- 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)
CMHOF Announces “Dylan, Cash & The Nashville Cats” Exhibit; Glen Campbell Music Video Released; New Albums
- On March 27, 2015, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will open a new exhibit called Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City. The exhibit, which runs through December 31, 2016, will focus on the “many rock and folk artists who came to Nashville in the late 1960s and early ’70s to work with the city’s versatile, hotshot session musicians, the ‘Nashville Cats.’”
- Watch Glen Campbell’s moving video for his final song, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You.”
- Hot chicken purveyor/George Jones’ road manager/club owner Pee Wee Johnson passed away last Thursday at the age of 84.
- Gram Parsons’ “$1000 Wedding” is the American Songwriter Lyric of the Week.
- At last month’s Americana Fest, Yep Roc Records taped a bunch of artists at RCA Studio A. Download those sessions via NoiseTrade.
- In other Studio A news, the recent deal that saved the building from becoming condos was spearheaded by current studio co-manager Sharon Corbitt-House. Some folks want to send her to the spa for the day as thanks for her part in preserving this piece of music history.
- E145 pal Peter Cooper is leaving the Tennessean to become a writer-editor at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- Quotable Country is, as always, a must-read.
- Kacey Musgraves, Eric Church, and Florida Georgia Line have been added to the CMA Awards’ lineup of performers.
- The Avett Brothers will return to the studio with Rick Rubin in November.
- On November 17, Omnivore Recordings will release an expanded, 20th anniversary edition of The Old 97s’ Hitchhike to Rhome. (via press release)
- Learn how to make a cigar box guitar from The Art of Manliness.
- Lee Ann Womack announced a handful of concert dates; she’ll begin her mini-tour on Thursday in Tucson and wrap it up a month later in DC.
- Angaleena Presley played a few songs from her new album, American Middle Class, for CMT.
- Zac Brown joined The Foo Fighters on Letterman to cover Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”
- IBMA Executive Director Nancy Cardwell has resigned from her position following the board’s recent vote of no confidence. Cardwell’s done an amazing job with the organization — just look at the success of World of Bluegrass in Raleigh — and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.
- Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn discuss their new album with CMT Edge’s Stephen Deusner.
- This week’s album releases:
Angaleena Presley – American Middle Class
Bob Seger – Ride Out
Chip Taylor – The Little Prayers Trilogy
Devon Allman – Ragged & Dirty
Dirty River Boys – Dirty River Boys
Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes
Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean
High Valley – County Line
Jon Weisberger featuring The Lonesome Heirs – I’ve Been Mostly Awake
Jonathan Byrd – You Can’t Outrun the Radio
Lonesome River Band – Turn on a Dime
Matthew Ryan – Boxers
New American Farmers – The Farmacology Sessions
Pauline Andres – All Them Ghosts
Phil Leadbetter – The Next Move
Raul Malo – Around the World
Rhett Walker Band – Here’s to the Ones
Sallie Ford – Slap Back
Spinney Brothers – Tried & True
Swon Brothers – Swon Brothers
Various Artists – An Americana Christmas
You + Me – rose ave.
- And some books:
Neil Young – Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars
Also, Mark Zwonitzer’s fantastic Carter Family book, Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone, is finally available on Kindle.
Cale Tyson is barely old enough to (legally) drink, but he can sing a country weeper like a man who’s been pickling his liver and feeding pocket change to a dive bar’s jukebox since the ‘70s. On October 28, the 23-year-old will release a fine new EP called Cheater’s Wine, the follow-up to last year’s High on Lonesome.
Backed by Brett Resnick’s pedal steel and Robert Ellis on guitar, Tyson channels masters of heartbreak like Gary Stewart, Mel Street, and Johnny Paycheck on the six original songs of Cheater’s Wine.
This morning we’re pleased to premiere a track from the new record. Here’s “Borrowed Love (To Go).”
American Academy of Arts & Sciences to Induct Ralph Stanley; Alan Jackson Plays HOF Artist-in-Residence Show; Plowboy to Release Chuck Mead/Paul Burch 7″
- Ralph Stanley will formally be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences tomorrow alongside fellow…fellows Al Pacino, Annie Proulx, Robert Ballard and many more. (via press release)
- To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Lower Broadway revival, on November 11, Plowboy Records is going to release a limited edition 7” with cuts from Chuck Mead and Paul Burch’s Plowboy releases. (via press release)
- Watch Sturgill Simpson playing “Long White Line” at RCA Studio A.
- Kay West, Jewly Hight, and Eric T. Parker recapped the first of Alan Jackson’s Artist-in-Residence performances at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The audience at that show also got a sneak peek at some new music, as Jackson debuted a song called “Angels and Alcohol,” written by his nephew, Adam Wright.
- Florida Georgia Line has three songs that rhyme “party” and “Bacardi,” which seems like a lot, even for them. Here’s the full Billboard cover story on the unlikable duo.
- Martina McBride performs R&B classic “My Babe” on the newest episode of Mountain Stage.
- Check out Luke Winslow-King’s new video for “Swing That Thing.”
- Edward Morris of CMT.com put together a playlist of 15 songs about the moon.
- Eliot Bronson’s self-titled, Dave Cobb-produced album will be released on October 21. Listen to one of the songs, “River Runs Dry,” at CMT Edge.
- Like honky tonk? Listen to Jack Grelle.
- On November 3, ABC will air Countdown to the CMA Awards: 15 Songs that Changed Country Music with Robin Roberts. Kacey Musgraves, Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry, and Brad Paisley are among the artists slated to appear on the hour-long special.
- Here’s Lindi Ortega’s cover of “Stand By Me.”
- A two-CD, one-DVD deluxe version of George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away will be released November 10.
- Chris Shiflett & The Dead Peasants covered Justin Townes Earle’s “Look the Other Way” for the upcoming two-disc salute to Bloodshot Records, While No One Was Looking.
- It’s wonderful to see Dawn Sears, who’s been battling cancer for some time now, onstage with The Time Jumpers again.
Blake Shelton Debuts Atop Billboard 200; Stevie Ray Vaughan on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ballot; Nathan Stanley Wins Dove Award
- Loretta Lynn shares the story of her first Opry appearance in this Tennessean video. (warning: autoplay)
- The Tennessean also assembled a photo gallery of Lynn in the 1960s.
- Paste’s Jon Waterhouse put together “The Music Geek’s Travel Guide to Memphis.”
- The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Bill Withers are on the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ballot. You can vote here.
- Blake Shelton’s Bringing Back the Sunshine debuted atop the Billboard 200; it is his second album to do so.
- A marker (written by Barry Mazor) honoring fiddler Hoyt Ming, founder of Hoyt Ming & His Pep Steppers, will be unveiled on the Mississippi Country Music Trail this morning.
- Check out this Nashville Scene feature on East Nashville Radio; you can stream the station online (warning: autoplay) or via smartphone app.
- Robbie Fulks wrote a lovely blog post remembering the late Lou Whitney.
- The Dirty River Boys’ self-titled record is streaming on The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog.
- The Dove Awards were held in Nashville earlier this week. Nathan Stanley won Bluegrass Album of the Year for Every Mile, while Dailey & Vincent’s recording of “Won’t It Be Wonderful There” got the Bluegrass Song of the Year trophy.
- Jon Weisberger wrote a nice piece for The Nashville Scene on Ralph Stanley.
- CMT Edge premiered singer-songwriter Matthew Fowler’s “Everything That I Could.”
- Doug Seegers, homeless busker turned Sweden’s newest country star, was featured on NPR.
- Last night I caught Rodney Hayden’s Stageit show, where he played a few tunes from his solid new EP, Cowboy Songs. He’s going to do another streaming show on Saturday afternoon if you want to hear live music in the pants-optional environment of your own home.
- Larry Cordle’s All-Star Duets album, which has been delayed for months, will finally be released in November. It includes collaborations with Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss, Trisha Yearwood, Dierks Bentley, Del McCoury, and more.
- The Academy of Country Music and CBS Watch have teamed up to release a special edition, 100-page magazine celebrating George Strait.
- Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis recently played a couple songs in the WAMU Bluegrass Country studios. Here’s “Leavin'” from Cheater’s Game.
- luckyoldsun: I just noticed that Garth and King George are still to come. So unless I'm missing something else, the remaining seven …
- Leeann Ward: I hate it when people pronounce the days of the week with a "dy" ending instead of "day." It's like …
- luckyoldsun: Looking at that bizarre CMT Artists' list with Johnny Cash coming in at #8, it raises the question--Who are the …
- Leeann Ward: I'd have to agree with LOS here. The song was fair game to be released. It's no surprised that it …
- luckyoldsun: "'Brotherly Love,' IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith’s …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, we know that it's technically a Keith Whitley song, as Juli noted above.
- Six String Richie: It's great to hear that Sundy Best has a new album coming out. I really encourage anybody that reads …
- Louie: "Brotherly Love," IS a Keith Whitley song. Trying to take advantage of the impact sales, and the tragedy of Keith's …
- Erik North: A big loss for not only the Nashville songwriting community, but for songwriting communities everywhere, in my opinion, that Paul …
- luckyoldsun: If they're only allowed one modern inductee per year in the H-o-F, then there's a backlog developing. You have Skaggs, …