» Cheers, Wichita: That "big clown" Blake Shelton shut down his Ten Times Crazier Tour in Wichita, KS Saturday (10/5), raising a glass to a room full of fans that included actress Kirstie Alley (according to the Wichita Eagle). Afterward, Blake thanked his band and crew for all their hard work: "They go out every night and give their all, not only to me, but to the fans," he said. "Having them onstage and backstage with me every night makes me want to give more and push myself creatively.” Blake also expressed his appreciation for crowds that helped make this his biggest tour yet. “Of course my fans, those rowdy, crazy, fun-loving folks that come out and sing every song, and laugh at my jokes, and toast with me – they keep me going every night – I love you guys. I can’t wait to see you next year!”
» Urban Outfitters: Keith Urban has teamed with HSN to offer the Urban Guitar Collection. "I've watched some of the greatest guitarists in the world perform and I've seen people just learning how to play,” Urban says. "The looks on their faces are almost always the same and the connection with the instrument is genuine." Urban's "Phoenix Edition" limited-edition acoustic and electric guitar lines are geared towards aspiring musicians, affordable and available exclusively on HSN, HSN.com and via HSN Mobile beginning Nov. 3. Packages include two one-hour instructional DVDs, amplifiers, strings, straps, picks and more. A portion of proceeds will benefit Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation and The Grammy Foundation. More here.
» Cure Thing: Jason Aldean will hold his eighth annual Concert For The Cure during his Oct. 25 Night Train Tour stop in New Orleans. Funds benefit Susan G. Komen New Orleans. Aldean sets aside $.50 from each ticket sold throughout the year, and then chooses a show market in October and donates all proceeds to the local Komen affiliate. "Last year the Komen New Orleans team needed a little over $1 million to meet all their needs, but they were only able to fund about half of that," says Aldean. "If we raise the half a million that we did last year in Dallas, we'll be able to help these women meet their goal and provide the services the town needs." Learn more here.
» Red Redo: Taylor Swift has released video highlights from her three-night North American RedTour finale at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Performances with Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts and Hunter Hayes are featured, along with opening act Ed Sheeran's clown prank and exclusive backstage footage. "It was neat seeing how my crowds and her crowds are different," Bryan says. "I gotta get me some neon signs and glow things out there to get the fans rocking with." Watch here.
» Beard Run: Thompson Square's Keifer Thompson, who was the top fundraising artist for last year's No Shave November, has been named Honorary Chairman of the Beard for 2013. "For No Shave November to have raised so much money to further the tremendous work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is something every participant should be incredibly proud of," Keifer says. "At the same time, for all of us to have done it by spending a month as a sloth is pretty ridiculous. I'm actually not sure if I'm honored to be the scraggly face of this thing or not." Learn more about the benefit here.
» Craig's List: "I am Craig Morgan – a husband and father, a soldier, a singer, a songwriter, a tv show host, an actor, a police officer, an outdoorsman, a Christian (Not always a good Christian, but a Christian none the less), I've been a fireman, a construction worker and an EMT among other things." Those were Morgan's opening remarks in response to a fan's criticism. When a free outdoor concert during homecoming week at the University of Nebraska was challenged by severe weather, Morgan had to cut his show short. So what does Craig's list have to do with what he calls "one, probably drunk person's, pissy remark about us not finishing a show due to a tornado?" Craig says all the work he does in life "made me think how blessed I am to have my family, friends, band and crew that I have, and that someone last night had the guts to say stop just in case!" More here.
» In Case You Missed It:CMT debuted its new docuseries Cassadee Pope: Frame By Frame Friday night (10/4), and Pope discussed how her life has changed since winning The Voice. Watch here.
Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban will perform at the 47th Annual CMA Awards. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwod host for the sixth time when the show airs live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena Nov. 6 on ABC-TV.
Charlie Daniels & Friends' annual Christmas 4 Kids Benefit Concert is set for Nov. 25 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium with performances by Justin Moore, Sawyer Brown, Phil Vassar and Rodney Atkins. Proceeds benefit Christmas 4 Kids, which provides shopping sprees and celebrity meet-and-greets for underprivileged children during the holidays. More here.
Ricky Skaggs will be the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s 2013 Artist-in-Residence. Skaggs' performance on Nov. 18 will feature guests Emmylou Harris, Brad Paisley, Peter Frampton, Gordon Kennedy and The Whites. The Whites return to join Skaggs on the second night of the residency Nov. 19 along with Alison Krauss, Bruce Hornsby, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, and Del McCoury. More here.
Scotty McCreery (10/9)
John Prine (10/10)
Tanya Tucker (10/10)
Tuesday (10/8): Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC); Florida Georgia Line, Conan (TBS); Thompson Square, The Arsenio Hall Show; Kenny Rogers, Fox & Friends (FOX News).
Wednesday (10/9): Kenny Rogers, Today (NBC); Kelly Clarkson, The View (ABC); Cassadee Pope, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
This Week's Album Releases
Cassadee PopeFrame By Frame (Republic Nashville)
The debut album from the winner of season three of NBC's The Voice offers 11 tracks, five of which were co-written by Pope. Fans have been able to preview individual tracks on iTunes since mid-August.
Joe NicholsCrickets (Red Bow)
Named for the country setting of the album and the frequent mention of crickets in several tracks, this 16-song collection includes his single "Sunny And 75" as well as a cover of Merle Haggard's "Footlights" in honor of his late father. Nichols says the album reflects the changes in his life in recent years and the bright spot he's in now, and is "a record full of energy and full of life."
Kenny RogersYou Can't Make Old Friends (Warner Bros.)
Rogers' first country album in seven years pairs him with his old friend Dolly Parton for the title track, released in honor of the 30-year anniversary of their first duet, "Islands In The Stream." Rogers calls it the most diverse album he's ever recorded, saying, "It goes from songs I would normally sing, to songs I would normally never even listen to."
Gretchen WilsonChristmas In My Heart (Redneck)
It's the first holiday album from Wilson, who says it's overdue. "This is something I've wanted to do for a long time," Wilson says. "We really took our time and came up with a fun mix of classic songs and found some great new songs to record." Three of the 10 tracks are originals.
Upoming Album Releases
Chase RiceReady Set Roll (10/15)
Will Hoge Never Give In (10/15)
Robertson Family Duck The Halls (10/29)
Trace Adklns The King's Gift (10/29)
Thomas RhettIt Goes Like This (10/29)
Julie RobertsGood Wine And Bad Decisions (10/29)
George Ducas4340 (10/29)
Danielle BradberyDanielle Bradbery (11/19)
Jake Owen Days Of Gold (12/3)
» Rockin' In My Trucks: In the middle of his Farm Tour, Luke Bryan takes a moment to Instagram his crop of 18-wheelers.
» Booth Brothers: "One of our fave photos from years ago," Lady Antebellum shares via Twitter with proof of the interchangeable qualities Dave Haywood had with Eric Church back in the day.