New Albums From Jerry Douglas, The Bankesters & Jimbo Mathus Due This Summer; Nora Jane Struthers Launches Kickstarter; Free American Songwriter Country Compilation

Juli Thanki | May 2nd, 2012

  • Marty Stuart was featured in The Wall Street Journal. An excerpt: “When I was playing the chart game, I was embarrassed to play my albums for my rock friends,” he said, mentioning Tom Petty and Jack White. “When people think of country music, they want a feeling of authenticity. Now you have to homogenize.” He recalled an insight Cash once shared with him: “In trying to become all things to all people, we have virtually become nothing. That knowledge comes from his own hard-won wisdom,” Mr. Stuart said. “If it’s chart or heart, choose the heart. It’ll take you to the right place.”
  • American Songwriter is giving away a compilation featuring Rodney Crowell, Todd Snider, Madison Violet, Amanda Shires, and more.
  • Here’s a new video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse.
  • And one from Ha Ha Tonka.
  • Andrew Leahey of American Songwriter interviewed Eric Church. An excerpt in which Church responds to the question of whether the outlaw image is one he tried to create for himself: Oh god. No! Not at all. I think we get thrown into that category because of our career path. For a long time, it wasn’t cool to play the kind of music we did. It wasn’t cool to talk about what we talked about. We were pariahs, and when we got fired from the Rascal Flatts tour, we were troublemakers. I think that’s where the outlaw name comes from, but I prefer to think there’s already been an outlaw movement, and I think we can leave it at that. I’m not into branding what we do, because that just sensationalizes things, when it should be about the music.
  • Carrie Underwood announced dates for her Blown Away tour, which begins in September. Hunter Hayes is slated to be the opening act.
  • Check out the lead single from The Bankesters’ upcoming album, Looking Forward, which will be released June 1.
  • Nora Jane Struthers started a Kickstarter to fund a sophomore solo album. If she raises the funds, her goal is to record this October and release the album next spring.
  • Ted Russell Kamp covered the Gnarls Barkley song “Crazy.”
  • Due out July 20 on Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess Records: Blue Light, a six-song vinyl EP from Jimbo Mathus.
  • If you’re in the Chicago area, check out Music Mad, a play about Francis O’Neill, an Irish immigrant and police chief in the early 1900s “who did more than anyone to save Irish folk music from extinction. Even as he led the police force, he kept his ears open for tunes played by people from all over Ireland who had come to Chicago with their flutes, fiddles and pipes. He compiled 1,850 of those songs in a 1903 book, O’Neill’s Music of Ireland. It’s still considered the bible of traditional Irish music.”


  1. Andrew
    May 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I think Eric Church is confused on the distinction between outlaw and jerk.

  2. Barry Mazor
    May 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Well, Andrew, he wouldn’t be the first one..

  3. Jon
    May 2, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    That Bankesters album has some good stuff on it. They get better with every record they make.

  4. Donald
    May 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    What Marty says (referencing JRC, “In trying to become all things to all people, we have virtually become nothing”) is similar to what many have said about the ‘watering down’ of bluegrass over the past many years (likely since about 1950). Whether that has any merit is a matter of opinion. Kickstarter campaigns- would one be surprised if someday soon someone with a considerable ‘name’ (let’s say Travis Tritt) started a kickstarter fundraiser for their album. Is this method almost too easy? Whatever happened to having to ‘work’ to fund your music? (And while we’re at it, why don’t kids today have to walk uphill both ways through a snowstorm to school every day. I must be grumpy today.

  5. Jon
    May 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Honestly, when I read that Journal story, I thought that there was a definitely get-what-you-ask-for element to it (it’s instructive to read Chrissie Dickinson’s recent Chicago Tribune piece for a somewhat contrasting, and maybe more nuanced vibe); and while I’m a huge Marty fan – and was at a time when it wasn’t fashionable in certain circles to be so – every time I turn on, oh, the Grammy awards or any other show that has a big dose of pop music, I’m struck by how far even the glossiest contemporary country is from trying to be all things to all people.

    And sorry, but there’s nothing easy about Kickstarter funding. There’s plenty of projects that don’t reach their goal to make that pretty clear. In my opinion, it’s one of the few bright lights in an otherwise mostly dark music biz world, because it offers a viable way to tap into one of the few “new music business model” phenomena that has some real meat to it – namely, the existence and accessibility of “superfans.”

    Premature spring up there getting on your nerves, eh?

  6. luckyoldsun
    May 3, 2012 at 2:25 am

    ” ‘When I was playing the chart game, I was embarrassed to play my albums for my rock friends,” he said, mentioning Tom Petty and Jack White.’ ”

    Yeah, but at least they could double-date. Marty and Connie, Jack and Loretta–has the makings of a good (un)reality show for TNT.

  7. Barry Mazor
    May 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

    LuckyOl–what a comparison. How utterly demeaning, uninformed and mistaken of you. But you got your one-liner, and what else matters.

  8. Ben Foster
    May 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Albeit not a particularly funny or tasteful one-liner, nor one with a very significant relation to the topic at hand.

  9. Rick
    May 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I thought Lucky’s comment was in perfect taste!

    I hope Nora Jane Struthers pulls off the Kickstarter deal as her first solo album had some real gems on it. I also hope this doesn’t mean her alliance with Bearfoot is in jeopardy. Hmm…

    Ted Russell Kamp is one of LA’s top Americana artists. I’d prefer a cover of a Hank Williams or Johnny cash song though. Oh well.


  10. luckyoldsun
    May 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    “How utterly demeaning, uninformed and mistaken of you.”

    I don’t see how the comment was utterly demeaning, uninformed OR mistaken. But I deeply apologize if you were traumatized by it.

    “Albeit not a particularly funny or tasteful one-liner, nor one with a very significant relation to the topic at hand.”

    And what is “the topic at hand”?
    That there may be a bit of self-serving delusion to Marty Stuart’s denigrating “the chart game” now that he can no longer play it?

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