Free Admission to the Hall of Fame on 2/4; Jennifer Nettles Sings Hank Williams; Album Releases

Juli Thanki | January 31st, 2012

  • William Weir asks why people don’t sing about disease like they used to: Songs about sickness are fewer these days, and you rarely get the level of detail that singers once delved into about their symptoms. Today, when a song is about illness, it’s a good bet that the ailment in question is actually a metaphor for something else—unrequited love or society or what have you. Even when a song’s subject is sickness qua sickness, songwriters tend to shy away from the unpleasant details, either out of squeamishness or a sense of obligation to aim for some higher truth.
  • By the end of the year, if everything goes well, the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, will be transformed into the Earl Scruggs Center: Music and Stories of the American South.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Ford have teamed up, and on Saturday, February 4, they’re offering free admission to the HoF. There will be various special programs offered throughout the day, including a Hatch Show Print demonstration and an Oak Ridge Boys autograph session.
  • 30 Rock fans: re-watch Steve Earle’s “The Ballad of Kenneth Parcell” that played over the credits of the latest episode.
  • Rolling Stone posted an Avett Brothers photo gallery that features the band on the stage and in the studio.
  • Cindy Watts of the Tennessean delivers some info about Dierks Bentley’s upcoming album, Home: Bentley co-wrote six of the 12 songs on this album, including his two singles, an overall ratio that’s a little low for him. Unlike previous projects that [co-producer Luke] Wooten says were literally knocked out in days due to the singer’s hectic schedule, Bentley spent about a year writing and gathering songs, and then he recorded enough songs to make two records.
  • Want to listen to a nearly 40-minute Neil Young jam session? Here you go.
  • Peter Cooper’s most recent Tennessean article features Darrell Scott.
  • Dave Heaton of PopMatters discusses “The Mythical Country” found on Montgomery Gentry’s newest album: For a genre historically filled with references to specific places, these days there are remarkably few songs that do so. Where are these towns and neighborhoods that Montgomery Gentry sing about? You’ll find them in The Mythical Country; the country that exists in the collective imagination of Nashville songwriters and singers, and that of the audience.
  • Check out The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s recent Mountain Stage gig.
  • This week’s album releases:

Gretchen Peters Hello Cruel World

Leonard Cohen Old Ideas

Darrell Scott Long Ride Home

Tony Rice The Bill Monroe Collection

Buxton Nothing Here Seems Strange

Ruthie Foster Let It Burn

Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie The Touch of Time

Matt Flinner Trio Winter Harvest

Susan Greenbaum This Life

Various Artists The Alan Lomax Collection From The American Folklife Center

  1. Adam
    January 31, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I enjoyed the article on The Mythical Country. Thanks for the link!

  2. Leeann Ward
    January 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Good release day with Darrell Scott and Gretchen Peters albums. I’ve been looking forward to both for quite some time now.

    Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton’s version of “America the Beautiful is available too. Good stuff:

  3. timeo
    January 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Yeesh, Slate wants more songs about diseases? “What Do You Say,” “Live Like You Were Dying” and “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” are more than enough for me

  4. Rick
    January 31, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    I really like both Sherrie Austin’s “Streets of Heaven” and Ashton Shepherd’s “Angel Wings” partly because the details of the illnesses involved are not revealed in too much detail. Most people listen to music to lighten their mood, not get bummed out by sickness and death. Jimmie Rodgers was rare in being able to write songs like “T.B. Blues” and “Hobo Bill’s Last Ride” that dealt with such matters and yet weren’t a bummer at all.

    I think the kind of pop-rock music found populating much of AirHead Country Radio these days qualifies as “mythical” as there sure isn’t any substance or tradition behind it….

    Its nice that Earl Scruggs is still around to enjoy the opening of his Center in Shelby, NC. Are they going to have a Lester Flatt wing inside? Hmm…

  5. Jon
    January 31, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Del McCoury Band’s Songs Of BIll Monroe album is available on CD starting today.

  6. Paul W Dennis
    February 2, 2012 at 5:23 am

    A new Tony Rice album is always welcome news

  7. Jon
    February 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

    A new Tony Rice album is always welcome news

    Are you under the impression that there’s new material on The Bill Monroe Collection?

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