George Strait’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Concert Set for September

Announced earlier this morning on Good Morning America, ‘Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief has been set to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The one-hour special will feature celebrity participants and performances including songs from Country Music icon and Texas native George Strait, live from his benefit concert at San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre. Joining him includes 6-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert, reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year Chris Stapleton, 4x GRAMMY Award winner Lyle Lovett and Texas Heritage Songwriter Hall of Fame member Robert Earl Keen. Select performances from Majestic Theatre will air on ABC, CBS, CMT, Fox and NBC on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. EST on the East Coast and replay on the West Coast at 8 p.m. PST. The telethon broadcast as well as Strait’s Hand in Hand Texas show will also be available internationally via live stream on Facebook.

Strait, a Country Music Hall of Fame member, pledged to lead the country music world with this concert serving as the start of his ongoing relief efforts, with all proceeds from the show benefiting Rebuild Texas Fund thanks to event sponsor Cavender Auto Family and with assistance from the Majestic Theatre, Ticketmaster, VER, Bill Young Productions and the City of San Antonio.

Tickets to Strait’s Hand in Hand Texas show at Majestic Theatre will go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 at 10 a.m. CST at IT SOLD OUT IN LESS THAN AN HOUR.

Proceeds from the one-hour telethon will benefit United Way of Greater Houston, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, Direct Relief, Feeding Texas, The Mayor’s Fund for Hurricane Harvey Relief (administered by the Greater Houston Community Fund) and through the Hand in Hand Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund managed by Comic Relief Inc.

Phone lines, text messaging, and digital donations will be open at the beginning of the show and will conclude one-hour after the show ends. For more information, updates and a link to donate, please visit

Asleep at the Wheel To Release ‘Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys’ 3/3/2015

Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys,

“I think the…Western swing, or whatever you want to call it, will slack off for a little while and then I think some of these younger boys will come out here one of these days with a golden voice and it’ll build again.”—Bob Wills

After attending the Bob Wills Festival and Fiddle contest in Greenville, TX over the winter I developed a deep love for the Western Swing genre and for it’s creator, Bob Wills.

But I’m ready for more.

Luckily early in the new year Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel will again honor the legendary Bob Wills with ‘Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys,’ out March 3 on Bismeaux Records.

Exemplary Americana and country artists like The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Buddy Miller, Elizabeth Cook, Lyle Lovett, Shooter Jennings, Brad Paisley and George Strait join the band on new interpretations on classics on, what looks like, a release that will best the previous two Will’s tributes from the band.

For over 40 years, Ray Benson & Asleep at the Wheel have been the deft practitioners and caretakers of Western swing craft, carrying Wills’ traditions across generations and the into the 21st century.

This release will be band’s third full-length Bob Wills tribute following 1998’s ‘Ride with Bob’ and 1993’s ‘A Tribute to the Music of Bob Wills,’ with four GRAMMY awards and over half a million copies sold collectively.

From the press release:

“The new album features genre-spanning collaborations with critically acclaimed artists, old friends and new favorites including Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Merle Haggard, George Strait, The Avett Brothers, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lyle Lovett, Kat Edmonson, Robert Earl Keen and Tommy Emmanuel, among many others. The album is available for pre-order via PledgeMusic and iTunes with the track “Tiger Rag,” featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, delivered in advance of the release date as an immediate download. Asleep at the Wheel will be performing at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on March 4 with spring tour dates to be announced. Watch the exclusive video teaser HERE. Please see the full track listing below.

Widely considered “The King of Western Swing,” Bob Wills (1905-1975) and his Texas Playboys performed thousands of shows across the United Sates for nearly six decades and recorded prolifically in the late ‘30s and early ‘40s. Early stars of American country music, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys were a dance band with a country string section that played pop songs as if they were jazz numbers. “After 45 years of traveling and playing, it still amazes me how well this music, born in the 1920s and ‘30s, thrives in the present day,” says Benson. “The artists playing and singing on this collection range in age from folks in their 20s to former Texas Playboys 92-year-old Billy Briggs and 86-year-old Leon Rausch…certain evidence that Western swing music is alive and well as it cruises through the next millennium.” Bob Wills was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1968, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2007.

