Check out the excellent videos of Casey Driessen’s 5-string fiddle hunt video over at Bluegrass Blog.
Steel guitarist Robert D. Norred, one-time member of Hank Williams’ backing band for a short period in the late 1940s, died Sunday, Oct. 25.
Face A Frowning World (Available 12/8 – Tompkins Square) is a tribute to the old-timey and gospel music of E.C. Ball and his wife Orna. The couple were lesser known contemporaries of the Carter Family and seldom ventured far from their home on the Virginia-North Carolina boarder (in Rugby, VA) where they owned a general store and service station. Featured performance by Jon Langford, The Handsome Family (offered as a download below), Michael Hurley, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, the Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band of Louisville, Kentucky, and many others.
The winners of the 20th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards went to: Dailey & Vincent : Entertainer of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper : Instrumental Group of the Year, Dan Tyminski – Male Vocalist of the Year, Dale Ann Bradley – Female Vocalist of the Year, Wheels : Dan Tyminski, (artist/producer) Album of the Year, Don’t Throw Mama’s Flowers Away : Danny Paisley & The Southern Grass (artist) – Song of the Year (via BlueGrassJournal.com) See photos from the award show, held at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn (The Bluegrass Blog)
London-based Americana (Euro-Americana?) band The Dog Roses have a new EP, Just Another Saturday, scheduled for release next month. It is discribed as “foot tapping country-bluegrass mix with hints of celtic thrown in for good measure.” Download Let the Bottle Take the Heartache from the forthcoming EP: Let The Bottle Take The Heartache Away.mp3
Go pick up the new podcast from NineBullets.net featuring tracks from upcoming cds by Lucero, Strawfoot and Micah Schnabel (Two Cow Garage) as well as new material from Drivin’ & Cryin’ and Chuck Ragan.
Sounds Country takes a look back at Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1975 release Ridin’ High
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass begins today and goea on until Sunday in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Speedway Meadow. The 9th year of this free annual Americana and roots festival features 5 stages featuring John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Elizabeth Cook, Buddy Miller and many, many more. You can follow HSB on twitter. And you can follow Twang Nation tweets from the festival all weekend.
Check out the “twitterview” – a cute way of describing an interview conducted on twitter – between TheBoot.com and Willie Nelson as was gearing up for his MySpace free secret concert in Maui, Hawaii.
Speaking of the twitterverse (yeah, I’m gonna get mileage out of this), Charlie Robison won’t have to travel far to play a private living room concert for the winner of his twitter concert. The winner lives in Austin.
The Grand Ole Opry will bring back it’s special Opry Country Classics program this fall for an eight-week run beginning Thurs., Sept. 10. Already scheduled to perform are Moe Bandy, Terri Clark, Jimmy Dickens, Larry Gatlin, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, George Jones, Ray Price, Joe Stampley, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, and Tanya Tucker.
Rosanne Cash will be the subject of the Americana Music Association’s Festival and Conference 2009 Keynote Interview. The interview will be conducted by author/journalist Michael Streissguth – who has written books on Rosanne as well as her father Johnny, Eddy Arnold and others – will take place Thursday, September 17 from 10:45 until noon at the Nashville Convention Center.
Jack Ingram established a new Guinness World Record – most radio interviews in a 24-hour period. Ingram was promoting his new disc “Big Dreams & High Hopes.” Ingram recorded 215 radio interviews within 24 hours, hitting most of the 50 states, Canada, Ireland and Australia. The previous record was 96.
Kris Kristofferson and producer discusses Kristofferson’s upcoming Closer to the Bone (Sept. 29 on New West Records) and how they were trying to capture the intimacy that defined his last release This Old Road. Closer to the Bone will contain the song Good Morning John which comes from a letter Kristofferson wrote to Johnny Cash for a sobriety party. Kristofferson will perform on Nov. 1 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and on Nov. 10 he’ll receive the BMI Icon Award during the BMI Country Awards in Nashville. (billboard.com.)
The New York Press has a great feature on Twang Nation favorite The Builders and The Butchers.
Malcolm Holcombe’s will releaseFor the Mission Baby in the U.S. on September 29, 2009, and in the UK/Europe on October 5, 2009. The album was recorded in May ’09, produced, recorded and mixed by Ray Kennedy at Room and Board Studios in Nashville, TN.
In my ongoing quest to make San Francisco a hotbed of Americana/roots music I recently came across Rhubarb Whiskey. The band features Cindy Emchy on accordion and vocals and Boylamayka on dog-house bass, guitar and mandolin and background vocals and are a blend of vaudeville, gypsy jazz and Southern-Gothic. Check ’em out. (Main Site | MySpace)
The New York Times posts a great review of the riot grrrl-trad country group Those Darlins show at the lower East-Side’s Mercury Lounge.
Willie Nelson’s Facebook page is posting hints where this year’s Farm Aid will be held. So far we have: The city for this year’s concert has a professional sports team named after an animal, the concert will be in a state that is in the top 12 for number of farms and it will be in a city & state where Farm Aid where Farm Aid has never been held.
Speaking of the Texas Yoda – Head over to Texas Music Matter to listen to Amazing Grace: The Willie Nelson Story – a winner of two National Headliners Awards including this year’s Grand Prize for Radio. Nearly a year in the making, the program features rare music plus interviews with, among others, Kris Kristofferson, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp, Ray Price, biographer Joe Nick Patoski, Willie’s best friend and closest confidante (his sister, Bobbie), and the Yoda himself.
Country music legend (and daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis) Pam Tillis talks to the Vancouver Sun about the state of country music.
Kelly Dearmore at Twangville.com (no relation) praises the new The Dexateens release Singlewide.
A new Magnolia Electric co. album josephine will be released by secretly canadian on july 21st, 2009. Get a free mp3 of the title track over in the Magnolia Electric co.web site. In support the record they’ll head out july 10th on a month long tour crossing the U.S followed by a few weeks of full-band touring in Europe.
An benefit album to help Evan Phillips, – the principle songwriter for acclaimed Alaskan alt.country rock band The Whipsaws – pay medical costs associated with a debilitating chronic injury he sustained 7 years ago climbing is tentatively scheduled to release in Alaska and online on June 15. The album features acclaimed roots and alt.country artists like T, Nile, Matt Hopper, Aaron Lee Tasjan, The Devil Whales, Marty Jones and more all covering Phillips songs. Check the official MySpace site for more information and to listen to cuts from featured artists.
If your part of the No Depression community (and if you’re not and your at this site more that 5 minutes then you ought to be) then you know that chat function on the bottom panel if the online equivalent of Siberia. Well no more friends.
Bill Chapin at MLive Music is posting his “entry in my Albums of the Aughts series, highlighting 50 great or near-great albums released since Jan. 1, 2000.” Albums of the Aughts No. 5 is the old time music juggernaut from Dec. 5, 2000 the T-Bone Burnett produced “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack featuring Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, bluegrass legends Norman Blake and Ralph Stanley and Grand Ole Opry members Emmylou Harris and The Whites.
PopMatters‘ Bob Proehl posts a story on the history of the spiritual/secular divide in country music (Hank’s Other Side: Religion, Radio, and the Roots of Country Music) and how marketing and technology (radio) helped shape tactics like Hank Williams’ Luke the Drifter character to meet the artists desire to record spititual and gospel songs.
The Bluegrass Blog covers Steve Martin’s hosting of Saturday Night Live (his 15th time , outlapping Alec Baldwin’s 13 times hosting SNL.) Martin plays “Late for School” from his upcoming bluegrass tinged banjo showcase album The Crow.
The Boss and the East Street Band did a great job for the 43rd superbowl halftime show, and it got me to thinking “When was the last time a country act had that gig?” Checking the all-knowing Wikipedia, that would be 1994’s Superbowl 28 (or XXVIII for you purists) Rockin’ Country Sunday featuring Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and The Judds. And yes I did exclude Shania Twain’s Superbowl 32 and Kid Rock’s Superbowl 33 .
For one week only you can download honeyhoney‘s song “Brahm’s Lullaby” for FREE! honeyhoney’s “Brahm’s Lullaby” was featured in an Anti-Smoking campaign commercial in California (titled Grim Reapers.) Beginning Tuesday, February 3rd – honeyhoney’s “Brahm’s Lullaby” will be available for purchase on iTunes.
ACountry.com is giving away tickets to the city to your choice of Robert Earl Keen’s scheduled stops between February 11th to April 4th. 2009 marks the 20th Anniversary of Robert Earl Keen’s “The Road Goes on Forever” and will be the subject of a live tribute album to be released on Jan. 6, 2009 as well as a new book The Road Goes On Forever The Music Never Ends… which will be released in March, 2009.