Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Jerrod Niemann To Make "Huge Announcement" Thursday


Jerrod Niemann has something big brewing, which he intends to share with the world today.  The country star didn't give fans much notice about his upcoming reveal.  On Wednesday he said in a Facebook post that he'd be making "a HUGE announcement" on the site "tomorrow at high noon Central time."  The singer also invited fans to share their speculation, adding, "What will it be? Any guesses?"  Niemann also included an image outlining three definitions of the term "high noon," but offered no obvious hints about his plans.


Rascal Flatts Announce "Rewind" Tour


Rascal Flatts will be hitting the road this spring.  The country trio has revealed the dates for their "Rewind Tour 2014," which will also feature Sheryl Crow and Gloriana.  Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus admits he and his bandmates are particularly excited about having Crow on the tour.


Jay adds that he really admires Sheryl as both a musician and a songwriter.  He also says he's hoping that over the course of the tour they'll find time to sit down together to write songs.


Rascal Flatts' "Rewind Tour 2014" currently includes 36 stops, while more shows are expected to be added.  The group will launch the trek in St. Louis, Missouri on May 16th.


Rascal Flatts' "Rewind Tour 2014" Dates


5/16 - St. Louis, Mo. | Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

5/17 - Indianapolis, Ind. | Klipsch Music Center

5/30 - Wantagh, N.Y. | Nikon At Jones Beach

5/31 - Hartford, Conn. | XFINITY Theatre

6/13 - Winsted, Minn. | Winstock Country Music Festival

6/14 - Chicago, Ill. | First Midwest Bank Amphitheater

6/15 - Bonner Springs, Kan. | Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

6/20 - Hershey, Pa., Hershey Park Pavilion

6/21 - Boston, Mass. | XFINITY Center

6/22 - Holmdel, N.J. | PNC Bank Arts Center

6/29 - Dauphin, Manitoba | Dauphin's Country Fest

7/10 - Austin, Texas | Austin360 Amphitheater

7/11 - Houston, Texas | Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

7/12 - Dallas, Texas | GEXA Energy Pavilion

7/17 - Toole, Utah | Desert Peak Recreational Complex

7/25 - Raleigh, N.C. | Walnut Creek Amphitheater

7/26 - Charlotte, N.C. | PNC Music Pavilion

7/27 - Virginia Beach, Va. | Farm Bureau Live

8/1 - Cleveland, Ohio | Blossom Music Center

8/2 - Washington, D.C. | Jiffy Lube Live

8/3 - Saratoga, N.Y. | Saratoga Performing Arts Center

8/9 - Mission, British Columbia | Mission Raceway Park

8/15 - Phoenix, Ariz. | Ak-Chin Pavilion

8/16 - San Bernardino, Calif. | San Manuel Amphitheater

8/17 - San Diego, Calif. | Sleep Train Amphitheater

8/21 - Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center

8/22 - Sacramento, Calif. | Sleep Train Amphitheater

8/23 - Mountain View, Calif. | Shoreline Amphitheater

9/4 - Darien Lakes, N.Y. | Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center

9/5 - Cincinnati, Ohio | Riverbend Music Center

9/6 - Pittsburgh, Penn. | First Niagara Pavilion

9/11 - Atlanta, Ga. | Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood

9/12 - Tampa, Fla. | MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater

9/13 - West Palm Beach, Fla. | Cruzan Amphitheater

9/20 - Toronto, Canada | Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

9/21 - Detroit, Mich. | DTE Energy Music Theatre


Jennifer Nettles Was Nervous About Working With Rick Rubin


Jennifer Nettles admits she didn't really know what to expect from Rick Rubin when they started working together on her solo album, "That Girl."  The country star adds that she was a little nervous about collaborating with the legendary producer.


But Nettles album is yet another one of his successes.  "That Girl" is debuting at the top of the Billboard Country Albums chart and opening on the all-genre Billboard 200 at number five with first-week sales of 54-thousand.


Rubin has worked with a wide array of artists since launching his career in the early 1980s.  His lengthy list of credits reads like a "who's who" in music, and includes Adele, Black Sabbath, U2, Neil Diamond, and Kanye West.  Rubin also collaborated on several projects with Johnny Cash, including the country legend's series of "American" albums.


Lee Brice Searching For Way To Get To Grammys


Lee Brice doesn't want to miss this weekend's Grammy Awards.  The country star is a first-time nominee heading into the event, with a bid for Best Country Solo Performance with his hit "I Drive Your Truck."  But the singer tells CMT he's not sure just how he'll get to Sunday's ceremony.  He explains that Saturday night he'll be in New York City performing with Luke Bryan, and he'll miss the last commercial flight to Los Angeles.  But Brice says he's determined to attend the event.  He adds that he's proud of his nomination, and hopes that just being in the running for the prestigious award will draw more listeners to his music.


"I Drive Your Truck" is also in the running for Best Country Song, which is a songwriter's category.  And Lee believes the track is more than deserving of the recognition.  He calls "I Drive Your Truck" one of those songs that's "ridiculously amazing" and has "some truth to them."  Brice admits he was instantly grabbed by the track, saying it reminded him of the songs he listened to as he was "growing up loving country music."  The 56th annual Grammy Awards will air live from Los Angeles on CBS Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.


Kris Kristofferson Featured At Grammy Foundation's Legacy Concert


Kris Kristofferson is getting into Grammy mode.  The country star, who's also one of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, is taking part in the Grammy Foundation's Legacy Concert.  The event is highlighting the art of songwriting.  The Civil Wars' Joy Williams and noted songwriter Jimmy Webb are also on board for the special show, along with Bonnie Raitt, Gavin DeGraw, Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik, and others.  The show, dubbed "A Song Is Born," will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles   Thursday night.


Luke Bryan To Play Daytona 500 Concert


Luke Bryan will be taking a brief departure from his tour next month.  The country star has been tapped to play the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, and help launch the new season of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.  The singer is expected to turn in a hit-filled set for the racing fans in attendance.  The Daytona 500 will take place at Daytona International Speedway in Florida, and air on Fox on February 23rd.


Bryan is joining an impressive list of stars who've previously played the Daytona 500 pre-race concert.  Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Bon Jovi, and Lenny Kravitz are among those who've entertained spectators at "The Great American Race."  Zac Brown Band performed at the event last year.


Neal McCoy Calling For Sympathy For Trace Adkins


Neal McCoy says in light of the comments and reports he's heard about Trace Adkins' cruise ship incident, he wants to "weigh in" on the matter.  The singer was among the many country stars taking part in last week's "Country Cruising" trip.  He admits in a new Facebook post that he didn't personally witness the confrontation between Adkins and his impersonator so he "won't say much about that," other than it was "blown way out of proportion by some of the media."  And he feels that "folks oughta have a little more sympathy" for Adkins and his family because they're "going through a pretty tough time in their lives right now."  McCoy explains that he's always found Trace to be "a no nonsense kind of guy with a huge heart," and he's "trying to do the right thing by facing this thing head on and getting some help."


Adkins was the headliner for "Country Cruising," but after an alcohol-fueled altercation he left the ship early and entered rehab.  McCoy says he understands why fans would be upset over Adkins' departure and the cruise organizers "fudging on the truth at first" about the situation.  But Neal believes the deception "was done to soften the blow of losing Trace," and to buy some time "until everyone could get their arms around exactly what challenges Trace was facing."  The singer also feels "everybody involved" did "the best they could to keep people happy," and he "was impressed" with the way all the other artists on the cruise handled the matter. 


McCoy adds that Adkins has offered to give fans on the ship free tickets and meet-and-greet passes to his next concert in their area, which he thinks is "a good way to start the mending process" between Trace and his audience.


Frankie Ballard Initially Aspired To Play Pro Baseball


Frankie Ballard says he's always wanted to perform before thousands of fans in packed stadiums -- but not as a musician.  The country singer explains that as a kid he aspired to be a Major League Baseball player, but things changed when he was in college.

Ballard admits he didn't really start taking music seriously until his senior year.  He says that's when he began writing songs and performing live, taking the stage at clubs on open mic nights.  Frankie is now getting ready to release his second album.  "Sunshine & Whiskey," which includes his current single "Helluva Life," will be in stores on February 11th.


Gill, Franklin's Bakersfield Show Pre-Dated "Bakersfield" Album


Vince Gill says he and steel guitarist Paul Franklin had a reason to be excited about their album "Bakersfield" prior to recording a single note.  The country star explains that they knew they'd be performing the material in the city where this music originated.


Gill has said their Bakersfield show ended up being pretty special, and there was "a real neat spirit in the air."  And now, the "Bakersfield" album is getting a bit of a makeover.  The expanded "Bakersfield: Deluxe Edition," featuring four additional tracks, will be released next week.  Gill and Franklin's tribute to Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and the Bakersfield sound will be available exclusively from Cracker Barrel's stores and website on January 27th.  The set will arrive digitally through and iTunes a day later.


Country TV Tonight


HEADLINE COUNTRY (GAC) Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Craig Morgan, David Nail, Grammy country nominees, and ACM New Artist of the Year semi-finalists are among the stars featured on the show.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1957, Patsy Cline made her debut appearance on "Arthur Godfrey Time" morning television show after winning the prime time show "Talent Scouts."


Today in 1989, "Lyle Lovett And His Large Band" album by Lyle Lovett was released.


Today in 1991, the IRS began auctioning off Willie Nelson's property to satisfy the 16-point-seven-million-dollars in back taxes he owed.


Today in 1995, Alan Jackson's single "Gone Country" hit number one.


Today in 1996, Tracy Lawrence released his "Time Marches On" album.


Today in 2001, after weeks of speculation, Tracy Lawrence's representatives confirmed that the singer married again.  His record label released a statement that said Lawrence, quote, "appreciates all of the well wishes from his fans and respectfully requests that his personal life remain private."


Today in 2001, Dolly Parton's album "Little Sparrow" was released.


Today in 2002, it was announced that the Dixie Chicks would be heading to Salt Lake City to participate in the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. They were joined at the ceremonies by LeAnn Rimes, Sting, the Band's Robbie Robertson, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


Today in 2002, Alan Jackson's "Drive" unseated rock band Creed's "Weathered" to take the number one spot on the Billboard 200 album chart.


Today in 2005, Big & Rich's Big Kenny Alphin married wardrobe stylist Christiev Carothers on a mountaintop in Deadwood, South Dakota.


Today in 2005, Diamond Rio drummer Brian Prout's wife, "Breathe" songwriter Stephanie Bentley, gave birth to twins at Nashville's Baptist Hospital.  The babies were born four months early, so son Bentley and daughter Sophie remained hospitalized until March.


Today in 2005, Lee Greenwood performed during halftime at the National Football League AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh as the Steelers hosted the New England Patriots.


Today in 2007, Carrie Underwood was the big winner in's inaugural Loaded Awards.  Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban were also winners.


Today in 2007, Big & Rich Big & Rich headlined a private party sponsored by the National Hockey League at Gilley's nightclub during the NHL's All-Star celebration in Dallas.


Today in 2008, Brad Paisley's "Letter To Me" logged its sixth consecutive week at the top of the country singles chart.


Today in 2010, LeAnn Rimes and boyfriend Eddie Cibrian did a walk-in Tail Feathers in Henderson, Colorado, and LeAnn entertained with a karaoke version of Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."


Today in 2011, Montgomery Gentry traveled to South Korea to launch their second USO Tour.  During the eight-day trek the duo performed for U.S. troops stationed in Japan as well as in South Korea.


Today in 2011, Martina McBride sang the national anthem and Joe Nichols performed at halftime during the National Football League's AFC Championship Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets in Pittsburgh.


Today in 2011, Kenny Rogers donated ten-thousand-dollars to flood victims in Queensland while he was on tour in Australia.


Today in 2013, Chely Wright announced that she was pregnant with identical twins.


Today in 2013, Chris Young and Brantley Gilbert made guest appearances on ABC's "Nashville."


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