Rascal Flatts to Be Featured on Dan Rather’s “The Big Interview” July 28

CMARascal Flatts is going deep with journalist Dan Rather this summer. The trio will sit down for an interview on Dan’s AXS TV series The Big Interview on July 28. Dwight Yoakam will be featured on August 4, and Emmylou Harris kicks off this season on the premiere episode July 7.

Trisha Yearwood, Florida Georgia Line and Wynonna are among the previous country stars featured on The Big Interview.

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Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Make Surprise Appearance at the Grand Ole Opry

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryGarth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made a surprise appearance at the Grand Ole Opry last Friday night.

Vince Gill introduced Trisha first, and she told the crowd, “I didn’t have a chance to bring my band or call them or anything, but luckily I live with a Grand Ole Opry member, so if you all would make welcome my guitar player tonight, my husband, Mr. Garth Brooks!” Garth then backed Trisha up on guitar as she sang “She’s in Love with the Boy.”

For their next number, the couple performed a medley of classic country duets, including “After the Fire Is Gone” by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn; “Golden Ring” by George Jones and Tammy Wynette; and Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius‘s “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You.”

Next up Garth and Trisha head to Houston, Texas, for a run of shows starting this Friday night.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockA Thousand Horses will perform their new single, “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial,” on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday.

Kenny Chesney welcomed Grace Potter onstage to perform “You and Tequila” and “Wild Child” at his show at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Saturday night, which happened to be Grace’s 32nd birthday. Kenny had a huge cake wheeled out onstage and led the crowd of more than 53,000 fans in singing “Happy Birthday” to her.

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Jason Aldean Planning Possible Australian Tour for 2016

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean had never performed overseas until he played a few shows in Europe earlier this year as part of the C2C Festival with pals Luke Bryan and Brantley Gilbert. The experience has opened him up to the possibility of playing even more international dates in 2016.

Jason says of his European tour, “It was sort of an eye-opening thing for me to go over there and realize we have country music fans in places that I had no idea. Now, we’re talking about next year possibly going to Australia, which, apparently we do really well there, and I had no idea about that either.”

One of Jason’s biggest fans from Australia showed up at his fan club party earlier this month in Nashville, and she told him he has a lot of followers Down Under just waiting to see him perform live.

As for the possible tour of Australia, Jason says, “I’m excited that we’re finally starting to branch out a little bit. I used to think going to Canada was, like, going somewhere. You know what I mean? Now I’m getting ready to get on a plane for 18 hours or something. So, it’s cool, man. I’m loving it.”

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Reba and Brooks & Dunn Blend Their Shows Seamlessly for New Vegas Residency

Greenroom PRReba and Brooks & Dunn just wrapped up the first weekend of their Together in Vegas residency at Caesars Palace. Unlike the two acts’ joint tours in the late ’90s, the new show features Reba, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn sharing the stage and swapping vocals on each other’s hits for a good portion of the evening.

The two-hour set opens with Brooks & Dunn’s “Play Something Country” before going into Reba’s “Why Haven’t I Heard from You.” After that, there’s a rapid-fire medley of hit singles from both acts’ respective catalogs that sets the tone for the hit-filled concert. While Reba has included medleys in her shows for years, that approach was new for Brooks & Dunn.

Kix says, “It’s fun just to throw some pieces, and you can see fans reacted to that. They’re like, ‘Ooh, love that one. Ooh, like that one. Ooh, I hate that song.'”

Of course, Kix is only kidding. The audiences at Caesars Palace have included a lot of hardcore Brooks & Dunn fans who haven’t seen the duo perform together since they split up in 2010. Dispelling any rumors of bad blood between Ronnie and himself, Kix explains that he’s had a blast developing the show over the past few months.

Says Kix, “In all sincerity, this whole process has been about the most non-pissed off, easygoing, everybody kind of having a good time, and we just sort of worked our way through it. The whole thing’s been a fun experience.”

As with any new show, Reba and Brooks & Dunn plan to make little adjustments here and there based on audience reaction.

Reba says, “They responded more to some songs than others, but we got great response from everything, and I think it blended real well.”

Both Reba and Brooks & Dunn have played Las Vegas many times before, but headlining a residency at The Colosseum is still a huge deal for them. Reba even admits to hanging out of the car window on the Vegas strip and taking photographs of the massive Caesars Palace sign announcing their residency.

Ronnie adds, “I did the same thing. I got two [photographs]. I was hoping we’d get stuck at the red light so we could fire off another shot. It’s cool.”

Reba and Brooks & Dunn have shows at Caesars Palace booked through this December. Go to RebaBrooksandDunn.com for a list of show dates and ticket information.

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Rascal Flatts’ Jay Demarcus Encouraging Son Dylan’s Passion for Music

Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus‘s son, Dylan, will turn three next month, but the boy is already “eaten alive with music.” Dylan loves hanging out at Jay’s home studio and is already playing drums and guitar. He’s also a big Rascal Flatts fan.

Jay says, “The first thing he wants me to do when I get home [from the road] is sing ‘Life Is a Highway’ and ‘Rewind’ and ‘Riot,’ again, to him in the crib. And I’m thrilled to do it, because I can tell it’s in his DNA, and he’s just consumed with it.”

Fostering Dylan’s love for music is very important for Jay, who was also obsessed with music as a kid.

“I was consumed with music,” Jay says, “and I wished my father would have taken a little more time to notice that I was so into it when I was that age.”

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Craig Campbell’s Stepfather Taught Him How to Be a Dad to His Two Little Girls

XPressive Images by JamieIf you caught Craig Campbell‘s performance at the Riverfront Stage at CMA Music Festival earlier this month in Nashville, then you no doubt saw his youngest daughter, Kinni Rose, clinging to his leg. Craig also brought his oldest daughter, Preslee, along with him to walk the red carpet at the CMT Music Awards.

Craig obviously takes his role as a father very seriously, and he credits his stepfather with showing him how to do the job. Craig’s birth father died when he was a young boy, and his stepfather came into his life when he was just seven years old.

“Thank God he did,” Craig says. “He raised me in church, to respect others and to always do the right thing. Everything I know about being a dad, I learned from him.”

On the music front, Craig’s new single, “Tomorrow Tonight,” has just been released to country radio.

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Little Big Town Profiled on “Sunday Morning” This Weekend

Capitol Nashville Little Big Town is profiled on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood this Sunday, June 21. The band filmed the piece in 2014 and 2015 telling the story of their 16 years together. The feature includes footage of LBT’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry. They also talk about the runaway success of their latest hit, “Girl Crush.”

Check local listings for air time.

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Zac Brown Gives an Update on His Baby Boy, Alexander Frost, A.K.A. “The Squishy Giant”

Southern Ground/Varvatos/Big MachineZac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown is having a blast raising his four daughters and his one-year-old son, Alexander Frost. The little boy was born weighing more than 11 pounds, and he already weighs more than Zac’s four-year-old daughter. After having four girls, Zac notices a lot of differences when it comes to raising a boy.

“It’s funny to him when he slams things or throws things,” Zac observes. “You can definitely tell he’s all boy, but the girls just, like, swallow him up, man. They love him. He’s awesome. The little, squishy giant. He’s happy and healthy and awesome.”

Zac goes on to call his family his best friends and credits them with keeping him balanced while playing for arenas full of fans on the road.

Says Zac, “You gotta be at home and be dad, and then you gotta be on the road chasing the songs down. So, we’re blessed.”

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