Americana Music Awards Nominees Announced; Third Man to Reissue Sun Records Singles; BBC Radio 4 Broadcast Gets Yodel-Bombed

Juli Thanki | May 15th, 2013

  • Shovels & Rope earned four Americana Music Awards nominations yesterday afternoon. Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris got three each. Read the full list here; the winners will be announced September 18 at the Americana Awards and Honors Ceremony, which will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale.
  • Willie Nelson has donated more than $120,000 to relief efforts following the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion.
  • A BBC Radio 4 news broadcast got “yodel-bombed” when, due to an alleged “glitch,” it was accidentally interrupted by a snippet of “Jesus Put a Yodel in My Soul.” Listen here.
  • NoiseTrade is offering a Dawes/Shovels & Rope sampler.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has some fun events planned for this year’s CMA Music Fest.
  • John Fogerty goes through his new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone (out May 28), track-by-trackAlan JacksonBrad Paisley, and Miranda Lambert are a few of the guests who appear on the record.
  • Galleywinter’s GreenFest (July 27-28 in New Braunfels) sounds like it’ll be a good time. Uncle Lucius, Drew Kennedy, and Chris King are among the acts slated to appear.
  • Emmylou Harris’ second annual Woofstock, an event that promotes animal rescue and adoption, will be held June 8 in Nashville at the Fontanel Mansion.
  • Cindy Cashdollar is the artist in residence for this year’s Ellnora Guitar Festival, which will be held in early September at the Krannert Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana.
  • Nancy Dunham of Relix wrote a feature on Richard Thompson. Here’s an excerpt in which Thompson talks about his newest album, Electric: “The songs were written very closely together and, when you do that, there is a cohesiveness to them,” he says. “But there isn’t a theme. It is the time and place that hold them together. It’s another chapter in my life.” Thompson insists the chapter reflects the reality of his life as a grounded, mature musician. “I don’t want to be like The Rolling Stones, pretending to be a young star,” he says. “I wrote one song [“Stony Ground”] about an old man who still lusts after young women and seems quite foolish doing so. That’s something that doesn’t get written about very much. If I see a trend in this record, it is more about age and getting older. I am trying to write real songs about that.” 
  • Jake Owen’s spent the last eight months working with Tony Brown on a new record, reports Chris Parker of the Charleston City Paper.
  • Google has made licensing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment “to introduce an on-demand music streaming service that would compete with Spotify, Rhapsody and others, according to executives knowledgeable with the contracts.”
  • Steve Earle on “Calico County,” a song from his fine new album, The Low Highway: I think there are a lot of songs in country music nowadays that glorify redneck-ism to the point that it’s a little disturbing to me. I think some point to songs like “Copperhead Road” as the reason they’re doing that. “Copperhead Road” is actually part of a really political record about my growing up during the Vietnam War era. I wrote that album at the same time that Platoon was being made. It was a long time before anybody started talking about Vietnam, but people my age all grew up with it. Whether you went or didn’t go, it was part of your life. “Calico County” is tongue in cheek, but it’s pretty dark. I think it’s a more honest look at stuff that pops up every once in a while, this glorification. I mean, I’m not someone who uses “party” as a verb. I’m not. I’m in recovery for one thing and have been for a long time. (laughs) Even when I did take drugs and drink, I didn’t use “party” as a verb. “Calico County” is my little backlash against that mentality. 
  • Give a listen to The Cherry Pickers and their self-titled EP over at Bluegrass Today.
  • Jack White’s Third Man Records and Sun Records have formed an “ongoing partnership,” allowing Third Man to reissue classic Sun Records singles. Due out May 21: Johnny Cash’s “Get Rhythm,” The Prisonaires’ “Just Walking in the Rain,” and Rufus Thomas’ “Bear Cat.”

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  1. [...] the news item last week about the BBC Radio 4 broadcast that got interrupted by a clip of someone yodeling? Today there’s [...]
  1. J.R. Journey
    May 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Steve Earle’s story behind the song is a lot more interesting than the song itself. Funny he spent 200 words railing against a particular kind of songwriting to introduce his own version of the same damn thing.

  2. Luckyoldsun
    May 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Wow. Interesting to hear Fogerty say that he considers Alan Jackson something of a rocker (or a throwback to the era)–and even confess to feeling intimidated by him.

    A.J. has definitely moved into that Haggard/Willie country legend stature.

  3. Mike Wimmer
    May 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    The Google streaming service is now live, free 30 day trial. Seems pretty good, but a lot of the independent artists I like are pretty spotty in terms of what albums they have online right now compared to Spotify.

  4. Bruce
    May 16, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I see where Dwight Yoakam is nominated for Americana male vocalist . What makes Dwight an Americana artist now?

  5. Luckyoldsun
    May 16, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I’d say the fact that Dwight’s music seems to derrive and take off from the rawer side of post-War and ’60s country–i.e. Johnny Horton; Sun Records (Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee); Bakersfield (Buck and Merle)–makes him a right-on-the-money Americana artist now.

  6. Barry Mazor
    May 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Also–Dwight AGREES that he’s an Americana artist, while being perfectly happy to see what he can still do in country….His record (also) charts Americana, as well as country, for one thing.

  7. nm
    May 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Barry, true, but never discount the analogy “older country stars : Americana :: older pop and rock stars : country.”

  8. Ken Morton, Jr.
    May 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Barry, I’ve got a philosophical question for you (and for anyone else that would like to weigh in.) Do you believe that Dwight’s music/production has changed significantly enough to warrant a genre label change? Or has current country music radio simply moved so far left of center towards pop music that it has left much of what was labeled mainstream country as Americana?

  9. BRUCE
    May 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Ken, good question. I actually like several artists that are considered Americana. I am for it 100%. It’s just that to the “unlearned and ignorant” such as myself, the Americana genre seems to be a place where some prior country artists land when their airplay on the pathetic country radio dial dwindles. Of course, there are several artists that are considered Americana that were never prior stars in country.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’ve asked the question here before about Americana and received some good comments. I follow artists regardless of what genre or sub-genre they are classified at the moment.

    Your comment about Dwight stands with me. His music has evolved but I don’t believe drastically enough for him to evolve into a genre change. However, if he considers himself an Americana artist, that’s good by me. He is an exceptional talent regardless.

  10. Luckyoldsun
    May 16, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    The answer to your question is “It’s the latter.”

    If you took ten all-time classic country records–say, the originals of “Walkin’ the Floor”, “Cold Cold Heart,” “Always Late,” “I Walk the Line,” “Honky Tonk Man,” “There Stands the Glass,” “Act Naturally,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Stand By Your Man,” “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line” and Dwight’s “Guitars, Cadillacs” and mixed them into the playlist of an Americana station over the course of a week, I don’t think you’d get many complaints.

    If you mixed those records into the playlist of a “New Country”/”Nash FM” station… Well, good luck–I think you’d have as much chance trying to get the station to play “the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos do Gregorian Chants.”

  11. Andrew
    May 17, 2013 at 1:26 am

    As the music director of a station that does play those classics right alongside the current top 40, I know for a fact the two absolutely can coexist on the same station with no problems.

  12. Barry Mazor
    May 17, 2013 at 4:37 am

    I think the history of radio formats is a lot sloppier than people like to make out, and here are always variations–and it';s beside the point. Also that describing Americana as the “not mainstream country” at this point just doesn’t stand up to what’s included in that field and not–which is ALSO sloppier than people let on. As for Dwight, I was able to sit down and discuss these matters with him, see link below–and I think, as the interview direction makes clear, this comes down to one more discussion of what flavor or rock you happen to find acceptable in country and which you don’t.. ALSO a sloppier question than people let on!

  13. Barry Mazor
    May 17, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Here’s the current Americana chart. There are just a few–Emmylou, Rodney, Mr. Earle, Kris, Bobby Bare–who’d ever been on country charts, but turned in this direction years ago; their music changed, not JUST current country tastes–both. That they may be the main or even only acts on here some mainstream country fans have even heard of, (Maybe they’ve heard about Ms Musgraves, maybe not!) says more about who’s effectively publicized , and to who-um, than anything else. But then, that’s why and how a genre gets formed–because there’s an identifiable audience that can be appealed to repeatedly. They always, virtually always include people who listen to Other Things, but those things are not particularly relevant to what the genre is after–for the moment, anyway. People are more interesting than genres. I say that from observation, having written about both for a long time.

  14. Jon
    May 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Imprecision or ambiguity might gentler terms than sloppiness, but yep, whatever you call it, there’s a lot of it in music labels…and music…and art…and human life in general. You’d think people would have gotten that by now, but the evidence is all around us that some resist it with all their might.

  15. Bruce
    May 17, 2013 at 9:06 am

    “People are more interesting than genres”. Exactly!

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