Flashback: Watch Randy Travis Duet With the Avett Brothers

October 24, 2014 Music

Less than a year before he suffered a stroke while hospitalized for a heart infection in July 2013, Randy Travis looked fit and healthy onstage for an October 24th taping of CMT's Crossroads. Paired with fellow North Carolinians the Avett Brothers, the country traditionalist and Americana darlings performed some of their best-known recordings.



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Among the highlights were Avett songs like "I and Love and You," "Murder in the City" and "January Wedding"; while Travis offered such hits as "Three Wooden Crosses," "Diggin' Up Bones" and "Deeper Than the Holler."


The standout, however, was Travis's timeless love note "Forever and Ever, Amen." Scott and Seth Avett each handled a verse, and all four — including

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See Noel Gallagher Join Johnny Marr for Electric Iggy Pop and Smiths Covers

October 24, 2014 Music

Johnny Marr brought out Noel Gallagher to play a couple of songs during the encore of a recent concert at London's O2 Academy Brixton. When Marr introduced the former Oasis guitarist, he called him "one of the great songwriters for this country" and cheekily said, "he's got a bright future ahead of him." First, Gallagher joined Marr's band for a bouncy rendition of Iggy Pop's 1977 Bowie collaboration "Lust for Life," and then the ensemble mounted an ambient rendition of the Smiths' 1985 alt-rock anthem "How Soon Is Now?"



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Marr recently joined Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds in the studio to record guitar on "Ballad of the Mighty I," the closing track on the group's upcoming new record, Chasing Yesterday, which is

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Passing the Bar: Jessie Ware’s Ride From Law School to Drunk Nights With Miguel

October 24, 2014 Music

One night last winter, Jessie Ware and Miguel decided to get drunk. They had been writing some songs for Ware's second album, Tough Love, at New York's Record Plant studio, and after a long day of work, they had completed the fun, flirtatious "Kind of… Sometimes... Maybe." "We both really like whiskey," Ware says with a laugh. "The first line of the song is, 'Do I get lonely at all?/No, 'cause Jamie and Johnny and Jack keep me warm.' So that night we were like, 'Fuck yeah, let's celebrate, let's have whiskeys!'"



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The next morning, she says, "I had the worst hangover. Literally, I had Gatorade in one hand and salty fries in the other. I couldn't even speak. Head was pounding. And I had to write a song."

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Hear Kristy Lee Cook’s Gutsy ‘Lookin’ for a Cowgirl’ — Exclusive Premiere

October 24, 2014 Music

If there's one thing you can say about the woman painted in Kristy Lee Cook's new single, "Lookin' for a Cowgirl," it's that she isn't the least bit shy. "I heard you're on the prowl for a good-hearted woman, wanting real bad to get into somethin'," the former American Idol contestant sings on this upbeat track, which is cut with equal parts twangy plucks and power guitars — even a little near-rap interlude. "Well baby, that somethin' somethin' just might be me." Cover your ears, Mom.



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"Lookin' For A Cowgirl' describes me to a T," she tells Rolling Stone Country on break from a hunting trip about the song co-written with Bridgette Tatum, the mastermind behind Jason Aldean's massive hit

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Songwriter Spotlight: Liz Rose

October 24, 2014 Music

Liz Rose doesn't play an instrument. That hasn't stopped her from co-writing some of the biggest country songs of the 21st century, though, including nearly two dozen Taylor Swift tunes and a handful of hits for Little Big Town, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan, Tim McGraw and Bonnie Raitt, among others. She's won Grammys. She's topped the charts. Her songs — several of which were co-penned with "The Love Junkies," a songwriting trio comprised of Rose, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna — have sold more than 20 million copies combined.



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When you've got stats like that, who needs a guitar?


"I got into songwriting as a lyricist," she explains. "Some people have said to me, 'Don't learn an

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Hear OG Maco’s ‘Live Life 2,’ the Furious Mixtape From Viral ‘U Guessed It’ Star

October 24, 2014 Music

Atlanta spitfire OG Maco, the young crunkmaster behind minimalist viral hits like "U Guessed It" and "Fuckemx3" is dropping his latest mixtape, Live Life 2. The sequel to last year's Live Life, its seven tracks are full of screamed ad-libs and sinister bouts of AutoTune. What else would expect from an EP with a song called "Unleash the Kraken"? 



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Maco recently signed to Quality Control, the booming Atlanta record label who's leading the charge in young, energetic, experimentally minded musicians, joining a roster that includes Migos and Skippa Da Flippa. Will Maco's explosive shouts — "Yeah, yeah!" "Hwah!" "Fuckemfuckemfuckem!" — signal a new era of crunktastic ATL rap? Will he prove to be the Death Grips of the

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Kenny Chesney Preps the Big Revival Tour 2015

October 24, 2014 Music

Fresh off the triumphant debut of The Big Revival, his 13th Number One country album debut, Kenny Chesney is returning to the road. The country superstar visited ABC's Good Morning America on Friday to announce the Big Revival Tour, which will hit arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums next year. The trek, which the singer estimates will hit about 55 cities, kicks off in Nashville on March 26th, Chesney's 47th birthday.



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"I can't think of a better way to celebrate," he says. "I've been ready to get out there for a long time. Now that we're announced I'm fired up! This new music brings a new energy to the show, and it's gonna take what we do to a whole other level."


The stats for the Tennessee native's

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Ryan Bingham Embraces Solitude for ‘Fear and Saturday Night’ Album

October 24, 2014 Music

When Ryan Bingham released his first album, Mescalito, at the age of 26, he already sang with the grizzled grit of someone twice his age. He'd spent the previous decade living in his truck, competing in a string of southwestern rodeos to help pay for gas. His parents were alcoholics. His friends were bull-riders. The whole thing sounded like a country song, which was one of the reasons Bingham's biographical songs — which hitched themselves to mid-tempo grooves on Mescalito, then rocketed their way toward roadhouse-worthy rock & roll territory on his second release, Roadhouse Sun — packed such a natural, nuanced punch. He wasn't some suburban kid dressed up in outlaw threads. Dude was the real deal.



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Years later,

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Death Cab For Cutie Draw ‘A Line in the Sand’ Without Chris Walla

October 24, 2014 Music

Ben Gibbard knows what you're thinking about the new Death Cab For Cutie album, their last to feature founding member Chris Walla. He's thinking it too.



Death Cab for Cutie Lose Founding Member


"Oh, there is undoubtedly a line in the sand here," he says. "The position we're in – it's a blessing and a curse – is that people feel very strongly about the period of this band in which they got into us. We're fighting against people who say 'Why can't you make a record like the one I heard when I was 20 years old?' And the answer is we can't. We can just move forward, and create a new period."


But this is a little different than debating the relative merits of, say, Transatlanticism or Plans. Walla's decision to leave the band after 17 years not only

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Willie Nelson and Sister Bobbie Team for ‘December Day’ Album

October 24, 2014 Music

Willie Nelson and his sister and Family bandmate Bobbie Nelson will release December Day, the first installment of the archival series, Willie's Stash, December 2nd on Legacy Recordings.



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Willie and Bobbie, who grew up in Abbott, Texas, first learned to read music and play instruments as pre-teens, taught by their grandparents. They played together in Texas bands early in their careers and Bobbie has been a key member of Willie's Family Band since the group officially formed in 1973. Their musical and familial bond is at the heart of December Day, which features 18 performances selected by brother and sister, consisting of tunes Willie has written (such as "Permanently Lonely" and "My Old

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