Country News

Chis Janson featured on Audience Network

Tune in to the AUDIENCE Network concert special Chris Janson airing Friday, March 24th at 9 pm ET/PT via DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114 and DIRECTVNOW. Watch the trailer below.

For a sneak peek of the AUDIENCE Network concert Chris Janson, view an exclusive full-song performance of “Everybody” on Rolling Stone Country.

“’Everybody’ is a song for everybody,” explains Chris Janson. “These lyrics are timely for the world we live in. I wrote it with a big smile on my face, and it’s my hope that people smile and laugh when they hear it too. I love this song. It’s a True story.”

AUDIENCE Network’s new music slate continues to deliver groundbreaking concerts, unique stories and exclusive performances across all genres, plus select programming in ultra high-definition/4K*, to audiences nationwide since multiple series began airing this past January. Recent concert specials include: Garth Brooks, CeeLo Green, Hank Williams Jr., Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, Flo Rida, Martina McBride, Lukas Graham, Kelsea Ballerini, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, 2 Chainz, Keith Urban, The Lumineers, Cole Swindell, Cypress Hill, Dan + Shay, Josh Kelley, Andra Day, JR JR, Young The Giant, Melissa Etheridge, Mac Miller, Good Charlotte, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Butch Walker, Brett Eldredge, Tinashe, JoJo, Bebe Rexha, Brandy Clark and others. New shows premiere via national broadcast Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on DIRECTV Ch 239/U-verse Ch 1114, as well as streaming on DIRECTVNOW,, and on smartphones and tablets, via the DIRECTV and U-verse apps.**

AUDIENCE Network’s multiple series of original and exclusive performances give music fans an intimate view of music’s most influential artists today. The network collaborates directly with musicians to create a unique show from their perspective.

The rise of ACM Awards “New Male Artist of the Year” nominee and Warner Music Nashville recording artist Chris Janson has been one of the feel-good stories of country music in the past few years. A native of Perryville, Missouri, the singer–who once lived in his car in between performances on Nashville’s historic Broadway–has become one of the most respected singer-songwriters in the format today. His debut Warner Bros. single “Buy Me A Boat” hit the top of the Mediabase charts–and has since been certified platinum for sales of over one million copies, establishing the singer as a force to be reckoned with inside the format. The song–and album of the same title–achieved many 2015 “Best of” lists, including both the Billboard Top Country Singles and Albums lists. Janson;has scored on the same list again with his latest smash, the heartfelt Top 20 ballad “Holdin’ Her.”

The hit singer/songwriter has penned top-ten hits for Tim McGraw (“How I’ll Always Be,” “Truck Yeah”), and LOCASH (“I Love This Life”) and has had three of his compositions included on It’s About Time, the latest album from Hank Williams, Jr., for; which he also lends his signature harmonica licks.

The breakout star has also announced that he will join Sam Hunt on the road this summer for the 15 in a 30 tour, kicking off June 1st in Cleveland (full dates below), as well as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill for select dates on their Soul2Soul tour. A widely praised performer, Janson has continued to tour throughout the winter and recently sold out shows in Iowa, Mississippi and more.

Tour Dates:

Mar 24 Black Bear Casino Resort Carlton, Minn.
Mar 25 4 Bears Casino and Lodge New Town, N.D.
Mar 29 Club Rodeo San Jose, Calif.
Apr 01 Green Valley Ranch Grand Events Center Henderson, NV
Apr 02 ACM Awards Official After Party Park Theater Las Vegas, NV
Apr 08 41st Annual “Dave Martin’s Bullride Mania” Harrisburg, PA
Apr 14 Kellogg Arena Battle Creek, MI
Apr 21 Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Bossier City, LA
Apr 22 Wichita Wingnuts Foundation Fundraiser Wichita, KS
Apr 29 Farmville Dogwood Festival Farmville, NC
May 20 Wild Adventures Theme Park Valdosta, GA
May 28 Country 500 Music Festival Daytona Beach, FL
Jun 01 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Jun 02 Klipsch Music Center Indianapolis, IN
Jun 03 Rock the South Cullman, AL
Jun 08 Annual Friend Club Party Nashville, TN
Jun 08 CMA Music Festival
Jun 10 FrogFest – Bands, Bulls & Beers Vernon, NY
Jun 15 Budweiser Stage Toronto, Canada
Jun 16 DTE Energy Music Theatre Detroit, MI
Jun 17 KeyBank Pavilion Pittsburgh, PA
Jun 22 Lakes Jam Brainerd, MN
Jun 23 Bank of NH Pavilion Gilford, NH
Jun 24 Xfinity Theatre Hartford, CT
Jun 25 P.N.C. Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ
Jun 29 Wild West Festival Hays, KS
Jul 01 Frontier City Oklahoma City, OK
Jul 07 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Saint Louis, MO
Jul 08 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre Chicago, IL
Jul 09 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
Jul 13 Verizon Amphitheater Alpharetta, GA
Jul 14 MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre Tampa, FL
Jul 15 Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre at the S. Florida Fairgrounds West Palm Beach, FL
Jul 19 Adams County Fairfest Hastings, NE
Jul 21 Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion Bangor, ME
Jul 22 Xfinity Center Mansfield, MA
Jul 23 CMAC Canandaigua, NY
Jul 27 Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at VA Bch Virginia Beach, VA
Jul 28 Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Raleigh, NC
Jul 29 PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC
Aug 04 Sunfest Cowichan Lake, Canada
Aug 05 Oregon Jamboree Music Festival Sweet Home, OR
Aug 10 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Chula Vista, CA
Aug 11 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA
Aug 12 Toyota Amphitheatre Sacramento, CA
Aug 15 THE GREEK Los Angeles, CA
Aug 16 THE GREEK Los Angeles, CA
Aug 19 Ak-Chin Pavilion Phoenix, AZ
Aug 21 Red Rocks Denver, CO
Aug 22 Red Rocks Denver, CO
Sep 02 Red, White & Boom Music Festival Lexington, KY
Sep 03 Midwest Old Thresers Reunion Mt. Pleasant, IA
Sep 14 Madison Square Garden New York, NY
Sep 15 BB&T Pavilion Camden, NJ
Sep 16 Jiffy Lube Live Washington, VA
Sep 22 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Sep 23 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Oct 05 AT&T Center San Antonio, TX
Oct 06 Toyota Center Houston, TX
Oct 07 American Airlines Arena Dallas, TX

*Limited titles available. Requires a Genie HD DVR (model HR54 or later) and a DIRECTV 4K Ready TV, or 4K TV connected to a 4K Genie Mini. Additional & advanced receiver fees apply. ULTIMATE Package or higher and 4K account authorization required. Visit for complete details.

**Access via computer or app requires qualifying device and data connection. Access to content varies by device, TV plan, and viewing location. Data charges may apply.

More performers announced for 52nd ACMs

52nd Annual ACM Awards

The ACM Awards are April 2nd in Las Vegas

The Academy of Country Music has announced additional performers to join this year’s stellar lineup for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music’s Party of the Year. The newly added performers include Lauren Daigle, Faith Hill, Sam Hunt, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Thomas Rhett, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. The ACM Awards, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley, will broadcast LIVE from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, April 2nd live from 8-11 pm ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

Previously announced performers include Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line with the Backstreet Boys, Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, and Jon Pardi.

Additional acts and presenters will be announced in the coming days.

The official red carpet pre-show for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards will live stream exclusively on Twitter on April 2nd, starting at 3 pm PT/6 pm ET. The pre-show will be available to logged-in and logged-out audiences on Twitter and connected devices.

Sponsors and partners for the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards include T-Mobile and Xfinity from Comcast.

Garth Brooks returns to Kansas City on world tour

Garth in KC

For the first time in ten years, The Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood is coming to Kansas City, MO. The tour is presented by Amazon Music Unlimited. The concert will be Saturday, May 6th at 7:30 pm at Sprint Center.

This is the last show on the world tour for Kansas and Missouri.

Tickets will be on sale Friday, March 31st at 10 am CDT. There will be an eight ticket limit per purchase. Tickets can only be purchased at or 1-844-634-2784 (844-63GARTH.) Please note there will be no ticket sales at the venue box office on March 31st.

Tickets will cost $60.59 plus a $6.89 tax, $2 facility fee and a $5.50 service charge for a total of $74.98. All seats sold are best available.


Reba to sing National Anthem at City of Hope Softball Game

Reba McEntire

The stars are beginning to line up for the 27th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game presented by Staples with the announcement that Reba McEntire will sing the National Anthem before the game on Saturday, June 10th at First Tennessee Park. More artists will be announced in the coming weeks to strike out cancer with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center. Proceeds from the game go to support City of Hope’s groundbreaking research, innovative treatments and compassionate patient care.

The game brings together country music’s brightest stars and draws thousands of its biggest fans. Tickets are on sale now at As always, 100% of event net profits benefit City of Hope. Check back soon for the full line-up of celebrity players going to bat for City of Hope.

Individual ticket pricing is $15 and $35. Group discounts are available, so take your friends, family or co-workers out to the ballgame:

  • 10% off 25-100 tickets
  • 15% off 101-199 tickets
  • 20% off 200+ tickets

Each year, the Celebrity Softball Game regularly features some of country music’s biggest and hottest stars. Over the years, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Shania Twain, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill and many more have taken to the field in support of City of Hope’s lifesaving mission.


Tim McGraw, Faith Hill announce joint single, album

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

The pair will premiere their new single at the ACM Awards

Grammy award-winning superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill have announced the release of their newest collaboration, “Speak To A Girl,” to impact country radio at 4 pm Central Time Thursday, March 23rd. Subsequently, the new single on Arista Nashville, will be available to download and stream.

Marking its television world premiere, “Speak to a Girl” will be performed by Tim and Faith on the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 2nd live 8-11 pm ET/delayed PT on the CBS Television Network.

“Speak to a Girl,” co-penned by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Spargur, and co-produced by Byron Gallimore, McGraw and Hill, is the lead single from a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill album to be released by Sony Music Entertainment this year.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the pair signed deals with Sony Music Nashville. The deal also includes multiple solo albums by each.

Toby Keith, Alabama, others added to Merle Haggard tribute

Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard

Toby Keith, Alabama and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top have been added to the all-star lineup at Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard, previously reported by The Tennessean. The event is an all-star concert event taping at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, April 6th at 7 pm CT in honor of what would have been Haggard’s 80th birthday and the one-year anniversary of his passing. This one-night-only concert event taping will bring together fans, friends, and music icons to honor the life and songs of music legend Merle Haggard.

The new additions to the lineup join previously announced performing artists Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert, John Mellencamp, Dierks Bentley, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams Jr., The Avett Brothers, Alison Krauss, Ronnie Dunn, Warren Haynes, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lucinda Williams, Ben Haggard, John Anderson, Connie Smith and Bobby Bare. Additional performers to be announced in the coming weeks.

In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Merle Haggard racked up an astounding 38 No. 1 country hits and every major award imaginable. Songs like “Mama Tried,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” and “The Fightin’ Side Of Me” continue to inspire new generations of artists and fans alike, and as we approach what would have been a major milestone, the time has come to celebrate his truly remarkable career. He was an iconoclast who refused to bend to country music convention and helped create the indelible Bakersfield sound. He gave voice to outlaws and outsiders and in a way that few, if any, have ever equaled.

A limited number of tickets for this all-star concert event are currently available at, by phone at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena box office.

Keith Wortman, Mark Rothbaum and Theresa Haggard are the creators and executive producers of the show. Don Was, Ben Haggard and Buddy Cannon will serve as music directors, and preside over a stellar house band backing the performers at this historic concert event taping. The event will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution throughout traditional media (worldwide broadcast, music, and digital). A portion of the proceeds will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation.

“I am so very thankful for this tribute to my husband, Merle Haggard. Please come join me and my family at this fantastic show that Merle would be so proud of,” said Theresa Haggard.

“I am honored to produce a show that celebrates the life and music of Merle Haggard,” says Wortman. “His music and lyrics continue to shape the lives of musicians and millions of fans. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate his 80th birthday than to honor his legacy with this extraordinary event. It’s going to be an unforgettable evening.”


Garth Brooks announces free Austin concert at SXSW

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks has announced that he will perform a free concert for the city of Austin, TX on Saturday, March 17th at SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake. The concert is presented by Amazon Music. The announcement was made during a Friday morning press conference at South By Southwest (SXSW), the annual music and film festival.

Gates will open at 11 am with music all day long. Sunny Sweeney will perform at 6:45 pm with Brooks taking the stage at 8 pm. The free tickets will be offered beginning at noon CDT on Friday to Austin residents and surrounding areas based on credit card billing addresses. SXSW Registrants and Music Festival wristband holders can also attend, with a special allocation of space made available via Primary and Secondary access. No ticket is required with a badge or wristband.

“They’ve kinda kept all of this secret from me,” Brooks says of the secret show. “I know something’s going to go on tonight that’s not planned, that’s all I know.”

Brooks was first announced as a keynote speaker for Friday afternoon, but speculation that he may headline the free Saturday night show began to circulate late Wednesday (March 15th) when the organization informed the media that Brooks would be holding a press conference hours earlier.

The news comes as Brooks releases “Ask Me How I Know,” the second single from Gunslinger. The single was released Friday (March 17th) with an impact date of March 27th.

During the press conference, Brooks also addressed new ideas with his Amazon Music partnership that could include demo versions of his older catalog in different packages. He says the amount of content could match last year’s The Ultimate Collection box set through Target.

“We do not leave a song behind, we just don’t,” Brooks tells reporters. “One of the things we’re talking about with [Amazon], is you have to understand, we also have the guitar demo to every one of those singles, either by the songwriter or by myself and you hear how the lyrics change. You get to see ‘Papa Loved Mama’ going from a song about a train to a song about a truck. It’s pretty cool, all of these different shifts.”

No release date or other details were revealed.


Ryman Auditorium celebrates 125th anniversary

Ryman Auditorium

On Sunday, March 26th, Tennessee residents are invited to celebrate the Ryman Auditorium’s 125th anniversary with a daytime tour experience free of charge as part of a Community Appreciation Day sponsored by Ryman partners Nissan and SunTrust Bank, as originally reported by The Tennessean. Complimentary self-guided tours will be available from 9 am – 4 pm with presentation of a valid Tennessee state ID at the Ryman box office. No reservations are necessary.

The Ryman’s self-guided tour includes admission to the state-of-the-art theater experience, Soul of Nashville. The show puts the audience at the center of the Ryman’s fascinating history, from its origination as a tabernacle built by a riverboat captain 125 years ago to becoming Nashville’s largest venue for civic gatherings and ultimately evolving into one of the world’s premier concert halls. The multi-dimensional film brings to life historic performances by artists such as Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams, Sr. and culminates with a new collaboration featuring Darius Rucker, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill. Soul of Nashville envelopes visitors into the Ryman’s story, which they can further experience through five new exhibits honoring the hallowed venue’s 125th anniversary: “Workin’ on a Building,” “Showplace of the South,” “Mother Church of Country Music,” “125 Years of Inspired Performances” and “Ryman Renaissance.” Guests will see genuine artifacts and enjoy videos with hosts Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Nicole Kidman, Ricky Skaggs, Robin Roberts and Trisha Yearwood taking them through each chapter of the Ryman’s illustrious history.

While at the Ryman, guests are encouraged to enjoy Community Day specials at Cafe Lula and the Ryman Gift Shop. Cafe Lula, open 9 am to 5 pm will offer a “buy one, get one for $1.25” special on all entrees. The Ryman Gift Shop will offer 20 percent off on merchandise including the Little Big Town at the Mother Church product lines and every purchase will include a free Ryman tote bag. The Ryman gift shop is open daily until 7 pm (Discount offer excludes media items.)

In addition to sponsoring the complimentary tours for Tennessee residents, Nissan and SunTrust Bank will partner with 650 WSM-AM to provide free live music on the Ryman plaza outside Cafe Lula, where visitors will also have the opportunity to view several Nissan cars on display, including a GT-R similar to the one featured in the smash hit movie franchise, The Fast and the Furious.

““The community takes great pride in the Ryman so it’s fitting that they’re part of our celebration.”

“The community takes great pride in the Ryman so it’s fitting that they’re part of our celebration,” said Sally Williams, senior vice president, Opry Entertainment Group. “We’re grateful to Nissan and SunTrust for providing Tennesseans the opportunity to experience ‘Soul of Nashville’ and our newest exhibit ‘Inspired: 125 Years of Performance’.”

In celebration of the building’s monumental 125th anniversary, the newest exhibit, “Inspired: 125 Years of Performance” unveils historical artifacts that illustrate how the Ryman’s construction was born out of divine inspiration. Emmylou Harris is featured as a video host, detailing the building’s origins and sharing stories of the influence the Ryman had on suffrage, civil rights movements and even fashion trends in country music. The exhibit showcases stage attire from Johnny Cash, Jimmy Dickens and Little Big Town; famous guitars played by Jack White and Vince Gill; long-time Ryman manager Lula Naff’s collection of playbills. One of the highlights of the exhibit include the bible used on May 10, 1885 by Rev. Sam Jones. It was a tent revival on that date where Ryman namesake Captain Tom Ryman first became inspired to build the Union Gospel Tabernacle. The name of the majestic tabernacle was changed to Ryman Auditorium in 1904 and Captain Ryman’s funeral.

In keeping with its inherent “all are welcome” spirit and celebration of community, the Ryman Auditorium will continue its 125th celebration with special events and performances throughout the year, including the recently-launched, year-long residency of five-time CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town and newly announced five-night run by GRAMMY Award-winning artist Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit from October 10 – 11 and 13-15.

Tickets for Isbell’s shows will go on sale Friday, March 17th at 10 am. Tickets are $99.50, $49.50 and $39.50. For the most devout Isbell followers, multi-night packages will be available for sale. Packages include: two-night, three-night and five-night bundles that guarantee ticket holders the same seat.

Garth Brooks to open, close RODEOHOUSTON 2018

Garth Brooks

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials have announced that Garth Brooks will open and close 2018 RODEOHOUSTON, February 27th and March 18th.

“We are thrilled to welcome Garth Brooks back to the RODEOHOUSTON stage,” said Jack A. Lyons, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo chairman of the board. “This is the first time in multi-entertainer Show history that one artist has opened and closed RODEOHOUSTON, and we could not think of a more engaging performer to take on this epic presentation.”

The 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is scheduled to run February 27th – March 18th. The remaining 2018 entertainers and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

2018 Season Ticket Give-Away

Fans will have the opportunity to win 2018 Season Tickets by visiting the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Monday, March 20th, through Friday, March 24th. Attend a RODEOHOUSTON performance inside NRG Stadium during these dates for instructions on how to enter the text-to- win contest.

Ticket Availability

There are still more than 61,000 tickets remaining for the 2017 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, which runs through March 26th. Buy tickets at

Garth Brooks breaks Champaign, IL ticket record


Garth Brooks has broken his Champaign, IL ticket sales record. His previous record was set, March 7th – 9th, 1997, with 48,633 tickets sold at the University of Illinois Assembly Center. The previous record holder at that arena was Elvis Presley with 17,200 tickets sold in 1976. Today Garth has sold over 50,000 tickets for University of Illinois State Farm Center and tickets are still selling.

The tour is presented by Amazon Music Unlimited. This is the last stop on the tour for Illinois.

The concerts will be:

Friday, April 28th 7 pm
Saturday, April 29th 3 pm
Saturday, April 29th 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 30th 7:30 pm

There is an eight ticket limit per purchase. The ONLY way to buy tickets is through or 1-844-442-7842.

Tickets cost $65.98 plus a $3.50 facility fee and a $5.50 service charge for a total of $74.98. All seats sold are best available.