(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 CMT.com.)
One of my faves, Brad Paisley has a new album titled Play that's almost mime -- that's to say it's almost without words. It's a mostly-instrumental project, but there are vocals on four songs. Brad always thinks of clever things to sing about ("Ticks" being a good example) and unique ways to make his albums interesting and cool. For instance, a lilting sweet instrumental on his forthcoming project is titled "Kim" for his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and a get-down-and-rowdy track titled "Huckleberry Jam" for their 18-month-old son, William Huckleberry, best known as Huck.
Not only are Brad's songs clever and cool so is his lifestyle. He is a quirky, funny guy. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw a photo of Brad with some country radio execs he visited during his Paisley Party tour. There's Brad grinning while wearing a red Jack Ingram T-shirt that was likely acquired when Jack was opening shows for Brad during last year's tour.
Kenny Chesney Rakes in Dough, Plays Among Saints
According to Billboard Boxscore, Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban walked away from their sellout stadium concert in Detroit on Aug. 2 with $3,931,995. Almost 47,000 people attended the show that also featured LeAnn Rimes, Gary Allan and Luke Bryan. Kenny and LeAnn filled 20,542 seats at Cincinnati on July 31 and raked in $1,036,392. Lordy, we may have to do a benefit for Kenny.
It ain't enough for Kenny to sing in the stadiums. He has to flex muscles, too. Did you see where he muscled his way onto the practice field of the New Orleans Saints? He experienced a full practice and ran a dozen plays with the team's first string. I cannot believe my little Kenny was out there catching a football and racing down the field with Drew Brees and Reggie Bush
In other Kenny news, one of the buses owned by Corona Extra, his tour sponsor, was involved in a minor accident outside Jackson, Miss. The bus was heading toward New Orleans when an automobile hit the back quarter of the bus where two passengers were sleeping during the morning rush hour. Kenny was in Nashville when the incident occurred and so was his band and road crew.
Keith Urban hosted a "You Look Good in My T-Shirt" online auction last week to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital. Keith and friends Dolly Parton, LeAnn Rimes, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood and others auctioned shirts they have worn onstage.
Tim McGraw is on the cover of People magazine's new country music special issue that's on sale now. Jimmy Wayne is featured as the first ever Hot Guy of the Month. Hot Guy is headed for my kitchen soon for CMT's Southern Fried Flicks. People's Hot Guy may find a home at my house.
Trace Adkins and 38 Special are the latest acts to travel to CMT Crossroads. The hit series will tape before a live by invitation only audience on Tuesday (Aug. 19) and premiere Sept. 24. Taylor Swift and Def Leppard will tape a Crossroads episode later this year.
Speaking of Taylor Swift, who is hot as a pistol, I see where "Change," a new song from her forthcoming album on Big Machine Records, will play over the closing highlights for NBC-TV's Olympics coverage. Fearless is a great title for Taylor's CD. She surely is fearless.
An attorney for Sugarland has issued a statement regarding the recent lawsuit filed by the group's founding member, Kristen Hall. The attorney claims the suit is baseless and without merit. Hall is asking for $1.5 million from her former partners, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. Hall claims Nettles and Bush have not paid her monies they orally agreed upon when she departed the group. Apparently no papers were ever signed between the threesome.
Newcomer Whitney Duncan wrote all the songs on her upcoming Warner Bros. debut CD. If her name sounds familiar, it's because she has also written songs for Rascal Flatts, Lee Ann Womack and Crystal Shawanda.
Producer James Stroud's new Stroudavarious label is hitting the ground running with Darryl Worley's single, "Tequila on Ice." Expect music by fall from Richie McDonald and Anthony Smith, who are both recording for the label.
CMT on Tour '08 will feature Jason Aldean with special guest Lady Antebellum and opening act Eric Durrance. Superstars Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and Sugarland previously cut the trail on the CMT tour and set the pace for others to follow.
Perky Kellie Pickler added to the Canadian Country Music Awards performance lineup, and Whispering Bill Anderson has been added as a presenter. The event is set for Sept. 8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Whites, two-time Grammy winners and members of the Grand Ole Opry joined other Texas country music legends when they became the newest members of the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies Saturday (Aug. 16) in Carthage, Texas. Other 2008 inductees included the late Buck Owens and the late songwriter Mickey Newbury.
George Strait reached his 78th Top 10 single with "Troubadour" last week. The late Eddy Arnold leads the tally of Top 10 singles with 91 to his credit.
Congrats to Clay Walker
Sending congratulations to Clay Walker and wife Jessica on the birth of their son, William Clayton. Born Aug. 5, W.C. weighed in at 6 pounds 12 ounces and measured 20 inches in length. Clay has two daughters from a former marriage.
Remembering Legendary Musician Don Helms
Steel guitarist Don Helms, the last living member of Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboy band, passed away last week after suffering a heart attack. Services were held in Goodlettsville, Tenn., for the 81-year-old legend. It was Helms' instrument that made those moaning sounds on such classics as "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Cold, Cold Heart."
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Creamed Corn.