Featured Artist

Jason Aldean Interview

Monday, October 8, 2012

Met with Jason Aldean a few days ago and he was doing ok...just ok, I guess. 

Usually, he's pretty pumped up, but I've now met his mellow side.  They'd booked me to talk with him about his new album (which is AWESOME) but he seemed to want to talk about other things too.  Aldean's been run thru the wringer on all the gossip tv shows and websites, but let me just say this about what I saw...he's humbled, he's apologetic, and I think he's got his priorities straight now.  When you're on top of the world, sometimes it takes a small avalanche to bring you back down to earth...and you can quote me!  

It's good to be the king, says Tracy Lawrence!   His golf team has won 2 years straight....I'd say it's not fair to win your own tournament, but he really is that good...and stacks his team!   And , I'm not complaining...my team came in second in the scramble, shooting an incredible 54 ...that's 18 under par, y'all!   Best part is...he raised over $25,000 for breast cancer research with his Golf For the Cure.   WTG TL!!

CMA Music Fest

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not too late to get your CMA Music Fest tix...4 days of meeting your fave stars and big concerts...all downtown Nashville.   Alan Jackson, Carrie, Brad, Rascal Flatts, Scotty, Rascal Flatts..yep, they'll all be here.   Check it out at cmaworld.com!

Trace Adkins

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trace Adkins is touring some smaller theaters this summer so he can get up close and personal with his fans...to do a little story-telling.   He's the best at it since Johnny Cash.  Anyway, he'll tell a few stories and crack a few jokes, I'm sure, but it's not gonna be the same old concert you've come to expect.  See if he's coming to your town at traceadkins.com

Dare Devil

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Well, well, well...Jakey dared the devil and it jumped back and bit 'im.    Jake Owen kinda' got into the country biz years ago while he was recovering from a wakeboard accident and started writing songs.   Now, he'll have a little more time to work on those songs...

since he's having to cancel his tour dates to recover from a snowboarding accident in Crested Butte.   Maybe we can call him "Snowy Butte" now...ok, a little mean, but he's taking it all in stride.   All the canceled dates are already being rescheduled..get well, daredevil!  

Superstar Miranda Lambert

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I remember the first time I ever interviewed superstar Miranda Lambert.   I was in the car pick-up line at my kid’s school and she was a TV talent show winner/just-signed to a record deal wanna-be.....or, so I thought.   I’ve interviewed plenty of  ‘em ….and plenty of ‘em come and go.  

They do all the right things to get the win, then their record deals fizzle.   Well, this "just- getting-to-know-you" quickie cellphone interview was different…here was an artist who didn’t listen to the media coaches…she spoke her mind, no matter the consequences... 'cause she knew who she really was.  She is what she is…and I like it…a LOT.   Now, I’m driving down Music Row to get just a few minutes of her ever-so-precious time these days…and I can’t wait to hear her unfiltered words…

I love talkin' to new artists.   Just this week I've interviewed American Idol's Casey James (the one Kara asked to take off his shirt)...Eric Passlay (tall Texan and writer of 4 current hit songs by other artists)...and Jake Owen, who I saw in concert this week with Keith Urban.  

 

These guys aren't jaded yet....when I ask 'em something they give it back to me..from the heart.   I get honest, unfiltered answers that aren't tired or pre-planned.   It's fun to throw 'em off, too...I usually like to ask 'em "what doesn't your mama know about you.....yet?"  

Hot Hot Hot

Thursday, July 28, 2011

If I hear one more person say “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity….” well….I’ll still be sweating.   It’s even getting to the artists.  I  talked to Luke Bryan yesterday and he said his last outdoor show had a thermometer backstage and it read 120 degrees…

said he has to tone down the show a bit just to get thru it without passing out.   Luke said a recent golf tournament he was at carted away 17 people in ambulances cos of the heat.  I dunno.....has it always been this hot or are we just wimpin’ out now?!

Big Country Star

Friday, June 17, 2011

I get lots of press releases from P.R. people that feature big stars and lotsa' wannabe's....but this one caught my eye today.   A soldier's widow has released an album of songs that deal with love, family, and country.   It's extra-special 'cos she's really lived the lyrics...

it all started when she was in the hospital having their baby when she heard the news on the radio that the Iraqi war had started....and with her husband in harm's way, she started writing a journal...that turned into lyrics...that turned into songs..that turned into an album...Inspiring, to say the least.   She's an unknown to most of us, but maybe not for long..Her website is www.autumnletendre.com

Call Me Chicken

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Call me chicken...I don't care.   I hung up my racing shoes with Brooks and Dunn's Legends series awhile back, after a pretty scary wreck.   Two cars wrecking in front of me and I couldn't avoid it..went up in the air and when I crashed, it broke off all the wheels and other parts...spilling fuel everywhere.   Just the thought of burning up made me realize I'm better off being a watcher...or occasional honorary "flagger."  

 So, when the Richard Petty Driving Experience came to Nashville a few days ago...well, Ms. Chicken cheered on Bucky Covington...who slid outta the passengers seat with a huge smile.   Hey, his girlfriend told me he's gone 120 on a motorcycle with her...now that's just crazy!

Carrie Underwood

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ever wonder if Carrie Underwood watches the show that launched her career...American Idol?    Yep, she does, says her husband, Mike Fisher.    That is, unless it's on game night.   

Mike just got signed to the NFL's Nashville Predators and Carrie is ALWAYS at the games when she's in town....along with lots of other hockey fans like Vince Gill and Kellie Pickler.   Wonder if Carrie sneaks a hot dog when nobody's lookin'

Winter in Nashville

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This is nuts...this crazy, crazy weather....of course, the kids have been out of school MORE than they've been IN school since the middle of December.   And, even when the snow had melted in our part of the county, there's always one hilly road that the school buses can't get up...so they close down the whole county again.  

Of course, it's affected Music Row, too.   Even my interviews have been canceled and postponed 'cos none of us Southerners can drive in this stuff...buncha' lightweights!   Here's one I just got...record rep called me to say tomorrow's artist interview is postponed 'cos the artist is stuck at JFK and can't get out of NYC....monster storm.  Hmmm... I think Jimmy Buffett's got the right idea.

Country Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful here in Nashville..snow, ice, freezing rain.....but last night the artists tour buses rolled into the Walmart parking lot with hundreds of underpriveledged kids and just as many volunteer chaperones waiting to take 'em Christmas shopping. With $150 each to spend, the kids were off and running.

First time I've ever gotten a little girl to shop with...and found out how different they are than the boys. I'd always chaperoned boys during my 15 years with this Christmas For Kids charity and not a one had ever wanted to visit the clothes department!   It figures...she just ignored the Hannah Montana and Justin Bieber stuff....guess they're too "old school" now.  Artists had braved the snow and ice to sign autographs and let the fans tour their buses, for a small fee,  that helped pay for the kids' shopping sprees. Charlie Daniels always hosts a concert with his country friends that helps fund the bulk of the charity.   Bo Bice hosting a golf tourney this spring to help fund it, too.  Always fun for the kids....but even "funner" for the adults who get to experience the thrill of Christmas through little kids!   Merry Christmas...y'all!

 

 

"Why Wait"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just interviewed Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney (Gary LeVox was in a wreck just minutes before the taping...not hurt) and we talked about the funniest video on TV...."Why Wait"....the Rascal Flatts parody of an insanely funny movie "The Hangover"...

It's about a bachelor party in Vegas gone horribly wrong and the boys did their best to "out-do" Brady Cooper and Ed Helms...only Gary LeVox got bitten by the spider monkey on the first day of shooting.... Shoulda' gone with the tiger in the movie...at least they got out without tetanus shots! Gotta hear the rest of the Rascal Flatts interview on Racing Country to see what happened next!!



Jamey Johnson

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Okaaaay...so, have u seen the new Jamey Johnson video "Playing the Part"...it's, uhm...different...pretty much follows a guy in a monkey suit around Hollywood, after he gets fired...one thing leads to another and somehow it ends up...

well, watch it, even online if u have to. By the way, Jamey made friends with Matthew McConnaughey at the ACM's and got him to direct this piece.

 

 

"The Boys of Fall"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wow...can a sport really change your life? When I interviewed Kenny Chesney recently, I had heard his song but I hadn't seen his TV documentary "The Boys of Fall"...so I asked him about some of his memories of high school football...can u believe he was a wide receiver?

 Yep, he said he quit growing in 9th grade...lol...but I didn't know that his East Tennessee youth was sooo affected by his coach AND the guys he played with. Still stays in touch with 'em after all these years. The things he learned from being part of a team, even tho they weren't winners, was relying on each other...the goals and togetherness....stuff he says he uses to this day with his whole organization..the band, his record label...even playing in the big football stadiums he'd long ago dreamed of playing...football, that is. Think the sold-out stadiums for his music are ok for him, too. He's back at it next year...watch out!

 

 

I'm Moving

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm currently looking for a new home....in Siberia, please. GIMMEABREAK! If I ever complain about being too cold again, somebody needs to remind me how much I can't stand this hot weather!   It's kinda' put a damper on the outdoor concerts, too, as you don't wanna clap too hard or you'll work up a sweat. Thank goodness the Brooks and Dunn concert finale will be indoors. It's been rescheduled for Sept.2 in the big arena here in Nashville. They're still not saying just who the "special" guests will be....but, they are good friends with Reba and Strait, y'know....hmmmm...the scaplers aren't even sweating this one!

 

 

 

 

 

Heat Wave

Monday, June 14, 2010

Guess it's always SOMETHING! Last time I blogged about too much water here in Nashville and now I'm BEGGIN' for it! We've had a heat wave here that everyone is complaining about..... it's so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog, the other day!

We got thru two huge, international music festivals here in Middle Tennessee that claimed the lives of two fans and sent hundreds to the hospitals when humidity was over 50% and the heat index went above 100 degrees. But, in spite of the weather, the CMA Music Festival was a huge success that had fans sitting in the sun to see their favorite country artists dripping with sweat onstage... but not too many people minded, as long as they got to see or meet their favorites before the week was out. Some stayed cool when Taylor Swift spent 13 hours in a huge arena to hang with 10,000 of her closest friends/fans. Trace Adkins just thanked the fans who were sitting on the very spot that was under water a month ago... thankful they didn't cancel their vacation plans when they'd heard Nashville had historic flooding.

And, speaking of hotness... Tim McGraw just got People (country edition) Magazine's "hottest guy" award. No wonder Faith will pummel any "grabber" if she has to! Ok... timeout for a lemonade!

Tune Town has Drowned

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gimme a towel, PLEASE!! As you may or may not know (because the national news media has just about ignored this crisis) TUNE TOWN HAS DROWNED. Nashville and surrounding counties came under attack from Mother Nature this past weekend, giving us historical amounts of rain...

Some are even saying MORE than we've had in 500 to a thousand years, altho I'm not sure how the Native Americans rain gauges made it to that news anchor's desk.

Anyway, I've been busy with Red Cross duties, as I volunteer to help in mobile feeding and have been representing them at news conferences. It's bad, really bad... in the billions of dollars BAD. As of yesterday, not only did the 13-20 inches of rain flood neighborhoods, but our Grand Ole' Opry Stage was filled with people in canoe's, instead of Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens, submerging all the staging and electrical equipment, along with the hallowed wood floors that have supported so many legends over the last century.

Next door, the Opryland Hotel evacuated 1,500 guests as the bottom floor filled with 10 feet of water. It will be months before it opens again and that could affect plans for fans coming in for the CMA Music Fest next month. Of course, the area where the festival stages the most events, Riverfront, is completely under the Cumberland River right now. The Wildhorse Saloon is flooded, as is the Hard Rock Cafe. Everyone is working 24/7 to pump the water out, but it has no where to go right now.

If you want to help those in Nashville effected by the flood you can visit www.nashvilleredcross.org and click DONATE NOW to make an online gift, mail a check to the Nashville Area Red Cross, 2201 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203, Call (615) 250-4300 to make a donation by phone, or Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation on your mobile phone.

Next year, guys, mix up the groupies that you use to surround the side stage acts... retreads all night.

Hey, I usually don't care for the Hollywood "stars" they stick in as presenters, but it was kinda interesting to hear Cher say that Hank Williams was one of the first singers she ever remembers... some 60 years ago, uhm... well, however old her OLDEST body part may be!

My girl Miranda won the award that she most deserved... ALBUM OF THE YEAR... if you haven't heard every song on REVOLUTION, go buy it or download it... worth every penny.

Broadway's Laura Bell Bundy is a heckuvan entertainer (and sings "countrier" than most), but can she ever get a radio hit? Finally... just realized Charles Kelly of Lady A HAS to be Ronnie Dunn's lil bro'!!! (somebody needs to do a DNA check).....

Guess there's an opening for an awards show sound guy... the highly-promoted fan-voted swansong that Brooks and Dunn were to sing was barely audible... and Miranda, you're right... producer Frank Liddell deserves a few seconds to thank... oops, we're outta time! That's Vegas, baby!

Spring is Coming

Monday, March 29, 2010

Know what? We're just holding our breath as Spring is trying its hardest to show some new life around here. Y'know, I think it's been the quietest winter EVER here in Music City as people just wanted to stay home and stay warm.

It was one of the most brutal winters on record for Nashville, but I know the nastiness wasn't just a Tune Town thing. Even FLORIDA treated us like a cold, wet dog on Spring Break! But, now, the sun is out... the birds are chirping.... the songwriters are scribbling lyrics on their Pancake Pantry napkins again........ Taylor Swift is blooming, as usual.... and Kenny Chesney is ready for a little Margaritaville in this town. Break out the Hawaiian Tropic!

Love Don't Let Me Down

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, another snowy day of filming for the crew of "Love Don't Let Me Down" here in Nashville. It's a new movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow and our very own Tim McGraw, whose career is TaylorSwiftHOT! Know anyone who HASN'T seen The Blindside?

As an extra on the new movie and Tim's Southern Voice video, I get to see him from another point of view... and, it's cool, really cool to see him open up a new career that fits him so well. Y'know, he's conquered several goals, so far... the singing, the writing, the producing, the acting. Hmmmm.... can that political thingy be too far away now?

Pants On the Ground

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Looks like the phenomena of American Idol's old guy audition of PANTS ON THE GROUND is kickin' it country, too. The original song by "General" Larry Platt..... was done as a joke and judge Simon Cowell scowled that he had a "horrible feeling this will be a huge hit." Even Brett Favre got his Viking teammates singing it after victory over the Cowboys.

Well, the internet made it so, and even country music is taking off on the song about too much cheekage (is that a word?)... Some of you might just remember that it was COUNTRY MUSIC that first had "pants on the ground"... remember STRINGBEAN on the old Hee Haw and Grand Ole Opry? He couldn't keep 'em up!

And... just Google it "country" and you'll find all kinds of versions... "pants on the ground... giddy-up"... lol... here's some of the lyrics... "With the gold in your mouth, hat turned sideways, pants hit the ground, call yourself a cool cat, lookin' like a fool, walkin' downtown with your pants on the ground..." ...Pull them britches up now... it's too cold outside!!

Tough Trade

Monday, January 11, 2010

A little showbiz news from Music Row. The holidays got so busy with, well, shopping, parties and family stuff... that I didn't have a chance to tell you some good news. I was cast as one of Sam Shepard's ex-wives in a new TV Drama called Tough Trade that'll be filmed in Nashville.

We shot the pilot in December at the old Nascar Cafe where I used to record my half of Racing Country. Long days and night... 16, 18 hour days, but it was pure fun. Plus, I got to talk to my buddy Trace Adkins every day and he's chompin' at the bit to come back on our show and tell everybody what he's been up to (about 6'6" I'd say). He plays my ex-husband's body guard and does a verrry believable acting job.

Sam Shepard, Cary Elwes, and Lucas Black star in this show that's about a legendary, dysfunctional country music dynasty that's having a bunch of struggles. Just got word that the show's been picked up..... Stay tuned.....

Christmas

Monday, December 7, 2009

Here's a couple of familiar faces for the holidays... Trisha Yearwood just filmed a PBS TV special at her old alma mater here in Nashville... look for Christmas at Belmont on Dec. 23rd..... and... Wynonna Judd and her children hop aboard the Santa Train which takes them to 14 stops in small rural towns in Kentucky and Tennessee...

...They're visiting needy families and handing out 15 tons of gifts and food to Appalachians. The GAC network caught it all on tape and it's airing now thru Christmas.

Oh, and the annual Christmas 4kids bus tour, where artists let fans tour their buses for a fee... it all goes to help needy kids get Christmas presents... some of the buses this year include Keith Anderson, Daryl Worley, Randy Houser, and Gretchen Wilson... this is the one day of the year they make sure to have their beds made!

There's several artists around town involved in charity and it just makes you feel good to know they're not just a voice and a face... they've got big hearts in country music.

When I first saw her at age 15... standing on the stage of Nashville's old Planet Hollywood during a press conference, I thought, hmmm... she looks like she really doesn't want to be here...

...tall and gawky with her head down most of the time during label president Scott Borchetta's introductions of his new label and cast of characters... turns out, she's the one who REALLY belonged there... Miss CMA Entertainer of the Year winner.

She's an old soul, I quickly found out, and a kid who could catch on fast. One of her old high school math teachers told me the other day that, even in high school, Taylor could be gone out of town for two weeks taking her music out to the fans, and then come right back to school and immediately catch up on Algebra and other subjects that are hard for most people.

By the way, hundreds of those high schoolers who were surrounding her at the CMA awards were bused in from her old high school earlier that afternoon as a part of a field trip at the invitation of Tator Tot, as Kellie Pickler calls her. She may write about those kids from high school but she's definitely givin'em some love, too! ...one of those guys holding up an "I love Taylor" sign had put his phone number on the sign... and had almost a thousand texts and calls on his cell by the next morning!

Chris Young

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I've been a fan of Chris Young for a long time and I am SO HAPPY for him to have made it to the top of the Billboard Country Charts... #1 with "Gettin' You Home"!! He's one of those truly humble guys who's just so happy to be where he is, not pretentious and full of himself.

He honestly seems to be surprised at how much love is coming at him from country music fans, but he's gonna be in for a lot more of this kind of attention if he keeps putting out albums like his current one "The Man I Want to Be"... not a bad song on there. And look at the photo gallery on this website... you'll see how CUTE he is, too!

Jessie James

Thursday, October 15, 2009

So, I first heard of Jessie James from the movie soundtrack "Confessions of a Shopaholic" ...then the video shoot in Nashville for "My Cowboy" which will play during the CMA Awards coming up in a few weeks.

Next thing I know, I can't get this Jessie James / Jamey Johnson / Randy Houser written song out of my mind... Justin Timberlake got her in touch with John Rich to produce it, too.

I tracked her down in Atlanta and found out she was going to be in Nashville the next day... do the interview and catch her live show at the Exit-In. It's like Shania on steroids... just a powerhouse singer/songwriter. Watch out for this one.

Next sighting... will be on the arm of Billy Currington at the November 11th CMA awards show... "anything goin' on there?"... coy answer.... hmmmm...

Taylor Swift

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oh Em Gee... there's so much to talk about here in Nashville.. but I've gotta make it quick. Ok, ok.. I know it's been overplayed..... the Taylor Swift/Kanye West episode on the MTV Video Awards show.

He's rude and egotistical and always apologizes after he does these things (remember the Gretchen Wilson incident?), but it made for a shining moment for Beyonce and Taylor to be impressive role models.

I'd just seen Taylor the night before in concert here in Nashville and she brought in her old high school dance team (who were also in the video that Kanye raged on) and hugged her fans as she waded thru the thousands of kids in the arena. It was incredibly entertaining as she told her song's stories thru video background and numerous set and period costume changes that put you in her real life stories that's she's been able to turn into a solid career... and with her head held high.

And, that, is more than I can say about Kanye West. Let him get his own awards show and get it over with.

Brooks and Dunn

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just after Brooks and Dunn announced their impending split I got the opportunity to ask them firsthand how it came down. So many people have asked me WHY it's happening, I just had to be blunt. And, blunt I was.

It was Paul Shadt who said "why don't you ask them 'who Garfunkeled who'? So, I did. I think it was Kix Brooks who gave me a maniacal glare in a way that implied "Cathy, I thought we were friends."

Well, it was definitely the longest 3 seconds of my life before Ronnie Dunn finally broke the awkward silence to let me know that it was HE who finally got fed up with the musical compromise between label execs and duo. He just made up his mind right then and there and called it quits.

Kix sat muted in front of me. I had to drag it out of him, too... "so, Kix, how did you react?" He said he thought it best to end the act, too, and call it a good 20 years together. It had run its course and it was just "time" to end it.

So, as shocking as it is to some fans, it's really a miracle that two extremely talented musicians were able to hold it together so well, for so long. Both are excited about solo projects... writing, albums, winery biz, etc. But not so quick... there's still the farewell tour.

Many of you go to country music concerts or races with the hope of having a great time. It never occurs to us that it could be dangerous, does it? But, at races, you've seen it happen... a wheel flies off a race car at Indy and kills a spectator, even though every reasonable precaution is taken.

But, still... it can happen... like during the onset of a storm in Edmonton, Canada, recently. You heard about it. Billy Currington was on his last song of the set when it hit... the stage collapsed and a pole hit his head, giving him a concussion and a cut above his left eye... but, worse, his bass player suffered a severed artery and nerve damage in his arm, as he was pinned under the wreckage for half an hour.

Nearly 75 more were injured. Most tragic, was the death of a fan, a single mom who had been so excited to go to this concert and had won the priviledge of sitting on the side of the stage to watch the show and was crushed when part of the public address system fell on top of her.

There are outdoor concerts every day and most of the time, it's a celebration between the stars and their fans. We're sad for the victims and their families, but we also see some goodness in all this.

Kevin Kostner and his group were to perform next. He was actually onstage when it buckled and was pinned under some rubble. Although he wasn't injured, some of his crew had minor injuries. Kostner ended up going to the hospital and visited with the injured.

Some of the artists on the show have said they want to return to Edmonton in the future and help out any type of benefit to support the victims. Even in a time of sadness the heart of country music is still about relationships.

Country Fanbase STRONG

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Well, if there was ever any doubt that the format was in trouble, it was all washed away with the downpours we had during the CMA Music Fest (formerly FanFair).

Record numbers turned out to listen to great music, meet their favorite stars, buy t-shirts and celebrity auction items, and hang out with fellow country music lovers. However, the weather wasn't always so cooperative as we had rainouts, much like NASCAR experiences. ....only, we don't have to wait for the track to dry here. The huge Titans stadium was filled with fans who heard Brooks and Dunn and a little bit of the Reba show when they were told that a major storm was about to hit. Instead of going back home or to their hotel rooms, they ran for cover in the coliseum hallways or just held cardboard boxes over their heads or whatever they could find. Many were drenched, but most waited out the 3 hour delay when the music kicked back in after midnite, or so, to hear their favorites. Yep, that's why they say country music has THE MOST devoted fans! I think it'd be more appropriate to change the name of the annual event to the Country Music LOVEfest!

I dunno... think I'm probably the only person to ever move to Music City who can't carry a tune... BUT, I do have song ideas, sometimes.

Occasionally, I'll write down a "hook" or maybe even a couple of verses and a chorus. I can't ever seem to write a "bridge"... which I think is the most interesting part of a song. Maybe it's just drivel... maybe I've got some winners. Lots of incomplete songs just waiting for a professional to put the Top 30 touch on 'em. Yeah, I'm just one of thousands of songwriter wannabe's in TuneTown who can't get a break.

Truth is, I've only pitched a song once and it got shot down... BRUTALLY, at that! Guess that made me a little shy about letting anyone else see my work. That's why, when I interview a singer/songwriter I sometimes ask them how they can possibly put their feelings and life experiences in a song for all to see. But, those who do it and win get paid the big bucks for taking chances on "getting their feeling's hurt."

Ok... got my spine back... now let's try it again... let's see... starts off like this... Moved to town with no one around who knew my name back when... (aww, scratch that... this is too painful)!

We're called Twangtown, Music City, Tune Town, Cashville, and even Nashvegas... but, this week we're all basking in the spotlight of Hillbillywood. Yep, the premiere of Hannah Montana, the Movie has all eyes looking this way.

Not only did Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley film a chunk of the new G-rated movie here, but he's looking to move more TV and/or movie production to Nashville. He told me that even Disney got excited about Tennessee after seeing all our natural resources and cheapER production costs last year when filming around Nashville.

I got a chance to hang out with everyone when I was cast as an "extra" for a week on the movie last June (and, no, BRC didn't know I was there). Let me tell you something, Billy Ray and "Tish" have done a great job with the kid. Miley is one of the most professional and poised entertainers I've ever been around. AND, when BRC tells me that Miley has pushed her own career from the beginning, I believe it. She handled the re-takes, the cast and crew, the direction, and THE 100+ degree HEAT... like a trooper. That girl has talent and spirit... and never copped an attitude. She loves what she does.

Look for Rascal Flatts, bff /Taylor Swift, and Bucky Covington to grab a scene, too. Billy Ray and Miley both have new songs and singles from the movie that are really good! BTW, throughout the years, Mr. Cyrus has always had time for Racing Country.... never gotten "too big for his britches"! You hear gossip and wonder if it's true.... well, it's not. Talk to the hand!

Tim McGraw

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ah hah! You thought I might rag on McGraw here, didn't ya? Nope, not gonna do it. As a matter of fact, he's surprised me more than anybody.

When I first met him early in his career, he came across as a young, tough guy... very confident and macho. I've been around him... before Faith and during Faith... and I was a strong supporter when they announced they were to be married.

Just thought they were so good for each other. Since then, I've seen him grow into being a real man. He's one of the most conscientious and caring stars in Tune Town. Not only for his own family, but he reaches out to help others all the time and doesn't seek the publicity you see from Hollywood stars and their agents. He just does it. As a matter of fact, as a TEAM, Tim and Faith help others who aren't so priviledged, and are wanting to make this a huge part of their lives... and, probably POLITICAL lives, in the future! I love the fact that he doesn't "prepare" himself for interviews, or put up a facade. He's honest, direct, and transparent... and everybody else can "take it or leave it." Sometimes, I'm really shocked at things he'll say during the interview... or more so, the WAY he says it! "That's right, Cathy, that's just what I said." Hmm... wonder if Producer Geof will bleep out this part of the conversation... uhmmm... maybe. But, Tim so strongly believes in his causes, that he's ON FIRE for what he believes and doesn't hold back. Plus, he throws in a bit of humor to keep you in the game with him. So, from being the new kid in town "with an attitude" to maturing into a strong, convicted leader, I'm proud to say Tim McGraw is one of the best we have to offer. Just one thing, tho... don't go grabbin' Faith's man... you've seen what happens there!

Jessica Simpson

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ok.... I've got to say something about all the nastiness going around about Jessica Simpson... ESPECIALLY this weight issue. Lots of newspapers, tabloids and bloggers have been really mean-spirited to her in so many ways.

But now they're saying she's "fat" or "full-figured" and showed a picture of her at a Florida concert in some unflattering jeans. Look, maybe she has put on a few pounds, but she's still a very beautiful woman and I can testify that she is even prettier in person. Last summer was my first time to meet and interview Jessica, and I fully expected her to be the airhead that the media had portrayed. Instead, I found her to be EXTREMELY down-to-earth, funny, naturally beautiful, and INTELLIGENT!! Wow, that taught me a lesson in believing everything you read. She really is fun and quick-witted. Talented.... of course. Maybe she did put on a few pounds recently, but so what? As her former trainer says... "I think if more people looked the way she looks now, the country would be a lot healthier."

You know, I'm always asked who's my favorite country star to interview and it's a hard one to answer, because ANY star on any given day can have their moments. It's when you really connect, with all the barriers down... and all their "media" training put aside, that I really get to know and have some fun with that singer.

Sometimes, it's at the first of their career, when they're fresh and naive, that it's the most fun.I remember telling Taylor Swift that, of all the artists I've ever interviewed at the first of their career, she has the TOTAL package.... such a winner and SO YOUNG! I instantly adored her and felt a connection, like I'd known her all my life. Great things will continue to happen to her for many years to come. Then... there's the ole pro's... Tim McGraw... hmmm.... well, next time....

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