Monday, June 13, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Last night was the closing night for the CMA Music Festival, and the concert at LP Field featured The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton and his surprise guest Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert and her new project, Pistol Annie's, and closed with Taylor Swift. Fan highlights were Miranda "killing" beach balls with her high heels, Blake & Trace doing "Hillbilly Bone" and Taylor Swift on a small stage at the back of the stadium performing an acoustic version of "Fearless" on a ukelele. Fireworks capped the event, and the festival is just a memory for this year. Plans for the 2012 CMA Music Festival are already underway, though, you can bet on that.

Chris Young celebrated his birthday weekend by playing the big stage at the CMA Music Festival. He was part of the Saturday night show, and was so humbled by the experience. "This is a big deal for me," he says. "I've been going to CMA Music Fest since I was a kid, so it's very cool .... My birthday's on Sunday. It's going to be a good weekend." Ironically, the CMA Music Festival and Chris share the anniversary. Chris has been around 26 years, and the CMA Music Festival, originally known as Fan Fair, began on June 12th 40 years ago.

Last week during the CMA Music Festival, several artists included fund-raisers as part of their events. Martina McBride raised over $100,000 for the YWCA, Darius Rucker raised over $50,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Marty Stuart raised more than $30,000 for MusiCares and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, and LeAnn Rimes raised $35,000 for storm victims in the Southeast.

On the heels of the Nashville fun, several artists are making the road trip from Nashville to Birmingham, Alabama for the BAMA Rising benefit concert today. The show features Alabama, Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans, Sheryl Crow, Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Darius Rucker and Kellie Pickler. Teddy Gentry of Alabama says, “The devastation can’t be described. You see it on the news, but unless you’ve been there and seen it firsthand…of course, the loss of life can’t be replaced. But, we feel like we’re doing something that can help bring people back to some sort of stability." If you can't be there but want to help, text BAMA to 501501 to donate $10.

According to US magazine, Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert spent the first part of their honeymoon in Tishomongo, Oklahoma on their farm, and the second part in Cancun. There, they stayed at Reba McEntire's vacation home. Back to work comes quickly - Blake's in LA working on NBC's The Voice and Miranda is headed back into the studio to record her next album.

Jake Owen is joining Keith Urban on tour this summer, and the two practiced a bit Saturday night at the CMA Music Festival.

Huge Kenny Chesney fan? Then you might want to get tickets to his July 8th "Goin' Coastal" show at Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado. It'll be the last of three nights there, and he's invited Grace Potter & the Nocturnals to join him. Grace is his duet partner on his current hit, "You and Tequila."

The conclusion of Shania Twain's series on OWN was last night, and featured the premier of her new song "Today is Your Day." Tonight on GAC, catch a re-air of ACM Presents: Brooks & Dunn - The Last Rodeo.

Happy birthday today to Jason Michael Carroll. He's 33.

The tweet of the day is from Billy Currington: "can someone make me a t'shirt that says I AM NOT DIERKS BENTLEY. i would appreciate it. v-neck size medium"