Some said this moment would never happen. But in spite of 30 wasted years
and countless bad decisions, the ’90s influenced country band Hot Country Knights has
come riding in to save Country music from itself, after signing a worldwide recording deal
with Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN). The Knights promise to bring real ’90s
Country music back to a format that’s been drowning in male sensitivity, cashmere
Famous for never giving up on the dream of the ‘90s, the Knights spent the last few
decades watching as country morphed from a proudly vigorous genre into something
almost unrecognizable. But lead singer Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason, lead bass player
Trevor Travis, lead guitarist Marty Ray (“Rayro”) Roburn, keytar/fiddle player Terotej
(“Terry”) Dvoraczekynski, steel guitarist Barry Van Ricky and percussionist Monte
Montgomery have the antidote as The K Is Silent puts the “T” back in country.
“Some artists out there tried to put the ‘O’ back in country, that was a thing for a while….
but what it’s really missing is the ‘T,’” band leader Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason said.
“Country music has Low-T right now…it could use a pick me up, if you know what I mean.
Those record label people over at Universal finally realized that only the Knights could be
up to a task this big and hard.”
With a forthcoming project built on the bounding rhythms and bright, organic euphoria of
live Country music – with truly gratifying lyrics. The Knights are adamant about the fact
they could have done it themselves. Instead, they allowed longtime admirer Dierks
Bentley to produce – a partnership born from a deep sense of man-to-man pity.
“Boy he sucks, basically,” says lead guitarist Rayro. “I didn’t want to have to be the one
to say it, but we’re helping him out, let’s just be clear there.”
“When [Dierks] first moved to town he was struggling, and he saw us crushing a big
venue,” Douglason adds, although he can’t recall which Hooters’ parking lot it was. “We
inspired him, so he thinks he’s paying us back in some way by offering to produce us –
but we all know what’s really going on here. He’s trying to grab onto the old mullet and
ride it as hard as he can.”
Despite Bentley’s involvement, the Knights emerged with a collection they predict will
have fans lined up around their local Tower Records and Sam Goody locations, with the
first single “Pick Her Up” featuring Travis Tritt to get the action started.
A classic barnstormer featuring rollicking guitar solos and a freewheeling guest
appearance by ‘90s icon Travis Tritt, it’s a sound the band has dubbed “Hot Country
Knights 101.” “We wanted to introduce our fans to what actual, real country music is,”
Douglason explains. “None of that snap-track shit that’s out there now. So this is just
straight ahead, balls-to-the-wall slapping out that tempo.”
Other unforgettable moments include the modern-day drifter’s lament, “Asphalt,” a
touching ballad about the band’s curve-hugging motivation. As dedicated road warriors,
they’ve basically lived out of a van their entire existence – even when they weren’t
“The road calls and you answer,” says the Russian born Terry. “You go town to town, you
meet pretty lady, share boiled-rabbit soup, glass of wine, and then you must move on to
next town. It’s just the way it is.”
“It’s really well rounded,” Douglason says of the track’s ample emotional cushion. “It’s a
tender song, and my mom loves it.”
“We’re just keeping it ‘90s, the way it’s supposed to be,” says Travis, the band’s lead bass
player and sometimes co-lead singer.
After all this time, some may ask “Why now?” It comes down to something much more …
substance. According to the band, they couldn’t just sit back and watch Country let its
proud heritage droop and sag.
“See, we were out on the road singing a lot of other people’s hits, and we called
them Greatest Hits because by us singing them, it made them great,” Douglason
explains. “But this is a step beyond our Greatest Hits. This is all original material, and it’s
the best stuff to come out of Nashville since like, 1999. I’m excited for the fans to hear it.”
“And I’m excited for them to buy it,” Rayro adds.
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— RODEOHOUSTON (@RODEOHOUSTON) September 29, 2022
Parker is currently making his way up the country charts with his latest single, “Handle On You.”
Mr. Sun, the 10th studio album from ACM, CMA and GRAMMY Award-winning band Little Big Town and released September 16, officially debuts as the Top Country Album by a group in 2022 in addition to taking the No. 1 spot as Current Country Album in pure album sales. The album also marks the band’s seventh debut in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart. Listen to Mr. Sun here.
The album’s lead single “Hell Yeah” hits its highest peak on Billboard’s Country Streaming Songs Chart for the week of October 1, with more than 4.5 million streams during album release week alone. The song has amassed more than 60 million streams to date since its April release.
Mr. Sun has received both fan and critical praise alike, including The New York Times hailing it “a sweeping record” and MusicRow declaring it “the band’s most unique and universal project to date.” Rolling Stone calls it “smooth and sweet, with just the right undercurrent of sadness,” with production that feels “spacious and golden.”
PEOPLE highlights that “the album arrives with all the attributes that are long-established LBT trademarks: the sublime vocal blends, the sumptuous production, the subtle influences of other legendary harmonizers like the Eagles and the Bee Gees… Add to that the evocative songwriting… and a full spectrum of musical moods … Also at the forefront is music that speaks to what matters most to the quartet — love, family and friendship.”
American Songwriter additionally observed that “inside the record, notes reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles ring out, but they’re all tailored to Little Big Town’s country expertise.”
