Fats Domino Documentary Debuts at New Orleans Film Fest; Kenny Chesney Returns to the Road; O’Donovan, Pikelny Collaborate
- Music City Roots’ Craig Havighurst interviewed Joe Mullins about keeping bluegrass alive on the radio. (warning: autoplay)
- Ryan Bingham will release Fear and Saturday Night on January 20. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal premiered one of Bingham’s new songs, “Broken Heart Tattoos.”
- Here’s Aoife O’Donovan and Noam Pikelny collaborating on a lovely version of “Don’t That Road Look Rough and Rocky.”
- New documentary The Big Beat premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival yesterday. The film, directed by Joe Lauro, tells “the story of one of the defining partnerships of rock ‘n’ roll: that between New Orleans piano royalty Fats Domino and musician-songwriter Dave Bartholomew. Built around both new interviews and archival recordings, it tells a story with its roots in the city’s Lower 9th Ward but one with ultimately global ramifications.”
- After taking a year off from touring, Kenny Chesney plans to return to the road this spring. The Big Revival Tour will begin March 26 in Nashville. (via press release)
- During the encore of his second artist-in-residence show at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson sported his ‘90s duds: sleeveless flannel shirt, holey jeans, and a sweet mullet.
- The Stray Birds were featured on an episode of World Cafe: Next earlier this week.
- Emma Lord moved to Nashville to pursue her songwriting dreams. After a few months, she came to this conclusion: It’s a harsh reality that you really only understand when you are in Nashville: you are a dime a dozen. There are a hundred thousand girls there who look just like you, who sing just like you, who write songs just as well as you do. In Nashville, it isn’t always about who has the most talent because everybody there has talent. It’s about who perseveres, who shows up, who happens to be in the right places at the right times and doesn’t get discouraged by rejection – or worse than rejection, nothing happening at all.
- The Department of African American Studies at Yale will hold a panel called “Exploring the Rise and Fall of Paramount Records” on October 28. Participants will include Jack White, whose Third Man Records has released two Paramount Records box sets in conjunction with Revenant Records, music journalist Greil Marcus, and Adia Victoria.
- Check out the track listing for Willie and Bobbie Nelson’s forthcoming release December Day (out December 2), the first installment in the “Willie’s Stash” series.
- Peter Cooper writes about The Sutler, a new venue in Nashville whose name references…The Sutler, a “long-shuttered, divey little joint” that, in the 1990s, “became a center of Nashville’s roots music scene and an incubator for the artists who would in the new century be called ‘Americana.’”
- Randy Lewis of The L.A. Times wrote a fine piece on the Glen Campbell documentary I’ll Be Me. An excerpt: The documentary shows doctor visits Campbell couldn’t comprehend, sometimes testy rehearsals with his band, a 2012 trip to the Grammy Awards to perform and accept a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the occasional trek to the golf course that had long been another of his passions. The film doesn’t flinch from the harsh realities of Alzheimer’s, showing Campbell losing his temper at times with loved ones and frequently falling back on the jovial manner that made him an engaging star of “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” variety series that ran on CBS from 1969-71. “I got to know Johnny Cash at the end of his life, and when he made the ‘Hurt’ video, he said, ‘I want people to see the ugly truth.'” [director James Keach] said. “I think what Glen is doing is the same — he’s being incredibly honest and vulnerable in putting himself out there this way.”
- Here’s Sturgill Simpson playing “Turtles All the Way Down” for BBC Radio Scotland.
Trampled By Turtles Cover Yes; Bob Seger, Jason Aldean to Tape CMT Crossroads; Kasey Chambers Postpones Tour
- Trampled By Turtles covered “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes for The A.V. Club’s Undercover series. (warning: autoplay)
- Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley discuss their forthcoming album, Before the Sun Goes Down, in this Bluegrass Today video.
- The Lone Bellow will release sophomore album Then Came the Morning on January 7. Here’s the new video of the title track.
- Everybody ever is playing SXSW. Some neat-sounding seminars were announced, too, including “Alan Lomax at 100: A Centennial Retrospective” and “Got My Mojo Working: The Musical Legacy of Muddy Waters and the Chicago Blues.”
- The Robert Earl Keen Band (aka “The Xmas-Men”) riffs on The Louvin Brothers on the cover of their new instrumental holiday album, Santa is Real.
