Shotgun Willie Nelson headlines Nu Country TV this Thursday June 26 at 10. 30 pm on the eve of his 41 st July 4 picnic in Cowtown - Old Fort Worth.

The singing actor, now 81, performs in a new video for The Wall on Channel 31, Digital 44, on a show repeated Monday 5.30 am and 2.30 pm and Thursday 2.30 am.

Host Mid Pacific Bob Olson returns with a tasty, timely winter recipe for Chile Rellenos in the show filmed and edited by Laith Graham.

But it's not Turtles All The Way - the latest video we feature by East Kentucky young gun Strurgill Simpson who is not related to Bart, Homer or Marge.

Bob's recipe is followed by a Blackberry Smoke dessert in their debut on Behind Bars And Barbecues .

Fawkner filly Jasmine Rae and Dancing With The Stars diva Kellie Pickler return with an animated clip that vies with The Simpsons for impact.

And expat North Queenslander 8 Ball Aitken reveals what happens in a Hillbilly Disco on his return down under.

Nu Country TV has been added to the C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.

Just follow this link on your computer or mobile phone - http://www.c31.org.au/program/view/program/nu-country-tv


Waco singer-songwriter Billy Joe Shaver joins fellow Texan Willie Nelson on his 41 st July 4 picnic next week and his latest album Band Of Brothers.

The two tyros have worked honky tonks, kicker bars and major festivals together in careers dating back to the sixties in the heart of Texas and way beyond.

Willie details his joyous journey down the Lost Highway in the video for The Wall from his latest album Band Of Brothers released on June 17.

He wrote nine new songs with producer Buddy Cannon on the album recorded at Sound Emporium studio in Nashville with additional recording at his Pedernales studio in Austin , Texas and The Hit Factory Criteria in Miami , Florida .

The singer recorded two Billy Joe songs including The Git Go - penned with Fort Worth singer-songwriter Gary Nicolson and released as a duet with Alabama outlaw Jamey Johnson.

He also recorded Billy Joe song Hard Living Outlaw - both appear on Shaver's new album Long In The Tooth, produced by Nicholson and Ray Kennedy.

It's his first for seven years and due for release on August 5 and features Leon Russell, Tony Joe White and Shawn Camp.

Willie cut his album between October 2013 and March 2014, with Jim “Moose” Brown (keyboards), drummer Eddie Bayers, bassist Kevin “Swine” Grant, guitarist Bobby Terry, pedal steel guitarist Tommy White and Mickey Raphael on harmonica.

It also includes Nelson's interpretations of Vince Gill tune Whenever You Come Around and aptly-titled Songwriter written by Gordie Sampson and Bill Anderson.

The album follows To All The Girls - Nelson's first Top 10 album in more than three decades when released in October 2013.

Willie previously collaborated with Billy Joe on writing and recording Wacko From Waco after Shaver was acquitted of shooting Billy Bob Coker in the face outside Papa Joe's Texas Saloon at Lorena - south of Waco - in 2007.

Billy Joe took offence to Billy Bob stirring his drink with a rusty knife.

So what does Billy Joe think of his new album?

“This is the best album I've ever done,” Shaver says.

“It's just dangerously good. I expect it to change things and turn things around the way Honky Tonk Heroes did.”

The sentiment echoes something Shaver has been saying since last July.

Hard to Be an Outlaw parodies modern country music.

"It's not harsh enough, I don't guess," says Shaver, who wrote the song and enlisted Nelson to sing his share of the lyrics.

The Red Headed Stranger's most cutting line suggests today's country music is "enough to make a renegade want to terrorise the town."

"He and I both feel the same way about that," says Shaver.

"We text back and forth, and we figure we're the only ones over 70 years old that text. I'm sure that's not right, but I know Kris won't. Kristofferson won't do it. I mentioned this title to Willie and he said, 'Man, you oughta write that.'"

Billy Joe's album title track is a rap song.

"I didn't know it was that easy. I took a crank at it and went crazy and did it," Shaver boasts of rapping.

CLICK HERE for a Willie CD feature in The Diary on April 29, 2013.

CLICK HERE for another Willie CD feature on May 24, 2012.

CLICK HERE for a Billy Joe feature in The Diary on April 11, 2007.


Sturgill Simpson has good genetics and geography to become a hard edge country artist.

Sturgill hails from the hills and hollers of East Kentucky and shook hands with snake handlers in his local Pentecostal church as a younger man.

But he found another kind of serpent in Seattle in his video for Turtles All The Way Down on his second album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music on High Top Mountain Records.

Jesus, Satan, Buddha and reptile aliens led him back to the love that saved his life.

Simpson, 36, was accosted after a show in Wisconsin by a woman who accused him of promoting Gnosticism with his song.

Initially, he was taken aback by the accusation.

"This lady paid for a ticket and sat through the entire show just to tell me that," Simpson revealed recently.

"But I'm not a Gnostic, and that's not what that song is about. I thought for a second to explain it to her but realized it would only make the situation even more awkward and difficult. She had made up her mind."

It's not every country singer who gets accused of Gnosticism - or claims the late Waylon Jennings as a mentor.

That's certainly the gist of Turtles All the Way Down which suggests that all of these grandiose theories aren't as powerful as the everyday idea of love.

“It's really the only thing that ever saved me,” says Sturgill - a former U.S. Navy seaman and bluegrass buff.

“It made me wake up and really aspire to be a better human being. And every day, it still does. You met someone who sees past your faults and encourages you to believe in yourself - that is the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced in my life. We all need that.

“For me, that's what Turtles is all about. Everybody says there's this drug talk and some things that people might interpret as blasphemy, but it's not. It's about not getting too hung up looking for meaning in anything. Most people home in on the drug references, and I don't want to beat that to death, but some people spend 50 years meditating on the side of a mountain and other people drop 10 hits of acid. Maybe they're having the same experience. But that's neither here nor there. That song may be the end of my country career. That's fine. I could go back to the railroad. I liked that job.”

Trains are not just a metaphor for Simpson but a monetary wheel spinner.

“I worked for Union Pacific ,” Simpson added.

“I started out as a conductor at an intermodal switching facility outside of Salt Lake City . We'd pull in trains from all over the country, break them apart, consolidate the freight and build other trains. It was great until I screwed up and took a management position. Then it became no fun very quickly.

“I hit complete soul-sucking rock bottom, and for the first time in years, I started getting the guitar back out. Finally my boss said, ‘I know you're miserable, so why don't you give music an honest go.' I had my wife's full support. We sold everything and moved to Nashville about four years ago. I don't regret it so far.”

Further info - http://www.sturgillsimpson.com/


Georgian band Blackberry Smoke joins Mid Pacific Bob Olson in Behind Bars & Barbecues.

They place a little wine in the fridge in their video for Pretty Little Lie on their third album The Whipoorwill on Zac Brown's Southern Ground label.

Blackberry Smoke formed in 2000 in Atlanta and have performed as both headliners and support for Zac, Eric Church, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

On August 26, 2012, they performed at a charity benefit called the Boot Ride with the cast of Sons of Anarchy .

In our previous episode they joined Texan legend George Jones and Alabama roots country icon Jamey Johnson shortly before he died at 81 on April 26, 2013 on the inter-generational live celebration of Jones hit Yesterday's Wine.

It was the 1971 album title track penned by Shotgun Willie Nelson and late a #1 hit in 1982 for Jones and former convict country star Merle Haggard, now 77.

That song is also on the new Blackberry Smoke DVD-CD Leave a Scar, Live In North Carolina , releases on July 8 on new label 3 Legged.

Fellow Georgian superstar Zac Brown launched Atlanta quintet Blackberry Smoke on his record label Southern Ground .

Their new release includes a previously unrecorded, song Payback's A Bitch plus footage of the band at home and making of Yesterday's Wine.

"We've wanted to make a live album for as long as I can remember," said lead singer Charlie Starr.

"I think we really captured the essence of our show and the accompanying DVD gives fans a little more insight into life behind the scenes."

Drummer Brit Turner added “the audience adds an extra rush of energy at shows that is not present on studio recordings. We are so excited to have captured this especially remarkable show in Carolina .”

The band launched its DVD during CMA Fest week on June 6 at Swingin' Doors Saloon in Nashville .

Their Fire in the Hole tour includes Bonnaroo, Hangout Festival, Summer Fest and The Peach Festival.

Further info - www.blackberrysmoke.com


Jasmine Rae teamed with Dancing With The Stars winner Kellie Pickler for an animated video of their duet on Jasmine's song Bad Boys Get Me Good from her third album If I Want To .

Kellie guested on the Nashville recorded album by Jasmine who suffered the indignity of faux comedians and country music challenged buffoons when she appeared on the once credible ABC-TV show Spicks & Specks in May.

Jasmine, now 26, wrote Bad Boys Get Me Good with Shannon Wright and Jamie Floyd in Nashville .

"I met Kellie Pickler through my producer Luke Wooten," Jasmine told Nu Country TV .

"He also produced her album 100 Proof . I got to hang out with her. She was the most wonderful person so when it came to singing on my record she said yes before we even asked the question. She was really nice - it was just before she was asked to be part of Dancing With The Stars . She had been dancing in the studio for eight hours a day. She's making a new album now."

CLICK HERE for an exclusive Jasmine interview in the Diary on August 20, 2013.

CLICK HERE for an exclusive Kellie interview in the Diary on December 7, 2013.


Expatriate Atherton Tablelands singer-songwriter 8 Ball Aitken has good international credits.

Aitken performed live with veteran outlaw Ray Wylie Hubbard and Guthrie Kennard on Ray's radio show in Gruene - locale of the oldest dance hall in Texas .

He also graced singing Texan crime novelist Kinky Friedman's Texas Roadhouse Live TV show in Austin .

This week 8 Ball Aitken gets funky in the sticks with some redneck chicks and hicks at a Hillbilly Disco on his new video clip.

It's from 8-Ball's seventh album Southern Hemisphere.

“We filmed the music video for Hillbilly Disco in Queensland earlier this year, featuring a select crew of Brisbane's favourite pin-up girls, rodeo riders, and independent musicians,” 8 Ball told Nu Country TV .

The former banana picker, now 32, has also appeared as an extra on TV show, Nashville , and played octogenarian Loretta Lynn's Dude Ranch in Tennessee .

8 Ball has also expanded his CV with his songs being used in U.S. TV shows diverse as Justified, Breaking Amish and Parking Wars.

His travelogue includes 200 plus gigs a year on the Lost Highway that boomeranged him home in spring for a national tour that extended to Tamworth in January and Blues On Broadbeach Music Festival on May 24-25.

“I am working on new songs and playing live in Tennessee all month,” 8 Ball revealed.

“I have gigs in Nashville , Memphis , Jackson , and Columbia .”

8 Ball enclosed some photos taken at his gigs at the famed Bluebird Café and his CMA Fan Fair booth.

“My hand got sore signing thousands of autographs for the most loyal music fans on the planet,” he added.

“ Australia was very well represented in crowd numbers. I will be back in Australia for a humongous tour in October.”

CLICK HERE for a Southern Hemisphere CD review in the Diary on January 25, 2014.


We need your support as we celebrate our 23rd series of Nu Country TV .

Australian record companies and artists have joined forces to ensure our survival.

We have new CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing your membership.

They include singing actors Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw, Voice judge Blake Shelton, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Charley Pride, Slim Dusty, Rosanne Cash and many more.

We also have the latest John Denver all-star tribute album and DVDS by Lady Antebellum.

CLICK HERE for our Membership Page for full details.

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