Eric Church Performing at Marty Stuart’s Annual Late Night Jam June 10

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for EB Media PREric Church will make his second appearance at Marty Stuart‘s 14th Annual Late Night Jam coming up Wednesday, June 10 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The show takes place the night before the CMA Music Festival officially kicks off June 11.

Eric tells Rolling Stone, “I was fortunate enough to play the Late Night Jam early on in my career [in 2007], and enjoyed the whole vibe and experience. I love Marty and his guys and I can’t wait to join an already fantastic lineup.”

Eric joins previously-announced artists Brothers Osborne, Connie Smith, Charley Pride and Jimmy Webb on the bill for the Marty Stuart Late Night Jam. Go to Ryman.com for tickets.

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Rodney Atkins Announces Lineup for 5th Annual Music City Gives Back Concert on June 9

EB Media PRRodney Atkins has assembled an all-star lineup for his 5th Annual Music City Gives Back concert coming up Tuesday, June 9 on Nashville’s Lower Broadway. Kip Moore, Tyler Farr, Lee Brice and Maddie & Tae will join Rodney for the show to raise money for the W.O. Smith Music School in Nashville.

Rodney says, “I’m grateful to be hosting this special event for the fifth year in a row alongside a stellar group of artists.”

The concert is free to the public and kicks off at 6 p.m. CT with a performance from DJ Silver.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockSam Hunt played quarterback for which college football team? ANSWER: UAB — University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Luke Bryan’s Sons, Bo and Tate, Can’t Get Enough of Dad’s New Single, “Kick the Dust Up”

CMALuke Bryan has some pretty trusty advisers telling him which songs to record for his albums.  He knew his latest single, “Kick the Dust Up,” was a hit when his two young sons, Bo and Tate, couldn’t enough of the songwriter demo of the track.

Luke says, “My boys wanna hear that song over and over and over and over, and they’re going, ‘Let’s tear it up, up!’ It’s simple as can be, but there’s a time and place for just a big, ‘ol, fun, simple song.”

Luke explores some deeper topics on his upcoming album, Kill the Lights, but he agreed with his record label’s decision to put out “Kick the Dust Up” first.

He says, “The label was like, ‘Yeah, we’re doing that one.’ So, I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.'”

Luke’s new album, Kill the Lights, comes out August 7.

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Brett Eldredge’s Career Is Going Crazy with His New Single, “Lose My Mind”

Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge‘s New Artist of the Year win at last year’s CMA Awards has kicked his career into overdrive. “Lose My Mind,” the lead single from Brett’s upcoming sophomore album, is shaping up to be a big hit as a result.

Brett tells ABC Radio, “‘Lose My Mind’ is rising faster than any song I’ve ever had times 10. So, it’s good to have that momentum and people having my back out at radio.”

The song is taking over the airwaves just like the girl in the song is taking over Brett’s mind.

He explains, “[It’s about] the way girls drive you crazy in a way where you can’t get ’em out of your mind. Every thought is consumed by that girl and what they do. And I think we’ve all been there. It just has that crazy feeling.”

Brett’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album will be released later this year.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockToby Keith‘s 12th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic event in Oklahoma earlier this month raised $1.2 million for the OK Kids Korral in Oklahoma City. The facility serves as a home away from home for the families of pediatric cancer patients.

Montgomery Gentry has been selected as the NRA Country Artist of the Month for May. Check out an exclusive video for their latest single, “Folks Like Us,” at NRACountry.com.

Tyler Farr, Jerrod Niemann, Sam Hunt, Eric Paslay, Gary Allan, Easton Corbin, Chase Rice and The Swon Brothers have each donated a portion of ticket sales from their recent shows to ACM Lifting Lives, the charitable arm of the Academy of Country Music. The total for all artists’ donations comes to just under $30,000.

Mo Pitney‘s video for his debut single, “Country,” is now live at CMT.com.

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Reba and Kelly Clarkson Get Ultra-Competitive Playing Board Games at Family Parties

Rick Diamond/Getty Images/ACMReba and Kelly Clarkson are together for most holidays since Kelly is married to Reba’s stepson, Brandon Blackstock. So, how do these two superstars pass the time during these big family get-togethers?

They all love watching movies together, but Kelly and Reba love making everyone play board games, too.

As for who wins those epic family board games, Kelly tells Rolling Stone, “Reba and I are both competitive – she’ll tell you she’s not, but she’s a liar. I can win Sequence, but if we play backgammon or Mexican Train dominoes, she kills me. She’s like a backgammon magician.”

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Michael Ray Making Third Grand Ole Opry Appearance in Four Weeks Tuesday Night

Warner Music NashvilleCountry newcomer Michael Ray is becoming a regular at the Grand Ole Opry. He’s set to make his third appearance in four weeks on the show this Tuesday night.

Michael says, “To be invited back for a third time in such a short time frame is mind-blowing. I was just as nervous the second time I performed and I’m sure I’ll be just as overwhelmed.  It’s an honor to step inside the circle of the Grand Ole Opry and I’m ready to play anytime they want me.”

Michael is currently climbing the country chart with his debut single, “Kiss You in the Morning.”

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Thomas Rhett Working to Set Himself Apart from the Crowded Male Country Field

Valory Music Co.Thomas Rhett is working hard to make himself stand out from the crowded field of solo male acts in the country format. That’s why he tapped into his soul and R&B influence for the brand-new single, “Crash and Burn.”

Thomas tells the Indianapolis Star, “If you don’t do something that makes you stand out a little bit, I think you’re always considered just in a category, rather than people knowing your name.”

For inspiration, Thomas looks to legendary acts like Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to see how they kept their sound fresh and stayed true to themselves over the course of their respective careers.

“They never really played it safe,” Thomas says. “They were always pushing themselves. Every record had similarities to the previous one, but you could tell they were trying to push what they did to a different level.”

“Crash and Burn” is the lead single from Thomas’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album, due out later this year.

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Miranda Lambert Explains Why She Doesn’t Just Pack Up and Tour with Hubby Blake Shelton

CMABlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert spend a lot of time apart due to their work schedules. It seems the couple would launch a co-headlining tour as a way to spend more time together, but bringing their respective live shows together would take a lot of compromises for both Blake and Miranda.

Miranda tells the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “It’s interesting being married to an artist because we have two ways of doing everything, him and I. From our management and fans, from the way we write to the songs we pick — but it’s fun to watch because both ways work.”

As for their relationship, Miranda says spending time apart makes her and Blake work that much harder to stay connected.

“You have to talk on the phone and text each other and be intimate, but rely on them in a different way,” Miranda says. “It works, if you’re up for it. It’s not for everybody.”

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