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Country News Digest, April 2015

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April 30, 2015 - Little Big Town is crushing it all the way to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. "Girl Crush" knocked out Sam Hunt's "Take Your Time" for the week ending May 9. Reba McEntire led the Country Albums chart with "Love Somebody," her first disc in five years. Florida Georgia Line was third... »»»
April 30, 2015 - Yahoo will live stream the 2015 iHeartRadio Country Festival on Saturday featuring Tim McGfaw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley. The fest will be at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin starting at 8 p.m. eastern. Others on the bill are Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Brantley Gilbert,... »»»
April 30, 2015 - Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Eleni Mandell will release her 10th studio album, "Dark Lights Up," on July 24 on Yep Roc Records. Following a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame while on tour with her two young children, Mandell was inspired by and reflected on her classic country influence.... »»»
April 29, 2015 - Logan Mize, on the radio now with his Arista Nashville debut single, "Can't Get Away from a Good Time," premiered the first installment of "Road to a Good Time" video series. Spanning seven episodes in all, the clips spotlight the small-town roots and laid back humor of the Kansas native with music and anecdotes.... »»»
April 29, 2015 - Hank Williams Jr. signed with the Nash Icon label, it was announced today. The label, a joint venture label between the Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) and Cumulus, also has Reba McEntire, Martina McBride and Ronnie Dunn on the label. The raucous Superstar joins the distinct voices of Reba, Martina... »»»
April 28, 2015 - Zac Brown Band is out with its fourth studio release, the appropriate titled "Jekyl + Hyde" where the group expands its boundaries. Guests vocalists include Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Sara Bareillis on sounds ranging from country to big band to hard rock to electronic. Tyler Farr has a hit on his... »»»
April 27, 2015 - High winds and rain couldn't hold Randy Houser back from performing at the Toadlick Festival in Dothan, Ala. on Saturday. Although storms damaged the outdoor stage and much of the artists' equipment, Houser rigged up a small PA system so he could play an acoustic set for the fans who willing to... »»»
April 27, 2015 - Kenny Chesney, who kicked off his The Big Revival 2015 Tour last month with two sold-out nights at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, changes gears this Saturday by merging with Jason Aldean's Burn It Down Tour. They will play the first of a dozen co-headlining shows starting at San Francisco's brand new Levi's Stadium.... »»»
April 27, 2015 - Radio host Bobby Bones will pen his memoir, in a deal announced today by Dey Street Books/HarperCollins. The Bobby Bones Show is heard on iHeartMedia country music stations, including Washington, D.C., Boston and Nashville. He is also heard nationally through the iHeartRadio digital service.... »»»
April 24, 2015 - Food Bank For New York City, the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs, raised more than $2 million last night with Little Big Town helping out. More than 600 people came out to support Food Bank For New York City in the fight against hunger,... »»»
April 24, 2015 - The George Jones Museum, celebrating the life and work of one of the singer, opened with a gala event Thursday with more than 800 people attending. aomi Judd, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Greenwood, Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, T. Graham Brown, John Rich, T.G. Sheppard, Dierks Bentley and Lorrie Morgan were among those showing up.... »»»
April 23, 2015 - Chris Janson announced Thursday he has signed a record deal with Warner. Janson, who had stints on two other labels, is riding the wave of his current single "Buy Me a Boat," which is in the Billboard top 40. "So excited to say I signed a record Deal With Warner ya'll," Janson posted on his Facebook page.... »»»
April 23, 2015 - Reba McEntire topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending May 2 with her first disc in five years, "Love Somebody," also good for third on the overall charts. Sam Hunt continued his domination of the Hot Country Songs chart with "Take Your Time." Dwight Yoakam debuted in second... »»»
April 22, 2015 - John Anderson is back. He will release his first album in nine years, "Goldmine," on May 26 on his own label, Bayou Boys Music. Anderson wrote or co-wrote 12 of the 13 tracks. Anderson produced the record with long-time friend and producer Joe Spivey. "With 'Goldmine', I thought, first off, I'm... »»»
April 22, 2015 - Willie Nelson is going up in smoke with Willie's Reserve, his own brand of marijuana. Willie's Reserve will be grown, distributed and sold by local businesses in Colorado and Washington and will become available in other markets when state regulations allow. Nelson has been an outspoken supporter... »»»
April 22, 2015 - Reba McEntire has the top selling country disc in the U.S. and third overall on the Billboard charts with "Love Somebody." "Love Somebody" sold more than 62,000 units, scoring her ninth top 10 album. McEntire's last release, "All the Women I Am," was seventh in its debut week with 64,000 units sold.... »»»
April 21, 2015 - Brett Eldredge released a video today for his new single, "Lost My Mind," which will be on his sophomore release. "Lost My Mind" goes for ads on May 4 and is also available as a video. "I've had experiences like this," Eldredge says of the song, written by Eldredge, Ross Copperman and Heather Morgan.... »»»
April 21, 2015 - Reba McEntire came out squarely in favor of gay rights, including gay marriage. McEntire made the comments in a story posted at Pride Source, a gay issue web site. McEntire, who has enjoyed support from the LGBT community, said equality and same sex marriages were "very important" to her.... »»»
April 21, 2015 - The SteelDrivers' will dish out its fourth album of driving bluegrass, "The Muscle Shoals Recordings," on June 16 on Rounder. Rolling Stone Country is offering an exclusive premiere of "Brother John," which features slide guitar by Jason Isbell, who also co-produced the track. The album is largely... »»»
April 20, 2015 - Following a surprise appearance on Sunday at the Academy of Country Music awards, Randy Travis, who suffered a stroke two years ago, posted a thank you to his fans for their support. Travis received a standing ovation from the crowd in Arlington, Texas and appeared stiff in his movements.... »»»
April 20, 2015 - Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson appear to be acknowledging the April 20, aka 420, the day promoting marijuana usage, with the release of their single and video "It's All Going to Pot," by Legacy Recordings. Based in Texas swing, hooks and sing-a-long lyrics about an emerging 21st century cannabis... »»»
April 19, 2015 - Luke Bryan won the biggest Academy of Country Music Award of the night, Entertainer of the Year. But Miranda Lambert had a pretty good night as well, winning the Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist, Album of the Year and Song of the Year at the Academy of Country Music awards on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.... »»»
April 19, 2015 - Country Thunder USA: East was named Festival of the Year at the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. Country Thunder is based in Twin Lakes, Wis. The ACM Industry Awards, voted on by the Academy's professional members, honor the behind-the-scenes industry professionals and venues.... »»»
April 17, 2015 - George Strait may be done with touring, but he is not done releasing new music. Strait is releasing a new single, "Let It Go," to radio. Strait wrote the song with his son Bubba and Keith Gattis. Strait will perform the song live on Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Arlington, Texas.... »»»
April 17, 2015 - Miranda Lambert wrote a song, "Two of a Crime," for a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Lambert said she did so after being asked by Witherspoon to contribute a track for the upcoming comedy, "Hot Pursuit." Lambert said, "Reese texted me and told me about the movie and wanted me to write... »»»
April 17, 2015 - All roads are pointing to Arlington, Texas this weekend as the Academy of Country Music Awards are being held there on Sunday night. Miranda Lambert was nominated in all seven ACM categories, although she received a total of eight nominations because she received two in the same category for Song of the Year.... »»»
April 17, 2015 - Media mogul Kenny Chesney is not satisfied just having a radio outlet. He's now going the TV route. Chesney announced today he is launching No Shoes TV to go along with No Shoes Radio. No Shoes TV, which will rest on his web site, is a round-up of the best moments at this year's The Big Revival... »»»
April 16, 2015 - Sam Hunt is once again at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, for the week ending April 25, with "Take Your Time." This marks Hunt's 10th week at the top, making it the 16th single to top the charts for more than 10 weeks since the chart launched in 1958, according to Billboard.... »»»
