Country’s Night to Rock Ratings Drop; Upstate New York Bluegrass Scene Flourishes; Willie’s Braids Up for Auction

Juli Thanki | August 7th, 2014

  • Barry Mazor wrote a fine column for The Wall Street Journal about the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which turns 20 this year.
  • The Mavericks have finished recording a new album; it’ll be released next year on Big Machine.
  • Upstate New York has a pretty solid bluegrass scene thanks to festivals like Grey Fox, folks like Bill Knowlton, who has held his annual Bluegrass Ramble Picnic since 1973, and artists like Tony Trischka and The Gibson Brothers (the latter act isn’t mentioned in the article, but should be).
  • Rhett Miller performed a few songs for the Children’s Cancer Association as part of their MyMusicRx program. Watch here.
  • On October 5, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix will host a pretty cool auction. A pair of Hank Williams’ cowboy boots, Willie Nelson’s braids, and Buddy Holly’s motorcycle (which a few members of The Crickets gave to Waylon Jennings in the late ‘70s) are just a few of the items that’ll go up on the block.
  • On Tuesday night, 7.16 million people tuned into his year’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock, a drop from last year, when 8.2 million viewers watched the program.
  • Jake Owen shared his drought coping technique in a skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live: urophagia.
  • The L.A Times published a feature on fab sister band The Haden Triplets.
  • Trampled By Turtles played “Lucy” in the WFPK studios. Watch here.
  • The Last Bison’s new album, VA, will be released on September 30. They’re offering the album’s first single, “Every Time,” as a free download.
  • Spin.com posted Grace Askew’s “Bad Habit,” which was recorded at Sun Studios.
  • If you’re in the area, consider joining the Southeast Michigan Bluegrass Music Association. The organization is only a couple weeks old, but it hopes to “function as a support group for member organizations, venues, bands, musicians, and fans.”
  • Get a sneak peek at JD Crowe, Doyle Lawson, and Paul Williams’ upcoming album, Standing Tall and Tough:

  1. Ken Morton, Jr.
    August 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I have to give some kudos to Big Machine Records for sticking with The Mavericks and giving them an opportunity to record on their imprint when they go in knowing there’s not going to be much radio support.

  2. Leeann
    August 8, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Me too, Ken.

  3. Janice Brooks
    August 8, 2014 at 10:26 am

    My listeners love the Mavericks.

  4. Ken Morton, Jr.
    August 8, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Janice, please don’t interpret that my comment means that I wouldn’t LOVE to have The Mavericks get regular radio play. It’s just that six out of the last nine singles they’ve released haven’t charted going back to 1998 and they’ve never had a top ten song remarkably. It’s great to see a label like Big Machine champion a passion project like The Mavericks.

  5. Erik North
    August 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Regarding the drop in TV ratings for Country’s Night To Rock: Think maybe this is a sign that bro-country is wearing out its welcome?

  6. Barry Mazor
    August 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I’m thinking that presenting exactly the same artists in multiple awards shows and specials in the same sorts of stadium-size numbers over and over may have worn out its welcome.. Here’s a wild idea: variety of artists–and a range of country music. (Not that anyone would ever take up THAT concept.)

  7. Jeff Miller
    August 11, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I haven’t listened to standard country radio in quite a while. It would take some major changes to get me back. To Barry’s comment: I remember country TV specials in years past that spread from bluegrass to Bakersfield to outlaw to ‘nashville sound’ (Kind of like when the Grammys had more than one or two genres represented). It caused me to explore things I might not have known about otherwise. I hope that concept hasn’t gone away for good. And yes… the Mavericks should be staple material wherever music is found…

  8. luckyoldsun
    August 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

    “…spread from bluegrass to Bakersfield to outlaw to ‘nashville sound…”

    And Ed Sullivan had everyone from Senor Wences to the Rolling Stones.

    That was the model when there were basically one or two channels offering entertainment, and the family had one television and watched together–or someone went off and read a book.

    It does not work today, where everyone can watch/listen to what they want when they want it–and if they aren’t interested in what comes on, they can flip to something else in a fraction of a second.

  9. Janice Brooks
    August 11, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Ken by 1998 singles for the groups like the Mavericks were done. Back in the earlier 90s at least they got Airplay on my mainstream country station for the releases from What A Crying Shame and Music For All Occasions.

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