Randy Houser Surprises Military Family with VIP Trip to His Upcoming Tucson Concert

Image Courtesy EckrichRandy Houser was the bearer of really good news for one military concert during a backstage visit at his show in Baltimore, Maryland, on Saturday night. Air Force Staff Sergeant Christopher Solso and his wife, Clare, were surprised with a meet-and-greet with Randy, who presented them with a voucher for a year of free groceries on behalf of Eckrich meats’ Operation Inspiration campaign and Operation HomeFront.

Randy will also host the Solso family for a VIP trip to his December 14 concert in Tucson, Arizona. The husband and wife will tour the film studio in Tucson where Randy shot his latest video, “Like a Cowboy,” before seeing Randy’s show that night at the city’s Fox Theater.

Randy says, “Being a part of Operation Inspiration and getting to meet with military families like Christopher and Clare Solso is such an honor. I am proud to have been a part of this surprise and can’t wait to see them again in December.”

For more information on Operation Inspiration, go to Facebook.com/EckrichMeats.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockToby Keith‘s new video for “Drunk Americans” premieres on CMT Thursday.

Garth Brooks appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Tuesday.

Jake Owen premiered the video for his latest single, “What We Ain’t Got,” at ETOnline.com Monday.

Kelly Clarkson loves Little Big Town‘s next single, “Girl Crush,” so much she covered it during a recent concert. A video of the performance is on YouTube.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dustin Lynch Gets a Big Career Boost with First #1 Hit, “Where It’s At”

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsDustin Lynch had a party in Nashville Monday night celebrating the first #1 hit of his career, “Where It’s At.” The song has elevated Dustin’s career to a new level on the road.

“It’s crazy to go in any town in the country and have that many faces looking back at you singing,” Dustin says. “Our audience has grown tremendously over the course of the summer as this song has grown in numbers and in just energy that they’re bringing to the show.”

When Dustin has a big hit song like “Where It’s At,” his band and road crew feel the effects, too.

He explains, “We rely on hit songs to make a living and to pay for diapers, too. A hit song definitely benefits a lot more people than just myself out there.”

Dustin’s mom and dad drove into Nashville from their hometown of Tullahoma, Tennessee, about an hour outside of Music City. Dustin’s sister, however, felt bad that she couldn’t get away for the party since she has two kids.

Dustin says, “Since Thanksgiving starts tomorrow, I’m gonna see them tomorrow, so I told them not to worry about it.”

Dustin has released the new song “Hell of a Night” as the follow up to “Where It’s At.” Both tracks are included on his sophomore album, Where It’s At, out now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Toby Keith and Lady Antebellum Playing College Football National Championship Concert Special

Image Courtesy Show Dog/UniversalToby Keith and Lady Antebellum will perform on CMT’s Ultimate Kickoff Party Live from the College Football Playoff National Championship special. The show airs Friday, January 9, 2015 at 9 p.m. ET from Dallas, in connection with the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship.  That’s set for January 12, 2015 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

Big & Rich and Brett Eldredge will also perform on the 90-minute special. More acts will be announced soon.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Strikes Gold with Latest #1 Hit, “Day Drinking”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town has scored another chart topper with their latest single, “Day Drinking,” the lead single from their new album, Pain Killer. It’s the first time the group’s Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook have been co-writers on a #1 hit.

Jimi says, “This feeling will never get old. Thank you so much to the fans and country radio for making our first song from Pain Killer such a success.”

“Day Drinking” has also been certified gold for 500,000 downloads and streams. The next single from Pain Killer is “Girl Crush.” Listen for that track to hit the airwaves December 15.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brantley Gilbert Tying the Knot with Fiancée, Amber Cochran, in June 2015

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert will tie the knot with his fiancée, Georgia school teacher Amber Cochran, at the end of June 2015. He revealed the date backstage at the American Music Awards Sunday night after winning Country Album of the Year for Just as I Am. Brantley and Amber met 10 years ago, and were together for five years before splitting up. They reconnected after Brantley got sober.

He says, “I had some things going on in my life that she wasn’t really willing to be a part of. I understand that completely now, and I’m so, so thankful that that was the way it was.”

Brantley has said Amber inspired several of his hit songs, including “More than Miles.” Amber was with Brantley at the AMAs Sunday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Maddie & Tae Confess They’re Frugal, Domestic, Neat Freaks

New duo Maddie & Tae might take aim at some of the cliches about women in country music in their first top five hit, but the pair confess they are much more put together than any “Girl in a Country Song.” Furthermore, the duo is well-matched, since they’re both neat freaks.

“On the road, oh my gosh, it’s so awesome,” Maddie says.  “We both have our toiletry bag and then we’ve got our sections of PJs and jeans and…  it’s just really nice to not have clutter everywhere… We’re both kind of weird in that. We love, like, to be organized.”

Image Courtesy Big Machine Label GroupIt seems the term “domestic goddess” might also apply to the two.

“I like to cook. It’s one of my escapes. Like, working out, cooking, and this is weird, but cleaning really helps, too,” Maddie confesses. “Oh, cleaning. Organizing my closet is therapy,” Tae chimes in. “Like color-coordinating my clothes. Love it.”

And if you suspect that might mean they have expensive tastes, you’d be wrong.

“We’re both, like, really frugal and kind of bargain Betties. I got, like, a bunch of my clothes, that either I just don’t wear or don’t fit or whatever. And I went and sold them and made, like, 20 bucks,” Maddie brags.

So far, “Girl in a Country” song has been certified gold, selling half a million digital downloads.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was Little Big Town‘s first appearance on the country charts? ANSWER:  The foursome went to #33 with “Don’t Waste My Time” in 2002.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Josh Turner Adapts and Bends as He’s Finishing His Sixth Album

George HolzBy the time his new single “Lay Low” started climbing the charts several weeks ago, Josh Turner already had more than ten years of chart success under his belt. The 37-year-old believes he owes at least part of his good fortune to those who came before him.

“I feel like you can learn a lot from artists who have had a really long career and that have had a lot of longevity,” he says. “The reason they’ve had that longevity is that they’re willing to adapt and bend a little bit here and there, but at the same time, continue to make their music.”

Josh admits he’s been doing some bending and adapting himself, as he’s finishing up his forthcoming sixth studio album.

“Good music takes on a lot of different forms. So, I definitely pay attention to that and with Nashville and country radio being so song-driven, you know, I try to really just make sure that the songwriting and the pitch meetings and the listening and all that kind of stuff is a priority.”

Right now, Josh is already road-testing  four of the new tunes from the new CD, due out next year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan Named Favorite Male Country Artist at 2014 American Music Awards

ABCLuke Bryan was named Favorite Male Country Artist at the 2014 American Music Awards, which aired Sunday night on ABC from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.  Carrie Underwood was named Favorite Female Country Artist and Florida Georgia Line took home the trophy for Favorite Band, Duo or Group — Country.

Brantley Gilbert won for Favorite Country Album for Just As I Am.

The only country music performance came via satellite from Greensboro, North Carolina.  Garth Brooks was shown onstage live performing his new song “People Loving People.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio