All posts in July 2012

‘American Idol’ Producer Hints at Search for Country Judge

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Brad Paisley is reportedly being courted to join the judges on "American Idol" and while the singer-songwriter has yet to confirm or deny whether he'll fill one of the seats recently vacated by Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the executive producer of the TV talent show, Nigel Lythgoe, hopes to fill the spot with a reigning country star.

"Country IS America," Lythgoe stressed to the Hollywood Reporter, noting the successful, long-lasting careers of country acts who first appeared on the show compared to the shorter stints of pop artists the competition has spawned. He also added that he wants the new judge to be a current entertainment icon who is still churning out chart-topping hits.

Brad isn't the first country star invited to the judges' table. Toby Keith was asked to join the show but has since declined the offer.

Gloriana, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind’ Reflects Trio’s Musical Journey

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The three year wait is proving well worth it for Gloriana. The country trio's sophomore album, A Thousand Miles Left Behind, hit stores today (July 31) to rave reviews. The project has already spawned the fastest-rising song of their career, "(Kissed You) Good Night," which is currently sitting pretty at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart.

Gloriana's Rachel Reinert, Mike Gossin and Tom Gossin had a hand in writing all 11 tracks on the new project, which they insist reflects a lot of growth since their 2009 debut album. "All you can hope to do in your sophomore album is advance your songwriting and advance your musicality better than your first album," Tom tells The Boot. "We definitely did that with this album. We love the first album, but that was then and this is now for us. Our lives have changed so much. We're the same people at our core, but our environment that we live in is so drastically different. This album is like a documentary of what's going on."

Tan, Toned Tim Says He’s Working Out to Be Healthy

Have you noticed that Tim McGraw is in terrific shape, and he's not scared to post a shirtless picture of himself on Twitter lately?

Tim tells reporters this isn't a vanity thing—he really likes being in shape.

"I just like being healthy," he said. "I quit drinking four years ago because I wanted to be healthy, and because I wanted to be around for my grandkids."

Besides, this is nothing new for Tim.

"I was an athlete growing up, so I've always sort of been a gym rat. There have been times in my life and my career where I've let it slide a little bit."

And this is definitely not one of those times.

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Party Celebrates Eric Church’s “Springsteen” Single and Top-Selling Album, Chief

Eric Church and the two other co-writers of his recent No. 1 single, "Springsteen," carried away armloads of awards Monday (July 30) from a party given them by Church's record label, EMI Nashville, and BMI, the performance rights organization.

Sheryl Crow Stalker Hit With Restraining Order

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Matt Sayles, AP

Sheryl Crow has been granted a temporary restraining order against a man accused of threatening to shoot her. The Huffington Post reports that on July 24, a judge issued the order which requires Phillip Gordon Sparks, 45, to stay 100 yards away from the singer-songwriter and not attempt to contact her, her family or any of her employees. In total, the restraining order seeks protection for Crow and 16 other people, including her two sons (ages 5 and 2), nanny, sister, assistant, parents, siblings and managers.

In a sworn statement, Sheryl wrote that she is fearful of Sparks because of profane Facebook posts beginning in April, in which he claimed she had stolen money from him and had broken into his house. In court papers obtained by TMZ, Sheryl stated, "It was clear to me that [Sparks] was deeply disturbed because his posts were delusional, rambling, filled with profanity and laced with angry rants."

Kenny Chesney’s ‘Come Over’ Is 24th Career Chart Topper

Danny Clinch

Kenny Chesney has long been melting hearts with his sweet country love songs, and the second single off his latest album Welcome to the Fishbowl is no different.

"Come Over" has become one of the biggest tunes in the Tennessee native's lengthy career, topping the country singles charts in a mere 11 weeks to become his 24th career No. 1 hit. Written by Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, the sexy single was certified gold last week for digital sales exceeding 500,000.

Blake Shelton Turtle Tweets Conjure Controversy

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Getty Images for Country Thunder

Blake Shelton is known for his outspoken -- and sometimes outrageous -- tweets (@blakeshelton), and now several of his Twitter followers and animal advocates say the "Over" singer has gone too far.

The controversy began Friday (July 27), when the country superstar tweeted, "Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn't just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one." The tweet resulted in several surprised and angry followers lashing out at Blake. NPR blogger Barbara J. King was one of many who replied, asking, "That turtle's life meant something -- was your tweet a bad joke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?"

Jamey Johnson Album, ‘Hank Cochran: Living for a Song’ Due October 16

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Jack Spencer

Jamey Johnson has set Oct. 16 as the release date of his latest album, Livin' for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran. The 16-track collection, produced by Buddy Cannon and Dale Dodson, pairs Jamey with a host of other country greats, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Leon Russell, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack and more. (See the complete track listing below.)

One of the most successful songwriters in country music, Hank Cochran was also a treasured mentor to artists such as Willie and Merle. His cut-to-the-heart lyrics and simple but indelible melodies helped his songs -- and the artists who recorded them -- cross over to unprecedented pop-chart success.

His and Hers by Joey+Rory

This married duo’s first two albums highlighted their homespun sound, traditional country influences and effortless musical chemistry, with the two often trading verses throughout a single song.

This time, the unpretentious sound is still there, though Joey and Rory divvy up the 12 tracks; Joey’s earthy, understated alto takes the lead for a half-dozen songs, such as “Waiting for Someone” and current single “When I’m Gone,” while Rory’s warm baritone capably delivers a cover of Tom T. Hall’s “Your Man Loves You, Honey” and the gorgeous “Josephine,” a musical love letter from a soldier who knows he won’t make it home.

Gary Paczosa, known for his engineering work with Alison Krauss & Union Station, takes the helm with a similarly uncluttered production that lets fiddles and subdued guitar work serve as a musical base for the couple’s flawlessly entwined harmonies, as each provides supporting vocals for the other.

The melody and the groove of “Love Your Man” roam a little too close to the duo’s first hit, “Cheater, Cheater,” though they are certainly not the first country artists to borrow musically from themselves.

Overall, the subtle change in approach to their third offering showcases Joey and Rory’s strengths both as individual musicians and as a duo.

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Josh Turner to Release New Live Album Exclusively at Cracker Barrel

Josh Turner photo by George Holz, courtesy of Essential Broadcast Media.

Josh Turner will release a new live album, Josh Turner – Live Across America, on August 27, through the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store exclusive music program. The album, Josh’s second release through Cracker Barrel, will be available exclusively at all Cracker Barrel locations and online on,, and on iTunes. The live performances were recorded at 12 different live shows throughout the first half of this year.

“This is my second go-round with Cracker Barrel, who also sponsors my tour,” Josh said. “We came up with the idea of taking a mobile studio out on the road and recording our show every night. And that’s what Live Across America is: the best renditions of songs from all over the country. The fans will be able to hear recordings from their hometowns.”

“Josh’s music genuinely resonates with many of our guests, and we are thrilled to join forces with him on a second Cracker Barrel album,” Cracker Barrel Marketing Manager Julie Craig said. “Because the songs were recorded during actual performances, there’s a feeling of being in the audience and getting caught up in the energy and excitement of a live show.”

To celebrate the release, Cracker Barrel will send one fan and a guest on an all-expense paid trip to Nashville, Tenn. to meet Josh and see him perform at the Grand Ole Opry.  To enter or for more information, visit

Josh Turner—Live Across America track listing:

1)  “All Over Me” – Live In Biloxi, MS
2)  “Firecracker” – Live In Lancaster, PA
3)  “Everything Is Fine” – Live In Knoxville, TN
4)  “So Not My Baby” – Live In Lake Charles, LA
5)  “Would You Go With Me” – Live In Plant City, FL
6)  “Long Black Train” – Live In Austin, TX
7)  “I Wouldn’t Be A Man” – Live In Savannah, GA
8)  “Me And God” – Live In Key Largo, FL
9)  “Another Try” – Live In Atlanta, GA
10)  “Your Man” – Live in Kansas City, MO
11)  “America” – Live in Charlottesville, VA
12)  “Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Live In Atlantic City, NJ