Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe nominations for the 50th Annual ACM Awards were to be announced Tuesday morning, but that announcement has been postponed until later this week due to the severe snowstorm in the Northeast.
Hunter Hayes,Brandy Clark, Taylor Swift and Lee Ann Womack were among the stars on hand for the annual Grammy Awards nominees party Monday night at Nashville’s Loews Vanderbilt Hotel. They’ll all be on hand for the actual Grammy Awards ceremony coming up February 8 on CBS.
Maddie & Tae gave a surprise performance of their new single, “Fly,” while in the air on a Southwest flight Monday as part of the airline’s Live at 35 series.
UMG NashvilleSamHunt previewed his Lipstick Graffiti tour with a five-song performance at Nashville’s Rocketown Monday evening. The mini-concert was staged during Sam’s party celebrating his first #1 hit as an artist, “Leave the Night On.”
A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on Jan 26, 2015 at 2:11pm PST
In keeping with the name of the tour, artists created graffiti paintings in the venue as Sam worked his way through the Montevallo album tracks “Speakers” and “Break Up in a Small Town.” Sam recruited four break dancers, including two very young dancers, to bust some moves in the crowd for his final song, “House Party.”
Image Courtesy Broken Bow Label GroupChase Bryant is heading out on a headlining club tour starting this Friday, January 30 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The Take It On Back Tour launches as Chase’s debut hit, also titled “Take It On Back,” hits the top 10 on the country chart. He’ll be on the road with Tim McGraw later this year, but Chase wanted to take this opportunity to connect with his fans in smaller venues.
In a message to his fans posted at Billboard.com, Chase says, “I wanted to bring the party to you guys and just kick it old school. We’re all fans. We’re all friends. The music is our connection. We’ll all get where we’re going together. That’s the beauty of music.”
Chase is bringing DJ Hish along as his opening act for the club tour.
Here are Chase Bryant’s Take It On Back Tour Dates:
1/30 — Wilmington, NC, Ziggy’s by the Sea 1/31 — Greenville, SC, Blind Horse Saloon 2/7 — Medina, OH, Thirsty Cowboys 2/12 — Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall 2/13 — Springfield, IL, Boondocks 2/14 — Chicago, IL, Joe’s on Weed 3/5 — Greensboro, NC, Cone Denim Entertainment Center 3/6 — Myrtle Beach, SC, The Boathouse 3/7 — Charlotte, NC, Coyote Joe’s 3/19 — Dallas, TX, The Rustic 3/20 — New Braunfels, TX, Gruene Hall 3/21 — Oklahoma City, OK, Diamond Ballroom 3/26 — Nacogdoches, TX, Banita Creek Hall 3/27 — Baton Rouge, IL, Texas Club 4/3 — Indianapolis, IN, 8 Seconds Club
Image Courtesy Sony Music/Blue ChairTicket demand for Kenny Chesney‘s two-night stand in Nashville remains extremely high. That’s why Kenny and his team have opened up several hundred more seats for the sold-out Music City dates, coming up March 26 and 27. These shows mark the beginning of Kenny’s The Big Revival tour, and he’s very excited to see his fans grabbing up the concert tickets so fast.
Says Kenny, “To me, it’s about the passion the people who love this music bring. They give us the fuel to really push — and I promise we’re working on creating a really rocking show!”
The newly-released tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster, but they aren’t expected to last long.
Image Courtesy CMAAs Thomas Rhett prepares to release his sophomore CD later this year, he says he’s happy to be competing with a group of new artists who are constantly upping the ante– among them, the trio of Music City natives known as The Cadillac Three.
“I’m obsessed with The Cadillac Three, I’m sure that everybody in Nashville is, but they are the funnest people in the world to watch, to me,” he confesses. “So, I wish the best for those guys. They inspire me. We’ve done shows with them a bunch and they — when you have somebody that opens for you that really like sets that bar, makes you appreciate somebody a whole lot. When somebody can get on stage before you and, you know, I’ve been in that spot. We’ve opened for people and we really just try to get out there and slaughter somebody. That’s just what you do.”
