Charley Pride Joins White House Lineup; Jack Ingram Schedules ‘Big Dreams'; New Releases

Brody Vercher | July 21st, 2009

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  2. [...] his News Roundup on Tuesday, Brody noted Craig Havighurst, author of Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City, [...]
  1. Kelly
    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I cant help but continue to think that Lefsetz is out of his league when he babbles about country music…

  2. Jon
    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    “Friends Of Old Time Music” sure aren’t friends to the songwriters whose songs they’re posting without, to the best of my knowledge, paying any mechanicals on – and yes, some of the major ones represented on those albums, notably the great Paul Williams, are not only still living, but still working. And the material on the two albums mentioned today and the one mentioned yesterday are all available on the excellent – and legal – Bear Family Jimmy Martin boxed set. If Jimmy was still alive, I imagine he’d be hunting them down and getting ready to kick their asses right about now.

    A thoughtful piece, as always, from my buddy Craig Havighurst.

    The Skaggs reissue is of an outstanding record, though in its day it was derided as “slick,” “over-produced,” etc. by the same kinds of folks who toss those characterizations around with respect to today’s mainstream country releases. Plus ca change…

  3. Sam G
    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am

    “They covered “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Boys Of Summer”. If AC/DC were starting off today would they have to go country? The Eagles ARE country.”

    He says that as if it’s a good thing.

  4. Rick
    July 21, 2009 at 11:39 am

    So Scott Borchetta did sign Fast Ryde! Arrgghh! Well, he does have a real sense of the marketplace though based upon the MediaBase Most Added Singles at country radio this week:
    1) Toby Keith/American Ride -(29 Adds)
    2) Keith Urban/Only You Can Love Me This Way -(21)
    3) Tim McGraw/It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You – (17)
    4) Sugarland/Joey – (14)
    5) Zac Brown Band/Toes – (14)
    6) Brad Paisley/Welcome To The Future – (11)
    7) Fast Ryde/That Thang – (11)

    Craig Havighurst’s response makes a whole lot more sense than the Tennessean’s convoluted take on country music crushing Nashville’s musical creativity.

    I don’t grasp this fascination country fans have with the rantings of Bob Lefsetz as it seems to me he is always going off half cocked…

  5. Larry Kerflapowitz
    July 21, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I’ve long held the opinion that while Lefsetz brings some good ideas to the table when it comes to the music business and it’s many models, his actual taste in music is abhorrent, and his opinions on said music are equally so.

    Except for the one time he mentioned Walt Wilkins and Jason Eady. I think that was a ghost writer, though. He was probably on vacation.

    It seems to me that he’s most at home in an arena, with 20,000 people in the audience (as long as he has his backstage pass, cue Rodney Crowell), so perhaps his leanings towards intellectually thin, melodically pleasing music shouldn’t wear on me as much as it does.

    But it DOES.

  6. Brady Vercher
    July 21, 2009 at 11:45 am

    That Lorne Greene package has way more than just The Man on it, which makes it a little more enticing. I already have all the material from vinyl, but the remastered copies might be nice and the booklet sounds cool.

  7. Jon
    July 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    “Listen to “Long Gone Long Forgotten” from Ethyl & the Regulars, a band Songs:Illinois says serves up some of the best honky-tonk on the East Coast.”

    I did, and now I wish I hadn’t. There’s gotta be better honky-tonk on the East Coast than that. Did it sound amateurish almost beyond belief? It did.

  8. Jon
    July 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    And besides, since when is Denver on the East Coast?!

  9. Nicolas
    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    As with Jessica Harp, this makes me excited for Michelle Branch’s new solo country record. This debut single is awesome! =)

  10. Jeff
    July 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of Sugarland!!!

  11. Jim C
    July 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Lefsetz needs to put down the bong.

  12. Cardsgal
    July 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    I watched streaming video of this afternoon’s Country Music Workshop at the White House. Jay Orr was a perfect choice to facilitate the discussion, and Alison Krauss, as usual, was amusing, touching and insightful. Brad Paisley, on the other hand, once again made me ask myself, “Why is this man a star?” “Letter to Me,” which he performed, is as cliche-ridden and hackneyed a piece of work as I’ve heard in a long time. He’s personable enough; is that all we require of “stars” these days?

  13. Leeann Ward
    July 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Ha. Brad should’ve done “Ticks.”

  14. J.R. Journey
    July 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I hope the Sonny and Cher reference works all the way out for Sugarland.

  15. Jon
    July 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    “Jay Orr was a perfect choice to facilitate the discussion, and Alison Krauss, as usual, was amusing, touching and insightful. Brad Paisley, on the other hand, once again made me ask myself, “Why is this man a star?” ”

    You might ask Jay and/or the amusing, touching and insightful Alison, both of whom are fans.

    Regrettably, I missed Alison’n’em’s set at the White House, but caught both Paisley’s – which I thought was excellent and well-chosen – and Charley Pride’s, which was also mighty fine (big props to Paisley’s band for the excellent, knowledgeable backing). And Eddie Stubbs was on fire!

  16. Stormy
    July 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Show of hands, how many people just downloaded Ringo?

    Show of hands two, how many people read Ringo instantly thought “Ringooo” in a deep voice?

  17. Leeann Ward
    July 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Cardsgal,
    I actually think “Letter to Me” was probably very appropriate for the event. It’s not one of my favorites, mostly because of melody, but I definitely don’t think it’s cliche ridden and hackneyed. I can think of many, many other songs that fit that bill much more. He’s definitely talented, even if he’s not everyone’s taste.

  18. Vicki
    July 21, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Watch out country artists…bringing out your album in late fall or early Dec is a dangerous no win time. Taylor will be bringing out the new “Deluxe Fearless” album..just in time for Christmas. Ho! Ho! CRAP!

  19. Nicolas
    July 22, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I don’t think Carrie Underwood’s third album will have to worry about a Fall release =)

  20. Cardsgal
    July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I stand by my statement. A ‘Skoal can’ and a ‘Playboy under the bed’ scream cliche to me. As I said, Paisley’s certainly a likable enough fellow…

  21. Leeann Ward
    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    When I think about it, it was probably actually a really good song to sing at a workshop for high school kids. At least he and Alison got to do “Whiskey Lullaby” that night. I wasn’t sure if they would…and it’s really cool that he got to do “Welcome to the Future” in front of the catalyst for the song.

  22. Kelly
    July 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Just wanted to put in a good word for Ethyl and the Regulars. I’m a big fan and their debut album “Fill ‘er Up” is a fine record showcasing the band’s talent and songwriting. EAR is your basic bar/honky tonk band with pronounced retro leanings. Despite a low budget they have put out a good sounding roots oriented record featuring lots of steel and fiddle, nice harmonies and fun songs that recall 50’s – 60’s style western swing, rockabilly and country recordings. I did not find it “amateurish almost beyond belief” and feel that is a hasty and useless assesment unless we have intimate knowlege of the opiner’s definition of “professional”. For those who esteem the values of country music prior to the Cosmopolitanization era, you might want to give this record a listen.

  23. Jon
    July 28, 2009 at 11:33 am

    ” I did not find it “amateurish almost beyond belief” and feel that is a hasty and useless assesment unless we have intimate knowlege of the opiner’s definition of “professional”. For those who esteem the values of country music prior to the Cosmopolitanization era, you might want to give this record a listen.”

    Professional: able to play and sing with some degree of real proficiency. And contra what some folks – too many -seem to believe, a commitment to doing that was, in fact, part and parcel of “the values of country music prior to the Cosmopolitanization era.” It’s characteristic of virtually every musician who had any degree of success, from Eck Robertson to the Carter Family to Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies to the Monroe Brothers to Hank Williams & The Drifting Cowboys to Flatt & Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys. The notion that “country” or “rural” or “old-time” = amateurish is unsupported by the history of the music.

  24. Kelly (KAM)
    July 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Sorry, I see that there is another Kelly already posting here and wanted to clarify that I am new to this forum. I will submit any further posts under the name of KAM.

    Thanks for the clarification Jon. I simply disagree with the opinion that Ethyl and the Regulars do not play and sing with some degree of real proficiency. I do agree completely that “The notion that “country” or “rural” or “old-time” = amateurish is unsupported by the history of the music.”

  25. Ethyl
    August 1, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Jon/Simon Cowell!
    Thanks for your insight, I’ll just put away my guitar now and save myself future embarrassment. Where might one find one of your chart-topping CDs? I promise I’ll give it a fair listen. However, I suspect you’re a self proclaimed aficionado, not a musician.
    Of course you’re entitled to your opinion (and I’ll be the first to admit that our debut has some rough edges), but I don’t believe only established artists should release records. Amateurish beyond belief? That’s very elitist of you, kinda sets the tone as how serious anyone should take your opinion. Maybe you’d care to hear the entire CD? You might still feel it’s amateurish, but at least you’d have a little more creditability on which to base such a claim. Drop a line in our email (go to http://www.ethylandtheregulars.com) with an address and I’ll send you a copy. I have to hurry now to get to tonight’s gig. Lot’s of people are paying to see us play. Wow, I guess we are professional!
    Respectfully,
    Hank

  26. Jay Allen
    August 3, 2009 at 1:45 am

    (Re: Jon’s comments on Ethyl and the Regulars)

    Wow Jon. When I read your initial comments on “Long Gone Long Forgotten” by Ethyl and the Regulars I though you were way off. I’ve been to a few of their shows and I have to say they really pack the folks in the clubs and pretty much rock the place all night long. I couldn’t understand why you were so harsh on them. Although I should’ve figured it out by your universally annoying ‘ask yourself a question and then answer it’ style of commentary. But then when I saw your post from 7/28 where you pontifficate ad-nauseum about what a professional level of performance is that I really got a sense of what you’re all about. Then you go on to mention some of country music’s all-time greatest performers as examples of professional levels of performance. All Ethyl and the regulars did was release a CD, not compare themselves to some of history’s greatest performers. Although I can only surmise that you likely compare yourself to the greats and are delusional enough to consider yourself in that league. Am I right about that? I probably am.
    R.J.F.

  27. Jon
    August 4, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Look, it’s not unreasonable to think that an artist would be posting what he or she believes to be the strongest representation of his or her music to MySpace, which is where I listened to the music in question, so I don’t think that getting the entire CD is likely to change my opinion much. And the “ask yourself a question and then answer it” thing was a reference to the review here of Blaine Larsen’s “It Did,” posted on the same day, so while someone who just stopped by The9513 to defend a favorite artist probably wouldn’t get that, a regular reader probably would.

    As for being “elitist,” I think not – that is to say, what I offered is no more “elitist” than it would be to point out that Kix Brooks’ guitar playing isn’t on a par with Tony Rice’s; you may disagree, but it’s not elitist to say so. And by the way, I have a hard time believing that either of you guys really subscribe to the notion that popularity is a good measure of musical quality. If Ethyl And The Regulars are packing in the crowds, good for them – but again, that doesn’t change my opinion of the level of competence displayed on their recordings.

    No, I’m not just a music aficionado (not that there’s anything wrong with being a knowledgeable fan), and yes, I make my living playing music and writing songs (you can hear most of my non-chart-topping CD by clicking on my name, BTW), but I don’t compare myself to the greats, except to my own detriment. And the point wasn’t that they’re greats, but that even though their styles sometimes sound primitive in comparison to today’s levels of virtuosity, they were profoundly committed to their craft.

    Still, the greats are the only solid standard I can think of by which a good musician working in a genre where tradition counts should evaluate his or her own music, Ethyl, and I have a hard time believing that if you and the rest of your band were using that yardstick, you’d have been satisfied with what you put out. Because to my ear, it not only doesn’t match the greats, it doesn’t match the journeymen, either. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. I’ll be interested to see if and by how much y’all improve on future projects; it’s been known to happen with others.

  28. TW
    August 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    As a member of Ethyl, a fellow songwriter, musician, lover of traditional American music and a believer in fair play, I have resisted the temptation to weigh in, up until now. At this point, however, I have had my fill of this shameless condecension (“I’ll be interested to see if and by how much y’all improve on future projects; it’s been known to happen with others”).

    There is a saying about people that live in glass houses, Jon. After listening to your myspace offering, I would not do your music the disservice of dismissing it in the smug and callous manner in which you did ours. In fact I don’t really find much to comment on at all, other than the musicians are all very capable, the songs grossly self important and severely deficient in both humor and personality. Judging from the morose pinings of the material I gather it must suck to be you, hence your insecure, self righteous propensity for taking safe cyber potshots at musicians and writers you clearly consider inferior (read “amateurish”) to your grandiose self. That notwithstanding, I’m sure a lot of folks enjoy your music and after all is said and done here, that is what it’s all about, so more power to you. Thanks to our fans for sticking up for us – we appreciate you.
    Tim Whitlock
    Ethyl and the Regulars

  29. Chris N.
    August 4, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    “As for being ‘elitist,’ I think not.”

    LOL

  30. Andrew Lacy
    August 4, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Judging from the morose pinings of the material I gather it must suck to be you, hence your insecure, self righteous propensity for taking safe cyber potshots at musicians and writers you clearly consider inferior (read “amateurish”) to your grandiose self.

    WIN

    I have to give this band a second look just on the strength of that comeback.

  31. Jon
    August 5, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    “I would not do your music the disservice of dismissing it in the smug and callous manner in which you did ours. In fact I don’t really find much to comment on at all, other than the musicians are all very capable, the songs grossly self important and severely deficient in both humor and personality. Judging from the morose pinings of the material I gather it must suck to be you, hence your insecure, self righteous propensity for taking safe cyber potshots at musicians and writers you clearly consider inferior (read “amateurish”) to your grandiose self.”

    Glad you didn’t dismiss it in a smug and condescending manner; I hate to think what you might have written then. As for “morose pinings,” I’m guessing you’re not very familiar with bluegrass.

    But really, I don’t much care what you think of my CD; some folks are bound not to like it, and any musician who releases an album or performs in public ought to go into it knowing that not everyone will be a fan, and ought not get their shorts all in a wad when evidence to that effect surfaces. Where this started was with my disbelief that some jazzbo called this album “some of the best honky tonk served up on the East Coast,” and – the geographical error aside – I just don’t see it. Not even close.

  32. Jay Allen
    August 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    “Glad you didn’t dismiss it in a smug and condescending manner; I hate to think what you might have written then. As for “morose pinings,” I’m guessing you’re not very familiar with bluegrass.”

    Sounds like your panties are bunching up on you now.

    It would seem that for someone who obviously considers themself a professional musician and apparently also a music critic of sorts, that offering some semblance of an intelligent take on a track/CD/Band that you heard would support your claim to professionalism much better than a dissmissive insult. I find it entertaining that you think people are put-off because you posted an opinion – it’s that you post insults, and then try to back it up with a bunch of drivel. (I don’t know why I just put a period there, I’m sure you’ll want the last word)
    R.J.F.

  33. Jon
    August 7, 2009 at 4:37 am

    “‘Glad you didn’t dismiss it in a smug and condescending manner; I hate to think what you might have written then. As for “morose pinings,” I’m guessing you’re not very familiar with bluegrass.’

    Sounds like your panties are bunching up on you now.”

    Naw, I just thought that was a pretty funny thing to say about a set of bluegrass songs.

  34. Chris N.
    August 7, 2009 at 11:55 am

    It’s like watching a fight between Statler and Waldorf.

  35. SANDY G
    August 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Dear JON –

    I read this thread awhile ago, and was curious about what you and others had to say about Ethyl & The Regulars. Not willing to just take anyone’s word for it, I went to see Ethyl & The Regulars for myself. All I can say is “thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!” It was the best gift that you NEVER intended to give to me!!!

    Ethyl & The Regulars is one of the best bands that I have heard in years! I found them to be very professional and skilled musicians. Their vocals and harmonies are top notch. Their sound is full and rich, and their songs are infectious. They are a very popular, crowd pleasing band that played so smokin’ hot that people could not stay in their chairs!

    After hearing them play, I bought their Fill Er Up CD, and I LOVE it! I have played it, and played it, but I never could figure out what you thought was wrong with it. I started asking others to listen to it. I have been playing it for every friend I have, at several local honky-tonks, at every party I go to, and especially for every band and musician I know. So far, no one can hear anything wrong with it. I just keep getting asked where the CD can be purchased, and where Ethyl & The Regulars will be playing.

    The only thing that we can find wrong with the Ethyl & The Regulars Fill Er Up CD, is that it is not a two CD set!

    So, dear JON – I am glad that you voiced your opinion about Ethyl & The Regulars, or else a lot of people would not have found them. In this case, I must conclude that the advice my parents gave me was very good advice. They always told me:

    “Opinions are like a__holes…. everybody has one!”

  36. Jon
    August 29, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    “After hearing them play, I bought their Fill Er Up CD, and I LOVE it!”

    Well, there you go.

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