Idols Gone Country – 9/22 Edition

Here’s your latest edition of our Idols Gone Country series! It features:

  • Original country Idol Josh Gracin, who recently renamed his upcoming album and has been hard at work touring and promoting his single “Cover Girl”,
  • Bo Bice, who is also racking up the miles getting acquainted with the people at country radio and promoting his single “You Take Yourself With You” while mixing in live concert sets,
  • Word on opening night for Diana DeGarmo, who plays Doralee Rhodes in the national touring company version of 9 to 5: The Musical with Bo Bice in attendance,
  • Casey James, who is already making connections and even taking part in a Nashville tradition with country songwriters,
  • Aaron Kelly, who is also hard at work writing up a storm in Nashville,
  • Carrie Underwood, the title of whose summer songwriting collabs have surfaced and who just released another sneak peek picture from her upcoming video for “Mama’s Song”,
  • Kellie Pickler, who’s had a bunch of titles of cowritten songs for her upcoming album surface while she’s touring with Rascal Flatts,
  • Michael Sarver, who tweeted out the tracklisting for his upcoming Christmas album,
  • Danny Gokey, who participated in country singer’s Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run event late last week and is back out on the road later this week,
  • Rumored to be engaged Bucky Covington, who recently did an interview shedding new light on the status on his sophomore album I’m Alright UPDATE and did another interview talking about signing with a new label,
  • Read all about it after the jump.

    Josh Gracin is teasing some “big news” in his latest blog. He has been crisscrossing the country promoting his single “Cover Girl”. Recently Josh did an interview with the York Dispatch and made no bones about feeling like he still has to get past the Idol stigma despite having three top 5 hits off his Gold-certified debut album and another top 10 hit off his sophomore album. Asked why he has named his new album Redemption Josh said:

    But I figured the only way I could kind of shed any naysayers is to come out with an album that 100 percent involved me as far as writing it and producing it. So that’s how the album title came about because it really is about “Redemption” in all aspects. Redemption from the music I was doing. Redemption as far as how people view me because I came from a talent show. I felt it was a good title to kind of put out there what I felt when I made the album.

    Josh is coproducing his whole album with Kevin Murphy.

    Here’s video of Josh performing a new song at the Faire Vue Cafe on the York Fair fairgrounds:

    Here’s a review of his show from York Dispatch.

    Bo Bice has been making the rounds meeting and performing for country radio stations. Morning DJ Lori Grande at Boston’s WKLB seemed really taken by Bo’s talent and down home charm. Check out this picture, and these performance and interview videos from Bo’s time at WKLB:

  • “Different Shades Of Blue”
  • “You Take Yourself With You”
  • “Keep On Rollin”
  • Interview Part 1
  • Interview Part 2
  • Interview Part 3
  • Bo also met up with the afternoon DJ at WFRE in Frederick, Maryland and there are videos from that too. Bo describes his album 3 as a mix of all his influences: Southern rock, Southern gospel, blues, some straight country, and some rock.
    Bo Bice WFRE Interview Part 1
    Bo Bice WFRE Interview Part 2 + “Different Shades Of Blue”

    Bo also performed an acoustic version of his single for Kix 97.9 in Springfield Massachusetts. Bo Bice Performs \"You Take Yourself With You\" Acoustically For Kix 97.9 Check out his interview with the station here. He says his dream tour to go on would be with ZZ Top and Charlie Daniels!

    Bo played the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den last Saturday 9/19. Check out videos from that courtesy irisesj326 here.

    Diana DeGarmo sent out a few excited tweets before she set out for opening night of the national touring company version 9 to 5: The Musical at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center last night. Dolly Parton was in attendance last night as well. Here is Diana’s “before” picture. She has promised an “after” picture today. Diana also tweeted that Dolly supported her with gifts of peanut butter fudge and Diana’s favorite flowers. 9 to 5: The Musical will be in Nashville until September 26th before heading out to tour the rest of the country. Tour dates are avaliable here. Edit: Daytripper73 reports that Bo Bice was there for opening night! He confirms this with photos on his Facebook page. Here is a video report about Diana’s work in 9 to 5: The Musical from WBIR Knoxville and youtube of Diana rehearsing the Dolly song “Backwoods Barbie”, thanks Teenytiny7.

    Casey James has been busy networking with Nashville songwriters according to Brian Mansfield, who tweeted last Saturday:

    Just bumped into Casey James. He’s having meetings this afternoon. Says he has started scheduling writing appointments for his album.

    Brian Mansfield also reports that on Saturday night, Casey participated in a “guitar pull” with Aimee Mayo and frequent Carrie Underwood collaborator Luke Laird. Out of Carrie’s singles Laird has cowritten “So Small”, “Last Name”, “Temporary Home”, “Undo It”, and current single “Mama’s Song”. He also recently hit #1 with CMA Single Of The Year nominated “Hillbilly Bone” which is sung by Blake Shelton with a guest appearance by Trace Adkins. A “guitar pull” is a Nashville songwriter tradition where songwriters gather around and perform a song they wrote and then pass the guitar over to the next person.

    Aaron Kelly continues to cowrite songs in Nashville. He tweeted about writing with Mark Markchetti, Tammy Dodge, and Angela Kaset. Angela Kaset has cowritten songs for Lorrie Morgan, Wynonna Judd, and Suzy Bogguss.

    Carrie Underwood fans have found the title of the 3rd song that she cowrote this summer with Hillary Lindsey and David Hodges in the The Harry Fox Agency Songfile. It is called “A Place For Us”. Still no word on which of the 3 songs will be on the “special project” that Carrie mentioned in a blog earlier this summer. The other 2 songs that the trio cowrote this summer are registered at BMI and are titled “Distant Lullaby” and “See You Again”. Carrie’s Play On Tour resumes this Saturday in Portland Oregon at the Rose Garden.

    In other news VEVO tweeted a sneak peek picture from Carrie’s video for “Mama’s Song” set to premiere on VEVO on Friday, September 24th.

    Kellie Pickler has been writing and recording for her 3rd album and a new song she cowrote has popped up at BMI. It is called “Arm Candy” and it’s a song she cowrote with Natalie Hemby, who cowrote Miranda Lambert’s White Liar and Only Prettier and the title track of Carrie’s current album “Play On”. Other apparently new songs that Kellie’s cowritten are up at Harry Fox Agency Songfile:

  • “Rockaway” (Barry Dean, Kellie Pickler, Brent Cobb) which Brent Cobb already confirmed Kellie’s recorded,
  • “As Long As I Never See You Again” (Dale Dodson, Kellie Pickler, Dean Dillon),
  • “The Last Word” (Kellie Pickler, Karyn Rochelle, Bob DiPiero),
  • “Barefoot And Crazy” (Bob DiPiero, Kellie Pickler, Karyn Rochelle),
  • “Ring Ring” (Bob DiPiero, Kellie Pickler, Karyn Rochelle).
  • Karyn Rochelle’s been very involved with Kellie‘s 1st 2 albums. Bob DiPiero’s written hits for George Strait, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Brooks & Dunn, and Montgomery Gentry. Dale Dodson and Dean Dillon have written album cuts for Lee Ann Womack and George Strait, and Dean Dillon cowrote the Toby Keith hit “A Little Too Late”, George Strait hits like “The Chair” and his current single “The Breath You Take” plus album cuts for Kenny Chesney.

    Michael Sarver recently tweeted out the track list for his upcoming Christmas album, which he describes as “a huge mix of country, soul, jazz, a little country rock, and all kinds of stuff!” Songs included are: “Silent Night”, “Jingle Bells”, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Joy To The World”, “White Christmas”, “Away In A Manger”, “What Child Is This”, Secret Christmas Medley, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, and “O Holy Night” (“by popular request of my amazing fans”).

    Danny Gokey joined country singers like Lee Brice and Joe Diffie and country songwriters like Wynn Varble (who has written for Kellie) and Phil O’Donnell for Darryl Worley’s Tennessee River Run, a 3 day festival that supports the Darryl Worley Foundation, which supports numerous charitable causes in his community and also the Darryl Worley Cancer Treatment Center currently being built as part of the Hardin Medical Center in Savannah Tennessee. here is a report from local TV station WTVA. Danny is back on the road this weekend, sharing a bill with Blake Shelton in Lexington Kentucky Friday, opening for former Carrie tourmate Craig Morgan at the Great Frederick Fair in Frederick MD Saturday, and headlining his own show at the Big E in Springfield Massachusetts Sunday. thanks steph6449 for the update

    Bucky Covington recently did an interview where he admitted being frustrated with the delays around his sophomore album but remained philosophical:

    “The problem is the label, Lyric Street Records, shut down two months ago, and of course people don’t just up and shut down without there being issues here and there.”

    So now Covington & Co. are shopping the album around to new labels, with the release date delayed again, possibly as late as spring 2011.

    “The clubs and bars are where it all started, so it’s good to be getting back to the roots, ” says Bucky. “It’s home, really.”

    UPDATE: New interview from The Boot. Bucky comments on what went through his mind when he heard that his former label Lyric Street was folding, comments on American Idol’s changes, and says this about signing with a new label.

    Bucky is still moving full-speed-ahead with his career, including churning out new music and playing several shows. “I’ve got a couple labels that we’re looking at, and we’re very excited, ” he hints. “They’re great labels. We’re just trying to finish up some details.”

    Bucky will be performing at the Walter Gerrell Performing Arts Center in Carlsbad New Mexico this Friday.

    As always if there’s something I missed: post it in comments and as long as this post is on the front page at MJ’s and it’s appropriate for the post I’ll edit it in. If the post is off the front page, I’ll make sure and get it into the next installment just like I did with some of the Bo stuff this week. Thanks in advance and enjoy yourselves!

    About Deb B 432 Articles
    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.