CMHOF Sets Attendance Record; Lucinda Williams Preps New Releases; Archer Goes Country

Juli Thanki | January 17th, 2014

  • “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Tim McGraw” were all mentioned in Mental Floss’ video of “33 Fascinating Songwriting Stories.”
  • CMT Edge posted an interview with Laura Cantrell as well as a track from her new album, No Way There From Here. 
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum set a new attendance record for the third consecutive year. In 2013, the HOF welcomed 668,577 visitors, an 18.4% increase over 2012’s numbers.
  • Jennifer Nettles on the type of songs she prefers: “I like to be drawn in intimately and then punched in the face.”
  • Our buddy Kelly Dearmore wrote a feature on Whiskey Myers.
  • Lucinda Williams is finishing up a new studio album tentatively scheduled for release in June. Williams tells Rolling Stone that she cut enough songs to release multiple albums.
  • In yesterday’s roundup, we mentioned that animated series Archer has gone country. The A.V. Club has a few more details, including info about the show’s forthcoming album release. Between Archer, Sons of Anarchy, and Justified, FX might be the most country-friendly channel out there (sorry, CMT).
  • Peter Cooper wrote a fine column on author Peter Guralnick.
  • Jason Isbell on songwriting: “I try really hard to write lyrics that have meaning to me. And if they mean something to me, they mean something to other people. When I write serious stuff, I don’t try to pander to people or rile up the crowd with contemporary imagery with country keywords. I just really try to tell the truth to people. And when you do that, they recognize you as someone who is not trying to patronize. If you tell people the truth, it’s going to relate to them, because we all have the same problems. In English class, they tell you there are only three stories in life, but I think there is really only one – will you empathize with me? That’s what any novel or song or movie is really saying – will you listen to me, will you try to feel like I do?”  
  • VH1 series Rock Docs is returning this year. Upcoming documentary subjects include Sharon Jones and the founders of Napster.
  • A two-disc Jackson Browne tribute featuring Lyle Lovett, Sean and Sara Watkins, JD Souther, and more will be released April 1. Give a listen to the album’s opening song, Don Henley and Blind Pilot’s rendition of “These Days.”
  • The 2014 Musicians Hall of Fame Awards Show and Induction Ceremony is scheduled for January 28.
  • Jo Dee Messina’s Kickstarter-funded album, Me, will be released March 18. (via press release)
  • Here’s a fine interview with octogenarian bluesman Leo Welch.
  • Jerry Ragovoy penned “I’m Gonna Rock My Way to Heaven” for Janis Joplin, who passed away before she had the chance to record it. Rolling Stone premiered a recording of the song by Mary Bridget Davies, who plays the titular character in Broadway show A Night with Janis Joplin.
  • Out March 25: Carlene Carter’s Carter Girl. Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, and Elizabeth Cook are among the guest stars who appear on the album.


  1. Blake Boldt
    January 17, 2014 at 10:10 am

    So Jennifer Nettles likes Martina McBride songs.

  2. mrsandydog
    January 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    “So Jennifer Nettles likes Martina McBride songs.” I was thinking Brandi Carlile songs.

  3. Janice Brooks
    January 17, 2014 at 10:42 am

    As for Peter Guralnick Look up those books if you don’t have them.

  4. nm
    January 17, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Whatever happened to the record Carlene Carter said she was going to do of her father’s songs? Not that the one coming up sounds like a bad thing, but I woulda liked to hear her take on some Carl Smith material.

  5. CraigR.
    January 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Kelly Willis singing ” Harper Valley PTA”- could my Friday get any better.

    Jason Isbell is such a master class. Too bad there no rooms overcrowded with Kelly Willis and Jason Isbell.

  6. Rick
    January 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Hey NM, I’m with you on a Carlene tribute to poppa Carl Smith. Carlene’s take on “You Are The One” from Carlene’s 1990 album “I Fell In Love” is top notch. Of course she’d need to hire Albert Lee for the project and she better hurray as he’s no spring chicken! (lol)

    If Kelly Willis could lose the warble and stay mostly on pitch I might consider becoming a fan. What? It’s never going to happen? Oh well…

    So Kelly Dearmore likes Whiskey Myers eh? Excellent, yet another new artist I won’t have to make an effort to listen to! Thanks Kelly!

    I hear Jennifer Nettles is a front-runner to be among the first artists to inducted into the uncoming “Country Music’s Biggest Ego’s of All Time Hall of Fame”. Congratulations Jennifer!

  7. Paul W Dennis
    January 18, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Peter Guralnick wrote the best bios of Elvis, bar none

    I second the notion of Carlene Carter recording an album of her Daddy’s songs. Carl Smith is all but forgotten and was one of the greatest country stars of the 1950s, behind only Webb Pierce, Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow and head of Johnny Cash & Ray Price

    I really like Kelly Willis but I’ll take Jeannie C Riley any day when it comes to “Harper Valley PTA”

    The Mental Floss video was fun, if a bit superficial

  8. BRUCE
    January 18, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Kelly Willis, “Harper Valley PTA”, pure pleasure.

  9. Luckyoldsun
    January 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    PWD–I don’t think Kelly would disagree. Her performance strikes me as a tribute–and a good one–to J.C. Riley.

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