Image Courtesy Capitol NashvilleLady Antebellum turned their event celebrating the #1 hit "Bartender" into a Halloween costume party Wednesday afternoon in Nashville. The group's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood dressed as whiskey barrels with Dave wearing a crazy wig and glasses. Charles had a fake beer mug on his head, and Hillary Scott was decked out like the glittery disco ball she sings about in the song.
Hillary says, "We thought with the number one party being so close to Halloween, we might as well keep it loose and fun. You know, we've been known to dress up when we've had shows on Halloween anyway."
Hillary's infant daughter, Eisele, was on hand dressed up like a pig. She'll be dressed as a kangaroo this Friday, though.
As for Dave Haywood's baby boy, Cash, he says, "My wife has a onesie with the skeleton all over the onesie, but he's eight weeks now. So, it's too early to go out trick or treating."
Brantley Gilbert isn't much for dressing up on Halloween, but he has inspired few Halloween costumes lately.
He says with a laugh, "Last year I got a picture from a brother of mine and my godson actually dressed up like me. That was pretty cool. It was pretty funny."
Darius Rucker and his son, Jake, usually coordinate their costumes. One year, Jake went as Darth Vader and Darius went as Luke Skywalker from Star Wars.
Says Darius, "We were walking around, and [Jake] would look at everybody and go, 'I’m his father.'"
This year, Darius and Jake thought about dressing up like professional wrestlers but then decided that would be too obscure.
He says, "The Ninja Turtles are the winner right now, but we’ll come up with something cool."
John Russell/CMAGarthBrooks' new album, Man Against Machine, isn't due for official release for another two weeks, but he's giving fans the chance to hear it now -- though only for 24 hours.
Starting at midnight tonight and lasting through the entire 24 hours of Halloween, Garth will make what he's calling a "sneak peek" of his new album available exclusively on his new music distribution website, GhostTunes.
There's no word on exactly what that sneak peek will entail, but in an email message to fans, sent in the wee hours Thursday morning, Garth writes, "A friend of mine at GhostTunes asked if we would take a different look at sampling for this new record...he wanted to know if we would speak a little bit on each song as a snippet of the song was playing. Because he asked, we went into studio and tried it. We were all surprised to hear how cool it turned out. Because it was his idea and his ask, I felt it fair to keep this to GhostTunes. Because it is GhostTunes, Halloween seems like the perfect time."
He adds, "I just thought you all should be the first to hear it if you wanted to. I really hope you like the new music."
Man Against Machine, Garth's first album of all-new music since 2001's Scarecrow, hits retailers November 11.
Image Courtesy Bob D'Amico/ABCOn Wednesday's Nashville, Avery Barkley rushed to be by his ex-girlfriend Juliette Barnes' side after she collapsed at a concert. Juliette is carrying Avery's baby and suffers from a previously-unknown medical condition that causes blood clots. This disorder, which led to her collapse, forced Juliette to cancel her tour and bump up the shooting schedule on her Patsy Cline biopic.
As for Avery, Juliette told him he'd have to be her boyfriend again if he wanted to see the baby. Ultimately, Avery forgave Juliette for the infidelity that ended their relationship, but he's still not able to trust her. Avery added that Juliette had no choice but to let him be in their child's life. The episode ended with Juliette announcing her pregnancy at a press conference and naming Avery as the father.
Gunnar Scott continued bonding with his son, Micah, though the child's mother, Kylie, did not want Micah knowing Gunnar is his father. Gunnar was able to convince Kylie to stay in Nashville instead of taking Micah with her as she pursued a new love interest in another town. Gunnar's girlfriend, Zoey Dalton, walked in on Kylie, Gunner and Micah looking like a family inside Gunnar's. It's another unwelcome blow for Zoey, who was fired from the Juliette Barnes tour this week, too.
In his quest to sign Rayna Jaymes' daughters to a record deal against her well, Jeff Fordham continued growing closer to Rayna's ex-husband and co-parent, Mayor Teddy Conrad. Teddy met a woman named Natasha through Jeff, and she and the mayor ended up going for a skinny dip in Jeff's pool. Teddy was furious when Jeff told him Natasha was a paid escort, but Teddy ended up calling her for company later in the episode. Look for Jeff to use Teddy's relationship with the escort as leverage in future episodes.
While Teddy was swimming with his call girl and Rayna was out on tour, their daughter Maddie hosted a wild party at Rayna's house. Younger daughter Daphne got scared when the party got out of hand and called the police.
Rayna was also thrilled to learn she and fiancé Luke Wheeler were both nominated for multiple CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. Due to some Twitter backlash, Rayna grew concerned she was only getting the nods because of her relationship with Luke. She decided to campaign against Luke for the trophies, but they vowed they wouldn't let the competition strain their romantic relationship.
Luke Wheeler also welcomed Sara Evans onstage at his show in Milwaukee to perform a duet of her latest single, "Put My Heart Down." In real life, that duet has been serviced to country radio and is now available for download. Will Chase, who plays Luke Wheeler, absolutely loved working with Sara.
He tells ABC News Radio, "She's a gem anyway. She's a real treat. She's the real deal."
Will also appreciates the deceptive nature of the song's lyrics and melody.
"It's a joyous, lilty, great groove, but it's about breaking up," Will says with a laugh. "So, it's this lovely juxtaposition that I think these writers in this town really get."
As for his portrayal of Luke Wheeler, Will drew on some of country's biggest male country stars for inspiration.
He explains, "The template they kept giving me was Tim McGraw, as far as superstardom and stuff like that, but I think I tended to go more towards Blake [Shelton] as far as that charm and disarm and just a good guy."
Will insists he thinks Tim is a good guy, but he adds, "Blake just wears that on his sleeve, and [he's] just a good 'ol boy."
Will is already picking out the clothes he's going to wear to next week's real-life CMA Awards, which will pre-empt Nashville next Wednesday night on ABC. Nashville returns with a brand-new episode Wednesday, November 12.
Image Courtesy Lyle Waisman/Schmidt RelationsLuke Bryan performed for 1.7 million fans this year, playing a mix of headlining dates on his That's My Kind of Night tour and fair and festival dates. His Spring Break concerts in Panama City Beach, FL and his Farm Tour dates in small, rural communities helped round out that huge attendance number.
"We’ve played all types of shows this year," Luke says. "It’s just as exciting to play for smaller capacity crowds during a two-day run in the very northern point of Canada as it is to 60,000 screaming fans at the stadiums shows or for the beach crowds at Spring Break, or to the first-time fan who may have never been to a concert until the ‘Farm Tour’ came to their small rural community."
Luke goes on to thank his road crew and fans for making this year so memorable. He adds, "I’m having the time of my life.”
Luke could walk away with the Entertainer of the Year trophy at next week's 48th Annual CMA Awards. The show airs live from Nashville Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Image Courtesy ABC/Randy HolmesJimmy Kimmel is using some high-tech wizardry to appear both in Hollywood and Nashville for his late-night show the night of next week's CMA Awards. He'll deliver the monologue for next Wednesday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearing as a hologram on the stage of the CMA Theater in Nashville.
During the show one of the night's CMA Awards winners will be interviewed appearing as a hologram in Hollywood while they're actually in Nashville. Florida Georgia Line will also be beamed as a hologram from Nashville to Hollywood to virtually perform on Jimmy's outdoor stage.
Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Brad Paisley are also performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this Wednesday, November 5 on ABC. The show airs at 11:35 p.m. ET.
Image Courtesy The Greenroom LukeBryan, Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley are headlining the first-ever country music festival in New York City, FarmBorough, coming up June 26 through 28, 2015 at Randall's Island.
Additional acts include Brandy Clark, Maddie & Tae, Kip Moore, Randy Houser, Ashley Monroe, The Cadillac Three, and Dwight Yoakam. More performers will be announced soon.
Image Courtesy Blue Chair/SonyBrantley Gilbert is joining Kenny Chesney for 15 stadium dates on next year's The Big Revival Tour. Some of those dates will overlap with the 10 stadium dates Kenny is playing with Jason Aldean.
Kenny thinks Brantley can hold his own on this superstar concert bill. "When I looked around, for those stadium shows that Brantley’s part of, he’s the man for the job," Kenny says. "He knows how to reach the crowd, how to make them rock -- and he’s not afraid to push the rest of us.”
Kenny will launch The Big Revival Tour March 26 in Nashville. Tour dates will be announced soon.
Image Courtesy Nino Munoz/Capitol NashvilleDierks Bentley's latest album, Riser, is up for Album of the Year at next week's CMA Awards, so People magazine asked him which previous winner in that category is his favorite. Dierks chose the 1988 winner, Hank Williams, Jr.'s Born to Boogie.
Says Dierks, "Every song on that album is awesome. I can't say enough good things about Hank Jr. and his influence on all of us in country music. He's that guy that came in with all the great songs, great lyrics that were really relevant to the times."
Look for Dierks to perform on the 48th Annual CMA Awards airing live Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockMaddie & Tae's debut hit, "Girl in a Country Song," is the first song by a female duo to hit the top 10 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart since The Wreckers hit that mark with their second single, "My, Oh My" in January 2007.
Catch Lady Antebellum on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday night.
Rodney Atkins' new single, "Eat Sleep Love You Repeat," is now available for download.
Tim McGraw's new video for "Shotgun Rider" was filmed at his recent American Express Unstaged concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. It's now posted on Vevo.
Image Courtesy Grand Ole Opry/Chris HolloRascal Flatts flipped the switch turning the Grand Ole Opry's famous red backdrop pink Tuesday night for the annual Opry Goes Pink show. The show raises money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. The Flatts' Jay DeMarcus remembered his grandmother's battle against the disease.
He tells ABC News Radio, "She actually survived, but had a double mastectomy. So, we're here to help create awareness and to tell people, you know, it's really about early detection."
Montgomery Gentry's appearance at the Opry Goes Pink show was personal for Troy Gentry, whose wife, Angie, was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks ago.
Troy says, "Tonight does take on a totally different meaning for me, but we're still here for the cause, and that's to raise awareness for breast cancer to get women to get out there and get checked."
Danielle Bradbery, Sara Evans, Terri Clark and Nashville stars Charles Esten and Will Chase also appeared on the Opry Goes Pink show. A portion of the proceeds go to the Women Rock for the Cure organization in their fight against breast cancer.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleSara Evans makes a cameo on ABC's Nashville Wednesday night singing her latest single, "Put My Heart Down," as a duet with the show's resident male superstar, Luke Wheeler. In addition to singing onstage, Sara plays herself in a backstage scene, which she admits was a surreal experience. Sara tells ABC New Radio she tried to play herself as she would want fans of Nashville to see her.
She says, "The main thing was I just wanted to look great and perform great for that scene. And the acting stuff, I just wanted to be cool. Like, I tried not to act. It was really, really weird."
Sara's appearance on Nashville grew out of a meeting she had with the show's writers over the summer to give them insight into the life of a female country star.
"Then they wrote a part in for me, 'cause I guess they loved me so much spending that time with me," Sara adds with a laugh. "We really did have a great time"
Look for Sara on ABC's Nashville Wednesday night at 10 ET.
Image Courtesy MCA NashvilleKip Moore could walk away with the New Artist of the Year award at next week's CMA Awards, but he's already received a big honor from his alma mater, Valdosta State University in Georgia.
According to Valdosta Today, Kip is one of five graduates receiving this year's Distinguished Alumni of the Year award from Valdosta State. The announcement was made at the school's Homecoming celebration last weekend, but Kip was not able to attend due to his touring schedule.
Kip will be on hand for the 48th Annual CMA Awards Wednesday, November 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleJerrod Niemann has raised $100,000 for his Free the Music charity thanks to a prize-winning bull he named after his latest album, High Noon. Jerrod became a Back Seat Buckers Celebrity Stock contractor back in January, and the bull he selected has now gone on to win the 2014 Back Seat Buckers grand prize at the organization's recent championship event at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Jerrod is amazed the bull's success generated $100,000 in prize money for his charity, which supports music education and collects used instruments for children and teens in need.
He says, "I was hoping we'd be able to get in there with High Noon and raise some funds for children and their opportunities to have music as a steady part of their lives, but I didn't realize we could be blessed enough to do so well."
Back Seat Buckers is a bull ownership program created that allows anyone to become a stock contractor and provides care, housing and training for bulls for their first year of competition.
Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleTyler Farr is kicking off the ACM Lifting Lives Club Shows series with two shows this January. The first one is set for January 9 at Joe's Bar in Chicago, and the second one is happening January 10 at The Rave in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tickets for Tyler's shows go on sale Friday, and more club dates will be added soon.
Proceeds from each ticket go to the ACM Lifting Lives organization to help people through the power of music. Fans who go to any of the ACM Lifting Lives Club Shows can tweet a picture of their ticket for a chance to win tickets to the sold-out 50th Annual ACM Awards on April 19, 2015 in Texas. Be sure and tag @ACMawards and use #ACMLiftingLivesBenefit in the tweet.
Image Courtesy Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes is kicking off CMA Week with a free concert this Monday night outside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The show is part of the USO's Every Moment Counts campaign.
Hunter will help pay tribute to Sergeant First Class Tyler Arnold and his family during his set. Arnold has been deployed six times including stops in Iraq and Afghanistan, which means he's missed quite a few "moments" with his wife and two young daughters. The USO hopes this concert can help create a special memory for them all to share.
Several servicemen and women from Fort Campbell near Nashville will be on hand for Hunter's Monday night concert, too. Dan Shay and new group The Railers will also perform.
Hunter Hayes is also incorporating the USO's Every Moment Counts campaign into his Tattoo (Your Name) Tour, where invited troops and their families will be honored at every stop on the trek. You can get involved, too, by downloading the official Hunter Hayes Tour App before they go to the show. Check HunterHayes.com for tour dates.