Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington is having a lot of fun with his latest single, "Hey Girl," and that lighthearted vibe continues on the rest of Billy's new album, We Are Tonight. Billy explains that cutting all these happy songs just happened organically.
He says, "I don't have anything sad to write about. And with the songs I hear, I seem to tend to draw towards the happier songs that other people write. So, nothing planned on that either. It's just how that came out."
Billy spends most of his time off the road on the water in California, Hawaii or his home state of Georgia, so that explains the sunny slant of his new music. There was one sad song that Billy loved though, called "Like It Never Happened," but he felt he had to drop it from the album.
"I didn't really want people to be laying out at a pool or something like that on the beach or whatever and hear the album and finally get to that one downer, and that makes 'em shut off the CD," Billy says with a laugh. "So, I was like, 'I'll take it off there.'"
We Are Tonight features a collaboration with Willie Nelson on the track "It's Hard to Be a Hippie" as well as Billy's cover of the Jack Johnson song "Banana Pancakes." The video for "Hey Girl" is now airing at Vevo.com.
DierksWhiskeyRow.comDierks Bentley has spent countless hours in bars, so he figured he might as well open one of his own. Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row opens on the 4th of July in Scottsdale, AZ near Dierks' hometown of Phoenix. The drink menu boasts 40 kinds of whiskey, and Dierks is especially excited about the beer taps available at every table.
"You can just have the waitress or waiter swipe your credit card on your table and there's three taps of beer at your table," Dierks explains. "Then there's one of just Fireball. So, you can sit at your own table, pour your own drinks and watch your money go down on this little thing that shows -- a hundred dollars, fifty, watch it go down."
Dierks describes the overall vibe of Whiskey Row as "young country," and live music will play a big role in creating that vibe. Dierks has even lined up one of country's hottest new acts to kick things off for the grand opening.
Says Dierks, "Jon Pardi's opening it up on July 4th. I couldn't be there. But it's gonna be fun."
Facebook.com/KellyClarksonThe artwork for Kelly Clarkson's new single "Tie It Up" shows Kelly dressed as a bride, with her arm literally tied to someone else's arm. But don't think she went and got some random dude to be an "arm model" for the shoot: she was 100 percent faithful to her fiance.
In a new behind-the-scenes video, Kelly reveals that she dragged her fiance Brandon Blackstock to the photo shoot, just so she could be tied to HIS arm in the photo. "I'm making him. He absolutely did not want to do this, but I'm making him," Kelly says in the video, as we see her and Brandon being tied together with rope for the photo session. "I just need his arm," laughs Kelly.
In the video, as a bunch of stylists swarm around Kelly primping and glamming her up, Brandon just stands there in regular clothes with a bemused expression on his face, with his arm tied to Kelly's. At one point, she looks over to him, and that's the shot that was captured for the single artwork. So now you know not only who she's tied to, but also who she's looking at.
"Tie It Up" is at iTunes now, and so is Kelly's other single, "People Like Us." Fans can choose whether or not they want to hear Kelly's country side or pop side.
Philip WageRodney Atkins is set to host his America's Heroes Celebration Weekend in Jekyll Island, GA next month. The three-day event honors servicemen and women with fireworks displays, concerts and dance parties running August 16 through 18. Rodney's Sunday night set will include his big hits "These Are My People" and "Take a Back Road" as well as tracks from his upcoming studio album.
Facebook.com/TeenChoiceAwardsA few country stars are mentioned in the second wave of 2013 Teen Choice Awards nominees.
Blake Shelton is up for Choice TV Personality -- Male category for his gig as a coach on The Voice. He's also mentioned in the Choice Country Song category for "Boys 'Round Here" with Pistol Annies. Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party," "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes' "I Want Crazy" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift round out the Choice Country Song nominees.
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and The Band Perry hit "DONE." are mentioned in the Choice Break-Up Song category. Taylor's song "I Knew You Were Trouble" earned her a nomination in the Choice Single: Female Artist list.
Voting is now open for the 2013 Teen Choice Awards at TeenChoiceAwards.com. The show airs live Sunday, August 11 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.
Greg WatermannToby Keith's tour bus caught fire early Monday morning on I-65 near Lebanon, IN. The singer wasn't on board at the time, according to Indianapolis TV station WISH. Backup singers and crew members were on board the bus when the fire occurred, but no injuries were reported.
The bus was headed back to Nashville after Toby's Sunday night show in Chicago when the driver saw flames shooting from the back of the vehicle. He successfully pulled the bus over into the emergency lane after the vehicle lost power.
Southern GroundThe Zac Brown Band handles pretty much every aspect of their career in-house starting with touring and recording down to concert t-shirts and backstage catering. Front man Zac Brown even runs a machine shop that built the human catapult you see in their latest video, "Jump Right In." So, why does the band insist on doing things their own way?
Zac explains, "We can control the quality, and we can innovate. And there's no one to tell us that we can't do something."
Putting such a premium on quality control gives Zac a leg up among fans too.
"This is a very competitive business," Zac says of the music industry, "and people that invest in our merchandise, invest in our ticket to our show, they could easily buy someone else's stuff. So, we have the ability to really do things uniquely."
While Zac is proud to create jobs here in America, he and his band are also busy building a European fan base. They performed shows at the Glastonbury Music Festival and London's Hyde Park over the weekend. Zac Brown Band wraps up their European trek with a Monday night show at Shepherd's Bush Empire in London.