New Guy Clark, Bill Kirchen Albums Due This Summer; Rita MacNeil Passes Away; Wheelhouse Debuts at No. 1

Juli Thanki | April 18th, 2013

  • Canadian folk and country singer Rita MacNeil passed away on April 16 at the age of 68.
  • Guy Clark’s next album, My Favorite Picture of You, will be released July 23. It’s his first studio album in four years.
  • Bill Kirchen’s got a new record coming out this summer as well. Seeds and Stems will be released June 18 on Proper Records. (via press release)
  • Claire Lynch’s Compass debut, Dear Sister, will be released May 28. (via press release)
  • On July 16, Robert Randolph & The Family Band will release their next album, Lickety Split. (via press release)
  • The Roys’ Gypsy Runaway Train is coming out June 4.
  • Granger Smith and soldiers from Service Company, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment did The Boot Walk, a 100-mile march from Austin to Ft. Hood to support The Boot Campaign, which provides funds for soldiers who are “returning home from deployments and transitioning into a civilian lifestyle.”
  • Chet Flippo remembers filmmaker Les Blank: The key to Blank’s success was that he did not focus purely on the music or the food themselves. He did not just shoot concerts and cooks explaining their recipes. He concentrated on the cultures that created these music styles and cooking styles and on their proponents and the motives and impulses that drove them to create what they created. So Blank was not just a visual stenographer of events, not just a chronicler of music concerts and food events. He explored American traditional and roots music and the things that went on around that music and the social scene that that music created around the music.
  • If you’re heading to the Old Settler’s Music Festival, here’s a list of five LPs to get you ready.
  • Brian T. Atkinson of CMT Edge interviewed John Carey of Old Man Markley.
  • Richard Sterban on The Oak Ridge Boys’ longevity: “I think one of the reasons we are here celebrating our 40th anniversary this year is because periodically we have gone into the studio reinventing ourselves and yet we still stay true to ourselves…While this is our 40th anniversary, this is by no means our farewell tour. We do not plan to retire anytime soon. We are not kids any longer, but as long as the good Lord above keeps blessing the four of us with good health, we will still be doing what we do.”
  • Ed Helms announced the artists who’ll be playing The Bluegrass Situation’s Bonnaroo stage, including Del McCoury, Sam Bush, John Fullbright, and more.
  • Here’s Fullbright playing “Gawd Above” for The Crypt Sessions.



  1. Cory
    April 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

    RIP Rita….you’re one of the all time greats. If you’ll pardon the expression, it’s going to be a hell of a show upstairs this weekend with she and Stompin’ Tom performing together…

  2. Rick
    April 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s “Classic Country Opry” will feature two of my personal faves Elizabeth Cook (who hopefully won’t sing songs off “Gospel Plow”) and Rebecca Lynn Howard. Also featured are The Charlie Daniels Band, Jim Lauderdale, and John Conlee. Grade: A

    In an article on Charles Esten (ie Deacon) over at AOl’s the Boot, it mentions that ABC’s “Nashville” has not yet been renewed for a second season! What’s up with that?

    Why Can’t Ed Helms and the Bluegrass Situation host a stage full of artists like that here in the Los Angeles area sometime? Doing it at Bonnaroo doesn’t help me one bit…

    I’m glad I’ll never have to take a road trip with Darryl Smyers and have to listen to his Top 10 Americana artists on the stereo! Crikey! Although that would still be more bearable than a Kelly Dearmore Red Dirt playlist.

  3. Barry Mazor
    April 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    That’s a funny thing about Darryl Smyers, Rick, since I heard that he was practically begging for you to be there..

  4. BRUCE
    April 18, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I read Richard Sterban’s interview. I think the Oak’s are overdue for the country music HOF. Their body of work, like many others, supports it.

    As far as Paisley goes, I am becoming more disinterested by the day. Just my personal taste.

  5. Luckyoldsun
    April 19, 2013 at 4:11 am

    The Oaks are a little scary. You never know which one may suddenly flip out or have a bizarre change in appearance or personality.

    But I agree with you Bruce. “Giddyap Oom Papa Oom Papa Mauw Mauw” says “Hall of Fame” all by itself. The rest is gravy.

  6. Barry Mazor
    April 19, 2013 at 6:26 am

    I’m quite sure that Dallas Frazier, the composer of the song referred to here as “Giddyap Ooom Pap,” (Elvira) is headed to the Hall of Fame, sooner or later, maybe even next time the Songwriter category comes around. He also wrote “There Goes My Everything,” “California Cottonfields,” “If My Heart Had Windows,” and “All I Have to Offer You is Me,” and dozens more. Frazier songs recorded by George Jones and Connie Smith alone number up near 60-75 each. And yeah, he also wrote “Alley Oop” and “Mohair Sam” in pop and is a heck of an R&B flavored singer himself.

    In fact, he recorded “Elvira’ long before the Oak Ridge Boys, as did, uh–Kenny Rogers.

  7. Luckyoldsun
    April 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

    And Bobby Bare recorded “The Gambler” before KR. I guess it doesn’t really matter who recorded a song first–It’s who records the one that lasts!

  8. TX Music Jim
    April 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Rick, I formulate a Red Dirt playlist for you if you’d like !

  9. Luckyoldsun
    April 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I looked up the Dallas Frazier original version of “Elvira.” I don’t think I’d ever heard him before. I have to say that when you’ve heard his R&B-styled recording, the ORB version comes off as a bit kitschy.

    The Oaks took the “Giddyap…” line from the originator, but I notice that they didn’t pick up on–or they abandoned–another vocal twist of his: Dallas sang “My heart’s on ‘FIRUH”–to rhyme with the title!

  10. Barry Mazor
    April 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Dallas has a cult following, and his old LPs are sought after; his demos were considered classics of the type too, and if you’ve never heard it, he has a virtual duet album with Connie Smith..reissued as part of the Bear Family set I did the book for last year. Got to spend considerable time interviewing Dallas for that…

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