Ricky Skaggs Celebrates 30-Year Opry Anniversary; Kitty Wells is Still the Queen; New Zac Brown Band and Doyle Lawson Videos

Juli Thanki | May 3rd, 2012

  • Craig Havighurst of Music City Roots and String Theory Media gave a TED talk recently. Check it out.
  • In Opry news, Ricky Skaggs will celebrate his 30th anniversary as an Opry member on May 15, and on May 8, Alan Jackson will preview songs from upcoming album Thirty Miles West.
  • Jewly Hight of the Nashville Scene wrote an interesting article about the “audible divide” between country music’s men and women. An excerpt: For a while now, the dominant image of country radio’s target listener has been the suburban soccer mom, the presumption being that tender male balladeers are what it takes to keep her tuning in while she runs errands in her SUV. Here’s one problem with that idea: There’s not all that big of a gender disparity in the country audience, and poll results presented at this year’s Country Radio Seminar back this up. Women are in the majority, but not by much. What’s more, the musical impulses that are showing up in country right now don’t break down along gender lines the way you might think. That same CRS poll affirmed that the popularity pendulum has swung back toward crossover country, and harder stuff is a turn-off to the genre’s casual listeners. 
  • Alejandro Escovedo’s version of “Sabor a Mi” premiered on NPR’s Alt.Latino.
  • Chris Isaak’s Sun Records concert special, Beyond the Sun Live, will premiere on PBS stations beginning June 2.
  • Chris Mateer interviewed Andy Bean of The Two Man Gentlemen Band. Here’s an excerpt where Bean talks about using Kickstarter to fund the band’s new record, Two at a Time:  My initial response to bands using Kickstarter was “get a f*cking credit card.”  That’s what we did for our first six records. We went hopelessly into debt to record and promote an album, then hit the road for a year and hoped like heck we’d sell enough of them to make it worth it. But, we’ve changed our tune about it. Having made a handful of hasty, ramshackle recordings in the past, we wanted to get the budget together to do something a bit less hasty, and a bit less ramshackle. And with our credit card companies more wary of us than they once were, and our fan base having grown enough that we wouldn’t have to hit up family and friends to contribute (which would make us uncomfortable because our families don’t particularly like the band), Kickstarter seemed the best way to get that budget together.  
  • Farce the Music takes us through Luke Bryan’s Tailgates & Tanlines track-by-track.
  1. Rick
    May 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Jewly Hight wrote: “That same CRS poll affirmed that the popularity pendulum has swung back toward crossover country, and harder stuff is a turn-off to the genre’s casual listeners.” What exactly does she mean by the terms “crossover country” and “harder stuff”? Does “harder” refer to hard rocking pop country or the hard core twangy traditional stuff? It seems to me the pendulum has been stuck squarely on pop-rock crossover country for at least a decade or more. Hopefully Jon will clarify this confusion (since he actually reads the articles).

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry will feature The Charlie Daniels Band, Emily West, Jim Glaser, Jacob Lida, and Ronnie Robbins. I soooo wish these Classic Country Oprys would run all year long. Oh well. Grade: B+
    Schedule: http://www.opry.com/shows/ThisWeek.html

  2. Jon
    May 3, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Read the article. It’s a good one.

    And congratulations to Ricky Skaggs. That’s a great landmark for a guy who still isn’t getting anywhere near the credit he deserves. He belongs in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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