COUNTRY BEAT: Keith Urban, Patty Loveless, Trace Adkins ...

Urban sizzlin'; Loveless finishing roots album; Adkins teeing off.

Keith Urban, who recently topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart with "But for the Grace of God" (RealAudio excerpt) has been added to the lineup for the seventh annual Sizzlin' Country Concert, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The concert, set for May 8 on Laramie Street at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California, will be hosted by Jessica Andrews and Billy Gilman. Others appearing include Lila McCann, Andy Griggs, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Tammy Cochran, Tim Rushlow and Trick Pony, with others to be announced. Sonny Burgess and Rodney Redman will appear in the New Faces segment of the show. ...

Patty Loveless and husband/producer Emory Gordy Jr. are putting finishing touches on Loveless' return-to-roots album, Mountain Soul, due June 26. Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt and Jon Randall guest on the album, which mixes traditional and contemporary songs. Kentucky-bred Loveless re-recorded "The Sounds of Loneliness," which she wrote at 15 for her debut album. Mountain Soul features covers of Reno & Smiley's "I Know You're Married," Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner 's "Someone That I Used to Know," Melba Montgomery's "Raging Fire," and Darrell Scott's "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive." "I've been wanting to do this record since 1992, when Emory and I put a little group together to go play the Carter Stanley Memorial Festival," Loveless said in a statement. Loveless will tour this summer to support Mountain Soul and Strong Heart, her current mainstream country album. ...

Trace Adkins will host the BellSouth Senior Classic golf tournament at Opryland's annual Celebrity Kids Classic event at Nashville's Springhouse Golf Club on May 27. The event raises money for charities including Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, Tennessee Lions Charities, Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scout Council of Cumberland Valley and Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. Artists taking part include Chris Cagle, Mark Collie, Clay Davidson, Vince Gill, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Sonya Isaacs and the Wilkinsons. ...

LeAnn Rimes will host the Academy of Country Music Awards, the ACM staff announced Tuesday (April 3). Rimes was named ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year in 1996, when her career was just starting. The show will be televised live on CBS from Universal City, California's Universal Amphitheater on May 9. ...

Mississippi native Charley Pride was inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame on Saturday (March 31). Also inducted were country artists Marty Stuart, the late Conway Twitty and rocker Jerry Lee Lewis. Other artists inducted were Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, James Blackwood of the Blackwood Brothers, Mose Allison and Pop Staples. ...

Loretta Lynn has been released from a Nashville-area hospital, where she was treated for pneumonia. The singer "has continued to improve daily and has responded favorably to medical treatment she's been receiving," a spokesperson for Lynn said Monday (April 2), adding that her doctor has advised Lynn not to work until May. The Country Music Hall of Fame member is resting at home, her spokesperson said. ...

Brooks & Dunn have hired country funnyman Cledus T. Judd to emcee their upcoming Neon Circus and Wild West Show. The tour, which will open April 27 in Little Rock, Arkansas, also features Toby Keith, Montgomery Gentry and Keith Urban. ...

Dolly Parton will star as the mother of an insurance claims investigator in the Disney comedy ''Frank McKlusky, C.I.,'' the Hollywood Reporter reports. It will be her first Hollywood feature film role since playing herself in 1993's "The Beverly Hillbillies." ...

Trisha Yearwood is joined by guest vocalist Don Henley on

"Inside Out," a song on Yearwood's upcoming album, due June 5. Yearwood and Henley will also perform together April 21 at a benefit in Dallas for the Yellow Rose Foundation, to fund multiple sclerosis research. Other guest vocalists on the album will be Kim Richey, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash and Andrew Gold. ...

Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, John Prine, Guy Clark and the Cowboy Junkies are among the artists on Poet: A Tribute to Townes Van Zandt, honoring the late singer/songwriter. The album is due in late July. ...

Bill Mack, the prominent country DJ who retired last Thursday (March 29) from the Fort Worth, Texas, station WBAP-AM, is starting a new program on satellite radio. Mack, whose songwriting credits include the song "Blue," has signed with XM

Satellite Radio for a show to begin sometime this summer. ...

Sister Seven will release their Sister Seven Live album on April 10 and then begin a round of farewell concerts, the Austin (Texas) Chronicle reports. They're scheduled to play April 27-28 at Austin's La Zona Rosa, where the new live LP was recorded, and then at farewell shows at Dallas' Trees and Houston's Fabulous Satellite Lounge. Solo projects are expected from the bandmembers this year. ...

The "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of more than 1 million copies. The album, released on December 5 and featuring traditional country songs by Alison Krauss, the Whites and Emmylou Harris, has been #1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart for the past seven weeks and is #14 on the Billboard 200 pop albums chart. "Down From the Mountain," a film by documentarian D.A. Pennebaker featuring a Nashville concert of music from "O Brother," was screened at the recent South by Southwest Film Festival and will be shown in the Nashville Independent Film Festival in June. ...

Rodney Crowell is contributing a guest column about a song cycle on his new album, The Houston Kid, for the May issue of the magazine The Advocate. In his "My Perspective" column for the gay and lesbian magazine's annual music issue, Crowell writes about his songs "Wandering Boy" (RealAudio excerpt) and "I Wish It Would Rain" (RealAudio excerpt), which examine the relationship between twin brothers — one a bisexual street hustler with AIDS, the other homophobic. Crowell will appear on ABC's "Politically Incorrect" on April 9. ...

Trisha Yearwood returns to the CBS show "Jag" in the role of a forensics pathologist in May. ...

Charley Pride's upcoming album will be copy-proof, reports the Tennessean. A Tribute to Jim Reeves, due April 17, cannot be copied or uploaded to the Internet, according to officials at Music City Records. They said purchasers of the CD will be able to get MP3s of the songs on the album by loading it into a computer's CD-ROM and logging onto and registering the CD with a company Web site, which will download tracks to the computer or into a portable MP3 player. The technology is MediaCloQ, designed by Sunn.Comm. ...

Dolly Parton and a host of other women singers will grace the soundtrack album for the upcoming film "Songcatcher." The album, due May 8, also includes songs by Patty Loveless, Julie Miller, Deana Carter, Allison Moorer, Gillian Welch, Sara Evans, Rosanne Cash, Maria McKee, Iris DeMent, Hazel Dickens and Emmylou Harris. DeMent also appears in the film, which is about a musicologist in Appalachia. It's set for a June release. ...

Jamie O'Neal sings "All By Myself" for the opening of the movie "Bridget Jones's Diary." The April 13 release stars Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant. ...

Keith Urban is on the cover of the current issue of Playgirl magazine. ...

Mary Chapin Carpenter's upcoming album will be titled Time Is the Great Gift; Sex Is the Great Equalizer; Love Is the Great Mystery, which will be shortened to Time * Sex * Love, her record label reports. The long title is a quote from her guitarist John Jennings. The album, due May 29, was recorded at London's Air Studios in November. Song titles include "The Dreaming Road," "Slave to the Beauty," "Whenever You're Ready," "The Long Way Home," "Swept Away," "King of Love," "This Is Me Leaving You," "Someone Else's Prayer" and "In the Name of Love." "Simple Life" will be released as a single in April. ...

Pax-TV has ordered an additional eight episodes of the weekly series "Doc," starring Billy Ray Cyrus. The show, with Cyrus portraying a small-town doctor who moves to Manhattan, New York, debuted March 11. ...

Jo Dee Messina will sing at the finish-line post-party of the world's largest five-kilometer run/walk June 2 in Washington. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer's 19th annual Race for the Cure is part of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's ongoing fundraising to provide breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. ...

Mandy Barnett has recorded "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read" (RealAudio excerpt of Asleep at the Wheel version) with Asleep at the Wheel for their upcoming The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel. Brad Paisley recently recorded Hank Garland's "The Sugar Foot Rag" with the group for the album, due in late spring. The Wheel opened the George Strait Country Music Festival tour Saturday (March 24) for the fourth consecutive year. ...

Slaid Cleaves and a number of other alt-country luminaries are scheduled to play Twang Fest 5, to be held June 6–9 at Blueberry Hill in University City, Missouri. Acts include Deke Dickerson, Roger Wallace, the Domino Kings, Ass Ponys, Charlie Chesterman, Elizabeth Cook, Fear and Whiskey, Rockhouse Ramblers, Star City and the Tarbox Ramblers. ...

Don McLean will release two albums in April on his new, Nashville record label. The Don McLean Records releases, due April 24, are Starry, Starry Night, from his recent PBS television special, and Don McLean Sings Marty Robbins. On Starry, Starry Night, McLean is accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra and guest vocalist Nanci Griffith. The 24-track set covers McLean's hits from "American Pie" to "Vincent" (RealAudio excerpt). Griffith joins McLean for the songs "And I Love You So" and "Raining in My Heart." The 12 songs on Don McLean Sings Marty Robbins include such Robbins hits as "El Paso" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Singin' the Blues." ...

Fan Fair 2001 has added the following artists to its roster: Trace Adkins, Susan Ashton, John Berry, Terri Clark, Eric Heatherly, Sonya Isaacs, Lila McCann, Neal McCoy, Jamie O'Neal, Rascal Flatts, SheDaisy, Sons of the Desert, Chalee Tennison, Pam Tillis, Trick Pony, Phil Vassar, Steve Wariner, Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack and Chely Wright. Fan Fair takes place June 14-17 in Nashville. ...

Brenda Lee will be honored April 5 at the Rockin' at the Ryman concert, when the veteran country and rockabilly artist will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rockabilly Music Foundation. Lee rose to fame with her 1959 pop hit "Sweet Nothin's" (RealAudio excerpt). Artists set to appear include: Eric Heatherly, Rosie Flores, Billy Burnette, the Jordanaires, Boots Randolph, Jack Scott, Janis Martin, Ronnie Dawson, Sanford Clark, Sleepy LaBeef, Jerry Naylor and members of the late Gene Vincent's band, the Blue Caps. Concert proceeds will go toward building a rockabilly museum and establishing a benefit/relief fund for rockabilly artists. ...

Brad Paisley has recorded Hank Garland's signature song, "Sugarfoot Rag," with Asleep at the Wheel. The song will appear on the album The Very Best of Asleep at the Wheel, due in April or May. "Not everybody knows that Brad's a good fingerpicker," says the Wheel's Ray Benson. ...

Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams and John Prine have been added to the lineup for River Stages 2001, an outdoor festival to take place in downtown Nashville on May 4-6. They join previously announced acts Bob Dylan, the Wallflowers, Blues Traveler, Joan Osborne, the Black Crowes, Cheap Trick, the Dickey Betts Band, Evan & Jaron, Meredith Edwards and two dozen or so other groups and artists. ...

Jo Dee Messina has four nominations in the 2001 Boston Music Awards, scheduled for April 19 at Boston's Orpheum Theatre. The Boston-area native won Act of the Year last year and is again nominated in that category, as well as for female vocalist, album and single. ...

Trent Summar and the New Row Mob will play 15 dates on this year's Volunteer Jam tour in May and June. The group will join .38 Special, the Dickey Betts Band and the Charlie Daniels Band on the tour in support of its self-titled debut album. "Paint Your Name in Purple" (RealAudio excerpt), the third single from the album, is set to be released to radio. ...

Dolly Parton and Rory Block have been added to the talent roster for the 14th annual MerleFest, scheduled for April 26–29 in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Parton, whose latest album is Little Sparrow (RealAudio excerpt of title track), will perform April 28. Other artists scheduled for MerleFest include Earl Scruggs With Family & Friends, the David Grisman Quintet, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Sam Bush, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Balfa Toujours, Vassar Clements, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas, Donna the Buffalo, Herb Pedersen, John McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson Chris Hillman, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Tony & Larry Rice, Beth Nielsen Chapman, the Lonesome River Band, Tim O'Brien & the Crossing, the Del McCoury Band and the Dan Tyminski Band. ...

Steve Earle will headline a contingent of artists taking part in the 500th broadcast of the two-hour, weekly syndicated radio series "Mountain Stage." Others appearing on the May 4 broadcast will be Jesse Winchester, Bruce Cockburn, Amy Ray with the Butchettes and mandolinist Johnny Staats. ...

— sonicnet.com staff report