Carrie Underwood’s Third Album Titled Play On; Kitty Wells Celebrates 90 Years

Jim Malec | August 31st, 2009

  • Carrie Underwood’s Nov. 3rd album will be called Play On.


  • The Chicago Sun-Time’s Bobby Reed reviews the first of two Carrie Underwood sets at Ravina in Higland Park, IL:

    The back-to-back performances of “I Told You So” (originally a hit for Randy Travis) and “Twisted” illustrated the fine line Underwood walks between country and pop music. That first song is a favorite of crowds at the traditional-leaning Grand Ole Opry, where Underwood is the youngest member. The latter is a weak pop song that opened with a swirl of futuristic synthesizer sounds at Ravinia. The contrast was a bit unsettling

  • Zac Brown Band’s debut national release The Foundation has gone Platinum.
  • Peter Cooper has an awesome feature on Kitty Wells’ 90th birthday party at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville.

    Sunday, Ernest Tubb Record Shops CEO David McCormick paid for a couple of hours of commercial-free airtime on WSM AM 650. WSM disc jockey Eddie Stubbs led an emotional, music-filled tribute to Wells that concluded with the Country Music Hall of Famer doing what she so often does: Sitting on a couch, arm-in-arm with her 95-year-old husband, Johnny Wright, with whom she’ll soon celebrate her 72nd wedding anniversary[...] There are celebrity marriages that don’t even last 72 days now,” quipped Stubbs.

  • The Oklahoman’s Brandy McDonnel has an interesting profile with Lee Ann Womack. Responding to a question about “I Hope You Dance,” Womack says:

    “It’s a curse and a blessing[...]Mainly it’s a blessing because … I can have a career off that one song; well, I have had a certain career off that one song. But the good thing about it is it enables me to be able to go and do what I want to do, and that’s play real traditional country music.”

  • The release of Toby Keith’s next album American Ride has been moved up a week. The disc will drop on Oct. 6th.
  • The CMA Songwriter Series will continue this fall with shows in Los Angeles and Chicago. Lee Ann Womack will take the stage at the Windy City’s Joe’s Bar on Oct. 2nd, and at the Chicago Country Music Festival on the following day. Songwriting phenom Kellie Pickler will share the stories behind her songs at Sept. 15th House of Blues show in the L.A..
  • The Tennessean reports that Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? will be going country for a week, starting on September 7th. The lineup of contestants will include Big Kenny, Jack Ingram, Heidi Newfield, Bucky Covington and Emily West.
  • Willie Nelson talks about his life and new album, American Classic, with the Los Angeles Times’ Randy Lewis.

    “I’m real lucky,” this remarkable 76-year-old road warrior says, leaning forward and flashing an easy grin. “My health is as good as it’s ever been. My lungs are in good shape-and there are lots of people all over the world wondering how that could be, like Michael Phelps.”

  • Reuters reports that Sugarland will release its first holiday album on Oct. 6th. Green and Gold will feature 10 songs, five of which will be Nettles/Bush originals.
  • 10 essential Shania Twain tracks, courtesy of Country Universe’s Starter Kit series.
  • Entertainment Weekly’s Whitney Pastorek is not impressed with the latest Jack Ingram disc:

    “…the Faustian bargain this respected Texas veteran made to strike it rich in Nashville is abundantly clear.”

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  1. Stewman
    August 31, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Interesting quote from Leeann Womack. I would think at that point in her career she was interested in “selling records”. Some would say “well aren’t we all”. This song was a behemoth, and obviously very pop leaning. (including backing vocals by the criminally underappreciated Drew Womack)
    I dont begrudge the artist who makes a commercial record. It was the right time for that song and record. That song is a very “moment in time” for that era. The song brought her a whole new fanbase and keeps her career at the level it currently operates.

  2. Sam Sattler
    August 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    You got my hopes up with that headline. :-)

    I might actually be impressed with Carrie Underwood if she did a tribute album to Kitty Wells titled “Play On.”

    As it stands, though, no, not much there.

