“Nashville” Tour Sells Out Three Shows, Adds Philadelphia Date

ABCThe Nashville concert tour is a big hit. Tickets for the trek’s stops in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. sold out within minutes of going on sale earlier this month. Now, the cast of the ABC TV hit has added another concert date: Monday, May 5 at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia.

Nashville stars Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Chris Carmack will perform at all concerts. Will Chase joins them for the May 6 show in Manhattan.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Crashes Super-Fan’s Bridal Shower

Gena Gabrielle via InstagramTaylor Swift was full of big surprises this past weekend. After showing up unannounced during Seth Rogen‘s Saturday Night Live monologue Saturday night, Taylor flew to Columbus, Ohio to surprise one of her big fans, Gena Gabrielle, at her bridal shower on Sunday. Gena documented the entire event on Instagram.

Of course, Taylor didn’t show up empty-handed. She gave Gena a KitchenAid mixer, along with a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. Gena revealed those were the same cookies Taylor baked with her pal, Olympian Gracie Gold, last week.

According to Gena, Taylor told her, “This is my first bridal shower, and Gena’s last.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Bid Farewell to Las Vegas Residency

VenetianTim McGraw and Faith Hill closed out their Soul2Soul residency at The Venetian in Las Vegas Saturday night, and Faith took to Twitter to mark the occasion.

“We would like to thank the incredible staff & crew at The Venetian for their hard work and hospitality during both runs of #soul2soul,” Faith posted,  She also thanked the fans who came out to see the shows: “It was a thrill getting to perform for you all on that stage.”

Faith is featured on Tim’s new single, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” That song is included on Tim’s upcoming album, Sundown Heaven Town, due out September 16.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

George Jones’s Widow to Mark One-Year Anniversary of His Death with Nashville Ceremony

Webster PRGeorge Jones‘ widow, Nancy Jones, will mark the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death with a public celebration April 26 at his grave in Nashville. She’ll plant two dogwood trees at  Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today” monument.

Nancy says, “I am so fortunate for the friends and fans that George and I made through the years.  I want everyone to come celebrate with us, not because he is no longer with us, but to keep his legacy alive.”

The event starts at 1 p.m. CT at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockBrad Paisley first saw his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, in which early ’90s movie? ANSWER: Father of the Bride.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thompson Square Share Stories from Their World Tour Entertaining the Troops

Stoney Creek RecordsThompson Square‘s Keifer and Shawna Thompson recently returned from a world tour entertaining U.S. troops stationed in Japan, Guam and Hawaii.  While they were thrilled to make the trip, the couple didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed at the gratitude coming from the troops and their families.

Shawna tells ABC News Radio, “There were so many people that came through the meet and greet, wives that their husbands were deployed that were like, ‘Oh, my God.  Thank you so much for coming because this reminds me of home, and I’m so lonely right now, and just to have something that’s from home, it means so much.’”

Keifer adds, “We stayed and signed for everybody after the shows.  It was just really interesting to hear stories, and some of our songs helped them through some tough times and stuff.  That was an amazing thing just to see.”

Thompson Square is back in the U.S. for its Just Feels Good tour.  Check out the group’s website for dates.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockReba hosted the Muhammad Ali Fight Night again this weekend in Phoenix.

Brad Paisley built a bar in the studio on his property south of Nashville to create a party atmosphere while recording his upcoming album.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town’s Kimberly Schlapman Welcomes Country Stars Into Her Own Kitchen on “Kimberly’s Simply Southern”

Photo Credit: Becky FlukeLittle Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman doesn’t have to leave her house to tape her Great American Country cooking show, Kimberly’s Simply Southern, this season.

Thanks to the money from LBT’s big hit “Pontoon,” Kimberly was able to renovate the kitchen in her Nashville-area home to make it perfect for filming the show.  Her husband, Stephen, designed the kitchen with some input from the cooking show’s producer.

Kimberly tells ABC News Radio, “We brought in the producer of the cooking show just to say, ‘If you had your druthers, where would you like for the stove to be?  And does it matter, you know, where a few things sit?’  Steve pretty much designed the whole [thing], and I’m so proud of it.”

While Kimberly loved filming the first two seasons in her friend’s kitchen in Nashville, having access to her own kitchen supplies makes cooking on television that much easier for her.

“When we needed a spoon on set, I just opened the drawer and knew right where it was,” Kimberly explains.  “If we needed extra olive oil, I just grabbed my little olive oil thing.  So, it felt more like home. “

Kimberly welcomes quite a few special guests into the kitchen this season, including band mate Karen Fairchild, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott, Brett Eldredge, Kix Brooks, Eric Paslay, Jewel and Thompson Square.  One guest in particular, Wynonna, had Kimberly quite star-struck.

Says Kimberly, “I grew up a third member of The Judds, actually, ’cause I sang along with them.  I knew every song, still do, every song by heart.  I went to see them in concert.  I mean, I’m a huge fan.  Was incredibly excited.”

Kimberly’s Simply Southern airs Mondays at 4 p.m. ET on Great American Country.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Drew from Childhood Memories for His Latest Single, “River Bank”

Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley grew up 500 yards from the Ohio River in West Virginia, so he had a ton of memories to draw from while writing his latest single, “River Bank.”

Brad tells The Tennessean, “My best memories with my grandfather are on that body of water, and my dad and learning to ski.  It’s kind of like a back-to-basics song.”

“River Bank” is the lead single from Brad’s upcoming album, due out later this year.  He started working on the album in January and finished writing it in just three months.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Pops Up on “Saturday Night Live” to Support Pal Ed Sheeran

Image Courtesy Ed Sheeran via Instagram

Taylor Swift’s now a part-time New York City resident, so she didn’t have to go out of her way too much to make a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

The singer appeared onstage during host Seth Rogen’s opening monologue, along with a few other unannounced guests: Zooey Deschanel and James Franco.  Rogen angrily insisted that he didn’t need his famous friends to come by and help him out, and when he asked Taylor what she was doing there, she replied, “You’re getting really upset, and when a man shows emotion, I appear!”

But the real reason she was there was to support her good friend Ed Sheeran, who was making his Saturday Night Live debut.  In fact, it was she, and not Rogen, who announced that he was the musical guest.  Ed performed two songs from his forthcoming album, X:Sing” and “Don’t.”   The latter song is about a woman Ed was seeing, who he claims cheated on him with a friend while they were staying at the same hotel.  While the woman in question was a musician, Ed has insisted that Taylor is not the subject of the song.

At the end of the show, Taylor joined Ed, Rogen and the rest of the cast onstage for the traditional good-byes.  Zooey Deschanel stayed around to say goodbye as well, and she and Taylor very spoke animatedly to each other and appeared to jump up and down with delight while chatting.  You may recall that Taylor guest-starred on Deschanel’s show New Girl last year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio