Brad Paisley’s H2O Tour Visits Top 20

Brad Paisley’s H2O World Tour has been one of the biggest concert packages of the summer, and this weekend, Brad and all five of his tour mates — including CMA nominees Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin — will join host Nan Kelley on GAC’s Top 20 Country Countdown. Brad’s dates have been mostly outdoors with Darius Rucker and Justin Moore serving as main-stage warm-up acts. In addition, he’s created a big Water World Plaza with lots of side attractions and smaller-stage performances from Easton, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson. For an act like Steel Magnolia, which won’t have a debut album in stores until Jan. 11, the chance to be part of such a major tour has provided a first-hand look at one of country’s real stars. And the duo is impressed. Read More

Justin Moore: Don’t Touch My Hat

One of the ongoing gags in the classic sitcom “Cheers” was the obsession that the lead character, Sam “May Day” Malone, had over his perfectly coiffed hair. Justin Moore has a similar issue with people who mess with his cowboy hat. Don’t do it. At a concert recently, a fan took his hat right off the top of his head, and other people in the crowd began to tug and pull at it. Justin did finally get it back, but he wasn’t happy with the shape it was in. Read More

Luke Bryan, Chuck Wicks: Water Themes Abound

Between the Brad Paisley H2O World Tour and May’s Nashville flood, country music has been waterlogged this summer. But the liquid is still flowing in the genre. Brad’s weekend lake show set a record, Luke Bryan rode a gusher to the top of the chart, and yes, there’s more flood-recovery news, thanks in part to Chuck Wicks and Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely. Here’s a look at the way water continues to stream into country’s current landscape: Read More

Darius Rucker Readies New Music

It was two years ago this week that Capitol Records released Darius Rucker’s first country hit, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” As the lead singer for a multi-million-selling pop act, Darius was a bit surprised that even got to sign a country deal. He’s been even more surprised with the results: three gold singles, a platinum album for Learn To Live and the Country Music Association’s New Artist of the Year award. The question for Darius is no longer about whether or not he can find acceptance in country music. Now the question is whether or not he can repeat, and he’ll start getting that answer sometime this year. His follow-up album is getting close to complete. Read More

Justin Moore Is a Quick Study

When Justin Moore first moved from Arkansas to Nashville seven years ago, he knew that he wanted to be a recording artist. What he didn’t fully realize was how important songwriting would be in getting him an opportunity. Many of the genre’s top artists — Toby Keith, Alan Jackson and Lady Antebellum, for example — write much of their own material. It’s not a requirement, but the songs that performers write help flesh out their creative direction. Plus, they earn substantial money for the artist if the songs end up getting played regularly on radio stations and television. Justin hadn’t even tried to write a song before he hit Music City, but it didn’t take long before he recognized he needed to do that, just to have something to sing. Read More