Ronnie McCoury talks with Dru Willis of The State Journal-Register about The Travelin’ McCourys and the “family business.”
Noam Pikelny and his former banjo teacher, Greg Cahill (Special Consensus) are both up for Grammys this year. Chrissie Dickinson of The Chicago Tribune wrote a feature about the two of them and their relationship. An excerpt: Pikelny found Cahill after an article in the publication Banjo Newsletter included the address of Cahill’s Skokie post office box. “I was in disbelief that the greatest bluegrass banjo player in this part of the country could be in this same little suburb,” Pikelny says. “I sent Greg a letter. He wrote back immediately. I started taking lessons. He was one of the most influential mentors I’ve ever gotten to work with. He taught me the basics of really great musicianship, not just being a good banjo player. He taught me the importance of being able to create something on my own.”
Chet Flippo new Nashville Skyline column is about reasons for musical optimism in 2013, including CMT’s Next Women of Country campaign and NYC’s new country radio station.
Taylor Swift is Rapunzel in a new Disney ad shot by Annie Leibovitz.
Miranda Lambert will perform at the Grammy Awards next month.
Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, Kris Kristofferson, Reba, and John Doe made Chris Gray’s list of “Bizarre Acting Roles by 20 Famous Musicians.”
Chely Wright is pregnant with twins. She and wife Lauren Blitzer-Wright will welcome the new additions in June.
Saving Country Music calls outBlake Shelton for making the following comment: If I am “Male Vocalist of the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to survive. Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The kids do, and they don’t want to buy the music you were buying.
Concert specialACM Presents: Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night will be taped in April and broadcast at a later date on CBS. The show will include “handpicked artists and friends of the fifteen time ACM Award winner across country, pop, and rock genres in addition to a few surprise special guests from the worlds of film and television.”
Jack White talks about his Charley Patton project on an episode of All Songs Considered.
Alan Scherstuhl on Brad Paisley and “Southern Comfort Zone”: Paisley, like most of today’s male country stars, is an ace re-assurer, committed to telling his audience that, no matter how much time we spend staring at flickering screens, our lives right now still stand in the tradition of all that hard work and integrity our nation ascribes to previous generations. Unlike other country stars, though, Paisley is as optimistic about the future as he is enthralled with the past. Like a TED talker or a barker working outside a Worlds Fair, Paisley has welcomed his fans to the future.
Tate Stevens, the country singing winner of The X Factor, will debut new song “Holler If You’re with Me” as “part of a Pepsi clip to debut during the Grammys, with a full music video available online immediately afterward.”
Teea Goans is posting a song a day until Valentine’s Day. Today’s is her duet with Jamie Dailey, “That’s Just Me Loving You,” from her 2012 record, That’s Just Me.
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.