Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCountry legend John Anderson will release a brand-new album, Goldmine, on May 26.

Reba appears on CBS’s The Talk Thursday.

Zac Brown Band performs on NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night.

Justin Moore has partnered with Cabela’s to encourage people to put down their phones and enjoy outdoor activities on Disconnect Day on May 1. Fans can download the Justin’s version of the campaign theme song, “What a Wonderful World,” for free that day

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Frankie Ballard Recorded His Next Studio Album in Ten Days on the Texas-Mexico Border

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFrankie Ballard headed to the border town of Tornillo, Texas on the Rio Grande River to record his new studio album at a place called the Sonic Ranch. The residential studio complex includes living space, a workout room and swimming pool on more than 2,300 acres, and Frankie and his band stayed there for ten days working on the new music.

He says, “I just thought it’d be a cool place to go and just experience something different.”

The decision to record outside of Nashville freed Frankie and his team from any distractions that would take them out of a creative headspace, including the demands of family and other obligations.

He explains, “I wanted to try to get everybody and go somewhere else where we could kinda hole up and stay focused on nothing but making this album.”

So, what can fans expect from Frankie’s new music? He’s not giving too much away just yet, but Frankie does say, “It’s really different, and I think it was mission accomplished.”

Frankie is following-up his last two #1 hits, “Helluva Life” and “Sunshine & Whiskey,” with the new single, “Young and Crazy.” All of those tracks are included on his 2014 album, Sunshine & Whiskey.

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Miranda Lambert Goes Makeup-Free for “People” Magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful Issue

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert poses with no makeup on for People magazine‘s annual World’s Most Beautiful issue. The natural look is close to what Miranda looks like when she’s at home in Oklahoma with husband, Blake Shelton.

She says of her at-home beauty routine, “I just put on some tinted moisturizer and sunscreen and mascara. And lip gloss! It’s kind of an addiction.”  

Miranda only has a glam squad for big events like last Sunday’s ACM Awards. On tour, she does her own hair and makeup as a way to have some alone-time before shows.

“That’s my time to focus and calm down, listen to music and warm up a little bit,” Miranda says. “I have a product bag the size of Texas — just makeup and hair stuff and curling irons.”

Miranda adds that Blake thinks she looks prettier without a lot of makeup on, which causes her some frustration.

Says Miranda, “I think, ‘Stop! Really? This took me three hours!’ But he doesn’t care. He sees me the same, whether I have a whole glam squad or I’m just hanging out at home.”  

Carrie Underwood also opens up about a disastrous perm she got at age 13 in the Beauty Confessions section of People‘s World’s Most Beautiful issue, on stands Friday.

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Billy Currington Releasing Sixth Album, “Summer Forever,” on June 2

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington‘s sixth album, Summer Forever, is due out June 2. The project features his latest hit, “Don’t It,” as well as other songs written by Cole Swindell, Florida Georgia Line and several other top songwriters.

“Making this album was such a blast for me,” Billy says. “I put a lot of love into this project and couldn’t be more excited for fans to hear the new music. Summer Forever for me represents a positive, happy, good time lifestyle and that’s what I hope the fans feel when they hear this record.”

Fans can pre-order the new project at

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Reba Scores 12th #1 Country Album with “Love Somebody”

Image Courtesy Jeremy Cowart/BMLGReba’s latest album, Love Somebody, debuts at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart this week and #3 on the overall Billboard 200 tally. It’s Reba’s 12th time at the top of the country chart. The project sold more than 62,000 copies its first week out, according to Nielsen Music.

Reba launches her residency with Brooks & Dunn at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting June 17.

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Tim McGraw Sandy Hook Fundraiser Causing More Fallout

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise is generating more headlines.  Eleven of the 26 families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT are now distancing themselves from the fundraiser.

According to the Hartford Courant, the families released a statement clarifying they aren’t associated with or supported by the Sandy Hook Promise organization. The non-profit’s stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence, but these families want donors to understand the organization doesn’t represent all the victims’ families. Some of them feel Sandy Hook Promise is raising money off their dead children without their consent, in order to to lobby for tougher gun laws.

As previously reported, The Concert for Sandy Hook Promise in Hartford, CT this July is part of Tim’s Shotgun Rider tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, but Currington dropped out of the show last week, saying on his Facebook page he was bowing out because of the controversy, but would make a donation to a “local organization.”

McGraw received backlash from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, after announcing his participation in the fundraiser.  He responded last week in a statement to the Washington Post, declaring, “As a gun owner, I support gun ownership.  I also believe that with gun ownership comes the responsibility of education and safety — most certainly when it relates to what we value most, our children.  I can’t imagine anyone who disagrees with that.  Through a personal connection, I saw first-hand how the Sandy Hook tragedy affected families and I felt their pain. The concert is meant to do something good for a community that is recovering.”

The “personal connection” to which McGraw refers is his fiddle player, Dean Brown, a longtime friend of Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

Of note, country group Little Big Town has spoken out in support of Tim McGraw’s Concert for Sandy Hook Promise.

LBT’s Phillip Sweet tells Rolling Stone, “It is depressing that people have that much time and energy to invest, when they could be doing better things, like educating their child and loving people in the world instead of attacking someone who’s trying to do something good, like Tim McGraw. Why would you want to attack that?”

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Gary Allan Kicking off Riverfront Stage Concerts at CMA Music Festival on June 11

Image Courtesy CMAGary Allan is kicking off the CMA Music Festival’s free Riverfront Stage performances in Nashville Thursday, June 11. The shows will continue every day through June 14 with Rodney Atkins, Kristian Bush, Nashville‘s Charles Esten, Maddie & Tae, Eric Paslay, Dustin Lynch, Scotty McCreery, Ashley Monroe, Parmalee, RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope, and Chase Rice on the bill, as well as Canaan Smith, The Cadillac Three, Thompson Square, and The Swon Brothers.

Go to for the full lineup and more details.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Brett Eldredge‘s first #1 hit? ANSWER: “Don’t Ya.”

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Sam Hunt Rises Above the Clichés with Latest Hit, “Take Your Time”

Image Courtesy UMG NashvilleSam Hunt‘s latest hit, “Take Your Time,” tells the story of a guy trying to pick up a girl in a bar, but he took pains to write the song in a way that would show a classy exchange between two people.

Says Sam, “I think those interactions between strangers, in terms of a guy going up and pursuing a lady or introducing himself or expressing his interest, that can get cliché at times. It can get kind of sleazy and shallow.”

Instead of listing all the great things about himself, the guy in “Take Your Time” is careful to point out what an honor it would be for the girl to spend a few moments talking to him.

“Hopefully, the singer in this song and what he’s saying overcomes some of those stereotypes,” Sam explains, “and you can see past just a surface attraction and you can see that he’s genuinely interested in this girl, who has just completely gotten his attention.”

“Take Your Time” is the second-consecutive #1 hit from Sam’s debut album, Montevallo, available now.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDarius Rucker has released the title track from his latest album, Southern Style, as the follow-up to his latest hit, “Homegrown Honey.”

Kelsea Ballerini’s debut album, The First Time, is now available for pre-sale at digital outlets before its May 19 release. Fans who place their order now will automatically get a free download of Kelsea’s self-titled EP, featuring her top-15 hit “Love Me Like You Mean It.”

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