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Bryan White, Erika PageBryan White and his wife, actress Erika Page, are doing an admirable job balancing two careers and two young sons, Justin and Jackson. Bryan is now on a long radio tour promoting his new album, 'Dustbowl Dreams,' while Erika has been focusing on her family since leaving the daytime soap 'One Life to Live' ... although she worked briefly on 'Days of Our Lives' last year and plans to film a drama entitled 'The Singing River' this year.

Given her line of work, which sometimes requires doing steamy love scenes, it wouldn't be surprising if Bryan received a visit from the green-eyed-monster from time to time, but the singer says that's not the case.

"No, I don't get jealous," Bryan tells The Boot. "I don't see any reason for me to watch [those love scenes] so I don't choose to watch it. When I get to a point like that, I kind of know it's coming, I'll flip to another channel. One time we were working on vocals, and we took a break and turned on TV, and there was my wife in a steamy love scene, and we all looked at each other and went, 'Wow!' and just turned it back off. We said, 'Maybe we should just get back to work.'"

Bryan and Erika, who will celebrate 10 years of marriage in October, make an effort to keep their love alive without taking each other for granted.

"We try to shake things up and keep surprising each other," Bryan explains. "Life can become mundane and just feeling like you're going through the motions sometimes. For one, with our kids, there's never a dull moment. But, we have to take time to go do fun things for us. So we make a strong point to get a babysitter."

For Bryan and Erika, a night out doesn't have to be glamorous. Sometimes simple fun is best. "We take time to do something fun together -- which is just going out and grabbing a bite to eat. We're nerds too. Sometimes we'll go to Borders with a cup of coffee, and we'll just grab a pile of magazines and sit in a corner. I think that's the important thing -- shaking it up and making sure you're spending quality time with each other. Because sometimes you can feel like you're just passing each other in the hallway doing all the stuff we've got to do. You've got to stop and look up."

Bryan's latest album, 'Dustbowl Dreams,' is in stores now.

Download Bryan White Songs

From The Boot

by Pat Gallagher

Bryan White, who has co-written hit songs for the likes of Diamond Rio ('Imagine That') and Sawyer Brown ('I Don't Believe in Goodbye'), has also charted 17 singles himself, including six No. 1's such as 'Someone Else's Star' and 'Rebecca Lynn.' The Boot caught up with Bryan at his home in Nashville to find out where he was when he heard his first record on the radio.

This would have been, I'm guessing, '95 ... and I was maybe all of 20 [years old] at the time. I was on an independent label, and we were on a real extensive radio tour on the west coast. We were on our way to Tucson to visit a radio station. On the way, I heard my single, which was a song called 'Eugene, You Genius.' It was an uptempo, fun kind of thing -- a tongue-in-cheek kind of song.

I heard it on the radio, and I freaked out so much so that I made the label rep find a convenience store to pull over because we didn't have cell phones then. We pulled over, and I got the number from my rep and went in and called the station from the pay phone, and they put me on the air. I was so jazzed, because that was literally the first time I had heard my voice on the airwaves. I thanked them and just told them how much I appreciated that. I made sure that they knew that was the literally the first time I heard myself just driving down the road! I wish I still had a copy of that audio of me calling in. That would be so special to have. I can visually see it. I can still see where I'm at, what the gas station looked like, and the rep who was with me was smiling.

Honestly, still today, it never gets old. I don't care how many hit records you have, when you hear your song on the radio or in the mall or in the grocery store, part of you is so excited, you want to go tap everybody on the shoulder [and say]: 'Do you know who that is?' [laughs]

2009 offered up a treasure trove of high quality country music, and we’ve compiled a list of the year’s 50 best country songs.

In order to a be considered for this list, a song must have appeared on an album released during the 2009 calendar year. Radio singles that appeared on 2008 albums but which were primarily promoted to radio in 2009 remained eligible so long as they did not appear on the previous year’s list.


