Listen Up! Jamie Lin Wilson – “Just Some Things” (featuring Wade Bowen)

Jamie Lin Wilson Photographer: Ari Morales

The old adage goes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Apart from their startlingly beautiful harmony the case of Texas’ country/folk quartet The Trishas might be the exception to the rule.

Last year Kelley Mickwee released her lovely ode to Memphis with her solo ‘You Used To Live Here.’ Now he have another release from Jamie Lin Wilson’s ‘Holidays & Wedding Rings.’ This follow up to her 2010 ‘Dirty Blonde Hair’ is firmly planted in Texas’ Hill Country in tone and in the impressive roster of some of Texas’ best songwriters – Jason Eady, Adam Hood, Mike Messick, Dani Flowers, Owen Temple and Wade Bowen. The latter who is co-writer with Wilson, and lends his vocals to, “Just Some Things.”

“Just Some Things” rides a waltz tempo perfectly timed to a flashing motel vacancy sign. Pedal steel softly wails as Wilson honeyed-timbre casts just the right shade of melancholy. Bowen counters with his weary baritone to fitfully complete this song of second-thoughts and near-misses.

The intimacy evoked is even more stunning considering that Wilson and Bowen had just started their songwriting collaboration and friendship.

“Wade and I were just barely friends when I asked him to write with me. I was happily surprised that he said yes. I had this line in my head “just some things you can’t take back”, and the idea of someone contemplating going down the wrong road. The idea to make it a duet was an afterthought, but I’m so glad we did. I think it takes the song to another place, where both characters have the same struggle. You know, maybe they’re married to each other and in different hotel rooms! The ALMOST cheatin’ song.”

Pre-oder ‘Holidays & Wedding Rings,’ out May 19.

Americana Music Association Announces 2015 First Round Showcase Americanafest Line-up


Building on the already excellent heritage of being the preeminent roots music event the Nashville-based Americana Music Association has released its first round of artists to perform during the 16th annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, presented by Nissan, September 15 – 20, 2015.

The first 85 of out of the 150+ artists are made up of pioneers, icons and newcomers such as Los Lobos, Patty Griffin, Whitey Morgan and the 78s, honeyhoney, John Moreland, Andrew Combs, Nikki Lane, Mary Gauthier, Pokey LaFarge, James McMurtry, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Nora Jane Struthers, Billy Bragg & Joe Purdy, Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen, Jackie Greene, Lera Lynn, The Hello Strangers, Lucette and Birds of Chicago.

With more than 100 acts still to be announced, the event promises to live up to its just acclaim for fans and industry alike.

Resister for the full conference here or get festival shoacase wristbands here.

Showcase artists confirmed to perform:
Anderson East
Andrew Combs
Anthony D’Amato
Barna Howard
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Billy Bragg & Joe Purdy
Birds of Chicago
Brian Wright
The Bros. Landreth
Caleb Caudle
Caleb Klauder Country Band
Carly Ritter
Carsie Blanton
Christopher Paul Stelling
The Contenders
Corb Lund
Dead Winter Carpenters
Dom Flemons
The Dustbowl Revival
Emma Swift
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
The Freightshakers
The Grahams
Grant-Lee Phillips
Guthrie Brown & The Family Tree
Hackensaw Boys
The Hello Strangers
Henry Wagons
Horse Feathers
Horseshoes & Hand Grenades
Hugh Bob and the Hustle
Jackie Greene
James McMurtry
Joe Pug
John Moreland
John Paul Keith
Kingsley Flood
Kristin Diable
Kristin Andreassen
Laney Jones and the Spirits
Lee Ann Womack
Lera Lynn
Leyla McCalla
Lilly Hiatt
Liz Longley
Los Lobos
Lydia Loveless
Martin Harley
Mary Gauthier
Nikki Lane
Nora Jane Struthers
Oh Pep!
Packway Handle Band
Patty Griffin
Pokey LaFarge
Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen
Ray Wylie Hubbard
River Whyless
Sarah Borges
Sean McConnell
Shemekia Copeland
The Show Ponies
Session Americana
The Steel Wheels
Stephen Kellogg
The Stray Birds
Tall Heights
The Vespers
Water Liars
The Whistles and The Bells
Whitey Morgan and the 78s
The Wild Reeds
William Elliott Whitmore

Tribute “Bob Dylan In The 80s” Out March 25

Bob Dylan 80s

Okay, this is cool. A tribute album from preeminent indy-roots artists focusing on Dylan’s under appreciated 80’s era.

ATO Records will release Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One on March 25. The brainchild of producers Jesse Lauter (Elvis Perkins, The Low Anthem) and Sean O’Brien (Dawes, PAPA), the mission of Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One is to shed new light on a large cache of Bob Dylan songs that have long gone ignored, covering the period starting with 1980’s Saved and ending with 1990’s Under The Red Sky (including unreleased material — the “80s Basement Tapes” — and The Traveling Wilburys).

Album contributors include: Built To Spill, Aaron Freeman of Ween & Slash, Glen Hansard, Reggie Watts, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Lucius, Langhorne Slim, Craig Finn Of The Hold Steady, Deer Tick, Dawn Landes, Blitzen Trapper, Carl Broemel Of My Morning Jacket, Elvis Perkins and more. The album is available for pre-order now.

Hear the first track from the record, Jokerman by Built to Spill, below.

“80s Dylan is by no means a celebrated period in his career,” says co-producer Lauter. “It was, in fact, the lowest point of his commercial success even though he released eight studio albums.” He continues, “Our goal was to showcase one of the greatest artists of our time during an off-rhythm period and bring a stronger sense of harmony to the material at hand. Sean and I did everything we could to make this album flow together sonically as if you were listening to a concept album.”

Portions of proceeds from album sales will go to the charity, Pencils of Promise. Pencils of Promise is a non-profit organization that builds schools and increases educational opportunities in the developing world. The charity has built more than 150 schools in Asia, Africa and Latin America. For more information on Pencils of Promise, visit


1. Langhorne Slim & The Law – “Got My Mind Made Up”(from Knocked Out Loaded, 1986)
2. Built To Spill – “Jokerman” (from Infidels, 1983)
3. Reggie Watts – “Brownsville Girl (Reprise)” (from Knocked Out Loaded, 1986)
4. Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) – “Sweetheart Like You” (from Infidels, 1983)
5. Ivan & Alyosha – “You Changed My Life” (from Shot Of Love outtakes, 1981)
6. Deer Tick – “Night After Night” (from Hearts of Fire Soundtrack, 1987)
7. Dawn Landes & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “Dark Eyes” (from Empire Burlesque, 1985)
8. Tea Leaf Green – “Waiting To Get Beat” (from Empire Burlesque outtakes, 1985)
9. Aaron Freeman of Ween & Slash – “Wiggle Wiggle (from Under The Red Sky, 1990)
10. Elvis Perkins – “Congratulations” (from Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, 1988)
11. Hannah Cohen – “Covenant Woman” (from Saved, 1980)
12. Marco Benevento – “Every Grain Of Sand” (from Shot Of Love, 1981)
13. Yellowbirds – “Series Of Dreams” (from Oh Mercy outtakes, 1989)
14. Blitzen Trapper – “Unbelievable” (from Under The Red Sky, 1990)
15. Lucius – “When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky” (from Empire Burlesque, 1985)
16. Glen Hansard – “Pressing On” (from Saved, 1980)
17. Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) – “Death Is Not The End” (from Down In The Groove, 1988)

In addition, there will be seven bonus tracks available exclusively via iTunes as a Deluxe Edition and will also be included on the digital download card that accompanies the vinyl. The seven bonus tracks are listen below:

1. Spirit Family Reunion – “Man Of Peace” (from Infidels, 1983)
2. Widespread Panic – “Solid Rock” (from Saved, 1980)
3. Grayson Capps – “Silvio” (from Down In The Groove, 1988)
4. Neal Casal – “Property Of Jesus” (from Shot Of Love, 1981)
5. The Low Anthem – “Lenny Bruce” (from Shot Of Love, 1981)
6. Jesse Elliott (These United States) – “Handy Dandy” (from Under The Red Sky, 1990)
7. Chastity Brown – “Saving Grace” (from Saved, 1980)

The Recording Academy Adds Grammy Category for Best American Roots Song


The Recording Academy continues what they call a “continuing evolution” of the Grammy Awards with changes in three categories, including our beloved Americana category.

If you remember a couple of years ago the organization caused a backlash when they eliminated categories and folded many into already existing genres. Those changes remain three new changes are being implemented “to ensure the Awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape.”

Two years ago, the organization made major waves in the industry with a long list of changes to existing categories that saw many areas condensed and elicited protests from multiple genres. Those changes have stuck while three new changes are being implemented “to ensure the Awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape.”

In 2009, the Academy split the category for Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album into two separate categories: Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Americana Album.

The strength of the Americana genre’s grow is being recognized the addition of the Best American Roots Song. “A songwriter’s award, it will encompass all of the subgenres of the Field (Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, regional roots music), and puts the Field in line with the Rock, Rap, R&B, Country, and Gospel/CCM Fields, all of which have songwriters’ awards.”

This is great news as it allows the Recording Academy to better reward the broad pool of talent that makes up the genre.

Video Feature: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Danko Manuel”

On Nov. 20, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will be release their first live album Live From Alabama on Lightning Rod Records/Thirty Tigers.The album captures highlights from two sold out shows at the WorkPlay Theater in Birmingham and Crossroads in Huntsville in the Summer of 2012.

Let’s be honest, The Drive-By Truckers were a better band when Jason Isbell was in the fold. Songs like Dank Manual are the reason why. This beautifully shot black and white video from the live performance has Isbell and his band taking the original spare performance from the DBT’s Dirty South and building up to a more nuanced and meatier performance with keyboards and horns.And of course Isbell kills on the guitar as well .


Trampled by Turtles on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

The pride of Duluth, Minnesota – Trampled by Turtles – brought their frenetic brand of bluegrass to CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” Wednesday night. The band tore through the song “Walt Whitman” from their latest album, “Stars and Satellites.

The band made their network TV debut late April on “Late Show with David Letterman,” where the band performed “Alone,” also from “Stars and Satellites.” The album has been on Billboard’s bluegrass charts for the past 13 weeks and currently is in the top spot. It’s also No. 14 on the folk albums chart.

The band is currently on tour. Go see ’em.

Memorial Day Tribute Playlist

Remember those that gave all.

Johnny Cash – Ballad of Ira Hayes

Jason Isbell – Dress Blues

Drive-By Truckers – The Home Front

Ernest Tubb – Soldier’s Last Letter

Tom Waits – Soldier’s Things

John Michael Montgomery – Letters From Home

Sammy Kershaw – The Snow White Rows Of Arlington

George Jones – Fifty Thousand Names Carved In The Wall

Bruce Robison (w/Charlie Robison) – Travelin’ Soldier

Merle Haggard – Fightin’ Side Of Me

Radney Foster – Angel Flight

Quick Shot – Lisa Marie Presley – “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

As a singer Lisa Marie Presley has a shadow cast across her longer than most.Being the offspring of the man that spearheaded an entire genre has got to be a daunting challenge even for the most daring soul.

When she’s not spending her time as a Humanitarian for child literacy and tabloid subject (cough,,..Micheal Jackson..cough) she occasionally makes music much of which has been forgettable pop-rock fluff.

Presley’s upcoming effort, “Storm & Grace” is being touted as “…album she was born to make – a raw, powerful country, folk and blues collection that finds her embracing her Southern roots and family name,” ( Rolling Stone) Well, with T Bone Burnett producing she certainly hired the right man to shepherd her into this land of pastoral rebirth.

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” is the first single from the album and like a “haven’t we seen this movie before” moment. With it’s moody swamp-guitar reverb vibe the song bears a striking resemblance to the cover of Li’l Millet and his Creoles’ “Rich Woman” by a disciple of Presley’s daddy, Robert Plant, on 2007’s Raising Sand. As readers know this was also a T Bone Burnett production.

Presley sounds confident with her husky if limited delivery and the song is good , if not groundbreaking.  That said, I look forward to hearing the rest of the album and ushering in another member of the Americana music family.!

Music Review: Lyle Lovett – Release Me [Curb/Universal]

As a part of what Steve Earle called “Nashville’s great credibility scare of the mid ’80s.” Lyle Lovett, along with Earle, k.d. Lang, Dwight Yoakam and others took up the traditionalist Outlaw mantel of the 70’s and reinvigorated country music from it’s soft-rock and Urban Cowboy influence the times.

Lyle Lovett’s new album “Release me,” exhibits pun in name as well as aesthetic. The album is the last for the Curb Records, the label for his entire 26-year. 11-album, career. And in case you missed that the cover art depicts Lyle tied up head-to-ankle in a lariat.

Though Lovett continues a late career trend of including cover songs. But this adios to Curb raises the stakes as it contains only two Lovett originals among the album’s 14 tunes. You might conclude that this last release would be a weakened collection to meet contractual obligations. You would be wrong in that assessment.

Sure Lovett may not be the most prolific songwriter on the planet but he is one of the best interpreters of classic country. There is no one fit to polish Lovett’s boots when it comes close to serving as a diplomat for the eclectic music styles of the Lone Star State.

“Release me” wastes no time offering a burning interpretation of the classic instrumental breakdown of  “Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom.” The number made popular in the 1930s by Fiddlin’ Arthur Smith sounds both timeless and spirited in the hands of Lovett and his band.

The title track became a hit for both Jimmy Heap and Ray Price, both in 1954. Here it’s done as a duet with Lovett and k.d. lang, who is so far down in themix her soaring vocals are lost. That quibble aside it’s a great tear-in-my-beer standard well done.

The cover of Michael Franks’ “White Boy Lost in the Blues” slinks in with the funky blues accentuated by Arnold McCuller harmony vocals.The gospel/R&B and Memphis horn-sound of “Isn’t That So” works to a rousing effect and will probably kill live.

Understand You channels beautifully the tender-hearted cowboy Lovett has portrayed many time in his career. The cover of Brown Eyed is looser that Chuck Berry’s original or the covers by covered by many including fellow Texans Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings. But the song still carries the weight Berry intended after being inspired by witnessing a Hispanic man being arrested by a policeman.

The Ragtime-inspired  “Keep It Clean” dares you not to cut a rug and William Moore’s One Way Gal is a fine-time front porch testament to a good woman.
“Dress of Laces” is an achingly lovely Daughter-Father twist on the classic murder ballad. White Freightliner Blues is one of the few up-tempo songs penned by the late, great Townes Van Zandt and Lovett plays it to it’s full open-road greatness.

The two originals Lovett contributes to the album, The first is “The Girl With the Holiday Smile” (also on his 2011 holiday EP “Songs For the Season;”) came from a real-life 1978 encounter young lady hiding out from the cops inside a Houston 7-11. This is my second favorite Christmas/hooker song (Tom Waits’ Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis being the first.)  The second cut  “Night’s Lullaby,” which features Nickel Creek’s Sara and Sean Watkins, was penned for a 2011 run in the Shakespeare Center Los Angeles’ production of “Much Ado About Nothing” that the three appeared in.

I look forward to the work Lovett is free to explore in his new world as a free agent and am thankful he has left us with something this great to tide us over until the nest batch of surprises comes along.

Official Site | Buy


The Hunger Games Soundtrack Champions Americana/Country Music

The Secret Sisters announced this morning via their Facebook page that their song “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder”  (below) would be included on the soundtrack to the upcoming film The Hunger Games. I had known about (and more surprisingly actually enjoy) the song “Safe & Sound” with The Civil Wars and Taylor Swift. Two songs hardly make a theme so I looked up the soundtracks track list on ans was pleased to have my suspicions verified.  Miranda Lambert with the Pistol Annies, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Neko Case shows a hearty helping of Americana/Country music represented (0r as describes it “…the album is bursting with twang!) I haven’t read the books but will definitely be getting the soundtrack when it’s released on March 20th.

1. “Safe & Sound” (feat. The Civil Wars) by Taylor Swift
2. “Eyes Wide Open” by Taylor Swift
3. “Abraham’s Daughter” by Arcade Fire
4. “The Ruler & The Killer” by Kid Cudi
5. “Run Daddy Run” (feat. Pistol Annies) by Miranda Lambert
6. “Kingdom Come” by The Civil Wars
7. “One Engine” by The Decemberists
8. “Take The Heartland” by Glen Hansard
9. “Lover Is Childlike” by The Low Anthem
10. “Dark Days” by Punch Brothers
11. “Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters
12. “Just a Game” by Birdy
13. “Oh Come & Sing” by Ella Mae Bowen
14. “Rules” by Jayme Dee
15. “Reaping Day” by Carolina Chocolate Drops
16. “Give Me Something” I’ll Remember by Neko Case
17. Video “Safe & Sound” (Bonus Video) by Taylor Swift