Mother’s Day Edition — Susan Eicher and Phyllis Kelly
In celebration of Mother’s Day, our moms, Susan and Phyllis, share hilarious stories about raising us into the people we are today. Phyllis also opens up about losing Hunter’s younger brother, David, two years ago and coming to accept Hunter as a gay man. Susan explains how she raised Ashley to be an independent woman and is now cheering her on in life as a friend. Both share their hearts on the beauty, pain and joy of motherhood.
Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts
Grammy-winning country star Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts shows us the man behind the hits in this conversation. Though the world sees Jay onstage playing sold-out shows and winning awards, his life has had plenty of road blocks and disappointments. As he writes in his new book, Shotgun Angels, Jay wants people to take hope from his story and understand that “failure is not fatal.” Through losses in his career, losses of loved ones and now relishing his role as husband and father, Jay shares how his faith has led the way. He also turns in a mean Peter Cetera impression.
Amy Grant has us over to her house for tea and an intimate conversation covering everything from faith and mentorship to cooking and skincare tips. What a gift! It was an opportunity for us to share which of Amy’s songs and stories have impacted us the most and also soak up the wisdom that just seems to spill out of Amy every time she speaks. She shares (sometimes hilarious) stories from her friendships with heroes Minnie Pearl and Carole King as well as encouragement to light the creative spark in all of us. Oh, and we have a good cry over Amy’s Christmas classic, “Breath of Heaven,” as well.
Author Claire Gibson is here to talk about her debut novel, Beyond the Point. The book tells the story of three women, Dani, Hannah and Avery, who meet and form a deep bond while attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. The story follows them as they work to maintain those friendships while facing the demands of relationships, careers and an earth-shattering tragedy.
Claire grew up at West Point, where her father was a professor, so the novel is based on her recollections as well as more than 20 interviews Claire conducted with female graduates at West Point. She hopes Beyond the Point will give readers a three-dimensional view of women in the military beyond the stereotypes we see in pop culture and the media at large.
Claire also poured her own experience of dealing with infertility and ultimately deciding to adopt a child with her husband, Patrick, into Beyond the Point, which is a big reason why the passages on grief and faith ring so true. Claire previously wrote about her adoption experience in a piece for Marie Claire. Read more of her work here.
Claire also shares some advice for writers and explains how she learned to quiet the inner critic in her head while writing.
Miles Adcox is the Owner and CEO of Onsite, an emotional wellness organization offering a range of personal growth workshops and counseling to help people become the best version of themselves. A frequent guest on "Dr. Phil", Miles is also the co-host of the "Unspoken" podcast with Ruthie Lindsey, where they speak with guests about things in life that are hard to say. In this episode, Ashley shares about her recent experience at Onsite, which she calls "the hardest and best thing I have ever done.” Miles shares his story and talks about giving ourselves permission to take care of ourselves. Hunter also gets some insight on how people who’ve experienced trauma can cope with news stories that trigger past pain.
Jake Owen joins us to talk about love and life as he and his girlfriend, Erica, prepare to welcome a new baby in just a few weeks! Jake also dishes out some love advice for Ashley and tells us why he’s leaning into the country sound quite a bit on his latest hit, “Down to the Honky Tonk” and his upcoming album, “Greetings From…Jake.” Also, Jake reveals new details on what it’s like to film his role in the upcoming movie, “The Best Friend,” starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson and Jason Segel. A great time catching up with a long-time friend!
Lauren Alaina is finally here!!! We talk all about Lauren's current spot on Blake Shelton's tour as well as her response to the lack of women on country radio with her new single, "Ladies in the ‘90s." Also, Lauren and Ashley spent a week together at Onsite in January doing some intense therapy work. Lauren opens up about that experience and moving forward following the loss of her stepfather and the end of her recent engagement. We also laugh about the challenges of flirting with intention now that Lauren’s re-entering the dating world.
Kassi Ashton had us laughing hard with her tales of working as a karaoke DJ in Nashville before signing her record deal. Now, she’s shaking things up in country music by marching to the beat of her own drum in her new video for “Violins.” She tells us about co-writing the song and coming up with the singular look and concept for the clip, which features some jaw-dropping choreography. On top of her recent collaboration with Keith Urban, Kassi has also started sharing the secrets behind her unique fashion sense, which has landed her a new partnership with Forever 21 for International Women's Day. Don’t miss the hilarious beauty pageant talk at the end!
Kane Brown’s career is on fire with recent collaborations with Khalid, Camila Cabello and Brooks & Dunn on top of his own bestselling album, “Experiment.” We caught up with Kane just before his bowling party in Nashville to celebrate his latest No. 1 hit. The wide-ranging conversation reveals a different side of the rising superstar as he opens up about headlining a sold-out arena tour, marriage with longtime love, Katelyn Jae, and the surprising perks of good karma.
St. Jude Part Two
It is deeply humbling to be able to carry on this mission that I believe is God-given and God-inspired.”— Rick Shadyac, Jr.
On our trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we sat down with Rick Shadyac, Jr, the CEO of ALSAC -- the organization that raises funds and awareness for St. Jude. Rick has had a front row seat to the entire history of St. Jude as his late father was a close friend of founder Danny Thomas. Rick tells us about St. Jude’s early role in the fight for racial equality, shares stories of patients who have impacted his life, and explains St. Jude's mission in fighting childhood cancer globally.
You can learn more about St. Jude patient-turned-rapper Nick from this episode at the brand-new St. Jude Inspire site — Click here.
St. Jude Part One
We kick off season two with our trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis! We met some unforgettable patients and their families and connected with Alabama’s Randy Owen, who has been instrumental in helping raise $800 million for St. Jude. We also check in with country artists Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Caylee Hammack and Brandon Ratcliff on their experiences at St. Jude and share with you a part of our conversation with Rick Shadyac, Jr. the CEO of ALSAC -- the organization that raises funds and awareness for St. Jude.
Singer/songwriter Crowder had us in stitches as we got to know him during this chat. A maker of “holy ghost church music,” Crowder just released his sprawling album, “I Know a Ghost,” but we didn’t get to talking about the new music until the second half of our conversation. At first, we just laughed as Crowder told us side-splitting stories about getting the hang of the whirlpool at the spa, measuring guys for pants as part of a summer job and keeping his randomly hilarious Instagram account going. Things get a little deeper in the second half as we dive in to music and faith.
Runaway June is here for a freewheeling chat about everything from touring with Carrie Underwood to visiting mediums and celebrating Christmas with their new take on “Sleigh Ride!” Hannah, Jennifer and Naomi also tell us about representing a three-dimensional female perspective on their self-titled EP, featuring the hit single “Buy My Own Drinks!” Nothing is off-limits in this hilarious and heartfelt conversation!
Get ready to laugh with RaeLynn! The country star is here to tell us all about the fun moments with her hubby, Josh, that led to her brand-new song, “Tailgate.” There are plenty of hilarious stories about Rae’s last-minute Christmas decorating, memories of bad haircuts, true stories from the tanning bed and singing with her family at church back home in Baytown, Texas. She also gives us some insight into her life as a soldier’s wife as Josh continues his career in the Army.
Hit Nashville songwriter Heather Morgan is stepping into the spotlight with her debut album, “Borrowed Heart.” After penning songs for Brett Eldredge, Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Maren Morris and more, Heather has just released this collection of songs born out of a trip she took to Joshua Tree to face down a heartache. She tells us about pouring that pain into these songs and finding a partner to help flesh out her creative vision in producer and songwriter Paul Moak. She also demonstrates some of her favorite Lee Ann Womack vocal licks live on the podcast. You’ll fall in love with Heather and her music!
Katie Cook/Adam Shoenfeld of SunKat
CMT’s Katie Cook and in-demand Nashville guitarist/songwriter Adam Shoenfeld make up the husband-wife duo SunKat. Shortly after losing her sister Joanne earlier this year, Katie was inspired to write a new song, “Hey JoJo,” after her sister came to her in a dream to let her know she was alright. Katie and Adam then wrote the song and recorded it with Katie’s parents and brother on hand to add their talents. Joanne had a developmental disability, which gave her a unique view of the world captured in the hopeful feel of “Hey JoJo.” All proceeds benefit The Arc, a charity organization helping people with IDD, intellectual and developmental disabilities. Don’t miss this joyful, heartfelt conversation!
Elaina Smith is the host of the new podcast “Women Want to Hear Women” addressing the lack of women on country radio playlists. So far, she’s welcomed Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and more to talk about the issue. A longtime host of the syndicated country radio show “Nash Nights Live,” Elaina’s voice rings loud in this conversation since she is both working in country radio and asking the tough questions about equality on playlists. Ashley and Elaina also address the power of talking about their experiences in the work place. A fascinating conversation.
Country singer/songwriter Levi Hummon is here telling us about his just-released EP, “Patient.” He even performs the EP’s final song, “Songs We Sang,” with us at the end of the episode! Levi is the son of hit songwriter Marcus Hummon, and he has been working to forge his own path over the past few years touring with everyone from Sam Hunt and Kelsea Ballerini to Kip Moore and his duet partner on “Love Heals,” Alison Krauss. That last song was inspired by the work his mother, Becca Stevens, does with her organization Thistle Farms to help women get off the streets and get on their feet making amazing bath and home products. Levi tells us how his parents’ legacy is living on in his own life and music.
See the bonus video snippet of “Songs We Sang” here.
Platinum-selling country star Josh Turner tells us about his long-awaited gospel album, “I Serve a Savior.” The project features brand-new songs, including the title track, as well as Josh’s unique take on spiritual classics “I Saw the Light” and “How Great Thou Art.” His four sons appear on the album’s song, “River of Happiness,” too. We also dig into Josh’s very active home life, which he describes as “a reality show that’s not on TV.”
Other highlights include Alan Jackson’s influence on Josh’s new gospel project AND when fans can expect a Christmas album from Josh!
Maddie & Tae
Maddie & Tae are telling us EVERYTHING about their brand-new hit, “Friends Don’t,” which has led them to start dishing out some “Dear Abby”-style love advice to their fans. Their harmony-drenched new song, “Die From a Broken Heart,” also features some insight into their strong friendship as they’ve faced professional challenges together. Maddie gives us some scoop on her upcoming wedding plans, and we talk all things Carrie Underwood leading up to next year’s tour!
This week, Ashley and Hunter each share a little bit of their heart while discussing projects they’ve been working on separately over the last few weeks. Ashley opens up about her recent, life-changing trip to India where she was able to experience and be a part of telling the story of an organization in India called SEED that is working tirelessly to break the cycle of poverty for children born in the slums of Kolkata. Hunter shares songs from Southern singer/songwriter Kate Campbell’s new album, DAMN SURE BLUE, which addresses the racial unrest of the past few years with a heavy dose of encouragement to keep on fighting the good fight.
Watch Ashley’s Dollar Club Reveal video here.
Watch the videos Hunter produced for Kate Campbell here.
Annie F. Downs
Best-selling author, speaker and podcaster Annie F. Downs is here to talk about her new book, Remember God. She explains how this deeply-personal book changed her as she explored the question of asking if God is still kind even when our circumstances are really hard. With Annie being one of Ashley’s closest friends and former roommates, this conversation digs deep into several stories from the book, too. Hunter and Annie also compare notes on creating long-form projects. Don’t miss the mad love for Reba, Dolly and Amy Grant at the end of the show, too!
Walker Hayes tells us about the care he and co-writer Shane McAnally put into Walker’s new single, “’90's Country,” to make sure it honored their heroes of the era, including Garth Brooks, Sammy Kershaw and Trisha Yearwood. He also opens up about life at home with his wife Laney and their six kids. They lost a seventh child during birth just a few months ago, and Walker tells us they’ve now gotten a new puppy, Hazel Rose, to help them in the grieving and healing process. An amazing conversation with a very creative and busy man!
David Nail is here to tell us about his new project, Only This and Nothing More, with his band, David Nail and The Well Ravens. The project features darker tones and more adventurous sounds than his previous country albums. You'll definitely want to listen to his honest lyrics about dealing with depression on the release’s final song, “In My Head.”
David also opens up about finding courage to follow this new creative path and shares an amazing story about Jason Bateman having a meltdown over the hot dogs at Dodger Stadium!
Plus, plenty of sweet moments with Ashley and David talking about his two adorable kids and wife, Catherine.
Singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb is here to tell us about her upcoming EP, “Sing: Creation Songs,” AND her first-ever children’s book, “Who Sang the First Song!” Of note, Ellie and her husband, Drew Holcomb, welcomed their third child, a boy named Samuel Rivers Holcomb, just a few days after we taped this conversation. We covered everything, including how Ellie and Drew balance their lives as musicians with raising a house full of kids and what led her to embark on these new projects. Also, Ellie shares the most amazing story about her hero and tour mate Amy Grant at the end of the podcast. Do NOT miss it. Guaranteed to leave you smiling!
Kip Moore is here giving us the update on his new acoustic album AND his upcoming studio album. He just celebrated the one-year anniversary of his last project, “Slowheart,” which features his latest hit, “Last Shot.” Now, Kip is telling us about his next steps as an artist, how he keeps on listening to his inner voice when making big decisions, and how he and his longtime pal Jeremy have fulfilled a long-time dream opening the Bedrock Lodge for mountain climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.
Ryan Kinder lets us in on the deeper meaning behind his songs “Still Believe In Crazy Love”, “Alabama” and his current single, “Stay”. He shares some fascinating stories about touring with rock hero John Fogerty, including the killer career advice Bob Dylan once gave John. He also recalls sharing the stage with Eric Clapton in London and having some precious face time with his idol, Gary Clark, Jr. Ryan then decides to interview Ashley and Hunter and gets them to share career highlights, including moments with Tom Hanks, Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton. Do NOT miss this!
Carly Pearce is here, and she is a force! We’re talking all about her spot on Luke Bryan’s big stadium tour and her ongoing devotion to the Grand Ole Opry. Carly also tells us about taking her boyfriend, Michael Ray, over to Opry legend Jeannie Seely’s house to drink wine and hear stories about country’s colorful history. She also opens up about her first kiss with Michael and how this relationship makes all the ups and downs of past relationships worth it. Ashley digs in to get some good dating advice from Carly while Hunter relates their respective dating histories back to songs on Carly’s debut album, “Every Little Thing.”
If you listen closely, you just might hear Hunter’s dog, Billy Wynette Jones, snoring in the background.
Lindsay Ell is here to tell us all about the new meaning of the Aretha Franklin reference in her new single, “Champagne,” since the “Queen of Soul” passed a few weeks back. She also gives us the scoop on Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake’s reaction to the casual Jessica Biel reference in the new single, too. Plus, we’re getting the scoop on Lindsay’s new tattoo she got on tour with Sugarland as well as her collaboration and upcoming tour dates with fellow guitar hero Keith Urban! Oh, and we dig in to the secret text chain she keeps going with her fellow female country stars. Do NOT miss this!
This is it! Scotty McCreery stops by to give us the rundown on his recent wedding to his longtime love, Gabi, and tell us how she keeps him from playing the “diva” as a country star. We’ll also dig in to the hilarious flirtation between Scotty’s grandma and “Celebrity Family Feud” host Steve Harvey during the McCreery family’s recent appearance on the game show. Hunter and Scotty also give some insight into their wild night out in Nashville last December celebrating a good friend’s birthday.
Celebrity Fitness Trainer Erin Oprea
Celebrity trainer and fitness expert Erin Oprea is here with the solid advice you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Her methods go beyond fad diets and workout routines. Erin’s giving us the same information she’s telling her clients, including Carrie Underwood, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini, to name a few. Erin also shares her backstory as a nine-year veteran of the Marine Corps completing two tours of duty in Iraq. This conversation is going to inspire you. We promise!
Brandon Heath, Parts One and Two
PART ONE -- Grammy nominee and good pal Brandon Heath is here! He and his wife, Siebe, just welcomed a baby girl named Palmer, and Brandon is giving us the scoop on being a good dad while on a detox from sugar and carbs! We also talk about the song Palmer inspired Brandon to write, “Faith Hope Love Repeat,” which is the title track of his latest album. Plenty of details on his 40th birthday celebration as well as Brandon’s bathroom run-in with Sting!
PART TWO -- Brandon became a first-time father last December, and now he’s moving forward in his music career as an independent artist! Brandon tells us about the musical legacy he’s leaving behind for his baby girl, Palmer, and how he’s dealing with the trap of comparing yourself to other people via social media.
Hunter Hayes explains why he’s baring his soul on his new single, “Dear God,” which he tells us he was uneasy about releasing because of the sheer honesty of the lyrics. Hunter also takes questions from a few of his biggest fans — a.k.a the Hayniacs — before revealing what he took away from his performances with Stevie Wonder and giving us the scoop on when to expect new music and videos from his upcoming project!
Cassadee Pope Parts One and Two
PART ONE -- In part one of our conversation with Cassadee Pope, she gives us the scoop on her recent hang with Shania Twain and singing with her pals Maren Morris, RaeLynn and Lindsay Ell during Maren’s show with Niall Horan. She also explains how performing with her former band Hey Monday on the Warped Tour prepared her to face anything life on the road can throw at her!
PART TWO -- We’ve got your first listen to Cassadee’s new single, “One More Red Light!” She’s playing a snippet of the track for us and opening up on the origins of these sweet new love songs. Cassadee also explains what she loves about the early stages of love and how she and her beau, Sam Palladio, have been integrating their respective dogs, Cuppy and River. Don’t miss Cassadee talking about being the boss of her own business towards the end!
Kelleigh Bannen's Nashville Life
Country singer/songwriter and fellow podcast host Kelleigh Bannen joins Ashley and Hunter to talk about her new three-song EP, “The Joneses!” She also reveals details on the revamped format for season three of her podcast, “This Nashville Life,” and opens up about making music after making some big changes in her career. There are also plenty of laughs since Kelleigh has been a friend to both Ashley and Hunter for several years now!
At the top of the show, Ashley and Hunter also talk about meeting the one and only Shania Twain!
Lucie Silvas's E.G.O.
Lucie Silvas She has a new album, E.G.O., coming out August 24, and she’s sitting down with Ashley and Hunter to talk about the inspiration for her new album, including a few musical nods to Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles as well as her own musical community in Nashville. Lucie grew up in New Zealand and England, and had a platinum-selling music career based in London before moving to the U.S. She is now making music on her own terms, and you’ll get to hear how Lucie maintains her creative identity while sometimes working with her husband John Osborne of country duo Brothers Osborne. There’s also a cameo from Lucie and John’s dog, Barley, as well as a few moments of Lucie answering all of Hunter’s very British questions.
The Dave Barnes Situation Part Two
Singer/songwriter Dave Barnes, a dear and treasured friend of the show, is back for part two of his two-part interview. After discussing Dave’s bonkers Instagram account and his 2010 cameo on the classic ABC soap “All My Children,” Dave, Ashley and Hunter raise their voices in a tribute to the ‘80s and ‘90s with their a cappella interpretations of hits from Michael Bolton, Whitney Houston and the criminally underrated Brenda Russell of “Piano in the Dark” fame. There’s also a reanalysis of Dave Matthews Band’s musical legacy in there, too. It’s getting weird, y’all!
The Dave Barnes Situation Part One
Singer/songwriter Dave Barnes, a longtime friend of Ashley and Hunter’s, stops by for a hilarious chat about the non-cheesy way he’s writing about his kids on new album, “Who Knew It Would Be So Hard to Be Myself,” the mysterious way he found out that Thomas Rhett and Maren Morris recorded his song, “Craving You,” and the huge way Blake Shelton recording his song, “God Gave Me You,” continues to impact his life. There’s also some big love for Amy Grant and Naomi Judd in this episode.
Celebrity Stylist Amanda Craig
This week, Ashley and Hunter catch up with celebrity hair and makeup artist Amanda Craig. Before launching her own salon in Nashville, Amanda spent eight years on the set of “The Voice” making sure Blake Shelton was camera-ready. She also counts Kelly Clarkson, RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope and others among her clients. Ashley and Hunter also get their hair done at Amanda’s salon, Leigh, Edwards and Co., which she co-owns with friend of the show, Derek Reynolds.
In this conversation, Amanda gives an in-depth look into her journey to becoming one of Nashville’s most in-demand stylists while also building the team at her salon which is a story that anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit will identify with. And since Amanda is Ashley's stylist, they also share a few of their most hilarious moments from the chair (aka Ashley getting her hair cut and colored). Apologies in advance!
Amanda also shares great summer hair tips for men and women.
Plus, Ashley and Hunter check in about their CMA Music Festival experience with updates on Little Big Town, Naomi Judd, Dustin Lynch, Scotty McCreery and more!
Jordan Davis's Home State
Ashley and Hunter sit down with country music hitmaker Jordan Davis, who is burning up the road after his #1 hit “Singles You Up” kickstarted his career. it’s a wide-ranging conversation covering Jordan’s current video game obsession, his approach to songwriting AND his evolving attitude towards cardio in his workouts. Ashley and Hunter look forward to CMA Music Festival in Nashville and give an update on Ashley’s big move into her new condo.
Jackie Lee’s Long Year
On our first episode of All Our Favorite People, we welcome country singer Jackie Lee. We’ve known Jackie Lee for several years through red carpet and sit-down interviews as well as hilarious exchanges on Twitter. Ashley and Jackie were actually featured side-by-side in Nashville Lifestyles magazine’s Single in the City issue a few years back, and you can hear their hilarious stories about that experience later in the episode.
Up front, we’re talking in-depth about Jackie’s recent revelation that he’s now a cancer survivor. Not long after losing his beloved mother, Ladonna, to ovarian cancer in 2016, Jackie himself was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He underwent surgery in December 2016 to remove the testicle, but the cancer returned.
Around this time, Jackie wrote his new song, “Long Year,” which is a letter to his mother, Ladonna, just wishing she was with him as he faced his own cancer battle. As he faced chemotherapy in late 2017, Jackie bought a camera and shot footage during his treatment, and that footage is included in his powerful new video for “Long Year.” His hope is that in sharing his story, it will give someone else the hope they need to get through whatever they are facing.
Jackie received a clean bill of health after his treatment ended in January 2018, but the emotional healing process is ongoing. We are honored to have Jackie as our first guest to share this incredible and emotionally raw story with us.