Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gloriana Rocks Nashville

Billboard and Pepsi's Summer Beats Concert Series landed in Music City last Monday with a rollicking, hip-shaking set courtesy of country upstarts Gloriana. The event was held at Nashville's Cannery Ballroom.

Taking the stage first was Gloriana (whose performance was also streamed live on Pepsi.com). Releasing their highly anticipated sophomore album, "A Thousand Miles Left Behind," today (July 31), the trio turned in an energetic set that featured their stunning harmonies.

Comprised of brothers Mike and Tom Gossin, plus Rachel Reinert, Gloriana took the opportunity to roll out several new tracks for the revved-up fans, including "Can't Shake You," "Turn My World Around," "Wanna Take You Home" and "Sunset Lovin'."

If It's #3 On The Country Chart, It's "Country"

Snarky "Quotable Country" questions the country cred of Love & Theft:
"We think we fit perfectly in the country music format. We don’t sound like Waylon or Hank, but we’re not trying to! We’re not trying to do what anyone else has done.  We tried to hone in on that Crosby, Stills and Nash and Eagles vibe."  – Eric Gunderson explains how Love & Theft isn’t like anyone else in country music, but IS like Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Eagles. Which makes them country because, uh… I don’t know.
As A&O recalls, country radio played plenty of CSNY and Eagles back in their day too. 

Our rule of thumb has always been:  if country music fans love it, it's COUNTRY.

Anyone old enough to remember "Hank Wilson?"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tim's Motivation To Stay In Shape

If you’ve seen Tim McGraw lately then you know he is in fantastic shape, probably the best shape of his life. 
“I was an athlete growing up so I’ve always sort of been a gym rat a little bit,” says Tim.  But he admits with a laugh, “There’s been times in my life and in my career where I let it slide a little bit.”  
But these days he’s not letting anything slide, and besides needing to be in good shape to perform on stage, Tim says, “I just like being healthy, you know.  I quit drinking four years ago because I wanted to be healthy and because I wanted to be around for my grandkids.  And I think more than anything I want to see my kids grow up and I want to meet my grandkids and hopefully my great grandkids.  So you know, I just try to be healthy.” 

Tim definitely needs to be in shape to put on the kind of show he’s putting on out on the Brothers of the Sun Tour every weekend and to perform songs like his high-energy single, “Truck Yeah.”

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kenny Chesney Back To Farm Aid Again

September 22 at Hersheypark Stadium:  see Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Kenny and more.

"Kenny Chesney is a loyal, repeat Farm Aid artist and we're thrilled to announce he'll be back on the Farm Aid stage this year!"

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hunter Hayes “Teen Choice Male Country Artist”

It happened last night, marking his first ever award win for his self-titled debut album.
“This is unbelievable,” said Hayes. He added, “So stoked to win my first award and to know it was FAN voted makes it so much more awesome!! The fans are awesome. Thank you guys! Thank you so much! WE DID IT!!!”
Choice Female Artist was Taylor Swift, who also was named Choice Female Country Artist and also Choice Country Song for "Sparks Fly."Choice Country Group is Lady Antebellum.  

Hayes’ Top 20 Hit “Wanted,” the latest single off of his debut album, was recently certified Gold by the RIAA. Hayes will perform “Wanted” tomorrow on The Talk on CBS at 2 PM ET / 1 PM PT/CT.

As 2012 ACM New Artist of the Year nominee, Hunter has been touring and performing live for decades, currently selling out venues across the US and Canada on his MOST WANTED headline tour. The Louisiana native has also shared the stage with Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, and Hank Williams, Jr.   He recently announced plans to tour with Carrie Underwood this fall on her 2012 "Blown Away" tour.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tim McGraw Opens The Door To New Homes For Wounded Warriors

