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Exclusive Q and A: Craig Morgan Shows Why “This Ole Boy” is Headed for Success

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsCraig Morgan is a tough guy to resist.

If his incredible brand of country music—including past hits such as “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” “Redneck Yacht Club” and “International Harvester”—doesn’t lure you in, his charming persona and can-do attitude most certainly will. You’ll get a full blast of both during his upcoming tour in support of his just-released studio album This Ole Boy.

Doubters need only read several critics’ enthusiastic thumbs up for the album’s twelve songs to know that Morgan is on the cusp of some big-time success. You know what’s great about that? In a music environment where commerce often comes before art, Morgan has truly landed on the side of art as evidenced by the TLC he has put into his music.

He recently took some time out of his jam-packed schedule to talk with OurStage about changing record labels, crafting his new album and a surprise he received from actress Angie Harmon when she joined him in filming the video for ‘This Ole Boy.’

OS: So you recently signed with the Black River Music Group. What options did that offer you when making this album that perhaps you didn’t have before?

CM: Nothing that I didn’t have a chance to do before. But I did want to make the best product I could possibly make, produce the best record I could produce. I feel like I’ve not only done that but made the best record I’ve ever made. I attribute that to the fact that I am on a new label that has [people with a] sense of energy and excitement that I haven’t felt in a long time.

OS: How did you go about choosing this label?

CM:  I had meetings [with various labels] and upon completion of all those meetings I felt like this was the label that was best suited for me and my career, just based on what they had [by way of] promotion staff and distribution and resources. I just felt they were best for me and my record and my music.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Craig Morgan Shows Why “This Ole Boy” is Headed for Success’

Exclusive Q&A: Troy Gentry Talks about the Musical Rebirth of Montgomery Gentry

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsMontgomery Gentry named their latest album Rebels on the Run and the term has become something of a theme for their current lives.

Ever since the album on the Average Joe Entertainment label debuted in the Top 10 country charts of SoundScan, there’s been no stopping the country duo. Tours, high-profile interviews including one in the upcoming People magazine “Country Special,” red carpet appearances and a Thanksgiving Day co-hosting gig on the celebrated radio show “After MidNite” with Blair Garner, is just some of what has kept the duo moving.

Troy Gentry recently took some time out to talk to OurStage about the new album, the duo’s refreshed enthusiasm and what he sees in their musical future.

OS: I don’t want to rehash all of the negative things you’ve both faced in the past year or so—Eddie’s divorce, his cancer, your bear hunting misadventure that again received publicity—but it must be great to focus on the positive after such turmoil. The question is how did you focus on creating new music for a new label when you had so much negativity around you?

TG: I think it was that music itself. As far as the history, the [charges of falsely tagging a bear]  I had tucked away and buried that a long time ago. I put that in the past.When it came back up, I put out an apology letter again… but it wasn’t an issue for me. I had apologized, I had made amends and it was in the past.

When Eddie’s cancer came up (he was diagnosed in November 2010 and was immediately treated; he is now cancer free),  we tackled it head on and and we got that under control. Praise Lord he was able to get that taken care of and put it behind him. I think the music itself was what took the focus off of the past. It gave us a new focus and direction, something to look forward to in the future and concentrate on and get all of our energies behind.

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q&A: Troy Gentry Talks about the Musical Rebirth of Montgomery Gentry’

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.

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

HE CAME, WE SAW, HE CONQUERED

Last Saturday, August 15th, was one for the record books. It was the hottest day of summer in Massachusetts so far, but over at Gillette Stadium the blacktop wasn’t the only thing on fire. This year, Kenny Chesney—along with Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry and Sugarland—rocked every single seat in the home of the New England Patriots.

Lady A

Lady A

Lady Antebellum, on their first major tour, performed like seasoned pros as the initial opening act. With their fast paced singles like “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Love’s Looking Good on You,” they really started the show off right. Usually, only a handful of fans leave the tailgating festivities to watch the first opening act. But, once word came that Lady A was taking the stage, nearly double the usual amount of seats were filled at four o’clock sharp.

Seats continued to fill by the time 2009 Female Vocalist of the Year nominee Miranda Lambert took the stage. Lambert kept her cool while singing her scorching hits like “Kerosene,” “Gunpowder and Lead” and “More Like Her.” She even debuted some new singles from her upcoming album Revolution.

Hot off Lambert’s heels, Montgomery Gentry hit the stage with a bang. Throughout the set, Eddie Montgomery made use of the entire stage, singing his heart out and running from corner to corner, despite the 95-degree heat. Troy Gentry stayed stationary through the songs, but gave his all in the vocals and good looks department. MG is a duo that surprises audiences whenever they perform, shocking everyone by how many radio hits are sung by them. I, as well as my entire section of seats, knew the words to every single song they performed.

