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

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockRascal Flatts will perform their latest single, “Playback,” on ABC’s The View Friday.

Carrie Underwood‘s new single, “Something in the Water,” sold more than 124,000 downloads in its first week. That’s Carrie’s best-ever opening week sales tally ever.  

Toby Keith‘s new single, “Drunk Americans,” will be released to country radio and to fans digitally on October 14.

Chris Young is performing at the Nashville Basket Brigade’s Fundraising Fright Night at the Tin Roof Nashville on Wednesday, October 29. Proceeds go to help feed local families in need this Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Swon Brothers Make the Hard Jump from “The Voice” to Country Radio with “Later On”

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleThe Swon Brothers burst onto the national scene in a big way as contestants on NBC’s The Voice, but they knew that was no guarantee their debut single, “Later On,” would become a hit at country radio. Their coach on The Voice, Blake Shelton, made it clear they’d have to work very hard to earn their spot on those radio playlists.

The duo’s Zach Swon tells ABC News Radio, “You still have a lot of loyal fans, but getting the radio audience is a little harder task, and you have a lot to prove. I think that starts with the music. You gotta do something that connects with people or makes them feel something.”

Clearly, the fans and country radio love “Later On,” which is currently sitting inside the top 15 on the country chart. Getting that kind of exposure with “Later On” has really given a shot in the arm to the The Swon Brothers’ concerts, or “Swoncerts” as they like to call them.

“We know it’s paying off, ’cause now when we do shows, everybody sings it back to us,” Zach says, “and that’s the best feeling in the world.”

Fans can hear much more from The Swon Brothers when their self-titled debut album comes out next week.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jerrod Niemann Hosting Benefit Concert for Songwriting Hero Whitey Shafer Tuesday in Nashville

Image Courtesy Arista Nashville/Darrin DickersonJerrod Niemann is hosting a benefit concert for legendary songwriter Whitey Shafer Tuesday night at Honky Tonk Central on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Tickets will be on sale at the door, and Jerrod promises fans some big surprises at the show.

Whitey Shafer is a co-writer of country classics like Lefty Frizzell‘s “I Never Go Around Mirrors” and “That’s the Way Love Goes” as well as George Strait‘s “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and “Ocean Front Property.” Shafer has been experiencing some health problems lately, and Jerrod wanted to help his friend out.

Says Jerrod, “Whitey is the first phone call I made when I moved to Nashville. We became buddies and he was kind enough to take me under his wing and open some doors for me. He’s my favorite songwriter, and I am so excited to be able to assist him in any way.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert Headlining 2015 Stagecoach Festival in California

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley are among the stars playing Stagecoach Festival 2015 in Indio, CA April 24, 25 and 26. The Band Perry, Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves, Eli Young Band, Sara Evans, and Frankie Ballard are among the other stars set to appear at Stagecoach.

Go to for the complete artist lineup and ticket information.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Scotty McCreery Calls on Fans to Donate to Newton, CT Charity on His 21st Birthday

Image Courtesy Russ Harrington/UMGScotty McCreery celebrates his 21st birthday Thursday, but he doesn’t want his fans to send him any presents or cards to mark the occasion. Instead, Scotty is calling on people to consider making a donation to the 12.14 Foundation. The organization was founded in the wake of the December, 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting to raise money for a multi-purpose performing arts and education center in Newtown, CT. The foundation hopes the facility will serve as “a beacon of hope and change.”

Scotty is the National Goodwill Ambassador for the 12.14 Foundation and has visited families in Newtown several times since the shooting. He says, “Together we can support a great organization doing positive things in a town that is still recovering. Let’s help them reach their goal of building a state-of-the art performing arts and education center. That would be the best birthday gift I could receive.”

Fans looking to donate to the cause can visit

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett & More Salute Newest Inductees into Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood were among the stars honoring the newest inductees to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Sunday night in Music City. The organization held its 44th Anniversary Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction ceremony at the Music City Center, with Thomas Rhett performing a medley of inductee Paul Craft‘s compositions “Brother Jukebox” and “Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life.”

Tim McGraw performed “My Little Girl” in honor of new Hall of Fame member Tom Douglas. Brandy Clark sang inductee Gretchen Peters‘ “You Don’t Even Know I Am” and “Independence Day,” which were hits for Patty Loveless and Martina McBride, respectively. Trisha Yearwood also saluted Peters singing “On a Bus to St. Cloud,” a single from Trisha’s 1994 album, Thinkin’ About You.

John Rich inducted John Anderson into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Josh Turner performed Anderson’s signature song, “Swingin’.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brantley Gilbert Says His 30th Birthday Is Going to Be a Hard One

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co. Brantley Gilbert will celebrate his 30th birthday in January, but he’s not exactly excited about reaching that milestone.

Brantley tells The Las Vegas Sun, “Thirty is going to be one of the hardest birthdays. I’ve been a bit of a wild child and didn’t always think I would make it to 30.”

He still plans to have a party of some sort. Brantley adds, “There will be a celebration for sure.”

Look for Brantley’s Let It Ride tour to hit a city near you this fall.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio