Country Beat: Mavericks, Tim McGraw, Lee Roy Parnell …

Mavericks cut loose; McGraw faces new court date; Parnell cancels shows.

The Mavericks have removed themselves from Mercury Nashville’s roster. A spokesman for the group said they’re going to consider other options for a new band-album deal and a solo album project by lead singer Raul Malo. The Mavericks’ first four albums, beginning with 1992′s From Hell to Paradise, were on MCA Nashville. After the PolyGram/Universal merger, they moved to Mercury Nashville — considered a more progressive label — and released last year’s Super Colossal Smash Hits of the ’90s on that label. Although their final three MCA albums were top-10 sellers, Super Colossal peaked at #45 in Billboard.

Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney will return to court July 18 at the Orchard Park, N.Y., Town Court. The two singers initially entered not guilty pleas at the adjournment of their first court date June 6, where they were scheduled to face charges stemming from their arrest June 3 after an altercation with police at a George Strait Country Festival date near Buffalo, N.Y. … Texas slide guitarist/singer Lee Roy Parnell, who was dropped recently by Arista/Nashville, has canceled all appearances during this week’s Fan Fair in Nashville because of a family emergency. He ordinarily sponsors a multiartist, multigenre show on his own, in addition to his own performances. …

The Country Music Hall of Fame received a $3 million donation from the Ford Motor Company on Monday (June 12). The donation takes the Hall past its goal of raising $15 million toward the final cost of $37 million for financing its new downtown Nashville headquarters building, set to open next May. Ford gets to name one of the theaters in the building. Its choice? The Ford Theater. … Buddy and Julie Miller will appear on Acoustic Cafe the week of June 26. …

Jimmie Dale Gilmore will play the July 14 taping of Mountain Stages Radio Show in Showshoe, W.Va., with L’il Band o’ Gold and John Wesley Harding. … Keith Urban opens for Dwight Yoakam for seven June dates. … Trisha Yearwood will grace the Summer 2000 cover of The Art of Simple Living magazine. … “On Music Row,” the TV project co-starring singer Lari White, premiered Thursday (June 8) at the Nashville Independent Film Festival. The fictional drama details the lives of a young group of musicians trying to break into the music business. Producers hope to sell the pilot to a network. …

After its move to new headquarters next year, the Country Music Hall of Fame plans to send a traveling exhibit across the country. Now that all its millions of pieces of memorabilia are coming out of storage, the Hall will ship an interactive exhibit to selected cities for several weeks at a time. …

Award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn are releasing audio and video clips on their Web site from a recording session held recently in Dunn’s rural Nashville barn. Each month, another of the 14 songs they recorded from their catalog will become available through their “Live From Cyber Ranch” link. “Neon Moon” is featured this month. …

Porter Wagoner, Little Jimmy Dickens, Bobby Bare, and Stonewall Jackson are among those added to the lineup for the Country Hall of Fame’s first annual Nashville Skyline Jamboree. Susan Ashton, Ernie Ashworth, and Sisters Wade also will perform at the event scheduled for Thursday (June 15) in the Hall’s Music Row parking lot…

Alison Krauss recently appeared with Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall for a special that will air later this year on PBS. Krauss performed “Slumber My Darling” and played violin on “Fisher’s Hornpipe” from Appalachian Journey. James Taylor is also on the show. Krauss pairs with the Boston Pops for another PBS taping to air in July. …

The Grand Ole Opry will premiere its Tuesday afternoon summer
performances on June 20 with Loretta Lynn. The 3 p.m. matinee series runs through Aug. 8. … The Opry is also hosting free summer concerts on its plaza to celebrate its
75th anniversary. BR5-49 kick off the event June 16 and return Aug. 4. Dale Watson appears June 23, Junior Brown plays June 30, the Derailers on July 7 and 14, Jim Lauderdale on July 21 and Asleep at the Wheel on July 28. …

Willie Nelson‘s Fourth of July Picnic, now moved from Dropping Springs, Texas, to south Austin, has signed these artists for the date: Damnations TX, Larry Butler, Cadillac Voodoo Choir, Bobby Boyd, Patsy Thompson, Ray Price, Kimmie Rhodes, Steve Fromholz, Rusty Weir, Johnny Bush, Lil Joe & Son, Pat Green, Cory Morrow, the Geezinslaws, Billy Joe Shaver, Aaron Allen and Doc Mason & Ava, Susan Tedeschi, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Further signings are expected. … Nelson is releasing a new, enhanced CD, Willie Nelson and the Offenders: Me and the Drummer, on the Luck Label. …

Acclaimed Nashville songstress Mandy Barnett will reprise her role as Patsy Cline, beginning June 15 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in the musical “Always … Patsy Cline.” Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with a Saturday matinee running through Aug. 12. …

— sonicnet.com staff report