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Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LAKane Brown is contributing his voice to the discussion of racism and injustice in America. 

In a tweet Monday, Kane focused his message on how to bring about peace and unity in a world that's divided, encouraging that we all need to see one another as human beings. 

"We will never see peace in this world until we ALL see each other as PEOPLE. We will never understand each other when you have people on 2 different sides. We have to become 1 to be at peace," Kane writes, alongside a peace symbol and heart emoji. 

He later expanded on this point in an Instagram post, admitting that he's not a confrontational person and wanted to express his view point in an effective, yet sensitive manner. 

"I’ve been trying to think of how to say this as easy as possible and not be bashed because of the different sides. I hate confrontation but this is the truth whether you wanna Believe it or not," he continues. "Any questions I’ll answer as many as I can." 

Kane is one of the many country artists who have turned to social media to decry racism in the wake of George Floyd's death in police custody a week ago today in Minneapolis.  Others who've spoken out include Thomas RhettDan ShayJimmie AllenLady Antebellum, Mickey Guyton and many more.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

We will never see peace in this world until we ALL see each other as PEOPLE. We will never understand each other when you have people on 2 different sides. We have to become 1 to be at peace ☮️ ❤️

— Kane Brown (@kanebrown) June 1, 2020

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ABC/Image Group LATrisha Yearwood is working on a new cookbook. 

The country star and host of the hit Food Network show Trisha's Southern Kitchen spilled the beans during a Facebook livestream with fans this weekend, revealing that she's in the beginning stages of writing her fourth cookbook. 

The new publication will follow Trisha's previous three books: Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma KitchenRecipes from My Family to Yours, Home Cooking with Trisha YearwoodStories and Recipes to Share with Family and Friends, and Trisha's Table. 

The superstar says the new book will likely focus on her niche of comfort food recipes. “I’ve figured out what we do is comfort food, so that’s what we’re going with. And I’m excited. I’m having a really good time," she says. "It’s been really fun. I’ve missed doing it.”

Trisha co-wrote her first two books with her mother Gwen and sister Beth, while Trisha's Table was penned by the two sisters after their mother passed away. 

“Writing the books is always kind of cathartic for me. It started with the very first one that my mom and my sister and I wrote after our dad passed, and it was a way for us to be together," she explains. "And then we wrote that second book together. Then the third book Beth and I did, and that became a tribute to both of our parents. And so, I’m really excited.”

Trisha anticipates that the new book will be available next year.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Paula LoboKelly Clarkson kicked off The Kelly Clarkson Show this morning with a nod to Little Big Town: a cover of their hit "Pontoon." 

On each episode of her talk show, Kelly does a segment called "Kellyoke," where she performs a cover version of a popular song. The Voice coach officially welcomed summer, along with the month of June, with her sultry take on LBT's breezy track.

The audience bounced and clapping along as Kelly danced her way through the crowd while serenading them with the 2012 Grammy and CMA-winning hit,  complete with a run of soulful notes before the final chorus.  

The show was filmed in February before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shut down of in-house production in March. Kelly has since been hosting the show from her home in Montana and conducting virtual interviews, in addition to airing previously taped clips. 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAAshley McBryde finds new meaning in her song, "Hang in There Girl" during a virtual performance on Good Morning America

The 2019 CMA New Artist of the Year joined GMA via video conference to deliver an enduring acoustic performance of the meaningful track. Poised on a leather couch with her guitar, Ashley lives and breathes the lyrics that proclaim "hang in there girl/you're gonna be all right."  

The song is inspired by a young woman she saw on the side of the road, looking frustrated with the world. Ashley empathized with her, having grown up in a small, rural town and feeling those same frustrations.

"I really wished I could have stopped and tell her, ‘hang in there, you’re really going to look back on this fondly,'" Ashley explains of the song that's featured on her new album, Never Will, released on April 3.  

She also states that in light of the tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 that's rattled the nation, the song's message remains timely. 

“The record came out in the height of the pandemic, so this song has a whole new meaning for me now, especially with everything that’s happening in the world this week. ‘Hang In There’ is something we’re all having to tell ourselves and each other,” she remarks.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LASeveral country stars are speaking out in the wake of the death of George Floyd

Protests and riots broke out across the country this weekend after a video surfaced last week showing white Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old Floyd, who's black, for over eight minutes, during which time Floyd became unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead.  Chauvin and three other responding officers were fired and Chauvin was later arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Jimmie AllenMaren Morris and Lady Antebellum are among the artists using their voices to condemn racism and hatred and support acts of love and compassion.

Jimmie shared an honest Twitter post about his role as a father of a black son. Lady A's Hillary ScottCharles Kelley and Dave Haywood also made a collective statement about their responsibiliy as parents to raise their children "to lead with love, respect, compassion and a serving heart." 

Ingrid Andress lent her voice to the discussion by recommending a series of books to help educate her fans on equality, in addition to sharing the link to the grassroots organization, Justice for Big Floyd, while Maren tweeted the lyrics to her song, "Dear Hate."  

Here are those reactions, and more:

Jimmie Allen: "I challenge everyone to love each other and let our hearts speak louder than the injustice. Love so hard that is suffocates the hate."  

Lady Antebellum: "We can’t speak to how it feels to be the target of racism in America, but we can see the pain, the suffering & the toll it continues to take. Our hope is that we all take the time to listen, educate ourselves, have difficult conversations and make changes through our own actions."

Maren Morris: "Dear Hate..." 

Mickey Guyton: "There are people out here really trying to spark change. And the looting is absolutely disrespecting George Floyd’s death. Let’s honor him today. Spread truth in love." 

Chris Young: "Racism is NOT something that should be ignored, and is something that should not exist. Sorry, but I can't just stay silent on this." 

Tim McGraw: "Nobody’s ever improved on the ideal that all are created equal and that we should love one another as we love ourselves…."

Ingrid Andress: "I implore you to educate yourself so you can start understanding why this is such an important movement." 

Travis Denning: "I stand for my black brothers and sisters that are like family to me, and the black men and women I'll never meet. I stand for all men and women to be treated equally." 

Maddie & Tae: "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are." 

Old Dominion: "I know we as people can find love and compassion for our neighbors who have been hurt." 

Tenille Townes: "I have sat down to find words over these past couple of days and I really don’t know what to say. But I keep speaking George Floyd’s name and I’m letting the sadness and hunger for change soak in every time I do." 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Comstock/ThinkstockOne half of an award-winning, legendary country superstar duo is celebrating his 67th birthday today. Can you name this Texas-born Country Music Hall of Famer, who started his music career in Tulsa, OK? ANSWER: Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LATanya Tucker is lending her support to the LGBTQ community. 

The "Bring My Flowers Now" singer is set to open the 2020 Concert for Love and Acceptance on June 30. Typically hosted during CMA Fest in downtown Nashville, the annual event will take place online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Co-founded by 90s country hitmaker Ty Herndon and GLAAD in 2015, the Concert for Love and Acceptance raises money to support LGBTQ youth and their families. Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth will co-host the 2020 concert with CMT's Cody Alan

ACM Lifting Lives has joined as a first-time partner, with a portion of the proceeds going toward its programs that support music therapy, veterans and children's hospitals, in addition to aiding members of the music community during times of hardship.  

"Since we began this event in 2015, it's only been about love and acceptance, and we're not about to let this COVID virus distract us from sending a message loud and clear to LGBTQ youth: you're perfect just the way you are," Ty says in a statement. 

The concert will stream live June 30 on the Foundation for Love and Acceptance's YouTube and Facebook pages at 8 p.m. ET. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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DisneyThomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins each shared moving Instagram posts following the death of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Minneapolis man who died last Monday after a police officer held him down by the neck with his knee for more than seven minutes.  Rhett and Akins share four-year-old daughter Willa Gray, whom they adopted from Uganda in 2017.

As the white mother of a black child, Akins wrote on Sunday that she was “nervous” to speak up out of fear that some people would believe that as a white mother she was “undeserving or incapable of raising a black daughter.”

Alongside a hand-written Bible verse about hate being evil, Lauren, who shares two other daughters with Rhett, wrote in part, "I believe if I stay silent I am betraying my brothers and sisters. I believe if I stay silent I am betraying my daughter," she wrote, as she encouraged her followers to join her in "speaking up loudly for injustices whether or not we share the same skin color, language, beliefs...the list goes on.”

In a separate post, Rhett wrote, “I have no clue what it feels like to be profiled by authorities, treated negatively or have my life threatened because of the color of my skin. When I witnessed the horrific murder of George and think about the mistreatment of other black men and women in America, I am heartbroken and angry.”

He added, “I get scared when I think about my daughters and what kind of world they will be growing up in and how my JOB as a father is to show them how to lead with love in the face of hate. To know their worth and value as not only women but human beings.”

By George Costantino
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

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MCA NashvilleWould you like to know a little more about Kip Moore's love life? If that's the case, his new record, Wild World, just may contain some of the answers you're looking for. 

The Georgia native's fourth album opens with the track "Janie Blu," introducing a character that re-occurs in its final track, "Payin' Hard."

So is Wild World partially Kip's effort to communicate with a lost love? 

"Definitely talking to her some, definitely talking to her some," Kip admits. "But, you know, I never reveal, obviously, real names of characters."

"And I'm not gonna pull a T. Swift on you," he jokes, referencing the fact that Taylor Swift has sometimes written songs about her past relationships.

"But yeah, you know, there's definitely a lot of times through these records, specific people that influence a lot of the writing," Kip explains.

It's a tactic Kip employed as far back as his very first single, 2011's "Mary Was the Marrying Kind."

"Mary was all through the Up All Night record," Kip points out. "This record definitely had a lot of Janie in it.  That's all I can tell you."

"And nobody will ever know who Janie is," he adds. 

Kip does drop some clues on Wild World, which opens with the lyric, "Where you off to, Janie Blu?" and goes on to hint at "sweet addictions" before asking "Do you think you'll find redemption in the arms of a stranger's touch?" 

"I know I can't keep clinging to my Janie Blu," Kip sings on the first track, but then revisits "Janie and those pretty eyes" on the final cut, before seemingly taking the blame for the relationship's failure, saying "I chose this old guitar before the only love I've known." 

Wild World also features Kip's top 25 hit, "She's Mine." 

By Stephen Hubbard
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockIn case you missed it, Carly Pearce was featured on Saturday’s installment of Opry’s Circle Sessions. You can now watch her appearance on the Circle Network’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

Parmalee dropped their new project, The Piano Sessions, on Friday. The nine-track collection includes a selection of cover songs and their own hits, such as the chart-topping 2013 tune “Carolina.”

Lucas Hoge pays tribute to his dad in the new release, “Wishin’ I Was Fishin’.” To celebrate the new song, Lucas partnered with apparel and lifestyle company Salt Life for a Father’s Day giveaway. One of the prizes is a chance to appear in the music video for “Wishin’ I Was Fishin’.”

Singer-songwriter Emily Hackett shared her next single, “Handle,” last week. It follows previous tunes like “My Version of a Love Song” and “Hangovers & Heartbreak.”

All-vocal country group Home Free are celebrating an important personal moment: Bandmate Adam Chance has announced that he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Samantha Matarante

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LAJustin Bieber's been posting multiple messages denouncing racism since the death of George Floyd, whose death following his arrest by the Minneapolis police has sparked protests worldwide.  Now, his "10,000 Hours" duet partners, Dan Shay, have added their voices to the chorus.

In a lengthy Instagram post, the duo explains that they've been silent on social media because they've been busy finishing up "what we think is our best work yet." But, they add, "This past week's event in Minneapolis changed that."

"When the news story began do break, so did our hearts. In fact, they shattered. For the family of George Floyd and for the black community as a whole," they write.  "This is not the first time this has happened, but by God, please let it be the last."

They continue, "We, as humans, MUST come together to make a change. Racism and discrimination because of someone's skin color is simply just WRONG.  Politics and all other bulls*** aside, we all have a giant responsibility to eliminate this issue, which has plagued our country for far too long."

The "Speechless" duo's message concludes, "...this starts at home. We must educate our children, and instill values of love and equality. We are all born innocent, and racism is something that is learned. Let's work together, NOW, to make a change.  Please use your voice."

Dan Shay also add that their "hearts go out to those affected directly and indirectly by COVID-19."

By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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ABC/Image Group LA

Brothers Osborne take fans behind the scenes of how they’re spending self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic in a new installment of CMT’s On the Road Series -- which has been renamed “Off the Road” in light of the quarantine. People premiered the vlog-style clip.

Bandmates and brothers TJ and John Osborne have been isolating together in Nashville, along with their mom, sister and John’s wife, fellow artist Lucie Silvas. While they miss their fans, the pair admits that this time off the road has provided them a much-needed break. 

"To be honest with you, when it happened, I thought, 'Okay, each day is going to crawl by. I'm going to be losing my mind by day four. And the first month flew by so fast. We come home, and you know, we spend time with family, not feel like you're being lazy," John explains in the clip.

"The government has mandated that you stay home, and so you have an excuse. It has been a blessing. It's been the break that I know my brother and I have needed for a long time,” he adds. 

John's also been keeping busy with home improvement and artistic projects, while TJ shows off his newfound skills in the kitchen in the video, taking fans along for the ride as he cooks steaks.  With their family, the brothers are enjoying card games and even a drive-in movie theater set up in their driveway. 

Even though they’re enjoying the break, Brothers O can’t wait until they can get back onstage.

"We're looking forward to getting back out on the road, though, I can tell you that we miss our fans. We miss performing," they agree.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Warner Music NashvilleTucker Beathard reflects on the tough decision to end a painful relationship in “Can’t Stay Here,” his new breakup ballad. Written early in 2020, the song was among the first Tucker penned after his younger brother’s untimely death. 

During that period of grief, the singer admits he wasn’t sure he’d be able to write music at all.

“After my brother passed away in December, I wasn’t sure if I had the emotional energy to start writing again right away,” Tucker reveals. “But, I decided I might as well try and clear my head and mess around with some writer buddies of mine and sure enough, the first song I wrote this year was this one.”

Still, Tucker didn’t originally intend to record and release “Can’t Stay Here” so soon. However, after he uploaded an acoustic performance of the song to social media, Tucker was overwhelmed by the fan response. 

“I’ve been really enjoying connecting with my fans through social media live videos during this time and just hanging out, playing a bunch of old and new songs of mine,” he explains. “...I decided to post an acoustic video of me playing [‘Can’t Stay Here’], and after seeing the feedback, I knew it would be a great addition to the album and went in and recorded it right away.”

“Can’t Stay Here,” along with its accompanying music video, is the latest glimpse into Tucker’s next project. He’s previously shared a couple of other new songs, including “Better Than Me,” “Find Me Here” and his current single, “You Would Think.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Andy Sapp

Zac Brown Band frontman Zac Brown re-released his debut solo album, The Controversy, on Friday. The project originally came out as a surprise release last September.

The new version of the project boasts two remixes not featured in the first iteration of the project, including a Petey Radio remix of “Someone I Used to Know,” the lead single off of Zac Brown Band’s newest album, The Owl

The re-released The Controversy also features “Spend it All on You -- Petey Remix,” and two more new collaborations: “Hometown,” from DJ and producer Diplo’s new country project, Snake Oil, and “Someday,” which is included on Norwegian DJ Kygo’s brand-new Golden Hour album. 

“This album is an outlet for me to explore pop music, a broad category in its own right, without expectations and to be creative musically in other ways,” says Zac. “...To create The Controversy, not only was I able to work with some incredible new collaborators, but I also love being able to share different sounds -- regardless of label or genre -- with my fans.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Big Machine Records

Midland put an acoustic spin on five of their best-loved hits in Guitars, Couches, ETC., ETC., a new EP recorded from quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The project’s name is a good-natured tip of the hat to Dwight Yoakam’s 1986 Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., an album that the trio counts as an important influence on their music. 

“The title is a bit tongue in cheek with reference to a seminal album that largely influenced this band, cut against the strange reality that we’ve all found ourselves living these past few months,” the band’s Mark Wystrach explains, adding that the return to old favorite songs felt like a balm for the band during such an uncertain time. 

“It was medicinal to pick these songs back up and re-interpret them in a new way, both recording-wise and in the arrangements and colorings,” Mark adds. “We hope you enjoy these new iterations as much as we did making ‘em.”

The Guitars, Couches, ETC., ETC. EP sheds new light on some of Midland’s biggest hits over the years, including the top-five single “Burn Out” and their 2017 hit debut, “Drinkin’ Problem.”

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Derrek Kupish / dkupish productions In light of the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tanya Tucker announced this week that her headlining CMT Next Women of Country: Bring My Flowers Now tour will postpone all its scheduled shows through August. 

“My heart is absolutely broken knowing that we will have to wait to be together again,” the star explained on social media. “However, I know it will be all the sweeter once we can do so safely.”

Rescheduled dates will be announced soon, and Tanya told her fans that anyone who can’t make the new dates will be able to get a refund at the point of purchase. However, she added, fans should keep their tickets handy, as previously purchased tickets will be honored at the rescheduled shows.

