‘Nashville’ goes live in new season premiere

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Actor Charles Esten has more at stake in the new season of the ABC drama “Nashville” than resolving the cliffhanger that left his character, singer-songwriter Deacon Claybourne, in the midst of a lyricist love triangle.

During the season-three premiere, Esten, who sang in a band and stage productions long before becoming an actor, will perform a song he co-wrote with Grammy-nominated country singer Deana Carter, “I Know How to Love You Now.” It’s his first co-written tune to appear on the show, but Esten has had plenty of practice after opening with co-star Clare Bowen for country stars Jennifer Nettles and Alan Jackson on a few shows during the summer hiatus.

“I’ve played some big rooms, but none as big as the whole United States,” said Esten in an interview while shooting on location in Nashville.

“Nashville” has made a successful side business out of the music from the show, with four collections of soundtracks that have sold a combined 627,000 copies, according to Nielsen Soundscan.