Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean and More!
» Tim Lets Freedom Ring:
Nervous, Tim McGraw
? "You guys may see some things that aren’t supposed to go the way that they go," Tim told the crowd as he kicked off his Two Lanes Of Freedom
tour in Birmingham Thursday (5/2). Our insider didn't detect any first-show wobbles, however. McGraw opened the festivities by walking through the crowd to the stage, which featured a wall of state-of-the-art video screens. Highlights included a virtual duet with rapper Pitbull on "Felt Good On My Lips" and the headliner's incredible physique (see below). "I was feeling good about hitting the gym three times a week until he and I spoke before the show," our insider says. "I'm not sure he ever comes out of the gym!" When he does, it's only for designing cars like the custom 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT that tour sponsor Pennzoil is bringing to every date. Details and a chance to win the McGraw special here
, and watch McGraw's Superstar Summer Night
special May 19 on CBS-TV
» Jason's Dealy: Jason Aldean
is set to co-host the 2013 CMT Awards
with Kristen Bell, which means no jokes about Jason Aldean. Or more jokes about Jason Aldean. It also means that if he wins an award, he doesn't have to walk up any stairs because he's already on stage. Eric Church
, Luke Bryan
and Miranda Lambert
are at risk for jokes and walking as they lead nominees with four each, followed by Aldean, Kenny Chesney
, Rascal Flatts
, Florida Georgia Line
with three. Brad Paisley
, Carrie Underwood
, Hunter Hayes
, Jana Kramer
, Journey, Kacey Musgraves
, Little Big Town
, Taylor Swift
and Tim McGraw
received two nods apiece. Fans can vote here
and tune in live June 5.
» Golden State: Lady Antebellum
Tuesday (5/7) and set out on a media tour that includes a two-night stand on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
as performers and guests. Other appearances on release day include Good Morning America
and The Ellen DeGeneres Show
. The band will follow the single "Downtown" with another "town" track called, "Goodbye Town." The song reunites Hillary, Charles and Dave with Josh Kear
, who wrote "Need You Now." Charles says the song is about "that time after a breakup when everything about a place reminds you of that person, so all you want to do is just get the hell out of there." More on the album below.
» Keef Urban:
"If I had have been offered either a trip to the moon or sitting in with The Stones, I would still have been strapping on my Tele saying screw the moon," said Keith Urban
regarding his performance with the band Friday (5/3). Urban added guitar and vocals to "Respectable" on opening night of The Rolling Stones' 50 & Counting Tour
at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Watch here
» In Case You Missed It:
A favor from Hunter Hayes
couldn't help keep Trace Adkins
out of the boardroom as John Rich
helped The Donald on last night's (5/5) All-Star Celebrity Apprentice
. If you were wondering why he didn't perform anything himself, Trace tweeted, "I couldn't get clearance from production to sing anything and Lil Jon couldn't get clearance to play anything. True." Watch here
Stealing Angel's Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth finished The Amazing Race in fourth place on last night's (5/5) season finale. Watch here.
» Approved Acoustic Devices:
It's hard to tell if the guy shoving his guitar case into the overhead compartment on your flight is any good, but Southwest Airlines
will help you find out on one particular flight from Nashville to Houston May 13. As a part of the company's Travelin’ Taylor Tour
the new band Parmalee
("Carolina") will use their Taylor Guitars to play songs for passengers mid-flight. More here
» Black & White & Web All Over:
- Taylor Swift "lit up Ford Field" in tour's first stadium show. –Detroit Free Press
- Lady Antebellum "experiment and grow" on Golden. –Associated Press
- Kenny Chesney's Life On A Rock is "as appealing as it is surprising." –Associated Press
- Little Big Town "made a big impression" at New Orleans Jazz Fest. –Times-Picayune
- Musgraves, Lambert, "even Taylor Swift" should send Gretchen Wilson a thank-you. –New York Times
- Jason Aldean will join Aerosmith, Boston, Jimmy Buffett, Dane Cook, Extreme, Godsmack, J Geils Band, Carole King, New Kids On The Block, James Taylor, Steven Wright and guests for Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration. The event happens at TD Garden May 30. More here.
- The Charleston, SC lineup of Zac Brown Band's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival includes Willie Nelson & The Family Band, Kacey Musgraves, Band Of Horses and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The fest takes place Oct. 19-20 at Blackbaud Stadium. Details for the Charleston and Nashville festivals here.
- Congratulations to Clara Henningsen of The Henningsens ("American Beautiful"). She married Jacob Calaway at her family's farm in Atwood, IL May 4.
- Ashley Monroe will kick off the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Hot Nights at the Hall summer concert series June 4. Other shows include Sarah Darling July 19 and Craig Campbell Aug. 9.
- In addition to their Hershey, PA show Aug. 1, Rascal Flatts and Journey will perform again Aug. 4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The Voice season three winner Cassadee Pope will open.
Joanna Smith (5/7)
Del Gray of Little Texas (5/8)
The late Hank Snow (5/9)
Tuesday (5/7): Pistol Annies, The Today Show (NBC); Lady Antebellum, Good Morning America (ABC) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show; Kellie Pickler, Dancing With The Stars (ABC); Blake Shelton, The Voice: The Live Playoffs, Part 2 (NBC); Gloriana, Hart Of Dixie (CW); Pistol Annies, Late Show With David Letterman (CBS).
Wednesday (5/8): Pistol Annies, The View (ABC); Blake Shelton, The Voice: The Live Playoffs, Part 3 (NBC); Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX); Nashville (ABC); Lady Antebellum, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC).
Thursday (5/9): Keith Urban, Lauren Alaina, American Idol (FOX); Lady Antebellum, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC).
This Week's Album Releases
Lady Antebellum Golden (Capitol)
“We embraced risk,” said Hillary Scott of the band's latest, introduced to us with "Downtown" as the first single. “When you are pushing yourself to not go back to the same well, you’re gonna come up with something different, or you’ll find songs that are different. And that’s what happened on this album.” Lady A co-produced with Paul Worley.
Pistol Annies Annie Up (Columbia)
Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay and Glenn Worf produced the follow up to Annies' 2011 debut. “We laid it on the line with Hell On Heels and we wanted to bring it again on this album,” said Miranda Lambert. “The goal of our music is to have people feel like they’re having a conversation with us." Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley wrote all 12 tracks on the album.
Craig Campbell Never Regret (Bigger Picture)
Campbell worked with producer Keith Stegall (Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band) and Matt Rovey on this sophomore effort, co-writing six of the 12 songs including "Topless" with his wife Mindy and "When She Grows Up" with daughter Preslee.
Mickie James Somebody's Gonna Pay (eOne)
"Making people feel something," is James' approach to music. And it goes the same for her day job as a professional wrestler. "With wrestling, you're running on raw passion and adrenaline," she says. "With music, your emotions are more present and your heart goes more into it."
Various Artists The Music Of Nashville Season 1, Volume 2 (Big Machine)
Producers T Bone Burnett, Buddy Miller, Gabriel Witcher, Garth Fundis, Frank Liddell, Dan Auerbach, and Ross Copperman worked together to create music for both the show and soundtrack. This second installment includes the Lennon & Maisy cover of The Lumineers' "Ho Hey."
» Red, White & Blue Solo Cups: Toby Keith
(r) along with guitarist/songwriter Scotty Emerick perform an acoustic set for troops stationed in the Philippines. The show is part of Toby's 10-day USO tour that also includes visits to Guam and Hawaii.
» Hammer Time: When Tim McGraw asked the highway if he could sledgehammer a tire, the highway said, "Highway don't care," because highways always speak in the third person.