Music For Your Monday

Hey y’all!

We’re going to talk about music today, but first, a vlog!

The Swon Brothers

I LOVE these boys! This is a really solid debut album, and out of all of the contestants on The Voice up to this point, I feel like these guys have the best chance at a successful career. They have a great true country sound that I feel like country radio is missing right now. The album starts off strong with “What I’m Thinking About”, and it just gets better from there! Upbeat songs like “Later On”, “Songs That Said It All”, and “95″ are radio-ready, and slower songs like “Breaking” and “Same Old Highway” will break your heart. The boys don’t shy away from singing about their faith, and they have two great songs in “Pray For You” and “This Side of Heaven”, which features background vocals from Carrie Underwood and will leave you in tears. Eleven songs just doesn’t feel like enough, and I’m already excited for album number two!
Download Now: “Songs That Said It All”, “Later On”, “This Side of Heaven”

Little Big Town: Painkiller

Like I said in the vlog, I’ve been waiting for Painkiller since Tornado was released. These guys are my favorites, and I just can’t get enough of their sound. I didn’t know if it was possible for them to top Tornado, but Painkiller does a really great job! The biggest surprise of the album is a song called “Girl Crush”. I promise you, it’s not what you think! It will completely surprise you, and it’s awesome! They slow down and show off their beautiful harmonies on songs like “Live Forever” and “Tumble and Fall”, and they really rock out with “Stay All Night” and “Save Your Sin”. Karen sings better than I’ve ever heard her on “Painkiller” and “Things You Don’t Think About”, and I catch myself listening to these two on repeat. I wish there were more than 13 songs, because I already want more!
Download Now: “Girl Crush”, “Painkiller”, “Stay All Night”, “Things You Don’t Think About”

Taylor Swift: 1989

I feel like I should just list off every single song and why I like it, because this album is THAT GOOD! I won’t do that, but I’m telling you now, there’s not really a bad song, like at all. Even the ones I don’t like as much as others are still good songs. This album definitely feels like a grown-up Taylor Swift, but I don’t feel like she’s selling out or changing who she really is to try to appeal to a more pop audience. Even though it’s a new sound, it still feels like a Taylor Swift album. She co-wrote a few songs with Max Martin, who wrote for *NSYNC, BSB, and Britney back in the day. That’s probably why I like so many of these songs! “Blank Space” has quickly become one of my favorite T-Swift songs ever. A few were co-written with Ryan Tedder from One Republic and Jack Antonoff from fun., so it’s a really fun mix of songs. Of course I have my favorites, but you should probably just get the whole album! The deluxe edition from Target has three extra songs, and those are great too! Go get them all!
Download Now: “Blank Space”, “Style”, “Shake It Off”, “I Wish You Would”, “Style”, “All You Had To Do Was Stay”

Ok y’all, let me know if you have any of these albums and what your favorite songs are! If you try

The Cowboy Rides Away

Hey y’all!

George Strait, one of the greatest men to ever sing country music, announced a couple of years ago that he was going on one last tour before he retired from touring. On June 7th, he played his final show at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Neely and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the show, and we had such a great night!

I got up SUPER early Saturday morning and started the drive to Dallas.

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Only in Texas…

It was so exciting to finally be reunited with Neely! We hadn’t seen each other since February!

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We went to brunch at Number One, where we had the most fabulous blackberry muffin and a beautiful plate of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries! After brunch, we headed to Northpark for a little shopping. Ally hadn’t made it back to Dallas from London yet, so Flat Ally went shopping with us!

Flat Ally
I think she had a lot of fun :)

After some shopping, we had an early dinner at Mi Cocina, and then headed to Cowboys Stadium!

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So excited!

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Ally came with us too!

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Asleep at the Wheel was the opening act! They’ve been around for over 40 years, so it was neat to get to see them play! They played for around an hour, and then it was time for the main event!

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It’s George! He opened the show with “Check Yes or No”, one of my favorite songs!

Since this was his last show, he had lots of special guests that came out to sing with him. It was pretty incredible to see all of these amazing performers on stage with him! He ended up playing about forty songs, a great mix of songs from the ’80s through today, including “Amarillo By Morning”, “I Can Still Make Cheyenne”, and “I Saw God Today”.

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Vince Gill was the first of the special guests! I was sooooooo excited to see him! I’m a big fan, and even though I saw him at Blake Shelton’s benefit concert last year, the giant screen was blocking my view, so I didn’t get to see him perform. It was nice to finally get to SEE him perform! He’s amazing!

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Jason Aldean

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Eric Church

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Sheryl Crow

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Martina McBride! I’ve been wanting to see her FOREVER! Her voice is just flawless.

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Faith Hill

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Alan Jackson! I’ve never been a huge Alan Jackson fan, so I was surprised at how giddy I got when he came on stage! It was amazing to see them perform together!

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Miranda Lambert! She’s one of my favorites, and even though I’ve seen her a couple of times, I was so excited to see her again. She seemed so in awe of George, and you could tell how much it meant to her to perform with him. Side note-her sparkly boots were amazing!

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Kenny Chesney! This guy puts on one of the best shows I’ve ever seen! He’s a great performer! He said the first tour he ever went on was a George Strait tour, so it meant a lot to him to be a part of George’s last show. They were great together!

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At the end of the night, George brought everyone back out to sing “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” with him! So many awesome people on stage at the same time!

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George ended the show with “The Cowboy Rides Away”. I have to admit I got a little teary as the show was coming to a close. He is such a legend in country music, and I’ve wanted to see him in concert for a very long time. I’m glad he will still be releasing new music, but it’s sad that he won’t be touring anymore.

It was also so great to spend a fun weekend with Neely! We don’t get to spend nearly enough time together, so even though it was a quick trip, it was great to have a little bit of  best friend time!

Have you seen George Strait in concert?

Tuesday Tunes: ACM Edition

Hey y’all!
Sunday night was the Academy of Country Music Awards! Y’all know I love my country music, so I was tuned in for the whole three hour show. Normally I post my predictions before the show, but this year, I completely forgot. I’m actually glad that I didn’t, because I would’ve been wrong on almost all of them! I disagreed with a few of them, but the one thing I did love about the show was a lot of new singles were debuted! Here are a few that I loved!
“My Eyes”-Blake Shelton & Gwen Sebastian
“Medicine”-Blake Shelton & Shakira
“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”-Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
“Automatic”-Miranda Lambert
“River Bank”-Brad Paisley
“Chainsaw”-The Band Perry
My favorite moment of the show had to be George Strait winning Entertainer of the Year!
Did you watch the show? What are your favorite songs right now?

2014 Grammy Predictions!

Hey y’all!

It’s Grammy’s night!

I LOVE award shows, and the Grammy’s is always one of my favorites! Every year, I post my predictions for a few of the top categories. Fingers crossed I’m right this year!

Record of the Year
“Get Lucky”-Daft Punk
“Radioactive”-Imagine Dragons
“Royals”-Lorde
“Locked Out Of Heaven”-Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines”-Robin Thicke
Who I’m Rooting For: Lorde
Who Will Win: Robin Thicke
“Royals” has been really popular, but there hasn’t been a bigger song this year than “Blurred Lines”. I will be shocked if it doesn’t win this category.

Album of the Year
The Blessed Unrest-Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories-Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City-Kendrick Lamar
The Heist-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red-Taylor Swift
Who I’m Rooting For: Taylor Swift
Who Will Win: Taylor Swift
She always wins! Red is not my favorite of her albums, but love her or hate her, you have to admit she has a way with lyrics.

Song of the Year
“Just Give Me a Reason”-Pink feat. Nate Ruess
“Locked Out Of Heaven”-Bruno Mars
“Roar”-Katy Perry
“Royals”-Lorde
“Same Love”-Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert
Who I’m Rooting For: Katy Perry
Who Will Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Honestly, any of these songs deserve this award. They have all been hugely popular, and with the exception of “Same Love”, I’ve been playing them on repeat all year. I would love to see a win for Katy Perry, but I’m thinking Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have this one.

Best New Artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran
Who I’m Rooting For: Kacey Musgraves
Who Will Win: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis OR Ed Sheeran
This has definitely been the year for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but the Grammy’s love Ed Sheeran, so I won’t be surprised either way.

And, for you country fans like me, here’s my predictions for the country categories!

Best Country Solo Performance
“I Drive Your Truck”-Lee Brice
“I Want Crazy”-Hunter Hayes
“Mama’s Broken Heart”-Miranda Lambert
“Wagon Wheel”-Darius Rucker
“Mine Would Be You”-Blake Shelton
Who I’m Rooting For: Blake Shelton
Who Will Win: Miranda Lambert
Blake is my boy, but Miranda’s song is one of her best!

