Featuring 14 tracks that stretch from the group’s 2008 breakthrough “Chicken Fried” to 2013’s “Sweet Annie,” the collection will also include hits like “Toes,” “Free,” “As She’s Walking Away” (featuring Alan Jackson), “Goodbye in Her Eyes” and more.
The songs are sourced from the band’s major label album debut, The Foundation, as well as its follow-ups You Get What You Give and Uncaged.
The band’s latest release is the concept EP The Grohl Sessions: Volume 1. Featuring the single “All Alright” and three other songs, the project was produced by Dave Grohl, lead singer of the rock group Foo Fighters and former drummer of the iconic grunge band Nirvana.
As previously reported, Brown and his Southern Ground Artists collective have signed a strategic partnership with Universal’s John Varvatos Records, Big Machine Label Group and Republic Records. The new label team with oversee Brown’s future album releases, with the first one tentatively scheduled for spring of 2015.
The group currently has performances scheduled through the month of October, including the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival — an event Brown created and curates — in Charleston, South Carolina, on Oct. 11-12.
Here is the complete track listing for Zac Brown Band’s Greatest Hits So Far …:
“Whatever It Is”
“Highway 20 Ride”
“As She’s Walking Away” (Featuring Alan Jackson)
“Knee Deep” (Featuring Jimmy Buffett)
“Keep Me in Mind”
“Jump Right In”
“Goodbye in Her Eyes”
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- 2009, Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” video premieres on CMT
– 1993, Scotty McCreery is born in Garner, North Carolina. He wins “American Idol” in 2011, leading to the release of his first album, “Clear As Day,” within months. He earns his first Top 10 country single with 2013’s “See You Tonight”
– 1989, Hank Williams Jr.’s duet with Hank Sr. on “There’s A Tear In My Beer” wins two honors during the 23rd annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House: Vocal Event and Music Video of the Year, directed by Ethan Russell
– 1978, Dolly Parton’s dress splits as she walks off with the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award during the 12th annual ceremony at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House
- 2011, Rascal Flatts joins the Grand Ole Opry, performing three songs in the process: “Why Wait,” “I Won’t Let Go” and “Life Is A Highway.” Former Brooks & Dunn member Ronnie Dunn also makes his solo Opry debut
- 2003, Dolly Parton and Melissa Etheridge tape an episode of “CMT Crossroads,” hosted by Radney Foster, at the Sony Television Studios in Los Angeles. The women join voices on “9 To 5,” “I Will Always Love You” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”
- 1994, Toby Keith takes up residence at #1 on the Billboard chart with “Who’s That Man”
- 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis records “Great Balls Of Fire” at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis
Jason Aldean Moves on With Old Boots, New Dirt
On “Old Boots, New Dirt,” the title track of Jason Aldean‘s sixth album, the country superstar addresses the aftermath of the cheating scandal that took over his life in 2012.
Photographed kissing former American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr at an L.A. club while still married, Aldean instantly became the face of every tabloid in the country.
“It’s a guy getting out of a situation that he had been in and looking for a place to start over, looking for a chance at a clean slate,” Aldean told CMT.com about the song. “He just picks a town and says, ‘I don’t know where I’m going or what’s going on. I’m a little worn down, but it’s me, and I’m looking for a place to hang my hat now and escape the past a little bit and put some things behind me.'”
In real life, the singer is eager to move on as well. He and Kerr are now engaged, and the album’s first single “Burnin’ It Down” has reached the Top 10 on Billboard‘s country airplay chart.
In an interview at CMT’s offices in Nashville, Aldean comes clean about his evolving sound, defends his new single’s most controversial line and acknowledges the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
CMT.com: When you came out with “Hicktown” in 2005, it was unlike anything else at the time. Do you feel like the rest of country music has caught up to that style now?
Aldean: I think when we hit the scene, this country/rock/edge thing we were doing, nobody else was doing it. It was something we brought in. And I think over the years — like anything in Nashville — if anything works, every label in town tries to go out and find something that mimics that. So eventually anything that was cool at one point, everybody’s gonna start doing it and it’s not gonna be cool anymore.
That, for us, is the thing. Instead of falling behind and following suit with what everybody else does, I’m always looking for ways to go out and try something else. If everybody is — for lack of a better term — copping your style, let’s go do something else.
I tell people all the time, it’s like having a shiny new red truck. If you get a shiny new red truck, it’s really cool until all your friends get the same truck, and then it’s not really that cool anymore, so you need to go trade it in and get another one.
The new songs sounded influenced by ’90s R&B to me. Did you listen to Boyz II Men and stuff like that?
Yeah, of course. I think all of that stuff was really big at the time I was a teenager.
The reason I ask is because it seems like synthesizers and drum machines are coming back, even on your music.
I think a lot of times what people do is look to the pop world and whatever is going on in pop music. They take that and try to incorporate it into whatever they’re doing, whether it’s a drum loop or vocal effects or whatever it is.
But it’s also like country music is scared to be the innovators of that stuff. They want to make sure it’s cool and that it works for everybody else, and then they go, “OK, I’ll try that. Maybe I’ll ease that in here.”
I never want to be scared to try new things. I want to be the first to do stuff and not feel like I’m just following in whatever everybody else is doing. And I’ve always been that way. I draw from a lot of influences, whether it be blues or hip-hop or R&B, ’90s country, ’70s country and even stuff that’s going on today. I got an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old that play music I’ve never heard of, and I hear stuff all the time that I’m like, “Who is that?” It gives me ideas, too.
“Burnin’ It Down” is one of those steamy, R&B-flavored songs, and one of the things people seem to remember is the “nekkid in my bed” line. Did you have any idea that would be so noteworthy?
I had a feeling. I had a feeling just because when “Hicktown” came out, it was the “butt crack” line. That was the one line that everybody was like, “Oh, that’s the butt crack song.” If that’s how you gotta remember it, then that’s exactly what it is. It’s the butt crack song. But sometimes all it takes is that one word or one phrase that makes people go, “Oh, yeah, that’s the song that talks about being nekkid in bed.” Yup, that’s the one.
The title track seems really relevant to your personal life at the moment. Is that part of why you liked it?
Absolutely. That’s the main reason I liked it, honestly. You know, over the last couple of years, my personal life has just been on blast and out there for everybody to have an opinion on, and it’s been the focus of everything for me. No matter what I did in my career, my personal life was the focus of everything. And it’s just a drag, man. It’s really annoying to me.
The fact is, you know, shit happens. It’s life, and things happen. And you deal with it, and you move on and you don’t sit there and dwell on it. And we’re trying to move past all this stuff, but you can’t because people are always bringing it up. And, for me, this album was a way to escape and get away from that … channel my energy into something that was positive.
I put everything I had into the record, and now coming on the other side of it, I’ve got a lot of the things that were weighing me down in the rearview mirror, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds both personally and professionally. And I hope that the focus now will shift to my music and things like that, which it should be on. To me, that’s the metaphor that sums it all up and is a way of me saying, “All right. This shit is over. I’m tired of talking about it. Quit bringing it up. Let’s move on.”
- 2012, Mary Chapin Carpenter is inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame along with Tony Arata (“The Dance”), Kim Williams (“Three Wooden Crosses”) and Larry Henley (“The Wind Beneath My Wings”) at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel
– 2006, Big & Rich and Lynyrd Skynyrd perform a benefit concert at the HiFi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta to raise funds for a memorial to the 173rd Airborne, the division commemorated in “8th Of November.” Also appearing: John Anderson, The Lost TrailersÂ and Cowboy Troy
– 2000, Chris LeDoux has a liver transplant in Omaha, Nebraska, after discovering he has primary sclerosing cholangitis
– 1940, Bill Monroe has his first recording session with the Blue Grass Boys, at the Kimball Hotel in Atlanta, for RCA Records. Among the day’s tracks: “Mule Skinner Blues”
Hallelujah! Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival makes its rapturous debut this week at the top of Billboard’s country albums chart. It was borne aloft by first-week sales of 120,670 copies, Nielsen SoundScan testifies.
Cole Swindell’s prayers are answered, too, as his “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” arrives at No. 1 in country airplay heaven after devilishly slow 30-week ascension.
OK, enough with the ecclesiastic effluvium.
Three other new albums break the tape — stop me before I metaphor again: Big & Rich’s Gravity (No. 8), the Josh Abbott Band’s Tuesday Night EP (No. 12) and Lee Ann Womack’s The Way I’m Livin’ (No. 18).
Returning CDs include Joey + Rory’s Joey + Rory Inspired: Songs of Faith & Family (No. 32), the TV series soundtrack Nashville: Season 2: Volume 2 (No. 46), David Nail’s I’m a Fire (No. 47) and Johnny Cash’s Out Among the Stars (No. 50).
There are three new songs, as well: Chesney’s “Til It’s Gone” (bowing at No. 40), Jon Pardi’s “When I’ve Been Drinkin'” (No. 58) and Chris Lane’s “Broken Windshield View” (No. 60).
Kelleigh Bannen’s “You Are What You Love” comes back on at No. 59.
The No. 2 through No. 1 albums, in that order, are Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town (last week’s No. 1), George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Party and Lee Brice’s I Don’t Dance.
Rounding out the Top 5 songs are Bryan’s “Roller Coaster,” Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt,” Jason Aldean’s “Burnin’ It Down” and Dustin Lynch’s “Where It’s At (Yep, Yep)” (last week’s No. 1).
It’s October. So where are the Christmas albums?
CMT All-Time Top 40: George Jones
One of country music’s truly iconic and original voices, George Jones arrives at No. 10 on CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists Choice.
A list of the most influential artists in history chosen by country stars themselves, another honoree is revealed each week on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.
