Academy of Country Music Recognizes George Strait As Artist of the Decade
- The Academy of Country Music announced that their annual awards show will be one month earlier than usual, taking place on April 5th, and will be hosted by Reba McEntire for the 11th time. The next day a segment will be taped to honor George Strait as the Artist of the Decade.
- Dierks Bentley blew his website up last night in preparation for his new one, which launches in 84 days.
- Justin Townes Earle tells Nashville Scene that he hopes people never stop asking him about his father, “I’m not spoiled like most of these sons and daughters who talk shit about their parents on the road. That’s your flesh and blood.” He goes on to describe his new album, slated for ’09, as less honky-tonk intensive and more ragtime and piano-driven. “Basically, I do my best impression of a Randy Newman record,” he says.
- Lucero frontman Ben Nichols announced Jan. 20 as the release date for his solo debut, The Last Pale Light in the West–a Mini-LP due out January 20 featuring songs inspired by the Cormac McCarthy book Blood Meridian. (via press release)
- Jazz maestro and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis uses basketball to describe Willie Nelson‘s skills:
“He’ll come in with a phrase, and we’ll think, ‘Uh-oh, he ain’t gonna make it fit.’ And then he’ll collect it on the back end. It’s like somebody jukin’ or fakin’ on a basketball court. They take you this way, then come back that way. He’ll come in perfectly on key, on time, and we’re, like, ‘Damn!’ It’s so natural and true.”
- Inadequately titled tours led Country California’s C.M. Wilcox to generate a list of suggestions for several artists. For instance, Kristy Lee Cook could go on the Why Wait (Leave Now) tour while John Rich–who recently spoke about the current election on Johnny Cash’s behalf–might might use the moniker Johnny Cash’s Favorite Concert Tour.
- Atlanta-based country act Zac Brown Band, formerly with Live Nation Artists, has signed with Atlantic Records and will release their album The Foundation on Nov. 18.
- Warner Bros Records Nashville is looking for fans to help out their A&R team:
There will be times when we will play you demos to find out which songs you like and which songs you don’t like. At these times, it’s strictly about your opinion of the song itself, with no regards to the vocalist, or what particular artist might perform it. Then, there will be times where we may need your ears to help us pick the best single for a particular artist.
- You can stream the new Toby Keith album That Don’t Make Me A Bad Guy in its entirety on his MySpace.
- Is Johnny Cash spinning in his grave because of the Johnny Cash Remixed album, or might he actually be dancing? No one knows (except John Rich), but Chris Gray gives us the low down on the divisive album that’s been pushed back to January.
- Carrie Underwood scored her ninth No. 1 on a key sales or airplay chart with “Just a Dream.”
- Nintely Mile Wind’s Craig Bickhardt took a break from his regular subject matter to give us a glimpse behind one of his gigs as a performing songwriter. At this particular show he was opening for the Charlie Louvin.
I heard Charlie say, “Where?” and he turned to squint in my direction. Then he stepped off the stage and came over to greet me. I introduced myself, not realizing Louvin is still as sharp as a pistol at age 81. “Yes, I remember you,” he said, “we spoke on the phone a while back about your House song. Boy, you didn’t leave nothing outta that one, that’s a good song!”
- Calvin Gilbert wrote a recap of the Musicians Hall of Fame induction ceremony that took place on Tuesday night and consisted of country, rock and R&B royalty.
- The debut concept album from Hang Jones, The Ballad of Carlsbad County, won’t be released until early next year, but they’ve posted a mini-movie, music video introducing three key characters from the album. Read Twang Nation’s review:
As a concept album The Ballad of Carlsbad County is more then the sum of it’s parts. Each song stands on it’s own and the story isn’t a straitjacket on the organic nature of the whole. This dusty, dark beauty one of my favorite releases of the year.
- Ninebullets.net has your honky-tonk needs covered with an introduction to Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, who they’ve dubbed essential listening. Awesome stuff. (MySpace)
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.