expand Alicia Keys Talks Fighting AIDS Pandemic, False Perceptions of Africa 

Trae Patton/NBC

Alicia Keys shined during her 12th annual New York City benefit event, the Black Ball, which raises money for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV through her Keep a Child Alive foundation. But its not just a night to get glammed up for Keys, the singer tells ABC Radio that it's time join together and fight the AIDS pandemic and reconsider the perception of its effect in Africa.

"I think everybody should help each other as much as we can, and I think that it's definitely time to change that mentality, that kind of colonial mentality that we have of Africa and it's time to change that, because that's now how it is there," she said at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday. "So, it's just time to really be aware of what's happening in the world and treat it accordingly and to come together and say we're at the precipice where we can really see a great change in regards to the AIDS pandemic and i'ts time to really gather together and do that. "

Over the past decade, Keep a Child Alive has raised nearly $25 million dollars for the cause.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Justin Bieber Has Most-Tweeted Cover in "Billboard" History

Zoey Grossman Exclusively for BillboardIt seems Twitter just couldn’t get enough of Justin Bieber’s Billboard cover. According to Janice Min, who oversees Billboard’s content, it was the most-tweeted cover in the publication’s history.

“In 24 hrs, Justin Bieber became most-tweeted cover @billboard history, peaking last night at 3,000 tweets a minute,” Janice tweets.

In the cover story, which came out yesterday, the Biebs opened about how fame nearly destroyed him and admitted he still has love for his ex, Selena Gomez. He also dissed Bette Midler in the article, saying he didn't know who she was and purposely mispronouncing her name as "Britt Meddler." His comments came after Bette attacked Justin's dad on Twitter for his remarks regarding his son's nude photos.

Bette seemed to have a good sense of humor about the whole thing, tweeting at Justin yesterday, "Britt Meddler! I don't know who that is either! But damn that b****!"

Someone also started a parody Twitter account for "Britt Meddler."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Miley Cyrus Adds Two New Tour Dates Due to Overwhelming Demand

Courtesy ID PRTwo new dates have been added to Miley Cyrus’ club tour, after the first six dates sold out within the first 30 minutes of going on sale. The Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz tour will now visit Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 14 and Los Angeles at The Wiltern on December 19.

Miley, backed by the rock band The Flaming Lips, will kick off the tour beginning November 19 in Chicago. She’ll hit Detroit; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Philadelphia; and Boston along the way. The tour is in support of Miley’s new album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, which she released for free on August 30 following her hosting gig at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

You can purchase tickets for the two new dates starting today at

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Tim McGraw Talks Damn Country Music on Twitter

Big Machine Records

Friday, Tim McGraw took to Twitter to talk to fans about the release of his new album, Damn Country Music. While he says it’s tough to pick a favorite track from his 14th effort, he does point to several standouts. As you might expect, the recording debut of his daughter Gracie on cut one, “Here Tonight,” is certainly an emotional high point.

He confesses track two was a bit of a stumbling block in the studio. “That’s funny you should ask that, about getting tongue-tied in that first line-- ‘the blue breeze blowing.’ I did! In fact, it took me quite a while and laughing all the way through it to not get tongue-tied in that line. That line tongue-tied me every time. It still tongue-ties me when I try to say it!” he laughs.

As for the songs wife Faith Hill gravitates toward, he mentions “Want You Back” and “What You’re Lookin’ For,” as well as his duet with their oldest daughter. He and the “Mississippi Girl” also agree on another track, one he repeatedly points to as a focus-- “Humble and Kind.”

‘[It] is probably one of my favorite records I’ve ever recorded, all the way around. I just love what it says, I love the message that it sends and I think certainly in this day and age, it’s something that needs to be heard,” he says.

During the chat, the uber-fit superstar confessed cheeseburgers and Coke would be the things he’d love to eat for the rest of his life, and his most embarrassing moment was tripping over a monitor on stage with the legendary Tammy Wynette.

When it comes to what he’s looking forward to these days, Tim says that would be taking a break over the holidays.

“It’s been a busy year,” he says, running down what’s going on in the lives of his girls. “We’ve made an album, we’ve made a movie, touring, Gracie graduated, started college, Maggie started her senior year, Audrey’s in the eighth grade, her last year of junior high. So it’s been a really busy year, so we look forward to taking some down time and really having a traditional Christmas at home with the family.”

