Stream Christmas Tunes from Sunny Sweeney, Scott Lucas, Sierra Hull; LeAnn Rimes Discusses X Factor Criticism, New Single; Songs for Sandy Hook Benefit Compilation

Juli Thanki | December 21st, 2012

  • Sunny Sweeney’s “One More Christmas Beer” is available for $0.69 on her site.
  • Peter Cooper asks, “How come the country music in a soap opera, sung by actors, is better than what I hear on mainstream country radio?”
  • Jesse and Noah are offering a download of their album, Driven Back, to anyone who signs up for their mailing list today.
  • No Depression posted an interview with Bobby Bare. Here’s an excerpt in which Bare discusses meeting Shel SilversteinHarlan Howard had a big party at his house and all the great songwriters were there. I had been going around town to get all the great songwriters to write me an album that connected and made sense, but at the time they were all geared for single records because that’s what the music business was about in those days. Everybody had a song or two they thought would be a hit, but nobody had an album. I was becoming very frustrated. Then I ran into Shel at the party and told him my dilemma. That was on a Saturday night. Monday morning Shel called from Chicago and said he had me an album. I said, “Well, when can I hear it?” He said, “How bout today?” So he hopped on a plane and came to Nashville. Started singing the songs from Lullabys, Legends and Lies. I remember him sitting on the floor of my office singing “The Winner” and I had to make him quit because I was laughing so hard my head was hurting. He sang me all the songs. What he’d really done was he went to Chicago and wrote Lullabies Legends and Lies, just that song. Then he went into his list of songs and came up with songs that were either a lullabye, a legend, or a lie, and that’s how we did it. That’s how we first met.
  • A few social media posts offer hints as to The Civil Wars’ future: Joy Williams, one half of the Grammy Award-winning duo with John Paul White, said Thursday during a Twitter chat that she was in the studio listening to new Civil Wars songs. It’s a tantalizing clue to the future of the group, which appeared in doubt when a European tour unraveled last month due to “irreconcilable differences.” At the time, the duo said it hoped to release an album in 2013. It’s not clear if Williams was referring Thursday to music for a new album or for a documentary score they have composed with T Bone Burnett. Nate Yetton, the group’s manager and Williams’ husband, had no comment , though he has supplied a few hints of his own by posting pictures of recording sessions on his Instagram account recently. The duo announced last summer it would be working with Charlie Peacock, who produced its gold-selling debut “Barton Hollow.” The photos do not show Williams or White, but one includes violin player Odessa Rose. Rose says in an Instagram post: “Playing on the new Civil Wars record… Beautiful sounds.” 
  • Angela Easterling is among the artists included on benefit compilation, Songs for Sandy Hook. All of the proceeds go to the Danbury Hospital, which is providing medical care and counseling for those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting.
  • Country singer Tate Stevens won reality show The X Factor.
  • LeAnn Rimes’ duet of “How Do I Live” with a young contestant on The X Factor raised a few eyebrows, as some viewers thought she looked drunk or otherwise out of it. Gossip site TMZ reports: LeAnn says she was in no way impaired, and any awkwardness was because “I was trying to help this 13-year-old girl who was having some trouble with the song.”
  • Rimes talked about her new single with Jay Leno: “I call myself pathetic in the song and I loved that word because it was the only way I knew how to describe myself,” Rimes told the host of the inspiration behind the song. “Because I was pretty pathetic.” Adding to her tell-all moment, she shared, “I actually still get embarrassed talking about it, even though I’ve written a whole album about the situation. I did go through a very public affair with Eddie, who’s now my wonderful husband. People who haven’t been in that situation, I guess, look into the darker moments of things. I think a lot of people think it’s done with complete abandonment and it wasn’t.”
  • In this Nashville Skyline column from the CMT archives, Chet Flippo takes a look at the man who inspired Willie Nelson’s “Pretty Paper.”
  • Yesterday was Country Day at Farce the Music, with three posts’ worth of Photoshopped album covers.
  • On December 29, Yahoo! Music will broadcast 2012 Ram Jam, which will feature performances from Kellie Pickler, Easton Corbin, and more.
  • Saving Country Music’s Trigger posted his 25 Essential Albums of 2012, a list which features Chris KnightCarolina Chocolate DropsJoe Buck, and more.
  1. Barry Mazor
    December 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Regarding Seely’s Gill “review”: This is from the same major mind whose last blog on country informed us that we can’t really believe anybody who sings songs written by other people because the content “didn’t happen to them.” Look–there is a school of “thought,” that very easily gets published, or at least, re-transmitted like severe viruses, in which country music is judged and supposedly addressed by people with no relation to it whatsoever except for how it relates to some flavor of rock–the indie/punk industrial complex being the usual fave for the moment. To the degree it doesn’t follow rock verities, it’s “stuck in a box” (which rock never is, natch) , its style is disparaged, and its audience–sometimes, you’ll note, for including known females. Here’s the answer: go chase yourself.

  2. Jon
    December 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Mike Seely would have to get a whole lot smarter and more polite before he’d qualify to even be called a ******* offensive idiot. I recommend that C. M. Wilcox save that piece, pull it out and contemplate its stupidy and viciousness the next time he wonders, as he did recently, why any artist would feel apprehensive about what a critic might say about him.

  3. Rick
    December 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Why Kyle would choose to change his pen name from “Triggerman” (ie a true outlaw term) to that of Roy Rogers’ favorite horse is beyond me! It makes me think his judgement might be as impaired as Mike Seeley! (lol) Well both that and his list of 25 Essential Albums of 2012…

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s Opry features Gene Watson, The Band Perry, Ricky “You Can’t Hurt Ham” Skaggs, Gwen Sebastion, and Chonda Pierce(?). Grade: B+
    The Saturday Night Opry will feature Ashley Monroe (in the segment hosted by Vince Gill. Imagine that! lol), Elizabeth Cook, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy “Angel Tree” Wayne, and Keith & Kristyn Getty(?). Grade: A! I regret I won’t be able to listen to this one. Darn!

    As posted above: Question “Peter Cooper asks, “How come the country music in a soap opera, sung by actors, is better than what I hear on mainstream country radio?”. Simple Answer: T-Bone Burnett! T-Bone is not designing the musical content to fit the Top 40 AirHead Country radio format. Thank goodness for creative freedom in the hands of someone that knows what to do with it!

    Angela Easterling is a fun gal and a very interesting character. It’s just a shame she doesn’t live around Los Angeles any longer. Oh well.

    I wish Sunny Sweeney could release download singles of all the great non-album cuts she sang on her solo tour back in 2010! Those new songs were superior to most of the tracks that made it onto “Concrete” and were more “country”. Crikey mate!

  4. TX Music Jim
    December 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Many a musician would give an appendage to be able to pick and sing with ability of Vince Gill. Mr. Seely needs to quietly slap some sense into himself while there is still time.

  5. luckyoldsun
    December 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Maybe Seely is just picking on Gill as a blowback to the somewhat puzzling selection of Gill to the Hall of Fame. Gill is the Fred Couples of the CMHOF, for people who can appreciate the reference.

    Anyway, it appears that Seeley is getting just the reaction that he was seeking. (LoL.)

  6. Jon
    December 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    There’s nothing puzzling about Vince Gill’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

  7. Leeann Ward
    December 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Correct. Give me a break; there’s nothing legitimately puzzling about it.

  8. luckyoldsun
    December 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Only that he’s a borderline pick and was put in ahead of a whole bunch of artists who preceded him and are still waiting to get into the H-o-F. But I’ll give you a break L.W., in the spirit of the season: It may be illegitimately puzzling!

  9. Barry Mazor
    December 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Look Luck Ol–everybody in the modern category got in before performers who proceeded then; there are different categories and Vince was elected in the Modern one. For that matter, when Hank Williams was among the first three inducted the first year of the Halal HE was in before everyone who proceeded him except Jimmie Rodgers. So what? They don’t line up in chrono order, oldest up front. It’s not scientific, as if it could be.

    Since nominations occur in the actual world, there are indeed, fairly obviously, some acts who get into the Hall earlier than other acts because they’re much liked in the industry, including among the Hall voters, and others who have a hard time (as say, Webb Pierce did) because they spent a career making as many enemies as friends. That’s life.

    I’d rather see that than what the Baseball Hall people have to go through tis year figuring out what “scientific” records maybe shouldn’t count because they’ve got steroid era nominees.

  10. Leeann Ward
    December 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Ditto, Barry.

  11. luckyoldsun
    December 22, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Vince Gill got into the Country Music Hall of Fame faster than any artist in history–save for three.

    Gill was inducted into the hall in 2007–roughly 17 years, after he became a significant country artist.

    Just in the way of comparison, with some of the other “fast” inductees: Johnny Cash had been a major figure for 24 years when he was inducted in 1980. Eddy Arnold had been a star for twenty years when he was inducted. Loretta Lynn, at least 22 years. George Strait, 24 years. Heck, even Garth had been a star for some 22 years when he received his much-publicized “early induction” this year.

    And forget about the hall-of-famers who were not “fast-tracked”: Hank Snow–30 years a star; George Jones–at least 33 years; Haggard–28 years.

    Oh yeah: The three artists who by my calculation made it into the hall faster than Gill: Hank Williams (14 years), Jim Reeves (14 years) and Patsy Cline (12 years)–all of whom are country legends and all of whom happened to be, um…dead.

    Now, I could say that Vince Gill only had about two H-o-F level recordings:”When I Call Your Name” and “I Still Believe In You.” Or I could name a bunch of artists who I think rank ahead of Gill and who have not been voted into he hall: Bobby Bare, Kenny Rogers, Milsap, the Oaks, Ricky Skaggs–but for some reason, I’m getting the impression that that might upset some people.

    So I’ll stick with “puzzling.”

  12. Jon
    December 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for the elaboration on why you’re mystified by something that mystifies no one else.

  13. Arlene
    December 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Another benefit album for victims of Hurricane Sandy is available from Mason Jar Music at for a donation/amount of your own choosing. It consists of all new recordings of 15 traditional songs, many flood or storm related, including Rosanne Cash performing “Lonesome River;” Tift Merritt performing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot;”; Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck performing “Backwater Blues;” Aoife O’Donovan (w. Noam Pikelny & Paul Kowert) performing “The Storms Are on the Ocean;”; and Dawn Landes performing “I Ain’t Got No Home.” Donations for these recordings will go directly to support ongoing relief work in New York City and the tri-state area– New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

  14. Arlene
    December 26, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Sorry- try this link:

    • Juli Thanki
      December 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks for the info, Arlene. That looks like an excellent compilation.

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