Willie Nelson Not Slowing Down; Ralph Stanley’s Swan Song; The Lovell Sisters Trio Downsize
- Willie Nelson collaborated with T Bone Burnett on a forthcoming album of vintage country songs that date back as far as the ’20s, and as reported by The Boot, he’s completed three others: one with James Stroud, one with Leon Russell, and another with Wynton Marsalis that serves as a tribute to Ray Charles.
- Townes Van Zandt is among the new inductees to the Austin Music Memorial.
- The Bluegrass Blog on Ralph Stanley‘s album-in-progress and recording future:
Ralph Stanley has been in the studio this month, working on a new album for Rebel Records, one which he has intimated may be his last. This will be an all-Gospel project, produced by his son Ralph Stanley II.
Ralph is recording with The Clinch Mountain Boys, and a few special guest performances are expected to be included, along with II singing lead on a couple of tracks. They have new songs from Ronnie Bowman and Jim Lauderdale, and Ralph is also planning to include a song from the days of The Stanley Brothers and at least one a capella number.
- The staff at KUT listed its favorite albums of the year.
- Music Fog: Tara Nevins w/The Believers – “Locket & Key”
- Country Universe continued its mega-list of the 201 greatest singles of the decade with part four and part five.
- If the new Rory Feek and Tim Johnson-produced Merry Kidsmas album, which features only performances by kids from their perspective, does well, they hope to follow it up with an album of songs from a dog’s perspective.
- Craig Shelburne shared his favorite Christmas video of all-time: Vince Vance and the Valiants‘ “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
- When Crazy Heart finally rolls out to a theater near you, be sure to stick around for the credits:
The most chilling moment actually comes at the very end of the credits as the a cappella version by Robert Duvall of Billy Joe Shaver’s “Live Forever” from the film accompanies a freeze frame: “Dedicated to the memory of Stephen Bruton.”
- Listen to the women of Madison Violet in their debut on Mountain Stage.
- The Lovell Sisters announced three dates as part of a farewell to the oldest member, Jessica, who is leaving the trio to attend college and marry her long-time boyfriend. Megan and Rebecca will continue on making music together. (via Country Standard Time)
- Universal Records South and Show Dog Nashville are expected to announce a joint restructuring deal soon.
- From Garth Brooks’ retirement to Taylor Swift‘s dominance, Chet Flippo listed some memorable moments from the past decade of country music.
- Lyle Lovett performed three of the originals from his latest album, Natural Forces, and a cover Townes Van Zandt‘s “Loretta” on World Cafe.
- In an interview with Peter Cooper, Sam Bush notes that his practice habits were inspired by Vassar Clements:
“I went to Vassar’s house once, and he was watching football, without the sound on. And with his fiddle, he improvised a soundtrack for the game. If someone was running down the field, he’d play faster and faster. And when they crossed the goal line, he’d bring it down to long, slow notes. I’m not that inventive, but I do love to watch baseball and practice. Unless Vin Scully is announcing, because then I want to hear every word he says.”
- Corb Lund joined Q TV host Jian Ghomeshi in the studio to perform several selections from his latest album, Losin’ Lately Gambler. Watch: “Long Gone to Saskatchewan” | Interview | “Losin’ Lately Gambler” | “This Is My Prairie“
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …