Friday, April 13, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

The music industry is still struggling to find its way as cd sales plummet and downloadable music takes over. It stands to reason, then, that an artist who can sell a million units in one week has quite a bit of pressure on her to produce new cds. Taylor Swift's next album is in the works, but according to the Blonde One, she won't be hurried: “With this one, it’s gonna be done when it’s done. And it’s only gonna be done when I’m obsessed with it to the point where like every single song is on it for a reason. I still have like, a little bit of time. It might be this year, it might be next year, but… I hope that whenever it comes out, it’s good!” Meanwhile, she's written with Justin Bieber for his next cd and duetted with rapper B.o.B for his new album.

Brad Paisley is in the studio, working on a new album, too.

One week from today, Keith Urban becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was invited earlier this week and has been buried in well-wishes: “I got swamped with texts and emails from my family and friends, and Brad Paisley sent me a nice text this morning. Dierks Bentley sent me a text yesterday and said, ‘Oh, and from now on, don’t call’s 912.’ He goes, ‘It’s an Opry thing.’ So, I’m in!” The 912 reference is to an Alec Baldwin line about 912 being the 911 for rich people.

Brantley Gilbert isn't exactly rich yet, but he's well on the way. He's got a project going on in his hometown of Jefferson, GA: “I’m actually building a house in my hometown. I bought some acres out there and have a house going up. It’s pretty exciting – I’m in transition.” He's touring with Eric Church, and tomorrow night, headlines a show in Austin, Texas.

Big & Rich are back, and Jon Bon Jovi gave them the title to their upcoming album, Hillbilly Jedis. John and Kenny explain: “[Kenny] We’re in the middle of writing this new song and these lyrics come out, ‘Hillbilly Jedi.’ Bon Jovi looks at us and says, ‘That’s ya’ll!’ [John] Bon Jovi does say ‘ya’ll’ by the way. [Kenny] He calls us his country cousins.” Jon and Richie Sambora have apparently recorded songs with Big & Rich for their next album.

More details are rolling out for this year's CMA Music Fest. Here's the Riverfront Stage lineup for the free shows:

June 7th: Lee Brice, Colt Ford, Tracy Lawrence, Dustin Lynch, Neal McCoy, Montgomery Gentry, Craig Morgan, Jerrod Niemann, Randy Rogers Band, Josh Thompson, Uncle Kracker

June 8th: Craig Campbell, the Farm, Gloriana, Jo Dee Messina, David Nail, Oak Ridge Boys, Thomas Rhett, Sawyer Brown, Phil Vassar, James Wesley

June 9th: Laura Bell Bundy, Edens Edge, Casey James, Lonestar, Love and Theft, Kip Moore, Heidi Newfield, James Otto, Corey Smith, Mel Tillis

June 10th: Wade Bowen, Brett Eldredge, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, JT Hodges, Steve Holy, Jana Kramer, LoCash Cowboys, Lorrie Morgan, Sunny Sweeney, Darryl Worley

Tonight is the Lionel Richie & friends concert, taped the day after the ACM Awards. The show features country artist like Kenny Chesney, who'll duet with Lionel on "My Love." How did Lionel find out that Kenny would be part of his Tuskeegee project? Kenny tells the tale: “We’d been over-served in red wine, I think, and I decided that I was gonna call Lionel and tell him I was gonna do the record. And then I did a really, not-very-flattering rendition of ‘My Love’ on his voicemail. And so that’s how it happened, and I’m glad he didn’t perceive that—you know how you can put something on the record before it actually starts? I’m glad you didn’t hear that [mimics phone static noise].” Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw Sara Evans, Martina McBride...those are just some of the country stars on the show tonight at 9 on CBS.

New country baby - Mindy McCreedy has just confirmed the birth of her son, Zayne, on Monday. She and David Wilson released a statement, and in it Mindy said, “Zayne is truly a blessing and a joy. It was a long and trying pregnancy; we're so happy he's here. There are no words to convey how happy we are.”

Happy birthday to Loretta Lynn, who turns 80 tomorrow.

The tweet of the day is from Chris Young: "Today has been surreal and we haven't even played a show yet. Sometimes I really can't believe this stuff is really happening."