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Comstock/ThinkstockLittle Big Town broke through to the country mainstream with their first top 10 hit in 2005. Name the song. ANSWER: “Boondocks.”

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Valory Music Co.If you thought Thomas Rhett‘s latest single, “Crash and Burn,” was a little left-of-center, just wait until you hear his sophomore album, Tangled Up, due out September 25. Thomas actually describes the project as a “pretty out there record” in a new interview with The Detroit News. He felt confident to push the boundaries of his sound even further after “Crash and Burn” became a hit with listeners.

Thomas says of the album, “It’s a big ball of yarn, and all of these songs are in knots, and none of them really fit together. But …read more

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UMG NashvilleLittle Big Town will do just about anything for their fans, but they have to draw the line somewhere. The group found that line pretty early on in their career when they were getting ready to open a show for Billy Ray Cyrus. The members of LBT were out in the front lobby of the venue folding their own T-shirts before the show when a burly guy walked up and asked them if they would sign his bicep. That’s when things got really weird.

Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says, “I guess Billy …read more

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UMG NashvilleCanaan Smith‘s #1 hit, “Love You Like That” is proof that even tough country guys can be tender with the ones they love. With its references to loving a girl smooth as a fifth of whiskey and sweet as muscadine wine, Canaan says of the track, “The song is about loving your woman long and strong. It’s kind of a tough guy’s perspective on how he’s gonna love a woman and treat her, you know, take you out in the country. ‘I’m a man, you’re my woman, let’s do this.’”

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Nashville Notes

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockLarry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers are the headlining act for Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas in Nashville. They’ll perform 30 live dinner shows starting November 20.

Kelsea Ballerini, Cam and Michael Ray are among the new artists playing the Next from Nashville stage at the fourth annual Watershed Festival coming up July 31 through August 2.

Jason Aldean is back in the studio. He posted a selfie on Instagram from behind-the-mic working on his new album. The caption says, “Can’t wait for u guys to hear what me and the boys are up to!!!”

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Big Machine Label GroupFresh off his Las Vegas shows at Caesars Palace, Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn fame is stepping back out as a solo act with his new single, “Ain’t No Trucks in Texas.” The track was produced by Rascal FlattsJay DeMarcus and will be available digitally this Friday.

Ronnie says, “It has been great to be back in the studio and writing new songs. I am really excited for everyone to hear the music. I loved ‘Ain’t No Trucks in Texas’ the minute I heard it and think fans will, too.”

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Sandbox EntertainmentKimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town returns this weekend with a brand-new season of her cooking show, Kimberly’s Simply Southern. The show airis on The Cooking Channel Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Kix Brooks joins Kimberly in the kitchen for the premiere episode. Brett Eldredge, Billy Currington, Jewel, Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott and Kimberly’s band mates Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet will join Kimberly in the kitchen on upcoming episodes.

Look for Kimberly to appear on CBS’s The Talk Thursday afternoon to talk about her budding cooking empire. She released her first cookbook, Oh Gussie!, last April.

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Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks is taking his World Tour to Dallas Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19. The shows will be staged at the American Airlines Center and mark Garth’s first concert dates in Dallas in 17 years.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 24 through Ticketmaster.com/GarthBrooks.

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Sony Music NashvilleChris Young didn’t perform his latest single, “I’m Comin’ Over,” in concert until it was available online, so he was very anxious to see what his concert crowds thought of the song. Chris admits he even changed the way he starts his show just to get that initial fan reaction to “I’m Comin’ Over.”

He explains, “The first time that I played it out, instead of doing my normal show intro where we have a big pre-roll and then the band walks on, we just did a cold intro. The house music …read more

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Comstock/ThinkstockWho was Blake Shelton‘s duet partner on the hit single, “Hillbilly Bone?” ANSWER: Trace Adkins.

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