In other Swift news, she donated $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to fund an education center, which is slated to open in 2014: Swift’s education center will have its own exterior entrance and is 7,500 square feet-plus spread over two stories. It will include three classrooms and exhibit space and will allow the museum to add to its youth education programs. The new space will house interactive activities such as a musical petting zoo and a “wet” classroom space to make concert posters and other art projects. The expansion also would allow the museum to start new programs and workshops and for teens and senior citizens as well as continuing workshops.
Bluegrassers Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen performed their version of “July, You’re a Woman” with the help of some kids from Washington Middle School in Seattle.
Lydia Hutchinson of Performing Songwriter caught Bonnie Raitt’s recent Ryman show: After strolling onto the stage with her Fender strat slung across her chest, Bonnie sprinkled her funky, bluesy, soulful fairy dust all over the new batch of songs, never failing to give a shout-out to the writer before the first note was played. She tore into Randall Bramblett’s “Used to Rule the World,” then sent the album’s single, “Right Down the Line” up to the late, great Gerry Rafferty. Hit songwriter “Big Al” Anderson, a cult icon from his NRBQ days, weaves in and out of Slipstream with his guitar-playing and songs co-written with Gary Nicholson (“Split Decision”), Bonnie Bramlett (“Ain’t Gonna Let You Go”) and newcomer Bonnie Bishop, to whom Raitt gave a shout-out before delivering the gorgeous “Not ‘Cause I Wanted To.”
Singer-songwriter Sara Jean Kelley is American Songwriter’s Daily Discovery.
This October, North Carolina-based label Yep Roc will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a “three-night concert blowout” featuring Dave Alvin, Chatham County Line, John Doe, and more.
Edens Edge revealed the tracklisting of their self-titled debut, due out June 12.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.