Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLee Ann Womack performs on TBS’s Conan Wednesday night.

Love and Theft‘s new album, Whiskey on My Breath, is out this week. The project shows off the duo’s harmonies using more acoustic arrangements than their previous albums.

Kenny Chesney‘s video for “Wild Child” will premiere via USAToday.com on Wednesday morning.


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Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans and More Salute Music Industry Veteran Joe Galante

Image Courtesy Allister Ann/Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Sara Evans, Ronnie Milsap and Kellie Pickler were among the stars saluting the man who played a huge role in all of their careers — Joe Galante. Joe ran RCA Records in Nashville from the early ’80s to 2010, and is this year’s recipient of the Living Legend Award at the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund’s annual benefit event.

The Tuesday-night gala took place on the Grand Ole Opry stage with celebrities and music business executives sharing stories about Joe as he guided the careers of Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Alabama, The Judds, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and many others.

In addition to performances from Kix, Ronnie, Sara, Ronnie and Kellie, the evening also included songs from other artists Joe fostered, including K.T. Oslin, Lonestar, Restless Heart, Lorrie Morgan and Foster & Lloyd.


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Rascal Flatts Planning Family Vacations and Golf Games During Upcoming Vegas Riot! Residency

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts launch their nine-show Vegas Riot! residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on February 25, and the guys are turning the trip into a family affair. Lead singer Gary LeVox plans to bring his family out for the first week, but his 14-year-old daughter, Brittany, wants to hang out in Sin City for the entire run of the show.

Looking back on his conversation, Gary recalls telling his daughter, “Do you want daddy to get arrested? You have school. There’s education. You might grow up and be a musician one day. Get you a job, baby.”

Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus plans to bring his family out for the last week of their residency. Mostly, Jay is glad to escape the cold temperatures in Nashville this time of year.

 “I’m really looking forward to just being into some warm weather so I can play some golf,” Jay says. “That’s what I’m looking forward to the most.”

Rascal Flatts’ Vegas Riot! residency will continue on select weekends through March 14. Tickets are available at AXS.com/RascalFlattsVegas.


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Mickey Guyton Counting Down the Days Until She Hits the Road with Brad Paisley

Image Courtesy UMGCountry newcomer Mickey Guyton is headed out with Brad Paisley on the Crushin’ It World Tour starting May 15 in Philadelphia. Mickey is counting down the days until the trek begins.

She says, “I am so excited and thankful to Brad for inviting me to tour with him. This opportunity to share my music with fans on the road is truly a dream becoming a reality.”

Mickey’s debut single, “Better Than You Left Me,” is now catching fire at country radio.


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Brett Eldredge Leads Hundreds of Fans on Karaoke Bar Tour in Downtown Nashville

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge led his fans on a karaoke tour of downtown Nashville Monday night. He tweeted his fans that afternoon to meet on Music Row, and hundreds of people showed up to head down to Lonnie’s Karaoke Bar in Printer’s Alley. Brett led the group on to Troubadour’s karaoke bar on Lower Broadway later in the night.

In a YouTube interview, Brett explained he just wanted to get people together to enjoy some music. He went on to say his favorite karaoke song is “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn. He ended up performing Tim McGraw‘s “Please Remember Me,” Steve Miller Band‘s “The Joker” and the Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj pop hit “Bang Bang,” as well as his own #1 hit “Don’t Ya.”

Once the night came to a close, Brett tweeted his fans, “I am so completely blown away by tonight! Thank you Nashville for flooding the karaoke bars and making it a night I’ll never forget!”

Brett is a semi-finalist for the ACM New Artist of the Year trophy. The final three nominees will be revealed in the coming weeks, and the winner will be announced on the 50th Annual ACM Awards airing live from North Texas on Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Big & Rich‘s #1 hit love song from 2007? ANSWER: “Lost in This Moment.”


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ACM Awards’ 50th Anniversary Celebrated with New Two-Disc Compilation

Image Courtesy UMGThe Academy of Country Music is teaming up with the Now! Music series for a new compilation celebrating the ACM Awards’ 50th Anniversary. Now That’s What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years is due out March 31 featuring hits from the show’s history as well as current nominees on two discs. That means Miranda Lambert‘s “The House That Built Me” and Lady Antebellum‘s “Need You Now” are featured alongside classics like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones and “Why Not Me” by The Judds.

Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift and Faith Hill are among the other stars featured on the new compilation. Look for it to come out on March 31. The Academy’s proceeds from the project will benefit their charitable organization, ACM Lifting Lives.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards will air live Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.


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Does Sam Smith See a Country Duet in His Future?

Kelly Christine Musgraves/Sandbox Entertainment; ABC/Randy HolmesGrammy-winning British pop star Sam Smith‘s next big hit could be a country duet, and his partner would be none other than Kacey Musgraves.

“I love this. @samsmithworld told me he’d love to work with @KaceyMusgraves. Let’s make that happen right now,” E! Online’s Marc Malkin tweeted from the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

The 26-year-old country star wasted no time tweeting back her response. “Let’s do it!” she wrote less than an hour later.

Sam won four Grammys Sunday night, including for Record and Song of the Year, and Best New Artist.  Kacey of course won the 2013 Grammy for Best Country Album, for Same Trailer Different Park, and Best Country Song, for “Merry Go ‘Round.”


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Big & Rich Help Set a Romantic Mood on Monday Night’s Episode of “The Bachelor”

Image Courtesy Webster PRBig & Rich made a guest appearance on ABC’s The Bachelor Monday night. The duo helped this season’s farmer bachelor, Chris Soules, and the bachelorettes write and perform songs during a group date in Deadwood, South Dakota. While his wife is a big fan of The Bachelor, Big & Rich’s John Rich admits he was a little skeptical about watching a bunch of pretty women compete for one guy’s hand in marriage. Meeting Chris and taking part in the taping changed John’s tune, though.

He tells ABC News Radio, “It was an interesting process. I definitely gained more of an appreciation for the show by being on it and seeing how it goes down.”

Taping the episode of The Bachelor in Deadwood was also Big & Rich’s idea. They’ve written a lot of music there and consider the Wild West town to be a home away from home.

“I mean, that’s where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane played cards,” John explains. “That’s where they’re both buried. When you get out in that town, man, I mean it’s drinking and gambling. It’s the Wild West. To throw all the girls on The Bachelor into that scene — that’s gasoline on a fire.”

Later on the show, Big & Rich played two songs for the bachelor and one of his bachelorettes, Britt. The set included Big & Rich’s signature song, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” which they sang as “Save a Horse (Ride a Farm Boy)” in honor of Chris.

John says, “That song has become kind of Big & Rich’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ When we hit [that opening guitar riff] everybody just — they know what it is. We could probably be a hundred years old and play that and they would still get up.”

The other song on Big & Rich’s The Bachelor set list is “Lovin’ Lately,” a song featuring Tim McGraw from the duo’s latest album, Gravity.

“They asked us to play that one because of the subject matter of the show,” John says. “‘Who You Been Lovin’ Lately?’ No kidding! I mean, you’re ‘The Bachelor’ with 20 hot girls around. So, it was fun.”

In other Big & Rich news, look for their four-part Gravity Quadrilogy to premiere on CMT this Saturday morning at 6 a.m. ET and 8 a.m. ET. The 15-minute video shows a love story unfolding in Las Vegas using their songs “Look at You,” “Lovin’ Lately, “Brand New Buzz” and “Gravity” as the soundtrack. Tim McGraw even makes a cameo in the video series, playing a bartender giving some advice to a heartbroken guy.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockGarth Brooks has sold more than 107,000 tickets for his six upcoming concerts at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. The run starts February 20 and wraps up February 28 with tickets still available at Ticketmaster.com.

Get-well wishes go out to Frankie Ballard, who sustained some injuries while stage diving during his show over the weekend in Humble, Texas. Even though he separated his shoulder, injured some ligaments and broke a rib, Frankie is going forward with his tour schedule. He is unable to play guitar for the time being.

Sam Hunt is in Nashville this week shooting the video for his latest single, “Take Your Time.” Look for it to premiere in a few weeks.

Vince Gill and Amy Grant will return to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium for eight Christmas shows starting December 2 and running through December 23. Tickets go on sale Saturday through Ticketmaster.


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