(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.)
"It's a great way to get away," explained Jamey Johnson, describing his recent 18-day trip to Brazil. "Like a family getaway with [actor] Matthew McConaughey and his wife and children and family. It's summertime down there. We went to the beach, went swimming. Matthew loves Brazil. Why, I even learned a little Portuguese."
What a way to end the old year and start the new! Here in Tennessee, we were shaking and shivering and freezing to death in the coldest December and January most of us can recall. And Jamey was relaxing on the beaches of Brazil and swimming in the ocean.
While my family was dining on collards and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, no doubt Jamey was eating black beans or maybe black-eyed peas that were cooked and then rolled up in dough and fried. Jamey's an Alabama man by birth. He likes his chicken fried and his music country, so surely he knows my collards and black-eyed peas surpass those in South America. I know he knows. Jamey's been in my kitchen where we grazed during CMT's Southern Fried Flicks.
Taylor Decorates Her Home
Designing her own condo in Nashville, Taylor Swift says she used a wide variety of themes, including a pirate ship, Alice in Wonderland, an old antiques store, a fortune teller's house, a tree house, a birdcage and garden. In other words, it's a mismatched place.
My own choice of décor: Goodwill store, antique store rejects, Salvation Army, city dump, plant shop, junk and collage after collage from family and friends. There's stuff and more stuff, including boxes stacked to the ceiling containing CDs, singles, albums and pictures.
Taylor launches her world tour Wednesday (Feb. 9) in Singapore. When she gets back to the U.S., maybe she'll have time to help move some things around at my house.
Alan Jackson Makes His Mark in Houston
Alan Jackson will be inducted into the Star Trail of Fame during the 2011 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He's only the fifth person to qualify for the honor by performing to 1 million RodeoHouston fans.
Alan just completed a Canadian tour and will play two gigs in the U.S. before heading overseas in early March for his first-ever tour of Australia. The Australian tour with opening act Miranda Lambert is already sold out.
Ed, Trace and Toby
Singer-songwriter Ed Bruce seldom performs at the Grand Ole Opry, but he did recently to honor the late Charlie Louvin. Said Ed, "Charlie Louvin kept me from having to leave town when he recorded a song I wrote called 'See the Grown Man Cry, Mama.'" Ed and Trace Adkins performed the song together on the Opry. Of course, the crowd went ballistic when big Toby Keith hit the Ryman stage later that night. They stood during Toby's entire performance and kept screaming their approval.
More News for You
Brad Paisley's fans got a special treat during his show in Ottawa, Canada, when Carrie Underwood and hockey player hubby Mike Fisher showed up and joined Brad on his final encore, "Alcohol."
Kid Rock was seen having supper at the Palm restaurant in downtown Nashville while in town to shoot a video for his single "Collide," a collaboration with Sheryl Crow. The Kid told me it's a segue for Sheryl from their wonderful video for "Picture."
Carrie Underwood will sing the national anthem to kick off Country Radio Seminar next month in Nashville. Ronnie Dunn and newcomer Joanna Smith are set to headline the Sony Music Nashville luncheon at CRS.
The next time you see LeAnn Rimes, look closely. If she's no longer flat-chested, then you'll know the rumor is true!
Patty Loveless, Steve Wariner, John Michael Montgomery and the late Keith Whitley are among those to be inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame during ceremonies on April 7 in Lexington, Ky. This year's other inductees include the Goins Brothers, gospel singer Larnelle Harris and the late Molly O'Day.
Commenting on his contribution to the new album, The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume I, Randy Houser said, "I chose to sing 'I'm a Ramblin' Man' because I relate the song to my own life. I feel a kinship because of the way I live."
Dierks Bentley and his producer, Jon Randall Stewart, have set up shop in Asheville, N.C., where they and a bevy of great musicians are recording. Regarding his decision to record in North Carolina, Dierks says, "I learned from my experience recording Up on the Ridge that getting out of Nashville and away from the business side of things can be really inspiring."
By the way, Dierks and Blake Shelton have been announced as presenters at the Grammy Awards. It's a shame those two guys are not singing on the show. Are the Grammy folks treating country stars like stepchildren again?
Dolly Parton plays the Hollywood Bowl on July 22-23.
Canada's Juno Awards are equal to our Grammy Awards. I see where Taylor Swift's Speak Now and Lady Antebellum's Need You Now received Juno nominations for international album of the year.
Four-year-old Justice Brown, 2-year-old Lucy Brown and 1-year-old sweet Georgia Brown welcomed a little sister, Joni Mason Brown, on Wednesday (Feb. 2) near Atlanta. All four girls are the daughters of Zac Brown and his wife, Shelly.
Performing for the USO, the duo of Montgomery Gentry visited six military bases in Japan and Korea, where they performed for more than 8,000 servicemen and women. It was the duo's second USO tour. Said Eddie Montgomery, "God bless our heroes that are over there and everybody that supports them."
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Pepper Steak.