Jason Boland and Aaron Watson Team Up for Texas Tour

Brody Vercher | March 11th, 2008

  • Score 1 for the traditional country fans in Texas. Jason Boland and Aaron Watson announced they’ll be joining forces for a tour across the Lone Star State starting in April.
  • While discussing past magazine ideas, No Depression‘s Grant Alden mentions the issue with Miranda Lambert on the cover was, to the best of his knowledge, the worst-selling cover of ND put on newsstands.
  • Country Universe took a huge bite out of the ambition cookie and announced “100 Greatest Women,” a series counting down the 100 greatest women of country music.

    The story of women in country music tells the story of women in America over the past century. As we begin counting down the 100 Greatest Women in the history of country music, we will do our best to tell both of those stories.

    The series kicked off yesterday with Jennifer Nettles.

  • You could be a part of the CMT Music Awards by submitting a video of yourself “bobbing that head” to Rascal Flatts’s song “Bob That Head.” Selected video submissions will be aired on the background video wall during the performance of “Bob That Head.” Under normal circumstances it’d be blasphemous to mention Rascal Flatts and Billy Joe Shaver in the same breath, however I’ll make an exception and say that the the cowboy prophet’s interpretation of “bob that head” probably isn’t suitable for an awards show.
  • The Bluegrass Blog authors want to know how the bluegrass community compares to the broader music industry in terms of which retailers they purchase music from. If you listen to bluegrass, take five seconds to vote in their poll.
  • Jack Leaver of The Grand Rapids Press wants you to remember Emily West, he says she’s going to make a big splash. After you read that, check out Jim’s review of her debut single “Rocks In Your Shoes.” (via ggcolumn)
  • George Jones made an appearance at CRS where he had a conversation/interview session with songwriter Norro Wilson. He named his favorite duet partners, favorite artists of all time, gave his stamp of approval to a few current artists, and even suggested that modern country music should have a “new name.”

    Before Williams came along, Jones said he doted on Roy Acuff’s music and would give his mother instructions to wake him up on Saturday nights when it was Acuff’s turn to sing on the Grand Ole Opry. Later, Williams’ contemporary, Lefty Frizzell, was added to Jones’ musical pantheon.

    He also recalled an early rock ‘n’ roll album he did under the alias Thumper Jones.

  • Edward Morris dubs Kellie Pickler the “latest great country talker,” in the same mold as Dolly Parton and sharing company with Roger Miller, Marty Stuart, Kathy Mattea, Vince Gill and others.
  • Trace Adkins, a staunch conservative by all accounts, says that his manager Ken Levitan, a Music Row Democrat, urged him to write his book A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck.

    “We should be able to have our differences and be civil and even friends and work together,” Adkins says in his distinct, booming voice.

    Howard Cohen talked to Adkins on the phone about his book and his music.

  • Former Lonestar vocalist Richie McDonald turns to Contemporary Christian music to kick off his solo career (judging from his attire he’s taken an interest in becoming a mime, too).
  • Jason Aldean gets raw and real for Clear Channel’s “Stripped” series.
  • Leigh H. Edwards calls Opry Video Classics, an eight-disc DVD box-set of performances from the ’50s to the ’70s, a must-have for serious country fans.

    All of this footage helps to flesh out classic country, and amidst the flash of banjos and rhinestones, what shines the brightest is the seamless musicianship and the emotional connection to the audience.

  • Randy Travis’ website received a major overhaul and is now online for your viewing pleasure. Along with the redesign, he’s made the first single, “Faith In You,” from his upcoming country album available for free download. You just gotta go through a quick registration process to get your copy. And while we’re plugging Randy Travis, check out this promo video for his upcoming album. Paint me excited.


  • Thanks for reading today’s edition of the news roundup, you may now continue to “bob that head.”
  1. Kelly
    March 11, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I have seen both Watson & Boland many times. Getting to see them back to back will be very cool. I think Boland is criminally under-rated in the whole “red dirt” scene.

  2. Brady Vercher
    March 11, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I thought Boland was one of the top dogs in the scene, but I guess he really doesn’t get the props he deserves. I especially enjoyed him in an acoustic set at the Gruene with Envy Awards last year and I’m looking forward to his new album.

  3. Kelly
    March 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Yeah, I agree in the sense that Boland is well-known, but in the last couple of years, some of the newer names (Bingham, Hood, O’toole, Rhyder, etc…) seem to share the larger amount of attention with the really big-time vets like Randy Rogers, Cross Canadian, Kevin Fowler, etc…I presume a new album and tour will change that (starting with this blog post perhaps)…

  4. Charlie Mack (First outta the Limo)
    March 11, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Kelly it seems as if you & most every other fort worthian I know have been brainwashed by the Ranch.

    Hood, oToole, Ryhder can’t even hold Jason Boland’s guitar strap let alone be mentioned in the same sentence like you just did.

    Bingham maybe, but he still has 5 years of hard touring ahead before he can rightfully insert himself into the likes of Ragweed, Fowler, & Boland.

    The Stragglers are doing just fine and still are the cream of the crop.

  5. Hollerin' Ben
    March 11, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I don’t know Charlie Mack.

    Pete Anderson produced the latest albums by both Adam Hood and Jason Boland, and I think it’d be mighty tough to argue that either album is head and shoulders above the other.

