Sugarland Settles Lawsuit with Founder Kristen Hall; Country Shows Expand; Anna Wilson Adds Jazz to Country Standards
- Current Sugarland members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush settled a lawsuit with the group’s founding member, Kristen Hall, who claims she was owed more than $14 million. Details of the settlement weren’t disclosed.
- NPR’s Meredith Ochs says the new Hank Williams box set The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings…Plus! challenges commonly held perceptions:
Though it’s well-known that Hank Williams was a charismatic performer, a true superstar, he’s also thought of as a tragic figure. The Lovesick Blues Boy was a man who sang songs of heartache and loneliness, who infamously died in the back of a car at age 29 — a one-dimensional, sepia-toned character who looked and sounded much older than he actually was.
But The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings reveals the fun Hank, the Hank who wrote “Hey Good Lookin’,” the morning Hank, perhaps, since these recordings are of a series of radio shows that aired at 7:15 a.m. Far from forlorn, Williams sounds jovial, riffing on the ad copy, joking with the band and his wife Audrey, even laughing out loud.
- Zoe Muth signed with Signature Sounds and has a new album due out in April 2011. If you’re not familiar with Muth, several songs from her latest album can be streamed on MySpace.
- Listen to Keith Urban‘s new album Get Closer in its entirety at NPR.
- Listen to Rascal Flatts‘ new album Nothing Like This in its entirety at GAC.
- The Country Network (TCN), a music video television network in Nashville dedicated exclusively to airing country music videos, plans to expand to nearly three dozen cities by the first quarter of 2011.
- Larry Henley, Robert Plant, and John Denver have won CMA Awards. Roger Miller has not. Although most of his success predated the formation of the CMA, Chet Flippo says the fact he hasn’t been awarded anything from the CMA Awards should teach us to keep a little perspective about the importance of awards.
- Representatives of Alan Parsons allege that the Lady Antebellum song “Need You Now” closely resembles Parsons’ “Eye In the Sky” and even put together a video for comparison.
- Farce the Music: Top Ten Shortest Books by Country Artists II
- The Bluegrass Blog is streaming “Mountain Fever,” the new single from Marty Raybon, featuring harmony vocals from Del McCoury. It’s a remake of an Osborne Brothers song and will appear on Raybon’s next album, Pick Of The Litter: A Collection of Fan Favorites. [I’ll take this over “Daddy Phone” any day of the week.]
- Keith Urban may not stretch beyond his comfort zone on his new album, Get Closer, but Michael McCall says he manages to keep his work engaging.
Keith Urban boils his sixth studio album down to the essentials of what fans expect from him. Of the eight songs, six explore relationships in relentlessly upbeat, guitar-driven arrangements; the two ballads address commitment and the joys of a strong, ongoing bond, as his love songs often do.
The new songs don’t delineate from the star-making course Urban has followed for the last decade. But the new material does, concisely and consistently, prove why that formula works so well for him.
- Honky Tonk TV has grown into its own full-length production with plans to partner with Hulu in December.
- Bob Lefsetz praised the Brooks & Dunn song “The Long Goodbye” and songwriter Paul Brady responded.
- For this week’s Acoustic Motel, Jack Ingram talks at length about the events that lead to his song “Riding High, Eating Good, and Staying Out of Jail.”
- The first round of performers for the inaugural American Country Awards has been announced and includes CMA Awards male vocalist Blake Shelton, along with Toby Keith, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, and Josh Turner. More performers for the Dec. 6 show will be announced in the coming days.
- With a new album and a change in labels, Rascal Flatts is feeling reinvigorated.
“I think the future is bright and it’s what we make it,” Rooney said. “We’re not going to lay down and give up because our names weren’t mentioned in a few (awards show) categories… We came to Nashville because we wanted to be in country music and we found a sound and we wanted to be unique. I think we’re a new glimpse of what country is. I can’t wait to see five years down the road and where we will be. It just feels really good right now.”
- Forty-five million dollars in a year landed Taylor Swift at No. 9 on Forbes‘ rankings of Hollywood’s highest-earning women. (via CMT)
- When Keith Whitley took “Miami, My Amy” to
No. 1the charts he earned a new pair of boots. Songwriter Hank Cochran told the story to American Songwriter back in January ’09.
- Country California: Quotable Country – 11/14/10 Edition
New releases for the week of November 16, 2010 include:
- “You Don’t Know Me,” the first song from Anna Wilson‘s next album (see the next bullet for details), was released to iTunes today. Buy it on iTunes. Or stream it on Wilson’s website, and then buy it on iTunes. Good stuff.
For her new album, Countrypolitan Duets (due early next year), jazz artist Anna Wilson chose to cover a collection of country standards and even invited some of the original performers, like Ray Price and Connie Smith, to sing with her. It also includes appearances from some of today’s hitmakers, including Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum. Here’s the projects EPK:
- luckyoldsun: Jim Z-- I get the feeling Barry was this close to calling you what Kinky Friedman called his guy from El …
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...