GhostTunes Contest


The headlines are full of performers not happy with the current market conditions for their music. Few have the will (or the clout) to build their own marketplace to take on the establishment.

Garth Brooks has used his massive comeback, releasing ‘Man Against Machine, his first album in 13 years along with a string of sold-out shows, to shine a light on these economic conditions and his own full-service music platform , which goes live today.

From the press release “GhostTunes focuses on providing the best music experience for both artists and the fans that love their music. Fans are able to listen to their music immediately upon purchase from the GhostTunes platform, without having to download the content to their device. Fans can also download their purchased content to play with the audio player of their choice on a phone, tablet or computer.”

Will this change things? Perhaps. For now it’s changed the conversation.

Leave a comment below for chance to win a $12.99 gift card and judge for yourself.

A winner will be chosen at random this evening at 7pm CST.

Good luck!

George Jones Tribute Concert Videos

george jones

Last night’s George Jones tribute held in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena featured 40 performances honoring The Possum by artists , many of home, might not be where they are without him.

Jamey Johnson, Jim Lauderdale, Shooter Jennings and his mom Jessi Colter, Trisha Yearwood & Garth Brooks, George Strait and Alan Jackson – they all played on honor of the “greatest voice in country music.”

Billboard has a nice post on the event featuring a list of all performances.

Not sure of there’s going to be a formal network showing or DVD release of the event, but The Triggerman from Saving Country Music informed me via Twitter that “….they (the event producers) were broadcasting video feed outside and there was a camera crew, so we know the footage exists.”

That’s great news, but until that day I will post fan-made videos below.

Eric Lee Beddingfield, Mandy Barnett, Teea Goans, Chad Warrix, Greg Bates – “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes”

Tommy Shaw (Styx) – “She Thinks I Still Care”

Vince Gill – “Bartender’s Blues”

Oak Ridge Boys – “Same Ole Me”

Marina McBride & George Strait – “Golden Ring”

Jamey Johnson – “Tennessee Whiskey”

Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert – “These Days I Barely Get By”

Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood – “Take me”

Patty Loveless – “Color Of The Blues”

Montgomery Gentry – “The Race Is On”

Brad Paisley – The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song)

Jamey Johnson and Megadeath – “Wild Irish Rose”

George Strait – “The Grand Tour”

Alan Jackson – “He Stopped Loving Her Today”

News Round Up: Welcome Back Garth

  • Terry Clark follows Gretchen Wilson and Tim McGraw with frustration with the management and distribution practices of the Nashville big label system. I keep hoping this new found independence will result in these undeniably talented performers taking some risk with their material. Bit after hearing Wilson’s bland ‘Work Hard, Play Harder (produced on her own label Redneck Records) I don’t hold out much hope.
  • has six questions for Son Volt’s Jay Farrar about his collaberation with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard album based on the Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur” due Oct. 20.
  • I used to hate Garth Brooks. As far as I was concerned his glossy sound and circus-spectacle  concerts was in direct conflict with everything I loved about country music. In the years since his 2001 retirement to tend to family responsibilities a revisit to Garth’s material is almost, dare I say, Waylonesque (well, perhaps more Conway Twitty-esque)  Steve Wynn has made a deal with Brooks that addresses a promise he made to his daughter’s to be there with them until they head off to college and a jet plane to make sure he’s there Monday morning and Friday  afternoons. In Vegas this is a deal that only somebody with Brook’s appeal can fetch. I respect Brooks for sticking to his principles. Wynn has also given Garth a format for return that I have to respect, just him on stage with a guitar.  I repct anyone that can step onstage without the net of a backing band. I want to say something snarky, but all I can say is welcome back Garth.

Bluebird Cafe Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, long a mainstay for singer/songwriters in Music City, will kick off a year-long celebration commemorating its 25th anniversary in May through a nationwide “Bluebird on the Road” tour to 12 cities later this year, a private birthday bash for Bluebird family and friends and a “Superstars of the Bluebird” series in June.

“I set out to open a restaurant 25 years ago, but the music quickly took over,” says owner Amy Kurland. “Nothing could be more special than celebrating this milestone year with some of the same songwriters who were regulars back when we first opened the doors.”

Those original songwriters and many more will be invited to attend a private birthday bash hosted by performing rights organization BMI on May 24. Later, the festivities will be open to the public when a 10-day series titled “Superstars of the Bluebird” takes residence starting June 1. Dierks Bentley is among those slated to appear.

The show will hit the road on a 12 city songwriter tour, kicking off in New York City at Joe’s Pub on May 31 with a few of the founders of the “In The Round” format that originated at the Bluebird; Fred Knobloch, Thom Schuyler, Tony Arata and Jelly Roll Johnson. Additional songwriters, cities and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Garth Brooks’ record-shattering career began at the Bluebird, where a Capitol Records exec saw him substituting at the last minute for a performer who didn’t show up and promptly signed him. “In my opinion, the songwriter is the foundation of music,” Brooks once said, “and the Bluebird is the rock on which that foundation sits.”

Others who have played the Bluebird over the years include Melissa Etheridge, Steve Earle, the Cowboy Junkies, the Indigo Girls and the late Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury. Vince Gill, Janis Ian, John Prine, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Raul Malo, Radney Foster and Pam Tillis also have played the room.

Country Music Is Not Dead

CMT, the channel that doesn’t entirely suck, gives me another reason to think so by featuring Chet Flippo and his always thoughtful and enlightening commentary on The Nashville Skyline section on their web site.
Chet has a nice recent commentary about rescuing a frightened turtle of a feeder road off Highway 100 west of Nashville and sees this terrified reptile as a symbol of the recording industry in the twenty-first century, the myopic economics of radio programming the strong-arm tactics of Wal-Mart and, alas, the inevitable death of the CD.

“But what does country music really have to offer these days? I think it offers more than the exploiters see on the surface. I think the many layers of talent in country have never been fully presented commercially, and, of course, if I knew how to do that, I would be a rich man today. And country has a steady stream of fresh new talent, most of whom will likely not ever get a chance to gain wide exposure because of the changing nature of the marketplace. Already, a number of new artists are having their debut releases postponed because of the market.”

Though I take exception to Chet’s argument that Nashville needs another mega-star like Garth or Shania (I think the mindless pursuit of cash cows is part of the recipe for crap), I do agree with his fundamental point that county music needs to take chances and risk alienation of some fans in order to survive. And I hope indy labels, local bars, the internet and blogs like this one and my other twangy-blog buddies can help usher in a new dawning of country music.

If not, we’ll have a damn fine time trying.

By way of The 9513.