Merle Haggard Hospitalized; View Trailer for John Hartford Documentary; New Album Releases

Juli Thanki | August 16th, 2011

  • Elvis Presley died on this day in 1977. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?
  • Ricardo Baca of the Denver Post looks at the impact of the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack a decade later: The music that scored the Coen Brothers’ Depression-era adaptation of Homer’s “Odyssey” changed popular music in a big way, bringing old-timey mountain music back to the forefront of America’s pop market for the first time in multiple decades. And we’re still feeling the soundtrack’s influence. Would the masses have been ready for roots- minded crossover acts Mumford & Sons​, Old Crow Medicine Show​, the Civil Wars or the Avett Brothers​ had it not been for the brave, game-changing appeal of “O Brother”?
  • Jewly Hight interviewed Tom T. Hall about his album Songs of Fox Hollow (for “children of all ages”), which has recently been re-recorded by artists like Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, and Bobby Bare.
  • On Monday, August 22, Elizabeth Cook will be appearing as an interview guest on The Late Show with David Letterman.
  • Sugarland and their crew may have been saved thanks to their tour manager’s decision to hold the band backstage mere moments before the scaffolding collapsed.
  • The October 2011 issue of Acoustic Guitar includes features on cover girl Sarah Jarosz (be sure to check out the videos of Jarosz and her band performing) and the Gibson Brothers.
  • Chet Atkins’ family bestowed the “c.g.p.” (“certified guitar player”) on one last musician: Paul Yandell, Atkins’ bandleader of 30+ years.
  • Peter Cooper wrote about Atkins and the new Hall of Fame exhibit for the Tennessean.
  • Guest writer Bob Losche covers Suzy Bogguss for Country Universe’s Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists series.
  • You might want to book your plane ticket now: Australian country music festival CMC Rocks the Hunter (held in March 2012) confirmed a lineup that includes Dierks Bentley, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Jim Lauderdale, and more. Tickets went on sale yesterday.
  • Take part in the Pistol Annies’ scavenger hunt: you’ll get to hear songs from their upcoming album and have a chance to win a meet and greet with the band.
  • Belmont students took part in a Music Row think tank to “focus on business solutions for the music industry, which has seen its sales cut in half over the past 10 years.”
  • Music City Roots is celebrating their second anniversary this fall. Check out the schedule here.
  • Josh Kelley will be joining Lady Antebellum on their Own the Night 2011 tour, which kicks off in Knoxville on November 11. Next week he’ll join Taylor Swift’s tour.
  • New album releases:

Jeff Bridges Jeff Bridges

Guy Clark Songs and Stories

Rodney Dillard & The Dillard Band Don’t Wait for the Hearse to Take You to Church

The Bottle Rockets — Not So Loud: An Acoustic Evening with the Bottle Rockets

Eli Young Band Life at Best

Ollabelle Neon Blue Bird

Wagons Rumble, Shake & Tumble

Candye Kane featuring Laura Chavez Sister Vagabond

Kris Delmhorst Cars (a Cars tribute album)


  • Watch a six-minute trailer for an upcoming documentary on John Hartford.

  1. Jon
    August 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    That piece on the O Brother anniversary is kind of sketchy in a number of places. On the other hand, where Baca argues that it was part of a larger stream of profile-raising roots music stuff, and not something sui generis, he’s right on.

  2. Leeann Ward
    August 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    I’m interested in the John Hartford doc. I’ve just recently gotten into his music.

    I’m enjoying the Jeff Bridges album.

  3. Rick
    August 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    From the small snippet of the “O Brother” article shown here I do agree with the basic premise. That movie brought various types of old timey music back into the public consciousness in a big way and the soundtrack album sales opened that door even further. I’m both surprised and glad that the momentum it started is still evident in the Americana scene and even beyond that realm.

    So Elizabeth Cook is going to be interviewed by David Letterman but she’s not going to get to sing a single song? What’s up with that?

    The one Yankee who’s guaranteed to be in attendance at the Aussie “CMC Rocks The Hunter Valley” festival is Storme Warren from GAC who is a fixture every year. I do enjoy watching his reports from the festival each year on GAC.

    I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing when I first heard Elvis had died, but it was mostly shocking because of his young age. I hadn’t really followed his career and wasn’t aware of the drug abuse or his poor general health. Since the rock and roll scene was so drugged out in the late 60’s, the overdose deaths of Janis Joplin, Jimmie Hendrix, and Jim Morrison were not surprising at all. The premature death of Elvis was another matter entirely.

  4. Rick
    August 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry is a mixed bag featuring Randy Montana, Danny Gokey, Pam Tillis, Randy Houser, Ricky Skaggs and the Charlie Daniels Band. Something old, something new… Grade: B+


  5. Jon
    August 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    When is the Opry not a “mixed bag?” It’s a variety show, for goodness’ sake.

  6. Rick
    August 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    C’mon Jon, admit it, you like that I consistently give you something to gripe about here at engine145! (lol)

    Hey Jon, how come you weren’t part of that “Music Row Think Tank”? If anyone can solve Music Row’s financial woes (or at least thinks they can), I’d guess it was you! (lol)

    PS – That Music City Roots calendar is just chock full of interesting artists. I like the fact that on MCR, unlike The Opry, you don’t hear the same “over the hill gang” artists taking up two thirds of each program singing the same tired old songs! (Except for Tuesday nights thank goodness and the Thursday Night Oprys as well when in session.) Go Music City Roots!

  7. Rick
    August 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Since the Aussie CMC cable TV channel was mentioned today in reference to their annual music festival, here’s a new post from Catherine Britt’s website:

    “Country Music Channel (CMC) today announced that the darling of Australian country music, CATHERINE BRITT, is joining the channel to present a new series of ALT COUNTRY, which sees her become the first person to ever host a video clip-based program on the channel.

    ALT COUNTRY is dedicated to the best in Americana, Bluegrass, Roots and Alternative Country Music. Each week the three hour program celebrates the music of artists such as Corb Lund, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Mavericks, Jim Lauderdale, Kasey Chambers, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss, Justin Towns Earle and more. CATHERINE BRITT will make her debut as a CMC host on Sunday 4 September at 7.00pm. As host of ALT COUNTRY she will give insights that will take fans behind the music and artists featured in the show.”

  8. Byram
    August 17, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Well surprise, surprise. The “young’uns” involved in the Music Row Think Tank came up with ways to market new bands using cost-cutting procedures. The current Music Row regime only believes in “spend, spend, spend,” dropping a million dollars to record a cd project in an era when cd purchases decrease with each year that passes. The faster we can get this greedy bastards out of town, the better off the fans will be.

  9. Jon
    August 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    The current Music Row regime only believes in “spend, spend, spend,” dropping a million dollars to record a cd…

    I hate to break it to you, but it’s 2011 now.

  10. Byram
    August 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I hate to break it to you, but it’s 2011 now.

    Don’t tell me Jon, tell the majors.

  11. Jon
    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Which major label records do you believe cost $1,000,000 to record this year, and what makes you believe that? Last year? Whenever?

  12. Jon
    August 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Congratulations, Juli!

    • Juli Thanki
      August 17, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks, Jon! I don’t have a prayer against Ralph Berrier’s If Trouble Don’t Kill Me and the Tony Rice bio, but it’s an honor just to be nominated.

  13. Barry Mazor
    August 17, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Congrats, Juli (from sunny Chicago) on your nomination for IBMA Print Media Journalist of the year..

    • Juli Thanki
      August 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks, Barry!

  14. Rick
    August 17, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Congratulations Juli! I think this means you should feature a lot more bluegrassy stuff on the engine145! I stay away from The Bluegrass Blog because I’m afraid I might encounter Jon W. over there! Oh, wait a minute…(lol)

    • Juli Thanki
      August 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Rick! I think so too–stay tuned…

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