Kix Brooks Schedules New Tour; Turkey Hunting with James McMurtry; ‘Nashville Scene’ Covers Americana
- Brooks & Dunn haven’t yet wrapped up their final tour together (their last gig is tonight), but that hasn’t stopped Kix Brooks from lining up tour dates for next year. It’ll be a different kind of tour though. Instead of performing, Brooks will take his nationally syndicated American Country Countdown to various radio affiliates across the country to broadcast from their studios. He’ll also host the American Country Countdown Concert Series, which will be “live shows featuring an array of established Country artists as well as talented newcomers.” (via CMT)
- Gary Allan doesn’t like to know who wrote a song or what it’s about before he hears it for himself:
“All I want to see on a demo CD is the name of the song,” he’s told me more than once during our conversations through the years. “I don’t want to be influenced by the name of the hottest songwriter in town,” he says. “And I don’t want to hear an introduction to the song before I hear it for the first time. ‘This is a great tune about this or that.’ When someone hears a song on the radio, they aren’t told in advance who wrote it, and there’s not a story about why it was written or what it’s about. The song has to stand up on its own merits, and people either like it or they don’t. I like to put myself in that position when I hear it for the first time, too. I want the song to sink or swim with me with no outside influences.”
- Steel Magnolia‘s debut album Keep On Lovin’ You will be in stores January 11 of next year.
- Houston Press’ William Michael Smith profiled country singer Jon Wolfe (MySpace), who left Houston for Nashville in 2006 with George Strait‘s nephew as his manager. Wolfe recorded an album during his stay in Nashville, but his label, Midas Records, folded in 2007 and it was never released. He’s back in Texas now and has a new album, It Happened In a Honky Tonk, due out next week.
The album’s first single, “Let a Country Boy Love You,” walks that fine line between the commercial country of guys like Alan Jackson or Clint Black and the Texas Music/red-dirt radio scene.
- If you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favor and check out advertising guy Charlie Hopper’s enetertaining dispatches about trying to sell a song in Nashville.
- C.M. Wilcox thinks you should be listening to Ronnie Fauss‘ recently released EP Mulligan:
Much as Snider does on his albums (recall that “Beer Run” and “Waco Moon” both debuted on New Connection), Fauss balances the levity with some darker material, like the sad character sketch “Tia Maria” and the lovely piano-and-steel track “Driving Through Memphis,” a broken, reflective ballad from the driver’s seat that closes the EP. All around, a solid offering. I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about this guy.
- In an article from Edd Hurt about the momentum of Americana music, Sarah Jarosz shared her thoughts on bluegrass:
“Bluegrass was the result of trying to be different,” Jarosz says. “I know there are a lot of bluegrass purists who want to keep it straight and preserve the music’s history. But Bill Monroe was kinda breakin’ the rules, you know, in creating bluegrass music.”
With the Americana Music Festival right around the corner, Nashville Scene published a couple more articles on Americana music:
- Throughout the next month, My Kind of Country intends to spotlight several artists they refer to as the new New Traditionalists: Joe Nichols, Dierks Bentley, Josh Turner, Chris Young, Jamey Johnson, Sunny Sweeney, Joey+Rory, and Ashton Shepherd.
- 11 question with Trace Adkins.
What is the last compliment you’ve received?
Somebody told me that I had a nice pond yesterday.
- For the Aug/Sept issue of Garden & Gun magazine, Rick Bass turned in a lengthy, but beautifully written profile of James McMurtry. To prepare for the article, Bass joined McMurtry for a turkey hunt and at times his description of the hunt feels like it could be a metaphor for songwriting:
There are a lot of joys in the world, but there is none quite exactly like the one known to the turkey hunter who, upon walking through the dimmest of pre-dawn light, hears the first nearby gobble of a wild turkey, and who knows that whether or not he or she finds a bird that day, there is going to at least be action: that the quarry is indeed in the woods. It is an electrifying sound; it seizes the blood. A lot of hunters will begin running toward the sound, but James just keeps on walking, staying cool: inside, though, he is not cool. No one can hear that sound and remain cool—no one. At best, you go to a tight small place between abandon and fierce control, and you slide along that narrow gauge, watching and listening, with all the senses so inflamed that it seems a single spark, mixed with a single gust of wind, could ignite you.
- NPR’s Fresh Air is compiling a collection of its best interviews with musicians and kicked the series off with a week-long highlight of country music’s legendary songwriters and performers. (via @TwangNation)
- UPDATE: Artists appearing on the Nov. 9 release of Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn have been announced.
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.