Taylor Swift Joins Kenny Chesney for His Tour Kickoff Show

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Kenny ChesneyTaylor Swift was a special guest at Kenny Chesney‘s opening show on his Big Revival tour in Nashville on Thursday night.

She joined Kenny — who turned 47 on Thursday — on stage at the Bridgestone Arena for a performance of his hit song “Big Star.” Video of their collaboration was quickly posted on YouTube.

Also joining Kenny were Chesney collaborator and songwriter David Lee Murphy, Grace Potter, Uncle Kracker, and veteran rocker and Eagles member Joe Walsh.

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Lee Brice Embarks on Environmentally-Friendly College Tour

Image Courtesy Curb RecordsLee Brice goes back to school next month, as he launches the first leg of a unique tour of college campuses. He’s partnering with REVERB, a non-profit that brings musicians and students together to work toward environmental and social change. The avid hunter and fisherman will focus on outdoor preservation and water conservation, even working to lessen the effect of the shows themselves.

“We’re hoping to offset the environmental impact of the tour by supporting clean energy projects and using buses and trucks fueled with locally produced biodiesel,” he says. “I have two sons and I look at this as investing in their future and that of kids around the world.”  

The South Carolina native plays his alma mater, Clemson University, on April 11. 

Here are the dates so far for Lee Brice’s college tour:

4/8 — Buies Creek, NC, Campbell University
4/9 –Erie, PA, Penn State University
4/10 — High Point, NC, High Point University
4/11 — Clemson, SC, Clemson University
4/15 — Saint Charles, MO, Lindenwood University
4/22 — Conway, AR, University of Central Arkansas
4/24 — Monroe, LA, University of Louisiana
4/30 — North Andover, MA, Merrimack College
5/1 — Slippery Rock, PA, Slippery Rock University


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Sam Hunt Had His Doubts About “Take Your Time”

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleEven though “Take Your Time” has turned out to be Sam Hunt’s latest top ten hit, he confesses he wasn’t always sure that would be the case.

“‘Take Your Time’ is a song I wrote two or three years ago,” he recalls, “and it was sort of my first experience using a unique cadence in the verses and flowing from that spoken thing into a melody and then back again.”

Along the way, Sam worried the song might just be too different for country radio.

“It probably represents a lot of the R&B influence that a lot of my music has, and I’ve always been really attracted to that rhythmic style of music. It’s a song that I’ve had for a while and been most antsy about putting out, because it is one of the first songs I wrote when I started working on my own project.”

Sunday night, Sam takes his Lipstick Graffiti tour to the campus of Iowa State University.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockScotty McCreery co-hosts the Top 20 Countdown on Great American Country this weekend.  The show premieres Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern, and repeats on Saturday and Sunday.

The new album from soon-to-be Country Music Hall of Famers The Oak Ridge Boys is called Rock of Ages: Hymns and Gospel Favorites. It’s new in Cracker Barrel stores this month.

Charlie Worsham and Casey James performed alongside The Doobie BrothersTom Johnson at Nashville’s Tin Pan South festival this week. Both Charlie and Casey re-recorded Doobie’s hits for the band’s latest album, Southbound.

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Darius Rucker Takes His Southern Style to TV

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker will be making the media rounds next week, as he unveils his fourth solo album, Southern Style on Tuesday. The admitted sports fanatic will make multiple appearances on ESPN on the release date, after starting his morning on the Today show. Darius guests on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, April 6, before stopping by ABC’s The Chew on April 16.

Darius co-wrote all thirteen tracks on the new album, including his current top 5 collaboration with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, “Homegrown Honey.”

Here’s the track listing for Southern Style:

“Homegrown Honey”
“Good for a Good Time”
“Baby I’m Right” (featuring Mallary Hope)
“Southern Style”
“High on Life”
“You, Me and My Guitar”
“Low Country”
“Need You More”
“Half Full Dixie Cup”
“Lighter Up”
“You Can Have Charleston”
“So I Sang”

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New Artist Striking Matches Is Already Huge in the UK

I.R.S. Nashville

Even though the debut album by Striking Matches just came out stateside this week, the two are already big stars in the U.K., thanks to the popularity of the ABC show Nashville. So far, the duo has written eight songs that have been featured in the nighttime drama, and Sarah Zimmermann says it’s not uncommon to see fans overseas singing along to every word, thanks to the show’s huge British following.

Sarah met musical partner Justin Davis in 2007 when a professor paired the two together when both were freshmen guitar majors at Nashville’s Belmont University. Their CD Nothing But the Silence features their latest single “Hanging on a Lie.”

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the first country hit Kenny Chesney collaborated on with Grace Potter? ANSWER: “You and Tequila.”

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Kenny Chesney’s Sleepless Nights End Tonight with The Big Revival Tour Launch

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville/Blue ChairKenny Chesney has spent several sleepless nights worrying about The Big Revival tour. The trek kicks off tonight in Nashville, and Kenny admits he’s been anxious about putting the new show together for his fans.

He tells The Tennessean, “To see it all start to come together is the exciting part. This is a very creative, stressful but rewarding process for me. That anxiety is brought on by myself; it’s just because I care so much. “

Today just happens to be Kenny’s 47th birthday, too. He says he wanted to play Music City on his birthday so his mother could be with him to help celebrate.

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Darius Rucker Explains the “Homegrown Honey” Lyric About a Girl Being “Money”

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker is obviously singing about his lovely wife, Beth, on his latest hit, “Homegrown Honey,” but we wondered what the song’s lyric about her being “money” actually means to him.

Darius explains with a laugh, “[To borrow a] 2002 term, she’s all that and a bag of chips, man! She looks real good when she’s money.”

When asked if there is any specific times Beth looks especially “money,” Darius replies quickly, “Always. My wife is always beautiful. She’s always gorgeous. She had the flu the other day, and she was money.”

“Homegrown Honey” is the lead single from Darius’s new studio album, Southern Style, due out Tuesday.

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