Darius Rucker, Little Big Town to Reveal CMA Nominees on Good Morning America

Capitol Nashville

We already knew Darius Rucker will unveil his new song, “Homegrown Honey,” next Wednesday on Good Morning America. Now there’s more news: after his performance, Little Big Town will join Darius to reveal the nominees in the five major CMA Awards categories, live on GMA during the 8:30 half-hour.

After the live announcement, Darius and LBT will travel to the Best Buy Theater in Times Square to announce the rest of the contenders. While it won’t be televised, you can stream it live at CMAawards.com starting at 10 a.m. ET.

Darius co-wrote “Homegrown Honey,” the first single from his upcoming fourth solo album, with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley and their producer, Nathan Chapman.  Look for that CD early next year.

The 48th Annual CMA Awards airs Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sam Hunt Says “Leave the Night On” Is What He’s All About

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMG

Newcomer Sam Hunt considers his first hit, “Leave the Night On” not only the centerpiece of his debut CD, but also a pretty good reflection of who he is musically.

“That was one of the first ones where I felt like, ‘OK, this could be a direction I could go as an artist’,” he says. “That song just hung around and stayed there, and in the end, when we finished the album, it was a song that we felt like would be a good first single, and it kind of represented all of what I wanted to do and kind of represents the record best in one song. And it’s fun. It’s a good uptempo introduction, I think.”

Producer Zach Crowell recorded the CD in the bedroom of his house in East Nashville, which afforded Sam the luxury of time.

“It allowed us to really dig in, and we’d just go over things over and over,” Sam says. “We weren’t confined to a three-hour slot in a studio. We’ve spent a lot of hours just tweaking and working and coming up with sounds and bringing our buddies in who play guitar and having them play on the record.”

Sam brought in members of his band, as well as some folks who’d never played on record before to help with his first CD. But he confesses there were some contributions he didn’t welcome.

“He’s got this little yappy dog that’s running around the house all the time. We have to stop recording all the time ’cause there’s barks coming in the background,” he laughs.

Sam’s EP X2C is available now, with his full-length CD Montevallo coming out October 27.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat’s the first song Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert ever sang together? ANSWER:  “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” during CMT’s 100 Greatest Duets special in 2005.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe one-hour special Backstory:  Dolly Parton promises “an insider’s look at the life and times of the most awarded female in county music.” It premieres August 29 at 5 p.m. ET on Great American Country.  

Tyler Farr, Jamey Johnson and John Michael Montgomery are just three of the stars who’ll play in Colt Ford‘s third annual Celebrity Golf Classic September 15 in Atlanta.

Dierks Bentley joins Blake Shelton as one of the headliners at next year’s Tree Town Music Festival in Forest City, Iowa. This will be the second year for the four-day concert series that starts the Thursday before Memorial Day.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton Says Commercial Success Never Crosses Miranda Lambert’s Mind

CMAEven though Miranda Lambert‘s latest CD Platinum has already sold half a million copies and spawned the hit singles “Automatic” and “Somethin’ Bad,” husband Blake Shelton says she’s much more focused on emotion and authenticity than on commercial success.

“That’s what I love about my wife is that she wears her heart on her sleeve,” he reflects. “She writes songs and records songs that mean something to her. The last thing that she thinks about when she makes a record is what could get played on the radio. I can honestly say it never, ever, ever, ever crosses her mind.”

Ultimately, Blake believes it’s Miranda’s honest approach that’s translated into such wide appeal.

“I think that’s why especially this community, we look forward to her albums so much because it’s always just a reinvention of herself and it’s always a breath of fresh air from what guys like me are doing, you know,” he jokes.

We’ll find out exactly what Blake himself is up to, when his latest CD Bringing Back the Sunshine comes out September 30.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kelly Clarkson Joins Trisha Yearwood in the Ring for “PrizeFighter”

Image Courtesy Mark Peterson/Food Network MagazineKelly Clarkson contributes vocals to Trisha Yearwood‘s new single, “PrizeFighter,” which also happens to be the title track of Trisha’s twelfth album, her first for RCA Nashville. She says the inspirational song gives her the feeling she can do anything, even when the odds are against her, adding that it “just plain rocks!”

