News And Notes
Jul 31

Watch Lucy Hale’s “Lie A Little Better” Music Video

Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale photo courtesy of Monarch Publicity.

Lucy Hale has released a new video for her latest single, “Lie A Little Better.” The clip was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry, where she made her Opry debut on June 21. In the clip, she is seen performing at the famous venue, goofing off with her band backstage, and singing into a hairbrush in an Opry dressing room.

“Little girls dream about their wedding dress,” she said about her Opry debut. “I dreamed about the dress I was going to wear on the Opry.”

Watch the “Lie A Little Better” music video below: Continue Reading


Posted at 2:00 pm | Permalink
Jul 31

One Pan Nan: Creamy Cajun Corn and Shrimp With Bacon

Every week on Top 20 Country Countdown our host Nan Kelley counts down your favorite videos — but when she’s away from the studio, she’s likely to be found in her kitchen, creating healthy, delicious meals. Nan likes to keep it simple, cooking entire meals using only one pan. Her husband, Charlie, lovingly gave her the nickname “One Pan Nan,” and now that’s also the name of her new cookbook [get it HERE!]. We asked Nan to share some of her recipes with us, and this week, it’s Creamy Cajun Corn and Shrimp with Bacon. Check back every other week for a new recipe.

“I love Cajun food. Some of the best food in the world is down in Louisiana. I grew up 90 miles from New Orleans and have family down there, so Cajun/Creole food is a big part of our staple of dishes. This one pan recipe is full of flavor, fresh ingredients and is quick and easy. I love the fresh corn in it. You can put shrimp, salmon, fish or, for a really authentic Cajun experience, crawfish, in this dish, and it will be so good. Serve it with crunchy French bread with garlic butter on top, and enjoy a little bit of the Big Easy wherever you are!”

Creamy Cajun Corn and Shrimp with Bacon


1-2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
8 ounce package tomato trinity mix (fresh diced tomatoes, onions and bell peppers)
3 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1 tablespoon blackening seasoning
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon chives, chopped (for garnish)

Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté in butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Shrimp will turn pink when done, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm. Cut bacon into small pieces and add to the same pan. Cook 3-4 minutes or until crisp. Drain bacon fat, reserving one tablespoon in pan. Stir in trinity mix and cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Slice kernels off the corn cobs, scraping the cobs with the back of the knife to release remaining juices. Transfer corn to a mixing bowl, add blackening seasoning and half-and-half. Stir to mix. Pour corn mixture into pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add shrimp back to the pan and stir to combine. Serve immediately, topping each serving with chives, if desired.


Posted at 11:00 am | Permalink
Jul 31

Big & Rich Will Release Gravity on September 23

New Big & Rich Album

Photo courtesy of

Big & Rich will release their fifth studio album, Gravity, on September 23. The project will be released on their own label, Big & Rich Records, and celebrates 10 years since the release of their debut album, Horse of a Different Color.

“This is an exciting and intense time in the history of Big and Rich,” Big Kenny said. “As artists, we are now at the place where we can finally gain complete creative control. That’s huge. It allows us to be true to ourselves and be the trailblazers we’ve always risked being.” Continue Reading


Posted at 6:00 am | Permalink
Jul 31

The Junk Gypsies Collaborate With Pottery Barn Teen


This bed set has all the Junk Gypsy style elements.

If you thought the Junk Gypsies would slow down after opening the Wander Inn, you would be wrong. In fact, Amie and Jolie Sikes have been working harder than ever on their newest project, creating a home decor line for PBTeen. In tonight’s episode, the sisters take you through the entire process from creating prototypes to staging their designs for the catalog photo shoot.

Amie and Jolie decide to create a tufted denim headboard and repurpose an old guitar case as a jewelry shelf. They share other ideas, like a ship chandelier and glittered letters, with the Pottery Barn Teen reps, who visit the Junk Gypsy Headquarters to see the girls’ prototypes. Amie and Jolie emphasize the importance of glitter, feathers, dream catchers and fringe to the Junk Gypsy way of life. Finally, after three months of waiting, the Pottery Barn Teen team brings the finished products back to the Junk Gypsy Headquarters for the catalog shoot.

Share Your Comments Below for a Chance to Win a $50 Gift Card to
Pottery Barn Teen!

You could score one of five $50 gift certificates to Pottery Barn Teen to purchase something from the Junk Gypsy line. Just comment on this blog post which of the following items (pictured below) is your favorite, and you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate.


Gypsyfied accent pillows


A guitar case jewelry shelf covered in vintage floral fabric

Which one is your favorite? The guitar case jewelry shelf or the Gypsy style accent pillows?

Remember: You MUST comment on this post for your chance to win one of five $50 gift certificates to Pottery Barn Teen!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Ends 8/1/14.  To enter and for complete details, visit Complete Rules >>


Posted at 4:30 am | Permalink
Jul 30

Doobie Brothers Reveal Tribute Album Lineup

Doobie Brothers

Pictured (l-r): Patrick Simmons, Brad Paisley, Tom Johnston, Josh Leo, John McFee, and Sara Evans. Photo by Alan Poizner, courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

New details have been released about the Doobie Brothers tribute album, Southbound, set for release on November 4. While the group remains tight-lipped on which of their dozens of hit songs will make the record, they have revealed which artists will appear on the record.

Acts confirmed for the project include Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Toby Keith, Chris Young, Charlie Worsham, Sara Evans, Jerrod Niemann, Amanda Rivera and Love and Theft. Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes and Dann Huff will each play guitar on project. The idea for the tribute album came from producer and songwriter David Huff.

“We were on the road, and he came and visited us,” band member Tom Johnston told Lagniappe Mobile. “He came to us with the idea, and everybody thought it would be a cool thing to do. We had never thought of that ourselves. At the same time, we didn’t know there were people in the country genre that were fans of the band. He thought it would be a really great idea for us to pair together with a bunch of big names in country music.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:00 pm | Permalink
Jul 30

Meet Emi Sunshine


Photo courtesy of Emi Sunshine/Hamilton Music.

Emi Sunshine isn’t your average 10-year-old.

She is not only a singing sensation, she’s an old soul. As she sips her decaf iced mocha latte and politely leaves her bedazzled iPhone sitting on the table, it’s difficult to picture her playing in a sandbox or having a pillow fight. Her demeanor is cool and collected, not to mention mature beyond her years.

While other kids her age are getting ready for their first day of school, Emi is preparing for her Grand Ole Opry debut, slated for August 5.

The Madisonville, Tenn. native grew up listening to classic Bluegrass and country singers. Emi defines her music as “Americana Gospel,” taking influences from Ricky Skaggs, Amy Grant, Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller.

Her mom, Alisha Hamilton, introduced Emi to music at a mere four years old. They wrote simple songs together, then advanced to songs she could play on her ukelele or mandolin. Eventually, her dad, Randall Hamilton, and brother, Johnathon Letner, helped out teaching her chords and leads, respectively.

Besides her impressive vocals and “sunny” personality, Emi rocks a unique style all her own. She buys almost all of her clothes at thrift stores or flea markets and owns more cowboy boots than she can count. Vintage hats are wardrobe staples, as are bandanas and jeweled headbands. She shared photos of some of her favorite outfits with us.

Pictures of Emi Sunshine>>

Still three years away from teenage-dom, Emi has already performed at the Ryman, appeared on the TODAY show and garnered over a million views on YouTube with her cover of “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Watch Emi perform on the TODAY show:

YouTube Preview Image

“I didn’t know what to say,” she says of her first viral hit, a cover of  Jimmie Rogers’ “Blue Yodel #6.” “When [the frenzy] died down I thought,’ That was good. That was a lot of fans we gained.’”

Indeed, she gained a lot of fans — loyal fans, that is. Her newest song, “Sweet Lucy,” already has 3,556 shares on Facebook. Emi enjoys the fame for a different reason than most young music stars, however. For her, it’s not about money or clothes. She just loves to play music. “I do want people to know me, and know who I am, and make a lot of people happy,” the singer said.

When discussing the Ryman, Emi reminds her road manager of a certain someone who stole her piece of pizza before the show. Confused, her road manager surrenders to Emi’s knowing stare as the pint-sized singer reveals the culprit: “Marty Stuart!”

Emi said playing on the Opry stage is a dream come true. “I thought it’d be a long time before I played [at the Opry.] That would’ve been my biggest goal. Now I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” she said, grinning.

For more information about performance dates, follow Emi Sunshine on her Facebook page.


Posted at 2:09 pm | Permalink
Jul 30

Luke Bryan Announces Farm Tour 2014

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan photo by Joseph Llanes, courtesy of Schmidt Relations.

Luke Bryan has announced his sixth annual Farm Tour. This year’s tour will kick off in Knoxville, Tenn., on October 1 and wrap October 11 in Macon, Ga. As in previous years, a portion of proceeds will go to local college scholarships for students from a farming family within the communities the tour plays.

Last year, Bryan’s Farm Tour played for more than 115,000 fans in eight Farm Tour towns, breaking the previous year’s record. Special VIP experiences will be available for Farm Tour 2014.  The “Harvest Time VIP Experience” includes a general admission ticket which includes a VIP viewing area, a parking pass, access to VIP-only restrooms, limited edition Farm Tour poster, private cash bar and more. Continue Reading


Posted at 12:36 pm | Permalink
Jul 30

Thompson Square Recalls Heartache With New Single

Thompson Square

Thompson Square photo by Joseph Anthony Baker, courtesy of Dashboard Media.

Thompson Square’s Shawna and Keifer Thompson have been happily married for more than 15 years. Although they haven’t been on the dating circuit in a long time, they still remember the heartache that comes with a failed relationship. That heartache is reflected in their new single, “I Can’t Outrun You.”

“Everyone’s been in that situation where you’ve been with somebody for whatever length of time, and it goes south, and you try to move away, move across town — and, in my case, across five, six states — and you just can’t get away from the memory with the person,” Keifer Thompson told “That’s what the song is about. It’s a wonderfully written song.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:00 am | Permalink
Jul 30

David Nail Announces I’m A Fire Tour

David Nail

David Nail photo by Jim Wright, courtesy of MCA Nashville.

David Nail has announced via Rolling Stone Country that he will kick off his I’m A Fire Tour this fall. The tour begins September 11 in Oxford, Miss., and runs through November, with stops in more than 20 cities. Nail will be joined by special guest duo Native Run.

“It’s so much fun to open up for big acts and know that there’s going to be 5, 10, or even 15,000 people out there when you play, but it’s always difficult to only play for 35 minutes,” Nail said. “I’ve always felt like we benefit so much more when we can really lay back and play an entire 75 to 90 minute show. We can show the range of the past three records.”

Watch the tour announcement below: Continue Reading


Posted at 6:00 am | Permalink
Jul 29

Dollywood Presents the Great American Country Show

Great American Country Show at Dollywood

Photo courtesy of

This summer, Great American Country and Dollywood team up to present the Great American Country Show at Dolly Parton‘s Celebrity Theater. Running May 24 through October 18, the 40-minute production features six country music acts including special appearances by famous country artists and Great American Country personalities Nan Kelley from Top 20 Country Countdown, Amie and Jolie Sikes of the Junk Gypsies, and Suzanne Alexander of Great American Playlist.

Along with live performances, Dollywood offers a variety of entertainment. Test your limits on some of Dollywood’s most exciting roller coasters, like Thunderhead and Daredevil Falls, or head over to Splash Country, home of Tennessee’s first and only water coaster —RiverRush®. Younger ones can enjoy Little Creek Falls with size-appropriate slides and an activity center. See local artisans’ creations in Craftsmans Valley. They use the same techniques as early Smoky Mountain settlers to forge iron, make candles, carve wood and blow glass.

Great American Country’s stars of LogHeads own a showroom in the heart of Craftsmans Valley. Gwen and Tommy Mitchell opened Rocky Top Log Furniture in Dollywood over 20 years ago. Now, they’re back with a custom line of log furniture made exclusively for Dollywood.


LogHeads, Gwen and Tommy Mitchell

In addition to its thrilling rides and attractions, Dollywood captures the culture of the Appalachian area. Every ride speaks to a unique aspect of the mountains or the South. There is even a historically accurate schoolhouse, fully operating grist mill and working train for visitors’ enjoyment. Dolly Parton fans can also explore Dolly’s Home-on-Wheels, a perfectly maintained bus that carried Dolly across the U.S. while she was touring.



Dolly Parton, photo courtesy of Dolly Records.

You’re bound to work up an appetite after a day at Dollywood. Luckily, Aunt Granny’s serves authentic southern cuisine, buffet-style, for hungry park-goers. For an afternoon treat, Sweet Shoppe offers a variety of sweets for the chocolate lovers to the ice cream fanatics.

Great American Country also hosts Great American Country Nights at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. Every night at park closing, a cast of 12 dancers and singers perform, accompanied by The Time Machine Band and hosts Shannon Thomason and Rachel Wallace.

Tune in to Great American Country for the premiere of Backstory: Dolly Parton on August 2 at 8/7c.>>


Posted at 3:35 pm | Permalink