I wonder how long country music awards shows think they’re going to be able to claim Taylor Swift as a country artist. I think that train has sailed. Swift was among this year’s nominees for Album of the Year at the Country Music Awards for her shit-kickin’, twang fest Red, and garnered four other nominations, including Entertainer of the Year. Miranda Lambert, another Entertainer of the Year nominee, ties Swift with a total of five nominations.
The big leaders, though, are Eric Church, with seven nominations around his album Chief, and Hunter Hayes, with six, including Song of the Year and Single of the Year (because maybe the Song of the Year will be a deep cut, right?) for his song “Wanted.”
The 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast live on CBS on April 7th and will be hosted this year by Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton.
See the full list of nominees below.
Separately, Elora Taylor and Dee Filc are just two twenty-something ladies from Oakville, Ontario. Together, they become something even better, a folk duo called Tallulah Darling that plays stripped down, bare bones rock and country. Though the two cite influences like Miranda Lambert, Loretta Lynn, Dixie Chicks, and Toby Keith, you’ll find more street edge in tracks like Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. There, a serpentine bass, buzzsaw guitar riffs, and cheeky lyrics are loosely combined for raw, unrefined rock. Metal Heart, on the other hand, is a more lackadaisical meditation on love, wrapped up in acoustic guitars and falsetto vocals. Finally, on This Is Not A Joke, those country roots are unearthed. With the wistful, confessional appeal of Taylor Swift, Mulligan delivers her simple request: This is not a joke so please stop smiling. Mute adoration, however, is permitted.
Chris Young is on fire and that’s not just because he’s on the Miranda Lambert tour of the same name. Young’s 2011 release Neon debuted at No. 4 and his last five singles have gone to No. 1 at country radio while Tomorrow, Voices, and You were certified Gold.
Just before hosting a recent online chat with hundreds of his fans, during which he debuted his video for Neon, the multi-award winner took time to talk a bit about his music, radio requests, and just how fans show their enthusiasm for his music.
OS: This has been quite a year or so for you. Looking at everything, all the songs, all the awards, what has been the best thing so far?
CS: Well, when you are booking [concerts] a year out, that’s really nice! I remember a time when we weren’t even booking weeks out.
CY: We have been out with her since January and it has been unreal! She is a sweetheart and one of the best people to tour with. Everything is what is mine is yours.
OS: So what does that allow you to do on stage?
CY: I love to mess with our intros and [the ends of songs] and do covers, and sometimes do a song in a show that is really broken down, have the drummer kick down the brushes and pull the acoustics out and kind of mess with some of our songs.
On second thought, don’t.
That might have been what Justin Bieber was thinking in March when he found out he might be facing legal action for tweeting a fake phone number minus one digit to his 19 million Twitter followers, resulting in more than 1,000 phone calls being made to a man and a woman in Texas who threatened to take him to court. (The potential plaintiffs’ requests: an apology, concert tickets, free publicity and financial compensation for out-of-pocket expenses.)
It was a harmless enough prank, yes, but the next time Bieber tweets something, he might want to consider doing what so many pop stars are doing and tweeting it to someone who’s also famous”like his new BFF Carly Rae Jepsen, the recipient of several recent Bieber tweets, including one wishing a happy easter to his fellow Canadian and fellow Top 10 resident on Billboard’s Hot 100 (Bieber with Boyfriend, Jepsen with Call Me Maybe).
Who else is connecting on Twitter? I love you, you cray, Katy Perry tweeted on March 31 to Rihanna, who made news when she began following her ex Chris Brown on Twitter. Rihanna’s sometime collaborator Nicki Minaj had a brief war of words with Cher last November on Twitter over a third party’s misinterpretation of Minaj’s lyrics: “@cher did you know that b***h @NICKIMINAJ dissed you in her song DID IT ON EM.” Cher flipped. Minaj fans flipped, too, explaining that it was a “rap metaphor,” not a jab. Cher conceded defeat. Minaj offered, simply, “@Cher #stopit5.” Case closed.
Maybe the moniker came about because he is one of country music’s up-and-coming young guns”pun intended due to Moore’s hit song Guns.” So is his buddy Josh Thompson. And Kiefer Thompson, of Thompson Square. Scotty McCreery is another. The list goes on.
I formed my impression of Moore after talking to him a few times in the past eighteen months. I found him to be straightforward, honest, down-to-earth and incredibly humble. Let’s put it this way”mama would let her babies grow up to be cowboys if they were half as genuine as Moore.
But rather than tell you about Moore, we’ll let him tell you about himself in this exclusive Q&A.
OS: So you have been on tour with Blake Shelton on the Well Lit & Amplified Tour. What is that like?
JS: It has been a blast! Miranda [Lambert, Shelton’s wife] and I are good friends. We’ve toured together a lot in the past couple of years. Blake is as down to earth as they come.
OS: What’s the biggest difference in your show these days?
JM: This tour is different than any other tour [we’ve done]. For one thing, we have got production and I never had that before this tour. We have a tractor trailer pulling gear. That all makes a huge difference. The lighting, the staging. It takes so much pressure off me as an artist. People are not only looking at you, they see the cools staging.