Blog Posts by Wendy Geller

  • Meet Jessta James: He Loves Country, Southern Rock…And Hip-Hop Too!

    Photo: Ryan Russell

    Mixing different musical genres with country is nothing new at this point -- in fact, some may say it's become a bit of a trend these days -- but it's safe to say not too many country artists found their way to Nashville via a hip-hop route.

    That's exactly what happened to Jessta James, however. Although you'd probably never guess it by listening to his debut album, Time To Get Right, the Montana native discovered his initial love of songwriting through rapping. The hip-hop world led him to Los Angeles, where he cut his musical teeth working with a number of high-profile names in the industry, before deciding he wanted to mix up a sound all his own. And that sound involved a lot of his favorite genre, country. He found his connection to the country world via an Atlanta-based music producer, who believed in James's aural "vision" and co-wrote music which they eventually brought to Nashville.

    Now he's a country boy through and through, but James will never forget his multi-genre past--which even saw him opening up for rappers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in cowboy boots!

    We had the opportunity to hang out with James for a bit and get his take on the unique musical blend he's brought to the country scene.

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  • Sean McNabb of Dokken (Photo: Jason Squires)

    Grammy-nominated metal legends Dokken have in their repertoire a 1984 hit, "Just Got Lucky," and that title was particularly apt this weekend. The band, along with fellow '80s hitmakers Ratt, were taking a short flight on Saturday afternoon from Moline, Illinois to their next tour stop in the Chicago area when their chartered jet's cockpit caught fire, necessitating an emergency landing.

    As we said, though, lucky: Nobody was hurt, just a little shaken up. "Unreal," noted Dokken bassist Sean McNabb."Aborted landing, we had some sort of smoke on the plane. We were just doing our normal thing, sitting there telling stories, and we saw the cockpit open, and it was full of smoke. The pilots had their oxygen masks on. We saw a pilot jump up really fast with a worried look on his face, so then we got worried."

    Read More »from Members of Dokken, Ratt, Caught in Flaming Charter Jet; Forced to Make Emergency Landing
  • Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer: Splitsville?

    Photo: Rick DiamondEveryone loves a cute country couple, and engaged sweethearts Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer seemed poised to be the next Nashville husband-and-wife power team. Alas, it seems that will not happen: The pair have allegedly broken up.

    A report from People on Thursday noted that a source confirmed the split, explaining, "They are both so busy right now...They are both on the road and have to spend a lot of time apart, which isn't ideal for any couple, let alone a couple trying to plan a wedding."

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  • Chris Young Hospitalized With Leg Infection; Cancels Shows

    Photo: Mindy SmallCountry star Chris Young was in the middle of a busy touring schedule this week, when all of a sudden his plans went totally awry. The singer was en route to his Wednesday tour stop in Montana, but instead found himself in an ambulance and is now recovering from a leg infection in a Denver hospital.

    Young had no idea there was a problem until the symptoms set in. "I didn’t even know I was sick,” he said. “One minute I was fine then suddenly I’m being rushed to the hospital."

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  • Carrie Underwood Shines as ‘GMA’ Co-Host, But Stumbles Over Her Own Song

    When "American Idol" Carrie Underwood showed up on "Good Morning America" Monday to take on co-hosting duties, the singer (a former college journalism major) handled her role admirably, handling reports on everything from Vogue magazine's new issue to adoptable puppies with aplomb.

    The only moment that she did falter? Ironically, it was related to her own award-winning music career!

    Read More »from Carrie Underwood Shines as ‘GMA’ Co-Host, But Stumbles Over Her Own Song
  • Photo: Frederick Breedon IVCountry fans across the nation have no doubt set their DVRs to make sure not to miss Monday night's "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock," which was filmed in June in the thick of CMA Fest funtime and features performances from all of country's currently hottest acts.

    Here's a treat for those who just can't wait until Monday, however. We at Yahoo! Music are excited to have an exclusive sneak peek at Grammy award-winning trio Lady Antebellum's stellar set for the program. The group blazes through a string of hits, including "We Owned The Night," "American Honey," "Downtown," and "Lookin' For A Good Time."

    Read More »from Exclusive! Grab a Sneak Peek at Lady Antebellum on ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’
  • LeAnn Rimes’ New TV Show: Bad, Bad Idea?

    Photo: Michael TranSo, yes, it's true. LeAnn Rimes and husband Eddie Cibrian really have signed on to be the next couple opening up their life to the TV cameras. "LeAnn & Eddie" (or whatever it ends up being called) is set to air on Vh1 either later this year or in 2014.

    According to a statement from Vh1, the show (it's not exactly clear if it's going to be scripted or pure reality) is going to be a humorous and fun look at the Cibrians, as well as a chance to show that there's "so much more" to them than what one reads in the tabloids.

    “We are really excited to be working together on a unique show that will give you a glimpse into who we really are or better yet who we’re really not," Rimes stated.

    I can't help but be a little disappointed by her decision to undertake this, for the simple reason that I am in awe of that one thing that has been woefully overlooked in the past five years, and will likely continue to be swept under the rug further with the release of this latest project.

    That's Rimes's immense musical talent, of course.

    Read More »from LeAnn Rimes’ New TV Show: Bad, Bad Idea?
  • Lady Gaga Bares All (Yes, All) in the Name of Art

    Just when you think you've seen it all from Lady Gaga ... she is, literally, letting fans see it all! The superstar's latest eyebrow-raising antic is a video clip in which she appears completely nude. Yep, 100% without clothing.

    Gaga being Gaga, however, this bit of non-work-safe clippage is, of course, performed with an artistic mission in mind. In this case, it's her alliance with Marina Abramovic, a pioneering performance artist whose work has made headlines since the 1970s.

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  • Kenny Chesney on Riley Cooper: ‘Hateful Beyond Words’

    Photo: Ronald MartinezIt's no secret that Kenny Chesney is a sports fan, and that he has many friends and fans in the pro sports world who admire his work right back. However, Chesney isn't afraid to speak out when one of them cross a line, as Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper did at one of Chesney's tour stops in July.

    As you likely have already heard by now, Cooper was caught on a (now-viral) video, using a particularly offensive racial slur at Chesney's Philadelphia show. He then was invited up on stage with Chesney — along with some other Eagles, including the team's coach — resulting in some inadvertent bad PR overall for the country singer, and perhaps the country community as a whole by default.

    Read More »from Kenny Chesney on Riley Cooper: ‘Hateful Beyond Words’
  • Robin Thicke Teams With Jimmy Fallon for G-Rated ‘Blurred Lines’

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    It's the song that's impossible to get away from: Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has not only been played in its proper form to near exhaustion this summer, it's also sparked an impressive number of parodies starring everyone from Bill Clinton to Thicke's own dad, actor Alan Thicke.

    So, that said, we'll forgive you if you sigh in exasperation at the thought of yet another alternate treatment of this megahit. However, we're pretty sure you won't want to miss this one. It's guaranteed to put a smile on even the Thicke-est case of depression.

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