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Country News Digest, April 2016

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April 29, 2016 - Martina McBride releases her 13th studio album, "Reckless," today, marking her debut for the Nash Icon label. McBride produced the release along with Nathan Chapman and Dann Huff. The title track, penned by Sarah Buxton, Zach Crowell and Heather Morgan, is the first... »»»
April 28, 2016 - Charley Pride is celebrating 50 years in music with a set of North American tour dates throughout 2016. A The man behind "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" and "My San Antonio Rose," fans will return to the Grand Ole Opry stage on June 10 and 11, where he has been a member since 1993.... »»»
April 28, 2016 - Mary Chapin Carpenter's new album, "The Things That We Are Made Of," is now streaming at NPR Music's First Listen series. Out next Friday, May 6, on Lambent Light Records via Thirty Tigers, "The Things That We Are Made Of" also will be available on vinyl, Carpenter's first since 1992's "Come On Come On.... »»»
April 27, 2016 - Keith Urban will kick off his new album, "Ripcord," next week with an hour-long event at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York. Urban will give a 60-minute event featuring a Q&A and performance, which will be broadcast on iHeartMedia mainstream country radio stations. The show will be at 6:30 p.m. eastern.... »»»
April 27, 2016 - Big & Rich, who just charted with "Look at You" and "Run Away With You," will hit the road this summer. The duo have a new single, "Lovin' Lately" featuring Tim McGraw. The song is from their 2014 release, "Gravity." Tour dates are: April 29 - Live Oak, Fla. - Suwannee River Jam April 30 - Lincoln, Ala.... »»»
April 27, 2016 - The The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced today its Official Showcase Artists, a group of 30 acts that will be a part of the Bluegrass Ramble during the IBMA's World of Bluegrass events in Raleigh, N.C. from Sept. 27-29. Participants include: 10 String Symphony - Nashville... »»»
April 26, 2016 - The inaugural Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival will feature Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon and the David Grisman Sextet at its West Virginia setting in September, it was announced today. Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Shooter Jennings with... »»»
April 26, 2016 - Sturgill Simpson's major label debut, "Sailor's Guide to Earth," topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending May 7. Dierks Bentley once again is first on the Hot Country Songs chart with "Somewhere on a Beach." Tim McGraw remains second on the songs chart with "Humble and Kind.... »»»
April 25, 2016 - Dolly Parton is heading out on her largest North American tour in more than two decades in June. Parton announced dates for the first leg of the Pure & Simple Tour, which is concentrated in the east and south. The tour coincides with the summer release of her double-disc album "Pure & Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits.... »»»
April 25, 2016 - Maddie & Tae announced today the release of a new single, "Sierra." The Tex-Mex-styled song is the fourth single from the duo's debut album, "Start Here," which came out in August 2015. The song is about a student that Maddie knew in high school, who she did not like. Maddie Marlow and Taylor (Tae)... »»»
April 24, 2016 - Kenny Chesney kicked off his 2016 Spread The Love Tour on Saturday with the first ever concert in the 75-year history of Jordan-Hare Stadium. Chesney played 24songs over the course of 2 hours. "Sometimes you can feel the energy long before you hit the stage," Chesney said.... »»»
April 24, 2016 - George Strait started his Las Vegas residency Friday with a sold-out show, which included a tribute to the late Merle Haggard. Strait packed the new T-Mobile Arena and captivated a record-setting 19,222 fans during the opening night of his Strait to Vegas exclusive concert series "I've missed you... »»»
April 24, 2016 - Sturgill Simpson, who stretches behind his country/Americana sounds with "Sailor's Guide to Earth," will have the number three disc on the Billboard charts when it is out on Tuesday. Simpson moved 55,000 units including 52,000 in pure albums sales. Chris Stapleton is seventh with " Traveller," which... »»»
April 22, 2016 - Hillary Scott will become the second member of Lady Antebellum to go the solo route. Scott, one-third of the band, announced today via Instagram that she was going to release "Love Remains," a faith-based album" under the moniker Hillary Scott & the Scott Family. "It's a collection of songs that I... »»»
April 22, 2016 - After previously smashing attendance records set by Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band at Boston's Fenway Park, Jason Aldean sold out his Sept. 9 return to the home of the Red Sox in 90 minutes this morning. Aldean was the first country act to headline at Fenway. In September, he will co-headline... »»»
April 21, 2016 - The Earls of Leicester, the award-winning, all-star bluegrass sextet, will release its second album, "Rattle & Roar," on July 15 on Rounder Records. The disc is the follow-up to the Earls' eponymous debut, which earned a Grammy award for Best Bluegrass Album. The band also went on to win six... »»»
April 21, 2016 - Sara Watkins, one-third of Nickel Creek, has signed a record deal with New West Records. Watkins will release "Young In All The Wrong Ways" on July 1. Watkins , who also plays with Watkins Family Hour, described the 10-song disc as a "breakup album with myself." She will launch a tour in the fall,... »»»
April 21, 2016 - This year's event - April 28-May 1 in Wilkesboro, N.C. - has plenty of both and with a full four days of music it can be daunting to decide who to check out, and when. Country Standard Time's Kevin Oliver will be on site covering the festival, and here is his preview of 10 bands you might not know... »»»
April 20, 2016 - Dan + Shay announced today that they will release their sophomore album, "Obsessed," on June 3 as the follow up to their chart topping "Where It All Began" on Warner. "The idea for the album title, "Obsessed," came directly from our fans," said Dan Smyers. "Our fans know we live on social media... »»»
April 20, 2016 - Reba will appear on The Talk on April 27 to chat about her 40-year career that spans across music, television, film, theater, retail. The show, which airs on CBS at 2 p.m. eastern,1 p.m. Pacific,, is hosted by Sharon Osbourne, Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood.... »»»
April 19, 2016 - Sammy Kershaw got the blues. At least that's what he's going to play when his next disc is out in May. " The Blues Got Me" (Big Hit Records/RED), out May 13, features 11 tunes with ties to Kershaw's Louisiana roots and Memphis. "This album has been in the works for a long time and I thank God for... »»»
April 19, 2016 - Dierks Bentley jumped to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending April 30 with "Somewhere on a Beach." Bentley, who was fourth last week, took over for Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind," which fell to second. Chris Stapleton was first on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller.... »»»
April 18, 2016 - Blake Shelton announced a fall tour today that will start in his home state of Oklahoma. Shelton will tour behind his upcoming new disc, "If I'm Honest," which crops in May. The first single is "Came Here to Forget." Tour dates are: Sept. 9-10 - Oklahoma City, Okla. Chesapeake Energy Arena Sept. 15 - Peoria, IL.... »»»
April 17, 2016 - Chris Stapleton has the leading country disc in the Billboard top 10 as "Traveller" was third on the chart. Stapleton's debut had 48,000 units, down 34 percent. The number one disc in the U.S. is "Cleopatra," the second release from The Lumineers, which moved 125,000 album equivalent units (sales,... »»»
April 15, 2016 - Sturgill Simpson gained much acclaim with 2014's "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music." His brand new "A Soldier's Guide to Earth" finds him on a new label (Atlantic) and different sounds. This is not particularly steeped in country, although it is around the edges. Simpson also gets a bit more bluesy... »»»
April 15, 2016 - Jason Aldean will return to the road as his Six String Circus launches May 19th in Arkansas with a date once again at Boston's Fenway Park. Thomas Rhett and A Thousand Horses will provide support on the tour. Aldean was the first country artist ever to play Fenway. He will co-headline the stadium on Sept.... »»»
April 14, 2016 - The Infamous Stringdusters announced a summer tour today, which will include a kick-off at Red Rocks in Colorado. Lee Ann Womack and Nicki Bluhm, who both appeared on the band's new Ladies & Gentlemen" CD,, will play Red Rocks. Bluhm also has appeared on recent tour dates with the band.... »»»
April 14, 2016 - The sixth All for the Hall benefit concert on Wednesday at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena raised more than $712,0000 to support the museum's education programs. Keith Urban and Vince Gill led a star-studded evening that featured performances from Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Peter Frampton, Emmylou... »»»
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April 13, 2016 - Elizabeth Cook will release "Exodus of Venus" on June 17 (Agent Love Records/Thirty Tigers), her first album since 2010's "Welder." The 11 new originals are about heartache and hardship. Cook will start a tour later this month. Patty Loveless sings backing vocals "Strait Jacket Blues.... »»»
April 13, 2016 - After more than five decades of touring and entertaining the world, Kenny Rogers will begin his final world tour in May in Minnesota, a tour slated to run into 2017. Rogers announced late last year on NBC's The Today Show that this upcoming tour would be his last. "The Gambler's Last Deal" will... »»»
April 11, 2016 - Tim McGraw has another number one single on his hands as "Humble and Kind" reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending April 23 after being fourth last week. Chris Stapleton held the top of the Country Albums chart with "Traveller," boosted by taking home six Academy of... »»»
April 11, 2016 - Carrie Underwood announced today she would join Keith Urban on his Australian ripCORD World Tour 2016 this fall. Underwood will play shows on: Tuesday, Dec. 6 Adelaide - Entertainment Centre Thursday, Dec. 8 Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena Saturday, Dec. 10 Canberra - GIO Stadium Monday, Dec.... »»»
April 10, 2016 - A few award show wins go a long way on the Billboard charts. At least that's what Chris Stapleton found out again. "Traveller" surged to second on the chart following six Academy of Country Music awards last Sunday. He also performed at the event had a feature story on him on CBS Sunday Morning.... »»»
April 8, 2016 - Hayes Carll is out with his first album in about five years, "Lovers and Leavers." The 11-song disc includes a song about his son, "The Magic Kid." This is the 40-year-old Texan's first disc since "KMAG YOYO" on 2011, one of two he recorded for Lost Highway. The new release is out through Thirty Tigers.... »»»
April 7, 2016 - Scotty McCreery will hit the road, only this time he's undertaking a tour to support his first book. McCreery launches a 14-city book tour for "Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream," which releases May 3. "Go Big or Go Home" narrates McCreery's journey from a kid imitating Elvis on the... »»»
April 7, 2016 - Sturgill Simpson's upcoming new disc, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth," can be streamed at NPR's First Listen. Starting on Friday, more than 80 independent record stores nationwide will hold special listening events to mark the album release. Participating stores will be given a copy of the album on vinyl... »»»
April 7, 2016 - A Thousand Horses put out a new video for its latest single, "Southernality." The video for the title track, which recently hit country radio, was directed by Shaun Silva. He filmed scenes from A Thousand Horses' performances throughout their current stint opening on Jason Aldean's We Were Here Tour.... »»»
April 7, 2016 - Dr. Ralph Stanley is not slowing down at 89. He announced today that he would release a new batch of songs - some of them actually old and redone - later this month on his label, Stanley Music Group. "The Definitive Collection," produced by his grandson and singer, Nathan Stanley, features 22 classics... »»»
April 6, 2016 - Willie Nelson epitomized the feeling from the country community on Wednesday about the loss of the Merle Haggard, who died earlier in the day at 79 following complications from pneumonia. "He was my brother, my friend. I will miss him," said Nelson in a post on his web site. Nelson had a long... »»»
April 6, 2016 - Merle Haggard, who sang of hard times and epitomized traditional country music and the Bakersfield Sound, died today at 79 on his birthday after battling pneumonia, Associated Press is reporting. The Hag, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has been sick off and on since December, having had to... »»»
April 5, 2016 - Chris Stapleton and Cole Swindell lead the Billboard country charts for the week ending April 16. Stapleton's "Traveller" tops the Top Country Albums chart, while Swindell led the Hot Country Songs chart with "You Should Be Here." Brett Eldredge stayed second on the songs chart with "Drunk On Your Love.... »»»
April 4, 2016 - Steven Tyler today announced the special "Steven Tyler...Out on a Limb" concert at Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall on May 2nd. Director Brett Ratner and Tyler are collaborating on for the benefit for Janie's Fund, Tyler's charity to help girls overcome the trauma of abuse and neglect.... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Jason Aldean won the biggest honor at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music awards show on Sunday, Entertainer of the Year. Chris Stapleton won the most individual honors with six awards including Album of the Year for "Traveller" (as artist and producer), Best Male Vocalist, Best New Male Vocalist... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Jason Aldean won the big prize at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music awards show on Sunday, Entertainer of the Year. "I was just starting to think this one wasn't in the cards for me," Aldean said when he got onstage. "I tell you what. I may be rough around the edges a little bit" he said,... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Chris Stapleton wracked up his fourth honor at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday by winning Male Vocalist of the Year. "Thank you," he said. "There are so many people to thank." He proceeded to give shout outs to people who had helped him along the way. "I got to thank my wife all the... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Miranda Lambert scored a win on Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. "Whew, thank you so much. Awesome. I love you all," she said. Lambert won the award just after Carrie Underwood, who also was nominated, sang "Church Bells." "I just want to say Carrie , you just killed it.... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Little Big Town won Vocal Group of the Year at the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. This was the first win of the night after "Girl Crush" lost out on several awards. "It's such a gift to make music every day, and we're so thankful to do this," said Philip Sweet of LBT.... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Chris Stapleton took a second award - for Album of the Year for "Traveller" at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. "Unbelievable, Garth Brooks just gave me an award from Iowa, I think," he said jokingly. Brooks actually was in the middle of a concert in Ottawa, Canada, when he... »»»
April 3, 2016 - Chris Stapleton will have the only country CD in the Billboard top 10 when the charts are released on Tuesday. Stapleton's "Traveller" sold 31,000 units, down 6 percent, and good for eighth on the chart, down 2 from the previous week. Two country releases that had been in the top 10 - Joey + Rory's... »»»
April 1, 2016 - Eric Church received the Academy of Country Music Video of the Year award in a surprise honor late this afternoon in Las Vegas. Church was handed the award for the song "Mr. Misunderstood," the title track of his surprise disc, which came out in November. Church was with the John Peets, who directed... »»»
April 1, 2016 - Following this week's announcement of his eighth studio album "Black," (Capitol Records Nashville), Dierks Bentley premiered today the first of a short film series based on several of the album's songs through Rolling Stone. Set to the track of "I'll Be The Moon" (featuring Maren Morris), Bentley... »»»
April 1, 2016 - Jason Aldean turns it up with "Lights Come On" as the lead single from his upcoming seventh studio album due out this summer. Now out to country radio and digital retailers. Aldean will debut the track live this Sunday at the 51st Annual ACM Awards at 8 p.m. eastern on CBS. "Being on stage is why I... »»»