Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe cast of ABC’s Nashville has added a Philadelphia date to their spring concert tour. They’ll play the city’s Tower Theater on May 1.

Parmalee recently visited U.S. troops in six countries on a nine-day trip. Check out their story and photos at

The 2015 CMT Music Awards will be held in Nashville on June 10.

Country stars will take the field for the 25th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at the CMA Music Festival coming up June 13. The event takes place at Nashville’s new First Tennessee Park. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster.

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Tim McGraw Reveals Which Musical Decade Shaped His Entire Career

Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw‘s latest hit, “Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools,” is the kind of classic country song you might have heard Merle Haggard singing back in his ’70s heyday. In fact, Tim thinks most of his music can be traced back to the influence of that era.

He says, “I grew up in the ’70’s, and I’m a child of the ’70’s. That kinda music is really what made me fall in love with music.”

One of that decade’s hottest bands weighs heavily on Tim’s song selection, too.

“The Eagles were probably one of the biggest influences in the music that I make,” Tim says. “It’s like George Strait, Merle Haggard and the Eagles all meshed together.”

“Diamond Rings and Old Bar Stools” is the latest single from Tim’s album Sundown Heaven Town, available now.

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Kellie Pickler, Billy Ray Cyrus Starring in Two Upcoming CMT Series

Image Courtesy Black River EntertainmentKellie Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, have a new reality show coming to CMT this fall. I Love Kellie Pickler follows the high-energy country star as she navigates married life with Kyle, who’s described as her “complete opposite.” The show will also capture Kellie and Kyle’s professional life; he’s producing her upcoming studio album. Look for I Love Kellie Pickler to premiere September 18.

CMT also has announced a new scripted series starring Billy Ray Cyrus, premiering early next year. Still the King features Billy Ray as Vernon Brown — a country one-hit wonder who returns to the spotlight 20 years later as an Elvis impersonator in Nevada. Circumstances bring Vernon back to Nashville, where he pretends to be a minister and discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter he’s never met.

Cyrus’ last starring TV series role was in the family drama Doc, which aired from 2001-2004.  He also had a recurring role in daughter Miley‘s Disney Channel series, Hannah Montana.

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Dierks Bentley Giving You an All-Access Pass with New Sounding Off Video Series

Image Courtesy CMADierks Bentley is giving fans more access than ever with his new video series, Sounding Off. The clips focus on his upcoming 2015 Sounds of Summer Tour, launching June 5 in Raleigh, NC. You can expect to see tour openers Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith in the videos, too.

Dierks has been busy putting the stage and set list together for his new tour, and he’s eager to let his everyone see the progress.

Says Dierks, “I really want them to be able to experience it like I do…get to see more of what happens backstage and what I get to see from the stage looking out to the back of the lawn. We’ve got a lot more great memories ahead of us.”

Check out Dierks’ first Sounding Off video at

Sounding Off // Set List from Dierks Bentley on Vimeo.



Jason Aldean Pays Tribute to One of Luke Bryan’s Early Headshots

Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean had some fun busting pal Luke Bryan‘s chops on Instagram. While eating at Sandbar in Panama City Beach, FL, Jason came across an early headshot of Luke on the wall. In the picture, Luke has his hands clasped with his head tilted to the side, a pose Jason recreated for his own photo.


Dustin Lynch Gives Fans a Look into His World with “On the DL” YouTube Series

Image Courtesy Broken BowDustin Lynch‘s new YouTube series, On the DL, gives fans an inside view of the 300 days he spends on the road every year. It’s an idea Dustin’s wanted to try for a while.

He tells Entertainment Weekly, “It gives our fans a [view of] ‘Hey, this is what goes on behind the scenes, before the doors happen to the venues.’ Show them we’re just a bunch of dudes having fun.”

Dustin’s latest On the DL video captures his recent spring break show in Panama City Beach, Florida with Luke Bryan. Check it out now on YouTube.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich country superstar made a cameo on ABC’s Nashville with fictional country star Rayna Jaymes in a scene set at Good Morning America? ANSWER: Luke Bryan.

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“Nashville” Recap: “I Can’t Keep Away from You”

Image Courtesy ABC/Bob D’AmicoOn Wednesday’s Nashville, Rayna Jaymes wanted to support her long-time love Deacon Claybourne after learning he has liver cancer. Deacon did his best to shut Rayna out, but she wore him down and they eventually made up, made love and decided to pursue a relationship. Their daughter, Maddie, was ecstatic to see Deacon and Rayna together, but that happiness was short-lived as they told Maddie and her younger sister, Daphne, about Deacon’s potentially fatal liver cancer.

Still hurting from his breakup with Rayna, Luke Wheeler turned to Sadie Stone for some company and a harmony singer on his song, “I Can’t Help My Heart.” It looked like sparks were starting to fly between Luke and Sadie as they bonded over their miserable love lives. Sadie kept her distance since she was still dealing with her abusive ex-husband, Pete, who she outed as a wife-batterer on Good Morning America.

After Luke and Sadie parted ways, Pete cornered Sadie in a parking garage. Sadie pulled a gun on Pete and ended up shooting him as he came after her. Luke pulled up just after Sadie shot Pete, so it looks like the two country singers could be bonding over getting rid of Pete’s body.

Meanwhile, Will Lexington wrote the introspective tune, “Broken Song,” with openly gay songwriter Kevin Bicks. Will and his label head, Luke Wheeler, were happy with the track, but Kevin didn’t like the way Will seemed uncomfortable around him. Kevin assumed Will was a bit homophobic and told him he didn’t want to write any more songs. Will later came back to Kevin and started opening up about his own homosexuality.

While it’s not clear if Will and Kevin’s writing partnership will turn romantic, actor Chris Carmack, who plays Will, tells ABC Radio we shouldn’t expect his character to start singing love songs directly to guys.

Chris says, “A veiled way is a good way of putting it because I don’t think he’s going to immediately jump out and write the truth of anything that’s happening.”

This working relationship with Kevin will help Will open up to deal with his homosexuality through his music, though.

Says Chris “There are opportunities coming up for him to dig into himself a little deeper and put down on the page and into a song something that he has not been able to do before.”

“Broken Song” is now available at iTunes along with all the other music from this week’s show. Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThomas Rhett will toast the #1 success of his latest hit, “Make Me Wanna,” with a party in Nashville next Thursday.

Country newcomer Kelsea Ballerini will release her debut album, The First Time, on May 19. Her debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” is now climbing the country chart.


SURPRISE! Here is the album cover for #TheFirstTime! May 19th! ❤️

A photo posted by Kelsea Ballerini (@kelseaballerini) on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:34pm PDT


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Eric Church Says Duet with Keith Urban on “Raise ‘Em Up” Is an Undeniable Hit

Image Courtesy CMAEric Church loves the anthemic quality of his collaboration with Keith Urban on “Raise ‘Em Up,” but he also points out there’s a deeper meaning to the song than just having a good time.

“There’s also a line in there about kids and about life,” Eric explains. “Yeah, it’s about lighters. It’s about drinks. One verse is about, you know, black umbrellas, about a funeral. It’s a very serious song. And plain and simple, it’s just a hit.”

Eric goes so far as to say “Raise ‘Em Up” could even be a hit in Portuguese.

He adds, “It’s gonna be a big hit for Keith, and I’m glad. I’m glad to be a part of it, and I’m glad he asked me.”

“Raise ‘Em Up’ is included on Eric’s latest album, Fuse. Check out the song’s video now on Vevo.

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