News And Notes
Mar 15

5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Home for Spring

Garden Party

Photo courtesy of HGTV.com.

The last patch of snow finally melted, temperatures actually went above 40 degrees and buds on the trees have come out of hiding. Is it, could it be…springtime? Less than a week away from the official start of spring, it’s time to kick spring cleaning into high gear. Here are a few simple tips to shake off the dregs of winter and get your home ready for warmer weather.

1. Open the windows. Weather permitting, of course. While the South experiences spring fever, the northern portion of the country might not be so lucky, but if an exceptionally beautiful, warm day comes along, take advantage of it and let in the fresh air. Nothing rids stale, recycled winter air faster than a spring breeze.

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Posted at 12:01 am | Permalink
Mar 13

Carrie Underwood Returns to No. 1 on Top 20

Carrie Underwood's Little Toy Guns

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/carrieunderwood.

Carrie Underwood is back on top of this week’s Top 20 Country Countdown. The new mom topped the charts with her latest, “Little Toy Guns,” and also came in at No. 6 with her former No. 1 video, “Something In The Water.” After three weeks at No. 1, Eric Church dropped to No. 2 with “Talladega,” with Florida Georgia Line rounding out the Top 3. New videos from Maddie & Tae and Lee Ann Womack made their countdown debuts this week.

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extrasincluding videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.

This Week’s Chart

  1. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns”
  2. Eric Church – “Talladega”
  3. Florida Georgia Line – “Sun Daze”
  4. Blake Shelton w/Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight”
  5. Thomas Rhett – “Make Me Wanna”
  6. Carrie Underwood – “Something In the Water”
  7. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes”
  8. Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started”
  9. Lee Brice – “Drinking Class”
  10. Josh Turner – “Lay Low” Continue Reading

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Posted at 4:45 pm | Permalink
Mar 12

Experience St. Patrick’s Day in 5 Cities

St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away and, while Ireland is the best place to celebrate, hands-down, cities throughout the United States do their best to live up to the Irish hype. Here are five of them:

Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Chicago (ChicagoStPatsParade.com)

Chicago. The water runs green in Chicago come St. Patrick’s Day. Built largely by Irish immigrants, The Windy City colors the Chicago River a bright emerald green to celebrate. The river dying is followed by an over-the-top St. Patrick’s Day Parade, now in its 60th year, featuring everything from Clydesdales to Irish dance troupes, and ending with an all-out street party. This year’s festivities are scheduled for March 14.

Travel Across America »

New York. The Big Apple loves a good party and it delivers on St. Patrick’s Day. The city’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade took place in 1762 and continues along the same route down 5th Avenue. You won’t find floats or balloons in this parade, however. The march is made up of Irish kilts, bagpipes, step dancers, first responders and school bands, adding up to more than 200,000 marchers. The parade route also happens to pass an Irish pub or two along the way.

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Posted at 2:51 pm | Permalink
Mar 11

The Best of PINKS All Out Premieres March 13

The Best of PINKS All Out

The best drag racers in the country will lay it all on the line in Great American Country’s new series, The Best of PINKS All Out. Premiering with four episodes on March 13 starting at 8/7c, drag racers are in search of glory and their share of $18,000 in cash and prizes. Series creator Rich Christensen hosts the all-day shootout. (Full Schedule)

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Posted at 8:26 pm | Permalink
Mar 9

Spotlight: Country Music’s Most Influential Women

Sunday, March 8 marked International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s economic, political and social achievements throughout history. Many celebrities participated via social media campaigns using hashtags #WomensDay, #NotThere and #InternationalWomensDay. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re spotlighting some of the most powerful, inspirational and talented ladies of country music.

Maybelle Carter – Best known as a member of the Carter Family and mother of June Carter Cash, Carter paved the way for female musicians. She became famous for her unique guitar playing called “scratch” style. Carter and her family popularized Appalachian folk music.

Kitty Wells

Country music legend Kitty Wells was inducted into the Country Hall of Fame in 1976.

Kitty Wells – Nicknamed the Queen of Country Music, Wells gained popularity after her hit, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” topped country charts. In 1991, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Patsy Cline – In 1957, Cline’s hit “Walkin’ After Midnight” made her the first crossover pop-country artist. She was the first woman in country music to headline her own show and perform at Carnegie Hall. Like Taylor Swift, Cline also believed in encouraging and supporting her group of girl friends, such as Loretta Lynn, Dottie West and Barbara Mandrell.

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Posted at 6:30 pm | Permalink
Mar 8

Furniture Painting Tips From the Pros

Lara Spencer's Painting Tips From the Pros

One of the easiest ways to breathe new life into a piece of furniture or flea market find is by applying a coat of paint. With so many painting techniques out there, it can be difficult to choose the best method. Lara Spencer, host of Great American Country’s Flea Market Flip, went to some of her fixer-upper pals to get their painting tips.

Fixer Alex Guerrero recommends spray paint. Not only is it super easy to use, it is also super cheap. To get the best results, Guerrero imagines he is “petting” the piece with the paint, using smooth, even strokes. His best tip? Start spraying off to the side of the furniture instead of directly on it to ensure a smooth coat without drops.

Watch: Pro Painting Tips »

Guerrero also likes to use paint guns, which can be filled with any type of water-based paint. The gun provides the user with greater control  and can produce horizontal or vertical paint lines, depending on the settings.

Distressed furniture  in home decor is trendy right now, and it isn’t as hard to replicate as one may think. Fixer Cita Johnson advises using wooden blocks as both palette and brush, letting the paint thicken. Then, skim across the surface lightly, without applying too much pressure. Continue Reading

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Posted at 6:40 pm | Permalink
Mar 6

Eric Church Gets a Three-Peat on Top 20

Chase Bryant on Top 20 Country Countdown

Newcomer Chase Bryant joined Nan Kelley in the studio this week.

It’s three in a row for Eric Church on this week’s Top 20 Country Countdown, topping the charts again with “Talladega.” Florida Georgia Line jumped into No. 2 with “Sun Daze,” and new mom Carrie Underwood had not one, but two music videos in the Top 10. Plus, host Nan Kelley chatted with country newcomer Chase Bryant about his debut single, “Take It On Back.”

Top 20 Photo Gallery »

Want to re-watch some of your favorite interviews? Get Top 20 online extrasincluding videos and photos. You can also cast your votes and take a look at the current chart to see where your favorite videos land.

This Week’s Chart

  1. Eric Church – “Talladega”
  2. Florida Georgia Line – “Sun Daze”
  3. Carrie Underwood – “Something In the Water”
  4. Blake Shelton w/Ashley Monroe – “Lonely Tonight”
  5. Chris Young – “Lonely Eyes”
  6. Carrie Underwood – “Little Toy Guns”
  7. Thomas Rhett – “Make Me Wanna”
  8. The Band Perry – “Gentle on My Mind”
  9. Josh Turner – “Lay Low”
  10. Jason Aldean – “Just Gettin’ Started” Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:30 pm | Permalink
Mar 5

7 Can’t-Miss Music Festivals

Spring is just around the corner and with the warm temperatures come music festivals! Whether you’re headed to Music City for the biggest country music festival of the year, to the West Coast for superstar artists and art, or down to Texas for some of the best indie bands around, there is an event for every playlist. Start planning now with these seven must-see festivals for 2015.

Little Big Town at the 2014 CMA Festival

Little Big Town Returns to This Year’s CMA Festival

CMA Music Festival — Nashville, Tennessee
Set for June 11-14, the annual CMA Music Festival celebrates country music fans with four days of non-stop concerts, meet-and-greets, fan club parties, special events and more. Each day starts early with free concerts throughout downtown Nashville, continuing along River Front Park and leading up to star-studded concerts at LP Field each night.

Nashville Travel Guide »

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Posted at 2:36 pm | Permalink
Mar 4

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Green Chile Refried Beans

Krystal Keith in the Kitchen: Green Chile Refried Beans

Photo courtesy of Krystal Keith.

Y’all that know me, know that I love, love, love Hatch Valley green chiles. My family puts them in everything including eggs, mashed potatoes, soups…. Don’t be surprised if I bring out a Hatch green chile ice cream at some point! But one of the most classic Mexican side dishes is the perfect place for these flavorful chiles.

This is my absolute favorite side dish when I’m serving Mexican food. Forget plain-old canned refried beans. Ten minutes of prep time and a few hours in a Crock-Pot and you have a healthy, homemade side of refried beans that will knock your socks off. And, as a bonus, you get to bag it up and store it in the freezer for the next few times you need refried beans as a side dish.

How to Video: Growing Chile Peppers » Continue Reading

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Posted at 12:01 am | Permalink
Mar 3

7 Recipes for Outdoorsmen

Knowing where your food came from is rare these days. We often purchase groceries without giving a second thought to the process that went into getting the food. Sourcing your own meat and fish can be a healthier, more sustainable option, and it’s easy to do if you already love to hunt and fish. Whether you have a freezer full of meat you haven’t decided how to prepare, or you have a hunting trip coming up, we’ve shared some delicious recipes for you to prepare with your wild game and fish.

Wild Game Chili

Photo courtesy FoodNetwork.com

Wild Game Chili
Use ground moose to give this classic dish a unique twist. Whip up a pan of cornbread, and you have a hearty, delicious meal. Get the recipe here »

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Posted at 1:25 pm | Permalink