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Love and Theft – “Whiskey On My Breath,” Aliens and Drinking with Pets

Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft with Alanna Massey of Focus on the 615

Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft with Alanna Massey of Focus on the 615

Love and Theft is making a stand about addiction with their latest single “Whiskey On My Breath.” The duo, comprised of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles, has dealt with losing family members to alcoholism.

“It’s a pretty heavy topic,” Stephen said. “But it’s not all about drinking. It’s just about addictions in general. Almost everyone has their own addiction. It doesn’t have to be alcohol. It could be social media.”


The single skyrocketed from #200 to #2 on iTunes with a little support from the Bobby Bones Show.

“Bobby heard ‘Whiskey On My Breath’ and really related to it,” Eric said. “His mother died of alcoholism at 46.”

Eric struggled with alcoholism and was proudly 311 days sober at the time of our interview.

“Singing about it every night when I was still drinking was almost like I was giving myself a guilt trip in a way,” Eric said. “I was getting up there singing about the one thing that scared me to death more than anything – whiskey on my breath. It’s been good to get away from it and change my lifestyle.”

Eric’s new go-to drink is soda water or Diet Coke with a few limes. Stephen still enjoys an adult beverage every now and then.

“I drink vodka and water pretty much because you’re hydrating while you’re drinking.”

Good strategy, Stephen! That’s not his only advice about drinking.

Stephen, since you’re a year older and so much wiser than Eric, give us your words of wisdom. This is your legacy!

Eric: Give us like half of a tweet – so you get like 13 characters or something. Make this count, this is it. This will live on forever. Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Barker Liles’ words to live by.

Stephen: You’re not drinking alone if your pet is with you.

Eric: Wow.

Stephen: It’s for all the pet lovers out there.

Eric, what’s the deal with your Twitter bio: “Life coach, alien expert, ceiling fan collector…follow me”?

Eric: Oh just two things I’m really passionate about. I’m really obsessed with aliens and area 51. No I’m kidding… I just put it on there as a joke. And then I watched an episode of something on TV where this guy collected oriental fans, and I thought it was so weird and strange. So I thought I’d put it on there, too. None of that’s true.

Stephen: CMA Fest we could get Love and Theft fans… for the fans.

Eric: Oh yeah the ones where you mist yourself!

OK guys… back to the important stuff. What do you have going on this year?

Stephen: We’re traveling all year playing tons of shows. We’ve been doing about 100 shows a year for 6 or 7 years. Some years we’re gone 200 days. There’s no telling how many shows we’re gonna do this year. We’re on pace for a lot.

Eric: It’s been the busiest beginning of a year for us as far as acoustic shows go.

Stephen: I’m gonna have a Companion Pass at the end of the year if I keep flying Southwest!

“Whiskey On My Breath” soaring to the top of the charts, drinking with pets, aliens and a busy year ahead. There ya have it, folks – Love and Theft!

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Darryl Worley – Embracing Change



Darryl Worley and Alanna Massey at Country Radio Seminar

Change is in the air, and Darryl Worley is embracing it.

“Country radio has been so inundated with things that I really don’t understand, like music that doesn’t speak to me on many levels,” Worley said. “I got a little bit of a hope and a hint that may change.”

Worley has a big year ahead of him – a greatest hits album, his first Christian album and a documentary of his travels to war zones.

“If that change is in the air, this would be the right time for me to try to get back on the radio,” he said. “It sounds like a good place to almost start over.”

He has spent a lot of time in Muscle Shoals, Ala., preparing to release his 2-volume greatest hits album.

“That’s kinda like home away from home for me,” Worley said. “It’s where I started out as a songwriter, so it’s sorta been like a homecoming to go down there with a bunch of folks I used to hang out with. We’re having a blast.”

Worley’s Christian album will release later this year, but don’t expect it to sound anything like his country music. He said it’s very uplifting, yet it has a nature of the blues.

“It’s coming from life’s lessons I’m passing on that could help people through tough times or situations,” he said. “It’s gonna speak to people I think on a whole different level, and we’re excited about that.”

As the 15th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Worley’s documentary “Unsung Heroes: Music and Memories” will illustrate his experiences entertaining soldiers, seamen, airmen and marines all over the world. Worley said he wanted to do something to uplift them. The raw and real footage spanning 5 years will shine a light on what American troops do for our country.

“It’s a powerful piece, and I can’t wait for people to see it,” he said. “I’m very proud of it.”

Worley left us with a little advice for upcoming musicians:

“Figure out who you are musically and don’t let anybody change that. If you know who you are, if you really know who you are, they’re not gonna want to change you anyway. They’re gonna go, ‘Man, that’s just what we were lookin’ for.’ That’s the most important thing. I believe it with all my heart.”

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Kenny Rogers Gets Us in the Christmas Spirit

Kenny Rogers - Once Again It's Christmas

Although Halloween is still a few weeks away, country music fans can get a head start on celebrating Christmas thanks to Kenny Rogers! The music legend recently released his first new holiday album in seventeen years! The project is called Once Again It’s Christmas and serves as Rogers’ sixth Christmas record overall.

If you think the Country Music Hall of Fame member needs to decorate the studio or wear a Santa hat to get into the spirit before recording, think again.

“The songs and the lyrics themselves put me in the Christmas spirit,” Rogers admits. “I do love singing Christmas music. I’ve never been overtly religious, but I’ve always been deeply spiritual. And I think Christmas gives me a chance to say that without saying it.”

Rogers furthers, “I’ve learned a long time ago – if songs don’t touch me, I can’t make ’em touch anyone else. If they touch me, I can usually make someone enjoy ’em enough to say ‘I like that song.'”

Several guest stars join Rogers on Once Again It’s Christmas including Jennifer Nettles, Alison Krauss, Jim Brickman, Home Free, and Winfield’s Locket. The Texas-native has had great success with duets because of a particular theory he has. “You never start with a partner. You start with a song, and you say, ‘Who could sing this song well?'” Rogers talks about working with Nettles and Krauss in the video below.

The Once Again It’s Christmas album art holds a special place in the singer-songwriter’s heart. It’s a photo that Rogers took himself. Yep! He sings. He writes. He produces. He takes fantastic pictures! The jack-of-all-trades describes himself as an impulsive obsessive.

Speaking of the holidays, FOCUS on the 615 wanted to know how far in advance Rogers does his Christmas shopping and if his 11-year-old twins (Jordan and Justin) have been good boys this year.

“I do that all year long. I see something that I think will be nice, and I’ll order it and put it away. And especially for the kids… I just bought them a couple of – I think they’re called hamster balls. Those round things you get in and you bump into each other. They’re always trying to kill each other.” Rogers says with a laugh, “So I thought I’d try to either make it easier for them or take away the danger.”

When asked about a gift that he has always wanted and still to this day has not received, Rogers shares, “A Ferrari. Talk to my wife!” Here’s to hoping Santa brings him one this year!

And if you’re wondering about his favorite classic Christmas song of all time, Rogers loves “White Christmas.” Oh and turkey is his go-to holiday food. “I know that’s Thanksgiving but…” We can’t blame him for that!

Once Again It’s Christmas is certainly a must-have for the holiday season. And you’ll want to catch Rogers out on the road on his Once Again It’s Christmas Tour featuring Linda Davis – which kicks off Nov. 11.

Rogers announced his retirement from touring on NBC’s The Today Show. See more here.

Dates for Rogers’ farewell world tour are coming soon.

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