Singer Dresses Up As The Headliner And Joins Him In Concert
Artists who tour with Brad Paisley rave about what a hospitable headliner he is, but they also confess to living in fear of what pranks Paisley will pull on them on the road or on stage. Scotty McCreery, who is opening Paisley’s current Virtual Reality Tour, decided not to wait around to see what might happen and, instead, preemptively pranked Paisley. He dressed up as the guitar slinger (that’s actually Scotty on the left, and Paisley on the right in the photo), and joined him on stage.
Of course, Paisley wasn’t exactly the innocent victim here. During his shows, Paisley has shown doctored photos featuring McCreery’s head on the body of a muscular man in a bathing suit, and he recently put a photo of Ernest T. Bass from The Andy Griffith Show on McCreery’s dressing room door.
And During Paisley’s nightly performance of “Celebrity,” the screens flash fake tabloid headlines including “Is Scotty McCreery Brad Paisley’s Love Child?” That’s what inspired McCreery to steal Paisley’s hat, add some fake facial hair, an electric guitar and a tight Paisley t-shirt, and take to the stage.
“When we thought the time was right, we put it all together and went out there,” McCreery says. “He loved it! He was cracking up. So now I am sleeping with one eye open.”
Beyond the pranks, McCreery says the tour with Paisley and The Band Perry “is going great. Brad and The Band Perry are great people. I couldn’t think of a better tour to be on. I’m learning a lot every single night. We’re having a great time!”
Band Will Host A Live Web Chat Wednesday To Reveal Details Of New Project
Little Big Town is shaking things up a bit for their fifth studio album, which the vocal group is set to begin recording this week. They’ll be working this time around with producer Jay Joyce, best known in country circles for his work with Little Big Town’s label mate, Eric Church. For its last three albums, the band has worked with producer Wayne Kirkpatrick, who also co-wrote many of the songs on those albums with the band members.
The group will give fans a glimpse inside the studio and the recording process this Wednesday (Feb. 29) with a live chat on Livestream at 5:45 (CT). They plan to fill fans in on details about the new record, then will leave stream open for the rest of the night as they begin working in the studio. You can access the stream here.
Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band To Headline BamaJam Festival
• Hank Williams Jr., is set to embark on a multi-city tour, kicking-off March 3 in St. Augustine, Fla. With typical Bocephus bombast, he’s dubbed the outing the “Taking Back The Country Tour,” and he will be debuting some new music on the road. Jamey Johnson, Chris Young, Josh Thompson, George Thorogood and .38 Special will join the tour for select dates. Thus far, 16 dates have been announced, and more are expected to be added.
• At a Feb. 22 show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Vince Gill made the surprising announcement that he has parted ways with his longtime record label home, MCA Nashville.
• Rascal Flatts will present a one-night-only in-theater event, set to take place nationwide on April 5. “Rascal Flatts—Changed: One Night Exclusive Theater Event” will deliver never-before-seen access into the lives of the band’s Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, along with exclusive live performances of their biggest hits and music from their new album, “Changed,” set for release April 3. Tickets for the theater event will be available in early March. The event will also play at select Cineplex Entertainment theatres across Canada.
• In other Rascal Flatts news, today in Nashville the band received the 2012 Artist Humanitarian award at Country Radio Seminar for their charitable contributions and humanitarian endeavors throughout their career.
DeMarcus remarked, “It’s a little uncomfortable to be recognized for something we feel we should be doing. We have been so blessed with an amazing career, to pay the blessings forward seemed the most natural thing to do.”
• Singer/songwriter Keith Anderson (right) has a new side career as a radio show host. He’s just signed on to host the weekly syndicated show "Cool Country Live from Ocean Way Nashville," which debuts May 4. The show features a live studio audience and a different artist each week talking about their music and performing in an acoustic setting at Nashville’s Ocean Way studio.
Anderson is best know for his hits “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” “Every Time I Hear Your Name” and “I Still Miss You.” As a songwriter, Anderson has co-written hits for other artists (Gretchen Wilson, Love & Theft, Neil McCoy), most notably "Lost In This Moment," the Big & Rich hit which also garnered him a CMA and ACM song of the year nominations, as well as Garth Brooks/George Jones’ Grammy-nominated duet “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?)." Currently, Anderson is writing and recording new music for his upcoming third studio album.
• Tim McGraw (left), Zac Brown Band and Kid Rock will headline BamaJam 2012, a three-day entertainment music festival to be held in Enterprise, Ala., June 14-16. BamaJam 2012 spokesman Darryl Worley will perform and host the opening night of the outdoor event.
The revived festival (now under new ownership) will feature dual headline stages for faster turnarounds between acts, and take place at BamaJam Farms, a 1,600-acre farm, which includes such amenities as ATV trails, camping/RV sites and a water park. Tickets go on sale March 2.
Singer Riffs On The Making Of His New Video
Country star Craig Morgan is set to release his sixth album on Feb. 28, and he recently unveiled an adorable new video for the album’s title cut and lead single, “This Ole Boy.” The clip stars stars actress Angie Harmon (Rizzoli & Isles/Law & Order) and a cute dog named Basco, and the latter gives Morgan a run for his money. Morgan co-wrote seven of the songs on the new album, which he also co-produced.
We lobbed 10 goofy questions at the Grand Ole Opry member about the making of the video, and he gamely played along.
One Country: How do you and Angie Harmon know each other? Are you always hobnobbing with Hollywood stars these days?
Morgan: We used to date. OK, that’s not true, but we do have a mutual friend who put us in touch. Turns out not only am I a fan of Angie’s, but she is a fan of mine!
What did you have to do to convince her to come to the Nashville area and shoot this video? Did you entice her with stories of meat & three restaurants, GooGoo Clusters candy, Pancake Pantry, and live country music on every corner?
Turns out that kidnapping isn’t a big offense in the Carolinas. It really didn’t take much convincing, as she had never been in a music video and was excited to come visit Music City.
You shot this video in Arrington, Tenn., late last year. While there, did you stop by Kix Brooks’ winery, Arrington Vineyards, for a little liquid sustenance to help keep the cast and crew motivated?
I really tried to get that built into the day’s schedule, because I do love some wine, but you know how videos go. We were there early and stayed late, and no time for a field trip. Luckily, the scenery was enough to make up for it. It was a gorgeous day and we had a blast!
Speaking of that, you give “wine” to the dog in this video. Any huffy letters so far from animal lovers? PETA? The ASPCA?
Not yet. I believe our pet adoption message at the end of the video made people understand I don’t endorse intoxicating pets. It was a fun twist to the story, and I think it came off as lighthearted as we intended. Perhaps we should have put a tag at the end that says: “No animals were harmed (or intoxicated) during the filming of this video!”
Does Kix know you fed perfectly good wine to a dog?
Shhhh. Don’t tell him. Hahahaha. I would never waste a good wine.
And speaking of that dog, Basco, we hear he actually bit you on set. What happened? Seriously, what did you do to deserve it?
You know, the hardest actors to “control” on set are children and animals, and this shoot was no exception. We would start a scene, and Basco would literally run off after a squirrel. It was a lot of fun. He did nip me a bit when I had him chasing me around the truck in one scene. It didn’t break the skin, so I think he was just trying to play.
So it’s true what they say about working with kids and animals?
Who was a biggest diva on set, Angie, the dog or you?
I’d say Basco, as my answer above describes. Squirrel!
Where did the idea for the video's funny surprise twist come from, with the object of Angie’s affection being a dog, not a guy (at least initially)?
It came from the director, Kristin Barlowe. I read the treatment and thought it was a great idea and an original concept for this song. I always love it when a video makes the viewer think of the music in a new way.
Is it a compliment in the South to say a woman “butters your biscuit,” as you sing in “This Ole Boy?”
Everyone knows how we like our sweet tea and buttered biscuits in the south. Enough said.
Band Will Release A New Album Later This Year
The recently reunited band the Mavericks has landed a major record deal with the Valory Music Co., also home to Reba McEntire, Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert. The Grammy Award-winning group is working on a new album that will be released later this year, 21 years after they released their self-titled debut.
As previously reported here, the Mavericks regrouped for a North American and European summer tour. Their first tour stop will happen this April at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, Calif., which will be their first public performance together since 2003.
The band won a Grammy in 1995 for best performance of a duo or group with vocal. The also won multiple vocal group awards in the 1990s from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. They are best known for their three top 20 hits: “O What A Thrill,” ‘There Goes My Heart,” and “All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down.”
The re-formed group consists of original members Raul Malo (lead vocals, guitars), Robert Reynolds (bass, vocals), and Paul Deakin (drums, vocals), as well as longtime band member Eddie Perez (lead guitar, vocals).
Single Features Rocker Joe Walsh
Kix Brooks, best known as half of the hit-making duo Brooks & Dunn, will release his first Arista Nashville solo single, “New To This Town” to country radio on March 19. The single also features a guest appearance from rocker Joe Walsh of the Eagles.
Last year, Brooks’ former partner, Ronnie Dunn, released his first solo album since the pair decided to go their separate ways after 20 years as the most successful country music duo ever. Now, it’s Brooks’ turn at bat.
“It’s a freedom of sorts,” Brooks says about Brooks & Dunn coming to an end. “It’s not a bitter freedom by any means, just sort of a ‘well that was fun, now what?’ Sort of like being at a theme park and looking around after riding the same roller coaster you finally say, ‘Ok I think I’ll try that one over there!’”
Brooks co-wrote his new single, and says of the song, “It paints the powerful emotion we’ve all known, of lost love and the uncomfortable situation of running in to that person again.”
As for enlisting the aid of Walsh, Brooks explains, “after a couple phone calls, and the sending of a music file across the Internet, the man himself put his stamp on ‘New To This Town’ like only Joe Walsh could.”
Taylor Swift, Toby Keith And Lady Antebellum Vie For Kids’ Choice Awards
• Luke Bryan will release his fourth annual spring break-themed EP, “Spring Break 4—Suntan City” on March 6. The EP features four original songs co-written by Bryan especially for this release, “Suntan City,” “Spring Breakup,” “Little Bit Later On,” and “Shake The Sand.” He’s also been tapped as a spokesperson for the Panama City [Fla.] Convention & Visitors Bureau—a popular spring break destination—and will play two shows on the beach there March 13 and 14.
• Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, and (surprise) Toby Keith are all nominated for Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards. Keith is vying for the male singer award against fellow nominees Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Usher, marking what will likely be the first and last time in history Keith and Bieber are ever up for the same award. Swift has two nominations, for female singer and also for song (“Sparks Fly”). Lady A is up for best music group. Winners will be revealed on the network’s live telecast March 31.
• Rascal Flatts have revealed the track listing for their upcoming eight album, “Changed,” due in stores April 3. The album will be available in both a regular edition, and a deluxe edition that contains four additional songs.
For the release of “Changed,” the band has partnered with 'ZinePak to produce a small-format magazine featuring photos, interviews, lyrics and a set of Rascal Flatts guitar picks. The magazine, which includes the “Changed Deluxe” album, will be on sale exclusively at Walmart beginning April 3.
Here’s the track listing:
3. Hot In Here
4. Come Wake Me Up
5. She's Leaving
6. Let It Hurt
7. Lovin’ Me
8. Hurry Baby
10. Great Big Love
11. A Little Home
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
1. Friday Can’t Come Fast Enough
2. Fall Here
3. Right One Time
4. Next To You, Next To Me
Two-Hour Performance Included Numerous Covers And Special Guests
Dierks Bentley kicked off the 2012 leg of his Country & Cold Cans tour today, but he recently gave fans in Nashville a preview of what’s to come, offering up a special night of music at the famed Ryman Auditorium.
In a show that spanned nearly two hours and 26 songs, Bentley wowed the crowd with his showmanship, songs, and a bevy of special guests that included his young daughter, Evie, as he alternately swaggered and bounced around the stage like the rock star he clearly is.
He launched the show with “Tip It On Back,” a crowd-pleasing drinking song from his new album, “Home.” Throughout the night, he played several more titles from “Home,” including singles “Am I The Only One” and the title song, as well as album cuts “5-1-5-0,” “Heart Of A Lonely Girl,” and “When You Gonna Come Around.” For the latter, he brought out his duet partner from the album, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, to perform it with him.
On another album cut, “Thinking Of You,” three-year-old Evie ran onto the stage, climbed up on a stool, and adorably sang along, while her proud father beamed, and occasionally tapped her microphone to remind her to sing into it. In introducing the emotional song that closes the new album, Bentley said it would probably be the first and last time he’d ever play it live.
The show was also packed with his hits, including “Am I The Only One,” for which Bentley included an unrecorded third verse, calling it the “Ryman Only” verse. He dedicated “Come A Little Closer” to wife Cassidy, and he also did with “Heart Of A Lonely Girl.”
Bentley also included a number of cover songs in his set, including a terrific version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” (which he previously performed last year during a Pink Floyd tribute week on Jimmy Fallon’s TV talk show). The show also include a snippet of Waylon Jennings’ “Lonesome, On’ry And Mean” and Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart, “ which Bentley segued directly into his own hit, “How Am I Doin,’” with an apology to Williams.
Mid-show, Bentley took a bluegrass break to feature songs from his “Up On The Ridge” album, with special guests that included Del McCoury and his sons’ band, the Travelin’ McCourys. Del and Bentley reprised their Grammy-nominated cover of U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” and played Bill Monroe’s “Roll On Buddy.”
The show ended with three encore songs: “Home,” “What Was I Thinkin,’” and the gospel classic “I Saw The Light,” which featured all of the night’s special guests including Fairchild, the McCourys, and opening act Will Hoge. Just before performing that final number, Bentley hit his knees and kissed the hallowed wood of the Ryman stage.
about the blogger
Veteran entertainment journalist Phyllis Stark has been reporting extensively on the music industry for two decades. As a freelance writer, her work appears regularly in numerous publications and sites. She previously was Nashville Bureau Chief at Billboard magazine.