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Canaan Smith & Tyler Hubbard Get Aboard Jason Aldean’s “Night Train”

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It’s no secret to country fans that Jason Aldean’s new album, Night Train, hit stores today. However, fans may be surprised to learn that one of the album’s tracks “Black Tears” was penned by Mercury singer/songwriter Canaan Smith and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard. 

“I wrote this song with Tyler one day back in college at Belmont,” Smith says. “I never thought it would be cut by someone as great as Jason Aldean.” He adds “I think he did a killer job. I respect Jason’s ability to stretch himself and push the envelope as far as songs and production go.”

The love-fest was mutual. In an interview for Billboard magazine, Aldean praised the track, saying, “Honestly, I think it’s one of the most well-written songs on the record. Like ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ and songs like that, it allows us to branch off in a different direction and try something new.”

Make sure to grab this track and the rest of Night Train, available everywhere today!

PHOTOS: Sugarland’s Kristian Bush Joins Canaan Smith at Opry

Kristian Bush of Sugarland.

Kristian Bush, one half of country duo Sugarland, joined newcomer Canaan Smith at his Grand Ole Opry performance on Friday night. It was Canaan’s fourth performance at the historic venue, and he invited his friend Kristian on-stage for his single “We Got Us.” It was a big deal for the new singer on the block, who looks up to his label mate.

“Friday night was my fourth performance on the Grand Ole Opry and I gotta say it was the most exciting for me.” Canaan says. “Being on that legendary stage with someone as influential and talented as Kristian Bush was overwhelming. That moment will be hard to top.”

Check out the pictures from their special performance below. Canaan is currently on-tour with Sugarland on the highly interactive “In Your Hands” tour. Their next stop in May 22nd at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.

Sugarland Announces “In The Hands Of The Fans” Tour with Openers Lauren Alaina & Canaan Smith!

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Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal Duo of the Year Sugarland has just announced their sixth consecutive headlining tour entitled “In the Hands of the Fans” which hits the road this April. The tour will rely solely on fan interaction and requests to determine the set list played in each city. Specific guidelines and instructions will be posted soon on www.sugarlandmusic.com. Pretty cool, huh?

The 25+ dates will feature openers Lauren Alaina and Canaan Smith (in select cities).

“This year’s tour is based around the concept of putting the show into the hands of the fans,” said Nettles. “THEY will make the requests that will help form the set list and guide the show. Through texts, handwritten signs, the Internet (Twitter, Facebook, etc) phone calls made during the show and selections directly from the stage, the fans will become the conductors as well as the audience. If it’s on one of our records or if we’ve played it on a stage it is fair game.”

The “In the Hands of the Fans” Tour dates are listed below:

Canaan Smith Releases Debut Single “We Got Us” to Radio January 9th

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Mercury Records singer/songwriter Canaan Smith will release his debut single, “We Got Us,” to radio on January 9. Just in time for the single to hit radio, Country Weekly has named Canaan as one of twelve artists to watch in 2012.

The story of “We Got Us” is a couple in love who take a leap of faith and set out on their own fueled by only their affection for one another.

“Getting to be the voice for this song is a feeling like no other,” Canaan says. “It felt special when we wrote it, and I’m stoked to see the positive early feedback at radio! Thanks for all the support!”

Canaan performed “We Got Us” to an audience for the first time at the Universal Music Group Nashville CRS luncheon held at the historic Ryman Auditorium last March.

Canaan’s debut album will release later this year, but fans can now purchase “We Got Us” via iTunes at http://bit.ly/CanaanWeGotUsiTunes.

“This album is my life 3-and-a-half minutes at a time. I wrote what I was feeling, and we cut it like we wanted it to sound. Getting to work with my longtime heroes (producers Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten) has been everything I hoped it would be. I can’t wait to share my stories.”

Sugarland’s Kristian Bush Sells Out Thanksgiving Shows

Kristian Bush of Sugarland.

Sugarland‘s Kristian Bush‘s annual Thanksgiving shows have sold out! He’s once again returning to Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia, and since his show had sold out so quickly, he added a second date on November 26th. Kristian is pretty excited about the demand for his shows, and he shares:

“I’ve been a songwriter my entire life, and Eddie’s is the club where I got my start, so I’m happy to keep on playing for as long as people want to listen. I’m thrilled so many fans want to ring in their holiday season with this show that means so much to me.”

Kristian has also announced his special guests for the shows – frequent collaborator Ellis Paul and Mercury Records newcomer Canaan Smith will join him November 25th, with singer-songwriter Patrick Davis on November 26th.

Tickets for the encore show on November 26th will go on-sale on October 12th at 9 am EST through the venue’s website eddiesattic.com. Fans wanting to make it out to see Kristian better get your tickets fast – the first show sold-out almost immediately.

Kristian, an award winning songwriter, is making his third appearance on the CMA Songwriter Series when it returns to Nashville on Wednesday, Oct 31 (9:00 PM/CT) at Marathon Music Works as part of Country Music Month’s promotions and events leading up the annual CMA Awards on Thursday, Nov 1 where Bush is nominated for CMA Vocal Duo of the Year with his partner Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

Boots and Hearts Music Festival

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If you thought the other star-studded country music events were jam-packed with back-to-back-to-back outstanding performers, you ain’t see nothin’ yet! Saddle up, country music fans, for one of the best lineups you have seen to date!

The August 10-12 Bowmanville, Ontario Boots & Hearts Music Festival aims to be the “largest international country music festival ever hosted on Canadian soil,” according to the press release. Being featured at the festival are the following artists: Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Carrie Underwood, Alabama, Paul Brandt, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, Phil Vassar, Kevin Costner & Modern West, Lauren Alaina, Jason McCoy, Dallas Smith, High Valley, Crystal Shawanda, Shane Yellowbird, Charlie Major, JT Hodges, Canaan Smith, Derek Miller, Kira Isabella, and more.

There are still tickets remaining, both for the entire event and for each individual day. You can purchase your tickets by visiting the Boots & Hearts Music Festival website.

You certainly do not want to miss out on this event. It will be like no other! Let us know which performers you are most excited to see at this one-of-a-kind three-day country music extravaganza!

GAC Booth Announces Schedule For CMA Fest Autograph Sessions

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We’re getting closer and closer to this year’s CMA Music Festival and GAC has just announced who will be signing at their booth this year! Check out who you can have a chance to meet below.

Thursday, June 7:

• 10-11 a.m. – JT HodgesColt Ford
• 12-1 p.m. – Katie Armiger, Gwen Sebastian
• 2-3 p.m. – Craig Campbell, Jerrod Niemann
• 4-5 p.m. – Bryan White

Friday, June 8:
• 10-11 a.m. – Mallory Hope, Miss Willie Brown
• 12-1 p.m. – Randy Montana, Phil Vassar
• 2-3 p.m. – Heidi Newfield, Suzanne Alexander
• 4-5 p.m. – Sarah Darling, Chris Cagle

Saturday, June 9:
• 10-11 a.m. – Jason Michael Carroll
• 12-1 p.m. – Canaan Smith
• 2-3 p.m. – Billy Gilman, Trailer Choir

Sunday, June 10:
• 10-11 a.m. – Wade Brown, Due West
• 2-3 p.m. – Glen Templeton

Please remember that autograph guidelines have changed for this year’s CMA Fest. Here is a highlight of how the new procedure works:

Fans will now enter a random drawing for the opportunity to meet various artists appearing in the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall. You will be able to enter the drawing at CMAfest.com. between May 14 (starting at 10:00 AM/CT) and May 28 (ending at 5:00 PM/CT). You will enter in your contact information and then select from the list of participating artists singing autographs in the Hall. You may select as many or as few artists as you’d like to meet. Once you submit your entry, you will not be allowed to go back in and change it so choose carefully! Duplicate entries will not be considered and all winners will be notified by Friday, June 1 via email.

CMA will also have a limited number of tickets on-site at the Festival for those who can’t get to a computer to register ahead of time. For more information on this, please see the Fan Fair Hall page at CMAfest.com.

Not every artist participating in the Fan Fair Hall will be part of the autograph drawing. There will be many opportunities for patrons to obtain multiple autographs from artists by just walking around the Fan Fair Hall. So don’t lose hope if you don’t get picked!

Ronnie Dunn To Headline WQYK Fun N’ Sun Concert

Ronnie Dunn. photo credit: EB Media / Josepha Cheong

Radio station WQYK in Tampa Bay, Florida announced their lineup for their annual Fun N’ Sun Toyota Country Concert series, which is returning to Coachman Park on Sunday, April 22nd. Headlining the free concert is Ronnie Dunn, with two stages featuring acts like J.T. Hodges, THE FARM, Andy Gibson, Chris Cagle, Suite Caroline, Greg Bates, and Canaan Smith all day. Both Canaan and Greg will perform on the side stage at the event in an acoustic setting.

While the concert is free and open to the public, there are reserved seating tickets available for only $20 each to get fans closer to the main stage. WQYK will be giving away VIP passes and tickets to listeners leading up to the event. Reserved seating goes on-sale on Monday on ticketmaster.com.

Steel Magnolia To Perform At ACM Experience

Steel Magnolia.

Contrary to popular online rumors, Steel Magnolia will be making an appearance together at the first-ever ACM Experience in Las Vegas. The country music duo will perform at the free, 3-day open-to-the-public event during The Week Vegas Goes Country. They hit the stage on Saturday, March 31st at 1:30 pm after Mallory Hope.

Also joining the line-up are country music trio Gloriana, who will perform on March 31st at 5:30 pm, closing the night.

See the full ACM Experience line-up below: