BLAKE SHELTON HEADLINES NU COUNTRY TV
Oklahoma superstar Blake Shelton headlines Nu Country TV Saturday April 3 at 9.30 pm on Channel 31/Digital 44.
Pistol Annies singer Ashley Monroe returns to the show repeated Wednesday at 11.30 pm.
Texan star Maren Morris and singing spouse Ryan Hurd appear in Behind Bars on our program edited by our multi-talented lockdown producer Laith Graham.
Albury born Bill Jackson and fellow twin city refugee Hayley Jensen return as we celebrate Waylon Jennings legacy with one of his major Highwaymen hits.
Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/
BLAKE'S TAKE ON A MINIMUM WAGE
It may be a long time since Blake Shelton eked out living in the Oklahoma dust bowl on a minimum wage.
But the latter day superstar, TV host and actor gave exposure to rising peers who sang for their supper on stages and the lost highway.
Blake performs his Minimum Wage video from his 15th album, released later this year.
Shelton espouses how love outweighs material possessions in lyrical portraits of dates at Waffle House , one-bedroom apartments and playing tiny stages for tips.
Blake filmed it at his Ole Red honky-tonk in hometown Tishomingo.
His fiancé Gwen Stefani's brother Todd directed the video that depicts Blake returning to his small-time club roots with full-band in front of tightly-packed, enthusiastic crowd designed to make viewers feel nostalgia of live concerts.
The song, penned by Nicolle Galyon, Corey Crowder and Jesse Frasure, scored controversy as some listeners felt lyrics “you make a man feel rich on minimum wage” were insensitive those who lost jobs during the pandemic.
Shelton responded to that criticism.
“No matter what your intention is, no matter what the truth is, they want it to be something that they can be upset about so that they can get on social media and try to grab a headline,” Blake revealed.
“With Minimum Wage at first I thought, “wow, I guess I just I've missed something here.” And the more I read into this, I realized this was really not real. Whatever this backlash is it just four or five people that probably don't know anything about country music. They clearly hadn't heard the song or read the lyrics. If they had, they couldn't feel this way about the song. It's literally a love song about how if times are tight and you ain't got much money - as long as you have love and you're happy - at the end of the day, that's all any of us can really hope for. You got it if you got that. That's all that matters. And if that's offensive to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.”
Blake, 44, and fiancé Gwen, 50, performed Nobody But You from 14th album Fully Loaded - God's Country - at the 2020 Grammys.
Shelton guested on Nu Country in Tuesday I'll Be Gone from John Anderson's 23rd album Years, released April 10 last year.
He joined fellow singing actor Trace Adkins in Nu Country video Hell Right and fellow Oklahoma star Garth Brooks in their Dive Bar video from Garth's 22nd album Fun .
Blake and Stefani became engaged after he divorced Texan star Miranda Lambert after their four year marriage from 2011-2015.
Lambert wed New York city cop Brendan McLoughlin on January 26, 2019 in Davidson County , Tennessee , after rebound romances with singers Anderson East and Turnpike Troubadours co-founder Clay Felker.
ASHLEY MONROE DRIVES WITH BIRTHDAY HIT
Knoxville girl Ashley Monroe - bandmate of Lambert in Pistol Annies - returns with a song she wrote on her 34 th birthday during lockdown.
The young mother celebrated freedom on the road again with her Drive video from sixth solo CD Rosegold out this month.
She wrote Drive with Niko Moon and Mikey Reaves who produced it with Monroe.
“I had this chorus and idea when I went in to write with Mikey Reaves and Niko Moon on September 10 (my birthday),” says Monroe .
“I told them my dad/other angels always send special songs on my birthday. It didn't take long into the session until we knew we were on to a special one. I always imagine me singing this while driving on a desert highway.”
Monroe covers diverse emotions on her album.
“I've always been good at writing sad songs because I've experienced a lot of sadness in my life,” Monroe explained.
“When my son was born, though, it was like some sort of innocence got plugged back into my heart. I'd never really felt that kind of joy before, and I wanted to find a way to make it last. I told everyone I was working with that I didn't want even a hint of sadness this time around. I wanted to embrace all the light and love in my life and find ways to share it with people.”
MAREN MORRIS BACK IN CHURCH
Prolific award winner Maren Morris returns to church in Behind Bars with her latest live video.
Maren celebrates her 31st birthday on Saturday April 10 with My Church from the fourth of her six albums.
It follows award winning fifth album Girl.
She also joins singing spouse Ryan Hurd in his Chasing After You video.
It follows four EPS for Hurd, 34, who hails from Kalamazoo in Michigan.
Maren wed Ryan, 34, on March 24, 2018 after they met writing singing actor McGraw's hit Last Turn Home.
They are parents of son Hayes who guested in her social comment video Better Than We Found It featuring Black Lives Matters victims and asylum seekers in Nashville.
Maren and Ryan co-wrote two songs All My Favourite People for Brothers Osborne and Great Ones for Girl.
Morris is also in 2021 Grammy winning Highwomen quartet with Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby who fronted Nu Country with Redesigning Women.
Morris won a 2016 Grammy for My Church and fronted Nu Country with the Girl title track she wrote with Melbourne born LA singer-songwriter Sarah Aarons.
Hurd also a wrote a #1 hit for show headliner Blake Shelton.
Further info - http://www.ryanhurd.com/
BILL JACKSON HONOURS GREAT GRAND PATERNAL PIONEER UNIONIST
Albury born Bill Jackson returns with a video honoring his great grandfather William Jackson - a founder of the Australian union movement.
William was one of nine shearers jailed in the 1888 strike at Brookong near Lockhart in NSW.
The Shed is on Bill's seventh solo album Wayside Ballads Volume 3 recorded with Dingoes guitarist Kerryn Tolhurst in lockdown.
Bill wrote all 11 songs with brother Ross - his co-writer on two previous Wayside Ballads albums.
Jackson features partner Ruth Hazleton on claw hammer banjo and Tolhurst on mandolin, lap steel, keyboards, percussion and guitar.
It will be released on April 19 and launched at Brunswick Ballroom on June 3.
HAYLEY JENSEN FIREWORKS
Fellow Albury born singer Hayley Jensen returns with a song she wrote and recorded during lockdown with expat Australian Phil Barton and partner Dana Heaton-Perdue.
Hayley, 37, added home vision from fans, family and friends on her Fireworks video from her third album out this year on Social Family Records .
“2020 was so crazy, people have been isolated and kept apart from the ones they love but together we have made it through,” Hayley revealed.
“My fans and family across the globe have shown so much love and devotion, joining my live streams each week, buying my merch, listening to my music and helping spread the word. So, in this video I wanted to shine a light on them. Fireworks is all about the spark of love. That feeling that lights you up inside when you're with the ones you cherish! As a year filled with so much isolation drew to an end, I wanted to capture the precious feeling and spark of being together and spread that love across the world."
Hayley also wrote and recorded new songs including Breaking Hearts in the wild west of Canada with Canadians Troy Kokol and Chris O'Neil.
She showcased Breaking Hearts and The Next Big Thing from her 2018 album Turning Up the Dial on Nu Country .
Further info - https://www.hayleyjensen.net/
WIN WAYLON AND THE HIGHWAYMEN
The late Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash reach back with Highwaymen pals Willie Nelson, 88, and fellow singing Texan Rhodes Scholar Kris Kristofferson.
They perform The King Is Gone from one of their albums you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing your membership.
They are among albums by Waylon, Willie, George Jones, Merle Haggard and Highwaymen donated by country historian Barbara Dowling who died at 77 on December 11, 2020.
She co-hosted Long In The Saddle in our Nu Country FM era.
The pioneer Australian and Victorian country music awards judge was admired for rising above losing her sight as a young woman and pursuing country music passion with regular trips to Waylon's birthplace in Littlefield, West Texas.
Waylon died at 64 on February 13, 2002 and is survived by singing spouse Jessi, now 77, and son Shooter, 41.
WIN KEITH URBAN CDS ALSO
We have expatriate Australasian superstar Keith Urban's chart topping 12th album The Speed Of Now - Part 1.
Also BR5-49 CD Big Backyard Beat Show and Billy Ray Cyrus's historic 1992 album Some Gave All that features his Achy Breaky Heart hit.
Join Watling & Bates as members and win their 13 track CD Small Town Tales.
We have other CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing your membership.
They include Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Kip Moore and late larrikin legend A.P. Johnson.