Billboard singles out the album’s “swelling” closing track “Friends of Mine,” as a “benediction to finding the collective strength to persevere through tough times,” while Rolling Stone further ties it to the full record: “Like much of Mr. Sun, it feels like a warm embrace from a loved one.”
Little Big Town spent all summer bringing their exceptional live shows to fans worldwide – they recently wrapped up The Bandwagon Tour with Miranda Lambert and joined The Eagles on all dates of their European stadium tour this summer. Next month, Little Big Town will join Wynonna Judd on select dates of The Judds: The Final Tour in Duluth, GA (October 14) and Huntsville, AL (October 15). For more news, tour dates, and information, please visit www.LittleBigTown.com.
LBT (Mr. Sun) OC: …studio record. 1:13
KAREN: “’Mr. Sun’ is the title track of the record, and it’s a song that we didn’t write. Sarah Buxton and Daniel Tashian wrote this song. Daniel sent it to me one day and when I heard it, I was like ‘Wow,’ there’s the title of the record you know, we were trying to find something that really encapsulated the whole vibe of the record, and ‘Mr. Sun,’ although it sounds like it’s gonna be a happy song, it’s actually a very melancholy song, and beautiful guitar work on this song and kinda old school 70s harmonies, but it’s a song about asking sun not to shine because his girl is gone and he can’t take it today, and we really loved the way that fit in the whole like sunnier vibe of what this whole record is about. You got your ‘Rich Man’ and ‘Friends of Mine’ and these songs that really remind us of things that are important in life and also you know heartache is a part of it as well and learning to let go, so that’s the way that ‘Mr. Sun’ fits in on being the title track of our tenth studio record.”
Multi-Platinum MCA Nashville hitmaker Jordan Davis wrapped his headlining dates at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium last night, playing to a packed house of fans and industry during two back-to-back sold-out shows on Tuesday and Wednesday evening. The shows marked the chart-topping singer/songwriter’s first headlining dates at the famed venue. The energy was palpable in the room as Davis shared his excitement over the evening, noting, “I moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2012. I never dreamed this in a million years.” He added, “I moved to town to write songs because I love country music… next thing you know, I’m standing at a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium.” Each show featured special guests, with Danielle Bradberry surprising the crowd to perform their new duet, “Midnight Crisis,” at Tuesday night’s show and Seaforth joining Davis on stage for a song Wednesday evening. Photos from the shows are available HERE.
Davis – who has garnered multiple CMA, ACM, CMT and iHeart nominations and has earned four #1’s on Country radio to date – is currently a multi-nominee at the upcoming 56th CMA Awards, with his chart-topping single, “Buy Dirt” (feat. Luke Bryan), up for both Single of the Year and Song of the Year. One of the top 5 most-streamed songs of 2021, “Buy Dirt” recently won the NSAI Award for Song of the Year on the Ryman stage. As noted by MusicRow, Davis shared with the crowd at this week’s headlining show, “The coolest moment that I’ve ever had in music happened on this stage about a week ago. In Nashville, we have the NSAI Awards and this next song that my brother [Jacob Davis], Matt Jenkins, Josh Jenkins and myself wrote won the NSAI Song of the Year,” he said as the band started to play “Buy Dirt.” “I can’t tell y’all how special the day was when we sat down and wrote this song just south of Nashville,” he continued. “We wanted to write a song about the three most important things in our lives: our faith in Jesus Christ, our family, and our friends.”
In addition to playing hits from his debut album Home State and Buy Dirt EP, Davis also performed new music, including his current single, “What My World Spins Around.” Since its TV debut on NBC’s TODAY and performance on ACM Honors, “What My World Spins Around” has garnered 90 million global streams and is currently climbing at Country Radio. Having amassed more than 3.7 BILLION career streams to date, Davis has been hard at work on his forthcoming album, recently releasing his latest preview of new music from the project with the track “Midnight Crisis” feat. Danielle Bradberry. Produced by Paul DiGiovanni and penned by Davis, DiGiovanni and Derrick Southerland, “Midnight Crisis” follows Davis’ fan-favorite song “Next Thing You Know.” In addition to the sold-out Ryman shows and headlining dates across the country, Davis is currently on the road with Luke Combs for his Middle of Somewhere Tour and will join Thomas Rhett early next year for the international leg of his Bring the Bar To You Tour. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit jordandavisofficial.com/tour.
About Jordan Davis:
A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Jordan Davis recently scored his fourth No. 1 hit, Double-Platinum “Buy Dirt” (feat. Luke Bryan) from his 2021 EP, co-writing every track on the eight-song project apart from the John Prine-inspired “Blow Up Your TV.” Davis previously notched three consecutive No. 1 hits: Platinum-Certified “Slow Dance In A Parking Lot,” Double Platinum-Certified “Singles You Up” and Platinum-Certified “Take It From Me,” each featured on his Gold-Certified debut album, Home State. Awarded Best New Country Artist at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards, he is a two-time nominee for ACM New Male Artist of the Year and was named Billboard’s Top New Country Artist of 2018. Davis has amassed 3.7 BILLION streams worldwide and appeared on Ellen, Good Morning America, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, TODAY and more. He has previously toured with artists including Kane Brown, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, Old Dominion and more.