It feels like the gears are beginning to grind again on the behemoth that is Country music, with various bits and bobs of news emerging this year about the year ahead.
Performances from the Dixie Chicks‘ DCX MMXVI World Tour will be featured on a new live album arriving on Friday (Jan. 12).
The Chicks’ Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin and Emily Strayer announced the release on Wednesday through social media.
The DCX MMXVI tour was their first widespread U.S. tour since 2006. The schedule also included performances in Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, England, Scotland and Ireland.
New music on the way from Dierks Bentley who left Nashville and went to Colorado to write his ninth studio album, The Mountain, due out later this year. In a video chat across his social media platforms on Wednesday (Jan. 10), Bentley took questions from fans and shared some insight into how the project came together.
A snippet of the title track is currently available to listen to, and a first single isn’t far off. “Woman Amen” will be released on Jan. 17 and will be distributed to country radio. Bentley didn’t provide too many details on the track, but did say it was a good song to kick off his album release.
“Family is always inspiring me,” he says. “I think the first single shows that. It’s more about life and living, and that feeling of not just being alive but living and going for stuff. That’s what the overall album is about.”
“I knew I wanted to make a record that touches on the west a little bit, where I’m from,” he further explains. “I was fortunate to be asked to play the bluegrass festival in Telluride and I was on stage and I felt this amazing energy coming out of the mountains up there. There’s something about being in that landscape that really struck me in a musical way.”
Bentley enlisted the help of six songwriter friends for the project — Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley all contributed to songs on The Mountain. The star says it’s an album that he’s written the most for in recent years, sharing that there are uplifting songs and songs about gratitude, as well as love songs that can also serve as prayers. “The whole process has been totally different than anything I’ve done before. Just a very awakening experience,” he says.
UK fans will have to wait till 2019 to see him, Bentley confirmed during the chat across social media.
New music on the way from Carrie Underwood.
During halftime of the NFL playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints on Jan. 6, fans were given a sneak preview of Carrie Underwood’s new song, “The Champion.”
The new tune will be part of the opening segment before Super Bowl 52 on February 4.
“I’ve been working my whole life / And now it’s do or die / I am invincible, unbreakable / Unstoppable, unshakeable / They knock me down, I get up again,” sings Carrie, in part.
The song is released today, Friday January 12th so go check it out.
Rolling Stone magazine this week called new Tex-Mex flavoured band, The Last Bandoleros ‘The most important new Country band of 2018′ and had this to say about them:
“With its Tex-Mex vibe and rock roots, the Last Bandoleros’ music is undeniably refreshing – and glaringly unorthodox by today’s standards. Two years since Warner, the label home of populist country radio stars like Blake Shelton and Cole Swindell, signed the group, the move remains a head-scratcher. When the Bandoleros’ debut single “Where Do You Go?” was released in July 2016, it stalled at Number 49 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.
“We probably made a mistake trying to push the country radio card too early,” says Warner Music Nashville chairman/CEO John Esposito, who recruited the Last Bandoleros after executive vice president of A&R Scott Hendricks excitedly burst into his office with a demo. “The good news is that everyone at this label is in love with this band, and it’s our job now to find other ways of exposing them, much of which is happening from touring and getting fans. If there’s ever an opportunity at country radio for them, it’ll be because there is such a groundswell that [radio] is going to have to contend with it.”
Country fans might not be familiar with the name Jeff Hyde, but they’ve most likely heard his tunes. Hyde is not only Eric Church’s longtime acoustic guitar player, but a Grammy-nominated songwriting partner whose Number One hits include Church’s vivid gems like “Springsteen” and “Record Year.” Now Hyde is stepping out front with his own music.
A native of Marshall, Texas, Hyde has also written songs recorded by George Strait, Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson and more, but with the album Norman Rockwell World he lays down 10 of his best which, for whatever reason, never made it into the hands of a big-time star. The album comes out in February and with its first single “Henry Ford,” Hyde should appeal to fans of the Chief and the Boss alike.