ABC/Image Group LALittle Big Town scored a monster hit several summers ago with “Pontoon,” but it’s Eric Church who says that's exactly where you’d typically find him on any given 4th of July.
“For me, growing up we would always go to the lake,” he recalls. “Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time… I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing. We would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults,” he laughs.
This Independence Day, Eric’s latest hit, “Record Year,” is on the verge of cracking the top five.
Arista NashvilleTonight, Brad Paisley joins a who’s-who of celebrities from West Virginia, including actress Jennifer Garner, in a telethon to help raise money to help the flood-ravaged state. Billy Ray Cyrus, who worked for years in the house band at Ragtime Lounge in Huntington, will co-host the show.
Twenty-three people died as flood waters overwhelmed many parts of the state June 23 and 24, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. The Rebuild West Virginia telethon will be broadcast all across the state from 7-9 p.m. ET, with a live stream of the event also available. Donations will be directed to RebuildWestVirginia.com, to help flood victims through the American Red Cross.
Thursday, Brad toured his home state, after launching his own GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $1 million to help. So far, he’s nearly half way to his goal.
Comstock/Thinkstock Though it's become a standard, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." only peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. Can recall the year Lee introduced the self-penned patriotic classic to the world? ANSWER: 1984.
Big Loud RecordsWith his breakthrough single “Fix” now in the top ten, Chris Lane is readying his debut full-length effort for release August 5.
“While in the studio working on the album, I started to notice a trend… every song seemed to be about some type of girl problem,” the North Carolina native laughs. “So it was only fitting to title the album Girl Problems!”
You’ll be able to pre-order Chris’s first record starting July 12. Meanwhile, he continues on the Rhythm & Roots tour this summer with Rascal Flatts and Kelsea Ballerini.
Capitol NashvilleJustin Timberlake is certainly no stranger to country music, having performed at last year’s CMA Awards in a career-changing performance with Chris Stapleton. More recently, he chronicled some mysterious studio work with Little Big Town with an Instagram post.
Now you can add Lady Antebellum to the list of country performers with a connection to the Memphis native. Recently, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood have been covering JT’s pop smash “Can’t Stop the Feeling” in concert. You can check out their version via a YouTube clip from their show this summer in Columbus, Ohio.
Capitol NashvilleDarius Rucker’s new single “If I Told You” is our first preview of the new music from his forthcoming, fifth country album for Capitol Nashville. Even though it’s a song he didn’t write, he says it gives him a similar feeling as the process that inspired him to pen the Hootie & the Blowfish breakthrough “Let Her Cry.”
“The first time I heard [the Black Crowes’] ‘She Talks to Angels,’ those lyrics did something to me,” he recalls. “I probably requested that song eight times at different bars in Columbia, South Carolina before going home, putting on Bonnie Raitt’s Home Plate,and trying to write 'She Talks to Angels' for Bonnie Raitt. ‘Let Her Cry’ just poured out.”
The avid golfer says it’s also a song he’s anxious to share with fans on his Good for a Good Time Tour.
“With ‘Wagon Wheel’ I loved the visual it painted and it’s a song I can truly say I look forward to performing every night. With ‘If I Told You,’ I can’t wait to share in that vulnerability with the fans from the stage night-after-night.”
After taking some time off for the Fourth of July, Darius resumes his summer trek with Dan Shay and Michael Ray July 7 in Englewood, Colorado.
BBR Music GroupTrace Adkins debuts his colorful new single “Lit” Friday morning on Fox & Friends. He’ll play the tune which is reminiscent of his hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” for the first time on TV as part of the show’s All American Summer Concert Series.
You can get a preview of the uptempo track now on the Fox & Friends blog. “Lit” will also be available via the usual digital outlets on Friday, and will be on his forthcoming album, along with his previous release, “Jesus and Jones.” Catch Trace on the show Friday, starting at 6 a.m. ET on Fox.
ABC/Tyler GoldenThursday nights this summer on ABC, country hitmaker Kelsea Ballerini transforms into TV co-host with talk show icon Arsenio Hall. The two team up to bring us Greatest Hits, a show that relives the hits of the past few decades, uniting today’s hitmakers with the artists who made the songs famous.
Since Kelsea’s new to the gig, she says it’s great to have a veteran by her side.
“Arsenio is amazing. He's such a pro. Every time we walk out into the live audience they do the 'Hoo, hoo, hoo!' thing. It's amazing," she says. "I'd never really hosted anything like that before obviously, but he's so cool because he's done it forever… And we just kind of use the prompter as a guideline and just laugh the whole time -- which I hope translates well, because we have fun!”
The “Peter Pan” songstress gives us a preview of what we can expect, and promises she’ll do some singing herself.
“We've had incredible artists on the show. I got to sing a mash-up of three of my favorite songs -- one country, two from other genres, just mashed up together. The show is so cool because it's just celebrating music and big songs that have made an impact on our life, so I'm excited for everyone to see it.”
The first of six hour-long episodes of Greatest Hits premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, with special guests Pitbull, REO Speedwagon, Ray Parker Jr., Jason Derulo, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes, Rick Springfield and Kool & the Gang.
Comstock/Thinkstock John Denver notched his first number one hit on the Billboard Country Charts in 1974 with this tune that went on to be CMA Song of the Year. Can you name it? ANSWER: "Back Home Again."
Burke/Triolo Productions/Thinkstock Jana Kramer’s new single is “Circles,” from her album thirty one.
Vince Gill will mark his 25th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry by re-releasing his latest album on vinyl. The new edition of Down to My Last Bad Habit will be available July 15, and includes new artwork designed by the iconic Hatch Show Print.
RaeLynn is partnering with healthcare company Novo Nordisk to help patients as they deal with diabetes. RaeLynn herself was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12.
Rick Kern/ NBC Sports GroupIf you tune in for the race Saturday night on NBC, you’ll also get a little taste of Blake Shelton. The Oklahoma hitmaker performs the new open for NASCAR on NBC, and it premieres right before the Coke Zero 400, which starts at 7 p.m. ET.
A who’s who of the sport’s drivers turned out to help the “She’s Got a Way with Words” singer shoot the title sequence, including Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Matt Kenseth. Clint Bowyer even got in on the action, playing a little air guitar while Blake played the real thing.
EMI Records NashvilleEric Paslay has a date with some angels and some barbecue this Fourth of July weekend. The Texas native will debut his new single “Angels in This Town” Sunday at a special free concert at Stubb's BBQ in Austin.
It’s the first in a series of events where Eric will honor community heroes all across the country, and it turns out he knows a thing or two about angels -- both real and metaphorical -- since his parents are both missionaries. The July 3 show will pay tribute to the staff and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.
The following Friday, July 8, Eric hits the road with Toby Keith on the Interstates & Tailgates Tour. “Angels in This Town” will be featured on his forthcoming sophomore album, Dressed in Black.
ABC/Fred LeeLindsey Stirling is continuing her country collaborations, and Dan Shay are her latest musical partners. Last year, the electronic violinist paired with Dierks Bentley on “Riser” on the CMA Awards, returning for the Country Music Association's annual Country Christmas special in December.
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney contribute vocals to the track “Those Days” on Lindsey’s third studio album. You can check out the threesome’s work when Brave Enough comes out August 19.
Arista NashvilleBrad Paisley is pitching in to help his home state of West Virginia, after the June 23 floods that killed more than twenty people and devastated multiple small towns. After performing the John Denver classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in a video posted on his Facebook page, Brad launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the region, where 44 out of 55 counties have declared a state of emergency.
The “Without a Fight” singer got the ball rolling by contributing $100,000 himself, with a goal of raising a million dollars. The money will go to help flood victims through Brad’s foundation. He plans to visit the area on Thursday, and isn’t counting out the idea of doing a benefit concert at some point, though he stresses “now is not the time.”
Columbia NashvilleThis weekend, you’ll get the chance to know newcomer Maren Morris a little better. CBS News Sunday Morning will profile the “My Church” hitmaker, tracing her career from her beginnings in Texas through the gold-selling, top-ten success of her debut hit.
Maren has just released her second single, “80’s Mercedes,” from her debut album. Hero recently emerged atop the Billboard Country Albums chart, while also tallying an impressive number-five debut on the all-genre Billboard 200.
You can catch Maren July 3 on CBS News Sunday Morning, starting at 9 a.m. ET.
ABC/Image Group LAEven though Keith Urban’s latest number one, “Wasted Time,” contains the line “sippin’ on the Lokos,” he confesses he had to Google exactly what that is, after one of his co-writers introduced him to his teen drink of choice growing up in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
While Keith may not have had Lokos, he confesses there was an Australian equivalent.
“I didn't grow up sippin' on Lokos, but I grew up sippin' on some nasty stuff! We had UDL, which stood for United Distilleries Limited, and it was a prepackaged mix of bourbon and cola -- cola wanna-be and bourbon wanna-be -- jammed into a can. And you could get vodka and something else. And it was like the worst -- awful, just awful, but it was cheap and it would do the trick. Lokos sang better than UDL!” Keith laughs.
"Wasted Time" is the 21st number one of the Ripcord singer's career.
BMLGNot only is the lead single from Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots album already a top-five hit, Brian Kelley says it’s also been a game-changer for the duo on the road.
"'H.O.L.Y' is spiritual on tour. I don't know if we've had a song that's connected us to our fans that quick. It's amazing,” he says.
Brian believes the song is also special because it hearkens back to the beginning when he and Tyler Hubbard first performed together.
“It takes our set and our show to a place that we've never been, a place that we've longed to be. We are diggin' our roots harder than ever,” he says. “We got our start writing, singing, playing in church, and it sounds kind of like those songs that we grew up singing. It's got a worship, kind of church-feel, meets a love song.”
Florida Georgia Line’s third album, Dig Your Roots, is due out August 26.