Brad Paisley Drew from Childhood Memories for His Latest Single, “River Bank”

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley grew up 500 yards from the Ohio River in West Virginia, so he had a ton of memories to draw from while writing his latest single, “River Bank.”

Brad tells The Tennessean, “My best memories with my grandfather are on that body of water, and my dad and learning to ski.  It’s kind of like a back-to-basics song.”

“River Bank” is the lead single from Brad’s upcoming album, due out later this year.  He started working on the album in January and finished writing it in just three months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Pops Up on “Saturday Night Live” to Support Pal Ed Sheeran

Image Courtesy Ed Sheeran via Instagram

Taylor Swift’s now a part-time New York City resident, so she didn’t have to go out of her way too much to make a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

The singer appeared onstage during host Seth Rogen’s opening monologue, along with a few other unannounced guests: Zooey Deschanel and James Franco.  Rogen angrily insisted that he didn’t need his famous friends to come by and help him out, and when he asked Taylor what she was doing there, she replied, “You’re getting really upset, and when a man shows emotion, I appear!”

But the real reason she was there was to support her good friend Ed Sheeran, who was making his Saturday Night Live debut.  In fact, it was she, and not Rogen, who announced that he was the musical guest.  Ed performed two songs from his forthcoming album, X:Sing” and “Don’t.”   The latter song is about a woman Ed was seeing, who he claims cheated on him with a friend while they were staying at the same hotel.  While the woman in question was a musician, Ed has insisted that Taylor is not the subject of the song.

At the end of the show, Taylor joined Ed, Rogen and the rest of the cast onstage for the traditional good-byes.  Zooey Deschanel stayed around to say goodbye as well, and she and Taylor very spoke animatedly to each other and appeared to jump up and down with delight while chatting.  You may recall that Taylor guest-starred on Deschanel’s show New Girl last year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Miranda Lambert Fires Back at Tabloid Rumors with New Song “Priscilla”

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is now so famous the tabloids only use her first name when printing stories about her relationship with husband Blake Shelton.

One of those obviously fabricated stories inspired the song “Priscilla,” which is on her upcoming album, Platinum.  Miranda was hanging out at her Nashville condo with writer Natalie Hemby when Natalie noticed a tabloid on the kitchen counter.

Miranda tells People Country, “It had a story that I was pregnant or getting an abortion or leaving Blake  — or all three.  Natalie asked, ‘How do you deal with all this BS?’  I just told her I had no choice.  It’s just part of the deal now, and I’m still adjusting.”

Natalie took that conversation with Miranda and wrote “Priscilla,” a song that finds Miranda reaching out to Elvis Presley‘s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, for advice on how to deal with Blake’s growing fame.

“Blake and I are nothing like Elvis and Priscilla, obviously,” Miranda says, “but with anyone who reaches that level of celebrity, it creates a pull on the couple.  You are being pulled apart.  Literally.”

Blake and Miranda make it work by carving out time to be together and supporting each other on their separate projects.

She says, “I just love being his wife and watching him do his job, and he does the same for me.”

Miranda’s new album, Platinum, is due June 3.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Is Doing Its Part to Outnumber Hunger

CMAFlorida Georgia Line is the face of the annual Outnumber Hunger campaign, but the group has been working to help the hungry for several years now.

The duo has performed at the Stars for Second Harvest concert to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville for the past two years. Before that, when he was in college, FGL’s Brian Kelley chipped in with his basketball teammates at Belmont University to take food to the homeless in downtown Nashville almost every week.

Brian tells USA Today, “It was no organization, just us trying to help.  Even a college student can buy five cheeseburgers for five bucks — that’s five meals right there.”

Duo partner Tyler Hubbard feels that giving back to those less fortunate comes with the territory since they’ve become country stars.

“It’s hard for us to get burned out doing something that helps others when we look around and see what everybody’s doing for us,” Tyler explains.

Look for a photo of Florida Georgia Line on select General Mills products.  The boxes will include codes that shoppers can enter online in order to help provide money to food banks.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Justin Moore Honored with Armed Forces Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award

Valory Music Co.Justin Moore was recognized with the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Armed Forces Foundation this week at the 10th Annual Congressional Gala in Washington, D.C.

Justin was selected for the honor in large part of his work with the Crown Royal Your Hero’s Name Here contest, which gives servicemen and women the chance to have their name be the title of a NASAR race.

While Justin admits he feels uncomfortable being honored in a room full of soldiers, he says, “I’m thrilled to know that what I do with the AFF has helped, and that it is appreciated by all. Both of my grandpas served in our military and they, along with my parents, instilled in me what our servicemen and women mean to us.”

Justin’s label mate, Cassadee Pope, was also on hand at the Congressional Gala.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan to Perform on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards

Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan has signed on to perform on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, May 18 on ABC. Imagine Dragons, John Legend and OneRepublic are also set to appear on the show, broadcasting live from Las Vegas.

Luke is up for six trophies at the Billboard Music Awards, including Top Male Artist and Top Country Artist.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThomas Rhett‘s father scored several country hits in the mid-’90s. What is his name? ANSWER: Rhett Akins.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason Aldean Showing Off His Vocal Talent on Upcoming Studio Album

Photo Credit: James MinchinJason Aldean is known for his larger-than-life stage shows and party anthems, but you only have to listen to the last part of his recent hit, “Night Train,” to know Jason can really sing, too.  When asked about his big vocals on that song, Jason says with a laugh, “Thank God for tuners.”

While he admits hits like “Dirt Road Anthem” don’t really show off his vocal power, Jason adds, “I like recording songs like that where I can kinda show that side of everything a little bit.  Show my vocals a little bit more.”

Jason, who just won his second ACM Male Vocalist of the Year award, is in the studio this week recording the vocals for his upcoming studio album.

He says, “I think we’ll have a new single coming out off of it probably end of June, first of July, maybe something like that.  And then the album dropping later this fall.”

Jason launches his Burn It Down tour May 1 in Roanoke, Virginia, with special guests Florida Georgia Line and Tyler FarrMiranda Lambert will join the bill for select stadium shows.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockNew group Natalie Stovall and the Drive will make their national TV debut on Fox Business’s Imus in the Morning on April 15.

Brantley Gilbert, Craig Campbell and more will take part in the Tug McGraw Foundation’s 3rd Annual Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am June 3 at the Nashville Gun Club. Proceeds go to help military service men and women affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Little Big Town finished recording the vocals for their upcoming studio album Thursday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dolly Parton to Debut New Album, “Blue Smoke,” on April 27 QVC Special

Dolly RecordsDolly Parton will debut songs from her new album, Blue Smoke, on QVC with a live concert performance Sunday, April 27 at 7 p.m. ET.

Fans can purchase the new album along with an exclusive deluxe edition of Dolly Live starting April 24 through QVC.com. That’s a full 20 days before the project lands in stores and online.

Dolly brings her Blue Smoke World Tour back to the U.S. with a May 22 show in Tulsa, OK.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio