Country Music News

Drive-in movies, cooking & card games: Brothers Osborne share how they’re spending quarantine

ABC/Image Group LA

Brothers Osborne take fans behind the scenes of how they’re spending self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic in a new installment of CMT’s On the Road Series -- which has been renamed “Off the Road” in light of the quarantine. People premiered the vlog-style clip.

Bandmates and brothers TJ and John Osborne have been isolating together in Nashville, along with their mom, sister and John’s wife, fellow artist Lucie Silvas. While they miss their fans, the pair admits that this time off the road has provided them a much-needed break. 

"To be honest with you, when it happened, I thought, 'Okay, each day is going to crawl by. I'm going to be losing my mind by day four. And the first month flew by so fast. We come home, and you know, we spend time with family, not feel like you're being lazy," John explains in the clip.

"The government has mandated that you stay home, and so you have an excuse. It has been a blessing. It's been the break that I know my brother and I have needed for a long time,” he adds. 

John's also been keeping busy with home improvement and artistic projects, while TJ shows off his newfound skills in the kitchen in the video, taking fans along for the ride as he cooks steaks.  With their family, the brothers are enjoying card games and even a drive-in movie theater set up in their driveway. 

Even though they’re enjoying the break, Brothers O can’t wait until they can get back onstage.

"We're looking forward to getting back out on the road, though, I can tell you that we miss our fans. We miss performing," they agree.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Can’t Stay Here”: Tucker Beathard drops his newest heartache ballad in response to fan demand

Warner Music NashvilleTucker Beathard reflects on the tough decision to end a painful relationship in “Can’t Stay Here,” his new breakup ballad. Written early in 2020, the song was among the first Tucker penned after his younger brother’s untimely death. 

During that period of grief, the singer admits he wasn’t sure he’d be able to write music at all.

“After my brother passed away in December, I wasn’t sure if I had the emotional energy to start writing again right away,” Tucker reveals. “But, I decided I might as well try and clear my head and mess around with some writer buddies of mine and sure enough, the first song I wrote this year was this one.”

Still, Tucker didn’t originally intend to record and release “Can’t Stay Here” so soon. However, after he uploaded an acoustic performance of the song to social media, Tucker was overwhelmed by the fan response. 

“I’ve been really enjoying connecting with my fans through social media live videos during this time and just hanging out, playing a bunch of old and new songs of mine,” he explains. “...I decided to post an acoustic video of me playing [‘Can’t Stay Here’], and after seeing the feedback, I knew it would be a great addition to the album and went in and recorded it right away.”

“Can’t Stay Here,” along with its accompanying music video, is the latest glimpse into Tucker’s next project. He’s previously shared a couple of other new songs, including “Better Than Me,” “Find Me Here” and his current single, “You Would Think.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Zac Brown re-releases solo album 'The Controversy', including new remixes and collaborations

Andy Sapp

Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown re-released his debut solo album, The Controversy, on Friday. The project originally came out as a surprise release last September.

The new version of the project boasts two remixes not featured in the first iteration of the project, including a Petey Radio remix of “Someone I Used to Know,” the lead single off of Zac Brown Band’s newest album, The Owl

The re-released The Controversy also features “Spend it All on You -- Petey Remix,” and two more new collaborations: “Hometown,” from DJ and producer Diplo’s new country project, Snake Oil, and “Someday,” which is included on Norwegian DJ Kygo’s brand-new Golden Hour album. 

“This album is an outlet for me to explore pop music, a broad category in its own right, without expectations and to be creative musically in other ways,” says Zac. “...To create The Controversy, not only was I able to work with some incredible new collaborators, but I also love being able to share different sounds -- regardless of label or genre -- with my fans.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Guitars, Couches, ETC., ETC.': Midland combats the quarantine blues with acoustic EP

Big Machine Records

Midland put an acoustic spin on five of their best-loved hits in Guitars, Couches, ETC., ETC., a new EP recorded from quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The project’s name is a good-natured tip of the hat to Dwight Yoakam’s 1986 Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., an album that the trio counts as an important influence on their music. 

“The title is a bit tongue in cheek with reference to a seminal album that largely influenced this band, cut against the strange reality that we’ve all found ourselves living these past few months,” the band’s Mark Wystrach explains, adding that the return to old favorite songs felt like a balm for the band during such an uncertain time. 

“It was medicinal to pick these songs back up and re-interpret them in a new way, both recording-wise and in the arrangements and colorings,” Mark adds. “We hope you enjoy these new iterations as much as we did making ‘em.”

The Guitars, Couches, ETC., ETC. EP sheds new light on some of Midland’s biggest hits over the years, including the top-five single “Burn Out” and their 2017 hit debut, “Drinkin’ Problem.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tanya Tucker postpones CMT Next Women of Country: Bring My Flowers Now tour stops through August

Derrek Kupish / dkupish productions In light of the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanya Tucker announced this week that her headlining CMT Next Women of Country: Bring My Flowers Now tour will postpone all its scheduled shows through August. 

“My heart is absolutely broken knowing that we will have to wait to be together again,” the star explained on social media. “However, I know it will be all the sweeter once we can do so safely.”

Rescheduled dates will be announced soon, and Tanya told her fans that anyone who can’t make the new dates will be able to get a refund at the point of purchase. However, she added, fans should keep their tickets handy, as previously purchased tickets will be honored at the rescheduled shows.

“Hold onto that ticket as I promise to throw one heck of a party when we are allowed to!” Tanya went on to say. “Those who hold onto their ticket are also in for a sweet surprise that we are cooking up! Keep an eye out for an email in the coming weeks that will have details.”

In addition to Tanya’s headlining performance, the CMT Next Women of Country tour enlisted a talented roster of opening acts including Brandy ClarkHailey WhittersAubrie SellersErin Enderlin and many more.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Due to gathering restrictions, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone my “Bring My Flowers Now” tour through the end of Aug. New dates will be announced soon. If u need a refund, pls contact ur point of purchase or hold onto ur ticket, I promise to throw a prty when we can

— Tanya Tucker (@tanyatucker) May 29, 2020

Old Dominion revisits their musical past, shares three old songs for the first time

Sony Music

Old Dominion has combed through the archives of their career, and now they’re sharing three previously unreleased songs from three different points in their musical past. 

“We’re releasing NEW, old music,” explains frontman Matthew Ramsey.  “Three songs, previously unreleased but that were recorded for our previous albums Meat and CandyHappy Endings, as well as an EP we released before signing a record deal.”

The first song, “I’m On It,” was originally recorded for the group’s 2015 major-label debut but was ultimately bumped from the track list in favor of “Song for Another Time,” which went on to be a chart-topping hit. 

Next, the group shared the studio version of “Can’t Get You,” which fans may recognize: The live version of the song appeared on Old Dominion’s sophomore album, Happy Endings

Finally, the band also dropped “Goes Without Saying,” which they first recorded for an independent EP that came out before they signed their record deal. 

While the band has had plenty of time to mine their musical past amid the COVID-19 shutdown, the band has some exciting plans for the summer: They’re slated to perform during Good Morning America’s virtual Summer Concert Series this July.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Fire and Flame”: Kip Moore unfurls 'Wild World' with blazing, anthemic new track

Universal Music GroupKip Moore’s new album, Wild World, came out on Friday, and the project is teeming with introspective anthems filled with passion and self-discovery.

Just before the project came out, Kip premiered its third track, the high-octane “Fire and Flame,” on The Country Show with Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2. The song spotlights the quest for meaning and spiritual understanding that Kip chases throughout his new album.

“I guess I’m stuck out in the middle/‘Cause I got this reckless heart that I can’t tame,” he sings in the song’s chorus. “Just when I think I’ve reigned it in a little/I’m still somewhere between the fire and flame...”

Those are themes that Kip explores throughout his deeply personal new album. The singer co-wrote all but one of Wild World’s 13 tracks, and he says that the lyrics on the project are some of the most personal he’s ever put to paper.

In tandem with his album, Kip also released a new documentary called 7 Days at the Rock, which premiered Thursday night on Outside TV. The film finds him in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic at his rock climbing facility, located in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Redwood Tree”: Cam’s new single is inspired by family, home and her favorite childhood climbing tree

Sharon Ochs/RCA Records

Cam reflects on the bittersweet passage of time in her meditative new single, “Redwood Tree,” a song inspired in large part by a climbing tree that grew in her backyard when she was a child. Since then, her musical dreams and ambitions have taken her far away from her hometown and that old favorite tree, and the singer waxes nostalgic in the song for simpler times. 

“I spent so many afternoons up there [in the tree] as a kid looking out and dreaming about the future,” Cam reflects. “It feels like I’ve lived five lifetimes since then -- I’ve done more than I can even remember, but still part of me wishes I could’ve stayed put, and to have that time at home.”

As much as Cam has changed, the redwood tree, which can live for thousands of years, has remained exactly as she left it. 

“It’s a song about time, and whatever way you spend it still feels just like a blink to a redwood tree,” she adds. 

"Redwood Tree’s" evocative, stop-motion video tells the story of a family’s life as it revolves around a redwood tree. We see Cam as a young girl spending time around the tree with her parents, and as the song wears on, she grows up and moves away to Nashville. Meanwhile, her parents continue to grow older, but the tree remains the same. Ultimately, Cam returns to the redwood tree and her family, this time with a baby in her arms. 

“Redwood Tree” follows “Till There’s Nothing Left,” which Cam released earlier this year.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 2001, one of country music’s biggest stars released his sophomore album, called Part II. The track list included the goofball fan favorite, “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song).” Do you know who he is? ANSWER: Brad Paisley.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch now: King Calaway circles the globe to duet with Laine Hardy on Beatles' classic

CeCe DawsonEven though King Calaway's still relatively new, they already have the distinction of being country's most internationally-diverse band. 

In fact, two of its members have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic in their homelands: Jordan Harvey in Scotland, and Simon Dumas in Gibraltar. Like many other country acts, King Calaway was overseas for the Country to Country Festival when coronavirus began to bring life to a halt.

"King Calaway was doing a little European run for C2C..." Simon explains. "We were gonna take a week off for me to come home for my brother's bachelor weekend, and Jordan was gonna visit his family. And so we just so happened to be in Europe when kind of things started locking down."

Unable to play live, the six-man band searched for a way to keep making music, and Nashville's House Band Series was born. L.A.-based Chad Michael Jervis explains.

"When the quarantine began, we wanted to try to do something that was a little creative, with us being in all of our different places," he tells ABC Audio. "The first video that we did was acoustic rendition of one of our songs from the record, 'Obvious.'"

"People really loved it," he continues, "so we decided a couple more videos like this. But then we realized, 'Well, why don't we bring in some other artists and some friends of ours?'" 

So far, Jordan, Simon, Chad, Caleb MillerChris Deaton, and Austin Luther have teamed up with Terri ClarkSara EvansLauren AlainaJimmie Allen and more. 

This week, they tackle The Beatles' classic, "I Saw Her Standing There" with 2019 American Idol winner Laine Hardy, which premieres exclusively via ABC Audio. 

King Calaway's eyeing Paul McCartneyBillie Eilish and Ingrid Andress as future dream collaborators.

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe Cadillac Three bandmate Neil Mason announced this week that he and his wife, Chelsea Eager, are expecting a baby. The new addition to the family, a girl, will be the couple’s first child. 

On Monday, which also happens to be her birthday, Brandi Carlile and her band mates will deliver a virtual performance of her 2018 breakthrough album, By the Way, I Forgive You, in its entirety. The show will broadcast live via at 9:L00 p.m. ET.  Proceeds will benefit Brandi’s band and crew. 

Rising singer-songwriter Chris Bandi drops his self-titled debut EP today. The seven-song project includes his current single, “Man Enough Now.”

Clint Black is a featured guest on a new episode of actor Dennis Quaid’s podcast, “The Dennissance.” In the new episode, Clint chats about his life in music and his upcoming album, Out of Sane.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett land on 'Billboard'’s Grammy New Artist nominee watch list

ABC/Image Group LAIngrid Andress and Gabby Barrett have both been named as likely contenders to earn Grammy nominations for Best New Artist this year, according to a new list of potential nominees from Billboard

The two rising artists have been neck-and-neck on the charts this spring. In April, Gabby hit number one on the Country Aircheck chart with her debut single, “I Hope.” The following week, Ingrid ascended to the top spot with “More Hearts Than Mine,” her own debut single. It marked the first time in that chart’s history that two debut solo female country artists had topped the chart for back-to-back weeks. 

Ingrid and Gabby also both enjoyed success on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with “I Hope” reaching number 16 and “More Hearts Than Mine” reaching number 30. Also, both performers are currently nominated in the category of New Female Artist of the Year at the upcoming ACM Awards. 

Ingrid dropped her debut album, Lady Like, in March, to massive critical acclaim. The project became the highest-streaming female debut album of all time. For her part, Gabby is set to release her full-length debut, Goldmine, next month. 

Ingrid and Gabby are the only country artists mentioned in Billboard’s all-genre list of potential Grammy nominees. Other acts mentioned include rising R&B star Summer Walker and rapper Doja Cat.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dolly Parton looks to a brighter future with “When Life is Good Again” music video

ABC/Lou RoccoJust hours after debuting her new, pandemic-inspired “When Life is Good Again,” Dolly Parton premiered the music video for the song via TIME magazine's TIME 100 Talks

As the clip begins, Dolly sits alone in a dark room, setting up a video projector to watch a series of family-focused home movies dated 1994. But by the end of the video, it’s clear that she’s not losing herself in the past. Images of doctors, nurses, firefighters, grocery store employees and more begin to appear across the screen, all wearing face masks. 

At the end of the song, each of these essential workers triumphantly removes their mask, symbolizing a better day when people will be able to confidently go back into public spaces without fear of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Finally, Dolly herself removes a mask and opens the door to the room, walking back out into the light. 

“When life is good again, it’s going to be better than it ever was,” she tells TIME. “I know I’ll be a better person. I can see a lot of things that I can do better than I did before.”

The pandemic has made Dolly reflect on the importance of connection and little moments together with loved ones, and she says she hopes it's serving as the same reminder to others, too.

“I think we have to pull together a little better. I just think we’re just getting so scattered and so selfish,” Dolly adds. “And we’re just letting too many good things go by.”

“Be safe, be respectful, wear your mask,” reads a message at the end of the video. “Lead with love.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

"You Kissed Me First,” quarantine style: Carly Pearce drops next “Social Distance Sessions” video

ABC Image Group/LAAs the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent artists from playing shows or seeing their fans in person, Carly Pearce and her band are finding creative ways to stay connected. 

This week, the singer dropped the second installment of her “Social Distance Sessions” music video series, and this time around, she and her band performed “You Kissed Me First,” one of the tracks on her recently released, self-titled sophomore album. The clip shows Carly and her band performing their parts of the song separately at home.

Earlier this month, Carly kicked off her “Social Distance Sessions” with the heartfelt ballad “It Won’t Always Be Like This.” The song’s message highlights the fact that nothing in life is permanent, and urges listeners to weather life’s storms and savor its sweet moments, knowing that things will change at some point.

Since the pandemic began, “It Won’t Always Be Like This” has taken on a whole new meaning for Carly, who included a montage of images of health care workers in her video for the song.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean and more sign on for star-studded CMT Celebrates Our Heroes line-up

ABC/Image Group LACMT Celebrates Our HeroesAn Artists of the Year Special is set to air next week, and the show is rounding out its star-studded lineup with a final list of performers. 

Reba McEntireBlake SheltonJason AldeanKeith UrbanJake OwenLee Brice and Zac Brown are the latest artists to be announced for the show. They’ll deliver performances from home to honor essential workers and those on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to the country performers scheduled to participate, the event will feature a number of actors, too, including Scarlett JohanssonSean Penn, Gary Sinise and Olivia Munn. 

Previously-announced performers include Sam HuntMiranda LambertFlorida Georgia LineLuke CombsKane BrownTim McGraw and many more. 

CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artists of the Year Special is set to air on June 3 at 8 p.m. ET. Additionally, viewers can visit for information about how to give back to those helping to fight the pandemic.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'One World: Together at Home' broadcast, featuring Keith Urban and more, nabs two Guinness World Records

ABC/Image Group LAThis week, Guinness World Records revealed that the One World: Together at Home broadcast, which aired in April and featured a massive roster of performers from all genres, has set not one but two world records.

The international event, co-hosted by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen, has netted two new entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. It now holds the records for the most musical performers ever for a remote music festival, as well as the most money ever raised for charity at a remote music festival. 

Keith UrbanKacey MusgravesLady Antebellum and Maren Morris all offered from-home performances during the eight-hour event, six hours of which streamed online, and two hours of which aired on TV.

A total of 72 musical artists in all participated, including the likes of Stevie WonderPaul McCartneyElton John and Taylor Swift

The One World: Together at Home broadcast, which raised nearly $128 million for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts, was conceived to honor, inspire and support front-line healthcare workers and bring families together.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'After All These Years', Barbara Mandrell drops remixed “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed”

UMG Nashville

Barbara Mandrell serves up a fresh take on her 1978 classic, “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” with help from a dance remix of the song by producer Dave Audé.

The danceable, pop-inflected new remix of the song is the first taste of a greatest hits vinyl album called After All These Years: A Collection. Barbara announced this week that she hand-picked 14 of her best-loved tracks for the project, which will be her first release on vinyl in decades.

“When I listen to the songs that were selected from different albums I recorded, I think about those of you that I recorded them for and those of you that are hearing them for the first time,” she reflects. 

Looking back on her lengthy time in country music, Barbara adds, “The greatest desire of my heart was to be an entertainer.  My Heavenly Father -- and you -- gave me my 38-year career in show business. I’m deeply grateful and I hope that these selections from some of my albums entertain you.”

Originally released as the first single from her Moods album, “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” became the first of Mandrell's six chart-topping hits. 

After All These Years: A Collection is due for release on July 10 and is available to pre-order now. In addition to the leading track, it features hits such as “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” and “Happy Birthday, Dear Heartache.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“Military crawls, obstacle courses”: Zac Brown went all out for his son’s video game-themed birthday part

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Zac Brown BandAnyone who’s spent a birthday in quarantine this year knows that it’s just not the same without friends, family and a big party.  So Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown went above and beyond to make his son Alexander’s sixth birthday special. 

“We set up our whole property like [the video game] Fortnite and had a party,” Zac explains to People. “Military crawls, obstacle courses...we had an awesome time.”

The Zac Brown Band is among the many country acts whose touring schedules were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.  In fact, they were among the first bands who made the call to entirely wipe their 2020 tour schedule clean and postpone live shows until next year. 

While Zac has been open about his sadness and frustration at not being able to perform, the unexpected blessing of being able to spend more time with his five kids isn’t lost on the singer. 

"I put my kids first always, and I put them first when I'm making my schedule, but it's kind of erratic. So to be home and just be really super present and consistent with my kids has been great for them and it's been great for me," he points out.

Along with spending time with family, Zac is gearing up to re-release his solo album, The Controversy, which first dropped last year. Earlier this spring, he shared the music video for the pulsing, dance-driven "Dream Selling," a collaboration with Poo Bear and Sasha Sirota. The album re-releases this Friday.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“If That Ain’t God”: Chris Young shares sneak peek into an unreleased, faith-focused new track

ABC/Randy HolmesFor some time now, Chris Young has been at work on his next album. Over the past year, he’s shared a handful of new tracks, including the lead single, “Raised on Country.” 

Now, he’s offering fans a glimpse into the upcoming project’s more spiritual side with a clip of an unreleased tune, “If That Ain’t God.” Chris shared the first verse and chorus of his inspirational ballad on social media this week.

“If That Ain’t God” tells the story of a kid from his hometown who beat cancer. In its lyrics, Chris reflects on the importance of not taking life for granted, and recognizes God in the story of the young boy’s recovery. 

“Don’t it make you wanna pray? Don’t it make you wanna live?” he sings in the song’s chorus. “If that ain’t God, if that ain’t God, I don’t know what is.”

It isn’t the first time that Chris has explored heavier subject matter in his music. His current single, “Drowning,” shares the singer’s real-life experience of grappling with grief after a close friend’s untimely death.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

“If That Ain’t God” ... I don’t know what is

— ChrisYoungMusic (@ChrisYoungMusic) May 27, 2020

'United We Sing': Tim McGraw, Little Big Town to salute essential workers in upcoming special

ABC/Image Group LATim McGraw and Little Big Town are just two of the artists slated to join a new TV special called United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes, an all-star event featuring a wide range of A-list actors and musical performers.

Hosted by Grammy and Emmy-winning actor Harry Connick, Jr., the special will take viewers along for the ride on a RV road trip with Harry and his daughter, Georgia, from their home in Connecticut to New Orleans. Along the way, they’ll stop to thank essential workers in health care, food service, law enforcement and more. 

Participating stars include the likes of Sandra BullockBrad PittOprah Winfrey and Renée Zellweger. Along with Tim and Little Big Town, musical artists such as Cyndi LauperDave MatthewsIrma Thomas and more will be on hand to help spotlight these everyday heroes’ contributions. 

As you watch United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes, you'll be able to donate to a variety of charities supporting underserved children, including No Kid Hungry and the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. The special will also spotlight the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, part of the charitable arm of the Recording Academy. 

United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes will air on CBS on Sunday, June 21 from 8-10 p.m. ET.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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