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.
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.
Juli Thanki is the editor of Engine 145 and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Bluegrass Unlimited, and M Music & Musicians Magazine. In 2011 she received the International Bluegrass Music Association Print Media Person of the Year award.