■ REBA’S ALREADY PLANNING HER OUTFITS FOR UPCOMING ACM AWARDS: Reba will be returning as hostess of the Academy of Country Music Awards again this year. We asked the superstar what she does to prepare for the hosting gig. “It takes a lot of hard work and preparation to be ready for a successful hosting job at the ACMs,” notes Reba. “The first order of business are the outfits I wear. [My stylist] Terry Gordon and I work together on designing my looks for the evening, which wind up to be five outfits we design. I will probably only wear four but that gives us a little wiggle room. The next order of business is the script. I have wonderfully talented writers who invent witty things for me to say. Just like with my music, where would I be without the songwriters? Where would I be without my script writers? To make it a smooth running show, I have to listen to the directors and stretch when we’re running ahead of schedule and make my intro’s short and sweet when we’re running behind. Live TV is a blast and I love it!!!!”
■ JIMMY WAYNE NOTES A SACRIFICE OF BEING A SERIOUS GUITARIST—LONG FINGERNAILS: Being the great guitarist that he is, one thing that Jimmy Wayne must maintain a bit longer on one hand than the other are his finger nails. What proves a real sacrifice for his art, we asked Jimmy what the difference is between using a guitar pick versus his finger nails in creating the sound he is looking for. “I have to admit that I'm embarrassed at times when someone notices my three finger nails on my right hand,” recalls the singer, who is currently on his Meet Me Halfway walk, crossing America on foot to bring awareness to teen homelessness. “Luckily when I'm asked about them, it gives me the opportunity to explain. It's when they don't ask but assume they know why they are long that makes me feel awkward! I can't initiate the conversation cause that's weird also. I use these fingernails to pick my guitar. Finger picking allows me to pick out notes and patterns. Strumming is one big wash of a chord. However, strumming is necessary at times, especially in the chorus of a song. It gives you that full, big sound. I practice a lot, usually scales. You have to stay on top of your guitar playing or you'll become rusty very fast.”
■ JEWEL TEAMS WITH COUNTRY FINANCIAL FOR NATIONAL PROMOTION: Financial planning firm Country Financial is teaming with country artists Jason Aldean and Jewel for the “Road Trips and Guitar Picks” series, which will present 30 concerts beginning in March. Each artist will perform separate concerts, but the “Road Trips and Guitar Picks” website, www.tripsandpicks.com, will serve as a one-stop destination for both, giving Aldean and Jewel fans access to an array of special features. The series will offer fans enhanced live concert experiences, online offerings and prizes including chances to win one of several all-expense paid flyaways to see Jewel or Aldean. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with these two amazing artists,” says Doyle Williams, Chief Marketing Officer at Country Financial. “Jason and Jewel share our down-to-earth personality, and like Country, they’re involved in their communities.” Aldean’s first Country Financial concert is March 10 in Ames, Iowa. Jewel will kick off her performances in June. As part of “Road Trips and Guitar Picks,” concert-goers will be able to text for seat upgrades, enter mobile sweepstakes and win VIP backstage opportunities. [NOTE: The above was first printed in Music Row; for the latest industry news, visit www.musicrow.com]
■ RANDOM NOTES: Beginning this Friday, February 12th, Jewel will team with AOL for a series of exclusive blogs on life and love and her adventures…Reba will shoot the music video for her current single “I Keep On Loving You” February 23rd in Los Angeles…Syndicated show EXTRAwill shadow Jewel this week in Los Angeles as she attends the premiere of Valentine’s Day.