Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift kicked off her North American tour Friday night, and she's truly enjoying the special moments with her fans. "Walking through the crowd every night, I would walk through the arena and surprise the crowd in some of the top rows of the arena every night, and then I would walk through and go down to this stage of the back of the arena and perform for the back rows, and that was one of my favorite moments, because that’s when I would get to kiss the little kids and hug people and just a lot of love was exchanged in that part of the show.” She's in Ft. Lauderdale, FL this week for three sold-out shows. Yesterday, she was on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

Jimmy Buffett played Nashville's Bridgestone Arena Saturday night, and Kenny Chesney joined the Coral Reefers, Jimmy and Mac MacAnally on a couple of songs.

Kenny Chesney's latest song, "You and Tequila," is magical to him for more than just the lyrics. It's magical because it illustrates the power of music for him. “I just fell in love with her voice a couple years ago, and didn’t know how to get a hold of her. Finally did, and sent her the song. To me, that just shows you how powerful music can be. You can meet a girl like Grace Potter—never met her before—she grew up in Vermont, I grew up in Tennessee. And I never met her until she walked in the studio, but it was as if—when we started singing together—it was as if we’d known each other our whole lives and it just worked." The video premiers on CMT this Friday at 10:45pm Eastern.

Keith Urban's "Get Closer" tour is appropriately named, according to Keith. “I’m going into the crowd on several occasions. This tour is not just called Get Closer, it’s literally gonna be that, too." Keith usually goes into the audience a time or two, but on this tour he'll spend more time in the trenches, even though it's tough on his wardrobe and his body. "I’ve come home a few times with scratches on my chest and on my back, and my wife’s gone, ‘What is that?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I’ll show you,’ and we’ve filmed the audience. She’s like, ‘Oh my god!’ It can be a bit treacherous out there sometimes, but it’s always different, always unpredictable, and I love it.” The "Get Closer" tour kicks off June 16th.

The date is set for Craig Morgan's 5th Annual Celebrity Dirt Bike Charity Ride and Concert, August 6th and 7th in Dickson, TN. Day one features the celebrity dirt bike challenge, and day two features a celebrity skeet shoot and acoustic cocert. The fun benefits Billy's Place, a home for temporarily displaced children.

Blake Shelton is enjoying his role as mentor to his team on "The Voice," and enjoys sharing the mistakes and missteps he's made so his team can learn from them. But if words don't work, Blake's got a back-up plan. “A couple of girls on my team get really nervous. Clearly I don't have a problem coming out of my shell, but that wasn't always the case. Who knows? I might take them to make (fools) of themselves at karaoke and get it all out of their system." "The Voice" is on tonight at 10 Eastern on NBC.

Kellie Pickler has a new album coming out this fall, and the first single, "Tough," is the story of Kellie's life as told by songwriter Leslie Satcher. Kellie and Leslie sat down for a writing session and, according to Kellie, “I found myself telling her things I’d never told anybody and then she, uh…She just kinda took my story and she went home and she wrote the song, ‘Tough’…So, I'm very, very blessed to have her a part of my life…that’s for sure.” You can hear a little bit of the song on Kellie's website. Leslie has written hit songs for many of Nashville's biggest stars, like George Strait, Reba, Martina McBride and Willie Nelson.

Shania Twain gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this week.

The tweet of the day is from Miranda Lambert: "Thank u to the men and women who serve and have served our country. You are all rock stars. I'm proud to be an American:)!"