  3. Nicolas
    August 31, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Well Sugarland sure is on a roll here… live album and now a Holiday one xD

    I’m excited for Carrie Underwood’s new album =)

  4. Mayor Jobob
    August 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Wow! Carrie actually looks attractive on this album cover!

  5. Rick
    August 31, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I love this sentence: “Songwriting phenom Kellie Pickler will share the stories behind her songs at Sept. 15th House of Blues show in the L.A..” Its the “phenom” part that slays me! Tickets for this show only cost $ 13 (plus typical extra charges) which is less than the parking around the West Hollywood HOB location. Think I’ll pass…

    I listened to the Kitty Wells birthday celebration via WSM Online yesterday and was hoping a few artists would perform some of Kitty’s hits as a tribute, but there was only one guy who did a solo acoustic guitar medley. It was great to hear all those Kitty cuts that Eddie Stubbs spun though.

    I’ll try to catch Emily West on “Smarter Than a 5th Grader”. Did anyone see her with Chuck Wicks on GAC’s Top 20 “First Videos” Countdown last night? That “Trucker Chick” character was just bizarre. Talk about out of left field!

  6. Rick
    August 31, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Jon, are you out there? A group named “Greensky Bluegrass” is playing at The Mint Wednesday night. Are they worth catching? At an $ 8 admission charge even if they sucked I still wouldn’t care. Ah, the blessings of dirt cheap concerts! (lol)

  7. Allison
    August 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Interesting that the 9513 only picked out the one part of the Chicago Concert review that was remotely negative. The rest of the review was fantastic!

    Why do you hate Carrie so much? Give it up!

    Her album cover rocks and she is gorgeous. I bet her new album is going to be incredible!

  8. Jim Malec
    August 31, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    “Underwood is a graduate of the Faith Hill school of singing, which means that she favors volume and firepower over nuance.”

    “That vocal athleticism made up for most but not all of the generic, country-pop arrangements and melodies that dominated the show.”

    “Her eight-piece backing band proved solid if not particularly memorable.”

    There were a few upbeat comments, but the overall tone of the review was clear.

  9. Allison
    August 31, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    You just pick out the snarkier comments. It was a good review overall. They mentioned her good stage presence and funny jokes she told about her dog. They also mentioned that her vocals were really good overall.

    My take was that they liked Carrie overall, and think she is a great singer, but they don’t necessarily like modern pop-country, so they are not fond of Carrie’s songs as they are too contemporary country for the writer’s taste. That is fine as that is his personal preference.

    anyway, not worth arguing over. I just find it odd that you never write about Carrie except to give a negative spin.

    The vocals that should be slammed are Taylor Swift’s. horrid.

    I would much rather sound like Faith Hill anyday of the year, then sound like William Hung, which is Taylor’s live singing voice.

  10. Rick
    August 31, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I often ponder the question “Which so called popster country artist has the most annoying dedicated group of crazed fangurls and fanboyz, Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood?” I’ve concluded the only reasonable answer is “BOTH!” (lol)

  11. J.R. Journey
    August 31, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    That’s true Rick – and both sides seem to be sworn enemies too. Every time I hear someone defend Carrie Underwood these days, their reasonings almost always include ‘she’s a better singer than that screeching Taylor Swift’ or something along those lines. Why even bring Taylor into the discussion? Is the only effective way to rationalize Carrie’s singing to point out that it’s ‘better’ than the other top female country artist right now? Seems like a weak argument to me. Always has.

  12. andie
    August 31, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    well truth to be told..recently carrie fans are more respectful and try not bring the whole taylor issue in respect of carri

  13. Stormy
    August 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Andie: Did you even read Allison’s post.

    What I love is the whole one or the other mentality which doesn’t allow for the fact that most of us prefer “neither” or “Miranda” or “[insert name of country singer Carrie and Taylor fans have not heard of here].”

  14. Allison
    August 31, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I love Miranda Lambert too! She is the best songwriter to come out of this generation of artists..and she doesn’t get enough credit! Instead, it all goes to bubble gum pop Taylor’s tween disney songs.

    Anyway, If you want me to defend Carrie without mentioning Taylor, I can do that. No problem.

    The fact is, for whatever reason, this site has some sort of grudge against Carrie and always will. She is an incredible vocalist, a nice person, and is writing almost every song on her new album.

    If your problem with her is because she came from American Idol, then you should remember that Miranda came from Nashville Star, another reality tv show. Also, Leanne Rimes was discovered on Star Search, and several other huge artists got their break on talent shows as well.

    It doesn’t matter how you got here. What matters, is what you do once you get here.

    I applaud Carrie and Miranda for how they are representing country music today. They are great faces for the future of modern country music. Who cares how they got here?

  15. Stormy
    September 1, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Actually, I think the larger problem with Carrie is that she is boring and not country.

  16. sess
    September 1, 2009 at 6:46 am

    If you think Carrie is boring then you obviously don’t know enough about her for yourself and just go by what you read on all these sites that are anti Carrie because of her enormous success.

    If you took the time to try to get to know her through interviews and see all the selfless things she does, you would know she is very humble, funny, and has a humility that most can’t even come close to!

    It is easier for people to look at the bad then then good that is the America is built, right Toby!

  17. Stormy
    September 1, 2009 at 7:00 am

    If I have to know mnore about Carrie to like her music, her music cannot be interesting. I don’t want humble, I want interesting.

  18. Adam
    September 1, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Ok, so what is some interesting music we should be listening too?

  19. Stormy Lewis
    September 1, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Try a little Dale Watson (hee, hee).

  20. Jill
    September 1, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Yes, it seems like only the worse part of the review was printed. She also preformed last night and the Chicago Tribune said “Underwoods flawless pipes, powerful, tender, hypnotic. Its easy to get lost in her voice.” She is one of the best vocalist in any genre right now. As far as not country, haven’t you heard her sing Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline covers? She stands solid. Randy Travis sure is country and she shines on I Told You So. Really hard to figure out what you people want. Carrie gives a mix of contemporary, classic, and gospel.

  21. Stormy Lewis
    September 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I have also heard Wendy O Williams sing Tammy Wynette covers–she isn’t country either.

  22. Rick
    September 1, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Stormy, you seem to enjoy tweaking Carrie’s Stepford Fan fembots as much as I like tweaking Obamavoter liberals…

  23. Stormy Lewis
    September 1, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I just want to hear from one after they have spent a few minutes listening to Wendy O Williams and Dale Watson. It will be a growing experience.

  24. Jon
    September 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Rick, I heard a few things from Greensky Bluegrass a couple of years ago, and haven’t really kept up with them since. I’d say they generally fall into the Colorado jamgrass field – in which, like any other, there is a wide variety of creativity and competence. Sorry I can’t be more specific.

  25. antonio
    September 1, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    you heard it here, folks. rick is an admitted ‘tweaker’. if you’re not sure what it is, you can google it. it explains a lot, really. :)

    am i tweaking now? or just being an a-hole? apparently it’s really similar. hmmm.

  26. Rick
    September 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Jon, thanks for the description of Green Sky Bluegrass! I think I’ll go give them a listen just because its so cheap! L.A. is not exactly a bluegrass band mecca if you know what I mean. At least Cherryholmes likes to play here since it was their home turf prior to moving to Nashville.

    Antonio, If the people I’m trying to tweak don’t think I’m an a-hole, then I’m not being effective! Thanks for the confirmation! (lol)

  27. antonio
    September 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    you’re welcome. of course, i doubt you looked at the first result of a google search of ‘tweaker’. it explains the obsession with country girl singers. you wily minx. ;)

  28. Peter
    September 2, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Urban Dirctionary calls “tweaker” a meth addict who can’t finish anything

  29. Brady Vercher
    September 4, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    My lungs are in good shape-and there are lots of people all over the world wondering how that could be, like Michael Phelps.

    And Merle Haggard…


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