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Review: Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam Delivers

Marty Stuart and Dolly Parton, Photo: Erica Goldring


Marty Stuart sold out the historic Ryman Auditorium June 8 for his 10th Anniversary Late Night Jam. The event raised over $30,000 for MusiCares with a portion also going to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Guests included country music icons Parton, Mel Tillis and Connie Smith, along with The Quebe Sisters Band, Doug Kershaw and surprise guests Ricky Skaggs and Duane Eddy.
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives gave an unforgettable show, demonstrating seasoned showmanship. The band was tight with pitch-perfect vocals. Stuart’s mandolin solo made us watch with our mouths open and listen in complete awe.
Parton came to the stage and performed several of her classics, including “Jolene,” “Coat Of Many Colors,” and “9 To 5.” Stuart then joined Parton for a special rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” Included in the often-hilarious banter with Stuart, Parton gave her trademark laugh after Stuart jokingly made a reference to Willie Nelson wondering if she had any “rolling papers.” Parton also added she was very excited about her upcoming tour starting in Knoxville.
Among her performances, Connie Smith shared her first meeting with country music legend, Marty Robbins. Smith’s vocals were hauntingly flawless and brought everyone back to the early days of country music.
Highlights also included Mel Tillis and Ricky Skaggs each singing their classic hits and sharing funny stories, making us feel we were hanging out with them back stage. Marty Robbins, Maybelle Carter, and Johnny Cash were also present. Trust me, they were there.
There were many other magical moments including Stuart bringing fashion icon, Manuel, on stage, Eddie Stubbs ad-libbing chicken, funeral home, and Manuel radio commercials, and cloggers raising the energy in the house to full tilt.
The show ended with the entire audience participating in the classic, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” and when the last note was belted out around 1:30am, we knew we had all been to church.
Can one show really change the way you look at country music? This one did. It’s easy to forget the incredible artistry of authentic traditional country music when we are focused on current radio adds and chart placement. Thanks to Stuart and his fellow guest icons, this night was a great reminder of our history, our heritage, and perhaps most important, the value traditional country music still has today.
For more information, visit www.martystuart.net.

More Photos From Music Fest Week

Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam, Josh Turner’s dance contest, Josh Thompson and more…

Marty Stuart’s (L) Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium raised over $30K for MusiCares Nashville flood relief. His guests included Keith Urban (R), Vince Gill, Gene Watson and Stuart's band the Fabulous Superlatives.

Josh Turner hosted a dance contest at The Family Zone stage during CMA Music Fest. Winning first place were sister and brother Julie and Jedi Willis, from Ashland City, Tenn. Pictured (L-R), front to back: Julie and Jedi Willis, MCA Nashville’s V.P. of National Promotion Van Haze, Universal Music Group Nashville’s Sr. V.P. of National Promotion Royce Risser, Turner, and FOX’s Tennessee Mornings host Shane Tallant

Columbia Nashville's Josh Thompson performed a set of songs including his current single "Way Out Here," and his debut Top 20 "Beer On The Table," in front of a lively crowd at the CMA Music Fest River Stage on Thursday. Pictured (l-r) Renee Bell, EVP A&R Sony Music Nashville; Casey James, American Idol Season 9 Finalist; Thompson; Sheri Warnke, CMA VP/Strategic Partnerships.

Country artist Matt Gary took first place in the Andy Griggs Celebrity Poker Tournament at Cadillac Ranch on June 10. Sponsored by Digital Rodeo, winnings benefited charity organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Middle Tennessee flood victims. Participants included Jeff Bates, Bo Bice, Due West, Chelsea Field, Buddy Jewell, O’Shea, The Roys, and more. Pictured (L-R): Matt Gary (1st place), Tuff Hedeman (2nd place) and Lucas Hoge (3rd place). Photo: Bev Moser.

Blake Shelton at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field. Photo: Alan Mayor

Darius Rucker at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field. Photo: Alan Mayor

Jason Meadows jams on a mini guitar before he signs it for a fan in the Waggin Train Booth at the Fan Fair® Hall at 2010 CMA Music Fest.

Sherrie Austin at the annual CMA Music Fest Parade, the official start to the CMA Music Festival.

Festival Attendance Booms, Up 16 Percent

Fans at the Nightly Concerts at LP Field in Downtown Nashville during the 2010 CMA Music Festival. Photo: Donn Jones / CMA

CMA Music Festival attendance hit an all-time high this year. Each night at LP Field was a complete sell-out, with average nightly attendance topping 49,000, for an increase of 16.7 percent over last year. This tally includes four-day ticket packages, promotional and single night tickets. 
In all, 37 artists participated in the 40 hours of star-packed Nightly Concerts at LP Field.

Estimated daily attendance throughout the Festival in 2010 was 65,000 compared to 56,000 in 2009. The increase was felt in the free zones, public events, and concert venues, including Riverfront Park, which experienced a daily increase of 6.4 percent over 2009, when the area was opened to the public for the first time.

When the final counts were tallied, there was a 33.3 percent increase in the sale of four-day ticket packages, which resulted in a decline in the sale of single night tickets.

“After all we have been through, and all the hard work everyone contributed to getting the venues and businesses ready for our fans, this is a huge win for everyone who cares about Music City,” said Steve Moore, Chairman of the CMA Board of Directors. “This community needed a big win and we got it.”

According to the NCVB, the direct visitor spending generated by CMA Music Festival in 2009 was $22 million. Figures for 2010 are expected to be even higher and will be released by the NCVB at a later date.
 
Businesses in Downtown Nashville that suffered catastrophic flooding were motivated to jump-start their recovery by re-opening in time for CMA Music Festival.

CMA will donate half the net proceeds from the event to music education through a partnership with the Nashville Alliance for Public Education called “Keep the Music Playing,” and the remaining half to flood relief via The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Festival partners including the ABC Television Network, Chevy, and Manwich also stepped up with flood relief donations.

Fans enjoy the activities, free samples and giveaways in the Fun Zone on Saturday, June 12. Photo: Donn Jones

“The Sixth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade” drew an estimated 14,000 cheering spectators. Following the procession, the fun kicked into high gear with “The Fifth Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party” on the Chevy Music Stage at the Bridgestone Arena Plaza before an estimated crowd of more than 7,000.

The Greased Lightning® Fan Fair® Hall at the Nashville Convention Center drew appearances by 253 artists and celebrities. Exhibit booths sold out in record time. Attendance over the four days was 55,385 – an increase of 4.25 percent from 2009’s high of 53,000. Highlights included visits from Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, The Judds, Kix Brooks and Taylor Swift.

New digital applications were a big success. More than 4,500 fans downloaded the new CMA Music Festival iPhone app; more than 7,000 created their own custom schedule of Festival events via the Web site; digital promotions added more than 34,900 subscriptions to the CMA, Chevy, GAC, and Jason Aldean mobs; and more than 54,000 texts were sent to the jumbo screens at LP Field.

According to Music City Merchandise, which designs and produces the Festival’s merch collection, the event experienced record merch sales in 2010, up 10 percent over sales in 2009.

The Festival was filmed for a three-hour television special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” hosted by Tim McGraw and scheduled to air Wednesday, Sept. 1 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on ABC. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer. Gary Halvorson is the Director.

2011 CMA Music Festival will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, in downtown Nashville.

The Riverfront stage. Photo: Donn Jones

CMA Music Fest Photos

Blake Shelton’s fan club party, Judds reunion tour, Martina McBride at the Premiere Radio remote, Blair Garner’s After Midnite party, Riverstages and more…

Blake Shelton hosted his annual fan club party at the Wildhorse Saloon. The sold-out crowd requested songs and for every song he didn't know, Shelton donated $20 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. His final tally was $510. Miranda Lambert's mother, Beverly, requested the Black Crowes song, "She Talks To Angels," telling the singer, "I have a $100 request. If you don't know it, you have to double the donation." After conferring with his band, Shelton performed the Black Crowes hit. "Dancing With The Stars" finalist and ESPN correspondent, Erin Andrews, requested "Whiskey Bent And Hell Bound" by Hank Williams Jr. However, she told Shelton that she wanted Dierks Bentley to sing it. Surprise guest Bentley then took the stage. Other surprise guests were Laura Bell Bundy and Miranda Lambert. In all, Shelton's fan club raised over $31,000 for LLS that evening. Pictured (L to R) – Blake Shelton and Erin Andrews.

The Country Music Association presented The Judds with a 25th Anniversary plaque during their “The Final Encore” tour announcement at the 2010 CMA Music Festival. (L-R) CMA’s Bobette Dudley, Wynonna Judd, acting CMA Executive Director Steve Moore, Naomi Judd, Kerry Hansen of Big E Enterprises Management, and WME agent Greg Oswald.

Premiere Radio Networks, the official radio partner of The 2010 CMA Music Festival, hosted 18 of Country radio’s biggest stations, and the syndicated show, After MidNite with Blair Garner, at the Nashville Convention Center last week. More than 60 artists and celebrities stopped by, including Martina McBride (pictured above).

Blair Garner's After Midnite party, held Friday night at the Wildhorse Saloon. Pictured (l-r): Jaron of Jaron And The Long Road To Love, Laura Bell Bundy, Blair Garner, Miranda Lambert and Jarrod Neimann.

Point of Grace with Brenda Lee at the CMA Music Festival opening parade. Brenda Lee was the Grand Marshall. Pictured (L-R): POG members Dana Cappillino and Denise Jones, Brenda Lee, and POG member Shelley Breen.

Sammy Kershaw prior to his performance on the River Stages on Sunday. Pictured (L-R): CMA’s Kyle Quigley, Sammy and Jake Kennedy of BLA.

Artists Use Music Fest To Spread Message

Many artists and songwriters are using upcoming CMA Music Festival appearances to benefit their charitable initiatives. Here’s some of the latest:

••••••Musicians On Call, which brings music to the bedsides of hospital patients, will be the beneficiary of two big events this week. Today’s (6/8) 4th Annual Country Weekly Fashion Show and Concert begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Wildhorse Saloon. Luke Bryan will perform, and Joe Nichols will be interviewed. Among the fashion models and/or performers are Bucky Covington, Love and Theft, Bo Bice, Pam Tillis, Trailer Choir, Whitney Duncan, Julie Reeves and others. Clay Walker is hosting the event alongside emcee Suzanne Alexander (GAC).

••••••The Songwriters Series at the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville’s Reverb Room also benefits Musicians On Call. The three night event starts off with a tribute to Kenny Chesney on June 10 with Mac McAnally, Craig Wiseman, and Brett James, airing live on Chesney’s No Shoes Radio. The June 11 evening will feature Chris Tomkins, Dave Berg, and Marc Beeson. Then Dallas Davidson, Tom Douglas, and Wynn Varble will close the series on Sat., June 12. Expect surprise guests. Shows take place at 8:00 PM, with tickets starting at $10 at www.TicketAlternative.com.  Visit www.hardrock.com for additional information.

•••••Chely Wright’s Reading, Writing & Rhythm Benefit Concert has lined up Trisha Yearwood, Rodney Crowell, SHeDAISY, Jamey Johnson, Bucky Covington, Justin Moore, and others to support music education in public schools. Show is today, Tuesday, June 8 at 8:00 PM at TPAC.

••••• Sarah Buxton, Jedd Hughes, Buddy Jewell, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, Jim Femino, Tailgate South, Devin Belle, Mike Willis, and Danny Mitchell, will play a benefit for songwriter Tony Lopacinski tonight (6/8) at Dan McGuiness pub from 6 to 10pm.

••••••In its third year as an official CMA Music Festival event, Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam takes place Wednesday (10:00 PM) at the Ryman Auditorium. Benefiting the MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund, this event will feature Keith Urban, Cowboy Jack Clement, Dallas Frazier, Ronnie Milsap, Ralph Mooney, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, and more. www.ticketmaster.com

•••••Online social network and country music lifestyle destination Digital Rodeo is sponsoring the second annual Andy Griggs Celebrity Poker Tournament, to be held Thursday, June 10, at Cadillac Ranch. Winnings will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Middle Tennessee flood victims.

••••Blake Shelton will host the National Rifle Association’s inaugural sporting clay shoot, with proceeds benefiting flood relief efforts through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. June 10, 2010 at the Tennessee Clay Target Complex from 8:00 am – 1:30 pm.

••••The Teddy Gentry & Friends Benefit for Flood Relief is Thursday, June 10, 7-10pm at 2nd Avenue Live. No cover, all ages.

•••••On Wed., June 9 the Ty Herndon & Friends benefit concert will raise money for the Middle Tennessee chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Michael Peterson, Julie Roberts, Anita Cochran, Diana DeGarmo, Amber Hayes, Herndon and more will perform. Nashville Palace, 7 p.m.

••••• Bo Bice will take the stage of the Tin Roof on Wednesday, June 9 to help raise funds and awareness for Not Alone, a non-profit organization which assists military families. Joining Bice will be Thom Shepherd, Wynn Varble, Rob Crosby, and more. The show starts at 8 PM. Tickets are $10.

••••••••Patty Loveless will be spreading awareness of COPD, the lung disease that took the life of her older sister Dottie, during CMA Music Fest. Throughout the Festival, there will be free screenings offered at the DRIVE4COPD booths at the Sports Zone and Fan Fair Hall.

HonkyTonk TV Spots, Webchat With Urban, See Flatts On Today

Honky Tonk TV is scheduling artist interview slots for June 7-13. Through a partnership with Microsoft, artists are also invited to come by the Microsoft booth at Fan Fair Hall to mingle with fans, play XBOX, explore gadgets like Zune, and tour Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8, Office 2010, Silverlight, Bing, Windows Phone and the Surface. Artist reps should contact Honky Tonk TV at 615-206-3463 or [email protected] for details.

••••••••••

Rascal Flatts will head to New York City to perform on NBC’s Today show “Summer Concert Series” on Friday, June 11. This appearance is the day prior to their visit to the CMA Music Festival where the band will sign autographs for fans at the Greased Lightning® Fan Fair® Hall in the CMT booth and will also perform at LP Field later that evening on Saturday, June 12. Rascal Flatts will launch a new tour in two weeks, the “Nothing Like This Tour,” on June 25 in Raleigh, North Caroline with opening acts Chris Young and Kellie Pickler.

•••••••••••

Keith Urban will web chat tonight (Monday, June 7th at 5:00pm CST/6:00pm EST) with fans about his current tour Summer Lovin’ 2010, appearing at CMA Fest, his performance with John Mayer at the CMT Awards, and his new single “I’m In.” Fans can submit questions in advance at www.keithurban.net/live or via Facebook or Twitter. The chat will be streamed live at www.keithurban.net/live.

Chevy Parade, Party To Open CMA Music Fest

The CMA’s relationship with longtime supporter Chevy is still going strong. The CMA announced today that a Chevy sponsored parade and block party will kick-off the CMA Music Festival on Wed., June 9. Both events are free and open to the public.

The parade starts at 11:30 AM/CT, with Brenda Lee as Grand Marshal and members of the National Guard driving artists in Chevy vehicles. Participating in the parade will be Lynn Anderson, Katie Armiger, Rodney Atkins, The Band Perry, Bo Bice, Ash Bowers, Carter Twins, Jeff Cook, Diana DeGarmo, Fast Ryde, Colt Ford, Brantley Gilbert, Gloriana, Josh Gracin, The Grascals, The Harters, Buddy Jewell, KingBilly, Jesse Lee, LoCash Cowboys, Lonestar, Jerrod Neimann, James Otto, Danielle Peck, Point of Grace, Marty Raybon, Pam Tillis, Trent Tomlinson, and Chuck Wicks.

The Fifth Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party will follow the parade at 1 PM on the Chevy Music Stage on the Bridgestone Arena Plaza (corner of Fifth Ave. and Broadway).
12:50 PM-12:55 PM Bria Kelly (National Anthem)
1:00 PM-1:20 PM David Nail
1:35 PM-1:55 PM Chuck Wicks
2:10 PM-2:30 PM Jerrod Neimann
2:45 PM-3:15 PM Joe Nichols
3:30 PM-4:00 PM Randy Houser

The Chevy Music Stage on the Bridgestone Arena Plaza Free and open Thursday – Sunday, June 10-13 (see schedule below). At the stage, fans can test drive a new Chevy and the car maker will donate $10 for every test drive to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s flood relief efforts.

Thursday, June 10
11:00 AM-11:25 AM Bomshel
11:45 AM-12:10 PM  Tyler Dickerson
12:30 PM-12:55 PM  Jaron and the Long Road to Love
1:15 PM-1:40 PM  Blaine Larsen
2:00 PM-2:25 PM  Randy Montana
2:45 PM-3:10 PM  Kentucky HeadHunters
3:30 PM-4:30 PM  Classic Country Show featuring Lynn Anderson, Jim Ed Brown with Helen Cornelius, Jeannie Seely, and Gene Watson
4:50 PM-5:15 PM  Doug Stone

Friday, June 11
11:00 AM-11:25 AM  James Wesley
11:45 AM-12:10 PM  Katie Armiger
12:30 PM-12:55 PM  Mark Wills
1:15 PM-1:40 PM  Fast Ryde
2:00 PM-2:25 PM  The Harters
2:45 PM-3:10 PM  Steve Azar
3:30 PM-3:55 PM  Chris Janson
4:15 PM-4:40 PM  Brantley Gilbert
5:00 PM-5:25 PM  Emily West

Saturday, June 12
11:00 AM-11:25 AM  Trent Tomlinson
11:45 AM-12:10 PM  Jesse Lee
12:30 PM-12:55 PM  Brady Seals
1:15 PM-1:40 PM  Mallary Hope
2:00 PM-2:25 PM  Ash Bowers
2:45 PM-3:10 PM  Julie Roberts
3:30 PM-3:55 PM  Jason Boland
4:15 PM-4:40 PM  Thompson Square
5:00 PM-5:25 PM  Shel
5:45 PM-6:10 PM  Bo Bice

Sunday, June 13
11:45 AM-12:10 PM  Whitney Duncan
12:30 PM-12:55 PM  KingBilly
1:15 PM-1:40 PM  Carter’s Chord
2:00 PM-2:25 PM  Confederate Railroad
2:45 PM-3:10 PM  Jason Michael Carroll
3:30 PM-3:55 PM  Trailer Choir
4:15 PM-4:40 PM  LoCash Cowboys
5:00 PM-5:25 PM  Stealing Angels

http://www.cmafest.com/

Fan Events Surround CMA Fest

CMA Music Festival officially runs June 10-13, but events for fans start as early as June 8. Here’s a run-down of some of the events sent to MusicRow. If you would like your event to be listed, please email [email protected]

••The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum has special programming on the docket. During June 8-13, Museum visitors will be able to attend autograph signings and/or performances featuring some of country music’s most popular artists. Live from the Museum Store, Presented by CMT, will include autograph signings with Dierks Bentley, Diamond Rio, Danny Gokey, Jake Owen, Josh Turner and Trisha Yearwood, and a performance by and autograph signing with Cherryholmes. The Museum will also present a special Songwriter Session with Jeffrey Steele. Details at www.countrymusichalloffame.org.

•• City of Hope’s 20th annual Celebrity Softball Challenge will be June 7 at 7 p.m. at Greer Stadium in Nashville. Playing for the “After MidNite with Blair Garner” team are Keith Anderson, MLB’s Ben Broussard, Chuck Wicks, David Nail, Joe Nichols, Josh Thompson, Luke Bryan, comedienne Melissa Peterman, JP Dumont of the Nashville Predators, CMT’s Katie Cook as emcee, Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinart of Gloriana, Randy Montana, Savannah Jack, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ken Amato and Donnie Nickey of the Titans, Vince Gill and Whitney Duncan. Grand Ole Opry team players include Brian Lambert as coach, Carrie Underwood, Cheyenne Kimball and Tom Gossin of Gloriana, Craig Morgan, Colt Ford, Felix Cavaliere, Jaron & the Long Road to Love, Jason Aldean, Wade Belak of the Nashville Predators, Julianne Hough, Justin Moore, Mallary Hope, GAC’s Storme Warren as emcee, The Band Perry, Titans Courtland Finnegan and Justin Gage, Trailer Choir and Two Foot Fred. Tickets ($20) are available at www.ticketmaster.com. An online auction is at www.auctionsforhope.org.

••The Porter Wagoner Memorial Artists & Anglers Fishing Tournament is set for Tuesday, June 8. Country music artists and celebrities will be paired up with top professional bass anglers for a day of fishing on Nashville’s J. Percy Priest Lake. Bobby Bare, Mel Tillis, Ash Bowers, Jeff Cook, Easton Corbin, Andy Griggs, Todd Harrell of Three Doors Down, Wade Hayes, Brice Long, Matt Kennon, Jeremy McComb, Trent Willmon and others are set to participate. The weigh-in will take place at the Music Valley Event Center. In addition, the pre-tournament reception and flood relief party scheduled for Monday, June 7, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., will be at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant in Hendersonville, TN.

••Lynn Anderson and George Hamilton IV will co-host the 31st Sunday Mornin’ Country® Celebration at TPAC’s James K. Polk Theatre on June 13 at 2:30 pm. The inspirational event will feature performances by Louise Mandrell, Buddy Jewell, Jason Crabb, Gary Morris, T. Graham Brown, a reunion of many original “Hee Haw” cast members, and a musical tribute to the legendary Roy Clark. Tickets are $20 and available at  www.TPAC.org or by calling TPAC, 615-782-4040. Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted for Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank.

••The R.O.P.E. (Reunion of Proffessional Entertainers) Spectaclur will be Wed. June 9, 7 p.m. at the Al Menah Shriner’s Temple in Nashville. It will be hosted by Keith Bilbrey with performances by Lorrie Morgan, Crystal Gayle, John Conlee, Charlie McCoy, Tommy Cash, David Frizzell and more. Adult admission is $20, and children are $10. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to flood relief. For details call Leslie Elliott at (615) 860-9257. Ticket orders can be sent to  R.O.P.E., PO Box 2048, Madison, TN 37116.

••Darryl Worley’s fan club party is set for Tuesday, June 8 at The Stage on Broadway. Doors open at 11 am, followed by a performance and autograph signing.

Among the other previously announced events are:

June 7
7th Annual CMA Global Artist Party at The Stage On Broadway
Darius Rucker and Friends Benefit Concert for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Wildhorse Saloon

June 8
7th Annual AristoMedia Global Showcase at The Second Fiddle
Chely Wright’s 10th Annual Reading, Writing, and Rhythm Concert at TPAC – James K. Polk Theater
Country Weekly Fashion Show & Concert at Wildhorse Saloon

June 9
2010 CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena
Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam at Ryman Auditorium

June 12
Grand Ole Opry Fan Fair Matinee featuring Pam Tillis, Mandy Barnett, Mark Chesnutt, and more at Ryman Auditorium

Lambert Added To CMA Fest; Summer Tours Name Supporting Acts

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert is the latest addition to the performance line-up at the CMA Music Festival. Single-night tickets to the Festival’s Nightly Concerts at LP Field go on sale Sat., April 17, for the event running Thursday through Saturday, June 10-13, in downtown Nashville. Individual nightly concert tickets start at $30 and are available by calling 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378) or via www.ticketmaster.com.

Artists currently scheduled to appear at LP Field include (in alphabetical order):
Thursday, June 10: Jason Aldean, Danny Gokey, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, and Carrie Underwood.
Friday, June 11: Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.
Saturday, June 12: Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Randy Houser, Martina McBride, and Rascal Flatts.
Sunday, June 13: Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, and Blake Shelton.
Artists and schedules are subject to change. Additional artists will be announced soon.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Toby Keith’s American Ride Tour launches June 19 with James Otto on board for 16 dates across the U.S. Otto will join Keith, and special guest Trace Adkins, at select shows through August 22.

Chris Young hit the road with Alan Jackson last week (4/8) when the tour kicked-off in Estero, FL. Between dates on the Jackson outing, Young will join Platinum-selling headliner Miranda Lambert, opening a pair of dates May 7 and May 8 on her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour.

Radney Foster will join Jewel on her acoustic Star Light Café Tour in June. He will open the shows with a solo set in 14 cities beginning June 11 in Atlanta and ending June 27 in Seattle. Foster’s latest CD, Revival, was released in September 2009. 

Free Downloads From CMA Music Fest; Celeb Softball Challenge

It’s hard to believe the CMA Music Festival is only a few months away. As line-ups are finalized, the CMA is working to get fans excited about the event running June 10-13 in Nashville. The Country Music Association and iTunes® have teamed up to offer a free digital music sampler, available through May 1 here.

The sampler includes Trailer Choir “Rolling Through the Sunshine,” Burns & Poe “Don’t Get No Better Than That,” Ash Bowers “Stuck,” Derek Sholl “When They Come Back,” and Veronica Ballestrini “Don’t Say.”

Plans are also underway for the 20th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge. Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan have already signed on to play in the fundraiser for City of Hope which unofficially kicks-off the 2010 CMA Music Festival. The game is Monday, June 6, 2010, 7 PM at Greer Stadium  in Nashville. A special package via Ticketmaster offers four tickets for $60. To date, the Celebrity Softball Challenge has raised over $2 million, with all proceeds benefiting City of Hope.