Martina McBride Showing Off Her Soulful Side on Everlasting Tour

Vinyl RecordingsMartina McBride wants her fans ready to dance and have a good time when they come see her Everlasting tour. The trek launches Thursday in Kansas featuring a full horn section and R&B vocalists backing her up on the soulful tracks from her new album, Everlasting.

Martina tells ABC News Radio, “When I was making this record, I wanted to make a record that, when people hear it, they say, ‘I have to go see that live. I want to see that.’”

The set list is made up of Martina’s take on soul classics like “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” and “What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted” mixed in with her big hits “A Broken Wing” and “When God-Fearing Women Get the Blues.” Those songs from her back-catalog will be re-imagined to fit in with the rest of the show, though.

“The songs will sound a little bit different,” Martina explains. “I mean, just arrangement-wise and instrumentation-wise, but they’ll still be obviously recognizable. And I feel like after 20 years, it might be a welcome thing for people who have come to a lot of shows to hear things in a little bit different way.

Martina includes her modern covers of Pink‘s “Perfect” and Sade‘s “By Your Side” in the new show as well. Go to MartinaMcBride.com for a full list of dates.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Hunter Hayes Overcomes the Sophomore Album Jitters with New Release, “Storyline”

Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes admits he felt a lot of pressure when he started work on Storyline, the follow-up to his platinum-selling, self-titled debut album. A lot of that stress came from people asking him if he was worried about the sophomore jinx.

Hunter says, “When somebody mentions that, you panic, ’cause you’re like, ‘Oh, wow, I didn’t think about it that way.’”

Once Hunter started work on Storyline, he let go of the pressure and got excited about making new music. Earning multiple industry awards and scoring #1 hits from his first album helped him in the recording process for Storyline, too.

“If anything, there’s more excitement,” Hunter explains. “There’s more confidence, and by confidence, I mean, in telling your story and baring your soul in these songs. You feel so much better about doing so after what we experienced with the debut record.”

Hunter experimented with his touring band creating new sounds for Storyline, but fans of his debut project will find plenty of familiar elements on the album.

He says, “I’m not in a rebellious place of like, ‘I have to do something off-the-wall different,’ but I’m also very cautious to not repeat myself too, too much.”

Storyline features Hunter’s latest hit, “Invisible.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ronnie Dunn Performing “I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes” on “The Doctors” Wednesday

Photo Credit: Jim ArndtRonnie Dunn continues promoting his latest album, Peace Love and Country Music, with a performance on The Doctors Wednesday. He’ll sing a song from the project, “I Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes,” on the syndicated show. Check local listings for air time and channel.

Ronnie will also appear on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown Friday.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brett Eldredge, Brothers Osborne and More Performing Free Shows at CMA Music Festival

Warner Music NashvilleIf you can’t get tickets to the sold-out nightly concerts at next month’s CMA Music Festival, there are still plenty of chances to hear free music during the four-day event.

Brett Eldredge, Natalie Stovall and the Drive, and Josh Thompson are among the artists playing the BMI Tailgate Party outside the nightly concerts at LP Field each night.

Up-and-coming stars Lauren Alaina, Sam Hunt, Leah Turner, Brothers Osborne, Joel Crouse, Kelleigh Bannen, and The Henningsens are set to perform at the Bud Light Stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena every day from June 5 through 8. Trick Pony, BlackHawk, Bucky Covington, Chuck Wicks, and Steel Magnolia duet partners Meghan Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones are also on the bill.

Go to CMAFest.com for a full list of performers.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Report: Brad Paisley to Judge ABC’s New Singing Competition, “Rising Star”

CMAIt looks like Brad Paisley is following in Keith Urban and Blake Shelton’s reality show footsteps. According to Deadline.com, Brad has signed on as a judge on ABC’s new singing competition show Rising Star, set to premiere this summer. Contestants will sing behind a floor-to-ceiling LED wall with images of voters at home reacting to the performance. The wall will rise in real time during the performance based on fan votes. If the curtain rises high enough, the performer will be able to see the judges and studio audience.

An Israeli version of Rising Star has become a huge hit, and another version of the show just launched in Portugal.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Brantley Gilbert Pulling Double Duty May 25 at the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 Races

Big Machine Label GroupBrantley Gilbert will be on the go Sunday, May 25 appearing at both the Indianapolis 500 in Indiana and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brantley will be with driver Sage Karam at the Indianapolis 500, and Brantley’s new album cover, Just as I Am, will appear on Sage’s number 22 car. Brantley’s face will appear on Jamie McMurray‘s number 1 car during the Coca-Cola 600, too.  Brantley will perform the pre-race concert in Charlotte.

Brantley’s album, Just as I Am, comes out May 19 featuring his #1 hit, “Bottoms Up.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockTyler Farr‘s stepfather once played guitar for which country legend? ANSWER: George Jones.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Taylor Swift Realizes a Dream Wearing Oscar de la Renta to the Met Ball

Kevin Mazur/WireImage Taylor Swift hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, also known as the Met Ball, Monday night in New York City wearing a custom ball gown by Oscar de la Renta. The dress is made of blush satin faced organza with matte gold sequins, pearl beads, silver-lined seed beads, rose gold metallic threadwork leaves and organza petal embroidery.

Taylor says, “Oscar de la Renta is the designer I’ve idolized since I was a little girl. Having an opportunity to wear a one-of-a-kind gown designed by him is a dream realized.”

The gown almost didn’t make it to the ball, though. Taylor tweeted Monday afternoon, “That moment when your cat casually walks up,then abruptly ATTACKS your custom satin Oscar de la Renta gown during your fitting for Met Ball.”

Taylor accented the gown with Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, Christian Louboutin shoes and an Edie Parker clutch.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Keith Urban Hosting 5th Annual We’re All for the Hall Benefit Concert Tonight in Nashville

Capitol NashvilleKeith Urban has lined up a huge group of stars to perform at his 5th Annual We’re All for the Hall benefit concert Tuesday night in Nashville. This year’s theme is “song tellers,” and Carrie Underwood, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Eldredge, Kip Moore, David Nail and Kacey Musgraves will be there to tell the stories behind the songs they’ve written and performed.

Reba is also on the bill, and Keith is excited to hear her share stories about finding the songs she’s interpreted over the years.

Keith tells ABC News Radio, “Reba’s not a songwriter, but she’s recorded so many songs we love, and I’d love to hear some of these little anecdotes about why she recorded the songs and things like that.”

Ronnie Milsap is another one of Keith’s heroes performing at All for the Hall.

Speaking of Ronnie’s influence on him, Keith says, “I grew up with a lot of Glen Campbell and Charley Pride. When I think of a lot of these guys, Ronnie Milsap. I mean, none of these guys wrote. So, I was already at an early age, unbeknownst to me being influenced by people who were song interpreters.

Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lee Ann Womack, Vince Gill and Deana Carter also will perform at We’re All for the Hall. Proceeds go to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockListen for a remix of Jerrod Niemann‘s hit “I Could Drink to That All Night” featuring rapper Pitbull to hit the airwaves soon.

Martina McBride will bring her Everlasting tour to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Saturday, November 1. Tickets go on sale Friday morning through Ticketmaster.

Sheryl Crow‘s new video for “Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely” premieres on CMT this week.

Tyler Farr released a video from the recording studio thanking fans for helping him get his first CMT Music Awards nomination.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio