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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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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Dierks Bentley Taking Kip Moore and Maddie & Tae on the Road This Summer

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley is taking Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and newcomer Canaan Smith on the road for the 2015 Sounds of Summer tour starting June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina. They’ll play 40 cities over the summer.  Dierks gathered his opening acts on Nashville’s Percy Priest Lake on January 4 to take part in his annual New Year’s polar plunge.

Dierks says of his opening acts, “If our first ‘tour meeting’ is any indication, they are up for anything, which is awesome. No one is going to have more fun this summer than us!”

A video of Dierks and company’s polar plunge is now posted at People.com. Keep checking Dierks.com for tour dates and on-sale information.

Here are Dierks’ 2015 Tour cities:

Raleigh, NC
Cleveland, OH
Buffalo, NY
Lansing, MI
St. Louis, MO
Chicago, IL
Pittsburgh, PA
New York, NY
Boston, MA
Philadelphia, PA
Tampa, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Virginia Beach, VA
Washington, D.C.
Schaghticoke, NY
Morristown, OH
Charlotte, NC
Birmingham, AL
Oshkosh, WI
Twin Lakes, WI
Ft. Wayne, IN
Sweet Home, OR
Merritt, BC (CAN)
Quincy, WA
Detroit Lakes, MN
Prairie du Chien, WI
Norfolk, NE
Denver, CO
Albuquerque, NM
Phoenix, AZ
San Diego, CA
Fresno, CA
Mt. View, CA
Sacramento, CA
Corpus Christi, TX
Austin, TX
Dallas, TX
Cincinnati, OH
Indianapolis, IN



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Keith Urban and Kacey Musgraves Playing New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Image Courtesy CMAKeith Urban is performing on opening night of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival April 24. The event stretches over two weekends, with Kacey Musgraves set to perform on the festival’s closing night, May 3.

Elton John, Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga, The Who, Jimmy Buffett, Ed Sheeran, and Jerry Lee Lewis are among the other acts playing New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course.

Go to NOJazzFest.com for ticket information.


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Tim McGraw Launching Shotgun Rider Tour This June with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw will launch his Shotgun Rider Tour ’15 this June with special guests Billy Currington and Chase Bryant. The tour takes its title from Tim’s latest #1 hit, “Shotgun Rider.” 

Tim will surely have to bump one of his other 34 chart-toppers to make room for the newer music, but putting together a new show is pure pleasure for him.  He says, “I love going through the process of making our set list and working on the production elements to bring the show to life. We just like to lay it all out there every night — sling sweat, have fun and help make some summertime memories for everyone who joins us.”

So far, Tim has only announced the tour cities for his new trek. They include:

Little Rock, AR
Dallas, TX
Wantagh, NY
Boston, MA
Phoenix, AZ
Albuquerque, NM
Raleigh, NC
Charlotte, NC
Toronto, ON (CAN)
Hartford, CT
Holmdel, NJ
Virginia Beach, VA
Darien Center, NY
Cleveland, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Detroit, MI
Indianapolis, IN
Chicago, IL
St. Louis, MO
West Palm Beach, FL
Tampa, FL
Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia, PA
Portland, OR
Seattle, WA
Denver, CO
Salt Lake City, UT
Sacramento, CA
Mountain View, CA
Irvine, CA



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Luke, Blake, Miranda, Eric and More Playing Houston Rodeo Starting March 3

Image Courtesy ABC/Dick Clark ProductionsLuke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw are among the headliners for the 2015 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The nightly concerts kick off March 3 at NRG Park and run through March 22. Tickets are available at RodeoHouston.com and AXS.com/RodeoHouston.

Here are the country stars performing at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo:

3/3 — Eric Church
3/4 — Hunter Hayes
3/5 — Miranda Lambert
3/7 — Alan Jackson
3/9 — Justin Moore
3/10 — Tim McGraw
3/11 — Brantley Gilbert
3/12 — Zac Brown Band
3/14 — Billy Currington
3/16 — Dierks Bentley
3/18 — Florida Georgia Line
3/19 — Blake Shelton
3/20 — The Band Perry
3/21 — Brad Paisley
3/22 — Luke Bryan



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Semi-Finalists Announced for Fan-Voted ACM New Artist of the Year Award

Image Courtesy Academy of Country MusicThe semi-finalists for this year’s fan-voted ACM New Artist of the Year award have been announced. Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett, Chase Rice, Cole Swindell, and Dan + Shay all made the cut and will go on to compete for a spot among the final three nominees.

Fan voting will start Tuesday, January 27 and run through Tuesday, February 10 at VoteACM.com and VoteACM.CMT.com.  The final round of voting will run April 8 through 19, and the winner will be determined combining fan votes with the professional ACM member votes.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards will broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.



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Eric Church Announces Spring Dates for The Outsiders World Tour

Image Courtesy John Peets/Capitol NashvilleEric Church has announced a new round of The Outsiders World Tour dates starting March 4 in Austin, TX. He’s got Brothers Osborne and The Cadillac Three in the opening slots on select shows, along with Drive-By Truckers, JD McPherson, and The Lone Bellow.

Eric’s tour has proven to be a very hot seller so far. His Saturday night show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena set a new venue attendance record with more than 18,000 fans in the audience.

Here are Eric’s new tour dates:

3/4 — Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
3/10 — Washington, D.C., Verizon Center
3/12 — Albany, NY, Times Union Center
3/13 — Wilkes-Barre, PA, Mohegan Sun Arena
3/18 — Ft. Wayne, IN, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
3/19 — Bloomington, IL, U.S. Cellular Coliseum
3/20 — Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
3/21 — Cincinnati, OH, U.S. Bank Arena
3/26 — Tallahassee, FL, Donald L. Tucker Civic Center
3/27 — Jacksonville, FL, Veterans Memorial Arena
3/28 — Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
4/7 — Grand Forks, ND, Ralph Engelstad Arena
4/8 — Winnipeg, MB (CAN), MTS Centre
4/10 — Saskatoon, SK (CAN), SaskTel Centre
4/11 — Calgary, AB (CAN), Scotiabank Saddledome
4/23 — Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
4/30  — Boston, MA, TD Garden Arena
5/1 — Buffalo, NY, First Niagara Center
5/2 — Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
5/7 — Lexington, KY, Rupp Arena
5/8 — Columbia, MO, Mizzou Arena
6/12 — Orange Beach, AL, Amphitheater at the Wharf
8/27 — Syracuse, NY, New York State Fair



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Kenny Chesney’s Latest Hit, “Til It’s Gone,” Is Directed Straight to His Concert Crowds

Image Courtesy Sony/Blue ChairKenny Chesney will launch his first concert tour since 2013 on with a show in Nashville on March 26, which also happens to be Kenny’s birthday. You can bet Kenny’s latest hit, “Til It’s Gone,” will be in the set list that night. In fact, he recorded that song specifically with his concert crowds in mind.

While looking for material for his latest album, The Big Revival, Kenny was challenged by his songwriter friend, David Lee Murphy, to think about what he wanted to say to his fans when he got back onstage.

Kenny continues, “Okay, imagine me, my first night in 2015: very first show, very first night. And there I am at the edge of the stage, and here’s my audience. And I haven’t seen them in a while. What do I want to say to ’em?”

Luckily, David had co-written “Til It’s Gone” with some other hit writers in Nashville, and it summed up exactly how Kenny felt about his fans.

Even though it’s written about a male/female relationship, Kenny says of “Til IT’s Gone,” “If you take that [romantic element] away, and add thousands of people, this song fits.”

Go to KennyChesney.com to check out his latest tour dates.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockKacey Musgraves co-wrote which one of Miranda Lambert‘s #1 hits? ANSWER: “Mama’s Broken Heart.”


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