The History of Country Rap; Gibson Guitar Raided; New Music from Ralph Stanley

Juli Thanki | August 25th, 2011

  • Infamous Stringduster Chris Pandolfi is giving one of the keynote addresses at this year’s IBMA business conference. On his blog he offers some thoughts on where IBMA could go in the future.  Ted Lehmann has also written a thoughtful essay in response to a few of Pandolfi’s blog posts about the direction of IBMA.
  • Liquor and honest music brought the Pistol Annies together, as they say in a fantastic Village Voice interview. Can’t go wrong with that.
  • Paste is streaming “Lucky Now,” a track from Ryan Adams’ upcoming record Ashes & Fire.
  • Take a peek inside Guy Clark’s guitar workshop, which includes a portrait of Townes Van Zandt and a wall of cassette tapes.
  • Montgomery Gentry is slated to perform during Sylvania 300 pre-race ceremonies at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 25.
  • Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service executed search warrants at the Gibson plants and corporate headquarters in Memphis and Nashville yesterday. An investigation is ongoing.
  • Give a listen to Larry Gatlin and Romain Virgo sing “California” on the upcoming Reggae’s Gone Country album (out next Tuesday).
  • Kenny Rogers’ 28 Adult Contemporary Top 10 hits ranks him as the fourth best male artist (trailing Elton John, Neil Diamond, and Elvis Presley) in the 50 years of Billboard’s AC charts.
  • Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson will donate all proceeds from their September 2 show in Nashville to Operation Finally Home, a Texas-based organization that donates new homes to wounded and disabled veterans as well as widows and widowers of fallen soldiers.
  • Have over half a million dollars at your fingertips and a burning desire to be John Rich’s neighbor? Knock yourself out, pal.
  • Stream folkie Catie Curtis’ upcoming record Stretch Limousine on Fire over at Performing Songwriter.




  1. Saving Country Music
    August 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Once again, spoken word and rap are ballyhooed as the same thing, which is a reduction of the origination of both, and a fundamental misunderstanding of the art forms based on shallow observances.

    In my opinion.

  2. Barry Mazor
    August 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    If you want to make that case, “Saving,” make it some place. “IMO” is not enough for that job. But please make sure that you’re not turning reasonable distinctions into yawning gaps when you do, and that you’ve got down the history and extent of the talking blues you’re calling “spoken word’ when ya do.

  3. Jon
    August 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Referring to the works Kienzle cites as “spoken word” – as though the music which forms an integral part of each and every one simply didn’t exist – is a serious mistake that renders the rest of the comment more than a little dubious.

    Not that I’m sure Ralph won’t do a fine job, but the musical heritage of Franklin County (“the wettest county”) is plenty rich enough to have provided material for the movie soundtrack.

  4. Barry Mazor
    August 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Yep; I’m saying what Jon’s saying. Kienzle did not compare rap to country oral recitations. As usual, he’s careful there, and has done his homework.

  5. Rick
    August 25, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Juli, these news summaries you and Ken put together are so large that I feel exhausted just reading all of your article links each day! (lol) Not that I’m complaining though as you can’t get too much of a good thing…

    Thanks for the Sunny Sweeney link. I told Sunny back in July of 2010 (twice in fact) that “Drink Myself Single” should be the second radio single, but did Republic Nashville listen to me? NO! There is still a chance for her label to redeem itself by making it the third radio single off of “Concrete” when “Stayin’s Worse Than Leavin'” has run its course. Although nowadays I’m thinking “Fall For Me” with a shortened instrumental intro may be the better way to go. Hmmm…

    Its so nice to see Federal agent types harassing a business like Gibson just to be total douchebags.

    When are we going to see a Pistol Annies album review here at the engine145? From what I’ve heard thus far, I’d rather read about it than actually have to listen through.

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