Friday, July 30, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Rascal Flatts fans, rejoice - there's new music on the way from the band. The new song, "Why Wait," has already been sent to radio stations across America and the new album, "Nothing Like This," drops November 16th. There's a new energy in this project as Rascal Flatts moves from their old label, Lyric Street, to Big Machine, the same label as Taylor Swift. At yesterday's press conference, Jay DeMarcus joked, "I'm just thrilled Taylor let us on the label. What, she's in Europe? Let's get this deal done!"

In more Jay DeMarcus news, he and wife Allison found out they're expecting a baby girl in January.

How big a sports fan is Kenny Chesney? The video for his football-themed song, "The Boys of Fall," will premiere on ESPN's "SportsCenter" just before noon eastern this coming Monday, and re-air at 2pm. Kenny Chesney says of the video, "I have friends in this video ... a lot of my heroes are in this video. It has been one of the highlights of my life." The video uses shots filmed for Kenny's upcoming football documentary, "The Boys of Fall," which features Sean Payton, Joe Namath, John Madden, Bill Parcells and many more football greats from college ball and the pros.

Love Blake Shelton? Then you have a date with him Sunday night, when he does a live chat in downtown Nashville. If you're in - or could be in - Nashville on Sunday, enter to win a ticket to the event so you can be at the chat in person. The chat will stream on Blake's website and also on

Yesterday, I showed you Lady Antebellum's spoof of Lee Brice's "Love Like Crazy." Lee Brice weighs in today on being the target of their sharp wit and pen: "This is really funny, and I am honored that Lady A decided to tackle my song. I understand that mine is the second song they've spoofed and only two songs in, they've perfected the craft. Hey guys, how about a writing session in the next few weeks?”

Jimmy Wayne will wrap up his cross-country walk to spotlight the problem of teen homelessness this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. He started on January 1st and has walked through all kinds of bad weather. He'll arrive in Mesa, just outside of Phoenix, tomorrow and will give a free concert at Toby Keith's "I Love This Bar and Grill." Sunday morning, he'll finish the walk, ending up at HomeBase Youth Services in Phoenix. At least one marching band will be walking the last mile with him, and many fans and friends are expected to walk with him, too.

Mark your calendar - will be September 16-18 in Savannah, Tennessee. Music, golf and a motorcycle poker run are just parts of the weekend of fun.

Happy birthday to Neal McCoy, who turns 52 today.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "My wonderful wife & baby mamma totally spoiled me on my Birthday & bought me an I-pad. Daddy Likey"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Mike Fisher dished some details about his and Carrie Underwood's wedding and honeymoon. He and some buddies hit the golf course the morning of the wedding but Mike didn't finish all 18 holes because he knew he would be too tired. They spent eight days in Bora Bora, then three days in the wine country of Napa Valley, California. He says that after his hockey career is over, the two of them will live in Nashville. When asked how the marriage is going so far, Mike replied, “I’m with my best friend and I love her to death. There’s nothing better, for sure.” Carrie performed at the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night, wearing cut-offs and flip flops. She's the musical guest on the Today show tomorrow morning.

Taking a page from Carrie Underwood's playbook, Kellie Pickler isn't talking about her upcoming wedding very much. She will say she hasn't picked out a dress yet and that it will happen within the year.

Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington and Luke Bryan were onstage, performing "The Joker" as one of Kenny's encore songs. Luke was having trouble with his lines, so Kenny, ever the gentleman, helped him out.

What do country stars do during all that travel time between shows? Well, if you're Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum, you take popular country songs and make up new lyrics for them. You'll remember his first spoof, "A Little More Preppy Than That," a send-up of the Easton Corbin song? Well, now he's taken Lee Brice's song, "Love Like Crazy," and given it a Waffle House twist.

Happy birthday to Martina McBride, who is 44 today, and to James Otto, who turns 37 today.

The tweet of the day comes from Reba: "After 2 recording sessions and a concert in WV, I'm a tired little red head...."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

It was a dark and stormy night in Nashville, as Reba and a big team of production people were shooting the video for "Turn On The Radio." Shortly after dinner, they all had to rush into the basement of the downtown Nashville warehouse where they were shooting because a tornado touched down just a few miles away and was headed their direction. “This is only the second time one of my video shoots as been shut down because of a storm,” said Reba about the harrowing experience. “The last time something like this happened was on the set of the ‘Does He Love You” video in Long Island. I hope that’s a good omen because ‘Does He Love You” ended up being a Grammy winning-song and a great music video!” Thankfully, the storm only caused property damage - no one was injured by the tornado.

Part 4 of the Zac Brown Band "For Those Who Serve" USO tour documentary has been posted for your viewing pleasure. Don't forget to write a letter to a soldier to show your appreciation for their service while you're at the site.

They were gone, and now they're back. Joe Nichols was traveling last weekend with four guitars. He checked them as excess baggage, but only two arrived at their destination. That was Saturday. Yesterday, Delta found and delivered the other two, in good condition, and Joe tweeted a short tweet of gratitude.

It's a Little Big Town album countdown. For the next four weeks, get a new track from their upcoming cd, "The Reason Why," and on August 24th when the cd drops, you can hit the "complete my album" button and have it all. By the way, "The Reason Why" will also come out in a vinyl edition, so dust off those old turntables!

#1 on the iTunes Country Album chart is Blake Shelton's upcoming 6-pak, "All About Tonight." It's not out yet, but on the strenght of pre-orders, it took over the number one spot. You can buy the 6-pak starting August 10th. Blake Shelton is a twitter-holic, has a wicked sense of humor and now we know for sure - he's a NASCAR fan.

First it was a Roy Rogers auction, now it's an Elvis auction. His white grand piano, his original recording contract with RCA Records, a prescription pill bottle and lots more Elvis memorabilia will be auctioned off on August 14th through Heritage Auction Galleries in Memphis. There are over 250 separate lots, with everything from hand-written notes to a car he gave a friend. You don't have to go to Memphis - you can attend the auction online. Good luck!

Think you've got what it takes to be a country songwriter? Want to win a mentoring session with Darius Rucker? Then you need to enter the NSAI Song Contest, presented by CMT. The contest begins on August 1, so dust off your best ideas and get to writing!

Tonight on PBS, there's a tribute show for Paul McCartney and Faith Hill will be performing. Look for "Paul McCartney: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song."

Dierks Bentley will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, peforming "Draw Me a Map."

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "You know, I don't think there's a country band in the world that woulda been stopped by pigeon crap. Just sayin."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

There's a baby boom in Nashville. James Otto and his wife are expecting, Jay De Marcus and his wife are expecting, Dierks Bentley and his wife are expecting, and now Josh Turner and his wife Jennifer are expecting their third child early next year. They have two sons, Hampton and Colby, and are excited to add to their brood.

The next Tim McGraw movie isn't out until December, but the first single from the soundtrack is available on iTunes, and online for your listening pleasure at The Boot. It's by Gwyneth Paltrow, backed up by Vince Gill and Patty Griffin, and is the title cut, "Country Strong."

If you're up for a road trip, head to Phoenix, AZ to be part of the Jimmy Wayne Meet Me Halfway walk's ending. He'll headline a free concert at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill in Mesa on Saturday, and has invited supporters to join him for the last mile of the walk in Phoenix on Sunday.

Congratulations to Carrie Underwood, who has her 13th consecutive #1 song with "Undo It." She will perform on the Today show this Friday morning, and there's a Facebook page where fans can submit questions she might be asked during the broadcast. Not surprisingly, most of the questions so far have to do with her wedding. Wanna ask a question? Fire away!

When Kellie Pickler saw herself on the 2010 CMT Music Awards, it was a wake-up call to give up two of her favorite things: beer and fries. She's even going to try to get in the habit of going to the gym so she can look better in her wedding dress.

Jaron and the Long road to Love will perform on the Tonight Show tonight. Dierks Bentley will perform on two late-night tv shows this week - tonight he'll be on the Late Show with David Letterman, singing "Fallin' For You," and Wednesday he'll be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, peforming "Draw Me a Map."

Reba's on the cover of Cowboys & Indians magazine, on newsstands now.

New music this week includes Craig Morgan "That's Why - Collector's Edition" at Cracker Barrel stores.

Happy birthday to Cheyenne Kimball of Gloriana who turns 20 today.

The tweet of the day is from Taylor Swift, after Paul McCartney's Nashville concert last night: "As I suspected! Paul McCartney is charming and endearing in person."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Joe Nichols had a rough weekend. While flying Delta, he took along four guitars as checked
baggage. The airline lost two of them and apparently didn't try very hard to make Joe feel like they
cared or were doing their best to find them. He had a show Saturday night, and half of his guitars
were missing. He took to Twitter with his frustration, so it might have made him feel better...but it
didn't get his guitars back yet...

Trace Adkins spent three days on a movie set, playing a role in Matthew McConaughey's next move, "The Lincoln Lawyer." We won't see the results until sometime next year.

Meanwhile, Toby Keith's new cd, "Bullets in the Gun," will be released on October 5th. The first song, "Trailerhood," is climbing charts across America, looking like it could be his 20th #1 song.

Faith Hill has been doing some song-writing lately, though she's not saying when the resulting cd might come out. She's also waxing nostalgic about the vegetable gardens her folks always had, and is wanting to do something like that with her three children. Faith Hill, playing in the dirt? Don't be surprised, and you know she'll grow the tastiest, prettiest veggies ever.

Keith Urban is working on a project with Australian kiddie-supergroup, The Wiggles. He says, "Having a two-year-old, I'm not going to turn down the Wiggles." They're recording the Roger Miller classic, "England Swings."

Crib news for Dierks Bentley and his wife Cassidy, who are expecting child #2 in December. The sex of the new baby isn't known, but we do know that big sister Evie is excited to see her new sibling.

Dierks Bentley played an outdoor show in Raleigh, NC on Saturday night, and he posted before and after photos of his band.'s not just the heat, it's the humidity, too. Look at those soaking-wet shirts!

Reba spent all day Saturday in a photo shoot for her next cd. They did eight different set-ups, with
costume changes, hair and make-up changes for each one. She said it was a very long day but
tons of fun, and remembered back to the shoot for her very first album - one outfit, a couple of
rolls of film and they were done. Times have changed! Oh, and the cd? There are six songs finished for it so far, they're back in the studio today, and it should be out November 9th.

And Saturday was the day Uncle Kracker got back from his extra-long USO tour. He left the States just before July 4th to entertain the troops in Europe and the middle east.

Gretchen Wilson is the poster child - literally! - for literacy, teaming up with Dollar General Literacy Foundation and the Ad Council to encourage high-school drop-outs to get their GEDs. She got hers at 34.

Lady Antebellum has been dethroned by a Judge. "Need You Now" has been on top of Billboard's Country Album chart since its release in January. Not any more - Jerrod Niemann's debut cd, "Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury," landed in the #1 position on the strength of the single, "Lover, Lover."

As Jimmy Wayne nears the end of his walk across America, he's once again talking about doing more walking. Arizona to the west coast and Tennessee to the east coast, so he can truly say he's walked across the entire continent is his goal for 2011.

If you're a big Alabama fan, you should probably make plans now to be in Orlando on October 16 & 17. Full details won't be announced until Friday, but it looks like an Alabama reunion concert could be taking place there.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "Mandalay sent me some beautiful sparkly dresses to wear on the Rascal Flatts tour! Yip-eeeee!!! :)"

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

This fall is a country music lover's dream - new cd's from Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Reba, Blake Shelton, Trace Adkins, Little Big Town, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker and the Zac Brown Band.

Music that's already out there is earning some wall bling for the musicians. Zac Brown Band's "Chicken Fried" is double-platinum. Brad Paisley's "Then" and Kellie Pickler's "Best Days of Your Life" have gone platinum. Kenny Chesney's "I'm Alive," Jamey Johnson's "In Color," Joe Nichols "Gimme That Girl," Josh Turner's "Why Don't We Just Dance" and Carrie Underwood's "Temporary Home" have all gone gold for sales of half a million copies.

Congratulations to Luke Bryan, who's song "Rain is a Good Thing" is number one again this week.

Jewel is the cover girl on a special edition of Self magazine, designed for the Lilith Fair. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the tour, with bios of many of the artists, a cd, a packet of seeds and a magnetic photo frame.

Condolences to Deana Carter and her family on the loss of her Dad, legendary session musician Fred Carter Jr. He played on songs by Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and more. He also was a prolific songwriter and artists as diverse as Chet Atkins, Dean Martin and Burl Ives recorded his songs. He passed away Saturday of stroke-related disorders at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 76.

The tweet of the day is from Zac Brown: "If you ever want a good laugh, watch VH1 Classic during what they call "Metal Mania." 50%+ of the videos made me cry I was laughing so hard."

Happy birthday to Brad Mates, lead vocalist of Emerson Drive.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift' live webcast, scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Eastern time, is all about her new album, the process of songwriting and what fans can expect from this next project. She's decided to take over the internet with it, with the chat available on,, and All of the sites allow fans to interact via a chat window on all sites.

Billy Currington has been spending a lot of time in Hawaii, and has picked up a new talent - ukelele. “All my friends that I meet over there, they all play the ukulele so they’ve been showing me some cords and I gotta friend over here in the U.S. that’s been teaching me lately. I’m right now like the beginning stage like I was when I first started playing guitar at 17. I’m just starting to get the cords down, cause it’s so different than playing guitar. And uh, it’s been fun playing that thing.”

Jewel and her husband, bull-rider Ty Murray, are embarking on a two-month motorcycle trip across America. Jewel calls it a once in a lifetime adventure. Knowing her, there'll be updates from the road, so watch for news of their travels here.

There's a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album out today, featuring country artists covering southern rock classics. "Sweet Home Alabama: The Country Music Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd" features Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Eric Church and more. Flynnville Train's "Redemption" is also out today.

Tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "Just saw "the house that built me" video by ML..... Never felt more pride in my life...."

Happy birthday to Radney Foster, who turns 51 today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Could Brad Paisley be going soft? Known for his pranks onstage, he surprised Josh Thompson Saturday night during their show by ... joining him onstage to play guitar with his band. Not much of a prank, Brad!

Darius Rucker's sophomore country album, "Charleston, SC 1966," will be out on October 12. Darius wrote or co-wrote 77 songs for the project, winnowing it down to the best 12. If the title sounds a little bit familiar, you know your country - Darius is a huge fan of Radney Foster, and followed his title format for "Del Rio, TX, 1959."

A special version of Craig Morgan's "That's Why" will be available through Cracker Barrel starting July 26th. The collector's edition includes previously unreleased tracks "You" and "Evel Knievel." As part of the launch, Cracker Barrel and Craig Morgan are teaming up to send someone on a four-day flyaway to have lunch with Craig in Washington, DC. The contest begins today.

Did you come into a little bit of cash over the weekend? Want to see Brooks & Dunn's last show ever? There are 25 remaining "Play Something Country" seats, which sell for $300 each, and about a hundred "Friend of the Museum" tickets, which sell for $250. Each is a great seat for the show, plus extras. Check it out and grab up the last tickets before you miss out.

The tweet of the day is from Lady Antebellum: "Just found out we sold 19 albums in Poland. Is it too early to say we're huge in Poland?"

Happy birthday to Doug Stone who turns 54 today.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Legendary Nashville songwriter Hank Cochran passed away yesterday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. His prolific songwriting career spawned scores of number one songs for most of country music's top stars over the last several decades. His hits included "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "Make the World Go Away," "Oceanfront Property" and "The Chair." He's also the person who discovered Willie Nelson and helped him become a country music star. Hank Cochran was 74.

Taylor Swift has been in the studios, working on her next cd, but she's taking time out this coming Tuesday for a live webcast discussion with her fans. It'll be on, MySpace, Facebook and Ustream, with links to send in questions from each platform. Taylor says, "I've gotten so many questions from fans ... I want them to be the first to know about my new music, and I can't wait to talk to everybody as directly as I can!"

Congrats to Little Big Town, whose 4th annual Ride for the Cure raised over $50,000 last weekend. It's a benefit for the cancer research programs at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.

Darius Rucker is a big golf fan, and also pals with some of the top golfers, who play in his charity golf tournament just after the Masters each year. Now, he's lending his writing ability and voice to golfer John Daley's digital country album, "I Only Know One Way." Darius co-wrote and sings on the title track of the cd, which is available for download.

The auction of the late Roy Rogers memorabilia happened yesterday, and two of his modes of transportation raked in over half a million bucks. Trigger, his stuffed Palomino, sold for $266,500 to RFD-TV owner Patrick Gottsch, and his silver-dollar-encrusted 1964 Bonneville convertible sold for $254,500. Bidders were in a buying mood, with most items going for well over their auction estimate. The auction continues today, in case you want a part of the collection.

The Rascal Flatts tour stopped off in Lake Tahoe, Nevada last night, and opening act Chris Young spent the night at the casino. In the pre-dawn hours, he proclaimed via Twitter that he was up big at the casino, and was done gambling. Nice a gig and make some dough, then hit the casinos and make some more!

The Rowdy Friends Tour decided to stay rowdy for a while longer. Hank Williams Jr. and tour-mates Gretchen Wilson, Jamey Johnson, Josh Thompson, Lee Brice, Eric Church, Colt Ford, Sunny Sweeney and the Grascals will hit cities across America from September 17th through October 23rd.

Could it be that more people are willing to try out for American Idol now that Simon won't be part of it? People lined up by the thousands in Nashville's heat yesterday, vying for a chance to audition for the show. has a photo gallery of the fun.

When you watch the video for Rodney Atkins' new song, "Farmer's Daughter," pay attention to the woman playing the farmer's daughter. That's Rodney's real-life wife, Tammy Jo, playing the part.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of People magazine today for all the Carrie Underwood wedding details and photos.

Want to re-live Jimmy Buffet's "Live From the Gulf Coast" concert? CMT will re-air it Saturday night.

The tweet of the day is from Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts: "They call it golf because all other four-letter curse words were taken..."

Happy birthday to Craig Morgan, who turns 46 today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Tomorrow, you can see Carrie Underwood's wedding photos. People Magazine has Carrie on the cover in full wedding regalia. Her dog Ace wore a pink, crystal-encrusted tuxedo and groom Mike was in traditional black. The wedding reportedly cost upwards of half a million dollars, and the money the couple got from People for the exclusive wedding pictures is going to charity. Carrie's first public appearance as Mrs. Fisher will be on June 30th, when she'll be on the Today show.

Big stars still have stars. Kenny Chesney's new song, "Boys of Fall," is all about high school football and the life lessons it has to offer. Broadway Joe Namath heard it and tweeted, "Says it all, Kenny Chesney's "Boys of Fall." Love it!" Kenny Chesney was blown away by that tweet.

It's the newest trend in music sales - bundle packs for those who want to pre-order. Blake Shelton's "All About Tonight" six pak bundles include the cd, a guitar-shaped bottle opener and an "All About Tonight" poster. For a bit more, you can get a t-shirt in your bundle pack if you'd like. Pre-order now on Blake's website.

Toby Keith's new song, "Trailerhood," is pretty entertaining but gets even better with the video visuals.

Jimmy Wayne tweeted that his crew needed the use of an RV for the last part of his Meet Me Halfway trek across America. Phoenix country station KNIX helped him out, through their connection with an advertiser, and got him a really nice ride. And even though his mission is serious, he still manages to find some fun along the way.

American Idol tryouts kick off this weekend in Nashville. Hope they find some of the great hidden talent that lives in Music City!

The tweet of the day is from Craig Morgan: "Just finished tapeing Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader To answer your question No Im not" Not sure I would have told that...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Got big bucks, a love of Garth Brooks and fast cars? Then you probably want to know about this auction. As a fund-raiser for Garth's "Teammates for Kids" foundation, a 2011 Mustang Shelby GT350 is being auctioned off this weekend. The winner gets the car, the autographs of Garth and Carroll Shelby on the car, a tour of the Las Vegas Shelby America facility and a special performance by Garth Brooks. As of this morning, the high bid was $150,000. Dig deep...or maybe just dream...

Miranda Lambert will headline CMT On Tour this fall, with opening acts Eric Church and Josh Kelley. The dates haven't been announced yet, but the tour will hit 28 cities starting September 29th.

Zac Brown Band's new cd, "You Get What You Give," will be out September 21st. Zac likes that phrase so much it's been tattooed on his arm for years, and the band decided to go with it as the name for their follow-up to "The Foundation." One of the cuts on the new alubm, "Colder Weather," was written with Kid Rock at Kid's studios in Detroit in the middle of the night. Zac was so jazzed with it that he woke his band up to record the song right away. This weekend, they're opening shows for the Dave Matthews Band in New York and Washington DC.

Jewel was part of a "Funny or Die" prank in a karaoke bar.

July 31st is the day that Jimmy Wayne will arrive in Phoenix, AZ to officially end his walk across America. He's invited anyone who wants to join him to walk with him that day into town, and advises them to bring sunscreen and water. Wonder how many bottles of sunscreen he's gone through on this walk?

Not sure if this is country music news, bowling news or a bit of both. Taylor Swift, who's been spotted bowling many times, is nominated for induction into the International Bowling Museum Hall of Fame. Also nominated are Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Bill Murray, all celebrities who promote the sport of bowling just by playing it. You can vote online until August 7th, and when you vote you get a free game of bowling on August 7th, the day three thousand bowling centers across America try to break the world record for the most bowling games played in a 24-hour period.

Keith Urban is headlining the Grammy Foundation's "Starry Night" concert next Sunday night in Los Angeles. It's a benefit for music education programs in high schools.

Sammy Kershaw, Mark Chesnutt and Wayne Toups are playing a free "Concert for the Coast" this Sunday in Houma, LA.

Joe Nichols is taping an episode of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader."

Carrie Underwood is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail, who got to be part of the Baseball All-Star fun by playing in the All Star & Celebrity softball game: "Afraid to fall asleep tonight, today was so amazing. Ozzie Smith and Paul Molitor told me I looked like a legit player..."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Carrie Underwood and hubby Mike Fisher are in Bora Bora and Tahiti for their honeymoon, arriving by private jet early Monday. If you're hoping to see some wedding photos, you only have to wait until tomorrow, when is supposed to be sharing them.

Think you know your country music? Prove it, and you could win an Brad Paisley autographed Gibson guitar, cash or a trip to Nashville and VIP Opry tickets. The Grand Ole Opry and Humana have teamed up to present the Country Music Video Challenge for Flood Relief. Sign up and play, compete with friends and test your knowledge of country music trivia. Humana pays $1 each time someone plays, with proceeds benefitting The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Congratulations to Luke Bryan, who has his second consecutive number one song with "Rain Is a Good Thing." "Do I" went to number one earlier this year, and Luke says it's a dream come true, courtesy of the fans. “You know it’s just an amazing experience, just to travel the country and watch the fans grow and grow. And then put a song out and watch them support it through radio and through buying your album.”

Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan have been having so much fun touring together that they're staying out on the road through the fall. According to Jason, "There are a few things to count on: the music will be loud, the beer will be cold and college football will be on every TV backstage and in the parking lot." Uncle Kracker will open four shows because of schedule conflicts with Luke.

Jack Ingram prides himself on not missing a show. Over the weekend, storms in Houston plus a delayed flight equaled no way for him to get to a show in South Dakota. Well, there was one way - he chartered a plane for $17,000, drove through the storm to the airport where the plane was waiting and flew in style to his South Dakota gig. He said he arrived in sunny South Dakota just in time to hit the stage.

Concert revenue is down from this time last year, but two of the top 5 revenue-producing tours in the past 12 months have been by country artists. Taylor Swift is at the #3 spot on's list with $34.2 million and the George Strait/Reba tour is at #5 with $29.8 million in revenue.

Jimmy Wayne is walking 18 miles a day and should reach Phoenix by the end of this month. When he started in January, he thought this trek might take "a couple of months." On arrival, he'll have been out in the weather almost every day since January first, meaning seven full months on the road. But as stories of people adopting teens to keep them from being homeless at 18 continue to roll in, Jimmy knows that the seven months have been worth it, as he has opened our eyes to the problem of homeless teens in the foster care system.

David Nail was part of the MLB All-Star and Celebrity game at Angels Stadium on Sunday and scored a lot of tv time on ESPN when they aired the game last night. Before becoming a country music singer/songwriter, David had intended to play in the major leagues, but was injured the first year of college ball. For the record, he hit a home run, got to high-five supermodel team-mate Marissa Miller and got to hang out with some of his baseball heroes. So what if his team lost?

In semi-related baseball/music news. John Fogerty's baseball bat-shaped guitar has been restored and will go on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum this month. The guitar was underwater for five days when Nashville flooded.

New on iTunes today is Darius Rucker's "Come Back Song."

New music in stores today - Jerrod Niemann's "Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury," whose 20 tracks include 8 comedy skits and 12 songs.

Catch Clay Walker on Lopez Tonight and Jaron and The Long Road To Love on Extra this evening.

The tweet of the day is from Uncle Kracker: "Tossin an turn in nashvegas. Recording an acoustic set with CMT in the am."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

It turns out the rumors were true. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher are now on their honeymoon after getting married Saturday evening at Reynold's Plantation in Georgia. Garth Brooks, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw were among the 250 guests, and a statement was issued to afterwards: "We could not feel more blessed to have found each other and to have shared this day with our friends and family that mean so much to us!" It was signed Mike & Carrie Fisher. They plan to keep homes in Nashville and Peterborough, Ontario, Canada and are now in the South Pacific on their honeymoon.

Meanwhile, Carrie wasn't the only country star sporting a wedding dress in the past few days. Taylor Swift was, too. She was in Kennebunk, Maine shooting a video, and one scene was of her and the groom emerging from a quaint, lovely church, apparently newly married, with wedding guests blowing bubbles at them. According to her Mom, the video will be released in about 6 months. And yes, Taylor was a beautiful bride.

It didn't include Zac Brown or Kenny Chesney, but it was quite the show last night. Jimmy Buffett's Gulf Shores concert aired in HD and the production was as good as the concert. Thousands of people coated the sand, boats sat at anchor just outside the breakers and Jimmy Buffett played all of his favorites, changing the lyrics now and then to reflect the oil spill, the show location and the long road to recovery the area will have.

Wish you could have been at Willie Nelson's 4th of July picnic and concert? You can buy the concert part of it, if you'd like. Willie Nelson's 30-song set is available for download at his website.

The beer-pong themed video for Billy Currington's new song, "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer," is on

Jaron and the Long Road to Love will join up with Toby Keith's American Ride tour this Friday night and continue as his opening act through September 25th.

Saddle up for a two-day charity motorcycle ride with Craig Morgan August 7th and 8th. The ride begins in Van Leer, TN, near Craig's home town of Dickson, and at the end of the ride, he'll host an
acoustic concert with special guest Aaron Tippin at Dickson Middle School.

Jerrod Niemann is hosting a free album release concert tonight at The Basement in Nashville. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7. His debut cd, "Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury" is out tomorrow. Is he worried? “I just am a little nervous that we didn’t get the ‘no refund’ policy that I was hoping that every store would have. But other than that, I’m looking forward to the album coming out — and my projected sales — as long as it exceeds two copies, then I’m happy because that means more than just my mom and my dad bought the album.”

Baby watch - James Otto's first child is due in 6 weeks, and Luke Bryan's second child is due in a month.

Taylor Swift is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Lady Antebellum will perform "Our Kind of Love"Live with Regis and Kelly.

Tweet of the Day is from Brad Paisley, after headlining AquaPalooza on Saturday: "I don't think I've ever seen a cooler place to put on a concert. Now that's an H2O tour. Thank you Austin-pa-looza."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Tomorrow may or may not be Carrie Underwood's big day - she's still not saying - but lots of people are arriving in Georgia at the rumored site of the wedding, Reynold's Plantation. The hotel is booked solid for the weekend, and is off-limits to anyone without a special pass. Even most of the wedding guests don't know where they're going until they show up at their airport, where they're given their ticket to either the Atlanta or Augusta airport. Many of the country music stars who are Carrie's friends are on the road this weekend, so won't be able to attend. Was Simon Cowell of American Idol invited? According to Carrie, “I don’t know, I don’t want him to judge my wedding.”

Lady Antebellum might have done a bunch of stadium shows as the opening act for Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, but that's not what their focus will be on their first headlining tour this fall. “We’re gonna kind of head out and kind of do theater sized places. We don’t feel like we’re getting to the arenas yet. So we’re gonna start at kind of Ryman Auditorium size theater type places. But yeah that’s this fall and we’re having David Nail come out and open up for us—a great friend of ours and we love his music—so this is kind of our first shot at the headlining thing, so this is kind of one of those big moments you wait for, as well.” .

Taylor Swift's line of American Greetings cards has been expanded. Check out the new ones here or at a store near you.

Tonight is the premier of CMT Crossroads: The Steve Miller Band and Kenny Chesney. Here's a sample of the show. According to Kenny, “That is the crazy thing—getting to a point in your career where you are making music with the people that actually turned you on to music in the first place. That, to me, has been the most satisfying thing of my career, is to meet guys like Steve Miller, and collaborate with him.” Kenny's new song, "Boys of Fall," will be released to radio on Monday. The video features New Orleans Saitns coach Sean Payton firing up his Superbowl-winning team.

Happy birthday to David Ball today and to Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts who turns 40 tomorrow.

Sunday night, watch the Jimmy Buffett concert live from Gulf Shores, AL, starting at 7 eastern on CMT. Yes, there will be surprise guests, so pay close attention!

Catch Lady Antebellum on Live with Regis & Kelly on Monday.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Josh Turner had a bittersweet day on July 1st. He was supposed to host 10-year-old cancer patient Elizabeth Pitts at his July 17th Valdosta, GA tour stop. Through the Make-A-Wish foundation, she wanted nothing more than to meet Josh, but he got a call on the 30th that her condition was deteriorating and she probably wouldn't make it to the 17th of July. Josh's second son, Colby, celebrates his birthday on July 1, so traveling to see Elizabeth wasn't possible, but he called her and sang to her. She passed away a couple of hours later. In that small act, Josh Turner reminds us of what makes country music and country stars so special.

Blake Shelton's second six-pak, "All About Tonight," comes out August 10th and it features a song written by Miranda Lambert and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum. And Blake insisted that Hillary sing with him on "Suffocated." “And I called Hillary and said ‘hey, I’m gonna cut your freakin’ song, you’re gonna come in and sing on it.’ So it’s actually a song that features Hillary, doing all the harmonies with me, which I think is a pretty cool blend and it’s a pretty cool song. I’m real proud of me, but I’m also proud that they gave the song to me”

Kellie Pickler wants you to join her pack. She's partnered with Staples for their Give-BackPack campaign. Join Kellie's pack and a $1 donation will go to "Do Something 101" which encourages teens to donate school supplies for kids who can't afford to buy their own. Each member of Kellie's team has a chance to win a trip to meet her.

Kenny Chesney is a big, huge sports fan, so again this year, he'll be a presenter at the ESPY Awards show July 14th. It will air at 9pm eastern time live from Los Angeles, and Kenny will be part of the Mike & Mike pre-show broadcast, too.

If you're a big, huge Judds fan, you're in luck: the ladies are offering two ticket packages for their fall tour. Choose the Fan Package and get preferred seating, parking, a pre-show reception, an exclusive t-shirt, early venue access and hassle-free shopping. Choose the VIP Package and get all of that plus a post-show meet & greet and a commemorative plaque. The Judds: The Last Encore tour package sales start on July 17th.

Once again this year, Faith Hill will be the face, body and voice of the Sunday Night Football coverage on NBC. That makes it 4 years in a row that she's sung the opening theme, "Waitin' All Day for Sunday Night" for the weekly games.

It's a save-the-date alert. Darryl Worley's 9th Annual Tennessee River Run will be September 16 through 18 this year. Thursday will be the Fish Fry songwriter's event, Friday is the rock concert and Saturday is the country concert. As always, all proceeds go to the Darryl Worley Foundation.

The tweet of the day is from Jimmy Wayne, whose walk across America is nearing it's end: "Band-Aids and big toe hair aren't friends! Period!"

Watch Willie Nelson on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Happy birthday to Toby Keith, who turns 49 today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Congrats to Carrie Underwood, who can now lay claim to having the most-played song of any American Idol alum last week. Adam Lambert did wear that crown with his "Whataya Want From Me," but Carrie has clinched the top spot with "Undo It." On the Carrie wedding watch, all eyes are on Georgia this Saturday, with 248 guests in attendence. Craig Morgan was invited but has shows this weekend so had to decline. Kellie Pickler will be there, but her lips are sealed otherwise. “I, um, cannot disclose all the information on their personal lives, but I am invited…I will say that. But no dates.”

Dierks Bentley is the feature of a CNN online article and interview. He caught some grief from newswoman Denise Quan about the tape that holds his boots together.

By the way, catch a re-air of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show featuring Dierks Bentley tonight.

Congrats to Clay Walker, whose third annual Clay Walker Charity Classic Gala at Pebble Beach Resorts raised more than $100,000 to fund research and education about multiple sclerosis.

Condolences to Craig Morgan, who lost his Mom over the July 4th weekend. She had been fighting pancreatic cancer and lost her battle on the third of July. Craig recorded the song, "Tough," about his Mom, Betty Sue Crockett, who everyone called Mammy. Her funeral service is today in Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Center for Pancreatic Cancer or to Billy's Place c/o Taylor Funeral Home, 214 N. Main St. Dickson, TN 37055.

Tweet of the day is from Miranda Lambert, who's part of the Lilith Fair shows: "Well the reviewer of Lilith Fair hated us and made fun of House That Built Me. I guess it does suck...enough to be a 4 week #1. I win!!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Not every guitar that got caught in the flood in Nashville will be scrapped. Keith Urban's first American guitar is being restored, and Keith will keep it, whether or not it sounds good after the restoration. “I managed to salvage out of the water and I’m having it rebuilt. I don’t know if it’s going to sound very good but it’s one of those things to me, even if it had to go up on the wall, I would never part with this guitar. So I don’t know if it’s priceless to me, but it’s certainly near and dear to me.” By the way, Keith's been in the studio for the past seven weeks, recording the follow-up to "Defying Gravity." and unlike most artists, he lays his vocals down while sitting down.

Love Tim McGraw? Have an iPod Touch or an iPhone? There's a free app for that.

Love the Judds? Love garage sales? Naomi and Wynonna are having a virtual garage sale, with items ranging from a dollar to $10.

Richard Petty and Trace Adkins are spokesmen for Goody's Headache Powder and BC Powder. Now they've gone head-to-head in the "Pick a Powder" contest. Each is trying to get the most team members, and each team member gets a chance to win great prizes, including a VIP trip for four to a Trace Adkins show or a VIP trip for 4 to the Goody's 500 in Martinsville.

For your early holiday planning pleasure, Vince Gill and Amy Grant have announced their Twelve Days of Christmas tour stops already.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Proud to say for the first year in a row we had no fireworks injuries on our farm."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Reba is in New York City today, doing Godmother duties. She's Godmother of the new Norwegian Cruise Lines ship, "Epic," and will do the champagne-breaking over it's bow before the maiden voyage. Then she heads to Washington DC to be part of "A Capitol Fourth" on the Mall Sunday night, just before the fireworks. Darius Rucker is also performing there.

How some country stars feel about the 4th of July:

"Fourth of July ... it's all about being outside to me. Even when we're on tour [or] the tour's just wrapped up, you can feel everybody getting antsy to go outside and enjoy summer." — Carrie Underwood

"My best [Independence Day] memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island, right off the coast of Savannah, GA. We'd go there pretty much every year. We'd light our own fireworks and watch the ones they had for us. They were some of the best times of my life." — Billy Currington

"I think we spend $400-500 on fireworks alone during Fourth of July ... We've almost blown ourselves up a couple times, but it's something me and my dad just love doing." — Chris Young

"As a kid, I loved Fourth of July because I could shoot Roman candles at my siblings. But then, when you finally understand what it stands for, and you're old enough to grasp that the only reason you can shoot Roman candles at your siblings is because there are people out there who are sacrificing their lives ... they allowed all of us to continue to be free and do the things that we love." — Jerrod Niemann

Taylor Swift will again do a milk mustache for the "Got Milk?" ad campaign. This is her second appearance for milk. She first sported a white upper lip in the fall of 2008.

You can check out behind-the-scenes shots of the making of Trace Adkins' new video for "This Ain't No Love Song." It was shot before his album release date changed, so he says August 24th, but the actual release date is the week before, August 17th.

Jewel's tour is over, but the music lingers on. She wrote a song about almost every city the tour stopped in, and is offering them up for free.

Congratulations to Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins, whose "Hillbilly Bone" has received gold certification for sales of half a million units.

Saturday tv features Phil Vassar on the CBS Early Show, Craig Morgan's "All Access Outdoors" show on the Outdoor Channel at 11am eastern, and Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley will be part of a CBS special, "David Feherty's American Journey." The show airs at 2pm eastern, and follows the very funny golf commentator as he explores his new country. David became an American citizen about a month ago. And Dolly Parton's Hallmark Channel special, "Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood" debuts Saturday night. Reba and Darius Rucker are part of "A Capitol Fourth" on PBS Sunday night, Toby Keith headlines the 37th annual "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" on CBS and Jewel is part of the "John Wayne All American Weekend" on AMC Sunday night.

Happy birthday to Sarah Buxton, Aaron Tippin and Trent Tomlinson tomorrow.

Martina McBride has the tweet of the day, from backstage at the Today show: "Line from today...stylist talking about a bracelet......."it's ugly, but in a good, it knows it's ugly"

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Jimmy Buffett's big free concert today has been postponed until the 11th of July, but that didn't stop the Parrothead King from doing a show anyway. He put on an impromptu show last night, playing for several hundred fans. LuLu's Restaurant in Gulf Shores, owned by his sister Lucy Buffett, was the happening place as hundreds of people jammed in to sing along to all of Jimmy's crowd favorites. When he sang "Margaritaville," he changed the lyric to "It's all BP's fault," much to the delight of the crowd. The free concert on July 11th will air on CMT at 7pm eastern, and features Zac Brown and other special guests.

Kenny Chesney, who won't be at the rescheduled show, is featured in the current issue of "Men's Journal" as part of their how to do summer right guide. Kenny's contribution is his four-part plan of how to "Party Like Kenny Chesney."

Congrats to Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus and his wife Allison, who are expecting their first child. Jay says, "I am confident Ali will be a wonderful mother because she has done an incredible job raising me over the past six years." The baby is due in January of 2011.

Jimmy Wayne is still walking across America to raise awareness of the problems teens in foster care face when they become 18. Yesterday he crossed into Arizona, so his goal of Phoenix will happen in the next two weeks. He's been walking since January first, and has weathered all that Mother Nature has to throw at him: snow, ice and freezing temperatures, heavy rain storms, rattlesnakes and now 100+ temperatures in the desert. In his 1700 mile trek, he has about 250 miles to go.

Travis Tritt has decided to launch his own record label for his upcoming cd. He says he's planning to keep it just for his own music, and he won't be signing other artists. No name has been settled on yet, nor is there a release date for his new project.

Colt Ford has put a Twilight Saga spin on his video for "Chicken and Biscuits."

This Saturday morning is the premier of Craig Morgan's new series on The Outdoor Channel. "Craig Morgan: All Access outdoors" follows Craig's life on tour and in the wilderness. Catch it at 11am eastern time.

Also on Saturday, Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley will be part of a CBS special, "David Feherty's American Journey." The show airs at 2pm eastern, and follows the very funny golf commentator as he explores his new country. David became an American citizen about a month ago.

The tweet of the day comes from James Otto, who is Jay DeMarcus' brother-in-law: "@JayDeMarcus & @allisondemarcus announced they're expecting a baby this year which means I'm gonna not only be a dad this year but an uncle"