Welcome to The Boot's News Roundup, a morning rundown of the news country music fans need to know. Read on to learn more about the latest goings-on in the country, Americana, bluegrass and folk genres.

Blackberry Smoke have announced a new EP, The Southern Ground Sessions, due for release on Oct. 26. Named after the Southern Ground Studio, where the six-song collection was recorded, the new project includes a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which features Amanda Shires. The new project comes on the heels of Find a Light, the group's latest studio album, which was released in April.

Kenny Chesney
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Kenny Chesney is the only artist representing the country genre on Pollstar's Top 10 Tours of 2018 list. The country icon comes in at No. 8 on the list, which takes into account how much money each tour has raked in between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2018, and lists the average price concertgoers paid to attend the show. Chesney's 2018 tour schedule has brought in $62.1 million, and his average ticket cost is $87.18 -- the second-lowest cost of any act in the Top 10. Pollstar's list is led this year by Ed Sheeran, who grossed $213.9 million in 2018 and has an average ticket price of $80.90.

Chris Stapleton
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Chris Stapleton has joined the lineup for Joe Walsh's 2018 VetsAid Music Festival, an annual event to benefit veterans and their well-being. The festival will take place on Nov. 11 at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Wash., and will also feature performances from Don Henley, James Taylor, Haim and Walsh. Tickets go on sale on Friday (July 27), and military discounts will be available to all active military members and veteran personnel.

Delta Rae interview 2017
Photo by David McClister, courtesy of Big Machine Label Group

North Carolina-based Southern Gothic country group Delta Rae will be making their way to Nashville this fall, and they plan to stay a while. The band has announced a 16-week residency at the Basement, which kicks off on Sept. 5 and runs through Dec. 19. "We've always had two sides to our sound ... The core of our inspiration is the power of that contrast," the group's Brittany Holljes explains. "It's light and dark, good and evil, life and death. [This residency] will play off those forces in a way, to give our audience both butterflies and goosebumps." Tickets for Delta Rae's Basement shows are $10, with a limited number available online and the remainder to be sold on a first-come-first-serve basis at the venue.

The 50th Annual CMA Awards - Show
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

The Grand Ole Opry will celebrate its 93rd birthday with its annual Birthday Bash, featuring a performance from Opry member and pioneering country icon Charley Pride; the event is set to take place at 3PM on Oct. 13 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. Pride is scheduled for that weekend's four performances at the Opry in addition to the special birthday concert. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased at the Grand Ole Opry's website.

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