Friday, August 31, 2012

If you missed the premiere of Taylor Swift’s new video last night, never fear – CMT will air it every hour during music hours all through Labor Day weekend. As for those weird costumes, Taylor says, “You have to watch the video to just see how ridiculous they look [Laughs] It’s the funniest thing—it’s the funniest costume thing we’ve ever had in a video. I mean, I can’t believe that they actually went along with it. I probably would have put my foot down if I were them, just like, ‘I’m NOT doing that!’ [Laughs]” In other Taylor news, her new song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” tops the digital song chart this week, selling over 300,000 units. That pace says that the song will go platinum before the end of Labor Day weekend – platinum means over a million units sold.

Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hays will tour together this fall, with Hunter opening the show. But according to Carrie, the two will perform together each night, too. “That is the plan, yeah we haven’t actually tried anything yet, of course we’ll have to get in there and see what we can do. But, surely we’ll figure up something we’re both talented individuals – so we’ll find some way to sing together and perform together. We are in rehearsals this week doing all of our music rehearsals, making sure everything’s perfect. After that, we’re going to start our production rehearsals.”

Artists spend a lot of time on the road, especially during the summer, when tours take them to all corners of North America. All of them take along things to make the miles pass more quickly, and Jake Owen’s sanity includes a furry friend: “My dog. I got to have Merle with me a lot. And some good music to put on the stereo, because music has always been such a huge part of my life. Not only as in my profession, but something that keeps my mind sane, you know?”

Keith Urban heads back to the classroom this coming Thursday, as he puts on a program for students at Metro Nashville Public High School. Keith will talk to them about the art of songwriting, his musical influences, favorite career moments and probably play them a song or two. The event isn’t open to the public but will stream live on on September 6th beginning at 10am Eastern.

Tim McGraw made new friends during his Brothers of the Sun tour this summer. At each of the 25 tour stops, he awarded a mortgage-free home to a military family in need. He met with each family, learned about their sacrifices and according to Tim, that made an indelible mark on him. He plans to keep HomeFront going in the future.

Dustin Lynch’s “Cowboys and Angels” has gone gold and propelled Dustin’s self-titled debut album to #1 on the Billboard Country Album chart. It’s a dream come true for Dustin: “I’ve put my whole life into album one and I’ve dreamed of having an album when I moved here nine years ago, and it’s finally happening.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Justin Moore – crime-fighter! Well, sort of. Justin and his band played at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia over the weekend and a theft occurred during the show. Justin’s sound engineer got his laptop stolen, and Justin took to Twitter to try to get it back. He tweeted, “If you did it, or know who did, please do the right thing. Nobody will be mad.” He went on to say it’s not fair his sound guy has to part with hard-earned money for a new one “because of a poor lack of class on 1 persons part.” He’s hoping someone will direct-message him on Twitter soon and the laptop will be recovered. Um, Justin – you have to be following someone in order for them to direct-message you. What are the chances of that??

Billboard Magazine is out with their annual list of “The Most Powerful Music Couples” and country music is well-represented. Topping the list are Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. Tim and Faith and Blake and Miranda show up, too. Here’s the list:

1. Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood
2. Jay-Z and Beyoncé
3. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
4. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
5. Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne
6. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
7. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz
8. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
9. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
10. Skrillex and Ellie Goulding

Toby Keith has spilled the details about his new album. “Hope on the Rocks” drops on November 13th and will come out in two versions – regular, with 10 cuts, and deluxe, with 14. “I Like Girls That Drink Beer” is the first song from Toby’s new album.

Carrie Underwood had a #1 party in Nashville this week, celebrating the first #1 song from her new album, “Blown Away.” Carrie loves “Good Girl” and says it was the first single for a lot of good reasons: “To me, I like the thought of having something up-tempo and fun because I go sing it everywhere. I’m on a lot of TV shows and things like that. So when I first heard it I thought this would be a great one to kick everything off with because it’s just fun, and kind of spring summertime.”

THE reaction record of 2012 is climbing the charts, and Thomas Rhett says that “Beer With Jesus” was an easy song to write. “The song is basically about questions you and other people would as Jesus if they had 30 or 40 minutes to talk to him. Just because he probably wouldn’t have a lot of time, if he did have time, to talk to you.” You heard the song first as the hymn of the day last week here on the Moby show.

Taylor Swift fans will be glued to their TVs tonight as CMT, VH1 and MTV simulcast the premier of her new music video for “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” CMT will air a 30-minute special starting at 7:30 Eastern, and all three networks will simulcast the premier at 8pm. About the video, Taylor’s not saying much except that it had to be shot in only one take and “It was unbelievably fun because it was like a marathon and it was a lot like live performance, you know? You only have one chance to get it right when you’re on stage and I only had that one opportunity to get it right.”

Heavy metal alert – Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna” has been certified gold, Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted” has gone platinum and Zac Brown Band is celebrating the triple-platinum status of their album, “The Foundation.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Oh, look – it’s another award for Taylor Swift! She’s been named the first recipient ever of the Canadian Country Music Association’s Generation Award. They are recognizing her for pushing country music forward to new audiences and bringing awareness of country music to places all across the globe. She’ll be given the award during the September 9th CCMA Award Show in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. And her new song is the first song ever by Taylor to go #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She credits her fans for that accomplishment: “It’s been absolutely amazing this week with the new single coming out and having it go to #1 on the Hot 100. I’ve never experienced anything like this before, so the fans have just yet again out done themselves. It’s amazing.”

Sometimes being on tour gets monotonous. Not the performances, the down time between the shows. Little Big Town is on the road with Rascal Flatts, and while they can’t have a pontoon with them, they do bring along the next best thing, according to Phillip Sweet: “The kiddie pool really works when you don’t have anywhere to go, and you’re surrounded by not much of anything. The kiddie pool can just be our own little paradise right there. It’s kinda of funny you’ll see some big crew guy go by and go, “I wanna get in that thing!’”

Kix Brooks is getting excited about his “New To This Town” album release on September 11th. What’s got him excited? Fan reaction when he plays the new songs live: “They’re getting to hear them for the first time and there’s nothing that makes you feel better than before the song’s over, they’re singing it with you. And there’s a couple of those songs like “My Baby Ain’t Comin’ Back,” and before the song’s over you just look out there and they’re singing it. They’ve got their hands in the air and you’re goin’’s connected! It’s fun! And I really do kinda feel new to this town.”

Darius Rucker has a new song out, “True Believers.” It’s the first single from his next album, which has no title or release date yet, though it will be out in early 2013. Darius explains that the song is a defiant song, and the message is that he’s doing what he wants to be doing, whether you agree or not. Darius promises that the next album will be something a little different and “True Believers” is a great sample of what they’re working on.

Congrats to Hunter Hayes, who has a new platinum song with “Wanted.”

Blake Shelton has the #1 song this week with “Over.”

Tomorrow, Zac Brown Band takes the stage at the Republican National Convention.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Would you work for $15 million less than a co-worker? Apparently Keith Urban will – he’s signed up to be an American Idol judge, making between $3 and $4 million for the 12th season of American Idol. Maria Carey will be paid $18 million and Nicki Minaj, if she signs, will make $8 million. Brad Paisley was asking $8 million, but producers wanted to trim the budget, apparently, so Keith was the choice. Season 12 kicks off in January of 2013. And he’s not giving up on music – Keith’s working on songs for another album, and loves being part of country music and country radio. Asked about the first time he heard one of his songs on the radio, Keith reminisces, “It was awesome! I was in a place called Tamworth, which is sort of the capitol of country music in Australia, at least for one month a year when they have the country music festival down there in January. And I was in the hotel getting ready to go and play a show, and I heard my single, my new single, on the little clock radio in the room, and just, gol’ man…what an amazing feeling!”

The Band Perry is on the road with Brad Paisley, and this week one member, Neil Perry, is featured in Country Weekly magazine. The article is less about the band’s music and more about Neil’s love of photography: “[Neil] I love taking photos and actually for this second album I’ll be heavily involved in kind of the artwork for the album. And Kimberly and Reid can attest to it, I take pictures all the time. I think I annoy them sometimes. Hopefully they won’t get some kind of contract I’ll have to sign every time I use a picture of theirs. [Kimberly] Approval processes will have to go into full effect.”

Carrie Underwood will be a Nashville Predators fan for at least a couple more years, as hubby Mike Fisher extended his contract with the hockey team. Carrie likes the sport, but worries about Mike’s injuries, especially since he doesn’t talk about them much: “I always find out through, like, team people and stuff like that. And they’re like, ’How’s Mike’s shoulder?’ and I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with his shoulder?’ or like, ‘What happened?’ When he fights, which is rare, but it does happen, I’m like, ’Get him, Baby! Get him! Punch him! Hurt him!’ I yell. And I don’t enjoy it, but I know he can take care of himself.”

Lady Antebellum is in the studio working on their 4th album. Here’s a peek at the surroundings, in case they give you any idea of the flavor the trio is going for. Deer heads and Christmas lights? Hmmmmmm…..

Justin Moore’s new song, “Til My Last Day,” is a love song, but sometimes the audience isn’t feeling the love – fights break out while Justin sings it! “It’s crazy when we shot the video, part of its live, and we shot it in Wichita, and during that show, the same thing happen. It’s the first love song we put out so people are reacting in a ridiculous way to it I guess. I don’t know.”

Randy, Randy, Randy – Randy Travis is under scrutiny again this year, for the 4th time. First he was found drunk in a church parking lot, then he was found naked and drunk in the middle of the street, his wrecked car nearby, then he was cited by police for an argument over a woman that happened in a church parking lot, and now a truck he owns has been impounded after being found overturned behind a Walmart in Texas. His lawyer says he hasn’t used the truck for months and that a ranch hand had borrowed it. Police are looking into the truck incident.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scuttlebutt has it that Keith Urban is on the short list to be a judge on American Idol, but what does Keith have to say about it? “Well, I mean...all I can say right now is I’m trying to make an album and it’s strange how these opportunities seem to all come in one big fell swoop, but my priority right now is just making a record and that’s really gotta lead the charge for me.” Meanwhile, wife Nicole Kidman is featured in V magazine, with a very racy photo spread and juicy details of her life with Keith. Before you click the link, you should know the title of the piece is “Truth or Bare.”

Bucky Covington has chimed in on the American Idol judge selection process, and his choice might surprise you: “I’m sure I’ll probably here something about this. Kanye West would probably be an absolute wonderful choice. That guy definitely does not have a problem saying what’s on his mind. So he’d probably be an absolute wonderful choice for that show. I would be scared to death to be in front of Kanye West to be honest.” He also mentioned that Judge Judy would be a great choice.

How’s this for a memento? Eric Church ran his song “Springsteen” up the charts, never knowing how Bruce Springsteen himself might feel about it. According to Eric, “I’m a big Springsteen fan, I mean I love the way Bruce built his career. It’s similar to the way we built ours in bars and clubs and little teeny tiny places that we would sell out multiple nights.” After a show, Eric was handed a set list from one of Bruce’s shows with a hand-written letter on the back from Bruce. The note said he and his family were fans of the song, and he signed it, “I hope we cross paths somewhere, Bruce.” The note is locked up in a safe place, according to Eric.

Josh Turner is rooting for his song, “Time is Love,” to hit the top of the country music chart. It’s at #3, and Josh says his favorite part about the song is the life of it’s own it’s taken on: “You put it out as a single, and you think it means one thing and then you hear a fan come along with a completely different perspective. It just makes you realize time and time again the power of music and how it can relate to people in their own peculiar way and their own specific situation.”

Brantley Gilbert just celebrated his second #1 song, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” and the song’s co-writer, Jim McCormick, was part of the celebration. How did they set out to write such a broken-hearted song? According to Brantley, “We just exchanged stories for a minute and you know it got deeper and deeper into what was going on and I was havin’ an issue with a girl at that time. Brought it up and we just really as honest and as simple as possible put it into words and you know it turned out to be a really good thing.”

October 3rd in New York, a benefit concert to save the barn on the late Levon Helm’s property is happening and Dierks Bentley and Eric Church will be part of it. Levon was known for his “Midnight Ramble Sessions,” held in his barn and featuring jam sessions and guitar pulls with some of the best rock, blues and country artists. The “Love for Levon” show will raise money to keep the sessions going on Levon’s estate.

Blake Shelton says he’s come up with a classic Christmas album that he’s proud of. “Cheers, It’s Christmas” comes out October 2nd, and was recorded with a full orchestra, taking Blake out of his element. His mom, Dorothy Shackleford, and Reba duet with him on a couple of the tracks.

Friday, August 24, 2012

As Tim McGraw wraps up the Brothers of the Sun tour with Kenny Chesney, he’s looking forward to his stint in Vegas with wife Faith Hill. Sort of. After playing huge arenas all summer, the 1,800 seat Venetian Theatre is a little bit intimidating to Tim: “Makes me nervous to be that intimate. I mean, I’ve only done it a few times, early in my career of course when I played clubs, but only a few times have I played small rooms.”

Brad Paisley knows how to show his fans a good time, and apparently knows how to show his tourmates the same good time. “Why Ya Wanna” singer Jana Kramer is on the Virtual Opry stage, which is near The Escape plaza, filled with games, water slides and more fun things to bring out the kid in everyone. Apparently Jana is hooked: “Can I please like go now and after I perform. Yes, yes and yes. I’m such a kid, like in the jumpy house – oh, there’s a jumpy house! So, [laughs.]”

Taylor Swift has gone from being an anonymous songwriter in Nashville to being a record-breaking phenomenon whose face is on the cover of magazines all over the world in just 6 years. But according to Taylor, her day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much: “A lot of things have changed, but in a way I just feel like a lot of things have stayed the same – a lot of basic ways of going about your life. It’s not like I can’t go and do things that I used to do. Everywhere I go it’s more of a social situation now, but once you adjust your brain to that, it just seems normal.” Her 4th album, “Red,” comes out October 22nd, and she and Tim McGraw are lending their voices to the 3rd Annual Stand Up To Cancer telethon, which airs September 7th on several networks simultaneously.

Craig Morgan heads to Fort Hood Texas on August 28th to help stuff 7,500 care packages for soldiers serving in the Middle East. After a day of packing bags, he’ll perform a free concert for military ID card holders and their families. Jack Daniels is picking up the staging costs.

If you were hoping to see Thomas Rhett open for Toby Keith this weekend, sorry to disappoint you – he’s been diagnosed with tonsillitis and mono and has to sit out the weekend. He’s hoping to schedule something for his Atlanta and Charlotte fans later this fall.

If a hurricane doesn’t interrupt the event, Jake Owen, Rodney Atkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Oak Ridge Boys are all scheduled to perform in Tampa this weekend as part of the Republican National Convention. Willie Nelson and Randy Travis were both supposed to perform, too, but Willie’s been sick and Randy’s been in trouble with the law, so they’ll both miss out.

Wall bling for Trace Atkins – his “American Man, Greatest Hits Vol. 2” earned platinum status. Luke Bryan has two new certifications: double platinum for “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” and platinum for “Rain Is A Good Thing.” Jana Kramer’s “Why Ya Wanna” has gone gold.

LeAnn Rimes is on The Talk today – it’s a rerun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hungry? You’ll soon be able to fill up at a Rascal Flatts-themed restaurant. They’ve partnered with restaurant developers to open their own eateries, starting in Phoenix Arizona and rolling out to Columbus Ohio, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Raleigh North Carolina, Minneapolis Minnesota and Long Island New York. The restaurants will feature a state-of-the-art soundstage, two bars, the Flatts Lounge and a retail area. Not sure what the name will be yet, but according to Gary Levox, the guys aren’t stressing over that. “You know we’re just thankful and blessed. We thank God that we have the jobs that we have and to do what we feel like were called to do.”

Nashville gets a big kiss from the Grammys – the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! – Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night will happen in Nashville this year, airing live from Bridgestone Arena on December 5th. The nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced during the show.

Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum will team up on Good Morning America to reveal the final nominees for the CMA Awards. On September 5th during the 8:30 half-hour the first five categories will be announced, and the rest will happen at 9:15 Eastern.

Taylor Swift has officially made history again – she’s sold more digital downloads of one song during it’s release week than any other woman, ever. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” sold over 623,000 copies from last Monday night through Sunday night. She missed the overall record by about 13,000 copies – rapper Flo Rida holds that record. Taylor’s teaming up with VH1 Storytellers, universities and high schools, looking for the schools that can get the most votes for their music program. The top 5 schools get a $10,000 grant for those programs from Taylor and Chegg for Good. The winning school gets to host an acoustic concert featuring Taylor.

Eli Young Band celebrated their second #1 song in Nashville this week – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” is more than just a #1 song to the band, according to Mike Eli: “We felt empowered by this song. And so that’s exactly why we wanted to record it. Did we necessarily have any foresight to see that it would be our second number one? No we didn’t! We just thought we loved the song and thought that it told our story and felt empowered by it!”

Did you see the all-star Pontoon video yesterday on this blog? If not, scroll down and watch it – everyone from Wynonna to Darius Rucker to Charlie Daniels sings along with Little Big Town, but which star got the ball rolling? “It might have been Luke Bryan’s idea. I think Capitol [Records] had the idea, and the Luke – you know how he likes to mess around. I think he really went crazy when he was doing his motorboatin’, if you know what I mean. So he inspired the whole clip, I’m fairly confident he was the first clip.”

If you’re a Johnny Cash junkie, you’re about to get the ultimate fix: a 63-disc Johnny Cash boxed set. It starts with his 1958 debut, “The Fabulous Johnny Cash,” which included his first #1 song, “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town.” It concludes with “Highwayman 2” which came out in 1990 and includes Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Concert albums recorded in Europe are also included.

Do you think you could be the next country star? Then click your mouse and enter The Next Country Star Competition, for unsigned bands and artists over the age of 13 to strut their stuff online. Music industry executives will choose 5 finalists and fans will pick the winner, who gets to record three singles in Nashville, plus gets a website and a trip to this fall’s CMA Awards.

Josh Turner is on The Chew and David Letterman today. Taylor Swift is on the Ellen DeGeneres show - that's a rerun.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hollywood tabloids are still buzzing about who the next American Idol judges will be, and two country artists’ names keep coming up: Brad Paisley and Keith Urban. There has to be a decision soon, as audition rounds are scheduled to start in just a couple of weeks. Word is the show is desperate to have a country artist…who will it be? Speaking of Brad Paisley, he’ll be playing a show in Paradise this fall – Atlantis resort in Nassau, to be precise, and he’ll be there November 18th. Save your pennies and make plans – that’ll be an event!

It’s seven in a row for Blake Shelton – 7 #1 songs, that is. His latest song, “Over,” from “Red River Blue” has topped the country chart, and Blake knows it’s they mystery, as well as the melody, that made it a hit: “That’s one of those that just—the energy and the melody had me. And it’s one of those lyrics that when you listen to it, you go, ‘Man, wait a minute, what?’ cause there’s lines in there about burning the world down and you could have a different melody, and it would be like a threat, that song…you know?” This marks Blake’s 12th career #1 song, proving he knows how to pick ‘em.

Still have some waiting to do before Jason Aldean’s next album comes out. October 16th is the magic day for “Night Train,” and Jason is as excited as you are: “I think something that we did with this album, I think we found some great songs on the record - some things that I think are kind of things that people are used to hearing from us. And then there’s also some things on there that are kind of different – like the last album. I’m really proud of it, I know there’s a lot of anticipation for this record from a lot of people, just because of what our last album did.” Jason’s road band plays on the album, and tour-mates Luke Bryan and Eric Church show up on one track, called “The Only Way I Know” and fans are haunting YouTube and Jason’s Facebook page for a sneak peek at that one. “Night Train” is the follow-up to Jason’s 2010 release, “My Kinda Party.”

Lee Brice’s latest album, “Hard 2 Love,” is out and Lee admits that the title cut takes a pretty hard jab at men: “If we’re gonna categorize people, if we’re gonna say all women are crazy, then we have to say all men, we’re all idiots. We just do stupid stuff all the time. And you’re like, ‘Why did you do that?’ and we’re like, ‘I have no idea why I did that.’ I’m an idiot.’ That’s the truth, you know it?” Ummmmm…no comment!

Jake Owen is excited to headline the CMT on Tour fall tour this year. Five years ago, he was the opening act when Sugarland headlined and Little Big Town had the middle slot. The line-up this fall will be Florida Georgia Line up first, Love and Theft in the middle slot and Jake Owen headlining. Tickets go on sale Friday.

There’s a new, star-studded version of Little Big Town’s “Pontoon.” Check it out and see if you can figure out who all the stars are…cheat sheet at the end of this blog post!

Chris Young has admitted to an addiction – to a game! “I’m addicted to Golden Tee. It’s a golf game you can find it in most any bar where you would also run into neons, and I am addicted to it. I actually custom-built a road case into a Golden Tee video game, like to the point that the guys from Golden Tee actually sent me a bunch of the equipment for it, and I had to, like, take a picture next to it and show ‘em the finished product.” Chris can celebrate the platinum status of his song “Tomorrow” and the gold status of “The Man I Want to Be” with a rousing game of Golden Tee, but will probably have a party, too.

Willie Nelson’s breathing easier, apparently, after cancelling a show Saturday night in Colorado. His show in Dallas Texas went off without a hitch last night, and his manager says the breathing issues that forced Saturday’s cancellation were altitude related.

Update on Wynonna’s husband, Cactus Moser, who had a head-on collision with a car as he was riding his motorcycle this past Saturday. He lost his left leg, which was severed above the knee and had surgery on one of his hands. Wynonna was on another motorcycle and wasn’t injured, but has cancelled shows in Canada next week to remain at his side in the hospital. Cactus was cited for not having a license to operate a motorcycle and driving on the wrong side of the road.

Congrats to the new crop of inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tony Arata, Larry Henley and Kim Williams. The ceremony will be October 7th in Nashville.

(Here's your cheat-sheet for the Pontoon video: Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker, Pistol Annies, Jake Owen, Hunter Hayes, Sara Evans, Wynonna, Thompson Square, several CMT show hosts and many more.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How hot is Taylor Swift? Her new song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," is the #1 most downloaded song in 29 countries! Meanwhile, she gets set for the September release of her new perfume, Wonderstruck Enchanted, and the release of her new album, Red, in October with this new ad for the perfume. Note the clever use of the color red in it.

Dierks Bentley has had three #1 songs in a row from his Home cd, and he admits that his new song, “Tip It On Back,” nearly didn’t make it onto the album: “‘Tip It On Back’ was actually the last song that I really heard for the album. You kinda reach a place where you’re like, ‘I’ve listened to every song out there. There’s no more songs to listen to,’ and then you hear one like that, and you’re like, ‘Man, this is a great song.’” His college tour kicked off last night at the University of Georgia.

Luke Bryan’s 4th annual Farm Tour will kick off October 3rd in Claxton, Georgia and hit Clemson, SC, Valdosta, GA and Auburn, AL before it ends October 13th. Luke enjoys the small-town vibe and says, “I just love the fact that people can come out and have a big time, listen to some music and’s just a fun experience all the way around and I wanna continue to do what I can to keep it rockin’.” This small-town tour raises money so kids from local farming families can go to college. Here’s the list of tour stops:

10/3 - Claxton (Statesboro), GA
10/4 - Clemson, SC
10/5 - Auburn, AL
10/6 - Valdosta, GA
10/10 - Villa Rica, GA
10/11 - Colbert (Athens), GA
10/12 - Tallahassee, FL
10/13 - Macon, GA

David Nail is also doing a series of smaller tour stops, focusing on small venues and featuring scaled-down shows. They’ll be special, though, because he understands the power of his fans: “You can’t help but not reference the people who came out to our shows when ‘Red Light’ was #36 – not even Top 20. Those people have kind of stayed with us, and it’s definitely helped our show a lot.” Here’s the list of his tour stops:
9/6 Cincinnati, OH
9/7 Marietta, OH
9/8 Cleveland, OH
9/9 Arcola, IL
9/13 Knoxville, TN
9/14 Richmond, VA
9/15 Philadelphia, PA
9/16 Baltimore, MD
9/18 New York, NY
9/26 Pittsburgh, PA
9/27 Ridgefield, CT
9/28 W. Springfield, MA
9/29 Boston, MA
10/1 Winston-Salem, NC
10/4 Southaven, MS
10/6 Houston, TX
10/10 Oklahoma City, OK
10/11 Dallas, TX
10/18 Minneapolis, MN
10/19 Milwaukee, WI
10/20 Chicago, IL
10/25 Carbondale, IL
10/26 Columbia, MO
11/2 Birmingham, AL
11/3 Biloxi, MS

Kix Brooks’ latest single, “New To This Town,” is climbing the charts. Wonder how he got Joe Walsh to be his guest on it? Wonder no more – according to Kix, “My manager and Joe’s manager Irving Azoff, who manages The Eagles, are partners. Actually an engineer from my radio show said ‘Man that’d sound great with some Joe Walsh-like guitar on it!’ And I go ‘Wow! I wonder if I could actually…maybe…’” And he found out the answer was “yes.” Kix releases his solo debut album on September 11th.

Singer/songwriter Dustin Lynch, who has his first single climbing the charts, loves to write. “Cowboys and Angels” is just one of the tons of songs he’s written lately: “Ahh, hundreds and hundreds. I’ve written hundreds of songs the past few years. It’s so funny, people are like, ‘Why did you write so many songs?!’ You know, when I woke up one morning and realized I was getting paid to write songs which is what I used to do for fun—you know I just love it! It’s so much fun for me to go into a room with nothing and come out with possibly something that could change my life or mean something to somebody else.”

Tim McGraw will answer fan questions on Pennzoil’s Facebook page this Friday. You can submit questions now, and if one of yours gets answered, you get autographed goodies from Tim.

Another country artist has been added to the Republican National Convention. Rodney Atkins will headline the official welcome party this Sunday in Petersburg Florida.

Dierks Bentley’s Country & Cold Cans EP is out today, as is the self-titled debut album by Dustin Lynch. The Dierks EP includes a special version of “Tip It On Back.”

Monday, August 20, 2012

There’s a lot of speculation over who Taylor Swift’s new song, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” is about. Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers would like to make it clear: it’s not about him. He says “I don’t think we’ve ever tried to get back together another time.” Taylor’s not saying who she wrote it about, but does say, “I ended up being inspired by a lot of really crazy sort of zero-to-a-hundred-and-then-hit-the-wall-and-explodes relationships, which are so fun to write about...really dysfunctional and not good, generally, but when you write about them gives you a lot of inspiration.” If you had to bet money, a good bet would be either Jake Gyllenhaal or Twilight star Taylor Lautner.

Jason Aldean is preparing to share new music with his fans on Live on Letterman September 5th. That’s the production that some stars do when they are scheduled to appear on the David Letterman show. It will stream at 8pm Eastern, followed by a performance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Meanwhile, his new song, “Take a Little Ride,” could be nearing the top of the charts by then. According to Jason, “We obviously had a huge first week when the song came out, and we’re hanging in there! It’s my highest debut of any song—ever!”

Justin Moore’s career has taken him to a lot of places he’s never been before, and as his new song, “Til My Last Day,” continues it’s climb up the charts, he’s getting set to hit the road with Eric Church on the Blood, Sweat and Beers tour. But there’s still one place he really wants to go: “Unfortunately I have not been able to do a USO Tour overseas. But it’s definitely something I would like to do at some point. I think it’s a small way that we can give back to our troops that have given so much to us on a daily basis.”

Jake Owen is on tour with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw right now, but he’s looking forward to November, when he and his wife add a daughter to their life. Jake says Lacey is rockin’ the baby bump: “She looks great! She’s just happy and smiley—there’s something beautiful about a woman that’s pregnant. It’s cool. This is a really cool time in our life because it’s the last few months before we have an addition to our family—and it’s three of us! So it’s gonna be cool.”

Reba is a grandma – sort of. Her stepson Brandon Blackstock dates Kelly Clarkson and the two have just gotten a German Shepherd puppy together. They named the puppy Bear and he joins her other two dogs, a Maltese and a Poodle. Kelly joked, “uh-oh…commitment level!”

Wynonna has postponed shows in Canada next week in order to stay at her hubby Cactus Moser’s side in the hospital. The two went out for a motorcycle ride on Saturday in South Dakota when Cactus had a head-on collision with another vehicle. They were on separate bikes, so Wy watched the accident. Cactus is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Taylor Swift’s new single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” is selling so fast that if it keeps up the current pace, it’ll be a gold record by Sunday. Sales of this song rival Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which came out in 2011. Taylor’s a worldwide superstar, which explains her face on nearly every magazine cover, but she admits she ignores the gossipy ones: “My friends make fun of me because if I see my name somewhere I just click off of it. I just don’t want to see anything that’s inaccurate.” Sounds like a good plan to me!

Carrie Underwood and hubby Mike Fisher just spent some time at Animal Kingdom in Disney World. While there, they had a date night or two, and Carrie says they really value that time: “Not just have dinner, but like sit and talk. We’re one of those annoying couples that like goes to a restaurant and never leaves.”

Keith Urban takes fans on a tour of his favorite places in Nashville – when you’ve got about 5 and a half minutes, check out his Nashville…

Did you catch John Rich on the series premiere of “The Next: Fame is on Your Doorstep” last night on the CW? The show follows John and his fellow mentors Gloria Estefan, Nelly and Joe Jonas as they travel across the country looking for America’s next big singing stars. John loves being part of the show because “I’ve always enjoyed working with new artists and artists that need a little helping hand. I’ve had people help me along the way, so a show like The Next is perfect for a guy like me.” By the way, the next Big and Rich album, Hllbilly Jedi, comes out September18th.

Congratulations to Colt Ford and everyone at Average Joes Records – Colt’s new cd, Independence Day, debuted at #1 on the Billboard country album chart and #4 on the all-genre chart. About the album, Colt says, “This is so personal for me. And it’s me at my best – which is being honest and real and open with the fans. It’s what I’ve always tried to do.” Nice job, Colt and crew! The first single, Colt and Luke Bryan singing “Back,” will have a wild video, apparently. If we can believe Colt’s Facebook post, it’ll be a dance competition, Chippendale style.

Speaking of Jake Owen, his summer EP, Endless Summer, comes out September 25th. According to Jake, “These songs are just a way, that even though the summer is winding down. It’s a way to always have a mix that caters to that feeling of what it feels like when summer rolls around.”

Lynyrd Skynyrd is on FOX & Friends this morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kix Brooks has done a lot of concerts and a lot of charity events, but the one this past weekend was extra-special. It was a party and concert at his winery, Arrington Vineyards, and was a benefit for Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. According to Kix, “We did it just to make awareness. I had eight of my buds with their balloons and they all took off – the wind was blowing so they went right over the crowd. It was just awesome. Probably the best part was taking the stage for the very first time, at my own venue. We’ve been open five years and it’s the first time I played there.” Thousands showed up for the fun, and to hear music that’ll be on Kix’s album, “New to This Town,” due out on September 11th.

The Band Perry is on tour with Brad Paisley, learning even more about working a crowd and playing live in front of really huge audiences. When they were a baby act, they sought advice from more established groups, and now baby acts are coming to them for advice. Kimberly and Reid share what they’ve learned: “[Reid] This guy told us way back when we started, he said, ‘Play anywhere and everywhere you can,’ cause he said, ‘you’ll learn how to deal with different situations on the stage.’ [Kimberly] I would just say sing and play loud, if there’s one pair of ears in the room or a thousand—and also—sing in front of everybody else the way you do in the shower.”

Taylor Swift released her new single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Monday night, and within 24 hours it was at #22 on the country charts, based on airplay. It’s #16 on the adult contemporary chart and #27 on the top 40 chart. Not bad for a day’s work!

Angaleena Presley of Pistol Annies is finally dishing the details of her May wedding to Miranda Lambert’s tour manager, Jordan Powell. They’ve both been married before, so didn’t want a big, splashy affair. They were married in the library of the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jordan showed up in a custom-made Manuel suit, saying that he was marrying a part of country music history, so he needed to dress the part. No, she’s not related to Elvis. You can watch Angaleena search for the perfect wedding dress on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress on August 24th.

After his abortive try at a tour this year, George Jones says he’ll hit 60 cities in 2013 on his last tour ever, The Grand Tour. He admits that it’s tough to stop doing what he loves, but it’s time to slow down and spend time with his wife, children and grandchildren. The Possum has spent more than 50 years on the road.

Kellie Pickler is on The Chew on ABC today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brad Paisley pranked his tour openers, Scotty McCreery and The Band Perry, over the weekend. He shortened the stage on Scotty, causing him to fall off, then the next night, put up cones and caution tape. For The Band Perry, he took it a step farther, changing their opening-song video to Canadian kids show, The DoodleBops. Aside from regularly checking out the screen to see what was going on, TBP didn’t miss a beat. Check out the performance, along with Brad’s video work…

Last year, Kenny Chesney broke the record for the biggest crowd at a ticketed event in the New York City area. This year, he broke his own record, selling 56,285 tickets at the show Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

Taylor Swift is set to release her 4th studio album, “Red,” on October 22nd. According to Taylor, “All the different emotions that are written about on this album, they’re all pretty much about the tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I’ve experienced in the last two years.” You can bet there’ll be some discussion over which song goes with which ex-boyfriend. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is available on iTunes and Google Play.

Trace Adkins takes on a new role starting a week from today: television star. GAC premiers a new series, Great American Heroes, and each week the show follows Trace on his Songs & Stories tour. At each stop, he honors local heroes hard at work in their communities, making their part of the world a better place. According to Trace, “This show does more than tell some good stories, it affirms our faith in others.”

Road trip alert: Dierks Bentley will host his 7th annual Miles & Music for Kids charity motorcycle ride and concert on October 14th in Nashville. Along for the ride and show are Chris Young, Brantley Gilbert and Craig Campbell. Dierks says, “I want it to be about awareness, I want it to be about community, I want it to be about families—at the same time that we’re raising awareness and raising money for the children’s hospital. It’s a bigger picture than just numbers, you know?” So far he’s raised over $2 million for the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood will all be part of the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day Telethon, live on September 2nd.

Carrie Underwood is on the Today Show this morning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jason Aldean is daddy to daughters Keeley and Kendyl. Their summer vacation is their daddy’s busy time, but he’s excited about them going back to school: “I love having my two daughters’ home. Usually when I get home, I’m home Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and when they’re out of school I get to spend a lot of time with them during the day. But also starting school, gets us all back in our normal routine. I think they’re kinda ready to get school started again.” So, how did back to school clothes shopping go this year with his 5 and 8 year olds? “As far as the back to school shopping goes – momma handles all that stuff.”

Twenty years ago, Brooks & Dunn debuted as a new country duo, manufactured by a producer who thought they might be good together. Kix Brooks reminisces about the early days with Ronnie: “Our big dream was a Gold record. That was like almost unreachable, but it was just kind of a goof. If we could pull that off, it was worth getting together and seeing what we can do. We didn’t even talk in those lofty terms until that first single took off. We went, ‘Gosh we might actually have something for six months or a year, ya know! This could be a gig while we’re trying to get the rest of our lives together.” They did alright for themselves, didn’t they?

Lynyrd Skynyrd has been added to the list of performers at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. They’ll take part in a fundraiser for Citizens Helping Heroes on August 26th, and kicks off the four-day event that also includes Trace Adkins and Kid Rock. You can catch Lynyrd Skynyrd before that on FOX & Friends All American Concert Series this Friday morning.

Congratulations to Love and Theft for their first #1 song, “Angel Eyes,” which has just been certified gold for half a million paid downloads. The guys are marveling at how things are working out for them: “To get to see the song climb the charts, have people singing it back to us at our live shows—it’s really cool. It puts a big smile on our face and helps us realize we’re in the right spot!”

Dolly Parton has also just been awarded a gold plaque, for half a million in sales of her “An Evening With Dolly” double-album set, sold only at Cracker Barrel. Where will that award go? According to Dolly, “I’m lucky I have the Chasing Rainbows Museum up at Dollywood, and that’s going to go in a special place. I’m very proud to be working with Cracker Barrel – they’re the best people in the world.”

Carrie Underwood will be on the Today Show tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Craig Morgan and a few of his country music friends teamed up with some of his motocross friends and raised money during Craig’s 6th Annual Charity Weekend in Vanleer and Nashville, Tennessee. The event, which included a celebrity motocross ride, concert, banquet, silent a live auction and skeet shoot raises money for Billy’s Place, an organization near and dear to Craig’s heart: “It’s something my wife and I started. We seen the need early on in our community as foster parents. We were foster parents at one point. We seen the need for a place where the children could go during the transition of being removed from the home and being placed in a foster family.” They’re still counting the cash, but it’s sure to be a big pile!

Rascal Flatts latest song, “Come Wake Me Up,” is racing up the charts. The video features Tiffany Fallon, Joe Don’s wife, with motorcycle freestyle world champion Dena Sodano as her motorcycle-riding stunt double. Jay knows why the song is doing so well on the charts: “Everybody’s had their heartbroken – obviously. Everybody can identify with those kinds of emotions that come out in our music.” Check out the video… feeds a commercial first…

What happens when a superstar is a fan of yours? Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney found out when Brad Paisley called him up to come over and write. Mat says the call was “a little nerve-wracking at first,” but Brad was “super humble” and described Brad as a workaholic and an awesome musician. Can’t wait to hear what they come up with – both are amazing songwriters.

Lovelovelove Miranda Lambert? There’s an app for that. Whether you use iPhone or Driod, hit your app store for the free Miranda app that includes a news feed, tour schedule, videos, music, pictures and access to exclusive content about Miranda.

Kip Moore is watching his latest single, “Beer Money,” take on a life of its own, and by the time he hits the road with Eric Church this fall, the whole audience will be singing it back to him. According to Kip, “It’s an infectious song and it’s one of those things that every night when we play it, the whole crowd’s singing it.”

Heavy metal of the gold variety was handed out to Dierks Bentley, Love and Theft and Chris Young. Each has sold over half a million digital downloads of their songs – “5-1-5-0” for Dierks, “Angel Eyes” for Love and Theft and “The Man I Want to Be” for Chris Young.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Brad Paisley is in the studio, working on his next album and worrying just a little bit about what the fans will make of it: “It’s kinda refreshing that I haven’t had a song on the radio for a couple months and in that sense it’s kinda nice to know that whatever is bubbling right now is the next thing I’ll hand them. And there’s both a pressure and a freedom in that. And so, I’m really more thinking about that. I’m thinking about things like what can I do that’s unique that I’ve never done musically.” 

Sure, you may think that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill live a glamorous life, but with back-to-school season upon us, you might be surprised to find that in at least one way, their life is a lot like yours. With three daughters, they spend a lot of time in the car, though oldest daughter Gracie has her learner’s permit. “Next year, she’ll have her full on license. The bad part is it’s a whole other set of nerves, but the good part is it cuts down on our taxi service a little bit. [Faith] Exactly! Being the taxi service isn’t glamorous at all. I’ve tried to make it, going to the studio… [Tim] How many days or hours do you spend in the car when you’re a parent? [Faith] Oh my goodness!”

Jennifer Nettles is pregnant with her first baby, due in November. She and Kristian Bush are on tour, and Jennifer’s first order of business in every new town is to find the best Mexican food. That’s what she’s craving – everything from salsa to black beans to fish tacos, as long as it’s Mexican. She normally watches her calorie intake but says that “it’s pretty much a free-for-all at this point.”

Another incident with autos, alcohol and authorities happened to Randy Travis this week. Tuesday night around midnight, officers responded to a report of a man lying in the middle of the road. They found Randy Travis, completely naked, intoxicated and with minor cuts and bruises, his car off the road nearby, wrecked in the midst of a construction zone. Thankfully, there was no construction going on at the time of the crash, so no one besides Randy was hurt in the incident. In addition to drunk and disorderly, public indecency and other charges, Randy has been charged with “retaliation,” because he threatened to shoot and kill the troopers after they placed him in the police vehicle. He bonded out of jail Wednesday morning, and had to have someone bring him clothes to wear home, because apparently he was naked when he started driving his car. He had to be given clothing to wear for his mug shot. In February of this year, Randy was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication in the parking lot of a church in Texas.


Curb Records is celebrating 50 years of success by putting 50 titles on sale for $5.99. C’mon, you know 50 cents would be too good to be true! Grab albums from LeAnn Rimes, Wynonna, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Hank Williams, Jr., Clay Walker, Lee Greenwood and lots more. Search “Curb 50” on iTunes to see the whole list.

Zac Brown Band sits atop the country music album charts for the 4th week in a row with “Uncaged.” How does that make Zac feel? “It is dead center right down the middle for people who like our other music. I feel like it’s the best record we’ve made so far. I feel like we’re a better band now. I feel like we’ve just continued to improve and I feel like it’s – I really do feel like it’s the best record we’ve ever made.”

Miranda Lambert is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show – it’s a rerun.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tim McGraw had some details to share about the Soul2Soul shows he and wife Faith Hill will do in Las Vegas. The eighteen-hundred seat Venetian Theater will be home to them for ten weekends, starting December 7th, and Tim says, “We’re in the process of building the show now, and we can say that the production’s gonna be very cutting edge. We wanna do really cool stuff...things that certainly we haven’t done before and probably some things that haven’t been done before in a lot of ways. Um, we don’t wanna give away too much of what the show’s gonna be, but it’s certainly gonna be a lot of us. I mean, it’s gonna be us together.” Just what do their daughters think of spending two and a half months in Vegas? “[Tim] They’re excited! They’re very excited ‘cause they love going to the shows, so they probably won’t see ours [laughs]. [Faith] They’ve been to most of the shows here over the years when we’ve been coming in and out, so they’re thrilled!” Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday at the theatre box office and online at Ticketmaster.

Taylor Swift is planning an interactive webcast this Monday night, and she’s got some news to share. Is it new music news? Tour news? Boyfriend news? She’s being pretty coy: “You can ask questions! I wanna share some news with you. Some really cool news—not gonna go into it too much—but it’s cool!” The webcast starts Monday at 7pm Eastern time on

Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus and wife Allison are enjoying their new son, Dylan Jay, even though Daddy Jay is on tour right now. When asked how being on the road with his dad’s band might affect little Dylan, Jay replied, “All of his bad habits, I’m sure he will learn from Uncle Gary and Uncle Joe Don. I hope that Gary teaches him how to sing like he does and hopefully Joe Don will teach him to play guitar like he does and then I’ll have the best of both worlds… Then I can go out on the road with my son and leave these two yahoos.” The tour hits Raleigh, NC tomorrow night.

Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party Tour scored a major hit Monday night – he broke the attendance record at Columbus Crew Stadium in Ohio. Over 27,000 people showed up for the concert, and Jason remarked, “It’s been a pretty crazy year as far as the tour goes. I mean, it’s kind of exceeded any expectations we could have had for ourselves.”

Craig Morgan’s 6th annual charity weekend is this weekend in Tennessee. Saturday, motocross stars lead a trail ride in Vanleer and Saturday night, Craig, Darryl Worley, Robin Meade and Nan Kelley of GAC team up for a concert to support the Craig Morgan Charity Fund. Sunday features the Celebrity Sporting Clay Event at the Tennessee Clay Target Complex in Nashville, led by “The Ultimate Shooter,” Tim Bradley. If you’d like to be on the trail ride but you don’t have the right wheels, fear not – there’s anauction on eBay that runs through tomorrow. The Husqvarna For a Day experience puts you on a great ride and up front with the celebrities!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First it was Garth Brooks. Then it was Shania Twain. Now, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are setting up house in Vegas for a stint at the Venetian Theatre. They’ll do a ten-weekend run of shows beginning December 7th, calling the shows “Soul2Soul,” the same name as their two successful tours together. Those tours happened in 2000 and 2006, and the two have not performed a full concert together since the last tour. Tim says that the residency arrangement in Vegas will be good for their family and he’s been looking for a way to work with Faith onstage, and this fits the bill. Presale tickets will be available tomorrow and the general public can start buying them on Monday the 13th at the hotel box office. This announcement comes on the heels of the mega-successful “Brothers of the Sun” tour with Kenny Chesney and being inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. Tim was born and raised in Delhi, Louisiana.

Speaking of Garth Brooks, he’s been added to the list of performers on the Teachers Rock special on CBS. He joins Carrie Underwood and Dierks Bentley as the country performers. The show tapes on August 14th and will air on August 18th.

Keith Urban is working on a new album, and is laying down tracks all around the world. He’s planning a tour next year, so feels the pressure to get new music out, but wants it to feel fresh and different. Check out a tiny piece of his new song, “Tidal Wave,” in this video…

Blake Shelton worked hard to make his Christmas album a very special one. He’s co-written a song with his mom, Dorothy Shackleford, and she sings on it. He and Michael Buble re-worked the song “Home” into a holiday tune and for the first time ever, Blake Shelton and Reba duet on a song. “Cheers It’s Christmas” drops on October second.

Other country artists got in the Christmas spirit, lending their voices to the 25th anniversary of the Very Special Christmas project, a benefit for Special Olympics. Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Vince Gill all have cuts on this double-album project, which streets October 16th.

Miranda Lambert and Pistol Annies will kick off the new season of Say Yes to the Dress! Angaleena Presley and her hubby Jordan Powell eloped in May, but went dress-shopping at Bridals by Lori in Atlanta with her band members Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert. The episode airs on August 24th at 9pm on TLC.

Congrats to Kenny Chesney, who has the #1 country song in America with “Come Over.”

Zac Brown Band is on Jimmy Kimmel tonight – it’s a rerun.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Zac Brown Band loves to travel with their mobile kitchen, “Cookie,” a tractor-trailer fitted out for food preparation. Zac himself loves to cook and can’t wait to see what’s in the kitchen at each of the band’s tour stops: “You know, I love all the stuff they do with fresh...especially in the summer, spring and fall, they go out to local farms and find fresh produce. So, that’s one of my favorite things is just to see all the fresh vegetables and stuff that gets picked up.” The band’s annual Southern Ground Music and Food Festival hits Nashville on September 21st and 22nd with Gregg Allman, Amos Lee, Edward Sharpe, David Gray and the Magnetic Zeros joining them on stage. In Charleston, South Carolina, the shows are October 20th and 21st and fans will see the Avett Brothers, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Los Lonely Boys and another surprise guest or two.

When the Olympics are over, Carrie Underwood will light up NBC’s Today Show Summer Concert Series. Though the show is over a week away, Carrie admits to some butterflies already: “When you’re on live I feel like there’s so much more pressure because you want to hit every single note, you want everything to be perfect – because you really only get one shot at it! So I get nervous for TV performances, and I don’t get nervous in concert.”

The Voice is getting fans fired up for season three, and Blake Shelton is pleased to be helping out all the contestants, winners and losers: “The good part about it is, they’re all getting so much exposure. They all can go on from the show and be several steps ahead of where they would have been. Ya know?” Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine all return as judges, and in this promo, get their action hero personas on, with a little Olympic twist at the end…

Colt Ford’s new album, “Declaration of Independence,” is out today, and it’s star studded: Kix Brooks, Montgomery Gentry, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker and Jason Aldean pitch in on songs. About the Jason Aldean collaboration, “Drivin’ Around Song,” Colt reveals, “As soon as Jason heard it he was like, ‘This is the one – this is the one that you and I’ve been suppose to do right here.’ I just think that song – is a big, big song. I mean its got ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ kind of potential. I think it will probably kind of take on a life of its own.” This isn’t the official video – that doesn’t exist yet – but a fan posted the song on YouTube, so you can hear it now if you’d like…

Monday, August 6, 2012

Make it five in a row for Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood – they’ll be hosting the CMA Awards again this fall. The two did a publicity photo shoot for it, and Brad said, “We have a great time. She is the best co-host I could ever ask for, and really, it’s a great combination. You can tell I think that we have a good time with it.” Mark your calendars for November first on ABC.

The very next night, also on ABC, Reba’s new tv show, Malibu Country, debuts. She plays a single mother of three who moves from LA to Nashville, and Lily Tomlin stars as her mother, Lily May. About her co-star, Reba says, “I’ve known Lily since 2001, so I was really wanting to working with her in some form or fashion- and this television show has been perfect.”

Dierks Bentley is still trying to process the fact that he’s has 10 #1 songs over the course of 9 years. His first happened in 2003 – “What Was I Thinkin’” – and his latest is “5-1-5-0.” His next single will be “Tip It On Back” and is the first single he’s released that he didn’t write. It was written by Tully Kennedy, Ross Copperman, and Jon Nite, and here he is performing it on the David Letterman show.

Darius Rucker found himself the target of a dare on Twitter. The fictional, funny and sometimes inappropriate spoof Twitter “personality,” @NotJakeOwen, tweeted “$500 reward to anyone that can prove @DariusRucker owns the best of Patsy Cline in his music collection.” Darius responded with a photo of himself and that album, which he sings about in the song “Alright,” with the line “I don’t need no concert in the city, I’ve got a stereo and the best of Patsy Cline.” Darius added the note, “pay up – and make it out to @St. Jude.” Whoever is behind the @NotJakeOwen Twitter account is a stand-up person – they responded with a screen shot of their computer, proving they’d donated the $500 to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.

Eli Young Band has been hard at work for over a decade, waiting for success to come their way. With the release of their Life at Best album, looks like life is getting better for the band: they’re on tour with Rascal Flatts, have had two back-to-back #1 songs and band member Mike Eli says, “The biggest goal of ours has always been longevity, and to be able to build a career that we can have for a long time. So I hope with this year, we can hope to get to the next step of solidifying more of a longer career.”

Martina McBride is on Opening Act and Katie Armiger is on Bachelor Pad tonight.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zac Brown Band stays on the road a lot more than other bands and they enjoy themselves while they’re out. But Zac himself says it’s not all fun and games: “Sometimes you’ve just gotta do a little bit of time for yourself. I know every minute I’m away from my kids, I feel guilty about it...every minute. So, that’s a tough balance...tough thing.” They’ll take a couple of weeks off the road next month to unwind with their families.

Between touring and taping, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton haven’t seen much of Oklahoma lately. According to Miranda, “We’ve been just kinda crazy; I mean we’ve been basically living in L.A. So, we’re ready to go home, we really are. We’re ready for some country time.” They spent a week at their Oklahoma property, but it’s back to work for Miranda this weekend as her On Fire tour stops in Alaska.

Justin Moore has been combining work and pleasure, though this week it’s all play. When his shows are at fairs, Justin takes daughters Ella and Kennedy along for the fun, and Daddy Justin is pretty good at the midway games. He has won a bunch of Dora the Explorer blow-up dolls for Ella. This week they’re at a family reunion in Florida, and Justin is specializing in sandcastles with Ella.

Meanwhile, Hunter Hayes is chomping at the bit to hit the road, because he’s going out with Carrie Underwood on the fall leg of her “Blown Away” tour starting in September. According to Hunter, “I just want to get back in the bus and keep playin’ you know? Umm...working a little bit towards the next album a little at a time. I’m not thinking about it too much, I can’t. Umm...I want the next album to happen very naturally.”

Do you like to know how a song came to be: Jerrod Niemann’s new song, “Shinin’ on Me,” is climbing the charts this summer, but it was written last summer, when Jerrod and Lee Brice played AquaPalooza in Austin, Texas with Brad Paisley. Jerrod explains, “I think they said there were 70,000 boats there and estimated over 100,000 Texans. So I thought, ‘Well, if that’s not a great day, what is?’ So we went to the bus, and I think every window on the bus was open, this beautiful breeze, evening breeze, comin’ through the windows, and we just wrote ‘Shinin’ on Me.’” You can feel that Texas breeze in the song…

Dierks Bentley will add another job to his resume: he’s been chosen to host the 6th Annual ACM Honors show in Nashville. The event recognizes those who won ACM awards in the non-televised portion of the show earlier this year and will be held at the Ryman Auditorium on September 24th. Tickets go on sale at the Ryman box office on August 17th.

Willie Nelson has been tapped to play the Republican National Convention in Florida. The concert will be August 29th in Tampa.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Eric Church had a party in Nashville this week to celebrate the platinum success of his album Chief, as well as the two-week stint at the top of the charts for the song “Springsteen.” At the party, Eric said, “There are moments I think in your life that you just want to kind of pause and go, ‘Is this my life?’ This is one of ‘em. It’s been an unreal year. From Chief coming out, to ‘Springsteen’ and ‘Drink In My Hand’ before that.” His gifts included a pair of platinum sunglasses, a commemorative bottle of Jack Daniels with a platinum label, a keg of Jack to refill the bottle when it gets empty, and a platinum-label box of cigars.

Danica Patrick had fun working with Miranda Lambert on the video for “Fastest Girl in Town.” According to the race car driver, “She was really sweet. She’s got a lot of pep and a lot of spark. I just feel like her and I are sort of kindred spirits and we could be trouble together.” In case you’d like to see their collaboration again, here you go…

Taylor Swift and Conor Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have apparently been spending some quality time together. Reports have them attending church, eating pizza and strolling hand-in-hand on the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Taylor is 22 and Conor is 18. The New York Post has a photo spread.

Gloriana member Tom Gossin has set a date to wed his girlfriend of ten years, Jamie Moffett. The couple will have until October of 2013 to plan the event, and Jamie has already told Tom that he will NOT be singing at the wedding. About the group’s current song, “(Kissed You) Goodnight,” co-written by Tom, he says, “It’s just about a situation I think everybody’s been in on a first date, and I was always real I could never make that first move. And so, I think I wrote a song about what I wish I was like back in the day...a little more confident.”

There’s a new young ‘un in the Eli Young Band – Mike Eli and his wife Kacey have been graced with a baby girl. Kline Olivia Diaz is the couple’s first child, and about the experience, Mike says, “I feel like I accomplished something quite special there. You know, the career is one thing, but makin’ a baby’s another.” EYB hits the road with Rascal Flatts again next week, as both of the new dads on the tour had time off with their little ones. (Jay DeMarcus and his wife welcomed their second child just 10 days ago.)

Jamey Johnson has invited George Strait, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill and many more country artists to join him for a tribute album to Hank Cochran, considered one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music. Jamey says Hank influenced him “not only as an artist and songwriter, but also as a person.” Check out the song list and artists:

Livin’ For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran Track Listing

1. “Make the World Go Away” – Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss
2. “I Fall to Pieces” – Jamey Johnson and Merle Haggard
3. “A Way to Survive” – Jamey Johnson, Vince Gill and Leon Russell
4. “Don’t Touch Me” – Jamey Johnson and Emmylou Harris
5. “You Wouldn’t Know Love” – Jamey Johnson and Ray Price
6. “I Don’t Do Windows” – Jamey Johnson and Asleep at the Wheel
7. “She’ll Be Back” – Jamey Johnson and Elvis Costello
8. “Would These Arms Be in Your Way” – Jamey Johnson
9. “The Eagle” – Jamey Johnson and George Strait
10. “A-11” – Jamey Johnson and Ronnie Dunn
11. “I’d Fight the World” – Jamey Johnson and Bobby Bare
12. “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” – Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson
13. “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” – Jamey Johnson and Lee Ann Womack
14. “Love Makes a Fool of Us All” – Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson
15. “Everything But You” – Jamey Johnson, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Leon Russell
16. “Livin’ for a Song” – Jamey Johnson, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson

Congrats to Zac Brown Band, as their “Uncaged” cd lands at the top of the Billboard 200 again this week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Congrats to Kenny Chesney, who has his 24th #1 song with “Come Over.” It tops the country charts this week, after only 11 weeks on the chart. About the song, Kenny says, “It is a very emotional and it’s a…more of a comfortable song being with someone that you’re just used to being with because you just…the idea of moving forward is scarier than the idea of staying in what’s comfortable, and I think we all relate to that.”

Good news for Miranda Lambert and her fans – she’s feeling better after some enforced rest, both physical and vocal, and is ready to get back out and chew up some stages. About her doctor-ordered rest, Miranda said she’d “been going 90 to nothin’ and it caught up” with her. While on vocal rest, she received a plaque for her latest gold record, “Baggage Claim.”

Toby Keith has rescheduled his Army Concert Tour at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin because he has to have his gallbladder removed. It’s an outpatient procedure, but it will sideline him for a little while. Gretchen Wilson will fill in for him tomorrow.

Cracker Barrel is teaming up with Josh Turner to release “Live Across America” on August 27th. The 12-track collection was recorded live at 12 different tour stops on his 2012 tour. Are you sensing a theme?

Gloriana will perform Friday morning on FOX & Friends as part of their summer concert series. Their new album, “A Thousand Miles Left Behind,” is out, and Tom Gossin explains the title: “A Thousand Miles Left Behind signifies how much we’ve toured – being that we’ve stayed on tour for about five years now and been around the world a couple times. It’s been crazy, so it has a literal meaning. Figuratively speaking – just all that we’ve learned. You know, it’s like every mile we learned a new lesson on the road.”

He’s being hailed as the boy version of Taylor Swift, and like Taylor, Hunter Hayes knows where the magic is in country music –it’s the song: “You know when I write a song, I definitely want it to be from me – definitely want it to be a real life thing. My favorite songs are songs that I relate to, songs that mean something to me – because someone else wrote from their heart. So, I wanted a record full of those songs.” His self-titled debut album has spawned his first gold record – the current single, “Wanted.”

Little Big Town is on the syndicated show, Better TV, today.

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