Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes says shooting his new video for “21” was simply “the most fun I've ever had on set.” In the clip, the multi-instrumentalist and other revelers dance in silhouette against a green screen, all the while partying “like we just turned 21.” The greyhound Hunter recently adopted, Cole, even makes a cameo appearance at the end.
So far, “21” is only available for streaming or download, with no plans to release a physical copy for the time being. This summer, Hunter’s on the Wheels Up 2015 Tour with Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt.
CMAThis Independence Day, Dierks Bentley marks an item off his bucket list, as he’s set to perform on Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.
“I've watched it many times and seen all the acts on there,” he recalls. “You know, I've had a chance to perform at the Capitol building, which is amazing, in front of the steps of the Capitol for the 4th of July, but I've never had a chance to do it in New York City. So, this is a big deal and a huge honor to be part of it. It's going to be great.”
When it comes to which songs he’ll sing, Dierks believes a couple tunes from his latest CD are only fitting.
“You know, we'll probably do a little 'Drunk on a Plane' 'cause you know 4th of July around here, people are having a few drinks. And probably do ‘Riser.’ Yeah, the song, being in New York, the backdrop, I've heard is -- the city skyline is the backdrop. Think about all the city's been through in the past 15 years,” he reflects. “Yeah, it should be pretty powerful.”
Brad Paisley, Kelly Clarkson and Meghan Trainor are also set to appear on the show, which includes a 25-minute fireworks display complete with 50,000 pieces of pyrotechnics. You can catch the show live Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
Image Courtesy RCA/GwendolynHaving written three best-selling cookbooks and hosting a hit show on the Food Network, it’s no surprise that Independence Day at Trisha Yearwood’s house sounds like it lives up to her culinary reputation. But the Peach State native says she tends to stick to family traditions, like her mother’s coleslaw.
“4th of July at my house is one of my favorite holidays just because it's all of my favorite summer foods,” she muses. “My dad was the grill master, and he used to make barbecue chicken for the whole town of Monticello, Georgia. We don't make it for the whole town, but we do these ribs now that were a favorite of my mom that have kind of a thick, sweet sauce, and they're part oven and part grill, and they say 4th of July to me.”
For dessert, Trisha tries to “go for something red, white and blue,” but often serves strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. In the afternoon, she’s a fan of the swimming pool, ahead of the evening’s pyrotechnics.
“My favorite part is watching the fireworks. Since marrying Garth (Brooks), we shoot off our own fireworks, which makes me a little bit nervous,” she admits. “But we also watch the whole town. You can see downtown fireworks in cities surrounding from our back porch. So, it's pretty cool to just sit out and watch all the fireworks.”
This Friday, the exhibit honoring Trisha, called “The Song Remembers When,” opens at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Capitol NashvilleWith the release of their new song “Something Better” with EDM producer Audien, Lady Antebellum becomes the latest country band to join the Electronic Dance Music movement.
“I wanted to push boundaries,” the progressive house/trance artist told Entertainment Weekly. “The song lends itself perfectly to call and response vocals and anthemic harmonies. Lady Antebellum aren’t just some of the best voices in country music, but in overall music. It was a shot in the dark, but fortunately they felt as passionately about the song’s uplifting theme as I did. The result is simply my favorite thing I’ve ever done,” he says.
Clearly, Lady A’s Charles Kelley agrees. “The first time we heard the song we knew we wanted to be part of it. We were immediately drawn to its great melody and powerful lyric,” he recalls. “Working with someone like Audien puts us a little outside of our comfort zone, but as a band, we’ve always been up for trying different things.”
You might recall that the vocal trio did just that at last month’s CMT Music Awards, performing a mash-up of songs with EDM superstar Zedd. Earlier this week, Swedish DJ/producer Avicii also leaked a new track featuring Zac Brown Band.
Big Machine RecordsEven though superstars Rascal Flatts will be working this 4th of July as an opening act, the guys in the band couldn’t be more excited about it, namely because they’re opening for the legendary Rolling Stones on their Zip Code tour.
“That was one you put on the bucket list and go, ‘OK, last resort.’ It’s a blessing. So, it's gonna be incredible,” Gary LeVox says of the performance this Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Jay DeMarcus admits getting the phone call from Mick Jagger was pretty surreal. “I’m gonna tell you what. They're wrong. You can get some satisfaction,” he jokes, referring to the band’s iconic song. “We're all huge Stones fans. So, it's a dream that you shoot for, but you never know that it would ever become a reality. So, to get that phone call was just like, ‘Are you kidding me?' Of course!"
“How did Mick sound on the phone when he called you? Was it like ‘Hey, Jay? Any chance you got the 4th of July off this year?’” Joe Don Rooney jokes, lapsing into a British accent. “No. My son is named Jagger, so I love the Stones,” he adds.
Rascal Flatts isn’t the only country act to take the stage with the Stones this year. Brad Paisley opened their Nashville date on the tour last month.
RCA NashvilleOn the 4th of July, remembering the soldiers who’ve fought for America’s freedom is especially important to Chris Young, having played quite a few shows for the troops overseas and also having several close relatives in the armed forces.
“You know, I've got a lot of connection to the military in my family,” he says. “My brother-in-law is still in the Marine Corps. My sister was a Marine. So, it's important to me, and it's something that for sure, I, one, take a lot of pride in trying to do that as much as possible. But two, it's something that is always fun for me to be able to go over there and play and just say thanks.”
So far, Chris has taken his music to Iraq, Germany, Kuwait, Japan and South Korea, bringing “a piece of home to military,” wherever they may be stationed.
While the “I’m Comin’ Over” hitmaker strives to lighten the load of the men and women in uniform, he finds they’re one of the most giving audiences he’s ever experienced.
“People are just so gracious. It's like, ‘No, no, we're over here to thank you guys.’ And it's probably the most gracious crowd that you'll ever be in front of,” he observes.
Chris Young’s as-yet-untitled fifth album is expected later this year.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDan Shay recently joined Keith Urban for a rendition of his hit “Tonight I Wanna Cry” on tour. You can check out their rehearsal and performance on the duo’s YouTube channel.
You can now watch Lee Brice’s new video for “That Don’t Sound Like You” on YouTube.
UMG NashvilleFor newcomer Canaan Smith, Independence Day resonates with him in a special way, having grown up in a pivotal city in the Old Dominion.
“Williamsburg, Virginia's a spectacular place for 4th of July 'cause it's the birthplace of our nation,” he asserts. “Really started there. So, when we celebrate our independence, that's a big place to do it and a great place to do it.”
The “Love You Like That” hitmaker says the city also lives up to its historic reputation when it comes to marking America’s birthday.
“We would do fireworks. They have a massive fireworks display. We set up a blanket on the lawn out in front of the governor's palace in downtown Colonial Williamsburg,” he recalls. “Just a lot of fun just taking in and celebrating our freedom.”
Canaan carries on with Dierks Bentley’s Sounds of Summer 2015 Tour close to home, playing Virginia Beach, Virginia on July 9. His debut CD Bronco is in stores now.
Mercury NashvilleAs a kid growing up in Florida, Easton Corbin recalls it being impossible to get “the good fireworks” in his hometown. But he had a relative who always managed to solve that problem for him.
“Tallahassee's near the Alabama border right there, so my uncle would go over to Alabama to get fireworks, and we'd all gather up at my grandma's. And he'd bring all that stuff to my grandma's and we'd horse around all day,” he remembers fondly.
But Easton’s quick to point out firework safety was always a major concern. “Of course, we didn't blow off any limbs or anything, which is good,” he laughs. “But we always had a lot of fun.”
In addition to celebrating America’s independence this week, Easton’s marking the release of his third album About to Get Real, which is new this week. It features his current hit “Baby Be My Love Song.”
Warner Music NashvilleThis Independence Day, Cole Swindell is headed for the town that inspired the hit he co-wrote for Luke Bryan, “Roller Coaster.”
“I think I have a few days blocked off to go down to Panama City, maybe, and just relax with some friends,” Cole says. The summer hit was inspired by PCB’s Miracle Strip Amusement Park, and mentions one of the city’s main drags, Thomas Drive.
But after his trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast, Cole is looking forward to getting back to work. “Then it's busy. Back out with [Jason] Aldean and Kenny Chesney, man. This is a big opportunity and while things are hot, I want to get out there for the fans and play music as long as I can,” he reflects.
Look for Cole to perform his latest hit “Let Me See Ya Girl” as he puts his nose back to the grindstone with a solo date in Louisville, Kentucky on July 10, before playing Target Field in Minneapolis with Jason, Kenny, Brantley Gilbert and Old Dominion on July 18.
Mercury NashvilleKacey Musgraves officially claims the crown, topping Billboard’s Country Albums chart, as her second album, Pageant Material, debuts at number one. Her sophomore effort sold close to 55,000 copies during its first week, besting the 43,000 her debut moved in 2013, according to Billboard. Same Trailer Different Park bowed at number 2 on the Country Albums ranking.
The new 14-song set also emerges in third place on the all-genre album chart, outpacing Taylor Swift’s 1989, which comes in at #4. Kacey kicks off her Country & Western Rhinestone Revue August 27 in Atlanta.
Danny Clinch/Southern Ground/Varvatos/BMLGWhat do Madonna and Zac Brown Band have in common? Both have recently collaborated with Swedish DJ and producer Avicii. Best known for his 2013 hit “Wake Me Up,” Avicii recently debuted a new song on his podcast, “Broken Arrows” featuring Zac Brown Band and calling Zac an “amazing singer” with “a really unique voice.”
While this make be Zac Brown Band’s first foray into Electronic Dance Music, this isn’t the first time Aviici has called on a singer from the country side of the tracks for vocals. He teamed up with Dan Tyminski from Alison Krauss & Union Station for his 2013 hit “Hey Brother.”
Zac Brown Band is currently climbing the charts with “Loving You Easy” from their latest ablum Jekyll Hyde. Avicii’s sophomore album Stories is expected later this year.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockWynonna and Terri Clark have been added to the lineup for Charlie Daniels' 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam. Ted Nugent, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Montgomery Gentry, Travis Tritt, Craig Morgan and more are already on the bill for the August 12 show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Proceeds go to help veterans through The Journey Home Project.
Dierks Bentley will perform two songs on Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Jeremy Cowart/Republic NashvilleWhile most Americans will be celebrating Independence Day, this weekend will be special for the guys in Florida Georgia Line for a completely different reason: they’ll be enjoying some rare time off.
“We don’t really get many Friday nights when we’re not playin’,” Brian Kelley points out. But his leisure-time activities may not be as exciting as you’d expect.
“We did get one recently. I think my wife and I, we had a Friday night off in town like a week or two ago and I think we just got pizza and hung with the dogs and watched a movie, and I hadn’t done that in years, and it was awesome,” he recalls. “Didn’t feel like going out at all. It was nice to kick back and know you’re gonna feel really, really good in the mornin’.”
The next work day for Brian and musical partner Tyler Hubbard is July 9 in Fort Loramie, Ohio.
Nino Munoz/Big Machine RecordsAs America prepares to celebrate its independence on July 4, Tim McGraw continues to celebrate the veterans who've helped fight for the country. So far, on the Shotgun Rider 2015 Tour he’s given away six mortgage-free homes to deserving soldiers, with 30 more members of the armed forces set to get new houses by the tour’s end through his partnership with Chase and Operation Homefront.
“[These are] people who have given us security for a lot of years,” Tim reflects, “and we’re able to do that back for them in a small way.” In the three years he's worked with Chase and Operation Homefront, they’ve partnered to give away 114 homes in 30 states.
Tim’s next tour stop with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant is July 10 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Valory Music Co.Congratulations to Brantley Gilbert, who tied the knot with his fiancée, Amber Cochran, over the weekend at his home in Georgia. The couple dated several years ago, and their relationship inspired some of Brantley's biggest hits, like "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" and "More than Miles." They reconnected after Brantley got sober in recent years and the couple got engaged last fall.
Capitol NashvilleLuke Bryan kicks off his seventh annual Farm Tour September 30 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This year, the eight-concert run adds four new cities including Ft. Wayne; Lexington, Kentucky; Starkville, Mississippi; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Last year, the CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year played for 110,000 fans on the rural tour, with some proceeds helping fund college scholarships for students from local farming families. Ticket presales start July 7, with seats for the general public going on sale July 10.
Here are the dates for Luke Bryan’s 2015 Farm Tour:
9/30 -- Ft. Wayne, IN, M&J Farms 10/1 -- Lexington, KY, Talon Farm & Winery 10/2 -- Knoxville, TN, Maple Lane Farms 10/3 -- Columbia, SC, Culler Farms 10/7 -- Starkville, MS, Holtzcamp Farms 10/8 -- Tuscaloosa, AL, Twin Creeks Farm 10/9 -- Macon, GA, Midway at Central City Park 10/10 -- Valdosta, GA, MJ Taylor Farms