Apr 03

‘Girl Going Nowhere,’ ‘Never Will’: Every member of Ashley McBryde’s band leaves their mark on sophomore album

ABC/Image Group LA Ashley McBryde‘s much-anticipated sophomore album arrives today, featuring eleven cuts, including the defiant title track, “Never Will.” 

The Arkansas native recalls the song came to life on an especially productive day.

“It started out with two friends and I, like all my stories start out, just kind of writing around,” she tells ABC Audio. “We’d already written a song that day. And my lead guitar player, Matt Helmkamp sent over just a voice memo from his phone, [and said] ‘Listen to this little thing that I wrote today.’ And we wound up writing a song with that.”

“It wound up being every person in the band had contributed something,” Ashley points out, “where this song wouldn’t have existed at all without each person’s contribution. And so that makes everybody in the band a co-writer.”

Ashley admits that in itself is nothing short of a small miracle. 

“You know what it’s like to try to get five band members to agree on anything,” she explains. “Even just wearing black on black on black, somebody’s gonna disagree with that. And so it was really special for us to write ‘Never Will.'”

Ultimately, Ashley believes Never Will ends up being a fitting bookend to her 2018 debut.

“I think it’s a really good answer, a good sequel to ‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere,'” she reflects. “And so now if you were to set the two records next to each other, you would have Girl Going Nowhere and Never Will.”

Never Will‘s lead single, “One Night Standards,” is currently just a couple spots away from breaking into country’s top thirty. 

Tonight, Ashley hosts a special album release livestream with her band on her YouTube channel, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Apr 03

Colbie Caillat and longtime fiance split, will still work together: “We will continue to be best friends”

Jim Spellman/Getty ImagesAfter a decade together, Colbie Caillat and her fiance, Justin Kawika Young, have decided to end their relationship — but they’ll continue working together.

In an Instagram post, the couple writes, “This is difficult for us to share, but we want to be honest with you all. After 10 wonderful years, Justin and I have ended our relationship. We started out as best friends and we will continue to be best friends. And we will continue to work and make music together, as we always have.”

The statement continued. “It will be hard, but often times the hard choice is the right choice and the path that will allow each of us to move forward and to grow. We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for our love and time together.”

Colbie and Justin will continue to perform together in the country quartet Gone West, whose debut album is due in June.  They’re also quarantining together, and this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, they’ll perform remotely at a virtual event called the UnCancelled Music Festival.  Visit Uncancelledmusicfestival.com to find out how to watch.

Colbie and Justin starting dating in 2009; they got engaged in May of 2015, but never set a date — at least, not one they shared with the public. In 2016, Colbie told ABC Audio that when she did Q&A sessions with her fans while on tour, she hoped that they wouldn’t ask her about her wedding.

“We don’t want to have a big wedding or anything like that. We kinda wanna end up getting married whenever we want spontaneously,” she said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

“The USA Begins With Us”: Hot Country Knights gear up to drop their patriotic new tune

GreenRoom PR‘90s-inspired goofball group the Hot Country Knights will make a virtual appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition on Thursday night to debut “The USA Begins With Us.” 

The band’s homage to patriotism comes off of their forthcoming studio debut, The K is Silent, which will drop in full on May 1. 

The Knights’ live performance airs on The Tonight Show’s YouTube channel at 5PM ET, ahead of tonight’s encore episode on NBC. Fans will be able to listen to the new song in full on Friday. 

Ahead of The K is Silent’s release, the group has previously shared tracks like “Moose Knuckle Shuffle” and “Asphalt,” as well as their current single, a duet with Travis Tritt called “Pick Her Up.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

“What’s Up Cuz”? Toby Keith has big plans to drop his next song

Show Dog RecordsToby Keith promises a tipsy and rollicking good time in his next song, “What’s Up Cuz,” which the singer will drop on Friday. 

