October 14, 2011
Posted: 12:46 PM ET
Luvs me some Little Big Town! Their album is gorgeous. Thanks for coming on Morning Express! -Robin
September 21, 2011
Posted: 11:40 AM ET
It's been a long, fun, eye-opening process... over 1600 of you uploaded songs to our special iReport assignment. Not a single genre of music was left out... everything from Reggae to Rock, Pop to Rap, a capella to instrumental. Your level of effort and commitment to this promotion was remarkable!
Ultimately it came down to the Top 10 that were selected by the entire Morning Express team. Then you and your fellow viewers voted that list down to two... and ultimately Robin made the final decision:
Congratulations Amanda and Ashley!
This week the two friends will spend long days in the studio recording with a full band and making a shiny new version of their song that you'll be hearing on HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade" soon!
The entire team wants everyone who entered to know that we are SO GRATEFUL to have an audience of creative, driven and just plain TALENTED people watching! We hear from you on facebook and twitter but this allowed us to see and hear you in your homes (and sometimes in your moving cars) and that adds a whole new dimension that we're incredibly lucky to have seen.
If you'd like to send Ashley and Amanda a word of congratulations you can visit their video on iReport and leave a comment! I know they'd appreciate it.
May 20, 2011
Posted: 12:22 PM ET
AJ is a floor director for HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade". She has been obsessed with this season of Idol, and takes notes to share with the Morning Express writers and producers. The opinions below are AJ’s alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff of "Morning Express with Robin Meade" or HLN. These are her impressions of last night:
If you do not want to know who was sent home on Thursday 5/19... do not read any further!
Hmm. Very interesting. I, like many people, thought Lauren was a goner after Wednesday’s pageantry. Instead, the kiss of elimination went to our sassy honey badger Haley, and boy, did she not look pleased. Honestly, I’m okay with that. Let’s explore:
Last night was obviously all about the hallowed hometown visits. Screaming people on the side of the road! Screaming people at high schools! Screaming people in fields! They were literally everywhere, and each Idol had their own way of dealing with the OMG of it all. Haley was jazzed, but honestly, she also seemed a little put off (“uh, thanks for freaking out”, she mumbled as she passed a girl practically in convulsions). She was also the least soggy of them, barely a tear mottled her perfectly made up eyes. As Ryan oft reminds us, THIS is American Idol, and bizarre /somewhat unsettling fan enthusiasm is part of the package. Sister, if you can’t jibe with mass crowd freak-outs, you’re on the wrong show.
Then it was Scotty’s turn to kiss the ground (and promptly wipe his mouth) in Garner, NC, and man, I’m split on the best parts of his visit. It could have been during his concert -in a field, of course- when country singer Josh Turner (of “Your Man” fame) surprised him onstage. Josh freaking Turner! Scotty was appropriately freaked out and starstruck and adorable and that’s why I love this kid, and can’t help it. Or it could have been when, after what seemed like miles and miles of signs, t-shirts and other Scotty-themed craft projects wielded by screaming females, our dear cherub crumpled back into his limo, sobbing, his adoring public just an arm’s reach away. It was like a movie! How does that happen, Idol producers? Explain it to me.
Lauren and her twinny mom made it to Rossville, GA, where Lauren squealed, twanged and thanked before taking a sobering drive through her storm-ravaged area. Impeccable lady-tears here, by the way. Lauren is a seasoned crier. She also met with an impossibly cute little boy who saved his family from a tornado, and it’s clear she has done her share of babysitting. I prefer my interactions with children to be limited to a firm handshake, but she was just as kind as could be.
In between these segments, a few real live people sang for us. If you haven’t heard Il Volo, an Italian tenor group made up of bronzed fetus Ken dolls, you’re not alone. They’re really big in places that aren’t America. They certainly captivated, as our contestants expressed slack-jawed awe at the trio’s are-they-seriously-teenagers voices.
At the complete other end of the spectrum was, well, what was it? An ostrich! Kim Kardashian! It was actually Nicole Scherzinger wiggling to a terrible song no one was listening to anyway. And 50 Cent was there, for literally thirty seconds, which is mathematically satisfying. Well played, Mr. Cent.
Yadda yadda, Scotty in, Lauren in, Haley out. Cue the most clear sign of emotion Haley has ever put forth on the Idol stage. She looked absolutely gobsmacked, before Ryan took her hand, mostly out of concern, I’m sure, and she snapped on a terrifying smile and beauty queen wave. Shock does strange things to people. Yadda yadda, Bennie and the Jets. Gosh, she really is such a fantastic singer.
Let’s go back to her hometown visit for a sec, and maybe we’ll find the reason this superbly talented chickie is no Idol fare. The best parts of her Chicago tour weren’t her and her public. They were just her, talking to the camera, her family, and even her faux-weepy bodyguard. Haley is a piano lounger, a crooner, and, despite her howl and growl act, a fairly intimate performer. She doesn’t seem to be a people person, and there’s no sin in that. Get thee to small venues, woman. There’s no sin in that either.
So it’s settled then. Scotty v. Lauren next week. What’s more important to you, armchair judges? Would you rather have the profoundly talented, yet vacant Haley, or the sweet-as-pie but slightly unripe Lauren? Are you like me, on the seemingly unstoppable Scotty train? Will it reach the station…of victory?
May 12, 2011
Posted: 11:41 AM ET
Thousands of people in 7 states are still dealing with the aftermath of a tornado outbreak that killed hundreds and destroyed untold numbers of homes and businesses. Add to that devastation, Mississippi River flooding that is now hitting some of those very same communities and many more across the midwest and southern states. It all equals thousands of Americans who need your help now which is why a galaxy of country music stars came together Thursday, May 12 in Nashville to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.
You can see a special replay of "Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert" tonight (Sunday, May 15) at 9ET/6PT on HLN.
HLN's "Morning Express" anchor Robin Meade is your co-host with ESPN's Erin Andrews and comedian Ron White. Together, they'll bring you an hour and a half of music from the biggest artists in country, including: Hank Williams Jr., Alabama, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Little Big Town and many others.
All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.
To make donations:
Filed under: Alabama Alan Jackson Erin Andrews Extras Flood Hank Williams Jr. Keith Urban Lady Antebellum Little Big Town Music Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert Robin Meade Ron White Ronnie Dunn Sara Evans Tim McGraw Tornado Trace Adkins
March 1, 2011
Posted: 12:46 PM ET
I'm looking forward to singing this Saturday (March 5th) in Nashville at the Limelight Entertainment Venue.
I'll be performing along with blues guitarist Keb' Mo'; new country artist Katie Armiger; singer, songwriter, producer, Grammy winner, Victoria Shaw; and others.
Tix for this charity event are available by clicking the poster below! Hope to see you there!
September 24, 2010
Posted: 08:20 AM ET
Matt Kirsch, lead audio engineer for the Chevrolet Cruze, spends more than 500 hours a year listening to car audio systems. Below are Kirsch’s Top 10 favorite songs for evaluating any sound system.
You can also go to iTunes to download these songs for your own audio test drive (iTunes required to download).
1. “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones – Listen for Norah’s voice to sound natural, and centered in front of you
2. “Diamonds and Rust” by Joan Baez – Listen for strong vocals, and for the instruments to be set across a wide sound stage
3. “No One” by Alicia Keys – Listen for clarity in Alicia’s vocals and spacious background sound
4. “Hotel California” by the Eagles – Listen for the clarity and dynamic range during the opening guitar solo, and of course the powerful drum beat
5. “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas – Listen for powerful, accurate bass beats, even at full volume
6. “Rock that Body” by the Black Eyed Peas –Listen clear, intelligible lyrics over the powerful, persistent bass beat
7. “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap – Listen for the enveloping ambience of the song, building on the openness and dynamic vocals
*From General Motors
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