Must Have List – November 2011
The Christmas shopping season officially kicks off after Thanksgiving, but the Christmas country season begins on Nov. 1. We've heard rumors that Scotty McCreery is working on a few holiday tunes, but best of the confirmed list has to be the Band Perry's collaboration with Justin Bieber. November 2011 also marks the release of Miranda Lambert's new 'Four the Record' album, which may be the gift your son, daughter, sweetie or self appreciates most this holiday season.
November 2011 is also the start of the awards show season, beginning with the CMAs on Nov. 9. Toby Keith isn't up for the big honors in Nashville on that night, but he may have something bigger to look forward to in an appearance on the Fox hit TV show 'Glee.' Julianne Hough has her red carpet look ready to go already; along with all of these items, her new hairdo is a must-do on tour November 2011 list of must haves.
Raise your hand if you thought Toby Keith would get the 'Glee' treatment before ... well, ever. His new song 'Red Solo Cup' has a certain singalong quality that the writers on the Fox hit just couldn't resist, and the show is scheduled to be turned into a show tune during the Nov. 15 episode. Be sure to check out the 'Red Solo Cup' video as well.
OK, it's kind of a lousy name for a new band (try Googling "The Farm") but their music is totally original. They remind one of Little Big Town because they rely on sweet harmonies and a touch of bluegrass, but mostly because like LBT did with 'Boondocks,' 'Home Sweet Home' causes one to go: "Oh my gosh! Who is that?"
Justin Bieber isn't going country, but he did invite one of the hottest names in country music to join him on his album of Christmas songs. The Band Perry trade lead and back up Biebs on 'Home This Christmas.' It's unlikely to find room on country radio this holiday season, but if you're a fan of both artists you'll really dig this song.
Luke Bryan's song about a first date is shooting up the iTunes charts at a Superman-like pace. It's a contagious melody with a chorus you can't forget. It's fair to say that 'Tailgates and Tanlines' is Bryan's coming out album. To borrow a phrase from the Thanksgiving celebration, Luke Byran has graduated to the grownups' table.
It's back, and it's better than ever. The popular late '90s, early 2000s time-suck returns with interesting -- and often useless -- trivia about some of your favorite music videos. They've already covered country videos like Carrie Underwood's 'Before He Cheats' and Taylor Swift's 'Our Song.' We're thinking the Zac Brown Band have a few videos that could use some explaining.
Much like he did with 'Gettin' You Home,' Chris Young finds a slow and sexy groove and patiently rides it through this song. The video is a more PG story than the clip for the little black dress song was, though. The stylized 1950s set uses creative photography and vibrant color to compliment a charming story about a man staying true to his woman. Watch this video for the first time before voting in the Taste of Country Showdown for the first week of November. Chris Young is matched up against champion Scotty McCreery in this battle of the beats.
Nichols says this is the one song from his new album 'It's All Good' that he couldn't live without. Its powerful message speaks to him and it's likely to resonate with fans. After a few years of balancing his music with a whirlwind of personal troubles, the singer seems to be in top form as he releases his sixth studio album on Nov. 8.
Julianne Hough becomes the second country cutie to cut her locks recently, but unlike Carrie Underwood, Hough didn't leave face-framing bangs for fans to fawn over. Hough snipped and crimped and curled and, well, she probably spent a heck of a lot of money to look good -- and we think it was well worth it. The singer and 'Dancing With the Stars' pro showed off her new look at the Hollywood Film Awards. It remains to be seen if she'll walk the CMA red carpet later this month, and if boyfriend Ryan Seacrest will be by her side.
The CMA Awards have an advantage that other country awards shows miss. The artists live within an hour's drive of the Bridgestone Arena, so it's really easy to get all the big names to show up. The Nov. 9 telecast will be flooded with memorable performances, but the real reason to watch may be the interplay between hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. The infectious couple have a natural chemistry and are capable of turning any dull moment into a highlight without notice.
Lambert admits that trying to follow up 'Revolution' was an intimidating task that terrified her in the months leading up to her dates in the studio. Fortunately, she didn't try to do that. It takes a mature artist to escape expectations and focus only on the art. 'Four the Record' shows growth while staying true to the sound her fans have come to rely on over the last few years. It would be a shock if Lambert isn't considered for all the major industry and fan awards in 2012.