Alabama Reunites for Waylon Jennings Cover; Brad Paisley Releases “This Is Country Music”

Brody Vercher | November 22nd, 2010

  • Alabama reunited to record a track for a new Waylon Jennings tribute album, The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, that’s due out next Feb. The song, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way,” will be released as a single to radio early next week (stream a preview). Other artists appearing on the album include Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Shooter Jennings, Sunnny Sweeney, Jessi Colter, and more.
  • A studio version of Brad Paisley‘s “This Is Country Music,” the song he premiered at the CMA Awards, is available for streaming on his website.
  • Country California: Quotable Country – 11/21/10 Edition
  • Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, and Lady Antebellum represented country music with wins at last night’s American Music Awards.
  • GAC has the new video for Brett Eldredge‘s song “Raymond.”
  • USA Today’s Jerry Shriver interviewed Ralph Stanley, whose autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times, was released in paperback earlier this month.

    The legend of bluegrass — he prefers the term old-time mountain music — spent several years writing his thoughts and then telling his story to veteran music journalist Eddie Dean. “Most of (the process) was enjoyable,” he says (though it’s worth noting that Stanley didn’t update the paperback version). “If he asked me a question I didn’t like, I told him so. He was a little nosy but I guess you have to be.”

    Stanley will also release a new gospel album, A Mother’s Prayer, in March.

  • CMT premiered the new video for Tim McGraw‘s “Felt Good On My Lips.”
  • The Academy of Country Music posted a video interview with Blake Shelton about his success.
  • Sarah Siskind will release a holiday-themed EP of all original songs next week with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. For now, the songs can streamed on her website. (via The Tennessean)
  • In an interview with The Tennesean‘s Cindy Watts, Rodney Atkins talks about losing control of his career.

    He placed hope on his next record, which he recorded while he was on the road and planned to call Simple Things. But Atkins felt disconnected from the album release process as he continued to tour.

    A few months before its March 2009 release, Atkins said, he was surprised to find out that the album’s title had been changed to It’s America, and that songs he’d chosen and recorded had been replaced with tracks from previous recording sessions he never planned for people to hear.

  • Here’s a new video for the Truth & Salvage Co. song “Pure Mountain Angel.”

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  1. [...] Alabama Reunites for Waylon Jennings Cover; Brad Paisley Releases "This Is …The 9513A studio version of Brad Paisley's “This Is Country Music,” the song he premiered at the CMA Awards, is available for streaming on his website. …Alabama contributes song for Jennings tributeThe Associated Pressall 142 news articles » [...]
  1. Thomas
    November 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    …brad paisley’s “this is country music” is a bit of dog of a song, but i quite like it. the fact, that he releases something that has the potential of being a little commercial show-stopper just shows the standing of this artist. he’s reached the point, where no one can stop him from doing something heartfelt. that’s really what separates the men from the boys, particularily, in show business.

  2. Jon
    November 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    After you check out Sarah’s excellent holiday music,, be sure to check out her jewelry.

  3. Ollie
    November 22, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    That Waylon Jennings tribute CD is Volume I of a three volume set to be released in 2011. For full track list for Volume I and more info, see http://www.countrymusictattletale.com/2010/11/22/the-music-inside-a-collaboration-dedicated-to-waylon-jennings

  4. Noah Eaton
    November 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I didn’t feel “This Is Country Music”, honestly.

    I felt the lyrics, when you get down to them, pander to the most prominent themes represented on the radio format today (family, God, patriotism and flippin’ off your boss, namely) in a way that lacks an original spin…….then by the coda name-checks the most obviously established anthems in country music, from Hank William Jr’s “Country Boy Can Survive” to Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line”.

    Whether anything is heartfelt or not is subjective, but I feel Paisley could have easily conveyed his sentiment without leaning on these brittle thematic crutches and devices of cultural re-affirmation.

    *

    I feel for Atkins. Obviously he’s no stranger to the poor marketing and lack of artistic freedom Curb advocates, and while nothing will excuse how needless and atrocious the release of the single “It’s America” was, I did nonetheless feel Atkins’ true voice wasn’t represented well on the record and it had more to do with the loss of control over his career than anything.

    “It’s America” sounded to me like something that was designed to record anthems just for the sake of recording anthems than living true to Atkins’ plain but refreshingly optimistic and mindful personality brought about by years of adversity both through his illness in his younger years and struggling to forge a career for nearly a decade. I appreciated “If You’re Going Through Hell” because while the songs were anything but groundbreaking, they nonetheless embodied a flavor of character and substance to them overall and sounded personable. Some of the lyrics of the title track just had a descriptive, metaphoric texture, while “Watching You” had a warmness to it but also had some believable imagery that kept it from sounding entirely like a vapid fatherhood anthem. And “Cleaning This Gun” tapped into that overprotective instinct many parents share but did so in a more humorous, slightly dark fashion. And they all became hits because they were born anthems but, more importantly, didn’t ostensibly try to sound like anthems just for the sake of penning anthems.

    “It’s America” largely lacked that sense of personality to the song and was recorded more like Atkins and executives were pulling topical straws and then recording material based on which topic was etched on each straw. “Simple Things”. “Best Things”. “Got It Good”. “Friends With Tractors”. Heavy on list song attributes without any real personal connection or authenticity. I thought “Rockin’ Of The Cradle” complemented Atkins perfectly and was a breath of fresh air on an otherwise forgettable album overall, and “15 Minutes” at least had an inviting traditional-leaning sound to it, but beyond that it was short of leaving emotional handprints or signaling any artistic maturity.

    Based on what I’m reading here, and another recent interview with Vernell Hackett of the Boot where he described a couple of songs he has co-written for his next project like “Every Time Life Lines” and his intentions with regard to it…..I’m optimistic for this eternal optimist.

  5. Noeller
    November 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Frig, is it ever awesome that Alabama is getting together again — albeit briefly. I guess this means they’ve kissed and made up with Mark Herndon?? Can’t wait to hear that Waylon tribute!

    That Paisley track is a turd, plain and simple. I hereby declare it to be the worst single he’s ever released to radio.

  6. CraigR.
    November 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Excuse me for saying this but Rodeny Atkins is a hack. He and others, like Jason Aldean,are in it for the fame. They could care less about what country music means. They wouldn’t know a good song if Hank. Sr. came dowm from heaven with one. They are all image. image, image.

    Atkins wants control over his career. What career? His voice is bland, his singing is off pitch, and his music panders to people who like to see life and America as though it written for a children’s book. In about fifteen minutes he will be gone. He carries no promise. If Curb Records treated like an object it is because he let them.

  7. Rick
    November 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    Back In July I had the privilege of hearing Sunny Sweeney perform “Good Hearted Woman” live three times and I was equally impressed each and every time!! (lol) I sure hope they make the songs on those tribute albums available as download singles because I’ll buy that track for sure.

    Oh darn, I forgot about the American Music Awards show last night. I was going to record it on my DVR just to watch Katy Perry. Oh well…

    I really like the piano part in that song by the Truth & Salvage Co., the rest of the song not so much. And by the way, how can a band that formed in Los Angeles sing about a pure mountain angel? A song about a Hollywood Blvd. transvestite hooker would be far more realistic. Crikey!

  8. Matt Bjorke
    November 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Noeller,

    Mark Herndon was never a ‘shareholder’ of Alabama, so he may not be on this new song, although he should be given that – shareholder or not – he was featured in every photo and album the band released from 1979 onward.

  9. Noeller
    November 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    @Matt — Not sure what you mean by “share holder”. I guess I’m not as familiar with the band as I thought. Are the 4 boys (Cook/Owen/Gentry/Herndon) not the only members to ever play in Alabama? What was different about Herndon’s role?

    Very interested to hear more! :)

  10. Ben Foster
    November 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    “This Is Country Music” is one of Brad’s absolute weakest songs. It even makes “Water” look good.

  11. Lewis
    November 23, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Brad’s performance of “This Is Country Music” at the CMA Awards was sort of awkward in a way since it preceded several pop acts performing (Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba’s “If I Were A Boy”, Kid Rock). It would have been better if he had performed this as the opener to the show than having to perform it after several pop acts had performed.

    But it’s not the first time song names dropping have occurred either (Gary Allan’s “Songs About Rain”)

  12. luckyoldsun
    November 23, 2010 at 10:42 am

    That Waylon Jennings tribute CD is Volume I of a three volume set to be released in 2011. For full track list for Volume I and more info, see http://www.countrymusictattletale.com/2010/11/22/the-music-inside-a-collaboration-dedicated-to-waylon-jennings

    And Garth Brooks’ Chris Gaines album was a preview to a movie.

    Given that there were already two Waylon tribute albums only a few years ago–and they had many of the same–or bigger names on them as this one–and that those albums failed to sell, one has to wonder whether this project will really be carried out.

  13. Jeremy Dylan
    November 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I guess Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line is slated for Volume 2 or 3?

  14. WAYNOE
    November 24, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Noeller

    If Herndon is not on this cut, how could you tell? As best as I can remember, studio musicians were used frequently during Alabama’s recordings. So Mark was the “cool” dude on the drums in the live shows. No big deal with or without him.

    By the way, I will stand corrected on my comment about studio musicians but that is what I think I recall.

  15. Chris N.
    November 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Session drummers were often used on Alabama records, which is not uncommon for a mainstream country band. Getting usable drum tracks down very quickly is essential to the Music Row recording method, for better and worse.

  16. M.C.
    November 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    It was more than session drummers who subbed on the Alabama tracks. After the first album, the majority of tracks were cut by studio players, other than the vocals. The same goes for a lot of Music Row bands that followed.
    A member of Ricochet once said it worked fine for him. The band stayed on the road, the studio guys cut the albums, and the members who sang stopped by and cut their vocals in a couple of days. He considered it rather efficient. That it makes the band a sort of karoake team didn’t seem to bother him.
    This practice did bother some acts, though. To the credit of Diamond Rio, they at least were the players on their recordings, and it made them a better live band.

  17. Noeller
    November 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Wow — I have learned a lot today. Thank you guys for the info! It does make sense in the cost-is-everything ways of Music Row, but man it sure shatters the nice illusion of a “band” :s Makes you think when you listen back to the albums for sure.

  18. Barry Mazor
    November 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    The use of studio musicians has never been just about costs–though it’s a factor. The idea,(debatable, but the idea) also, is that some musicians excel in the more controlled and controllable studio situation, others int the live situation and the star artists should have the advantage of both. In fact, it means that good musicians who don’t want to travel are available in studios–and good musicians who take to the road are there to take to it.

    (None of that says that a given band can’t be good at both, of course, as got to be more common in rock (eventually), but this is the thinking behind the set-up.)

  19. Noeller
    November 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Very very interesting, and again, I thank you for the info! It makes a lot of sense in my mind, for a solo act, but for a band….just seems so strange, though I do understand the idea of some guys not wanting to travel, and some guys liking being on stage.

    I recall, now, the hulabaloo when McGraw was finally able to bring his road band into the studio a few years back.

  20. Matt Bjorke
    November 24, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I was talking with an artist the other day and they mentioned this very thing, that while they are very good at playing live, they said they weren’t the best at being in the studio and liked the fact that they could get people who are great at what they do.

    It may be strange, but the best studio cats are the guys that are so good at what they do that they can play on multiple records and not sound the same on every one although I can usually spot Rob Hajacos or Aubrey Haynie fiddle solo or the late great Terry McMillan’s harmonica playing.

  21. Jon
    November 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    the best studio cats are the guys that are so good at what they do that they can play on multiple records and not sound the same on every one although I can usually spot Rob Hajacos or Aubrey Haynie fiddle solo…

    Sounding like yourself and sounding the same are two sdifferent things.

    And really, while it’s true that some people are equally good at studio and stage work, it’s also true that a lot of people tend to be noticeably better at one than the other. Since they call for somewhat different skills, that shouldn’t be too surprising. Plus which, some people would a lot rather sleep in their own beds every night than others, while others are really not cut out for getting along with other people for 15 or 16 hours every day.

  22. Chris N.
    November 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    This sort of thing was pretty common in early-’60s rock. On one of the Beatles’ first recording sessions, George Martin brought in a session drummer to replace Ringo. He successfully recaptured the drum throne after only one track (the album version of “Love Me Do”), but still.

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