Mavis Staples, Zac Brown & More to Honor Levon Helm at Grammys; George Strait to Receive CRB Career Achievement Award; Birthplace of Country Music Museum Approved for Funding

Juli Thanki | February 7th, 2013

  • Elton John, Mumford and Sons, Mavis Staples, Zac Brown, T Bone Burnett, and Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes) will take part in a tribute to Levon Helm at the Grammy Awards on Sunday.
  • The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, currently under construction in Bristol, Tenn. recently got approved for funding. $600,000 will be paid in installments over the next three years.
  • Jerry Miller, guitarist for Eilen Jewell, will release his first solo album on Signature Sounds April 23. From the press release: “With original songs by Jerry, the album features the Eilen Jewell band, plus guest vocalists Eilen Jewell, Miss Tess, Roy Sludge, and Eric Royer.”
  • Della Mae was mentioned in the February issue of The Washington Diplomat in an article about the State Department’s American Music Abroad program. An excerpt: American Music Abroad activities focus on younger and underserved audiences in countries with little or no access to live American performances. As such, Della Mae kicked off their tour in Islamabad, Pakistan, at the all-female Fatima Jinnah University. Della Mae’s presence on campus was akin to that of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones — students at the country’s first female university were so excited to hear the female bluegrass band that they literally tore the doors off the hinges of the theater to get in on the sound check warm-up. “We’ve never played for crowds so excited and enthused to hear live music,” said Della Mae fiddler Kimber Ludiker.
  • Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, co-writers of Carrie Underwood’s  “Before He Cheats” and “Blown Away,” share the story behind Underwood’s new single.
  • Chet Flippo talks with Tamara Saviano, producer of the Grammy-nominated album This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, about her work and the dearth of women record producers in Nashville.
  • On February 26, George Strait will receive the Country Radio Broadcasters’ 2013 career achievement award. The award is “presented to an individual artist or act to recognize significant contributions to the development and promotion of country music and country radio.” 
  • Jewly Hight interviewed Holly Williams for CMT Edge and wrote a feature on the singer-songwriter for the Nashville Scene.
  • Tim McGraw on “Truck Yeah”: “ ‘Truck Yeah’ for me was very reminiscent of the things I did that sort of broke my career out, stuff like ‘Indian Outlaw’ or ‘I Like It, I Love It,’ ” he says on the phone from Nashville. “Just things that were sort of fun.”
  • The Deep Dark Woods make a cameo in the new Nicholas Sparks film, Safe Haven.
  • Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show) on the rise of folky bands like The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons: “I see it as a reaction to Walmart parking lots and Applebee’s, O’Charley’s and country music. It’s very much a reactionary kind of sound. That’s something we arm ourselves with in this line of work. When you strap a banjo on you’re making a choice.” 
  • Edd Hurt of the Nashville Scene wrote a feature on Richard Thompson and his new album, Electric.
  • Jim Beviglia of American Songwriter delves into the story behind Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You.”


  1. Janice Brooks
    February 7, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Kudos to all those female producers. I’m thankful for the folks who steered me towards Buddy Millers music in 1997.

  2. Barry Mazor
    February 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

    My wife and I had the privilege (and that;s what it was) to be at that Marry Stuart taping with Hag, and all I can say is watch for it; it’ll be the last episode to air this year, airing in a few months. Merle’s performances alone were immensely moving, and he wasn’t alone.

  3. Jon
    February 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

    “When you strap a banjo on you’re making a choice.”

    Well, yeah – you’re choosing to play, or at least hold, a banjo. It’s a nice line, but as Secor knows (or should), if you took a poll of all the banjo players in this country, you’d probably find at least as many shopping at Wal-Mart as not, and even more who thought that caring about the subject was a little peculiar in the first place.

    Nice to see that Eric Royer’s still around….

    • Juli Thanki
      February 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

      You’re also making a choice to get a backache. Unless you go with a wood tone ring…

  4. Jon
    February 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Oh, and good on Chet to write about Tamara – she’s great!

