Tift Merritt Collaborates with Classical Pianist Simone Dinnerstein; The Spinney Brothers’ Next Album Due in May; Album Releases
- At this point, it would be easier to list who isn’t appearing at George Jones’ final Nashville concert. Billy Ray Cyrus, Don McLean, and Cyndi Lauper have all been added to the lineup, bringing the current total to 50+ musical guests.
- Chuck Dauphin of Billboard reviewed one of Randy Travis’ recent performances with the Nashville Symphony: Vocally, just like his influences Haggard and Jones, Travis has only gotten better with age. If you need proof of this, go to a show and see how he handles the pure emotion of a song like “He Walked On Water.” Before the song, he shared a memory about his growing up years with his grandfather that brought out many chuckles from the crowd. He also turned back the hands of time to 1986 with a performance of “Diggin’ Up Bones,” including a third verse that he didn’t record on Storms Of Life, his debut album (He did record the verse on his 2011 25th Anniversary disc, in duet form with John Anderson).
- Dauphin also wrote about The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s classic album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which has just been reissued on vinyl.
- It’s Couch By Couchwest time once more; check out some videos from participating artists, including Rayna Gellert and Kristin Andreassen.
- Jason Heller of The A.V. Club gave Jay Farrar’s new memoir a D, noting that the book “commits the most glaring crime a musician’s memoir can: speaking very little about its subject’s music, to the point where Farrar’s most beloved and influential group, the alt-country legend Uncle Tupelo, is mentioned by name only twice.”
- Josh Ritter has a 23-song live album available for download on NoiseTrade.
- The Spinney Brothers’ next album, No Borders, will be released on Mountain Fever Records May 7. (via press release)
- Here’s a video of Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell singing “Dreaming My Dreams” on SiriusXM Outlaw Country.
- Darius Rucker picked five essential country albums, including records by Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, and Radney Foster.
- C.M. Wilcox posted a new edition of Quotable Country.
- Barry Mazor wrote a Wall Street Journal article about Ashley Monroe.
- Grascal Kristin Scott Benson is featured on Bluegrass Today. An excerpt from the article: “It’s important to look at the evolution of bluegrass and realize that there have always been those innovators. What the Osborne Brothers did in the 70s was crazy out of the box. There are just so many (innovators) that you could just look down the line and look at how it’s evolved and how it’s changed. One cool part of bluegrass is we do still have the purists that maintain the tradition and that’s the legs that everyone stands on.”
- George Strait sold more than 72,000 concert tickets in six minutes.
- Taylor Swift visited a ten-year old cancer patient in Omaha.
- Folk Alley compiled ten hours of Irish music to get you in the St. Patrick’s Day mood. Stream the collection here.
- Speaking of Irish music, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill played an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
- “Queen of modern folk” Anais Mitchell talks about her new record with Jefferson Hamer, Child Ballads, with The Telegraph.
- Mumford and Sons released a new video for their song “Whispers in the Dark.”
- The Hackensaw Boys’ next record, For the Love of a Friend: Live in Kinderdijk, will be released April 2. It was recorded last May in the Netherlands.
- Kelly Dearmore profiled singer-songwriter Andrew Combs for the Dallas Observer.
- Dearmore also wrote about Blake Shelton and the “old fart” to-do for the Houston Press music blog.
- Brian T. Atkinson interviewed Gurf Morlix for CMT Edge.
- Jack White talks Depression Era blues in this Guardian article.
- The Nashville Scene posted video of Elvis Costello and Clare Bowen (Scarlett on Nashville) singing “The Scarlet Tide.”
- “Is anyone in music as beloved as Willie Nelson? From the reception he got walking into the theater last night you’d think the dude killed Hitler with his bare hands.”
- Leslie Gray Streeter of The Palm Beach Post interviewed Roger McGuinn.
- The Country Music Association of Australia gave Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away the Top-Selling International Album of the Year award.
- Craig Shelburne of CMT Edge interviewed The Blue Sky Riders.
- Stream Night, a collaboration between Tift Merritt and classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein, here.
- Album releases:
Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice – The Story of the Day That I Died
Alan Bibey & Wayne Benson – The Mandolin Chronicles
Steven Curtis Chapman – Deep Roots
Shooter Jennings – The Other Life
Heather Maloney – Heather Maloney
Jason Crabb – Love is Stronger
Fifth on the Floor – Ashes & Angels
- A handful of vinyl reissues:
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Merle Haggard – Swinging Doors
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
Glen Campbell – By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Wanda Jackson – Rockin’ with Wanda
- And a book:
Jay Farrar – Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs
- 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...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.