SAM HUNT CAN RELAX NOW THAT ALBUM IS OUT OF HIS HANDS


Sam Hunt's debut album, Montevallo, will be released on Monday (October 27th), but Sam already feels like a bit of the pressure is off. He tells us that having a big hit with "Leave The Night On" is helpful, and, basically, there's no turning back now. "More of the edge comes off from just knowing that the album's gonna come out and that it's out of my hands now so I can't go back and change lyrics or I can't overthink elements of the songs that I might be able to change because I can't change them now, so it's nice to be so close to having the music out, but to have a single that's done so well is huge because that just . . . Hopefully that will translate to more people buying the record and more people being exposed to the rest of the album because I feel like 'Leave The Night On' represents me as an artist but not nearly as well as the whole album will."

Sam co-wrote all 10 songs on Montevallo, which is titled after the town he lived in while attending The University of Alabama.

Sam is currently out on the Up In Smoke tour with headliner Kip Moore.

AUDIO: SAM HUNT ON DEBUT ALBUM BEING OUT OF HIS HANDS

TIM McGRAW SAYS AWARDS ARE GREAT BUT GOOD MUSIC IS MORE IMPORTANT


Tim McGraw heads into next month's CMA Awards with two nominations for Single and Musical Event of the Year for "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" featuring Faith Hill. Tim is certainly no stranger to both being nominated for and winning awards, but he tells us that this many years into his career, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. "Well, the nominations, you never take those for granted, I think, cause when you've been around as long as I have, sometimes you just sort of . . . Everybody just assumes you're there, and so sometimes assumptions can take away from the actuality of things, you know? Everybody can assume that you're gonna be at the award show and can assume that you're gonna be nominated and therefore they don't vote for you because they automatically assume that you'll be nominated anyway, but that being said, you know, awards are awards. They're great to be honored that way, you're great to be nominated, great to be a part of the process and a part of all the artists that are coming and going, but at the end of the day you just want to make good music, and I want to continue to make good music, and I want to continue to make music that's relevant and means something."

The CMA Awards will air live from Nashville on ABC on November 5th.

Tim released his latest album, Sundown Heaven Town, in September. It features "Meanwhile Back At Mama's" as well as his current single, "Shotgun Rider."

AUDIO: TIM MCGRAW ON CMA NODS 2014

KENNY CHESNEY ON ERIC CHURCH: 'HE'S GOT A SHOT TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL LONG-TERM'


Kenny Chesney may have stepped out of the spotlight for a bit over the last year or so, but he has kept a close eye on the country scene. With the creation of "bro-country" and other sub-genres of the format, Kenny says he sees only a few true country acts who have the ability to sustain.

He tells us: "Country now is a very interesting genre. There are a few people out there that I think that are going to outlast the phase or the trends, but I think that the people that really have a chance to do that are guys like Eric Church. Guys that are great songwriters . . . and girls. I really respect Eric a lot and the music that he's made, but more importantly the connection that he makes out there. He opened for us last year in a lot of the stadium shows and the first night in Tampa, Florida there was a connection, and you can't be taught, and you can't do it with smoke and mirrors. He kind of went out there and, a lot like we've tried to do over the years and just opened up his arms and invited everybody to come in, and that's what I loved about it, and I think that he's got a shot to do something really special long-term, and so when I look at the landscape of it all I there's a few people like that that really have a chance to do that and outlast trends."

Kenny's latest single, "Til It's Gone," is climbing the charts. It's the second single from his new album, The Big Revival, which was released in September.

AUDIO: KENNY CHESNEY ON ERIC CHURCH OUTLASTING TRENDS

BITS AND PIECES: ALAN JACKSON & TRISHA YEARWOOD


Alan Jackson went back in time for fans who attended his sold-out second show as artist-in-residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Wednesday (October 22nd). People.com reports that after his two-plus hour performance of more than 30 songs spanning his 25-year career, Alan returned to perform an encore looking like he did in the early days -- sporting a mullet, aviator glasses, a sleeveless western shirt and ripped jeans. Alan's Hall of Fame and Museum exhibit, "Alan Jackson: 25 Years of Keepin' It Country," will be on display through March 30th. His 25th anniversary Keepin' It Country tour kicks off in Fort Myers, Florida, on January 8th.

Trisha Yearwood makes a cameo appearance on an upcoming episode of ABC's Nashville. She will present an award to one of the characters during the show's CMA Awards. The real CMA Awards set was duplicated on a sound stage in Nashville for the episode, which is scheduled to air on November 19th. Rollingstone.com reports that two other country stars make cameos in this same episode, however their names have not been announced.

MONTGOMERY GENTRY MEMBER'S WIFE DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER


Just weeks before joining the "Check Your Headlights" campaign for breast cancer awareness, Montgomery Gentry member Troy Gentry's own life was touched by the disease when his wife, Angie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Troy shared the news on Wednesday (October 22nd) on Facebook writing, "My beautiful Angie got a diagnosis from her doctor that has rocked our world a bit over the last few weeks. She has breast cancer - and we wanted you to hear it from us first. She is currently going through chemo treatments and her prognosis is very good. We’d love for you to keep her in your prayers over the next few months."

The Check Your Headlights campaign features Montgomery Gentry's new single, "Headlights," as part of a bundle available at GhostTunes. Proceeds from sales of the bundle will go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Troy lost his mother to cancer in 2007.

His musical partner, Eddie Montgomery, had his own bout with prostate cancer in 2010.

THOMAS RHETT AND WIFE SPONSOR MIRANDA LAMBERT'S REDEMPTION RANCH


Thomas Rhett and his wife, Lauren, have become sponsors of Miranda Lambert's no-kill shelter, Redemption Ranch, located in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. As animal lovers and dog owners, Thomas and Lauren were happy to make a substantial donation to the shelter in their dogs' names, Cash and Kona. The pups' pictures are posted on Miranda's MuttNation Foundation's Facebook page.

Blake Shelton was the Ranch's first Platinum sponsor, donating $5,000 to the cause. Puppy Suite sponsors like Thomas and his wife donate $1000.

Redemption Ranch will hold its grand opening on November 21st and sponsors will receive an invitation to the private reception at the grand opening as well as be treated to a private tour of the shelter on November 22nd.

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