April 16, 2015 - Jason Isbell will release "Something More Than Free," his fifth album, on July 17 via Southeastern Records. The 11 songs are Isbell's most sonically diverse album to date, according to a press release. The opening track, "If It Takes A Lifetime" exudes a classic country tone, while "24 Frames"... »»»
April 16, 2015 - Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum survived a fire, which gutted her tour bus this morning. Scott posted a message on the band's Facebook page, "Hey guys, we had a crazy morning on the way to Dallas today. Our bus tire caught on fire and we had to evacuate very quickly. EVERYONE IS SAFE AND SOUND.... »»»
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April 15, 2015 - Garth Brooks will be heading to Knoxville. Brooks announced this morning via email that the first Tennessee date of his world tour will be at the Thompson Boling Arena on May 29-30. Tickets go on sale April 24 at 10 a.m. eastern time. The Knoxville stops are part of his world tour, which started in... »»»
April 15, 2015 - "Revival: The Sam Bush Story" chronicling the life and musical journey of the newgrass pioneer, will have its world premiere at the Nashville Film Festival on April 21. Produced by Wannabe Films and See Forever Entertainment and co-directed by Wayne Franklin and Kris Wheeler, the film debuts at Regal... »»»
April 14, 2015 - Two country veterans - Reba McEntire and Dwight Yoakam - are out with new albums today. For McEntire, "Love Somebody" marks her debut as the flagship artist of the Nash Icon label, which is part of Big Machine. McEntire co-produced the disc with Tony Brown, James Stroud and Doug Sisemore and covers... »»»
April 13, 2015 - Alan Jackson will release, "Angels and Alcohol," his first studio album in 3 years of all new music on July 17. Jackson wrote 7 of the 10 songs. "Angels and Alcohol," his 15th studio album, comes 25 years after his debut "Here In The Real World." Two years ago, Jackson released "The Bluegrass Album.... »»»
April 13, 2015 - Chris Shiflett, frontman of Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants and guitarist for Foo Fighters, re-launched his Walking The Floor podcast of interviews Brad Paisley. The podcast, which debuted on Rolling Stone Country this morning, can also be downloaded. The second half of the interview will be... »»»
April 13, 2015 - Mumford & Sons announced tour June and August tour dates for North America. The tour will support "Wilder Man," the band's disc, which comes out May . Dates are: June 2 - Brooklyn, NY - Coney Island - MCU Park June 5/6 *Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Seaside Heights, NJ* - w/Alabama... »»»
April 9, 2015 - Justin Moore could be coming to a home near you soon. Moore said he would do a home concert for one lucky fan through a contest on his web site - depending on sales of his "Off the Beaten Path" CD. In a recent announcement to his fan club email subscribers, he said that each time a new album sales... »»»
April 9, 2015 - Darius Rucker led the Billboard Top Country Albums with "Southern Style" for the week ending April 18. Sam Hunt continued dominating the Hot Country Songs chart with "Take Your Time." On the albums chart, Rucker displaced last week's chart topper, "Spring Break...Checkin' Out," from Luke Bryan.... »»»
April 8, 2015 - Ace guitarist Larry Campbell and singer Teresa Williams, who both were part of Levon Helm's band, will take center stage with their self-titled debut album on Red House Records on June 23 with a self-titled disc. After decades of marriage and seven years working closely with Helm - Campbell as... »»»
April 8, 2015 - Darius Rucker's new CD debuts in style with the seventh spot on the Billboard 200 and the top selling country disc in the land. "Southern Style" sold 57,000 units in its debut week for Rucker's fourth top 10 solo album. This is Rucker's fourth chart topper on the country list with "Learn to Live,"... »»»
April 8, 2015 - The State of the Union will continue in Americana music with a concert series this spring and summer in Chicago, New York, Nashville and Napa, Cal. The Americana Music Association, City Winery and Newport Folk Presents announced today the second edition of their State of the Union series of shows... »»»
April 7, 2015 - Loretta Lynn, Alabama, Eric Church and Luke Bryan were among the winners of Academy of Country Music Awards honors, it was announced Tuesday. Alabama took the Career Achievement Award. The Crystal Milestone Award went to Lynn, while Bryan was chosen for the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award.... »»»
April 7, 2015 - Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Maddie & Tae and Chris Young were added to the CMA Music Festival nightly concerts at LP Field taking place Thursday through Sunday, June 11-14 in Nashville. They join previously announced performers including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett... »»»
April 7, 2015 - Kristian Bush, one-half of Sugarland, and a few well-respected indie artists released new albums today. Bush is out with his solo debut "Southern Gravity" on Streamsound. The dozen-song disc, which he co-produced with Tom Tapley, veers towards mainstream country. Pokey LaFarge releases his seventh... »»»
April 6, 2015 - Dwight Yoakam is streaming his forthcoming album, "Second Hand Heart," exclusively on NPR First Listen. Yoakam self-produced "Second Hand Heart," out on Warner/Reprise on April 14. The album was mixed by engineer Chris Lord-Alge, who also co-produced three tracks with Yoakam ("She," "Believe," and "The Big Time").... »»»
April 6, 2015 - Trace Adkins has a new label - Broken Bow. Adkins, who most recently was with Show Dog-Universal Music after spending most of his career at Capitol Nashville, will release a new disc later this year, it was announced Monday. "Trace Adkins has built a career and a legacy doing things his own way,... »»»
April 6, 2015 - The rumors about Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler are true. The hard rocker turned country singer apparently is going to release an album on Dot Records, part of the Big Machine Label Group, it was announced Monday. Tyler previously confirmed the release of a solo country album during a surprise... »»»
April 6, 2015 - Four music veterans formed an artist-driven bluegrass and acoustic label, it was announced today. Mike Bentley, Jeff Brown, Shannon Slaughter and Dale Felts formed Union House Records with a soon to be released new single by Mike Bentley & Cumberland Gap Connection with the full album hitting stores later this year.... »»»
April 3, 2015 - Chris Stapleton won the first award of the night at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, "Song of the Year," for "Nobody to Blame." Stapleton, who has made a habit of winning honors despite being left of center in the country community, said, ""You got to be kidding me.... »»»
April 3, 2015 - Toby Keith is not putting the brakes on. In fact, his new single, "35 PMH Town," is the first single and title of his next CD. There was no word on a release date for Keith. The song arrives at iTunes and other digital retailers April 7. Keith co-wrote the new single with long-time collaborator... »»»
April 3, 2015 - The Gibson Brothers will be honored by the State University of New York (SUNY) with honorary degrees of doctor of fine arts at SUNY Plattsburgh's 2015 commencement, on May 15. Both Leigh and Eric graduated from the university. Eric received a BA in Secondary Education - English in 1993, and Leigh... »»»
April 3, 2015 - Well-known video director Steven Goldmann, who directed videos for everyone from Alan Jackson to Martina McBride to Brooks & Dunn, is the subject of a funding campaign as he battles cancer. A GoFundMe campaign was started April 2 by long-time Nashville publicist Nancy Russell, seeking to raise $50,000.... »»»
April 2, 2015 - Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt top the Billboard albums and songs chart respectively for the week ending April 11. Bryan led the albums chart with "Spring Break...Checkin' Out." Hunt was second with "Montevallo." "Nashville: On the Record, Volume 2" from the TV show debuted in third, one ahead of another... »»»
April 2, 2015 - Dierks Bentley has created a new digital platform, Sounding Off, that will offer fans an inside look at the tour through a series of exclusive videos. Starting from ground zero all the way through the final notes, clips will be posted online and will also feature cameos from tour openers Kip Moore,... »»»
April 1, 2015 - Concord Music Group announced today it bought independent record labels Vanguard and Sugar Hill from the Welk Music Group. Among the artists on Sugar Hill are Lee Ann Womack, Don Williams, Kasey Chambers, Sam Bush, Sarah Jarosz and Marty Stuart. This is the latest purchase by Concord, which bought... »»»
April 1, 2015 - Chris Young will tape an ACM Session at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville today at 2 p.m. eastern. Young is partnering with ACM and CBS to allow fans inside the Bluebird today by using the new app, Periscope, which provides a live video feed on Twitter. Fans can watch Young on Twitter at @ChrisYoungMusic.... »»»
April 1, 2015 - Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler said last night at the Grand Ole Opry that he was working on a country album, according to Rolling Stone Country. Rumors have been floating in recent months that the hard rocker was doing the country thing. Tyler walked onstage at the Opry on Tuesday while Eric... »»»