Friday, 30 March 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 26 – March 30, 2012

Country Bites News snippets March 26 – March 30, 2012

UK & Irish NEWS
New tour dates added for The Band Perry, Justin Townes Earle, Punch Brothers and Ron Sexsmith

Easter Bargains:
Lady Antebellum NEED YOU NOW £3.79 + Free delivery
Country Strong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) £5.99 + Free Delivery on

Daniel O’Donnell has admitted he feels “strange” about having his own visitor’s centre.
The world’s first Daniel O’Donnell Visitor’s Centre will open in Dungloe on May 6th. The millionaire singer, 50, will officially open the centre but admits it will be an unusual occasion. “It seems really strange to have a Visitors Centre in my name but I was approached about it sometime ago and I thought that it would be a good place to house all the awards and discs I have received over the years so that any fans that are interested can see them too,” said Daniel. The centre, which will also have a restaurant, is being built in an old National Irish Bank building.
Daniel  has become so popular in Australia that he’s finding it difficult to go to mass in peace. The Kincasslagh singer has just finished a tour Down Under where is nothing short of huge. So much so that Daniel was literally mobbed by mass-goers at St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane.
The singer tried to slip out quietly at the end of mass but found a huge crowd waiting outside for autographs and pictures.
It was amazing. Daniel is used to people asking him for autographs but he wasn’t expecting such a large crowd outside mass.“It was crazy stuff and they wouldn’t leave until they got a picture or an autograph,” said one mass-goer.
Word has also spread that although Daniel does not drink, he likes a slice of cake with a cup of tea before after his shows.
Now fans are literally baking dozens of buns and cakes for Daniel and his band!

DOMINIC Kirwan has released his first inspirational album, LORD, I HOPE THIS DAY IS GOOD. It includes Dominic's personal favourites including You Raise Me Up, Bridge Over Troubled Water, How Great Thou Art,You've Got A Friend. The title track, Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good, is an uplifting song of hope, originally recorded by Don Williams. Kirwin, who formed his first band,The Melody Boys, in 1979, was honoured with a Hall Of Fame award at the Sunday World All-Ireland Country Music Awards in Mullingar in January. Dominic got his big break in 1988 when he won two local radio talent shows and landed a recording contract with Ritz Records.

The Tompkins Square label, based in San Francisco, has chosen a fun way to celebrate Record Store Day this year.
Where many record companies highlight the long term contribution of record stores by re-releasing albums on vinyl, Tompkins Square is going one step further and dropping a pair of 10 inch, 78 RPM records. Each of these discs will be limited to pressings of 500 units. One of the big ten inchers comes from Ralph Stanley (disc image), and features a previously unreleased cut of “Single Girl” as the A side, with “Little Birdie” on the flip. Both were recorded in the mid 2000s. The Ralph Stanley 78 comes out on April 21.

Tim McGraw and  wife Faith Hill whirlwind Australian tour has ended performing to sold-out crowds and helped set an attendance record at the CMC Rocks the Hunter festival.  The final show at the Allphones Arena in Sydney found McGraw rocking through a set consisting of only No. one hits and Hill dazzling fans with her breath-taking vocal performance. (2 Page Live Review)
I’ve toured Australia before, and each time it gets better and better,” said McGraw.  We had an awesome time traveling around the country and getting to meet and play for so many fans…they love their country music, and they really showed us a great time.”
“If he can keep connecting with material as strong as this, the next 20 years of his career might prove to be as successful as the first 20.”- The Brisbane Courier-Mail
Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill are country music royalty…they still look and sound so darn good.”- Adelaide Advertiser
Tim now heads to Las Vegas where he will perform at the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 1 on CBS and will perform on the ACM Presents: Lionel Richie and Friends In Concert airing on Friday, April 13 on CBS. He then with old friend Kenny Chesney on  The ‘Brothers of the Sun’ Tour.
Tim & Faith’s Australia Tour Diary – Melbourne >   YouTube

COUNTRY PROUD, the second album from country duo McAlister Kemp, has debuted on top of the ARIA country albums chart.
The duo officially released their second record with a main stage performance at last week's CMC Rocks The Hunter festival.
Country Proud overhauled recent Oz tourer Tim McGraw's latest album EMOTIONAL TRAFFIC, and also landed at #18 on the overall ARIA album chart, a great debut for a country act.
The album's strong debut can be accredited to the record's rocking title cut
 (>>  video) which has already become some what of an anthem amongst Australian country music fans.

The ARIA Top 10 Country Albums Chart:
1. (-) Country Proud - McAlister Kemp (ABC/UMA)
2. (4) Emotional Traffic - Tim McGraw (CURB/SME)
3. (3) Home - Troy Cassar-Daley (LIB/UMA)
4. (2) Speak Now - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
5. (12) Home - Dierks Bentley (CAP/EMI)
6. (5) Fearless - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
7. (1) Speak Now World Tour Live - Taylor Swift (BIG/UMA)
8. (-) The Hits - Faith Hill (WRN/WAR)
9. (-) CMC Rocks The Hunter 2012 - Various (UTV/UMA)
10. (-) Number One Hits - Tim McGraw (CURB/SME)

Dierks Bentley Presents Australia's Felicity Urquhart with CMAInternational Country Broadcaster Award
by CMA News  Mar 29, 2012 CMA Press Release
HUNTER VALLEY, AUSTRALIA - Dierks Bentley surprised Felicity Urquhart backstage before his performance at the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival on March 17, when he presented her with the 2011 CMA International Country Broadcaster Award. CMA Board member Rob Potts, CEO of Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, and GAC's "Headline Country" host/executive producer Storme Warren were both on hand for the presentation.

Felicity was selected as the Award recipient in late 2011, but the announcement and presentation were saved to be made during the CMC Rocks the Hunter Festival, which is produced by Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, Chugg Entertainment, and CMC (Country Music Channel). Bentley headlined the Saturday night show as part of the Australian leg of his "Country and Cold Cans Tour." Warren, whose "Headline Country" airs on CMC in Australia, hosted the main stage. 

Urquhart became the host of ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio's long-running national Country Music program, "Saturday Night Country," three years ago. A Golden Guitar Award-winning singer/songwriter, Urquhart is credited with re-energizing the program with her fresh spin and contemporary approach. Under her guidance, "Saturday Night Country" has reclaimed its top position among Country Music media outlets in Australia.
"I am truly shocked by this Award and consider it such an honor," said Urquhart. "Thank you CMA for this acknowledgement. Presenting 'Saturday Night Country' nationally every week is a passion and brings me great enjoyment. The support of ABC local radio makes Country Music accessible and current from anywhere in Australia. It is wonderful to be part of their programming. I must importantly thank John Nutting who handed his show to me after 17 years. His faith in me is the reason I am in radio."

"'Saturday Night Country' is an institution on Australian radio," said Potts. "Felicity took on the hosting role three years ago. It was a huge challenge for her to take over from the 17-year host and legendary broadcaster John Nutting, a former winner of the CMA International Country Broadcaster Award. However, she has proven totally up to the task and has now stamped her own style and feel on the show, achieving additional ratings success. She is a very worthy winner of this important international CMA Award"

The CMA International Broadcaster Award recognizes outstanding achievement by radio broadcasters outside the United States who have made important contributions toward the development of Country Music in their country. 

Jason Aldean’s 2012 MY KINDA PARTY TOUR has sold out 18 Shows so far. The ACM Entertainer of the Year nominee Aldean broke venue attendance records at New York metro area’s IZOD Center and Charlottesville, VA’s John Paul Jones Arena.  At Rodeo Houston at Reliant Stadium he set the all-time record with 74,901 fans and the IZOD Center he set a new record for a Country concert with more than 19,000 fans, breaking Shania Twain's previous record of 15,749 in 2003.

Cold River Records artist Katie Armiger has begun working on her new album with Reigning CMA Musician of The Year, Mac McAnally and two time Grammy Winner, Chad Carlson at the Blackbird Studio in Nashville. “To begin work on my next album with Chad and such amazing musicians is so exciting…and to be able to write all of the songs for this album is an amazing feeling,” exclaimed Armiger (Industry Snap)

The 2nd Annual Texas Regional Music Awards Show were held at the Arlington Music Hall (3/25). Republic Nashville group THE ELI YOUNG BAND were the night’s big winner, with 4 trophies:  “Group of The Year,” “Single of the Year for Crazy Girl, “Song of the Year Crazy Girl,” and “Video of the Year Crazy Girl.” The band was unable to attend because they were on tour with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw In Australia.

Carol Lee Cooper, long-time Grand Ole Opry background vocalist, brought her Opry career to a close on Saturday, March 24. A portion of the show, hosted by her friend Marty Stuart, was performed in her honor. During the segment, Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher presented Carol Lee with a framed print commemorating her years of service.
Carol Lee first appeared on the Opry Stage with her parents, Opry members Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, in 1956. She formed and has led the Carol Lee Singers, named by Opry great Roy Acuff, on Opry background vocals since 1972. The Carol Lee Singers’ other members, Norah Lee Allen, Rod Fletcher, and Dennis McCall, will continue performing at the Opry as ‘The Opry Singers.’

Kelly Clarkson recently took to her FACEBOOK page to announce she has re-cut her song “Mr. Know It All” for Country radio. “Hey everybody, I got to work with DANN HUFF and recut 'Mr. Know It All' for Country radio! I hope y'all like it!! I had a lot of fun recutting the song and getting the opportunity to work with DANN! It will be available on iTUNES APRIL 3rd,” posted KELLY.

An argument about country music stars Reba McEntire and Loretta Lynn escalated into a domestic dispute that has Savannah-Chatham police looking for a man believed to have attacked two people with a hammer Tuesday 20 March.
The alleged assaults happened in the 2200 block of East 60th Street about 10:20 a.m. According to a police report, Michael Allen Parrish and his girlfriend had lived together until a few days prior, when an argument over the two long-time country singers caused a rift in their relationship.

Taylor Swift has collaborated with rapper B.o.B & she’ll be on his new album ‘STRANGE CLOUDS,’ out May 1.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Train singer Pat Monahan and Martina McBride
will serenade a couple getting married at the
American Country Music Awards on Sunday.

(Reuters) Couple to wed live on Country Music Awards show - A New Jersey couple, who unexpectedly found love during the grief of bereavement, plan to marry on a country music awards show on Sunday and be serenaded by Martina McBride who is nominated for female vocalist of the year at the ACM awards.
Country fans Christina Davidson, 31, and Frank Tucci, 33, will exchange wedding vows live on television during the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, show organizers said.
Martina McBride and Train frontman Pat Monahan will perform their new single "Marry Me" as the couple marry onstage in what is thought to be a first live wedding during an awards show.
Davidson lost her husband Paul in a drowning accident in 2009 when she was 29-years-old and pregnant with their second child. She founded a support group for young widows and widowers in her Washington Township hometown, where she met Tucci, whose wife Danielle had died in the same year from thyroid cancer, leaving him with a young son.
The pair became friends, supported each other and later fell in love. They were picked to be married on the awards show by McBride.
"When I was asked to perform 'Marry Me' with Pat on the ACM's, the first thought that popped into my head was, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we actually had a couple get married live on the show while we sang the song?' I think it's so special that we will be witnessing the union of these two wonderful people and that we will all be sharing that moment together," McBride said.

Earl Scruggs, Country Music Hall of Famer and bluegrass innovator, dies at age 88.
The Country Music Hall of Famer, a singular talent of collective impact, died Wednesday morning (March 28, 2012) at a Nashville hospital of natural causes.  More on Blog Post

Academy Of Country Music

The Academy of Country Music announced (March 28, 2012) that Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley are scheduled to perform as part of the 47th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS.  In addition, Lionel Richie and Taylor Swift are scheduled as presenters.

On March 29, 2012 they also announced that Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton & Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts & Steve Martin, and Toby Keith with surprise Las Vegas guest performers are set to perform a variety of special duets and collaborations. Steve Martin will showcase the banjo on a unique collaboration with ACM "Vocal Group of the Year" nominees Rascal Flatts during a performance of their new single "Banjo. Martin is a four-time Grammy® winner, the latest for The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo, which won Best Bluegrass Album (2009), in addition he won for his collaboration with Earl Scruggs on Foggy Mountain Breakdown (2001) and two for comedy albums Wild and Crazy Guy (1978) and Let’s Get Small (1977.)

Listen to the ACM 2012 nominee presentations with Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Love & Theft, Miranda Lambert, Sara Evans and Kenny Chesney. >>   Audio Link

The Mavericks Back To Work After 7 Year Hiatus
After a seven year hiatus, The Mavericks have re-grouped and have a new album coming out this summer and a new tour launching next month but Robert Reynolds would prefer not to call what’s happening a “reunion”. While it is the 20th anniversary of The Mavericks becoming a group, he stresses that is not the reason for the timing of this new chapter in their career. “I promise you, from everything I can tell in my heart of hearts, if it even began for a moment to be about celebrating 20th anniversary and all of that music that was once made, we quickly put that behind us,” says Robert. “

CMT reports that Jamey Johnson is completing a duets tribute album to songwriter Hank Cochran that will team him vocally with Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Bobby Bare, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Leon Russell, Vince Gill, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. Cochran died in 2010 at age 74.

First Lady Michelle Obama is making an appearance at The Kids' Choice Awards to celebrate Taylor Swift for her charity work.
She will present Taylor Swift with The Big Help Award. Swift raised $750,000 with her "Speak Now" tour to benefit U.S. tornado victims and is active with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Medical Center and Habitat for Humanity charity.

Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones is hospitalized with an upper respiratory infection. A statement from his publicist, Kirt Webster, says the 80-year-old Jones was admitted into a Nashville area hospital on Thursday and will stay overnight for observation. He is scheduled to be released Friday. ( NASHVILLE, Tenn. March 29, 2012 (AP)

Kenny Chesney's new and 13th studio album will be titled WELCOME TO THE FISHBOWL, he announced Thursday (March 29) it  will be released June 19 on BNA Records.  (See Cover Art)

ACM Vocal Duo of the Year nominee Love and Theft, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, is thrilled to be releasing their new album on June 5 on RCA Records. Love and Theft is a bit different from the group that scored a Top 10 hit two years ago with “Runaway.” But the changes that have affected the group—most notably, signing with RCA Records and downsizing to a duo—have actually brought Love and Theft closer to what it originally set out to be: a band that writes, records and performs honest, soulful country music  >   [LISTEN] to their latest single at radio "Angel Eyes". Album pre-order is at

Dierks Bentley will release “5-1-5-0” (written by Dierks, Brett Beavers and Jim Beavers) as the next single from his critically acclaimed new album HOME.  The foot-stomping new song officially goes for adds at country radio on April 9. “I was a huge fan of Van Halen growing up, and this song was definitely inspired by those guys…they taught me a lot about power chords and girls," said Bentley.  "Getting 5-1-5-0 has become slang on the bus for some of the crazy things that happen out on the road.  I love that fans are using it back to me now…the spring Country & Cold Cans Tour is definitely gonna be 5-1-5-0."
Urban Dictionary Definition of 5-1-5-0 (fahyv-wuhn-fahyv-oh): Police code for crazy one on the loose. Danger to property, danger to others and danger to themselves. He tweets: just heard #5-1-5-0 for the first time on Country Radio.... crazy feeling. you all heard it yet?

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 29, 2012 – Kenny Rogers will bring his signature soulful voice, his catalog of hits and the stories behind the music when he takes the Ford Theater stage as the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s 2012 Artist-in-Residence. Rogers will present two intimate evening performances on May 9 and 10 at 7:00 p.m that Will Mark the 10th Anniversary of the Museum’s Annual Residency Program.Established in 2003, the museum’s residency program annually honors a musical master who can be credited with contributing a large and significant body of work to the canon of American popular music.

RCA recording artist Chris Young and songwriter Luke Laird celebrated their recent co-written No. 1 hit "You" during a party held in the CMA Atrium on March 27. The soiree marked the first industry event held in the newly renovated space.
"We're thrilled that Chris and Luke decided to share their celebration with us," said CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore. "We updated our Atrium so we could play host to more industry events such as this, and honoring the success of 'You' is a great way to christen our new event space." Young, an EMI Music Publishing writer and ASCAP member, is a two-time CMA Award nominee and has already charted four additional No. 1 hits including "Gettin' You Home," "The Man I Want To Be," "Voices," and "Tomorrow." Young is currently a part of reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert's "On Fire" tour.

Rolling Stone got an exclusive Q&A with Glenn Frey from the Eagles. He talks about his solo LP, the Eagles' 40th Anniversary plans and the bands two-DVD documentary project. On May 8th Frey is releasing AFTER HOURS.

Bonnie Raitt talks to The Wall Street Journal about how she chooses songs to record: Bonnie Raitt: A Singer Praises Other People's Songs

Scotty McCreery returned to the American Idol stage on Thursday, 29 March to perform his new single, “Water Tower Town.”
’Water Tower Town’ is my GARNER song on the album, my hometown song. It reminds me of GARNER, which has a big water tower right across from the baseball fields where I grew up playing ball. It has a lot of elements in there that remind me of GARNER. The first lyric in the chorus is, ‘FRIDAY night football is king,’ and that is true in GARNER. Everybody stops what they’re doing in GARNER to go to the game. It was tough on me missing some of the games being out here on the road, but I was able to make it back for a few. The song says, ‘Sweet tea goes good with anything,’ and that is all we drink back home. All of the lyrics really relate to my hometown,” SCOTTY said.   Video hosted on The Boot

Soundcloud are hosting “When It Pleases You,” the first single from ex Nickel Creeker  Sara Watkins’ from her upcoming album, SUN MIDNIGHT SUN, due to drop May 8.

>>    Matraca Berg – “Dreaming Fields”   (Video Director: Jon Morgan, from the album THE DREAMING FIELDS)
>>    Trisha Yearwood performs the "Dreaming Fields"[Live] Steve Cox plays on piano.

Lionel Richie duets with Jason Aldean “Say You, Say Me” on the David Letterman Show “7March on ©CBS >>  YouTube

Joan Osborne recently previewed Bring It On Home on CBS This Morning - The New York Daily News named the album to its “Top Ten” in music list, noting that “she recasts the blues with her own grind and shout” and the New Yorker delighted in her “voice containing a rich mixture of colors….now she’s come back to the blues

Songwriters' Circle - Bill Anderson, Clint Black and Bob DiPiero - three giants of the American country music scene - bring the Nashville 'guitar pull' to London's Bush Hall and showcase their trademark songs – BBC iPlayer.

Gamma Blast director Jeff Johnson, who has directed projects for Keith Urban, Billy Currington, and Lady Antebellum recently completed a music video for new country artist Brynn Marie. The video for her debut single, “Bandaid On A Bullet Hole” was shot on location at Silver Pointe studios in Nashville. Johnson commented, “First and foremost, Brynn is a great live performer, so I really wanted to capture the essence of her “live” show. She’s also a trained dancer and we enlisted some Tennessee Titans cheerleaders to appear with her in the dance sequence.  = Wow!  (Photo)

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