Thursday, September 30, 2010

 Josh Kelley is new to the country format, but not to making music and performing.  His first single with MCA Nashville, "Georgia Clay" is # 36 on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart and # 38 on the Billboard chart, and just last night, he began his first leg on Miranda Lambert's tour in New York City.  His love of performing started with his mother, and his first set of drums:  "My Mom was like a majorette in college and high school.  She learned how to play the drums, so when we were kids, me and Charles were making drums out of pots and pans and stuff, and she was like 'Well looks they'll probably get into this' and so she took us to the music store and bought us a drum set and taught us how to play.  I think that actually did make us better musicians.  If you're a good drummer, it makes you better at everything else.   It makes you a better singer, a better guitar player, a better piano player because you do everything more percussively.  You deliver everything more percussively.   I think it's easier for your songs to relate if the delivery also relates.  She was a big influence."

There was tremendous excitement on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland last week when Matthew McConaughey directed his first music video for Jamey Johnson's song "Playing the Part." The song is the lead single from Johnson's 25-track double album, The Guitar Song, which debuted at #1 last week on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and #4 on the Billboard 200.  Johnson first met McConaughey backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2009 in Las Vegas, right after winning the Song of the Year trophy for "In Color." McConaughey told Johnson he had been listening to his critically acclaimed album That Lonesome Song non-stop and even quoted lyrics from a few tracks. Upon that first meeting, they became close friends and a few months later McConaughey's girlfriend, Camila Alves, secretly asked Johnson to perform at McConaughey's 40th birthday celebration.  When discussions began regarding the music video for "Playing the Part," Johnson immediately called McConaughey to ask if he would make a cameo appearance. After several discussions, McConaughey decided he wanted to direct the music video since he had so many ideas for the concept. In the clip, McConaughey "plays the part" of director as well as actor.  McConaughey and Johnson have developed a strong mutual admiration for each other.  According to Los Angeles Times, McConaughey says, "With a lot of artists, their art is one thing and they're another but there is no separation between Jamey's music and him. Jamey doesn't perform, he's just who he is. His music is about real life: hard, honest, and funny. His subjects are simple and universal but his point of view on them is where he's a poet - like his first person point of view as the heartache in his song 'Heartache.' He sings about and paints pictures of places we've all been before but the way he sees them is his and his only." About working with his friend Matthew McConaughey, Johnson says, "I don't think I could have dreamed anything better."

* New Mercury Nashville artist, Easton Corbin, is soaking all of his recent success in.  His current single, "Roll With It", is # 3 on both charts and he's nominated for three CMA Awards - Best New Artist and Single and Song of the Year for his # 1 debut song "A Little More Country Than That".  He's also been opening for one of the biggest country tours of the summer, Brad Paisley's H20 Tour.  While he's excited about these recent achievements, he's learning from it all:  "It's been a great experience out there.  You learn so much.  That's the first tour I've ever been on, good one to start out on.  Just having the opportunity to go out there and play in front of that many people and have that experience, watching Darius and watching Brad.  You learn a lot from those guys, what to do on stage, what not to do, what works and what doesn't.  As an artist, you have to tailor that to what you do.  And to deal with when something goes wrong on stage.  You can't freak out, you've just got to go with it."
OPRY CELEBRATES WITH “SPIRIT OF NASHVILLE DAY” OCT. 2
Day Features Free Tours of the Newly Refurbished Opry House, Free Music on the Opry Plaza, Special Shows Saluting the City’s Spirit Following May’s Flood
Opry Member Dierks Bentley Hosts Simultaneous Opry House Tour On Facebook
NASHVILLETenn.  (September 30, 2010) Having returned to its permanent home, the Grand Ole Opry House, Tuesday night (Sept. 28) after being displaced from the venue due to May’s historic Nashville flood, the Grand Ole Opry is inviting Music Cityto celebrate its homecoming during “Spirit of Nashville Day” this Saturday, Oct. 2.
The day will offer free tours of the newly-refurbished Opry House, free music in the Plaza beginning at noon with a free 6:00 p.m. performance by CMA-nominated group The Band Perry, food and beverage on the Plaza, and special Opry shows recognizing persons affected by May’s flood as well as many others who assisted with flood recovery efforts. Mayor Karl Dean will join the evening’s 7:00 p.m. show as an Opry Guest Announcer. Performers on the night’s shows include Charley Pride, Craig Morgan, and Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner.
The schedule for the day includes:
Free Opry House Tours                                             10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free music on the Opry Plaza                                    beginning at 12 noon
Performance by CMA nominee The Band Perry            6 p.m.
Opry performances                                                    7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
For those unable to visit live and in person, Opry member Dierks Bentley, who is celebrating his 5th Opry anniversary with an Opry appearance tomorrow (Friday) night, will host his own Opry House tour for fans around the world on the Opry’s Facebook page, also beginning at 10 a.m.
Among the Opry House enhancements/refurbishments Nashvillians and those online can expect to see Saturday:
--The Opry House’s signature element, a six-foot circle of oak wood taken from the historic Ryman Auditorium when the show moved to the Opry House. The circle was returned to its home center stage last month after having been painstakingly refurbished.
--18 newly-themed dressing rooms, each one now themed to celebrate some of the people and styles of country music that have made the Opry an American icon.
“Friends & Neighbors”-- showcases photos of some of the Opry’s fans from all walks of life who have visited the Opry, including Kevin Costner, Bob Hope, Anderson Cooper, and even Lassie, among others.
“Into the Circle”– showcases photos of some of country music’s top stars on the nights of their Opry debuts as well as memorable quotes from many of them. The words of Josh Turner are shown: “I was fighting back the tears out there. I couldn’t think straight. I was tore up.”
“Mr. Roy”– Dressing Room #1, occupied by Opry patriarch Roy Acuff during his years with the Opry, features photos of Acuff with a who’s who of friends. Acuff’s plaque reading “Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Come Up Today That Me And The Lord Can’t Handle” still adorns the dressing room’s door.
--A refurbished Green Room doubling as an Opry Family Room with photos of monumental moments in Opry history and a decorative chair rail representing the water line from the flood.
--A new artist lobby including a Grand Ole Opry Member Gallery featuring placards with the names of all Opry members throughout the show’s 85-year history.
--New programmable lighting, new concession stands, and more enhancements in the main lobby.
--A completely reconstructed Opry Shop including “Country Comes Home” prints among thousands of other items.
“Spirit of Nashville Day” kicks off the Opry’s 85th Birthday Month. Among other 85thBirthday highlights:
--85th Birthday Bash Oct. 8 and 9:
Three weekend shows featuring Trace Adkins, Roy Clark, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and more; an afternoon salute to country comedy; and all-day fun in the Opry Plazaincluding a free Opry Plaza Party. CBS’ Charles Osgood is scheduled to visit as part of the Opry’s “I’m With The Band” series.
--Opry Goes Pink Oct. 15:
Country Music’s legendary duo The Judds will take the stage to “flip the switch,” turning the Opry’s signature barn backdrop pink in support of breast cancer awareness month.  Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley will join the evening as a guest announcer. The 2nd Annual “Opry Goes Pink” event benefits Women Rock For The CureTM and the Greater Nashville affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.  
--Blake Shelton Opry induction Oct. 23.
--Plus other upcoming performances by Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels Band, George Jones, Josh Turner, Chris Young, and more.
About the Grand Ole OpryThe Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week fromNashvilleTenn.  Celebrating 85 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across America and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels.  For more information, visitopry.com or www.gaylordentertainment.com
Tickets are still available for this.......
JO DEE MESSINA

BRINGS HER “MUSIC ROOM SERIES TOUR”

TO THE WEST COAST





Multi-platinum and award-winning country singer/songwriter JO DEE MESSINA has added more dates to her “Music Room Series Tour” including a string of six West Coast concerts October 16-24 in CaliforniaOregon and Washington.  JO DEE will perform in the interactive format of her recent “Music Room” tours--modeled after the music room in her home--with a simple stage with piano and four backing musicians.  She takes requests and chats with fans, fielding questions and being her freewheeling self.  “We have such a blast with the Music Room Shows,” says JO DEE.  “No two concerts are the same, and each night the show is dictated by the crowd.  I am looking forward to taking it out West.”

Of the stripped-down show, Jon Caramanica of the New York Times praised the “…breezy, affable and sometimes sharp show, a scaled-down version of her Music Room Series tour: part concept, part request line, part talk show,” citing such highlights as “…an airy ‘Heads Carolina, Tails California,’ a counterintuitive ‘Because You Love Me’ and the excellent room-hushing ballad ‘Bring On The Rain’ (3/18/10).”  Kellie Gormly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said, “the stage was decorated just like a living room, with a big sofa, mock windows and curtains. Her band played simple strings and piano in the background, while Messina alternated between singing her best hits and answering questions from the audience. The atmosphere was fun, laid-back and informal, where people simply piped up with their questions and requested songs…It felt as though we were all old friends (3/15/10).”

On the music front, April 27 marked the release of the critically acclaimed “Unmistakable: Love” EP, of which Billboard’s Wade Jessen said it “…arrives at a time when country music finds itself in desperate need of new material from solo female artists who can deliver the goods. Enter the feisty redhead…Her own life experiences bring an authenticity to her vocal delivery…The singer has always known her way around a country ballad, and she wears those shoes comfortably on the soaring ‘Unmistakable’ and the tender ‘I'm Home.’ This is all-grown-up country music, delivered by a seasoned pro who sings with authority about the human condition (5/15/10).”  Bill Brotherton of the Boston Herald noted, “These seven tunes (two co-written by Messina, the rest by a posse of pros including ‘Idol’ judge Kara DioGuardi) plus two live acoustic bonus cuts show a more vulnerable, introspective Messina, and they suit her strong, expressive contralto (5/14/10)” and Country Weekly’s Jessica Phillips added, “Jo Dee’s voice is still powerful, honest and evocative, especially on the power ballads ‘I Think About Us’ and ‘Unmistakable’ (2/1/10).”


DATE:
CITY:VENUE:




Sat10/9Ontario, CanadaNorfolk Country Fair
Thu10/14Shiprock, NMPhil L. Thomas PAC
Sat10/16Cerritos, CACerritos Center
Sun10/17Redding, CACascade Theatre
Tue10/19Bend, ORTower Theater
Thu10/21Edmonds, WAEdmonds Center for the Arts
Sat10/23Astoria, ORLiberty Theater
Sun10/24Tacoma, WAPantages Theatre
Sat  10/30Tulsa, OKRiver Spirit Casino
Fri     12/10Harvey, LABoomtown Casino
Sat     12/11Gulfport, MSIsland View Casino & Resort


About Jo Dee Messina:
Since breaking onto the music scene in 1996, the multi-platinum and award-winning country singer/songwriter JO DEE MESSINA has scored nine #1 country singles, sold over five million records, received two Grammy nominations and earned various CMA and ACM awards.  Her many hits include “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” “Bye Bye,” “I’m Alright,” “Stand Beside Me,” “That’s The Way” and “Bring On The Rain” (a duet with Tim McGraw).  Her self-titled 1996 debut album was certified Gold by the RIAA and featured the single "Heads Carolina, Tails California." With four huge radio hits, her second album I’m Alright was certified double platinum and she won the CMA's Horizon Award in 1999. She was the first female country artist to score three multiple-week #1 songs from the same album. The follow-up album, Burn, was certified platinum. She also scored an adult contemporary hit with "Bring on the Rain," with McGraw on harmonies. In addition to headlining concerts, she also toured with Vince Gill, George Strait and the Judds on their reunion tour. Her fame also led to television roles on “Touched by an Angel” and “Nash Bridges.”

###

Wednesday, September 29, 2010





COUNTRY COMES HOME:
COUNTRY’S BIGGEST STARS RAISE THE CURTAIN, RAISE THE ROOF
AS THE GRAND OLE OPRY RETURNS TO THE OPRY HOUSE

BLAKE SHELTON SURPRISED WITH INVITATION
TO BECOME NEXT OPRY MEMBER

NASHVILLETenn.  (September 28, 2010)

Country music’s most famous show has come home. 

The Grand Ole Opry raised the curtain on its historic first show back at the Grand Ole Opry House tonight to reveal the silhouettes of nine-year Opry member Brad Paisley and 61-year Opry veteran Jimmy Dickens center stage on the renowned circle of wood from the Ryman Auditorium. Paisley began singing the standard “Will the Circle be Unbroken,” with Dickens joining in on the chorus as cast members began to join them on stage singing along.  Fans acknowledged the moment with an extended standing ovation as the artists celebrated the resilience of the Opry and the love and loyalty of Opry fans. The Opry had been displaced from the Opry House by last May’s flood, broadcasting throughout the summer from other Nashville venues without missing a single broadcast. The historic circle on which Paisley and Dickens opened the show has welcomed generations of performers, but was covered by 46 inches of water during the flood. It has been painstakingly refurbished and had been returned to its rightful spot center stage last month.
“This night shows the heart of the Opry like I’ve never seen it before,” Paisley said. “Every single artist on that stage tonight was absolutely overcome with emotion when that curtain went up. This American tradition is stronger than ever, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

“I thought I’d seen everything in all my years at the Opry and in country music,” Dickens said. “After tonight I know the circle will never be broken. Never.” 

The night will go down in history for more than one reason, as during the show country star Blake Shelton received the invitation of a lifetime—to become an official Opry member. After he and Opry member Trace Adkins performed their award-winning No. 1 hit “Hillbilly Bone,” Adkins acknowledged Shelton’s heavy activity on Twitter. “You know Blake is famous for doing the Twitter thing; he’s always sending tweets,” Adkins said. Well, the Grand Ole Opry sent Blake a tweet tonight. Adkins then handed Shelton an iPhone while a tweet appeared simultaneously on the Opry’s backdrop. The tweet read, “Blake Shelton, you are invited to join theGrand Ole Opry! See you 10/23/10.” After collecting himself while leaning on the on-stage piano and sharing a hug with Adkins,Shelton said, “Man that takes a long time. I don’t know what I did in the last year or so to turn Nashville’s head a little bit, but whatever I did, man I’m lovin’ this! This moment right here is hands-down the highlight of my career. Thank you all so much. Thank you Grand Ole Opry!”

The evening was filled with one-of-a-kind Opry moments. Martina McBride and Connie Smith dueted on Smith’s signature hit “Once A Day,” and other collaborations included Dierks Bentley and Del McCoury (“Roll On Buddy, Roll On”), Josh Turner and Lorrie Morgan (“Golden Ring”), and Montgomery Gentry and Charlie Daniels Band (“Devil Went Down To Georgia”), among others. The show closed with an all-star guitar jam featuring Paisley, Keith Urban, Steve WarinerRicky Skaggs, and Marty Stuart.

Two hours of the three-hour show aired on GAC: Great American Country and streamed live on opry.com.


“This was an historic, seminal night for the Grand Ole Opry,” said Opry President Steve Buchanan. “Seeing country music’s top artists share unforgettable performances on stage after watching the endless hours of work a virtual army put into making sure the Opry House recovered from the flood and opened ahead of schedule gives me the utmost confidence in the Opry’s future. The fact that we invited Blake to become an official Opry member makes the evening that much more special. I can’t wait for what’s to come.”

Fans and artists at the show were the first to see the Opry House’s complete post-flood refurbishment. Among the highlights are 18 new dressing rooms, each themed to celebrate some of the people and styles of country music that have made the Opry an American icon. Other improvements include: a new artist lobby including a Grand Ole Opry Member Gallery featuring placards with the names of all Opry members throughout the show’s 85-year history, a completely reconstructed Opry Shop, and a host of technical advancements including HD projection.

The night kicked off a month-long culmination of the Opry’s 85th Birthday Celebration. Among special shows to follow:
            --“Spirit of Nashville Day”:
The Opry will celebrate Nashville’s spirit and resilience since the flood by inviting its hometown to get an up-close look at the newly renovated Opry House during a full day of free tours five months to the day following the flood. The Nashvillecelebration will spill into the Opry Plaza with free music throughout the day, including a performance by hit-making new group The Band Perry. Performers on that evening’s Opry shows include Charley Pride, Craig Morgan, and Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner.

--85th Birthday Bash Oct. 8 and 9:
Three weekend shows featuring Trace Adkins, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and more; backstage tours; an afternoon salute to country comedy; and all-day fun in the Opry Plaza including a free Opry Plaza Party. CBS’ Charles Osgood is scheduled to visit as part of the Opry’s “I’m With The Band” series.

--Opry Goes Pink Oct. 15:
Country Music’s legendary duo The Judds will take the stage to “flip the switch,” turning the Opry’s signature barn backdrop pink in support of breast cancer awareness month.  Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley will join the evening as a guest announcer. The 2nd Annual “Opry Goes Pink” event benefits Women Rock For The CureTM and the Greater Nashville affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.  

--Blake Shelton Opry induction Oct. 23.

--Plus other upcoming performances by Trace AdkinsCharlie Daniels Band, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Josh Turner, Chris Young, and more.

About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from NashvilleTenn.  Celebrating 85 years of entertainment, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio, and opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, America’s Opry Weekend, airs on country radio stations across America and on the Armed Forces Radio Network. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels.  For more information, visit opry.com or www.gaylordentertainment.com

About Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton is one of the “most versatile of contemporary country singers” (The New York Times). The country star continues to prove to be one of the industry’s hottest vocalists as he marks a successful year with career highlights that include the release of his two SIX PAK albums – HILLBILLY BONE and his most recent release, ALL ABOUT TONIGHT, four CMA award nominations – including one for Male Vocalist of the Year, an ACM and CMT award win, and two No. 1 hits with his albums’ title-tracks. Shelton is the only solo male country artist-- one of three artists overall-- to log more than one chart-topper so far this year on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. ALL ABOUT TONIGHT debuted at No. 1 on the SoundScan Top Country Albums chart and No. 6 onBillboard's Top 200 chart, making it Shelton’s highest charting record-to-date. He has had seven No. 1 hits which include his back-to-back multi-week No. 1 singles “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” and “Home,” his five-week No. 1 debut single, “Austin,” and two additional multi-week No. 1 hits with “The Baby” and “Some Beach.”


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FIRST ROUND OF PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR "THE 44th ANNUAL CMA AWARDS"
Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, and Blake Shelton, Will Perform on "Country Music's Biggest Night"


Zac Brown Band to Perform With Alan Jackson
NASHVILLE - The star-packed lineup for "The 44th Annual CMA Awards" launches with today's announcement that Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and the pairing of Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson are the first group of performers confirmed for "Country Music's Biggest Night(tm)." "The 44th Annual CMA Awards," hosted by Paisley and Underwood, airs live from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Wednesday, Nov. 10 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Bentley is nominated in three categories this year, including Male Vocalist, Album for Up On The Ridge, and Musical Event of the Year for "Bad Angel," featuring Lambert and Jamey Johnson. Bentley won the Horizon Award in 2005.  He also received the 2008 CMA International Artist Achievement Award.
Chesney, who is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for his performance of "I'm Alive" with Dave Matthews, has won a total of seven CMA Awards. With four trophies to his credit (2004, 2006-2008), he is tied with Garth Brooks (1991, 1992, 1997, 1998) for the most wins in the Entertainer of the Year category. After taking most of 2010 off the road, he returns with his new album,Hemingway's Whiskey, in-stores now.
Jackson is nominated for Musical Event of the Year for his duet with Lee Ann Womack on "Till the End." He has won 16 CMA Awards, including three trophies for Entertainer of the Year (1995, 2002, 2003). He will release 34 Number Ones, a career-spanning, double-disc collection featuring all of his No. 1 hits on Nov. 23.
Lady Antebellum, the reigning Vocal Group of the Year, is nominated in five categories this year, including Entertainer; Album for Need You Now; Vocal Group; Single for "Need You Now"; and Music Video of the Year for "Need You Now," which was directed by David McClister. Group members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scotteach received individual nominations for Song of the Year for "Need You Now," which they penned with songwriter Josh Kear. The group could receive two additional trophies as producers, should they win Single and Album of the Year, which they co-produced with Paul Worley.  Lady Antebellum has a career total of three CMA Awards.
Lambert, the top nominee for 2010 with nine nominations, also achieved the most nominations of any female artist in CMA Awards history. She received nominations for Entertainer; Female Vocalist; Album for Revolution produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke; two for Single, "The House That Built Me" and "White Liar;" Song for "White Liar," which she wrote with Natalie Hemby; Musical Event, for "Bad Angel" with Bentley and Johnson; and two for Music Video of the Year for "The House That Built Me," directed by Trey Fanjoy, and "White Liar," directed by Chris Hicky.
Shelton is nominated in four categories, including Male Vocalist; and Single (produced by Scott Hendricks); Musical Event; and Music Video for "Hillbilly Bone," which featured Trace Adkins and was directed by Roman White. Shelton's latest SIX PAK, All About Tonight, is in-stores now.
Zac Brown Band is nominated for Entertainer; Vocal Group; Musical Event for "Can't You See" featuring Kid Rock; and New Artist of the Year. The last time an act was nominated for New Artist and Entertainer of the Year in the same year was Ricky Skaggs in 1982. Bandmates Zac Brown and John Driskell Hopkins each picked up an additional individual nomination for Song of the Year for "Toes," which they wrote with Wyatt Durrette and Shawn Mullins. The group's new album, You Get What You Give, is in stores now.
Tickets for the 2010 CMA Awards are on saleand can be purchased by logging on to www.ticketmaster.com; calling (800) 745-3000; or in person at the Bridgestone Arena box office, 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway), Nashville. Ticket prices begin at $110 for Upper Level. All ticket prices include sales tax, but exclude applicable service/handling fees. Purchase tickets early for best available seats. In 2009, the CMA Awards sold out in advance.



Sara Evans’ “A Little Bit Stronger” Already a Hot Seller as the Beautiful Ballad Hit Radio This Week

Music Video to Debut Exclusively on Friday as Part of CMT’s “Big New Music Weekend”

Nashville, TN – As RCA Nashville songstress Sara Evans officially hit the airwaves this week with her inspiring new single, “A Little Bit Stronger,” fans are already reacting to the song in a big way.  The digital single for “A Little Bit Stronger” released on September 14, earning a Top 10 debut on Billboard’s Country Digital Songs chart, and now in its second week, “A Little Bit Stronger” has already amassed total sales approaching 30,000 downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan.

In talking about the song, written by Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, and Hillary Scott, Evans shared, “I loved it instantly.  Everybody’s gone through some sort of heartbreak, whether it’s losing someone to death or just breaking up with somebody that you were in love with.  The very first line says, ‘woke up late today, and I still feel the sting of the pain,’ and we’ve all been there, where we wake up and for just a second, we forgot, and then all of a sudden we remember, and it just comes flooding back.  So the song just talks about getting stronger, and that’s the attitude that you have to have.”

The excitement surrounding “A Little Bit Stronger” continues this weekend on CMT, where the song’s music video will be one of eight world-premiere videos poised to take over the airwaves for CMT’s “Big New Music Weekend.”  Along with a taped introduction from Sara, “A Little Bit Stronger” will be among the select group of premiere videos featured exclusively throughout CMT’s music blocks beginning in the 6 AM ET hour on Friday, October 1, and continuing through October 3.  Fans will also be able to see the new video during the weekend video blocks on CMT Pure and on CMT.com.

Produced by Tony Brown, “A Little Bit Stronger” is the first single from Sara’s upcoming album, releasing early next year, and will also be featured on the October 26 release of the original soundtrack album for the upcoming feature film, Country Strong.

Keep up with all the latest news and tour information on Sara at www.saraevans.com.


WYNONNA AND NAOMI JUDD RETURN TO THEIR ROOTS ON THE 68TH ANNUALSANTA TRAIN
 
The JuddsNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music legendsWynonna and Naomi Judd, who have both ridden the Santa Train individually, will revisit their Appalachian home together when they join CSX, Food City, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce and Kids Wish Network as special guests on the 2010 Santa Train on November 20.

The Appalachia natives will be kicking off their highly anticipated self-proclaimed final tour, The Judds: The Last Encore, the day after Thanksgiving. The Judds’ farewell concert series will feature brand-new music, including their first single in 10 years, “I Will Stand By You,” while also mixing in 25 years of duets and Wynonna solo hits for their fans. The GRAMMY award-winning duo has not toured together since their 2000 Power to Changetour.

Naomi rode the Santa Train in 2005 and passed the tradition on to her daughter, Wynonna, who was the 2009 guest.

“Sharing the joy of the holiday season with children who are growing up in a place so close to my heart is something that I am so honored and humbled to have the opportunity to do,” Wynonna said. “Participating in the Santa Train with my mother makes it even more special to me.”

The Santa Train will make 14 stops in the mountains of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee on Saturday, November 20. The Judds, along with Santa Claus and volunteers from CSX, Food City, the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce and Kids Wish Network, will deliver 15 tons of toys – more than $300,000 worth – to thousands of residents who live along the route. This year will commemorate the 68thanniversary of theSanta Train.

“We are honored to have an amazing duo like The Judds aboard this year’s Santa Train,” said Tori Kaplan, director of corporate citizenship and special events for CSX. “We know they will bring a special touch to theSanta Train, and further brighten the spirits of Appalachian residents during the holiday season.”

Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Travis Tritt are a few of the past celebrity guests who have participated in the Santa Train. Several governors, U.S. senators, representatives, and other local, state and federal officials have also participated in this annual event.

“The Santa Train means so much to the city of Kingsport,” Miles Burdine, Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, said. “We are truly glad The Judds are revisiting their roots. Having this dynamic mother-daughter duo adds a special family feeling to the legacy of this great event.”

“Being able to be a part of this project is a privilege for Food City, and we are pleased to share it with The Judds this year,” said Ed Moore, Kingsport’s Food City manager. “These wonderful, giving women will bring joy to all of their hometown fans.”

“Kids Wish Network is excited to be a first-time sponsor for this amazing event,” Barbara Askin, Kids Wish Network director of distribution, said. “We are ready to bring smiles and warm holiday memories to the children and families of Appalachia.”

For updates about the Santa Train, visit its Facebook page (The Santa Train) and follow @TheSantaTrain on Twitter. E-mail Leigh Lindsey at llindsey@mpf.com for a photo of The Judds.

About CSX Corporation
CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a leading transportation company providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company’s transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles with service to 23 Eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company’s website, www.csx.com.

About the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce
The Kingsport (Tenn.) Area Chamber of Commerce is a private, nonprofit business organization comprising nearly 1,000 members. The Kingsport Chamber’s mission is to utilize resources and focus efforts on enhancing a strong and viable business environment for the Kingsport area. For more information on the Kingsport Chamber, visit www.kingsportchamber.org or call (423) 392-8800.  We’re social too; follow us on our Facebook page, Your Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, and on our Twitter account, @kptchamber.

About Food City
Headquartered in Abingdon, Va., K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc., operates 93 Food City and 12 Super Dollar Discount Foods retail outlets throughout the tri-state region of southeast Kentucky, southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. K-VA-T ranked 39thon Progressive Grocer’s 2007 list of “America’s 50 Largest Supermarket Chains,” 55thon Supermarket News’ “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” (January 2007) and 269thon Forbes magazine’s “List of the largest privately held companies” in 2006. Visit Food City’s website,www.foodcity.com, for more information.

About Kids Wish Network
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories and improving the quality of life for children. Headquartered in Holiday, Fla., Kids Wish Network has been making dreams come true for thousands of children all over the country since 1997. For more information on Kids Wish Network, visit www.kidswishnetwork.org.

About The Judds
Kentucky natives The Judds are one of the most successful country music duos of all time – amassing 14 number-one hits and more than 60 industry awards including multiple CMA, ACM and GRAMMY awards. After launching their career with Curb/RCA Records in 1984, The Judds sold 20 million albums in just six short years. By 1989, The Judds were one of the top-grossing and most popular touring acts in America. But at the height of their career, Naomi Judd announced she would have to retire from the music business due to health complications. To say goodbye to their fans, they launched the 116-city Judds Farewell Tour selling more concert tickets than anyone that year with the exception of The Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones. Nearly 10 years after Naomi’s health turned around, the pair reunited on Dec. 31, 1999, for a New Year’s gala performance, and a reunion tour in 2000. They came together again at last year’s 2009 CMA Music Festival and captivated the massive audience with their homespun, acoustic harmonies that felt as revelatory as they did when they first shot onto the country music scene 26 years ago.  Encouraged by that performance and driven by the fans, the duo decided to tour one last time for 2010’s The Judds: The Last Encore.


RASCAL FLATTS MAKE SPECIAL OFFER FOR FANS TO ATTEND

PRIVATE FUNDRAISER FOR THE MONROE CARELL JR. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AT VANDERBILT


November 4 “Behind The Music” Event in Nashville

                NASHVILLE – (Sept. 29, 2010) – Rascal Flatts, longtime friends and contributors to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, announced today they will open up 100 tickets to their fans on a first-come, first-serve basis to a very special private fundraising event taking place in Nashville on November 4.

The vocal group has been hosting these intimate concerts in a secluded location in Nashville for four years as an additional fundraising occasion, in conjunction with the concerts they’ve held at Bridgestone Arena for the hospital. This year the “Behind The Music” event will also feature emcee Ron White.

Fans may go to www.rascalflatts.com beginning this Friday, October 1 to purchase tickets.

The lucky attendees will enjoy a beautiful fall setting with music and food and the opportunity to bid on auction items only available at the event. Some of those include:
·          Personalized studio experience with Jay DeMarcus
·         Golf outing with Joe Don Rooney for three players on an extraordinary world class course
·         Hunting trip with Gary LeVox and Outdoor Channel Crush TV hosts Lee & Tiffany Lakosky

Rascal Flatts have raised nearly 3 million dollars for the hospital in the past several years.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BLAKE SHELTON RECEIVES SURPRISE INVITATION TO JOIN THE GRAND OLE OPRY AT LAST
NIGHT’S OPRY EVENT,
“COUNTRY COMES HOME”

Nashville, TN – Four-time CMA Award nominee, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Blake Shelton was honored last night at the Grand Ole Opry’s live televised reopening, “Country Comes Home,” with an invitation to join the line of prestigious Opry members. Shelton was surprised with the prestigious invitation after his performance with Opry member and longtime friend Trace Adkins of their award-winning No. 1 hit song, “Hillbilly Bone.”
 
Adkins broke the announcement to the country star saying, “You know Blake is famous for doing the Twitter thing; he’s always sending tweets. Well, the Grand Ole Opry sent Blake a tweet tonight.” Adkins handed Shelton his phone as the tweet appeared on the Opry’s backdrop which read, “Blake Shelton, you are invited to join the Grand Ole Opry! See you 10/23/10.” Shelton was speechless as the crowd stood with elated ovation on his reaction to the long-awaited honor. The country star has always had an extensive knowledge and admiration for country music and has often noted in interviews his deep appreciation for the industry’s rich history and the significant part the Grand Ole Opry has played in it. Shelton’s official induction into the Grand Ole Opry will take place on Oct. 23rd. 
 
“I can honestly say, being invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry is hands down the best moment of my life,” says Blake. “The Opry family is a way bigger deal than anything else. It has a long tradition of family, music and respect, and I will be associated with this night, the re-birth of the Opry, forever.”
 
The Grand Ole Opry returned to its permanent home in a historic first show back at the Grand Ole Opry House last night with performances from 61-year Opry veteran, Jimmy Dickens as well as Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Connie Smith and more.
 
Blake Shelton is one of the “most versatile of contemporary country singers” (The New York Times). The country star continues to prove to be one of the industry’s hottest vocalists as he reigns in on a successful year with career highlights that include the release of his two SIX PAK albums – Hillbilly Bone and his most recent release, All About Tonight, an ACM and CMT award win, four CMA award nominations – including one for Male Vocalist of the year and garnering two No. 1 hits with his album title-track’s, “Hillbilly Bone” (featuring longtime friend, Trace Adkins) and “All About Tonight.” Shelton is the only solo male country artist – one of three artists overall– to log more than one chart-topper so far this year on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs. All About Tonightdebuted at No. 1 on the SoundScan Top Country Albums chart and No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 chart, making it Shelton’s highest charting record-to-date. Shelton has seven No. 1 hits with, “All About Tonight,” “Hillbilly Bone,” his back-to-back multi-week No. 1 singles “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” and “Home,” his five-week No. 1 debut single, “Austin” and two additional multi-week No. 1 singles with “The Baby” and “Some Beach.” Shelton has not had a single peak outside the Top Ten since 2007.
 
For more information on Blake Shelton, please visit www.BlakeShelton.com.
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Martina McBride joins Symphony for “Home for the Holidays”
 Country star will sing holiday favorites at December 10 concert
 
NASHVILLE, TN. (September 26, 2010) Nashville Symphony is pleased to announce that Martina McBride will headline its annual “Home for the Holidays” concert on Friday, December 10, 2010, at 8 p.m. Due to ongoing repairs at Schermerhorn Symphony Center, this concert will be held at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. McBride is a four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and GRAMMY® award-winning recording artist with more than 18 million in album sales and 24 Top 10 singles, including six Number Ones. Among her hits are such empowering songs as "Independence Day," "This One's for the Girls," "Anyway" and "Ride," all of which have contributed to her status as one of country music's preeminent female vocalists.
 
As recording artist, songwriter, producer, businesswoman, wife and mother of three, McBride has graced the covers of Redbook, Shape, Ladies' Home Journal, Reader's Digest, Country Weekly and many other publications. She has performed on countless national television programs – most recently the multi-network special “Stand Up To Cancer.”  For her “Home for the Holidays” performance, McBride will feature a mix of holiday standards along with new seasonal favorites. “The Nashville Symphony is one of the reasons we proudly call Nashville ‘Music City U.S.A.,’ ” she says, “and I can’t think of a better way to ring in the holiday season than by performing with this talented ensemble of musicians.”
 
This will be McBride’s first appearance with the Symphony since 1998. At the orchestra’s Symphony Ball fundraiser, she was presented with the Harmony Award, an honor given each year to a musician who exemplifies the harmonious spirit of Nashville’s music community. 
 
Resident Conductor Albert-George Schram will lead the orchestra at “Home for the Holidays.” Tickets for this concert are available at NashvilleSymphony.org or by calling 615.687.6400. Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more; for more information or to reserve a group, contact Meredith Benning at 615.687.6537 or mbenning@nashvillesymphony.org.