Jamey Johnson to Play Ryman; ICM Awards Nominees Announced; New Album Releases

Juli Thanki | September 4th, 2012

  • Songwriter Hal David passed away. What’s your favorite song that he wrote or co-wrote?
  • Peter Cooper wrote an article on Marty Stuart, who is celebrating 40 years in the music business, for the Tennessean. An excerpt: Stuart’s chart run as a 1990s country hit-maker was enough to put his name in bold print in the music history books. But it has been in the past decade — which for Stuart began with inner turmoil and embarrassment — that he has done his most impressive and important work, as a musician, bandleader, producer, writer, historian and television presence. It’s no coincidence that he’s done that work after he was effectively dismissed from the contemporary country music scene, after he realized that what he’d thought of as commercial country was now outsider art. As traditional country became popularly ignored and endangered, he took the music’s preservation as his mission. “We need to stand by our heroes,” he says, and he has.
  • Preview this year’s Americana Music Association Festival and Conference.
  • Take a peek inside Gram Parsons’ notebook.
  • Stream the new album from Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians. 
  • Out this month: Uncle Josh Graves’ memoir (edited by Fred Bartenstein), Bluegrass Bluesman.
  • The Roys, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, and Josh Turner are among this year’s ICM Faith, Family, and Country Awards nominees. The awards ceremony will be held October 18 in Nashville.
  • Add “queer guitar pickers” to the list of people Hank Jr. doesn’t like.
  • Slate’s Jody Rosen on Taylor Swift: Who exactly is getting kicked to the curb in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”? A boyfriend? Or Nashville? 
  • Due to the Labor Day holiday, our weekly music video roundup has been pushed to Wednesday. This video of MilkDrive at the band’s recent Fayetteville Roots Festival performance should tide you over until then.
  • American Songwriter premiered Derek Hoke’s “Sweetheart Letter” video. Hoke was also interviewed for NPR’s All Things Considered.
  • This week’s album releases:

Town Mountain Leave the Bottle

Holy Ghost Tent Revival Sweat Like the Old Days

Bellamy Brothers Pray for Me

Crooked Cowboy & The Freshwater Indians Annalog and Her Hopeful Dreams

My Darling Clementine How Do You Plead?

David Wax Museum Knock Knock Get Up

Brian Setzer Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot! Live from the Planet

Statler Brothers Words and Music / Home

Various Artists Vanguard Vocal Groups

  1. bob
    September 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

    There was an article in yesterday’s on-line NY Times by Thomas Edsall called “The Cost of Living Blues” which quotes quite a bit of the lyrics of the Phillip Coleman-Ronnie Dunn song plus quotes from a phone interview with Dunn.

    Favorite Hal David song: “One Less Bell to Answer”, written with Burt Bacharach and a hit for the Fifth Dimension in 1970. Marilyn McCoo sure can sing.

  2. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    My favorite from Bacharach/David is “A House Is Not a Home” a 1964 song recorded by Dionne Warwick.

    Looks like the latest Swift song has tanked on the country chart…maybe the BM, clear channel shenanigans has backfired.

  3. Ben Foster
    September 4, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Looks like the latest Swift song has tanked on the country chart…

    I doubt it. It’s already a Top 20 hit, and I expect it will likely go further. Either way, I think it’s a little early to call it a tank.

  4. Jon
    September 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Uh, Hal David co-wrote a little thing called “Sea Of Heartbreak,” you might have heard of it, it’s a country song that was a big country hit and has become a bluegrass standard. Sheesh.

    In other news, the Town Mountain album is mighty fine.

  5. Andrew
    September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Looks like the latest Swift song has tanked on the country chart…

    Um, what? Mediabase has it at 17 this week, up four spots from 21 last week.

  6. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    It’s had anemic updates for a week and a half and the only reason it is in the top twenty is because of older songs going recurrent…it’s now #18 and will be passed by Luke Bryan tomorrow.


    But of course it is Swift & BM so it could take off again.

  7. Arlene
    September 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I’m sorry to read that AMA nominees Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Steve Earle aren’t slated to perform or attend this year’s Americana Music Association awards show. None have tour dates scheduled for September 12th so I’m unsure why they’d choose not to put in an appearance. I have little use for other awards shows but I usually do try to listen to the broadcast of this one since at least some of the live music is often well worth hearing.

  8. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm


    Grew up on Don Gibson and songs like “Sea of Heartbreak:


  9. Mike McCall
    September 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Redd Dirt–You do know the Swift song went #1 pop in two weeks and sold more than 630,000 downloads its first week? Do you think Clear Channel only owns country stations?

  10. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Who cares what it did on Pop, I’m talking about the country chart.

  11. luckyoldsun
    September 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Probably Ms. Swift, her record label, her hairdresser, her financial advisor, her fans and her competitors care.

  12. TX Music Jim
    September 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Taylor Swift is a force to be dealt with in poular music. Not my thing put sadly the history of American and British popular music is rife with the catchy poppy ditties that have mass appeal to little girls. Sadly that is just the way it was, is and most likely will always be.

  13. Jon
    September 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Yes, it’s very sad when people like music.

  14. Mike McCall
    September 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Redd–I wouldn’t have commented if your post only had to do with the country chart. But you suggested maybe the Big Machine/Clear Channel deal somehow didn’t help her out. I’m not saying it did, but she’s certainly getting lots of airplay on CC stations. That’s the point I thought needed a comment.

  15. Chickette
    September 4, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    “Yes, it’s very sad when people like music.”

    It’s only sad when they like bad music, such as the kind Taylor routinely makes.

  16. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm


    There is no disputing that the BM/CC deal had a big impact powering the Swift song to a Billboard country chart debut at #13 but then it took a took a massive hit (-1016 spins, -8.509 million AIs) the following week and dropped back to #24. Just wondering if this type of chart manipulation does more harm then good.

  17. Redd Dirt
    September 4, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I really need to proofread before posting…lol!

  18. Jon
    September 5, 2012 at 9:41 am

    And yet another pseudonymous internet blog commenter proclaims herself to be an expert on musical quality. Zzzzz.

  19. nm
    September 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

    For sure, any music that little girls like must be awful. It’s sad … I’m gonna have to go throw away my Beatles records and my Dixie Chicks CDs now. Not to mention my entire collection of Elvis. Oh, the humanity!

  20. Barry Mazor
    September 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm
  21. Jack Williams
    September 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I have two little girls (a six year old and a four year old). The other day, they were both passionately singing one of her songs (I think it had the word “valentine” in it) and it was just so, so cute. Don’t think I’d feel the same way if they were singing a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga song. So from that perspective, I really appreciate Ms. Swift.

  22. TX Music Jim
    September 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    My only point here is that while there have been music changing artists intially embraced by “little girls” i.e. Elvis and The Beatles. There is a long line of forgetable “bubble gum” music i.e. Justin Beiber that takes oppurtunities away from more deserving artists. As a parent I understand why Swift’s music would be preferable to some of the other stuff out there kids are into. I respect the fact the she writes a lot of her own stuff. It would be nice to see real artistry back in the mainstream of success again.

  23. Ken Morton, Jr.
    September 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Jim, art is art. What Beiber and Swift are creating is art. Now whether you like her art or care for her self-admitted pop-leaning brand of country music is your opinion. But to accuse Taylor Swift of writing non-artistic music just doesn’t stand up.

  24. Jon
    September 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm


  25. TX Music Jim
    September 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    These type of arguments regarding individual definitions of “artistry” can go on forever. I do continue to lament the fact that as you correctly stated in my view there is a lack of “artistry” in Ms. Swifts music. I realize I and others like me are in the minority. However, I can’t help but wonder could a Merle Haggard just to name one make in todays music world.

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