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.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …
- nm: Agreed. A good job by three very smart women.
- Deremy Jylan: The Hight piece is tremendous reading.
- Juli Thanki: Much like the music of Aldean and FGL, Michelob Ultra is favored by college kids and too much exposure will …