Maybe its because he has more #1 singles than any artist in history or maybe its his timeless style that has transcended generations; Either way George Strait is the unequivocal King of Country Music, he has 57 #1 singles to his credit and he continues to record relevant and heartfelt music with soul and commercial appeal. Currently, the King is on tour, George Strait concert dates are scheduled nationally throughout 2011.
The native Texan ranks as one of the most celebrated American musicians of any genre and has sold nearly 70 million albums in the United States alone. To speak about his accomplishments would be to merely list the dozens of awards he has received from the Academy of Country Music Awards, Grammy Awards, CMT Awards, American Music Awards, and Country Music Association Awards. The singer has won them all. His music is organic and was cultivated on the rural plains of Texas where he was influenced by George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Frank Sinatra as well as the rugged cowboy lifestyle that reared him.
Strait joined the US Army in 1971 and began performing with the band "Rambling Country" on base while stationed in Hawaii. He returned to Texas after his army stint and enrolled at Texas State University where he joined the country group "Ace in the Hole". Eventually the band gained some recognition and was invited to open for the Texas Playboys. After touring for several years, George was approached by MCA Records who quickly signed Strait to a recording contract in 1981.
Strait released his first album Strait Country in 1981, but it wasn't until 1982's sophomore set Strait From the Heart that he scored his first #1 single "Fool Hearted Memory". Since then Strait has gone on to record a record 57 #1 tracks on country radio. His career spans over thirty years and he has 25 studio albums, 19 of which have hit #1 on the Country Albums charts. He has 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums under his belt and he has shown no signs of slowing down.
Strait's most recent album Twang marked his 26th studio release and it hit #1 on the Billboard 200 in 2009. Strait was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Country Album for the disc in 2009. He was also honored at the 2009 Academy of Country Music Awards with the Artist of The Decade Award and was named Billboard Magazines Country Music Artist of the past 25 years in 2010. Strait is truly an American recording legend, his music has spanned the decades and has captivated the ears of millions of fans. Use Eventful as your source for George Strait tour dates and concert schedule information as they become available.
After just one decade in Music City, Kentucky native Chris Stapleton has accomplished more than most musicians hope to accomplish in a lifetime. His voice transcends genre and stands out among the homogenized commercial product typical of Nashville. Vivid, edgy, passionate - no matter the adjective used to describe his music, no word can truly capture the depth of his prolific songwriting, soulful voice, and honest musicianship.
He moved to Nashville in the fall of 2001 with a catalog of twenty songs, a suitcase, and his guitar. After hearing simple guitar and vocal recordings of the songs Stapleton had written by himself, Liz O'Sullivan was determined to sign him as a songwriter at the newly formed Seagayle Music. Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois were equally enchanted, and within two months, Stapleton had what many songwriters wait years for: his first cut. Fast forward ten years later, and he has too many successful collaborations to even count. Among those are cuts with Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, James Otto, Brooks & Dunn, Alison Krauss, LeAnn Rimes, Trent Willmon, Trace Adkins, Steel Magnolia, and Trisha Yearwood; and co-writes with Peter Frampton, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, and Marty Stuart. "It's therapeutic and an exercise in purpose, but for me, it's more of a compulsion than anything," he says of songwriting. He writes for any number of reasons - the commercial market, his own enjoyment, because he or a co-writer has an idea, but the joy of it - and his greatest work - is born of not ever knowing what the purpose is. Left to his own devices, he is aware that he can be "way out there," but his diverse catalog is proof that he understands consistency, creativity, and the importance of marrying the two to be a successful songwriter. "I don't sit around dreaming up singles for artists - that's just not gonna happen" - these claims that he doesn't take the time to worry about what direction writing will take create co-writes conducive to creativity, resulting in chart topping singles with Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner, and Darius Rucker.
In 2006, Stapleton joined forces with Mike Henderson and seasoned veterans Richard Bailey, Mike Fleming, and Tammy Rogers to form The SteelDrivers, a bluegrass band with rock, country, and soul influences. Writing with Henderson since his move to Nashville years earlier created a collection of remarkable songs, most of which were unlikely to be recorded by commercial country. Henderson expressed his desire to play a regular gig, and before they knew it, they were playing all original songs and catching the eye of record label executives. Their first record garnered the band a Grammy nomination, and their sophomore effort, praised by critics, earned them two more Grammy nods. Stapleton parted ways with the band in 2010.
In 2005, what began as four guys jamming in a garage quickly became a more serious musical venture. Although Stapleton is known for both commercial country songwriting and bluegrass, he knew that working with JT Cure, Bard McNamee, and Greg McKee would be something extraordinary. Initially, their personalities meshed well, but their chemistry together as songwriters and musicians made it easy to collaborate. Stapleton describes their process as a "discovery - it's the prospect of what you might make up next." It's hard to pinpoint where The Jompson Brothers fit genre-wise in today's market, but they are rock and roll in it's most basic form - straight ahead rock and roll. The Jompson Brothers self-titled debut is available on iTunes. <http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-jompson-brothers/id407587531>
Chris Stapleton continues to write for Seagayle Music. He resides in Nashville with his wife and two children...
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Take the voice of Terri Clark, add Dolly Parton's songwriting, and throw in Bonnie Raitt's guitar skills and you get a talented new artist named Ashley McBryde. This free-spirited singer-songwriter pens honest, country lyrics and has a raw twang in her voice that can be heard on her self-titled debut album.
McBryde describes her sound as “... sort of a rag-tag gypsy kind of thing. It's classy-trashy, it's a very clean dirty, it's got a little trailer on it, and its probably lived in the back of a covered wagon most of its life.”
The winner of the state of Arkansas' 2004 Colgate Country Showdown songwriting competition is honored to call Carl Jackson, songwriter for artists such as Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs, her mentor from age 12. She has opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artemis Pyle's self-titled band, blues singer Barbara Blue, country artist Chris Cagle, and played gigs at the world-famous honky-tonk, Tootsies. After winning over huge audiences in Jonesboro and Memphis, she made her lifelong dream come true when she moved to Nashville in 2007.
McBryde grew up on a farm in Mammoth Springs, AR, with a big musical family of eight. Her dad gave her a mandolin to play at age four, because she couldn't leave his guitars alone. Never the shy type, she got her first taste of singing in front of an audience when she was invited on stage a year later to sing while at one of the many bluegrass festivals her family attended. By the time she was nine, she had outgrown the mandolin, moved on to learn the guitar, and had written her first real song, “Fight the Flames”, at age 12. Years later, while playing at her friend’s house, she was given the nickname “Ashley Guitar” because of her love of the instrument.
In October 2005, McBryde recorded her self-titled album at a private studio in Nashville. Released in January 2006, this heart-wrenching album displays simple and honest lyrics that run the gamut of emotions. McBryde describes her album as “something you would put in and listen to if you were driving in the rain.”
Her CD features her playing the acoustic guitar and lyrics that paint a picture way beyond her years. Her music can make people tear up, or light their eyes up with joy. She’s had people dancing when there was no dance floor and captivated the audiences’ attention when conversation once filled the room.
Carl Jackson gave the young writer some advice regarding her songwriting that she carries with her. She said he explained it to her by saying, “You're not the one writing the songs. The songs are writing you. You have no idea that you are writing the soundtrack to your life.”
Learn more about Ashley McBryde www.AshleyMcBryde.com.