News And Notes
Apr 17

Kip Moore Releases “Dirt Road” Single

Kip Moore Releases "Dirt Road" Single

Kip Moore photo by Stephen Shepherd, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Kip Moore has released “Dirt Road” as the next single form his upcoming sophomore album. Co-written by Kip along with his close friends Westin Davis and Dan Couch, the song showcases Kip’s “signature rock vibe” and has been a fan favorite during his live shows for a while.

“The groove of this song is something that really grabbed me,” Kip said. ”I actually worked it up with the band on the road and we played it live that same night. We did that with a lot of the new songs and in a way the live crowds helped shape this album because of that.”

Watch Kip share the story behind “Dirt Road” below: Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:13 am | Permalink
Apr 17

Taylor Swift Sells Out Shanghai Show in One Minute

Taylor Swift Sells Out Shanghai Show in One Minute

Taylor Swift photo courtesy of Erickson Public Relations.

Taylor Swift has set yet another record. She sold out Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena in one minute, making it the fastest ticket on-sale in Chinese history. After announcing that she will take her RED Tour to Asia this summer to meet fan demand, the seven Asian dates sold out in record speeds.

The RED Tour features two stages, elaborate costumes, dancers, numerous costume changes and changing sets. Taylor moves around the venue to give every audience member a great seat and a chance to see her up close and personal, playing electric guitar, banjo, piano and acoustic guitar. The set list includes Taylor’s biggest hits, songs from her Red album and fan favorites. Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:49 am | Permalink
Apr 17

Dolly Parton Plans Special Record Store Day Release

Dolly Parton Plans Special Record Store Day Release

Dolly Parton photo courtesy of Dolly Records.

Dolly Parton and Sony Masterworks will celebrate Record Store Day on April 19 with the limited release of a 7-inch vinyl. The blue vinyl will feature “Blue Smoke” and “Home,” two tracks found on her upcoming album, Blue Smoke.

Blue Smoke will be released nationwide on May 13. It includes 12 bluegrass and country songs, including covers of Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi classics as well as duets with Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers. Blue Smoke will be Dolly’s first new music since 2011. Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:26 am | Permalink
Apr 17

One Pan Nan: Get Nan Kelley’s Recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine Muffins

One Pan Nan: Nan Kelley Shares Her Recipes with Great American Country

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

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. This week, Nan shares her recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine Muffins. Check back every other week for a new one!

“Charlie and I stopped to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner and I saw something that got my culinary wheels to turning– apple pie moonshine,” says Nan. “Not a likely pairing, but one that intrigued me. I’ve don’t know much about white lightening, but I love apple anything so I grabbed up the jar & put my thinking cap on. My friend Clara gave me a recipe for apple muffins made with ricotta cheese, granny smith apples & walnuts. And while that sounds great by itself, what if I soaked the apples in moonshine first and made a brown sugar glaze with it as well? I now completely understand the pairing. A little bit of apple pie spirits adds a sweet delicious kick to an already great muffin.”

One Pan Nan: Get Nan Kelley's Recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine Muffins

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

Muffin Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 finely chopped, peeled granny smith apples
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

Glaze Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine

One Pan Nan: Get Nan Kelley's Recipe for Apple Pie Moonshine Muffins

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

Directions:
Soak apples in moonshine overnight. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients in bowl. Drain apples & set aside remaining liquid. Stir in apples into dry ingredients and make a well Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:26 am | Permalink
Apr 16

Country Music Hall of Fame Celebrates Expansion with Grand Opening

Country Music Hall of Fame Celebrates Expansion with Grand Opening

Vince Gill delights the crowd with his rendition of “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain” at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s expansion ceremony on April 15, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its 210,000-square-foot expansion on Tuesday, more than doubling the size of its home in downtown Nashville. The grand opening ceremony took place in the museum’s Event Hall overlooking the Nashville skyline. Vince Gill, the McCrary Sisters, Ricky Skaggs, the Valentines and Lee Ann Womack, accompanied by the Grand Opening All-Star Band under the direction of Buddy Miller, performed at the event.

Additionally, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Museum Director Kyle Young and museum board Chairman Steve Turner each delivered inspiring commemorative remarks. The celebration marked the final phase of the museum’s expansion, joining recently-opened additions including the 800-seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Education Center, a new home for the letterpress operation Hatch Show Print and the Event Hall. The expansion also includes archival and library storage. Continue Reading

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Posted at 8:38 pm | Permalink
Apr 16

Justin Moore & Scott Borchetta Honored for Helping Military Families

Justin Moore & Scott Borchetta Honored for Helping Military Families

Justin Moore photo by Kristin Barlowe, courtesy of BMLG.

Justin Moore and BMLG President/CEO Scott Borchetta were jointly named the “Congressman Bill and Beverly Young Humanitarian of the Year” for their service and commitment to the morale and welfare of military families through the Crown Royal “Your Hero’s Name Here” contest by the Armed Forces Foundation. The pair were honored during the 10th annual Congressional Gala in Washington, D.C. on April 9.

“Although extremely grateful, I feel a little uncomfortable being honored at an event where there are decorated war heroes present,” Justin Moore said. “I feel that my contributions are much less significant than theirs. They are the true American heroes. However, I’m thrilled to know that what I do with the AFF has helped, and that it is appreciated by all. Both of my grandpas served in our military and they, along with my parents, instilled in me what our servicemen and women mean to us. It was an honor to tell some of them face to face last night. God bless our troops and God bless America.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:47 am | Permalink
Apr 16

Martina McBride Rides Her Soul Train

Martina McBride Rides Her Soul Train

Martina McBride’s 2014 album, Everlasting.

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2014 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Country Music headliner Martina McBride’s catalog overflows with powerfully communicative performances. The playful “I Love You,” the heartbroken ballad “Wrong Again,” and the empowering anthems “Independence Day,” “This One’s for the Girls” and “Wrong Baby Wrong” unfold along clear lines of melody, which the five-time CMA Award winner animated with her own distinctive phrasing and interpretive sense.

In contrast, much of her new album, Everlasting, pays homage to R&B and showcases vocal improvisation. A perfect example would be “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” which in essence was a sketch over which Otis Redding unleashed his volcanic and highly extemporized performance. Speaking generally, the emphasis in soul music is often on the performance, while to paraphrase a familiar line in Music City, Country recordings start with and often stay grounded on the song.

“There are some differences in phrasing,” McBride noted. “When I was first thinking about making this record and finding songs that would fit my voice, I was a little bit overwhelmed. Tackling some of these songs was a bit intimidating. But then Don (Was, producer) helped me a lot. He said, ‘Just be you. Sing it how you would sing it.’ That was a liberating moment for me. I was like, ‘Oh! That makes sense!’” Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:38 am | Permalink
Apr 16

Rodney Atkins Holds StageIt Show for Holston United Methodist Home for Children

Rodney Atkins Holds StageIt Show for Holston United Methodist Home for Children

Rodney Atkins hosted a live Stage-It show and online auction to raise funds for Holston United Methodist Home for Children. Photo courtesy of Scott Whitley.

Rodney Atkins and his wife, singer-songwriter Rose Falcon, celebrated Rodney’s recent birthday by hosting a live-streamed StageIt show and online auction to raise money for the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greenville, Tennessee. They both donated items for the auction, including handwritten and autographed lyrics and personal mementos such as Rodney’s first mounted buck and artwork painted and signed by Rose.

“Holston United Methodist Home took care of me as an infant and helped me find a place with my adoptive parents,” Rodney said. “It means so much to Rose and me to be able to give back to them through music and with the help of our fans and friends.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 10:17 am | Permalink
Apr 16

Exclusive: Sarah Darling’s Wedding Diary — The Wedding Registry

Exclusive: Sarah Darling's Wedding Diary -- Bachelorette Bliss

Sarah Darling tries on a beautiful wedding dress. Is it “the one”? Follow this Great American Country blog series to find out which one she chose for the big day! Photo by Sara Kauss Photography.

Sarah Darling and James Muriel tied the knot in a secret spur-of-the-moment ceremony back in April 2013 — but they’re still planning a big Nashville wedding in May 2014 to celebrate with family and friends! Sarah’s sharing her personal wedding diary exclusively with Great American Country. She’ll take us along on the whole journey, from the dress to the flowers to the big day. Check back every other Wednesday for a new post from Sarah!

The Wedding Registry:
This your chance to create the dream wish list for your home and new life together. What could easily be considered one of the most fun parts of planning a wedding sometimes ends up becoming stressful and overwhelming. It’s also extremely hard in the moment to pick things you actually like as a couple! Imagine yourself in a busy department store thinking of what you’ve always dreamed of. I find myself asking, ‘Do I really need a cake pop machine?’ I don’t know about you but I get hot flashes in those situations, and immediately want to beeline to the nearest Starbucks!

That’s when online shopping comes in. In fact, James and I chose a lot of our registry online. To avoid ending up with dozens of serving dishes, mismatched plates and no flatware at all, really take the time to register things that you both will like — and will want — in your new place together.

There are also questions to ask yourself: What type of couple are you? Do you both like cooking? Entertaining? Are you adventure seekers? Do you enjoy wine, cocktails, or beer? All of the above, none of the above? How you answer these questions will determine what you should be registering for. When you get down to it, James and I are all of the above.

We both definitely love cooking. I think if we had our way, we would have every kitchen gadget imaginable. Before James moved to Nashville, we would do Skype cooking together! We also love to travel and enjoy nice bottles of vino. Now it’s getting fun! This is the perfect way to start your registering. Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:37 am | Permalink
Apr 16

ACM Awards Sell Out Dallas Cowboy Stadium in 18 Minutes

Country music fans can’t wait to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Academy of Country Music Awards. Set for April 19, 2015 at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, fans snatched up 70,000 tickets in 18 minutes, selling out both the ACM Awards and the ACM Party for a Cause festival April 18-19. The events were the biggest and fastest selling in the Academy’s history.

“We want to thank the fans for their continued support,” Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy, said. “This sale was unprecedented and far exceeded our expectations. We’re working hard to plan more events to accommodate as many fans as we can. Country music is alive and well in North Texas!”  Continue Reading

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Posted at 7:58 am | Permalink