Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Nashville will be a ghost town this weekend - yet more further performers have been added to the lineup for the ACM Awards show, airing live from Las Vegas Sunday night at 8 Eastern on CBS. Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley are the newest names on the roster, joining Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Chris Young and Rascal Flatts. That's 19 performers scheduled for a three-hour show, not counting cutaways to the Fan Jam stage for at least four from there. Wow...when will they hand out awards?

Zac Brown Band will play a big role in Sunday night's ACM show - they're the band that plays the Fan Jam concert while the awards are handed out. Zac says, "We get to participate in the ACMs, but across town. So we get to do our thing, and get to play for all the fans and lay it on ‘em! So we are very excited about being in Vegas for the ACMs.” The televised show will cut to Zac's show several times throughout the evening and the Best New Artist performances will happen on the Fan Jam stage, with Brantley Gilbert, Scotty McCreery and Hunter Hayes making their play for a few final fan votes.

Rascal Flatts are heading to Vegas, then will go out on a media blitz in support of their new album, "Changed," coming out next Tuesday. They would love to win an award, but take a bigger view of this weekend in Vegas: “You know, it’s like country is taking over the west coast for a few days. It’s a blast, it’s a different environment, different setting. We look forward to it every year and we’ve been blessed enough to be honored again this year with a nomination, so we will see how it turns out.”

The ACM Album of the Year category is populated with some heavy-hitters. Kenny Chesney's "Hemingway's Whiskey," Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party," Eric Church's "Chief," Miranda Lambert's "Four The Record" and Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" are all vying for the coveted award, and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott explains the appeal of their effort: “A lot of these songs are about very specific moments in time. It’s not just an overall emotion or an overall feeling that’s portrayed in a song. It’s just very specific. Moments throughout your life end up defining who you are.” Meanwhile, Miranda Lambert is trying to be philosophical about her chances: “I am so thrilled. I am so excited. I’ve got some stiff competition I’m not really happy about, but I am really happy to be in the category.”

Scotty McCreery is pumped to be in Vegas for the fun this weekend, and can't believe he'll be part of it. “I’m still the fan, I’m still wanting to be there and so you better believe when I’m there at the ACM’s I’ll be watching everybody’s performance. You’ll probably catch me on camera with my jaw on the floor. It’s just incredible to be around so great talent, and such great people in this industry.”

Country music has lost a legend. Earl Scruggs, banjo pioneer and Country Music Hall of Famer passed away yesterday. Earl popularized the three-finger-picking style of banjo playing that defines that instrument in country music. He was 88.

Happy birthday to Brady Seals, who turns 43 today.

The tweet of the day is from Brad Paisley: "Rest in peace Earl Scruggs. Thanks for being one of our musical Thomas Edisons."