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Colt Ford is back with his best album ever and all it took was a return to his roots.
“I went backwards,” Colt says. “I went back to Ride Through The Country.” Which is
not to say Colt simply re-hashed his breakthrough album. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Declaration of Independence, released on Colt’s own Average Joes Entertainment,
will no doubt go down as one of the most noteworthy releases this year, which is
saying a lot for a man who has already sold nearly a million albums and 3 million
downloads. From planting his patriotic flag on the album’s first track, "Answer to
No One, "and closing the album with a prayer on the poetic, honest, and heartfelt
"Angels and Demons," which features a conversation with God, the Athens, GA
native has covered every human emotion on this record and then some.
For Corey Smith, one of the best things about making music has always been getting the chance to hang out and have a good time with his friends. And it’s still that way, nearly 10 years after his early days of playing the bars around Athens, Georgia. The big difference now? Well, it seems these days Corey just has a lot more friends to hang with. The crowds at his sold-out live performances frequently number in the thousands—quite a change from the times when he never dreamed of much beyond playing for a handful of his college buddies. But, thanks to his astonishing gift for crafting addictive, soulful songs and the high-energy reputation of his shows, Corey Smith is one of modern country’s hottest young artists, a quintessentially indie performer with a dedicated following most Nashville-fueled hat racks would trade their flashy limos for. Not that he’s gotten carried away by all of the adoration, though.
“To me success is a matter of staying focused on songwriting and continuing to mature artistically,” says Corey. “I try not to think about the popularity.” (Read More)
JB and the Moonshine BandWebsite | Myspace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
JB and the Moonshine Band represent a new generation of Texas Outlaws. They believe in doing things their way, and it's evident in their music. The debut album "Ain't Goin Back To Jail" is unlike anything you've ever heard. The album is comprised of thirteen foot stompin, beer drinkin, girl chasin, backroadin anthems that will leave you wanting more.
JJ Lawhorn is the epitome of a good ol’ southern boy. With hunting, fishing, and working on his truck as just a few of his hobbies, this rural Virginian lives a life most country artists only sing about.
“I grew up working with my hands—you know—doing good hard physical labor,” says the 17-year-old musician with a thick drawl. “I’m proud of my heritage. I’m proud of where I come from.”
Lawhorn was raised on his family’s farm, and until recently intended to carry on the family business.
“I had plans to go to Virginia Tech to study agriculture—I thought I was gonna be a farmer for the rest of my life.”
But everything changed in the spring of 2010 when producer Jeremy Stover discovered the young singer/songwriter on YouTube. Less than a year later, JJ signed a publishing deal with EMI Publishing in Nashville, and in June of 2011, he officially signed with Average Joes Entertainment.
JJ now spends most of his time in the recording studio instead of out in the field, but his music still reflects his Southern upbringing. Influenced by some of the industry’s greatest rebels (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard), his songs are a perfect blend of sweet melody and raw country sound.
“All of my music is about things that I know—whether it’s sitting on a tailgate, driving trucks in mud, huntin’, or fishing. Average, everyday life,” he says. “I want to make music people can relate to.”
Lawhorn’s first single, “Sitting on a Tailgate,” was recently featured on the Mud Digger vol. 2 album, alongside fellow Average Joes acts, Colt Ford, JB and the Moonshine Band and Sunny Ledford.
He is currently working on a solo album of original songs with an expected release date of early 2012.
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"Ask Kevin Fowler how’d he’d describe his own music and he doesn’t think twice before responding: “It’s country with a bad attitude. It’s country with an edge. It’s just beer-drinkin’, hell-raisin’, good-time misc.”
With his career track record, it would be easy to assume Kevin must’ve always known music would be his life’s passion. After all, how can you be this good at something and not have worked at it for a lifetime? But he admits coming to his career path later in the game than most.
“There was a day in life that changed me,” Kevin recalls of the transformative epiphany he experienced at the Texas Jam in the Cotton Bowl back when he was about 20 years old. “I had been dabblin’ in music and played everything a little, but nothing well. Aerosmith was there. White Snake. All these bands were playing at a day-long festival. They were hosing down the crowd with big fire hoses. And it was just mayhem. I had never seen 100,000 people in one place. I remember that day going, ‘Well, that’s what I’m supposed to be doin’.’”Read more: Kevin Fowler
Finally, the promise shown in their phenomenal live shows comes to fruition on their first powerhouse indie album, LoCash Cowboys. What else would you expect from the duo that co-wrote Keith Urban’s number one “You Gonna Fly,” and “Truck Yeah,” a smash for Tim McGraw?
“As much as I’d like to call this Fifty Shades of LoCash, the Album,” jokes Chris Lucas, cowboy-hat-wearing half of the team, “it’s true. We’ve captured everything LoCash is about on this album. It’s all killer, no filler. With our label, Average Joes Entertainment, it’s the right fit at the right time.”
So much so that acclaimed Nashville hit maker Jeffrey Steele (“What Hurts The Most,” “My Town”) came on board to produce and co-write a number of the tracks. Says the songwriting and performing duo, “He taught us everything about songwriting. He’s our mentor and our big brother.” In fact, Steele calls himself the third LoCash Cowboy.Read more: LoCash Cowboys
Matt StillwellWebsite | Myspace | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
"I watched friends do showcases and hoped someone would show up," he says. "I watched them being promised record or publishing deals that might or might not happen. So I made the decision that what I needed to do was to eliminate the ‘no’s, and the way to do that was to go build a following." A man with a work ethic as big as his talent, Matt did just that, and in this age of American Idol and viral videos, he has built his following the old-fashioned way--one city, one club, one crowd at a time. Since the release of his debut album, Shine, and the current single from the record “Dirt Road Dancing”, fans nationwide can experience the magic that Matt brings to bear every time he steps in front of a microphone. In a recent interview, Roughstock.com noted "Matt Stillwell has managed to carry a niche in the country music world with his star on the rise."
Montgomery Gentry's journey into the front ranks of American music has been one of the
most gratifying sagas of the past decade. Their road to gold and platinum albums, CMA
and ACM awards, a Grammy nomination and highly successful tours has been paved
both with musical integrity and with an abiding respect for the people and the genre they
Seldom have entertainers been identified so closely with their fans, and seldom has the
respect and affection run so deep in both directions. They share blue-collar outlooks;
sunup-to-sundown work ethics; rootedness in God, country and family; and the ability
to celebrate life and endure hardship. It is a relationship few other artists in the often
volatile world of show business can boast.
Read more: Montgomery Gentry