On April 10, 1963, the USS Thresher (SSN-593), a nuclear-powered submarine, sank in the Atlantic Ocean while undergoing deep-diving trials. All 129 men on board were killed, making it the country’s deadliest submarine disaster. (You can read more about it in this interesting 2013 Navy Times article, which suggests that the sub imploded at a depth of 2,200 feet.)
In the aftermath of the tragedy, several folk songs were written about the Thresher; some are patriotic, others…not so much.
5. The Kingston Trio – “Ballad of the Thresher”
This one can be found on the 1963 album Sunny Side, which was released just a few months after the Thresher sank. Keeping with the album title, the Kingston Trio tries to find a bright side to this horrific disaster: “Now her reactor is still, but very good company she keeps / Men from the Lexington, Hornet, and the Wasp / Are down there with her in the deep.”
4. Shovels & Rope – “Thresher”
The No. 4 slot goes to the newest song in today’s Friday Five. On this seven-minute track from Swimmin’ Time, which came out earlier this year, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst sing from the perspective of one of the sailors onboard the Thresher, ending with a pleading, “Mother Ocean we are at the mercy of thee.”
3. Tom Paxton – “The Thresher Disaster”
These lyrics are heartbreaking: “We lost 129 and I feel like I just lost a friend…I sit and wonder why those poor sailors had to die / And I wonder when this killing’s gonna end.”
2. Phil Ochs – “The Thresher”
Ochs’ songs were smart and sardonic; here, they riff on the 1950s submarine novel (and film) Run Silent, Run Deep, : “Can’t you see the wrong? She was a death ship all along / Died before she had the chance to kill / And she’ll never run silent / And she’ll never run deep / For the ocean has no pity / And the waves they never weep.”
1. Pete Seeger – “The Thresher”
Seeger’s lyrics about the Thresher tragedy that “crushed her crew alive” still manage to be hopeful, as he prays that the loss of the Thresher will help to bring about a day when “ships are all designed to sail together peacefully.”
Next week, singer-songwriter Larry Cordle will release All-Star Duets, an album that’s been in the works for a decade. “It was just one thing after another,” he explains. “Trying to get people’s releases and to sign off on this stuff was just a nightmare. [Also], I kind of went broke a time or two and couldn’t work on it anymore.” The project might never have been completed if it weren’t for his pal Randy Kohrs, who Cordle describes as “bulldoggy” enough to get the job done.
All-Star Duets, which is worth the ten-year wait, pairs Cordle with a number of duet partners — like Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Mattea — on a dozen of his original songs, including “Murder on Music Row,” “Lonesome Standard Time,” and “Two Highways.”
We caught up with Cordle last week and got the scoop on the new-old record; he also sent over one of the tracks from the album, a duet version of “Lonesome Dove,” which he recorded with Trisha Yearwood.
How did you choose the material for All-Star Duets?
I tried to think of the songs and artists that had the biggest impact on my career. Immediately, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, and Garth Brooks came to mind. Honestly, just calling them was sort of random. At the time – this was ten years ago – I thought, “Well, I’m going to call all the biggest stars I know. The rest of the guys on the record I knew much better, so I figured they probably wouldn’t be hard [to get].
Tell me about the story behind “Lonesome Dove,” which Trisha Yearwood recorded for her debut album.
I was looking for an old Martin guitar and Carl Jackson’s daddy used to own a music store. He was here in Nashville once for a show Carl and I were playing at the Bluebird; I told him I was looking for an old Martin and he found me one. So Carl and I went to his hometown in Mississippi to pick it up. The Lonesome Dove series had started and we all just loved it. I told Carl that I’d like to write a song named “Lonesome Dove” but that I didn’t want to make it about the show. He had worked with Emmylou and Linda Ronstadt and I envisioned this song being something that maybe they could do.
On the way back home from picking that guitar up, Carl got the it out of the case and started playing while I was driving. We started talking about it and wrote the song on the Natchez Trace between there and home.
Alison Krauss was really banging out big everywhere, and we had her come sing the demo for us. I had known Trisha; she sang on a few things for me in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, I guess. Back then she was a receptionist at Mary Tyler Moore’s company over there on the Row. I have no idea who took the song over to Trisha. There were several Lonesome Dove songs in town around then, and most of them kind of went along with the theme of the show except ours.
I had run into Garth Fundis at the publishing company I was working for at the time, Polygram, and he told me he had that song in his “A Drawer,” which meant, “Hey, I really like this and am going to find somebody to record it.” I didn’t even know he knew the song, so it was news to me.
While Alison was doing the demo, I thought she’d maybe do the song herself, but that didn’t wind up happening. It didn’t work for Emmy, it didn’t work for Patty Loveless, and I began to have all kinds of questions about it, so running into Garth Fundis was really fortuitous for me because I really started believing in the song again.
Maybe another six or eight weeks went by and one of the boys at the publishing company asked me if I’d heard Trisha sing it. I said, “No. Are you sure it’s my Lonesome Dove song?” They said, “Yeah, it’s you and Carl’s song.” So I went to the Bluebird one night when she was performing and sure enough, she was singing the fire out of that thing. It was one of the finest records that I ever had. I’ve got a cassette tape of her and Don Henley singing the song during a live show at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s one of my fondest possessions.
We recorded this new version back in 2004 or 2005. Trisha just came into the studio, and I started singing the thing so she could hear it. When we got to the first chorus, she sang the harmony on that, and there was a key change in there, and she sang it without a problem – her performance on this is really stunning. She sang the harmony on this thing before I had my lead vocal done. (laughs)
When you’re not driving back from a road trip, how do you write?
I love it when inspiration happens, but when I first came to town, some of the older songwriters told me if I was ever going to make a living doing this, I’d need to learn that success was 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I took that to heart. If you want to do this and be successful at it, you need to go to work. That’s what I did. I booked time with other writers – I learned pretty early on that I liked co-writing – and we went to work five days a week like any other man or woman in any other job.
Sometimes that’s hard for a lot of people to understand. I have people say, “I don’t know how you can write songs like that.” Well, you don’t every day. But the process of it all was worth something. I’ve never had one of those sessions that I thought was wasted. There’s always been something that I’ve been able to look back on at another time. To me, songwriting is a learning process. If you’re not willing to learn something new about it, then you’re over. It is changing all the time. Your uniqueness hopefully never changes, but there are different aspects to songwriting that you might have never considered before you got together with some other writer who has a totally different way of doing things. You see if you can adapt to that, see if you can learn anything. It’s a great job. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Anything.
I strive to write the best songs I can regardless of whether they’ll make money or not. I still try to write good songs. I’m not always able to achieve that, but I still try really hard.
CMA Awards Winners Announced; Vince Gill Receives Irving Waugh Award; CMHOF to Host Ralph Peer Program
- Last night’s CMA Award winners:
Irving Waugh Award of Excellence – Vince Gill (Gill is only the second person to receive this award. The only other honoree: Johnny Cash.)
Entertainer of the Year: Luke Bryan
Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert — Platinum
Song of the Year: Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally — “Follow Your Arrow”
Single of the Year: Miranda Lambert — “Automatic”
Female Vocalist of the Year – Miranda Lambert (This is her fifth consecutive win in this category, passing Reba and Martina McBride, who won it four times apiece.)
Male Vocalist of the Year – Blake Shelton
New Artist of the Year – Brett Eldredge
Vocal Group of the Year – Little Big Town
Vocal Duo of the Year – Florida Georgia Line
Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally
Musical Event of the Year – Keith Urban & Miranda Lambert, “We Were Us”
Music Video of the Year – Dierks Bentley, “Drunk on a Plane”
- Kacey Musgraves and Loretta Lynn sang “You’re Lookin’ at Country” together, which makes all of us winners as well.
- The Band Perry played “Gentle on My Mind.”
- George Strait and Eric Church performed “Cowboys Like Us” together.
- Bluegrass Today reports that James King needs a liver transplant.
- Murder By Death will release Big Dark Love on Bloodshot Records February 3.
- Blue Ridge Outdoors’ November Trail Mix includes music from Cale Tyson, Ronnie Fauss, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, The Stray Birds, and more.
- This month’s Utne sampler features Bessie Jones with the Georgia Island Sea Singers, Lost Bayou Ramblers, and a handful of other artists.
- On November 15 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Barry Mazor will discuss “Ralph Peer and the Making of Country Music” in a special multimedia program that begins at 1:30. The HOF will also host a live stream of the event on their website.
- Gregg Allman has been dismissed from the lawsuits filed against the producers of the (now-scrapped) biopic Midnight Rider by the family of Sarah Jones, the crew member who was killed while filming a scene on train tracks.
- Here’s Carrie Underwood’s new “Something in the Water” video.
- Steelism’s got a video for “Marfa Lights.”
- Superchunk covered Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up” for While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records.
- Garth Brooks’ tour will stop in Tulsa for a few shows next January.
- Jewly Hight penned a brief Nashville Scene feature on Bobby Bare and Bobby Bare, Jr.
- Director Trey Fanjoy, the only woman to ever win the CMA Video of the Year Award, discusses her work in this Washington Post article.
Vince Gill Receives BMI Icon Award; Whitey Morgan & The 78s Announce Live Album; Palomino Launches Blackwing Music
- A couple CMA Awards were announced this morning so that tonight’s show has more time for Meghan Trainor and Ariana Grande, apparently. Musical Event of the Year went to Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert’s “We Were Us” and Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” won Video of the Year.
- Last night Vince Gill was honored with the BMI Icon Award. Peter Cooper recapped the evening for the Tennessean.
- If you’ve got an hour, listen to Bob Harris’ BBC Radio 2 show about the history of the Ryman Auditorium.
- Here’s Kacey Musgraves singing “Crazy” on Monday night’s 15 Songs That Changed Country Music. (warning: autoplay)
- Palomino, the company that makes those fab Blackwing pencils, launched their own record label, appropriately called Blackwing Music. They’ve signed Willy Tea Taylor, who’s currently working on an album tentatively scheduled for release next March. (via press release)
- The fine folks of Country Universe put together their CMA Awards predictions.
- Jack Ingram played a new song called “It’s Always Gonna Rain” on The Texas Music Scene.
- On December 2, Whitey Morgan & The 78s will release Born, Raised, and LIVE from Flint. Stream album opener “Buick City” at PopMatters.
- Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” video will debut on Twitter during the CMA Awards this evening. (via press release)
- Here’s a helpful infographic on how to write a CMA Award-nominated song. (Basically, just slap together nouns like “truck,” “whiskey,” and “girl.”)
- Mickey Guyton, Maddie & Tae, and RaeLynn were added to CMT’s Next Women of Country roster.
- There’s a feature on Shakey Graves in the November/December issue of American Songwriter.
- Paul Thorn on the cover of his new record, Too Blessed to Be Stressed: “We took our album cover photos in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is a very historical place and we were just going around looking for locations and on the side of the road under this overpass was a piano that someone had painted and we liked the way it looked. I can’t play chopsticks for you! It reminds me of a heterosexual Liberace album cover. I’m sort of like a Liberace impersonator—only the exact opposite.”
- The RIAA commemorated 11 diamond-selling (10 million copies) country albums, including The Dixie Chicks’ self-titled release, Patsy Cline’s 12 Greatest Hits, Shania Twain’s Come on Over and Up, Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits, and half a dozen Garth Brooks records.
- The Marshall Tucker Band, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, The Gibson Brothers, North Mississippi Allstars, Del McCoury, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, and Hot Rize are among the acts slated to play MerleFest 2015.
- Robert Deaton, executive producer of the CMA Awards, promises that tomorrow’s show will include a “surprise guest in one of our performances from one of the biggest legends of country music of all time.” Any guesses?
- Alan Jackson and Craig Wiseman took home ASCAP Heritage Awards last night. Jackson was the “most-performed country music songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years” and Wiseman the most-performed country songwriter.
- Scott Borchetta is reportedly looking to sell Big Machine for $200+ million.
- Gretchen Peters’ Blackbirds will be released on February 10. Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, and Suzy Bogguss are among the guests who’ll appear on the record. You can check out the tracklisting here; “When All You Got Is a Hammer” is a good one. (via my ears)
- Blackberry Smoke has signed with Rounder Records. The Southern rock band’s next album, Holding All the Roses, also comes out February 10.
- Bob Dylan is going to release a new album called Shadows of the Night in 2015.
- John Morthland of WonderingSound.com wrote a fine feature on Billy Joe Shaver.
- Listen to James McMurtry’s new song, “How’m I Gonna Find You Now” from forthcoming album Complicated Game.
- Beats Music and Southwest have teamed up to offer free in-flight music streaming. Wonder if there’ll be any Patsy Cline or Buddy Holly in the library of playlists that will be available to passengers.
- Vince Gill will receive the BMI Icon Award this evening.
- More bluegrass drama: Craig Ferguson of Planet Bluegrass resigned from his position as Vice Chair of the IBMA Board of Directors and pulled his organization’s IBMA membership.
- Adam Hood’s new album, Welcome to the Big World, is streaming at Rolling Stone Country.
- Philly ABC affiliate WPVI aired a piece on C.F. Martin & Co., which is based in Nazareth, Penn. Watch here. Then take a road trip and tour the Martin museum and factory; it’s pretty neat. (Warning: you will want to buy all the guitars.)
- John A. Brown, who murdered Stringbean and Estelle Akeman in 1973, was released from prison yesterday. He had been granted parole last month.
- Chuck Reece of BitterSoutherner.com profiled Atlanta-based label Dust-to-Digital.
- Folk-pop singer-songwriter Ali Sperry released a music video for her song “Coast.”
- You might want to add Ron Cohen and Rachel Clare Donaldson’s Roots of the Revival: American and British Folk Music in the 1950s to your reading list.
- Chris Young will perform “Lonely Eyes” on Letterman November 14. (via press release)
- This week’s album releases:
Adam Hood – Welcome to the Big World
Amber Hayes – Running Out of Memories
Bob Dylan and The Band – The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11
David Shelby – Oh Yeah
Doobie Brothers – Southbound
Eric Bibb – Blues People
Glen Campbell – The Early Years
John Denver – All of My Memories
Kingston Trio – The Last Month of the Year
Maddie and Tae – Maddie & Tae
Mountain Faith – Blue
Neal McCoy – Pride: A Tribute to Charley Pride (Deluxe Edition)
Over the Rhine – Blood Oranges in the Snow
Ronnie Fauss – Built to Break
Ronnie Milsap – The RCA Albums Collection
Statler Brothers – The Complete Mercury Christmas Recordings
- There are also a few books:
Bruce Springsteen – Outlaw Pete
Peter Guralnick – Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom (ebook)
Peter Guralnick – Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke (enhanced ebook)
Richard Carlin – Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary (paperback)
Annie Lou’s last album, Grandma’s Rules for Drinking, won two Canadian Folk Music Awards and offered scads of helpful information wrapped up in catchy roots arrangements (“When playing cards and in conversation, it’s best if you drink less” and “Gin will ruin your complexion” being just two pieces of advice listeners took away from that record).
The singer-songwriter recently released a fine follow-up album, called Tried and True, that blends elements of bluegrass, old-time, and traditional country. Fans of Hazel and Alice, Ola Belle Reed, and newer roots acts like The Duhks and The Wailin’ Jennys will be drawn to the record’s tight harmonies and progressive string band sounds.
Today we’re pleased to premiere the new album’s title track. Listen to “Tried and True” below:
- Update: Brandy Clark has signed with Warner Bros. Records.
- Cole Swindell will release a new EP called Down Home Sessions on November 17.
- Garth Brooks came in at No. 6 on CMT’s All-Time Top 40: Artists’ Choice. Garth also fell on his moving stage in Kentucky last Friday. If he’s not careful, he’s going to break a hip.
- Zella Mae Cox (of gospel duo Slim and Zella Mae Cox) passed away at the age of 84. She and her husband played the Grand Ole Opry, opened for Elvis Presley, and recorded 13 albums together.
- Tonight at 10 EST, ABC will air 15 Songs That Changed Country Music, a special hosted by Robin Roberts.
- After taking second place in the last season of America’s Got Talent, Emily West has inked a new record deal with Sony Musics Masterworks’ Portrait imprint. On December 2, she’ll release a two-track digital single, featuring her cover of Sia’s “Chandelier” and “Santa Baby.”
- Chelle Rose shared a brooding new song called “Southern 4501.”
- Bill Anderson shares the story behind “Whiskey Lullaby,” which he wrote with Jon Randall.
- American Songwriter premiered Anne McCue’s “Dig Two Graves.”
- Holly Williams has lent her voice to the Trust for Public Lands “Our Land” campaign.
- Logan Mize, whose “Can’t Get Away From a Good Time” has been getting regular play from SiriusXM, has been signed to Arista Records.
- Emmylou Harris on The Ballad of Sally Rose: “It really was kind of a bomb in terms of record sales, but I’m glad I did it and I survived it. I was lucky enough to survive a commercial failure. If you don’t follow your heart, what is speaking to you at the moment and inspiring you, then I think you’re going to pay.”
- Country California’s C.M. Wilcox recommends Cale Tyson’s new album, Cheater’s Wine. Wilcox also posted a new edition of Quotable Country.
- Cabela’s has partnered with Luke Bryan to release a new line of clothing.
- Members of Dehlia Low and Town Mountain started a new band called Tellico. They’ve crowd-funded a new album through Kickstarter, meeting their fundraising goal in one day.
- Brooklyn-based roots band O’Death had their van, trailer, and gear stolen after a show in L.A. The band has started a GoFundMe campaign to help replace their gear.
- Northwest Classen High School unveiled a statue of famous grad Vince Gill.
- The Huffington Post’s Brittany Hodak profiled Chris Young.
- New music videos and some key live performances from the past week or so:
Stuart Duncan & Noam Pikelny – “Wheel Hoss” (Live at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country)
Angaleena Presley – “Pain Pills”
Don Williams – “Healing Hands”
The Shires – “Only Midnight”
Natalie Stovall and The Drive – “Mason Jar”
Jamestown Revival – “Golden Age”
Samantha Landrum – “Hometown” (Live at Blackbird Studios)
John Oates – “She’s Gone” (Live at Music City Roots)
James McMurtry – “Ain’t Got a Place” (Live at Music City Roots)
Brandon Rhyder – “That’s Just Me”
Lady Antebellum – “Freestyle”
Emily West – “Monsters” (Live at 12th and Porter)
SHEL and Gareth Dunlop – “Hold On”
Florida Georgia Line – “Sun Daze”
Tim McGraw – “Shotgun Rider”
O’Shea featuring Steve Wariner – “Bad Day Good”
Travis Collins – “Curves”
Emma Swift – “Woodland Street”
Dixie Hall Diagnosed with Brain Tumor; Brad Paisley to Appear on College GameDay; Parker Millsap Releases “Truck Stop Gospel” Video
- Chris Jones of Bluegrass Today reports that “a source close to Tom T. and Dixie Hall has disclosed that Miss Dixie has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and is suffering from dementia as a result.” Dixie, one of the most-recorded songwriters in bluegrass, has recently released her first single, called “Sunnyflower One,” a song that is intended as a benefit for the basset hound rescue organization Belly Rubs. Best wishes to Miss Dixie and Tom T. at this time.
- Check out Parker Millsap’s new video for “Truck Stop Gospel.” (warning: autoplay)
- Brad Paisley will serve as a College GameDay guest picker on ESPN tomorrow. (via press release)
- Cale Tyson played a few for American Songwriter. Watch here.
- Wade Bowen’s “Long Enough to Be a Memory” is one of NPR’s Songs We Love.
- Little Big Town’s Pain Killer opened at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The band’s prior two albums, Tornado and The Reason Why, both debuted at No. 1. They also were on The Tonight Show yesterday; they performed “Stay All Night” with The Roots. (warning: autoplay)
- The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy blog posted a trailer for the documentary The Ballad of Shovels & Rope, which will be available on DVD December 1.
- Trisha Yearwood discusses her new album, PrizeFighter, touring with Garth, borrowing a pair of Sly Stallone’s boxing gloves from Rocky, and more in this video interview. (warning: audioplay)
- FolkAlley.com premiered “All the Hours,” a new video from Canadian folk trio The Once.
- The Hello Strangers just posted a new video from their “Whiskey Sessions.”
- For one of his final Tennessean columns, Peter Cooper writes about Jay Pilzer, author of A Six String History of America, a book that Pilzer describes as being about “either American history through the lens of guitars, or guitar history through the lens of America.”
- Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker penned a lengthy piece on Bob Dylan and the new Basement Tapes box set.
- Henry Carrigan interviewed Eric Banister about his latest book, Johnny Cash FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Man in Black.
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, or, the Modern Prometheus was published nearly 200 years ago, but it remains a vital part of pop culture (a new movie version starring Daniel Radcliffe and Sybil from Downton Abbey is slated to come out next year to accompany the billionty films, television programs, and plays that have already based on Shelley’s book). For today’s Friday Five, we’re looking at a handful of songs and videos that reference the mad scientist and his monster.
5. Jimmy Buffett – “Another Saturday Night”
In this Sam Cooke cover, Buffett complains that the fine woman a pal set him up with actually had a “strange resemblance” to Frankenstein’s creature. Happens to the best of us, buddy.
4. Sylvester Stallone – “Drinkenstein”
This Dolly Parton song, from the 1984 flop Rhinestone, is hilariously terrible; it even received the Worst Original Song “Award” at that year’s Razzies. If you can get through the video without cringing, reward yourself by swiping a few treats from your kid’s Halloween haul under the guise of inspecting it tonight.
3. Robby Hecht with Rose Cousins – “Soon I Was Sleeping”
“Soon I Was Sleeping,” a lovely duet from Hecht’s self-titled album, is about the devastating effects of a man’s alcoholism; in this video, the disease takes form as a literal monster.
2. KT Oslin – “Come Next Monday”
Okay, the song has nothing to do with Frankenstein’s creature, but the video, a fun homage to the classic monster movies of the 1930s, is simply delightful.
1. Buck Owens – “(It’s A) Monster’s Holiday”
This is the spooky title track to a record Owens released in 1974; as far as Halloween novelty singles go, it puts “Monster Mash” to shame.
GhostTunes Previews New Garth Album; Sturgill Simpson Plays The Tonight Show; CMT Debuts New Angaleena Presley Video
- Larry Cordle, Doc Hopkins, and Pete Stamper are part of the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015. They’ll be inducted on April 10. (via press release)
- If you’re at work, you should probably put on headphones before you listen to Dean Miller’s masturbation song.
- Robert Earl Keen talks about his forthcoming bluegrass record, Happy Prisoner (out February 10), in this interview posted on TexasMonthly.com.
- An edited, hour-long version of last month’s IBMA Awards will be broadcast as part of PBS’ Music City Roots television series in late February or early March of 2015.
- Sturgill Simpson played The Tonight Show on Tuesday. Watch his performance of “Turtles All the Way Down” here. (warning: autoplay)
- Mike Ayers of The Wall Street Journal compiled videos of “10 Amazing Performances from the Final Allman Brothers Band Shows.”
- Willie and Bobbie Nelson have been playing music together for nearly 80 years. Read about their shared musical history in this Michael Corcoran piece.
- Angaleena Presley released a video for “Pain Pills.”
- GhostTunes is offering a sneak peek of Garth Brooks’ new album, Man Against Machine. From the Tennessean: Starting at midnight Thursday and for the next 24 hours GhostTunes will give fans the opportunity to listen early along with a bonus. At the request of GhostTunes, Brooks went into the studio and recorded himself speaking over snippets of the songs.
- Pieta Brown and Amos Lee teamed up for a duet called “Do You Know,” a song on Brown’s latest album, Paradise Outlaw.
- Here’s a previously unreleased “Rhymes and Reasons” demo from the forthcoming John Denver box set All of My Memories, which comes out next week.
- University of Maryland prof Clifford Murphy contemplates New England’s country music history in an article titled “Stand by Your Maine.” An excerpt: When the Country Music Association formed in 1958 (an effort by a reeling industry to respond to the popularity of rock’n’roll), Nashville marketing agents streamlined country’s image, eliminating “western” music from the airwaves (and changing the genre’s name from “country and western” to “country” in the process), while packaging and promoting country as strictly rural, southern, and white. Suddenly, once-popular local tunes sung with regional accents were replaced by a nationally oriented sound sung with a Southern drawl – regardless of what corner of the continent the singer hailed from…Country music is working-class music, and its regional variations have been muffled by the stranglehold that the heavily centralized music industry has on the content of our regional broadcasts. This is a tragedy – not so much because something once beautiful has been lost (though it is that), but because it represents a larger problem: wherever we come from, it is very difficult to hear ourselves reflected in major media broadcasts…It wasn’t always this way, and there is still a generation of Americans who can recall a time in which the content of radio broadcasts struck a balance between the interests and styles of both the region and the nation.
- Hurray for the Riff Raff played “The Body Electric” for CMT Edge. (The band’s Body Electric Fund raises money to combat violence against women, minorities, and LGBT communities.)
- Jon Stewart’s Daily Show probably could’ve gotten a Texas artist to sing this silly song about the state of Texas politics, but Brad Paisley does a decent job. (warning: autoplay)
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.