- Jason Isbell is playing three nights at the Ryman this weekend; there’s a solid piece on him in the Tennessean.
- Bob Seger and Jason Aldean are taping the next episode of CMT Crossroads later this month; the program will premiere November 28.
- Florida Georgia Line’s Anything Goes debuted atop the Billboard 200, selling 197,000 copies in its first week.
- Kasey Chambers postponed her tour after being diagnosed with nodules on her vocal cords.
- Here’s an interview with Mountain Stage Executive Producer Adam Harris about what goes into making the show.
- Paul Simon is playing a Phil Everly tribute/COPD benefit in Nashville next Wednesday. Tickets for the intimate concert start at $500.
- On December 9, Shout Factory will release The Only Folk Collection You’ll Ever Need, a two-disc compilation featuring recordings by The Carter Family, Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, The Kingston Trio, John Prine, and more.
- American Aquarium is offering their 2012 album, Burn.Flicker.Die., for download on NoiseTrade.
- There’s some music from Streets of Laredo (read Chris Parton’s CMT Edge introduction to the New Zealand folk-rock band) on NoiseTrade as well.
- The Allman Brothers Band will play their final show on October 28 at the Beacon Theatre in NYC.
- Folk singer Sam Amidon: “Every version of a folk song is a reworking. They go through mutations and change. And in that process they become tough little beasts. And in some ways, I don’t think of [my] records as folk records, because I’m not engaging in that tradition. Of course they are. But a lot of what’s considered ‘traditional’ is really arbitrary, anyway, so they are as traditional as anything else, in some ways.”
- Not that you need an excuse to listen to Dwight Yoakam, but it is his birthday today. What’s your favorite song he’s recorded?
CMT Names Artists of the Year; Stream Jerry Lee Lewis, Cale Tyson Albums; 180,000 Attend World of Bluegrass
- Mindy Smith reflects on One Moment More, which turns 10 this year.
- Yesterday The New York Times published Paul Craft’s obituary.
- Jerry Lee Lewis on his country music recordings: “It wasn’t necessary for me to play country. I did it because of the material. I couldn’t find good rock’n’roll songs by the late ’60s. Nobody could. I got all these slower country songs and I played them and they were great. I had nearly 30 top-10 country hits. My favorite is ‘What’s Made Milwaukee Famous. When I got tired of doing slow stuff I switched back to rock’n’roll. Now I’m starting up again.”
- Here’s Ronnie Fauss’ “Old Life” from his next record, Built to Break, out November 4.
- An estimated 180,000 people attended IBMA’s World of Bluegrass shindig in Raleigh last month.
- Kellie Pickler performed at the USO Gala in DC last weekend.
- Time.com premiered Andrew Bird’s version of Robbie Fulks’ “I’ll Trade You Money for Wine” from forthcoming Bloodshot tribute record While No One Was Looking (out November 18). Fulks recorded Bird’s “Core and Rind;” Bloodshot will release both songs on a split 7” on Black Friday.
- Justin Townes Earle will release Absent Fathers, a companion album to Single Mothers, on January 13. (via press release)
- Chuck Dauphin makes the case for The Oak Ridge Boys’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- On December 2, CMT will air a special saluting their 2014 Artists of the Year: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, and Keith Urban.
- NPR’s Ann Powers discusses the “new voices of crossover country,” including Little Big Town, Angaleena Presley, and Sam Hunt.
- Ben Glover released a video for “Too Long Gone.”
- The November issue of Smithsonian Magazine includes an article on new Ingenuity Award winner Rosanne Cash and The River & The Thread.
- Album streams:
Jerry Lee Lewis – Rock & Roll Time
Cale Tyson – Cheater’s Wine
Caitlyn Smith – Everything to You
Hard Working Americans – The First Waltz
Yusuf (Cat Stevens) – Tell ‘Em I’m Gone
Alan Jackson Announces Tour; Trisha Yearwood, Little Big Town to Sing at World Series; New Album Releases
- Reba has become the first artist signed to Nash Icon Music, a joint venture between Big Machine and Cumulus. She’s currently working on a new album with Tony Brown and James Stroud.
- Alan Jackson announced the Keepin’ it Country Tour, which will kick off in Fort Myers, Florida on January 8. Brandy Clark and Jon Pardi are the opening acts. (via press release)
- St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ winter tour begins today in Boston and will wrap up in London next March.
- RecordStoreDay.com posted a list of this year’s Black Friday releases. They include a Waylon Jennings 7” featuring three unreleased songs that have been remastered and restored, with “additional production and affection” from Shooter.
- The Johnny Cash Museum is planning a 15,000 square foot expansion that will add a performance venue and double the size of the gift shop.
- Joe Purdy talks about songwriting and his latest album, Eagle Rock Fire, in this interview posted on CMT Edge.
- Martin Chilton of The Telegraph looks at ten forthcoming releases from UK folkies including Threepenny Bit and Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker.
- Kristian Bush uses his guitar to fight hordes of the undead (no, not like this) in his new video for “Trailer Hitch” (warning: autoplay). The Tennessean’s Cindy Watts shares more info about the zombie video, which was directed by Blake Judd.
- Trisha Yearwood is singing the national anthem at the 2014 World Series opening game in Kansas City tonight. Little Big Town will sing at Game Three on Friday in San Francisco.
- Speaking of Little Big Town, at next month’s CMA Awards, they’ll perform with pop singer Ariana Grande, while Meghan Trainor will sing her hit “All About That Bass” with Miranda Lambert. If pop songs must be featured on the Country Music Association Awards show, I’d at least prefer that Lambert be joined by Nashville’s singing librarians for a rousing version of Trainor parody “All About the Books,” but I’m not in charge of the CMAs, and with good reason.
- Listen to “Not a Song” from Jim White vs. The Packaway Handle Band’s forthcoming Yep Roc album, Take It Like a Man, which comes out in January.
- This week’s album releases:
Becky Buller – ‘Tween Earth and Sky
Blind Boys of Alabama and Taj Mahal – Talkin’ Christmas
Eliot Bronson – Eliot Bronson
Elliott Brood – Work and Love
Kelly Pardekooper – Milk in Sunshine
Little Big Town – Pain Killer
Reed Foehl – Lost in the West
Seven Handle Circus – Shadows on the Wall
The Hello Strangers – The Hello Strangers
The Stray Birds – Best Medicine
- Just two weeks after his induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Paul Craft passed away last Saturday at the age of 76. Read the obituary Peter Cooper wrote for The Tennessean.
- Grand Ole Opry historian Byron Fay recently shared the passing of Jimmy Sizemore on his Facebook page: “I just found out that Jimmy Sizemore passed away on October 14, 2014 at the age of 87. Along with his father Asher, Little Jimmy (as he was known), first appeared at the Grand Ole Opry on September 24, 1932. They remained a part of the Opry until leaving in 1942. According to Opry founder George D. Hay, ‘Asher and Little Jimmy sang heart songs and closed their programs with a prayer. They got out a song book, which sold by the thousands. They broke records with their personal appearances on the road and people crowded into our studios to watch them work.’ As you can see from this clip, Little Jimmy continued to perform. I would have to double check, but I think he is the last remaining Opry performer from the 1930s that was still alive. And from what I can tell, there was no mention of his death at the Opry.”
- It appears that Love & Theft and Leah Turner have parted ways with RCA/Sony Nashville; they’re no longer listed on the label website.
- Dustin Lynch was hit in the face with a full beer can at the 38th Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival in Niceville, Florida, requiring a hospital visit and a few stitches.
- Glen Campbell’s “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” marked his first Billboard Hot Country Songs chart appearance in 21 years; the song debuted at No. 50.
- Johnny Cash came in at No. 8 on the CMT All-Time Top 40: Artists’ Choice list, a list of the most influential artists in history chosen by country artists.
- Last Friday, Little Big Town was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Vince Gill and Little Jimmy Dickens. Their first performance as members was the Kris Kristofferson classic, “Why Me.”
- Sundy Best will release Salvation City on December 2.
- Willie Nelson’s upcoming project with sister Bobbie, December Day, also comes out on December 2. Here’s the cover art.
- January 13 has been selected as the release date for Cody Canada and The Departed’s new album, HippieLovePunk.
- Brooke Eden signed with Broken Bow Records (she’s got Sherrie Austin “providing additional management needs” as well). Eden’s debut single will be released early next year.
- The sedulous C.M. Wilcox has another Quotable Country feature posted on Country California.
- “Girl in a Country Song,” the anti-bro-country anthem from Maddie & Tae, continues to climb the charts; it’s currently at No. 11.
