Debating File-Sharing and Artists’ Rights; Easton Corbin’s Sophomore Album Due in Sept.; Album Releases

Juli Thanki | June 19th, 2012

  • NPR intern Emily White, a college senior who’s only bought 15 CDs in her life and has an 11,000 song personal library, wrote a blog about being a music fan who has “never supported physical music as a consumer.” An excerpt: “As I’ve grown up, I’ve come to realize the gravity of what file-sharing means to the musicians I love. I can’t support them with concert tickets and T-shirts alone. But I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience.
  • David Lowery’s response to White: “Many in your generation are willing to pay a little extra to buy “fair trade” coffee that insures the workers that harvested the coffee were paid fairly. Many in your generation will pay a little more to buy clothing and shoes from manufacturers that certify they don’t use sweatshops. Many in your generation pressured Apple to examine working conditions at Foxconn in China. Your generation is largely responsible for the recent cultural changes that has given more equality to same sex couples. On nearly every count your generation is much more ethical and fair than my generation. Except for one thing. Artist rights.”
  • Bob Lefsetz responds to the response: “To be fighting file-sharing is akin to protesting dot matrix printers. File-trading is on its way out. Because it takes too much time to do it. And you don’t fight piracy with laws, but economic solutions. It doesn’t pay to steal if you can listen instantly on Spotify and its ilk.”
  • Robbie Fulks likes The Pistol Annies: “Pistol Annies is the name of a supergroupy kinda project undertaken by a N***ville megastar, Miranda Lambert, and involves N***ville players and producers doing the kind of trailer-trashy swagger and pottymouth cornpone that is the trademark of O**tl*w C**n*ry and B*******t Records….I mean, it’s like the deacon farting in his own church, and using his own organist to accompany. The songwriting plays as too tossed-off — and is actually bad in spots — but the performances are so good that it doesn’t make too much difference, once again illustrating the old saw that it’s the singer not the song. If for instance you love hearing George Jones and Melba Montgomery singing “Looking Back To See,” or Shania Twain’s “No One Needs To Know,” then you probably know how to put your inner Allan Bloom on hold while a good groove is going on, and this stuff will make your heart soar.” (thanks to reader NM for sending this our way).
  • Out September 18: Easton Corbin’s sophomore album, All Over the Road.
  • At his Saturday night show in Philadelphia, Tim McGraw sported father Tug’s 1980 World Series ring. Here’s a review of the show, which was a stop on McGraw and Kenny Chesney’s Brothers of the Sun Tour.
  • Speaking of Kenny Chesney, Peter Cooper wrote a lengthy feature on him for the Tennessean.
  • Premiering tonight as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival: Ballads, Blues, and Bluegrass, a documentary featuring unearthed footage of Willie Dixon, Doc Watson, and Memphis Slim at an Alan Lomax house party in 1961.
  • Here’s an article about Ruby Jane, singer-songwriter-fiddler and new high school graduate.
  • Amber Hayes is offering a free download of “Always There for Me,” a duet with Richie McDonald.
  • “Stand by Your Man” has been remixed as a dance track to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Tammy Wynette’s birth.
  •’s Alexandria Sardam interviewed Sam Bush. An excerpt: “[B] by playing in other people’s bands, I can learn from them, things I like about what they do, things that I might not want to do the way they do. For instance, I used to play with Lyle Lovett’s road band. He likes an 18-piece band, and I learned that the more people that are playing, the less we all need to play so that it doesn’t all jumble up. I learn things about stage presentation from people. From Emmylou, I learned to sing in a better way, to soften up and not sing as hard and loudly as I once had. She helped me increase my range a little bit. She was a very generous bandleader, so I also learned generosity. She’s just a wonderful person. We became pals, and I taught her baseball.”
  • This week’s album releases:

Don Williams And So It Goes

MilkDrive Waves

Ruby Jane Celebrity (Empire of Emptiness)

Kenny Chesney Welcome to the Fishbowl

Delta Rae Carry the Fire

Marlee Scott Beautiful Maybe

Chris Smither Hundred Dollar Valentine

Audie Blaylock & Redline Hard Country

Seth Walker Time Can Change

Girlyman Supernova

Buck Owens ‘Live’ at the White House

Del McCoury & David Grisman Del and Dawg: Hardcore Bluegrass in the Dawg House

B.J. Thomas The Complete Scepter Singles

Tennessee Mafia Jug Band Screams from the Holler 

Bradley Kincaid —  A Man and His Guitar: Selected Sides 1927-1950

  1. Ben Foster
    June 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Can’t wait to hear that new Easton Corbin album!

  2. Jon
    June 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Good job, Juli, in extracting exactly the most essential passage in Lowery’s piece.

    Oh, and Bob Lefsetz is a big fat duck. Only that ain’t the right vowel.

  3. Carrie
    June 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    So excited for the new Easton Corbin release. Easily my most anticipated release through the end of the year.

  4. Jeremy Dylan
    June 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    The Lowery piece is fantastic. Well worth a read.
    The Lefsetz piece is decidedly not.

  5. Jack Williams
    June 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Seems that Mr. Lefsetz likes to play the contrarian. Easy to dismiss, especially when he starts off with a gratuitous insult and represents his opinion as fact (“If only he’d make music as riveting as his writing, with as many people caring about what he has to sing.”). Then, there’s his representation of David Lowery’s essay as an attack on a particular person. Seems clear enough to me that he’s trying to engage Ms. White and those like minded people of her generation and hopes to persuade them with his views.

  6. Andrew
    June 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Travis Morrison of the group Dismemberment Plan had a better response to Lowery:

    “So look. I was in this band called The Dismemberment Plan, that was a large-club act in the late-90s and early 2000s. We were never as big as Cracker but we did ok. I’m 39. I still make music. I make no money from it anymore. I’ve had my ups and downs. It’s all good. And I stole the f*** out of music before there ever was an internet, David, and then Napster came along and s*** got real. I’m going to take a moment to describe some of my memories and methods of wanting music so badly that I just reached out and grabbed it even before Napster made it easy and cool. Apparently, none of my cohort ever did any of this stuff; I had some majorly goody-goody friends it seems. Either that, or they are doing that generational-amnesia thing.”

  7. Dana M
    June 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, torrentz, and for awhile I even used websites to rip youtube videos for music and videos. Before my entire iTunes collection became country music, friends of friends would give me their iPods to fill up.

    I feel the same way about music that I do about movies and tv shows. It has to be made readily available and easily accessible. If I can’t find it legitimately, I’ll take other routes.

    Nowadays though, it’s purely itunes and my rdio account. If it’s not available on either, I’m not listening. :-/

  8. Rick
    June 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    All I want is well produced, good sounding 320 kps MP3’s I can buy for $ 1.29 or less each! That’s all!

    I wish Bear Family would set up a website in the US that would do exactly that so I could hear samples of all the songs on Bear Family’s country offerings and cherry pick the keepers. To me that would be hillbilly hog heaven…

  9. Jon
    June 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Why is Travis Morrison’s response to Lowery better than Lefsetz’s? If he’s decided to be just a hobbyist who doesn’t care about making anything from his music, that’s fine for him, but to advise everyone else to do the same takes a good deal of chutzpah.

  10. Ken Morton, Jr.
    June 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I’m with Jon on this one. It would seem that someone who is lucky- or crazy/stupid/dedicated- enough to carve out a living and dedicate their career to making music would have a bigger opportunity to better write, practice, play and perform than someone who is doing it purely as a hobby. As a fan of music, it should be in our own selfish interest to ensure that those who move us make enough money to keep moving us.

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