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Reba, Shelton co-host ACMs again

Wednesday, January 11, 2012 – Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton once again will host the 47th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 1 in Las Vegas. This marks the second year they have hosted the event.

The awards show will include many other events. The Annual ACM Fan Jam will once again be held on the same night. Hosted by Zac Brown Band, this fans-only concert will remotely break into the ACM Awards telecast on CBS multiple times with special performances throughout the night.

On Monday, April 2, the ACMs will tape an all-star concert special, ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends - A Lifetime of Hits, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to air at a later date on the CBS. This country collaboration will feature duets from Richie's upcoming album "Tuskegee" along with some of his greatest hits performed by country superstars Jason Aldean, The Band Perry, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers and others. Tickets sales from the special will benefit ACM Lifting Lives, which works to improve lives through music.

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CD reviews

Love Somebody CD review - Love Somebody
It's been five years since her last album - 2010's "All the Women That I Am" - but the Queen of Country Music's crown hasn't lost its luster. On her 27th album, Oklahoma native McEntire adds another jewel to her tiara - she's already garnered 35 number singles and sold 56 million albums worldwide - with her new album that covers familiar territory: strong women, the heartbreak of breakup, the determination of a broken lover starting over and the destructive and »»»
Bringing Back the Sunshine CD review - Bringing Back the Sunshine
It's impossible to get away from the fact that one's perception of Blake Shelton's music has changed significantly since he began his role as a judge on The Voice. His music hasn't been altered all that much after he became a TV star, but we now know him as the affable, yet extremely competitive, judge on the popular NBC singing show. His likeability simply makes us more likely to enjoy his music a little more, and with "Bringing Back the Sunshine," Shelton has »»»
Based on a True Story CD review - Based on a True Story
After Blake Shelton won his first CMA for Best Male Vocalist, he finally began to think he was one of the artists that would influence the direction of country music. If his latest release "Based on a True Story" is any indication, the genre is headed toward records featuring super catchy songs with homogenous themes. Every number has an infectious melody with lead single potential. The trade-off for the sonic pleasantry is a 12-song collection that is short on meaningful material, but long on fun. »»»
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: Time makes a difference for Striking Matches – What a difference four months makes. When the duo Striking Matches debuted in Boston in late May, Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis capably showed off their skills, but somehow it felt like a lot of songs fell just a bit short. Davis and Zimmerman tended to cut a lot of songs abruptly, never letting them breath enough or fleshing them out.... »»»
Concert Review: Home Free sings out – Home Free, the Minnesota-based a capella quintet that first caught the nation's attention by winning the fourth season of NBC's reality competition The Sing-Off in 2013, is one of the most talented and unique acts in modern country music. The question has always been whether or not the group and their all-vocal style, which includes the... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
Watkins Family make time From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky...... »»»
Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it.... »»»
Lost Time CD review - Lost Time
As a follow up to their Grammy nominated reunion set, "Lost Time" treads the same turf, spotlighting the Alvin brothers' take on some familiar - and a few not so familiar - blues standards of a revered heritage. While the blues comes in many hues, it's not always easy to replicate them with the same tone and tenacity that the signature artists conveyed.  »»»
Southern Drawl CD review - Southern Drawl

With all the belly aching about country music not staying true to its roots, maybe instead of a new entry into the landscape, it is time for a re-entry. Many hoped that Alabama's latest, "Southern Drawl" would be the cure to what ails the traditionalists. But the iconic band tried to walk a very fine line on its first release since 2001's "When It All Goes South." »»»

Turnpike Troubadours CD review - Turnpike Troubadours
Over the course of their career, Oklahoma sons Turnpike Troubadours have exhibited a commitment to melding country music traditions with a ragged edge which perfectly exemplifies the roots of Red Dirt Country. With less of a focus on rock sounds than those in the alt.-country movement, they have built a sound designed to invoke images of smoky barrooms and raucous crowds. After three years, it was worth the wait.  »»»
Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»