Zac Brown

Country Spotlight: Sonia Leigh

October 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm , by

Is it possible for an entire NYC magazine staff to collectively crush on a country artist? Apparently the answer is yes. Sonia Leigh blends country, blues, rock and soul so masterfully that I could’ve probably made a fortune selling “I ♥ Sonia Leigh” T-shirts after her recent visit to the LHJ offices. Even despite the fact that she was battling a cold, Leigh (accompanied by bandmate/guitarist Will Harrison*) belted out five tunes for us on the eve of the release of her latest CD, 1978 December, wowing everyone with her thoughtful lyrics and raw, honest delivery. From the tongue-in-(liquored-up) cheek “Bar” to the achingly wistful title track, Leigh more than proved why she’s currently billed as a Listen Up! Artist over at CMT. Some staffers picked up a Janis Joplin vibe, while others threw out names like Lucinda Williams and even Johnny Cash. (The fact that she’s an Arrested Development fan who’s Tweeted us a favorite catchphrase only makes us love her more.)

* “I ♥ Will Harrison” T-shirts sold separately.

1978 December is a release off of Zac Brown‘s Southern Ground Artists label, and Brown (a close friend and mentor) appears twice on the record (“Bar”, “Roaming”). There’s also a great guest vocal from Amy Ray on “Virginia” for all you Indigo Girls fans out there.

Be sure to check out our up-close-and-personal video (below) of Leigh and Harrison entertaining our staff with acoustic versions of “Ain’t Dead Yet”, the highly addictive “My Name is Money” and “1978 December.” Once you’re hooked (and you will be … so just let me know your shirt size), continue on after the jump for bonus footage of Leigh getting us thirsty with the CD’s “Bar” and “A Poem From the Ocean Floor.”

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LHJ Hits the CMT Music Awards Red Carpet

June 6, 2011 at 9:09 am , by

Nashville is gearing up to host its biggest party of the year and I’m just about busting out of my boots. On Wednesday, I’ll be joining in on the fun by camping out on the CMT Music Awards red carpet. I’ll, of course, be gawking at the scene’s hottest acts as they arrive for the show, but also asking them the questions you want to know. It’s country music’s fan-voted awards show, after all, so we thought the fans (our readers!) should also weigh in on what we should ask. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at rckcountrycat so you can keep up with all the excitement in real time.

Some really big names are going to be there: host Kid Rock,  Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Sugarland, Luke Bryan, Sara Evans, the Zac Brown Band, Shania Twain, American IdolsScotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina and more. Even Justin Bieber (who’s nominated with Rascal Flatts for Collaborative Video of the Year) will be there!

So let me know your questions for the nominees and presenters. Fire away and post them below. I’ll do my best to get as many answered on the red carpet as I can. And if you just want to weigh in on who you think should win, let us hear that as well.

In the meantime, continue on after the jump for some videos from the talented acts that will be joining LHJ and CMT for our second annual afternoon of Do Good volunteering at Feeding America’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. We’ll be partnering with CMT One Country to help stuff backpacks for Feeding America’s BackPack program, which provides nutritious food to those school children who need it most. In fact, instead of giving out those pricey gift bags full of electronics and other goodies most awards shows give out to talent, CMT opts to make a generous donation to the BackPack program instead. It’s a great idea, and we’re thrilled about helping prep the much needed backpacks for distribution.

Check out the amazing talent we have joining us at out volunteer afternoon at Feeding America, including Steel Magnolia, who are up for best Duo Video of the Year for “Last Night Again” at this year’s CMT Music Awards. We were lucky enough to have Josh and Meghan visit us in the office this year to do a rockin’ acoustic set for our staff. To see videos from the other great artists (Crystal BowersoxJimmy Wayne, Carter’s Chord, Margaret Durante and Coldwater Jane) we’re excited to have joining us for our volunteer adventure, read on after the jump:

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