Joe's Pub Hosts CMA Songwriter Series feat Easton Corbin & Clay Walker
Joe's Pub at The Public Theater debuted in October 1998 and has quickly became one of New York City's most celebrated and in-demand showcase venues for live music and performance. With its genre-blind booking and vast diversity of interests, the stage at Joe's Pub gives voice to a world of varied and stellar artists.
Trapper Felides: TRAPPER'S BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE
Friday, June 17 at 11:30 PM; $20 in advance; $25 at the door
Come on out for your last chance to see Trapper Felides and his special breed of Broadway/Pop hybrids at Joe's before the Pub breaks ground for an exciting renovation. You last saw him rock the Our Hit Parade stage with YouTube sensation Jeffrey Sewell. Come back and see the kid ripping it up again in a lineup that includes snippets from Trapper's upcoming production of "Red, White and Blaine" (the Waiting for Guffman musical, of course), a teaser for Celina Carvajal's Janis Joplin tribute, and a little disco era Barbra Streisand for good measure. Let's see Joe's Pub out with a bang!
Trapper Felides is thrilled to be back on stage at Joe's Pub where his recent concert work includes Our Hit Parade, Trapper's Greatest Hits, The Molly Pope Show, and Bridget Everett's We've Got Tonight (Time Out New York's pick for Top Cabaret Show of the year). At le (poisson) rouge: Emma Hunton's Bon Voyage show before she originated the role of Natalie on the Next to Normal tour and The Meeting's (with Justin Sayre) fundraiser for The Ali Forney Center. Recent highlights also include music direction for Arts Horizons' Tribute to Paul Simon (with Paul himself in attendance) and the upcoming Broadway on the Rocks tour presentation, and music directing and producing Jay Kuo and Blair Shepard's "It Gets Better" which benefited the Trevor Project and became a benchmark of its namesake campaign. Charitable work also includes benefits for The Point Foundation, GLAAD, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS,The Human Rights Campaign, Susan G. Komen for a Cure, United Cerebral Palsy,The Make-a-Wish Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.Trapper has been seen on The Today Show and Nightline, and he has been filmed for E! and the Oprah Women's Network and profiled in the New York Post and the New York Times. Trapper founded LA's Upright Cabaret with Shane Scheel and Chris Isaacson where he performed with the best talent in stage and screen. In 2011: Tune in for upcoming pop albums from teens Samantha Fly and Allie Trimm, a lifestyle/cookbook with food authority Helen Kimmel, and Trapper's own untitled reality show.
CMA SONGWRITER SERIES
Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 & 9:00 PM; $30
featuring Easton Corbin, Bob DiPiero, Carson Chamberlain & Mark D. Sanders
Wednesday, June 22 at 6:30 & 9:00 PM; $30
featuring Clay Walker, Bob DiPiero, Carson Chamberlain & Mark D. Sanders
Joe's Pub and the Country Music Association are proud to announce the continuation of the successful CMA (Country Music Association) Songwriter Series with some of Nashville's finest songwriters. Bob DiPiero will return as host. CMA Songwriters Series is proudly sponsored by American Airlines, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GAC.
Easton Corbin (June 21 only)
"Roll With It"
"A Little More Country Than That"
"I Can't Love You Back"
Clay Walker *(June 22 only)
"Rumor Has It"
"Live Until I Die"
"Who Needs You Baby"
"She Won't Be Lonely Long" (not written by Clay Walker)
"If You Ever Stop Loving Me" / Montgomery Gentry
"Southern Voice" / Tim McGRaw
"Blue Clear Sky" / George Strait
"You Can't Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl" / Brooks & Dunn
"Love's Got A Hold On You" / Alan Jackson
"The Best Day" / George Strait
"Country Ain't Country" / Travis Tritt
"I Can't Love You Back" / Easton Corbin
Mark D. Sanders
"I Hope You Dance" / Lee Ann Womack
"(This Ain't) No Thinkin' Thing" / Trace Adkins
"It Matters To Me" / Faith Hill
"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" / Reba
Easton Corbin knew he wanted to be a country singer well before he learned how to play guitar.
"One of my earliest memories is from when I was three or four," he remembers. "I was sitting between my parents in the car and a song came on the radio-it was Mel McDaniel's ‘Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On.' I began using the gearshift as my microphone. The desire has always been there."
Now those lifelong dreams are coming true. The accolades are continuing to roll in for Easton, who is the first country male artist in 17 years to have his first two consecutive singles reach No. 1 - "A Little More Country Than That" and "Roll With It."
In a six-month period, he received 13 country music award nominations and won three country music trophies. Most recently, he received three nominations from the Academy of Country Music Awards -- Top New Solo Vocalist as well as Single and Song of the Year for his debut hit, "A Little More Country Than That."
He won three 2010 American Country Awards, sweeping every breakthrough artist category - Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist, as well as Single of the Year: Breakthrough Artist and Music Video: Breakthrough Artist for "A Little More Country Than That." He tied with Lady Antebellum to earn the most fan-voted nominations, garnering seven. In addition, he received nominations for Best New Artist and Single and Song of the Year for "A Little More Country Than That" at the 2010 Country Music Association Awards.
Billboard named Easton the Top New Country Artist of 2010 and "Roll With It" the No. 6 Hot Country Song of the Year, while "A Little More Country Than That" was ranked No. 19. His album was also named Country Breakthrough Album of the Year by iTunes Rewind.
The Nashville Scene's 11th annual Country Music Critics' Poll named Easton the Best New Act of 2010 and included his self-titled album in its Best Albums list at No. 19. "A Little More Country Than That" was ranked No. 11 on its Best Singles list.
"This is a dream come true," he says. "This is something I've wanted all of my life. To be able to do this for a living and have people like it, I couldn't ask for any better. I am so blessed."
Born and raised in rural Gilchrist County, Fla., Easton spent much of his time on his grandparent's cattle farm after his parents divorced when he was young. "I lived a mile from the Suwannee River," he says. "I grew up fishing on it and I loved to work on The Farm. Every weekend, that's where I'd be."
A member of FFA and 4-H, Easton showed cattle at the local livestock fair. Growing up in the smallest county in the state on farmland nestled between two small towns had its advantages. "It's a close community," he says. "Everybody knows everybody.
"There's no Walmart there," he says. "There was a Hardee's, but it closed. That was the only franchise fast food place in the county. Trenton has a red light; Bell has a blinking light. It's a great place."
While no one in his family played a musical instrument, music was a big part of his upbringing. "My grandparents liked to watch the Opry," Easton remembers. "We'd start Saturday night off with ‘Hee Haw' and then ‘Opry Backstage' and then ‘Opry Live'."
It was also at his grandparent's house that he discovered a record player and his father and aunts' left-behind records in a front room. "I'd go in there and play those records for hours," he says.
When Easton was 15 years old he began taking guitar lessons from Pee Wee Melton, a local musician who had at one time played on sessions in Nashville. "He was a great mentor," Easton says. "He was a great player and a great teacher. He was a really big influence on me."
Every day when he got home from school, Easton would practice guitar for hours, sometimes until his fingers were raw, then help his grandfather around The Farm.
Encouraged by Melton, Easton began playing lead guitar in a local band. "I'd always wanted to play and sing, but up until that time I never really did it in public," he says. "We'd play school functions and parties. We were too young to play bars, but we played everything else."
An impromptu audition at a local music store led to a slot on the Suwannee River Jam, a nearby festival that attracts thousands of people and national touring acts. "It was just me and a guitar in front of a 40-acre field full of people," Easton remembers. "It was great."
Soon he was opening for other national acts when they played the area, including Janie Fricke and Mel McDaniel, the man whose song Easton had performed in the car years earlier.
After earning a business degree through the College of Agriculture at the University of Florida, Easton moved to Nashville. "I always knew I wanted to move up here," he says. "There was never any question about it. I didn't want to wake up one day and wish I would have tried it, but I had to get my education first so I had something to fall back on."
Easton, who had been making regular trips to Nashville to perform at writer's nights, took a day job at a local Ace Hardware.
When a distant cousin, also a professor of music management at the University of Montana, heard Easton's music, he asked if he could send it to some of his Nashville contacts. Among those who were impressed by Easton's music was booking agent James Yelich, who asked if he could hear him play in person. Easton, eager for a shot to pursue his dream, quickly agreed.
Also at the meeting was Joe Fisher, who had recently joined Universal Music Group Nashville as Senior Director of A&R. The two men were blown away and Fisher quickly signed him to the label.
Easton, whose musical influences include George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait and Keith Whitley, found a kindred spirit in producer Carson Chamberlain, who years earlier had toured with Whitley as his steel guitar player and bandleader. "We really hit it off," Easton says. "I love traditional music and he does too. I knew he was the producer for me."
The two men began working in earnest. "We worked our butts off trying to find the right songs," Easton says. The result is an over-the-top album that includes cuts from Nashville's top songwriters, including Mark D. Sanders, Wynn Varble, Tony Lane and David Lee, among others.
Like his heroes Strait and Whitley, Easton is unapologetically country. His songs, while rooted in the present, call to mind simpler times when the back porch was where folks gathered to network. Steel guitars and fiddles are as much a part of his sound as his baritone drawl.
First single, "A Little More Country Than That," which was written by Rory Feek, Don Poythress and Varble, paints a picture of rural life that speaks to Easton's small town sensibilities. "Even though I didn't write it, this song identifies who I am," he says. "It shows character and that's important where I'm from. You learn to say ‘yes, ma'am' and ‘no, sir,' and to open the door for the ladies."
Among the songs included on the album are four Easton co-wrote with Chamberlain and Sanders during a trip to Colorado. "When I came to Nashville I realized how important it was to write songs," Easton says. "The opportunity to sit in a room with experienced songwriters and learn their craft has helped me become a better writer.
"I'm still working and developing as a writer, but I was fortunate enough to get some songs on the album," Easton says, perhaps more humble than he needs to be.
"The Way Love Looks," which Easton co-wrote with Chamberlain and Sanders, is a love song pure and simple. "It's just a fun upbeat song," Easton says.
Tony Lane, David Lee and Johnny Park wrote "Roll With It," which speaks to the important things in life like sunsets and pick-up trucks. "I love that one," Easton says. "I can imagine listening to it just floatin' down the river on the boat on a Saturday."
The tender "I Can't Love You Back," written by Chamberlain, Clint Daniels and Jeff Hyde, is Easton's third single and has a universal message of loss. "It can mean different things for different people," Easton says. "She could have died, she could have left him-people can interpret it the way they feel."
Now that his life long dream is upon him, Easton says he's ready. "I just want to make great country music," he says. "Just the opportunity to play music for a living is a great thing. I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to do what I'm doing now."
"The things to me that last are things that are real," Clay Walker says. "Realness is what draws people in."
Keeping things real has been a priority for Clay Walker. That may be why on his new album, "She Won't Be Lonely Long," his second for Curb Records, Walker sounds as fresh and hungry as he did when he released his first hit, "What's It To You," 17 years ago.
And there have been plenty since. Of his nine previous albums, four are RIAA-certified platinum, two more are certified gold; among nearly three dozen singles, 11 have been No. 1. But Walker sounds like he's just getting started.
Like his 2007 Curb Records debut, Fall, Walker's new album, She Won't Be Lonely Long was produced by Keith Stegall. The collection of songs is as solid and filler-free as he's recorded over the course of 10 studio albums. Radio friendly? Hello, cover of Alabama's immortal "Feels So Right," with Randy Owen, the writer of the song and Alabama member, performing it as a duet with Walker.
It has special meaning for the singer, since the first concert he ever saw was an Alabama show in Beaumont, Texas, that Walker's mother took him to see. "I remember them taking the stage, and the emotion that came over my mom. I just fell in love with their performance, as entertainers, they influenced my wanting to become an entertainer; I think that's where the energy of my live show comes from. So the song has a special place in my life, and I'm proud to do it."
The album's first single is "She Won't Be Lonely Long," written by Galen Griffin, Phil O'Donnell and Doug Johnson. But the story, about a woman walking into a club with the decisive purpose of finding at least a temporary replacement for the fool who let her go, is one Walker has seen transpire from many a bandstand.
"I've played in bars my whole life," he says. "As a singer, you have a bird's eye view of everyone in the club. When a good looking woman walks in, you notice it. What makes it so real is that if a guy does a girl wrong, the first thing she wants to do is go out, look great, show him that you're not the best I ever had, I'm the best YOU ever had."
Three of the tunes were written with longtime writing sidekick M. Jason Greene, who like Walker grew up in the Beaumont area. "Summertime Song" is an easygoing pleasure, a song that began taking shape years ago when Walker was performing a solo gig and Greene bartending at a local Steak and Ale. It's a song that evokes good times, good friends, and the dangers of forgetting what the merciless sun can do to your skin on Galveston Beach.
Two of Walker's new compositions are likely to stir conversation and perhaps controversy: "Double Shot of John Wayne" and "All American." Walker makes it clear that the John Wayne reference in that roaring up-tempo song is not an embrace of machismo or a desire to return to simpler, more violent Western past, when men were men and settled disputes with six-guns at high noon. What inspired it was a nasty accident on a bike during an exercise stretch off the tour bus in Flagstaff, Arizona, a few years ago. "I shattered my helmet, I was bleeding from head to toe," Walker said. "I had to go onstage that night, I never missed show." Putting ointment on his torn skin made Walker ponder "the ruggedness of men," as epitomized by John Wayne. "It's not supposed to be about John Wayne, his tough persona, or being a man's man," he says. "It's about how you live, not how you die; you don't have to die to be a hero; being a hero is how you live every day."
"All American" is an attempt to quiet the dissonance and mutual disrespect that has characterized too much political discussion in recent years. As the song makes clear, "there's blue collar, white collar, but we all bleed red." The song is a rebuke to the racism Walker says he was exposed to growing up. "It's about not being prejudiced or judgmental," Walker says. In the song, Walker sings about having "a best friend with a funny last name/and a weird accent/and now he's an astronaut." Says Walker: "You can succeed in this country with a great work ethic, I really believe that. Everybody deserves a fair chance. Not everybody seizes it, but everybody deserves it."