Jason Isbell’s Van and Gear Stolen; Doyle Bramhall Sr. Passes Away; Jennifer Nettles Considers Solo Record

Ken Morton, Jr. | November 14th, 2011

  • Phil Vassar will have a brand new Christmas album called Noel available on November 22. The 10-cut collection on RodeoWave Entertainment includes five original songs and five holiday classics. “I love the way Christmas makes you feel,” says Vassar. “How it makes you slow down and re-evaluate your life. It makes you think about years past and look ahead toward things to come. But for me it’s the music that makes it all come alive.”
  • Bryan White is also releasing brand new holiday music: a single called “Finding Christmas” will be finding its way to country music radio this week.
  • Bill Wells of Bill Wells and the Blue Ridge Mountain Grass passed away last week after a battle with brain cancer. He also owned Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor, a West Columbia institution since 1985 that hosted many national bluegrass acts over the years.
  • Roots music lost another soul with the passing of Americana/blues artist Doyle Bramhall at the age of 62. Bramhall started the Texas-based Chessmen with Jimmie Vaughan and was a fixture in the Austin music scene. He had also collaborated with Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • Music Fog posted this on their Facebook account Saturday night: “Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit got their gear stolen today in Dallas. If you live in the DFW area be on the look out for a 2006 e350 white 15 passenger van hauling a Wells Cargo black single axle trailer. The truck has an Alabama tag and the trailer has a Texas tag. There’s an awesome sticker of a wolf on the side van window. Calexico air freshener and lovely hula gal on dash. The driver’s side of the van has the window busted out (thanks to the thieves). There is a KING OF THE ROAD PLATE on the front bumper and derogatory writing in the dirt on the back window (the word hoochie is mentioned).”
  • Did anyone else notice Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry almost falling back in her high heels at the 2:32 mark of her CMA Awards Show Performance?
  • Matt Bjorke over at Roughstock interviewed former American Idol alum Josh Gracin about his new album, Redemption: “There are 16 songs on the record and those were basically what I had these songs going in. Most writers in Nashville finish a song no matter what it comes out sounding like, which is unlike what I do. Because, when I write I have a lot of half songs and quarter songs on my iPhone and notepad where if I’m not feeling it, I’m not gonna write it.”
  • Jimmy Wayne discussed his new novel, Paper Angels, with ABC News.
  • Rhonda Vincent & the Rage had an adventurous day this week when a fire extinguisher went off inside their tour bus. Check out the story here.
  • Current Survivor contestant and country music artist Whitney Duncan’s off-screen relationship dynamic may be as crazy as what happens on-screen. Secret marriages and affairs abound. There would seem to be a country song in there somewhere.
  • Ellen DeGeneres had a very funny episode last week with Luke Bryan as her red carpet correspondent at the CMA Awards. It’s worth the time to watch.
  • Lauren Alaina will be kick off the first game of the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day tripleheader with a televised performance of the national anthem before the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, November 24 at 12:30 PM ET on FOX.
  • Faith Hill will perform for NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center special on Nov. 30, sharing the stage with Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Cee Lo Green, Katharine McPhee, Justin Bieber and the winner of The Voice, Javier Colon.
  • Even without a country radio station, New York City sells the most country albums of any city in the world. As a percentage of the population, Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia leads the way.
  • You can buy a Box of Weed from Cross Canadian Ragweed beginning November 15.
  • Universal Music Group, which owns and operates the MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville and Lost Highway imprints, has agreed in principal to a purchase of EMI, the parent company of the Capitol Nashville label.
  • Curb Records artist Ruth Collins has released a new song called “Seniors.”
  • Accomplished singer/songwriter Wayne Carson will be at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, December 3 as the next host of the quarterly series Poets and Prophets: Legendary Country Songwriters. You’ll be able to stream it live on the CMHOF website.
  • Bluegrass star Donna Ulisse has two new Christmas songs out this week; you can stream both “You Cannot Stay Here” and “You Will Be Delivered” here.
  • Congratulations to the winners of our Keni Thomas book giveaway: BLL and Dr. No. Check your email.
  • New music videos from the past week:

Oak Ridge Boys – “What’Cha Gonna Do?” 

Luke Bryan – “I Don’t Want This Night To End”

Terri Clark – “The One”

George Canyon & Richard Marx – “When Love Is All You’ve Got”

Fiona Fields – “The Final Straw” 

Lachlan Bryan – “Fly By Night”

Adam Toms – “Break Another Man”

Celeste Kellogg – “The Look”

Jonathan Dale – “Jezebel”

Hannah Belle – “Porchin’ It”

Paul Nash – “Crossin’ That Line”

  1. timeo
    November 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Dang, I had July 2012 in the pool as to when the Spears sisters would start their inevitable migration to country music.

  2. Ben Foster
    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I’d be very curious to see what kind of approach Nettles would take for a solo album (acknowledging, of course, that Bush had not been particularly audible to begin with). If she does release a solo album, I just hope she can come up with something good enough to redeem herself from the travesty of The Incredible Machine.

  3. Paul W DENNIS
    November 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    If Nettles did a solo album, would anyone know the difference ?

  4. Rick
    November 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Does Jamie Lynn Spears already have a music career in the pop field, or is pop-country her first conquest? I wish her all the success that Miley Cyrus has enjoyed in the Top 40 country field so far excluding the Hannah Montana stuff…

    That article about EMI being parceled out was quite interesting. Sony made the wiser move in getting the song publishing side of the EMI label. The former big labels will keep consolidating until only one is left, and then it will go bankrupt! Music marketing is definitely not a “growth industry” these days.

    If the article about Whitney Duncan is true and she was secretly married, then she became a two timing hussy on Survivor! Whitney was on the Opry recently singing(?) a song off of the Footloose soundtrack and she was rarely on pitch. Tsk tsk…

    Los Angeles would be the # 1 market for country music sales IF the majority of our population out here still spoke English as their primary language. Sadly they do not and the percentage keeps dropping every year. So much for multi-culturalism.

  5. Ben Foster
    November 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

    If Nettles did a solo album, would anyone know the difference ?

    Probably not, except for the absence of the one or two token duet performances Bush used to do with Netttles on some of their albums. I wonder, though, if she might attempt to tackle a different musical style if making a record without him.

    A Jamie Lynn Spears country album? Eh….

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