Brad Paisley Designs T-Shirt to Raise Money for Firefighters Nationwide

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleBrad Paisley makes his living singing and playing guitar, but he comes from a family full of firefighters. That’s why he’s teaming up with Diageo-Guinness USA to help raise $1 million for firefighters across the country by St. Patrick’s Day 2015.

Says Brad, “My father was a volunteer firefighter and showed me at an early age the sacrifices made every day by firefighters and how important what they do is to their communities.”

Brad teamed up with the company’s fundraising initiative by designing a T-shirt for sale at as well as at more than 1,700 in-bar events across the country. Proceeds will benefit The Leary Firefighters Foundation to help provide resources, training and technology to firefighters.

Brad adds, “I’m so excited to be a part of the Guinness initiative knowing their work with The LFF has such an impact on the safety, effectiveness and overall lives of firefighters.”   

Brad’s custom-designed t-shirt will be available for a $20 donation through St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho was Kenny Chesney‘s duet partner on the 2007 single, “Shiftwork?” ANSWER: George Strait.

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Additional Tickets Going on Sale for ACM Awards and ACM Party for a Cause Friday

Image Courtesy ACMA few more tickets for the 50th Annual ACM Awards are going on sale Friday through for the 50th Annual ACM Awards April 19 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Additional tickets are going on sale for the ACM Party for a Cause festival April 17 and 18 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, too. The new seats were made available thanks to creative stage designing for the events.

A limited number of VIP packages are also available for the 50th Annual ACM Awards by calling 1-817-892-4400.

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Lady Antebellum Donates Music Instruments to Canadian School

Capitol NashvileLady Antebellum surprised an Ontario, Canada, elementary school on Tuesday night with new instruments for its music program.

With the help of their record label, Universal Nashville, and other organizations, the band donated more than 35 instruments to staffers of Fitch Street Elementary School in Welland, Ontario, backstage at their concert at Niagara Fallsview Casino.

The donation was a continuation of Lady A’s 7FOR7 campaign, during which they spent a week traveling the country granting wishes for fans. The campaign was named after their most recent album, 747.

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“Nashville” Recap: “I’m Lost Between Right and Wrong”

Image Courtesy ABCThe truth came out about Mayor Teddy Conrad‘s brief relationship with a prostitute on Wednesday’s Nashville. In light of that revelation, Rayna Jaymes decided their daughters, Maddie and Daphne, would no longer be allowed to stay at Teddy’s house. Edgehill Republic record label president Jeff Fordham had used Teddy’s affair as leverage to get him to sign his oldest daughter, Maddie, to a recording contract with Edgehill. When she found out about the signing, Rayna went into Jeff’s board meeting with the chairman of the label to expose Jeff’s underhanded dealings in Maddie’s record deal. The chairman voided the deal and fired Jeff, who sought comfort from young singer Layla Grant at the end of the episode.

Sadie Stone‘s abusive ex-husband, Pete, tracked her down to the recording studio in Nashville despite her restraining order against him. Sadie was later served with papers that Pete is suing to enforce a management agreement they signed years ago. Pete continued stalking Sadie outside the recording studio, but he left when Sadie reminded him the security cameras would prove he was in violation of the restraining order. Sadie and her producer, Avery Barkley, then went on to create a great recording of her new song, “Sad Song,” inspired by her situation with Pete.

In his ongoing efforts to get over Rayna jilting him on their wedding day, Luke Wheeler invited Gunnar Scott and Will Lexington for a boys’ night out on the town. After a night of drinking and dancing with random girls, the guys woke up with rough hangovers.  Gunnar went on to burn old pictures of himself with his late brother, Jason, and his ex-girlfriend, Kylie. You’ll recall Kylie cheated on Gunnar with Jason, and it turns out Jason is the father of Kylie’s child, Micah. As he tossed the photos in the fire, Gunnar told Will, “I look at these smiling faces. All I see are lies now.”

In real life, Sam Palladio, who plays Gunnar Scott, has nothing but happy memories of the music he’s helped create on Nashville over the last three seasons. The cast has produced seven albums’ worth of material since the show premiered in 2012, and Sam admits he often goes back and listens to some of the songs from earlier seasons.

Sam tells ABC News Radio, “They come on my shuffle quite a lot. I’m like, ‘Oh, this one was great!'”

He especially loves going back to the song he sang on the show’s first season, “Shine,” which was written by his friend Trent Dabbs and rising country star, Ashley Monroe.

Sam continues,  A lot of the season one material stood out — The Civil Wars, “If I Didn’t Know Better,” the very first song is always going to have a real place on the mantelpiece as a moment in  time and a song that really helped all our careers sort of get this far as it closed that pilot episode.

Gunnar’s songs performed with his ex-girlfriend Zoey and pal Avery, collectively known as ZAG, were also highlights for Sam.

“We get a new incarnation of that band in the latter half of this season coming up, ’cause Zoey went and dumped Gunnar,” Sam says. “He’s always having somebody dump him or reject him. Or finding out that his new little love of his life, little Micah, that’s not his. Oh, it’s heartbreaking. Oh, dear!”

Music from all three seasons of Nashville, including this week’s featured track, “Sad Song,” is available on iTunes. Nashville returns with a brand-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKenny Chesney and his band have started rehearsals for The Big Revival tour, kicking off March 26 and 27 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Willie Nelson will begin filming a new movie, Waiting for the Miracle to Come, in March on the Old West film set built on his Texas Hill Country property for the 1986 movie Red Headed Stranger. According to Rolling Stone, the movie is written and directed by Australian filmmaker Lian Lunson and will be produced by U2‘s Bono, who is also writing the film’s soundtrack.

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Thomas Rhett Admits He Stole Some Onstage Moves from Mick Jagger, Eric Church and Even His Own Dad

Image Courtesy Greenroom PRThomas Rhett spent a lot of time watching other acts, including his father Rhett Akins, perform concerts before he ever played a show of his own. As a kid, Rhett took Thomas to see The Rolling Stones quite a few times, and the legendary rock band had a big effect on how Thomas performs to this day.

He says, “When you watch Mick Jagger or somebody, who’s like 70-years-old move around the stage as good as he does, it makes you want to move twice as hard.”

Thomas finds inspiration in current stars like Eric Church as well. Thomas actually credits Eric’s music as one of the biggest reasons he started writing his own songs.

Says Thomas, “[Eric] was a huge inspiration in my songwriting and in my performing. Watching somebody get up there and do the kind of badass thing. I’m not near as much of a badass as Eric Church, but I’ve tried in the past.”

Though he can’t pull off the “tough guy” act quite like Eric, Thomas has learned the value of studying his favorite artists’ live shows.

“A lot of it is practice and trying to do other things that other artists do, and noticing that you can’t do it as well,” Thomas explains. “You kind of take that from them and make it your own. A couple years later, you kind of have your own show and your own moves and your own things that you do that nobody else does. So, it’s just kind of a big growing process.”

Thomas continues his on-the-road education as a special guest on Florida Georgia Line‘s Anything Goes tour this year. They have shows in Canada starting Thursday in Ottawa, Ontario.

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Rascal Flatts-Themed Drinks and Spa Packages Coming to Hard Rock Las Vegas During Band’s Residency

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsThe Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas is going all-out for Rascal Flatts‘ residency at The Joint starting February 25. During the run of their Vegas Riot! show, guests can order Rascal Flatts-themed cocktails at the casino bars. According to The Los Angeles Times, the drinks include the “Broken Road” made with Jack Daniels’ Tennessee Honey, “Prayin’ for Daylight” made with tequila and “Life Is a Highway” made with Woodford Reserve.

The spa at Hard Rock is also offering a few Flatts-themed treatements, including the “I Melt” body scrub and the “Take Me There” Swedish massage. To top it all off, the 35 Steaks + Martinis restaurant is over the “My Wish” Surf & Turf dinner featuring filet mignon.

Rascal Flatts’ Vegas Riot! will play select weekends February 25 through March 14.

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Tim McGraw Announces Shotgun Rider Tour 2015 Dates

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will kick off the Shotgun Rider Tour 2015 June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The trek continues through a September 19 show in Irvine, California. Billy Currington and Chase Bryant will serve as the supporting acts for the four-month tour.

Look for Tim to perform “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from the documentary Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me at this Sunday night’s Academy Awards on ABC. The song is nominated in the Original Song category.

Here are Tim’s 2015 tour dates:

6/5 — Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena
6/6 — Dallas, TX, Gexa Energy Pavilion
6/11 — Wantagh, NY, Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre
6/12 — Boston, MA, XFinity Center
6/18 — Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavilion
6/19 — Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
7/10 — Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
7/11 — Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
7/16 — Toronto, ON (CAN), Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/18 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
7/19 — Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live
7/24 — Bonner Springs, KS, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
7/30 — Darien Center, NY, Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7/31 — Cleveland, OH, Blossom Music Pavilion
8/1 — Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
8/2 — Detroit, MI, DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/7 — Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/8 — Chicago, IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
8/9 — St. Louis, MO, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
8/14 — Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheater
8/21 — West Palm Beach, FL, Coral Sky Amphitheatre
8/22 — Tampa, FL, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/28 — Washington, D.C., Jiffy Lube Live
8/29 — Philadelphia, PA, Susquehanna Bank Center
8/30 — Pittsburgh, PA, First Niagara Pavilion
9/4 — Seattle, WA, White River Amphitheatre
9/5 — Portland, OR, Amphitheatre Northwest
9/9 – 9/10 — Denver, CO, Red Rocks Amphitheatre
9/12 — Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
9/17 — Sacramento, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre
9/18 — Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/19 — Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

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The Swon Brothers Debut Dramatically Hopeful New Video, “Pray for You”

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers‘ new video, “Pray for You,” is available exclusively on CMT and starting Wednesday and running through Thursday. The duo shot the dramatic clip at The Snow White Drive-In in Tennessee, and in the video the restaurants’ late-night patrons get a dose of hope along with their coffee and hamburgers.

As for the song itself, the duo’s Colton Swon says “Pray for You” is really special to them. “It’s a message of hope and it really stood out when we were choosing songs for our record,”  he says.

“Pray for You” is the follow-up to The Swon Brothers’ debut single, “Later On.” Both tracks are included on their self-titled debut album, available now.

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