Stream A.J. Croce, Scott H. Biram Albums; CMA Foundation Donates $1 Million for Music Education; Deadly Gentlemen Release New Video

Juli Thanki | January 30th, 2014

  • Stream A.J. Croce’s 12 Tales, out next Tuesday on Compass Records.
  • Scott H. Biram’s new record, Nothin’ But Blood, is streaming at The A.V. Club.
  • Jason Isbell played a few for Relix.
  • The Fretboard Journal posted Seeger’s “last letter,” which the recipient got in the mail the day after Seeger’s death.
  • Suzy Bogguss on Merle Haggard: Do you know who I would equate him to? Stephen Foster. He just goes everywhere with his melodies. You might find a couple of songs that emulate each other, but he’s got “The Running Kind” and “Mama Tried” and “I Always Get Lucky With You.” He’s got jazzy melodies, bluesy melodies, straight ahead country melodies. He’s got “Sing Me Back Home,” which sounds like folk music to me. It’s a wonderful catalog.  
  • PopMatters’ Dave Heaton wonders about the beautification of country album covers: Is this just the look of our era, in other words? Since country-music generally relies on artists portraits for cover art, do each decade’s country album covers tell us something about the look of that decade, beyond country? There’s also the notion that this trend matches up with the diversification of country music’s audience, of the audience for the music going more mainstream, meaning more upper-middle-class, suburban/urban; not the small town, working-class audience you might imagine…After all, if cover artwork is really just an advertisement for the music, then the artwork is trying to attract buyers who want to see their stars, or their life, or their world, in this pretty kind of way.
  • NPR’s Ken Tucker looks at new albums from Jason Eady and Jon Pardi.
  • Give a listen to (and then download for free) an mp3 of 18-year old up-and-comer Mary Sarah singing “Heartaches By the Number” with Ray Price. Mary Sarah’s forthcoming record, Bridges, is expected to be released in April and features duets with Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Vince Gill, and others.
  • The CMA Foundation donated $1 million in support of music education programs at Nashville public schools.
  • Trace Adkins left rehab to be with his ill father.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus and Dionne Warwick recorded a duet. No, for real.
  • Seattle’s Tractor Tavern celebrates 20 years as the city’s “Americana hub.”
  • Brad Paisley, The Dixie Chicks, and Dierks Bentley are playing the C2C 2014 country music festival in London and Dublin this March. Bob DiPiero, Martina McBride, Brett James, and Striking Matches will all participate in the CMA Songwriters Series event that will be held in London on March 14.
  1. Rick
    January 30, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I checked out that duet by Mary Sarah and Ray Price when Triggerman first posted it on Saving Country Music. I find that Mary’s voice reminds me far too much of Carrie Underwood (which I can’t stand), and rather than having a unique vocal style Sarah comes off to me as having vocal mannerisms instead. Being an acquaintance of aging traditional country stars isn’t going to score Mary any brownie points at AirHead Country Radio.

    It’s really nice to see Striking Matches will be heading to London as part of the CMA Songwriter’s Series. They will at least prove to the Brits that there are some true songwriting talents among us Yankees and the “peach pickin'” Nashville hacks…

    An article dedicated to the “beautification” of country album covers in this day and age? What is the point as CD covers are so small it doesn’t really matter and with digital downloads it doesn’t matter at all. Album cover art was significant back in the time of the LP due to the size of the record album sleeves, which makes current vinyl releases about the only place where it still matters at all.

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