» The Churchgoers: "There are no more genres," says Eric Church, but probably before he heard about Big Kenny's newly created Electro Shine. Anyway, Church's summer concert plans include Lollapalooza, where he'll share the bill with The Cure and Vampire Weekend, but he doesn't see a culture clash. "There's good music and there's bad music," he explains. "You can have all the stereotypes that are placed on whether [music] can be country or rap or rock ... that's all broken down in a festival like Lollapalooza ... it becomes about the music." Last year, Church played at Metallica's Orion Festival and admits,"I was scared to death; we were the only country act. But what I learned that day is music still wins and they bought in. It was one of the best crowds we've had. And it was because they weren't looking at us as a country artist. They were looking at us as an artist. And I think that's the coolest thing that's happening with all these festivals."
» Everybody Has A Story: Kix Brooks, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Faith Hill are a few of the country artists who have recorded songs written by patients of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville. Music therapist Jenny Plume has been teaching sick kids to write music, and spearheaded the project. "At first I thought I'll just record the songs on my computer and that'll be great," she says. "Then I thought ... bigger. I thought, we're in Nashville, this is so great. Let's get people who are famous to do this!" The album Everybody Has A Story will be released May 14. Watch the making of it here.
» British Twang: Tea. The Queen. Bangers and mash. Kacey Musgraves. Those are just a few of the things you'd find if you were in England last week. “It's been an absolute delight coming to the UK," Musgraves says of her recent trip overseas to promote Same Trailer Different Park. Just using the phrase "absolute delight" proves the trip made a serious impression on country music's "it" girl. "I'm impressed by the super response from fans who seemed to know more lyrics to sing along to than even the Americans! The British really stand behind artists they believe in and I can't wait to come back!"
» Give 'Em Elle: "All these emotions, everything that's said and all your experience, that's what inspires the first flicker of a song," Taylor Swift says. "It's hard being a human being." Swift joins Miranda Lambert in Elle magazine's Top 12 women in the recording industry. Lambert adds, "My message is to be your own person, always—whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a superstar. We all bring something different." The girls make fashionable statements in designer clothes in the upcoming issue, available April 23. Adele, Pat Benetar and Alica Keys are also featured in the preview; see it here.
» In Case You Missed It: "I've put singles out like that before where I'll think, 'Okay. This could really be big or it could really be bad.'" That was Trace Adkins describing his team's approach to a task that landed him in the boardroom on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night (4/21). The episode began with Adkins' delivery of a check to the American Red Cross. Watch here.
Richard Sterban of the Oak Ridge Boys (4/24)
Rory Feek of Joey+Rory (4/25)
Tuesday (4/23): Blake Shelton, Hillary Scott, Sheryl Crow, The Voice (NBC); Kellie Pickler, Hunter Hayes, Dancing With The Stars (ABC).
Wednesday (4/24): Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX).
Thursday (4/25): Keith Urban, American Idol (FOX).
This Week's Album Releases
Tate Stevens Tate Stevens (Syco/RCA)
"The songs we selected for the album are a real reflection of my personality," says the season two winner of FOX's The X Factor. "They range from fun-loving to serious and everything in between." The album was producer by Blake Chancey (Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson) and includes songs Stevens co-wrote with Joe Diffe, Wade Kirby and Phil O'Donnell.
Upcoming Album Releases
Kenny Chesney Life On A Rock (4/30)
Pistol Annies Annie Up (5/7)
Craig Campbell Never Regret (5/7)
George Strait Love Is Everything (5/14)
Various Artists Everybody Has A Story (5/14)
Darius Rucker True Believers (5/21)
Hunter Hayes Encore (6/18)
» American Pickers: Keeping his promise to help former The Voice contestants, Blake Shelton gets together with RaeLynn, "So @RaeLynnOfficial asked me for a pick. Not sure if this is what she meant."