NBC Nightly News Features Darius Rucker, Randy Houser, and Musicians On Call “Making A Difference”NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Top country music artists Darius Rucker and Randy Houser have both started the new year off with successful music releases, but they are also being recognized for their volunteer work with Musicians On Call (MOC), a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. NBC’s Lester Holt recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn. to join Rucker and Houser as they performed and visited with patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt through the MOC Nashville branch. The visit, recently highlighted in Country Weekly magazine, will be the focus of the “Making a Difference” segment of NBC Nightly News this Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 CT plus a “Web Extra” on the Nightly News tab of NBCNews.com featuring an extended interview with Rucker.The two artists shared with Holt their experiences over the years performing for patients in healthcare facilities and the influence it has on them personally to witness the visible affect music has on these patients. Weighing in on the advantages of having Musicians On Call in their hospital was Dr. Elisabeth M. Dykens, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development, who can personally attest to the patient benefits achieved through music.“Everyone could see the impact of music on the patients, their families and hospital staff when Darius Rucker and Randy Houser entered the hospital rooms to play a song just for them,” shares Musicians On Call Executive Director, Dr. Leslie Faerstein. “Musicians On Call goes to the bedsides of patients 41 times a week in six cities and delivers the healing power of music to those who need it most.”Rucker is gearing up for the summer release of his upcoming album, True Believers, featuring his latest critically-acclaimed single, “Wagon Wheel.” Entertainment Weekly calls the song “a rich, twangy romper with a decidedly sunny vibe,” while USA Today praises “Wagon Wheel” as a “sure-fire hit.” “Wagon Wheel” follows his previously chart-topping hits “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” “Alright,” “This,” and “Come Back Song.” For more information on Rucker, please visit www.DariusRucker.com.Houser, who recently earned his first No. 1 and RIAA Gold-certified single with “How Country Feels,” is busy touring in support of his brand new album, How Country Feels, released Jan. 22, 2013 on Stoney Creek Records. Associated Press heralded, How Country Feels is “stuffed with country soul-inflected mid-tempo arrangements that highlight Houser’s rich voice,” and The Washington Post proclaims, “Houser’s back with How Country Feels, a buoyant, hook-filled outing that seems to have the Mississippi native angling for Nashville’s softer, feel-good center.” Selling out shows nationwide, more information can be found online by visiting www.RandyHouser.com.About Musicians On Call (MOC)Musicians On Call (MOC) was founded in 1999 with the mission of bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. To date, its volunteers have played for over 350,000 people nationwide. Musicians On Call continues its mission through room-to-room hospital performances by both local musicians and national celebrities as well as the CD Pharmacy Program. For more information, please visit www.musiciansoncall.org.
Kacey Musgraves is nominated for a handful of ACM Awards this year, including Female Vocalist of the Year and Music Video of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round.” She was actually in her hotel room in New York City getting ready for her appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon earlier this week when she got the news of her nominations. “My mom, she was in the hotel room with me, and she’s like on top of all that,” says Kacey. “I was getting ready in the bathroom, [and] she was like, ‘Kaceeeeyyyyyy, you’re nominated.’”
Kacey, who’s poised to enter the Top 10 on the country charts with her debut single ‘Merry Go ‘Round,” will be making her way to Las Vegas for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, broadcasting live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas April 7th on CBS.
AUDIO: Kacey Musgraves explains how she heard about her ACM nominations.
Kacey Musgraves (ACM nomination) OC: …you’re nominated.’ :10
“Well, my mom, she was in the hotel room with me, and she’s like on top of all that. I was getting ready in the bathroom, [and] she was like, ‘Kaceeeeyyyyyy, you’re nominated.’”
The video for Eric Church‘s “Like Jesus Does,” premiered Friday morning on Youtube and Vevo (see below). It’s the latest release from his platinum — and ACM nominated — album, Chief.
Kacey Musgraves is poised to enter the Top 10 on the country charts with her debut single “Merry Go ‘Round,” just earned her first ACM Awards nominations (for Female Vocalist, Music Video and New Female Vocalist of the Year), has appeared on a few national television shows (most recently Late Night With Jimmy Fallon) and has been on the road with Little Big Town on their Tornado Tour, picking up a bunch of fans as she goes. One of those fans is Eric Church, who seems to like and respect everything about the Texas songstress, especially the fact that her songs are so “musical.” “I like what she listens to. I like her taste in music,” raves Eric. “It just sounds different. It sounds fresh for country radio. It sounds like she’s in her spot already, and I think that’s the key as a new artist – you’ve got to find your lane, you’ve got to find your spot and don’t get out of it, and I think she’s off to at least a great start at being able to do that.”
