Feb 21

Think country girls don’t know how to party? “Keep Up,” RaeLynn says in spunky new track

Round Here RecordsRaeLynn’s bold new release, “Keep Up,” is an attitude-packed anthem for country girls who know how to work, play and party every bit as hard as their male counterparts. The singer also dropped a music video to match, which encapsulates the same high-energy fun. 

“I want women to take away from ‘Keep Up’ that they can be just as rowdy as the guys can!” the singer explained to ET Online. “This is the country girl anthem that we need. From the moment I wrote ‘Keep Up,’ I had a vision for a fun video that incorporates my personality and all the bright colors.”

In bringing that vision to life, RaeLynn enlisted plenty of sequins, some serious dance moves and even a cameo from her husband, Josh

RaeLynn co-wrote her latest song with Corey CrowderSteven Lee Olsen and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard. She recently signed to FGL’s newly-formed, artist-helmed label, Round Here Records, and has since been busily plotting her next musical chapter. 

“Keep Up” is the second song she’s dropped since becoming a Round Here Records artist; the new tune follows the empowering breakup anthem “Bra Off,” a quirky and fun-loving tune that celebrates getting out of a relationship that just didn’t fit right.

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Feb 21

Willie Nelson plots 70th studio album, ‘First Rose of Spring,’ for April release

Legacy RecordingsCountry legend Willie Nelson will drop the 70th solo studio album of his career, First Rose of Spring, on April 24. The new release comes right before the singer’s 87th birthday on April 29.

In addition to a variety of original material, Willie will tip his hat to a series of other iconic artists in the track list of his new project. The record includes a rendition of Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let the Old Man In,” Billy Joe Shaver’s “We Are the Cowboys” and Pete Graves’ “Just Bummin’ Around,” a tune that’s also been recorded by the likes of Dean Martin and Jimmy Dean

As well as sampling some favorite cover tunes, Willie also called on a couple of notable artists to help him write the material on First Rose of Spring. For example, Randy Houser co-wrote the project’s title track. 

Fans can hear that  track right away, as Willie released the song and its accompanying music video when he announced his new album. 

First Rose of Spring was produced by Willie’s longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon, who also co-wrote several of the songs with the country legend. 

The new album is in keeping with a pattern for Willie, who has consistently put out at least one album every year since 2016. The new release follows his 2019 project, Ride Me Back Home.

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Feb 21

‘You Would Think’: Tucker Beathard’s new song feels the pain of a one-sided relationship

Warner Music NashvilleTucker Beathard returns with an emotional new power ballad that’s all about the pain of still caring about someone who no longer cares for you.

Called “You Would Think,” the song describes a breakup that ends on one-sided terms — but Tucker says that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s about a romantic relationship.

“We all had different impressions of it while we were writing it,” he tells American Songwriter. “I was under the impression that it was talking about a kid and his relationship to his father. We kept it open to interpretation and we didn’t specify what we were talking about.” 

Speaking of fathers, one of Tucker’s co-writers for “You Would Think” was his own dad, Nashville songwriting legend Casey Beathard. By this point in Tucker’s career, the father-son duo have plenty of experience writing together, and the singer says they’re typically able to set aside their personal dynamic when they head into the writing room.

“You Would Think” comes off the upcoming second chapter of Tucker’s debut album. The first half of the project, Nobody’s Everything, dropped in 2018. 

It’s also the first song Tucker has shared since his younger brother Clayton was killed in a bar stabbing in Nashville last December. The singer’s relationship with his brothers has previously been the subject of his songwriting, too, and in the wake of Clayton’s death, Tucker posted a clip of his song “Brother” on social media as a tribute.

 Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Feb 21

“Strait to South Bend”: George Strait reveals plans for Notre Dame Stadium show

Rick DiamondThe King of Country Music has a new stadium show on the books: George Strait will headline the University of Notre Dame’s stadium in South Bend, Indiana on August 15. It’s an unbeatable lineup for country fans, with Brothers Osborne and Chris Stapleton set to open for the legendary performer. 

The newly announced show is one of a handful George is planning for August of 2020. He recently shared plans for a stadium show in Minneapolis; Chris is also serving as direct support for that show, along with Little Big Town. After that, at the end of the month, George will head to Las Vegas for two more dates of his Strait to Vegas residency. 

