Billy Ray Cyrus goes back to basics on his latest album Change My Mind”and it sounds so good.
The title song, inspired by his decision to end divorce proceedings and reunite with his wife, is one of nine tunes that mixes bluegrass, roots, southern rock, gospel and country music for a distinctive sound. Those that only know Cyrus from his work with daughter Miley on the Disney show Hannah Montana, may find the gritty sound surprising, but Cyrus said it’s his true musical voice.
“I’m very proud of this album,” said Cyrus who wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. “This is really who I am. When I grew up and listened to country music, this was the music I wanted to make.”
Cyrus talked about his life as a young singer-songwriter, living in his car and hoping for his big break. Yet when his single Achy Breaky Heart from his 1992 album Some Gave All album topped Billboard charts for weeks and went 9x-platinum, it was a double-edged sword. Cyrus was bashed by critics even as sales soared and the album stayed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart for 17 weeks in a row and became the best-selling debut album of all time by a male solo artist. (more…)
From the minute Florida Georgia Line hit the stage at a recent Washington, D.C.-area show, it was clear why the duo’s star is rising.
It wasn’t just the ease and enthusiasm they put into their performance”right from the first notes of “It’s Just What We Do””but a certain mix of confidence and amiability that blends into a palatable charisma. Not that the duo”known individually as Tyler Hubbard of Monroe, Ga., and Brian Kelley of Ormond Beach, Fla. ”thinks that way.
“It says Florida-Georgia Line but we know we couldn’t have couldn’t have done it without our amazing management, our booking agent, our whole team,” said Kelley, back stage after the duo’s set opening for Jake Owen, speaking of the band’s first gold record for “Cruise.” “Our manager has assembled what we think is the best team in Nashville so we know it’s for everyone, not just us.” (more…)
Risa Binder not only lives in Nashville, she revels in it.
The country-pop singer songwriter may have grown up in Columbia, Maryland, but her heart was in Music City, after she found Loretta Lynn and then other icons such as Alison Krauss. Little wonder that the reality of living and working in Nashville — not to mention actually having Krauss drop by the studio in which Binder was recording her debut “Paper Heart” — still takes her breathe away.
“I just go and sit in the Bluebird Cafe and soak everything up,” said Binder. “Nashville is so crazy. It’s so exciting to be hear and hear a song come to life and play it and know others hear it. It’s all about everyone creating music.” (more…)
Andrew Osenga has taken folk music where, arguably, no artist has gone before”space.
How else to explain the Nashville-based singer/songwriter/producer/musician Osenga’s “story” Leonard, The Lonely Astronaut, released on September 18. Perhaps the album’s theme was born of his love of science fiction and folk? Sure, rockers have explored this concept for years”David Bowie‘s 1973 album Aladdin Sane and Pink Floyd‘s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon come immediately to mind”but it’s fairly new territory for folk. Credit Osenga’s eclectic taste in music for the turn.
“I was into grunge and then Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, all the shows on the big stages,” he said of his early influences. “The music was heartfelt but they could hide the fact that they were heartfelt by putting on a big show. When I moved to Nashville I became friends with folk artists and really got into Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris…..And I’m a huge literary nerd, too, so that helped make this.” (more…)
Jake Owen is working his way around the country on his first headlining stint, “CMT Tour: The Summer Never Ends Tour,” behind his new EP Endless Summer that debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart. As if that isn’t enough, he and his wife Lacey are expecting their first child in a few weeks.
The golden rays of summer still seem to be shining bright for the Florida native whose 2011 album Barefoot Blue Jean Night debuted at # 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart and launched back-to-back # 1 hits.
Owen took time out of his high-energy days to talk to OurStage about his career, his music and more. (more…)