CHRIS STAPLETON HEADLINES NU COUNTRY TV
Kentucky coal miner's son, bluegrass singer-songwriter and latter day major star Chris Stapleton headlines Nu Country TV this Saturday February 20 on Channel 31/ Digital 44 at 9.30 pm.
Stapleton is joined by Justin Timberlake on their live version of a song that shot him to the top of Billboard charts for more than three months.
Singing actress Reba McEntire appears with her mother in a tribute to her late father Clark on the show repeated Monday 2.30 pm, Wednesday 7.30 am and Thursday 3 am.
Florida Georgia Line returns on the eve of its debut Australian tour on the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham.
Canadian Tim Hicks appears before performing with FGL at CMC Rocks Queensland in Ipswich in March.
West Virginian Amanda Watkins debuts in Behind Bars with nouveau Alabama outlaw Jamey Johnson and Campbelltown milkman's daughter Anne McCue sings the Cowgirl Blues .
Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
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CHRIS AND JUSTIN SIP TENNESSEE WHISKEY
Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake perform their live version of Dean Dillon-Linda Hargrove song Tennessee Whiskey - once a hit for George Jones and David Allan Coe.
It shot Chris's debut solo album Traveller to #1 on the all genre Top 200 Billboard charts after their rendition at the 49th CMA awards in November.
The album sold more than a million copies after being off charts for six months.
It's still #1 after three months for Chris, 37, also joined on stage by singing spouse Morgane after being introduced by West Virginia born host and star Brad Paisley.
Stapleton and Morgane, parents of a son and daughter, were popular guests on Nu Country TV before he won New Artist, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.
They appeared on Behind Bars with live versions of Fire Away from Traveller and Bob McDill penned country classic Amanda on the famed Grand Ole Opry .
It was a huge hit for Texans Don Williams and Waylon Jennings who toured here at the peak of their careers.
One of Chris's young co-writers predicted his success back in 2010 shortly after he left The Steeldrivers .
Novocastrian Catherine Britt, voted best female vocalist at the recent Golden Guitar awards in Tamworth during her remission from breast cancer, had personal insight.
She and Stapleton co-wrote Lonely - a highlight of her 2010 self-titled album that featured three collaborations with Tennessean Ashley Monroe.
“They were one of the great new bluegrass bands, they were just starting up when I was over there," revealed Britt who celebrated her 31st birthday on New Year's Eve.
"Chris is one of the most talented singers. Oh my God, he's got this really cool graded voice. It was so great to work with him - the times we did. It's sad he left the band. I guess he will go on and do other things as he's an incredible songwriter. We wrote this song and hung out together and wrote many songs."
Britt's words were prophetic for Stapleton who wrote #1 hits for Texan George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Darius Rucker and landed songs in movies Cars 2 and Valentine's Day .
Traveller was recorded at historic RCA Studio A, The Castle and Blackbird Studio and produced by Dave Cobb and Vance Powell.
He revamped Tennessee Whiskey and Don Sampson's Was It 26 alongside 12 originals including Sometimes I Cry.
Stapleton's five No. 1 hits as a songwriter include Never Wanted Nothing More by Kenny Chesney, George Strait's Love's Gonna Make it Alright and Luke Bryan' s Drink A Beer.
He has penned over 170 songs recorded by Adele, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley notable co-writers Vince Gill, Peter Frampton and Sheryl Crow.
As lead vocalist for the Steel Drivers, Stapleton earned three Grammy nominations for Best Bluegrass Album and International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist.
REBA HONOURS RANCHER DAD CLARK
Reba McEntire and her mother Jacqueline returned to the McEntire ranch at Chockie in Oklahoma in an evocative tribute to their family patriarch Clark who died at 86 on October 23, 2014.
Reba and her mum both appeared in the video for Just Like Them Horses - the song she sang at her dad's funeral.
The song, featured on Nu Country , is on the 60 year-old singer's 30th album Love Somebody.
Reba proved there is life after divorce - the second time - after 26 years when she previously appeared with Going Out Like That.
Reba performed with Texan Kenny Rogers at Rod Laver Arena in 1998 - in 1999 she returned as headliner with Troy Cassar-Daley at the St Kilda Palais.
She has earned more than 55 million album sales and 63 Top 10 hits in her 40-year career.
Fellow Australian tourist - Texan singer Red Steagall - discovered Reba at a rodeo in the seventies before his Victorian tour that included Cross Keys Hotel, Essendon.
Reba hosted her TV show, aired on Australian TV from 2001-7, and starred in 2001 Broadway hit Annie Get Your Gun .
She appeared in movies diverse as Tremors, The Gambler Returns, The Man From Left Field, Secret Of Giving , One Night At McCool's and Buffalo Girls .
McEntire was also the voice of Betsy The Cow in 2006 animated movie Charlotte's Web starring Beau Bridges and Dakota Fanning and filmed at Bacchus Marsh, Greendale and Heidelberg West football oval.
AMANDA WATKINS AND JAMEY JOHNSON
West Virginian Amanda Watkins and Alabama refugee Jamey Johnson shot her soulful new video in one take.
Amanda wrote If I Was Over You with Rivers Rutherford for her debut solo album recorded at RCA Studio A.
Watkins began preforming If I Was Over You while opening act on Johnson's tour where he appeared with her to offer his distinctive voice to the chorus.
Watkins received a text from Johnson to come to a studio where he surprised her with a reworked version of her song.
“Jamey said, ‘I did some changes. I hope you are okay with them.' They took the band out of the first two verses, so it is just acoustic guitar. When Jamey came in, I realised he had made it a duet, and I started crying,” Watkins revealed.
The baritone cut two previous EPs in her duo - Miss Willie Brown - with Kacey Buckley
Amanda was born in West Virginia and raised in Florida - her career grew from singing in church to the hallowed Nashville Ryman Auditorium.
Amanda became the first unsigned artist to ever play network late night TV and share co-write honours on a major Big & Rich single.
She has also opened for Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson and Frankie Ballard and played major music festivals.
Further info - http://amandawatkins.com/
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
Florida Georgia Line returns with the title track of its second album Anything Goes.
The duo kicks off its debut Australian tour with Georgian Jason Aldean at Margaret Court Arena on March 8.
Florida born Brian Kelley and Georgian Tyler Hubbard met in 2010 as Nashville university church youth group worship leaders in 2008 and precede all concerts with prayers.
Kelley, star high school baseball pitcher from Ormond Beach, Florida, won a Florida State University scholarship and transferred to Belmont University.
He began writing music inspired by Christian rock group Casting Crowns .
Hubbard, a native of Monroe, Georgia, formed hip hop group, Ingenious Circuit in his teens.
They got their start as joint worship leaders at college.
“That's basically how we learned how to play guitar and connect with a crowd, at church,” Hubbard revealed.
“We used to lead worship for a little youth group outside of Nashville. It was great. It was a little side money at the time, which we really needed, but it was also time for us to get away from the house for a little bit and lead worship. It was something for us that was very rewarding on a lot of different levels.”
The duo are not far, spiritually and personally speaking, from their days as worship leaders.
“I think our faith comes through in a lot of different ways, if not directly in our music,” confessed Hubbard.
Hubbard and Kelley are working on a third album to follow Anything Goes .
“We've been writing quite a bit,” Hubbard reveals.
“We've got a ton of songs we can't wait for people to hear. We just got back into the studio with Joey Moi, our producer, and are starting to bring those songs to life. It's a fun process for us.”
Although Hubbard and Kelly are prolific songwriters, they won't insist on writing their entire album.
“We've written most of them but we're never opposed to outside songs,” Hubbard says.
“We're always listening to songs. We always say, ‘better is better.' If a song comes in that we didn't write, but we feel like we would have wrote it, we'll cut it. We've fallen in love and singled songs that we haven't written several times. We try not to put ourselves in any kind of box and say, ‘We have to write the whole album,' but we definitely write the majority of it.”
Further info - http://floridageorgialine.com/
TIM HICKS - YOUNG ALIVE AND IN LOVE
“ 5:01 is the time you're getting off work, but it's not specifically 5:01 PM - it's about whatever time you're getting off your shift and it's time to play,” Hick explained.
Others include A Little Drinkalong featuring producer Jeff Coplan's band Blackjack Billy and Road Hammers' Clayton Bellamy, swamp rock narrative, My Baby and So Do I .
5:01 also features introspective, personal songs including his co-write with fellow Canadian songwriters Gordie Sampson and Steven MacDougall on You Know You're Home .
It's a track he describes as “three chords and the truth” and dwells heavily on his growing up in Niagara region; a theme he reprises on album finale Too Young to Care .
Further info - http://timhicksmusic.com/
ANNE MCCUE SINGS THE COWGIRL BLUES
Expat Anne McCue - youngest of eight children of a Campbelltown milkman - performs the video for Cowgirl Blues from her sixth album Blue Sky Thinking.
She landed songs in TV series diverse as Dawson's Creek and U C Undercover.
On Blue Sky Thinking she explored early influences Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Peggy Lee, Hoagy Carmichael, Memphis Minnie and Cab Calloway.
Cowgirl Blues honours another of her favourite artists, Memphis Minnie.
She performs Little White Cat - a '50s-style roadhouse boogie that is the most modern cut on the release.
Written as a more positive-looking reply to Howlin' Wolf's Ain't Superstitious , the tune also reveals her love for Cab Calloway with Devil in the Middle - a darkly dramatic song written with David Olney and John Hadley that features a duet with Dave Alvin.
McCue turned to old friends: bassist/co-producer Dusty Wakeman, drummer Dave Raven and keyboardist Carl Byron for her album.
It's a far cry from her debut with ARIA nominated hard rockers Girl Monstar and Melbourne band Creatures From The Blue Lagoon.
HOW TO KEEP NU COUNTRY ON AIR
We need your support as we celebrate the 29th series of Nu Country TV with Australian record companies and artists who teamed to ensure our survival.
Sony has given us the latest CD and DVD by Georgian star Jason Aldean on the eve of his debut Australian tour in March.
We also have Angels And Alcohol - 20th album by fellow Georgian superstar Alan Jackson and Adam Harvey's 12th album Harvey's Bar - The Backyard Sessions .
Also new CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing membership.
They include singing actors Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw and Toby Keith, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Charley Pride and more.