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Bug Country Celebrates 20 Years in 2015!

 

 

 




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Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley's latest hit, "Say You Do," was still pretty new at country radio when he closed out his Riser tour. Now that the song is closing in on the top of the country chart, Dierks expects it to be a huge hit with audiences when he hits the road again in June.

"Getting back out there on the Sounds of Summer Tour and seeing what’s happened to this song is going to be a huge surprise for us," Dierks says. "[It's] something we’re really looking forward to.”

Dierks says his fans have always reacted strongly to "Say You Do," but that excitement has been growing in the past few weeks.

He says, "I’ve had a little taste of that in a few shows we’ve done -- just one-offs."

"Say You Do" is included on Dierks' latest album, Riser. His Sounds of Summer tour kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina with special guests Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae and Canaan Smith.

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Image Courtesy McClister/MCA NashvilleSam Hunt is happy to have a non-stop tour schedule these days, but he admits all that traveling is cutting into his time as a songwriter.

Sam tells Entertainment Tonight, "I have not been writing at all. I just haven't had any time to do that, but I'm excited to get back in the studio."

While he hopes to start writing new songs this fall, Sam knows he needs to get out of the bubble he's been in while living on a tour bus.

"There is a lot of life that I've experienced that will inspire writing," Sam says, "but I think I'm gonna have to find some time to do some living outside of the road to find some new experiences and new inspirations for new songs."

Sam heads out with Lady Antebellum's Wheels Up tour starting Friday, May 1 in Lubbock, Texas.

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Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsCan Tim McGraw's Shotgun Rider Tour actually save troubled marriages? That's the claim put forth in a hilarious new video on Tim's YouTube page.

In the clip, spoofing ads for drugs like Cialis, guys suffering from their wives' INS, or Intense Nag Syndrome, are looking for ways to make their wives happy. When they go about seeking a cure, their doctor prescribes tickets to Tim's Shotgun Rider tour.  The prescription seems to work, but the side effects may include pregnancy, hysteria, male dancing, unusually tight male jeans, fainting and air guitar playing.

Tim's Shotgun Rider tour kicks off June 5 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Image Courtesy ABCReba has grown to love the drag queens who dress up like her and perform her biggest hits in clubs across the country, but she was thrown off the first time she saw a man dressed up in Reba drag.

Reba tells The Advocate, "One night in the early ’90s, shortly after [my single] ‘Fancy’ came out, I had a gentleman at one of our fan club get-togethers we’d have, and he showed up in full regalia -- total drag -- and it really ticked me off because his hair and makeup looked better than mine!”

Unfortunately, Reba didn't have time to get any tips from the drag queen because she had to go perform her show. She still sees Reba drag queens show up at her concerts from time-to-time, and it always gives her a thrill.  "Imitation is a huge form of flattery," she says.

Now those drag queens can use Reba's new cosmetics line, Reba Beauty, to achieve the right look. Check out the first offering, the Deluxstick lip gloss shade Fancy, at Reba.com/Reba-Beauty.

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Comstock/ThinkstockJason Aldean teamed up with Eric Church and Luke Bryan to collaborate on which one of his hit singles? ANSWER: "The Only Way I Know."

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBlake Shelton will perform his latest hit, "Sangria," on NBC's The Voice Monday night.

Chase Rice and Frankie Ballard are featured in a new Funny or Die Concert Cops video filmed at the Tortuga Music Festival in Florida earlier this month.

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Image Courtesy CMAJason Aldean and his wife, Brittany, just celebrated their one-month anniversary, but they haven't been able to spend much time at home as husband-and-wife.

Jason says, "I mean, we've been on the road pretty much the whole time since we got married. We really haven't had a chance to have a honeymoon or any of that stuff, but that's a cool thing. She gets to travel with me, and we get to go all over the country."

Jason and Brittany also spent 10 days in Europe last month while he played the Country to Country Festival. Having Brittany on hand on the road has been good for Jason.

He adds, "I think she just kinda keeps me a little more focused, grounded, which I think I kind of needed in my life, for sure."

Jason and Brittany tied the knot March 21 in Mexico.

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Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsTim McGraw has gotten backlash from gun rights supporters, including the National Rifle Association, over his upcoming concert to raise money for Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, whose stated purpose is to help protect children from gun violence.

When asked how he is dealing with the headlines the concert has been generating, Tim tells ABC Radio, "I don't put a political blanket on what I'm doing. This is about helping people and leading with your heart. I think that that's what I try to do, and we're doing things are earmarked for a lot of good in the community."

Tim's fiddle player, Dean Brown, is a friend of Mark Barden, whose 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. Meeting Mark and his wife backstage at one of his concerts a few years ago had a big impact on Tim.

