Cole Swindell Visits the Inspiration for “Roller Coaster” This July 4

Warner Music NashvilleThis Independence Day, Cole Swindell is headed for the town that inspired the hit he co-wrote for Luke Bryan, “Roller Coaster.” 

“I think I have a few days blocked off to go down to Panama City, maybe, and just relax with some friends,” Cole says. The summer hit was inspired by PCB’s Miracle Strip Amusement Park, and mentions one of the city’s main drags, Thomas Drive.

But after his trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast, Cole is looking forward to getting back to work. “Then it’s busy. Back out with [Jason] Aldean and Kenny Chesney, man. This is a big opportunity and while things are hot, I want to get out there for the fans and play music as long as I can,” he reflects.

Look for Cole to perform his latest hit “Let Me See Ya Girl” as he puts his nose back to the grindstone with a solo date in Louisville, Kentucky on July 10, before playing Target Field in Minneapolis with Jason, Kenny, Brantley Gilbert and Old Dominion on July 18.

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Kacey Musgraves’ “Pageant Material” Claims the Crown, Debuts at #1

Mercury NashvilleKacey Musgraves officially claims the crown, topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart, as her second album, Pageant Material, debuts at number one. Her sophomore effort sold close to 55,000 copies during its first week, besting the 43,000 her debut moved in 2013, according to BillboardSame Trailer Different Park bowed at number 2 on the Country Albums ranking.

The new 14-song set also emerges in third place on the all-genre album chart, outpacing Taylor Swift’s 1989, which comes in at #4. Kacey kicks off her Country & Western Rhinestone Revue August 27 in Atlanta.

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Zac Brown Band Explores EDM with Swedish Producer Avicii

Danny Clinch/Southern Ground/Varvatos/BMLGWhat do Madonna and Zac Brown Band have in common? Both have recently collaborated with Swedish DJ and producer Avicii. Best known for his 2013 hit “Wake Me Up,” Avicii recently debuted  a new song on his podcast,  “Broken Arrows” featuring Zac Brown Band and calling Zac an “amazing singer” with “a really unique voice.” 

While this make be Zac Brown Band’s first foray into Electronic Dance Music, this isn’t the first time Aviici has called on a singer from the country side of the tracks for vocals. He teamed up with Dan Tyminski from Alison Krauss & Union Station for his 2013 hit “Hey Brother.” 

Zac Brown Band is currently climbing the charts with “Loving You Easy” from their latest ablum Jekyll + Hyde. Avicii’s sophomore album Stories is expected later this year.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat was the band Alabama‘s last #1 hit on the Billboard Country Singles chart? Answer: “Reckless,” in 1993.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWynonna and Terri Clark have been added to the lineup for Charlie Daniels‘ 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam. Ted NugentTrace AdkinsAlabamaMontgomery GentryTravis TrittCraig Morgan and more are already on the bill for the August 12 show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Proceeds go to help veterans through The Journey Home Project. 

Dierks Bentley will perform two songs on Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Florida Georgia Line Looks Forward to Rare Weekend Off

Jeremy Cowart/Republic NashvilleWhile most Americans will be celebrating Independence Day, this weekend will be special for the guys in Florida Georgia Line for a completely different reason:  they’ll be enjoying some rare time off.  

“We don’t really get many Friday nights when we’re not playin’,” Brian Kelley points out. But his leisure-time activities may not be as exciting as you’d expect.

“We did get one recently. I think my wife and I, we had a Friday night off in town like a week or two ago and I think we just got pizza and hung with the dogs and watched a movie, and I hadn’t done that in years, and it was awesome,” he recalls. “Didn’t feel like going out at all. It was nice to kick back and know you’re gonna feel really, really good in the mornin’.”

The next work day for Brian and musical partner Tyler Hubbard is July 9 in Fort Loramie, Ohio.

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Tim McGraw Honors Veterans with Mortgage-Free Homes

Nino Munoz/Big Machine RecordsAs America prepares to celebrate its independence on July 4, Tim McGraw continues to celebrate the veterans who’ve helped fight for the country. So far, on the Shotgun Rider 2015 Tour he’s given away six mortgage-free homes to deserving soldiers, with 30 more members of the armed forces set to get new houses by the tour’s end through his partnership with Chase and Operation Homefront.

“[These are] people who have given us security for a lot of years,” Tim reflects, “and we’re able to do that back for them in a small way.” In the three years he’s worked with Chase and Operation Homefront, they’ve partnered to give away 114 homes in 30 states.

Tim’s next tour stop with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant is July 10 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Brantley Gilbert Ties the Knot with Amber Cochran at Home in Georgia

Valory Music Co.Congratulations to Brantley Gilbert, who tied the knot with his fiancée, Amber Cochran, over the weekend at his home in Georgia. The couple dated several years ago, and their relationship inspired some of Brantley’s biggest hits, like “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “More than Miles.” They reconnected after Brantley got sober in recent years and the couple got engaged last fall.

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Luke Bryan Brings 2015 Farm Tour to 4 New Cities

Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan kicks off his seventh annual Farm Tour September 30 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This year, the eight-concert run adds four new cities including Ft. Wayne; Lexington, Kentucky; Starkville, Mississippi; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Last year, the CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year played for 110,000 fans on the rural tour, with some proceeds helping fund college scholarships for students from local farming families. Ticket presales start July 7, with seats for the general public going on sale July 10.

Here are the dates for Luke Bryan’s 2015 Farm Tour:

9/30 — Ft. Wayne, IN, M&J Farms     
10/1 —  Lexington, KY, Talon Farm & Winery
10/2 — Knoxville, TN, Maple Lane Farms
10/3 — Columbia, SC, Culler Farms
10/7 — Starkville, MS, Holtzcamp Farms
10/8 — Tuscaloosa, AL, Twin Creeks Farm
10/9 — Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park               
10/10 — Valdosta, GA, MJ Taylor Farms

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Zac Brown and Hunter Hayes Share Their Playlists on Shazam

Warner Music NashvilleIf you’ve ever wondered what music your favorite performers listen to, Shazam is now making it easier to find out. Starting today, the popular music-recognition app will now let you follow artists like Zac Brown Band and Hunter Hayes to see what songs they’ve recently checked out.

Hunter and Zac join mainstream bands like Maroon 5, Coldplay and One Direction, who are also sharing their playlists.

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