Dierks Bentley Launches His Biggest Tour Ever Tonight in North Carolina

ABC News RadioDierks Bentley launches his biggest tour ever Thursday night in North Carolina, and he’s ready to deliver a rocking show for his fans all-summer long. The new stage show features a giant projection screen Dierks calls “the wave” that allows him to connect with audience members sitting in the very back of the venue.

Dierks says, “I think about going to amphitheaters as a kid when I was 17, loving country music. Every band comes through, and you want to make your show stand out and be different and be unique.”

Dierks is stepping up the video elements of his live show, and fans at this weekend’s show will get a sneak peek at video footage from his latest single, “Drunk on a Plane,” which doesn’t premiere until Monday. It’s all part of Dierks’ effort to keep the audience’s attention throughout the night.

“You know, off the stage, I really don’t seek attention, but on the stage, I like to have everyone’s attention all the time until I walk off,” he explains. “I try to design a show that’s going to keep everyone really focused and engaged.”

Fans can feel free to photograph or tape any part of Dierks’ show, but they should be warned he doesn’t take any selfies with fans’ phones until the end of the show.  Dierks is dumbfounded by how many people actually throw their iPhones onstage trying to get him to take a photo on it.

Says Dierks, “People are literally throwing $400 iPhones up on stage.  Like, ‘That’s your phone, man! All your contacts. Your pictures.  That cost $400. You just tossed it up here on stage.’”

Chris Young, Jon Pardi and Chase Rice join Dierks on the Riser tour this summer. Go to Dierks.com for dates.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

“Nashville” Recap: All or Nothing with Me

ABCNashville paid tribute to the troops Wednesday night with Rayna Jaymes and Luke Wheeler staging a concert at Fort Campbell just north of Music City. They decided to stage the show after Luke was injured by a roadside bomb while in Afghanistan to entertain servicemen and women overseas. First lady Michelle Obama showed up with a pre-taped message, thanking the military personnel for their service before the show began. Kellie Pickler was also on hand to sing her song, “Closer to Nowhere.”

While everyone was all smiles onstage at the concert, plenty of drama was going on in the wings. Neither Rayna’s current beau, Luke, or her ex-husband, Teddy, were happy to see ex-love interest Deacon Claybourne singing onstage with Rayna and her two daughters, including Deacon’s biological daughter, Maddie. Deacon continued working through his guilt and anger for not being in Maddie’s life when she was young due to his alcoholism.

The fallout from Juliette Barnes‘ tryst with her former record label president, Jeff Fordham, continued. Jeff wants Juliette back on his record label, and he hinted he might tell her boyfriend, Avery, about her indiscretion. Juliette also revealed her father died in a military training accident when she was young and later teamed up with Luke for a duet of “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet.”

Will Lexington felt the walls closing in as he and new wife, Layla, began filming a reality show in their home. After knocking one of the wall-mounted cameras down in a rage, the closeted Will slipped off to call a sexy trainer named Tony he met at the gym.

There was a little bit of good news on Nashville as Zoey Dalton landed a job as Juliette’s backup singer for her upcoming tour. Chaley Rose plays Zoey, and she tells ABC News Radio Zoey’s journey to becoming a professional singer mirrors her own in a way. Not everyone in Chaley’s life supported her dreams.

“When I was in high school, it was like, I sat my mom down. It was like coming out. I was like, ‘Mom, I’m going to be a singer,’” Chaley explains.  ‘Cause she didn’t want me to. I mean, she just worried about me being in the business.”

Chaley spent awhile in New York and Atlanta pursuing a music career while enduring unwanted sexual advances from music producers. She also struggled to feed herself at times.

Chaley says, “I’m telling you, I ate a lot of peanut butter.”

Eventually, Chaley began to focus on her acting career, and her role as Zoey on Nashville is a perfect hybrid of her two passions. Fans often come up to her and says they enjoy hearing her sing songs like “Done Runnin’” on the Nashville soundtrack.

“It’s awesome,” says Chaley. “And I can’t wait for that feeling for when it’s a song I’ve written. Because it’s cool enough that it’s a song that I’m singing, and to kind of put my own thing into.”

Chaley is featured on the Nashville soundtracks albums, now available online. The show’s second season finale airs next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockListen for a brand-new Lady Antebellum single to hit the airwaves in the next week or so.

Tim McGraw kicks off his Heaven Down Sundown Town tour Thursday night in Fresno, CA.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Billy Currington Sued Over 2013 Incident with Tour Boat Captain

Mercury NashvilleLast September, Billy Currington pleaded no contest to charges of threatening a 70-year-old tour boat captain, in connection with an incident near his Georgia home earlier in the year. That incident has come back to haunt Billy again.

The Savannah Morning News reports the captain, Charles Harvey Ferrelle III, has filed a lawsuit against Billy, claiming the singer mocked and libeled him on his official fan website, two days before he entered his plea.  Ferrelle claims Billy said he “ran like a scared rabbit on dry land” during the April 2013 incident, and was “hallucinating” and “talking to himself.”

Ferrelle says the post has caused him anxiety whenever he conducts a tour near Billy’s home. He seeks unspecified damages.

The criminal charges against Billy stemmed from an incident in which Ferrelle’s tour boat passed Billy’s house on Tybee Island, Georgia. Billy apparently became angry, started yelling at the people on the tour and began following them in his boat. Once the boats docked, Billy apparently began screaming profanities and threatened to harm Ferrelle.

Billy was sentenced to five years’ probation after entering his plea.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Opens Up Like Never Before on CMT “Inside Fame”

Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line open up like never before in a new installment of CMT’s biography series, Inside Fame. The guys address their critics, who have labeled their brand of music “bro country,” and the duo’s Tyler Hubbard speaks for the first time about the helicopter crash that took his father’s life. The special also features personal photographs and childhood video footage from FGL.

The band’s musician pals Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, and “Cruise” collaborator Nelly all sit down for exclusive interviews about FGL’s rise to stardom.

Florida Georgia Line’s Inside Fame episode airs Thursday, May 22 at 10 p.m. ET on CMT.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley Playing Bluegrass SuperJam at Bonnaroo Next Month

Greenroom PRDierks Bentley is headed to Bonnaroo next month for the Bluegrass Situation SuperJam. The annual festival in Manchester, Tennessee takes place June 12 through 15. Dierks joins his bluegrass pal Bryan Sutton as well as  Shovels & Rope, Sarah Jarosz and more for the group performance.

For more details go to Bonnaroo.com. Dierks launches his Riser tour Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood to Sing “Somethin’ Bad” on Billboard Music Awards

Dick Clark Productions/ABCMiranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are set to debut their new duet, “Somethin’ Bad,” on the 2014 Billboard Music Awards. The rocking song appears on Miranda’s new album, Platinum, due out June 3.

Miranda says, “I’m a huge Carrie Underwood fan.  ‘Somethin’ Bad’ Is a meshing of our styles and there aren’t many female collaborations in our format so I’m really excited to be debuting it on the Billboard Awards.”

Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line will perform on the Billboard Music Awards, too. The show airs live from Las Vegas Sunday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich R&B legend joined Hunter Hayes on stage at the ACM Awards last year? ANSWER: Stevie Wonder.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kip Moore Eager to Learn from Tim McGraw on the Sundown Heaven Town Tour

MCA NashvilleKip Moore heads out on the road with one of his heroes, Tim McGraw, this week on the Sundown Heaven Town tour. Before Kip discovered Tim’s music, he mostly listened to rock acts like Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen. The “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck” singer plans to study McGraw’s live shows all summer long.

“I am eager to learn something from this tour,” Kip tells the Fresno Bee. “I’m always trying to find out what made me fall in love with an artist.”

The Sundown Heaven Town tour kicks off Thursday night in Fresno, CA. Cassadee Pope joins Kip and Tim on the bill.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Scotty McCreery Robbery Suspect Turns Himself In; Search Continues for Two Other Suspects

Mercury NashvilleA 19-year-old suspect has been charged in the home invasion-style robbery that victimized Scotty McCreery early Sunday morning.

According to ABC affiliate WTVD-TV, Mikkail Jamal Shaw turned himself in Tuesday night in Raleigh, NC and was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. The search continues for two other suspects.

Raleigh police report more than $1,600 worth of cash, wallets and electronic items were stolen, including Scotty’s iPhone. No one was hurt in the robbery.

As previously reported, Scotty declined to comment much on the incident in a statement, due to the ongoing police investigation. He did thank the Raleigh police department for their quick response and hard work.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio