CMHOF to Open John Prine Exhibit; CMA Awards See Ratings Boost; Drew Kennedy Plays Mountain Stage

Juli Thanki | November 8th, 2013

  • John Prine: It Took Me Years to Get These Souvenirs will open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on November 15. The spotlight exhibit is scheduled to run through May 2014.
  • Kristin Sanders (niece of songwriter Mark D. Sanders) in The Guardian: The Watermelon Queen, Bobbie Joe Gentry, Liza Jane, Fancy: these women were my idols. Some of them were sirens. Some of them were prostitutes. All of them won men’s hearts. As a young girl, I internalized the messages of these songs, tried to mimic their coolness and beauty. Luckily, this was the nineties, so a lot of the songs sung by women were actually empowering. They told about the joy of being a female (“Man, I Feel Like a Woman”), the difficulty of being married (“You Don’t Even Know Who I Am”), and were sometimes even downright feminist (“Guys Do It All The Time”). We had Reba, Wynonna, Trisha, Patty, Martina, Pam – to name a few. I could list dozens more. I grew up listening to these women sing songs that were complex, heartbroken, inspirational, nuanced portraits of womanhood…These women absolutely taught me what it means to be a woman…But I can’t even begin to imagine how current country songs are affecting our nation’s young girls.  
  • Taylor Swift will perform for Prince William and the guests at the Winter White Gala at Kensington Palace later this month. By December she’ll be linked to Prince Harry and/or the royal baby. Swift and her Pinnacle Award win were the subject of an article on The New Yorker site.
  • The music scene in Lyons, Colorado is rebuilding after September’s flooding.
  • Jason Mellard, author of Progressive Country: How the 1970s Transformed the Texan in Popular Culture, compiled a companion playlist for Music Tomes featuring Guy Clark, Doug Sahm, Jerry Jeff Walker, and more.
  • Stephen Deusner interviewed David Bromberg for CMT Edge.
  • Slaid Cleaves wrote an excellent guest post for Saving Country Music. An excerpt: The fact is: lots of people like [mainstream country music].  Lots of people go to Kenny Chesney shows.  I don’t understand why.  And those people probably don’t see what I see in Adam Carroll.  It’s like two different tribes, and each is seeking a different experience.  I wouldn’t pay a dollar to see Kenny Chesney or any other Nashville star.  Likewise, a Kenny Chesney fan would have no fun at all at one of my “listening room” gigs. And no, it doesn’t matter that Clear Channel plays Chesney and not me.  My music doesn’t translate in a mass market situation.  Can you picture me singing in a hockey arena?  My kind of music works in the little local music club and on the community radio station where people present only the music they are passionate about, and the audience fits into a room that’s smaller than Keith Urban’s drum riser.  My music works for people who want a more intimate connection to music, and are more interested in the subtleties of songwriting and the depth of storytelling you can find only in the “artisanal” country music being made today. There’s no reason to despair.  There’s an embarrassment of riches to be found on the edges of commercial music today.
  • Black Country Rock has started counting down the Top 100 Albums in Country Music History.
  • Rolling Stone goes behind the scenes of Thomas Rhett’s new album, It Goes Like This. (warning: autoplay)
  • Drew Kennedy’s first Mountain Stage appearance aired last weekend (remember when he told us about it back in September?); listen here.
  • The Bottle Rockets were featured on The post also includes a stream of the unreleased demo “This Is What It Sounds Like When You’re Listening to Lindsey Buckingham and Thinking About Your Friend’s Girlfriend at the Same Time.”
  • NBC released another teaser for The Sound of Music Live, starring Carrie Underwood.
  • Will Hoge in The Chicago Sun-Times: “I use my wife and kids as a barometer of what’s going on in my career at the moment…Between my wife’s excitement and my kids’ apathy, I think I get a good feel of how most of the country feels about my music.”
  • Viewership of this year’s CMA Awards was “up 24 percent…with an average 4.7 rating among adults 18-49. That was enough to score an easy nightly win for the network in both the key demo and total viewers. ABC saw the show rise to a four-year best with 16.6 million viewers, according to fast national returns.”
  • Out January 14: This is Lone Justice – The Vaught Tapes, 1983. 
  1. TX Music Jim
    November 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Slaid Cleaves guest post on Saving Country Music was spot on ! They way he discribed the differences of their being 2 tribes was insightful. He’s right, I appreciate his music very much and it is best heard in a listening room versus a large venue. Most mainstream country fans would not appreciate his music or his performance. I’m just glad there is a large enough market out there to support an alternative to the mainstream. However there are a handful of werido’s like me who can appreciate the spectacle of a sold out Buffett stadium gig with all the insane carnival aspects of that scene and just as much be at home and appreciate it the beauty of a listening room accoustic gig.

  2. nm
    November 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I dunno … if Cleaves really wouldn’t pay to hear any Nashville star he’s gonna miss George Strait, and Miranda Lambert, and a bunch of other good artists. There’s a lot of dreck coming out of Nashville, it’s true, but there’s a lot of dreck in local scenes as well.

    I like a ton of little acts, and I like quite a few big ones. I’m more likely to go out to hear a show in a smaller venue, but that’s about sound quality more than anything else. I’m not particularly convinced by the “two tribes” idea.

  3. TX Music Jim
    November 8, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I tend to think there is a large element that fits into “one tribe or the other” simply because they are only sxposed to corporate radio i.e. clear channel.

  4. Both Kinds of Music
    November 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Have you seen the lineup for Stagecoach ( It’s this truly strange two tribes offering that caters to the traditional crowd until about 8pm, at which point the grounds will actually flip to reveal the mainstream country radio crowd.

    The transition line is so stark that the crossover potential between the two feels like it could only be about 10%.

  5. TX Music Jim
    November 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Interesting observation that festival presents a cross section of mainstream, classic and Americana acts for sure. From a promoter standpoint why not try and bring in everybody.

  6. BRUCE
    November 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Hey Stagecoach, who the hell is Seldon Scene? Now Seldom Scene I know.

  7. Both Kinds of Music
    November 8, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Funny, I told them earlier today it was Crystal Gayle and not Crystal Gale.

    I’m all for getting Jonny Fritz and the Black Lillies in front of more eyes. If there are fans of Aldean, Church et al who see there’s more out there (and accept it vs thinking it’s too country), it can’t hurt.

  8. Donald
    November 9, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    “Two Tribes.” First mention of a Frankie Goes to Hollywood song on the 145.

    After lending numerous ‘country music’ listening friends albums by Tom Russell, Fred Eaglesmith, Emmylou, Newgrass Revival, Dale Ann Bradley, Katy Moffat, The Bottle Rockets, Alejandro, and the like, the empirical anecdotal data suggests 2/10 are open to appreciating and listening (and being converted) to the alt.whatever/Americana music I -as a member of the second tribe- adore, but absolutely no one is open to bluegrass conversion. Bluegrass, for some reason, seems to be something folks need to discover on their own, without outside influence.

    Two tribes makes as much sense as anything I’ve heard to explain how otherwise fairly reasonable music loving folks appreciate mainstream country music over the obviously superior music I favour.

    Exposure only goes so far. I do believe we may be wired differently when it comes to personal taste. Imagine.

    BTW- Slaid Cleaves is pert near awesome.

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