Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison played a trio of songs from their fab new record, Our Year, in the Radio Heartland studio.
Peter Cooper wrote a fine column on Jamey Johnson, who’s playing a benefit show/celebration of Waylon Jennings and Hank Cochran in Nashville this weekend with Jessi Colter, Chris Stapleton, Shooter Jennings, and several others. Here’s an excerpt in which Johnson, who’s been in a dispute with Mercury Records Nashville, discusses his “legal status”: “‘I’d have to contact three managers, and some lawyers and all kinds of people to come up with a reasonable answer for that,’ he says. ‘Contracts are hard to read. Attorneys are hard to get on the phone. But if you’re in a situation where you’re supposed to be making money and you’re not, buddy, it’s up to you whether you quit or not.’ Johnson, for now at least, has quit recording. Or at least he has quit handing over his recordings to a major record label. Recording artists occasionally defend artistically iffy decisions by saying that the label made them do something. Johnson determined, correctly, that a label can’t make him do, sing, record or proclaim anything. He chooses to do what he chooses to do. And he chooses to play shows the way he chooses to play them.”
Vanderbilt University bought Sony Music’s Nashville headquarters on Music Row for a little over $12 million. The university (which already had an office in the building) released a statement saying that their new digs will, “provide much-needed academic space close to campus and allow the university to consolidate administrative staff from currently leased office space surrounding campus.”
Kelly Dearmore wrote about Willie Nelson’s Five Biggest Gambles, including his duet with Julio Iglesias and that time he ran into a burning building to save his stash.
Roots rockers Sons of Bill will release Love & Logic on September 30 via Thirty Tigers. (via press release)
Here’s a solid interview with Billy Joe Shaver posted on The Chicago Sun Times’ Voices blog. Bonus: it’s accompanied by a photo of Shaver hanging out with his dog.
Roger Creager on his forthcoming album, Road Show (out July 22): “Typically, I’ve played more traditional Texas Country. This album has more of a different sound. It’s got a New Orleans jazz feel. It’s got a Seventies rock & roll feel to it. It’s something where I decided to basically say, ‘To hell with country radio, I’m going to make songs that I think are relevant and sound cool. I don’t care what country radio thinks.’”
Read an excerpt about “The Last Carnival” from Jim Beviglia’s Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs.
You can tell a lot about a musician by what he or she takes on the road (or what’s in their riders). Turns out Paul Janeway (St. Paul & The Broken Bones) hauls around comic books and Mexican Coca-Cola, while Deer Tick’s John McCauley packs golf shorts and Remembering the Kanji.
We won’t be posting on Friday, but next week, we’ll be celebrating our third birthday by giving away all sorts of cool stuff on the site as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.