- Chelle Rose, whose Ghost of Browder Holler (out May 1) is one of the coolest things I’ve heard so far this year. Early bird Ken Morton Jr. did a fine interview with her for Engine 145 this week.
- Craig Shelburne, who highlighted the great honky-tonker Roger Wallace in one of his SXSW recaps. As the ten or so people who were reading this blog back then might recall, I was pretty high on Wallace back in December 2008. Word on the street is he’ll have a new album out later this year. Can’t wait.
- The Academy of Country Music, for giving various off-camera prizes to Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Sherrill, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Bobby Braddock, Roger Miller, and Frank Liddell.
- The Academy of Country Music, for recognizing Dallas Davidson as its Songwriter of the Year. Shouldn’t “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” have automatically disqualified him?
- Kathie Lee Gifford, whose vacation from NBC’s “Today Show” has left the door open for a rotating roster of fill-in country star co-hosts this week – Kellie Pickler, Lee Brice, John Rich, Josh Turner, Randy Travis – thereby blowing up my inbox with breathless press releases. Thanks a lot, Kathie Lee.
- Toby Keith, who’s calling his 2012 tour “Live in Overdrive” and inviting Brantley Gilbert along as an opener.
- Kelly Clarkson, who thinks this is country music.