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Country Music News

Nashville notes: Darius Rucker’s collaboration, Dustin Lynch’s merch for charity and more

Darius Rucker has a new song out called “Ol’ Church Hymn,” which features up-and-coming act Chapel Hart.

If you’re planning to grab some Dustin Lynch merch this weekend, your money will go to a good cause: The singer’s donating all proceeds from his merch sales over the weekend to Volunteer Florida to help Floridians recovering from Hurricane Ian.

Trisha Yearwood will “flip the switch” on the Grand Ole Opry’s signature barnyard backdrop to turn things pink for Opry Goes Pink. The annual event is a partnership with Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer.

Jon Langston has a new song out Friday, called “Give You My All.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

With 'Lindeville,' Ashley McBryde avoided doing “the expected thing” after a number-one radio hit

Warner Music Nashville

Ashley McBryde knows that her new album, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, is a left turn from what anybody expected her to do. But in a new interview with Billboard, she says that’s exactly why she wanted to do it.

“The expected thing, especially coming off having a No. 1 with Carly, is to shoot straight down the middle,” the singer says.

Of course, she’s talking about her hit duet with Carly Pearce, “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which topped the country charts and notched a whopping five nominations at the upcoming CMA Awards.

But instead of following up that success with another radio-ready hit in the making, Ashley chose to lean into her songwriter side, teaming up with musical pals like Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack and Brandy Clark to bring the fictional world of “Lindeville” to life. The album is a collection of story songs about the characters who live in a certain small town, and it’s unlike any other project coming out in the country genre in 2022.

“When you do a love project like this, it’s supposed to be, like, album five or six, or 10, which is another reason to do it now,” points out Ashley, who’s got two full-length studio albums other than Lindeville under her belt.

“Because f*** ‘should,’ write?” she adds.

Lindeville arrived on Friday.


Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Zac Brown Band drops their star-studded 'The Comeback (Deluxe)' album featuring a Jimmy Buffett duet

Warner Music Nashville

Zac Brown Band’s long-awaited deluxe edition of their The Comeback album arrived Friday, and it features an all-star cast of duet partners.

Ahead of release day, ZBB previewed several of the songs, including a version of “Out in the Middle” featuring Blake Shelton, “Any Day Now” with Ingrid Andress and several others. To celebrate the full release, the band is highlighting a collaboration with legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett on a version of the band’s song “Same Boat.”

When they first released “Same Boat” as part of the original The Comeback track list in late 2021, the song became ZBB’s 16th career chart-topper on country radio. The album originally boasted 15 tracks; ZBB bumped that number up to 21 on the deluxe version of the project.

The album -- and duet with Buffett -- comes the same week that Buffett announced he’s canceling the remainder of his 2022 tour dates due to health issues. The 75-year-old singer didn’t specify the exact issues that are keeping him off the road but told fans that he was briefly hospitalized and is taking time off to rest, per doctor’s orders.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Russell Dickerson’s self-titled third studio album is officially on its way

Triple Tigers Records

Russell Dickerson returns this week to announce his third studio album, a self-titled project boasting 15 tracks -- all of which he co-wrote.

The singer says the new music will continue to share his story with his fans, fleshing out his introspective side while also delivering the energetic onstage personality that concertgoers already know and love.

“No matter how far we get into this, I want people to know it’s still me,” Russell reflects. “I’m still the hyper, outgoing, fun-loving crazy dude onstage. But also these songs are so meaningful to me. It’s not all hype and smoke and lights. I am a songwriter, I trust my instincts, and now my instincts are telling me to share 100 percent me, and creatively just let it flow.”

Russell Dickerson is set to arrive on November 4, but ahead of release day, the singer is sharing one of its tracks, the anthemic “I Wonder,” along with a music video to match.

Russell’s new album is available to pre-save and pre-order now.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Hardy introduces fans to “Jack” in another sinister new song

Courtesy of Big Loud Rock

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s only fitting that Hardy’s new music is embracing some dark and scary undertones, but some of his subject matter is much scarier than haunted houses or things that go bump in the night.

He got the ball rolling on those themes in late August with the release of “Wait in the Truck,” a murder ballad featuring Lainey Wilson that tells the story of a guy who meets an abused woman and kills the man who hurt her.

Now, Hardy is continuing to release dark and sinister music with “Jack,” a love story turned sour about a person’s relationship with alcohol.

“I love the story it tells -- it’s got some deep undertones about alcohol and how it can have a strong grip on people and really bring you down,” the singer reflects. “I hope people can kind of read through that lyric and understand it. It rocks, and I’m excited for the world to hear it.”

The song also embraces Hardy’s hard rock and metal influences. He’s previously blended those musical styles with his country foundation on tracks like the fan-favorite “Sold Out.”

