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Watch this country star strip it down in this raw and heartfelt performance

Jessie James Decker hit the recording studio to film a one-take performance of her latest single, “Lights Down Low,” and Rare Country is proud to bring it to you first with this exclusive premiere. What you hear here is exactly what Jessie sang in the studio that day.

She tells Rare Country, “It was my idea to do something stripped-down with no tweaking and no editing. I just wanted them to hit record and let it come out. If there were little imperfections, I wanted people to hear them.”

RELATED: Jessie James Decker proves she is truly a superwoman in this Rare Country/Grand Ole Opry video premiere

It’s that same raw approach that has led Jessie to amass some 2.4 million devoted followers on Instagram. On her feed, she gives fans an intimate look at her hectic life with husband, New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, and their two very young kids.

There’s no grand design to what she will or won’t share on Insta. Jessie’s just going with her gut, and that instinct guides her overall approach to music, too.

RELATED: Jesse James Decker’s newborn baby son might just break the Internet with this gorgeous pic

She says, “I think one of my skills is just kind of going with my gut and being impulsive and not thinking too much about things. I think people can feel that. There’s a sense of being genuine and a sense of just being very natural whenever just go for it.”

“Lights Down Low” is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jessie’s new music. She’s currently putting the finishing touches on a new EP. Throughout the recording process, Jessie has been connecting with her fans via social media to get their opinion on which songs make the cut for the new project.

Says Jessie, “They are the reason I am here to this point. In this situation, they are one hundred percent the reason why I’m having success is because of my fan base. So, I want to cater to them and include them in every way possible.”

Dee Rees' American odyssey 'Mudbound' captivates Sundance

Director Dee Rees wanted to get to the big questions in her enthralling period epic "Mudbound." Specifically: What is it to be a citizen and what is it to fight for a country that doesn't fight for you? The film, which premiered Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, had audiences raving and some already speculating about Oscar chances.

Based on Hillary Jordan's 2008 novel "Mudbound," chronicles the lives of two families in the WWII-era South — one white and one black, and the complicated intersectionality of their paths. There's the McAllans, Laura (Carey Mulligan), her husband Henry (Jason Clarke), his brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) and their father Pappy (Jonathan Banks), and the Jacksons, Florence (Mary J. Blige), her husband Hap (Rob Morgan) and their son Ronsel (Jason Mitchell).

They're tied together by a rental agreement — the Jackson's rent their land and home from the McAllans — and the deeply complicated racial relationships in the segregated South in which Henry can demand help from Hap at any moment and Pappy can insist that Ronsel exit the local store from the back entrance.

It's a sprawling and deeply American story about women, men, race and personhood that defies a simple summary.

"It's not didactic, it's not preachy," Rees said. "The thing I love about it is it's multiple points of view."

Both Jamie and Ronsel go off to fight in WWII, where Jamie's once shiny life becomes clouded by the horrors of war and alcohol. Ronsel finds freedom and acceptance that he'd never had in the U.S. embodied in his appointment to Sergeant status and a relationship with a German girl. But back at home, nothing has changed.

"I wanted to juxtapose the battle at home versus the battle abroad with the battle at home sometimes being even bloodier than the battle abroad — to show these two families fighting on the front lines," Rees said, whose grandfathers both fought in wars, one in WWII and one in Korea.

"Both went away and came back and both didn't quite get what they should have gotten," she said.

Rees, who directed "Pariah" and the HBO movie "Bessie," found in the story a deep resonance with her grandmother too. She integrated images and truths from her grandmother's life in the Louisiana into the story, like how she wanted to be a stenographer and not a sharecropper (one of the Jackson children declares this her dream) and how she remembered as a child being pulled on the back of a cotton sack.

Blige, who is earning raves for her subtle and deeply powerful performance as the Jackson family matriarch, also had a grandmother who grew up in the South in Savannah, Georgia. She channeled her to embody Florence.

