Levon Helm in Final Stages of Cancer Battle; Pistol Annies Celebrate Record Store Day with Vinyl; Stream New Waco Brothers & Paul Burch Album

Juli Thanki | April 18th, 2012

  • Sad news was posted on Levon Helm’s website by his wife and daughter yesterday afternoon: Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration… he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage.
  • Stream the new Waco Brothers and Paul Burch album, Great Chicago Fire, before its April 24 release date.
  • Glen Campbell, Ronnie Milsap, The Mavericks, and Kenny Rogers have been added to the roster of performers at the CMA Music Festival’s Nightly Concerts at LP Field.
  • The Inspirational Country Music Association celebrates its 20th anniversary this October.
  • The Pistol Annies are celebrating Record Store Day this weekend with the release of Hell on Heels on vinyl. You can also stream the album, doctored with the pops and crackles to mimic the sound of an album, here and be entered to win an autographed LP and Sony USB turntable.
  • In 1989, former Bluegrass Boy Doug Hutchens taped a lengthy radio interview with Earl Scruggs, which is now available online in 15 parts.
  • Gillian Welch and David Rawlings announced some new late May/early June tour dates.
  • Scott H. Biram and Lydia Loveless will be touring together again in June. Here’s a free mp3 from each artist.
  • The A.V. Club is digging Joe Pug’s new album, The Great Despiser. The article also features a stream of the record’s opening track, “Hymn #76.”
  • Lee Brice’s “A Woman Like You” has gone gold.
  • The latest Tennessean music podcast features Dan Baird of The Georgia Satellites talking about his new band, The Bluefields.
  • Farce the Music started a new feature called “Three Up, Three Down.” The first edition covers singles from Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, and others.
  • Lucy Jones of the Telegraph asks if we’re losing our respect for music: Look at the panorama of music available to us today. We have access to any song we’ve ever wanted to listen to… The one thing we don’t have more of is time. We cannot listen to the entire matrix of music, nor can we pay attention to, say, 100 songs, in the same way as we can 10. Our listening is often quicker, shallower and of a lesser quality, through tinny computer speakers and low bit rate streams and downloads. It is in danger of degrading and trivialising what we’re hearing. 
  1. Rick
    April 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Music City Roots Alert! Tonight’s show will feature Tim O’Brien! Nuff said…(lol) Other artists include Tommy Womack and Rush To Judgement, Ryan Tanner, Todd Burge, and Jason Ringenberg. Did I mention Tim O’Brien would be there?
    Link: http://www.musiccityroots.com/shows

    [Edited.]

    It’s a shame First Aid Kit don’t have more songs the caliber of “Emmylou”. Oh well…

    I think Lucy Jones is onto something about people losing respect for the value of music. When you can get low-fi MP3’s streamed to your smart phone at any time in almost any place, it beomes a mere commodity. Also, the fact that so much, if not the vast majority, of today’s music in most genres (bluegrass has risen above the fray) is basically mediocre may also have something to do with it.

  2. Redd Dirt
    April 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Clips from Underwood’s new album “Blown Away”…
    http://soundcloud.com/jeff1317/blown-away-sampler

    Any of the other 13 songs would have been a better choice then “Good Girl” for the first single.

  3. Jeremy Dylan
    April 19, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I think people are losing respect for music because they can get it for free off the internet with no consequences.

    If you could get a motor vehicle for no money and replace it for free almost instantly if you lost it, cars would become devalued pretty quickly too.

  4. Barry Mazor
    April 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Levon Helm RIP. And a report out of Meridian MS, is that Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers (and many country sessions) is also near death, according to Booker T Jones, who spoke with him. Hard day. I’d met Chris in meridian myself; he’s had many stories to tell.

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