Look for Tim to head out on tour to support Damn Country Music in 2016, with details expected soon.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Studio A Revisted Interactive Web Hub Takes Bob Dylan Fans into the Studio

Legacy RecordingsIn celebration of the release of Bob Dylan's The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12,  a new interactive hub, Studio A Revisited, is giving fans a chance to virtually go into the studio with the musician and figure out what made him tick during those historic years.

Studio A Revisited allows users to examine Dylan's music in three ways.

“Jam Session,” gives users an opportunity to play with four track studio “stems”-- made available to the public for the very first time -- to remix songs such as "Like a Rolling Stone."  You can listen, for instance, to the isolated bass and piano track with one stem, while moving over to the solo guitar stem and clearly hear what went into the rhythm of the song isolated from the organ, which is available on a separate track.

“Listening Session,” follows a neat interactive timeline featuring snippets of songs in their unfinished form, photographs, stories, studio artifacts and sound engineer notations equally divided into the seasons of 1965. An alternate fourth take of "Like A Rolling Stone," for instance, is a slow waltz, recorded in the spring.

“Singing Session,” will allow aspiring singers to sing along and match Dylan’s unique phrasing and timbre. 

The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12 includes unreleased songs, outtakes, rehearsals, and alternate versions of Dylan's best known songs from the seminal period during which the singer first went electric. It is out today.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch Dave Grohl Play "Come Together" with Members of Rockin'1000

Credit: Hayley MaddenEarlier this week, Foo Fighters performed in Cesena, Italy in response to a viral video of 1,000 people, known as the Rockin'1000, simultaneously performing the Foos' 1999 single "Learn to Fly" in order to convince the band to play their city. After the show, Dave Grohl joined a few members of the Rockin'1000 for an impromptu jam session, which included a cover of The Beatles classic "Come Together." You can watch a clip of the jam now on YouTube.

In the video, Grohl, who's recovering from breaking his leg over the summer, can be seen standing up and playing guitar. At one point, someone yells "Solo!", and Grohl happily obliges.

The original Rockin'1000 "Learn to Fly" video was released in July, and has since racked up over 26 million views on YouTube.

Foo Fighters are currently on tour through Europe.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Ex-Flyleaf Frontwoman Lacey Sturm Releases Debut Solo Single, "Impossible"

Followspot RecordsLacey Sturm's solo career has officially begun. The former Flyleaf frontwoman has released her debut solo single, called "Impossible," which you can download now on iTunes. "Impossible" is the first single from Sturm's forthcoming debut album, Life Screams, which will be released next year.

On "Impossible," Sturm sticks closely to her hard rock roots roots while also adding a hint of synthesizer. "In the beginning, Flyleaf really centered around my story and vision," she says in a statement. "This new project continues that narrative in a cohesive way."

Sturm recorded three albums with Flyleaf. She left the band just before the release of their 2012 album, New Horizons. In 2014, Flyleaf released Between the Stars, their first album with new vocalist Kristen May.

In support of Life Screams, Sturm has already lined up appearances at "major festivals" for 2016.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Busta Rhymes Completes Anger Management 

Kelsey McNeal/FOX

Busta Rhymes has completed anger management and pleaded guilty to reduced charges of harassment after throwing a protein drink at a gym employee back in August.

According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the rapper, whose legal name is Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr., was permitted to plead guilty to second degree harassment, a violation, after he completed an anger management course.  He was originally charged with second-degree assault for the incident, which took place at Steel Gym on West 23 Street. The employee sustained a minor injury from when the bottle hit the back of his head.

In court Friday, prosecutors agreed to the plea following "an extensive investigation, including interviewing witnesses, viewing the video, and visiting the scene, and based on the limited nature of the injury."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Watch Sneak Peek of Adele’s First Live Performance of “Hello”

XL Recordings/ColumbiaIf the recorded version of Adele’s “Hello” gave you chills, just wait until you hear her sing it live. In a sneak peek from her upcoming BBC special, Adele belts out the emotional ballad live for the first time.

Looking radiant in a green dress and blonde shoulder-length bob, Adele proves her powerhouse pipes are better than ever. In addition to “Hello,” she’ll also reportedly debut some new songs during the special.

Also included in the preview clip, Adele clears up some rumors with host Graham Norton. For example, she admits she’s not allowed access to her own Twitter account because she used to drunk tweet from it.

The special, Adele at the BBC, was filmed in front of a live audience on November 2 and is set to air on BBC One on November 20, the day her new album, 25, comes out.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Sam Smith Prepares for Some Time Off with New House & New Kitten

Douglas Gorenstein/NBCAfter the madness from the James Bond theme song "Writing's on the Wall" dies down, it sounds like Sam Smith wants to live a quiet, domestic life for a little while. He reveals on Friday’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he just bought his first house.

