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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

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. »»»
Cheers, It's Christmas
For his first Christmas album, Blake Shelton goes for the traditional approach. For a guy that can be a real loose cannon when appearing on The Voice, Blake sure comes off conservative throughout this 14-song collection. Most of these tracks feature full orchestrations, and it sure doesn't sound like any down home holiday celebration. Shelton is at his best, and country-ist, when joined by fellow Okie Reba during the western swinging Oklahoma Christmas. In fact, that classy red head even »»»
Red River Blue CD review - Red River Blue
With the right set of songs, Blake Shelton can sound really great. "Red River Blue" just might be that right set of songs because Shelton has never sounded better. There are moments on this set where Shelton goes country-soul, a la James Otto, most notably with Ready To Roll and Drink On It, and also places where that The Voice guy voices a few power ballads, such as on I'm Sorry. A big part of Shelton's appeal with viewers on The Voice is the way Shelton seems to think and »»»
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: Fogerty lives up to his past – Once upon a time, John Fogerty eschewed any association with the band that made him famous, Creedence Clearwater Revival. But time, which changed a long time ago, heals everything apparently. Not only is Fogerty playing CCR songs, he makes those overwhelmingly the cornerstone of his very fine, invigorating night of music that were the soundtracks of... »»»
Concert Review: With Turnpike Troubadors, there's lots of good reason – The appearance of Turnpike Troubadours was a bit curious. The Oklahoma Red Dirt music troupe has not released an album since 2012's "Goodbye Normal Street." So, it's not as if they're pushing new product. They also had never even played Boston before. In fact, lead singer Evan Felker said he had never set foot in Beantown period.... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville
Trampled by Turtles get wild Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds.... »»»
Don't try labeling Parker Millsap If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off.... »»»
Simpson gets metamodern What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous.... »»»
Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones CD review - Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones
Every male country singer worth his salt has been influenced by George Jones who died in April 2013; if not vocally, at the very least because of respect for country traditions and love of a fine song. Few, however, have the skills to sing as much like Jones as Sammy Kershaw can. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Kershaw has that whole sincerity thing down pat. »»»
Wild Animals CD review - Wild Animals
Trampled By Turtles, the five-piece band from Duluth, Minn., combines bluegrass, folk and country into an enjoyable mixture. This act, which has been known to cover such unexpected artists as the extremely somber Radiohead in concert, is gradually moving away from its speedy bluegrass leanings and incorporating much more moody instrumental blends into its music. "Wild Animals'" title track, for instance, opens up this 11-song album with a slow, dirge-y piece. »»»
Bridges CD review - Bridges
Every artist has that dream duet they'd love to perform. They're fans too and long to share the stage with the very artists who helped to inspire their dreams and while it happens for some, it's surely not enough. And with that being the case, newcomer Mary Sarah needs to count her blessings as her debut record, "Bridges," finds the artist trading duets with a virtual "who's who" of country music greats. »»»