HOT DISH: Dixie Chicks Fly With the Eagles — and Keith Urban

All the News About Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, George Strait and Others

(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 hosts CMT’s Southern Fried Flicks With Hazel Smith and shares her recipes at

I was beyond excited when I read the press release announcing that the Eagles are set to headline a North American stadium concert tour, hitting the road June 8 in Toronto and finishing up on June 24 in St. Louis. The truth of the matter is I’m excited because the Dixie Chicks will be their special guests! Keith Urban will also perform at five of the eight concerts.

I am so thrilled that all three Dixie Chicks — Martie Maguire, Emily Robison and Natalie Maines — will be out there performing again. And, Lord knows, you couldn’t find a better singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer than my friend, Keith Urban. This lineup is about as good as it gets. Let’s thank the Eagles for bringing out the Chicks — and let’s thank the girls for playing for us.

More About Brad Paisley’s Fall
If you heard that Brad Paisley traveled by bus to Tennessee after falling onstage during his March 6 concert in North Charleston, S.C., you got the wrong information. As soon as the accident happened, Brad’s pilot, Shane Bartscheller, got a call from Doug Paisley, Brad’s dad. After Brad was treated and released at a local hospital, he was in the air shortly after midnight and was soon back on Tennessee soil.

Yes, Brad did close the show that night by performing his hit, “Alcohol,” but that doesn’t mean he drinks the stuff. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t even sip communion wine.

Lastly, now that his American Saturday Night tour has wrapped up, I see where Brad and his boys traveled 1,151,880 miles to play for 1,196,312 fans during their eight months on the road. Among the other trivia is that they used 3,570 AA batteries (for their guitar pedals and such) and 1,056 packages of guitar strings.

When Strait Speaks, We Listen
At the recent opening of the 28th annual George Strait Team Roping Classic finals in San Antonio, Texas, King George announced he’s bringing his superstar tour to the Alamodome on May 1. Strait is bringing along Reba McEntire, Lee Ann Womack and the Randy Rogers Band for the San Antonio show. He has also announced plans for his first full concert in Nashville since 2004. The Nashville date is set for April 28 at Bridgestone Arena with Reba and Lee Ann.

Lady Antebellum Take Five
Lady Antebellum have sung their way to being Grammy winners and claiming a platinum album, and they’re still on a roll with a schedule that’s getting busier each day. Nothing can stop hard work, even in the entertainment business. I don’t know what Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley did when they finally got five days off recently, but a little bird told me Dave Haywood headed to my favorite spot — Destin, Fla.

Date Set for CMT Music Awards
This year’s CMT Music Awards show will take place June 9 in the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show honors the best country music videos of the year, but you can also expect to see performances from country music’s finest. They haven’t announced this year’s host or lineup, but among those who have appeared in previous years include people with names such as Kenny, Carrie, Brad, Reba, George, Kellie, Tim, Lady A, Zac, Miranda, Martina, Blake, Sara, Keith, Toby, Josh and all the rest.

Divorce Is Never Easy
I see that a judge in Franklin, Tenn., issued a temporary injunction against Sara Evans’ former husband to prevent him from making public statements about her and their 2007 divorce. A hearing was scheduled in Williamson County Court on March 15 after Sara requested a temporary restraining order against Craig Schelske, who is actively promoting passage of a bill in the Tennessee legislature that would establish equal parenting time as the default custody arrangement in divorce cases.

In appearing before a legislative subcommittee, Schelske said Sara’s attorney used false and salacious allegations to discredit him in the eyes of the court and community. Schelske also discussed the matter on a nationally-syndicated radio talk show. Sara is now married to Jay Barker, a former University of Alabama quarterback who hosts a radio show in Birmingham, Ala., where the couple and their children reside.

More News
Big congratulations to Cody Alan, my friend who hosts CMT Radio Live With Cody Alan, on being named the Academy of Country Music’s national on-air radio personality of the year.

Hank Williams Jr. will appear April 23 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with special guests Jamey Johnson, Eric Church and the Grascals.

Gloriana, the group that’s touring again this year with Taylor Swift, is featured in the current Milk Rocks advertising campaign to encourage schools and dairies to promote milk consumption, health, exercise and nutrition. The quartet will be featured on over 50 million milk containers in schools across the U.S.

Jake Owen’s “Tell Me,” the new single from his Easy Does It album, is one of the eight tracks he co-wrote for the project. Noting that it’s one of the favorites he’s written so far, he says, “It’s got this dark, mysterious kind of sound to it. It starts out with kind of the John Wayne riding in on the open range, then you’ve got like the Bonanza thing in there.”

During his recent trek through the Oklahoma plains, Jimmy Wayne logged 65 miles in three days on his walk from Nashville to Phoenix to call attention to the plight of homeless teens. Friends and fans along the route have been kind to provide their support with food, water and other necessities.

When Justin Moore made a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, he brought along his beautiful wife, Kate, and their 2-week-old daughter, Ella Kole.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Pig Picking Cake.