Carrie Underwood Releases New Video; Americana Festival Moving to Austin?; Randy Houser Records for Waylon Tribute

Brody Vercher | September 24th, 2010

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  • Preliminary talks are underway, and have been for two years, to relocate the annual Americana Music Conference & Festival from Nashville to Austin. Austin’s public broadcast station is rumored to be in on the talks too, with an offer to film and broadcast live performances and the awards program. Sounds cool, right? Austin Music Source’s Michael Corcoran isn’t so sure. Part of his reasoning for leaving the festival in Nashville is admittedly selfish (he likes to visit) and because Austin just doesn’t have a venue the caliber of the Ryman.

    First of all, as nice as the new Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater venue might be, it’s not the Ryman Auditorium. I’ve only been to one AMA Award show there, but it was a quite spectacular affair, with so many Nashville-based stars on hand. Would they fly to Austin for a five-minute appearance?

    Plus there’s SXSW and the possibility of Folk Alliance relocating to Austin from Memphis. That’s a lot of conferences and Corcoran wonders whether there would be any kind of dilution.

    UPDATE: Pierce reported that the move won’t take place before next year.

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  • Select albums in the Live From Austin, TX series are on sale at Amazon. In fact, only three out of the 34 listed cost more than $6.99. Anybody have a favorite?
  • Journalist Chris Willman tweeted: “I asked Kristofferson if he thought [Taylor Swift] would be a Hall of Famer. ‘She’s ALREADY in the Hall of Fame!’ he bellowed.”
  • Kristofferson isn’t the only one who likes Swift, her former high school voted unanimously to rename it’s auditorium in her honor.
  • And the last Taylor Swift item for today: She’s released the tracklist to her upcoming album Speak Now, due out on Oct. 25. (Thanks Troy)
  • Robbie Fulks on the appeal of writing songs like “Countrier Than Thou,” “Roots Rock Weirdos,” and “F*ck This Town”:

    It’s probably ill-advised to write and record some of the stuff that I have, and I’m aware when I’m working on a song like FTT or RWW that I’m laboring on something with a niche appeal and a limited shelf life, but I have so much fun working on certain songs that I almost can’t help it. When you write songs I find that now and then there’s a happy point where you’re so convinced of the rightness of what you’re working on that the thing gets hold of you and you have to see it through, and that includes the comic songs as much as the others.

  • Music “bizz” veteran Scott Gunter doesn’t have the words to adequately describe his affection for the music of Lori McKenna and Walt Wilkins, who performed together at Gruene Hall on Wednesday.
  • Randy Houser recorded “I’m a Ramblin’ Man” for a Waylon Jennings tribute album that’s in the works and named Jamey Johnson and Sunny Sweeney as participants as well. Way back in December, it was announced that Dierks Bentley recorded “Lonesome, Or’nry and Mean” and that other artists included Trace Adkins, ZZ Top, Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Patty Griffin, and Shooter Jennings.
  • In an effort to make its extensive catalog available for digital download, Rebel Records will be reissuing two albums per month starting in October. The first two reissues will dig into the Ralph Stanley catalog, Old Country Church (1972) and Lonesome and Blue (1987), leaving albums from Del McCoury, Dave Evans, and Kenny Baker waiting in the wings.
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  • In a couple of weeks a collection of songs from Chip Taylor and Carrie Rodriguez will be released on an album titled The New Bye & Bye – The Best of the Train Wreck Years 2002 – 2007. It’ll include 13 of their best collaborations, plus four new songs, and if the following samples are representative of the overall album, it’ll be a doozy.

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  • Legacy Recordings will release a “career-spanning collection of chart-topping hits, classic tracks and personal favorites” from the Dixie Chicks on Oct. 26. The Essential Dixie Chicks will include 30 tracks on two discs. (via Country Music Tattle Tale)
  • If you already have the previous hits album from the Dixie Chicks, Playlist: The Very Best of the Dixie Chicks, and you want to learn how to play the songs — you’re in luck. Alfred Music Publishing published a couple official songbooks, one for guitar and another for piano and voice. (via email)
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  • The New York Times‘ Jon Caramanica wrote an insightful profile on Jamey Johnson:

    On a shelf by the wall sat a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in a size usually associated with soft drinks.

    “We call this the Widowmaker,” Mr. Johnson said, then laughed.

    It’s good to hear Mr. Johnson laugh. A relief, actually. He laughs more than you might think, more than his heavy eyes might indicate. Certainly more than in his songs, which are among the blackest in country music.

    In addition to the profile, Caramanica joined this this week’s Popcast, The Time’s podcast, to explain why the term “outlaw” doesn’t apply to Jamey Johnson. He argues that Johnson is more of a traditionalist trapped in time, adhering to a different tradition, and in today’s musical climate people want to peg that as a rebellious. And while it may be rebellious is some sense, Caramanica says it is not an outlaw thing. It’s worth a listen.

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  • No Depression’s Grant Alden created a playlist of songs about hard times.
  • Craig Havighurst recapped Tuesday Wednesday night’s Music City Roots program featuring the Dixie Bee-Liners, Kara Clark, Suzi Ragsdale, Christabel and the Jons, and Kim Richey.

    Artists evolve. It’s part of the job description. There’s no alternative really. Like the shark that must keep swimming to breathe, musicians have to develop, at least subtly, to remain relevant. My friends the Dixie Bee-Liners are a perfect example. When I met founders Brandi Hart and Buddy Woodward five or so years ago, they were basically a duo with hired sidemen and a pretty straightforward bluegrass album to their credit. Now they’re a settled, coherent band with an ensemble feeling and a range of new music that truly takes bluegrass music in new and exciting directions.

  • Listen to a new song from Girl Haggard titled “Modern Lovers,” from the album Country and Eastern.
  • If Chet Flippo could send any recorded music collection into outer space to preserve and represent American popular music, he’d choose the new box set Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings … Plus!. He might choose to leave a couple of songs off though:

    There are occasional songs you’ll want to skip after the first time you hear them. Those are the songs that Hank’s wife Audrey insisted on singing. She had convinced herself she was a gifted singer.

  • Here’s the new video for Carrie Underwood‘s song “Mama’s Song.”

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  1. [...] rumors that have surfaced recently, Americana Music Association executive director Jed Hilly said that the Americana Music Festival [...]
  1. Dan E
    September 24, 2010 at 11:12 am

    This was already such a beautiful song to begin with. I believe that the video works really well. It successfully shows the emotions between Carrie and her mother, who does a teriffic job in this video. Hey, she was even given the opening spot in the video. Carrie continues to shine and I always look forward to each release she gives us.

  2. Ben Foster
    September 24, 2010 at 11:17 am

    I’m very curious to hear what musical direction Taylor will take on her third album.

    It looks like the new Dixie Chicks compilation sums up their catalog adaquately. I think I prefer its track selection to that of the Playlist album. I’m glad to see that “Travelin’ Soldier” was included on this one.

    I enjoyed Carrie’s new video. Having not only her mother, but also her husband in the video makes it seem even more authentic in a way. The video fits the song well.

  3. Stormy
    September 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Randy Houser recorded “I’m a Ramblin’ Man” for a Waylon Jennings tribute album that’s in the works and named Jamey Johnson and Sunny Sweeney as participants as well. Way back in December, it was announced that Dierks Bentley recorded “Lonesome, Or’nry and Mean” and that other artists included Trace Adkins, ZZ Top, Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson, Patty Griffin, and Shooter Jennings.

    Another one?

  4. Troy
    September 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

    While Mama’s song wasn’t anywhere near my favorite song on Play On I can see why it was released and the video is very good.

  5. Barry Mazor
    September 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Thumbs up on those Dixie Bee-Liners. Check them out if you haven’t.

  6. PaulaW
    September 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    From the looks of some of the titles on Taylor’s new album, doesnt seem like there’s gonna be much variation on subject matter from most of her previous material. Mine / Dear John / Better Than Revenge / Story Of Us.

  7. Drew
    September 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    She’s arguably the biggest name in popular music right now. Why would she stray from the formula that has brought her so much success? I mean, sure it’s nice to have hopes that her music will evolve and mature, but don’t get too far ahead of yourself with your expectations.

  8. PaulaW
    September 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    No expectations. Just observations.

  9. Rick
    September 24, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Taylor Swift is not going to mess with her hugely successful music making formula unless she faces compelling reasons. Unless her popularity starts to decline rapidly why should she?

