Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Rhode Island Pictures

Photos from the site of the Ginormous Bridge in Jamestown, RI, where I turned around before crossing into Newport.

Why did the chicken cross the bridge?
To show Producer J. it could be done!

I completely stumbled onto this picturesque site as I was exploring the twists and turns of Highway 1A. (Not to be confused with A1A)

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Open letter to Katie, the Keith Urban fan from New Hampshire

Dear Katie --

I just wanted you to know that last Saturday - you totally made my day. And I want you to remember that as exciting as that all was for you -- KEITH was the lucky one. He's lucky to have a fan like you. He's the type of guy that knows that - but I wanted to make sure that you knew that too.

I hope your pictures turned out ok.

Hugs & Heartpats -

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

They CAN'T be Serious

The company I work for is now called --


Monday, July 28, 2008


There was NO way. None.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hello from a very wet...

Hello from a very wet and rainy Providence Airport where I am stuck, I am stuck in Rhode Island. Apparently the flight that was taking me to Philadelphia was delayed to the point of not being able to get me home today/tonight, so I don't think I got stuck in Philadelphia I got stuck in Providence or(?) just because I'm very white(?) strong(?), so I'm headed to the hotel under a distressed passenger rates, I'm not really distressed just a little annoyed, hope you're all having a better night. listen

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good morning from Gillette...

Good morning from Gillette Stadium where the sun is shining and the stage is setup. I am very excited. They have here and ready to meet all the teenagers(?) in advance. So, I just wanted to call and tell you that all is well. listen

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Friday, July 25, 2008

My Employer

Sitting in a hotel lobby in MA, wearing my XM shirt, I learned --

I now officially work for Sirius Satellite Radio.

State number 4, Massachusetts....

Page number 4, Massachusetts. You know the great thing about my life is that no matter where I go, I couldn't say in the US that literally around the world. It seems like I have a friend there waiting for me. I'm about 10 minutes from my hotel. Paula is on her way there, and I'm driving upon a G6 with Exa. Life is good. I will probably talk to you next from Gillette Stadium tomorrow. Have a good night. listen

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Airport number 3, Providence...

Airport number 3, Providence Rhode Island. The weather is absolutely beautiful here. I am headed to the hotel and then Paula is gonna join me on my quest for awesome Boston(?) camchatter(?). listen

I made a quick detour on this trip to Pawtucket, which was quite lovely. I was looking for a RI visitor's center, but didn't find one. I did however, get some nice pictures.

Airport # 1 / Airport number #2

Airport number 2, Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. I'm not feeling any love for this airport, it is very ugly. And the cheese steak that I did have was not very good. We flew in over all the sports stadiums where the Eagles and the Phillys and everybody play. And I have a nice view of the skyline from where I'm at. I'll take a picture. Talk to you again in Providence! listen

This one from Airport #1 Jott didn't post with audio because of a "low transcription confidence." Oddly enough, they got Tootsie's Orchid Lounge right, but missed Kenny Tesney.

Checking in from airport number one where I have seen Kimberly from Little Big Town and her family traveling. I heard someone covering Kenny Chesney at the little Tootsie's Orchid lounge that they set up out here. And Phil Vassar is on the over head announcement welcoming everybody. They have a Nashville Star store here now too! It's raining - I hope my flight gets of on time because I really want to have time to get lunch in Philadelphia. Of course I'm gonna have a cheese steak. See you there.!

Please Come To Boston...

'cause you're the number one fan of the man from Tennessee...

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Today should be an interesting day. I'm spending the better part of my waking hours traveling... three airports... four states... OOH -- it's going to be an exciting year end World Tour t-shirt! Haven't had PA, RI or MA on there yet.

While I'm sitting in airports the Merger is probably going to become official... it's unofficially gone through -- the FCC calls it an "agreement in principal." All in all, I'm happy, because my goal was to get to work in our new offices, and I've done that. Whatever happens from here is all good, and there isn't anything I can do one way or the other, so no sense stressing over it.

My cell phone is on, but my laptop is still dead, so I will probably be curing my travel boredom with audio blogs. My trip is not going to be complete until I get some authentic Boston clam chowder. That, is my mission.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mark Your Calendars!

XM Artist Confidential with LeAnn Rimes, is airing on Monday (July 28). Hosted by XM's George Taylor Morris, this show features an hour of music and conversation with LeAnn. She performs songs from her latest CD "Family" as well as a couple of her previous hits.

LeAnn Rimes Artist Confidential airs Monday night at 8pm ET on Highway 16 AND all day Monday on XMX, channel 2.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Press Release Du Jour

Kenny Chesney’s No Shoes Radio Sets Sail July 26
Boston’s Gillette Stadium Show Marks Launch of XM Kenny Station

Foxboro, MA: Never mind that tickets for Kenny Chesney’s Poets & Pirates Tour sold out in 15 minutes back in December. Forget about the fact that a chunk of his critically acclaimed live, Live Those Songs Again was recorded at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. Don’t even bother considering that this is the fourth straight year the 4-straight Academy of Country Music and 3-time and current Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year has packed the home of the New England Patriots to the bursting for an all day celebration of good times, good friends and good music.

Just when it didn’t seem there was anything the full-tilt performer could add to the intensity, Chesney and his friends at XM Radio will launch the almost all-Kenny No Shoes Radio on July 26 with a live 4 hour kick-off from the ultimate tail-gate experience: the parking lot of Gillette Stadium. Broadcasting from a stage being set up as half broadcast booth/half acoustic performance space, look for Jon Anthony to create the day’s largest boom box for the fans who are coming to get their Kenny on.

“The whole idea behind the station,” Chesney says, “is to take that energy in the parking lot and keep it going. You buzz around in a golf cart before the show, and it sounds like some kind of carnival with all this different music, all these different songs… and No Shoes isn’t just about a buncha my stuff people know, and stuff they may not know as well, but it’s about rare live performances, drop ins and acoustic surprises from my friends and just keeping that vibe alive long after the show has left town.”

In the spirit of spontaneous music and expanding the musical reality of Chesney’s world, not only will the headline be dropping by the stage during the four hour kick-off, but LeAnn Rimes will also drop-in– and there are any number of you-never-know-who-might-show-ups in the wind. As if that sense of musical camaraderie isn’t enough, the good folks at XM are going to be giving away free XM radios – while supplies last – to anyone who signs up for a three month plan.

“We’ve got chunks of our Key West show going up this weekend,” says the man who’s had three multiple week #1s – “Never Wanted Nothing More,” “Don’t Blink” and “Better As A Memory” --from his platinum Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. “Anyone who’s ever wanted to go to a Keg in the Closet show, but couldn’t get there – or get in if they could – they can experience what that’s like. It’s going to be crazy having some of this music, played in some of these settings going out to the world, but in a way, it’s a great chance to bring people all the way into our world.”

I need to read it again... I was sure there would be a line included that went something like.. "Seven year XM veteran Producer J., the senior member of the XM Nashville programming team, will be boarding a Southwest Airlines jet headed for the north east where the Central IL native will be responsible for producing the high-energy fan-packed four hour live broadcast originating from the west side of Gillette stadium and ringing out border to border and coast to coast across North America on the newly created XM channel 18."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nashville Star Week 7

Blame Nashville Star Radio for my lack of blogging lately.

Mondays I go to the tv show. It's a late night, so I usually go into work late, which knocks down my productivity. Tuesday I write the show and work on soundbites, which usually kills my entire day. Wednesday nights we tape the show (usually at 8:30 but a couple nights it was 10:30) so that's another wacky day. My schedule is completely off kilter. And in the middle of all that we were relocating. And my laptop died. I can't say that I'm going to be sorry to see this show end. Although I have to say, I'm really happy with the way the radio show has turned out. This was a show I got to create from a blank sheet of paper, which has been a lot of fun. And exhausting.

So just catching up on all things Nashville Star, I have to tell you that I'm liking the TV show much better now that they've weeded out some of the riff raff. There were definitely people who didn't deserve to be there. And the crew didn't deserve having to put up with them. I'm totally surprised that Ashlee was sent home. I'd predicted Ashlee, Gabe and Melissa in the final show. Now I've officially given up predicting.

The radio show this week takes a little different turn. We take the contestants in one by one, instead of by mentor groups. They each get a chance to make their case for why THEY should be the next Nashville Star. And they all brought their guitars!

I've gotten a few questions about particular contestants, and given that I've spent many a late night hour (and plenty of Oreos) with them, I thought I'd just share a few thoughts about the Final Four.

Coffey -- Quite possibly the most charming human being I've ever met. He's just a doll. He has an amazing spirit, the kind of person you want to hang around because he makes you feel good. He was also incredibly sweet to Delaynie (as were Ashlee and Shawn) which always adds bonus points. Then this week, he asked me to tell my daughter hello from him and told me how beautiful she was. Wait until you hear what he's doing for his hometown concert, it totally gave me goosebumps. I could go on and on about some of the neat things he does. He inspires me. I don't think he's the best singer on this show, but I do think he's the best entertainer, and I think he could be an amazing ambassador for country music if given the chance.

Shawn Mayer -- I can't wait to go see her sing somewhere. A bar, an amphitheatre, an arena - wherever. I think she's underdelivering on what she's capable of, but it's hard to tell in a minute and a half song. I want to see more from her. She has a great respect for the music, and has worked really hard to get this far. She's also somehow the most "real" to me. Today we had a conversation about tattoos. (One of us has one, one of us doesn't.) She's doing something pretty neat for her hometown visit too. Maybe that's why we get along so well -- she's from a town even tinier than my hometown. You need to tune in to this week's NSRadio just to hear her studio performance. She is also just stunningly beautiful in person. She looks the part of the winner.

Gabe Garcia - He's Mr. Guy Next Door. He's the one always hanging out in the green room talking to the crew. SOO laid back. I think he has a good voice and he looks good, but I'm still hoping he steps up and wows me. The time I liked him best on stage was the opening cast sing of "Life Is A Highway." He HAD to move across the stage, no guitar, wasn't tied down to one spot, and he was a lot of fun. He'll be the first to tell you he wants to be like George Strait and just stand there and sing, but I'll be the first to tell you I'd love to see him run from one end of the stage to another. He also could do a lot to broaden the appeal of country music. He has a manager here in Nashville.

Melissa Lawson -- Melissa has really warmed up to us over the past couple of weeks. In the beginning she was very quiet when they came in for the radio show, I didn't have a lot of interaction with her. Which is probably good, because had I been able to get her attention and get her alone those first couple of weeks, I'd have asked for her hubby's email address so I could just drop him a note and tell him I'd seen her and she was fine. LOL. But I would have loved to have had a conversation mom-to-mom about this crazy business. She's smart about the business, and she's a fighter. If this contest was judged solely on vocal talent, she'd far and away be the winner. Unfortunately, this is all about which fan base can best be mobilized to click, text, or call. I said I wasn't making predictions, but if I was, I'd put my money on an upset.

Now that I've made you read all that. What you really want to know...

Jon asked each contestant the same series of questions for this week's show -- why them, hometown visit, what they'll be performing next week, etc. They each will be doing 2 songs. Melissa named one and then said something real generic like "and another great song..." (She knows how to give those evasive answers already - see that star potential?) However, I know how to spot those evasive answers, so I asked her afterwords about her second choice, and she said they hadn't picked it yet.

So I flat out told her that a few friends and I had been discussing how we were dying to hear her belt out a Trisha Yearwood power ballad. She kind of sighed and said "I know!" She said she'd been trying and trying, but they kept telling her no. SHE brought it up that she wanted to do "Real Live Woman" a couple of weeks ago because it fit her so perfectly but they told her it wasn't a big enough song. So I told her I was going to come see her on the Nashville Star Tour and she'd have to sing it for me.

I can't say at this point that I'd be unhappy if any of these four won. Regardless of what people might say about the show - and first and foremost, this is a TV show - they are four pretty neat people.

The Suicidal Deer

We interrupt your standard country music related programming to bring you this non-musical anecdote.

Yesterday morning I'm in my driveway, loading junk into my car, when I hear this banging. I look up and see what looks like a dog crashing into the garage door of my neighbor's house diagonally across the street.

As I watch it pick itself up and hurl itself at the door 3 or 4 times, I realize it's not a dog. It's a deer.

About the time I realize this the deer gives up on the garage door and turns around and heads across the street. Towards my daughter. So I tell Delaynie to get in the car and as we watch this very young fawn runs across the street and heads between my house and the neighbor's house. She's (he's? Didn't look...) no more than 5 or 6 feet from Delaynie.

Now what I know, and the deer doesn't is that there is a fence blocking her from going into our back yards, and behind that fence are 2 hungry dogs. Fortunately it's a strong fence, and within a minute or so she reappears at the side of the house and crosses the street again.

This time she targets the neighbor directly across the street from us. And we watch her repeatedly throw herself head first into the garage door.

How that deer even stood up after all that beating, I don't know. But after several unsuccessful attempts to knock herself out, she gallops off down the street. She disappears around the corner, and then a couple of minutes later we see her cross the street again and disappear into the woods.

The moral of this story is, that if you thought you had a crappy Monday... just think of the unsuccessful suicidal deer in southern Davidson County.

We now return you to regular programming already in progress. Up next: lots of Nashville Star scoop -- including the reason you haven't heard Melissa Lawson singing the song she (and most of us) really want to hear her sing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Well THAT is no fun.

I just overheard who's getting eliminated.

That takes ALL the fun out of watching the show.

Off to re-write...

Backstage Blogging at Nashville Star

Hello from the green room of the Acuff Theater, where I'm awaiting episode 7 of Nashville Star Radio. I didn't get a seat in the audience tonight, so I've comandeered someone's laptop and am hanging out in the green room.

So far I've seen Gabe -- looking awesome in a jacket, jeans and boots -- and Coffey -- looking incredibly handsome himself in a very cool blue shirt. I'm afraid I got makeup on Gabe's jacket... if you see a spot on his right shoulder, it's not MY fault.

They just announced 18 minutes until air. Will check in with you later. I've got my show laid out based on my guess for who will be eliminated. If you don't hear from me much you'll know I'm busy re-writing. There's a cool performance happening tonight -- tune in and see!

Next Stop on the Producer J. World Tour Is...

Boston! By way of Providence, RI.

Anyone want to take a wild guess at why I'm headed to the Northeast?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Call Now and talk to Storme!

Hey -- not only is Storme live out of our new studios for the next 3 hours -- he has working phone lines!

Check him out on Highway 16 until 7pm ET.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Laptop.... R.I.P.

So I have this laptop. A Dell. Have had it for about 4 years now. Within the past 4 months I've bought both a new battery and a new power chord for it. (Which means I probably didn't need the battery.)

I use that laptop for a myriad of things. Although it's a personal machine, (XM wouldn't give me one) I use it for everything. Amongst the things I keep on it:

Editing software - All field audio interviews get loaded onto it, edited, and uploaded to our FTP site. My laptop has been the intern work station over the past few months, while we have been overcrowded awaiting our new studios.

Photos - everything from my trip to New Zealand (which I do have backup copies) to my assorted trips to the cornfields (most of which I don't) to all of our Nashville Star photos (which have been uploaded to an online album.)

Scripts - ShortCuts, Nashville Star, Driver's Ed -- my entire resume of the past 4 years pretty much.

Pampered Chef Software -- all of my parties, receipts, expenses, orders, addresses, from my first 8 shows.

You know where this is going, right?

My harddrive crashed. The computer no longer acknowledges its' existence.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Move In Day

Today is my official "move in" day to the new studios at the Sommet Center.

It all feels very wierd. Pictures soon.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It's a Girl!

Nicole and Keith Urban are delighted to announce that Nicole Kidman gave birth to a baby girl on Monday morning, July 7, 2008 in Nashville. SUNDAY ROSE KIDMAN URBAN weighed 6 pounds, 7 1/2 ounces. Husband Keith was by Nicole's side and mother and baby are very well.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back from the Cornfields

Back from another long weekend of driving through the cornfields. Had a very quiet 4th of July playing with munchkins and cuddling the new baby.

What did you do?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

No Shoes Radio

Kenny Chesney Sets Sail For XM Radio With His Own Signature Music Channel 'NoShoes Radio'

WASHINGTON, July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Midway through the year's most attended Poets & Pirates Tour, complete with 14 NFL stadium plays, the four-time consecutive and current Academy of Country Music and three-time and reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year has set his sights on XMRadio and his own signature music channel, "No Shoes Radio."

Scheduled to launch July 26, "No Shoes Radio" will feature music fromChesney's audio catalog, including never-before-heard recordings, an uncut, exclusive concert broadcast from the 2008 Poets & Pirates Tour, plus random drop-ins from fans, friends and plenty of music to bring to life the attitude that permeates Kenny Chesney's world.

"There's a lot of hits, but there are also a lot of album tracks, songs fromthe early part of my career, stuff from our Keg in the Closet shows and obscurities that you had to be there to hear," says the Luttrell, Tennessee-born and -raised singer/songwriter with a laugh. "Anyone who knows anything about me knows how passionate I am about music, and this is a way to bring people into everything I love about songs, playing ... music."

"No Shoes Radio" will also include music beyond Chesney's catalog, featuring both those artists who rocked Chesney's world and the kind of music you could easily hear drifting from the backstage "Vibe Room" -- capturing the sonic culture of the Poets & Pirates Tour.

"I think we've become a part of people's lives," admits the high energy performer. "The way a lot of bands were for us, we're what they're listening to when they're hanging out, when they're having fun, when they need to gear up for something. That's what music always did for me ... and it's kind of mind-blowing to think that your songs could be that for someone else. So for all those fans out there, get ready for something pretty cool."

In the spirit of his Corona-sponsored Poets & Pirates Tour, music and other content for "No Shoes Radio" will be captured on the bus, in the halls, around the soundchecks, and even during post-show jams. Beyond that, not only will Chesney's special guests be taking part in the ad hoc merriment, look for tailgating fans from the parking lot to provide drop-ins, shout-outs and the occasional request.

Said Chesney, "This is a way to keep the vibe alive, long after our tour is gone.""No Shoes Radio" will be available on XM channel 18 from July 26 through October 25. The channel will also be on XM Radio Online(, where it will stream for an additional three months. Complete programming information for the channel will be availableonline at

The Statler Stalking continues...

If you have been around this blog for a while you may remember my discussion of the Kennedy family. Not the political Kennedys... the musical Kennedys. The Kennedys are connected to the Reids... and without all the talent in those 2 families, I'm quite sure I'd have never been inspired to have made the journey to music city.

I spent time tonight with the Kennedys (Jerry, Gordon, and Bryan) and the Reids (Wil and Layla, Langdon and Alexis, Harold and Brenda).

As if that wasn't awesome enough -- we were at the Bluebird Cafe.

And just when it couldn't get any better... Bryan played "Cowgirl's Saddle" and dedicated it to Harold. Who roared with laughter.

I thank God for Circles....