Leesa Mitchell scoops out the biggest and best nuggets on Big Cat 105.5.
Garth Brooks says listeners shouldn't expect his new studio effort to sound like a traditional country album. But the singer adds that fans shouldn't be surprised by what they hear on "Man Against Machine." Garth says he believes albums "should reflect who the artist is at that time," and "Man Against Machine" does that "very, very well." The country star explains that in making an album he and his band "just follow our hearts," which is what they did for this project. "Man Against Machine" is in stores now.
Brantley Gilbert says he's "super excited" about his stadium dates next year with Kenny Chesney. He told "Billboard" that he exchanges texts with Kenny on "college football days," and this past Saturday Chesney said he was trying to find songs for them to perform together. Brantley adds that he expects the trek to be "a lot of fun." Gilbert will launch his run with Chesney in San Francisco on May 2nd. At Sunday's American Music Awards, Brantley got the nod for Favorite Album - Country with his most recent release, "Just As I Am."
"Something in the Water" isn't Carrie Underwood's only new song. Her upcoming best-of set will also feature the new tune "Little Toy Guns," which she says might have a deceptive title. The singer tells "The Country Vibe" the song features "these characters," including a little girl who "hears her parents fighting, as unfortunately a lot of kids do." Underwood explains that the track is "basically her saying, in her words, 'I wish their words weren't real. I wish they were like little toy guns and they didn't hurt you.'" But Carrie adds that it's not slow and somber. She describes the track as "rockin'," with "a positive message." "Little Toy Guns" is on Underwood's "Greatest Hits: Decade #1," which will be available December 9th.
LeAnn Rimes says she loves the holidays. She tells Billboard.com it's why she decided to create a seasonal trilogy, and release one EP each year for the next three years. The singer describes the first in her collection, "One Christmas: Chapter 1," as having "a little bit of dirty south kind of sound, but it's also very intimate." Rimes adds that it was "nice to do some songs that haven't been covered as much," and "set the tone with something a little different than what normal Christmas records have been."
LeAnn says her grandmother was "way into" Elvis Presley and Bing Crosby, which is why she covers "Blue Christmas" and "White Christmas." She admits she recorded "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" "for selfish reasons," explaining that her youngest stepson is "obsessed with the song." Rimes adds that one of her favorites is her remake of Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas." "One Christmas: Chapter 1" also features renditions of "Silent Night" and "Someday At Christmas." The EP is in stores now.
Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner Share Favorite Thanksgiving Foods Dierks Bentley says Thanksgiving just isn't Thanksgiving without a turkey. The country star adds that his family usually prepares the bird in a traditional way, but he's not opposed to other cooking methods.
Josh Turner says his Thanksgiving table isn't complete without a plate of deviled eggs. The singer adds that he's never tasted a bad deviled egg in his South Carolina hometown, but he admits he thinks his mom's are the best. Josh also says he has a great deal of respect for anyone who makes a good deviled egg, because that's "no easy task." He explains it's "more complicated than it looks," which is why he's never tried to prepare them himself.
He admires anyone who can make a good deviled egg.
Tanya Tucker admits she ran into a few rough spots going through her memorabilia for her museum exhibit. The country star admits it took her a while to recall the significance of certain items. Tanya says she ended up with more than one dress from Kathy Simpkins. The singer recalls that she was shooting the video to the song "Down to My Last Teardrop," and the Florida socialite provided her wardrobe. But Tanya admits Kathy's dresses didn't really fit her. She explains that at the time she was five months pregnant, so they had to "clip 'em in the back." "Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough To Bend" is now up at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. The exhibit will remain open through May 2015.
Carrie Underwood says she's been getting a strong response from the fans about her new single, "Something in the Water." But the country star admits it's the type of song that tends to resonate with her audience. Carrie also says she understands why her fans are quick to embrace "Something in the Water." She explains that it's the type of song that can "make things a little better" for someone going through difficult times. "Something in the Water" is from Carrie's upcoming best-of set, "Greatest Hits: Decade #1," which will be available on December 9th.
George Strait says it meant a lot to him to perform with Kenny Chesney during his tour finale. The country start explains that he actually contributed a little to Chesney's rise to fame, and it's been great to see the singer's career develop. Strait says Chesney wanted to join him on the songs "The Fireman" and "Ocean Front Property," which is on his CD "The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium." George explains that those songs were already a part of his set on the tour, but it was "even better" to sing them with Kenny.
Alan Jackson admits he "wasn't trying to be a rival" to Travis Tritt. But the singer tells "Country Weekly" they launched their recording careers at the same time, and early on often faced each other for awards and honors. Jackson also admits "a lot of times" he came out on top -- but says that had nothing to do with their talent. Comparing himself to Travis he'd give Tritt the edge, and calls him the "better singer." Alan attributes his success to his image, explaining that he was "real country" while Travis was "a little of the Outlaws thing."
Jackson also recalls one time when his hit "Don't Rock the Jukebox" lost an award to Tritt. He says after the ceremony Travis plastered the message "Juke Box Rocker" on his bus. Alan adds that he's "always respected" Travis, and over the years they've become "good friends."
Keith Urban says he'd be a musician today even if he didn't find fame and commercial success. The country star tells CMT he started playing at the age of six and feels "really fortunate" that his parents supported his interest. He recalls that they would drive him to talent shows when he was just nine years old. At 15 Urban dropped out of school to perform with his band five nights a week, and his mom and dad "supported that, too." The singer admits he wouldn't advise other teens to follow his example, especially when it comes to their education. But he says for him there was no other option but music, and if he weren't famous he'd be out there "playing some club somewhere tonight."
Charlie Daniels says he's looking forward to his annual Christmas 4 Kids concert. But the singer admits it's not just because the charity event helps make the holiday season a little brighter for some children in need. He tells "Billboard" it's always special to take the stage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Charlie admits that it's a special venue to him. He recalls when he first arrived in Nashville roughly 60 years ago he sat in the audience at the Ryman, and the thought of actually playing on that stage "seemed like a dream that was beyond" reach. Daniels says he always takes the stage with reverence -- and adds that he's not alone. He explains that "if you have any heart about you at all, you have to stop and think about what a legendary stage you're playing." Charlie also says Christmas 4 Kids is his official launch to the holiday season. He explains the Christmas roll out seems to get earlier and earlier each year, but he refuses to "acknowledge getting into the Christmas season" until he's played his Christmas 4 Kids concert. This year's benefit, also featuring Phil Vassar, Andy Griggs, Ty Herndon, and others, will take place at the Ryman Monday night.
Country Winners at the AMA’s Sunday Night…