HOT DISH: Kid Rock — Always From the Heart

More News About Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles, Keith Urban and Other Country Stars

(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

Kid Rock was booked at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on Thanksgiving Eve with a half-promise he would show up across the alley for the celebration of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge’s 51st birthday.

After the big concert, he did walk over to the outdoor stage and performed “All Summer Long” with his 18-year-old son Junior, a freshman at Belmont University in Music Town. The party for Tootsie’s started at noon on Nov. 23 and also featured performances by the Kentucky Headhunters, the McClymonts and the Roys before it ended at 1:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s cool to be celebrating their birthday party with them,” Kid Rock said. “I like parties and seem to excel in that type of atmosphere.”

He does excel in that type of atmosphere, but he also excels at helping others. As it turns out, he took home no money from the concert at the Ryman. Proceeds from the sold-out show went to Gilda’s Club (to help those dealing with cancer), Best Buddies (a charity for kids) and the Nashville Rescue Mission (which provides shelter and food to the homeless).

Wherever there’s a need in this great land of ours, you might see the great man from Detroit show up and sing. He does it from the heart.

Thanks for your major help, Kid Rock, and may God bless you.

Tim McGraw Finally Cuts Ties With Curb Records
Following a four-hour proceeding, Nashville Chancery Court Judge Russell Perkins ruled on Wednesday (Nov. 30) that superstar Tim McGraw no longer has to release his music on Curb Records. After several years of disputes between him and label owner Mike Curb, the judgment leaves Tim free to release music on another label.

However, the legal fight still isn’t completely over. A trial is scheduled in July to decide whether Tim has breached his contract with Curb and if any damages are due.

McGraw’s wife, Faith Hill, was in attendance during last week’s hearing.

These ongoing problems between Tim and Curb have been hard on everyone involved, including the fans. Country fans need to enjoy new music created by their favorites. They deserve it.

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles Gets Hitched
Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles has married the guy she’s been kissing whenever the group wins a trophy at an awards show. She and Justin Miller exchanged vows at a chapel in the Smoky Mountains over the Thanksgiving weekend. This is her second marriage.

Justin is a former model who appeared in the video for Sugarland’s 2006 single, “Want To.”

Keith Urban’s Vocal Cord Surgery Is a Success
Doctors who removed the polyp from Keith Urban’s vocal cord report the procedure was a success. Keith is on full vocal rest and is following doctors’ orders to not speak for three weeks. Sending prayers to the marvelous singer, songwriter, instrumentalist — with lots of love from all his fans, including yours truly.

By the way, Keith’s ready to get back to work and will be spending part of next year as a judge and mentor on Australia’s version of the NBC series, The Voice. The other judges will be
Seal, Australian vocalist Delta Goodrem and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden.

Talent Announced for CRS New Faces Show
It’s not even Christmas, but I’ve got the list of performers for the Country Radio Seminar’s New Faces Show set for Feb. 24 at the Nashville Convention Center. The lucky five performers are Hunter Hayes, David Nail, Sunny Sweeney, Thompson Square and the Eli Young Band.

Speaking of the Eli Young Band, a No. 1 single can sure make a difference in the way a band looks. There are smiles where insecurity used to dwell. Just take a gander at these Texas boys. They’re smiling so big, they’re almost laughing aloud — and it’s been like that since they hit the top of the country chart with “Crazy Girl.”

Vince Gill’s Donation to Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
Goodhearted Vince Gill donated $12,000 to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame to help fund construction of a new children’s exhibit featuring the heritage of Okie musicians. And there’s a whole slew of ’em. Besides Vinnie, there’s Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Joe Diffie, Ronnie Dunn, Bryan White and many others.

Edens Edge’s Education
The three-piece group known as Edens Edge have gotten an education from the best in the business this year. They started off 2011 opening for shows for Brad Paisley, then segued over to tour with Reba McEntire and are finishing with the top trio in country music, Lady Antebellum.

“The learning experiences have been tremendous,” said group member Hannah Blalock. “First, Brad’s ability to entertain a crowd, then as a female watching a woman like Reba and now ending the year with the trio Lady A. Wow!”

Sounds like music college to me.

Eric Church Ready for Next Step
With his latest album, Chief, going gold in two months and a year filled with awards show nominations, Eric Church figures his next bridge to cross will take him to the arenas as a headliner. Billy Currington is trying to do the same thing, so Eric can, too.

Church has announced his 50-city Blood, Sweat & Beers tour with Brantley Gilbert. Blackberry Smoke, Sonia Leigh and Jon Pardi will also appear on select dates.

When the Eric rolls out the tour next year, he and wife Katherine will have a family bus with all the comforts of home for themselves and baby Boone McCoy.

Brantley will be a great opening act for Eric. He says one of his proudest moments is celebrating his first No. 1 single, “Country Must Be Country Wide.” His group is called Band of Brothers.

“We are that close,” the Georgia boy explains.

Miley Cyrus Makes Headlines
I read where a private party was recently thrown at the Roosevelt Hotel in L.A. for Miley Cyrus’ 19th birthday. According to the news story, when her birthday cake was delivered, Miley told the crowd, “You know you’re a stoner when friends make you a Bob Marley cake. You know you smoke too much weed.”

Standing next to Miley as she blew out the candles, one of her pals, Kelly Osbourne, took the microphone and said, “I thought you said saliva was your problem.”

Parents Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus were in attendance.

I grieved over this article until I read later that her rep said Miley was joking about the cake her friends got her.

“Miley was just being a smartass,” the rep said. “It was all in jest. Miley is not a pothead.”

I do hope I can believe the rep. Miley is too young and too talented to be mixed up in such things. Besides, I prefer a smartass to a pothead any day of the week — and twice on Sunday.

Remembering Country DJ Hall of Fame Member Charlie Douglas
It used to be that radio was as much a part of a city as the church on the corner. The whole town knew the voices of those who played the records and delivered the news. It’s changed. Every week, it seems that someone loved by the masses and known by their first name is no longer on the air.

Then there are great men like Charlie Douglas. Down south at radio station WWL in New Orleans, Charlie created all-night radio for the all-night truckers. And although I wasn’t a truck driver, I’d take the radio to bed with me and listen all night to Charlie. A member of the Country DJ Hall of Famer, Charlie went home to be with the Lord on Thanksgiving Day at age 78. He’s another great man who will be greatly missed.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1675312″]John V. Brown’s Pie.[/news]