» Uncaged Unleashed:"I feel like this record is a real journey," saysZac Brown, without a hint of irony in his voice. He's referring to this week's release of the Zac Brown Band's Uncaged, which was recorded at studios in Atlanta, Asheville, Nashville and Key West. "You get a little bit of everything," he continues. "A little bit of happy, a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of groove. You might even want to make a baby in the middle of the record." Ohhhh, that kind of journey. Right! The 11-track collection includes lead single "The Wind" and the super sexy "Overnight" (track No. 8), which we presume is where the baby comment is directed. Release week has the band hitting Late Show With David Letterman Wednesday (7/11) and the Today show Friday (7/13). See? More journey!
» Homeslice: Carrie Underwood returned stateside in time for Independence Day after a whirlwind media blitz to promote Blown Away in the UK and Australia. Highlights include a sold-out performance at London's Royal Albert Hall and a two-night stand at the Sydney Opera House. While in London, Underwood also visited the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street and interviewed with several media outlets including BBC Breakfast. Back home, could anything be more American than the blackberry cobbler she made this weekend? "This is my attempt at a cobbler with fresh-picked blackberries," Underwood tweeted Saturday (7/7). "Looks funny but tastes great!"
» A Starr Days Night: Kix Brooks, Brad Paisley and Joe Walsh were among the celebrities who helped Ringo Starr ring in his 72nd birthday in Nashville over the weekend. The former Beatle was in Music City headlining a sold-out out Ryman Auditorium concert Saturday with his All Starr Band (7/7). "Sittin' at the Ryman for the All Starr Band," Brooks tweeted at the show. "Just got [a] message with ticket that says, 'Ringo wants you to come sing the encore!' Awesome!" The three and a few other Nashville hit-makers joined in on the closing "With A Little Help From My Friends."
» Afternoon Delighted: The Little Big Town co-written track "Good Afternoon" has been chosen as the theme song for ABC-TV's Good Afternoon America, which premiered today (7/9). Anchored by Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer, the new show is a one-hour extension of Good Morning America and airs weekdays at 2pm ET. "Sometimes you get unexpected opportunities as an artist," Karen Fairchild says. "We loved getting the chance to write and record a song for such a cool show." The group will perform the song and "Pontoon" on GAA Aug. 2.
» Fresh Princess Of Bel Air: Martina McBride has relocated her family to Los Angeles for the next few weeks to launch the new E! show Opening Act (premieres Monday 7/9). While in Hollywood, McBride's daughter Emma will also take her first stab at acting. "We have enrolled her in a couple acting classes and workshops in L.A. this month so that she can see if it's something she wants to pursue," McBride says. "This could be the beginning of realizing her dream, which is a beautiful thing. I know how supportive my parents were at her age and how they did everything possible to help me be able to sing wherever and whenever I could." The McBride's are renting a house in town, and Martina spent Monday doing press for the new music competition show (7/9).
Trace Adkins delivers an "enthusiastic and well-performed show." –Cape Cod Times
Pistol Annies' new music video "Takin' Pills" hit the web Monday (7/9). Shot in Nashville, the piece follows the trio joyriding around town and enjoying their various vices. "We left the driving to me since I was just smoking," PA's Angaleena Presley says.
Farm Aid 2012 will be Sept. 22 at Hershey, PA's Hersheypark Stadium. Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews (with Tim Reynolds) will perform.
Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl" music video has held the No. 1 spot on CMT's Top 20 Countdown for a record-breaking 14 weeks. Additionally, Underwood has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.
Gary LeVox (Rascal Flatts) (7/10) Adam Gregory (7/12) Linda Ronstadt (7/15)
Tuesday (7/10): Lee Brice, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (re-air) (CBS).
Wednesday (7/11): Josh Turner, Good Morning America (ABC); Zac Brown Band, Late Show With David Letterman (CBS).
Thursday (7/12): Kellie Pickler, Laura Bell Bundy, Joey+Rory, Day Jobs (GAC).
Friday (7/13): Craig Morgan, Fox & Friends (FOX News); Luke Bryan, Good Morning America (ABC); Zac Brown Band, Today (NBC).
In Stores Tuesday (7/10)
Zac Brown BandUncaged In an April interview with Associated Press, front man Zac Brown described the 11-track collection as "your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record." He adds, "Hand's down, this is the best record we've ever made. We've gelled as a band, and I think it reflects in the music. We've spent hours and hours writing, arranging and recording the songs. We work harder than a lot f other bands, and I think that's what sets us apart." The release marks the debut of ZBB's newest member, percussionist Daniel De Los Reyes. Guests Amos Lee ("Day That I Die") and Trombone Shorty ("Overnight") are also featured.
Hank Williams, Jr.Old School, New Rules The 12-track collection includes the lead single "That Ain't Good," the Brad Paisley duet "I'm Gonna Get Drunk And Play Hank Williams" and Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink," which features The Hag himself. "I'm excited about this new album," Hank, Jr. says. "I'm definitely 'Old School,' and I am making music with 'New Rules.' People know I'm going to say exactly what I think, and this album is exactly that." The release is the first from his new label imprint Bocephus Records.
Upcoming Album Releases
The FarmThe Farm (7/17)
» Dodge Ball:Billy Ray Cyrus warms up before singing the National Anthem and "God Bless America" at the Cincinnati Reds vs. L.A. Dodgers game on Independence Day. "It could not be more perfect to celebrate America with America's favorite pastime," he says. "Singing both the Anthem and 'God Bless America' while standing right beside some of America's true heroes ... is a moment that I will never forget."