  5. Ben Foster
    February 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Huh. I never did get an “I Like It, I Love It” vibe from “Truck Yeah.”

  6. Luckyoldsun
    February 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    And it wasn’t until the third time I heard the song that I realized that he was saying truck as a euphemism/substitute for f….

    OK, I was a bit slow.

    But I have to acknowledge it’s the most brilliant display of wit since someone sang about “Some Beach.”

  7. Leeann Ward
    February 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    …Or “Love you”…

  8. Leeann Ward
    February 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    …And “It happens”…

    Which is to say that it’s all not so clever anymore.

  9. Luckyoldsun
    February 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Well Jimmy Dickens asked “Were you there when the ship hit the sand?”–which must have been as funny as “May the bird of paradise fly up your nose”!

  10. Barry Mazor
    February 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Ah, soundalikes that pass. Tampa Red & the Harlem Hamfats recorded “Lets Get Drunk and Truck” in 1936, and if you wanna go more country, The Modern Mountaineers had “Everybody’s Truckin’,” with at least one chorus where they probably uttered a different word, in 1937. It was one very euphemistic dance move:

  11. Rick
    February 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Speaking of the Hag, I won a pair of tickets to see him perform in small venue in the LA area in mid-April. I figure I need to catch his live show once before one of us keels over! (lol)

    Sounds like Jewly Hight might have a bit of a “girl crush” on Holly Williams! (lol) Can’t say I blame her…

    I do seem to recall that the Steeldrivers performed “I’ll Be There” on last night’s Music City Roots show. I’m sure Jon W. can confirm that since he was fronting his own band of pals last night.

    I’m sure the Nashville “Good Ole Boys Network” hasn’t helped women trying to become recording engineers and producers. On the other hand men are more naturally drawn to electronic equipment and the more knobs, buttons, and sliders the better!

    I just might have to DVR the Grammy Awards show, unlike say the CMA’s, ACM’s, and CMT Awards shows where there is so little music of interest presented…

  12. BRUCE
    February 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Mavis Staples is a treasure.

  13. Paul W Dennis
    February 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I wish Hag would come back to Central Florida again (he was here a few years back opening for Bob Dylan, but the tickets were too expensive for an opening act’s small share of the show (and I certanly wouldn’t want to stick around to hear Dylan “sing”)

    I saw Hag a bunch of times from 1967-1982 but not since then except on video concerts. During the late 70s – early 80s Hag put on the best stage show of any major country act, but then what would you expect of the greatest all-around performer in the history of the genre ?

  14. Jon
    February 10, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    “…(and I certanly wouldn’t want to stick around to hear Dylan “sing”)”

    Really. That guy’s never going to amount to anything, is he?

  15. BRUCE
    February 10, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I do not read in Paul’s post that he said anything about Dylan not amounting to anything. If I interpret him correctly, he doesn’t care for Dylan’s singing personally. Paul, you may correct my assertion if I am wrong.

  16. Luckyoldsun
    February 11, 2013 at 3:52 am

    I hate to stand with the cop, but I had the same reaction that he did. I think it was the word “certainly” in that sentence (along with the quotation marks around “sing”)–Those words convey not just that Paul doesn’t care for Dylan’s singing “personally,” but rather that Dylan’s worthlessness–as a performer, at least–is self-evident.

  17. Paul W Dennis
    February 11, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I like many of many of Dylan’s songs – when performed by someone else (almost anyone else, actually). I had the same reaction to Vince Matthews and Sonny Throckmorton, to name two other fine songwriters who were poor vocalists

  18. Jon
    February 11, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Bob Dylan has not just been writing songs, but singing for his living for some 50 years now. Furthermore, unlike Sonny Throckmorton,, he is – especially in the last 40 or so of those 50 years – the main singer of his songs, the one who’s successfully put those songs into the marketplace. Like it or not, his singing obviously neither needs nor deserves Dennis’s quote marks.

  19. Bruce
    February 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Paul, thanks for clearing it up. I understand where you are coming form.

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