Cowboy Corner

Cowboy Corner
By Michael W. Stout

Carrie Underwood's Going to Blow Louisville Away

American Idol's most successful winner, Checotah, Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood, is heading to the Derby city this month for the first time since becoming a headlining artist. Fans will be blown away when she brings "The Blown Away Tour" to the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, September 22. The country sweetheart will be performing her chart-climbing current single, the title track from her latest chart-topping album, Blown Away, as well as her most recent #1, "Good Girl," and staples such as "Before He Cheats," "Jesus Take the Wheel," "Temporary Home," "All-American Girl," and "Last Name." Opening for Underwood will be 21-year-old musical phenom Hunter Hayes of "Storm Warning" fame.

Tickets for Underwood's Louisville performance range from $46 - $63.50 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, the KFC Yum! Center box office, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Throughout the North American leg of this tour, Underwood is donating $1 from each ticket sold to the American Red Cross to provide food, shelter, and emotional support for those in need following a disaster.

CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock

If you weren't fortunate enough to make it to Nashville in June for the annual CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Country Music Fan Fair), you're in luck as ABC-Television filmed all of the main-stage nightly concerts for a television special to air on September 17. The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry and Luke Bryan will host CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock, which will feature live music performances, interviews, and backstage footage with some of country's biggest artists. Artists to be featured on the special include Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Hank Williams, Jr., and Zac Brown Band.

Randy Travis's Bizarre Arrest for DWI

"Forever and Ever, Amen" country crooner Randy Travis has had a tumultuous year thus far, and the drama continues. Around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 7, Travis was found lying on the road taking a nap after crashing his 1998 Pontiac Trans Am into barricades in a construction zone in Sherman, Texas, near his home in Tioga. To add insult to injury, the crooner was completely naked — there have also been reports of a nearby convenience store's surveillance footage showing Travis walking into the store completely naked to purchase cigarettes prior to the accident. Following a 911 call by a passer-by, police arrived on the scene and claim the troubled singer "had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and several signs of intoxication." After refusing to take a field sobriety test, a blood sample was taken and he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, which is a misdemeanor. While being transported to the Grayson County Sheriff's Office, Travis "made threats to shoot and kill the troopers working the case," which resulted in an additional charge for retaliation and obstruction, which is a felony.

Travis's highly publicized mug shot shows the disheveled singer with a black eye and cuts on his face. For this mug shot, he was given a t-shirt and paper scrubs pants to wear. He was booked and held in jail overnight and was released the following day after posting a total of $21,500 bond ($20,000 was a result of the felony charge). Attorney Gary Corley, a longtime Travis fan, picked Travis up at the jail, gave him a Texas Longhorns ball cap to wear to help shield the singer from awaiting media outside the jail and drove him home. Photos have surfaced of Travis leaving the jail wearing the ball cap, blue paper scrubs (shirt and pants), and no shoes.

Unfortunately, 53-year-old Travis has been fighting some serious demons lately, reportedly surrounding his bitter divorce from his manager-wife, Elizabeth "Lib" Travis. Back in February, he was charged with public intoxication after being discovered drinking alcohol in a parked car in a church parking lot in Sanger, Texas.

Taylor Swift Tops Teen Choice Awards & Announces New Album

When the 14th Annual Teen Choice Awards were handed out in Los Angeles on July 22, 22-year-old Taylor Swift was the big winner, taking home a whopping five surf board trophies, giving her a total of 20 Teen Choice Awards, the most awards for any female artist. Swift picked up honors for Choice Female Artist, Choice Female Country Artist, Choice Single by a Female Artist for "Eyes Open," Choice Country Song for "Sparks Fly," and Choice Movie Voice as Audrey in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Hunter Hayes was named Choice Male Country Artist and trio Lady Antebellum was named Choice Country Group.

Following her big wins at the Teen Choice Awards, during a live webcast last month, Swift debuted the lead single from her highly-anticipated fourth album. The infectious single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," has been breaking sales records since its release and fans are eagerly counting down the days until the new record, simply titled Red, hits the streets on October 22. Swift titled the 16-track CD Red after a song of the same name. She told fans during the webcast, "I wrote a song called 'Red,' and thinking about what that means to me and all the different emotions that are written about on this album, they're all pretty much about tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I've experienced in the last two years....All those emotions—spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion, all of that—in my mind, all of those emotions are red; there's nothing in between—there's nothing beige about any of those feelings—so I called the record Red."

George Jones Saying, "Farewell"

Country Music Hall of Famer the "Possum," George Jones, who just so happens to be one of the most celebrated artists in country music history, has decided that it is time to hang up his microphone. The 80-year-old legend announced last month that he will be performing a farewell tour next year. Titled "The Grand Tour" after his 1974 #1 hit of the same name, this tour will be a send-off to perform hits like "The Race is On," "White Lightning," "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes," "I Don't Need Your Rocking Chair," and his iconic "He Stopped Loving Her Today" for his legions of fans one last time. Although the tour schedule has not yet been announced, Jones plans to perform this highly-anticipated, must-see show in more than 60 cities.

When making this difficult announcement, Jones stated, "It is tough to stop doing what I love, but the time has come." He has had a very difficult year as he has had to cancel numerous performances due to struggles with an ongoing respiratory infection. In the meantime, the "Possum" is preparing to record a new album for which fellow country legend Dolly Parton is writing new songs for her pal whom she hopes to record another duet with on this record.

Although we have no idea whether or not "The Grand Tour" will hit the Louisville area next year, fans better jump on the opportunity to hear the legend perform live at Horseshoe Southern Indiana in Elizabeth on Saturday, December 1.

Tim & Faith Headed to Vegas

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are not taking their long-awaited "Soul2Soul Tour" on the road from city to city anytime soon—they recently announced a more stationary plan. On August 7, the couple revealed that they will perform for 10 weekends between December and April at the 1,815 seat Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas. During the press conference announcing these special concerts, McGraw stated, "In the Soul2Soul tours we have done in the past, it has been two songs together, then Faith would do her show, then two songs together, and then I would do my show. The focus of this has been a chance to be onstage the entire time together in an intimate setting and make it about us. We will do all of our duets and throw in some surprises. All of our songs are ballads, so we are going to do some cool things that are up-tempo as well. There are so many great duets that would be fun to do."

Shows are currently scheduled for December 7, 8, 14, 15; January 18, 19, 25, 26; February 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23; March 1, 2 and April 12, 13, 26, 27. Hill stated, "I know that it's hard to believe, but, literally, the Venetian got our girls' school schedules and built this show around them. It is 10 weekends between December and April, and it is really just a Saturday and Sunday. [Our daughters] will probably come with us [from home in Nashville] most of the time."

Tickets range from $95.50 - $295.50, with a limited number of VIP packages for $1,000 each. Tickets can be purchased on the Venetian's website at www.venetian.com.

Country Baby Boom

As Rascal Flatts' "Changed Tour 2012" rolls across our nation with special guests Little Big Town, Eli Young Band, and Edens Edge, there is bound to be quite a bit of baby picture swapping among the bands. Eli Young Band frontman Mike Eli and his wife Kacey became first-time parents on July 30. Daughter Kline Olivia Diaz was born in Dallas, Texas and weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces, and measured 20.25 inches long. Eli remains on cloud-nine following his daughter's birth and he recently stated, "They tell you about this feeling that is beyond comparison. The moment Kacey and I laid our eyes on little Kline, we understood it's absolutely the coolest thing ever!"

Eli's summer tour-mate, Rascal Flatts' member Jay DeMarcus may not be a first-time father, but he has plenty reason to dote as well. On July 20, Rascal Flatts was in Detroit making preparations for a show that evening when DeMarcus received a call from his wife, CMT Insider correspondent Allison DeMarcus, stating that she was in labor. DeMarcus immediately hopped on a plane for Nashville, was on hand when his 6 pound, 11 ounce son Dylan Jay DeMarcus was born at 4:02 pm, and with the help of a private jet and a waiting helicopter, like a true showman, he was back in Detroit to perform with bandmates Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney by 9:30 pm, performing that night wearing his hospital scrubs. While not touring, DeMarcus will remain quite busy at home as Dylan joins one-year-old big sister Madeline Leigh.

Well, that's it for yet another month. Here's wishing each of you a happy and safe Labor Day, unfortunately marking the unofficial end of summer. Always remember: "Keep your boots shined up and your hat on straight, 'cause country music is comin' your way."