  6. Rick
    March 11, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    I’ve never heard Jason Boland’s music but I know Sunny Sweeney used to open shows for him and praised him and his music to the hilt, so he’s alright by me. That Boland/Watson concert tour sounds great, except for the fact they aren’t venturing outside Texas. They need to expand their reach into neighboring states, such as say California (lol), if they want to expand their fan base……

    Its not surprising that featuring a mainstream “darling” like Miranda Lambert would discourage newsrack sales of “No Depresion”. That magazine’s readers tended to loathe anything associated with the Top 40 mainstream country muzak scene, and that includes Miss Lambert. I’d prefer a Mandy Moore cover shot myself..

    100 Greatest Women of Country, eh? If the list doesn’t include Maybelle Carter, Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox and Kitty Wells, I’ll give Country Universe a piece of my mind! (Although I have little to spare these days…)

    Its appropriate CMT would sponsor a “Bobble Head” contest as what could possibly be more symbolic of the people who run that organization these days…..

  7. Brady Vercher
    March 11, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Charlie, I don’t think Kelly was saying that those other guys were deserving of more praise than Boland. He even said in his original comment that he thought Boland was criminally “under-rated.”


    Ben, I’d argue that the Boland record is better than Adam Hood’s, but they’re both good stuff, I just tend to prefer Boland’s style of country.


    Rick, I’d highly recommend Boland’s last album, The Bourbon Legend, if you like country from the outlaw era. It’s a little edgy, but it’s honest. I think he went out to LA to record the album with Pete Anderson if I’m not mistaken. And if you like that, dig around in his past material and you might find some more stuff to like.

  8. Charlie Mack (First outta the Limo)
    March 11, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    Shit I am just glad to be having convo at this place about good Country Music from Texas instead of having to bitch about some jackass from Nashville who made some gyrating redneck video about one of Paris Hilton’s favorite quotes.

    Kelly has it somewhat right, though the right word isn’t under-rated. I would say under-radio-promoted in the world of mainstream country. Fowler, Ragweed, Pat, all get the love at mainstream down here, but Boland kinda flirts that line. Still deemed too edgy for radio I guess.

    Boland’s new record is back to the good ol’ formula of Lloyd Maines and I cannot wait to hear it!

  9. Lynn
    March 12, 2008 at 12:01 am

    I was listening to Kevin Fowler in the car this morning. I’ll have to check out Jason Boland. Do you recommend a particular album to start with?

  10. Brady Vercher
    March 12, 2008 at 6:33 am

    Lynn, I’m not particularly keen on Kevin Fowler myself, I guess it’s the live shows and the crudness that turned me off. For Jason Boland, I’d recommend his last album, The Bourbon Legend, or Pearl Snaps. He has a couple more and they’re good as well, but those two are my personal favorites.

  11. Kelly
    March 12, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Charlie, Brady said what I wouldve said in response to your suggestion that I was comparing those new artists with Boland, so ’nuff about that. Also, under-rated is often times one and the same as under-radio-promoted, as even the smaller, independent stations play what they perceive to be hot, ala Bingham, Hood and O’Toole. There’s room for them all, and the fact is, new blood is esential to the genre, whatever you want to call it other than plain ol’ country. People forget that Boland was at one time a “newbie” and had a hard time filling even the smallest of stages. He has turned into a great writer, performer and ambassador, and hopefully these newer acts that arent quite to his level as of yet can do the same.

    Also, as more of a Dallas guy than a Ft. Worth guy, give me 95.3 The Range over The Ranch any day of the week!

  12. Brody Vercher
    March 12, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Lynn, I second Brady’s nominations for Jason Boland albums. I’d give a slight edge to The Bourbon Legend though. It’s a solid album all the way through.

  13. Kelly
    March 12, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I also dig the live albums from both Boland & Watson. Boland’s “Somehwere Down in Texas” from the Live @ Billy Bob’s is a great version. It is an older disc, so it doesnt have the newer stuff, but still a good batch.

  14. Charlie Mack (First outta the Limo)
    March 12, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Jason Boland & the Stragglers Live & Lit @ Billy Bob’s Texas is one of the best live cd’s of the 2000’s.

    His sophmore release, Truckstop Diaries was produced by Mike McClure ( Cross Canadian Ragweed’s producer ) It is a great album as well.

    There are also tons of bootlegs & limewire recordings out for those that want to dig even deeper.

  15. Lynn
    March 13, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Thanks!! I’m finding that I prefer Texas country. I can’t pinpoint it, but there just feels like an honesty to it that is missing elsewhere. There’s also a focus on the song and not on slick production, and the songs are more relatable and have a good sense of humor. I’ll have to introduce it to my friends who stopped listening to country altogether back around 2003 thanks to the horribleness that is country radio.

  16. John
    March 13, 2008 at 10:41 am

    The worst singer I’ve ever seen
    Was some short guy named Jason Aldean
    In a cowboy hat
    Man, I laughed at that

    The little dude thought he could sing
    Sporting a couple of ladies earrings
    Looking like some brat
    With a voice so flat

    Oh, man, he was willing
    But my ears, he was killing
    The Chesney legacy has no pride
    I laughed until I cried

  17. Charlie Mack (First outta the Limo)
    March 14, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Lynn, welcome to the Dark Side…

    -1 for Nashville, +1 for Texas!

  18. brandon
    April 1, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    i love all boland’s music old and and new, but i’d have to recommend starting out wirh live at biily bob’s. that version of proud souls is the best 5 and a half minutes in the history of music. and i don’t say that lightly, i mean it

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