Friday, January 29, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

What an honor - Carrie Underwood has been tapped to sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl on February 7th in Miami.

The George Strait / Reba shows in Knoxville and Charlottesville this weekend have been cancelled...snow and ice are expected, so if you've got tickets, hold on to them. The shows will happen in April and your tickets are still good. The Friday Knoxville show is now scheduled for April 2nd, and the Saturday Charlottesville show is set for April 3rd.

Jimmy Wayne's Meet Me Halfway walk had to take the RV into Little Rock last night because of the snow and ice storm. He slept in the parking lot at the Capitol Hotel in the RV and says he'll backtrack 30K today and walk the part he rode yesterday. Hope the weather allows that...this is a bad storm sweeping across the midwest and through Arkansas and Tennessee to the Carolinas.

From the early returns, it looks like Lady Antebellum is poised to sell a lot of "Need You Now" in it's release week. A #1 debut is all but a lock, and if the pace continues as it has been for the first three days, selling 400,000 units isn't out of the question. With their performance on the Grammys on Sunday night, that should set them up nicely for a great second week of sales, too.

Zac Brown Band is joining Tim McGraw at the Daytona 500 weekend. They'll perform three times in one day - February 6th. They'll sing three songs before the Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shoot-Out, then sing the National Anthem just before the race, then afterwards, they'll play for an hour or so (knowing Zac Brown, probably more "or so") after the race.

A CraigsList Nashville posting could be an opportunity for you to be famous - or at least be an extra on a country music video. Eric Church is shooting the "Hell on the Heart" video next Friday near Nashville. You need to be willing to be on the set for 4 hours, and you need to send a current photo of yourself, along with your contact information to Good luck!

Taylor Swift will be on the CBS Early Show this morning, talking about the Grammys and her upcoming movie role in "Valentine's Day."

Clay Walker is on Fox & Friends today.

Catch Wynonna and Wyclef Jean on CBS's The Early Show on February 6th. That's the morning before the Superbowl, and the two good friends will be in Miami, raising money and awareness for relief efforts in Haiti.

Going into the Grammy's, here's a country recap:

Performing are Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band, Jennifer Nettles and Carrie
Underwood. Taylor will perform "Today Was a Fairytale" and "You Belong With Me," Lady A will perform "Need You Now," Jennifer Nettles is performing with Elton John, Carrie Underwood will be
part of the tribute to Michael Jackson, and Zac Brown Band won't say what they're performing, only
that it'll be rockin'. Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert will be award presenters.

Taylor Swift has 8 nominations.
Keith Urban has 4
Zac Brown Band has 3
George Strait has 3
Lee Ann Womack has 3
Jamey Johnson has 2
Lady Antebellum has 2.
Willie Nelson has 2
Trace Adkins has 1
Billy Currington has 1
Miranda Lambert has 1
Martina McBride has 1
Brooks & Dunn have 1
Rascal Flatts has 1
Sugarland has 1
Dierks Bentley has 1
Kenny Chesney has 1
Brad Paisley has 1
Carrie Underwood has 1
Randy Travis has 1
Mac MacAnally has 1
Patty Griffin has 1
Steve Wariner has 1
Rosanne Cash has 1

Good luck to all of the nominees! We'll recap the winners here on Monday morning.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

More proof that we are the most generous people in times of need - for the first time ever, a digital album will debut at the top of the Billboard 200 all-genre album chart. Hope for Haiti Now! started selling on iTunes last Saturday and outsold everything else this past week. All of the money raised goes to the rescue, relief and rebuild missions in Haiti.

Another record smashed by Taylor Swift - she has the best first-week download sales by a female artist, taking that honor away from Britney Spears. "Today Was a Fairytale" sold 325,000 digital downloads and will debut at #1 on the Billboard Digital Song chart.

Taylor Swift was asked if she wanted to make any predictions about which categories she's most likely to win a Grammy in on Sunday. She replied, “I predict that I will be there. I’m planning on performing, and that’s really all that I can predict. You never know what’s going to happen. I like being nominated for eight, I’m not going to lie. I think that's a gift in itself." If you want to watch the pre-telecast awards ceremony, it'll be streaming live starting at 4pm eastern on Sunday. Most of the awards are handed out before the telecast begins at 8 eastern.

The CSI episode with Taylor Swift as a guest-star re-airs tonight on CBS. And if you can't get too much Taylor, check out this sneak-peek at her American Greetings cards.

The Zac Brown Band has been tapped to open some of the Dave Matthews Band shows this summer. They'll join the jam band on the road in July.

Lady Antebellum is predicting that the Zac Brown Band will win the all-genre Grammy for Best New Artist. Meanwhile, Ellen Degeneres liked Lady A's visit so much it's posted as her video of the day on her website. Check out the song they did for her birthday.

Congrats to Keith Urban, who won Top Selling Album of the Year for "Defying Gravity" at the Country Music Awards of Australia.

Rascal Flatts is celebrating 10 years of great songs by throwing a party for the 80 or so songwriters who've written their music over the past decade. Jay DeMarcus says it's just their way of saying thanks for an incredible first 10 years, and then toasting to the next ten.

The "How I Met Your Mother" episode guest-starring Carrie Underwood will air on March 1st on CBS. The show has been picked up for it's 6th season, starting this fall.

Jimmy Wayne collects antiques, and collected one along the road yesterday. He's wanted an old-fashioned sad iron, the kind you sat inthe fireplace to get hot before you ironed your home-made clothes. He found one along side the Interstate 40, where he's about halfway between Memphis and Little Rock, Arkansas. He's also collecting video of the people he's meeting along the way, and caused a Twitter uproar yesterday. While talking with a homeless woman, she bit the toenail of a dead raccoon. Why? Who knows, but those watching unleashed a torrent of negative tweets to Jimmy, who apologized twice, but said he's just filming the truth about homelessness as he walks from Nashville to Phoenix.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Lady Antebellum is performing Need You Now on the Grammys Sunday night, and have admitted to a few butterflies. According to Dave Haywood, "That’s a lot of people that don’t listen to country, and that’s their one taste of country a year.” It'll be a good one, worries!

Trace Adkins has been in the studio, recording new music for his first cd with Show Dog Universal, Toby Keith's label. Trace is psyched about the amount of up, fun songs that will be included. He says, "The new stuff is a reflection of where I
am right now. I feel good, I feel upbeat, I feel healthy and happy and that is reflected in the stuff that I've cut." No release date has been set yet, though he does expect it to be out this year. Catch him on the road with Martina McBride on the Shine All Night tour.

Miranda Lambert is at #1 on one major record chart with "White Liar," but Jason Aldean is #1 on the other one this week with “The Truth.” It’s her first #1 and his 3rd in just 9 months. His other two are “She’s Country” and “Big Green Tractor.” In addition to chart success, Jason has been breaking records at his concert venues - fastest sellout, most people to attend a concert, etc. Congrats to both!

What was Miranda Lambert thinking of when she wrote "White Liar?" She says she was listening to a lot of bluegrass music at the time, so was feeling bluegrassy and wrote from that vibe.

And a little dish about Miranda's date for the Grammy''s not Blake Shelton. Miranda says he doesn't like award shows, so she let him off the hook. She's taking her little brother instead.

Remember how Nancy used to look at Ronnie? Well, check out how Carrie looks at Mikey. Carrie Underwood and finace Mike Fisher attended a fund-raiser for the Sens Foundation in Ottowa. The organization is the chosen charity for the Ottowa Senators hockey team, on which Mike plays. Everyone's hoping that the couple will walk the red carpet together at this Sunday's Grammy Awards, too.

Darius Rucker is on tour with Rascal Flatts, and is also working on his next cd. He's collaborated with Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and two Charlies - Pride and Daniels - and says he hopes to record or share a stage with Carrie Underwood and that he would "kill to sing a song with Reba."

Jack Ingram is taking his tour back to the motel room. His one-man show features a set that looks like a dingy old motel room, because Jack says some of his best writing has been done sitting on the edge of a motel bed. The short tour starts in a couple of weeks, and you can catch up with the tour here.

George Strait, Carrie Underwood and Alan Jackson are on the cover of the new Country Weekly. The cover story is Tempting Fate - How 14 stars changed their lives. Alan tells about meeting Denise and working with Glen Campbell.

Jimmy Wayne isn't much of a complainer, especially since there was barely a complaint about the cold weather he's walked through in his last month on the road. Yesterday morning, however, he tweeted a complaint-turned-victory statement: "My a** & legs R so sore from walkN! 1 thing about it; they'll B mighty tight when this walk is over with ;) hello!!" Hmmmmm...maybe I should be walking along with him to Arizona!

Don't miss Lady Antebellum on the Ellen Degeneres Show today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Tonight in Nashville, Keith Urban and John Mayer will be filming CMT Crossroads. John got into town early and was spotted dining with friend Taylor Swift at Cabana, a Nashville hot spot. They were with about 15 friends, so it's not like it was a romantic date or anything...don't start rumoring!

In case you missed the breaking news report here yesterday, Kenny Chesney is planning to play four shows in Vegas, at the Hard Rock there. He'll do the shows on May 14th and 15th, and on July 2nd and 3rd. He loves to play The Joint at the Hard Rock because the farthest seat from the stage is only 155 feet, plus he can play whatever he wants to play for as long as he wants to play. Expect the shows to be upwards of 3 hours long and include not just his hits, but also cover songs he likes to play. A special guest or two is not out of the question, either. To book a table or sky box, email the Hard Rock in Vegas at

How hot is Rascal Flatts? So hot they can all but sell out a show even before it's announced. They're the headliners for the Gift of Music benefit concert in Nashville next month, and the show, which features Kellie Pickler, Jason Michael Carroll, Keith Anderson, Little Big Town and a surprise guest or two, sold out in 20 minutes. There are a few $500 VIP tickets still available, which get you a great seat, dinner, valet parking and a shot at winning autographed memorabilia. Interested? Call 615-371-8878 - quickly!

Miranda Lambert and her Mom, Bev, are featured in the February issue of Southern Living magazine. Get Mom's meat loaf recipe and read about Miranda's family life. In the article, Miranda reveals the three things every southern woman should do before she dies: learn to change a tire, drive a tractor and cook something fried. I've got 2 out of bout you? Anyone got a tractor I could borrow for the weekend?

At her #1 party for "Consider Me Gone," Reba was reminiscing about the first Valentines Day that she and Narvel spent as a married couple. He gave her a diamond tennis bracelet. She gave him a chain saw. They had just bought a piece of land that needed clearing, and Narvel went to work with his new toy. Next day, his shoulders, arms and neck were killing him, so he hired a crew to finish the job. Reba says she doesn't know what happened to the chain saw, but she still has her bracelet!

Bocephus has found him some new rowdy friends to tour with this year. Hank Williams Jr. will hit the road in April, taking Eric Church, Jamey Johnson and the Grascals along for the ride. Tickets for these shows go on sale Saturday through Ticketmaster: April 2 – Charleston, WV, April 3 – Louisville, KY, April 9 – Bossier City, LA, April 10 – Lafayette, LA, and April 17 – Pikeville, KY (w/ The Grascals only) More dates will be announced soon.

Is this a good thing for music lovers or not? After a year of study, the government has allowed Live Nation and Ticketmaster to merge into one company. No word on the new entity's name, or whether this means more or less concert ticketing surcharges.

Darryl Worley has teamed up with Wrangler Jeans to give away an autographed guitar, cd and a ton of Wrangler western wear. Check it out.

Don't forget to stop by Target to get free 3D glasses. Carrie Underwood is part of a Michael Jackson tribute on this Sunday's Grammy Awards show, and the glasses will let you see the tribute the way the producers would like you to.

When hot artists release a new cd, they're booked on a bunch of shows. Lady Antebellum's much-anticipated sophomore album comes out today, and here's their schedule for the next couple of weeks: they'll be on the Ellen show tomorrow, will be part of the MusiCares Tribute to Neil Young on Friday, will perform at the Grammys on Sunday, and will do a special outdoor concert for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show on February 2nd. Then on February 16th, they'll be on the Today show, live from Vancouver, the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics. One thing's certain - if you want to see them on tv, you'll have no trouble finding them!

CDs out today - Lady Antebellum "Need You Now," and Vince Gill "Vince Gill: Love Songs."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney is planning to play four shows in Vegas, at the Hard Rock there. He'll do the shows on May 14th and 15th, and on July 2nd and 3rd. He loves to play The Joint at the Hard Rock because the farthest seat from the stage is only 155 feet, plus he can play whatever he wants to play for as long as he wants to play. Expect the shows to be upwards of 3 hours long and include not just his hits, but also cover songs he likes to play. A special guest or two is not out of the question, either. To book a table or sky box, email the Hard Rock in Vegas.

Ok…Blake Shelton asking all of his Twitter followers to help Miranda Lambert get her first #1 song is predictable…but James Otto, Dierks Bentley, Justin Moore, Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Jack Ingram, David Nail and even more did, too. Guess what…looks like it worked, and "White Liar" will be #1 on the charts this week. Congrats, Miranda...a great song and great friends is a potent combination!

It's official...Keith Urban and John Mayer will hit the stage together for a taping of CMT's Crossroads on January 26th in Nashville. The show is by invitation only, and it should air in March or April. Will keep you posted when the exact date is released.

The Hope for Haiti Now! telethon on Friday night raised $58 million during the show, and the tally grew all weekend as people logged on to iTunes to buy the performances. It's the most any telethon has raised from the general public ever, which is especially significant because it comes during a global recession. Taylor Swift's performance was "Breathless." Keith Urban, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow sang "Lean On Me." "Hope for Haiti Now" will be accepting donations for the next six months via the following methods:

Phone: 877-99-HAITI
Text: Text "GIVE" to 50555 (US phone numbers only)
Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Meanwhile, Big Kenny is in Haiti, helping to search for a missing friend who was staying at the Hotel Montana. It's been several days since anyone was brought out of that wreckage alive, so the outlook is getting grim at this point.

In true Toby Keith style, he's donated seven tractor-trailers to collect and transport goods to Project Haiti. Items needed include medical supplies, soap, baby formula, work gloves, masks and more. You can follow Project Haiti's progress and also make donations on their website.

Zac Brown Band is trying to entice you to go sailing with them on Labor Day weekend. They've added a slew of great new bands to the Sailing Southern Ground cruise. Want more info?

Congrats to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who will be awarded the 2010 Courage Award at the 13th
Annual Unforgettable Evening benefit dinner on January 27th in Los Angeles. Faith has been a long-time supporter of the Unforgettable Evening foundation, and the two of them are very active in raising money for cancer research. Who will be the featured performer at this gala event? Taylor Swift.

Speaking of The Golden One, she's using her impressive imagination on her new condo in Nashville. Word is there'll be a moat around the living room fireplace, a stepping stone in the moat to access a spiral staircase to a rooftop observatory, koi swimming in the moat and her living room ceiling is painted like a night sky.

Jimmy Wayne's walk across America to help homeless teens has caught the imagination of the
Twitter world. His followers have increased nearly 30% since he started 3 and a half weeks ago. He's in Arkansas now, headed for Arizona. He left Nashville on New Year's Day, and has been sleeping outdoors on most of the cold winter nights since then. Yesterday's Ustream Q & a is posted for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Word's out that Taylor Swift will sing "Today Was a Fairytale" on the Grammy Award show next Sunday night. In the first 24 hours it was available on iTunes, it was downloaded almost 100,000 times. Wow...she's one-fifth of the way to Gold in one day! It was the most she's ever sold on release far.

Meanwhile, Luke Bryan's song, "Do I" has just been certified Gold for sales of more than 500,000.

Tonight's the night - country music's dream team tour hits the road in Baltimore. George Strait, Reba and Lee Ann Womack. No matter what you have to pay for a ticket, you'll get your money's worth!

Gonna be in Nashville on February 2nd? You might get to see a concert for free. For the new Tim McGraw movie, "Love Don't Let Me Down," there'll be a concert scene shot at the Municipal Auditorium. Tim won't be performing, but the Lost Trailers will be, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund. If you'd like to be an extra, you need to be at least 18 years old, and the film producers would love for you to put on your best country concert duds.

And oh, to have been in Nashville for this surprise show - Dierks Bentley, who's working on a bluegrass album in addition to a mainstream country one, stopped by the Station Inn to gig with the Infamous Stringdusters, an amazing bluegrass band. He recorded a song with the 'Dusters for their upcoming cd, "Things That Fly." Don't be surprised if they guest on his bluegrass project - Dierks is known for pairing with not-so-well-known-but-really-talented artists on his cds.

Days before the official release, the new Lady Antebellum album is available for you to listen to, free. Might not be there long, so check it out quickly!

Got six minutes? Check out Five Questions with Luke Bryan.

Been a while since Lonestar has put out any new music, but there's some on the horizon. "Party Heard Around the World" hits the streets April 27th, and is their 10th album. It includes all of the original members except Richie McDonald, who left for a solo career. Cody Collins is his replacement, and has been part of the band since 2007.

On the walk across America with Jimmy Wayne, he's got Tennessee behind him and is in Arkansas now. Yesterday afternoon, he tweeted, "Wow! A homeless man pullN a grocery cart stopD me & said "I heard about U; if I had sum $ I'd give 2 U b/c its a good cause" wow wow wow wow"

Keith Urban's Ellen show re-airs today, and tonight, don't miss (how can you??) the Hope for Haiti telethon, with Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow.

Here's how country folks roll...we are the first to help when someone's hurting. If you're wanting to help the Haitian people recover from a disaster at least as big as Katrina, one thing to remember is that scamsters come out at times like this. Here are the safe ways to donate money - you can give $10 to the massive relief effort in Haiti by texting DISASTER to 90999. You can also call 800-Red Cross to donate, or the Catholic Relief Services at 888-277-7575. Both of these organizations are already in Haiti, working to recover trapped survivors, tending to the injured and helping to bury the dead. Give as much as you can, and thank you.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

We knew the Grammy Awards would feature a tribute to Michael Jackson this year, but who knew it would go country? Carrie Underwood is part of the event, along with Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson and Usher. Starting Sunday, stop by your local Target to get free 3D glasses to watch the special production when the Grammys air on January 31st.

And speaking of Carrie, check out this picture of her on the set of "How I Met Your Mother," playing a pharmaceutical rep.

Taylor Swift is not only performing on tomorrow night's Hope for Haiti Now telethon, she'll also be taking pledge calls. She says, "I've never actually worked a phone bank before, but I want to do everything I can to help out this horrible situation. I'm passionate about this. This one was an immediate yes." I'm guessing Miss Taylor won't have any trouble using a phone.

The second book in Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl" children's book series comes out on February 16th. "Love Your Heart" was co-written by Tim and songwriter Tom Douglas, and can be pre-odered here.

How's this for a concert line-up - Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Sara Evans and Easton Corbin. They're all playing the 7th Annual New England Country Music Festival in Massachusetts on August 21. Tickets go on sale next Saturday.

Lady Antebellum has completely revamped their website, and it's really interactive. If you're a fan, you've got to go set up a profile and play with them. Their new cd, "Need You Now," is out next Tuesday, but you can pre-order it now, plus the site will be selling downloads, acoustic tracks, bonus tracks and tons more.

Sarah Buxton has a new view outside her window: the highway flying by as she joins Martina McBride and Trace Adkins for the Shine All Night tour. Tomorrow night is her first night as their opening act.

The LA Times crunched the numbers, and country was huge in the first decade of this century. Comiling a list of the top ten "Ultimate Performers" from the revenue of tours and album sales, country artists hold three of the slots. Kenny Chesney was number 2, behind Celine Dion, but only by about 8 million bucks. Sounds like a lot, except when you know that he made $742 million between 2000 and 2009. Here's the rest of the list: Dave Matthews Band, the Beatles, U2, Toby Keith, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Tim McGraw and Britney Spears.

Been missing Kenny Chesney? Not for long...a new song, "Ain't Back Yet," will be out in a week or two, and it's the ending theme song for his 3D movie, so expect to hear a lot of it soon on your favorite radio station. Kenny didn't write it, even though he's been writing lately. Craig Wiseman and Chris Tompkins wrote it, but Kenny says it's the story of his life and rise to musical fame.

Been missing Little Big Town? Not for long...they've got new music on the way. "Little White Church" is the first single on their next album, and it'll be out at the end of February.

Congrats to Tim McGraw, who lands the #1 position on Billboard's country chart this week with "Southern Voice." It's his first #1 since "Last Dollar" hit it in April of 2007.

Wishing you could party with Sugarland at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas in April? Sign up, and maybe you can!

And if you're collecting comics, mark next Wednesday on your calendar. That's the day the next Luke McBain comic hits stores. Trace Adkins is the model for the Luke McBain character, so you can also get them on his website.

Jimmy Wayne's walk across America found him walking through some seedy parts of Memphis last night. He decided to stop and camp because he didn't want to "disrespect" anyone or any gangs by walking through their territory at night. Scary...

Here's how country folks roll...we are the first to help when someone's hurting. If you're wanting to help the Haitian people recover from a disaster at least as big as Katrina, one thing to remember is that scamsters come out at times like this. Here are the safe ways to donate money - you can give $10 to the massive relief effort in Haiti by texting DISASTER or HAITI to 90999. You can also call
800-Red Cross to donate, or the Catholic Relief Services at 888-277-7575. Both of these organizations are already in Haiti, working to recover trapped survivors, tending to the injured and helping to bury the dead. Give as much as you can, and thank you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The star-studded Hope for Haiti telethon Friday night just picked up a bit of twang. Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock will all be part of the two-hour event airing on dozens of networks and media outlets simultaneously. Taylor Swift will be part of the Los Angeles segments, where Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock will perform together on the show. Los Angeles also includes Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and Stevie Wonder. Performing in New York are Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira and Sting. The London lineup features Coldplay and a group performance by Bono, the Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna. Starting Saturday, each performance will be available for download from iTunes for 99 cents each, with all proceeds going to Hatian relief efforts.

The Grammy Award show is getting more country by the minute. Confirmed to appear are the Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert.

Taylor Swift has a new nomination in this new year...this one for Breakthrough International Artist at the Brit Awards, the UK equivalent of the Grammys. The awards will be handed out February 16th.

Kellie Pickler, Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser have returned from their USO tour of the middle east. All are glowing about the experience, and how proud they are to be Americans.

Kellie Pickler got a haircut yesterday, after she returned from her USO tour. She says she feels like a pixie, so we know two things: it must be a pretty short haircut, and it's probably as cute as her puppy, Pixie!

Gretchen Wilson released a greatest hits package yesterday and her new cd, "I Got Your Country Right Here" has a release date of March 30th. Her first single from it, "Work Hard, Play Harder," is working it's way up the country charts now.

Kenny Chesney has been sequestered in a movie studio in LA working on his "Summer in 3D" movie. The release date is April 21st. This year marks 15 years in country music for him, and he's the cover story in Country Weekly magazine this week.

How did Lady Antebellum land the plum gig as Tim McGraw's opening act on tour? Well, as Tim puts it, he's a fan of their music, so they were on his short list. Then his 12-year-old daughter Gracie started in on him - "come on, Dad...come on, Dad...come on, dad!" so he had no choice but to bow to the will of the even bigger Lady A fan in his life.

Jo Dee Messina is taking her Music Room show to New York City in March for a 5 night, seven show stint at the Regency Hotel, where there's a lovely theatre. According to Jo Dee, “This tour is whatever the audience wants. We do a couple songs then we flip it over to the audience and they make requests, so no two shows are the same. Sometimes the audience just wants to hear the hits; sometimes people want to hear stuff from the new record...It’s whatever they want. That’s the magic of this show, there’s no set list."

Charlie Daniels continues to recover from the mild stroke he suffered while on vacation in Colorado last Friday. He's home and doing well, and his tour, which kicks off next month, isn't expected to be affected.

Happy birthday today to John Michael Montgomery.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Is Carrie Underwood about to make a splash in the movie world? Looks like it. "Soul Surfer" is a true story about surfer Bethany Hamilton, who was determined to continue to live her dreams after a terrible shark attack. Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt are also part of the project. "Soul Surfer" will film in Hawaii and be released this fall.

In an interview with CMT, Toby Keith was asked about the faltering album sales and how the economy is affecting the music business. He said that it's now a "free 99 cent world" so sales of hard-copy product will probably continue to fall, but that no one can take the live concert event and discount that. As long as radio plays an artist's music, then that artist can go on tour, and Toby says, "You want to go on tour, where you make your hay at." Keep makin' hay, Toby...keep makin' hay!

Josh Gracin is in the studio, sweetening his next cd.

Another Josh, Josh Thompson, is about to be hitting the road with Eric Church. His first single, "Beer on the Table," is climbing the charts, and he's excited to take his band out to share his music. They'll be traveling in a white van with a white trailer, so Josh has nicknamed his tour rig Van-a-White. I'm sure the real Vanna is charmed.

There's a new song from Taylor Swift released today on iTunes. "Today was a Fairytale" is part of the soundtrack for the movie "Valentine" which features Taylor on-screen. The soundtrack comes out on February 9th and the movie will be out just before Valentine's Day.

In more Taylor news, she and Ashley Judd were part of a 4.5 hour Hoops for Haiti telethon, helping to raise a million dollars.

As reported here last week, two of the three Dixie Chicks have new music almost ready to debut. Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, working under the name Court Yard Hounds, have an album that should be out in May.

Colt Ford is riding high - he's been invited to perform at the Ryman on the Grand Ole Opry on January 30th. He said it's as close as he can get to heaven while playing music.

Don't forget to watch Shania Twain guest-judge on American Idol tonight.

Lady Antebellum is making the media rounds, promoting their second cd, due out a week from today. But their focus is on somthing much more important: helping the people of Haiti. Hillary Scott said, to CMT: "You just have to hug your loved ones and do what you can. Any little bit you can give, give it. One, you're doing it for an unbelievable cause ... and if you do it with a pure heart, you'll be blessed for it."

Here's how country folks roll...we are the first to help when someone's hurting. If you're wanting to help the Haitian people recover from a disaster at least as big as Katrina, one thing to remember is that scamsters come out at times like this. Here are the safe ways to donate money - you can
give $10 to the massive relief effort in Haiti by texting DISASTER or HAITI to 90999. You can also call 800-Red Cross to donate, or the Catholic Relief Services at 888-277-7575. Both of these
organizations are already in Haiti, working to recover trapped survivors, tending to the injured and helping to bury the dead. Give as much as you can, and thank you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The Nashville Critics Poll results are out, and Miranda Lambert and Brad Paisley are the critics' sweethearts. They won top male and female vocalist, Miranda won for best album and best single of 2009, while Brad won the top artist award. Sugarland won the nod for best duo or group, Jamey Johnson won the songwriter award, The Zac Brown Band was dubbed the best new artist, and Taylor Swift was voted the best live act of 2009.

Taylor Swift is on the cover of People StyleWatch and Girls Life magazines February issues. Pretty in pink on both.

This is Chicago week for American Idol, and Chicago's auditions were where Shania Twain was the guest judge. Expect to see a lot of her, as Simon seemed a bit smitten.

Tim McGraw is the pre-race entertainer for the Daytona 500 on February 14th. Coverage starts at 1pm on Fox. And congrats to Tim's co-star in "The Blind Side"...Sandra Bullock won the Golden Globe last night for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Touhy.

Lady Antebellum is playing the Ryman on March 11, and the show sold out in minutes when the tickets went on sale Friday, so they added another night. That one sold out, too. In less than 15 minutes, Lady A filled the Ryman twice!

Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan started their tour rehearsals over the weekend. They hit the road on the 28th in Texas and bounce around the US for a couple of months. Catch the show if you can - they're both amazing live.

Zac Brown Band hit the studio on Saturday to start recording their next album.

Meanwhile, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are in Las Vegas, enjoying a little bit of down time together.

Willie Nelson is out with new music, as of April 13th. He's got a new record deal with Rounder Records and has 15 songs ready to release as "Country Music."

On the road with Jimmy Wayne, an outreach ministry named His Call is providing a vehicle to follow Jimmy on his walk across America for homeless teens. He took a break from the walk to be part of a telethon in Texas, and will be whisked back to hwy. 70 near the Tennessee/Arkansas border.

Over the weekend, country stars and radio stations came together to plan their Country Cares for St. Jude radiothons. Carrie Underwood, Joe Nichols, Little Big Town and many more artists were on hand to spend time with the patients at St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital in Memphis.

Carrie Underwood is on "Live with Regis and Kelly" today, and Keith Urban is on The Ellen Degeneres Show."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Carrie Underwood's not the only country cutie with wedding plans. Sarah Buxton, writer of hits who has a song climbing the charts now, is engaged to Tom Bukovac. Tom is a guitar player's guitar player, having appeared on albums by Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Dolly Parton and the aforementioned Carrie. Sarah Buxton's debut album with her song, "Outside My Window" is due out late next month. No word on when the nuptials will be.

Trisha Yearwood is sporting a sore hand. In anticipation of the release of her next cookbook, she's spending this week signing 8,000 bookplates, to be stuck into the early orders of the book. And yes, she's signing them all one's helping.

Taylor Swift is taking January off from traveling and public appearances. What's she doing instead? She's in the studio, working on cd number three, and palling around with friends. She's posted a photo blog so you can be in on the palling around.

Lady Antebellum celebrated their success with "Need You Now" Wednesday night in Nashville. The song spent 5 weeks at number one, and the party included colleagues, friends and family members.

Jake Owen's twin brother, Jarrod, inspired the song "Eight Second Ride" by riding his brother about all of the "chick tunes" he was singing. So Jake sat down and wrote a song just for the guys, basing much of it on the exploits of his brother and his beloved pickup truck.

At one of the stops on her USO tour, Kellie Pickler was joined onstage by Spc. Zacari Pytleski, who helped her sing "Red High Heels." Apparently, from the look on Kellie's face, he was pretty good!

Luke Bryan's haunting song, "Do I" is even more moving when it's just Luke and a baby grand.

It's 4 weeks at the top for Reba, with "Consider Me Gone." That officially makes this the biggest hit of Reba's career. She's had a bunch of #1 songs, but none that stayed there a month...or more!

Can't get enough Reba? The dvd of her appearance on CMT Invitation Only goes on sale February 9th, and includes the interviews as well as the "Strange" and "Consider Me Gone" music videos.

And even more Reba...tonight, catch Reba as a guest star on the season 2 premiere of "The Singing Bee" on CMT.

Then later on tonight, Luke Bryan will be on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Saturday, Gretchen Wilson sings the National Anthem and performs the halftime show at the AFC Divisional Championship game, between the Colts and the Jets.

Keith Urban will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Monday.

Here's how country folks roll...we are the first to help when someone's hurting. If you're wanting to help the Haitian people recover from a disaster at least as big as Katrina, one thing to remember is that scamsters come out at times like this. Here are the safe ways to donate money - you can give $10 to the massive relief effort in Haiti by texting DISASTER to 90999. You can also call 800-Red Cross to donate, or the Catholic Relief Services at 888-277-7575. Both of these organizations are already in Haiti, working to recover trapped survivors, tending to the injured and helping to bury the dead. Give as much as you can, and thank you.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Trace Adkins gave himself a birthday present yesterday. He signed a new record deal with Show Dog Records, the label Toby Keith started in 2005. Now America's Toughest Tour has become America's Toughest Labelmates.

Carrie Underwood is a class act. She has given her cell phone number to every American Idol contestant, in case they need some advice or coaching to get through the stress of the competition. And for the top 10 finalists this year, she's having Tiffany & Co. make custom dog-tags for each of them.

Forbes Magazine is out with a list of Hollywood's top-earning couples, based on the time period of June 2008 to June 2009. Number 12 on the list, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are reported to have earned $28 million, and with $17 million, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman land in 15th place.

Last Saturday night, while Brad Paisley's tour was in Wichita, an arena employee suffered a heart attack. A former firefighter and EMT, Doug Paisley, Brad's Dad, administered CPR until medics arrived. He shuns any talk of being a hero, saying “If the man’s life was saved, it was because a lot of things came together. There’s nothing heroic about this. Heroic is when you’re standing on the front lines in Afghanistan or Iraq."

Steve Azar will be part of the fun of the 51st annual Bob Hope Golf Classic next week in Palm Springs. Golf Digest rates him as one of their Top 5 Musician-Golfers.

Oh, to be in New York when the songwriters flock there. March 25th at Joe's Pub in New York City, Dierks Bentley, David Lee Murphy, Jim Beavers and Bob DiPiero will host an informal evening of picking, chatting and showcasing the magic of a well-written song. These four men are responsible for millions in sales from the hits they've written.

Alan Jackson's next cd, "Freight Train," hits the street on March 30th. It includes a tribute to the late Vern Gosdin, whom Alan truly admired. Vern's classic duet with Janie Fricke, "Til the End," is one of the songs, with Alan enlisting Lee Ann Womack as his duet partner on the song.

Just added to the MerleFest 2010 lineup for Thursday, April 29th - the Zac Brown Band and Taj Mahal, the legendary blues band. The full lineup for the weekend is here.

Years from now, Taylor Swift plans to write her autobiography. She says she's taking careful notes about all of the things she's doing now, all of the access she has, all of the craziness that's going on around her, and it'll all be a book someday.

Around midnight last night, Trisha Yearwood tweeted, "Veggie night at the Brooks casa! Roasted carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes, corn, green beans, and meatloaf. Meatloaf is a veggie, right?"

Friday night, catch Reba as a guest star on the season 2 premiere of "The Singing Bee" on CMT.

Saturday night on CBS, Gretchen Wilson sings the National Anthem and performs the halftime show at the AFC Divisional Championship game, between the Colts and the Ravens.

Please donate $10 to the massive relief effort in Haiti by texting DISASTER to 90999. You can also call 800-Red Cross to donate, or donate online.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney's sure going to be on stage a lot for someone who's not touring this year. He'll play the Houston Rodeo on March 4th - it's the first time in five years he's played that event. Other country acts performing include Alan Jackson (March 2), Dierks Bentley (March 3), Jason Aldean (March 6), Tim McGraw (March 8), Darius Rucker (March 9), Rascal Flatts (March 10), Brad Paisley (March 11), Toby Keith (March 12), Blake Shelton (March 13), Lady Antebellum (March 15), Keith Urban (March 16), Gary Allan (March 17), the Eli Young Band (March 19) and Brooks & Dunn (March 20). Meanwhile, Kenny Chesney is in the studio, working on a new crop of hits, and is in the final editing stages of his concert film, "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3-D."

With a plot that sounds a bit like a soap opera, Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow are hard at work, filming "Love Don't Let Me Down" in Nashville. Tim's got a more intense and complicated role in this movie, where he plays the husband-manager of a washed-up country singer, played by Gwyneth. Another love interest crops up for her, and another beautiful young woman becomes entangled in the mess. The movie should be out sometime this fall. By the way, Tim is sporting a full beard for the part, and he says that the facial hair is driving him crazy.

Darius Rucker is about to hit the road with Rascal Flatts for the final leg of the American Living Unstoppable Tour. Watch for his cd sales to rise as a result - his show is hot!

Vince Gill is giving a big assist to Cupid this Valentine's Day, with the release of his "Love Songs" cd on January 26th.

Singer/songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter has a new album ready for release. "The Age of Miracles" is due out on April 27th, with a tour to follow.

Gloriana will be on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today, performing, chatting and probably laughing a lot.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

It's official: Cash Rich is here, son of John and Joan Rich. Cash was born Sunday morning in Nashville. Mom and son are doing fine, and Daddy is as proud as a peacock.

Reba will be the host of the 45th ACM Awards on April 18th in Las Vegas. This is her 12th time hosting the show, which always has good ratings. The following night, in the same venue, CBS will tape a special, "Brooks & Dunn - The Last Rodeo." Since most of the stars will be in town for the ACM Awards, it was easy to get guests for that special. Already committed: Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Reba. Tickets for both events go on sale Friday.

Speaking of Brooks & Dunn, their website has undergone a complete transformation. Check out their new, last rodeo look.

Phil Vassar will spend a week in the UK at the end of this month, promoting his latest cd, "Traveling Circus" and playing a handful of intimate shows. The venue in Glasgow, Scotland takes the cake for the best bar name ever: King Tut's Wah Wah Hut!

Taylor Swift is back in the studio, working on the follow-up to "Fearless." She's got the same musicians who played on that project, so we know that what comes out of these sessions will be good.

And it looks like two of the three Dixie Chicks are working on an album. Natalie Maines isn't part of the project, which could come out later this year. Sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have been recording demos, and there's no word yet on what they'll call their duo.

Rascal Flatts tour kicks off Friday night. The "Unstoppable" tour re-starts in Connecticut and rolls across America, landing in Texas in mid-March.

Jason Aldean is gearing up for the continuation of his "Wide Open" tour, and promises a few new twists onstage.

This year marks a decade of wedded bliss for Vince Gill and Amy Grant - or does it? They're the cover couple on Good Housekeeping magazine, and they are pretty honest about how hard it's been to blend their families and balance each other's bad parts. Vince admits to a temper and Amy admits to a stubborn streak. The February issue is on newsstands today.

Jimmy Wayne's last tweet last night: "I began this walk with no intentions of asking 4 help 4 myself; just support 4 MMH. I'm in awe of how many people have offered both." We are a land of good people.

Birthday wishes for Keith Anderson, Ricky Van Shelton and Ray Price today.

Roseanne Cash will be on The Late Show with Conan O'Brien on Tuesday, talking about "The List" and performing "Sea of Heartbreak."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Garth Brooks has teamed up with The Professional Bull Riders, Inc. to raise a million bucks in 2010 for Teammates for Kids. In the past ten years, athletes from all sorts of sports have helped raised over $75 million, with one hundred percent of the proceeds going to children's charities.

By popular demand, Jimmy Wayne's Meet Me Halfway trek across America now has its own website. Follow his frigid trek from Nashville to Arizona as he raises money to help homeless teens. As a former homeless teen himself, he's making a point to stop at local shelters along the way to show those kids how a life can turn around with the right dreams and the willingness to work for those dreams.

On the heels of having the biggest-selling cd of 2009, Taylor Swift just hit another milestone: she's the most-downloaded artist in history, with a total sales of 24.3 million digital tracks.

Gretchen Wilson will be the halftime performer at the AFC Divisional Playoff game in Indianapolis this coming Saturday. She'll also sing the National Anthem before the game, which features the Indianapolis Colts vs. the New York Jets.

Kenny Chesney is a new homeowner in Franklin, Tennessee. He plunked down $9.2 million for a 30 acre estate with five bedrooms, seven full baths and two half-baths in 11,143 square feet of house. The estate is called Bella Luce, which is Italian for "beautiful light." The driveway is nearly a mile long, there's an infinity-edge swimming pool and a six car garage, complete with it's own heating and air system. So, two puppies for the girlfriend, a new mansion...hmmmm, can an engagement ring be far behind?

No word on when it will tape, but Keith Urban and John Mayer will be featured in an episode of CMT Crossroads this season. That should be hot!

Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson and Kellie Pickler left for the middle east yesterday, to deliver postcards of support and to play for the men and women laying their lives on the line for our country.

Toby Keith wants to give you a new pickup and a private concert for you and 99 your own back yard. To enter the Ford F-150 sweepstakes, check out Toby's tour page.

Montgomery Gentry's new cd is done. No word on a name or release date yet, but the studio work on it is finished, and the tour planning is underway.

And Jo Dee Messina is set to release new music this year. The first single, "That's God" is available on her website. No, not just part of it, like most artists do...the whole song is there, and she calls it "her soul on a page."

Sara Evans - novelist? Yep, her first book is out, and she's doing a book signing in Nashville today. "The Sweet By and By" is a semi-autobiographical novel, with heroine Jade Fitzgerald finding redemption in faith following a stormy childhood. This is the first of four books that Sara's planning in the series.

The Country Crossings gambling dispute continues. Alabama Governor Barber has stated that he'll go on with the raid to remove what he considers illegal gambling machines if the judge dissolves the restraining order against the raid. The hearing is tomorrow morning in Dothan, Alabama. Meanwhile, Houston County elected officials and business leaders have sent a letter to the Governor, asking that the dispute be settled in a civil, not criminal, manner. Citing the tough economy and the potential job losses if Country Crossings is closed down, they're trying to appeal to the Governor's sense of fairness. Country Crossings is scheduled to host three days of free concerts this coming weekend as part of their grand opening celebration.

As part of Sound and Speed's Friday night concert, Chris Young found himself onstage, singing a duet with Vince Gill. He tweeted about what an amazing experience that was on Friday night, and was still going on about it Saturday afternoon.

Happy birthday to Mama Judd, Naomi, today.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

NASCAR and country music go together like biscuits and gravy, so it's not a surprise to hear that Blake Shelton, Gloriana, Jessica Harp, James Otto, Whitney Duncan and Jason Jones will all be part of the BAM Racing VIP Fan Experience this year. That means special artist paint jobs on the cars, pre-race concerts and really up-close-and-personal access to the racing team and to the stars for the fans.

Joining Kenny Chesney at BamaJam this year will be Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Hank Williams Jr. and the LoCash Cowboys. Lots more artists will be announced between now and the show weekend, which is June 3 through 5 in Enterprise, Alabama.

Taylor Swift is the new global ambassador for Sony, showing up at the Consumer Electronics Association Las Vegas trade show yesterday to help Sony unveil some new 3-D technology for home use. She'll use Sony 3-D technology to shoot parts of her "Fearless 2010" tour, no doubt becoming a 3-D movie event like Kenny Chesney is about to have.

Faith Hill has a new management team and is working on a new album for 2010.

A Gretchen Wilson greatest hits package is coming out on the 19th of this month. It has all of her hits, plus a live version of "Barracuda" as only Gretchen can do it.

How cold is Jimmy Wayne on his walk? The water valve on his Camel Back froze, so he couldn't drink from his water carrier. He's still following I-70 in Tennessee.

Told you yesterday about the Kellie Pickler, Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson USO tour - today, another detail about what they'll be delivering to the service men and women. While touring together, Randy and Jamey have been collecting postcards for the military from their audiences, and they'll deliver those. Some of the notes are funny, some uplifting, but Jamey says they'll all help lift the spirits of those in harm's way.

How do stars calm their stage-fright nerves? Randy Travis doesn't think about what he's about to do until he just goes out and does it. Reba thinks about it, takes a deep breath and goes out and has fun. Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker both have a little drink, just enough to take the edge off, and the members of Gloriana have a pre-show ritual which involves fist-bumping and a secret word. Then they go out, have fun and don't take themselves too seriously.

Today is Elvis Presley's birthday...Graceland is filled to capacity for the weekend. And happy birthday to Crystal Gayle tomorrow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Bet you'll never guess which artist sold more albums last year than any other? Yup - you guessed it, Taylor Swift. Fearless was purchased 3.2 million times, beating Susan Boyle' surprise showing late in the year.

Congrats to Carrie, Keith and Taylor, who all won People's Choice awards last night. As far as the show - yuk. Not very nice to country music, in spite of the awards. Can we lose the cliches and just enjoy the music, Hollywood?

On the red carpet at the People's Choice awards last night, asked Carrie about her wedding plans. She doesn't have a date set yet, doesn't know who's designing her dress, but does want a groom, good food and an open bar. Plus, she says she's a southern girl, so will be flaunting some big hair and eyeliner that day.

Have you ever seen the pharmaceutical sales reps who visit doctors to talk about the latest and greatest drugs? If so, then you know why Carrie Underwood is the perfect choice to play one on tv - she's gorgeous! Carrie will be part of CBS-TV's "How I Met Your Mother" in March.

The Rascal Flatts CSI episode is in the can, and Jay DeMarcus proclaims it "awesome." It will air March 4th.

Congrats to Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift Sugarland, Zac Brown Band and Lady Antebellum - they're all included on the 2010 Grammy Nominee cd. It'll hit the streets on January 19th, and a portion of the proceeds go to the MusiCares Foundation.

2010 is the year that Eric Church gets to headline his own tour. The Jagermeister Country Tour featuring Eric Church hits the road on February 9th in Baltimore and plows across the country with 28 shows before wrapping up in Colorado on March 27th.

Don't know when they're going, but do know that Kellie Picker, Jamie Johnson and Randy Houser are headed to the middle east on a USO tour. Exact details aren't announced on these trips to help keep the artists safer. We do know that Kellie needs to be stateside by March 4th, when her opening-act-for-Taylor-Swift job restarts in Tampa, Florida.

Darius Rucker is still on cloud 9 after winning the CMA award for best new artist. He says some people might think that's goofy, but it was one of the greatest moments of his life.

Joe Nichols will have to wait a bit longer for his Broadway stage debut. Tapped to play the leading man in the stage adaptation of "Pure Country" on Broadway, Joe's been chomping at the bit to start rehearsals, but they've been pushed back to the fall, due to the sluggish economy. His enthusiasm for the project isn't dimmed, though, and when The Boot asked him how he'd feel if George Strait showed up to watch him take on the role he played in the movie, Joe laughed and said, "I probably couldn't go on. It would scare the crap out of me."

Jimmy Wayne is still following highway 70 and is still in Tennessee as he walks across America to spotlight teen homelessness. He's finding amazing things alongside the road: a hammer, pumpkin, bra, coins, electrical tape, plastic duck, a wallet and an American flag, all yesterday.

Happy birthday to John Rich today. Today's also the due date for John and Joan's son, Cash. I'll let you know if they get their Cash on time.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Don't miss the People's Choice awards tonight on CBS. Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift will all be part of the show, and country music is represented well in the nominations.

Is it legal or isn't it? Country Crossing, the country music and lifestyle venue near Dothan, Alabama, also includes gambling machines, which developers, owners and the county officials say are legal. The Governor of Alabama sent in his anti-gambling task force in the wee hours of this morning to put a stop to what they believe is illegal gambling. A judge quickly ordered the task force to stand down, and it's unclear exactly what will happen next. The venue is the location for a three-day country music festival scheduled for January 15, 16 and 17th, so they need to get this all ironed out pretty quickly.

Jimmy Wayne's walk across America to bring attention to homeless teens is going well. He crossed the Tennessee River yesterday, and says he's blown away by small-town America. All along the way, people are bringing him coffee, donuts, bottles of water and when he stops for a meal, people buy it for him.

Meanwhile, Justin Moore didn't have a great day yesterday. His wife was driving their car in Nashville, and an officer pulled her over because she was driving on expired tags. Justin was not amused, and made his feelings perfectly clear via Twitter. He said he's convinced that "99% of cops in Nashville got beat up in high school." He went on to use an expletive related to their parentage, saying they "don't look big & bad by pickin on a girl 8 mts preg." Today he's back-pedaling a little bit, saying that there are a lot of great officers out there and he appreciates what they do, but knows of at least one that needs to chill. The baby girl is due later this month, while Justin will be on the road with Brad Paisley.

John Rich and his wife Joan are ready, and it's a good thing. Their son, Cash, has a due date of tomorrow. We'll keep you posted.

Sound and Speed motors through Nashville this weekend, with two shows Friday night at the Ryman. Jason Michael Carroll is the featured performer on the 7pm show, and Hank Williams Jr. and his daughter Holly are sharing the stage at 9:30. Chris Young, Danny Gokey and Kyle Petty are part of both shows.

Wanna see Taylor Swift doing a karaoke version of Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead?" She really sells it, so there's some kick to go with all of her sugar and spice.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

More industry props for the Zac Brown Band - they've been invited to perform on the Grammy Awards show on January 31st on CBS.

On the Jimmy Wayne trail, he woke up yesterday morning with ice on his sleeping bag, and ice on the inside and outside of his tent. In order to give them time to dry out, he spent last night in a motel, and tweeted, "I'm more thankful tonight than I have been in a long time! Gosh this cheap motel feels like a 5 star presidential suite ." A Nashville news team did an interview with Jimmy Wayne, spreading his story even further. Donations are coming in from all over, including other artists. Dierks Bentley donated to HomeBase in support of MMH. If you'd like to help, here's the page to do it on.

A lot of people are inspired by country artists, but who do they find inspiration from? Martina McBride finds in in Meryl Streep. "I hesitate to use the word "idol" and have never really used it, but Meryl Streep is my idol. She rocks. Period. I find her so inspiring."

Clay Walker's "Band Against MS" website has been totally re-vamped, and Clay's really excited about it, saying “The new BAMS site creates a friendlier atmosphere, one that is less clinical for visitors in need of information on dealing with multiple sclerosis.”

How's this for a hunt camp trio - Eddie Montgomery, Blake Shelton and Craig Morgan. They're hunting together in Mississippi this week.

Justin Moore spills the beans on how "Backwoods" came to life as a song. He grew up in the country in Arkansas, but his guitar player grew up in a place called Greasy Creek, Kentucky. They played a couple of shows there, and Justin told his producer, "Dude, I grew up out in the woods, but you wouldn't believe how backwoods this place is!" The song wrote itself in about 20 minutes, and he was pleased with how it turned out, but when they all went into the studio to cut it, he was blown away by how it sounded with a full band. He knew that day it would be on the album, and hoped it would be a single. It was, and is his fastest-rising song so far in his short career.

Randy Houser is nearly finished with his new cd...been working overtime in the studio before hitting the road again. Expect the still-untitled cd to be out in April.

Josh Gracin is in the studio, recording like a madman. He says there'll be new stuff for us to hear soon.

Country Crossing, near Dothon, Alabama, is getting ready for their grand opening, and they've decided to do a three-day music festival. Before you roll your eyes and say, "who can afford that?" hear this: you can. It's all free. Three days of country concerts, featuring Tracy Lawrence, Joe Nichols, John Anderson, and many many more, are all free and open to the public. The shows are on January 15th, 16th and 17th and run from about 3:30 to past midnight each day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

On Friday, while most of America was watching the Rose Bowl game, Shania Twain was having the time of her life. She was the final person to carry the Olympic torch that day, so got to not just carry the torch for a leg of it's run, but also light the flame-keeper in her hometown of Timmons, Ontario, Canada. As you can see, she truly enjoyed that moment in the spotlight.

And Lady Antebellum knocked it out of the park when they sang the National Anthem just before the Sugar Bowl kicked off.

Jimmy Wayne's on day 4 of his walk from Nashville to Phoenix to spotlight teen homelessness. He's re-living his own days of living on the street when he was a teen with no home and no one who cared about him. On Friday he met a young man who told him, "Thanks for what you're doing. I'm gonna get out of here, straighten up and make my Mom proud." And on Saturday he wrote, "Been walking all day; suns goin down; its strange 2 C people look away; then again a familiar thing from long ago!"

Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley will be in concert at the Ryman on Jan. 16.

Dierks Bentley rings in the new year by backwards-slow-marching into Percy Priest Lake, just outside of Nashville. Check out the video to see just how cold those gladiators were.

Jack Ingram's new years resolution is to write once song per week. He plans to watch less tv and do more reading in order to accomplish his goal.

Charles Kelley of Lady A resolves to spend more time with his new wife.

Tim McGraw is wishing for happiness for himself and his family.

Check out Sugarland's video for their new song, "Sex on Fire."

Brad Paisley's "American Saturday Night" tour kicks back up again tomorrow night in San Antonio.

Zac Brown Band is off the road for a while, and headed into the studio to make the next album.

Kellie Pickler is packing for her next USO tour, and says she'll leave her red high heels at home - it's easier to jump out of helicopters in flats!

Kenny Chesney sold $71.1 million dollars in concert tickets last year, so he can afford to sit this year out if he wants to.

Rascal Flatts will celebrate 10 years as a trio this year, and plan a summer tour with a new cd in the fall.