Oct 12

The show must go on: Jason Aldean resumes his They Don’t Know Tour for the first time since the Vegas tragedy

ABC/Image Group LA Thursday night in Tulsa, Jason Aldean plays his very first concert since his set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas was interrupted by gunfire.

Over the nearly two weeks since the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, Jason has paid tribute to the 58 people who lost their lives by opening Saturday Night Live with the late Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and returned to Vegas to visit with some of the nearly 500 who were injured.

Tonight at Oklahoma’s BOK Center, the They Don’t Know Tour rolls on.  The trek is named after both Jason’s latest album, and his single, which is currently vying for #1.

“They Don’t Know” speaks to a theme Jason’s often embraced:  hard-working, grassroots people who refuse to give up, though they’re often misunderstood.

“Whether you live in a small town, and [it’s] somebody looking down on you for that, whatever,” Jason says of the song’s message. “I mean, one of my guitar players is one of the songwriters on it… It just kind of fit what we do… with him playing guitar for me for the last 20 years almost, he’s got a pretty good idea of what’s in my wheelhouse.”

Chris YoungKane Brown, and DeeJay Silver — who were all with Jason and his band in Vegas — will also be at the show tonight.

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Oct 11

Friday night with The Chief: AUDIENCE rolls out two Eric Church specials

ABC/Mark LevineEven though Eric Church doesn’t have any dates scheduled until sometime next year, you can still spend your Friday night taking in a show by The Chief…in fact, you can check out two, thanks to AUDIENCE Network.

AUDIENCE kicks off two hours of Eric’s music on Friday night, with a backstage look at his most-recent Holdin’ My Own Tour starting at 8 p.m. ET.

“When you make a new record, critics are the mouthpiece to say, ‘Hey, go buy this record!’” Eric reflects in the promo for the show. “And that’s so backwards to me. Your biggest mouthpiece are the fans.”

Then, you can travel to Colorado’s majestic Red Rocks Amphitheatre at 9 p.m. ET for Eric Church:  On the Rocks, which was recorded during the North Carolina native’s two-night stand there in August of 2016.

You can preview AUDIENCE’s Eric Church specials on YouTube now.

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Oct 11

“What If” Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina ended Sam Hunt’s 34-week-run at #1?

RCA NashvilleAfter 34 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Back Road” has finally slipped to #2 — but it actually took two artist to dethrone it.  Former schoolmates Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina have taken over the #1 spot with their duet, “What Ifs.”

“All I can say is ‘Thirty-four weeks, Sam Hunt? Damn.’ I’m happy to get in there,” Kane told Billboard shortly after finding out the news.

Kane’s platinum single is featured on the deluxe edition of his self-titled debut album, which adds four new songs to the original set.

Sam’s “Body Like a Back Road” broke multiple records, pulling ahead of Florida Georgia Line, who spent 24 weeks at #1 with “Cruise.” He also bested the solo country record-holder, Leroy Van Dyke, who notched 19 weeks with “Walk on By” in the early sixties.

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Oct 11

Sold! Keith Urban and Chris Janson stage the Grundy County Opry

ABC/Randy HolmesYou can just call it the Grundy County Opry, for short.

October’s the month of the Grand Ole Opry’s 92nd birthday, and that’s bringing out some pretty big names, including Brooks & DunnKeith Urban and Chris Janson on Tuesday night.

Keith and Chris took advantage of the rare chance to play together, working up a special duet for the Opry stage, as you can see in a rehearsal video the Aussie superstar shared on his socials.

In the clip, the two play guitar and sing on John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”. They dissolve into laughter once Chris pulls out his harmonica to play a blistering solo.

Onstage, the Keith/Chris version of John Michael’s #1 from 1995 was a huge success, as you can see from a short clip on the Opry’s Instagram

“And we’re SOLD to these two on the microphone!” the Opry tweeted shortly afterward.

“Thanks @KeithUrban for this incredible @Opry moment!” Chris chimed in. “You are a class act all the way and I love you.  #GrundyCountyAuction”

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#Opry ?? @Janson_Chris pic.twitter.com/hYlXpl9ggn

— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) October 11, 2017

Oct 11

From a roadhouse to their Texas farms, Midland shows you what they’re all about in new documentary

ABC/Randy HolmesThere’s no denying Midland is one of most interesting acts around: While they’re one of the countriest bands in existence today, among their members, you’ll find a former Calvin Klein model and an MTV-Award-winning video director.

Thanks to a new documentary, you can get to know actor/model Mark Wystrach and Bruno Mars’ collaborator Cameron Duddy a little better, along with their musical partner Jess Carson.

Midland: On the Record was filmed in the summer of 2016 outside of Austin, Texas, before the trio hit #1 with both their debut single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” and their first album, On the Rocks.

The 17-minute feature captures the threesome performing at Poodle’s Hilltop Roadhouse, and also explores the farms where they live in Dripping Springs, Texas.

You can check out Midland: On the Record at Noisey.Vice.com now.

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Oct 11

“You Should Be Here”: As Cole Swindell celebrated a #1 and played an outdoor show, he was thinking of Vegas

ABC/Image Group LA Tuesday in Nashville, it was a time for both celebration and contemplation, as Cole Swindell marked his seventh #1 in a row, “Flatliner,” with a party at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

Later in the evening, Cole was to headline the concert marking the legendary honky tonk’s 57th anniversary. He admitted the open-air stage, in the middle of Nashville’s famed Lower Broadway, was reminding him of the tragedy in Vegas.

“I just know that this is what we do,” he said thoughtfully. “You know, we write songs, we sing ’em… You know country music, this is our city, and we’ve all had Vegas on our minds.”

