Welcome to The Boot’s News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.
Thomas Rhett has been announced as this year’s halftime entertainment for the Dallas Cowboys’ game vs. the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23). The reigning ACM Male Vocalist of the Year will also help kick off the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign during the game. “Watching the Cowboys game is such a tradition on Thanksgiving Day. It’s all about being together with family and friends, but this year is going to be a little different for us,” Rhett says in a statement. “It’s going to be blast and helping do it for a good cause makes it even better.” The game will be broadcast on CBS on at 3:30PM ET.
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
The initial line-up for MerleFest 2018 has been announced, and it’s big: Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson will headline the fest, and they’ll be joined by more than 70 performers spanning a variety of traditional American genres, including bluegrass, Americana, Cajun, zydeco and blues. MerleFest will be held at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C. on April 26-29, 2018. Tickets are now on sale, and fans can check out a full list of performers and more details at MerleFest.org.
Brandi Carlile has announced a release date for her much-anticipated new album, By the Way. Produced by Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings, the album was recorded at Nashville’s iconic RCA Studio A and features 10 brand-new tracks written by Carlile and her collaborators and bandmates (and twin brothers) Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Fans can stream a live performance of the first single from the album, “The Joke,” above, and pre-order the album ahead of its release on Feb. 16.
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Florida Georgia Line are set to perform at the 2017 American Music Awards. The duo will join Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso for a performance of Steinfeld’s song “Let Me Go” during the broadcast. They won’t be the only country artists involved in the ceremony, though: Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean and more received nominations this year. The 2017 American Music Awards are set to air on Nov. 19 on ABC.
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Nashville will head to New York City on Feb. 13, when Emmylou Harris, Maren Morris and Vince Gill perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s All for the Hall New York benefit concert. The trio will be joined by Kesha for a show that will “highlight women in music and support the Museum’s music education programs,” according to a press release. Tickets for the show, which will be held at Times Square’s Playstation Theatre, go on sale on Nov. 17 at 10AM ET via AXS.com.
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Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban will headline the 2018 Tortuga Music Festival. Planned for April 6-8 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the annual event will feature a ton of country stars and up-and-comers next year, including the Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Lee Brice, the Cadillac Three, William Michael Morgan and Dwight Yoakam. Passes to the festival are scheduled to go on sale Dec. 1 at 10AM ET, and fans can learn more by visiting TortugaMusicFestival.com.
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Blake Shelton, beau of pop superstar Gwen Stefani, is set to make a “special guest appearance” during Stefani’s forthcoming Christmas TV special. Details are scarce on exactly how the duo will appear together on Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas, but the show will feature performances of songs from Stefani’s recently released holiday album of the same name. Chelsea Handler, Ken Jeong and Ne-yo are also expected to appear on the show, which will air on NBC on Dec. 12 at 9PM ET.
Zac Brown, in collaboration with songwriter Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti, has announced the first album from his new “Southern pop” project, Sir Rosevelt. The trio is set to release a self-titled debut album on Dec. 15; their first single, “Something ‘Bout You” (produced by Timbaland), which readers can hear above, was recently released. “Sir Rosevelt is a new chapter in addition to Zac Brown Band,” Brown says in a statement. “A new outlet for creativity, connection and art. Get ready.”
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