Taylor Swift Wraps Up Red Tour at Home

1379696341-t_swizz-2616Taylor Swift performed the first of three sold-out shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Thursday night Sept.19), with Saturday’s concert marking the end of the US leg of her Red Tour. Slacker joined the music superstar at a pre-show reception, where she explained the decision to wrap up the trek in the city she has called home for almost a decade.

“This is not only my hometown but is one of the craziest crowds that we play to. So on the last tour, I made a mental note: we need to end the tour in Nashville next time,” she told partygoers. “I see faces here I’ve known for years, and I’m so happy that you still want to come see me play a show. This is the most exciting night of the tour for me.”

The beaming beauty was presented with several plaques at the reception, commemorating her staggering album and single sales. Her latest album, “Red,” has now sold six million copies, and she was also surprised to discover Thursday that she’s up to four million in album sales in the U.K. alone.

Swift is hard at work to keep that momentum going. “Up next, I’m going to make another album,” she told the crowd, adding sarcastically, “I mean, I think I want to keep doing this.

“I really like to take two years to write a record. I’ve been writing for the last year, and this is the year that it goes into overdrive,” she continued. “It’s all I think about and I become obsessive over it … I’m hard to talk to. It’s a weird thing that I need to work on!”

taylor swift and luke bryan nashville Swift did a lot of talking to the thousands of fans packed in the downtown Nashville arena – telling stories behind the songs and profusely thanking everyone for their support over the years. Her high-energy, explosive set included fan favorites ranging from her very first No. 1 hit, “Our Song,” to her current duet with Red Tour opening act, Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed.” A second duet partner was a huge surprise to the audience – country superstar Luke Bryan, who sang one of his biggest hits, “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” with Taylor.

Proving her concerts are as much of a theatrical event as they are a music show, Swift had no fewer than seven costume changes throughout the night (though we lost count!). She incorporated more choreography into the set than on any previous tour, and played out several songs as if she were creating their music videos right there on stage. For “You Belong With Me,” she and her backup singers wore red cocktail dresses with long red gloves and delivered the tune in ‘50s Motown girl group style — through both their vocals and dance moves. For “I Knew You Were Trouble,” the stage and backup dancers transformed into what looked like a scene from “Phantom of the Opera.” She literally flew while singing “Sparks Fly,” performing from a stage suspended over the audience. And she ended the show by taking fans to the circus – the “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” circus, that is, complete with stilt-walkers, clowns and Swift herself dressed as the ringmaster for the colorful finale.

Up next for the Grammy winner is the Australian leg of her Red Tour, followed by stops in other parts of the world that have not yet been announced – all while feverishly writing for her next album, of course.

David Nail Hints New Album Will Reflect New Mindset

davidnailCountry star David Nail has a good sense of humor about people who don’t realize that it’s him singing the infectious new song, “Whatever She’s Got.”

“At first, people were saying, ‘Is this really David Nail? But he only sings sad songs!’” the singer tells Slacker with a laugh.

Nail says “Whatever She’s Got” was a no-brainer when choosing the first radio single from his upcoming fourth studio album. Its romantic lyrics and up-tempo beat set the tone for the entire project, which he hints has much more of an energy boost than his previous efforts.

“I’ve had the reputation of being a balladeer, but I’m in a happier place in my life, both personally and professionally,” the vocal powerhouse reveals. “So with this record, we just wanted to have fun and that’s translated into the music.”

So far, so good. “Whatever She’s Got” is among the Top 5 highest-rated songs on our New Country First station. Nail has also been leaking other tracks from the album, which is due early next year, and has been getting great feedback.

“People are either really good liars or they like it,” he says. “I choose to think the latter!”

 

Keith Urban’s New Album “Fuse” is Slacker’s Album of the Week

9.10.13-Keith-Urban-Fuse-472x472 (1)Country superstar Keith Urban is back with his first new set of tunes in three years, “Fuse,” Slacker’s Album of the Week.

While his seventh studio album is quite different from anything else in his catalog, it’s still unmistakably Urban, with its masterful guitar solos and upbeat grooves as well as notable guests, such as  Miranda Lambert and Eric Church, which are featured duets on “Fuse.”

You can listen to Keith Urban’s new album “Fuse” on demand all week on Slacker’s Album of the Week station here. 

New “I Am The DJ” Featuring Country Superstar Justin Moore

JUSTIN-MOORE-DJ-472x472One of our newest features over on Slacker is “I Am The DJ,” where your favorite artists and bands get to create their own exclusive station.

This week we have a new DJ and it is Justin Moore.

Slacker sat down with the country superstar to create a radio station comprised of his favorite artists, from Willie Nelson and Eli Young Band to The Allman Brothers Band and Randy Houser.

Check out this exclusive look into the musical soul of Justin Moore as we prepare ourselves for his new album, Off The Beaten Path.

Listen to “I Am The DJ” on Slacker here. 

New Song Stuck in My Head: Sara Evans “Slow Me Down”

EVANS-472x472Singer-songwriter Sara Evans was born in Missouri, but like many of her fellow country stars, eventually made her way to Nashville.

She’s released six studio albums and is hard at work on her seventh (due early next year) but we already have the first single, “Slow Me Down.”

Listen to “Slow Me Down” all week on demand over on Slacker’s Song Stuck In My Head! 

 

 

“Country A – Z” Gives Alphabetical Snapshot of Nashville’s Greatest Music

COUNTRY A-Z Music Guide2How about a history lesson that doesn’t make you fall asleep? On our brand-new station, Country A-Z, Slacker gives you a compelling country music history lesson that spans almost a century, from the genre’s earliest roots to the pop-laden tunes of today.

Our country experts have gone through the alphabet and chosen for each letter one artist, song, album or event that has defined the genre. We’ve included the music your grandparents probably loved, from the likes of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, all the way to the Taylor Swift tween-country phenomenon of today. There are the quintessential country heartbreakers, like Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” mixed in with tracks for your party playlist, such as Kenny Chesney’s “Young,” and everything in between. There’s even a classic movie and TV show thrown into the mix, both of which helped popularize tunes with twang.

If you’re a fan of country music, you’ll probably know the lyrics to each song played on Country A-Z by heart. And if you’re not a fan, we challenge you to listen with your most critical cap on … and maybe you’ll find that country is pretty cool after all.

Tune in to Country A-Z on Slacker here.

Shania Twain is the Artist of the Week

SHANIA TWAIN AOTW15 years ago, Shania Twain scored her sixth number-one country single with “You’re Still the One”. This song went on to become an international mega-hit, and it earned her 4 Grammy nominations, of which she won 2. This week, she celebrates her 48th birthday, and Slacker is paying tribute the Queen of Country Pop.

Shania’s album “Come On Over” is still the best-selling album by a female and the top-selling country album of all time. She was one of the leaders of country music’s renaissance in the 1990s, introducing millions of new listeners to the genre. In 2004, she went on hiatus until she started her “Still the One” residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas last year. She is currently working on her fifth studio album, and her fans anxiously await her new music.

On this week’s Artist of the Week station you’ll hear her biggest hits, the music that influenced her as a child when she was singing in bars, and the hundreds of artists that she influenced and inspired.

Listen to Shania Twain on Slacker’s Artist of the Week.

Tim McGraw Honored for “Highway” Milestone

Less than two dozen artists on the planet can boast 34 No. 1 singles, so there was a big reason for Tim McGraw to celebrate this week in Nashville. Friends and colleagues threw a party for the country superstar in midtown Music City to commemorate his 34th chart-topper, “Highway Don’t Care,” which also features Taylor Swift on vocals and Keith Urban on guitar.

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

Photo by Rick Diamond- Getty

“I’m a big fan of Keith’s and big fan of Taylor’s. They’re two of the best artists we have, not just in country but in music in general,” McGraw told Slacker and other partygoers, including Urban himself, who beamed at his friend on stage. “Keith is one of those guys who makes everyone look at us here in Nashville, and I’m so proud to have him represent us. And Taylor is so smart, talented, beautiful, and a spectacular songwriter. It was a big deal to have her on this record, and especially a big deal for my three daughters!”

Plaques commemorating the song’s rise to the top were presented to the singer, his producer Byron Gallimore and the “Highway Don’t Care” songwriters, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren and Brett Warren. McGraw showed as much appreciation for the writers as he did his collaborators.

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

Brett Warren, Brad Warren, Mark Irwin, McGraw, Byron Gallimore; photo by Thien Phan

“There are people at 7-Eleven who can sing better than I can, but there are not a lot of people who can write a great song,” he mused. “This town is full of those people. They’re passionate about what they do and work hard at it. The best (songwriters) in this industry are right here in Nashville.”

McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, was also at the party, as the couple shared a rare night out together in Nashville. They will resume their series of Soul2Soul shows at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel and Casino in October. McGraw is also working on a new movie but is keeping mum on details, joking that he’d lose his role if he said anything about it just yet.

Listen to McGraw’s latest No. 1, “Highway Don’t Care,” here.

 

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