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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 7:00 PM
CruCon Cruise Outlet Main Stage
RAISE EM UP TOUR KEITH URBAN JERROD NEIMANN BRETT ELDREDGE
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He began to make inroads into the Australian country music scene with regular appearances on the Reg Lindsay Country Homestead TV Program, Mike McClellan's Music Program, and various other TV Programs performing duets with local Brisbane girl Jenny Wilson; they won a golden guitar award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. He also performed regularly on stage at the Northern Suburbs Country Music Club near Caboolture.
In 1990, Urban signed with EMI in Australia and recorded his self-titled debut album. He toured as a backup to Slim Dusty in 1993 and 1994. In the mid-1990s, Dusty and Urban recorded a re-worked duet of Dusty's classic "Lights on the Hill". He appeared for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry backing Dusty. He also sang backing vocals on INXS's 1991 live album Live Baby Live.
Urban moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1992. In 1993, he appeared in the music video for Alan Jackson's rendition of "Mercury Blues". He and Vernon Rust co-wrote "Jesus Gets Jealous of Santa Claus" on Toby Keith's 1995 album Christmas to Christmas, 4 Runner's 1996 single "That Was Him (This Is Now)", and "Tangled Up in Love" on the Raybon Brothers' 1997 self-titled album. In 1997, he formed The Ranch, which also included drummer Peter Clarke and bassist Jerry Flowers. The Ranch released one self-titled album for Capitol Records Nashville and charted two singles on the Hot Country Songs charts in 1997: "Walkin' the Country" and "Just Some Love", which respectively reached numbers 50 and 61. Throughout the late 1990s, Urban also played guitar on several other artists' albums, including Paul Jefferson, Tim Wilson, and Charlie Daniels.
Urban released his self-titled American debut in. It was led off by the number 18 single "It's a Love Thing", followed by the number 4 "Your Everything", which made him the first male New Zealand performer to reach the top 10 on the U.S. country chart. The follow-up, "But for the Grace of God", became his first number 1 on the country charts. Then "Where the Blacktop Ends", went to number 3. He won Top New Male Vocalist Award at the 2001 Academy of Country Music Awards and the 2001 Country Music Association's Horizon Award.
Urban released Golden Road in 2002. Of its thirteen songs, Urban produced seven himself and co-produced with Dann Huff on the other six. It was led off by the single "Somebody Like You", which spent six weeks at number 1. Following it was the number 3 "Raining on Sunday", After this song, both "Who Wouldn't Wanna Be Me" and "You'll Think of Me" went to number 1, with the latter winning him the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
In 2005, Urban performed in front of European audiences for the first time. In May, Urban supported Bryan Adams on his UK and Ireland tour. "You Look Good in My Shirt" was originally intended to be the fifth single from Golden Road. Instead, Capitol chose to release "Days Go By", the lead-off to his third American album, Be Here. By late 2004, this song had become Urban's fifth number 1 hit on the country chart. Although it was not officially released, "You Look Good in My Shirt" spent one week at number 60 on the country charts in July 2004 and remained a fan favorite. The next single from this album was the #2 "You're My Better Half", followed by the five-week number 1 "Making Memories of Us", which was written by Rodney Crowell and previously recorded by both Tracy Byrd and Crowell's side project, The Notorious Cherry Bombs. The next singles from Be Here were "Better Life" and "Tonight I Wanna Cry"; the former spent six weeks at number 1, while the latter spent three weeks at number 2. After this song, "Live to Love Another Day" spent 14 weeks on the country chart, reaching a peak of number 48, although it was never officially released as a single.
On 21 August 2006, Urban's "Once in a Lifetime" debuted at No. 17, setting what was then a new record for the highest-debuting country single in the 62-year history of the Hot Country Songs chart. Despite the high debut, the song peaked at number 6. After it was "Stupid Boy", which went to number 3 and won Urban his second Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 2007. The album's next two singles, "I Told You So" and "Everybody", respectively peaked at numbers 2 and 5. Urban released his first greatest hits collection, Greatest Hits: 18 Kids, on 20 November 2007. The CD contains all of his top 10 hits, along with two new songs, "Romeo's Tune" and "Got It Right This Time (The Celebration)."
In January 2008, Urban embarked on the Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Carnival Ride Tour with fellow country singer Carrie Underwood. In early May 2008, Urban debuted a new song at the Grand Ole Opry titled "A New Sunshine". In late May 2008, Urban re-recorded "You Look Good in My Shirt". The song was released on the radio at the end of May. "Over the years it ("You Look Good in My Shirt") has always played like a hit song," said Keith. "That, combined with numerous requests from both fans and radio about why it was never a single, inspired us to get back into the studio and re-record the song." The single was a pre-cursor to the "Love, Pain & the Whole Crazy World Tour" concert DVD release in the fall of '08. In late 2008, Urban was featured on Brad Paisley's single "Start a Band", on which both he and Paisley sang and played guitar. That song, from Paisley's album Play, went to No. 1 in January 2009.
Urban announced that the lead single for his fifth studio album would be titled "Sweet Thing". This song became the first No.1 single off the album. The album, Defying Gravity, was released on March 31, 2009, through Capitol Records. Its second single, "Kiss a Girl", debuted in March 2009. Urban performed this song on American Idol, during the season 8 finale, as a duet with eventual winner Kris Allen. "Only You Can Love Me This Way", the third single, went to number 1. After it, "'Til Summer Comes Around" went to number 3, and "I'm In" went to number 2. The latter song was a cover of Radney Foster, taken from the same album as "Raining on Sunday"; it had also been a Top 40 single for The Kinleys in 2000. In between the two, Urban also made a guest appearance on then-label mate Emily West's single "Blue Sky", which charted at number 38.
Urban's 2009 Escape Together tour, supporting the album, Defying Gravity, featured many big name opening acts, including Taylor Swift, Sugarland, and Jason Aldean. On June 27, 2009 Keith filmed a video for the song, "Only You Can Love Me This Way", at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
In 2009, Urban was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
In May 2010, Urban entered the studio to begin work on a new album. The recording process was documented in a blog on his official website. At the beginning of September, it was announced that the album would be titled Get Closer and would see release on November 16th. "Put You in a Song" was released as its first single on September 13th. It went to number 2, followed by "Without You", "Long Hot Summer", and "You Gonna Fly", all of which went to number 1. Urban wrote "Put You in a Song" with Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes, and "Long Hot Summer" with Richard Marx. Preston Brust and Chris Lucas co-wrote "You Gonna Fly" with former American Bang member Jaren Johnston. After "You Gonna Fly" fell from the charts, Urban released "For You", which was featured as the theme song of the 2012 action film Act of Valor and appeared on the film's soundtrack. The song peaked at number 6 on
On 10 April 2012, Urban was asked to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry by Vince Gill at the third annual We're All for the Hall benefit concert which Urban organized. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on April 21, 2012.
Urban plays guitar on Tim McGraw's early-2013 single "Highway Don't Care", which also features a guest vocal from Taylor Swift. This song is the third single from McGraw's album Two Lanes of Freedom.
On May 13, 2013, Urban released the single "Little Bit of Everything." It is the first single from his eighth studio album, Fuse, which was released on September 10, 2013. The official music video for "Little Bit Of Everything" debuted on VEVO on July 25, 2013. Unlike his previous albums, Urban co-produced with ten other producers on this album. The album's second single, "We Were Us", is a duet with Miranda Lambert. It reached number one on the Country Airplay chart in December 2013.
Jerrod Niemann was influenced by country music since his early age. Born in Harper, Kansas, he pursued his music career by auditioning for talent shows and finally made it to the finals in 1996 for singing Tracy Lawrence's hit single "Texas Tornado". While attending college, he performed in Texan clubs and bars until he released an indie album "Long Hard Road". There was not much to be told from the effort except the fact that it mirrored his long journey in music industry.
A year after, Niemann moved to Nashville, Tennessee in hopes to get a record deal. Indeed, he got what he wanted as Mercury Records signed him. After a while staying in the company but still having no chance to make an album, he decided to go indie and dropped "Jukebox of Hard Knocks" in 2004. Two years later, he inked a deal with Category 5. His first single "I Love Women (My Momma Can't Stand)" was released, but the album "Behind This Microphone" where it was supposed to appear was scrapped because the company was closed.
In 2010, he joined Brad Paisley's label Arista Nashville's Sea Gayle division. "Lover Lover", his debut single under the label was a No. 1 single Down Under. By March 2010, it cracked the Top 40 on the U.S. Country Singles chart. Then, it was included in his first major-label album "Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury" which arrived in stores on July 13, 2010. Thanks to that number one single and its Top Five follow-ups, the album was a hit, and Niemann followed it in the fall of 2012 he released sophomore album Free The Music, incorporating multiple genres including country, rock, honky-tonk, Dixieland jazz and reggae and co-produced by Dave Brainard.
Jerrod Niemann kicks up the fun with the arrival of his new single, “Drink to That All Night,” the first taste of music from his upcoming third album for Sea Gayle Records/Arista Nashville. Produced by Niemann and Jimmie Lee Sloas, and written by Derek George, Lance Miller, and Brad and Brett Warren.
Niemann said, in regards to his newest album “The last couple albums have been very acoustic. I love acoustic music, I love acoustic instruments, but inside of every country boy’s a little rock & roll, and so we brought it out! We plugged in the guitars, and I had a lot of fun in the studio just spending hours doing harmony. So it’s gonna be really harmony driven, kind of like ‘Lover, Lover,’ but it’s gonna be really electric and rockin’ and thumpin’.”
Between work on his new album – the follow-up to his acclaimed, musically adventurous Free the Music collection – Niemann is maintaining his seemingly non-stop tour schedule, which will see him play more than 200 dates in 2013.
Country up-and-comer Brett Eldredge has always been attracted to singers, a fact that should come as no surprise to anyone who’s heard the Illinois native’s soulful, distinctive baritone. “I always gravitated towards big voices, because as a kid I had this big voice coming out of me,” says Eldredge. “I was hooked on the story that somebody would be telling through their voice.” With his debut album slated to be released in 2013 on Atlantic Records and new single “Don’t Ya” at radio now, Eldredge is finally getting the chance to share a story of his own.
Although distant cousin Terry Eldredge is a member of seminal bluegrass outfit the Grascals, closer to home, Brett’s musical talent was the exception. The little kid with the big voice grew up listening to records from Ray Charles, Ronnie Dunn, and, of course, the greatest of them all: Frank Sinatra. His parents bought a guitar and a small sound system for Eldredge when he was a teen, and while he didn’t immediately take to the instrument – “I never could sit still long enough to learn it,” he admits – the sound system and its wireless microphone became a cornerstone of his early musical training. By age 15, Eldredge was a performer in demand for local functions. “I really grew to love the feel of the crowd,” he says.
Eldredge says there was no question that his passion for performance would carry him to Nashville, but his move to Music City after college made one thing clear: He was going to have to pick up that abandoned guitar. “I saw people on stage playing these songwriter nights, just them and a guitar,” he says. So Eldredge locked himself in a room to practice, and eventually started writing songs of his own. “It took me a while to finally get a hold of the guitar, but once I did I was hooked,” he says. “I think being a student of singers works to my advantage, because it taught me how to phrase things. I had melodies all over the place in my head.”
He has since moved on to writing with some of Nashville’s greats, including the legendary “Whispering” Bill Anderson, who taught him that one of the tricks to being a great songwriter is to “just keep writing,” Eldredge says. Two singles he’s released so far certainly prove his range: His 2010 debut, “Raymond,” was inspired in part by Eldredge’s own grandmother and her struggle with Alzheimer’s. Current single “Don’t Ya” hits the opposite end of the spectrum, an up-tempo flirtation that ponders the mystery of romantic relations, and showcases the sexy baritone in Eldredge’s voice. And during his own high-energy live shows, just like that kid with the wireless mic, Eldredge goes out of his way to connect with every member of the crowd. “That’s the place I feel more alive than anywhere,” he says. “Everything it takes to get to wherever I’m going to play – every airplane and car I ride in – is so worth it once I’m able to get up on that stage. I want everybody in the crowd to feel the energy that I’m feeling from them.”
As he continues to work hard at the craft of songwriting, there’s no question his talent will grow along with his audience. “You can create something from nothing, and that’s the coolest thing in the world to me,” Eldredge says. “This new music is me, and it’s taken every song I’ve written up to this point to get to where I am. I feel better about my music now than I ever have felt, and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”