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March 2017

News

News: Carrie Underwood Signs Worldwide Deal With Universal Music Group

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It’s been almost twelve years since the world was introduced to the force that is Carrie Underwood, and after winning Season 4 of “American Idol” she instantly signed to Sony where she remained for her career up until this point.

It was announced today that a new worldwide recording agreement with the superstar has been made, meaning Underwood’s new label home will be Capitol Records Nashville – one of four labels that form Universal Music Group Nashville.

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said, “I’m so thrilled that Carrie has decided to make Capitol Records Nashville and UMG her home globally.  As a talented writer, recording artist, performer and actor, Carrie is that exceptionally rare artist who can do it all.  I know I speak on behalf of our teams around the world when I say that we look forward to executing her creative vision and bringing her musical career to the next level.”

Mike Dungan, Universal Music Group Nashville Chairman and CEO shares, “Already a top tier force in country music, Carrie’s vast talents and creative bravery show that she is an artist who is prepared to take on a wide range of artistic challenges.  We are excited for the future, and honored by her decision to make Universal Music Group her label partner in representing this worldwide superstar in the next phase of her career.”

UMG Nashville President, Cindy Mabe was part of the team who launched Carrie’s first album, the eight times platinum, “Some Hearts”. “When I decided to take my position with Capitol Records in 2007, personally one of the hardest people for me to leave behind was Carrie Underwood,” explains Mabe. “We were a team and I had the opportunity to watch her leave American Idol as a kid and mature into one of the most important artists with the most powerful voice in music.  It was amazing to be a small part of that ride. I am so proud and humbled that she has chosen to sign with Universal Music Group Nashville and that we will once again join forces as she writes the next chapter of her soaring career as a global superstar of enormous integrity and talent.”

Underwood states, “It’s so inspiring to me as an artist to feel this excited about the future.  The incredible team at UMG shares the heart and passion I have for music as well as the drive, and their innovative spirit has shown that together the possibilities are endless.”

“I also want to be sure to thank every single person who has played a part in my recording career so far.  I will be forever grateful to them for all we achieved together,” adds Underwood.

Underwood joins an already impressive artist roster that includes the likes of Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Brandon Lay, Brothers Osborne, Canaan Smith, Chris Stapleton, Clare Dunn, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Easton Corbin, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, George Strait, Haley Georgia, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Lady Antebellum, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, Sugarland, The Band Perry and Vince Gill.

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News

News: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Release “Speak to a Girl”

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After what feels like an eternity, we are on the verge of new material from Grammy award winning superstar Faith Hill in the form of a duets album with the equally talented and fellow Grammy award winning superstar Tim McGraw.

It was announced earlier this week that the first single from their upcoming project would be released March 23rd to Country radio and would subsequently be available to download and stream worldwide.

“Speak to a Girl” co-penned by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Spargur and co-produced by Bryon Gallimore, McGraw and Hill is a great teaser for what’s to come from Hill and McGraw’s first full length project together which is due to be released by Sony Music Entertainment in 2017.

The husband and wife duo will also be embarking on their third Soul2Soul tour this year, starting April 7th 2017 in New Orleans, LA. You can buy tickets for the show here, and hopefully it won’t be long before we get an announcement about UK dates for the Worldwide tour..

To find more about Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, make sure you check out their websites and follow them on social media;

Tim McGraw:

Faith Hill:

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Artist FeaturesFeatured

Speaking With: Lauren Alaina

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CC: Hi Lauren, my name is Sam and I’m the Editorial Director for completelycountry.co.uk. I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank you for talking with us today. We really appreciate it.

LA: Oh my gosh, thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate it.

CC: First of all I have to mention that I saw the Britney Spears video you posted yesterday which was amazing! How did that happen?

LA: Thank you! We’re goofy. We have to find ways of entertaining ourselves on the bus and so I taught them that choreography. We actually did that about two weeks ago and I finally thought I’m gonna post it.

CC: How long did it take to teach them the moves (Lauren’s band members), because I know most girls as young kids wanted to be Britney Spears but that was just spot on.

LA: Honestly, it only took about twenty minutes.

CC: Impressive.

LA: I was very impressed by their skills.

 

CC: 2017 for you so far has seen an album release, your single in the top 5, an already completed tour and another over summer with Luke Bryan as well as an ACM nomination for Best New Female artist. I think it’s safe to say this is your year?

LA: Thank you, I’m pretty excited! I feel like I’ve been waiting for six years for it to catch on and oh my gosh I can’t even explain how excited I am. I am just freaking out.

CC: You’ve certainly worked hard for it and it’s about time everyone caught on and I’m glad they have.

LA: Thank you so much, me too.

CC: You released your debut album pretty quickly after American Idol, but as you said it’s been five years between that and the release of “Road Less Traveled” back in January. Was it nerve-wracking to release a full-length album that you had a hand in writing each track of after such a gap?

LA: Yes I was very nervous. I mean super thankful though that I got the opportunity to have a second album and to be able to tell my actual story but it was definitely scary. I was very nervous but I think it’s been received really well so that’s very exciting.

CC: Five years is a long time for anything, especially in the music industry. Were there ever moments when you thought ‘that’s it, the second album is not going to be released, I’ve worked hard and it may not see the light of day’? And what has it been like to hear such high praise for it?

LA: I thought that a million times. You know that’s a long time and the music industry typically moves between albums about every two years so five years is unheard of. To keep my record deal is so amazing and I’m so thankful for that but I think everything happens for a reason and the timing ended up being perfect because I went through so much that I needed that time to write this album. It’s so rewarding now to tell my own stories, kind of share where I’ve been and get to now hear how people are reacting, responding and receiving it.

CC: Absolutely, I know on social media people have been praising the album a lot so from following your career from “American Idol” to here it’s been really great to see.

LA: Thank you so much!

CC: You’ve been through a lot both personally and professionally, and “Road Less Traveled” is like listening to a diary at times. Was it difficult to write about your life in detail and was there any time where you were nervous to be so open about it with your music and to let people in, in such a vulnerable way?

LA: Yeah it’s definitely scary because they’re my stories and they’re super personal and I didn’t know how people would react to that but for me, it was super freeing because I needed to tell those stories. I needed to share who I really am. I felt that in my career so far, before this album, I didn’t get to share who I am because I was scared of who I am. I wasn’t honest about who I am and I was just kinda trying to be this perfect blonde girl who fit this perfect little mould and I just wasn’t being honest with the world about who I am.
I feel like in the last few years I’ve really come to terms with who I am, accepted who I am and learned to love who I am and my music helped me do that. Being honest with the music I found myself with this album, I’m so excited because I think we all have problems and we all have things going on in our lives that we don’t necessarily want to share with people, but I think when we do share those things with people they have a completely new connection with us and I’ve really felt that with this music – that I’m connecting with people in a brand new way.

CC: Are there any songs you struggle to perform to an audience because of the subject? And throughout the struggles how have you remained so sunny and positive?

LA: After Idol, I didn’t handle things very well. I had an eating disorder for a very long time because people commented on my weight and I was making my hair blonder because people commented on my hair, so I was making decisions based on what other people wanted for me and what I thought they needed from me. Then finally I woke up one day and I decided to get better, I overcame this eating disorder and I started talking to people and figuring out everyone has problems. We’re all flawed individuals who have insecurities and things about us we’d like to change, but that doesn’t make us less of a beautiful thing. We’re all really great, unique and beautiful in our own way. It took me a while to get to that point but now I feel really confident in who I am, I love who I am and I accept my flaws, and of course I still have insecurities that will never go away but I’m healthier about them and with that mindset other people don’t have control of my feelings anymore. People can hurt my feelings, people can upset me but they’re not going to upset me to the point I make a bad decision because of it because I’m in a better place and I think it all begins with us. We have to take care of ourselves and be in a good place then people don’t affect us as much as they would if we weren’t in a good place.

CC: Songs like “Road Less Traveled”, “Think Outside the Boy” and “Pretty” have important messages that people can really take something from. What’s it like to be considered a role model?

LA: It’s scary ‘cos I don’t want to let people down, I want to be someone they can look up to but you know what’s a great thing about it? It makes me want to be a better person, it makes me want to be someone that girls can look up to, that guys can look up to and that parents want their kids to look up to. I’ll never be perfect, I’m gonna make mistakes and I’m probably going to get criticised for those mistakes but I make it a conscious effort to be the best person I can be and because people consider me a role model it makes me be even better than if I weren’t one.

CC: A track on the album that has been getting a lot of attention lately is “Three” after your performance during CRS, which I think is a great anthem for fellow artists. It really shows the audience the sacrifices that artists go through in the beginning and throughout their career to live out their dreams. Would you change anything?

LA: No I wouldn’t, I think everything that’s gotten me to this point happened for a reason. I know it sounds cheesy but that’s so true, everything that happens to us makes us who we are and shapes us into the people we are. Would I like to go back and hug my sixteen-year-old self and tell her that six years from that moment she was going to have a song in the top five, that she was going to be touring with Martina McBride and Luke Bryan and have these crazy, amazing opportunities? I would like to tell her that just to make her cry a little less, but because my sixteen-year-old self cried so much I have the song “Pretty” and I have the song “Road Less Traveled”. Hard times, they’re hard but they teach you about yourself. So I’m not sure I’d change anything, I just might have given myself a hug.

CC: “Road Less Traveled” is your highest charting song to date, currently sitting at #5 and still climbing. That must feel pretty special after all the time and effort you’ve put in, what are you going to do to celebrate?

LA: Everyone keeps asking me and honestly I don’t know! I’m still in shock, I think we’re so close to going number one that I’m just kind of holding my breath at this point hoping for the best and if we don’t go all the way, we don’t go all the way and that will be fine. I’m so proud of five, I’m proud to be in the top five I just think I’m going to get all of the people I love in one big room and we’re going to celebrate. We’re going to have a good time and I’m going to get my family to come up from home and all of my friends to be there and it’ll be one big celebration.

CC: I hope it’ll be a number one celebration but if it isn’t, number five is also pretty amazing. You just finished the CMT Next Women of Country tour, how was that experience?

LA: It was great, I loved that tour so much! Martina was so kind to me, she really spent time with me and the other openers that were on the tour as well. I really feel like she is such an amazing person and I’ve loved her since I was little, I sang Martina McBride on karaoke non-stop, obsessed! So to be able to tour with her and to watch her show every night then to see how much impact a woman can have if she works hard, she puts out good music and she stays focused, that was so great for me to see. I just loved it and she added me on Snapchat, I was very excited about that.

CC: A fun part of your show is when you pick a guy from the audience to come up on stage to dance during “Next Boyfriend”. You actually picked a friend of mine at one of your shows last week, it was quite surreal seeing a video of Tommy on Facebook up on stage with you.

LA: Oh my gosh, no way! Tommy, yes I remember him.

CC: How do you choose the lucky guy and have they all been co-operating or have any tried to make an escape out the back?

LA: Yeah I’ve had a couple that have made me a little uncomfortable, a little too handsy and have tried to grab me. I don’t like that but for the most part, it’s one of the fun parts of the show and is so hilarious. I typically get the one that looks like they might be a little bit embarrassed, if their friends are pointing at them I’ll pick them or sometimes if they volunteer. Every night is different but it’s so much fun and people get up there even if they aren’t great dancers, they end up being great because they just let loose and you can see throughout the song that people start loosening up and doing better.

CC: When you’re not touring, what do you love to do to bring yourself back to normality and be a normal twenty-two year old if that’s ever possible?

LA: Well I like to get my friends together at home, we have game night a lot. I like to play kid games, you know where you put headbands on, it has a card and you’ve got to guess what animal or object you are. That’s one of our favourites! We just sit around and hang out, I don’t get to see my people a lot so anytime I can get them all in one room together it makes my heart so happy.

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CC: You did your first UK shows during C2C last year and there was such a positive reaction, particularly at the Sounds Like Nashville show where you played just before The Shires and time overran, but fans were very vocal they wanted you to carry on. Were you surprised by the response from fans here and what was your favourite part about coming to the UK?

LA: I was so shocked! I didn’t know if I had fans there or not and it’s kind of the fear of the unknown, I just didn’t know what to expect. I was so encouraged and we have consistently been trying to find the right time to come back. It’s been hard to make it happen because I’ve dropped the album then we’ve been super busy promoting that but we’re in the talks of figuring out when we can come back over there and we’re very excited.

CC: With your album and in interviews, you are pretty much an open book and are very honest. Is there anything fans would be surprised to know about you that they don’t already?

LA: Oh my goodness maybe, let me think. I love to read, is that surprising? I’m a book worm.

CC: It is surprising but only because I don’t know how you find the time.

LA: I usually read on the bus or on an aeroplane, that’s when I get my reading in when I’m flying or travelling.

CC: What kind of books?

LA: I like thriller/action books. I’m reading the “Jack Reacher” novels right now.

CC: If you like thrillers, I’d recommend “The Crucifix Killer” by Chris Carter, it’s pretty gruesome but it’s the kind of book you start and can’t put down.

LA: Oh that sounds something I’d love to read, I’ll check it out.

CC: Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us today, we do hope we get to see you over here soon. Have a great day!

LA: Thanks girl, great to talk to you.

Since our interview “Road Less Traveled” has moved up to #3 in the charts, moving Lauren closer to her first #1 single.

To keep up to date with Lauren, make sure you follow her on social media and don’t forget to check out our album review.

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News

News: Josh Turner’s “Deep South” Debuts at No.1 on Billboard Top Country Albums Chart

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Multi-Platinum-selling country star Josh Turner’s sixth studio album “Deep South” debuts at No. 1 on this week’s Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Turner wrote five of the 11 tracks on the well-crafted album and he is impressing fans and critics alike.

Rolling Stone declares that Turner, with his “river deep baritone,” delivers an “eagerly awaited album from a country purist.” PEOPLE Magazine says the “Nashville veteran flaunts his deep bass” on “Deep South” and that the album is “an ode to down-home staples, from finding that perfect love on “Hometown Girl” to savouring the laid-back life on the title track.”

Turner’s “Hometown Girl” is currently climbing country radio’s Top 10 and it is impacting with fans as the song tallies over 100k in digital sales and over 65M total streams.

Turner shares, “I’ve lived a lot of life since the release of my last album and I’ve learned a lot during the making of this album. I have grown as a writer and as an artist. It’s been cool to see this culmination of life and lessons and age boiled down into this project and I am really proud of Deep South.”

You can purchase “Deep South” here. For additional information, tour dates and more, visit www.JoshTurner.com.

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Reviews

Album Review: Lauren Alaina, “Road Less Traveled”

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When Lauren Alaina first auditioned for Season 10 of American Idol back in 2011, the then 15-year-old Georgia native made such an impression Aerosmith legend Steven Tyler told her she would make 40 million people cry. Later coming second place, Alaina went on to release her debut album “Wildflower” in October of that year.

That was 5 years ago, with Bro Country seemingly out of the window and the ladies gaining more radio airplay and recognition, now is the perfect time to reintroduce 22-year-old Lauren Alaina.

With such a long time between albums it would be easy for an artist to be forgotten or maybe not even release material at all, but for Lauren Alaina that is not the case. Despite going through a lot personally with her parents’ divorce, a struggle with bulimia and vocal cord surgery, Lauren has not let that break her but instead has used these experiences and taken the time to grow as an artist which has resulted in her sophomore album “Road Less Traveled”.

Over the years’ live performances of new material has been posted online which only built my excitement even more, and one of those songs was the opening track “Doin’ Fine”. A deeply personal track about her parents’ divorce and her father overcoming his issues with alcohol.

What Lauren does very well is being able to make you think a song is about something happy with a positive sounding melody, but can kick you in the gut lyrically, which is evident with “Doin Fine”. Jumping right in with the opening lyrics ‘Daddy got sober, Mama got his best friend, I’ve cut down crying to every other weekend’ it delves into real life issues and in some ways, is a way of coming to terms with the fact not everything is perfect, some things are out of our control and we all have our issues and ways of dealing with them to overcome and grow.

I think the general perception of a signed artist is they live a glamorous life and that once they’re famous they are instantly rich. “Three” debunks that and shows the unglamorous side of show business and the sacrifices artists make in their personal lives to chase their dreams, which essentially is made by getting your song on the radio. “Three” is encouraging for anyone who has a dream they want to follow in the sense that it won’t always be easy. There will be sacrifices but when you get an ounce of achievement for it, all the sacrifices and hard times along the way seem worth it. I really hope this will be a single and that it’s one that country radio embraces.

Title track “Road Less Traveled” is one of the more anthemic tracks on the album and is Lauren’s highest charting track to date, currently sitting at number 3 on the Country charts and deservedly so. It’s a crowd pleaser during live shows but again has a very positive message for listeners with lyrics like “You won’t make a name if you follow the rules, history is made when you’re acting a fool” and “Don’t follow anyone, march to the rhythm of a different drum.”

“Same Day Different Bottle” is a track I have personally been hoping Lauren would release since the day I saw a live performance video surface back in 2014. For me, it set the tone of the new music that fans and critics had been waiting for and showed a very vulnerable side to the singer that we hadn’t seen before. It is her and her family’s story about a deeply personal issue with her father’s struggle with alcohol and to even write this song, let alone record it and put on an album was incredibly brave. This is the kind of track that will turn Lauren Alaina from a good singer to a superstar.

Overall: “Road Less Traveled” is like reading a diary, you can feel the struggles, perseverance, and growth both personally and professionally. In the time between albums, Lauren has really honed her craft and grown as a songwriter as well as a vocalist. I have said for a long time that one of the best voices in Country music belongs to Lauren Alaina but she just hasn’t had that ‘career song’ yet, however, I feel that could change as there are some very strong contenders on “Road Less Traveled” – namely “Same Day Different Bottle” and “Three”.

It’s a well-known fact I am a sucker for a good ballad, add some powerful vocals in there and I’m sold! Lauren does that exceptionally well, with a good mix of sassy and fun up-tempo tunes in between. After such a long wait between albums, I was worried it wouldn’t meet my expectations but it did and more.

Lauren Alaina has been very underestimated over the years which has been both a blessing and a curse at times, but 2017 is her year and it’s great to see the masses finally catch on to what a talent she is. I hope award nominations reflect that over the next year.

Track Listing;

  1. Doin’ Fine
  2. My Kind of People
  3. Three
  4. Road Less Traveled
  5. Queen of Hearts
  6. Think Outside the Boy
  7. Painting Pillows
  8. Next Boyfriend
  9. Crashin’ the Boys Club
  10. Same Day Different Bottle
  11. Holding the Other
  12. Pretty

You can buy “Road Less Traveled” here and make sure you check out our interview with her here.

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Artist Features

Speaking With: Hailey Whitters

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If you haven’t heard of Hailey Whitters yet, it won’t be long before you do. From a small town in Iowa, Hailey moved to Nashville at seventeen years old and went on to sign with Carnival Music before releasing her debut album ‘Black Sheep’ in October 2015.

Her first cut as a songwriter came in the form of “Low All Afternoon” by Martina McBride and recently you may have Little Big Town’s brand new single, “Happy People” which was co-written by Hailey and Lori McKenna.

We got the chance to speak to Hailey recently about her journey so far and what’s to come in the future.

CC: You’re from a small town in Iowa, what has your journey been from moving to Nashville to now?

HW: I moved to Nashville when I was 17… I didn’t know a single person! A lot of my experience here has been just diving in headfirst. I started going to open mic nights, I played down on Broadway for a bit, booked co-writes during the day. Just tried to meet as many people as possible and play out as much as possible… I think that helped get me on the radar of some industry folk.  

CC: Your album “Black Sheep” is a brilliant body of work, and the tracks I found myself listening to constantly were “Low All Afternoon” and “One More Hell”. Do you have your own personal favourite and why?

HW: They’re all pretty special to me! I would have to say “One More Hell” & “Low All Afternoon” feel the most personal. One More Hell was obviously about losing my little brother, and Low All Afternoon was the first song I’d written solo in a long time so I was sort of able to tap into this different head space than I’d been doing with co-writing.

 

CC: The trends in Country music were very male dominated, which was still around the time that you will have been creating “Black Sheep”. The tides seem to be changing again now, but was there a pressure there during the creative process when it was seemingly very difficult for women and especially new artists to put music out and have it be heard as easily?

HW: I think so? I really wasn’t focusing too much on where Black Sheep would fit when I was creating it. I just tried to make my best body of work and put it out there… I knew people were going to come to their own conclusions about it and I couldn’t control that, so I just wanted to create something that felt true and real to me.

CC: When I’ve recommended your music to people, I have described you as someone who is kind of a mix between Kacey Musgraves, with that sweet vocal but the song writing grit of Brandy Clark and Miranda Lambert. How would you describe your sound to people who may be new to your music?

HW: I like that! I respect all those females and their career paths… Lyrics are usually what I gravitate towards so I try to make them a big priority in my songs. I grew up listening to anything from Dixie Chicks to Alanis Morisette to Pink to Johnny Cash.

CC: You are gaining attention as a songwriter too, with your first cut being “Low All Afternoon” by Martina McBride. How did that come about and what was it like having another artist record a song that was on your own album?

HW: The first line came to me one day as I was leaving a demo session… It was about 3PM and it just kind of popped into my head. I went home and started playing around with it and the word “ultimatum” came out at me. I then knew what the song was about as I was seeing the whole storyline unfold through a friend of mine. Once I knew what it was about, it was just about putting the parts all together.

Having a song recorded by Martina was incredible! I’ll never forget the first time hearing her voice on it, I was driving down music row, and it was just this surreal moment of feeling like everything was starting to fall into place.

CC: You also toured with Martina McBride on her Love Unleashed tour, can you tell us about that experience and what were some of your highlights?

HW: Yes! It was so awesome… I learned a lot from her. I would put a chair next to the stage every night after my set and watch her show. She’s such a legend. Probably my biggest highlight from the tour was when she asked me to come out and sing “All You Need is Love” with her. I’ll never forget that moment.

CC: You wrote “Happy People” with Lori McKenna which is on Little Big Town’s new album “The Breaker”, what was it like writing with Lori and are there any more tracks from that sessions that may be heard in the future?

HW: Writing with Lori was incredible… I feel like we tapped into something really cool on a spiritual level with Happy People. One of us would say a line and the other had the follow-up. I tend to spitball a lot, but working with her she really showed me how to craft it all together. We wrote one other song on that trip… At the time it’s not set to be on anyone’s record, but you never know! It may be on my next one.

CC: Country music in my opinion is all about the songwriting, that to me is the most important element and what sets the genre apart to others. You are both a singer and songwriter so get so experience both elements, what would you say comes more naturally and what excites you more?

HW: Lyrics tend to be the first thing that comes to me. I’m always fascinated by quirky words/phrases people say. Once I get a lyric, then I’ll usually sit down and try to put a melody to it

CC: Who are what would you said are your biggest influences musically?

HW: Lately I’m on a big Tom Petty kick. I’ve always loved him, but just more recently digging into his catalog again. I love Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlins. Growing up I always wanted to be like Shania Twain or the Dixie Chicks. I really love digging into a Patty Griffin record.

CC: Your career is really just getting started, what are some of your bucket list moments that you hope to achieve?

