Trisha Yearwood Gets Back in the Ring; Gillian Welch & David Rawlings Cover Johnny Cash; Dale Watson Stars in New Commercial

Juli Thanki | August 20th, 2014

  • Trisha Yearwood announced yesterday evening that she is preparing to release a new album called PrizeFighter through Sony Music Nashville/RCA Records. No word on a release date yet, but I hope it’s soon. Tomorrow works for me.
  • Hardly Strictly Bluegrass has slowly been revealing this year’s lineup by posting medleys of confirmed acts. So far it seems like Lucinda Williams, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Parker Millsap, Buddy Miller, The McCrary Sisters, and Hot Rize are among the numerous acts slated to appear.
  • Out September 30: Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White’s first album together, Hearts Like Ours.
  • Take a peek at Johnny Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Ark.

“I think there’s real interest and more enthusiasm for our artists traveling overseas than ever before,” said Sarah Trahern, the chief executive of the Nashville-based Country Music Association, which has sponsored a popular concert series that brought artists like Brad Paisley to London and Dublin. “It’s not just an American format anymore.”

While superstars like Ms. Swift, who mixes her country-music sound with pop-rock elements, and icons like Ms. Parton have found success touring overseas, most American country musicians do not perform outside of North America. Ms. Trahern said that was because regional accents and “jingoistic references” in the songs make the music hard to export. “Sometimes, it’s lost in translation,” she said.

Since 2012, only a small fraction — about 8 percent — of the $1.1 billion earned by country music’s top concert tours has come from outside of North America, according to data from Pollstar.

Ms. Trahern said she expected those numbers to rise as more American country musicians realize how much demand there is for their sound abroad.

  • Gillian Welch and David Rawlings covered “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow” for Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited. Listen here.
  • Why are several lullabies also murder ballads? Ethnomusicologist Andrew Pettit says it might reflect the emotions of the child’s caregiver: “People have said that lullabies are the space to sing the unsung…A place to say the unsayable. You’re alone. Nobody is listening, and you can express the feelings that are not okay to express in society.”
  • Our life coach Drunken Martina was interviewed for SiriusXM’s blog.
  • Country Weekly premiered The Dirty River Boys’ new single, “Thought I’d Let You Know.” The alt-country band will release their second album on October 14.
  • Bottle Rockets frontman Brian Henneman reflects on the band’s 20-year history in an interview posted on and mentions that they’ve got a new album in the works.
  • David Bennum of looks back at Johnny Cash’s American Recordings.
  • Dale Watson is starring in a new commercial for AT&T’s U-verse.
  • Here’s a cute little radio piece about a bunch of kiddos in Alaska who busked to raise money for Bluegrass Camp.
  • Elvis CostelloRhiannon GiddensJim JamesTaylor Goldsmith, and Marcus Mumford set some old Bob Dylan lyrics to music; the resulting album, Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, will be released on November 11.
  • Check out Lucette’s video for the spooky “Bobby Reid” and see if you recognize any of the actors.
  • CMT premiered Shooter Jennings’ video for “Don’t Wait Up (I’m Playing Possum).”
  • Randy Lewis wrote a piece on Dr. John’s new Louis Armstrong tribute album, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch.
  • Rootsy Aussie singer Lanie Lane will release her second album, Night Shade, in October. Listen to the album’s first single, “Celeste,” here.
  • Of course Willie Nelson does card tricks.

  1. bob
    August 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Good day with news of PrizeFighter Trisha and Drunken Martina.

  2. Michael A.
    August 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Billboard also posted a pretty good piece on the new Trisha Yearwood album yesterday. Unfortunately, it sounds like only about 1/3 of the 15 or so songs on the album will be new. She talks about being conscious of radio airplay when recording the new material saying the vocals are “a lot dryer and more in your face”. I’m cautiously optimistic.

    As for the classic hits, she specifically mentioned “She’s in Love with the Boy” (naturally) and “How Do I Live”. She did say the version of “How Do I Live” is the “country” version which was previously released to radio but not, until now, on any album. I’m not sure if all these older songs are newly recorded versions, previously unreleased versions or the original recordings (which would be surprising since they were recorded for MCA and this new project is being released via Sony).

  3. luckyoldsun
    August 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    From the way it’s being promoted, with Yearwood announcing a new label and a new album and with The Tennessean doing a feature story on her where she talks about her longevity, I’d say the clear implication is that these are new recordings.

  4. Barry Mazor
    August 21, 2014 at 5:23 am

    I know for a fact that most of the album was recorded fresh and new with Garth Fundis some months ago, then held until deals were struck so she was on the same label as her husband, as the very reliable Deborah Reynolds Price reports in the Billboard report.

  5. bll
    August 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

    I’m happy for any new music from Trisha. I hope MCA doesn’t decide to repackage her old stuff and release it against her like they did with HHATPOL.

    My friend is the author of the Drunken Martina interview; Joyce is a hoot.

  6. numberonecountryfan
    August 21, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    She did say the version of “How Do I Live” is the “country” version which was previously released to radio but not, until now, on any album.

    That was on her first greatest hits CD in 1997.

    As for Bill, you can bet that MCA will be releasing an anthology CD of Trisha Yearwood’s music. There is NOT one place where you will find and get ALL of her hits.

  7. Erik North
    August 24, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    One of the things that I appreciated about Trisha is that her recent short tour, which she called Just Because, included a set of songs that her spiritual role model Linda Ronstadt had hits with in the late 70s, a wonderful gesture and, at the same time, an acknowledgement of just how heartbroken Trisha was when she heard that Linda’s Parkinson’s condition had silenced that voice of hers.

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