Alison Krauss Schedules New Album; ‘Garden & Gun’ Covers Bluegrass; Lost Highway Celebrates 10 Years

Brody Vercher | January 19th, 2011

  • On April 12, Alison Krauss will release a new album with Union Station titled Paper Airplane.
  • Zac Brown isn’t sure why music has to be categorized:

    “I don’t know why everybody wants to put everything in a box. It’s almost like profiling.”

    If you want to define the Zac Brown Band musically, you’d be better off looking at their collaborators: Jackson and Jimmy Buffett appear on the group’s latest album; Brown guests on Kid Rock’s Born Free album; and they’ve performed on the Country Music Association awards show with Charlie Daniels and on the Grammys with Leon Russell.

    Click through to watch video of Alan Jackson nonchalantly giving Brown a 1966 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

  • Farce the Music: Country Day January ’11
  • The newest issue of Garden & Gun magazine highlights bluegrass music and bands ranging from Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, and Ralph Stanley to Darrell Scott, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Avett Brothers, and more. There’s even a six-page feature on Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers available online.
  • The Boston Globe‘s James Reed on the new album from The Decemberists, The King Is Dead:

    They ditched the pretense, reined in the guitars, and made a graceful country record. In a barn, no less.

    Let’s clarify that: “country’’ as in the pastoral kind Neil Young and Bob Dylan recorded in the 1970s. For every acoustic guitar, there’s just as much pedal steel, tambourine, accordion, organ, and even bouzouki. […] To summon the spirit of ’70s country rock, the band enlisted sepia-toned singer Gillian Welch for seven of the 10 songs; she essentially plays Emmylou Harris to Meloy’s Gram Parsons, and their voices blend together naturally.

    Even NPR’s Ken Tucker acknowledges the band’s countrier direction, citing “All Arise!” as one of the best songs on the album. Stream it here.

  • Paste has the exclusive premiere of Trent Dabbs‘ new video, “Follow Suit,” which they call a dark, alt-country tale about refusing to succumb to outside influences.
  • Continuing with the not-quite-country-but-the-influence-is-definitely-there theme is the new album from Social Distortion, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. A full album stream is available on the band’s site.
  • In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Lost Highway Records will host a SXSW showcase and reissue/release a series of albums on limited edition clear vinyl, including Ryan AdamsGold, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Hayes Carll’s KMAG YOYO and the Drive By TruckersSouthern Rock Opera.
  • Here’s video of the always lovely Trishas performing “Give It Away” at Steamboat.

  • The new bluegrassy record from Jonathan Byrd, Cackalack, was recorded in a garage studio in Ontario in one take. Don’t let the fact this it was recorded in Canada deter you though, Folk Alley’s Jim Blum says the session captured a couple of gems.
  • David Allan Coe comes in at #95 on Country Universe’s list of the 100 greatest men of country music.
  • Eric Church has a new four-song EP out titled Caldwell County. (iTunes)
  • The Whiskey Gentry and Jeremy Steding are two more bands/artists taking the Kickstarter route to raise funds for new albums. (via
  • Carrie Rodriguez on her upcoming duet release with Ben Kyle, We Still Love Our Country:

    She was insistent about her plan to “make a record of country songs … good ol’ country songs and then not be afraid to be country with it.”

    “I think lately it’s almost people are afraid to be too country,” she explained over the phone from Austin, Texas, returning to the land she loves after living almost 10 years in Brooklyn, N.Y. “People say something’s too Americana and this and that and it’s not gonna do that well. But it was fun to go, ‘You know what, we’re gonna make a country album of real good country songs.’ “

  • Sierra Hull‘s next album, Daybreak, is due out March 8.
  • Chris King one-upped the free download trend by making both his EPs freaking free.
  • While not quite freaking free, songwriter/journalist Dave Shiflett posted seven new songs that are still free. Here’s what he has to say about the tunes:

    The lead track is a terrific country song, and “Old County Town” is a grassy tune. Also on the site you’ll find songs by Floor Creak which are all country.

  • Wanda Jackson brings the thunder:

1 Ping

  1. [...] an LP to iTunes that I was oblivious about.  Really? How did I miss that one?  (Thank you 9513 for enlightening [...]
  1. Kelly
    January 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Social D’s take on “Alone and Forsaken” is pretty sweet. Mike Ness’s love of old country has always informed their music.

  2. Thomas
    January 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    …the trisha’s choice of name is as terrible as the singing trisha’s voice is incredible. very talented group – flash mob of trishas with instruments?

  3. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Maybe I missed it in the last couple roundups, but this news about Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman surprised me. I expected to see more coverage on it:

  4. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    The Decemberists’ album ‘The King is Dead’ is available for download for $3.99 at Amazon, if anyone’s interested.

  5. Brody Vercher
    January 19, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    You didn’t miss it, Leeann. There’s other sites that cover births, and who’s dating who, and all that kind of stuff, and they do it a lot better than I could. Those are the topics that get covered ad nauseum in the mainstream media, and while I like to be as encompassing as I possibly can, that stuff doesn’t interest me. It gets wearisome trying to stay on top of what feels like non-stories, so recently I’ve tried to keep the news/links more music focused.

  6. Leeann Ward
    January 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I’m get you there, Brody. I’m not uninterested in that stuff, to be honest, but I respect sites that don’t worry about it. Kevin feels as you do, so we don’t cover country celebrity gossip at Country Universe at all.

  7. Rick
    January 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Brody, thank you for concentrating on the music stuff and not the pop culture drivel! I always try to visit a fair number of links from these news roundups featuring artists I’m unfamiliar with to see what’s going on out there. I do appreciate the effort it takes piecing these roundups together each day as it must take a lot of time to compile.

    On the other hand Gwyneth Paltrow’s impersonation of Taylor Swift on Saturday Night Live recently was hilarious! Gwyneth’s voice sounded better than Taylor even though it was just a short spoof. I wonder how many viewers aren’t familiar with the slang term “JAP – Jewish American Princess”? Thankfully Gwyneth’s bit comes near the start of this skit:

    Thanks for the Wanda Jackson video link. That gal still rocks!

    I’m excited about Carrie Rodriguez making a real country album as her solo albums have been anything but country! She does put on a good live show regardless.

    I will definitely be checking out the western swing track on Sierra Hull’s new album. I wish a lot more bluegrass artists were inclined to cross-over in that direction.

    Trailer’s album covers rank a solid “4 Hoots” this go round. Its the artist selection that’s a bit weak, not Trailer’s ability to do a good parody on them.

  8. Rick
    January 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Ooops! Forgot to mention tonight’s Music City Roots Show, which will feature John Carter Cash, Seth Walker, Anna Johnson, and Izzy Cox. The fun starts at 7 PM Nashville Time, just like the Opry’s do!

    Website to watch and listen:

  9. Jon G.
    January 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    …and now ‘The King is Dead’ is back up to normal price.

  10. livewire
    January 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Very exited for the new AKUS record!

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