Record Store Day Black Friday 2020 Releases – Roots & Americana Picks

Record Store Day's Black Friday

Despite all the damage the pandemic has caused the music industry if you’re a record collector there is a silver lining. Vinyl sales surpassed CD sales for the first time in 34 years!

This is due in no small part to the efforts of the the good folks at Record Store Dy who have brought collectors limited edition new, classic and long out-of-print slabs of wax for the past 12 years.

The newest addition is RSD Black Friday. The event will take place on Black Friday (The day after Thanksgiving, November 27th) and, though a smaller selection than RSD proper (though it is closer to a 2020 version, the RSD drop) there’s still some good selections for the on your nice list to be had by John Prine, Luther Dickinson, The Drive-By Truckers, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings ,and, my personal favorite , a live Uncle Tupelo from 1994!

There’s also 3 Jonny Cash selections on the niche 3″ Vinyl format, so if you have a player you can get that.

If you pick up some of these releases ag me on Instagram (@twangnation) and show me what you’ve got.

See the full release list here.

JOHNNY CASH
Folsom Prison Blues

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 3″ Vinyl
Label: ORG MUSIC
Quantity: 1000
A 3″ single release, made for the RSD3 mini-turntable and other turntables in the series, like the RSD2020 clear mini-turntable. Four Johnny Cash singles are being released in the series, on RSD Black Friday 2020. First recorded and released in 1955, “Folsom Prison Blues” became one of Johnny Cash’s signature songs. A live version, recorded among the inmates at Folsom State Prison in 1968 became a #1 chart hit and in June 2014 Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #51 on its list of the 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time.

JOHNNY CASH
Guess Things Happen That Way

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Release Date: 11/27/2020
Format: 3″ Vinyl
Label: ORG Music
Quantity: 1000
Release type: RSD 3″ Vinyl

A 3″ single release, made for the RSD3 mini-turntable and other turntables in the series, like the RSD2020 clear mini-turntable. Four Johnny Cash singles are being released in the series, on RSD Black Friday 2020. Released on May 19, 1958 “I Guess Things Happen That Way” (originally written by Jack Clement) was Johnny’s fourth chart single—hitting #1 on the Country charts and #11 on the Hot 100. The head of religious programming for the BBC banned it from the airwaves when it was first released!

JOHNNY CASH
Get Rhythm

DETAILS
Format: 3″ Vinyl
Label: ORG MUSIC
Quantity: 1000
Release type: RSD 3″ Vinyl
MORE INFO
A 3″ single release, made for the RSD3 mini-turntable and other turntables in the series, like the RSD2020 clear mini-turntable. Four Johnny Cash singles are being released in the series, on RSD Black Friday 2020. Originally released in May 1956 as the B-side of “I Walk The Line” this tale of optimism from the point of view of a shoeshine boy was re-recorded with dubbed “live effects” and released as an A-side of its own in 1969.

JOHNNY CASH
I Walk The Line

DETAILS
Format: 3″ Vinyl
Label: ORG MUSIC
Quantity: 1000
Release type: RSD 3″ Vinyl
MORE INFO
A 3″ single release, made for the RSD3 mini-turntable and other turntables in the series, like the RSD2020 clear mini-turntable. Four Johnny Cash singles are being released in the series, on RSD Black Friday 2020. Recorded on April 2 and released on May 1, 1956 “I Walk The Line” was Johnny Cash’s first #1 Billboard country chart single, crossed over to #17 on the Pop chart, and stayed on the Billboard charts for 42 weeks. It was originally intended as a slow ballad, but producer Sam Phillips encouraged a faster tempo, and magic was made!

LUTHER DICKINSON
Rock, Live Concert

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: LP
Label: New West Records
Quantity: 900
Release type: RSD Limited Run / Regional Focus Release
MORE INFO
In the winter of 2016, Luther Dickinson began touring behind the release of his latest record, Blues & Ballads: A Folksingers Songbook Vols 1 & 2. Normaltown Hall, a now extinct listening room that sat above the New West Records office in Athens, GA, was known for hosting community events and intimate concerts intended for the listener and performer to connect. The venue capacity was permitted for 115 listeners, but on the night of March 9, 2016 there might have been over 200 people stuffed into the venue. Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals), Sharde Thomas (drums, fife, vocals), Will Sexton (guitar), Amy LaVere (upright bass) and Brandon Chornes (drums) got on stage and brought down the house that night with a very intimate and eclectic set of American music.

New West Records is proud to release this once in a lifetime performance on super limited blue sky vinyl.

SIDE A: “Death Comes On Wings of Crepe / Blind Lemon and the Hook Man”, “Hurry Up Sunrise”, “Karmic Debt”, “Highwater (Soldier)”, “Station Blues”

SIDE B: “Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down”, “Bang Bang Lulu”, “Chevrolet”, “Shady Grove”, “Little Sally Walker”

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS
Plan 9 Records July 13, 2006

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 3 x LP
Label: New West Records
Quantity: 3800
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
MORE INFO
On July 13, 2006 the Drive-By Truckers set up shop at Plan 9 Records in Richmond, VA. It was the 25th Anniversary of the store. The band performed to a packed house and played a blistering set of fan-favorites featuring the songs, “18 Wheels of Love”, “Let There Be Rock”, “Goddamn Lonely Love” and “Daddy’s Cup.” The performance was also set up to benefit the Bryan and Kathryn Harvey Family Memorial Endowment. The foundation provides, among other things, music scholarships in the Richmond area. Lead vocalist and songwriter, Patterson Hood ended up writing the song “Two Daughters and A Beautiful Wife” about Bryan Harvey and his family.

This RSD Black Friday 3 LP set will be pressed on black 140g vinyl and it will be packaged in a “bootleg” style wide-spine jacket featuring a a reprint of the ticket and show poster made for the event. The jackets will be numbered according to the worldwide pressing run of 6000.

SIDE A: “Tales Facing Up”, “One Of These Days”, “Easy on Yourself”, “Feb. 14 (3:35)”, “Aftermath USA”

SIDE B: “Gravity’s Gone”, “Sink Hole”, “Outfit”, “My Sweet Annette”, “Marry Me”

SIDE C: “A World of Hurt”, “Why Henry Drinks”, “The Day John Henry Died”, “Wednesday”

SIDE D: “Shut Up And Get On The Plane”, “Ronnie And Neil”, “Moonlight Mile”, “Let There Be Rock”

SIDE E: “Zip City”, “Goddamn Lonely Love”, “18 Wheels of Love”

SIDE F: “Nine Bullets”, “Daddy’s Cup”, “Decoration Day”, “Lookout Mountain”

SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Rendition Was In)

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: LP
Label: Daptone Records
Quantity: 4000
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
MORE INFO
Throughout their career, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings remained in high demand both publicly and privately to recreate and often re-imagine songs by other artists. More often than not, these covers were recorded by request, commissioned for placement in movies, television programs, tribute albums, or for samples. This album compiles some of their most popular and some never-before-heard renditions Though the band mostly built their career on a prolific catalog of originals, these forays into other artists’ compositions lay bare their gift for arrangement and the unmatched studio prowess that earned them their reputation as The Baddest Band in the Land.

SIDE A: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours”, “Little By Little”, “Just Dropped In”, “Here I Am Baby”, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”, “Take Me With U”

SIDE B: “Inspiration Information”, “Giving Up”, “Rescue Me”, “In The Bush”, “It Hurts To Be Alone”, “Trespasser”

BETTYE LAVETTE, BILLIE HOLIDAY, NINA SIMONE
Original Grooves: Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Bettye LaVette

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Verve
Quantity: 2500
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
MORE INFO
Verve Label Group is proud to launch a new vinyl series, Original Grooves, available exclusively on Record Store Day and RSD Black Friday. Original Grooves showcases the vinyl cutting technique known as “parallel grooves”, where grooves are cut side-by-side instead of one after another, allowing for a different aural experience depending on where the needle is dropped. The first of this series comes from five-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette, with hidden gems from Verve legends Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. The Blues Hall of Fame legend deftly reinterprets the classics “Strange Fruit” and “I Hold No Grudge” on this 12” EP, with the original timeless versions “hidden” on the neighboring grooves.

SIDE A:
01) Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday) (3:12)
02) Strange Fruit (Bettye LaVette) (4:30)

SIDE B:
01) I Hold No Grudge (Nina Simone) (2:18)
02) I Hold No Grudge (Bettye LaVette) (6:12)

JAMES MCMURTRY
Childish Things

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 2 x LP
Label: Lightning Rod Records
Quantity: 3000
MORE INFO
Author Stephen King described Ft. Worth native James McMurtry as “the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” in Entertainment Weekly. The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. 2005’s Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry’s career and spent six weeks at number one on R&R’s Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and “We Can’t Make It Here” won the Americana Music Awards for album and song of the year, respectively. This is the first time Childish Things will be available on vinyl.

