UMG NashvilleCanaan Smith‘s #1 hit, “Love You Like That” is proof that even tough country guys can be tender with the ones they love. With its references to loving a girl smooth as a fifth of whiskey and sweet as muscadine wine, Canaan says of the track, “The song is about loving your woman long and strong. It’s kind of a tough guy’s perspective on how he’s gonna love a woman and treat her, you know, take you out in the country. ‘I’m a man, you’re my woman, let’s do this.’”
“Love You Like That” is included on Canaan’s debut album, Bronco, on sale now.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLarry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are the headlining act for Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas in Nashville. They’ll perform 30 live dinner shows starting November 20.
Kelsea Ballerini, Cam and Michael Ray are among the new artists playing the Next from Nashville stage at the fourth annual Watershed Festival coming up July 31 through August 2.
Jason Aldean is back in the studio. He posted a selfie on Instagram from behind-the-mic working on his new album. The caption says, “Can’t wait for u guys to hear what me and the boys are up to!!!”
Big Machine Label GroupFresh off his Las Vegas shows at Caesars Palace, Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn fame is stepping back out as a solo act with his new single, “Ain’t No Trucks in Texas.” The track was produced by Rascal Flatts‘ Jay DeMarcus and will be available digitally this Friday.
Ronnie says, “It has been great to be back in the studio and writing new songs. I am really excited for everyone to hear the music. I loved ‘Ain’t No Trucks in Texas’ the minute I heard it and think fans will, too.”
Ronnie heads back to Las Vegas for another round of shows with Kix Brooks and Reba starting December 1 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Sandbox EntertainmentKimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town returns this weekend with a brand-new season of her cooking show, Kimberly’s Simply Southern. The show airis on The Cooking Channel Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Kix Brooks joins Kimberly in the kitchen for the premiere episode. Brett Eldredge, Billy Currington, Jewel, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott and Kimberly’s band mates Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet will join Kimberly in the kitchen on upcoming episodes.
Look for Kimberly to appear on CBS’s The Talk Thursday afternoon to talk about her budding cooking empire. She released her first cookbook, Oh Gussie!, last April.
Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks is taking his World Tour to Dallas Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19. The shows will be staged at the American Airlines Center and mark Garth’s first concert dates in Dallas in 17 years.
Sony Music NashvilleChrisYoung didn’t perform his latest single, “I’m Comin’ Over,” in concert until it was available online, so he was very anxious to see what his concert crowds thought of the song. Chris admits he even changed the way he starts his show just to get that initial fan reaction to “I’m Comin’ Over.”
He explains, “The first time that I played it out, instead of doing my normal show intro where we have a big pre-roll and then the band walks on, we just did a cold intro. The house music stopped, the lights go down, the band all walked out, sat down, counted it off and started playing the song.”
Of course, the crowd loved “I’m Comin’ Over,” and Chris got a kick out of starting the show off with the new single, too.
“It was really, really cool for me,” Chris says, “’cause it’s something different and the crowd wasn’t expecting it.”
“I’m Comin’ Over” is the lead single from Chris’s upcoming fifth studio album, due out later this year.
Dot RecordsDierks Bentley has already been named “The Hottest Guy in Country Music” this year by People magazine, but his opening act Maddie & Tae think Dierks is hot enough to star in a summer blockbuster. During a recent show in Tampa, Florida, Dierks took his shirt off to reveal his perfectly toned body, and a fan posted a picture of the action on Instagram.
The duo’s Tae Dye tells ABC Radio they didn’t know Dierks had gone shirtless until they saw the photo online. She says, “He looks like he should be on Magic Mike. I decided that. He’s a new member.”
Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Marlow has also been checking out their other tour mate, Kip Moore, who keeps an intense diet and workout regimen going all the time.
“His arms are ridiculous,” she says. “We have lunch with Kip a lot. We just happen to, like, eat at the same time. And I sit there and I have, like, four cookies on my plate with fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and he has black bean burgers and, like, boring stuff like that.”
Maddie goes on to say she likes her cookies too much to get on a strict diet like Kip’s, but she does make a point to jog regularly.
Maddie explains, “I will say running helps a lot with your endurance on stage ’cause you get out of breath, and you’re running around and trying to entertain but not faint. So, running has helped, but I ain’t doing more than that.”
Maddie & Tae are currently climbing the country chart with their latest hit, “Fly.” Their debut album, Start Here, is out Friday, August 28.
Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan has reached out to Waylon Jennings‘ widow, Jessi Colter, and apologized for remarks he made involving her late husband in a recent interview with HITS Daily Double. In that interview, Luke talked about being a part of today’s country music scene and moving the format forward.
He said, “I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a ‘Those were the good old days’ kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past. I’m not an outlaw country singer.”
The part that really ruffled some feathers came next as he added, “I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country. I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers—and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.”
Waylon Jennings’ daughter-in-law, Kathy Pinkerman Jennings, posted a YouTube video denouncing Luke’s choice of words, and several media outlets painted Luke as disrespecting country legends.
Luke released a statement via Twitter Friday saying, “I would never speak against any artist. It’s not my style. I consider Willie, Waylon and Merle musical heroes. I was trying to state what I was about and where I come from with my music. It’s as simple as that.”
After posting that message on Twitter, Luke personally called Jessi on Monday to apologize. Her son with Waylon, Shooter Jennings, told the Los Angeles Times, “Luke Bryan called my mom today to clarify that he would never disrespect my dad or me or any of us. He also asked for Buddy’s number to call Kathy. Whether or not he does, that takes a lot of guts. I misfired and said some things in the past about people, namely John Mayer. And I didn’t have the guts to apologize. So, that being said, that kinda won me over.”
Shooter added that he and his mom and dad have never believed in keeping music from evolving with difference influences. He says, “I love Kathy for her defense of the family and caring so much for the legacy. But as my mom says, [some] people out there want things the way it WAS and nothing else. I’m not defending pop music but I am defending new music. My dad never liked labels and neither do I.”
Reading those words from Shooter in the Los Angeles Times was a relief for Luke. He tells The Tennessean, “That was the first time in this I felt like I could take a breath.”