AP NEWS

New country music springs onto the scene

March 29, 2019

NEW SINGLE: Blake Shelton will release a new single, “God’s Country,” on Friday. The new tune will be the first sample of music from Blake’s upcoming 12th studio album. Penned by Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt and Devin Dawson, “God’s Country” follows Blake’s previous Top 10 single, “Turnin’ Me On,” which was featured on his 2017 album “Texoma Shore.” ” ‘God’s Country’ is a song that has a strong and deep meaningful lyric, but at the same time it leaves it up to the listeners interpretation,” Blake said. “But no matter where you are from or where you’re standing it is my belief that you’re standing in God’s Country. It’s really about a state of mind. Wherever you’re from and how you feel about that place. For me it’s about being from Oklahoma — where I was born, raised and still live today.”

FIRST SINGLE SINCE 2016: Hunter Hayes shipped a new single, “Heartbreak,” to country radio on Monday. “Heartbreak” marks Hunter’s first single since 2016′s “Yesterday’s Song.” The new tune is the lead single from Hunter’s upcoming third studio album, which is expected later this year. “It’s a song about freedom,” says Hunter. “It’s a song about true, honest happiness and love and how there is love for everyone. Not only are you worthy of being loved but there is somebody out there who loves you even though they haven’t met you. In the darkness of a heart breaking, I’m here to tell you there’s also a whole lotta light.”

STRAIT PLAYLIST: George Strait has curated his own “Strait Country” playlist on Spotify. George will continually deliver fans a playlist full of traditional country sounds from icons such as Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson and more, as well as some of his own tracks. The first iteration of more than 30 songs includes tunes from Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Tom Petty, Kacey Musgraves, Robert Earl Keen, Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton and more. George will regularly add new tracks to the playlist. George will release his 30th studio album, “Honky Tonk Time Machine,” on Friday.

NEW HOLIDAY ALBUM: The Oak Ridge Boys with members Joe Bonsall, Duane Allen, William Lee Golden and Richard Sterban are getting a jump on the Christmas season by announcing an upcoming holiday record that will be released this fall. Produced by Dave Cobb, the new holiday collection follows the Oaks’ 2016 yuletide offering, “Celebrate Christmas.” In addition, the Oaks revealed that they will also release a Cobb-produced album in 2020 that features a collection of classics and standards. The Oaks first teamed with Dave for their 2009 album, “The Boys Are Back.” Dave also helmed the Oaks most recent project, 2018′s “17th Avenue Revival.”

Julie Reeves is the midday host on Big Buck Country 101.5-FM. Also contributing is Bill Cornwell.