Sherman Halsey Passes Away; Suzy Bogguss to Release Merle Haggard Tribute; Ronnie Milsap Debuts New Single

Juli Thanki | October 31st, 2013

  • Music video director and producer Sherman Halsey passed away at the age of 56. Among the videos he worked on were Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying,” Dwight Yoakam’s “Little Sister,” and Alan Jackson’s version of “Tall Tall Trees.”
  • Suzy Bogguss will release Lucky, her salute to Merle Haggard, on February 4. The album will include “Silver Wings,” “The Running Kind,” “Someday When Things Are Good,” “Sing Me Back Home,” and more. (via press release)
  • T Bone Burnett discusses his work on Inside Llewyn Davis and why he left Nashville in this Hollywood Reporter piece written by Chris Willman. Burnett’s new label, Electromagnetic Recordings, is now aligned with Capitol; among the projects Burnett has planned are a new Jerry Lee Lewis album and an album of songs by Cowboy Jack Clement.
  • “Drug-fueled mockumentary” East Nashville Tonight includes appearances by Todd Snider, Elizabeth Cook, Chuck Mead, Amanda Shires, and Peter Cooper. Here’s the trailer; the film will be streamed online starting November 19.
  • Ronnie Milsap will release a new album in late January. Listen to the title track, “Summer #17,” here.
  • The Grascals released a video for their song “American Pickers,” which will be on the band’s next album, When I Get My Pay (out November 19). The video includes guest appearances by Dierks Bentley and the reality television stars from the television show American Pickers, which apparently isn’t about bluegrass musicians at all; this realization is nearly as disappointing as the time I learned Top Hooker was a show about fishing.
  • Here’s a video for “Call Me Up,” a song on Shelby Lynne’s new EP, Thanks, which also comes out on November 19.
  • David Cantwell asks, “Can Brandy Clark Save Country Music?” An excerpt from the article: [Life] isn’t only a party, it isn’t just about trucks. As the Carter Family liked to sing, life comes with stormy and sunny sides both, and with a thousand shades of sky between. Nashville country used to know that—and knew it regardless of how it sounded at any given moment. The country tradition has long given us songs about feeling pride in your work—and songs about hating your job. Songs about cherishing the small town where you grew up, and songs about feeling trapped there, as well—and ones about feeling both those emotions at the same time. Such songs have been a defining element of what has made country music “country” all along. But a country music that neglects for too long the down-on-the-ground experiences and feelings of its audience—the marrying and the cheating, the fun and the pain (and the numbing of the pain, and sometimes the transcendence of it), the promise and the regret and more—is a genre in crisis. Maybe even a genre in need of saving.
  • The Avett Brothers’ trip to Letterman included an hour-long performance after their TV appearance.
  • The Academy of Country Music announced that the Musician-Bandleader-Instrumentalist Awards will be renamed the Studio Recording Awards. New categories have been added to the Casino of the Year and Venue of the Year Awards based on venue capacity.
  • Willie Nelson signed a deal with Little, Brown and Company. His next book, a yet-untitled memoir, will be released in 2015.
  • Here’s a neat article about house concerts, featuring quotes from James McMurtry, Caitlin Cary, Thad Cockrell, and others.
  • It’s Country Day at Farce the Music. Here’s the first installment of doctored album covers.
  1. Adam
    October 31, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I’m looking forward to hearing T Bone and Jerry Lee teamong up. It’s been a while since The Killer has had a great producer working with him.

    I guess this isn’t really news, but I did find this article in the L.A. Times about three of my favorite artists to be very interesting:,0,5249679.story#axzz2jIaNc4Ax

  2. Adam
    October 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

    typo- meant “teaming”

  3. bob
    October 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Enjoyed the Cantwell article on Brandy Clark. I wonder how well her album is selling. Is the lack of comments on Mr. Mazor’s two part interview with Brandy (oops – I’m one of those who meant to and forgot to comment) or on CU’s round table review of “12 Stories” and their “Getting to Know BC” post indicative of how the record buying public is reacting to this album. Hope not. “12 Stories” is 2013’s best country album (imho – best pop album is “Finally Home” by Blue Sky Riders).

    Glad to see that 2014 will bring a new cd from Suzy Bogguss.

  4. Grace
    October 31, 2013 at 11:53 am

    This article includes Brandy Clark love and Suzy Bogguss release information. I’m not sure my fangirling heart can take it. From what I’ve heard of Lucky I think it has the potential to be one of the best records Suzy has released – and hands down 12 Stories is my favourite album of 2013.

  5. Leeann Ward
    October 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Such a meaty roundup of news today!
    I’m very excited about the Bogguss album.
    The Civil War album sounds like it’ll be great.
    And any buzz about the Brandy Clark album is well warranted.

  6. Andrew
    October 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I’m all for more people being exposed to Haggard’s music, but it sure seems like he’s getting a disproportionate number of tributes lately, especially for someone who’s still alive. How many cover versions of “Silver Wings” do we really need?

    That said, I’m still going to buy it because it is Suzy Bogguss doing Hag songs so it’s sure to be good.

  7. Michael A.
    October 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Yikes. Just checked out the Billboard charts this morning and 12 Stories debuted at Number 28. Not exactly a great start. Still, I hope sales are steady and word of mouth keeps growing as the end of the year roundups are released.

  8. CraigR.
    October 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Dierks Bentley’s song is great but the video is awful.

  9. Sheila Pollak
    October 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm
  10. murtry
    November 3, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    What is going on with Ronnie Milsap’s voice these days? I realize he’s lost some top range, but on that County Again album and this song, he sounds robotic. Is it Auto-Tune?

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