Friday, June 11, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The CMA Music Fest is in full swing, and is bigger than ever this year, in spite of the soft economy and the Nashville floods. Thousands of fans braved the thunderstorms Wednesday for the opening parade, and all are enjoying the air conditioning inside the Fan Fair Hall at the Nashville Convention Center. Brad Paisley held his fan club party on the shores of a lake and arrived by boat, Dierks Bentley hosted an album release party after the CMT award show, and military recruiting is in full swing as part of the fun, with the big draws being a Marine M1A1 tank and an Air Force F-16 fighter jet on display.

Zac Brown seized the opportunity to collect more letters for soldiers during the CMA Music Festival. Booths all over town are collecting letters and giving out free ZBB cd's in exchange.

It was a three-fer for Chris Young yesterday afternoon, as his fan club party also became a birthday celebration and a Number One party for "The Man I Want to Be." The newly-25 Chris was joined onstage by Gene Watson, and the two men sang "Mama Tried." "Just dig the hole and throw me in it now," Young said after the song. A fan yelled back, "You've got three more days!"

Sunday is June 13th, and Taylor Swift, whose lucky number is 13, will host a 13-hour meet & greet with her fans. Is that an autograph-signing record? No, Garth did a 24-hour one at Fan Fair in 1996. But does Garth have an iPhone app to unveil on Sunday? Nope, but Taylor does. The Mix Me In2 Taylor Swift app allows fans to sing along with several different versions of Taylor songs, and then upload them to social networks as well as to Taylor's website.

Love Jamey Johnson? There's an app for that, too.

Speaking of Jamey, he hooked up with Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert for a photo, then they all hit the stage together and sang "Bad Angel." Dierks asked the two of them to sing the song with him on "Up On The Ridge."

The Judds final tour kicks off November 26th in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "The Judds: The Last Encore" will stop in 18 cities through December, and both Naomi and Wynonna are looking forward to hitting the road. According to Wynonna, “We’ve come up with the tour name of ‘The Last Encore.’ Which to me, is funny, because we don’t know that it will be—but we had to come up with something other than ‘The Medicare Tour,’ or ‘Paying the farm off tour.’" The tour name came from a fan, who wins a bunch of Judds swag, plus tickets and backstage passes to the show of their choice.

Also for your advance planning pleasure, Darius Rucker will perform a pre-race concert and the National Anthem at the Coca Cola 400 on July 3rd in Daytona. You can pick up VIP ticket packages online now.

Again this year, country artists will perform private concerts during the Greenbrier Classic PGA Tournament July 29th and 31st. On the 29th, Rascal Flatts and Reba McEntire will hit the stage, then on Saturday, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood do the honors. The shows are only for the participants and tournament attendees, and will be held at a new amphitheatre on the West Virginia State Fairgrounds. Tickets to the golf tournament go on sale June 18th.

Happy birthday on Sunday to Jason Michael Carroll, who will turn 32.