Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Country Report

For:  Thursday, November 15, 2012


Keith Urban Announces North American Tour


Keith Urban is looking forward to returning to the road.  The country star admits he has a passion for performing.


Urban just unveiled dates for his 2013 North American tour.  The 26-date trek includes a couple of festival stops.  The singer will take part in Country Thunder in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin on July 19th, and appear at WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on August 2nd.  Keith is set to kick off the tour in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 18th.  He'll bring the trek to a close three-and-half-months later in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 5th.  The CMA Vocal Group of the Year winner Little Big Town and country newcomer Dustin Lynch are on board as the openers.


Keith Urban North American Tour Dates


July 18 - Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Riverbend Music Center

July 19 - Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, at Country Thunder

July 20 - Monticello, Iowa, at the Great Jones County Fair

July 25 - Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte

July 26 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek

July 27 - Alpharetta, Georgia, at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park

August 2 - Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, at WE Fest

August 4 - Detroit, Michigan, at the DTE Energy Music Theater

August 8 - Baltimore, Maryland, at the Merriweather Post Pavilion

August 9 - Canadaigua, New York, at the CMAC

August 10 - Mansfield, Massachusetts, at the Comcast Center

August 16 - Houston, Texas, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 17 - Dallas, Texas, at the Gexa Energy Pavilion

August 22 - Birmingham, Alabama, at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater

August 23 - St. Louis, Missouri, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - St. Louis

August 24 - Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Klipsch Music Center

September 12 - Cleveland, Ohio, at the Blossom Music Center

September 13 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the First Niagara Pavilion

September 14 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Susquehanna Bank Center

September 21 - Mountain View, California, at the Shoreline Amphitheater

September 22 - Sacramento, California, at the Sleep Train Amphitheater

September 27 - Los Angeles, California, at the Hollywood Bowl

September 28 - San Diego, California, at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

September 29 - Phoenix, Arizona, at the Ashley Furniture Home Store Pavilion

October 4 - Tampa, Florida, at the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater

October 5 - West Palm Beach, Florida, at the Cruzan Amphitheater


Chris Young Launching "Liquid Neon" Tour


Chris Young is set to launch his "Liquid Neon" tour.  The country singer is kicking off the trek with a sold out show Thursday night at the Ryman Auditorium, which marks Chris' headlining performance debut in Nashville.  With the tour Young is supporting his most recent album, "Neon."  The disc features the chart-topping hits "Tomorrow" and "You" as well as the title track and Chris' current single, "I Can Take It From There."  The former "Nashville Star" winner will wrap up the ten-date trek with a show in Chattanooga, Tennessee on December 8th.  Thomas Rhett and Joanna Smith are on board as the openers.


Chris Young's "Liquid Neon" Tour Dates


November 15 - Nashville, Tennessee, at the Ryman Auditorium

November 16 - Bristol, Tennessee, at the Viking Hall Civic Center

November 17 - Pikeville, Kentucky, at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center

November 18 - Youngstown, Ohio, at the Covelli Center

November 29 - Bowling Green, Ohio, at the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University

November 30 - Corbin, Kentucky, at The Arena

December 1 - Evansville, Indiana, at The Center

December 6 - Huntsville, Alabama, at the Von Braun Center

December 7 - Savannah, Georgia, at the Johnny Mercer Theater

December 8 - Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium


Thompson Square Writing Book Based On Debut Single


Thompson Square's breakthrough single is now the inspiration behind the duo's first book.  The husband-and-wife team has inked a deal with Howard Books to craft a novel from their chart-topping hit "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not."  The book will tell the story of main characters are David Winters and Zoe Spark, an unlikely couple whose journey together starts when they're enlisted to write songs for their high school musical.  They remain together through college.  It's a rocky personal relationship but successful musically, and two of their songs become hits.  Later, as David is ready to give up on music and Zoe is going through a divorce, romance blooms again and finally takes root.  The book "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not?" is expected to hit stores in June.


Thompson Square's Keifer and Shawna Thompson are writing their book with author Travis Thrasher.  Thrasher previously collaborated with Jimmy Wayne on Wayne's novel "Paper Angels."


Bucky Covington Wants To Race Cars Again


Bucky Covington admits he fulfilled a dream of a lifetime when he took part in Nashville's Legends Car Race over the summer.  The singer says it was a lot of fun, and something he'd like to do again.


Covington adds that if anybody "needs a really well-known, mediocre driver," then he's "your guy."  Bucky took part in the Legends race to raise funds for charity.  The money went to Nashville's Local 140 Fire Fighters Relief Fund and the organization Help The Good Guys, which provides assistance to fire fighters and police officers injured in the line of duty.


Casey James Giving Back By Not Shaving


Casey James is getting hairy.  But his latest look isn't really about changing his appearance.  The singer and his band are among those taking part in the "No Shave November" fundraising effort supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  James used to sport very short hair with a clean-shaven face.  But in 2010 he started growing his hair to make a contribution to Locks of Love, a charity that creates wigs for cancer patients out of donated hair.  Now, with his new beard and moustache he's helping children with cancer and other serious illnesses.  Casey tells it's important to him to step up in the fight against cancer.  He explains that he's lost two family members to the disease, and his mom has successfully battled cancer twice.


So far "Team Casey James" has raised more than 45-hundred-dollars through their "No Shave November" efforts.  They're hoping to bring in ten-thousand-dollars by the end of the month, which would provide St. Jude with one-tenth of the hospital's 100-thousand-dollar fundraising goal.  More information on "No Shave November" is available at


Taylor Swift Remains At Number One On The Chart


Taylor Swift's "Red" continues to rule the charts.  Fans picked up 196-thousand copies of the album last week to put Swift's disc at number one on the Billboard 200 for a third consecutive week.  "Red" sales outpaced the number two album by nearly two to one last week.  The compilation "Now That's What I Call Music 44" is this week's runner-up with 99-thousand albums sold.  Swift's sales total for "Red" has now climbed to one-point-75-million in just three weeks.  In addition, "Red" has become Taylor's first album to hold the top spot on the Billboard 200 for three consecutive weeks following its release.


Swift's last project, "Speak Now," opened with a two-week run at number one on the Billboard 200 following its October 2010 release, then returned to the top of the chart for four weeks at the start of 2011.  Taylor's sophomore effort, "Fearless," dropped out of the top spot following its debut week, but went on to log a total of eleven non-consecutive weeks at number one between November 2008 and March 2009.  Swift's 2006 self-titled debut topped the Country Albums chart, but peaked at number five on the Billboard 200.


Lady Antebellum Recall Shooting Cover Photo For Holiday Album


Lady Antebellum went for authenticity with the cover art for their holiday album, "On This Winter's Night."  The trio's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood say they found a real winter wonderland for the photo shoot.


Lady A's Hillary Scott says they got their "fill of snow" with the project, explaining that they were "traipsing around in it all day."  Charles adds that the snowy location forced their stylist to make some adjustments to their wardrobe.  He says they had to wear "these big old wader snow boots," and even then his feet weren't adequately protected from the elements.  Lady A's "On This Winter's Night" is in stores now.


Little Big Town Discuss Holiday Food, Memories


The members of Little Big Town know what they want to see on the dinner table next week.  In a Facebook chat Tuesday band members shared their favorite Thanksgiving foods.  Phillip Sweet says he's looking forward to the sweet potato casserole.  Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Karen Fairchild all praise their moms' holiday cooking.  Kimberly and Jimi both say they love their moms' dressing, while Karen Fairchild really enjoys her mom's strawberry pretzel salad.  Karen also promised to share her mom's recipe, and said she'll post it this week.


Looking ahead to Christmas, Kimberly's palate turns from savory to sweet.  The singer shares a holiday memory with "People Country," recalling how she, her sister, her mom, and her grandmother would always spend a Saturday in December together "making Christmas goodies."  She also shares her family's gingerbread cookie recipe.


Aaron Lewis Approaches Country Shows No Differently Than Rock Concerts


Aaron Lewis says performing is performing, no matter what type of music he's playing.  The Staind frontman just released the solo country album, "The Road," and is touring behind the effort.  He says he approaches his country shows the same way he would if he were playing a rock concert.


Lewis adds that he gives his all to every performance.  He explains that he takes the stage as if it were the only opportunity he was going to have to play his songs for an audience.  Aaron's next slate of dates are set for Florida.  He'll be in Jacksonville on Friday, in Orlando on Saturday, and in Clearwater on Sunday.  Lewis will perform at Cowboys Saloon in Davie Thursday night.  Aaron's full schedule is posted at his website,


Country Birthdays Include


Jack Ingram is 42.

C.W. McCall is 84.



Today In Country Music History


Today in 1980, Kenny Rogers topped the pop singles chart with "Lady."


Today in 2000, Jo Dee Messina's "Burn" video debuted on CMT.


Today in 2001, it was revealed that Brad Paisley was dubbed the "Sexiest Country Singer" in "People" magazine's annual "Sexiest Man Alive" issue.


Today in 2004, Lonestar sang the national anthem before the Dallas Cowboys-Philadelphia Eagles game on ABC's "Monday Night Football."


Today in 2005, Keith Urban and Lee Ann Womack were the big winners at the 39th annual Country Music Association Awards.  Urban was named Entertainer of the Year and he also received Male Vocalist honors.  Womack took home the most trophies, getting nods in three categories.  In addition, Alabama and Glen Campbell were among those inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Today in 2005, Toby Keith didn't attend the CMA Awards.  He chose to stay home instead to be with his son, who was recovering from a four-wheeler accident.


Today in 2005, Carrie Underwood released her debut album "Some Hearts."  The album yielded the number one hits "Jesus, Take the Wheel," "Don't Forget to Remember Me," and "Before He Cheats."  The disc was certified triple Platinum within four months of its release and passed the quadruple Platinum mark one week before the first anniversary of its release.


Today in 2005, Brooks & Dunn rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.


Today in 2006, Sara Evans returned to ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" for the season finale.  The singer had been a competitor on the show but dropped out after filing for divorce.


Today in 2006, Josh Gracin and his wife celebrated the birth of their third child, Gabriella Ann Gracin.  She was the second daughter for the couple, joining big sister Briana and brother Landon.


Today in 2006, Josh Turner celebrated the success of his hit single "Would You Go With Me" at an event at BMI's Nashville office.


Today in 2006, Keith Urban's "Love, Pain, and the whole crazy thing" debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.


Today in 2006, Discs by Hank Williams, Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton were among those included in "Time" magazine's list of the All Time 100 albums.


Today in 2007, Kenny Chesney's "Flip Flop Summer" tour and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's "Soul2Soul II" tour were among the winners at the Billboard Touring Awards.


Today in 2007, Kellie Pickler was a contestant on Fox's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader."  She played for charity, raising money for the American Red Cross and the AARP Foundation Grandparenting Program.


Today in 2008, Joe Nichols and the late country duo the Wilburn Brothers were among the new inductees added to the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.


Today in 2010, Pam Tillis' cooking column, Pam & Co., made its debut in "Country Weekly" magazine.


Today in 2010, The Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, which was hard hit by the May 2010 flood, officially reopened for business.


Today in 2011, new releases included David Nail's "The Sound of a Million Dreams."


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