1 See The Elephant 2 Childish Things 3 We Can’t Make It Here 4 Slew Foot 5 Bad Enough 6 Restless 7 Memorial Day 8 Six Year Drought 9 Old Part of Town 10 Charlemagne’s Hometown 11 Pocatello 12 Holiday

WILLIE NELSON
Live at Austin City Limits 1976

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Release Date: 11/27/2020
Format: LP
Label: Legacy
Quantity: 4000
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
MORE INFO
Willie Nelson has appeared on Austin City Limits more than any other artist, performing on the pilot and seventeen subsequent episodes of the Texas Public Television institution that debuted in 1976 and is still going strong as the longest running music series in American television history. This performance was captured in 1976 and aired as the premiere episode of the second season the following year. It found Willie and The Family performing his classic album Red Headed Stranger front to back in an amazing performance and this RSD Black Friday edition marks its first audio release.

Side A: “Time Of The Preacher”, “I Couldn’t Believe It Was True”, “Time Of The Preacher Theme”, “Medley: Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger”, “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”, “Red Headed Stranger”, “Time Of The Preacher Theme”, “Just As I Am”

Side B: “Denver”, “O’er The Waves”, “Down Yonder”, “Can I Sleep In Your Arms”, “Remember Me”, “Hands On The Wheel”, “Bandera”

JOHN PRINE
The Asylum Albums

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 3 x LP
Label: Rhino/Elektra
Quantity: 2000
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
MORE INFO
John Prine’s three Asylum-era LPs, pressed on audiophile 180gram black vinyl, faithfully replicating the original packaging.

Album 1: Bruised Orange
1. Fish And Whistle 2. There She Goes 3. If You Don’t Want My Love 4. That’s The Way That The World Goes Round 5. Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow) 6. Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone 7. Aw Heck 8. Crooked Piece Of Time 9. Iron Ore Betty 10. The Hobo Song

Album 2: Pink Cadillac
1. Chinatown 2. Automobile 3. Killing The Blues 4. No Name Girl 5. Saigon 6. Cold War (This Cold War With You) 7. Baby Let’s Play House 8. Down By The Side Of The Road 9. How Lucky 10. Ubangi Stomp

Album 3: Storm Windows
1. Shop Talk 2. Living In The Future 3. It’s Happening To You 4. Sleepy Eyed Boy 5. All Night Blue 6. Just Wanna Be With You 7. Storm Windows 8. Baby Ruth 9. One Red Rose 10. I Had A Dream

UNCLE TUPELO
Live at Lounge Ax – March 24, 1994

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Format: 2 x LP
Label: dBpm Records Inc.
Quantity: 2500
Release type: ‘RSD First’ Release
MORE INFO
Recording of the full concert from Chicago’s Lounge Ax club, originally broadcast live on WXRT. Pressed on two 33 RPM, 150g vinyl discs for RSD Black Friday.

Side 1 1. Chickamauga 2. Watch Me Fall 3. Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down 4. Fifteen Keys 5. The Long Cut

Side 2 1. Anodyne 2. New Madrid 3. Sandusky 4. Looking For A Way Out 5. Slate

Side 3 1. Great Atomic Power 2. Acuff-Rose 3. We’ve Been Had 4. Give Back The Key To My Heart 5. Postcard

Side 4 1. Gun 2. Whiskey Bottle 3. Effigy

HANK WILLIAMS
1952 Radio Audition

DETAILS
Event: BLACK FRIDAY 2020
Release Date: 11/27/2020
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: BMG
Quantity: 2000
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
MORE INFO
Rare recordings from Hank Williams’ 1952 radio show auditions for the first time ever on vinyl.

Side A 1) Why Don’t You Love Me – Hank Williams 2) San Antonio Rose – Owen Bradley & His Orchestra

Side B 1) Honey, Be My Honey Bee – The Beasley Sisters 2) Cold, Cold Heart – Hank Williams 3) Why Don’t You Love Me

Wanted! – Notable Americana and Roots Music Releases for 2020

Featured

2019 turned out to be another excellent year for Americana and roots music. Releases from John Paul White, Buddy and Julie Miller, Chuck Mead, Tanya Tucker, and many others were cause for celebration for the music we love. Roots radio continues to gain listeners and mainstream country radio continues to, occasionally, remember its roots and reflect the shift in tastes of a growing fan base.

But radio is just part of the story. We listened to this timeless music through the format du jour, streaming services. Spotify has several internally curated playlists for Americana and roots music ( The Pulse of Americana, Roots Rising,
Fresh Folk ) as well as my own semi-weekly playlist ‘Twang Nation Friday New Tunes Hayride Then there’s the vinyl boom which roots music artists and fans played a significant part.

2020 starts off right with releases from Gill Landry, Terry Allen, Maria McKee, Della Mae and Pinegrove with releases from John Moreland, The Lone Bellow, The Cadillac Three, and Aubrie Sellers releasing in February. Then there are yet-to-be-announced release dates for James McMurtry and others. Bookmark and check back to this list as we will update those dates and add other releases as we learn more.

Also if you know of a release not on the list feel free to add it below.

Thanks for keeping up with Twang Nation and happy 2020!

January
Jan. 10: Paul Kelly – Songs From the South 1985-2019
Jan. 10: Aerialists – “Dear Sienna”
Jan. 13: Maria McKee – ‘La Vita Nuova’
Jan. 13: Left Arm Tan – self-titled
Jan. 15: David Dondero – ‘The Filter Bubble Blues’
Jan. 17: Eleven Hundred Springs – ‘Here ‘Tis’
Jan. 17: Marcus King – ‘El Dorado’
Jan. 17: Marshall Crenshaw – ‘Miracle of Science’
Jan. 17: Pinegrove – ‘Marigold’
Jan. 17: The Innocence Mission – ‘see you tomorrow’
Jan. 17: Della Mae – ‘Headlight’
Jan. 17: Torgeir Waldemar – ‘Love’
Jan. 17: Fruition – ‘Broken at the Break of Day’
Jan. 17: Bill Fay – “Countless Branches”
Jan. 17: Dwight Yoakam – Blame The Vain (Vinyl Reissue)
Jan. 17: Buck Owens – ‘The Capitol Singles & Albums 1957-62’
Jan. 17: Buck Owens & Susan Raye / Very Best Of (Vinyl)
Jan.22: Vance Gilbert – ‘Good Good Man’
Jan.22: Gill Landry – ‘Love Rides A Dark Horse’
Jan 24: Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band – ‘Just Like Moby Dick’
Jan 24: Bonny Light Horseman – self-titled debut
Jan 24: Kailey Nicole – self-titled EP
Jan 24: Mrs. Henry Presents: ‘Live at the Casbah’
Jan 24: The Wood Brothers – ‘Kingdom in My Mind’
Jan 24: Bart Bugwig – ;Another Burn on the Astroturf’
Jan 24: The Haden Triplets – ‘The Family Songbook’
Jan 24: The Lil Smokies – ‘Tornillo’
Jan 24: Joy Mills Band – ‘Echolocator’
Jan 24: Kailey Nicole – self-titled
Jan 24: Steve Scott – ‘No Love For The Common Man’
Jan 24: Caitlin Sherman – ‘Death To The Damsel’
Jan 31: Dustbowl Revival – ‘Is It You, Is It Me’
Jan 31: Brian Johannesen – “Holster Your Silver”
Jan 31: Possessed By Paul James – ‘As We Go Wandering’
Jan 31: Tre Burt – ‘Caught It from the Rye’
Jan 31: Drive-by Truckers – ‘The Unraveling’
Jan 31: Cave Flowers – self-titled
Jan 31: Blackie & the Rodeo Kings – ‘King of This Town’
Jan 31: Sophie & The Broken Things – self-titled
Jan 31: Glenn Jones – ‘Ready For The Good Times’
Jan 31: Eric Brace & Last Train Home – ‘Daytime Highs and Overnight Lows’
Jan 31: RB Morris – ‘Going Back To The Sky’
Jan 31: Tomar & the FCs – ‘Rise Above’

