Rascal Flatts Celebrates 'Nothing Like This' & Signs With Big Machine Records

Disney Music Group finalized arrangements today for the release of the forthcoming Rascal Flatts record Nothing Like This to be on Big Machine Records. The Rascal Flatts catalogue will remain with the Disney Music Group.

As Big Machine Records becomes the new musical home to Rascal Flatts, who are Country Music’s most awarded group of the millennium and an act at the pinnacle of their career, the final touches are being made on the group’s next album Nothing Like This, its seventh studio release.

Nothing Like This will be in stores on November 16 and was produced by Dann Huff and is the follow up to Unstoppable released in 2009.  The lead-off single, “Why Wait,” was written by Neil Thrasher, Tom Shapiro and Jimmy Yeary, and is going out to Country radio immediately.

Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta says, “Rascal Flatts are the biggest band in Country Music and we’re honored and thrilled to have them join the Big Machine Records family.  While they are celebrating their first ten years together I selfishly can’t wait to start on their next ten years.  They have made a fantastic new album and they are completely energized and ready to take on not only the US but also the rest of the world. Why wait?”  

“We are extremely excited about our new partnership with Big Machine Records!,” says Jay DeMarcus, bassist and background vocalist for Rascal Flatts.   “We believe that Scott Borchetta and all of the folks over there are a perfect fit for what Rascal Flatts is trying to accomplish over the next few years.  The last 10 years have been amazing but we are even more excited about the next phase of our career; Scott understands us, he knows what we're about and it's always a wonderful thing to have someone who believes in you and your music that much in your corner.”

About Rascal Flatts
Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney have 11 #1 singles and have more titles in Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of the Decade than any other group in the format.  In the last ten years, the band has sold more than 20 million albums and 25 million digital downloads while all six of their studio albums made Billboard’s Top 100 Country Albums of the Decade listing. As the most awarded country group of the new Millennium, Rascal Flatts has brought home nearly 40 trophies from the Academy of Country Music, American Music Awards, Country Music Association, People’s Choice Awards and more. In concert, Rascal Flatts continues to be one of the hottest touring acts of the decade with more venue attendance records than any other country act. They have played over 400 dates as a headline act, over 700 shows since 2000, with a ticket tally of nearly 6 million, including two sold-out stadium concerts at Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Columbus’ Crew Stadium last summer.  Gary, Jay and Joe Don have traveled to visit U.S. troops in Iraq on a USO Tour and partnered with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee to raise over 3 million dollars in the past few years. In 2011, the band will receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The band will continue their “Nothing Like This Tour” this weekend with shows in Fairlea, West Virginia, Virginia Beach, Virginia and Hartford, Connecticut.

About Big Machine
Scott Borchetta founded independent label Big Machine Records in September 2005 and serves as its President/CEO. In its first year Big Machine scored its first #1 single, placed five singles in the Country Top 30, received a nomination for Record Label of the Year, and placed all three of the label's three new artist releases in the Top 10 Most-Played New Artists of 2006 (as monitored by Mediabase and reported by USA Today and Country Aircheck).

Big Machine Records was Billboard Magazine’s #1 Top Country Album Imprint of 2009, decorating it as the highest-selling record label group on Music Row.  In 2010 Big Machine was named Country Label of the Year by Country Aircheck Magazine/Powered by USA Today.  The artist roster for the Big Machine Label Group, which also counts the Valory Music Co. and the Republic Nashville imprints, includes Platinum superstars Taylor Swift, Reba and Jewel as well as Jack Ingram and newcomers Justin Moore, The Band Perry, Steel Magnolia, Jaron And The Long Road To Love, Sunny Sweeney, The Eli Young Band, SHEL and comedienne Melissa Peterman.

Album Review: Max Stalling "Home To You"

There's a good reason Dallas-based Max Stalling is considered a pioneer of the Texas country movement: Stalling's music is as comfortable and familiar as your favorite easy chair. And the singer-songwriter's new album "Home To You" is the best recording of his career.
Upon first listen, Stalling's folksy and familiar songs appear completely simple and pure. However, further listens uncover hidden depths in the lyrics that showcase a thinking man. Indeed, Max Stalling has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas A&M to prove it.

The album, produced by Texas music legend Lloyd Maines, begins with the terrific and laid-back "Long Way To Get." The vocals are country music perfection, and Stalling offers a confident and reassuring vocal performance. "Have I Ever Told You" deserves to be a Number One radio chart single for Max Stalling, and Red Dirt radio should eat this track up like caramel apples at the county fair.

"I Ain't Drinking Alone" is a classic honky-tonk cut, and "6 x 9 Speakers - Revisited" revs up the country rock quotient. Stalling channels his inner Merle Haggard in this classic country party song that references Van Halen and Eddie Money.

However, Stalling doesn't hide his tender side like some country bad boys. "I've Got Something" is a deeply personal track that penetrates the soul, and the title track "Home To You" is a reflective musical masterwork reminiscent of the best country music stars of years gone by.

The second half of the album begins with a pure country cut "All I Ever Wanted To Do." But the biggest surprise on the album is the good-natured fun of the upbeat "Crazy Like That." Concert audiences will go "crazy" for it.

The uniquely titled "Saddest Song Ever" is a strong effort, but it is the Glen Campbell-esque track "I Could Be Wrong" that perfectly highlights Stalling's considerable vocal talent. However,  the best song on the entire album is "Fantasy Dinner." The inventive lyrics of the story in song will tickle the fancy of any true Red Dirt fan and may also win Max Stalling some new fans along the way.

Max Stalling knows how to write and deliver quality Texas country music in an appealing package that makes his fans laugh, cry and ponder the realms of humanity. "Home To You" is such an exceptional album that the only valid criticism to be found is the front cover art, which shows a close-up of the back of the musician's head. Our solution: Take out the cover insert and turn it around to reveal the cool picture of Max Stalling and the band. Then, toss it in the cab of your truck and play it while driving down the highway. It might just be the best 45 minutes of your life. CountryChart.com

Album Review: Wade Bowen "Live At Billy Bob's Texas"

Over the past seven months, more than 100 live country albums have been released. However, "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" by Wade Bowen is the best live album of 2010 by a mile. The three discs (2 CDs and 1 DVD) are country music perfection.
The first CD begins with "You Had Me At My Best," which showcases Bowen's laid-back signature sound. However, the live album really takes off with the new Texas country classic "One Step Closer," and the Red Dirt star oozes country charm on "Get Away."

The best song on CD 1 is probably "Lay It All On You," but the intense performance of "Red Headed Woman" is a close second. "Daddy And The Devil" continues the stellar set and is followed by the terrific "If We Ever Make It Home."

The second CD begins with a rockin' "Nobody's Fool," but it is the passionate intensity of "Walkin' Along The Fenceline" that steals the show. Bowen's vocals have never sounded better, and the production of the live cut is superb. The next track "Turn On The Lights" continues the winning streak, and Bowen's powerful performance proves why he is top of the heap in Texas music.

"God Bless This Town" gets the blood pumping, and the crowd-favorite "Please Come To Boston" is the perfect chaser for "God Bless This Town." Again, the production is top-notch, and the harmonic melody is pitch perfect. "Ghost In This Town" also deserves special attention.

The album contains two bonus studio tracks. The first, "Bottle Into Gold," offers powerful lyrics and a great vocal performance. This cut would be perfect for the end credits of a motion picture soundtrack, and audiences have already embraced the intensely personal track. Texas radio has also made the second studio cut "Matches" a Red Dirt hit.

Wade Bowen never fails to impress, and "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" is a crowning achievement that deserves widespread critical acclaim and mainstream country chart success. With a live album this good, it's crystal clear that Wade Bowen is king of the road. So run - don't walk - to the next Wade Bowen concert. By the way, the music industry owes King Wade a crown - or at least a Grammy or two. CountryChart.com

Album Review: Raul Malo "Sinners & Saints"

Throughout his music career, Raul Malo has carefully honed his creative energies and always managed to impress and surprise listeners. However, Malo's new album "Sinners & Saints" is the crowning achievement of his long career, and the Tex-Mex album offers a deeply satisfying slice of life from this talented veteran musician.
The album begins with Latin-flavored title track "Sinners And Saints." Raul Malo's vocals have never sounded better, and the instrumentation is carefully layered and rich in texture.

The country rock level is significantly raised with the radio-ready cut "Living For Today." This track was made for hard working country boys and girls who will eat this song up like cotton candy at the county fair. "Superstar" is another potential country radio chart hit with a Latin-influenced outlaw country sound.

Malo offers his best vocal performance on "'Til I Gain Control Again," which is reminiscent of the best songs of The Mavericks. Raul Malo's soaring vocals are pitch perfect in this earnest performance. However, the best track on the album is "Matter Much To You" - a song Roy Orbison would be proud to record if he were alive today. Malo's laid-back performance is perfect in this new American classic. "Saint Behind The Glass" has much of the same charm.

The love song "San Antonio Baby" is a catchy and melodic gem. Likewise, the Spanish track "Sombras" is a treasure that deserves airplay on Latino radio. But the biggest surprise on the album is the quirky "Staying Here," which has a Michael McDonald meets Toby Keith vibe that works.

Raul Malo has achieved a masterful, musical feat in the release of "Sinners & Saints" In less than an hour, the artist stirs passion inside the listener while stimulating intellectual curiosity at the same time. Raul Malo has always been an innovative and interesting musician. However, his success is even more impressive because he has made his richly textured tracks seem so darn effortless. Bravo, Raul. CountryChart.com

Album Review: The Giving Tree Band "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious"

Americana masters The Giving Tree Band are back with "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious," and the band's sweet, signature sound is present from start to finish on an album that embraces the true essence of American music.
The album begins with the infectious country track "Red Leaves." Anyone who has toes will be tapping along to this cut, which offers pitch-perfect vocals and top-notch instrumentation. Brothers Erik Fink and Todd Fink began The Giving Tree Band six years ago, and the band tours extensively across the USA. "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious" will be released September 21, 2010.

The softer side of the band is carefully portrayed on the heartfelt "Sometimes Things Must Fall." The songs "Which One" and "Diamond" are also noteworthy. However, "Reflections Of My Soul" is a musical masterwork with terrific lyrics and stellar instrumentation that is followed by the tragic final track "Empty."

"Caged Lion" showcases the lyrical flourish of the band combined with a beautiful melody. "Eventually" has much of the same charm and is insanely hummable. Radio program directors should take notice of "Eventually" and the traditional track "Circles," which also has a winning melody.

The best pure Americana track is the sparse "Rocky Road." The song oozes musical sincerity and offers a uniquely understated intensity. Likewise, Texas country radio stations should carefully examine putting "Run Dog Run" and the unlucky in love song "Already Gone" on Red Dirt playlists.

The Giving Tree Band deserves widespread critical praise for "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious." Indeed, this album is a true, Americana work of art from start to finish. CountryChart.com

Album Review: Terry Mills "Man Behind The Curtain"

Terry Mills has a sincere and earnest vocal delivery reminiscent of the best music of Lucinda Williams. Her new album "Man Behind The Curtain" takes the veil off a brand new music talent that will leave music fans eagerly anticipating her next release.
Terry Mills has a cool, alt-country vibe on the first track "Island Girl," but the album really picks up steam with the Tracy Chapman meets Jewel track "Psycho Cat." The softer side of Mills is showcased on "Sunshine Boy."

A bluesy, country sound is introduced on the title track "Man Behind The Curtain." Terry Mills seems most comfortable with this style, and she would be wise to consider recording a full album in this vein. "The Cold, The Rain & Saturday" offers a folk vocal  from Terry Mills that continues to show her diversity.

The finest track on the album and best chance for a country chart hit is "Robin Song." The production and vocals are pitch perfect. Likewise, the alt country "We're Related" is an amazing surprise blending Americana, gospel and traditional country.

The cut "Comfort In Three-Quarter Time" (which would have been a great album title) introduces Terry Mills as country balladeer. "Defenseless" is sung with sincerity as is the tender "Soar." The album ends with an earnest folk track titled "Noel Y'all." The lyrics pierce the soul and would make Joni Mitchell proud.

Terry Mills is a creative and exciting new artist worthy of a music career. She wrote every track on the album, except one, and "Man Behind The Curtain" is an amazing example of an artist just on the cusp of finding her signature sound. Indeed, the 11 songs on the album conclusively prove that the next time we see this woman step from behind the curtain, we should be prepared to witness great things. CountryChart.com

Album Review: Special Consensus "35" (Compass Records)

Special Consensus marks the band's thirty-fifth year in bluegrass music with the stellar new recording "35." And Special C (as the band is affectionately known) have produced twelve remarkable tracks that should enhance the band's already sterling musical reputation.
Founded in 1975, Special Consensus is a bluegrass music institution with a long list of talented members and former members. "35" prominently features band founder Greg Cahill (banjo and vocals), and the album begins with six new songs and ends with six classic favorites. "Dusk 'Til Dawn" starts the album off with a bang, and the harmonization is pitch-perfect.

The project really comes into its own with the sincere "Used To These Old Blues" the instrumental "Danny's Dance" and the acappella/gospel-flavored "Land Up In The Air." However, the best country song on the album (and the best chance for a mainstream country chart hit) is the terrific "That's Tennessee." The song has an earnest authenticity that works. The six new songs end with the infectious "Working On The Railroad" that offers top-notch instrumentation.

"Fourteen Carat Mind" (first heard on 1991's "Hey, Y'all" album) is a crowd-pleaser of the first order with vocals by Dallas Wayne. "I Cried Myself Awake" from 1983's "Blue Northerns" album is another winner. "I'm A Little Bit Lonely" deserves special mention because of its memorable melody.

The heartfelt "Have I Loved You Today" from the 1986 album "Freight Train Boogie" shows the band's softer side, but the most fun song on the entire album has to be "Silver Dew On The Bluegrass Tonight" from the "Our Little Town" album (1998). Chris Walz's vocals sparkle, and Greg Cahill shines on banjo.

Fittingly, the album ends with the amazing instrumentation of "Country Boy." You see, it's especially appropriate that Special Consensus' new album '35' highlights the fact that country boys with heart and determination can make legendary bluegrass music while having thirty-five years of fun along the way. Here's to another 35 years of Special C. BluegrassChart.com

Free Download: Asleep At The Wheel (feat. Willie Nelson) "Truck Driver Blues"

Get a free download of "Truck Driver's Blues" from Asleep at the Wheel & Leon Rausch featuring Willie Nelson by clicking here. The song is a true, traditional country music gem that deserves a prominent place on your MP3 playlist. CountryChart.com

Get 1 Year of "American Cowboy" Magazine for $7.50

Get a 1-year subscription to "American Cowboy" for just $7.50 by clicking here through July 31. "American Cowboy" magazine celebrates cowboys and cowgirls along with country living. Several other magazines are being offered for 50 percent off as well through this private link.
The magazine discusses the western way of life, and the mag is also among the most highly rated magazines by customeres of Amazon.com. "American Cowboy" captures the imagination and spirit of the American West. Each issue serves up personalities, Western living, ranching, travel, rodeo, history, music, art, and fashion. Get the best of the West with "American Cowboy."

Review: Terri Hendrix "Cry Till You Laugh"

Most country music aficionados are aware of Terri Hendrix and her superb musicianship. But Hendrix has surpassed even her own high standards with the terrific "Cry Till You Laugh." Terri Hendrix cares about her fans, and she offers 15 tracks with the characteristically top-notch production of Texas music legend Lloyd Maines.
The first song is the sparse and wonderful "Wall Theory," and it's followed by the melodic "Slow Down." This cut deserves to be a radio hit, and it has a cool vibe that should win Terri Hendrix new fans. "I'm going to make time to soak it all in," she sings. And listeners of the album would be wise to do the same.

The jazz and blues-infused "Automatic" showcases the rich vocals of Terri Hendrix. But it is "Hand Me Down Blues" when the album really comes into its own. Hendrix wrote the song, and she sings it with conviction. "Roll On" has much of the same charm, and this cut is a winning story in song that slowly builds to a melodic crescendo.

The biggest star of the album is Hendrix - that is, Hendrix the songwriter. She has a unique perspective that is witty without being overbearing. "Einstein's Brain" is an example of this. In another writer's hand, the song almost certainly wouldn't have worked. The deft hand of Hendrix is also on full display with tracks like "You Belong In New Orleans," "Hula Mary" and "The Berlin Wall."

"Come Tomorrow" is another radio-ready cut that listeners will eat up like fresh peaches at a church picnic. The album ends on an upbeat and positive note courtesy of "Take Me Places." This upbeat cut will cause infectious toe-tapping from anyone with a pulse.

The album is a musical triumph that defies labels or musical genres. "Cry Till You Laugh" deserves to be enjoyed and cherished for many years to come. However, the only crying you'll be doing about this album is if a friend asks to borrow it. They'll never return it, and you'll definitely be crying like a baby who lost his bottle. Yes, "Cry Till You Laugh" is that good. CountryChart.com

Review: Prophet & The Cowboys Of Apocalypse "The Edge"

Take a heaping dose of heavy metal sensibility and mix it with some southwestern country rock and you have Prophet & The Cowboys Of The Apocalypse. Prophet's unique and groundbreaking first solo album is titled "The Edge," and you'll definitely be on the edge of your seat listening to every track.
Prophet is a former heavy metal musician with the band St Madness, which has released seven albums since 1993. But Prophet himself has evolved as a musician over the years. He faced cancer (including chemotherapy treatments) and the long goodbye of his mother who had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) during the 2000s. This change in life circumstances caused Prophet to look past his love of heavy metal and create a metal-Texas country hybrid that breaks the mold of cookie-cutter country music.

Prophet told Country Chart that he has been a longtime fan of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck and David Allen Coe. Prophet said. "This album is my attempt at making a record with the flavor of my heroes music, but done in my own way," Prophet said. Indeed, tracks like "High As Hell" and his record label (Nasty Prick Records) prove that.

He has succeeded on all levels, and the album deserves a wide audience. The Phoenix native begins his album with the anthemic track "Arizona" that has a melodic ambiance that embodies the singer's reverence for his home state. However, the project picks up pace with "I'm A Free Man."

The title track of "The Edge" showcases Prophet's uniquely wonderful vocals, but it is the understated "Goodnight Angel" that shows a more intimate side of the musician. By showing the listener the full range of his human emotion and insecurities, Prophet offers a heartbreaking social statement. "Here I Am," sings Prophet. It is very believable, because this is a cry of an honest man.

From the brink of despair, Prophet offers one of the best party songs of the decade with "BBQ-U." The track has a punk rock meets country rockabilly sound that works. The Rolling Stones cover "Paint It Black" is also a rock n' roll gem. "Just Another Day" and "Goin' To Brazil" also deserve special mention. 

Prophet & The Cowboys Of Apocalypse's album "The Edge" is an extra special musical project that deserves to be bought, enjoyed and shared. Prophet is an eclectic musician that will win him both fans and detractors, and this is an album music fans will either love or hate. We're firmly on the "love it" side, and the Phoenix Music Awards agree. It was nominated for Record Of The Year. God bless the fine folks of Phoenix and the man they call Prophet. CountryChart.com

Review: Lee County Line "Lee County Line" Self-Titled EP

Fans of Texas country music have reason to celebrate, because the four-member Lee County Line is ready to rock the radio with its unique blend of melodic Red Dirt. The band's self-titled EP represents a significant step-forward for a band whose members are not even old enough to drink.
Lead singer Tanner McPhaul shines on the first track "The Way Things Change." This cut, written by drummer Josh Murdoch, has a cool Randy Rogers Band meets Hootie and the Blowfish vibe. The instrumentation is solid, and the production of Will Nicholson is above average.

The second cut "Her Lyin' Eyes" is a rollicking gem that will be popular at Lee County Line (LCL) concerts. However, the EP comes into its own with the intimate cut "Songs About Me." The track starts out with intense lyrics and builds to an rousing (almost gospel-like) crescendo.

"Take My Hand" showcases the band's stellar instrumentation, but the best song on the album is saved for last with "Misery."  McPhaul's vocals sparkle, and the track is proof positive that Lee County Line deserves a place on the Texas country and  mainstream country charts for years to come. Major country labels should send the band four plane tickets and offer the guys a chance to sign on the dotted line.

It's clear that Lee County Line is a band with plenty still to learn, but the self-titled "Lee County Line" EP shows that the raw talent needed for a successful career is all there. Indeed, once you cross the Lee County Line, you'll want to stay for awhile and keep coming back for more. Here's hoping, a new 12 or 13 song album will come along real soon. CountryChart.com

Single Review: George Ducas "Never Goes Away"

Country music veteran George Ducas is back with "Never Goes Away." Fans of live country music shows have long known that George Ducas is a superb, energetic live performer. However, "Never Goes Away" shows the tender side of the Texas City native with a memorable melody and a Red Dirt vibe.
Ducas wrote the song with Texas music legend Randy Rogers and Jon Henderson. Country music fans often lament the popularity of pop country music in recent years. But "Never Goes Away" breaks this trend and is a "real" country song with terrific lyrics and a top-notch vocal performance.

Radio program directors should put this song in heavy rotation, and country music fans should hit the redial button three or four times to repeatedly request "Never Goes Away." Indeed, George Ducas has also continued to prove that his talent "never goes away" either. CountryChart.com

Review: Nick Verzosa "The Smoking Gun EP'

Success in the music industry is dependent on talent, hard work and a good amount of luck. But the process is whole lot easier if an artist has the frequently mentioned "it" factor. From the first track to the last, Nick Verzosa proves that he's the real deal. And the five stellar tracks on "The Smoking Gun EP" will leave Texas country music aficionados aching for a complete 11 or 12 song album.
The EP begins with the terrific "Look Back To Texas," which has a cool, laid-back Texas country vibe reminiscent of Wade Bowen and Brandon Rhyder. "Look Back To Texas" is a new Texas country classic that has a memorable Red Dirt melody. The sparse and intense "Somethin' Lucky" is a Chris Knight style "story in song" that works on all levels.

However, the project really comes into its own with the ballad "Let It Go." Nick Verzosa's pure vocal style is on full display in this beautiful love song. "Back When Love Easy" is another intensely personal love song.

The project's final track "When It's All Said And Done" introduces the powerful vocals of Courtney Stefan in a duet with Verzosa. The album's professional polish is courtesy of producer Walt Wilkins, a Texas country music legend. Wilkins and Ron Flynt mixed the project at Jumping Dog Studio.

Nick Verzosa is a Red Dirt artist that should be carefully watched, and listeners of the "The Smoking Gun EP" will be expecting great things. With a project as good as "The Smoking Gun EP," a full album could not come soon enough.  CountryChart.com

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