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.
Image Courtesy Columbia NashvilleTylerFarr 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 TylerFarr.com for a complete list of dates.
Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.JustinMoore‘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.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBlakeShelton 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.
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.
Image Courtesy Valory Music Co.ThomasRhett‘s latest hit, “Make Me Wanna,” is the fifth single from his debut album, It Goes Like This, but he actually wrote it pretty early on his career. The song features a ’70s funk/disco sound, and it wasn’t an immediate hit with Thomas’s record label.
He tells Billboard, “It took a lot of convincing to even get it on the record because at that point, I don’t think the song would have ever worked on country radio. But thank goodness that the label let me cut it and put it on the album.”
Thomas is glad fans get to see the more soulful, artistic side of his sound with “Make Me Wanna.”
He adds, “Maybe this is a breath of fresh air for people. You can’t deny that it makes you feel good — whether you like the song or not, you can bump it on the beach or in your car and it’ll make you feel good.”
Thomas plans to chase more funky sounds on his upcoming sophomore album. He’s halfway finished with the project, but a release date hasn’t been set just yet.
Image Courtesy Sheryl Nields/Big MachineBefore he shot to fame as the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, Gary LeVox spent a decade as a social worker helping developmentally disabled people back home in Ohio. He calls that time “an amazing 10 years of my life.”
Gary tells Vegas Seven magazine, “I learned so much from that experience — how to be patient, how to be honest, how to embrace life and have a positive perspective. It was just a wonderful time for me, and it really helped turn me into a man. The lessons I learned from working in that field have helped me in so many other parts of my life.”
Though his job with Rascal Flatts comes with a lot more perks and a much bigger paycheck, Gary adds, “I do miss my old job at times, more often than you might suspect.”
Rascal Flatts launches their Vegas Riot! residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Wednesday, February 25.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleCole Swindell is riding high this year with a spot among the final three nominees for New Artist of the Year at the ACM Awards coming up this April. He’s competing against Sam Hunt and Thomas Rhett for the fan-voted honor, and Cole got the good news earlier this week on the one-year anniversary of his self-titled debut album’s release.
Cole says, “It’s been an incredible ride so far and I could not have done this without the support of all the country music fans out there. I’m going to keep working hard on the road this year for them.”
Cole will be on hand for the 50th Annual ACM Awards on April 19. The show airs live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.