Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country legend joined Zac Brown Band on the hit "While She's Walking Away?" ANSWER: Alan Jackson.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockZac Brown Band will appear on the 2014 Music Midtown festival September 19 and 20 in Atlanta.

Kristian Bush's new country single, "Trailer Hitch," goes to radio and iTunes on July 28.

Josh Thompson performs at the Country Music Hall of Fame's Hot Nights at the Hall concert series on July 10.


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Brantley Gilbert Opens Up About His Friends and Collaborators, Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett

CMAWhen fans listen to Brantley Gilbert's collaboration with Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett on "Small Town Throwdown," they'll hear the camaraderie between the three guys front and center. In fact, Brantley considers Justin and Thomas to be as close as some of the friends he grew up with back home in Georgia.

Brantley says, "I don't just consider 'em friends because we're label mates or business partners or whatever -- those dudes are cool as hell."

While Brantley loves Justin's sense of humor, he also looks up to Justin as a true family man.

"I got the chance to get close to him and become friends with him and hang out with him around his kids and around his wife and see that he's a good husband and a good father," Brantley says of Justin. "That speaks a multitude, man. It makes it a lot easier to tie up with somebody and have fun and go out on the road and do songs with somebody when you know they're a good person."

Brantley has been watching Thomas Rhett grow as an artist and songwriter ever since he first took the stage with his dad, Rhett Akins, a few years back.

Says Brantley, "I think there are a few of us, a select few of us, that saw it then, and he's done nothing but raise the bar from what we expected. I've been on tour with him a lot. His dad's a great friend of mine. He's a great friend of mine and [I] love his wife to death."

"Small Town Throwdown" is included on Brantley's latest album, Just as I Am, in stores now.


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Kip Moore Teases Sneak Peek of CMT on Tour Trek Wednesday Afternoon in Nashville

MCA NashvilleKip Moore is giving fans a sneak preview of his upcoming CMT on Tour 2014: Up in Smoke trek Wednesday afternoon at 1 CT on the pedestrian bridge in downtown Nashville. Kip is on the tour with Charlie Worsham and newcomer Sam Hunt, but his message about the special performance didn't specify exactly who would be performing Wednesday.

The show stops at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on October 17.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Little Big Town Reveals New Album Title, “Pain Killer”

Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town's new album, Pain Killer, will be out this fall featuring their latest single, "Day Drinking." They've already been performing several songs from the album in their live shows, including the title track.

LBT's Karen Fairchild tells Rolling Stone Country, "We knew the record was going to be called Pain Killer way on into the process because we love that song. That song is really kind of tongue-in-cheek -- 'be the person that numbs my pain.' We started talking about tying that thread through the whole record, to ease your pain."

The group's Kimberly Schlapman shows off some very sassy vocals on the song "Save Your Sin," while another new track, "Turn the Lights On," has become Little Big Town's show-opener this summer. The band experimented with new sounds on Pain Killer, but Karen thinks fans will recognize Little Big Town's stamp on it.

"The record is bold and provocative and yet it's very fun," she says. "It's not a departure, it's the next step."

Look for Little Big Town's "Day Drinking" video to premiere on People.com Wednesday. They shot the clip in multiple locations in Miami.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Randy Houser to Debut Epic “Like a Cowboy” Video This Saturday

Photo Credit: Tiiu LoiguRandy Houser's biggest video ever premieres Saturday on CMT and CMT.com. The singer spent a week in Tucson, Arizona shooting the "Like a Cowboy" clip. Part of the filming took place at Old Tucson Studios, where dozens of classic westerns were shot, including McLintock!, Rio Bravo, Tombstone and many others.

There were more than 75 people in the cast and crew and 50 head of cattle were used to create the 1800s-era period piece. Actors William Shockley of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Tim Murphy from Sons of Anarchy joined Randy in the cast.

Says Randy, "I really wanted to give [fans] as much as I could possibly give them for a music video and I feel like this song really lent itself to do something unique and special, something that looks just a little beyond where we’ve been."

A trailer for the "Like a Cowboy" video is now on YouTube. Look for Randy to sing the song on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown Saturday morning in a pre-recorded performance from the roof of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Kenny Chesney's middle name? ANSWER: Arnold.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Helps Michael Buble Warm Up for Sunday Night Show

Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes surprised Michael Buble Sunday night dropping by the pop star's dressing room prior to Michael's show in Edmonton, Alberta. Michael even posted a video of Hunter joining him for a little vocal warm-up on Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender."

Hunter was ecstatic about the meeting. He posted a photo with Michael with the caption, "Yes I got to meet @michaelbuble yes I got sing w him yes I'm gonna drop his name every chance I get #legendary."

Hunter has some down time for the next few weeks. He gets back on the road July 6.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Seeing a Lot of New Fans at His Shows, Thanks to “American Idol”

Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban loves watching the American Idol contestants grow as artists over the course of a season, but he's also picking up a lot of new fans thanks to his role as a judge on the show. That means a lot of Idol viewers are coming to see Keith's concerts for the first time.

"People can sort of discover our music that may not have heard about it through any other way," Keith says. "The thing I like about shows like that is that people get to spend some time getting to know you separate to the music. When they come to the shows, they sort of feel like they know you a little bit. So, I'm a big fan of that."

Fox has made it official: Keith, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. are returning to American Idol for the singing competition's 14th season, which will premiere in early 2015. Ryan Seacrest will again join them as the show's host.

American Idol executive producer Trish Kinane says in a statement, “I am delighted that our dream team of Jennifer, Keith and Harry is back for American Idol XIV. Their experience, humor and passion for new talent has made them one of Idol’s strongest-ever judging panels, and coupled with the expertise and charisma of Ryan Seacrest, we are ready to get out there to find the best talent in America."

Keith is currently on tour in Australia. He begins a run of shows in North America starting July 12 at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

The Band Perry Leads Songwriting Session with ACM Lifting Lives Music Campers

Getty Images/ACM Lifting LivesThe Band Perry helped kick off the fifth annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp with a songwriting session Monday morning at Nashville's Vanderbilt University. The camp is open to individuals with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that that leads to intense musical ability or musical interest. That ability was on full display as the campers tossed out song lyrics and ideas with The Band Perry to write a song called "Bright Eyes." The Perry siblings were inspired by the campers' wiliness to just toss out ideas.

Kimberly Perry tells ABC News Radio, "Honestly, whether it's with family like we do here in The Band Perry, or with some co-writing friends, yeah, you are kind of checking your ideas that you toss out, at least, I know I do that, but they were full-throttle. It was like, from the get-go, we had, like, a title and exactly what they were thinking and feeling."

That willingness to be honest rings true with The Band Perry's approach to songwriting lately.

"One thing that that we've really been trying to work on our songwriting is, you can write a pretty lyric, but is it honest? Do you truly believe that?" says Reid Perry. "So, it was really interesting seeing them. They had no filter and therefore, were very honest about what they wanted to say and what it made them feel."

The campers were also honest when they didn't love a song lyric or idea, too.

Kimberly says, "I remember one gentleman just say, 'Hey, well just try it again. Just try it again, but maybe just a little different.' I appreciated the honesty. That's [the] number-one key in a songwriting session is being honest."

The campers have a full week ahead of them as they record "Bright Eyes" with Lee Brice at Nashville's Ocean Way Recording Studio on Wednesday. They'll end the week singing the song on the Grand Ole Opry Friday with up-and-coming country star Chris Janson. Wynonna, Brett Eldredge, Casey James and The Swon Brothers are also spending time with the campers this week.


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