Country Beat: Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Wynonna …

McGraw threatens lawsuit over arrest; Hill talks up songwriters; Wynonna heads for Europe.

Lawyers for singers Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney are threatening to sue the Erie County New York’s Sheriff’s Department, according to the Associated Press. They cite physical and psychological damages due to the singers’ June 3 arrest following a scuffle with police, near Buffalo, N.Y., after a George Strait Fest show. McGraw’s current single, “My Next Thirty Years” (RealAudio excerpt), is #47 this week on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart. McGraw and Chesney are due for a court hearing in December in Orchard Park, N.Y., on misdemeanor charges stemming from the arrest. …

Faith Hill has urged support of songwriters in the ongoing controversy on Internet piracy of music, according to a statement from digital-rights-management firm Reciprocal Inc. Hill reiterated her support of the Artists Against Piracy organization but noted that thus far songwriters have gone unmentioned in the fight for artists’ control of their music. Hill said songwriters “deserve the right to decide how their work is distributed.”…

Wynonna kicks off her first solo European tour with dates in Dublin, Ireland (Sept. 1); London (Sept. 3); Glasgow, Scotland (Sept. 5); and the premier Gstaad Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland (Sept. 8–9). Asleep at the Wheel, Jo Dee Messina and Chad Brock also are slated for the Gstaad dates. …

Wynonna joins LeAnn Rimes, Lyle Lovett, Tim McGraw and others on a new Curb compilation of gospel songs entitled Wings of a Dove according to a label spokesperson. The track listing for Wings of a Dove, due Sept. 12, is: “Somebody Must Be Prayin’ for Me” (McGraw); “I Need You” (Rimes); “Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior” (Lovett); “Because You Love Me” (Jo Dee Messina); “I Pray for You” (David Kersh); “Just Like the Moon” (Steve Holy); “800 Pound Jesus” (Sawyer Brown); “Loving You Makes Me a Better Man” (Hal Ketchum); “Over My Head” (Keith Perry); “On the Wings of a Dove” (Jim Witter); “Backslider’s Prayer” (Lesley McDaniel); “Scars and All” (Jeff Carson); “All Things Beautiful” (Shane McAnally); “Live With Jesus” (Wynonna); “I’m Not Homeless” (Ken Mellons); “Building a True Believer” (Mark Miller of Sawyer Brown). …

Singer/songwriter Jimmie Dale Gilmore, whose current Rounder album, One Endless Night (RealAudio excerpt of title track), reached #1 on Gavin‘s Americana chart, has canceled a handful of dates because of his father’s illness, including Wednesday (Aug. 30) and Thursday (Aug. 31) in San Francisco; Friday (Sept. 1) in Petaluma, Calif.; Saturday (Sept. 2) in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Monday (Sept. 4) at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle. …

Kenny Rogers‘ Dreamcatcher Records has signed a new country boy band, Marshall Dyllon. Singer/songwriter Phil Vassar is co-producing the harmonizing quintet’s debut, scheduled for release in late October. The group is represented by TCDC Entertainment, a joint venture between Dreamcatcher and Lou Pearlman’s Trans Continental Records, which launched the careers of *NSync and the Backstreet Boys

Willie Nelson has created his own spoof on the “Harry Potter” book series craze. A photo of Nelson on his Web site shows the singer, bug-eyed and leaning on a Farm Aid cane, with the caption “Harry Bugger in ‘The Stoned Scorcerer’ by I.P. Freely.” … Faith Hill and husband Tim McGraw‘s Soul 2 Soul 2000 tour already has grossed more than $18 million on its first 25-date leg, reports a spokesperson for Hill. More than 400,000 fans packed in to see the couple across the Southeast and West Coast — with more than 11 sold-out arenas. The second leg kicks off Friday (Sept. 1) in Cleveland. Additional tour dates may be added in October. …

A new live set featuring Texas singer/songwriters Charlie Robison, Bruce Robison and Jack Ingram is tentatively scheduled to bow Sept. 26 on Lucky Dog, according to a label representative. Track listing for Unleashed Live: “The Good Life” (Bruce Robison), “Rayne, Louisiana” (Bruce Robison), “Angry All the Time” (Bruce Robison), “Red Letter Day” (Bruce Robison), “My Hometown” (Charlie Robison), “Sunset Boulevard” (Charlie Robison), “Loving County” (Charlie Robison), “Barlight” (Charlie Robison), “Mustang Burn” (Ingram), “Work This Out” (Ingram), “Travis County” (Ingram), and “Barbie Doll” (Ingram). …

Pioneering western swing fiddler Cliff Bruner died Aug. 25 in Houston due to complications from cancer and heart problems. After recording several songs with Milton Brown and His Music Brownies, Bruner formed the Texas Wanderers and went on to record “Truck Driver’s Blues,” “Jessie,” “Milk Cow Blues” and Floyd Tillman‘s “It Makes No Difference.” … The Americana Music Association will hold its inaugural meeting Nov. 10–11 in Nashville. The event will include workshops and music performances. …

Kenny Rogers is collaborating with several artists on his upcoming album, There You Go Again (Dreamcatcher), due Oct. 3, reports Billboard. Suzy Bogguss, Billy Dean, Alison Krauss, Steve Wariner, Linda Davis, Brad Paisley, Diamond Rio and Collin Raye are among those helping out in the studio. Rogers’ current album, She Rides Wild Horses, spawned such #1 hits as “Buy Me a Rose” (RealAudio excerpt). …

Brad Paisley is scheduled to perform at the 12th annual Country Gold Festival in Kumamoto, Japan. The Wilkinsons, the Derailers, Chalee Tennison and Claire Lynch also are slated for the Oct. 15 event, according to a refugee management spokesperson.

— sonicnet.com staff report