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Country Call ‘Em: January Releases You Should Be Excited About

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERJanuary is a month of high hopes. We all tell ourselves we’ll exercise more, work less and spend more time doing what we love. I don’t know what I can do about your health regimen or your work schedule, but I think I may be able to steer you in the right direction in regards to doing what you love if it happens to be listening to amazing country music. With this new year, album releases are also rolling in, and they have set quite a precedent for other album debuts to follow.

Lady Antebellum, who took country music by storm with their debut album in 2008, are set to tickle our ear buds with the release of their second album on January 26th. As the first country release of 2010, Lady A’s Need You Now sets the bar for the rest of the year in country albums. The first single, and title track, went straight to Number 1 on the country charts which is a good sign the band won’t be adding “sophomore slump” to their vocabulary. “Need You Now,” the single released in November of 2009 earned rave reviews by critics and listeners. It’s the fourth overall single and the fastest rising for the group so far, reaching Billboard’s Top 10 in just 9 short weeks. The song’s steady rotation on country radio has increased anticipation for the upcoming album—their second single, “American Honey” will hit radio waves on January 11.

Watch for this album January 26th!

Watch for this album January 26th!

Lady A is geared up to continue the streak of success they started back in 2008. Since their debut, Lady Antebellum has been nominated for 11 awards, and while 2 are still pending, 4 wins on their resume ain’t too bad for a group who first got together as strangers. Charles Kelley, the lead male singer, told fans to expect some truer sounding country songs, but also a few that walk the line to other genres. With a certified platinum debut album that’s still on the iTunes Country Chart Top 10, I’m willing to gamble on Need You Now smashing sales, and I am not betting woman.

So this January, don’t get down about the end of the holidays. Resolve to let Lady A start you off right with the perfect soundtrack for a seamless year. All you need to do is circle January 26on your calendar. Lady A Need(s) You Now (and I need this new album right now!)

Country Call ‘Em: How 2009 Changed Country Music

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERWhen you look back on 2009, there are many things to remember. Whether it be the historical inauguration of Barack Obama or the death of musical icon Michael Jackson,  2009 offered our world a plethora of moments to appreciate. In country music, 2009 was a year that not many of us can forget. Nashville may never fully recover from Kanyegate, never mind a few other choice events that will shape country music in the upcoming year.

"Taylah, Im'ma let you finish.." Excuse me, what?

"Taylah, Im'ma let you finish.." Excuse me, what?

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Country Call ‘Em: A Country Christmas

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERAll I want for Christmas is you, my two front teeth and a maybe a few rockin’ Christmas albums. New or old, I’ll need some jolly tunes for my long night of gift-wrapping, family hugging and eggnog drinking. I’ve wrangled and hogtied a few killer country Christmas albums that you just can’t pass up for this year’s holiday. Of course any day you are listening to country music is the most joyful day ever, but coupled with a little spiked ‘nog and a few wacky relatives and you got yourself a country Christmas that takes the (fruit)cake.

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Country Call ‘Em: Committed to Classic

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERFor years, it seems as though a silent debate has raged amongst country music lovers as to what true country music really is. Are genre-bending artists like Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood ruining what little distinction country music has left? Many believe the popped up country songs currently taking over radio waves are destroying the classic, down-home feeling country is known for. Some say it is selling out, some say its as simple as evolution. One thing is for sure, there are artists out there determined to preserve the traditions, both sound and story, of country music. And just like formaldehyde, they have all the ingredients to protect the skeleton of true country (just without the stink.)

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Country Call ‘Em: December CD Releases You Should Be Excited About (And Buying for the Holidays)

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERDecember is always filled with stress, expectations and I suppose a bit of joy as a result of all the hard work that goes into making the holidays special. This season one man stands alone with his tireless efforts, giving fans a full-length album with 12 original tracks (unlike most of the holiday albums out this month.) If you’re looking for something to enjoy all year round, look no further than this awesome December album release.

Phil Vassar has always been a pioneer in country music. First starting as a songwriter for the stars, Phil started recording his own hits in 1999. On December 15th, Phil comes out with Traveling Circus, his fifth studio album. Fast-tracked for release from it’s original February 2010 date, the album arrives just in time to save country fans from the holiday madness.

Mr. Vassar

Mr. Vassar

The title is in reference to the style in which the country songwriting legend feels he’s lived his life for the past few years as a musician. Some new tracks include his singles “Bobbi With an I” and “Everywhere I Go.” Phil has a history of turning out hit after hit, so this album is sure to be a success. His reputation for mixing fresh vocals with smart lyrics makes his sound enjoyable for all country ages. No matter the listener, disappointment is never a word associated with Phil Vassar. It’s a safe bet that all of Nashville, as well as the entire country music community appreciate this album’s fast forward. Its just in time to play on repeat while idling thanklessly in mall parking lots all over the country, in anxious wait of a lone parking spot.

So whether you choose to stuff stockings, wrap it in bows or keep it for yourself, make sure that Phil Vassar’s Traveling Circus makes it way onto your holiday shopping list.

Country Call ‘Em: Gone Country

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERCountry music has many appealing qualities—great lyrics, long history, amazing stars—so it’s no wonder that many celebrities love and identify with the music of Nashville. Some, in fact, are so envious of the country lifestyle they too try to dip a toe or two into the vast pond of country music. And, while some fit right in, (ahem, Mr. Darius Rucker) others seem more like fish out of water. However, with a community so accepting and open, it’s almost expected that— eventually—everyone goes country.

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Country Call ‘Em: Country’s Most Thanks-Giving Songs

OSBlog02_CCE_MASTERThe table is set, the turkey is a’cookin’ and your family is seated and ready to eat. One question remains however, what music to play as the background for your rousing family conversation? The first part should be obvious — country music. But which of the many awesome country hits offers just the right holiday ambiance? With the smorgasbord of fitting and acceptable choices, these gracious songs compliment the sentiment of the day and deserve to make their way onto your Thanksgiving playlist.

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