USHER’S HARD TO LOVE
After dropping a string of singles throughout the year, Usher announced on a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance that his new album Hard II Love, the follow-up to 2012’s Looking 4 Myself, would arrive September 16.
“Four years ago, I put an album out, and now, after some ups, some downs…but officially tonight, my new album Hard II Love goes up for pre-order,” Usher said of his new LP, adding of the album’s cover art of an imperfect sculpture, “That is a bust of me done by Daniel Arsham.”
This year, Usher has unveiled new tracks like Chains, Crash and No Limit, along with the latter’s all-star Gmix, songs he promised would appear on his new album (which carried the working title Flawed).
“I find the inspiration every time I find a word: what is ‘flawed?’ It’s something that is not perfect. It’s a future relic of some sorts, to grow and blossom and gain texture,” he explained. “But it is those things, those tumultuous occurrences and things that happen in your life that define what it is, and in our country and us as people. All of these things are standards, and I became the inspiration. Now I can’t tell you yet at the end what it’s gonna be, and but right now it’s Flawed,” Usher told Ryan Seacrest in June.
Along with the preorder, Usher unveiled a pair of new LP tracks, the lurking Missin U and the rousing acoustic number Champions. The latter featured in the upcoming boxing film Hands of Stone, where Usher portrays Sugar Ray Leonard.
THE WALLS OF KINGS OF LEON
On October 14, Kings of Leon will release their seventh LP, Walls.
The band has been teasing the record on social media for a few days with a short clip of strange images soundtracked by a thumping kick, an eerie drone and singer Caleb Followill saying in a voiceover, “The walls come down.”
Kings of Leon retreated to Los Angeles — where they recorded their first two albums — to make Walls with producer Markus Dravs. In a new interview with Billboard, the band admitted their relationship with longtime producer Angelo Petraglia had grown too safe, and bassist Jared Followill noted the various ways Dravs kept them working and experimenting.
After the tension amongst band members and the lead taking hiatus in 2011, the band is in a good place says Caleb Followill to Entertainment Weekly: “We’re in the best place we’ve ever been. We’re enjoying what we’re doing, and we have a great relationship outside of making music. A lot of bands don’t make it this long, especially family bands. Right now we’re more excited than we’ve ever been to work.”
He goes on to explain that with this record, “We’re trying to change people’s perception of [us]. We have more depth on this album and more situations where we dipped our toe in before but never committed. Now we’re wanting to dive in. I know this is a pop-driven world and what we do isn’t necessarily at the top of the heap of music that people are listening to, but I feel like once people discover this album, it’s going to change them.”
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE DIGS ROOTS
Florida Georgia Line recently released its third album Dig Your Roots. And the band’s intention is that fans will listen to every single one of the 15 tracks.
“We’ve still got the party songs, we’ve got the feel good songs, the life songs, the sad songs,” the band’s Tyler Hubbard said in a recent radio interview. “We’ve kind of got it all on this album. That’s something we always take pride in from album one to now — just making sure that there’s not a song on there that you want to hit skip. And I think we’ve done that on this album, for sure.”
He goes on to say, “[We strive to] Always be real, transparent, vulnerable, and pick the best songs. Lots of songs come in for consideration, and we’ve had the motto of ‘better is better.’”
Brian Kelley chimes in to say he and Hubbard feel a responsibility to deliver strong music, especially considering the collaborations this album afforded them with Tim McGraw, Ziggy Marley and the Backstreet Boys.
“Those were based on digging our roots,” added Hubbard. “It was a blessing to be singing with people we grew up with and who have influenced our music.”
Calypso Magic is a tropical music performance act featuring Skip Elliott Bowman on the steel pan. Skip is a seasoned musician that has played around the world and delights in personally researching his instruments and genres. With an enjoyable blend of island sounds and pop/country favorites mixed with a Caribbean groove and even classical music, Calypso Magic shares the sounds of paradise! Take in some relaxing tunes with Calypso Magic on:
– September 1, 6 – 8, 13 – 15, 20 – 22 & 27 – 29: 12:30 pm at Bert’s Bar in Matlacha, FL.
– September 2 – 4, 9 – 11, 16 – 18 & 23 – 25: 1 pm at Bert’s Bar in Matlacha, FL.
THE DEL PRADO’S
The Del Prado’s are a Southwest Florida Oldies Tribute group playing music from the 50’s and 60’s. The band came together in 2002 and has performed with a slew of artists including The Platters, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, The Mystics and many more.
– September 1: 6:30 pm at the Cape Coral Yacht Club in Cape Coral, FL.
– September 16: 7 pm at the Cape Cabaret in Cape Coral, FL.
– September 17: 6:30 – 9:30 pm at The Shell Factory’s Dolphin Room in Fort Myers, FL.
Anthony Wayne picked up a guitar at age seven and grew into a seasoned, professional musician. His versatility and wide range of musical influences include Rob Thomas, Todd Snider, Eric Clapton and many more. This allows him to play classic and modern rock with the edge of a seasoned rocker. Catch up with a soundtrack to the soul on:
– September 10, 14, 17, 21, 24 & 28: 5:30 pm at Dixie Fish Co. in Fort Myers Beach, FL.