February
Feb. 1: Glenn Jones Are You Ready For The Good Times
Feb. 7: Hank Williams – ‘Pictures From Life’s Other Side’
Feb. 7: John Moreland – “LP5”
Feb. 7: The Lone Bellow – “Half Moon Light”
Feb. 7: The Cadillac Three – “Country Fuzz”
Feb. 7: Aubrie Sellers – “Far From Home”
Feb. 7: Dom Flemons – ‘Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus’
Feb. 7: Miss Tess – ‘The Moon Is an Ashtray’
Feb. 7: Darling West – ‘We’ll Never Know Unless We Try’
Feb. 7: Elkhorn – ‘The Storm Sessions’
Feb. 7: The Steeldrivers – “Bad For You’
Feb. 7: Frazey Ford – ‘U kin B the Sun’
Feb. 7: Corinne Sharlet – ‘Deceiver’ EP
Feb. 7: Chicago Farmer – ‘Flyover Country’
Feb. 7: David Allen – ‘Regrets and Retribution’
Feb. 7: Flyin’ A’s – ‘No Holds Barred’
Feb. 7: Supersuckers – ‘Play That Rock n’ Roll’
Feb. 7: William Prince – ‘Reliever’
Feb. 7: Frank & Allie Lee – ‘Treat A Stranger Right’
Feb. 7: Lynne Hanson – ‘Just Words’
Feb: 14: Phil Madeira – “Open Heart”
Feb. 14: Tami Neilson – CHICKABOOM!
Feb. 14: Robert Vincent – ‘In This Town You’re Owned’
Feb. 14: Jeremiah Johnson – ‘Heavens to Betsy’
Feb. 14: Little Misty – ‘Old Ghosts’
Feb. 14: The Third Mind – self-titled debut
Feb. 21: Nora Jane Struthers – “Bright Lights, Long Drives, First Words”
Feb. 21: Arik Dov – ‘The Man’ ep
Feb 28: The Secret Sisters – “Saturn Return”
Feb 28: Sierra Hull – ’25 Trips’
Feb 28: Pam Tillis – new album
Feb 28: Waco Brothers – ‘RESIST!’
Feb 28: Chelsea Lovitt – ‘You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It’
Feb 28: Avi Kaplan – ‘ I’ll Get By’

March
March 6: The Panhandlers – Josh Abbott, John Baumann, Cleto Cordero and William Clark Green – self-titled
March 6: The Mastersons- ‘No Time for Love Songs’
March 6: Brandy Clark – ‘Your Life is a Record’
March 6: Jim Lauderdale – ‘When Carolina Comes Home Again’
March 6: Will Sexton – ‘Don’t Walk the Darkness’
March 6: Green Leaf Rustlers – ‘Within Marin’
March 6: Aoife O’Donovan – ‘The Bull Frogs Croon (and Other Songs)’ EP
March 13: Dave Simonett (from Tramped By Turtles) – “Red Tail”
March 13: Sam Doores (of The Deslondes and formerly Hurray for the Riff Raff) – self-titled
March 13: Anna Lynch – ‘Apples in Fall’ EP
March 13: Outlaw Billy Don Burns -‘The Country Blues’
March 15: Sons of the Pioneers – ‘The Lost Masters’
March 20: Delta Rae – ‘The Light’
March 20: Carla Olson – ‘Have Harmony Will Travel 2’
March 27: Lilly Hiatt – ‘Walking Proof’
March 27: Marie Miller – ‘Little Dreams’
March 27: Kim Richey – ‘A Long Way Back: the Songs of Glimmer’
March 27: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – ‘Naked Garden’

April
April 3: Caleb Caudle – ‘Better Hurry Up’
April 3: The Nine Seas – ‘Dream of Me’
April 3: Ruthie Collins – ‘Cold Comfort’
April 3: Lisa Lambe – ‘Juniper’
April 3: Matthew McNeal – ‘Good Grief’
April 3: Christy Lynn Band – ‘Sweetheart of the Radio’
April 10: John Anderson – ‘Years’
April 10: Eliza Gilkyson – ‘2020’
April 10: Watkins Family Hour – ‘ brother sister’
April 17: Shelby Lynne – self-titled
April 17: The Reverend Shawn Amos – ‘Blue Sky’
April 17: Girl Skin – ‘Shade is on the other side’
April 17: The White Buffalo – ‘On The Widow’s Walk’
April 17: Joe Ely – ‘Love in the Midst of Mayhem’
April 20: Nicholas Jamerson – ‘The Wild Frontier’
April 24: Teddy Thompson – ‘Heartbreaker’
April 24: Sailing Stones – ‘Polymnia’
April 24: Lucinda Williams – “Good Souls Better Angels”
April 24: Whitney Rose – ‘We Still Go to Rodeos’
April 24: Corb Lund – ‘Agricultural Tragic’
April 24: Willie Nelson – ‘First Rose Of Spring’
April 24: The Lowest Pair – ‘The Perfect Plan’
April 24: Pam Tillis – ‘Looking for a Feeling’
April 24: Kyle LaLone – ‘Somewhere In Between’
April 26: Randy Rogers Band – ‘Hellbent’
April ?: Van Darien – ‘Levee’

May
May 1: Elijah Ocean – ‘Blue Jeans & Barstools’
May 1: Cayley Thomas – ‘How Else Can I Tell You?’
May 1: American Aquarium – ‘Lamentations’
May 8: Andrew Hibbard – self-titled
May 8: Liv Greene – ‘Every Bright Penny’
May 8: Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen – Hold My Beer Vol. 2
May 15: Chatham County Line – ‘Strange Fascination’
May 15: Chuck Prophet – ‘The Land That Time Forgot’
May 15: Jason Isbell – ‘Reunions’
May 15: Lesley Barth – “Big Time Baby”
May 22: Reckless Kelly – ‘American Girls’ & ‘American Jackpot’
May 22: Steve Earle & The Dukes – ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’
May 22: Jarrod Dickenson -“Ready The Horses”
May 29: Jake Blount – ‘Spider Tales’
May 29: Jaime Wyatt – ‘Neon Cross’

June
June 5: Sarah Jarosz – ‘World On The Ground’
June 5: Turkeyfoot – “Promise of Tomorrow”
June 12: Sammy Brue – ‘Crash Test Kid’
June 12: Pert Near Sandstone – “Rising Tide”
June 19: Grayson Capps – “South Front Street”
June 19: Neil Young – “Homegrown”
June 19: Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways
June 19: Blackberry Smoke – Live From Capricorn Sound Studios
June 19: Darlin’ Brando – Also, Too…
June 19: Don Bryant – You Make Me Feel
June 19: Kristen Grainger & True North – ‘Ghost Tattoo’
June 26: Corb Lund – ‘Agricultural Tragic’
June 26: Country Westerns – ‘Country Westerns’
June 26: Scroggins & Rose – ‘Curios’
June 26: Emily Duff – ‘Born On The Ground’
June 26: Will Hoge – ‘Tiny Little Movies’
June 26: Arielle Silver – ‘A Thousand Tiny Torches’

July
July 10: The Jayhawks – “XOXO”
July 10: Joshua Ray Walker – “Glad You Made It”
July 10: Margo Price – ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’
July 10: Ray Wylie Hubbard – “Co-Starring”
July 10: The Jayhawks – ‘XOXO’
July 17: The Texas Gentlemen – “Floor It!!!”
July 24: Ted Russell Kamp – ‘Down in the Den’
July 24: Lori McKenna – “The Balladeer’
July 31: Charley Crockett – “Welcome To Hard Times”

August
August 2: The Avett Brothers – ‘The Third Gleam’
August 7: Steven Bruce – ‘Same Time, Same Place, Same Station’
August 14: Kathleen Edwards – ‘Total Freedom’
August 21: The Old 97’s -“Twelfth”
August 21: Mandy Barnett – ‘A Nashville Songbook’
August 21: Cidny Bullens – ‘Walkin’ Through This World’
August 21: Robert Gordon – ‘Rockabilly For Life’
August 28: Karen Jonas – ‘The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams’
August 28: Zephaniah OHora – Listening to the Music
August 28: Colter Wall – Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs
August 28: Justin Wells – The United State
August 28: Moe Bandy – A Love Like That
August 28: The Reeves Brothers – The Last Honky Tonk
August 28: Heidi Newfield – The Barfly Sessions
August 28: The Allman Betts Band – Bless Your Heart
August 28: The Northern Belle – We Wither, We Bloom

September
September 4: Carolina Story – “Dandelion”
September 4: India Ramey – ‘Shallow Graves’
September 11: Elizabeth Cook – “Aftermath”
September 18: Fred Eaglesmith & Tif Ginn – ‘Alive’
September 18: Otis Gibbs – ‘Hoosier National’
September 18: Brennen Leigh – ‘Prairie Love Letter’

October

Novenmber
November 6: Madison Cunningham – ‘Wednesday’
November 6: Jackslacks – ‘When Pigs Fly’
November 6: Johnnie & Jack with The Tennessee Mountain Boys – ‘Collection 1945-62’
November 6: Larry Keel – ‘American Dream’
November 13: Chris Stapleton – ‘Starting Over’

TBA
Carla Olson
Will Sexton
Cidny Bullens
Marshall Chapman
The Claudettes
James McMurtry
Amelia White – produced by Kim Richey

Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 Releases – Roots & Americana Picks

Luckily for vinyl fans, Record Store Day is now two separate events. The original big daddy event in April and it’s smaller Black Friday.

The latter happens on 11/29, just in time for some early Christmas shopping for your own stocking. Below find some choice selections from the list that roots and Americana fans feen need a place on their turntable.

Descriptions are from RSD.com. See the full release list here.

Patsy Cline – Sweet Dreams: The Complete Decca Masters 1960-1963 – more details on this release
An amazing 3xLP set including all of Patsy Cline’s Decca Studio master. This collection has never been released on vinyl and for Record Store Day Black Friday it’s available on pink, purple and yellow pastel vinyl in a tri-gatefold sleeve.

(1000 available)

Dr. John – “Babylon”
When Dr. John hit the studio in 1968 to record Babylon, America was in a very turbulent period. On top of that, Dr. John was being pursued by various Los Angeles authorities for a handful of criminal offenses. It was, in his own words: “a heavy time for me.”

This set the stage for Babylon being a reflection of the chaotic and tumultuous time that he was living in. He and his band dove deeper into the voodoo-inflected psychedelic rock and the R&B of Gris-Gris, while touching upon elements of free jazz and Captain Beefheart-style avant-garde. Babylon stands out as a psychedelic swamp of apocalyptic lyrical content, drunk, disorienting experimentation, and fascinating entry into Dr. John’s catalog well-worthy of his expansive legacy.

Out of print on vinyl for 40 years, Get On Down is all too eager to reissue this unique recording for RSD Black Friday. In keeping with the album’s hallucinogenic sound, it is presented on trippy never to be repeated splatter-colored vinyl and housed in a deluxe gatefold jacket.

A1. “Babylon” A2. “Glowin’” A3. “Black Window Spider” A4. “Barefoot Lady”
B1. “Twilight Zone” B2. “The Patriotic Flag-Waver” B3. “The Lonesome Guitar Strangler”

(2500 available)

Blind Willie Johnson – “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground/It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine”

Blind Willie Johnson was the greatest and most popular guitar evangelist and influenced generations of musicians. His unique, intense, emotional and haunting gruff voice—coupled with some of the finest slide-guitar of any of his peers—firmly established Johnson’s status as one of the premier gospel-blues artists of all time.

Between 1927 and 1930, Johnson recorded 30 powerful, timeless, landmark songs for Columbia Records in five sessions in Dallas, New Orleans, and Atlanta, generating strong sales and national fame.

On December 3, 1927, in a temporary studio in the Deep Ellum district of Dallas, Johnson recorded six groundbreaking songs, including the iconic slide guitar classic, “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.” Johnson’s haunting response to Christ’s crucifixion remains one of the masterpieces of American music. Ry Cooder described it as “the most soulful, transcendent piece in all American Music.”Jack White called it “the greatest example of slide guitar ever recorded.”

For RSD Black Friday 2019 Traffic Entertainment presents two of Johnson’s most iconic sides as a 78 RPM microgroove record housed in a glorious reproduction of the Columbia sleeve wrapped in a full color OBI with detailed liner notes.

(1500 available)

The Marshall Tucker Band – “New Year’s in New Orleans – Roll Up ’78 and Light Up ’79”

“Let’s show the people coast to coast that we here in New Orleans can party! Are you ready to roll ’78 and light up 79?!” announces the boisterous (and probably slightly buzzed) emcee introducing The Marshall Tucker Band to the tight-knit community of joint-passing, beer-cheersing rock ‘n’ rolling regulars at The Warehouse, New Orleans’ legendary 1970s music hall. Not only would the audience of 2,000+ longhairs enjoy the New Year’s Eve concert that night, but so would a huge audience of radio listeners rockin’ in simulcast nationwide. The emcee claimed that this was the largest radio audience ever to hear a broadcast and at the time, it probably was. The band elevated themselves to the occasion and delivered an absolutely smokin’ performance of what were already their most memorable and cherished hits.
• Sourced from the original 24-track tapes
• Mixed in Macon, Georgia in 2019 by Paul Hornsby, the original Capricorn Records producer who recorded and produced their first six gold and platinum albums.
• Featuring never before published photos by The Warehouse’s photographer, Sidney Smith, plus images of archival documents form the recording engineers.
• Double LP, gatefold

Side A: A1 “Fly Like An Eagle” A2 “Long Hard Ride” A3 “Fire On The Mountain” A4 “Heard It In A Love Song” A5 “Blue Ridge Mountain Skies”
Side B: B1 “Can’t You See” B2 “Ramblin’” B3 “This Ol’ Cowboy”
Side C: C1 “Desert Skies” C2 “24 Hours At A Time”
Side D: D1 “New Year’s Countdown/Auld Lang Syne” D2 “Searchin’ For A Rainbow” D3 “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”

(1500 available)

JD McPherson – “Red Bows For A Blue Girl” / “Holly, Carol, Candy and Joy”

This is a new 7″ of two Christmas songs. “Red Bows for A Blue Girl” is a brand new original record specifically for RSD Black Friday. “Holly, Carol, Candy and Joy” is a b-side from the album SOCKs which was released in November of 2018.

(1500 available)

Willie Nelson – “Sometimes Even I Can Get Too High” b/w “It’s All Going To Pot” (w/ Merle Haggard)

It’s said that legends aren’t born—they’re grown. Willie Nelson, an enduring American icon and tireless supporter of marijuana legalization, offers the latest hit from his stash, a humorous ode to the sweetest of leaves as only Willie can do it. “Sometimes Even I Can Get Too High,” a new song from the sessions for Willie’s latest album, Ride Me Back Home Is backed with “It’s All Going To Pot,” another 420 favorite from Django and Jimmie, Willie and Merle Haggard’s 2015 album.

(4000 available)

New Riders of the Purple Sage – “Thanksgiving in New York City (Live)”

Captured at the late show from November 23, 1972, at the Academy of Music, Thanksgiving In New York City features the band in the midst of an energetic and highly regarded tour. Along with Dawson classics like “Henry,” “Portland Woman,” and “Last Lonely Eagle,” lead guitarist David Nelson and bassist Dave Torbert also bring some Bluegrass (“She’s No Angel”) and R&B (“I Don’t Need No Doctor,” “Willie And The Hand Jive”) to the mix.

SIDE ONE: 1.“Leaving On Her Mind” 2. “Portland Woman” 3. “Hello Mary Lou” 4. “Sutter’s Mill” 5. “She’s No Angel”
SIDE TWO: 6. “Henry” 7. “Contract” 8. “Linda” 9. “Take A Letter Maria”
SIDE THREE: 10.” All I Ever Wanted” 11. “Groupie” 12. “Whiskey” 13. “Long Black Veil”
SIDE FOUR: 14. “Lochinvar” 15. “Truck Drivin’ Man” 16. “Rainbow” 17. “I Don’t Need No Doctor
SIDE FIVE: 18. “Louisiana Lady” 19. “Honky Tonk Women” 20. “Last Lonely Eagle”
SIDE SIX: 21. “Willie & The Hand Jive”

(1800 available)

J.S. Ondara – “Tales of America B Sides”

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, J.S. Ondara fell in love with Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis when he was 20 to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter. His debut album, Tales of America, is an examination of the American Dream, but from the perspective of the outsider, the immigrant, the social commentator. This album made J.S. an NPR Slingshot Artist, a Rolling Stone Artist You Need To Know, and earned him a Best Emerging Act nomination from the Americana Music Association in 2019.

Tales of America: B Sides is a five-track LP packaged exclusively for Record Store Day, and features a previously unreleased track, a demo, a remix, and two cover songs.

“Milk + Honey” – previously unreleased
“Analog Man” – previously unreleased
“Jesus For President” – previously unreleased
“Torch Song” (Echo Park)
“Heart of Gold” (Neil Young cover)

(2000 available)

Elvis Presley – “American Sound 1969”
1969 was a pivotal year for Elvis Presley. Fresh from the success of the ’68 Comeback Special, a revitalized Elvis headed to American Sound Studios with producer Chips Moman and a crack group of local session musicians. From these sessions came From Elvis In Memphis, one of the most beloved LPs of his career, plus the seminal hits “Suspicious Minds” (his 18th and final No. 1 hit) and “In The Ghetto.” American Sound Sessions 1969, available for the first time on vinyl, features rare and unreleased outtakes from these legendary sessions.

Side A: 1. “Long Black Limousine (Take 6)” 2. “Wearin’ That Loved On Look (Takes 12, 13 & 14)” 3. “You’ll Think Of Me (Take 16)” 4. “I’m Movin’ On (Take 2 – with vocal replacements and steel guitar overdub)” 5. “A Little Bit Of Green (Take 1)”
Side B: 1. “In The Ghetto (Take 1)” 2. “From A Jack To A King (Takes 1-3)” 3. “Without Love (There Is Nothing)(Take 1” 4. “I’ll Be There (Takes 1-3)” 5. “Suspicious Minds (Take 8)(undubbed master)”
Side C: 1. “Stranger In My Hometown – Jam (undubbed)” 2. “It’s My Way/This Time/I Can’t Stop Loving You – Jam” 3. “True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 2)” 4. “Power Of My Love (Take 1)” 5. “After Loving You (Take 2)”
Side D: 1. “Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 4)” 2. “Kentucky Rain (Take 8)” 3. “Only The Strong Survive (Take 29)” 4. “It Keeps Right On A Hurtin’ (Takes 1 & 2)” 5. “Any Day Now (Takes 1 & 2)”

(4000 available)

Leon Redbone – “Strings And Jokes, Live in Bremen 1977”

Wanderer between the worlds. No other words can describe the musical work of Leon Redborne. His first official stage appearance took place in 1971 at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, and soon after he began performing in local clubs where he became famous with his unique style. His trademarks were a perfect suit (white jacket, black trousers), dark sunglasses, a mustache, and a white fedora. Best known for his interpretations of music from the Depression Era–Blues, Ragtime, Folk and Tin Pan Alley—laying on top his remarkable singing style. Influenced by the music of Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, Jimmy Rodgers or Irving Berlin, his interpretations are legendary.

