Idols Gone Country: 1/15/11 Edition

Casey James Supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, photo credit MSN One Country Blog

We’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! This edition of Idols Gone Country features updates on Aaron Kelly, Bo Bice, Bucky Covington, Carrie Underwood, Casey James, Danny Gokey, Kellie Pickler, and Kristy Lee Cook. We’ve got updates on new music from most of them. Check it all out after the jump!

Newlywed Kellie Pickler’s expected to release a new album in 2011, and more possible song titles have surfaced as well as a demo of a song that may be on her album! The new titles are:

  • “Ordinary Day” (Kellie Pickler, Dean Dillon, Dale Dodson)
  • “This Ain’t Me” (Barry Dean, Brent Cobb, Kellie Pickler
  • ASCAP confirms that one of the songs Kellie has recorded for her upcoming 3rd album is called “Just Give Me Jesus” which is cowritten by Kellie’s husband Kyle Jacobs, Benjamin Glover, and Rachel Thibodeau. Kyle Jacobs’s demo of the song is up on his Myspace page.

    Find more artists like Kyle Jacobs at Myspace Music

    Bo Bice posted an audio message yesterday to his fans saying he’s been writing and recording new songs too. He mentioned writing one song with Victoria Shaw and Gary Burr and another one with Shaw and Peter Sallis. Victoria Shaw and Gary Burr cowrote Lady Antebellum’s song for the NBC 2010 Olympics album “I Was Here”. Victoria Shaw and Gary Burr have mostly written for country singers (including Garth Brooks, Reba, and Doug Stone). They also cowrote the Ricky Martin duet with Christina Aguilera “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely”. Peter Sallis is a country/Christian drummer/songwriter who wrote a song that is expected to be on Bucky Covington’s sophomore album (see below).

    Danny Gokey‘s been getting involved in songwriting for the 1st time as he preps his sophomore album. Among the songs he’s cowritten is one called “Big Old World” with Lee Thomas Miller and Ross Copperman. Lee Thomas Miller is known for cowriting Brad Paisley’s “The World”, Jamey Johnson’s “In Color”, and Trace Adkins’s “You’re Gonna Miss This”. Ross Copperman is a pop/rock singer-songwriter who’s released an album in the UK but recently moved to Nashville. Recently Lee Miller and Ross Copperman cowrote a pretty acoustic ballad called “Only Water” with CCM singer-songwriter Brandon Heath. that is on his upcoming album Leaving Eden (releasing 1/18/11). You can listen to Brandon Heath performing the song here:

    Kristy Lee Cook has also been writing for a new album, expected to release later this year through her new label Broken Bow Records. She’s been collaborating with Dean Sams of Lonestar. They wrote a song called “I Want That Feelin” with another country songwriter, Amy Dalley (who’s written for Reba).

    Aaron Kelly tweeted last night that he’d be writing with a good friend of his named Jordyn Shellhart. Jordyn was signed to Columbia Nashville last year at the age of 15 years old. The label is still developing her before releasing her 1st major label single to country radio.

    The wait is still on for Bucky Covington‘s sophomore album. It is “Good to Joe” written by Peter Sallis, Kris Bergsnes (Wynonna, Randy Travis, Clay Walker), and Bill Shore (George Strait, Sawyer Brown) and produced by recent Kenny Chesney duet partner Mac Mcanally. Also check out video of Bucky Covington performing another song he expects to be on his sophomore album. The song is called “Drinkin Side Of Country”.

    Casey James‘s music is stirring excitement within his label, as already reported. Meanwhile, he was one of many artists to show his support the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids effort today, a drive to raise money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For those unfamiliar with it:

    St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.

    Here are some pictures of Casey at today’s event:

    Photo Credit: St Jude FB Page

    From Brian Mansfield at USA Today:

    Group Picture Of Artists & Kids At Country Cares For St. Jude Kids Seminar 1-14-11 Photo Credit: Joey & Rory Twitter Account

    EDIT: Added VIDEO of Casey commenting on the experience of being part of the Country Cares seminar. Thanks LVD.

    Carrie Underwood is finishing up a week of radio interviews from Ottawa to promote “Mama’s Song”. She revealed her special ringtone for her husband Mike Fisher (WBEE), and mentioned one of the new artists that’s caught her attention recently is The Band Perry, prompting this tweet by The Band Perry:

    TBP <3s CU. RT @Countrymusic199: Carrie Underwood says that she really likes the @thebandperry!!!!! She really likes kimberly’s voice!!

    She also discussed what she thinks about her husband getting into fights during hockey games and how their dogs get along with Mike (KMIL), adjusting to King’s English spelling and mangling French street names in Montreal (

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

    KFRG), developing a Canadian accent (WUSN), how her mom enjoys her own celebrity status (WQYK), and bedazzled microphones, how sometimes single choices are about what fits her life and not what’s going to go to #1, how many times she had to splash water on her face for the Olay commercial, and whether she’ll ever record a gospel CD (Go Country 105).

    In an interview with KIX97.9 Carrie confirmed that after taking most of January off, she will start writing for a new album in February. In other interviews, she confirmed that she will spend 2011 trying to live a normal life while writing and recording a new album. Three words to Carrie for when she starts her next album: “Oklahoma Wind” PLEASE.

    Carrie will be attending the Golden Globe Awards tomorrow for the first time. She is nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “There’s A Place For Us” which she cowrote with fellow nominees David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey for Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.

    If you have additional newsworthy items on our Idols Gone Country (including Josh Gracin), feel free to post them in comments and I’ll update this post!

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    Deb B

    Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.
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    • steph6449

      Carrie had a few songs on her last two albums that she co-wrote, didn’t she? How much songwriting did she do that led to that result?

      It’s interesting as Danny has been co-writing for months, with quite a variety of songwriters he is working with. Not sure how many is a realistic number of Danny co-writes to make his album, but he is certainly putting the effort into it to try. Last I heard, he was quoted as saying they had quite a few songs completed.

    • Joyed

      Thanks for the awesome info, windmills! Paints an awesome picture of the Idol country scene.

      steph6449, Carrie co-wrote 7 of 12 songs on “Play On,” including all of her singles, I believe. Not sure about “Carnival Ride.”

      ETA. After some googling, she apparently co-wrote 4 songs on Carnival Ride – including “So Small”, “All-American Girl”, and “Last Name.”

    • car3278sweet

      I’ve been seriously suffering Casey withdrawal symptoms for months. Thanks, windmills, for the updates. You made my day.

    • Indigobunting

      Thanks Joyed; I wasn’t aware of that either re Carrie cowrites; I guess I never pay much attention to who writes a song, lol.

      I hope Casey gets to perform at the Radiothon like Danny did last year; there has been a real sparsity of Casey music for us to tide ourselves over with.

      Thanks for the info on the new Danny Gokey song WM; that is one Danny fans hadn’t heard of. He has certainly been writing with a variety of writers since November; he also recently tweeted about writing with Matthew West, who is also performing at the TN governor ceremony thingee that Bo Bice will be at.

    • windmills

      steph6449: How much songwriting did she do that led to that result?

      Songwriter Luke Laird said that Carrie cowrote about 60 songs for Play On for the 7 that made it on the album. We found 50 or so new song titles that she’d cowritten so if he’s off he’s not off by much. She started writing in January/February 2009 and she was still writing in July/August but she’d started recording songs in May. Based on what fans dug up as far as song titles I think she cowrote 20-25 songs for Carnival Ride for the 4 that made it on the album.

      There’s a list of the known songs Carrie’s cowritten here. It doesn’t break down which ones were for Carnival Ride and which ones were for Play On. 3 of the songs on that list (There’s A Place For Us/See You Again/Distant Lullaby) were written for Narnia.

    • Indigobunting

      Wow. So a small % that actually made it on the album.

      I guess we probably won’t see more than one or two then that make Danny’s album.

      It will be fun guessing and waiting though.

    • girlygirl

      It’s interesting to me just how many songs are written and recorded in relation to how many actually end up making an album.

      Also, I saw on twitter that Josh Gracin has a show at the Viper Room here in L.A. on January 27

    • LVD

      A short video of Casey:,AAAAEkieuUk~,x02r8dxEGLMlKb5UgXwXq2S4jvztKruk&bctid=751103788001

      Casey looks great I think this event really suits Casey well. :-)

    • steph6449

      I hope Danny will get several of the co-writes onto the album. He seems very excited about the writing process and results so far, aww. Will be interesting to hear them when they eventually surface. Some speculation whether perhaps he might unveil one or two in the informal atmosphere of his upcoming concert cruise with fans.

    • telemetry

      I hope Casey gets a chance to perform tonight, and if he does I hope someone will record it.

    • Lucy1234

      Thanks for the info on the Idols. Glad to see Danny co-writing so many songs. Very excited to hear what he comes up with. There is some new tidbits of news on Danny and glad for any info we can get.

    • Hope07

      Does anyone know if there is anywhere else to hear Carrie’s interview? An ad for Lysol keeps playing over it, and I’d love to hear what she has to say.

    • lucysfave

      Thanks for the new Idols Gone Country thread. Waiting for a new single off an album under development is hard on our patience. I don’t know how the avid David Cook fans have been able to persevere! At least the Danny fans were treated to “Tennessee Christmas” while we wait for the new material to be leaked/released.

      Hopefully bits of information will be coming out with the interviews that will surface from all of our Idols as a new season of American Idol kicks off. The beauty of being an Idol: its a built in opportunity for the industry to want to get an opinion on the new season and an update on past contestants’ careers.

    • windmills

      I added the Casey video to the post. Thanks LVD.

      Hope07: Which interview are you talking about? I posted links to a bunch so if you tell me the station I could try to find you another link.

      girlygirl: It’s interesting to me just how many songs are written and recorded in relation to how many actually end up making an album.

      Even the whys of what makes it and what doesn’t can be interesting. Like with Carrie there’s a song called Oklahoma Wind that she cowrote with the legendary Bill Anderson and Jon Randall. Because of a leak we’ve heard a raw version and it’s the best song she’s ever cowritten. There’s NO way it didn’t make Play On because it wasn’t good enough.

      But there’s a song on Play On called Someday When I Stop Loving You that’s kind of like Oklahoma Wind in that they’re both traditional country heartbreak ballads. Carrie didn’t cowrite SWISLY (which is the most critically acclaimed song from Play On and also the one that’s Carrie’s favorite) but she did cowrite OW. If they both couldn’t be on Play On you’d think Oklahoma Wind would have the advantage because Carrie cowrote it. But they might’ve not wanted SWISLY to go to anybody else.

      They can control OW because Carrie cowrote it so I’m hoping they’re saving it for the next album. It’d be CRAZY for Carrie not to release it. I know I’m hyping it like crazy but I really believe it’s great enough to be a career song for Carrie. It shows just how a great a country singer she is.

    • Hope07

      Windmills, thank you. I was trying to listen to the one with the play bar right above. It all worked out, though, as company came, and after they left, I came back and the ad is not there. Lots of entertaining Carrie information in those interviews!

      It was nice to see info on so many idols, so thanks for that, too!

    • Eileen99

      Nice job, Windmills. I’m excited for Casey’s new music!

    • asics85

      Thanks for the thread on the Country Idols! I was glad to see it included news on so many different artists too.

      Great to see the scoop on Danny’s new music….I hadn’t heard about the writers mentioned above in other reports from his song writing sessions. This is the first I’ve read about any possible song titles too. Keep the news coming!