Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band have been rehearsing over the last few days, working up the songs they'll do together when the "Goin' Coastal" tour hits stadiums. The tour kicks off Thursday in West Palm Beach and the first stadium show is in Tampa this weekend. Says Kenny, "Zac and I are working through the things we're going to do together. We'll catch each other grinning because we know this is going to be really fun for us, the fans and everybody involved."

Love Kenny Chesney? Love Hooters? There's not an app for that - yet! - but there is a tie-in that allows fans to win cool prizes in each city of Kenny Chesney's tour, along with giving one fan and a guest a VIP trip to the final stop on the "Goin' Coastal" tour - Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachussetts.

And in more Kenny news, he's designed a line of sunglasses, just in time for the "Goin' Coastal" tour. Pick up Caballito, Hammerhead, Little Harbor, Howler or Rincon at the Costa Del Mar website or at one of Kenny's shows. $10 from each pair sold goes to the Coastal Conservation Association.

Hot off his Australian tour, Alan Jackson will play the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this Friday night. While there, he'll be inducted into the Star Trail of Fame. That honor is reserved for artists who've played to more than a million fans at the Houston Rodeo.

Fan voting is going on now for the ACM New Artist and Entertainer of the Year awards. For New Artist, your choices are The Band Perry and Eric Church. Voting in that category goes on through 5pm April 3rd, the day of the awards. Up for Entertainer of the Year are Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith and Jason Aldean. Voting in that category will go on up until the 3rd hour of the awards show.

Taylor Swift is out with a new song today. "Mean" is the third single from her "Speak Now" cd, and she says that fame has brought her not just some wonderful perks, but also some pretty mean criticism. Says Taylor, “There are different kinds of ways to criticize someone. There’s constructive criticism, there’s professional criticism and then there’s just being mean. And there’s a line that you cross when you just start to attack everything about a person. No matter how old you are, no matter what your job is, no matter what your place is in life, there’s always going to be someone who’s just mean to you. And dealing with that is all that you can control.”

There's good news for Reba and her family - her Dad is awake and doing well after suffering a stroke. According to Reba's sister Susie, he is pain-free, suffered no paralysis and is alert and responsive. The family set up a Facebook page for fans and friends to follow along in his progress.

Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the darkest day in Reba's life - the day that a plane crash near San Diego claimed the lives of most of her band. She was supposed to be on the flight, but husband Narvel Blackstock convinced her to stay behind and get a good night's sleep. Lost in the crash were road manager Jim Hammon, guitarist Chris Austin, backup singer Paula Kaye Evans, bassist Terry Jackson, bandleader Kirk Cappello, guitarist Michael Thomas, drummer Tony Saputo and keyboardist Joey Cigainero. All of the airplane's crew perished in the crash, too. People Magazine did a story about the incident 20 years ago, and interviewed Reba for it.

Told you via Twitter about Jewel's car accident just after it happened on Friday.
Photograpic evidence of just how lucky she is to be alive and ok after the crash is here. She tweeted that the Cadillac she was in save her life, along with the life of her unborn baby, and she was going to buy another one. She's sore and bruised, but otherwise unhurt.

Little Big Town was part of the unveiling of the newest CMA initiative: CMA EDU is a program that gives college students the opportunity to meet and learn from music industry professionals. Said Kimberly Schlapman, “If someone grows up lovin’ country music then they want to be more of a part of it whether they’re an artist, a songwriter, a manager, a record label president, you know. Probably, the love of the music is where it all starts, that’s where it started for us. We grew up on country music and we always wanted to be a part of it.” The project is underway at Belmont University in Nashville and will be rolled out at campuses across the country later this year.

Congratulations to Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson, who sit atop the country charts again this week with "Don't You Wanna Stay."

And congratulations to Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Paisley, who are celebrating their 8th wedding anniversary today.

Condolences to the family and friends of songwriter Todd Cerney, responsible for many beautiful songs, including "Good Morning Beautiful" and "I'll Still be Loving You." Todd lost his battle with melanoma in the early hours of Monday morning.

New music today from David St. Romain, a finalist in season 7 of "Nashville Star." His cd is "All I Really Wanted to Say." Also out is the 10th anniversary American Idol Greatest Hits album, featuring 12 songs from some of the best contestants on the show. Of course Carrie Underwood is on it - "Before He Cheats" is her contribution to the collection.

Kenny Rogers is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum: "Watching the news this morning in tears praying for Japan. I encourage you all over the world to please do what you can to help! ~hills"