Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What will The Voice be like without Blake Shelton? Get used to the idea – he says leaving the show may happen soon. NBC has decided to air two seasons per year of the show, and according to Blake, that is “not acceptable.” He says if he wants to tour, “there’s not a chance of that doing back-to-back seasons.” He’s to the point of telling NBC honchos that “It’s changed my life, but it’s not my life.” In other Blake news, by the end of the year, membership in his fan club will be free. Still the same access, just no cash needed. Several other country artists have decided that their fans do enough for them and their careers – they shouldn’t have to pay to be fans.

Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat & Beers tour is underway, and Eric feels like he has the perfect opening acts in Justin Moore and Kip Moore. (no relation) According to Eric, “You know, Justin’s been around for a while now. I’ve been impressed with the fact that he’s gone out played bars, played clubs, whether he had a radio hit or he didn’t have a radio hit. With Kip, I’m impressed with just the songwriter sense and his instinct from a songwriter’s side. I like the grit in his music.”

Eli Young Band’s Jon Jones and his wife Sarah are expecting their first child late this year. In July, Mike Eli and his wife had their first child. The two credit Little Big Town with showing them that having a life and having a career that involves a lot of road time can work: “We were on the Throwdown tour watching them have their families out on the road and seeing that it actually can be done. That’s one of those things that we always weren’t quite sure how do you have a family and be out on the road at the same time? Cause being out on the road is tough, and we really credit them with convincing us that you can actually have a productive life outside of being on the road.”

Big & Rich are climbing the charts with “That’s Why I Pray,” from their first album in five years, “Hillbilly Jedi.” Why Hillbilly Jedi? John and Kenny explain just what or who Hillbilly Jedi are: “[John] They’re the guys that go all over the universe. [Kenny] They represent The Force...the light! [John] Kenny and I, we’re hard to describe. We can’t even describe us. It is an intangible thing that you really don’t know what it is, but it’s there. Kind of like The Force, as goofy as that is, so Hillbilly Jedi suits us a little bit. [Kenny] And I don’t know if you realize this or not, but we are both a tad bit hillbilly.”

Congratulations to Hunter Hayes, who has his first #1 song with “Wanted.” How does that feel? “It’s just so cool to be considered an artist in this world, you know? It’s like I’ve been a fan for so long...I still am. But, to be able to get on stage and say I get to do it too is pretty cool, you know? I don’t know. I’m still passing the amazement part [laughs] ...Still passing that.” He’s on the road, opening for Carrie Underwood.

Meanwhile, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are gearing up for their 5th year of hosting the CMA Awards together. Promos have started airing, but you don’t have to try to catch them on TV…here you go:

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