Phoenix Country Radio News.

Nashville In Concert

Monday, 13 February 2017

Exciting concert news! Nashville In Concert featuring Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson. Live in Dublin and Belfast this June. Tickets on sale this Friday at 9am.

See Willie Nelson Sing 'Bobby McGee' for Kristofferson on 'ACL' Special

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Red Headed Stranger performs one of the songwriter's signature songs as part of a "Hall of Fame" episode of 'Austin City Limits'.
Backed by harmonica player Mickey Raphael and the out-of-time swagger of his own acoustic guitar, Willie Nelson pays tribute to longtime friend and fellow Highwayman Kris Kristofferson during a new episode of Austin City Limits.
Taped October 12th and premiering this New Year Eve on PBS, the TV special shines a light not only on Kristofferson, but on 2016's entire class of ACL Hall of Fame inductees, including Bonnie Raitt and B.B. King.
"Busted flat in Baton Rogue, headin' for the trains," Nelson begins, kicking off his cover of Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" with a half-sung, half-spoken verse. From there, Nelson leads his makeshift band through a rowdy, revised version of the song, with Kristofferson – recast as the group's rhythm guitarist – strumming along and grinning from stage left.
Nelson punctuates key lines with bursts of noise from his beat-to-hell instrument, Trigger, and steals the performance with a rough-edged guitar solo that swoons one minute and sways like the town drunk the next. Purposely imperfect, the performance focuses on the chemistry between two country icons who share more than a half-century's worth of history, with both legends tipping their hats to one another.
Hosted by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, the ACL Hall of Fame special includes performances by Mavis Staples, Gary Clark Jr., Rodney Crowell and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and airs December 31st at 9:00 p.m./ET on PBS.

2016 In Memoriam: Country Stars We Lost This Year

Friday, 30 December 2016

Merle Haggard and Joey Feek were among the country-music personalities who died in 2016.
As just this past week proved with the deaths of Carrie Fisher and George Michael, 2016 was a brutal year for the arts. And country music was not immune. The genre lost legendary performers, cornerstone songwriters and even young artists over the past year. We look back at the careers of some of the top country-music personalities who died in 2016.
Ralph Stanely was bluegrass music. A pioneer of the genre, along with old-timey Appalachian mountain music, the singer with the inimitable deep voice died on June 23rd at 89 after a bout with skin cancer.
Andrew Dorff was one of contemporary Nashville's most successful songwriters. As well as one of the town's most beloved figures – Twitter tributes poured in from Shelton, Martina McBride and the Cadillac Three's Jaren Johnston when Dorff passed at age 40 on December 19th.
Few singers plied hardcore honky-tonk music as their stock-in-trade longer and more effectively than Jean Shepard. A 60-year veteran of the Grand Ole Opry, Shepard, who died September 25th at age 82, specialized in gutsy, vibrant performances on record and on stage, and was one of the Opry's longest-serving members before retiring in November 2015.
Had Claude "Curly" Putman Jr. only penned the classic George Jones weeper "He Stopped Loving Her Today," his status as a songwriting icon would be cemented in country-music history. Adding to his renown, however, are the hugely successful "Green, Green Grass of Home" (a worldwide hit for Tom Jones, among many other artists) and Tammy Wynette's unforgettable "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." Putman died of congestive heart failure on October 30th, just three weeks short of his 86th birthday.
Holly Dunn, who released a string of memorable country singles in the late Eighties, died November 14th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, following a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 59. Dunn first found success as a songwriter, scoring a Top 10 hit with Louise Mandrell's "I'm Not Through Loving You Yet."
"Spread your arms and hold your breath, and always trust your cape," Guy Clark sang on "The Cape," his classic tale of finding vigor, hope and courage in the most ordinary of places. Until his death from cancer in May at 74, the Monahans, Texas, native brought this nuanced, visceral prose into his breed of Southern folksong and became one of country's most revered and treasured songwriters.
Although not as much of household name as the artist he helped launch into the stratosphere, Scotty Moore altered the course of American music forever. Best known as Elvis Presley's lead guitarist, Moore was instrumental in creating rock & roll. He played on Presley's first hit, "That's All Right (Mama)," as well as classics like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Jailhouse Rock." Moore is credited with inventing power chords and forming the lead-guitarist archetype in rock music.
Born with a heart defect, Pete Huttlinger battled health problems throughout his life, balancing hospital stays with a career spent onstage and in the recording studio. As a country flatpicker and award-winning finger-style guitarist, he logged time in a number of bands, including the touring lineups for John Denver, LeAnn Rimes and Hall & Oates.
Blessed with a warm, heavenly voice and compassionate spirit, Joey Martin Feek waged a valiant battle with cervical cancer, shared in unflinchingly honest detail through husband-songwriter Rory Feek's cathartic blogging and filmmaking. Married in 2002, the couple released their debut LP as Joey + Rory in 2008, and were named the ACM's Top New Vocal Duo in 2010. While cancer took Joey's life March 4th at just 40 years old, the couple's love story has continued with Rory's heartbreaking yet inspirational documentary To Joey, With Love.
Merle Haggard, the "poet of the common man," was also a real-life outlaw. Born during the final years of the Great Depression, he turned an early predilection for crime into an otherworldly ability to write songs that spoke to the broke and brokenhearted, taking himself from the cells of San Quentin Prison to the top of the Billboard Country Charts. A road warrior for more than half a century, he was playing shows up until the month he entered the hospital with an ongoing case of double pneumonia, which claimed his life on April 6th.
In a tragedy that played out publicly via social media and news reports, the body of Backroad Anthem singer Craig Strickland was found January 4th in Oklahoma after more than a week of search and rescue efforts.
An unsung hero from the early days of Californian country-rock, songwriter Steve Young made his public debut with 1969's Rock Salt & Nails, an album that sported cameos from Gram Parsons and Gene Clark. e died March 17th.
Chips Moman was one of Memphis' most famed producers and songwriters, collaborating with legends like Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield and Elvis Presley, for whom he produced "In the Ghetto." Born in LaGrange, Georgia, in 1937, Moman moved to Memphis as a teenager and, after a brief stint as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, returned to lend a hand in the founding of famed label Stax Records.Moman passed away June 13th in his hometown at the age of 79.
Determining how Alabama-born farm boy James Hugh Loden, whose first musical instrument was made from a molasses bucket, became country-pop superstar Sonny James is easy once you hear his dreamily sophisticated vocals on such hits as 1957's crossover smash "Young Love." He died February 22nd at age 87 of natural causes.
Born into the same family that produced the Louvin Brothers, John D. Loudermilk, a cousin to Ira and Charlie, kicked off his career as a rock & roller, releasing a string of solo albums for Columbia and RCA Victor. It was his work as a songwriter that left a bigger mark, though. He was still living in the outskirts of Nashville this past September, when he suffered a fatal heart attack at age 82.
This is only the tip of the iceberg but to all those country legends that we have lost this year RIP.

CMT Artists of the Year Are Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Thomas Rhett have been selected by CMT as the premiere country artists of 2016 and will be celebrated at the seventh annual CMT Artists of the Year special, it was announced Tuesday (Sept. 13).
Additionally, Kelsea Ballerini is set to receive the second-annual Breakout Artist of the Year honor.
The 2016 CMT Artists of the Year special premieres from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Each artist will be honored with never-before-seen performances alongside lighthearted and emotional moments fueled by plenty of champagne during the 90-minute special on CMT.
Following last year’s nod as breakthrough artist, Chris Stapleton joins first-time recipient Thomas Rhett and veteran CMT Artists of the Year Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012, 2016), Florida Georgia Line (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and Luke Bryan, who now ties with Jason Aldean as the artists with most wins with five consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
This year’s five honorees collectively dominated the last 12 months in country music, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out concerts across the nation.
On the heels of her mega-hit debut album, The First Time, and before her first-ever headlining tour, CMT’s Next Women of Country member Kelsea Ballerini has taken the country world by storm. With her third No. 1 hit “Peter Pan,” she is the only female artist in country music history, including female duos and groups, to reach No. 1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album.