Watch Little Big Town perform their brand new single, “Over Drinking,” on NBC’s Today Show on Thursday (September 12th).
Darius Rucker and Dierks Bentley are among the artists who will perform for a benefit to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas on Monday (September 16th) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson and LoCash will also perform.
Kacey Musgraves is gracing the cover of the new issue of Marie Claire. The October issue is on newsstands now.
It was recently announced Darius Rucker will be the celebrity advisor for the Battle Rounds for Blake Shelton on NBC’s The Voice. “’Bout time I get to advise my man Blake Shelton,” Darius tweeted. The new season of The Voice premieres September 23rd on NBC.
Brandon Lay will open for Brantley Gilbert on his upcoming Fire’t Up Tour, kicking off January 23rd (2020) in London, Ontario. The 30-date trek will also feature performances by Chase Rise and Dylan Scott.
Luke Bryan was among the superstars who gathered at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Tuesday (September 10th) to remember the late Earl Thomas Conley. Blake Shelton, who organized the memorial and a huge fan of ETC, Jason Aldean, Joe Diffie, Neal McCoy, Wade Hayes and John Anderson also performed.
Nine months after delighting fans with the news of their first album in nearly fifteen years, Hootie & the Blowfish share the first taste of what’s to come with Imperfect Circle’s November 1 release via “Rollin’,” now available at all digital retailers and streaming platforms.
“When we started getting that one going I was like, ‘Man, we’re a Southern rock band when we play this,’” frontman Darius Rucker shared. “I loved it. It’s like us trying to play a Black Crowes or Allman Brothers cover. I love the feel of that ’cause we don’t do that a lot.”
Billboard also broke the news of Imperfect Circle’s track listing, with highlights including a Lucie Silvas feature on “Wildfire Love,” which features Ed Sheeran as a co-writer, as well as Chris Stapleton’s penmanship on the only outside cut, “Hold On,” and Sheryl Crow on backing vocals throughout the album.
“I think it’s cool that Imperfect Circle kind of has the same ring to it as Cracked Rear View where you’re looking back and you realize nobody’s journey is perfect, but here we are,” says guitarist Mark Bryan of the album’s name. “We’ve been playing together for thirty-something years and for us to be here and to be doing this tour, to be making a record, it just seems like Imperfect Circle was perfect,” adds Rucker.
Set for release November 1st on Universal Music Group’s Capitol Nashville imprint, the album is now available for pre-order HERE.
Imperfect Circle Track Listing:
1. New Year’s Day (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Tofer Brown, Eric Paslay and Jeﬀ Trott)
2. Miss California* (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Andrew DeRoberts and David Ryan Harris)
3. Wildfire Love (Featuring Lucie Silvas) (Hootie & the Blowfish, Joel Crouse, Kyle Rife and Ed Sheeran)
4. Hold On* (Jim Beavers and Chris Stapleton)
5. Turn It Up (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh and Jeff Trott)
6. Not Tonight (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Andrew DeRoberts and David Ryan Harris)
7. We Are One (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh)
8. Everybody But You* (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh and Frank Rogers)
9. Lonely On A Saturday Night (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Eric Paslay and Jeﬀ Trott)
10. Why (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Chris August and James Slater)
11. Rollin’ (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh, Adam Doleac, Zach Kale and John King)
12. Half A Day Ahead (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh)
13. Change (Hootie & the Blowﬁsh) Album Produced by Jeff Trott
*Produced by Frank Rogers
Remaining Group Therapy Tour Dates:
September 6 Pelham, Ala. | Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
September 7 Nashville, Tenn. | Bridgestone Arena
September 11 Columbia, S.C. | Colonial Life Arena
September 12 Columbia, S.C. | Colonial Life Arena
September 13 Columbia, S.C. | Colonial Life Arena
October 4 Dublin, Ireland | 3 Arena
October 6 Bristol, England | O2 Academy
October 7 Leeds, England | O2 Academy
October 9 Glasgow, Scotland | Barrowland
October 10 Glasgow, Scotland | Barrowland
October 12 London, England | Eventim Apollo
October 15 Manchester, England | O2 Apollo
October 16 Birmingham, England | O2 Academy
About Hootie & the Blowfish
With the rich, bluesy vocals of Darius Rucker and gleeful harmonies of guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, Hootie & the Blowfish have sold over 25 million records worldwide to date after their infectious melodies hit the airwaves in 1994 with hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”
The quartet met at the University of South Carolina where endless gigs at frat houses and local bars built a major local buzz. Their blend of pop, folk, blues, soul and rock made them hard to pigeonhole, but easily accessible to anyone who loved good music.
Atlantic Records, impressed by their regional draw, signed them and released Cracked Rear View in 1994. The album had been out for six months before the band played on the Late Show with David Letterman which sent sales skyrocketing, eventually landing at No. 1 on the Billboard chart the following spring. Cracked Rear View and the band went on to win two GRAMMY Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, and multiple People’s Choice Awards. Cracked Rear View went on to earn the band Billboard‘s Band of the Year Award in 1996 and the RIAA’s Diamond Award for sales in excess of 10 million units. Cracked Rear View remains among the Top 10 most-certified studios album in music business history.
The band remained a top draw nationwide and released five more albums for Atlantic: Fairweather Johnson, Musical Chairs, Scattered, Smothered & Covered, Hootie & The Blowfish and The Best of Hootie & The Blowfish, as well as Looking For Lucky on their own Sneaky Long Records and LIVE in Charleston, The Homegrown Concert Event DVD and CD. The band took a break from full-time touring in 2007, reuniting annually for a variety of philanthropic events while also pursuing solo projects. 2019 marked the band’s first full-time touring year in over a decade as they embarked on the Group Therapy Tour ahead of Imperfect Circle, their first album in nearly 15 years due out November 1 under a new record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville.
Audio / Mark Bryan of Hootie & the Blowfish talks about one of the differences from the band's previous albums and their new Imperfect Circle.
Hootie & the Blowfish (different from previous albums) OC: …the songwriting. :23 “I think one thing you might notice different is there’s 15 years since our last record, or 14 years or whatever it’s been. And as humans we’ve grown to a place where our songwriting is going to come from a little bit different place, a little more experience, hopefully a little more wisdom, and I don’t know, a place that we couldn’t have written from 15, 20 years ago. So, that might be a difference that you’ll hear is just some maturity int he songwriting.”
For many decades, Labor Day was seen as a day for workers to voice their complaints and discuss better working conditions and pay.
U.S. Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday in 1894, and on Monday, September 2nd, we will once again celebrate the people in every occupation whose work and dedication make this nation great.Labor Dayin the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.
Labor Day weekend also signals the unofficial end to summer, and many of the hottest country stars are taking a look back at some of the toughest jobs they had prior to making their mark in music or their dream job now.
Audio / Adam Hambrick talks about one of his summer jobs when he was growing up in Arkansas.
Adam Hambrick (Labor Day-jobs) OC: …that summer. :41 “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bad job. I don’t think I had a bad job, ‘cause I actually enjoyed this job ‘cause I was actually sitting in the air conditioning all day over the summer in Arkansas. It was very monotonous, because I was spending every summer day repairing old fallen-apart medical charts in a heart clinic in Little Rock. I would take all these photos of all these records and re-sort them page-by-page and put ‘em back in the manila folder and re-alphabetize ‘em. But I did bring my computer and watch movies while I did it, so I drank a lot of soda and watched a lot of movies that summer.”
Audio / Alan Jackson says that working man values have always been a part of his music.
AJ (working people songs) OC: … appreciate that. :28
“I’ve always written songs and recorded songs, other people’s songs, about workin’ people, and workin’, the workin’ life ’cause I mean, that’s where I’m from. I mean, I worked…I’d already had jobs and worked as a grown person before I ever even thought about bein’ in the music business, so I come from that background, and…although I hadn’t had a job in a long time (laughs), I still remember a lot about it, you know, and I remember what the lifestyle is, and I still appreciate that.”
Audio / Billy Currington recalls some of the jobs he had before landing his record deal in 2003.
Billy Currington (Labor Day) OC: …record deal. :40 “I started working like at [age] 12, landscaping. This was summer, every summers, and roofing. I started when I was about 16 roofing houses, and that was probably one of my toughest jobs because down there in South Georgia, it gets hot, so doing that every day all summer long. The pawn shop when I moved to Nashville was one of my favorites, even though it was one of my least favorites. The concrete job was my least favorite of all – six years of that, and I couldn’t take it no more. After that job, that was my turning point. Either I’m going to do something else for a living [laughs] or quit and try to really focus on music and get this record deal.”
Audio / BRANDON LAY SAYS HE’S ALWAYS ENJOYED THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND.
Brandon Lay (Labor Day) OC: …a good one. :13 “You know, I can’t complain too much about Labor Day, ‘cause usually doing landscaping and it had slowed down a little, but the water’s still warm enough to hit the river. I’ve gotten to spend some time out on the lake for Labor Day, so Labor Day’s a good one.”
Audio / CARRIE UNDERWOOD TALKS ABOUT THE JOBS SHE HAD GROWING UP AND HER BEST JOB -- PERFORMING FOR HER FANS.
Carrie Underwood (Labor Day) OC: …born to do. :59 “I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad job. I’ve had hard jobs. I’ve had jobs that worked random hours. My first job was at a gas station, and that was a lot of fun actually. While I was working at the gas station, I took another job at a hotel down the street. There was nobody else working there. I had one day of training and then the next day I came in, and the lady that had worked there the longest and was training me just didn’t show. So, the second day at work I was now in charge ‘cause I was now the senior member that was working at the hotel. So, I feel like that one was really challenging to figure my way through it, but I did. My best job is definitely what I do now. I really like being on stage. I really like performing for people and just having fun and singing, because that’s what I feel like I was born to do.”
Caylee Hammack (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …worst job. (laughs) :38 “My worst job was working in a nursery, actually. I love kids so I thought I’d be really good at it, but wen you’re the new person coming in, you have to change all the diapers first. So, I was changing 45 diapers a day and it got to the point where everything smelled like baby poop. It literally drove me crazy. I would walk my dog and I would have to go to pick up her poop, and it would smell like baby poop, and I just couldn’t handle it, honestly. The smell of poop warded me away. The children were lovely, but the smell of poop lingered, and I couldn’t handle that job. That was my worst job.” (laughs)
Audio / CLARE DUNN GETS EMOTIONAL WHEN TALKING ABOUT DRIVING A SILAGE TRUCK IN TEXAS TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO MOVE TO TENNESSEE TO FOLLOW HER DREAM.
