Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

After taking time off for funeral services for his dad, Blake Shelton's "Well Lit and Amplified" tour resumes this week with Justin Moore along for the ride. Justin is pretty sure the two will be fast friends by the end of the run, saying, “I think we’re both goofballs. We’re gonna get along great. Miranda has talked about how we’re both just, honestly idiots. And that’s pretty much true. We’re gonna have a lot of fun together. Hopefully, we don’t wake up every single morning with a headache. But, you know, I wouldn’t put that past the two of us.”

Trace Adkins is embarking on a very different kind of country tour: songs and stories in a theatre setting. So what's the tour called? Trace Adkins: Songs and Stories Tour. He'll sing his hits, of course, but he'll also tell stories of his working-man roots. “I’m one of those very fortunate people that my hobby turned into a career, but I was a realist all along and I knew that the odds were very long that I would be one of the fortunate people that got to do this for a living. So, I was prepared to work in an oil field for the rest of my life.” The tour was inspired by Trace's turn on CMT's Invitation Only.

Rascal Flatts will be honored with the Artist Humanitarian Award next month at Country Radio Seminar. The honor is based on their work with Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, a place near and dear to their hearts: “My niece, actually, she was born deaf and she got cochlear implants put in. But knowing that she had her surgery done in the Rascal Flatts surgery center, it’s mind blowing. And that’s such an honor to be able to give back and to do something so special to such a magical place with great people.” Over the last five years, they've raised over $3 million, and are working to open a neonatal center at the hospital.

Scotty McCreery has been accepted to East Carolina University, and is still waiting to hear from Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina State and Belmont before he decides where he'll go.

Congratulations to Luke Bryan, who has the #1 country song in America with "I Don't Want This Night to End." About his career trajectory, Luke says, “I look at the way it went down with Jason Aldean when he did ‘She’s Country’ and then—BAM—and then ‘Big Green Tractor’ where he just kept outdoing himself. So I just pray to God that I can keep doing that and keep upping the ante on songs.”

Taylor Swift has apparently become fascinated by the Kennedy clan in the last couple of years, reading dozens of books about them and even writing a song about them. Not sure if it'll ever be commercially available, but it's that song that earned her the invite to Sundance last weekend to accompany Rose Kennedy to the premier of her HBO biography.

New music out today includes Tim McGraw's "Emotional Traffic" and Kellie Pickler's "100 Proof."

Happy birthday to Ray Stevens, who is 73 today.

The tweet of the day is from Martina McBride: "Reading Stephen King for the 1st time in yrs. His book 11/22/63. Used to be obsessed. Took a break. Forgot how dark and brilliant he is!"