GAC Album Review: Chris Cagle’s Back in the Saddle

Country music has long been known for a steady stream of songs and albums from its artists. Sometimes it’ll be a year-and-a-half – maybe two – in between projects, but a follow-up is never that far off. Chris Cagle’s fifth studio album, Back in the Saddle, comes four years after his No. 1 album, My [...] Read More

Jason Aldean Mixes It Up

Jason Aldean is one of the most prominent voices in modern country music, but good luck trying to put the guy in a stylistic box. One of his biggest hits is named after country icon Johnny Cash, and you can’t get much more country than the farm-centered lyrics in “Amarillo Sky” or “Big Green Tractor.” On the other hand, the guitar chords on “She’s Country” sound more like AC/DC than Merle Haggard; his current single, “Don’t You Wanna Stay,” teams Jason with pop singer Kelly Clarkson; and he even has a rap section on “Dirt Road Anthem,” one of the key tracks on his current album My Kinda Party. Jason grew up on the outskirts of Macon, Ga., and his background brought all of those different musical threads together. Read More

Jason Aldean Ready To “Party”

Jason Aldean’s Wide Open album brought him to a new level as two of the singles — “She’s Country” and “Big Green Tractor” — became monster records within country music. Now he’s looking to pack even more forward-moving energy into his career with the next album, My Kinda Party. Named after his current Top 25 single, it may not be much of a departure for Jason in the way he approached it. But it still represents a change in his career. Since he doesn’t write many of his own songs, he relies on the material that Nashville’s songwriters send his way. And after his last album sold so well, writers made sure that he got a crack at their best material. And early listens to a few of the tracks suggest that he may well have upped the ante creatively. Read More

Trace Adkins, Sandra Bullock: Surprises at Nashville Rising

From the minute Tim McGraw and Faith Hill announced plans for their multi-artist flood-relief concert Nashville Rising, the event looked like the kind of evening ripe for surprises. And it was. Even after Brooks & Dunn were forced to cancel because of Ronnie Dunn’s throat problems, a few unannounced stars made their way Tuesday to Music City’s Bridgestone Arena, one of numerous downtown facilities that took in water during the early-May flood. Trace Adkins popped on stage to join Blake Shelton on “Hillbilly Bone,” according to USA Today. And Sandra Bullock — who worked with Tim on the movie The Blind Side — took the spotlight and comically picked out the opening chords from Deep Purple’s classic-rock standard “Smoke On The Water.” Then she got serious. Read More