Gretchen Wilson Latest to Leave the Big Labels in Nashville

Gretchen Wilson and Sony Nashville  part ways partly due to missing the mark set by her gazillion selling 2004 debut, Redneck Woman. Wilson is talking about starting her own label. Wilson joins Tim McGraw and Hank Williams Jr. in displaying her  dissatisfaction with the Music City Big Label system as being too stifling and smothering creativity.

Of all the dead-brained schlocky muzak coming out of Nashville over the last couple of decades I actually think Wilson offered glimpses of  something raw and great if given the right material. I hope she now has the freedom to choose or write better songs.

Merle Haggard in Newsweek

Merle Haggard Newsweek features a pretty sweet interview with Merle Haggard. Hag talks about touring with Dylan and the Stones, the Dixie Chicks fracas and going back in the studio with George Jones for only the second time in 25 years.

an Excert: You had a duet out this year with Gretchen Wilson called “Politically Uncorrect.” The lyrics go, “Nothing wrong with the Bible, nothing wrong with the flag, nothing wrong with the working man.” That doesn’t seem to be particularly controversial or politically incorrect.
Yeah, but what is nowadays? Everybody’s twisted around. Freedom ain’t free no more. What America was and what America is is a totally absolutely different country.

It’s a different country now compared to when and what?
Fifty years ago there was as much freedom in San Quentin as there is in the streets of New York today, with obvious exceptions. You’re just as likely to have a police officer throw down on you with a .30-30 [rifle] in New York as you are in San Quentin.