George Strait Remembers Chris LeDoux; Rhonda Vincent Adds New Band Member; Top Country/Roots Guitarists

Juli Thanki | November 23rd, 2011

  • 48 of the Indiana stage collapse victims have sued Sugarland and 12 other defendants.
  • Hearth Music posted an interview with old-time banjo player Riley Baugus, whose work has appeared on the Cold Mountain soundtrack and the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss collaboration Raising Sand, to name just two albums.
  • News from Matraca Berg’s Twitter account: just wrote a countryass song with @guitarleena [Angaleena Presley] .one of my favorite young songstresses…  Sounds good as long as it’s a “countryass song” and not a “country ass song.” 
  • Rolling Stone made a list of their Top 100 Guitarists. Roger McGuinn, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Holly, John Fahey, Willie Nelson, Robert Johnson, Richard Thompson, Clarence White, Scotty Moore, Bo Diddley, Chet Atkins, and James Burton are a few of the country/roots names that made the cut.
  • If you get RFD-TV, Friday at 8pm Eastern they’ll be airing Joey + Rory’s A Farmhouse Christmas special.
  • Rhonda Vincent added Brent Burke, a reso-gutarist who she says is the “next Jerry Douglas,” to her band The Rage.
  • John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Ranger Doug, Chris Scruggs, Rosanne Cash and Rodney-Rosanne offspring Chelsea Crowell will play a benefit show in Nashville on December 19th where the proceeds go to Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Tickets start at $30.
  • My Kind of Country’s Occasional Hope digs Jason Boland and the Stragglers’ Rancho Alto.
  • George Strait remembers Chris LeDoux in an interview with Storme Warren.
  • Saving Country Music, Muddy Roots Music, and Hillgrass Bluebilly have joined forces to bring the fifth annual XSXSW showcase to next year’s SXSW to “offer fans and artists an alternative to the SXSW madness, while still giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the massive collection of talent, resources, and networking capabilities SXSW affords, and unlike many SXSW events, it is completely open to the public.”
  • Listen to Little Big Town’s take on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
  • Our posting schedule is light this week as we brine turkeys, roll out pie crusts, and get patted down by airport security. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

  1. Rick
    November 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Sounds like the ambulance chasing lawyer types see Sugarland as an easy target with deep pockets. Its the people who made the decision not to carry out the arena evacuation order in spite of severe weather warnings that have culpability to a point, not Sugarland. Just pathetic…

    Juli, I have no problem with country ass songs and even listen to Honkytonk Badonkadonk on rare occasions. I do think Conway Twitty’s “Tight Fittin’ Jeans” and Mel McDaniel’s “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On” are a bit classier though.

    I’m sorry to see the name of Chris Scruggs included in the list of dyed in the wool Obamavoter types performing that show to oppose Tennessee’s death penalty. I had hoped Chris had more brains than that based upon his love of classic country music. Oh well….

    It turns out RFD-TV is available in Southern California on Verizon FIOS. Unfortunately our neighborhood only has access to the Time Warner and AT&T U-verse cable TV systems. Darn.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and may none of you have to eat that horrid tofurky crap!

  2. Rick
    November 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Music City Roots is having a show tonight on the eve of Thanksgiving! I expect the number of regular online viewers to maybe be down a bit…(lol) Featured artists include Shawn Camp, 18 South, Mike Farris, and Luke Bulla. 18 South includes Jon Randall Stewart and his wife Jessi Alexander along with other talented musicians and they always have a great set.
    Link: http://www.musiccityroots.com/

  3. Barry Mazor
    November 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Rick, I’m also disappointed. Disappointed that someone who shows bursts of intelligence such as yourself regularly nosedives to the level of demeaning the intelligence of people who disagree with you–half (sometimes more) of your fellow Americans included, and now including Chris Scruggs, a near neighbor of mine I happen to know is a very intelligent fellow. Tolerant too, He’d even out up with you.

    Of course, being surprised that performers who perform at anti-death penalty shows are, well, anti-death penalty, might not strike a lot of people as a revelation.

    But then, you’ve previously suggested that any country performer showing up at the White House to perform, on request, for the elected President of the United States must agree with all of the policies of that administration , and that’s equally myopic and simply wrong. You may notice, for example, Lyle Lovett, an outspoken Republican conservative, on this week’s White House country show–along, for that matter, with kris Kristofferson, who’s considerably to the left of the Obama administration. (And so what!)

    Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard made it clear enough that they were not in 100% agreement with Presidents Nixon and Reagan when they performed at shows for them, and they were happy to do it. (And why not.) Because, whether you will ever calm down, open your eyes and drop the posturing enough to recognize it or not, we’re still one country. And more country music performers than not, whatever their own politics may be, tend to have the respect for that to be honored and come when called.

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. luckyoldsun
    November 23, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    “I had hoped Chris had more brains than that based upon his love of classic country music. Oh well….”

    Right–when I hear Jimmie Rodgers sing

    Will there be any freight trains in heaven
    Any boxcars in which we might hide
    Will there be any tough cops and brakemen
    Will they tell us we cannot ride
    Will the hobo chum with the rich man
    Will we always have money to spare
    Will they have respect for a hobo
    In the land that lies hidden up there

    I can’t help but figure that if Jimmie were around today, he’d be an advocate of the death penalty and doing away with Social Security, etc. Or maybe Jimmy didn’t have enough branis for you, either.

  5. Rick
    November 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    But Barry, its my schtick! (as stupid and insulting as it may be) Don Rickles used to call people hockey pucks, but I’d rather go after liberals considering they do a lot more permanent damage to our faltering nation. One of my favorite mottos is: “Never underestimate the political destructiveness of a large group of media brainwashed useful idiots”. Whenever a country/roots artist publicly identifies themself with that group, I just feel compelled to take a verbal potshot or two. I’ll blame the FDR legacy of the TVA and WPA for Chris Scruggs being on that side of the fence…

  6. Barry Mazor
    November 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Yeah, Rick. That clears that up.

    Now, if I want to get controversial, I have a different question about this week’s White House country show, namely, what the heck is James Taylor doing there at all? It’s an insult to country music and a kiss up to wimps that they go to him fir this–and not even with Bartender’s Blues.. Well, decorum has been maintained–and not in a good way.

  7. luckyoldsun
    November 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Well, I’d have taken Dale Watson over J-T, but the didn’t ask me.

    I’d say they could have done a lot worse than James Taylor.

  8. Jon
    November 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I guess Barry forgot about that delicious version of “How’s The World Treating You” by Alison Krauss and, uh,… Fact is, most if not all of your favorite country and bluegrass artists are James Taylor fans. including some very hard core ones.

  9. Barry Mazor
    November 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    My point is not whether country stars like Mr. Taylor, which many have (nevertheless, far as I’m concerned, he has been singing on automatic snooze control for some years, whatever he once was, but that’s beside my point).

    For “country comes to the White House,” there was a vast array of self-identified country talent to turn to. He sang “Witchita Lineman,” fergodzsakes–and not that well; Darius Rucker, or Lyle Lovett, who were on hand, could both have handled that a lot better.

    Look, Jon, if it had been Bluegrass Comes to the White House, and they said, now here’s this guy who’s a friend of the Grammy guy who did the history lecture today to represent it, the real Mr. Billy Joel, who had that 4-minute relation to bluegrass once years ago, you might not be quite so accepting of him as a rep. Maybe ya would be, but my guess is not so much, because they could have had somebody more on point, easily. They could have done better in representing the music. It was actually a fairly boring and tossed together show overall, I thought. The Band Perry did pretty OK.

    The only President in my lifetime who ever convinced me he was inside the roots music for more than political purposes, btw, was Jimmy Carter.

  10. luckyoldsun
    November 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Well, given that Richard Nixon actually passed along a request to Johnny Cash to sing “Okie From Muskogee” and “Welfare Cadillac” (which Cash ignored, we can surmise that being “inside” the music has not been a high priority for some of those who’ve resided on Pennsylvania Avenue.

  11. Jon
    November 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Sorry, Barry, but Taylor’s been a lot more influential on a lot more country artists than Billy Joel ever was on bluegrass artists; it’s a bad analogy. And calling his participation in the show “an insult to country music and a kiss up to wimps” is, no matter how tongue in cheek, pretty far off the mark.

  12. Barry Mazor
    November 29, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    OK Jon, you’re correct. I don’t know what could have come over me. James Taylor is Mr. Country Music, and the perfect representative of the field in a special program with limited slots for participation.

  13. Jon
    November 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Aw, geez, Barry, now you’re starting to sound like Triggerman. There is some distance between saying that he was a perfect representative of country music – which, by the way, no one did – and saying that is presence was an incomprehensible insult, ya know.

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