Grand Ole Opry Expected to Reopen in Oct.; Alan Jackson Sells Estate; Preview New Songs from Ryan Bingham
- The Grand Ole Opry is expected to reopen on October 1 after a $17 million renovation.
- Alan Jackson‘s 135-acre estate has sold for $28 million almost a year after he put it on the market. The original asking price was $38 million.
- On June 15, George Strait will re-issue George Strait Live on DVD, which features him backed by his Ace in the Hole Band, performing his greatest hits and fan favorites at the Dallas Reunion Arena on New Year’s night, 1986-1987. New fall tour dates have been announced, too.
- Paste magazine’s Andy Whitman has heard 25 of the new Jamey Johnson songs. Here’s his take:
So … there are two albums here, one called Black and one called White, both possibly part of a larger concept album called The Guitar Song. Apparently it’s still up in the air. Black is a song cycle of drinkin’, druggin’, cheatin’ and generally pissin’ life away, while White seems to offer some glimmers of hope. Take ‘em together and they tell a story of redemption. Take ‘em separately and there are about a dozen tunes here that deserve to be huge hits, and would considerably improve the fare heard over the radio.
- Taylor Swift plans to sign autographs for 13 hours straight on June 13th.
- San Antonio Express-News writer Jim Kiest describes Elizabeth Cook as “sounding like Dolly Parton dropped onto Copperhead Road.”
- Los Angeles Times‘ Randy Lewis covered the first of a handful of Desert Rose Band reunion gigs.
- Organizers for the Chicago Pride Parade say country music star Chely Wright will be grand marshal at the event later this month.
- Justin Townes Earle‘s next album, Harlem River Blues, reflects his relocation to Manhattan and features a lineup that includes former Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell, Calexico’s Paul Niehaus on the pedal steel guitar, and Ketch Secor from Old Crow Medicine Show playing harmonica, along with Brian Owings on drums, and Earle’s longtime friend/piano player Skylar Wilson as co-producer. This time around Earle says he wanted to evoke the soulful sounds of Memphis, The Staple Singers, and Otis Redding, which is a departure from his two previous records.
- CMT has the new video for The Band Perry‘s song “If I Die Young.”
- The debut album from Lee Brice, Love Like Crazy, will be released next week. (via press release)
- Dolly Parton gave $250,000 to flood relief yesterday morning.
- Country California Fake News: Sans Stubble, New Country ‘Outlaw’ Looks 14 Years Old
Its embrace of questionable facial hair has long made country music the genre of choice for men equally incapable of shaving daily and growing a beard beyond that which might be sported by a barely-pubescent high school sophomore. Baby-faced Joe Nichols and ultra-beardy Jamey Johnson are exceptions to the rule proven by a slew of prickly posers that includes Jason Aldean, Jake Owen, Billy Currington, and Josh Thompson.
- Listen to Guy Clark perform “LA Freeway” from The Texas Union Ballroom a couple of years ago.
- In an interview with the National Post, Willie Nelson talks about the decision to cut his hair, which he did himself. (via NashvilleGab)
- Albany Herald’s Carlton Fletcher published a good interview with Robert Earl Keen about his career.
Country music today’s not what it was even a decade ago. You mentioned that you were a ‘died-in-the-wool country fan’ before. What do you think of country music today?
I stopped listening to country music, just turned the radio off, after Dwight Yoakam did ‘The Streets of Bakersfield’ with Buck Owens. It was such a great sound, everything after that was just flat. I have, though, become a fan of Jamey Johnson (who is also playing at BamaJam). I think it’s mainly because he’s channeling some of the old stuff.
- Ryan Bingham‘s new, T Bone Burnett-produced album Junky Star isn’t due for release until the fall, but a couple of the tracks are already streaming on his website.
- Deremy Jylan: I heard that Jim Lauderdale documentary is some super-duper great movie stuff. Makes Scorsese's THE LAST WALTZ look like Wiseau's …
- Barry Mazor: I'll have to see if Dr. Green's ever read 3 Lives; it's a good book.
- Juli Thanki: Rose is a rose is a rose is a yellow rose of Texas. I smell a terrible concept album!
- Barry Mazor: Pigeons on the grass, alas.. Come-a kai-yai yippy, yippy ay.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Barry, thanks for the great sentimental look at Winchester. I will admit that he is an artist that was largely …
- Arlene: Thanks for this article, Barry. It's not often that an artist brings another performer to tears during a guitar pull. …
- Leeann: At any rate, I'll still look forward to his next album, because I'm a fan of his music.
- Leeann: Yes, if he had said that, I'd be with him, but e lumped all of country music, including the Grand …
- mrsandy: My understanding is Emmylou's concert was cancelled was because her 92-y.o. mother passed away.
- Erik North: I would have to say that, even though I agree that JTE does generalize about country music excessively, I also …