Nashville Notes

Comstock/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge was on babysitting duty over the Christmas holiday with his infant cousin, Olivia. He posted an Instagram video of his conversation with the little one in “baby language.”

When it comes to holiday exchanges and returns, Martina McBride swears by online shoe retailer Zappos. She tweeted Christmas Eve, “I gotta tell ya…I love @zappos Best customer service hands down. Just the best.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Scotty McCreery Relies on Coffee for Early-Morning Flights

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleScotty McCreery isn’t a big coffee drinker, but he turns to the beverage when he finds himself at the airport in the early-morning hours.

Scotty tells ABC News Radio, “For some reason, when I have an early flight, I decide to stay up as late as possible, and then it just doesn’t work out. So, coffee is a savior for that.”

Since he doesn’t drink coffee that often, Scotty doesn’t have a preference on what kind of coffee beans are used to make his drink.

“Whatever it is, I do extra cream and extra sugar,” Scotty explains. “It all tastes the same once you sugar it down and all that.”

Scotty doesn’t expect to see the inside of an airport for the next few days. He’s spending holiday time laying low with his family and friends in North Carolina.

Says Scotty, “I was busy this year, so I didn’t get the chance to see them as much as I normally do.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Carrie Underwood Keeps It Classic When It Comes to Christmas Music

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleCarrie Underwood hasn’t made a full-length Christmas album yet, but she’d probably choose to record classic Christmas songs on any holiday project.

Carrie explains, “I am such a sucker for standard Christmas music. I love the church Christmas music. The ‘O Holy Night,’ and you learn ‘Silent Night’ when you’re three years old.”

Carrie has recorded a few Christmas songs over the years, including “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Her newest holiday offering is a duet with Christian artist Michael W. Smith on the song “All Is Well.” Though the song is about 25 years old, Carrie thinks “All Is Well” fits in with those timeless Christmas songs she loves so much.

“It just feels like I’ve known it my whole life,” Carrie says. “So, that’s definitely the kinds of things I go for — the standard-sounding things.”

“All Is Well” is included on Michael W. Smith’s new album, The Spirit of Christmas, which also features collaborations with Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Jennifer Nettles and more.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cole Swindell Has Some Explaining to Do to His Family This Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell looks forward to relaxing with his family back home in his tiny hometown near Albany, Georgia, this Christmas, but he’s also prepared to do some explaining to his family members about the crazy year he’s had as a rising country star. The highlights include playing arenas and stadiums with Luke Bryan, scoring #1 hits and performing on the CMA Awards, which is pretty heady stuff for a boy from a town with a population of 225.

Cole says, “We’re from a very small town. This is beyond my wildest dreams, but especially them. It’s so cool to get to share that with ’em and see how proud they are. They raised me, and to be around family, I just love doing that.”

Cole’s mother’s birthday is close to Christmas, so getting home to Georgia for the holidays is very important.

“I have lost my dad over the past year and a half, and now I regret things — me not being able to be home for that,” Cole explains. “There are some things that are more important, so family is definitely one of ’em.”

Cole is bringing home a lot of presents for his young nephews and cousins, too.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge Recalls the Rusted-Out John Boat His Grandmother Gave Him for Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleMost kids love receiving shiny, new toys at Christmas, but Brett Eldredge‘s favorite gift ever was an old john boat his grandmother got him when he was young. He grew up on a lake in Paris, Illinois, so Brett was out in the boat all the time.

“I’m a huge fisherman. I love to fish, and I never had any kind of boat or vehicle of my own,” Brett recalls. “And she gave me this old, just kind of old rusted-out john boat, and I thought it was the coolest thing. And she gave me a couple oars, and now I could be my own captain.”

Brett goes on to say that little boat was the first perfect gift for him, and he hopes to dig it out of storage this Christmas.

Says Brett, “I think it’s still somewhere back in my hometown. So, I might have to go patch all the holes in it and maybe fire it back up again.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat does the “GS” on Cole Swindell‘s signature baseball hat stand for? ANSWER: His alma mater, Georgia Southern University.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Offers His Analysis of a Few Classic Christmas Songs

Image Courtesy CMABrad Paisley has gone beyond just listening to Christmas music, and moved on to analyzing some of the holidays’ most beloved songs. He must have heard a bad rendition of “Oh Holy Night,” based on one recent tweet.

Brad says, “‘Oh Holy Night’ is kinda like ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’; When someone starts too high, it’s not gonna end well.”

Brad also has some concerns about the popular holiday duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” in which a guy tries to coerce his duet partner into staying the night. He tweets, “I never realized how creepy the song ‘Baby Its Cold Outside’ is until just now. If you read the lyric with no melody, it’s insane.”

Of note, Brad didn’t include either of those songs on his 2006 holiday album, Brad Paisley Christmas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Randy Houser Planning a Quiet Christmas with Family in Mississippi

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsRandy Houser is headed back home to Mississippi this Christmas with his young son, West. He tells ABC News Radio, “I’m gonna spend as much time with him as I can. That’s my biggest goal. Go down to Mississippi and hang with my family.”

When it comes to opening presents, Randy and his family prefer exchanging gifts on Christmas morning. Opening gifts on Christmas Eve would be a bummer for Randy.

He explains, “Nobody wants to get all their toys and then go to bed. Can’t do that.”

Randy got a great Christmas gift from country radio as his latest single, “Like a Cowboy,” is now a top-10 hit. It’s included on his latest album, How Country Feels.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLady Antebellum will perform at the Future of Texas inaugural ball for Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott in Austin on January 20, 2015.

Martina McBride has signed a new record deal with Big Machine Label Group. The move follows her independently released 2014 album, Everlasting, which bowed at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart earlier this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley Raising Money for Cystic Fibrosis Tonight in Arizona

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley and his pals are celebrating the holidays in Phoenix Tuesday night at his Whiskey Row bar and restaurant. The event includes dinner and raises money for the Jordan Sterling Foundation to help fight cystic fibrosis and support organ transplant services in the area.  

Whiskey Row opened on July 4, 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ. Dierks will open a second location in Tempe, AZ in 2014.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio