George Jones, Charlie Louvin, & Ralph Stanley Hospitalized In the Past Week; Year End Lists; RIP Gary Claxton
- Here’s a briefer for the past couple of weeks: Shania Twain got married. So did Kellie Pickler. The Grascals’ Terry Eldredge got engaged. LeAnn Rimes got new boobs and engaged. The Shania and LeAnn stories seem to be the biggest, and of course there are other stories and links that were missed during my hiatus, but I hope to work those in over the next few days. Also, if you haven’t filled out our survey, please take a couple of minutes to go do that.
Do yourself a favor and add some Heybale to your collection. The band only has one studio album (and one live one) to its name, with the possibility of a second to be released soon. Beyond that though, there probably won’t be anymore music from the band, at least not with frontman Gary Claxton, who took his own life Thursday morning at the age of 50. No further details were given about his passing.
Here’s Miss Leslie’s take on the loss, and the following clip is “California Wine,” a song Claxton wrote with guitarist and bandmate Redd Volkaert:
- A barn belonging to Charlie Daniels caught fire Friday night, killing 11 horses and a bull. Daniels, who was in Colorado at the time of the fire, still isn’t sure how much memorabilia was lost.
- George Jones spent the night at the hospital last week, but was released the day after being admitted.
Doctors ran some tests, looking for possible blockage in his heart. Jones was prescribed medication, but no further procedures were needed.
- Charlie Louvin, another Hall of Famer, spent some time in the hospital last week, too. For a while his prognosis wasn’t looking good, but reports says he’s now resting and recovering back at home.
- Word has it that Ralph Stanley had to have an emergency pacemaker installed yesterday.
- The staff at Country Universe listed their top country albums of 2010: Part 1 | Part 2
- Andy Langer on Lukas Nelson, and his recently released album Promise of the Real:
Lukas Nelson’s voice is high and nasally. And a little bit creepy, because in timbre and phrasing, his is a dead-ringer for a voice already ingrained in our consciousness: Willie Nelson’s. The similarities are inescapable, but dwelling on whether they’re going to be a blessing or curse on a nascent career seems futile: Lukas Nelson is his father’s son.
Langer goes on to cite “Fathers and Mothers,” a song Lukas’ father actually joins him on, as the most fascinating track. And indeed, it does sound really cool.
- Writing for The Daily Beast, Bryan Curtis commented on the rise of the country carpetbagger. (via several reader emails)
- My Kind of Country’s top albums of 2010: J.R. Journey | Razor X | Occasional Hope
- Also from My Kind of Country are lists of the worst singles and hidden treasures of the past year.
- It’s been a few months since lead vocalist Bryan Simpson announced his departure from Cadillac Sky, and now the remaining members are disbanding as well.
- Keep an ear open for Zoe Muth‘s sophomore release in April. In the mean time, revisit her self-titled debut, which was released right on the cusp of 2010. (h/t Songs:Illinois)
- For his next album, The Majestic Silver Strings (March 1), Buddy Miller will be joined by instrumentalists Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz on originals and reinterpretations of classic country songs. Guest vocalists include Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and others.
- Here’s a hearty stamp of “Check This Out” for Country California’s list of underloved albums of 2010. A few of ‘em even made my top ten.
- Come March 15, Steve Martin will release his second bluegrass album with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Titled Rare Bird Alert, it’ll include 13 new songs written by Martin and guest stars the Dixie Chicks and Paul McCartney.
Music Fog’s been cranking out a lot of new videos lately. Here’s some highlights:
- Country Universe is counting down the 100 greatest men in country music history. Overachievers.
- Merle Haggard discussed his experience at the Kennedy Center Honors gala and the possibility of recording with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson in an interview with Patrick Doyle for Rolling Stone.
- Patrick Caldwell on Hayes Carll‘s new album, KMAG YOYO:
Carll’s mix of humor, sadness and trenchant observation is present in full force on “KMAG YOYO” – the title is a reference to a military acronym for “Kiss My (Expletive) Guys, You’re On Your Own.” It’s loaded with memorable lines (“I’m like James Brown, only white and taller” he sings on opener “Stomp and Holler”) and songs on the woes of modern America – war, joblessness and economic struggle.
- Illustrator/graphic designer Madalynn Priester put together a pretty cool flowchart to help you pick a country song that describes your life.
- luckyoldsun: Jim Z-- I get the feeling Barry was this close to calling you what Kinky Friedman called his guy from El …
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...