He says, "When you sit across from a family who've gone through such a great tragedy, it's just heartbreaking. And when you sit and have a conversation and you feel connected and they want you to help, and you feel like you can help, then you lead with your heart."

Tim goes on to say he thinks Sandy Hook Promise is a "great organization" that falls in line with his belief in spreading the message about mental health awareness among today's youth.

He adds, "When you talk about protecting our kids from violence and doing everything you can to protect our children, I'm all in."

As previously reported, the Concert for Sandy Hook Promise in Hartford, Connecticut this July is part of Tim's Shotgun Rider tour with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, but Currington dropped out of the show last week, saying on his Facebook page he was bowing out because of the controversy, but would make a donation to a "local organization.”

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Image Courtesy Eric Brown/Sweet Talk PRSinger-songwriter Chris Janson has just signed a new record deal with Warner Music Nashville, thanks to his emerging hit song, "Buy Me a Boat." The song recently topped the iTunes Country Songs chart.

The buzz on Chris is so strong, CMT has agreed to produce the video for "Biy Me a Boat," marking the first time the network has made a video for an artist.

Chris has become a regular at the Grand Ole Opry in the last few years, logging more than 90 appearances on the show. He's currently writing more songs for his debut on Warner.

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Image Courtesy Jon Peets/EMI NashvilleEric Church will give a rare solo show to open Nashville's brand-new Ascend Amphitheater in Riverfront Park on July 30. The concert will feature Eric playing with just his guitar. He sold out Nashville's Bridgestone Arena in June setting an attendance record with more than 18,000 fans in the audience.

Tickets for Eric's solo show go on sale Thursday, April 30 through Ticketmaster.

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Image Courtesy Joseph Llanes/Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr's new album, Suffer in Peace, comes out Tuesday, and he's kicking off his promotional schedule for the project with a Friday morning performance on FOX News's Fox & Friends. The appearances continue Tuesday morning on NBC's Today. That night, Tyler will host an album release party with a performance at New York City's Irving Plaza.

Suffer in Peace features Tyler's latest hit, "A Guy Walks into a Bar," as well as a duet with Jason Aldean on "Damn Good Friends."

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Image Courtesy Southern Ground/Varvatos/Republic/BMLGZac Brown Band's new album, Jekyll Hyde, comes out this Tuesday featuring the country hit "Homegrown," as well as their first song to impact Mainstream Rock radio: "Heavy Is the Head," featuring Chris Cornell. They're following up "Homegrown" with the new single, "Loving You Easy," just delivered to country radio Thursday -- you can start previewing samples from the full album Friday on Zac Brown Band's YouTube channel.

Zac Brown Band recorded the album at their Southern Ground Studios in Nashville. Zac says, "We took more time writing and recording this record than we ever have in the past. We allowed each song to be what it wanted and needed to be. Each song has its own unique identity."

Pop star Sara Bareilles joins Zac Brown Band on the song "Mango Tree." Look for the band to promote Jekyll Hyde with performances Monday on ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

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Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Billy Currington's duet with Shania Twain? ANSWER: "Party for Two."

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Image Courtesy CMADierks Bentley, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Martina McBride and members of Little Big Town will be drinking fine wine for a great cause this Monday night in Nashville. The T.J. Martell Foundation's 16th Annual Nashville Best Cellars Dinner brings some of country's top stars together with some of the nation's top wine collectors for an evening of food and drink.

The event takes place at Nashville's City Winery. Proceeds go to the T.J. Martell Foundation's funding of leukemia, cancer and AIDS research.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCountry legend John Anderson will release a brand-new album, Goldmine, on May 26.

Reba appears on CBS's The Talk Thursday.

Zac Brown Band performs on NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Monday night.

Justin Moore has partnered with Cabela's to encourage people to put down their phones and enjoy outdoor activities on Disconnect Day on May 1. Fans can download the Justin's version of the campaign theme song, "What a Wonderful World," for free that day MyDisconnectDay.com.

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Image Courtesy ABCHope was wearing thin for Deacon Claybourne on Wednesday night's episode of Nashville. He's still waiting on a donor for his liver transplant. Doctors found a donor and actually rolled Deacon into the operating room, but the donor turned out to have cancer on their lungs, so the doctors couldn't risk introducing more cancer to Deacon's body.

After getting that bad news, Rayna Jaymes and her daughter, Maddie, struggled to come to terms with Deacon's illness and possible death.

Juliette Barnes hoped the Note by Note charity fundraiser would serve as her comeback after having her baby, but she was denied the chance to perform when pop star Jade St. John outbid her to give a command performance. Jade gave that opportunity to Layla Grant, who is a main competitor of Juliette's. Juliette and Jade ended up having a showdown at the event, which upset Juliette's husband, Avery Barkley. Once he called her out on her behavior, Juliette admitted she was struggling with feeling like a has-been career-wise after having the baby.

Jade got turned down for a duet with her hero, Luke Wheeler, in her bid to cross over from pop to country. They ended up spending more time together at the Note by Note gala and then out at the Bluebird Café, where Jade got up and sang one of Luke's old hits, "Shotgun." Luke must have liked her performance because he kissed her and went into her room once they got back to her hotel.

There's only so far that relationship can go since Christina Aguilera, who plays Jade, is only slated to appear through next week's episode. Though she hasn't spent that much time in Nashville, Christina knows what the Bluebird Café means to the city's music scene.

She says, "Here in Nashville, the Bluebird is such a staple here, and lines are always just across the side of the block for this place. I get the special, intimate vibe that it holds here. It's a special thing."

Performing on the Bluebird Café set on the Nashville sound stage helped Christina really inhabit her character.

Christina explains, "Being there in such a small, sort of intimate place sort of holds its on magic and was able to inspire me in a different way to bring a certain emotion to the song."

"Shotgun" is now available for download at iTunes along with all of the other music from this week's episode. Nashville is back with another new episode Wednesday night at 10 ET on ABC.

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Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleFrankie Ballard headed to the border town of Tornillo, Texas on the Rio Grande River to record his new studio album at a place called the Sonic Ranch. The residential studio complex includes living space, a workout room and swimming pool on more than 2,300 acres, and Frankie and his band stayed there for ten days working on the new music.

He says, "I just thought it'd be a cool place to go and just experience something different."

The decision to record outside of Nashville freed Frankie and his team from any distractions that would take them out of a creative headspace, including the demands of family and other obligations.

He explains, "I wanted to try to get everybody and go somewhere else where we could kinda hole up and stay focused on nothing but making this album."

So, what can fans expect from Frankie's new music? He's not giving too much away just yet, but Frankie does say, "It's really different, and I think it was mission accomplished."

Frankie is following-up his last two #1 hits, "Helluva Life" and "Sunshine & Whiskey," with the new single, "Young and Crazy." All of those tracks are included on his 2014 album, Sunshine & Whiskey.

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Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert poses with no makeup on for People magazine's annual World's Most Beautiful issue. The natural look is close to what Miranda looks like when she's at home in Oklahoma with husband, Blake Shelton.

She says of her at-home beauty routine, "I just put on some tinted moisturizer and sunscreen and mascara. And lip gloss! It's kind of an addiction."  

Miranda only has a glam squad for big events like last Sunday's ACM Awards. On tour, she does her own hair and makeup as a way to have some alone-time before shows.

"That's my time to focus and calm down, listen to music and warm up a little bit," Miranda says. "I have a product bag the size of Texas -- just makeup and hair stuff and curling irons."

Miranda adds that Blake thinks she looks prettier without a lot of makeup on, which causes her some frustration.

Says Miranda, "I think, 'Stop! Really? This took me three hours!' But he doesn't care. He sees me the same, whether I have a whole glam squad or I'm just hanging out at home."  

Carrie Underwood also opens up about a disastrous perm she got at age 13 in the Beauty Confessions section of People's World's Most Beautiful issue, on stands Friday.

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Image Courtesy Mercury NashvilleBilly Currington's sixth album, Summer Forever, is due out June 2. The project features his latest hit, "Don't It," as well as other songs written by Cole Swindell, Florida Georgia Line and several other top songwriters.

"Making this album was such a blast for me," Billy says. "I put a lot of love into this project and couldn’t be more excited for fans to hear the new music. Summer Forever for me represents a positive, happy, good time lifestyle and that’s what I hope the fans feel when they hear this record.”

Fans can pre-order the new project at SummerForever.BillyCurrington.com.

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Image Courtesy Jeremy Cowart/BMLGReba's latest album, Love Somebody, debuts at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart this week and #3 on the overall Billboard 200 tally. It's Reba's 12th time at the top of the country chart. The project sold more than 62,000 copies its first week out, according to Nielsen Music.

Reba launches her residency with Brooks & Dunn at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas starting June 17.

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Penny Mitchell
Penny Mitchell
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There are MANY GREAT regional concerts throughout the year--who would you LOVE to see?
Lady Antebellum
Dierks Bentley
Florida Georgia Line
Zac Brown Band
Luke Bryan
Kenny Chesney
Brantley Gilbert
Eric Church
Toby Keith
Brad Paisley
Other
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