DIERKS BENTLEY HEADLINES NU COUNTRY TV
Arizona born singer-songwriter and pilot Dierks Bentley headlines Nu Country TV on Saturday March 24 at 9 pm on Channel 31/ Digital 44.
Texan trio Midland returns to the show hosted by Mid Pacific Bob Olson and repeated Monday at 3 pm.
Former Victorian bush footy champ Luke Sinclair and Raised by Eagles and Gippsland born dairy farmer's son and latter day singer-songwriter secondary school teacher Michael Waugh also perform on the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham.
The Texan Eli Young and Randy Rogers bands also return with new video clips.
Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/
BENTLEY BUSHFIRE BENEFIT BALLAD
Dierks Bentley returns with his tribute to courageous fire fighters in home state Arizona.
The Granite Mountain Hotshots , an elite wild-land fire-fighting crew who fought dangerous wild fires, lost 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire in June 2013.
Bentley revisits the tragedy in Hold The Light, featured in 2017 movie Only The Brave with Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly.
Hold the Light features footage of Bentley performing the song on acoustic guitar with his band interspersed with some of the film's most poignant shots.
Dierks wrote Hold the Light with Bon Iver's Sean Carey.
“This song hits really close to me,” revealed Bentley, 42, who became friends with Brendan McDonough – the sole survivor of the tragedy.
“One of the most powerful takeaways for me from working on this project has been the need to search for hope and light even in the darkest of times. I think right now that message is more meaningful than ever.”
Bentley also hosted a fundraising concert that raised more than half a million dollars after the death of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots .
Dierks toured here with Australian of the year Lee Kernaghan in 2012 and recently released 10th album The Mountain that he wrote and recorded in Telluride, Colorado.
Bentley teamed with fellow songwriters Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley.
“We all went out there and got completely off the grid, out of our normal element and the grind that happens on Music Row," Bentley explained, "and it was, from the very get-go, magic."
Dierks wrote first single Woman Amen with Copperman and Josh Kear about his love for wife Cassidy.
Bentley also opened his new Whiskey Row music venue on Lower Broadway in Nashville on January 14.
ELI YOUNG BAND SALTWATER GOSPEL
The north Texan Eli Young Band fled far from flames in their video for Saltwater Gospel from their sixth album Fingerprints.
They surfed in suits to cleanse their souls.
The quartet toured here in 2012 with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for our late benefactor Rob Potts and returned in 2014 for a Rod Laver Arena concert after playing CMC Rocks The Hunter.
Mike Eli and James Young met at North Texas Uni in Denton but didn't hang their hats on anti-Nashville sentiment popular in Texas .
"We never said, 'screw Nashville ,'?" says Mike Eli, who grew up outside Houston and as a teenager played the opry circuit.
"Not because we had a master plan but because artists that are loved and cherished here in Texas made records in Nashville -guys like Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle. Maybe it was naive, but we looked at that and said, 'Why can't we do it too?"
MIDLAND MAKE A LITTLE MUSIC
Texan trio Midland mix baseball and live music with rhinestones in Make A Little from debut album On The Rocks .
Midland moved to Dripping Springs - locale of the first of Willie Nelson's 44 July 4 picnics - to enrich its music.
They took their name from Kentuckian singing actor Dwight Yoakam's song Fair To Midland and turned cash flow into lucrative liquidity with wry word play in Top 10 hit Drinking Problem - one of 15 songs they wrote at Sonic Ranch near El Paso in West Texas.
Lead singer Mark Wystrach was an actor-underwear model before meeting bassist-video director Cameron Duddy and lead guitarist Jess Carson at Jess's wedding in Jackson Hole , Wyoming.
Cameron and Jess formed a musical and personal bond picking songs together on Jess's cabin's front porch.
The trio released a five-song EP that features Drinking Problem written with Josh Osborne and Shane McAnally who also produced it before they opened for superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on tour.
"We write with a very visual storytelling approach. We paint that big picture and go to that place," Arizona native Mark revealed.
"Where is this story going? Let's paint it. But, by the end, we knew the three of us had amazing chemistry.”
Newly wed Carson added to the embryo.
"It was this serendipitous chain of events and it was the best week ever," Carson explained.
"All of us playing together happened only because Mark and I both showed up in Jackson Hole a week before the wedding with time to kill. We are a band. That's a big part of the spirit of what we do, that group experience and camaraderie. And it is ever-evolving."
The songwriting cemented the trio's unity.
"When we went to the Sonic Ranch we became a band,” Mark added.
“We walked away believing in what had happened. All of our souls, our imaginations, were wrapped up in these 15 songs. We went all-in. And then we all moved out to Texas ."
" Midland isn't manufactured," says Cameron.
"We are three real friends who stumbled upon making music together."
Further info - http://midlandofficial.com/
RANDY ROGERS MOUNTAIN MEMORIES
Randy Rogers and his band exploit equine imagery in a western swing love plea in Meet Me Tonight on 10 th album Nothing Shines Like Neon.
Rogers wrote Meet Me Tonight, illustrated by spiritual mountainous horseback riding, with Sean McConnell.
Randy, 37, hails from Cleburne , Texas , and keeps traditional country alive at his Cheatham St Warehouse in San Marcos
He bought the venue that has staged live country since 1974, including one of Randy's albums in 2000, from the family of late singer-songwriter Kent Finlay in 2015
Cheatham Street Warehouse has hosted songwriters open mic night every Wednesday for more than 40 years.
Guest artists include Randy, Hal Ketchum, James McMurtry, Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ernest Tubb, Townes Van Zandt, Todd Snider, Terri Hendrix, Bruce Robison, Tish Hinojosa, Adam Carroll, Walt Wilkins, Will and Charlie Sexton.
“I still get butterflies when I step on that stage,” Rogers says.
“I'm going to make sure other songwriters and musicians, young and old, get to experience that same feeling for many years to come. That's my goal.
“We grew up on fiddle and steel in Texas . We learned to play guitar from Willie Nelson records. It's part of the fabric of who we were. You can't take that out. That's been the music from day one with this band.
“We've made records before where there were country songs on the record, but this one, the songs are as country as anything we've made. They're Strait country. I say that with respect. George Strait is my biggest hero.”
Further info - http://www.randyrogersband.com/
RAISED BY EAGLES NIGHT WHEELS
Former Beechworth and Wangaratta footy star Luke Sinclair and Raised By Eagles return with Night Wheels from their third album I Must Be Somewhere .
The quartet keep fit with weights and wind sprints on the mean streets and pastures of Strathmore, Essendon and Brunswick.
They also perform a garage country gig in the city that explores idealism of yearning for change but not being able to handle the reality and then boomeranging from the destination to the starting line.
The band filmed a previous video for Sugar Cane on second album Diamonds In The Bloodstream in our northern suburbs and Beechworth.
“The clip was filmed in and around Melbourne and up in Beechworth over Easter Weekend 2015,” Sinclair revealed at the time.
“I'm from the North-East Victorian hills. I have family in Albury and I played football as a kid all around the Ovens & King.”
Luke won Beechworth's most courageous player in 1991 and best and fairest in 1992 after a Wangaratta Imperials stint in 1989.
MICHAEL WAUGH FOOTY TRIP
“I'm not a heretic disbeliever, but I don't practice the religion very well. Honestly, the only time I tried to kick a football I slipped and winded myself in the grass. In other undignified tales of my sporting prowess, I once tried to tackle a player who was taking a free kick at the time. It seemed when I was growing up there were some rules and skills associated with our unofficial religion that I was not privy to.
“I was once designated driver on a footy trip. It was my little brother's bucks' party but had enough footy players on board the bus for me to get some insight. The camaraderie and fun on the trip was infectious but a little out of control. And it struck me what a rite of passage the footy trip is in our culture and how much rural men need those smelly, loud journeys especially at a time when it is this difficult to make a living on the land.
“The greatest praise that I've had for this track was from one of my brothers who said ‘mate, if I didn't know better, I'd swear you were on the bus with us!' So, I'd like to say that this song is a little bare-butt-printed window into the great Australian tradition of the footy trip: annual pilgrimage to the city for rural footy players in a road trip devoid of girlfriends and good taste.”
Footy Trip is on his second album The Asphalt & The Oval .
HOW TO KEEP NU COUNTRY ON AIR
We need your support as we celebrate Nu Country TV's 34th series with Australian record companies and artists teaming to ensure our survival.
We have Blake Shelton's 12th CD If I'm Honest from Karen Black and Tony Midolo at Warner Music.
We also have other CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing membership.
They include Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and late larrikin legend A.P. Johnson.