In 2012, ANDY GRAMMER emerged as one of the biggest success stories in the music business. He performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (three times), and Good Morning America. He shared the stage with Taylor Swift, Train, and Colbie Caillat, and he is the first male pop star, since John Mayer in 2002, to reach the Top 10 at Adult Pop Radio on his first 2 singles, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me”. “Keep Your Head Up” is certified Platinum and received the BMI award as one of 2012’s Top 50 most performed songs across all formats. “Fine By Me” is certified Gold and his third single “Miss Me” climbed to #15 at Adult Pop Radio, while the music video reached #9 on VH1’s Top 20 weekly video countdown. …continue reading
Since the early ’70s, Asleep at the Wheel have been the most important force in keeping the sound of Western swing alive. In reviving the freewheeling, eclectic sensibility of Western swing godfather Bob Wills, the Wheel have earned enthusiastic critical praise throughout their lengthy career; they have not only preserved classic sounds that had all but disappeared from country music, but have also been able to update the music, keeping it a living, breathing art form.
Typically featuring eight to 11 musicians, the group has gone through myriad personnel changes (at last count, over 80 members had passed through their ranks), but 6’7″ frontman Ray Benson has held it together for four decades, keeping Asleep at the Wheel a viable recording and touring concern and maintaining their devotion to classic-style Western swing. (So much so that in 2011, Ray Benson was named Texan of the Year and received the Texas Medal of the Arts) …continue reading
His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don’t look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can’t get enough of him.
For more than half a century, Riley B. King – better known as B.B. King – has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. Memphis was where every important musician of the South gravitated, and which supported a large musical community where every style of African American music could be found. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues. …continue reading
2013 marks the 20th Anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s remarkable arrival onto the music scene. In it’s first years, having secured their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world—in the middle of the grunge era, no less—that it was still cool to swing, big band style. Today the high-energy nine-piece ensemble continues the party and takes things to the next level with the release of RATTLE THEM BONES. The follow-up to the much lauded 2009 release, How Big Can You Get?: The Music of Cab Calloway, Rattle Them Bones still urges their millions of fans worldwide to shake and move to their inimitable grooves while also expanding their horizons with new musical inspiration and influence.
The intensity of the Calloway project helped the band further hone it’s ability to honor the great musicians and music of the past while pushing the genre forward through interpretation and vision. Leader Scotty Morris has called that experience “The greatest musical education possible, and one that again solidified the brotherhood of the band.” While by design the musical focus of that session was Callowayʼs heyday of the 30s and 40s, Rattle Them Bones is a more expansive, ultimately liberating work that began with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s singer and chief songwriter drawing from some unexpected cultural wells. …continue reading
The title of Billy Currington’s new album, Enjoy Yourself, says it all. “That’s what I want people to think about doing when they hear my music,” the happy-go-lucky Georgia native says. “I want them to have a good time.” And a good time is clearly what they’re having.
He’s garnered an impressive ten Top 10 hits, with six of those hitting No. 1 – “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “People Are Crazy,” ”Don’t,” “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” and “Good Directions.” He’s sold millions of albums and has been selected to tour with the likes of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Sugarland. Tour mate Carrie Underwood notes that Billy’s “talent and charm” have made crowds fall in love with him. He also received the compliment of a lifetime from David Letterman, who said about Billy’s “People Are Crazy” performance, “This song will change your life. You’re not going to do any better than this song here.” …continue reading
The members of Southern Rock quintet Blackberry Smoke are no strangers to hard work. Playing up to 250 dates each year, the guys are on the road more often than not, and they’ve seen tangible results of their labor. The band has toured with and befriended idols such as The Marshall Tucker Band, ZZ Top (with Billy Gibbons jamming with the band on a Florida stop), Lynyrd Skynyrd and George Jones. The band was even asked to play for Jones on his 80th birthday, not long after the country legend turned in a guest appearance on the band’s sophomore album. They’ve toured Europe thrice over, and had their songs featured in video games (EA Sports’ NASCAR 08) and films (Swing Vote), as well.
Mixing elements of gospel, bluegrass, arena rock, soul and more than a touch of outlaw country, Blackberry Smoke has earned a passionate fanbase that continues to grow as the band itself evolves. The band is as blue collar as the bandanas its members wear. …continue reading