» Luke's Break Past: An oak stump and a toolbox. Both were key in Luke Bryan's and his buddies' plans to have an action-packed Spring Break. "In high school, we'd hide beer in the woods under an old oak stump for a month and roll out to Panama City with a toolbox full of skunk-y beer," Bryan recalls. "One of my buddies – I'll leave all the names out – he got us banned from all of Thomas Drive. He threw a couple TVs out of the hotel room. If it wasn't bolted down, he relieved it from the room. Somehow we survived it." Bryan headlines two free nights this week at Panama City Beach, FL's Spinnaker Beach Club (3/13-14) in support of the four-song EP Spring Break 4 ... Suntan City.
» The Blind Side: Keith Urban now knows what it's like walking in Blake Shelton's shoes after taping several blind auditions of Australia's The Voice. "I didn't expect it to be as difficult when you're not watching somebody sing," Urban says. "We have these little speakers in front of us on the floor, and we can't see the performers, obviously, but we can see the audience. So, we get swayed by audience reaction or lack thereof. There's a remarkable difference when you take visuals out, and that was a big shock to me." Urban will split time between Australia and the U.S. next month to finish the show and host the third All For The Hall concert April 10 in Nashville.
» Lifestyles Of The Rich & Pampered: A recent concert in Southaven, MS marked a post-show first for Eric Church. Fresh from the stage, Church stepped into his tour bus, where baby Boone had a present for him. "It wasn't four minutes from walking offstage, and Boone had a dirty diaper," Church recalled. "I was still wearing my hat, sunglasses and ear monitor. I remember when I used to go to shows wondering what that person was doing after the concert. I think it's funny that if they only knew that I was changing a diaper. Boone was just laughing the whole time. It was a funny, unique moment."
» Family Additions: The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, co-host Blake Shelton and Chris Young have been added to the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards. Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw are the previously announced performers. The Shelton- and Reba-hosted telecast airs live from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena April 1 on CBS-TV. Friendly reminder: The polls to determine the New Artist and Entertainer of the Year open next Monday (3/19) at VoteACM.com.
» On The Home Front: Dierks Bentley is currently Down Under on the Australian leg of the 2012 Country & Cold Cans Tour. But back home, "Home" is the No. 1 country song in the U.S. "It's been so cool to see fans reacting to this song," Bentley said from the road. "The idea of what it means to different people is really inspiring. I'm proud to have written this song with my friends Brett Beavers and Dan Wilson, and it's special for me personally to be part of Dan's first No. 1 hit on the country charts!" The tour returns stateside March 24 in Dothan, AL. Itinerary here.
» Breaking Out In Wives: Craig Morgan makes his acting debut on Lifetime's Army Wives Sunday (3/18). Morgan guest stars as himself, and he will perform "This Ole Boy" and "Love Loves A Long Night." Additionally, Opry.com is hosting a This Ole Boy Craig Morgan sweepstakes, which offers a chance to win autographed swag and Army Wives' fifth season on DVD.
» The Donny To Her Marie? For those with big vocal chops, Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles wants you! She's currently on the hunt for partners to audition for the new ABC-TV show Duets, which airs this summer. "I'm looking for big voices, males and females, who can sing diverse, dynamic music," Nettles says. "If you have a strong, dynamic voice, and if you like singing all types of powerful music, you could be my guy/girl ... I have to find the yin to my yang. The ebony to my ivory. The Captain to my Tennille ... Bring it on!" Lionel Richie, Kelly Clarkson and Robin Thicke are also looking for candidates. Learn more and apply here.
» In Case You Missed It: Lauren Alaina performed "Georgia Peaches" on Thursday night's American Idol (3/8), then got a post-show gig from one of the judges. "Returned to Idol & then went to the studio to record background vocals for the new Aerosmith record," Alaina tweeted Friday (3/9). "Thank u Steven!"
Brad Paisley is the cover story of the current Cigar Aficionado. The magazine is on newsstands now. Watch the cover shoot here.
Eric Church joins the BamaJam 2012 lineup. Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Darryl Worley and Kid Rock are the previously announced performers.
ACM and NRA have partnered for the Blake Shelton-hosted Second Annual Country/ACM Celebrity Shoot March 31 in Las Vegas. Lee Brice, Craig Campbell, Cowboy Troy, Ira Dean, Edens Edge, Craig Morgan, Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett will participate.
Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl" video premiered Monday (3/12) on Entertainment Tonight. The iTunes download will be available Tuesday (3/13) and via all other online retailers Wednesday (3/14).
CMT and Taylor Guitars have partnered to host a guitar design contest for Rascal Flatts' Farmers Insurance Presents The American Band Tour. Click the link for details.
Kristian Bush (Sugarland) (3/14) Charley Pride (3/18) Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town) (3/18)
Tuesday (3/13): Dierks Bentley & The Punch Brothers, Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated); Jennette McCurdy, Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (CBS).
Wednesday (3/14): Trace Adkins, Sara Evans, Scotty McCreery, Montgomery Gentry, Opry Live (GAC).
Thursday (3/15): Toby Keith, Ellen DeGeneres Show (syndicated).
Friday (3/16): Lee Brice, Casey James, Top 20 Country Countdown (GAC).
Upcoming Album Releases
Casey JamesCasey James (3/20)
» With A Pony On The Side:Carrie Underwood rings in her 29th birthday at an '80s theme party sporting a side ponytail, mesh armbands and a shredded pink t-shirt. She tweeted Sunday (3/11), "Best. Birthday. Ever!"
» Showcase Throwdown:Montgomery Gentry and Drew Carey (second from r) hang with The Price Is Right ladies on the set of the show dedicated to the 47th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards. The episode airs March 30 on CBS-TV.