Clare Dunn (Labor Day) OC: …had to do. 1:05 “I was coming for school. I remember I was two weeks late for school [at Belmont], because I had stayed in Texas longer to drive a silage truck for harvest. Harvest was still going on and I needed the money, so I stayed down there. I called all my professors. I explained what I was doing. I said, ‘I’m not going to be there for the first two weeks.’ They all were very, I told them why, and they were all very accepting of that. So, I got home. I was worn out from driving this truck in Texas, and I remember getting home in like the morning or the night before and I left the next day. I literally just chucked as much stuff in a U-haul as I could, and my family was helping me get it all ready while I was on the truck. I remember, everybody cried. I’m probably gonna cry just talking about it, because it was so many unknowns, and I just drove myself out to Tennessee. It was very emotional for me, obviously, just seeing that Tennessee state line sign and being scared to death, but knowing that’s what I had to do.”
Audio / Darius Rucker recalls one of his worst jobs before turning to music.
Darius Rucker (Labor Day) OC: …pizza. :15 “I was fifteen, and I worked at a pizza place, and the guy decided that at fifteen, that I could not only clean the floors and wash the dishes, but I also had to make pizza. So, for two months, he taught me how to make pizza.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley makes a living performing for his fans, and he can’t say enough about them.
Dierks Bentley (Labor Day) OC: …generosity. :26 “Personally, the fans give me amazement. That’s the only word to really sum it up. I look out in the crowd, you know, usually see a lot of faces and fans are cheering. I know each one of these like from the road-the signs are from California…Michelle and Kayla live up in the Ohio area. They’re all, I just see them, and I’m like, ‘Wow!,’ they’re all from different regions. You know when you’re in a different region of the country and you just see certain fans. These people are way more hard core than I am, and I’m just amazed by their generosity.”
Audio / Eric Church talks about one of his worst job.
Eric Church (Labor Day-odd jobs) OC: …bought at 2am. 1:27 “I had an awful job. I’ve had a lot of awful jobs…my worst one was when I first came to Nashville. I got a job at the Shop at Home Network. I worked midnight, graveyard, midnight to eight. That was bad enough but then I would work all night, go home, shower and then I had writing appointments all day because I was trying to get a career started. I’d go write songs and get meetings just trying to get signed. And end up getting done at 3 of 4 with all of that, I’d go home, take a shower or sleep for a little bit and then I had to be at work again at midnight. So the schedule was bad enough, however, what I had to do at the job…I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8am. And, anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4am and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. And I just, I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this…I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it, I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you what man, go to bed, call me, I’ll be here in the morning. If you get up in the morning and want these knives you call me back.’ Because I knew what was going to happen, you know. They bought 200 knives for $19.95…first of all some of these people you didn’t know whether you should call the cops. What do you need 200 knives for? Even though I’m selling them…what do you need them for? So, it was awful doing that job. And then they got rid of me because, they were like, ‘You’re the worst. I can’t believe you’re talking people out of it.’ I was like, ‘Man I know…I’ve been there.’ [laughs] I’d want some to talk me out of buying some of the stuff I’ve bought at 2am.”
Jon Langston (Labor Day) OC: …is the bomb. :45 “The worst job – it wasn’t bad – I could just say growing up and stuff and in high school, I was working for my dad. It was a great job, working at the shop. One day I got tired of working for my dad. I thought it’d be smart to go work for somebody else and so I went to work at Chik-fil-a for a family friend, and I’m just not made for cooking chicken. But, I told my dad, ‘Hey, can I come back to work?’ (laughs) So, yeah, I mean, Chik-fil-a a great place to work if you’re into that kind of thing, but not me. But Chik-fil-a is m favorite fast food restaurant of all time. I mean, I will go to war for Chik-fil-a. I eat there probably three or four times a week. Chik-fil-a is the bomb.”
Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his worst job, which was at a grocery store.
Jon Pardi (Labor Day) OC: …so bored! :17 “The worst job I ever had was at Hometown Grocery Store. I didn’t want to work, I was 15, and I did not want to work at the grocery store. Bagging was fun, but they sent me down the aisles to pull up cans and turn ‘em around and face ‘em, and I would just get so bored!”
Audio / JORDAN DAVIS, WHOSE DEBUT SINGLE IS MAKING ITS WAY UP THE COUNTRY CHARTS, TALKS ABOUT HIS WORST JOB.
Jordan Davis (Labor Day) OC: …worst job. :41 “[My] worst job was probably whenever I got out of school I started working for an environmental group in Baton Rouge, and I was doing actual environmental work at first. I went to my boss probably about four months in and told him that I was going to move to Nashville and write songs. Luckily enough, he let me stay on, but I became the weedeater guy for the landscaping side of the business. I seriously weedeated eight hours a day. The only break I would get would be in-between yard to yard. So, like we would be in the car and I would try to doze off for like 10 minutes. I was covered in grass in the middle of the summer in Baton Rouge. It was awful. That was definitely the worst job.”
Audio / KEITH URBAN TALKS ABOUT PERFORMING FOR FANS.
Keith Urban (Labor Day) OC: …amazing. :22 “Seeing people connect to the music is absolutely, hands-down the biggest reward for me, especially when you go to a place you’ve never been to before and it’s all these people, I mean lots of people out there. You’ve never met a single one of ‘em and they’re singing every word, and you realize that it’s not just a pretty melody and everything, but they get the songs. It’s amazing.”
Kip Moore (Labor Day-worst job) OC: …than that. :21 “I’d have to say my worst job ever was laying sod in the south Georgia heat. There’s nothing than that, especially when somebody would think that you’re waiting for the next sod patch to be thrown to you and you got your back turned, and all of a sudden, that big ole piece of sod hits you right on the back. You got nowhere to clean up, and you’re just stuck with dirt on your back for the rest of the day. It doesn’t get any worse than that.”
Audio / Luke Bryan talks about the different jobs he worked in and around Leesburg, Georgia, before heading to Nashville to pursue a career in music.
Luke Bryan (Labor Day-jobs) OC: …Nashville… 1:07 “At age 12 thru 13, I worked at Rubos IGA Supermarket in Leesburg, GA. I worked during the summers on Monday and Tuesday. I stocked and cleaned up the produce. They paid me under the table…I peeled off all of the brown lettuce. Let’s see, when I was 15, I was a cashier at K-Mart for two months. I worked at K-Mart for two months, and then I reverted back to Rubos because it didn’t really make sense for me to drive all the way into Albany and work for K-Mart. The benefits were great though-you’d get an hour-long on the blue light special. So I started back at Rubos, and then I quit Rubos and worked for my Dad-just awful just driving tractors through cotton all day, and spraying pesticides that eventually would turn your hair green. And then at some point, I started playing guitar. And well, after college I went back and worked for my dad and continued to spray and haul fertilizer around. And then I moved to Nashville…”
Audio / TRAVIS DENNING HAS NEVER HAD ANOTHER JOB OTHER THAN PLAYING MUSIC.
Travis Denning (Labor Day) OC: …right for it. :13 “I’ve always played music. I mean, my first gig was when I was 16-years-old. That was what I did. And as soon as I found out I could make money doing it, I thought I’d much rather make money doing this than anything else, so I went right for it.”
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them (see below).
Some artists will celebrate with friends and family, while others will celebrate the holiday by doing what they do best — performing for fans.
Luke Bryan has been tapped to perform during NBC’s annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks, live from New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge. The coverage will air live at 8pm – 10pm ET on NBC. Maren Morris and Brad Paisley will also perform.
Keith Urban will celebrate Independence Day by performing at Provo, Utah’s America’s Freedom Festival.
Jordan Davis will be playing the 4th of July Spectacular, a free show for service men and women, at the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii.
Kip Moore will be performing at the Greeley Independence Stampede in Greeley, Colorado.
Travis Denning is set to play the Party in the Park 4th of July Celebration in Frederick, Maryland.
Clare Dunn will perform during the Our Country 4th of July Spectacular in Norco, California.
Jon Langstonis scheduled to perform at the Red, White and Country concert in Columbus, Ohio.
Jon Pardi will perform during Fort Gordon’s Independence Celebration in Fort Gordon, Georgia on July 3rd.
Brandon Lay is set to play the Heinz Field 4th of July Celebration in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Adam Hambrick (Fourth of July) OC: …July. :11 “Fire up the grill and blow something up. Two things that are important for a good time on the Fourth of July – one (is) fire and meat. Those two things make a Happy Fourth of July.”
Audio / Alan Jackson recalls one of the coolest Fourth of July memories he’s ever enjoyed.
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58 Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Audio / Billy Currington talks about his favorite Fourth of July memories.
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16 “My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Audio / Brandon Lay recalls his favorite Fourth of July memories when he was a child.]-
Brandon Lay (Fourth of July) OC: …good times. :47 “I remember everybody hanging out at my grandmother’s and we would drive down the road to a fireworks stand off the side of Highway 45 out there in Jackson [Tennessee]. Just getting the bottle rockets and Black Cats and bringing ‘em back to the house, it felt like it was an eternity before it got dark. We just kept wanting to light ‘em and our parents would tell us it ain’t time, but just how exhilarating it was to see ‘em shoot up. We’re not talking big time fireworks here, but you would’ve thought that it was. It’s funny just how you remember things, but I just remember a screen door at my grandmother’s, running in and out, in and out, in and out and four wild little cousins running around. It was good times.”
Audio / Carrie Underwood recalls one of her favorite Fourth of July memories.
Carrie Underwood (favorite Fourth of July memory) OC: …work out. :51 “I think my favorite Fourth of July memory would be going to the fireworks stand and picking out which fireworks I wanted to do. I must’ve been like 7 or 8, and I came home and made a list of what order I wanted to do them in, because I wanted to put a show on for Mom and Dad, and of course I couldn’t wait until it was dark outside (laughs). So, I made my Mom and Dad get the lawn chairs and come out to the backyard and watch some not very dramatic fireworks at like six o’clock in the evening, but I was so proud of myself, and I was so proud of the show that I put on. So, I feel like that was a little training for what I do now – putting on shows, figuring out how it’s all going to work out.”
Audio / CLARE DUNN AND HER FAMILY ARE USUALLY IN THE MIDST OF HARVESTING THEIR CROPS DURING THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY, BUT SHE SAYS IT'S ONE OF HER FAVORITE MEMORIES GROWING UP SINCE THAT WAS WHEN THEY WERE ALL TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.
Clare Dunn (Fourth of July) OC: …with your family. 1:12 “Fourth of July is probably one of the biggest memories for me, because it’s always during harvest time. And harvest time, being a farmer, is your most important time of the year. It’s always nine-o. It’s always busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, but we always go into town, depending on what field we’re at. A lot of my memories are South Grenada, Colorado, we farm just south of that town, and we go into town and get Mexican food, a great Mexican food place called Shorty’s, and we get tostados and enchiladas and we take them back out to the field. And everybody stops for a second and we eat on the hoods or the tailgates of pickups, and we’re just all out there in the field taking a brief moment to eat dinner and then get back to cutting. And if you’re lucky you’ll see some fireworks from town. Those are some of my favorite memories growing up because you’re all out there working. You’re together, and it’s just the moment of pride, of getting the harvest in and getting to be with your family.”
Audio / Darius Rucker talks about what the Fourth of July means to him.
Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24 “The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know? [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Audio / Darius Rucker enjoys setting off fireworks.
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15 “Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley says the people of this country are what define America.
Dierks (people are America) OC: …all about. :17 “The definition of America to me, you know, getting a chance to travel across the country on a tour bus, stepping upon stages whether it be county fairs, state fairs, arenas, rock bars, the Opry stage, anywhere across the country and looking out at that crowd and seeing people. The people, to me, are what America’s all about.”
Audio / Eric Church recalls his family activities on the Fourth of July holiday.
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17 “The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. 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. This was before, 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.”
Audio / Jon Langston doesn't have any traditions for the Fourth of July, since it's ever-changing. This year, he'll be performing in Columbus, Ohio.
Jon Langston (Fourth of July) OC: …either way. :17 “The Fourth of July is usually different every year. We’re usually playing shows, or we’re out on the lake or at the beach, or sometimes I’ve said, ‘I’m staying at home,’ shooting fireworks off the back porch or something. That’s probably not the safest thing, but we have a good time either way.”
Audio / JORDAN DAVIS TALKS ABOUT SOME OF HIS FAVORITE CHILDHOOD FOURTH OF JULY MEMORIES.
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17 “Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Audio / Josh Turner talks about the fireworks “wars” his family would have when he was growing up.
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20 “Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (patriotism) OC: …the unity. :24 “It’s common, shared beliefs and identity. And I think at its core, it’s an incredibly strengthening, vital thing for our people to have, and it’s particularly gratifying in the midst of so much separating of ideas that it can get fractious. And it’s kind of nice that a sense of patriotism can remind everybody of the unity.”
Audio / Kip Moore says he’s very proud of the U.S. military and can’t imagine having to do what they do to protect the United States.
Kip Moore (Fourth of July-soldiers) OC: …every day. :32 “I’m a very, very patriotic person, proud of the country that I live in, and I’m very proud of what those guys do for us each and every day, and I don’t take it for granted one bit. My grandparents were in the military, fought wars, and I’ve seen the battle that they go through, just the horror of remember things. When I start to think that I’m half-way tough, I realize how I’m not one bit when I talk to soldiers when I’m out and realize the things that they go through. I can’t imagine facing what those guys face every day.”
Audio / Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild talks about the big sacrifices the military AND their families make to keep this country free.
LBT (military) OC: (Karen) …whenever we can. (Kimberly: “Yeah.”) : “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, and not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl that, she’s 21 years old and she has a third baby and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home, and doing a great job and the best she can, and he’s serving his country. And he’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she and so are those children, and we just can’t take it for granted. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.” (Kimberly: “Yeah.”)
Audio / Luke Bryan recalls one of his favorite Fourth of July memories.
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21 “Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Audio / MADDIE & TAE TALK ABOUT THEIR FOURTH OF JULY TRADITIONS.
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Audio / Sam Hunt talks about what he and his family did over the Fourth of July holiday when he was growing up in Georgia.
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39 “My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Audio / TRAVIS DENNING TALKS ABOUT THE FOURTH OF JULY EVENTS HIS HOMETOWN OF WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA WOULD THROW EVERY YEAR.
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”
“Hey everybody, Keith Urban here, wanting to wish you all a fantastic and safe summer. Enjoy the sunshine. Hopefully, you’ll get to spend some time with the ones you love, and hopefully, we’ll also get to see you out on the road.”
AJ (parenting style) OC: …what they did. :19 “We try to be just not pushy hands-on parents. We let them live and be their own way. I’m not stern with them. You know, I’m funny and light, and try to give them guidance and let them live and learn their own ways. And that’s something, I think, my parents did. It was accidental, but that’s what they did.”
Audio / Brandon Lay is celebrating his first Father’s Day as a Dad to his nine-month-old son, Ryder.
Brandon Lay (1st Father’s Day) OC: …the experience. :24 “Hey y’all, this is Brandon Lay, and this year is gonna be my first Father’s Day as a Father, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about for a long time, and definitely having little Ryder these past nine months have changed everything. So, I have a whole new appreciation for families out there. I don’t know how everyone does it, but thankful for him and super thankful for the experience.”
Audio / Caylee Hammack says her father is a good man.
Caylee Hammack (Dad) OC: …forget that. 1:19 “My dad has this really unnerving ability to be able to build anything at all just by thinking of it. He can look at something and build it in his mind and build it by hand, and it always works. I’ve always respected him for that. He’s a very hard worker. He’s worked every day of his life. He’s also kind, even when he doesn’t have to be. He’s the type of guy who always gives money at the light to whoever it is on the street. One of my favorite moments with my dad was when we were driving to Macon, Georgia. I was playing a show that night, and we were driving up and we saw this dog and I could tell she was a mama dog. I could tell she had babies somewhere that she was trying to nurse, and she was so skinny. And I’m a bleeding heart. I get it from my Mama, and I just start crying, and I’m like, ‘That poor dog. She’s starving trying to feed her babies.’ I thought, ‘Poor dog.” And my dad doesn’t say anything, goes up two more blocks and pulls into the McDonalds. And he goes through and he asks me if I wanted anything, and I say no. I just think he’s hungry. He goes and he buys three or four burgers, and then he goes back to that block and he drives around until we find that dog to feed it to ‘em. I just remember looking at him, being like this is what a man is; this is what a good man does, and I’ll never forget that.”
Audio / CLARE DUNN RECALLS ONE HER FATHER’S FAVORITE GIFTS HE RECEIVED FOR FATHER’S DAY.
Clare Dunn (Father’s Day gift) OC: …one year. :35 “[My Dad] loves the weather, so we gave him a weather machine one year, and that was…well, he’s a farmer so he has to watch the weather all the time. And we gave him this weather gadget-gizmo that sits on top of the horse barn and gives him his own read-out of the weather. ‘What’s the temp? What’s the pressure? What’s the humidity?’ Well, there is no humidity in Colorado, or Southeast, but I think that was probably the biggest gift. My mom, I think, she gets all the credit for that, but I think we all collectively did that for Father’s Day one year.”
Audio / Darius Rucker says his kids would say he was a fun dad, unless they did something wrong.
Darius Rucker (Father’s Day) OC: …loving dad. :41 “I think if you asked my kids what kind of Dad I was they would probably say…Dani would say that I was a fun Dad. My little daughter would say that I was a fun dad; she thinks I’m a lot of fun. I think if you caught them at the right moment they would say I was mean [laughs] because when I’m home I’m not afraid to discipline them. I’m all fun until it’s not fun anymore and then daddy’s not the fun guy. I think that they’d say that I was a fun Dad, I’m a loving Dad and I think they would say that. I’m gone so much that when I’m home, I just shower love upon my kids. I say ‘I love you’ probably fifty times a day. We hug, we kiss all the time. I’m always wanting them to know how much I love them. So I’d hope they’d say that I was a loving dad.”
Audio / Darius Rucker says his mother made him a good father to his three children.
Darius Rucker (mother’s qualities makes him a great father) OC: …my mom. :45 “She had a lot great qualities, but she was always, family was first for her. She was always a rock and making sure she took care of us and making sure we had things we needed to have to survive – food and clothes and a home – and seeing that and seeing how hard she worked and all the things she did just really made me the father that I am today. I mean, I’m so crazy and hands-on with my kids. I think it all comes from watching my mom have to struggle so much to support us. And so now, I don’t want me or my wife to ever have to struggle, and I don’t want my kids to ever want or wonder where I am or where there mom is. I want them to always know where we are and always be taken care of, and that all comes from my mom.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley enjoys being both dad – to daughters Evie and Jordan and son Knox – and country music performer.
Dierks Bentley (dad & performer) OC: …to do both. :28 “When I get home, it’s a totally different reality that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Just hanging with my girls and doing the things we do and seeing life through their eyes, it’s incredible. It takes a man to do it. It’s not a boys’ game. It takes a man to do it. I love the juxtaposition to be able to be that man and to also go on the road and act like I’m 13 years old and play video games all afternoon waiting for the fans to show up. So, it’s really a blessing to be able to do both.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley, the father of three, is very grateful to his own dad for turning him on to country music as a kid.
Dierks (Father’s Day) OC: …that’s for sure. :10 “My dad was my biggest influence in country music because my dad loved country radio. So, we always drove around listening to country radio and George Strait, Hank Williams and Randy Travis and all these guys, so. Without him, I wouldn’t be doing this, that’s for sure.”
Audio / Eric Church describes his father and the qualities he admires in him.
Eric Church (Father’s Day) OC: …always admired. :29 “My dad is a, I’m trying to find the right words to describe him. My dad is a great guy, honest guy, very call it like he sees it, which is where I get a lot of that. No BS. I’m gonna tell you how I feel whether you like it or not. I’m that guy, I’m me…My dad’s that way, so I get a lot of that from him. There’s also an honesty and an integrity that my dad carries himself with that I’ve always admired. I think the both of them combined, and they’ve been married for I think 40 years, to be together that long in this day and time is a feat in itself.”
Audio / Jon Langston looks up to his father and hopes to become just like him.
Jon Langston (Father’s Day) OC: …just fine. :16 “My Dad has been my hero all my life. He’s the man I want to be one day when I grow up. I’m thankful for all he’s done for me and the sacrifices he’s made for our family. If I’m half the man he is one day, I’ll be just fine.”
Audio / JORDAN DAVIS TALKS ABOUT HIS FAVORITE QUALITIES OF HIS DAD.
Jordan Davis (Father’s Day) OC: …my music. :45 “The thing I love most about my Dad is just his overall love of life. He’s a guy that’s worked hard and is now at a point where he can enjoy it, and he’s living every day to the fullest. That’s something that I’m very thankful that I’ve seen my Dad do and something to learn from. So, that’s probably my favorite quality about the old man, and just the hard work too. My dad ran a furniture business in Shreveport for a long time with his Dad. It was great to grow up and see a guy work hard and helped his Dad build a business from the ground up to a very successful business, and that’s something that I even try to carry over into my music.”
Audio / PROUD DAD OF FOUR (HAMPTON, COLBY, MARION, HAWKE), JOSH TURNER TALKS ABOUT HOW HIS THREE OLDEST SONS ARE LEARNING THE FAMILY TRADE.
Josh Turner (Father’s Day) OC: …one of ‘em. 1:05 “As far as talent and potential, my oldest three, especially, they could do anything they wanted to do if they put their mind to it and their heart was there. My oldest [Hampton] is incredible at playing mandolin. Colby, we kind of noticed him turn the corner lately with the fiddle, and Marion is actually playing a ukulele that’s tuned like the top four strings on a guitar, so in essence, he’s learning how to play guitar. They’ve just kind of started incorporating some singing into some playing, so they’re starting the whole singing and playing at the same time kind of thing, and not only that, they’re even learning to play songs together on their individual instruments. So, it’s amazing to see how much they can learn in such a short amount of time. It makes me realize how much I missed out on when I was that age, ‘cause I did take some music lessons growing up and everything, but I think they feed off of each other honestly. I think that’s why they’re getting so good is because they’re all doing it, not just one of ‘em.”
Audio / Keith Urban – father to daughters Sunday and Faith -- says there are a number of things that are at the top of the list of being a dad.
Keith Urban (Father’s Day) OC: …experience that. :36 “The first thing is probably just having someone call you dad. I’m like, ‘Omigosh! I’m her dad! That’s amazing.’ That’s probably the first thing to me. I don’t know, I mean, the different personalities that our two daughters have, that’s amazing. It’s such a long list I think. I always say…I think for the people that haven’t had kids – which I hadn’t for a long, long time. I didn’t have kids ‘til later on, and being around it is not the same as having them, you know? I realize that it’s not something that can be explained until you actually sort of have it, so I’m glad I got to experience that.”
Audio / Kip Moore talks about his late father’s influence on his music career, and how he’d play classics on their fishing trips.
Kip Moore (Father’s Day-dad’s influence) OC: …of us singin’ ‘em. :29 “He would just play all those classic records – Little River Band, Jackson Brown, Springsteen, Seeger, Willie Nelson, the Red-Headed Stranger, Kristofferson, Sam Cook – like classic music. He’d be singing the songs and telling us why it was such good music. And I looked up to him so much, that’s the music I gravitated towards and that’s what I continue to listen to. Whenever I think about those old fishing trips, that’s what I think about is on the way down there, him singing those songs and all of us singin’ ‘em.”
Audio / Luke Bryan talks about learning and teaching life lessons.
Luke Bryan (Father’s Day-life lessons) OC: …live by that. :46 “Well, my dad was, I always just go back to the life lessons that always started either in a fishing boat or hunting somewhere, and that’s why I’ve always kind of been a champion of those types of behaviors certainly with your boys and your children because you get to spend time and hand down values. My dad was always big on just hard work and being good to people and a handshake is the contract. A handshake is your bond, your word. His famous saying always was, ‘Do something right the first time and you won’t have to go back and do it over again.’ I won’t say I batted a thousand perfectly on that, but I’ve kind of tried to live by that.”
Audio / MADDIE MARLOW TALKS ABOUT HER FATHER’S FAVORITE GIFT SHE’S EVER GIVEN HIM FOR FATHER’S DAY.
Maddie & Tae (Father’s Day) OC: …for Father’s Day. :26 “So, for Father’s Day, I made my Dad – I think it was right before I moved to Nashville – I made my Dad this little photo book where it had like his quotes that have stuck with me my whole life and then some pictures, and it was really funky. It looks horrible. It’s not put together, but that’s one of his favorite gifts that he’s ever gotten, and I cherish that ugly photo book thing that I made for him for Father’s Day.”
Audio / Sam Hunt says his father taught him a lot about being a man and knowing the right thing.
Sam Hunt (Father’s Day) OC: …he’s great. :27 “I’m obviously biased about my parents, but I’ve been around a lot of great men of integrity, but he is by far the best man that I know. He’s just taught me so much about being a man, doing the right thing, knowing the difference between right and wrong. And even though I don’t always follow his lead, I definitely know better because of him, and that means a whole lot to me. I was just really fortunate to have him as a dad, and he’s great.”
Audio / Travis Denning says his father is his best friend.
Travis Denning (Father’s Day) OC: …for sure. :43 “My dad – I call him ‘Diamond Dave’ and a lot of other people do too. Honestly, I don’t know if I drink more with anybody else more than my Dad. I think a super cool thing now is getting older and knowing that I’m starting to get more and more sustained as a human that it’s like my parents get to be friends now with me and my sister, which is such a cool thing. And so, yeah, me and my Dad – we love music and we love heavy metal and we love all that. We get to go to concerts and football games and drink beer and just enjoy that cool part of a father and a son and a mother and a son where now we get to be friends and it’s really cool. My Dad is my best friend, for sure.”
Audio / Vince Gill says "kindness" is the one quality he hopes he's taught his children. He also says when his grandchildren come over, he shuts out the rest of the world to focus on them.
Vince Gill (Father’s Day) OC: …feels like. :40 “Kindness-hopefully make them kind, and it’s what we got. We’ve got five great kids and a couple of grandkids. Those grandkids are the complete light of my life. They just show up, and the rest of the world can kiss my you-know-what. (laughs) I say, ‘We’re gonna go swing in the backyard. We’re gonna wrestle on the bed. We’re gonna eat those goldfish,’ and nothing else kind of seems to matter. And I think what I love seeing more than anything is for my kid to finally understand what it means to love. And it’s awesome to see my kid finally get it, what that unconditional love really looks like and feels like.”
A decade after first visiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he was immediately inspired to pledge his support, Darius Rucker has surpassed the $2 million mark in his fundraising efforts with this year’s 10th annual “Darius & Friends” benefit concert last week followed by his corresponding golf tournament and silent auction. This year’s event alone raised a record-setting $425,000+, bringing the all-time total to more than $2 million.
“I was struck on that first visit by how St. Jude not only cares for their patients, but also their patients’ families,” said Rucker. “They believe that a financial burden is the last thing a family should face when their focus needs to be on helping a kid get better, and St. Jude makes sure that their patients never pay a dime. It’s an honor for us to be able to help them continue such an important mission.”
The fundraising event has become an unofficial kickoff to CMA Fest over the years as fans descend on Music City for the week of festivities ahead. For its third year at the historic Ryman Auditorium, Rucker was joined by friends Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Sheryl Crow, Travis Denning and Brett Young as well as more than 2,400 fans at the sold-out show.
It’s that time of the year again! The 2019 CMA Music Festival is kicking off this week in Nashville, and the stars are coming out to perform and hangout with their fans. You can find out where your favorite artists are playing, if go to cmafest.com here.
Audio / Brothers Osborne’s TJ Osborne says they used to dream about playing CMA Music Fest and Nissan Stadium.
Brothers Osborne (CMA Music Fest-Nissan Stadium) OC: …their shoes. :40
TJ: “When we first came to Nashville, we had dreams of playing, like ‘Oh my God, are we ever gonna play there?’ And it never even crosses your mind – you’re not playing the stadium. It’s just not happening. And now to circle around and to be playing here, it’s wild. The feeling of it is not lost on us, even the slightest. It’s hard to really, honestly put it into words. It’s literally every kid’s dream, even if you don’t become a musician, you still dream about being on that stage. And we used to come, when we would come, it was Fan Fair, and we would see artists performing on these stages and be like, ‘Gah, we’d just give anything to be in their shoes.”
Audio / CHRIS STAPLETON SAYS IT’S “REMARKABLE” PEOPLE COME TO NASHVILLE FOR A WEEK TO CELEBRATE COUNTRY MUSIC.
Chris Stapleton (CMA Music Fest) OC: …It’s great. :20 “It’s a weird thing, you know, like I can’t think of any other word, other than that I live down the street, so just gonna drive down to the football stadium and play for 25 minutes, you know. Yeah, it’s a remarkable thing to get to be a part of a mass of people who wanna listen to music. It’s great.”
Darius Rucker and his band Hootie & the Blowfish will perform on the season finale of NBC’s The Voice this week. The group is expected to sing “Let Her Cry,” which is featured on their multi-platinum album, Cracked Rear View, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Taylor Swift is also slated to perform during the show. The Voice will air on Tuesday (May 20th) beginning at 9pm ET on NBC.
Kacey Musgraves will perform during the Today Show’s 2019 Citi Concert Series this summer. She’ll take the stage in Rockefeller Center July 19th. Other artists as part of the lineup include Sheryl Crow, Thomas Rhett, Jonas Brothers, The Chainsmokers, Dan + Shay, Maggie Rogers and Lizzo, among others. Additional performances will be announced throughout the season.
Keith Urban, the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, has been announced as headliner for this year’s Stars for Second Harvest Show (produced by songwriter Craig Wiseman), taking place June 4th at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.
Shania Twain will appear in the new film, I Still Believe, the follow-up to 2018’s I Can Only Imagine. She’ll portray Terry Camp, the mother of Jeremy Camp, a real-life Christian music star who has scored numerous No. 1 songs and several awards. Shooting begins this month in Alabama, according to Variety, and is set to open March 2020.
Travis Denning will be heading across the pond this fall on the CMA’s Introducing Nashville Tour. The trek, which also features Chris Lane, Danielle Bradbury, Rachel Wammack and Devin Dawson, will kick off October 10th in Oslo, Norway and will wrap October 20th in Brighton, England. Stops include Stockholm, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Manchester and Glasgow.