Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockKellie Pickler is auctioning off the Pandora charm bracelets she wore to Sunday’s ACM Awards to help the Academy’s charitable arm, Lifting Lives. The one-of-a-kind bangles are valued at $2000. You can bid on them through April 21 at

Craig Morgan makes his eleventh trek overseas to entertain U.S. troops this spring. He’s partnering with Armed Forces Entertainment and Stars for Stripes for the trip to Southwest Asia. The former soldier made his first trip abroad  to support the military in 2003.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Chris Young Conquers Europe with Brad Paisley

RCA Nashville(NOTE LANGUAGE) Even though he’s toured with Brad Paisley since last summer, Chris Young says taking the Beat This Winter tour to Scandinavia last month was a particular thrill, both personally and as an artist.

“I had the best time while I was over there. Obviously, getting to go with Brad is great, ’cause from an artist’s perspective, if you go over to Europe for the first time, most of the time you’re gonna lose your a**,” he laughs. “ It’s expensive! You know, it’s hard to get flights over there and then hotel rooms and transportation and everything…You know, usually you just get on your bus and go wherever.”

While there, Chris says he was shocked to discover that even people in Norway recognize his hits.

“You know, being able to go with Brad, there’s that built-in fan base…the crowds were great to us,” he tells ABC News Radio. “There were so many people that actually knew songs. Even in, like, Oslo. In Oslo, Norway, opening for Brad Paisley, there were people that knew songs, which was amazing. We felt really welcome, and I honestly can’t wait to go back.”

And given the friendship the two have built, odds are he’ll get the opportunity.

“[Brad]‘s been absolutely amazing to me. That’s the longest anybody’s ever had me on their tour, starting last summer going through last week… I really got to pick his brain about music stuff,” Chris says.  “He was always really open, like if you ever got a question about anything… I’m real lucky I got a chance to get to know him.”

“I’ve always said I was a fan,” Chris adds. “But now I’m really, really a fan.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kacey Musgraves to Play Outside Lands Festival with Kanye West & Tom Petty

Credit: Kelly Christine MusgravesKacey Musgraves continues to color outside the lines, as she becomes the only country artist confirmed to play this year’s Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. She’ll take the stage alongside headliners Kanye West, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at the event known as the world’s only gourmet music festival.

Outside Lands takes place August 8-10, with tickets going on sale this Thursday. Later this year, the ACM Album of the Year winner heads out for half a dozen dates opening for pop superstar Katy Perry on her Prismatic tour. The two will also tape an episode of CMT Crossroads next month.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ronnie Dunn Bringing “Peace Love and Country Music” to the World

EB MediaRonnie Dunn brings Peace Love and Country Music to New York City on Wednesday, as he celebrates this week’s release of his new CD with a performance on ABC’s The View. He’ll perform “Country This,” one of the fourteen songs on his sophomore release as a solo artist.

The former Brooks & Dunn frontman says it was important to him that the fans be involved in creating the album. ”I put a few songs out on social media to see what people liked, or maybe what they didn’t respond to,” he adds, “and we built the album from there.”

Six of Ronnie’s own songs made the cut, including “Let’s Get the Beer Joint Rockin’,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Country in Texas.” Physical copies of the CD are available only at

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tortuga Music Festival to Stream Eric Church’s Headlining Performance

John PeetsIf you can’t make it to this weekend’s Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival, you can watch some of its biggest acts live, from the comfort of home.

On Saturday, you can stream Eric Church’s headlining performance as he plays alongside Ziggy Marley and Brett Eldredge. On Sunday, you can see Sheryl Crow’s set, as well as 38 Special, Brantley Gilbert, and Dierks Bentley.

Luke Bryan, Hank Williams Jr., Billy Currington, Eric Paslay, Cole Swindell, Frankie Ballard, Parmalee and Chase Rice are on the bill as well, but so far, there are no plans to stream their sets. You can access the live feed via the Festival’s website. This is the second year for the oceanfront concerts, which raise awareness for marine conservation.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Miranda Lambert‘s first country hit? ANSWER:  “Me and Charlie Talking,” which went to #27 in 2004.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Says He Got “Life’s Education” on the Road

Capitol NashvilleYou don’t have to talk to Keith Urban for very long before you realize he has an expansive vocabulary and seems quite educated. But he confesses he didn’t come by his “smarts” the conventional way.

“It certainly didn’t come from school,” he laughs. “I quit school at 15. I was hopeless at school. I was out. I would’ve left sooner if I could, but you’ve gotta legally stay ’til you’re 15!”

The Aussie superstar imagines his gift with words just runs in the family.

“When I was a little kid I always liked poetry,” he remembers. “I don’t know. I don’t know what it is. My dad’s a very — got a good vocabulary, I guess. So, maybe it comes from him.”

But Keith doesn’t want you to get the idea he’s is favor of teens dropping out of school.

“I’m always very careful to not have parents think I support kids leaving school at a young age, ’cause I don’t necessarily,” he clarifies. “All I can speak is my own experience is that I — the biggest education I got was when I hit the road and got life’s education. That was everything school didn’t have to teach me at the time.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

All-Star Cast of Country Stars Salutes the Troops in Las Vegas for New CBS Special

ACMMany of country’s biggest stars stuck around in Las Vegas Monday night to tape the ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops special. Many of the artists performed duets with members of the U.S. military. Keith Urban kicked off the night swapping vocals with a soldier on “For You.”

Toby Keith enlisted an actual Marine to help him out on “Call a Marine,” and The Band Perry‘s duet with a soldier on “If I Die Young” got a huge response.

Carrie Underwood debuted a brand-new song written especially for the show called “Keep Us Safe.” The power ballad brought cheers from the audience. Fans can download Carrie’s new song when the show airs next month. Proceeds go to the ACM Lifting Lives charitable trust.

Tim McGraw performed another new song from his upcoming album, Sundown Heaven Town, and Luke Bryan delivered an acoustic performance of “Drink a Beer.” Lee Brice got a little help from a U.S. service member on “I Drive Your Truck,” too.

Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, Georgie Strait, Hunter Hayes and Eli Young Band are among the other stars appearing on the ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops.  The special airs Tuesday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ Thinkstoc

“Drunk on a Plane” is Dierks Bentley’s follow-up single to his number one hit “I Hold On.” It’s the second release from his chart-topping CD Riser.

Jason Aldean is finishing up work on his next album, and expects to have a new single in late June or early July, with the full album following in the fall.

Martina McBride performs songs from her new album, Everlasting, this morning on NBC’s Today show.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kelly Clarkson Sets the Bar for Martina McBride on “Everlasting”

Photo Credit: Randee St. NicholasEven though Martina McBride‘s new CD is a collection of R&B covers, she doesn’t believe Everlasting is that much of a departure for her.

“I just follow my instincts, and in thinking about what I wanted to sing next, and what I wanted to do next, I thought, ‘Well, I’m a country music artist, and a very proud one. But at the end of the day, I’m a vocalist,’” she says. “You know, I love to sing everything. So, in my shows over the years, we’ve done everything from ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ to Pat Benatar to Aretha Franklin to Journey, whatever. So I just wanted to kinda stretch and do something a little different.”

Martina even picked a title that continues the thread she started with her 2005 collection of country classics. “This music is timeless, but I couldn’t call it Timeless, ’cause I’ve done that already. So, it seemed like Everlasting was kind of the same idea. And I just love the idea. It’s very musical and poetic.”

The four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year also welcomes a couple of guests on the disc. Gavin DeGraw duets with her on the Sam Cooke classic “Bring It On Home to Me,” while Kelly Clarkson helps her sing Etta James’ “In the Basement.”

“It’s a good jumping off place singing with her,” she says of Kelly. “She’s an amazing singer– we all know that. And she has that R&B kinda thing naturally. So yeah, she set the bar,” Martina laughs. “She did. She raised the bar a little bit, and I had to rise to the challenge. I love singing with her, and I love that song.”

Everlasting is new in stores and online today.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio