There’s much that all genres and sub-genres along the American roots music space-time continuum have in common, from the most overtly pop and polished mainstream country to the most obscure flavor of traditional regional folklore or edgy roots rock. Inevitably, their fans have much in common, too—most basically, enjoying hearing favored artists take their […]
Back when I was researching and writing my book Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, at least one friend misheard what I was doing and thought I was dedicating years of work to Kenny Rogers. There were a lot of polite, puzzled “Is that so’s” and ‘How ’bout that’s.” These two artists strike so many people as so very different that they […]
Pulling off a musical biography well is not easy. Trust me; I’m spending much of my own time these days working on one, (on roots music A&R and publishing pioneer Ralph Peer). From short profile articles to full-length books, there are questions for the writer—focus, depth, audience, and how to go about it. I have […]
Country fans have long since noticed (and sometimes complained) that the ACM and CMA awards shows feature pretty much the same star acts and hits of the year. That was hardly the case back in the mid-1960s, as pointed out in the Country Hall of Fame and Museum’s major new exhibition, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, […]
Keeping up with the sheer volume of new releases that might be of interest to people reading this column is always a challenge, practically impossible, and while I don’t plan to do it often, I figure that one way to play some catch-up here is just to line up some brief comments on recent releases […]
Owen and Harold Bradley’s Quonset Hut, the first Music Row studio, was a place where, circa 1966, Tammy Wynette could be recording her breakthrough “Apartment #9” in one room, and Bob Dylan recording cuts from Blonde on Blonde in another, while an unknown named Kristofferson emptied the ashtrays for both. But then, people tend to forget that […]
If you’re fundamentally or primarily a fan of country music, or Americana, or bluegrass, as many reading these words will be, you might well not be familiar with the name “Janiva Magness.” (For one thing, her first name’s pronounced JAN-i-vah, more like “Canada” than “Geneva.”) This, separate genre worlds being what they are, despite the […]
Pssst. I have some shocking news to reveal: For some time, apparently, there have been some points along the roots music spectrum where the talent to amuse is commonly relegated to secondary status as less significant, less special, and even less demanding of technical proficiency than bringing audiences to tears, working them into a lather, […]
It’s beyond me when a new “musical year” begins these days, but happy New Year. The start of a new calendar year here in Nashville does have a certain distinctive local flavor to it; performers who’ve been out on the road, suddenly back home for a Christmastime break, show up at events and get-togethers around […]
Working as I do in both journalism and music history, from time to time I’ve had the opportunity (and also the working need, truthfully) to interview the immediate families of some of country and roots music’s most celebrated figures, sometimes getting to know them outside of that defined situation. It occurs to me again and […]
- 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...