Monday, Aug 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Brian Dugger

Summer festivals around the corner

At long last, it's springtime, which means summer country concerts are close at hand.

If you're looking to experience the atmosphere of a country music

festival, I'd encourage you to check out the fan-friendly CMA Music

Festival in Nashville and Country Concert in Fort Loramie, Ohio.

The two events offer the biggest names in country music for a

relatively reasonable price.

The CMA Music Festival is probably geared a little bit more toward

families, with plenty of opportunities to interact with the stars. At

the concert venue along the Cumberland River, a full slate of rising

stars will be performing throughout the four days of June 9-12.

Simply grab a seat on the grass and listen to music all day long. At

night, country's biggest stars will pack as many as 70,000 fans into

the stadium. For ticket prices and additional information, go to www.cmafest.com.

Closer to home, Country Concert is offering its biggest lineup yet to

celebrate its 25th anniversary. Closing acts on July 7-10 include

Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, and Montgomery Gentry.

Again, this is a pretty fan-friendly event with plenty of autograph

sessions. However, the atmosphere is a lot more festive than the CMA Music Festival, and there is a lot more beer and plenty of partying college co-eds. For lineup and ticket information, go to

www.countryconcert.com.

* * *

Oops! I mistakenly left Keith Urban out of my last column when I was

writing about the upcoming CMT Awards, which air on CMT on Monday, April 11, beginning at 8 p.m. Urban is nominated for Male Video of the Year ("Days Go By"), Hottest Video of the Year ("You're My Better Half"), and Video of the Year ("Days Go By").

The CMT Awards are country music's only fan-voted awards show, and judging by the volume of notes I got on his omission, Urban will be getting lots of votes. And rightfully so. Not only is Urban one of

country music's brightest stars, he also is one of its humblest and

nicest. Voting continues on www.cmt.com.

***

Epic recording artist Miranda Lambert made a little history last week

when her debut record, "Kerosene," was No. 1 on Billboard's Country

Albums chart during its first week. Miranda sold 40,390 copies. She

is only the sixth country artist in the history of Soundscan (the

current sales-recording system) to debut at No. 1. The others were

Wynonna (1992), Billy Ray Cyrus (1992), LeAnn Rimes (1996), Buddy

Jewell (2003), and Gretchen Wilson (2004).

***

This week, Trace Adkins appears in the top spot after his new record,

"Songs About Me," sold almost 63,000 units during its first week.

***

The folks at Sony continue to roll out an impressive lineup of new

artists.

Miranda Lambert will be on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on April

6 to promote her new album. Shelly Fairchild will be on the "Late

Show with David Letterman" on May 17, two weeks after her debut album hits record stores.

A week after Fairchild debuts, Johnny and Donnie Van Zant will

release their album.

And one artist that I'm really looking forward to hearing is Jon

Randall, a solid songwriter who will be releasing his album on June 7.

And, of course, Buddy Jewell will be releasing his eagerly

anticipated second album on April 26. Buddy will be singing the

National Anthem at this week's Nextel Cup race in Bristol.

***

And finally, RCA newcomer Bobby Pinson will be getting some major

exposure this spring as the Texan will be opening for Brooks & Dunn

as they begin their tour next week.

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