country music

Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies

41ngzNk5TXL._SL500_AA280_FAIR OAKS, CA – Country music singer and Northern California native, Kevin Sharp died Saturday at his mother’s Fair Oaks home. He was 43.

Sharp recorded multiple chart-topping songs and survived a battle with cancer when he was a senior in high school.

According to Sharp’s sister, Mary Huston, he died at his mother’s Fair Oaks home just before 11 p.m. Saturday night. He died due to complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues brought on by the aggressive battle he had to undergo in his teenage years.

Sharp was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, as a high school senior. He went into remission after two years of chemotherapy and radiation.

Sharp climbed the charts with his release of “Nobody Knows,” a single on his 1996 debut album, “Measure of a Man.” He released two other albums, “Love Is” in 1998 and “Make A Wish” in 2005.

During Sharp’s battle with cancer, The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted him his wish to meet Grammy Award-winning music producer David Foster, who provided him with some tips that helped jump-start his career.

Sharp also was motivational speaker, a spokesman for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and he wrote “Tragedy’s Gift,” a 2004 book about fighting cancer.

Sharp is survived by five brothers, two sisters and his mother. Protection Status

Clear Channel unleashes new country station in Sacramento

B925_LogoSACRAMENTO, CA – Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento announced today the debut of The New B92.5, Today’s Country.

The New B92.5 will begin broadcasting today at 5 p.m. PST.

According to a statement released by Clear Channel, B92.5 will play “today’s hottest country hits,” and they will be kicking off with 10,000 songs in a row, commercial free.

Sacramento’s new country station will broadcast The Bobby Bones Show weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. PST. The morning show will feature on-air personalities Bobby Bones, Lunchbox and Amy, with special guest appearances. As with most morning shows, The Bobby Bones Show will entertain B92.5 listeners with a unique mix of pop-culture, news and crazy stunts.

“Country music is the most exciting format in America today. Stars like Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift and Florida Georgia Line make it a must have format for listeners and advertisers alike,” said Dave Milner, President and Market Manager, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Sacramento. “Pairing great music with the new Bobby Bones morning show and our exciting events like the iHeartRadio Country Festival, which we will be giving listeners exclusive opportunities to attend, allows us to bring a unique spin for Sacramento’s huge country fan base.”

Listeners will also have the opportunity to listen B92.5 via the station’s website,, as well as on iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s all-in-one digital radio service.

Clear Channel Sacramento owns and operates NewsRadio KFBK, Talk 650 KSTE, V101 KHYL and 93.7 JACK-FM KQJK.

Mark Chesnutt does his country thing

Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt

LINCOLN, CA – Mark Chesnutt headlined a night of country music in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Holiday Pavilion on Sunday, with openers Rachel Steele and Confederate Railroad.

As fans started filing into the Holiday Pavilion, Rachel Steele and Road 88 kicked off the evening with Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and The Band Perry’s “Done.”

Steele and Road 88 just recently won the coveted Sammie Award for Sacramento’s best Americana/Alternative Country band, as voted by fans.

Rachel Steele and Bob Kinney

Rachel Steele and Bob Kinney

Steele and the Road 88 crew, consisting of Scott Prentice (vocal/guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Vinnie Panteleoni (bass), Bob Kinney (guitar) and Tony Windle (keys), played several original works including “Nashville” and “Mama’s Still Waiting.”

Steele belted out “The Shot Song,” as a number of audience members stood up and started dancing to this original tune. According to Steele, she and Prentice got their inspiration for the song after watching comedian Gabriel Iglesias shooting shots of Tequila after a performance. Steele ended the set with Miranda Lamberts “Fastest Girl in Town.”

Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad

Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad

The audience was charged up and obviously looking forward to seeing Confederate Railroad after Steele’s high energy performance, but fans were disappointed as Confederate Railroad put on a lackluster performance and would have been better suited starting the show with Steele leading the way to Mark Chesnutt.

Confederate Railroad’s lead singer, Danny Shirley, was difficult to understand during his monologues and was spotty on his vocals. Joining Shirley onstage was Bobby Randall (guitar, minus his steel string), Rusty Hendrix (guitar), Mark Dufresne (drums) and Wayne Secrest (bass).

Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt

Towards the end of Confederate Railroad’s set, fans did react to their closing song “Trashy Women.”

Considered one of the most reliable country artists in the industry, Mark Chesnutt didn’t disappoint as he came out with “Bubba Shot the Jukebox,” followed by “Old Flames Have New Names.”

It was refreshing to hear Chesnutt’s clean vocals, and experience firsthand his ability to weave a story into a musical melody for all to enjoy. The audience was into his set from the start. Continuing he sang “Brother Jukebox” and “I Just Wanted You to Know.”

For his encore Chesnutt performed “Goin Through the Big D” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” leaving fans on their feet cheering for more.

Madison Hudson shakes it up

madisonSACRAMENTO, CA- Country singer Madison Hudson is shaking things up with her latest single “Shake It Up,” which is due to drop on iTunes sometime on Sunday.

Hudson teamed up with Michael Brandt and Fat Cat Studios in Sacramento to produce this winning song. “Shake It Up” has some great lyrics along with an awesome groove.

On the single, Hudson is joined by Brandt (drums/percussions), Stinger Davin (bass), Clint Warner (guitar/banjo) and Stephany Rae (background vocals). Brandt is also responsible for writing and producing this fun song.

As Hudson belts out this catchy tune, she has on her favorite jeans and dancing boots as she heads out the door to shake it up and break it down. The song has a perfect mix of banjo and solid driving guitar. Add to that a memorable chorus and Hudson’s pristine vocals and you have a combination for a bona fide hit.

At 16, Hudson’s vocals are truly starting to mature, sounding more like woman and less like an adolescent girl, she’s hitting on all cylinders with “Shake It Up.” Hudson’s earlier singles include, “I Don’t Care,” which was released when she was only 13, “Tommy” and “Too Shy.”

Give it a listen now at Southern Dixie Radio. If you like what your hear, let Madison know on her Facebook page.

Get it at Amazon!

Country legend George Jones dead at 81


George Jones (1931 – 2013)

According to George Jones’ publicist, Kirt Webster, the legendary country music star died today (Friday) at the age of 81.

Jones was forced to postpone two shows after he was hospitalized with a fever and irregular blood pressure, this according to Webster. He died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

Friends and fans took to Twitter to offer their condolences.

Blake Shelton tweeted, “Really REALLY bad news. We’ve lost a country music legend. And I’ve lost a hero and a friend. Goodbye George Jones…”

The Oakridge Boys tweeted, “It’s sad day. George Jones will not be forgotten & we will never stop loving him. Prayers with the family. @gjpossum

Keith Urban tweeted, “If I’m blessed enough to make it there, I look forward to you giving me the grand tour. Rest in peace George Jones!!!!! -KU”

1992 Country Music Hall of Famer led a wild and turbulent life which led to him not showing up to many of his concerts, earning him the nickname ‘No Show Jones.’

His hits included “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “The Race is On,” “White Lightning” and “Still Doing Time.” He recorded a number of songs with his then wife Tammy Wynette and paired up with country legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.

Jones was married four times with his first three marriages ending in divorce. He had a Daughter with his first wife Dorothy Bonvillion in 1950, two sons with his second wife Shirley Ann Corley who he married in 1954, one daughter with his third wife Tammy Wynette who he married in 1969.

In 1983, Jones married Nancy Ford Sepulvado. Jones insisted that his marriage to Nancy brought about his rehabilitation from drugs and alcohol, prolonging his life.

Jones is survived by his loving wife of 30 years Nancy Jones, his sister Helen Scroggins, and by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Country music singer Mindy McCready dead at 37

Mindy McCready Photo: BNA Records Label

Mindy McCready
Photo: BNA Records Label

Associated Press is reporting that troubled country music singer Mindy McCready died today from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. She was 37.

Deputies were sent to a home around 4 p.m. and found her body on the front porch. No further details were available.

Speaking to The Associated Press in 2010, McCready smiled wryly while talking about the string of issues she’d dealt with over the last half-decade.

“It is a giant whirlwind of chaos all the time,” she said of her life. “I call my life a beautiful mess and organized chaos. It’s just always been like that. My entire life things have been attracted to me and vice versa that turn into chaotic nightmares or I create the chaos myself. I think that’s really the life of a celebrity, of a big, huge, giant personality.”

Just about a month ago David Wilson, McCreary’s longtime boyfriend and father of her youngest son, was found shot on the same porch where she was discovered. For a brief period of time she was being investigated for the killing of Wilson.

McCready issued a statement last month lamenting his death. And she called him her soul mate and a caregiver to her sons in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show.

“I just keep telling myself that the more suffering that I go through, the greater character I’ll have,” she said, according to a transcript of the interview.

McCready was at the top of the country charts in the late ’90s, but her irresponsible behavior sidetracked her career and ultimately claimed the country stars life.

McCready blasted onto the scene in 1996 with her debut album “Ten Thousand Angels,” which was certified 2× Multi-Platinum by the RIAA and her 1997 album “If I Don’t Stay the Night,” went on the be certified Gold.

The embattled singer was no stranger to controversy and heartache.

She was engaged to actor Dean Cain in 1997, leading to a break up the following year.

In 2005 McCready’s ex-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, was arrested and charged with attempted murder after beating and choking her. That same year she was hospitalized after attempting suicide in a hotel. In September of 2005 it was discovered that she was pregnant with McKnight’s child, attempting suicide for a second time by overdosing on antidepressants.

Again in 2008, paramedics were called to McCready’s Nashville home after another apparent suicide attempt.  First responders found wounds around her wrist area and transported her to a local hospital.

McCready appeared in the third season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” in 2010. She made an appearance on “The View,” to talk about her appearance on the show.

A pornographic videotape of McCready surfaced with ex-boyfriend “Peter,” going on sale by Vivid Entertainment in 2010.

In 2011 McCready was found hiding in a closet with her five year old son Zander in an unoccupied summer home.  Her mother, Gayle Inge, who was Zander’s legal guardian at the time reported the pair missing days before.

It’s a tragic story with a very tragic ending.

Adele’s 21 tops in music sales for 2012

AdeleNielson Soundscan has reported that Adele has landed the #1 spot for the second year in a row for her album “21,” beating out Taylor Swift’s new album “Red.”

While everyone is clamoring to report Adele’s accomplishment, they are neglecting to inform their readers that Taylor Swift’s “Red” wasn’t released until October of 2012, while “21” was up for grabs for the entire year.

Breaking it down Adele gets the number one slot with “21,” selling 4.41 million records. The second place winner is Swift with “Red,” coming in second with 3.11 million records sold. “21” had 12 months of sales, while “Red” was released at the end of October, giving “Red” a tad over two months of sales.

Who’s the winner here?

Swift is kicking some major chords!

Adele’s numbers are impressive, especially when you consider the third place winner, One Direction’s “Up All Night,” which went on sale in March and only sold 1.62 million albums. That’s nine months of sales.

Again, comparing this to Taylor Swift’s “Red,” you have to agree Swift is #winning.Taylor Swift

The other winner is One Direction, who not only came in third place, but fifth place as well, just behind Mumford and Sons, giving them close to three million in sales.

Another item to note is the number of country artists appearing on the top 10 compared to past years. Is this due to American Idol churning out the likes of Carrie Underwood, and more recently Scotty McCreery?

So here’s how the last five years have looked according to Neilson Soundscan:


1. Adele, “21” – 4,410,000
2. Taylor Swift, “Red” – 3,110,000
3. One Direction, “Up All Night” – 1,620,000
4. Mumford & Sons’, “Babel” – 1,460,000
5. One Direction, “Take Me Home” – 1,340,000
6. Justin Bieber, “Believe” – 1,340,000
7. Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away” – 1,200,000
8. Luke Bryan, “Tailgates & Tanlines” – 1,100,000
9. Lionel Richie, “Tuskegee” – 1,070,000
10. Jason Aldean, “Night Train” – 1,020,000

1. Adele, “21” – 5,824,000
2. Michael Buble, “Christmas” – 2,452,000
3. Lady GaGa, “Born This Way” – 2,101,000
4. Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter IV” – 1,917,000
5.  Jason Aldean, “My Kinda Party” – 1,576,000
6.  Mumford & Sons, “Sigh No More” – 1,420,000
7.  Drake, “Take Care” – 1,247,000
8.  Justin Bieber, “Under the Mistletoe” – 1,245,000
9.  Jay-Z & Kanye West, “Watch the Throne” – 1,232,000
10. Lady Antebellum, “Own the Night” – 1,204,000

1. Eminem, “Recovery” –  3,415,000
2. Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” –  3,089,000
3. Taylor Swift, “Speak Now” – 2,960,000
4. Justin Bieber, “My World 2.0” – 2,319,000
5. Susan Boyle, “The Gift” – 1,852,000
6. Lady Gaga, “Fame” – 1,591,000
7. Sade, “Soldier of Love” – 1,300,000
8. Drake, “Thank Me Later” – 1,269,000
9. Usher, “Raymond V Raymond” – 1,143,000
10. Ke$ha, “Animal” – 1,143,000

1. Taylor Swift , “Fearless” – 3,217,000
2. Susan Boyle, “I Dreamed A Dream” – 3,103,828
3. Michael Jackson, “Number Ones” – 2,355,000
4. Lady Gaga, “Fame” – 2,238,000
5. Andrea Bocelli, “My Christmas” – 2,207,000
6. Hanna Montana, “Hannah Movie Soundtrack” – 1,823,000
7. Black Eyed Peas, “The E.N.D.“ – 1,786,852
8. Enimen, “Relapse” – 1,735,358
9. Jay-Z, “Blueprint 3“ – 1,514,800
10. Kings of Leon, “Only By the Night” – 1,398,000

1. Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter III” – 2,874,000
2. Coldplay, Viva La Vida” – 2,144,000
3. Taylor Swift, “Fearless” – 2,112,000
4. Kid Rock, “Rock N Roll Jesus” – 2,018,000
5. AC/DC, “Black Ice” – 1,915,000
6. Taylor Swift ”Taylor Swift” – 1,597,000
7. Metallica, “Death Magnetic” – 1,565,000
8. T.I., “Paper Trail” – 1,522,000
9. Jack Johnson, “Sleep Through the Static” – 1,492,000
10. Beyonce, “I Am…Sasha Fierce “ – 1,459,000


Jeff Keith’s Country side project

It’s like he’s gone to the dark side – at least for this project.

You rockers out there know what I’m talking about. You listen to hardcore rock while those “other people” listen to that country music stuff, and now it’s invading the pop-music scene thanks to the likes of American Idol.

You make sure everyone around you knows how much you hate it too! When Carrie Underwood comes on the radio and starts tearing up that pretty little souped up four wheel drive, you dive (rocker style) for the radio to change the station. But secretly, when no one is around, you start tapping your toe and daydreaming of riding that bucking bronco down at your local country bar – not that you know where the country bar is, let alone if it has a bucking bronco.

But wait!! Don’t touch that dial. The next song you hear could be one of your bestest most favoritest rockers of all time. No not Steven Tyler, that other rocker guy Jeff Keith, lead singer extraordinaire from one of the great rock bands of all time – Tesla.

Yes! Jeff Keith has come out of the country closet, as he’s set to release a brand spanking new album of nothing but country songs due out this Friday November 9th. This isn’t country rock either, this is the bonafide real McCoy, so hold off from changing that dial and have a listen to what he has to offer.

The Album, Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is the result of a side project of Keith’s and his country music friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. I should put a disclaimer here that Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.

Jeff Keith goes country – click for more images

Apparently they met after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs.

So how’s it sound?

The album starts off with a nice ballad, “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” complete with violins and steel strings. As most of the songs on the album, this song is old style country music complete with violin, steel string guitars, and a whole lotta twang.

“Life’s Just a Roller Coaster Ride” has a good strong country beat with Keith hitting his country stride as he dials in the twang and cranks up the beat.

Restraining himself from belting it out like a rock-star, Keith shows off his vocal prowess with “Can’t Let Go,” as he slows it down country style. This one is another winner.

“Life on the Road” reminds me of the Waylon and Willie days with a more upbeat tempo and a great storyline.

Cowboy up!

“Oklahoma Bound” is another ballad, and wrapping up the album with my favorite “Oh Hell,” which is an awesome little diddy.

When you purchase the CD you get a bonus track of interviews with the boys.

Bottom-line: This is definitely worth a listen. I really enjoyed all the songs as Keith and company take it old school country. For those of you faint of heart, start with “Can’t Let Go,” and work your way through the list, ending with “Oh Hell.”

For all you Tesla fans out there – no worries. Jeff isn’t quitting his day job.

I’m off to shine my boots and take in a couple of re-runs of Hee Haw.

Jeff Keith Country

Song Samples

Jeff Keith Country on Facebook




Officer Needs Assistance at Thunder Valley Casino


Chris Gardner Band – Click for more images

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.

Jim Hudson with Placer County 10-35 Foundation

The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.

10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.

Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”

Road 88 – Click for more images

Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).

Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.

Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.



Jeff Keith goes to the dark side

Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.

After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.

With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.

As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!

Scott Prentice and Jeff Keith – Click for more images

Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.

In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.

The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.

Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).

While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing  “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”

This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!

For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at

Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!


Carrie Underwood Upstages Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley making it real – click for more images

As I jumped into my old rusty and dilapidated truck and headed over to Wheatland’s Sleep Train Amphitheater to watch country music superstar Brad Paisley, I was reminded of the time my wife thought I was cheating. She got country ugly and decided to cowboy up, taking it out on my pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive, carved her name into my leather seat, took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, and slashed a hole in all 4 tires.

After I crawled out from under the bed and realized what she had done to poor old Ethel (my truck), I thought to myself, there must be a country song in there somewhere. It kinda reminded me of an old Carrie Underwood song. Not exactly sure what made me think of the good times with my wife, but country music has a way of doing that to you.

As I was saying, the award winning Brad Paisley brought his Virtual Reality Tour to Sleep Train Amphitheater Thursday night. Opening for him was Easton Corbin and The Band Perry.

As droves of country fans filed into the amphitheater Easton Corbin kicked off the evening. Corbin is no stranger to touring with his pal Paisley. In 2010 Corbin tagged along in Paisley’s H2O tour.

Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin – Click for more images

Opening with “This Feels a Lot Like Love” and “A Little Bit More Country Than That,” Corbin seemed a little stiff and didn’t move around much. It took the crowd a song or two, but they finally started getting into his set. He ended with his #1 hit “Roll With It,” leaving the crowd energized.

The Band Perry came, they sang, they conquered ““ period.

The 2012 Grammy nominated trio consisting of Kimberley Perry, and her two Brothers Neil and Reid, started their set off with “Sugar Sugar” and “Hip to My Heart,” with fans standing throughout their set.

The interaction between the siblings was highly energetic, with the crowd feeding off of their energy. Even on their slower songs, such as their cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallen,” the crowd stayed on their feet and swayed to the music.

I thought The Band Perry was going to steal the show, but Paisley came out to see just how much energy the crowd still had left. As the behemoth monitors started to warm up, lasers started firing, and lights flashing, pandemonium broke out in anticipation of Paisley’s appearance.

Kimberly Perry

Kimberly Perry – Click for more images


As Paisley made his way onto the stage singing “Camouflage,” the crowd showed him that they had plenty of energy left, and beer too, as fans raised their glasses to the country star.

The Band Perry

Neil Perry

There were several touching moments during the show. One fan, Theresa Manzinali, said her favorite part of the show was when Paisley gave a guitar to a young boy, but more importantly was being able to see what a real human being Paisley is. When he brought a number of military personnel up onstage, it brought tears to her eyes.

Manzinali summed up the show best, “He puts on a fantastic show!”

The highlight of the evening was when Carrie Underwood arrived on stage to sing “Remind Me,” bringing cheers from the audience, but wait! It wasn’t really Underwood. As the scene played out the audience soon realized that it was a hologram, much like what Snoop Dogg did with Tupac at Coachella.

Reid Perry

Reid Perry


I heard a number of people at the end of the show arguing that it was really her, others saying it was someone who looked like her, when in fact, it was a projected image on a fine black mesh screen, or scrim. Very realistic affect and very cool!

The crowd definitely got their money’s worth with the combination of The Band Perry and Paisley. It was a great evening. It was for my wife too . . . I didn’t cheat, so please don’t hurt my Ethel.







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