Both concerts on this RSD Black Friday release took place in Bremen, Northern Germany, in 1977 and show two different sides of Leon Redbone. At the first concert, at the “Glocke”, he was accompanied by tuba player Jonathan Dorn, and the second, at the “Post-Aula” was a solo concert, pure and simple. Both are electrifying because of his unique performance and the combination of Blues and influences from Folk-Jazz. He sings, yodels, murmurs, and hums and knows to fascinate his fans with his warm and outstanding voice. A must-have for every fan of traditional and not commonplace music.

(300 available)

Steep Canyon Rangers – “North Carolina Songbook”

GRAMMY-Award winning bluegrass outfit Steep Canyon Rangers brought a special surprise to attendees of their performance at Merlefest 2019. To honor their home state, the Rangers performed a selection of songs from the artists of North Carolina. Featuring unsung Carolinian heroes like Ola Belle Reed and Elizabeth Cotten to world-renowned performers like Thelonious Monk, Doc Watson, James Taylor and Ben E. King, the Rangers’ live North Carolina Songbook performance shows why the Tar Heel State continues to celebrate their legacy of musical excellence and influence that dates back over a century.

1. “Stand By Me [Ben E King]” 2. “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down [Earl Scruggs/Charlie Poole]” 3. “Blue Monk [Thelonious Monk]” 4. “Jack of Diamonds [Tommy Jerrell]” 5. “Shake Sugaree [Elizabeth Cotten]” 6. “Sweet Baby James [James Taylor]” 7. “I’ve Endured [Ola Belle Reed]” 8. “Your Lone Journey [Doc Watson]”

(1500 available)

Richard Thompson – “The Cold Blue: Original Motion Picture Score”
The Cold Blue is a 2019 documentary that focuses on footage shot directly from bomber planes during WWII with narration from surviving members of the 8th infantry. Richard Thompson wrote and arranged the score to the movie, and its released on vinyl for the first time everas a double blue 180g vinyl set, with a worldwide pressing of 1500.

1. “The Cold Blue” 2. “The Cold Blue Part 2” 3. “No Tomorrow” 4. “Fresh Eggs” 5. “A Sudden Boom” 6. “Family” 7. “Tremendous Workers” 8. “Beautiful Sight” 9. “Beautiful Ship” 10. “Cold Air” 11. “Over There” 12. “Big Thunderstorm” 13. “Superstitious” 14. “Kill a Human” 15. “Red Flare” 16. “Just Germans” 17. “I’ll Be Seeing You” 18. “Family (Guitar Version)” 19. “The Cold Blue (Guitar Version)”

(1250 available)

Desperado: The Soundtrack

Like his buddy and occasional collaborator Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez is one of those film directors whose movies always come with incredible soundtracks. But it’s tough to top the array of music he assembled for his gun ‘n’ guitar-slinging western Desperado, the 1995 sequel to his breakthrough debut El Mariachi. Not only was the Desperado score composed and performed by the L.A. bands Los Lobos (whose performance of “Mariachi Suite” won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance) and Tito and Tarantula (memorably seen the following year as the house band at the Titty Twister in Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn), but it also boasted contributions from Dire Straits, Link Wray, Carlos Santana, and the Latin Playboys among other artists. A blend of ranchera, Chicano, and garage rock, it’s the perfect accompaniment for the blood-soaked imagery of the film…and for this, the first vinyl release of the soundtrack, we at Real Gone Music have created the perfect visual accompaniment as well. For the gatefold jacket housing our 2 X LP set, we commissioned Illustrator Matt Ryan Tobin to create one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-reprinted illustrated artwork, a lyrical yet lurid tableau that was approved not just by Robert Rodriguez but also by all four actors depicted (Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi, and Joaquim de Almeida). Inside the gatefold, we designed two 4-color inner sleeves offering production stills from the film and pressed up 2500 copies in sultry “Blood & Gunpowder” vinyl. This pressing is exclusive for RSD Black Friday, and, again, both the jacket and the colored vinyl will never be reprinted…this might be the most collectible release we have ever created!

1. Los Lobos with Antonio Banderas “Canción Del Mariachi (Morena De Mi Corazón” 2. Dire Straits “Six Blade Knife” 3. Link Wray & His Ray “Jack the Ripper” 4. Latin Playboys “Manifold De Amour” 5. Latin Playboys “Forever Night Shade Mary” 6. Roger & The Gypsies “Pass the Hatchet” 7. Los Lobos “Bar Fight” 8. Tito & Tarantula “Strange Face of Love” 9. Los Lobos “Bucho’s Gracias/Navajas Attacks” 10. Los Lobos “Bulletproof” 11. Carlos Santana “Bella” 12. Salma Hayek “Quédate Aqui” 13. Los Lobos “Rooftop Action” 14. Los Lobos “Phone Call” 15. Tito & Tarantula “White Train (Showdown)” 16. Tito & Tarantula “Back to the House That Love Built” 17. Los Lobos “Let Love Reign” 18. Los Lobos “Mariachi Suite”

(1800 available)

Joni 75 A Joni Mitchell Birthday Celebration

On Joni’s 75th birthday, last November 7, a star-studded roster of musicians gathered to pay tribute to the legendary singer-songwriter. The evening was recorded and this vinyl release features performances by Brandi Carlile, Glen Hansard, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Cesar Castro & Xochi Flores, Graham Nash, James Taylor, Seal, Rufus Wainwright and more.

1. “Dreamland” –Performed by Los Lobos with La Marisoul, Xochi Flores & Cesar Castro
2. “Help Me” –Performed by Chaka Khan
3. “Amelia” –Performed by Diana Krall
4. “All I Want” –Performed by Rufus Wainwright
5. “Coyote” –Performed by Glen Hansard
6. “River” –Performed by James Taylor
7. “Both Sides Now” –Performed by Seal
8. “Our House” –Performed by Graham Nash
9. “A Case Of You” –Performed by Kris Kristofferson & Brandi Carlile
10. “Down to You” –Performed by Brandi Carlile
11. “Blue” –Performed by Rufus Wainwright
12. “Court And Spark” –Performed by Norah Jones
13. “Nothing Can Be Done” –Performed by Los Loboswith La Marisoul, Xochi Flores &Cesar Castro
14. “The Magdalene Laundries” –Performed by Emmylou Harris
15. “Woodstock” –Performed by James Taylor
16. “Big Yellow Taxi” –Performed by La Marisoul, James Taylor, Chaka Khan, and Brandi Carlile

(3000 available)

Tony Joe White – “That On The Road Look “Live”

The only live album recorded at Tony Joe White’s peak…and it’s never been available at retail before. Recorded in the fall of 1971 while TJW was opening for Creedence Clearwater Revival, this show became the proverbial “legendary lost live album,” and for good reason: Warner Bros. recorded the concert on multitrack tape, fully intending it to be released. But for some reason lost to the mists of time, the album never came out until Rhino Handmade released it on CD in 2010 via their website. Which means it never went to regular retail at all in any format, and that’s a real shame, because you could make a good argument that it’s the best Tony Joe White album of ’em all, with a set list to die for, a great band (featuring Duck Dunn on bass), pristine fidelity, and plenty of Swamp Fox attitude. This exclusive RSD Black Friday white vinyl pressing comes inside a gatefold jacket featuring a front cover cut-out displaying the art on one of two inner sleeves, with great liner notes by Ben Vaughn.

1. “Roosevelt and Ira Lee” 2.” A Night in the Life of a Swamp Fox” 3. “Rainy Night in Georgia” 4. “Mississippi River” 5. “Lustful Earl and the Married Woman” 6. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” 7. “Back to the Country” 8. “Band Introduction” 9. “Traveling Bone” 10. “Stormy Monday” 11. “My Kind of Woman” 12. “Polk Salad Annie” 13. “That on the Road Look”

(1000 available)

Hank Williams – “The 1940 Recordings”

The songs featured on this RSD Black Friday 45 RPM 7” single catch Williams at age 18 on homemade recordings. Coupled with last year’s 7” release The First Recordings 1938, these two 7’s represent the earliest known recordings of Hank Williams. Newly restored and remastered by the Grammy-Award winning Hank Williams team!

A1) “Freight Train Blues” A2) “New San Antonio Rose”
B1)” St. Louis Blues” B2) “Greenback Dollar”

(2500 available)

Wanted! – Notable Americana and Roots Music Releases for 2019

2018 is now in the pages of history and as America shifts (lurches?) into an uncertain future. Americana and roots music, unlike many other genres, continues to be true to its legacy and addresses our times with art that refuses to chase the charts and churn out reflexively commercial product and, lucky for us, refuses to treat the audience as mindless consumers.

That’s not to say that Americana and roots music is merely a barometer for political and social conditions and change. No sane person wants their favorite artists to be righteous yet starve. As the music industry continues to reflect changing consumer demands artists are also finding opportunities to reach audiences and generate revenue in movies and video games.

Some albums I’m  personally looking forward to because I’ve heard some cuts, or on my faith in the artist,  are Hayes Carll’s  “What It Is,” Feb. 15: Dale Watson’s Call Me Lucky and Ryan Bingham – “American Love Song” , all on February 15th,  Mandolin Orange’s “Tides of a Teardrop” on February 1st, and Joshua Ray Walker’s “Wish You Were Here” on January 25th as well as Son Volt’s “Union’ on March 29th.

As more dates come throughout the year I will be updating the list. If you know of an actual release not listed yet please leave it in the comments.

As always I appreciate your visiting the site and hope you join me in another great year for Americana and roots music.

January: Jan. 18th: Danny Burns – “North Country”
Jan. 25th: Lula Wiles – ‘What Will We Do’
Jan. 4th: Balsam Range – “Aeonic”
Jan. 18th: Alice Wallace – “ Into the Blue”
Jan. 18th: Ronnie Milsap – “Ronnie Milsap: The Duets”
Jan. 18th: Greensky Bluegrass – “All for Money”
Jan. 18th: The Steel Woods – “Old News”
Jan. 18th: Whitehorse – “The Northern South Vol. 2”
Feb. 22: Vandoliers – “Forever” 

February:
Feb. 1st: Mandolin Orange – “Tides of a Teardrop”
Feb. 1st: Abigail Lapelle – “Getaway”
Feb. 8th: Gurf Morlix – ‘Impossible Blue’
Feb. 15th: Hayes Carll – “What It Is”
Feb. 15th: Dale Watson – “Call Me Lucky”
Feb. 15th: Ryan Bingham – “American Love Song”
Feb. 15th: Joey McGee – “El Camino Real”
Feb. 15th: Kalyn Fay – “Good Company”
Feb. 22nd: Dearling – “Silver and Gold” (EP)
Feb. 22nd Vandoliers – “Forever”
Feb. 22nd – Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell – ‘Songs of Our Native Daughters’ March:
March 1st: Mary Bragg – “Diamonds as Camouflage”
March 1st: The Cactus Blossoms – “Easy Way”
March 1st: Dave Ernst – “Hickory Switch”
March 2nd: The Honey Dewdrops – “Anyone Can See”
March 7th: Townes Van Zandt – “Sky Blue”
March 8th: Patty Griffin – “Patty Griffin” March 8th: Clara Baker – “Things To Burn”
March 22nd: Allison de Groot & Tatiana March 22nd: Orville Peck – “Pony” March 22nd: Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon – “Solstice” March 29th: Son Volt – “Union”

April: April 2nd: John Paul White – ‘The Hurting Kind” April 5th: Molly Tuttle – “When You’re Ready.” April 5th: Megg Farrell -“Megg Farrell” April 12th: Shovels & Rope – “By Blood” April 12th: Taylor Alexander – “Good Old Fashioned Pain” April 19th: Daniel Norgren – “Wooh Dang” May:
May 3rd: Pete Seeger – ‘The Smithsonian Folkways Collection’ May 3rd: Caroline Spence – “Mint Condition” May 10th: The Shootouts – “Quick Draw” May 24th: Willard Gayheart – “At Home in the Blue Ridge”

June:
June 14th: Hank Williams – ‘Health & Happiness Show’ June 21st: Buddy and Julie Miller -‘Breakdown on 20th Ave. South’ June 28th: Chuck Mead – “Close To Home” August 16th The Messenger: A Tribute to Ray Wylie Hubbard August 23rd Esther Rose – ‘You Made It This Far’ Erin Enderlin – ‘Chapter Three: Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ Tanya Tucker – ‘While I’m Livin’ ‘ Vince Gill – ‘Okie’ Dalton Domino – ‘Songs From the Exile’ Jason Hawk Harris – Love & the Dark The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys – ‘Toil, Tears & Trouble’ Leslie Stevens – ‘Sinner’ Croy and the Boys – ‘Howdy High-Rise’ Seth James – Midland – ‘Let It Roll’ September 7th The Highwomen – Self-Titled’ Terri Hendrix – ‘Talk To A Human’ Jason Tyler Burton – ‘Kentuckian’ Paul Cauthen – ‘Room 41’ Cut Throat Francis – ‘This Garden’s Never Gonna Grow’ Ana Egge – ‘Is It the Kiss’ NRBQ – ‘Turn On, Tune In’ Amy Speace – ‘Me and the Ghosts of Charlemagne’ These Wild Plains – ‘Thrilled To Be Here’ Trailerpark Idlers – ‘Ghost Town Nights September 13th Jeremy Ivey – ‘The Dream And The Dreamer’ September 27th Hot Club of Cowtown – ‘Wild Kingdom’ October 4th The North Mississippi Allstars – “Up and Rolling” October 13th Cody Jinks – ‘After The Fire’ North Mississippi Allstars – ‘Up and Rolling’ Corb Lund – ‘Cover Your Tracks’ Jonah Tolchin – ‘Fires for the Cold’ Marti Brom – ‘Midnight Bus’ Ted Drozdowski – ‘Learn To Love The Moon’ Jeremy Ivey – ‘The Dream And The Dreamer; Janiva Magness – ‘Change In The Weather: Janiva Magness Sings John Fogerty’ October 18th The Milk Carton Kids – ‘The Only Ones’ Darin Aldridge & Brooke Aldridge – ‘Inner Journey’ Driftwood Soldier – ‘Stay Ahead Of The Wolf’ The Drunken Hearts – ‘Wheels of the City’ Rory Ellis – ‘Inner Outlaw’ EmiSunshine and The Rain – ‘Family Wars’ Jimmy “Duck” Holmes – ‘Cypress Grove’ Jake La Botz – ‘They’re Coming For Me’ New Copasetics – ‘Twang-Ucopia’ David Newbould – ‘Sin & Redemption’ Karen & the Sorrows – ‘Guaranteed Broken Heart’ Zachary Lucky – ‘Midwestern’ October 25th Allison Moorer – ‘Blood’ Neil Young & Crazy Horse – ‘Colorado’ Craig Cummings – ‘Absolute Surprise’ Karen & the Sorrows – ‘Guaranteed Broken Heart’ Van Morrison – ‘Three Chords and the Truth’ Jackson Stokes – ‘Jackson Stokes’ Zack Walther Band – ‘The Westerner’ November 20th Bill Scorzari – ‘Now I’m Free’ January 31st Dustbowl Revival – ‘Is It You, Is It Me?’

Record Store Day Black Friday 2018 Americana and Roots Recommendations

Record Store Day's Black Friday

Just as the weather turns crisp and the Halloween candy gluts the store isles you know that Record Store Day Black Friday event is right around the corner. The event, that results in indy record store around the world making a good chunk of their yearly take, has been expanded to take place over two days, Black Friday (November 23) and Small Business Saturday (November 24).

Among the vinyl delights offered is a Legacy Edition of The Byrds – landmark “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” with lots of goodies to top off the album’s 50th anniversary. Also offered is Lone Justice – The Western Tapes 1983, early Marvin Etzioni produced demos of these alt.country pioneers.

Check the full list at the Record Store Day site. I’ll be buying a stack from the good people at Dallas’ own Good Records. Remember to tweet a pic of your bounty to my twitter account and I’ll share it with those foolish enough to stay home.

The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo (Legacy Edition) – 4 x LP

By the time Sweetheart Of The Rodeo was released in 1968, The Byrds had already changed the sound of rock music twice; from jangling folk-rock to experimental acid-rock, they constantly sought to push the boundaries of what rock music could be. The 1967 departure of David Crosby left a creative void filled quickly by country music-loving Gram Parsons, whose addition led Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman and company to record an album comprised mostly of authentic country material in Nashville, with the aid of local session aces (including future Byrd Clarence White). For the first time on vinyl—and on the heels of a 50th anniversary tour of the album by original members McGuinn and Hillman—this Legacy Edition of Sweetheart Of The Rodeo showcases this country-rock masterpiece alongside 28 bonus tracks, including demos, outtakes, rehearsal versions and tracks by Parsons’ pre-Byrds outfit, The International Submarine Band.

Bobbie Gentry – Ode To Billie Joe – LP

Ode to Billie Joe is the 1967 classic debut album by singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry. The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard charts, and was the album that displaced the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from its 15-week reign at the top. This deluxe 180g LP reissue on Elemental Music was cut and mastered by the renowned audiophile mastering engineer Kevin Gray direct from the original tapes, with packaging that includes all original artwork and liner notes.

SIDE A 01 Mississippi Delta (3:05) 02 I Saw An Angel Die (2:56) 03 Chickasaw County Child (2:45) 04 Sunday Best (2:50) 05 Niki Hoeky (2:45)
SIDE B 01 Papa, Woncha Let Me Go To Town With You (2:30) 02 Bugs (2:05) 03 Hurry, Tuesday Child (4:52) 04 Lazy Willie (2:36) 05 Ode To Billie Joe (4:15)

Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues/Ramblin’ On My Mind – 10″ Vinyl

Eric Clapton is quoted as saying that “Robert Johnson to me is the most important blues musician who ever lived”. A special 2018 Black Friday offering of Robert Johnson’s iconic 1936 recordings of “Cross Road Blues” / “Ramblin’ On My Mind” reproduced on the Vocalion label with sleeve as a 10″ single.

Blind Lemon Jefferson – Black Snake Moan/Matchbox Blues – 10″ Vinyl

Blind Lemon Jefferson, “The Father of Texas Blues,” was the best-selling malevblues artist of the 1920’s, recording 92 sides for Paramount Records and one released 78 for Okeh Records: “Black Snake Moan / Matchbox Blues”. Jefferson produced an original, driving, unpredictably advanced guitar style and a distinctive booming high-pitched, two-octave voice that no one could imitate. Legends of his prowess as a bluesman abound among the musicians who heard him, and sightings of Jefferson in different regions of the United States are plentiful. B.B. King stated, “His touch is different from anybody on the guitar—still is. He was majestic and played just a regular little six-string guitar with a little round hole. It was unbelievable to hear him play. And the way he played with his rhythm patterns, he was way before his time, in my opinion. Blind Lemon was my idol.” A special 2018 Black Friday offering of Blind Lemon Jefferson’s 1927 Okeh recording of “Black Snake Moan” / “Matchbox Blues” is reproduced on the original label with an Okeh sleeve as a 10-inch 78 single.

Ray LaMontagne – Spotify Singles – 7″ Vinyl

Limited edition glow in the dark 7” vinyl of Ray LaMontagne’s Spotify Singles session recorded at Sound Stage Studios. Features live recordings of “Such A Simple Thing” and a cover of “Blue Canadian Rockies” originally performed by Gene Autry

“Such A Simple Thing” and “Blue Canadian Rockies” recorded at Sound Stage Studios Nashville

Lake Street Dive – Freak Yourself Out – LP

A new EP of five songs recorded during the Free Yourself Up sessions!
1. Daryl 2. Young Boy 3. Jameson 4. Angioplast 5. Who Do You Think You Are

Lone Justice – The Western Tapes 1983 – 12″ Vinyl

Musician and producer Marvin Etzioni first saw Maria McKee and Ryan Hedgecock in a club in 1982, playing George Jones and Hank Williams covers. He convinced them they needed original material. After working and writing, the band added Dave Harrington (bass) and Don Willens (drums), the band worked up material with Etzioni and cut 5 of the 6 tracks at the famed Record Plant. An earlier session provides the 6th track. The Western Tapes: 1983 exhibits the genesis of this highly-infl uential band. While the original demo version of “Drugstore Cowboy” has appeared on various compilations, the remainder of the other tracks from the sessions have remained in the can. Two of the tracks appear in their earliest demo form and wound up landing on the classic 1988 Lone Justice debut, “Working Late” and “Don’t Toss Us Away” (written by Maria’s half-brother, Bryan MacLean of the classic band, Love) which would eventually become a top 5 smash for Country superstar Patty Loveless. Released in conjunction with the band, the EP was mastered by Bernie Grundman (who also cut the 45 RPM lacquers). It’s a look into where they started and foretells where they would go.
As Etzioni (who would later join the band) says in his liner notes: “With countless hours together, it was a fun and innocent time. I believed we were creating a 21st century country band.”
They created much, much more. PLAY LOUD AT 45 RPM!

Side 1: 1. working late 2:45 2. don’t toss us away 4:29 3. drugstore cowboy 2:54
Side 2: 4. i see it 2:22 5. train song 2:55 6. how lonesome life has been 2:06

Kacey Musgraves – High Horse Remixes

High Horse Remixes (not available on any physical configuration)

SIDE A: High Horse (Kue Remix)- DJ Kue
SIDE B: High Horse (Violets Remix)- Violents

Hank Williams – The First Recordings, 1938 – 7″ Vinyl

The first EVER recordings made by the legendary Hank Williams. This Record Store Day Black Friday 7″ red vinyl single celebrates the 80th anniversary of their recording, and the labels duplicate the labels on the original acetate.

Side A “Fan It” (F. Jaxon) – Hank Williams
Side B “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (I. Berlin) – Hank Williams & Pee Week Moultrie

BBC Lost Highway: The History of American Country

Lost-Highway-The-Story-of-Country-Music-Cover

If you haven’t seen the BBC’s “Lost Highway: The History of American Country’ then you’re in for a treat.

This four-part, four-hour documentary follows the musical lineage from the Bristol Sessions to Nashville, from Texas to Bakersfield, and brings it all together in a beautiful story of heritage and style any songwriter would love.

The history of it’s roots in mountain music, through bluegrass it’s first super star Hank Williams and honky tonkers. From the jazz fusion of Western Swing to the dominance of the adult-pop Nashville Sound through the extraordinary and game-changing emergence of female performers and the evolution of newer forms of the genre – country rock to alt.country and Americana.

Featuring contributions from Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Hank Williams III, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam and Dolly Parton among others. Lost Highway: The Story of Country Music is produced by William Naylor; the series editor is Michael Poole.

Sit back with your favorite drink and enjoy.

57th Annual Grammy Awards – Showing Our Roots

Brandy Clark & Dwight Yoakam 'Hold My Hand'

The cultural trade show known as the 57th Annual Grammy Awards is now history. 83 golden antiquated media playback device replicas were handed out to some of the most talented musicians in the world.

But the event is anything but antiquated. The Grammys have been pushing the boundaries of social and streaming media for some time, improving every year and rivaling events like The Oscars and The Superbowl for social activity. The Grammys know how to create, and amplify, buzz.

Though I did not take part in the excellent Grammy social program as I had the past 4 years, I was graciously asked by Entertainment Tonight to live blog the event for ETOnline.com. and I did cover the pre-telecast (rechristened the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony) at the Twang Nation twitter feed. That’s nearly 8 hours of tweeting, blogging, posting in all.

But this is not a social marketing site. Its about the music, and there was lot’s of it. Much of it great.

First , the winners.

The big winner in the Americana and roots category was Rosanne Cash. Cash, who had been an awards presenter earlier in the day, took home awards in all the categories she was nominated in. winning who won best American roots performance, American roots song for ‘A Feather’s Not A Bird’ and Americana album for “The River and The Thread.” “Reagan was president last time I won a Grammy,” Cash beamed, referring to her win for
“I just showed up for work for 35 years and this is what happened.” Cash’s last win was in 1985 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me.”

Other notable wins were Mike Farris’ first nomination turned into a win for win for Best Roots Gospel Album.

Bluegrass supergroup, The Earls Of Leicester – Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Shawn Camp, Johnny Warren, Charlie Cushman and Barry Bales – won for Best Bluegrass Album for The band’s self-titled release. “We’re very humbled by this,” Douglas said during his acceptance speech. “These guys worked with me — I’ve wanted to do an album like this since the first time I picked up a musical instrument … This is what it’s all about — Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.” “Proud to bring Flatt & Scruggs to a new audience. I think we now have a mandate to do more.”

Nickel Creek and Punch Brother founder Chris Thile and bassist Edgar Meyer won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for their album, ‘Bass & Mandolin.’ The duo have been performing together sporadically for more than a decade. ‘Bass & Mandolin’ was also nominated for Best Instrumental Composition for the album track “Tarnation” and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

After an ripping performance of 8 Dogs 8 Banjos on the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony stage, Old Crow Medicine Show encored with a win for Best Folk Album, for ‘Remedy.’

“We started our 18th year of making music together this year, and we want to thank Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie for lighting the way,” singer/fiddler Ketch Secor said from the podium.

Glen Campbell won his sixth Grammy of his extraordinary career for Best Country Song. The ailing country legend won for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” the bittersweet song Campbell penned with Julian Raymond for the 2014 documentary ‘Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me,’ won against songs by Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw with Faith Hill.

Best Historical Album went to the excellent Hank Williams The Garden Spot Programs, 1950. Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer.

One of the most talked about surprises of the evening was Beck’s win for Album of the Year for his 12th album ‘Morning Phase.’ Though I could quibble about Beck’s moody-folk/pop masterpiece
winning a Best Rock Album award earlier in the evening (rock?) there’s no arguing that Beck is a musician with an artistic vision, with little apparent care for the charts and industry. A rare vision richly deserving the honor of a high-profile award.

Apparently after the win twitter spiked with ‘Who is Beck?’ Supposedly by people genuinely unaware of the artist. The rest was Kanye West.

