Sweeney, Musgraves Among ACM Newcomer Award Nominees; Gill, Harris to Play “All for the Hall” Concert in NYC; Son Volt Announces New Album

Juli Thanki | January 15th, 2013

  • Brian T. Atkinson interviewed Kris Kristofferson for CMT Edge.
  • In March, the Country Music Association will host the first International Country Music Marketing Summit at Disneyland Paris.
  • PopMatters’ Dave Heaton asks, “How much can the genre of country music progress if it’s spending all of its time looking back?”
  • The Bluegrass Situation posted a neat video of Del McCoury and Sam Bush from their recent tour.
  • On March 5, Son Volt will release their new record, Honky Tonk, on Rounder Records. The band also announced a string of tour dates.
  • Mindy McCready’s boyfriend, David Wilson, passed away. He was 34.
  • CMT Edge’s Chris Parton interviewed Americana duo Whitehorse.
  • Elizabeth Cook and two band members played “Gospel Plow” for CMT.
  • Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill will perform at an “All for the Hall” benefit concert in New York on February 26.
  • In March, Alan Jackson will headline a show at the Ryman to benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance.
  • Noah Berlatsky of The Atlantic looks at the “long, complicated history” of mothers in country music: Country’s obsession with mamas is part and parcel of its obsession with tradition. It’s one of the many ways that the music evokes and points to the rural past which it both constantly idolizes and constantly (though sometimes surreptitiously) celebrates its liberation from. Mama, then, becomes a convenient trope; a way to declare one’s love for that old-time morality while emphasizing one’s own tragic/sexy/cool/funny independence from it.
  • CMT’s Craig Shelburne looks at ten of country music’s most popular trios, including The Carter Family.
  • Lucinda Williams recorded a new version of “Joy” for West of Memphis: Voices for Justice. Listen here.
  • Jack White’s label, Third Man, has teamed up with Document Records to reissue the complete works of Charley Patton, Blind Willie McTell, and The Mississippi Sheiks.
  • Sunny Sweeney, Kacey Musgraves, Jana Kramer, Lee Brice, Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Love and Theft, Florida Georgia Line, and Thompson Square are the nominees in the 2013 ACM “newcomer” categories. Voting starts January 21, and “winners in each of the three categories will automatically become nominees for the overall New Artist of the Year award; which will also be determined by a combined fan and professional membership vote.”
  • So did The Drive-By Truckers.
  • Lulu Roman’s (Hee Haw) album, At Last, features guest appearances from Dolly Parton, Linda Davis, and others.
  • Album releases:

Chris King 1983

Bill Carter Unknown

Punch Drunks Tears for Beers

The Highballers Soft Music and Hard Liquor

Lulu Roman – At Last

Jeff Black B-Sides and Confessions, Volume 2

Katie Armiger Fall Into Me

Jeff Byrd & Dirty Finch Jumped That Train

Amber Digby – The World You’re Living In

The Lone Bellow The Lone Bellow (iTunes and independent record stores only. The widespread release is next week.)

Various Artists West of Memphis: Voices for Justice

Various Artists Lost Country Hits of the ‘60s / ‘70s / ‘80s

  1. Saving Country Music
    January 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    To the Pop Matters piece, I think the artist that find the right balance between respecting the roots of the music and evolving progressively and responsibly will be the ones that will ultimately prosper, and will help the genre prosper. This type of balance is what was found in Eric Church’s “Chief” and is one of the reasons the album did well both commercially, and was named the CMA “Album of the Year.” Don;t particularly care for Eric Church the man and am luke warm on his music at best, but that balance is what he achieved, and it paid off for him.

  2. Jon
    January 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Whew, where do I start? With the list of “most-anticipated bluegrass records” that, by its writer’s own admission, barely contains any bluegrass? With Dave Heaton’s depressingly, yet unsurprisingly superficial take on country music tradition (here’s a clue, pal: what the most clueless of fans have to say about artists’ music is not necessarily the same as what those artists might have to say about it).

    Oh, well. On the bright side, Amber Digby’s album is very fine, indeed. Plenty of fine songs, and no need to apologize for any “technical” (whatever the hell that means) shortcomings in the vocals, either.

  3. Arlene
    January 15, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I was going to comment that it would be odd for Sunny Sweeney to receive an ACM newcomer’s award in 2013, seven years after her first album was released, but then I remembered that Shelby Lynne received a Best New Artist grammy in 2001, twelve years after the release of her first album….

  4. Rick
    January 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I will definitely have to check out Amber Digby’s new album. That gal’s voice can literally soar at times but she usually keeps it far too reigned in. I do wish she would hook up with a better duet partner than Justin Trevino, who’s voice definitely has it’s share of “technical shortcomings”! (lol)

    I’d like to vote for both Sunny Sweeney and Kacey Musgraves in that ACM Newcomer category but know they will both get beat by Jana Kramer by a pop-country mile. Truth be told I’d actually rather vote for Clare Bowen if she were on the list! Go Scarlett! (lol)

    Any genre of music can always look back to its roots for creative inspiration and possible new directions to follow. Now that so much of the current Top 40 Airhead Country radio pablum is rooted in 1980’s hair metal rock, I think a little backward gazing towards traditional country would be a welcome respite and greatly appreciated!

    It sounds like that “International Country Music Marketing Conference” location was chosen mostly for reasons other than anything to do with the music! I hope all the participants have a great vacation at Disneyland Paris during the “Summit”! (lol)

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