Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney takes you behind the scenes as they mix the sound on his "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D" movie.

He's also giving away a private screening of the movie to one of his FaceBook fans. The movie comes out on April 21st.

Carrie Underwood isn't even married yet, and she's already won an award as "hottest wife." ESPN magazine put up a poll, asking hockey fans to identify the "Hottest Hockey Wife." Even though Carrie and Mike Fisher aren't married yet, she won with 48% of the vote. More details are trickling out about their wedding plans: Carrie's dog, Ace, will be part of the ceremony, probably as a ring-bearer. Carrie says he won't be walking down the aisle by himself, though, for fear that he'll run away with the ring, or worse yet, eat it!

It's a big hit in only it's second year. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton performed a benefit for local charities in Tishomingo, Oklahoma over the weekend, and raised over $70,000. In addition to the guitar pull, there was a cocktail party, live and silent auctions plus dinner for all attendees.

That was a nice warm-up for Miranda, whose "Cause for Pause" benefit in Tyler, Texas happens on May 15th. It's the third year for that fund-raiser, which benefits the Humane Society of East Texas.

Out on tour, ACM nominees Joey & Rory are the opening act for the Zac Brown Band. Last year, ZBB won the ACM for best new group, but lost the award for best new artist. This year, Joey & Rory won the ACM for best new duo, and Zac Brown wants to be sure they don't lose for best new artist, too. “They are exceptional people, and they are exceptional artists, and we are so proud to have them on the road for us. If you get a chance to vote please vote for Joey & Rory. I feel like country music is safe in their hands if that makes any sense at all.”

Tomorrow night is the first episode of Fox News' "Real American Stories" featuring Sarah Palin. Toby Keith fans might want to tune in...he's supposed to be part of the show, along with LL Cool J and former GE head honcho Jack Welch.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Billy Currington had a big day yesterday. The number 1 party for his song, "That's How Country Boys Roll" happened, and in the midst of the party, he was also awarded a gold record for selling half a million copies of his cd, "A Little Bit of Everything." Billy's had 5 number one songs so far, but this is his first one as co-writer.

Carrie Underwood and fiance Mike Fisher haven't made all of their wedding plans yet, but they do know one thing: no traditional wedding cake. Instead, they'll do wedding cupcakes, made by the wife of Carrie's bass player. Ivey Childers runs IveyCake in Franklin, TN, and they're in charge of the wedding dessert. Where will the cupcakes be going? No word yet...

And a big congrats to Carrie on her 12th career #1 song with "Temporary Home."

Congrats to Reba and Wynonna, who have both been named to the American Red Cross 2010 National Celebrity Cabinet. Wonder if them being red-heads has anything to do with it?

If you're going to be near Amarillo, Texas on Friday, plan on partying with Jimmy Wayne. Amarillo is estimated to be the half-way point between Nashville and Phoenix on his Meet Me Halfway walk for homeless teens, so a celebration is in order.

Darryl Worley is planning for another USO tour - his 8th - of the Forward Operating Bases in Iraq in late April. He says, "This is just our way to say, 'Thanks,' in honor of their sacrifice, but it could never compare to what these soldiers do for us every day."

Free concert alert: in advance of the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, there are two days of free concerts on April 16th & 17th. If you'll be in town, you'll see Emily West, The Band Perry, Danny Gokey and Lady Antebellum on the 16th and Joey & Rory, Gloriana, Randy Rogers Band, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert on the 17th. Road trip?

Free country music alert: The CMA has a 5-song country music sampler of emerging artists you can download for free. You get Trailer Choir's "Rolling Through the Sunshine," Burns & Poe's "Don't Get No Better Than That," Ash Bowers' "Stuck," Derek Sholl's "When They Come Back" and Veronica Ballestrini's "Don't Say."

Shopping alert - you can buy Alan Jackson's "Freight Train" and Gretchen Wilson's "I Got Your Country Right Here" today.

Alan Jackson was on the Today show this morning, and will be on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight. Catch Gretchen Wilson on the CBS Early Show tomorrow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

In the middle of a huge tour, Tim McGraw is wrapping work on his latest movie and has already signed on for another one. He and Dwight Yoakam will be part of "Dirty Girl," a comedy about a wild high school girl looking for her father. Tim's also going to get a little military appreciation in - on May 5th, he'll do a concert at the Player's Championship golf tournament as the capper for their Military Appreciation Day.

In other Tim news, he's publicly supporting co-star Sandra Bullock through her tough times. Saying that she's tougher than he could be in the same situation, he wishes her nothing but the best as she deals with allegations of her husband's multiple infidelities.

Saturday night, Taylor Swift was up for two Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards. She won them both - Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Song for "You Belong With Me." Congrats, Taylor!

So a couple of guys from Auburn, AL put up a website, trying to get a hug from Taylor Swift for a film project. She was charmed, so decided to challenge them to do some good deeds to earn the hug. Challenge #1 - help an old lady across the street. I'm thinking they won that challenge with flying colors. See what you think.

Jo Dee Messina is hosting the CMA Music Festival's 5K family run for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Every participant who raises at least $250 will get two tickets to brunch with Jo Dee. Online registration for the June 12th event is going on now.

Want a free ringtone for your phone, and love Charlie Daniels' fiddle playing on the Geico commercial? You're in luck!

Jimmy Wayne crossed into Texas on Saturday in his walk across America for Project Meet Me Halfway. While in Oklahoma, he trudged through yet another snow storm in his walk to raise awareness for teen homelessness.

On April 10th, a tv special will tape in Connecticut. The retrospective is entitled "Kenny Rogers: the First 50 Years," and the line-up of stars just got bigger. Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Wynonna Judd and Lionel Richie were already on the bill, and Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker, Billy Currington, Smokey Robinson, Chris Isaak, Sheena Easton and the Oak Ridge Boys are all going to be part of it. Tickets for the show range from $100 to $225 and are on sale now.

In case you want to be in Hollywood for the occasion, Alan Jackson gets his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 16th at 11:30am.

Congrats to Reba, who turned 55 yesterday. That woman is rockin' 55!

Alan Jackson and Gretchen Wilson both have new albums out tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Reba has some fat-wallet fans. This week at a Celebrity Fight Night fund-raiser for Parkinson's Disease research, three men bid nearly a million dollars to have lunch with Reba. Nice donation!

In the upcoming issue of Country Weekly, Charlie Daniels defends Taylor Swift, saying that
"She is a very very decent young woman who is a much better role model than some of these that are held up to admiration. She’s always been very down to earth and very humble. I like people who can handle a certain degree of stardom without taking themselves too seriously." He goes on to say to those who complain about her singing that she's a singer/songwriter in the folk music vein, and that she's a great storyteller for her generation. And Charlie knows a little something about story-telling! He's recovering well after the stroke he suffered late last year, by the way.

Dierks Bentley won't be in the audience for the ACM Awards on April 18th. He'll be in Minneapolis, headlining the Dow Live Earth Run for Water concert. The 100-city, same-day worldwide 6k run/walk aims to raise money and awareness for the need for clean water.

Two weeks from today, Kenny Chesney will be on the Oprah show, giving fans a sneak peek of his "Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D" movie. He says he's been surprised at himself the last three times he's visited with Oprah, opening up to her more than he thought he could, and even learning things about himself.

One of the films that Brad Paisley will screen at the Nashville Film Festival on April 22nd started out as a prank on his wife, Kimberly. She was traveling on business, and Brad bought a life-sized doll to appear as his two-year old son, Huck. In the short film, the doll rides a horse, goes careening down a hill in a runaway stroller, shoots a revolver at a target and does several other not-Mom-approved activities. Titled "When Mom's Away," Brad left it on the table for Kimberly to find. The note said, "Press play." According to Brad, the film is "horrifying, but hilarious."

Kellie Pickler has decided to abolish her fan club. Current members will get prorated refunds of their club dues, and fan club meet & greets will be honored through June. Starting next month, her website will have no special "fan club only" areas - all of the site will be open to everyone. She's excited that now everyone who's interested in her music will be able to afford to be part of it. Free is a great price!

Congrats to Emerson Drive's Brad Mates and his wife Jana. They're expecting their first child in the next few weeks. Brad wonders if it's too soon to take future son Tyler out on the golf course with him.

In the "well, who hasn't?" category, word is out via Us Weekly that Leann Rimes once dated Tiger Woods. Apparently this was eight years ago, before either was married.

Headed for Orlando for spring break next week? Rascal Flatts will be there, taping an episode of the Ellen DeGeneres show, so be on the lookout for them. The show will air a week from today.

Tomorrow night, Nickelodeon's Kid's Choice Awards show airs, and Taylor Swift is up for two: Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Song, for "You Belong With Me."

Happy birthday today to Kenny Chesney, who turns 42, and also to Reba and Rodney Atkins...they both celebrate on Sunday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

He's nominated, but he won't campaign for the win. That's what Brad Paisley said about all the hooplah surrounding artists trying to get fans to vote for them as the ACM Entertainer of the Year. The other nominees in the fan-voted category are Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Toby Keith, George Strait, Zac Brown Band and Kenny Chesney. Brad says he won't campaign because it makes him uncomfortable. "Honestly, I don't like that part of it. I understand that people love to get involved and it's cool that they can, but vote for who you want." Voting begins a week from today.

ACM awards aren't the only thing fans can vote for. Brooks & Dunn are letting their fans choose the song they'll sing on the show, from a list of six: "My Maria," "Brand New Man," "Red Dirt Road," "Neon Moon," "You're Gonna Miss Me," and "Boot Scootin' Boogie."

Jake Owen is getting to learn from a lot of different artists. This weekend, he's opening three shows for Jason Aldean, next month he's the opener for Miranda Lambert and then in May, he's on the road with Sugarland. He's already a really good stage performer - imagine what he'll be like when he's got these tours under his belt!

Told you yesterday about the travel woes of James Otto, trying to fly to California from snowed-in Denver's airport. He finally got to LA at 12:30 yesterday afternoon, for a show at 7:30 in Bakersfield. Travel time from the airport plus shower time and sound check time means he cut that one really close! The crowd was very appreciative, though, and the show went well last night.

Rascal Flatts is in the studio in California, working on music for a new album.

Montgomery Gentry is also in the studio, and if you're on Twitter, look for T-Roy...according to Eddie, his partner's starting to tweet now, too. His Twitter handle is mgunderground

The Zac Brown Band have been working on a new album, and plan to make it even bigger than "The Foundation." Guest artists include Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson, and it should be released this fall. It may be named "You Get What You Give," a favorite quote and one of Zac's tattoos. Meanwhile, they'll miss the ACM award show because they'll be on a USO tour. The band visited White Sands Army Base in New Mexico and got to play with some big guns. Zac said, “Oh it was awesome. The soldiers and the troops took really good care of us. We got to shoot some full automatic weapons, and get out and shoot. I love to shoot anyway, I do that when I’m out at home. But getting to shoot some toys we don’t get to play with was very, very cool.”

Alan Jackson's estate just outside of Nashville is on the market, and he and his girls are looking to move to Florida, at least part time. His youngest daughter is 13, so they'll be looking for a home in Nashville, too, while she finishes up school.

Last year on American Idol, Danny Gokey was booted off the show as the third runner-up. When he came back to perform this season, how did the judges treat him? “Right before I went up there and sang, they just greeted me. Simon gave me a big ole smile and hug. So did, Kara, Randy, and Ellen. It was great”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

A few of the performers for the ACM Awards have been announced, and the show's going to be fabulous - Kenny Chesney, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and show host Reba McEntire will all be performing on the show April 18th. More performers will be announced between now and then.

Josh Turner celebrated the success of "Why Don't We Just Dance" at a #1 party in Nashville this week. Though the song was at the top of the charts for 4 weeks, he admitted he had a hard time when it dropped. “When I found out we didn’t get the fifth week, I was kind of moping around my kitchen for about two or three minutes, then I was like, ‘What do I have to complain about? It’s been number one for four weeks! It’s just kind of funny because we as humans always want more and something better. I immediately changed my attitude, outlook, and was very thankful”

Easton Corbin is the first artist to have a debut song go to #1 since Dierks Bentley did it in 2003 with "What Was I Thinkin'."

Trace Adkins is finishing up work on his next album, and is looking forward to bouncing ideas off of the president of his record label, Toby Keith. "I'm finishing up this new record, and when I get ready to make that decision on what the first single is going to be, I'm going to sit down with him and we'll go over the stuff, because I value his opinion."

James Otto had a long day yesterday. He's in Denver and was supposed to fly to California for a show. Had to reschedule the flight, then the second flight boarded, sat on the tarmac, de-iced, sat on the tarmac and finally after midnight, that flight was canceled, too. He spent last night stranded at the airport in Denver.

Confession from Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum - she says she tried out for American Idol twice and didn't make it past the first round. Wow...wonder how the judges feel about missing part of the biggest thing in music right now?

Justin Moore is loving being a dad to daughter Ella, born in February. He says he's sorry that his wife Kate is having to shoulder most of the work, because he's on the road right now, and also says that his daughter has changed his sleeping habits. “I've been joking that I used to come home to get rest, but now I get rest when I head out on the road! Seriously though, everything is going great.” Justin and Kate are both small in stature, so Justin says Ella doesn't have a prayer of being tall, noting she'll probably be tiny her whole life.

Here's some video silliness from Jennifer and Kristian, who are at work on their next album.

There's a sweet show in Nashville tonight. General Tommy Franks will be part of it, along with Charlie Daniels, Kix Brooks, Amy Grant, Gretchen Wilson and Larry Gatlin. Performers are donating their time and talent for Operation Yellow Ribbon, raising money for veterans in need and their families.

Early dvr alert: Kenny Chesney will be on the Oprah show on April 9th. The show will feature his surprise visit to Key West, and you know there'll be a song or two.

Happy 26th wedding anniversary to Toby and Tricia Keith.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley tipped his tour info yesterday at a #1 party for "Welcome to the Future" and "American Saturday Night." The "H2O World Tour" kicks off in late May for a run of 75 cities with Darius Rucker and Justin Moore as his opening acts. He made the announcement yesterday because it was World Water Day, a day set aside to raise awareness for the worldwide need for safe drinking water. Brad's new song is "Water" and he is planning a "Water World Plaza" at his tour stops, featuring performances by Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson. Also on the plaza is a Corvette simulator, where fans can try to beat Brad's performance and win meet & greet passes.

Meanwhile, on the Keith Urban tour front, he's decided to take his show to places he's never played or hasn't played in a long time. Here's a list of his tour stops this spring and summer:

April 16th Florence, Arizona
April 23rd Las Vegas, Nevada
April 24th Indio, California
May 29th Baton Rouge, Louisiana
June 10th East Rutherford, NJ
June 12th Boston, Massachusetts
June 14th Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 15th Washington, DC
June 19th Chicago, Illinois
June 25th Manhattan, Kansas
June 26th Greeley, Colorado
June 27th Grand Junction, Colorado
July 8th Cavendish, Nova Scotia
July 10th Ft. Loramie, Ohio
July 16th Sarnia, Ontario
July 28th Paso Robles, California
July 30th Sweet Home, Oregon
August 1st Camrose, Alberta
August 6th Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
August 14th Indianapolis, Indiana
September 3rd Allentown, Pennsylvania
September 4th Essex Junction, Vermont

The ACM videos continue. Starting on April first, fans can vote for Top New Artist and Entertainer of the Year. Taylor Swift is up for Entertainer, along with three other awards. Here's her video asking for your vote.

Jo Dee Messina is taking a page out of the Blake Shelton playbook: she's releasing three smaller albums this year instead of one big one. The first, "Unmistakable: Love," is out on April 27th and is her first album in six years. It'll be followed later this year by "Unmistakable: Drive" and "Unmistakable: Inspiration." Each features seven to 9 songs and will showcase the music she's written and recorded over the last six years.

When Blake Shelton played the Ryman last week, Trace Adkins joined him on stage for "Hillbilly Bone," and someone had a video phone. Of course someone did - someone always does! The video quality isn't great, but the performance sure is!

Jimmy Wayne's Meet Me Halfway walk across America continues, and he's gotten caught in yet another snowstorm. He's in Oklahoma, nearing Mangum, where my Dad grew up, and according to the counter on his website, he's walked 721 miles so far. He's collecting coins he finds alongside the road and will donate the money to MMH, to help homeless teens.

Shopping alert - The Blind Side, co-starring Tim McGraw and Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock, is out today on DVD and Blu-Ray. And Carrie Underwood’s "All-American Girl" will be available as a single-track download for Rock Band users next week.

If you missed the Zac Brown Band & Jimmy Buffett on CMT Crossroads last Friday night, you can catch a re-air tonight. And here's just a little sample of how good the show was:

CMT Crossroads: Jimmy Buffett and Zac Brown Band
"Free/Into the Mystic"

CMT Crossroads | Jimmy Buffett | Zac Brown Band

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

One of Carrie Underwood's tour truck drivers was in a wreck over the weekend, and unfortunately, he didn't live through it. The "Play On" tour stopped in Atlantic City on Friday night, and at around 8am the next morning on I-95 in Connecticut, while heading to the next tour stop, the driver of one of the stage trucks drove the truck off of an embankment, where it flipped and burned. There were no skid marks, so the driver either suffered some sort of debilitating health crisis or fell asleep while driving, and he was killed in the crash. Carrie's show in Connecticut went on Saturday night, and when she got to the part of the show where she performs "Temporary Home," she talked about the incident, saying that the song means so much to her anyway, but meant a little more Saturday night.

Dierks Bentley will take his "Miles & Music for Kids" ride to Seattle this year. The ride and after-concert will benefit the Seattle Children's Hospital and takes place on Saturday, September 18th.

Gary Allan was supposed to have show in Oklahoma City on Saturday night...nope! Snow and ice forced the cancellation and rescheduling of the show to May 27th. Randy Travis also had a show in Oklahoma, and that one had to be canceled, too, because he didn't beat the storm into the state.

Easton Corbin did get to perform over the weekend. He was part of the Saturday night Opry line-up. And a big congrats to him..."A Little More Country Than That" sits at number one on the country chart this week.

Great news for those of us who still like to buy hard-copy cds: the largest music group in the world, UMG, is about to start pricing cds at or below download prices. UMG's roster includes George Strait, Sugarland, Josh Turner, Billy Currington, Shania Twain and tons more big stars.

Congrats on the new wall bling to:
Alan Jackson for his 15th platinum album with "Good Time."
Lady Antebellum for their double-platinum "Need You Now."
Taylor Swift for a six-times-platinum certification for "Fearless" and gold certification on the single, "Today Was a Fairytale."
Carrie Underwood gets a triple-platinum on "Carnival Ride," platinum for "Play On," and "Cowboy Cassanova" has earned platinum single status.
Platinum singles were also earned by Zac Brown Band for "Toes" and Jason Aldean for "Big Green Tractor."
Miranda Lambert has earned gold status for "Revolution," and Tim McGraw has it for "Southern Voice."
Gold single awards were given to Toby Keith for "God Love Her," Brad Paisley for "Online," Darius Rucker for "It Won't Be Like This for Long" and "Alright," and LeAnn Rimes earned gold for "I Need You."

Blake Shelton is on "Chelsea Lately" on E! tonight.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Blake Shelton played a sold-out show at the Ryman in Nashville last night. If you've picked up his first 6-pak, you'll be familiar with the song he fired up the show with. As the curtain rose, he lit into "Kiss My Country A**" and the crowd went wild. The noise level went even higher when Trace Adkins strolled out on stage to sing "Hillbilly Bone" with Blake. He pulled it back a bit for part of the show, doing his sweeter hits like "Home" and "The Baby" with just him and his guitar on stage.

Chart history was made this week, as Taylor Swift's "Fearless" moved from #12 into tenth place. The title cut from her second cd becomes the album's fifth top 10 on Billboard's Country Song chart. And she also had five top 10s from her self-titled debut album, making her the first solo female to collect five top 10s on the chart from each of her first two albums. "Fearless" is also the only album in history to win Country Album of the year from the Grammys, CMA, ACM and AMA. Taylor's given herself some really big boots to fill, but if anyone can top her success last year, she can.

Brad Paisley, movie producer? Well, sort of - he's directed a couple of short films, "When Mom's Away" and "Teenage Paparazzo," which will be screened at the Nashville Film Festival next month. Those who have seen them say it's what you'd expect from someone with his prankster sense of humor.

Sunday morning at the Paisley household is when Brad fires up the griddle and makes pancakes for his son, Huck. Huck is pretty specific about how he wants his pancakes - shaped like different kinds of dinosaurs. According to Brad's wife Kimberly, he makes a mean diplodocus!

Dolly Parton recently opened a gift shop in downtown Nashville called Trinkets and Treasures. One of the treasures is a hand-decorated Guitar of Many Colors, designed after her poignant hit, "Coat of Many Colors." Dolly owns one, and now shoppers in her store can, too. Here's the guy who makes them, talking about the process.

Gretchen Wilson's "I Got Your Country Right Here" deluxe edition can be pre-ordered now at her new Redneck Records website. The first 500 of the deluxe sets to be pre-ordered will be autographed. You can also pre-order the regular cd. The street date is March 30th.

Keith Urban's in the April issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, sharing the recipe for his favorite home-cooked meal: crust-less quiche.

Tonight is the premier of the Zac Brown Band/Jimmy Buffett CMT Crossroads show. Tomorrow morning, watch Craig Morgan on the CBS Early Show, and Monday night, Blake Shelton will be on the Chelsea Lately show on E! again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Last night, Nashville's Maggiano's Little Italy was the site of a gathering of very powerful people. It was a celebration of Taylor Swift's four #1 singles in a row, and the head of her record label, the vice president of her music publishing house, her producer and the senior chart manager of Billboard Magazine were all there. Each took turns talking about what an impact Taylor has had on the industry, and what the past year has meant to them. When it was Taylor's turn, she just wanted to say thank you. "I'm proud of the people this happened to along with me. We've had a lot change for (all of) us. I've seen a lot of you get new cars, but other than that, you're the same people I've always known," she joked

April means Masters golf, but to some famous musician-golfers, it means something else: the "Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament" in Myrtle Beach. Darius Rucker has hosted the event for sixteen years, and this year, Steve Azar, Jack Ingram and Colt Ford join PGA tour pros Jim Furyk, John Daly, Woody Austin and Rich Beem. The tournament is a fund-raiser for state and national educational non-profits.

Trisha Yearwood's cookbook is out in a couple of weeks, and she'll be on the cover of the April Redbook Magazine. In the feature story, Trisha talks about some of the recipes in the book and why she included them. "I've included a Crock-Pot recipe for mac and cheese that is one of the best things in the whole world. I can't make it that often, because I will eat the entire thing. But my motto's always been, 'Everything in moderation – including moderation.'"

Carrie Underwood is on the cover of the April Allure Magazine, and the photo shoot is va-va-va-voom!

And Miley Cyrus is in Parade Magazine, bashing country music. She says it's contrived, and is all whining about your girlfriend or boyfriend leaving you. She does have some nice words to say about her godmother, Dolly Parton, at least.

Kenny Chesney's new video for "Ain't Back Yet" is on

Faith Hill was part of the ABBA induction at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and sang "The Winner Takes it All" while Benny Andersson of ABBA accompanied her on piano. Faith and her girls are all big ABBA fans, so this was quite an honor for her.

Congrats to John Michael Montgomery, Steve Wariner, Patty Loveless, the Goins Brothers, the late Keith Whitley, and the late Molly O'Day. They're all being inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

And Brad Paisley celebrated St. Patrick's Day by "catching a Leprechaun." He took to Twitter to entertain his fans with tales of what happens when you catch a little green man. (language alert!)

"Holy cow, just saw a leprechaun! Just saw a leprechaun! Ran right by my chair! Freaking out! Dressed in green! Said something about gold! Aaah"
"Okay I just caught him in a possum trap we had in the barn! He's PISSED!"
"Ow! He bit me! Little bastard! Do leprechauns carry any diseases? He's a mean one. I'll name him "Lucky". I'm going to keep him 4 ever & ever."
"Man leprechauns can spit like llamas! He got me good. So I waterboarded him with a bottle of aquafina"
"Oh gross. He sh*+ all over his cage. Great."
"Oh yeah, if you're wondering, their sh*+ is John Deere green. But it smells like bleu cheese. Odd."

He went on to try to decide what to do with the leprechaun, finally deciding to turn him into dinner, which didn't work out well. Brad said he overcooked the little man, and now has to wait an entire year to try the recipe again.

Willie Nelson has formed a film production company in Texas. Lucky Films will put out three to five films a year, focusing on music specials, documentaries and entertainment movies.

Blake Shelton is managing to be two places at once tonight. He's headlining the Ryman in Nashville, and is also on the Chelsea Lately show on E! tonight. It's his second time on the show, so he was a little better prepared for the very off-the-wall questions he got during the show's taping.

Josh Turner is on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The ACM award show isn't until April 18th, but already we know who the Top New Solo Vocalist, Vocal Group and Vocal Duo are. Congrats to Luke Bryan, Gloriana and Joey+Rory for winning those fan-voted categories. They're now competing against each other for the ACM Top New Artist, which again will be fan-voted. That starts on April 1, the same day that GAC will air the Trace Adkins hosted "ACM Top New Artist" special.

Another awards show is getting set to announce nominees - the ninth annual CMT Music Awards happens on June 9th at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. The awards recognize excellence in country music videos, and the show will feature live performances from fan favorites. Tickets to the show go on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets on April 10th.

And there should be some sort of award for this - it's the 25th year for Farm Aid, and founding board member Willie Nelson says, "In 1985, we started out to save the family farmer. Now it looks like the family farmer is going to save us as our nation continues to endure a historic economic downturn." Farm Aid 25: Growing Home For America is in the planning stages, but everyone knows Willie will be there.

Something tasty from the Zac Brown Band - the Southern Ground Cookbook is now available at their website and also at Cracker Barrel's site. The book features removable recipe cards for ease of recipe-following, and Zac Brown's Southern Ground Grub foods will be in stores soon. Which recipe is Zac's favorite? “There’s one in there called ‘Chicken and Corn,’ and its homemade fried chicken and homemade fresh cream corn and you bury the chicken in the corn and bake it for a little while. It’s ridiculous, I mean really.”

Craig Morgan, who's touring with Carrie Underwood, had to catch a flight home early this morning to check on his son and pickup truck. Apparently his son had a wreck, and Craig's been told that he's ok, but he wants to go see for himself. He'll be back on stage for the Atlantic City show Friday night.

Jo Dee Messina and her hubby are expecting their first child in three months. It's a boy, and they're ecstatic: "We knew we wanted to have kids, but we just said, 'Whenever it happens, it happens.' And it happened! We were both surprised at first. It's such a lifestyle change. But then we're like, 'Wow, we're going to be parents.'"

The Eagles will tour with the Dixie Chicks this summer, and Keith Urban will join the tour for five shows. The eight-city stadium stomp happens in June, and it's the first time the Dixie Chicks have toured in four years. Here's the itinerary, and the * indicates the shows that include Keith Urban:

June-8 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
June-10 *East *Rutherford, NJ New Meadowlands Stadium
June-12 *Boston, MA Gillette Stadium
June-14 *Philadelphia, PA Citizens Bank Ball Park
June-15 *Washington, DC Nationals Park
June-19 *Chicago, IL Soldier Field
June-22 Winnipeg, MB Canad Inna Stadium
June-24 St. Louis, MO Busch Stadium

Mindy McCready is on "The View" today, Craig Morgan is on "Hannity" and Gary Allan is on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." And set your dvr's...the Zac Brown Band/Jimmy Buffett CMT Crossroads episode debuts this Friday night.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Congrats to Blake Shelton, who has #1 song number 6 with "Hillbilly Bone." When he first heard the song, he thought it would make a great Trace Adkins song, so he passed on it. Then he put it on hold and asked Trace to sing back-up vocals. Then he decided it needed to be a full-on duet featuring both of them, and that effort got Blake his latest spot at the top of the charts.

Fun facts from the "American Saturday Night" tour: Brad Paisley played to nearly 1.2 million fans in 8 months on the road. The band went through 12,840 guitar picks, 3,570 AA batteries, over a thousand packs of guitar strings, 74 cowboy hats and had two babies born at shows along the way. His "H2O World Tour" dates will be announced within a week.

Steel Magnolia will be opening on Brad's next tour, and they're off to a great start with their first single, "Keep On Lovin' You." It's the highest debut song by a male/female duo in Billboard's Top Country Single chart history. They've come up with a way to interact with their fans each week. “We actually do this thing now that’s called Talk to Us Tuesdays and by way of MySpace blog we have fans submit questions and we answer them every Tuesday by way of video blog. It gives us a chance to interact with our fans and kinda tell them what’s going on and just kind of good interaction you know.”

Justin Moore is singing the praises of the guy who stole his guitar last Saturday night. The guy who took the guitar got an attack of conscience and returned it the next morning, complete with a note of apology inside the guitar case, saying it was a drunken mistake. The note went on to say, "I would like to deeply and sincerely apologize for what I've done. I'm going out and buying 50 of your CDs today." Justin Moore says, "We all make mistakes, but we don't always make it right. It says a lot about the guy."

Carrie Underwood is getting a little push-back from fans of her fiance, Mike Fisher. When she visits his homeland, she says people are usually pretty nice, but occasionally, hockey fans will come up and warn her that she'd better not try to take Mike away from Canada. The couple plans to divide their time between Nashville and Ottowa, as they're doing now.

Wanna see how Carrie Underwood's "Play On" show opens? Check this out.

And that flying over the audience thing? It's in a blue pickup truck.

Dierks Bentley has announced his "Up On the Ridge" tour dates and stops. He kicks off the bluegrass-tinged fun on April 21 in Portland, Oregon.

Love And Theft have been invited to help with the grand opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC on May 11th. The free day of festivities includes a concert in the evening, with Love And Theft as the headliners. The executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame saw them at a show in Nashville and was blown away, hence the invitation.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were in Australia this past weekend, celebrating Nicole's Mom's 70th birthday.

New music out today includes "Sunday in the Country," a compilation album of inspirational songs that's a benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It includes music from Keith Urban, Martina McBride, George Strait and many more Nashville greats. Brantley Gilbert's "Halfway to Heaven" and Travis Rush's "Feel" are also out today.

Patty Griffin is on the "Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" tonight, Craig Morgan is on "Hannity" tomorrow and Gary Allan is on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show tomorrow night.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

While much of America is caught up in March Madness, Darius Rucker is kinda bummed. “Yes it’s very depressing having to watch the NBA. I wanna watch the NFL, but you know I watch football a lot and Super Bowl Sunday is happy yet sad day for me because you know it’s not coming back until August.”

Here's a mental sneak-peek at Carrie Underwood's amazing stunt on this tour - she flies over the audience in a pickup truck while singing "Take Me Home Country Roads." the John Denver classic.

They're not missing, but you will be seeing them on a lot of milk cartons soon. Gloriana will be on about 50 million milk cartons distributed to schools across America for the Milk Rocks! campaign. Kids are encouraged to sign up for the campaign and win a shot at a $10,000 scholarship, as well as tickets to see Gloriana in concert on Taylor Swift's "Fearless" tour.

He's supposedly been taking time off, but Kenny Chesney says he's been mentally busier than ever. Between the movie and writing songs and getting ready to record new music, he's wishing he was back out on the road so he can get some rest! By the way, Kenny wants to fly you to Vegas to see him play at The Joint. He's there in May, and again in July. The Joint is a small theatre inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino where all seats are up-close and personal.

What's David Nail been doing with his time off? Taking batting practice with the St. Louis Cardinals. He's had private batting lessons with Mark McGuire, has his own uniform, and is even pretty psyched about how sore he was after his three days with the bigs.

Brad Paisley's just learned that his show in London sold out so quickly that now it'll be two shows. He's trying to learn the language, silly boy!

Justin Moore had a scare...his favorite guitar went missing. Actually, it was stolen at his show in Royal Oak, Michigan Saturday night. The Gibson J-45 sunburst was on the side of the stage, ready to be packed when some light-fingered Louie lifted it. It was missing for less than 8 hours - the thief caught a conscience and returned it. Justin says it's a good thing, too...he's already promised that guitar to daughter Ella, who he says is delighted that it's back home safe.

James Otto is getting a lot of questions about the name for their first baby. He tweeted, "No we haven't decided on a name yet. I wanna call him Otis if he's a boy. I have no idea why Amy objects." Otis Otto...I'm with Amy on this one!

Jimmy Wayne is still walking across America, but this weekend he took time out to do a show in Hiawassee, GA. Over the weekend, a new initiative was launched - Project - as a way for those who want to help teens in foster care make the transition to adult life smoothly. They're looking for street team members now, so if this sounds like you, your help is desperately needed.

Happy 7th anniversary to Brad and Kimberly Paisley.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Before "The Horrible Fall" last Saturday night in Charleston, Brad Paisley got pranked by Justin Moore and his band. They donned Speedos and snorkeling gear and joined Brad on stage.

And the pranking continued, this time on the road with Rascal Flatts and Darius Rucker. Last Friday night in Columbus, GA, the guys from Rascal Flatts made Darius Rucker the "butt" of their prank. They called on some locals to bring in four goats, let them loose in Darius' dressing room while he was performing, and then paraded them on stage while he was singing "Family Tradition." The goats weren't used to walking on leashes, so the volunteers got a real workout! Be sure to watch the musicians' faces when the goats come on stage.

Miranda Lambert's "Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars" tour schedule is posted, and her opening acts will be rotating. She's signed up James Otto, David Nail, Randy Houser, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Eric Church, Jake Owen, Wade Bowen, Luke Bryan and Chris Young to take turns opening shows. What, no women? Miranda says, "I’ve been on tour with some great male headliners so I thought it’s only natural that I invite some talented guys on my first official headlining tour!”

A music teacher in Idaho noticed that suddenly he has a lot of young girls wanting to learn to play guitar, and they all seemed drawn to learning Taylor Swift songs. He formed the Taylor Swift Club so the girls could all have fun learning, playing and singing together. Smart guy! Their favorite songs to play? "The Best Day" and "You Belong With Me."

The night after the ACM Awards in Las Vegas, there's a big tv show taping in Sin City in honor of Brooks & Dunn. "ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn - The Last Rodeo" will tape on April 19th and air on May 23, and more performers have been added to the lineup. Joining Kenny Chesney, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are Jason Aldean, Lady A, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, George Strait, Taylor Swift and Sugarland. ACM's charity, "Lifting Lives" will benefit from ticket sales, and the show is open to the public.

Uh-oh...cops shut down Bucky Covington's show in New Jersey last night. The crowd wasn't unruly, the bar was just overcrowded. Once authorities approved of the size of the audience, the show went on, and apparently Bucky was gracious and accommodating. He says he wants to go back and do another show for everyone who missed out on last night's.

Planning on running in the Music City Marathon or Half-Marathon? Yay for you if you said yes, but even if you said no, you can get in on a great post-race concert, featuring John Rich, Cowboy Troy, Heidi Newfield and Jerrod Niemann. The race and show are on April 24th in Nashville.

You won't see his face, but you'll know his voice right away. Saturday night on CMT, Trace Adkins narrates "True Blue: Ten Years of Blue Collar Comedy."

Happy birthday to Kristian Bush of Sugarland, who turns 40 on Sunday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

When Carrie Underwood hits the stage to open her "Play On" tour in Pennsylvania tonight, fans are in for a lot of surprises. For one, Carrie will fly over the audience, something she's been practicing for the last couple of weeks. In the midst of this tour, Carrie and fiance Mike Fisher will be married. They've set a date, but haven't even told family and friends, in an effort to keep their ceremony as private as possible. Carrie says, "Not to say even anybody would care to show up, but just in case. I'm not going to be Carrie Underwood the entertainer walking down the aisle. I'm just Carrie and I'm going to marry Mike. I feel like that's kind of a right everybody deserves to have."

Kenny Chesney will spend a little quality time in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee on April 14th. That's where he'll hold a premier of "Summer in 3D" as a benefit for an area childrens charity. Tickets are $25 each, which includes a catered reception with Kenny in attendance.

Congrats to Jamey Johnson, who's about to be recognized by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The Enterprise, AL native will be presented the State's Rising Star award. At the same ceremony, Mac McAnally will receive the Arthur Alexander songwriter's award. The March 25th ceremony at the Montgomery Convention Center will include performances by all of the inductees and is open to the public.

Lady Antebellum played the Ryman last night, and will do another show there tonight. USA Today featured them in a great article about where they've been and where they're going. Their second album, "Need You Now," is sitting atop the Billboard Country chart again this week.

In other chart success, Blake Shelton had an amazing first week for his "Hillbilly Bone" six-pak. He landed at #3 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart and at #2 behind Lady A on the Billboard Country chart. That's Blake's highest career debut so far.

The new season of Celebrity Apprentice starts this Sunday night, and one episode will feature a country music challenge. Tapped to help with the challenge, where the two teams try to figure out what it takes to make a country music superstar, are Luke Bryan and Emily West. The air date hasn't been set yet, but Luke says, “I’m hoping that I do Nashville, country music and myself proud. I can’t wait to see how it turns out on TV.”

Martina McBride wants to know how your child shines. In partnership with her tour sponsor, SunnyD, she's offering ten grand and a VIP trip to Nashville for the grand prize winner, and monthly winners get scholarships and other prizes.

Fan voting for a handful of ACM awards is still going on, and those up for fan-voted awards are taking to the internet to ask for votes. Today's featured video is from Joey + Rory, nominated in the New Vocal Duo category.

That one's good, but it's hard to top Luke Bryan's imaginative video (and awful wardrobe malfunction!) in his quest for Top New Solo Artist. Scroll down to Wednesday March 3rd to see that one. And Steel Magnolia is offering you a free download of an acoustic version of "Keep On Lovin' You" if you're on Twitter, in the hopes that you and your followers will vote for them. See all the nominees and cast your vote today. Vote soon, though...tomorrow is the last day to cast votes.

Even the parents of country stars are fans. Justin Moore took his parents backstage to meet Reba, and just look at the grins on their faces!

Dolly Parton fans, rejoice! A collection of gospel songs she recorded in the early 70's will be reissued on CD and digitally May 4th. The project is called "Letter to Heaven: Songs of Faith and Inspiration" and includes a never-before-released cut, "Would You Know Him?"

And look for Johnny Cash's Columbia Records albums to hit digital retailers this month and next.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Congrats to Joe Don Rooney and his wife, Tiffany Fallon, who are expecting their second child. They don't know the baby's sex yet, but will find out as soon as they can. The younger sibling to their 21-month-old son Jagger is due to make his or her arrival in September. "I'll be on tour this September and the Rascal Flatts machine is not stopping for anybody," he says. "But I have to be there. I'll rent a jet or something if I have to!"

Are you a Reba fan? Think she should host Saturday Night Live, especially since they've parodied her on many occasions? There's a special Reba-to-host-Saturday-Night-Live fan page on Facebook, so go become a fan. Hey, it worked for Betty White!

Are you an Alan Jackson fan? Have an iTunes account? You're in a count down to the release of "Freight Train" on the 30th of this month, there's new Alan Jackson music every day at iTunes. In other AJ news, this could be his last album with Arista records, the only lable he's been on since becoming a country star 20 years ago. He's not sure whether he'll continue with the lable, do something with someone else or go it alone - he says it's time for him to start thinking about that.

Darius Rucker has decided to gather some friends and throw a benefit concert for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The first annual Darius and Friends show will be on June 7th at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Tickets for the "smack dab in the middle of the CMA Fest" event go on sale Saturday.

What are we likely to see on the Brooks & Dunn Last Rodeo tour? They hint: “I know that there’s a drum set that showed up at rehearsal the other day. It has a mechanical steer head on it and blows smoke. It’s eyes light up.”

Just in time for the music of spring songbirds, GAC and country stars have teamed up on a fund-raiser to help kids have music in school. It's the 9th Annual W.O. Smith Birdhouse auction, with houses designed by country stars like Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Craig Morgan and many, many more. Most of the artists are also throwing in things like cd's, concert tickets and meet & greet passes. Bid online until March 23rd.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words...this one of Brad Paisley's boo-boo evokes one word - ouch!

Ever wonder how artists rehearse for their tours? Carrie Underwood rented out the Mobile, AL Civic Center, hauled in equipment on 12 tractor-trailers and spent two weeks working out all the staging. The rehearsal is estimated to have added half a million bucks to the local economy.

Happy birthday Carrie Underwood, who turns 27 today, and kicks off her "Play On" tour tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

You know when Montgomery Gentry plans a summer tour, it's a big one. Well this year, it's a throwdown. The Country Throwdown Tour 2010 stars Montgomery Gentry, and packs the stage with Jamey Johnson, Little Big Town, Jack Ingram, Eric Church, Eli Young Band, the Lost Trailers, Heidi Newfield, Ryan Bingham, Jonathan Singleton & The Grove and Emily West. And if that's not quite enough entertainment, a Bluebird Cafe tent will also be on site, featuring up and coming singer-songwriters. The party starts May 14 in Tampa and runs through June 20th.

News every serious Zac Brown Band fan needs: Pre-order their new live DVD/CD set and get access to the best seats at their Atlanta show before they go on sale to the public this Friday.

The whole scoop is this now!

New artists have been added to the BamaJam line-up. Kenny Chesney, Bocephus and Jamey Johnson are now joined by Gretchen Wilson, Gregg Allman, Robert Earl Keen and loads more stars already on the ticket. Hit the website to get tickets before they're all gone.

Miranda Lambert was thrilled to get her first #1 song with "White Liar," but was a little bit conflicted about it, too. Jason Aldean's "The Truth" had to be knocked out of the #1 slot, and it was co-written by her dear friend Ashley Monroe. Thankfully, the two are still friends. Meanwhile, she's still on cloud 9 about her six ACM nominations: “Every nomination I get I’m just so thankful that I’m still getting a nomination. You know what I mean? You never know when it’s going to be like, ‘Okay you’re old lets move on to the next.’ I’ve gotten nominations for the past three years now, and I really cherish it”

Dierks Bentley's bluegrass project has a name and a tentative release window. "Up on the Ridge" is due out in early summer, and features some great guests: Miranda Lambert, Alison Krauss and the Del McCoury Band. He says this is his version of bluegrass, not just "banjos cranked up to 11."

Tim McGraw spent a little extra time with Robin Roberts after his Good Morning America stint, and told a story on his Mom. When he was about 8, the family moved from one school district to another, and on the first day there, she marched him into the Principal's office and said if he acted up, the Principal had her permission to paddle him. Tim laughed and said it must have worked - after all, look how he's turned out. He might walk a little funny, is all, he quipped. Tim's working with Longhorn Steak House to help the military. You can help, too...just head for your neighborhood Longhorn, order off the special Operation Home Front menu and most of the proceeds go to help soldiers.

Yeah, there's an app for that. If you want to stay totally connected to all things Taylor Swift and you have an iPhone, here's your All Things Taylor app. In other Taylor news, she's the only country artist to crack the top 10 in Glamour Magazine's 50 Most Glamorous Women in the World for 2010. She lands at the number 6 spot.

Phil Vassar has partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for their St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. One lucky winner gets a brand new half-million dollar home in Franklin, Tennessee. Phil helps kick off the event with a free concert at The Factory in Franklin, on March 24th. Phil says, “St. Jude is an amazing organization and I’m more than happy to lend my time for such a worthy and necessary cause.”

Trisha Yearwood is about to be a very busy lady. Her second cookbook, "Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood" comes out on April 6th, and her book tour starts on the 7th. During April, she'll be ping-ponging across the country like a madwoman, visiting upscale cooking stores and bookstores in support of the project, which includes recipes for Garth's Breakfast Bowl, Tennessee Jambalaya and Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake. Trisha promises recipes that are easy plus yummy.

Gary Allan's new cd, "Get Off on the Pain" is in stores today, and he's scheduled to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley had a rough landing Saturday night in Charleston, SC. It was the last night of the American Saturday Night tour, they had made it to the encore song and he was all fired up, running across the stage. He tripped and fell face down onto his electric guitar and the stage, but got back up and finished the show. Afterwards, he was taken to the hospital for a thorough going-over. Of course someone had a video phone recording...doesn't someone always?

In true Brad style, he tweeted and twit-pic'ed his way through the unusual evening.

At the Oscars last night, country music related movies did well. Sandra Bullock won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side," where she co-starred with Tim McGraw. Jeff Bridges won Best Actor and T. Bone Burnett won in the Best Original Song category for "The Weary Kind." The movie "Crazy Heart," is the story of a down and out country singer.

Little Big Town's Jimi and Karen welcomed their son Elijah into the world on Saturday. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Mom and baby are both doing great.

Friday night, Martina McBride had a dream. She tweeted about it on Saturday afternoon, which is how I can be telling you about it now. She dreamed she was on an episode of CMT Crossroads with Linda Ronstadt. She said it was it was!. It also wouldn't be a surprise if Martina makes that dream come true.

Gary Allan's stalker-woes continue. Charges against Katherine Walker are still pending, and the case goes back to court on the 22nd of this month. She apparently went to his front door, and when he didn't let her in, she stalked him around town, going up to him and yelling and making a scene. In better news for Gary, he finally found a replacement for the vintage Gibson guitar that was destroyed in the tornado that trashed a country music festival stage in Alberta, Canada last summer. His "new" 1948 Gibson J-200 is nearly identical to the one he lost, but he says, “When you've been playing the same guitar since you were like 12, that's a lot like dancing with somebody else's wife."

Lady Antebellum is on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Country music goes to town on Tuesday, as board members of the CMA spend the day at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. They'll be joined by Kix Brooks, Lorrie Morgan, and songwriters Victoria Shaw and Bob DiPiero for a one-of-a -kind guitar pull. The Library decided it didn't have a good enough representation of country music in it's collection, but that will be fixed on Tuesday: a special leather-bound collection of DVDs will be presented to the Library, showcasing 40 years of CMA awards broadcasts, television specials and the CMA Music Festivals.

At the other end of the world, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman sang a tribute to tv star Simon Baker, a fellow Australian. Great new lyrics to the song "Land Down Under" and Nicole had a blast singing back-up to Keith.

The CMA Music Festival just keeps getting Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Billy Currington and Kellie Pickler join the previously announced Carrie Underwood, Reba, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban. Tickets are available for $110 to $185 for the four-day festival in June.

Kenny Chesney's Summer in 3D movie is almost finished...are you getting psyched to see it? Check out the trailer, and see if it'll be showing at a theatre close to you.

It's a family affair at the Ryman Auditorium on the 10th and 11th of this month. Lady Antebellum is playing the historic theatre, and Josh Kelly is one of their opening acts. Josh is the brother of Lady A's Charles Kelly, who says, "It’s funny to think about all the bands Josh and I started when we were little kids in Augusta. My favorite was named ‘Spork,’ and I was the drummer! We’ve come a long way, that’s for sure."

Taylor Swift is the cover girl for the April issue of Elle magazine, on newsstands March 16th. Her headline? "Gorgeous, talented, smart, rich - and we still like her!"

Faith Hill has been invited to perform at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 15th. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame that night are Genesis, ABBA and Jimmy Cliff.

Lady Antebellum tapes an episode of David Letterman's show on Monday.

Sunday night at the Oscars, Tim McGraw's movie, "The Blind Side," is up for a couple of awards: Best Picture and Best Leading Actress for co-star Sandra Bullock.

Keith Urban is on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the Oscars on Sunday night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift is about to kick off her Fearless 2010 tour, another string of sold-out shows in the US. Her schedule keeps her crazy-busy, and how does that make her feel? “You have days where you’re like, ‘Wow I haven’t had a day off in a month.’ But then you think about the fact, I wanted one thing my whole life. Just one. That’s all I wanted, just this. It’s all I dreamed about, it’s all I thought about. And I’m not about to be that girl that wants one thing her whole life and then gets it and complains.” She just found out that she's nominated for a Juno Award, Canada's Grammy equivalent, for "Fearless" in the International Album of the Year category.

The CMT Crossroads episode featuring Kenny Chesney and Steve Miller that taped this week will air sometime in July. After it taped Tuesday night, the two weren't through entertaining, so crossed the alley from the Ryman to Tootsie's and did a few songs there. Of course there was a cell phone camera...isn't there always?

In the middle of the whirlwind of interviews around the release of his "Hillbilly Bone" six-pak, Blake Shelton was asked in one about his future with Miranda Lambert. They've been together five years - will they ever tie the knot? Blake's reply is that they've never been closer than they are right now, and for the first time, both of them can see the possibility of making it permanent. I'll keep you posted...!

Meanwhile Miranda Lambert's memory of the best advice she's ever gotten? "Find out who I am and stick with it."

Now it's 5 weeks at the top of the Billboard Country chart for Lady Antebellum. "Need You Now" is at #2 on the all-genre chart, behind Sade. The last of the studio sessions by the late Johnny Cash gave a good showing - "American VI: Ain't No Grave" is at #2 on the country chart and at #3 on the all-genre chart.

Jessica Harp, half of the now-defunct Wreckers, has decided to hang up her performer hat and focus on being a songwriter. She's been working on an album, "A Woman Needs," which will be available at digital retailers on March 16th.

Sunday night, after the Oscars, stay up to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live. Keith Urban will do a mini-concert on the show.

Tonight's the night - the Rascal Flatts episode of CSI: Las Vegas will debut. And American Idol alum-turned-country-star Danny Gokey will be featured on American Idol tonight.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Yesterday morning, Blake Shelton and Reba announced the nominations for the ACM Awards. Backstage, they cut up with a camera crew, and this is the result.

After yesterday's ACM nominees were announced, Reba was as proud as a peacock for Lady A: “Oh my gosh, at the CMA Awards Faith Hill and I were on the front row and when Lady Antebellum won the award, we were like crying like proud aunts ya know because we’ve known Hillary mostly all of her life. And it was just a wonderful feeling. We’re so proud of Lady A and all of the success they are having.”

This year, the ACM awards in the Top New Solo Vocalist, Top New Duo and Top New Group are fan-voted, and the voting is going on now. Artists are getting pretty creative about getting the word out to fans to please vote for them, but it's hard to see how anyone can top Luke Bryan's effort.

James Otto saddled up his motorcycle in Nashville, rounded up a few friends and headed for Bike Week in Daytona. They made it to Atlanta and hit bad weather, so called it a night and hit a hotel. Yesterday morning, his friends left without him - James had come down with an ikky bug that laid him low. Today, he's put his motorcycle on a trailer and sent it to Daytona and he's catching a flight there. Nothing stops inveterate biker James Otto from being at Bike Week!

Last night was the CMT Crossroads taping with Kenny Chesney and Steve Miller. There was a tribute to Les Paul during the show, and Kenny & Steve knocked it out of the park with some Steve Miller Band classics: Fly Like an Eagle, Abracadabra and The Joker. Kenny's great song, Living in Fast Forward, was also part of the fun. Not all the songs will make it to the final, edited edition of the show, but the audience loved them, every one. Meanwhile, the air date for the Zac Brown Band/Jimmy Buffett "CMT Crossroads" is March 19th.

Today is the day Darryl Worley has worked for tirelessly for years - the groundbreaking ceremony for the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center in Savannah, Tennessee happened at 10 this morning. It's the only cancer treatment center for several counties around, meaning that locals will have a shorter ride to life-saving treatment. Having watched members of his family have to travel when they got sick, Darryl decided to focus on making life easier for cancer patients in his hometown. The building is scheduled to open by the end of this year or early in 2011.

Gloriana is excited - not only is the 2010 leg of the Fearless tour about to start, featuring them as the opening act for Taylor Swift, they have a brand new tour bus. It's described as "pretty and lovely." Good thing they like it - it'll be their home away from home for a lot of nights this year!

Love and Theft, who are opening for Tim McGraw on the last 40 shows of his Southern Voice tour, are letting fans play with technology for their live shows. They're streaming them online, and fans get a 360 degree view of the performance.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Congrats to Lady Antebellum on getting 7 nominations for the Academy of Country Music award show on April 18th. Next in line with the most nominations are Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood at six each, Taylor Swift with five, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and the Zac Brown Band with four each. Zac Brown himself got two additional nominations, bringing his total to six. Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry have been awarded the ACM/Home Depot Humanitarian Award for their good works on behalf of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, the military, and the TJ Martell Foundation. Here's the full nominee list:

Entertainer of the Year:
• Kenny Chesney • Toby Keith • Brad Paisley • George Strait • Taylor Swift • Carrie Underwood • Keith Urban • Zac Brown Band

Top Male Vocalist:
• Kenny Chesney • Brad Paisley • Darius Rucker • George Strait • Keith Urban

Top Female Vocalist:
• Miranda Lambert • Reba McEntire • Taylor Swift • Carrie Underwood • Lee Ann Womack

Top Vocal Group:• Lady Antebellum • Little Big Town • Randy Rogers Band • Rascal Flatts • Zac Brown Band

Top Vocal Duo:
• Brooks & Dunn • Joey + Rory • Montgomery Gentry • Steel Magnolia • Sugarland

Top New Solo Vocalist:
• Luke Bryan • Jamey Johnson • Chris Young

Top New Vocal Duo:
• Bomshel • Joey + Rory • Steel Magnolia

Top new Vocal Group:
• Eli Young Band • Gloriana • The Lost Trailers

Album of the Year
• American Saturday Night - Brad Paisley • Lady Antebellum - Lady Antebellum • Play On - Carrie Underwood • Revolution - Miranda Lambert • The Foundation - Zac Brown Band

Single Record:
• Need You Now - Lady Antebellum • People Are Crazy - Billy Currington • Red Light - David Nail • Toes - Zac Brown Band ( • White Liar - Miranda Lambert

• Cowboy Casanova - Carrie Underwood • Need You Now - Lady Antebellum • People Are Crazy - Billy Currington • White Liar - Miranda Lambert • You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

• Boots On – Randy Houser • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum • Welcome To The Future – Brad Paisley • White Liar – Miranda Lambert • You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift

Vocal Event:• Hillbilly Bone - Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins • Honky Tonk Stomp - Brooks & Dunn featuring Billy Gibbons • I Told You So - Carrie Underwood featuring Randy Travis • I’m Alive - Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews • Seeing Stars - Jack Ingram featuring Patty Griffin

There's a new "little" on the way in Little Big Town - Jimi Westbrook and Karen Fairchild are expecting their first baby. Fans have asked about sending presents for the little one, who's due any day now, but the band has decided to have an online baby shower, with gifts going to Danita's Children and Hope For Haiti Children's Center.

Told you at the beginning of February about Taylor Swift auctioning off her guitar to benefit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Here's the rest of the story - the guitar sold for $16,250. No word so far on who the new proud owner is, but nice donation!

Joe Nichols had an awkward moment last night. He stopped at a Subway for a late-night snack and the woman behind the counter freaked out, saying "Oh my God! Are you Blake Shelton??" Knowing Joe, he was probably polite and kind, but how awkward would that have been?

Miranda Lambert's #1 party for "White Liar" was last Friday night in Nashville, and was a '40's themed party. Of course her boyfriend, Blake Shelton, was there with a congratulatory kiss. All the guests wore spiffy black & white and partied way into the wee hours.

The has a great photo album from last week's country radio event in Nashville. Country stars showed up in droves to perform for and party with the radio industry.

The Brooks & Dunn Last Rodeo tour line-up just got a young face: Tyler Dickerson has been added to the tour, which kicks off in April.

Dierks Bentley's been in the studio working on two new albums, and here he gives us a sneak-peek at the work:

New music out today: Blake Shelton's "Hillbilly Bone 6-Pack," Luke Bryan's "Spring Break 2...Hangover Edition" EP, Easton Corbin's self-titled debut, and Danny Gokey's "My Best Days."

Blake Shelton and Reba were on the CBS Early Show, announcing the ACM nominees, and Blake Shelton was also on the Today show this morning. Then Wednesday, he's on Fox & Friends and Hannity's America. That had to be some fancy schedule-juggling!

Keith Urban is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, Tim McGraw & the Dancehall Doctors are on Good Morning America tomorrow morning, and Lady Antebellum is on the Today Show tomorrow morning. Country stars hit prime time this week, too - on Thursday this week, the Rascal Flatts episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation airs and also on Thursday, Danny Gokey will be on American Idol, singing his new country single, "My Best Days are Ahead of Me."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Garth on sale...Garth sold out. It's a familiar story, and it's happened again. Tickets for 20 Garth Brooks shows in Las Vegas went on sale Saturday morning and were all sold out in a short period of time.

Jason Aldean has set a record - he's the first country artist to hold the number 1 spot on Billboard's All Genre Ringscan Chart with his "Big Green Tractor" ringtone. Jason reports that he's been in restaurants on many occasions and heard his song as a nearby diner's ringtone. Pretty cool!

Dierks Bentley will host his Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride in Dallas-Fort Worth on April 25. The after-ride concert will be at Billy Bob's Texas nightclub and will feature five of Dierks' favorite Texas country artists. One warning from Dierks: "You better get there early because if you don’t, they will drink all the beer." The proceeds go to the Children's Medical Center Dallas and Cook Children's in Fort Worth. Tickets are on sale at

Saturday night, Eric Clapton played a concert in Nashville. The audience got an extra star, as Eric invited Vince Gill to sit in on four songs. The acoustic set included "Layla" and "I've Got a Rock & Roll Heart" and Vince returned to the stage to play guitar on the encore song, "Crossroads."

If you're headed to see Jake Owen in concert, follow him and keep your Twitter app open before the show. Over the weekend, at a show in Lima, Ohio, he did a little Twitter contest and the winner got to hang backstage and have a beer with Jake before the show!

Blake Shelton is on the cover of the new issue of Country Weekly, on sale today. He's in New York City this week, making the media rounds to talk about his six-pack release tomorrow. Where is girlfriend Miranda Lambert? With him. Yesterday, she tweeted, "Headed to NYC with Blakey. Album press for him..... Shopping for me."

Wynonna Judd will guest-star on an episode of Lifetime’s "Army Wives." Wynonna will be playing herself and will perform two songs as a part of a USO concert. The episode will air on May16th.

Gary Allan had a novel way to promote his cd, "Get Off on the Pain." He discussed his album while getting a tattoo. No word on what the ink looks like.

Oh, the life of a touring, movie star country musician. Tim McGraw is on tour, but is also needed on set. Recently, he did a show in Lexington, Kentucky, got off stage, flew back to Nashville, was on the set of "Love Don't Let Me Down" at 8am, shot the scene he was needed for, and then hopped a plane for Michigan for a show that night. I'm tired just typing that schedule!

Oh, the life of an up-and-coming country music star: Chris Young played an industry show in Nashville on Friday, after a long week of events and interviews. He got off stage Friday night after the crowd gave him a standing ovation, hit his bus, and headed for Florida, where he had a show to give Saturday night. He went to sleep around 1, and didn't wake up until after 3 on Saturday afternoon. Fourteen hours straight of THAT'S tired!

Taylor Swift has posted a video blog of her travels to Australia and Japan. Cute stuff!

Good thing the Olympics aren't still would you decide what to watch tonight? Carrie Underwood guest-stars on "How I Met Your Mother," Brad Paisley is on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Josh Turner is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.