/The summer in country music

The summer in country music

  • Chart topping hits, sold out concerts and always a baseball cap. Luke Bryan has taken this summer and made it his time to shine. And why shouldn’t he? Bryan’s fourth album, “Crash My Party,” hit the top of the Billboard charts almost instantaneously after the release date in early August, making it the third largest selling album in 2013. This Georgia native and spring break lover has won over the hearts of fans; his July 11 Birmingham show sold out in minutes! “Dirty Road Diaries” is his first tour to headline by himself–much deserved after his last couple of years opening for others and doing college town tours. Luke lovers know another spring break album is expected, and some fans are already planning on booking a hotel in Panama City. Five years in a row, Bryan has had a free concert there over spring break–injuries are expected for a front row seat. He won ACM’s Entertainer of the Year in Feb. for the second consecutive time. Obviously nothing will be crashing his party anytime soon.

  • You know when they remake a movie and it’s better than the original? Well, Darius Rucker hit one out of the park with “Wagon Wheel.”
    If you’ve ever heard the original from Old Crow Medicine Show, consider yourself lucky–very few have. Rucker transformed this classic into an upbeat summer anthem (and included Duck Dynasty in the video). This was his first single as a country artist that went double platinum.
    But don’t let his country success throw you off. His roots are still with Hootie & the Blowfish, and he has said that he sees a huge possibility in a reunion tour. I’m sure your inner nineties child is squealing remembering songs like “Only Wanna Be With You.” Although Rucker had major success with his new single, his new album “True Believers” released in May, falling short of expectations.

  • At age 62, many seniors are thinking about filing for AARP, moving to the beach and getting their five percent discount at Publix.
    George Strait–now 61–has no signs of slowing down. After the release of his new album “Love is Everything” in May, his 60th single topped the charts at number one. This made 60 number one hits while he was 60 years old.
    “Give It All We Got Tonight” made the history books for Strait, making no one question his spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. His fans created a website called SixtyforSixty.com. With over 280,000 supporters, they made sure his song reached the top.
    After 26 albums, there is no doubt King George can produce a hit, and his “Cowboy Rides Away” 2014 farewell tour dates are in the works. But don’t worry–even though he is done touring, he has already signed a new five album deal with his record company. Should we start counting on 70 for 70?

  • A year and a half ago Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were unknown–unless you were near Belmont University in Nashville. Today they form the duo Florida Georgia Line.
    This odd match of hip hop and country has made its way through our radio and hit the charts in two genres. “Cruise” caught the attention of country music and then, when a collaboration with Nelly was released, the Top 40 stations jumped on the bandwagon. Although their album was released at the end of 2012, it did not gain any momentum until this summer.
    Luke Bryan asked the duo to tag along on his new tour and album sales picked up drastically. Maybe this duo will make another album? But as for now they might be a slightly better version of a one hit wonder.

  • Downtown Nashville was buzzing the first week in June with the excitement of the CMT (Country Music Television) Music Awards and the CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival.
    The awards were held on June 5 and–for the first time in several years–Taylor Swift did not win anything. Although this is an awards show, it is more accurate to say it is the starting concert to kick off the weekend of performances. Miranda Lambert and hubby Blake Shelton both won in their categories, with Lambert walking away with the biggest award of the night: CMT Performance of the Year. Florida Georgia Line cruised in with two awards for the night including best duo and breakthrough video of the year.
    After the awards were over, the real fun began. From Randy Travis to Carrie Underwood, all of country’s hottest acts took various stages over four days near Broadway to perform. The VMAs and Grammys have already finished for the year, but don’t fret. The CMA Music Awards are still ahead on November 6!


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