Kenny Chesney Wants Your Old iPod

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairIf you’ve ever wondered what to do with your old iPod, Kenny Chesney has the answer. The country superstar has partnered with the non-profit Music & Memory to encourage fans to donate their old mp3 players to help people struggling with Alzheimer’s.

“The gift of a music player full of favorite songs can help reconnect people with Alzheimer’s to good memories and to the people around them, and that’s a ray of hope for a lot of people,” Kenny says in a PSA he taped for the organization.

Music & Memory provides patients with individually-tailored playlists that help enhance their quality of life. It started with four facilities in New York, and has grown into a nationwide program with 1,000 outlets.

This week, Kenny kicked off his Big Revival tour with two shows in Nashville.


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Brad Paisley Pulls Hidden Camera Pranks on Repeat After Me

Arista NashvilleNotorious prankster Brad Paisley shows off his comedic chops in primetime next week. Brad guests on Repeat After Me, the hidden camera show hosted by The GoldbergsWendi McLendon-Covey. She communicates with celebrities via an earpiece, suggesting awkward and often inappropriate things for the stars to say and do, as they interact with unsuspecting civilians.

Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the half-hour series started as a sketch on her daytime talk show. Repeat After Me airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockThe Oak Ridge Boys sang backup on which 1976 Paul Simon hit? ANSWER:  “Slip Slidin’ Away.”


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Brett Eldredge Has Broadway and a Standards Album in His Sights

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleSo far, fans have only glimpsed Brett Eldredge’s talent as a thespian in his music videos. But if he has his way, we’ll likely one day see him on Broadway.

“I’d do it in a heartbeat,” he reveals. “I would totally do that. I mean, I was in that stuff. I was in musicals in high school and stuff. I loved it. I loved being onstage. I love acting. I definitely want to get into that as well. So, absolutely, I would do it. It’s fun. I love to watch shows.”

Brett adds he’d also like to record a standards album inspired by his hero, Frank Sinatra, but it’ll be a while before he branches out to do either project. He’s currently climbing the country chart with his top ten hit, “Mean to Me.”

 
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Taylor Swift Joins Kenny Chesney for His Tour Kickoff Show

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyTaylor Swift was a special guest at Kenny Chesney‘s opening show on his Big Revival tour in Nashville on Thursday night.

She joined Kenny — who turned 47 on Thursday — on stage at the Bridgestone Arena for a performance of his hit song “Big Star.” Video of their collaboration was quickly posted on YouTube.

Also joining Kenny were Chesney collaborator and songwriter David Lee Murphy, Grace Potter, Uncle Kracker, and veteran rocker and Eagles member Joe Walsh.


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Lee Brice Embarks on Environmentally-Friendly College Tour

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice goes back to school next month, as he launches the first leg of a unique tour of college campuses. He’s partnering with REVERB, a non-profit that brings musicians and students together to work toward environmental and social change. The avid hunter and fisherman will focus on outdoor preservation and water conservation, even working to lessen the effect of the shows themselves.

“We’re hoping to offset the environmental impact of the tour by supporting clean energy projects and using buses and trucks fueled with locally produced biodiesel,” he says. “I have two sons and I look at this as investing in their future and that of kids around the world.”  

The South Carolina native plays his alma mater, Clemson University, on April 11. 

Here are the dates so far for Lee Brice’s college tour:

4/8 — Buies Creek, NC, Campbell University
4/9 –Erie, PA, Penn State University
4/10 — High Point, NC, High Point University
4/11 — Clemson, SC, Clemson University
4/15 — Saint Charles, MO, Lindenwood University
4/22 — Conway, AR, University of Central Arkansas
4/24 — Monroe, LA, University of Louisiana
4/30 — North Andover, MA, Merrimack College
5/1 — Slippery Rock, PA, Slippery Rock University

 

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Sam Hunt Had His Doubts About “Take Your Time”

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleEven though “Take Your Time” has turned out to be Sam Hunt’s latest top ten hit, he confesses he wasn’t always sure that would be the case.

“‘Take Your Time’ is a song I wrote two or three years ago,” he recalls, “and it was sort of my first experience using a unique cadence in the verses and flowing from that spoken thing into a melody and then back again.”

Along the way, Sam worried the song might just be too different for country radio.

“It probably represents a lot of the R&B influence that a lot of my music has, and I’ve always been really attracted to that rhythmic style of music. It’s a song that I’ve had for a while and been most antsy about putting out, because it is one of the first songs I wrote when I started working on my own project.”

Sunday night, Sam takes his Lipstick Graffiti tour to the campus of Iowa State University.



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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockScotty McCreery co-hosts the Top 20 Countdown on Great American Country this weekend.  The show premieres Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern, and repeats on Saturday and Sunday.

The new album from soon-to-be Country Music Hall of Famers The Oak Ridge Boys is called Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites. It’s new in Cracker Barrel stores this month.

Charlie Worsham and Casey James performed alongside The Doobie BrothersTom Johnson at Nashville’s Tin Pan South festival this week. Both Charlie and Casey re-recorded Doobie’s hits for the band’s latest album, Southbound.


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Darius Rucker Takes His Southern Style to TV

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker will be making the media rounds next week, as he unveils his fourth solo album, Southern Style on Tuesday. The admitted sports fanatic will make multiple appearances on ESPN on the release date, after starting his morning on the Today show. Darius guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, April 6, before stopping by ABC’s The Chew on April 16.

Darius co-wrote all thirteen tracks on the new album, including his current top 5 collaboration with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, “Homegrown Honey.”

Here’s the track listing for Southern Style:

“Homegrown Honey”
“Good for a Good Time”
“Baby I’m Right” (featuring Mallary Hope)
“Southern Style”
“High on Life”
“Perfect”
“You, Me and My Guitar”
“Low Country”
“Need You More”
“Half Full Dixie Cup”
“Lighter Up”
“You Can Have Charleston”
“So I Sang”

 
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New Artist Striking Matches Is Already Huge in the UK

I.R.S. Nashville

Even though the debut album by Striking Matches just came out stateside this week, the two are already big stars in the U.K., thanks to the popularity of the ABC show Nashville. So far, the duo has written eight songs that have been featured in the nighttime drama, and Sarah Zimmermann says it’s not uncommon to see fans overseas singing along to every word, thanks to the show’s huge British following.

Sarah met musical partner Justin Davis in 2007 when a professor paired the two together when both were freshmen guitar majors at Nashville’s Belmont University. Their CD Nothing But the Silence features their latest single “Hanging on a Lie.”


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