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.

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