Sugarland rocking out!

Sugarland rocking out!

Sugarland, a staple performer on Kenny’s tour, laid it all on the line with their upbeat performances. By this time, the sun was going down, the seats were practically filled and the audience’s anticipation for Kenny continued to grow. I’ve seen Sugarland perform 3 times already, both in and out of the Kenny tours, and I’m usually a little freaked out by Nettle’s psychedelic dance moves. This time, everything from their vocals to movements to special effects fit together. Not a trace of the voice issues plaguing Jennifer Nettles earlier in the tour were heard; nothing was holding this duo back. One concertgoer next to me even remarked, “The last time I saw them in concert I was less than impressed. But from this performance, I’m shocked they are even the same band!”

Finally, after 5 hours of opening acts and set changes, we heard the opening chords of  “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”  Shocked that he would open with his usual encore selection, everyone frantically searched the stage for our leading man, Kenny Chesney. Out of nowhere, Kenny appeared in the air, riding onto the stage in a chair suspended above the floor seats. This is certainly the most elaborate opening Kenny has ever done, but the crowd went wild as he began to sing “Livin’ Those Songs,” putting us all at ease knowing “She Thinks…” would be saved for the end of the show. This wasn’t the only fast one Kenny pulled on us fans in Foxborough. Starting with that intricate entrance, he went on to sing some of his

Photo: BostonHerald.com

Photo: BostonHerald.com

older classics like “You and Me,” and “There Goes My Life,” which haven’t been played at Gillette since his first show in 2004. Usually, Kenny talks to the crowd between songs,  connecting each to the audience. This year, it seems Kenny got a bit shy but as tradeoff he added about 4 more songs into his set. Only when “She Comes From Boston” started playing did Kenny tell us that he and his band “wait all year to play this one,” which really made us feel like Gillette is a special stop along his tour . Kenny’s performance lasted about 2 hours, and ended with New England Patriots players Tedy Bruschi and Wes Welker joining Chesney on stage.   All 60,000 people in Gillette were on their feet for nearly 120-plus minutes of Chesney’s performance, so it’s a safe to say that Entertainer of the Year award will be back in Kenny’s buff, island-tanned arms at next year’s American Country Music Awards. And if not, we’re sure he won’t mind as long as his record sales and sold out arena shows continue to prove otherwise in the hearts of real country fans.

KENNY CHESNEY COMES TO BOSTON, ARE YOU READY?

She comes from Boston”… and Maine, and Connecticut and seemingly every corner of New England to catch THE concert of the summer. Kenny Chesney’s “Sun City Carnival Tour” hits Gillette Stadium on August 15, an event country music fans have been waiting for since early December. After selling out all  60,000 seats in less than 10 minutes, Kenny’s show became the premier summer event for country fans up North.

This year, there is a lot to look forward to in the equally excitable, equally talented and equally worth-giving-up-precious-tailgating-time opening acts. Lady Antebellum will likely start the show, and this threesome has a lot to prove. After being named Academy of Country Music’s (ACM) “Top New Group” in 2008, their most recent single, “I Run to You” just hit number one.

Miranda Lambert herself

Miranda Lambert herself

Next up will be Miranda Lambert, whose set is filled with a few kick ass rock covers as well as her own high energy, take-no-prisoners singles. This girl isn’t just “Famous in a Small Town” anymore, she’s a national country superstar and she’s ready to show New England why.

The third act to hit this powerhouse stage will be Montgomery Gentry, possibly the most experienced veterans  on the tour (other than Mr. Chesney himself). This blue-collar praising duo is aiming to prove just why they’ve had over ten years of country success.

The last opener before the main attraction will be Sugarland. But don’t worry, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will only amp you up for the concert of your life. On their 3rd year now as a Chesney opener, Sugarland knows just what Boston fans need to heighten the anticipation, and they’ll only add to your amazement of the entire night.

Kenny kickin' butt at a performance

Kenny kickin' butt at a performance

After three or so hours of great country music, Kenny Chesney—four-time ACM Entertainer of the Year—will finally take the stage to remind us all why we bribed strangers for the pre-sale code, or woke up early on that Saturday morning back in December. It’s simply the best concert of the year. But, if you were one of the thousands of  fans who just couldn’t get those precious tickets this winter, you might want to scour EBay for any few remaining seats. Because August 15th, 2009 will be a day to remember—with an insane tailgating, frat-party atmosphere spanning across over 15 parking lots. Our boy Kenny promises to fill the night with nostalgic songs like “I Go Back”, beer ballads like “Keg in the Closet”, and his special performance of “She’s From Boston”, just for the New England fans he loves so much.

OurStage will be there, covering every minute and giving you a play by play as soon as we can! Stay Tuned!

 


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