By Preshias Harris – May 6, 2020

The Band Steele

If you like traditional country with a bit of an edge, give a listen to “Drinkin’,” a new single from neo-traditional artist, Tommy Townsend.  “Drinkin’” is the first single from his Turn Back The Clock album. Produced by Shooter Jennings (Tanya Tucker, Brandi Carlile) it was written by Holly Williams, granddaughter of Hank Williams, Sr. The single and album were released on Jennings’ Black Country Rock label.

Townsend has a long history with the Jennings family and early in his career was mentored by Waylon Jennings. In 2008, he became the lead singer with Waymore’s Outlaws, consisting mainly of Waylon’s original band members.  You can listen to “Drinkin’” and other tracks from Turn Back the Clock at https://www.tommytownsendmusic.com/

Waymore’s Outlaws are currently presenting a show called Runnin’ With Ol’ Waylon, featuring the stories and music of Waylon Jennings’ band The Waylors. It is a living documentary, giving their audience a unique opportunity to experience the memories and music from the players who lived it. The shows will be re-scheduled post-pandemic.  More info at https://www.waymoresoutlaws.com/

  • In 2012, Townsend launched “Grandaddy Mimm’s Moonshine.” A line of moonshine-style whiskeys, named after his grandfather, Grandaddy Mimm McClure, a notorious Appalachian bootlegger and moonshiner from the little city of Young, Harris, Georgia.

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“I Know Country” Q&A from www.IKnowCountry.com

QUESTION: Name the mega rock star with whom Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles sang a duet on “Who Says You Can’t Go Home.” Taking it to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts?

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Willie Nelson celebrated his 87th birthday April 29 with the YouTube premiere of his 1976 TV appearance on Austin City Limits, where he performed his seminal album Red Headed Strangerfront to back. The classic album also celebrates its birthday as it turns 45. Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, will also release an exclusive “blood splattered clear vinyl” edition of Red Headed Stranger at Barnes & Noble which will be released on July 10th.

Nelson has been a whirlwind of activity during the shutdown. He has performed in a number of fundraising events including the At Home With Farm Aid.  He remotely performed “Hello Walls” with his sons on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert) creating an instantaneous quarantine classic. Oh, and he has also recorded enough material for at least three new albums! Music and updates at http://willienelson.com/

  • On May 6, 2010, A statue of Willie Nelson was unveiled in Austin, Texas, near the studios where the Austin City Limits TV shows are recorded.

Charlie Daniels recently appeared live on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel to inform Americans how they can help veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Daniels and his veterans’ non-profit The Journey Home Project (TJHP) have joined forces with another non-profit group, Code of Vets, to aid former U.S. servicemen and women who are suffering amid the pandemic. Their collective mission is a call to action to seek public donations for vets suffering from economic hardships as well as those who have contracted the virus. The legendary singer is urging the public to donate to Code of Vets and TJHP during this trying time for our nation’s military heroes. Donations can be made at https://www.codeofvets.com/ and https://www.thejourneyhomeproject.org/

If you don’t yet know The Band Steele, it’s time you did. They aren’t letting the current pandemic slow them down, even if they can’t play in public venues. Before the pandemic, they have opened for top acts including Maren Morris, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, Diamond Reo and John Michael Montgomery. Like many artists, they are livestreaming their “Quarantine Sessions” on Sunday evenings via Facebook, but are also releasing new music.

“You’re Gonna Have to Miss Me,” the new single from Bo Steele and Ben Rubino, the duo known as the Band Steele, is the follow-up to “Copper Coil.” It’s a mid-tempo, emotional ballad with the guy telling his girl that he’s leaving his hometown to follow his dream to Nashville and “I’ve left my old songs behind” but he’ll be back someday. It’s a heartfelt song of lovers parting, not knowing what the future holds.

With six million Spotify streams (190,500+ Spotify fans), 446,500 Facebook followers and 33,100 YouTube subscribers, the Band Steele has fans in the millions. “You’re Gonna Have to Miss Me” looks set to add to the stats. Music and more info at https://thebandsteele.com/  and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBandSteele/

Don’t forget! Sunday will be Mother’s Day!  How about downloading a song for your mom?  If you can’t think of a song, try this new one from the Swon Brothers, titled “Mommas,” now available on all digital platforms. Written and produced by Zach and Colton Swon, the touching new song is a tribute to their own mother but pays homage to “mommas” everywhere.

The story behind the song: The two brothers sat down for a writing session in their home studio and started a different song when their mom interrupted with a phone call to check in.  After the conversation ended one of the brothers commented, “thank God for mommas.”  Inspired by their mom, the duo put the other song aside and started writing “Mommas,” landing on a message that can comfort and tug at the heartstrings of us all.

You can find the song at https://www.swonbrothers.com/

Billboard Hot Country Songs Top 5 for the week of May 9 (last week’s position in parentheses):

  1. (1) “The Bones” Maren Morris
  2. (3) “Nobody But You” Blake Shelton w/Gwen Stefani
  3. (2) “I Hope” Gabby Barrett
  4. (4) “Chasin You” Morgan Wallen
  5. (6) “Does To Me” Luke Combs ft. Eric Church

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“I Know Country” Q&A ANSWER: Jon Bon Jovi was Jennifer Nettles’ duet partner.

  • The original plan was for Bon Jovi to record the country version of the song as a duet with Keith Urban. That version was recorded but was never released as it was felt that Urban’s voice was too similar to Bon Jovi’s, so Mercury Records recommended Miss Nettles to replace Mister Urban!
  • Both Bon Jovi’s original version and the duet version appear on Bon Jovi’s 2005 album Have a Nice Day.

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On this day in Country Music

May 6, 1974                Merle Haggard was on the cover of Time magazine

May 6, 1978                Bob Kingsley began hosting American Country Countdown, the radio program he began producing in 1974. The program transitioned to Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 in 2006. Kingsley died in October 2019.

May 6, 1985                The 20th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were hosted by Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell and Janie Frickie.

May 6, 1996                “You Win My Love” was No.1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Shania Twain.

May 6, 2010                Ten years ago today, Lady Antebellum were at No. 1 on the BillboardHot Country Songs chart with “American Honey.”

This week’s Country Music Birthdays

May 3                          John Driskell Hopkins (Zac Brown Band), 1971

Eric Church, 1977

May 4                          Tim DuBois (wrote “She Got The Goldmine, I Got the Shaft”), 1948

Stella Parton, 1949

Randy Travis, 1959

RaeLynn, 1994

May 5                          Tammy Wynette, 1942 (died April 6, 1998)

Jimmie Dale Gilmore, 1945

May 8                          Billy Burnette, 1953*

Del Gray (Little Texas), 1968

  • Billy Burnette is the son of Dorsey Burnette and nephew of Johnny Burnette (“Dreamin’,” “You’re Sixteen”) who formed the Rock & Roll Trio in Memphis in the 1950s and were a strong influence on a young Elvis Presley. Billy Burnette was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987 to 1995, is a solo recording artist and the author of an autobiography, Crazy Like Me.

Preshias Harris is the author of “I Know Country” with 366 daily country music questions and answers. You can buy and instantly download your e-book copy at www.IKnowCountry.com

Harris is also a music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Visit www.collegeofsongology.com for more details.   Follow her blog at  www.nashvillemusicline.com