Some people in Nashville, you just want to root for. And if there's one artist in Nashville who deserves to be a superstar, it's Trent Willmon.
He came out with his debut album a couple of years ago, and he just never found that traction he needed on the radio charts. He's probably best known for "Beer Man," but the album had plenty of other good singles, most notably " Home Sweet Holiday Inn," a song written about the special times he would spend with his daughter.
Trent might finally be getting ready to bust out with the release of his second album, "A Little More Livin'." The album sold almost 16,000 copies its first week on the shelves, making it the best-selling new country album on Billboard's albums chart.
This week, Trent's first single off the album, "On Again Tonight," climbs to No. 25 on the Radio and Records chart.
Next week on www.toledoblade.com, read and hear what Trent has to say about that hit single and a very special single he wrote for his 8-year-old daughter as he talks to me for a story on the 11-track record.
If you're looking for an interesting guy and a budding superstar, Keith Anderson is your guy. He wrote every single on his debut album, "Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll," including his current top 10 hit "Every Time I Hear Your Name."
What people may not know about Keith is that he has an engineering degree from Oklahoma State, and he got that degree with a GPA of 3.9.
He also had his first big break in Nashville when Garth Brooks decided to record a song he wrote, "Beer Run." Garth sang that with George Jones and turned it into a big hit.
But one of the most interesting stories about Keith is his creation of "The Romeo Cowboys," a little business he and a buddy started before he signed his record deal.
"If you're going to make it in this business, you have to be creative in how you make your money - a job that allows you the ability to sing at night and write during the day.
The greatest thing I ever created was 'The Romeo Cowboys,'" Keith told me recently. "We knew all the current country love songs. We'd show up with a long
stem rose, a black cowboy hat, tuxedo shirt, tie, jacket, a guitar, and sing a love song for a woman. It'd get her guy out of the doghouse."
Keith laughs about it now, but he said it paid the bills for him for seven years.
Kenny Chesney is sitting atop the charts with his single "Summertime," and he's still drawing hordes of fans to his show. On Saturday, Kenny sold out his show at Qwest Field in Seattle - that's close to 50,000 people. The show grossed almost $3 million in ticket sales, outselling performances over the years by Metallica, Madonna,
U2, and the Rolling Stones.
"That audience was amazing ... they just came and they had so much fun," Chesney said after the show. "I told all the guys, when I'm sitting at home this fall watching a Seahawks game, I'll be able to tell everybody how we made that place rock."
Yep, she's secured another big gig again. Carrie Underwood will be singing the national anthem prior to this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game on July 11 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Security was pretty tight for last weekend's marriage between Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, but there is one thing we do know, the new couple will be residing in Nashville after they return from their honeymoon.
And finally, Blaine Larsen is another new artist with a great album out. "Rockin' You Tonight" includes his current single "I Don't Know What She Said," an incredibly funny song. Larsen and his wife Sammie are moving next month from Blaine's native Washington state to the Nashville area. It will be the first home for Larsen, 20.