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.
Twenty years into one of modern Country music’s most credible careers, multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley has his cowboy boot on the throttle towards his 10th studio album GRAVEL & GOLD, out February 24th. Penned by Casey Brown, Jordan Minton, Hunter Phelps and Bentley, fans can listen to the sharply-written new track “Cowboy Boots” featuring critically-acclaimed Ashley McBryde from the forthcoming album here.
“When I first really fell in love with Country music, Jim Beam and cowboy boots came along for the ride. I’ve had a few pair of boots over the years, many requiring duct tape at times. But, they’ve been my consistent and steady companion through this crazy ride,” said Bentley. “Not only does Ashley have one of the best voices in Country music, she also always rocked a pair of boots when we were on tour together last year. I wanted someone that I could authentically sing this song with, and I didn’t have to look any further than stage left. She’s the real deal.”
McBryde joined Bentley down at Lower Broadway’s iconic Robert’s Western World last week for his latest performance video from one Nashville’s most important music venues.
“Assembling a mix that spans contemporary Country” (Rolling Stone), GRAVEL & GOLD is a story of renewal, family, persistence and devotion to making the music as authentic and lasting as it can possibly be. From the “Country music staple” (Esquire), Bentley is set to release the diverse 14-track album of perspective and self-awareness, at many levels, from the personal to the professional. It’s also a testament to the many strains of Country music Bentley has mastered and cultivated in his career and fans can now pre-order GRAVEL & GOLD and access its first available tracks “Gold,” “High Note” feat. Billy Strings, “Same Ol’ Me” and now “Cowboy Boots” here.
The 10th album landmark speaks to how time has flown in Bentley’s unique, 21st-century career. He landed his first publishing deal in 2001 and released his debut album in 2003, producing an instant No. One single. The years since have revealed a rare consistency that’s fueled longevity – eight more albums that reached the top of the Country sales charts, resulting in 21 No. One songs, eight billion streams, three CMA Awards, 14 GRAMMY® nominations and membership into the Grand Ole Opry. Trendy sounds have ebbed and flowed around him over these two decades, but fans have relied on Bentley for something more nourishing and individual. He also has created professional endeavors outside of the music with his Flag & Anthem lifestyle collection Desert Son, along with his “Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row” franchise hosting four locations. It was recently announced that Bentley will headline the pre-race concert prior to the Daytona 500 (2/19). For more information visit www.Dierks.com.
Caylee Hammack is back with a fiery ultimatum with her new song “All or Nothing” available today here. Hammack co-wrote (Tofer Brown and Thomas Finchum) and co-produced (Dann Huff) the track that showcases Hammack’s bold vocals as she serves up a take it or leave it message.
“‘All Or Nothing’ has been persistently burning through my pocket since we wrote it, so I’m thankful it’s out!” shared Hammack. “This song felt fitting as the introduction to my second album coming later this year. Everybody loves a good old war cry for good love sometimes.”
Hammack will head overseas next month, bringing her universal sound to C2C Festival with performances slated in London, Dublin and Glasgow.
Hammack has previously brought her unforgettable live set to opening slots for Reba, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Trisha Yearwood, Brad Paisley, Brothers Osborne and some of country music’s biggest festivals.
Multi-platinum-selling recording artist Josh Turner is heading out on the “Long Black Train 20th Anniversary Tour,” in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Turner’s hit album, Long Black Train and the album’s second single of the same name, which were both certified Platinum by the RIAA. On May 19, the album Long Black Train will be released on vinyl for the first time, to coincide with the anniversary of the single’s original 2003 release date, and the special edition vinyl is available now for pre-order. Turner will also be featured on the nationally syndicated TV series, “The Song,” on Saturday, March 11. The episode will spotlight “Long Black Train,” the country gospel leaning signature song written while attending Belmont University in Nashville. Turner walks the campus and revisits the very locations that inspired the song. Tickets for Turner’s tour, which launches March 4 in Dothan, AL, are available now at joshturner.com.
“I wrote this song during my senior year at Belmont University, and I remember thinking to myself, no one is going to want to hear this old timey gospel song. Thankfully, God placed a few folks in my life that thought differently and here we are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of ‘Long Black Train,’” says Turner. “I credit this song with landing me my first publishing deal, my record deal and my first Opry performance. A lot of folks think that this was my first single, but it was actually my second. I was hesitant when the label suggested it be the next single, nothing else on the radio sounded like it. I don’t know where I’d be today without this song and so we named the tour for this 20th anniversary and will be celebrating all year long.”
PREORDER LONG BLACK TRAIN ON VINYL | HERE
“LONG BLACK TRAIN 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR” DATES
|3/4||Dothan, AL||The Plant|
|3/6||Plant City, FL||Florida Strawberry Festival 2023|
|3/24||Tuscon, AZ||Rialto Theatre|
|3/25||Wickenburg, AZ||Party in the Desert|
|4/13||Lancaster, PA||American Music Theatre|
|4/14||Jim Thorpe, PA||Penn’s Peak|
|5/5||Hot Springs, AR||Oaklawn Racing Casino|
|6/3||Pender, NE||Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska|
|6/9||Nelsonville, OH||Black Diamond Music & Arts Festival|
|6/10||Renfro Valley, KY||Renfro Valley Entertainment Center|
|6/16||Prestonsburg, KY||Mountain Arts Center|
|6/17||Romeoville, IL||Deer Crossing Park|
|7/1||N. Myrtle Beach, SC||Alabama Theatre|
|7/2||Simpsonville, SC||Simply Freedom Fest|
|7/15||Breim, Norway||Norsk Countrytreff 2023|
|7/22||West Liberty, IA||Muscatine County Fair|
|8/4||Colorado Springs, CO||Pikes Peak Center|
|8/5||Sterling, CO||Logan County Fairgrounds|
|8/10||Grants Pass, OR||Josephine County Fairgrounds|
|8/11||John Day, OR||Grant County Fairgrounds|
|8/12||Oroville, CA||Gold Country Casino|
|8/18||Valley Center, CA||Harrah’s Resort|
|8/24||Princeton, IL||Bureau County Fairgrounds|
|8/25||Watseka, IL||Watseka Family Festival|
|9/23||Columbus, MN||Running Aces Casino|
|**Additional dates to be announced|