Tag Archives: WCW

NECM’s WCW Spotlight: Carrie Underwood

We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for “Women Crush Wednesday,” is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing it in the country music scene.

Let’s change things up a bit for this week and talk about one of the current powerhouse women in the country music scene, Carrie Underwood. Little did anyone know that the blonde-haired, farm girl from Checotah, Oklahoma was going to become a household name. Growing up in a religious home, Underwood began singing at church when she was quite young and continued singing in local talent shows in and around her home town. She was a well-rounded teenager, playing sports like softball and basketball, cheerleading for the blue and white Checotah High School Wildcats, and graduating as the salutatorian. After high school she attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. Her academic success continued as she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Mass Communications. Like many college students, she worked her tail off at various jobs including a zoo, a veterinary clinic, and a pizzeria. She could have never known back then that today, she would have over eleven million Facebook followers. How quickly life can change!

Underwood’s life changed completely in the spring of 2005, after winning the fourth season of American Idol. The soon to be thirty-six-year-old vegan is not only a super talented vocalist, she is also an accomplished songwriter and actress. Her very first single, ‘Inside Your Heaven,’ released in June 2005, was the only single by a solo country artist between 2000-2009 to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Five months later, she dropped her first full length album, ‘Some Hearts.’ It debuted as number one on Billboard Top Country Albums and went on to become the best-selling country album in the United States for 2006 and 2007. It is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA. Two years later, in 2007, Underwood released her second album, ‘Carnival Ride.’ It sold over half a million copies in its first week. It is certified four times multi-platinum. Another two years passed and then Underwood released her third album, ‘Play On,’ which sold over 300,000 copies in its first week. She went on to release her fourth album, ‘Blown Away’ in 2012, her fifth album, ‘Storyteller’ in 2015, and her sixth album, ‘Cry Pretty’ in 2018. Although music has been her predominant career, she has immersed herself in the world of acting. In February 2010, she performed a voice-over on PBS’s classic show Sesame Street. A couple months later, she took on her first major acting role as “Tiffany” on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Her first film role was in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer. And in 2013, Underwood appeared in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live as Maria von Trapp. With six albums under her belt and some time on the big screen, we’re confident that Carrie Underwood will continue to impress us.

Since she came into our lives, Carrie Underwood has sold sixty-five million records worldwide. She has had twenty-six number one singles, co-writing thirteen of them. She has won seven GRAMMY awards, ten Billboard Music Awards, fourteen ACM Awards, eighteen CMT Music Awards, and nine CMA Awards. She has been a member of the Grande Ole Opry for over ten years. Billboard referred to her as “the ultimate Idol success story.” Forbes mentioned that Underwood was “the most successful American Idol winner of all time, with more albums sold and more revenue generated than any of the other contestants in the show’s 15 seasons.” Though she may have had her start on Idol, there’s absolutely no stopping her now.

The happily married mom has two little ones. Isaiah will be turning four next month and Jacob was born just last week! I’m sure you didn’t miss Carrie’s social media pictures that were released shortly after giving birth to Jacob, gorgeous as ever and make-up free! We are so excited for her growing family and also for her Cry Pretty Tour which is set to start in May of 2019. Joining her on tour are two other groups of dynamic women in country music, Maddie and Tae and Runaway June. Be sure to catch them all when they stop in Boston, MA at the TD Garden on Thursday, October 10th.

Don’t forget to download one of our favorite Carrie Underwood songs, ‘Love Wins,’ from her album ‘Cry Pretty’ on iTunes here.

‘The Fighter,’ a collaboration with Keith Urban, can be found on his album ‘Ripcord.’ You can download it from iTunes here.

Stay connected with Carrie Underwood by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Be on the lookout for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, February 13th.

NECM’s WCW Spotlight: Lindsay Ell.

Welcome 2019! We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for Women Crush Wednesday, is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing the country music scene.

It is not easy for women to get their songs played on country music radio. Just as recently as early December, there were no females featured on the Top 20 of Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart. The gender gap in country music is certainly not new. Going back to 2015, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone Country all called this “Country Music’s Women Problem.” The New York Times even referred to it as “Country’s War on Women.” Though these words may feel a little harsh, there’s no arguing that country music is primarily a male-dominated scene. Some may argue that it’s because “women just aren’t making good enough music when compared to the men” or “women would rather listen to bro-country.” Neither of which is true. Many women are releasing incredible music. Despite the legacy left by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, it’s certainly a difficult road to success for today’s women in country music. We, at NECM, are huge supporters of females taking this journey. By spotlighting them, we are hoping to provide you with some background, and most importantly, the reasons why you should spend time listening to these amazingly artistic women.

The first artist we are spotlighting here is none other than the multi-gifted Lindsay Ell. The soon to be thirty-year-old was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ell discovered her love of music at the early age of six, when she started playing the piano. A couple years later, when she was eight, she picked up the guitar. She began dabbling in songwriting at the age of ten. Her strengths go well beyond her unprecedented musical ability. She is a perpetual learner, in every aspect of life. Ell even went on to graduate from high school a year early as the valedictorian of her class. She continued her quest for knowledge by studying business at The University of Calgary and music at our very own Massachusetts-based Berklee College of Music (online). Lindsay Ell moved to Nashville in 2010 to pursue her career in music city. It was here that she signed with Stoney Creek Records. In 2013, Ell released her first single, ‘Trippin’ on Us.’ It became the most added song for country music radio in both the U.S. and Canada, with over fifty first week adds. Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and piano are just some of the instruments that she has mastered over the years. She is a true “guitar geek” frequently playing her Martin acoustic guitars and her custom Gibson Les Paul Goddess. She took the definition of “artist” to the next level by going as far as to hand paint several guitars. Each custom paint design represented a song on her EP. Ell released her debut six-song EP, ‘Worth the Wait’ in March of 2017. Only five months later, in August of 2017, she dropped her first full length album, ‘The Project.’ A few tracks that are definitely worth a listen are: ‘Waiting on You,’ ‘Criminal,’ and ‘Wildfire.’ Though they are each unique, they all showcase the brilliant way she dominates the guitar. Adding to her accomplishments, Ell made her Grand Ole Opry debut back in April of 2014. She has been on tour with renowned artists including The Band Perry, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, and Keith Urban.

Just a couple weeks ago, in mid-December, Ell teamed up with Brantley Gilbert – think ‘Bottoms Up’ and ‘The Ones That Like Me.’ The duo released a new single ‘What Happens in a Small Town.’ Written by Gilbert, Brock Berryhill, Josh Dunne, and Rhett Akins, it is a strong power ballad. Nash Country Daily mentioned that Gilbert said: “This song builds and burns. It really has that want for someone you can’t have, and having to live in all the places they are. I wanted to have someone on the record who could match those feelings, to really push the song. It’s not just any female who makes sense, and we knew that. But Lindsay is a whole other kind of artist, and she understands that power.” This tune showcases Lindsay Ell’s incredible vocals as well as her ability to shred on the guitar. Definitely keep an eye on Lindsay Ell, as this woman is well on her way to becoming a powerhouse in the country music scene.  

So, if you’re still working on that new year’s resolution for 2019, let us make it an easy one! Give Lindsay Ell a listen, request her music be played on your local country radio stations, and follow her on social media. Let’s continue to support the great women of country music.

You can listen to ‘The Project’ on iTunes here.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in Country Music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday January 16th.

You can listen to ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ on iTunes here.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with Lindsay Ell by visiting her website.

You can also and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.