Author Archives: Jon Freeman

Country Weekly 2015-10-05 Nash Next Spotlight Artist: The Band Perry

Country Weekly 2015-10-05 Nash Next Spotlight Artist: The Band Perry

Though “If I Die Young” may have given The Band Perry a career-defining hit very early in the sibling trio’s career, Kimberly, Reid and Neil aren’t content to try to duplicate its quaint, folky style for a life of diminishing returns. The group’s sophomore album, Pioneer, showcased them branching out into arena rock with amped…MORE

On the Edge: Lindi Ortega

On the Edge: Lindi Ortega

Originally published in the August 31, 2015 issue of Country Weekly magazine.  For Fans Of: Dolly Parton, Cat Power, Etta James After Lindi Ortega saw the Jeff Bridges film Crazy Heart, she had a startling thought. Could his character, the once-great but down-and-out musician Otis Blake, be an example of what kind of life awaits…MORE

Sam Outlaw Takes a Ride to Nowhere in “Ghost Town” Video

Sam Outlaw Takes a Ride to Nowhere in “Ghost Town” Video

Sam Outlaw’s debut album, Angeleno, is a pretty optimistic set of songs, for the most part. The Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter (Outlaw was his mother’s maiden name, if you’re wondering) gets laughs from the woozy honky-tonk misery of “Jesus Take the Wheel (and Drive Me to a Bar)” and dishes potent-but-sensible relationship advice in “Keep It…MORE

Singer/Songwriter Sonia Leigh: “My Sexuality Has No Bearing on My Vocation”

Singer/Songwriter Sonia Leigh: “My Sexuality Has No Bearing on My Vocation”

The landmark June 26 Supreme Court ruling on marriage is one of those decisions with some far-reaching implications for states and the people in them, so calling it a hot topic right now is quite an understatement. It’s a topic that has reached its way into the long-conservative domain of country music, as artists like…MORE

John Anderson Digs Deeper Into Classic Style on New Album “Goldmine”

John Anderson Digs Deeper Into Classic Style on New Album “Goldmine”

Originally published in the June 1, 2015 issue of Nash Country Weekly magazine.  From a physical standpoint, it appears as if John Anderson has hardly changed in the past 30 or so years. His long hair and beard may be a little grayer, and he may have a few more lines around his eyes, but…MORE

Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” to Become a Television Movie

Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” to Become a Television Movie

With her gift for cinematic, detailed storytelling, it’s a wonder that every Dolly Parton song hasn’t been made into a film by this point. Now one of Dolly’s greatest songwriting accomplishments, the autobiographical 1971 song “Coat of Many Colors,” will get that precise treatment. NBC has given the green light to an original movie called…MORE

Billy Gilman: A New Man

Billy Gilman: A New Man

Billy Gilman is still the country singer you remember, but he’s not afraid to be himself anymore.MORE

Brothers In Arms: Love Them or Not, Florida Georgia Line Is the Sound of Right Now

Brothers In Arms: Love Them or Not, Florida Georgia Line Is the Sound of Right Now

Originally published in the October 20, 2014 issue of Country Weekly magazine. Alot of talent and timing have worked in Florida Georgia Line’s favor, but technology may have played the most important role in their success. “We grew up the same way in the fact that you’re making these CDs,” Brian Kelley recalls. “With anything…MORE

Garth Brooks Launches Digital Music Service, GhostTunes

Garth Brooks Launches Digital Music Service, GhostTunes

Garth Brooks has joined the digital music world with the launch of GhostTunes, a digital service he co-founded and which is currently in beta. The Digital Rights Management-free setup will—like iTunes and Amazon have since 2009—allow its users to put music files on their preferred devices, with one key difference: this site has Garth’s entire…MORE

Randy Travis: The Long Journey Back From His Near-Death Experience

Randy Travis: The Long Journey Back From His Near-Death Experience

Originally published in the Aug. 18, 2014 issue of Country Weekly magazine.  None of us is promised tomorrow. We plan and prepare like it’s going to happen, but it can all change in a moment. That’s what happened to Randy Travis in July 2013, when a series of escalating health issues sent him to the very…MORE

Jennifer Nettles and Brandy Clark Duet on “His Hands”

Jennifer Nettles and Brandy Clark Duet on “His Hands”

Jennifer Nettles and Brandy Clark have been touring together for a little while now and, as is often the case with big tours, the two performers have been collaborating together during their shows. What’s unusual is the fact that Jennifer and Brandy officially released a video of the duet, “His Hands,” a dark tune about…MORE

On the Edge: Logan Brill

On the Edge: Logan Brill

“I’ve always been very infatuated with really depressing thoughts and things, even though I’m not a very depressed person, I guess,” says singer/songwriter Logan Brill with a laugh. You could be excused for thinking otherwise after listening to Walking Wires, the 22-year-old Knoxville, Tenn., native’s latest album, which sounds at times like the aftermath of…MORE

Sturgill Simpson’s “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” Tackles Space and Time

Sturgill Simpson’s “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” Tackles Space and Time

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson released his excellent new album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, today (May 13) and it is a monster. Metamodern is the east Kentucky native’s follow-up to the acclaimed debut High Top Mountain, which was released only 11 months ago. On both albums Sturgill’s burnished baritone is something that may remind fans…MORE

Singer Kevin Sharp Dies at 43

Singer Kevin Sharp Dies at 43

Sad news on this Easter Sunday, as singer Kevin Sharp died last night (April 19) at the age of 43 from ongoing complications from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues, according to his website. Raised in Idaho and later California, Kevin was a performer from a young age but was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a…MORE

On the Edge: Sturgill Simpson

On the Edge: Sturgill Simpson

Essential Tracks “Life Ain’t Fair and the World Is Mean” “You Can Have the Crown” “Railroad of Sin” “I’d Have to Be Crazy” Remember Country music with a capital C? You know, the way Waylon might have done it? Or Bill Monroe? The work of those icons is alive in the music of Kentucky native…MORE

Daily Dose

New Albums

New Albums

New albums dropping on Nov. 16 include Montgomery Gentry’s 20 Years of Hits and Kip Moore’s Room to Spare: The Acoustic Sessions.