Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

There's activity at the site of Trace Adkins' former home, which burned down about 6 months ago. Trace and his wife Rhonda have begun the rebuilding process, and Trace says they've designed a relatively modest home, not a garish mansion. One indulgence being added - a swimming pool. Trace jokes, "I guess I'm finally going to be one of those snooty home owners that has a pool."

Looking for a unique gift for the country music lover in your life? Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks have all teamed up with Charitybuzz to give fans VIP packages and memorabilia. The online auction ends today on some items, so better hurry!

Darius Rucker will be part of the 4th annual Grammy Artists Revealed showcase. The event will be held in New York City, and features artists who have shown musical excellence telling their stories and performing. Sort of like a guitar pull, but it includes musicians from all genres of music. You can win your way into the show, if you'd like to go.

Jake Owen had a party in Nashville yesterday, celebrating hitting #1 with "Barefoot Blue Jean Night."

If you were looking forward to seeing Faith Hill on the Rockefeller Center show tonight, sorry...she's cancelled the appearance, with no reason given at this point.

Jason Aldean, The Band Perry and Sugarland are on The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! tonight on CBS and The Civil Wars are on the Late Show with David Letterman.

The tweet of the day is from Jake Owen: "Cracked a beer. Popped some popcorn. Got a blanket. Victoria Secret fashion show is on. :)"

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Just once, wouldn't you love to see where Taylor Swift keeps all of her awards and trophies? She'll be honored tonight in Nashville at the CMT Artist of the Year event, taping tonight to air December 13th. Then later this week, she'll be honored at Billboard's annual Women In Music event, taking home the Woman of the Year award. Taylor decided to release a new single this week, too - the song she performed on the CMA Awards, "Ours," was released yesterday. What does the songwriter say about the song? “It’s about being in love with someone that, you know, people don’t necessarily think is a good idea, and everybody’s giving you a hard time about it, but you don’t really care. It says, ‘The stakes are high, the water’s rough, but this love is ours.’”

Darius Rucker will headline the Grammy Artist Revealed concert on December 13th in New York City.

It's a best-wishes, mazel-tov, happily ever after to Jennifer Nettles, who married her long-time boyfriend, Justin Miller, this past Saturday in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The two have been an item for over two years. If you want to see him, check out the "Want To" video - that sleeping man in the bed? Yep, that's Justin!

More congratulations are in order - George Strait and his wife Norma will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on December 4th.

Dierks Bentley hopes that his new single, "Home," will become a uniting force in our nation. “The song is written in a way that’s open ended as far as how people want to—what they want to walk away with. I mean, I think it’s obvious it’s a song about our country and about the ups and downs and about the scars we have in our past, but at the end of the day, no matter what side of the fence you’re on, we all live here. I mean, you have to walk through the front door of your house every day. This is our house. This is our one country.”

Little Big Town has a version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" available on iTunes, and they're thinking about recording a Christmas album. About choosing holiday classics to cover, LBT says, “[Karen] It was hard. [Kimberly] We went through a ton of Christmas songs ‘cause we’re thinkin’ about makin’ a Christmas record, so this is like another start of a Christmas record. It’s so much think, ‘Oh, I’ll just pull together all my favorites,’ but when you start looking at the great classics and how you want to cover them and you don’t want to mess them up.” They won't, not with those voices!

December 15th is National Bill of Rights Day, and stars and students across America will be celebrating with a Free to Tweet contest put on by the First Amendment Center. Blake Shelton, a very free spirit on Twitter, will be taking part, as will Joe Nichols, Mary Chapin Carpenter and a bunch of other artists who use Twitter to express themselves. Students will vie for $5,000 scholarships by tweeting their thoughts and using the #freetotweet hashtag. The contest lasts all day long.

And now it can be revealed - Darius Rucker and Kris Kristofferson behind the scenes at the White House last week...

Vince Gill donated $12,000 to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, to help fund the construction of a children's exhibit. The state's musical heritage will be the focus of the exhibit.

Congratulations to Lady Antebellum, who have the #1 song on the Billboard chart this week with "We Owned the Night." Jason Aldean tops the Country Aircheck Weekly chart this week with "Tattoos on this Town."

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "That awkward moment when you bump into someone at a department store & say excuse me before realizing its actually a mannequin."

Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Tomorrow, the battle for his freedom lands in court, as Tim McGraw takes on his record label, Curb. Curb sued Tim last year, claiming he had breached his contract by turning in "Emotional Traffic" too soon. He counter-sued, saying Curb has kept him in "involuntary servitude." The hearing tomorrow and Wednesday is to determine whether Tim will be allowed to record music for another label before the full trial begins next July. He hopes to release new music before his Australian tour with Faith Hill in the spring of 2012.

Meanwhile, Kenny Chesney is chomping at the bit to get the Brothers of the Sun Tour underway: “It’s gonna be a rockin’ show — I can tell you that. And it’s still hard for me to believe, you know, that we’re gonna go out there, and I’m gonna spend next summer with my buddy Tim McGraw. And he and I are gonna have a blast out there with everybody.” Tickets for some of the shows go on sale this Saturday through Ticketmaster.

Keith Urban has his throat surgery behind him and is recovering nicely. The outpatient procedure happened just before Thanksgiving, and he's on vocal rest for three weeks. The procedure is described as routine and the doctor is thrilled with the results. Where is Keith resting his golden throat? That's a secret, apparently. If no one knows where you are, they can't find you and tempt you to talk.

Ronnie Dunn is celebrating - he's going to be a grandpa in February. Ronnie's son Jesse and his wife are expecing their first child, a son, early next year.

Miranda Lambert is celebrating today, but it's probably not because it's Cyber Monday. She tweeted last night that she finally got her first buck of the season. Well, she might be able to order a venison cookbook or something today.

Carrie Underwood is probably celebrating Cyber Monday - she's not a fan of the mall scene: “I hate shopping for Christmas presents. I kind of wander around aimlessly in malls and stores and what-not thinking, ‘Now what would fill-in-the-blank, what would this person like? Oh, yep, that looks like her, I’ll get that…’ I think I’ll be doing a lot of online shopping this year.”

Lady Antebellum is celebrating CyberMonday with free shipping on anything in their online merchandise store.

In this season of giving thanks, Darius Rucker counts his blessings and uses them as his reminder to help others all year long. “Giving back is just what you’re supposed to do. I mean, I’m a, I’m a blessed individual. God has blessed me with a great life and great kids and a great wife. And, and, you know, I like helping people if I can and, you know…giving back is how I do it, I guess.”

On Thanksgiving Day, Brad Paisley was playing with Twitter, posting a series of bad holiday special ideas:
The Gingrich that Stole Christmas
Frosty the Slow Man
The 12 Steps of Christmas
Occupy on 34th Street
Caucasian Christmas
And about the Macy's parade, he tweeted:
"This Macy's parade would be a lot better if they'd rope off an oval or square,set up pit crews,and see who's got the FASTEST float today."

Thanksgiving Day was a rough day for the American Idol country alums. Scotty McCreery was part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and made it painfully obvious that his performance was lip-synced. (They all are, but he just did a poor job on his.) And Lauren Alaina forgot a line in the National Anthem Thanksgiving night. She recovered well, but kicked herself all weekend.

Justin Moore is on the Craig Ferguson show tonight.

The tweet of the day is from Michelle Branch: "My favorite part of Thanksgiving: we asked my daughter to say "grace" and she said the Pledge of Allegiance. We felt too bad to correct her."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving - what are some of your favorite country artists thankful for?

“Thankful that, well, my marriage is just, it’s life-giving, not just life-changing, it’s been life-giving for me. And from there, we created life, and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work, has given life to it too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.” - Keith Urban
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.” - Alan Jackson
"There's always something to be thankful for. My son is a teacher in Sacramento, and he and his wife have a baby due. It's a boy. So, I'm gonna be a granddad." — Ronnie Dunn
"It's spicy corn casserole. It's got cream cheese, butter, flour, jalapeƱos and pico. It's probably two thousand calories for one helping, but Thanksgiving would be totally weird without it." — Sunny Sweeney
"The main thing I’m thankful for is my family, there's no doubt about that." — Darius Rucker
"You've got to have a big turkey. Thanksgiving is not possible without it. To me, you can't cook a turkey wrong. I've cooked turkey every way you could." — Dierks Bentley
"I'm thankful for my family, my son, my wife and great health. I'm very thankful for the success we've had lately. I'm thankful for Chief, I'm thankful for the fans." — Eric Church
"We travel so much, and we always try to make sure we take off the Thanksgiving holiday so we can be home with family." — Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley
"My favorite Thanksgiving food would have to be my grandmother's sweet potato casserole. There's just something she puts in it — probably all the love — that makes it better than anything I've ever tasted." — Lady A's Hillary Scott
“A couple of Thanksgivings ago we were here in Nashville and we did the whole, fry the turkey up, which was great. I mean, it just tastes so good: all those juices get locked in there. I love that too. You really can’t, for me, cook a turkey wrong. I’m going to eat it, ya know, anyway, and I have over the years. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of county and state fairs where I’ve seen gigantic turkey legs. I’m pretty good any way you want to cook it up, but you’ve got to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.” - Dierks Bentley

Luke Bryan talks about family traditions as he was growing up, mainly about hunting, in this interview with Country Weekly:

Tonight is the "Country Music: In Performance at the White House" special on PBS. Sunday after the dress rehearsals, Dierks Bentley said, "Standing in the East Room of The White House rehearsing 'Home' was a surreal feeling. No matter whom you vote for or what you believe, it is one of the greatest symbols of our country." Dierks was so in awe that he used his iPhone and the Maps app to share photos of his location. The show also features The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Lauren Alaina and James Taylor.

Taylor Swift wrapped up her "Speak Now" world tour last night in New York, and friend and pop star Selena Gomez joined her on stage to sing "Who Says." Late in the show, another Taylor - James Taylor - hit the stage to duet with Taylor on "Fire and Rain." Justin Bieber was there, watching the show, but didn't go on stage. She'll take some time off for the holidays and hit it again in early 2012, working on a new album and tour, which will kick off in March in Australia.

Toby Keith fans, mark your calendar for a great Black Friday deal - the deluxe edition of "Clancy's Tavern" will be only $4.99 on!

Lady Antebellum, not to be outdone, is offering free shipping on everything in their online store on Cyber Monday. By the way, that second song they did on Dancing With the Stars last night is their next single, "Dancing Away With My Heart."

Gloriana is on the Tonight Show and Rodney Atkins is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On Thanksgiving Day, Rodney will sing "Take a Back Road" on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. To say he's happy is an understatement: “So excited this year getting to play the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Such an honor, and it’s just one of those institutions that, you know, you get up Thanksgiving, turn the TV on, watch the parade. And to be an actual part of the parade is gonna be fun. I’m gonna put on my deer hunting gear though to stay warm!" Scotty McCreery will also be part of the parade. Friday night, Eli Young Band is on the Late Show with David Letterman.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Tying up a few loose ends today and then I am officially on Thanksgiving break! NO BUSINESS. Yaay. Just family, friends, and food!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Last night was country night at the White House, with a bunch of country stars performing for the Obama family. Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker, Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, James Taylor and Lauren Alaina all turned the East Room into a country music hall. The show will air tomorrow night on PBS.

Dierks Bentley's new song, "Home," is touching a lot of hearts, but is about to be even more personal for people. On his website, Dierks is inviting people to upload their own videos and photos to make the video their own. Bet there'll be a lot of people sharing their videos to Dierks' beautiful homage to America.

Jake Owen knows how to round up a few friends on a random Sunday night - invite them to Waffle House. He tweeted, "Waffle House. I'm up late. On a Sunday. Anyone else hungry? I'm buying. Now. On my way." When he got to his neighborhood WH, he tweeted the address and before you know it the restaurant was filled with Jake Owen fans. Good to his word, he picked up everyone's tab. See - one of the perks of living in Nashville!

Speaking of rounding up a few friends in Nashville, Tracy Lawrence is set to host his 6th annual Mission Possible turkey fry. It was supposed to be today, but since it's outdoors and rain is expected, it's been re-scheduled until tomorrow. The fry will happen from 6am to 1pm in the parking lot of the Nashville Rescue Mission, and the 500 turkeys fried by Tracy and many Nashville music luminaries will provide several thousand meals at the mission. If you happen to be in Nashville tomorrow, you can stop by and pitch in if you'd like.

Congratulations to Justin Moore and his wife Kate on the birth of their second daughter. Kennedy Faye Moore was born early yesterday morning, weighing in at 7 pounds exactly. Big sister Ella Kole is 21 months old and delighted to have her very own little sister. Justin had just finished touring with Miranda Lambert, so was home for the birth of his second child.

Craig Campbell has a holiday song, just in time for Thanksgiving. Here's his video for "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and it comes complete with a tissue alert. The song is available on iTunes and part of the proceeds goes to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Eric Church is about to set out on the "Blood, Sweat and Beers" tour, and he's got Brantley Gilbert, Blackberry Smoke, Sonia Leigh and Jon Pardi supporting the show.

Speaking of Brantley Gilbert, congratulations on his first #1 song. "Country Must Be Country Wide" is #1 on both the Billboard and Country Aircheck charts this week.

Did you miss Rascal Flatts on the Today Show yesterday? The performances are online.

The CMT Crossroads with Vince Gill and Sting premiers on Thanksgiving Day. Here's a taste of the show - the two of them doing Sting's song "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You."

Lady Antebellum is on Dancing With the Stars tonight for the season finale.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "So this one time, at bandcamp...ah nevermind. It's in the book."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

The American Music Awards happened last night, and Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum all won awards. For her second time, Taylor Swift took home the top honor at the AMAs - Artist of the Year. She also won Favorite Country Album for "Speak Now" and Favorite Country Artist. Taylor's advice to aspiring musicians? "I think the advice that I would give is to see your hero and get inspiration from all your heroes, but try to be something different from all your heroes." Lady Antebellum won for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group and Blake Shelton won Favorite Male Country Artist. The Band Perry performed "If I Die Young" and were up for the New Artist award, but didn't win.

Blake Shelton is known for his outrageous behavior on Twitter, though he's toned it down just a little bit since marrying Miranda Lambert. He still uses Twitter to tickle his fans: “It’s fun when you can find somebody that you can talk trash to, and I think fans love that, and if they take it seriously, then they need to go listen to jazz or something and stop listening to country, because we don’t take ourselves that serious, you know? We have fun and we say ridiculous stuff.”

Martina McBride hosts an adoption awareness special on CBS December 21st. "A Home for the Holidays With Martina McBride" will feature performances by Martina, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige and more stars from other music formats. The special highlights American families with fostered and adopted members. This is the 13th year this show has aired, and one of the families featured in the show this year decided to adopt a child after watching the holiday special five years ago.

Keith Urban recorded a thank-you video for his fans before having vocal chord surgery and going on complete vocal rest.

Last week, Miranda Lambert was on the Chelsea Lately show on E!, and as you might suspect, the two girls had a blast together.

Over the weekend, Taylor Swift shared a video of her new kitten training her...

Rascal Flatts is on the Today show this morning and Lady Antebellum is on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight.

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "My wife just made the best shrimp and grits ever! I'll smell like garlic thru Christmas, but dat be okie dokie!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift is on the American Music Awards Sunday night, and is also on 60 Minutes, where Leslie Stahl asks her about her status as a role model. Taylor responds, "It would be really easy to say, 'I'm 21 now. I do what I want. You raise your kids. But that's not the truth of it ... every singer out there with songs on the radio is raising the next generation. So, make your words count." Taylor's "Speak Now World Tour - Live" cd/dvd set comes out Monday.

Rascal Flatts has been in the studio, working on new music for a 2012 album release. Jay DeMarcus is pumped about the music that their favorite Nashville songwriters have pitched them for the project: “There are a few writers and a few people in town that we feel like just get what we do and always come with A-list material and we’re so grateful for them for capturing our vision and sort of getting what Rascal Flatts is all about. I’m just thrilled. I’m really excited about the new music we’ve been making.” The guys will be on the Today Show Monday morning.

Also Monday, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, The Band Perry, Alison Krauss, Lauren Alaina, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor all perform during "Country Music: In Performance at the White House." The PBS special finds the Obamas in the East Room of the White House being serenaded by country's best. The show will air at 8pm on PBS and will stream live at

Toby Keith is getting an AARP Inspire Award this year. Why? Check this out - when he agreed to do a two-week USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour of the Middle East in 2002, he thought it was a one-shot deal in honor of his late father, an Army veteran. He's been back eight more times. During a 2007 trip to Afghanistan, Keith saw how troops in remote areas lived between "sandbag" walls, without the comforts of home. That inspired him to sponsor the USO2GO program, which has distributed more than 400 care packages to remote U.S. bases abroad. In 2009, Keith received the Distinguished Service Award from the Military Officers Association of America — an honor he says dwarfs any music award he's ever won.

Normally, the CMA Music Festival performers aren't announced for several months, but when you have a firm commitment from Carrie Underwood, you let that cat out of the bag. Carrie will be part of the June 7-10, 2012 event, which will air on ABC. Tickets are on sale now, by the way.

The CMT Artists of the Year are Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift, and performers include Miranda Lambert, Hank Williams Jr., and tons of non-country-music celebrities. The show airs December 13th at 9pm Eastern on CMT and

As Blake Shelton gets season 2 of The Voice ready to air, he's still working to promote Dia Frampton, the runner-up on season 1. About Dia, Blake says “You can see something in somebody that’s special. And you do everything you can to get it in front of people, and then you see that response back. It’s like…it’s the coolest feeling ever, know what I mean? Because I do believe in her, and Miranda believes in her.” So much so that she's one of the opening acts on Blake's 2012 Well Lit and Amplified Tour.

As the Penn State scandal was unfolding, Vince Gill was remembering an incident when he was 12 and a gym teacher made advances at him. According to Vince, he jumped up and ran, so nothing happened. He says, “There are a lot of people unfortunately preying on kids, and it doesn't get any sicker than that.”

Brad Paisley is on the New York Times Best-Seller list for the second week with his thank-you note to his guitar heroes. "Diary of a Player" was released on 11/1/11 and hit the best-seller list right away.

Thompson Square is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow night. Sunday nght, Taylor Swift is on 60 Minutes and the 2011 American Music Awards as is The Band Perry. Monday, Rascal Flatts is on the Today Show and Lady Antebellum is on Jimmy Kimmel Live..

Happy birthday tomorrow to Billy Currington, and Sunday to Dierks Bentley

The tweet of the day is from John Rich: "My Dad worked FOUR jobs to keep our heads above water. Met a guy asking for money as he was texting away on his cell phone. Really? AWFUL"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Miranda Lambert is at the top of the country charts for the second week in a row with "Four the Record." Miranda says the songs on the album are more mature because she's in a different place in life now. “Being married makes me feel a whole new responsibility as a woman, and I think I take on a little bit more of that character when I sing or when I choose songs ‘cause I’m a little bit more grown up, and I need to embrace this part of my life and know that now it’s...I have a family of my own now. I have a household that’s mine, not my parents you know?”

Album sales always go up after the CMA Award Show, so who got the best bump this time around? Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" got a 53% increase in sales, The Band Perry's self-titled debut screamed up 112%, Eric Church's "Chief" was up 61%, Blake Shelton's "Red River Blue" saw an increase of 52% in sales and Brad Paisley's "This is Country Music" got a 57% boost in sales.

There are three couples left on Dancing With the Stars, and only one trio could stand up to that stress - Lady Antebellum. They'll be there performing on Tuesday's finale. They'll do "We Owned the Night," which is the current single from their "Own the Night" cd.

People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive list is out, and country is represented. Tim McGraw is the only country artist on it. How does Tim stay so fit and sexy at 44? He says in the magazine, on newsstands tomorrow, that he does 200 push-ups and crunches a day. Phew!

Country Weekly readers have a different choice for Country's Sexiest Man. Trace Adkins topped their list and will be on the cover when the issue hits newsstands tomorrow. To celebrate, Trace is making a live version of his new song, "Million Dollar View," available for free on his website.

In other Trace news, he'll be in two movies making their way to theatres in 2012. He plays the Angel of Death in "The Healer," and kills Val Kilmer's girlfriend in "The First Ride of Wyatt Earp." That part only took him one day to shoot, and according to Trace, he doesn't get killed.

Steel Magnolia's Joshua Scott Jones has finished his stint in rehab, and partner Meghan Linsey says she's proud of him and he's "doing wonderful." No word on when he's going to resume touring - James Otto stepped in to sing with Meghan in Joshua's place while he was busy kicking alcohol.

Tracy Lawrence is set to host his 6th annual Mission Possible Thanksgiving Turkey Fry to feed the hungry and homeless in Nashville. Tuesday from 8am to 3pm, the parking lot outside the Nashville Rescue Mission turns into an open-air fry station, as volunteers including stars of country, rock and pop show up to try their hand at turkey frying. They'll fry more than 500 turkeys, which will feed more than 7,000 people Thanksgiving weekend. The event is free and open to the public, though the Mission appreciates any and all donations.

Every tv special wants The Band Perry, and "Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music's Biggest Night" got them. The show will air November 30th on CBS, and TBP will not only perform on the show, they'll also do a private concert afterwards for the audience at the Los Angeles Nokia Theatre.

Thursday, December first, Rodney Atkins will be part of the televised lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC.

This Sunday night, Taylor Swift will be profiled on 60 Minutes. Here's a sneak-peek at the episode:

Tonight, Darius Rucker sings the National Anthem during the VT/UNC football game in Virginia, Dierks Bentley is on Jimmy Fallon, and Vince Gill is on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Happy birthday to Ried Perry, the bassist for The Band Perry. He's 23 today, and on tour with Reba. What will Ried do for his birthday? “[Kimberly] Reid actually has a horse that he likes to ride. [Reid] Yeah, I’ll go ride. You know, at least for me personally, we’re in a loud business the way it is so just a little quiet time off the road, you know, is all I need.” Can't get it tonight - the tour stops in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Cajun Dome.

The tweet of the day is from Zac Brown Band: "If you like your turkey fried... follow the safety precautions."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Toby Keith's song "Red Solo Cup" is a huge hit - it's been viewed over 3 million times online so far and he has to perform it twice during live shows just to keep the fans happy. As the year winds down, Toby is sorting out his priorities, saying, “When you look back at the end of the year, you go, ‘Man, you know what? I ended up doing a lot of other stuff that I shouldn’t have been doing and it was eating my calendar up.’ So, I’m learning to back up from those things a little more.” One thing he said "yes" to - his song "Red Solo Cup" will be part of an upcoming Glee episode. Not sure if we'll see Toby or not...producers are being coy about that part.

Lady Antebellum's stage setting for this "Own the Night" tour is apparently pretty different, according to one concert staffer. She says, "Charles Kelley told me they sat down together and crafted it on a paper plate. Hillary Scott called it a spaceship, and that is kind of what it looks like. There are long runways on each side and in the middle that make it a very intimate show for the fans. Roughly 150 fans actually stand in an area within the floor of the stage. Each of three large screens focus on a member of the trio: Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood. The crowd could really follow each of them the whole show. Lady A have really taken it to another level."

Didja miss Miranda Lambert singing "Baggage Claim" on the Tonight Show Monday night? Here you go...

We probably all missed Tim McGraw at Camp Pendleton on Sunday night. Here's a tiny taste...

Reba's on tour and in love with her opening acts, The Band Perry, Edens Edge and Steel Magnolia. When she gets to the song "Does he Love You," Reba brings Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry onstage to sing the Linda Kelly part of the duet, and she's blown away by Kimberly's poise. “If I had been singing a duet with someone who’d been in the business as long as I had when I first got started, I would’ve been crawling on stage probably throwing up about every five crawls. Because nerves would’ve just been racking me. But they’re just so confident. They look so much at ease. I admire them so much, and I love to watch and listen to them.”

The only country artists on this Sunday night's 2011 American Music Awards show is The Band Perry. The show airs Sunday at 8pm on ABC. And The Band Perry will show up on the "Christmas in Washington" special, hosted by Conan O'Brien and also featuring Justin Bieber, Cee Lo Green and Jennifer Hudson. That will tape December 11th in Washington, DC to air on December 16th on TNT.

Don't know if it will make it into the final show, but apparently Vince Gill and Miss Piggy had a lot of fun singing "Baby It's Cold Outside" at the taping of "CMA Country Christmas" last week. When they finished singing the song, they started making out, and at one point, Vince said to Miss Piggy, "You're making my glasses fog up, baby. That's it, I'm going vegan!" The show will air December first at 9pm on ABC.

Vince Gill is on the Tonight Show, Miranda Lambert is on Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Kimmel Live today, and Dierks Bentley is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Happy birthday to Keith Burns of Burns & Poe, who turns 48 today.

The tweet of the day is from Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts: "Jagger is watching Yo Gabba Gabba right now.... I gotta tell ya man, there's some slammin' music on this show!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney + Tim McGraw = the 2012 Brothers of the Sun Tour, which will stop at 19 stadiums on weekend dates starting June 2nd in Tampa. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Jake Owen are the opening acts for this double-star bill. Kenny says of Tim, "He's one of my closest friends in music and in life, and I know this tour is going to be something special." Tim adds, "Our friendship was forged on the road, so it's going to be a blast heading out with Kenny again." It's been ten years since the two toured together, but they've stayed friends since then. You'll remember - or maybe not - the police horse incident about a decade ago, when Tim was the headliner and Kenny was the opening act. They bonded after that, and will be bringing their friendship to these tour stops:

Jun 02, 2012 Tampa FL Raymond James
Jun 03, 2012 Altanta GA Georgiadome
Jun 09, 2012 Dallas TX Cowboys Stadium
Jun 10, 2012 Kansas City MO Arrowhead Stadium
Jun 16, 2012 Philadelphia PA Lincoln Financial Field
Jun 23, 2012 Nashville TN LP Field
Jun 24, 2012 Charlotte NC Bank Of America Stadium
Jun 30, 2012 Pittsburgh PA Heinz Field
Jul 01, 2012 Cincinnati OH Paul Brown Stadium
Jul 07, 2012 Chicago IL Soldier Field
Jul 08, 2012 Minneapolis MN Target Field
Jul 14, 2012 Anaheim CA Angels Stadium
Jul 21, 2012 Denver CO Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Aug 11, 2012 East Rutherford NJ MetLife Stadium
Aug 12, 2012 Washington DC FedEx Field
Aug 18, 2012 Detroit MI Ford Field
Aug 25, 2012 Foxboro MA Gillette Stadium

This might come as a shock to you, but Blake Shelton doesn't care what you think. In a chat with CNN, he was asked about his series of "I'm so drunk" tweets. He said he likes to drink and isn't going to apologize for it. He went on to say he got The Voice gig because he's not afraid to make an a** of himself, and opined that he can't talk religion or politics because he already gets into enough trouble with his alchohol consumption. Check out the segment...

There's a release date for Dierks Bentley's next cd. "Home," which contains his current single of the same name and the hit "Am I The Only One," will be out February 7th, 2012. What has Dierks been working on for this project? “I mean, I’m always trying to be a better songwriter, and try to get in there and write songs that have more depth. By the same token, I love songs that are just fun and, when I’m drivin’ around just…just, I love jammin’ too. So, that aspect is represented on there as well.”

Ronnie Dunn is taping some tv appearances this week. He'll be on Dr. Phil and The Doctors in early December, and I'll let you now the air dates as soon as they're announced.

We think of Nashville as the center of the universe where country music is concerned, but where country album sales are concerned, not so much. Here are a couple of top ten lists that show that maybe Music City likes getting their country music live, not recorded:

Country’s Top Markets: Album Sales Volume
1. New York, NY
2. Los Angeles, CA
3. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
4. Chicago, IL
5. Houston, TX
6. Nashville, TN
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Atlanta, GA
9. Boston, MA
10. Philadelphia, PA

Country’s Top Markets: Percentage of Total Album Sales
1. Charleston-Huntington, WV
2. Tri-Cities, TN-VA
3. Springfield, MO
4. Paducah, KY; Cape Girardeau, MO; Harrisburg, IL; Marion, KY-IL
5. Nashville, TN
6. Knoxville, TN
7. Lexington, KY
8. Evansville, IN
9. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA
10. Chattanooga, TN

Congratulations to Sunny Sweeny and her new hubby Jeff Hellmer, who were married at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas on 11/11/11. Jeff is a sergeant with the Austin Police Department and former Air Force staff sergeant.

And more congratulations to Taylor Swift, who has notched yet another #1 song with "Sparks Fly." Check out how she describes the life of one of her songs: “The most amazing feeling is to watch a song start out as just an idea that hits you in the middle of your day, and kind of haunts you until you write it. And, then you’re playing it in your living room on guitar, and then you take it into a studio and they put a band behind it. And, then it goes out into the world and it becomes what it’s going to be.”

Happy birthday to Jack Ingram, who turns 41 today.

The tweet of the day is from Kellie Pickler: "swaying' back & forth on an old porch swing...listening to the coyotes howl...& counting' deer."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw have made it official...they'll tour together next summer, doing stadiums and domes with their "Brothers of the Sun" co-headlining show. In addition, they're working on at least one song together. Tim and Kenny have been friends for years...ticket info coming soon, and they'll be on sale in time for stuffing stockings this Christmas.

With a little time to help give him perspective, Jason Aldean is talking about finally winning a CMA (he actually won two last Wednesday) and his next album. According to Jason, he thought he had a decent shot at the Musical Event award, but was blown away by the Album of the Year award. What will his next project sound like? “I feel like on the next record, we’ve already found some great songs and the ball is rolling now. But (My Kinda Party) has been special in a lot of different ways. I don’t know if you can compare another record to this, you just got to go out and try and make the best record you can the next time around and hope it can do some of the same things.”

Every major artist has a song that marks the flashpoint in their career - that time when success turned into stardom. For Blake Shelton, the song is his collaboration with Trace Adkins. “That’s when everything kinda, really, truly changed, I think, when we released ‘Hillbilly Bone.’ And, all of a sudden, it’s just like things started happening, one after the other. Yeah, 18 months ago, if you’d told me what was about to happen, I’d have told you, you were crazy. And, it just doesn’t seem real to me still.” Blake just won CMA Male Vocalist of the Year for the second straight year, and is taping season two of The Voice.

Blake's bride Miranda Lambert earned CMA Female Vocalist of the Year for the second time last week, and will be making the rounds of the tv talk shows this week. How is she feeling about her shooting star? “It’s kinda crazy, you know, you, you hope when you get into this business that you can make history, and to actually see it happening is, it’s a dream come true. And, I’m, I’ve worked my butt off and it’s like, ‘Thank you, God. It’s payin’ off.’” She'll perform "Baggage Claim" on the Tonight Show tonight and will be on the Ellen DeGeneres show and Jimmy Kimmel Live later this week.

Pollstar rankings are showing that the new CMA Entertainer of the Year is also the top touring act right now. Taylor Swift has the #1 tour, with Rascal Flatts coming in at #6, the American Idols Live tour with Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina in 7th place, Jason Aldean in 8th place and Keith Urban at #9.

Meanwhile, at the Billboard Touring Awards, Taylor's tour won for best Concert Marketing and Promotion. Kenny Chesney was honored for Top Tour with his "Goin' Coastal" tour, which included Zac Brown Band, Uncle Kracker and Billy Currington. Jason Aldean won the Breakthrough award for 2011.

Taylor's still on the road with her "Speak Now" tour, but she's thinking about what's next. Specifically, the next album and how those songs will play on stage. “With this next album, I’m so excited because I’ve been writing so much and we’re still in the first year of making it. So, I’m kind of seeing ideas as we finish songs and as we demo them up in my producer’s basement, I can kind of picture them being played on a stage.”

Saturday night in Dallas, the audience at the Zac Brown Band show got a treat - and so did Zac! Randy Travis showed up and joined the band on stage. The crowd went nuts, and judging from his tweets, so did Zac.

Did you notice that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood weren't at the CMA Awards? There's a good reason - they were in Haiti, helping Habitat for Humanity build 100 houses. They were two of 500 volunteers who showed up to build new homes as part of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

Trace Adkins' daughter Brianna is a budding humanitarian, too. You'll remember that when their house burned down earlier this year, it was Brianna who ran back in to save the family dogs, Bella and Daisy. An anonymous donor gave her $500 for her bravery, which she donated to a rescue group to help a dog that is lame. He needs, as Dad Trace explains, “one of those doggy walker things.” Trace says “She feels bad about it. That’s the kind of kid she is.” Then he goes on to say he's “proud of her passion.”

Rascal Flatts surprised a high school in Franklin, TN, visiting with the students to talk about the importance of music education and to donate $5,000 towards the school's music program.

The Christmas specials are tipping their hands about stars, and Faith Hill is the only country artist invited to be part of NBC's "Christmas at Rockefeller Center." Tony Bennett, Michael Buble, Justin Bieber and Cee Lo Green are some of the other performers for the November 30th special, which features the lighting of the Rockefeller Tree.

Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" went platinum in just four weeks. According to Dave Haywood, "It's been a dizzying and exciting few months launching this album." Ya think??

Miranda Lambert is on the Tonight Show.

The tweet of the day is from LeAnn Womack: "well i am dreading getting the house ready for thanksgiving festivities...anyone else? im a thanksgiving grinch"

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Today is Veterans Day, and it's a day when we should take a minute to thank our military heroes who are willing to walk through fire for us. Country music artists know what we owe our veterans:

Dierks Bentley: “I think Veteran’s Day is something that happens once a year, but I think in the country community it really is something we are and need to be thinking about 365 days a year because those folks need us.”

Eric Church: “What I respect and admire is the sacrifice that those guys and girls go through for us to live the way they want to live too. And, again, I’m very thankful for the sacrifice that those guys endure. It’s something that’s always been very important to me and always will be.”

Craig Morgan: “There’s two things that are important in my life and that’s the security of my nation and the security of my family. The security of my nation comes first. Most people would not appreciate or understand that. But, without the security of this nation, I don’t have the security of my family...I can’t take care of my family. If it weren’t for those men and women there...stationed there and standing ready there, then we would be fighting terrorism at home on a much greater front.”

Kellie Pickler: “I get asked all the time, ‘Well, I don’t know how to...I can’t go to Afghanistan. What can I do?’ And it’s small things like saying thank you that make the biggest difference because it shows appreciation and it shows that you respect what they’re doing, regardless if you agree or disagree with what’s going on.”

It was Christmas in Nashville last night, as country's biggest stars lined up for the taping of the "CMA Country Christmas" special that will air December 1st on ABC. Some of the highlights of the show Jennifer Nettles hosts again this year include:
Sugarland performing a bi-lingual version of “Silent Night.”
Darius Rucker crooning “Winter Wonderland.”
Lauren Alaina sings “Grown Up Christmas List."
Vince Gill and Miss Piggy duet on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Scotty McCreery takes on “The First Noel”
Little Big Town belts out a bluesy version of “Santa Claus is Back in Town” with Keith Urban on guitar.
Rascal Flatts performed “White Christmas”
The show will close with all the stars back on stage, singing a medly of Christmas songs.

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland was very frank with reporters backstage at the CMA Awards when asked about their next album. She replied, "We're in the writing – actually, we're in the resting process, let me be real frank. We just got off tour two weeks ago after two years of being on the Incredible Machine tour and after obviously quite a tumultuous year. We're taking a few months off just to chill, relax and sleep in our own beds and contemplate on how we want to approach what's next."

The ratings for this year's CMA Award show were bigger than last year's - the 35 million viewers topped last year's telecast by nearly 3 million viewers.

Did you miss Thompson Square on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the CMA Awards? Here you go...

Lady Antebellum kicks off their "Own the Night" tour tonight in Knoxville.

Steve Martin and the Lonesome River Band wll be on the Late Show with David Letterman and Billy Currington is part of the UNC vs. Michigan State game tonight on ESPN.

The tweet of the day is from Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry: "Well we didn't win and that sucks. me and t will just work harder for next year"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

At the CMA Awards last night, the show kicked off with Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins dueting on "Footloose."

Brad Paisley started to sing "Are You Ready for Some Country Awards," sung to the tune of Bocephus’ classic Monday Night Football theme. Hank Jr. took the first ribbing for his behavior during a Fox News interview. Then Hank Williams Jr. showed up behind Carrie and Brad, prompting a standing ovation from the audience. He didn't have much to say, but did revise his football song for the CMA Awards show.

The two hosts gave each other gifts of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw Barbies, and proceeded to play with them on stage, having them flirt and make out, then turning their backs on the audience to see if they were anatomically correct. When Brad checked out his Tim doll, he said, “Poor Faith” and she laughed and said “it’s true!” The real Tim and Faith ate up the bit, laughing and hugging each other.

The Band Perry had a great night, taking Single of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist. After the show, Brad Paisley tweeted, “I’m changing my name to the Band Paisley tomorrow.”

One of the stand-out performances on a night of great live music was Zac Brown Band performing "Georgia On My Mind" with Greg Allman. A couple of great singers, a couple of keyboards and a couple of saxophones made the song really special. The audience enjoyed it - a standing ovation followed the performance.

Are Sugarland the next Brooks & Dunn? Maybe – they won the award for Vocal Duo of the Year for the 5th time.

Lionel Ritchie, Little Big Town and Darius Rucker teamed up for a medley of Lionel's classic hits. When Lionel hit the stage, the 17,000 people at Bridgestone Arena stood up in appreciation. The segment was a preview of a duets cd Lionel has in the works that includes several country artists.

Vocal Group of the Year was handed out next, and it went to Lady Antebellum, who seemed genuinely surprised by the award.

Reese Witherspoon took the stage to award Male Vocalist of the Year, and Blake Shelton took the honors. First hug from him went to co-nominee Keith Urban, and the second went to his wife, Miranda Lambert. A short while later, the award for Female Vocalist went to Miranda Lambert, who promised Blake during her acceptance speech, "It's gonna be a good night, baby!" The couple repeated the awards they first won last year.

The tribute to Glen Campbell came next, starting with the memory that he was the Entertainer of the Year in 1968. Fast-forward to 2011 and Vince Gill, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley teamed up to say "God bless Glen Campbell" in his battle with Alzheimer's Disease. The tribute include Glen's best-loved songs, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston." Glen sat next to his radiant wife Kim, and he softly sang along to his songs. When he took the stage, the audience gave him a standing ovation, but the live coverage cut away before he could say anything.

At the end of the show, it was Taylor Swift who took home Entertainer of the Year, in segment 13 of the show, right after the 13th commercial break. She's in love with the number 13, and it seems to like her a lot, too. Brad Paisley was EOY last year, and the year before that, Taylor won it. Did she expect to get it again this year? “I just didn’t want to think about it ‘cause it’s like, you don’t want to have high hopes about something that big and that cool. To win it twice is like the coolest thing that has ever happened to me, happening twice. I’m freaking out right now.” During her acceptance speech, she used notes she had made on her arm to acknowledge all of the artists who joined her on stage during "Speak Now" tour stops. They included Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and many more music luminaries. Good thing Taylor has long arms!

For those who lost count, Carrie Underwood had 11 wardrobe changes last night. I'm pretty sure that tops any of Reba's appearances as host.

During the show, there was a Muppet segment. I don't believe the sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, but watched Brad Paisley inappropriately touch Miss Piggy. Hopefully she won't press charges...she did hit him with a right cross, decking Brad. Carrie told Miss Piggy that she'd always wanted to do that.

Before the show, awards were handed out. Music Video of the year went to Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter for "You and Tequila. Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson won Musical Event of the year with "Don't You Wanna Stay." It was Jason's first-ever CMA Award. Musician of the Year went to singer/songwriter/guitar player Mac McAnally. "You and Tequila" won Music Video of the Year.

Justin Moore had to go to the CMA Award show stag - his wife is expecting their second daughter in the next two weeks so watched the show from home in Arkansas.

Congratulations to Miranda Lambert, who is the first artist to ever have their first four albums debut at #1 on the Billboard Country chart. "Four the Record" is the #1 country album this week. Last year, Miranda made history, becoming the first artist ever to earn 9 nominations for CMA awards.

Some insider information - there's a high-stakes bidding war going on for Big Machine Records, home of Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and Martina McBride. Music guru Scott Borchetta, the current owner of the label, would still be in charge. Scuttlebutt is that the bidding is over $200 million, and Sony and UMG are in a battle to see who can take the prize.

Hunter Hayes is on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Luke Bryan is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Happy birthday to Miranda Lambert, who turns 28 today and is sporting diamond earrings from hubby Blake Shelton, and to Chris Cagle, who is 43. Donna Fargo turns 66 today.

The tweet of the day is from Blake Shelton: "If y'all are watching the CMAs tonight I'll be the loud drunk guy on the front row cheering for Carrie Underwoods legs."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Rehearsals are done and tonight is the night for the CMA Award Show. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the show for the 4th straight year, and will also perform "Remind Me," their #1 duet, for the first time together in front of a live audience. Faith Hill will sing her new song, "Come Home," Martina McBride will sing her breast cancer anthem, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" and The Band Perry will sing "All Your Life." The show starts at 8pm Eastern on ABC.

What can we expect? Well, apparently Blake Shelton will be the butt of at least one joke. Brad Paisley reveals, “I think...Blake Shelton’s a good target somewhere. He’s had a great year. I think he’s...I toured with him, you know?” Meanwhile, what's Blake hoping for? Winning his favorite award. “I always thought Album of the Year is the coolest award even, even over Entertainer of the Year. I don’t know why, I just always thought that would be the coolest award to get. That’s what makes this town work, you know, record sales and good music and stuff.” What will Mrs. Blake Shelton be wearing? Miranda Lambert doesn't know, but she knows it'll be good. “You know, on stage for my own shows I love to be comfortable. I like to look stylish but I have to have something I can move in ‘cause I’m kinda all over the place. But for award shows and stuff I have a stylist named, Tiffany Gifford, and she, she really knows my style and knows my body, so she brings great options and you know, girls kinda get dressed depending on their mood. So, it usually depends on the day what I feel like, but, but I usually have some great options to choose from.”

In the audience tonight will be a speech-language pathologist named Jennifer Dotson. She won the NARM/RIAA essay contest with her story about how Lady Antebellum's music affected her students. In addition to the VIP seating, she also gets $1,000. "Give the Gift of Music" recognizes educators who are making a difference in their students' lives through music.

Last night at the BMI Awards, Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson won Songwriters of the Year. The two Georgia natives had five of the year's most-played songs, including "All Over Me," a song made popular by Josh Turner. That one won Song of the Year last night.

In other award show news, Taylor Swift has three nominations in the 2012 People's Choce Awards, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton have two each and Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban have one apiece. Those awards will be handed out on January 11th, 2012 on CBS.

Did you miss Brad Paisley in front of Bridgestone Arena yesterday morning? Here you go...

Tonight, the CMT Red Carpet Special includes all of the big stars as they arrive at the CMA Awards, the 45th Annual Country Music Association Awards airs on ABC and Thompson Square is on Jimmy Kimmel Live after the award show.

The tweet of the day is from John Rich: ""The 8th of November" was written as a thank you to all the veterans for their service. Today is the 8th. BLAST that song 2day! God bless.."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Wow...just wow. Apparently Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw will co-headline a tour next year, and they're recording a song together. Can't wait...for both!

Well now they've done it! Rascal Flatts' live cd is in stores today. "The Best of Rascal Flatts Live" is important to the trio because of their fans. “Our live show means the most to us and gettin’ in front of the fans and showing the fans how much we appreciate their support. It’s the utmost importance to us.”

Eric Church hits it hard on stage on a normal night, but he's planning a little something extra tomorrow night on the CMA show. Why? Peer pressure, apparently. “You know, at the ACMs, I was in front of the Fan Jam part, so this will be my first time on an awards show performing in front of the industry. So, I’m not real sure what to think about it, you know? It might be a little bit harder to get them up on their feet. Might not be like my crowd in Council Bluffs, Iowa.”

Carrie Underwood is looking forward to her fourth year co-hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley tomorrow night. “I feel like each time we do it, we get better, and we get more comfortable. It’s already been fun! Like, sitting down and talking about what jokes we’re gonna make, and what we’re gonna do, and see who’s performing before everybody else knows who’s performing and what they are doing. It’s just a lot of fun, and I’m so honored that they’ve asked both of us back to do it again.”

Congratulations to the Eli Young Band, who have their first-ever #1 song with "Crazy Girl." Success hasn't gone to their heads yet, though. “It is kinda hard to take in the moment just ‘cause, you know, we started out just four friends from college just playin’ the bars and now, you know, hangin’ Platinum records on our walls and uh...movin’ up the charts, it’s just like...kinda feels like you’re talkin’ about somebody else right now, you know?” They're on tour with Dierks Bentley, and he surprised them onstage Sunday with a cake to celebrate their success.

Congrats to Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott for being named SESAC's Songwriter of the Year.

Brad Paisley is on Good Morning America today, performing outside Bridgestone Arena. Robin Roberts gets up close and personal with country music's biggest stars tonight. She also gets to play with Kenny Chesney's flying chair. "In The Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Bright Lights, Big Stars, All Access Nashville" airs tonight at 10PM Eastern on ABC.

Lyle Lovett is on the Tonight show.

Happy birthday to Lauren Alaina, celebrating her 17th birthday, Bucky Covington, who turns 34, and Bonnie Raitt, who is 62 today.

The tweet of the day is from Corey Smith: "I just had a debate with my 5 yr old about whether or not songwriting counts as work. He won. "If you like it, it's not work."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are hard at work this week, writing and rehearsing for Wednesday night's CMA Awards. They'll duet on the show, co-host the show for the 4th year in a row, and according to Brad, kick a few chuckles out of us, too. “Everything’s pretty -- well no, it’s never just ready -- but we get out there and have a great time and uh, I hope, I hope we make you laugh. I think we have the last few years and, and hopefully we can do it again, uh, we aren’t pulling many punches, it ought to be fun.”

Miranda Lambert is the reigning CMA Female Vocalist, and is nominated again this year, along with Carrie Underwood, Sara Evans, Martina McBride and Taylor Swift. How does she feel about the competition? “Of course we want to win. You know, there’s the disappointment...for a while there I was getting beat out every year by Taylor and Carrie, and I was like, ‘OK, when’s my turn coming?’ You know? But, my turn has come and when it’s somebody else’s turn, I wanna be as gracious as...especially Carrie was to me when I won! You know? It’s not a competition. It’s a family.”

The husband/wife duo Thompson Square is up for New Artist and Vocal Duo. Kiefer and Shawna are pretty amazed to be nominated, saying “To us, it’s like, Ok, now these people take us seriously and accept us into their fold. And to be accepted into this country music family in Nashville is’s a dream come true. It’s why we all move here and to be able to be in that fold is just unbelievable.” The show airs at 8pm Wednesday on ABC.

One of Billy Currington's neighbors needs a time-out. He showed up at Billy's door, inviting him to go fishing and telling him that he'd been watching Billy through binoculors and telescopes for six months! Billy's as calm about it as he can be, but probably won't go fishing with his neighbor any time soon.

Willie Nelson had to cancel a couple of shows last week because he got sick. The Washington DC show will be re-scheduled, but the Akron, Ohio show tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase.

Kenny Rogers will kick off his annual Christmas tour the day after Thanksgiving in Columbus, Ohio. Joining him on the "Christmas and Hits Tour" is Grammy-winner Billy Dean.

Alan Jackson and Kix Brooks both got stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville yesterday...congrats!

The tweet of the day is from David Nail: "Can't sleep, changed bunks, it's bumpy and loud in the back bottom right! But it beats listening to people up front snore! G Nite take two"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Today's Country Tidbits

If you have tickets for "All for the Hall" January 18th in Nashville, make other plans. Keith Urban has a polyp on his vocal folds that will require surgery later this month, and the show is postponed to an undetermined date in 2012, as are the rest of his concerts. Keith will be on complete vocal rest for weeks after his outpatient procedure at the end of this month. While he could still talk, he dished about the reason guitar stars Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith will be performing a tribute to Glen Campbell on the CMA's next week. “I’ve always been a fan of what I like to call guitartists, you know, those guitar-artists like Glen Campbell -- who’s probably one of my biggest influences – those guys who knew a good song, had a great voice and played great, and just the all-around guys with a guitar, you know?”

Sugarland will perform "Run" with Matt Nathanson on the CMA show Wednesday night, and Jennifer says that tv makes them step up their game. “We definitely try to serve the, the song in its visual performance as well, and especially on television, because you, obviously, because people depend on that aspect of the performance a lot, in how it translates emotion.” Faith Hill will debut her new single on the show. "Come Home" will mark her first appearance on the show in five years.

New luminaries are being added to Wednesday night's CMA Award show. Presenters include Reba, Dierks Bentley, Billy Currington, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Lauren Alaina and LeAnn Rimes. The show airs live at 8pm Eastern on ABC.

ABC always goes all-out to give country artists and country music it's due before the award show. Tuesday night, check out "In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville." Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina will all be part of that show. Wednesday morning, Good Morning America goes star-studded with Brad Paisley performing live in front of Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The Billboard Touring Awards will be handed out next Thursday, and Kenny Chesney vies for Top Package with Taylor Swift and Usher. Jason Aldean is nominated in the Breakthrough category and Zac Brown Band's Eat & Greets are up against Taylor Swift's Speak Now for the Concert Marketing and Promotion award.

If you're ever invited to Darius Rucker's house on the weekend, what can you expect? If you get into the man cave, expect a media room like no other: “For me, my man cave is all about sports. I got six TVs in there. I’ve got a 65, and on top of that, I have two 48s and then under that, I’ve got two 36s, I think, and then I’ve got another 65 [inch] on another wall. Football Sunday and Saturday is pretty huge for me. I watch every game.”

Reba was joined by her opening acts for an encore - she, The Band Perry, James Otto, Edens Edge and Steel Magnolia all collaborated on Adele's song "Rolling in the Deep." Magical!

Garth Brooks was on the Tonight show, and Jay Leno's staff dug up Garth's first-ever television appearance...

Catch Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott on the cover of the December issue of Redbook. In it, she talks about her life on the road with two guys and her upcoming marriage to another guy. Chris Tyrell and Hillary will be married some time in early 2012, but they're keeping the actual date to themselves.

Happy birthday to Delbert McClinton, who turns 61 today.

The tweet of the day is actually two tweets from Blake Shelton: "Just saw that "Over You" by Miranda is one of the top 5 most downloaded country songs right now... So proud. So unbelievably proud....Its odd.. Being this proud but at the same time wishing it never had to be written... I still miss my brother everyday. Every single day..."