Loretta Lynn Cancels Shows Due to Pneumonia; Tennessee Launches Ring of Fire Trail; New Music Videos

Ken Morton, Jr. | October 24th, 2011

  • Gene Kurtz passed away. The talented musician co-wrote “Treat Her Right” and worked with artists like Charley Pride, Dale Watson, and many more.
  • There is new music (and video) from songstress Emily West called “I Hate You, I Love You Again.”
  • On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development officially launched the Ring of Fire Trail which includes many different country music “historic” locations from artists from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift.
  • Wynonna Judd performed “Amazing Grace” and “I Can Only Imagine” at IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon’s funeral.
  • Country rootsy rocker and seven-time San Diego Americana Artist of the Year Eve Selis will be releasing her newest album called Family Tree on November 11th.
  • Jessica Andrews and fellow singer/songwriter Marcel will be getting married on 11/11/11. Here’s the proposal video for those that missed it late last year. He wrote a song that was played on the radio that proposed.
  • Now you can add Willie Nelson’s former tour bus to your Christmas list.
  • There’s a new quartet of young ladies in Nashville that make up the band SHEL. Part Dixie Chicks and part eclectic Jypsi, they’re pretty darn entertaining. Check out their EPK and see/listen for yourself.
  • Edgar Villchur, the man who revolutionized hi-fi speaker equipment for music of all genres, passed away.
  • The Stagecoach Festival released their lineup of artists for the huge three day event on Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29th. Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Alabama and Jason Aldean will headline.
  • Carrie Underwood was featured on VH1’s Pop-Up Video for “Before He Cheats.”
  • Miranda Lambert is the cover girl of Billboard’s latest issue. Pretend you’re there for the article and not the hubba hubba cover.
  • The four piece alternative country band Six Mile Grove out of Minnesota is releasing a new album–a follow-up to 2008’s Steel Mule.
  • Bryan White is doing a small Christmas music tour this holiday season and will be releasing his third Christmas album within the next few weeks.
  • Fiddle prodigy Kati Penn has formed a new bluegrass band called NewTown and their self-titled album will drop on December 1. The first single, “Water Under the Bridge,” has already been shipped to radio.
  • Neal McCoy has released his first radio single in a few years called “A-OK.” Take a listen here.
  • Former ASCAP Country Music Songwriter of the Year Dave Berg is making country music fans out of inner-city kids in St. Louis.
  • Lauren Alaina‘s debut album, Wildflower, became the best-selling female country debut since 2006, debuting at number two on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. With first-week sales of 69,013, Lauren is the youngest female artist to debut this high on the Billboard charts since LeAnn Rimes’ debut 15 years ago. With sales of 19,659 digital albums, Wildflower also becomes the best-ever opening week of a digital album by a debut country female.
  • Ricky Skaggs talks about his relationship with Bill Monroe in an interview you can check out here. “Everybody was afraid of Mr. Monroe, and I wasn’t,” Skaggs said. “He was an innovator. When you’ve got people who are innovators, they’re always going to be creating and pushing the envelope and painting outside the lines.”
  • Canadian country music fans are well aware of their homegrown star Shane Yellowbird. Yellowbird is now celebrating the release of his U.S. debut album, It’s About Time, distributed through On Ramp Records. Released nationally this last week, the album includes Yellowbird’s debut U.S. single and video, “Bare Feet on the Blacktop,” written by ASCAP Songwriter of the Year Ashley Gorley and producer Frank Rogers. You can watch the video here.
  • Everlast of the former group House of Pain was asked by the Wall Street Journal if he’d ever consider doing a country album considering he’s using steel guitar on his latest album Songs of the Ungrateful Living. His reply: “Here’s the problem with that. I love country, but too many worthless talentless f—s have blown their careers and run off and made country records. In the latter half of my career, I’ve been trying to take the feel of hip-hop and inject it into other genres of music. Those songs you hear are country friendly, but I’m not coming out and saying I’m country. I’ve seen too many people do it because they just think country people buy records. It’s almost as lame as doing a Christmas record. And Christmas records are pretty lame. If you ain’t Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra, I’m not interested.”
  • After a small microphone malfunction, Scotty McCreery did an admirable job singing the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series.
  • Back on a major label after becoming a duo, Love & Theft released their new single “She’s Amazing” to country music radio this month. You can listen to the new single here.
  • A CD entitled Tim Janis Presents The American Christmas Carol will include original and traditional holiday favorites from several artists including country’s Hal Ketchum. The album will be available on QVC in December.
  • Behold the “Bluegrass Diva” Funny or Die video, starring Noam Pikelny, Steve Martin, and guests like Ed Helms, Earl Scruggs, and Gillian Welch.

