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HeroSinger/songwriter Maren Morris is set to release, HERO, the Texas native's first major label full length album. Morris co-wrote the songs that make-up HERO and shared the producing duties along with songwriter/producer busbee, who co-wrote "My Church" the debut hit song by Morris which made Country radio history the first week it hit the airwaves setting the record for the most first week stations at the single impact date for the Billboard Country Airplay chart and Country Aircheck's Mediabase Chart with 107 first week Country radio chart reporting stations spinning the song. The previous record for a debut single was 99.
In addition to "My Church," out of the 11 tracks that comprise HERO is the widely-loved fan favorite "80's Mercedes," steamy "How It's Done," the album closer "Once" which highlights the singer/songwriter's vocal talent and "I Wish I Was" which inspired Morris to name the album HERO.
"'I Wish I Was' is the most autobiographical song on this record and I admittedly was not the hero in that story, but I am the hero in mine. I've come such a long way from who I was in Texas, who I am as a writer, who I am as a woman today. I think the message of this record is self acceptance and awareness, and that to me is heroic."
Morris has already been described as a "one woman southern gospel choir" [Storme Warren, SiriusXM's The Highway] and as 2016 began she appeared on multiple "Watch Lists" including USA Today (5 Musicians To Watch Out For in 2016), SiriusXM (Artists to Watch in 2016), Huffington Post (#1 on their Country Artist's to Watch in 2016), Boston Globe (16 Artists To Look Forward to Hearing in 2016) and Billboard, where Morris was featured as one of seven artists across all genres in the January 16 "Predictions Issue."1. Sugar
3. My Church
4. I Could Use a Love Song
5. 80s Mercedes
6. Drunk Girls Don't Cry
7. How It's Done
8. Just Another Thing
9. I Wish I Was
10. Second Wind
11. Once$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BlackDierks Bentley has announced the details for his upcoming eighth studio album, Black. The follow-up to his acclaimed Riser is slated to drop in 2016.
The new album reunites the core creative team from Riser, including producer Ross Copperman and executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr. Riser set a new high-water mark for Bentley, earning him Grammy, CMA and ACM nominations and putting him in the headlining slot in arenas across the country. Black sees Bentley continuing to push himself creatively, expanding his sonic palette to include influences that "flourish on the edge of arena rock," according to a press release.
Black is a very personal album, taking its title from Bentley's wife Cassidy's maiden name, but it's intended to tell a universal story of "breakups, hookups, mess-ups and everything in between, shining a light on the things that happen after the sun goes down."
"It's a relationship album that covers the ups and downs of the journey and ends with some self-realization and evolvement," Bentley states. "The song 'Black' helps set all of that in motion at the top of the album by guiding you into the darkness and the shadows of the night. The same guy who sings 'Somewhere On a Beach' winds up growing and having enough perspective to sing something introspective like 'Different for Girls.' By the last song, he's taking a look back on love and life."
Black features more input from the female perspective than any previous Bentley album, including appearances from Maren Morris, Elle King, Natalie Hemby, Hillary Lindsey and Jessi Alexander.
"Having a female perspective on this record really made the album more than just music," Bentley says. "It makes it a conversation between a guy and a girl. Sometimes it's harmonious and sometimes it's two people clashing, but it's always there."
The album also features a guest shot from Trombone Shorty. Black is set for release on Capitol Records Nashville.
-Sterling Whitaker (tasteofcountry.com)1. Black
2. Pick Up
3. I'll Be The Moon
4. What The Hell Did I Say
5. Somewhere On A Beach
7. Why Do I Feel
8. Roses And A Time Machine
9. All The Way To Me
10. Different For Girls
11. Mardi Gras
12. Light It Up
13. Can't Be Replaced$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Restoration: The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin
Some of the world's biggest pop, rock and country artists are celebrating Elton John's most beloved and legendary catalog of hits with two albums Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Mercury Nashville). The superstar lineup features artists both new and iconic reinterpreting the timeless songs of the over 50 year writing partnership that Elton and Bernie Taupin share. These renditions and artists show the depth of the catalog these two icons have created, which can easily cross musical genres and their unparalleled influence across popular music of all styles.
Revamp features the hits reimagined by the best in pop, rock and urban with Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, P!nk and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith,
Restoration highlights countries biggest stars with thoughtful interpretations by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill and Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack.
"'It's always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it," adds Elton John. "As songwriters, Bernie and myself are thrilled when singers we admire and respect as much as those on Revamp & Restoration choose to add their own unique twist in the process. It means that our music is still relevant and ultimately that our songs continue to reach new audiences. We're humbled and thank them all for their generosity."
"Because of our love of all kinds of music, we're not stuck in one genre," said Bernie Taupin. "From day one we borrowed from everything that's good about American music - whether it's blues, country, gospel, pop, pure rock - everything got thrown in the mix. I think that's why our music over the years has been so varied. It would be tiring if you just got stuck in one niche your entire career, especially when it's one as long as ours."
The album art for Restoration was created by Bernie. The rustic musical instruments and flags from both nations is an extension of his mixed-media art that's another form of expression. It symbolizes the role that U.S. culture and its native music has played as a driver in the John/Taupin canon.
"For me, there's an irony about the American flag," Taupin says. "It's been battered and beaten and burned, but it's resilient. It's always come back. I incorporate it with other things, and lately I've done a lot of pieces with deconstructed guitars and other found materials: barbed wire, broken bottles, things that people identify with on an everyday level. If it's on the floor and it works, I'll put it into the artwork. But it all goes hand in hand with my belief in America and my interest, I would say obsession, with Americana."
Revamp has a pop art cover based on the Terry O'Neil photograph of Elton that was recreated in neon. The covers are very different from each other because they represent totally different albums.
"We have two completely different albums; Revamp being the pop one and Restoration being the country one and God we have so many great artists doing our songs, it's quite incredible," said Elton John. "Restoration was Bernie's project and he's a huge country fan. The 'Revamp' was more my project. He came up with an astonishing list of country performers both new and legendary. On Revamp I wrote out a wish list of people that I would love and asked them and to my surprise most of them said yes and we have quite an astonishing eclectic crew."1. Rocket Man - Little Big Town
2. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters - Maren Morris
3. Sacrifice - Don Henley and Vince Gill
4. Take Me To The Pilot - Brothers Osborne
5. My Father's Gun - Miranda Lambert
6. I Want Love - Chris Stapleton
7. Honky Cat - Lee Ann Womack
8. Roy Rogers - Kacey Musgraves
9. Please - Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton
10. The Bitch Is Back - Miley Cyrus
11. Sad Songs (Say So Much) - Dierks Bentley
12. This Train Don't Stop - Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris
13. Border Song - Willie Nelson$35.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now