Feb 052017
 

Before I go into this article any further I have a story of my own regarding Mac Wiseman and me. You know I have been covering Country Music functions from a journalist’s point of view for many many years now. Some years back, about two exactly in 2015 at the Al Meniah Shriner’s Temple in Nashville, where they hold the spring and fall annual R.O.P.E. functions, we were all blessed enough to witness Mr. Keith Bilbrey bring the Mic over to Mac Wiseman’s table where he performed a song for us in his chair. What a blessed a surreal experience that moment was, if I ever write a book this will be included in one of the chapters of it.

As I filter and shuffle through pictures of the past R.O.P.E. gathering I am reminded of past friends that have long been called home to Heaven, Mac Wiseman is one of those that remain prominently with us and we are honored to have him. We all adore him so very much and we need him around for many years to come.

This past January he released a new album called “I Sang The Song” Life Of The Voice With A Heart on Mountain Fever Records  he releases a new album of refreshing music that will embellish your collection quite nicely as this album already boasts a number one hit .

 

THIS FROM THE LABEL’S WEBSITE:
WILLIS, Virginia—Mountain Fever Records is proud to announce the release of a star-studded concept album celebrating the life and spirit of Country Music Hall of Fame member Mac Wiseman. I Sang The Song (Life Of The Voice With A Heart) is available today. The first single, “Going Back to Bristol,” featuring the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2015 Male Vocalist of the Year Shawn Camp, was released November 2016 and reached #1 on Bluegrass Today’s Top 20 Songs December 23rd.

What began as a casual weekly visit among friends quickly morphed into an unprecedented album project. Over nine weeks, Country and Bluegrass Hall of Famer Mac Wiseman met with Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz, sharing intimate details of his 91 years, and of his journey from Virginia boy to American roots music icon. That journey is the subject of I Sang The Song, the joyful and poignant album that springs from Mac’s storytelling sessions. In liner notes, Cooper writes, “The stories would have been remarkable coming from anyone. But coming from Mac Wiseman, an acknowledged master of American roots music who earned the nickname ‘The Voice with a Heart,’ the stories began to sound like songs. Thomm Jutz and I sat in small chairs that faced the easy chair, situated beneath a photograph of Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Mac’s childhood place of worship. We wrote down the stories, and found them rich with melody and rhyme.”

To begin the recording process, producers Cooper and Jutz assembled an all-star band of musicians including mandolinist Sierra Hull and multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses—both also lent vocal talents—and bassist Mark Fain. Further, featured performers were carefully chosen based not only on artistic mastery, but also reverence for the album’s subject, Mac Wiseman. The result is a collection of perfect performances by John Prine, Jim Lauderdale, Shawn Camp, Junior Sisk, Alison Krauss, Andrea Zonn, Ronnie Bowman, Sonya Isaacs Yeary, Becky Isaacs Bowman, Buddy Melton, and Milan Miller, with special vocal appearances by Mac Wiseman. Cooper says, “Everyone who sings on this album understands the greatness of Mac Wiseman and the responsibility inherent in voicing Mac’s story and interpreting Mac’s words. These artists approached the songs with joyful reverence that is palpable to anyone who listens.”

Track Listing:
1. “The Guitar”—Sierra Hull & Justin Moses
2. “Somewhere Bound”—Buddy Melton & Milan Miller with Andrea Zonn
3. “The Wheat Crop”—Junior Sisk with Sonya Isaacs Yeary & Becky Isaacs Bowman
4. “Barefoot Till After The Frost”—Jim Lauderdale
5. “Manganese Mine” – Shawn Camp
6. “Three Cows And Two Horses”—Buddy Melton & Milan Miller with Andrea Zonn
7. “Simple Math”—Jim Lauderdale
8. “Crimora Church Of The Brethren”—Junior Sisk & Ronnie Bowman
9. “Back To Bristol”—Shawn Camp
10. “I Sang The Song”—John Prine
11. “’Tis Sweet To Be Remembered”—Mac Wiseman & Alison Krauss

In 1993 he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall Of Honor, and in 2014 he was blessed with an induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. In 2014 he also released a brand new album of songs inspired by his mother’s handwritten notebooks of songs she heard on the radio when Mac was a child: Songs From My Mother’s Hand.

However from researching this album further I learned that all of the songs on this album were penned over nine afternoons at Mr. Mac’s house with his producers.  He is already looking into the future to pursue more new projects and recording even more new music he has written, Mac Wiseman has recorded more albums and songs than artists I could name that are Legends.

 

Jan 142017
 

 

These past few years have been quite turbulent for Country Legend Randy Travis, but also have been very positive and touching. You truly find out who your friends are when you are down and out and honestly in the past few years Randy Travis has indeed discovered who his true allies were. Turns out just about 90 percent of the entire music community has rallied together in the past few months to honor him in many ways, one being inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame last year. During the award ceremony he stunned the entire music industry by singing “Amazing Grace”.

He was told he would never walk again let along perform and nobody is saying he will ever perform a full show ever again, but if this isn’t a miracle recovery from God I am left in a quandary of what is. It was rumored that the stroke he suffered was brought on by personal demons and that rumor was squelched by medical staff.

Now his friends and people whom idolize him will gather together at the Bridgestone arena in Nashville for a tribute concert for him. Tickets for Travis’ tribute concert go on sale 11 a.m. Friday at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office and through Ticketmaster, 1-800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Randy Travis Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit that raises money for stroke research and rehabilitation.

1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis is Feb. 8 and will feature performances from Alabama, Kenny Rogers, Rodney Atkins, Chris Janson, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Michael Ray, Ricky Skaggs, Michael W. Smith, The Randy Travis Band, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner Wynonna Judd, Jeff Foxworthy, Alison Krauss, Ben Haggard, Neal McCoy and Phil Vassar will all perform throughout the evening which will consist of a variety of songs,including Travis’ iconic hits.

More include Travis Tritt, Kane Brown, James Dupre, Scotty McCreery, Joe Nichols, Collin Raye and the Bellamy Brothers also will be on hand to entertain the crowd that night. Now as most of you know the currently retired Kenny Rogers will be performing that night as well as Tanya Tucker and many many more. This will indeed be a stellar lineup for a wonderful cause.

At the age of 57 Randy Travis has recorded twenty studio albums and has charted more than 55 songs sixteen of them were number one hits. Randy Travis entered into the market with “Storms Of Life” during a mainstream market saturated with pop country but Randy persevered and actually assisted in ushering in Traditional sounding Country the likes of Alan Jackson.

However in the 1990’s even the pop country began to change direction and he could not coexist with those changes. He then decided to focus more on Gospel music and had one chart success with “Three Wooden Crosses”. He went on to pursue acting and television shows including the iconic film “Black Dog”. He has sold over 25 million records and 22 number one hits. Six number one albums and six Grammy awards and CMA awards.  And on Feb 4rth he will receive love from his peers and will be reminded how much we love and treasure him.

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