Nashville News and Notes for TUESDAY

Dierks Bentley Opening His Own Bar


Dierks Bentley will soon be inviting fans -- and everyone else -- to "tip it on back" at his own bar.  The Phoenix-born country star has teamed up with the Riot Hospitality Group to open Whiskey Row in Scottsdale, Arizona.  The singer say his watering hole features "really cool details that will make it the perfect place to watch a game or listen to music or just get a few drinks with friends."  Bentley's Whiskey Row is described as a "throwback to 1920's style saloon with a new country vibe," and is claiming to be Arizona's "most technologically advanced bar."  The bar will host both nationally known artists as well as local talent on a 400-square-foot stage hanging directly over the centrally-located bar, while a 24-foot TV hangs on the back wall.  In addition, each booth is equipped with beer and liquor taps which will allow visitors to pour their own drinks.  Bentley is planning to officially launch Whiskey Row with a grand opening event on July 4th.


Trade Adkins In "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" Finale


Trace Adkins is in a familiar spot on "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice."  The country singer is once again in the finale as the NBC reality series comes to an end.  Adkins finished the runner up to Piers Morgan the last time he competed on the show.  This time around he's up against Penn Jillette as he works to complete this season's final task.  They've been challenged to come up with a new flavor and packaging for Walgreens' ice cream brand.  They also have to create a promotional video for the product, host a VIP event for the product, and sell up to 50 tickets for the event.  Donald Trump has also brought back some of this season's fired stars to help them with the project.  Trace is getting assistance from Lil Jon, Gary Busey, and Marilu Henner, while Penn's team includes La Toya Jackson, Dennis Rodman, and Lisa Rinna.


Adkins has already served as project manager twice this season, and won both times.  So far he's raised a total of 710-thousand-dollars for his charity, the American Red Cross.  If he wins, he'll be able to give an additional 250-thousand-dollars to the organization.  The "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" finale will air on NBC on May 19th.


"Malibu Country" Axed, "Nashville" Renewed


Reba McEntire's new TV series is ending after just one season. says "Malibu Country" is among the shows ABC isn't renewing for next year.  While the series did reasonably well in the ratings, internal staff problems, including losing two showrunner during its short tenure, led to the decision.  The show featured Reba as a country singer who after getting a divorce relocated to Malibu, California with her mother and teenage kids.  However, another country music-related series will be returning.  ABC has renewed "Nashville."  The drama gives a fictional look into the country music industry and the lives of the stars.  A number of real-life country singers have appeared on the show this season, including Vince Gill and Chris Young.  Brad Paisley will be featured on the "Nashville" season finale, airing on ABC on May 22nd.


Willie Nelson Receives Honorary Degree From Berklee College Of Music


Willie Nelson admits he's a bit surprised to get academic accolades for his work.  The country legend received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music over the weekend. says Nelson told reporters prior to the annual tribute concert Friday that he was "naturally shocked and surprised that this whole thing is happening."  He added that "to have a bunch of young musicians that are very knowledgeable of your music and are playing it" was "very good." says Dr. Willie Nelson addressed the crowd as he received his degree during Saturday's commencement ceremony, telling graduates the "history of music has been good, but the future is even better thanks to you folks."  Nelson's longtime friend Kris Kristofferson was also on hand to help with the honors.  He joined Willie in performing with students during Friday's concert, and took part in presenting the degree to Willie on Saturday.


Lauren Alaina Records Theme To New SeaWorld Orlando Attraction


Lauren Alaina is adding her voice to a new SeaWorld Orlando attraction.  In a YouTube video for the project the country star says she enjoyed having one of the stars of "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin" in the studio with her as she recorded the theme.


Orlando's "Attractions Magazine" says Lauren will be on hand to perform "Antarctica: One World, One Family" in person during the launch week of "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin," which is scheduled to open on May 24th. 


"Antarctica" is one of two new tracks from the former "American Idol" finalist.  She's also just released her new single, "Barefoot and Buckwild."


Kellie Pickler Splitting Time Between Dance Rehearsals, Recording Studio


Kellie Pickler says she hopes to have her next album out this fall.  The country star, who's also one of the top contenders on this season of "Dancing With the Stars," tells "Rolling Stone" she's been splitting her focus in recent weeks.  She explains that she's been "bouncing from the dance studio to the recording studio" as she works on both her ballroom routines and her music.  Pickler describes her current sound as "Kellie country," which leans more toward the traditional.  She explains that she grew up listening to such legends as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and George Jones, who just passed away a couple of weeks ago.  Kellie describes herself as "a big George fan," and says she was "devastated" by his death.  The singer adds that "White Lightning" was a special song for her and her grandfather, and she wouldn't rule out recording a Jones track in tribute to him.


Pickler fans will soon get to hear Pickler's latest work.  She'll release "Someone, Somewhere Tonight," the first single from her upcoming album, on Tuesday.


Sunny Sweeney Signs New Label Deal


Sunny Sweeney has signed on with a new label.  The country singer has inked a deal with Thirty Tigers, which will release her next studio album.  Sunny says she's thrilled to be part of the Thirty Tigers family, explaining that she's a longtime fan of the "amazing roster of talent" the label has represented over the years.  She adds that she's excited to be working on her third studio effort, and "can't wait" to share her new music with her fans.  Sweeney released her first album, 2006's "Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame" with Big Machine Records, while Republic Nashville handled her sophomore effort, 2011's "Concrete."  Sweeney is best known for the hit "From a Table Away," which peaked at number ten on the country chart in March 2011.


Chris Young Thrilled To Be Touring With Brad Paisley


Chris Young is excited about being a part of Brad Paisley's "Beat This Summer Tour."  Young says he's really glad the trek is finally under way.


Paisley launched his "Beat This Summer Tour" late last week.  In addition to Young, audiences are being treated to opening sets from Lee Brice and The Henningsens.  The next stop on the trek is coming up in Chicago this Thursday.


Luke Bryan Reflects On Tour Name


Luke Bryan admits he's surprised at how quickly he arrived at the name "Dirt Road Diaries" for his first headlining tour.


But Luke says he chose "Dirt Road Diaries" for "the right reasons," and he thinks it's "a perfect tour name."  The country star explains that his trek is named after a song which is based on his life.  The next stop on Bryan's "Dirt Road Diaries Tour" is set for Virginia Beach, Virginia on Friday.


Tim McGraw Admits It's Tough Creating Set Lists


Tim McGraw admits some fans will probably leave his shows disappointed that he didn't sing their favorite song.  The country star explains that at this point in his career creating his concerts' set list is the hardest part of his tour prep.


McGraw says he packs his two-hour shows with 24 songs he hopes satisfies his audiences.  The singer is currently on his "Two Lanes of Freedom Tour."  His next show is coming up in Camden, New Jersey this Friday.


Country Birthdays Include


Lari White is 48.

Darius Rucker is 47.


Today In Country Music History


Today in 1955, Elvis Presley's performance at Jacksonville, Florida, whipped the audience into such a frenzy that it resulted in a riot in which most of his clothing was torn off by fans.


Today in 1960, Freddy Fender was arrested for possession of marijuana in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


Today in 1961, The Louvin Brothers recorded the song "How's The World Treating You."


Today in 1967, Merle Haggard made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry.


Today in 1972, 13-year-old Tanya Tucker made her debut on the country charts with the single, "Delta Dawn."


Today in 1975, Bob Wills, the "King of Western Swing," died from pneumonia.  He was 70.


Today in 1978, Willie Nelson's album "Stardust" made its debut on the chart, where it remained for more than ten years.


Today in 1993, Pam Tillis guest starred on the TV series "L.A. Law."


Today in 1994, John Berry's "Your Love Amazes Me" hit number one on the chart.


Today in 2000, Kenny Rogers' "Buy Me A Rose" hit number one on the chart.  The song became Kenny's first chart-topper in 13 years.


Today in 2002, Mark Wills performed at the National Law Enforcement Organization's 14th annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, DC, honoring police officers who were killed in the line of duty.


Today in 2003, Randy Travis' "Three Wooden Crosses" hit number one on the Billboard Country singles chart, becoming his first Billboard chart-topping hit in nine years.  His last Billboard number one was 1994's "Whisper My Name."


Today in 2004, Kenny Chesney's album "When The Sun Goes Down" remained at marked its 14th consecutive week at number one on the country album sales charts.


Today in 2007, Montgomery Gentry hosted the annual Acadmey of Country Music charity Motorcycle Ride through the desert in Las Vegas.  Afterwards, the duo played a free concert on Fremont Street, along with Gretchen Wilson, Heidi Newfield, Craig Morgan, and Emerson Drive.


Today in 2008, Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney returned to his hometown of Pitcher, Oklahoma, to help out in the aftermath of a tornado that ripped through the community a few days earlier.


Today in 2008, Randy Owen received the Paul G. Rogers Public Service Award for his work with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in a ceremony in Washington, DC.


Today in 2008, Taylor Swift announced her new partnership with L.e.i. Jeans.


Today in 2008, new releases included Carter's Chord's "Carter's Chord," Jeremy McComb's "My Side of Town," and Old 97's "Blame it on Gravity."


Today in 2010, Trace Adkins received the Talkhouse Award for Community Service at the Wounded Warrior Project’s annual Courage Awards and Benefit dinner in New York City.


Today in 2011, Garth Brooks was among the graduates at Oklahoma State University, after completing studies for an MBA.


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