» Soul II Soul In Sin City? More rumblings from Las Vegas about a Tim McGraw and Faith Hill residency. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the couple are expected to hold a news conference Tuesday (8/7) to announce what is being billed as "the biggest musical event in the history of the Venetian." "There are some cool things happening," McGraw told us in June. "[We're] not ready to say what it is yet, but we're working on some ideas for sure. Whatever we do it will be interesting, fun and to the very limit ... [Hypothetically] for our family, it would work well [because] you're talking about me and Faith. For us to be able to do something together is a pretty good situation because of school and all the things we love to do." In other news, McGraw was surprised onstage in New Orleans Friday (8/3) with an induction into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
» Urban Abroad: Keith Urban's next album has him jet-setting around the world creating music he hopes will be unlike anything he's ever released. Urban has been posting video updates from Scotland, Los Angeles and Nashville, giving fans a glimpse of the work behind the music. "I wanted to have everything around me be totally unfamiliar," Urban tells the Tennessean. "It's great in a sense that all sorts of stuff is coming out that I normally haven't done before." Urban adds that he's eager to block out his schedule to complete the album, but it's easier said than done. "It just isn't easy to do," he said. "But it just feels very, very strong in me to do it. I am putting a tour on next year, but it won't be early in the year, so there is somewhat of a need for an album sooner than later. But I just would like for the album to be right ... we can't keep remaking the same record." Hear a sneak peek of the new song "Tidal Wave" here.
» Holiday Spirits: You only get one shot to release your first Christmas album, and Blake Shelton is making his count by having family and celebrity friends appear on Oct. 2's Cheers It's Christmas. The collection includes duets with Reba, Michael Bublé and his own mom, Dorothy Shackleford, who guests on the single "Time For Me To Come Home," which she and Blake co-wrote. Bublé and Shelton reworked a holiday version of "Home," and the Reba collaboration marks the first time the ACM Awards-hosting duo have ever recorded together.
» Watershed Shreds: The inaugural Watershed Music Festival rocked the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA where breathtaking landscapes served as the backdrop for headliners Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton. The lineup also included Kix Brooks, Sara Evans and Brantley Gilbert, and it attracted more than 30,000 attendees. "It was amazing," our onsite reporter tells us. "The venue couldn't have been better. Even the artists were talking about how beautiful it was ... From what I'm hearing, two-thirds of next year's acts have already been booked." Highlights included Bentley tailgating with campers, Lambert joining Shelton onstage during "Hillbilly Bone" and a set by newcomer Thomas Rhett who previewed "1994," which will be on Jason Aldean's new album. "[It] brought the place alive," our insider says of the performance. "They've definitely got a hit on their hands."
» Who Needs Product? Thousands of Facebook users agree: Sara Evans looks hot without makeup! Evans blew up the News Feed last week when she posted a picture of herself going au naturale, generating more than 5,000 comments and more than 45,000 likes. "I'm constantly trying to get people to see that I'm a completely normal person," she said. "[I] put my pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else." View some of the positive feedback here.
» Crib Note: Congratulations to new parents Tayla Lynn Finger (Stealing Angels) and husband Jon Cody Finger on the birth of their son Tru, who was welcomed to the world Friday (8/3). "My boys, my life, it all makes sense," Tayla tweeted Friday. "Thank you for the incredible support, y'all. We are grateful and happy!" Tru is the great grandson of the legendary Loretta Lynn, who is Tayla's grandmother.
» Black & White & Web All Over:
Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw stadium show should have been called the "Brothers of the Gym" tour. –Houston Press
Zac Brown Band display an "intensity far outdistancing any other country performer." –Quad-City Times
"Alabama gave WE Fest the best gift it could for its 30th Anniversary – one of the most memorable shows in recent years."–DL-Online
Garth Brooks has been added to the list of celebrities participating in CBS-TV's benefit concert special Teachers Rock, celebrating teachers and education. The show tapes at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre Aug. 14 and air on the network Aug. 18 at 8pm ET. Details here.
CMT.com has an exclusive sneak peek of Rascal Flatts' new video "Come Wake Me Up." The piece features a cameo by Joe Don Rooney's wife Tiffany Fallon and motorcycle stunts by two-time female street freestyle world champion Dena Sodano. The full video premieres Friday at 6am ET on CMT.
In the latest DBTV, Dierks Bentley treats his band and crew to a day on the river in Jackson Hole, WY.
Rodney Crowell (8/7) Raul Malo (The Mavericks) (8/7) The late Merle Kilgore (8/9) The late Jimmy Dean (8/10) Gene Johnson (Diamond Rio) (8/10)
Tuesday (8/7): Zac Brown Band, Late Show With David Letterman (re-air) (CBS); Chris Young, Ellen DeGeneres Show (re-air) (syndicated).
Wednesday (8/8): Zac Brown Band, Jimmy Kimmel Live (re-air) (ABC).
Thursday (8/9): Troy Gentry, Clay Walker, Danny Gokey, Day Jobs (GAC).
Friday (8/10): Miranda Lambert, Ellen DeGeneres Show (re-air) (syndicated).
In Stores Tuesday (8/7)
Colt FordDeclaration Of Independence Ford's 15-track collection features guests including Jason Aldean, Kix Brooks, Laura Bell Bundy, Montgomery Gentry, Corey Smith and Darius Rucker. Jake Owen appears on the lead single "Back." "This album is very real and honest and by far the best record I've ever made," Ford says. "I stand up and cheer for the last two records ... [but] I took the edge off of it. On this record, I put the edge back on there."
Upcoming Album Releases
Dierks BentleyCountry & Cold Cans EP (8/21) JT HodgesJT Hodges (8/21) Dustin LynchDustin Lynch (8/21) Mac Powell Mac Powell (8/21)