Jess Wright

jess

Jess Wright won the ACM Award for Personality of the Year while working at a radio station in the Washington, D.C. area, where she was also nominated for the CMA Award and named Best Radio Personality in a local magazine's reader poll. She grew up in Ithaca, NY and worked at radio stations in Wichita, Wilkes-Barre, PA and Tyler, TX, among others. She lives in Nashville now, and joined Slacker in 2013 as your expert on everything country music. She hosts New Country First, '90s Country and the Slacker Country Countdown. When she's not working (and sometimes when she is) she's probably drinking wine.

Sneak peek of new music? Yes, please.

Jackie Lee is a new artist — you might remember his songs “She Does” and “Headphones” from New Country Now and featured in the Weekly Country Countdown, but even if you don’t, you’ll want to check this out. He’s got new music dropping next week, and this is just a little taste. What do you think? Comment below, yo.

 

Old Blake Shelton had a farm… a funny, funny farm.

Jimmy Fallon is from New York like me. And while there are farms up there, he’s clearly not visited any of them. But Blake Shelton gets a little payback for that sushi incident a while back.

Slot Yeah!

Apparently there will be a new slot machine with Tim McGraw’s mug on it in casinos next summer. What better way to reveal that exciting news than with a bunch of dancing Tims, I always say.

Forever Country

Have you seen this yet?? More importantly, have you HEARD this yet? The CMA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, so somebody came up with this crazy idea to do a mashup of “Take Me Home (Country Roads),” “I Will Always Love You” and “On The Road Again,” and to get a bunch of CMA winning artists to sing it, one line at a time. In fact, there are 30 different artists in it:

Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric ChurchBrett Eldredge, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal FlattsReba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and Trisha Yearwood.

Watch it here and let me know what you think in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

Kenny Chesney’s and P!nk’s “Setting The World On Fire” video

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Kenny Chesney just released the video for “Setting The World On Fire,” which he sings with P!nk. Check it out here:

kennychesney.com/STWOF

Sara Evans Wins For St. Jude

If you know anything about me, you know I’m a huge supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (click that link and you’ll see). So anytime I see a Country artist doing something that helps St. Jude I get excited. And it happens a lot because most of the country music industry is involved in helping that hospital without walls in one way or another. But I get especially excited when an artist does it on TV and spreads the word even farther than his or her own immediate fan base.

That’s where Sara Evans comes in. In case you missed it, Sara and her siblings went on Celebrity Family Fued and kind of mopped the floor with Todd Chrisley and his family… and won $25,000 for St. Jude!

Watch:

If you’re not aware of why so many of us in the industry support St. Jude, by the way, I’ll tell you: It’s because they cure kids with cancer and other life threatening diseases, and they never charge their families for anything. They provide travel, treatment, housing, food, schooling… I mean, they do it all. For free. Support them here, please.

Purple Twang, Purple Twang (it’s ok, sing along)

Dwight Yoakam's Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars...A lot of people have covered Prince’s “Purple Rain.” A lot. Especially since his death, but even long before. Darius Rucker has performed it live in almost every show I’ve seen him play. I mean, it’s everywhere.

But Dwight Yoakam – yes, you heard me – is dropping a new album soon called Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… and while 11 of the 12 tracks will be do-overs of his own songs, the 12th track will be “Purple Rain” like you’ve never heard it before. In fact, you can hear it now, via People:

www.people.com/article/dwight-yoakam-covers-prince-purple-rain-swimmin-pools-movie-stars

So… whatcha think?

Oh, CMT Awards. You’re killing me.

Cam with Fifth Harmony at the CMT Awards

Cam with Fifth Harmony at the CMT Awards (Source: Facebook)

A lot of people are all upset that there were so many pop collaborations at last night’s CMT Music Awards. I don’t happen to be one of them, but I do take issue with how they collaborated.

Here’s the thing. Although I am fully immersed in and in love with country music, I also like pop music a lot. (And rock, hip-hop, rap… I just love music!). So when Pitbull or Fifth Harmony or Pharrell or Leona Lewis want to be part of a country awards show, I say let ’em all in! It’s about time everybody from every genre of music recognizes how great country music and its artists are, and it’s about time fans of those artists see it, too.

Where I have a problem is when country artists are turned into backup singers for pop artists at a country awards show. Come on, CMT. Listen, I know you need ratings, and I know you think you’re going to bring in a bigger audience by adding stars from other genres, but do you remember what the “C” stands for in CMT?  I wouldn’t expect to see George Strait show up at the AMAs to collaborate with DNCE and expect the band to do “All My Exes Live In Texas.” When people turn on the CMT Awards – or any country awards show, for that matter – there’s a good chance they’re expecting country music.

Here’s a crazy idea: How about next time you decide to flood your “country” awards show with pop stars, you keep the focus on the country part of the collaborations and let the pop artists backup the country singers? So weird, right? Just try it. I think you might like it.

P.S. Congratulations to the winners!

Female Video: “Smoke Break,” Carrie Underwood

Breakthrough Video: “Fire Away,” Chris Stapleton

Group/Duo Video: “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town

Male Video: “Die a Happy Man,” Thomas Rhett

CMT Performance of the Year: “Smoke Break” (from CMT Instant Jam), Carrie Underwood

CMT Social Superstar: Blake Shelton

Video of the Year: “Humble and Kind,” Tim McGraw

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