George Strait Rolls On, ACM Off-Camera Awards & More

Music City News for March 25


March 25, 2014


» Strait Up Moving: George Strait's Cowboy Rides Away Tour stopped in Nashville Friday (3/21) and Atlanta Saturday (3/22). Sheryl Crow opened each show, and returned during Strait's Nashville set for "Here For A Good Time" and "When Did You Stop Loving Me." Other surprise Music City guests included Eric Church on "Cowboys Like Us" and Kenny Chesney for "Amarillo By Morning" (watch here). Strait made a point to remind both crowds that he wasn't saying goodbye. "I never said that," he noted in Georgia. "I'm just slowing down a little!" Atlanta's show include a cover of Tom Petty's "Learning To Fly" and his closing "The Cowboy Rides Away" brought audience members to tears. Watch footage from Atlanta here; view upcoming dates here.

» Off-Camera Action: Everyone who's anyone in country music is headed to Las Vegas in two weeks for the 49th Annual ACM Awards, but some of the trophies ... the "off-camera" awards ... have already been handed out. These include:
  • Career Achievement: Toby Keith, Ronnie Milsap.
  • Crystal Milestone: Merle Haggard.
  • Gene Weed Special Achievement: Carrie Underwood.
  • Jim Reeves International: Rascal Flatts.
  • Poet's: Jack Clement, Dean Dillon, Kris Kristofferson, Buck Owens.
  • Bass Player: Michael Rhodes.
  • Drummer: Shannon Forrest.
  • Guitar Player: Rob McNelley.
  • Piano/Keyboards Player: Charlie Judge.
  • Audio Engineer: Justin Niebank.
  • Producer: Dan Huff.
  • Specialty Instrument Player: Bryan Sutton.
  • Songwriter: Shane McAnally.

Special Awards, Industry, Studio Recording and Songwriter winners will be honored at the 8th Annual ACM Honors event Sept. 9 in Nashville.

» Satellite Seats: The Vegas theme continues as ACM New Artist nominees Brett Eldredge, Justin Moore and Kip Moore have been added to the list of performers for the April 6 telecast. They'll join via live remote from the 4th Annual ACM Fan Jam, which takes place during and after the ACM awards at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Previously announced Fan Jam performers include Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Eric Church, Toby Keith, Stevie Nicks, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Keith Urban and The Band Perry will perform in the main arena, the MGM Grand Garden. More here.

» Show Voting: Speaking of the ACMs, fan voting opens today (3/24) for Entertainer and New Artist of the Year. Voting for New Artist will close when the show starts April 6, and voting for Entertainer will close during the third hour of the broadcast. Winners will be announced on the live show on CBS-TV. Vote here.

» EYB, Mate: The Eli Young Band brought their tour down under for the second time, and this time the fans knew all the words, especially to "Even If It Breaks Your Heart." Watch them sing along here.

» In Case You Missed It: Martina McBride appeared on PBS-TV's Tavis Smiley last week to discuss her forthcoming album Everlasting, which debuts April 8. Watch here.


Jerrod Niemann dropped by the Today show on NBC-TV Monday (3/24) to perform "Drink To That All Night." Watch here. His album High Noon is out this week.

Hit List

  • Chris Young's annual Fan Club Party will take place June 5. Join and get tickets here.
  • Clay Walker's fifth annual Chords Of Hope Benefit Concert will take place June 3 at Nashville's 3rd & Lindsley. Montgomery Gentry and Dustin Lynch will perform, and proceeds benefit the MS Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. More here.
  • Charlie Daniels Band will launch their Off The Grid Tour tomorrow (3/25) in Nashville and run through the end of the year. Tour dates here.
  • Sammy Kershaw has signed a book deal with VIP Ink Publishing to release his autobiography later this year. Stay updated here.


Tuesday (3/25): The late Hoyt Axton.

Wednesday (3/26): Kenny Chesney, Dean Dillon, Charly McClain, Ronnie McDowell.

Thursday (3/27): Rodney Atkins, Reba.


Tuesday (3/25): Blake Shelton, The Voice (NBC).

Wednesday (3/26): Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX); Frankie Ballard, Conan (TBS); Jerrod Niemann, Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC).

Thursday (3/27): Cole Swindell, Good Morning America (ABC); Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX).

This Week's Album Releases:

Jerrod Niemann High Noon: Niemann wrote eight of the 13 tracks, Lee Brice shares writing credits on "Buzz Back Girl" and "We Know How To Rock", and Colt Ford co-wrote and sings on "She's Fine." Niemann says the album's title reflects the need to take chances, "walk ten steps and pull the trigger" when facing the future.

Merle Haggard Okie From Muskogee 45th Anniversary Edition: While the album is a re-release, this edition includes a long out-of-print live version of "The Fightin' Side Of Me" that's never been released on CD or digitally. The two-disc set includes 38 Haggard favorites, recorded live in Muskogee, OK and Philadelphia.

Upcoming Album Releases:

April 1              Josh ThompsonTurn It Up

April 1              Dan + Shay Where It All Began

April 1              Charlie Daniels Off The Grid - Doin' It Dylan

April 8              Martina McBride Everlasting 

April 15            Oak Ridge Boys Boys Night Out

April 15            Ray Price Beauty Is...

Apr. 22            Rachele Lynae Rachele Lynae

» Everyone Likes Us: It wasn't just folks in cowboy hats as Eric Church (l) and George Strait sang together Friday night in Nashville (3/21). Judging by crowd reaction to their performance of "Cowboys Like Us," pretty much everyone liked it.





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