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Five Best Surprises We Saw at Old Dominion & Friends

Kenny Chesney

We caught up with lead singer Matthew Ramsey before Old Dominion’s performance on the televised CMA Fest special last month, and he had nothing but the highest of compliments for friend and mentor Kenny Chesney. There’s a lot to learn from the world class entertainer when building your live show in front of massive crowds on multiple stadium tours the last few years. It’s hard to describe just how loud the Ryman became when Chesney stepped out to sing “Save It for a Rainy Day” with Matthew, Brad, Trevor, Geoff and Whit – but as big of a surprise it was, it made sense that he would be there to help celebrate such a memorable night for the band. After all, it was Matthew and Brad who penned the song which would go on to become a smash hit off Chesney’s 2014 album, The Big Revival.

Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey and Kelsea Ballerini

Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey and Kelsea Ballerini; Photo Credit: Mason Allen

Kelsea Ballerini 

One of the best surprises of the night was when Kelsea Ballerini joined the guys to finish the end of “Written in the Sand,” one of their most successful releases to date. Ballerini, knowing a thing or two about number one songs, added a sassy dose of personality, representing for the ladies of country music. We were all excited when we learned she would be sticking around for a second song, and the sing-a-long continued when she jumped into “I Hate Love Songs,” co-written with Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen and Shane McAnally.

Michael Ray and Old Dominion's Matthew Ramsey

Michael Ray and Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey; Photo Credit: Mason Allen

Michael Ray

Next out of the wings was Michael Ray, who we feel lucky enough to have seen back-to-back nights already this week. Only in Nashville! Ray is currently hitting the road as an opener for Old Dominion out on the Happy Endings World Tour, and we got a preview of that stellar lineup right here at the Mother Church. “Probably the nicest guy in country music right now,” Ramsey said as he welcomed Ray to the stage to perform his latest single, “One That Got Away.” Featuring Ramsey as one of the writers, the song clearly ended up in the right hands as Ray continues to make a splash at country radio with this total jam.

Sam Hunt and Old Dominion;s Matthew Ramsey

Sam Hunt and Old Dominion;s Matthew Ramsey; Photo Credit: Mason Allen

Sam Hunt

And last, but certainly not least, the final Old Dominion friend to raise the roof right off the Ryman was none other than Sam Hunt himself. “I was writing songs with these guys before any of us had record deals,” Hunt shared as he reflected on his longstanding friendship with the band. “Make You Miss Me” did incredible things for Hunt’s career off his 2014 debut album, Montevallo, and he looked no further than Ramsey when it came time to sit down and write it. The song (paired with a follow up performance of “Ex To See”) really came to life in front of us Tuesday night, and we were all reminded just how powerful collaboration can be when you combine just the right amounts of talent, drive and impeccable storytelling.

(L-R) Whit Sellers, Brad Tursi, Matthew Ramsey, Sally Williams, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung; Photo Credit: Mason Allen

The Hits, ALL of the Hits

Well, it’s no surprise that the set list covered the band’s entire catalog of hits. But how could we not include them?! From the opening notes of “Song For Another Time” at the top of the show to the crowd-wide sing-a-long to “Snapback” during the encore, it was an on your feet, know all the words, special kind of homecoming for Old Dominion and fans alike. “Hotel Key” reminded everyone that there’s always an important place in the arc of a show for a summertime, feel good jam, “Nowhere Fast” nearly opened the flood gates as the band felt the weight of playing on such a legendary stage, “Stars in the City” highlighted their flawless harmonies, and “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart” proved that clapping along will never go out of style. Some things are simply effortless, and the way lead singer Matthew Ramsey delivers a lyric is enough to make anyone a believer – even when he tells you to “rip it off like a Band-Aid,” you should probably just go ahead and break up with whoever he or she is… I mean, the guy seems to know what he’s talking about.

Dustin Lynch Inducted into Grand Ole Opry by Reba

Dustin Lynch Inducted into Grand Ole Opry by Reba McEntire

The Grand Ole Opry was abuzz with excitement on Tuesday, Sept. 18 as the famed institution prepared to induct the newest member into its organization. Surrounded by family and friends, Dustin Lynch was a bundle of nerves and anticipation as he awaited his moment in the spotlight. “I’m excited and anxious to get out there and celebrate and looking forward to just seeing all the faces out there–all the smiling faces,” Lynch said ahead of his induction. “I’m hoping I can sing and put on a decent performance and not get too lost in celebrating on stage. I just took it all in, that’s really what I’ve been telling myself the last few weeks, since I was invited, is just to be in the moment with the moment, enjoy, and enjoy the memories.”

Having his friends and family in from nearby Tullahoma (Lynch’s hometown) was a dream come true for the “Good Girl” singer, but the icing on the cake was when a legendary icon came out to surprise him for his induction. That singer was none other than Reba McEntire, longtime Opry member and Lynch’s celebrity crush. Reba began her presentation by sharing that 41 years and one day ago, she made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch; Photo courtesy of Grand Ole Opry, LLC/Chris Hollo, Photographer

Wrapping an arm around his shoulders, she continued, “I know this means a lot to you,” she said, before wiping away tears. “Welcome to this family. It’s wonderful. The first time I ever went to the Ryman Auditorium, I was seven years old. And, I thought then, it’s such an institution. And what these folks have done for us, they have paved the way, and now it’s our job to pave the way for the ones that are sitting out in the audience or listening on the radio or watching us when we perform each night. When they say they want to do what you do, what I do, we’re paving the way like Minnie, Roy, Porter, and all the greats before us paved the way for us. Congratulations and welcome to one of the best families in the world.” The sentiment of family was echoed throughout the evening, with Lynch recalling the numerous calls and texts he received when it was revealed he’d join the hallowed institution.

Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch; Photo courtesy of Grand Ole Opry, LLC/Chris Hollo, Photographer

“I got back to my phone after it happened and social media is a beautiful thing. I had eighty text messages from when it happened to when I got back to my phone,” Lynch recalled of his invitation. “A lot of the members, believe it or not, that I’ve become friends with over the years. I hate to start naming names ’cause I’m gonna forget some people, but Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley, Chris [Janson], were a few of the names. I think that hit me right away that night. It’s just very cool. I know I’m forgetting some because it was just, still is a blur… And it just puts a smile on your face whenever the craziness of it all is coming down that those guys and girls are truly happy for me and welcoming me.” Lynch was  first invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in August, when fellow member Trace Adkins surprised him onstage.

Frank Foster longs for home in new song ‘Til I’m Gone’

Frank Foster Longs for Home in New Song ”Til I’m Gone’

Though he’s spent many years out on the road playing his music, Frank Foster admits there’s nothing quite like being home. In the title track of his upcoming album, the Louisiana native sings longingly about the life he lived before embarking on his musical journey.

“I was born to ramble and born to run still I can’t forget where I come from / and all them good ole folks that raised me / that kept me covered in the prayers that saved me / Yeah you can paint me rolling along but when this here guitar runs out of songs / I’ll be south bound and down, headed home / to them old stompin’ grounds that i grew up on where my soul belongs / ’til the good Lord calls me home and I’m gone,” he sings in the chorus.

“‘’Til I’m Gone’ is just one of those songs for all my fans that have followed my career forever. I’ve got a lot of songs about the longing for home and wanting to be back there and loving the way that I grew up. ‘’Til I’m Gone’ is just another one of those songs, kind of brought to you in a different way,” Foster explains in an exclusive preview of the track with Sounds Like Nashville.

“It’s just about, you know, when this music thing, wherever it takes us or how long it goes, when it’s over with, I’ll gladly go back to where I come from and be just as satisfied as I am today being back there because I love where I grew up,” he continues. “I love where I come from. I love the people and the way of life where I grew up, so you can put me back there til I’m gone and this is all over with.”

The song is the title track for Foster’s upcoming album. Each of the album’s tracks was written by the singer himself, making an even deeper connection with fans who relate to the songs. Take a listen to the track above.

Jack Blanchard: Will Campbell’s Last Email To Me

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

Will Campbell’s Last Email To Me

Will was a Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Comedian, Cartoonist, Fireman and a Soldier. We lost our friend on Sept 14th. 2018

Here’s an email Will sent me….. “Hey, Jack………..

“Actually, I didn’t really want to go to Korea  because I’m not as brave and manly as I look.
But duty called, and I gladly went  after my government threatened to jail me If I didn’t.
My motto was…’Join the army, meet interesting people, and kill them.’
“There were three of us who went Into the army at the same time:
me and the two MP’s who were dragging me! I was so excited.

“One of the first things I did in Korea was go for my physical checkup.
They wanted to find out If I was healthy enough to get shot and killed.
My days in Korea were all about the same…Shoot somebody you didn’t know…
and they would shoot you In return, and say things like ‘Go Home Yankee.’
I would usually respond with ‘Oh, Yeah…Make Me.’
This would really make them mad.

“The commanding officer told me that I was being returned to the states
because none of the men liked my guitar playing or singing.
When I finally got home from Korea,
I was totally ignored and dehumanized,
and made to feel unnecessary, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
*      *      *
Will Campbell sat in Tootsie’s Lounge in Nashville.
Archie Campbell (No relation.) came in and sat next to him.
Archie said, “How’re ya doin’?” Will said, “Kinda tired of sitting on this stool.”
Archie said, “I have just the thing for you”, and put a pill on the bar.
Will said, “Pain Pill?” Archie said, “No. A stool softener.”
Archie took Will for a tour of the Ryman Auditorium.
Will went to the front of the stage and sang to the empty house.
He finally sang at the Opry.
*      *      *
Will told me, “When someone cuts me off in traffic,
I roll down my window and yell “YOUR SHOE’S UNTIED!”

Will said. “I leave you with this thought…
Betsy Ross said to George Washington,
‘So you don’t care for red, white, and chartreuse?'”
*      *      *
I wish I had called him more.

Jack Blanchard

© 2009, 2018.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Kelsea Ballerini: Living Her Best 13-Year-Old Life

Kelsea Ballerini Living Her Best 13 Year Old Life

“Now This,” She Shared About the Kelly Clarkson Tour Invite

Kelsea Ballerini started prepping for this tour since July 23, 2005. That was the day Kelly Clarkson brought her Hazel Eyes Tour the Memorial Civic Coliseum to Knoxville, Tenn. And in the crowd that night 13 years ago was a teenage Ballerini, who made her mind up that Clarkson’s life onstage was going to be her life someday.

She made that happen, and now, she is going to join her music muse on the road for her Meaning of Life Tour. “I saw @kelly_clarkson on her Behind These Hazel Eyes tour when I was 13 and it solidified my dream of being an artist. Now this. Feeling so beyond lucky to warm the stage up for my favorite artist next year,” Ballerini shared on social media on Friday (Sept. 14). Ballerini will open for Clarkson on 19 of the dates, starting with the Jan. 24 kick-off show in California and wrapping up on Mar. 30 in South Carolina.

 – CMT 2018

Garth Brooks Sells Over 84,000 Tickets in 3 Hours

Garth Brooks Sells Over 84,000 Tickets in Less Than 3 Hours for Notre Dame Show

Tickets for Garth Brooks’ first-ever concert at Notre Dame Stadium went on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Sept. 14. Less than three hours later, more than 84,000 tickets have been sold for $98.95, which is more than $8 million. “Just when you think you have seen it all as an entertainer, today happens,” said Garth. “I can’t wait to see all of you in October.” Garth’s concert will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. ET.

 – NashCountryDaily

Kristin Chenoweth Spotlight’s Her Country Roots

Kristin Chenoweth to Shine Spotlight on Her Country Roots

“It’s how I was raised singing It’s always been a huge part of who I am.” With Nashville Symphony Show

Kristin Chenoweth’s astounding voice and stage presence have awarded her an illustrious career as one of Broadway’s most respected stars. Always an avid lover of theatre, the native Oklahoman was also raised with country music in her blood, as her older brother “wore out” Garth Brooks and Randy Travis records, while Chenoweth herself couldn’t get enough of Dolly Parton, Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood. She’s eager to bring her love of the genre centerstage during her three-night performance with the Nashville Symphony in September. “I always say I don’t think country and Broadway are that different. There are a lot of story songs when you think about it,” she tells Sounds Like Nashville via a phone call from Los Angeles. “It’s how I was raised singing. It’s always been a huge part of who I am.”

Like her artistic passions of Broadway and country music, Chenoweth has a gift for telling stories. Whether blowing audiences away with her original portrayal of Glinda in Wicked, or adding a charming presence to starring roles in Pushing Daises and Trial & Error, Chenoweth knows how to embody character and story alike. She demonstrates this on her debut country album Some Lessons Learned,which allowed her to call herself a Nashville resident for five months while recording the project in 2011, writing alongside some of the industry’s most sought out talent including Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, Shane McAnally, Tom Douglas and Desmond Child, to name a few. “If I could live anywhere else and be happy, it’d probably be there. Nashville is very familiar and close to home to me,” the Midwestern-raised singer reflects. “There’s something very comfortable and familiar to me about the people and how people are and get along and treat each other. I remember walking down Broadway and listening to all the musicians and everybody killing it all the time.”

The expert level of musicianship she witnessed on Broadway is reminiscent of her days in Nashville as a bright 18-year-old performing as a cast member at the adored Opryland amusement park. The future Broadway extraordinaire starred as a singer and dancer in the “Way Out West” show with famed Opry musicians as her peers. It was during this transformative time she learned the value of mentorship and how to pace herself as an entertainer, soaking in all types of musical experiences. “It was a great experience and it was an important one for me to have to understand what it’s like to be a team and in theatre and do music,” she says genuinely. “I loved it.”

Chenoweth will put this appreciation for Music City on display when she performs for the third time with the Nashville Symphony, offering fans a night of famous theatre numbers such as her signature “Popular” from Wicked, “I Could Have Danced All Night” in My Fair Lady and the legendary “Over the Rainbow.” While she’ll offer a healthy dose of musical theatre that blends opera with classical music and even some gospel, the impeccable vocalist also promises surprises along the way, hinting that she’ll be bringing special guests to the stage each night. “I’m going to pay tribute to the people that I grew up singing in Nashville. I think that’s important,” she says.

Nashville is a city that attracts dreamers, and Chenoweth knows firsthand what it’s like to chase a dream. She realized one of her many aspirations when she came full performed on the Grand Ole Opry, an experience she “respected” and “honored” deeply while recording her country record. Through her experiences in Nashville, the star recognizes the impact the city’s energy has on her artistry. “As an artist on a more personal level, the word ‘freedom’ comes to mind,” she says regarding how Nashville brings out a different side of her. “I feel like I can relax a little bit, even musically. I might even take more of a risk there because I think it’s so filled with artistry and people appreciate the risk-taking. When I’m there, I want to be a better artist.”

Kristin Chenoweth performs with the Nashville Symphony Sept. 27-29.

Jack Blanchard: “Back In My Day” By Uncle Goopy.

Thousands of intelligent good-looking readers.

“BACK IN MY DAY” By Uncle Goopy

You kids are a bunch of sissies.
Back in my day we didn’t have hurricanes.
We just had storms called “What the hell was that?!”

Our houses didn’t blow apart.
They were held together by mold, mildew, and asbestos.
And we LOVED it!

We never wore helmets when we rode our bicycles,
and our bikes were seven feet high and made out of lead.
We fell directly on our heads and were damn proud of it!
You young folks have to wear a helmet when you eat peanuts.

We didn’t have rocks.
We had to take the laundry down to the creek
and beat it against our heads.

We couldn’t afford shoes.
In the winter we wrapped our feet in barbed wire for traction.

When I was a kid we ate nothing but gluten.
Fried gluten, baked or boiled gluten.
At breakfast we all said, “Gluten morgen!”
My dad thought we were German.”

We didn’t have sex back then. We had neckin’.
If we did have sex, they’d have told me.

My Aunt Maude could jump three feet straight up,
without bending her knees.
You don’t see talent like that these days.

I just yelled “You kids get off my lawn!”
Then I noticed they were seniors on their own lawn.
They gave me the finger and I thought they were saluting the flag,
so I stood up.

So, listen all you youngsters: 
eat a peanut, sniff some mold,
take off your knee pads,
and wear a lead watch.
You’ll LOVE it!

I hope I can get this childproof cap off my Viagra.

Love,
Uncle Goopy.

Jack Blanchard

© 2009, 2018.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan… 
Home Page: http://www.jackandmisty.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackandmisty
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists.
© Jack Blanchard, 2018.

Jake Owen Gets Rowdy in Down to the Honkytonk

Jake Owen Gets Rowdy in ‘Down to the Honkytonk’ Music Video

There’s nothing like having a good time down on Broadway so Jake Owen decided to raise a ruckus when it came time to film his new music video for “Down To The Honkytonk.” The rowdy video follows the singer as he struts around the honky tonk-filled street in Music City, with fans joining him in some of the city’s most famous venues. Prominent throughout the clip are some of Nashville’s most iconic staples, like a Pedal Tavern, the back alley of Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge and bachelor and bachelorette parties aplenty!

“I love going down to the Honkytonks in Nashville and around the country. It’s all about a place to have beers with friends, a place to listen to good country music and catch up on great stories. The video was so much fun to make and why not have fun, right?” said Owen of the video directed by Justin Clough and Ben Skipworth.

Owen’s release of “Down To The Honkytonk” highlights another catchy tune to hit country radio, following his fastest-rising No.1 to date, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane).” The songs were featured on the singer’s self-titled EP. For the tracks, Owen has teamed up with Joey Moi, who produced some of Owen’s biggest hits, including “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” “Alone with You” and “Beachin.”

In addition to bringing the party down to Nashville’s Lower Broadway, Owen is busy sharing his hits with fans during the second leg of his Life’s Whatcha Make It Tour. The trek runs through September and October, before wrapping on November 3 in Pensacola, FL. Owen will also soon star in the USA Network’s new show, Real Country, which is on the search for country music’s next breakout star. The Florida native will appear alongside Shania Twain and Travis Tritt when the series debuts this fall.

Luke Bryan Performs for 30000 Fans at Nashville Party

Luke Bryan Performs ‘Sunrise Sunburn Sunset’ for 30000 Fans at Nashville Block Party

Luke Bryan treated 30,000 fans to a free outdoor concert in downtown Nashville on Sept. 10 to celebrate the grand opening of his new restaurant, Luke’s 32 Bridge Food + Drink.After openers DJ Rock, Chelsea Field and Jon Langston got the party started, Luke hit the stage for a 90-minute set that included appearances by Cole Swindell and Ryan Hurd.Check out Luke performing his recent No. 1 hit, “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset,” with Ryan Hurd, one of the song’s co-writers.

 – NashvilleCountryDaily

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