"She was so strong and silent. She never really said a lot, but when she said something it meant something ... She planted her own food, she killed her own chickens, she killed her own cows. (She) and my grandfather were Hap and Florence," Blige said. "Southern people are really all about love, and that's what I took. I'm born and raised in the Bronx in New York, and as a child I went down South every summer so I saw my grandmother give love. I was raised with 'yes ma'am' and 'no ma'am.' "

Though it's been less than a day, so far the response has been rapturous. The audience at the premiere gave Rees and the cast a long standing ovation, and subsequent screenings have elicited similar praise. "Mudbound" does not yet have distribution, but it is expected to be one of the Festival's hottest properties, and, one that people will be talking about long after Sundance comes to a close.

___

AP Entertainment Reporter Ryan Pearson contributed from Park City, Utah.

Dee Rees' American odyssey 'Mudbound' captivates Sundance

Director Dee Rees wanted to get to the big questions in her enthralling period epic "Mudbound." Specifically: What is it to be a citizen and what is it to fight for a country that doesn't fight for you? The film, which premiered Saturday night at the Sundance Film Festival, had audiences raving and some already speculating about Oscar chances.

Based on Hillary Jordan's 2008 novel "Mudbound," chronicles the lives of two families in the WWII-era South — one white and one black, and the complicated intersectionality of their paths. There's the McAllans, Laura (Carey Mulligan), her husband Henry (Jason Clarke), his brother Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) and their father Pappy (Jonathan Banks), and the Jacksons, Florence (Mary J. Blige), her husband Hap (Rob Morgan) and their son Ronsel (Jason Mitchell).

They're tied together by a rental agreement — the Jackson's rent their land and home from the McAllans — and the deeply complicated racial relationships in the segregated South in which Henry can demand help from Hap at any moment and Pappy can insist that Ronsel exit the local store from the back entrance.

It's a sprawling and deeply American story about women, men, race and personhood that defies a simple summary.

"It's not didactic, it's not preachy," Rees said. "The thing I love about it is it's multiple points of view."

Both Jamie and Ronsel go off to fight in WWII, where Jamie's once shiny life becomes clouded by the horrors of war and alcohol. Ronsel finds freedom and acceptance that he'd never had in the U.S. embodied in his appointment to Sergeant status and a relationship with a German girl. But back at home, nothing has changed.

"I wanted to juxtapose the battle at home versus the battle abroad with the battle at home sometimes being even bloodier than the battle abroad — to show these two families fighting on the front lines," Rees said, whose grandfathers both fought in wars, one in WWII and one in Korea.

"Both went away and came back and both didn't quite get what they should have gotten," she said.

Rees, who directed "Pariah" and the HBO movie "Bessie," found in the story a deep resonance with her grandmother too. She integrated images and truths from her grandmother's life in the Louisiana into the story, like how she wanted to be a stenographer and not a sharecropper (one of the Jackson children declares this her dream) and how she remembered as a child being pulled on the back of a cotton sack.

Blige, who is earning raves for her subtle and deeply powerful performance as the Jackson family matriarch, also had a grandmother who grew up in the South in Savannah, Georgia. She channeled her to embody Florence.

"She was so strong and silent. She never really said a lot, but when she said something it meant something ... She planted her own food, she killed her own chickens, she killed her own cows. (She) and my grandfather were Hap and Florence," Blige said. "Southern people are really all about love, and that's what I took. I'm born and raised in the Bronx in New York, and as a child I went down South every summer so I saw my grandmother give love. I was raised with 'yes ma'am' and 'no ma'am.' "

Though it's been less than a day, so far the response has been rapturous. The audience at the premiere gave Rees and the cast a long standing ovation, and subsequent screenings have elicited similar praise. "Mudbound" does not yet have distribution, but it is expected to be one of the Festival's hottest properties, and, one that people will be talking about long after Sundance comes to a close.

___

AP Entertainment Reporter Ryan Pearson contributed from Park City, Utah.

Luke Bryan to Perform National Anthem at 2017 Super Bowl

Luke Bryan has been asked to perform the National Anthem at the upcoming 2017 Super Bowl.

Continue reading…

Travis Tritt Explains Why He Fights to Preserve Traditional Country Music

Travis Tritt explains to The Boot why preserving traditional country music is important to him.

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Luke Bryan Will Sing the National Anthem at 2017 Super Bowl

Luke Bryan has been chosen to sing the National Anthem at Super Bowl LI.

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#LetTheGirlsPlay Cover: Gnarls Barkley, 'Crazy [Watch]

Five #LetTheGirlsPlay artists shared a very unusual cover at a recent Sog Suffragettes show in downtown Nashville, re-arranging Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" in an acoustic version. Continue reading…

Jason Aldean's Best Concert Moments [Pictures]

Jason Aldean has become one of the biggest superstars in contemporary country music thanks in no small part to the power of his amazing live shows. The rugged country star has made quite the name for himself as a live performer, selling out arenas all across the country on multiple headlining tours.

Continue reading…

Watch two country troubadours team up for a fabulous tribute to King George Strait

Dierks Bentley played his first-ever headlining show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 21, and he took the opportunity to pay tribute to one of his all-time country heroes — George Strait.

During the set, Dierks invited his opening act, Jon Pardi, onto the stage to perform a duet version of George’s 1997 chart-topper “Carrying Your Love with Me.” You can see it in this video shot from the crowd.

Watch the video

RELATED: Listen as Eric Church gushes over his musical hero George Strait

Dierks said he and Jon are such huge Strait fans, they plan to perform different cover songs from the King’s catalog throughout the What the Hell World Tour. We can certainly look forward to those performance videos rolling in for the next few months.

Dierks also surprised the crowd with a guest appearance from his “Different for Girls” duet partner, Elle King. They sang their hit duet before she wowed the audience with her pop hit, “Ex’s and Oh’s.”

RELATED: Country music’s finest are pre-gaming in anticipation for George Strait’s “Strait to Vegas”

Thomas Rhett was also spotted in the crowd at the Dierks show. For the finale, Dierks brought out his openers Jon Pardi and Cole Swindell, as well as famous faces Kelsea Ballerini, Chase Rice and Cassadee Pope for an all-star singalong on “Drunk on a Plane.”

Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines is once again going off on President Donald Trump

The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines has long been known not only for her undeniable vocal talents, but also about the way she refuses to keep quiet on issues that upset her.

And if the last few days are any indication, she’s going to be really upset for the next four years.

RELATED: Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines has some strong words about the Beyonce backlash

The country trio’s lead singer took to her Twitter account to let out her true feelings out about President Trump shortly after he took the oath of office on Jan. 20: “As long as morals,compassion, intelligence,respect,humility,honesty, and the ability to listen,are not required to run America,we’re fine.”

As long as morals,compassion, intelligence,respect,humility,honesty, and the ability to listen,are not required to run America,we're fine. — Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 20, 2017

She followed it up with a proclamation of sorts, saying, “Time to start my 4 year non stop drinking binge. Somebody wake me up when it’s time to go to rehab.”

Time to start my 4 year non stop drinking binge. Somebody wake me up when it's time to go to rehab. — Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 20, 2017

RELATED: Watch the CMA Duo of the Year turn in a badass cover of a Dixie Chicks classic

On Jan. 21, much of her comments were in support of the Women’s Marches that occurred throughout the country, but she did find a way to throw in another zinger about the president, saying, “D.T.’s 1st day wasn’t all bad.He whined like a little bitch about the Inauguration headcount,but he also inspired millions to come together.”

D.T.'s 1st day wasn't all bad.He whined like a little bitch about the Inauguration headcount,but he also inspired millions to come together. — Natalie Maines (@1NatalieMaines) January 22, 2017

The next four years should be awfully interesting, that’s for sure.

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