Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brad Paisley is apparently still considering sitting at the judge’s table on American Idol. His tour is taking a short hiatus until August 10th, and apparently meetings are set for next week to discuss whether or not he can make his schedule mesh with A’s. The Band Perry has been opening for him, and when Kimberly Perry was asked about Brad and reality TV, she threw out another reality show idea: Celebrity Apprentice. According to Kimberly, “He’s always thinking, that guy. And um—so I’d have to—yeah, ‘BP’ on that one!” Perhaps there’ll be an answer, one way or the other, soon about Brad and his TV future.

Gloriana’s new cd, “A Thousand Miles Left Behind,” is out today. Band Member Mike Gossin says their sophomore project is pretty personal: “We’re very very proud of it. I think this album is much more organic and has a more mature sound to it. There was a lot of emotions and heart that went into making this record. It’s really the story of the past three years of our lives.” “A Thousand Miles Left Behind” includes Gloriana’s top-5 hit, “(Kissed You) Goodnight.”

Miranda Lambert’s new single finally has a video, and Danica Patrick is part of it. It’s fun – here you go, but buckle in!

Luke Bryan has been touring with Jason Aldean this year, but he’s planning for 2013, when he’ll head out on tour as the headliner: “We’re already getting our game plan together and thinking about stuff we can do to really set ourselves apart and be—you know, to come out with a really big bang for my first run at headlining. We’re really excited about everything that we’ve talked about thus far.”

Darius Rucker and his rock band, Hootie and the Blowfish, have several tour dates set for August, and according to Darius, there’s still one more Hootie record and tour left in them. He doesn’t know when, but enjoys the four or 5 dates a year they always do.

Fans of Scotty McCreery and Christmas have some celebrating to do – apparently he’s in the studio right now, recording a Christmas album. No release date or title yet – I’ll keep you posted.

Precious metal has been earned: Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” has been certified platinum, and “Ladies Love Country Boys” has gone gold. Also getting gold certification are Little Big Town’s “Pontoon” and Toby Keith’s “She Never Cried in Front of Me.”

Monday, July 30, 2012

Toby Keith has turned down a chance to be a judge on American Idol. He told FOX producers that he was “too busy” to take on the judges role for season 12, but he would have been a great choice. Toby isn’t one to pull punches and is known for saying just what he thinks, kind of like Simon. Still no official word of who the third judge will be, and no further word on whether Brad Paisley is still being considered. Lauren Alaina is all for Brad being the choice: “I think that would be really cool. He has a great personality and every time I’ve talked with him he’s been super nice. He is really cool. I think that would be a good move for the show.”

Oh, to have had an invitation to this dinner: Reba invited Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles and her new hubby over for a night of food, drink and story-swapping: “Yeah, we were hanging out and they came over to the house for dinner. It’s just great to have friends that are in the business that you can talk about. We all sat around after dinner telling road stories. It’s just fun! Jennifer Nettles was over there with her husband Justin just having a great time.” That’s not all Reba and Blake have shared recently: “Blake is a character! I got to sing with him on his Christmas album...a single that he asked me to sing on for his Christmas album.” That album should be out in a couple of months.

Dierks Bentley has decided to release just four songs in his next project, an EP called Country & Cold Cans. It’ll be out on August 21st and was produced by rocker Jaren Johnston of the band Cadillac Black. That group will be part of Dierks’ Country and Cold Cans: Back to College Tour, which kicks off next month. The tour stops at UGA on August 20th, University of South Carolina on the 21st and The Grove at the University of Mississippi on August 22nd.

Kenny Chesney will be part of the Farm Aid concert on September 22 in Hershey, PA. He credits his small-town upbringing to his desire to help America’s family farmers. Willie Nelson, John Mellenamp, Dave Matthews and Neil Young are also part of the show.

Dierks Bentley and Carrie Underwood are the country celebrities participating in CBS’s benefit concert special, Teachers Rock.” It will tape on August 14th and air on August 18th. Proceeds from the event benefit Teach For America, Feeding America and DonorsChoose.org.

Sugarland will be inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on October 14th this year. They’re going into the hall in the Performer category – there will be eight other inductees from other areas of Georgia’s music industry.

Heads up on an event that always sells out fast: the 11th Anniversary of the Charlie Daniels Band & Friends Concert happens at the Ryman in Nashville on November 19th. Phil Vassar and Thompson Square are already confirmed to be part of this benefit for Christmas 4 Kids.

Miranda Lambert co-hosted The View last week, and brought along Pistol Annies to perform their new song, “Takin’ Pills.” Watch the whole episode if you’d like.


Gloriana is on Good Morning America and Martina McBride is on Opening Act tonight.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Zac Brown Band is busy spending two weeks at the top of the Billboard Country chart, and Zac tells the story of how the album’s title cut came to be: “You know, I got the idea for that song ‘Uncaged’ from riding my motorcycle, and being out on the road with the wind in my face, looking up, seeing a hawk flying above my head and thinking, ‘Wow. I’ve been sitting on a bus all day, every day for the last five years on the road, and I could have been out getting myself back into nature.’ ‘Cause the nightlife, playing music and everything will definitely void you of nature.”

One year ago this week, Eric Church released his album, Chief, and it debuted at the top of the Billboard Country chart and the all-genre Billboard 200. It’s spawned two #1 songs so far, “Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen,” and “Creepin’” has just been released as the next single. About the sound of the music, Eric says, “I feel like we’re given a small opportunity as artists to take the music somewhere it hasn’t been before, and that always kinda stokes my fire is to be able to take something and do something a little different with it and take a little different direction and that’s certainly what um...what this record was about.” And what about his signature ball-cap-and-shades style? “I have one style...I have that mirrored shade style, but I have several sunglasses. I have one hat...for the whole...if we lose that hat, that’s it...career’s over!”

Darius Rucker fans know what a sports fan he is, but did you know he’s high on the Olympics and will watch as much coverage over the next two weeks as is humanly possible? “Everybody watches the Olympics because you want to see America beat everybody else in the world. I mean, it sounds crazy, but that’s why you’re watching it; that’s why I’m watching the 100, because I want to see an American cross the line first. You know, that’s why we watch basketball, because we want to see America blow everybody out.”

Little Big Town’s song, “Pontoon,” is sailing up the charts and is instantly recognizable when it comes on the radio. According to Kimberly Schlapman, “I love songs like that as a listener. Just all through my life, there are songs that on the first three, four or five notes, I instantly know what they are. It’s cool that this is one of those songs. I love that just as a music fan!” The song is the first single from Tornado, which streets September 11th.

Didja miss Hunter Hayes on The Talk? Julie Chen surprised Hunter with a gold certification plaque for “Wanted.” Here you go…

Sunday, Martina McBride turns 46 and James Otto celebrates his 39th birthday.

Lionel Ritchie is on Chelsea Lately and Ellen DeGeneres, talking about his country collaboration album. Both are reruns.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Hollywood rumor mill is running hot and heavy that Brad Paisley will be the next new American Idol judge. Could be – if they don’t need him before January. Here’s what he’s up to between now and then: 26 stops on his Virtual Reality World Tour, probably co-hosting the CMA Awards, heading to Sweden and Norway for some shows, spending a couple of weeks with his family during the holidays and recording his next album. Phew! In contrast, the newest American Idol judge, Mariah Carey, has nothing scheduled between now and the end of the year, according to her website. Ultimately it’s up to Brad – can FOX dangle enough dollars in front of him to jam one more thing into his jam-packed schedule? I’ll keep you posted.

Steven Tyler vacated an American Idol seat, but has been busy with Aerosmith’s new album…and with Carrie Underwood. She and Steven recorded “Beautiful” together several months ago, and the cut landed on the new project, “Music from Another Dimension!” which drops November 6th. About working with Steven Tyler, Carrie said, “He’s a wonderful guy and I look for any opportunity possible to just be in his company, you know, because he’s just so talented and so cool.”

Maxim magazine’s next issue is a salute to the military, and Kellie Pickler graces the cover in a pin-up style photo. She’s a proud supporter of the military, making multiple trips to the Middle East and adding a star tattoo for each trip. Kellie says, “It’s so wild the sacrifices that they make that we don’t even know about. And not just our service men and women, but their families as well, you know? To sit and know that your husband or wife is in Afghanistan fighting a war...it makes it hard to sleep at night.” Maxim’s August issue hits newsstands next Tuesday.

Jake Owen’s new song, “The One That Got Away,” has spawned some new swag. According to Jake, “We have t-shirts we sell on the road that say, ‘I’m the One That Got Away,’ but yeah, my wife…she probably will…she’ll scratch part of that out and say, ‘I’m Not the One That Got Away.’”

Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson have teamed up for the 2012 Railroad Revival Tour. They’ll travel in vintage rail cars from Georgia to California, playing eight shows along the way at outdoor venues near the tracks. Joining them are the rock group Band of Horses and actor/musician John C. Reilly. Here’s where the train will stop…

Oct. 20: Duluth, Ga.
Oct. 21: TBA
Oct. 22: Memphis, Tenn.
Oct. 23: Oklahoma City
Oct. 24: Old Town Spring, Texas
Oct. 26: Tempe, Ariz.
Oct. 27: San Pedro, Calif.
Oct. 28: Oakland, Calif.

Jay DeMarcus finally got to spend some time with his new son this week. Allison had an emergency c-section Friday afternoon, and Jay was able to fly home from Detroit in time for the delivery. As soon as Dylan was born, Jay had to fly back out for concerts last weekend. When he got home Monday he says he held his son all day long. When their daughter Madeline met Dylan, the 18-month-old said “Hi baby!” and kissed him on the cheek. Awwww….

Did you miss Love and Theft on FOX & Friends? Here you go…

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jason Aldean is about to make history. His new song, “Take a Little Ride,” debuted at #19 on the Billboard country single chart, and they predict it’ll make history as the top-selling digital song ever by a male artist in it’s first week out. So far, after just a few days, it’s sold more than 200,000 digital copies. Just how hot is his career right now? He sold out a 20,000 seat theatre in Cleveland, Ohio in 30 seconds!

Lady Antebellum has been touring, but that’s not all they’ve been doing. While on the road, the trio makes good use of their down time by writing, and according to Charles Kelley, they’re rarin’ to hit the studio once the tour is over: “We’re going to start working on new material in the fall. We’ve been touring so much this year, and now I think we’re writing all these songs, and can’t wait to get in there and see what it turns into. I’m actually really anxious about it and excited.”

With the American Idol judge turnover, it’s only natural that country stars might want to see one of their own in the judge’s role next season. Kelly Clarkson has gone public with her support for Carrie Underwood as an AI judge, and Scotty McCreery thinks Garth Brooks would be the perfect choice. There’s still one seat to fill on the show – no word on who FOX is considering.

Kenny Chesney has new heavy metal for his walls – “Come Over” has been certified gold and “Don’t Blink” received platinum certification. “Come Over” went gold faster than any other single of his, and Kenny knows why: “When you get to a point in your career that I am, you have to search for melodies that are just different. You just do. So I think that it was a perfect song for me, and it’s a song that I needed at this point in my career, and it was an incredible way to kick off the record, I think production-wise and emotionally ’cause it does set a tone.” It’s #2 on the country charts this week – watch it take over the #1 spot next week.

Dierks Bentley is a good guy to tour with, apparently. Eli Young Band was his opening act on the Country & Cold Cans Tour, and when it wrapped, EYB had some nice swag: “Dierks Bentley was nice enough, after we finished the tour with him, he bought us a big outdoor tent, chairs and travel grill. We can grill out on those long days where we don’t have a lot to do so. It was a really nice gift.”

Dierks Bentley has the #1 country song in America this week with “5-1-5-0.” He’s happy with fan reaction to it: “They’ve been great, the song’s definitely taken a life of its own and that’s what you want. You want people to hear it and just, you know, bring as much out of it as they possibly can.” It’s his 10th #1 song and the third in a row from his “Home” album.

Congrats to songwriter-extraordinaire Sarah Buxton. She and hubby Tom Bukovac are expeting their first child in December. You know her by her songs for Keith Urban, “Stupid Boy,” “Put You In A Song,” and the new Big & Rich song, “That’s Why I Pray.”

Pistol Annies are on The View today, and John Rich is on Live With Kelly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jason Aldean was proud to be part of the show Opening Act last night, giving 16-year-old Kylie Morgan a chance to open for him on one of his My Kinda Party tour stops. Jason had help from Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Trace Adkins and Keith Urban when he was a baby act, and knows what that kind of support can mean: “For a new artist, it’s so important and such a big deal for your career and to help get your career of the ground, so it’s a big deal.” He goes on to say, “To be able to kinda pay it forward and do that for another new act, it’s cool. I mean, that’s the way it should be...helping other artists, other acts reach their goal of becoming a country music star.”

Taylor Swift now has a collection of 20 surfboards. What will she do with them all? She’s not telling yet, but it’s a safe bet that they’re not all hanging on her condo walls. With the five surfboards she won at the Teen Choice Awards Sunday night, she’s now the most-awarded female ever in the Teen Choice Awards’ 13-year history.

Keith Urban finds inspiration in a lot of places. He’s working on his next studio album and says this about where he is in country music right now: “There really is something particular that’s in—of all things—a Waylon Jennings song. There’s a song he wrote called, ‘Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.’ And that song for me has always been like the perfect summation of what I love about playing country music.”

Phil Vassar’s Canadian fans got way more than they bargained for at the Craven Country Jamboree in Saskatchewan. He played his scheduled 90 minute set on stage, went backstage to the VIP tent, which was filled with people who wanted more. He sat down at a piano and played for another two hours, then he and his band went back to the main stage and played another 45 minutes for those who were camping at the festival. At 3am!! His manager finally dragged him off-stage so they could make it to the airport for their 6:40am flight to Nashville.

Love & Theft’s new cd is out today, and here’s what they have to say about the sound of it: “I think it sounds more organic and raw than our first album. The vibe we were looking for is better suited for a live tracking session in a room where you’re singing live and going back and fixing vocals as opposed to trying to make it sound polished and perfect.”

Red Solo Cup is on fire! Toby Keith now has his first double-platinum single ever. The song went platinum for a million paid downloads in January and has now been certified double-platinum. Congrats to Toby, who was such a natural in the video.

Craig Morgan is on the “Road Warriors” segment of Morning Express With Robin Meade on HLN.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The world just got a little Flatter. Rascal Flatts singer and bass player Jay DeMarcus and his wife Allison welcomed their son Dylan Jay DeMarcus into the world on Friday afternoon. Proud papa Jay said, “You know, I was hoping for a healthy child. Whatever it was, I was gonna be OK with it. But, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m really thrilled that it’s a boy. I kind of, in the back of my mind, wanted one of each.” Both the baby and Allison are doing fine, and big sister Madeline Leigh is excited to have a baby brother.

Congrats to Blake Shelton and the other coaches. The Voice has picked up four Emmy nominations, and Blake knows what makes the show so special: “You know, somebody will come on TV singing and you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’ I mean, they suck! Who signed them? Well, it’s just because she’s good looking or it’s because he’s taking his shirt off and he’s muscle-y or something or else he wouldn’t have got his chance, you know? I mean, this eliminates all of that. Not to say that a lot of people that got picked aren’t really good looking normal people. At least it starts from having a talent.”

Brad Paisley fans, it’s a little complicated, but you can help fight illiteracy while getting a chance to win concert tickets and swag. Brad has teamed up with Dollar General stores and Pepsi – you have to buy a 10 ounce or larger bag of Lays chips with a 2-liter Pepsi product at Dollar General, then enter the receipt code at dollargeneral.com. Good luck!

Jason Aldean celebrated the #1 status of “Fly Over States” last week in Nashville with the songwriters, Michael Dulaney and Neil Thrasher. Jason fessed up that he was late in releasing that song – it was sort of a leftover from the Wide Open album. He says they got the song late in the process of recording that album and “ran out of room.” According to Jason, "I started kicking myself immediately for not recording the song because I kept listening to it over and over. But it ended up being one of the first songs we cut for My Kinda Party."

Zac Brown Band had a great week for album sales last week. Not only was their new album, “Uncaged,” #1 on Billboard’s Country and Hot 200 charts, their earlier albums, “The Foundation” and “You Get What You Give” sold enough copies to both land in the top 20 on the Billboard 200.

The Band Perry has been added to the concert lineup at The Brickyard this Sunday. They’ll perform before the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard.

Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, Luke Bryan and Kylie Morgan will all be on Opening Act tonight on E!

Happy birthday to Alison Krauss, who turns 41 today.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw sit atop Pollstar’s Top 20 Concert Tour list and their Brothers of the Sun tour has earned the moniker “top-grossing summer tour.” So far they’ve taken in over $4 million in ticket sales. Other country acts making the list include Lady Antebellum at #14, taking in $490,000, Miranda Lambert at #16, making $432,000, and Eric Church at #20 with $320,000 in concert earnings.

Tornado warning! Little Big Town’s fifth studio album, Tornado, will be out September 11th. Kimberly Schlapman knows the album is special and has a new energy – here’s why: “This time we decided to use the guys that travel with us on all our shows, and it gave it such a fresh spirit. Everybody was just out there having fun and just putting out the very, very best that they had, and it was so creative. I think you can hear the spontaneity and the energy and the freshness in the music.” The first single on the album, “Pontoon,” has already gone gold.

Gloriana has hit a milestone – they have their first top-5 song with “(Kissed You) Good Night.” It’s the first single from A Thousand Miles Left Behind, which drops on July 31st. Tom Gossin says the project is a hint at the band members’ personal lives: “It’s really the story of the past three years of our lives...different experiences that we went through on the road, different experiences that we were experiencing in our own personal lives and our lives with each other and we’re very, very proud of it.”

Colt Ford is out with a new song, and it features Jake Owen. “‘Back’ is me doing what I do. It’s Jake Owen doing what he does. It’s me at my best –being honest and real, and open with the fans – which is what I’ve always tried to do.” Check it out…

College football season hasn’t even cranked up yet, but Lady Antebellum has already signed to perform at the FanFest just before the Belk Bowl on December 27th in Charlotte, NC. All three Lady A’ers are huge football fans – they even watch games on their tour bus when they’re on the road.

DVR alert – September 17th at 8pm Eastern on ABC, the CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock will air. Co-hosted by Kimberly Perry and Luke Bryan, the show will feature all the best performers from the CMA Music Festival this year: Zac Brown Band, Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and tons more…Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McDreery, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Hank Williams, Jr.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lady Antebellum is in Great Britain and on one of their tour stops, they opened for Bruce Springsteen. Of that experience, Charles Kelley says, “I’ve seen him several times, every time he comes to Nashville I see him. It is a huge honor...big influence and one of the best songwriters of all time.” Lady A got to complete their set, but Bruce Springsteen’s set was cut short because of a strict curfew at the Hyde Park location.

Eli Young Band is basking in another week at #1, and knew all along it would be a hit: “‘Even If It Breaks Your Heart’ is kind of one of those songs we knew right away that we wanted to record it. For us and the road we have been on the last 10 years, it kind of felt like our story and it felt like we could have or should have written it...it felt right.” It’s looking like Dierks Bentley will take the #1 slot away from Eli Young Band, but I doubt it will break their hearts.

Chris Young likes to box, so when he posted a picture of himself with a black eye, fans assumed for a moment that he got it sparring with someone. No – he tells the real tale: “I actually hit myself in the eye with a guitar the other day. For a second, I wanted to get on Twitter and say ‘Ah, I got punched in the face’ but I didn’t. I just hit myself with my own guitar...not quite as cool, but it’s still funny.”

Going to be in Nashville on September 24th? Slide by the Ryman for some red-carpet fun. The non-televised award winners of ACM awards this spring will be honored at the 6th Annual ACM Honors. Award recipients include Kenny Chesney, Vince Gill and Bobby Braddock. They’ll receive special awards, plus the Industry, Musician, Bandleader and Instrumentalist award winners will be recognized.

Tracy Byrd and his wife Michelle were in a wreck in Texas and were both hospitalized. A woman pulled out in front of the car they were in, and she was also taken to the hospital. Michelle has undergone two surgeries on her left foot since the accident early Tuesday afternoon. The driver of the other car was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way. The extent of Tracy’s injuries hasn’t been disclosed, other to say that they’re “non-life-threatening.”

Glen Campbell’s US tour is going well, but he’s cancelled the Australia and New Zealand legs of the tour. Those six dates will be carried by Kenny Rogers and local country artists. Glen’s people feel that the long plane ride would be more than he could handle as his Alzheimer’s disease progresses.

Tonight is the finale of ABC’s Duets, and the odds favor Jennifer Nettles to have a winner, as her partners J Rome and John Glosson are both in the top three. Kelly Clarkson’s partner, Jason Farol, rounds out the contenders for tonight’s show.

Congratulations to the Zac Brown Band, whose new album “Uncaged” debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Chart and also at the top of the all-genre Billboard 200. Nearly a quarter of a million copies were sold in its first week of release.

Heavy metal alert – Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” has gone double-platinum and Billy Currington’s “Good Directions” was awarded platinum certification.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Luke Bryan celebrated his birthday yesterday and his career is at an all-time high. He has #1 songs, platinum selling hits and at 36, he’s thinking about how to make this time of his life last a lot longer: “My main thing is just enjoy all of this and just do the best I can to sing better and perform better and be a better artist for all of the fans that have supported me thus far.”

How hot is Jason Aldean’s career right now? Schmokin’ hot! He sold out two arenas in just four minutes – that’s a total of 44,000 tickets in 240 seconds. The fans in Indianapolis and St. Louis follow the trend he’s set at every stop on this tour – every single show has sold out. Jason has a new single out on iTunes. It’s the first single from his next studio album, due out sometime this fall. “Take A Little Ride” is a song that Jason says describes a “pretty good Friday night.” Walmart will have physical copies of the song starting August 7th.

Dierks Bentley dishes about “5-1-5-0” & how Brett Beavers, his co-writer, got him to take the idea seriously: “I saw him at the gym and he was singing, ‘5-1-5-0 somebody call the po-po.’ So, he came up with that line, and I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard in my life and every time I’d see him, he’d sing that. He’d be like, ‘Man, the kids keep...can’t get that out of their head. It’s stuck! We gotta write it.’ So, one day we were writing and we were stuck and I was like, ‘Alright, let’s pull out 5-1-5-0,’ and we wrote it and it just kinda caught on and it’s kinda blown up!”

Lady Antebellum is overseas, touring Great Britain, and discovered the perfect libation for horseplay on stage in Dublin, Ireland – Guinness!

Keith Urban is on the cover of Australia’s GQ magazine, and inside he talks about the Aussie version of The Voice and how wife Nicole helped him decide to do the show. He thought he should be in the States, touring, but she thought it would be good for his overall career exposure to do the show. Guess who won? When you go to read the article, be sure to check out the photo gallery – Keith is a pretty, pretty man!

Taylor Swift is about to rack up another award – December 3rd in New York City, she’ll be honored for her commitment to social change at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights’ 2012 Ripple of Hope Awards Dinner.

The nominations are out for the VH1 Do Something Awards, honoring artists who are committed to community service. Taylor Swift is up for Music Artist and Facebook categories, and Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are nominated together in the Couples category. Those awards will be handed out August 19th in an event that will be taped for playback on August 21st.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The first female country music superstar has passed away. Kitty Wells, who rose to fame in the 1950’s, was the first woman ever to top the country charts. She did it in 1952 with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” a controversial song that was banned by many country stations and from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for a time. She was the first female country singer to be given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and received many other honors, earning her the nickname, “The Queen of Country Music.” Kitty Wells was 92 and passed away from complications following a stroke.

Told you yesterday that Taylor Swift is atop the Forbes Magazine list of top earners under 30. We know what she does in her professional life, but what does someone so wealthy do in her down time? According to Taylor, “I go home and I like, either have dinner with my friends, or by myself. Then, I’ll watch Friends until I go to sleep.”

Miranda Lambert is still being quiet – hopefully she can play her shows this coming weekend. Meanwhile, the video for Pistol Annie’s new song, “Takin’ Pills,” is raising Cain – and eyebrows! “We love that song. It’s fun. We wrote it on the bus. It’s how we just describe…we would describe ourselves if we had put this band together at 18, right out of high school. And it’s exaggerated, of course, but we would have probably been bums on the street at this point because I don’t know that we could have made it through all that, but that’s a fun one to do, live, too. People love that.” See what all the fuss is about…

Garth Brooks says he’s still two years away from going back out on tour, because he’s still raising his girls. About his daughter Allie, Garth says, “My youngest has got it. She’s got the bug, but she’s got the goods, too.” She wants to pursue music and he’s not going to try to talk her out of it.

With seven kids in the house, Sara Evans spends a lot of time playing referee – especially during the summer time: “Our kids are very competitive...to a negative sometimes. We try to rein that in all the time like, ‘Right now what we’re doing is just for fun. This is not the NBA. This is not the NFL. This is for fun. So, chill out!’ So, we really try to teach them...be competitive, but don’t be ridiculous [laughs]. Have fun!”

Congratulations to Eli Young Band. “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” is the #1 country song this week, meaning that they now have back-to-back #1’s. “Crazy Girl” was their first #1 song.

Craig Morgan is on Rizzoli and Isles tonight and Kip Moore is on Conan O’Brien, performing “Beer Money.”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blake Shelton is busy filming season 3 of The Voice, and is enjoying the success of his new song, “Over,” from his Red River Blue album. He didn’t write it, but appreciates the vagueness and the vividness of the lyrics: “It’s one of those lyrics that when you listen to it, you know, ‘Wait a minute,’ ‘cause there’s lines in there about you know burnin’ the world down and sittin’ in the glow...it’s like so romantic and out there that you’re like, ‘Well, I guess that’s cool.’ You could have a different melody and it would be like a threat...that song [laughs] you know? But, that’s the cool thing about that song is just you kinda interpret it however you want to.”

Toby Keith is in the studio, working on his 17th studio album. He’s recorded more than two dozen songs so far and his current single, “Beers Ago,” will be the last from his Clancy’s Tavern album. Toby’s hinting that two tracks that’ll probably make the album and could be singles include “I Like Girls that Drink Beer” and a song that he says “puts everything into perspective for all the golf players of the world.”

Justin Moore lives the outdoor lifestyle he sings about in his hit songs, so much so that Cabela’s outdoor outfitter partnered with him to be his tour sponsor, the first time they’ve done that with any singer. While he spends his summers playing shows all across America, what he really loves is the triple-B: boats, bait and beer: “Summer is awesome...the best time of the year for me. My favorite way to spend a day in the summer is on the lake, whether I’m fishin’ or tubin’ or just kinda hanging out on the boat having a cold Bud Light.”

Forbes Magazine is out with their “Top-Paid Celebrities Under 20” list and Taylor Swift graces the #1 position. According to Forbes, she raked in $57 million between May 2011 and May 2012, grossing more than $65 million on her 65-stop tour.

That “vocal rest” prescription is contagious in Nashville – Gloriana’s Tom Gossin has been ordered to be quiet for a while, meaning that so far two of the band’s concerts have been rescheduled. According to Tom, he’ll be quiet for as long as the doctors tell him to – he’s trying to avoid having surgery.

Zac Brown Band will play Madison Square Garden on November 17th. Zac is hoping for a sellout, saying “When you can sell out the Garden, you’ve made it!”

David Nail got such a great reception to his rendition of Adele’s song, “Someone Like You,” that he’s decided to release it on his ep, “1979,” out tomorrow. About doing a cover of someone else’s hit he says, “I think anytime you do something like that, you’re scared to death. The last thing you want to do is get on your Twitter, and see Adele going, ‘Who in the hell is this redneck singing my song?’ But it hasn’t happened yet. So, either she likes it – or you know, she’s like, ‘Don’t bother me with this stuff!’” This video has been on this page before, but here it is again so you can see what all the fuss is about…

Friday, July 13, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Luke Bryan is psyched to be part of Good Morning America's Summer Concert Series today. "City folks, and certainly every time we've played this city, they're like, 'We love coming to see a country act, because we don't get to see it as much as all of the other music.' So I love bringing that to New York City, and obviously, I love having it on TV." Luke's not the only country act on morning tv today - Zac Brown Band is on the Today show and Craig Morgan is on Fox & Friends.

Eli Young Band is touring with Rascal Flatts this summer, and are watching their song "Even if it Breaks Your Heart" creep closer to #1. It's at #5 now and Mike Eli weighs in on the song's meaning:  
 “You know it’s really true, ‘Even If It Breaks Your Heart’ is about going out there and following your dreams. I think we’re extremely luckily to live in a country where, that is possible in the first place. And it’s encouraged.”

Darius Rucker is glowing over recording with Lady Antebellum. They're covering Old Crow Medicine Show's song, "Wagon Wheel," and according to Darius:  
 “I cut it to put it as the last song on my record, to end the record that way, and when they were done, I was like, ‘Man, it’ll probably be second, and [laughs] if it’s the first single, I’m OK with that too.’ It was just so great…and it’s really great to get a song that’s so big in its own way, but there’s so many people out there that haven’t heard it, you know, that should hear it.”

Two of the three Band Perry siblings celebrate birthdays this month - Kimberly turned 29 yesterday and Neil turns 22 on the 23rd. Believe it or not, they are competitive over cake! "[Kimberly] Size does matter when it comes to birthday cake, and I've always wanted the biggest one. I'm very passionate about them. [Neil] Yes, but I did 'up' her one year whenever I got ice cream cake. [Kimberly] Oh, well, that's...yeah, I'm not a big ice cream cake fan, but you are. I was a little jealous." Reid Perry stays out of the cake fight - his birthday is in November.

Wondering what happened to the Taylor Swift/Justin Bieber collaboration? They were left off of his album, and there aren't any plans to release the song. But Taylor can take heart - hers wasn't the only duet that didn't make the cut: Kanye West's didn't either.

Oh dear - there was a little dust-up over Luke Bryan's performance of the National Anthem at baseball's All-Star game. He was caught sneaking a peek at his wrist, and has admitted to having a "few key words" written down so he could do his best. He did - give him a break. TMZ conducted a poll, and with over 10,000 responses, 93% of them were in Luke's favor.

Congrats to Little Big Town, who scored a #1 song based on digital downloads. "Pontoon" was purchased 86,000 times last week.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Three more Miranda Lambert shows have been rescheduled as she continues vocal rest.
Tonight’s show in Orange Beach, Alabama will happen October 4th, tomorrow’s Atlanta show will happen on October 5th and tickets for Saturday’s show near Birmingham will be honored October 6th. In a written statement, Miranda says, “I’m so sorry to disappoint the fans that have already bought tickets to see me. I’m taking care of my voice and I can’t wait to get on the road again and bring you a hell of a show.”

Darius Rucker is working on country album #3. There’s no release date yet, but there is a hot piece of news: he called on Lady Antebellum to record Old Crow Medicine Show’s song, “Wagon Wheel,” for the project. In other Lady A news, Hillary Scott was interviewed by Lucky, and she answered a lot of random questions, including her favorite karaoke songs:

Way back in 2008, Blake Shelton covered one of Michael Buble’s songs, and spent two weeks at #1 with “Home.” Now Michael is on Blake’s team on the third season of The Voice. He’ll be an advisor to Blake’s chosen singers, and is taping his appearances this week.

Jake Owen is learning a new way to travel on tour – with his wife. He admits that the experience is teaching him to be a lot more patient, and says, “It’s a lot different having your wife on the bus now, as oppose to you and like nine other guys. We’re just always getting into trouble, ya know. But, she’s good she keeps me in line – like all women do I guess.” Meanwhile, Colt Ford is weighing in on Jake’s impending fatherhood: “You gotta teach ‘em those things – like we’re talking about in this song. I mean, some of those things have been forgotten that are truly important on the way we were raised. I think Jake will be fine. He comes from a really good family – a good strong family with great values. I’m sure Jake will be a great Dad.” Jake lent his vocals to the song “Back,” which is Colt’s current single.

Grace Potter spied on Tim McGraw’s workout a couple of times on tour, and reports that he’s earning those muscles and slim physique. He uses spare tires from the equipment trucks as his weights, lifting them over his head, and ties off a couple of huge ropes to a fork lift and spends some time battle-roping with them. Grace said of Tim that, “he’s the most healthy guy on this tour – there’s no contest!”

Brantley Gilbert takes off on his Hell on Wheels Tour September 27th in Lafayette Indiana. It’s is first tour as a headliner, and he compares the rush to his high school football days: “You know when we’d run through the banner or something before the game, that’s kinda what walking on stage is like. It’s about the same amount of adrenaline too!” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” is his second #1 single and his next single is the rowdy “Kick it In the Sticks.”

If you fly American Airlines this month, be sure to check out their magazine – Keith Urban is on the cover, highlighting an article about Nashville. The article, entitled “An Old Star Shines,” showcases Nashville’s arts and entertainment scene and includes Keith’s discussion of the bars he used to hang out in to hear live music when he was just a struggling musician. Could Nashville be home to the Grammy Awards show one day? Could happen – that’s covered in the article, too.

George Jones has been trying to sell his 78-acre property near Franklin Tennessee, but once again, it’s a no-go. Last year he listed it for $10 million but there were no takers, so he decided to auction off 43 acres in 5 separate parcels. The auction this past Saturday didn’t result in a sale, either – none of the bids were high enough to satisfy George.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Taylor Swift, Tease. She’s working on her next album, which will probably be released before the end of this year, and said to her fans, “I’m writing you from Nashville, where I just sat in a big room with a lot of people and made a lot of decisions about a lot of things happening very soon Stuff is about to happen.” Yeah, but when? I’ll keep you posted.

Zac Brown Band’s new cd, Uncaged, has been out for a day and rabid fans have discovered the song Zac branded as a “baby-making song.” Here’s what he says about the sound of “Overnight:” “That’s straight up R&B baby! I’m about to get tender on ya. It’s definitely us – it sounds like us. But, the arrangement and everything is straight up R&B.” Meanwhile, their first single from the album, “The Wind,” is blowing up the charts, landing inside the top 20 just a couple of weeks after its release. The video for the song is animated and lots of fun – check it out!

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher celebrated their second wedding anniversary yesterday. Was it a romantic event? Hard to tell, but here’s what Carrie had to say: “For a lot of guys, you know, it takes a little more effort. All that romance stuff doesn’t just come naturally. I’m generally fine. I love just hanging out on a Friday night watching TV”

Saturday night in Nashville, Ringo Starr played the Ryman. It was his 72nd birthday and in the audience were Brad Paisley, Kix Brooks and Joe Walsh. Ringo invited them on stage for the encore, “With a Little Help From My Friends.”

Congrats to Little Big Town, who were asked to write and sing “Good Afternoon” as the theme song for the new ABC show, Good Afternoon America. "Sometimes you get unexpected opportunities as an artist," Karen Fairchild says. "We loved getting the chance to write and record a song for such a cool show." Little Big Town will be on the show August second, singing the theme song and Pontoon live.

Martina McBride has rented a house in LA and will be there for the next few weeks as part of the show Opening Act. Her 14-year-old daughter Emma is enrolled in some acting classes, because that’s her dream right now. According to Martina “It goes by so fast, so I try to...you know, make the most of it and do everything that I can. They’re all going through different things and it’s just fun!”

Pistol Annies have a new video – “Takin’ Pills” – and it’s pretty entertaining!

FarmAid 2012 will be September 22nd at HersheyPark Stadium in Pennsylvania.

Congrats to Gloriana, who have a gold record on their hands with “(Kissed You) Good Night.”

Brantley Gilbert has the #1 country song this week with “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.”

Josh Turner is on Good Morning America and Zac Brown Band will be on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Tim McGraw is totally psyched about the new album, which will be his first with his new record label, Big Machine. The first single is “Truck Yeah” and Tim says it’s a taste of what’s to come on the album: “The music has a lot of energy in it. It’s infused with all this enthusiasm and freshness. And I just think that it’s—I haven’t felt this way about music in a long time.” He’s headed to Austin Texas next month to tape his first episode of Austin City Limits, the longest-running music show in America. No air date yet, but I’ll keep you posted. On a different note, Tim says he’s still open to the idea of holding political office, but not until his daughters are grown up, and only if he’s in “a position where I can give back and feel like I’m smart enough to help.” Wish all our politicians felt that way!

Carrie Underwood’s new single, “Blown Away,” shines a good light on her rural roots of Oklahoma, and she’s happy to be among great company: “So many artists come from Oklahoma—Garth and Reba and Toby and Blake—it’s nice to see that there are people that you know do come from those small towns and they can make it big and still remember where they’re from as they move forward.”

Today is finally the day – Zac Brown Band’s new album, “Uncaged,” is out. In Zac’s opinion, it’s not talent that’s gotten them to the top of the charts: “We spent hours and hours writing the songs, and hours and hours arranging them and recording them and everything. We work harder than a lot of other bands I think. So, I think that’s what sets us apart.” Zac calls this album their best work yet.

Kellie Pickler knows the ins and outs of being part of the American Idol family, and she has some advice for the people auditioning for Season 12 – how can it have been 12 years already?? – of American Idol: “It’s so wild because it’s like immediately after the finale it’s in with the new, out with the old and on to the next season. That’s why too, when you come off the show you have to strike while the iron’s hot. As soon as you get off the show, you need to get your butt in the studio, you need to be writing – you need to be recording your record.” The auditions kick off this week in Chicago.

Kip Moore had a number one song with “Somethin’ Bout a Truck,” and his follow up single is a song he feels can do just as well: “I love the song. It was just one of those things that just felt right for the time right now. It felt like it was the right call to do. I just kind of went on my gut.” “Beer Money” is from Kip’s “Up All Night” album and is just starting it’s climb on the charts.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

It’s as American as baseball – country music stars lining up to be part of the All-Star Break fun. Tonight, Zac Brown Band will play a show at the Home Run Derby, and tomorrow night, Luke Bryan will sing the National Anthem and Kellie Pickler will sing “God Bless America” as part of the All-Star Game festivities. It all airs on FOX.

Heat waves are bad for bus engines, and Chris Young knows that first-hand. He and his band narrowly averted the bus-fire issues that Jerrod Niemann and Lee Brice have had in the past year. According to Chris, “We were in Charlotte, North Carolina, and my tour manager ran on the bus, was like, ‘Off the bus now. Grab what you need, and get off.’ It was like, engine glowing red, smoke comin’ out of the back of it, and we hit it with a fire extinguisher and turned the bus off, and that’s probably…my bus driver was like, ‘Man, that’s the only thing that kept it from being in flames.’” Fortunately there were no injuries, and they’ll be back on the road this coming weekend.

Carrie Underwood is back state-side after a successful foray into the Great Britain and Australian concert venues. Her album, “Blown Away,” was released in the two nations to coincide with her visits and debuted at #1 in both places.

Miranda Lambert had to sit out her shows this past weekend. Gretchen Wilson and Sawyer Brown filled in for her on Friday’s show, and Saturday’s show was postponed. She hopes to be back on stage this coming weekend.

Dierks Bentley has his own Martin Guitar – a signature, custom six string. It’s taking a little bit of getting used to, though: “The guitar I have that I play all the time has a big hole in it from playing it so much, so it’s kinda weird...everything I have is kinda beat up a little bit. So, it’s weird to have this nice shiny guitar. It’s kinda freaking me out a little bit, but I’m gonna do my best to get it all beat up here pretty soon [Laughs]!” The Dierks Bentley Custom Signature Artist Edition Martin guitar retails for around $5,000 and if you want one, you’d better snap one up quickly – it truly is a limited edition.

Kix Brooks is ready to release his first solo album, “New to This Town.” It’ll be out September 11th, and he’s happy to dish some details about it: “I’m not sure how many songs I started with, but I recorded 49 songs in three weeks. I just got my favorite pickers over at Sony Tree Studio – where we recorded our first Brooks & Dunn album there. It’s our publishing company, and there’s a studio in there that’s kind of like home to me.” Kix and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts co-produced the project.

Taylor Swift and the man she was named for, James Taylor, hit the stage together last week. Here’s video of their duet of “Fire and Rain.”

Congrats to Kenny Chesney, whose “Welcome to the Fishbowl” is the top country album again this week. About the album, Kenny says, “A lot of artists, when they’re done with a record, they’ll say, ‘This is my favorite record that I’ve ever done,’ no matter if it is or not. I’m not sure it is, but I can tell you this record took me on an emotional journey that none of them have.”

Happy birthday to David Ball, who turns 53 today.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Zac Brown can hardly wait for their new album, “Uncaged,” to come out on Tuesday. Zac says of it, “This is the best record we’ve ever made – hands down. People that are fans of ours that I have played it for have been like, ‘Wow’ We have gelled as a band more. We’ve matured – we’re better musicians, we’re better writers, we’re better as a band and as a unit and it reflects in the music.”

Lady Antebellum take their “Own the Night” tour to the UK and Australia, after eight months of touring North America. During that time over a million fans saw the show. Hillary Scott noted, “As a songwriter, it's so cool to hear the lyrics you wrote with your best friends in the back of a bus echoing back to you by so many people.”

Pistol Annies is getting hotter than a two-dollar pistol. The trio, comprised of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, released a song and album last year, and Ashley and Angaleena have joined Miranda on some of her “On Fire” tour stops to sing a set. And according to Ashley, things are going well: “It’s funny because when we first went on the road with her, no one knew ‘Hell on Heels’ – nobody knew us. So we’d come out and everybody would tilt their head like, ‘Who is this? What does this mean? And then gradually we’ve seen their response – it’s deafening sometimes. It’s just awesome to part of something like that.” September will be a month of Pistol Annies shows, so look for them at a stage near you.

Jake Owen celebrated his impending fatherhood with his wife – and random fans! He tweeted that he and Lacey were going to see the new movie, “Ted,” and invited fans to join them – his treat! Dozens of people showed up to enjoy the movie with the happy couple.

One of the hottest young stars in Nashville got to meet his musical hero recently. Twenty-year-old Hunter Hayes and Keith Urban had a chat, and Hunter says, “We talked about music for a while. Then of course we talked about cars- I instigated that conversation. But, then he asked me, ‘What kind of music did you listen to growing up.?’ I looked at my manager and I looked back at him, and I go, ‘Well, you.’ It was so cool – and I’m still star-struck by him.” Hunter will hit the road with Carrie Underwood on the fall leg of her “Blown Away” tour in September.

It’s two weeks in a row for Luke Bryan – his “Drunk on You” is at the top of the country charts again this week. About the experience, Luke says, “It’s totally the ride of a lifetime, you know. To have number ones and things like this going on in my life, we’re certainly so blessed.”

Happy birthday to Toby Keith, who turns 51 on Sunday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

What did you do – and what did you think about – on Independence Day? The 4th of July evokes a lot of memories and emotions from country artists. Here are some of them…

Dierks Bentley: “The definition of America to me is getting the chance to travel across the county in a tour bus, stepping on stages, whether it be county fairs, state fairs, arenas, rock bars, the Opry stage - anywhere across this county and looking across the crowd and seeing the people. The people to me are what America is all about.”

Tim McGraw: “Country music, baseball, trucks – look from where I came from, the small town I grew up in, the situation I grew up in – I don’t think there’s any other country in the world that I could have had the success I had, and come from where I come from.”

Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts: “I used to watch my Uncle Jimmy light firecrackers and then hold them until they got down to the end and toss them. You’ve got to throw it. You can’t hold it that long. You’ve got to throw it sooner than later. I was about 12 years old when it went off in my hand. Oddly enough my fingers were numb for a few minutes, but it didn’t do any damage.”

Carrie Underwood: “America really is, you know, the land of opportunity. It’s the only place in the world that I could try out for some show and win and…amongst hundreds of thousands of people…and go on to do great things. I mean, it’s just the land of ‘anything could happen.’ The people in it are what makes it great.”

Eric Church: “The Fourth of July growing up for me, we would always go on the lake. We didn’t live on the lake, but we would always go to the lake. I had a buddy who had a pontoon. We would always get on the pontoon - you’d go out and tie all of the pontoons together and just have a big time.”

Jake Owen: “Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with all of my family. I was always in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all of the fireworks. My nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all of the fireworks, but it was always a great memory and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”

Andy Griffith, the star of Matlock and The Andy Griffith Show, passed away on Tuesday, and country artists mourn the loss. Two who worked with him, Brad Paisley and Randy Travis, weigh in with their thoughts on the loss of an icon. According to Brad, “You know, when you think of ‘Andy Taylor,’ the character that Andy Griffith played on the show, he was the ultimate sort-of stand up guy. He was the guy you could count on. If he gave you his word, he was gonna keep it. If he, you know...he was trustworthy, he was a good dad to his son, he passed on great lessons and every show pretty much had a great message.” Brad asked Andy Griffith to help him out on the 2008 hit, “Waitin’ On A Woman.” Brad said, “He’s my favorite TV character of all time, and to be able to take that guy and not only honor the song with his presence, but in some ways honor him. He’s just as proud of it as I am. It’s just a great thrill for me.” Randy Travis worked with Andy Griffith, and talked about working with him: “I got to know him personally while working on Matlock. I actually did two episodes two years, back to back, and I found him to be one of the nicest, easiest to like, down to earth man I ever met in my life. So it was just an incredibly good experience for me.”

Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum pranked Darius Rucker during the final show of their tour. Darius closes his set with Prince’s “Purple Rain,” and Charles, all decked out as the tallest Prince impersonator ever, showed up on stage to help. Watch him crack Darius up…

Sugarland is offering one fan the chance to join them onstage August 9th and sing “Baby Girl” at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip motorcycle rally. You have to post a video of yourself singing the song and complete an entry form on their website. Good luck!

If you were part of BamaJam last month, you helped do good deeds in the Wiregrass area. BamaJam 2012 is donating $25,000 to 17 area organizations as a way to thank the southern Alabama region for supporting the annual music festival.

Congratulations to Phil Vassar, who has been named Distinguished Virginian by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. A native of Lynchburg, VA, Phil has distinguished himself as a successful singer/songwriter and has a man cave full of awards. This latest one honors him for substantial contributions to the wellbeing of Virginia, it’s citizens and the broadcast industry.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

What are country artists doing for the 4th of July? Brad Paisley will perform at the annual Salute to the Military USO concert on the South Lawn of the White House. More than 1200 troops and their family members will be there, enjoying not just music but also great barbeque, games and the best seat in the house for the national fireworks display. The entire event will be streamed live here.

Miranda Lambert won’t be doing a show tomorrow but she will be playing with fire: “I love holidays in general, but Fourth of July is…summer is my favorite time of year, so Fourth of July is probably one of my favorites because I…my favorite firework is sparklers. Always it brings out the little girl in me. I always ask for sparklers for Fourth of July.”

Josh Turner will be part of the PBS show, “A Capitol Fourth.” It’s a Broadway-style show that features music of all genres, capped off with a full orchestra playing the 1812 Overture as the nation’s fireworks go off in and around the National Mall.

Kip Moore will start off the 4th of July with a performance on Good Morning America. It’s his first time, and he’s excited: “Just the chance to get to play your music that you wrote—I’m not playing ‘Margaritaville’, I’m not playing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’—I’m playing something I wrote and on national TV where millions and millions of people get a chance to hopefully gravitate towards me as an artist and make this thing bigger than what it is right now. That’s the part that I look forward to.”

Kenny Chesney had a great time in Pittsburg this past weekend. It was his 6th sellout of Heinz Field, the stadium that the Steelers use, and they’ve won the Superbowl six times, so they decided to make a big dang deal out of the occasion. They presented Kenny with a “Six for Six” plaque commemorating both of their “6” accomplishments, and Kenny also got an autographed team helmet. With two pretty good athletes on tour, who’s the better – Kenny Chesney or Tim McGraw? Kenny says, “I'll say I am, and [Tim will] say he is. He can dunk a basketball and I can't. Even on an 8-foot goal. It doesn't make him a better athlete, though.”

Jake Owen and his wife Lacey are expecting a baby girl. They found out about the pregnancy after Jake asked her dad for permission to marry her but before he popped the question. Jake says the baby news is a “bonus on top of the engagement.” The kept the baby news to themselves until they knew the baby’s sex. Married since May, Jake’s learning a lot and says “We bought a house together. I’m learning to say ‘we’ a lot more than ‘I.’ With a wife now and a new house and things to do, my priorities are a bit different than they were a couple years ago.”

You know Dierks Bentley is fond of old things – old boots held together with duct tape, his old pick-up truck, Big White, his tour bus, Goldie and now meet, the SS Grizzled Veteran. He’s had it for a decade or so, and decided to float it for a lake day with the crew…

Luke Bryan has the #1 song again this week with “Drunk on You.”

Tim McGraw is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show today – it’s a rerun, but a good one!

Happy birthday to Sarah Buxton, Aaron Tippen, Trent Tomlinson, and Johnny Lee.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today's Country Tidbits

Alan Jackson played Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado last week, and decided to make the show into a benefit for everyone devastated by Colorado’s massive wildfires. He offered up front row tickets at a special, premium price, with proceeds going to the Denver Foundation for use by the Colorado Wildfire Relief Fund. Within hours after being announced on local radio, thousands of dollars was raised for the effort.

Miranda Lambert is shot the video for her new song, “Fastest Girl in Town” and there’s a surprise for fans – NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is part of the video. About the song, Miranda says, “We wrote ‘Fastest Girl in Town,’ and it’s definitely got her Kentucky raw-girl spin on it, and it’s got my bullets flyin’ around, and there’s crime to it. But it’s just…it kind of makes bein’ the fastest girl in town not a skanky thing, but a glamorous thing, and that’s what I like about it.”

The new Zac Brown Band album, Uncaged, will be out July 10th and Zac is so excited about the newest member of the band: “He’s one of the finest percussionists in the world, his name is Daniel de los Reyes, and it’s a privilege to have him in our band. He’s just as good as it gets. He’s all over the record, I mean—all over it, under it, you can hear him all over it!” Daniel has played with Billy Joel and other big non-country acts and is psyched to be part of one of country’s hottest bands.

A new Taylor Swift fragrance will be out in October – Wonderstruck Enchanted. About it, Taylor says, "Wonderstruck is about that moment when you instantly feel a connection to someone, but then there's that feeling of being completely enamored – enchanted – when you know a little more about that someone and still feel that strong connection."

Justin Moore is proud to be the first artist to partner with Cabela’s, who will be the official outfitter for Justin’s tour through the end of 2013. Justin says, "The lifestyle they promote and embrace is an exact reflection of how I grew up and how I intend to raise my family."

Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors season three kicked off last night, and one of the hunting trips will be to Hawaii. According to Craig, “I had no idea. They have an over population of axis deer, they have what they call the wild goat – the Spanish goat. So there’s a lot of activity – fishing. It’s just absolutely amazing. The site seeing alone in Hawaii would have been worth the TV show.” Craig will also be part of Fox & Friends All American Summer concert series on July 13th.

Carrie Underwood’s Australian excursion included being “kissed” by a kangaroo, and covering legendary pop band INXS during her show. Here’s the video of her singing “Never Tear Us Apart”…..

Luke Bryan will be going back to Central Park in New York this month, but hopefully he’ll have a better time this year than last. Remember that broken collar bone? “You know, I fell on a skateboard last year in Central Park, now I’m performing in Central Park...it’s pretty good!” He’ll be part of the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series on July 13th.

Josh Turner is part of the PBS show, “A Capitol Fourth,” on Wednesday night. He’ll represent country music. Other stars include Matthew Broderick, Phillip Phillips and Kool & the Gang. Tom Bergeron will emcee the show.

“Wanted” by Hunter Hayes has been certified gold.

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