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
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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
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.