, for example Jason Aldean, who collaborated with Kelly Clarkson for a track on his album My Kinda Party, or Brad Paisley‘s duet “Remind Me” with Carrie Underwood. But it is truly remarkable that every song by Antebellum utilizes both Kelley’s and Scott’s voices to their full potential.
Although less well-known than Lady Antebellum, The Civil Wars”an alternative country/folk duo”also blends the voices of two singers (Joy Williams and John Paul White) into every song. Both Lady Antebellum and The Civil Wars feature voices that could easily stand alone, but together create something much more magical. Because these singers are equally incredible at harmonizing and keeping a balance where neither is over-powering, they can create a sound which is phenomenal.
Before you ween yourself from listening to more up-and-coming country musicians”after all, there are only so many hours in a day”you owe it to yourself to check out the music of Stealing Angels.
Caroline Cutbirth, Jennifer Wayne and Tayla Lynn”who are currently on a tour ten-day tour of Iraq and Kuwait to entertain US troops”are set to release their first album Paper Heart in a few months. Early word is that the songs are musical magic. The trio, who are related to Daniel Boone, John Wayne and Loretta Lynn respectively, have been wowing audiences as they have toured in support of Lady Antebellum, Kid Rock and others.
“We were just three girls in Nashville trying to make it,” said Lynn of her chance meeting with Cutbirth and Wayne. “Our agents got us together for an audition for a reality show (that never materialized) and it just went from there.”
Although happenstance brought the three together, the music they crafted was anything but random. Famed producer Paul Worley was so captivated by the trio’s sound that he signed them to his Skyville Records label and produced their upcoming album. That, say the trio, made their music truly come alive.
“Paul is a genius and the way he produced it is magic,” said Cutbirth, who had met Wayne a few months before they made the acquaintance of Lynn. “The first couple times welistened to it, it sounded like poetry. It’s that beautiful.”
Yet the two singles Stealing Angels have released”the title track of the album and the song “He Better Be Dead” (check out the music video below)”are about the universal topics of romance and heartbreak to which everyone can relate. Although the three said they had plenty of fodder for songs, the real trick was to take their three solo songwriting artistry and make them one.
“Everyone talks about heart break and love in different ways,” said Cutbirth. “We started writing together and that really helped us gel as a trio even though we were each solo artists. I’m more more pop country, Jen is more Patsy Cline and Tayla is more Lucinda Williams. We bring that all together when we write songs.”
It’s almost too easy to say the three were born to continue the tradition of country music, yet listening to them you do begin to wonder if destiny has played a role in their careers.
“I remember when I was nineteen years old standing in the wings at concert when really realized who my grandmother was,” said Lynn. “The shows she puts on, the woman she is and what she’s done for country music. I just knew I had to perform…And now we’ve gotten so many fans of [my grandmother’s] and John Wayne and Daniel Boone, it sure feels right.”
Find out more about Stealing Angels by going to their Web site.