- Several artists are releasing singles this week:
James Otto – “Somewhere Tonight”
Steve Azar – “Fly”
Chuck Wicks – “Saturday Afternoon”
Gloriana – “Trouble”
- From The Huffington Post: “14 Baby Names Inspired by Country Music Stars.”
- John Denver will be getting a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Cybergrass.com owner Bob Cherry wrote an open letter to the IBMA Board of Directors challenging the departure of Executive Director Nancy Cardwell following the board’s recent vote of no confidence.
- New music videos from the past week or two:
Gretchen Wilson – “Chariot”
Jared Porter and Kaylee Bell – “Pieces”
Dom Flemons – “James Alley Blues” (Live at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country)
Glen Campbell – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
Olivia Lane – “Steal Me Away”
Tyler Farr – “A Guy Walks Into a Bar”
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors – “American Beauty”
Jerry Castle – “Road Less Traveled”
Ray Scott – “Drinkin’ Beer”
Hurray for the Riff Raff – “The Body Electric”
Mac Powell – “I’ve Always Loved You” (Live at the Blackbird Studios)
Lera Lynn – “Standing on the Moon”
“I don’t want no headstone on my grave,” Jerry Lee Lewis informed us from his undisturbed piano bench on stage at the Ryman, October 4th. “I deserve a monument!” He was still toying with the keys, and had just finished wailing the bluesy Charlie Rich song “Don’t Put No Headstone on My Grave,” as he’s been doing regularly since he first recorded it for his “London Sessions” record of 1973. He’d been enjoying, just then, a remarkable half-decade comeback as a mainstream country star, then returned to rock with the likes of his hit version of “Chantilly Lace.”
As Rick Bragg reminds us in his new, important biography Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story (out October 28), “The Killer” played on the Ryman stage that same year, 41 years ago, too, on the Opry. Ernest Tubb and Hank Snow and the regulars watched helplessly as he sang not just his “Another Place, Another Time,” (one of the great country records of all time, I’d say) and “Me and Bobby McGee” and his timeless takes on “Crazy Arms,” “You Win Again,” and “Waiting for a Train,” but medleys of Little Richard and Chuck Berry and Ray Charles numbers, and “Whole Lotta Shakin,” of course, right on through the commercials, no one able to stop him—and no one in the audience suggesting they should. He’d already been at this for over twenty years.
Anybody placing a small bet in 1973 that of the four members of the Sun Records flash mob “Million Dollar Quartet,” he, not Elvis or Cash or Carl, would be the one still here taking bows at 79, with a new record, Rock and Roll Time (out today), and that major new bio, with which he actually cooperated, you’d no doubt have won enough to buy the record, the book, and a ticket to the show. Personally, I don’t even try to be objective on this subject: Whatever one makes or thinks of Lewis the man and his tumultuous life, he has been among the very greatest of our performing artists, in any field, and a national resource for the reclamation, emancipation and personalization of American songs. Lots of artists have been monumentalized in box sets by now; this is one who could have taken virtually any single song he loves, from the days of Stephen Foster to the heart of his own time, and get a box set out of his live variations on them. (The Bear Family Sun set almost works that way at times, where it seems nearly all of his ‘50s takes could have been hit singles.)
Jerry Lee Lewis, after years of battling arthritis, after surgeries, still recuperating from more damaging habits than many people could think up, is not the wildly explosive singin’ piano player he so long was, and he knows it. Vocally and instrumentally, though, working with his still crack band led by his guitarist and friend of many decades Kenny Lovelace, he rocked the Ryman (and I don’t use the word “rocked” loosely) with the likes of “Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-Odee” (one of the first songs he ever performed) and “Little Queenie.” And he was moving with the “Graveyard” number and Mickey Newbury’s “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye.” You could sense that he wanted—as he’s always wanted—a bigger audience response early on in the show, when he turned to “Whole Lotta Shakin’” eight numbers in, not as the closer. Real-time adjustments. (That could be a Jerry Lee Lewis title.)
Jerry Lee’s new Rock & Roll Time CD (which shows him out front of Sun Records, today, on its cover) is a worthwhile addition to the Last Man Standing/Mean Old Man Jerry-atric recordings he’s been making over the past decade, mainly in the “duets with younger stars” stunt mode the recording industry now seems to require of veteran artists. The Jerry Lee voice is expressive and fine. Guests include Keith Richards and Ron Wood, Robbie Robertson, and Shelby Lynne. And, no surprise, the highlights tend to be in the boogie and blues modes– a turn on Dylan’s “Stepchild” with Doyle Bramhall II, Fats Domino’s “Sick and Tired,”and Mack Vickery’s hard country “Keep Me in Mind.”
