CMA Awards Tonight, New Album Announcements from Tim McGraw, Uncle Kracker, Blue Sky Riders and Darius Rucker

Ken Morton, Jr. | November 1st, 2012

As you may have guessed, that big nasty storm known as Hurricane Sandy knocked out power at the Engine 145 home office earlier this week. That is the reason for the lack of updates the last couple of days.  Power still may be a day or two (or three or four) away, but the unofficial “West Coast Office” is going to give a quick news update this morning. All of us at Engine 145 have those hit by the storm in our thoughts and wish everyone a safe and speedy recovery.

  • The 46th Annual CMA Awards are on live tonight at 8p EST, 7 CST on ABC. If you need a scorecard to handicap the potential winners before the awards start, here you go.  Who are your favorites? Do you foresee any upsets? Anyone want to make an over/under guess on the number of Carrie Underwood changes dresses?
  • Early announcements came this morning on the Musical Event of the Year Award (Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw with “Feel Like a Rock Star”) and Music Video of the Year (Toby Keith and “Red Solo Cup.”)
  • Just one week after he cancelled a public appearance for Garth Brooks’ Hall of Fame induction, George Jones has cancelled an additional show.
  • Little Big Town released their music video for “Tornado.”
  • Uncle Kracker announced that his new Sugar Hill Records album will be called Midnight Special and will be released on November 19.
  • After his split with Curb Records, the first Big Machine Records album from Tim McGraw will be titled Two Lanes of Freedom. It will be released on February 5.
  • The Nashville Network relaunches today.
  • Blue Sky Riders, the vocal trio of Kenny Loggins, Georgia Middleman and Gary Burr, will have their first album released, titled Finally Home, on January 22.
  • Darius Rucker will release True Believers on January 22 as well.
  • Carter’s Chord member Emily Robertson and her husband Marc Fortney of Trailer Choir welcomed a new baby named Tug.
  • Miss Taylor Swift has 1,208,000 reasons to smile.
  • Our own Holly Gleason reviewed this week’s episode of Nashville for The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Gary Allan shared his disappointment with where country music has gone the last few years. “I personally think it’s a bad thing for all genres,” the country star told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “The result is now you have to leave it on the country radio station for a few minutes to even decide if it is a country radio station. You never, ever had to do that. Back in the day we were all playing for [the country] genre. You didn’t have to worry about being so politically correct … there was a lot more variety. There was a lot more passion. Now it sort of has to be right down the middle so it doesn’t offend, and I think the result is that it’s all being whitewashed. “
  • Kellie Pickler turned the Grand Ole Opry pink on Tuesday night.
  • New label Red Bow Records signed Joe Nichols to a record deal.
  • Tom T. Hall was honored as a Songwriting Icon at the BMI Country Awards on Tuesday night. “I think a song is just a song,” Hall said. “They can do it with all kinds of different bands. It’s just a lyric and a melody. I was talking to Kris Kristofferson one time. They asked him what was country, and he said, ‘If it sounds country, it’s country.’ So that’s my philosophy.”
  • Bill Dees, who wrote “Oh, Pretty Woman” with Roy Orbison, passed away at the age of 74.
  • New album releases this week:
    • Toby Keith- Hope On The Rocks- Show Dog-Universal
    • Elvis Presley- Prince From Another Planet (Live at Madison Square Garden, June 1972) -RCA-Legacy
    • Rosehill- Crooked Thoughts
    • LiveWire- Livin’- Way Out West
    • Kristen Kelly- Kristen Kelly [EP]- Arista Nashville
  1. bob
    November 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Love the Blue Sky Riders although they would probably be considered pop rather than country.

    I saw a new young duo, Striking Matches, at a Don Schlitz Bluebird Cafe show last month. SM is Sarah Zimmermann & Justin Davis. One of the songs from their new EP, “When the Right One Comes Along”, is supposed to be featured on the new TV show “Nashville” in a few weeks. The duo wrote the song with Georgia Middleman of Blue Sky Riders.

  2. Leeann Ward
    November 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I’m sure this’ll be in tomorrow’s round-up, but I can’t wait to share this where I can. It’s a song from Ashley Monroe’s album, produced by Vince Gill, that’s going to be released someday. This song makes me even more excited about the album. It’s definitely off to an awesome start.

  3. Leeann Ward
    November 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m also glad that TNN is going to be revived. I don’t know if Time Warner will end up carrying it, but it’d be awesome to see some of those old shows like Music City Tonight and Nashville Now.

  4. Rick
    November 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Leeann, I’d be far more chuffed if Time Warner started offering RFD TV rather than a revived TNN. I’d like to watch the Marty Stuart variety show some day. Sigh…

    As for Ashley Monroe, she actually recorded a new album awhile back for the Warners label out here in Los Angeles that has never seen the light of day! Hopefully her new project with Vince at the helm will fare far better and actually become available even if only in downloadable form.

    I agree with Gary Allan’s assessment of Top 40 AirHead Country Radio even though Gary’s own music has been too “roots rock” oriented for my tastes for a long time.

    The relative lack of music on ABC’s “Nashville” last night was really disappointing. My motto regarding the show is “More Music, Less Suds!” (lol)

    I’ll have to check out the Blue Sky Riders considering the personnel involved. I don’t mind pop country as long as it’s good!

  5. Rick
    November 2, 2012 at 2:44 am

    I just wanted to mention for the folks in the Nashville area that Amy Dalley will be performing full sets each Friday night during November at the “Music City Bar” venue. Amy normally hosts singer-songwriter nights on Wednesdays, but this is much more attractive to fans of Amy’s music.
    Go Amy D!

  6. Barry Mazor
    November 2, 2012 at 9:32 am


  7. bll
    November 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

    LOL, its and English thing, Barry. I think TNN will be picked up by individual stations rather than a cable carrier. I’m hopeful someone in my area will pick it up, but so far all the affiliates on the TNN site are in the south.

  8. Ben Foster
    November 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I miss the days when I could get excited about new Tim McGraw albums.

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