Tag Archives: Luke McMaster

Made In The “Shade”: Jim Brickman and Luke McMaster Collaborate Once More

It takes two to make a thing go right.

Two is better than one.

Here we go again! Fresh off of one collaboration and a successful tour together in the winter with a few other friends, pianist Jim Brickman and guitarist/vocalist Luke McMaster are reunited and it feels so good. While McMaster has been promoting his latest release, the title track from his solo album All Roads, in Canada, the two were back in the studio crafting up this confection. It’s set to go to radio on July 8, and the song is called “Every Shade Of You”. It was first performed in March at Brickman’s Celebration Of The 70’s concert sponsored by Crystal Light with the hope that the beverage company would eventually pick it up in an advertising campaign. So, you may just be hearing it on the tube and on the airwaves in the coming months. First, a little background on our two fine gentlemen.

After charting on the Adult Contemporary radio survey for over fifteen years (beginning in 1996) with and without guest vocalists, 51-year-old Brickman found his next collaborator in 37-year-old McMaster, formerly of the Canadian duo McMaster & James. Though they had some initial success in Canada in 2000 and 2001, they parted ways soon afterwards and McMaster was involved in a few different projects in-between that and his time with the piano man. They seemed to hit it off real well, and their sessions together provided the two with the 2012 Adult Contemporary hit, “Good Morning Beautiful”. It was serviced to the format in September, while a Christmas-themed version, “Merry Christmas Beautiful”, was at radio a few weeks later just before some stations flipped to all-Christmas music in early November.

The strategy has become (almost) a yearly tradition for Brickman, which initially started in 2003 with a #1 chart single in “Sending You A Little Christmas”, a song featuring a vocal by Kristy Starling. Similar titles with vocals by Richie McDonald (of Lonestar) and Olivia Jade Archbold both charted in the top ten in 2007 and 2011, respectively. However, the idea of creating an original song that has nothing to do with the holidays with a Christmas version that will ultimately replace it during its run is a tricky concept, and he’s done it with Wayne Brady in 2005, Geoff Byrd in 2006 and Adam Crossley in 2009. It’s paid off; in each occurrence, the original version becomes a moderate success halfway into fall, and then, boom, it’s Christmas time and it’s in the top 5. “Good” turned “Merry” ended up peaking at #3. So, fair warning now, don’t be surprised if we get a “Every Shade Of Yule” edit in a few months. (Please don’t get any ideas, guys.)

Now, the song itself… “Every Shade Of You” is pretty cute, but it’s nothing new in the musical landscape. If Train‘s “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Rhythm Of Love” by the Plain White T’s had a love child, that’s basically this song in a nutshell. I realize that description is oversimplifying it a little bit, but listen to the song and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. It’s a breezy tune about a guy who paints a virtual picture of his love, who “colored my life/With your own designs, outside the lines/And that’s what makes it fun,” going onto describe the various reasons why she’s so darn colorful. Ain’t that cute? It’s sure to be a hit on that same radio format, and I’m sure it will get a few dozen spins on Brickman’s weekend radio program, Your Weekend With Jim Brickman. It airs on a few dozen stations in the U.S. and Canada, so check his website if you want to listen in.

This summer, you can check out Jim Brickman and his comrades on several dates, including the Brickman Bash on July 18-21 in Nashville, TN, which includes performances, tours and roundtable discussions. He’s also be touring again with his The Magic Of Christmas show beginning in mid-November. I’m sure Mr. McMaster will be catching up with Brickman then as well. For now, he has a new baby girl in his life, Marlowe. Of course, the dynamic duo are also giving birth to this musical child, and the cradle will soft rock once again.

Listen to an acoustic version of “Every Shade Of You” and the studio version from Brickman’s forthcoming album.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Jan. 22)

A little more Country than that.

A little more Country than that.

Ready for a busier week of new albums hitting the shelves? Here are the new releases out in stores on Tuesday, January 22:

  • Country veteran Gary Allan returns with Set You Free, his ninth studio album. Leadoff single “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” is currently a top 5 record on Country radio, his biggest hit in five years. Expect that to give this newest release of his a big boost. Allan has yet to score a #1 album, but he’s made the top 5 with his last three consecutive albums. (iTunes)
  • Also pulling into the Release Ranch this week is the third album from Randy Houser, How Country Feels. The title track is currently #1 at Country radio. His only other top ten record was “Boots On”, a #2 hit in 2009. (iTunes)
  • The GRAMMY Awards are almost here! This 22-track compilation features songs by big nominees like fun., Gotye, Kelly Clarkson and more. (iTunes)
  • Popular Christian group Casting Crowns release their first acoustic-based compilation, The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One. It also features two new songs. (iTunes)
  • Punk Rockers Bad Religion returns with True North, their first album since 2010. (iTunes)
  • His first single was released way back in 1960 and he’s still singing today. Aaron Neville‘s latest album, out today, is My True Story, another album of cover songs. (iTunes)
  • My personal pick of the week belongs to Luke McMaster‘s All Roads. His debut album features his recent adult contemporary hit with Jim Brickman, “Good Morning Beautiful”, as well as remakes of tunes by Al Jarreau and Hall & Oates. (iTunes)
  • Just in time for award season, Mumford & Sons release a deluxe edition of their album Babel, the Gentlemen Of The Road Edition. It’s also available in a box set version. (Amazon)
  • Two albums get a released today that are Valentine’s Day themed: Billy Joel‘s She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a collection of eighteen of his classic hits (Amazon) and Now! That’s What I Call Love Songs, a collection of titles by various artists. (Amazon)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Now”, the first single from Paramore‘s self-titled forthcoming album. (AmazonMP3)
  • “Love Me”, the latest from Lil Wayne, featuring additional rappers Drake and Future. (iTunes)

See you on Tuesday, the 29th, for the next edition!

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