His sister Linda Gail Lewis opened for him, reminding those who knew and those who forgot that she’s no slouch with piano boogie rock herself, and introducing her daughter, Anne Marie Dolan, who has a way with a song, too, if generally a different, less frenzied way. In the finest country, carny and tent revival tradition, Linda Gail stepped out before the curtain to hawk both Jerry Lee’s new record, and what she referred to as “his” book. Its author, Rick Bragg heard about that. At the Southern Festival of Books here in Nashville a week later, he joked, “I tell you one damn thing; Jerry Lee Lewis is a hell of a writer!”
Bragg himself, as he’s proved repeatedly over time, is indeed one of this country’s most adept and engaging writers of non-fiction, a hell of a writer, both as a Southern regionalist and as a less denominational, methodical journalist. Lewis’s story presented a chance to exercise both modes, and the result will be a lasting addition to the bookshelf of American music. He was able to interview his subject at length, over the course of two recent summers, most of the time as Jerry Lee was bedridden, but the result is not a standard false first person “memoir with help of writer” or “as told to” autobiography, but an original third person narrative amalgam, masterfully blended. Bragg lays in more details of Jerry Lee’s life, professional and personal, than have been in one place before, right through to today, weaving in descriptions of Jerry Lee describing scenes, or commenting on events as they arrive. The voice is great-syllables-of-fire vivid, yet avoids any echo of Nick Tosches’ rightly celebrated narration in Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story—which, shockingly enough, is 32 years old now. Bragg’s perspective is necessarily broader.
By now, a lot of the dramatic issues and conflicts of Jerry Lee’s life–the “bigamist husband of a teenybopper” scandal that wrecked his initial career momentum, the substance abuse, the outbreaks of violence, his conflicts with televangelist cousin Jimmy Swaggart—if not exactly settled, have all been put in their own emotional place by Jerry Lee himself, and so Bragg’s portrait is not so much of a conflicted Huckleberry Finn character in an endless self-torturing debate about the likelihood he’s headed for hell for making the commanding, transgressing music he makes, but of a man who, looking back, “has lived life exactly as he wanted to,” take it or leave it—with collateral damage acknowledged. Along the way, Bragg puts to rest the lingering insinuations of a well-known Rolling Stone article that suggested “the Killer” could have been an actual killer, of a wife or two. And for this lifelong fan, seeing in this new biography that Jerry Lee has arrived at the theological answer that those of us who value his contributions, including his own mother, had before—that his music has been a great gift, and not a devilish, damning curse—is pleasing indeed.
When I interviewed Jerry Lee Lewis in early 2008 for my book on the legacy and influence of his hero Jimmie Rodgers, I ventured to ask him how sentimental Rodgers songs like “Mother, the Queen of My Heart” and “The One Rose” could so easily and convincingly come from the same place as his roughest, rowdiest, blasting rockers, and he simply answered, “I have more than one side to me, and to my music. Any performer who is real will understand that.” The artist Jerry Lee Lewis is real, with us yet, and at 79, still holding onto genius.
(All photos by Barry Mazor.)
CMHOF to Open Tanya Tucker Exhibit; Lester Flatt Honored with Historical Marker; Reba to Headline “Dawn Sears and Friends” Benefit Show
- The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will open a new exhibit, Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, on November 14. It’ll run through May 2015.
- David Cantwell’s No Depression piece on Lee Ann Womack is lengthy, but well worth your time.
- For one of his remaining Tennessean columns, Peter Cooper wrote about Scott B. Bomar, author of Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock.
- Get your first look at Robert Earl Keen Honey Pils; the new brew made its debut Wednesday in San Antonio.
- Tony Joe White joined The Foo Fighters to play “Polk Salad Annie” on Letterman the other night.
- On November 30, Depot Square in Gallatin, Tennessee will host the “Dawn Sears and Friends” benefit concert to fund lung cancer research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Reba’s headlining, and Riders in the Sky and, of course, The Time Jumpers are also performing.
