Star-Studded Lineup Reopens Grand Ole Opry House Tonight; New Releases; Kenny Chesney Soundcheck

Brody Vercher | September 28th, 2010

  • When fans tune in to the live broadcast of the reopening of the Opry House on GAC tonight, Lucas Hendrickson says they might not notice much difference in the refurbished stage, but the performers will notice a redesigned backstage:

    Gone are the harshly lit corridors and cramped dressing spaces. In their place are 18 themed dressing rooms, honoring Western sounds, bluegrass, the women of country, the songwriting process and other aspects of the genre.

    “From the moment you walk in and look at those names on the wall, if you’re a country picker, it’s the ultimate,” says longtime member and archivist Marty Stuart. “It was time for a freshening up, so on the silver side of the flood, it’s like, ‘Thanks, God, for the flood and the insurance check.’ “

  • The newest edition of Walmart’s Soundcheck features a video interview and five-song performance from Kenny Chesney.
  • Nineteen years ago today, Garth Brooks released Ropin’ the Wind, which became the first country album to debut at the top of Billboard‘s Top 200 Album Chart.
  • Los Angeles Times‘ Randy Lewis offers a synopsis of the new Jamey Johnson video:

    A depressed gorilla walks into a bar. Likes the band he finds there playing to an audience of two: the bartender and one passed-out patron. Dances a happy dance, promptly befriends the lead singer and exits one happy ape.

  • The new Zac Brown Band single, “As She’s Walking Away,” is based on songwriter Wyatt Durrette’s actual experience.
  • Farce the Music: Country Doppelgängers 8
  • The iTunes free single of the week is Cory Morrow‘s “Second Chance.” (iTunes)
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  • New releases for the week of September 28, 2010 include:

    • Chris Cummings – Give Me Tonight

    • Hank Williams – The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings…Plus!
      Hank Williams Mother’s Best

    • Heather Myles – Live In London and Texas

    • Kenny Chesney – Hemminway’s Whiskey

    • Lou Reid & Carolina – Sounds Like Heaven to Me

    • Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector – The Brotherhood Album Featuring Rhett Atkins & Dallas Davidson

    • The Once – The Once (Re-release)

    • Rodney Dillard & The Dillard Band – I Wish Life Was Like Mayberry

    • Shawn Camp – 1994

    • Shawn Camp – Shawn Camp (Reissue)

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  • The new Kenny Chesney record may have an introspective moment or two, but for the most part, AP writer Michael McCall says Chesney returns to familiar themes: nostalgia, small town life, beachfront getaways and tequila. Bill Friskics-Warren agrees that it isn’t a radical departure, but in his review for The Washington Post, he notes that it is Chesney’s “most stylistically wide-ranging to date.”

    “Round and Round,” for example, is dirty-toned blues-rock. Elsewhere, “You and Tequila” and the title track hew closer to contemporary Americana than anything coming from the Nashville mainstream: The former features the loamy vocals of alt-country singer-songwriter Grace Potter, and the latter sports the spare, harmonica- and acoustic-guitar-based arrangement favored by the song’s co-writer, Guy Clark.

  • A benefit to help offset medical costs for Charlie Louvin, whose surgery for pancreatic cancer a couple of months ago was unsuccessful, has been scheduled for Oct. 30.
  • CMT’s Whitney Self recapped Friday’s event at Loretta Lynn‘s ranch where nearly 100 journalists, music industry peers, and family members celebrated Lynn’s 50th anniversary a country star.
  • In a post-show interview with Awaiting the Flood’s Jason Estopinal, Taylor Swift talked about inviting Vince Gill to noodle on her songs at the All For the Hall benefit:

    I feel so privileged to be invited to this event because I feel like I’m up there on the stage with the best role models I could possibly have. People who have carried out the career of singer-songwriter with such grace and dignity and carried it on with such longevity, and that’s something I can aspire to. And really being up there with them, I think we’re all such different artists — we’re all going to bring something different to the table and I think that’s going to be real fun. I said to Vince earlier “don’t be afraid to noodle on my songs with your guitar” because he has a tendency to at guitar pulls to just play along with people, and I was just like “please know you are so completely welcome to play on my music,” and he was like “Alright, I’ll do it.”

  • Stream three tracks from Max Stalling‘s Home to You at
  • The Shawn Camp album not listed as a reissue in today’s new release list (1994) was actually recorded in 1994 as his sophomore album, but as Music Fog’s Jessie Scott explains it was shelved because he refused to replace the fiddle and dobro with electric guitars like his label wanted. The following song, captured at the Americana Music Festival, appeared on that album and was later recorded by Joe Diffie and Patty Loveless.

  1. Rick
    September 28, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Tonight’s Opry is a shotgun approach with a whole bunch of artists celebrating the re-opening of the Gaylord Opry House. The 3 hour show will feature 25 different artists! That will surely set an Opry record, well until the next disaster comes along anyway.
    Opry Schedule:

    Trailer’s dopplegangers earn a solid “4 Hoots”. The contrast of Aaron Tippin and his doppleganger are profound! (lol)

    Sunny Sweeney’s “From a Table Away” has broken into the Top 30 on the Mediabase 24/7 country singles chart and is still getting station adds each week at this point. Go Sunny!

  2. Leeann Ward
    September 28, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I love Shawn Camp. I even like his versions of songs better than the famous ones, particularly “Will You Go with Me.” I’ve always thought Josh Turner’s version was boring, but I really enjoy Camp’s recording. He does better versions of two songs that Mark Chesnutt has recorded as well, “Fallin’ Never Felt So Good” and “Confessig My Love.” Of course, I love his Live at the Station Inn album and I’m pleased that these two albums have been released now. Good for him for not compromising his art. I like the way he did things on the 1994 album.

  3. Barry Mazor
    September 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Shawn’s the best. I can tell you one thing though. It was Josh Turner who asked to have a bridge added to “Will You Go With Me,” added after Shawn recorded his own version–and he agrees that it’s a stronger song for the addition.

  4. Leeann Ward
    September 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    It’s more Josh’s performance that bored me on the song. And the phrasing is different. I like Shawn’s better.

  5. Stormy
    September 28, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Woah, a Josh Turner/Shawn Camp fan face off. That’s different.

  6. Barry Mazor
    September 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Actually, I very much appreciate them both.

  7. Ben Foster
    September 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Ah, Garth Brooks’ “Ropin’ the Wind”! I remember that album SO well. That was one of the albums that made me a country music lover, which Lorrie Morgan’s “Something In Red” being the other. A few later albums helped cement my country fandom, namely Faith Hill’s “Breathe,” Dixie Chicks’ “Home,” LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue,” and Shania Twain’s “Up!”

    I got to attend that Loretta Lynn event as well, and it was a very special experience. Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle had some very humorous family and career stories, and some interesting thoughts on the music scene. I enjoyed Whitney’s recap – it included a few details that I left out of my recap. Here’s mine:

  8. plain_jo
    September 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Really enjoying the “bone Collector” album. Graddaddy’s Gun

  9. Jeremy Dylan
    September 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    That Jamey Johnson video sounds like a shameless ripoff of this scene from Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins!

  10. Michael A.
    September 28, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Speaking of Ropin’ the Wind, did the series of Garth album reviews from a few months back wrap up?

  11. numberonecountryfan
    September 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

    For Michael A.: The next Garth Brooks CD to be reviewed would be Fresh Horses. I miss the series. I hope it comes back! I thoroughly enjoyed those reviews!

  12. Janet Goodman
    September 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for posting the Shawn Camp video. Love this song.

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