“It’s amazing; it’s intense,” he says of being a new homeowner. “Like, choosing paint colors and curtains is stressing me out.”

At least he’ll have some company in his new digs. He also tells Ellen he recently got an adorable new kitten, named Henry.  “I’m not a cat guy,” he admits. “I’m kind of training it to be a dog…When the doorbell rings he runs to the door.”

Between decorating his house and training his cat, it seems Sam’ll have plenty to keep him busy, even when he slows down his work schedule. His plan is to take about a year off and gather more material for his next album.

“It was actually a really recent decision. This could change, I change my mind all the time,” he says. “I kind of decided a few months ago, I was like, I need to have a little bit of a break because my music is so personal and I need to live my life -- I basically need to kiss some more boys so I can write some more songs. I need to go and make the stories so I can write about them.”

The new James Bond movie, Spectre, featuring Sam's theme song performance, is in theaters today.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Maroon 5 Announces 2016 Fall Tour Dates with R. City and Tove Lo

PRNewsFoto/Live Nation EntertainmentMaroon 5 is heading back out on the road next year. The band has announced dates for their fall 2016 North American tour. The first show of the trek will take place in San Antonio, Texas September 3.  They’ll conclude with a performance in Oakland, California October 16.

Maroon 5  will be bringing some special guests along for the ride. Tove Lo will be the opening act for all dates, while the guys of R. City, who collaborated with Adam Levine on the hit “Locked Away,” will be joining them for select dates. Beginning October 6, the indie-pop band Phases will swap in for R. City and finish out the rest of the tour.

American Express card members, as well as fan club members, have early access to presale tickets beginning Monday, November 9 at 10 a.m. local time. The actual presale will begin Thursday, November 12 at 10 a.m.  Tickets go on sale to general public on Saturday, November 14 at

Maroon 5 still has a couple of 2015 gigs remaining. They'll be playing two nights at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on December 30 and 31 to ring in the new year.

Here is a list of the new fall 2016 tour dates:

9/3 -- San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center*
9/5 -- New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center*
9/7 -- Miami, FL, AmericanAirlines Arena*
9/9 -- Orlando, FL, Amway Center*
9/11 -- Charlotte, NC, Time Warner Cable Arena*
9/12 -- Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena*
9/14 -- Knoxville, TN, Thompson-Boling Arena (On sale Nov. 21)*
9/16 -- Baltimore, MD, Royal Farms Arena*
9/17 -- Worcester, MA, DCU Center*
9/19 -- Hartford, CT, XL Center*
9/21 -- Albany, NY, Times Union Center*
9/23 -- Montreal, QC, Bell Centre*
9/24 -- Quebec City, QC, Videotron Centre*
9/26 -- Buffalo, NY, First Niagara Center*
9/28 -- Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena*
9/29 -- Cincinnati, OH, US Bank Arena*
10/1 -- Milwaukee, WI, BMO Harris Bradley Center*
10/3 -- St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center*
10/4 -- Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena*
10/6 -- Denver, CO, Pepsi Center**
10/8 -- Salt Lake City, UT, Vivint Smart Home Arena**
10/9 -- Boise, ID, Taco Bell Arena**
10/11 -- Seattle, WA, Key Arena**
10/13 -- Portland, OR, Moda Center**
10/15 -- Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center**
10/16 -- Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena**

*With special guests Tove Lo and R. City.
** With special guests Tove Lo and Phases.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Outkast Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2004 

Epic RecordsOutkast turned down an opportunity most artists dream of. Appearing on ESPN’s Radio's The Dan LeBatard ShowBig Boi revealed the rap duo actually turned down the chance to play the Super Bowl.

Back in 2004, NFL organizers apparently offered the duo limited stage time, which apparently didn't work for Andre 3000, who wanted to perform their hits "Hey Ya!" and "The Way You Move" in their entirety.

"[Andre] didn’t want to cut the songs; he wanted to do the full songs," Big Boi revealed. "He said, 'Nah, can’t do it.'"

Big Boi says he tried to convince Andre to change mind, to no avail.  "We laugh about it now. Hopefully they invite us back," Big Boi said.

Instead of Outkast performing, Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson graced the Super Bowl stage and caused the world’s most talked-about wardrobe malfunction.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Maxwell Reveals Status of Alicia Keys Duet Project; Says Her Next Album Sounds "Incredible"

Image Courtesy Eric Johnson

Maxwell made sure to support his homegirl Alicia Keys during her 12th annual New York City benefit event, the Black Ball, which took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom Thursday night. The ball raises money for children and families in Africa and India affected by HIV.  Maxwell told ABC Radio it was important for him to attend and support his longtime friend.

"It's great for me because its Alicia, Alicia is one of my best friends and, you know, I've watched her rise throughout her career -- we were assigned to Columbia Records together and then she moved to J Records, which obviously that's when everything took off," he said of their history together.

"We toured together on her first album, I mean, you know, we did a duet two years ago, which was thankfully number one forever, which was great," he continued, referring to "Fire We Make."

Back in 2013, the singer announced a duet project with Keys, which would rival Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's string of duets with from the 1960s. However, the crooner hints their joint album has been put on hold so Keys can complete her "incredible" upcoming studio effort.

"We can't wait, we can't wait, right now, you know, she has so much going on with this event and with all the things that she's going to do with her album, which is incredible by the way from what I've heard," Maxwell says of Alicia's follow-up to 2012's Girl on Fire. "But yeah, I'm excited. The future is bright, the future is bright."

"She's family, she's like my Tammi Terrell, that's how I call her," he adds.

Next year will see Maxwell releasing his fifth studio album, his first since 2009's BLACKsummers'night, which served as the first installment in the singer's SUMMERS trilogy.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Chris Brown Releases New Single, "Sex You Back to Sleep" 

Courtesy Eliot Lee Hazel / RCA RecordsAs promised, Chris Brown has served up a new baby-making jam, "Sex You Back to Sleep," the newest single from his seventh album, Royalty.

Over a sample of Marvin Gaye's 1982 classic hit, "Sexual Healing," Breezy serenades a woman into staying awake for a late-night rendezvous.

"Just hold on tight to me, girl/Sex you back to sleep, girl" he sings on the track, which is available for stream and download via his SoundCloud page.

Royalty, which will include Brown's previously released singles "Liquor" and "Zero," is slated to arrive November 27. "Can't wait til y'all here this album!" he tweeted earlier this week.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New Compilation from Van Morrison's Early Band Them to Be Released in December

PRNewsFoto/Legacy RecordingsA new comprehensive compilation of the recordings of Them, the blues- and soul-influenced rock 'n' roll band that Van Morrison formed when he was a teenager, will be released on December 4The Complete Them 1964-1967 is a three-CD anthology that features all of the tracks from the group's two studio albums with Morrison -- 1965's The Angry Young Them and 1966's Them Again -- as well as singles, demos, live performances, rare tracks and alternate takes.

Van formed Them in 1964 at the age of 18 in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland.  The group's best-known songs include the garage-rock classic "Gloria," "Here Comes the Night," "Mystic Eyes" and a cover of Big Joe Williams' "Baby Please Don't Go."  Them's most successful singles in the U.S. were "Here Comes the Night" and "Mystic Eyes," which peaked at #24 and #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965.

In the spring and summer of 1966, Them mounted a U.S. tour that included a residency at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, during which The Doors were one of their opening acts.  Morrison left the group later in 1966 to launch his now legendary solo career.

Among the interesting previously unreleased tracks on The Complete Them are a demo version of "Gloria," alternate takes of "Baby Please Don't Go" and "Here Comes the Night," and live renditions of "Gloria" and "Here Comes the Night" recorded on the BBC radio program Saturday Club.

Here's the full track list of The Complete Them 1964-1967:

Disc One (1964-1965)
"Don't Start Crying Now"
"One Two Brown Eyes"
"Baby Please Don't Go"
"Here Comes the Night"
"All for Myself"
"One More Time"
"How Long Baby"
"Mystic Eyes"
"If You and I Could Be as Two"
"Little Girl" (album version)
"Just a Little Bit"
"I Gave My Love a Diamond"
"You Just Can't Win"
"Go On Home Baby"
"Don't Look Back"
"I Like It Like That"
"I'm Gonna Dress in Black"
"Bright Lights, Big City"
"My Little Baby"
"(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66"
"(It Won't Hurt) Half as Much"

Disc Two (1966-1967)
"Could You Would You"
"Something You Got"
"Call My Name" (album version)
"Turn on Your Love Light"
"I Put a Spell on You"
"I Can Only Give You Everything"
"My Lonely Sad Eyes"
"I Got a Woman"
"Out of Sight"
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"
"Bad or Good"
"Hello Josephine"
"Don't You Know"
"Hey Girl"
"Bring 'Em On In" (album version)
"Richard Cory"
"Friday's Child"
"The Story of Them Part 1"
"The Story of Them Part 2"
"Baby What You Want Me to Do"
"Stormy Monday Blues"
"Times Getting Tougher than Tough"

Disc Three (Demos, Sessions & Rarities 1964-1967)
"Don't Start Crying Now" (demo)*
"Gloria" (demo)*
"One Two Brown Eyes" (demo)*
"Stormy Monday Blues" (demo)*
"Turn on Your Love Light" (alternate version)*
"Baby Please Don't Go" (Take 4)*
"Here Comes the Night" (Take 2)*
"Gloria" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"All for Myself" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"Here Comes the Night" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"Little Girl" (version one)
"Go On Home Baby" (Take 4)*
"I Gave My Love a Diamond" (Take 8)*
"(It Won't Hurt) Half as Much" (Take 2)*
"My Little Baby" (Take 1)*
"How Long Baby" (Take 1)*
"One More Time" (Take 14)*
"Gloria" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"Here Comes the Night" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"One More Time" (Live on BBC's "Saturday Club")*
"Call My Name" (single version)
"Bring 'Em On In" (single version)
"Mighty Like a Rose"
"Richard Cory" (alternate version)*

* = previously unissued.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Melanie Fiona Reveals Pregnancy

Universal Music Group

Congratulations are in order for Melanie Fiona. The singer has announced that she's expecting her first child with boyfriend and songwriter Jared Cotter.

The singer took to Instagram to reveal the good news with a 15-second video in whcih she shows off her baby bump.  "The greatest power a person possesses is the power to choose. The only thing greater, is being chosen. Thank You for choosing Us. Jared and I are thrilled to become Parents. #IWantItAll #Motherhood #Love #ChooseHighter #Awake xo,” Melanie wrote in the caption.

Jared, who co-penned Jay Sean's smash hit single "Down," posted the video on his Instagram page. "We are so excited for this next chapter of our lives! There is no greater blessing and I’m so happy to go on this journey with my best friend and love of my life. I’m gonna be a Dad!!! Thank you for choosing us. I promise we won’t let you down. I love you," he wrote.

In related news, Melanie’s third album Awake is due out in early 2016. The singer's effort will include the singles, "Bite the Bullet " and "I Tried."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Boyz II Men & Brandy Added as Soul Train Awards Performers 

Image Courtesy RCA

Boyz II Men and Brandy are among the newest performers confirmed for the 2015 Soul Train Awards, taking place at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas Friday, November 6.

Billboard reports the R&B entertainers will be joined by Jaheim, L.A. Reid, and Kat Graham as presenters for the ceremony, which will see previously confirmed performers Tyrese, Jeremih, Tasha Cobbs, Erica Campbell, Tevin Campbell, After 7, and Empire star V. Bozeman.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will receive the Legend Award, while Jill Scott will accept the first-ever Lady of Soul Award at the ceremony, which sees The Weeknd and Mark Ronson leading all nominees, with five nods each.

Hosted by Erykah Badu, the Soul Train Awards 2015 will be recorded for broadcast on November 29 at 8 p.m. on BET and Centric.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


The Moody Blues Announce Dates for 2016 US Trek, Dubbed the "Fly Me High" Tour 

Image Courtesy of The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues have unveiled plans for a spring U.S. trek that they've dubbed the "Fly Me High" tour.  The 23-date outing kicks off on March 3 in Hollywood, Florida, and is plotted out through an April 2 concert in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The tour will visit mostly cities in the Southeast, including Orlando and Saint Augustine, Florida; Atlanta; Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee; Durham and Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Louisville, Kentucky.  The trek will get under way right after The Moodies wrap up their previously reported third Moody Blues Cruise, which runs from February 26 to March 1.

The tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of the song "Fly Me High," one of the first new tunes that The Moody Blues recorded after singer/guitarist Justin Hayward and singer/bassist John Lodge joined the band in 1966.

Hayward recalls that the song led to the group's long association with Decca Records and producer Tony Clarke.  Justin explains that after The Moody Blues had made their own recording of "Fly Me High," they brought it to the label, whose "suits" liked it but wanted the band to lay down a new version and assigned Clarke to oversee the session.

"Decca released the new version and it was picked up by the BBC who used it as a 'jingle' for a while," Hayward notes.  "It was all absolutely great and 'Fly Me High' was the start of our new sound and direction."

