Carrie Underwood Releases New Video; Americana Festival Moving to Austin?; Randy Houser Records for Waylon Tribute
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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)
- 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.
- No Depression’s Grant Alden created a playlist of songs about hard times.
- Craig Havighurst recapped
TuesdayWednesday 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.”
- 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...