Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Upcoming Live Country Music

Louisville will be overflowing with huge country concerts in the very near future. The red-hot Miranda Lambert will bring her "On Fire Tour" to the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, March 24. Lambert will be heating up the arena with the help of opening acts Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann. Tickets for this highly-anticipated show range from a very reasonable $27.75 - $52.75 and are available on ticketmaster.com and at all Ticketmaster locations.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, best known as country duo Sugarland, will bring their "In The Hands of the Fans Tour 2012" to the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, April 14. The duo will make their first appearance in the area since the tribute concert in Indianapolis last fall honoring the victims of the stage collapse prior to their show at the Indiana State Fair last August. Canaan Smith will open the show. Tickets for this show will go on sale at 10 a.m. March 2. At press time, no ticket prices had been announced. Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster.

If you've ever been to a Trace Adkins concert, then you know what a treat you're in for as you walk into the arena before the lanky baritone takes the stage. Fans will have the opportunity to see Adkins like they've never seen him before when he brings his "Songs & Stories Tour" to the Louisville Palace Theatre on Wednesday, April 18. In this intimate show, Adkins promises to incorporate personal stories and the stories behind his biggest hits into this unique tour unlike any he's ever performed. When he was planning this tour which will visit quaint theaters throughout America, Adkins' son-in-law, who just so happens to be from Louisville, mentioned the Palace Theatre, so Adkins decided to book it. Tickets for this show are currently on sale on livenation.com and range from $39.50 - $75.

Lady Antebellum & Taylor Swift Capture Grammy Awards

When the 54th Grammy Awards were handed out last month, despite the fact that the majority of the ceremony revolved around just two females, country music was very well-represented. British pop sensation Adele swept the Grammy Awards taking home six Grammophones, including Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year. The other female singled out during the ceremony was pop songstress Whitney Houston who passed away in her hotel bathroom the day prior to the awards ceremony. But needless to say, the much-deserved Houston tribute had a major connection to country music as Jennifer Hudson sang a moving rendition of Houston's biggest hit, a remake of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which Houston recorded for her 1992 film The Bodyguard. Her version of the classic Parton tune topped the charts for more than three months, but it wasn't the song's first trip to the top of the charts as Parton herself landed at #1 back in 1974 when she recorded the tune as a farewell to her musical partner and mentor as she left "The Porter Wagoner Show," and again in 1982 when she re-recorded it for her The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas movie.

The only country award handed out during the televised portion of the ceremony went to Lady Antebellum when their Own the Night was named Country Album of the Year. Although Taylor Swift performed "Mean" during the ceremony, her two wins for Best Country Song and Best Country Performance for the song were not aired. As a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Glen Campbell was honored in song as The Band Perry performed "Gentle on My Mind" and Blake Shelton sang "Southern Nights," just prior to Campbell himself joining these two acts for his signature hit, "Rhinestone Cowboy." It was also announced that George Jones received a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Civil Wars won the Best Country Duo/Group Performance award for "Barton Hollow," the title track to their album which was named Folk Album of the Year. The legendary Tony Bennett won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album of the Year for Duets II, which includes duets with country's very own Faith Hill, Willie Nelson, and Carrie Underwood. During the live ceremony, Underwood performed "It Had to Be You" with Bennett and Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson performed their smash hit "Don't You Wanna Stay."

Congratulations to all the winners!

Chesney Dominates ACM Awards Nominations

When the nominations for the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards were announced last month, Kenny Chesney topped the list with a whopping nine nods. He will vie for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year along with Grace Potter for "You and Tequila," Album of the Year for Hemingway's Whiskey, and Single Record of the Year and Vocal Event of the Year for "You and Tequila." He actually received two nominations each for the latter three nominations, one as the artist and one as co-producer. Chesney will compete with Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Taylor Swift for the coveted Entertainer of the Year, an honor Chesney has received four times. Aldean followed closely on the heels of Chesney's boots with six nominations, followed by Lady Antebellum with five nods and Paisley with four nods. And the nominees are:

Entertainer of the Year: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Taylor Swift; Female Vocalist of the Year: Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Taylor Swift, and Carrie Underwood; Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, and Chris Young; Vocal Duo of the Year: Love and Theft, Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland, and Thompson Square; Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry, Eli Young Band, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and Zac Brown Band; Best New Artist of the Year: Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, and Scotty McCreery; and Songwriter of the Year: Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson, Ben Hayslip, Luke Laird, and David Lee Murphy.

Single Record of the Year: Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay," Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup," Chris Young's "Tomorrow," and Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's "You and Tequila"; Song of the Year: Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," Dierks Bentley's "Home," Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss," Vince Gill's "Threaten Me to Heaven," and Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's "You and Tequila"; Video of the Year: Eric Church's "Homeboy," Lady Antebellum's "Just a Kiss," Taylor Swift's "Mean," Toby Keith's "Red Solo Cup," and Jason Aldean's "Tattoos on This Town"; Vocal Event of the Year: Aaron Lewis, George Jones & Charlie Daniels' "Country Boy," Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay," Brad Paisley & Alabama's "Old Alabama," Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood's "Remind Me," and Kenny Chesney & Grace Potter's "You and Tequila"; and Album of the Year: Eric Church's Chief, Miranda Lambert's Four the Record, Kenny Chesney's Hemmingway's Whiskey, Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party, and Lady Antebellum's Own the Night.

Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton will once again be hosting this year's ACM Awards ceremony at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The ceremony will air live on CBS on April 1.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Country Baby Boom

The "King of Country Music," George Strait, couldn't contain the news that he had become a first-time grandfather during a February 3 concert with Martina McBride in Phoenix, Arizona. The proud grandpa told the crowd that his son, Bubba, and his wife, Tamara, welcomed his grandson into the world the day before. The baby was reportedly named George H. Strait III.

The Rascal Flatts family will be increasing in size in the near future. Flatts' Jay DeMarcus and wife Allison, who is a reporter for CMT, recently announced they are expecting their second child this summer. Their daughter, Madeline Leigh, was born December 17, 2010. While announcing, DeMarcus stated, "This was definitely a huge surprise, but we're so thankful and excited that Maddie is going to have a brother or sister. We're really gonna have our hands full!" Allison added, "Jay and I are thrilled about completing our family. Madeline is going to love having a sibling, and we are bracing ourselves for the many sleepless nights ahead."

Congratulations, Bubba and Tamara, Grandpa George and Grandma Norma, and Jay and Allison!

Country Legal News

Following last month's Super Bowl, traditionalist country crooner Randy Travis was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication in Texas. Travis was found sitting in his car, smelling of alcohol and holding an open bottle of wine while parked outside the First Baptist Church in Sanger, Texas, approximately 25 miles from his ranch in Tioga, Texas. The singer was reportedly drinking following a fight with his girlfriend and was released from jail in the early morning hours of February 6. The 52-year-old singer released the following statement regarding the incident: "I apologize for what resulted following an evening of celebrating the Super Bowl. I'm committed to being responsible and accountable, and apologize for my actions."

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released their report on the tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair last August 13 just prior to Sugarland taking the stage during which seven people were killed and 58 were injured. OSHA fined the fair, the sound equipment and staging company, and the labor union responsible for erecting the stage. The Indiana State Fair Commission was fined $6,300, Mid-America Sound Corp. was fined $63,000, and the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees Local 30 was fined $11,300. The report noted that blame was not being laid upon these agencies for the stage collapse and the resulting deaths and injuries, but rather investigating potential workplace safety violations.

If you'll remember as was reported here a couple months ago, "If You're Going Through Hell" singer Rodney Atkins was arrested for a domestic assault against his wife, Tammy Atkins, after a night of drinking on November 21. Since this incident, Atkins has undergone and passed court-ordered assessments for substance abuse and anger management. As a result, he has been cleared of the domestic assault charge and the misdemeanor will be removed from his record if he stays out of trouble over the next year, in addition to completing 30 hours of community service unrelated to music. The couple is currently going through a divorce and sharing custody of their only child, son Elijah.

Country superstar Garth Brooks recently won a $500,000 lawsuit he filed against the Integris Canadian Valley Regional Hospital in Yukon, Oklahoma. Brooks donated $500,000 to the hospital in 2005 with the agreement that the hospital would build a women's health center in honor of his mother, Coleen Brooks, who died of cancer in 1999. Brooks filed the lawsuit in 2009 and the jury ruled against the hospital for not keeping its commitment of building the center honoring Mrs. Brooks, not only awarding the singer the original $500,000, but an additional $500,000 for punitive damages. Following the ruling, Brooks' attorney stated, "Mr. Brooks kept his promise. Integris never intended to keep their promise and never built a new women's center."

Last month, "The Gambler," Kenny Rogers, sued Capitol Records over royalties he feels is due him from digital downloads, ringtones, and other uses of his music. He claims he is owed 50% of net royalties for the licensing of his master recordings to third-parties like iTunes and Verizon Wireless. Although Rogers does not know exact figures, he estimates he is owed $400,000 and is also suing for restitution, compensatory damages, attorney's fees, and interest. According to the lawsuit, "The actions of Capitol Records was part of an ongoing and deliberate attempt by record labels to deprive artists, like Kenny Rogers, in California, and elsewhere of their rightful royalties for music downloads, ringtones, and mastertones."

Well, that's it for this month. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way."