    Grant Alden said: “I become increasingly cynical about the nature of our participatory capitalistic democracy. But this show is meant to be apolitical, at least by my standards.” Spoken like a true Obamavoter “useful idiot”. The US was founded as a Constitutional Republic not a democracy, and voter participation was envisioned to be limited to white, male land owners who were the most educated and had the most to lose if they voted in scoundrels (like say Sheik Abdul Obama). Also our economic system is based on the “free enterprise” model with minimal government intrusion while capitalism is a term popularized by Karl Marx in “Das Kapital”. This just reminds me why I never pay any attention to anything Grant Alden writes. Oh by the way Grant, Obama is doing his best to turn this country into a non-participatory socialist thugocracy with help from Obamavoters like you, so don’t fret too much. That’s just pathetic…

    So John Caramanica of the leftist propaganda bastion New York Slimes is playing semantics with the term “outlaw” as it applies to Jamey Johnson eh? On Jamey’s debut album “They Call Me Country” is a song titled “I’m a Rebel”. That description is probably more apt but is likely about as politically correct these days as the Confederate Flag among Obamavoter types. Ultimately who really cares? Crikey!

    Brody, the “Music City Roots” shows are always on Wednesday nights and broadcast on WSM online with an audio/video feed also available at the Music City Roots website. This week it was Kim Richey who stole the show and not the Dixie Bee-Liners, who are expanding their musical horizons into some places that just aren’t that accessible.

  10. Razor X
    September 24, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Rick, WTF does any of this have to do with Taylor Swift??

  11. Jo Jo
    September 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Really excited for the Dixie Chicks album! Love disc 2!
    Also, new Carrie video is great!

  12. Jon
    September 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Geez, Rick, if you’re going to babble about American history and politics it would really help for you to work on getting within waving distance of a fact or two.

  13. Vicki
    September 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Shaun Silva did a great job on Carrie’s Video with such a simple song. It all works great.

  14. luckyoldsun
    September 25, 2010 at 1:32 am

    I don’t know what’s going to set this Waylon tribute album apart. They already did two of them after he died–a “mainstream” tribute on RCA–with artists like John Mellencamp, Kenny Chesny and Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, as well as Shooter– and an “alt country” tribute on Dualtone with artists like Guy Clark and Kris Kristofferson.

    I suppose Jamey Johnson is the big attraction here, but I doubt that will carry it.

  15. Ollie
    September 25, 2010 at 7:32 am

    As for the new Waylon Jennings tribute CD, Patty Griffin has recorded two songs for it and I heard her perform one of them, I Do Believe, this summer when she was touring in support of her Downtown Church album. Hearing her version of this song motivated me to do precisely what a good tribute album should do– search out Waylon Jennings’ original version, and listen to and BUY his own versions of a lot of other songs he wrote or sang. Anyway, the audio quality of this clip doesn’t do justice to Patty Griffin’s version of I Do Believe but you can get a sense of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC95wANFrWY

  16. Jon
    September 25, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I don’t know what’s going to set this Waylon tribute album apart.

    If a listener thinks it has good performances of good songs, why would it need to be set apart?

  17. Barry Mazor
    September 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Because setting things apart tends to produce something more than a yawn when they’re released!

  18. Jon
    September 25, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I hope I never get to the point where good performances of good songs just make me yawn.

  19. Barry Mazor
    September 25, 2010 at 10:47 am

    We’re talking CDs for sale there, suh. And results in aaa tough old world.

  20. Ben Foster
    September 25, 2010 at 10:53 am

    “Rick, WTF does any of this have to do with Taylor Swift??”

    There were three news items on the list that had to do with Taylor.

    While it does seem like Taylor has found a specific formula that works, it seems she may be trying to mature a bit in her perspective (though I’m going to say right now that I don’t have any links or references on that). I’ve also noticed that each of her first two albums seemed to have a sound of its own (the first was more mainstream contemporary country while the second leaned more toward acoustic-based pop), and I don’t really think “Mine” would fit in with either, so I’m curious what kind of sound her new album will have.

  21. Jon
    September 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Well, in that case, I think there’s a distinction to be made between marketing – how do you draw attention to a good record- which I gather is what you’re talking about, and content, which I think is what Luckyoldsun was talking about (“they already did two”).

  22. Leeann Ward
    September 25, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I have the first two Waylon tribute albums and I plan to buy the third as well. Different artists or different songs is enough to gather my interest in a series of tribute albums on one artist if I like the artists’s music.

  23. luckyoldsun
    September 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I like Waylon and I like Mellencamp, but I thought Mellencamp’s take on “I Don’t Think Hank Done It This Way” was one of the more comical things I’ve heard. I guess Mellencamp didn’t want to do a carbon copy, so he changed the stress on just about every line in the song. I thought I was listening to the song about the wrong acCENT on the wrong sylLAble.

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