NASHVILLE, TENN – (October 27, 2009) – Universal Records South hot new singer/songwriter Ashley Ray will preview material from her upcoming debut album for Texas music fans. She has been handpicked by some of Texas’ favorite sons including the Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and Brandon Rhyder to open shows through the end of the year.
“These boys I’m going to be openin’ for have set the bar high…I can’t wait to get out there and learn from them…because no one knows how to get people on their feet and rockin’ like they do,” said Ray. “Texans just love good music! I plan to dig down deep and just be in the middle of it and take it all in every night.”
FULL TOUR SCHEDULE:
10/29 Stillwater, OK Rusty Spur with Rich O’Toole
10/30 Lewisville, TX Hat Tricks *Headlining
10/31 Dallas, TX Gilley’s Dallas with Johnny Cooper
11/4 College Station, TX Hurricane Harry’s with Randy Rogers
11/5 Denton, TX Rockin’ Rodeo with Johnny Cooper
11/6 Austin, TX Nutty Brown Café with Randy Rogers
11/7 Nacogdoches, TX Banita Creek Hall with Brandon Rhyder
11/12 Wichita Falls, TX OutSkirts with Wade Bowen
11/13 Amarillo, TX Midnight Rodeo with Brandon Rhyder
11/14 Odessa, TX Graham Central Station with Wade Bowen
11/19 Grapevine, TX Glass Cactus with Johnny Cooper
11/20 Lubbock, TX Wild West with Wade Bowen
11/21 Moulton, TX Scooters Bar with Bart Crow Band
11/25 Lawrence, KS The Granada *Headlining
11/27 Denver, CO Grizzley Rose with Eric Church
12/5 Tyler, TX Down Under Pub with Wade Bowen
The Kansas-native, who is making Dallas her home base, will also release her debut single “Dirt Cheap” (featuring labelmate Mike Eli) to Texas radio this week. To preview the track, click here: www.myspace.com/ashleyray.
Ray got her road legs ready for Texas by opening for Eric Church on his 30 city “Young and Wild” tour earlier this year. She plans to release her first Universal Records South album in 2010.
Universal Records South will release the newest collection of music from Joe Nichols on October 26th, 2009. Old Things New is the latest CD from an artist whose voice has been compared to some of country music’s all-time best vocalists. Old Things New is also the highly anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2007 release, Real Things. That CD landed on many music critic’s Best of The Year lists, including the prestigious New York Times, whose critic named Real Things one of the best releases of the year–ALL musical genres.
Old Things New carries on the quality and style established by Real Things in both Nichols’ song selection and vocals. Country Weekly’s Four-Star Review agrees. “Joe Nichols truly hit his stride with 2007’s Real Things. His latest deftly demonstrates that the consistency of its predecessor was no accident–Old Things New is the sound of an artist brimming with confidence and eager to prove his mettle.”
Music lovers have already been exposed to the well-crafted songs through first single “Believers,” and “An Old Friend Of Mine,” the CD’s closing track. This song in particular has been singled out by fans and critics alike as possibly one of Nichols’ most honest song choices of his career. The song deals with the struggles of addiction and recovery and has inspired a website designed to assist those facing similar issues (anoldfriendofmine.com).
And while he didn’t write this particular song, noted songwriter Bill Anderson gives it his seal of approval, saying, “Well, it’s a very honest song, because the outline in the song is ‘Today I said goodbye to an old friend of mine,’ and you don’t really get it until halfway through the song. He’s putting the bottle down and walking away from it, and he’s discovered there’s more important things in life than that. It’s just Joe and a piano, and it’s absolutely incredible. It will give goose bumps to your goose bumps. It’s that good.”
Nichols has said of “An Old Friend Of Mine” that it is a personal favorite because of his own public struggles with addiction and recovery the past several years. While he considers the topic an intensely personal thing, he knew when he heard this song that he needed to bring it to light, and hoped his ability to discuss the subject might help others. In addition to the website, Nichols and label also partnered on making a music video of the song.
“When I first heard ‘Old Friend,’ I knew it was a song I had to record,” Nichols said. “I also knew including it on the new CD would force me to talk about a portion of my life that I wanted to keep private. At first, I told everyone to let the song speak for itself, and that I didn’t want to talk about my own personal struggles. But the more I performed the song, the more people opened up to me. I finally came to the conclusion that discussing my situation might inspire others to take that first step toward recovery. While it’s still a little difficult for me to be so public about my life, I know it’s the right thing to do.”
A Nichols CD will always contain a good dose of up-tempo and lighthearted material, and Old Things New is no exception. The latest single, “Gimmie That Girl,” and songs like “Cheaper Than A Shrink” and “Man, Woman,” maintain the style and sense of humor fans have come to expect from Nichols.
And always one to give the music lover a little bit more, this CD contains not one but two bonus tacks: the dance remix of Nichols’ 2005 #1 hit “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” featuring Colt Ford and a live version of “Let’s Get Drunk and Fight,” a track from 2007’s Real Things and a song Nichols feels didn’t necessarily get the attention it deserved at the time.
“People may think it’s peculiar that I still record drinking songs, considering my new found sobriety,” Nichols said. “But I haven’t lost my sense of humor. County music is full of great drinkin’ songs, and I’m not going to walk away from one just because I no longer drink.”
When considering a bonus track for his upcoming CD release, Old Things New, Joe Nichols decided to give his fans a new twist on an old hit. He asked hot country rapper Colt Ford to remix “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” a #1 hit for Nichols in 2005. The result is a pulsating mix that remains true to the original, but adds a beat worthy of any dance club, whether it’s located north or south of the Mason Dixon line.
“It was a real honor when Joe asked us to do a remix of ‘Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off’ because it is such a great country song,” Ford said. “Joe has one of my favorite voices in country music so I really wanted to make the remix a fun song, and I think we did that. The remix is ‘Tequila with a twist of Colt’ so to speak.”
“Tequila” has remained one of Nichols’ most popular songs since it’s release in 2005. While Nichols references Bon Jovi in the Gary Hannan/John Wayne Wiggins-penned song, it is rock group Nickelback who has referenced Nichols when performing their version of “Tequila” in concert.
Old Things New will be in stores on October 27th or you can pre-order yours today!