Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Keith Urban has been nominated for CMA Awards 25 times so far in his career. He’s won Male Vocalist of the Year three times, and is nominated for it again tomorrow night. So, is he more excited about maybe winning, or about performing? “I look forward to being able to play on awards shows. That is the absolute moment that matters most to me, is getting to play. 'Cause the other stuff is, I don't know about the other stuff. I know about playing, that's the only thing I know about.” The show airs at 8pm Eastern on ABC tomorrow night.

Kenny Chesney has Thanksgiving Day plans, but not like yours or mine. While we’re either cooking, eating, traveling or cleaning up, he’ll be performing in front of hundreds of millions of people world-wide. He’s been picked to play the halftime show at the Washington Redskins/Dallas Cowboys game. The event is the official kick-off of the Salvation Army’s 122nd Annual Red Kettle Campaign, so get out your bells and ring along. You even have a chance to win a trip to be at the game live. All the fun will air on FOX on Thanksgiving Day.
Last night, the Grand Ole Opry raised awareness about breast cancer, and raised money to help find the cure. As part of the Women Rock for the Cure events, Kellie Pickler, The Farm, Kristen Kelly, Sarah Darling, Little Jimmy Dickens and other Opry notables entertained in front of a pink, not red, barn. Nashville newcomer Kristen Kelly talks about the 6th time she’s performed on the Grand Ole Opry: “This will be my sixth appearance on the Opry since May. If it’s the last thing I do – I’ll die a happy woman. I just love everything the Opry stands for. To get to be invited back, and to get to play on October 30th and it be for the Opry Goes Pink for breast cancer awareness – it’s something I’m really excited to be part of.” 

Tomorrow night is the CMA Awards show, and some of the winners will be announced on Good Morning America tomorrow morning! Musical Event and Music Video of the Year will be revealed, live from outside Bridgestone Arena during the show. Reba will also be performing tomorrow morning.
Look for “Nashville” stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiera to present awards tomorrow night. Brad Paisley’s wife Kimberly will also be a presenter, along with Reba, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, Jana Kramer, Lisa Marie Presley, comedian Tim Allen and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. 
Blake Shelton has been co-hosting the ACM Awards with Reba for a couple of years, but Reba announced she’s not going to be part of the show anymore. Will Blake fly solo, or is he looking for a tiny, talented, not-afraid-of-a-glass-of-whiskey co-host? Would Martina McBride do it? “Yeah! I think it’d be fun. Definitely. I mean, you know, it’s something a little bit different and I’m...I think it’d be a lot of fun.” Nothing official yet… 
Blake Shelton is adding to his TV credits, this time with his own holiday special. Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas is set for December 3rd at 10pm on NBC. Apparently it’s going to be star-studded, and because Blake has a Christmas album out, will probably also include some songs from “Cheers, It’s Christmas.” No details have been revealed yet, but I’ll keep you posted. 
Congratulations to Lee Brice – “Hard to Love” is his second #1 song in a row, following in the footsteps of “A Woman Like You.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The media Frankenstorm that is a Taylor Swift album release continues this week - “We’ve ended a really, really busy week but we still have so much more to do. We’re gonna go and perform on Dancing with the Stars and then the CMAs and then we’re going all over the world to Australia and Japan and I cannot wait.” She’s on Dancing with the Stars tonight.

Taylor Swift is working on her 2013 Red tour, and is struggling: “I’m trying to figure out what to do about this tour to make it different and like a spectacle but a different kind of spectacle.” Could that be a clue – will it be in 3D and everyone will have to wear 3D “spectacles?” We’ll see…tickets start going on sale November 16th for the tour that begins on March 13th, 2013.

Carrie Underwood’s hubby Mike Fisher is currently out of a job – sort of. The NHL owners have locked their players out over contract issues, so there’ll be no hockey games before November 30th, at the earliest. So Carrie’s working hard on her Blown Away tour and Mike’s days are pretty casual: “I’ll call him and [ask], ‘How was your day?’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, good. I worked out. I skated and then I went fishing.’ And I’m like, ‘Aww, that just sounds terrible!’ I get...I get frustrated because I’m jealous [laughs].” At least they’ll get some time together this week, as Carrie’s back in Nashville to co-host the CMA Awards show Thursday night.

Darius Rucker says his song, “True Believers,” might sound like just a love song, but the lyric means so much more than that to him: “The reason I wanted the ‘two true believers’ as a hook was ‘cause—no matter where you made it in life, there was one person in your life I’m sure that was that person that you can go, ‘I made it because that person believed it in me’. And even if it’s not one person, even if it’s ten persons—with that individual person, you are the two true believers. It’s you two believing this could happen.”

Today is release day for Toby Keith’s new album, “Hope on the Rocks,” which features his new song, “I Like Girls That Drink Beer.” Not coincidentally, he’s announced that he’s opening a new location of his I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant, this time in Pittsburgh near the Steelers’ Heinz Field. Not only does Toby like girls that drink beer, he’s a huge Steelers fan, so look for this location to be one that Toby drops in on a lot. No word on when it will open.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The CMA Awards happen Thursday night, and Nashville is already making preparations for the event at Bridgestone Arena. Streets started closing Saturday, so if you’re planning to be there, be prepared for some traffic troubles. Just added as presenters are Reba and Tim Allen. Reba’s new TV show, Malibu Country, premiers Friday night. 

Rascal Flatts is about to release a new DVD – Rascal Flatts: All Access & Uncovered features an intimate look at the relationship between the trio, their families and some hot performance video. Joe Don says of the project and of their latest album: “Its complete heart, 100% heart and soul in this album and you know, we cut it at Jay’s house and...everything feels so great right now in our career.” The DVD drops November 19th. 

Keith Urban is traveling the country with the American Idol crew, going from city to city for the audition phase of the show. It’s a far cry from his life in Australia, and Keith is very appreciative: “I come from nothing, you know? Very, very working class family, and I’ve been blessed with this extraordinary life. And it’s the fans and the audiences that like the music and come to the concerts, and that’s—it’s just changed my life.” He’ll perform this week on the CMA Awards show.

The Jason Aldean/Miranda Lambert concert at Boston’s Fenway Park sold out in seven minutes Friday morning, so they decided to add a second show. July 12th and 13th are the dates that the Green Monster goes country in a big way. Jason’s already working on the experience for his fans: “You know, it’s just kind of a thing where you sit down and you kind of figure out what you want to do and how you want to change it up from this year. You sit down and you start drawing it out on paper what you want your stage to look like.” Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett will also be part of those two shows.
Miranda Lambert will be sporting a new hairdo for the CMAs – she tweeted a photo of herself with a long shag, complete with bangs. Cute! 

The video for Taylor Swift’s new song, “Begin Again,” was shot in Paris. Really? For a country song? Taylor explains: “You know when you’re going through a break up and you need to just reflect, be alone and walk around – and see a beautiful place? I think it’s like that. It’s wondering around exploring a new city and kind of trying to find yourself again – and meeting a hot guy in a cafĂ©.” Here it is… 
Apparently the Taylor Swift – Conor Kennedy romance is kaput. According to a close friend of Taylor’s, “they quietly parted ways a while ago.” No hard feelings, just a crazy schedule right now for Taylor, as she’s working the release of “Red” and has no time off until Christmas. 
New music out tomorrow from Toby Keith – “Hope On The Rocks” is the title. 
Reba is on Live With Kelly & Michael today, and Blake Shelton is on The Voice tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Always wanted a place in New York City? You’re in luck – Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are selling their duplex, and you don’t have to worry about parking. The 3,248 square foot home has a vehicle elevator that will lift your car to your private rooftop parking. You’ll also get teak floors, custom cabinetry and a lovely view of the midtown skyline. And you’ll shell out just under $13 million to have it all. Meanwhile, Keith and Nicole will continue to raise their two daughters at their Nashville home. 

Yesterday Taylor Swift was on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. She’s been there a lot, and says that Ellen is one of her favorite talk-show hosts: “She’s one of the most amazing people, and I think she’s so good at what she does. She just makes people so happy.” Well, yeah, but she does like to make Taylor scream and squirm – check out the walk through Ellen’s Haunted Hallway… 

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
In his early days in the music business, Brantley Gilbert and his band worked hard for every nickel, and sometimes needed more than they had. That’s how a car Brantley loved came to be owned by someone else: “I had a sixty-eight Mercury Cougar that we went flat broke and needed some equipment. We got rained on and we didn’t have insurance on anything. I loved this car and I sold it to a guy for $4,000. He told me that day that he’d sell it back to me whenever I wanted for $4,000. This was probably six or seven years ago. He wants twelve grand for it! [laughs] I talked to him a month ago and I am not going to pay him that much! He’s going to have to come down a little bit.” These days he spends most of his time on a tour bus, but he could probably figure out some car time. 
Luke Bryan is getting pumped about the CMA Awards next week, because he’s up for two major awards: Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year. He’ll celebrate, no matter what: “If we win it’ll be a big deal. You know, it’ll be an amazing night for me and we’ll have the time of our lives and enjoy it. And if I don’t, we’ll approach the year to try to make the best album and the best songs and kind of go from there, but for me it’s always enjoying this and celebrating nominations.” He’ll be performing on the show, so has a bit of distraction to help calm his nerves. 
Toby Keith shows us all how not to win an award: tell country fans you won’t show up, even though you’re nominated. Toby told a Country Weekly reporter, “Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun.” His song, “Red Solo Cup,” is nominated for Music Video of the Year, and the song’s success has surprised Toby: “I’ve got 80-million spins as a songwriter and it’s my only, I didn’t write this song, it’s my only song that’s ever got pop airplay to speak of. Ryan Seacrest made it the ‘Spring Break Song of 2012.’” 
Next Thursday night, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the CMA Awards show for the 5th straight year. Is that a record? Not even close – Vince Gill hosted the show for 12 years, so they have a ways to go. Speaking of Vince, he, Hunter Hayes and Keith Urban have been added to the list of performers for country music’s biggest night. The show airs live on ABC Thursday, November first. 
Montgomery Gentry released a four-song EP entitled Friends and Family, and it includes their new song, “I’ll Keep the Kids,” co-written by Eddie Montgomery about his divorce from his wife of 20 years, Tracy. 
Taylor Swift is on Katie with Katie Couric today.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

They like and respect each other as artists, so Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert released a video on Twitter. Here’s what the video had to say: “[Miranda] What are you doing here? Good to see you! It’s been a while. [Dierks] I know we should go on tour or something to kinda catch up. [Miranda] That’d be awesome. [Dierks] That’d be pretty cool. It’d be epic. [Miranda] Let’s do it, like, in January. [Dierks] This January? [Miranda] Yeah! [Dierks] Alright...Locked & Reloaded? [Miranda] Yeah! [Dierks] Alright. Let’s do it!” They’ll tour together starting January 17th, and of the tour, Miranda says, “This will be a tour of epic badassery.” Just what does that mean? Dierks wants to provide memories like the one he has of a Garth Brooks concert: “I remember seeing him when I was 17 at American West Arena in Phoenix. I was at the very top row. I actually touched the top of the arena building with my brother who was seven. You know no video walls or anything. I really felt like he was singing directly at me. It was a huge...had a huge influence on me.” Here’s the Twitter video, in case you missed it…

Lady Antebellum’s new holiday album is out, and “On This Winter’s Night” is not just the title track, it’s the only original song on an album full of classics. Why did they make that decision? “We wanted to try our hand in writing one song for this. We didn’t want the record to be a lot of original. At least for us, for the holiday season, we just want to have Christmas songs that we love and that we know. We thought our fans would feel the same way. But this one – we tried to incorporate the emotions and feelings around Christmas. All the fun stuff but all the serious stuff as well.”
Taylor Swift will vote by absentee ballot this year, as she’ll be out of the country promoting her new album, “Red.” It doesn’t seem to need much promotion – it’s #1 in 32 countries already and will sell over a million units this week. What does Taylor do with all the money she’s making? She told ET that she was “raised by a financial advisor,” so she knows it’s important to save and invest her money. According to Taylor, her dad told her, “Save your money! Don’t be stupid about it!” 
She said “no” to American Idol and The X Factor, but Dolly Parton would say “yes” to The Voice if she was invited to be part of it. She says the difference is that there’s not as much judging on The Voice as there is on the other two shows, and according to Dolly, “I hesitate to judge people.” 
Yes, Sara Evans was in a car accident this past week, but it wasn’t that Sara Evans. It was an Ohio teenager named Sarah Evans with an “h” who wrecked her car, causing Sara Evans without an “h” to take to her Twitter account to stop the confusion and rumors. The Ohio teen was cited for failure to yield to a stop sign and wasn’t hurt. The woman in the car she hit was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. 

The Peoples Choice Awards won’t be handed out until January, but you can start voting for your favorites right now.
For this week, anyway, Jason Aldean holds down the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart as well as the top spot on the Billboard Country Album chart. In his debut week last week, he sold 409,000 copies of “Night Train.” He’ll need to enjoy that chart position this week, because when next week’s charts are released, Taylor Swift will top them both, since she sold over half a million copies just on Monday of this week.
Taylor Swift is on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Martina McBride is on Anderson Live today. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, country artists weigh in on the political season. Carrie Underwood is glad the debates are over: “The debates make me nervous. I can’t watch people argue, even when it is moderated and whatever. It’s like I can feel the tension and it just makes me nervous. So, it’s hard for me to watch. I try to watch as much as I can until I’m like; I feel too nervous right now. I have to change the channel and watch something stupid for a while then maybe I can come back to it. But, it gets me...gets me very anxious.” Meanwhile, Tim McGraw appreciates them: “I’m always interested. I grew up in Louisiana, so it’s like a sport in Louisiana. I mean, you grew up knowing about politics and hearing about it and it’s everywhere. And I’ve always been fascinated by it.” Will he ever run for office? Maybe… “If the time lines up with the cause and the reason in my life, then it would be something that I’d be interested in. But, it’s not something I’m gonna go pursue.”

Carrie Underwood is in the middle of her Blown Away tour, and hubby Mike Fisher is waiting out the current NHL lockout. Does that mean they have more couple time? Think again…he’s keeping close to his Nashville Predators teammates: “Well, he has to stay home, he can’t just come out on tour with us. He has to be able to work out and train and skate, and all that stuff. And keep himself ready. He’s a very dedicated person, and he wants to be ready for whenever they do start playing again.”

Want to sit in the front row when George Strait comes to your town? You can – he’ll auction off two pairs of front row seats and backstage passes at each of his “Cowboy Rides Away” tour stops and the money will go to the Jenifer Strait Foundation. Here’s what George has to say about the Foundation: "The Jenifer Strait Memorial Foundation was formed to preserve the memory of our daughter. Even though she was just a child of thirteen years, her love for younger children was amazing. It is for this reason that we chose to help others who might be in need, in her honor."
Gary Allan has been known for his angst-ridden music, but his new song, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” is a song of hope. What other differences can we expect from his new album, due out early next year? “You can expect a lot of honesty and a lot of songs about life. It’s gonna roll you through a breakup and it’s gonna roll you through the anger and the healing and wind you up at good-as-new. So, I think what you can expect is something a little bit different musically out of this.” 
David Nail has been touring for over four years, and he had a first last weekend. He was in Milwaukee for a show and tweeted, “Voice in rough shape – needing a miracle.” The miracle didn’t happen – he was diagnosed with laryngitis and his doctor ordered him not to perform. He’s day to day for his upcoming shows in Illinois and Missouri this weekend. 
ABC’s TV show, Nashville,” is about to get a music star as a recurring character, but it’s not a country star. Reggae singer Wyclef Jean will play the head of a record label and will be on the show from time to time. 
This will happen, and it’s big – Taylor Swift will become the first female artist since 1991 to have two albums sell more than a million units in a single week. She sold over half a million copies of “Red” on Monday alone. 
Taylor Swift is on The View and Little Big Town is on Live With Kelly & Michael today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carrie Underwood is blowing away the competition – her #1 song “Blown Away” is spending its second week on top of the Billboard Country Singles chart and has just been certified platinum. It’s her 16th #1 song, and with those two weeks and with the one week she owned the charts when “Good Girl” hit #1, she now has spent more time at the top of the country charts than any other female country artist this year. That could be about to change…

She sold nearly 4 million downloads before yesterday, and now that “Red” is officially out, Taylor Swift is anxious to hear what her fans think of it: “There’s a lot on this record. There are a lot of different things reflected on this album, and I think that it’s gonna be so interesting to hear people’s different opinions on the different songs ‘cause each one is so different from the others. It’s’s an interesting thing listening to the record top to bottom.” And since it’s release week, you know Taylor will be on TV everywhere – The View on Wednesday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday and on Katie with Katie Couric on Friday.

Chris Young is following up #1 songs “Tomorrow” and “You” with “I Can Take It From There.” Chris says his new song has been special from the very beginning: “I wrote this song with two guys in Nashville that have had a whole bunch of cuts together. And it was cool. I’ve always wanted to write with ‘em, and one of ‘em bein’ Rhett Akins, who…I’ve known Rhett forever. And it was exciting just to get in the room with him and hang out — him and Ben Hayslip — and we kinda got on this idea and finished it so fast. I immediately took it out and started playin’ it at live shows, and people reacted to it. And that’s one of the things that I’ve kind of kept as a hallmark of when I love something just listenin’ to it recorded, and then when it also works live, it’s a really, really good sign.”

There was a Garth sighting in Nashville on Sunday, as he, Connie Smith and Hargus “Pig” Robbins were officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Asked how he was feeling before the ceremony, Garth Brooks replied, “This might be the biggest night of my career. I’m so excited and so nervous and feel so undeserving and excited at the same time.” He could have been nervous about who was in the audience to witness his induction: George Strait, James Taylor, Merle Haggard, Ronnie Dunn and Bob Seger.
Kix Brooks’ movie, “Thrift Store Cowboy,” debuted at the Hollywood Film Festival over the weekend. Couldn’t get there to see it? Here’s the official trailer – check out a moustache-free Kix… 
Lady Antebellum is out with their Christmas album, “On This Winter’s Night.” The title track was written by the trio, and the album includes holiday classics, too. What would Charles Kelley’s perfect winter night be? “The perfect winter’s night to me would be just all the family together. As you get a little older and everybody has their jobs and then families and kids, it definitely becomes a harder and harder thing to get everybody together at once.” 
Florida Georgia Line will release their debut album, “Here’s To The Good Times,” featuring their hit song, “Cruise,” on December 4th. 
Sara Evans is working on a new album, but don’t hold your breath – it won’t be out until late spring or early summer of next year. 
Since first becoming headliners in 2004, Rascal Flatts have sold over seven million tickets. They were given a giant commemorative ticket at the Nashville show last Friday night. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jason Aldean has released the first three tour dates for 2013. He'll play Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA in April with supporting artists Luke Bryan, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett, be the first country artist to play Fenway Park in Boston, adding Miranda Lambert, and will also play Wrigley Field in Chicago, taking Kelly Clarkson with him for that show. About his lifestyle, Jason says “In this business, we obviously travel a lot. You know, you turn into sort of a journeyman. You kind of have that lifestyle, so I think in my case I’ve always been drawn to songs that I could relate to and things that kind of describe what it is that I do.” Keep an eye on his website for more concert dates.

When Jason Aldean jet-setted around the country last Thursday, announcing concerts in Boston, Chicago and Athens, he saved the Athens stop for last. He had some help in making that concert announcement – Georgia Bulldog coach Mark Richt.

Want to see some of the show Jason played? Here’s that video…

Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are working with writers, putting together the script for the 46th Annual CMA Awards show on November 3rd. Where do they get ideas for material? According to Carrie, “Well there’s always new songs, new artists up for nominations, new things that they have political issues and this is an election year and we’re right before the election, so I’m sure we’ll be touching on that.”
Miranda Lambert is up for the CMA Album of the Year award again this year, and she's excited for the recognition her "baby" is getting. She knew she wanted to do something different for her 4th studio album, but wasn't quite sure what that was: “I mean, honestly, we had a list of songs in the studio that kind of just picked what we want as we went, because I didn’t want to say, ‘Okay, these are the, you know, 12 songs we’re recording or 15 songs we’re recording, and that’s that.’ Whatever the mood was that day, I wanted to be able to be open-minded and fluid, and I definitely think it sounds like that.” 
Reba's new show, "Malibu Country," debuts on November 2nd and she's rounding up some country pals to be part of it with her. Blake Shelton and Kelly Clarkson have both already said they'll guest-star, and yes, there will be lots of music on the show. 
Taylor Swift's new album, "Red," is out today and she's playing "VJ for a Day" on CMT, playing her favorite music videos. Don't be surprised if she plays other artists' videos, but one she'll definitely play is "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" because she had such fun making that one. “It’s very quirky. My band is the quirkiest part of it. When I showed them the costumes they had to wear, they were so mad —but then they owned it and they got really into it and excited, but at first it was just like—utter horror.” Check out the horror here... 
Taylor Swift is on Good Morning America, Hunter Hayes is on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and Blake Shelton is on The Voice tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Jason Aldean released a new album, "Night Train," this week, but his thoughts are all about Saturdays and Georgia football. Specifically, the party before the game: “Every SEC school that I’ve ever been to—you know tailgating is a religion. We’re in the South! But, Georgia is fun, I mean it is fun, and the fans are rabid, man. They love to show up early and have a good time.” He'll have to be in Kentucky tomorrow night if he wants to hit the tailgate - Georgia's on the road this weekend.

Lee Brice's song, "Hard to Love," is a tip of the hat to his fiance and their son: “This career can be hard to love from Sarah’s point of view – and Takoda. They’re proud and they support me, but it’s just hard being away so much and stuff so that’s kind of where that came from. But yeah, it’s stepping up and owning up to that.”

Little Big Town's new single, "Tornado," is whipping up a storm on the country charts, and they love playing it live: “[Karen] We like it so much, it’s so much fun to play live and there’s just smoke and craziness, scariness. [Kimberly] Wind and smoke! [Phillip] Storms on stage! [Jimi] Karen scaring men throughout the audience—and her husband on stage. [Laughs] I’m just sending a warning… [Laughs] it’s a warning shot.” Little Big Town is on the road with Rascal Flatts, and "Tornado" the album sits atop the country music Billboard chart for the 5th week.

Josh Turner reveals how to pick a hit song: “When you hear a song that takes your mind away from all of the crazy distractions in life, that normally is a hit song.” His new single, "Find Me A Baby," is just such a song for Josh. It's from his "Punching Bag" album.

She first appeared in the media at 11 months of age in a Playskool commercial, grew up listening to country music, dabbled in a singing career and is now the bad-girl Juliette Barnes on the new show, "Nashville." Hayden Panettiere and the show have released a single, "Telescope," written by Cary Barlowe and Hillary Lindsay. About it, Hayden says “It’s one of those songs that you hope girls and boys are going to dance to in their cars and sing out loud. That’s the great thing about my character is that you get those two different sides of her. You get the side of her that is the mainstream crossover – fun songs like ‘Telescope.’ Then you get the more understated songs that have that heart behind it.”
Country stars populate a Katie Couric tv special - "20/20 All Access Nashville With Katie Couric" a week from tonight and features Taylor Swift, Reba, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert & Pistol Annies, Martina McBride, Luke Byran and Jason Aldean all give a glimps into their private lives and talk about their favorite female country singers on the show.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Darius Rucker is walking around with an extra-big smile on his face this week after becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. “It meant so much to me because I knew if I could ever be a member, there’s no more conversation about being accepted or anything, you know. I’m in. And you look at the names of the people that have been inducted and...they’re legends!” And what do his kids think about it? “The two oldest ones get it, I think. You know, we talked to them about it...especially my oldest, she thinks it’s just awesome. But, my younger son, he knew for a while and I came home the next day – you know we drove back afterwards – and he says to me, ‘Daddy, congratulations on whatever just happened today.’ It was pretty cute.”

Keith Urban rates country music fans as pretty consistent, and he knows what he’s talking about because he’s played for them all over the world: “I grew up playing in all these country music festivals all over Australia. The culture, I guess if you will, of country music and the people, the fans and artists – I find basically the same in Australia, here – when we’ve traveled over to Europe. There’s just a certain way of being, that really is what the music is about.” He’s nominated for GQ Australia’s Man of the Year. To vote, visit – the winner will be announced November 13th.

Carrie Underwood is celebrating her 13th #1 song this week with “Blown Away,” the title track to her latest album. How did the song catch Carrie’s ear? “The first time I heard ‘Blown Away’ I just loved it so much because it was different than anything I’ve heard before. That was really attractive to me because no matter what, however how many albums I make, I want them all to sound different. I want them to be different and have different kind of songs of them. That one was just so dramatic – it was juicy.”

Fall is deer season, and Luke Bryan has teamed up with Cabela’s so country fans can get the right deer gear. Meanwhile, who does Luke like to hunt with? To hear Jason Aldean tell it, they are pretty tight at deer camp: “Luke just bought a farm about ten minutes from my house – and I got a farm here. So he and I hunt together quite a bit. A couple times a year all of us get together and we have two or three big hunts a year for about a week. Those are coming up, so that should be fun.”
Blake Shelton will appear on the song “Just a Fool” on Christina Aguilera’s new album, “Lotus.” Blake’s fellow “The Voice” coach will release the album November 13th. 
Once again, Jennifer Nettles has been tapped to host the CMA Country Christmas show. It’s the third annual event, happening this year on November 3rd at Bridgestone Arena. Also part of the show will be Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, The Band Perry, Scotty McCreery, John Legend and Colbie Caillat. If you’re going to the show, please take a new, unwrapped to be given to families in need this holiday season. 
Martina McBride has said in the past that if she wasn’t a singer, she’d be a party planner – she loves to throw parties. Soon, you can have her help planning your soirees, as she’s working on a book about entertaining. No word on when it will be out – she hasn’t even pitched it to an agent yet.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It’s her second time on the cover of Rolling Stone, and Taylor Swift and the art director at the magazine decided to go for something a little different: “The first one was me kinda with my guitar and hair, and the second one is kind of [laughs], kind of me like looking a little edgier and it’s a lot different than anything I’ve ever done before. And it was shot by Theo Wenner, who is like this ridiculously talented 25-year-old photographer who blows my mind he’s so talented and I felt really lucky to get to be a part of an edgy shoot like that, especially on the cover of Rolling Stone.” On the way to the interview, Taylor backed into her bass player’s car and put a pretty good dent in it. She told him, “I’m gonna pay for it, I promise! I’m good for it!” In other Taylor news, she’s partnered with Papa John’s Pizza – starting this coming Tuesday, you can order a large one-topping pizza and a copy of “Red” for $22.

So, have you listened to Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” all the way through yet? Jason wants to know what you think about the cut, “1994.” “This song is unlike anything we’ve ever cut. It really is different and very unique. It stands out from everything else on the album. It seems to be so far the one that people are talking about the most. I’m excited for people to hear it. We actually haven’t played it live yet – so I’m looking forward to throwing it in the show and kind of getting a reaction.”

George Strait has some pretty amazing fans – and they’ve proved it again, with a bunch of shows on his “The Cowboy Rides Away” tour already sold out. The first show, in Lubbock, Texas, sold out over 15,000 seats in less than 15 minutes. George knows he’s blessed with fabulous fans: “I’ve had great fans – they’ve been so loyal over the years. I’ll see fans sometimes that have come out during the ‘80s and they’re still coming out. That’s pretty special.”

Rascal Flatts on-stage set is pretty complex, with loads of screens, lights, risers and instrument changes. Now that they’ve decided to extend the Changed tour into 2013, Gary LeVox says that staging their show each night entails a lot: “A lot of communication, a lot of conversations, a lot of praying that everything that’s hanging above us will stay there [laughs].” Here are the 2013 tour dates…
1-10 Green Bay, WI Resch Center 
1-11 Moline, IL i wireless Center 
1-12 Springfield, MO JQH Arena 
1-17 Sioux City, IA Tyson Events Center 
1-18 Tulsa, OK BOK Center 
1-19 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena 
1-24 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena 
1-25 Missoula, MT Adams Event Center 
1-26 Billings, MT Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark 
2-7 Terre Haute, IN ISU Hulman Center 
2-8 Lexington, KY Rupp Arena 
2-9 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena 
2-14 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Coliseum 
2-15 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum 
2-16 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena 
2-23 Pikeville, KY Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center 
2-24 Youngstown, OH Covelli Centre 
2-28 Topeka, KS Landon Arena 
3-1 Jonesboro, AR ASU Convocation Center 
3-2 Tupelo, MS BancorpSouth Arena 
Tonight at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium, Vince Gill, Charlie Daniels and Randy Owen will be honored at the 2012 Leadership Music Dale Franklin Awards for their charity work and for making a difference in people’s lives. There’s a special musical tribute as part of the evening’s fun. 
More performers have been added – surprise, surprise! – to the CMA Awards show on November first. Just announced are Eli Young Band, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton. It is now officially easier to say who’s not performing than who is! 
It’ll be a while before Hunter Hayes has a new album out, but he’s working on it. Meanwhile, to tide fans over, he’s released a live EP – it’s on iTunes for $3.99. 
Congrats to Carrie Underwood, who has the #1 country song this week with “Blown Away.” 
Happy birthday to Alan Jackson, who turns 54 today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today is finally the day Jason Aldean’s new album, “Night Train,” comes out. Just what is a night train? Jason explains: “Thinking back to the days where it was me and 12 of us on a bus, pulling a trailer. Me and my band and crew, all of us on one bus pulling a trailer. Now here we are a couple years later and there’s eight or nine semis – eight or nine buses. We all file out of the venue every night and it looks like a freight train going down the interstate. It kind of puts it in perspective for me of how far things have come over the past few years.”

Trace Adkins doesn’t back down from a showdown, so when he was invited to be part of the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice season, he did it, in spite of some misgivings: “I’ve been uncomfortable being myself in certain situations because I’m a realist and I think I’m a fairly intelligent person, so I’ve realized from time to time that I’ve been in places and situations that I had no business being in...such as The Apprentice.” The show premieres in the spring of next year and features only past contestants, trying again to not get fired.

Lots of disappointed people in Nashville on Sunday, as Dierks Bentley had to cancel his Miles & Music for Kids event due to high wind and the chance of severe weather. In a statement, Dierks said, “It's the last thing we wanted to do but safety is the priority. HUGE thanks to all the fans, riders, sponsors & artists who always come out to support us & Vandy Childrens Hospital.” There’ll be an announcement on his website when the charity ride and concert are rescheduled. Kix Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Brantley Gilbert and Chris Young were on tap for this past Sunday – they’re all hoping to be part of the event when it finally happens.

Gary Allan’s new song parallels his life. He co-wrote “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” with Hillary Lindsey and Matt Warren, and says about the experience, “We really go in a roll for about a week there. I think it’s a perfect single just because of what it says. I think I have been through a ton – and every storm runs out of rain. I think it’s like a coming above the water song – finally.” He’s sharing his private life on the song, but he'll kick off 2013 in a very public way – playing the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Tickets are on sale now.

Rascal Flatts is having so much fun on the road that they’re extending the “Changed” tour into the winter months. The Band Perry will open for them on the 20-show stint beginning January 10th.

Florida Georgia Line has a top 20 hit on their hands, and “Cruise” has just gone gold. Newcomers Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley have been friends since college and have seen their star rise quickly this year. According to Tyler, “It’s insane! I remember when we released our first little EP out on iTunes together…we were so excited to sell like – [Brian] 500… [Tyler] Yeah like, 500! So yeah, it’s pretty amazing, and it’s wild. I mean, there’s really not a whole to say about it other than it’s pretty surreal!” They’re on tour with Jake Owen and got the gold plaque while on stage during the opening night of the tour.
Scotty McCreery is in his first semester of college and aced his first math test, earning a 98. He doesn’t love math, but does love his 8am golf class, because it’s honing his game: “It’s gotten a lot better. It’s come a long ways in a year. On the road now, with time in the morning, I’ve been playing a lot more than usual. So, it’s coming along.” 
New music out today includes Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” Jamey Johnson’s “Livin’ For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran,” and Scotty McCreery’s “Christmas With Scotty McCreery.”

Monday, October 15, 2012

You’re not on it either? The Blake Shelton and Friends Cruise set sail yesterday, and Blake says there’ll be shenanigans, and someone might have to go overboard: “Well it won’t be Trace—although he may put us over the weight limit. I don’t know, I’d say—Easton’s gonna be there. I don’t think any of us would miss him if we through him over.” Also along for the ride are Jerrod Niemann, Neal McCoy, Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Randy Houser and Jana Kramer. Jana’s got mixed feelings about going on a cruise: “I’ve never done a cruise before because I’m really claustrophobic and I’m afraid – or if I get motion sickness. I was like, ‘You know what I’m getting over a fear, and hanging with some of my buddies on a boat. I get to bring my mom – it’s going to be awesome. I can’t wait to play and then meet people and hang out – go swimming and tan!”

In the wake of video showing an admittedly drunk Jason Aldean flirting with American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr in Hollywood, Jason Aldean says that the situation, though tough, is taken care of: “You can handle it two ways, you can go hide and run from it or you can get up and face it and deal with it and that’s kinda what we tried to do and just kinda move on, you know? And the main thing is that me and my family are OK.” He talked with CMT Insider and that segment aired this past weekend.

Jason Aldean is planning to hit a few more stadiums during his 2013 tour, saying that the sellout at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio was pretty awesome. According to Jason, “This next year we’ll probably dabble in it a little more, try a couple places and really just try to build on that. There’s not a lot of people that can do that [consistently], and that’s where we’re trying to figure it out —can we do that in certain markets? Or can we do that on a consistent basis? That’ll be a little bit of a learning pro­cess for us over the next year.”
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul show in Las Vegas kicks off in December, but preparations are in high gear now, and Tim says it’s pretty cool: “It’s different to think somebody offers you a ton of money to come do three years in Vegas or something, and they say ‘Here’s your theater and you can build it like you want it...’ For all we’ve done in our career past, and all we hope to do in the future with our careers, to have this sort of moment to do this thing for these ten weekends and then to turn the theatre over to us and build what you want is sort of rare.” 
Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss performed on the David Letterman Show Friday night. They collaborated on a song on his “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran” album which comes out tomorrow. He’ll announce tour plans later this week. 
Luke Bryan announced some tour plans – he’ll kick off his first headlining tour on January 17th in Evansville, Indiana, with shows running through at least March. Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line will open on the first leg of the tour. 
Taylor Swift’s new album, “Red,” doesn’t come out until the 22nd, but she’s working the publicity angle hard. She’s on the cover of the October 24th issue of Rolling Stone Magazine, presumably dishing some details of her love life, and has partnered with Keds to release a new, limited-edition line of “Red” footwear. But wait, there’s more – she’s also partnered with Walgreens, where you’ll find a Taylor Swift Store, with t-shirs, tour books, backpacks, journals and lots more. And of course, “Red” will be on sale one minute after midnight on October 22nd at all Walgreens stores. 
Keith Urban will receive the Harmony Award from the Nashville Symphony in a gala later this year. The award honors him for his work to help the Country Music Hall of Fame, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Habitat for Humanity. 
Trishia Yearwood is on The View and Josh Turner is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker team up with NASCAR brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip for the third annual Charity Championship, a golf tournament, dinner and concert happening just outside of Nashville. Brad Paisley will perform at the Champion’s Dinner on October 24th, and on the 25th is the golf tournament at the Vanderbilt Legends Club golf course, where Darius will take a swing at winning. The event benefits Feed the Children and Motor Racing Outreach. Think Brad’s excited to be part of a NASCAR event? “I have done racing schools. And I do have a diploma or two from a couple of tracks…which has actually served me now way more than my actual college diploma has!”

Sunday is Dierks Bentley’s Miles & Music For Kids charity ride in Nashville, and he puts it all out there for this event. But as you can tell from his latest single, “Tip It On Back,” he puts it all out there when he’s partying, too: “Obviously it’s about tippin’ it on back and smokin’ and all that stuff but it’s bigger than that too. It’s just about finding some way to take a break from your...whatever you’re going through and you know music’s a big part of that too, you know whether you’re drinkin’ to it or not. So, it’s about the live show. It’s about getting out.”
Tickets go on sale to George Strait’s last tour today, and George is planning to hit the studio, record a new album and get it out in time to showcase some new music along with his 59 #1 songs. How’s he feeling about recording? “I haven’t recorded in a while - it’s probably been the longest time ever since I’ve made a record. So, I’m feeling a little antsy about getting back into the studio. I’ve got some great material already, and I’m working on some songs – some original stuff too.” 
Gary Allen has a new song climbing the charts, and while he has a few #1 songs, those aren’t his goals. Actually, being a big star in country music isn’t his goal, either. What is? “I’ve never really cared about being the ‘latest greatest thing’—I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I never really fight to be in that inner circle, because I think that person won’t be around very long. I think whoever the latest greatest thing—that’s usually an up and down. I’ve always wanted to be the George Strait or the Willie Nelson—just make quality music and always be here.” His next album, “Set You Free,” features “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” and is due out in early 2013. 
Because of busy schedules, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will have Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, where Blake will be working on “The Voice.” Miranda says she’ll find hay bales and pumpkins somewhere in southern California, because she has to decorate. Speaking of holidays, Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” comes out Tuesday. I got an advance copy and was blown away by it – grab it up to spruce up your holidays! 
The awards season is at full throttle – the American Country Awards will be on FOX December 10th, and Luke Bryan leads the nomination parade with seven. Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band have six each. See all the nominees and vote for your favorite

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The American Music Awards nominations have been announced, and Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan both have two nods – Carrie is nominated for Favorite Female Country Album and Favorite Country Album, and Luke’s nods are for Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Country Album. The third album in the Country category is Lionel Richie’s “Tuskeegee.” Jason Aldean and Eric Church are the other nominees in the male country category, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert round out the female country category, and in the Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group category, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts are nominated. The American Music Awards will be handed out live on ABC November 18th.

Big congrats to Little Big Town, who hold down the #1 spot for the 4th week in a row on the Billboard Country Album chart with “Tornado.” Karen Fairchild says that the album is well-named: “We’ve had an amazing journey as a band, but this has felt like a new day and it’s been akin to a storm, in a really cool way.”

They might just have to settle for 4 weeks – Jason Aldean’s “Night Train” comes out this Tuesday and is expected to blow away the competition and take over the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Album chart. You can stream it on iTunes now, and make sure you listen to “The Only Way I Know,” a collaboration between Jason, Luke Bryan and Eric Church. Jason explains how that came together: “I just thought, ‘Man, with those two guys having the types of years they’re having and our thing doing what it’s doing, it just—what a cool kind of thing that could be on the record. And so I talked to those guys and sent them the song, and both of them dug the song. It’s another thing on the album that’s completely different.”

Jake Owen, Love and Theft and Florida Georgia Line are on the road together with the CMT The Summer Never Ends Tour. What’s it like, traveling around the country with a bunch of guys? According to Jake, “That’s the cool thing about it—is traveling around with your friends and singing songs and making people happy and then moving on to the next town and doing the same thing again. I mean, we’ll do everything from hang out and maybe play some golf, or try to find a boat somewhere and go out on a boat, or do some fishing. You know just what guys do, but the cool thing about it is every night we get to have a get-together with a bunch of friends and pick some guitars and sing songs.” The guys from Florida Georgia Line have some thoughts, too: “I know we are going to be playing a lot of ping pong – for sure. We like to find a gym and time to work out or do something. We’ve talked to Jake, we’re gonna have a whole bunch of random things. We’re gonna get all the stuff out at every stop and have a little mobile gym. It’ll be a good time getting a little workout in.” 

Speaking of working out, Miranda Lambert shares some workout secrets and her workout playlist in a WebMD interview: she’s put bad snacks on the “must miss” list and now snacks on almonds and low-fat string cheese, though will occasionally splurge on a cheeseburger or Dairy Queen Blizzard. As for her workout playlist, here you go… "Stronger" - Kelly Clarkson 
"Before He Cheats" - Carrie Underwood 
"Hell on Heels" - Pistol Annies 
"Run the World (Girls)" - BeyoncĂ© 
"Love in an Elevator" - Aerosmith 
"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" - Shania Twain 
"Smokin' the Boys" - Audra Mae and The Almighty Sound 
"You and I" - Lady Gaga 

Greg Bates is working his way up the charts with his debut, “I Did It For The Girl.” The singer-songwriter has a dream that he hopes comes true one day: “I would love to write a song with Alan Jackson. I know, he was a huge influence on me as a writer and I’ve always wanted to sit down with that guy and if anything just learn anything else that I can from him as a writer.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jason Aldean’s new album, “Night Train,” comes out this Tuesday, and it’s been approved by nine year old Keeley and five year old Kendyl. Jason says his daughters know how to pick hits: “They’re pretty good! They’ve got a good ear for music, especially my oldest one she’s pretty sharp when it comes to pickin’ songs, so I don’t know if that’s trouble or not. I don’t know if she’s gonna wanna be in the music business or how this is gonna work, but yeah I typically run it by ‘em.”

From the “gosh, what a big surprise” department, it’s just been announced that Carrie Underwood will perform on the CMA Awards show. She’s also co-hosting the show with Brad Paisley again this year, and she’s getting used to the juggling act: “There’s so much going on and like hosting takes over everything else, so you really don’t even think about your performance, you’re more concerned about keeping the show running and no matter what happens after any of it it’s like, ‘Well, OK, gotta get back out there and introduce so-an-so.’” Gotta wait until November first to see how she handles it all again this year.

Taylor Swift released “I Knew You Were Trouble” yesterday morning, two weeks before her new album, “Red,” comes out. When talking about how the song came to be, she includes a “shame on me” for getting into the relationship in the first place, but doesn’t tell us who “Trouble” is. Oh, well…

Keith Urban’s latest Urban Chat includes Ryan Seacrest, and Keith shows just how much he’ll do for guacamole… 
Congrats to Edens Edge singer Hanna Blaylock on her marriage to Justin Wakefield. All of the band attended the small, quiet ceremony in their home state of Arkansas. 
Tonight is the premier of ABC’s “Nashville.” The plot features conflict between a waning country superstar and a newcomer who’s star is on the rise. Yes, there’s country music, but not in a Glee sort of way, according to the producers. They say the music is seamlessly integrated into the show. Also tonight, Dwight Yoakam is on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dierks Bentley has new music in the works, but not before he finishes what he started with “Home.” “I’m working on trying, you know...wrapping up this year so I can start working on some new music. We’ve been touring pretty hard and I’ve been writing some stuff. I’m gonna start working on a new record probably in January, but just wrapping up the year up. We’ve been rockin’ really hard.” This Sunday is the Nashville stop for his “Miles and Music for Kids” motorcycle ride and concert to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.

Apparently, Brad Paisley’s new album will have a lot of heart: one track features a heart monitor beating a rhythm track through the second verse, and another song features an actual recorded human heart as part of the instrumentation. Maybe he’ll give us sneak-peeks before the album drops in April of 2013!

It’s not easy being a superstar, especially when you’ve added a TV show to your schedule. Listen to the week that Keith Urban had recently: “Sunday started with the Emmys, of course. Monday and Tuesday nights we played in Vegas. Tuesday and Wednesday we shot American Idol in Chicago...had a great time there. And Thursday I got on a plane and I came to the south of France.”

Jake Owen’s CMT On Tour tour kicks off tomorrow night, with Love & Theft and Florida Georgia Line. Jake’s new “Endless Summer” EP features a song called “Summer Jam” that he and his buddies in FLG co-wrote, and Jake can’t wait to get onstage and do it live with them: “They were a big part in writing that song. Not only am I huge fans of theirs, and I really try to be very supportive of my buddies, but they’re gonna go out on our CMT On Tour, so I just thought it would be a really cool moment to bring them back out and do that song with them.”

After three years of camping out in Las Vegas, Garth Brooks pulls up stakes and heads back to Oklahoma next month. His final show at the Wynn Las Vegas will be November 17th, and Garth says he’s “thoroughly enjoyed [his] time” there, and has had some of the best audiences in the world.
Even though the tour is over, “Brothers of the Sun” is still atop the Pollstar Top 20 Concert Tour list. Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw averaged $4.4 million at the box office in each city of the tour, with an average ticket price of $87.96. Other country artists on the list include Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean. 
In Kenny Rogers’ new memoir, “Luck or Something Like It,” you can read all about his life, his career and stories behind his music, but you won’t be reading anything about his plastic surgery. Unlike Dolly Parton, Kenny isn’t being open about his nips and tucks, saying that the publisher asked him to keep that part out of his book. You can read all the rest that he did put in there – the book’s available now online and in bookstores.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Luke Bryan’s “2012 Farm Tour” continues this week with stops in Florida and Georgia. This is Luke’s favorite of the year: “We just love getting out in the fields and in each location we pick the local college and give a scholarship to a kid that comes from a farming background. And we give ‘em a scholarship to the college. And that’s the least that I feel like we can do to give back.”

It’s his highest chart debut yet, and Brad Paisley is spilling the beans about his “Southern Comfort Zone.” He says that when he’s out of his southern comfort zone, he loves Europe: “I love the culture. I love the food. And I love the fact that old to them is thousands of years as opposed to, ‘look at this old house from 1943.’”

Thomas Rhett took a little advice from his dad, hit songwriter Rhett Akins, when he wrote the song, “Beer With Jesus.” Asked what he’d do if he had the chance to really tip one back with the Son of God, Thomas said, “If Jesus was here today walking in the flesh like he was back when he was here, I mean, I would probably take him down to the Flying Saucer and order up a Newcastle and just pick his brain about life and ask him if I’m doing alright and ask him how some of the people in my life that are close to me that have died how they’re doing in Heaven. So, it’s just a very personal song to me.”

Tomorrow night on CMT, Jake Owen gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the music on his Endless Summer EP before he goes out on the CMT On Tour run, which kicks off Wednesday. How does he feel about the tour? “You know, in the last five years I’ve come far enough to where now not only am I headlining the tour, but I’ve got two acts below me playing. It’s a really, really cool feeling.” Love and Theft and Florida Georgia Line hit the road with Jake for the fall tour.

Jerrod Niemann is the latest country star to get the PS22 treatment. He stopped by the Long Island school to share some tunes with them, and they blew him away…check out the video…
Country artists came together to raise money to save the boyhood home of the late Johnny Cash. Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, the Civil Wars and Rosanne Cash performed at the Johnny Cash Music Festival in Arkansas. The money raised will be used to restore the home Johnny Cash lived in with his 6 brothers and sisters in Dyess, Arkansas. So far, about half a million dollars has been gathered for the restoration project. 
Grace Potter is a Man In Black fan – she’ll be part of “Johnny Cash: Song By Song,” along with Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Shooter Jennings and Billy Bob Thornton, and says about Johnny Cash, “I was always attracted to his voice. There’s something—it’s not just the depth in that very signature sound of his voice—it’s something about his phrasing and the way he delivers a line that is so irreverent! It’s so rich and full of attitude. You just feel like he owned every lyric.” The miniseries kicked off last night on the Ovation network.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean have a few things in common: they’re both from Georgia, they both put on great country music shows, and they’re both die-hard Georgia Bulldog fans. They’re on record as saying that the team has a shot at playing for the National title, or at least for the SEC Championship. While on the road, the satellite dish on the bus is always tuned to college football for those two, so you know what they’ll both be watching tomorrow!

Speaking of the home of the Bulldogs, Dierks Bentley shot his “Tip It On Back” video in Athens, GA and really wanted a college-town party feel to it. “It turned out great. The fans are great! We just put a little word out on the street that we were shooting a video and people came down in the middle of the day and filled the place up…had some beer onstage, like props… pretty soon the props starting getting drunk [Laughs], and the crowd got into it, too. It was a long day, it was really like doing two shows in one day. You know, we did a show basically for that video.” Dierks even does a bit of crowd-surfing in the video – catch it on CMT.

Easton Corbin is enjoying a top 10 single with “Lovin’ You Is Fun” off of his just-released album, “All Over the Road.” How did Easton and his band pick the songs that would be on the album? “We found songs that I love and I relate to, and that spoke to me. I feel like that translates to the audience out there.” I guess that’s one way to do it!

Justin Moore is working hard to find the right songs for his next album: “I have been writing a ton and I’ve been listening to a lot of songs. I listened to more songs this go around than I ever have. But we are in the very early stages of discussing things. But I am very excited to get new music out to fans.” He’s on the road with Eric Church right now, and his latest single, “Til My Last Day,” is speeding up the charts.
Brad Paisley has a new album coming out, but we’ll have to wait until April 9th to get it. But in addition to his newly-released single, he’ll also be part of Colbie Caillat’s upcoming Christmas album. He sings and strums on “Merry Christmas Baby” – the album comes out October 23rd. 
Hanson has covered Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” How does she like it? Really, really well – she tweeted that she loveloveloved it! 
Willie Nelson is releasing a memoir entitled “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” the same title as his current song release. In the book, he’ll share his greatest musical and life influences, his thoughts on poker and Texas and will offer up some rare family pictures. His son Micah created the book’s cover art, and the book comes out November 13th, just in time for your holiday shopping. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has started a “Hey St. Jude” fund and awareness drive, and country stars lend a hand, of course. Randy Owen, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Big & Rich, along with a host of sports and entertainment stars, show up in the video. To watch it and to donate, visit the video’s home page, and you can get one of the cool t-shirts featured in the video for a $35 donation.
Kenny Chesney’s “El Cerrito Place” keeps leaping up the chart, rising faster than his past smash hits. He thinks the song is striking a deep chord in fans for a couple of reasons: “I understand that sense of searching and longing in that song. It just felt very real to me. And that’s what Grace sang on. You know, to have her on ‘El Cerrito Place’ and sing in that high harmony is just...she just makes that searching and longing come to life.” 

Jake Owen is having loads of success with his “Endless Summer” EP, which was released last week. How does he feel about these four songs? “You know everybody has got an iPod mix that says, ‘Summer Playlist.’ I’ve got mine. If I was making one, these songs I would put on there. I just felt honored to be able to put my voice on them, and put it out there – I think it’s kind of cool.” He’s getting set to hit the road with Love & Theft and Florida Georgia Line – the tour kicks off next Wednesday in New York City.

George Strait may be hitting the road for the last time, but he’s doing it in style, touring with Martina McBride. About her, George says, “She’s just incredible singer and a great person. We have a lot of fun out there with her. We were out with her last year and we’re gonna go out with her again this year, and so we’re happy about that.” His “Cowboy Rides Away” tour happens in 2013 and 2014, and after that, George says he’s not going to tour anymore.
Rascal Flatts is in the current issue of Variety Magazine, and Jay DeMarcus remembers when the country music super group first hit the scene and reporters compared them to the Backstreet Boys. They were pretty stylish for country music in the early 2000’s, but held on to their look despite the digs. Gary, Jay and Joe Don just got their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, something the Backstreet Boys haven’t done yet. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Luke Bryan kicks off his 2012 Farm Tour tonight, after touring with Jason Aldean this summer. The Farm Tour is near and dear to his heart, but he’s planning his own headlining tour for 2013 and is excited about the plans so far: “Oh it’s happening, it’s happening. We’re starting to plan that up. It’s gonna be interesting—lotta pop. Lotta—not pop, like a lotta fireworks, I meant! I don’t wanna scare anybody. No pop there--I can’t go pop if I’ve got a load of roman candles!”

Lady Antebellum is enjoying their second tour in Australia, this time as headliners. Dave Haywood explains, “We were lucky enough to get to open up for Keith Urban last year in Australia, and we kind of found this whole little new world of fans over there for us. Everybody was super nice, and we love their accents, so it’s a beautiful place to be. But, it’s very interesting, very high energy.” The tour wraps up tonight in Sydney, and once they get back to the US, they’ll head into the studio to work on their 4th studio album.

A week from today, Jake Owen kicks off his first headlining tour, taking along Love & Theft and Florida Georgia Line. He’s excited to be the top of the ticket, but also knows he’s got some work to do: “When I get out there I want the people that are on tour with me – Love & Theft and Florida Georgia Line – and their crew guys, the guys in the band everyone – I want them to feel very taken care of. Like the way I feel when I go on tour with artists that are headlining. There’s a lot of responsibility that goes along with that, but I love the challenge of that.”

Dustin Lynch is well-known now for his song, “Cowboys and Angels,” but back in the day, when he promised his parents he’d go to college before getting into country music, he was known for – frogs?? “I love to hunt and fish and I like to, uh...weirdly enough I used to like to dissect things, so you know it kinda got me in that arena and it was easy. Biology came easy to me, so I just wanted something I could do and was good at.”
American Idol is taping, and Keith Urban is having a blast as one of the judges: “We had two days in New York and I had a blast! I can’t wait ‘til the next couple days and I’m really, really glad to be doing it!.” Season 13 premiers in January of 2013. 
Want to party for a cure with Jason Aldean? Mark your calendar – his “Concert for the Cure” happens the last night of his “My Kinda Party” tour – October 27th in Dallas. The money raised goes to Susan G. Komen For The Cure. This is the 7th year that Jason Aldean has put on this benefit, in memory of his late friend, Melissa, who lost her battle with breast cancer when she was only 29 years old. Twenty thousand tickets sold out in less than four minutes when the show went on sale earlier this year, and Jason says it’s always his favorite concert of the year. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Easton Corbin released his sophomore album a week ago today, and “All Over the Road” debuted at #2 on the country charts. Easton doesn’t take something like that for granted: “I’m very thankful that I’m still out here doing what I’m doing. These careers you just don’t know – you could be here one day and gone tomorrow. Still could be you never know. So you just have to appreciate everyday you’re out there and thank the Lord for blessing you.” His latest single, “Lovin’ You Is Fun,” is inside the top 10 and headed for #1. If it gets there, it’ll be his third #1 song, joining “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.”

Are you a Hunter Hayes fan? You can get a free copy of a previously unreleased song, “Light Me Up,” by visiting his Facebook page. Once you’ve liked the page, click here to be taken to the post with the download link.
Jana Kramer is making her first splash on the country music charts with the song “Why Ya Wanna,” but she says she’s encountered some resistance along the way: “You know, in the very beginning I was getting so criticized like, ‘Oh gosh, another actress coming into the country format.’ And I kept just saying, ‘You know what? When they hear the music, they’re gonna get it. They’re gonna understand that this is my passion that this is what I want to do and they’re gonna see that it’s real.” It is, and so are her acting chops – she’ll star in “Heart of the Country,” due out in 2013. This isn’t a TV project, like her previous acting work – this is a feature film and here’s a sneak-peek: 

Ethel Kennedy is very hopeful – either that, or that’s her standard answer to nosey reporter questions! A Boston Herald writer asked her if she hoped that her grandson Conor Kennedy and Taylor Swift get married. She replied, “I hope so!” He went on to ask her if Taylor really bought the house across the street from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, and the Kennedy matriarch had the same response – “I hope so!”

Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” and Jerrod Niemann’s “Free the Music” are both out today.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Did you catch Carrie Underwood on VH1’s Behind the Music last night? Yeah, she didn’t either! “I got to sit down and kind of go back through my life and talk about singing, why I wanted to do that and what I did as a kid to get me here. They talked to my mom and talked to a lot of friends of mine that I grew up with – I probably don’t even know all the people they ended up talking to. So, it will be fun for me to sit down and watch it too.” Tomorrow afternoon VH1 airs “Carrie Underwood: Unplugged” at 4 Eastern, and they’re sure to re-run her Behind the Music episode soon.

When Luke Bryan’s 4th Annual Farm Tour kicks off Wednesday, it’ll have a stellar opening act: The Peach Pickers. Luke will bring out 2/3 of the trio, Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson, though the third Peach Picker, Ben Hayslip, won’t be joining them. Those three men are the super-songwriting trio responsible for hits like “Gimme That Girl,” “Put A Girl In It,” “All About Tonight,” “All Over Me,” and Luke’s song “I Don’t Want This Night To End.” All are #1 songs, making the Peach Pickers a powerful force in Nashville. About the shows, Luke says, “We just want to have a little fun in the fall, and I think what’s cool about the Farm Tour is when we continue to go to places like Claxton (Georgia) and Valdosta (Georgia). These things are a big event for these towns, and I just love the fact that people can come out and have a big time, listen to some music. And it’s just a fun experience all the way around. I want to continue to do what I can to keep it rockin’.”
The Voice will officially air new episodes in the spring and fall of 2013, but so far, Blake Shelton is only scheduled to be part of the fall series. He’s already scheduled to host the ACM Awards show in the spring, plus there’s this little thing about touring and producing new music that he likes to do, so it’s doubtful he’ll be part of The Voice in the spring. 
Kristian Bush is going back to his roots – he’ll play two shows at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta) on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Tickets for the November 25th shows go on sale today. 
Tomorrow, the CW kicks off a new series, “Hart of Dixie,” and Jake Owen’s song, “The One That Got Away,” is featured in the promotional campaign for the show. In the movie world, Steve Azar’s song, “Doin’ It Right,” will be part of the soundtrack for the movie, “Here Comes the Boom,” which stars Kevin James, Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler, and opens next weekend. 
Kip Moore is on the Today Show this morning, and Taylor Swift is on Good Morning America and Nightline. 

Blog Archive