CMT Music Awards Winners; Free Tift Merritt Download; Ernest Tubb Record Shops Celebrate 65th Anniversary

Juli Thanki | June 7th, 2012

  • Thompson Square, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Scotty McCreery, and Lady Antebellum took home buckles at last night’s CMT Music Awards.
  • Country California posted videos of the evening’s best performances by the Zac Brown Band, Pistol Annies, and a few others.
  • Tift Merritt is offering a free download of an unreleased, Bramble Rose-era song called “Jukejoint Girl.”
  • Due out October 2: Jerrod Niemann’s new album, Free the Music. (via press release)
  • J.D. Crowe is taking the place of the late Earl Scruggs on the board of The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.  
  • New Jersey folks: on June 20, Kenny Chesney is playing a free show on the beach in Wildwood.
  • John Mayer was humiliated when Taylor Swift called him out in her song, “Dear John.”
  • NPR’s Fresh Air is digging the new Rodney Crowell/Mary Karr collaboration, Kin.
  • Goodbye hat acts, hello baseball cap acts: If you’re a young male country star looking for a country audience that hasn’t already chosen its heroes, and you find those uncommitted listeners wearing St. Louis Cardinal caps as they drive around the beltway in their Toyota Corollas, punching the radio buttons to switch between The White Stripes and The Band Perry, you’re going to going to stick a baseball cap on your head and borrow some of Jack White’s guitar sound.
  • On June 30, Willie Nelson will host his first celebrity golf tournament; proceeds will benefit the Pedernales Fire Department and other worthy causes.
  • Edward Morris of recaps Willie’s Q & A session at Tuesday’s Billboard Country Music Summit. One of Willie’s musical memories: “First of all, Donny Young — or Johnny Paycheck [as he’d later call himself] — was playing bass for Ray, and he left the band. I was writing songs for Pamper Music, [Ray Price’s] publishing company. “Ray called me and asked me if I could play bass, and I said, ‘Well, can’t everybody?’ So on my way up there on the bus [to meet Price], [steel guitarist] Jimmy Day taught me a few things on the bass. I played guitar and knew the top four strings were very similar. “So I had something to go on, and he knew the Ray Price show. By the time I got there, I thought I knew it. Of course, I didn’t. I asked Ray years later if he knew I couldn’t play bass, and he said, ‘Uh huh.'”
  • Check out the new video for Bill Evans’ “The Distance Between Two Points.”
  • Check out a new song (“Liars and Fools,” written by Jason Eady and Kelley Mickwee)  from The Trishas.


  1. Jon
    June 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    That Geoffrey Himes piece is about a lot more than baseball caps – it’s got a lot of good stuff from Dierks in there.

  2. bob
    June 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    The Himes article is good. But maybe some of those guys wearing the baseball caps are doing it for the same reason I wear one when out in the sun. I’m getting might thin on top.

  3. Jon
    June 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Aw, geez, don’t let Saving Country Music hear you say that; he’ll call you “hopelessly bald.”

  4. Rick
    June 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Jon, it seems Kyle has found ways to hit your hot buttons even when its not intentional! Crikey! (lol)

    Its nice to read about the anniversary of the E.T. Record Shop and that they do a land office business during Fan Fair! Now if they would just put all of their Bear Family CD’s on sale for $ 14.99…

    I don’t think its very wise of John Mayer to admit in public that Taylor Swift humiliated him. That just empowers Taylor to seek even more lyrical revenge on all of her future ex-boyfriends! Oh wait, she was already doing that before John Mayer. Never mind…

    The Pistol Annies looked and sounded great on that CMT Awards Show clip. A small bit sonic and visual redemption amidst a sea of musical mediocrity. I especially liked the Annie’s nickname tags on their mic stands. Now those would make a fun souvenir!

  5. luckyoldsun
    June 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I didn’t realize Alan Jackson has not had a top-10 hit since 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still has a few more big hits to come.

    But if Jackson is counted out–at least for now–then who’s the most veteran country artist–(after George Strait)–who has topped the chart in the last year?

    Seems to me it’s Toby Keith.
    Nineteen or twenty years ago, would anyone have predicted that?!

  6. Jon
    June 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    So, luckyoldsun, are you an Alan Jackson fan? A George Strait fan? A Toby Keith fan? Which of them makes music you like? Which makes music you dislike?

    Or are you only interested in chart performance, and not music?

  7. luckyoldsun
    June 7, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    With all of them, I’d say I liked their early stuff a lot. I loved “Amarillo-by-Morning”-through “Chill-of-an Early Fall” Strait; “Real World”-through-“Everything I Love” Jackson and “Shoulda Been a Cowboy” Keith.

    I find them all hit-or-miss with their later stuff. I don’t care for schmaltzy “Yes Or No” Strait, but I like his more retro or western stuff.

    I’ve been disappointed in a lof of Jackson’s later albums because his writing is often so play-it-safe as to be banal. All he remembers about 1976 are Rocky Movies and the “Six Million Dollar Man.”; his “Small Town Southern Man” has nothing to say about any of the social upheaval that the region underwent during his life. He portrays himself as having no worldly interests other than ’60s cars and boats and baloney sandwiches. I did not buy “Freight Train” because I didn’t care for whatever I heard off it. But I’ll probably buy this new CD because I’ve been favorably impressed by what I’ve heard so far. “Long Way” and “So You Don’t Have to…” are the best things I’ve heard from him in five years.

    I admire Toby Keith a lot for forging his own personality and making himself into a superstar when his own bosses thought he was a third-tier talent (and told him he should try to be a low-rent Vince Gill!) I keep buying his CD’s because he writes his own stuff and takes chances. I liked “Wayman’s Song” from American Ride. I didn’t care much for the “Bullets In the Gun” album (and didn’t like how he ripped off Robert Earl Keen) but “Clancy’s Tavern” is a lot better.

    By the way, how a song or album does on the charts has no effect on whether or not I like it.

    I didn’t know you cared, Jon. I’m touched.

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