It’s here, and it’s HOT.

11067645_828726487218113_9173937992353866201_nJust in time for today’s start of CMA Music Festival (which will forever be known to me as Fan Fair), the temperatures are sweltering hot as usual.

If you’re not here in Nashville for the Fest, there’s good and bad. I mean, the good is, you’re probably sitting all up in your office or house enjoying some air conditioning and only breaking a sweat if you have to get up for more beer, amiright?

The bad? EVERY. BODY. In country music is here right now. There are free concerts literally all over downtown Nashville. New artists you might not have heard of yet, already up-and-coming artists and even artists you know pretty well are playing on stages at just about every corner. Tonight, the BIG concerts start at LP Field, where the Tennessee Titans play. These shows are a parade of country music superstars, four nights in a row. If there was any such thing as concert overload (and there’s not, in my book), this is where you’d get it.

If you want to torture yourself you can see the full lineup here. I’d also suggest you use that link to get your tickets for NEXT YEAR’s CMA Music Festival as soon as humanly possible, because those things sell out super fast and I don’t want you to miss it again. Cool? Cool.

Brantley Gilbert shows again that he’s a class act.

As if it’s not enough that he’s openly a mama’s boy, says romantic things about his fianceé and is a huge supporter of our military, Brantley Gilbert has taken things one step further to show he’s just a good guy.

It started when Wounded Warrior Staff Sgt. Justin Patterson gave Brantley his first purple heart as a thank you for his support of veterans, and for joining the Wounded Warriors motorcycle ride, Project Odyssey.

So, awesome dude that he is, Brantley then went on Fox & Friends and said, while he knows he can never repay a gift like that, he’s giving Staff Sgt. Patterson his two tickets to the CMT Music Awards in Nashville this week.

Watch it here, and then go ahead and swoon.

Artist Of The Year: Florida Georgia Line!

FGL AOTYTwelve months ago, Slacker picked a new country duo by the name of Florida Georgia Line as an Artist to Watch in 2013. Not to brag or anything, but boy, we chose good. Their debut album “Here’s to the Good Times” generated four Country Top 10 singles, including “Cruise,” which spent 24 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, a new record. That song’s remix with Nelly went on to win the American Music Award for Single of the Year. Thanks to their pop hooks, appealing personality, and let’s be honest, good looks, their popularity has grown way beyond just the country audience. This station features their music as well as influences, collaborators and inspirations. Florida Georgia Line is Slacker’s Artist of the Year.

Will 2014 Be The Year Of Garth?

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Garth Brooks really knows how to stir things up, doesn’t he? He’s made the rounds of TV and radio all week to talk about his upcoming world tour — three years of it! He hasn’t revealed the cities or dates but we’re hearing it will start some time next Fall, allowing him to keep his promise not to go back on tour until his youngest daughter graduates. She’ll do that in the Spring.

He also dropped a new live duet with Trisha Yearwood, called “The Call”. Garth hinted at some other big news, saying it will be bigger than anything he’s ever done. All of this comes after he released his 8-disc box set, Blame It All On My Roots, at Walmart on Black Friday. And by the way, he’s been hiding under bulky sweatshirts, but it looks like Trisha isn’t the only one who’s lost some weight. Garth is looking good!

Listen to Garth and Trisha’s biggest hits here on Slacker’s ’90s Country and check back for more updates on Garth as we get all the juicy details!

[By Jess Wright – Slacker, Nashville Correspondent]

Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley Top 33 on Slacker for a Limited Time

CARRIE KENNY TOP 33Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will co-host the 47th annual CMA awards on Wednesday; It’s their 6th year in a row! To celebrate, we’ve created a station counting down their biggest hits, as determined by you, Slacker users.
It’s something we call E.Q., the Engagement Quotient. It just means these are your most hearted, least-banned and most-shared songs by Carrie and Brad. By the way, single-artist stations like these are usually reserved for our premium users, but thanks to a special agreement, everyone can listen for a limited time.
The Carrie and Brad E.Q. Top 33, something that could only happen on Slacker. Check it out here.

 

Kenny Rogers Hosts Country Duets Station on Slacker

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.36.49 PMThere is no artist more fitting to host Slacker’s brand-new 77 Greatest Country Duets station than The Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers. The music legend has recorded some of the most beloved collaborations in both country and pop history, and has made entire albums of duets. Just a few of the many we all know by heart are “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton, “Everytime Two Fools Collide” with Dottie West, “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Lady” with his old buddy, Lionel Richie.

In hosting our new 77 Greatest Country Duets station, Rogers tells the stories behind some of his own duets and gives commentary on a wide range of other country collaborations, from Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys” to Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift’s “Highway Don’t Care.” We also hear personal stories about some of his friends on the countdown, including Reba McEntire, Naomi Judd and, of course, Miss Dolly.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 2.32.05 PMRogers and Parton have a new duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” on his new album of the same name. The song comes three decades after “Islands in the Stream” and reunites the platonic friends who have weathered 30 years of romantic rumors.

“People always thought we were having an affair and we didn’t want to ruin it because if we’d had an affair, we’d lose that spark. We just flirted a lot,” Rogers tells the Associated Press. “I can’t explain it but flirting is more electric than passion, it’s the anticipation … She does it better than anybody I’ve ever seen, and it’s just fun.”

Tune in to our 77 Greatest Country Duets station, hosted by Kenny Rogers, here.

“Drinks After Work” is the Song Stuck in our Head

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 12.02.46 PM52-year-old Country superstar Toby Keith shows no signs of slowing down and continues to be one of the biggest stars in Country.

He just released his 17th studio album, named after one of the Slacker staff’s favorite activities, “Drinks After Work.”

This is the title track, it’s Toby Keith and Slacker’s Song Stuck In My Head. Listen to “Drinks After Work” on demand all weekhere.

CMA Awards Preview: Country Music’s Biggest Night!

1378839266_stretchCountry music’s biggest night is right around the corner! The CMA Awards (basically the Oscars of country music) will air live from Nashville on Nov. 6. The star-studded show will be co-hosted for the sixth straight year by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, and will feature performances by Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Tim McGraw and many more. Listed below are some of our early thoughts about the show. And be sure to listen to New Country on Slacker to hear all of the nominees!

lukebryan2Most Predictable Category: Male Vocalist of the Year. We will be shocked if Luke Bryan doesn’t walk away with this honor for the first time in his career. The Georgia native has dominated the charts in the past year, shattered sales records with his “Crash My Party” album and has sold out show after show on the road. Blake Shelton has had Male Vocalist bragging rights for the past three years in a row and is Luke’s biggest competition, but don’t expect a Shelton fourpeat. Other nominees are all dark horses in the category: Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban.

carrie-underwood-2013-cma-music-festival-04Most Unpredictable Category: Album of the Year. All five nominees in this category are equally strong contenders. Sure, some projects sold triple the amount of copies than others, but keep in mind that the CMA Awards are voted on by people who work in the industry, and they always love a critic darling as much as a sales titan. The nominees are Blake Shelton’s “Based on a True Story,” Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Kacey Musgraves’ “Same Trailer Different Park” and Little Big Town’s “Tornado.”

Most Unique Performance to Watch: Taylor Swift’s collaboration with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Sure, they’re all lumped into the country genre together, but let’s face it, Swift’s signature sound is about as similar to Gill and Krauss’ style of music as Lil Wayne is to Little Jimmy Dickens. Still, that’s all the more reason to expect this performance to be spectacular, and most likely more country-friendly than anything Swift has had on the radio this year. Other noteworthy collaborations will include Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl, and Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz.

Most Fabulous Fashionista to Watch: Carrie Underwood.  At last year’s CMA Awards, the blond beauty changed clothes 12 times! Expect no less this year, as the night’s hostess is sure to dazzle us with fantastic frocks, flowing locks and a whole lotta leg.

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