Bobby Osborne to Celebrate 50 Years as Opry Member; Zac Brown Band to Release The Grohl Sessions; New Music Videos

Ken Morton, Jr. | December 2nd, 2013

  • Garth Brooks had a triumphant return to television on Friday night with Garth Brooks:  Live from Las Vegas. 8.7 million viewers watched the two-hour special, which won its time slot.
  • Eric Church landed on the cover of Billboard magazine. An excerpt from the cover story: “Church was already at the vanguard of contemporary country’s rock movement, but The Outsiders blurs the lines even further. The first single, the title track, contains even more of the rough electric guitar and big booming drums that define Church’s live shows. It’s dark and loud, and without the North Carolina accent in Church’s vocals it might find itself in between Kings of Leon and Linkin Park on rock radio. But its rebel attitude…and the twang in the vocals put it squarely in the world of country music. Like a modern-day Lynyrd Skynyrd, Church manages to be simultaneously more rock’n’roll and good-old-boy than anyone else out there–no easy task.” 
  • Toby Keith cut the ribbon on his OK Kids Korral, a facility for children receiving cancer treatment at the Oklahoma Health Center Campus in Oklahoma City.
  • A bunch of The Voice fans are ticked off that the singers and show omitted the word “Lord” from “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”
  • Taylor Swift sang with Jon Bon Jovi and Prince William at the Winter Whites Gala last week.
  • Lynn Anderson blew out a tire on the way to the George Jones tribute concert last month and suffered a minor head injury in the subsequent accident.
  • Chuck Dauphin of Billboard interviewed Deana Carter about her new album, Southern Way of Life: “There’s one song that I wrote by myself on the record called ‘Do Or Die.’ That’s when I was at the bottom – when I didn’t know if I was going to make it, or if I would do records again. I was looking at this little boy who was relying on me to take care of him. It was a real heavy time. I sat in the kitchen floor, and like the song says, I was wondering how I was going to take care of my son and me. Right after I said my prayers, Kenny Chesney cut ‘You And Tequila,’ and that did well. So, that was a gift, and being able to write through that, I’m so grateful to be able to share that. I feel I did that with the first record. I had time to write about a lot of different kinds of experiences. Now, it’s more seasoned – similar experiences coming through things like being a mom. It’s not all about me anymore.” 
  • Our friend Stephen Deusner interviewed Mindy Smith about her excellent new EP, Snowed In. An excerpt of their conversation: “I know what Christmas is to me, but I also know that not everybody shares that idea of Christmas. So I think it’s important to present a collection of songs that can move different people for different reasons. It’s about making sure you’re not alienating someone who is on a different journey. On all my albums I’ve tried to speak from the heart and not make any bones about where I’m coming from, but I want to leave it open so people can take from it what they need. It’s a tricky balance.”  
  • Musik Mafia members Shannon Lawson and Jon Nicholson have formed a new group called El Camino. You can stream their new, self-titled EP here.
  • The Huffington Post named Rhonda Vincent’s A Dream Come True as one of the all-time “Best Albums with the Worst Album Art.” “Hey, look! Your Sunday School teacher made an album! Hailed today as one of the best bluegrass records of the past 30 years, Rhonda Vincent’s first album may also have one of the all-time dweebiest covers. The hair. The sequins. The font. The blush. The lavender. The hair. Everything about this screams the early ‘80s (which is all the dorkier considering that the record came out in the early ‘90s). But if you are able to unsee that awkwardness, the performances on this extraordinary debut are all utterly thrilling.”
  • Cody Alan will be the new host of the overnight radio show After MidNite beginning January 6.
  • Bobby Osborne will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a member of The Grand Ole Opry next year; he’s planned a special tour to commemorate it.
  • My Kind of Country’s Jonathan Pappalardo revisited Alison Krauss and Union Station’s Paper Airplane: Paper Airplane is everything a contemporary country/bluegrass/roots record should strive to be. A fully-formed album, it executes a winning yet tired formula in a new light. All the required themes of an AKUS music project are present – heartbreakingly sad songs presented as ballads and sung exquisitely – yet the album feels more like a rebirth than a recession. It never rests on its laurels and surprises the listener around every bend. But what’s truly remarkable is when most singers do whatever it takes to get noticed, Krauss doesn’t sell herself out for the price of fame. She doesn’t work her butt off at chasing her youth but instead records songs from an adult woman’s perspective. She smartly acts her age without appearing matronly. Without being anything she isn’t, she stays true to her roots and shifts the focus off her and onto the music, where it belongs in the first place.”
  • Rita Ballou posted Wade Bowen’s holiday song, “O Holy Night,” over at Rawhide and Velvet.
  • The 14-year old daughter of singer/songwriter Ray Lawrence, Jr. is missing. She was last seen in the Phoenix area.
  • Amber Hayes is offering a holiday track called “Uh Oh, Looks Like Snow” as a free download on her website.
  • Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson’s Wreck & Ruin won Best Country Album at the ARIA Awards.
  • New music videos from the past week or so:

Payton Rae – “Gone Girl”

One More Girl“Love Like Mine”

Lee Kernaghan“It’s Only Country”

Sara Storer“Come on Rain”

Tom Keifer“The Flower Song”

Granger Smith“Miles and Mud Tires”

Gary Allan“It Ain’t the Whiskey”

Jamie Lynn Spears“How Could I Want More”

Emily Hearn“Found a Heart”

Jake Bellows“Meaning Wrong”


  1. Jim Z
    December 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

    So Skynyrd is country now?

    Just trying to keep track.

  2. Andrew
    December 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Really enjoyed that Garth Brooks special. He was in great form and is still every bit the entertainer he was before his retirement. And Trisha was really funny during her brief appearance as well.

  3. Leeann Ward
    December 2, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    The DVD included in the boxset was pretty much the same routine, but done even better than the live special. He ad Trisha even sing a song that wasn’t in the special on the DVD concert. The DVD is quite a bit longer than the special was, so it’s worth seeing that as well.

  4. Luckyoldsun
    December 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    I have not watched the DVD, but from what I’ve heard from them, Garth and Trisha as duet partners do not convey any of the spark, the electricity, the humor, the anger, the intensity, the what-have-you that you got from Dolly and Porter, George and Tammy, Johnny and June, Waylon and Jessi–or Waylon and Willie, for that matter.

  5. Ron
    December 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Regarding Rhonda Vincent’s album covers, “Taken” was also bad but for different reasons.

    That said, she has put out some good music with “The Storm Still Rages” as probably my favorite but I haven’t heard all of her stuff.

  6. Donald
    December 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Man, that is a bad RV album cover…reminds me of about four different Reba albums. But, #3 good/bad of all time? I would put All American Bluegrass Girl in its place- better album, worse cover. Potential of a bluegrass ‘top 10′ from this idea.

  7. BRUCE
    December 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Couldn’t care less what Huffington Post thinks about a bluegrass album cover art. For their taste, maybe Rhonda needs to channel her inner Lady Gaga so they will be pleased. Really? Sheeesh.

  8. luckyoldsun
    December 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Are you out of your mind? The HuffPo gave a RAVE review to an album that most readers have never heard of and you’re complaining?

    Rhonda’s management team will be sending that out wherever they can.
    And I’ll bet Rhonda will laugh at–and agree with–the silliness about the cover.

    • Juli Thanki
      December 3, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Shoot, her PR team sent out a link to the HuffPo article, and Rhonda retweeted a couple links to it, so she seems to have a sense of humor about it.

  9. Country fan
    December 3, 2013 at 6:51 am

    As one who has been around a while, it is hard to see Eric Church, compared to Waylon.

  10. Leeann Ward
    December 3, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Ha! Yes, I’d imagine it’s great (and fun) publicity for Rhonda Vincent.:)

  11. Arlene
    December 3, 2013 at 8:41 am

    @LuckyOldSun- Or. For that matter, Kasey and Shane, Buddy and Julie, or even Buddy and Jim….

  12. Tom
    December 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    …rhonda vincent’s album cover is actually a brillant prelude of the “hello kitty”-era. hard to see that they can’t see that at the huffpo.

  13. Tom
    December 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    …kinda liked the waylon & willie bit in your list of country couples, luckyoldsun.

  14. bruce
    December 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm


    Please revisit my comment. I said nothing about their review of the album but only their comment about the cover. It would be best to understand a comment before you reply. It would make you look better.

  15. Luckyoldsun
    December 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm


    And I was making the broader point that you’re missing the forest for the trees.

    A widely read national web publication singles out Rhonda Vincent for great praise and you totally missed that and got upset because they accompanied it with an innocuous bit of ribbing. Sheesh!


    Thank you for confirming what I expected.The HuffPo piece was great for Rhonda.

  16. BRUCE
    December 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I missed no point whatsoever. Please re-read. By-the=way, I didn’t miss the point about their positive review. However, I rarely read reviews.

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