sam-hunt-super-bowl-51-2017-concertPITTSBURGH – Music is largely based on mood. What music fits this moment I’m currently in?

Driving down the highway on a sunny, 75° degree day would likely elicit a different mental response than sitting inside a cold apartment, when it’s rainy and 43° degrees outside. There are millions of different scenarios like this – this is just one.

But it’s an important part of making and curating playlists, especially when it comes to specific genres of music, relative to the playlist you are making.

For instance, my personal preference of listening to country music largely depends on the weather. And because 95% of the country songs I prefer are of the ‘upbeat’ variety, listening to upbeat songs usually doesn’t fit the mood of the cold, dreary winter months¹

But now, with April upon us and the summer months on the horizon, the country songs and playlists on my iPhone are getting more and more streams each and everyday.

Below is a list of 11 songs that are currently in heavy rotation. They are ordered in sequence of when they were added to the playlist – not in order of best to worst.

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Sam Hunt

PITTSBURGH – In the mid-2000’s Keith Urban changed the path of country music forever.¹

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PITTSBURGH – At the beginning of the year I was having a conversation with my Dad about golf; specifically the new breed of golfers who are now leading the charge as the world’s best players.

As a man in his mid-60’s who follows the game closely, he had a particularly slanted, “get off my lawn” attitude toward the 20-somethings (Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler) who have taken the place once held by the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.

As the conversation continued, I told him, “Get used to it or follow another sport, because these are the guys you’re going to be seeing at the top of the leaderboards for the next 10 years.”

I bring up this conversation because country music has reached the same tipping point.

Florida Georgia Line and Sam Hunt ushered in the current movement, while neo-traditionalists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Kip Moore have updated their sounds in the same mold  – i.e., drum machines, synths, programmed beats, electric guitars, guest raps and flourishes of R&B.

This brings us to Thomas Rhett.

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Luke Bryan (Kill The Lights)

PITTSBURGH – A little over a minute into Luke Bryan’s new song “Kick The Dust Up”, amidst the tap of the drum machine, Bryan’s filtered vocal and the swirl of lightly crescendoing synthesizers, you almost expect Kane Beatz to announce he is in the building.

But Luke Bryan and his myriad of song doctors, managers and handlers know that would be the equivalent of having their cake and eating it too.

So they settle for a simple reroute back into the second verse where a twangy guitar plays over a simple, upbeat drum pattern amidst acoustic guitar strums and Bryan singing of a packed bar where the line is out the door.

Therein lies the beauty (and genius) of Luke Bryan – he knows exactly how far to take things.

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Apple Music Playlist

PITTSBURGH – In the past month and a half – since Apple officially went live on June 30th with its new streaming service Apple Music – over 11 million people (including yours truly) have subscribed to the service.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – What is the Paleo Diet?

Is it, as some have said, the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic!

Or is it a new diet fad that has come along in our newfound, gluten-free society?

I like to think it’s a little bit of both.

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Let Nick Saban be the one to tell you, when you play video games you spend time as opposed to investing time.

As he says, “When you spend time you play X-Box. That’s spending time. It accomplishes nothing…blowing people up on that thing doesn’t do you any good. It doesn’t help you accomplish anything.”

To his point, just how much time is spent playing video games?

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In the midst of Louisville’s 85-63, Final Four clinching victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday, Cardinal sophomore Kevin Ware suffered quite possibly the most gruesome leg injury in the history of competitive sports.

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Just four days after winning Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and seven other awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 3 Mark of Excellence Awards, The University of Alabama student newspaper, The Crimson White, announced freshman reporter Madison Roberts fabricated sources in several news stories dating back to Jan. 10 of this year.

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After 14 years and wealth of success one could only dream of, Mal Moore officially stepped down today from his job as University of Alabama Athletics Director, citing “factors related to his health” as the main reason for his resignation.

The 73-year-old Moore, who played and coached for Paul ”Bear” Bryant” has been hospitalized at Duke University Medical Center since March 13 with pulmonary problems. This is the second time Moore has been hospitalized with health related problems over the past year.

He will now serve as a special assistant under UA President Judy Bonner.

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