Idols Gone Country: April 13, 2011 Edition

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Flashier than your red high heels! Hotter than a cowboy casanova! More frequent than country music awards shows! This is your latest edition of Idols Gone Country! Don’t you wanna stay and hear the latest about new music from Carrie Underwood, Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler, Danny Gokey, and Kristy Lee Cook (I’m talking NEW song titles!), not to mention the latest on the road news from Bucky Covington and Casey James, new single and video news from Bo Bice, and new Aaron Kelly collaborations? Check it all out, after the jump!

Josh Gracin recently held a contest to find a duet partner for a song on his upcoming album ‘Redemption’ due this summer according to Music Row. Here’s some behind the scenes footage of the contest winner Shelagh Brown recording “Only When It Rains”:

Among the songs slated for inclusion on Josh’s 3rd album are “Different Kind Of Crazy”, “I Still Love You”, “Love You Right”, and “My Life”. Josh cowrote all these songs with his lead guitarist Brad Tursi.
Josh’s label Average Joe’s Entertainment is expanding with the recent signing of former Columbia Nashville act Montgomery Gentry and the hiring of former Sony Nashville Promotions/Marketing Executive Vice President Tom Baldrica as President. Josh discussed the changes at his label as well as his new album in an indepth interview with Music News Nashville.

“When I found out that he was on board. I had a long conversation with Shannon Houchins, who started the label with Colt Ford. We talked about the direction that he wanted to go as far as whether he should continue outsourcing as far as his promotional staff. I really felt that with what he has done for Colt Ford and the direction that he’s wanting to go with some of the other artists on the label, it might be a good idea to put your own staff together. So, he went out and really hit it out of the park with a great staff. Then you have the hiring of Tom as President of the label, which is amazing for Average Joe’s because of all the success and experience he has had for so long at Sony, and then also the fact that he’s such a good guy and loves music.” 

Carrie Underwood continues work on her 4th album and fans have discovered the titles of 3 songs she cowrote with her friend Hillary Lindsey and frequent Idol collaborator Chris DeStefano who cowrote David Archuleta’s “Something Bout Love” and has been writing with Kris Allen, David Cook, and Lee DeWyze. Credit @Typo21 for finding them.

  • “Little Girl Don’t Grow Up Too Fast”
  • “Make You Mine”
  • “Trainwreck”
  • There’s also a writers retreat going on this week for Carrie’s next album as confirmed by writer Keith Thomas.:

    4 days writing for Carrie Underwood this week.Writing today with Emily West & Brandon Jane from Coldwater Jane.Checkem’ out on youtube! 

    He tweeted about writing with Troy Verges and Tom Douglas (who has cowritten with Casey James and Carrie this year), as well as Suzie Brown of The JaneDear Girls. He confirmed to @Typo21 that 25 writers are participating in the retreat.

    ACM executive producer RAC Clark gave Country Aircheck some insight into how Carrie’s ACM duet with Steven Tyler materialized:

    CA: The Brad Paisley/Alabama seems an obvious pairing based on the song, but how did the other collaborations come together? 

    RC: I went to see Carrie Underwood in concert in Newark last summer and had a backstage sit-down with her and manager Ann Edelblute. We talked about the show and how much I loved “Undo It, ” but that I wanted to find a way to make it different. They said they’ve always wanted to do something with Steven Tyler. They reached out to him. The most amazing thing was that we were able to keep it a secret for six months. That was the sweaty-palms part.

    Bucky Covington continues on his “Hometown” tour of small venues. He performed at the Opry last Tuesday. Bucky is enjoying a string of sold out shows on his tour and recently posted this video to give a taste of what the shows have been like:

    Here’s recent video of Bucky singing “American Friday Night”, “Back When We Were Gods”, and his debut single and top 10 hit “Different World” at KP’s Music Rodeo:

    Bo Bice confirms in interview that “Different Shades Of Blue” will be the 2nd single from ‘3’. He says:

    “Bo Bice 3” is more headed toward the country reach of what I do, but there is a little rock in there. We have the follow up single which is called “Different Shades of Blue, ” and we just finished the video. And we will have that out in a few weeks. This is our first time of doing a follow up video. We have done one video of each of the other albums. This is our first time of doing two videos and we incorporated the fans in this. We asked the fans if they had some stuff they wanted to submit, and they submitted some stuff, and we had it where it was going to fit into the storyline of the video. It has worked out really well and we have a lot of fans that submitted stuff and they are a part of what makes us each day. It is kind of nice to give them a little piece and little credit too. 

    Also check out this video interview Bo talks about not worrying whether he has a record deal because people are so interested in buying singles, he can just put them up on his website. For instance he now has the Bo Bice Bootleg Series where you can buy live performances direct from his website. Bo has also released 2 albums through distribution deals.

    Kristy Lee Cook has been writing for a new album. One of the songs that she cowrote is called “Layin Down The Law” and she wrote it with Jamie Jarbeau (from the pop/country band The Invite) and Canadian country singer/songwriter Victoria Banks. Kristy Lee also recently participated in a Curb writers retreat and uploaded a clip of a song she cowrote with Lee Brice and Rob Hatch to youtube:

    Danny Gokey tweeted yesterday:

    Hey guys how are u today? Im working hard on my new single.The release is coming very soon so stay tuned 4 more info. Lots of stuff brewing! 

    The title of a new song that he cowrote has surfaced: “Let Love Find You”. It is cowritten by Danny, CCM singer/songwriter Cindy Morgan (who also cowrote “My Kind Of Perfect” with David Archuleta for his sophomore album, “Some Kind Of Love” and “One” with Phil Stacey for his 2nd album, and a song recorded by Mandisa called “He Is With You” as well as “What If We Were Real” which is the title track of Mandisa’s just released new album), and Danny’s guitarist Brandon Fraley.

    Kellie Pickler has recorded “Things Turn A Little Unkind” cowritten by Robbie Fulks and John Sieger. She also tweeted

    In the studio. Just cut the 1st single for country radio. Can’t wait for y’all to hear it. :) 

    EDIT: Clarification: The lead single of Kellie’s 3rd album has NOT been named. “Things Turn A Little Unkind” is a song Kellie recorded but that is not necessarily related to Kellie’s recent tweet.

    Kellie also did an interview with The Minneapolis Star Tribune about her upcoming album which is being produced by Frank Liddell.

    “He’s not about rushing it, ” Pickler said recently from Nashville. “He said, ‘I want people to hear on your record what I see in front of me.’ I know what I love, but how can we do that with today’s styles? I want to go in and cut the most country, backwoods — some dirty country music. But I’ve got a lot of people to answer to and I’ve got to make certain people happy because you have companies investing a lot of money into you. I’m patient, and I’m paying my dues.”

    Check out pictures from Kellie’s Artist Chat/M&G for US 103.5 Tampa. She discussed her upcoming album which she says she is close to finishing, and described her upcoming lead single as a tough uptempo song. Title and release date TBA!

    Aaron Kelly continues to write in Nashville. He recently tweeted about writing with Greg Barnhill and Tim Jackson, also saying:

    Two songs in one session i have a feeling both are Hits !!!! I’m very excited about them:-) 

    He has also tweeted about writing with fellow teenager Morgan Frazier, Sam Broker, Tammi Kidd, Jon Stone, Doug Johnson (who has also written with Danny Gokey for his sophomore album), Blake Bollinger, Don Henry, Bryan White and Luke Sheets, and Debbie Throckmorton.

    While Casey James continues to work on his debut album (last week Jeffery Roach tweeted: “Great, but long day of tracking Casey James’ project at Ben Folds’ studio….”), new fan video recently surfaced of his Fremont Street Experience and Fan Jam performances during ACM Awards weekend in Vegas. Check them out via poluskap:

    Like always if you’ve got new news about any Idol gone country, feel free to post in comments and I’ll add the appropriate ones to this post. Thanks and enjoy!

    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.