The Coal Miner’s Daughter opens 2001 at venerable honky tonk Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas, February 17. She will stop at casinos, fairs and festivals nationwide, including three nights at the Grand Victoria Casino in Rising Sun, Ind., and an appearance at the We Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Despite suffering a fractured leg in a hunting accident December 29, John Michael Montgomery expects to forge ahead with tour plans kicking off January 25 at Horseshoe Casino in Robinsonville, Miss. Montgomery will play mainly casinos and fairs throughout the year, and more dates are expected to be added.

While the big-name country stars are penciling in dates, plenty of lesser-known keepers of the traditional flame are assembling long itineraries for the year as well.

The Del McCoury Band is taking its brand of traditional bluegrass overseas this year, with two dates each in Paris and Zurich. Appearing mainly in theatres and festivals, a highlight of the band’s lengthy outing is a six-day stretch at the annual RockyGrass festival in Lyons, Colo., July 23 – 28.

Ricky Skaggs and his band, Kentucky Thunder, have successfully bridged the gap between contemporary country and bluegrass with their neo-traditionalist style. Skaggs is playing the bluegrass festival circuit as well as theatres and casinos in 2001, including the Merle Watson Festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., April 27 and 28.

Another of the New Traditionalists, Rodney Crowell, is lining up a tour of clubs and performing arts centers in February and March. Among his stops are the House of Blues in New Orleans, UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles and the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Crowell will showcase music from a sterling career best known for songs he penned for others such as Emmylou Harris, ex-wife Rosanne Cash, the Oak Ridge Boys, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and rocker Bob Seger, in addition to his own hits.