Fifty-eight innocent people lost their lives and nearly 500 more were injured in the shooting that began during Jason Aldean’s set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Cole echoed the country music community’s resounding call to press on, saying he hopes the tragedy doesn’t compromise fans’ willingness to attend outdoor events.

“To be able to come out here tonight in Nashville, Preds’ first home game, Tootsie’s birthday, I just hope everybody comes out,” Cole added. “But that is something I’ve thought about, and you know, I’m gonna keep showing up, playing music, as long as they keep showing up.”

In light of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Cole pointed out his emotional #1, “You Should Be Here,” has taken on new meaning.

“To have that song that I wrote about losing my dad, knowing that, you know now, all these people are feeling those same feelings…” Cole mused, “That’s all I ever wanted to do was write one song that could touch somebody, help ’em through a tough time, like country music’s always done for me. I think that’s why that song’s so special to me — always will be.”

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Oct 10

“Best Part of Me”: Lee Brice strips it down for an organic, very personal fourth record

Curb RecordsLee Brice’s self-titled fourth album, which comes out November 3, just might be his most personal recording yet.

“To me, being real was everything,” the “I Don’t Dance” hitmaker says. “I wanted to put a little piece of everything about me, everything I am on this record. No two songs are about the same things, but somehow it all hangs together.”

For the fifteen-track project, Lee took a back-to-basics approach, co-writing eleven of the songs and co-producing it himself.

“This album I wanted to be a real organic thing,” he explains. “I play 99% of the lead guitar, my band’s on it… When I started, I wanted this record to be groovy, stripped down to the message and the feel.”

The lead single, “Boy,” is currently nearing country’s top-30.

Here’s the complete track listing for Lee Brice, which is available to pre-order now, ahead of its November 3 release:  

“What Keeps You Up at Night”
“Little Things”
“American Nights”
“They Won’t Forget About Us”
“I Don’t Smoke”
“You Can’t Help Who You Love”
“The Locals”
“Songs in the Kitchen”
“Story To Tell”
“Have a Good Day”
“Even with My Eyes Closed”
“Dixie Highway”
“Best Part of Me”

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Oct 10

“I felt compelled to sing those words”: The story behind Vince Gill’s emotional duet with Maren Morris on “Dear Hate”

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for The Country Music Hall Of Fame & MuseumEven though he’s a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, with multiple number-ones and numerous awards to his credit, Vince Gill has often said that the spotlight has never really been that important to him. That makes his response to Maren Morris’s new song “Dear Hate” even more impressive.

The CMA Female Vocalist of the Year nominee wrote the song two years ago after the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting, and sent it to Vince, asking if he’d add guitar and harmonies.

“I was so moved I did something I’ve never done before,” Vince tells Billboard. “I [also] sang one of the verses unsolicited. After I finished and sent her my contributions, I told her she didn’t have to use it, but explained I felt compelled to sing those words. I’m so glad she decided to include it.”

Maren struggled to choose the right moment to release the sensitive song, but knew it was time after last week’s Las Vegas shooting, which claimed the lives of 58 innocent people and injured close to 500 more.

“Over the years I’ve been asked to contribute to a lot of songs,” Vince said in a statement. “This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Thank you, Maren, for letting me share this sentiment with you.”

So far, the response to “Dear Hate,” has been incredible, with the song hitting #1 on the iTunes all-genre chart shortly after its release.

Maren has also released a live version of the song, recorded during her first performance after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The Texas native had performed on the outdoor stage just a day before the tragedy. You can check out Maren’s concert take on “Dear Hate” on YouTube.

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Oct 10

Florida Georgia Line goes “Fishin’ in the Dark” with “Smooth”

Big MachineIf Florida Georgia Line’s latest hit sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it was inspired — at least partially — by one of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band‘s biggest hits.

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley gathered at Tyler’s farm late in the fall several years ago to work on a new tune with co-writers Nicole Clawson and Jordan Schmidt.

“I had told Jordan to make kind of a modern day ‘Fishin’ in the Dark’ track, and he showed up with that…” Brian says, referencing the Dirt Band’s platinum-selling #1 from 1987.

“Nicole had the title for ‘Smooth’…” Brian continues, “and I remember Tyler came in with that hook on the chorus, ‘Good Lord Almighty’. And that kind of got us going down the chorus. We just wrote real hard that day and had a lot of fun.”

In the end, the foursome came up with a track that Brian says is one of his favorites from Dig Your Roots:  “It’s something that it’s a little swampy it’s a little woodsy and it’s right where we’re at, really fun to play live.”

“Smooth” just broke into the top 20. It’s the fourth single from FGL’s third studio album. The three previous releases all went to #1.

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Oct 09

Watch Tim and Faith fight in the new video for “The Rest of Our Life”

Arista NashvilleIf you’ve ever wondered if Tim McGraw and Faith Hill really get along… well, they don’t, in most of the video for their new single, “The Rest of Our Life.”

In the new clip, the superstar couple seems to be acknowledging the fact that their 21-year-marriage has often been tabloid fodder.  The two are seen fighting as they’re headed to a glamorous affair in a limo, with Tim sporting a white tux and Faith dressed in a stunning purple gown.

“The Rest of Our Life” takes an even more dramatic turn when it starts to rain and Faith strikes out walking on her own, while Tim stays in the limo and leaves her behind. A drenched Faith finally makes it to a country diner, where — spoiler alert — Tim walks in and they instantly make up.

You can check out the video for “The Rest of Our Life” on YouTube now. Written by pop star Ed Sheeran, the tune is the title track for Tim and Faith’s first-ever album of duets, which comes out November 17.  

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