Tony Douglas Passes Away; Blake Shelton Controversy Boils Over; Coen Brothers Release Trailer for New Folk Music Film

Juli Thanki | January 25th, 2013

  • The Blake Shelton business mentioned in the Thursday morning roundup exploded yesterday afternoon. Ray Price took to his Facebook page and wrote It’s a shame that I have spend 63 years in this business trying to introduce music to a larger audience and to make it easier for the younger artists who are coming behind me. Every now and then some young artist will record a rock and roll type song , have a hit first time out with kids only. This is why you see stars come with a few hits only and then just fade away believing they are God’s answer to the world. This guy sounds like in his own mind that his head is so large no hat ever made will fit him. Stupidity Reigns Supreme!!!!!!! Ray Price (CHIEF “OLD FART” & JACKASS”) ” P.S. YOU SHOULD BE SO LUCKY AS US OLD-TIMERS. CHECK BACK IN 63 YEARS (THE YEAR 2075) AND LET US KNOW HOW YOUR NAME AND YOUR MUSIC WILL BE REMEMBERED. 
    • Ray Stevens and Dale Watson also chimed in.
    • Shelton tweeted the following: Whoa!!! I heard I offended one of my all time favorite artists Ray Price by my statement “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpas music”..And probably some other things from that same interview on GAC Backstory.. I hate that I upset him.. The truth is my statement was and STILL Is about how we as the new generation of country artists have to keep re-inventing country music to keep it popular. Just EXACTLY… The way Mr. Price did along hid journey as a main stream country artist.. Pushing the boundaries with his records. “For The Goodtimes” Perfect example with the introduction of a bigger orchestrated sound in country music.. It was new and awesome!!! I absolutely have no doubt I could have worded it better(as always ha!) and I apologize to Mr. Price and any other heroes of mine that it may offended.. I meant every word I said. Country music is my life and it’s future AND past is important to me. I’ll put my Lo(v)e and respect and knowledge About it up against anybody out there… ANYBODY…
    • Saving Country Music will be posting updates to the story.
    • Chris Willman took a look at Shelton’s history of appreciation and respect for traditional country.
  • Tony Douglas (“His and Hers,” “Thank You for Touching My Life”) passed away on Tuesday.
  • Peter Cooper’s new Tennessean article is all about Cowboy Jack Clement, the “man with 1,000 protégés.”
  • Your feel good story of the day: Taylor Swift sent her tour bus to pick up a teenage fan who has been fighting brain cancer. The gals—and their parents—then went out for lunch in Nashville.
  • Nancy Dunham of American Songwriter reviewed Lucinda Williams’ set at the 30A Songwriters Festival.
  • Evan Schlansky interviewed a few of the 30A performers, including David Olney, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Tift Merritt, about their “signature songs.”
  • CMT Edge posted video of the Punch Brothers’ Movement and Location.” The band is going to use the next few months to “focus on writing new music and recording its next album,” writes Erin Heffernan of The Marquette Tribune.
  • Carl Jackson’s got a gospel CD out called Grace Notes. Listen to samples here.
  • CMT Edge posted a video of Holly Williams’ song, “Drinkin’.”
  • Bluegrass Today posted some photos of The Grascals performing at one of the inaugural balls on Monday night.
  • Speaking of The Grascals, you might have spotted Danny Roberts, the group’s mandolin player, on Nashville as a member of Rayna James’ band.
  • Vince Gill and Patty Loveless are participating in a country cruise that’ll sail in early 2014.
  • Jewly Hight of CMT Edge interviewed Jimbo Mathus about his new record, White Buffalo.
  • Steve Johnson of The Chicago Tribune takes a look at contemporary songs, like The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey,” that use chanting as “a form of percussion, a novel — compared to what else is out there — way of thickening a song’s rhythms and of calling back to a time before iTunes, Auto-Tune, recording technology itself,” and the history of “unison vocalizing” in music and labor: “Music being music, this is, of course, not new. Such unison vocalizing ‘goes way back to the workaday people working in the fields, or building boats, or making pyramids,’ says Jimmy Tomasello, who directs the guitar and songwriting programs at Old Town School of Folk Music. ‘It’s in the DNA. There’s a need for a tribal experience that people have to have.’ In pop history, think back to Sam Cooke’s ‘Chain Gang,’ the 1960 hit that explicitly uses the ‘huh (pause) hah’ chant to emulate men at (forced) labor. New wave act The Pretenders would do a riff on that, as well, for their 1982 song ‘Back on the Chain Gang.’ Is it a coincidence that the song with the chant was Pretenders’ only Top 5 song in the U.S.? It is probably not coincidence that this is happening now. Increasingly, live performance is the way bands connect with fans (and make money), and decorating songs with bits that everybody can sing along to — and that show the band being loose, seeming to have fun, on stage — enlivens the concert experience.”  
  • This weekend’s Red River Songwriters Festival (featuring Ray Wylie Hubbard, Walt Wilkins, and Drew Kennedy, among others) in New Mexico sounds like a good time.
  • Check out the trailer (there’s some salty language, so turn down the speakers if you’re at work or around the kids) for Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers’ film about a struggling folk musician (a character “loosely based” on Dave Van Ronk) in 1960s New York. The movie, expected to hit theaters some time later this year, stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake.

  1. Michael A.
    January 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Cute little story about “Passionate Kisses” and Lucinda Williams in the MCC link.

  2. Joe Howard
    January 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Sir’s What does it take to have an album reviewed by you guy’s Thank you Joe Howard New Horizon Gospel (Bluegrass For The Soul)

  3. Rick
    January 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    That Blake Shelton hullaballoo is truly a tempest in a teapot! Don’t people have better things to do with their time (like purchase guns and ammo while they still can)? Blake Shelton is a total goofball, so why people would respond the way they have is beyond me. Blake says stupid stuff all the time, so why should this be any different? Crikey!

    I wish the Coen Brothers didn’t like to cast John Goodman the way they do. That guy makes my skin crawl (just like Jim Belushi and Tom Arnold for that matter…)

    Opry Alert! Tonight’s show features “Click In The Box” Sunny Sweeney, Joey+Rory, Sarah Darling, and Diamond Rio. Grade: B+ The Saturday Night Opry will feature Ronnie Milsap, The Oak Ridge Boys, Sam “Gunnar” Palladino (from “Nashville”), Diamond Rio, and Canaan Smith. Grade: A!
    Schedule: http://www.opry.com/shows/ThisWeek.html

  4. Mattb
    January 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    I was in the camp with Willman on that whole Blake Shelton stuff.

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