Eric Church Adds Second Solo Acoustic Show July 31 at Nashville’s New Ascend Amphitheater

Image Courtesy Mike Coppola/Getty/EB Media PREric Church has added a second solo acoustic show at Nashville’s new Ascend Amphitheater after the first concert on July 30 sold out. The new July 31 date goes on sale Thursday, May 7 through Ticketmaster.

Of the second show, Eric says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t listen to my fans, and this time they spoke up loud and clear. I am keeping with the tradition of The Outsiders Tour in that no show will be the same, but I am adding a second night to ensure we can get all our friends in for this performance.”

Eric’s concerts will officially open Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater, located on the bank of the Cumberland River.


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Randy Houser Engaged to Australian Girlfriend, Tatiana Starzynski

Image Courtesy Stoney Creek RecordsCongratulations to Randy Houser on his engagement to his Australian girlfriend, Tatiana Starzynski. According to People, the 39-year-old singer has kept his relationship with the 21-year-old Starzynski off the radar to let Randy’s three-year-old son, West, and the rest of his family get to know her.

Randy’s fiancée is the sister-in-law of hit songwriter Dallas Davidson. Randy announced his split from former wife Jessa Lee Yantz nearly a year ago after three years of marriage.



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Zac Brown Loses Voice; Band Forced to Postpone Saturday Show

Danny Clinch/Southern Ground/Varvatos/BMLGOne day after Zac Brown Band launched a new tour with a star-studded concert in Nashville, the group was forced to cancel a Saturday show at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, because Zac lost his voice.

A message posted Saturday on the band’s official website reads, “Zac has lost his voice and we won’t be able to perform tonight. Consequently, we need to postpone our date at the Ford Center and apologize to all our fans. We will be rescheduling for later this year, and we appreciate all the support and love. We will announce the new date as soon as possible.  All tickets will be honored or refunds may be requested from point of purchase.”

Zac Brown Band’s Friday night show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in support of their brand-new album, Jekyll + Hyde, featured guest appearances from JewelBela Fleck and Kid Rock, as well as covers of The Beatles‘ classic “Let It Be” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The band’s next show is May 7 at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, North Carolina.


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLady Antebellum will perform on NBC’s Today on May 13.

Trace Adkins, Kellie Pickler, Craig Morgan and Vince Gill are performing at the Grand Ole Opry’s special Salute the Troops show Tuesday, May 19 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho was Billy Currington‘s duet partner on the 2004 hit, “Party for Two?” ANSWER: Shania Twain.


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Kelsea Ballerini Loves Seeing Fans Get “Sassy” with Her Debut Hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It”

Image Courtesy Black RiverCountry newcomer Kelsea Ballerini is closing in on the top 10 with her debut hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” As the song’s airplay has increased in the last few weeks, Kelsea has seen more and more fans in her concert crowds singing along with every word.

Kelsea tells ABC Radio, “They get so sassy, and it’s the best.”

“Love Me Like You Mean It” also has been heating up on social media, and Kelsea is glad to see that fans are getting the song’s message.

“I get on Instagram and I search it, and there’ll be, like, a selfie, with the lyrics underneath. I’m like, ‘Yeah, girl,'” Kelsea says. “The song is all about being confident and saying, like, ‘You are not allowed to play with me. You have to really got to love me like you mean it.’

Kelsea is on the road with Jana Kramer for the rest of the month. “Love Me Like You Mean It’ is the lead single from Kelsea’s debut album, The First Time, is due out May 19.


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Billy Currington Explains How He First Got His Voice Heard by Everyone in Nashville

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington spent a decade in Nashville before he landed a record deal, but his singing voice was heard by just about everyone in the music business during that time in the trenches.

Billy was one of Music City’s most successful demo singers in the late ’90s and early 2000s, so he was often hired by songwriters and publishers to sing demonstration versions of the songs they were pitching to major artists. That means Billy was the first person to sing songs that went on to become big hits for other artists.

He tells ABC Radio, “[One was] Blake Shelton, ‘Don’t Make Me.’ There’s a couple of George Strait songs that’s been out there that I sang. Yeah, there were songs that Tracy Lawrence cut. Sammy Kershaw. Clay Walker. I could go on and on.”

Billy’s popularity as a demo singer kept growing, but he wasn’t content to just sing other people’s songs.

“I could have dropped everything I was doing and just sang demos,” Billy explains. “I kept them at a medium and just kept working on my own thing and eventually got a record deal.”

Billy’s perseverance paid off as he closes in on yet another #1 country hit with “Don’t It.” Look for Billy’s sixth album, Summer Forever, to come out June 2.


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Brett Eldrege Won’t Head to Court for Using a Piece of a Pop Hit in “Lose My Mind”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge borrowed a line from the Gnarls Barkley pop hit, “Crazy,” for the first part of the second verse of his latest single, “Lose My Mind,” but you shouldn’t worry that Brett’s headed for a lawsuit over the issue.

In order to avoid a situation like the recent court case pitting Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams against Marvin Gaye‘s family over the monster hit “Blurred Lines,” Brett and his co-writers gave co-writing credit to Gnarls Barkley’s CeeLo Green and Danger Mouse, as well as to a pair of film composers who inspired Gnarls Barkley’s recording.

“Lose My Mind” is the lead single from Brett’s upcoming, as-yet untitled sophomore album.


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Jana Kramer Ready to Prove Country’s New Wave of Women Can Sell Concert Tickets

Image Courtesy CMTJana Kramer and Kelsea Ballerini launched their CMT Next Women of Country Tour this week. It’s rare for two solo female acts to go on the road, and Jana is excited to show the rest of the country music industry how it’s done.

She tells the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I wanted to get out there and show that girls can have an awesome tour together. We can go out, sell tickets, have fun and the crowd can have a good time. I want to be on the forefront with supporting women and helping us get heard.”

Jana and Kelsea will be on tour together through a May 28 show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.


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Thomas Rhett Has Chris Stapleton’s New Album, “Traveller,” on Repeat

Image Courtesy CMAThomas Rhett‘s new single, “Crash and Burn,” was co-written by Nashville singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton, who has an album of his own coming out Tuesday. It’s called Traveller, and Thomas has been wearing out his advance copy of the project.

“I love listening to the guy sing,” Thomas tells West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette, “and there’s something for everybody on that record.”

As for the other artists on Thomas’s current playlist, he says, “I’m a huge fan of Eric Church, and his Outsiders record is amazing. Meghan Trainor is kind of a guilty pleasure for me, but her album has been on repeat.”

Thomas is currently finishing up work on his as-yet-untitled sophomore album, due out later this year.


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