Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd is set to open for Rascal Flatts at their nine-show residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino venue, The Joint, launching February 25.

Jerrod Niemann will headline the Chords for a Cause benefit concert to raise money for Monroe Carell, JR. Children’s Hospital on Tuesday January 27 at Nashville’s Dan McGuiness Irish Pub. Admission is free to the public but donations are appreciated.


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Eric Church to Keep His Growing Family with Him on the Road Once New Baby Arrives

Image Courtesy Capitol Nashville/John PeetsEric Church is set to perform on the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 8, which is right around the time his wife, Katherine, is due to give birth to their second child.

Eric says, “I told my wife, if you can just make it ’til day after the Grammys, we’re good for whatever happens after that. So, it’s gonna be close.”

After the little one arrives, Eric and Katherine plan to take the baby on the road as soon as possible. Eric’s boy, Boone, started traveling on the tour bus at just two months old, and the three-year-old is now an old pro at touring life.

“His favorite thing in the whole world is to get on the tour bus, which is scary for a guy who does that for a living,” Eric says of Boone, “but he’s great, man. He likes to run around the arena.”

To keep Boone entertained throughout the day, the family sets up a 20-by-20 foot blow-up house for the little one backstage. Boone is currently obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so he’s constantly engaged in what Eric calls “Ninja Turtle training.” Getting that playtime in with his son while on the road is a big treat for Eric.

He says, “To be able to have the family out there, it also adds to the professional side. Just helps feel like when I walk on that stage, I’m not missing another aspect of my life.”

Eric continues The Outsiders World Tour with a two-night stand at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas this Friday and Saturday night.


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Reba Is Teaming Up the Cast of “Nashville” for New “On the Record” Special Airing This Spring

Image Courtesy CMAReba is teaming up with the cast of ABC’s Nashville to tape a new installment of the show’s Nashville: On the Record TV specials to air this spring. She’ll sing her brand-new single, “Going Out Like That,” on the show.

Cast members Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, Lennon and Maisy Stella, Clare Bowen and Will Chase are slated to perform for Nashville: On the Record, taping at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House on Saturday, January 31.  Tickets to attend the taping go on sale to the public Wednesday through Opry.com.

Of note, Aubrey Peeples, who plays Layla Grant on Nashville, is slated to perform at the Nashville: On the Record taping. It’s not clear what this means for her character, whose life hung in the balance in Nashville‘s winter finale. The show’s third season resumes with all-new episodes February 4 on ABC.


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Darius Rucker Announces New “Southern Style” Album and Tour

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker will release his fourth country album, titled Southern Style, on March 31. The project features his latest single, “Homegrown Honey.”

Look for Darius to support Southern Style with the Southern Style Tour, launching May 14 in Holmdel, NJ. The trek will feature Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne, and A Thousand Horses in the supporting slots.

Here are the announced cities for Darius’s Southern Style Tour.  More info coming soon:

Holmdel, NJ
Pittsburgh, PA
Alpharetta, GA
Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Scranton, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Detroit, MI
Toronto, ON
Dallas, TX
Houston, TX
St. Louis, MO
Indianapolis, IN
Cincinnati, OH
Gilford, NH
Mansfield, MA
Wantaugh, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
Denver, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Mountain View, CA
Irvine, CA
Chula Vista, CA
Cleveland, OH
Darien Lake, NY
Columbia, MD
Charlotte, NC
Virginia Beach, VA


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockReba‘s duet partner on the Grammy-winning hit, “Does He Love You,” is also the mother of Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott. What is this artist’s name? ANSWER: Linda Davis.


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Newcomer Mickey Guyton Ready to Take Her Place Among Country Music’s Big-Voiced Female Stars

Image Courtesy UMG/David McClisterCountry newcomer Mickey Guyton made her Grand Ole Opry debut this past weekend performing her first single, “Better Than You Left Me.” The song is shaping up to be a big hit at country radio, and Mickey is excited to follow in the footsteps of her country female vocalist heroes like Reba, Martina McBride and Faith Hill. In fact, it was another big-voiced female country star that first inspired Mickey to sing country music in the first place.

While attending a Texas Rangers baseball game with her family, an eight-year-old Mickey heard a then-10-year-old LeAnn Rimes sing the national anthem. The country newcomer calls that experience “a turning point” in her life.

Mickey tells ABC News Radio, “The voice that came out of her just mesmerized me. I couldn’t believe that someone close to my age sounded like a grown woman.”

From there, Mickey went on to find her own voice studying the music of Reba, Patty Loveless and Whitney Houston throughout the 1990s.

“That was the decade of female, powerful voices, especially in country music, which I miss hearing so much,” Mickey says. “I get that from, obviously, Carrie, Miranda and Kacey, but I miss all those voices. That’s what got me there.”

Mickey recruited her friends and her dog, Charlie, to appear in the music video for “Better Than You Left Me.” It’s now streaming on Vevo.


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Eric Church to Perform on Grammy Awards

EB MediaEric Church, who’s nominated for four Grammys this year, including Best Country Album for The Outsiders, is among the first performers announced for the Grammy telecast in February.

In addition to Eric, the first batch of performers announced includes Madonna, hard rock legends AC/DC, and pop stars Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

The Grammys air February 8 on CBS.



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Brantley Gilbert Ready to Expand His Horizons with Upcoming European Concerts

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is headed across the pond for a run of shows through Europe starting next month. It’s a long way from his native Georgia, and Brantley admits he didn’t do much traveling before he launched his country career.

Says Brantley, “Before this thing really got to the point it’s at, I was a southeast guy. I never really left Georgia all that much except for travelin’ to play shows.”

As part of the C2C: Country to Country festival tour launching February 28, Brantley will entertain fans in Norway, Sweden, Ireland and England. He’s not quite sure what to expect compared to touring in the United States, but Brantley is keeping an open mind as he prepares for the shows.

“As far as goin’ to another country, that’s definitely different,” Brantley says. “I’m definitely excited to see how much fun it’s gonna be, but I’m lookin’ forward to it. It’s gonna be a good time.”

Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum and Kip Moore are among the other stars performing at the Country to Country shows this year.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKeith Urban has released his collaboration with Eric Church, “Raise ‘Em Up,” as the new single from his Grammy-nominated album Fuse.

Trace Adkins is playing Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras concert series on March 7. The Band Perry will also perform as part of the Mardi Gras series on April 11.

The George Jones Museum in downtown Nashville will open on the weekend of April 24 to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the country legend’s passing on April 26. The museum is being spearheaded by George’s wife, Nancy, and will feature memorabilia and personal items telling the story of Jones’ career.


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Zac Brown Band Is Back with New Single, “Homegrown,” and New Record Label Deals

Image Courtesy Southern GroundZac Brown Band is back with a brand-new single, “Homegrown.” It’s an upbeat love song with an electric guitar-driven track that marks a new chapter in the group’s sound. Fans can expect a full album from Zac Brown Band this spring.

Zac tells Rolling Stone Country, “There will be things that people will expect and things that they don’t.”

The group will release the new album as a joint venture between their own Southern Ground Records, fashion designer John Varvatos‘s record label and Nashville-based Big Machine Records, home of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Florida Georgia Line. Zac hopes having these support of these companies will give the band a global boost.

Says Zac, “We’ve never had any corporate support from Nashville; we’ve always been looked at as outsiders. So being a part of a team there is going to help us.”

“Homegrown” is now available for download at iTunes.


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