Emmylou Harris.

Despite all the counter attractions in town, Emmylou Harris drew a large crowd to the beautifully appointed Grand Canal Theatre for her concert on Saturday night last. She had a completely new lineup in her Red Dirt Band, and was obviously enjoying her herself on stage as entertained her devoted fans for over 2 hours. She included a lot of her current material as well as some old favourites and as far as her fans were concerned she could do no wrong and received a well deserved standing ovation at the end of the show.

Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton’s new album Better Day now has a June 28 release date. Her much-anticipated album of all-new studio material will be released on her own Dolly Records distributed through Warner Music Nashville. To coincide with the album’s release, DOLLY will launch a world tour bringing her throughout America and then onto the U.K. and Europe in August and September, then Australia in November in support of the new album. Better Day is the follow-up to DOLLY’s critically acclaimed and successful 2008 Backwoods Barbie album. Featuring 12 original DOLLY compositions, Better Day marks the fourth release on the independent label. On the live front, the Better Day world tour launches on July 17 in Knoxville in her home state of Tennessee and will be highlighted by two shows (July 22 and 23) at the historic Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. After finishing in the U.S. on August 3, the tour moves overseas starting August 20 and will feature a pair of shows (September 7 and 8) at the O2 Arena in London, the venue where DOLLY recorded and filmed Live From London (Dolly Records), her widely praised 2009 two-disc DVD/CD set that included songs from Backwoods Barbie alongside her many classic hits. Her Irish show will take place at the O2 Dublin, on Sept. 14.

The Countdown is now on for the eagerly awaited Country-Fest 4 which will take place at the Clan Ree Complex , Letterkenny in  Co.Donegal on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July.   Following the huge success of last year’s event the Clan Ree was the only venue for this show now regarded as Europes kingpin Country music Extravaganza. This year’s Country-Fest will feature over 80 International, National and local Country Music Acts covering all tastes from old to new with the  main focus on homegrown talent following the massive reaction they got last year. Event promoter James Mc Garrity said” The Clan Ree complex is a fantastic venue and the feedback from last year has been exceptional with all the facilities on hand to cater for the thousands of attendees , this year we have focused more on the Irish acts although we still have 6 well known American singers who will keep the American Country Fans very happy.”   Tickets for the Country-Fest 4 are currently selling very well and over the next few weeks that will continue as we approach the final run in to the event with Letterkenny Tourist Office confirming now that all hotels are fully booked for the weekend and fans are now booking into other Donegal towns with over 1000 UK country fans already booked in to attend.  Some of the big names appearing at the fest include Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzell, Nathan Carter, Philomena Begley, Mick Flavin and from America Joni Harms, Leona William,Charlie Allen,Georgette Jones and Clinton Gregory to name a few with some great emerging talent on the scene like Derek Ryan , Lisa Mc Hugh and Gerry Guthrie and with the sprinkle of Legends like Brian Coll, Brendan Quinn and Hugo Duncan makes this a musical feast for all Country Tastes. Tickets for the Country-Fest  which are very keeny priced at €35 per day or €60 per weekend are now on sale from the Clan Ree Hotel Letterkenny, Ticketmaster nationwide and full line-up info is available on

There are two new stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Downtown Nashville. Bill Anderson and Keith Urban drew a huge crowd of onlookers recently to accept their place in Country Music history. For Urban, he showed his gratitude by locking lips with the pavement and then with his wife, actress Nicole Kidman.  Getting his star took decades of hard work. Urban first arrived in Nashville in 1989 and got turned down repeatedly before finally finding his niche on Music Row.  Urban thanked the town that has embraced him and helped him through the years. “So it will be 20 years next year since I moved here, and I’ve had the absolute lowest lows of my life and the complete highest of highest of highs, all have happened in Nashville,” said Urban. Another familiar face who has clearly earned his star on the Walk of Fame is is country legend “Whispering Bill” Anderson. For 50 years he’s performed, written and remained relevant in a constantly changing industry. “I am thrilled to be a part of it after all these years, the one thing is that about the music business is that it is constantly changing so to say that you know where it’s going to go, nobody knows that. The public will tell us where they want to go and we will follow,” said Anderson. There are now a total of 50 artists on the Music City Walk of Fame.

The Big news from Music City is that Opry Mills is reopening in the spring 2012! One of Tennessee’s top tourist attractions, the shopping mecca has been closed since the Nashville floods of 2010 but are now ready to come back stronger than ever. Visitors will be able to shop OFF 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, J. Crew Factory, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Coach Factory
Store, Calvin Klein, Tommy Bahama Outlet, Chico’s, The LEGO Store and more. The 20-theatre cinema and IMAX are coming back as are Dave & Buster’s, Rainforest Cafe and Aquarium Restaurant. Nashville and visitors alike will welcome back the Opry Mills Shopping Mall.

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