Darius Rucker helped raise more than $260,000 with his Big Band Showfor the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital. Darius performed Frank Sinatra classics, along with an orchestra during the 90-minute benefit concert in Charleston on Monday (February 13th) night.
DIERKS BENTLEY SURPRISES MILITARY HERO WITH $50,000 CASH ON THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW
Nashville, TN – Feb. 15, 2012 – Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley teamed up with The Ellen DeGeneres Show today to surprise a military family with $50,000 to help with their financial struggles. Sgt. Chad Sparks was actively serving when he lost a finger on duty and was forced to return home to care for his injury. He and his wife have been trying to make ends meet by selling their furniture, appliances and other personal items on Craigslist to help support their one-year-old daughter as Sgt. Sparks faces redeployment to Afghanistan.
Bentley’s current single and anchor title track off his new album HOME has touched fans across the country, sparking many stories of similar gravity. Billboard noted “Bentley has crafted a song that acknowledges the nation’s struggles, yet resonates with hopeful optimism about the future.” The ACM nominated Song of The Year’s relatable message also led Bentley to join forces with Believe in Heroes™, a Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) initiative last fall, aiming to support and honor wounded veterans who have sacrificed for our country. For more information and a full list of upcoming appearances, visit www.dierks.com.
Charles, Hillary, and Dave of Lady Antebellum are still so excited about their recent GRAMMY win this past weekend. They got to spend Valentine’s Day in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they talked all about their favorite parts of this year’s GRAMMY Awards during the meet and greet. Plus, they had a sold out show! Watch all the behind the scenes action in the latest episode of Webisode Wednesday!
Dierks Bentley takes the No. 1 position this week on Billboard’s Country Albums chart with his sixth studio album HOME, marking Bentley’s fourth career debut in the top spot. The new album’s poignant second single and title track also continues to climb into the Top 5 at radio and has already spawned the rowdy chart-topper “Am I The Only One.”
Music critics across the country are weighing in with glowing reviews of HOME all focused around one central theme – Bentley’s unique sound that combines his distinctive gravely vocals with a modern blend of acoustic and electric instruments. Entertainment Weekly awarded that sound an A.
“Bentley has always been a big-picture guy, looking to pull together the different kinds of music he loves. On what may be his most cohesive album, he combines rustic sounds of crisp banjo and mandolin with a surging beat that falls between U2 and Waylon Jennings.” – USA Today
“Bentley always utilizes banjo, fiddle, mandolin and especially dobro in his music, but with a modern beat and energy that, along with his distinctive voice, gives him a compelling sound of his own.” – Associated Press
“Dierks Bentley’s new album is his most assured…like an actor playing a role, great country singers inhabit their songs and make them sound like they’re living it all right before your ears. When it works, it feels Oscar-worthy… Dierks Bentley is a great country singer.” – Washington Post
“Home is packed with songs that showcase Bentley as a vocalist and that will feed his energy as a performer on stage.” – Tennessean
“It’s Bentley at his country-mainstream best.” – Philadelphia Inquirer
“Dierks Bentley has recorded what is undoubtedly the finest album of his career.” – CMT
“It leaves you the listener with the impression that Bentley has made something special here, not just his most consistent album and 2012’s first great country album, but a work that reminds us of the separate power that individual songs can have when they’re strategically placed together on an album.” – PopMatters
Bentley will perform a song off the new album today on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and is set for the first show of his 2012 COUNTRY & COLD CANS Tour tonight in Vancouver, BC Canada. For a list of upcoming appearances and tour dates in Canada, Australia and the US, visit www.dierks.com.
AUDIO: Dierks Bentley says his new album, Home, combines a variety of diverse songs that reflect who he is in a musical sense.
Dierks (diversity of songs) OC: …musically. :28
“What’s cool about this record, and one thing I try to capture on it is a diversity of the music, but it all falls within the confines of who I am as a country singer as far as loving the country sounds, the bluegrass sounds, loving some of the rock sounds and energy and mixing it all together on a record. I think it’s all there, so I think there’s a diversity of subject matter and sounds but in a way that it all kind of gels together pretty well, and it’s a good description of who I am musically.”
Eric Church closes each show on his Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour with his new single, “Springsteen.” He says the song, which might be his favorite track on Chief, takes him back to his own experience at a concert with a girl. “The interesting thing about this song is it has probably less to do with [Bruce] Springsteen than it is about what’s happening at this amphitheater up on the lawn. I had this experience,” says Eric. “If you’ve had this experience, no matter whether you stay together or don’t stay together, when you hear that person’s music whether it’s Springsteen or anybody else, you always think of the person you were with at that show.”
