Singing actor-comedian Steve Martin and his bluegrass band The Steep Canyon Rangers headline Nu Country TV on Saturday December 16 at 9 pm on Channel 31/Digital 44.

Fellow Texan born singer-songwriter and actor Willie Nelson and sons Lukas and Micah return to Behind Bars in the show hosted by Mid-Pacific Bob Olson and repeated on Monday at 3 pm.

Lone Star State singer Granger Smith also returns to the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham.

Oklahoma sextet Turnpike Troubadours debut in a rodeo double shot with Holly Tucker who shares her Waco birthplace with Steve Martin.

And Mackay singer-songwriter Brad Butcher enjoys more sartorial splendour than his grandfather who was among 13 siblings raised in a cane cutter's cottage.

Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.

Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/


Five time Grammy winner Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers have long mixed mirth and music on their eclectic bluegrass albums.

The banjo playing virtuoso opted for a floral tribute as his character begged his video belle to return his car and keys in Caroline.

Waco born Steve, now 72, and his band mastered their muse on his 12th disc - The Long-Awaited Album.

Martin's album - his second with Steep Canyon Rangers - features 14 songs he co-wrote and is produced by Peter Asher.

Steve found his love for the banjo at 17 and originally used it in his standup comedy routine.

In 2010 Martin released The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo and in 2011 followed with Rare Bird Alert with Steep Canyon Rangers.

Steve also collaborated with Edie Brickell on their Grammy winning duet disc Love Has Come For You that combined his five-string banjo work with her vocals.

Their second collaboration So Familiar won widespread acclaim and inspired their Broadway musical Bright Star.

He won a country Grammy in 2002 for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on Foggy Mountain Breakdown and two other Grammys in 1970s for his comedy recordings.

Further info - www.stevemartin.com


Shotgun Willie Nelson, just 84, and his sons Lukas and Micah take viewers on a trip back to their teens in our Behind Bars segment.

They reminisce in the Willie's Place studio before showcasing their unique guitar picking and vocal style on Can I Sleep In Your Arms Tonight from the Willie & The Boys Stash 2 disc.

It was penned by the late Hank Cochran - one of four Hanks whose songs are among the 12 Stash tracks on the album produced by Buddy Cannon.

Cochran was well prepared for the after-life - he released his autobiography Living For A Song eight years before he died at 74 on July 15, 2010 at his Hendersonville home.

He fought spirited health battles dating back to triple heart by-pass surgery in 2005 before pancreatic cancer treatment in 2008.

The Hank Cochran: Living For a Song documentary premiered April 25, 2012, at Nashville Film Festival .

Hank was also honoured by Alabama singer-songwriter Jamey Johnson on October 2, 2012, on his 16-song Mercury Records album, Living For A Song .

It featured Johnson duets with Willie, Alison Krauss, Merle Haggard, Leon Russell, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Asleep At The Wheel , George Strait , Ray Price, Elvis Costello, Ronnie Dunn, Bobby Bare, Lee Ann Womack, Kris Kristofferson, Willie and Vince Gill and the Kristofferson-Nelson-Haggard trio.

Hank was born Garland Perry Cochran in the Great Depression in Isola, Mississippi, on August 2, 1935, but in March, 2010, had an emergency operation to repair an aortic aneurysm the size of a grapefruit.

Willie also released duets with Cochran who appeared on the soundtrack of 1980 Nelson movie Honeysuckle Rose.

CLICK HERE for a feature on Willie's God's Problem Child album in The Diary on May 29, 2017.

CLICK HERE for another Willie and Bobbie Nelson CD feature on January 21, 2015.


Oklahoma band Turnpike Troubadours open Nu Country with a different turn - of phrase

The troubadours fled a rodeo to find refuge and ice cream at the Rocky Road Tavern in their video for Down Here on their fourth indie album in a 12 year career.

The sextet, formed in 2005, started Bossier City Records in 2007.

Their fifth album A Long Way From Your Heart soared charts after release on October 20.

“Our original intent was to play 250-person bars. Just play the hell out of it, drink beer, and ride around the country in a van,” singer Evan Felker revealed.

Felker, fiddler Kyle Nix, steel and electric guitarist Ryan Engleman, bassist RC Edwards, drummer Gabe Pearson, and steel and accordion player Hank Early - completed their new album three or four months ago.

"We're telling stories, and anything that we can do to give that a bit of a landscape in the listener's mind, or give it action, I think that supports the story," Felker explained.

“They're small things - a drum fill that sounds like hail hitting a tin roof - but they elevate each tune's tale.

"We're trying to be descriptive with every aspect of the song or support the story in some manner."

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


Texan singer Holly Tucker kicks off our footwear fetish with her video for Dallas On Your Boots from her third album Steel.

The singer crosses a county line to find her hero clad in sparkling Texas cowboy boots.

Holly, just 24, hails from Lorena in Waco - the locale of Papa Joe's saloon.

That's where thrice wed Billy Joe Shaver shot a man in the cheek for stirring his whiskey with a knife.

Former choir girl Holly would have turned the other cheek - she grew up singing in church and performing at fairs and festivals around Texas .

At 14 she recorded debut CD album It's About Time, sang on demos in Nashville and cut a second CD at 17.

Holly graduated Baylor University in Waco with a Communications degree in 2015.

She was selected in 2012 for a student-run record label, recorded original 3-song EP Something To Be Said, turned all four chairs on The Voice on Blake Shelton's team and made over 15 trips to Nashville to record, co-write and perform.

Holly has opened for peers diverse as Tracy Byrd, Willie Nelson, Neal McCoy, Linda Davis, Clint Black, Oak Ridge Boys , Stoney LaRue, Parker McCollum, Ray Johnston and Hudson Moore,

Her international visits included Uganda where she was first American country music artist to appear in support of the only country music radio voice in Africa.

“I may be young but I know who I am and what I stand for, especially when it comes to creating country music,” Tucker says.

“I'm real and it's important that my music is too.”

Holly is the youngest of three children of Johnny and Cheryl Tucker, founders of the eighties Christian band, Revised Edition.

Further info - http://hollytucker.com/


Dallas born Granger Smith, who also records as Earle Dibbles Jr, continued our footwear finesse with his festival concert audience showcasing their vast array of western boots.

The 38-year-old performed in the video for If The Boot Fits that is on Remington - eighth of his nine albums.

His latest album When The Good Guys Win was released on October 27.

“It was originally going to be called Not Everybody Lives ,” Smith revealed.

“There's a song called Everybody Lives , and it really encompasses a feeling that I've had about the whole record of living in the moment and taking advantage of what we have today. We sent the album off to get printed, and then Hurricane Harvey hit Texas , my home state, and we kind of threw up our hands and said, ‘we can't release an album called Not Everybody Lives after a hurricane." So we scrambled a bit, and we all unanimously agreed on When the Good Guys Win . It actually fit. It felt right from the beginning when we did that, and it still feels like it was meant to be that.”

Granger moved to Nashville at 19 for five years and performed for American troops in Iraq and Kuwait in 2008.

He now lives back in Texas with actress wife Amber, whom he met in one of several of his video clips in which she appeared, and their daughter and two sons.

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


Brad Butcher takes a quick trip down a Mackay memory lane with an historic bicycle, belle and Delta airline ticket stubs on his Nu Country debut.

They ignite evocative imagery in Well Dressed Man - a song he wrote for his grandfather Norman - on his third album From The Bottom Of A Well.

Norman was one of 13 siblings raised in a cane cutter's cottage on the banks of the Pioneer River south of Mackay.

He was a beacon of hope and resilience to the large family during the tough post-depression era and World War 2.

“It takes a unique strength and character to raise a family, create your own future and leave behind a lasting legacy from the most unlikely of beginnings, and it feels like the perfect fit to dedicate this album to my Pop, Norman George Butcher,” Brad revealed.

“There's no greater source of motivation than survival and Pop was determined to make sure his family had a future.

“He was far from the eldest in the family but he and his brothers were more like father figures, working local cane fields and fishing the Pioneer River to live. He taught me that there is no substitute for hard work”.

Brad, now 34, grew up fishing in the Pioneer , playing Rugby League in Mackay and working in coal mines as a crane operator and rigger.

He has since toured the world as an inspirational musician with concerts at iconic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and New York City 's The Bitter End in Greenwich Village in 2016.

He also appeared on Canada 's prime time breakfast television show Canada AM while performing Toronto 's NXNE Festival in 2013.

From The Bottom Of A Well's title track has since been released with a video .

Further info - http://bradbutcher.com/


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 singing actor Tim McGraw, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and more.

CLICK HERE for our Membership Page for full details.

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