- Listen to Bob Dylan and The Band on the previously unreleased “Dress It Up, Better Have It All” from forthcoming Basement Tapes box set, due out on November 4.
- Kix Brooks on contemporary country radio: “Obviously there’s a lot of repetitiveness as far as lyrical content and melodic content…But I’ve been here 30 years now. Even at that time, the same exact conversation was going on that is going on now. People were complaining about [country] being too this or too that, or everything sounds the same. Any time you have something fresh, something new going on, there is always going to be pushback.”
- Actor Wrenn Schmidt (Boardwalk Empire, The Americans) will play Bobbie Jett in the upcoming Hank Williams biopic. James DuMont, Josh Pais, and David Krumholtz have signed on to the film as well.
- John Moreland has launched a fundraising campaign for his next album.
- Alec Wilkinson of The New Yorker gushes over Chris Eldridge and Julian Lage.
- The town of Sparta, Tennessee, is honoring Lester Flatt with a historical marker (written by Barry Mazor), which will be placed at Oaklawn Cemetery, where Flatt is buried.
- The lineup for the fourth annual Red River Songwriters’ Festival (in Red River, New Mexico, January 22-24) looks killer: Jeff Hanna, Matraca Berg, Walt Wilkins, Lori McKenna, Drew Kennedy, Jason Eady, and more.
- Pink and Dallas Green discuss their folky collaboration, You + Me, in this Entertainment Weekly interview.
- Not one artist’s album has gone platinum this year, reports Forbes. (The soundtrack for Frozen, that movie your four-year-old niece is obsessed with, has sold more than three million copies, though.)
- Here’s JD McPherson’s version of “Hillbilly Blues” to take you into the weekend. He’s joined by Los Straitjackets’ Eddie Angel.
Earl Thomas Conley turns 73 today. The birthday boy has been getting some recent mentions in the media following Blake Shelton’s namedropping the ‘80s superstar in his new “Good Country Song” and describing Somewhere Between Right and Wrong as his favorite album of all time. Conley released 10 studio albums and charted 18 Number One singles over the course of the 1980s. Is that enough to earn an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame? Here are five of my favorite ETC tracks; what are yours?
This song was on his first Greatest Hits album, which was released in 1985; the single was also made into this cool black and white video.
This tale of having to settle for the one you’re with is quite possibly the epitome of classic country gold.
How do you make an Earl Thomas Conley song even better? (Or anything, for that matter?) Add a healthy dose of Emmylou Harris.
This was Conley’s last Number One, released in 1989, not long before he took a seven-year recording hiatus for most of the 1990s.
Conley co-wrote this one with Randy Scruggs. The pair also wrote Conley’s hits “Chance of Lovin’ You,” “Don’t Make It Easy for Me,” and “Your Love’s on the Line,” to name just a few.
- John A. Brown, one of the two men convicted in the 1973 murders of Stringbean and Estelle Akeman, has been granted parole. The Tennessean reports that Brown, who had been up for parole six times prior to yesterday’s hearing, when he appeared “before five of the seven members of the Tennessee Board of Parole. Four of them voted to grant his request for parole, enough to secure his release.” Brown and the other man convicted of the murders – his cousin, Doug Brown — were both sentenced to two life terms; Doug Brown died in 2003.
- T Bone Burnett will present Rosanne Cash with a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award this evening.
- JD McPherson’s got some new music. Listen to his take on “I Wish You Would” from his new EP, Warm Covers.
- Banjo player Glenn Gibson has left Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper. The band is currently in the process of finding a replacement.
- Jewly Hight wrote a fine Nashville Scene feature on Lee Ann Womack, who discusses her new record and throws a little bit of shade: “‘It’s not kids’ music, you know?’ she says. ‘And it’s not me trying to be a kid either. It’s me dealing with issues grownups deal with. I don’t drink out of paper cups anymore. I used to. I had my share of that. But not anymore. Or I don’t drink out of Solo cups, I guess, is what I’m saying.’”
- Adam Hood will release his fourth full-length album, Welcome to the Big World, on November 4. The record’s first single, “Trying to Write a Love Song,” came out earlier this year. (via press release)
- The Gibson Brothers appear on an upcoming episode of Bluegrass Underground on PBS. Here’s a sneak peek.
- Willie Nelson appears on Engelbert Humperdinck’s new cover of “Make You Feel My Love.” Shelby Lynne, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Reid, and Wynonna also guest on Humperdinck’s new album.
- Check out Dierks Bentley, Jon Randall, and Brett James playing a stripped-down version of “I Hold On” for an upcoming episode of PBS program Front and Center.
- The friendship developing between Rodney Crowell and Tom Hiddleston as the latter prepares to play Hank Williams in an upcoming movie is the best.
- Barry Mazor discusses Angaleena Presley’s American Middle Class in his newest Wall Street Journal column.
- Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt debuts atop the Billboard Album Chart, selling 278,000 copies in its first week. (This is the third-best opening week for 2014; with the first and second slots going to Coldplay and Eric Church, respectively.)
- Spend your lunch break watching Rodney Hayden play Merle Haggard songs for free. (Tip well and get an EP.)
Trisha Yearwood Reveals PrizeFighter Cover; Wilco Box Set Due in November; Stream Little Big Town, Devon Allman Albums
- Trisha Yearwood shared the PrizeFighter album cover on her Facebook page. She looks great, but I’m not sure that’s what her corner meant when they told her to keep her hands up.
- Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Kacey Musgraves, Reba, and Ronnie Dunn will all participate in Kelly Clarkson’s forthcoming benefit concert, Miracle on Broadway, on December 20. Proceeds will go to several Nashville-area charities.
- Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Bobby Braddock, and Bob McDill are among the songwriters being considered for induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The writers who get chosen will be formally inducted into the Hall next June.
- Bluesman Odell Harris has passed away, according to AmericanBluesScene.com. He was 75.
- Little Big Town’s Pain Killer is streaming at iTunes.
- Shakey Graves played “Dearly Departed” on Conan last night. (warning: autoplay)
- Canadian roots rock band Elliott BROOD’s new album is streaming at Relix.com.
- Toby Keith released a new single; “Drunk Americans” (listen here) was written by Brandy Clark, Bob DiPiero, and Shane McAnally.
- Check out the track listings for forthcoming Wilco releases What’s Your 20: Essential Tracks and four-disc box set Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014. Both of these collections will be released November 17.
- Larry Cordle, Dean Dillon, Jamey Johnson, Carl Jackson, and Don Schlitz are among the 200+ artists slated to appear at the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival, which will be held at various Gulf Coast venues from November 6-16. This year the festival is celebrating the life of producer/songwriter Larry Butler with a tribute show on the opening night.
- Sara Evans will appear on the October 29 episode of Nashville.
- Relix.com premiered Devon Allman’s new record, Ragged & Dirty.
- Steelism released a video for “Marfa Lights.”
- Listen to The New Basement Tapes’ recording of “Spanish Mary.”
- Hunter Hayes has reportedly reworked his new single, “Tattoo,” to make it more pop for UK audiences.
- Lera Lynn released a video for “Standing on the Moon.”
- Folk Alley’s streaming five hours of spooky music to get you in the mood for Halloween. (If you don’t want to listen to five hours of spooky folk, just listen to Bela Fleck’s wonderful take on “Danse Macabre.”)
- Wynonna announced the “Wynonna and Friends: Stories and Song” tour, which will kick off in January.
- Brad Paisley has teamed up with Boot Barn to develop his own clothing line called Moonshine Spirit. The collection will be available in stores and online beginning December 1. (via press release)
- Mike W: Really liking the new Ryan Bingham song, his last album really didnt do much for me, but this new song …
- nm: Oh, the old Sutler. The first time I visited Nashville, I went to a New Year's Eve show there: Lonesome …
- Tom: ...another "favorite child question". then again, what would the genre be without all the drama it's got to deal with. …
- luckyoldsun: Dwight's had so many great songs. From memory, I'd have to name "Bakersfield" with Buck Owens, "Guitars, Cadillacs," "Nothing" and …
- Scooter: Thanks Jonathon. Downloaded "Last Chance for a thousand years" and love it. Was unaware of that album.
- Donald: The correct answer is of course, "Bury Me."
- Leeann Ward: As far as I know, I have all of Dwight's albums. It's truly impossible to choose a favorite song, but …
- Michael: I wonder if Kasey Chambers will be visiting Dr. Gwen Korovin for treatment of her vocal cords...
- Dave D.: Just about any song off of Dwight's first three albums would qualify as a favorite; forced to pick one I'd …
- Jack Williams: No. Not Owner of a Lonely Heart. I was hoping for better when I saw the article title …