Taylor Swift Named Billboard Woman of the Year; Punch Brothers to Open for Paul Simon; Kasey Chambers Nabs ARIA Award Nominations

Juli Thanki | October 12th, 2011

  • Coming on December 1 from Texas A&M University Press: I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt, by Brian T. Atkinson. Barry Mazor was quoted in the press release: “Commendably, I’ll Be Here in the Morning celebrates the artful song maker and intellect Van Zandt was at his best and avoids further romanticizing the sadly self-destructive man lurking behind the songs. Atkinson takes testimony from the right people and comes away with a memorable, telling, often funny group portrait.”
  • Little Big Town’s “Shut Up Train” is the iTunes Free Video of the Week.
  • James McMurtry and Jason Isbell are touring together this fall. For a limited time, you can download a free, four-song sampler here.
  • The World Café takes a look back at a 2007 session with Charlie Louvin and a 2003 appearance from Merle Haggard.
  • The Americana Music Festival is underway in Nashville this week. Brush up on the nominees before tomorrow’s awards show.
  • Sarah Darling, Phil Vassar, SHeDAISY, and more are taking part in Nashville’s “Let Us In” benefit concert in which proceeds will go to the Women and Cancer Fund, established in honor of Linda McCartney. Each artist will perform their own songs as well as a Paul McCartney song. An album, which will include performers who can’t attend the concert, will be released on November 21.
  • Kasey Chambers, Keith Urban, Shane Nicholson, The Waifs, Troy Cassar-Daley, and Jasmine Rae are all nominated for ARIA Awards. The awards show will be held on November 27.
  • Rita Ballou’s open letter to Sunny Sweeney, in which she professed her “complete and utter non-practicing lesbianic crush” on the singer, got her an invitation to a meet and greet (Sweeney appears in the comments).
  • Sam Gazdziak wrote a must-read feature on Paul Burch and his killer Buddy Holly tribute record Words of Love over at Country Universe.
  • Alison Krauss and Union Station have been added to the most recent All for the Hall benefit concert lineup. The show is scheduled for January 18, at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
  • The Band Perry, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, and more are all nominated for the fan-voted American Music Awards, which will be held on November 20.
  • Toby Keith playing “Made in America” on a Japanese guitar shows his open mind and “healthy capacity for irony,” writes Lawrence Downes in this New York Times editorial.
  • Chip Taylor and his grandkids recorded an album together. Read an interview with Taylor and listen to a song over at American Songwriter.
  • Punch Brothers will open several shows for Paul Simon this November. In December, Brother Noam Pikelny will embark on his own tour to support a new album, joined by a band that includes Crooked Still’s Aiofe O’Donovan.
  • Keith Urban and Ellen DeGeneres made a commercial for Keith’s new cologne, Phoenix.
  • Check out the trailer for Troubadour Blues, a documentary about “modern-day wandering minstrels” that features Mary Gauthier, Dave Alvin, and more.

Troubadour Blues Trailer from Tom Weber on Vimeo.

  1. Rick
    October 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    That Rita Ballou article about Sunny Sweeney was hilarious and thankfully tame by Rita’s standards. I will admit to being the internet bootleg source of the advance copy of “Concrete” back in mid 2010 long before the album had a name. I mentioned Rita and her blog to Sunny back when I met her in July 2010 at a concert but I can’t remember if Sunny was already a Rita fan back then. When I recently saw Sunny perform at Downtown Disney in Anaheim I wrote out the name of the Engine145 blog and told Sunny it was the 9513’s direct descendant hoping she’d come and post here. Sunny, I’m still waiting for you to drop by and give me some sh*t just like old times! (lol)

    I’m with Justin Tate in hoping CDs don’t disappear entirely from the retail scene. On the other hand if all the legal MP3 downloads were offered at a 320kps bitrate rather than the cut rate 256kps, I wouldn’t mind quite as much.

    Why Jasmine Rae hasn’t crossed the pond to give the US Top 40 country market a serious effort is beyond me. Of all the current young female Aussie commercial country artists, I think Jasmine would fit the most comfortably onto a US Top 40 AirHead Country Radio station playlist. I’d venture a guess that her version of “Look It Up” would have charted higher than Ashton Shepherd’s. Even though The McClymont sisters are extremely talented, I think their current effort to conquer the US mainstream country market is a long shot in comparison.

    Music City Roots is back in session tonight and will feature The Milk Carton Kids (talk about a warped sense of humor), The Wilders, Elephant Revival (?), Grayson Capps, and a couple of guys from the V-Roys band. Should be…er, interesting! (lol)
    Link: http://www.musiccityroots.com/

  2. Rick
    October 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Speaking of Sunny Sweeney (whom I like almost as much as Rita Ballou), last week her new single “Drink Myself Single” was among the top 3 most added songs at Mediabase reporting stations. This week that song is doesn’t even make the Top 12 on that list! Talk about being fickle! Well at least some stations last week had the good taste to add Sunny’s song, I just don’t know if that was enough to build any real momentum. Top 40 country radio is not kind towards new artists, and especially solo female acts who didn’t come from American Idol. Sunny’s last single barely cracked the high 30’s and if “Drink Myself Single” doesn’t reach at least the Top 20, then Sunny’s welcome mat at Top 40 country radio could be pulled back in. I’ve seen this happen to most of the new female country artists I’ve really liked since I started paying attention in 2005. Oh well.

    Here’s this week’s “Mediabase Most Added” list (from AllAboutCountry.com):

    1 Kenny Chesney/Reality (51 Adds)
    2 Brad Paisley/Camouflage (37)
    3 Dierks Bentley/Home (29)
    4 Billy Currington/Like My Dog (18)
    5 Chris Young/You (12)
    6 Brent Anderson/Amy’s Song (11)
    7 Jake Owen/Alone With You (9)
    8 Kip Moore/Sometin’ ‘Bout A Truck (9)
    9 Luke Bryan/I Don’t Want This Night To End (8)
    10 Casey James/Let’s Don’t Call It A Night (7)
    11 Lee Brice/A Woman Like You (7)
    12 Zac Brown Band/Keep Me In Mind (5)

    Gosh, female artists really face an ever steepening uphill battle at AirHead Country radio these days. (Not that the playing filed has ever been level though.)

  3. Jon
    October 13, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Whoa, Billy Currington’s cut “Like My Dog?” The Harley Allen-Scotty Emerick song?

  4. CMW
    October 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    That’s the one, Jon. It’s on the Currington album that came out last year.

  5. Jon
    October 13, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    And they’re playing it on the radio?! There’ve gotta be some lyric differences from the way Harley sang it ;-). I reckon I need to buy me a download…

  6. luckyoldsun
    October 13, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    Who the hell is Rita Ballou?–A character from a Guy Clark song come to life??

  7. Jon
    October 13, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Hmm, no lyric differences, but that Currington version isn’t very good – poor tempo choice, mostly; those lyrics need to be savored, not rushed through.

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