Archive | May, 2014

‘The South’ by The Cadillac Three

24 May

Well… Well… Well… (In my Stoney LaRue voice) I get told more often than not that my descriptions on certain things are funny and unique. I do speak my mind and before you ask I do not think about what I’m going to say, I like to be just as surprised as everyone else. So when I decided to sit down and write about The Cadillac Three’s single ‘The South’ I knew I’d need to explain myself before diving in head first. Consider that description of myself up there ^^^ a warning (Nothing bad!)

I’ve seen these fellers before in concert, twice as a matter of fact and I liked em. (Didn’t love em, liked em. Big difference when it comes to me.) Last summer they opened for Whiskey Myers at the Rib Room in Ft. Smith and I vividly remember telling my friend Cassie “I thought I dropped the F-bomb a lot, this cat has me beat by a country mile!” It’s true, the dude said the F-bomb every other word, I wonder how he refrains himself in on camera interviews? Since I’m so curious I might as well see if I can line up and interview to see for myself…. (Dually noted.) In my opinion, which don’t mean much, they sound like a cross between Lynyrd Skynyrd and Whiskey Myers. They have that southern rock image and sound, I like it a lot. Some people might not like it but to each their own. Some little tiddy bits I learned about the fellers is: 1) lead vocalist, Jaren Johnston co-wrote ‘You Gonna Fly’ for Keith Urban, ‘Southern Girl’ for Tim McGraw, and ‘Days of Gold’ for Jake Owen with drummer, Neil Mason. (Did you raise your eyebrow like I did when I first heard this little bit of info?) 2) They were formally known as The Cadillac Black before changing their name to The Cadillac Three. Now if The Cadillac Black sounds familiar it’s because whenever Brantley Gilbert opened for Eric Church at the Ft. Smith Convention Center back in January 2012 they were the long haired guys on stage before BG and they went by The Cadillac Black. 3) On the single ‘The South’ Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and Mike Eli from the Eli Young Band are featured singing along. (You learn something new everyday huh?)

I love the song, and Jaren’s voice is different. It’s one of those unique voices that I’m drawn to, being a horse of a different breed in the music business is good. I mean who the heck wants to blend in with every one else? I’d want to be different to make sure I stood out in peoples minds. Jaren does that. This song gives a nod to the south, (um…. duh.) everything is better in the south. (Who the heck retires and moves up north? My point exactly.) It reminds you why you love the south in a rocker kind of way. The melody has a good beat that makes you wanna stomp your feet and by the time you’ve reached the chorus you’re head banging and busting out moves you didn’t know your body could possess. Perfect song to get the crowd fired up to, someone give the record label a raise for releasing this single. It draws attention to these guys and leaves you wanting more. Go to YouTube right now and look it up. (Note: it makes me wanna drive 95 and then do a Dukes of Hazzard 360 spin.)

Now onto my thoughts of the video… Oh lawdy have mercy… I sat there with the raised eyebrow and slow nod while watching this video. Like I said I’ve seen these guys twice in concert and I’m not sure what image I had in my head for them to have because clearly it wasn’t the one they have in real life. I’ll shoot straight with you, the way Jaren says “boots and red clay” gives me goosebumps. So imagine my face when the camera gets a close up of him singing those words and I realize he has prettier hair than me! Don’t get it twisted, I’d party like Pamela Anderson with these guys if I was given the chance. (and when I say party, I mean I’d badger them the entire time about what hair products they use and in the back of my head count how many f-bombs get dropped.) They’re rocking out and then there’s the folks you commonly see in the south; Farmers, ranchers, folks in overalls, country girls dancing in a chicken coop. (Yes you read that right.) I had to watch the video twice to make sure I was seeing this right, then you see the special guests, Dierks, Mike and the boys from Florida Georgia Line singing their part. I know I make jokes and have somewhat snarky remarks but it looks like the making of this video was fun. The South is fun, the tea is sweeter, the days are longer, the country is prettier, and the people are more nice than some hoidy toidy executive in a three piece suit and tie you see up North.

I give the boys from The Cadillac Three a thumbs up on the video and two thumbs up on the song. Go visit their website http://www.thecadillacthree.com for concert dates, merchandise and other upcoming news. Until next time, bye y’all!

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21 May

Testing out the new plugins

‘Nashville Checklist’

21 May

Album reviews…. Some say they’re a pain in the butt, I say it’s an excuse for me to jump in the truck, roll the windows down and get lost in the music. Some would rather buy certain songs instead of the whole album but I like to see what else the artist has, what else they sing about, what else they have up their sleeve. In this case there are no sleeves involved, because the album I’m reviewing doesn’t wear sleeves. (Okay only on some special occasions but any other time you’ll see him with cut off sleeves, even in the winter time.) I’m reviewing my buddy Bo Phillips and his Band’s newest studio album, ‘Nashville Checklist’ Before you think “Gah Lisa it came out months ago.” keep in mind some folks might not have it, some folks might not care to buy it simply because they’ve never heard of him or because “red dirt” isn’t their thing. But here’s the deal, I told Bo I’d review the album and I’d give my honest brutal opinion and I’m keeping up with my end of the bargain. Who knows there might be someone reading this review and think “Man I need to go listen to this album she speaks of.” (I doubt my opinion matters to others but a girl can dream right?)

I have Bo’s other two studio albums and after listening to ‘Nashville Checklist’ for a week straight I listened to them to make notes of what I thought. Here’s a recap of the first two; Bo put out his first studio album in 2009 titled ‘Dirt Road’ and from that album we heard his fan favorites ‘Peace On Earth’, ‘Never’ and ‘Perfect Girl’. Then in 2011 his second studio album dropped and from that album we heard ‘Front Porch’, his first #1 song on Texas Music Charts ‘Red Dirt Girl’ and his follow up single ‘Riverbed’. Okay now that we got a crash course lesson in BPB music let’s get on with it(:

One thing I notice about Bo that separates him from other artists is his ability to sing and perform for his loyal fans with emotion. He shows it on his face and you can hear it in his voice. He doesn’t have a poker face like some other artist do, who sing with the same look and same emotion, I ain’t knocking other artist so don’t get it twisted and in all honesty I never noticed it til ‘Nashville Checklist’. Speaking of voices…. while listening to all three albums and taking notes, I did notice how Bo’s voice has changed since 2009. It now sounds seasoned and older. (My Lord he’s gonna kill me for that statement but I’m being brutally honest and he knows I mean well.) It’s only fitting he sings with emotion and sincerity in some songs, he’s most likely lived em. It sounds cliché but any songwriter will tell you they write what they live or how they feel, that’s Bo. Every song but two he has wrote on his own (Can you name the two he’s co wrote?)

On ‘Nashville Checklist’ he let’s the listener in on some of his humor. If you’ve never been to a Bo show or you don’t follow him on Facebook or Twitter then you’re missing out. Bo is open about his thoughts and opinions regarding the sounds coming out of Nashville so it’s no surprise he calls out the obvious ways to hit it “big” in Music City with title track ‘ Nashville Checklist’. He talks about the now more popular Auto-Tune, bedazzled jeans most men are wearing and the most talked about subjects in songs. (tractors, small towns and hunting just to name a few.)

His first release off the album, ‘Her Favorite Song’ has became nearly every girls favorite song. Can you name your favorite song? Most can’t because they don’t have one actual song pinpointed to be their favorite. Most likely a girls favorite song is one that best describes her at that moment or describes her emotion. Bo hits the description on the head:
Her favorite song is a fast one, when she ain’t afraid to die,
Or a slow one with a fiddle when she just needs to cry
She might not have the answer so please don’t take it wrong
But you’ll see it when she hears her favorite song

Another crowd favorite is a song Bo first started playing live before the others and everyone can relate to it. The Pissed Off Clown Song, if we’re censoring then it’s known as ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’. Based on a true story over a relationship that ended and the person is hurt then they come out in the end a strong person. They never needed the person at all and telling them they were so much better without em. (Remember when I said he sings with emotion? This is one of the ones that showcases it.) In my opinion his song ‘Name and Number’ is the sassy sequel to ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’, we hear the hurt and the building ourself back up in ‘POC’. In ‘Name and Number’ we hear the sassy and telling the person off that hurt us to begin with. (Both songs would be great karaoke songs…. just saying…)

What album would be complete without your love songs? ‘New Way’ and ‘Me and You’ are just that. ‘New Way’ gives new ways to say I love you to your significant other (This song comes in handy if you’ve ran out of ways and you’ve somehow not made it clear to your significant other that they mean the world to you.) ‘Me and You’ well…. if a feller admitted to me he can cook and hunt and ‘The Notebook’ made em cry well I’d give him a chance!

Then there is ‘Runnin’ Kind’, ‘Bring You Back’ and ‘Nightstand’… I’ll shoot straight with you, I really couldn’t relate to ‘Runnin’ Kind’ and listening to it and asking Bo what inspired it it’s then that I realized that the reason I couldn’t relate is because I’d never experienced what the song was about… So the verdict is still out of ‘Runnin’ Kind’ (Sorry!) ‘Bring You Back’ is not only personal to Bo but to me as well, (and to anyone who’s ever lost someone close to them) It’s well written to the point it describes what you feel when life is suddenly cut short and you no longer have the future with someone but it doesn’t make you cry. (It did me, not going to lie about that!) ‘Nightstand’…. well its a dark song. I cry listening to it. The melody and the story it tells is one that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you feel sad. (Not like depressing but the song, you can picture the scene in your head. It’s like watching a movie as the words flow. I told you, it’s deep!)

Bo gives a respectful nod to The Possum in ‘Jonesin for George’. In the wake of his death, Bo sat down and wrote this song in memory of what country music is supposed to sound like and of George himself. Hearing the first few chords I thought I was actually listening to a George Jones song!

The hidden track not listed on the cover is one that came out of a game… Bo sat in with Justin Frazell, radio personality from 95.9 The Ranch (a station out of Ft. Worth) we hear the entire conversation. The game being played is called ‘Ten words to show your talent’, callers can call in and give the artist one word, the artist then writes it down and moves onto the next caller, so on and so on until there is ten words. The artist is then given a time to have a song written by so they can perform it live on air using all ten words they were given from the callers. (You still with me on how it works? Good!) In this case ‘The Baseball Song’ was born, any baseball fan would love it! Of course, Bo mentions the Texas Rangers but you can sing your own version by replacing the Rangers out with your own favorite ball team. (High five Bo!)

(Note: This ^^^ review of ‘Nashville Checklist’ was written solely on my thoughts and opinions. Of course to each their own! Now if you haven’t bought it, go to a live Bo show or ITunes to purchase it! Bo’s schedule is found on his website, http://www.bophillipsband.com until next time, bye y’all!

Cole Swindell

19 May

Hey y’all! Well it’s another day with me nose deep in music(: I’ve been super busy and haven’t really had time to slow down and write til now so I’ll be quick with my stories. Now I know I said in a previous post that I was gonna talk about mainstream country too despite my name being Red Dirt Lisa. Really I love all kinds of music; classic country, mainstream country, pop country, red dirt and Texas music country, I don’t have a limit. Of course I’ll be snarky and make my own comments on some mainstream artist but it’s only because it’s what I think. Some of my friends don’t like Luke Bryan but I have highs and lows with Luke and here’s my thoughts on that… I love some of Luke’s stuff, like the first album he put out that had good songs like ‘We Rode In Trucks’, ‘I’ll Stay Me’, and ‘First Love Song’ those to me were great coming from him and I even love some of his newer stuff like ‘Drink A Beer’ and ‘Play It Again’ but when he starts singing about being a “winner winner catfish dinner”, wearing bedazzled skinny britches and is twerking more than Miley I gotta drop my head and wonder who his publicist is and why they’re still not working with Prince. (Of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like watching his booty shake it for me) I like some of the country pop stuff coming out of Nashville, I admit I put in my ear buds and jam to it while push mowing my yard (Yes some of it makes me think I can dance) and I do turn it up in my car and put on my own personal concert. (Don’t judge you do too…)

While skipping through my Pandora song list one day this catchy new song came on and I thought “Who is this cat?” It was a new artist named Cole Swindell and he was singing his song called ‘Chillin’ It’ at fist I was thinking that this was some more pop in my country and people were gonna gripe about it (and they did) but the song grew on me and I liked what I was hearing. Then I read he got picked up to be an opener on Luke Bryan’s ‘That’s My Kinda Night’ tour which made sense but I wasn’t going to drop a butt load of money for a ticket. I didn’t have to, several of my Facebook friends bought tickets and went and posted video’s pictures and their own personal opinions and they all made comments about Cole. I still wasn’t sold. It took a month or two til me and my friend Ashley were in the check-out line at Wal Mart and there was the ‘last minute stuff you might need but really you don’t’ rack. I looked over and there sat Cole’s debut album sitting there all cute and such for $10, Ashley informed me Pandora played a lot of Cole stuff and he had more than just one good song, so I said “What the hey, I’ll buy it. It’s only $10.” The next day while painting my entire house I listened to that album on repeat and thought to myself “This is the best $10 I’ve spent in a while!” The more I listened to it the more I loved it. So then I did some extensive creeping on Mister cutie patootie Cole and stumbled upon several things that booted me on up to biggest fan status. He’s a Georgia native, (Well… well… well…) he and ol Luke Bryan were frat brothers in college, (I’m betting he can do one helluva keg stand!) and most importantly he writes or co-writes his own songs and this includes songs for other fellow Georgia artists (Craig Campbell, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line to name a few)

I was sold. Well not entirely, I went looking through tour dates. Listen I don’t give a crap how good you are to look at, how many great songs you have or how many awards you have displayed in your big house on the hill, if you cant knock my socks off with a live show then I’m gonna tell you about it!

There it sat… the closest venue to me was in Oklahoma City and by golly I was going. So I ordered the tickets then told Ashley to set aside any plans she might’ve had cause we had a hot date. So the end of March me, her, her husband and my boyfriend loaded up and traveled the 3 1/2 hours to OKC to watch Cole at this little place called he Diamond Ballroom. Now I guess while drooling over Cole I never thought to do research on the Diamond Ballroom… The only thing I knew about the place was there was always a good artist booked there, little did I know (I found out later from my cousin) that it was in the shady lower part of town meaning rough. In all honesty I don’t know why this thought never crossed my mind because when we walked in the door there stood four cops. Not “sugar bear cops” as my friend Jennifer calls em, but real friggin’ cop with real guns and a real badge. (Real okay?) The place was a good sized establishment, clean, very well ran and very well taken care of. I took a look around and noticed the huge pictures that lined the walls of previous artist that had been booked there then… they patted us down. Not like a little pat, I mean you had to spread em and they made sure you were packing a gun, knife, 2×4 anything that could harm someone. (Holy cow! A little heads up would’ve been great!) Once I got past the shock of that experience we walked on in and found a good place to stand to watch the show. Now when I go places I observe the place… The Diamond Ballroom had clean beer and liquor bars, friendly bartenders, ran by nice but stern people and their bathrooms were clean. Yeah you read that right, their bathrooms were clean, smelled of cleaner and had clean floors. I’m not certain on the capacity limit of the place but it was not packed nor was it sold out for this show. (Give him a year or so and he’ll pack it out) Finally, at 10:30 Cole took the stage, he did his own songs, he sang the songs he had co-wrote for other artist and even did some covers of some 90’s country songs. He was great with the crowd and was very high energy. (yep that ticket to go see him and ol Luke would’ve been a good buy…) Then just as everyone was getting all fired up the concert was over, I look at my clock and it reads 11:40. Um…what? We drove nearly four hours, got patted down as if we were hiding a shank in our bra and then the show was only and hour and ten minutes long?! I guess its safe to say while oogling over Cole I should’ve been doing research on the venue, maybe if I had I would’ve read that they close at midnight. (Way to go Lisa)

Would I recommend you seeing him live? Yes. Would I ask his booking people to reevaluate their contracts and make the show longer? I already did(: Overall he put on a great show, our tickets were affordable and I’d for sure go again to see him. Y’all support live music!