Lady Antebellum will perform in national new year's spotlight

14. December 2014 12:45 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Lady Antebellum will officially be helping Americans across the nation ring in the new year performing on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest." The country trio will be joining fellow industry stars such as Gavin DeGraw and Taylor Swift. Lady Antebellum and DeGraw will be performing at the Bash on Broadway from the musical metropolis of Nashville, which will be broadcast live on the nationally televised program hosted by Seacrest. 

Nashville mayor Karl Dean explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "We have seen the Jack Daniel's Bash on Broadway grow tremendously, and its inclusion on a national show is a natural extension of its growth and popularity. Lady A and Gavin DeGraw are great representatives of the music in our city, and we are excited to have them headline the night in Nashville."

Lady Antebellum 
Lady Antebellum is a country trio formed in 2006 consisting of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood. The band is renowned for its impeccable harmonies and instrumental skills, and quickly skyrocketed to nationwide fame with a self-titled freshman album. Known for hits such as "Love Don't Live Here," "Need You Now" and "Bartender," Lady Antebellum has become critically acclaimed in the country genre and music industry at large. In fall 2014, the group released its sixth studio album, 747.  Now, Lady Antebellum will join an elite group of talented musical artists that help Americans everywhere ring in the new year. 

About 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest' 
The late Dick Clark originally hosted a "New Year's Rockin' Eve" special in 1972 and became a staple on the show for more than three decades. In 2005, Clark suffered a stroke and had to sit out, but returned to the program on and off until passing away in spring 2012. His last appearance was in 2012, nearly 40 years after becoming the show's inaugural host. Today, the special still honors Clark with his name in the title, and hosting responsibilities have been passed on to Ryan Seacrest.

According to Taste of Country, this year's special will include 38 performances and more than five and a half hours of music, with Taylor Swift headlining in Times Square. "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" is scheduled to air on Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Shania Twain working on new album

12. December 2014 10:45 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

As Shania Twain's residency on the Las Vegas Strip comes to a close, the country superstar revealed to the Las Vegas Sun in mid October 2014 that she has new music in the works. Twain still has a slew of performances at Caesars Palace before moving on from Sin City, the last of which is scheduled for Dec. 13, 2014. Before coming to Vegas two years ago, Twain had largely given up on singing. Though her confidence was shaky, coaching from greats like Gladys Knight and Lionel Richie helped her get back up on stage. Although it's impossible to know exactly what to expect from Twain's new work considering she has not released a studio album since 2002, it's likely the bestselling female country artist of all time will perpetuate that title.

New music
Though there's little information regarding Twain's new work, she explained that her confidence is at an all time high in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun. When Twain came to Vegas, she was privileged enough to have one of the best coaches in the industry, Lionel Richie. Of course, Richie is the former member of The Commodores and is famous for timeless hits such as "Easy" and "Endless Love." With Richie's encouragement and regular performances at Caesars Palace, Twain said she is ready to return to the studio. When speaking with Robin Leach about the album, Twain explained:

"That's a whole new world there for me because that took a lot of courage, too. Just to really dive in there and expose my songwriting for the first time after a long time to my peers and have to sit there and get the feedback and be brave enough to do that."

Even though Twain is recording new tracks, she has no plans to take an extended break from touring any time soon. After saying goodbye to Vegas for the time being, she said she intends to tour in the near future.

"I don't want to leave the stage just yet. I'm going to put some tour dates together and put it on the road and do some concerts because it was very exciting going to Calgary and Prince Edward Island recently. Being with these giant crowds was very exciting, and it's motivated me to carry on doing that."

Currently, there are no specific dates and locations, but country fans can get excited to soon see Shania Twain back on the road.

Gregg Allman: A living legend

10. December 2014 10:13 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

 

Gregg Allman, perhaps best known for his work with the Allman Brothers Band, has become a living rock and roll legend. After being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, Allman will now receive the Living Legend Award at the 2014 Classic Rock Roll of Honour on Nov. 4. Furthermore, Allman is an executive director on an upcoming biopic that showcases the history of the Allman Brothers Band. Add in the fact that Allman penned a biography, "My Cross to Bear," and it's clear that the controversial rocker has become emblazoned in the fiery history of rock and roll. 

​Allman's complex past
Allman's lengthy journey as an organist and songwriter is riddled with drug abuse, a botched marriage to Cher, the tragic death of his brother and Allman Brothers Band co-founder Duane, and countless tales of debauchery and fame. The musician has been married to six different women and fathered five children. His lifelong battle with substance abuse may seem somewhat of a rock and roll cliche, but it has often been the catalyst behind Allman's tumultuous lifestyle. 

Gregg and Duane's father was murdered when the boys were very young, leaving them to be raised by their mother, Geraldine. The brothers fell in love with music at a young age, and it was Gregg who, in fact, first picked up the guitar. However, Duane quickly became the superior guitarist and Gregg switched focus to playing the organ and singing. Gregg graduated high school in 1965, intending  to pursue a career in dentistry; however, Duane convinced his younger brother to focus on music. 

The duo played with bands under a number of different names in the mid to late 60s, most notably as The Allman Joys. Gregg and Duane relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Liberty Records in the late 60s. The label changed the band's name to The Hour Glass. Under this moniker the group produced two albums that Gregg and Duane found deeply unsatisfying. Duane returned to the southeast while Gregg continued to work with Liberty Records on the West Coast. Duane started gathering musicians into what would become the Allman Brothers Band. Gregg moved back to the southeast to join the project, and in 1969, the Allman Brothers Band made its debut.

The group began to gain notoriety over the next two years, but Duane tragically died in a motorcycle accident in 1971. During their brief time together prior to Duane's death, the band raised hell, taking psychedelic drugs and squatting in a "Hippie Crash Pad" thanks to the kindness of friend Twiggs Lyndon. The band took on a heavy touring schedule in a Winnebago, which they called the "Wind Bag." In the confined space all of the members consumed a gallimaufry of drugs and made little money. Duane was offered a spot in Derek and the Dominos, but decided to stay with the Allman Brothers Band.  

After the passing of Duane, Gregg launched a solo career, although he has continued to perform on and off with the Allman Brothers Band to this day. The Allman Brothers Band met after Duane's loss and decided to continue making music and touring. However, bassist Berry Oakley resorted to excessive drug and alcohol use as he grieved Duane's death. Tragically, Oakley died a year later colliding with a van on his motorcycle only blocks away from the site of Duane's accident. 

In the mid-70s, Gregg testified in the trial of the security man for the band Scooter Herring, who was suspected of distributing cocaine. Allman claims Herring told him to take a deal by testifying, but afterward Gregg's bandmates considered him a snitch, leading to the first breakup of the Allman Brothers Band. Over the next three decades, the Allman Brothers Band broke up and reconnected on several occasions with varying members. Gregg continued to have a successful solo career while also joining the Allman Brothers Band in the studio and on tour. 

Classic Rock Roll of Honour
The Living Legend Award in the past has been given to acts such as Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne and Rush. The 10th Classic Rock Roll of Honour will be hosted by Sammy Hagar. 

"Where can you start with Gregg Allman? The rock 'n' roll world would be a very different (and far lesser) place without him," Classic Rock editor Siân Llewellyn told USA Today. "As a founding member and guiding light of the Allman Brothers Band and a hugely influential solo artist, Gregg has touched the lives of rock fans all over the globe for over four decades."

The living legend seems to have no intention of slowing down. Gregg released his 11th studio album in 2011 and is working to ensure his life is cast accurately on film. With decades of music under his belt, Gregg Allman has proven to be one of rock and roll's most eccentric and talented artists.