Monday, June 6, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

It's the kickoff of CMA Music Festival Week in Nashville, so if your country-music-loving co-workers are missing this week, you probably know where they are. Every year, nearly half a million people descend on Nashville to meet their favorite stars up close and personal, see the sights and attend great concerts. This year, four hundred country artists will be on hand to party with their fans and friends. The festival officially runs Thursday through Sunday, but unofficial events start today.

A fire that started on a workbench in the garage destroyed Trace Adkins' Brentwood, TN home on Saturday afternoon. Trace and his wife Rhonda weren't home, but two of their daughters were, along with family friends who were watching the girls while Rhonda ran errands. She was about three minutes away from the house when a neighbor called to let her know the house was on fire, and by the time she made it home, the house was fully engulfed and her daughters and friends were at their designated emergency meeting place. According to reports, no family members or pets were injured in the fire, which gutted the home. One neighbor was bitten trying to rescue one of the Adkins' dogs but the injury was minor and the neighbor and dog both got out of the fire safely. Trace was landing in Alaska for concerts when he heard the news in a voicemail from Blake Shelton, and he turned around and took the first flight back to Nashville. Rhonda said that the family lost a lot of items with sentimental value including most of Trace's awards, but added, "It's just stuff. You can replace things, not people. I’m just glad that my children are safe." Moving vans were at the Atkins home on Sunday, salvaging the things that weren't destroyed by the fire, water or smoke. A few awards were ok, some musical instruments were salvaged, and some furniture can be saved. Rhonda was grateful to the Brentwood Fire Department for teaching fire safety seminars in school, which helped their daughters be clear-headed and stay safe during the emergency. According to Rhonda, she and the family will stay at their Eagleville, TN farm for the time being.

On a happier note, Trace Adkins and his youngest daughter, Trinity, star in the video for his latest song, "Just Fishin'." The video debuts today, and Trace says of it, “I’m proud of it. I think it’s gonna serve its purpose. I think we should’ve been deep sea fishin’, landing some big Marlin, but you know…we had to go for the Brim. We don’t have that kind of budget anymore. I mean, she had a life-jacket on, surely she’d have had enough sense to let go of the rod.”

Tonight is Darius Rucker's second annual Darius and Friends charity concert at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. Who are the "friends?" Rodney Atkins, Easton Corbin, Justin Moore and Jerrod Niemann. Proceeds from the sold-out show go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Jerrod Niemann and Darius Rucker are part of tomorrow's Grand Ole Opry celebration, which also includes Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and more. Jerrod is the featured performer on the free Opry Plaza Party stage tomorrow afternoon.

Carrie Underwood took time after the finale of American Idol to talk with Lauren Alaina about how her life is about to change. According to Lauren, “She invited me back into her little area and I talked to her for probably an hour and she just was telling me about her life and she said now the real like…career’s gonna start. And she said that she’s a big fan of mine and that she thinks I’m gonna do great.” Lauren and Scotty McCreery will make their debut at the Grand Ole Opry this Friday night and will play in the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge on Saturday.

At the Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert wedding last month, three of Miranda's dogs were part of the ceremony. Wearing their own wedding finery decorated with rhinestones, Chihuahua Cher, Chihuahua/Pug mix Delta and Terrier mix Delilah walked down the aisle with one of the bridesmaids. Miranda's Mom said the dogs were a big hit, garnering lots of attention and a few laughs.

Congratulations to Brad Paisley, whose "Old Alabama" holds the #1 slot again this week.

Happy birthday to Uncle Kracker (real name Matthew Shafer) who turns 37 today. Joe Stampley is 68.

The tweet of the day is from Jake Owen: "Greatest day ever. I get to play country music... At a NASCAR race.. Then watch the race.. And to top it off my twin bro surprised me!!!"