Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe 2015 CMT Music Awards Red Carpet special airs Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. ET prior to the live broadcast of the ceremony on CMT and CMT.com.

Kix Brooks is the host of a new series, Steak Out with Kix Brooks, premiering July 14 at 9 p.m. ET on the Cooking Channel. The show features Kix traveling from city to city looking for the country’s best steakhouses.

Thomas Rhett premiered his retro video for “Crash and Burn” at People.com Friday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Little Big Town Playing Coy About Returning to Host This Year’s CMA Music Festival TV Special

Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town is in Nashville this week for the CMA Music Festival, but there’s still no word on whether or not the quartet will return as hosts of the festival’s annual ABC TV special later this summer.

LBT’s Karen Fairchild tells ABC Radio, “We are not saying, because we’re not supposed to say what we’re doing.”

While Little Big Town is keeping mum on the TV hosting gig, they are very vocal with their feelings about playing the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at LP Field.

“That crowd is infectious,” says the group’s Kimberly Schlapman. “There’s no other crowd all year long like the CMA Fest crowd. I mean, by far.”

The CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts at LP Field kick off Thursday night and run through Sunday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Reba and Darius Rucker Featured in Fandango’s I Love Movies Video Series

BMLGReba and Darius Rucker are featured in new episodes of Fandango’s I Love Movies video series, set to premiere at the CMA Music Festival’s nightly concerts next week at Nashville’s LP Field. In the clips, Darius and Reba explain how movies have shaped their lives and music.

Says Darius, “It’s joyous to see something meaningful on the big screen, providing important moments in your life. I remember the first time I saw Purple Rain, I was instantly changed. I’m getting chills just thinking about it.”

Reba adds, “Music and movies have inspired me in so many ways. Both are not only significant parts of my career but my life. A great lyric or line from a film has the ability to take your mind somewhere new.”

After the clips premiere at the CMA Music Festival, you can check them out on Fandango’s Movieclips YouTube channel. Look for more country stars to participate in Fandango’s I Love Movies video series this fall in the weeks leading up to November’s 49th Annual CMA Awards.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kacey Musgraves Believes Aliens Could Abduct Her at Any Moment

Mercury NashvilleKacey Musgraves keeps an eye on the sky to avoid one of her biggest fears — alien abductions. In a new feature with Us Weekly, Kacey shares 25 things you may not know about her, and her “irrational fear” of alien abductions is at #2 on the list. She also admits, “I’ve seen several UFOs.”

Kacey goes on to reveal that she’s never broken a bone, and she actually framed a joint Willie Nelson once rolled for her.

On the music front, Kacey’s sophomore album, Pageant Material, is due out June 23 featuring the lead single, “Biscuits.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

A Thousand Horses Living in a Whirlwind with Success of #1 Hit, “Smoke”

Republic NashvilleAs new group A Thousand Horses prepares to release their debut album, Southernality, next week, the band members are riding high with their debut single, “Smoke,” sitting atop Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. The runaway success of that song is still surreal for the guys.

Lead singer Michael Hobby tells Rolling Stone, “‘Smoke’ has blown our minds with how well it’s done and how fast it went. To see the fans react to it, that’s what really connects for us. It’s all a whirlwind right now.”

Southernality includes several other songs that have become staples in A Thousand Horses’ live shows, and the band is anxious to see how the record-buying public reacts to the project.

Michael says of their approach to making music, “You write a song, you record a song, you put it out to the public and you hope that they like it too.”

A Thousand Horses is currently on the road with Darius Rucker‘s Southern Style tour.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The “’80’s Lady” K.T. Oslin Returns with New Album, “Simply”

K.T. OslinK.T. Oslin is back with her first album in nearly 15 years, titled Simply. The project features sparely produced versions of K.T.’s Grammy and CMA Award-winning signature song, “80’s Ladies,” as well as other hidden gems from her back catalog.

For those not familiar with K.T.’s story, 1987’s “80’s Ladies” became an anthem for women juggling the decade’s demands of motherhood, career, marriage and divorce.  The song went on to win CMA Song of the Year and earned K.T. the Female Vocalist of the Year titles from both the CMA and ACM, too. A string of #1 hits followed, including 1988’s “Do Ya” and 1990’s “Come Next Monday,” but K.T. walked away from it all in her late fifties after releasing her 2001 album, Live Close By, Visit Often.

After more than a decade out of the spotlight, K.T. returned to the stage late last year with a cabaret-style show including new versions of her hits as well as lesser-known songs from her platinum-selling discography. The concerts in Nashville and Austin played to sold-out crowds, and the idea for Simply was born out of those shows.

She tells ABC Radio, “I realize that the business has changed so much. You’ve got to have something to sell, if it’s foot cream or what. You’ve got to sell something! So, I said, ‘Well, why don’t we just make a little album and sell it at the dates?'”

Using the three musicians who back her up on stage, K.T. went in to record Simply to capture the new, stripped-down song arrangements.

“What you see on stage is what is on the record,” K.T. explains. “I don’t have horns and violins and people swinging from the roofs on the record and then I can’t reproduce that live. I want you to get the same effect.”

To be clear, Simply is not a re-recording of K.T.’s greatest hits. Instead, K.T. wanted to feature some of her lesser-known songs,  like the sassy “Younger Men” and the breakup anthem, “New Way Home.”

She says of her obscure song selections, “I didn’t want it to die away. I didn’t want it to shrivel up and die on the vine. I wanted to expose it somehow through the dates to a new audience. Possibly a younger audience that would go, ‘Hey, I like this.'” (AUDIO IS ABC 1-ON-1)

K.T.’s album, Simply, also features a brand-new song, “Do You Think About Me.” It’s now available at iTunes and Amazon.

Here’s the Simply track list:

“Do You Think About Me”
“Younger Men”
“Hold Me”
“I Can’t Remember Not Loving You”
“Live Close By, Visit Often”
“New Way Home”
“She Don’t Talk Like Us No More”
“Maybe We Should Learn to Tango”
“80’s Ladies”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lady Antebellum Teaming Up with Pop/EDM Star Zedd for CMT Music Awards Performance

Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum is teaming up with pop/EDM star Zedd on next Wednesday’s CMT Music awards. According to Billboard, they’ll perform a mashup of Lady A’s current single, “Long Stretch of Love,” and Zedd’s  “Beautiful Now.” Lady A recently dabbled in EDM during their European tour performing a cover of Avicii‘s “Wake Me Up.”

Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan are among the other stars performing on the CMT Music Awards Wednesday, June 10 on CMT and CMT.com.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockDierks Bentley‘s white dog has appeared in several of the singer’s videos as well as on the cover of Dierks’ debut album. What is the pup’s name? ANSWER:  Jake.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Billy Currington Plans to Sing Along to Tim McGraw’s Set Every Night This Summer

Mercury NashvilleIf you catch Tim McGraw‘s Shotgun Rider Tour this summer, keep an eye out for special guest Billy Currington watching Tim’s headlining set from the side stage. Billy caught one of Tim’s shows last year before he secured the spot on this year’s tour, and he couldn’t believe how many hits Tim packed into the two-hour set.

Billy tells ABC Radio, “Wow. That’s all I can say. Like, every song is just a smash. And then at the end of the show, I was like, ‘Wait! Wait! What about this song, and that song and that hit and that #1?’ He’s got so many, he can’t put ’em all in his show.”

Over the past decade, Billy has toured with just about everyone in country music, but he’s never sung along quite as much as he did watching Tim’s show.

Billy adds, “It’s quite amazing.”

Tim’s Shotgun Rider tour kicks off Friday night in Little Rock, Arkansas with Chase Bryant joining Billy and Tim on the bill.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Shania Twain Launches Farewell Tour Tonight: “It’ll Be a Kickin’ Show”

Sandbox EntertainmentShania Twain spent several years headlining in Las Vegas with her show Shania: Still the One, but starting tonight in Seattle, she’s bringing her music directly to the fans with her Rock This Country tour.  It’s her first major trek in 11 years, but she says it’ll also be her last. “It’s my sort of personal way to say goodbye,” Shania tells ABC Radio.

Shania says that the Rock This Country tour — named after a track on her 1997 album, Come On Over — will be very different from her show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.  “It’s really gonna be a kickin’, more of a rockier edge show,” she tells ABC Radio. “A rock energy, just a lot of bells and whistles and more of a party atmosphere, really.”

“You know, the show in Las Vegas was more glamorous, more theatrical,” she adds. “I had horses on stage, for example, [a] flying motorcycle, a lot of things. I just took advantage of the environment, whereas on a touring, traveling stage, it just has to be a different type of production. But I still want it to be as ‘wow.'”

Shania says one of the things that made her want to hit the road one more time was her desire to reach more fans than she could just staying in one place, which is what she was doing in Vegas.

“I love the fans. I love being with the fans in the audience. I love connecting with them,” she explains. “And, you know, taking a show to them is the only real way to get to a lot of the people that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see.”

“It’s my sort of personal way to say goodbye from the stage, by taking the show on the road to them,” she adds.  

But Shania isn’t retiring — she’s working on her first new album since 2002’s Up!. She tells USA Today that she’s written plenty of new songs — enough for two albums — and plans to record her vocals on the road, since she’ll be singing every day anyway and her voice will be all warmed up.  Her goal, she says, is to at least have a new single out by the time she turns 50, on August 28.

Here are Shania’s tour dates; her opening acts include Wes Mack and Gavin DeGraw:

6/5 — Seattle, WA, KeyArena at Seattle Center
6/7 — Vancouver, BC, Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena
6/9 — Vancouver, BC, Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena
6/11 — Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
6/12 — Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
6/14 — Saskatoon, SK,  SaskTel Centre
6/15 — Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
6/19 — London, ON, Budweiser Gardens
6/20 — London, ON, Budweiser Gardens
6/22 — Hamilton, ON, FirstOntario Centre
6/24 — Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
6/25 — Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
6/27 — Ottawa, ON, Wesley Clover Parks
6/28 — Montreal, QC, Bell Centre
6/30 — New York, NY,  Madison Square Garden
7/1 — Long Island, NY,  Nassau Coliseum
7/3 — Uncasville, CT,  Mohegan Sun Arena
7/7 — Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
7/8 — Boston, MA, TD, Garden
7/10 — Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
7/11 — Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
7/13 — Indianapolis, IN, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
7/15 — Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
7/16 — Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena
7/18 — Greenville, SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
7/19 — Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena
7/21 — Washington, DC, Verizon Center
7/22 — Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
7/25 — Auburn Hills, MI, Palace of Auburn Hills
7/26 — Moline, IL, iWireless Center
7/28 — Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
7/29 — Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
7/31 — Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
8/1 — Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
8/3 — Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
8/4 — St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
8/6 — Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
8/7 — Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
8/9 — Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
8/10 — Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
8/12 — Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
8/14 — Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/15 — Salt Lake City, UT, EnergySolutions Arena
8/17 — San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
8/19 — Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
8/20 — Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center
8/22 — San Diego, CA, Valley View Casino Center
8/23 — Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center

Fall Leg:

9/12 — Spokane, WA, Spokane Arena
9/13 — Portland, OR, Moda Center
9/15 — Boise, ID, Taco Bell Arena
9/17 – 19/28 — Calgary, AB, (CAN), Scotiabank Saddledome
9/20 — Winnipeg, MB (CAN), MTS Centre
9/21 — Fargo, ND, Fargodome
9/23 — Sioux Falls, SD, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
9/24 — Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena
9/26 — Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
9/27 — Madison, WI, Kohl Center
9/29 — Peoria, IL, Peoria Civic Center
9/30 — Columbus, OH, Nationwide Arena
10/2 — Allentown, PA, PPL Center
10/3 — Buffalo, NY, First Niagara Center
10/6 — Manchester, NH, Verizon Wireless Arena
10/7 — Albany, NY, Times Union Center
10/9 — Quebec City, QC (CAN), Videotron Centre
10/11 — Toronto, ON (CAN), Air Canada Centre

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