Project Will Be Recorded During January 2012 Shows
Radney Foster is returning to his hometown of Del Rio, Texas, to record a live album. Del Rio was the inspiration for Foster’s 1992 hit solo album, “Del Rio, Texas, 1959.” Two decades later, he’ll be back on January 27 and 28, 2012 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary with two shows at the Paul Poag Theater.
Foster and his band will perform and record the classic album in its entirety, along with other hits, a new song and a country classic.
The live album, “Del Rio Revisited: Live At The Paul Poag Theater,” will be released in spring 2012. Tickets for the historical Del Rio performances will go on sale November 14 at radneyfoster.com.
Nov. 29 Hearing Expected To Last Two Days
Tim McGraw will get his day in court November 29 in a hearing that will decide whether he can record any new albums during an ongoing legal dispute with his longtime record label home, Curb Records, with whom he has had an increasingly contentious relationship for the last several years.
Nashville newspaper The Tennessean reports that the hearing, which is expected to last two days, will “first make a final determination on whether or not Curb is entitled to prevent Mr. McGraw, by injunction or otherwise, from recording for other entities other than Curb,” court records state.
Also, a trial date has been set for July 9, 2012.
First Appearance In the State Since Aug. 13 Tragedy
Sugarland will be returning to Indiana for the first time since the Aug. 13 stage collapse that happened just prior to their scheduled performance at the Indiana State Fair, claiming seven lives and wounding more than 40 others. The duo’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush plan to stage a free concert at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (home of the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever) on October 28. This full-band show will also serve as the final stop of Sugarland’s 2011 Incredible Machine Tour. Special guests are expected to be announced at a later date.
The band plans to honor all tickets from the Oct. 13 show, even if the ticket holders already received a refund. Ticket distribution will start with a first-come, first-serve “presale” for previous ticketholders before the release of seats to the general public. The “presale” will begin Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. (ET), and end Oct. 14 at midnight (ET). Remaining seats for the Conseco Fieldhouse show will be released to the general public October 15 at 10 a.m. (ET). Tickets will be available free of cost and service fees via Ticketmaster.com.
Contributions to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund will be accepted throughout the night.
One Baby, One Tour Extension And One Comeback
• Eric Church and wife, Katherine, welcomed their first child, Boone McCoy Church, who was born October 3 in Nashville.
“Everybody always tells you what an awesome and unique experience being a parent is,” Eric Church says. “Words can never do the feeling justice. I am very thankful and blessed to have a healthy and happy baby boy and baby mama.”
He plans to reduce the number of his performances throughout the remainder of the year to enjoy time with his family.
“It will be interesting to see how this new chapter in our life manifests itself musically,” he says. “I've always made music that was representative of real life. Life doesn’t get more real than having a newborn at home.”
• Jason Aldean (below) is extending his My Kinda Party tour into 2012, with fellow Georgia native Luke Bryan on the bill as his opening act.
“I never want this year to end,” says Aldean. “This has been the best year of my career, and our shows just keep getting bigger and better, so we’re just going to take the party on into the new year. Luke and I are really good friends. We hang out on our off days, we hunt and fish together, and we love to play music to our fans. It’s gonna be a blast.”
Aldean is currently finishing up the remaining dates on the fall leg of the tour, which ends Oct. 28 in San Diego. The new leg will begin in January.
• Faith Hill (left) has been added as a performer on the Nov. 9 CMA Awards, marking her first performance on the show in five years. She will debut the new single from her forthcoming new album, due out early next year.
Hill joins previously announced performers Jason Aldean, the Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, plus show hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood who will give their first live televised performance of their hit song “Remind Me.”
Hill has won three CMA Awards, including female vocalist (2000), music video (1998 for “This Kiss”), and vocal event of the year (1997 for “It’s Your Love” with husband Tim McGraw). She has been absent from country radio for four years.
Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines Joins The Discussion Via Twitter
Hank Williams Jr. has issued something akin to an apology for his controversial political statements on “Fox & Friends” Monday, which resulted in ESPN pulling the longtime Monday Night Football theme song that had been written and recorded by Williams.
In a statement on his Web site, Williams wrote, “I have always been very passionate about politics and sports, and this time it got the best or worst of me. The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin’ and high fivin’ on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone. I would like to thank all my supporters.” He added, “This was not written by some publicist.”
ESPN’s reaction to Williams’ initial comments, in which he was critical of President Obama, drew immediate comparisons to the controversy that erupted around the Dixie Chicks in 2003 after they criticized then President George W. Bush.
It’s no surprise, then, that Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines wandered into the fray of the Williams controversy this week, tweeting such comments as “We’ll never know if country radio would have banned Hank Williams Jr. for badmouthing the President, because they already don't play him,” and “Finished my NFL theme song! It’s called ‘Now We’re Ready For Some Football.’ It’s a subtle but effective change. My melody is way better too.”
She later clarified her first statement about Williams, saying, “I absolutely think he can speak his mind. My jab was directed at country radio, not HWJ,” and “I have no opinion about him either way.”
UPDATE: The longtime relationship between Monday Night Football and Hank Williams Jr. is now officially over, with both sides claiming to have pulled the plug on the other.
Thursday morning, ESPN issued a statement saying, “We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
Williams, meanwhile, posted his own statement on his Web site reading, “After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, you (ESPN) stepped on the toes of the First Amendment freedom of speech, so therefore me, my song, and all my rowdy friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.”
Singer Featured In Sundance Channel Docu-Series
Australian singer/songwriter Sherrie Austin, who was active as a Nashville recording artist between 1997 and 2004, is back with a new album, “Circus Girl,” that she wrote, produced and financed herself.
In addition to a the new album, the former actress will be returning to TV in a docu-series she’s just finished shooting for the Sundance Channel called “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.”
The show, now in its second season (the first did not include Austin), celebrates and explores the relationships between straight women and their gay best friends, and features Austin and her close friend and collaborator Shane Stevens, co-writer of the chart topping Lady Antebellum hit “American Honey.”
“This series definitely pushes some boundaries,” says Austin in a press release, “and we just might loosen up the buckle of the Bible belt before we’re done.”
The show premiers November 18 on Sundance Channel, coinciding with the Nov. 15 release of “Circus Girl” on Austin’s own Circus Girl Records.
Austin’s previous stint on TV was in the role of Pippa McKenna on “The Facts of Life” from 1987-88.
Austin, best known for her top 20 hit “Streets Of Heaven” in 2003, has remained active as a country songwriter, and has had her songs recorded by George Strait, Tim McGraw and, most recently, a duet by Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins called “If I Was A Woman.”
Sophomore Album Due Out Early Next Year
Former “American Idol” finalist Bucky Covington has signed a new record deal with Entertainment One Music Group, and he is working on new music that may be released as early as next winter. He is the first country artist signed to the label.
Covington previously has a recording deal with Disney’s Lyric Street Records until that label was shut down last year. While at Lyric Street, he charted thee top 20 singles in 2007 ad 2008 including the top 10 hit “A Different World.” He was signed to that record contract after competing on “Idol’s” fifth season in 2006. His self-titled debut CD opened at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.
He is currently in the studio writing and recording new music for his sophomore album, and he will be trying out some of his new songs in his live shows this year. The first single is expected late this year with a new album due in 2012.
Lighting And Private Concert To Raise Awareness About Breast Cancer
Martina McBride will be flipping the switch to light up New York’s Empire State Building in pink on Oct. 14 as part of her efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer. Following the lighting, McBride will perform at an event in the landmark building called Light Up The Sky, in partnership with Stanford Women’s Cancer Center. The event, which includes a VIP reception and a private concert performance, will be Webcast exclusively on the Web sites of Clear Channel Radio stations.
The event is part of the promotion surrounding the Oct. 11 release of McBride’s 11th studio album, “Eleven.” It is believed to be the first time in history that an artist has performed a private concert from the building, which changes its lighting to pink every October to support the breast cancer cause.
McBride’s current single and video, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” is a story about a woman undergoing breast cancer, portrayed through the eyes of the woman’s husband. The song sends a message of hope to cancer survivors and their supporters, and will be one of the songs Martina sings from the top of the Empire State Building.
“October 14th will be a very special day to send a collective message of hope to breast cancer patients, survivors and their supporters as we turn one of the world’s most popular landmarks pink,” said McBride in a press release statement.
“The first time I heard ‘I’m Gonna Love You Through It’ I got chills from my head to my toes,” she continued. “I get chills every time I sing it live. I’ve heard from so many people that this song has touched their lives. To be able to sing this from such an iconic place as the Empire State Building among breast cancer survivors and their supporters will be an incredibly special and meaningful experience for me.”
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