• BILLY CURRINGTON’S ‘HEY GIRL’ IS NO. 1 ON MEDIABASE COUNTRY CHART. (AUDIO)

    Billy Currington’s “Hey Girl” climbs to the top of the Mediabase country chart, following his reign at No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart last week. As we’ve mentioned before, the song’s title is the perfect pickup line. We’d use that line over and over on the beach, ‘cause we went every weekend during the summer,” recalls Billy. “And I would go, ‘Man, you say something to her.’ And my buddy would go, ‘No, you say something.’ ‘Alright – Hey girl!’ And it always started a conversation.”

    “Hey Girl” is the first release from Billy’s new album, We Are Tonight.

    Audio / Billy Currington (Hey Girl pickup line)

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    AUDIO: Billy Currington says ‘Hey Girl’ as a pickup line worked every time.

    Billy Currington (Hey Girl pickup line) OC: …a conversation. :18
    “Man, the ‘Hey Girl’ pickup line, it worked every time. [laughs] We’d use that line over and over on the beach, ‘cause we went every weekend during the summer. And I would go, ‘Man, you say something to her.’ And my buddy would go, ‘No, you say something.’ ‘Alright – Hey girl!’ And it always started a conversation.”

  • ERIC CHURCH, KACEY MUSGRAVES, ALAN JACKSON AND GEORGE STRAIT ADDED TO THIS YEAR’S CMA AWARDS. (PRESS RELEASE)

    NASHVILLE – Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Florida Georgia Line have joined the list of performers for this year’s CMA Awards. Alan Jackson and George Strait, the two top nominees in CMA Awards history, will perform together in a tribute to the legendary George Jones, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992 and remains one of the most recognizable and evocative voices in the history of the genre. Jones passed away in April of this year.

    Paisley and Underwood will host the ceremony for the sixth consecutive year live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

    Reigning CMA Album of the Year winner Church is nominated this year for Male Vocalist of the Year and Musical Event of the Year for “The Only Way I Know” with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Church is an eight-time CMA Awards nominee who earned his first nomination in 2011

    Jackson is the second most nominated artist in CMA history, with 81 nominations and 16 trophies. He is a three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and two-time CMA Male Vocalist of the Year. Jackson earned his first CMA Awards nominations in 1990 when he was up for the Horizon Award (now New Artist of the Year), Album of the Year for Here In The Real World, and Single and Song of the Year for the album’s title track.

    Musgraves – who is also a first-time nominee – is tied as the year’s most nominated artist. She collected six nominations including Female Vocalist, New Artist of the Year, Album of the Year for Same Trailer Different Park, Single and Song of the Year for “Merry Go ‘Round,” and Song of the Year for Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

    Strait is not only the top CMA Award nominee of all time, but also the top CMA Award winner with 22 trophies and 82 nominations. He is nominated this year for Entertainer of the Year, an honor he has taken home twice before. Strait is a five-time CMA Male Vocalist and Album of the Year winner.

    Tickets for “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” are officially sold-out, marking the fifth year in a row the ceremony has sold out in advance. This is the earliest tickets have sold out.

    Winners of “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” will be determined in a final round of voting by eligible voting members of the Country Music Association. CMA Awards balloting is officiated by the international accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche LLP. Voting for the CMA Awards final ballot ends Monday, Oct. 28 (5:00 PM/CT).

    The CMA Awards nominees and winners are determined by more than 7,000 industry professional members of CMA, which was formed in 1958 as the first trade organization to promote an individual genre of music. The first “CMA Awards Banquet and Show” was held in 1967. The following year, the CMA Awards was broadcast for the first time – making it the longest-running, annual music awards program on network television. The CMA Awards moved to ABC in 2006, where it will remain through 2021.

  • SCOTTY McCREERY RELEASES NEW ALBUM ON TUESDAY. (PRESS RELEASE AND AUDIO)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Scotty McCreery releases his much-anticipated sophomore album, See You Tonight, Oct. 15 on Mercury Nashville / 19 / Interscope Records.  In celebration of the new album, McCreery will perform on several national TV shows in addition to hosting album release events in Nashville, New York and North Carolina.

    McCreery begins street week with an album release party in New York City Oct. 15th at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square – including an intimate concert by McCreery, signing and Q&A with the crowd.  He will then perform on NBC’s “TODAY Show” on Oct. 16 and FOX News’ “Fox & Friends” on Oct. 17 before heading down to Nashville to continue the celebration at the home of country music, the Grand Ole Opry.  McCreery performs on the famed stage Oct. 19 with an in-store signing with fans afterwards. 

    Next, McCreery returns to Raleigh, N.C. for a special homecoming album release event at the North Carolina State Fair on Oct. 21 and 22 before culminating the festivities in Los Angeles, Calif. with an Oct. 25 performance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

    “This album is a big step from the first one, and I can’t wait for everybody to hear it,” says McCreery, who co-wrote five songs on the project, including title track, “See You Tonight” (co-written with Zach Crowell and Ashley Gorley).  Entertainment Weekly describes the current single as “fresh, youthful [and] romantic;” a great indication of what can be expected on the new album, which Rolling Stone calls “bright, polished pop country.” 

    McCreery teamed up again with Mark Bright (Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan), who produced his 2011 record-setting Platinum debut Clear As Day, and also enlisted producer Frank Rogers (Darius Rucker, Brad Paisley) for See You Tonight, resulting in 13 tracks of radio-ready music.

    “We’ve been working on this [See You Tonight] for the better part of a year,” shares the McCreery, “so Tuesday has been a long time coming. With this album, I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to sound like and say.” 

    Including multiple fan-driven album release events this month was a top priority for McCreery.  “All of my success goes back to the fans,” explains McCreery, winner of “American Idol” Season Ten. “I try to put in all of the hard work I can, but it means nothing to me without the fans, which have been there by my side since day one. It’s all about saying thanks to the fans.” 

    See You Tonighttrack listing:
    1.   Now
    2. 
     See You Tonight
    3.   Get Gone With You
    4.    Feelin’ It
    5.    Feel Good Summer Song
    6.   Buzzin’
    7.   Can  You Feel It
    8.   The Dash
    9.    Blue Jean Baby
    10.
      Forget to Forget You
    11.  I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend
    12.  Carolina Moon
    13.  Something More

    Deluxe versions of See You Tonight will also be available featuring three additional tracks, plus a Wal-Mart Exclusive Deluxe Edition with two more bonus tracks.

    For information on any of the album release events, tour dates, images and more, please visit www.ScottyMcCreery.com.  View the official “See You Tonight” video HERE.

    Audio / Scotty McCreery (evolving)

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    AUDIO: Scotty McCreery explains how he’s evolved as an artist.

    Scotty McCreery (evolving) OC: …good for me. :29
    “You know every artist throughout their career, they’re evolving, they’re changing, they’re honing their craft. For me, I started really young. At 17, I had my first album in the works. Now I’m 19, 20 – still pretty young, but I’m doing some growing up and so is my music, and my writing has changed. I’ve gotten to write with some of the best guys in Nashville – and girls –  and really hone my craft there. I’ve really had more of an opportunity to figure out what I wanted to say as a person and an artist on this next record. I think just these couple years I’ve spent making this record have been really good for me.”

  • A ROBERTSON FAMILY CHRISTMAS STORY – PART 1. (VIDEO)

    Check out Operation: Willie Claus — the first webisode from The Robertson Family to announce their holiday album, Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, which hits stores October 29th.

    You can see episodes 2, 3 and 4 at their website, duckthehalls.com.

    Video / A Robertson Family Christmas Story - Part 1

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  • GEORGE STRAIT SELLS OUT FIVE MORE DATES ON ‘THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY TOUR.’ (PRESS RELEASE)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 11, 2013) – Ticket sales are still going strong for the last leg of George Strait’s final, two-year The Cowboy Rides Away Tour as the third round of concert dates went on sale this morning. Tour stops in Chicago, Ill.; Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas, Nev. and Tulsa, Okla. sold out within a half-hour. A limited number of tickets is still available for concert dates in Louisville, Ky.; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia, Penn.; Portland, Ore. and Tacoma, Wash.

    Additionally, Strait is auctioning off two pairs of front row seats, plus meet-and-greet passes, to each 2014 tour stop with the help of VIP partner CID Entertainment. Proceeds benefit The Jenifer Strait Foundation, which focuses its donations on various children’s charities including Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio and St. Jude’s Ranch.

    Limited VIP packages are available for purchase for each show on The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. The “Ace in the Hole” package, priced at $499, includes a top-tier ticket in the first 15 rows of the floor or lower bowl, an invitation to an exclusive pre-show party in “The King’s Tavern Lounge” with complimentary food and cash bar, a tour of “The King’s Exhibit” (a private exhibit of George Strait memorabilia from his own collection), a VIP parking pass, VIP laminate, limited merchandise gift and tour poster, private merchandise shopping, and an on-site event host.

    A limited number of “The Troubadour” VIP packages are also available for purchase at $1,299 and include all of the pre-show events and access listed above, as well as one front row seat and a guitar signed by George Strait. Travel packages for two people include a choice of VIP, “Ace in the Hole” VIP or Premium Reserved tickets for the show, hotel accommodations at top-quality properties near the venue, George Strait merchandise, and shuttle transportation to and from the show. Travel packages are available for tour stops in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Foxboro, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego and Tacoma.

    For more information about the auctions, travel packages or VIP tickets, please visit www.cidentertainment.com/georgestrait.

    Tickets for the following tour dates will go on sale beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the venue’s respective local time zone on Friday, October 18:

    January 10, 2014 Frank Erwin Center│Austin, Texas

    *With special guest Jason Aldean
    January 30, 2014 SAP Center│San Jose, Calif.
    *With special guest Martina McBride
    April 4, 2014 INTRUST Bank Arena│Wichita, Kan.
    *With special guests Lee Ann Womack and Merle Haggard
  • GARY ALLAN’S ‘WHISKEY’ TAKES 8 YEARS TO GO 12 STEPS. (BILLBOARD ARTICLE)

    FROM BILLBOARD COUNTRY:

    When songwriter

    Cole Degges visited Gary Allan on his bus several months ago in Houston, he mostly intended to thank him for including “It Ain’t the Whiskey” on the album Set You Free. But he got an even better piece of feedback when Allan told him that “Whiskey” was planned as the third single.

    An elated Degges wasn’t sure how to react. “Can I hug you?” he asked. “No,” was Allan’s simple reply.

    The request was understandable. It’s been a long, hard road for both the song and Degges, who originally wrote the tune when he was working on the 2007 Columbia album

    Cole Deggs & the Lonesome (Degges’ name was intentionally misspelled at the time for ease of pronunciation). The Lonesome charted two titles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs list, never exceeding No. 25, and disbanded shortly after. Degges eventually headed back to Texas when his mother developed cancer and rebooted his career on the red dirt scene.

    “Whiskey” wasn’t included on the Columbia album, and was lost in the shuffle as Degges bombarded the label with potential material.

    “I was writing so much at the time that I would take six new songs a week and play them for my A&R staff,” he recalls. “It was one of those songs that maybe didn’t quite fit in, didn’t go with what we were going with on the record. Then you wake up one morning and find out one of your favorite artists is cutting it.”

    “Whiskey” went through a metamorphosis to reach its end state. Degges traveled to Nashville’s Belle Meade neighborhood to write at the home of songwriter

    Jim Daddario (Collin Raye’s “Love Remains”), who shares a deep love of classic R&B with his frequent co-writer, Greg Barnhill (“Walkaway Joe,” “House of Love”). As the day unfolded, the three writers found themselves in a discussion about addiction and began considering how alcohol is actually a symptom for some underlying issue.

    “We all kind of agreed that the root of the problem, when they can fix that, would take care of a lot of stuff,” Barnhill says. “We used a girl as the catalyst for that, and we just started writing a song. It was the truth—it ain’t the whiskey that’s killing me, it’s the thing that’s causing it.”

    They used the opening line to identify a 12-step setting—”I stood there in the middle of the church of the broken people”—and basically worked from the first line to the last, the entire story taking shape with a surprising ease.

    “I was playing chords and rocking out on [Jim’s grand] piano, because that’s my main instrument,” Degges says. “Next thing you know, two hours later we have this song.”

    Barnhill was producing another act during that period, and when they had some extra time at the end of a session, he recorded a demo of the song that gave it hard edge. But Barnhill also changed a few words, a fact that gave Daddario some doubts about the song’s chances of getting recorded, though he kept it to himself.

    “It was one line,” Daddario says. “He changed something that was grammatically perfect to something that was more of an image.” His reaction was, Daddario says in retrospect, “just stupid.”

    The song laid around for several years until a new publisher decided to pitch it to the A&R department at Universal Music Group, which immediately identified it as a potential Gary Allan song.

    “Gary loved it, and he never stopped loving it for over three years,” Daddario says.

    “It’s so cutting, it’s so truthful,” Allan says. “It’s a rare song.”

    Allan had it on hold the entire three years, which essentially prevented the publishers from pitching it elsewhere. But it’s not like the song stayed in mothballs. Allan played it on acoustic guitar periodically in concert, and it always got a major response when he pulled it out.

    As Allan started working on

    Set You Free, he planned to produce “Whiskey” himself, but his manager, John Lytle, had already played the song for Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town), who had been enlisted to direct a few tracks. Joyce brought it up during a song meeting, and Allan decided Joyce’s enthusiasm made him the right guy to produce it.

    “I knew it was something he’d been doing live,” Joyce says. “What I really wanted to get out of him was something he was living in, not just a song presented to him that he should learn.”

    Joyce also insisted Allan play the guitars on “Whiskey,” the first time he’s done that in the studio. It’s Allan playing that lonesome,

    Counting Crows-like acoustic guitar at the opening, and it’s also Allan playing the angst-filled solo, using a Big Muff pedal that was particularly popular among alt-rock acts during the 1990s.

    “I brought my guitars in, plugged in and turned it up as loud as it would go,” Allan says.

    “I created a monster, because he just started blazing,” Joyce says. “The walls were throbbing, and it went on for hours like that. I was toast for the rest of the day—couldn’t hear anything.”

    The guitars were just part of what made “Whiskey” work. Drummer

    Craig Wright adds some stuttered snare fills that lend a temporary awkwardness, perfect for a song about someone making an uneasy transition; Allan insisted on a pipe organ sound that fits the “church of the broken people” imagery; Russ Pahl layers eerie steel across the top; and Allan used beer and cigarettes throughout the session to guarantee all the grainy parts of his voice were working to full, appropriate effect.

    “There will be days when I come in and my voice is pretty, and there will be days I come in and I’m a little big haggard,” Allan says. “That’s on purpose because I think it’s cooler, especially on a song like that.”

    Degges’ mother bought

    Set You Free the day it was released and was able to hear Allan’s version of “Whiskey” before she died. Daddario ultimately decided the reworded second verse was an improvement, and—true to the game plan Allan laid out—MCA released “Whiskey” to radio through Play MPE on Sept. 3 as the album’s third single. It’s No. 52 in its second week on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, setting up the possibility that some radio listeners might take a cue from the song and begin looking beneath the surface to figure out what’s really driving their own behavior.

    “It’s not like we were trying to make a grand statement,” Barnhill says, “but we just so happened to make a statement, and it feels good to be a part of something that might help some people.”

  • SCOTTY McCREERY’S TIME IN THE STUDIO FOR NEW ALBUM GIVES HIM CREATIVE FREEDOM. (AUDIO)

    Scotty McCreery is set to release his sophomore album, See You Tonight, on Tuesday (October 15th). He wrote or co-wrote five tunes on the project, which features his current single, the title track.

    Scotty says he thoroughly enjoys being in the recording studio, because it gives him a chance to be creative. “I’d say being in the studio, for me, it’s the chance to be an artist. I think that’s when some of the biggest artistic things are coming out – when you’re really putting your ideas out there and when you’re really putting your thought and heart into the songs,” says Scotty. “When you’re in there, that’s what giving you the chance to go out there and do the live shows. Those are the songs you’re going to be singing to the crowd out there.”

    In other news, Scotty will host a baseball-themed episode of Great American Country’s Top 20 Countdown Friday (October 11th) at 8pm ET. The show was filmed at the MLB Network’s Studio 42 in New Jersey and features appearances from former major league players Mitch Williams and Kevin Millar.

    Audio / Scotty McCreery (studio creativity)

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    AUDIO: Scotty McCreery says being in the recording studio gives him a chance to be creative.

    Scotty McCreery (studio creativity) OC: …special for them. :28
    “I’d say being in the studio, for me, it’s the chance to be an artist. I think that’s when some of the biggest artistic things are coming out – when you’re really putting your ideas out there and when you’re really putting your thought and heart into the songs. When you’re in there, that’s what giving you the chance to go out there and do the live shows. Those are the songs you’re going to be singing to the crowd out there. The live experience is fun. You’re getting out there. You’re getting the instant gratification. You get the fans right out there, but it’s really another cool thing when you’re sitting there and six months from now, they’ll hear this. I really want to make this special for them.”

  • KACEY MUSGRAVES TO PERFORM ON PBS’ ‘AUSTIN CITY LIMITS.’ (PRESS RELEASE)

    Nashville, TN – Mercury Nashville singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves will perform on the iconic PBS long-running series Austin City Limits on November 25th to air on PBS on a later date.

    Since 1974 many legendary performers have graced the Austin City Limits stage and on November 25 Kacey will join the ranks of artists such as Coldplay, Norah Jones, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney and Mumford & Sons. 

    Fans in Austin, TX can attend the taping on November 25TH by checking here a week before show. To keep an eye out for ticket giveaways visit Austin City Limit’s Facebook page and Twitter.

     

  • ERIC CHURCH AT THE ACL FESTIVAL INTERVIEW. (VIDEO)

    Fuse TV recently caught up with Eric Church to talk about a variety of topics at the Austin City Limits 2013 music festival in Austin, Texas.

    Video / Eric Church on "Smoke a Little Smoke" & His Letter From Bruce Sp

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  • LUKE BRYAN AND LADY ANTEBELLUM UP FOR AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS.

    The nominations for this year’s American Music Awards have been announced, and Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum have scored nods in the country categories. Luke is up for Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Country Album for Crash My Party. Lady A is among the nominees for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group.

    The 2013 American Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles November 24th at 8pm ET/PT delayed on ABC.

    FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY

    • Luke Bryan
    • Hunter Hayes
    • Blake Shelton

    FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY

    • Miranda Lambert
    • Taylor Swift
    • Carrie Underwood

    FAVORITE BAND, DUO or GROUP – COUNTRY

    • The Band Perry
    • Florida Georgia Line
      Lady Antebellum

    FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY

    • Luke Bryan/Crash My Party
    • Florida Georgia Line/Here’s To The Good Times
    • Taylor Swift/Red