Friday, June 3, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

More details are coming out about this summer's "Flatts Fest" tour with Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Easton Corbin and Justin Moore. The tour hits 23 cities between June 18th and September 18th, and the pre-show festivities will be almost as much fun as the show. There'll be a Karaoke challenge, and the top prize is the chance to open for Rascal Flatts in 2012. There'll be a "Why Wait" chapel where one person at each show gets the chance to renew their vows, get engaged or get married before the show. There'll also be a scavenger hunt using cell phones and the Flatts Fest wi-fi hot spot. Check in, then look for the scavenger hunt signs, scan the QR code and have chances to spin the prize wheel for prizes like meet & greets, autographed guitars and birthday phone calls from Rascal Flatts. But wait, as they say on the cheesy late-night tv commercials, there's more! There's also the Flatts Fest Fan Zone, complete with life-size cut-outs of the band you can take pictures with, a Rascal Flatts museum and the Ask Flatts corner, where fans get videoed asking questions of the band. Some questions will make it to the big screen and be answered onstage. Here's where Flatts Fest lands this summer:

6-18 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
6-19 Virginia Beach, VA Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
6-25 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
6-26 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7-8 Cuyahoga Falls, OH Blossom Music Center
7-9 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
7-22 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
7-23 Noblesville, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
7-28 Atlanta, GA Lakewood
7-29 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7-30 Raleigh, NC TWC Music Pavilion
8-4 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
8-11 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
8-12 Darien Lake, NY Darien Lakes PAC
8-19 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
8-20 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre Park
9-9 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
9-10 Denver, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
9-11 Albuquerque, NM HardRock Casino Albuquerque Presents The Pavilion
9-15 Sacramento, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
9-16 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
9-17 San Bernardino, CA San Manuel Amphitheatre
9-18 San Diego, CA Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Brad Paisley kicks off his H2O II: Wetter & Wilder World Tour tonight in Virginia Beach. Blake Shelton and Jerrod Niemann are along for the ride. His Water World Plaza includes concerts from Edens Edge, Sunny Sweeney, Brett Eldredge and the JaneDear Girls, a fishing simulator, dunking booth, slip 'n slide and other water fun. Brad is an inveterate prankster and years ago, he pulled a stinky prank on Blake Shelton. According to Brad, “I went on his bus and said, ‘How ya doin’?’ He said, ‘Good.’ I just went over there to see him. And while I was standing there, I had an air freshener, one of those stick-up air fresheners, and stuck it, twisted it open. We’d replaced the contents with raw chicken…as opposed to an air freshener…I feel bad about that now…but I’m ready. I’m preparing.” He says he's spent $200 preparing a prank for Blake while they're on tour this summer. Meanwhile, if you want to check out Brad Paisley's informal in-concert, WalMart has a new sound check available for viewing.

This fall, Luke Bryan headlines the 10th annual "CMT on Tour." The "Tailgates & Tanlines" shows will also include Lee Bryce and Josh Thompson on the 25-show series.

Taylor Swift is a huge success, which makes it easy for people to take pot-shots at her, thinking that she got where she is because of luck or connections. According to Taylor, those people don't have it quite right. “I honestly was raised never, never to expect that you are entitled to success. So you work an extra mile. That‘s why I learned guitar. ‘Cause I was like, ‘You know what, there‘s no guarantee that I will make it, there‘s not even half a guarantee that I will make it. I‘ve got to learn things that make me different, and I‘ve gotta learn things that make me more interesting’.” Her success is proof to the adage, "the harder you work, the luckier you are!"

Could there be an Alabama reunion tour in the works? Maybe - Jeff Cook is quoted on, saying that the band is talking about the possibility of doing 20 shows next year, and that it never felt right for a band named Alabama to end their career in North Dakota. Their last concert was there in 2004. Jeff goes on to say that if they do reunite for a tour, there'll be new music and maybe even a new album.

American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina will stand in the circle next week during the CMA Music Festival. They'll both perform on the Grand Ole Opry Friday June 10th. Also on stage that night are Randy Travis and Billy Ray Cyrus. You can be there, too, if you'd like. They'll be up bright and early for the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge on Saturday.

Joe Nichols and Roper Apparel and Footwear have inked a long-term endorsement deal. Joe looks good in Roper anything.

Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were on the Today show yesterday, where they talked about having the support of their Moms, relationship rumors and they duetted on Randy Travis' chestnut, "I Told You So." Check it out...

Thompson Square is on Fox & Friends, Ronnie Dunn is on Entertainment Tonight, Ray Stevens is on Freedom Watch on FOX, and Kenny Chesney is the focus of a special on CMT.

Happy birthday to Too Slim of Riders in the Sky.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "I'm so hung over right now I just brewed a fresh pot of Copenhagen..."