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Swift names opening acts

Thursday, March 3, 2011 – Taylor Swift announced a slew of opening acts for the North American leg of her tour, which starts in late August. Almost all of the acts are signed with major labels. Swift just wrapped the sold-out Asian leg of her Taylor Swift Speak Now World Tour 2011, and the European tour kicks off this week with a March 6 show in Brussels, Belgium.

Openers will be Frankie Ballard, Danny Gokey, Hunter Hayes, Josh Kelley, Randy Montana, James Wesley and Charlie Worsham. As previously announced, featured artist NEEDTOBREATHE will perform on all North American tour dates.

This year, she will play 90 shows in 19 countries spanning 4 continents. Two guest artists will perform on each of Taylor's stadium dates, in addition to NEEDTOBREATHE.

Hailing from Battle Creek, Mich., Ballard gained some airplay with his debut single, Tell Me You Get Lonely. Ballard's new feel-good single A Buncha Girls is off his forthcoming Warner Bros. Records debut album produced by Michael Knox (Jason Aldean).

Gokey was a finalist on Season Eight of American Idol. Last year, Gokey released his debut album, "My Best Days."

Hayes, 19, is on Atlantic.

Kelley is slated to release his first country album, Georgia Clay, on March 22 and his first single - the title track - is currently Top 25 at country radio. He previously had a career in the pop world

Montana's music combines his raspy voice and rocking guitar-driven. Montana has had singles with Ain't Much Left Of Lovin' You and 1,000 Faces. He is awaiting to release his debut.

Broken Bow Records recording artist James Wesley has enjoyed a hit with his single, Real.

Indie artist Worsham, 25, made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 12.

Tour dates are:

May 27-28 Omaha, Nebraska Frankie Ballard
May 29 Des Moines, Iowa Frankie Ballard
June 2-3 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida Frankie Ballard
June 4 Orlando, Florida Frankie Ballard
June 7 Columbus, Ohio Frankie Ballard
June 8 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Frankie Ballard
June 11 Detroit, Michigan Frankie Ballard-Randy Montana
June 14-15 St. Paul, Minnesota Randy Montana
June 18 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Randy Montana-Danny Gokey
June 21 Buffalo, New York Randy Montana
June 22 Hartford, Connecticut Randy Montana
June 25-26 Foxboro, Massachusetts James Wesley-Randy Montana
June 30 Greensboro, North Carolina James Wesley
July 1 Knoxville, Tennessee James Wesley
July 2 Louisville, Kentucky James Wesley
July 8 Charlotte, North Carolina Danny Gokey
July 9-10 Atlanta, Georgia Danny Gokey
July 14 Montreal, Quebec Danny Gokey
July 15-16 Toronto, Ontario Danny Gokey
July 19, 20, 23, 24 Newark, New Jersey Danny Gokey
July 28 Grand Rapids, Michigan Hunter Hayes
July 29 Indianapolis, Indiana Hunter Hayes
July 30 Cleveland, Ohio Hunter Hayes
Aug. 2-3 Washington, DC Hunter Hayes
Aug. 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Hunter Hayes-James Wesley
Aug. 9-10 Chicago, Illinois Hunter Hayes
Aug. 13-14 St. Louis, Missouri Hunter Hayes
Aug. 18-19 Edmonton, Alberta Josh Kelley
Aug. 23, 24, 27, 28 Los Angeles, California Josh Kelley
Sept. 1-2 San Jose, California Josh Kelley
Sept. 3 Sacramento, California Josh Kelley
Sept. 6 Portland, Oregon Josh Kelley
Sept. 7 Tacoma, Washington Josh Kelley
Sept. 10-11 Vancouver, British Columbia Josh Kelley
Sept. 16-17 Nashville, Tennessee Charlie Worsham
Sept. 21 Tulsa, Oklahoma Charlie Worsham
Sept. 24 Kansas City, Missouri Charlie Worsham
Sept. 27 Denver, Colorado Charlie Worsham
Sept. 28 Salt Lake City, Utah Charlie Worsham
Oct. 4 Little Rock, Arkansas Charlie Worsham
Oct. 5 New Orleans, Louisiana Charlie Worsham
Oct. 8 Dallas, Texas Charlie Worsham

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CD reviews for Taylor Swift

Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Speak Now CD review - Speak Now
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Fearless CD review - Fearless
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set. Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
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: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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