Country star Gary Allan is "deep into" his ninth album, and after tackling tough emotional terrain on 2007's "Living Hard" and 2010's "Get Off on the Pain" (both Top 5 on the Country and Billboard 200 charts) he promises this one will take a more positive tone.
Tim McGraw recently made the news with his signing with Scott Borchetta and Big Machine. On Friday afternoon, he took time to share with a few industry insiders some of the new music that he has been working on for his debut for the label.
One of the more successful bands in country music history is doing it all over again. Exile, the group that repeatedly topped the Hot Country Songs chart from 1983-1988, recently released an EP entitled "People Get Ready." It's their first new release in over two decades -- and the first since 1987 to feature J.P. Pennington, Les Taylor, Sonny LeMaire, Marlon Hargis and Steve Goetzman.
Ask around Nashville for any amount of time about great vocalists to come from Music City, and invariably, the name of Con Hunley will come up. In the 1970s and 1980s, the East Tennessee native recorded some of the most soulful tracks to ever be cut here -- including "What's New With You" and "No Relief In Sight."
After being a chart presence since 2006's "Yee Haw," Jake Owen is in the thick of his hottest streak yet. With the recent ascension of "Alone With You" into the top spot on the Hot Country Singles chart, Owen has rung up back-to-back number one hits. The RCA recording star celebrated the feat at Nashville's Cabana restaurant, and also visited with reporters.
Texas artist Granger Smith loves to create. In the past year, he has released two very well received albums -- the studio disc Poets & Prisoners as well as the recent live album Live At The Chicken, recorded at the Chicken Ranch Dance Hall in Ledbetter, TX. In addition, the personable singer is about to do something very unique – in launching a brand new comedic persona named "Earl Dibbles, Jr." He admits that he loves getting to exercise his creative muscle.
Country trio the Band Perry is "about halfway finished" with its sophomore album, and the siblings say that the counsel of producer Rick Rubin have helped them ease through the pressure generated by the platinum success of their self-titled debut.
Though most know her from her high-energy hits during her days as a member of Trick Pony, Heidi Newfield is one of the most distinctive vocalists in country music. That can be heard on such deep catalog Pony moments as "Stay In This Moment" and "Rain." Of course, she connected with audiences with her very first solo single for Curb Records, "Johnny and June." It's been a while since that record put her in the spotlight, but from all indications, the singer will soon be making a return there with her latest, "Why'd You Have To Be So Good."
Mary Chapin Carpenter on her new album, "Ashes and Roses": "It's the most personal record I've made in the sense that I speak about a lot of things that have happened to me the last five years -- among them, losing one of my parents, getting divorced, and having a serious illness."
Collectively, Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw, and Aaron Tippin have placed over one hundred songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. So, filling up a concert set list is no problem for the talented trio of country singers. Still, there is a definite strength in numbers, so when the veteran performers combined their talents for the "Roots & Boots" tour last year, the result was a tour package that has become one of the most successful on the road as of late.