Hot new group Hot Apple Pie actually had four cuts ready for its debut album in February 2003. You can hear those four "We're Makin' Up," "Easy Does It," "The Good Life" and "Annabelle" on the band's self-titled album that was released last June. The album had to wait until then because three of the four band members already had commitments to other stars. Keith Horne (vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar) had to finish up his commitments to Lonestar. Mark "Sparky" Matejka (vocals, guitar, banjo) was still with Charlie Daniels. And Trey Landry (drums, percussion, accordion) was on the road with Rodney Crowell. Meanwhile, founding member Brady Seals (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, accordion) was busy writing songs for the group.
By the way, did you notice how many instruments each band member plays? Brady Seals does. "We play so many instruments that we're like the male version of the Mandrells!" he says. And, unlike so many "groups" in country music, these guys actually play on their record.
Now, if the name Brady Seals seems familiar, it should. Not only is Brady a member of the famous musical family that also includes country stars Dan Seals ("Bop"), pop star Jimmy Seals of Seals & Crofts ("Summer Breeze") and celebrated country songwriters Troy Seals ("Seven Spanish Angels") and Chuck Seals ("Crazy Arms"), Brady was a member of the country band Little Texas from 1991 to 1995. He also cut two country albums as a solo act, and even tried his hand at pop/rock with a 2001 album called "Thompson Street."
Hot Apple Pie takes advantage of all four musicians' backgrounds. Tracks like "Easy Does It" and "Everybody Wants to Dance With My Baby" have an R & B flavor, while "The Good Life" is a pure rocker. Hot Apple Pie takes The Band's oldie "The Shape I'm In" for a bluegrass ride, but "Slowin' Down the Fall" is hard-core country that includes a guest appearance by the legendary Willie Nelson.
"Redneck Revolution" is straight out of the Southern backwoods, as are "Annabelle" and "All Together Now." But "Hillbillies" has a distinctly urban, hip-hop vibe.
Hot Apple Pie might be a "new" country group, but the members' combined experience as successful musicians makes their debut album sound like it was made by seasoned pros who know exactly what they're doing.
QUIBBLES 'N BITS
Badonkadonk Dept.: Poor Trace Adkins! He recently had to spend time choosing two Nashville finalists to be singing bartenders for the Coyote Ugly chain of bars. The two gals will participate in a new CMT reality show called "The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search." "He was halfway red and halfway loving it," spokeswoman Schatzi Hageman said about how Trace reacted when the ladies showed him their singing-and-dancing stuff. The show will debut on April 10.
Go Rest High on That Mountain Dept.: The memorial service for pioneering bluegrass manager Louise Scruggs (wife of Earl) was just like the lady herself unforgettable. Louise was known for never showing much emotion, and the stars shared some great stories about trying to get a rise out of her. Marty Stuart told of the time he bounced on the bumper of her car shouting, "I love you!" Finally, Louise cracked the window and quietly said: "Thanks. I love you too." Pallbearers were Marty, actor-musician Billy Bob Thornton, veteran Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs, John Carter Cash, longtime family friend Hugh Howell and singers Jon Randall, Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakam. Vince Gill played, through tears, "Go Rest High on That Mountain." Louise would have loved it.
Rough Cuts Quote of the Week: "Normally, as a 5-foot-2-inch woman, I would NEVER agree to getting on a catwalk, treading on the sacred ground usually left only for supermodels. But hey, if it'll raise money, I'll do just about anything." Lee Ann Womack, on why she headed down the runway as a model at the recent Heart Truth/Red Dress fashion show in New York as part of a campaign for the National Heart Lung Blood Institute. But she had a personal reason for participating. Her uncle, who taught her to play guitar and banjo, died of heart disease, as did her grandmother, who paid Lee Ann's way to Nashville and into Belmont University's music business program.
I'd love to hear from you, so please write me at P.O. Box 121438, Nashville, TN 37212.