- “Springsteen” is the latest single from Eric’s gold-certified/Grammy nominated album, Chief. It’s the follow-up to his recent No. 1 hit, “Drink in My Hand.”
- Eric is nominated for two Academy of Country Music Awards, including Album of the Year for Chief and Video of the Year for “Homeboy.”
AUDIO: Eric Church explains what the song, “Springsteen,” means to him.
Eric Church (Springsteen) 1 OC: …my favorites. :41
“The interesting thing about this song is it has probably less to do with [Bruce] Springsteen than it is about what’s happening at this amphitheater up on the lawn. I had this experience. If you’ve had this experience, no matter whether you stay together or don’t stay together, when you hear that person’s music whether it’s Springsteen or anybody else, you always think of the person you were with at that show. And I have that. I just thought it was an interesting story about two people falling in love at a concert, and for the rest of their life that’s the soundtrack. That artist is the soundtrack to their love, to that time. I just love that. It makes me feel 17 again every time I hear it, and I think that other people feel the same way. It’s just a track that I’m very, very proud of. It might be my favorite on the record.”
During Keith Urban‘s show in Austin over the weekend, he and Texas native Jack Ingram performed George Strait‘s No. 1 hit, “You Look So Good in Love” (1984).
The show helped to raise money for the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, which helps bring awareness to the thousands of children suffering from fatal rare genetic disorders.
Even though Alan Jackson did not write his latest single, “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore,” he does appreciate the talents of other singer-songwriters. The humble superstar liked the song so much, however, he wanted to make sure the songwriter(s) – Adam Wright and Jay Knowles — absolutely wanted him to record the song. “It just happened to be that one of the co-writers on it is Adam Wright, my nephew that lives up here in Nashville that’s a singer and songwriter,” says Alan. “I called Adam and said, ‘Man, this is a great song. Are you sure you want to let me have it? I mean, there’s a lot of people that can sing this thing out there!’ And he said, no – if I wanted it, he wanted me to sing it, so I was proud to have it. And after we recorded it, the record just came out beautiful.”
- “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” will be available on iTunes Tuesday (February 14th).
- The video for “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore” has been the best-selling country video on iTunes for the past couple of weeks.
AUDIO: Alan Jackson talks about “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore.”
AJ (So You Don’t) OC: …this song. :39
“‘So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore’ – you know, the first time I heard that song, I knew it was a great song and I called the writer. It just happened to be that one of the co-writers on it is Adam Wright, my nephew that lives up here in Nashville that’s a singer and songwriter. I called Adam and said, ‘Man, this is a great song. Are you sure you want to let me have it? I mean, there’s a lot of people that can sing this thing out there!’ And he said, no – if I wanted it, he wanted me to sing it, so I was proud to have it. And after we recorded it, the record just came out beautiful. And everybody that heard it, the first thing they said was, ‘Man, that thing gave me goosebumps on my arms!’ It’s just a great song, a great melody. You know, I’m a songwriter and I appreciate songs, so I definitely appreciate this song.”
The holiday of romance and love is upon us, and that dastardly Cupid has been shooting his arrows all over the place. On this holiday, some of the Capitol/EMI artists have offered up their thoughts and ideas of love and relationships.
AUDIO: Alan Jackson talks about his love for wife, Denise, over the years.
AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24
“We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hitswas a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”
AUDIO: Darius Rucker knew he would marry his wife, Beth, on their first date.
Darius Rucker (wife) OC: …her and country music saved my life. :43
“I don’t know what it was about her. I mean, it was EVERYTHING about her. I knew, I told her I was going to marry her on our first date, [laughs] yeah. Beth’s a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to be married to a musician, especially a musician who was drinking and partying as hard as I was, and I think life for us is where we are now. It took a long time for us to get to where we are now, and we say to each other all the time, ‘I love us. I love our family. I love us.’ And I thank her every day for staying with me and being the strong woman she is, because with Hootie & the Blowfish, I could be gone for three months and then I’d come home for two days and then I’d be gone again for a month, and she put up with all that crap. You know, her and country music saved my life.”
AUDIO: Before tying the knot with wife Cassady, Dierks Bentley says Valentine’s Day wasn’t always a pleasant holiday for him.
Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day) 1 OC: …want to. :19
“Well, before, as a single guy in the past, if you were dating someone, it’s that holiday that comes along where you have to really like stamp out on paper exactly where the relationship really stands. You don’t want to undershoot it ’cause then you’ll be in trouble, you know, if you don’t give the right present or don’t say the right things, you’re gonna be in the doghouse. But then if you overstate your hand, then you’re moving the relationship way faster than you actually want to.”
Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day) 2 OC: …could before. :27
“You get married and that’s a long-term, bigger image of what love can be. Then you have a child, and your heart gets spread so thin and it’s so vulnerable, like it’s a really tough, tough feeling, and it can kill you. It can really be painful at times, and at the same time, it’s so great. But it definitely stretches your heart…and it doesn’t change anything, it just makes your heart, I think it just makes it bigger. I think y6ou just find that you can love more than you ever thought you could before.”
AUDIO: Eric Church says his wife, Katherine, loves him “Like Jesus Does,” which also happens to be a song on his latest album, Chief.
Eric Church (Valentine’s Day) OC: …love song is. :48
“True love to me is when you love a person in spite of all their fallibilities, and for me, I have a lot of ‘em. I’m definitely at times hard to love, and that’s what’s great about Katherine and the way she loves me. She loves me in spite of those things and really for those things. That’s what’s so neat about the song is it’s not getting around those things, that’s a part of who the person is and it can be challenging at times, and that’s what the song talks about, but it’s what true love is. I think if you ask Katherine, I mean her favorite song on the record is ‘Like Jesus Does.’ Wonder why that is? [chuckles] But it’s something that I’m proud that it’s on the record. And again, I just think it’s a great, realistic version of what a true love song is.”
AUDIO: Keith Urban says love means being aware of each other even as the newness of the relationship wears off.
Keith Urban (Valentine’s Day) OC: …just me or… [laughs] :60
“I mean for me, I think a lot of it has to do with just staying present, because you know, when we start relationships, we’re so capable of honoring each other at the beginning off a relationship with cards and flowers and chocolates and attention and affection and priority. And then all of that all too many times starts to drift away, and it drifts away because it’s easy at the beginning. It just happens naturally. You’re almost overdoing it sometimes in the beginning. I was listening to the radio, [and] they’re talking about when is a relationship too soon to give Valentine’s gifts? [laughs] If you’ve been dating a guy six days, and it just started before the 14th…[laughs] and some woman said, ‘I was dating this guy three weeks and it was Valentine’s Day, and he gave me an iPad for Valentine’s Day.’ [laughs] That’s a ridiculous gift for Valentine’s Day. Is it just me, or…[laughs]”
AUDIO: Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, who eloped with wife Cassie nearly three years ago, says he and the rest of his happy bandmates write mostly about love.
Lady A (write about love) OC: …good spot. :09
“Obviously, what we usually write about revolves around love. We don’t know how to change the world. We write about love lost and love gained. Right now, we’re all in a really good spot.”
AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman says falling in love with her husband, Stephen Schlapman, came as a big surprise.
Little Big Town (Kimberly falling in love) OC: …healed me. 1:20
Kimberly: “Well, I wasn’t planning on falling in love, at all. I didn’t want to…I wasn’t sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friends. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did. But, he started calling me more than everybody else did [laughs]. We had both been through similar losses, he hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that. I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief, I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time. We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it. He says that, that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up which is just really sweet. I was shocked, I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. I just thought, OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird. But, eventually I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”
AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook had a chemistry performing together, but it wasn’t until they each found themselves single…at the same time…that sparks flew romantically. The pair, who wed in 2006, have a son, Elijah, who turns two March 5th.
Little Big Town (Jimi & Karen fell in love) OC: (Kimberly) …to be together. :48
JIMI: “We were in the band a long time before there was ever anything which is interesting. I think there was always something underlying there that we were kind of trying to ignore. And then when the opportunity came, when all of us, ended up single kind of at the same time, a very strange turn of events for the band in a lot of different ways. And those feelings, you were able to come out with them finally. It was like, we’re single. Let’s get together. And, you know, she has a beautiful heart and she’s absolutely gorgeous and I just love her dearly.”
PHILLIP: “Get a room!” [laughs]
KIMBERLY: “They’re a perfect match. They really are. They were meant to be together.”
AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet was ready for love when he met Rebecca, his wife of nearly five years.
Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17
“I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca. So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”
AUDIO: Luke Bryan says he was able to take his wife, Caroline, out ON Valentine’s Day last year, which hasn’t happened in years.
Luke Bryan (Valentine’s) OC: …really, really nice. :36
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and many of your favorite country artists want to send their wishes your way.
LINER Darius Rucker (Valentine’s Day)
“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
LINER Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day)
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
LINER Eric Church (Valentine’s Day)
“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
LINER Eric Paslay (Valentine’s Day)
“Hi! This is Eric Paslay, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
LINER Jon Pardi (Valentine’s Day)
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
LINER LBT (Valentine’s Day)
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
LINER Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day)
“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
Lady Antebellum took home the award for Best Country Album for Own the Night at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. The trio told the audience, and the Grammys, “Thanks for changing our lives last year,” referring to their massive wins at the Grammys in 2011.