New Music from David Wax Museum and Catherine Irwin in September; Peter Rowan Pays Tribute to Doc Watson; Pistol Annies Start Henhouse Fan Community

Juli Thanki | June 20th, 2012

  • All of us at Engine 145 were very saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of music journalist Chris Neal. Chris was a knowledgeable, talented writer whose work appeared in a number of places, including the Nashville Scene, M Music & Musicians Magazine (where he was Senior Editor), Country Weekly, and The 9513. Here are a few links to some of my favorite pieces he wrote, and here is a tribute post written by Country Universe’s Dan Milliken. Our thoughts are with Chris’ family and friends at this difficult time.
  • Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the Zac Brown Band’s excellent new single, “The Wind.”
  • Retired music executive Joe Smith is donating over 200 audio interviews – with folks like Artie Shaw, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan – to the Library of Congress. The recordings are now digitized, and a few of them will stream on the library’s website later this year.
  • Out July 31: the Chely Wright documentary, Wish Me Away. It’s also in select theaters and available for preorder and rent on iTunes.
  • Due out September 4: David Wax Museum’s Knock Knock Get Up. (via press release)
  • Out September 18: Little Heater, the second solo album from Catherine Irwin (Freakwater). (via press release)
  • Peter Rowan wrote a song in memory of Doc Watson. Listen here.
  • The Pistol Annies have started The Henhouse, an online community for their fans.
  • Here’s Jewly Hight’s interview with Kip Moore.
  • Blogger Mando Lines chatted with Yonder Mountain String Band’s Adam Aijala.
  • Check out “The Country Boy Song” from Earl Dibbles, Jr., aka Granger Smith.

  1. Rick
    June 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m really sad to hear about Chris Neal. Of all the regulars who used to post at The 9513, his responses to my ridiculous posts were among my favorites. Chris will be missed.

    Great, the Piston Annies start a Girl Power online community named “The Henhouse”! I guess if men drop in they should expect a good pecking! (lol)

    I don’t know about Chely Wright, but “Wish Me Away” applies more to Kenny Cheesehead in my mind than Chely…

    Music City Roots is featuring another “Artists You’ve Likely Never Heard Of!” nights tonight. The line up includes The Cumberland Collective, David Mead (any relation to Chuck?), Leigh Nash, Jason White, and Swan Dive. Ok so it turns out Leigh Nash was with Sixpence None The Richer. She looks like she could be Taylor Swift’s big sister.
    Link: http://musiccityroots.com/shows

  2. Jon
    June 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Sad news about Chris.

    I Jewly Hight. Back when I was doing a lot of writing about country music, I felt that it was imperative to take each artist I interviewed at face value as an artist – that is to say, to take as a baseline operating assumption that regardless of whether I liked an artist’s music, it was something that the artist thought about, worked on and was invested in as a creative person. And therefore that each artist had something interesting – and, in one way or another, valuable – to say about her music. It seems like there aren’t all that many music journalists who look at their work that way these days – sometimes you can tell by who they avoid writing about, other times you can tell by the unmistakable tone of contempt or snarkiness that oozes out of the writing – but Jewly obviously does, and as a result, she’s doing some of the best writing about music to be read these days.

  3. Jon
    June 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    That should be “I (heart) Jewly Hight” – forgot about the reserved use of brackets…

  4. luckyoldsun
    June 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    “It seems like there aren’t all that many music journalists who look at their work that way these days – sometimes you can tell by who they avoid writing about,…”

    Man, I would really have to “stalk” a journalist for years to be able to even attempt to figure out who s/he AVOIDS writing about. It hardly seems worth the trouble.

  5. Jim Malec
    July 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I’m completely heartbroken to read this news. Chris was one of the most genuine and selfless people I’ve ever met. He was committed to identifying and mentoring young writers, and was very proactive about providing talented people with opportunities they would have never otherwise enjoyed. As a result, I believe he’s personally responsible for paving the way for many of the young music journalists and critics in print today.

    He went out of his way to help me, and I witnessed him do the same for many others. He was a real professional and someone who I admired greatly as a writer and as a person.

    Nashville and country music will sorely miss his presence, kindness and vision.

  6. luckyoldsun
    July 20, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Better late than never, I suppose.

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Current Discussion

  • Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
  • luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
  • Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
  • Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
  • Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
  • Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …
  • nm: Agreed. A good job by three very smart women.
  • Deremy Jylan: The Hight piece is tremendous reading.
  • Juli Thanki: Much like the music of Aldean and FGL, Michelob Ultra is favored by college kids and too much exposure will …
  • Tom: ...michelob ultra seems to be a brew from hell.

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