The Swon Brothers Make the Hard Jump from “The Voice” to Country Radio with “Later On”

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers burst onto the national scene in a big way as contestants on NBC’s The Voice, but they knew that was no guarantee their debut single, “Later On,” would become a hit at country radio. Their coach on The Voice, Blake Shelton, made it clear they’d have to work very hard to earn their spot on those radio playlists.

The duo’s Zach Swon tells ABC News Radio, “You still have a lot of loyal fans, but getting the radio audience is a little harder task, and you have a lot to prove. I think that starts with the music. You gotta do something that connects with people or makes them feel something.”

Clearly, the fans and country radio love “Later On,” which is currently sitting inside the top 15 on the country chart. Getting that kind of exposure with “Later On” has really given a shot in the arm to the The Swon Brothers’ concerts, or “Swoncerts” as they like to call them.

“We know it’s paying off, ’cause now when we do shows, everybody sings it back to us,” Zach says, “and that’s the best feeling in the world.”

Fans can hear much more from The Swon Brothers when their self-titled debut album comes out next week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jerrod Niemann Hosting Benefit Concert for Songwriting Hero Whitey Shafer Tuesday in Nashville

Image Courtesy Arista Nashville/Darrin DickersonJerrod Niemann is hosting a benefit concert for legendary songwriter Whitey Shafer Tuesday night at Honky Tonk Central on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Tickets will be on sale at the door, and Jerrod promises fans some big surprises at the show.

Whitey Shafer is a co-writer of country classics like Lefty Frizzell‘s “I Never Go Around Mirrors” and “That’s the Way Love Goes” as well as George Strait‘s “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and “Ocean Front Property.” Shafer has been experiencing some health problems lately, and Jerrod wanted to help his friend out.

Says Jerrod, “Whitey is the first phone call I made when I moved to Nashville. We became buddies and he was kind enough to take me under his wing and open some doors for me. He’s my favorite songwriter, and I am so excited to be able to assist him in any way.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert Headlining 2015 Stagecoach Festival in California

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley are among the stars playing Stagecoach Festival 2015 in Indio, CA April 24, 25 and 26. The Band Perry, Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Sara Evans, and Frankie Ballard are among the other stars set to appear at Stagecoach.

Go to for the complete artist lineup and ticket information.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Scotty McCreery Calls on Fans to Donate to Newton, CT Charity on His 21st Birthday

Image Courtesy Russ Harrington/UMGScotty McCreery celebrates his 21st birthday Thursday, but he doesn’t want his fans to send him any presents or cards to mark the occasion. Instead, Scotty is calling on people to consider making a donation to the 12.14 Foundation. The organization was founded in the wake of the December, 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting to raise money for a multi-purpose performing arts and education center in Newtown, CT. The foundation hopes the facility will serve as “a beacon of hope and change.”

Scotty is the National Goodwill Ambassador for the 12.14 Foundation and has visited families in Newtown several times since the shooting. He says, “Together we can support a great organization doing positive things in a town that is still recovering. Let’s help them reach their goal of building a state-of-the art performing arts and education center. That would be the best birthday gift I could receive.”

Fans looking to donate to the cause can visit

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett & More Salute Newest Inductees into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood were among the stars honoring the newest inductees to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Sunday night in Music City. The organization held its 44th Anniversary Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction ceremony at the Music City Center, with Thomas Rhett performing a medley of inductee Paul Craft‘s compositions “Brother Jukebox” and “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life.”

Tim McGraw performed “My Little Girl” in honor of new Hall of Fame member Tom Douglas. Brandy Clark sang inductee Gretchen Peters‘ “You Don’t Even Know I Am” and “Independence Day,” which were hits for Patty Loveless and Martina McBride, respectively. Trisha Yearwood also saluted Peters singing “On a Bus to St. Cloud,” a single from Trisha’s 1994 album, Thinkin’ About You.

John Rich inducted John Anderson into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Josh Turner performed Anderson’s signature song, “Swingin’.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brantley Gilbert Says His 30th Birthday Is Going to Be a Hard One

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co. Brantley Gilbert will celebrate his 30th birthday in January, but he’s not exactly excited about reaching that milestone.

Brantley tells The Las Vegas Sun, “Thirty is going to be one of the hardest birthdays. I’ve been a bit of a wild child and didn’t always think I would make it to 30.”

He still plans to have a party of some sort. Brantley adds, “There will be a celebration for sure.”

Look for Brantley’s Let It Ride tour to hit a city near you this fall.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood hails from which Oklahoma town? ANSWER: Checotah.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood Gets Overwhelmed Shopping at Babies-R-Us

Image Courtesy CMACarrie Underwood and her husband, Mike Fisher, are preparing to welcome their first baby, and Carrie admits she gets nervous every time time she makes a shopping trip to Babies-R-Us.

Carrie tells CMT Hot 20, “We were walking around, and I was like, ‘This is just so overwhelming.’ I don’t want to get the wrong things. I don’t know what most of it does. There’s like 5,000 things to choose from.”

On the music front, Carrie’s new single, “Something in the Water,” is now available for download.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley Performing on CMA Awards

Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley have been added to the performers lineup for the 48th Annual CMA Awards. They join previously-announced performers The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, and Miranda Lambert.

Returning co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will perform on the CMA Awards, too. The show broadcasts live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on ABC Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Fires Back at Tabloid Claiming He and Miranda Lambert Are Growing Apart

Image Courtesy CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have learned to brush off the tabloid rumors that they’re headed for divorce, but Blake felt the need to respond via Twitter to the latest round of allegations.

In Touch Weekly quoted an unnamed source saying Miranda and Blake are “barely together,” and she is worried they’ll grow further apart if they don’t spend more time together.

Blake took to social media with the message, “Maybe because the divorce rate is so high the tabloids have just decided to play the odds with me and Miranda. Morons.” He then finished the message off with the hashtag #eatad*ck.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio