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: Jim Z-- I get the feeling Barry was this close to calling you what Kinky Friedman called his guy from El …
- 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...