Luke Bryan’s Tailgates & Tanlines remains at the top of the Billboard country album chart this week. The disc, which hit stores last August, has sold more than 18,200 copies this week to continue its reign at No. 1. “My whole approach is to make albums that can put me in a situation to play bigger stages and bigger live shows,” says Luke. “The album’s got its fun songs, but I’m really proud about some of the deeper songs [as well].” Lady Antebellum’s Own the Night is No. 4, followed by Eric Church’s Chief at No. 5. 

    AUDIO: Luke Bryan explains the approach he took for his third album, tailgates & tanlines. 

    Luke Bryan (album approach) OC: …matter also. :45 

    “My whole approach is to make albums that can put me in a situation to play bigger stages and bigger live shows. What’s funny is starting with a single called, ‘Country Girl Shake It For Me’; the whole album gets a little deeper beyond that, you know? It’s not like it’s just a bunch of, you know, kinda you know light, uptempo songs on the album. So it’s nice that we were able to come with such a fun uptempo for the summer and something that’s really done well for me. Now we can get into a meatier part and a deeper part of the album. Like I said, the album’s got its fun songs but I’m really proud about some of the deeper songs. The songs that talk about a little deeper subject matter also.”


    In the latest episode of DBTV, Dierks Bentley says coming back for the summer, he wanted to rock it and let loose with his new single, “5-1-5-0!” It’s become quite the fan favorite in concert too!

    Video / Dierks Bentley - DBTV - Episode 58: 5-1-5-0


    The 47th Annual Academy Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1st, beginning at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS. Watch for performances by Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town and many more. We have been rolling out soundbites throughout the week with our nominees and performers leading up to Sunday night’s ACM Awards. 

    Dierks Bentley is nominated for Song of the Year at this year’s ACM Awards for his recent No. 1 single, “Home.” He co-wrote the song with Jim Beavers and Dan Wilson, who will also go home with a trophy for Song of the Year. 

    AUDIO: Dierks Bentley talks about performing on the ACM Awards, where he’s nominated for Song of the Year for “Home.” 

    Dierks (performing ACMs) OC: …good time. :18

    “My favorite thing about music and why I’m in the music business is to play live music. I love being in front of people; that’s why I do this. It’s the fun part, but it’s also cool to get respect from other people in the business. So, I’m pretty excited about, you know? Any excuse to go to Vegas is a good one, and to be up for something is pretty cool. And hopefully, we’ll win something, but if not, we’ll still have a good time.” 

    AUDIO: Dierks Bentley talks about writing his ACM-nominated Song of the Year, “Home.”

    Dierks Bentley (writing Home) 2 OC: …with this song. 1:06

    “[So] we were hanging out for about an hour, getting to know each other, and my wife called, battery’s dead. Typical — that car of hers. I went over and jumped her car, came back over, and Brett and Dan had started this melody, and I thought it was beautiful. Dan had said something about America. He kept thinking, ‘This song feels like America.’ And I was like, ‘Aw man, writing a patriotic song is so difficult. Let’s not do that. Those songs are too hard to write.’ Brett said something about ‘Home,’ and then I think I said something like, ‘the place we all call home.’ Maybe we could write a song about America that’s not overly in your face about it, you know, something that everyone could grab a hold of and feel inspired by. The recession was in full board at this point a year ago, the political nature of this country was as bad as it’s ever been with, basically, Washington D.C. being turned into a football game between two sides and not caring about the fans, the voters, the public at all, just their own internal thing going on there. It’s about now, but it’s a little bit of a history lesson too about what we’ve been through. And at the end of the day, I think it’s inspiring and hopeful, and it’s been a real blessing of a song and one that none of us really could take too much credit for, just inspiration hit. You write that many songs over the course of a year, you might get one of those moments, and we got one with this song.”

    AUDIO: Dierks Bentley expresses his hopes for his recent No. 1 hit “Home,” which is nominated for ACM Song of the Year.  

    Dierks Bentley (hopes for Home) OC: …things right. 1:21

    “This song is written in a way that is opened-ended as far as what they want to walk away with. I mean, I think it’s obvious it’s a song about our country, about the ups and downs and the scars we have in our past. But at the end of the day, no matter what side of the fence you’re on, where you stand on certain issues, where you come from, your background, you have to walk through the front door of your house every day, this is our house, this is our home, this is our one country. There’s not another one you can go to. I hope in some sense it can bring people together and find more things in common than we don’t and hope for the people that are going through tough times that so many people are right now with the economy. There’s certainly still a lot of tough times ahead, and they see that we’ve overcome so much as a country in the past and there’s no reason why we can’t overcome these things again and really be the number one, the best country in the world as far as a place to have these freedoms and to raise your family and to pass something on to the next generation. Just help people feel inspired and look back and look at the country, from just a long term perspective, not just this day, this week, this month, this year, but just the history of this country and all the people that came before us and sacrificed their lives for us. We’re standing on their shoulders and we need to honor that, and I think the best way to honor that is come together and make things right.”


    Little Big Town performs “Deep River Woman” with Lionel Richie on NBC’s Today Show Tuesday (March 27th). The band is featured on the iconic performer’s new album, Tuskeegee, which is now in stores.


    Nashville, TN – March 27, 2012 – GRAMMY winning trio Lady Antebellum announced last week that tornado ravaged Henryville High School would be the recipients of a private concert from their OWN THE NIGHT Prom Contest.  The group is inviting the school’s Juniors and Seniors to the KFC YUM! Center on May 16 for a private prom event followed by a post-party concert that will be open to the public.  All proceeds raised from the concert portion of Rebuilding Henryville will remain local through the New Hope/Indiana Bankers Association for the benefit of the Disaster Relief Fund.  

    “The whole community, especially the students, is excited about Lady Antebellum coming and performing for Henryville,” said Superintendent of the West Clark Community Schools Monty Schneider. “They missed so much with the school being destroyed that things like this help them feel whole again. They will be talking about the tornadoes for the rest of their lives, but this event will give them something positive to reflect on about that time. It’s going to be a special moment for the entire community.”

    “Helping rebuild this community is our biggest priority right now,” said Lady A’s Hillary Scott. “We were so moved by the stories from Henryville High School, but also from the students at their rival schools who raised their hands and said they wanted to help.  There has been so much national media attention and so many sponsors and volunteers are stepping forward to help.  It’s going to be an amazing day!

    Lipton has also come on board to help with the event in the spirit of their “Drink Positive” and “Live Positive” message, a campaign that Lady A already supports.  

    Fans unable to attend Rebuilding Henryville can make a donation here: http://www.crowdrise.com/LadyAProm/fundraiser/ladyantebellum

    Further details on the events and ticket information will be available in the coming weeks at www.ladyantebellum.com

    AUDIO: Lady Antebellum talk about getting to perform for Henryville High School (and Junior High) after they were picked to win the band’s Own the Night Prom Contest. 

    Lady A (special prom) OC: (Hillary) …ask me to dance. [laughs] :24

    DAVE: “Although we couldn’t make the actual prom date, we’re going to do a special and bigger and better event actually for the entire community, and also have something special for the junior and senior high students there as well to kind of commemorate their prom this time of year.” CHARLES: “And Dave is going to give out free kisses, first kisses to anybody who has yet had their first kiss and for anybody who makes a sign, so…” HILLARY: “I’ll be standing on the wall waiting for someone to ask me to dance. [laughs]”


    ENCINO, CA (March 26, 2012) – The Academy of Country Music announced today that chart-topping country music star Darius Rucker will host the ACM Lifting Lives® Celebrity Golf Classic on Saturday, March 31, 2012 as part of The Week Vegas Goes Country® – the week leading up to the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, a star-studded event produced for television by dick clark productions that will be broadcast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM live ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network. The following night Rucker will join an all-star ensemble for ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends – In Concert, the once-in-a-lifetime concert event taping Monday, April 2, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Rucker will collaborate with the legendary Lionel Richie for a performance of “Stuck On You.” The special will air Friday, April 13, 2012 on the CBS Television Network.

    The Golf Classic—the sixth held since 2004—brings together country music artists, record label executives and other members of the music community in a star-studded scramble tournament to raise funds and awareness for ACM Lifting Lives’ Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund, which provides immediate relief to those in need in the music industry.

    Rucker, an avid golfer, has been very involved with ACM Lifting Lives. In 2011, on the 46th Annual Awards telecast, he performed the original song “Music From the Heart” with campers from the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp, to bring awareness to a national audience about those with developmental disabilities. Rucker also penned the song “Together, Anything is Possible” to raise money for the PGA’s charitable initiatives.

    “After a three year break, I’m delighted the tournament will take place again and that Darius will host,” said Gayle Holcomb, who donated seed money to the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund in 2006, in honor of her mother. “The industry has been served by the Fund in so many ways we don’t publicize, helping music industry professionals when they need it most, meeting private financial urgent needs.”

    “ACM Lifting Lives is honored to have Darius host the 2012 ACM Lifting Lives Celebrity Golf Classic,” said Lisa Huddleson, Executive Director for ACM Lifting Lives. “His continued generosity and support of our organization has been instrumental in our growing success and his golf game is sure to challenge his fellow country artists.”

    The golf tournament will exclusively cater to a golfers at TPC Las Vegas, a par 71, 7,063-yard golf course designed by architect Bobby Weed and player consultant Raymond Floyd. The TPC Las Vegas Golf Course is recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. Featuring stunning views of Red Rock Canyon and the famed Las Vegas skyline, the course is located within the nation’s largest master-planned community of Summerlin and is just minutes from the world-famous Las Vegas strip.

    About ACM Lifting Lives

    ACM Lifting Lives® is the philanthropic arm of the Academy of Country Music dedicated to improving lives through the power of music. Each year, ACM Lifting Lives provides grants to music therapy and music education programs. Other giving includes serving members of the country music community who face unexpected medical or financial hardship through the Diane Holcomb Emergency Relief Fund and partnering with artists to improve lives through music. Since 2009, the ACM Lifting Lives on-stage moment has raised over $200,000 for designated charities. Downloads and direct donations of Toby Keith’s performance on the 45th annual telecast, and Darius Rucker’s performance on the 46th annual telecast raised funds and awareness for Wounded Warrior Project and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center respectively. For more information, please visit www.ACMLiftingLives.org.


    Alan Jackson is set to re-release his 2006 gospel album, Precious Memories, on Tuesday (March 27th). The country superstar, who grew up in the church singing many of the songs that appear on the album, says he wanted to put it out again, because there are no more copies to be found. “We just had so many people still wanting it. It’s just amazing,” says Alan. “That thing has sold and sold, and so, when I got over [to EMI Nashville]…we decided that we’d get it out there, see if anybody else wants it still.” Precious Memories includes many gospel favorites, such as “I’ll Fly Away,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Softly and Tenderly,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “How Great Thou Art.” 

    Alan says he would like to do a second gospel album for his mother and mother-in-law. “I still want to do another one,” he says. “My mama, she’s getting pretty elderly now and doesn’t get out much, but I’d really like to do another version of that for her, and especially my wife’s mama. She’s older than my mother, but she actually gets around better. She loves that thing, and [laughs] would love to have another version with some more new songs, so I need to do that. It doesn’t take but a minute to record that thing.” 

    The country superstar is currently making his way up the country charts with his latest hit, “So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore.” He’ll perform the single when he appears on NBC’s Tonight Show With Jay Leno on Friday (March 30th). 

    AUDIO: Alan Jackson explains why he is re-releasing his 2006 gospel album, Precious Memories. 

    AJ (Precious Memories Rerelease) OC: …wants it still. :27

    “When I was with Sony, we…did that deal together. It was a co-deal, where it was on half my label and half theirs, and I guess I ended up with the rights to the album, basically. So, when the deal ran out, they didn’t produce any more records, so basically you couldn’t buy it anymore, and we just had so many people still wanting it. It’s just amazing. That thing has sold and sold, and so, when I got over [to EMI Nashville], Mike Dungan, we decided that we’d get it out there, see if anybody else wants it still.” 

    AUDIO: Alan Jackson says he’d like to record a second gospel album, especially for his mother and mother-in-law. 

    AJ (wants to do another gospel album) OC: …do that. :24

    “I still want to do another one. My mama, she’s getting pretty elderly now and doesn’t get out much, but I’d really like to do another version of that for her, and especially my wife’s mama. She’s older than my mother, but she actually gets around better. She loves that thing, and [laughs] would love to have another version with some more new songs, so I need to do that. It doesn’t take but a minute to record that thing, it’s so simple, you know. I need to get in and do that.” 

    Alan Jackson says he’s been singing songs like those found on Precious Memories since he was a kid…which set the stage for his career in music. 

    AJ (Gospel) OC: …as a singer. :37

    “I’d stand up and sing when the congregation was singing out of the hymn book, but…some of those melodies are a little tricky for a kid unless you knew the song real well. But I don’t remember thinking much about it. Everybody just stood up—if you didn’t stand up, you know, everybody was staring at you…so you had to stand up and act like you were singing anyway! But I went on to sing as a teenager. They had some organizations and choirs, and I remember singing in those some. And those were some of the early development for me as a singer, and that was probably the early days of getting a little confidence as a singer. The church and the activities that went with it affected me as a singer.”


    Capitol Nashville country foursome, Little Big Town — consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook — will perform the Lionel Richie mega-hit, “Deep River Woman,” with Richie on NBC’s Today Show Tuesday (March 27th) during the 8:30am hour. 

    The rootsy version of the Richie classic is featured on Tuskegee (in stores March 26th), Lionel’s latest album and new collection of duets featuring country stars.

    AUDIO: A few months ago, Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild explain being in the studio with Lionel Richie was one of the best experiences of their career, and how they want to perform live with him some day – well, that day is here. The band will be performing “Deep River Woman” on NBC’s Today Show on Tuesday (March 27th).

    LBT (Lionel Richie) 2 OC: (Jimi) …be fun. :52

    Jimi: There’s no other voice that’s such an identifiable voice, just the little adlibs when we were in there and it’s come in my head phones and I’d look at him and be like, ‘That’s Lionel Richie.’ He would just grin.” Karen: We even told him a few times…he would ask, ‘Do you guys want to take this?’ And we were like, ‘No, you take it.’ And he goes, ‘That’s right, I should take it, right?’”Jimi: “‘I’m Lionel Richie.’” [laughs] Karen: “‘I’m Lionel Richie, maybe I should take it.’” [laughs]  We were like, don’t push yourself all the way out of the song; he kept wanting us to sing.  He was like ‘Y’all sing! Y’all do your thing.’ And he gave us complete freedom.” Jimi: “It was really one of the best experiences that this band has had for sure.” Karen: “He’s a gentle man.” Jimi: “Just really funny, and he’s got so many great stories. Just sitting around and talking about his years in the business, it’s just crazy.” Karen: “We want to sing it with him live.” Jimi: “Yeah, that’d be fun.” 


    Little Big Town are among the artists who are featured on Lionel Richie’s new album, Tuskeegee, which is being released on Monday (March 26th). The quartet was able to duet with the iconic singer on one of their favorite songs, “Deep River Woman.” It was an experience of a lifetime being in the studio with him. “We grew up on his music, I had his cassettes and I wore them out,” says Kimberly Schlapman. “I loved, loved, Lionel Richie and The Commodores, we all did.” The album also features Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers and many others. 

    LBT have been putting the finishing touches on their new album, due out later this year, and you can catch them on Sunday (April 1st) performing as part of the ACM Lifting Lives segment on the ACM Awards beginning at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS.

    AUDIO: Little Big Town talk about recording with the iconic Lionel Richie.

    Little Big Town (Lionel Richie) OC: (Phillip) …gotten better. 1:05

    Kimberly: “We grew up on his music, I had his cassettes and I wore them out.  I loved, loved, Lionel Richie and the Commodores, we all did.” Jimi: “I was a huge Commodores fan when I was a kid.” Kimberly: “My first boyfriend gave me the Commodores greatest hits on a big old vinyl…” Karen: “You saw Tony who was producing the record, and he asked…” Kimberly: “I saw Tony and he asked, Tony Brown, he really wanted us to be a part of the record.  Would we please consider and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, heck yeah, we will. I’ll go beat them in to submission if I need to.” So, I talk to everybody and we were all really interested, and it was just a matter if we could work it out, schedule-wise, and what song would we do. I think we got to do the perfect song in his whole catalog. We were able to do ‘Deep River Woman,’ which perfectly fit us. And, oh gosh, when we got in the studio with him, he was so generous with us and kind and genuine and was so complimentary of our sound, and then he opens his voice and it’s that voice that takes you back to junior high school.” Phillip: “He does those signature things that only his voice can do. He sounds so good, he’s only gotten better.”


    The 47th Annual Academy Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1st, beginning at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS. Watch for performances by Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town and many more. We will continue to roll out soundbites with our nominees and performers leading up to the ACM Awards. 

    Eric Church is nominated for both Album of the Year for Chief and Music Video of the Year for “Homeboy.” He’s currently scaling the country charts with “Springsteen,” the third single from his ACM-nominated Chief.

    AUDIO: Eric Church says “Homeboy” is his favorite video.

    Eric Church (Homeboy video) OC: …rest of it. :25

    “I love the video. It’s my favorite video. I think Peter Zavidil, the director, did a fantastic job. I mean I love the way he shot it. I love the actor, the kid in the video, and I told Peter I would do every video with you if you keep writing treatments like this. I had to be there for about an hour, and that’s it, two hours, I mean videos are never like that. I said “You really know how to get an artist to fall in love with you.” I just had to go in and perform, and he took care of the rest of it.”

    AUDIO: Eric Church talks about his ACM-nominated video for “Homeboy.”

    Eric Church (Homeboy video) 2 OC: …love that shot.  :24

    “Seeing the story line develop, and being in the place, I mean I’ve been there. I was feeling the stuff the kid was feeling, that despair. I think we have all been in places like that. It just came across great. I love the lighting. I love the angles. I love the slow motion. The slow motion is one of the coolest things. There’s a scene with a match where he lights a match and throws it at the camera, and you can see the match extinguish itself, in super, super, super slow motion. I love that shot.”

    AUDIO: Eric Church says the Tennessee State Prison, the location where the video for “Homeboy” was shot, lent itself to the feeling of the clip.

    Eric Church (heaviness of Homeboy video) OC: …there, you know? :25

    “It’s my second video here, at the Tennessee State Prison. We shot ‘Lightning’ here off the first record, so I’ve been here twice now. It’s just a heavy place, which I like. And I know as musicians, you pick up on energy when you write songs and when you perform, and I think the same thing happens when you shoot videos in a place that’s got a little bit of heaviness. It certainly happened with ‘Lightning.’ And there’s a little bit of heaviness in ‘’Homeboy,’ in the message, and I like that heaviness. I don’t know if some people would listen to that and pick up on that, but there’s a little bit of that there, you know?”

    AUDIO: Eric Church talks about making his ACM-nominated album, Chief. 

    Eric Church (making of Chief) OC: …its heartbeat. :59

    “We have built our career on the backs of our fans. We have not cared what else was going on around us. The other thing, we went and played shows, and we have given those fans the keys to this vehicle, and we said, ‘Drive it!’ And they have told people about it, and they’ve spread the word, and they’ve preached that gospel, and they’ve just become an army out there. This record when we made it, it needed, for me, to sound like a live show. It needed to sound like we had recorded it live, like you were watching something that we didn’t rehearse, that we didn’t think out. And there’s so many tracks on this record, where I am interacting with the musicians, because I am in the room with them, and either I will sing a melody line or the guitar will be playing a melody line, and we’ll pick up on each other, and it will turn into this little jam moment. And that is where the magic happens. We didn’t plan it, we didn’t talk about it, there’s as much unrehearsed magic on this record as we’ve ever had. There’s a lot of mistakes on it, and I think that’s part of a live show. We mess up every night live, and we talk about it after a show. We left it on this record. Those mistakes are in there, and I think that’s what gives it its heartbeat.”

    Eric Church explains why he took time off the road to write most of the songs for his ACM-nominated album, Chief. 

    Eric Church (taking time to write) OC: …in that cabin. 1:09

    “Well, it’s the first time taking a month off to write this record; it’s the first time I’ve taken a month off in the middle of any kind of touring season in a long time…ever. And it was for me, I thought it was time, and we, I put so much into the record making process, every time we do it, I empty the tank doing it. And this time, two records in, I felt like our career had really got to a point that, it had gotten to the next level, I wanted to make a record that was indicative to that. The only way I knew how to do that, was to pause, and just take time, and figure out where we go from there. That month in the cabin, there was no television, cell phone service, which in the middle of football season is brutal. I spent a lot of time at a local bar [laughs] in Banner Elk [laughs]. But I sat there with co-writers, got them out of their element, and sometimes we’d write a song at 3 am, sometimes we would write a song at 7am, sometimes we didn’t write a song, we’d just ride around and drink beer in a four wheeler. It was really, really cool to just let the creative process, just un-harness it, and let the creative process flow. I think that “unharnessed” really became part of what the record was. It just is, there’s no rules. It’s unchained, it’s loose, it’s wild, and I think that started in that cabin.”