Praised for an unequaled ability to inhabit the songs he sang, Jones has often been held up as the ideal country singer since his breakout hit “White Lightning” in 1959. He would go on to record what are recognized as some of country music’s greatest songs of all time, including “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Grand Tour,” “Golden Ring” (with then-wife Tammy Wynette) and the incomparable “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
Plagued with alcoholism throughout his life, Jones had just as many troubles as he had success stories. He earned a reputation as “No Show Jones” for failing to make some concert dates and famously drove a riding lawn mower to the nearest liquor store after his wife hid all of the keys to the family’s cars.
Despite his setbacks, Jones’ career stands as a truly legendary monument to country music as an art form.
Jones was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. He passed away in Nashville in 2013 at the age of 81.
Charlie Daniels, The Oak Ridge Boys, Bobby Bare, Rhonda Vincent, Craig Morgan and George Strait are just a few of the artists who named Jones as one of the most influential artists in history.
“George Jones is one of two or possibly three of the most influential singers, style-wise, that ever came along in country music,” Daniels said. “I did a song with George one time, just an album cut we did with (producer) Billy Sherrill. George is the only person I’d ever seen make a five-syllable word out of ‘church.’
“A lot of kids try to sing like George in their own way, and when they do, they try to stretch a word out or make a lot of syllables out of it or something. It was an affectation. When George did it, it was natural. That was his vocal style. It belonged to him, and it didn’t belong to anybody else. No one ever sang like George Jones did.”
“He milked out every word,” the Oak Ridge Boys’ Duane Allen agreed. “If he was singing about hurting, I mean, it hurt. He drug those vowels and syllables out and wallowed around on them a little bit, and you could feel it. … He got the most out of every lyric of anybody.”
“He understood what he was singing about,” Bare explained. “He could make you feel the pain, and that’s what his songs are all about — pain. He knew how to put it to you.
“‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ … it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s as good as country music will ever get. They might talk about different subjects, but when you say country music, you think George Jones and ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today.'”
“I think he made no excuses. He made no apologies for however he wanted to sing,” said Vincent. “Of course, it was country music through and through, but he might step out and do something out of the ordinary a little bit. But it always stayed within the template of the voice of George Jones, no matter what song he sang.”
For Morgan, Jones’ gifts were almost otherworldly.
“George is just one of those extremely unique people who had an aura about him,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot of those guys and, honestly, I don’t think we’ll ever have them again. … When George Jones came on the radio, even people that don’t listen to country music knew who that was.
“It was really weird because he’s the complete opposite of everything that I expected,” Morgan explained about getting to know Jones. “You’ve seen the movies, you’ve seen the shows, you’ve seen George and ‘No Show’ and the drinking and the partying … but the George Jones that I knew was a sweet, kind, loving, caring gentleman. Every time I ever talked to him, he hugged me and made me feel extremely comfortable. He always made me feel welcomed, and he was just very kind. I always felt like he spoke from his heart, and he was honest.”
Because of his musical gifts and that warm personality, it was almost as if Jones could do no wrong.
“George liked to have fun,” said Strait with a grin. “He was a free-spirited, happy-go-lucky, fun-loving guy, and I think that came out in his music. But his fans could never hate him, no matter what he did. If he ever did something wrong, everybody forgave George. I mean, if he was ‘No Show Jones’ or if he showed up and kicked everybody’s ass, he was still great.”
Check out the rest of the CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists Choice list, and find out who will be announced each Saturday at 11 a.m. ET/PT on CMT Hot 20 Countdown.
- 2011, Hank Williams Jr.’s “Are you ready for some football” theme is permanently removed from “Monday Night Football” telecasts days after the singer linked the president and Adolf Hitler. ESPN says it’s a network decision; Bocephus insists it was his choice
– 2005, Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” video debuts on CMT
– 1998, Alabama is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles
– 1990, “Friends In Low Places” puts Garth Brooks at #1 on the Billboard country singles chart
- 2012, Florida Georgia Line earns a gold single for “Cruise”
– 2006, Little Big Town shoots a new installment of “CMT Crossroads” at The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee, with Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. The set list includes “Boondocks,” “Bring It On Home” and “Go Your Own Way”
– 2001, Delayed twice in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Reba McEntire’s WB sitcom, “Reba,” debuts
– 1990, Columbia releases Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Shooting Straight In The Dark” album
- 2008, Dierks and Cassidy Bentley have a daughter, Evalyn Day Bentley, at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville
– 2000, The Dixie Chicks win four honors in the 34th annual Country Music Association awards at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, including Entertainer of the Year; Vocal Group; Album, for “Fly”; and Music Video, for “Goodbye Earl”
– 1995, Alison Krauss takes home four trophies in the 29th annual Country Music Association awards, aired on CBS from Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House: Female Vocalist of the Year; the Horizon Award; Vocal Event; and Single, for “When You Say Nothing At All”
– 1975, Willie Nelson picks up his first #1 single as an artist with “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”