Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGuests at Dierks Bentley‘s Wednesday night #1 party  for “Drunk on a Plane” all wore fake mustaches, aviator sunglasses and pilot caps to look like Dierks’ character from the video. The signature cocktails served at the party included The Landing Strip, Stewardess’ Delight, Mile High Margarita and The Full Throttle.

Scotty McCreery ranks at #16 on Billboard‘s list of the Top 21 Under 21 people in music.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley Doesn’t Have Time to Get “Drunk on a Plane”

Image Courtesy Nino MunozIf you happen to see Dierks Bentley boarding a flight you’re taking, don’t assume you’ve found a new drinking buddy. Ever since he scored a big hit with “Drunk on a Plane,” Dierks says people always expect him to tie one on every time he’s up in the air.

Dierks explains, “I’ve been on a lot of airplanes traveling all over the country, but it’s been like, we’ve been so busy and just too much work going on to get too drunk.”

Plus, the guy in “Drunk on a Plane” is nursing a big broken heart over his fiancée bailing on their wedding and honeymoon. When Dierks travels, he’s usually on his way to play a show or take care of some other business.

Dierks adds, “I don’t get drunk on every flight that I take. The song’s not even about that.”

Dierks did tip one back at his Wednesday night party at The Sutler in Nashville to toast “Drunk on a Plane” going to #1. The follow-up single is titled “Say You Do,” and both songs are included on Dierks’ latest album, RISER.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Nashville” Recap: That’s Me Without You

ABCABC’s Nashville returned for a third season Wednesday night with the answers to quite a few questions from last season’s cliffhanger.

Closeted country singer Will Lexington and his new wife, Layla Grant, decided to get a divorce after he came clean about being gay. Unfortunately, the producer of their reality show, Gina, has the footage of Will’s private confession, and tells them they have to continue their sham marriage or basically pay the network back for the cost of the show.

In order to get over the heartbreak of learning his girlfriend Juliette Barnes cheated on him with record label exec Jeff Fordham,  Avery Barkley headed out on a road trip out of Nashville to Mississippi with ex-girlfriend, Scarlett O’Connor, and her ex-boyfriend, Gunnar Scott. In the end, the three of them sorted out their problems after Avery got into a bar fight and headed back to Music City.

Avery will be shocked to learn Juliette is pregnant once he gets back home, though. Juliette had a breakdown while singing Patsy Cline‘s “Crazy” for a group of movie executives, but the suits liked her vulnerability portraying Patsy. She has a good shot at getting the role, but the doctor brought in to make sure her meds were regulated told her she would be delivering either Avery or Jeff’s baby in about nine months.

As for the reigning Queen of Country Music, Rayna Jaymes, she ultimately decided to stick with her engagement with fellow superstar, Luke Wheeler, over getting married to her long-time love, Deacon Claybourne. While thinking back on her stormy relationship with Deacon, Rayna realized Luke had been there for her all along when Deacon let her down.

A heartbroken Deacon performed a song he’d written for Rayna titled “I Know How to Love You Now,” during a live radio broadcast from the Bluebird Café. He knew she didn’t show up for the performance, that she’d turned him down for Luke.

Charles Esten, who plays Deacon on Nashville, actually co-wrote “I Know How to Love You Now,” and performed it live on Wednesday night’s broadcast. It’s the first time one of his self-penned songs has made it onto the show.

Charles tells ABC News Radio, “For me to know that something I wrote was able to get past the (Laughs) quality control that they have on this show, it wasn’t an easy thing. It’s the third season, and I sort of like that. It means that, hopefully, it means I earned it a little bit.”

He co-wrote the song with “Strawberry Wine” singer Deana Carter, and it ended up being the perfect soundtrack to Deacon and Rayna’s love story.

“I know that Deana and I put a whole lot of work and heart into it,” Charles says. “So, this is just unbelievable to get to do this.” 

Florida Georgia Line performed their new single “Dirt” at the end of the show with Charles onstage as if they were performing with his character Deacon at the Bluebird cafe.

The new songs from ABC’s Nashville are now available for download at iTunes. The show returns next Wednesday night at 10 Eastern time.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Kenny Chesney Will Be Celebrity Guest Picker on ESPN College Game Day

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony

Kenny Chesney will be the celebrity guest picker on ESPN’s College Game Day Saturday. The show will broadcast live from the University of South Carolina, and Kenny is also set to perform “American Kids” on the famed Horseshoe on campus that day, too.  The South Carolina Gamecocks will take on the Missouri Tigers Saturday night on ESPN. Kenny recently produced the ESPN documentary, The Believer, about the life and career of legendary South Carolina football coach, Steve Spurrier.

Kenny’s new album, The Big Revival, just came out this week featuring the #1 hit, “American Kids,” and his new single, “‘Til It’s Gone.”  Look for Kenny to continue promoting the project with an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday. He’ll stop by TBS’s CONAN on Monday followed by an appearance on The Meredith Vieira Show on Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Joins Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley on Public Television’s “Front and Center” Lineup

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban has been added to this season’s lineup for public television’s music series Front and Center. He’ll perform on November 4, just a week after Lady Antebellum‘s previously-announced appearance on October 28. Dierks Bentley will also share the stage with several top Nashville songwriters on Front and Center October 14. Check local listings for air time.

Lady A and Dierks’ appearances are tied to the celebration of the CMA Songwriters Series’ 10th anniversary.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Scores 15th #1 on “Billboard” Country Albums Chart with “Sundown Heaven Town”

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCongratulations to Tim McGraw on scoring his 15th career #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart this week with Sundown Heaven Town. The project features his hit “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” with Faith Hill, and the new single, “Shotgun Rider.”

“Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” is up for Single of the Year and Musical Event of the Year at the 48th Annual CMA Awards airing live on ABC Wednesday, November 5.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley met while attending which Nashville college? ANSWER: Belmont University.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Big & Rich Celebrate Their 10th Anniversary with Hit Song, “Look at You,” and New Album, “Gravity

Image Courtesy Big & Rich RecordsBig & Rich celebrate the 10th anniversary of their breakthrough hit, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” and their multi-platinum debut project, Horse of a Different Color, with a brand-new album, Gravity, in stores this week. The project features the duo’s latest top-20 country hit, “Look at You,” which the duo’s Big Kenny says has made a big impact on their fans, right out of the box.

“That song to me, as well as some others on this record, was a place that we hit a uniquely Big & Rich sound on it, vocally,” Kenny tells ABC News Radio. “Insanely well-written song — great melody, a great production.”

Kenny’s duo partner, John Rich, agrees that they’re firing on all cylinders with Gravity.

“The songs on this record, I think, are probably some of the best lyrics and sonics that Kenny and I have ever done,” John says. “Really, they should be. You should continue to get better at your music.”

Kenny compares the past 10 years of their career to going to high school then on to college as far as songwriting goes.  He says, “You get to 10 years, you’re starting to get your Ph.D. in songwriting.”

John adds with a laugh, “And the next thing you know, you’re in adult diapers, which is where we’ll probably be on the next record.”

In addition to “Look at You,” Gravity includes a duet with Big & Rich’s pal Tim McGraw on a song titled “Lovin’ Lately.”

Look for Big & Rich to promote Gravity with appearances on NBC’s Today on Thursday and ABC’s The Chew on Friday. They’ll appear on FOX News’ Huckabee this Saturday, too.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Garth Brooks Announces Minneapolis Concerts Coming Up November 14 and 15

Image Courtesy CMAGarth Brooks has announced four shows in Minneapolis on Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15.

The concerts will start at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time each night, but Garth could add even more dates after tickets on go on sale Friday, October 3 at or 1-855-411-4849.

These concerts mark Garth’s first time playing in Minnesota in more than 16 years. Of course, his wife Trisha Yearwood is also on the bill.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

ABC’s “Nashville” Returns Tonight Featuring Two Live Performances and a Florida Georgia Line Cameo

Image Courtesy ABC/Mark LevineThe third season of ABC’s Nashville premieres Wednesday night featuring two live performances during the hour-long broadcast. Chris Carmack, who plays Will Lexington, and Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne, will actually perform twice Wednesday night — first for the east coast and then again two hours later for the west coast. They’ll have a live audience watching the performance at the show’s Nashville-area soundstage.

Even though Charles has plenty of experience doing improv with his former gig on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, he’s not taking this live prime-time performance lightly.

“This is a little bit different,” Charles tells ABC News Radio. This is pretty ‘up there without a net.’  But I’m surrounded by these incredible musicians — the same musicians that I did the recording of the song with. It will be on iTunes and everywhere else. So, I know I’m in good company surrounded by the best.”

Florida Georgia Line is also making a cameo on the Nashville premiere Wednesday night, but the big question of the night is which suitor Rayna Jaymes will choose to marry? She’s already accepted a proposal from her superstar boyfriend, Luke Wheeler, but her long-time love, Deacon, has also stepped up and asked for Rayna’s hand in marriage. That act of courage makes Charles Esten proud of his character, who was at rock bottom at the beginning of season two.

Says Charles, “He climbed his way back and crawled his way back through recovery and through doing all the things you do one step at a time, one day at a time to the point that he felt like he didn’t have to walk away when he saw Luke ask Rayna to marry him.”

ABC’s Nashville premieres Wednesday night at 10 ET. Look for Luke Bryan and Sara Evans to appear in upcoming episodes.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio