Randy Travis, Joe Nichols Perform at Chris Kyle’s Memorial; CMT Edge Premieres New Wayne Hancock Song; Album Releases
- Ray Price’s cancer remains in remission.
- Out May 14: Plowboy Records’ You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold. The tribute record features performances by Chuck Mead, Alejandro Escovedo, Pokey LaFarge, Mandy Barnett, Chris Scruggs, Mary Gauthier, and more.
- Randy Travis and Joe Nichols performed at the memorial service for Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was killed at a shooting range February 2.
- Steep Canyon Rangers played a set for CMT’s Concrete Country.
- CMT premiered the title track from Wayne Hancock’s new record, Ride.
- Les Anderson’s Melody Wranglers’ recording of “Sad But True” was posted on the Southern Folklife Collection’s blog. Les Anderson, “also known as ‘Carrot Top,’ saw his career take off in 1942 with Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys as the replacement of legendary steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe who was drafted into the Navy. Anderson travelled to California with the Playboys, and in1946 formed his own Melody Wranglers. He became a regular guest on the western swing radio show ‘Spade Cooley Time,’ before eventually ending up on the classic country television broadcast, ‘Town Hall Party.’”
- Kris Kristofferson played a few for American Songwriter.
- Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis share their favorite love songs in this New York Times article.
- Out March 12: Alan Bibey and Wayne Benson’s The Mandolin Chronicles.
- Download “O, Chestnut Tree,” a new collaboration by Dolly Parton and Bill Owens for The American Chestnut Foundation.
- 100 yards of tulle and crinoline were used to make Carrie Underwood’s Grammy dress/projection screen.
- An excerpt from a new column–inspired by the release of compilation record Country Funk 1969-1975–written by Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club: Over the years, country music has earned an unfortunate reputation as one of the whitest and unfunkiest of genres—or worse, as the official music of rednecks, xenophobes, conservatives, and truck-driving suburbanites…But this reading of country is both reductive and untrue. It’s rooted in a narrow conception of country history that connects the polished countrypolitan sounds of the ’50s to the whitewashed pop-country of Olivia Newton-John (Top Female Vocalist at the 1974 Academy Of Country Music Awards), to the over-produced slop of the ’80s, the inexorable rise of Garth Brooks, and the soullessness that characterizes much of contemporary country…I’ve come to see the genre, and particularly its racial history, much differently. To me, country is a glorious mutt of a genre that mirrors the eclecticism and disorder of the nation that berthed it. It’s telling that Jimmie Rodgers, the man heralded as “The Father of Country Music,” was a pot-smoking, hard-living bluesman with an inexplicable (and influential) fondness for yodeling, and whose music and persona were deeply linked to black music and culture at a time when the whole nation, not just radio, was segregated.
- Steve Earle’s “Guitar Town” is the American Songwriter Lyric of the Week.
- CM Wilcox posted a new edition of Quotable Country.
- A different Richard Thompson wrote about the story behind the song “The Shape I’m In.”
- Here’s an interesting NPR piece about fiddler Bill Stepp, whose 1937 recording of “Bonaparte’s Retreat” inspired Aaron Copland as he worked on Rodeo.
- Blake Shelton’s next album, Based on a True Story…, will be released March 26.
- The Newport Folk Festival was named Music Festival of the Year at the Pollstar Awards last week. The Ryman was named Theatre of the Year.
- Australian country singer John Williamson said that the lure of “big America” is drawing Aussie talent overseas: “It bothers me when people like some of our country artists record overseas,” he said. “I can’t believe that they don’t think to use our studios and our musicians. I want to come up with something that becomes legendary in my own country – I couldn’t care about the rest.”
- The Joe Val Bluegrass Festival is this weekend. If you’re near Framingham, Mass., check it out; Claire Lynch, Dale Ann Bradley, and the Seldom Scene are a few of the acts scheduled to perform.
- Album releases:
Dustin Welch – Tijuana Bible
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison – Cheater’s Game
Merle Haggard – The Complete ‘60s Capitol Singles
Fat Opie – Victoryville
Billy Joe Shaver – The Complete Columbia Recordings
George Jones – The Complete United Artists Solo Singles
Connor Christian & Southern Gothic – New Hometown
Wanda Jackson – The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles
Otis Taylor – My World is Gone
Roger Knox & Pine Valley Cosmonauts – Stranger in My Land
The Riverbreaks – Wildfire
Devon Allman – Turquoise
Heather Masse & Dick Hyman – Lock My Heart
Pozo-Seco – Shades of Time (remastered)
Eagle Rock Gospel Singers – Eagle Rock Gospel Singers
Various Artists – God Didn’t Choose Sides: Civil War True Stories About Real People
Various Artists – United Sacred Harp Convention: The Alan Lomax Recordings, 1959
- Andrew L.: Is it just me or does Strait sound horribly autotuned on the clips for the new live album? I can't …
- Juli Thanki: You'll get to hear it pretty soon: The Wall Street Journal is going to stream the album on their website …
- Leeann Ward: Way to go to David Cantwell for getting a name drop! Great interview, Juli! Womack's new album is awesome! I've not always …
- Jonathan Pappalardo: Great interview as always, Juli! The new album is fantastic. "Same Kind of Different" is my favorite cut although "Fly" is …
- Dave D.: Good interview. Looking forward to the new record, and particularly interested in hearing her version of Brennen Leigh's "Sleeping with …
- nm: I guess it's not surprising that a singer who gets her songs all over the place, the way Womack does, …
- SunsetPark: As a Pennsylvanian to this day, thanks for the list. I haven't heard the Quecreek song and so can't …
- Paul W Dennis: I would urge readers to check out the Billy Edd Wheeler salute on October 18, 2014. Billy Edd Wheeler is …
- Leeann Ward: I'm really liking Pink's folk duo song! I'm looking forward to the album!
- Donald: LOS, you made me giggle. Thank you.