RAY BENSON AND DALE WATSON HEADLINE NU COUNTRY TV
Texan troubadours Ray Benson and Dale Watson headline our celebratory Christmas show on Saturday December 23 at 9 pm on Channel 31/44.
Ray and Dale pay tribute to the late Merle Haggard while Georgian Jason Aldean, Kentucky Coalminer's son Chris Stapleton and expat Australasian star Keith Urban honour Tom Petty and victims of the Las Vegas country festival massacre.
Shooter Jennings extends altruism on the show, hosted by Mid Pacific Bob Olson and repeated Monday 3 pm, with a new song raising funds for Hurricane Harvey victims in his late dad Waylon's home state Texas.
Gippsland born, latter day Canadian star Gord Bamford returns to the program filmed and edited by Laith Graham, on the eve of his homeland return tour.
Arkansas singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde debuts with a song filmed in a honky tonk near her home outside Nashville.
Tamworth born, latter day Brisbane singer-songwriter Paddy McHugh premieres a train song in his new environs. Nu Country TV is a highlight of C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.
Further info - https://www.c31.org.au/
RAY AND DALE HONOUR MERLE
Asleep At The Wheel singer Ray Benson and Dale Watson follow Willie Nelson with an evocative tribute to late Californian legend Merle Haggard.
Merle, frequent duet partner of Willie, now 84, died on his 79th birthday on April 6, 2016.
Their homage Feeling Haggard is on their duet disc Dale And Ray.
Texans Willie, George Strait , Joe Ely, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and The Hag have cameos in the video.
Benson, 66, and Merle frequently honoured western swing pioneers including Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys on their albums and concerts.
Ray was born in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , and formed Asleep At The Wheel in Paw Paw, West Virginia , in 1969 with LeRoy Preston and latter day Australian pedal steel guitarist and TV-radio host Lucky Oceans.
They moved to Oakland , California , in 1970 with Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen and Austin in 1974 at Willie's invitation.
Benson won nine Grammys with Asleep At The Wheel who recorded more than 30 albums and 2009 duet disc with Nelson - Willie & The Wheel .
Ray, like Willie and Dale, is also an actor.
Benson and Gary Busey played male leads opposite singing actress Dolly Parton in 1991 movie Wild Texas Wind.
Ray also released three solo discs and produced a Watson album before Dale And Ray .
Six time Australian tourist Dale lampooned the luggage legacy on his 2011 song-video about Tiger Airways after it charged him $500 to transport a box of CDs that it lost and initially refused to pay compensation.
Dale, 55, was born in Birmingham , Alabama , but grew up in poverty in a family of four boys outside Pasadena in Texas before living and working in Nashville , Maryland and California.
Tragedy has long been an inspiration for thrice wed Watson who has long called Austin home.
Dale was featured in Zalman King documentary Crazy Again about his breakdown after girlfriend Terri Herbert died in a car accident in September 2000.
Every Song I Write Is For You was released in 2001 as a Terri tribute disc - one of Watson's 30 albums.
Dale appeared with Sandra Bullock in 1993 Bluebird Café movie The Thing Called Love - last role for late River Phoenix whom he taught to speak in a Texan dialect.
His other roles included Yellow Rose, Lazer Team and On The Borderline and 2007 bio-picture, Austin Angel , with David Carradine before he starred in the Stephen King-John Mellencamp 2102 musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County .
Watson was also in 2013 holiday film Angel Sings with Willie, Kris Kristofferson and Lyle Lovett and musical guest on reality TV love drama The Bachelorette .
JASON, CHRIS, KEITH AND LITTLE BIG TOWN HONOUR TOM PETTY
Georgian singing actor Jason Aldean returns with a live song whose royalties go to Las Vegas massacre victims.
Aldean performed I Won't Back Down on CMT as a tribute to the song's writer Tom Petty who died at 66 the same week of the country festival murders.
Kentucky coal-miner's son chart topper Chris Stapleton, expat Australasian star Keith Urban and dual Grammy winning recent Australian tourists Little Big Town joined Aldean on stage.
Aldean, 40, and his band were performing as headliners at 91 Harvest Festival in Vegas on October 1 during the shootings.
Jason and pregnant singing spouse Brittany fled bullets to shelter under their stage.
Aldean and his hot band also opened Saturday Night Live on October 7 with I Won't Back Down.
"This week, we witnessed one of the worst tragedies in American history," Aldean said during his TV show entrée.
"Like everyone, I'm struggling to understand what happened that night and how to pick up the pieces and start to heal. So many people are hurting. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends - they're all part of our family. So I want to say to them: We hurt for you and we hurt with you. But you can be sure we're going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way, because when America is at its best, our bond and our spirit, it's unbreakable."
Aldean's wife Brittany - pregnant with the couple's first child together - says her first thought was not to run away, but to run toward him.
“I was not with Jason, but with some friends in a tent closer to Mandalay Bay where the shooter was,” Brittany recalled.
“As you can imagine, my first instinct was to run to him, and his was the same.”
Brittany says she and Jason took cover “behind equipment onstage with some of our road family, bullets flying past. All I could think was ‘I never even got to hold my baby.”
SHOOTER JENNINGS HURRICANE HARVEY BENEFIT ANTHEM
Shooter Jennings returns to Nu Country with his new singalong video for Do You Love Texas that he wrote before Hurricane Harvey decimated southern Lone Star State cities and farms.
Producer Dave Cobb helped Shooter add musical mates for the song whose proceeds aid the Rebuild Texas fund.
They include Ray Benson, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Boland, Randy Rogers, Whiskey Myers and Kristofferson.
"We had a great time crafting a song that playfully talks about why Texas is so much damn fun," Shooter revealed.
"Then tragedy fell on Houston , and Dave had the idea to use the song to help Texas . Dave's a genius, man. Dave and I are like little kids in the studio. When nobody else is around, we say goofy kid things to each other. Some of our greatest collaborations came from ideas like that. Dave turned to me and said, 'Hey man, Texas loves you. We need to write a song for Texas .' I looked at Dave and sang, ‘do you love Texas ?' And he said, ‘hell yeah!' And I sang, ‘so do I. ' The rest of it fell right into place."
GORD BAMFORD TIN ROOF
Bamford provides good advice to young lovers during rain storms in Tin Roof - title track of his eighth album that he promoted on a 2016 tour with Tasmanian Wolfe Brothers.
“I have been looking forward to getting back to Oz since I left,” Gord revealed.
“The industry and the country music fans have treated me so well and I believe it's a hidden gem of a market for country music. It is a great atmosphere and I just feel blessed to be able to come to the place I was born, play my music and reconnect with my father and family.”
Gord left Traralgon at five after his parents separated and his mother moved him and sister Twila to Canada.
It was more than two decades before he returned and reunited with Queensland-based father, Pastor Jock Bamford.
Their rocky relationship, instigated by his father's alcoholism, created an 18 year estrangement.
Pastor Jock is now sober and highly respected for his Loaves and Fishes Foundation in Brisbane.
Four years ago Gord and his dad reached out to each other and their relationship blossomed.
“I am bringing my own band and crew with me for the first time for these shows” Gord added.
“We have all played together for many years and the Aussie fans will get to see our full show. I am excited to be able to bring them all over with me for these dates.”
Further info - www.gordbamford.com
ASHLEY MCBRYDE VISITS A LITTLE DIVE BAR
Ashley McBryde was raised on a farm at Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, in a musical family of eight.
She debuts in Behind Bars in aptly titled A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega from her fourth album in 11 years.
Ashley, 33, wrote it with Nicolette Hayford and Jesse Rice about a Georgian honky tonk in a town of 5,200 people.
A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega is a true story, but not about her.
It's about co-writer Jesse Rice who was stranded with car trouble at a dive bar in Dahlonega before the terrible day morphed into joy when he met his soon-to-be wife because of the situation.
“We all had a really bad day,” McBryde revealed of the song's embryo.
“Not one of the worst days of my life, but I had one of those days where nothing was going right. I got a crack in my windshield on my way to work, I got sick, and had broken a guitar string all within an hour and a half. On top of that my co-writer, Jesse, was late, but bless his heart, when he walked in we could tell he had a night and a morning that was just as rough as ours. That's how we got on the subject of having the worst day ever, and that's when Jesse started talking about his car breaking down in Dahlonega , Georgia .”
Ashley filmed her video near her latter day Nashville home.
“I am really excited and proud that we were able to film it in the Watertown/Lebanon area with real people, having a real-good time,” McBryde explained.
“Director Reid Long was really able to capture the energy surrounding this song, because you can't fake something like that.”
Ashley's dad gave her a mandolin to play at age four because she couldn't leave his guitars alone.
She debuted on stage a year later to sing at one of many bluegrass festivals her family attended.
By the time she was nine she had outgrown mandolin, moved to guitar, and wrote her first song, Fight the Flames , at age 12.
She released her debut EP in 2006 before three indie albums led to her latest produced by Jay Joyce.
“This CD is a collection of loose ends and lullabies,” Ashley explained.
“Each tune is a tiny little confession. Call it an occupational hazard. My dirty laundry is sometimes your entertainment and sometimes yours is mine.”
Further info - http://www.ashleymcbryde.com/
PADDY MCHUGH CITY BOUND TRAIN TRIP
Tamworth born Paddy McHugh debuts with the title track of his second album, City Bound Trains, released in September.
Paddy doubled as a barista and rewarded a busker before he drove his video loco past a billboard for the Bearded Lady Bar in Brisbane 's West end.
City Bound Trains follows his 2013 album - the punny Trials and Cape Tribulation.
“I know there are many reasons why people listen to and enjoy music, but for me honesty was paramount when it came to the style of music I wanted to make,” says the latter day Brisbane singer.
“It had to be about something that I knew about or cared about.”
It drills stories from Australian life with major mood swings from anthemic Down to Sydney to the gentle rocking Rita.
McHugh performed Gympie Muster, Woodford Folk Festival, National Folk Festival and many other gigs.
City Bound Trains was produced by Brendan Gallagher of Karma County fame.
Further info - http://www.paddymchugh.net/
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 singing actor Tim McGraw, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church and more.