January 29, 2013

» Luke's Guy Rocker: Early reports from Luke Bryan's Dirt Road Diaries tour indicate there's a lot of country-boy shaking going on ... and it might not all be what you think. Bryan's first headlining trek hit Ft. Myers, FL Friday (1/25) with Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line on the bill. Our insider says the sold-out show included Luke's solo piano performance of "Do I," as well as his own version of Jason Aldean's "That's The Only Way I Know" complete with rapping. "He absolutely nailed it," we're told. Other covers included Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" and Maroon 5's "Daylight," with accompaniment from his openers. And while Luke looked to have a some new dance floor moves, it was the male fan he pulled up from the audience on "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" that had the crowd in disbelief. "Luke just kind of sat on the floor laughing and watched this guy go to town," our reporter says. "He let it all out up there – not shy. And the crowd went insane."

» Coke Deal: Rarely does Taylor Swift discuss relationships outside of her lyrics, but ... "We're actually going to be making it official with one of the great loves of my life," she said Sunday (1/27) announcing her involvement with Diet Coke. Swift reveals that the deal will include "so many fun things." And, once the deal ends, some potentially fantastic break-up songs. Watch here.

» McGraw Guide: Tim McGraw will release Two Lanes Of Freedom next week (2/5) and you're super excited to watch all his promotional appearances because it's the first release from him with his new label Big Machine (home of Taylor Swift) and you're just a wild McGrawniac. So here's what you do: 
  • Find PBS on your channel guide. This will take several hours. Record Austin City Limits Feb. 2.
  • Before you go to church, watch CBS Sunday Morning Feb. 3.
  • Stop playing Angry Birds Star Wars on your tablet. Watch the Ram Country on Yahoo! Music live stream event (from the deck of the USS Midway in San Diego) Feb. 5.
  • Go to sleep with the TV on. Wake up when McGraw appears in your dream and watch The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Feb. 6.
  • Skip the Ambien and stay up late for Jimmy Kimmel Live! Feb. 7.
  • Call in sick to work Feb. 11. (Norovirus! Wretching sounds!) Watch E! all day; that means every episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, until Chelsea Lately comes on.

» Dew It, Dude: If Taylor is a Diet Coke then Brantley Gilbert has gotta be a Mountain Dew. "I have been a fan of Mountain Dew for as long as I can remember," Gilbert says of his newly announced deal with the soft drink. "I'm honored to be able to partner up with the Dew family for some exciting projects this year." The sponsorship will involve touring, print ads and television commercials.

» And The Kristofferson Goes To ... Willie Nelson: Willie Nelson received the Kris Kristofferson Award Sunday (1/27) from the Nashville Songwriter's Association International. The lifetime achievement honor was presented by Kristofferson at an invitation-only gathering at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. Watch a video with highlights from the night here.

» In Case You Missed It: After years and years of being told, "We ran out of time," Matt Damon hijacked Jimmy Kimmel Live! and replaced bandleader Cleto with Sheryl Crow, who debuted her new country single "Easy" last Thursday (1/24). Watch here.

Hit List

  • Toby Keith has introduced his own guitar from Takamine. The EF250TK Toby Keith Signature acoustic-electric retails for $3,599.99, but there's no guarantee that you'll be able to sound like Toby.
  • Danielle Peck has teamed with Country Weekly magazine for the Impossible Dreams Contest. Through Feb 28, fans are asked to submit short stories describing how they’ve achieved something that helped them make a difference in their life and/or the lives of others. Details here.


Irlene Mandrell (1/29)

Tammy Cochran (1/30)

Jeanne Pruett (1/30)


Tuesday (1/29): Craig Campbell, Marie (The Hallmark Channel); Ryan Bingham, The View (ABC).

Wednesday (1/30): Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX); Holly Williams, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (NBC).

Thursday (1/31): Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX).

Upcoming Album Releases

Tim McGraw Two Lanes Of Freedom (2/5)

The Mavericks In Time (2/26)

Ashley Monroe Like A Rose (3/5)

Thompson Square Just Feels Good (3/26)

The Band Perry TBA (4/2)

Gretchen Wilson Right On Time (4/2)

Brad Paisley Wheelhouse (4/9)

Willie Nelson Let's Face The Music And Dance (4/16)

Kenny Chesney TBA (4/30)


» Sulu Mission: New band Parmalee run into actor George Takei (Star Trek, Celebrity Apprentice) at SiriusXM's New York facility last week while in the midst of a 3,500-mile, three-show, one-day trek to launch their new single "Carolina." Pictured (l-r) are the band's Scott Thomas and Barry Knox, Takei, Sirius XM's Storme Warren and the band's Matt Thomas and Josh McSwain. Live long and Parmalee.

» Great Charlottes: Keith Urban hits the stage to jam with Australian tour openers Good Charlotte in Brisbane (1/25) while, here in the states, American Idol aired auditions from Charlotte, NC (1/23). Coincidence? 





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