Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockFrankie Ballard‘s new video for “Young & Crazy” premieres on CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday, February 28. The clip was shot during one of Frankie’s recent tour stops.

Tim McGraw has added an August 15 date at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to his Shotgun Rider tour. Billy Currington and Chase Bryant are in the supporting slots.

Florida Georgia Line takes their Anything Goes tour to New York City’s Madison Square Garden Wednesday.

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Carrie Underwood Mixes Important Message with Edgy Sounds on New Single, “Little Toy Guns”

Image Courtesy CMACarrie Underwood‘s latest single, “Little Toy Guns,” features some of the edgiest rock elements she’s ever put on a song, so it’d be easy to just focus on the music and Carrie’s powerful vocal performance. After a few listens, the song’s lyrics about a little girl listening to her parents’ constant fighting really packs a punch, though.

Carrie says, “It’s kind of one of those songs that, even if you don’t pay attention to the words whatsoever, you’re still gonna think it’s a really cool song, but then when you realize what we’re talking about, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, that has an important message behind it.'”

“Little Toy Guns” is the second single from Carrie’s compilation, Greatest Hits: Decade #1, available now.

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Florida Georgia Line Explains Why They Love the Band Everyone Loves to Hate

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line has never shied away from citing the rock band Nickelback as one of their big musical influences. FGL has recorded each one of their singles with Nickelback producer Joey Moi guiding them in studio, and they’re proud to be associated with the Canadian group.

Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley says, “I know a lot a people like to hate or love to hate Nickelback, but they put out some amazing songs, sold a ton a records.”

FGL’s music has certainly benefitted from Joey’s experience creating big, arena-ready songs with Nickelback for the past decade, but the duo’s Tyler Hubbard insists their producer isn’t turning them into a country version of that act.

“There’s gonna be a few similarities because that’s the same person makin’ both albums, so it’s just natural,” Tyler says of the Nickeback connection. “But, I think Joey does a great, great job of kinda keepin’ it separate also, and kinda knowin’ how to add a good taste of somethin’ different to country music, but not too much. Just enough to tickle the earbuds, just a little bit.”

Florida Georgia Line’s winning formula paid off with their latest single, “Sun Daze,” hitting #1 earlier this month. They’re following that up with “Sippin’ on Fire” as the next single from their current album, Anything Goes.

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Thomas Rhett Scores Third Consecutive #1 Hit with “Make Me Wanna”

Image Courtesy CMACongratulations to Thomas Rhett, whose latest single, “Make Me Wanna,” just became his third consecutive #1 hit. That statistic is even more impressive considering Thomas only has one album out, It Goes Like This. He’s currently in the studio working on his sophomore album, and Thomas feels “Make Me Wanna” gives fans a taste of what’s to come.

“This song is the perfect bridge between It Goes Like This and the new stuff we’ve been working on,” Thomas says. “So, this kind of support from country radio, my friends in the industry and the fans who have been relentlessly supporting me has got me really pumped for what’s next!”  

Thomas is currently on the road with Florida Georgia Line on the Anything Goes tour.

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Tyler Farr to Release Sophomore Album, “Suffer in Peace,” April 28

Image Courtesy Columbia NashvilleTyler Farr will release his sophomore album, Suffer in Peace, April 28. The project features Tyler’s latest single, “A Guy Walks into a Bar.”  It’s now available for pre-orders at Amazon Music.

Tyler is currently on the road with Jason Aldean‘s Burn It Down tour. He’ll play some headline shows leading up to the release of Suffer in Peace. Go to for a complete list of dates.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWho was the runner-up when Scotty McCreery won American Idol‘s tenth season in 2011? ANSWER: Lauren Alaina.

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Justin Moore Enlists Wife to Pick Songs for His Next Album

Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.Justin Moore‘s wife, Kate, convinced him to record his #1 hit, “Til My Last Day,” so he’s relying on her song-selection skills as he records his upcoming album. A few days ago, Justin was in the studio recording songs when he called on Kate to pick a few songs for the session.

He tells Billboard, “I had a couple of spots left, and I could absolutely not decide what to throw in there. I let my wife pick them. One of them was a song that wasn’t even on my radar, and she was just adamant that I cut it.”

As a singer/songwriter, Justin admits he’s prone to over analyzing a song when he’s selecting new material. That’s where Kate comes in handy.

“I’ll go, ‘It doesn’t get to the hook fast enough. It’s too long. It’s too slow or it’s too pop.'” Justin says. “She just listens, and goes, ‘Oh, I like that’ or ‘I don’t like that.’ Anyone that you have around you like that is definitely a tool to use, and I’ve learned that in the past with her picking some songs that became hits that I might have never even have recorded.”

Justin will be playing his hits at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in Texas Tuesday night.

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Blake Shelton Explains Why He’s Back for an Eighth Consecutive Season of “The Voice”

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlake Shelton is back for the eighth season of NBC’s The Voice Monday night. Besides Adam Levine, Blake is the only coach to have appeared on all eight seasons, and he’s seen a few of his team members go on to success as country artists in their own right. RaeLynn just had her first top 20 hit with “God Made Girls,” and The Swon Brothers are nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at this April’s ACM Awards. Those success stories make it worth it for Blake to devote so much of his time to The Voice.

He says, “Some of the most exciting things that’s happened for me in recent times is seeing artists that I’ve worked with on this show have some success, whether it’s getting a record deal, whether it’s winning an award. Whatever it is. Being nominated for awards — those are the things that keep me coming back here as a coach on The Voice.”

Blake says he has a strong team going into the The Voice‘s eighth season, and he feels lucky to get to share his experience with this new crop of talent.

“What really drives me now is to try to help someone else reach the level that they want to reach and have an opportunity for the world to hear their music and voice and about who they are as an artist,” Blake explains. “To have one little, tiny part in that for some of these artists, that’s really exciting for me.”

The Voice‘s eighth season premieres Monday night at 8 ET on NBC.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBlake Shelton is nominated for Favorite Male Singer at the 28th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards airing March 28 on Nickelodeon.

Sam Hunt performs on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night.

Jason Aldean tells People his favorite TV shows are Sons of Anarchy, Criminal Minds, Entourage and Eastbound and Down.

Scotty McCreery joined R&B star Charlie Wilson on stage last Wednesday during Charlie’s tour stop in Raleigh, North Carolina. The two sang a duet of the R&B hit “Charlie, Last Name Wilson.”

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Jason Aldean Brings His Burn It Down Tour Home with Sold-Out Nashville Show

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsJason Aldean performed for a sold-out crowd at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Saturday night. It was his first time playing Music City since 2012, and playing for a full house in his hometown is especially sweet for Jason.

He says, “I think a lot of times people feel like Nashville gets so much music that they sometimes become a little jaded to it. So, to come here and play a show and it be sold out and still be that excitement around it is cool.”

Jason knows he has a lot of fans in the Middle Tennessee area, but he enjoys having his music industry colleagues in the crowd, too.

Says Jason, “You want to come back here and play for not only the fans, but also the industry guys that maybe don’t get a chance to come out and see shows all the time and kinda say, “Hey, this is what’s going on.” So, to come here and play a sold-out show, it’s nice.”

Two Nashville residents not in the audience were Jason’s daughters, Keeley and Kendyl. Keeley turned 12 this past Valentine’s Day, so she opted to celebrate her birthday with friends Saturday night instead of going to see her dad’s show. The girls will have plenty of chances to see Jason perform in the coming months.

“They’re gonna be out some this summer,” Jason explains. “They’ve been around this since they could walk. So, they know more about it probably than most of the guys out here working.”

In addition to playing his decade’s worth of hits like “Hicktown,” “My Kinda Party” and “Burnin’ It Down,” Jason welcomed his hero, Alabama front man Randy Owen, onstage Saturday night. The two sang duets on Alabama classics “Tennessee River” and “My Home’s in Alabama,” and Jason dedicated that performance to his dad, who was in the audience.  His next single, “Tonight Looks Good on You,” made the set list, and Jason brought out his opening acts, Tyler Farr and Cole Swindell, for a trio performance of “The Only Way I Know” towards the end of the night.

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