News And Notes
Jul 18

Allison Veltz’s ‘Bright Side’ Video Supports Nashville Humane Society


Allison Veltz and Penny, photo courtesy of

Country newcomer Allison Veltz has released a clever, heartfelt lyric video for her debut single, “Bright Side.” Her video features Penny, an adopted dog from the Nashville Humane Society. Found wandering the streets of Nashville, Penny’s days are now spent sunbathing and napping at her forever home. Veltz adopted her own rescue pup, Bruno, after spending time with Penny.

To show her appreciation for Penny’s hard work on the video, Veltz launched the “Pennies For Penny” campaign. For every view between now and July 20, a penny will be donated to the Nashville Humane Association in Penny’s honor.

Watch the lyric video below: Continue Reading


Posted at 12:52 pm | Permalink
Jul 18

Maddie & Tae Discuss Writing “Girl in a Country Song”

Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae photo courtesy

New country duo Maddie & Taeare set to shake things up with their debut single, “Girl in a Country Song.” The song, which strikes back at recent mainstream “bro country” songs, has been called “fantastically unapologetic” and “gutsy” by critics.

With sassy lyrics like “shaking my moneymaker ain’t never made me a dime, and there ain’t no sugar for you in this shaker of mine,” the pair aren’t aiming to take down any of their fellow artists. Instead, they want to give females a voice. “We don’t want to bring the guys down,” Tae Dye said. “We just want to lift the ladies up.” Continue Reading


Posted at 7:00 am | Permalink
Jul 17

Top State Fairs in the U.S.

State Fairs are about more than agricultural competitions and blue ribbon pie contests. (Although, there’s nothing better than indulging in state fair foods, like funnel cakes, caramel apples and deep fried everything). Across the U.S., millions of people flock to state fairs to celebrate the culture of the region through food, fun and entertainment. Along with amusement rides and indulgent treats, state fair concerts offer some of the best live music experiences. Most are held in late summer and early fall so we’ve compiled seven top state fairs across the country:

wisconsin state fair

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

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Posted at 3:46 pm | Permalink
Jul 17

Kenny Chesney Announces His Only Show of 2014

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.

Kenny Chesney is giving fans one chance to see him play live in 2014. He took the year off from touring in order to focus on his new album, The Big Revival, but he has announced a one-off beach concert, the Flora-Bama Jama, set for August 15 at the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package on the Alabama/Florida border.

“I’ve been holed up making a record for the last year, and anyone who knows me knows how much I miss playing, miss the fans, but especially miss the culture the people who love this music bring with them,” Chesney said. “Obviously, this isn’t going to be one of those huge shows we do, but it’s gonna be a long day, a whole lot of music and even more fun.

“To me, a place like the Flora-Bama is all about kicking back, being with your friends and not worrying about a thing,” he continued. “Just hang out and be easy. I love that it’s on a border, that it’s on a beach, that it’s like the best bar anywhere [for] people [to] get together and just be! It’s everything the notion of The Big Revival is built on: taking that time to regroup, replenish, then re-engage with the passion of being truly, absolutely alive.”

Details about the show, including how to get a wristband for access to the enclosed beach area, are available at The Big Revival features Chesney’s latest single, “American Kids.”


Posted at 3:02 pm | Permalink
Jul 17

Florida Georgia Line Breaks Taylor Swift’s Record With “Dirt”

Florida Georgia Line

Florida Georgia Line photo by Kristin Barlowe, courtesy of BMLG.

Florida Georgia Line has broken a record previously held by Taylor Swift. The duo’s new single, “Dirt,” earned 127 Mediabase radio adds last week, making it the most-added song on country radio in one week since adds have been recorded. Swift previously held the record for 116 adds of her 2012 single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. “Dirt” is the lead single from the duo’s upcoming album and a bit of a departure from what fans expect from the pair.

“We’re trying to step our game up,” Brian Kelley said. “We’ve got a couple of awesome songs that we’re pumped about everybody hearing. [We] can’t wait to get the new stuff out. It’s definitely [going to] have evolved from record one, but it’s still going to have that FGL feel, but we’re going to take some chances here and there.” Continue Reading


Posted at 2:02 pm | Permalink
Jul 17

One Pan Nan: Grilled Feta and Basil Pizza


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 a Grilled Feta and Basil Pizza. Check back every other week for a new recipe.

“It’s grilling season! If you’ve never cooked a pizza on the grill, now is the perfect time to try it. Get a pizza stone for the grill, and you’ll have the crispiest crust ever. Thanks to my sweet neighbor Regina, we had the best tasting toppings ever. I had the recipe for this pizza already, but when Regina called me to come pick from her garden, homegrown goodness made all the difference. You can’t go wrong with fresh basil and sweet, purple garden-ripe tomatoes. Pizza on the grill is so good and so easy, plus you’re not heating up your whole house with the heat from the oven. So, light the tiki torches, pour yourself a cold drink, and fire up the grill!”

Grilled Feta and Basil Pizza

1 pizza crust
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 8 ounce container feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, diced
olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
a spoonful of cornmeal

Place pizza stone on lower rack of grill and turn grill burners to low, allowing stone and grill to preheat for about 10 minutes. While grill and stone preheat, spread sliced tomatoes on a plate and sprinkle olive oil on top. In a small bowl, combine feta cheese, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Lay pizza crust on a pizza paddle (or a flat cookie sheet), and top with tomatoes. Spoon cheese and basil mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle a little cornmeal on top of hot pizza stone to prevent sticking, and slide pizza onto stone. Close the lid, and cook for approximately 7-10 minutes, depending on your temperature. Pizza is ready when crust is lightly brown. Use pizza paddle to remove pizza. Allow the stone to cool completely before removing from grill.


Posted at 1:55 pm | Permalink
Jul 17

Junk Gypsies Unveil the Wander Inn


Amie and Jolie Sikes transformed two old bungalows into fabulous inns.

On top of their growing list of projects, the Junk Gypsies undertook opening an inn. Amie and Jolie Sikes purchased two abandoned four-bedroom inns adjacent to the Junk Gypsy store in Round Top, Texas. In tonight’s episode, the Sikes sisters and their family renovate the living space of one of the inns. They’re calling it the Wander Inn, inspired by their plan to make it a destination for traveling “gypsies at heart.”

Sneak Peek: Tour the Wander Inn >>
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Posted at 6:00 am | Permalink
Jul 16

Little Big Town to Release Pain Killer on October 21

Little Big Town

Little Big Town photo courtesy of Capitol Nashville.

Little Big Town will release their new album, Pain Killer, on October 21. The project will include 13 new tracks, eight of which were co-written by the four members of the band.

“We knew the record was going to be called Pain Killer way on into the process because we love that song,” Karen Fairchild told Rolling Stone Country. “That song is really kind of tongue-in-cheek — ‘be the person that numbs my pain.’ We started talking about tying that thread through the whole record, to ease your pain. Don’t we want the whole record to do that for people, anyway? Whether it’s a sad moment, or a song that’s more thoughtful and has a lot more substance in the lyric, we want music to take us away. Pain Killer fits, that’s the common thread through all the songs.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:54 pm | Permalink
Jul 16

Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett Discuss Upcoming Tour With Miranda Lambert

Justin Moore

Justin Moore photo by Kristin Barlowe, courtesy of BMLG.

Miranda Lambert kicked off her Platinum Tour earlier this month, and she’s bringing Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett along with her. Both Moore and Rhett are looking forward to touring with Lambert. Moore even rearranged his summer plans to go on the tour.

“She asked us out, and we weren’t really looking for another tour to do, especially since we’ve kinda got our own thing going now,” he said. “But, not unlike Randy [Houser] and Josh [Thompson] and me going out together, it’s really fun to go out and tour with people who you’re actually friends with. The fact that she’s on my album, plus we’re such good friends, I thought it’d be a fun change of pace for us.” Continue Reading


Posted at 8:54 pm | Permalink
Jul 16

Garth Brooks Announces First Tour Stop

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks photo courtesy of Nancy Seltzer & Associates.

Garth Brooks has announced he will kick off his first tour in almost 20 years on Thursday, September 4 at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. Keeping true to his word, Brooks has kept ticket prices low for the tour. Tickets for the Chicago show will cost $65.50 (including fees and taxes).

“As an entertainer, you get asked a lot, ‘What are the best cities to play?’” Brooks said. “Without hesitation, I rattle off five or six of the best places to play, and that list always includes Chicago. It is the perfect city to launch the world tour!” Continue Reading


Posted at 5:53 pm | Permalink