One lesser-mentioned Ray Price life and career accomplishment to celebrate and remember now is that he came to be able to say “yes.” There are fans, to this day, who will go to great lengths to tell you how much they honor shuffle king Ray’s driving 1950s hits, the likes of “My Shoes Keep Walking […]
You’ve probably seen, hanging in some dive bar or hardware store or rec room, one of those signs that reads “There’s no other place exactly like this place anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.” Well, place matters in roots music—and not just by that process of elimination. Recent events, talks and […]
All things considered (and with Merle there’s a lot to consider) it seems to me that there’s no one in the long, wide story of country music who’s proved to have been more gifted or contributed more to it over time than Merle Haggard—as songwriter, singer, bandleader, record maker, and champion of musical heroes. For […]
You may have figured you’d never see those two names together in any headline of any sort ever. Well, today’s the day. It’s not just timing that connects them—though a retrospective exhibit on Ms. McEntire’s entire career self-presentation, Reba: All the Women I Am, has just opened at the Country Hall here, and Mr. Fulks […]
Labels large and small have opted for highly seasonal release calendars that have a slew of new records coming out between mid-August and mid-September, like school lunchboxes. So I’m taking this column to offer some quick views and previews of several handfuls I’ve found notable. (“CDs” doesn’t nail it any more, and “releases” is giving […]
I’m out there in the audience a lot, and, for me, the ideal performance situation is a relatively intimate one in which it’s possible to pick up on what the singer or instrumentalist is doing up there, even feeling up there, right now. For me, that adds even more dimensions to the sense of truly […]
That the Darius Rucker version of “Wagon Wheel” reached Number One on country radio this month is something that should not go unexplored on the roots watch. How the song came to be there can tell us as much, and maybe more, about the practical interaction of roots music and pop, of blues and country, […]
A look at some new books, albums and a broadcast that look at where we’ve been to show us where we are: Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches and Encounters, edited by Jeff Burger. Those of us who interview and profile performers for articles concerning what they do sometimes get, and occasionally deserve, credit for pulling […]
The impossible to miss excitement this spring, within country music and in the wider pop music world, too, around the strong, risk-taking, breath-of-fresh-air releases from Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe raises anew some longstanding questions about the relative effects on music makers of being relatively unnoticed. Okay; neither of them were in fact music business […]
I’ve been traveling through the intersection of Roots and Pop for, well, a long time now, but the artists who speed right through the yellow and red lights have never stopped grabbing my attention. Are they doing that on purpose? By accident? Unaware there’s an intersection–even if it’s a backed-up, jammed up intersection? Or maybe […]
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …