MerleFest Lineup Announced; Jennifer Nettles’ Solo Album Due in January; Darrell Webb Releases New Single

Juli Thanki | November 6th, 2013

  • Everyone from Alan Jackson to Zephyr Lightning Bolts is playing MerleFest next April.
  • George Strait took home the ASCAP Founders Award Monday night. Check out the full list of winners here.
  • This is from The National Enquirer, so take it with a grain of salt: Randy Travis is allegedly still paralyzed on the right side after suffering from a stroke and other health problems over the summer; Travis’ father told the Enquirer that his son may never perform again.
  • Visit Music Tomes to read an excerpt from Buck Owens’ autobiography, Buck ‘Em, and enter to win a copy of the book.
  • Some CMA Awards were announced this morning: Musical Event of the Year and Video of the Year both went to Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care,” featuring Taylor Swift and Keith Urban.
  • Paste posted video of The Milk Carton Kids at Newport.
  • Jennifer Nettles’ Rick Rubin-produced solo album, That Girl, will be released January 14. Nettles says that this record is the “most intimate and personal” project she’s done.
  • Here’s a feature on Bobby Bare.
  • Stephen Stills on writing songs about his love life: “I’m a little like Taylor Swift in that regard. Wear your heart on your sleeve, then just write about it. Fuck ‘em.”  
  • Rhett Miller talks about The Old 97s’ collaborations with Waylon Jennings in an interview posted on
  • Darrell Webb’s got a new single called “More Life” that features Rhonda Vincent singing harmony.
  • Scott H. Biram posted a video of his version of Don Walser’s “Rolling Stone from Texas.”
  • Bonnie Raitt on building her career and fan base: “I deliberately built my following on a lot of live shows and probably sacrificed what a lot of other women, especially, would want to do with their lives, which is to build a family, and try to do both. I knew that I really liked being on the road and I liked building my fan following so I could do this in my 70s and 80s if I wanted to. I modeled my career after my dad’s and people like Tony Bennett and B.B. King. Back in the days when I was starting out I took a look at the blues and folk and classical and legit singers — you know, standards singers — and there didn’t seem to be the age-ism that there was in pop and rock. I knew that if I had one hit record in my 20s, there would be the risk that if I didn’t duplicate it I would be washed up, somebody else would come along and take my place. I didn’t even want to think about that. I started out as an album artist and said, ‘You know what, if I make really good records and play really good shows, my fans might stick with me through the decades.'”  
  • Chris Richards of The Washington Post traces the path a country song takes from inception to radio.
  • This NPR piece, “Accordions, Beer and God: Zydeco in Gran Texas,” is worth a listen.
  • Kris Kristofferson paid tribute to Janis Joplin, who was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • CMT Edge’s Brian T. Atkinson interviewed rockabilly band Motel Mirrors.
  • Richard Thompson, Kristian Bush, and Robert Randolph & The Family Band are among the acts who’ll appear at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Florida this January.
  • Scottish folksinger Jack Alexander passed away last week, one month after he suffered a stroke. He was 77.
  • David Crosby will release his next album, Croz, on January 28. This Rolling Stone article on the album also includes “What’s Broken,” a new Crosby song featuring Mark Knopfler on guitar.
  • Lars Gotrich of NPR selected five new American Primitive guitar albums that “would make John Fahey proud.”
  • Allan Block, a sandal maker whose Greenwich Village shop was a folk music hub during the ‘50s and ‘60s, passed away late last month at the age of 90. Here’s a brief NPR piece on the man.
  • We hope you’ll join us for our CMA Awards live blog tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern.


  1. bob
    November 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Enjoyed the WaPo article on the song to radio process.Thanks.

  2. nm
    November 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    It’s an interesting article, but it’s just not true that songs have always taken that long to get released in Nashville. That’s a product of slow charts and artists only putting out an album every couple of years, which are relatively recent developments. When the charts were genuine “top 40″ charts with 40 songs in regular rotation and a dozen or so new ones being tried out every week, things moved much faster.

  3. Luckyoldsun
    November 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Interesting. The Enquirer piece on Travis reads like a real newspaper article–intelligently written. Maybe they’re trying to upscale the brand. It seems credible.

    Travis’s team issued a video news release with his doctors and his fiancé after the accident. If they have a problem with the Enquirer article, they can give their own update again.

  4. Rick
    November 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Based upon the medical issues Randy went through recently the Enquirer article seems perfectly reasonable to me. Strokes do permanent damage to the brain and the after affects just depend on which part of the brain was injured.

    Music City Roots Alert! Tonight is “Guitar Night”! Yes, it’s yet another in the endless line of “Who in the heck are these people?” MCR shows! Tonight’s episode features Guthrie Trapp, David Andersen, Ethan Ballinger, and Jim Oblon.

    Maybe Alan Jackson recorded a bluegrass album primarily so he could play all the cool bluegrass and roots music festivals! I’m sure they aare lot more fun for the artists than big venue tours…

    The Secret/Rodgers Sisters were on the Opry last night and sounded great. I’m looking forward to their next album based on what I heard, including the Beach Boys classic “In My Room” where their Dad joined them on stage to make it three part harmony. Good stuff!

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