Friday, October 30, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

There's a star-studded fund-raiser going on tonight at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Zac Brown put it together to raise money for The Georgia Theatre in Athens, which burned down earlier this year. Tonight's performers include the Zac Brown Band, Kid Rock, Kellie Pickler, Little Big Town, Joey & Rory, Shawn Mullins, Oliver Wood, Angie Aparo and Aslyn. There'll be an auction of autographed guitars, signed by Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, Marshall Tucker, Styx and John Mayer, as well as a fiddle autographed by Charlie Daniels. Tickets are a hundred bucks a pop for the event, with proceeds going to the rebuilding fund. A DVD of the show will be released next spring.

Tickets for the 3rd annual Verizon Wireless BamaJam Music & Arts Festival, headlined by Kenny Chesney, go on sale today. BamaJam will be held Thursday, June 3 through Saturday, June 5, 2010 in Enterprise, Ala. The price for a 3-day ticket is $99 and $49 for a 1-day flex ticket, which may be used on any of the 3 days. Service charges and taxes are included in this great low price.

JoDee Messina is poised for a comeback to country music. She's got a new cd, "Unmistakable" due out in the spring of next year, and the first single will be "That's God." This is her first new music in five years.

Fun artist Tweet: Dierks Bentley tweeted this, about "Twang" - "just heard george straits new song...whoever wrote that wrote an instant classic. killer song...downloading album immediately." And for the record, Dierks, Jim Lauderdale, Kendell Marvel and Jimmy Ritchey co-wrote the song.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

How does Brad Paisley say goodbye to his fans at the end of a tour? By showing exactly why he won't ever be on Dancing With the Stars, as he has previously promised. Check out the video Brad and his crew did to cap the tour. Not exactly country music, and not exactly the Rockettes!

Ramping up to the CMA Awards show, country artists are all over your tv.

Tim McGraw and Taylor Swift are on the Ellen show today.

Jack Ingram is on the Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Monday night.

Also Monday night, Carrie Underwood will be on The Late Show With David Letterman. Then Tuesday morning, watch her on Good Morning America. Her new cd, "Play On," streets on Tuesday, so she's working it and the CMA Awards shows next week.

Reba hits the air on two shows Tuesday the 3rd - Live with Regis And Kelly, where she'll sing "Pink Guitar" and then Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, where she'll sing "I Want A Cowboy."

Brad Paisley will be on The Late Show With David Letterman this coming Tuesday night, and on Good Morning America the following Tuesday morning. He'll be joined by Carrie Underwood for the GMA appearance, and they'll be doing a live, free outdoor concert in Nashville.

And don't forget - Saturday, November 7th, Taylor Swift is hosting and performing on Saturday Night Live.

Then on Sunday evening, watch Kellie Pickler on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as she helps re-build an Ohio home. She'll sing during the reveal part of the show.

Robin Roberts is the host for a show which should win the award for Longest Title Ever for a Television Special: "In the Spotlight With Robin Roberts: Bright Lights, Big Stars, All Access Nashville." It features interviews with Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Roseanne Cash and Loretta Lynn. That show will air before the CMA Awards on November 11th. And in case you didn't know this, Robin Roberts is a big country music fan. Before her tv career, she was on the air at a country radio station.

And on CMT tomorrow night, you can watch Brooks and Dunn squirm just a little bit. Kix and Ronnie recorded their "CMT Invitation Only: Brooks & Dunn" right after they announced that they were going separate ways, so you know questions about that decision are bound to be part of the show.

Larry the Cable Guy's Hula-Palooza Christmas Luau tv special will include musical performances from Billy Currington and the Zac Brown Band. The 90-minute variety show airs November 20th on CMT.

Taylor Swift still isn't saying it's a relationship, but she is gushing over teen heartthrob Taylor Lautner. They've recently been seen together around LA, and the musical Taylor says, "We're really close...and ah...yep." The two met on a movie set, filming "Valentine's Day" which stars Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner and Bradley Cooper. It'll be released February 10, 2010.

Wanna see the video for Taylor Swift's "15?" Here is is.

Would you rather try your hand at making a video? Mark Wills' song, "Crazy White Boy," is not only a fun song, it's spawned a fun contest. Check out Mark telling you how your video for his song could be your ticket to fame!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Seeing stars in crazy places, part one: Keith Urban will be doing an acoustic performance at the Verizon Wireless store in Franklin, TN at 2 pm central time this Friday. He'll do a meet and greet, play a few songs, and then answer questions from fans. Admission is free, so expect it to be one big crowded frenzy.

Seeing stars in crazy places, part 2: Alan Jackson's doing an in-store appearance at the Cracker Barrel store in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee next Monday morning. He'll be there from 9 to 11, central, and you can start lining up at 6 for your numbered place in line. Alan is doing this to debut his 40-item collection of lifestyle items - clothes, kitchen goodies and music - available only at Cracker Barrell. He'll be meeting fans, signing autographs and probably hugging a lot of necks.

Details are out on how scalped tickets will be caught and canceled for the Garth Brooks shows: when the tickets are sold, the purchaser has to provide their name and address, which will be checked against a list when the person tries to see the Garth show. If the information doesn't match, the person with the ticket doesn't get in. They'll get back the face value of the ticket, but a quick check of the internet shows scalpers are asking a LOT more than $143 for tickets to the show. Some are in the thousands. Spread the word...people who buy scalped tickets to the Garth shows in Vegas will lose, big time.

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum is usually surrounded by guys...her two band-mates, plus the rest of the musicians, stage-hands and drivers that travel with them. So she was in heaven sharing the Kenny Chesney tour with Miranda Lambert. The two have become great friends, even having sleep-overs in Miranda's tour bus, movie nights and toasting with their favorite cocktail: Bacardi and Sprite Zero.

Luke Bryan has decided to barn-storm for a month and a half...his Doin' My Thing tour will stop in 18 cities over 42 days, mostly in the eastern United States.

Gloriana is up for the Breakthrough Artist Award at the American Music Awards. The show is on November 22, but you can vote for your favorite in the category now. Carrie Underwood will be one of the performers on the show.

Now the presenters are being revealed for the 43rd Annual CMA Awards. Country artists Julianne Hough, Randy Houser, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler and LeAnn Rimes are on the list, and celebrities Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Neil Flynn, Patricia Heaton and Good Morning America's Robin Roberts are, too. Love and Theft are the host for the CMA Broadcast Awards, which are handed out before the award show telecast begins.

Keith Urban's next single will be "Til Summer Comes Around" and you can see him perform it at the Indiana State Fair. Amatuer video, but a great shot of the ferris wheel!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Looks like the folks at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas are serious about shutting down scalpers of Garth Brooks tickets. They've announced that anyone trying to gain admittance to a show with a ticket bought through a scalper will be denied entry and will only get back $143, no matter how much they paid for the tickets. Right now, those tickets are going for upwards of a grand online.

Congrats to the Zac Brown Band on their second #1 song. "Toes" hits the top spot on the Billboard Country Singles chart this week. "Chicken Fried" was their first #1. Tim McGraw's "Southern Voice" is the number one country album and should be in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. Don't have these yet? Click the "Buy the Music" tab on this site for the best price and secure shopping.

Carrie Underwood is going to be everywhere for the next couple of weeks, promoting her new cd, "Play On," dropping next Tuesday. Monday night, she'll perform on The Late Show With David Letterman, then Tuesday morning she'll do a concert at Lincoln Center for Good Morning America. She's also co-hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley a week from tomorrow.

George Strait loves to work his cattle, do some team roping events, hunt white tail on his ranch and loves to fish. But not Texas creek fishing…nope, George says there’s nothing like hooking a big marlin and working him onto the boat. He’s fished in places as far from south Texas as the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and closer to home, the Texas gulf. He’s also going on this third safari in Tanzania in the next few weeks.

Trace Adkins is becoming a comic book action hero. The Luke McBain series will debut on November 11, and there will be 4 issues to the set, to be released once monthly. Get the comics at comic book stores, on Trace Adkins' website, at Trace's concerts and on the publisher's website.

Big Kenny has filmed videos for every song on his new cd, "The Quiet Times of a Rock and Roll Farm Boy." The video for the first single, "Long After I'm Gone," was shot in Culpepper, VA on the farm where he grew up.

Speaking of growing up, looks like Taylor Swift is seeing someone special. She and Taylor Lautner were photographed together in LA at a hockey game. No one's confirming reports of them dating.

Remember to catch Taylor Swift performing on the Dancing With The Stars results show tonight, singing the songs "Jump Then Fall" and "Love Story." Then watch Tim McGraw and Gregg Allman perform on the Jay Leno Show.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

The first 15 dates that went on sale this past Friday for Taylor Swift's "Fearless 2010 Tour" sold out in two minutes, thanks to extra-beefy phone lines and servers put into place before the onslaught of calls and logins happened.

And how bout Garth Brooks' ticket sales Saturday morning? Tickets for the first 20 Las Vegas shows went on sale, and maximum capacity was reached and breached on the phones and online. The shows took 5 hours to sell out, but that's just because of technology limitations. When a hundred and fourty two thousand people try to call your number at once, how long do you think it would take you to get all those calls answered, once they finally got through?

Craig Morgan and Chris Young left yesterday for a Stars for Stripes tour, entertaining American troops in Europe and the Middle East. GAC's Nan Kelley is with them, filming a special for the network. It will air in December.

Sara Evans has a holiday tour this year. Her three-week Celebrate The Season tour hits the road November 27. On November 3, Sara will digitally release a four-song holiday set, "I'll Be Home For Christmas" featuring "New Again," which she co-wrote and recorded with Brad Paisley. Dates and details here.

This Saturday night, if 6 people all dressed up as different characters from Batman ring your bell for trick or treat, look could be Jason Michael Carroll, wife Wendy and his four kids. Jason and his family go all-out for Halloween, decorating the yard in lights and scary scenes and doing theme costumes the whole family can participate in.

Happy birthday, Keith Urban.

New music being released tomorrow includes Taylor Swift with a re-release of "Fearless" in a deluxe edition, which includes six new songs and a DVD with concert footage & pictures. Joe Nichols new cd, "Old Things New" is out tomorrow, as is a huge box set from Dolly Parton. "Dolly" is a set of 4 cds, spanning 5 decades of hits and includes seven previously unreleased songs. There are 99 cuts total in the set. Insert your own "Dolly does everything big" joke here!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gotta see Garth in Vegas before anyone else does? Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 11am Eastern time. $125 per ticket, plus $13 tax and a $5 service charge means they're $143 each. The first show will be on December 11 at 8pm. with three more shows to follow that weekend. Call 702-770-7469 or visit the Wynn Theatre box office to buy tickets.

A major tour kicks off in February of next year - Tim McGraw is finalizing tour plans now. Lady Antebellum, the Lost Trailers and Love and Theft will be the opening acts, with Lady A on the entire tour, the Lost Trailers doing early dates and Love and Theft doing the late spring and summer dates..

Bucky Covington was born in a town with a NASCAR track, so it's no surprise that his two great passions are music and cars. Tomorrow, he's the headliner for the post-race concert at the Memphis Motorsports Park. The show will include new stuff from his sophomore album, "I'm Alright" which is due out next spring.

Alan Jackson and Cracker Barrel have partnered up to offer the Alan Jackson Collection. The 40-item collection includes coffee mugs, rocking chairs and a 12-track cd of previously unreleased AJ songs.

Tomorrow night, Brad Paisley wraps up this year's leg of the American Saturday Night tour in Connecticut. The tour resumes in January of next year, with Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore also on the bill. It'll be a bit of stress for Justin, who's wife Kate is expecting their first child in February.

Country Crossing just south of Dothon, AL, has it's first concert scheduled: Kellie Pickler will perform on December 12th, and the show is a benefit for the Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank. Wanna go to the show? Starting November 2nd, donate at least 10 cans of food to the food bank and get 2 tickets to the show.

Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser are touring together, but they're doing something special at each tour stop: they're encouraging concert goers to send thank-you postcards to the troops overseas. Marine Corps veteran Jamey Johnson says that the project will bring a little bit of home to them, which is important for morale.

Carrie Underwood's hockey-playing boyfriend, Mike Fisher, is featured in an article on He's pretty open about the fact that he must not be a great singer, saying that every time he tries to sing for her, she laughs. He also thinks the best song on her upcoming cd, "Play On," is "Temporary Home."

It's almost official...the All for the Hall benefit concert that Keith Urban arranged has raised half a million dollars so far. There's still the corporate donations to consider, and Taylor Swift's autographed guitar from that night to auction off before the final tally will be known. Proceeds will be used by the Country Music Hall of Fame for their collections, school and family programs.

Happy birthday to Jimmy Wayne today.

Remember to set your DVRs for the Oprah show on Monday - it's the day Martina McBride and Oprah hit the Texas State Fair. Watch Big Kenny of Big and Rich Monday morning on the Today show, and catch Taylor Swift on the Dancing With the Stars results show Tuesday, performing at least two songs.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Kenny Chesney said he wouldn't tour in 2010, but he didn't say he'd stay off the stage completely. He'll be part of Bama-Jam on June 3-5, along with Jake Owen, and he'll also play the Bayou Country Superfest in Baton Rouge on Memorial Day weekend, along with Brooks and Dunn, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift.

The first round of nominees for the 2010 Peoples Choice Awards have been announced, and Taylor Swift leads the country pack with three nominations. Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum have two nominations each. Zac Brown Band is nominated as Breakout Artist, and Tim McGraw is nominated as Best Male Artist. In the Country Artist nominations, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Reba, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean are all nominated. Now, you can help winnow each category down to only 5 nominees for the January 6th awards show.

Trisha Yearwood and hubby Garth Brooks are headed to southeast Asia next month for a week-long Habitat for Humanity build. 3,000 volunteers, including former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, will be part of a project to either build or re-build 166 homes in China, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand and Laos.

More details on another country couple...John and Joan Rich will be having a baby boy, due January 7th and his name reportedly will be Cash.

Miranda Lambert's Mom has opened a concert venue and store in their hometown of Lindale, Texas. The store carries Miranda merchandise, as well as the growing collection of wines named for Miranda's songs. The newest addition is "White Liar," named for her current single. Miranda quips that as the expert in quality control, the hardest part is having to taste all the wines before they're put out: "It's a tough gig, man! After the first three samples, I'm like, 'They're all great! This is awesome!'"

Carrie Underwood
thinks that Miranda Lambert is the most under-rated singer in country music. She also loves scary movies, so this time of year, when all of the Halloween, Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre-type movies are everywhere, she's in heaven.

You'll soon be able to buy the music you Google more easily. Google has partnered with several major music labels to provide a new streaming service. Now, Google a song and play it right from the search results page. If you want to buy it, you'll be taken directly to or iTunes to make your purchase.

Precious Metal Certifications in August and September:
Darius Rucker/Learn To Live - Platinum
Zac Brown Band/Foundation - Platinum
Lady Antebellum/Lady Antebellum - Platinum
Taylor Swift/debut album and Fearless - Quadruple Platinum
Rascal Flatts/Unstoppable - Platinum
Jason Aldean's/Amarillo Sky - Gold

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today's Country Tidbits...

At a show in California on Sunday, Joe Don Rooney was pulled off the stage by a fan. He was high-fiving fans at the front of the stage and suddenly just disappeared. An overzealous female fan grabbed his hand and pulled. He fell off the stage and onto the floor, but wasn't hurt and finished the show ok.

It's 11...Keith Urban has his 11th #1 song with "Only You Can Love Me This Way." It's his second #1 from the cd "Defying Gravity." "Sweet Thing" also hit the top spot.

The Houston Rodeo's 20-day extravaganza of music isn't until March, but already some of the performers have been announced: Jonas Brothers, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Brooks & Dunn. They'll play the rodeo as one stop on their Last Rodeo farewell tour. Brooks & Dunn have played the Houston Rodeo every year for the last 18 years.

Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins talk about the experience of shooting the video for "Hillbilly Bone"

Blake says, “I had the best day shooting this video with Trace. He has been a great friend for many years and for him to take time out and come down and play a hillbilly with me was so cool. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time."

Trace replies, “He [Blake] is hands-down, one of the funniest guys I know, so doing this song and video with him was really a no-brainer."

The song isn't available for sale yet, but some radio stations are playing it. It's good, as you might imagine!

Congrats to John Rich (of Big & fame) and his wife Joan. They were married last December and are expecting their first child.

Are you a fan of Dolly Parton's music? Next Tuesday, her 4-disc box set, "Dolly," will be released, but all this week you can sample the music.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Taylor Swift is now in the guitar-selling business. She's partnered with Taylor Guitars to develop the Taylor Swift Baby Taylor guitar. Sized for beginners, this guitar is also nice to travel with, and is decorated to Taylor's specifications. It won't ship until November 5th, but you can pre-order it for $299 at

Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews will sing “I’m Alive” on the CMA Awards show. Dave will be making his CMA debut.

Love JoDee Messina? Then you'd better follow her on Twitter, because sometimes she gives out a cell phone number and invites fans to call and chat, and sometimes she gives away tickets to her concerts via Twitter. Follow her @jodeemessina

Catch Miranda Lambert on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Thursday night, Tim McGraw on the Today show this Friday morning, and Martina McBride on the Oprah show on Monday. That show features Oprah in Texas duds,with Martina performing at the Texas State Fair.

A remix of “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” featuring Colt Ford is a bonus track on Joe Nichols’ album Old Things New, which will be released next Tuesday. If you go country dancing, expect to hear it at your favorite dance club.

CD's out today include Tim McGraw's "Southern Voice," Bomshel's "Fight Like a Girl," Lyle Lovett's "Natural Forces" and Joe Diffie's "The Ultimate Collection." You can get them on this page...just click the "Buy the Music" tab.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Last night in Nashville, the songwriting community came together to honor their own. As previously reported, Toby Keith was named the Singer/Songwriter of the Decade. Taylor Swift was at the gala to pick up her award - Singer/Songwriter of the Year.

ABC-TV has a new show, "In the Spotlight" and Martina McBride taped an episode last Friday. Her spotlight will shine on November 10, just after Dancing With The Stars. Scuttlebutt is that Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw are also scheduled to be part of future episodes.

Garth Brooks got another award over the weekend…he was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame. It was homecoming weekend so he got to be one of the Grand Marshalls for all of the festivities.

Brad Paisley handed over a truck at his show in Jacksonville, Florida last week. Tim and Amber Brown bought the one millionth ticket to a Brad Paisley concert, and Brad gave them VIP treatment for the show: front-row tickets, backstage passes, and the keys to a 2009 Chevy Silverado pickup. No word on whether it was sporting a paisley paint job, but Navy man Tim told Brad, "You just don't know how much of a blessing this truck is to us."

Tracy Lawrence is hosting his 4th Annual Mission Possible Turkey Fry on Tuesday, Nov. 24. As with years past, he'll have a few special guests on hand to help fry turkeys and maybe do a little guitar pull. A fund-and-awareness-raiser for the Nashville Mission, Tracy and his friends are responsible for cooking more than 4,000 turkeys and have raised over $100,000 for the mission.

Eric Church just has GOT to quit stomping on stage. He re-injured his broken foot last week, forcing him to perform in a chair on Thursday night and to re-schedule his Friday night show to another date. He first broke a bone in his foot in August during a show. No word on how long recovery might take this time.

Congrats to Sugarland - their third album, Love On the Inside, has gone double-platinum, just like their first two did.

Tomorrow, Joe Diffie will release The Ultimate Collection, his 20 biggest hits and then some. Other CD's out tomorrow - Tim McGraw's Southern Voice, Bomshel's Fight Like a Girl and Lyle Lovett's Natural Forces. You can get them on this page...just click the "Buy the Music" tab.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, the rumors were partly right - Garth is playing the Wynn Hotel in Vegas. The surprise was that the deal is for five years, starting on December 11. He'll play 15 weekends a year, 4 shows per weekend - 1 Friday, two Saturday and one Sunday. He'll perform solo, with only his guitar, though Trisha Yearwood is expected to join him on stage from time to time. The tickets for the December 11 weekend go on sale October 24, and all tickets are $125.

Taylor Swift is hosting and performing on Saturday Night Live on November 7th, and from the sound of things, Kanye better have a good sense of humor, because he'll be the butt of at least one skit.

Sunday night, Trace Adkins is the celebrity guest on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, shot in Texas. He and the show's crew made accessibility upgrades to the home of a Dallas police lieutenant who was shot in the neck while leading a SWAT operation. They also fixed up a barn on the property for the use of Therapeutic Riding of Texas, a nonprofit organization that helps those with mobility and cognition issues.

New performers for the CMA Awards show have been announced: Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, the Zac Brown Band and Vince Gill duetting with Daughtry. The show airs November 11th.

Speaking of performances, Dierks Bentley and Nancy Griffith make beautiful music together on the song, "Beautiful World." The video is on CMT.

A new CW-TV show, tentatively called "Nashville" will be shot in and around N'town, and apparently is getting support from some major country artists. Brad Paisley will appear as himself in an episode or two, and reveals that other stars will, as well. The show revolves around a young singer destined for stardom and her songwriter-friend who's career path isn't quite on track.

Country artists are lending support to finding a cure for breast cancer. Autographed guitars from Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Montgomery Gentry and Mindy Smith are currently available, and Keith Urban and Little Big Town-signed guitars are coming later this month. The on-line auction runs through the rest of this month and benefits Women Rock for the Cure and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Visit the auction here.

Stars on tv tonight include Toby Keith visiting the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Eric Church on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Tim McGraw on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Want to see bits of the All For the Hall concert? Here are a few YouTube videos you might enjoy. Keith Urban sings Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors." Brad Paisley and Keith have dueling guitars on "Start A Band." And Lady Antebellum perform their new song, "Need You Now."

The big Garth Brooks concert announcement is this afternoon between 4 and 5 eastern time. Catch it as it happens on his website.

Congrats to Toby Keith...his "American Ride" cd is the top seller on the country charts and sits at #3 on the Billboard 200. You can see Toby on tv today if you watch the Bonnie Hunt show.

And more congrats are in order - Little Big Town is growing by leaps and bounds. First, Kimberly and hubby Stephen had Daisy Pearl, then Phillip and his wife Rebecca brought Penelopi Jane into the world, and now Jimi and Karen are expecting, with the new baby due in March of 2010. Something tells me a bigger tour bus is in order.

Joe Nichols latest song, “An Old Friend of Mine,” is about his struggle with alcohol, and he’s not just talking the talk, he’s walking it. He’s partnered with TheHopeLine in creating to offer online support for people struggling with addiction. The site offers resources, and provides a weekly moderated chat room every Thursday from 7-9pm eastern, starting tonight.

The Zac Brown Band have added Little Big Town, Joey + Rory and others to their Georgia Theatre benefit show at Atlanta's Fox Theatre Oct. 30. The Georgia Theatre was destroyed by fire this past summer, and was a launching pad, not just for the Zac Brown Band, but for many country and pop greats. All of the money raised by this benefit will go to rebuild the Athens, GA landmark.

Chris Young and Craig Morgan head out on October 25th for a Stars for Stripes tour, entertaining troops stationed in Iraq and Germany.

Roseanne Cash, daughter of the late Johnny, just had her highest-charting album ever with "The List." The songs on the cd are songs her Dad gave her as a list of 100 essential songs to understand if she wanted to truly understand country music. The project includes a duet with Bruce Springsteen, "Sea of Heartbreak." Hear the project here and you can buy it by clicking the "Buy The Music" tab on this site..

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shopping Alert!! Head for the Buy the Music tab on this page and download Love and Theft's debut cd, "World Wide Open" for only $1.99. Hurry...the deal is TODAY ONLY!

Today's country tidbits...

How successful was the All For the Hall concert last night? Too early for complete numbers, but it looks like a good conservative estimate might be about half a million dollars. Country Music Hall of Fame director Kyle Young said it's "easily the biggest fundraising event in the Hall's history." and Keith Urban says so many artists wanted to be part of it that "we easily could have filled two nights. October 5th next year, we're going to do it all again." The show was described by Keith as "one of the greatest open-mic nights we've ever seen in Nashville."

Taylor Swift is no stranger to awards shows, so it's no surprise that she's at the head of the pack with six nominations for the 2009 American Music Awards. The awards will be handed out on November 22nd. Taylor's nominations are for Artist of the Year and Favorite Album in the Pop/Rock category. Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland and Zac Brown Band are nominated in the country category.

Slowly, the details are trickling out of Las Vegas about Garth Brooks' big announcement tomorrow. According to local media, it's going to be a 16-week run at the Wynn Hotel in their big performance theatre. Garth will make the big announcement tomorrow in Las Vegas, and it will stream live on his website.

Charlie Daniels released a Christmas cd this week, and it's star-studded. "Joy To The World: A Bluegrass Christmas" features Jewel, Kathy Mattea, The Grascals, Aaron Tippin, Dan Tyminski, Kathy Mattea and the Cox Family's Evelyn and Suzanne Cox.

Martina McBride teamed up with Oprah to surprise the Texas State Fair crowd. Oprah dressed the part, in new cowboy boots and hat, telling the crowd that she was all "Texified." Martina McBride was part of the show, singing songs from her latest cd, "Shine," as well as Oprah favorite, "This One's for the Girls." The show will air next week.

Carrie Underwood takes to tv for a holiday special December 7 on FOX-TV. Among the musical guests on the show will be Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley and David Cook.

Stars on tv today include Rascal Flatts on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Toby Keith on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Taylor Swift on the Oprah show. On GAC's Backstory today, Trace Adkins opens up about all the stories he told in his autobiography, "A Personal Stand," and then some.

And watch for Keith Urban on an upcoming episode of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. He’s told Jeff Foxworthy he wants to do the show, but he set the bar really low for himself, saying that one of the rare questions he does know the answer to is No I am not smarter than a 5th grader.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Bummed because you can't be in Nashville tonight for the All For the Hall concert, with Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift? Cozy up to your's being streamed live on Keith Urban's website, VCastLive and the Country Music Hall of Fame website, starting at 8:30 eastern, 7:30 central.

Keith Urban is the only country artist nominated for Music Act of the Year for the Australian 2009 GQ Men of the Year Awards, to be handed out on November 25th.

You're not seeing double...that IS Brad Paisley on the covers of two magazines this week. He's on the special edition of People Magazine, which features country artists and their families, as well as on the cover of Country Weekly, where he's telling the story of the death of his Aunt Rita, which inspired the song "When I Get Where I'm Going."

Expect the formal announcement Thursday, but Garth Brooks is about to host a long stint of shows at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, starting early next year. The official announcement will be streamed on Garth Brooks' website on Thursday.

As mentioned here yesterday, Blake Shelton's next single is "Hillbilly Bone," and yes, that IS Trace Adkins singing with him on it.

Love country stars? Love horses? Head to Cracker Barrel, where a new book called "Horse Country" details the life and times of country stars and their favorite horses. Included are Kix Brooks, Eddie Montgomery, Willie Nelson and way too many more to list here.

Sugarland’s Christmas cd is out today – Gold and Green includes a few original holiday tunes from Jennifer and Kristian. And A two-disc collection of Christmas classics, "NOW That’s What I Call A Country Christmas!," features George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Trace Adkins, Darius Rucker, Kellie Pickler and more. Pick both of the new holiday collections up at your favorite music store now, or order them from the Country Store on this site.

Chris Young has his first career #1 with Gettin’ You Home – the black dress song.

In Justin Moore's song, "Small Town USA" he mentions David Allen Coe. Justin has always admired the singer/songwriter, and last week he got to be on stage with his hero at a show in Houston. They performed several songs together, and Justin is probably still beaming.

DVR Alert! Taylor Swift will be on the Oprah show tomorrow, and tomorrow night, Rascal Flatts will perform their new song, "Why" on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. (10/14)

Happy birthday to Rhett Akins, Marie Osmond and Lacey J. Dalton.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Here are today's country tidbits...

There was some pranking going on last night in Minneapolis, when the first half of Taylor Swift's tour was ending. Taylor broadly hinted that Gloriana would be the prankee, and I'm scouring YouTube to find the video evidence. Check back later today...I'll post what I find for your giggling pleasure.

Looks like the rumors were true...Garth Brooks says the deals are being finalized for shows in Las Vegas some time early next year. Yay...GB in concert!!

Are you part of Blake Shelton's fan club? If you're a BS'er, log into the club page on his website today to hear his next single, "Hillbilly Bone." If you're not a BS'er, you can join today and hear it, or you can wait until tomorrow, when it'll be available for everyone to hear.

Keith Urban on his benefit concert tomorrow night in Nashville: "I began to think about a dedicated show, specifically for the Hall, with a lot of different people involved. And then everyone jumped on board. Before I knew it, everybody was offering their time, from the artists to the vendors. It's a small way for me to give back. The things I've got in my life and that I'm able to do, it's all connected in some way to Nashville. This is where I'd dreamed of being, where I am, and where I want to be, [so] doing this show was a no-brainer to me."

Jason Aldean has a new family member…a Bulldog named Athens. She’s already stolen his heart, and has her own UGA jersey to wear on game days.

PEOPLE has gone country, and is giving fans exclusive photos and taking us behind the scenes with Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and more.

Random silliness - Jake Owen cut his hair, and fans are aflutter on Twitter about it. They're not happy. No word from Jake about his new 'do, and female fans are praying it will grow back soon.

Didja catch the Possum on CBS Sunday Morning yesterday morning? He was honest and open, especially about his drinking & "no-show Jones" days, and the tour of his house was mind-blowing…wow, that man has won some awards!

On tv tonight: Love And Theft are on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Dierks Bentley is part of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Tim McGraw guests on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

This weekend, a road trip to Nashville might be in order, especially if you can do it on two wheels. Sunday, Dierks Bentley's Miles and Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride and concert happens. Registration starts at 10, the ride starts at 1pm at Harley Davidson Cool Springs, and the concert starts at 2 at Riverfront Park. Musicians include Dierks, Darius Rucker, Wynonna, Eric Church, 3 Doors Down, Michelle Branch, and Heidi Newfield.

Congrats are in order for Deana Carter, who married beau Brandon Malone last Saturday on a California beach. The newlyweds are honeymooning in California, driving and camping out.

California's Stagecoach Festival 2010 has a stellar line-up, including Keith Urban, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Jamey Johnson and lots more. $99 gets you the whole weekend when tickets go on sale 10/16.

If Brad can do it, Taylor can, too. Taylor Swift has tacked on more tour dates, including several in Australia. Kellie Pickler and Gloriana are along for the ride, too.

The Garth-in-Vegas rumors are still swirling, and Mr. Brooks himself added a bit of fuel to the fire by announcing a press conference this coming Thursday.

The audio is awful, but the video is great. Luke Bryan's son Bo was on stage with him at his cd release concert in Leesburg, GA last week. The little boy's got rhythm, and his daddy's cutes! And you can't even tell that Luke's tour, which started that night, started off badly: he left Nashville for three weeks on the road, and left his undies and belts at home.

American Ride is Toby Keith’s 19 #1 song.

Congratulations and condolences to Jeff Bates, who lost his Mom this past Sunday. He and his wife, Kelly, are expecting their first child in late April of next month.

Artists on tv today - Lady Antebellum is on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, and Toby Keith visits with Ellen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today's country music tidbits:

Lady Antebellum’s debut cd, Lady Antebellum, has been certified platinum, and after 18 months on the charts, remains in the top 10 best selling country cds on iTunes. Their sophomore cd, Need You Now, will be available on January 26, 2010. Hillary Scott of Lady A says: "This is just beyond anything we ever could have imagined when we sat down to write our first song together in 2006. I wish we could thank every one of the fans personally. that would be the coolest thing in the world for us. Everybody always says they have the best fans in the world, but 'everybody' hasn't met Lady A's fans. they are truly the best!"

As tweeted yesterday, Brad Paisley has announced an American Saturday Night tour extension. He'll play dates in January through March of 2010, with Miranda Lambert and Justin Moore. Tour dates and information is here.

Carrie Underwood has launched a redesigned website, featuring an online store. Fans can pre-order a limited-edition package of Play On, including an 11x17 art print from her album photo shoot.

Jeff Cook, founding member of Alabama and dern good guy, has put together a package of Christmas songs he describes as "varied and not too overplayed." His first solo Christmas album, Christmas Joy, is available starting November 3 from iTunes, and on his website. 50's rock group The Ventures join him on the project's title cut.

Randy Houser’s next cd is due out in the spring of 2010. The first single is Whistlin’ Dixie, and the new songs will be featured on stage in his CMT On Tour stops.

Last night in Nashville, Taylor Swift raked in some more shelf bling. The Nashville Music Awards were handed out for the best locally-made music, and Taylor won for artist, songwriter-artist and country album of the year for Fearless. Lady Antebellum won Best New Artist, and Rascal Flatts won Music Video of the Year for Here Comes Goodbye,

Tim McGraw's latest movie, The Blind Side, isn't even in theatres yet and it's being reported that he's about to start filming another one in January. Tim will team up with Gwyneth Paltrow on a project to be shot in and around Nashville, with some filming apparently happening on his own farm. No word on the project's name or story line.

Dierks Bentley, on the first time he heard one of his songs on the radio, as told to The Boot: "I was driving down I-65 in Nashville, going to drop my dogs off at a friend's house before I went out on the road that weekend. I heard 'What Was I Thinking?' and pulled over the side of the road as I always do and sat there and listened to it. Radio is what got me into country music, so just to hear yourself on the radio just blows your mind!”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today's country music tidbits...

Check out Sugarland getting pranked from a front-row view. At a show last week, strippers interrupted the show, and it's wonderful to see how Jennifer Nettles handled the whole thing.

Lee Ann Womack has launched a free fan club, The Lee Ann Womack Country Music Appreciation Society And Social Club. "I had a fan club when I first started, and then I quit having it because I never felt comfortable taking money from people to be a fan," Womack says. "It's totally free, but you have to agree to my rules, which I think are pretty funny." For example, members are required to admire Lee Ann’s shoes, either in person or on the comments page, refrain from commenting about her not-tall stature and try to attend her concerts and meet & greets when they’re near you.

And in more LeAnn news, LeAnn Rimes will be doing some manual labor today. LeAnn with one "e" was the 2009 recipient of The Home Depot Humanitarian Award at April's 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, so will help build a playground today at Spring Valley Apartments in Murfreesboro. Joining her on the one-day build are volunteers from The Home Depot, Academy of Country Music, KaBOOM!, the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon counties and Murfreesboro community members. Go to today starting at 10:30 a.m. central time to see live streaming video from the build.

Luke Bryan on songwriting: “That's my inspiration -- trying to speak to a people. I want people to hear my songs and be like, 'Yeah, that guy is just like me."

The only song on “American Ride” that Toby Keith didn’t have a hand in writing is the title cut, which is currently #1 on the charts, proving he can pick ‘em as well as he can write ‘em.

Tube Check : (10/7): Rosanne Cash, Late Show with David Letterman (CBS); Miranda Lambert, Bonnie Hunt Show (syndicated); Toby Keith, Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (NBC).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today's country tidbits...

Tim McGraw will perform two nights on CBS-TV's Late Show with David Letterman, Oct. 12 and Oct. 16, with a "Live On Letterman" exclusive concert for Stream the show from the Letterman page on on October 12th.

No surprises on the performer list so far...the 43rd Annual CMA Awards co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are among the show's. Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Darius Rucker, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban round out the preliminary list. The CMAs will broadcast live on ABC-TV from Nashville's Sommet Center Nov. 11.

Martina McBride and Trace Adkins hit the road on Sunny D's Shine All Night Tour, along with Blake Shelton and the Lost Trailers. The show stops in 40 cities across the U.S. beginning Nov. 20 in Moline, IL. Other cities on the schedule include Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Atlanta and Dallas. Complete list of dates here.

Kenny Chesney will do a full-hour on PBS's Austin City Limits next Saturday night (10/17). Kenny says, “There are some things that just define country, no, really American music. All of the greatest artists, singer/songwriters have done Austin City Limits over the years, regardless of genre - and to be a part of such a heritage, well, it's something I'd think every musician would want to do at some point in their career. I'm just blown away that I get to have an entire hour to give my fans this music in a whole different way than I think they're used to.”

Toby Keith will perform at the Nobel Peace Prize concert Dec. 11 in Oslo.Actor/rapper Will Smith and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, are co-hosts of the event, which will also feature performances by Wyclef Jean and Donna Summer. Dierks Bentley performed at last year’s concert.

Taylor Swift and Kid Rock are nominated for MTV Europe Music Awards. Swift is up for Best New Act and Kid Rock is up for Best World Stage Performance. The show airs Nov. 5 from Berlin’s O2 World Arena on MTV.

Sugarland rerecorded the Beatles’ “Come Together” for a BBCTV special commemorating the 40th anniversary of Abbey Road. Details on airdates and more soon.

Shopping alert today...great country cd's are available for purchase at your favorite store, or on the Country Store on this site. Enjoy!
Luke Bryan - Doin' My Thing
Toby Keith – American Ride
Colt Ford – Country is as Country Does
Roseanne Cash - The List
Rascal Flatts – Greatest Hits Vol. 1, Special Edition, which includes a poster, 4 live cuts, and an audio interview.

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