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.

On Thursday (Feb. 8), Garth Brooks was announced as the first inductee into Pollstar's Live Music Hall of Fame. The artist, who calls the recognition "a total shock and quite an honor," learned the news during a Pollstar Live! keynote Q&A. According to OVG CEO and co-founder Tim Leiweke, the Live Music Hall of Fame will be a place to honor those artists who have left their mark on the live music business. -- AS

High Valley Dear Life
Rick Diamond, Getty Images for Kicker Country

Country duo High Valley will soon release an acoustic album that features songs from their debut record, Dear Life. “We were out on our first headline tour in the U.S. this fall and witnessed so many amazing fans singing our songs back to us,” says High Valley member Brad Rempel. “We wanted to be able to share that feeling with everyone, so we put together a few of our favorites.” The album includes seven tracks, with the band's rising single "She's With Me" and their U.S. debut song "Make You Mine" among them. Titled High Valley: Farmhouse Sessions, the album is set for release on March 23. -- AM

Brandon Lay baby 2018
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Rising artist Brandon Lay and his wife Nicole Jordan are expecting their first child together! Lay shared the news on Tuesday (Feb. 6), during a 2018 Country Radio Seminar event, though he did not specify the baby’s sex or when Nicole is due. Lay and Jordan, who was crowned Miss Tennessee in 2010, met at the Miss Lexington pageant: Lay was performing at the event and met his future wife backstage. They got married in 2012; Lay tells Taste of Country that Jordan is the one who keeps him grounded. -- AS

Bellamy Brothers 40 Years album
Scott Gries, Getty Images

Iconic duo the Bellamy Brothers are set to release an autobiography. Titled Let Your Love Flow: Life and Times of the Bellamy Brothers and due out on April 17, the book will be written by David Milton Bellamy and Homer Howard Bellamy, who rose to fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Let Your Love Flow" and "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body." The duo is also gearing up for the debut of Honky Tonk Ranch, a show about their hectic lives touring the country and managing a ranch in Florida. The show is scheduled to premiere on the Cowboy Channel on April 8. -- AM

Jamey Johnson High Cost of Living
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Country outlaw Jamey Johnson has announced plans for a new headlining tour. Johnson is set to begin his 2018 touring schedule in Hollywood, Fla., on Feb. 11, and will stop in Texas, Georgia and elsewhere before concluding his trek in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 29. Johnson will make appearances at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, N.C.; Farm Bash 2018 in Gaston, S.C.; and the Dam Music Festival in El Dorado, Kan., among others. Fans can score tickets to see Johnson live via JameyJohnson.com. -- AM

Brothers Osborne CMA Vocal Duo of the Year
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Brett Eldredge, Brett Young and Brothers Osborne are set to headline the 2018 Windy City Smokeout. This year's festival will also feature performances from Ashley McBryde, Aaron Lewis, Walker Hayes, the Turnpike Troubadours and Drake White. Alongside the music, a superstar lineup of barbecue pitmasters from across the country will be smoking meats during the festival. Tickets for the Windy City Smokeout, scheduled for July 13-15, are on sale now at WindyCitySmokeout.com. -- AM

Everette record deal
Courtesy of BBR Music Group

During the 2018 Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, both BBR Music Group and Sony Music Nashville announced the signings of new artists. Bluesy duo Everette signed to Broken Bow Records, home to Jason Aldean, Chase Rice and Dustin Lynch, among others, while singer-songwriter Rachel Wammack signed a deal with Sony Music Nashville's RCA Nashville imprint. Wammack is expected to make her debut on RCA Nashville with a forthcoming EP, set for release on April 6, while Everette's first release is TBA. -- AM

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