Friday, May 6, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The first of what will surely be many benefit concerts for the southeast in the wake of the historic tornado outbreak happens May 12th on CMT and The telethon won't have a studio audience, but will be star-studded, as Hank Williams Jr. rallied Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Lady Antebellum, Sara Evans, Ronnie Dunn and Alabama to perform with him. The proceeds will go to the American Red Cross for tornado disaster relief, but you don't have to wait until the 12th to help. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross.

This time last year, Nashville was still awash with flood waters and the community was rallying together to clean up and rebuild. Country artists had a lot of personal losses in the flood and did a lot of work to make the city clean and new again. Here's what some of the artists have to say about the area and the experience:

"The Opry is a metaphor, really, of Nashville. What the Opry did, I think the city has done to a large degree, which is rebuild itself and better than before ... I couldn't be prouder of this place or this town." - Brad Paisley

"It's amazing when you consider just how far the whole city has come ... The fact that we're standing here today and it looks the way it does. It's just perfect out here." — Luke Bryan

"Being a Grand Ole Opry member, you're a member of a family. When I saw the photographs and the video of what this place looked like that day, I was heartbroken because as a family, this is our house ... To see the restoration and the resurrection, it was nothing short of miraculous. This building and institution is a testament, it's a monument to this city and the backbone we have and the perseverance we have." — Trace Adkins

"I remember being on the road and seeing footage of the door right over there with the water halfway over the door sign – just total heartbreak. Just thinking about the stage and the circle and all the dressing rooms and Porter Wagoner's pictures just makes me really sad. Looking back on it now, and to see the Circle and backstage area better that it's ever been, it feels more homey than it ever has." — Dierks Bentley

Pranks are a way of life on the road for many artists. Last week, Miss Willie Brown pranked Dierks Bentley by wrapping his Jeep in plastic. You know what they say about paybacks...

In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, some street art featuring the likeness of Keith Urban has gone missing. A large fiberglass hand painted with images of Keith in concert was spirited away under cover of darkness. The owner of Urban Style, the salon outside which the sculpture resided, got a call from Keith, offering four concert tickets and VIP passes for the reward fund. Officials suspect college students are behind the prank and hope that the sculpture will be returned unharmed.

Miranda Lambert will have her bachelorette party in Kentucky this weekend. She's at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, and it's a girlfriends weekend. She and Blake will be married next weekend in Texas.

Blake Shelton caused a little dust-up with a Tweet he posted Wednesday night. He wrote new lyrics to Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" that read, “Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be a beaten, bleedin’, heaving kind of guy….” He said the post was intended to be read from a woman's point of view and asked the Gay and Lesbian Aliance Against Defamation to help him spread the word that he's not anti-gay. All is forgiven, because we all know that Blake will be Blake.

Martina McBride's next cd will be out August 23rd, and she's working on plans to tour next year. “It takes a lot of time to put that together and I wanna really do something that’s really different and new and a whole new experience. Because when you’ve been touring like I have for 18 years and people spend their hard earned money on a ticket. I just want them to be able to show up and say, ‘Wow, that’s something we have never seen from her before.’”

Taylor Swift will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show May 11th, and they want to fill the audience with the "ultimate Taylor Swift fans." Good luck!

Still looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift? One of the Taylor Swift cards being offered by American Greetings features a song Taylor wrote for her Mom, called "The Best Day." And Ashton Shepherd posted a free acoustic performance of "I'm Just a Woman" from her upcoming album, "Where Country Grows" that your Mom might like.

Zac Brown Band has taken their "eat and greets" to another level, teaming up with Kingsford Charcoal for Supper Clubs before the band's shows. There'll be live music from some of Southern Ground's up-and-coming acts, dinner featuring some of Zac's best recipes and a chance to win dinner with Zac Brown Band.

Do you like Phil Vassar? He wants to give you his new song for free. Hit the CMA Facebook page, "like" it and then click the link on the left that says "Phil Vassar Download." You'll get "Let's Get Together" for free.

Keith Urban and Bill Anderson will be inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on May 15th.

Sunday night, John Rich is on "Celebrity Apprentice" where three people will be fired. The three-hour episode begins at 8 Eastern. Also Sunday night, "The Judds" concludes on OWN, and Shania Twain's show, "Wy Not? With Shania Twain" debuts immediately after the Judds finale.

The tweet of the day is from Josh Thompson: "Up writin a song with Phillbilly n Chris Wallin. Tryin to keep the S off the front of hits."