“Hold onto that ticket as I promise to throw one heck of a party when we are allowed to!” Tanya went on to say. “Those who hold onto their ticket are also in for a sweet surprise that we are cooking up! Keep an eye out for an email in the coming weeks that will have details.”

In addition to Tanya’s headlining performance, the CMT Next Women of Country tour enlisted a talented roster of opening acts including Brandy ClarkHailey WhittersAubrie SellersErin Enderlin and many more.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Due to gathering restrictions, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone my “Bring My Flowers Now” tour through the end of Aug. New dates will be announced soon. If u need a refund, pls contact ur point of purchase or hold onto ur ticket, I promise to throw a prty when we can pic.twitter.com/t8YyJJ2mKJ

— Tanya Tucker (@tanyatucker) May 29, 2020

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Sony Music

Old Dominion has combed through the archives of their career, and now they’re sharing three previously unreleased songs from three different points in their musical past. 

“We’re releasing NEW, old music,” explains frontman Matthew Ramsey.  “Three songs, previously unreleased but that were recorded for our previous albums Meat and CandyHappy Endings, as well as an EP we released before signing a record deal.”

The first song, “I’m On It,” was originally recorded for the group’s 2015 major-label debut but was ultimately bumped from the track list in favor of “Song for Another Time,” which went on to be a chart-topping hit. 

Next, the group shared the studio version of “Can’t Get You,” which fans may recognize: The live version of the song appeared on Old Dominion’s sophomore album, Happy Endings

Finally, the band also dropped “Goes Without Saying,” which they first recorded for an independent EP that came out before they signed their record deal. 

While the band has had plenty of time to mine their musical past amid the COVID-19 shutdown, the band has some exciting plans for the summer: They’re slated to perform during Good Morning America’s virtual Summer Concert Series this July.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Universal Music GroupKip Moore’s new album, Wild World, came out on Friday, and the project is teeming with introspective anthems filled with passion and self-discovery.

Just before the project came out, Kip premiered its third track, the high-octane “Fire and Flame,” on The Country Show with Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2. The song spotlights the quest for meaning and spiritual understanding that Kip chases throughout his new album.

“I guess I’m stuck out in the middle/‘Cause I got this reckless heart that I can’t tame,” he sings in the song’s chorus. “Just when I think I’ve reigned it in a little/I’m still somewhere between the fire and flame...”

Those are themes that Kip explores throughout his deeply personal new album. The singer co-wrote all but one of Wild World’s 13 tracks, and he says that the lyrics on the project are some of the most personal he’s ever put to paper.

In tandem with his album, Kip also released a new documentary called 7 Days at the Rock, which premiered Thursday night on Outside TV. The film finds him in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic at his rock climbing facility, located in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Sharon Ochs/RCA Records

Cam reflects on the bittersweet passage of time in her meditative new single, “Redwood Tree,” a song inspired in large part by a climbing tree that grew in her backyard when she was a child. Since then, her musical dreams and ambitions have taken her far away from her hometown and that old favorite tree, and the singer waxes nostalgic in the song for simpler times. 

“I spent so many afternoons up there [in the tree] as a kid looking out and dreaming about the future,” Cam reflects. “It feels like I’ve lived five lifetimes since then -- I’ve done more than I can even remember, but still part of me wishes I could’ve stayed put, and to have that time at home.”

As much as Cam has changed, the redwood tree, which can live for thousands of years, has remained exactly as she left it. 

“It’s a song about time, and whatever way you spend it still feels just like a blink to a redwood tree,” she adds. 

"Redwood Tree’s" evocative, stop-motion video tells the story of a family’s life as it revolves around a redwood tree. We see Cam as a young girl spending time around the tree with her parents, and as the song wears on, she grows up and moves away to Nashville. Meanwhile, her parents continue to grow older, but the tree remains the same. Ultimately, Cam returns to the redwood tree and her family, this time with a baby in her arms. 

“Redwood Tree” follows “Till There’s Nothing Left,” which Cam released earlier this year.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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Comstock/ThinkstockOn this date in 2001, one of country music’s biggest stars released his sophomore album, called Part II. The track list included the goofball fan favorite, “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song).” Do you know who he is? ANSWER: Brad Paisley.

By Carena Liptak
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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