Jake Owen Runs His Songs by His Friends Before He Puts Them Out

Image Courtesy RCA NashvilleJake Owen is constantly thinking about his fans when he’s choosing songs like his latest hit, “Beachin’.” He often tests songs he’s thinking about recording on his friends while they’re out on his boat.

Jake tells The Huffington Post, “I can usually tell pretty quickly if they’re enjoying the song, you know? But a lot of the time my friends are honest and they’re like, ‘God, this is so great, you got to get this out there,’ or they’re like, ‘This song sucks.’”

Jake’s friends obviously gave a big thumbs-up to “Beachin’.” It’s the latest hit from his current album, Days of Gold, in stores and online now.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockNewcomer Joel Crouse will release his debut album, Even the River Runs, on August 19. It features his single, “If You Want Some.”

Dan + Shay are the CMT Listen Up Artist of the Month for July. Look for exclusive performances from the duo all month long at CMT.com and on the CMT app.

Craig Morgan has signed on as the official spokesperson for the Spirit of Blue Foundation to promote safety for law enforcement officers. He’s also launched a promotion at SpiritofBlueSweeps.com giving fans a chance to see him at the Grand Ole Opry on August 19.

Jason Aldean on Thursday shared a photo on Instagram of him and Kenny Chesney hanging out at an undisclosed Buffalo Wild Wings location.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Looks Forward to “The Duels” on “Rising Star” Sunday Night

Image Courtesy Jim Wright/Arista NashvilleThe 20 remaining contestants on ABC’s Rising Star begin competing against each other in “The Duels” starting Sunday night. The contestants will be paired off for back-to-back performances. Whichever contestant of the pair gets the higher percentage of votes will stay on the show while the other contestant goes home.

Expert Brad Paisley tells ABC News Radio, “It is drag racing. It’s just one person goes, they qualify, there’s your time. Go do it again. What about you? Are you faster or not?”

The show’s experts are also starting to mentor the contestants, which means they’ll be selecting some of the songs for the Rising Star hopefuls. Brad has been putting a lot of thought into which songs he’ll choose for his contestants to connect with the viewing audience.

“The most important thing is that you match the song to the person, and that it’s also a song that America recognizes,” Brad says. “Originally, I was like, ‘Man, we should let ‘em sing something they wrote,’ but not everybody’s gonna be a great songwriter.”

He adds, “If you’re picking a song that America’s not totally aware of, or that’s a niche sort of alt-rock thing or something that people don’t know, they’re having to get to know that while they’re getting to know you.”

Tune in to see all of the action on ABC’s Rising Star Sunday night.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Has “Crucial” Role in “The Giver,” but There’s No Singing

Courtesy: The Weinstein CompanyTaylor Swift‘s next movie appearance will come August 15, when she appears in The Giver, based on the popular 1993 young adult novel by Lois Lowry.  The author tells MTV that while Taylor’s part in the film isn’t big, it is important.

Taylor plays Rosemary, who in the book isn’t a really major character, but who serves an important purpose.  Lowry tells MTV, “The role in the movie is still a small role, but it’s a crucial and very important one.”  She describes Taylor’s scene as “compelling,” and notes that her teenage grandsons said the scene with Taylor was the one they like the best.  As Rosemary, Taylor does play piano in the film, but Lowry says you won’t be hearing her belt out a tune.

“She does not sing,” Lowry tells MTV. “I don’t know if it would be an appropriate thing for her to sing. It would’ve turned the movie into a musical, which it isn’t! So no, no singing.”

Like The Hunger Games and Divergent, The Giver takes place in a dystopian society.  Everything seems perfect, but we soon learn that people have sacrificed their humanity and emotional depth in exchange for stability.  We won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say that Taylor’s character, Rosemary, has a strong connection to The Giver, who is played by Jeff Bridges.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dolly Parton Won’t Be Adopting “Doggy Parton” After All

Image Courtesy Webster PRDolly Parton won’t be taking the lost dog from the U.K. Glastonbury Music Festival home to the U.S. after all. After Dolly’s headlining set at the festival, organizers discovered a stray dog at the festival site. It quickly became known as “Doggy Parton,” and Dolly offered to adopt the dog if the owners weren’t found.

Thankfully, the pup’s owners have come forward and been reunited with the dog. In a conference call, Dolly revealed the dog was 15 years old and unable to travel across the ocean anyway.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

LeAnn Rimes Announces ONE Christmas Holiday EP and Tour

Image Courtesy True Public RelationsLeAnn Rimes is celebrating Christmas in July with the announcement of a new holiday EP and tour. ONE Christmas — chapter 1 will be released this holiday season featuring LeAnn’s take on “Silent Night,” “Blue Christmas,” White Christmas” and “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” among other tracks. She’ll kick off the eight-city ONE Christmas tour December 5 in Rutland, Vermont.

LeAnn says, “I love EVERYTHING about the holidays and want to share the magic and joy of the season with my fans. I look forward to playing some of my favorite Christmas classics for music lovers in an intimate, cozy setting.”

Look for LeAnn to follow up her ONE Christmas – chapter 1 EP with two additional installments to be released in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Here is the ONE Christmas – chapter 1 track listing:

“Silent Night Holy Night”
“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”
“Blue Christmas”
“Someday at Christmas”
“Hard Candy Christmas”
“White Christmas”

Here are the ONE Christmas tour dates:

12/5 — Rutland, VT, Paramount Theatre
12/7 — Bethlehem, PA, Sands Center
12/11 — Elmira, NY, Clemens Center
12/12 — Poughkeepsie, NY, Mid-Houston Civic Center
12/13 — Englewood, NJ, Bergen Pacific Arts Center
12/16 — Manhattan, KS, McCain Auditorium
12/18 — Chicago, IL, Arcada Theatre
12/19 — Manistee, MI, Little River Casino

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton’s Shows Up for Emmy Awards

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/NBCCarrie Underwood‘s The Sound of Music Live! and Blake Shelton‘s show, NBC’s The Voice, are both up for Emmy Awards. The Sound of Music Live! is up for Outstanding Special Class Program, while The Voice is a finalist for Outstanding Reality-Competition Show.

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, will be held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Monday, August 25. NBC will air the ceremony live from coast to coast.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks Signs with Sony Music; New Music Coming Soon; Will Make Music Available Digitally

PRNewsFoto/Wynn Las Vegas, Mark TuckerGarth Brooks is moving into the second phase of his career with some big news.  At a Nashville press conference, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris announced that Brooks will be recording for the label, with Brooks himself later clarifying that it’ll be for RCA Nashville. 

And yes, that does mean there will be new music from Garth later this year. He expects to release a new album around Black Friday to coincide with the holiday shopping season. When asked when we’ll get a first taste of the new music, Garth said, “I know that but I can’t tell you that.”  After being gently pressed, he declared, “Sometime in the next two months.”

As for how new Garth music will sound, Brooks joked you won’t be hearing “bro country” or “hick-hop” from him.  He said fans will be getting “Garth music…it’s ever-evolving and it stands the test of time.” Garth added the project will be a double-album due to the amount of songs he’s been recording.

Brooks also revealed that he’ll no longer be a holdout when it comes to offering his music digitally.  However, it’ll be only through Garth’s website, GarthBooks.com. A countdown on the website suggests Garth’s digital catalog could be available for purchase by early next week.

Garth will support his new album with a world tour, and details on tour dates and cities are expected to be announced next week. He addressed social media as well, saying he’ll be doing something there, but “our stance on social media is not quantity, but quality.”

The last thing Garth addressed before opening the floor to questions was the recently-canceled series of shows in Ireland.  Brooks spoke at length, essentially saying he thought the five shows were a go until he heard that only three had been green-lighted.  As for what happened, Garth said he had no idea, and that at no time during the arrangements or press for the shows did anyone say, as he put it, “Whoa, whoa, wait.”  He also said all the powers that be have to do is say “yes,” and he’ll be there.  “It’s a simple ‘yes’ is all it is,” he said repeatedly.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockMiranda Lambert co-wrote her CMA Award-winning hit, “Over You,” with which fellow country star? ANSWER: Blake Shelton.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Wynonna Shows Some Love for Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town

Image Courtesy Big EnterprisesWynonna won’t be chasing country radio airplay with her next studio album, but that doesn’t mean she’s not up to date on country’s current landscape. In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Wynonna says she loves the humor in Brad Paisley‘s music and considers Blake Shelton to be “the brother I never wanted but I’m so glad I have.”

As for today’s current country female acts, Wy says, “I love Kacey Musgraves and the fact that at her age she’s doing stuff that I didn’t have the guts to do. I love that she’s controversial and she’s, oh my goodness, singing about what? I couldn’t do stuff like that because my mother would have said no!”

Wynonna is also a fan of Lady Antebellum because of Charles Kelley‘s voice. She adds, “Little Big Town is still my favorite in terms of harmony.”

As for her own music, Wy recently released a song called “Follow Me” from the film The Hornet’s Nest. She’s currently working on a full-length project with her band, The Big Noise.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio