Shania Twain Says Rock This Country Tour Will Let Her Feel the “Party Vibe” One Last Time

Sandbox EntertainmentShania Twain delighted — and, possibly, saddened — fans Wednesday with her announcement that she’ll be going on tour for the first time in 11 years, but it’ll be her last time on the road.  Shania says for her final live experience, she wanted to take her music directly to the fans.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’m feeling the momentum of being on stage,'” she tells ABC Radio, explaining why she decided to launch a tour after SHANIA: Still the One wrapped up at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. “‘It took me so long to get back up here. I wanna experience also getting back out on the road and touring with the show.’ I didn’t want one room to be my last concert experience.”

“I wanted to break that chain and say, ‘If I’m gonna do this for the last time, I want it to be out on the road and taking it to the fans and feeling that whole excitement of the party vibe that you get when you’re on a concert stage.’ So…it was just a natural succession.”

Shania’s tour doesn’t start until June, but if you want to get a taste of her performing live, you can check out her new CD/DVD, SHANIA: Still the One Live from Vegas, which is currently available exclusively at Wal-Mart.  The show features her full Las Vegas production, as well as plenty of behind-the-scenes footage showing what went into its creation and execution.

“At the end of [the] Vegas [show], I started to feel a little bit sad to see it coming to an end,” Shania tells ABC Radio, explaining why she wanted to release a film of the show. “So I wanted to document that specific production. I put so much into the production itself, it was really a huge experience in that regard, and I was saying, ‘Well, the only way to really make it last is to document it, get it filmed.’ So I have that, now, forever. That’s, I guess, mine…forever, even though I’m not there live.”  

Shania’s Rock This Country tour starts June 5 in Seattle.  The ticket sales to the general public for most North American shows begin Friday, March 13; there’s a pre-sale at ShaniaTwain.com on March 10.


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Gloriana’s Tom Gossin Opens Up About Vocal Cord Surgery that Nearly Derailed the Band

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleGloriana is back with a brand-new single titled “Trouble,” but it looked like the band might be over following group member Tom Gossin‘s 2012 vocal cord surgery. He had the procedure done just as their single, “(Kissed You) Good Night,” was peaking at country radio. The surgery went fine, but Tom had some problems getting his voice back afterwards.

He says, “I’m like, ‘Am I ever going to be able to sing again now that I’ve had a hit?’”

Thankfully, Tom’s voice returned and Gloriana is back on track with “Trouble” now climbing the country chart. A full-length album is expected from the trio later this year.


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Little Big Town to Perform at Can Do Awards Dinner to Raise Money for Food Bank for New York City

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLittle Big Town has signed on as the entertainment for the 13th Annual Can Do Awards Dinner in New York City coming up April 21. The gala takes place at Cipriani Wall Street to raise money for the Food Bank for New York City. Several individuals and organizations will be honored for their work on behalf of the Food Bank.

For ticket information, go to FoodBankNYC.org.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho is the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year? ANSWER: George Strait.


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2015 ACM Awards ZinePak to Be Released Exclusively at Walmart March 24

Image Courtesy ACMIn celebration of the upcoming 50th Annual ACM Awards, the Academy of Country Music is releasing a 2015 ACM Awards ZinePak exclusively at Walmart on March 24.

The project includes a magazine with 25 exclusive interviews and memories from the first 49 ACM Awards shows. There’s also a two-CD collection geaturing hits from this year’s nominees, including Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line, as well as songs from country’s hottest new acts.

Only 50,000 copies of the 2015 ACM Awards ZinePak will be produced. It’s now available for pre-order at Walmart.com.

The 50th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live on CBS from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, April 19.


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Lineup Revealed for 2015 CMA Music Festival Concerts at Nashville’s LP Field

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsThe lineup for the 2015 CMA Music Festival concerts at Nashville’s LP Field has been announced. The performers include Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Wynonna, Cole Swindell, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, The Band Perry, and many more.

