Category: Brad Paisley

Stagecoach 2012: The wrap-up, stats, random moments

Stagecoach 2012 crowd shot during Luke Bryan performance
Final stats, thoughts and impressions from the 2012 Stagecoach Country Music Festival that took place Friday through Sunday at the Empire Polo Club in Indio:

• Indio Police spokesman Ben Guitron said his department and other city emergency teams overall were "very pleased" with new measures taken to alleviate traffic problems going in and out of Stagecoach. Shuttles to and from area hotels helped considerably, he said, even though far fewer attendees used shuttle buses than those who attended Coachella two weekends earlier. Close to 25,000 people used the shuttles during Coachalla, only around 3,000-4,000 did so at Stagecoach. But more Stagecoach-goers camp in adjoining campgrounds than at Coachella.

Guitron reported a total of 139 arrests as of 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the vast majority for alcohol-related offenses. That compared to 134 arrests on the first weekend of Coachella, and 102 on its second weekend, mostly for a combination of alcohol and drug issues. The most serious incident was a sexual assault on a 17-year-old girl, who was attacked by three men on her way into Stagecoach on Friday night. The girl was taken to a local hospital and treated. The three men fled, and Indio Police are investigating, asking anyone with information on the incident to call (760) 391-4057.

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

• One key logistical change this year was the cordoning off of several “standing room only” sections of lawn near the stage but behind the reserved/VIP seating area immediately in front of the Mane Stage where all the big guns played, including Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Sheryl Crow and Alabama. It allowed more fans closer access to the festival’s headliners. In years past, die-hard Stagecoach goers would arrive early, much like the homesteaders of yore, and plant blankets and lawn chairs, occupying in all areas close to the main stage. The new standing room sections allowed more mobile festival goers to check out performances on the Mustang and Palomino stages and still be able to get relatively close to the main stage acts after sundown. Split Lip Rayfield bassist Jeff Eaton and his gas tank bass at Stagecoach 2012Goldenvoice capped the ticket sales this year at 55,000.

• Favorite instrument of the weekend: the gas-tank bass cobbled together and employed Sunday by Split Lip Rayfield member Jeff Eaton, a single string variation on the old-school washtub bass, the version used a day earlier by San Fernando Valley’s Old Man Markley.

• Favorite T-shirt slogan of the weekend: “Rehab Is for Quitters.”

• Festivals such as Stagecoach and Coachella often serve as weekend soundtracks for those who aren’t totally immersed in the music. One woman sat near the back of the lawn Friday night during Aldean’s closing performance, far enough that the audio from the stage and the video on the bank of screens near her were a couple of seconds out of sync, and happily read a book on her Kindle.

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Stagecoach 2012: Brad Paisley talks Tupac image, new album


Brad Paisley, the headliner for Sunday’s closing night of the 2012 edition of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., has always been an unrepentant techno-geek, so he followed with fascination the worldwide media generated the previous two weekends by the "appearance" of Tupac Shakur during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s reunion performance at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The thing is, Paisley beat them to the punch by two years, having pulled off a duet with a virtual partner at the 2010 Stagecoach Festival, where he surprised and confounded audiences with the materialization onstage of Alison Krauss, his collaborator on 2004’s “Whiskey Lullaby,” which generated multiple Academy of Country Music and Country Music Assn. awards.

“We did that Alison thing for a while, and it was as good as we could get it at the time,” Paisley said aboard his tour bus parked near Stagecoach’s Mane Stage, where a capacity crowd of 55,000 was waiting for him to go on after Sheryl Crow finished her penultimate set. “We’ve since then come up with some more tricks. It was interesting when I heard about the Tupac thing. The thing that was so interesting about that, the thing that was so shocking, of course, is that it was someone who was deceased. It’s insane. You go, ‘Whoa!’ But wait till you see what we’re doing tonight.”

PHOTOS: The scene at Stagecoach 2012

He was teasing the recurring presence of Carrie Underwood on his current Virtual Reality Tour. After Paisley launched into the opening of their hit duet “Remind Me,” audience members gasped and then cheered when a spotlight went on and there appeared the “American Idol” grad, harmonizing her lines and seeming to trade glances with her singing partner.

But it was an illusion -- like the Shakur "appearance," a realistic-looking video projection, not a true hologram. It's something Paisley touched on before that number, when he told fans: “We call this the ‘Virtual Reality Tour’ because reality is what country music is about. But it can sometimes also take you away from reality. So between the beer and our show, you’re well on your way.”

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Brad Paisley guest stars on 'South Park' tonight

Brad Paisley-South Park 2
A guest appearance on “South Park” can constitute heaven or hell for a musician, depending on where that musician ranks on the like/dislike meter of show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Remember the show's savage skewerings of Barbra Streisand and Stevie Nicks?

Fortunately for country singer, songwriter and guitarist Brad Paisley, Parker and Stone appear to be fans and they’ve lined him up for an animated drop-in on the episode airing Wednesday.

Paisley, one of the headliners at this weekend's Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, appears as himself singing the national anthem at the start of a Denver Nuggets basketball game, then turns up later in the episode singing a duet with Eric Cartman.

Self-professed techno-geek Paisley has sent out a couple of tweets on the experience: “Spent the day Sunday @SouthPark,” he tweeted on Monday. “You all might want to watch this Wednesday. So seriously.”

On Tuesday, he shared a photo that he described as “Signing my new 8x10 headshot @SouthPark. …if I may say, I make a handsome cartoon. Well, you be the judge of that.” He also included the URL for the referenced image:

“South Park” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m on Comedy Central.


Brad Paisley breaks the pattern

Stagecoach expands to 3 days with Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert

Critic's notebook: Sweet (and sublimely sick) 16 for 'South Park'

--Randy Lewis

Image: Brad Paisley's animated character on "South Park." Courtesy of Comedy Central.

John Fogerty's new album revisits Creedence classics with guests

John Fogerty will team up with Keith Urban and other stars for a new album due ths fall
For John Fogerty’s next album, due this fall, the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman will revisit his old band’s deep catalog of hits in new collaborations with rock, pop and country duet partners including the Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert, My Morning Jacket, Bob Seger, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.

“Wrote a Song For Everyone” also is slated to include new Fogerty songs, set alongside Creedence touchstones such as “Fortunate Son” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” from the band's most successful period in the late '60s and early '70s.

The new project shows Fogerty fully embracing his artistic legacy; for many years after Creedence disbanded in 1972, he refused to perform the group’s songs because of legal issues with his former record company. He famously refused to play with former band mates Doug Clifford and Stu Cook when Creedence was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. The fourth original band member, guitarist Tom Fogerty, John's older brother, died in 1990.

Fogerty eventually began performing Creedence material again during his live shows, and last September in New York played Creedence’s albums “Green River” and “Cosmo’s Factory” in their entirety over the course of a two-night stand.

The new album, which also will include duets with Alan Jackson, Dawes and other artists still to be confirmed, draws its title from Fogerty’s song that originally appeared on “Green River” in 1969.

Most recently Fogerty made his acting debut portraying himself in an episode of the Fox TV series "The Finder," for which he wrote and sang the theme song "Swamp Water," at the invitation of the show's creator, Hart Hanson, a longtime Fogerty/Creedence fan.


John Fogerty rides off again with his Rangers

John Fogerty guests on, writes theme for Fox TV show 'The Finder'

Q&A with John Fogerty

--Randy Lewis

Photo of Keith Urban, left, performing with John Fogerty during the Recording Academy's 2010 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit concert salute to Neil Young in Los Angeles. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean lead country music awards nominations

Kenny Chesney and Grace Potter are nominated for multiple Academy of Country Music Awards
Kenny Chesney has come roaring back in terms of industry recognition with a field-dominating nine nominations for this year's Academy of Country Music Awards.

The runner-up for most nods was Jason Aldean, who collected six, ahead of Lady Antebellum with five, Brad Paisley with four and Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, Grace Potter and the Eli Young Band with three apiece, academy officials announced Thursday.

Newer-vintage performers such as Miranda Lambert and Zac Brown scored the most nominations last year, but Chesney this year is up for entertainer of the year, male vocalist and song of the year, plus double dips under the ACM's rules recognizing performers who also are producers, for his album "Hemingway’s Whiskey," his hit single (with Grace Potter) "You and Tequila" and vocal event for the same song.

Chesney, Swift, Aldean and Paisley are joined by Blake Shelton vying for the ACM's top trophy, entertainer of the year, which went to Swift last year.

Swift also is in the running again in the female vocalist category, along with repeat nominees Sara Evans, Lambert, Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood, while Aldean, Chesney, Paisley, Shelton and Chris Young are up for male vocalist honors.

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Elton John, Lady Gaga among pop stars snubbed in Oscar best song category

Click for photos of the top nominees

The consolation for Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Zooey Deschanel and other superstar pop, rock and country musicians who got snubbed in the best song Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday is that they’re in pretty stellar company.

With just two songs earning nominations —“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” and “Real in Rio” from “Rio” -- the list of also-rans includes a bounty of heavyweight performers and songwriters.

Yet they didn’t score enough points with Academy voters to make the final nomination list. Voters had 39 songs to sort through this year, for which they were asked to assign a score to each on a scale of 6 to 10 points, after viewing clips from each film that included the eligible song.

FULL COVERAGE: The Oscar nominees

Only songs that received an average of 8.25 points or more could be nominated, with a maximum of five songs in the category, and no more than two songs from the same film.

Among the songs that fell short of that score were two Elton John songs from “Gnomeo and Juliet”: “Love Builds a Garden” and his duet with Lady Gaga, “Hello Hello.” Mary J. Blige’s “Living Proof” from “The Help” and Elvis Costello’s “Sparkling Day” from “One Day” were under consideration, along with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell’s “The Keeper” from “Machine Gun Preacher,” Deschanel’s “So Long” from “Winnie the Pooh” and Black Eyed Peas member’s “Hot Wings,” also from “Rio.”

One of the most powerful songs to appear in a movie last year was J. Ralph’s “Hell and Back,” sung by Willie Nelson. But because it appeared in a documentary, director Danfung Dennis’ “Hell and Back Again” about the war in Afghanistan, it was a longshot for a nomination.

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Stagecoach Festival 2012 is sold out

Brad Paisley Brad Paisley

The Stagecoach Country Music Festival for 2012 has sold out more than three months in advance, a first for the gathering, which  marks its sixth anniversary this year.

Promoter Goldenvoice announced the sellout, more noteworthy as the festival has been expanded from the usual two days to three this year, for only the second time in its history.

This year’s event is slated for April 27-29 at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif.,  and features the usual mix of contemporary and classic country, veterans and newcomers, mainstream and alternative performers, including Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, Alabama, the Band Perry, the Mavericks, Kenny Rogers, Luke Bryan, Sara Evans, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Chris Isaak.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Brad Paisley plays during his headlining performance the 2009 Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times.

CMA Awards: Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Band Perry win top honors

Taylor Swift at the CMAs
Nashville’s Country Music Assn. has a well-deserved reputation for déjà vu, having doled out the same awards to the same performers year after year across much of its nearly half-century history. But this year the CMA apparently decided that it’s time to bring some new blood into its ranks, heaping multiple awards on relative newcomers Jason Aldean and the Band Perry, yet saving its top award for Taylor Swift, naming the 21-year-old singer and songwriter entertainer of the year.

Aldean, country music’s unrequited best man for several years -- he's had just one previous CMA nomination -- finally made it to the altar himself as his “My Kinda Party” was named album of the year Wednesday at the 45th CMA Awards. It was a decisive vote of confidence for the Macon, Ga., singer, who got the nod over Swift and her blockbuster “Speak Now” album, which last fall became the first collection in 5½ years in any genre to sell more than 1 million copies during its first week of release. 

“My Kinda Party,” however, is the top-selling country album of 2011 with sales of more than 2 million copies to date; Swift’s album, which has logged nearly double that figure at 3.8 million, was released at the end of 2010.  Aldean, whose four studio albums have sold more than 5 million copies collectively, also received the trophy for musical event for his duet “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with the first “American Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson.

PHOTOS: CMA Awards 2011 | Red carpet arrivals

The Band Perry won for new artist, and its hit single “If I Die Young” picked up single and song of the year honors for its heart-tugging exploration of youths who feel overlooked or taken for granted, something the young sibling trio doesn’t have to worry about now.

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Stagecoach expands to 3 days with Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert

Brad Paisley CMA Awards

Miranda Lambert

The 2012 edition of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival will expand to three days to make room for headliners including Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean.

The country blowout in Indio will take place April 27-29 and also will feature a previously announced reunion performance by the alt-country group the Mavericks, plus sets from the usual broad range of contemporary and classic acts, veterans and newcomers, including Ralph Stanley, Martina McBride, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, the Del McCoury Band, Alabama, Chris Isaak, Luke Bryan, the Band Perry, Sara Evans, Kenny Rogers, Eli Young Band and Justin Moore.

Others slated for this year’s lineup include the Jayhawks, the JaneDear Girls, Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones, J.D. Souther, Aaron Lewis, Sunny Sweeney, Sara Watkins and J.D. Crowe & the New South.
Tickets go on sale on Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Stagecoach website.

Stagecoach has been concentrated over two days since it began in 2007 except for the second year, when an appearance by the Eagles warranted a third day.


Brad Paisley breaks the pattern

Miranda Lambert evolves on her new album 'Revolution'

Blake Shelton remains a candid country voice

— Randy Lewis

Photos: Brad Paisley, credit: Wade Payne / Associated Press; Miranda Lambert, credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.

Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley are among top CMA Award nominees

Brad Paisley will host the CMA Awards
Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Jason Aldean top the roster of nominees for the 45th Country Music Assn. Awards with five apiece. Right behind them with four nominations each are Kimberly Perry of the Band Perry and Zac Brown Band members Brown and Coy Bowles.

The CMA’s top award -- for entertainer of the year -- will have Swift, Shelton, Paisley and Aldean vying with Keith Urban. Album of the year nominees are Swift’s “Speak Now,” Shelton’s  “All About Tonight,” Paisley’s “This Is Country Music,” Zac Brown Band’s “You Get What You Give” and Aldean’s “My Kinda Party.”

The awards will be handed out Nov. 9 in a ceremony that ABC-TV will broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The show will be hosted for the fourth time by Paisley and Carrie Underwood.


CMA Awards 2010: Brad Paisley & Miranda Lambert win big

Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas

Review: Taylor Swift at Staples Center

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Brad Paisley, who will co-host the 45th Country Music Assn. Awards in Nashville in October and is up for five awards, is shown during a 2010 concert at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times.


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