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Zac Brown Band likes taking musical chances, but they didn't want 'The Comeback' to be too experimental

While Zac Brown Band have lots of classic country hits, the band's also known for musical experimentation, especially in projects like their 2019 record, The Owl. But frontman Zac Brown tells People that on their newest album, The Comeback, they were focused on making classic music for their fan base.

“I've tried to capture little shades of the human condition on this album,” he says. “I hope we made a really classic album, and people find something they can really personally relate to that makes them feel something. That's my wish.”

The singer adds that, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and deepening cultural divides in America, it was important to him to present a message of unity in songs like the title track and the first single, “Same Boat.”

“I'm not going to take a political stance as an artist because that's just going to create enemies on one side or the other,” Zac explains. “Philosophically, if I have something that's meant something to me, or in rebuttal to all this division that's happening, I wanted to create something that would remind people of how we're the same. I just wanted to throw some light out there for people.”

The Comeback came out earlier this month. Its current single, “Same Boat,” is inside country radio's Top 10.

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Chris Stapleton pushes three shows as he continues his doctor-mandated vocal rest

After announcing earlier this week that he's recovering from laryngitis, Chris Stapleton will need a little more time off from the road.

The singer, whose most recent album release was last year’s Starting Over, is postponing three scheduled shows due to his continued doctor-ordered vocal rest. Two of those shows, both set to take place in Nashville, have been rescheduled for December. A third, in Cincinnati, will now take place in 2022.

“I am sorry that so many of you have been inconvenienced and I'm truly thankful for your patience and understanding,” Chris told fans in a social media update.

“Nothing is more personal to me that the experience of music,” he added. “I'm eternally grateful for the privilege of sharing in that journey with all of you night after night. Thank you for your continued support and I hope to see you all very soon.”

Once Chris recovers, he's got an exciting fall schedule in front of him. Not only will he resume touring, but he's also among the most-nominated performers at the upcoming 2021 CMA Awards next month.

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Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Carly Pearce + more will perform at the 2021 CMA Awards

Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Dan + Shay, Brothers Osborne and Jimmie Allen are among the first round of just-announced performers at the 2021 Country Music Association Awards.

Blake will share a live rendition of “Come Back As a Country Boy,” his brand-new single. The song will be included on the deluxe version of his Body Language album, which is set for release in December.

A couple of exciting collaborations are already on the books, too. Mickey Guyton will perform, bringing rising act Brittney Spencer and soul-jazz singer-songwriter Madeline Edwards to the stage with her. They'll treat fans to a live version of a song off Mickey's new album, Remember Her Name.

Also, Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde will join forces for a performance of “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” which comes from the track list of Carly's latest project, 29: Written in Stone.

More performers are expected to be announced in the weeks ahead. Luke Bryan is hosting the show solo this year.

The 2021 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

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After a controversial name change and a “midlife crisis,” Lady A doubles down on 'What a Song Can Do'

On Friday, Lady A‘s eighth studio album, What a Song Can Do, arrives, completing the cycle started by June’s seven-song Chapter One.

Recorded “around the same time” as the EP, the seven new tracks were chosen from “up to sixty songs” Hillary ScottCharles Kelley and Dave Haywood wrote during the pandemic. 

“Obviously, we finished [2019’s] Ocean, we were preparing for that tour, and had to cancel it because of the pandemic,” Dave recalls. “So we just put our heads down and started writing for an indefinite amount of time. We didn’t know how long the pandemic was gonna last, and so we just wrote and wrote and wrote, kind of like we did for our very first album.”

The album’s bouncy lead single, “Like a Lady,” doesn’t begin to hint at the deeper messages on What a Song Can Do, as Charles explains.

“I feel like I had kind of my midlife crisis this past couple years of just, ‘What’s our purpose going through all the stuff we went through?'” he says, “and feeling like some of your intentions got twisted and misinterpreted, obviously, with our name change and all these things.”

“And it was like it only brought us stronger in our conviction of what we want to represent as a band,” he adds.

Charles affirms there’s no doubt what that is, as Hillary agrees.

“Nothing is going to deter us from trying to leave our mark in a positive way,” he proclaims. “[There’s] a little bit more determination — not just survival, and trying to make sure we stay on the radio, making sure we can maintain this certain level of success — but actually going like, ‘What are we leaving behind?'”

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Reba McEntire's 'Revived Remixed Revisited' box set breaks onto multiple Billboard charts

Reba McEntire is making her way up multiple Billboard charts this week, including her first-ever foray into the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart, thanks to her new triple disc, Revived Remixed Revisited.

The project also lands her in the number-eight spot on Billboard's all-genre Top Album Sales, and at number 12 on Top Country Albums, Billboard reports.

One song off the project, a version of “Does He Love You” reimagined as a duet with Dolly Parton, has also earned Reba a spot just inside the Billboard Hot Country Songs top 50. It's actually the second time that song has been on the chart: The original version, a duet with Linda Davis, topped the Hot Country Songs chart after its initial release in 1993.

Revived Remixed Revisited came out earlier this month. The three-disc set takes a look back at Reba's lengthy catalogue of hits, providing three different kinds of new versions of the songs. One disc is a collection of dance mixes, one offers stripped-down versions of the songs, and the third showcases fan favorite songs with new arrangements inspired by Reba's live set.

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Nashville notes

Blake Shelton's If I'm Honest album has achieved RIAA Platinum certification as of last month. The project came out in 2016; it features the hit single “A Guy With a Girl” as well as a duet with Gwen Stefani, “Go Ahead and Break My Heart.”

Dustin Lynch has been announced as the third and final headliner for Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa 2022. He joins previously announced headliners Luke and Jason Aldean. Ashley McBryde, Jimmie Allen, Riley Green and many more round out the lineup for the sold-out event, which is set for next January.

Miranda Lambert is expanding her Muttnation Fund at Waggle, thanks to additional support from the Country Music Association's Music Industry COVID Support Initiative. All members of the music industry are now eligible to apply for grants to help with emergency veterinary bills for their pets.

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Scotty McCreery brings his newest single, “Damn Strait,” to the Kelly Clarkson Show stage

Scotty McCreery reconnected with a fellow American Idol alum — Kelly Clarkson — this week, stopping by the stage of her talk show to perform his latest single, “Damn Strait.”

Coming off his new Same Truck album, “Damn Strait” is a heartbroken ballad paying tribute to the King of Country, told from the perspective of someone who can't listen to his favorite George Strait songs because they remind him of the girl who left him behind.

“Damn Strait” hit country radio airwaves last week, and since then, it's picked up more station adds than any other song in Scotty's career to date. The new single follows his latest number-one hit, “You Time.”

Meanwhile, American Idol is gearing up for a new season. Representing the country music contingent is Luke Bryan, who will return for another season as a judge.

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Luke Bryan's wife Caroline once slept on a makeshift bed of suitcases on his tour bus

Luke Bryan may be a massively successful country star these days, but early on in his career, both he and his wife Caroline made plenty of sacrifices so that he could chase his dream.

Specifically, Caroline says in a new appearance on the Uncut with Jay Cutler podcast, she gave up the comforts of sleeping in a bed. During one early tour, the singer's wife came up with a particularly creative sleeping situation — with the couple's then-newborn baby, Bo, in tow.

“When Luke was starting out, you know, you're on one bus. And Bo Bryan was six, seven weeks old,” Caroline remembers. “We would tour with Luke, because he wanted us there. We would sleep on suitcases in the back of the bus.”

At the time, she says, she put Luke in a bunk so that he could be rested for his shows.

“And me and Bo would make a pallet with suitcases. Seriously. And there's where I slept with an infant. And I'd get up and I'd make bottles in the night,” she continues. “Looking back now, I'm like, How the hell did I do that?'”

Much has changed since then for the country superstar family. Not only is Luke a massively successful country artist, but the couple also recently starred in a series of Jockey commercials. More recently, Luke's gearing up for the next season of American Idol, where he'll return as a judge.

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Carrie Underwood reveals what she wouldn't put up with from her husband, “If I Didn't Love You”

Carrie Underwood is exposing her husband's bad habits in a hilarious new TikTok video centered around her latest single, a duet with Jason Aldean called “If I Didn't Love You.”

As the song plays in the background, Carrie pans the camera to piles of laundry on the floor, taxidermied animals hanging on the walls and an out-of-control hat collection. “I must truly love him…Who can relate?” she wrote in the caption of her video.

The hit duet will feature on Jason's upcoming album, Macon, which is due out November 12. Carrie recently revealed that she and Jason had planned to work together for years, explaining, “I feel like I always knew at some point I'd probably sing with him officially, and this just seemed like the stars were aligning and it just seemed like it was going to be the perfect fit.”

“If I Didn't Love You” is currently nearing the top spot at country radio.

@carrieunderwood

I must really truly love him. Who can relate?! #IfIDidntLoveYou

? If I Didn’t Love You – Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood

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Eric Church's “Heart on Fire” video tips its hat to his past hits

Eric Church adds another layer of nostalgia to his hard-rocking anthem, “Heart on Fire,” with a music video that looks back at the history of the singer's career.

Only true fans of the Chief will catch all the subtle references that the clip includes to past hit songs and videos. That emphasis on staying loyal to his fan base is par for the course for Eric: He has a long history of releasing new music to his Church Choir fan club first, and his latest triple album, Heart & Soul, contains one disc that he made available exclusively on vinyl for Church Choir members.

No detail is too small in the “Heart on Fire” video. For example, even the singer's older hairstyles make an appearance in the clip.

“Heart on Fire” is currently inside country radio's top 25. It's the third single to come off of Heart & Soul, following “Stick That in Your Country Song” and the chart-topping “Hell of a View.”

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