Sam Hunt Opens Up About His Unlikely Classic Country Influences

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGSam Hunt‘s debut album, Montevallo, comes out Monday, and it’s getting a lot of buzz for Sam’s modern take on country music. Since he incorporates hip-hop and pop elements into his music, you might be surprised to learn about Sam’s classic country influences. In fact, the first CD he ever owned was a Greatest Hits compilation from Country Music Hall of Fame member Conway Twitty, best known for ’70s hits like “Hello Darlin’” and “I’d Just Love to Lay You Down.”

Sam tells ABC News Radio, “Of course, Conway Twitty was before my time, but I remember sitting with my grandmother at her house, and an infomercial came on for Conway Twitty Greatest Hits. She’s probably about like myself, kind of an impulse-buy type. She said, ‘You need this Conway Twitty.’”

Sam spent a lot of time soaking up Conway’s smooth singing style mixed with the occasional spoken word interlude. That influence might explain why Sam freely moves between speaking and singing his lyrics on Montevallo.

As for his songwriting, Sam was heavily influenced by Brad Paisley, whose early hit, “He Didn’t Have to Be,” had a big impact on Sam as a kid growing up in Georgia.

Says Sam, “I remember being at church on Wednesday night at Wednesday night supper, and getting the keys from my mom well before it was over to just go sit in the car and to turn the radio on and hopefully wait and catch that song.”

Sam is well on his way to earning his first chart-topper at country radio with “Leave the Night On,” which is included on Montevallo.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Luke Bryan Releasing New Single, “I See You,” as 2014 That’s My Kind of Tour Wraps Up

Image Courtesy CMALuke Bryan is releasing a sixth single from his latest album. It’s titled, “I See You,” and Luke co-wrote it with hit songwriters Luke Laird and Ashley Gorley.

The new single release comes as Luke wraps up his 2014 That’s My Kind of Night tour this weekend with sold-out shows at The Hollywood Bowl and the Forum in Los Angeles. Look for ABC’s Nightline to feature an in-depth look at Luke’s life on the road Thursday night.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Willie Nelson and Sister, Bobbie, Releasing Collaborative Album, “December Day,” on December 2

Image Courtesy Sony LegacyWillie Nelson and his sister, Bobbie Nelson, will release a new collaborative album, December Day: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1, on Tuesday, December 2.  The project features the siblings performing new versions of songs from Willie’s catalog as well as covers of American standards from Al Jolson and Irving Berlin.

Bobbie has performed in Willie’s band since 1973. Look for more installments in the Willie’s Stash series soon.

Here is the track listing for December Day: Willie’s Stash Vol. 1:

“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”
“Permanently Lonely”
“What’ll I Do”
“Summer of Roses”/”December Day”
“Nuages”
“Mona Lisa”
“I Don’t Know Where I Am Today”
“Amnesia”
“Who’ll Buy My Memories”
“The Anniversary Song”
“Laws of Nature”
“Walkin’”
“Always”
“I Let My Mind Wander”
“Is the Better Part Over”
“My Own Peculiar Way”
“Sad Songs and Waltzes”
“Ou-es tu, mon amour”/”I Never Cared for You”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Steven Tyler Added to “CMA Country Christmas” Lineup

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler have been added to the lineup for this year’s CMA Country Christmas special. The show airs Monday, December 1 on ABC. Alan Jackson is also joining the bill along with previously announced performers Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Nettles, Sara Evans, Little Big Town and Hunter Hayes.

Tickets to attend the CMA Country Christmas taping on Friday, November 7 are still available through Ticketmaster. The show takes place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Florida Georgia Line Earns Their First #1 on “Billboard” 200 Albums Chart with “Anything Goes”

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line earns their first #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart with their sophomore project, Anything Goes. The set sold 197,000 copies, according to NielsenSoundscan. Their debut album, Here’s to the Good Times, has sold 2.1 million copies.

It’s a great time for country music on the Billboard 200. Jason Aldean debuted at #1 last week with Old Boots, New Dirt, while Blake Shelton was #1 two weeks ago with his new project, Bringing Back the Sunshine.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Jason Aldean Teaming Up with Bob Seger for CMT “Crossroads” Special November 28

Image Courtesy CMABob Seger recently showed up backstage at Jason Aldean‘s concert in Detroit. Apparently, they got along just fine: the two stars will team up for a new CMT Crossroads installment premiering on Black Friday, November 28 at 10 p.m. ET. Look for them to trade vocals on both of their biggest hits, including selections from Jason’s latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt.

Jason and Seger will film the special next week, just outside of Nashville.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Image Courtesy Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the radio-friendly title of Reba‘s most recent #1 hit from 2010? ANSWER: “Turn on the Radio.”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sara Evans Releasing Her First Holiday Album, “At Christmas,” November 17

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleSara Evans will release her firs holiday album, At Christmas, on November 17. The project features Sara’s modern take on Christmas classics like “Silent Night,” “Oh Holy Night” and “Winter Wonderland.” Her daughters Olivia, age 12, and Audrey, age 10, are also featured on Sara’s version of “12 Days of Christmas.”

The album’s title track, “At Christmas,” is described as an “upbeat original.” Sara’s Christmas album is now available for pre-order at Walmart.com. Look for Sara to perform a song from the project on the CMA Country Christmas special, airing December 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brantley Gilbert is Engaged!!! NOT to Jana Kramer.

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A little more than a year after his high-profile engagement to Jana Kramer ended, Brantley Gilbert announced engaged to a hometown girl he’s known for 10 years.

Brantley explains, “It was one of those things that was on and off for few years – mostly on – and then she was the one that got away for about five years. It came back around and I’ve never been happier. This little one, she’s the one, and I’m a pretty stoked dude. I’m pretty excited to say the least.”

The singer admits, “You’ll hear her in most of my songs,” pointing to his 2012 tune “More than Miles” as an example, with lyrics like: “Cause that girl’s in every song I sing/She’s in every song I write/And that six string ridin’ in her seat/Won’t keep me warm tonight.”

While Gilbert didn’t share his fiancée’s name, he did say she’s a teacher.

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLook for Lady Antebellum to perform their brand-new single, “Freestyle,” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday.

Little Big Town will perform the national anthem prior to game three of the World Series Friday night in California.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio