From Vero Beach, Florida, Jake Owen will be the next Kenny Chesney (not that Kenny is going anywhere!). Jake puts on an amazing live show as I witnessed when he recently opened for Keith Urban. Jake was originally going to be a pro golfer but after a freak injury, he learned to play guitar and now he’s all over country radio. “Eight Second Ride” and this summer jam are perfect examples of his laid-back yet rockin’ style that has the ladies swooning and the guys yelling Hell Yeah!
“BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO” ETTA JAMES (R.I.P.)
January 19, 2012, the world lost a legend, one of the most influential evocative singers of all-time, Etta James. “At Last”, ” I Just Want To Make Love To You” and “I’d Rather Go Blind”: three of the greatest songs ever and you can make the argument that Etta’s incendiary performances of each is the gold standard. She recently recorded a farewell CD, The Dreamer, which includes a cover of GNR’s “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Misty Blue”. RIP Etta, you will be missed.
“THERE WILL COME A DAY” 9/11 Special FAITH HILL
September 11, 2001, one of the few dates in my lifetime where everyone remembers what they were doing on that fateful day. Following the devastation, all of the TV networks ran a special, A Tribute To Heroes, where actors like Robert DeNiro, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts introduced heartfelt, intense live performances by some of the biggest stars in the music industry. The benefit to help the families who lost love ones included this Faith Hill inspirational song backed by a church choir:
“TAKE A BACK ROAD” RODNEY ATKINS
Rodney is a little twangy for my taste in country music but “Take A Back Road” just creates such a chilled out cruising down the road vibe that I love it! Rodney name-checks George Strait and sings of getting lost with his girl on a back road with no cares in the world. Check out in the video where he appears on top of a bridge frame in the video (how did he do that?)