The Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: Soul 2 Soul Tour 2000 kicks off Wednesday (July 12) in Atlanta and now includes 18 cities in addition to the 24 previously announced dates. This first co-headlining tour for the superstar couple will run through Sept. 29 in Detroit. ...

Powerhouse vocalist Trisha Yearwood has added dates to her European tour, including British dates in Manchester, England (Sept. 24), London (Sept. 25), Birmingham, England (Sept. 26), and a date in Glasgow, Scotland (Sept. 28). ...

Lonestar, whose hit "Amazed" (RealAudio excerpt) was a pop crossover smash, has signed with new manager Gary Borman, whose company Borman Entertainment also represents Faith Hill, Dwight Yoakam, Trace Adkins and James Taylor, among others. ... Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch's live album 11/12/13 — Live From Melbourne is the #1 most added record this week on the Gavin Americana chart. ...

New Zealand actor/musician Russell Crowe, who stars in the film "Gladiator," will play the famed Stubb's Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas, with his band Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts. The group tackles everything from rap to country, and tickets for their shows Aug. 4, 11 and 18 are being auctioned off for more than $300 a pair on eBay.com. While in Austin, Crowe and his bandmates will also begin recording their next album. ...

Willie Nelson has been working for some time on a blues album titled Milk Cow Blues. The Island Records set is now scheduled for release at the end of August and features collaborations with B.B. King, Dr. John, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Susan Tedeschi, Jimmie Vaughan, Jonny Lang, Francine Reed and Keb' Mo'. ...

Country rocker Radney Foster is working on "Pure Spunk," a cryptic new project that will be a musical outlet for himself and other artists. Foster, along with BR5-49, Robert Earl Keen, Lee Roy Parnell and BlackHawk, was dropped when Arista Nashville recently folded into RCA. His album See What You Want To See spawned such gems as "Folding Money" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Angry Heart," and Foster is now planning a live acoustic album for fall release to include new material and past hits...

The Brooklyn Cowboys, whose debut, Doin' Time on Planet Earth, is currently #16 on the Gavin Americana chart, will play the weekly WYYB-FM radio and webcast concert at Jack Legs from 9-10 p.m. CST July 24 in Nashville. The show will be broadcast on The Phoenix station and on www.songs.com. The band also will be featured on the radio/webcast of WSM-AM's "Opry Star Spotlight" between 1–2 a.m. CST on July 25. ...

B.J. Thomas was honored at Saturday's (July 8) Grand Ole Opry show with a plaque marking 70 million in album sales. Thomas may be best known for the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," from the Academy Award-winning movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." ...

Prominent Nashville resident John Hiatt is finishing an acoustic album, Crossing Muddy Waters, due Sept. 26 on Vanguard. The album simultaneously will be released online, at emusic.com, and in stores. Eric Clapton and B.B. King are riding high with their release of Hiatt's song "Riding With the King" (RealAudio excerpt), the title cut of their new album. ...

The Austin Lounge Lizards, Trout Fishing in America and Tony Trischka are among Americana, folk and roots-music artists slated for the third annual Bean Blossom Jam Fest, a spin-off of the Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival, which, in its 34th year, is the longest-running such event in the world. Robin and Linda William, Crucial Smit, the Burns Sisters, Jimmy Bowen & Santa Fe and Blue & Lonesome will also appear at the fest, July 28–29 in Bean Blossom, Ind. In addition to the Bluegrass Festival (held in June) and the Jam Fest, Bean Blossom also hosts a Gospel Jubilee, Aug. 18–20. ...

Wilco, Joe Tex, Floyd Cramer and Joe Henry are among artists tapped for the Mammoth soundtrack for the quirky upcoming flick "Jesus' Son." ...

Andy Griggs' debut album, You Won't Ever Be Lonely, has been certified gold. ...

Bike enthusiasts Montgomery Gentry are set to perform with the Marshall Tucker Band and ride during Bike Week, in Sturgis, S.D., Aug. 7–9. ...

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America will bestow its Silver Buffalo Award on Louise Mandrell for having raised more than $1 million for the organization. The award, which acknowledges extraordinary service to youths, will be presented to the singer Tuesday (July 11) at the Louise Mandrell Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. ...

Singer/songwriter Kim Richey's June 26 concert, recorded at the New Orleans House of Blues, will be video cybercast at 9 p.m. EDT July 16 on the HOB Web site (www.hob.com). Richey's performance featured the Continental Drifters backing her on such songs as "Come Around," from her latest release Glimmer. The concert will be re-broadcast on www.hob.com at 6 p.m. PDT on Aug. 17. ...

Faith Hill's VH1 "Behind the Music" feature will air July 23. (Sonicnet.com's parent company, Viacom, also owns VH1.) ...

Wynonna will appear alongside Macy Gray, TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Missy Elliott in a photo essay titled "Women of Music" for the September issue of Interview magazine. The project marks the first still shoot for director Hype Williams, who has shot videos for these female artists and such others as Will Smith and No Doubt. Wynonna is the only Nashville artist out of the 12 women included in the essay. ...

Bloodshot Records is repackaging classics from 1930s and '40s western swing pioneer Hank Penny. Thirty previously unreleased cuts, including his trademark song "Little Red Wagon," will be released on Crazy Rhythm as part of the label's revival series on July 18. ...

Liquid Audio is providing free downloads for select live performances from Telluride Bluegrass Festival. For a limited time, fans can choose selections from Lonesome River Band, Jesse Winchester, Tim O'Brien and Judith Edelman, among others. ...

Johnny Cash will release a gospel album tentatively dubbed My Mother's Hymn Book sometime next year. Cash's gospel hits include "What You Do Here on Earth (For Heaven's Sake)" and "It Was Jesus," which is included in the God segment of his recently released Love, God, Murder box set. This new set finds an intimate Cash with only his guitar and marks his fourth album produced by Rick Rubin.

— sonicnet.com staff report