Haggard to Headline MerleFest; Jeff Tweedy Visits Pawnee; New Album Releases

Juli Thanki | February 11th, 2014

  • Merle Haggard is headlining MerleFest this spring.
  • Dolly Parton’s Blue Smoke will be released in the U.S. on May 13. The tracklisting includes “Banks of the Ohio.” (via press release)
  • Listen to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings duet on “I’m Movin’ On.” This cover can be found on forthcoming “lost” Cash release, Out Among the Stars (due out March 25).
  • USA Today premiered Carlene Carter’s version of “Little Black Train” from forthcoming record Carter Girl. Elizabeth Cook contributed backing vocals.
  • Jeff Tweedy will appear on an upcoming episode of Parks & Rec; he’ll play the former frontman of a band called “Land Ho!”
  • Songs of the Fall (Stetson Adkisson and Cia Cherryholmes) announced a handful of tour dates.
  • Last week some jerkface stole the Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorating B.B. King’s birthplace. But whoever stole it seemed to have a change of heart: authorities, who were tipped off by an anonymous call, found the marker back at its original location.
  • Stream Dawn Landes’ new record, Bluebird (out next week).
  • Mark James (“Suspicious Minds,” “Always on My Mind”) and Donovan are among this year’s inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The formal ceremony is scheduled for June 12.
  • This sounds cool: British folksinger Sam Lee is staging a special program – called “Forever England: Song and the First World War” – to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I. He’s tracked down songs and stories from that era, and will be performing the material later this month with Nico Brown, Cosmo Sheldrake, and Gwendolen Chatfield later this month; a larger scale production is planned for autumn.
  • The 2014 CMT Music Awards broadcast is scheduled for June 4.
  • Looks like Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row restaurant is coming to Chicago.
  • Give a listen to The Nick Moss Band’s “No Reason” from forthcoming album Time Ain’t Free (due out March 18). Trivia time: Michael Ledbetter, Lead Belly’s cousin, plays guitar in the band.
  • Shannon Slaughter has joined Grasstowne. Don’t worry: he’s still going to make time to perform with his own band, County Clare.
  • Chuck Dauphin reviewed Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives’ Friday night show. An excerpt: “Together or solo, watching this band in action is the closest thing to what it must have been like to watch Don Rich, Tom Brumley, Doyle Holly, and Willie Cantu work their magic behind Buck Owens as the Buckaroos some five decades ago. As big of a statement as that might be, they could very well be the only band that deserves mentioned (sic) in that same hallowed capacity.” 
  • The Avett Brothers answered five questions for Garden & Gun.
  • Dan + Shay will release their debut album April 1.
  • Mandy Barnett to Jim Caligiuri (The Austin Chronicle): “I tried to go for [country radio success] in the Nineties, and for whatever reason it didn’t really work out…I didn’t try that hard after that. Wherever it was going, wherever radio is heading, I don’t feel I fit into that so I stopped trying. It’s been really important for me to maintain artistic integrity in doing traditional country music. I’m not a singer-songwriter. I don’t have a wealth of new material to draw from, so I’ve gone the classic route. And I’m really happy that I’ve done that. I’m really satisfied with the recordings I’ve made. In the pop world, there’s a place for someone like Michael Bublé, but in country there’s not that place.”
  • Mikael Wood of The L.A. Times reviewed George Strait’s Saturday night show at the Staples Center.
  • This week’s album releases (thanks for helping to support E145 by purchasing your music through the affiliate links below):

Hurray for the Riff Raff Small Town Heroes

Irene Kelley Pennsylvania Coal

The Quebe Sisters – Every Which-a-Way

Robert Ellis The Lights from the Chemical Plant

Rod Picott Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail

Phillip Noss Lover on the Run

Eric Church The Outsiders

Frankie Ballard Sunshine & Whiskey

Band of Horses Acoustic at the Ryman

Noah Gundersen Ledges

The Civil Wars Between the Bars

Jamestown Revival – Utah

George Jones & Tammy Wynette We’re Gonna Hold On (now available in MP3)

  • And a DVD:

Festival Express (features The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Janis Joplin, Buddy Guy, and more)


  1. bob
    February 11, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Not included in last week’s album releases or this week’s is “Juggler’s Logic” by Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame member Gary Burr. Released February 3rd, all songs are solely written by Gary including one previously recorded track, “In Front of the Alamo” by Hal Ketchum with Leann Rimes. I bought the cd off Gary’s website but it’s also available on I-Tunes and the Blue Sky Rider’s (Gary, Georgia Middleman and Kenny Loggins) website.

    I have all his earlier albums, “Lime Creek” (1996 – all songs written with Joe Henry), “Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One …” (1997 – 18 songs including That’s My Job, What Mattered Most, Time Machine, She Can’t Be Really Gone, etc.) and “Marianne’s” (2004). Besides the songwriting, he’s become one of my favorite vocalists.

    • Juli Thanki
      February 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks for the heads up on this, Bob. How’s the album?

  2. Rick
    February 11, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Gosh, I didn’t expect the new Quebe Sisters Band album release to make today’s list, but it did! Good show mate. (lol)

    On Sunday night I spent “prime time” watching and listening to a streamed live bluegrass concert from The Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley on Concert Window. For a measly $ 1 it was a bargain to see fine sets by The Dry Branch Fire Squad and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys in high fidelity sound. I haven’t been overly impressed with Lindsay Lou’s studio recordings but she just shines in a live setting. Concert Window is a great idea and now I’m trying to get McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica to get on board.

    Speaking of McCabe’s, Justin Townes Earle booked two last minute shows for this coming Friday when the scheduled act Dan Hicks had to cancel his tour due to health problems. JTE normally plays to much larger venues these days, so it will be great to see him perform again at McCabe’s.

  3. Luckyoldsun
    February 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    •Merle Haggard is headlining MerleFest this spring.

    That should sufficiently confuse all the readers who just assume that Haggard always headlines MerleFest!

  4. bob
    February 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    @Juli – I think the album’s very good. Of the 11 songs, the only one I’ve heard him sing before is the Alamo song. Lyrics were not included.

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