Nashville News and Notes for THURSDAY

Luke Bryan Launching First Headlining Tour


Luke Bryan is heading out on his first headlining tour.  The country singer has top billing on the 22-date "Dirt Road Diaries Tour," which he'll launch in Evansville, Indiana Thursday night.  The trek includes a two-night stand in Bloomington, Illinois on February 17th and 18th.  He'll wrap up the road trip in Charlottesville, Virginia on March 23rd.  Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line are also on board as Luke's openers.  Bryan also has a few other events peppered in throughout the run of the tour.  He'll play a radio station sponsored Chili Cookoff in Pembroke Pines, Florida on January 27th, and take the stage at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 16th.  He'll also play his annual Spring Break shows at the Spinnaker Beach Club in Panama City Beach, Florida on March 12th and 13th.


Luke Bryan's "Dirt Road Diaries Tour" Dates


January 17 - Evansville, Indiana, at the Ford Center

January 18 - Huntsville, Alabama, at the Von Braun Center

January 19 - Southaven, Mississippi, at the Landers Center

January 25 - Estero, Florida, at the Germain Arena  

January 26 - Orlando, Florida, at the Amway Center

February 7 - Uniondale, New York, at Nassau Coliseum

February 8 - University Park, Pennsylvania, at the Bryce Jordan Center

February 9 - Charleston, West Virginia, at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum

February 15 - Toledo, Ohio, at the Huntington Center

February 16 - Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Van Andel Arena

February 17 & 18 - Bloomington, Illinois, at the US Cellular Center

February 21 - Ft Wayne, Indiana, at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

February 22 - Louisville, Kentucky, at the KFC Yum! Center

February 23 - Columbia, Missouri, at the Mizzou Arena

February 28 - Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the Resch Center

March 1 - Sioux City, Iowa, at the Tyson Events Center

March 2 - Moline, Illinois, at the iWireless Center

March 14 - Orange Beach, Alabama, at the Amphitheater at the Wharf

March 21 - Florence, South Carolina, at the Florence Civic Center

March 22 - Fayetteville, North Carolina, at the Crown Center

March 23 - Charlottesville, Virginia, at the John Paul Jones Arena


Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley Launching Co-Headlining Tour


Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley are hitting the road together this winter.  The country stars are heading on on their co-headlining "Locked & Reloaded Tour."  They'll kick off the 21-date road trip Thursday night with a show in Columbia, South Carolina.  Lee Brice is set to open the first three shows.  Thomas Rhett is on board for the next two weeks, until Brice returns to the trek in Ames, Iowa on February 21st.  Lambert and Bentley have tapped Canadian country star Corb Lund to join them in Springfield, Missouri on April 12th.  They'll close the tour with Randy Houser in Hershey, Pennsylvania on April 19th.


The "Locked & Reloaded Tour" marks a road reunion of sorts for Lambert and Bentley.  The trek's name is a nod to their previous trek together.  In 2006 and 2007 Lambert was an opener on Bentley's "Locked & Loaded" tour, which marked Dierks' debut as a headliner.


Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley's 2013 "Locked & Reloaded Tour" Dates


January 17 - Columbia, South Carolina, at the Colonial Life Arena

January 18 - Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Thompson-Boling Arena

January 19 - Roanoke, Virginia. at the Roanoke Civic Center

January 24 - Baltimore, Maryland, at the 1st Mariners Arena

January 25 - Reading, Pennsylvania, at the Sovereign Center

January 26 - Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall

February 14 - DeKalb Illinois, at the Convocation Center at Northern Illinois University

February 15 - Dayton, Ohio, at the Nutter Center

February 16 - Huntington, West Virginia, at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena

February 21 - Ames, Iowa, at the Hilton Coliseum

February 22 - Champaign, Illinois, at Assembly Hall

February 23 - East Lansing, Michigan, at the Breslin Student Events Center

March 1 - Rochester, New York, at the Blue Cross Arena

March 2 - Albany, New York, at the Times Union Arena

March 3 - Manchester, New Hampshire, at the Verizon Wireless Arena

March 8 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena

March 9 - Kansas City, Missouri, at the Sprint Center

March 15 - Estero, Florida, at the Germain Arena

March 16 - Jacksonville, Florida, at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

April 12 - Springfield, Missouri, at the JQH Arena

April 19 - Hershey, Pennsylvania, at the Giant Center


Dierks Bentley Looking To Stage "Impactful" Shows


Dierks Bentley says he's upping the production value of his show.  The country singer says for the first time he'll be using video, which is one way he plans to give the audience at each stop a customized show.


Dierks adds that he's striving to really move his fans this time around.  He explains that while he wants to entertain the crowd, he also wants his show to have an impact that makes people "cry and feel it."  Bentley is hitting the road with Miranda Lambert on their "Locked & Reloaded Tour."  They're launching the trek in Columbia, South Carolina Thursday night.


Thompson Square Apologize For Worrying Fans With Alarming Tweets


Thompson Square is apologizing for scaring their fans.  The Twitter drama began Wednesday when Keifer Thompson posted a photo of himself, in which he appears to have a bruise and a gash under his left eye.  An accompanying tweet read: "something bad happened today.  An hour later another photo appeared of Shawna in a hospital bed, her face obscured by I-V bags, with the caption "hey y'all please pray for shawna."  Another hour passed before the final photo, showing Keifer, Shawna and Shawna's "double" -- all smiling -- and a message that read: "looks like she's gonna make it...can't wait for y'all to see the video."  Keifer later tweeted his regrets for worrying the fans.  He explained that he "totally intended on posting those pics closer together," but "got busy shooting."  He added that he was sorry if they "scared anyone" because they "love y'all," and it "wasn't meant to be a prank."


Keifer doesn't say what video they were shooting.  However, Thompson Square's current single is "If I Didn't Have You."  The track, which arrived in late October, is the lead single from the duo's upcoming sophomore CD.


Lady A Teaming With Stevie Nicks For "CMT Crossroads"


Lady Antebellum is teaming up with a rock enchantress for an upcoming episode of "CMT Crossroads."  The country trio is slated to meet up with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles to tape an episode of the CMT series.  An air date for the show hasn't been set as yet.  "CMT Crossroads" pairs up country stars with performers from other musical genres to play each other's songs and discuss their influences to see where their musical paths intersect.  Between them they'll have plenty of material to choose from for their set. 


This year marks Nicks' 40th anniversary as a recording artist.  She began her recording career with the release of 1973's "Buckingham Nicks," the self-titled album from her duo with Lindsey Buckingham.  Her hits with Fleetwood Mac include "Landslide," "Dreams," and "Rhiannon," while her solo hits include "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stand Back."  Lady A has three chart-topping albums to their credit, along with a host of number one hits such as "I Run To You," "Need You Now," and "Just A Kiss."


Craig Morgan Up For Golden Moose Awards


Craig Morgan is looking to bag a moose.  But this one he won't get on a hunting trip.  The country star is a five-time nominee in the fan-voted categories for the 13th annual Golden Moose Awards.  Morgan is competing against himself in two categories.  His Outdoor Channel series "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors" and the series "Total Outdoorsman Challenge," which Craig began hosting this fall, are both in the running for Fan Favorite Best Overall Series.  Craig also has two bids for Fan Favorite Host -- one nomination for each show.  In addition, "All Access Outdoors" is among the hopefuls in the Fan Favorite Hunting Series.  The Outdoor Channel's 13th Annual Golden Moose Awards will take place in Las Vegas on Thursday, in conjunction with the Shooting and Outdoor Industry Trade Show.


Keith Urban Brings Empathy To The Judges' Table On "Idol"


Keith Urban knows from experience what the "American Idol" hopefuls are going through.  The country star and new "Idol" judge says he competed on similar types of programs when he was a kid.


Keith explains that he was 12 years old when he took his shot on "Have A Go Show," and "bombed miserably."  But he says at that age he was able to just "scrape off the knees and get back on the horse."  Urban is now on the other side of the competition, evaluating those who are trying to make an impression on him.  Fans can see how he does as a judge on "American Idol," which will wrap up its two-part season premiere Thursday night on Fox.


Carrie Underwood Feels Strong Connection To Chart-Topper "Blown Away"


Carrie Underwood says she's very glad she was able to get the song "Blown Away."  The country singer admits she was instantly drawn to the dramatic track.


Carrie says she likes the song for a number of reasons.  She explains that it "sounds different," and has "a really great story" that's "dark" without "going too far in that direction."  Underwood topped the chart with "Blown Away" last fall.  This week the singer celebrated the song's success at an event in Nashville with writers Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins.


Samuel L. Jackson Covers Taylor Swift On UK Radio


Taylor Swift is helping a fan in the UK communicate her feelings loud and clear -- with some assistance from Samuel L. Jackson.  During a recent visit to Britain's Capital FM radio, the actor put his own spin on the chorus of Swift's hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" when a listener said she wanted to send her boyfriend a message.

Swift released the definitive break-up song last August, and it quickly became the biggest single of her career.  The track set a digital sales record and put Taylor at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.  "Never" is from the country-pop superstar's most recent album, "Red."



Quick Bites


Rascal Flatts won't be performing in Sioux City, Iowa tonight as originally planned.  The band doesn't offer many details, but says they've postponed the show "due to illness."  The trio also have a make-good date set already.  Rascal Flatts will return to Sioux City on August 18th.  Tickets for Thursday's show will be honored.  The Band Perry, who is an opener on the "Changed Tour 2013," will appear on the new date as well.


Chely Wright is a nominee for the upcoming GLAAD Media Awards.  The film about the country singer's coming out story, "Chely Wright: Wish Me Away," is in the running for Outstanding Documentary at the event, which recognizes those in the media the organization feels portrays a "fair, accurate and inclusive" representation of the LGBT community.  The 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards will take place over three separate events on March 16th in New York, April 20th in Los Angeles and May 11th on San Francisco.


Country Birthdays Include


Steve Earle is 58.

Kid Rock is 42.

Amanda Wilkinson of The Wilkinsons is 31.



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.


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