It’s been one of those weeks. Very cold last week to yesterday which was almost shorts weather. It will be snowing again next week.
We had the Brits, with the disgraceful cutting of Adele and her acceptance speech. The director should never work again! I really like James Corden but why is he presenting a music awards show?
This is a video for Reba McEntire’s massive hit, Does He Love You, a duet with Linda Davis, who happens to be the mother of Hilary Scott of Lady Antebellum. http://youtu.be/FUP9DnurODw
Reba is country’s biggest and probably most powerful artist. Drive down Music Row in Nashville and her company’s building, Starstruck, is amongst the biggest, next to ASCAP and SoNY.
This weekend sees what is claimed to be the first country music festival in the UK for twenty years. It’s actually a one day concert and will do nothing to enhance the reputation of country music in the UK.
Little Big Town’s gorgeous Bring It On Home – http://youtu.be/8l4AC5rUSUo
Headlined by Reba the only other truly contemporary artists are the wonderful Little Big Town as above and Lonestar. I feel that Bob Harris should organise and compere a concert as he is Mr. Country in the UK, presenting new artists weekly on his radio show. This Sunday’s show will not attract any new fans.
KINGS OF LEON
The music out of Nashville at the moment is diversified – Kings of Leon, Lady Antebellum, Kesha, Paramore, A Band named Perry and of course Taylor Swift plus the many many brilliant songwriters who write the songs that make the whole world sing (written by the way not by Barry Manilow but by the wonderful and underrated Bruce Johnston, and first covered by David Cassidy).
Here’s David’s version, produced by Bruce – http://youtu.be/l86u5PUttiQ
The key in Nashville and indeed anywhere is perseverance and honest commitment. I saw a tweet from the wonderful Ed Sheeran this morning saying he leaves today for a tour that takes him away until at least through the summer. (He’s actually opening up for Snow Patrol in Nashville in early April at the Ryman – CJ might be going, Courtney definitely is, sure to be a great show).
You can’t ‘play’ at a career just to feed an ego, make you feel you’re ‘in the business’. Money can not buy talent either, or any real success. It’s a full time job, you have to work damn hard, 24/7, networking, promoting yourself, building on foundations, and have the honest passion and drive to get your talent out there, and of course, a true belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself no-one else is going to.
Gretchen Peters and John Young are just two perfect examples of this, and they are both lovely, genuine people too.
Check out Gretchen’s new CD – here’s the outstanding title track Hello Cruel World http://youtu.be/KF9py2kI01M
Gretchen’s biggest successes are Independence Day (Martina Mcbride) and On A Bus to St. Cloud (Trisha Yearwood), She tours consistently, blogs, tweets and networks, a perfect example.
John has a who’s who in rock pedigree – Asia, Bon Jovi, Paul Rodgers, The Scorpions, Bonnie Tyler’s keyboard player for years, and yet he still comes up with innovative ideas for promoting shows, he plays relentlessly, solo or with his band, never gives up. Here’s one of my favourite songs of his, Insignificance – http://youtu.be/k2arsYQSjoc
There are two new albums available on iTunes from Warners, featuring the original versions and demos by the songwriters of songs you will know, made ‘famous’ by established artists.
It’s Oscar weekend and the nominees are all practising their ‘I haven’t won but I’m sooooo pleased for the winner!’ look. I’m not going to predict but there are a couple of independent films worth consideration – Drive, Take Shelter, Margin Call and Martha Mercy May Marlene. Okay, out of the bigger films if I had to make a prediction I’d go for the Artist to win big and The Descendents.
To close, here is the opening five minutes from one of my all time favourite films, Rita, Sue and Bob too, with the wonderful George Costigan and a great theme song – if you’ve never seen this film try and do so this weekend – gritty, funny and pure brilliance. http://youtu.be/gGqh0jyGnBQ