The 9513’s 50 Best Country Songs of 2009


50. “Devil’s Best Dress” – Corb Lund
49. “These Cowboys Born Out of Their Time” – Gretchen Peters and Tom Russell
48. “Midnight At The Movies” – Justin Townes Earle
47. “Circles Around Me” – Sam Bush
46. “Cattleman’s Gun” – Dean Brody
45. “A Long Time Ago” – Chuck Mead
44. “Give Me Jesus” – Sara Watkins
43. “Warm Kentucky Sunshine” – Adam Steffey and Allison Krauss
42. “Money, Compliments, Publicity (Song Number 10)” – Todd Snider
41. “Angels Like Her” – Trent Tomlinson
40. “Taste Of The Truth” – Gene Watson
39. “Anything Like Me” – Brad Paisley
38. “Without Jesus Here With Me” – Holly Williams
37. “Only Prettier” – Miranda Lambert
36. “Someday When I Stop Loving You” – Carrie Underwood
35. “American Saturday Night” – Brad Paisley
34. “Long After I’m Gone” – Big Kenny
33. “Fifteen” – Taylor Swift
32. “Rose in Paradise” – Chris Young and Willie Nelson
31. “The Guitar” – Guy Clark
30. “Tell My Mother I Miss Her So” – Ryan Bingham
29. “Seeing Stars” – Jack Ingram with Patty Griffin
28. “Dustbowl Dreams” – Bryan White
27. “I’ll Have What She’s Having” – Reba McEntire
26. “Sissy’s Song” – Alan Jackson
25. “Closer To The Bone” – Kris Kristofferson
24. “Promises in Pieces” – Jason Eady
23. “Mama” – Holly Williams
22. “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
21. “A Little Revival” – Radney Foster and The Confession
20. “Has Anybody Ever Told You” – Ashley Monroe
19. “Three Minutes At A Time” – Gene Watson
18. “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” – Chris Young

17. “Busted” – Patty Loveless

16. “Maggie Creek Road” – Reba McEntire
15. “Ellis County” – Buddy and Julie Miller
14. “Staying Together” – Gene Watson with Rhonda Vincent
13. “On The Other Side” – Dailey and Vincent
12. “Gasoline and Matches” – Buddy and Julie Miller
11. “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert
10. “Hemingway’s Whiskey” – Guy Clark
9. “Cry Pretty” – Jason Eady
8. “Arkansas Dave” – George Strait
7. “Pretty Flowers” – Steve Martin, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton
6. “My Way To you” – Jamey Johnson
5. “Mama’s Eyes” – Justin Townes Earle
4. “An Old Friend Of Mine” – Joe Nichols
3. “Reconsider” – Charlie Robison
2. “Hesitation Blues” – Asleep at the Wheel and Willie Nelson
1. “The House That Built Me” – Miranda Lambert

The Boot

By Pat Gallagher

"Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go ..."

What could be better for a child than spending Christmas at grandma's house and the North Pole at the same time? Impossible you say? Not if your name is Bryan White.

"Hopefully you won't think I'm weird when I tell you this," Brian explains to The Boot, recalling a favorite childhood Christmas memory. "My grandparents had this huge house shaped like a horseshoe. There was this snow white carpet that my grandmother had in the living room where the Christmas tree was. She had one of those old trees that had the fake snow on it, and the tree was white. You remember those ... (and under it) it's like this stain glass plastic circle thing with different color shades. It was like a little gel in front of a light, and it went in circles, and it projected a colorful image onto your tree. It made this squeaky sound from this wheel turning.

"I remember one Christmas night I just felt this real warm, cozy feeling by the tree with that thing going. When everybody went to sleep, I would get up out of bed and go get under the tree with that little thing going, and I would just sleep under the tree. I know that's weird. But as a kid, I felt like I was at the North Pole. There was something neat about it.

"You might want to Google what that little thing is called – the little light crank."

Good news, Bryan. We did indeed look up the "stain glass plastic circle thing with different color shades" and here you go. It's called a Penetray Rotating Lighted Christmas Color Wheel. Sweet memories are made of this.

by Pat Gallagher

Brian White

Bryan White just finished writing a Christmas song -- 'Finding Christmas' -- inspired by his sons Justin, 6 and Jackson, 4.

"The song is about becoming jaded as we get older and when we become adults, there's really no mystery any more," Bryan tells The Boot. "The element of surprise and mystery is gone and ... I'm finding it all again through their eyes. I feel like I am seeing it all again the second time around through them, and it's awesome. They've been really anticipating Christmas since October. As soon as Halloween was over, their Christmas questions were just being fired at me right after that."

Bryan's own childhood recollections of Christmas serve as a blueprint for the memories he wants his children to have.

"I remember when I was a kid [my parents] knew we were just bursting at the seams, so most of the time we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve just to kind of tide us over until the morning. We'll probably do that. We've had our tree up since Thanksgiving. That was a fun process, just getting the tree down and them helping us. They're old enough now that they want to have a purpose with everything, they want to be a part of it."

And before the kids go off to bed on Christmas Eve, they'll have one more task to complete.

"We'll write a note to Santa, and we get the cookies and milk and set that out," Bryan says. "Then the next morning, I'm up before them with the video camera. I got them last year really good coming down the stairs. They were still kind of half asleep, kind of wiping their eyes, but you could tell as soon as they walked in the living room and saw the gifts, they were just so excited. It was just awesome!"

Bryan and his wife, actress Erika Page ('One Life to Live'), also feel it's important to bring the 'real' meaning of Christmas to the forefront.

"I would say we probably spend more time devoted to Christ being born ... why we're celebrating, more than the Santa Claus. We sort of make sure they know -- we try to just let them know that Santa is just one of God's helpers."

Bryan's been busy chasing Donner and Blitzen on his radio tour for the last few months, promoting his latest studio album 'Dustbowl Dreams.' He plans to record his new Christmas song in 2010.

It’s that time of year in which we reflect on the year behind us and count our blessings that we live in a part of the world with a plethora of music that moves the soul. Our favorite 2007 album was the Alison Krauss & Robert Plant album Raising Sand and last year’s top spot on our 2008 list went to Lee Ann Womack’s Call Me Crazy. But 2009 had some terrific albums that will go down as some of my big music collection’s favorites. The ten albums are a wide variety of country genres from more contemporary country to traditional country- and even some inspirational and alt-country stuff thrown in as well. But without any further delay… here’s That Nashville Sound’s Top Ten Albums for 2009

10. Bryan White- Dustbowl Dreams- The title track, “Dustbowl Dreams” could be the most eloquent autobiographical song of 2009. As the “son of a son of an auctioneer,” White talks about things like pressing on and perseverance, losing his way, being bruised and cut and carrying on the dustbowl dreams of his family. In three minutes, White has beautifully told his ten year story. It’s truly a treasure of a song. The song even ends on a personal note- an old clip of his grandfather being introduced as an auctioneer and then auctioning off some piece of farm life.


9. Willie Nelson- Naked Willie- Willie Nelson is a national treasure. We don’t have a more prolific recorder in country music even as he approaches his 75th birthday. Naked Willie is compilation of some of his best work, but not at the same time. Its old recordings, but not ever done this way before. Stripped of all of the “Nashville Sound” of strings and background filler, the first thing you notice on Naked Willie is how much clearer and cleaner these new versions sound. Willie's voice takes on a much deeper timbre, and the guitar and piano are also that much crisper sounding. His distinct voice has never been argued to be the fullest and widest range, but it has been the point of distinction between he and other artists that have come and gone.

8. Tracy Lawrence- The Rock- A promise kept. That’s really the crux of this entire project. When Lawrence first kicked off his career back in 1991 with Sticks and Stones, he made a promise to his parents that he would one day record an inspirational country album.Each song has been carefully selected to match both his vocals and preferred instrumentalization. Each album cut speaks of character, faith, truth, hope, forgiveness and belief. The messages don’t hit your over the head. They’re not preachy. They’re delivered with the same warmth and tenderness that Lawrence has approached nearly every song over his storied career- filled with steel guitar, fiddles, guitars and even a bit of piano.

7. Brad Paisley- American Saturday Night- Paisley has an incredible touch for pointing out the Sienfeldian nuances in life on fun stuff like "Ticks," "I'm Gonna Miss Her," or "Online." His ability to riff on the ironies of life in his funnier songs are a gift. He also has an innate ability to write a song that touch on a true emotional level- songs like "We Danced," "He Didn't Have to Be," or "She's Everything" come to mind. On both sides of that coin, Brad has country music fans loving every word. American Saturday Night is another wonderful combination of this same pen and paper gumbo that country music has come to like about him. Fatherhood may be the reason for a slightly (only slightly) more serious and mature musical theme on this album.

6. Wade Hayes- Place To Turn Around- With an emotive voice and meaningful storytelling lyrics, this is country music that is getting very little representation on the radio dial. What might have not been that unique in the 80’s and early 90’s is fresh and new. Hayes’ emotive baritone voice is a bit throaty and breathless when he sings higher notes or with power. But that so-called-fault in his voice only gives the songs more emotion and feeling. On songs like “Every Time I Give The Devil A Ride” and “Good Day To Go Crazy,” we’re reminded what a great guitarist and underrated instrumentalist that Hayes has always been. This was the most underrated album of 2009 for sure.

5. David Nail- I’m About To Come Alive- From the opening bluesy piano opening, it’s obvious that some of the Mississippi delta blues have seeped into David Nail’s version of country music. And that’s a very good thing. With an album that is as autobiographical as it is soulful, Nail is one of the few artists that have taken a theme and chosen/written songs to fit that or any theme from near start to finish.

4. Holly Williams- Here With Me- It’s almost impossible to disconnect the Williams legacy from this new young artist. What she brings to the table is much of her grandfather’s touch with a song. Her voice, while beautiful, has a unique ability to convey the nuances of feeling including sadness, genuine hurt, joy and disappointment. It’s a very emotional sound- most notable through her slower and quieter songs. This emotive songstress channels the very best of her musical legacy on nearly every song- drawing the listener in with some of the best melancholy textured ballads released this year. Each song has roots to her soul.

3. Miranda Lambert- Revolution- On Revolution we have witnessed the birth of a real artist and one of the true treasures of Nashville. Miranda's spunky Texas tongue-in-cheek sarcasm is alive and well on "Only Prettier," “White Liar” and "That's the Way the World Goes Round." She is and can still be a badass at times- “Time To Get A Gun” and "Sin For A Sin." But this album marks the first time we really get a feeling of the softer side of Lambert. Her incredibly emotive voice, from the wistful whispers to the highest belted notes, shine an emotion previously unseen on tracks like “Virginia Bluebell,” “Dead Flowers,” and “Maintain The Pain.”

2. Jason Eady- When The Money’s All Gone- It’s the songwriting and song selection that gets the highest marks on this incredible album. Each song is as socially relevant with a theme drawn out from the tough times we're living in. One of our favorite tracks of the year is the outstanding, classic story-song "Promises In Pieces." Filled with fiddle and steel guitar, the song tells the confessional and somberly haunting tale of someone who shoots a teller during a bank robbery and whose friend, the only friend that continues to give him second chances, takes the fall for the crime and is hanged. Positively haunting songwriting on nearly every song.

And the top album of the year goes to…

1 . Eric Church- Carolina- A little more edgy and bordering on the Gary Allan Bakersfield sound (a compliment), it’s a full layered sound that compliments his everyman’s voice. It leans rock without ever leaving a true country sound. The album features one of our favorite songs of 2009- “Lotta Boot Left To Fill.” Channeling his inner outlaw, Church slams boy bands, challenges Nashville’s music soul, tells us “I don’t think Waylon done it that way” and “You sing about Johnny Cash, the Man in Black would’ve whipped your ass.” There’s legitimacy to every song on the album- evident as each was written or co-written by his pen. Five great rockers, five ballads, and two somewhere in between- each of them feel like they’re legitimately “owned” by Church.

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