Based in Austin, Asleep at the Wheel formed in Paw Paw, West Virginia in 1970. Since their inception, the band has won nine GRAMMY awards, released more than 20 studio albums and charted more than 20 singles on the Billboard country charts. In 1971, the band signed their first record deal after Van Morrison mentioned they “play great country music” in an interview in Rolling Stone. Their debut record, Comin’ Right At Ya, was released in 1973 on United Artists. The release of Texas Gold in 1975 brought the band national recognition, with the single “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read” becoming a top-ten country hit. The band has been awarded “Touring Band of the Year” (CMAs, 1976) and the “Lifetime Achievement in Performance” (Americana Music Awards 2009). In 2010, they earned a GRAMMY nomination in the newly minted Best Americana Album category for their critically acclaimed Willie & The Wheel, on Bismeaux Records.

Owned by Ray Benson, Bismeaux Records has won “Best Local Record Label” three years consecutively in the Austin Music Awards. Between 2005 and 2012, Ray Benson wrote, produced and starred in the Bob Wills musical A Ride With Bob. The production sold 70,000 tickets in 18 cities nationwide including the Kennedy Center in 2006. In 2007, Benson performed with Carrie Underwood & Johnny Gimble on the GRAMMY Awards Telecast in a special GRAMMY Salute to Bob Wills.”

Pre-order here

‘Still The King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys’ tracklist:

1. Intro—Texas Playboy Theme (with Leon Rausch)
2. I Hear Ya Talkin’ (with Amos Lee)
3. The Girl I Left Behind (with The Avett Brothers)
4. Trouble In Mind (with Lyle Lovett)
5. Keeper Of My Heart (with Merle Haggard and Emily Gimble)
6. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (with Kat Edmonson)
7. Tiger Rag (with Old Crow Medicine Show)
8. What’s The Matter With The Mill (with Pokey LaFarge)
9. Navajo Trail (with Willie Nelson and The Quebe Sisters)
10. Silver Dew On The Bluegrass Tonight (with The Del McCoury Band)
11. Faded Love (with The Time Jumpers)
12. South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way) (with George Strait)
13. I Had Someone Else Before I Had You (with Elizabeth Cook)
14. My Window Faces The South (with Brad Paisley)
15. Time Changes Everything (with Buddy Miller)
16. A Good Man Is Hard To Fine (with Carrie Rodriguez and Emily Gimble)
17. Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas (with Robert Earl Keen and Ray Benson)
18. Brain Cloudy Blues (with Jamey Johnson and Ray Benson)
19. Bubbles In My Beer (with The Devil Makes Three)
20. It’s All Your Fault (with Katie Shore)
21. Three Guitar Special (with Tommy Emmanuel, Brent Mason and Billy Briggs)
22. Bob Wills Is Still The King (with Shooter Jennings, Randy Rogers and Reckless Kelly)

George Strait Will Release Live “Cowboy Rides Away” Album September 16th

starit cowboy

I was lucky to be one of 104,793 people packed AT&T Stadium for the final show of George Strait’s Cowboy Rides Away Tour.

it just blows me away how easy he makes it look no matter the size of the venue.

If you weren’t able to attend the event not to worry, this was too big a deal not to capitalize on. A 20-track live album recorded of the event will be released September 16th and a two-hour “George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away” concert special airing Aug. 29 exclusively on CMT. (check local listings).

The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium Track Listing:
1. Check Yes Or No
2. The Love Bug (with Vince Gill)
3. Fool Hearted Memory (with Jason Aldean)
4. Arkansas Dave (with Bubba Strait)
5. Cowboys Like Us (with Eric Church)
6. That’s What Breaking Hearts Do
7. Marina Del Rey
8. Here For A Good Time (with Sheryl Crow)
9. I Can Still Make Cheyenne
10. Jackson (with Martina McBride)
11. A Showman’s Life (with Faith Hill)
12. Murder On Music Row (with Alan Jackson)
13. The Chair
14. Give It All We Got Tonight
15. Run (with Miranda Lambert)
16. I’ll Always Remember You
17. Ocean Front Property (with Kenny Chesney)
18. Troubadour
19. All My Ex’s Live In Texas (with Jason Aldean, Ray Benson, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow,
Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride)
20. The Cowboy Rides Away

George Strait Sets Attendance Record While Keeping It Intimate

George Strait -  The Cowboy Rides Away

That deafening roar heard from the Heart of Texas Saturday night was not a natural disaster. It was a fitting send-off for the reigning king of country music George Strait.

The last show of the two-year, cross-country Cowboy Rides Away adios tour for te fans featured a custom revolving stage set center field only used twice before, in Houston and San Antonio. The stage was dwarfed by the world’s largest high-definition LED video display looming above it.

The sound was as good as to be expected for being played at the bottom of a cavern. Lots of echoes and bouncing around.

That said, Texas legends Asleep at the Wheel was in fine form as they opened the show with a heavy dose of their inspiration and the King of Western Swing, Bob Wills.

Then it was time.

104,793 rapturous fans help set a new record for largest indoor concert in North America, putting to bed the popular myth that country music can’t have an ear to tradition and still sell tickets.

All made their voices heard as Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, like a contemporary vaudeville barker, lent his signature baritone to a lengthy list of the awards and accolades collected by Strait over his career.

None of those rewards resulted as airs as the pride of Poteet, TX (due south of San Antonio) moseyed onto the stage spotlight, blue-checked Western shirt, jeans, boots, trademark black hat and shining that warming 1000 kilowatt smile.

If Strait was daunted by the outpouring of deafening admiration it didn’t show. Appreciation certainly. After all, he was surrounded by friends.

And that what you feel like at a George Strait show. He makes you feel comfortable, right at home, take a seat. Like he’s performing right for you. Right from the opener , the 1995 classic “Check Yes or No,” you settle in and enjoy the ride.

And what a ride. Over three hours and nine guest appearances, including his son and recent song co-writer George Jr., aka Bubba. Strait treated the crowd to songs from his entire 30 plus year career. From his first 1981 hit single “Unwound” to “That’s What Breaking Hearts Do” from hi saltiest ‘Love is Everything” there was something from every era and for everyone.

Current chart toppers Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Miranda Lambert and Strait’s contemporaries Martina McBride, Alan Jackson and Vince Gill all took turns supporting Strait on his signature honky-tonk classics.

All displayed proper reverence to their host and mentor but still were able to supply unique dimensions, without showboating, to the songs.

Backed by his excellently seasoned Ace In The Hole Band, there was no stage gymnastics. No fist-pumping theatrics were needed to amp the crowd. Just a wave, a shake of the head and an occasional arm raise. Oh, and that smile.

How does a 62-year-old performer that can no longer crack hit radio format of mainstream country radio sell thousands of tickets and piles of merch? How did he garner 5 entertainer of the year awards and win a 2009 Grammy for best country album for 2009’s Troubadour while never adhering to Music Row’s rules? Rules having just been celebrated in Nashville at the CMA Awards?

By staying true to himself and his craft. If you were a Strait fan in the 80’s odds are you’re still a fan. He’s been loyal to his their expectations and those expectations play to his strengths. He’s made a career out of being who he is and dancing with those that brung him.

Like a premier pitcher, or since we’re in AT&T Stadium a premier quarterback (sorry Romo), Strait makes each nailed effort look effortless. A man, a guitar and simple stories reflecting life without breaking a sweat. And we all relate and we trust without irony or cynicism. We trust the messenger.

The realness of Strait cannot be overemphasized. He appears to become what he sings. World-weary or heartbroke. Sanguine and with a rascal spirit.

Though the vast majority of his songs are written by other people he is a master interpreter of other people’s work. His realness makes you believe.

Whether this is starts actual last show remains to be seen. Strait hasn’t said there won’t be any more concerts, just that he’s quitting touring. Odds are he’ll play the occasional gig in the Lone Star state. He’ll probably return to AT&T Stadium in April 2015 for the 50th anniversary Academy of Country Music Awards. That would be just. As far as music events AT&T Stadium is from now on Strait’s house.

Though not exactly a cowboy’s swan song it was one hell of close to a chapter of one of country music’s greats.

Check Yes or No
A Fire I Can’t Put Out
Lovebug (George Jones cover) (with Vince Gill)
Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind (with Vince Gill)
River of Love
Lead On
Fool Hearted Memory (with Jason Aldean)
Nobody In His Right Mind Would’ve Left Her (with Jason Aldean)
Arkansas Dave (with Bubba Strait)
I Saw God Today
Cowboys Like Us
(with Eric Church)
Easy Come, Easy Go (with Eric Church)
That’s What Breaking Hearts Do
Marina Del Rey
Here for a Good Time (with Sheryl Crow)
When Did You Stop Loving Me (with Sheryl Crow)
I Can Still Make Cheyenne
Drinkin’ Man
Jackson (Billy Edd Wheeler cover with Martina McBride)
Golden Ring (George Jones & Tammy Wynette cover with Martina McBride)
Give It Away
I Got a Car
A Showman’s Life
(with Faith Hill)
Let’s Fall to Pieces Together
(with Faith Hill)
I Believe
Blame It On Mexico
Amarillo By Morning (with Alan Jackson)
Murder on Music Row (with Alan Jackson)
The Chair
Give It All We Got Tonight
How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls (with Miranda Lambert)
Run (with Miranda Lambert)
You Look So Good in Love
I’ll Always Remember You
Ocean Front Property (with Kenny Chesney)
The Fireman (with Kenny Chesney)

All My Ex’s Live in Texas (with Gill, Aldean, Church, Crow, McBride, Hill, Jackson, Lambert, Chesney, and Ray Benson of AATW)
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash cover) (with Gill, Aldean, Church, Crow, McBride, Hill, Jackson, Lambert, Chesney, and Ray Benson of AATW)
The Cowboy Rides Away

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”

Who’s The Greatest Voice in Country/Roots Music Now? [VIDEO]

George Jones and George Strait

George Jones was arguably the greatest male voice in country music. He set the standard for feeling and inflection that is still considered the standard today. In the wake of his death USA Today asks “Now who’s the greatest living (male) country singer?”

So what are the standards for measure? Longevity and legendary status? Range and feeling? Stage presence? I’m going with technique and style and depth over legacy and stage presence. With the former a distinct style is a given with any legendary performer and as for sage presence , I could care less i they never move on stge if they move me emotionally with their lyrics.

Here are my 6 possible contenders. I’ve stretched country music boundaries to include Americana and roots music overall as some of the best singers, in my opinion, reside there.

If the crown for best country voice was based on chosen successor then Merle Haggard was George Jones’ choice as his favorite country singer.

If your criteria is individual style few could stand up against the nasal vibrato of Willie Nelson.

When Darrell Scott would take his turn at the mic to sing Joe “Red” Hayes and Jack Rhodes’ classic “Satisfied Mind” as a member of Robert Plant’s “Band of Joy” plant had the good sense to step back into a supporting role.

Though more of a soul and gospel, singer Mike Ferris deftly mines the veins that feeds country music’s soul.

Like Jones Dwight Yoakam put a lasting stamp on country music with his intonation and hillbilly hiccup.

George Strait’s baritone is like a warm day and he makes you believe in the song.

George Strait Announces His Final (Maybe) Tour

George Strait is getting ready to ride into the sunset, at least on his tour bus.

The superstar that keeps the traditional country music flame burning announced Wednesday at a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum that he will head out on his The Cowboy Rides Away tour next year. Strait will play 21 dates in 2013, then 20 more in 2014 to put a finish on a stellar 30 plus year live career.

Strait says he wants to go out while still in fighting form but leaves the door open for a comeback.  “I always had it in the back of my mind when I turned 60 that it might be time to start thinking about it. I also never wanted to show up for a tour when nobody came. I believe I made the right decision. Only time will tell. In 2016, I might say ‘What a dummy!” If that’s the case, maybe I’ll reconsider, but at this particular time, I’m pretty sure I won’t.”

Strait will start and end the tour in his home state. The first leg will kick off Jan. 18 in Lubbock, Texas, and end June 1 in San Antonio. Dates for 2014 will be announced later. Four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year  Martina McBride will open for the tour in 2013.

I’ve ner see Strait before, but I am a fan. looks like I need to pony up this time around.

The Cowboy Rides Again — 2013 Tour Dates

January 18:  Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena)
January 19:   Oklahoma City, Okla. (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
January 25:   Salt Lake City, Utah (Energy Solutions Arena)
January 26:   Nampa, Idaho (Idaho Center)
January 31:   Sacramento, Calif. (Power Balance Pavilion)
February 1:   Fresno, Calif.  Save Marcht Center)
February 2:   Las Vegas, Nev.  MGM Grand Garden Arena)
February 15:   St. Paul, Minn.  Xcel Energy Center)
February 16:   Grand Forks, N.D.  The Alerus Center)
February 22:   Buffalo, N.Y. First Niagara Center)
February 23:   Hartford, Conn.  XL Center)
March 1:   Knoxville, Tenn.  Thompson-Boling Arena)
March 2:   Lexington, Ky.  Rupp Arena)
March 17:   Houston, Texas  (Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo)*
March 22:   Greenville, S.C. (Bi-Lo Center)
March 23:   Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum Complex)
April 5:   Albuquerque, N.M. (The Pit)
April 6:   Las Cruces, N.M.  (Pan American Center)
April 12:   N. Little Rock, Ark. (Verizon Arena)
April 13:   New Orleans, La. (New Orleans Aren)
June 1:   San Antonio, Texas (Alamodome)

Jamey Johnson’s Tribute to Country Music Legend Hank Cochran – Oct. 16

No current performer has straddled the music Row and Americana divide as deftly as Jamey Johnson.

His throwback sound, Alabama growl and biker looks appeals to those (like myself) that pine for the days of Waylon and Willie and the boys while his ear for a melody was able to grab the attention of the mainstream country radio and fans with his top 10 hit “In Color.”

Johnson is an unapologetic neo-traditional disciple of country music’s greats. He’s opened for Willie and done George Jones songs in the presence of the man himself. His next effort is to a man that influnced those giants.

On October 16th Johnson will be joined by Willie and many others on his new album, Buddy Cannon-produced Livin’ For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran. (vinyl beginning Sept. 25.)

Cochran, who died at age 74 in 2010, is considered one of the greatest songwriters in the history of country music. He helped evolve the perfect country template established by Hank Williams a generation earlier. 
“If I had to dream up somebody like Hank to influence songwriters, I couldn’t have done a better job,” Johnson says. “That’s what he was– not just for me, but for Willie and for a lot of people–just a helpful friend. If he knew you needed help with something, he could help you. He was there. And that’s what I want to be for the people in my life, same as Hank. He influenced me, not only as an artist and songwriter, but also as a person.”

Cochran’s songs transcended the country genre to become American standards (a practice closely studied by Willie) his catalog includes “I Fall to Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “Make the World Go Away,” “The Chair,’ “Set ‘Em Up Joe” which Johnson covered on 1010’s The Guitar Song. His songs have been recorded by artists including Eddy  Arnold, Patsy Cline, George Jones, George Strait, Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello, Ray Price, Ronnie Milsap, Jim Reeves and many others. 

Recording a collection of Hank Cochran tunes in a pop-country saturated industry takes guts, and truly reflects the original Outlaw spirit the hat acts on the radio brag having.  When it came time to take the next step in his recording career, he listened to his heart and decided to embark on a labor of love. In a daring career move that is consistent with Johnson’s penchant for bucking conventional industry wisdom to create a unique path, he decided to devote his time and creative efforts to honoring his late friend and celebrate traditional country music.

Besides having a professional affinity to Cochran he also has a personal one. “Shortly after he first met Jamey, Hank was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” says his widow, Suzi Cochran. “So for the two years he lived after that, Jamey would get off the road and pull his bus right up to the hospital, run up and see Hank and raise Hank’s spirits. The last time Jamey saw Hank was the night before Hank died.” Johnson joined Buddy Cannon and Billy Ray Cyrus at Cochran’s bedside as they handed the guitar back and forth while singing Cochran’s songs. Cochran died about six hours later.

“Hank adored Jamey,” Suzi Cochran says. “Hank loved Jamey. Jamey was a constant in the last chapter of Hank’s life.
“This is incredible,” she says of the tribute album. “I wish Hank had been here to see it. He wouldn’t believe it. He would have cried. He’d be happy. It’s exactly like Hank would have done it.”

I am really looking forward to hearing this release and look forward to hearing classic from it live when Johnson joins Willie Nelson and The Band of Horses on the Railroad Revival Tour 2012.

Track listing:
1. “Make the World Go Away” – Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss
2. “I Fall to Pieces” – Jamey Johnson and Merle Haggard
3. “A Way to Survive” – Jamey Johnson, Vince Gill and Leon Russell
4. “Don’t Touch Me” – Jamey Johnson and Emmylou Harris
5. “You Wouldn’t Know Love” – Jamey Johnson and Ray Price
6. “I Don’t Do Windows” – Jamey Johnson and Asleep at the Wheel
7. “She’ll Be Back” – Jamey Johnson and Elvis Costello
8. “Would These Arms Be in Your Way” – Jamey Johnson
9. “The Eagle” – Jamey Johnson and George Strait
10. “A-11” – Jamey Johnson and Ronnie Dunn
11. “I’d Fight the World” – Jamey Johnson and Bobby Bare
12. “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” – Jamey Johnson and Willie Nelson
13. “This Ain’t My First Rodeo” – Jamey Johnson and Lee Ann Womack
14. “Love Makes a Fool of Us All” – Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson
15. “Everything But You” – Jamey Johnson, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson and Leon Russell
16. “Livin’ for a Song” – Jamey Johnson, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson

Americana and Roots 54th Grammy Awards Nominees – 2012

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) announced its nominees for the 54rd Annual Grammy Awards. I was pleased to see Americana and roots performers being nominated for some of the more prestigious awards like Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Below are nominees that fall into the Americana and roots category and other artists in other categories that might be of interest to readers of Twang Nation.

Best Americana Album
Emotional Jukebox – Linda Chorney
Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down – Ry Cooder
Hard Bargain – Emmylou Harris
Ramble At The Ryman – Levon Helm
Blessed – Lucinda Williams

Best Folk Album
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars
I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive – Steve Earle
Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes
Ukulele Songs- Eddie Vedder
The Harrow & The Harvest – Gillian Welch

Best Bluegrass Album
Paper Airplane – Alison Krauss & Union Station
Reason And Rhyme  – Jim Lauderdale
Rare Bird Alert – Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers
Old Memories: The Songs Of Bill Monroe – The Del McCoury Band
A Mother’s Prayer- Ralph Stanley
Sleep With One Eye Open- Chris Thile & Michael Daves

Best Country Album
“Here For A Good Time” — George Strait

Best Children’s Album
I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow (various artists collection)

Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes
The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928: The Big Bang of Country Music (various artists collection)

Record Of The Year
Rolling In The Deep – Adele
Holocene – Bon Iver
The Cave – Mumford & Sons

Album Of The Year
21 – Adele

Song Of The Year
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Holocene – Bon Iver
Rolling In The Deep – Adele

Best New Artist
Bon Iver

Best Pop Solo Performance
Someone Like You – Adele

Best Pop Instrumental Album
The Road From Memphis – Booker T. Jones
Setzer Goes Instru-Mental! – Brian Setzer

Best Pop Vocal Album
21 – Adele

Best Rock Performance
Down By The Water – The Decemberists
The Cave – Mumford & Sons

Best Rock Song
The Cave – Mumford & Sons
Down By The Water- The Decemberists

Best Rock Album
Wilco  – The Whole Love

Best Alternative Music Album
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
My Morning Jacket – Circuital

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Barton Hollow – The Civil Wars

Best Country Song
Threaten Me With Heaven – Vince Gill

Best Instrumental Composition
Life In Eleven РB̩la Fleck & Howard Levy, composers (B̩la Fleck & The Flecktones)

Best Engineered Album (Non Classical)
Follow Me Down-  Brandon Bell & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Sangwook “Sunny” Nam & Doug Sax, mastering engineers (Sarah Jarosz)
The Harrow & The Harvest – Matt Andrews, engineer; Stephen Marcussen, mastering engineer (Gillian Welch)
Paper Airplane – Mike Shipley, engineer; Brad Blackwood, mastering engineer (Alison Krauss & Union Station)

Twang Nation – Holidays at the Ranch Mix -2011

Here’s a little something to stuff your sock,  warm your chestnuts and spike your nog. There’s some traditional (Gene Autry – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer) and the less-so (Drive-By Truckers – Mrs. Claus’ Kimono.) But, I’m sure there’s something here for everyone, except your Uncle Jack, that ass hates everything. Enjoy and Happy Holidays, y’all!

Twang Nation – Holidays at the Ranch Mix -2011

Gene Autry – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Willie Nelson – Pretty Paper
John Prine – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Emmylou Harris – O Little Town of Bethlehem
Drive-By Truckers – Mrs. Claus’ Kimono
Steve Earle – Nothing But A Child
Johnny Cash – Silent Night
Commander Cody – Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas
George Jones – Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus
Dolly Parton – Hard Candy Christmas
Michael Martin Murphey – Two-Step ‘Round The Christmas Tree/Two-Step Medley
Waylon Jennings – Away In A Manger
Dwight Yoakam – Run Run Rudolph
Merle Haggard – If We Make It Through December
The Mavericks – Santa Claus Is Back In Town
Alan Jackson with Alison Krauss – The Angels Cried
Clay Walker – Blue Christmas
Chris LeDoux – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Suzy Bogguss – Two-Step ‘Round The Christmas Tree
Deana Carter – Carol Of The Bells
George Strait – White Christmas
Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys – Christmas Time’s A-Coming
Dwight Yoakam – Here Comes Santa Claus
Neko Case – Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis
Asylum Street Spankers – Zat You, Santa Claus?
Jim Lauderdale – Holly & Her Mistletoe
Otis Gibbs – Jesus On The Couch
Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas From The Family
Lyle Lovett – Christmas Morning
James McMurtry – Holiday