(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.)
Revival at our church, Dickerson Road Baptist Church in Nashville, began with an amazing Sunday morning service on Sept. 23. Our dear friend and one of the greatest singers on the planet, Alison Krauss, sang at that service to the delight of the worshipers. We were truly blessed and happy to have Alison and her son in our presence.
Alison tells me she and another great singer, Jamey Johnson, will appear on The Late Show With David Letterman on Oct. 11. They'll perform "Make the World Go Away," the first track from Jamey's new album, Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, set for release Oct. 16. Hank passed away in 2010 at age 74.
Jamey lined up an all-star cast to honor one of the best songwriters ever. It features Jamey singing with Merle Haggard on "I Fall to Pieces," Vince Gill and Leon Russell on "A Way to Survive," Emmylou Harris on "Don't Touch Me" and Willie Nelson on "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me." And that doesn't even include the other songs featuring Jamey and Ray Price, Ronnie Dunn, Asleep at the Wheel, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare and Lee Ann Womack.
Of course, George Strait is on the album, too, joining Jamey for "The Eagle." I'm still shaken up over Strait's announcement last week that he'll be doing his last tour in 2013 and 2014.
In the meantime, Jamey's tribute to Hank is a killer album.
Jason Aldean Goes to Dallas for Annual Concert for the Cure
Jason Aldean has picked Dallas for his seventh annual Concert for the Cure, an event to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. The will take place Oct. 27 at the Gexa Energy Pavilion. All tickets -- more than 20,000 of them -- were sold within four minutes when they went on sale this summer.
Jason has a friend who died from breast cancer, which is all the more reason to do his part to find a cure before his daughters grow up.
"This is one of the nights I look forward to most every year," he says. "I'm really proud of the money we've raised so far, and it feels great to be able to honor our friend who passed away at such an early age from breast cancer. Everyone has been affected by this disease at some point, and I want to do my part to help find a cure before my daughters grow up. I know Dallas is ready to help us!"
The Dallas concert is the final show on Jason's 2012 My Kinda Party tour. He sold out every show on the tour, so it's safe to say the boy is not chillin'. He's hot! And he's probably going to get even hotter when his new album, Night Train, is released on Oct. 16.
Jake Owen Is Still Enjoying the Summer
Summer has officially ended, but Jake Owen is just getting started with his four-song Endless Summer EP. He'll also be headlining this year's CMT on Tour -- Jake Owen: The Summer Never Ends 2012 -- which kicks off Oct. 10 in New York City. Love and Theft and Florida Georgia Line are his special guests on the tour.
But summer hasn't gotten away yet, at least not for Jake.
"Summertime is something that really opens people's minds," he says. "That's what this music is -- just a way to keep people rolling all year long."
Jake's red-hot single "The One That Got Away" sits at No. 11 on Billboard's country songs chart.
Carrie Underwood Brings Blown Away Tour to Nashville
Carrie Underwood brought her Blown Away tour to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, and right off the bat, fans agreed that the tour was going to live up to its name. Using a rising floor and special effects, fans were transported to the scene of a tornado. She performed her hits one after the other beginning with "Good Girl," "Undo It" and "Wasted." She followed with "I Told You So," and "Two Black Cadillacs" and a quick costume change in tandem with "Last Name" and "All-American Girl."
"Temporary Home" and "Jesus, Take the Wheel" left fans drying their eyes, but Carrie's heaping helping of "Cowboy Casanova" replaced the tears on their faces with smiles. She had five costume changes, including wearing hubby Mike Fisher's Nashville Predators over-sized jersey with short shorts.
The biggest highlight of the night was Carrie's performance of "Remind Me," which usually brings out a video of Brad Paisley singing along with her. However, Brad had his pilot rush him from a gig earlier that day in Las Vegas, and he made it to Music Town just in time to walk onstage singing "Remind Me" with a totally tearful Carrie.
Just thinking about it gives me chills. Fans say Carrie gave the best concert of the season.
Meet Greg Bates
One of a rare breed, young Greg Bates was born and raised right here in Nashville. They say he had a natural tendency to write songs and sing. Listen, I've been in this town more than three decades, and Greg Bates is the first person I've ever heard of that was born here ripe and ready to write songs and sing.
Bates, a graduate of Belmont University, continued to hone his skills during college where his undeniable talent caught the eyes and ears of Music Row star-makers. He signed a songwriting and artist development deal with Big Machine Label Group. His first single, "Did It for the Girl," is already a Top 20 hit and still rising on the charts. His debut EP is available everywhere digitally and includes five songs all written or co-written by Greg.
He hit the road recently as the opening act on Brantley Gilbert's Hell on Wheels tour and is kicking butt. Greg calls it a rollercoaster journey.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Sets Attendance Record
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville set summer attendance records. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, 197,938 paying people visited the museum.
At the moment, the museum has exhibits spotlighting the Bakersfield Sound, superstar Taylor Swift and Hall of Fame member Patsy Cline. I cannot think of anything as great for country music fans and their families as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Civil Wars -- the duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White -- got together with more than 700 fans last week in Nashville to celebrate their first gold album, Barton Hollow. The event at Grimey's New and Preloved Music, an independent record store near Music Row, included a meet-and-greet with the duo and free limited edition posters and other merchandise for the fans.
When they have downtime on the road, the members of Rascal Flatts either sleep, play golf or write songs. The latter pays the most money unless you're Tiger Woods.
Taylor Swift is launching the release of her new album, Red, with a countdown on iTunes and Good Morning America. A new track from the album will be available for purchase exclusively from the iTunes store for the weeks leading up to the album release, and Taylor is providing a personal preview of the songs each Monday on GMA. Red will be released worldwide on Oct. 22.
See the new Hot Dish recipe of the week: Broccoli Casserole.