Legendary Country Tapes Discovered

  • Tapes of George Jones, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff, Tammy Wynette, Buck Owens, Charley Pride, and other country greats were among some of the hundreds of tapes that were discovered in a barn in southern Pennsylvania. This long-rumored treasure of lost recordings were made at high schools, dances, fairs, festivals, and auditoriums in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and elsewhere were made in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with a few in the 1940s. (Tristram Lozaw  at The Boston Globe)
  • Austin American-Statesman’s Austin360 writer Brian T. Atkinson  posts an interview with Langhorne Slim just before his final SXSW appearance at Purevolume.com.

Music Review – Red Eye Junction – In The Shadows (Self-Released)

If you like your country music steeped in the sound of Bakersfield and honky-tonk that reeks with the aroma of beer and sawdust rathe than hair mousse and celebrity fragrances then San Luis Obispo California’s Red Eye Junction’s second release In The Shadows might be your cup of shine. The ghosts of Lefty Frizzell, Buck Owens and Hank Williams Sr. haunt every groove of this fine release. Featuring songs that appear deceptively simple that on closer listen manifest a musical craftsmanship reverent for music made for Saturday-night sinning and Sunday-morning salvation.

Red Eye Junction features a crackerjack band on this release as led by the Benevolent Dr. Cain (as he is billed) who possesses a high-lonesome keen only at home in country music, and most associated with Bill Monroe, Hank Williams Sr. and Jimmy Dale Gilmour, and Jackpot Jonny Clarke who can pick slicker than a greased pig on a July night.

Tonight is a boot-skootin‘ tunes about good times and good lovin‘. These Five Strings and Gone Again are boudoir bawlers that feature pedal Steel by master Tommy Butler and Talk of the Town and Home Ain’t So Sweet are cheating (and potentially murder) songs featuring Jonny Clarke on slightly gruffed vocals and Greg Clarke’s fine fiddle work. A stand out for me is the title cut, an simmering atmospheric minor-chord lament with Buck Dylan’s midnight train harmonica. Anytown is a rollicking road song praising small town life and Two Part Blue features both Dr. Cain and Jonny Clarke sharing vocals on this light-hearted barroom confessional.

Pick up In The Shadow, crack open a brew and celebrate the enduring spirit of country music.

MySpace | CD Baby

“It’s All Over” – Red Eye Junction (from thier first release “Outlaws And Heroes”)


Naked Willie

The fine folks at the 9513 have a couple of great posts I wanted pass along. First Vanessa Grigoriadis at Rolling Stone writes that aside from Willie Nelson’s project with Asleep at the Wheel, he has another album slated for early ‘09 titled Naked Willie. Like the Beatles 2003 release  Let It Be…Naked sans the original release’s Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” orchestral overdubs and embellishments, Naked Willie will contain Nelson’s RCA recordings from 1966 to 1970 without the original’s strings and “embellishments.” The release will be produced by Willie’s long time harmonica player Mickey Raphael.  “For the album cover,” says Raphael, “Willie took a picture of himself with his iPhone while he was in the bubble bath, and sent it to me.” (originally posted at Still Is Still Moving)

Second, after searching in vain for an original recording of Buck Owens’ 1979 duet with Emmylou Harris, “Play Together Again Again” the Whooping Llama blogger bought the original 45 online and made it available as a spacial Christmas gift to his (her?) readers.

Paul Westerberg Offers to Pen Songs For Glen Campbell

  • According to the Guardian and Paste Magazine it appears that Paul Westerberg, former lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and songwriter of alt-rock band The Replacements, wants to be Glen Campbell’s “next Jimmy Webb.” Webb penned 70’s pop hits like “Up, Up, and Away” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” for Campbell. Those are reported to be the words Westerberg used when requesting his manager to make arrangements to write songs for Campbell’s upcoming album after discovering that Campbell covered the Minnesota band’s “Sadly Beautiful”on Campbell’s latest release Meet Glen Campbell.
  • With a long career as a cracker-jack guitarist and co-hosting the hit country variety show Hee Haw with his friend Buck Owens Roy Clark is not resting on his laurals and will be hitting the road with another old friend, Mel Tillis, for a string of upcoming tour dates.

Marty Stuart To Debut “The Marty Stuart Show” on RFD-TV in November

  • Ellensburg, Washington based alt.country artist Star Anna is already a Twang Nation favorite and has tickled our fancy even further by offering an excellent ‘Crooked Path Live EP‘ available for download at Amazon. The digital four track EP release includes live versions of Crooked Path, Bed That I’ve Made, Five Minutes To Midnight and a never before released track, Push It Through. Star Anna will be appearing at Seattle’s Bumbershoot music festival.
  • Texas Yoda and Country Music legend Willie Nelson’s debut novel “A Tale Out Of Luck” (Center Street Books) should not to be confused with Willie’s album “A Tale Out of Luck” which features the excellent song “Home Motel.” The book is the story of Retired Texas Ranger Captain Hank Tomlinson who must attempt to keep his sons safe from vengeful Comanche warriors while trying to catch a murderer who he knows will soon strike again. The name of the book and the album are a play off the name of Luck Texas which is an old western town built in 1986 on Willie Nelson’s ranch for the filming of “Red Headed Stranger.
  • Four-time GRAMMY winner and Country Music Icon Marty Stuart will premiere his new television series The Marty Stuart Show this November starting with the first 26 episodes airing Sunday nights on RFD-TV.  The Marty Stuart Show will begin production in September at Nashville’s NorthStar Studios, home of RFD-TV. The 30-minute episodes, hosted and produced by Stuart, will be a part of RFD-TV’s new Sunday night prime time lineup with HEE HAW, Postcards From Nebraska, and Music & Motors.  Each show will feature music by Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, as well as his wife Country Queen Connie Smith and performance segments from the best that country music and American music has to offer.  Radio personality Eddie Stubbs will serve as the show’s announcer and Stuart’s sidekick on every episode.
  • Stuart  will also release his second photography book Country Music: The Masters on Nov. 11.   Chicago’s Source Books will publish the 342 page collection that includes Stuart’s personal photos of friends including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Ray Charles and more.   The book’s forward is written by long-time pal and country music fan Billy Bob Thornton.

Dwight Sings Buck – New West – 10/23

Some things are naturally occurring, Texas Summer heat , death, taxes and Dwight Yoakam at some point in his career would release an album of covers by his mentor and friend Buck Owens.

After his fist release Dwight was soon introduced to the Texas native and they collaborated on Buck’s revived “The Streets of Bakersfield” to top the charts in 1988. The two stayed good friends until Buck Owen’s death on March 25, 2006 of a heart attack only hours after performing at his Crystal Palace restaurant and club.

Since releasing his first major label debut “Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.” in 1986 Yoakam has been the heir apparent of the twangy, electrified, rock-influenced flavor of hardcore honky-tonk entitled the Bakersfield sound (from it’s regional birthplace Bakersfield, CA.) and made famous by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Like it’s mountain cousin Bluegrass, Bakersfield is the kind of music that separates the country music aficionado from the tourist. It wears it’s hillbilly roots on it’s Nudie suited spangled sleeve while also using rock arrangements and technology to move forward.

The Bakersfield sound was also a bracing counter to the syrupy country-pop being produced in Nashville in the ’60s. Yoakam was able to deftly revive the sound in the ’80s in reaction to the very same insipid country music environment.

Now comes the inevitable and precisely if obviously titled “Dwight Sings Buck.” A reprisal of fifteen of Buck Owens’ greatest releases including 11 top five hits, eight of which reached #1 on the country charts, spanning 1956 to 1967. Though there are no real stretches or deviations with Dwight’s arrangements of these familiar classics, there are some pleasant tweaks here and there.

The release kicks things off with a bang with “My Heart Skips A Beat” to let you know just what is in store. Rave up electrified guitars twang out a solid back beat. The songs melts deftly into “Foolin Around” with an even faster beat and innocent double entendres. The breadth of this release and Dwight masterful delivery of the songs reminds the listener just how influential Buck Owens was and how his Hee Haw cornpone persona allowed people to dismiss him as the innovator he was on country and rock.

“Only You” is a cut with a noticeable difference in arrangement. It’s still a slow loping testament to lost love but Dwight starts out the song with an organ bringing to mind a church procession. The song then moves into a waltz and Dwight’s voice aches, cracks and brings out the lonely ache of wanting in the song’s lyrics.

That same ache also occurs on Dwight Sings Buck’s first released single “Close Up The Honky Tonks.” That ache that is at once lonely and comforting when you realize someone is out there putting these universal feelings to hillbilly poetry.

This Fall is shaping up to be a great one for country fans, Dwight Sings Buck is the joyous and passionate release on the top of that list.


Dwight Yoakam – Close Up The Honky Tonks


Yoakam Talks New Album At Buck Owens’ Tribute

While in Bakersfield, CA. to perform at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace to celebrate the late legend’s birthday Dwight Yoakam took some time to talk to 23.com about his upcoming Owen’s tribute “Dwight Sings Buck”(Oct. 25 – New West)

An excerpt – Saddened by thoughts of Owens not being alive to celebrate, Yoakam, a longtime friend of Owens, said, “It’s always a little melancholy now. It was New Year’s Eve the first time I was here since he passed, to do this without him being in the building. Sometimes when he didn’t feel well he’d go home early. It was never with him not coming back.”

Dwight Yoakam – Close Up the Honky Tonks – Crystal Palace, Bakersfield, CA.


Yoakam To Pay Tribute To Buck Owens On New Album

Longtime admirer of Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam has recorded a tribute to the Sherman, TX native on “Dwight Sings Buck,” due Oct. 23 via New West. The track list includes covers of all 11 of Owens’ top five country hits, including “Act Naturally,” “My Heart Skips a Beat” and “I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me).”

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Buck Owens American Music Foundation, which serves to safeguard the legacy of Owens and his signature electric Bakersfield sound that arose from California in the 1950s.

“After his death, it was the clearest way I could express my love for him and acknowledge the depth of our friendship” says Yoakam. Owens died in Bakersfield last March at age 76.


“My Heart Skips a Beat”
“Foolin’ Around”
“I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)”
“Only You”
“Act Naturally”
“Down on the Corner of Love”
“Cryin’ Time”
“Above and Beyond”
“Love’s Gonna Live Here”
“Close Up the Honky Tonks”
“Under Your Spell Again”
“Your Tender Loving Care”
“Excuse Me (I Think I’ve Got a Heartache)”
“Think of Me”
“Together Again”