The two will hit the road with Kenny Chesney on the No Shoes Nation Tour next month. Church will play many of the stadium dates on the trek, which kicks off March 16th in Tampa, Florida.
AUDIO: Eric Church raves about “Merry Go ‘Round” singer Kacey Musgraves and her music.
Eric Church (Kacey Musgraves) OC: …to do that. 1:04
“The main thing I like about Kacey is [her mu7sic] is very musical. There’s so many other things that go on in entertainment from television to stuff – whether it be what you look like or how you act, all these things. I love stuff that’s musical, regardless of anything else. And I feel like she’s somebody – she’s played a lot of bars, a lot of clubs, she’s done some stuff in Texas, she’s played those dives. I like what she listens to. I like her taste in music. I heard a song of hers – ‘My Idea of Heaven is to Burn One With John Prine,’ and I was sold when I heard that. I’m a huge Prine fan, so she had me then. I’m really good friends with her co-producer, Luke Laird. We’ve wrote songs together. ‘Drink in My Hand’ was our first number-one. It was written with Luke. And Luke’s the guy who said, ‘You would dig what we’re doing. You’d dig where this girl comes from. You’d dig her as a writer.’ A lot of it is just her personal taste and the kind of stuff I’m hearing. It just sounds different. It sounds fresh for country radio. It sounds like she’s in her spot already, and I think that’s the key as a new artist – you’ve got to find your lane, you’ve got to find your spot and don’t get out of it, and I think she’s off to at least a great start at being able to do that.”
Kip Moore will appear as himself on an upcoming episode of ABC’s hit TV show, Nashville. He joins Vince Gill, Pam Tillis and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach in a scene revolving around a surprise birthday party for the character Deacon (Charles Esten). Kip says Deacon is his favorite character. “Deacon, the character of Deacon – they’re actually one in the same people – he might be the coolest human being on the planet,” says the Georgia native. “I never get star-struck over anybody, but I happened to see a couple of episodes, and I was like, ‘Dude, that’s the coolest character on the planet.’ He’s that way in real-life. He was the nicest, most chill dude.”
While Kip admits he is a lot better as a musician than he is an actor, he had a good time filming the episode. “It was a fun experience for me. It definitely was out of my comfort zone,” he says. “It was really fun. They were all very welcoming and easy to deal with, and I had a blast.”
The episode featuring Kip and Vince will air Wednesday, February 27th at 10pm ET. Meanwhile, you can hear Kip’s latest single, “Hey Pretty Girl,” on the radio.
AUDIO: Kip Moore talks about his experience on the set of the hit ABC-TV show, Nashville, and his admiration for one of the characters (and actors) on the show.
Kip Moore (Nashville show) OC: …a blast. :33
“First of all, Deacon, the character of Deacon – they’re actually one in the same people – he might be the coolest human being on the planet. I mean, I never get star-struck over anybody, but I happened to see a couple of episodes, and I was like, ‘Dude, that’s the coolest character on the planet.’ He’s that way in real-life. He was the nicest, most chill dude. It was a fun experience for me. It definitely was out of my comfort zone. I think that’s where you’ll see my bad acting take place, but I’m glad I did it. It was really fun. They were all very welcoming and easy to deal with, and I had a blast.”
Kacey Musgraves performs her debut hit, “Merry Go Round,” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night (February 13th). It’s the first single from her forthcoming album, Same Trailer, Different Park, due in stores March 19th.
Kip Moore was honored with a party at BMI in Nashville on Thursday to celebrate the number-one success of his hit, “Beer Money.” Folks munched on tiny sandwiches, shrimp, Valentine’s Day candy and red velvet milkshakes, along with a beer or two, at the celebration, which also feted Kip’s co-writers Troy Verges and Blair Daly. Kip said they had actually started in one direction with the song, but it ended up quite differently. “We were talking about college and not having enough money for beer that weekend, and I kinda responded. I was like, ‘I know we were always trying to save our beer money,” says Kip. “But then it kinda morphed into another thing where it was more about the economic times…I had a buddy whose dad had lost his job and the family was pretty down and out, and he couldn’t find another job, but the buddy was telling me that he was still at the bar that weekend. People are always going to always have an outlet; they’re always going to need that outlet no matter how bad times get, so that’s kinda how the whole thing started.”
Kip is currently making his way up the country charts with his latest single, “Hey Pretty Girl.”
AUDIO: Kip Moore explains how he and his co-writers, Troy Verges and Blair Daly, wrote the song, “Beer Money.”
Kip Moore (Beer Money No. 1 party) OC: …all started. :34
“Me and Blair Daly and Troy [Verges] were in the room and actually, we were talking about college and not having enough money for beer that weekend, and I kinda responded. I was like, ‘I know we were always trying to save our beer money.’ So, that’s kinda how the whole thing started about, but then it kinda morphed into another thing where it was more about the economic times. That’s what we got to talking about was I had a buddy whose dad had lost his job and the family was pretty down and out, and he couldn’t find another job, but the buddy was telling me that he was still at the bar that weekend. People are always going to always have an outlet; they’re always going to need that outlet no matter how bad times get, so that’s kinda how the whole thing started.”
Josh Turner has partnered with the Grand Ole Opry to give away a pair of tickets to his March 1st appearance, along with an autographed guitar and autographed Punching Bag CD. You can also watch his “Find Me a Baby” video, plus several behind-the-scenes clips (some are featured below). For more information, click here.
You all seemed to like last week’s webisode from Luke Bryan, so here’s one more week of unseen footage & outtakes!
The nominations for the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced on Wednesday, and Eric Church leads the list with seven, including Male Vocalist, Album (Chief) and Video of the Year for “Creepin’.” He is twice nominated for Song of the Year for “Springsteen,” as both artist and composer. Church also earned nominations for Single of the Year for “Springsteen” and for Vocal Event of the Year for “The Only Way I Know” with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.
Luke Bryan received four nominations, including his first-ever Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year nominations. He also received nominations for Album of the Year for tailgates & tanlines and Vocal Event of the Year for “The Only Way I Know” with Jason Aldean and Eric Church.
Little Big Town are also up for four awards, including their seventh nomination for Vocal Group of the Year. They’re also nominated for Album of the Year, Single Record of the Year for “Pontoon” and Video of the Year for “Tornado.”
First-time ACM nominee, Kacey Musgraves is nominated for four awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, New Female Vocalist of the Year and twice for Video of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round” as both artist and producer.
Lady Antebellum picked up their sixth nomination for Vocal Group of the Year. Lady A’s Hillary Scott tweeted, “So excited about our @ACMawards Vocal Group nom and that my fav Broke Girl @BethBehrs announced it!!!! Yay!!!” Vince Gill picked up a nod in the Vocal Event of the Year with Kelly Clarkson for “Don’t Rush,” while David Nail is also nominated in the same category with Sarah Buxton for “Let It Rain.” Eric Paslay also enjoys a nomination for writing “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” for Song of the Year, while Sugarland garners their eighth nomination for Vocal Duo. Sugarland’s Kristian Bush took to Twitter to give his reaction – “Excited about @ACMawards Duo nom this morning. Congrats, @JenniferNettles! It’s an honor to be nominated with you again.”
Luke Bryan will join Blake Shelton as co-host of the 48th Annual ACM Awards, which will be broadcast live from the MGM in Las Vegas April 7th on CBS.
For the sixth year, fans will help select the winner of the Academy’s most prestigious honor, Entertainer of the Year, and the winners will be announced live during the show.
Fan voting for New Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year begins on March 25th at 3pm ET/12noon PT at VoteACM.com. Fan voting for Entertainer of the Year will close during the third hour of the LIVE broadcast.
Nominees were revealed online via the second annual ACM digital press conference this morning on the Academy’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Iconic singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, The Band Perry, 2 Broke Girls star Beth Behrs, Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery, Ryan Seacrest, The Talk’s Julie Chen, Sarah Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood, plus Entertainment Tonight co-anchors Nancy O’Dell and Rob Marciano all announced batches of nominations in video postings during the approximately 35 minute online event, which culminated in music fans announcing the nominees for the Academy’s biggest prize, Entertainer of the Year.
