OFFSTAGE: Country Music’s Good News for 2013

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

There are some things that are probably going to suck about 2013. Like, someone’s going to lose the Super Bowl. The fiscal cliff will happen. And my daughter is leaving for college. (That might just be my own personal fiscal cliff.) But the good’s going to outshine the bad for country music fans. There will be new music and old bands and cool ways to see your favorite stars. So far, here are the new year’s best bets:

Keith Urban will be in your living room two nights a week, thanks to his new gig as American Idol judge. It all starts on Jan. 16.

Jason Aldean will play Wrigley Field on July 20, which is an honor for him and a thrill for anyone within a 100-mile radius or so of the legendary Chicago baseball field.

Blake Shelton has made it clear that he isn’t going to stop tweeting anytime soon. So hooray for his candor, his guts and his unfiltered opinions.

Bub City Chicago is going to be the brand new place to go for brisket, grits, 125 whiskies and live country music from up-and-comers. I hope this spot starts a trend, and more just like it pop up all over the country.

The Dixie Chicks are getting back together. It may be for just that one night at the Craven Country Jamboree in Craven, Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 13. But one night is so much better than no nights.

Kacey Musgraves ’ album will finally be here. I haven’t been this excited about a former Nashville Star contestant since Chris Young and Miranda Lambert released debut albums.

The TV drama Nashville will return on Jan. 9, so we can find out if Rayna agreed to tour with Juliette, if Juliette goes through with the wedding, and if Gunnar and Scarlett will just fall in love already.

Lastly, a country superstar is going to have a baby. I just know it. Call it my mother’s intuition.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.