“Jack” arrived on Friday along with an equally hard-rocking music video.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Brothers Osborne talk “Play Ball,” story songs and working on 'Lindeville' with Ashley McBryde

Warner Music Nashville

Ashley McBryde and her gang of collaborators will invite fans to Lindeville this week with a new batch of story songs and collaborations.

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville was produced by Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne, who says he jumped at the chance to lend his skill set to the project. In fact, he tells ABC Audio, he was so excited about the concept that he would’ve been happy to be involved with it on any level.

“Honestly, when I was asked to be just the bandleader on it, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’d love to do it,’” John recounts. Once he signed on as producer and got to listen to all the work tapes, he only got more enthusiastic.

“And no one’s doing anything like that in Nashville at the moment, too,” he points out. “They nailed it on that record.”

John’s brother and bandmate, TJ Osborne, wasn’t about to pass up a trip to Lindeville, either: John says he and Ashley immediately agreed that one of its tracks, “Play Ball,” would be perfect for TJ to sing.

“It fits his range perfectly. We know how well he can sing anything, but this part of his range is just butter,” John says, also saying it reminds him of childhood memories he and his brother share. “TJ and I grew up playing Little League Baseball in our hometown. So every time we hear that song, it takes me back to the ball fields where we would play baseball,” he adds.

As for TJ? It’s just fun to step into a new musical character, he notes. “Cool story. I like the lyrics and it’s really, really country,” the singer adds. “That’s where I cut my teeth, singing really country songs.”

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville arrives on Friday.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Parker McCollum will headline a special, Houston-themed opening day for RodeoHouston 2023

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Parker McCollum is returning to RodeoHouston for 2023, where he’ll headline the first day of the extensive, star-packed festival proceedings.

It’s not the first time Parker’s headlined the rodeo, but next year’s performance will be a little bit different, as plans were unveiled this week for an opening day packed full of special events celebrating all things Texas.

That includes a performance from a local band on the Stars Over Texas stage, plus an early bird giveaway of custom-made Howdy bobbleheads for the first 10,000 people to show up to the festival.

Of course, it’ll all close out with Parker’s performance. He’s the perfect performer to celebrate the hometown theme: He hails from Conroe, Texas, just 40 miles north of Houston. The singer also proved to be a crowd favorite when performed at a previous RodeoHouston to a packed crowd of 73,243 fans.

Parker’s headlining set will kick off RodeoHouston 2023 on February 28. Tickets go on sale to the public on October 6.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maren Morris explains why she speaks up to support trans youth: “Country music is for everyone”

Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT

Maren Morris has long been a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and in recent weeks, her support for trans youth has been particularly visible.

The singer made headlines following a fiery back-and-forth with Brittany Aldean, wife of superstar Jason Aldean, after Brittany posted an Instagram reel that thanked her parents for not “changing my gender” when she went through “my tomboy phase.”

Maren, along with singer Cassadee Pope, flagged the comments as transphobic, and things continued to get heated, culminating in Brittany's appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight. Show host Tucker Carlson described Maren as a “Lunatic country music person,” which she promptly made into a T-shirt, ultimately raising $500,000 for GLAAD and the Trans Lifeline.

Now, Maren is back with a second T-shirt design. This time, it’s a purple tee for #SpiritDay, an October 20 initiative to raise money for GLAAD’s push against youth bullying, that reads “You Have a Seat at This Table.” That could be a reference to a lyric in “Crowded Table,” a song released by Maren’s band, The Highwomen.

“At its core, country music is for everyone,” Maren explains in a new interview with GLAAD. “It’s not just for one type of person. It’s everyone’s stories. It’s storytelling. So yeah, I definitely feel like that became apparent over the last few weeks.”

One-hundred percent of the proceeds of Maren’s new shirt benefit GLAAD’s work supporting LGBTQ youth. Additionally, she’s partnering with Fandiem and Bandsintown for a sweepstakes supporting GLAAD; the winner will win a flyaway plus tickets to a stop on her Humble Quest tour and more. To learn more and donate to win, visit Fandiem.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Alan Jackson to receive the 2022 CMT Artist of a Lifetime award

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Alan Jackson is this year’s recipient of the CMT Artist of a Lifetime award.

He will be honored as part of the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony, set to take place next month. The award recognizes his long history with CMT and country music in general; his decades-spanning career has seen him release almost 60 music videos to date.

“I believe I’ve made more videos than just about anybody, and I know how important they have been in bringing my songs to life for the fans, so thank you CMT for all the years and for this sweet honor,” the singer says in a statement. “I’m very proud.”

Alan was previously named a “CMT Giant” in 2008, and he also won the first-ever Impact Award at the CMT Music Awards in 2014. Over the years, his music videos have also won trophies both at the ACM Awards and at the CMA Awards.

The CMT Artists of the Year ceremony will also celebrate Kane Brown, Walker Hayes, Luke Combs, Carly Pearce and Cody Johnson. The event will broadcast live from Nashville on October 14 starting at 9 p.m. ET.


Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood + lots more stars are auctioning off their original song lyrics for charity

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Want to own a handwritten copy of lyrics to songs by Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Walker Hayes, Kelsea Ballerini or another one of your favorite country stars? Now’s your chance.

Today’s biggest stars and country music legends are coming together to contribute handwritten copies of their song lyrics to a charitable cause. Julien’s Auctions announced its third annual online charity auction event, Handwritten Song Lyrics Benefitting Music Health Alliance, this week.

Highlighted songs include Kelsea’s “Peter Pan,” Walker’s “Fancy Like” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant to Be.” Also on offer are handwritten lyrics to Peter Frampton’s “Do You Feel Like I Do,” ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” Martina McBride’s “Concrete Angel” and more.

There’s also a copy of Kenny Rogers’ “Twenty Years Ago,” written by songwriter Wood Newton and signed by all four co-writers in honor of the late singer’s memory.

The auction will open on October 1 and will start closing in real time on October 24. Proceeds benefit the Music Health Alliance, which advocates for music industry members' access to health care and financial support through medical procedures.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Duets and “4-foot-tall beers”: Parker McCollum shares why he’s having a blast on tour with Thomas Rhett

ABC/Connie Chornuk

Thomas Rhett’s Bring the Bar to You Tour is in full swing, but in order to perform one of his recent big hits -- “Beer Can’t Fix” -- he needs someone to fill in for original duet partner Jon Pardi.

That’s where opening act Parker McCollum comes in. The rising star says he’s been jumping onstage with TR to perform that song live during the tour.

“I go out and sing Pardi’s verse,” he explains. “[It’s a] really, really fun, cool moment in the show. We just kinda cut loose and the crowd loves it. And obviously, that song was such a big hit for them, so I just get to go out there and take all the credit for Jon.”

Not that he’s not grateful: “Shout out to Pardi for letting me have that moment every night,” Parker adds with a laugh.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the Bring the Bar to You Tour without an actual bar, and there’s a special moment onstage every night when the crew wheels out a bar fully stocked with tall boys.

“One night there were huge tall boys. They were, like, 4-foot-tall beers,” Parker remembers. “I usually just crack one of those open, and I think I usually leave it onstage when I go to sing. So, sorry about that, boys! Party foul.”

The Bring the Bar to You Tour will continue in the U.S. through mid-October. TR recently announced a Canadian leg of the trek for early 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes: Kelsea Ballerini brings “Love is a Cowboy” to late night + more

In case you missed it, Kelsea Ballerini made a stop on The Late Late Show With James Corden this week to perform her song “Love is a Cowboy.” You can watch the performance now.

Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch and more are all set to be guests on Tracy Lawrence’s just-announced TL’s Road House podcast. The first episode, featuring Jelly Roll, is out now.

Hailey Whitters just dropped an acoustic video for her song “Everything She Ain’t.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Miranda Lambert’s “fiery” Las Vegas residency is her chance to do something onstage she’s never done before


Miranda Lambert’s Velvet Rodeo Las Vegas residency is officially rolling: The country superstar kicked things off over the weekend with her first performance at the city’s Planet Hollywood.

So, what’s she loving most about the show? “The fire,” Miranda tells ET Online with a laugh.

“I mean, I get to have a lot of fire on the stage, and I’ve never had that before,” the singer goes on to say. “Except for, like, at awards shows and stuff. I’ve never taken fire on tour. So this is a treat, every night, to get to blow stuff up.”

Along with all those pyrotechnics, Miranda says she’s been enjoying spending time in Vegas with her husband, Brendan McLoughlin, who is planning to be in the audience for every single show.

Miranda recently teased that fans might get to see Brendan take the stage with her one night. “I've promised him he could bring me a tequila shot one night, but not yet,” she told Extra, admitting that her husband is a huge fan of being in the spotlight.

Miranda’s Velvet Rodeo is scheduled to run through April 2023.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Walker Hayes assigns homework to fans coming to see his Glad You’re Here Tour

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Walker Hayes is launching his Glad You’re Here Tour on Thursday, and as fans might expect, his show will feature some choreographed dancing. After all, he got his big break on TikTok, dancing along to his song “Fancy Like,” using moves he dreamed up with his teenage daughter Lela.

One thing fans might not expect is that it’ll be them doing the dancing. Ahead of opening night of the tour, Walker shared a video of the dance moves to an unreleased song called “Show Me the Country." He said he expects fans to have the dance down by the time they see him on the road.

“Learn it,” Walker wrote on Twitter. “Tour kicks off tmw & this is the first song of [the] set right here.”

Walker’s Glad You’re Here Tour lasts through mid-November, wrapping with a show in Everett, Washington. Parmalee will be the opening act.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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