Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Names are trickling out - performers at the 44th Annual CMA Awards will include Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Alan Jackson. The night, in case it's not on your calendar already, is November 10th and the show will air on ABC.

For the past 4 years, Rascal Flatts has done an intimate show in Nashville - undisclosed location, beautiful setting, great food and an amazing auction - as a fund-raiser for the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. This year, for the first time, fans will have the opportunity to buy tickets and attend. Some of the items being auctioned include a personalized recording studio experience with Jay DeMarcus, a golf outing on a world-class course with Joe Don Rooney and a hunting trip with Gary LeVox. The available 100 tickets go on sale tomorrow.

In more Rascal Flatts news, Jay DeMarcus and his wife Allison have revealed their upcoming daughter's name: Madeline Leigh. She'll be called Maddy and is due in January. Leigh is Allison's middle name, and Madeline is a name they both like, though it has no family ties. Says the impending Dad, "I 'm really excited and can't wait to kiss her face off."

The soundtrack to "Country Strong," Tim McGraw's movie with Gwyneth Paltrow, features Nashville's finest singers, producers and songwriters. Expect this cd to be "Country Strong" on the charts...here's the track list & credits:

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Country Strong”
(Jennifer Hanson/Tony Martin/Mark Nesler) Produced by Byron Gallimore

Chris Young & Patty Loveless – “Love Don’t Let Me Down”
(Marv Green/Troy Olsen) Produced by James Stroud

Sara Evans – “A Little Bit Stronger”
(Luke Laird/Hillary Lindsey/Hillary Scott) Produced by Tony Brown

Garrett Hedlund – “Chances Are”
(Nathan Chapman/Lori McKenna/Liz Rose) Produced by Frank Liddell and Luke Wooten for Carnival Productions

Lee Ann Womack – “Liars Lie”
(Sally Barris/Morgane Hayes/Liz Rose) Produced by Frank Liddell and Chuck Ainlay for Carnival Productions

Ronnie Dunn – “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Double)”
(Wayne Carson Thompson) Produced by Ronnie Dunn

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Shake That Thing”
(Mark Irwin/Josh Kear/Chris Tompkins) Produced by Byron Gallimore

Hank Williams, Jr. – “Thirsty”
(Dallas Davidson/Rhett Akins/Brett Eldredge) Produced by Michael Knox

Faith Hill – “Give in to Me”
(Billy Falcon/Rose Falcon/Elisha Hoffman) Produced by Jay Joyce

Trace Adkins – “Timing Is Everything”
(Natalie Hemby/Troy Jones) Produced by Kenny Beard

Leighton Meester – “Words I Couldn’t Say”
(Gregory Becker/Tammi Kidd/Steve Robson) Produced by Nathan Chapman

Gwyneth Paltrow – “Coming Home”
(Bob DiPiero/Tom Douglas/Hillary Lindsey/Troy Verges) Produced by Byron Gallimore

Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow – “Me and Tennessee”
(Chris Martin) Produced by Byron Gallimore, Tim McGraw, and A. Martin

The album was produced by Randall Poster and Shana Feste, and executive produced by Tim McGraw. It streets October 26th.

Keith Urban is using Facebook to let his fans choose his next cd cover.

Ronnie Dunn is wasting no time - he's in the studio producing a solo album that should be available early next year.

Which red is the right red? Dave Stewart of Lady Antebellum had a tough time answering that question when it came to choosing the shade of red to paint his piano:


During Tuesday's Opry House reopening, stars had a lot to say about the experience:

"Tonight truly feels like having the family home for Christmas Day." — Grand Ole Opry Group Pres. Steve Buchanan
"It's not what we're given, it's what we do with it. And what these people have done with this is nothing less than a miracle. I think that me and Brad's guitars experienced the same sort of Baptismal rebirth that I'd like to think Opry has experienced as well, and the spirit has come back stronger than ever." — Keith Urban on the Opry House renovation
"The flood goes completely unnoticed if this building was not underwater ... This is the most famous export of this city [and] there's a reason it's on 'Welcome to Nashville' road signs." — Brad Paisley
"When the floodwaters were four feet high, Little Jimmy Dickens would have been swimming if he was standing [in the Circle]. I'd have been alright, though." — Trace Adkins
"I feel kind of awkward singing this song tonight because it's all about water. But I'm going to do it anyway." — Josh Turner introducing "All Over Me"
"When I worked at TNN ... during a lunch break I decided to come over here by myself and see if the doors were unlocked. [So] I started creeping on the stage, made sure no one was looking, walked out on the Circle and sang a little bit of a Hank Williams song. I was sure that the Circle police were going to come arrest me and lock me up in a secret Opry jail." — Dierks Bentley

Uncle Kracker embarks on his "It's Good To Be Me" club tour, starting in Athens, GA on November 3rd at the 40 Watt Club.

Yesterday's congrats to the Zac Brown Band need to be doubled - not only are they perched atop the Billboard Country Album chart, they also dominated the Billboard Top 200 chart with sales of over 154,000 copies. Nice!

Happy birthday to Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, who turns 46 today, and to Marty Stuart, who turns 51.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "I just realized that "granola" is a decidedly un-sexy word. There is just nothing sexy about "granola"."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Huge congratulations to Blake Shelton. Last night, as the Opry celebrated its homecoming, Blake was invited to become it's newest member. He had just finished singing "Hillbilly Bone" with Opry member Trace Adkins when Trace whipped out his smartphone and showed Blake a tweet from the Grand Ole Opry: "@blakeshelton, you're invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. See you on 10/23/2010!" His reply? "This right here is the highlight of my career." His fiance, Miranda Lambert, whipped out her phone and tweeted, "I am engaged to a member of the Grand Ole Opry!!!! That rocks :)" It was the perfect way for the Opry to invite him, because Blake is nearly as famous for his often-tasteless twitter use as he is for his great country music.

Speaking of Miranda Lambert, her CMT On Tour gig starts tonight in New York with Eric Church and Josh Kelley as her openers.

Yesterday, "Hemingway's Whiskey" came out, and Kenny Chesney says he loves every song on it, but this one takes him to a place he loves. Here he is, talking about "You and Tequila."


What happens when you team up Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock? A happy tune with a great country sound...


Martina McBride will headline the annual Nashville Symphony's "Home for the Holidays" concert on December 10th. The concert will be at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena, and tickets are available now.

Congratulations to the Zac Brown Band, whose "You Get What You Give" is the number one country album this week.

Zac Brown Band is on the Ellen Degeneres show today, and tonight catch Blake Shelton on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Oh and CONGRATS @blakeshelton. So happy for you. This calls for a drink!"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits






Tonight's the night that the Grand Ole Opry returns to the Opry House, and the stars are lined up to play: Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Montgomery Gentry, Jason Aldean and the Charlie Daniels Band will all be part of the first show back in the Opry House since the flooding in May. The show will air live on GAC from 9-11 eastern time tonight, and will also stream on GACTV.com and participating artists' websites. Dierks Bentley is so happy to be back on stage at the Grand Ole Opry that he couldn't contain himself...



Alan Jackson and Miranda Lambert will tour Australia this coming March. “I’ve always heard that it’s just beautiful down there,” Alan says. “Everyone I know that’s been has loved it, said the people down there are really nice and welcome people from the U.S. so generously. I know I’ve got a lot of fans down there and I know they like my kind of music, so I think it’ll be a fun trip.” The tour includes a show in Melbourne, one in Sydney and two in Brisbane.

On October 8th, Toby Keith's "Invitation Only" show premiers on CMT. Here's a sneak-peek:


Martina McBride took a tour of a Naval Air Station before a show last week. Enjoy the ride!


Taylor Swift fans have a month to go before they can get "Speak Now," Taylor's new cd, but through the iTunes' countdown program, they can get a song a week starting next Tuesday. The title track will be available then, followed by "Back to December" on the 12th and "Mean" on the 19th. On October 25th, those who've gotten the early songs can just use the "complete my album" option to get the rest of it.

Jack Ingram's acoustic motel series continues with a cover of Katy Perry's song, "Teenage Dream."


Congratulations to Kenny Chesney, who's "The Boys of Fall" is his 20th #1 single.

New music out today includes Kenny Chesney's "Hemingway's Whiskey," and Shawn Camp's "1994."

Today, Kenny Chesney is on Good Morning America and a bunch of country A-listers are on "Country Comes Home: An Opry Live Celebration" on GAC.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "I used to hear people talk about the fact that I was getting older... Now days I hardly ever hear them. I win!!!"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney showed up at a pep rally at Celina High School in Texas Friday afternoon. What students thought would be a regular pre-game pump-up turned into Kenny's thank-you note to the team and community for their help with his documentary. The school and team are featured prominently in it.


Next month, a two-volume set of country songs will be released. These are songs you know by heart, but versions you've never heard before. Songs like "Jesus Take the Wheel," "I Hope You Dance" and "The House That Built Me" will be released in their demo versions, just the way your favorite country artists heard them when they decided to record them. "Original Songwriter Demos" is due out on October 19th.

Every artist needs a "hook"...something that sets them apart in the eyes of their industry and to fans. With Trace Adkins, he says there's no song so nasty he won't cut it. Songwriters send their dirty songs to Trace, who is collecting them for a special project he'll release under a fictitous name. He won't tell us the name he'll use, but he has already recorded three songs. One of them ended up on his new cd, "Cowboy's Back in Town" and if you've heard the phrase "bow-chica-bow-wow" you get the "Brown Chicken, Brown Cow" joke.


Travis Tritt is working on a movie role. "Fishers of Men" is shooting in Georgia, using the Cairo county jail for some scenes. The movie is due out in January.

Today, catch Taylor Swift on the Rachel Ray show. Tonight, Kenny Chesney's "Invitation Only" episode debuts on CMT. Randy Houser is on Jimmy KImmel Live and the Zac Brown Band is on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The tweet of the day is from Jason Aldean: "I'm sittin in a deer stand for the first time this year and have not even seen a squirrel, much less a deer."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Carrie Underwood's video for "Mama's Song" debuted today on VEVO and is here now...


The full moon makes for strange bedfellows. Yesterday, Jack Ingram checked into a hotel. The person at the front desk gave him a key, and when he used it, he found Joe Nichols on the bed!! OOPS!!

Last night in Nashville, a star-studded guitar pull happened: Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Lionel Ritchie and Taylor Swift. She tweeted, "Just played an acoustic show with Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, and Lionel Richie-- it was one of those magical nights..One of those nights I just need to remember every detail of. All of us sitting on stools, taking turns playing songs and telling stories." Hope someone taped it and will make a tv show out of it!

The Grand Ole Opry birthday bash is getting bigger by the minute. The 85th Birthday Bash will be October 8th & 9th at the re-opened Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, and will feature Taylor Swift, Trace Adkins, Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle and Charles Osgood of CBS Sunday Morning fame. More stars are expected to be added to the weekend of shows, so you might want to think about a road trip.

Since Kenny Chesney's cd comes out Tuesday, you know he'll be all over tv next week. Here's the scoop: Monday night, his CMT Invitation Only episode premiers. Tuesday morning, catch him on Good Morning America. Then Friday night, he'll be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He's excited about this album because his time in the studio was so much more relaxed than it was for the last five albums. "I would get off the road on a Sunday night, then I would go in the studio on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and try to make a record. The whole time I was on my BlackBerry thinking about what time we had to leave Thursday, talking to my road manager, doing this or doing that. In the meantime, I was sitting there with the guitar players telling them what I'm hearing in my head." At noon today, you can hear the entire cd online.

Gloriana's Cheyenne Kimball is engaged to marry Casey Twist, a singer/songwriter from Arkansas. No date has been announced, but the "Wild at Heart" singer has broken a lot of boys' hearts with this news.

JoDee Messina will sing the National Anthem before the Nashville Women's Running Magazine Half-Marathon, then will run in the event. After a shower and maybe a nap, she'll perform at the Grand Ole Opry tomorrow night. Nice Saturday!

Willie Nelson is on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson tonight. Monday, Randy Houser will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Zac Brown Band will be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The tweet of the day is from Jack Ingram: "Just accidentally lived out many women's fantasy- on accident! Hotel gave me a key and a room. I opened door 2 find Joe Nichols n the bed!!!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley's tour stops tonight, tomorrow and Saturday in Idaho, Utah and Colorado, and opening act Easton Corbin is nervous. It's his last weekend with the tour and Brad hasn't pranked him yet. “I’m thinkin’ since we haven’t seen anything yet, I’d be very surprised if we didn’t see something here in the next week. Whatever happens I’ll take it. Take it like a man, I guess.” Will he retaliate if pranked? “Well, we just got a lot of guys on the bus. There’s a lot of time to think about things, you know. Well one guy was like, “I got a great idea. If he pranks us you know. I got this great idea.” And he told us about it. He’s like, “you can’t tell anybody.” He said, “Just keep it under your hat.” And I’m like alright.”

Lady Antebellum will play a benefit concert in New York City on October 13th for Musicians On Call. The money raised will help bring entertainment to hospital patients. You can buy front row tickets if you hurry...and if you've got a grand each for them.

Shania Twain may not be a new American Idol judge, but she is writing an autobiography that will be out in the spring of next year, plus she's working on a series for Oprah's network, OWN, which will also debut next spring.

Are you an award-show buff? Or maybe just a fan of country music since way back? Then this book's for you. Journalist Deborah Evans Price authored a scrapbook-style history of the CMA Awards, going all the way back to their inception in 1967, and including program replicas, rare photographs, a forward by Kenny Chesney and an afterward by Barbara Mandrell. "The CMA Awards Vault" is available at the official CMA Awards site.

What will Sugarland be for Halloween? Maybe the BeeGees...!


Congrats to Jamey Johnson on having the top-selling country album on the charts this week. His double-disc "The Guitar Song" sold nearly 63,000 copies.

And wall bling for Luke Bryan, who's earned gold certification for his cd, "Doin' My Thing." Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is triple-platinum for digital downloads and "Undo It" earned digital gold. Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" has also gone gold.

The tweet of the day is from Taylor Swift: "Walked out of my room and my mom says to the hair/make up team, "You guys sure got your work cut out for you this morning, don't you.."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Martina McBride and Faith Hill are performing for babies in Nashville on October 26th. Wait - not an audience filled with babies, they'll performing a benefit concert for babies born at Baptist Hospital. It's a fund-raiser to help renovate the hospital and provide new equipment for the neonatal intensive care unit. Tickets are available now.

Yesterday was Faith Hill's 43rd birthday and she spent it in Australia with her daughters and with hubby Tim McGraw, who's doing a series of concerts there. Australian tv did a story on how they celebrated - with Tim and Faith on stage together, singing "I Need You."

If you want to see Jason Aldean in concert in October and also want to do something charitable, Jason's got a deal for you. An eBay auction to benefit Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital in Nashville includes two tickets and two meet & greet passes to any of his shows in October. The auction closes today, so bid quick!

Luke Bryan celebrated the success of "Rain is a Good Thing" yesterday in Nashville at his #1 party for the song. The timing of the hit was a little off - it was climbing the charts just when the floods hit Nashville, prompting Luke to quip, “I guess it kind of taught me to never do a song again that could possibly have a natural disasters to it. So I won’t I won’t have any songs with hurricanes in it.”

Randy Houser was up early Tuesday morning to be part of Good Morning America on his album release day.


Jack Ingram's Acoustic Motel series continues on YouTube. This week, the song is Guy Clark's "Stuff That Works."


The video for Carrie Underwood's "Mama's Song" will debut on Friday, exclusively on VEVO. People.com has an article about the video, which stars Carrie, her Mom Carole and features hubby Mike Fisher. Carrie's favorite part about making the video? Having Mike share a part of her world for the day.

Taylor Swift is making a cameo in another movie. "Todd vs. High School" is filming now, and Taylor was spotted on the set wearing a red and white basketball uniform. Team name? Squirrels. Taylor's uniform number? 13, of course!

Kenny Chesney's "Invitation Only" episode premiers Monday night, just before the release of "Hemingway's Whiskey." That drops Tuesday, when Kenny starts his day on Good Morning America.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "So many good records coming out. Bout to go buy my boy RandyHouser's new one & zacbrownband too. Good month for country music."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The ACM Honors award show was last night in Nashville. Martina McBride, Randy Travis, Kenny Rogers, John Rich and Buxton Hughes all performed during the evening. The night is a relaxed party for the winners of the non-televised Academy of Country Music award-winners, and has been held in Nashville for the past four years, in spite of the fact that the ACM is based in southern California.

We now know the stars who'll be featured in the Nashville school re-build on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Carrie Underwood we already knew about, but add Keith Urban and a singer more famous for her tabloid escapades than for country music lately, LeAnn Rimes. Leigh Anne Tuohy of "The Blind Side" fame was part of Ty Pennington's design crew, and they all spent last week in Nashville for the build. The episode is tentatively scheduled for November 7th, just before the CMA Awards air on the 10th.

Wanna fly across the country from New York to LA with Taylor Swift on the day her cd drops? You can, with her "Speak Now"contest. Come up with 40 or fewer perfect words to win...good luck!

Just get set to ice down your credit card - today, there's new music available from Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington and Randy Houser. Next Tuesday, Kenny Chesney's "Hemingway's Whiskey" and Montgomery Gentry's greatest hits package are released, in two weeks, Toby Keith unloads with "Bullets in the Gun" and in three weeks there are new releases from Trace Adkins and Darius Rucker. A month from today, Sugarland is out with a new cd, then the following Tuesday is Taylor Swift's turn. The first Tuesday in November, Jason Aldean and Brad Paisley have elected to release new projects, then it's Reba's turn, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban on the 16th and Alan Jackson on the 23rd of November. Told you your credit card would be smokin'!!

Congratulations to Lady Antebellum, who have the number one country song again this week with "Our Kind of Love."

Happy birthday to Faith Hill, who turns 43 today.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto, responding to Miranda Lambert's lavish praise of his show: "Love @Miranda_Lambert for her kind words but I still really wanted that gig. Miranda I promise to suck next time."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

When the Carrie Underwood tour hits the road with Billy Currington on the bill, there'll be a little bit of dog hair backstage. Carrie travels with her rat terrier, Ace, and Billy travels with his chocolate lab, Pace. Despite the size difference, the boys will probably get along famously...hope so, anyway, with those rhyming names! Wonder if Carrie and Billy will write a song together about their dogs?

Last night, the Zac Brown Band streamed their concert from Red Rocks live on their website, causing a slight internet meltdown. If you tried and failed to log on, no worries - it'll be available soon as a dvd, in all likelihood.

Everybody's going country, it seems. The Eagles' Don Henley has been working on a solo project which he describes as a country album. It doesn't have a release date yet. And Michael Waddell, co-host of the Outdoor Channel's show, "Bone Collector," has teamed up with Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson to record a country cd that he promises will be an "album that every hunting enthusiast will want in their collection." The project hits stores a week from tomorrow.

Congrats to Big Kenny Alphin and his wife Christiev on the adoption of their baby boy. Dakota joins four-year-old brother Lincoln.

Randy Houser will be on Good Morning America tomorrow morning and on Jimmy Kimmel Live a week from tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Ive discovered as long as u have ripe tomatoes,fresh basil,good olive oil,& a little salt u will not go hungry!Bonus if theres crusty bread"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Today, the Zac Brown Band will play a special concert in Texas. Is it at a stadium? No. A huge arena? No. It's actually in a school auditorium. Zac Brown Band teamed up with Campbell's Soup in their "Labels for Education" competition, with the school collecting the most labels winning a meet & greet plus a show by the Zac Brown Band. The students at Bynum School have a surprise for the band, though - the kids will perform a song they've created just for them.

Want to own a piece of history? NASH2O, a Nashville-based charity founded in the wake of the spring floods, has collected ruined instruments from Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Vince Gill and many more and will put them up for auction starting October 12th. There will be a launch party in Nashville that day, with many of the artists in attendance. The instruments have been cleaned and are being sold as collector's items, not as musical instruments because of the damage they've sustained.

Jason Aldean's "My Kind of Party" drops on November 2nd, but he threw a launch party for industry types this week at the barn on his Nashville property. Now, don't think cows and horses - Jason's barn has a shuffleboard court, a pool table, full kitchen and big screen tv. Now that's a man-cave!

Can you wait until next week? September 22 is the day the world will learn who the new American Idol judges will be. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has declared himself a shoe-in, rumors are that Jennifer Lopez has sealed a $12 million deal, and Shania Twain, Harry Connick Jr., Elton John and Chris Isaak have all been batted around as strong possibilities. If Shania wants it, hope she gets it. It would be good to have some country represenation on that show.

This year's "We're All for the Hall" concert, organized by Keith Urban and a benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, will be October 5th at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Tickets go (or went, depending on when you read this) on sale at 10 this morning.

Here's your advance warning - you're going to want to drop some bucks at the music store on Tuesday, so pick up an extra job or two over the weekend to cover it. Zac Brown Band, Randy Houser, Billy Currington, Walker Hayes and Mel Tillis all have new cds out Tuesday. Randy Houser has a simple solution for fans who are torn between buying Zac's cd or his: "We've been telling people that whenever you go to the store to buy his, make sure you pick up mine," he says. "Or when you go buy mine, make sure you pick up his. We don't give a damn. We're all family. We're all just as proud of one another as we are of ourselves."

Speaking of the Randy one, hear all of the tracks from "They Call Me Cadillac" before it comes out Tuesday.

Catch Trace Adkins on Anderson Cooper's AC360 tonight on CNN.

Happy birthday to Jeff Bates and Trisha Yearwood on Sunday.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "I am so excited! Just got my grandpa Ken a oneway flight. He's coming on tour with me tomorrow. Might kidnap him and not let him go home. :)"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

More bling for Bentley...Dierks Bentley, that is. He'll have to find space for another shiny award, as he hauled home the ASCAP Artist/Songwriter of the year title at Tuesday's gala. Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum shared Song of the Year honors with their co-writer, Josh Kear, for "Need You Now." During his acceptance speech, Josh thanked Charles Kelley's wife Cassie for letting him attend their songwriting session on her birthday. Nice gift...wonder if she gets to decide where that trophy goes?

Rascal Flatts new video for "Why Wait" is inspired by "The Hangover" and is tons of fun. How could it not be, with Ron White pretending to be one of the boys? See if you can pick out all the stars who appear in this video.


Nickelback played Nashville this week, and Joe Nichols joined them on stage to help them sing "Rockstar." Got it here, but please note - there's some rough language on it...


Wow...what a fun night this will be! Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson are hosting "Willie & Woody's All-Star Texas Hold 'Em Charity Tournament at the Hustler Casino Los Angeles on September 27th. Dinner, a silent auction and of course poker are just part of the fun...you know Willie will pull out his guitar. There's only space for 50 spectators and 200 players, so if you want in, better hurry!

Loretta Lynn gets a huge salute on October 12th at the Ryman. The Recording Academy's Salute to Country Music Honoring Loretta Lynn will be hosted by Reba, who will be joined onstage by Martin McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Lee Ann Womack and more country stars, serenading Loretta with her hit songs.

Merle Haggard has canceled 10 concert dates due to chest congestion. He was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of years ago and wants to take it easy instead of pushing through a possible complication.

In case you care, LeAnn Rimes tells why she cheated.

Darryl Worley's Tennessee River Run kicks off today in Savannah, TN.

Happy birthday to David Bellamy of the Bellamy Brothers...he turns 60 today.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "So all day yesterday my baby Ava was quite & sweet & and a perfect angel & all night long was a holy terror. Already acting like her dad."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney continues to roll out music from his upcoming "Hemingway's Whiskey." The cd drops on September 28th, and today's offering is on RollingStone.com and also here. This is "Me and Tequila," a duet with Grace Potter. If you're on Facebook, be sure to like Kenny Chesney's page - he's sharing parts of songs there, too.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were in Toronto, Canada for the International Film Festival. Nicole's latest movie, "The Rabbit Hole," debuted there and the two were on hand to sign autographs and greet fans during the red carpet event.

Yesterday was a momentous day for Alan Jackson. He received the prestigious Founders Award at the 48th Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, honoring his contributions to both music and his fellow musicians, and he also changed managers. For 10 years, Howard Kaufman in Los Angeles has handled his management, but as of yesterday, he's back with Nancy Russell, who stepped away from artist management about three years ago but is re-establishing her Nashville-based company.

Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and their girls are all in Australia. Tim's booked a few shows, but he and Faith are being sure their kids get a good look at Oz. They've been spotted at the Circular Quay and the Opera House, plus took the advice of Keith Urban and checked out a special gelato place for dessert. Tim's concerts start tonight and run through next Tuesday.

If you're a Tim McGraw fan and you have some money to throw around, here's an event made for you. "An Evening with Tim McGraw and Friends" happens November 12 & 13 in Napa Valley, California as a benefit for several local and national charities. The weekend features a private "Songwriters & Storytellers dinner at the Gargiulo Vineyards, the groundbreaking for the Foundation's headquarters, dinner at an award-winning restaurant, and an awards celebration complete with a Tim McGraw performance. If you want to just attend the concert, that'll set you back a grand a ticket. If you'd like one of the packages that get you into everything for the whole weekend, plus lodging, those range from $3500 to $4000.

Out of the mouths of babes - Darius Rucker has three kids, Cary, Dani and Jack. Jack, who is 5, has decided he wants a new name. According to Darius, “He said, ‘Why don’t you guys just call me Darius?’ ‘Okay, really?’ ‘Yea, call me what you call daddy.’ ‘Okay, you’re Darius.' Coming from the person who is the dad, that is pretty precious.”

Here are the dates for Luke Bryan's Georgia Farm Tour, sponsored by the NRA. Tickets are available now.

September 28th - Coffee Weed Plantation, Valdosta, Ga.
September 29th - Hurricane Branch Plantation, Statesboro, Ga.
September 30th - VFW Fairgrounds, Carrollton, Ga.
October 1st - Luther Williams Field, Macon, Ga.

Jason Aldean has a different theory on selling cds - give fans more songs. “If you can give people more songs at a discounted price, you can give them 15 songs for 12 bucks or they can go to iTunes and get 15 songs for 17 bucks. It’s like, hopefully they’ll be more willing to buy the physical album. You’re going to see a lot more stuff like that I think.” His "My Kinda Party" comes out November 2nd.

There'll be a special edition of Taylor Swift's "Speak Now" cd on release day, October 26th. Target will have a deluxe edition with three bonus tracks, three remixes and a 30-minute dvd, plus the cd cover is different - instead of having a purple dress on, Taylor will be wearing Target red.

Catch Trace Adkins on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Today is the first day of the best is yet to come. Beyond excited!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is filming in Nashville this week. The makeover is on a private school just outside of town that was hit hard by the spring flood. Country stars - so far, unnamed by ABC - are helping with the rebuild, and the family that runs the school is shown touring around Nashville, enjoying the sights and sounds of Music City. Part of the show will be this Thursday's Grand Ole Opry performance. Wait, you say, there's not a Thursday performance of the Opry. There is this week, to accomodate the shooting schedule for the show. Carrie Underwood is the featured performer, and is also involved in the school rebuild. No air date has been released yet for this episode.

There's new Kenny Chesney music in a couple of places on the internet. People.com has Kenny's new song "Reality" and from his CMT "Invitation Only" taping, here's another new song from "Hemingway's Whiskey." It's called "Coastal."


The CMA nominations were revealed over a two-day period, and a bunch of stars were involved. Here's a behind-the-scenes peek at it all.


The Lifetime channel is working on a movie based on Garth Brooks' classic song, "Unanswered Prayers." The movie, which will premier in November, follows a happily married man who is faced with a tough decision when his high school sweetheart comes back into his life. Bet the movie ends just like the song does...happily.

Miranda Lambert, Craig Morgan and Patty Loveless are stateside after spending the weekend in Gstaad, Switzerland. They were invited to play the annual, two-day "Country Night" concert.

A little closer to home, Darius Rucker, Troy Olsen, Luke Bryan, Jeanette McCurdy and Walker Hayes will play the third annual Capitol Nashville street party on October 13th. The music starts at 6 on Demonbreun Street.

Jack Ingram's Acoustic Motel continues - here's his new song, "Over You."


Told you last week about the Loretta Lynn tribute album that's been in the works. Today I can show you the track list:

1."Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)" — Gretchen Wilson
2."I'm A Honky Tonk Girl" — Lee Ann Womack
3."Rated X" — The White Stripes
4."You're Lookin' At Country" — Carrie Underwood
5."Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" — Alan Jackson and Martina McBride
6."You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" — Paramore
7."Love Is The Foundation" — Faith Hill
8."After The Fire Is Gone" — Steve Earle and Allison Moorer
9."If You're Not Gone Too Long" — Reba
10."I Know How" — Kid Rock
11."Somebody Somewhere (Don't Know What He's Missin' Tonight)" — Lucinda Williams
12."Coal Miner's Daughter" — Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert

Congrats to Lady Antebellum, who's "Our Kind of Love" is the #1 song this week on the country charts. It's the third single from "Need You Now" and the third straight #1 song from that cd, which is also #1 on the country album charts this week.

Watch the Judds on the Oprah show today, and Trace Adkins on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight.

New music in stores today - Jamey Johnson's "The Guitar Song," James Otto "Shake What God Gave Ya," Joey+Rory "Album Number Two" and Savannah Jack's self-titled debut.

The tweet of the day is from the Zac Brown Band: "Alright, folks. Nothing to tweet here. Move along."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

It was not Taylor Swift's, but Lady GaGa's night at the MTV Video Music Awards last night. The much-gossiped-about Taylor/Kanye onstage pairing didn't happen. Taylor Swift lost out to Lady GaGa in the awards category, but did manage to steal the show with a song about her forgiveness of Kanye. During rehearsals for last night's award show, she only hummed so as not to give away the lyrics of "Innocent," written earlier this year and on her upcoming "Speak Now" cd.


What do you do with a bunch of flooded, ruined musical instruments? You disinfect them and turn them into art projects. ReTune Nashville has taken the equipment stored at SoundStage that couldn't be repaired and handed it over to a bunch of artists, and the resulting art projects will be auctioned off on October 23 at Nashville's Soundcheck. There'll be a concert along with the auction, and tickets are available now.

Alan Jackson is cooking up a portable pot of fun - he, Chris Young and The Band Perry will hit the road together late this fall. Starting November 4th in Sacramento, California, the tour will stop in nine cities.

Tim McGraw's star turn with Gwyneth Paltrow will hit movie theatres on January 7th and the movie now has its own official website.

Rascal Flatts had a history-making Saturday - not only did they get to introduce Hershey's S'Mores to tail-gaters at the Ohio State University game in Columbus, they also got to perform the National Anthem before the show. No one gets to perform the National Antehem at the OSU home games - the school's band always does it. Oh, and Ohio beat the University of Miami, so their day was just perfect!

Happy birthday to Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts, who turns 35 today.

The tweet of the day is from Jimmy Wayne: "My goals this week: spend less $ on gas, write a new idea each day inspired from the walk, eat healthy, curse less, do one thing different"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Congrats to Joe Don Rooney and wife Tiffany Fallon on the arrival of their second child, Raquel Blue. Her older brother, two-year-old Jagger Donovan, is already in love with his new baby sister, according to Joe Don: "Yesterday, he gave her kisses and tried to feed her cookies. We feel blessed and are ready for the sleepless nights ahead."

Fall is a busy season for Carrie Underwood as well as for her hubby, Mike Fisher. He's heading into hockey season, with games all over the continent, and she's on the second leg of her "Play On" tour, plus will co-host the CMA Awards, plus at some point this fall, her movie, "Soul Surfer" should be released. She plans to be home on 12/20, though, and plans to be with Mike to celebrate the one-year anniversary of getting engaged.

Reba's upcoming cd, "All The Women I Am," includes a cover of Beyonce's "If I Were a Boy," proving once again that a great song is a great song, no matter who sings it.


Want a peek at Tim McGraw's upcoming movie, "Country Strong?" Here you go!



Last night, Taylor Swift helped kick off the 2010 NFL season with a live show in New Orleans. Sunday night, she'll be part of the MTV Video Music Awards, though lips are tightly sealed about whether or not she and Kanye will share a stage again this year - this time on purpose!

Tonight's "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon will feature Martina McBride, Kris Kristofferson and Lady Antebellum. Tonight, Blake Shelton guests on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Sunday, Kenny Chesney's football documentary will re-air on ESPN2. On Tuesday, catch the Judds on the Oprah Winfrey show.

Kenny Chesney's "Invitation Only" episode will debut on September 27th.

Happy birthday on Sunday to George Jones and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "Watching the game. My fiance' is from MN, so the room is intense. I've got my Coors, so I'm good to go."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

So it wasn't just sympathy pains that James Otto has been feeling. He was hospitalized yesterday to check out the abdominal troubles he's been having off and on for a few weeks. Shows this weekend have been canceled, and James reports, "I may have been a bit distracted by all the excitement of baby Ava's arrival! I'll be down for a few days, but hope to be back in action and on the road again soon."

The Lady Hazing continues...Lady Antebellum has decided to spoof Blake Shelton's song "All About Tonight" with "These Jeans are Mighty Tight." Enjoy the silliness.


Congratulations to Charlie Daniels, who'll get the Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award at the TJ Martell Foundation's 35th annual awards gala on October 27th in New York City. The event is a fund-raiser for cancer and AIDS research.

Carrie Underwood's skin is so beautiful that it was only a matter of time before she became the celebrity face of a product. That product is Olay Skin Care and Carrie's campaign will debut early next year. She remembers her Mom using Olay, and says “I love that Olay has managed to change with the times, yet stay in touch with women of all ages who want affordable skincare products that do what they promise. Olay’s inspiring campaign echoes my beliefs and feels deeply personal to me.”

Tim McGraw is playing shows in Texas this weekend, then he heads across the Pacific Ocean for shows in Australia.

Gloriana is performing at the private NASCAR Jimmy Jam in Richmond, VA tonight, celebrating Sprint Cup champion Jimmy Johnson.

Taylor Swift helps kick off the NFL's 2010 season tonight at 7:30 eastern on NBC, Blake Shelton performs on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and Jamey Johnson performs on the Late Show with David Letterman. Early dvr alert - the Judds will help Oprah Winfrey kick off her farewell season next Tuesday, talking about their tour, giving Oprah a private tour of their Tennessee farm and also performing on the show. Speaking of performing, don't miss Sugarland on the Today show tomorrow morning.

The tweet of the day is from James Otto: "Twitters crazy. I've never had so many well wishes. Thank y'all for caring about me. I will be out of the hospital soon no worries."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

It was such a success last year that Keith Urban is doing it again. His second annual "We're All for the Hall" benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will be October 5th in Nashville. Already committed to the project are Miranda Lambert, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride and John Mayer. Each artist will play one of their own songs plus a song from one of their country music heroes. Tickets go on sale September 17th at all Ticketmaster locations.

Tomorrow, Taylor Swift helps the NFL kick off the 2010 season with a performance in New Orleans. She and the Dave Matthews Band will celebrate starting at 7:30pm eastern time on NBC and on the NFL Network.

Dierks Bentley is barnstorming New York City for four days in October. He'll play four different venues and the musical guests on "Up On the Ridge" will be his musical guests in New York, including the Del McCoury Band, the Punch Brothers and songwriters Jessi Alexander, Jim Beavers and Jon Randall Stewart. A limited number of four-day passes and single-day tickets will be available through Dierks' website starting this Friday for the October 18-21 shows.

Someone with a lot of extra time and a huge talent for video took a Bobblehead Brad Paisley doll, some Barbie dolls and the song "Water" and made a great video. Brad Paisley was so impressed that he tweeted, "I have no idea who did this but it's awesome. Good job whoever you are. You're hired"


Jack Ingram is dishing up acoustic versions of his favorite songs each week on YouTube in his "Acoustic Motel" series. Here's the first - Willie Nelson's classic "I'd Have to be Crazy."


Alan Jackson has a big present for fans this November 23rd. His two-disc set, "34 Number Ones" is actually a 37-track double disc cd, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut. The extra three songs are "Look at Me" from the "Billy: The Early Years" soundtrack, "As She's Walking Away," the current Zac Brown Band/Alan Jackson hit, and AJ's cover of the late Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire."

Taylor Swift will embark on a world tour February 13, 2011. The tour will hit 18 countries with 85 shows and will start in Osaka, Japan.

Craig Morgan and Miranda Lambert are both headed to Switzerland for shows this weekend.

Congratulations to Merle Haggard, who is one of five 2010 Kennedy Center Honrees. The ceremony happens on December 5th in Washington DC and will air on December 28th on CBS.

And congratulations to Billy Currington, who scores the number 1 spot with "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer" on the charts this week.

Country musicians are all over tv this week. Tonight, Blake Shelton's special will debut on CMT, then tomorrow night Taylor Swift is part of the NFL season kick-off on NBC, and Jamey Johnson will perform "Lonely at the Top" on The Late Show with David Letterman. Friday morning, Sugarland fires up some songs on the Today Show, and Friday night's "Stand Up to Cancer" telethon will feature Martina McBride and Lady Antebellum. Later Friday night, Blake Shelton guests on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Sunday, Kenny Chesney's football documentary will re-air on ESPN2. Phew...your DVR will be smokin'!

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: 'Just saw a pink corvette pull up in LA, thought to myself..."whoever's driving, she's gotta be hot". Then a guy got out.'

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Keith Urban is bubbling over with excitement about his upcoming cd, "Get Closer" and the lead-off single, "Put You in a Song." He co-wrote it with Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes and hopes it will be his next number one song. “It’s an amazing feeling to, I think, anybody that gets their number one. It’s an incredible feeling. Absolutely. It’s hard to do, you know? It’s very hard.” "Get Closer" drops November 16th.

Wanna see some of what makes Keith Urban a great nominee for Entertainer of the Year? Check out this clip from a show in Allentown, PA over the weekend, where he was giving the audience singing and songwriting lessons.


September 20th in Nashville is the date for the ACM Honors, and Keith Urban is one of the honorees, along with Mel Tillis and Marty Robbins. Among the artists who will appear and pay tribute to the honorees are Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Randy Travis, Marty Stuart and Kenny Rogers. For the first time ever, tickets are available to the public.

What does a big star like Taylor Swift do over Labor Day weekend? She and her little brother Austin were in the stands for the Notre Dame football game. She wanted to sit in the student section, but security concerns sent Taylor, her brother and her friend Selena Gomez down to the sidelines to see the game. And Notre Dame won, so it was a great day in Swift-land.

And as we get closer to the MTV Video Music Awards this year, the Kanye/Taylor controversy from last year keeps coming up. Will the two do something together on stage? Will Kanye serenade Taylor with the song he wrote for her? We'll just have to wait and see, but we don't have to wait long. They air this Sunday night at 9 eastern.

Going to a Miranda Lambert concert? Mind your manners - she had to stop another show because two people got into a fight while she was performing, and she chastised them from the stage. Later she tweeted about the situation, saying “Tonight some idiots got in a fight on the front row at my show. I had to stop and call them out. Funny part…it was during ‘Only Prettier.’” Now that is funny!

There's a "making of Only Prettier" video on Miranda Lambert's website...fun!

Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson helped their friend Dierks Bentley with a song on his "Up On the Ridge" cd. That song, "Bad Angel," is up for a CMA for Musical Event of the Year. Here's the video they made for it.


Rodney Atkins Cracker Barrel cd is available now. It includes 4 #1 songs and an unreleased track.

If you were looking forward to getting Steel Magnolia's debut cd on the 21st of this month, I have sad news for you - the release has been pushed back to January 11, 2011.

Pick up a copy of American Songwriter magazine if you're a Zac Brown Band fan - they're on the cover and featured in a 6-page story.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "For sale: 1976 bladder, needs some work, tends to leak late at night. Will trade for liver or better hearing..."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The Brooks & Dunn "Last Rodeo" last show ended at about 11:45 central time last night, marking the end of the most successful duo ever. Kix and Ronnie started off as songwriters and were put together by record executive Tim DuBois in 1991. Over the years, they've charted more than 50 singles, with 20 of those going to #1. In 1992 they started raking in awards, and just from the major award shows, they picked up 67 trophies. The show last night featured most of their biggest hits, and after seven songs, Kix told the crowd, "Thanks for making the last go-around for us very special. This is not a funeral… we came to party…and I hope you guys are not in a hurry. Cause this is the first time all year that I've got about 15 min to go to get home…" There was one special guest - Reba joined them on stage, singing just one chorus of "Cowgirls Don't Cry." She got a standing ovation.The show lasted more than three hours, and the two encore songs were "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and "Brand New Man." When the house lights were turned back on, the band could be seen, still on stage and all hugging each other. Tennesseean.com has a slide show of last night's last concert.

Blake Shelton is featured on People.com talking about his "All About Tonight" six-pak, his favorite song on it, and what it's really like to sing a duet with Miranda Lambert.

There's a Loretta Lynn tribute cd in the works, and the Country Music Hall of Famer hand-picked the women she wanted on it and the song each would sing. "Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn" will feature Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Reba, Gretchen Wilson and Lee Ann Womack. Oh, and she picked a few guys, too - Alan Jackson, Steve Earle and Kid Rock will be part of the project. It hits stores on November 9th.

New Taylor Swift greeting cards are out, exclusively at Target.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Recording with Darius today. Its between a song we wrote and a Bluegrass version of Ebony and Ivory. Tuff choice."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

Tonight is it - Brooks & Dunn will perform their last concert together and put a cap on their 20-year career with a show in Nashville. It's at Bridgestone Arena, it's sold out, and it's a benefit for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Kix Brooks might be tipping us off on what to expect: “Hopefully there will be some buds that come to hang with us and sit in and it should be a good time.”

Yesterday during the announcement of the nominations for the CMA awards, Miranda Lambert's name was called a lot. Nine times, as a matter of fact, making her the record-holder for female artist with the most nominations for one CMA show. How did that make her feel? “Um, I don’t even have a word, they don’t even make a word for the way I feel. I’m gonna have to make one up and get back to you on that one. (laugh)” She's nominated for entertainer of the year, female vocalist of the year, album of the year, song of the year, video of the year, single of the year and vocal event of the year.

Love the beach? Love Brad Paisley? Then you'd better plan a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama on October 17th. He'll be putting on a free concert to promote tourism, and you get tickets by reserving a rental.

Got any emerging fashionistas in your house? Then you'll want to know that the Hot Topic apparel company has found one country act stylish enough to be part of their "When Music and Fashion Collide" campaign. Yes, that's Gloriana as part of their back-to-school campaign.

The iTunes store is getting a facelift today. iTunes 10 is rolling out, and has been described as "Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes." Customers can keep track of their favorite artists, artists can interact with fans, and everyone can interact with their circle of friends, seeing what they're listening to, buying and which concerts they're planning to attend.

Congrats to Little Big Town on hitting the top spot on the country charts with "The Reason Why." First-week sales of nearly 42,000 units propelled them to the top.

The tweet of the day is from 9-time CMA nominee Miranda Lambert: "OH MY DEAR LORD!!! I can't believe this is happening. Thank you country music for letting me live my dream. God bless this industry!"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Today's Country Tidbits

The CMA nominations are all out for this year, and Miranda Lambert is the leader, with 9 nominations. Lady Antebellum as a group have 5, and in three categories, Miranda is competing with herself. For single of the year, song of the year and for music video of the year, she's nominated for "The House That Built Me" and "White Liar." In Single of the Year and Vocal Event, she's up against her "financy," Blake Shelton. Anybody else notice that Jason Aldean's name is nowhere to be found on this list? What's up with that?

Entertainer of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Miranda Lambert
Brad Paisley
Keith Urban
Zac Brown Band

Female Vocalist
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Reba McEntire
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist
Dierks Bentley
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton
George Strait
Keith Urban

Album of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)
Need You Now
Lady Antebellum
Producers: Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Play On
Carrie Underwood
Producers: Mark Bright and Max Martin

Revolution
Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke

Twang
George Strait
Producers: Tony Brown and George Strait

Up on the Ridge
Dierks Bentley
Producer: Jon Randall Stewart

Musical Event
(Award goes to each artist.)
"Bad Angel"
Dierks Bentley featuring Miranda Lambert and Jamey Johnson

"Can't You See"
Zac Brown Band featuring Kid Rock

"Hillbilly Bone"
Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins

"I'm Alive"
Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews

"Till the End"
Alan Jackson with Lee Ann Womack

New Artist
Luke Bryan
Easton Corbin
Jerrod Niemann
Chris Young
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Group
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo
Brooks & Dunn
Joey & Rory
Montgomery Gentry
Steel Magnolia
Sugarland

Single of the Year
(Award goes to artist and producer.)
"A Little More Country Than That"
Easton Corbin
Producer: Carson Chamberlain

"Hillbilly Bone"
Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
Producer: Scott Hendricks

"Need You Now"
Lady Antebellum
Producers: Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

"The House That Built Me"
Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke

"White Liar"
Miranda Lambert
Producers: Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke

Song of the Year
(Award goes to songwriter.)
"A Little More Country Than That"
Songwriters: Rory Lee Feek, Don Poythress and Wynn Varble

"Need You Now"
Songwriters: Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Josh Kear

"The House That Built Me"
Songwriters: Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin

"Toes"
Songwriters: Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, John Driskell Hopkins and Shawn Mullins

"White Liar"
Songwriters: Miranda Lambert and Natalie Hemby

Music Video
(Award goes to artist and director.)
"Hillbilly Bone"
Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
Director: Roman White

"Need You Now"
Lady Antebellum
Director: David McClister

"The House That Built Me"
Miranda Lambert
Director: Trey Fanjoy

"Water"
Brad Paisley
Director: Jim Shea

"White Liar"
Miranda Lambert
Director: Chris Hickey

Musician
Paul Franklin -- Steel Guitar
Dann Huff -- Guitar
Brent Mason -- Guitar
Mac McAnally -- Guitar
Randy Scruggs -- Guitar

The CMA Awards will air Nov. 10 on ABC.

Brad Paisley has been having such a good time on the road that he's extended his H2O World Tour through November 20th. Darius Rucker and Justin Moore are the openers for him. The new shows are on Brad's website.

Joe Nichols says he'd be a baseball fan no matter what city he grew up in, but since he lived in St. Louis and his Dad was a security guard at Busch Stadium, he's a rabid fan of baseball and the Cardinals. So much so that he's featured on MLB.com's "Major League Artist" page. In other Billy Currington news, he's broken the attendance record at the Kentucky State Fair's Cardinal Stadium. Charlie Daniels was the previous record-holder, and his record stood for more than 20 years, until Billy Currington showed up last weekend. More than 20-thousand people packed the stadium to see him play.

Tim McGraw will be in Atlanta on October 2nd to accept the True Ally Award at the 2010 Men Stopping Violence Annual Awards Dinner. Tim and Faith have raised thousands of dollars for womens shelters, and that's what he'll be honored for.

Don't forget - tonight's the night for "Country's Night to Rock." It's the best parts of the CMA Music Festival, reduced to a three-hour tv special. Performances by Reba, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldea, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift are the highlights, but not the only ones you'll see. Tim McGraw hosts the show, which airs from 8-11 eastern tonight on ABC.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "Validation is a funny thing, it comes in different shapes, sizes, times, etc. Congrats Luke, Miranda and Lady A, you guys inspire me!"