Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

May of 2010 is one of Nashville's darkest moments in history. That's when the devastating floods hit the area, wiping out homes, businesses and the industry that fuels the city's economy - tourism. But you can't keep a good city down, so the Grand Ole Opry will mark the anniversary of the flood with a huge celebration. "Party On, Nashville!" is set for Tuesday May third at the Opry House, and at this point the scheduled performers include Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and the Charlie Daniels Band. You know that between now and a week from tonight, even more of Nashville's stars will sign on to the party. If you'd like to go, tickets are available. If you'd like to support Hands On Nashville, the American Red Cross or United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, buy your tickets through your favorite charity and $10 of the ticket price will go to them.

Tomorrow is the day we find out all of the nominees for the 2011 CMT Music Awards during the third hour of the Today Show on NBC. The Band Perry will perform during that hour, singing their new single, "You Lie." These are fan-voted awards, and the voting starts as soon as the nominees are announced. One category has been revealed already - Breakthrough Video of the Year, and here are the nominees:

Lee Brice - "Love Like Crazy"
Aaron Lewis - "Country Boy"
Jerrod Niemann - "Lover, Lover"
The Band Perry - "If I Die Young"
Thompson Square - "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not"

With "Honey Bee" rocketing up the charts at a record pace, (pardon the pun!) Blake Shelton has had a change in plans. He wasn't going to release a new cd until fall of this year, but the momentum of the first single has moved that time frame up to July 12th. That means Blake has some work to do, as the album isn't finished yet. He and his guys are in the studio this week, working on the untitled album. Better get it done quick - he and Miranda are tying the knot in a couple of weeks!

Breaking with tradition, Brad Paisley's next cd, "This is Country Music," will street on a Monday instead of a Tuesday. The album now goes on sale Monday, May 23rd.

Ronnie Dunn's first ever solo album is a self-titled one, due out June 7 but available for pre-order now. And Ronnie's doing something new to country music, to coincide with the release of the physical cd. Says Ronnie, "I am producing a series of videos to go with the majority of the songs. So far, I have finished five." You can see a "behind the scenes" video now.

Uncle Kracker loves mash-ups, so he sort of did one of his own, melding "Good to be Me" with "All Summer Long."

There are good fans, great fans and super fans. One of Reba's super fans, Wanda Couturier, got to meet her idol last week. Why? Because super fan Wanda has been to more than 100 of Reba's show, seeing 33 in just one year. She also broke the Today show record for standing in line the longest to see a star. Now, that's a fan!

Toby Keith has returned to the states after his 9th USO tour. He loves performing for the troops and spending time with America's heroes, and loves sending back photos.

Jo Dee Messina has donated a song to help build a school, and the songwriter, Jared Anderson, is kicking in his share of the royalties, too. "Carry On" is available for a $1 donation to "A Million Doors," an organization raising money to build a new school for Nashville's Holy Trinity Montessori. The goal is to raise $2.3 million, so text all your friends and all of you go get this song.

In an interview on Taste of Country, Darius Rucker was asked who he would love to trade places with for one day. His answer, "Let’s see … Miranda Lambert. That way I could see how it feels to be that cool!" Miranda, did you know Darius was such a big fan?

Congratulations to Kenny Chesney, who has earned his 22nd number 1 song with "Live a Little." It's the third #1 from "Hemingway's Whiskey."

Tonight is the premier of the new singing competition show, "The Voice," which finds Blake Shelton as a coach on a show, looking for America's best voice. The other coaches are Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine, and their job is to each pick a singing team based on sound, not looks. It's on NBC at 9pm Eastern.

Happy birthday to Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, who turns 40 today. And happy anniversary to Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts. He and wife Tiffany Fallon were wed on this day in 2006.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Hey @martinamcbride, your new song is so fantastic. It sounds classic and current and real and catchy, and it makes me so glad I have boys."