John Rich Makes ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Cast; The Steel Wheels Ask Fans For Help; Eric Brace/Peter Cooper Produce Tom T. Hall Tribute
- It’s official: John Rich will be on the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice.
- Austin Music Source’s Michael Corcoran on Friday night’s George Strait/Reba McEntire/Lee Ann Womack show, which set a record for the Erwin Center:
Though this seemed like a double headlined show on paper, Strait and his aptly named Ace In the Hole Band, the best in country music, reduced McEntire to an opening act with a spendid tour-opening set that found the heroic frontman rotating between microphones at each corner of a stage set up in the middle of the arena. I’ve reviewed about half a dozen Strait shows through the years and have never heard the 58-year-old Pearsall native sing with more caressing character than on Friday night. “Ocean Front Property” found him coming off like Nashville’s Sinatra, better in his fifties than he was in his thirties. And without the throat-coating help of Jack Daniels.
- Stream Wanda Jackson‘s new album, The Party Ain’t Over, in its entirety at NPR.
- In Country Universe’s countdown of the 100 greatest men of country music, Gary Allan placed #96.
Smoke Rings in the Dark, released in 1999, struck a deep chord with country music listeners. The title track, reminiscent of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, only made it to #12, but it sold him more records than his previous two top ten hits combined. As the album powered its way to platinum, radio finally embraced Allan, as the final single from the set, “Right Where I Need to Be”, became his first top five hit.
- Today’s Texas Music Matters song of the day is a Butch Hancock performance of the Joe Ely song “Indian Cowboy” recorded at the KUT studios last week.
- In her writeup of Gary P. Nunn‘s “London Homesick Blues” video, Music Fog’s Jessie Scott mentioned something about an upcoming Tom T. Hall tribute album produced by Eric Brace and Peter Cooper.
- Country California: Quotable Country – 01/16/11 Edition
Amanda Shires – “When You Need a Train it Never Comes” (via @TwangNation)
- Donald Teplyske on Big Country Bluegrass:
Vocalist Jeff Michaels, who also handles the fiddle chores, has a voice that evokes both the charming country, nasal elements of Lester Flatt and the piercing, lonesome sound of Del McCoury.
- Sunny Sweeney‘s new, five-song EP is scheduled to be released tomorrow. Previews for all five songs and more can be streamed on her MySpace.
- Music Fog posted a video from New Country Rehab, a new Canadian band that describes its sound as “outlaw indie country.” Here’s three songs from the group’s self-titled debut, which was released last week.
- The Boston Globe‘s Marc Hirsh covered the Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt show at Wilbur Theater last Thursday:
If the overall casualness limited the number of high points like that one, it provided a charm that never faltered. At one point, Lovett asked why Hiatt kept writing songs after so many years. Hiatt’s answer was simple and humble: “Trying to do a better job.’’
- Melodic Sunburst’s Carolyn Dixon believes the world needs more Steel Wheels, and I’m inclined to agree — the band’s album Red Wing was one of my favorite releases last year. In an effort to maintain touring, they’re asking for donations to help raise money for a new van.
Happy MLK Day.
- A.B.: I think I understand why the eating disorder facility wants to be located there besides it being the former Cash …
- Janice Brooks: Hopes somebody gets those memos about drinking songs. Meanwhile I'm feeling a lot of slots with Bluegrass.
- Leeann: Great news about Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's duet album! Absolutely appalling about the Keith Urban concert!! Both the rape and …
- bob: I found the Billboard article about country music radio needing an alcohol intervention interesting. Songwriter Adam Wright is quoted as …
- Matt: Definitely agree with C.M. about Maddie & Tae. Certainly not the tidal wave of change some claimed it is or …
- Dave D.: Good stuff, as always. My copy of Producing Country arrived yesterday, and it looks to be as good as …
- Scooter: I agree Holly Williams can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a good album and great to see live …
- Carrie Mclaughlin: Your my Hero Mr. Jim Lauderdale!!! Come to Alaska Please? hehehehe
- Jeremy Dylan: You should check it out Dave D. It's from the first (and strongest) season.
- Leeann: Wow! I love that Holly William's cover of "No Surrender"! She's gotten to be so good.