Joe Galante’s Departure; Lyric Street Closing; Blake Shelton Lands Record Fish; Rodney Hayden & Friends Lineup
- Sony Music Nashville head honcho Joe Galante — the man responsible for launching/guiding the careers of acts like Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Chris Young, Carrie Underwood, and many more — announced his plans to leave the company after a nearly 40-year career. Galante is expected to assist his replacement, Gary Overton, transition into his CEO role. No future plans were disclosed, but BMI’s Jody Williams imagines the industry will be seeing more of Galante.
- Continuing yesterday’s Music Row mayhem, Lyric Street Records announced plans to shutter its doors. The label is home to Rascal Flatts, Sarah Buxton, Bucky Covington, Love and Theft, newcomer Tyler Dickerson, and the recently-signed Kevin Fowler. Rascal Flatts will be moved to another Disney Music Group label, and in an email to Rawhide & Velvet’s Rita Ballou, Kevin Fowler spelled out the situation as he understands it:
Lyric Street is going to be an imprint of the Burbank-based Buena Vista Group.
The entire promotion team and some marketing and support folks are staying in place. There will be fewer artists, but I am one of them [...]
- In a new video, Joey + Rory‘s bus driver, Russ, imagines that viewers would like to see Mrs. Joey doing something sexy, like washing a car with a wet t-shirt. He can’t have that, so he provided viewers with something just as provocative.
- Blake Shelton landed a record-setting paddlefish on Hudson Lake this past Tuesday. (via Country Music Tattle Tale)
- Associated Press entertainment writer Chris Talbott imagines some of country’s newest stars as a collaborative posse. Miranda Lambert and Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott anchor the group, which includes Scott’s bandmates Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, Lambert’s boyfriend Blake Shelton along with Luke Bryan, David Nail, and Ashley Monroe. And if I’m reading right, Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are fringe members.
- Dolly Parton‘s theme park, Dollywood, is entering it’s 25th season.
- If for nothing else, Jesse Winchester‘s performance on Mountain Stage is worth checking out for the song “A Showman’s Life,” which has been recorded by both Gary Allan (his version features Willie Nelson) and Buddy Miller. While you’re listening, be sure to stick around for “Bless Your Foolish Heart.”
- The Wall Street Journal‘s Jim Fusilli on the significance of the Pulitzer Prize Board’s recent decision to honor Hank Williams:
The acknowledgement of Williams comes at a time when country music seems under assault from within, as its biggest stars promote glossy, cookie-cutter hybrid that owes more to pop than acoustic country and its writers have reduced to a litany of well-worn clichés the kind of lyrical insight Williams displayed. Though Williams was a star in his day who understood the power of image, at the core of his work was his ability to write and sing lines that resonated not only in the mind but deep in the heart of his listeners – which is why his songs so easily cross genres for other performers: His words speak of what we know to be true.
- Rodney Hayden released the lineup/schedule for his May 8 Rodney Hayden & Friends concert in Boerne, TX. It includes Tom Russell, Walt Wilkins, Susan Gibson, Drew Kennedy, Jason Eady, Owen Temple, Bonnie Bishop, Adam Carroll, Max Stalling, Josh Grider, Bill Whitbeck, and Stephanie Briggs.
- Funnyman banjo player Steve Martin is planning to record the follow-up to The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo sometime in August with the intention of releasing it in early 2011. He has 11 songs and needs one or two more before getting started:
“There’s no point for me not to do original compositions,” he says. “What do I do — cover somebody else’s song? That’s ridiculous. They could get a better singer to do it. The only contribution I cold make, really, is in the writing.”
- The Judds are scheduled to kick off the 2010 CMA Music Festival.
- Farce the Music thinks Rascal Flatts deserve a sackpunch for its staleness more than its mediocre music:
You’ve got a cash cow in your harmonies and commercial persona. Milk it. Pop it up guys (can’t believe I said that). Get campy. Do something! Don’t just sit there. Much worse, in pop culture, than being a lightning rod, is being a limp dishrag.
- To celebrate Loretta Lynn‘s 75th birthday, My Kind of Country is giving away her memoir Still Woman Enough and the 70-track, three-disc retrospective Honky Tonk Girl. To enter, leave a comment naming the country star you’d most like to see a feature film about.
- Country California Fake News: Chuck Wicks to Perform Theme Song for New “My Little Pony” Movie
- Brandon Rhyder, Kristen Kelly & The Modern Day Drifters, and Roger Creager are a few of the artists joining Dierks Bentley for his “Miles & Music for Kids” celebrity motorcycle ride and concert in Dallas-Fort Worth on April 25.
- Free Download: Yep Roc Records is giving away a 10-song digital sampler. Artists include The Sadies; The Gourds, Todd Snider, Chatham County Line, Dave Alvin, and more. (via No Depression)
- Stuart Munro: Is it just me...or does the idea of St. Paul and the Broken Bones being an Americana act really strain …
- Sam G.: Loki Is playing Hank Williams in a new movie, and Thor bought the rights to a book about him. I …
- Roger: Fabulous interview and fantastic new music that I will listen to over and over again.
- Applejack: It's not just you, Andrew L. I just listened to the clips on Amazon, and the autotune effect is terrible.
- Andrew L.: Is it just me or does Strait sound horribly autotuned on the clips for the new live album? I can't …
- Juli Thanki: You'll get to hear it pretty soon: The Wall Street Journal is going to stream the album on their website …
- Leeann Ward: Way to go to David Cantwell for getting a name drop! Great interview, Juli! Womack's new album is awesome! I've not always …
- Jonathan Pappalardo: Great interview as always, Juli! The new album is fantastic. "Same Kind of Different" is my favorite cut although "Fly" is …
- Dave D.: Good interview. Looking forward to the new record, and particularly interested in hearing her version of Brennen Leigh's "Sleeping with …
- nm: I guess it's not surprising that a singer who gets her songs all over the place, the way Womack does, …