Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band to Co-Headline New Tour; Garth Brooks Info: How to Avoid the “Late Line”

Brody Vercher | November 4th, 2010

  • Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band will co-headline nine stadium dates next year.
  • Tickets for Garth Brook‘s Nashville show go on sale Saturday morning, but there’s a list of requirements that need to be followed in order to avoid banishment to the “late line.” GAC has the details.
  • Jewly Hight’s cover story for Nashville Scene traces the roots of Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and the songwriters who congregated there — guys like Tom T. Hall, Mel Tillis, Roger Miller, Bobby Bare, Willie Nelson, Hank Cochran, and Mickey Newbury — and the ways they unintentionally changed country music and Nashville. To read their accounts, they weren’t out to change anything, at the time they were just trying to survive.

    Over a beer (or five) at Tootsie’s, camaraderie gained in the songwriter scene. But that wasn’t the only environment where song ideas and creative energy were thrown around.

    “So we’d hang out at Tootsie’s and we’d drink beer,” Hall says, “but Tootsie’s wasn’t the only place. There were some after-hours places, mostly people’s houses and things. You know, pickers traditionally stay up all night. So when they’d close the beer joints or Tootsie’s, we’d sort of call each other on the phone and they’d say, ‘Well, so-and-so’s cooking some chicken or making some barbecue,’ and we’d just all wind up there and have these famous guitar pullings.”

    “Pull” — or “pulling” — is an apt term. There was an element of mutual stretching and challenge to the act of passing the guitar around and hearing what songwriting peers were coming up with. Says Tillis, “We’d hang around and we would try to impress the other writers, you know.”

    Bare fell into the habit of instigating guitar pulls before he moved to town. “I’d come down here from the road, from California or whatever, and I’d bundle up a bunch of songs,” he says. “I’d have five or six that I’d written. And I’d get a room at the Andrew Jackson [Hotel] at the time. I remember distinctly getting a room with a big washtub, galvanized washtub full of ice and beer, and Roger and Willie and Harlan and a whole bunch would come up and we’d start passing the guitar around singing songs.

    “By the time Willie and Roger and all of them sang their songs, I might wind up with one that I thought was brilliant enough to sing. And then it would be ‘See what you guys think of this.’ Because I was in the big leagues then.”

    The idea of a gang of gifted outsiders is powerfully appealing, almost a classic tale of underdogs making good. But, as Hall points out in his patient, perceptive way, it’s also a tad idyllic.

    “We all knew one another, right?” he begins. “But it might be romantic to say we were all big pals or we were the Rat Pack of the mid-’60s or whatever. We were competitors, you know. We sort of kept an eye on one another. Like prize fighters circling in a ring, metaphorically speaking.”

  • Toby Keith‘s appearance on Aol Music Sessions includes performances of “Bullets In the Gun,” “Somewhere Else,” “Trailerhood,” and “God Love Her.”
  • Jeff Bridges is teaming up with two of his collaborators from the film Crazy Heart to record a new album. It’ll feature songs written by himself and/or Ryan Bingham, while T Bone Burnett takes the reins as producer.
  • Jessica Andrews has a new video with Dave Pahanish for a song called “Now Or Neverland.”
  • The Tennessean‘s Peter Cooper talked to Deborah Evans Price about her new book The CMA Awards Vault: Country Music’s Biggest Night.

    “One of the most enjoyable things about doing the project was that I went back and watched 41 years worth of CMA shows. The first show in ’67 wasn’t televised, and they couldn’t locate the 1969 show. But the ’68 show and the ’70 show through now, I sat and watched all of them. And I loved it. I’ve attended the last 25 shows, but I’m in the press area and you don’t always get to see everything from there, so this gave me a chance to see all the moments I missed.”

  • And here’s pictures from various CMA Awards shows dating back to 1967.
  • Free Download: The Travelin’ McCourys are offering a free download in exchange for your email address.
  • Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush will participate in a scheduled live Q&A with Billboard later today.
  • Reba McEntire extended her record for the most Top 10s among women with “Turn On the Radio.”
  • Margaret Renkly interviewed Loretta Lynn for Chapter 16.
  1. Drew
    November 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Count me among those excited for Bridges’ album… that should be sweet.

    That Reba song is maybe the worst she’s ever done…

  2. Jon
    November 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    The Travelin’ McCourys stuff – I’m assuming that the track is from the Meetin’ In The Middle EP they’ve done with the Lee Boys – is fantabulous, and easily worth the price of admission, as they’re hardly spamaholics.

    And Jewly Hight is rapidly becoming one of my favorite music writers. She’s always been good, but lately she’s been coming on like gangbusters. I love the way she puts the spotlight on her subject(s), rather than on herself.

  3. Noeller
    November 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    love that story about the pack of songwriters all challenging eachother back in the 60s. When I first moved west to Alberta and became a sort of “media member” of our so-called “Nashville North” scene up here, that was one of my first introductions to the songwriter family — the guitar pulls that go on up here. It’s really something special to sit and watch truly talented songwriters passing a guitar around and sharing some incredible stories!

  4. Cutting the Treacle
    November 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    “And here’s pictures from various CMA Awards shows dating back to 1967.”

    Me: Damn. I’d rather see clips. Or maybe the CMA can sell dvd’s of the old shows. I’d buy them all.

  5. Rick
    November 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I really enjoyed the older pictures from the CMA awards featuring artists like Kitty Wells and the Stoneman Sisters. I wonder if Ronnie behaved herself onstage? (lol)

    Its too bad Jessica Andrews didn’t have the lead vocals on that song and that the over wrought Michael Bolton impersonation by Dave Pahanish was instead relegated to harmony vocals to minimize the annoyance factor. Jessica’s vocals are top notch and its even a decent song, its too bad the Amrican Idol approach was applied. Oh well… (PS – Who is Emily West laying her head upon in the backgroud, Jessica’s beau Marcel?)

    That “Tooties and The Songwriters” feature is a fine piece of writing and the subject matter hard to beat. What an interesting glimpse into how it used to be back during the glory days of country music. No wonder why the results were so much better than today’s songwriting committees that are on a time clock. (PS – Aren’t their any top female country music journalists that spell their first name Julie? What’s up with that? lol)

    I really wish I could give an “Opry Alert” today but the Thursday night Classic Country Opry’s (my favorite) closed out their season last week and won’t be back until next spring. Bugger…

  6. Matt Bjorke
    November 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Rick, The guy with Emily West is Hugh Mitchell, her ‘beau’. He’s a singer/songwriter with more of a soul/rock thing.

  7. MIA
    November 8, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Co-headline.

    Wow.

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