Entertainer of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Female Vocalist of the Year
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Florida Georgia Line
Love and Theft
Vocal Group of the Year
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY KOHL’S DEPARTMENT STORES [Winners of New Male, New Female & New Vocal Duo or Group Of The Year]
Florida Georgia Line
ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
Blown Away – Carrie Underwood (19/Arista Nashville)
Produced by: Mark Bright
Chief – Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Red – Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records)
Produced by: Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson
tailgates & tanlines – Luke Bryan (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Mark Bright, Jeff Stevens
Tornado – Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Single Record of the Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band (Republic Nashville)
Produced by: Mike Wrucke
Over You – Miranda Lambert (RCA)
Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf
Pontoon – Little Big Town (Capitol Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Springsteen – Eric Church (EMI-Nashville)
Produced by: Jay Joyce
Wanted – Hunter Hayes (Atlantic/WMN)
Produced by: Hunter Hayes, Dann Huff
Song of the Year [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
A Woman Like You – Lee Brice
Composers: Phil Barton, Johnny Bulford, Jon Stone
Even If It Breaks Your Heart – Eli Young Band
Composers: Will Hoge, Eric Paslay
Over You – Miranda Lambert
Composers: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton
Springsteen – Eric Church
Composers: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell
Wanted – Hunter Hayes
Composers: Hunter Hayes, Troy Verges
Video of the Year [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award) [TIE]
Creepin’ – Eric Church
Producer: Iris Baker
Director: Peter Zavadil
Merry Go ‘Round – Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Perry Bean, Kacey Musgraves
Director: Perry Bean
Tornado – Little Big Town
Producer: Iris Baker
Director: Shane Drake
Wanted – Hunter Hayes
Producers: Stephanie Reeves, Eric Williams
Directors: Traci Goudie, Patrick Hubik
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Producer: John Nguyen
Director: Declan Whitebloom
The Wind – Zac Brown Band
Producer: Ben Kalina
Director: Mike Judge
Vocal Event of the Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company] *(Off Camera Award)
Don’t Rush – Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill (19/RCA/Columbia Nashville)
Produced by: Dann Huff
Easy – Rascal Flatts Featuring Natasha Bedingfield (Big Machine Records)
Produced by: Dann Huff, Brian Kennedy, Rascal Flatts
Feel Like A Rock Star – Kenny Chesney (Duet With Tim McGraw) (Blue Chair/BNA)
Produced by: Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
Let It Rain – David Nail Featuring Sarah Buxton (MCA Nashville)
Produced by: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell
The Only Way I Know – Jason Aldean With Luke Bryan & Eric Church (Broken Bow) Produced by: Michael Knox
AUDIO: Eric Church is the most nominated artist at this year’s ACM Awards with seven nods.
Eric Church (ACMs) OC: …get this done. :16
“I think it’s a testament to really fans that believed in the music and loved the music and told people about the music. I think it’s truly because of the fans and because they did something that’s, I think, really going to be judged as pretty special and pretty unique that we were able to get this done.”
AUDIO: Luke Bryan, who picked up several nominations, including Entertainer of the Year, says there’s not a more gratifying feeling than to have the shows on his Dirt Road Diaries Tour sell-out.
Luke Bryan (sold-out shows) OC: …in the world. 1:00
“We felt like we were going to be really strong in certain places, but when I get an email or my management calls me or my promoter texts me and goes, ‘Dude, you just sold something out in five minutes.’ I mean, that’s where I always dreamed of being as an artist, to have music out there that you love playing every night. And every time I look on my set list and see what song I have next, I go, ‘Ooh, ooh, this is gonna be fun,’ and that’s such a blessing for me, I mean, just the vibe that’s going on. I love having Thompson Square and Florida Georgia [Line] out there. They’re killing it. It’s just a fun three hours for fans, and I never would’ve imagined that they’d have been selling out this quick. It’s like an inner peace that I’ve been searching for as an artist to roll into town, and it’s like, you know it’s sold-out. There’s no better feeling. It’s the most gratifying experience, really, in the world.”
AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet says working on the band’s new album, Tornado, was a lesson in letting go and letting the music guide them. LBT (album art of letting go) OC: …let go like that. :35
“This was the discipline and art of letting go, this album. It was like learning to be a little more free and not trying to control it so much and letting the music guide us. And we really didn’t have a lot of time on our hands to sift through it. We had to kind of go in the moment and get it and act fast. Go on your gut instinct, and I think that’s what we needed, of course – a challenge for us, because we’d always have time to work out the parts and meticulously spend way more time with it. It was a really fun process to do that, and to let go like that.
AUDIO: Kacey Musgraves talks about her debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round.”
Kacey Musgraves (Merry Go ‘Round) OC: …felt this way. :17“So, ‘Merry Go ‘Round’ was inspired by growing up in a small, conservative Texas town. I think we all kind of grow up with expectations of breaking the cycle of life as we know it, trying to appear as if all is perfect under the surface. Coming from Texas, a small Texas town, I’ve definitely grown up with this. I think we’re all guilty of having something that keeps us distracted, no matter what the vice and our comfort zones kind of keep us settled, and I think there’s hope in knowing that everyone has felt this way.”