Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge will be the musical guest Monday, June 1 on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

You can watch the video for Love & Theft’s latest single “Whiskey On My Breath” at People.com.

Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don RooneyJana KramerChuck WicksJ.T. Hodges, and Rae Lynn will take part in Eric & Jessie Decker’s first annual charity casino night. Proceeds from the June 16 event in Nashville will benefit charities that help the military, veterans and animals.

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“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” Reminds Tim McGraw of Haggard and Strait

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsIt’s no surprise that Tim McGraw likes all kinds of music, having recorded songs far afield from traditional country as his collaboration with rapper Nelly on his hit “Over and Over.” But Tim says he wanted to cut his latest single, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” because it reminds him of the songs he listened to when he was just a kid.

“I grew up loving country music, and I’m a country music singer. I’m like everybody else. I love all kinds of music, and I love incorporating all kinds of music into what I do. I’m a fan. I grew up being a fan of the Eagles, and there’s a big Eagles influence in the music that I do. I was a Merle Haggard fan and a George Strait fan. So, when a song comes along that’s just a really great story, country song, it’s fun for me to record,” he reflects. “I’ve had a couple of those throughout my career, and it’s always fun to have those. It just has a grittiness to it that I really love, and I love to sing it.”

Your next chance to hear Tim live comes June 5, as he brings the Shotgun Rider tour in Little Rock, Arkansas. Meanwhile, you can see him co-starring alongside George Clooney in the new film Tomorrowland.

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Chris Young Rolls Out Sexy New Video for “I’m Comin’ Over”

RCA NashvilleChris Young’s sexy video for his latest single “I’m Comin’ Over” debuted Thursday on CMT. The new clip, shot entirely in Nashville, depicts Chris in a fling with a scantily-clad barista who left her number on his coffee cup.

“I’m Comin’ Over” is Chris’s thirteenth career single, and the first from his fifth album, due this fall. More than 70,000 people downloaded the song the first week it was available. You can watch the video now at CMT.com.

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Miranda, Martina & Jennifer Nettles Respond to Consultant Calling Them “Tomatoes”

David Giesbrecht/NBCMiranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride seem more than ready to match wits with the Texas-based radio consultant who recently compared female country artists to tomatoes.

In an article for trade publication Country Aircheck, Keith Hill extolled the virtues of playing fewer women on the radio, going so far as to say “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.”

“Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad,” he went on to say. “The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”

Hill’s salad analogy provoked a firestorm of comments on social media.

Jennifer Nettles’ Twitter comments threatened to match Hill in the controversy department.

“Don’t worry babe.  I see an opportunity here. [A] big ole vagina shaped opportunity. #yesisaidvagina #trynottofaint,” she tweeted.

Martina McBride asked her Facebook followers if they agree with an assertion Hills made in the article that female listeners would prefer to listen to male artists.

“Wow…..just wow,” she commented. “Do you not like to hear other women singing about what you are going through as women? I’m really curious. Because to me, country music is about relating. Someone relating to what you are really going through on a day to day basis in your life. Did you girls (core female listeners) know you were being ‘assessed’ in this way? Is this how you really feel? Hmmm….”

Perhaps Miranda Lambert came closest to having the final word on the subject, in a series of tweets. “This is the biggest bunch of B*LLSH*T I have ever heard,” adding “I am gonna do everything in my power to support and promote female singer/songwriters in country music. Always.”

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Kenny Chesney Has Summer’s Hottest Country Tour, According to StubHub

Image Courtesy Sony/Blue ChairKenny Chesney’s The Big Revival Tour is summer’s hottest country concert, according to StubHub. The list is based on the site’s ticket sales from Labor Day through Memorial Day, with Kenny ranking ahead of major acts like Rush, Foo Fighters, Billy Joel and Ed Sheeran.  U2, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and One Direction all finish ahead of Kenny, with country alum Taylor Swift claiming the top spot.

This Saturday night, The Big Revival tour pulls into Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Chase Rice and Old Dominion joining Kenny for the date.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockBlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert first met when they sang one of country’s all-time greatest duets for a CMT special in 2005. What was the duet? ANSWER: “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma.”

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Thomas Rhett Says Reba Has Had a Huge Impact on His How He Runs His Life and Career

CMAAs the son of ’90s country star Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett has grown up knowing country superstars like Reba. As a kid, Thomas remembers dressing up for a few Halloween parties at Reba’s house, and his dad toured as her opening act for a few years. That connection between Thomas and Reba continues to this day.

Says Thomas, “You know, we’re on the same record label now, which is crazy, and dad wrote her latest single that’s out, [‘Going Out Like That’]. So, Reba has, in strange ways, been a part of my life since I was a young kid.”

Now that Thomas is a country star in his own right, he’s come to rely on Reba’s advice as he works on his upcoming, sophomore album.

“She came and saw me in the studio the other day and was hanging out and listening to new songs,” Thomas says. “She’s always just been great at, like, giving great, knowledgeable advice just about the music business and how to sustain yourself in the music business.”

On top of her status as a country legend, Thomas says Reba really does have a heart of gold, too.

He adds, “She’s the sweetest, most down-to-earth, kind human being, and she’s played a huge role in me kind of evolving through this.”

Thomas’s as-yet-untitled sophomore album will be out later this year. He’s currently climbing the country charts with the new single, “Crash and Burn.”

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDierks Bentley has been named an honorary co-chairman of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society, which supports the Foundation’s Air Safety Institute. Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford are among the other co-chairmen.

Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, Josh Turner and Trace Adkins are on the bill for the first-ever NIFI Festival at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky August 28 through 30.

Montgomery Gentry‘s new video, “Folks Like Us,” is now live at CMT.com.

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Kelsea Ballerini Experiences a Big Career Milestone with One of Her Favorite Acts, Lady Antebellum

Black River EntertainmentKelsea Ballerini recently played her first arena concert as an opening act for Lady Antebellum. The gig was even sweeter since Kelsea is a huge Lady A fan and stood in line to meet them a few years ago at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Kelsea was thinking about that meeting when she joined Lady A on stage for a joint performance during the band’s headlining set.

Kelsea tells ABC Radio, “It’s like one of those moments where you’re just like, ‘Life is so cool.’ That was a very cool moment for me.”

Though they’ve only recently shared the stage, Kelsea and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott have been friends for two years now. They meet through a mutual songwriter friend, Ryan Griffin, and Hillary quickly took Kelsea under her wing.

“She has just kind of encouraged me,” Kelsea says. “So, to be able to do a first [arena] show like that with a friend like that is really cool.”

Kelsea is riding high on the country radio chart with her debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” Her debut album, The First Time, is on sale now.

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Brantley Gilbert Scores #1 Country Debut with “Just as I Am Platinum Edition”

Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert’s Platinum Edition re-release of his album, Just as I Am, has landed the project at #1 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart. The set also hits the top 10 on the overall Billboard 200 tally. The expanded version of the project includes the song “Just as I Am” as well as a remix of Brantley’s hit single, “Bottoms Up,” with rapper T.I.

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