The CMA Music Festival runs June 11 through 14 in Nashville. It is sold out.

Proceeds from the CMA Music Festival go to the CMA Foundation’s efforts to fund music education programs. Thomas Rhett was on hand for a performance of the Nashville Children’s Theatre’s production of the musical, Jack’s Tale. After introducing the play and interacting with some of the students in the audience, Thomas reflected on his experience playing Scrooge in his school’s production of A Christmas Carol. That early exposure to live performance gave him a taste of what it’s like to connect with a crowd through music.

Thomas tells ABC Radio, “I remember from the time I was four-years-old, dad was always filming me singing ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ and ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie,’ and so when it got to a point where I could actually be in front of a lot of people doing anything that had any sort of entertainment value to it — I tried out for the “Scrooge” part.”

He adds, “It definitely opened me up to what that rush felt like to getting out in front of people and kinda just pursuing your talents.”

It means a lot for Thomas to be able to help raise money for kids to be exposed to the arts at a young age.

“One of those kids I talked to today may have just been slightly inspired and maybe wanted to sing country music or maybe wanted to sing rock music or pop music,” Thomas says. “Watching these guys up on stage doing this play today, maybe it’ll inspire them to want to start writing songs or get into acting themselves.”


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Shania Twain to Launch First Tour in 11 Years; Says It’ll Be Her Last

Ethan Miller/Getty Images via ABCAfter spending the last couple of years doing a residency in Las Vegas, Shania Twain is taking her act on the road.  The Grammy-winning singer is launching her first tour in 11 years — and she says it’ll be her final one.

The Rock This Country tour — named after a track on Shania’s 1997 album, Come On Over –– kicks off in Seattle on June 5 and will visit 50 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, wrapping up in August.  When it’s over, there’ll be no more touring, but Shania isn’t retiring. She also doesn’t plan for the tour to serve as a tearful farewell to her fans: quite the opposite, in fact.

In a statement, Shania says, “This is a celebration tour. It’s party time. It’s a celebration that after all these years, I can still do it! The Rock This Country Tour will have a different spirit than my past tours.”

She adds, “It’s the momentum of confidence. The Vegas show was so intense and nerve-wracking because of not being onstage for all those years. So now that I got that out of my system, this tour is all about having fun, letting go and enjoying the new-found attitude.” 

To that point, Shania promises a more upbeat show than her Vegas extravaganza.  “There’s a lot more punch. It’s dynamic and reflects the rockier edge of things, because I have so many electric guitars in my music,” she explains. “I’m looking forward to rocking out.”

The tour will visit  Boston, Miami, Atlanta, New York City, Nashville and Washington, D.C., among other dates, as well as Shania’s native Canada.  She promises fans “a Shania they’ve never seen before,” adding, “A lot of years have gone by and I’ve got a lot more to share. It’s all about looking back together. It’s that unified community spirit of ‘I remember where I was when I first heard that song.'”

Shania’s opening acts include Wes Mack from June 5 through June 28, and then Gavin DeGraw from June 30 through August 23.

Here are Shania’s tour dates:

6/5 — Seattle, WA, KeyArena at Seattle Center
6/7 — Vancouver, BC, Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena
6/9 — Vancouver, BC, Pepsi Live! At Rogers Arena
6/11 — Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
6/12 — Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place
6/14 — Saskatoon, SK,  SaskTel Centre
6/15 — Winnipeg, MB, MTS Centre
6/19 — London, ON, Budweiser Gardens
6/20 — London, ON, Budweiser Gardens
6/22 — Hamilton, ON, FirstOntario Centre
6/24 — Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
6/25 — Toronto, ON, Air Canada Centre
6/27 — Ottawa, ON, Wesley Clover Parks
6/28 — Montreal, QC, Bell Centre
6/30 — New York, NY,  Madison Square Garden
7/1 — Long Island, NY,  Nassau Coliseum
7/3 — Uncasville, CT,  Mohegan Sun Arena
7/7 — Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
7/8 — Boston, MA, TD, Garden
7/10 — Pittsburgh, PA, CONSOL Energy Center
7/11 — Grand Rapids, MI, Van Andel Arena
7/13 — Indianapolis, IN, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
7/15 — Jacksonville, FL, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
7/16 — Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena
7/18 — Greenville, SC, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
7/19 — Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena
7/21 — Washington, DC, Verizon Center
7/22 — Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
7/25 — Auburn Hills, MI, Palace of Auburn Hills
7/26 — Moline, IL, iWireless Center
7/28 — Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
7/29 — Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
7/31 — Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
8/1 — Atlanta, GA, Philips Arena
8/3 — Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
8/4 — St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
8/6 — Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
8/7 — Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
8/9 — Austin, TX, Frank Erwin Center
8/10 — Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
8/12 — Oklahoma City, OK, Chesapeake Energy Arena
8/14 — Denver, CO, Pepsi Center
8/15 — Salt Lake City, UT, EnergySolutions Arena
8/17 — San Jose, CA, SAP Center at San Jose
8/19 — Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
8/20 — Los Angeles, CA, STAPLES Center
8/22 — San Diego, CA, Valley View Casino Center
8/23 — Fresno, CA, Save Mart Center


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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWynonna will give an interview and performance at the South by Southwest Music Conference coming up Friday, March 20 in Austin, TX.

Eli Young Band is giving fans a preview of their new single, “Turn It On,” at Vevo.


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Billy Currington Swears There’s No Love Affair Going on with His “Don’t It” Video Co-Star

Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleIf you’ve caught Billy Currington‘s new video, “Don’t It,” then you’re probably wondering how well Billy knows his beautiful, brunette co-star. The two get very cozy in the romantic clip, but Billy had never seen her before they shot the video in Nashville.

He tells ABC Radio, “I didn’t know the girl. I still don’t know her. I’ll probably never see her again. But for that moment, that day, we had good chemistry. It was easy to do that.”

Billy adds, “Hopefully, I made you feel like she’s real, and the love was real. It was a good time.”

The clip was shot at an old theater in downtown Nashville, but the space isn’t used for plays or concerts anymore.

“They actually record music in there sometimes,” Billy explains, “but they kind of emptied it out a little bit for us to make that video.”

“Don’t It” is the lead single from Billy’s new studio album, due out later this year.


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Darius Rucker Feels Kelly Clarkson’s Pain When It Comes to Finding Collaborators

Image Courtesy Chris Hollo/Grand Ole OpryDarius Rucker is always open to collaborate with other artists, but music business politics often get in the way of making those collaborations actually happen. This subject has got a lot of attention in the past few weeks since Kelly Clarkson admitted in an interview other artists often turn her down when she approaches them about collaborating. According to Darius, those artists might not even know Kelly asked to sing with them in the first place.

He says, “A lot of times management’s not even letting it get to the artist to where the artist can say yes or no. I’ve had some shocking moments over the last few years and stuff where I was turned down from where I was shocked, but, you know, that’s just the nature of the business.”

A lot of times artists will get together at an event like next month’s ACM Awards and come up with an idea for a collaboration. Darius says it’s getting harder and harder to take those song ideas from the drawing board to the recording studio.

He explains, “When it happens like that, it’s cool. But as soon as you call up somebody’s management company, you know, they mess up the coolness of that stuff, ’cause that’s a cool thing.”

For the record, Darius says he would sing with Kelly Clarkson “in a heartbeat” if she ever asked. As for his dream duet partner, Darius says, “It would be Paul McCartney. I would go and bark on a Paul McCartney record if that’s what he wanted me to do. Ruff, ruff! I’m down!”

Darius’s new single, “Homegrown Honey,” is the lead release from his new album, Southern Style, due out March 31.


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