Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

There's a bright spot in America's dreary economy - concert ticket sales. Because of tours, money is pouring into local economies, and country artists are definitely doing their part. Check out Pollstar's list of top country concerts and what they've generated in just the first half of this year:

#4 - Kenny Chesney - 446.7 million
#6 - Taylor Swift - 429.5 million
#15 - George Strait, Reba, Lee Ann Womack - $18.4 million
#27 - Brad Paisley - $11.9 million
#28 - Jason Aldean - $11.8 million
#33 - Sugarland - $10.1 million
#39 - Rascal Flatts - $9.2 million
#49 - Tim McGraw - $7.3 million
#50 - Zac Brown Band - $6.7 million

Jason Aldean was pitched a movie script about a month ago, and he says he's not ruling out acting, but he wants to ease into it, no leap into a big role right away. He says he wants to avoid kissing on-screen, though, because he doens't want his kids to see it and be confused. He's even careful about his music videos, though his creative people keep trying. According to Jason, “It seems like every time I get a video treatment, for some reason it's got me hooking up with some girl and I'm like, damn, y'all gotta get somebody else to do that.”

Fans turned out to see Luke Bryan at the Grand Ole Opry last night for a benefit concert. Parts of the show will be on an upcoming episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" so fans who couldn't be in Nashville can see the show, too. One of Luke's biggest fans is his little son, Bo, who is three. The proud daddy says Bo is into all sorts of things. “Well, he’s kinda—he’s obsessed with baseball, playing drums, fishing, …the ‘Country Girl Shake It For Me’ video. He’s kinda everywhere, you know? He’s kinda stubborn like his dad. But he’s kinda comin’ in to his own and gettin’ his own little personality, and its fun watching your kids become little people, you know?”

If you are a musician, it could be time for a road trip to Nashville this Saturday. For the second time in the history of the National Association of Music Merchants trade show, the doors will be open to the general public to see the latest musical gear before it hits retail shelves. The "Wanna Play Music Day" will feature vendors with hundreds of new products, live performances, demos, workshops and autograph signings.

Ronnie Dunn's new song, "Cost of Living," had to undergo a re-write before it could be part of his debut solo cd. When it was being written, gas was "two dollars and change." By the time they went into the studio to record it, gas was over $3 a gallon, necessitating a lyric change. Ronnie says that, for everyone's sake, he hopes there doesn't have to be another revision down the road.

Check out Lady Antebellum's sneak peek at the recording of "Own the Night."

Brantley Gilbert has a surprise for the children of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the next 24 hours. I'm not spilling the beans, but will tell you all about it once the kids know.

Congrats to Blake Shelton, who has the #1 album, all genres, this week with "Red River Blue." The cd moved more than 116,000 copies, nearly a third of which were digital copies.

Happy birthday to Paul Brandt, who turns 39 today and to Brad Mates of Emerson Drive, who is 33.

The tweet of the day is from Eddie Montgomery of Mongomery Gentry: "Wow what a day house is empty but I'm smiling like a 2 dollar bill in a strip joint!!!!! HELLYEAH !!!"