Nashville Notes

Image Courtesy Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMartina McBride, Sheryl Crow, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Rodney Crowell are among the stars performing in honor of Emmylou Harris at a tribute concert January 10, 2015 at Washington, D.C.’s DAR Constitution Hall.

Rascal Flatts has released “Riot” as the new single from their latest album, Rewind.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Eli Young Band Following Up Japanese Shows with Texas Stadium Dates

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleEli Young Band just got back from a trip to Japan to entertain U.S. troops stationed in Okinawa before flying back to Nashville for Wednesday night’s CMA Awards. Next up, the guys head back home to Texas for the first of two House Party stadium shows this Saturday night at the home of the Texas Rangers — Globe Life Park in Arlington. They’ll follow that show up with a second House Party at Minute Made Park in Houston.

The group’s Jon Jones is quick to give credit to their staff for coordinating all the details on these shows while they were overseas. He also points to the amazing crowds for these shows last year.

Looking back on those shows, Jon says, “Last year, we had zero bad fan response. We didn’t get any emails of people really complaining about fights or lines or parking or any of those concerns we’ve had in past shows, which is a big reason that we’re doing the House Party. So, a huge success.”

Eli Young Band has performed as an opening act on multiple stadium shows with Kenny Chesney, who is known to play about 25 NFL venues every tour and the band has learned from Kenny’s example.

Eli Young Band front man Mike Eli says of Kenny, “He’s really one of the coolest, most down-to-earth folks, as much as someone like that could be as far as being that successful. And having all that on his shoulders and still, like, for stadium shows all across the United States, and then still being so calm and collected,  ’cause it really is a lot of work. And we’re only doing two of ’em. “

Eli Young Band is now in their 14th year as a touring act, so playing these massive shows with the help of Gary Allan, Thomas Rhett and Maddie & Tae as their supporting acts is really sweet.

“To be able to put on shows like that, it really feels good to have that kind of success,” says Mike.

For more details on Eli Young Band’s House Party shows, go to

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Loretta Lynn to Release First New Album in 11 Years in 2015

Image Courtesy The Co-OpLoretta Lynn will release her first new album since 2004’s Grammy-winning Van Lear Rose next year. She’s been working on the project for the past seven years with her daughter Patsy L. Russell and John Carter Cash at the Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The new album finds Loretta exploring the Appalachian and gospel music of her native Kentucky as well as performing new versions of her classics hits and other country standards.

The news comes on the heels of Loretta’s duet with Kacey Musgraves on the CMA Awards Wednesday night.

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The 48th Annual CMA Awards Score Huge Ratings for ABC

Image Courtesy CMAThe 48th Annual CMA Awards proved to be a ratings bonanza for ABC Wednesday night. The show was the #1-rated show in every half-hour of prime time with 16.1 million viewers, beating second-place CBS by 7.4 million viewers.

The CMA Awards also gave ABC its strongest ratings for an entertainment program since the Academy Awards back in March. The 2014 CMA Awards will re-air on CMT coming up Friday, November 21 at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks Performing on 2014 American Music Awards November 23

Image Courtesy Nancy Seltzer & Assoc.Garth Brooks has joined the performers lineup for the 2014 American Music Awards later this month. He’s set to perform a song from his new album, Man Against Machine, live from his tour stop in Greensboro, North Carolina on the ABC broadcast Sunday, November 23 at 8 p.m. ET.

Man Against Machine comes out this Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the name of Luke Bryan‘s fan club? ANSWER: The Nut House.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and More Donate Items to Grammy Charity Christmas Auction

Image Courtesy Sony/Blue ChairThe Grammy Charity Country Christmas Online Auction is live this week at, featuring items autographed backstage at Wednesday night’s 48th Annual CMA Awards. Additional memorabilia is up for bid from Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and more.  You can also bid on trips to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The Grammy Charity Country Christmas Online Auction is live through November 15.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

CMA Awards 2014 Backstage Report

ABC News RadioLuke Bryan never won a CMA Award before he took the Entertainer of the Year category this year.

He says, “I have longed and sought after many years to get one of these in my hands. To get the respect of the CMA board and all of its voters and win this is a ginormous deal.”

Luke played for 1.7 million fans this year, and his live show is a major reason he won the CMA’s top award.

“From the bottom of my heart, I go out onstage every night and try to sing it and perform it and entertain it like it’s my last,” he says.

Blake Shelton is now tied with George Strait and Vince Gill for the most wins in the Male Vocalist category with five trophies each. Before the show, Blake was looking back at past winners in the category and realized a lot of his Male Vocalist heroes never won this category. That’s why he name checked one of those guys in his speech.

Blake says, “It freaked me out a little bit and so I at least wanted to mention my personal favorite singer, Earl Thomas Conley, tonight.”

Blake promises he’s far from finished making music, though. He adds, “I hope this is like the second quarter right now.”

Since his wife, Miranda Lambert, won four trophies Wednesday night, Blake says, “For me, and for my family, this is maybe the biggest night of our lives as far as the music industry goes.”

— Miranda Lambert won her fifth consecutive Female Vocalist trophy Wednesday night, beating Reba‘s previous record of four consecutive wins in that category. Miranda admits she really doesn’t know what to say about breaking Reba’s record.

Says Miranda, “Every time I’m around her, I just try to shut up and listen because I know that I can learn from everything she says, every move she makes because she’s one of the people that paved the way for me to be standing here right now.”

Miranda also won Single of the Year for “Automatic” and Album of the Year for Platinum. Her fellow Texan Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year for “Follow Your Arrow,” so it was a great night for the women of country.

“You know, girls do have a lot to say. Clearly, if you’re married, you know that,” Miranda says with a laugh. “I know that country music appreciates women and what they have to say. They always have. So, I feel like it’s about to come back to the forefront.”

Brett Eldredge had his entire family in the audience to watch him win New Artist of the Year. He got to meet up with his mom and celebrate the win with her backstage before talking to the press.

“I’m still trying to soak it in,” Brett said. “I need to take a day tomorrow and just do nothing and throw a party or something. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. But I just wanna share it with the people that really helped me, because I couldn’t have done it without so many people, and this is amazing.”

Brett could be heard shouting, “I won!” as he made his way back to his seat in the arena.

— Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year with Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally for writing “Follow Your Arrow,” a song that tackles gay rights and smoking pot. While Kacey marches to her own beat, she doesn’t accept the label of “country music rebel.” In fact, she points to her duet partner on the show, Loretta Lynn, as well as Hank Williams and Willie Nelson as country’s founding artists who sang about the lives of everyday Americans, just like she’s doing now.

Kacey says, “They were singing about things that impacted every single person in real life, and not doing it to push buttons. So, I’m nothing new. I’m just carrying on the tradition of telling the truth.”

Singing “You’re Lookin’ at Country” with Loretta was a big milestone for Kacey, too.

Says Kacey, “She’s been so sweet and so loving and encouraging. It’s really cool to see her in a sense pass a torch to me, that I will gladly take.”

Viewers at home will be surprised to learn Kacey lost her underwear just before the curtain went up on her performance with Loretta. Since he dress was see-through on the side, Kacey was wearing stick-on panties.

She says, “So, they were stuck on, and then they weren’t stuck on. And the curtain was about to come up, so literally I had to rip ’em off and throw ’em to the side. They’re somewhere around here. So, in case you see ’em, they’re mine.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Image Courtesy Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Swon Brothers are NRA Country’s featured artist for the month of November. Go to more details.

Country trio The Henningsens will release their holiday album, Our Family Christmas, digitally on November 17, featuring a collaboration with Jerrod Niemann on the song “Christmas Kissin’.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan Named Entertainer of the Year, Miranda Lambert Sets Female Vocalist Record at 48th Annual CMA Awards

ABCIf you had to wait for several years to finally win your first-ever CMA award, it might as well be for Entertainer of the Year.  That’s what happened to Luke Bryan Wednesday night at the 48th Annual CMA Awards, which aired live from Nashville on ABC.

Luke, who’d been nominated numerous times but had never won, was named the winner of the night’s biggest and most prestigious award, and was handed his trophy by none other than Garth Brooks, making a much-anticipated return appearance to the CMA stage.  “First of all, I’ve never met Garth,” Luke joked. “Hey, Garth!  Can I hug you again?” 

But the singer soon got serious, thanking “everybody in my world that’s put this moment in my life together.”  That included his family, his friends, and, as he said, “all my heroes in the front row” — the other superstar artists he has toured with and learned from over the years.  He also mentioned his late brother and sister as his “angels in heaven, making this night possible for me.”  He finished, though, with a grin, declaring, “We’re gonna have a goood time tonight!”

Luke’s triumph aside, it was a very good night for women in country music — in particular, one woman: Miranda Lambert.  Not only did she take home her second Album of the Year trophy for Platinum and her first-ever Single of the Year award for “Automatic,” she shared the Musical Event of the Year award with Keith Urban for “We Were Us.”  But most significantly, she won her fifth Female Vocalist of the Year award, making her the all-time winner in that category. Martina McBride and Reba McEntire have each won four times.

During her acceptance speech, Miranda said, “I can’t believe this is my life.  This is what I get to do for a living. This is my JOB! Thank you, fans for that.”  Tearing up, she laughed, “Dammit, I cry every time!”  She added, “Thank you for letting me live my dream and for believing in my art. It means the world to me.”

Miranda also performed her new single “Smokinand Drinkin‘” with Little Big Town, and duetted with Nashville-based pop star Meghan Trainor on her #1 smash “All About That Bass.”

But Miranda wasn’t the only female winner: Kacey Musgraves nabbed the Song of the Year trophy for “Follow Your Arrow,” which had initially raised eyebrows for its lyrics, “Make lots of noise/Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into,” as well as its invitation to “Roll up a joint/or don’t.”  At the podium, Kacey marveled, “Do you guys know what this means for country music?  I’m so honored.”  As progressive as her music might be, though, Kacey proved she could be traditional, too, by duetting with the legendary Loretta Lynn on Lynn’s hit “You’re Lookin’ at Country.”

Little Big Town, which is 50 percent female, won their third straight Vocal Group of the Year trophy.  At the podium, Kimberly Schlapman said, “I don’t know why we’re the recipient of all these blessings coming down from heaven, but I tell you, we don’t take it for granted for a second!”  The group also turned in one of the night’s best performances, singing “Day Drinking,” backed up by a huge drum corps while wearing outfits with neon piping that changed color throughout the song, and then duetting with similarly-attired pop star Ariana Grande on her hit “Bang Bang.”

Miranda’s husband Blake Shelton also came out on top, taking home his fifth Male Vocalist of the Year trophy — which means that they each have five in their respective categories…how cute!  “I love you!” yelled Blake at the podium, before revealing that he was convinced Luke Bryan was going to win this year.  He also noted that the artist who he calls his “all-time-hero” — singer Earl Thomas Conley — had never won a CMA Award.  “This one right here’s for you, brother,” he said, dedicating the award to Conley.

As for the men, Florida Georgia Line won their second Vocal Duo of the Year trophy, while Brett Eldredge was named New Artist of the Year.  Dierks Bentley took home the Music Video of the Year Award for “Drunk on Plane.”  Vince Gill was given the prestigious Irving Waugh Award of Excellence, which has only ever been given to one other person: Johnny Cash.  Vince, who hosted the CMA Awards for 12 years, paid tribute to Waugh, a TV and radio executive who was instrumental in putting country music on television.  He also complimented the current generation of country stars, saying that he admired their camaraderie, and how much they all loved and supported each other.  “I’m envious of it,” he admitted. “It’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

Brad Paisley and a pregnant-but-barely showing Carrie Underwood hosted the show once again and turned the revelation that Carrie is expecting a boy with husband Mike Fisher into a comic routine.  The two also poked fun at the Ebola crisis, turning Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” into “Quarantine,” and complaining that President Obama isn’t doing enough to combat PPTSS — Post Partum Taylor Swift Disorder.  “I’m pretty sure that’s why the Democrats lost the Senate,” said Carrie, to loud, enthusiastic cheers.  But Brad invited Taylor back to country music any time she wanted, saying, “There’s always a seat for you right here.  It’s Blake’s — we’ll kick him out.”

The show ended with a big jam session featuring The Doobie Brothers — including Michael McDonald — performing “Takin’ It to the Streets” with Jennifer Nettles, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley and others.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio