Thompson Square Cranks Up the Guitars on New Single, “Trans Am”

Image Courtesy Dove Short/Stoney CreekThompson Square is cranking up the guitars on their new single, “Trans Am.” The uptemo song is part of the husband-and-wife duo’s effort to expand beyond singing love songs like their breakthrough hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” and “If I Didn’t Have You.”

The duo’s Keifer Thompson tells Billboard, “It’s real easy to push yourself into a corner if you’re worried all the time about doing love songs. We don’t want to do that all the time. That’s boring for us too. This is just a great song with a guy and a girl singing on it. That’s how we approached things this time around.”

Thompson Square is delivering even more “aggressive” and “rockin'” songs on their upcoming third album due out later this year.

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Florida Georgia Line Schedules Appearances on “The Talk,” “American Idol”

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line has lined up two big TV appearances in the coming days. They’ll stop by CBS’s The Talk on Tuesday, April 7 before their appearance on Fox’s American Idol Wednesday, April 8. Look for the duo to mentor this season’s contestants before performing a song of their own.

Florida Georgia Line is also set to perform on the 50th Annual ACM Awards April 19 on CBS. They’re up for several trophies, including Entertainer of the Year.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Culinary Celebrity Status Leads to Complications in Her Social Life

Image Courtesy Clarkson PotterTrisha Yearwood just released her third cookbook, Trisha’s Table, so it’s safe to assume she likes to be in charge when it comes to hosting dinner parties.

Says Trisha, “I have a fairly controlling nature anyway, so I’m kind of that girl that’s like, ‘I got this, I’m in the kitchen, I got this.'”

Since she’s now known for her cooking nearly as much as for her singing, Trisha has noticed her friends expect a gourmet spread when she’s hosting a party.

“People expect it to always be incredible and always be perfect, and, “Oh yeah, Trisha’s gonna want to do all the cooking,'” Trisha explains. “And I’m a cook, I’m not a chef. Sometimes things don’t turn out.”

On the other hand, Trisha’s status as a culinary celebrity has changed the dynamic when she and husband Garth Brooks attend their friends’ dinner parties.

Trisha says, “If someone else is cooking, now they’re all of a sudden nervous: ‘Oh, Trisha’s comin’ over.’ And I’m like, ‘Don’t be…that’s not the way this works.’ You know? It’s like, ‘Do I need to go through all the epic fails I’ve had in the kitchen for you not to feel…to not worry about it?'”

Trisha included more than 100 recipes in Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites for a Balanced Life.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockDarius Rucker rose to prominence as the lead singer of Hootie & The Blowfish. What is the title of their multi-platinum debut album? ANSWER: Cracked Rear View.

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Darius Rucker Bonds with His Tour Mates over Dinner and Rounds of Golf

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryDarius Rucker thinks it’s important to get to know the acts on his tours, and that task is pretty easy to do if they like to play golf half as much as Darius. Luckily, Darius’s supporting act on the Southern Style tour, Brett Eldredge, is a big golfer.

Darius explains. “Putting [the tour] together, you know, I ask Brett, ‘You play?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I love to play.’ ‘Perfect. Let’s go play.’ And that’s always a good way to bond. That’s four hours of being together.”

If an artist isn’t that good at golf, Darius lines up other situations on the road to let everyone’s band and crew relax and have some bonding time.

“I’ll rent out a restaurant and they’ll take everybody in,” Darius says, “and we’ll have a nice meal just so we can all sit around and talk and not worry about putting up a stage and taking down a stage. Let’s just enjoy each other and get to know each other a little better.”

Darius’s Southern Style tour kicks off May 14 in New Jersey. He’s also hosting the ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic in Dallas on April 18. Kix Brooks, Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley and Chris Young are among the other stars teeing off with Darius. The event benefits the ACM’s charitable organization and takes place the day before the 50th Annual ACM Awards, airing live April 19 on CBS.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe cast of ABC’s Nashville has added a Philadelphia date to their spring concert tour. They’ll play the city’s Tower Theater on May 1.

Parmalee recently visited U.S. troops in six countries on a nine-day trip. Check out their story and photos at

The 2015 CMT Music Awards will be held in Nashville on June 10.

Country stars will take the field for the 25th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at the CMA Music Festival coming up June 13. The event takes place at Nashville’s new First Tennessee Park. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster.

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Tim McGraw Reveals Which Musical Decade Shaped His Entire Career

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw‘s latest hit, “Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools,” is the kind of classic country song you might have heard Merle Haggard singing back in his ’70s heyday. In fact, Tim thinks most of his music can be traced back to the influence of that era.

He says, “I grew up in the ’70’s, and I’m a child of the ’70’s. That kinda music is really what made me fall in love with music.”

One of that decade’s hottest bands weighs heavily on Tim’s song selection, too.

“The Eagles were probably one of the biggest influences in the music that I make,” Tim says. “It’s like George Strait, Merle Haggard and the Eagles all meshed together.”

“Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools” is the latest single from Tim’s album Sundown Heaven Town, available now.

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Kellie Pickler, Billy Ray Cyrus Starring in Two Upcoming CMT Series

Image Courtesy Black River EntertainmentKellie Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, have a new reality show coming to CMT this fall. I Love Kellie Pickler follows the high-energy country star as she navigates married life with Kyle, who’s described as her “complete opposite.” The show will also capture Kellie and Kyle’s professional life; he’s producing her upcoming studio album. Look for I Love Kellie Pickler to premiere September 18.

CMT also has announced a new scripted series starring Billy Ray Cyrus, premiering early next year. Still the King features Billy Ray as Vernon Brown — a country one-hit wonder who returns to the spotlight 20 years later as an Elvis impersonator in Nevada. Circumstances bring Vernon back to Nashville, where he pretends to be a minister and discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter he’s never met.

Cyrus’ last starring TV series role was in the family drama Doc, which aired from 2001-2004.  He also had a recurring role in daughter Miley‘s Disney Channel series, Hannah Montana.

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Dierks Bentley Giving You an All-Access Pass with New Sounding Off Video Series

Image Courtesy CMADierks Bentley is giving fans more access than ever with his new video series, Sounding Off. The clips focus on his upcoming 2015 Sounds of Summer Tour, launching June 5 in Raleigh, NC. You can expect to see tour openers Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith in the videos, too.

Dierks has been busy putting the stage and set list together for his new tour, and he’s eager to let his everyone see the progress.

Says Dierks, “I really want them to be able to experience it like I do…get to see more of what happens backstage and what I get to see from the stage looking out to the back of the lawn. We’ve got a lot more great memories ahead of us.”

Check out Dierks’ first Sounding Off video at

Sounding Off // Set List from Dierks Bentley on Vimeo.



Jason Aldean Pays Tribute to One of Luke Bryan’s Early Headshots

Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean had some fun busting pal Luke Bryan‘s chops on Instagram. While eating at Sandbar in Panama City Beach, FL, Jason came across an early headshot of Luke on the wall. In the picture, Luke has his hands clasped with his head tilted to the side, a pose Jason recreated for his own photo.