Tim McGraw Explains Why Social Media Makes His Acting Gigs That Much Harder

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw shares little snippets of his life with fans via Twitter and Instagram, but that kind of openness isn’t exactly ideal for Tim’s acting career. Tim, who’s appearing in the upcoming George Clooney film Tomorrowland, admits it’s hard to disappear into a character when everyone knows intimate details about his life as a country star.

He tells Rolling Stone, “When an actor is so good that you can know all that stuff about them and you still buy that character, still believe them every step of the way, that’s something else. That’s real art.”

As for the complicated plot of Tomorrowland, which includes themes of time travel and rocket science, Tim says he’s still scratching his head.

“There’s not much I can say about it because I read the script, I acted in the movie and I still don’t understand it,” Tim says with a laugh. “It’s a huge production; there’s a lot going on. All the stuff I hear back, it’s going to be spectacular.”

Tomorrowland will be in theaters in May 2015. On the music front, Tim’s new album, Sundown Heaven Town, is now on sale, featuring the singles “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” and “Shotgun Rider.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thompson Square Moving Forward with Work on Upcoming Third Album

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsThompson Square is back in the studio working on its upcoming third album, but the husband-and-wife duo is in no big hurry to issue a follow-up to 2013′s Just Feels Good.  Thompson Square has used Jason Aldean‘s backing band on its previous albums, but this time the group is working with different musicians for more flexibility.

The duo’s Keifer Thompson tells the Albuquerque Journal, “This time we don’t have to wait for schedules to match up.  We’re going to move ahead with the album and see how it works out.  I know that we will put out the best music we can, and that’s a top priority for us.”

Thompson Square has concert dates lined up for the rest of the year, too.  Go to ThompsonSquare.com to see where the duo is playing next.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Garth Brooks to Honor Jay Leno at Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Event

CMAGarth Brooks has joined the lineup of stars honoring Jay Leno as he receives the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on October 19 in Washington, D.C.

The event takes place at the Kennedy Center with Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Seth Meyers and Jerry Seinfeld also set to pay tribute to Leno.  The program will be taped for a PBS special airing November 23.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Approves of Taylor Swift’s Pop Crossover, but He Won’t Be Following Her

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney has added his name to the list of country stars supporting Taylor Swift‘s full-time move into the pop world with her upcoming album, 1989.

He tells Entertainment Tonight, “She is such a global act. I mean, it’s unbelievable. I have always been one of Taylor’s biggest fans and I think that her songwriting has gotten really good. And I think that’s the foundation of everything we do, songwriting.”

While Kenny loves Taylor’s new pop single, “Shake It Off,” you won’t find him flirting with a top 40 crossover anytime soon.

“I am going to be a country act just because of the way I talk and sing. I can’t make those records,” Kenny says. “If I did, it would be very disingenuous.”

Kenny’s new album, The Big Revival, is out Tuesday featuring the #1 hit, “American Kids.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

New Garth Brooks Album Coming November 11

Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloGarth Brooks‘ long-awaited new album will arrive November 11.  Garth made the announcement during a Friday press conference in Atlanta, GA. The disc will feature his current hit, “People Loving People.”

Unsurprisingly, you can now pre-order the as-yet untitled album on Garth’s newly-announced digital music service, GhostTunes, as well as at GarthBrooks.com.  While you’re at it, you can also order a “mega-bundle” that includes digitally-remastered versions of all eight of Garth’s studio albums; a new 25th anniversary edition of his concert disc Double Live, featuring 30 songs and 30 videos; an instant download of “People Loving People”; and a bonus track, “Send ‘Em on Down the Road.”

The new album will be Garth’s first regular studio disc since 2001′s Scarecrow.

Garth kicked off his world tour with a series of shows in Chicago earlier this month.  He’ll play a total of five dates in Atlanta, starting today through September 27 before heading to Jacksonville, FL for another five dates, October 10 through 18.  Head to GarthBrooks.com for more info.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is Miranda Lambert‘s middle name? ANSWER: Leigh.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Jerrod Niemann and His Fiancée Are Asking for Charitable Donations Instead of Wedding Presents

Image Courtesy CMAJerrod Niemann and his fiancée, Morgan Petek, will be married next month in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but they’re not looking for traditional gifts from their friends and family to celebrate the wedding.  Instead, Jerrod and Morgan are asking for donations to his charity, Free the Music USA, to benefit music education programs.

The couple tells People, “We can’t think of a better way to honor our upcoming nuptials than to combine the two things that we love the most: music and helping others.”

Jerrod and Morgan have been dating since 2005.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIt looks like fans of ABC’s Nashville will be getting a holiday album from the cast this Christmas season. Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus posted a photo with the show’s star, Connie Britton, and vocal coach, Valerie Morehouse, on Instagram with the caption, “Wrapping up the Nashville cast Christmas record…Gonna be a great record!!!” The new season of Nashville premieres Wednesday, September 24.

Dierks Bentley suggests you pick up Tim McGraw‘s latest album, Sundown Heaven Town. Dierks tweeted, “Love that he is always trying to take the music to new places.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Miranda Lambert Will Have Played All 50 States After Her Saturday-Night Show in Hawaii

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert is taking her Platinum tour to Honolulu, Hawaii, this weekend in order to reach a big milestone.

She says, “I’ve never played Hawaii. It’s my 50th state to play. My whole career, I’ve played in 49 states. I think I finished off the 49th in Rhode Island a couple years ago.”

Miranda has never even been to Hawaii before this weekend, and she plans to spend some time on the beach after she’s finished entertaining her fans.

“Might as well kill two birds with one stone,” Miranda says with a laugh. “We’ll work and go on vacation.”

Taking her band and crew to The Aloha State is a way of saying thank you for their loyalty throughout Miranda’s career.

She says, “My newest of my core group of crew and band has been there seven years, and I take a lot of pride in that. I really believe if you treat your people well, they treat you well.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tim McGraw Includes Tribute to His Mother’s Sacrifice in Sundown Heaven Town Liner Notes

Image Courtesy Big MachineFans who flip through the liner notes of Tim McGraw‘s brand-new album, Sundown Heaven Town, will notice a seemingly random photo of a teenage girl from the 1960s wearing a mini-skirt and go-go boots is included on the back page. It’s a photograph of Tim’s mother, Betty, in the mid-’60s, around the time she got pregnant with her now-famous son.

When the photograph was taken, Betty was part of a dance troupe that backed up pop stars who played in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Betty was also working on fulfilling her dream of joining the dance team on the ABC music variety show Where the Action Is, when she started up a summer romance with Tim’s father, Tug McGraw, who was playing for a minor league team in Jacksonville at the time.

Tim explains, “She ended up getting pregnant. It was her senior year in high school. She found out she was pregnant with me, and she got a callback to audition for Where the Action Is, and she couldn’t do it because she found out she was pregnant with me.”

Betty had to drop out of school and go to Louisiana while she was pregnant with Tim so no one would know she was an unwed mother.  

“To me, that was sort of the moment in time that my mom’s whole life changed,” Tim says of that picture of his mother. “To be on my album project and have a picture of her sort of is full circle in a lot of ways that maybe I helped her fulfill, at least vicariously maybe some of her dream.”

Appropriately enough, Tim’s latest hit is titled “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.” That song is included on Sundown Heaven Town along with Tim’s new single, “Shotgun Rider.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio