News Round Up: New Releases by Elizabeth Cook, Jim Lauderdale and The Sadies

  • The Hangover & Daily Show star (and amateur banjo player) Ed Helms is launching the LA Bluegrass Situation festival  (March 18th – 22nd) featuring Steve Martin, Emmylou Harris, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Nickel Creek. See the somewhat silly video introduction of the festival from Helms.
  • Canadian roots/surf rockers The Sadies will release their new album, Darker Circles, on May 18, 2010 on Yep Roc Records. The album will be produced by the Jayhawk’s Gary Louris.
  • Honky-tonk angel Elizabeth Cook will release her new album, Welder, on May 11th on 31 Tigers. Produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones, Kris Kristofferson), Welder will feature guest appearances by Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell and Buddy Miller.
  • See the new video by Peter Wolf working on his new Americana-tinged album, Midnight Souvenirs, (UMe/Verve / April 6). Tragedy features duets with country music legend Merle Haggard, Neko Case and Shelby Lynne.
  • Mr. Americana, Jim Lauderdale, will release his new album Patchwork River, on Thirty Tigers May 11. He co-wrote the album–filled with such highlights as “Alligator Alley,” “Louisville Roll” and “Patchwork River”–with longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter whom Lauderdale has praised as “one of the greatest writers that has ever lived in my book.
  • The mighty Drive By Truckers’ new release, The Big To-Do, will be released on March 16th. Partnering with Ghost Town Media, the band will release a series of webisodes that tell the behind the scenes story of each song from the record.  You will see footage of the band working on The Big To-Do  in the studio in Athens, Georgia, clips of the band performing the new songs at sound check and in concert, and in depth interviews with the band members telling the stories behind the songs.  The first of these websiodes will feature Mike Cooley’s Birthday Boy, the final song recorded for the album.

PopMatters Interviews Gary Louris and Mark Olson

  •’s Juli Thanki in her current Torch & Twang dispatch looks over the history of coal mining in country and folk music and asks if the topic is still relevant today. As the jobless rates soar I’d say the sentiment these songs embody is as important as ever.
  • Continuing with the love, Michael Franco sits down with ex-Jayhawks Gary Louris and Mark Olson to talk about their new release Ready for the Flood and the possibility of a Jayhawks reunion.
  • Twangville has a review of Changing Horses, the new Americana venture by indie-pop singer/songwriter Ben Kweller.
  • Plant, Krauss and T Bone Burnett have some interesting, endearing and funny things to say after their bonanza at the Grammys.
  • The best thing for me about Carrie Underwood’s bombastic performance at the Grammys (besides her dress) was the smoking blonde supporting her by shredding axe. Her name is Orianthi and she’s a 34 year-old Australia guitar prodigy whos  first support show was for Steve Vai when she was 15.

The 51st Grammy Awards- Carrie Underwood “Last Name”