Josh Turner Not Content to Follow Current Country Trends on Upcoming Album

MCA NashvilleJosh Turner‘s last album, Punching Bag, produced the big hit song, “Time Is Love,” back in 2012, but he’s been absent from the country radio charts ever since. Josh hoped to have a new single out in January of this year, but fans will have to wait just a little bit longer to hear what he’s been working on.

Josh says, “In all honesty, this has been the hardest record of my career to make.  I don’t know why. It’s been tough for me to write the songs. It’s been tough for me to find the songs.”

Since Josh’s music has always retained elements of the traditional country aound, he doesn’t feel compelled to follow the current Nashville trend of recording party songs about girls dancing on truck tailgates in the moonlight.

“I think this whole town has kinda been a funk,” Josh admits. “You know, it’s like everybody’s writing about the same thing and same kind of melodies. It’s just been very frustrating.”

Josh’s new album is finally coming together with nine songs confirmed for the final track listing.

He explains, “If I had it my way, it would probably come about in a different kind of way and look a little different and sound a little different. But right now, considering what we’ve had to work with, I feel like we’re in a pretty good spot.”

Josh looks forward to breathing a big sigh of relief when the new project actually gets in his fans’ hands.

He says with a laugh, “This is gonna be a sweet record regardless of what happens once it gets out there, because  I’ve worked my butt off for this one.”

In the meantime, Josh shares personal stories and life lessons in his new book, Man Stuff, coming out April 29.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jerrod Niemann Releases First of Five Mini-Movies to Promote New Album, “High Noon”

Sony Music NashvilleJerrod Niemann has released the first of five mini-movies at JourneytoHighNoon.com as part of the ramp-up to the release of his new album release, High Noon, on March 25. The clip features Jerrod as the hero of the High Noon Saloon, even though Jerrod’s donkey, Lucky #9, runs off in the first installment.

A free remix of “Drink to That All Night” is also available at Jerrod’s site. Look for the next mini-movie to be posted Thursday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cassadee Pope Enters Taylor Swift Territory with “Wasting All These Tears”

Republic NashvilleCassadee Pope is making waves not seen from a new female country act since Taylor Swift hit the scene eight years ago. Cassadee’s debut single, “Wasting All These Tears,” has been certified platinum. Taylor was the last artist to pull off that feat with her debut single, “Tim McGraw,” in 2006.

Cassadee’s debut album, Frame by Frame, also bowed at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart. The second single from that project, “I Wish I Could Break Your Heart,” is now climbing the country chart.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

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

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Currington Hungry for More Hits to Fill Out His Concert Set List

Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington has built up quite an arsenal of #1 singles, but he’s hungry for more hits to fill out his headlining concert set lists.

Billy tells ABC News Radio, “We’re like a 20-song set list. So, I have to come up with the remainder of the songs to put off the same amount of energy [as the hits do], and that’s sometimes tough.”

Having monster hits like “People Are Crazy,” “Good Directions” and “Hey Girl” really helps Billy entertain his concerts crowds.

He adds, “What I got right now, [I'm] very thankful for.”

Billy is currently headlining the We Are Tonight tour with special guests Brett Eldredge and Chase Rice. Go to BillyCurrington.com for a full list of dates.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sara Evans Feeling Nervous, Exhausted and Excited as “Slow Me Down” Hits Stores

RCA RecordsSara Evans is going through a roller coaster of emotions this week as her new album, Slow Me Down, hits the marketplace.

“You feel a lot of things, you know, like excitement, nervousness, exhaustion,” Sara tells ABC News Radio. “‘Cause it’s a lot of work and a lot of build up because you want everyone in the world to know about it and go buy it because you’re so proud, and I have been working so hard on this project.”

Fans have an indication of what to expect on Sara’s album thanks to the lead single, also titled “Slow Me Down.”

Sara explains, “You kinda want to always have a song like that as your first single to give everybody a taste of where you are musically, and what the whole record is. But then also, it’s just an incredible song.”

Sara especially likes how the last line of the chorus changes “Slow Me Down” from a straight-up leaving song to a possible song of reconciliation.

She adds, “You’re not expecting it. ‘Hurry up and slow me down.’ I’m like, ‘Well, that’s just genius.’”

Sara’s new album also includes collaborations with Gavin DeGraw, Vince Gill and Isaac Slade of The Fray. Look for her to perform on ABC’s Good Morning America  on Tuesday and The Chew on Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLuke Bryan gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his new Spring Break project, Like We Ain’t Ever, in a new CMT special airing Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

Gary Allan is set to perform on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman Tuesday.

Get well wishes go out to Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis, who underwent a routine heart procedure over the weekend. His daughter, Pam Tillis, says he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Nashville stars Charles Esten and Clare Bowen will headline the St. Jude Country Music Marathon post-race concert April 28 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Bruce Springsteen Tribute Concert Featuring McGraw and Chesney Coming to AXS TV March 30

Columbia RecordsTim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill and Zac Brown were among the stars performing at the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year concert honoring Bruce Springsteen. Now highlights from that concert will premiering on AXS TV Sunday, March 30. A DVD and Blu-ray release of the concert will hit stores on March 25 as well.

Elton John, Neil Young, Sting and Natalie Maines also performed at the show, which featured an all-star finale with the artists and Bruce himself. The gala not only celebrated Springsteen’s music but also his philanthropic work.  Aptly, the show ended up raising more than $6.6 million for the Recording Academy’s MusiCares foundation, which helps musicians in times of need.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Dreaming Up Brand-New Show for Raise ‘Em Up Tour

Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban is creating a brand-new show for his Raise ‘Em Up tour, launching July 12 at the Calgary Stampede in Canada.

“The Raise Em Up tour will be a complete build from the sky down,” Keith says. “New staging, new production, a lot more songs from FUSE that the fans have been requesting, a different mix of previous hits, and some rarities from past albums that we haven’t played in a while if ever!!”

The 21-city tour will hit Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Atlantic City, Charlotte and Denver before wrapping up September 7 in Sacramento. Brett Eldredge and Jerrod Niemann are opening the show.

Here are Keith’s Raise ‘Em Up tour dates:

7/12 — Calgary, AB (CAN), Craven Country Jamboree
7/13 — Craven, SK (CAN), Craven Country Jamboree
7/17 — Atlantic City, NJ, The Borgata
7/18 — St. Clairesville, OH, Jamboree in the Hills
7/19 — Brooklyn, MI, Faster Horses
7/22 — Harrington, DE, Delaware State Fair
7/24 — Gilford, NH, Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
7/25 — Darien Center, NY/Darien Lake PAC
7/26 — Boston, MA, XFinity Center
7/31 — Cincinnati, OH, Riverbend Music Center
8/1 — St. Louis, MO, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
8/2 — Indianapolis, IN, Klipsch Music Center
8/8 — Raleigh, NC, Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
8/9 — Virginia Beach, VA, Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
8/15 — Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
8/16 — Hartford, CT, XFinity Theatre
8/17 — Bethel, NY, Bethel Woods Center
8/22 — Charlotte, NC, PNC Music Pavilion
8/23 — Birmingham, AL, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
8/29 — Denver, CO, Fiddler’s Green
8/30 — Salt Lake City, UT, USANA Amphitheatre
9/5 — Irvine, CA, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
9/6 — Mountain View, CA, Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/7 — Sacramento, CA, Sleep Train Amphitheatre

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Dominates “Billboard” 2014 “Money Makers” List

Photo Credit: Ash NewellTaylor Swift‘s Red album and tour earned her a lot of green.  She tops Billboard magazine’s annual Money Makers list, counting down the music performers who earned the most cash over the past year.

According to Billboard, Taylor raked in close to $39.7 million bucks over the past year, thanks to sales of her albums, singles and streaming royalties, plus ticket and merchandise sales for her tour, and that doesn’t include earnings from lucrative tour sponsorships with Keds, Diet Coke and Elizabeth Arden, or merchandise sales, which the magazine says together could be worth an additional $10 million.

Coming in at #2 the list is country superstar Kenny Chesney, who raked in just under $33 million last year with his album, Life on a Rock, and his No Shoes Nation tour.

Luke Bryan is in at #8 with earnings of $22.1 million thanks to his massive Dirt Road Diaries tour and new album, Crash My Party. Jason Aldean and George Strait take the #14 and #15 spots, respectively.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio