Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Keith Urban Launching "Light The Fuse" Tour


Keith Urban is returning to the road.  The country star is kicking off his "Light The Fuse" tour with a show in Cincinnati, Ohio Thursday night.  The trek will keep the singer occupied for the rest of the year.  The extensive, 46-date trek will come to a close in Louisville, Kentucky on December 8th.  Urban will make two festival stops over the course of the trek.  He'll be the headliner at Country Thunder in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin this Friday, and he'll take the stage at the WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota on August 2nd.  In addition, Urban has a two-night stand scheduled for the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on November 15th and 16th.  Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch are on board as openers.


Urban is touring in advance of his next album, "Fuse," which is expected to arrive later this year.  But Keith recently released "Little Bit of Everything," the lead-off single from the upcoming disc.


Keith Urban's "Light The Fuse" 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 Amplitheater Charlotte

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

July 27: Atlanta, Georgia, at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

August 2 - Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, at the WE Fest

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

August 8: Columbia, Maryland, at the Merriweather Post Pavilion

August 9: Canandaigua, New York, at the CMAC

August 10: Boston, Massachusetts, at the Comcast Center

August 15: Austin, Texas, at the Austin360 Amphitheater

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

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

August 28: Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the Sandia Casino Amphitheater

August 30: Denver, Colorado, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater. [Dustin Lynch not on this date]

August 31 - Snowmass Village, Colorado, at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Village

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

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

September 14: Camden, New Jersey, 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 Sleep Train Amphitheater

September 29: Phoenix, Arizona, at the Ak-Chin Pavilion

October 4: Tampa, Florida, at the Live Nation Amphitheater

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

October 18: Omaha, Nebraska, at the CenturyLink Center

October 19: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena

October 20: Springfield, Missouri, at the JQH Arena at Missouri State

October 25: Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the BOK Center

October 26: Bossier City, Louisiana, at the CenturyLink Center

October 27: Lafayette, Louisiana, at the Cajundome

November 8: Kansas City, Missouri, at the Sprint Center

November 9: Des Moines, Iowa, at the Wells Fargo Arena

November 10: Peoria, Illinois, at the Peoria Civic Center

November 14: Manchester, New Hampshire, at the Verizon Wireless Arena

November 15-16: Uncasville, Connecticut, at the Mohegan Sun

November 22: State College, Pennsylvania, at the Bryce Jordan Center

November 24: Toledo, Ohio, at the Huntington Center

December 7: Charleston, West Virginia, at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum

December 8: Louisville, Kentucky, at the KFC Yum! Center


Taylor Swift References Kanye Incident In Responding To VMA Nominations


Taylor Swift is once again in the running for MTV Video Music Awards.  And the country-pop superstar is making a promise to her supporters heading into the fan-voted event.  She tweets that if she's a winner, she'll "keep a firmer grip on the mic this time."  Taylor became the first country singer to win an MTV Moonman at the 2009 ceremony, when Kanye West infamously interrupted her acceptance speech.  This time around Taylor is in the running in two categories.  Her hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" is up for Best Female Video and the top prize of Video of the Year.  Voting is under way now at  The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and air on MTV on August 25th.


Craig Morgan Announces Annual Charity Event


Craig Morgan is making plans for his annual charity event.  The country star will launch the fundraiser with a motocross exhibition featuring celebrities along with some of the top riders in the sport.  He'll then lead his guests on a group trail ride, and cap off the morning's activities with lunch.  Fans, friends, and other supporters will then reconvene later in the day for an acoustic performance followed by a full Craig Morgan show featuring the singer with his band.  Both live and silent auctions will also be a part of the concert.  Morgan will host his 7th Annual Charity Event in Dickson, Tennessee on September 14th.  Money raised will go to Billy's Place, a local facility that assists foster children throughout Middle Tennessee.


Court Yard Hounds Reflect On Advantages, Challenges Of Second Album


The Court Yard Hounds say it's been easier to release their second album.  The duo, featuring Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, released their sophomore studio effort, "Amelita," this week.  Emily tells CMT Edge she and Martie felt a little more confident with one album to their credit.  She adds that they now have a better understanding of who they are as a duo.  But she admits an artist's second CD also "has its pitfalls."  Robison explains that it's a balancing act between "trying to one-up yourself" and "maintaining whatever sound you created on the first album."


Court Yard Hounds are supporting "Amelita" with live dates and TV appearances.  The duo will appear on ABC's "The View" and CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday, and visit NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" next week.  They'll begin a run of shows in Fargo, North Dakota on August 1st.


Alan Jackson To Release First-Ever Bluegrass CD


Alan Jackson has long discussed wanting to record a bluegrass album, and now he has.  His next studio project, titled "The Bluegrass Album," will be in stores on September 24th.  Jackson wrote eight of the songs on the 14-track collection, which also features covers of John Anderson's "Wild and Blue," The Dillards' "There Is A Time," and Bill Monroe's classic "Blue Moon Of Kentucky."  "The Bluegrass Album" is Jackson's follow up to his 2012 release, "Thirty Miles West."


Tyler Farr Hosting "Redneck Crazy" Video Contest


Tyler Farr is inviting fans to demonstrate their creative talents, and show him their vision for his hit "Redneck Crazy."  The country star says he's excited to see the submissions.


Tyler adds that he intends to watch every video that's sent in.  Details on "Tyler Farr's Redneck Crazy I'm Up For Anything Tonight Contest" are available at


Brantley Gilbert Not A Techie, But Maintains Relationship Through Electronics


Brantley Gilbert admits he's "not really a technology-type guy."  But the country singer says his two must-haves on the road are both electronic items.


Gilbert adds that when he and Jana Kramer first started talking with one another, he really took her by surprise simply by calling her.  He explains that Jana was used to communicating with others via text, but he was "a pretty slow texter" at the time so calling "seemed like the right thing to do."


Brantley has been on the road for much of the year.  He set out on his "Hell On Wheels" tour in January, and throughout the spring and summer he's been playing his own dates and opening shows for Tim McGraw.  Gilbert will be performing at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles on Thursday.  Kramer, meanwhile, will soon be hitting the road with Blake Shelton.  She's an opener on his "Ten Times Crazier" trek, which begins in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday.


Vince Gill Sees No Difference Between Himself, Fans


Vince Gill says he's not special because he's a famous musician.  The country star explains that he's just a regular guy who's grateful to have fans.


Vince says he tries to "ignore" his celebrity distinction, and instead thinks of his fans as friends.  Gill has new music on the way for his "friends" to enjoy.  The singer's next album, "Bakersfield," is due July 30th.  He's also recorded a song with Hall & Oates' John Oates for John's latest project.  The track "Don't Cross Me Wrong" is available now.


Randy Travis' Brother Arrested On Drug Charges


There's more trouble for Randy Travis' family.  WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina says the country star's younger brother has been arrested for allegedly operating a meth lab in his home.  Police say they discovered evidence in a search of David Traywick's home, and have charged him with conspiracy to traffic meth.  Two other women, including Traywick's wife, were also arrested.  This isn't Traywick's first drug-related arrest.  Police say David is also facing similar charges dating back to last year.


Randy Travis, whose birth name is Randy Traywick, has been hospitalized since July 7th in Texas.  He was initially hospitalized for a heart condition, and a few days later suffered the stroke.  Doctors say he has a lengthy recovery ahead of him.


Country Birthdays Include


Ricky Skaggs is 59.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1960, "I'm Sorry" by Brenda Lee topped the singles charts.


Today in 1981, the single "Seven Year Ache" by Rosanne Cash peaked at number 22 on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1992, "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus peaked at number four on the pop singles chart.


Today in 1995, new releases included Tracy Byrd's "Love Lessons" and Jeff Foxworthy's "Games Rednecks Play."


Today in 1997, the single "All the Good Ones are Gone" by Pam Tillis peaked at number six on the charts.


Today in 2000, the album "Kinleys 2" arrived in stores.  Darryl Worley also celebrated the arrival of his debut album, "Hard Rain Don't Last."


Today in 2000, Travis Tritt was tapped as a celebrity spokesperson for Goodwill Industries.


Today in 2001, Lonestar enjoyed their sixth week at the top of the charts with the hit "I'm Already There."


Today in 2001, Faith Hill became the first performer to play the five-thousand seat Casino Rama in Rama, Ontario.  It marked the singer's only concert appearance of the year.


Today in 2002, Faith Hill topped a "Redbook" reader's poll on which celebrity they thought had the best balance between career and personal life.  Oprah Winfrey came in second, followed by Julia Roberts.


Today in 2003, Lonestar's "My Front Porch Looking In" reclaimed the top spot on "Radio & Records'" country chart.  It had reached number one several weeks earlier, then slipped to number two for a few weeks.  It was the first time in the history of the "Radio & Records'" country chart that a song had spent more than one week out of the top spot before reclaiming it.


Today in 2004, word surfaced that Brooks & Dunn's career album sales had reached 25-million, making them one of the ten best-selling country artists of all-time and the second best-selling duo in any genre -- Simon and Garfunkel topped that list.


Today in 2006, Mindy McCready testified at her trial for DUI, explaining that she failed her field sobriety test because she was wearing high heels.


Today in 2006, new CD releases included Billy Ray Cyrus' "I Want My Mullet Back," Eric Church's "Sinners Like Me," and Rodney Atkins' "If You're Going Through Hell."  Atkins also made an in-store appearance at a Wal-Mart in Chicago to promote his disc.  Also in stores was the DVD "Neal McCoy Live!"


Today in 2007, Big & Rich received the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts for their single "8th of November" during opening ceremonies of the Vietnam Veterans of America's 13th biennial National Convention in Springfield, Illinois.


Today in 2007, Joe Nichols confirmed that he and his longtime girlfriend Heather had become engaged.


Today in 2008, Garth Brooks was among the stars who made a guest appearance during the second of Billy Joel's Double Play at Shea concerts at New York's Shea Stadium.


Today in 2010, Sammy Kershaw hosted the Concert for the Coast in Houma, Louisiana in support of those affected by the spring oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Mark Chesnutt was among the performers at the free event.  In addition, Kershaw helped distribute food, water, and personal care items to families in the community who were struggling financially as a result of the disaster.


Today in 2012, Zac Brown Band's "Uncaged" debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Billboard 200.


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