Singer, songwriter, producer and entertainer Toby Keith knows how to have a good time and write funny songs. The man whose songs have amassed more than 90 million broadcast performances is also beloved for his “bus song” album cut “Weed With Willie.” And his “Red Solo Cup” became a viral sensation long before radio took notice. Next up, “Wacky Tobaccy,” out June 23.
That old Wacky Tobaccy / When you feel it creeping up on you / That old Wacky Tobaccy / Kick back and let it do what it do
“Wacky Tobaccy is a slogan, a saying that’s been around forever and no one has ever put it in a song,” says Keith. “When we were working on it, somebody asked if the saying has ever been written in a song and I said, ‘no, but they will now.’ We recorded it and shot the video in Nashville. We got a cameo from Willie Nelson. We have a long-standing friendship. It’s fortunate that we got him. ‘Wacky Tobaccy’ is written to the screws, and it fits in with what we do every night with the party crowd.”
Written with longtime collaborator Scotty Emerick, “Wacky Tobaccy” will be available at all major digital music retailers and services. Toby has penned many bus songs that have frequently appear on his albums. They are crafted when he and his buddies are sitting around the bus and have fun writing something a little different. Keith loves to perform the humorous songs to military personnel on his USO Tours. Most rewarding is being able to put smiles on the faces of soldiers from all over the United States who are serving their country.
The release heralds more new music from Keith this year, which also sees the continuation of the Toby Keith Interstates & Tailgates Tour that filled venues nationwide throughout 2016. Toby recently performed at Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard in Nashville and he took the stage at Carnegie Hall for The Cake And The Rain: A Celebration Of The Music Of Jimmy Webb in New York City where he performed Webb’s classic, “MacArthur Park.”
Making a guest appearance in the video for “Wacky Tobaccy” is none other than the namesake of “Weed With Willie,” Willie Nelson, who also collaborated with Keith on the song “Beer For My Horses.” “Weed With Willie,” fired up way back in 2003, is ranked on Billboard’s list of “weed anthems.” The song has more than 10 million streams, and video versions have amassed more than 15 million views.
Last month, the Academy of Country Music announced Keith as an honoree to receive their Poet’s Award for songwriting in recognition of his outstanding and longstanding musical and lyrical contributions as a songwriter throughout his career, his songs’ impact on the culture of country music. Also receiving the award this year are Willie Nelson and the late Shel Silverstein.
And the Songwriter Hall of Fame Inductee’s 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic, to benefit the Toby Keith Foundation and its work with OK Kids Korral (a cost-free home away from home for sick children and their families seeking treatment in Oklahoma City), just raised $1.6 million, a record-breaking amount of funds for a single event in the Foundation’s history.
Before the show even started last night, Kenny Chesney picked up two of the three Billboard Music Awards he’s nominated for: Top Country Tour and Top Country Collaboration “Setting The World On Fire,” the multiple week No. 1 duet with P!nk. And with Top Country Song still unannounced, the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee could go three-for-three.
“Winning Best Country Tour makes me happy for my entire road family, from the band, the riggers, the caterers, the people selling the tickets and t-shirts, and for everyone who’s worked one of our shows last year who made their town feel like another hometown,” Chesney responded to the news he’d bested Luke Bryan and the Dixie Chicks for the award. “Obviously, we take our show really seriously. People give us a piece of their summer, and we want to make sure it’s something worth hanging onto. And whether it’s one of those 18, 19 stadiums, the beach on the Florida/Alabama line or Sloppy Joe’s, this award is for everyone who touched one of our shows!”
Somewhere in the sun, the 8-time Entertainer of the Year whose been hailed as “The People’s Superstar” has spent this year writing songs, doing some recording, playing a handful of shows, including a pair of concerts at Boston’s Gillette Stadium, and gearing up for a big 2018. But in the process, his eyes have never strayed far from music.
With Cosmic Hallelujah earning accolades from NPR, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, and PEOPLE, Newsday called it, “country perfection,” The Boston Globe deemed it “a love song to another person and to the idea of getting away…working from a larger sonic palette, one that incorporates ideas from stadium-rockers with whom he shares dressing rooms and the rollicking Nashville bars that still loom large in country’s imagination” and The Washington Post concurred, “the album that emerged is rich and varied, looking outward and also holed up at a bar.”
As for the GRAMMY-nominated “Setting The World On Fire,” Chesney is still thrilled about the response to P!nk’s first country chart-topper. “Timing didn’t work out to sing this song together, but that performance has so much heart, so much soul, I love that people have responded to P!nk in our format the way they have. She is a singer like no other, and when she comes in, that is what the essence of falling in love feels like.”
Headlining Myrtle Beach’s Carolina Country Music Fest on June 10 and Columbus, Ohio’s Buckeye Country Superfest June 11, Chesney will disappear until late this summer. But he’s leaving plenty of music in his wake: the SiriusXM world premiered video for the Cosmic Hallelujah album track “Rich and Miserable,” as well as the Top 10 “Bar at the End of the World.”
“It’s all about the music,” he said. “Give people songs they can put their lives in, then live those lives right along with them. It’s simple. But it’s what I do. Thanks Billboard for recognizing that, and these two awards!”
Country singer Rory Feek will appear on “CBS This Morning Saturday” with Anthony Mason on May 20, discussing the release of his wife Joey Feek’s solo album, If Not For You, performing an unreleased song called “I Like the Sound of That,” and giving an update on life with the couple’s daughter Indiana. Check local listings for the show’s air time.
The singer, songwriter and author visited with Mason about the recently released If Not For You (Gaither Music Group/Farmhouse Recordings), Joey’s solo album which was recorded in 2005 and co-produced by her husband. The 12-song collection features her original rendition of “That’s Important to Me,” which would later be a charting single by Joey+Rory, as well as other tracks that speak volumes about the woman whose life touched the hearts of millions. Rory also performed “I Like the Sound of That,” the last song Joey+Rory sang together, an unreleased song that was written in 2003 by Rory and Billy Falcon.
Rory and his wife Joey comprised the country music duo Joey+Rory, who most recently won a GRAMMY® Award for their Hymns album (Gaither Music Group/Farmhouse Recordings) in February. The couple captured the hearts of many over the past few years as Rory chronicled their love story, the birth of their daughter Indiana and Joey’s cancer battle on his blog, This Life I Live, as well as their preparation for her passing in March 2016 at age 40.
Within the segment, Rory also discusses the couple’s three-year-old daughter Indiana, who was born with Down syndrome and has recently learned to walk, as well as his life now.
The segment airs Saturday, May 20, on CBS and will also be available online after its airing, though the performance of “I Like the Sound of That” will only be available during the televised segment.
God’s Problem Child, Willie Nelson‘s new studio album has entered the Billboard Country chart at #1, making it the artist’s second US country chart-topper in less than two years. Nelson’s 6th Legacy release, Django and Jimmie, an unforgettable musical collaboration with Merle Haggard, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country chart in June 2015. God’s Problem Child is Willie’s first album to debut all-new songs since Band of Brothers (his 4th Legacy release) reached #1 on the Billboard Country chart (and #5 on the Billboard 200) in June 2014. Willie’s new album has also entered the Billboard 200 at #10 and is his third Legacy release to break into the Top 10 pop charts.
God’s Problem Child was released on April 28th, on the eve of Willie’s 84th birthday (April 29). God’s Problem Child is being lauded in both the mainstream and underground press as an essential addition to the Willie Nelson catalog with The Wall Street Journal naming it one of “This Spring’s Best Country Albums.” Rolling Stone called God’s Problem Child “…a tightly-woven, poignant collection of ruminations on aging and fading faculties that amounts to Nelson’s most moving album in decades.” The Los Angeles Times concurred praising “…the most bountiful batch of Nelson songs since 2014’s ‘Band of Brothers.’”
“….one of pop culture’s few reigning icons who remain creatively engaged,” noted Paste who wrote that God’s Problem Child “…feels like Nelson’s personal state of the union….as vital as anything he’s done.”
“The key,” opined the Austin American-Statesman, “is a near perfect balance between Willie as songwriter and as interpreter.” Wide Open Country summed up, saying, “God’s Problem Childis a peek into the next chapter in the book of Willie, a promise that he’s not even close to being done and another helpful guide on how to live. It’s been a wild ride and it sure as hell ain’t over yet. Thank God.”
Appreciation is shared across the Atlantic where the UK’s Uncut praised the new song “Still Not Dead” as “one of Willie’s modern masterpieces” and as “an album that can stand comfortably alongside any of his iconic work…. approaching life and love from angles that can only result from a career spent studying both with a restless sense of wonder. It’s the kind of perspective that most songwriters can only dream of attaining-for Willie Nelson, it’s just another day at the office.”
Willie has lensed several music videos for songs from God’s Problem Child. These include “Still Not Dead”, which pokes fun at the many exaggerated reports of his demise he’s heard over the years, and the album’s closer, “He Won’t Ever Be Gone,” a song written by Gary Nicholson which pays tribute to Willie’s outlaw country comrade, Merle Haggard. (Haggard’s last album was 2015’s Django and Jimmie, his musical collaboration with Willie Nelson.)
An album that reflects on mortality while marveling at the beauty and absurdity of it all, God’s Problem Child finds Willie Nelson at one of the creative peaks of his career, writing and singing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that can only come from the kind of life he’s living.
Nelson continues making music every day. When he’s not in the studio, Willie’s on the road and performed more than 100 live shows in the past year. Coming up on his calendar are a number of tour dates in June and July including the Outlaw Music Festival and Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in Austin. For details on Willie’s upcoming performances.
Country music icon Clint Black will hit the road again, an extension of his “On Purpose” tour, on August 13th in New Jersey. The tour will feature music from an historic career that has produced 22 #1 singles and made him one of the most successful singer/songwriters of the modern era, as well as songs from Black’s recently released album On Purpose. Tickets go on sale as of April 28th
“Performing live in concert is the most rewarding part of my career,” said Black. “It’s a chance every night, to connect with people through music and laughter in an exchange with the audience that goes beyond just playing music. For all of the travel and time away from our families, it’s that connection with the audience that makes it all worthwhile.”
It is one of the most storied careers in modern music. Clint Black surged to superstardom as part of the fabled Class of ’89, reaching #1 with five consecutive singles from his triple-platinum debut, Killin’ Time. He followed that with the triple-platinum Put Yourself in My Shoes, and then a string of platinum and gold albums throughout the ’90s. Perhaps most impressively, Clint wrote or co-wrote every one of his more than three dozen chart hits, including “A Better Man,” “Where Are You Now,” “When My Ship Comes In,” “A Good Run of Bad Luck,” “Summer’s Comin’,” “Like the Rain” and “Nothin’ But the Taillights.”
Along the way, Clint has sold over 20 million records, earned more than a dozen gold and platinum awards in the U.S. and Canada, landed nearly two dozen major awards and nominations, including more than a dozen GRAMMY nominations, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ten more artists have been added to the action-packed 2017 Jamboree in the Hills festival lineup, bringing some of the biggest names in country music to Belmont County, Ohio, from July 13 – 16. Representing a huge range of modern country styles, the new additions are led by rowdy hitmakers Brothers Osborne and The Cadillac Three, plus rising star Raelynn. Also included in the still-growing show bill are newcomers Kane Brown, Brett Young and the duo High Valley, plus ‘90s legend Aaron Tippin, Waterloo Revival and Dee Jay Silver.
They’ll join previously announced superstar headliners Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, plus featured performers Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young and more.
Back this summer for the 41st time, this year’s Jamboree In The Hills festival will kick off in welcoming style, with Jambo veteran Neal McCoy and local favorites Township Road performing a FREE Wednesday evening (July 12) concert, sponsored by Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration. The rest of the 2017 lineup will be revealed soon.
One of the longest-running and best-loved country festivals in the world, more than 100,000 diehard fans are expected to soak in four days of incredible music at Jamboree In The Hills, along with all the camaraderie and traditions they have come to know and enjoy – the famed “Redneck Run” each morning, opportunities for up close and personal photos and weekend-capping fireworks included. As always, fans are welcome to bring in their own coolers and beverages, with the same rules of entry applying as in the past (no liquor or glass containers).
Multi-day camping, VIP passes and single-day tickets are still available via www.jamboreeinthehills.com, onsite at the Belmont venue or by phone at 1-800-594-TIXX.
After then-22-year-old Carly lost her developmental record deal with Sony in 2013, she took a job scrubbing toilets and changing sheets at an Airbnb. It wasn’t exactly the future the Kentucky native envisioned when she dropped out of high school at age 16 and moved to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., so she could perform at Dollywood. But here she is, 10 years after leaving Kentucky, thankful that she quit that stinkin’ day job cleaning toilets.
Carly, who was named to the 2016 CMT Next Women of Country class, signed a new record deal with Big Machine Label Group in January. After hearing Carly’s new song, “Every Little Thing,” which soared to the top of Sirius XM’s The Highway, Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta literally flew across the country to sign Carly to his label.
As Carly gears up to release “Every Little Thing” to country radio on February 22, she sat down with Nash Country Daily to talk about 10 little things that have made her who she is today.
1. You were part of CMT’s 2016 Next Women of Country class. As a woman in the industry, I imagine you’ve heard the word “no” a lot. Is CMT’s Next Women of Country all about saying “yes”?
“Oh yes, for sure. I think being able to be included in that class of women was amazing. CMT has been so amazing to allow all of us new female artists to have a place to kind of have a community and to be able to build each other up and learn from each other and strengthen each other and also realize that there are a lot of really empowering women in the genre that just haven’t, for whatever reason, gotten to have their moment. I just think it’s been encouraging to get to be a part of that and to see how many talented women we have in this town.”
2. You came to a lot of people’s attention, including mine, through your 2015 duet with Josh Abbott, “Wasn’t That Drunk,” a song that peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard chart. Every time Josh performed that song, you got to perform it with him. You got to go do Jimmy Kimmel Live and the radio station tours.
“It’s been amazing. If you just kind of dig deep into my story, I’ve had a lot of opportunities. I’ve been in Nashville eight years and just have had a lot of things come my way that maybe in my brain weren’t the way I thought I was going to get to where I’m at right now, but I continue to say yes. Just took my blinders off a few years ago and just said, ‘I’m going to chase whatever comes my way.’ The Josh Abbott Band situation, they messaged me about a song. We had only been Twitter friends. He had seen me play in Nashville at a thing called Whiskey Jam. That song was never meant to be a single, but it got [such a big reaction] that they changed their whole marketing plan and promo plan to build around that song.
“So I devoted a lot of 2015 and 2016 to that song and, in return, got to go into radio stations and got to go on tour with him. Josh is the king of the Texas scene, and I got to play in front of more people than I’d ever performed in front of and really understood what it meant to put on a show. The Texas crowd is really different from the Nashville crowd, so I had to work a little harder to make them listen to me and buy into me. Getting to do national television, it’s just all of these experiences as a new artist that was unsigned at the time, you don’t get to do that usually. I just became a sponge and said hopefully this is leading me to be able to branch out on my own and let people see more of what Carly Pearce is.”
3. When you were 16, you left high school and your Kentucky home and moved to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You started performing at Dollywood five times a day, five days a week. Is that like musical boot camp?
“I always joke and say . . . this is just for my dad so that he feels better about the fact that I never went to college and that I got my high school diploma in the mail, but I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I always knew that I wanted to move to Nashville, and I think that Dollywood was a good college for me for a few years of understanding what it meant to have a real singing job where I had to learn how to sing sick, I had to learn how to put on a show every day, I worked with other artists. It was really a boot camp or a college or something like that where I learned a lot of valuable lessons that I use even today.”
4. You moved to Nashville at 19 and then signed a short-lived publishing deal. Did you ever think about giving up after that? What was your thought process when you were 19, 20, and you had moved here and maybe things weren’t working out as you had expected?
“I have a crazy roller-coaster ride story. I had a publishing deal. I then had a developmental record deal on Sony. My situation there just ended up being unfortunate that the A&R lady that was working with me got fired, so I got let go. Of course there were moments that I wanted to quit music. My condo has seen many tears and heard many prayers at night. I’ve always known I wanted to do this, and like I said a little earlier, when you open your brain to still staying in the game and waiting it out and fighting and really understanding that this is a business. I just started to be open-minded to taking opportunities that were coming to me and really can see where every single opportunity that I said yes to that maybe somebody told me not to do or I thought maybe I don’t really want to do this, but it has all kind of connected the dots and led me to where I am now. So I’m thankful for the journey.”
5. What was the worst job you had between the point when you lost your contract to today?
I mean, cleaning toilets in Airbnbs and cleaning sheets is pretty horrible. I would say that’s pretty terrible. People were nasty. Just parties, bachelor parties and stuff. I just was disgusted at how people left them. Leave your Airbnbs clean, y’all.
6. Let’s talk about something that’s not so terrible, your single “Every Little Thing,” which you released late last year independently, has had so much success. It went to No. 1 on on Sirius XM’s The Highway. That’s got to be a huge confidence booster.
“It’s reminding me of the power of a song. I only had two or three days to prep to put this song out once I found out it was going to be a Highway Find. I wrote this song from a very personal place of a heartbreak that I experienced and never really thought anybody was going to hear it. I certainly didn’t think that it was going to be something that would be my debut into the country genre. I thought that maybe my fans would have to buy into me a little bit to understand the artistic side of this song. I joke and say I’ve put out a lot of songs and been a part of a lot of things, but this song, as soon as it came out, it felt like it had its own wings and it was kind of out of my control.”
7. Has the impact the song has had on other people surprised you?
“It’s about a relationship that was four or five years ago, but I wrote it last year. I think about a year ago I wrote it. It’s interesting to have this song come out, and those feelings were so real, but now, so much life has happened and I’m thankful that that relationship didn’t work. It’s been amazing just to hear different stories of people that are going through that or even people that are attaching the song to something much greater like a death or being a widow or something like that.”
8. After “Every Little Thing” gets played on The Highway, what happens? Scott Borchetta just knocks on your door and says, “Hey, Big Machine would like to give you a record contract”?
“You know what’s crazy is the night that the song came out, his staff was kind of already on the move, and within 24 hours, he was on a plane back from L.A. to see me play at the Opry. Before any of the success really had happened, he really was invested and excited about it from the moment that he heard it, so it made me understand. Obviously, when you sell a lot of units independently and you get the buzz around it that I feel like this song has gotten, other people come to the table, but he was there from the beginning. So I felt like he was buying into and excited about Carly Pearce, not just ‘Every Little Thing’”.
9. “Every Little Thing” is going to country radio on February 22. Are you ready for that?
“Are you kidding? I’ve waited my whole life for this.”
10. As far as a new EP or album, what’s in the works? Are you writing? Are you in the studio?
“So, my producer is busbee. Many of you may know him from [co-producing] Maren Morris’ record [Hero] and the new Lady Antebellum song [“You Look Good”] and he’s worked with Keith [Urban] and he’s kind of killing it. I’m actually the first artist that he’s developed, especially in the country world, that has kind of done something. We’ve been working together for almost two years now. We are about to cut the first five songs for my record, and hopefully the album will be out sometime this year. We’re working really hard and getting really excited.”
main photo by Jason Simanek
Becoming known for his compelling stage presence, Beathard walked into the Opry circle for the first time with just his guitar and captivated the audience with a reflective, yet fiery rendition of his new single “Momma And Jesus.” A born songwriter, Beathard also played a new song for the enamored Opry audience, “18,” creating an unforgettable moment for the capacity crowd. Beathard’s debut also marked the final one for Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher, after 17 years of welcoming new artists into the circle.
“Growing up in Nashville, it’s instilled from a young age what an honor playing the Grand Ole Opry is,” said Beathard. “I started writing songs to put my emotions out there…the ones that I don’t how to let out any other way. To be able to express myself on that stage and be part of that legacy is a blessing and a dream come true.”
Beathard’s current single “Momma And Jesus” is making waves at Country radio and follows his debut Top 5 summer anthem “Rock On.” Both songs are taken from Beathard’s recently released, FIGHT LIKE HELL EP which showcases his self-taught musicianship, with lead guitar and drum credits throughout the six-track collection. Billboard calls attention to the “smart pieces from a singular mind, the kind of material that comes from someone who marches to his own drum and mines that perspective for his worldview.” Following a breakout 2016, Beathard continues to make an impression as “the new Country voice that is stopping fans in their tracks” (RARE). Armed with a relentless touring nature, Beathard undertook nearly 200 live performances last year and is kicking off 2017 on Brantley Gilbert’s The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour beginning February 2 in Reading, PA
The talented teenager, a native of Florida, collaborated with some of Nashville’s favorite songwriters, including Bridgette Tatum (“She’s Country,”) Cathy Majeski (“How Was I To Know,”) and Chad Carlson (Grammy-winning engineer on hits by Taylor Swift.) The 11-track album, produced by Ben Thompson and Chad Carlson, is currently available for presale online at http://www.maggiebaugh.com and at all digital outlets.
Even before signing with Placer Creek Music Publishing this past fall, the 16-year-old had built a large fan base by performing in and around her home state of Florida. Using the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter, Baugh was able to hit 250% her goal; raising a total of $24,500 to fund her album.
Leading up to the album release, Baugh will set sail with some of country music’s biggest and brightest stars, including Kelsea Ballerini, Charles Esten, and Chris Young. They will be boarding the Royal Caribbean Cruise International’s Radiance Class, Brilliance of the Seas ® cruise ship for Country Cruising 2017.
I suppose Country fans Can be lucky there will be some Country Stars featured
CMMT – Madame Tussauds, the world-renowned wax attraction slated to open its newest location in Nashville this spring, and country superstar Brad Paisley joined forces to pay tribute to Grand Ole Opry legend Little Jimmy Dickens. While appearing on last night’s Opry at the Ryman show, Paisley honored his longtime friend by playing the Little Jimmy Dickens hit “Out Behind the Barn” and unveiling the late singer’s figure to a sold-out audience.
“Jimmy gave the Opry the personality it deserved. He was the kindest to new artists of anybody. He was never judgmental and he was always extremely supportive. He was a man who loved everyone and I’m honored to sing one of his songs (“Out Behind the Barn”
Little Jimmy Dickens, famous for his humorous novelty country songs and his small 4-foot-11-inch stature, had a profound impact on country music. Not only is Dickens credited for introducing rhinestone-studded outfits to live country music performances, he was also the first country artist to circle the globe while on tour. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry more than 60 years ago. Dickens was the oldest living member of the Opry before his death in early 2015.