At the end of the day, Thomas says all the competition is friendly.
“It’s fun to be in competition with each other and at the end of the day you’re all best friends and The Cadillac Three have done that for me. They’ve definitely made me step up my game a lot of nights and they’re super-talented and they do it with just three people, which blows my mind.”
When it comes to female artists, Thomas says he has his eye on former Voice contestant RaeLynn.
“I think that RaeLynn is super talented. I’ve written with RaeLynn and me and Rae have gotten to know, we’re on the same record label, and all that kinda stuff, and I’ve seen her play a bunch a little songwriters nights and stuff, and I just think that girl’s a superstar. I love her single ‘God Made Girls.’ I think she’s great.”
Right now, Thomas Rhett is on the Anything Goes tour with Florida Georgia Line and Frankie Ballard.
Image Courtesy UMG NashvilleWhile some fans may have been disappointed at the lack of a country single on Taylor Swift’s latest album, newcomer Sam Hunt says he can’t help but admire her evolution as an artist.
“I can definitely relate to her progress,” he says. “She’s somebody who I’ve always had a whole lot of respect for. Even though I didn’t necessarily relate personally to her songs, always, I always had a huge respect for her songwriting.”
Taylor’s album has spent eight non-consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard album chart, it’s currently #2, and Sam believes he understands her motivations.
“She doesn’t want to make the same record over and over again, and there’s an evolution. You know, she’s influenced by other genres of music. As much as, I’m sure, she loves country music, I’m sure that if she has the ability, she wants to continue to write things that inspire her, and I feel the same way.”
Even though Sam only has his debut album Montevallo under his belt, he hopes fans will notice similar progress from song to song.
“You can see that, not with multiple albums, but you can see that on this specific album. Over the course of a nine month period, I felt the same way. You know, every time I’d write a song, I’d want to push it a little more with the next one. There are several songs you can see the progression with.”
Sam is currently climbing the country charts with his latest single, “Take Your Time.”
Blake Shelton brought country music to Saturday Night Live in a big way as the host and musical guest this past weekend.
In addition to performing his #1 hits “Neon Light” and “Boys Round Here,”, Blake recreated the “Picking and Grinning” segment from the classic country variety show Hee Haw for his monologue. Several SNL cast members, dressed in gingham and overalls, joined Blake onstage for the Hee Haw bit, but his attempts at teaching them about G-rated country humor went south very quickly.
Next up, Blake wore a blonde wig and moustache to look like Alan Jackson for the ’90s-inspired music video, “Wishin’ Boot,” co-starring Aidy Bryant as a version of Wynonna and Kate McKinnon dressed up like Reba. The inspirational song parody told the story of a boot that mysteriously appeared to grant wishes for the down-and-out.
The country theme continued with Blake playing an Iowa farmer looking for love in “Farm Hunk,” a version of ABC’s The Bachelor. He actually played himself in a Celebrity Family Feud sketch with the SNL players in the role of Blake’s fellow coaches from The Voice taking on the American Idol judges. Later, Blake played a singer/songwriter performing a disturbing love song he had to write for his landlord. He closed out the show with turns as a Texas parole board officer and a heckler at a magic show.
Blake joins a short list of country stars to host Saturday Night Live, including Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash.
UMG NashvilleWhen tickets go on sale Monday for the Sounds of Summer tour, newcomer Canaan Smith will already have a major bonding moment under his belt with headliner Dierks Bentley — one he calls “the worst experience of my life.” Dierks enlisted his tourmates, including Kip Moore and Maddie & Tae, to take part in his annual Polar Plunge this January.
“It was so freaking cold. The ride out to the middle of the lake on the pontoon was miserable enough, and then when we took our clothes off and jumped in subzero water, that was another thing,” Canaan recalls. “Then riding back against the wind to the shore was the cherry on top,”
He’s looking forward to performing his latest hit, “Love You Like That,” in a warmer climate, when Dierks’ tour kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.