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Country News Digest, January 2017

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January 31, 2017 - Little Big Town has the top song on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending Feb. 11 with "Better Man." Chris Stapleton was again first on the Top Country Albums chart with "Traveller." LBT assumed the top from Keith Urban's "Blue Ain't Your Color," which fell to second.... »»»
January 31, 2017 - Steve Moakler, who has enjoyed songwriting success, will headline The Highway Finds Tour this spring, with special guests Drew Baldridge and Smithfield. The singer-songwriter, who launched as a Highway Find in 2016, will headline the 26-city tour, crisscrossing the country beginning March 16.... »»»
January 31, 2017 - The Steel Wheels, the Virginia bluegrass, country, folk and Americana band, is out with "Wild As We Came Here" on May 5. Produced by Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Elephant Revival) in his rural Maine farmhouse turned recording studio, all four band members -Trent Wagler (banjo, guitar),... »»»
January 31, 2017 - Kane Brown will appear on tonight's "Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2017" at 9 p.m. eastern on CBS. Hosted by CBS Sports analyst Boomer Esiason and "NCIS: Los Angeles" star Daniela Ruah, Brown will also be in the countdown special with Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier reporting from... »»»
January 30, 2017 - German-based BMG bought Broken Bow Records, one of the most successful independent labels, it was announce today. BMG formally purchased BBR Music Group, including its associated labels Broken Bow Records, Stoney Creek Records, Wheelhouse Records, Red Bow Records and its music publishing company Magic Mustang Music.... »»»
January 27, 2017 - Brantley Gilbert is out with lots of songs today on his latest disc today, while Lauren Alaina finally returns with her sophomore effort. GIlbert's "The Devil Don't Sleep" contains 16 songs in its regular version, while the deluxe model has an extra 10. Dann Huff produced the set.... »»»
January 26, 2017 - Sunny Sweeney, who enjoyed a bit of major label success, will release a new album in March. "Trophy" will be released on March 10 via Thirty Tigers with 10 songs. Sweeney, 40, co-wrote the majority of the album with female writers, something that she didn't intentionally set out to do.... »»»
January 26, 2017 - Monument Records, the home of Roy Orbison and the Dixie Chicks, is back in action. Sony Music announced the re-launching of Monument today with industry veterans Jason Owen and Shane McAnally serving as co-presidents of the label. Caitlyn Smith and Walker Hayes are Monument's first artists.... »»»
January 25, 2017 - Dan + Shay added 24 tour dates through the spring. Bailey Bryan and Jackie Lee will open shows for the tour, which starts Feb. 9 in Illinois and concludes April 22 in Missouri. The newest single off of Dan + Shay's 2016 release, "Obsessed," is "How Not To." Adam Hambrick, Paul DiGiovanni and Kevin... »»»
January 25, 2017 - Sam Hunt announced today he would launch his15 in a 30 tour this summer. The singer, who is working on his second album will be joined on the 28-date tour by Maren Morris, Chris Janson and Ryan Follese. The tour starts June 1 in Cleveland and winds up in Nashville on Sept.. 22.... »»»
January 24, 2017 - Luke Bryan announced today on Facebook that he would launch the Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day tour in May. The tour kicks off May 5 in Nashville and concludes Oct. 28 in San Bernardino, Cal. Brett Eldredge. Lauren Alaina, Craig Campbell, Adam Craig, Seth Ennis and Granger Smith will open on various dates.... »»»
January 24, 2017 - Trace Adkins will release his 12th studio album and debut for a Broken Bow Records subsidiary in late March. Adkins also will tour behind the release. "Something's Going On" drops March 31 on Wheelhouse Records. "Watered Down" is the first single. "When I first heard 'Watered Down,' I felt an... »»»
January 23, 2017 - Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl LI pregame festivities at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, February 5, the NFL and FOX announced today. The Super Bowl is the most-watched television program. Others who have sung the National Anthem include Garth Broks, Faith Hill,... »»»
January 23, 2017 - Florida Georgia Line is out with a new single, "God, Your Mama, And Me," which features Backstreet Boys. FGL's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley describe Backstreet Boys as an important early influence. The former boy band lends backing harmonies on the song. "Gotta take it all the way back to sixth grade.... »»»
January 23, 2017 - Charlie Worsham will finally release his sophomore disc in April. Worsham, who debuted in 2013, will be out with "Beginning of Things" on April 21. The title track premiered today at NPR Music with five songs available this Friday. Co-produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, Aubrie... »»»
January 23, 2017 - Carly Pearce, perhaps best known for singing vocals on a Josh Abbott song, signed with Big Machine Label Group, it was announced today. "8 years in Nashville, 2 years in Pigeon Forge & 26 years of country music dreams," Pearce posted on Facebook. "To all the dreamers out there, let me be a light to you... »»»
January 20, 2017 - At 91, bluegrass great Mac wiseman shows no signs of slowing down. He is out with his latest, "I Sang the Song," on Mountain Fever Records. Wiseman recorded the disc with the help of Nashville singer/songwriter Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz. The three met for nine Sundays at Wiseman's home to write the... »»»
January 18, 2017 - Lady Antebellum returns to radio airwaves today with "You Look Good," the debut single off their sixth studio album, "Heart Break," (Capitol Nashville), to be released June 9. After taking time to pursue solo projects last year, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood will return to the road,... »»»
January 17, 2017 - Marty Stuart will release "Way Out West," his 18th studio album, on March 10 on Superlatone. The album was conceived as a love letter by Stuart to California. "If you go and sit by yourself in the middle of the Mojave Desert at sundown and you're still the same person the next morning when the sun... »»»
January 17, 2017 - Eli Young Band learned last night that one of their two buses was destroyed in a fire, but no one was hurt. The band received a call from their long-time driver Randy Moore with news that one of their two busses, the band bus and trailer, were on fire. Parked just outside of Topeka, Kan.... »»»
January 17, 2017 - Aaron Watson has a tough act to follow when he releases "Vaquero" in late February. That's because his 2015 disc, "The Underdog," was an indie release that hit number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, marking the first time an independent, male country artist had ever debuted at the top spot.... »»»
January 17, 2017 - The Academy of Country Music announced today that the 52ND Academy of Country Music Awards will be held April 2 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The ACMs have been held in Sin City for a number of years. Tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. on Jan. 26. The arena opened in April... »»»
January 17, 2017 - Two years after taking a break from her career to raise her daughter, Gretchen Wilson is back with a new single "Rowdy." Wilson, who played the redneck woman role when she burst onto the scene in 2004, recently went back in the studio with producer Blake Chancey. "Rowdy" is the first single from the... »»»
January 17, 2017 - Kane Brown released the third single, "What If," from his full-length debut today. Lauren Alaina helps out on the song. "What If" goes for adds on Feb. 6. Brown wrote the song with Matthew McGinn and Jordan Schmidt. "Kane Brown" came out in December with the release already having the singles "AIn't... »»»
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January 17, 2017 - Thomas Rhett has not even started ghis 2017 Home Team Tour yet, but he announced today he is adding dates. Rhett plans to return to Europe while also making his debut headlining run in Canada. The tour starts Feb. 23 in Saginaw, Mich. In late September 2016, Rhett initially announced 15 tour dates in the U.S.... »»»
January 15, 2017 - Toby Keith is playing during the inauguration activities surrounding President-elect Donald Trump, and he's not apologizing for it either. "I don't apologize for performing for our country or military. I performed at events for previous Presidents Bush and Obama, and over 200 shows in Iraq and Afghanistan for the USO.... »»»
January 15, 2017 - Billy Currington will hit the road in March for his Do I Make You Wanna ... Stay Up 'til the Sun? Tour. the tour will go into June with a date in Atlanta announced for June 1. Currington is touring behind his sixth studio release, "Summer Forever," which contains the single "Do I Make You Wanna.... »»»
January 15, 2017 - Jason Aldean will launch the They Don't Know Tour later this year with Chris Young and Kane Brown opening. While few specific dates were announced, Aldean did name the cities he would play including Los Angeles, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington. Aldean starts the tour in Toledo, Ohio on April 27.... »»»
January 15, 2017 - Zac Brown Band will kick off its 2017 headlining North American concert tour on May 12 in their hometown of Atlanta. The 40-plus date tour sees the band returning to stadiums and amphitheaters including Hollywood Bowl, Wrigley Field, Coors Field, Gorge Amphitheatre and Camden's BB&T Pavilion where last... »»»
January 13, 2017 - The Infamous Stringdusters return with "Laws of Gravity," a 13-song set that follows last year's disc with female singers and a tour with NIcki Bluhm. The quintet produced the release with Billy Hume and recorded it in Nashville and Virginia. Natalie Hemby, better known as a songwriter, particularly... »»»
