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Watch Things "Fall Apart" in New Casey James Video

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleFans can now see the video for Casey James’ new single at CMT.com.  The clip for “Fall Apart” follows the American Idol alum as he and his band mates load a van, and then destroy various objects by throwing them out the window, including a jar of seashells, a guitar and an antique pocket watch.

“Fall Apart” is the first glimpse at Casey’s sophomore album. “When I listen to this music, I feel like it’s my life,” Casey reflects. “All my mistakes. My decisions, good and bad; my thoughts, my hopes… everything that I am and have been through has led me to make this record.” So far, there's no word on the new album’s release date.

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Florida Georgia Line Leads Country Stars Heading to Sin City This Fall

Image Courtesy Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, and Jake Owen lead the pack of stars who’ll storm the Vegas strip for this fall’s Route 91 Harvest Festival. The three-day, two-stage event takes place outdoors at the MGM Resorts Village October 2-4.

A Thousand Horses, Frankie Ballard, Mark Chesnutt, Easton Corbin, Brett Eldredge, GlorianaJoe NicholsJon Pardi, Chase Rice, The Cadillac Three, and Thomas Rhett round out the bill for the event's second year. More than 20,000 fans turned out in 2014.

Tickets go on sale online March 13.

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The Band Perry Trades Arenas for High School Gymnasium

Image Courtesy CMAOn Thursday afternoon, The Band Perry traded arenas in favor of a high school gymnasium, giving hundreds of students the memory of a lifetime. The trio treated students at Wayne County High School in Jesup, Georgia to a private concert, their prize for registering the most pledges not to text and drive in State Farm’s nationwide Celebrate My Drive campaign.

The Band Perry’s road musicians spent the morning meeting with guitar students and members of the marching band, while Kimberly, Reid and Neil visited with the Student Council members who organized the drive, according to The Press Sentinel.  Russell Thomas, the Student Council’s vice president of operations, told the paper, “They’re so humble and nice. They greeted us and talked us through a little bit.”

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Brad Paisley Sends His Condolences to William Shatner

Image Courtesy Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley is one of the many celebrities reaching out to his friend William Shatner after the death of his Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy

“Thoughts &prayers with @WilliamShatner today. Sorry for your loss buddy. What a friendship you & Leonard had,” Brad tweeted, including a photo of the two during their Star Trek heyday. Nimoy, best known for playing Mr. Spock, passed away Friday morning. 

Brad and Shatner first combined their comedic talents in 2003, when the man who played Captain Kirk appeared in the video for “Celebrity.” Four years later, he also guested in the clip for “Online.” The “Crushin’ It” hitmaker returned the favor, contributing to Shatner’s 2011 album, and even making a guest appearance in his Broadway show Shatner’s World:  We Just Live In It the following year.

On his official Facebook page, Shatner said of Nimoy: "I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love."  The two remained close friends throughout their lives, with Shatner commenting that he and Nimoy became even closer following  the 1999 death of Shatner's third wife. Nimoy was 83.

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Josh Turner Competes in CrossFit Open

Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleYou can now add CrossFit competitor to Josh Turner’s list of accomplishments.  The “Lay Low” hitmaker first became interested in the sport that combines aerobics, gymnastics and weight lifting after seeing CrossFit Champion Rich Froning on the cover of Muscle & Fitness, and then running into him in the Nashville airport.

“He casually asked if I had ever tried CrossFit and I told him no, so he invited me out to his [gym] and I took him up on it,” Josh recalls. “The first workout he put me through had me coughing my lungs up for hours, but it didn’t deter me.”

Two years later, Josh is following in the four-time champion’s footsteps and entering a CrossFit competition of his own. On Thursday, he traveled to Boston to support his friend in the Reebok CrossFit Games, before finishing his first competition workout on Friday.

“I never dreamed I would be competing in a CrossFit Open! I’m looking forward to it, but I’m scared to death because I’m far from being an expert at CrossFit,” he says. You can keep up with Josh’s progress on the CrossFit website.

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Jason Aldean Hints He May Not Have a Bachelor Party

Image Courtesy Broken Bow RecordsThough the details of Jason Aldean’s upcoming wedding to Brittany Kerr are top secret, the “Just Gettin’ Started” hitmaker says there’s one thing for sure -- it won’t be a complicated affair.

“Everything that’s ever happened with that has been so out there, so scrutinized and all that,” he reflects, “so this is just something we want to keep a little simpler and just have people that are really important to us there and kinda try to enjoy it, you know.”

Jason’s desire to keep things low-key may even mean he’s not having a bachelor party. But he promises the wedding will more than make up for any lack of celebrating beforehand.

“I don’t know. I don’t necessarily know if I’m having one. I ain’t got time!” he jokes. “So, you know, the wedding will be fun. We’ve got some characters showing up there, so it’ll be interesting. Hangover, if we get after it, I mean, on a scale of one to ten, it’s gonna be a six-plus for sure, especially with some of the ones that are coming!”

As for the wedding date, Jason will only hint that he’ll work it in between performances on his Burn It Down tour.

“It’s gonna be, you know, one of those things where hopefully I’ll find a date somewhere around the tour, a day off here or there and make it happen. You know I think for the most part I think it’s gonna be something pretty small, low-key, have some of our close friends there and family.”

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhen did the Grand Ole Opry hold its first performance at its current location? ANSWER:  March 16, 1974.

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Luke Bryan Says His Overseas Tour Is All About the Beer

Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleWhen Luke Bryan heads overseas for the Country to Country festival this weekend, he admits there’s one thing he’s looking forward to almost as much as meeting his European fans.

“I get the most excited at proving yourself to audiences, just talking with other artist friends that have gone over there. The enthusiasm and the passion in the fans over there from what I hear is on a whole ‘nother level of enthusiasm and stuff like that,” he says. “So I’m excited to get over there and see these countries, and see the beer. The beer’s gonna be really good I bet, [I’ll] probably come back 20 pounds heavier. “

Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line and others join Luke for shows in Oslo and Stockholm on Saturday and Sunday, with performances the following weekend in London and Dublin. Luke jokes he may not be in the best of shape when he comes back to the States for his free shows in Panama City Beach, Florida on March 11 & 12.

“I have to do spring break right when I get back from Europe. I’ll probably look like Elvis at 42, sweating out Amsterdam,” he laughs.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockNashville’s Grand Ole Opry House has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The Opry kicks off the celebration of its 90th birthday with a special show on Tuesday, March 24.

Bucky Covington and his daughter Kennedy appear on Friday’s episode of The Doctors, discussing treatment for the infant’s rare birthmark. Check your local listings to find out when The Doctors airs in your area.

The band Old Dominion is officially the newest artist signed to RCA Nashville. The quintet heads out on Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival tour this summer.

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Maddie & Tae Ready to "Start Here"

Image Courtesy Dot RecordsMaddie & Tae’s first full-length album, Start Here, is due in stores and online June 2. It will include both their chart-topping debut, “Girl in a Country Song,” as well as their latest hit, “Fly.”

“We had so many names,” Maddie says of choosing the title, "pieces of lyrics, song titles, our names. But when it really came down to it, what this record is to us is the beginning of everything! You only get one first album.”

In the end, Tae believes Start Here says it all. “It is one of those sentiments that holds all the promise, all the chances and maybe a little bit of being scared. But you have to start somewhere, and this is pretty great place to begin.”

The weekend following their album’s release, Maddie & Tae kick off Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer tour with Kip Moore and Canaan Smith June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Kacey Musgraves Sends "Biscuits" to Country Radio

Image Courtesy Kelly Christine Musgraves/Sandbox

Kacey Musgraves is baking up a batch of “Biscuits” for country radio. Her new single will be fans’ first taste of new music from her sophomore album for Mercury Records Nashville. Her debut, Same Trailer Different Park, won the Grammy for Best Country Album.

"I'm very proud to be kickin' things off with 'Biscuits'! I think it's the perfect preview to the record we had SO much fun making,” Kacey says. “The sound of this song represents so many of the things I love about country music. And be warned -- it may inspire a square dance,” she jokes.

Kacey co-wrote “Biscuits” with frequent collaborators Shane McAnally and Best New Artist Grammy nominee Brandy Clark. You should start hearing it on the radio around the middle of March.

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Christina Aguilera Gives Kudos to Miranda Lambert

Image Courtesy Sony Music Nashville

Don’t be surprised if you see some of Miranda Lambert’s influence when Christina Aguilera steps into her upcoming guest role on Nashville.

"Miranda is no joke,” Christina told Seth Myers Wednesday on NBC’s Late Night. “She's awesome. I've become such a huge fan… Honestly, if I were a country singer, I’d probably be her. She’s awesome. She's really awesome. I've got to give her kudos!"

Christina will play a pop star trying to cross over into country on the ABC show set in Music City. She’s hoping the new role will step up her cred with country contestants when she’s competing against Miranda's husband Blake Shelton to secure contestants for her team on The Voice.

"I'll be able to have something under my belt to get certain steals for these country artists," she says. "I'll be like 'Well, I'm actually on the show Nashville, recording in Nashville.'"

You can catch Nashville Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The Voice airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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Cole Swindell Takes Down Home Tour to Home State

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleThis weekend, Cole Swindell brings his Down Home tour to his home state.  Sunday, the Georgia native wraps up three days of music at Atlanta Motor Speedway, headlining just before the drivers are introduced for the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. Though he’s not performing, pop-rocker Gavin DeGraw is also the honorary pace car driver for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Cole grew up in the small town of Bronwood, Georgia, about three hours south of Atlanta. When he’s not playing his own solo dates, he’s currently out on the Burn It Down tour with Jason Aldean and Tyler Farr.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhich beach-themed Luke Bryan chart-topper was co-written by Cole Swindell? ANSWER:  "Roller Coaster."

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Brett Eldredge Recharged His Creative Batteries with a Quick Trip to Key West Earlier This Week

Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleBrett Eldredge spent the first part of this week in Key West, Florida, before heading back for the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. Getting away from the freezing temperatures in Music City helped get Brett's creative juices flowing as he continues work on his upcoming sophomore album.

"I went down there to go fishing and become inspired by the beautiful beach," Brett tells ABC News Radio. "It was 20 degrees when we left Nashville. It was 68 when I got there, and it ended up being 87 by the time I left, and so I was like -- I'm inspired! I feel amazing."

One of Brett's biggest hits, "Beat of the Music," was inspired by his time at the beach, so it's no surprise to learn he's always looking to get back on the water.

Says Brett, "Anytime I can get away, if I have a couple days off, I go to somewhere where there's water because I just get completely reenergized by the ocean or lake or whatever it is -- a puddle, I don't care what it is."

Brett will release the first single from his sophomore album once his latest hit, "Mean to Me," finishes its climb to #1 on the country chart.

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"Nashville" Recap: "Somebody Pick Up My Pieces"

Image Courtesy ABCOn Wednesday's Nashville, Mayor Teddy Conrad grew increasingly paranoid his brief relationship with the call girl, Natasha, would be found out as more and more people learned about the forbidden affair. At the end of the episode, Teddy showed up at Natasha's house in an effort to come up with a lie about how they met. Unfortunately, an unrelated sting operation was going down at Natasha's house, so cameras and audio of Teddy covering up the affair was recorded in a surveillance van down the street.

Teddy's paranoia was fueled by his one-time blackmailer, Jeff Fordham, who was facing hard times since the record label he ran, Edgehill Republic, was suddenly shut down completely. Jeff was fired when his boss found out about his underhanded scheme to sign a record deal with Teddy and Rayna Jaymes' daughter, Maddie, using Teddy's relationship with the call girl as leverage. Look for Jeff to continue threatening to expose Teddy in the coming weeks.

Since superstar Luke Wheeler was left without a recording home due to the shuttering of Edgehill Republic, Jeff proposed Luke start his own label and let Jeff run the operation. They signed former Edgehill act Will Lexington to the label, but Luke ultimately cut Jeff out of the deal completely due to his terrible reputation.

Rayna Jaymes and her manager, Bucky, met with multiple acts in hopes of signing new talent to Highway 65 Records.  They ultimately decided to sign Will's ex-wife, Layla Grant, to the label. In the meantime, Rayna and her lawyers dipped into the Highway 65's liability insurance to reach a settlement with Sadie Stone's abusive ex-husband, Pete. His lawsuit claiming ownership of a portion of Sadie's career brought work on her new album to a halt, and Rayna threatened to ruin Pete if he ever messed with Sadie again once his payoff agreement was signed.

As Deacon Claybourne continued to wait for a liver, his oncologist offered him the option of signing up for a cancer drug trial. Deacon ultimately refused to participate in the trial, and his niece, Scarlett O'Conner turned to her ex-boyfriends, Avery Barkley and Gunnar Scott, to help her make some music to escape her sadness about Deacon. They ended up performing a new song called "World on Time" as a trio at The Bluebird Café, and the love song seemed appropriate as Scarlett made the leap to finally ask Deacon's cute oncologist out on a date.

"World on Time" is a song written by one of Nashville's favorite songwriters, Trent Dabbs. He's penned several songs for the show, including Juliette Barnes' big hit, "Don't Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet." As for "World on Time," Trent tells ABC News Radio, "[It's] just a straight-up love song, and that's another thing that I feel like is so much harder to do than it seems -- just to write a straight-up love song that isn't corny all, you know? So, it felt like an old-school, folky love song."

As for "Don't Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet," Trent admits he had someone else in the country world in mind when he co-wrote it.

"Caitlyn Smith and I had written it for a potential Carrie Underwood pitch, and it was like, 'I'll just send it to [Nashville Music Supervisor] Frankie [Pine].'  And she loved it, and then asked me if I would consider re-writing some of it, and I was like, 'Sure.'" 

If you're interested to hear Trent Dabbs' version of "World on Time," be sure to pick up a copy of his new album, Believer, available now. The Nashville cast version of "World on Time" is available at iTunes.

Nashville returns with an all-new episode next Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Dierks Bentley and Garth Brooks Bring Fun, Unique Shows to Country Radio Seminar in Nashville

Image Courtesy ABC News Radio/Hunter KellyThings got a little weird at Dierks Bentley's after-hours show Wednesday night at the Country Radio Seminar. Dierks and his band took on the persona of a washed-up country group called Hot Country Knights to cover '90s country hits during a two-hour set at The Stage honky tonk on Nashville's Lower Broadway. The guys never broke character as they worked their way through Sawyer Brown's "Some Girls Do" and Billy Ray Cyrus's "Achy Breaky Heart" for the invitation-only crowd.

Miranda Lambert took on the alter ego Shelby Shelton to join Hot Country Knights for Shania Twain's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under." Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley wore a bad '80s wig and a fitted, patriotic shirt for his performance of Brooks & Dunn's "My Maria"; Randy Houser took on the persona of curly-haired country star Dallas Houston to sing Tracy Byrd's "Watermelon Crawl"; and Kip Moore was on hand to sing David Lee Murphy's "Dust on the Bottle."

Dierks' cover show wasn't the only entertainment option in town for country radio programmers attending the CRS. Garth Brooks played an invite-only club show at Nashville's Marathon Music Works. The set list included a mix of new songs from his latest album, Man Against Machine, and classic tracks like "Friends in Low Places," "Rodeo" and "Two Pina Coladas."

Garth's wife, Trisha Yearwood, looked like she was having a great time according to an Instagram photo she posted at the show. The picture shows her holding two cups with Garth's "G" logo close to her chest with the caption, "Watching G with my double g's! #goinghomewithhim."

 

Here at Marathon MusicWorks watching G with my double g's! #goinghomewithhim

A photo posted by Trisha Yearwood (@trishayearwood) on Feb 25, 2015 at 9:14pm PST

 

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Miranda Lambert Negotiates the Rivalry Between Oklahoma and Texas

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleAs a Texas native who both married Okie Blake Shelton and now finds herself living in his home state, Miranda Lambert says she’s never confused about where her loyalties lie.

“Oklahoma has welcomed me, and I found my second home in my husband’s home state,” she tells the Tulsa World. “We love living there on our farm. I am a fan of the small-town feel, and I get to be myself,” she says of her adopted hometown of Tishomingo.

But she’s quick to make sure the Lone Star State has the last word. “My parents have instilled in me to be proud of where you come from, so I will always be very proud of being a Texan,” she adds.

This Saturday night, Miranda brings her Certified Platinum tour to the Sooner State’s BOK Center in Tulsa.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockEric Church’s next single will be “Like A Wrecking Ball,” from his CD The Outsiders.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood made a surprise appearance at Nashville’s Country Radio Seminar on Wednesday, showing up to announce this year’s inductees into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.

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Who's Who of Country Stars Set to Play Watershed Music and Camping Festival

Image Courtesy CMAFirst-year headliner Dierks Bentley returns to the Northwests’s Watershed Music and Camping Festival this summer, as the three-day show celebrates its fourth year. Florida Georgia Line and Carrie Underwood also top a bill that includes Gary Allan, Frankie Ballard, Easton Corbin, Hunter Hayes, Jana Kramer, Joe Nichols, Parmalee, Thomas Rhett, Chris Young and more.  Sam Hunt will play a late-night set on the festival’s “Next from Nashville” stage, in addition to his stint on the main platform.

The shows take place July 31-August 2 at Gorge Amphitheatre, just outside Quincy, Washington. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 3 and typically sell out within minutes.

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