This isn’t the first time Kelly and Trisha have sung together. Last year, Trisha joined Kelly onstage at CMA Music Festival to perform her husband’s hit “Ain’t Goin’ Down Til the Sun Comes Up,” before contributing vocals to a new version of “Away in a Manger” for Kelly’s Christmas album.

Trisha kicks off the Garth Brooks world tour September 4 in Chicago, with her new single set to hit airwaves September 15. It’s her first new music in 7 years.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Luke Bryan Ready to Rock with Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry

Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan joins Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry to carry the country banner during CBS’s Fashion Rocks special next month. Ryan Seacrest hosts the two-hour event that celebrates the connection between fashion and music.

Luke, Miranda and The Band Perry will perform live from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, alongside KISS, Duran Duran, Jennifer Lopez, Usher, Jennifer Hudson, Pitbull and more. You can catch the show Tuesday, September 9 at 9 ET on CBS.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio



Florida Georgia Line Plans Massive Tailgate Party to Celebrate New CD

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line will spend Halloween this year headlining a massive tailgate party at the Jacksonville Shipyards, just ahead of the Georgia-Florida football game the next day. Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three, John King and more join Bryan Kelley and Tyler Hubbard for the Anything Goes Tailgate 2014, named for the duo’s sophomore CD.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday at JaxTailgate.com, with bundles including a souvenir t-shirt and a copy of the duo’s new CD, out October 14.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Announce Pain Killer Tour, Unveil Album Cover

Capitol Records NashvilleLittle Big Town will launch their Pain Killer tour November 8 in Youngstown, OH.  Featuring special guests Brett Eldredge and Brothers Osborne, the tour will hit 13 cities nationwide, and wrap in Rockford, IL on December 13.

In a statement, Karen Fairchild said, “We are so excited to share Pain Killer and get on the road for this tour. Kimberly, Phillip, Jimi and I are thrilled to have such amazing openers in Brett and Brothers…we’re big fans.” 

She added, “The band is so stoked about this record that we’ve been playing new songs all summer. We can’t wait to play the whole thing, along with our hits the fans know and love this November.”

The band is offering fans the chance to purchase VIP experience packages on the tour, which include meet and greets, admission to pre-show sound checks, exclusive merchandise and more.  Visit LittleBigTown.com for full details on those.

Little Big Town has also unveiled the artwork for their new album, Pain Killer, which will hit retailers October 21.  It shows all four members of the group standing against a red background beneath crimson lights spelling out the album’s title.

Here are the Pain Killer tour dates:

11/8 — Youngstown, OH, Covelli Centre
11/9 — Cincinnati, OH, Bank of Kentucky Center
11/13 — Roanoke, VA, Salem Civic Center
11/14 — Knoxville, TN, Knoxville Civic Coliseum
11/15 — Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre
11/20 — Denver, CO, 1st Bank Center
11/21 — Wichita, KS, Hartman Arena
11/22– Dallas, TX, Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
12/4 — Detroit, MI, Masonic Temple Detroit
12/5 — Chicago, IL, Rosemont Theatre
12/6 — Mt. Pleasant, MI, Soaring Eagle
12/12 — Rochester, MN, Mayo Civic Center Arena
12/13 — Rockford, IL, BMO Harris Bank Center

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley’s Riser Tour Features His Most Interactive Show Yet

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/CapitolDierks Bentley stays in near-constant conversation with his fans thanks to his accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Just the other night, Dierks posted a selfie as he prepared to take off on his third self-piloted flight of the day. He also uses social media to involve his fans at shows on his Riser tour. So far this year, Dierks has tweeted with fans to get them up onstage to sing karaoke with him during his set.

He says, “We’ve experimented with all different things that won’t be showstoppers.”

Dierks has been very excited to offer seat upgrades to fans in the audience via social media before he takes the stage, too.

“[It's] so cool that it’s that easy to do, but it would have such a big impact on a fan’s life,” Dierks explains. “It would have a big impact on my life being able to move up to the front, some of the shows I used to go to as a kid.”

Dierks’ Riser tour is on the road through November.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio