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X Factor Confirms Khloé Kardashian Odom, Mario Lopez As Co-Hosts

It’s official! After months of rumors surrounding The X Factor, Khloé Kardashian Odom and Mario Lopez have been confirmed as the shows new co-hosts. Beginning Nov. 1, you’ll be able to watch the two during a live show debut.

By all accounts, the two co-hosts are ecstatic at joining the X Factor team, which also includes judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. Check out what they had to say after the jump. Continue reading ‘X Factor Confirms Khloé Kardashian Odom, Mario Lopez As Co-Hosts’

Taylor Swift Streams “State Of Grace”

Up until the recent teasing of Red’s tracks, it was fair to say that Taylor Swift was primarily seen as a vivacious pop singer, with enough twang and heartbreak to attract a few country lovers as well.

However, with the upcoming release of Red we’ve seen a suspected diversity throughout the album, and Swift’s latest release, “State Of Grace” proves as an incredibly mature step, documenting love in a much different light than we’re used to from Swift. Through the wispy melodies and haunting vocals, it’s no surprise that the track flew to number one on the iTunes chart less than 24 hours after being released.

Speaking to Good Morning America about the track, Swift said:

“I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone. The possibilities. Kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go,” Swift continued, “It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way. I hope you like it.”

Decide for yourself, by checking out the video right here.


If you like Taylor Swift check out OurStage artist Shelby Marie!

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Your Country’s Right Here: Anais Mitchell Barnstorms for Good Folk

Anais Mitchell wants listeners to fully immerse themselves in her music.

Such passion for her songs and her efforts to have them reach listeners on a visceral level is one reason that Mitchell is loved by so many, including such high-profile artists as her own musical idol Ani DiFranco and the members of the GRAMMMY Award winning Bon Iver. Although Mitchell has barely cracked her 30s, she projects the insights and virtuosity of some folk artists who performed well before she was born. Any doubters need only sample her most recent album Young Man in America. Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Anais Mitchell Barnstorms for Good Folk’

Exclusive Q and A: Easton Corbin Comes Back with ‘All Over the Road’

Easton Corbin’s recently released sophomore album All Over The Road proves that the “A Little More Country Than That” artist is poised to release even more hits.

Consider his new singles “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” written by Nashville songwriters Bob DiPiro and Jim Beavers, that is quickly climbing the charts. It’s just more evidence that Corbin still has plenty of fun-filled music to bring to his fans.

“‘All Over the Road’ is a fun title,” said Easton of choosing the title of the new album. “but it’s also actually what we’re doing out there. We’re all over the road trying to get music out to everybody, so I just thought it made sense.”

But don’t think that Easton’s music is country pop. Indeed, the music from the Gilchrist County, Fla. native, who’s self-titled 2010 debut album spawned back-to-back No. 1 hits, has been compared to that of such country legends as George Jones, Keith Whitley, and Merle Haggard. In fact, Corbin’s “A Little More Country Than That,” and “Roll With It,” made him the first male country artist in 17 years to have two consecutive singles hit the top spot.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that Corbin also snagged all of the Breakthrough Artist awards at the inaugural American Country Awards in 2010—Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist, Single of the Year: Breakthrough Artist, and Music Video: Breakthrough Artist for “A Little More Country Than That.” Little wonder his new album is already gaining critical and popular acclaim.

Corbin took time out just after finishing Brad Paisley’s Virtual Reality Tour to talk to OurStage about his music, his music, fans, and just where he’s going from here. Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Easton Corbin Comes Back with ‘All Over the Road’’

Taylor Swift Drops New Track: “I Knew You Were Trouble”

On the latest cut released from her upcoming Red album, Taylor Swift continues her journey from idiosyncratic country songstress to sanitized pop megastar. While her twangy accent and southern charm have reappeared in small glimpses in other recent preview tracks, such as “Begin Again,” and “Red,” they are nowhere to be found on this most recent album cut. Instead, Swift dishes out generic pop phrases about a failed relationship over a track that sounds like an unholy mixture of “Hey Soul Sister” and a Skrillex B-side that didn’t have enough “whomp” to make it onto the album. Though we love Taylor, and this track is sure to be a smash, it sounds like Max Martin should have given her a bit more control over the faders on this one.


Taylor Swift fans should check out OurStage’s own Devin Belle!

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Exclusive Q and A: Brantley Gilbert Talks CMAs, Eric Church and Lessons from the Road

Brantley Gilbert is the opposite of a divo (that’s a male diva, in case you didn’t know).

That’s why it’s gratifying to see him grab so much success this early in his career. Last year, the now 27 year-old singer/songwriter was a bit bummed that many music journalists didn’t seem to want to talk with him. This year, he hardly has time to talk to anyone.

With a nomination for the 2012 Country Music Association (CMA) New Artist of the Year Award, Gilbert is launching the “Hell on Wheels Tour.” It’s the first headlining tour for Gilbert, whose sophomore album Halfway to Heavy debuted at #2 on the Billboard Country charts and who has written a host of #1 singles including “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” along with Jason Aldean‘s songs “My Kinda Party” and “Dirt Road Anthem.” He’s also won plenty of fans during his recent tours, including supporting spots on Eric Church‘s “Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour” and Toby Keith‘s “Live in Overdrive Tour.”

Although he’s got some heavy competition for the CMA Award — Love and Theft, Lee Brice, Hunter Hayes, and Thompson Square are the other nominees — Gilbert seems to be taking all the excitement in stride. Although he was battling bronchitis on one of his recent days home, he took time out to chat a bit about his reaction to the nomination, his songwriting, and just what he’s learned on all the tours he has played.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Brantley Gilbert Talks CMAs, Eric Church and Lessons from the Road’

X Factor Boot Camp Kicks Off; Nearly Half Of Contestants Axed

The X Factor is as much a ratings seeking show as anything these days, priding itself no longer on just the talent it showcases, but catfights, crying and breakdowns. With judge Britney Spears commenting, “We’re gonna push them to their limits,” it’s only reasonable to expect a bit of on air tension when the family sits down to watch on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

After settling down inside a swanky Miami hotel, the contestants were bused out to their performance site, and one by one, all 120 of them went in front of the judges, knees shaking and voices set to impress. After all, each performance is only the biggest of their life. Check out the scoop after the jump.

Continue reading ‘X Factor Boot Camp Kicks Off; Nearly Half Of Contestants Axed’

Your Country’s Right Here: Lindi Ortega Talks ‘Cigarettes and Truck Stops’ yet Keeps her ‘Little Red Boots’ Firmly on the Ground

Lindi Ortega’s sound has taken a long dip into the blues, but she’s still got the soul of a country girl.

Talking by phone from her mother’s Toronto home, she talked about how her 2011 release Little Red Boots inspired her to more fully explore the roots of country music.

Noting that the first book she read was Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams by Phil Hemphill, Ortega discovered Williams was heavily influenced by the blues. “That’s when I started to see a real connection between blues and country. I tried to listen solely to blues for months at a time, right around the time I was writing the songs for this record.”

She enlisted Colin Linden, a renowned producer and blues guitarist who has an extensive knowledge of blues. Linden helped Ortega weave the blues into the outlaw-traditional-country-with-hints-of-rock sound she developed. In a significant way, Cigarettes & Truckstops is an maturation of Ortega’s music from her debut album Little Red Boots. Although her sound is now more sophisticated and blues based, it has the heartfelt sincerety that drew listeners to her earlier work. Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Lindi Ortega Talks ‘Cigarettes and Truck Stops’ yet Keeps her ‘Little Red Boots’ Firmly on the Ground’

Taylor Swift Premieres New Song “Red”

Ever since her breakthrough album, Fearless in 2008, Taylor Swift has been churning out hits one right after another, capturing pop fans, country fanatics and generations across the board. Let me join in by saying that Swift’s latest release, the title track off her upcoming album Red, is bound to be another chart topper.

Following “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Begin Again”, “Red” takes a familiar Swift approach with heartfelt lyrics and tales of romantic mishaps. Once again, Swift has mastered the art of taking a country tune and spinning it with just the amount of kick needed to make it a pop success.

You can check out “Red” for yourself here, and keep an eye out for the album which drops Oct. 22.

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Punch Brothers’ Chris Thile Awarded MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’

It seems only fair to say that most creative individuals would love the opportunity to pursue their passions and add to the creative circuit in one way or another, particularly without the worry of tight funds. Enter: The MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant.”

This five-year grant offers extraordinarily talented individuals $500,000 to pursue their goals and passions with no strings attached. Who better to receive this prestigious grant than Punch Brothers mandolin player, Chris Thile.

After ignoring the foundation’s attempts to contact him by phone, believing them to be automated election-year calls, Thile eventually got wind of their true nature.

“I’ve never felt so internally warm,” Thile told the AP. “My heart was racing. All of a sudden, I felt very askew physically. I was trying to catch my breath. . . . I thought, ‘Oh my God, did I win a MacArthur?’”

He had. After finding success with Nickel Creek, Thile then assembled the Punch Brothers in 2006, finding success, and now prestige once more. So what are his plans for the money? Thile has said he may use the grant to fund a chamber music project for a bluegrass quintet.

You can find the talented winner on tour with the Punch Brothers through December.



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