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Country News Digest, April 2018


2018 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct
2017 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec
2016 news: Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul - Aug - Sep - Oct - Nov - Dec

April 30, 2018 - Maddie & Tae, the duo behind "Girl in a Country Song," returned on Friday with a new single, "Friends Don't," the duo's first song since signing with Mercury Nashville. Written by Maddie & Tae, aka Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye along with Justin Ebach and Jon Nite, is the first single from their sophomore album.... »»»
April 30, 2018 - Kenny Chesney will release "Songs for the Saints" on July 27. Co-produced with Buddy Cannon, the release contains a dozen songs. "So much has happened since I went off the road in 2016," Chesney said. "And all of it, in one way or another, has ended up on this record. It's special to me because of... »»»
April 30, 2018 - Gillian Welch will launch "An Evening With" tour dates in cities including Las Vegas, Portland, Ore. and New Orleans. Welch and her musical partner, David Rawlings, will perform two full sets of music with no opener. Welch will co-headline a Red Rocks Amphitheatre show with Punch Brothers on Sept.... »»»
April 29, 2018 - Jason Aldean continues to have the only country disc in the Billboard top 10. "Rearview Town" fell from first to fifth in its second week out with 38,000 units, down 79 percent. J. Cole's "KOD" moved 397,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 26 to lead the... »»»
April 27, 2018 - Keith Urban and Willie Nelson lead the releases out today. Urban drops "Graffiti U," the follow-up to his 2016 release "Ripcord." He already had released "Female" and "Coming Home." The disc features more than 30 songwriting, producer and featured guest performance credits, including Greg Wells, Dann... »»»
April 26, 2018 - MerleFest kicked off its 31st annual homecoming today with a line-up that marked the debut of Kirs Kristofferson at the festival at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. Kristofferson was backed by The Strangers, Merle Haggard's original backing band and son Ben Haggard.... »»»
April 25, 2018 - Cody Canada and the Departed will be out with "3" on June 29 on Underground Sound. The disc contains 14 songs of hard-edged country and rock from the trio. Working with producer Mike McClure, the band tracked their new material during breaks while touring schedule. "The idea was to get into the... »»»
April 24, 2018 - Jason Aldean had the best selling CD in the U.S. with "Rearview Town," which also meant it was first on the Top Country Albums chart. "Meant to Be," the megahit from Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line stayed first on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending April 28.... »»»
April 23, 2018 - Michael Ray released the cover and track list for his sophomore effort, "Amos," which drops June 1. The album is named after Ray's grandfather, who passed away two months prior to Ray's debut on the Grand Ole Opry. It was Amos who inspired Ray's passion for music, inviting him to play with the family... »»»
April 23, 2018 - Jason Aldean's "Rearview Town" will be the best selling disc in the country when the charts are out Tuesday, the first country CD to lead the Top 200 chart this year. Aldean scored 183,000 equivalent album units with 162,000 in traditional album sales. This was Aldean's fourth straight debut at the top.... »»»
April 22, 2018 - Shania Twain apologized via Twitter to for saying in an interview with The Guardian that she would have voted for President Trump in last year's election. Twain, who is Canadian, claimed she was surprised by the question and "awkwardly" responded. Her comments about the president came at the end of the... »»»
April 20, 2018 - Brothers Osborne are finally out with their sophomore effort, while veteran band Old Crow Medicine Show releases a disc of their own material and Joshua Hedley is out with his ultra-traditional debut. Brothers Osborne scored hits on their full-length debut with "Stay a Little Longer," "It Ain't My... »»»
April 19, 2018 - Amanda Shires will release her fifth album, "To the Sunset," on Aug. 3 on Silver Knife/Thirty Tigers. This is the singer/violinist's second album with Grammy award-winning producer Dave Cobb. Shires reportedly goes for an edgier sound and attitude. The disc is a collection of narratives often told... »»»
April 19, 2018 - Lee Ann Womack, Brandy Clark, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jade Bird and John Oates were among the first artists named who will perform at the AmericanaFest in September in Nashville. The Americana Music Association, which sponsors the fest, announced today 74 of more than 250 artists slated to play at... »»»
April 19, 2018 - Montgomery Gentry released a new single, "Get Down South," from the duo's album "Here's to You." The song was penned by John Wiggins, Bob Moffat, Clint Moffat and Troy Johnson. A video is slated to be released in the coming weeks, the label said. The disc was released in early February, about six... »»»
April 18, 2018 - Grammy and CMA award winner Randy Scruggs died Tuesday after a short illness at 64. Scruggs was the middle son of Earl Scruggs and Louise Scruggs, who was her husband's business manager. Randy Scruggs had his first recording at the age of 13. In 1970 he released "All the Way Home" with older brother Gary.... »»»
April 18, 2018 - Carrie Underwood will release her new album, "Cry Pretty," on Sept. 14, she announced today. This will be her first studio album on Capitol Records Nashville. The title track and lead single was released worldwide on April 11 and is the most added song at country radio this week.... »»»
April 17, 2018 - Chris Stapleton's wife, Morgane, gave thanks in an Instagram post to the Nashville hospital staff for treating their premature twins. The couple have not said the children's names, nor given any further details, including the exact birth date. On the post, Stapletons wrote, "Thank you for all the... »»»
April 17, 2018 - "Meant to Be," the megahit for Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, continued dominating the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as it was first for the week ending April 21. Kane Brown was first on the Top Country Albums chart with his self-titled debut. On the songs chart, Brown stayed second with... »»»
April 17, 2018 - The duo The Milk Carton Kids will be out with their fourth disc, "All the Things I Did And All the Things I Didn't Do," on June 29. Joe Henry produced the set from Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. The disc features a band, a major change. The centerpiece of the disc is "One More For The Road," a 10... »»»
April 16, 2018 - Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have announced summer tour dates bringing them to the midwest, east and west from July through September. Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann has been tapped as support for most of the dates. The band recently took home two Grammy awards for Best Americana Album for "The... »»»
April 15, 2018 - Chris Stapleton was a no show at the Academy of Country Music Awards show on Sunday. But he had an excellent reason - he became the father of twins as wife, Morgane, who sings backing vocals for him, gave birth to twins. Host Reba McEntire announced the news after Stapleton won Album of the Year for... »»»
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April 15, 2018 - Jason Aldean was the big winner on Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, by taking Entertain of the Year. "It's been a tough year, and I just want to say thank you to everybody who reached out to us," he said, adding, "It meant the world to us. To the Route 91 people, you're in our hearts.... »»»
April 13, 2018 - John Prine and Jason Aldean lead the pack of releases today. Prine returns with his first album in 13 years, "The Tree of Forgiveness." Prine, who has overcome bouts with cancer, is known for his keen songwriting abilities. He receives help from the likes of Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.... »»»
April 12, 2018 - Dierks Bentley's ninth studio album, "The Mountain" (Capitol Records Nashville), is dropping June 8. Bentley co-wrote 10 of the 13 new tracks that range in style from rock to acoustic folk. The releases features tracks with Brothers Osborne and Brandi Carlile. Bluegrass aces Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas... »»»
April 12, 2018 - Michael Ray will release his sophomore album, "Amos," on June 1, it was announced today. The album is named after Ray's grandfather, Amos, who was a big influence, including his love of country. Ray first began singing and performing in his grandfather's band when he was only nine years old.... »»»
April 12, 2018 - Sugarland announced today that the duo would release "Bigger" on June 8 on Big Machine and UMG Nashville Records. Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs, which the pair produced along with Julian Raymond. The lead single, "Still The Same," is currently on the charts in advance... »»»
April 11, 2018 - Morgan Wallen will release his debut album "If I Know Me," on April 27 on Big Loud Records. Wallen, 24, co-wrote six songs for the 14-song album, produced by CMA and ACM Award winner Joey Moi. Wallen infuses the music with whiskey-soaked vocals and a Southern rock edge. The first single is "Up Down,"... »»»
April 11, 2018 - Keith Urban is releasing his ninth album, "Graffiti U," on April 27. Urban also is going to start touring behind the disc in June. The Aussie's last album was "Ripcord," which came out in May 2016. The track listing is: Coming Home Never Comin Down Same Heart My Wave Parallel Line Drop... »»»
April 11, 2018 - The Academy of Country Music will stage throwback Thursdays of a sort on Sunday at the awards show as three sets of collaborations reprising hits from 1993. The "ACM Flashbacks" idea is to honor classic country music hits and/or the artists whose music continues to influence musicians and fans alike.... »»»
April 11, 2018 - Kacey Musgraves debuted atop the Billboard Country Albums chart with "Golden Hour" for the week ending April 14. "Meant to Be," the smash from Beba Rexha and Florida Georgia Line yet again was first on the Hot Country Songs chart. On the songs chart, the top seven remained the same: Kane Brown was... »»»
April 10, 2018 - Carrie Underwood announced on Tuesday she would be out with a new single, "Cry Pretty," on Wednesday. Underwood also disclosed on her website that she has been working on new music and co-producing an album for the first time. Underwood said she planned to tour as well. Underwood, who suffered an... »»»
April 9, 2018 - Thomas Rhett announced his autobiographical song "Life Changes," the title-track from his album, as his next single. "This song is basically my autobiography in three minutes," Rhett said. "It covers my college years, marrying Lauren, becoming a dad and the evolution of my music career.... »»»
April 9, 2018 - Canadian guitarist Lindsay Ell released the music video for current single "Criminal" this past weekend. The song is in the top 25 on the U.S. charts, while in her native Canada, this week, "Criminal" was number one at both Mediabase and BDS Canadian Country radio. She is the first Canadian female... »»»
April 6, 2018 - Blackberry Smoke, the Atlanta-based band that leans towards southern rock, is out with "Find a Light" today. Self-produced by the quintet, the disc is Blackberry Smoke's sixth full-length studio album and features 13 new songs written/co-written by lead-singer and guitarist Charlie Starr.... »»»
April 5, 2018 - Dierks Bentley and Live Nation are launching the Seven Peaks Music Festival in Colorado this Labor Day weekend featuring Miranda Lambert. The festival will be held over three days with multiple stages and a campground in Buena Vista, Col from Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Bentley will take the stage several times... »»»
April 4, 2018 - Dan + Shay are climbing the charts with their single "Tequila," but they offered an alternative live and acoustic video of "Tequila" last night. Filmed in a Breckenridge, Col. lodge and directed by Patrick Tracy - the same location and director as the official video - the "Tequila" live and acoustic... »»»
April 3, 2018 - Kenny Chesney will "Get Along" with the new single dropping Friday. Written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne, "Get Along" is a mid-tempo song. Presumably, the song is from a forthcoming album, but there was no information about that. "To me, music is what you make it, and I want... »»»
April 3, 2018 - It's yet another week at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line with "Meant to Be" for the week ending April 7. Kane Brown topped the albums chart with his self-titled debut. On the songs chart, Kane Brown stayed second with "Heaven.... »»»
April 2, 2018 - Kelly Willis announced she will release her first album in 11 years in May. "Back Being Blue" drops May 18. Willis will tour behind the disc in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The new release is the Texan's first solo album since 2002's "Easy." But since then, she has release three albums with... »»»