March 1, 2017

Hi Folks:

Well, did March come in like a lion or like a lamb in your neck of the woods? Legend has it that it will go out opposite of the way it came in, but I don’t know. We had tornado warnings here this morning, the groundhog saw his shadow this year, the temperature in Nashville hit 80-degrees in February, and I’ve been confused ever since!

I told you last month that a new song Brad Paisley and I wrote and recorded together would be coming out March 3rd, but, to quote another song of mine, “the truth is I lied.” Brad told me yesterday the release date for his new album has been moved back to April 21st, so I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer to see whether or not you like what we’ve done. I sure hope you will.

There’s a chance the two of us might perform the song on the Opry between now and then, though, and if that comes about, I promise you’ll be the first to know.

March looks to be an interesting month for me. On the 10th and 11th we’ll be out in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, two places where winter has been known to come early, stay late, and hold a grudge. Hopefully we won’t get snowed in, though, because the next weekend I’m planning a trip to Florida to take in a little spring training baseball. The co-author of my book, Peter Cooper, is going with me and he’s like a kid in a candy store. It will be his first spring training trip and I’ve assured him there’s nothing like it. Of course, as always, I’ll be rooting for the Braves. (He will, too, although he may not know it yet!)

As soon as we come home with our gorgeous suntans, we’ll head back indoors to record another in our series of Country’s Family Reunion TV shows. This series promises to be one of our “funnest,” with each regular member of our cast bringing an artist to the show who has never appeared with us before. That should make for some great fun, laughter, and music.

Many of our longtime fans will remember Mike “Chickenhawk” Toppins who was the steel guitar and banjo player in my Po’ Folks Band for several years. Unfortunately, Chicken had to have the lower part of his right leg amputated a few weeks ago to help prevent the spread of diabetes. If you’d like to drop him a note to let him know you’re thinking about him, his address is 4chicken1@gmail.com. He not only was a part of our band, but he produced several of my recordings as well.

And I don’t think I’ve told you that we’ve added a full-time sound engineer to our traveling circus. John Nicholson, with whom we’ve all worked many times at his Hilltop Recording Studio, is mixing our sound now and doing a great job. Reach out and welcome him to the family the next time you’re at one of our concerts.

Sorry I had to miss the Opry last night, but I managed to catch a little 24-hour stomach bug. I’m fine now, and our other Opry dates this month are March 3rd, 4th, 24th, 25th, 28th, 31st, and April 1st. If all goes as planned, I’ll be hosting the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree April 8th.

Keep your eye on our Tour page and come see us if and when you can. Meantime, thanks for continuing to be the world’s best fans and friends. See you back here next month.