Martina McBride Shows Off Her Party-Planning Skills in New Book, “Around the Table,” Out Now

Image Courtesy Harper CollinsEveryone knows Martina McBride has one of the most-celebrated voices in country music, but until now, only her friends have known she’s just as talented at throwing parties at her home in Nashville. Now, Martina is letting everyone in on her party-planning secrets with the new cooking and entertaining book, Around the Table.

She’s included step-by-step instructions on how to throw parties ranging from a Red ,White and Blue Backyard Cookout to a Retro Valentine’s Day Supper Club gathering.

“There are 12 different chapters that are 12 different parties,” Martina tells ABC News Radio. “There’s lots of pictures. It’s kind of like a how-to book to throw 12 different parties. So, we could do one a month.”

Martina hopes Around the Table inspires readers to host more get-togethers with the friends.

She says of party-planning, “It’s a little intimidating and overwhelming and you want everything to be perfect and you don’t want to mess up. And you have to clean your house, which is always the biggest hurdle for me.”

Look for Martina to talk about Around the Table on ABC’s The Chew on Wednesday and Fox News’s Fox & Friends on Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDon’t miss Big & Rich on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday.

Hunter Hayes‘ new song, “Dream Girl,” is included on the just-released soundtrack for the new film The Best of Me, in theaters October 17. Starting October 14 through November 4, fans can sign up for The Best of Me Sweepstakes at to win a trip to meet Hunter at one of his upcoming tour stops.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Band Perry Says Touring with Blake Shelton Is Like “Summer Camp”

Joseph Anthony BakerWhat’s it like touring with Blake Shelton? Pretty fun, according to The Band Perry.

Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry stopped by E! News Tuesday to spill the behind-the-scenes details of their recent tour with Shelton.

“2014 has been totally slammed. We’re very blue collar when it comes to our touring life,” Kimberly Perry said. “It was funny being out with Shelton all the time. It was like summer camp.”

And apparently, The Voice judge is just as crazy as he is on TV. “He is, especially when he’s out playing basketball between the buses,” Kimberly said. “He gets really intense.”

Shelton and The Band Perry will be working together again soon. Shelton picked the group as his team’s guest advisers on The Voice. They’ll help with the Battle Rounds, which begin Monday night on NBC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio 

Florida Georgia Line Explains Why They Passed “Burnin’ It Down” on to Jason Aldean

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley knew “Burnin’ It Down” was a big hit as soon as they co-wrote it with songwriter Rodney Clawson. So, why did they give it away to Jason Aldean?

It turns out the song was written about a year ago, and FGL had just finished up recording the new tracks for the re-release of their debut album, Here’s to the Good Times. They knew they wouldn’t be able to put it out for at least a year or more if they held on to it.

“The timing was tough on it,” Tyler tells ABC News Radio. “We were listening to it one day, and I think it was B.K. that said, ‘Hey dude, I think Jason would kill this song. We should try to give it to him, and at least let him hear it.’ And next thing we know, he’s cutting it.”

“Burnin’ It Down” has gone on to become a huge hit for Jason as the lead single from his just-released album, Old Boots, New Dirt. Having a superstar record one of their songs is a big dream-come-true for Florida Georgia Line, too.

Says Tyler, “We’re songwriters at heart, first and foremost. To get an outside cut’s big for us. I mean, that’s what we dreamed of for years.”

As for that line in the song about laying “naked in my bed,” Brian says they gave Jason the option of not singing it all. While recording the song’s demo, Tyler explains, “We threw in ‘dreaming [in my bed]’ on the second chorus, ’cause we didn’t know who was gonna cut it.”

Jason sang that “naked” line with no hesitation, and Brian couldn’t be happier with the end result.

He says, “You know when the right song gets to the right person when you hear it back like that. It sounds incredible. He crushed it.”

Florida Georgia Line isn’t hurting for hit songs at all, though. Their latest single, “Dirt,” is included on the duo’s sophomore album, Anything Goes, due out next week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Zac Brown Band Releasing “Greatest Hits So Far…” on November 10

Image Courtesy Southern GroundZac Brown Band‘s first best-of compilation, Greatest Hits So Far…, is coming out November 10. Kicking off with their debut hit, “Chicken Fried,” the 14-track  collection also includes their collaborations with Alan Jackson on “As She’s Walking Away” and Jimmy Buffett on “Knee Deep.” Hits like “No Hurry,” Goodbye in Her Eyes” and “Toes” are also featured.

Here’s the Greatest Hits So Far… track listing:

“Chicken Fried”
“Whatever It Is”
“Highway 20 Ride”
“As She’s Walking Away” (featuring Alan Jackson)
“Colder Weather”
“Knee Deep” (featuring Jimmy Buffett)
“Keep Me in Mind”
“No Hurry”
“The Wind”
“Jump Right In”
“Goodbye in Her Eyes”
“Sweet Annie”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Picks Up Two Nods for Australia’s ARIA Awards

Image Courtesy CMACongratulations to Keith Urban on his nominations at this year’s ARIA Awards, Australia’s equivalent of the Grammys. His latest album, Fuse, is up for Best Country Album. Keith’s also mentioned in the Best Live Act category for his Light the Fuse tour, which kicked off Down Under. The ARIA Awards will be handed out in Sydney, Australia on November 26.

Back in the U.S., Keith is up for four CMA Awards next month including Entertainer of the Year and Album of the Year for Fuse. Look for Keith to perform on the 48th Annual CMA Awards Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Co-Stars with His Fans in “Perfect Storm” Video

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley‘s new video for “Perfect Storm” includes his fans in a big way. He called on his Twitter followers to submit photographs of either themselves or a special someone wearing a t-shirt in a reference to the line in “Perfect Storm,” “She destroys me in that t-shirt.”

Brad chose 42 of the photos to appear in the new clip and let selected contributor know via Twitter to look for themselves in the video. Of course, Brad included a photo of his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, for the clip, too.

The “Perfect Storm” video is now live at The song is included on Brad’s latest album, Moonshine in the Trunk, out now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJason Aldean, Eric Church and Luke Bryan collaborated on which hit single from Jason’s album, Night Train? ANSWER: “The Only Way I Know.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Lady Antebellum Releases “Fun and Different” New Single, “Freestyle”

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum has released the uptempo track “Freestyle” as the new single from their just-released album, 747. It follows their recent #1 hit, “Bartender.”  Lady A plans to keep the party going strong with “Freestyle.”

The group’s Charles Kelley admits “Freestyle” is so “fun and different” it actually scares him a bit to put it out. He explains, “The song conjures up all of these vivid images — tons of pop culture — and the best part is it can be taken so many different ways. We just wanted to put a song out there about living life and having a little fun with an ‘anything goes’ type mentality.”

Look for Lady Antebellum to perform on the 48th Annual CMA Awards, airing live November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason Aldean Ready to Move Forward with His Life and Career on New Album, “Old Boots, New Dirt”

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean‘s sixth studio album, Old Boots, New Dirt, is now on sale featuring his latest hit, “Burnin’ It Down.” That sexy song is something of a departure for Jason, but fans of his hard-rocking signature sound will find plenty to love about the new album.

Jason even hints at that mix of old and new sounds in the album title. He tells ABC News Radio, “Well, I think Old Boots, New Dirt kind of applies to a lot of things. It sort of applies to musically where I’ve been, where we’re going.”

While he forges a new musical path on Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason is once again backed up by the guys who know him best — his road band. Unlike other artists who bring in studio musicians when they record, Jason sees his band mates as essential to creating the sound he wants on his albums.

He says, “I think that the overall sound is definitely a band effort, I guess you could say, and I think it could be very easily a band, you know. Had I decided to be the lead singer of a band, that could have been the thing.”

Jason has the final say when it comes to which songs make it on his albums, though. Since he went through a divorce and went public with his now-fiancée Brittany Kerr while making Old Boots, New Dirt, fans may wonder if he’s addressing those life changes directly on the new album. Jason says listeners shouldn’t expect any big revelations about his personal life on the project.

“I didn’t make it a conscious effort to go in and drag those things into the making of the album,” Jason explains. “If some of that stuff ended up influencing the record, then it did. It wasn’t my intention.”

Jason does feel the album title, Old Boots, New Dirt, speaks to his desire to move forward with his life and his music now that he’s engaged to Brittany.

He says of the title, “I feel like that’s a great metaphor for, like, being able to now finally put a lot of things behind me that have sort of been weighing me down over the last couple of years — putting a lot of that stuff behind me and looking forward to what’s to lay ahead.”

Jason performs on both NBC’s Today and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday to promote the new album.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio