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Playgirl announces country issue

Monday, June 2, 2008 – Playgirl magazine will release its annual country music issue next month, with singer Craig Hand on the cover. "It came about last year," said Hand, 29 who had been on the trouble and now defunct Category 5 Records. "I was talking to my publicist, Kirt Webster, and he had mentioned it to me. He said, 'Send me a couple of pictures, and maybe we can get you in it.' I didn't make it last year. This year, Kirt called back and said, 'Still interested?' 'Yeah, love to!'"

Hand flew from his home in St. Augustine, Fla., to Nashville during Country Radio Seminar for the photo shoot. "A couple weeks later, I got a call from the photographer, and he said I made the cover."

He appears nude in the magazine, "but it's done tastefully." "My mom is okay with us since I am not baring the full nudity," he said. "I got her permission before I did it. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, I couldn't upset those people too bad. My wife has had aspirations to be in Playboy, so it was a joke a couple of years ago: 'I'll see if you make the cover of Playboy before I make in on the cover of Playgirl. Now it's happening, and it's kind of funny."

Hand hopes the publicity will help his career. He was signed to Category 5 Records, but the label shut down amidst financial turmoil involving the owner. "I've been writing a lot, and I'm independently releasing a single over the summer," he said. "With the help of Playgirl, hopefully we'll find a label that wants to work with us."

The July/August issue also features photos of Keith Urban, Darryl Worley, and Jason Meadows and interviews with Clay Walker, Tory Gentry, and Trent Willmon.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Surly Gentlemen prove anything but – For about the past six months, veteran bluegrassers Clay Hess, formerly of Kentucky Thunder, and Tim Shelton of NewFound Road, along with Clay's son Brennan, have collectively been The Surly Gentlemen. The trio's sound is probably best described as stripped down bluegrass meets singer/songwriter. These Surly Gents have been playing small... »»»
Concert Review: Isbell shines – Jason Isbell was in a jubilant mood shortly after taking the stage at the Anaheim House of Blues' recently relocated new location. Now situated in a shopping strip called the GardenWalk, yet still close to the Disney theme parks, Isbell later humorously noted how the area is so clean. He even referred to it as a "tiny Toronto.... »»»
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