T-Model Ford Passes Away; David Nail, Westbound Rangers Release New Videos; What’s Up with Gibson Banjos?

Juli Thanki | July 17th, 2013

  • T-Model Ford passed away yesterday. The influential bluesman was in his 90s and had been battling health issues for several years after suffering a series of strokes in 2010. Listen to a KEXP session Ford recorded in 2008.
  • Keith Urban’s teamed up with Hallmark to create a collection of overpriced greeting cards.
  • Willie Nelson & Friends Live at Third Man Records will be released on vinyl as part of Third Man’s “Vault” subscription service.
  • Listen to the title track from Kim Lenz & The Jaguars’ Follow Me, which comes out August 20.
  • What’s going on with Gibson banjos? John Lawless reports, “Since the flooding of the Cumberland River in Nashville ravaged their production facilities in May of 2010, Gibson has not assembled or shipped a single banjo. Nor have they been willing to discuss the status of banjo building in their future plans…Numerous calls and emails to Gibson for comment since have been met with stony silence. Existing dealers have only been told (for the past 3 years) that no banjo production is expected each year. One call to the main Gibson customer service line verified this fact, and that no banjos have been shipped since the flood.” 
  • Grant Britt of American Songwriter wrote a lengthy feature on Dale Watson. An excerpt: Although he’s rubbing shoulders on the Billboard charts with the same people who are disparaging his music, he’s not looking for a confrontation. “If I was in the same room with Blake Shelton, I wouldn’t need to say anything to him because my music speaks for itself,” Watson says. “I’ve been in a room with some bigger folks. I mean, huge, huge stars and they said, ‘Man, I wish I could do what you do.’ And I just turned to ‘em and I said ‘You can. You could do it.’ But what they mean by that is radio wouldn’t play it if they did and they can’t do it and make the kind of money they’re making doing this other stuff, what the record company tells ‘em to do. I’m very confident in my career where it’s at now. A lot of folks who are on the charts, they probably can’t say that, probably a little embarrassed next to me.”
  • Stephen Deusner interviewed Court Yard Hounds for CMT.
  • The Civil Wars take folks behind the scenes of “The One That Got Away” in a new video.
  • The ACM Lifting Lives Series, which began this year, was formed to help “young adults with disabilities by introducing them to the music industry, both to boost their job prospects and to help them along socially.”
  • Dierks Bentley’s upcoming benefit show for the families of the firefighters who lost their lives in Arizona is sold out. The Band Perry and Randy Houser are among the other acts who’ll play the July 22 concert.
  • Pokey LaFarge played Letterman last night. Watch here.
  • Zach Schonfeld on the ongoing Spotify controversy: Exposure…has become even more viable currency in the Spotify era than it’s always been. The system is such that bands work desperately for nothing in hopes of exposure that will afford them the privilege of working desperately for little more than nothing. Maybe eventually they’ll make it huge and make—well, less than you probably expect. 
  • Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, and Nashville are among the nominees for this year’s Teen Choice Awards.
  • Read an excerpt of Jim Beviglia’s new book, Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs. Dylan’s The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) will be released August 27.
  • Nashville Gab interviewed Travis Meadows, who wrote the title track of Dierks Bentley’s forthcoming record, Riser.


  1. Jack Williams
    July 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

    A couple of “close enoughs” from Neil Young:

    Tonight’s the Night (written about roadie Bruce Berry)

    Needle and the Damage Done (written about Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten, who died shortly thereafter of a drug overdose)

  2. Arlene
    July 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Some other songs that directly address dead bandmates:

    “Song for Roy”- Sam Bush’s song for/to fellow Nash Rambler, Roy Husky, Jr. (“Here’s a song just to say farewell, rest in peace, ’til we pick again.”)

    “Pilgrim”- Steve Earle also wrote this song for/to Roy Husky, Jr. (“We’ll meet again on some bright highway. Songs to sing and tales to tell.
    But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
    Until I see you fare thee well.”

    “Your Long Journey”- If you consider Merle a bandmate of Doc Watson’s… “My heart breaks as you take your long journey.”

    Also, while he doesn’t “directly address” him in the song, I’ve read that the second verse of Gram Parsons’ “In My Hour of Darkness” is about his former bandmate in the Byrds, Clarence White.

  3. Jack Williams
    July 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

    One more:

    “Run Conejo Run” by Dave Alvin, which is about Chris Gaffney.

  4. Arlene
    July 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Speaking of Dave Alvin, also “Black Rose of Texas,” which he wrote about Guilty Women band mate Amy Farris. (“All the pills you kept beside your bed were never enough to ease your mind….”)

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