HOT DISH: Martina Honored, Brooks & Dunn Get More Offers

More News on Joe Nichols and the McGraw/Hill Soul 2 Soul II Tour

(CMT Hot Dish is a weekly feature written by veteran columnist Hazel Smith. Author of the cookbook, Hazel’s Hot Dish: Cookin’ With Country Stars, she also shares her recipes at

Martina Honored by Home State
Medicine Lodge, Kan., native Martina McBride, the most famous person from her home state since Judy Garland played Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, received the Kansan of the Year award on Jan. 27 from the native sons and daughters in Topeka. Martina says she wasn’t crazy about Medicine Lodge when she was growing up there with all the hard work on a farm, but as an adult she proudly says, “My home state shaped the person who I am today.”

Brooks & Dunn Offered More Stones
I heard from Brooks & Dunn manager Clarence Spalding on the road in Omaha, Neb., where the guys opened for the Rolling Stones. He said, “The show went great. They couldn’t have been nicer to all of us. The promoter said it was the best response for the opening act all tour and offered us some more dates.” Yee haw!

Watch for Flying Clothing, Joe
They tell me women who attend Toby Keith’s Big Throwdown II tour come armed with extra clothing so they can throw garments up in the air when opening act Joe Nichols sings his latest No. 1 single, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.” “Beats all I’ve ever seen,” a management person was overheard saying while panties and bras filled the air and past his head.

Mr. Git-R-Done
Returning from church where communion was served, we were almost starving. Imagine my total shock when our 19-year old called the restaurant to get us on the waiting list and requested, “Hold a table for Git-R-Done.'” I wonder if Larry the Cable Guy will be honored when he learns even a Sabbath cannot pass at my house without somebody quoting him in one way or another. And, yes, on the loud speaker at Logan’s, the hostess said loud and clear, “Table for seven for Git-R-Done!” Everybody looked and laughed as all seven echoed, Git-R-Done!”

Johnny Cash Lived Here
For all these years, there has been no sign indicating that Dyess, Ark., is the birthplace of Johnny Cash. The 500 residents of Dyess plan to erect a memorial to their legendary native son. With the success of Walk the Line, the award winning movie, town leaders figure it’s a good time as any for fundraisers.

Speaking of the movie, members of the Screen Actors Guild voted Reese Witherspoon’s portrayal of June Carter Cash as outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role. And once again upon accepting the award, Reese drawled, “Oh, my gosh, y’all,” praised her home state of Tennessee and then gave June credit for loving and quietly guiding Johnny Cash to achieve greatness. Like Witherspoon stated, “June Carter was an incredible woman.” If this is true — and it is — then tell me: Why is June Carter Cash not in the Country Music Hall of Fame?

Brad’s Double-Platinum Time Well Wasted
Brad Paisley’s latest album, Time Well Wasted, went double platinum faster than any of his other four back-to-back platinum or double platinum CDs. Released in August, the album remains in the country Top 10 while the album’s latest single, “When I Get Where I am Going,” is pushing toward No. 1. Have you seen the killer video for the single? Wow.

Meanwhile, Brad heads to Los Angeles this week for the Grammy Awards. He’s up for four Grammys this year.

Tim and Faith’s Soul 2 Soul II Tour and More
I explained to you how Tim McGraw, co-owner of the Nashville Kats arena football team, wanted to make wife Faith Hill the first lady of Tennessee when he’s elected governor. Then additional new info reached my desk: Tim allowed it’s a dream of his to own or co-own an NFL team. Tim loves sports, and he especially likes the Tennessee Titans football team. Bud Adams, who co-owns the Kats with Mark Bloom and Tim, also owns the Titans, but Adams and his family are not about to sell the NFL team.

Before I could catch my breath, info on the Tim McGraw/Faith Hill Soul 2 Soul II 2006 tour comes flying in. The mega-tour, which promises 70-plus dates, will kick off April 21 in Columbus, Ohio. It’s been six years since Faith hit the road — and that long since she and Tim toured together. They’ve got new sets designed that will put fans closer to the concert action. Fan club presale tickets will be available.

More Dixie Chicks Controversy
Chicks got new music? Yep. Record producer Rick Rubin, who helped revive Johnny Cash’s career in the ’90s, told Rolling Stone the Dixie Chicks’ new record will be released in April and is yet untitled. He adds that the record is more rock with a country side than vice versa. Well, let’s title the record Country’s Loss.

I see where lead singer Natalie Maines told Entertainment Weekly she never liked country music growing up. It’s her desire to be far away from that! Listen, I was — and am — a fan of the Dixie Chicks, and I think all this unlove needs to stop.

Before you judge those girls, please look back and know it was radio that stopped playing their music after Natalie, who opposed the Iraqi war, gave her opinion of the president being from her home state of Texas. What Natalie said was neither wise nor smart when she spoke out on tour in London, but it was her opinion. Does that make her a bad singer? No. Does that make me not like Chicks music? No.

I appreciate the girls for making great country music, paying great bluegrass musicians good money for touring in their band, and I appreciate them using Willie Nelson and Ricky Skaggs as opening acts. Most of all, I appreciate them for recording songs written by Music Row songwriters.

Bits and Pieces
Toby Keith’s upcoming movie is no longer titled Angel From Montgomery. Right now, it’s is being called Broken Bridges.

Big Machine’s Danielle Peck was just 10 years old when she drew her own album cover. She’ll see her debut project hit the stores on March 14.

Remember last year Phil Vassar’s “Live for Today” launched a series of special segments by that name on the Today Show? This year, several of NBC’s affiliates are producing their own segments for local morning shows. Fans in Denver, St. Louis and several other cities are hearing Phil sing, “Yesterday’s gone/Tomorrow’s on its way/Live for today.” Phil went into the studio and named each individual city in the lyrics.

SHeDAISY’s fourth album, Fortuneteller’s Melody, is set for a March 14 release.

Alison Krauss and Merle Haggard set to join guitar great Les Paul for his 90th birthday celebration concert Tuesday (Feb. 7) in Los Angeles. Also performing are Edgar Winter and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry.

In the news, I see where a man was stabbed to death at Christie’s Cabaret, the same after-hours nudie joint in Nashville where Kid Rock punched out a disc jockey about a year ago. Kid, who was there with John Rich of Big & Rich, was later stopped, arrested and taken to the pokey with a DUI.

The Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation raised more than $1 million on Jan. 28 at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Garth’s wife, Trisha Yearwood, accompanied Garth to the event. Highlights included Jay Leno riding a motorcycle on stage, and baseball greats Don Larsen, Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra auctioned off a ’56 Dodge.

I ran into Tim Hensley, Kenny Chesney’s sideman for 10 years, at Rivergate Mall. Kenny is not in the islands. He and his record producer, Buddy Cannon, are producing a bluegrass album on Hensley. Why? Well, Tim is quiet and nice. When he isn’t onstage, he sits around playing his banjo, so Kenny decided he wanted to produce an album on Tim. Kenny’s a good man.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Lemon Bread.