Weekly Country News Round-Up: Week Of August 20, 2010

Here’s our first post in what will be a Friday Feature here at Roughstock.  We’ll collect the biggest news stories of the week and showcase them here.  This week we learned some more news about Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Gene Watson, Dale Watson and More.

Taylor Swift to re-unite with Kanye West At VMA?

New MTV VMA host Chelsea Handler hinted on her Chelsea Lately show last night (it airs at 11 PM on the E! Network) that she was going to try and patch Kanye and Taylor Swift up from the brouhaha that happened at last year’s VMA where Kanye West stormed the stage as Taylor won “Female Video of the Year.”   That’s nice and it will be a good PR stunt for Taylor and Kanye, just like last year’s was…

Kenny Chesney Shares Thoughts Behind Hemmingway’s Whiskey.

Country music icon Kenny Chesney has revealed his thoughts behind the tracks on the upcoming Hemmingway’s Whiskey album.  He had this to say about the title track written by Guy Clark, Joe Leathers and Ray Stephenson:

“”When I saw the title on a Guy Clark record, I was curious. I wonder what that means, wonder what he’s talking about? And I listened to it, and it’s a celebration of how he kind of walked between the raindrops. I do that a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time on my boat down in the Keys and over in Bimini and the Bahamas, and those are all places where he hung out. I haven’t been to Cuba yet. But when I heard this song, it just took me to those places. It took me to a state of mind. I love that part of the song where it says, “Sail away, sail away, three sheets to the wind/live hard, die hard, this one’s for him.”

Billboard Magazine also has a feature about Kenny Chesney (he’s this week’s cover artist) and his new album and The Boys of Fall documentary film.

Kenny Chesney Cheating on Girlfriend?

I don’t know how this is “scandalous” or “cheating” if you’re only dating someone but apparently there are rumors of Kenny Chesney ‘cheating’ on his girlfriend with an ESPN personality.

Gene Watson Touring Europe

One of the best vocalists in country music history just finished a tour of Europe and My Kind of Country’s Occasional Hope had  nothing but kind words to say about the artist’s tour stop in Bristol, UK.

He showed that (age and sore throat notwithstanding) his voice is still fabulous, particularly impressively so on [“Today I Started Loving You Again”], which showcased his beautiful phrasing, an impassioned version of ‘Nothing Sure Looked Good On You’, and the seductive cheating song ‘Between This Time And The Next Time’.

The9513’s latest columnist – country writer Barry Mazor – debuted this week with a fantastic piece about recent country music biographies. 

IBMA Award Nominees are out: Daily & Vincent leads the way

The 2010 IBMA Awards nominations were announced this week with Rounder Records duo Daily & Vincent leading the way with 10 nominations.  Rural Rhythm Record’s Russell Moore and IIIrd Time Out are next with six and that resurgent band is followed by The Grascals, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper and Sam Bush with five nominitations each.  Click here to see a complete list of the Nominees

Peach Pickers Writing Team Enjoying Success at Country Radio

The Peach Pickers – Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins and Ben Hayslip – have been on a roll recently with hit singles like “All About Tonight,” “All Over Me,” “Tell Me You Get Lonely,” “Put A Girl In It,” “Gimmie That Girl,” “Barefoot And Crazy” and Joe Nichols’ current tune “The Shape I’m In.”  In an article from this past-Monday the writing group discussed why they tend to keep on the lighter side of life:

Much as production/songwriting teams the Matrix and the Neptunes have done in pop and hip-hop, the Peach Pickers have established themselves as a hit-making brand name in country.

“Chicks, trucks and beer,” Akins jokes when asked what he and his colleagues tend to write about. “We used to set out an album of Hank Williams Jr. and we’d say, ‘If Hank wouldn’t say it, we ain’t saying it.’”

That’s not to say the trio hasn’t written ‘serious tunes’ because one of my personal favorites from them is the Jake Owen album cut from Easy Does It: “Nothing Grows in Shadows.”   Davidson recently released a solo record with many of their hits featured and has teamed up with Akins for a duo album that Akins says will be released on the Warner Nashville label. 

Randy Rogers Band’s upcoming album Buring The Day Road Tested

In an interview with our own Matt Bjorke, Randy Rogers discussed how their new album Burning The Day has come to life:

We also really knew these songs. Because we had rehearsed them and took them out on the road and rehearsed them again and played them on the road again.  So I think that’s a testament when you go in and set up and automatically know it, you don’t have to learn it. It helps it all work better.

Blake Shelton’s All About Tonight Hits Top Spot on Charts

The very same week his single of the same name hits the top spot on both the Billboard and Country Aircheck radio single charts, Blake Shelton’s All About Tonight scored the top spot on the Hot 200 Albums Chart.  Last week he talked with our Dan MacIntosh about the new album.

Tammy Wynette’s Husband George Richey Passed Away.

American Idol’s Casey James Signs with 19/BNA

As we reported last week, Sony Nashville has now inked 2010′s 3rd-place finisher, Casey James to a recoring contract.  He may very well be Gary Overton’s first signee since replacing longtime executive Joe Galante.  in other Idol news, the other country guy on this year’s show, Aaron Kelly is set to move to Nashville after the tour.  He said he’s in talks with a label about it. 

New Album Releases This Week:

In case you missed ‘em, here’s our review of Blake Shelton’s buddy Trace Adkins’ first album for Show Dog-Universal, Cowboy’s Back In Town.  

We also have a review of Chaos and Bright Lights, the fantastic album from Australian trio the McClymonts.  These sisters recall the best family harmony groups of recent country vintage including The Judds, SheDaisy, and The Dixie Chicks.

Dale Watson’s New Album Carryin’ On isn’t the kind of record many fans will remember says The Austin Chronicle’s Jim Caliguri.