HW: I’d love to play the Grand Ole Opry, win a Grammy, collaborate with Dolly Parton, come play the UK!

CC: You’ve described yourself as a risk taker, what are some of the biggest risks you’ve taken and did they pan out as you’d expected?

HW: I jumped out of plane once. I’m still alive so it definitely turned out better than expected haha!

CC: With the release of “Black Sheep” in 2015, and with you gaining more recognition for your song writing lately do you feel added pressure in terms of a second album, and what can fans expect next?

HW: Definitely! My first record was sort of a shot in the dark, I had all this music and just wanted to put it out there and see what would happen. I definitely feel a little more pressure to be intentional with this record, but I’m trying to just tune out all the voices and do what feels right to me. Hopefully fans can expect some new music later this year!

You can buy Hailey Whitters’ debut album “Black Sheep” here, and make sure you keep up to date by following her on social media;

 

 

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Reviews

Review: Carolynne, “Coming Back to Me”

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When Yorkshire based singer and songwriter Carolynne auditioned for X Factor back in 2012, the Country Music scene here in the UK was full of excitement at the prospect of a Country artist being on such a big show and that the genre might grab the attention of an audience of millions. Carolynne made it as a finalist on the show, however was eliminated on the first live show but not without a stellar performance of Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be”.

Fast forward to 2017 and Carolynne is set to release her long-awaited EP “Coming Back to You”, which will be available to buy or download April 7th 2017.

“Coming Back to Me” starts with a tribute to her Grandmother who introduced Carolynne to country music, in the form of a haunting version of The Supremes classic “Stop in the Name of Love”. It’s a step away from the original while managing to keep the soul aspect, but a great version of a classic

Diving into the first up tempo number, the title alone is fun and grabs my attention “Cupid Must Have Been High”. It’s a song that I can imagine TV show character Juliette Barnes singing on CMT’s “Nashville”.

“Real Man” is a sassy number about wanting to find the right guy instead of attracting the wrong ones. Lyrically it’s quite clever, includes references to all the modern dating mishaps in a humorous way and is a track I’m sure it’ll make listeners smile in agreement – particularly fans of “50 Shades of Grey”.

At times there can be a divide with UK country fans on homegrown acts, are they country or not? Much like the genre as a whole I suppose. However, if you were to make a compilation of tracks that best represent UK Country acts, “Let Me Unlove You” should be on it. It’s a beautiful ballad that shows breaking up with someone isn’t always that simple and love doesn’t go straight away even if you’ve been done wrong. Amongst the fun and upbeat tracks on the ep, this shows a more vulnerable side of Carolynne and allows her to really shine as a serious songwriter, highlights what a strong vocalist she is and is exactly the kind of track I wanted from her.

Finishing with “Coming Back to Me” the title track is about Carolynne coming back to music, with her saying “I’ve lost my way with music at points in my life, I’ve fallen in and out of love with it but it always finds its way back to me”.

Track Listing;

  1. Stop in the Name of Love
  2. Cupid Must Have Been High
  3. Real Man
  4. Let Me Unlove You
  5. Coming Back to Me

Having seen Carolynne perform live on a couple of occasions and hearing the “Coming Back to Me”, it’s clear that she can mix up fun and tongue in cheek numbers with more serious ballads well and I have to say it’s ballads where she excels and where her vocal talent really shines through. “Let Me Unlove You” is the highlight of the ep for me and I’m sure it will be for many others, as is “Stop in the Name of Love.” It’s nice to see an artist be able to switch from fun and sassy to serious and with an element of drama quite easily, as it shows different sides to her personality and as a performer.

“Coming Back to Me” is a solid effort for a debut ep that is a perfect blend of ballads and up tempo songs and hopefully will be the catalyst to more music. With UK artists beginning to get more exposure, now is the perfect time for Carolynne to strike while the iron is hot and she can certainly do that with this material. If you get the opportunity to see Carolynne perform live, I definitely recommend that you do.

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