Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SOLD ! ! !


Monday, July 30, 2007

SIGNED ! ! ! !

9 Days Late... a GAZILLION grey hairs and a probable ulcer later, Josefina has signed her closing paperwork. She has until Noon tomorrow to get her money to the title company, who assured her she'd be looking at a stack of lawsuits if she didn't.

It took her TWO HOURS to sign her closing paperwork. She insisted on having every word on every document translated for her. They finished at 8:30 at night.

While she was doing that, I was teaching myself to curse in Spanish. She's going to get a lovely "welcome to your new home" note left on the kitchen counter.

Hopefully, all the money will change hands tomorrow and we'll get posession of our new home tomorrow night. My mom flies in to town Wednesday (ha - she was supposed to be helping me decorate the house I would have moved into last week!), and we have 9 days to vacate this house. And you'd better believe, I'm taking every single one of them.

Watch this space for the celebratory screaming tomorrow.

New Carrie On The Way - Highway 16

Yeah, so... they released the single an hour or so ago, and we're getting slammed by Carrie fans. It's loading into the system - Jay Thomas will have it on his show after the top of the hour. Hold tight!

Carrie Underwood’s New Single, “So Small,” Hits Country Radio Today!

Track Is the First from Her Upcoming October 23 Release, the Follow-Up to Her Six-Million-Selling ACM Album of the Year, Some Hearts

Nashville, TN – Two-time GRAMMY winner and reigning CMA and ACM Female Vocalist Carrie Underwood has new music at country radio today, with the delivery of “So Small,” the first single from her upcoming album, releasing October 23. The song was co-written by Carrie with Luke Laird and GRAMMY-winning songwriter Hillary Lindsey (who co-wrote three tracks on Carrie’s debut disc, including the chart-topping “Wasted” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel”).

Of the new single, Carrie reflects, “‘So Small’ is a feeling song on how people invest so much of their time and energy into things that aren’t really important. And you don’t really realize that until it’s too late.”

After co-writing one song on her six-million-selling 19 Recordings/Arista Records/Arista Nashville debut disc, Some Hearts, “So Small” marks the first of several Carrie co-writes to be included on her upcoming album, and its message is one she feels can hit home with everyone, including herself.

“And we’re all guilty of it, as I know I am, of just letting silly things get in the way. The smallest thing can almost ruin my day, and at some point I realize, ‘Good gracious, Carrie! What are you doing?’ I have a great life, and we need to remember the things that are truly important.”

Underwood’s to-be-titled new disc reunites her with producer Mark Bright, who helmed seven tracks on Some Hearts.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The House Closing From HELL

Sorry I haven't been around... it would take me all morning to update you on what we've been through this week, and trust me, it's not a fun read. Short version of the story is we still haven't closed - everything has been done except Josefina singing her paperwork - and we are probably getting a lawyer Monday morning.

I'm completely out of the country music loop, missed the Big & Rich #1 party, completely could care less that Garth is releasing a new album, and my rock-n-roll hubby last night was the one to inform me that The Wreckers have split up. I'll catch up eventually.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Nothing to Wear

You know how you sometimes stand in front of your closet (if you're a girl) and look at all your clothes, and you have nothing to wear?

And it's not that you have "nothing" to wear, it's more like you have nothing "right" to wear. Not the right look, or fit, or the perfect outfit to give off the impression or feeling that you're looking for.

Well right now, I truly can stand in front of my closet and have nothing to wear. Because Monday night, while I was working at Vacation Bible School, my husband packed our bedroom. All of it. My closet is empty, and I was left with just the scraps that were in the laundry.

Yesterday morning, I had to call him at work because I'd been searching for 10 minutes and couldn't find any socks. I managed to find a sweater and jeans. Sure, it's July, but the studio is often cold, so a sweater it was. Until I managed to dump half a cup of coffee down me on the way to work and had to spend the rest of the day in an XM t-shirt.

And that, my friends, was just the beginning of the day.

Today was SUPPOSED to be the most awesome day of the week for me. I was SUPPOSED to be buying a house. I was SUPPOSED to get possession of it after work today. I am SUPPOSED to be off work tomorrow and Friday because I'm SUPPOSED to be getting a house full of company (actually - TWO houses full!) that was SUPPOSED to help me move.

However, the house closing from hell still hasn't happened, and I can't buy a house until I sell this one. They tell me I'm SUPPOSED to be able to sell it at 5pm today - 5 1/2 hours after I was SUPPOSED to be buying a house.

Since my brain is completely fried from this ridiculous merry go round of home selling, I'm going to let YOU tell me what the heck this sentence means. (Yes, it's all one sentence!) Because they completely lost me at the first 5 words:

Furthering manning up the man who last year sold more concert tickets in North America than even the Rolling Stones or the Dave Matthews Band was the guest appearance of Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and occasional Flip Flop Summer tour surprise guest Joe Walsh, who added some blistering electric guitar and a bit of voice box.

"Furthering manning up the man?" I have no idea what that means. All I can think about is Peyton. 56 words in that sentence. Which is nothing compared to the 64 in this one:

With Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates, Chesney’s first new music in two years and easily the most multi-faceted picture of the songwriter from Luttrell, Tennessee to date, Chesney reaches not quite so far back into his quiver of influences to embrace Bakersfield acolyte/LA post-cow-punker Dwight Yoakam’s raucous “Wild Ride” with a furor that may even surprass the progressive country icon’s.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Producer J.'s Treasure Hunt

I'm (allegedly) moving in like... 4 days. You'd never believe it if you walked through my house right now. At any rate, as I've been packing and sorting... I'm finding all kinds of things. I could have my own country music yard sale.

It's also my own little walk down memory lane. CountryCool.com stationary, business cards from every job I've held in Nashville, aircheck tapes from radio, microcassette interview tapes from the magazine, and old video tapes from TV. Really... what am I saving the 6pm news from November of '96 for? It's not like I'm going to get a job off that now. My garbage cans are a treasure trove of country music history. OHhhhh the Music Industry propagand! "For Your Consideration" mailings from Rascal Flatts, Toby, Kenny, B&D, Terri Clark, Martina, Joe Nichols... press kits from everyone from Billy Ray Cyrus to The Oak Ridge Boys to artists I don't even remember ever having a record deal. Also found some cool stuff too, like early XM brochures and press kits, newspaper clippings, and photos of Delaynie before she had hair.

Hopefully the next time I talk to you we'll have CLOSED on this house. Everyone keeps asking me "Did it go through? Have you closed yet?" Believe me... when this deal FINALLY gets finished, the whole wide world is gonna hear me shouting.
I have a small army of people coming to Nashville Thursday to move me. What I really need is people to come PACK me! If nothing else, they'd be able to dig some cool stuff out of my garbage.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Who's next, Elvis?

Recently, I wrote about the latest trend in music industry emailing - to set up an email box with your artist listed as the "sender."

Today however, that cute little trend went a little far.

Today... I got email from Waylon Jennings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Find Out Who Your Friends Are

I've been meaning to write about this for weeks now, and it's old news, but it was SO exciting when Tracy Lawrence got a #1 song with "Find Out Who Your Friends Are." If you missed the controversy - and I'm not sure how much of it got out to the public, and how much just played out on Music Row, but there is a version of the song, which we occasionally play on XM, that includes Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. I personally LOVE that version of the song.

The single that was released to radio was Tracy's solo version, but when the full album came out and programmers got their hands on the bonus track, a lot of places did what we did and started spinning it.

Now... things move slow on the music charts, and REALLY slow when you're on an indie label. That song was on the chart for MONTHS. Finally - it made it to the top 5, actually leaping over Brad Paisley on it's way to #1. And that, my friends, is when the $^!# hit the fan.

I'm sure you can google and get the full text, but SonyBMG, the biggest baddest record label conglomarate in Nashville, sent a cease & decist letter from their lawyer to radio programmers telling them to STOP playing the version that included their artist, Kenny Chesney.

Now let me tell ya... there ain't nothing stopping a PD from playing Kenny Chesney singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in heavy rotation if it's on a CD that is commercially available.... Even in the crazy world of satellite radio, where DMCA regulations tell us how many songs how often by any given artist, we can play a bonus track off any album that has a barcode. The big bad record label was not only wrong -- they looked like the bad guys for picking on Mr. Independent Record Label.

Tracy's publicst is a long time friend of mine, and she told me that programmers were so outraged that her phone was ringing off the hook and the radio stations increased spins. Some places played the song several times back to back, or at the top of each hour. The next day, Sony BMG sent an apology - but it was too late... the spin increase pushed the song to #1. Tracy Lawrence definitely found out who his friends were.

At any rate... I've been reminded of this experience over the past few weeks as we've gone through the roller coaster ride of selling our home. I have awesome friends. People here in Nashville, like Dianne, who is everything from my cleaning lady to Delaynie's second mom, and Mark, who gave me invaluable mortgage help, and Jennie and my entire Sunday School class who has kept praying that this house sells.

And then there are all of you, across the country. Some of you I only see once a year, like Pammy or Paula, and some of you are here often enough that YOU NEED TO MOVE HERE *cough*cough*youknowwhoyouare*cough* but you're all very dear to my heart. I love you for listening to my panicky emails, for reading my therapy sessions disguised as blogs, and for the sweet emails or IM's or comments you leave here. Y'all are the best!

Ok, I'll try to contain my sappy-ness, but I have to give you Example #797 of why you guys are awesome:

My dad brought back a school project from Australia that was for a young girl who was the daughter of one of his customers there. She's about Delaynie's age, and totally stole dad's heart. The basic idea was that the kids traced an outline of themselves and decorated it, and then sent them around the world. As the flat versions of themselves travel, they send back postcards and momentos to the class so they can learn about the places they're traveling. So Flat Emily came back with dad, eventually making her way to Nashville, and then to Florida, (she went to Disney World!) and then to Boston... where Paula introduced her to another friend.

Really... I don't know what I'd do without y'all, on crazy hectic rotten days like today, you still find ways to make me smile!!!

Thanks for asking about Delaynie, it was a rough day and evening but she's sleeping now. They wound up doing a bunch more work than we were expecting while they had her sedated. My mouth is better tonight (had them fix something today while I was waiting on her and it helped) and I haven't touched the liquor cabinet at all. (although I really need to pack it!) Our closing scheduled for 9am tomorrow got postponed (not really a shock after everything else these buyers have put us through) but I'm hopeful it WILL get done in the next 48 hours.

Sleep well friends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

If It Don't Come Easy...

Sometimes... scripts just flow out of me. I can sit down and write and write and write, and 2-3 hours later, have a show I love. A show that makes me smile when I hear it on the air.

Sometimes... you have to write a show while suffering through horrible pain thanks to dental work you had done earlier in the day... all the while trying to not let your 10 year old know about the excruciating pain you are in because she's having oral surgery first thing in the morning.

And let me tell you... when it's situation #2... and you have minimal information about the aritst... and the one thing you do know is that they don't admit to being married... it makes you a bit cranky.

In general, when I script an interview I give Jon as many answers as I can:

"Where's home for you Producer J?" (She grew up in Central IL but has been in Nashville 10 years.)

But in this case... not only do I not know the answers... I'm not real sure yet in the questions. Which puts me way out of my comfort zone.

Lesson #1 to aspiring country music artists: Hire a good bio writer.

I'm wondering how much better the show might go if I took a couple shots of whatever I can find in the liquor cabinet...

The Single is Here!

I just LOVE the new photos Trisha Yearwood has, which have been up on her website & myspace page, and is on the cover of the new single. I haven't seen the photo on the back of the single anywhere, so I thought I'd share.

Also note that there's an album version and a radio edit of the single. On XM... we play album versions.

Remember - Trisha's on with Jon Anthony today at 1pm Eastern on Highway 16. I know a lot of bits and tidbits have come out over the past week through various interviews she's done, but this is definitely the most news all in one place of the interviews I've heard. It's about 25 minutes including music so plan to spend lunch around your XM Radio!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ok Carrie Underwood Fans!

Release date for Carrie's next CD: October 23rd. Are ya excited?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Trisha

Our interview with Trisha will air Tuesday around 1pm Eastern on XM's Highway 16.

Since she's doing bunches of interviews, there's no sense making you wait for the details that are coming out anyway.

The album is .... hopefully... going to be called "Heaven, Heartache, & The Power of Love." That's contingent on the single doing well, so y'all better do your part!

They tracked the album in four days.

She has 2 Karen Rochelle songs (Karen wrote "Georgia Rain"), both of which she has men singing with her - one is Jim Lauderdale, one is Keith Urban. Yeah... that's gonna be AWESOME.

So Garth is NOT singing on the album. But we asked her if he made any contributions. I'm going to make you wait to hear her answer, because it's very... amusing.

Matraca Berg is another songwriter I remember having a couple of songs on the CD, and a Jessie Alexander song called "He Doesn't Know Nothing About Memphis." That's a double negative - maybe I wrote it down wrong. Actually, I'm pretty sure Sandi has been sitting on that scoop since we saw Jessie's fiance at a show here in Nashville a couple weeks ago.

She's not touring beyond September - will hit the road again in February. Sorry gang. You're going to have to get your frequent flyer miles elsewhere.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go find some Carrie Underwood news so that I can get some COMMENTS on my blog!

Great Discoveries

I've discovered some really fun things I wanted to share with y'all.

First off, if you haven't heard the Vince Gill / Fruit of the Loom commercial - it is the ONE redeeming factor I've found about commercial radio lately. I heard it on FM yesterday I think - must have been when I was listening to WSIX waiting for Trisha to come on. This is GREAT commercial strategy - it sounds just like a song. Vince Gill, in that angelic sweet voice, singing about underwear. No kidding. I was dying, laughing. And now I've discovered, there's a VIDEO! Seriously - how did he do that with a straight face???? Go Watch it - I'll wait until you come back.

Great Discovery #2 (and it's hard to top baby Apple swimming in the pool!) came as a result of finding #1 - and noticing a link for my friend Suzanne Alexander's blog. Check out her Music Row Ramblings for some awesome scoop from Music City. The whole world is bloggin'!

My intern, Jason had a great discovery of his own yesterday, when he ran into Kellie Pickler, and her realtor, in his condo building. There goes the neighborhood! (Kidding!)

The newest rage in publicity seems to be sending emails with your artist's name listed as the sender. I got yet another one today from Daryl Worley, (and no they didn't include his Playgirl photos.) Coolest one so far was seeing email from Lynryd Skynyrd in my inbox.

Amy Paige has Danielle Peck on her show tomorrow morning at 10am Eastern. Tune in for some serious Chick Chat!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Answers - Updated Thursday Morning

Hey gang, PLEASE don't copy and paste my blog elsewhere... that's bad netiquette. If you liked it enough to share it, just post a link, or a highlight with a link back to it. Thanks!

So... I spent some time with Ms. Yearwood today. Or Mrs. Yearwood-Brooks as she confirmed her name legally is. Part of that time was recorded for an interview that will air Monday, and part of it was not. As soon as I get the official air time of COURSE I will let you know. We're hoping it will happen in Jon Anthony's live show on XM's Highway 16, however, we don't at this moment have the full single - just a 1:11 preview which I presume is the snippet that will go on her MySpace page Friday. So once I confirm what time I can get my hands on the whole thing, I'll let you know what time the interview can air.

A few things I learned:

The reason she looks SO awesome these days is she's participating in a 3 day walk coming up in August - where she's walking 20 miles a day. TWENTY MILES? So she's on a training course, currently she's up to 13 miles at a time. This weekend will be her first weekend on the road while on this training schedule, so those of you in the East Coast area where she's performing -- be watching the roads. The walk, by the way, is for the Susan G. Komen foundation. She did say "we" were doing it, but I didn't find out who her walking buddy was.

Another miscellaneous tidbit - Garth loves her german chocolate cake, and she makes him one each year for his birthday.

My favorite story, that she told us off the air, was that they took the girls to the Smithsonian while in D.C. last weekend, and they got a private tour of the "Mummy Room" which is in the basement of the Smithsonian. She said it was really cool, they were opening up sarcopha... umm... mummy cases. Can't you imagine the girls loved that!

Obviously she talked a LOT about the upcoming album in our time on mic. It's a really great, informative interview, with a lot of news about what's ahead. I actually thought about posting the script, so you could see the questions and wonder all weekend about her answers.LOL.

Amongst the things you'll be able to hear her talk about:

- The title of the upcoming CD. We asked, she answered.
- The process of how this CD came together so fast
- Touring plans
- The video for the new single (yes there will be one)
- Songwriters on the upcoming album - familiar names here.
- The song that if she was a songwriter she would have written about her cowboy
- Not one but TWO duet partners - both males!
- Songbook 2: Yes it's happening. Will there be new music on it?
- How life in Oklahoma is influencing her career
- Garth's contributions to the project

Also, if you heard her on XM 161 this morning with Gerry House, you know she talked about Live Earth. I thought it was very interesting that they were discussing playing NYC. She said they recycle and use the "curly light bulbs" but they had a long way to go, LOL. Me too.

Update: I thought of a few more things. Trisha talked (off air) about the Teammates for Kids event that was held out at Garth's estate last night, said she had to make sure to get lunch today because she usually doesn't get to eat at those events. She was explaining how they hold 2 different events each year to accomodate the hockey players, who can't make the January event. AND - during our interview, Jon books her for the XM World Premiere of her album on Highway 16 ShortCuts, the weekend before it goes on sale. So if you're a Trisha fan and you DON'T have XM, you're just gonna need to get it. I've got deals!

Your Trisha Questions ANSWERED!

Just what ARE the inquiring Trisha Yearwood fans wondering about these days?

The title of her next album?

The status of that mysterious Songbook 2?

Who the special guests are on the upcoming CD?

What her hubby contributed to this record?

How she's looking so good these days - and why?

What else she did in D.C. last weekend?

I have all those answers and more... some of which will be answered on this blog... some of which you are going to have to wait for our interview with her to air Monday. Watch this space for details!

Monday, July 09, 2007

It's Midnight Cinderella

So I learned something at about 1am this morning. It's impossible to get a cab after midnight. The Metro stops running at Midnight on Sundays, which I knew. So I get everything synched back up with BOC from our live show at about 12:15am (which they butchered badly and all my perfect timing was for naught) and I google "Taxi Washington D.C." And I start calling. And calling. And re-dialing. I go through about 5 companies, and can't get anyone to answer the phone.

So I go up to the front security desk and ask the guy there if he can help me call a cab. Perhaps I just am calling the wrong companies. Maybe some of them don't work after midnight. Or don't answer the phone for tourists. Or something. So he calls one for me. And I sit in the lobby and wait.

And wait.

And wait.

Now realize... I've put in 12 1/2 hours at work today. I'm exhausted. I'm practically falling asleep on the couch. You know how you get so exhausted the littlest things make you wanna cry? That was me at about 12:45 this morning.

So after 30 minutes of waiting, I decide The Yellow Cab Company is blowing me off. So we try calling another company. Bless their hearts, within 10 minutes the Diamond Cab company was at the front door.

Another benefit to my hotel is they have one of those little markets with soda and snacks and ready made sandwhiches. Which was a blessing, because I'd realized on my way home, I hadn't eaten anything but a fruit cup for dinner. So 1:30 am I'm eating a sandwich in my hotel room - and have caught my second wind, so I'm completely wide awake. The last time I looked at the clock, it was 2:20am.

On the bright side, I slept until 9am. My schedule is going to be SO out of wack. I'm on a 7pm flight home, and I can't wait!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Day 3 in D.C.

Before I get to today, I had a blast last night board op'ing for Jon Anthony's live show. It's been probably 6 years since I've run a board, and it was fun. Not as fun as switching a tv show, but fun. Made me even more regretful that I didn't get to do a live show on America Friday.

So I got up this morning and had a leisurely breakfast. I'm staying at a place that has a breakfast buffet with made-to-order omlettes. Seriously, I could eat breakfast 3 meals a day. So I'm loving it.

Left the hotel about 9:45, with somewhere I wanted to be at 10:30. So, I decided I'd head west. I was staying on the 900 block of F street... and of course everyone knows the White House is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 7 blocks and change. Cake. They wound up being 7 long blocks and quite a bit of change, and it was pretty hot. But I'm glad I went. And I got to see a lot of cool buildings along the way, which I took photos of that I will share when I get home.

I had been to the White House before, around '95 - back when they actually let you go in it. You still can... IF you have a group of 10 or more and IF you get your Congressman to make you a reservation and IF he makes that reservation 2 weeks or more in advance. So I had to be content with looking at it from the fence. It's big.

One thing I haven't gotten the hang of yet is the street structure here in D.C. They have numbers going one way... and letters going another. That's great. I'm at 9th and F... I can find that. My next destination was going to be 11th and K. No problem. But then they put states in the middle of things. I left Pennsylvania and wound up on New York, which actually is a cross street that XM is on - at the complete other end of the city. Wonder how long of a walk that would be?

On my way into work later that morning I stopped into the Spy Museum gift shop. Didn't really find anything I was compelled to buy for Delaynie, but I did discover some cool Nancy Drew books that I didn't know existed. Will pick them up at Overstock.com later.

I spent my afternoon at Eckington editing - chopping up interviews and creating artist soundbite pieces for US Country. Oddly, I don't feel like I've gotten as much done as I should have, because listening to interviews to mine sound out of is time consuming, and you don't have a lot to show for it. But I did get 15 new pieces created.

My eyes were crossing from staring at a computer monitor for the past 5 hours, and I still had 6 1/2 or so hours to go in this shift, so I decided to take a break and head downstairs. Another perk of life at the Mother Ship is that they have a fitness center in the basement. A really nice one, complete with a locker room and showers and big makeup mirrors and blow dryers. I'm horribly jealous, they don't even pay for my Y membership. But I like to at least use it while I'm here, so I swiped a t-shirt off someone's cubicle wall and worked out for about 45 minutes.

Oh, one more perk of XM D.C. - the talk channels have a couple tables where they discard the books that they've been sent to review once they're done with them. I usually come back loaded up with reading material. Currently I'm reading Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned from Judy Blume while waiting on the Metro.

While I'm lounging around playing tourist here in D.C., my husband is left with a Honey Dew list on the house, and my daughter leaves tomorrow morning for her first "sleep away" camp. We are 11 days away from closing on the house we're selling - it's crunch time! It's kind of a nice respite being half the country away from the madness and moving boxes!

Just finished the fruit cup I brought in for dinner, I'm off to schedule logs. Jon Anthony will be doing the Highway 16 Traffic Report live tonight from San Francisco -- be sure to tune in -- you never know what kind of wacky mistake his rookie board operator might make!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Playing Tourist

One of the perks of coming to D.C. is that they feed the staff a lot here. Employee Appreciation days... VIP tour groups...catering for artists... there's always food laying around. So while I eat my delicious dinner from Red, Hot & Blue catering, I thought I'd fill you in on my day so far.

I slept in this morning until 8:30... which granted, is only 7:30 Nashville time, but it sure felt like a luxury. My hotel is one of those older D.C. hotels with funny shaped rooms. Nice place (I did get in the hot tub last night!) but wierd nooks and crannies. Had breakfast, and set out to explore the city a little.

I'm staying in a part of town I haven't stayed in before. I'm literally around the corner from the Ford Theater, where Lincoln was shot. Lots of restaurants and such, and the Spy museum, where I have to go pick up a souvenir for Delaynie.

Left my hotel around 10, and headed towards the mall, even though I didn't get up early enough to get a ticket for the Washington Monument, which I have never gone up in. On the way there I went to the US Navy Memorial. Very pretty, with a nice museum. Found my dad's naval records in the logs, and bought the hubby a US Navy Submariner coffee mug.

My plan was to meet up with Sandi after the Mother Earth event, which I'd decided last night I wasn't going to get to. I thought Al Gore, Garth, & Trisha would be the top of the show, at 10:30, so I wandered over that way about 10:45, and texted her to see if she was done. They hadn't gone on yet.

The setup for the event was odd - and from what I could gather, rather badly handled. People (none of whom I knew, for the record) apparently camped out overnight to get a good spot, and didn't. People like me, who wandered in after the event started, weren't all that far back. I had guestimated about 800 people there... I think that was a high guess, because I realized later that there was a large portion down front blocked off for cameras and a walkway. Maybe 700 is more appropriate. From my spot I got to see Al, and could see Garth, but not Trisha, due to some large speakers being in the way.

The stage was small, and Garth and Trisha had to share a mic, which turned out to be a bad thing. The mix that all the radio (and I assume the television) feeds got was horrid - Garth's guitar was overdriven, and his background singers were louder than he was. Trisha sounded fantastic. The house mix, however, was fine - sounded great on site, so I wound up being glad I'd wandered in.

After their ONE SONG performance at least half the crowd left, and I hooked up with Sandi for a few minutes. I should also take a moment to complain that biggest solo artist in the universe was a complete, neglected, footnote in this whole event. No idea why he wasn't on a main stage SOMEWHERE - clearly he could have been had he wanted to be, and if he didn't want to be, that's fine. But the whole thing seems to have left me wondering "why did he bother?" He always said he didn't do music half way, but this sure seemed like a half hearted attempt by everyone, thrown together at the last minute, very amaturely. I think I'd have rather thought he was spending 7/7/07 hidden away on a tropical island somewhere with his wife. Ok, rant over.

After that I wandered back up to a Metro Stop - I covered some major ground this morning, I'm here to tell you! And then headed into XM - aka Live Earth HQ.

The other awesome thing about working at Eckington is that everything works SO much faster here - because the info doesn't have to travel from D.C. to Nashville and back again. I got another Driver's Ed episode built today, scheduled a couple of logs, and am currently editing an episode of Music City Connection. I also got the Keith Urban performance from Live Earth ready for air - it's going to air at some point in Jon Anthony's live show tonight, between 8:30 - 11pm Eastern, and again tomorrow at 10am and Monday at 8am. It sounded great - and he had a special duet partner.

I think that's it for my day so far... dinner is done - so back to work I go!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Where in the World is XM Nashville?

Greetings from XM HQ in Washington D.C. I've commandeered J.W.'s desk (from XM 10) and am sitting here gabbing with Jay Thomas. The first person I saw when I came in to Eck was my fellow Nashvillian, Kyle Cantrell, from Bluegrass Junction. He beat me up here by about 12 hours I think. Jon Anthony, however, is at the opposite end of the country. He's in San Francisco, broadcasting live on Highway 16 from MLB Fan Fest. He joked that we were getting as far away from each other as possible.

The question I've been getting most today is "are you going to see Garth & Trisha tomorrow?" You think it's coincidence my first trip to D.C. in 6 months came the weekend they are here? Or is it fate? I'll probably be there, I've gotten a TON of work done here already - and I've only been in town 3 hours. I'm told they're just doing one song each though - not quite sure that it's going to be worth the effort, but it might be something to do, just to say I did.

I was originally supposed to do a show live on XM 10 tonight. I promoted it in my (voice tracked) show Sunday night and everything. However... I was informed Monday morning that they were running specialty programming instead. So in my (voice tracked) show THIS Sunday night I'm complaining that I am was locked out of the XM 10 studios. Because they don't let women in, apparently.

Since I'm not live, I'm going to go find my hotel and then investigate dinner options. Will be back here tonight for Jon's live broadcasts, where Jay and I can resume our gossip session.

Update 9:33pm. Had a great night with Jay Thomas. I love being in D.C. Talked to Mary Sue Thwony from the Folk channel for a bit. I'm now headed to the hotel where I'm hoping to take a dip in the hottub. I've decided I'm **NOT** going to see his Garthness tomorrow... they're saying only 200 people can get in, everyone else has to watch on video screens across the street. I can see him on TV anytime - and he'll do more than one song.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Kodak Moments from the Cornfields

There's a festival of some sort going on in my home town tonight, where I'm told they specialize in turning perfectly normal 10 year olds into giant alien kitty cats. (Sharon - do you recognize the shirt? )

And apparently, there's a cloning issue at
hand as well... with 2 year olds emulating their big kid cousins... inflating "Copy Cat" to a whole new level.

Meanwhile, the town is also having trouble with underage driving.. compounded by migrant kiwis insisting that everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road.

And despite my previous insistance that I'm not one to spread rumors, there is one spreading through my home county tonight that just cracks me up. And my sources are very good. The Director of the county's Emergency Services Disaster Agency (also known as my little brother, or better yet, Maddie's Daddy) tells me sources on the county board tell him, that everyone is just ALL a twitter. Apparently a very large parcel of land has been sold, after a long time sitting unclaimed (and thereby, not generating any property tax revenue) to a Nashville power couple. When I asked something slightly more polite than "What the hell would they want with it?" I was told it's good hunting land.

I'm highly skeptical, however... I shall keep you informed should I be proven wrong. Because property records are public records.

Can't You Just Call Him "Superstar"

How would you like THIS descriptor before your name?

triple and reigning Academy of Country Music and double and current Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney.

You just can't make up the things that you read in a KC press release. I mean... obviously... someone does. But I sure couldn't.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Up Next on the Producer J. World Tour

Wednesday: 4th of July celebration downtown Music City USA. Van Zant headlining - you know I'm going to be there!

Thursday: Louisville, KY - where I reclaim my daughter after a couple of weeks at Grandparents Camp

Friday: XM Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

I'll be in D.C. through Monday night, and am contemplating a side trip to Staunton, VA at some point over the weekend. Although the Statler Brothers Gift Shop is only open Mon - Fri... so if I worked really hard over the weekend... maybe Monday....


I'm really excited about the 4th of July celebration in Nashville this year. I always watch it on TV, but this year I'm braving the crowd and going right down into the middle of it. The Nashville Symphony also performs, and the artists each do a song with the symphony. Van Zant is doing a song called "Red, White & Blue", Taylor Swift is doing "Teardrops on My Guitar" and Rodney Atkins is doing "If You're Going Through Hell." Yep... you read that right.

I'll give you a minute to imagine a symphony playing that song. You might need longer to wrap your head around the image of Johnny and Donnie Van Zant in front of a symphony.

Jumping gears here, I've confirmed with our friends at Big Machine that it IS 100% public knowledge and we are ABSOLUTELY allowed to talk about Trisha Yearwood having a new single on the way. Why discussion of it was pulled off her website is a mystery to me - and to them - but it hit the trades today. (How many days after I told you?)

Your July is looking like this: There will be a clip of the song on her website and MySpace page on July 13th. The full song gets digitally delivered to country radio on July 16th, with hard copies arriving July 17th. Song is going for adds July 30th. (But really...who would be crazy enough to wait until then to play it?)

I, however... am getting to hear it July 11th, and will bring you a full report. Now I'm counting on the Trisha fans to be equally as enthusiastic on my blog as the Carrie Underwood fans are when I have Carrie scoop. Pressure is on!

And just because I love y'all so... I'm going to remind you that albums come out on Tuesdays... and not to be superstitious

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Programming Notes

We are just over 48 hours away from our annual 4th of July Fan Fair Flashback. Get a complete schedule on the Highway16 MySpace page - it's your chance to re-live - or maybe catch for the first time - the amazing content we captured during CMA Music Festival Week.

Speaking of our nation's birthday -- XM is launching a "micro-channel" called Uncle Sam that runs July 3rd and 4th on XM 120. The soundtrack for your 4th of July b-b-q. I heard on the radio this week that the 4th of July is the biggest single day for beer sales of the year. I'm sure our founding fathers are proud.

If you missed it tonight you have 2 more chances to catch Music City Connection: Heroes Behind the Hits this week with Bob Regan, Georgia Middleman and Jeff Stevens. (Another case of a songwriter who testified to Congress about how evil XM is, jumping at the chance to be on our airwaves) This one was taped at the XM Mother Ship in Washington, D.C. You can always get the latest schedule and listen to past shows at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau website.

And of course: 7-7-07 means Live Earth -- around the globe and across the XM Nation. I'm a little torked that Keith Urban is the only country artist included, but at least we have one. Live Earth coverage takes over the XM Rock neighborhood (starting at channel 40) and will also air on DirecTV and XM Radio Online as well as our cell phone and airline partners. It will NOT air on our AOL feeds. All the schedule of events can be found at LiveEarth.org - plus you can get tips on mass transport options for getting to the shows. How much carbon emissions are going into the air to get all those artists to these shows via their tour busses and private jets? The whole thing sort of seems a bit hypocritical to me, but I'm merely a lone blogger, what do I know. it will be a great day of music.

Tomorrow I shall bring you all the scoop I have on Nashville's 4th of July celebration - seen live on GAC-TV - as well as the next couple of stops on the Producer J. World Tour.