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.
Priscilla Block has announced dates for her Welcome to the Block Party World Tour, which follows her first headlining U.S. dates where she sold out 11 of 14 shows during the tour’s initial run. Priscilla is one of Country music’s most exciting new artists who has been taking the music world by storm since her RIAA Gold-certified “Just About Over You” captured audiences via TikTok. Since then, her undeniable voice and candid lyrics have cultivated a loyal fanbase and her debut album, Welcome to the Block Party (Mercury Nashville), has garnered her an ACM Award nomination for New Female Artist of the Year, quickly followed by another nomination for Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2022 CMT Awards.
“I’m beyond blown away at the success of my first headlining tour!” says Block. “I’m still such a new Artist and it’s a little scary to go out and play on your own, but the fans have shown up all Spring, and I couldn’t be more grateful! I love being able to play my full album and bring all the deep cuts to life on stage. We got sassy with it, we got trashy with it, baby! I absolutely loved being able to elaborate on my own stories and where I’ve come from to my fans.”
Since hitting the road, Priscilla has been meeting countless fans who keep showing up to the Block party! Her hit songs like “Just About Over You,” “Wish You Were the Whiskey,” the body-positive anthem, “Thick Thighs,” and current radio single, “My Bar,” have fans singing every word in packed venues from Atlanta, GA to Columbia, MO.
Now, the rising singer-songwriter is gearing up for her first-ever headlining dates overseas.
“The US Tour was such a success, we’ve decided to take this thing overseas!” says Block. “I had the opportunity to play C2C this year and it was unreal. I can’t wait to get back to Europe and show everyone what the full Block Party is all about!”
Tickets for the Welcome to the Block Party World Tour will be available for purchase on Friday, May 20th at 10:00am BST / 4:00am CST.
Welcome to the Block Party World Tour Dates:
8.22.22 Glasgow, UK King Tuts Tickets Here
8.24.22 London, UK Lexington Tickets Here
8.26.22 Leicestershire, UK The Long Road Festival Tickets Here
8.27.22 Leicestershire, UK The Long Road Festival Tickets Here
8.29.22 Dublin, IRE Workman’s Tickets Here
This summer, Priscilla will make her debut performing during Nashville’s famed CMA Music Fest and will also appear as a special guest on select dates with Country star, Jon Pardi. Fans can also see Priscilla at the upcoming Boots & Hearts Festival in Ontario, Canada on August 7th as she joins the all-star line-up including Shania Twain, Lindsey Ell, Tyler Rich, among many others. Tickets for the Boots & Hearts Festival can be found here.
Keith Urban appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, marking his 20th appearance on her wildly popular daytime talk show, his first being in 2004. He also gave an intimate performance of his No. 1 song, “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Following his performance, his gave her the guitar on which he wrote a long note thanking her for her friendship and support over the years. Keith’s wife Nicole Kidman also signed the guitar, as well.
Keith is making his way to the top of the country charts with his latest song, “Wild Hearts.”
The Design Network has announced a brand new show featuring multi-Platinum music star, Darius Rucker. “Rucker’s Reno” follows the three-time GRAMMY winner as he revives a historic mansion in the heart of his Charleston, S.C. hometown, turning a vacant city landmark into a modern treasure for his family to enjoy.
“Rucker’s Reno” stares history in the face, exploring how the American South has evolved since the days of slavery, and has since offered a more equitable and inspiring narrative for locals – through the creative lens of home design. The entire new six-part series from The Design Network is available early to viewers now on Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free video streaming platform, before rolling out to other services on May 30th.
With an eye for design and innate love of Charleston, Darius and his team tackle the restoration of this home one room at a time, while also stopping by some of the city’s finest establishments. Together with the series’ Title Sponsor, South Carolina Tourism, Rucker showcases the best parts of Charleston’s vibrant culture, meeting up with local chefs, entrepreneurs, fishermen and friends as he highlights some of the top attractions in the area, from generations of tea growers to the many outdoor activities this city by the sea has to offer.
“We are thrilled to have been entrusted to tell this story and work with Darius and his amazing design team,” said Jason Harris, founder and CEO of The Design Network. “It’s a big moment for our burgeoning network. It’s the perfect project, with the perfect person at the perfect time.’
“It’s always an honor when I get to showcase my hometown of Charleston to the world, and I’m thankful to The Design Network for such a great platform to do just that,” Darius Rucker said. “The team on this project was so talented and made it such a fun, creative process from start to finish. I can’t wait for everyone to see the transformation!”
“We know our viewers love all things design and culture, which makes Samsung TV Plus the perfect place for ‘Rucker’s Reno’ to arrive first,” said Takashi Nakano, senior director of content acquisitions and business development for Samsung TV Plus. “We are excited to partner with The Design Network and bring Darius’ inspirational story set in the beautiful city of Charleston to our viewers.”
Join Darius Rucker as he transforms his home from the inside out and becomes your private guide to Charleston, S.C. “Rucker’s Reno” premieres on all platforms Monday, May 30th at 8/7 p.m. CT on The Design Network, with an exclusive series run on Samsung TV Plus beginning today, May 16th.
Click here to read an interview with Darius about the project with Architectural Digest.