Peter Rowan to Write Memoir; Upcoming Randy Travis Gospel Record; B. Jeff Stone Passes Away

Ken Morton, Jr. | August 29th, 2011

  • Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductee B. Jeff Stone passed away Friday at the age of 75. Stone worked with Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson and Jim Ed Brown and headed bands called The Westernaires and The Newsboys. Listen to him sing “Everybody Rock” here.
  • Eurythmics’ lead man Dave Stewart is a busy dude. Not only is he out doing promotion on his new solo Americana album Blackbird Diaries, he’s just released a new music video with a new “all-genre” band called SuperHeavy. The band includes Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, A.R. Rahman and Damian Marley in addition to Stewart. “After a while everybody feels like experimenting, doing something different, and just playing,” Stewart said. “I just want to play. I saw that happen with the Wilburys in the beginning and SuperHeavy was the same. We were jamming in this huge room and experimenting with different music and cultures… just having a really good time doing it.”
  • The CMA Award nominations will be revealed in two different cities on Tuesday, September 6th. The Band Perry and Jake Owen will announce the finalists in five categories live on ABC’s “Good Morning America” from the GMA Studio in New York City’s Times Square and Jerrod Niemann and Thompson Square will announce the finalists in seven categories at the Ryman Auditorium that same morning.
  • The October 11th release of ZZ Top: A Tribute from Friends will include Jamey Johnson covering “La Grange.” He’ll join a cast of characters covering famous ZZ Top songs including Mick Fleetwood, Daughtry, Nickelback, Stephen Tyler, Grace Potter and Wyclef Jean.
  • Walmart’s weekend advertising circular promoted an exclusive on Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night album. Unfortunately, no such exclusive album exists. Oops.
  • Kathy Copas Hughes, daughter of legendary Opry star Cowboy Copas, performed with three other acts in a memorial concert dedicated to her father this last week. “We plan to do it again,” Mary Fulton of the Adams County Historical Society said. “In two years, it will be the 100th birthday of Cowboy Copas, and the 50th anniversary of the airplane crash (that claimed his life).”
  • Dan Huff has produced the forthcoming album from young Hunter Hayes. The self-titled album will hit on October 11 and includes his first hit single, “Storm Warning.”
  • Dave Berg, who has helped write hits for dozens of artist including Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, and Jewel and has worked with artists ranging from Reba McEntire to Keith Urban, has a brand new independent album out called Not So Quite Alone.
  • Longtime bluegrass musician Peter Rowan is putting his 50-year career down in print.
  • Following just a few months after his 25th Anniversary album, Randy Travis has a new album of gospel hymns and songs coming out October 18th called Blessed Assurance. From the press release: “Blessed Assurance showcases 15 of his best recordings of cherish hymns of faith that have been a refuge for the artist throughout his long and successful career. A follow up to the best selling gospel compilation, I’ll Fly Away, Blessed Assurance will sooth the soul and lift the spirits of all those who listen.”
  • Glenn Frey of The Eagles announced at a show this past weekend that he’s finishing up a solo album called After Hours that will hit around Valentine’s Day. It will contain his interpretations of some his favorite songs spanning the decades from the twenties to the sixties.
  • The folks that put on an event in the historic Everett Theatre in Everett, Washington got their hand slapped by the Grand Ole Opry for utilizing a piece of the Opry’s logo and their name in a hootenanny they called “Legends of the Opry.”
  • Dolly Parton joined Chicago in the studio and has recorded “Wonderful Christmas Time” for their October album release of Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three.
  • My Kind of Country thinks Connie Smith’s Long Line of Heartaches is an A+. Marty Stuart probably agrees.
  • And speaking of Taylor Swift, she was the first “victim” of MTV’s series revival of  Punk’d. Justin Bieber got her.
  • Billboard Magazine’s latest cover features Lady Antebellum.
  • George Strait is going to be a granddad.
  • Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are teaming up on a project…with a special guest.
  • New (or new to you) music videos with a couple of cool live performances for good measure:

Kaylens Rain -“Is That All There Is”

Dave Roberts – “Someone To Hold”

Martina McBride - “Love Song” (a Sara Bareilles cover)

Blue Sky Riders – “You’re Not The Boss of Me”

Lady Antebellum – “We Owned The Night”

Jasmine Rae – “I Faked It”

Blake Shelton – “Free Credit Report dot com”

Kasey Chambers – “Luka”

Courtney Conway – “A Few Little Things”

Richmond Fontaine – “Lost in the Trees”

Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses – “Word to Come”

Harmony James – “Pride”

Cal Ecker – “I Will Love You”

Delta Spirit – “White Table”

Becky Schlegel - “Opry Lullaby” (Music City Roots)

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - “Blue Train” (Bluegrass Underground)

Emily West – “Anthem”

Stevie Nicks – “For What It’s Worth”

Ponderosa – “Heather” (Music Fog)

Sierra Hull – “Tell Me Tomorrow”

  1. Rick
    August 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Last night I went and saw Joy Kills Sorrow perform at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica and their music was mostly pleasant, jazz inflected noodlegrass. Not exactly my cup of tea, but not bad either. The real surprise of the evening was the opening act Lake Street Dive who are personal friends of JKS from their Boston Conservatory of Music days, and both bands share bassist Bridget Kearney. The Dive’s songs are catchy little bluesy and jazzy style numbers but their ace in the hole is lead vocalist Rachael Price. Rachael has a great voice and personal style and a sassy stage persona that is quite captivating, and the audience really responded. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any act at McCabes sell more CDs after a set! Thier music might not be country, but its a whole lot more enjoyable than most of the new stuff that is these days.
    Link: http://www.lakestreetdive.com/

    Ken, thanks for including the Aussie music videos in your extensive listing! I doubt if many other US country msuic blogs are paying any attention to the new music down under. Good on ya, mate! (lol)

  2. Noeller
    August 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    So, I watched the Blake/MirLam/Neal Mac vid, and I’m sorta confused. Are they co-producing McCoy’s new album? Is McCoy producing a duets album from MirBlake? Is the whole McCoy thing just a joke? I’m not sure I quite follow…

    Sincerely,
    SlowOnTheUptakeInCanada

    • Juli Thanki
      August 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Blake and Miranda are producing Neal’s new album (called XII) with Brent Rowan. Release date will be sometime in January; first single to radio in October.

  3. Leeann Ward
    August 29, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Hmmm…Odd project for them to take on.

  4. Matt Bjorke
    August 30, 2011 at 11:00 am

    @Leeann,

    Blake, Miranda and Neal are all from Oklahoma so perhaps it’s that? It’s also possible both loved his radio hits back in the 1990s. Not so odd to me, lol.

  5. Jon
    August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Odd because…?

  6. luckyoldsun
    August 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    It’s amazing how country music–radio? the fans?–has just completely drummed out Randy Travis. That 25th Anniversary album got a huge push with Randy and his partners getting gigs on national TV shows. But it still tanked, so it’s back to gospel.

  7. Paul W Dennis
    August 31, 2011 at 6:28 am

    I don’t think it helps that Randy’s voice has deteriorated some and his vocals are not as solid as was formerly the case

  8. Occasional Hope
    August 31, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I was under the impression that this new Randy Travis release was a compilation from his Word albums. I think his camp is still pushing the duets album. (Although I think they picked the worst track on it for the single, it’s still a shame imo that even with his vocal deterioration, his music isn’t getting played any more.)

  9. luckyoldsun
    August 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    It’s puzzling what happened to Travis. He’s not that old.Other country legends were still putting out successful albums–if not radio singles–at his age.

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