Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

The Reed Brothers Band Celebrates the Louisville Music Scene

Louisville's very own Reed Brothers Band has paid tribute to the Derby City's nostalgic music scene of days gone by on its new single, "Dixie Highway." Written by lead guitarist David Yates, the song and its accompanying video is a tribute to the Kentucky and Southern Indiana music scene dating back to the 1980s. The recently released DVD includes video and classic photos by such Louisville legends as Mom's Music's Marvin Maxwell, Sound 'n Music's Gerry Conte, the Doo Wop Shop's Victor Himbaugh and PMC Musician Center's Bill Sutherland. Also included on the DVD are four additional Reed Brothers Band classics: "Younger Days," "Mama's Getting Ready," "Guns Already Drawn," and "Fresh Horses."

The Reed Brothers Band's "Dixie Highway" DVD can be bought on the band's website, www. reedbrothersband.com. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this DVD will benefit the Musicians Emergency Resource Foundation (MERF), which helps members of Kentuckiana's music industry in times of need. While on the band's website, music fans can visit the "Dixie Hwy" page and submit photos of local entertainers or music shop owners that influenced them, as well as photos of interesting sights along Highway 31 a.k.a. "Dixie Hwy."

CMA Awards November 12

Country fans won't want to miss the 42ndAnnual Country Music Association Awards, which are scheduled to air live on ABC-Television from Nashville's Sommet Center on November 12. Reigning CMA Female and Male Vocalists of the Year, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will host the ceremony. Artists currently scheduled to perform include Trace Adkins, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney with the Wailers, the Eagles, Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban, in addition to Underwood and Paisley.

Kenny Chesney, who just released his brand new album, Lucky Old Sun, tops the list of nominees with seven nods: Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year for "Don't Blink," Album of the Year for Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, Music Video of the Year for "Don't Blink," and two nominations for Musical Event of the Year for "Shiftwork" with George Strait and "Every Other Weekend" with Reba McEntire. Following on the heels of Chesney's boots with six nods is Jennifer Nettles. She has one nomination for being the sole songwriter of "Stay" for Song of the Year, and the other five are with fellow Sugarland partner Kristian Bush: Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Duo of the Year, Musical Event of the Year for "Life In a Northern Town" with Little Big Town and Jake Owen, and Music Video and Single of the Year for "Stay." George Strait will compete in five categories and Alan Jackson and Brad Paisley will each compete in four categories.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Country Music AMA Nominees

When dancer turned country singer Julianne Hough helped announce the nominees for the 2008 American Music Awards last month, country music had quite a respectable presence. Garth Brooks, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood led the way in the country categories with two nods each. They will all compete in the Favorite Country Album category, and Brooks is up for Favorite Male Country Artist, Rascal Flatts for Favorite Country Band, Duo, or Group, and Underwood for Favorite Female Country Artist.

The country nominees are: Favorite Female Country Artist: Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood; Favorite Male Country Artist: Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, and Brad Paisley; Favorite Country Band, Duo, or Group: Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, and Sugarland; and Favorite Country Album: Garth Brooks' The Ultimate Hits, Rascal Flatts' Still Feels Good, and Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride.

The President of the United States is not the only election going on these days. The AMA's are voted on by music fans like you and me. To cast your ballot, log on to www.amavote.com. Winners will be announced during ABC-Television's live broadcast of the awards ceremony held at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre on November 23.

Toby Keith Earns His Pay

When it comes to the country music industry, Toby Keith is one of the hardest-working men in the business. Not only is he a singer and songwriter, but he also developed his own record label and delved into acting in recent years. His second feature film, Beer for My Horses, which he co-wrote and co-starred with actor/comedian Rodney Carrington, will make its television debut on CMT on November 2. The movie also features Keith's duet partner on the smash hit of the same name, Willie Nelson, along with Ted Nugent and Tom Skerritt. And for all the Toby Keith fans on your holiday shopping list, the movie will also be available on DVD on November 11.

All of Keith's hard work has definitely paid off, landing him on the Forbesmagazine's list of highest-earning musicians between June 1, 2007 and June 1, 2008. Keith was the highest-earning country artist and the third highest-paid musician within all genres of music, having earned a whopping $48 million. He was surpassed only by The Police ($115 million) and Beyonce ($80 million). Rounding out the top 10 are: 4) Justin Timberlake ($44 million); 5) Madonna, Celine Dion, and Rascal Flatts ($40 mil each); 8) Van Halen ($35 million); 9) Genesis ($31 million); and 10) Gwen Stefani ($27 million).

Skaggs Big Winner at Inspirational Country Music Awards

When Collin Raye hosted the 14thAnnual Inspirational Country Music Awards at Trinity Music City U.S.A. in Hendersonville, Tennessee last month, Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs was the big winner, taking home three honors. Skaggs was named Musician of the Yearand was named Mainstream Country Artist of the Yearand Inspirational Bluegrass Artist of the Yearalong with his wife Sharon White's group, The Whites. George Strait's "I Saw God Today" was named Mainstream Inspirational Song of the Yearand Tracy Lawrence's "Till I Was a Daddy Too" was named Inspirational Video of the Year.

Other winners include: Entertainer of the Year: CrossCountry the Band; Female Vocalist: Sonya Isaacs; Male Vocalist: Del Way; Vocal Duo: Bellamy Brothers; Vocal Group or Band: Last Light Band; Songwriter of the Year: Russ Murphy; and Christian Country Song: Branded's "Heroes."

Congratulations to all the winners!

What's Got Tim McGraw's Goat?

Tim McGraw is at odds with his record label, Curb Records, over the release of his Greatest Hits 3album just last month, despite the fact the album topped the country albums chart its first week in stores. McGraw claims Curb wanted to release another hits album to extend the length of his recording contract, while he wanted to release an album of completely new material he's been recording this year, from which he debuted three of the new songs on tour this year. McGraw claims this hits album was released "without his involvement," while Curb claims they "had numerous conversations with McGraw's representatives with respect to all aspects of the Greatest Hits 3album."

McGraw had hoped that his new music would be available in record stores this holiday season, but now he has no idea when it might be available to fans. He fears it could be an extended period of time before fans get to hear it. McGraw wanted to give them, not what the record executives decided to offer. McGraw's further frustrations stem from the fact that he has only had one studio album, Let It Go, since his Greatest Hits 2album. The only new material on this third hits package is "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," his collaboration with pals Tracy Lawrence and Kenny Chesney, and "Nine Lives" with rock legends Def Leppard, as well as a live version of "If You're Reading This" and "Real Good Man."

To sum up the situation, McGraw recently released the following statement to his fans: "I am saddened and disappointed that my label chose to put out another hits album instead of new music. I've only had one studio album since my last hits package. It has to be just as confusing to the fans as it is to me. I had no involvement in the creation or presentation of this record. Sure I love the songs and I don't want to take anything away from all the creative people who were a part of making those records. But the whole concept is an embarrassment to me as an artist. In the spirit of an election year, I would simply say to my fans 'I'm Tim McGraw and I don't approve their message.'" In a public apology on a recent radio interview, he continued, "I just wanted my fans to know that I wasn't trying to screw them —period. They've all got that music. It's time for new music."

All of this record company politics aside, there IS a project available in stores these days that McGraw is certainly excited about. He recently co-wrote a children's book, titled "My Little Girl," with Tom Douglas. As the father of three girls, McGraw wanted to stress in the book the need for fathers to spend time with their children, doing whatever your children want to do. Mrs. Tim McGraw, superstar Faith Hill, wrote in the book's forward: "I hope this story provides quality time for fathers and daughters to enjoy each other's company and make memories reading together."

Stonewall Jackson Settles with Opry

If you'll remember, early last year, Grand Old Opry member Stonewall Jackson filed a lawsuit against Gaylord Entertainment and the Opry general manager, Pete Fisher, claiming age discrimination, breach of contract, and retaliation. The 75-year-old "Waterloo" and "B.J. the D.J." singer was seeking $10 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages in the lawsuit. He claimed he had lost his health insurance, which was supplied by the Opry, because he could no longer physically meet the minimum requirements of annual personal appearances on the long-running radio show.

Jackson and the Opry reached an agreement in this case early last month. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but fortunately Jackson has returned to performing on the legendary stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

Country Baby News

Country crooner Dierks Bentley and his high school sweetheart wife, Cassidy, welcomed their first child into the world on October 4. Daughter Evalyn Day Bentley (Evie for short) made her debut at Nashville's Vanderbilt Medical Center, weighing in at 7 lbs., 10 ozs. The doting new parents will celebrate their third wedding anniversary next month.

William Huckleberry "Huck" Paisley, son of singer/guitarist extraordinaire Brad Paisley and his actress wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley, will become a big brother next spring. The Paisleys recently announced they are expecting their second child in April. Huck will turn two-years-old in February.

There will be a whole lot of baby talk on the road next year as Bentley will open 24 shows for Paisley on the final leg of his "Paisley Party Tour" beginning in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 15, and closing in Yakima, Washington on March 1.

Congratulations to Dierks & Cassidy and Brad & Kimberly!


Well, that's it for this month. As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, please take the time to count your many blessings and offer thanks for these blessings, as well as for the men and women sacrificing on foreign lands for our freedom. Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way."b