As part of a program called Operation HomeFront, Tim has the honor of presenting the keys to a mortgage free home to a wounded warrior or service member in need at each stop of the Brothers of the Sun Tour.
It was a no-brainer for him to get involved as soon as they asked him because he says the recipients of the homes, “They put their life on the line, they put everything on the line.  They put their families on the back burner because they have to be away.  And to think that these wounded soldiers come home and they don’t have a foundation, some of these guys, they don’t have a foundation for their family.  They don’t have that safety and security that they provide for us every day … it just doesn’t seem right to me.”  
Tim says one of the most gratifying things has been to see the relief on the faces of the recipients of the homes.  But at the same time there have been some who don’t feel like they deserve the home. 
“That’s the biggest point that I wanted to get across to them,” says Tim, “is for these guys to never think that they don’t deserve this, cause they deserve this and way more.”  And while he wishes he could give a home to every wounded warrior who needs one he says, “You can’t help everybody, but everybody that you do help it makes a difference.”  
Tim’s latest single, “Truck Yeah,” just became the highest debuting single of his career, and is continuing to move quickly up the charts.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Billy Currington Picks Up Some Heavy Metal

Currington has just been awarded another Platinum certification for sales reaching 1 million.

This time it is for the summertime smash hit "Good Directions" which was written by Luke Bryan and Rachel Thibodeau and appears on Currington's platinum selling album Doin' Something Right.
"This is my third platinum song and it never gets old," Currington says. "I'm so happy to receive this honor. I'd like to say thank you to Luke Bryan and Rachel Thibodeu for writing such an incredible song. People always tell me it's one of their favorites and this certification just proves that even more. Thank you!"
The song "Good Directions" marks the third platinum track certification for Currington. The singer/songwriter's "People Are Crazy" (appearing on Little Bit Of Everything) and "Must Be Doing Something Right" (appearing on Doin' Something Right) were previously certified Platinum. Furthermore, Currington's albums Little Bit Of Everything and Enjoy Yourself were both previously certified Gold.

Currington is currently in the studio working on his next album for Mercury Records.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Honors For Taylor

Taylor Swift (now trying out brown hair!) will be honored with the "Ripple of Hope" award at a black-tie event hosted by Alec Baldwin. The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights is presenting Swift with the award in early December for her commitment to "social change."

Swift is also a nominee for the VH1 Do Something Awards, August 21st.

She's also part of a new promo for "Ellen," as DeGeneres begins her 10th season of daytime TV.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Craig Morgan Celebrates His Birthday And Makes Scripted Acting Debut Tomorrow

He appears July 17th on TNT’s drama “Rizzoli & Isles.”

PHOTO (L TO R): Sasha Alexander, Craig Morgan, and Angie Harmon

Morgan makes a guest appearance as Dr. Billy Ray Higgins, a medical examiner who comes to Boston for the Bullet and Blast Injuries Symposium. While visiting, he helps Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) with a murder case.  Tune in to TNT to catch the premiere at 9:00pm ET.    Craig has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits:  “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “International Harvester”.  His latest single “Corn Star” is the follow up to Morgan’s Top 15 hit and title track “This Ole Boy.”

He received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.

Prior to becoming a country music and TV sensation, Craig Morgan spent over 10 years of active duty in the Army and an additional nine years in the Army Reserves.  He is an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award. In addition to a prolific country music career, he hosts the award-winning show “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” on The Outdoor Channel, now airing in its third season through end of the year. For more information on Craig, follow him on Twitter @CMorganmusic.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Live Show Reviews

  • "More than 40,000 fans" packed Minneapolis' Target Field for Chesney and McGraw. - St. Paul Pioneer Press

  • Trace Adkins delivers an "enthusiastic and well-performed show." - Cape Cod Times

  • Zac Brown Band displays "non-choreographed confidence rarely seen." -Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Miranda Lambert On Vocal Rest

    Miranda’s physician is keeping her on vocal rest for another week, forcing the postponement of this weekend’s shows.

    The shows are being rescheduled for October 4, 5 and 6. “I’m so sorry to disappoint the fans that have already bought tickets to see me,” Miranda wrote in a statement. “I’m taking care of my voice and I can’t wait to get on the road again and bring you a hell of a show.”

    Rescheduled dates are:

    Orange Beach, AL – October 4
    Atlanta, GA – October 5
    Pelham, AL – October 6

    Love And Theft Scores Another Top 10 Hit; Goes Squirrel Hunting?

    L&T News:
    1.  "Trio-turned-duo Love And Theft celebrates its second top 10 as "Angel Eyes" jumps 12-10 in its 33rd chart week. That's exactly the same number of weeks it took their first top 10 to reach the upper tier, noted when "Runaway" spent the first of two weeks at its No. 10 peak in 2009." -- the 615

    2.  Do Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Grunderson really hunt squirrel in their spare time? Have they really killed 40 or 50 in a single day? Does Gunderson really use a Medieval sword to clear brush? The duo begin to answer some of these pressing questions in a new episode of ‘Love and Theft TV,’ premiering exclusively on Townsqare Media's Taste of Country.

    3.  iTunes reports their new album will be available July 24.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    A Thousand Miles Left Behind

    Second album success is never assured, so Gloriana is hedging their bet by involving fans in the story leading up to the release date on July 31.

    The band will share new videos each Tuesday throughout the month, highlighting the stories and songs behind their new album A Thousand Miles Left Behind, which will be released on Tuesday, July 31. In the first video filmed from their tour bus, the country music trio shares why “Soldier Song” holds a special place in their hearts and offers an exclusive performance that can be seen only on CMT.com.

    23-year old Rachel Reinert is the lone female member of Gloriana was already a hardy veteran of the music business, having signed a songwriting deal at the age of 15.  “I went back and forth to Nashville between the ages of 15 and 16 and moved there permanently at 17,” Reinert says. “I performed a lot around town.”  Then Reinert encountered the Gossin brothers, Tom and Mike.

    “We met through MySpace in 2007,” Reinert says. “The guys were new to town and were looking for people in Nashville to start making music with,” she says. “They came across my MySpace page and took a chance and the rest is history.”

    The video series concludes with the launch of Gloriana’s new album and a special LIVE @ CMT performance, letting fans take a front row seat as artists play their latest songs live in the CMT studio.

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    Toby Keith Makes His Fans Insiders

    TK may be coming to a town near you.  

    follow the guys for exclusive inside access to everything on Toby's tour.

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    Dierks Gets His Own Signature Guitar

    Dierks Bentley is getting a new guitar. It’s not just any old run-of-the-mill guitar, but his own Custom Signature Edition from Martin Guitars. He even helped design the instrument, as well.
    “It’s kind of based on the song ‘Home,’ the record ‘Home,’ so there’s the herring bone right on the outside that’s red, white and blue. But it’s, you know, a little of Buck Owen’s influence there as well, because I’m a huge Buck fan,” explains Dierks. “There’s a phoenix on there says where I’m from and just the specs on the guitar, are kinda custom to how I like them.” 
    Each guitar will also feature a special sticker with the singer’s signature.

    Dierks is poised to enter the top of the country charts in the coming weeks with his smash hit, ‘5-1-5-0.’

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    ZBB Joins the Road to the Ram Jam

    Zac Brown Band has partnered with Ram Trucks for the “Road to the Ram® Jam” series and sweepstakes where you have the opportunity to win prizes including trips for two to the invitation-only 2012 Ram Jam concert event December 29th in Nashville, TN!

    Click here now for your chance to win a trip to the 2012 Ram Jam and a free live version download of “The Wind” (click for the video on CMT).

    As part of the partnership, Zac received a lease on a 2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn truck that he's driving right now and you can see on the video.
    His truck will be auctioned off in early 2013 with all proceeds going to benefit his charity of choice, Camp Southern Ground.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Cabela's Inks Justin Moore

    Cabela‘s -- the World‘s Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear -- is kicking off the summer with the announcement of a multi-year endorsement and sponsorship of Moore.

    The "Bait A Hook" crooner has already toured with some of the hottest names in music, including Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton. 

    He has grown to become the voice of small town America and prides himself on writing and recording music that reflects his simple upbringing in rural Arkansas. The announcement marks Cabela‘s first ever partnership with an artist.

    As part of the endorsement, Cabela‘s will be the official outdoor apparel and gear retailer for Justin‘s tour throughout 2012 and 2013. With his life-long passion for fishing, hunting and all things outdoors this partnership will serve as a natural fit for his ever-expanding brand:  "The lifestyle that they promote and embrace is an exact reflection of how I grew up and how I intend to raise my family. I respect and admire the folks from Cabela‘s immensely.  It should be a lot of fun and hopefully, together, we can reach the next goals we each have in place.

    Moore will be appearing this summer at the grand opening for Cabela‘s new store location in Rogers, Arkansas.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Country Revs Up For The Fourth

    Billboard Magazine notes that Independence Day is a holiday for much of America, but not everyone. "Among the folks who still have to work: newspaper carriers, convenience-store clerks and a bunch of country artists.  Given the all-American image country acts are so careful to cultivate, working the Fourth is a no-brainer, and the genre will be in full force around the nation when festivities gear up on July 4. Here’s a partial rundown of country’s red, white and blue plans:"

    • Brad Paisley appears at a USO concert on the White House lawn. The show will be streamed live here.
    • The Mavericks, Craig Morgan and Sarah Darling perform with the Nashville Symphony at Music City’s Riverfront Park.
    • Kenny Chesney makes his third appearance on the annual NBC special “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular.” He also participated in 2003 and in 2008.
    • Josh Turner performs from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., during the annual PBS broadcast of “A Capitol Fourth,” with host Tom Bergeron and guests Phillip Phillips, Matthew Broderick and Kool & the Gang.
    • Kix Brooks and Shawna Russell play the Summer OilPatch Festival in Drumright, Okla.
    • Willie Nelson hosts his traditional Fourth of July Picnic at Billy Bob’sin Fort Worth, Texas, with Jamey Johnson, Ray Price and Billy Joe Shaver.
    • Gretchen Wilson plays FreedomFest at Fort Polk in Louisiana, where the activities include an appearance by 38 Special and a 50-gun salute to America.
    • Randy Travis hosts a SiriusXM special, “Red, White and Randy 4th.”

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Clint Black Hits The Small Screen

    Clint is making appearances this month on Lifetime’s Coming Home and PBS’ History Detectives. 

    The Lifetime reality series features heartwarming military homecomings, documenting service members’ return to their loved ones in unforgettable and inspiring surprise reunions.  In Black’s episode, airing Wednesday, July 4 at 10:00 p.m. ET, the country star helps two children write a song about their Army captain father who is returning from Afghanistan to surprise his family.

    In addition, Black receives a surprise of his own when PBS’ History Detectives visits his home in Nashville to uncover the story behind an artifact his wife, Lisa Hartman Black, had given the history buff decades ago.  History Detectives is devoted to exploring historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects.  Tune in to PBS on Tuesday, July 24 at 9:00 p.m. ET to see what unfolds for Black.

    Mike Eli's 4th Is A Party

    The Eli Young Band's lead singer says growing up the 4th of July was always a party thanks to his very large family.  “My mom’s side of the family, she had ten brothers and sisters, or nine brothers and sisters, there were ten of them so family get-togethers were huge.”

    Mike says every year, “My grandparents always had everyone over for 4th of July and so 4th of July was always a huge event, especially because there were so many of us.  There were a lot of cousins, so that house was full of people, that’s for sure.”

    This year Eli Young Band will actually be working on the 4th of July, headlining the Independence Day celebration in Rogersville, TN. Favorite.

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    Luke Bryan: "Have Fun And Don't Take It Too Seriously"

    Toledo Blade Columnist Brian Dugger just did the mandatory pre-concert interview in advance of a July 7 appearance in Fort Laramie, Ohio, with Luke and got some insightful quotes with the guy who's holding onto the #1 spot on the radio airplay country charts again this week:
    "My thing is that I just try and have fun and not take all this too seriously. I think fans like seeing somebody not scared to be a little goofy and who will put a song out there that's fun." 

    "I look forward to 'Country Girl (Shake It For Me)' every night. I've been fortunate that the past few songs keep getting bigger and bigger." (He followed up "Country Girl" with two straight chart-toppers -- "I Don't Want This Night to End" and now #1-ranked "Drunk on You.")

    "This has been a year for me where I feel like I've turned the corner, and it's time for me to be a legitimate headliner.  I'm in the game with the biggest headliners. Now I need to put together a show, music, and songs that can make that happen."

    "I want to hit it as hard as I can for the next 10 to 15 years, and I want to get better and better each year and up the ante.  I want to be a better singer, performer, and piano player. If I can do that, I'll be a better entertainer."