Bluegrass Diva with Steve Martin, Ed Helms and Noam Pikelny from Steve Martin


  • New music videos from the past week (or so):

Matraca Berg – “You and Tequila”

Attwater — “Daydreaming”

Tim Cullpepper — “Ghost”

Claudia Lee — “Hollywood Sunset”

The Soggy Bottom Boys –“In the Jailhouse Now”

Chris Cagle — “Got My Country On”

Dirks Bentley –“Home”

Mariah McManus — “Anyway”

Markus Meier — “Only Human”

Paul Cowderoy – “After Tonight”

O’Shea – “Meant To Be”

Jetty Road – “I’m a Dreamer”

Dale Watson & The Texas Two – “George O’Dwyer”

Cold Creek Band – “Does She Ever Think of Me?”

Granger Smith – “I’m Wearing Black”

Sam Riddle – “Hay”

Bri Anne Michelle – “Heartbreak Train”

Scotty McCreery – “The Trouble with Girls”


  1. Leeann Ward
    October 24, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Ha. Good to see that Marcel and Jessica Andrews are finally tying the knot.:)

  2. Leeann Ward
    October 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that both Vince Gill and Toby Keith’s new albums are out today.

  3. Matt Bjorke
    October 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Also, Love and Theft’s new single is not “She’s Amazing,” it’s “Angel Eyes.”

  4. Jon
    October 24, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Wouldn’t those albums be out on the traditional Tuesday release date, Leeann?

    Substantively, the news about Kati is that she and her band have gone from being Kati Penn & NewTown to just NewTown; it’s the same great lineup that they’ve had for almost two years now. I’m happy the album’s finally getting out – I’ve got two songs on it, one written with the Infamous Stringdusters’ Jeremy Garett, the other with the sensational Sarah Siskind.

  5. Leeann Ward
    October 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    They’re out a day early, I guess, because they’re available (at least digitally) today.

  6. Jon
    October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    What is the world coming to?!

  7. Leeann Ward
    October 24, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Pretty much what I was thinking.:)

  8. Jeremy Dylan
    October 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Vince Gill and Tom Waits in one week! I’m being spoiled.

  9. Rick
    October 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Edgar Villchur and a student of his named Henry Kloss perfected acoustic suspension woofer technology and non-horn loaded dome tweeters as well in the 1950’s. The Acoustic Research company they founded made among the best mass market home stereo speakers available from the mid 1950’s through the late 1960’s. The AR-3a model is still highly prized and sought after by collectors. Nowadays computers design speaker drivers and cabinets, but back then it was just as much art as it was science. Both men will be missed for a long time by the audiophile community.

    Congratulations to Hannah Blaylock on her engagement. I met her earlier this year and she was about as sweet as a southern belle can be. My best wishes to both of them.

    These “sales records” that come from artists who made it to the finals of American Idol mean little to nothing to me. The only other artists they are rightfully competing against are other A.I. alumni who have had similar mass media/marketplace/pop culture exposure. Crikey!

    Attention Juli: You need to keep an eye out for the new release from Della Mae “I Built This Heart”! It was supposed to be released by now but instead they are having two Official CD Release Party concerts! The second one is scheduled for October 27th at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. I’m looking forward to a quality review on that album as Barry’s recent comments piqued my interest.
    Link: http://heyheydellamae.com/

  10. Leeann Ward
    October 24, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Oh…and the Goat Rodeo Sessions is available too. I wish I’d thought to check it out earlier today, but this Monday release thing is throwing me off.

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