Zac Brown to Appear at Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner June 18

Southern ReelZac Brown has joined the list of performers and presenters for the 46th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner Thursday, June 18 in New York City. Jennifer Nettles will also be part of the festivities along with Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Ne-Yo and Richie Sambora.

Toby Keith and legendary country songwriter Bobby Braddock are among this year’s inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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Brett Eldredge Reveals Album Cover for Sophomore Project, “Illinois”

Southern ReelBrett Eldredge took to Snapchat and Instagram to reveal the cover of his new album, Illinois, Tuesday. The project comes out September 11 featuring the lead single, “Lose My Mind,” as well as the title track.

Brett says, “We’ve been performing a few of the new songs in our show and I can’t wait for fans to hear all of it.”

Look for Brett to present a trophy on the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night. He’ll give his first performance at the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at LP Field this Friday.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was the CMA Music Festival called when it was held at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds? ANSWER:  Fan Fair.

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A Thousand Horses Releases Their Road-Tested Debut Album, “Southernality”

Republic NashvilleA Thousand Horses first caught your ear with their #1 debut hit, “Smoke,” and now they’re following it up with their first full-length album, Southernality. The band members wrote all 13 songs on the album among themselves and a tight circle of songwriters in Nashville.

A Thousand Horses lead singer Michael Hobby tells ABC Radio, “These are guys we’ve known for a long time in town and always have written with. They’re all good buddies. So, it’s definitely cool to say, ‘Yeah, we wrote our record.’ That’s why it sounds like that is because it’s us, you know.”

The songs on Southernality were written over the last few years as the band played show after show. Seeing how the crowd reacted to the songs played a big role in determining which songs would stay in the show from night to night.

“One of the great benefits of being a band is we were able to go out and road-test songs,” says band member Bill Satcher. “Like, write songs, go out and play ’em four, five, six times, kind of work the kinks out over the couple years we were getting going.”

In addition to playing hundreds of shows, A Thousand Horses spent a lot of time in the studio learning how to record what they’d created on stage.  

Michael says of those early, independent recordings, “We released a few EPs that we’d throw together some money and try to go record and put those out, but it all led to this album.”

A Thousand Horses is releasing “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial” as the second single from Southernality.

Here’s the Southernality track list:

“First Time”
“Sunday Morning”
“Smoke”
“(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial”
“Heaven Is Close”
“Travelin’ Man”
“Back to Me”
“Southernality”
“Tennessee Whiskey”
“Hell on My Heart”
“Trailer Trashed”
“Landslide”
“Where I’m Going”

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFlorida Georgia Line is releasing “Anything Goes” as the follow-up to their latest hit, “Sippin’ on Fire.”

Rodney Atkins has recorded a new version of “America the Beautiful” to go along with Macy’s 39th annual 4th of July Fireworks display in New York City next month. The track will be available as a free download at Macys.com/Fireworks from July 1 through 5.

Rascal Flatts will perform the national anthem prior to game three of the NBA Finals Tuesday night in Cleveland, Ohio as the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors.

Luke Bryan‘s Kick the Dust Up tour played to 50,000 fans at Denver’s Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday night. Randy Houser, Dustin Lynch, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett joined Luke on the bill.

Cole Swindell‘s video for “Let Me See Ya Girl” premieres Friday, June 12 on CMT.

Reba helped celebrate former first lady Barbara Bush‘s 90th birthday over the weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine. She posted a photo on Instagram.

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Chris Young Kicking Off CMA Music Festival with Sold-Out Fan Club Party

Monarch PublicityChris Young hosts his 14th Annual Fan Club Party Wednesday morning at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, and the event promises to be one of the biggest get-togethers during this week’s CMA Music Festival. Tickets have been sold out for some time, and Chris can’t wait to say thank you to his hardcore fans who post about his music on social media and request his songs at country radio.

Chris tells ABC Radio, “People are doing that, taking up a part of their day to get word out about me and my music, which is just unbelievable.”

Though the crowds are much bigger these days, Chris has some fan club members that started coming to these parties years before he ever started having hits on the radio. That’s why Chris and his team like to get creative with the event.

“It’s definitely one of those things that we always try to get ahead of it and make it something special and change it up every year,” Chris says. “That way it’s not always the same thing. It’s become for me, it’s part of CMA Fest.” 

For more details on attending Chris’s 2016 fan club party, go to ChrisYoungCountry.com.

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Martina McBride Headlining Nashville’s Massive 4th of July Fireworks Display Concert

Randee St. NicholasMartina McBride has signed on to headline Nashville’s 4th of July celebration, Music City July 4th: Let Freedom Sing, which will boast the largest fireworks display in the country this year.

In an interview with ABC affiliate WKRN-TV, Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation President Butch Spyridon says the city’s fireworks display will be the largest in the country, outperforming the fireworks in New York City. Nashville apparently knows how many fireworks shells New York is using this year, so the city gave the production company enough money to display one more shell than the Big Apple.

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Blake Shelton Wants to Buy You a Beer at the CMA Music Festival

Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton can’t make it to this year’s CMA Music Festival, but he’s willing to buy you a beer to make up for his absence. Blake has teamed up with Bud Light to offer free beer, koozies and T-shirts at 12 honky tonks and bars in downtown Nashville Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. local time.

Blake says, “I’m sorry I’m not able to make it to the festival this year but I will be with you in spirits.”

If you get one of Blake’s beers, be sure and upload a picture of it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #YourVoiceofChoice and tag @blakeshelton, too.

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Eric Church Opening Pop-Up Shop in East Nashville Wednesday Through Friday

CMAEric Church is opening a pop-up shop called The Outsider’s Joint in East Nashville this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The store will offer several rare items, including Eric’s own selected batch of Jack Daniels Single Barrel whiskey, as well as Eric’s These Boots collection from Lucchese. Those custom boots feature Eric’s lyrics written on the sole and are usually only available to VIP ticketholders on Eric’s tour.

The Outsider’s Joint will be located at 218 South 11th Street in East Nashville. Go to EricChurch.com/TheOutsidersJoint for further details and store hours.

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Brantley Gilbert Gives CMT Music Awards Tickets to His Soldier Friend, Justin Patterson

Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert can’t make it to this Wednesday’s CMT Music Awards, so he’s given his pair of tickets to his friend, Staff Sergeant Justin Patterson. They first met during Brantley’s recent motorcycle ride with the Wounded Warrior Project. During that meeting, Justin presented Brantley with his first Purple Heart medal as a thank you for all the singer does on behalf of veterans. Since then Brantley and Justin have talked just about every day, and Brantley wanted to give Justin the tickets as a small token of his appreciation for the Purple Heart.

Brantley is up for Collaborative Video of the Year at Wednesday night’s CMT Music Awards for “Small Town Throwdown” featuring Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett.

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