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Country comes to the White House

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 – Country came to the White House Tuesday as Alison Krauss + Union Station, Brad Paisley and Charley Pride all performed as part of a musical series before President and Mrs. Obama.

"I know folks think I'm a city boy, but I do appreciate listening to country music," said President Obama before the concert started. "It's about folks telling their life story the best way they know how."

Paisley sang the title song of his new CD, "American Saturday Night," and his new single Welcome to the Future. Both deal with the American melting pot and racial relations.

Paisley dedicated I Thought I Loved You Then to the Obamas, offering they play it on a romantic night on Air Force One.

Paisley and Krauss sang their hit duet, Whiskey Lullaby, a haunting ballad about heartbreak and alcoholism.

Krauss played Ghost in This House. Her guitarist, Dan Tyminski, took over lead vocals for I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.

Pride, the best known black country singer ever, played his hits Is Anybody Going to San Antone and Mountain of Love.

In the afternoon, Paisley and Krauss met about 120 young musicians, mostly high school students from Virginia and Tennessee. Paisley sang his hit Letter to Me, about an adult writing to his high school self.

More news

CD reviews

Music in My Heart CD review - Music in My Heart
Charley Pride shows with "Music In My Heart" that he is still in fine voice at the age of 79 with this collection of mostly obscure covers. The most recognizable are effective takes on Merle Haggard's "That's The Way It Was In '51" and the Tommy Collins penned "New Patches" most notably recorded by Mel Tillis and George Jones. Pride prominently represents the acclaimed though underappreciated Canadian group the Mercey Brothers. »»»
Wheelhouse CD review - Wheelhouse
Brad Paisley isn't content to keep doing the same old. In fact, this is probably the least traditional country outing in his career. Yet, a few things remain intact - great guitar playing and singing and a sense of humor without being too kitschy. In fact, Paisley manages to combine the ultra serious with his typical sense of humor. The seriousness is never more apparent from Paisley than on the controversial Accidental Racist with LL Cool J, who helped write and perform it. »»»
Paper Airplane CD review - Paper Airplane
If we've learned anything over the 7 years that have passed since the last Alison Krauss & Union Station record (2004's "Lonely Runs Both Ways"), it's that Krauss doesn't necessarily need her band for success. And the same can be said for the band regarding Krauss. During the hiatus, Krauss scored a mega-hit with "Raising Sand," her collaboration with Robert Plant from 2007. At the same time, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dan Tyminski and Dobro »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lane, Ramsey, Barrett cover their bases – Covers played a far more prominent role than usual at a country show. And instead of what is typically the least course of resistance in recent years of country artists succumbing to their renditions of a rock hit, Chris Lane, Mason Ramsey and Gabby Barrett played songs that actually were country hits. Interestingly, the youngest of the bunch, Ramsey,... »»»
Concert Review: Mumford and Sons up to snuff, for the most part – Mumford and Sons have always played it smart when it has come to career moves. They have not overtoured by becoming regular fixtures on the touring circuit. Their M.O. is to tour just enough upon an album release and then disappear for a stretch. Ditto for releasing new music ("Delta" just came out last month, Mumford's first release... »»»
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