Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Blake Shelton has decided to take a cruise, and we're all invited. Don't worry - you've got plenty of time to save up for it. The Blake Shelton and Friends cruise happens October 14th through 21st, 2012. You'll sail the Norwegian Jewel from Miami to San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola and Nassau, with nightly concerts from so-far unannounced "friends."

How hot is Taylor Swift? So hot that tickets to her sold-out Washington DC concerts today and tomorrow are being used as congressional fund-raisers. Meanwhile, Taylor's enjoying covering other artists' songs during her shows. Here, she gives her take on Eminem's "Lose Yourself" and Uncle Kracker's "Smile."

Joe Nichols has been tapped to host the ACM Honors, a night to recognize the special award winners and off-camera category winners for the 46th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The event takes place September 19th at the Ryman, and honorees include Garth Brooks, Reba and Taylor Swift. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster, if you want to be there.

Toby Keith had to cancel a concert Sunday night in Canada due to a bad case of laryngitis. The only cure is vocal rest, so that's what Toby's doing right now. He tweeted, “Laryngitis & doc’s advice forced me to cancel my show at BVJ. Hate that I had to do that. Thx to Ronnie Dunn 4 extending his set & thanks to u all 4 ur get well messages." No word on whether future shows will have to be rescheduled. He made the video to his latest song, "Made in America," before laryngitis set in.

Trace Adkins' new cd, "Proud to be Here," drops today. With hit after hit under his belt, how does Trace choose songs for each new album? He told Lon Helton, “I appreciate the craftiness of the songwriters in coming up with ways to say something sappy without it being sappy. That’s what I don’t like about love songs. It’s just that over the top, sappy, sweety crap. I just don’t like that kind of stuff. I don’t wanna sing it, and I don’t even want to hear it! I don’t mind the love songs that have that sexy thing about them, there’s something else implied that’s not just the sappy side of love, but that aggressive sexy part if it. I dig that, but my wife won’t let me talk about it out loud.”

Want one more track from Eric Church? You can get a free song download by tweeting or sharing the link to Eric's website.

It's time for the 12th annual NSAI song contest, and this year, there's a lyric-only category. If your dream is to be a songwriter, you need to enter this contest. The grand-prize winner gets a mentoring session with Charlie Daniels. Enter your song or lyrics before October 31st for a shot at prizes ranging from membership in the NSAI, a performance at the Bluebird Cafe and a recording session.

Congratulations to Chris Young, who's earned gold status with "The Man I Want to Be."

More congratulations to Zac Brown Band and Jimmy Buffett, who've hit the top of the charts with their collaboration, "Knee Deep." It's the Zac Brown Band's 7th #1 song.

Trace Adkins is on the Today Show this morning and Extra this evening.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "Quote of the day.... "The problem is that your hair is so dark and your scalp is so bald..." -Clint Bowyer"