Sara Evans and REO Speedwagon Trading Vocals on Each Other’s Hits Next Month on “CMT Crossroads”

RCA NashvilleSara Evans is teaming up with classic rock band REO Speedwagon for a new installment of CMT Crossroads premiering next month. The two acts met each other when REO Speedwagon performed a song with Brad Paisley in Nashville during the annual Country Radio Seminar.

Sara says, ““I’ve been a huge fan of REO Speedwagon for as long as I can remember.  Their songs have been a part of the soundtrack of my life and I’m thrilled to be joining them on stage for CMT Crossroads.  It truly is a dream come true!”

Look for CMT Crossroads: REO Speedwagon and Sara Evans to premiere Saturday, September 19 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Eric Church Makes Surprise Appearance at the 40th Anniversary Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PREric Church made a surprise appearance at Charlie Daniels 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam Wednesday night in Nashville. As Charlie performed his song, “In America,” Eric joined him onstage for a duet. Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jamey Johnson also made surprise appearances along with previously-announced performers Wynonna, Alabama, Craig Morgan, Montgomery Gentry, Trace Adkins and more.

Proceeds from the 40th Anniversary Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam will benefit U.S. military veterans and their families through The Journey Home Project.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Trisha Yearwood‘s cooking show on the Food Network? ANSWER: Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.

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Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney Proving the Power of Country Music to New York and L.A.

Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean has something to prove at his show with Kenny Chesney this weekend at MetLife Stadium, just outside New York City. After playing to more than 50,000 fans at the Rose Bowl near Los Angeles a few weeks back, Jason and Kenny are showing the top two media markets just how powerful country music has become.

He tells New Jersey’s Star-Ledger, “To people from New York or Los Angeles, country is an afterthought, but in reality, we are up there and our tours are as big as any other genre. What pop acts can come in and sell out a stadium? There are a few, but we have a few, too. It’s a testament to how great our fans are.”

Jason’s Burn It Down tour has sold more than two million tickets since he launched the trek in 2014.

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Luke Bryan Creates Camaraderie on the Road with Dustin Lynch and New Neighbor Randy Houser

CMALuke Bryan was made to feel very welcome on the road as a new act opening for the likes of Martina McBride and Jason Aldean. Now that he’s a headliner himself, Luke goes out of his way to make sure his own supporting acts feel right at home.

“I feel that it’s essential for the whole makeup and vibe of the tour,” Luke tells ABC Radio. “Any of my people that I tour with, it’s about doing what I can to build them up. People did that for me, and now it’s time I really relish in the opportunity to kinda reciprocate that.”

No matter how big his career may get, Luke still remembers how much work goes into launching a country career. He sees a lot of that same drive in his current supporting acts, Randy Houser and Dustin Lynch, who both come out on stage with Luke for a freewheeling jam session during every show.

Says Luke, “I remember when I was in Dustin’s spot, four or five singles out, and he comes into town he’s got a lot of busy work [to] do,” Luke says. “So, I try to make our stage time really, really fun and special and off-the-cuff.”

As for his friendship with Randy, Luke sees the two of them staying close even after the Kick the Dust Up tour closes this fall.

Luke tells us, “Randy Houser just bought a house kind of close to me. So, he’s kinda my neighbor now.”

On the music front, Luke just released his brand-new album, Kill the Lights. It’s on track to debut at #1 on the overall Billboard 200 Albums chart.

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Cole Swindell Wondered if His Latest Hit, “Let Me See Ya Girl,” Would Ever See the Light of Day

Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell wasn’t even sure his current hit, “Let Me See Ya Girl,” would ever see the light of day when he first wrote it.

He says, “This song is one, honestly, I never thought would have made the album because it started off as such a hip-hop groove song.”

As he started testing the song out on his concert crowds, Cole found that his fans were going crazy for “Let Me See Ya Girl.”

“It’s one of my favorites to play live,” Cole says. “[It’s] just a feel-good thing about being in a club and wanting to get out of there, so you could hear what the girl was saying and wanting to see her dance in the Tennessee moonlight.”

“Let Me See Ya Girl” is the fourth single from Cole’s self-titled debut album, available now.

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Trisha Yearwood to Be Honored with ASCAP’s Voice of Music Award This November

Sunshine SachsFresh off the launch of her exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Trisha Yearwood has been announced as the Voice of Music Award recipient at this fall’s 53rd ASCAP Country Music Awards. The honor recognizes Trisha’s talent as an artist whose music has captured the voice of her generation. Previous honorees include George Strait, Kenny Chesney and Amy Grant.

Trisha will accept the trophy at the annual ASCAP gala on November 2 at Nashville’s Omni Hotel.

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Kip Moore Debuts Distinctive New Song, “Magic,” from Upcoming Album, “Wild Ones”

Greenroom PRKip Moore is showing off his literary side with “Magic,” a new track from his upcoming album, Wild Ones. Kip debuted the track Wednesday on Entertainment Weekly‘s website.

“I kind of got to thinking about the way love is constantly described on the radio as this fairytale and how that just isn’t real,” Kip says of “Magic.” “I’ve never really believed anybody who’s singing about that stuff — that’s where the opening lines ‘I never believed in fairy tales/Even when I was a kid/It sounded like another trick/To put us all to bed’ come from.”

Kip co-wrote every song on his new album, Wild Ones, due out August 21. The first single, “I’m to Blame,” is currently in the top 20 at country radio.

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Randy Houser Moves into Arenas with We Went Tour This Fall

Stoney Creek RecordsRandy Houser kicks off his first-ever arena headlining tour this fall on the heels of his current outing with Luke Bryan. The We Went trek starts November 20 in Kentucky with special guests Frankie Ballard and Craig Campbell.

Randy says, “We’ve had a blast touring with Luke [Bryan] this summer, and it’s been an incredible opportunity to play to some people we might not have played to before. We’re really looking forward to building our show this fall, playing the arenas and getting to play some new music.”

Look for Randy to announce more tour dates soon.  Here are the just-revealed dates:

11/20 — Corbin, KY, The Arena
11/21 — Troy, OH, Hobart Arena
11/27 — Saginaw, MI, Dow Events Center
11/28 — Evansville, IN, Old National Events Plaza
12/4 — La Crosse, WI, La Crosse Center Arena
12/12 — Durant, OK, Choctaw Events Center
12/17 — Milwaukee, WI, The Rave
12/18 — Akron, OH, Akron Civic Center

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockJennifer Nettles recently made her Broadway debut with a leading role in which classic musical? ANSWER: Chicago.

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