Here’s your latest edition of Idols Gone Country, featuring news on Aaron Kelly, Bo Bice, Casey James, Josh Gracin, Kellie Pickler, Bucky Covington, and Carrie Underwood. We’ve got a new tune from Bo, more label buzz, on Casey, a Kellie connection to original Idol Kelly Clarkson‘s new album (UPDATE: and VIDEO of former Idol contestant performing a song that will be on Kelly‘s new album), and a bunch of new song titles for Kellie and Bucky (plus VIDEO of a new Bucky song)! Check it all out, after the jump:
UPDATE 2: Crystal Bowersox made her surprise debut at the Grand Ole Opry tonight according to the Opry Twitter. She sang “Mine All Mine” and earned extended applause from the audience. Bo Bice also made a surprise appearance and sang with the Oak Ridge Boys.
UPDATED with new Casey interview and Danny Gokey media coverage for his efforts behind Sophia’s Heart Foundation.
Casey James has the endorsement of outgoing Sony Nashville Executive Vice President of A&R Renee Bell according to this guest editorial for Music Row by CMT writer Hazel Smith:
With the same Renee excitement, she told me about Bradley Gaskin that John Rich brought to her and Kristen Kelly, a new act that Paul Overstreet had discovered in Texas, and Casey James. When I spoke with her a couple days ago she stressed how much she hated not being a part of their careers, but is so very proud and excited for all of them.
Renee Bell was a key figure in Joe Galante’s time as head of Sony Nashville and was the A&R person for all of Carrie’s and Kellie’s albums so far. Her departure from Sony Nashville is the latest sign of the end of the Galante era. But her excitement about Casey is the latest sign of the good buzz he has been generating in the A&R department of Sony Nashville, with Lisa Ramsey-Perkins also buzzing to Brian Mansfield about Casey in January. The article mentions that Renee Bell was instrumental in hooking Carrie up with breakthrough hits “Jesus Take The Wheel” and “Before He Cheats” among many other success stories.
UPDATE: New interview with Casey by Soundspike. In response to a question about when his album will come out Casey says:
“That is the question, ” James said with a laugh. “I would love to say. I would love to have an answer to that, the real truth. I want it to be worthy of all the time and effort that everybody’s putting into it–fans included. It needs to be right. That’s really what’s been going on. It’s not going to be too much longer, I’ll definitely say that.”
Asked to describe his new music Casey says:
“It’ll be like a rockin’ bluesy country kind of thing, ” said James, who as of the interview had not seen an episode of this year’s “American Idol.” “What I did on the show is a good representation of my style. I’ll just be doing material that I write. But it’s all country based. It’s that format. I don’t know how else to say it. I wouldn’t necessarily think of Sugarland as country music, really. That’s what I love about country. It’s the new everyone music.”
Kellie Pickler continues work on her 3rd album. tweeted yesterday:
Gonna write a lil ole country song with Karen Rochelle and Bob Dipiero! Yeeeeehaw! :)
She has recorded two songs cowritten by Shane Mcanally/Brandy Clark/Josh Osborne: “Boys & Buses” and “Hungover”. A few additional Kellie cowrites have surfaced at ASCAP too:
EDIT: Kyle Jacobs talked to the Associated Press about his wedding to Kellie and the “Say I Do” video:
“It was such a beautiful, spiritual, godly moment, ” said Jacobs. “It felt like we were baptized out in that beautiful, crystal-blue water.”
The article confirms that Kyle Jacobs will also have a cowrite on the upcoming Kelly Clarkson album called “The Sun Will Rise”! He cowrote the song with Danelle Leverett of JaneDear Girls.
UPDATE: Former Idol contestant Ann Marie Boskovich performs “The Sun Will Rise” live
UPDATE 2: Ann Marie Boskovich’s demo of “The Sun Will Rise” is up at Kyle Jacobs’s myspace.
Aaron Kelly is still writing in Nashville. Recently he has tweeted about working with Frank Myers (who cowrote the huge crossover hit “I Swear” performed by Lonestar among others and the big hit “You & I” by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle) and confirmed that he will be at CMA Fest this year. Earlier this month Aaron was writing with Fred Knobloch, who’s had cuts with Faith Hill, Lorrie Morgan, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, and Trisha Yearwood.
Josh Gracin is readying a new single from his upcoming album Redemption. He recently performed at the Academy Of Country Music offices in Los Angeles. Music Row magazine reports:
Average Joes artist Josh Gracin visited the The Academy of Country Music office in Los Angeles recently. While at the Academy, he sang “Nothing to Lose” and others including his current single “Over Me, ” on the new ACM Stage. While in LA, Gracin also visited with patients and staff in the Pediatrics Cancer Program at City of Hope treatment facility. Gracin is currently wrapping up his first project on Average Joe’s, Redemption, with a new single impacting radio next month.
Josh has also released a FREE Fan Appreciation EP of 3 songs that you can download here.
Bo Bice posted a new song/video montage to celebrate his love of NASCAR. The new tune is called “Gone Song” and it’s a Southern rock song in that signature Bo Bice style. Check it out here:
Bucky Covington is on the road on his expanding Hometown Tour which combines festival performances with small venues in small towns. Dates are being practically every day so check them out on Bucky’s official site. Here’s Bucky performing a new song called “What A Feeling” last week in Wentzville, Missouri:
Bucky has also been recording some new songs. A couple of titles that have surfaced are:
“Baby Run” is written by the group known as Love & Theft, , Bucky’s former labelmates at the now-defunct Lyric Street Records . Robert Huff cowrote Reba’s recent #1 hit “Turn On The Radio”.
Carrie Underwood is in Nashville while her fans await a new album and three duets on other albums (Randy Travis, Tony Bennett, and reportedly, Brad Paisley). A couple of days ago, she presented Save The Children a check for over $140, 000 raised from the 2nd leg of her Play On tour. Meanwhile, she got a shoutout on the new Matthew Perry ABC sitcom “Mr. Sunshine” this week. Watch the shoutout here:
UPDATE: This is just a side note but there is a new country artist named Jason Jones signed to Warner Music Nashville and his debut single will be “Ferris Wheel” which is the song was Michael Sarver‘s debut single. The song is also cowritten by Kyle Jacobs.
I wasn’t able to find new news on Kristy Lee Cook, and the Danny Gokey front seems well covered by steph6449 whose latest coverage on his live shows can be found here. If you’ve got new news on any Idols Gone Country, please post in comments and I’ll add the relevant content to this post. Enjoy!
UPDATE: GAC’s Headline Country recently covered updates on Danny’s Sophia’s Heart Foundation which you can check out here:
Courtesy iheartdannygokey.com, here’s a scan of Country Weekly’s recent coverage of Danny’s Cruise For Sophia’s Heart Foundation.