Rusty Wier Passed Away; Garth Brooks Headed to Vegas; Teenage Stars

Brody Vercher | October 12th, 2009

  • Rusty Wier, one of the innovators of the “Austin sound” in the ’70s and an Americana musician before there was such a thing, passed away Friday morning:

    Hearing was Rusty Wier’s last sense to go, so although he was almost unresponsive when surrounded by relatives and friends, including Jerry Jeff Walker, at his son Coby’s house in Driftwood on Thursday night, Wier tried to raise up his head when the group sang “Amazing Grace.”

    By the next morning, the Austin musician, who had a hit when Bonnie Raitt covered his “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance” on the soundtrack to “Urban Cowboy,” was dead after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 65.

    More: Austin Chronicle | Music Fog | Listen on MySpace

  • After weeks of speculation, Las Vegas Weekly’s Robin Leach says Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement to become a resident headliner at the Wynn in Las Vegas. The announcement is expected to be made this Thursday (Oct. 15). (via NashvilleGab)
  • Coincidentally, Kenny Rogers is giving away a free mp3 of “Something’s Wrong in Vegas” if you sign up for his newsletter.
  • Music Fog videos:

  • Juli Thanki says Nitty Gritty Dirt Band‘s concert on Friday night took on an old school vibe:

    […] with loud laughter following frontman Jeff Hanna’s profession of his love for vinyl: “Downloading sounds like a bodily function to me.” Only a few songs from the excellent new release “Speed of Life” were played, but the “Going Up the Country” cover was received enthusiastically while an acoustic take on the album’s carpe-diem-themed title track was a highlight of the set.

    Be sure to check out that title track among the Music Fog videos linked above.

  • Country Haiku:

    Earl beat up his wife?
    Mitigating circumstance
    Sentence is reduced

  • Country California comments on Martina McBride‘s endorsement deal with Sunny Delight and Craig Morgan‘s partnership with Smokey Bear in this week’s edition of Quotable Country.
  • Thad Cockrell‘s first solo LP in six years, To Be Loved, is due out tomorrow and is a broadening of 2007’s EP of the same name.
  • Reuters on the introspective quality of Tim McGraw‘s new record:

    Standout tracks include “Ghost Town Train,” which echoes the work of Glen Campbell, and “Good Girls,” a dark tale of cheating with an unexpected twist. On “I’m Only Jesus,” McGraw offers an interesting take on personal responsibility while singing from the perspective of Jesus Christ. “Southern Voices” is done well overall, but listeners may want to keep close a copy of McGraw’s upbeat hit “I Like It, I Love It” to lighten the mood.

  • The New York Times‘ Nate Chinen reviewed last Thursday’s kickoff night of CMT on Tour in Brooklyn with Jamey Johnson and Randy Houser and Rosanne Cash‘s sold-out concert on Friday night.
  • Rosanne Cash on the first song she ever fell in love with:

    The first song I fell in love with is my dad’s “Hey Porter”… it felt like a train moving through everything. It felt so urgent and powerful, and the images were so crystal clear. I have the identical relationship today with that song, and the same love for it, as when I was a child.

  • Taylor Swift has found enormous success as a teenager, but she’s not the first. Craig Shelburne listed 15 of her former teen predecessors, from Lynn Anderson and Barbara Mandrell to Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley.
  • Alison Bonaguro for The Chicago Tribune: “For about four minutes on Friday night, Taylor Swift made almost everyone in the Allstate Arena feel 15 years old.”
  • Sam Bush commented on the title track to his new album in a Q&A with American Songwriter‘s Samantha Spector:

    The title of the album comes from a song that I wrote with an incredibly talented songwriter named Jeff Black. We’ve been co-writers for years now and got to thinking about well, “How did we get here?” type questions. We’ve had fallen buddies and comrades, lost people we’ve loved – parents are gone- so how did we, specifically, get here, this far in life? We were going through a time that felt very fortunate to be here and that is what the song and title Circles Around Me is all about.

  • Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers have a brand new duet titled “Tell Me That You Love Me” on the forthcoming box set Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years.

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  1. [...] CMT article “Fifteen Teens Who Found Country Music Success Before Taylor Swift” in Monday’s News Roundup: Taylor Swift is undeniably country music’s most popular teenager today. At age 18, she spent [...]
  1. stormy
    October 12, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Wait, Bonfire ISN’T a call to light forests on fire?! Well there go my plans for the weekend.

  2. Saving Country Music
    October 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    RIP Rusty Weir, one of the most underrated members of the Austin Music scene.

    And I bet Taylor Swift DID make everyone feel 15 in the crowd. I have no doubt.

  3. T. Scott
    October 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Man,too bad about Rusty Wier.He had no hits,but had great songs.Devil Lives in Dallas was one of my favorites.

  4. Rick
    October 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    On one of the California Country questionaires I answered the question “Artist most likely to wind up as a lounge singer” with “Garth Brooks”. See, I was right! (lol)

    You guys must know that when you mention Kenny Rogers on this blog your credibility takes a big hit! Two mentions in one day has you bordering on irrelevance!

    What Alison Bonaguro meant to say was “For the entire duration of the concert on Friday night, Taylor Swift made one particular female reviewer in the Allstate Arena feel 15 years old. I just wish I would have worn my pink poodle skirt…”

  5. Mayor Jobob
    October 12, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Garth Brooks is going the way of Elvis! Even the weight gain! I really wanted a new album from him instead, that’s all I ask for. :(

  6. Mayor Jobob
    October 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Oh, and something will be wrong in Vegas, Kenny. LOL

  7. Steve M.
    October 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    I have to be honest, i wouldn’t want to feel 15 again. Who wants to deal with teen angst and acne again?
    Garth going the Celine Dion route. The buffets of the city might want to take note.

  8. J.R. Journey
    October 13, 2009 at 9:34 am

    This might sound out of the loop here, but what is so uncool about playing Vegas? I always thought that Vegas theaters were still reserved for the biggest stars. Plus, from what I’m hearing this is only going to be a 16-week engagement. So it allows Garth Brooks to get back onstage with his fans without having to actually tour around the country – sort of like the 9 shows he did in Kansas City in 2007.

    It just seems to me that Garth is biding his time and keeping his name out there just enough that he’s still relevant when he makes an official comeback. Time will tell.

  9. Chris N.
    October 13, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Vegas has changed. I saw the Beatles Cirque du Soleil show there, and I didn’t feel like that was uncool at all.

  10. Kelly
    October 13, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Yeah, if the Vegas gig is done right (and Garth has an excellent record of quality showmanship), it would be good, not cheesy. While they arent my cup of tea, i have heard fantastic things about teh production value for the Dion, Elton John and Prince shows that have taken place recently in Vegas. its not like he’s gonna be putting on a tux and sipping a martini while singing lounge songs and spoting a horribly fake tan.

  11. Chris N.
    October 13, 2009 at 11:24 am

    It actually seems like a logical alternative to touring for him.

  12. Noeller
    October 13, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Regarding Garth – anyone know how you’d go about getting tix for a Vegas show? Is it something that’d go up on Ticketmaster, or do you book via the hotel/theatre? Never been that far into the States before, so not sure how these things work…Thanks in advance!

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