CMA Songwriters Series Returns to UK; Jo Dee Messina, Curb Records Split; New Kix Brooks Video

Juli Thanki | December 12th, 2012

  • Letters of Note posted two notes Johnny Cash wrote: one to June Carter Cash in 1994, and one he wrote after her death in 2003.
  • Albert King and Randy Newman are among the 2013 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Punch Brothers are on the This is 40 soundtrack backing acts like Norah Jones and Wilco.
  • Tonight’s String Fever benefit concert in Nashville boasts a pretty impressive lineup, with Steve WarinerJohn JorgensonMarty Stuart, and more guitarists scheduled to play.
  • WAMU’s Bluegrass Country posted some in-studio video of Della Mae playing “Paper Prince.”
  • Steven Hyden of The A.V. Club takes a look back at Jimmy Buffett’s 2004 album License to ChillI don’t want to give License To Chill too much credit. (It is a record named License To Chill after all.) It’s still a transparently opportunistic attempt to capitalize on the fame of Buffett’s co-stars. But it appears that Buffett at least tried to re-engage with the music he started out his career playing, and he does successfully work some of those old, un-used muscles again. I wish his collaboration with George Strait on the standard “Sea Of Heartbreak” kicked a little more ass (a la Johnny Cash’s version with Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers on 1996’s Unchained), and the jokey “Simply Complicated” leans on Jerry Springer references that were dated even in 2004. But there are large swaths of License To Chill that are pretty tolerable, particularly the pleasant likes of “Coast Of Carolina” and “Window On The World.” Purists might scoff at the idea that Buffett has become as much a touchstone for new country singers as Johnny Cash. But with License To Chill, Buffett pretty much made his case. Not only was the album his biggest hit in years, it attracted three other country artists—Chesney, Jackson, and Strait—who also had No. 1 albums in 2004. In his own way, Buffett personifies all the old clichés about country legends: He’s been around forever, he sings a lot about drinking, and he’s stubbornly forged his own path, living the kind of life that most people only dream about—or turn to country songs to live vicariously. Buffett came to Nashville as an outsider, but more than 30 years later he had become a paragon of the establishment.
  • Jo Dee Messina and Curb Records have parted ways. Messina is working on an album of new material for release in 2013.
  • Give a listen to a couple new songs from LeAnn Rimes.
  • In late February, the CMA Songwriters Series will head across the Atlantic once more. Kristian BushBrett JamesChris Young, and Bob DiPiero will perform in Belfast, Dublin, and London.
  • Louisville native Sid Griffin of London-based “alt-bluegrass” band The Coal Porters was featured on LEOWeekly.com. Griffin’s thoughts on the British Americana scene: “There is a small scene for American roots music in England, but not nearly as big as Americans think. Not nearly,” he says. “All these folks come over to tour here or live here three months and think they can break it like Hendrix did by coming over in September ’66 … but that so rarely works.”Griffin has seen other Yanks draw a crowd in London and think they’re on the way up. “Then they do a tour, and in Glasgow they draw 35, in Birmingham they draw 20, and in Newcastle upon Tyne they draw 15. I mean, it is tough out there.” Even Dolly Parton has trouble playing in England outside London, he notes.“I think The Coal Porters stand out here as we have never thrown in the towel, and hence have a good reputation building up under us,” Griffin says. They were featured recently on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and on BBC Radio 2. “Certainly we are known for having an American in the band … I reckon we are about the only British ‘Americana’ act with an actual American in the ensemble. Which makes me laugh.”
  • Taylor Swift will celebrate her 23rd birthday tomorrow by premiering her new video, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” on MTV.
  • Jason Aldean’s interested in dabbling in acting.
  • Jewly Hight chats with Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers for CMT Edge.
  • AP music writer Chris Talbott wrote a feature on the music of Nashville, which has been as much of a star as any of the show’s actors: Buddy Miller says these days it’s not unusual for duet partners to cut their love songs syllable by syllable while never even seeing each other: “In this town especially that’s what happens.” That’s why the veteran Music City producer and band leader was so astounded by what he witnessed in the early days of working on the music for the television show “Nashville.” He was nervous about his session with Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio because their song “If I Didn’t Know Better,” written by John Paul White of The Civil Wars and Arum Rae, was challenging and served as a pivotal moment in the pilot. It had to be right, and that depended on the young actors being able to pull it off. “They didn’t know they didn’t have to memorize the song or look each other in the eyes when you’re singing a love song,” Miller said. “For those two who’d never sung in a studio before to go in there, look each other in the eyes with the song memorized and sing the song, I had goose bumps and so did everybody else in the room. … That had a whole lot more soul in it than most of the stuff that gets cut in this town.”
  1. Ken Morton, Jr.
    December 12, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I’m thrilled to hear that Messina has finally rid herself of that awful Curb contract situation. What they did to her career should be a crime. Her five albums for the label all were certified gold or platinum and she had number one hits on the last four- and then they just sat on her for seven years.

  2. Rick
    December 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Ken, at least Jo Dee had some albums released by the CURB label. Amy Dalley, the original Bomshel with Buffy Lawson, and Star De Azlan weren’t so lucky…

    Last night I had the privilege of seeing the screening of the top notch Jim Lauderdale bio film “The King of Broken Hearts” at the Grammy Museum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. I also got the chance to meet 22 year old Aussie wunderkind (and Engine 145 participant) Jeremy Dylan in person who produced and directed the documentary and also runs his own video production house down under. There was a Q&A session with both Jim and Jeremy after the screening and Jim also sang a couple of songs including the powerful new track “Iodine”. The most touching moment came when the Grammy Museum interviewer asked Jim what his friendship and long musical association with Buddy Miller meant to him. Jim was so overwhelmed with emotion he wasn’t able to even utter a word for what seemed like a minute or more. When Jim was finally able to speak he said that Buddy had literally saved his life on multiple occasions. The “King of Broken Hearts” will make anyone who watches with even a slight interest in country or Americana music a fan of Jim Lauderdale by the film’s end. One of the audience members even apologized to Jim after the screening for not knowing who he was beforehand! That reaction surely brought a smile to Jeremy’s face as the film is designed to help Jim earn the widespread recognition he deserves above and beyond the Americana music community.

    And speaking of Jim Lauderdale, tonight’s Music City Roots will feature: Annabelle’s Curse, Paul McDonald, Langhorne Slim, Bill Mize, and Michael Supe Granda. Grade: Unknown!(?) (lol)
    Link: http://musiccityroots.com/shows

  3. luckyoldsun
    December 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    “Aussie wunderkind”??

    And here I thought he was Dylan’s grandson.

  4. Rick
    December 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Here’s an article on Kacey Musgraves being named a “Lift” artist(?) be the VEVO folks that slipped through the cracks at Engine145:

    http://www.countrystandardtime.com/news/newsitem.asp?xid=6821

    So Kacey is the first country artist to get this promotional push at VEVO eh? All I can say is “Go Kacey”! (lol)

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