Country

Lady Antebellum Reveals New Album Details!

Multi-PLATINUM country music group Lady Antebellum is sharing new details today on their forthcoming third Capitol Nashville studio album OWN THE NIGHT, in stores Sept. 13.

After sweeping the 2011 GRAMMY Awards earlier this year, the singer/songwriters returned to Nashville to focus on writing and recording the follow up to their top selling NEED YOU NOW.  The trio penned 10 of the new disc’s 12 tracks, including their fastest rising and current Top 10 single “Just A Kiss.”  Collaborating again with veteran producer Paul Worley, Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott also return as co-producers.

"We're definitely more in tune with each other musically and personally than ever," said Haywood. "It's an exciting place to be. This album was created from the ground up—we are writing these songs, playing these instruments and creating these arrangements.  With OWN THE NIGHT, more than ever before, I think we share a real feeling of accomplishment both as a band and as friends.”

"Our only hope and expectation for this record is that it will build on the first two," adds Charles Kelley.  "At the end of the day, we just want our fans to be able to say that we continue to give them solid albums with solid songs they can enjoy from start to finish."

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OWN THE NIGHT Track List:

1. We Owned The Night

2. Just A Kiss

3. Dancin’ Away With My Heart

4. Friday Night

5. When You Were Mine

6. Cold As Stone

7. Singing Me Home

8. Wanted You More

9. As You Turn Away

10. The Love I’ve Found In You

11. Somewhere Love Remains

12. The Heart Of The World

TG Sheppard and Wayne Mills Collaborate to Remake Sheppard's Hit "I Loved 'Em Everyone"

Wayne Mills and country legend, TG Sheppard head into Ocean Way Studios along with famed producer Denny Diante to remake Sheppard’s 1981 hit “I Loved ‘Em Everyone” which will be featured on Mills highly anticipated new album Long Hard Road under Diesel Records. Other musicians rounding out this all-star cast include Johnny Neel on the keyboard, formerly with the Allman Brothers, Chris Powell on drums, “Cowboy” Eddie Long, Jason "Rowdy" Cope, all with Jamey Johnson’s band, Mickey Raphael on harmonica, from Willie Nelson’s band, Gary Craig on bass and Luke Davis on guitar, both from Mill's band, and seasoned studio musicians Brent Mason and Steve Rutledge on lead and rhythm guitars.

“I came into the studio to record with Wayne because I believe in him. I hope our collaboration on this song is as good to Wayne as it was for me when I began my career,” says Sheppard when asked about remaking his hit “I Loved ‘Em Everyone.”

“Working with a country music legend like TG Sheppard is an incredible honor on both a personal and professional level,” says Mills. “I am humbled and grateful to have him on my record.  I am sure that all of our fans will enjoy the remake of ‘I Loved ‘Em Everyone,’” adds Mills.

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Wayne Mills Band

Wayne Mills will soon release his 7th studio album Long Hard Road where he worked with powerhouse producer Denny Diante under new Nashville record label, Diesel Records. Wayne, a native of Arab, AL, pushes the boundaries of contemporary country with tracks including “I Need the Country, Whiskey Bent and Jail Bound” and the title track “Long Hard Road” which chronicles the lonesome tale of a man making bad decisions and working through the consequences. With more than fifteen years of touring experience, Wayne has proved himself the consummate performer with a huge following in the Southeast while gaining influence in other markets. This singer/songwriter’s traditional country style blended with an edgy rock sound will please new and old country music fans alike with Long Hard Road. His music is the soundtrack to his life: leaving no stone unturned when it comes to lyrics and his life.

Introducing Nikki Lane! Gone, Gone, Gone EP Out July 19th

Nikki Lane’s Gone, Gone, Gone EP will be released July 19, 2011 on IAMSOUND. The EP will preview Lane’s full-length album out September 27, 2011 on IAMSOUND.

Nikki’s debut on IAMSOUND, the four-song EP titled Gone, Gone, Gone, features the title track (produced and co-written with Fool’s Gold’s Lewis Pesacov, who also produced the Best Coast album), “Western Bound” and “Down To The Wire,” two songs from an early self-released album titled No Room For Cowboys, and the alternate version of forthcoming album track, “Coming Home To You,” produced by David Cobb (Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson). On Gone, Gone, Gone, Nikki plays the rambler and sometimes drunkard with such an ardent aptitude she'd fit right in alongside those icons in whose songs she was able to find her own voice.

One glorious day some years back, teenage high school dropout Nikki Lane packed a trailer with her worldly possessions. With one hand firmly gripping a steering wheel and the other flipping the bird, she said so long to her home, Greenville, SC, the South and any sort of life it had suggested she should live. Western bound, she was headed to Los Angeles for no other reason than just because. After working various day-to-day jobs in fashion and the like, and living a life without clear direction, five years passed and Nikki started writing music, but soon forsook that path, after just two promising shows, for a job offer in New York.

But like the best country singers, shortly after moving to New York, heartbreak brought Nikki back to music. She started learning Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, John Prine and Merle Haggard tunes, trying her best to strum along and building her confidence along the way. Impressed with her bold vocal chops, classic, heartfelt country ballads, and wildly infectious personality, IAMSOUND found Nikki last year just before she relocated to Nashville to focus on her music career full time.

When not working on her music, Lane stays busy wearing various hats in fashion. She’ll be one of several artists featured in American Eagle's back to school ad campaign, and she owns a vintage boutique called High Class Hillbilly.

Listen to Nikki Lane’s “Gone, Gone, Gone” off of the Gone, Gone, Gone EP here.

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Gone, Gone, Gone EP Tracklisting:

1. Gone, Gone, Gone

2. Western Bound

3. Down To The Wire

4. Coming Home To You


Nikki Lane Tour Dates:

Fri. June 24 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement w/ Grayson Capps

Fri. July 1 – Chattanooga, TN @ Rhythm and Brews w/ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Sun. July 3 – Charleston, SC @ Pour House w/ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Aldean & Ludacris Collaboration Available On iTunes!

Last night at the 2011 CMT Music Awards, top nominee Jason Aldean and rapper Ludacris brought the house down with an unexpected collaboration of Aldean’s current Top 10 hit “Dirt Road Anthem.”  The remix of the song is now available on iTunes for download.  Additionally, the performance video will be available on Mon., June 13.

"Ludacris absolutely killed his verse of the song," said Aldean.  "He name checks Kenny Rogers and talks about drinking cold beer…that's pretty country, if you ask me!   I think Luda said it best last night at the close of the song when he told the crowd 'History has been made.'  It really did feel like one of those one-in-a-lifetime television moments, and the CMT Music Awards was the perfect show for it.  The fans were crazy!"

To watch Aldean and Ludacris’ performance of “Dirt Road Anthem” from last night’s CMT Music Awards, click here.

Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” is currently the No. one song on the iTunes Country Songs chart, and it plowed its way into the Top 10 on the radio charts this week.  The fan-favorite track is the third single off MY KINDA PARTY that has already spawned two smash hits ( “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and "My Kinda Party).  The album hit big out of the gate, setting a record as the highest first week debut by a male artist in 4 years, and the now PLATINUM disc it has remained planted at the top of the chart since its Nov. release. 

Lady Antebellum Unveils Album Release Date!

Reigning CMA and ACM Vocal “Group of the Year” Lady Antebellum announced today that their third Capitol Nashville studio album OWN THE NIGHT will be released on Sept. 13, 2011. The album’s lead and record breaking track “Just A Kiss” has quickly become the fastest rising single of the trio’s career, climbing into the Top 15 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart in just five weeks.

“We took more time to write and record this record than we've ever done before,” says Charles Kelley. “I remember looking at Hillary and Dave at the GRAMMYs this year, on the wildest night of our lives, and saying 'this is amazing…we'll never get to experience a moment like this again, but now we have to go home and get to work.'"

"And that's exactly what we did," adds Dave Haywood.  "We packed up and flew home from LA, cleared our calendar of everything and went into rehearsal with the musicians.  I love that part of recording…taking the songs we've written and bringing them to life with these musicians who are so incredibly talented."

“One of our favorite songs on the new record is called 'We Owned The Night,' which is about a special once-in-a-lifetime moment, and we thought that naming the album around that same sentiment was really appropriate," says Hillary Scott. "It's also about the experience we want to create every night in concert for our fans…together, we own the night!"

OWN THE NIGHT follows the band’s GRAMMY winning second disc NEED YOU NOW.  Since its release in Jan. 2010, the album has sold over five million copies across the globe, spawned three multi-week No. one hits (“Need You Now,” “American Honey,” “Our Kind of Love”), taken home five GRAMMY Awards and scored over a dozen other award show trophies.

For updates on OWN THE NIGHT and for a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit www.ladyantebellum.com.

Connie Smith's Long Long Of Heartaches | Out 8/23

New recordings by the country music legend Connie Smith, long acclaimed as one of the greatest singers in the history of the genre have been as rare as the voice and knowing singing she brings to them.  Long Line of Heartaches, set for release on August 23rd, her first full album of new material since 1996 (and only her second since 1978) is an event in the making. That’s not just for the rarity, or because her legions of fans have so long awaited this news, but because in its range of undiluted traditional country moods, themes, rhythms and sound, this new Sugar Hill release is simply, unmistakably a new Connie Smith masterpiece, offering the pleasures of the very best that saw release during her remarkable run of recordings during the 1960s and‘70s.

“And that,” she says. “is exactly what I wanted to accomplish.  I’ve had people ask me what this album was going to be like, since it’s been a long time since they’ve heard me on record, but my musical tastes have remained the same. I wanted this to be traditional country, and it is.”

“One of the reasons that I wanted to do this recording, and it’s a personal reason, is that I have such a deep love for traditional country music. We can talk about the music slipping away, or we can do something about it.  The only way I know to do something about it is to keep singing what I’ve always loved.”

The album’s dozen new tracks, potent songs of heartache, joy, and spirit recorded at Nashville’s celebrated RCA Victor Studio B, where Connie recorded most of her chart-topping hits in her first years as a recording artist, include five new traditional country songs co-written by Connie and husband Marty Stuart, the project’s producer. Memorable songs come from long favored Smith sources such as icons Harlan Howard, Foster & Rice, Kostas, Johnny Russell and Smith’s longtime collaborator Dallas Frazier.  Frazier’s song “A Heart Like You” becomes the 69th Frazier composition that Smith has recorded – breaking his 30 years of songwriting silence, an event within itself.

Having become an overnight country sensation in 1964 when her first single, “Once a Day”, became a number one hit, the first time a female country singer’s debut single accomplished that, Connie Smith enjoyed a string of hits in the following years that have become country standards, including “Ain’t Had No Lovin’”, “Just One Time”, “Run Away Little Tears” “I never Once Stopped Loving You” and “The Hurtin’s All Over”.  She became a star whose iconic voice has influenced other singers for decades. She has recorded a string of 53 albums notable for their quality and range.

To this legacy she now adds Long Line of Heartaches, featuring her band The Sundowners and, for the first time, her three daughters, Julie, Jeanne and Jodi who add striking family harmonies on the contemporary hymn “Take My Hand.”

“I still love to sing as much as I ever did.  I could sing at the kitchen sink and I’d be happy. I feel it is my destiny to sing.”  Country music fans everywhere should rejoice in the fact that we get to be a part of that destiny.

Jason Aldean Sells Over 66,000 Tickets in 3 Shows!

As the “My Kinda Party Tour” shifts into high gear for the nation’s biggest summer amphitheatre dates, PLATINUM selling country rocker Jason Aldean is already posting capacity crowds well in advance of each concert.  In the upcoming two runs, Aldean has sold out three shows a week in advance, including the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Indianapolis, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in St. Louis, Mo. and the Jiffy Lube Live in Washington, DC for a total of over 66,000 tickets sold for the three dates.

"It is exciting to see Jason's shows selling out, but the fact that they are selling out A WEEK IN ADVANCE is nothing short of amazing,” said Brian O’Connell, Live Nation's President of Country Touring.  “Jason is taking his rightful place at the top of the touring world in all genres as a major superstar.”

Fans can now vote for Aldean for the 2011 CMT Awards where he leads the nominations with four for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for “My Kinda Party,” Collaborative Video of the Year for “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and Best Web Video of the Year for “My Kinda Party” Live from the CMT Webcast.  He will also perform on the June 8 live broadcast.

Additionally, Aldean’s fourth album which was released on Nov. 2, continues to hold strong in the No. one spot on the Billboard Country Albums chart selling nearly 30,000 copies again this week.  The current single, the fan-favorite “Dirt Road Anthem” is driving up the radio charts parking in the Top 20 only five weeks after release. The track follows MY KINDA PARTY’s two previous No. one hits “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Kelly Clarkson and it’s title track.

For a full list of tour dates and upcoming appearances, visit www.jasonaldean.com.

Gary Nicholson's New CD, Texas Songbook

Gary Nicholson is a musical renaissance man — a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning record producer, a guitarist, singer, and recording artist. A consistent presence on the upper reaches of the country chart hit parade for the last three decades, his associations and collaborations read like an honor roll of notable talent in country and beyond: George Strait, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Robert Plant, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Gregg Allman, The Judds, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Del McCoury, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, John Prine, Keb’ Mo’, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson among them. His songs have been heard in the movies Crazy Heart, Major League, City of Hope, Message in a Bottle and Where the Heart Is. “I’m always curious about working with different people and styles,” he says.

He is also a true blue son of the Lone Star State whose love and pride for the place he calls home brims from every track of his Bismeaux Records album, Texas Songbook, due out June 21, 2011. Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

The album leaps into a Lone Star state of mind from the opening track, “Texas Weather,” and keeps the theme dancing though “She Feels Like Texas,” “A Woman in Texas, A Woman in Tennessee,” “Lone Star Blues” (with Ely and Benson singing along, and just recorded by George Strait for his next album), “Talkin’ Texan” and “Texas Ruby” (with Ball on piano). The set includes the signature song “Fallin’ & Flyin’” from Crazy Heart, the infectiously swinging “Messin’ With My Woman” (with backing vocals by Benson and Roberts), “Same Kind of Crazy” (written with McClinton, who plays harmonica on the track and cut the song, as did George Strait on his Twang album), and “Listen to Willie” (a tribute to the Red-Haired Stranger with Stoney LaRue and Benson on vocals and Mickey Raphael on harmonica). It wraps up with “Bless Them All” (with the McCrary Sisters), “Live, Laugh, Love” (previously recorded by Texan Clay Walker), and the closing grace note of “Some Days You Write the Song” (the title song of the Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, co-written with Clark and Jon Randall Stewart).

Nicholson’s impetus for making Texas Songbook was his recent induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. “I’ve always wanted to make a truly country record,” he says of his fourth release in his own right. “So I figured, okay, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this in Texas with all Texas players and with songs co-written by Texans. I’m just going to make the most Texas record I can possibly make and have fun doing it.”

To do so, the first and only choice was to “go straight to Ray Benson.” Recorded at Benson’s Bismeaux Studio, the disc features Asleep at the Wheel members and associates Roberts (fiddle), David Sanger (drums), Floyd Domino (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass) as well as steel guitarist Tommy Detamore and accordion player Joel Guzman. “I couldn’t have made this record in Nashville and gotten this music,” notes Nicholson, a Music City resident for now more than three decades. “I could have come close. But I knew I could only make this album in Texas.” Plus for good measure include in the creative mix some honorary Texans from the state’s “north 40” of Oklahoma like guest singer and Lone Star/Red Dirt music scene hero LaRue and Kevin Welch, co-writer of “Listen to Willie” and now residing in the Hill Country town of Wimberley.

The trail that led Nicholson to becoming an integral and pervasive presence in the Nashville music industry and scene — and 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and nomination to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame — begins in Garland in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where he came of age within the fertile musical context of the mid 1950s.

He soon took up the guitar and started playing folk and country music, making his public debut in his school’s eighth grade talent show and winning it. Then along came The Ventures and Nicholson took up electric guitar. When he later came to believe that the Beatles “were the greatest thing ever” and heard area resident Freddie King, his fate was sealed. As a teen he played in such British Invasion-inspired bands as the Valiants, the Catalinas and the Untouchables.

While studying at North Texas State University in nearby Denton, Nicholson fell in with such other musical students as soon-to-be Eagle Don Henley and pianist/producer/arranger Jim Ed Norman, later president of the Warner Bros. Nashville label. He stayed busy by night in club bands, and was also recruited to tour with the Nazz after Todd Rundgren left the group. “They hired me because I had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul,” Nicholson recalls with a chuckle. Following a night in 1971 hanging out with Gram Parsons on a swing through Dallas by the American-music pioneer, Nicholson left college and, urged on by Parsons, moved with his band to Los Angeles.

His friends Henley and Norman soon followed as Nicholson went on to win his first publishing deal, scored his debut recorded cover by bluegrass star Doug Dillard, and inked a record deal with Kapp/MCA with his band, Uncle Jim’s Music. They rehearsed in the same building as budding star Linda Ronstadt, whose producer John Boylan helmed the first of the band’s two albums of Nicholson’s songs (with Norman on keyboards for the second), prized by collectors.

Not long after watching Henley join forces with Glenn Frey in Ronstadt’s band and then soar to superstardom in The Eagles, Nicholson married his college sweetheart Barbara and headed back to Texas in 1973. Despite the artistic boom in California, “I liked the music back in Texas better,” he notes. One reason why was an album by locals and fellow expatriates to L.A. who would also return home, Delbert & Glen (Clark).

Nicholson wound up doing stints as a guitarist in McClinton’s band throughout the rest of the 1970s. He also started a group called Hot Sauce that melded country-rock and blues and were sometimes joined by his guitar hero Freddie King at their weekly Sunday residency at Mother Blues in Dallas. He also sharpened his Western swing and country chops taking gigs throughout North Texas, and continued to hone his songwriting skills.

Then Norman tapped a Nicholson song, “Jukebox Argument,” for a recording by Mickey Gilley that ended up on the Urban Cowboy 2 soundtrack. His friend then invited him to relocate to Nashville to write for his publishing company in 1980. By 1984 he had joined the roster of legendary writers at Tree Publishing and nabbed his first No. 1 cut with “That’s the Thing About Love” by Don Williams. He has since written or co-written scores of country chart songs including such Top 10 gems as “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill), “The Trouble With the Truth” (Patty Loveless), “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery Gentry) and Reba’s “When Love Gets a Hold of You.”

Nicholson showcased his skills as a producer on his 1995 solo debut, The Sky Is Not the Limit. Four albums for McClinton followed, two of them Grammy winners (Best Contemporary Blues Album) and another nominated, and to date the longtime friends have written some 40 songs together that Delbert has recorded. His other noteworthy productions include T. Graham Brown’s acclaimed Wine Into Water, New Day Dawning by Wynonna and the landmark Reunion by the Judds as well as discs by Chris Knight, Seth Walker and Pam Tillis plus Marcia Ball’s latest album, among others.

Soon after arriving in Music City Nicholson did his first session as a guitarist. His credit can be found on numerous albums since, especially when a taste of Texas C&W and blues is called for. He toured out of Nashville in his early years there with Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Tracy Nelson and Gail Davies until Bobby Bare advised him to leave his band and better spend his time at home writing songs. Now that his sons are grown, Nicholson is back out on the road and with his band Fortunate Sons, who put out an album in 2010, as well as gigging and making a record under his nom de blues Whitey Johnson. As Texas Songbook hits the market, he also gathers together a country band to share stages with Asleep at the Wheel over the summer of 2011.

Texas Songbook follows the form of his previous Nashville Songbook album that collected a number of Nicholson’s top country covers in his own versions. Given his Lone Star State roots, his latest disc is a truly special endeavor for the multi-talented musical artist. “I’m really proud of it,” he concludes. “It’s very important stuff for me. As great as Nashville is and has been to me, it will never take the place of Texas in my heart."

Marty Stuart Reveals Lineup For 10th Annual Late Night Jam

GRAMMY award winner Marty Stuart will host a special 10th Anniversary Late Night Jam on June 8 beginning at 10:00 PM at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.  Country music icons Dolly Parton, Mel Tillis and Connie Smith, along with The Quebe Sisters Band, Doug Kershaw and more surprise guests will be joining Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives for this year’s event.  The Late Night Jam has become the unofficial kick-off of the CMA Music Festival and prior to any lineup information being released, tickets for this year’s event have sold faster than ever before. Proceeds will benefit MusiCares with a portion also going to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“It's hard to believe that the Late Night Jam is ten years old,” said Stuart.  “I can't help but think back on the first one.  I was nervous; pacing and hoping that we'd have enough people show up.  The show ended up being a sell-out and we’ve been going strong ever since.  That first show was over 25,000 people ago, and it was also many good deeds ago from MusiCares, and a lot of really magical performances ago from some of my dearest musical friends. Every year I say, ‘How can I top that show?’  Somehow it happens and good things result from it. This year will be no different.”

Over the past 10 years, Stuart has brought artists such as Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Porter Wagoner, Neko Case, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Lee Lewis and more to the Ryman stage for a one of a kind marathon jam session all in the name of charity and country music.

Stuart, a stalwart of traditional country music, recently received his fifth career GRAMMY award for “Best Country Instrumental” for “Hummingbyrd,” from his critically acclaimed album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS).  His TV show, The Marty Stuart Show, continues to bring traditional country music into living rooms across the country every Saturday night on RFD-TV.   Upcoming episodes will feature Brad Paisley, Old Crow Medicine Show, Keith Urban, Paul Shaffer and Travis Tritt.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.martystuart.net.

Kinky Friedman embarks on "Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011"

This spring, starting April 27th in Kansas City, Missouri, Kinky Friedman, author, musician, politician, and self-proclaimed Governor of the Heart of Texas, will be performing dates throughout the Midwest and East Coast as part of his Springtime for Kinky Tour of 2011. Often returning to places he has not visited in two decades, the Kinkster will appear solo (primarily) and promote his most recent books, What Would Kinky Do? and Heroes of a Texas Childhood. There will be a book signing at each venue.

Buoyed by his Go West Young Kinky Tour last spring and his monster appearance on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in October, Kinky will take his show to many of his favorite American cities. Playing the songs for which he is best known, such as “They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore” and “Sold American,” reading passages from his books, and carrying on his hilarious running commentary on the state of the union, Kinky, the prodigal son of Texas, will, indeed, return to the scenes of his crimes of years gone by.

Though years have passed since the last full-on Texas Jewboys show, Kinky continues to be associated with that infamous band of his early career, partly because of his long friendship with Bob Dylan (Kinky did, of course, travel with the Rolling Thunder Revue), but mostly because of the band’s total outrageousness and those legendary songs. On the projects list for 2011 is a Willie Nelson CD of Kinky's songs, which will be no less than the third tribute album to Kinky and his work. Willie, who has a new Sony record deal, and who has been swapping stories and playing chess with Kinky for decades, will confirm these tunes as American standards.

Meanwhile, Kinky continues to “spit out books like sunflower seeds,” with a brand new deal to co-write one with old pal Billy Bob Thornton. And he is now being immortalized onstage with a play called Becoming Kinky . . . The World According to Kinky Friedman, written by Ted Swindley, who created the long-running hit Always . . . Patsy Cline, and starring up-and-comer Jesse Dayton.

Kinky may be finished with politics, but politics may not be finished with Kinky.  He continues to be a popular guest on cable news channels, appearing with hosts as diverse as John Seigenthaler and Bill O’Reilly, and his regular contributions to Texas Monthly never fail to take proper shots at the insanity of Texas politics.  He also contributes to such national media as The New York Times and Playboy, more often than not skewing deserving politicians wherever they may be.

And that’s not all in 2011: an Australian tour is on the agenda for June. Kinky will be joined by long-time Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks, as the two old friends visit Kinky's second favorite continent. But in the meantime . . .

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Springtime for Kinky Tour 2011

Wed., April 27  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Thurs., April 28  LITTLE ROCK, AR Juanita's
Fri., April 29  ST. LOUIS, MO Off Broadway
Sat., April 30  OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Blue Door
Sun., May 1  NEWPORT, KY (CINCINNATI, OH) Southgate House
Mon., May 2  NASHVILLE, TN 3rd and Lindsley
Tues., May 3  CLEVELAND, OH Wilbert's
Thurs., May 5  MILWAUKEE, WI Shank Hall
Sat., May 7  BERWYN (CHICAGO), IL Fitzgerald's
Sun., May 8  PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Mon., May 9  NEW YORK, NY Highline Theater
Tues., May 10  ROCHESTER, NY Water Street
Fri., May 13  ALEXANDRIA, VA (WASHINGTON, DC) Birchmere
Sat., May 14  WOODSTOCK, NY Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble