Pete Seeger Passes Away; Hank Cochran Gets Mississippi Country Music Trail Marker; New Album Releases

Juli Thanki | January 28th, 2014

  • Pete Seeger passed away yesterday at the age of 94. According to a CNN article, his grandson said that Seeger had been in the hospital for six days prior to his death and couldn’t speak for the last three days, “but his mind never went away.”
  • The late Hank Cochran is being honored with a marker on the Mississippi Country Music Trail. Like all of the trail markers, Cochran’s was written by our Barry Mazor.
  • Check out Jon Langford’s new song, “Mars.” It’ll be on his next record with Skull Orchard, Here Be Monsters (out April 1).
  • From The A.V. Club: “Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ is a Southern Allegory.” Last night, Daniels tweeted that his next record will be released in early April.
  • Is 2014 the year Ronnie Milsap gets inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame? The release of Milsap’s new record, Summer #17, which was originally scheduled to come out today, has been pushed back to March 18. (via press release)
  • Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, and Blake Shelton will appear on Jay Leno’s final episodes of The Tonight Show next week.
  • The 2014 ACM Awards nominees will be announced tomorrow morning. This year’s awards show, scheduled for April 6, will be hosted once again by Blake Shelton and charisma vacuum Luke Bryan.
  • Jody Rosen on Eric Church and new album The Outsiders: Church’s records are the most sonically distinctive in commercial country, balancing rootsy earthiness and digital snap, with a muscled-up rhythm section that is more rock than country—and more classic heavy-blues-rock than the eighties arena-rock that’s the current Nashville norm. Credit for the sound goes to Church and Jay Joyce, a Nashville-based guitarist and studio musician who has produced all of Church’s albums. Joyce is a masterful record-maker, one of the great unsung talents in today’s pop. He is, you might say, the Timbaland to Church’s Missy Elliott; together, they’re assembling a body of work that expands country’s sonic palette while honoring the genre’s core values of structure and storytelling—cooking up a feast for the ears while making sure that sound never trumps song. Church and Joyce are excellent arrangers with a knack for eccentric touches.
  • Shovels & Rope helped J. Roddy Walston & The Business remake “Boys Can Never Tell.” (warning: autoplay)
  • The Bluegrass Underground won several Mid-South Regional Emmys over the weekend. The Special Event Coverage Award went to the 2012 Americana Music & Awards show.
  • In the 1990s, somebody — perhaps multiple somebodies — at Marvel Comics thought that publishing a Billy Ray Cyrus comic book was a good idea. The “48-page masterpiece of madness…featured the country music star and future terrible father traveling through time to fight ghosts, dragons, and evil knights, with nothing but the greatest mullet that has ever been featured in the comics medium.” 
  • Conan O’Brien poked fun at Taylor Swift’s headbanging Grammy performance.
  • Go Down Moses has signed with Sony Music Nashville.
  • This week’s album releases (thank you for supporting Engine 145 by purchasing your music through the affiliate links below):

Vince Gill & Paul Franklin Bakersfield (Deluxe Edition)

Farewell Drifters Tomorrow Forever

Laura Cantrell No Way There From Here

Rhonda Vincent Only Me

Gangstagrass Broken Hearts and Stolen Money

Uncle Tupelo No Depression: Legacy Edition

The Moonshine And Now…

David Crosby Croz

Amy Ray Goodnight Tender

Leif Vollebekk North Americana

Marshall Tucker Band Live at Raceway Park, 9/3/77

Billy Joe Shaver The Complete Columbia Recordings (’81-‘87)

  1. Rick
    January 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    That Conan take on Taylor Swift’s body motions at the Grammy’s seems perfectly reasonable to me. It would also explain the quality of her vocal performance as well…

    If Eric Church recorded an “unplugged” album, I’d probably wind up downloading a track or two. His acoustic performances on the Opry are always top notch, whereas I can’t stand his typical electric sound (which is definitely not targeted for old farts).

    Article title above: “The Americana tribute to Phil Everly held in L.A. last weekend sounds like it was an excellent night of music.” Thanks for rubbing that in…(lol)

    Speaking of “Gangstagrass” the new season of “Justified” on FX has been short on country and Americana music! Come to think of it “Hart of Dixie” has also stopped featuring country artists (excluding cast member Laura Bell Bundy) and ABC’s Nashville rarely features cool bands in the background any longer. What’s up with that?

  2. Luckyoldsun
    January 29, 2014 at 2:11 am

    Jeez, I was waiting with bated breath for the Rick eulogy to Pete Seeger. What happened?

  3. CraigR.
    January 30, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Then I will say something LuckyOldSun. Pete Seeger was a great American. Some Americans take and take, and some give and take, and some just give. Pete Seeger was a giver of songs, history, courage, and honesty. He was one of our last links to Woody and Leadbelly. And he never failed to remind us that protest is a real and living freedom, and that each of us has something great to give to our blessed homeland. Whether you agree with his politics or not( I didn’t always agree)at least he represented what makes us unique in the history of the world:our ability to speak up, without fear, to power, to each to other, and to our own being.

  4. Juli Thanki
    January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Well said, Craig.

  5. Leeann Ward
    January 31, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Yes, ditto, Craig!

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