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Country News Digest, September 2011

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September 29, 2011 - Rodney Atkins was first on the Billboard Country Songs chart again with Take a Back Road, and Lady Antebellum did the same on the Billboard Country Albums chart for the week ending Oct. 8 with "Own the Night." George Strait was second on the albums chart with "Here For a Good Time.... »»»
September 28, 2011 - With his forthcoming "Ashes & Fire" coming Oct. 11 on PAX-AM/Capitol), Ryan Adams has confirmed a new leg of North American dates. The new dates run from Dec. 2 at Philadelphia's Academy of Music through Dec. 13 at the State Theater in Minneapolis and include a Dec. 6 stop of New York's Carnegie Hall.... »»»
September 28, 2011 - David Nail will release "The Sound Of A Million Dreams," his sophomore album, on Nov. 15. The CD is the follow-up to Nail's first outing, "I'm About To Come Alive, "which garnered Nail a Grammy nomination for Best Male Vocal Country Performance for his hit Turning Home and an Academy of Country... »»»
September 27, 2011 - LeAnn Rimes is the lone major label artist to release a CD today. Rimes gets help from producer Vince Gill on "Lady and Gentlemen," a recording of covers of songs made famous mainly by men. Songs include The Bottle Let Me Down, Help Me Make It Through the Night and a new version of her own hit Blue.... »»»
September 27, 2011 - CMA Awards co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will perform their duet Remind Me at the awards show in November. This will be their first live performance of the number one song on national television. The 45th annual awards show airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 9 on ABC.... »»»
September 27, 2011 - Rascal Flatts was asked to be members of the Grand Ole Opry tonight. Jay DeMarcus, one third of the country pop trio, was quite excited about the news. He posted on Twitter, "I am beside myself. We were asked to be members of the Grand Ole Opry tonight!!! The greatest honor ever!!! Can't believe it, am... »»»
September 27, 2011 - Elizabeth Cook will appear on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" next Wednesday, Oct. 5. Cook will be putting in couch time, not performing. When not singing, Cook has fans of her "Apron Strings" show on SiriusXM's Outlaw Country, which airs daily fro 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Outlaw Country.... »»»
September 27, 2011 - Johnny Wright, 97, the husband of Kitty Wells and one half of the recording duo Johnny & Jack, died today at 97 at his home in Madison, Tenn. Born in Mount Juliet, Tenn., Wright first performed with Jack Anglin in 1936. In 1937, he married Wells, who was 18. The two, along with Wright's sister Louise,... »»»
September 26, 2011 - Dierks Bentley releases the anthemic Home off his upcoming sixth Capitol Nashville album to country radio today. Bentley penned the new track with Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers. "One of the best parts of being a traveling musician is getting to meet people from all over the country and hear about... »»»
September 23, 2011 - Dierks Bentley will perform a version of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here on Sept. 29 as part of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon's week-long tribute to the rock band. Bentley will represent the country genre alongside rock bands including Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, The Shins and MGMT.... »»»
September 23, 2011 - Jason Aldean sold out his February 2012 date in Nashville within minutes, his publicist said today. Aldean sold more than 15,000 tickets for his Feb. 24 "My Kinda Party" tour stop at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Luke Bryan will open the date. "It feels good to sell out any venue in any city,... »»»
September 22, 2011 - Lady Antebellum debuted in first with "Own the Night" on the Billboard Top 200 and Country Album charts, taking over from Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" on the 200 chart and George Strait's "Here For a Good Time," which slipped to third. Rodney Atkins took Take a Back Road to the top of the Billboard Country Songs chart.... »»»
September 22, 2011 - The Country Music Association is celebrating Country Music Month 45 days of promotions, events, and activities designed to drive awareness of the format leading up to the annual CMA Awards on Nov. 9. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean issued a proclamation from the city citing the important role and tangible... »»»
September 22, 2011 - Aaron Lewis debut solo single, Country Boy, was certified gold, selling in excess of 500,000 copies. The song is featured on Leweis' debut solo EP, "Town Line," released earlier this year on Nashville's R&J Records. "This is a really pleasant surprise for me," said Lewis. "It's the first thing I... »»»
September 22, 2011 - Luke Bryan will head to the west coast after this weekend's CMT on Tour dates and just prior to kicking off his six-day run of "Farm Tour" shows to make his first-ever appearances on "Access Hollywood Live" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." These shows will air Monday, Sept., 26 and Wednesday, Sept., 28 respectively.... »»»
September 22, 2011 - Five years after their debut, The Little Willies, the band fronted by Norah Jones, are back. "For The Good Times," the follow-up to their eponymous 2006 debut, which will be released by EMI's Milking Bull Records in January 2012. The band will be previewing songs from the new album at three shows in late October.... »»»
September 21, 2011 - Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's many contributions to the music industry were recognized during a reception at CMA Tuesday night when Dean was presented the CMA Chairman's Award by CMA Board Chairman Steve Buchanan. "Mayor Dean has shown, and continues to show, his support of the music industry in... »»»
September 21, 2011 - Lady Antebellum owns the charts this week, earning the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 with the debut of their third studio album "Own the Night." The disc sold more than 347,000 units for the week, the biggest first week debut by a country artist this year. The trio is currently in Canada... »»»
September 21, 2011 - If unable to catch Taylor Swift's world tour live, soon fans go see it on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray sets, "Speak Now World Tour - Live." The sets will be out Nov. 21, the day before the U.S. tour wraps with the second of two sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. This year, Swift's tour will have... »»»
September 20, 2011 - Taylor Swift isn't number one in everything because Toby Keith is the highest paid country star, according to Forbes Magazine. Keith earned the spot, according to the magazine, in part, due to his sponsorship deal with Ford is now in its 10th year. Keith also owns the I Love This Bar & Grill... »»»
September 20, 2011 - All five nominees for CMA Entertainer of the Year - Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban - are the first group of performers confirmed for the CMA Awards show. With five nominations each this year, Aldean, Paisley, Shelton and Swift are also the top CMA-nominated artists.... »»»
September 20, 2011 - Luke Bryan kicked-off his first major headlining tour over the weekend, "CMT ON TOUR: Luke Bryan Tailgates & Tanlines," by selling out his Terminal 5 show in New York City and breaking an attendance record in Utica, N.Y. The good news continued because over the weekend, tickets for Bryan's "Farm Tour"... »»»
September 20, 2011 - Dale Watson will be on National Public Radio's "American Routes" this week, airing Sept. 21-27. The Texas honky tonker talks about his career and his upcoming release "The Sun Sessions," coming out on Red House Records on Oct. 11. Hosted by Nick Spitzer, "American Routes" is a weekly radio program... »»»
September 20, 2011 - Sixteen years after their last album together, The Jayhawks are out today with "Mockingbird Time." (Rounder) The disc contains the trademark duo harmonies of Gary Louris and Mark Olson on the dozen songs. The band expands beyond that though with a touch of psychedlia. Back int he fold are Karen... »»»
September 19, 2011 - Rodney Atkins is celebrating his sixth career number one with Take A Back Road, taking over the top from Jake Owen's Barefoot Blue Jean Night. Atkins released the video for the song today as well. Hollywood director Andy Tennant ("Fool's Gold," "Hitch," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Fools Rush In"), directed... »»»
September 16, 2011 - Eric Lee Beddingfield made his Grand Ole Opry debut this week, performing his The Gospel According to Jones hit for George Jones' 80th birthday celebration. He also joined Alan Jackson, The Oak Ridge Boys and Joe Diffie in singing the Jones smash I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair for the evening finale.... »»»
September 16, 2011 - Pinecastle plans to release a solo album from Wildfire frontman Robert Hale in early 2012. The album is a mix between grassy and more country leaning tunes. The disc features Alecia Nugent, Scott Vestal, Wayne Benson, Ernie Sykes, Steve Thomas, Randy Kohrs and Shawn Lane. The project includes four... »»»
September 16, 2011 - The wait will be a bit longer for Darrell Scott's next CD. "Long Ride Home" is being moved from Oct. 11 to Jan. 31, 2012. "We apologize for the last minuteness of this but due to Darrell's schedule we felt like it's what's best for the release," said Scott publicist Traci Thomas on Friday.... »»»
September 16, 2011 - Grand Ole Opry member Wilma Lee Cooper passed away on Sept. 13 at her home in Sweetwater, Tenn. from natural causes at 90. Cooper, who performed with husband Stoney Cooper, was a member of the Opry since 1957. Her last solo performance on the Opry was at the Ryman Auditorium on Feb. 24, 2001.... »»»
September 15, 2011 - Early indications are that Lady Antebellum will have the best selling album in the U.S. for the debut of its third disc, "Own the Night." Billboard reported that Lady A was slated to sell about 260,000-290,000 units of the new disc, which was released Tuesday. This would mark the second straight number... »»»
September 15, 2011 - George Strait debuted atop the Billboard Albums chart for the week ending Sept. 24 with "Here for a Good time." Jake Owen remained first with "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" on the Billboard Country Songs chart. Strait took over the top from Owen's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," which slipped to third.... »»»
September 15, 2011 - Martina McBride is hitting the rails. The singer is partnering with Amtrak on "ELEVEN Across America Powered by Amtrak" to promote her upcoming CD. The singer will go a four-day train ride to launch her upcoming Republic Nashville album, "Eleven" with 11 stops, starting in Los Angeles and ending in... »»»
September 14, 2011 - Wade Mainer, a banjo player who bridged the gap from old time music to bluegrass, died on Monday at his home in Flint, Mich. at 104. Mainer also was responsible for a two-finger banjo fingerpicking style, the precursor to today's three-fine style. Mainer, a North Carolina native, grew up listening to... »»»
September 14, 2011 - Ashton Shepherd has lived life in two very different worlds - small town Alabama and the life of a touring artist - and she'd like to keep it that way. Fans can get a glimpse of both on "Ashton Shepherd - Where Country Grows," premiering Monday, Sept. 19, 9 p.m. eastern on Great American Country (GAC).... »»»
September 14, 2011 - George Strait reached the top of the country music chart again with his new release "Here For A Good Time." With first week sales of 91,414, the disc was the third best selling CD in the U.S. behind Lil Wayne and Adele. This was Strait's third number one album debut in a row. He took over for Jake... »»»
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September 13, 2011 - George Jones celebrated his 80th birthday at the Grand Ole Opry tonight. Performances from the show included Jones tributes. Alan Jackson performed He Stopped Loving Her Today and together with Lee Ann Womack sang Golden Ring. Jamey Johnson performed Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes, while The Oak... »»»
September 13, 2011 - Jaron Lowenstein of Jaron and the Long Road to Love, known for his country hit "Pray For You and early 2000's Crazy for this Girl from pop duo, Evan and Jaron, recorded music with Joe Firstman and their new band Cordovas. The new release, which shifts from Southern Rock to Alt/Country to Gospel then... »»»
September 13, 2011 - Johnny Reid was the big winner at the Canadian Country Music Awards by taking home three awards, including the big award, the Fans' Choice Awards. Reid's most recent album, "A Place Called Love," was the Top Selling Canadian Album of the Year at Sunday's Gala Awards. He also won CMT Video of the Year... »»»
September 13, 2011 - With Lady Antebellum leading the way, today was a busy day for releases, although mainly by indie artists. Lady Antebellum has done quite well with the first two discs and already has enjoyed a few hit singles from "Own the Night." Just a Kiss and We Own the Night have been the ht singles among the... »»»
September 13, 2011 - The 2012 Newport Folk Festival will be held July 28 - 29, it was announced today. "Following a sold-out 2011 Folk Festival and a very successful Jazz Festival, we want to make sure that music fans throughout the area and around the world have the 2012 dates on their calendars early," said George Wein,... »»»
September 12, 2011 - Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than 2 million units. The disc is 2011's best selling country album and has spawned three consecutive number one hits, each of which have also been certified Platinum for digital downloads with the most... »»»
September 12, 2011 - Zac Brown Band is not slowing own on the touring circuit following a string of stadium dates on Kenny Chesney's 'Goin' Coastal' Tour and special guest appearances with Kings of Leon in the UK. The band is doing a series of shows starting later this week into November. Zac Brown Band Fall 2011 Tour Dates: Sept.... »»»
September 12, 2011 - Taylor Swift will visit the Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, Sept. 13 where she will perform. During a recent four-night stint in Los Angeles, DeGeneres was one of Swift's special guests as part of the Speak Now World... »»»
September 12, 2011 - The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) will honor Don Williams with the ASCAP Golden Note Award during its 49th Annual Country Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 6 in Nashville. The event will also honor the songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed country songs from... »»»
September 9, 2011 - Ashton Shepherd and her husband Roland Cunningham welcomed daughter, Raden Delilah Cunningham, to the family today. She joins 5-year old big brother James. Raden was born in Demopolis, Ala. and weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 19 inches. Shepherd said of her daughter, "She's perty.... »»»
September 9, 2011 - Lady Antebellum will give fans chances to get exclusive online content, including a concert on Saturday night, as the band nears release of their third studio disc, "Own the Night," drops Tuesday. Lady Antebellum will offer a live stream to fans across the country from their stripped-down show... »»»
September 8, 2011 - Jake Owen scored a chart double by being the leading country album in the U.S. for the week ending Sept 17 with "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and topping the Country Songs chart with the title track. Owen took over the top of the album chart from the Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels" and the song chart from... »»»
September 8, 2011 - The Grand Ole Opry is joining Women Rock For The Cure in the fight against breast cancer on Sat., Oct. 22 with its third annual "Opry Goes Pink" show. Opry member Martina McBride, whose current single, I'm Gonna Love You Through It, offers hope to those affected by cancer, will flip the switch on... »»»
September 8, 2011 - Chris Young will make his debut appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on Monday, Sept. 12. Young will perform his soulful new single "You on the show airing at 12:35 a.m. eastern on CBS. This marks Young's fourth national TV appearance since the release of his third album, "Neon," earlier this summer.... »»»
September 8, 2011 - Toby Keith will go live again for his upcoming October release by adding live songs recorded at a small New York City club performance last year. The Oct. 24 Deluxe Edition release of his new studio album, "Clancy's Tavern," will include 4 more classic covers recorded live at that... »»»
September 7, 2011 - Jake Owen will be on top of the Billboard Country Albums chart when it is released tomorrow with "Barefoot Blue Jean Night." He takes over for Pistol Annies' "Hell on Heels." With sales of 55,000 units, that is good for the sixth spot overall on the Billboard Top 200. The number one disc by far was Lil... »»»
September 7, 2011 - Noam Pikelny a member of the Punch Brothers, will release his second solo disc, "Beat The Devil and Carry A Rail" on Oct. 25 on Compass Records. The album from Punch Brothers' banjoist and winner of the 2010 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass features Jerry Douglas, Aoife... »»»
September 7, 2011 - Banjoist Sammy Shelor of the Lonesome River Band won the second annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Shelor will receive an unrestricted cash prize of $50,000 plus a bronze sculpture created expressly for the prize by Eric Fischl. The Scruggs-styled player is has been... »»»
September 7, 2011 - Luke Bryan partnered with an NRA supported organization, NRA Country, for the 2011 Farm Tour. The partnership, now in its second year, will have NRA Country on site at all dates. The Farm Tour will continue for its third consecutive year with 6 shows kicking off in Clemson, S.C. on Sept. 29 and wrapping Oct.... »»»
September 7, 2011 - Lady Antebellum will kick off their international release schedule for "Own the Night" in Green Bay, Wisc. on Thursday for a pregame performance. Lady A is playing live on NBC, USA Network and NFL Network from the NFL's Kickoff 2011 before the Packers play the New Orleans Saints.... »»»
September 6, 2011 - Three albums into his career, Eric Church was nominated for the CMA New Artist award. "Though I've tried to make my career not just about winning awards, it's always great to be recognized, and I'm especially honored in this case because the CMA voting members are my peers. It's always really... »»»
September 6, 2011 - Luke Bryan garnered a CMA Awards nomination this morning in the New Artist category, his second in this category. "I am so fired up about the nomination for CMA New Artist," said Bryan from his home in Nashville this morning. "These moments are life changing, and I am very thankful to have this... »»»
September 6, 2011 - Matraca Berg may have Kenny Chesney to thank for her good spirits today. That's because he and Grace Potter turned You and Tequila into a hit and a Country Music Association nomination for Best Song for Berg and co-writer Deana Carter. "You have a career... and you have your life...... »»»
September 6, 2011 - Dierks Bentley will host his sixth annual "Miles & Music for Kids" celebrity motorcycle ride and benefit concert on Oct. 16 in Nashville. Over the event's six year history, it has raised $1.6 million for children's hospitals in Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Seattle, Columbus and is... »»»
September 6, 2011 - George Strait is out with his 39th album today, "Here for a Good Time," which is also the name of his current hit single. Strait had a hand in writing 7 of the 11 songs, mainly with his son Bubba and long-time Strait favorite Dean Dillon. Strait co-produced the disc with Tony Brown in Key West, Fla.... »»»
September 6, 2011 - Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift top the nominations announced Tuesday for the Country Music Association awards with five apiece. The Band Perry and Zac Brown Band each received four nominations for the awards being held Nov. 9 in Nashville. Paisley's nominations keep him in... »»»
September 2, 2011 - Zac Brown Band will combine and food and music at the Southern Ground Music & Food Festival Oct. 21-23 in Charleston, S.C. In addition to three performances from Zac Brown Band, the bill will feature: My Morning Jacket, Train, Eric Church, Fitz and the Tantrums, Warren Haynes Band, Steel Pulse,... »»»
September 1, 2011 - Pistol Annies debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Albums chart for the week ending Sept. 10 with "Hell on Heels." The trio, which includes Miranda Lambert, knocked out Luke Bryan's "Tailgates & Tanlines," which fell to second. Brad Paisley's duet with Carrie Underwood, Remind Me, is the... »»»
September 1, 2011 - Vince Gill and Sting will meet at the Crossroads, a musical collaboration on CMT. After a five-year absence, CMT is bringing back its series CMT CROSSROADS to New York City, for an invitation-only taping of Gill and Sting, who will perform their classic hits and selections from both of... »»»
September 1, 2011 - When Darius Rucker returns stateside, he'll celebrate more than just his first European tour since his days with Hootie, as the singer will be headlining his first U.S. tour beginning this fall. Joining Rucker for select dates will be Rodney Atkins, Frankie Ballard, Thompson Square and Justin Moore.... »»»
September 1, 2011 - NBC Sports will again feature Faith Hill performing the opening theme for NBC "Sunday Night Football," Waiting All Day for Sunday Night. Hill debuts this season on Sunday, Sept. 11, the first Sunday Night Football broadcast of 2011 featuring the last two Super Bowl Champions, as Aaron Rodgers and the... »»»
September 1, 2011 - George Strait will launch his 2012 in January with Martina McBride opening, it was announced Thursday. The tour kicks off in late January. "I love Martina. She's been on our tours before and she's great, " said Strait. "I'm really looking forward to the tour. Martina will definitely make it a special night.... »»»