Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMaddie & Tae will open for Lee Brice at his headlining show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium coming up February 24, 2015.

Craig Morgan was once a deputy in the Dickson County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Department, and he put the uniform back on to pull over drivers in the area and surprise them with $100 gift cards in the days leading up to Christmas. A video of Craig’s experience is now on YouTube.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thomas Rhett Resolves to Literally Stretch Himself in 2015

Image Courtesy CMAThomas Rhett is looking to literally stretch himself in 2015. Since he and wife, Lauren, did a good job of working out and eating right in 2014, Thomas is resolving to expand his workout routine in the New Year.

He says, “I would say that my New Year’s resolution would be to stretch more. To maybe do a little bit more diverse workouts, such as yoga, maybe hot yoga, maybe a sweathouse kinda thing.”

Thomas expects to get some spiritual benefits from his yoga practice on top of achieving a more lean and limber physique.

On the music front, Thomas expects to release a brand-new album in 2015 with the first single coming soon after his latest hit, “Make Me Wanna,” finishes its run towards the top of the country chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Cherishes His New Year’s Eve Vacations with Wife, Tiffany

Image Courtesy CMAJoe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts always goes away for a little vacation with his wife, Tiffany, to celebrate New Year’s Eve. The trip offers the couple a much-needed chance to reconnect without the stress of work and kids.

“It’s important, I think, for a couple to find the time to spend together when they can,” Joe Don explains, “especially in this crazy business when you travel so much, you’re gone so much.”

Joe Don expects they’ll bring the kids along on these New Year’s trips once they get older. For now, Joe and Tiffany are looking forward to getting some alone time this week.

He says, “It’s somethin’ I definitely love to do, is be with my wife and love all over her into the New Year.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Justin Moore Explains Why He Doesn’t Play New Year’s Eve Shows

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Justin Moore would make an ideal headliner on New Year’s Eve with his high-energy live show. So, why doesn’t he go cash in and perform a big show on December 31?

“It’s because I like being home with the girls,” Justin explains. “You know, especially now having three [daughters]. We kind of reserve that time for just our time.”

Being home over the holidays is one of the perks of Justin’s success on the road.

He says, “We haven’t played [in] a while on New Year’s. It’s been a long time. It’s been probably back in the bar days since we played New Year’s.”

Justin returns to the road January 15 opening for Miranda Lambert in Evansville, Indiana.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


The Year in Country 2014 — Carrie Underwood Prepares for Motherhood

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood nearly broke the Internet with her pregnancy announcement via Twitter, which was appropriately made on Labor Day. She posted a photograph of herself with her dogs, Ace and Penny, wearing “I’m going to be a big brother” and “I’m going to be a big sister” shirts. Carrie kept news of the baby’s sex a secret until the CMA Awards, where she let her co-host Brad Paisley reveal she’s having a boy.

Carrie continued her hot streak on country radio with the Miranda Lambert duet, “Something Bad.” She scored a hit toward the end of the year with “Something in the Water,” the lead single from her first-ever compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, released in December. The album marks the 10th anniversary of Carrie’s American Idol audition in 2004. She went on to win the Idol crown in 2005.

Carrie made several high-profile concert appearances in 2014, including the Global Citizens Festival in Manhattan along with Beyoncé, Jay Z, Sting, No Doubt, and Alicia Keys. She also performed at World AIDS Day in New York City on December 1 on a bill with Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, and Coldplay‘s Chris Martin. All members of U2 were there too, except for Bono, who was recovering from injuries he suffered in a bike accident.

Carrie capped off the year by announcing her new line of women’s active wear, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, coming to Dick’s Sporting Goods in March 2015.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Place Second on Most Desirable Celebrity Neighbors Survey

Image Courtesy CMAYou might see a real estate boom in Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton‘s hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma in the next year. The country couple came in second only to Jimmy Fallon on real estate site Zillow’s eighth annual Celebrity Neighbor Survey.

Blake and Miranda got nine percent of the votes next to Jimmy’s 10 percent. Breaking it down by sex, 12 percent of women surveyed wanted to go live next door to Blake and Miranda, while only six percent of men chose the couple.

Justin Bieber easily won Worst Neighbor honors, with 34 percent of the vote. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got 22 percent on the Worst Neighbor survey for a second-place finish.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockEric Church named his sophomore album Carolina. What is the name of Eric’s hometown in North Carolina? ANSWER: Granite Falls.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood Headlining Big Barrel Country Music Festival

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood are headlining the first Big Barrel Country Music Festival, June 26 through 28, 2015. The event takes place at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway in Delaware, and tickets are now on sale at

Jake Owen, Chris Young, Gary Allan, Kacey Musgraves and Eric Paslay also are on the bill along with Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard and The Oak Ridge Boys. The Big Barrel Country Music Festival is produced by the same company that created the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Wishes His Rolling Stones Guest Performance Had Lasted Longer

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban got the chance to perform with The Rolling Stones in Los Angeles last year, but he didn’t get as long onstage with the rock legends as he would have liked. The song Stones frontman Mick Jagger picked for Keith to play with them, “Respectable,” was less than three minutes long.

Keith tells The Canadian Press, “It’s like, bummer, I wish we could have chosen ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ or something that’s a little bit longer.”

No matter how long the performance ended up being, Keith will always treasure the memory of playing with one of the most iconic bands in music history.

“It was really fun playing with him,” Keith says. “I just loved it.”

Keith will ring in 2015 with a New Year’s Eve performance at Niagara Falls for Canadian television.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Unplugs from the Road to Make New Music This Holiday Break

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes is trying to keep his calendar clear as possible this holiday season, but he is making a little music during his break from the road.

“I just wanna chill,” Hunter tells ABC News Radio. “I just got a little bit of time to be creative in my little studio at home. Got some writers that are coming out to hang.”

Staying in one place takes some effort on Hunter’s part since he is used to the rhythm of being on tour.

He explains with a laugh, “I’m always wanting to be on the road, so for me to be away from that for a minute, make me miss it even more, is probably a good thing even though I don’t want to admit that.”

Hunter plays the first of two fundraiser shows for Nashville’s Alive Hospice Friday, January 2 at the Bluebird Café.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio