» New In Town: New music from Kix Brooks, Bucky Covington and Little Big Town hits stores this week. All out Tuesday (9/11), Brooks' New To This Town is his first album as a solo artist, Covington supports firefighters with his new collection titled Good Guys and LBT's Tornado marks the vocal group's fifth release. Brooks worked with Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus to co-produce New To This Town's title track, which features guest artist Joe Walsh.
"It may feel corny to say this, but I have been blessed with the most amazing life by the fans of country music," Brooks says. "They've paid my rent all these years, and I owe them ... It's important this music I've made makes them happy."
CNN's Impact Your World highlights how proceeds from first-week sales of Covington's album benefits the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. Covington will also perform "God Bless The U.S.A." with the FDNY Pipes and Drums band at dusk Sept. 11 and join a procession to FDNY Engine 10/Ladder 10 in New York City. Opting to not use Music Row's session musicians, LBT recorded their new collection with their road band. "We were having fun [in the studio] and loving what was happening," Jimi Westbrook says. "There was just this excitement from all of us." More on each release below.
» Own This Winter's Night: Lady Antebellum's new holiday collection, On This Winter's Night, lands Oct. 22 and features updated versions of 12 Christmas classics. The band recorded the album in two sessions over the summer and decked the halls of the recording studio to help them get in the holiday spirit. "We brought out lights and fake trees," Lady A's Dave Haywood says. "You'd leave the studio, and it'd be 100 degrees in Nashville, but it came out great regardless of being recorded in the middle of summer." The album features original arrangements of "The First Noel" and "Silent Night (Lord Of My Life)."
» My Kind Of Finish: Did Jason Aldean inadvertently help lead the Washington Nationals to a win over the Miami Marlins Saturday (9/8)? According to the Washington Times, the Nats' Adam LaRoche and other teammates had tickets to see Aldean perform with Luke Bryan in Bristow, VA, and LaRoche was worried they would miss the concert after weather delayed the game by two-and-a-half hours. In the 10th inning, with the show on his mind, the less-than-speedy LaRoche was on first base. He gambled on a bloop single by not pulling into second and instead slid head-first into third to beat the throw. Shortly thereafter, the Nats won 7-6. LaRoche said, "We were like, 'We need to win this game as fast as we can. We had a bus waiting for us so the whole team could go. That was crossing my mind rounding second, which I think maybe gave me an extra mile per hour."
» Big Easy Birthday: Newcomer Hunter Hayes celebrated his 21st birthday Sunday in his home state of Louisiana (9/9). The Breaux Bridge native headlined a benefit concert for Oschner Children Friday (9/7) and performed the National Anthem at the Superdome for the New Orleans Saints' opener against the Washington Redskins Sunday. "Awesome birthday," Hayes tweeted. "Family, friends, cake, Saints game, coffee, it's all good, y'all ... Thank you all again." Joe Don Rooney (Rascal Flatts) and Carrie Underwood were among the celebrities who tweeted Happy Birthday wishes to Hayes. He joins Underwood on her Blown Away tour Friday (9/14) in Manchester, NH. Complete list of dates here.
» In Case You Missed It: Blake Shelton appeared on Monday's Todayshow to plug the new season of The Voice(9/10). "I think season three, it really does trump both the first two seasons," Shelton said. "There's been a lot of rule changes, and [as] the coaches, we've all kind of had our fights and got back together again … It seems like it's made us as a group that much tighter."
Taylor Swift premiered "Ronan" on Friday's Stand Up To Cancer telethon (9/7). The song shares its name with a three-year-old who lost his battle with neuroblastoma this year. The track is available via iTunes, with proceeds benefiting cancer-related charities through the Taylor Swift Charitable Fund. Download here. Swift also performed "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" on Thursday night's MTV Video Music Awards (9/6).
Little Big Town discussed their new album Tornado on Monday's Good Morning America and their first No. 1 "Pontoon." "We couldn't be more grateful for the journey," Phillip Sweet said. "We're having the time of our lives."
Jason Aldean closed Wednesday's Late Show With David Letterman with a performance of "Take A Little Ride" (40:08 minute-mark). He also headlined New York City's Ed Sullivan Theatre as part of the Live On Letterman webcast. The set list included "Crazy Town," "Amarillo Sky," "Big Green Tractor" and the title track of his upcoming album Night Train.
Luke Bryan plugged the upcoming CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock special on Thursday's Good Morning America (9/6). He also performed "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" on Wednesday's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (9/5).
Billy Ray Cyrus performed "Change My Mind" on Thursday's Tonight Show With Jay Leno (9/6). Watch the performance at the 34:52 minute-mark here.
Rascal Flatts will get their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Sept. 17 at 11:30am PT in Los Angeles. The star will be located in front of the Sergeant Supply Store at 6664 Hollywood Blvd.
Jason Aldean has partnered with Coors Light in support of Night Train's Oct. 16 release. "This was a no-brainer partnership for me," Aldean says. "I'm especially looking forward to the fridge full of Coors Light they promised all of us for the road."
Kix Brooks will participate in Dierks Bentley's Miles & Music For Kids charity ride and concert Oct. 14 in Nashville. Proceeds benefit the Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Dwight Yoakam will preview one 3 Pears track per day for the next five days on his website. Yoakam produced the 12-track collection (out Sept. 18), which includes the Beck-co-produced songs "A Heart Like Mine and "Missing Heart."
In honor of Free The Music's Oct. 2 release, Jerrod Niemann is offering a chance to win a one-year premium Spotify subscription for users who subscribe to Niemann's Free The Music playlist, which launches Tuesday (9/11). Additional giveaways celebrating the new album are TBA. More here.
George Jones (9/12) Jennifer Nettles (9/12) The late Bill Monroe (9/13) Joe Don Rooney (Rascal Flatts) (9/13) The late Roy Acuff (9/15)
Tuesday (9/11): Little Big Town, Kix Brooks, On The Streets (GAC).
Wednesday (9/12): Kix Brooks, Good Morning America (ABC).
Thursday (9/13): Little Big Town, Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated).
Friday (9/14): Easton Corbin, Top 20 Country Countdown (GAC).
In Stores Tuesday (9/11)
Kix BrooksNew To This Town The 12-track album is Brooks' first as a solo artist. "I've been in Nashville a long time now," Brooks says in the liner notes. "I've paid the rent sweeping floors, writing songs and, of course, 20 crazy years with Brooks & Dunn. Honestly, I can't say I'd change a thing. I can only thank the good Lord that the joy I get from making music burns as brightly now as the day I got here." The title single featuring Joe Walsh kicks off the album, which also includes the new single "Bring It On Home. Brooks co-wrote nine songs.
Bucky CovingtonGood Guys Covington's sophomore release is his first from a new record label. The 12-track album includes single "I Wanna Be That Feeling," the Shooter Jennings duet "Drinking Side Of Country," Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody" and "Mexicoma," which is not the same track as the Tim McGraw song for his upcoming album.
Little Big TownTornado The band's fifth studio album includes the lead track "Pontoon." "Last summer, we were looking ahead at making a record and we were like, 'We should do something brand new that we've never done,'" Karen Fairchild says. "We thought new inspiration would be a new place, new producer ... just new everything." It only took a week for LBT to record the 11-track collection with producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church's Chief). The band co-wrote "Your Side Of The Bed," "On Fire" and "Night Owl."
» Sweet Gig:Keith Urban (r) participates in a private Q&A at the Country Music Hall of Fame for students from four Middle Tennessee high schools. Urban discussed songwriting, his influences and the importance of having supportive parents. "I joined my first band when I was 12," Urban said. "Mom and Dad used to drive me around to all the gigs. When I was 15, I quit school. [I'm] not suggesting you do that, but that's what I did." One student questioned Urban about rumors that he would join American Idol. "I would love to do it, and hopefully that happens," he said.
» Family Photo Opp: Wife AmyGrant and daughter Jenny Gill sandwich Vince Gill at his Hollywood Walk of Fame induction.