Darrell Scott Releases Benefit Single; Merle Haggard Shares the Story Behind “Big City”; Nettles Tops Country Albums Chart

Juli Thanki | January 24th, 2014

  • Bob Wills’ former house, located at the Triple B Ranch in Fresno, got moved to Prather, where the Central California Music Association hopes to restore it for use as a centerpiece in a Wills-centric museum.
  • Darrell Scott has released a single, “There’s a World of Song” (preview/purchase here) to benefit teen education programs at the Jefferson Center’s Music Lab in Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Darius Rucker will appear on Leno tonight to play his new song, “Miss You.” (via press release)
  • Take a peek into Boston’s progressive bluegrass scene.
  • The Oak Ridge Boys will release live album Boys Night Out on Cleopatra Records April 15. (via press release)
  • Also out April 15: Moot Davis’ Goin’ in Hot, which finds him working once more with Kenny Vaughan. (via press release)
  • Town Mountain’s Robert Greer on the band’s sound: “We wanted to go for a more old-school-sounding thing…That comes from having like minds of what kind of sound we want to hear. For instance, we’re way bigger Jimmy Martin fans than we are of … well, I don’t want to mention any names, but of the bluegrass that’s selling today, which is kind of paralleling pop-country. That seems to be the movement of bluegrass these days. We’re more into the gritty, honky tonk, old-school kind of stuff.”
  • Slaid Cleaves discusses Woody Guthrie in this interview with Jim Caligiuri (The Austin Chronicle).
  • Here’s a new Black Prairie song, “Let It Out.” It’ll be on their next album, Fortune, which comes out April 22.
  • Paste posted video of Rayland Baxter playing last summer’s Newport Folk Fest. (warning: autoplay)
  • Fox News compiled a list of country’s “biggest feuds,” mentioning Charlie Rich’s incendiary gesture toward John Denver at the 1975 CMA Awards and the more recent Luke Bryan/Zac Brown hubbub.
  • The Southern Folklife Collection blog posted a photo of Roy Acuff and his Crazy Tennesseans performing on WSM.
  • Out March 11: Dave Adkins’ Nothing to Lose.
  • According to Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, country stations aren’t viable in metro markets. From TheMusic.com:“Perhaps artist labelled ‘country’ puts artists into a category with an image problem,” she said. “That’s my opinion… From a commercial radio [stance] we’ve never had a successful format with a country station.” The ‘country’ tag set off warning signs from “hipster” station programmers, according to Warner, whose pursuit of listeners, ratings – and through that advertising revenue – meant they weren’t often able to gamble on tracks that may alienate their audience.  
  • This Sydney Morning Herald article states that “country songwriters had the lowest growth in earnings from songwriting royalties over the past decade, compared with other leading music genres, excepting classic music. Country songwriter earnings – including royalties from live performances and on radio and television – have seen below-average growth of 5 per cent year-on-year, against 13 per cent and 11 per cent for songwriters identifying themselves in the dance and urban genres, respectively. The figures from the Australian Performing Right Association reveal there are now more of the 500 top-earning Australian songwriters identifying themselves in each of the dance, alternative, urban, blues and roots, classical and jazz music categories than for the country category. Ten years ago, country ranked above them all.” (warning: autoplay)
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter discusses the challenges of recording her orchestral album, Songs From the Movie, in this interview with CMT Edge’s Stephen Deusner. Carpenter also spoke with Peter Cooper.
  • Scott Borchetta came in at No. 40 on Billboard’s 2014 Power 100 list of music’s most influential figures.
  • The eighth annual ACM Honors will be held September 9 at the Ryman. This year’s honorees haven’t been announced yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
  • Curb Records continues to maintain a Vulcan death grip on its former artists, repackaging a bunch of old Hank Williams III songs as new album Ramblin’ Man, scheduled for release April 1.
  • The Mavericks announced a string of new tour dates.
  • The next installment of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series might focus on Blood on the Tracks. In other Dylan news, Langhorne Slim, Dawn Landes, and Deer Tick are a few of the artists who’ll appear on ATO Records’ March 25 release, Bob Dylan in the ‘80s: Volume One.  Check out the track listing.
  • Lonnie Holley is the subject of a lengthy, interesting New York Times Magazine profile.
  • NPR’s Ann Powers conducted a fascinating interview with Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff.
  • The fine folks of Country Universe made their Grammy picks. What are your predictions for Sunday night’s awards show? (I predict that eating an entire pizza and falling asleep in front of the TV might be the most enjoyable way to spend the Grammys. Just DVR Merle/Kris/Willie’s appearance.)
  1. Rick
    January 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry features Charley Pride, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jewel and Atz Kilcher, Craig Morgan, Leah Turner, Chris Janson, and the usual suspects. Grade: B+
    The Saturday Night Opry goes “Nashville” with Jonathan Jackson (Avery) and Lennon & Maisy (Rayna’s kids). Other featured artists in Charley Pride, Old Crow medicine Show, Craig Campbell, and Chris Janson. Also Grade: B+
    Schedule Link: http://www.opry.com/calendar

    Those articles about the current Australian country music scene were very interesting. The vast majority of Aussies live in the few large cities spread around the continent and most consider country music to be for the “hicks” out in the bush country. Those sophisticated city slickers types consider anything “country” to be beneath them and denigrate the genre. I don’t see that bias ever changing much as it is so ingrained in the culture.
    As far as songwriter roylaties, I can understand how trying to copy current American sourced Nashville style mediocrity is having a negative impact…

    I’m glad to see they were able to save that old Bob Wills ranch house from demolition. Western swing has been a mostly forgotten genre in California for decades, so it’s nice a tiny bit of that once rich heritage has been preserved.

    I really like Robert Greer’s mindset. I’ll have to make a real effort to listen to some of Town Mountain’s music. Any modern bluegrass band which has Jimmy Martin as their primary influence is alright by me! (lol)

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