Here's the list of confirmed dates for The Moody Blues' "Fly Me High" Tour:

3/3 -- Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live
3/4 -- Fort Pierce, FL, Sunrise Theatre
3/5 -- Clearwater, FL, REH
3/6 -- Saratoga, FL, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
3/8 -- Orlando, FL, WDT
3/9 -- Melbourne, FL, King Center
3/10 -- Estero, FL, Germain Arena
3/11 -- Saint Augustine, FL, St. Augustine Amphitheatre
3/12 -- Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre
3/15 -- North Charleston, SC, North Charleston Performing Arts Center
3/16 -- Columbia, SC, Township Auditorium
3/18 -- Chattanooga, TN, Tivoli Theatre
3/19 -- Cherokee, NC, Harrah's Cherokee Pavilion
3/20 -- Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
3/22 -- Wilmington, NC, Humanities and Fine Arts Center
3/24 -- Durham, NC, Durham Performing Arts Center
3/25 -- Richmond, VA, Landmark Theatre
3/26 -- Newport News, VA, Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts
3/28 -- Charlotte, NC, Belk Theatre
3/30 -- Louisville, KY, The Louisville Palace Theater
3/31 -- Paducah, KY, Carson Four Rivers Center
4/1 -- Robinsonville, MS, Horseshoe Bluesville Casino
4/2 -- Biloxi, MS, Beau Rivage Casino

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Cole Swindell Ups the Ante for "Down Home Sessions II"

Warner Brothers RecordsIt’s been close to two years since Cole Swindell released his self-titled debut album. Just this week, his label gave him a plaque commemorating its three platinum singles and the fact that the record itself has gone gold. 

In fact, all three of Cole’s singles so far have shot to number one-- “Chillin’ It,” “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” and “Ain’t Worthy the Whiskey”--  with his current song, “Let Me See Ya Girl,” threatening to arrive there any day.  

There’s only one problem -- Cole’s fan are hungry for new music. To satisfy that craving, he came up with the idea to put out 5-song EPs in between his major, full-length albums, unveiling the first volume a year ago. Now, he’s back with the second edition of Down Home Sessions, named for his fan club, the Down Home Crew.

But while the first one was mainly songs that wouldn’t fit on his first CD, Cole says the second one is quite different, since he’s already working on his sophomore effort.

"It's tough. It may be different every year but this year it was honestly, I knew that this thing has to be strong. Not that I would ever not put out, you know, my best stuff,” he clarifies, “but it's just, this EP is a chance for me to get everybody fired up, you know, for my album. What made the cut here is just the best songs."  

Since there likely won’t be a single from Down Home Sessions II, Cole says he wanted to be sure he kept it to songs he’d written himself.

"You know, I wanted to keep a lot of these for the album. When you're picking songs -- and these are ones I wrote. That's the thing about the Down Home Sessions. They're always gonna be songs I write just because I'm getting some great songs sent to me and I feel I don't want to put a song that somebody really, really loves on an EP where it doesn't even have a chance to be a single.”

Even though they likely won’t have the chance to be heard on the radio, Cole believes they’re on par with the hits he’s released so far. Instead, he’ll focus on making these songs concert classics.

"Literally there were some that I thought may have been singles off the next album but it's just, nah, I want it out now. And I don't get to put out an album for awhile so, or until next year. It's just the best stuff I got and also I'm thinking live. I'm doing this tour around the thing and these songs are gonna be, I think, a blast to play live and just build the whole tour around these five songs. And I'm ready for people to hear some new music.”  

You can download Down Home Sessions II today, with lyric videos for two of the songs, “I Should’ve Ran After You” and “Shuttin’ It Down,” already available online. Cole kicks off his headlining tour next Wednesday in New York City.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Four Blink-182 Albums to Be Reissued on Cassette 

SRC VinylBlink-182 is jumping on the cassette bandwagon. Four of the band's albums, 1997's Dude Ranch, 1999's Enema of the State, 2000's live The Mark, Tom and Travis Show and 2003's self-titled release, will be reissued on cassette via SRCVinyl.

Each cassette tape will be available in three different colors, and will be limited to either 500 or 1,000 copies, depending on the design. All four cassettes are available for pre-order now at They will be released on December 8.

Blink-182 now consists of Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba in place of founding guitarist Tom DeLonge, who left the band earlier this year. The new trio are currently working on Blink's first new album since 2011's Neighborhoods.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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