The hapless promoters of Nashville Star once tried to bill their alleged talent show as a country version of American Idolâbut better because their contestants often played their own instruments and wrote their own songs. In this case, all that means is that their south of Stepford performers feel empowered to produce sappy songs that make Joe Diffie look like Kris Kristofferson. I attended a Nashville Star episode during the show's first season and the eventual winner, Buddy Jewell, performed a slow but ass-kicking version of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Three Steps." (At least that's how I remember it, it might have been "What's That Smell?" Whatever.) The crowd was appropriately rocked and the Shrek-like Jewell, a burly demo singer living in the bleak fringes of Nashville, seemed like a gritty Nashville Star. So what happened after that? Jewell went on to pen songs whose lyrics could be embroidered on your grandmother's pillow, including his warmed-over cowpie of a hit "Help Pour Out the Rain" in which a suddenly emasculated Jewell sings about his apparently dimwitted daughter asking him if "God could use another angel to help pour out the rain." What's that smell indeed. The 2006 Nashville Star Tour comes to the Silverado Ranch in Irving on Friday. And no, Jewell won't be there, but last season's Nicole Jamrose, Matt Mason, Casey Rivers and Chris Young will beâalong with John Bohlinger and the Nashville Star Band. Buddy, let's just hope their stars shine a little brighter. Gates open at 7 p.m. Visit frontgatetickets.com.
Fri., Aug. 4, 7 p.m.