At just under two minutes long, the new song will be a brief but much-needed respite from the turbulent outside world, urging fans to kick back and lean into a “two-beer buzz.” Toby wrote the song with frequent collaborator Bobby Pinson, who also co-wrote hits like “Made in America” and “I Like Girls That Drink Beer.”

A week after the song drops, Toby will follow it with an infomercial in the style of OxyClean and ShamWow, geared towards listeners who might be wondering whether or not they’re Toby’s long-lost cousin. Blood relative or no, anyone can be Toby’s “cuz” in his newest drinking anthem. 

“What’s Up Cuz” is available for pre-order now. The release comes just as Toby is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his chart-topping hit, “How Do You Like Me Now?”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Apr 02

Matt Stell celebrates platinum “Prayed for You” with first-ever RIAA virtual plaque presentation

ABC/Image Group LAMatt Stell notched a major milestone on Wednesday, when he got the news that his debut single, “Prayed for You,” had gone platinum. However, in the midst of a global pandemic and given that it also was April Fool’s Day, the celebration surrounding his hit song was anything but ordinary. 

During a virtual meeting, the singer’s label team and members of the RIAA surprised him with a paper plaque in lieu of a framed certificate. They captured the special moment in a YouTube video, where Matt briefly wondered if he was being pranked.

“Today being April 1, which is April Fool’s Day, this is no joke,” said Sony Music Nashville CEO Randy Goodman at the virtual celebration. 

“I can believe it because of how much work that we’ve all put in, but I can’t really believe that it worked out the way that it has,” Matt reflected, as he expressed his gratitude to his team. 

Before it hit the one-million-unit milestone, “Prayed for You” spent multiple weeks at the top of the country charts. It was the only single from a debuting artist to do so in 2019.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

Keith Urban contrasts darkness and light in the video treatment for “God Whispered Your Name”

ABC/Image Group LAKeith Urban takes his song to soaring new heights in the music video for “God Whispered Your Name,” a clip that puts a visual spin on the song’s message of hope and redemption. 

The video starts off with footage of Keith alone in a dark basement, playing an acoustic guitar. With the help of a little sunlight, and the power of lasting love, he finds his way out. At the end, he’s standing on top of a boulder in the California desert, against a stunning backdrop of natural beauty and light. 

However, Keith tells Billboard that neither setting was quite as glamorous as it looks on camera. 

“That dark and lonely place, was underneath a warehouse in Nashville, literally the darkest, dank and smelly place,” he reveals.

As for the dazzling, hope-filled desert scene?

“Playing guitar atop a boulder is definitely not a great idea. You just kinda lose yourself in what you’re doing, and every minute or two you realize what you’re doing, and you think, ‘I better not fall off this big-a** boulder,’” Keith continues. 

Still, he says he hopes the visual elements will offer extra insight into the song’s message. 

“For me, a good music video takes the song to another level. It maybe gives the song a bit more dimension and hopefully we’ve done that with this one,” the singer reflects.

Keith first released “God Whispered Your Name” in February, sharing at the time that it was the first of “a whole bunch” of new music on the horizon.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

“We have loved every tribute”: Joe Diffie’s widow thanks fans for their support following his death

ABC/Image Group LAAfter news broke last weekend that nineties hitmaker Joe Diffie had died of complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus, fans showed an outpouring of support.  And it didn’t go unappreciated.

The singer’s widow, Tara, recently touched base on social media to reflect on all the creative ways Joe’s listeners have been keeping his legacy alive. 

“I cannot count how many people have contacted me,” she wrote on Instagram. “Joe was so loved and I hope he can see how he affected everyone’s lives. From the candles, to the parade, to the people leaving gifts at the house — I thank you from the bottom of my heart! The radio stations are all playing his music and it makes my heart happy.”

Tara also shared a couple of memories, posting a picture of the couple kissing next to a tractor and a video of their wedding celebration, complete with Joe giving an impromptu performance of “John Deere Green” to a crowd at Nashville honky tonk Tootsies.

“We have loved every tribute,” Tara wrote. “He loved his fans, his friends, his family and he was truly happy.”

She concluded her message by asking fans to continue to remember Joe through his enduring hit songs.

“Please keep playing his music,” she implored. “Please keep his legacy alive forever.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

Dolly Parton, Rascal Flatts and more will tribute the late Kenny Rogers in a benefit for MusiCares

CMTA new TV special will spotlight the life and legacy of Kenny Rogers, who died on March 20. The show, premiering next Wednesday night on CMT, is called CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares

A star-studded roster of Kenny’s friends, contemporaries and famous fans will join the tribute, offering virtual performances and interviews recorded in their homes. Dolly PartonRascal FlattsLady Antebellum, Jennifer NettlesRandy HouserVince Gill, Gavin DeGrawJason Isbell and Amanda Shires will all participate.

In addition to the long list of country artists who had a special connection to Kenny, the show will reflect his all-genre appeal. Lionel Richie, a pop legend and longtime friend and collaborator of Kenny’s, will participate, as will singer-songwriter and Doobie Brothers member Michael McDonald. 

“Kenny Rogers transcended genres and generations with his musical versatility, legendary collaborations and timeless appeal, and we’re honored to pay tribute to his legacy,” explains CMT executive producer Margaret Comeaux.

During the show, you’ll be able to donate directly to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, established in support of the Nashville country community and all of the musicians and industry professionals affected by the pandemic. 

CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares will premiere on CMT on April 8 at 8PM ET, followed by on encore performance on MTV Live on April 10 and another CMT showing on April 11.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood take fan requests and spread hope in ‘Garth & Trisha Live!’

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Country superstar couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood staged a special live concert on Wednesday night, delivering a request-packed, hour-long acoustic set. The pair played live from their home recording studio.

The set list was compiled entirely from fan suggestions, and featured a mix of their own biggest hits, deep cuts from their catalogue and cover songs. “Calling Baton Rouge,” “The Dance” and more of Garth’s most enduring hits were on the menu, as was his rendition of Bob Seger’s “Main Street.”

Trisha dipped into her recent album, Every Girl, and delivered searing performances of hits by Fleetwood Mac and Little Big Town. Of course, the performance also featured plenty of duets between the husband-and-wife duo, including parts of “In Another’s Eyes,” “Whiskey to Wine” and more. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown has made for a difficult few weeks for fans, and Garth and Trisha reflected on their own experience in self-quarantine.

“I know it’s rough being apart. I want to hold my babies so bad, but everybody’s staying apart,” Garth said. “Be apart now so that we can be together quicker later.”

“The longer we do this part that is hard, the sooner we’ll get to the part where we’re all back together again,” Trisha added. “A friend of mine said, ‘I didn’t know I was a hugger until I couldn’t hug.’”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Apr 02

Lady Antebellum push back first dates of their 2020 Ocean Tour

Big Machine Label GroupLady Antebellum were originally scheduled to begin their 2020 Ocean Tour in late May, but in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country trio has pushed some dates on the trek.

Shows planned for May and June will now take place later in the summer and fall. The Ocean Tour is set to launch on July 2 at Sacramento, California’s Toyota Amphitheatre. At first, the band planned to wrap their tour in September, but it will now extend through October 2, hitting both originally scheduled dates and rescheduled shows. 

Featuring opening acts Jake Owen and Maddie & Tae, the Ocean Tour takes its name from Lady A’s latest studio album, Ocean. Back when they first announced their tour, the trio gave fans a preview of all the fun, dropping a goofy YouTube video that showed the headlining band and their special guests embroiled in a hilarious karaoke battle at Nashville dive Santa’s Pub. 

Previously purchased tickets will be honored for the rescheduled shows. You can check out a full list of the new tour dates at LadyAntebellum.com/tour.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.