Brett James Named Songwriter of the Year; Justin Townes Earl Gets Mixed Reviews — Jamey Johnson, Not So Much
- At last night’s ASCAP country music awards ceremony, songwriter Brett James took home his second ASCAP songwriter of the year honor for helping write five of the organization’s most performed songs of the past year. Songwriter Josh Kear won for the second time as well. His win came in the song of the year category for his part in writing the Lady Antebellum hit “Need You Now.” Artist/songwriter of the year went to Dierks Bentley and the global impact award went to Jessi Alexander for “The Climb.” The Tennessean published a full list of ASCAP’s most-performed songs.
- AP entertainment writer Chris Talbott on Justin Townes Earle:
With his third album, “Harlem River Blues,” the son of Steve Earle should finally be free of the shadows cast by that past and his father’s legendary career. The album’s 11 tracks capitalize on the promise Earle showed on his previous releases, “Midnight At The Movies” and “The Good Life,” and push him to a new level.
- Saving Country Music isn’t quite as sold on Earle’s new direction.
- Austin Music Source’s Peter Mongillo is in Talbott’s boat, rating Harlem River Blues an A- effort.
- Rolling Stone has more new music from Kenny Chesney. The song, “You and Tequila,” is a duet with Grace Potter and appears on the upcoming album Hemingway’s Whiskey. And while it’s not a studio version, CMT has video of Chesney performing the song “Coastal” from the same album. (via MusicRow)
- The Guitar Song earned a perfect four out of four stars from the Pop & Hiss’ Ann Powers: “Johnson may masquerade as a throwback but what he really aims for is timelessness, and he usually hits his mark.”
- For next month’s Bridge School Benefit, T Bone Burnett is putting together a band that includes Ralph Stanley, Elton John, Elvis Costello, Leon Russell, Neko Case, and actor Jeff Bridges.
- The Texas Music Matters song of the day is actually a live medley of “Long Black Veil” and “Train of Love” performed by The Band’s Rick Danko way back in 1993.
- The Record’s Jacob Ganz called the biggest independent record store in the world — the Hollywood branch of Amoeba Music — to see which brand new releases, out of a selected 16, the store was carrying. The store stocked all 16, but the interesting part is how many were stocked. Exact numbers weren’t given, but Jamey Johnson‘s The Guitar Song (the only country record among the bunch) was the only album with fewer than 30 copies ordered.
- Billy Currington‘s video for “Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer” is the iTunes free download of the week. (iTunes)
- That Nashville Sound’s Ken Morton Jr. credits “My Old Man” with being the strongest track on the new Joey+Rory record, Album Number Two.
- Jerrod Niemann vouches for Jamey Johnson‘s intelligence:
“He is one of the smartest individuals I’ve ever met in my life,” Niemann said. “He probably attempts to hide that sometimes, but he is always thinking ahead. He’s very intelligent. You’re not going to put one past him. He always looks at things from a different angle.”
- Zac Brown Band‘s new album You Get What You Give is available for streaming a week early on Rhapsody. (via reader comment)
- USA Today’s Brian Mansfield reports that more than a third of music sales take place in the last two months of the year, which explains the reason for all the mainstream releases in the coming months: Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, Taylor Swift, and the list goes on. But what about artists still trying to gain a foothold–like Steel Magnolia? The duo’s debut was pushed back to a January release because Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta “didn’t want to put them in a place where they’d be buried alive.”
- Watch the new video for Kevin Fowler‘s song “Pound Sign (#?*!).”
- In a Q&A with Diablo magazines’ Pete Crooks, the Eagles’ Don Henley revealed that his next solo record will be a collection of country songs — originals and covers.
- The Boot recapped a few of the highlights from The Judds‘ interview with Oprah.
- Monkey See’s Linda Holmes torched Taylor Swift and Kanye West for their self-involved performances at the VMAs:
Primarily, they both suffer from a bizarre disorder where what is supposedly intended as a gesture of generosity toward someone else inevitably spins out into a celebration of self. For him, this meant complaining about the pain of being a guy who can’t stop acting like a jerk, and for her, it meant blowing up a moment of probably intoxicated rudeness into a major moral failing, just so that she could dramatically offer absolution.
- Fake Jamey Johnson returns to Country California.
- The deluxe version of Joey+Rory‘s Album Number Two on iTunes includes two bonus songs: “You Ain’t Woman Enough” and “Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse Restaurant.” (iTunes)
Here’s the official video for Caitlin Rose‘s “Shanghai Cigarettes.” (via American Songwriter)
- luckyoldsun: Nobody can do Karaoke George Jones like Kershaw!
- Bruce: LW, Don't apologize for your Bryant comment. You were more gracious than I would have been.
- Bruce: My vote is for Marty Stuart for his exhaustive body of work that is directional yet diversified.
- Leeann: Dang! Let me write my above sentence again!: Kelley MicKwee’s album is sounding good so far too. I really like “Beautiful …
- paul w dennis: The Kershaw album is really noteworthy for its song selections. Other than "I'll Share My World With You", it omits …
- Leeann: The Sammy Kershaw tribute to George Jones is pretty good on first listen. Of course, Sammy's no George, but their …
- Jeremy Dylan: I did a podcast on Joni Mitchell's BLUE album recently and was wondering if there was a good bio of …
- Leeann Ward: Well, that was a mighty unnecessarily flippant comment I just made there and the better angels of my nature make …
- Leeann Ward: As for me, I'd realize I'd written a crappy song if Luke Bryan ended up being the one who wanted …
- luckyoldsun: You say Marx is very gracious--again implying that he should feel aggrieved. Well, apparently, he DOESN'T feel aggrieved--He feels gratitude …