January 12, 2017 - Mo Pitney, the voice beyond "A Boy and a Girl Thing," became a father on Thursday. He announced the the birthday of his daughter via Facebook. "Well, Evelyne Nadine decided to have her birthday early! Em and I had a number of scares this morning but God intercepted every one of them with His powerful sovereign love..... »»»
January 12, 2017 - The Little Big Town family has expanded again. Kimberly Schlapman posted on Facebook on Thursday that she and her husband, Stephen,have adopted a baby girl. "The New Year brought our family new love. We're so excited to introduce you to Daisy's little sister, Dolly Grace. ❤️," Schlapman posted.... »»»
January 11, 2017 - Keith Urban stayed atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with "Blue Ain't Your Color" for the week ending Jan. 21. Chris Stapleton regained the top spot with "Traveller," which had been third. Florida Georgia Line held second on the songs chart with "May We All," which features Tim McGraw.... »»»
January 11, 2017 - Margo Price, Cam and Luke Combs will play Bonnaroo this June. They are among a few country and Americana artists playing the annual festival in Manchester, Tenn. U2, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Weeknd are among the main acts playing the festival being held June 8-11. Canadian band The... »»»
January 10, 2017 - Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby will again join force starting in late February for a short tour. "I always get excited when I know I'm gonna get to tour with my good friend Bruce Hornsby," said Skaggs. "Fireworks always happen." Skaggs' Kentucky Thunder will join them on the tour.... »»»
January 9, 2017 - Alison Krauss will release her first solo disc in 18 years when "Windy City" drops Feb. 17. "Windy City" features Krauss performing 10 classic songs that she selected with producer Buddy Cannon. "Losing You" is the lead song from the release. This marks her first solo release since "Forget About It" in 1999.... »»»
January 9, 2017 - Ruth Jackson, 86, the mother of Alan Jackson, died at her home in Newman, Ga. on Saturday. "Mama Ruth," as she was known, was the subject of several songs by her son, including "Livin' on Love" and "Home." In the latter song, Jackson wrote, ""My mama raised five children - four girls, and there was... »»»
January 9, 2017 - The Mavericks will release "Brand New Day," their first independent studio album on their own label, Mono Mundo Recordings/Thirty Tigers, on March 31. After years on major labels, including MCA and Big Machine, The Mavericks founded Mono Mundo and the release of their first live album, 2016's "All... »»»
January 6, 2017 - Rascal Flatts released a new single, "Yours If You Want It," today from its forthcoming disc. Co-written by Andrew Dorff, who died last month, and Jonathan Singleton, the sing-along was produced by Rascal Flatts. The track premiered on iHeartCountry Radio Stations nationwide. The song follows the... »»»
January 5, 2017 - Blake Shelton announced today that he would expand his Ole Red music entertainment complex to Nashville and his current residence of Tishomingo, Okla. "The secret's out! We're bringing Ole Red to Nashville and Tishomingo, OK!!" Shelton posted on Facebook. The Nashville version will be on Lower... »»»
January 5, 2017 - Rodney Crowell announced he would release a new disc in March. "Close Ties" is coming out March 31 on New West Records, the label for which he released his last disc, "Tarpaper Sky," in 2014. The veteran singer, who has been recording for 40 years, also released a video for the song "It Ain't Over... »»»
January 4, 2017 - Hunter Hayes will debut "All For You," an original song featured in Paramount Pictures' forthcoming feature film "Monster Trucks," on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday. Hayes penned the upbeat tune with fellow Nashville writers Jon Nite and Emily Weisband and will perform the song live for the... »»»
January 3, 2017 - Michigan native Ryan Hurd has signed with Sony Nashville, he announced today via Twitter. "Couldn't be more proud to be a part of @SonyNashville and @RCARecords. This is the only job I've wanted since I was 11, dream come true!" Hurd tweeted. Hurd has written songs recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks... »»»
January 2, 2017 - Sam Hunt dropped a new song, "Drink Too Much," on Sunday. Hunt posted on his Twitter feed "Redemption. New music - Drinkin' Too Much" with a link to the new song. The track combines spoken vocals with a bit of a slow, somewhat jazzy, somewhat hip hop beat. The song describes his success, while a... »»»
January 2, 2017 - William Michael Morgan and Jennifer Wayne, a member of Runaway June, got engaged at the end of 2016. Wayne, who is the granddaughter of late western John Wayne, posted on Twitter, "It's you and me... Forever :)." An accompanying photo shows them with their hands clasped. Morgan, a native of Vicksburg, Miss.... »»»