Nashville News and Notes for FRIDAY

More Country Stars Making Guest Appearances On "Nashville"


Zac Brown Band's Zac Brown and Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus are adding their names to the guest star list on ABC's "Nashville."  The country artists will be portraying themselves on the show.  Zac Brown is featured in a concert scene with Scarlett, played by Clare Bowen.  The two team up to sing the Zac Brown Band hit "Free."  DeMarcus is featured with Sam Palladio's character, Gunnar.  Jay invites Gunnar to join him in a songwriting session, which sparks friction between Gunnar and Zoey, Chaley Rose's character.  Jay's wife Allison also appears on the show.  Brown and DeMarcus' episode of "Nashville" will air on ABC on January 22nd.


They're the latest in a growing list of country stars contributing to the show.  Brad Paisley is set to make his second appearance on January 31st, while The Cadillac Three and Kelly Clarkson were featured on this week's episode.  Vince Gill, Chris Young, Kip Moore, Brantley Gilbert, and Pam Tillis have also been featured on episodes of "Nashville."


ACM Allowing Fans To Help Choose New Artist Nominees, Winner


Fans are once again getting a say in naming the Academy of Country Music's New Artist of the Year.  This year's semi-finalists were determined by the ACM professional members, who've pared the category down to eight hopefuls.  Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore, and Thomas Rhett are in the running, along with Brett Eldredge, Tyler Farr, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, and the group Parmalee.  In a first round of voting, ballots from the fans will be counted along with those from ACM professional members to select the three nominees.  A second round of fan and professional member voting will choose the winner.


Fans can cast their first round ballots at and from January 21st at noon Eastern until February 4th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  The final nominees will be revealed a few weeks later, with the second round of voting starting on March 24th.  Votes for the winner can only be cast at  The winner will be announced during the 49th annual ACM Awards, which will air on CBS on April 6th.


Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban Headlining ACM Party


Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban are on board for this year's ACM Party for a Cause Festival.  Outnumber Hunger will host the first day of the two-day charity concert event.  Rascal Flatts will serve as the headliner, while Thomas Rhett and The Cadillac Three are also slated to perform.  ACM Lifting Lives is presenting the second night, supporting different military charities, with Urban headlining.  Joe Nichols, Chris Young, and Jerrod Niemann also on the lineup, along with the three ACM New Artist of the year nominees -- who have not been announced yet.  More artists are expected to be added to the event.  The ACM Party for a Cause Festival will take place at The LINQ in Las Vegas on April 4th and 5th in conjunction with the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.  The awards ceremony is set for April 6th, airing on CBS at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Billy Currington Instantly Drawn To Latest Single


Billy Currington says the title track to his latest album was the first song he got for the project from producer Dann Huff.  And the country singer admits he was instantly struck by "We Are Tonight," calling it "an arena song."


Currington adds that Huff encouraged him to record "We Are Tonight."  He says Dann described the song as "a smash."  "We Are Tonight" is the second release from the album.  It's Billy's follow up to his chart-topping hit "Hey Girl."


Dierks Bentley Says Upcoming Album Mixes Recurring, New Themes


Dierks Bentley says his upcoming album, "Riser," has a "third layer."  The country star explains that along with the solitude songs and the party tunes, he's included tracks that present another side of him.


"I Hold On" is Bentley's current single, and the second song he's released from the project.  It follows "Bourbon in Kentucky," which Dierks has said is good example of the "lonesome sounding stuff" on the disc.  Bentley's "Riser" will be in stores on February 25th.


Vince Gill, Paul Franklin's "Bakersfield" Getting Deluxe Release


An expanded deluxe version of Vince Gill and Paul Franklin's album "Bakersfield" is on its way as a Cracker Barrel exclusive release.  Gill says he thinks the restaurant and retail outlet is an appropriate place for the album.


Gill adds that "as a big, overweight boy" he loves eating at Cracker Barrel.  Vince says it's also one of his daughter Corrina's favorite restaurants.


"Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition" will include four extra songs along with the ten tracks from the original release.  The project is a tribute to Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.  The new songs include Haggard's "I Threw Away the Rose" and "High on a Hilltop" along with Buck's "Your Tender Loving Care."  The fourth addition is a Vince Gill original instrumental called "Buckin' Merle."  "Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition" will be available at Cracker Barrel on January 27th.


Tim McGraw, Faith Hill Resume Vegas Show This Weekend


Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are back in Las Vegas.  The country couple will be relaunching their collaborative "Soul2Soul" engagement at The Venetian with shows on Friday and Saturday -- their first of seven weekend performances this year.  The singers are scheduled for a four-weekend "Soul2Soul" run at The Venetian starting on Valentine's Day.  They'll also perform on March 21st and 22nd before wrapping up their engagement on April 11th and 12th.  McGraw and Hill give two performances each night.


Shania Twain Confirms Summer Canadian Concert


Shania Twain will be performing in her homeland this summer.  The Canadian country star says she'll be taking the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta during the Calgary Stampede this summer.  Her show is slated for July 9th.  She made her announcement in a website video, shot on a snowpacked mountain in Switzerland, saying she was really looking forward to "coming home sweet home soon."  The Calgary concert will be Shania's first Canadian show in more than a decade, as well as her first traditional concert since her "Up!" tour, which ended in July 2004. 


Since launching her musical comeback, Twain's only live performances have been her "Shania: Still The One" show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.  She'll launch her next run of Las Vegas dates on January 22nd.


Bruce Springsteen Weighs In On Country Music


Bruce Springsteen is echoing Tom Petty's recent remarks on country music.  The Boss tells NPR he finds country "fascinating to hear" these days, because "with the exception of the twang occasionally in the guitar and the voice," it's "very much sort of '80s rock music or something."  But Springsteen isn't saying this is a bad thing.  While he admits that George Jones, Conway Twitty and Lefty Frizzell are his country "go-to" artists, he says he also likes some of Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney's music.  Bruce adds that he really appreciates Eric Church's "Springsteen."  He says the song is "wonderfully done," and is a validation of sorts.  Church's hit is about a man reflecting on his high school girlfriend, and Springsteen being the soundtrack to their romance.  Bruce says as a musician "that's what you want, to be the music someone's making out to."


Country Birthdays Include


Steve Earle is 59.

Amanda Wilkinson of The Wilkinsons is 32.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1972, a section of Memphis' Highway 51 South was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The road passes in front of Graceland.


Today in 1976, "Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.)" by Glen Campbell peaked at number one on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1981, Eddie Rabbitt scored a chart-topping hit on the country charts with "I Love A Rainy Night." The song went on to be a number one on the pop charts as well.


Today in 1986, Reba McEntire became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1992, Garth Brooks' first TV special "This Is Garth Brooks" aired on NBC. 


Today in 1992, Doug Stone hit number one with "A Jukebox with a Country Song."


Today in 1995, the single "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" by Shania Twain was released.


Today in 1998, Brooks & Dunn were number one on the charts with the single, "He's Got You."


Today in 2001, Americans said that they preferred country music over rock, classical, or rap according to the Zogby America poll.  More than one-thousand people were surveyed on their musical preferences, and country music took the prize with 22 percent of the vote.


Today in 2002, Alabama's Randy Owen, members of Lonestar, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, SHeDAISY, and Mark McGuinn were among the artists who took part in the four-day 13th annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids benefit, visiting patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.


Today in 2002, the WB network announced it was picking up Reba McEntire's sitcom, "Reba," for a second season.


Today in 2006, Kristen Hall announced she was leaving the group Sugarland to concentrate on her songwriting. The two remaining members, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, carried on as the opening act for Kenny Chesney's "The Road and the Radio" tour that kicked off two months later. Jennifer and Kristian said, "Kristen has decided that she wants to stay home and write songs, and we support her in that decision."


Today in 2006, Vince Gill performed a benefit called Parkinsong at the Ford Theatre in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The concert was the second annual Parkinsong concert in Nashville, with proceeds going to provide programs and services for Parkinson's patients and their caregivers.


Today in 2007, Vince Gill performed his hit "Go Rest High On That Mountain" during a memorial service for Grand Ole Opry star Del Reeves at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood and the writers of the songs "Don't Forget to Remember Me" and "Before He Cheats" celebrated the chart-topping success of each single at separate parties in Nashville.


Today in 2008, Kenny Chesney surprises George Strait at his concert in Birmingham, Alabama.  He came on stage and sang with George during his encore of "Amarillo by Morning."


Today in 2008, The concert film "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best Of Both Worlds" debuted at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.  Miley's dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, was there to support his daughter.


Today in 2010, T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind," from the movie "Crazy Heart," earned the award for Best Original Song at the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards.


Today in 2010, Charlie Daniels was released from Swedish Medical Center in Denver two days after he had a mild stroke.


Today in 2013, Luke Bryan launched his "Dirt Road Diaries Tour," which was his first headlining trek.


Today in 2013, Craig Morgan was honored with the Golden Moose Humanitarian Award in recognition of his work with the Folds of Honor Foundation at the 13th annual Golden Moose Awards in Las Vegas.

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01-17-2014 03:28:17