Notre Dame is a particularly memorable venue for country fans, as it was the site of Garth Brooks‘ first stop on his stadium tour in October of 2018. Garth’s performance was the first-ever concert to take place in the stadium, which seats over 80,000 people. 

So far this year, George has delivered three performances, all of which have sold out. He’s offered limited touring engagements since concluding his Cowboy Rides Away farewell tour in 2014. 

Tickets for the South Bend, Indiana show go on sale March 6 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

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Feb 21

Zac Brown Band add new dates & musical guests to Roar with the Lions Tour

Diego PerníaThey may still be in the middle of their 2020 The Owl Tour, but the Zac Brown Band is already expanding on their upcoming summer plans. The group revealed five new tour stops on their 2020 Roar with the Lions run, as well as an exciting new pair of openers. 

Longstanding live favorites Old Crow Medicine Show will join the trek for two newly announced shows in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and Noblesville, Indiana on September 10 and 11, respectively. 

Following that, ZBB have tacked three California dates onto the end of their tour, on October 23, 24 and 25. Rising country hitmaker Riley Green will join them for those stops, taking place in Chula Vista, Los Angeles and Mountain View. 

Tickets for the just-announced dates go on sale next Friday at 12PM local time. However, members of ZBB’s Zamily Fan Club will have access to a pre-sale beginning on February 25. Find more info and a complete list of tour dates at ZacBrownBand.com.

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Feb 21

Kenny Chesney’s long-awaited, perspective-finding new single is out ‘Here and Now”

Warner Music Nashville After teasing new music for several weeks and even sharing the title of his next single, Kenny Chesney’s next tune is finally available for us to hear.

Here and Now” is the name of the song, which serves as an uptempo reminder of the importance of staying present in the moment.

Kenny and his co-writers, including “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” duet partner David Lee Murphy, wrote the song “Here and Now” while sharing cold drinks, soaking up the sun and telling stories about life. 

“This song kind of blew my mind,” Kenny says. “The chorus is everything I feel about that time onstage with No Shoes Nation…that rush of it absolutely being the best place, best moment in the entire world. There’s no rush like it.”

“Here and Now’s” release comes just two days after Kenny accepted the Country Radio Seminar Humanitarian Award in honor of all the causes he’s supported over the years, such as his work to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Irma in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The song doubles down on the singer’s message of making the world a better place — and savoring every moment along the way.

“There is so much in the world we can’t change,” Kenny declares. “You can get so caught up in that, you miss your life. I can’t save the world, but I can make music that makes people happy, play shows that let them forget their problems for an evening — and occasionally cut a song that maybe reminds all of us what we ought to be embracing.”

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Feb 20

28 songs in 28 days: Eric Church’s new album is “as far out there as I’ve gotten”

ABC AudioEric Church doesn’t do things like everyone else, and nothing underscores that like the way he created the songs for his new album.

Wearing regular glasses instead of his signature shades, The Chief gave the keynote address at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on Thursday. The theme was “Chasing Creativity,” and he certainly did that with his new project. 

“It was time to do something nuts,” he admitted.

To that end, Eric and his band took over a restaurant in the mountains of North Carolina that’s closed in the winter, moved all their recording gear in, and set a goal of writing and recording 28 songs in 28 days. 

“I would write a song in the morning, and we’d cut it that night,” he explained.  “For me, it’s as far out there as I’ve gotten. But I think by getting that far out there, it really opened up some really great stuff, ’cause I was really locked in creatively: My antenna was up.”

“Looking back on what came out of it, it was exactly what had to happen,” he explained. “Everybody had to be uncomfortable, including the producer, the band, the writers…they had no clue what they were in for.  I think all that is what made it great.”

Asked how many of those 28 songs are actually good, Eric said he’s trying to determine that now, but he thinks, “a lot.” 

He then played one of the songs, which is either called “Jenny” or “Jenny Let’s Go.”  He explained that it was inspired by the people who kept on telling him during the recording process that the generator — which they called a “genny” — wasn’t working.

No word on when we can expect Eric’s new music, which will be the follow-up to 2018’s Desperate Man.

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Feb 20

Carrie, Keith, Luke, Reba & more rock Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium at CRS Event

ABC AudioCarrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and Reba McEntire, all on the same bill?  That’s what fans got to enjoy Thursday during Country Radio Seminar, as the UMG record label group hosted its 11th annual luncheon and performance event at Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium.

Each year, the label group takes over the venue to showcase its lineup of superstars and rising acts.  The show usually ends with a performance from a surprise artist, and this time it was Reba. 

The country legend has re-signed with MCA Records, the label on which she scored many of her biggest hits, and marked the occasion Thursday by singing her 1984 number one hit “How Blue,” as well as “And Still” and “Fancy.” 

Carrie Underwood had never taken part in the Ryman event, so fans were thrilled to see her step onstage.  She sang a song which she hadn’t performed on her current tour because, she said, it’s so personal: “Spinning Bottles” from her Cry Pretty album.

Last year at this event, Keith Urban premiered his song “We Were” and on Thursday, he premiered another new song, “God Whispered Your Name.”   And since Carrie was in the house, of course Keith brought her out to sing their hit duet “The Fighter” — and the audience went wild.

Luke Bryan nearly took the stage without his band, who showed up at the last minute due to, of all things, parking problems.  He performed the title track of his upcoming album Born Here Live Here Die Here.

Dierks Bentley‘s 90s parody group Hot Country Knights opened the show with “Pick Her Up,” complete with mullet wigs, sunglasses, cut off midriff shirts and super-tight jeans.  Dierks actually reached into the fly of his jeans and pulled out a flute, which he then played — or pretended to play.

Here’s who else played what at the event:

Sam Hunt: A new song from his Southside album, “2016”

Jon Pardi: “Ain’t Always the Cowboy,” from Heartache Medication

Brothers Osborne: A bluesy new song which may be called “Skeletons”

Kip Moore: “She’s Mine,” in a medley with another song which may be called “Janie Blue”

Travis Denning: “Abby” (which stands for “Any body but you”)

Brandon Lay: “For My Money”

Mickey Guyton: “What Are You Gonna Tell Her”

Parker McCollum: “Pretty Heart”

Caylee Hammack:  “Small Town Hypocrite”

Adam Hambrick: “Forever Ain’t Long Enough”

Kylie Morgan: “I Break Things”

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Feb 20

Reba McEntire signs to UMG Nashville, readies first arena tour in nine years

Chris HolloReba McEntire dropped a huge surprise on fans today: She is returning to Universal Music Group Nashville, her original label home, which is where she spent the first 32 years of her career. 

Reba spent time with both Mercury and MCA Records, two of the four labels that form UMG. It’s been over a decade since she released an album through the platform: Her most recent project with UMG was her 50 Greatest Hits album, which dropped in 2008. 

In the meantime, though, the singer has kept busy, putting out her most recent album, 2018’s Stronger Than the Truth, via Big Machine Records.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be back with the family where I started,” says Reba, who celebrated 33 chart-topping singles during her time with UMG. “I am thrilled because my catalogue is here at Universal and I’m really excited to revisit all the songs that I recorded many years ago. We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

To that end, Reba’s hitting the road. On March 20, she’ll embark on her first headlining arena tour since 2011. Rising artist Caylee Hammack will join as opening support for the country legend. 

In addition to her own tour, Reba will spend time in Las Vegas with Brooks & Dunn for the two acts’ previously announced residency. For a full list of dates and info, visit Reba’s website.

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Feb 20

“I Hope”: Gabby Barrett crosses 200 million on-demand streams with rising new single

Robby Klein/Sweet Talk PublicityGabby Barrett’s star continues to rise as her soulful new single, “I Hope,” eclipses 200 million on-demand streams. The song ranks in the top five of all on-demand country streams, clocking in at the No. 3 spot in Country song sales. Moreover, “I Hope” is sitting at the top of the Apple Music country chart. 

The searing breakup anthem is climbing at radio, too: Gabby’s single is in the top fifteen on the country radio airplay charts, and broke the top ten on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. That makes her the first solo female to claim that honor with a debut single since 2017. 

“I Hope” is Gabby’s breakout debut, following her run as a Top 3 finalist on American Idol. Highlighting her soulful, powerhouse voice, the song tells the story of coming off a bad breakup, and hoping that the person who broke her heart received the same treatment at the hands of his next love interest. 

Gabby’s looking forward to a busy 2020 ahead. The singer is opening for Brad Paisley on his 2020 World Tour, which kicks off in May.

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