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“From This Valley”-The Civil Wars
“Don’t Rush”-Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill
“Your Side of the Bed”-Little Big Town
“Highway Don’t Care”-Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, & Keith Urban
Who I’m Rooting For: Little Big Town
Who Will Win: Little Big Town
“Your Side of the Bed” is one of the best songs of the year, in my opinion. I feel like until the last couple of years, LBT hasn’t gotten the recognition they deserve, and I hope the voters will agree with me!

Best Country Song
“Begin Again”-Taylor Swift
“Mama’s Broken Heart”-Miranda Lambert
“Merry Go ‘Round”-Kacey Musgraves
“Mine Would Be You”-Blake Shelton
Who I’m Rooting For: Blake Shelton
Who Will Win: Miranda Lambert
Again, Blake is my boy, but Miranda’s song is just awesome!

Best Country Album
Night Train-Jason Aldean
Two Lanes of Freedom-Tim McGraw
Same Trailer Different Park-Kacey Musgraves
Based on a True Story-Blake Shelton
Red-Taylor Swift
Who I’m Rooting For: Blake Shelton
Who Will Win: Taylor Swift or Kacey Musgraves
Taylor ALWAYS wins album of the year when she’s nominated, but Kacey has received a lot of praise for this album. I have only heard a couple of songs from it, but from what I hear about her, she just might be the favorite for this category.

I’ll be live-tweeting most of the night, so if you’re watching, come tweet with me!

Have a great night!

Tuesday Tunes

Hey y’all!
It’s been awhile since we had a little music chat around here, so I wanted to share what’s on my playlist right now!
“You Sound Good to Me”-Lucy Hale
I’ve been a Lucy fan since she was a teenager competing on American Juniors! She has a fantastic voice, and I’m excited that she’s releasing new music!
“Cannonball”-Lea Michele
I love Lea, and I’m glad she is FINALLY releasing an album! She has one of the best voices I think I’ve ever heard.
“Counting Stars”-Meghan Linsey
I love the original version by One Republic, but Meghan Linsey (from the group Steel Magnolia) might have the better version, at least for me. 
“And The Radio Played”-Lady Antebellum
I love everything about this song. I love Lady A, and I love the mentions of the songs from the 80s, 90s, and now. Such a fun song!
“Let Her Go”-Jasmine Thompson
This song was playing on the *NSYNC Holiday Pandora station during Christmas. Not sure why it was there, but I fell in love with it!
“Let It Go”-’Idina Menzel (from Frozen)
You don’t get to laugh at me for this. Disney movie or not, this song is pretty great! Idina Menzel is one of the best ever, and I’ve been listening to this song on repeat since I saw Frozen for the second time!
I love finding new music, so I’d love for you to share with me what’s on your favorite songs of the moment! What’s on YOUR playlist?
*The winner of my Target giveaway was Mateya! Congrats girlie!

Christmas with Donny & Marie!

Hey y’all!
Ok, for reals, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about this awesome, fun night!
In early December, Momma and Daddy came up to OKC so we could all go see Donny and Marie Osmond’s Christmas concert! If you’ve never seen them in concert, you don’t get to judge me for going and talking about how amazing it was. Because it was amazing.
Growing up, The Osmonds were my mom’s favorite. Specifically Donny. I like to think her love for them was about the same as my love for *NSYNC :) She got to see The Osmonds in concert when she was a teenager, so when I found out Donny and Marie’s Christmas concert was coming to OKC, I really wanted the two of us to go. To our surprise, the boys said they would go with us. 
I know, I’m as shocked as you are.
Anyway, we bought the tickets several months in advance, and before we knew it, the day was here!
We were SO EXCITED!

Family selfie outside the arena!

Momma and I posed with Cardboard Marie

The fam! We were excited for a fun night of Christmas music, and I couldn’t wait to see Momma’s reaction to seeing Donny and Marie!

There they are!

Momma was so excited to see them! It was priceless! She was giddy like nothing I’ve ever seen from her before. It was hard to take pictures because every time I would push the button on my camera, she would elbow me out of excitement!
Before the show started, Marie posted on twitter for people to take a picture with the cardboard cutout and tweet them to her and tell her why she should pick you for front row seats.
I tweeted this one to Marie!
After a couple of the songs, she said it was time to announce the winner of the contest.
“Section 101″.
That was our section.
“Row PP”.
That was our row. I grabbed Momma’s hand and tried not to scream.
“Seats 7 and 8! Is there an Ashley in here?”
THAT WAS ME! I couldn’t believe we won! We were ushered from our seats to our new seats on the front row!

It’s still a little unbelievable that we watched the rest of the show from the front row. I’ve never been front row at a concert before, and this one was great!
It’s Donny! Y’all, he’s beautiful. I know he’s old enough to be my dad, but he looks really good.

Momma and Donny :)

During part of the concert, they sang songs from the Broadway shows they’ve been in, including The Sound of Music, The King and I, Beauty and the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Wicked. It was my favorite part of the whole show!

They sang “For Good” from Wicked, and it was beautiful!

Donny was watching me take his pictures. He could’ve smiled a little more for me! Haha!

Marie seriously has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. She can sing pretty much any kind of music, including opera. It was incredible!

My goodness, it was such a great concert! I was so excited to be able to go with my mom to see her childhood crush and childhood idol in concert. She’s gone with me to quite a few concerts to see people that I love, so to go with her to someone she loves was really great. Winning front row seats for her was truly amazing, and I’m so glad we got to share such a fun night together!

10 Little Big Town Tracks I’m Loving Right Now

I’m going to go music geek on all of you and do a special edition of my “10 Tracks I’m Loving Right Now”. I am super super pumped because after three years, my favorite band Little Big Town is releasing a new CD! “The Reason Why” will be released tomorrow. LBT is a fantastic band! Their harmonies and lyrics are beautiful. Unfortunately, the music player I use for my blog doesn’t have ANY LBT songs or I’d be sharing them with all of you!

I’ve seen them in concert twice, once when they opened for Carrie Underwood and once when they headlined a show. They are awesome performers!

Anyway, in honor of their new CD, I have put together a list of my favorite LBT songs. If you haven’t heard their stuff, DEFINITELY check them out! From the few songs iTunes released early, the new CD is going to be amazing!

1. Bring It On Home

LBT

This is my absolute favorite one of theirs! From the first time I heard it, I was HOOKED! Beautiful song!

Album: The Road To Here

2. Vapor

GroupThis one has a great message about making the most of life before it’s gone. Beautiful!

Album: A Place To Land

3. Stay

Girls This one is gorgeous too!

Album: The Road To Here

4. Looking for a Reason

Karen

Album: The Road To Here

5. Fine With Me

Jimi Album: The Road To Here

6. A Place To Land

Kim Album: A Place To Land

7. Firebird Fly

Phillip

Album: A Place To Land

8. Boondocks

Jimi & Kim

Album: The Road To Here

and, from the new CD The Reason Why…

9. Kiss Goodbye

Karen & Phillip

This song is beautiful too! Phillip’s voice is just so awesome!

10. Little White Church

Jimi & Karen

Their newest hit! Awesome fun song!

Anyone else listen to Little Big Town? What do you think of them? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m totally going to get their CD before work in the morning! :)

*1st picture is from www.littlebigtown.com. All of the rest belong to me!

“Haoooo, Play Somethin’ Country”

Finally, here are the pictures from the Brooks & Dunn concert!

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Advertising Carrie’s show!!

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Sprint Center bathroom

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Opening act Tyler Dickerson-he was highly annoying

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Gary Allan was FANTASTIC! I just love him!

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Brooks & Dunn!

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During “Only in America” they had several military servicemen come out on stage! Very moving…I wanted to cry!

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I really hoped that Reba would make a surprise appearance since she sings several songs with them and is great friends with them. Their “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” video was the closest I got to seeing her :(concert24
They did a great show, and I’m really glad that we went to see them!

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Toyota sponsored the tour, and before the concert, they took free pictures and superimposed B&D in them! Kinda fun! It was definitely a great way to end a great trip! Can’t wait for next summer’s adventure!

So, I Made a Playlist…

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how much I love music! After seeing several other blogs with playlists, I decided to do one of my own. Now, since yall are the ones reading the blog, I need your opinion!

Fun or Annoying?
I need honesty! If it’s too much, I’ll totally take it off. But I thought it might be a cool way to share music that I’m loving at the moment, aside from my periodic “10 Tracks I’m Loving Now” posts.
What do you think?
Also, vacation posts are coming soon! Most of my pictures are on my Momma’s camera, so as soon as I get them, I’ll get to working on the posts!