Hunter Hayes Performing with Roanoke Student Musicians Tonight to Celebrate Music Education

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes performs with 450 elementary, middle and high school students in Roanoke, Virginia, on Monday night in celebration of the city’s booming music education programs. The CMA Foundation provided a $100,000 grant to complete VH1 Save the Music Foundation’s instrument campaign to bring access to instrumental music education to students in Roanoke. So far, $510,000 worth of instruments have been donated to the city’s schools.

In celebration, Hunter will perform at Monday night’s concert at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. He will also talk about the impact of music and music education programs on his life.

The CMA Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to organizations that support music education throughout the United States. The money is raised on behalf of the artists who perform for free at the CMA Music Festival each year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kenny Chesney Takes Fans to the Islands for “Christmas in Blue Chair Bay”

Image Courtesy Blue Chair/Sony MusicKenny Chesney is helping fans put a little bit of the island life in their holiday season with his new single, “Christmas in Blue Chair Bay.” The song is described as “slightly Calypso” and “wholly acoustic.”

Kenny hopes the track can help fans relax a little bit with their friends and families this season. He says, “I do know that my family really loves Christmas — and I was in the mood, especially with the time I’ve been spending in Barbados with my rum, to try and distill how slow and sweet the holidays in the islands are when we can get there.”

Of course, Kenny’s referring to his Blue Chair Bay rum, which has also turned out to be a big seller for Kenny. “Christmas in Blue Chair Bay” is now at country radio.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Rascal Flatts Launching Vegas Riot! Residency This February at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sin City

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts is launching their Vegas Riot! Residency at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas February 25, 2015. They’ll play nine shows through March 14 at the hotel’s concert venue, The Joint.

Flatts bass player Jay DeMarcus says, “We’re so excited to do something so different for us. You will experience Rascal Flatts in a way you’ve never seen us before – up close, intimate and personal, and we promise you one thing, it’s going to rock!”

Tickets go on sale Friday morning at AXS.com/RascalFlattsVegas.

Here are the Rascal Flatts Vegas Riot! show dates: 2/25, 2/27, 2/28, 3/4, 3/6, 3/7, 3/11, 3/13, and 3/14.



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tanya Tucker Wants to Say One Last Goodbye to Her Old Love, Glen Campbell

Image Courtesy Webster PRTanya Tucker‘s new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame, titled “Strong Enough to Bend,” includes a few mentions of her famous, yet stormy, relationship with Glen Campbell in the early ’80s. Memories of that relationship are bittersweet for Tanya now that Glen is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and living in a long-term care facility in Nashville.

“I haven’t spoken to him,” Tanya tells ABC. “And I’ve asked his manager, I’ve called and asked him to ask his wife if I could possibly — I said, ‘Just let me say goodbye.’  I really would like to have that, ’cause it just breaks my heart, you know.”

Tanya also wishes Glen wasn’t living in a long-term care facility.

“I just think it’s not right,” she says. “I want him to be in a beautiful place with 10 people waitin’ on him hand and foot, you know?”

Still, Tanya is grateful to Glen’s wife, Kim, for taking care of him since they tied the knot in 1982.

Tanya says, “I know he’s a handful, and I want to thank her for taking care of him and being his rock. But I’d just like to say goodbye.”

Tanya goes on to say that she’s never loved anybody like she loved Glen, and she still keeps in touch with his family in Arkansas.

Says Tanya, “They want to bring him back home where it all started, in Delight, Arkansas.”

In an interview with People, Kim said it wasn’t safe to keep Glen at home anymore due to his worsening condition.  A documentary about Glen’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, recently hit theaters.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockGarth Brooks‘ touring band is named for which Oklahoma town? ANSWER: Stillwater.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCarrie Underwood has released a behind-the-scenes clip from her “Something in the Water” video shoot to People.com.

Scotty McCreery has picked up platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America for three of his songs —  “See You Tonight, “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls.”

Fifteen shows on Sam Hunt‘s Lipstick Graffiti tour sold out within minutes after going on sale last week. He is now considering moving some of those shows to larger venues or adding additional dates in those markets.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cole Swindell Releasing Five New Songs on “Down Home Sessions EP”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell‘s debut album just came out in February, but his fans will be happy to know he’s got a brand-new, five-song EP coming out this week. It’s called the Down Home Sessions, and Cole says his fans have been waiting for some of these songs for a while now.

He explains, “There were a couple [songs] that I saw fans, that they’d heard me play live, and just wondering, you know, ‘Why didn’t that make the album?’  Hey, you can only pick so many.”

The Down Home Sessions EP coincides with Cole’s just-launched Down Home club tour, which is a far cry from the stadiums and arenas he’s played on Luke Bryan‘s That’s My Kind of Night tour all year long.  Cole hopes the Down Home EP and tour will become a longstanding tradition.

He says, “I just want to hopefully be able to do that every year — give the fans new music and then go out and play the clubs, which I started playing in.”

Here’s the Down Home Sessions EP track listing:

“Ready”
“The Way You’re Lovin’ Me Now”
“Kiss”
“Workin’ on Me”
“Boomerang”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Trisha Yearwood Feeling Like a Champion with New Album, “PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit”

Image Courtesy Sony/Gwendolyn RecordsTrisha Yearwood‘s new album, PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit, is out this week, and she recruited her friend, Kelly Clarkson, to sing on the title track. Trisha sang on Kelly’s Christmas album, Wrapped in Red, last year, and they were eager to get back in the studio together.

“We’re both like, ‘Oh, my God! I’m singing with Kelly Clarkson!” She’s like, ‘Oh, my God! I’m singing with Trisha Yearwood!’” Trisha tells ABC News Radio. “You should just slap us because we’re just ridiculous. We really do both genuinely admire each other, and so we have so much fun.”

For the album cover photo, Trisha put on boxing gloves and a form-fitting white dress to strike a victorious pose. It’s a departure from the normal headshots she usually puts on album covers, but Trisha felt the PrizeFighter title called for a bold photograph.

She says, “Usually I do a photo shoot, and I don’t know what the album title’s gonna be. I’m just trying to look pretty. This time knowing it, it’s like, let’s go be fierce and own it. Let’s go do something really strong that matches the strength of the song.”

Another standout song on PrizeFighter is “I Remember You,” which serves as a tribute to her late mother, Gwen. As a surprise for Trisha’s 50th birthday, her husband, Garth Brooks, secretly flew her sister, Beth, up to Nashville to record a harmony part on the song. Since Beth only sings in the church choir back home in Georgia, Trisha was stunned when she heard her sister singing on the track.

“When I go into listen to the mix, I’m like, I immediately know it’s her, but it can’t be her,” Trisha says. “Like, how is that possible? And the song’s emotional for her, too. The most amazing gift my husband could have ever given me, and it takes the song to yet another level ’cause she has a really angelic voice.”

PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit features six brand-new songs plus Trisha’s greatest hits, including “How Do I Live,” “She’s in Love with the Boy” and “Walkaway Joe.”  Look for Trisha to perform on ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Says His Heart’s in Country Music

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes‘ music has a pop sensibility to it, but he won’t be leaving the country format for the pop world any time soon.

Hunter tells Iowa’s Quad-City Times, “My heart’s in country music.  I grew up listening to country music and I’m very proud of that. I’m proud of the family that I get to be a part of, and I take the opportunity to be a part of this family incredibly seriously.”

Hunter hopes his live show on the Tattoo (Your Name) tour reflects that commitment to country music.

“I don’t take it for granted for one minute,” Hunter explains, “and I want to make sure every minute of our show conveys that as well.”

Hunter is on the road through a December 13 date in London, Ontario, Canada.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Stars Are Just Fine with Taylor Swift’s Move to Pop

Image Courtesy ABC/Ida Mae AstuteTaylor Swift has made it very clear her latest album, 1989, is a pop project, and that’s just fine with the country stars in Nashville. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum points out Taylor’s strong songwriting skills are still in effect with the new music.

Hillary tells Billboard, “You can tell she takes so much pride in that and that’s what I respect.”

New duo Maddie & Tae also support Taylor’s move to pop, saying, “She’s killing it over at pop, and we’re just really happy for her.”

In going full-on pop, Taylor hasn’t closed the door to making a country album at some point in the future either.  Dustin Lynch says, “You know what she’s setting herself up for? A huge comeback. Three years down the road, she’s gonna come back and make a stone-cold country album, and it’s gonna be amazing too.”

Tickets are now on sale for Taylor’s 1989 tour, launching in the U.S. May 20 in Bossier City, LA.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio