HOT DISH: Getting to Know Edens Edge

More News About Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Wynonna 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

Where did the young threesome known as Edens Edge get the name for their band? Comprised of Hannah Blaylock (lead vocals), Cherrill Green (harmony vocals, mandolin, banjo and guitar) and token male member Dean Berner (harmony vocals, guitar and Dobro), all three hail from Arkansas but weren’t introduced until 2004 by mutual friends.

As for their name, their Arkansas background was a contributing factor. They call the mountainous area where they come from “the pretty part.” They were driving through the area early one morning when the sunrise just overtook them. Their songwriting partner and mentor, Steve Smith, commented, “That scene is so breathtakingly beautiful. It must look like the edge of Eden.”

They became Edens Edge on the spot. They’re on the road these days opening shows for Rascal Flatts’ Changed tour with Little Big Town and the Eli Young Band.

Edens Edge are a lovely young trio. Hannah’s peaches-and-cream complexion is accented by outstanding blue eyes set behind long, curly lashes. She’s engaged to be married this fall. The musicians also include 6-foot-tall beauty Cherrill, who looks enough like Linda Davis to be her sister. Dean is just so good looking and nice, it’s hard to keep from staring at him.

They’ve been lending their vocals and support to Outnumber Hunger, a program which helps secure meals for struggling Americans. The partnership between their label, Big Machine Label Group, and General Mills and Feeding America engages consumers across the country while encouraging local outreach.

On the road, Edens Edge meet with fans and do acoustic performances by the Outnumber Hunger bus to further show their support. The trio’s debut album arrived in June, and they have also released a deluxe edition via Cracker Barrel which features three additional songs — “Roots,” “Little Bird” and “Wherever I Go” — which they wrote and produced themselves. Both editions include their Top 20 debut single, “Amen,” and their current one, “Too Good to Be True,” produced by Dann Huff and Mark Bright.

Luke Bryan Heads for the Farm Tour
Luke Bryan will set out on his Farm Tour 2012 at the beginning of October. The fourth annual tour will include eight dates in several Southern states, including five in his home state of Georgia. Luke’s recent No. 1 single, “Drunk on You,” places him in the elite group of Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean, who have three consecutive platinum-selling tracks on their current album.

Nashville Becomes Party Central
Nashville has had plenty to celebrate lately, so there’s been no shortage of No. 1 parties around town.

Last week, ASCAP honored songwriters Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Sam Hunt, co-authors of “Come Over,” Kenny Chesney’s latest hit. The party was held at the Country Music Association’s offices. Kenny got tied up and missed the event, but his longtime record producer Buddy Cannon made an appearance. There was a mob spilling out onto the sidewalk.

Also last week, BMI and ASCAP paid tribute to Will Hoge and Eric Paslay, writers of the Eli Young Band hit, “Even if It Breaks Your Heart.” And BMI hosted yet another party celebrating the No. 1 success of Brantley Gilbert’s “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” which he wrote with Jim McCormick.

And the No. 1 parties keep coming. Other events this week will spotlight Carrie Underwood, Chris DeStefano and Ashley Gorley for writing Carrie’s “Good Girl” and Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers and Jim Beavers for writing Dierks’ “5-1-5-0.”

Dwight Yoakam Debuts New Single
Dwight Yoakam debuted a new song, “Nothing but Love,” last week on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. It marked his 25th appearance on The Tonight Show, but it’s the first time he debuted new music on live TV.

The song is from his upcoming Warner Bros. album, Three Pears, set for release on Sept. 18. It was produced by Dwight, except for two songs he co-produced with singer-songwriter Beck — “A Heart Like Mine” and “Missing Heart.”

Dwight will be in Music City on Sept. 24 to receive the Academy of Country Music’s prestigious Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award at the sixth annual ACM Honors event at the Ryman Auditorium. Past recipients include Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams and others.

Phil Vassar Teams With Tennessee Titans
Phil Vassar and the Tennessee Titans are teaming up to maximize the game day experience at LP Field. He and his band will perform on the stadium’s new Titans Stage at every home game this season.

In addition to Phil and his band playing chart-topping songs he’s written for himself and others, he will also be inviting stars from other genres to help entertain the crowds.

Nancy Cardwell Named IBMA’s Executive Director
Not so many songs ago, only men were applauded and considered stars at bluegrass festivals. Times have changed. The International Bluegrass Music Association’s board of directors have announced the appointment of Nancy Cardwell as the organization’s executive director.

When Dan Hays resigned the position in February, the search began. More than 90 people applied for the position.

Cardwell served as the interim executive director since March 2012 following a 17-year stint as the IBMA’s projects director. Prior to joining the IBMA, she was a Spanish and English teacher and also spent time as a freelance journalist in Branson, Mo., and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Her book, The Words and Music of Dolly Parton, Country’s Iron Butterfly, was published in 2011.

Nancy is a dear friend of my entire family.

Sending Prayers to Wynonna and Cactus
Sending love and prayers to Wynonna and husband Michael Scott “Cactus” Moser following his Aug. 18 motorcycle accident in South Dakota. His left leg was amputated after sustaining injuries when his Harley-Davidson collided with a car prior to a concert in Deadwood, S.D. Wynonna, who was riding her motorcycle ahead of him, was not involved in the accident.

You probably remember Moser as a member of Highway 101, the band that scored No. 1 country hits in the ’80s with “Somewhere Tonight,” “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes” and “Who’s Lonely Now.” In recent years, he’s played drums in Wynonna’s band, and they were married earlier this year on her farm near Nashville.

I am so sorry about the accident. I am praying for Cactus and for you, sweet Wynonna. Take care of yourself and your man.

See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: [news id=”1692541″]Kitty Wells’ 7-Up Pound Cake.[/news]