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Tim McGraw takes fans to church with acoustic “Hallelujahville”

ABC/Image Group LAJust days after he first shared “Hallelujahville,” Tim McGraw is ups the ante on small-town sentimentality with a new acoustic performance version of the piano ballad.

The singer and his bandmates deliver “Hallelujahville” against the backdrop of a small, church-like venue with high, dark windows. It’s a simple video treatment that highlights the song’s message of gratitude for growing up with small-town values and a sense of community.

Tim’s new ballad is from Here on Earth, his 16th studio album and first solo project in five years. It also marks his first batch of new tunes since re-signing to his longtime label home, Big Machine Records.

Tim previously described Here on Earth as a 16-track collection of “vignettes of life.”

Prior to dropping “Hallelujahville,” he shared the equally poignant “I Called Mama,” another ballad that brings family front and center.

Here on Earth is due out on August 21.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Go Country 105

Russell Dickerson teases snippets of his next album, which is a quarantine work-in-progress

ABC/Image Group LARussell Dickerson is putting his downtime to good use during the COVID-19 pandemic: He’s hard at work on album number three.

This week, the singer has been taking to social media to give fans a little taste of the new music he’s got cooking. He posted three videos sharing snippets of as-yet-unheard songs, and also offered a couple of clues to what their titles might be.

“Whatever you want I’m / All yours, all night / Sunset to sunrise,” Russell sings in one of the clips. Coupled with a caption that reads “AYAN,” it seems like “All Yours All Night” might be the track’s title.

Another clip, captioned “CTJ,” had fans baffled as to what the song’s name might be.

“I’m the little devil on her shoulder / And she brings it in a little closer / I take her outside of the lines / Oh, but she’s my voice of reason…” he sings in the unreleased new tune.

Though Russell hasn’t unveiled many details about his next project, it seems like an official announcement might not be too far in the future. The singer has already dropped two singles off the project: “Love You Like I Used To” and “Home Sweet.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Go Country 105

Runaway June found “a fresh start” with new band mate Natalie Stovall; re-tooled “We Were Rich

Wheelhouse RecordsCountry trio Runaway June wasn’t expecting to find much creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did bandmate Jennifer Wayne personally battle the virus, but longtime member Hannah Mulholland decided to exit the group.

But what began as a frightening, uncertain time ultimately became a clean slate.

“We’ve been together quite a bit in a really beautiful, authentic creative space, which has been really awesome because this time of year we’re normally touring and it’s a pretty rigorous schedule,” Naomi Cooke explains to Rolling Stone.

After Hannah’s departure, the two remaining band mates knew that replacing her would be difficult. Ultimately, they tapped fiddle player Natalie Stovall, in part because she was already a seasoned touring artist.

“It is not for everybody. After two week of [being on the road], if it’s not what you think it is, you can just implode,” Naomi points out. “So the list was really short and we thought of Natalie.”

Though Runaway June had already decided on “Head Over Heels” as a follow-up single to their top-ten hit, “Buy My Own Drinks,” they switched gears amid the pandemic. They recorded a new version of the tender ballad “We Were Rich,” featuring Natalie’s fiddle and vocals, and sent it to radio.

“It goes back to the simpler times of your parents doing everything they can to make you comfortable and happy,” explains Jennifer. “And I feel like right now, this message is so important for people. It’s like the perfect time to put out a song like this. And then it just felt so perfect with Natalie coming in — it’s like a fresh start.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Go Country 105

Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker are joining forces for a Grand Ole Opry bill next month

Circle NetworkLuke Bryan and Darius Rucker were just revealed as the lineup for an upcoming Grand Ole Opry broadcast. The two superstars will step into the circle together on August 15, marking the stage’s 4,937th consecutive broadcast.

Both artists will have fresh music to share during their performance. Luke’s next album, Born Here Live Here Die Here, is scheduled to drop on August 7, just over a week before he takes the Opry stage. That project includes his newest number-one single, “One Margarita.”

For his part, Darius also has new music up his sleeve: On August 7, he’ll share a summery new single called “Beers and Sunshine.” Before taking the Opry stage, he’s also got plans to helm a virtual version of his annual “Darius & Friends” concert benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. That event takes place this Thursday night at 7PM CT, with pay-per-view tickets available now.

Amid the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the Grand Ole Opry has been continuing its weekly broadcasts without a live audience. Instead, you can tune in to the show through the Opry’s own Circle Network, as well as the venue’s flagship radio station, 650 WSM AM, and online.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Go Country 105

Kenny Chesney releases his first-ever vinyl project with Here and Now LP

Warner Music NashvilleKenny Chesney is getting ready to do something he’s never done before.

Next month, the country superstar will release his latest album, Here and Now, on vinyl. Pressed onto clear, sea-glass green vinyl, the record will be available via his official online store, as well as through an exclusive partnership with Walmart. The new packaging for the record, which first dropped in May, becomes available on August 21.

Kenny says he was inspired to release the record to vinyl in part because of the COVID-19 quarantine, a time when more fans than ever are listening to music in their homes.

“With so many of us staying home, having the time to really dive into the music and listen — and based on the passion for this project — it seemed like now is the time to do vinyl,” he explains, adding that his own recent experience with LPs further convinced him to explore a different listening format.

“I had a friend give me a stack of albums from the ‘70s and ‘80s a few years ago, and there really is something different about settling in and listening. It’s warmer. It has a bit more presence, sonically,” Kenny goes on to say. “It’s a whole other way to listen, and right now, that feels like a good thing.”

The first single and title track off of Here and Now recently became the superstar’s 31st number-one hit at country radio. Late last month, he served up a new track to radio with the uplifting “Happy Does.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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Pop Daypop

Taylor Swift Releases New Version Of ‘Cardigan’

Taylor Swift has released a surprise new version of her single, “Cardigan”. The 30-year-old dropped the track, a version she’s calling “Cabin in the Candlelight” on social media, and revealed that it will only be available for download for 24 hours.

“Cardigan (Cabin in the Candlelight)” version is available now as a digital download, and on CD, Vinyl and 12″ vinyl until midnight on July 30, which only gives you 24 hours to download.

Taylor also released a music video for the track that features behind-the-scenes footage from the album photo shoot.

Taylor Swift Releases “cabin in the candlelight” Version of “cardigan”: Stream

Via consequenceofsound.net
 

Editorial credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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Go Country 105

Country star trivia

Comstock/Thinkstock37 years ago this week, George Jones was at the top spot on the country charts with his ninth and final number-one hit. Merle Haggard wrote the song, and also recorded his own version of it. Can you name that tune? ANSWER: “I Always Get Lucky with You.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Go Country 105

Garth Brooks reveals daughter tested positive for COVID-19

Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMMA few weeks ago, Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood announced that they were postponing a performance due to possible exposure to COVID-19.  They ultimately tested negative, but now Garth has revealed that the person who was the source of that exposure was his youngest daughter.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Garth said daughter Allie had tested positive for the coronavirus, and while he hadn’t seen his daughter, he noted that her husband “works with us every day,” which is why everyone got tested.  Allie quarantined for 14 days after she tested positive, and she’s fine now except for a sore throat, Garth said.

“As a parent, nobody knows what COVID is going to do in the future so you just watch over them,” Garth said. “You pray a lot and hopefully she will come out of this thing with just that.”

He added, “As parents like you, like me, all you do is pray your knee bones off and hopefully following the guidelines so hopefully your family doesn’t have to experience this.”

The superstar went on to say that he and Trisha had used quarantine “as a time to face everything, ’cause now you can’t leave, you can’t walk away. This is probably, you know, the blessing and the curse.”

Admitting that the experience of the past few months has “probably been the most we’ve ever gone through as a couple,” Garth noted, “What’s on the other side is so great, especially when you are with the right one.”

Garth also announced yesterday that he was taking himself out of the running for CMA Entertainer of the Year, having already won the coveted honor seven times.

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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News Daypop

Major Tech CEOs Face Questions At Hearing On Capitol Hill About Market Dominance

During a hearing on digital antitrust issues on Wednesday, lawmakers on the House judiciary committee accused four technology giants of being monopolies that have “wielded their power in disruptive, harmful ways.”

Four CEOs — Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Sundar Pichai of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook — appeared before the antitrust subcommittee of the House judiciary as part of the hearing.  Subcommittee Chairman Rep. David Cicilline has been leading a months-long investigation into potential anti-competitive practices at all four companies. Committee members have obtained more than 1.3 million documents from the companies and have conducted five earlier public hearings.

Cicilline said the power the four companies have threatens competition and U.S. democracy. Cicilline also accused Google of stealing content from smaller companies by keeping users on Google sites. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner said he was less concerned with how big the tech companies are than he was with apparent efforts to suppress conservative viewpoints. And Rep. Jim Jordan also accused the companies of downplaying conservative voices. Jordan also accused Google of attempting to aide former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.

You can view the hearing in it’s entirety on the House Judiciary’s YouTube page, by clicking the link: here

Congress grills tech CEOs in wide-ranging hearing

Via abcnews.go.com
 

Editorial credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com

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Go Country 105

Nearly 30 years after winning his first CMA Entertainer trophy, Garth Brooks decides to stop with seven

ABC AudioOn Wednesday, Garth Brooks revealed he’s officially taken home an Entertainer of the Year trophy for the very last time. 

Reiterating he’s not retiring or slowing down — and still hopes to be competitive in other categories —  the superstar admitted he’s been thinking along these lines ever since winning a record seventh title in November. 

Initially, it looked like the Country Music Association might be on the road to giving him an emeritus honor at CMA Fest. But after the annual celebration had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, CMA ultimately decided they could not “pull [Garth] out of [the running for] an award.”

So, “with all the gratefulness, [all] the love in the world,” he did it himself.

“There was one tweet in there that really stuck in my head,” he explained, “that said, ‘Hey, man, this guy, why doesn’t he step down and just have the Entertainer for the next generation?’ [I] one-hundred-percent agreed…”

“The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful to the CMAs and everybody that has voted for us…” Garth added. “My number is seven… And we feel very lucky with seven.”

“It’s time for somebody else to hold that award, [to] know what that Entertainer feels like. Because they’re all out there busting their butts,” he said of his contemporaries.

After a year when touring was mostly sidelined by the global pandemic, Garth points out it should be an interesting race.

“This is probably the perfect year for it,” he reflected, “because I don’t know how they’re gonna judge Entertainer this year… I feel very grateful. And for twenty-five years, you get to be the Entertainer of the Year. So that’s been pretty sweet.”

Garth first won in 1991, nearly thirty years ago. 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.