Cole Swindell Has Some Explaining to Do to His Family This Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell looks forward to relaxing with his family back home in his tiny hometown near Albany, Georgia, this Christmas, but he’s also prepared to do some explaining to his family members about the crazy year he’s had as a rising country star. The highlights include playing arenas and stadiums with Luke Bryan, scoring #1 hits and performing on the CMA Awards, which is pretty heady stuff for a boy from a town with a population of 225.

Cole says, “We’re from a very small town. This is beyond my wildest dreams, but especially them. It’s so cool to get to share that with ‘em and see how proud they are. They raised me, and to be around family, I just love doing that.”

Cole’s mother’s birthday is close to Christmas, so getting home to Georgia for the holidays is very important.

“I have lost my dad over the past year and a half, and now I regret things — me not being able to be home for that,” Cole explains. “There are some things that are more important, so family is definitely one of ‘em.”

Cole is bringing home a lot of presents for his young nephews and cousins, too.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge Recalls the Rusted-Out John Boat His Grandmother Gave Him for Christmas

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleMost kids love receiving shiny, new toys at Christmas, but Brett Eldredge‘s favorite gift ever was an old john boat his grandmother got him when he was young. He grew up on a lake in Paris, Illinois, so Brett was out in the boat all the time.

“I’m a huge fisherman. I love to fish, and I never had any kind of boat or vehicle of my own,” Brett recalls. “And she gave me this old, just kind of old rusted-out john boat, and I thought it was the coolest thing. And she gave me a couple oars, and now I could be my own captain.”

Brett goes on to say that little boat was the first perfect gift for him, and he hopes to dig it out of storage this Christmas.

Says Brett, “I think it’s still somewhere back in my hometown. So, I might have to go patch all the holes in it and maybe fire it back up again.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat does the “GS” on Cole Swindell‘s signature baseball hat stand for? ANSWER: His alma mater, Georgia Southern University.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley Offers His Analysis of a Few Classic Christmas Songs

Image Courtesy CMABrad Paisley has gone beyond just listening to Christmas music, and moved on to analyzing some of the holidays’ most beloved songs. He must have heard a bad rendition of “Oh Holy Night,” based on one recent tweet.

Brad says, “‘Oh Holy Night’ is kinda like ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’; When someone starts too high, it’s not gonna end well.”

Brad also has some concerns about the popular holiday duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” in which a guy tries to coerce his duet partner into staying the night. He tweets, “I never realized how creepy the song ‘Baby Its Cold Outside’ is until just now. If you read the lyric with no melody, it’s insane.”

Of note, Brad didn’t include either of those songs on his 2006 holiday album, Brad Paisley Christmas.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Randy Houser Planning a Quiet Christmas with Family in Mississippi

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsRandy Houser is headed back home to Mississippi this Christmas with his young son, West. He tells ABC News Radio, “I’m gonna spend as much time with him as I can. That’s my biggest goal. Go down to Mississippi and hang with my family.”

When it comes to opening presents, Randy and his family prefer exchanging gifts on Christmas morning. Opening gifts on Christmas Eve would be a bummer for Randy.

He explains, “Nobody wants to get all their toys and then go to bed. Can’t do that.”

Randy got a great Christmas gift from country radio as his latest single, “Like a Cowboy,” is now a top-10 hit. It’s included on his latest album, How Country Feels.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLady Antebellum will perform at the Future of Texas inaugural ball for Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott in Austin on January 20, 2015.

Martina McBride has signed a new record deal with Big Machine Label Group. The move follows her independently released 2014 album, Everlasting, which bowed at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart earlier this year.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dierks Bentley Raising Money for Cystic Fibrosis Tonight in Arizona

Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley and his pals are celebrating the holidays in Phoenix Tuesday night at his Whiskey Row bar and restaurant. The event includes dinner and raises money for the Jordan Sterling Foundation to help fight cystic fibrosis and support organ transplant services in the area.  

Whiskey Row opened on July 4, 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ. Dierks will open a second location in Tempe, AZ in 2014.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rodney Atkins Releasing First “Greatest Hits” Album February 3

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsRodney Atkins will release his first-ever Greatest Hits album on February 3, 2015, featuring his latest single, “Eat Sleep Love You Repeat.”

You can pre-order the album now and get an instant download of the single instantly. The project also includes Rodney’s six #1 hits, including “If You’re Going Thru Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows), “Take a Back Road.” and “Watching You.”

Here’s Rodney Atkins’ Greatest Hits track listing:

“If You’re Going Thru Hell (Before the Devil Even Knows)”
“Watching You”
“These Are My People”
“Cleaning This Gun (Come on in Boy)”
“Take a Back Road”
“Farmer’s Daughter”
“It’s America”
“Invisibly Shaken”
“Honesty (Write Me a List)”
“He’s Mine”
“About the South”
“Eat Sleep Love You Repeat”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho is Blake Shelton‘s duet partner on the hit song “Hillbilly Bone?” ANSWER: Trace Adkins.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Reveals Their Most Memorable Christmas Gifts

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman doesn’t have to think too hard to recall the sweetest Christmas gift her husband, Stephen, ever bought for her. They’d been together for about two or three years when he got her a diamond bow necklace to celebrate the holiday.

Kimberly gushes, “He said, ‘I gave you that because you’re my present, and I wanted you to have a bow.’”

Kimberly’s band mate, Karen Fairchild, quickly takes the Christmas memory down a different road, adding, “He wanted you to just wear the bow?” Kimberly fires back saying, “No,” but their band mate, Phillip Sweet, chimes in saying, “I think that’s what he meant, though.”

As for the other members of LBT, Karen recalls getting a Sit-and-Spin toy when she was a kid.

“I just twirled around,” Karen remembers. “Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me now. I twirled around for hours and hours and hours and hours. I loved that thing.”

Phillip got a Stretch Armstrong doll one Christmas, but the gift didn’t last too long.

Says Phillip, “I thought that was the coolest thing ever until I stretched him too far and then he busted. Sorry, Stretch. He only lived for a little while, but it was fun.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio