Dwight Yoakam Re-Signs with Warner Bros.; Artists Revisit Cash’s Bitter Tears; New Music Videos

Ken Morton, Jr. | July 14th, 2014

  • Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of The Ramones, passed away on July 11. In recent years, Ramone played in roots duo Uncle Monk.
  • Ashley Monroe was discharged from a Nashville hospital yesterday after being admitted with a severe kidney infection late last week. She’ll resume her tour on July 18 in Cincinnati. (via press release)
  • Sarah Buxton, Daniel Tashian, Kate York, and Ian Fitchuk formed a band called Skyline Motel. They released a self-titled EP that you can sample here.
  • There aren’t any other details except for a mysterious pre-sale listing on Amazon, but it looks like Randy Travis may have recorded a second duets album back when he did his first one, as Influence 2: The Man I Am is scheduled to be released by Warner Nashville on August 12.
  • Sugarland’s Kristian Bush released a lyric video for his first solo single, “Trailer Hitch.”
  • Shania Twain to The Calgary Herald: “[Recording is] my priority this year and I will be in the studio as soon as I can get in, get my ducks in a row — I’m working on it all the time right now.” 
  • Meet Andy Roberts, the guy who’ll be the first fan on the planet to find out where Garth Brooks will kick off his upcoming world tour.  In other Garth news, Trisha Yearwood is joining Brooks’ tour.
  • The adroit C.M. Wilcox has a new Quotable Country feature up over at Country California.
  • Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Bill Miller, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings are just a few of the artists contributing to Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited, a tribute album being released by Sony Masterworks on August 19.
  • Sharla McIver wrote a nice piece about Mary Sarah’s new album for Country Standard Time. Here’s an excerpt: “Getting the stars to agree to lend their voices, and their songs, to a mostly-unknown artist was not as difficult as it might seem. Once they heard her voice, they seemed sold. Perhaps it is Mary Sarah’s love for Patsy Cline, who originally recorded the song, also the first classic country song Mary Sarah learned while on the Texas Opry circuit, or the ease with which Nelson’s voice and hers blend. But with “Crazy,” it is often difficult to remember it is a 17- or 18-year-old girl singing with the legendary singer/songwriter.” 
  • More love for Sturgill Simpson, this time from Salon.com: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is a masterful work of musical experimentation, but it’s not revivalist: actually, it’s future-forward. Sure, it can be tempting to label it vintage-goes-bizarre, particularly the minute those pedal steel vamps swivel like a Southern version of a Rod Serling soundtrack – you’re traveling through another dimension, alright, and it’s nowhere near Music Row. But what it really is, if you strip away all the noise, is a truly modern offering. Sturgill Simpson isn’t the second coming of Waylon Jennings. He’s more likely on the path to becoming country music’s Radiohead.” 
  • Leroy Troy, Roland White, and The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band were honored with Trailblazer Awards at Uncle Dave Macon Days.
  • Rita Ballou had Sunny Sweeney in the studio at KOKE FM to talk about her new album, Provoked.
  • New music videos and key live performances from the past week or so:

Emily West“Sea of Love”

Josh Thompson“Wanted Me Gone”

Hannah Blaylock with Autumn McEntire – “Burned the Forest”

John Berry“Ships That Don’t Come In”

Julie Roberts“Good Wine and Bad Decisions”

Kip Moore“Dirt Road”

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison“Motor City Man”

Paul Brandt“Forever Summer”

Beverly Mahood“Sunday I’m An Angel”

Puss N Boots“Tarnished Angel” 

Monroeville“Be Natural”

Maggie Chapman“Wonder Woman” (lyric video)

Florida Georgia Line“Dirt”

Caleb Caudle“Trade All the Lights”

House of Hats“Close to Me”

The Tillers“Willy Dear”

Spanish Gold“Day Drinkin’”

David Rosales “Too Young to Know Better” 




  1. CraigR.
    July 14, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I love Vince Gill- but not one person of color or a female is one of his favorite guitarists. That is shocking and disappointing. Vince you are better than that man.

  2. Donald
    July 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Surprised by that reaction, CraigR., although you are welcome to it. Must every ‘list’ we compile as writers, musicians, or as plain folks reveal the broad spectrum of diversity in our world? Seems a bit much to expect, especially if we desire honesty. I can list a dozen of my favourite songwriters, and if I’m being honest most of them will be old white guys who formerly lived in Texas. If I want to reflect some obligation to diversity, I could do that and include a token ‘person of color or female’ but is that being ‘right’ just for the sake of ‘rightness’? If I was to list favorite guitarists, as VG did, I have a hard time imagining anyone who isn’t a white guy mostly because that is whose music I know best.

  3. luckyoldsun
    July 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Hey, Ted Nugent’s latest thing is to point out how he can’t be racist because he’s always praising pre-1975 black musicians. Maybe Vince needs to study from Ted. (Hey, he didn’t name the Nuge on his list.)

  4. paul w dennis
    July 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Vince’s list is interesting but too rock for my tastes. I would have the likes of Joe Pass, Jerry Reed, Don Rich, Tommy Emmanuel and Charlie Christian on my list. Also Merle Travis

  5. Stuart Munro
    July 15, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    The notion that one’s list of favorite guitar players (not even “best,” but “favorite”) needs to reflect some sort of racial/gender representation is perhaps the most ludicrous suggestion I’ve even seen on this blog.

  6. nm
    July 15, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I didn’t read CraigR’s comment as saying that Vince Gill’s favorite guitarists needed to reflect the population of the contemporary US, just disappointment that some of the many great non-white, non-male guitarists in our musical history aren’t among his favorites. I mean, someone like Gill who talks about “the chain” of guitar influences might want to dig a little deeper into the influences on all those ’60s blues guys he loves. (There is an honesty in admitting that one hasn’t, I guess.)

  7. Stuart Munro
    July 15, 2014 at 2:43 pm


    I just don’t see why a list like this would or should elicit that sort of expression of disappointment. From what I can tell, Gill was asked who his favorite guitarists are, and that’s what he answered. It seems pretty clear that his list reflects his proclivities and, particularly, who he listened to when he was younger. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some familiarity with players from the blues tradition behind some of the guys he names–I wouldn’t presume to know that one way or the other, and why would you, unless you know something I don’t–it simply means that none of those are among the players he likes the most. To say that, say, Hubert Sumlin or Bonnie Raitt or anybody else should be among the players he likes the most strikes me as bizarre.

  8. nm
    July 15, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Speaking only for myself, there is no “should” in any of this. There is some surprise: late into a show, Gill can get into playing a lot of extended bluesy stuff. And I suppose this is my age reacting, but it does sadden me when kids like Vince Gill look at Butch Trucks and Jimmy Page as the masters, and ignore the musicians who were their masters. It’s like, I dunno, someone loving Oasis and ignoring the Beatles.

  9. luckyoldsun
    July 15, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    I don’t profess to be a guitar expert, but I’d add Willie Nelson. When I’m listening to a record and a guitar solo–or just some featured licks–come on, I can almost instantly recognize if Willie’s playing.

  10. CraigR.
    July 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Stuart no one is saying that Vince Gill has to include females or people of color just for the political correctness of it all. But NM is right. To not love the original is to ignore a truth about how music evolves. Vince Gill is smarter than that. But you are right: the question was about his favorites, not the greatest. Maybe his list would be different if asked that question.

  11. Stuart Munro
    July 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    CraigR, I can love or not love the original, and still acknowledge (or debate) his (or her) importance in how a particular style of music has evolved. These are two separate matters.

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