Tracklisting Finalized for New George Strait Album; Free Compilation Record to Support Public Radio; Jean Shepard on a Boat

Juli Thanki | August 4th, 2011

  • Rolling Stone announces that an album of Hank Williams’ lyrics and unfinished songs (which were found in a briefcase after Williams’ death) will be released on October 4. Bob Dylan, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, and Norah Jones are just a few of the artists tasked with recording those songs.
  • Taylor Swift hit up the Lincoln Memorial after one of her DC shows.
  • Check out the track list for George Strait’s 39th album Here for a Good Time (due out September 6). Songwriters include Strait, son Bubba, Dean Dillon, Chris Stapleton, and more.

Love’s Gonna Make it Alright
Drinkin’ Man
Shame on Me
Poison
Here for a Good Time
House Across the Bay
Lone Star Blues
A Showman’s Life
Three Nails and a Cross
Blue Marlin Blues
I’ll Always Remember You

  • A week later, on September 13, Steve Holy will be releasing his third album, Love Don’t Run, on Curb Records.
  • Peter Cooper on co-writing, “the single biggest change in the past half-century of commercial music in Nashville:” Somewhere in Nashville today, someone is sitting by herself in a sad mood, pouring her emotions into something that rhymes, crafting a melody that is as revealing as the words she writes, hoping that her personal experiences will become universal. She is hoping her own pain will be assuaged when her song is on the lips of the masses and at the top of the radio countdowns, like Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” Kris Kristofferson’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down” or Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.” That person is either Taylor Swift or a fool.
  • Chris Klimek of the Washington Post reviewed Gillian Welch and David Rawlings’ recent Bethesda show (it was a doozy).
  • A fantastic interview with Ashton Shepherd for American Songwriter.  An excerpt: “I’ve never sat down like intentionally thinking ‘I’m gonna write a song for the women.’ I’m writing a song about myself, and then I play it back or hear it and it sort of turns into everybody’s song. I’m writing it for myself not realizing that I’m not the only one that feels like this. And that sounds really weird, because it’s probably the exact reverse of when they hear it; they’re probably thinking ‘Wow, Ashton Shepherd feels like this. I’m not the only one that feels like this.’”
  • The Carolina Chocolate Drops are auctioning off an autographed banjo. Proceeds go to The Center for the Study of the American South, a research center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Jean Shepard, Jan Howard, Mandy Barnett, and more will take to the high seas on the Opry Country Classics Cruise in late January 2012. Arrrr!
  • Actress (and former Opryland performer) Kristin Chenoweth talks with The Boot about her upcoming country album.
  • Louis Armstrong was born on this day in 1901. Here’s an appearance on The Johnny Cash Show.

  1. Joe
    August 4, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’m looking forward to Strait’s rendition of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison.”

    Annnnd Curb strikes again with their delayed releases. What year was Holy’s debut album released?!?

  2. Michael A.
    August 4, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Haha! This will be Holy’s third release for the label. His debut album was released in 2000.

  3. bambi
    August 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I’m a bit nervous about all these Strait cowrites on his upcoming album. . . I wasn’t much impressed by his last album. I hope they release Showman’s Life as a single, cause I’m already suspecting that’s gonna be the best track! Can’t wait to hear Strait’s version.

  4. Leeann Ward
    August 4, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    The last Strait album was pretty good, particularly the song solely written by his son.

  5. Adam
    August 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Please don’t download the CD in support of public radio. Need a good reason not to support it? Check out this article:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/6/nprs-taxpayer-funded-lobbyists/

  6. bambi
    August 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Arkansas Dave was pretty good, true. But I’m not crazy about the number of songs crafted out of a pseudo profound phrase. . . like “Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” He’s got that something special”. . . of course those songs were a few cuts above ” The Breath You Take,” which to be fair I guess was written without either Bubba or George Strait. . . but still it was on the record.

    And the new single is of course, another phrase song. . .

    I did like “I Can’t See Texas From Here” from his first? album. I just don’t think at this point in his career Mr Strait is going to write anything that’s lyrically personal. And so far his cowrites seem a bit formulaic.

  7. Rick
    August 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Adam, I’m with you about National Propaganda Radio and it’s hard left brain washing agenda. I enjoy listening to “A Prairie Home Companion”, but I will never, ever give NPR a single dime!

    One of the very reasons Taylor Swift has been so successful is because she doesn’t dilute her artistic vision with co-writers. Will the Nashville Establishment learn anything from Taylor’s example? Of course not…

    Ashton Shepherd is about as authentic as a down home country girl can get. Thankfully she doesn’t have to write or sing “I’m So Country Because…” list songs like so many of the hacks populating Top 40 AirHead Country Radio at the moment to prove it. Go Ashton!

    No way would I ever go on that Opry Cruise! The live music might make me want to jump overboard! And that would bring joy to far too many people, particularly on country music blogs…(lol)

  8. Andrew
    August 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I’m pretty happy about the Hank album coming out on my birthday. Though it would be much better without Bob Dylan. That overrated hack would get laughed of the stage doing karaoke.

  9. Jeremy Dylan
    August 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I couldn’t be more excited about that Hank Sr. record. The only song off it I’ve heard is the Norah Jones track, but that was good enough to get me plenty pumped to hear the rest.

  10. Leeann Ward
    August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I’m excited about the Hank record too.

  11. Jon
    August 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I don’t think that handing over Hank Williams’ unfinished material to “co-writers” is any better an idea than it was when it was Woody Guthrie’s stuff. A guy dies, he doesn’t really write any more songs, you know?

    Rick, you do your best to avoid spending any money on artists you profess to like, too, which pretty much eliminates the impact of your little vow.

    Anyone who cozies up with a copy of Whitburn’s country chart history books for a while will see in pretty short order that there were boatloads of so-so, mediocre and downright lousy songs on the charts written solo back in the day. It would be interesting to see the averaging done on, say, a decade-by-decade basis; I’ll bet there was more a steady increase in the percentage of co-writes on the charts than a sudden leap at some point – except perhaps in the last few years, where everyone I know seems to agree that changes in the business have ultra-incentivized (!) writing with artists.

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