Republic NashvilleFlorida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard were "blown away" when they got an email from Garth Brooks asking them to sing on a new version of "Friends in Low Places." Keith Urban, Jason Aldean and George Strait also join Garth on the re-recorded version in celebration of the song's 25th anniversary.
Brian tells ABC Radio, "I mean, literally, we had to check our email about a hundred times a day to make sure that was real. It's a dream come true."
Brian goes on to explain that he and Tyler really look up to Garth as an inspiration on how to run both their careers and their personal lives. Unfortunately, they didn't get to record the song in the studio with Garth.
Tyler says, "I think we're all so busy we did it individually and kind of just whenever we could get in the studio. So, we're anxious to hear the mix. We haven't even heard it yet. We're anxious to see how it all comes together."
Since they only recorded their individual part, FGL doesn't know whether or not Garth is including the third verse of "Friends in Low Places" like he does in his live shows.
Tyler adds, "I bet Garth'll sing the third verse."
We'll keep you posted when Garth announces details about the release of the new version of "Friends in Low Places," if the song even comes out at all. It seems Garth had planned to include the new version on a re-release of his 1990 album, No Fences, but Billboard reports that release is now on hold due to a disagreement between Garth and the publisher of "Friends in Low Places."
Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert has been announced as the 2015 recipient of the Nashville Symphony's Harmony Award. The honor is given each year at the Symphony Ball to a person who "exemplifies the harmonious spirit of Nashville's music community." In addition to receiving the award December 12, Miranda will also perform with the Nashville Symphony at the Symphony Ball.
Miranda says, "Being recognized by the Nashville Symphony as a Harmony Award recipient is an honor. And the icing on the cake is I get to perform a few of my songs with the Symphony orchestra, which is such a rare and out-of-this- world musical opportunity."
Past Harmony Award recipients include Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Wynonna and Naomi Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, and Martina McBride.
MCA NashvilleSamHunt's latest #1 hit, "House Party," started out like most of his songs do -- as an idea typed into his phone.
"Most of them don’t pan out, but that was one that came together.
While creating his album, Montevallo, Sam had a writing session with his producer Zach Crowell and Jerry Flowers, who is a member of Keith Urban's band.
Sam says, "Jerry is such a great musician. He was playing a groove either on the guitar or the bass – he plays bass, obviously, with Keith Urban, but he’s also a great guitar player. He came up with this fun riff."
After hearing that riff, Sam went straight for that note in his phone about having a house party. The songs just flowed from there.
Sam adds, "It’s just a fun idea and a fun concept, and I think that’s why it was so easy and fun to write."
Sam is following up "House Party" with another single from Montevallo -- "Break Up in a Small Town."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockSteven Tyler and Eric Paslay are taking part in an installment of the CMA Songwriters Series taping Thursday, September 10 at Melrose Ballroom in Long Island City, New York. The performance will be taped for an upcoming installment of the public television music series, Front and Center.
Darius Rucker recently played a surprise concert in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. That concert will air as part of CMT's Instant Jam series this Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET.
Sony Music NashvilleJake Owen will be celebrating Labor Day Weekend with some time out on the lake. As the spokesman for Discover Boating's initiative to get people out on their water, Jake couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
He says of his weekend plans, "I'll probably go have a couple beers with some friends, and I'll probably try to put the boat in the water for the first time in a while."
Jake likes to play hard, but he's no stranger to hard work, either. He credits his parents with instilling a strong work ethic in him as a child. Jake says they always led by example when it came to getting the job done.
Says Jake, "I think that's what's helped support me through all these years is, even in the hard times, you know, just kind of pushing ahead."
Jake captures a bit of that working-man point of view in his latest hit, "Real Life," now climbing the country chart.
EA Dyson (Friends of the Earth)/United NationsKelseaBallerini is lending her talents to a new song supporting a United Nations call for world governments to sign a climate change agreement this December."Love Song to the Earth" is available now on iTunes and will hit all major music distribution outlets next Friday, September 11.
The song also features Sheryl Crow as well as rock legends Paul McCartney and Jon Bon Jovi, among many others. The artists will donate their proceeds to Friends of the Earth U.S. and the United Nations Foundation.
The song is part of a campaign to put pressure on world leaders to sign a global agreement on climate change at the annual Conference of Parties meeting in Paris this December.
A lyric video, including environmental footage and appearances by some of the musicians is expected next week.
EB Media PREric Church wrote his latest hit, "Like a Wrecking Ball," about getting back home to his wife after being away from her on the road. Now that the song is on the radio, Eric is honored that the song is now becoming an anthem for members of the military looking forward to getting home to their significant other.
"It's amazing the stories I get," Eric tells Allentown, Pennsylvania's The Morning Call. "You just don’t expect when you write something -- specifically soldiers and soldiers’ wives. When their family member has been gone a long time."
He adds, "That’s a song they’re either looking forward to when they get the hell home or they play until they get back home or it’s something that marks that."
"Like a Wrecking Ball" is included on Eric's platinum-selling album, The Outsiders, out now.
Greenroom PRDierks Bentley's new video, "Riser," tells the emotional story of a formerly homeless mother of two named Amy as she rebuilds her life.
Dierks says of the clip's star, "The first thing I thought when I met Amy was you would have never known that she had been living out of her car with two kids and nowhere to go. Hearing her story is such a solid example that there are people we pass all around us every day who are going through tough times."
You can see more of Amy's story in a new behind-the-scenes video on YouTube. The actual video premiered Thursday morning on The Guardian's website.
UMG NashvilleScotty McCreery's fan club members have banded together to form "The Southern Belles" team to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer in Nashville on September 26. The team takes their name from Scotty's latest single, "Southern Belle," and proceeds from the event will benefit one of Scotty's favorite charities, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Scotty says, "St. Jude performs miracles regularly for children from all walks of life. I am truly honored and thankful that my fans want to support such a worthwhile organization in my name.”
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockCraig Morgan has released his new single, "When I'm Gone." Listen for it to hit the airwaves on September 21.
Brad Paisley's new "Country Nation" video will premiere Thursday morning on NBC's Today. You can see the clip in full after the TV broadcast at Today.com. Look for Brad to close out Today's Summer Concert Series on Friday.
CMAMaddie & Tae's new album, Start Here, is out this week. If you've heard it, you'll notice the high-octane production on the lead single, "Girl in a Country Song," isn't carried out through the rest of the album. In fact, most of the tracks sound more like the acoustic, harmony-driven second single, "Fly." Maddie & Tae only adopted that heavier sound on "Girl in a Country Song" as a vehicle for the lyrics, which make fun of the way women are portrayed in a lot of male country singers' recent hits.
"Production-wise, we had to keep up with the boys," Maddie Marlow tells ABC Radio. "We were like, 'If we're gonna start throwing balls, it has to be baseball. We're not playing the softball. We're right in it with them. We've got to keep up with them.' So, the production matched what was kind of current."
Maddie & Tae hoped listeners would be drawn in by the modern country sounds and then listen to the lyrics of "Girl in a Country Song." That track ended up going to #1 at country radio, but the duo stuck to their guns with the rest of Start Here. You hear evidence of that on "Fly."
Says Maddie, "With 'Fly,' we really got to show, musically, what we're about. We are all about the acoustic feel. The steel, the fiddle, all those instruments that really, really help you carry that message out and evoke those emotions that the song has."
While "Girl in a Country Song" isn't exactly the sound Maddie & Tae wanted to chase for their album, Start Here, Maddie is happy they have that song in their catalog.
"I'm so happy that we did do "Girl in a Country Song," because there's not one sound," Maddie explains. "We kind of made a spectrum for ourselves that we could go whichever way, and it all be cohesive and it would all make sense."
CMAJason Aldean grew up in Georgia, so he never spent much time in Boston until he started playing shows there. Much to his surprise, Boston has now become one of his favorite places to play. He just performed two sold-out shows with Kenny Chesney at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots.
"Boston has some of the best fans, best country music fans," Jason says. "I mean, 10 years ago, if you would've told me that, I would have said there's no chance, but they have some of the best fans there is anywhere."
During Jason's show with Kenny, the owners of the New England Patriots rolled out four of the team's Super Bowl trophies onto the stage.
Says Jason, "It's just one of those things where it was a perfect way to end the tour."
This weekend, Jason will turn his focus directly on college football as his beloved Georgia Bulldogs kick off their season Saturday. Jason has high hopes for the Bulldogs this year, but he knows those hopes can be dashed very quickly.
He says, "College football is do or die every week. You can't lose five or six games and still get in there. You've got to every week, win, and that's what I love about it."
Jason's wife, Brittany, graduated from the University of Alabama, so they'll be living in a house divided when the Bulldogs play Alabama on October 3. Jason and Brittany may have to watch that game on separate TV's.
"We were gonna try to go to the game, but we're gonna be in Canada," Jason says. "It's a long trip for the game, so we're gonna miss out."
Sony Music NashvilleChris Young is a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan, even though he lives in Nashville, home of the Tennessee Titans. His allegiance to the Cowboys was set before the Titans came to Music City in the late '90s.
Chris tells Sports Illustrated, "When I was growing up we didn’t have the Titans so it was like just pick a team near you. I was always a die-hard Cowboys fan."
Recently, Chris got to see the Cowboys in action while attending a day of the team's training camp. After seeing them practice, Chris has high hopes for the Cowboy's season this fall: "Breaking it down and looking at how they’ve added depth behind [Joseph] Randle, they’re such a strong team. It’s arguably the best offensive line in pro football," says Chris. "Then on the defensive end with [Randy] Gregory looking really good, I think we’re going to be a force this year."
On the music front, Chris is gearing up to release his new album, I'm Comin' Over, November 13.
Show DogToby Keith played an invitation-only show in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma Tuesday night. The concert took place at Toby's venue Hollywood Corners and will air on TNT next month.
According to The Norman Transcript, Toby's performance is part of the State Farm Neighborhood Sessions series, which brings stars back to their hometowns to honor those who inspired them along the way.
Toby, who lives in Norman, told the crowd most of the songs they were hearing were actually written in the Oklahoma town. He said, "If you hear one of the songs tonight that you sing along with, they were written either at my mother’s house three miles up the road or sitting here at my house."
Along with his hits, Toby sang his latest single, "35 MPH Town." It's the title cut from his new album, due out October 9.
Webster PRBig & Rich's Big Kenny and his wife, stylist Christiev Alphin, run a hectic household raising their four sons in Nashville. You can get a glimpse into that world on their one-hour special, Big Kenny and Family, premiering Wednesday night on TLC.
The idea for this special has been brewing for about five years now. Friends of the celebrity couple started telling them they should really capture their "crazy, big life" with a TV show. At first, that idea didn't sit well with Christiev.
She tells ABC Radio, "What we were so used to as normal, when people would come in and always say that, it would almost throw me back going, 'Well, what is so abnormal about us that we should be on a TV show?' It really took a while to grasp the idea of 'Why?'"
Kenny and Christiev admit their lives are very intense as they juggle their careers with parenting their kids. They didn't want a TV production coming in and throwing off that delicate balance. It all came down to finding a team of people who would allow their family to go on as normal while filming.
"A lot of the decision came around to timing with that," Kenny explains. "To come into a situation with the right people that we felt we had enough control in it."
The couple insists they didn't coach their kids on what to say or how to act while shooting Big Kenny and Family.
Kenny says, "I'm not telling my children to do anything on camera unless they just want to. Well, we just happen to have the kinds of kids that kinda dig that. You know, they make little movies on their own time anyway. They kind of like being in front of it."
One thing the cameras captured beautifully is the love and laughter always present in Big Kenny and Christiev's home.
He adds, "You know, the tone is funny. There is an intensity that goes on in our life. We work hard to make sure there maintains an essence of happiness in it."
Big Kenny and Family airs Wednesday night at 10 ET on TLC.
ACMJason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert were on hand for the 9th Annual ACM Honors Tuesday night at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Luke was honored with the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award for scoring six #1 hits off his last album, Crash My Party. His tour mate, Randy Houser, paid tribute to Luke by performing one of those chart-toppers, "Roller Coaster."
Jason honored his heroes, Career Achievement Award recipients Alabama, with a medley of their hits, "Tennessee River," "Love in the First Degree" and "The Closer You Get." Alabama frontman Randy Owen joked that Jason performed those songs better than they did as he accepted their award.
Miranda closed the night out by singing Crystal Milestone Award recipient Loretta Lynn's hit, "Rated X," which speaks directly to Miranda's newly-minted status as a divorcee. While presenting the trophy to Loretta, Miranda said, "She sang songs that were not necessarily appropriate to sing at times like this for me. So, I'm so thankful for women empowerment."
Eric Church received the Jim Reeves International Award for taking country music around the world with his European tours. While accepting the trophy, Eric said he was extremely nervous before playing one of his first shows for a non-English-speaking crowd in Germany. Once he smelled marijuana in the crowd, Eric just knew everything was going to be OK.
"They sang every song. They held their boots up. They smoked marijuana," Eric recalled. "I learned something that night. I learned that you don't have to speak English to speak music fluently. "
Kacey Musgraves honored her producer Luke Laird, this year's ACM Songwriter of the Year, with a performance of their co-written song, "Good Old Boys Club."
Jake Owen returned as host for a second year and kicked the night off singing Alabama's "Feels So Right." Roy Clark, Chris Isaak, Holly Williams, Restless Heart and Josh Turner rounded out the performers for the evening.
The ACM Honors recognizes the Academy of Country Music winners not included in the April ACM Awards broadcast.