Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney kicked off his "Goin' Coastal" tour last night in West Palm Beach. On stage is his stuffed marlin, "Marley," and Kenny occasionally enjoys the view from a life guard chair. After so long off the road, was he nervous about last night's show? Says Kenny, "I got butterflies, but it's a different butterflies. It's not ... 'Oh my God, what are we gonna do?' It's an anxiousness to get out there and really try to blow people's hair back with our music and try to show them the best time ever." And you know he did, and you know he will when you go see him.

Miranda Lambert played the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Wednesday, and the stats are in. It was the third-largest crowd in the history of that concert and the largest crowd ever on a weeknight. That's saying something - the show has been going on annually for the last 79 years. Miranda started her performing career when she was 17, playing Houston's "Firehouse Saloon." "I think there were about seven people at that first concert," she joked. She's doing a bit better at drawing a crowd these days!

The Flatts Fest details are out, and it's going to be quite a show. Rascal Flatts on tour with Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore. The schedule right now calls for 24 shows from June 18th through September 18th. Along with main-stage fun, there'll be an interactive pre-show festival, with a mobile karaoke vehicle, carnival games, photo booths, putt putt golf, food vendors and lots of contests. Check to see if the show is headed your way.

Big and Rich are getting the band back together and hitting the road for "Xtreme Muzik: The Tour" along with Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred this summer. So far, only five dates are scheduled, but if fun is had by all, watch that tour grow.

Country artists are teaming up with the NRA for NRACountry, a celebration of lifestyle, freedom and an outdoor way of life. Shouldering their weapons so far are Troy Gentry, Blake Shelton, Gretchen Wilson, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Josh Thompson, Justin Moore, Chuck Wicks, James Crady and Mickie James.

The ACM Fan Jam just got bigger, with the addition of The Band Perry, Eric Church, Randy Houser, Little Big Town, Steel Magnolia, Laura Bell Bundy, Sarah Darling, Bradley Gaskin and Casey James. That show will take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center during and after the ACM Awards on April 3rd, and the broadcast of the awards will cut away to the concert periodically. Sugarland headlines that stage.

Haven't voted for the ACM Top New Artist yet? The two contenders have issued campaign videos which couldn't be more different. Here's Eric Church's video, and be warned - the content is suggestive, but doesn't go where you think it's going.

And here's The Band Perry video, which just might make you tear up.

Voting closes on April 3rd for this award, so get your vote in!

Taylor Swift will be part of the animated movie, "The Lorax," derived from the Dr. Seuss book of the same name. Taylor will voice the character of Audrey, the dream girl who's coveted by the main character, Ted, who will be played by Zac Efron. Danny DeVito and Betty White are also part of the project.

Shania Twain will probably take over for Celine Dion for a while this year, performing in Las Vegas while Celine takes time off to enjoy her new twins. By the way, if you're a huge Shania fan, Oprah is looking for you.

Wynonna has been in a relationship for the past year and a half, but wouldn't say who she was dating. The details are out - it's Cactus Moser, Highway 101 member and drummer for Julianne Hough. Guess it's going well since she's willing to talk about it now. Lucky her - he's a good guy!

"The Lincoln Lawyer" opens today, and features Trace Adkins in a small part.

Happy birthday today to Charley Pride, Jaron Lowenstein of Jaron and the Long Road to Love, and Philip Sweet of Little Big Town, and Sunday to "Ranger" Doug Green of Riders in the Sky.

Billy Ray Cyrus is on The View today, talking about how he's called off the divorce and is working hard to put his family back together. Carter's Chord will perform on the NASCAR Nationwide Series tomorrow.

Condolences to the family of Ferlin Husky, who passed away yesterday afternoon. He was 85 and had suffered from congestive heart failure. He was a long-time member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and of the Grand Ole Opry.

Please help the people of Japan, who are suffering and will continue to suffer for years as they struggle to rebuild broken lives and a broken country. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross' Japanese relief efforts. If you can give more, please go to the donation page for the Red Cross. Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Chris Young, Josh Thompson, Phil Vassar, Randy Houser, Randy Montana, Heidi Newfield and Katie Armiger have all filmed public service announcements urging country fans to lend a hand.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "The quiet dignity & grace of the Japanese people throughout this tragedy has been so remarkable.My heart is simultaneously proud and broken."