The stand out performance was Best New Artist nominee Brandy Clark sharing the stage with her idol and recent tour mate Dwight Yoakam. The two performed a lovely rendition of “Hold My Hand” from the Best Country Album nominated ’12 Stories.’ Perched on a round stage with no extravagant light show, two simple guitars and two warm voices. It was the most low-key performance of the 2015 Grammys and the one that best personified what most matters, and is often lost, in theses events.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu9-3yC012g

Ken Burns’ Country Music Documentary Coming to PBS in 2018

Ken Burns

I’ve been hearing about Ken Burns’ new project focusing on Country Music for over a ear. Now PBS has made it a realty b announcing that the anticipated documentary, succinctly called called “Country Music,” will air in 2018.

That will be about 5 years worth of work on the one series. Sure that’s a long time
but it helpes to keep in mind that it’s a year less than he spent on his ten-episode miniseries detailing jazz. And given Burn’s attention to detail ranging from The Civil War and the history of baseball it’s satisfying to see that there is care being applied ot a genre we all love.

The origins and fundamentals of roots, folk and country music are vast . deep at least as deep and vast as many of the topics Burns has tackled before. I have faith that this is going to be a fascinating (and lengthy) series.

From the release “The country series explores the question, “what is country music.” It will track the careers of the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and others.”

“For over a century, country music has been a pivotal force in American culture, expressing the hopes, joys, fears and hardships of everyday people in songs lyrical, poignant and honest,” said PBS President Paula A. Kerger. “It is fitting that we have two of America’s master storytellers, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, tell the story on film of an art form that for generations has told America’s story in song.”

The documentary will follow the rise of bluegrass music with Bill Monroe and note how one of country music’s offspring – rockabilly – mutated into rock and roll in Memphis. It will show how Nashville slowly became not just the mecca of country music, but “Music City USA.” All the while, it will highlight the constant tug of war between the desire to make country music as mainstream as possible and the periodic reflexes to take it back to its roots.

That;s the part that will be interesting to me, how Burns handles the splinter threads of the genre. The aforementioned Bluegrass The Outlaws, Bakersfield and, as Steve Earle helped shepherd and deemed, “Great Credibility Scare of the Mid-1980s.”

Americana Music Awards Winners 2013

Shovels and Rope Americana Awards

The Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music, was again a fit setting for the Americana Music Awards, kicking off a week-long Americana Music Conference. A ceremony that the evening’s MC, the incomparable Jim Lauderdale, set the tone by saying “The past matters, traditions matter, even when we explore ways to have those traditions extended and expanded.”

The night’s nominees and performers were on hand to offer proof and testimony of that reflective sentiment.

Charleston SC husband and wife duo Shovels & Rope took home two awards, Emerging Artist of the Year and Song of the Year. At the podium a notably choked-up Cary Ann Hearst said, “All we ever wanted to do was make music the rest of our lives and.…propel ourselves into a normal existence.’

Hearst could have been speaking for all the nominees, presenters and many in attendance this night.

An unannounced Delbert McClinton lead things off with Hank Williams’ classic “Hey, Good Lookin.’” His granddaughter Holly Williams , and daughter Jet Williams, accepted President’s Award for Hank Williams on the day after what would have been Hank’s 90th birthday. Holly said in acceptance , “Hank would be Americana if he was alive today.” She then performed a lovely rendition of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” on the same stage her grandfather stood brining Opry crowds to their feet many years ago.

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell won 2 awards for duo of the year and album of the year for their collaboration on Old Yellow Moon. The veteran performers used their time onstage to congratulate the other nominees, Harris’ ex-husband and longtime producer Brian Ahern, and reminisce about their 40-year friendship.

John Fullbright and Shovels & Rope reminded that there s new generation that is carryon on tradition and shaping it in unexpected and electrifying ways by bring the house down around the capacity.

Jim Lauderdale choked back emotion as he presented the Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting to his mentor, collaborator and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Hunter then played his first public performance in almost a decade by doing the Dead’s classic “Ripple.”

Austin was represented in great form by nominees Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison performing “Border Radio.” Richard Thompson folioed by performing “Good Things Happen To Bad People” from his Buddy Miller produced “Electric.”

The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance to Louisiana’s JuJu master Dr. John. Auerbach recounted Dr. John’s extraordinary, and sometimes dangerous, career trajectory. “Songwriter, bandleader, hustler – the guy who found work for his friends when they needed it – A&R executive, keyboard player, a phenomenal guitarist”. Auerbach added that the John was: “A man whose music transcended race and cultural divides… A man who’s been in the right place at the wrong time and lived to write the songs.”

Auerbach then strapped on a guitar to accompany Dr John for ‘I Walk On Guilded Splinters’ from his 1968 debut album, ‘Gris-Gris’, accompanied by the house band of legendary session musicians, led by Buddy Miller and including Don Was, Larry Campbell, Marco Giovino, John Deaderick, Jim Hoke and the McCrary Sisters.

Emerging artists nominee John. JD McPherson followed this up with a spirited performance of his rockabilly hit “Northside Gal.”

The ABC Nashville television drama overlapped this night as Lennon and Maisy Stella covered The Lumineers “Ho, Hey!” much like they did on an episode the show itself.

Guitar interpretive master Ry Cooder presented Jack Emerson with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive by recounting his many ventures south of the border to chase unique music. Following was Old Crow Medicine Show, who the devious night had been inducted in to the Grand Ole Opry fold. Naturally they played “Wagon Wheel.” Actor Ed Helms presenting Old Crow with the Trailblazer Award in the form of a WW2 era Harmony guitar with the lyrics of “Wagon Wheel” written on it.

Nicki Bluhm and Sam Bush pleasantly surprised the crowd by announcing the 2013 Artist of the Year award for the Dwight Yoakam. In response to an audible disappointment from the audience that Yoakam was on tour and not in attendance.
Sam Bush accepted the award on Dwight’s behalf and that he wore the “tightest pants I have.”

This was followed by a performance from the golk-duo Milk Carton Kids then BBC Radio’s Bob Harris presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Instrumentalist to Duane Eddy who then played his most famous instrumental, “Rebel Rouser.”

The Spirit of Americana Freedom of Speech award went to Stephen Stills, who played the Buffalo Springfield classic 60s anthem “For What It’s Worth” alongside fellow Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay and guilt-slinger Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

Dr. John led the final song, with many of the performers – Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Buddy, Jim, Old Crow’s Ketch Secor, Rosanne Cash, The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, Shovels & Rope, Billy Bragg and Aiofe O’Donovan united to sing Rodney’s “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight.”

Then it was out into the sultry Nashville night to attends various venue showcases where the future Americana Music Award winners would be perfecting their considerable craft for us fortunate enough to be here.

Listen the the Americana Music Awards Winners from the NPR archives.

Americana Music Honors & Awards 2013 Winners:

Album of the Year: “Old Yellow Moon,” Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Artist of the Year: Dwight Yoakam
Duo Group of the Year: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Song of the Year: “Birmingham,” Shovels & Rope
Emerging Artist of the Year: Shovels & Rope
Instrumentalist of the year: Larry Campbell
Trailblazer Award: Old Crow Medicine Show
Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award co-presented by the Americana Music Association and the First Amendment Center: Stephen Stills
Lifetime Achievement for Instrumentalist: Duane Eddy
Lifetime Achievement Award for Executive: Chris Strachwitz
Lifetime Achievement for Performance: Dr. John
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriter: Robert Hunter
President’s Award: Hank Williams

The Most Influential Americana Album: Will the Circle Be Unbroken – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Will-The-Circle-Be-Unbroken

When asked what album best symbolizes the dawn of the Americana genre folks with a long memory, or a deep knowledge of music history, might choose The Band’s “Music from Big Pink.” Bob Dylan’s once touring band released their debut in 1968 to critical-acclaim but poor sales but later historical acclaim.

Others might select the more recent roots music foray into popular consciousness, the soundtrack to “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” The Coen Brother’s Depression-era, satirical ode to Homer’s Odyssey provided the perfect format for singer/songwriter/producer T Bone Burnett to weld his sepia alchemy. Burnett gathered bygone era bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, and folk music and shaped a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning soundtrack that payed more than a backdrop, but played more of a sonic companion to the film/

And then someone might choose any one of Gram Parson’s solo works as well as his work with The Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and International Submarine Band.

All the above are exemplary works of cross-genre efforts that laid the groundwork for this mutt genre we call Americana.

My choice would be Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle be Unbroken.”

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was founded just south of Los Angeles, in Long Beach, California, by singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and singer-songwriter guitarist Bruce Kunke. The two performed together in local bands and neighborhood jam sessions brought guitarist/washtub bassist Ralph Barr, guitarist-clarinetist Les Thompson, harmonicist and jug player Jimmie Fadden and guitarist-vocalist Jackson Browne. After a few months Jackson left for a solo career and was replaced by John McEuen.

After some moderate early career success the band their fourth album, “Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy,”in 1970. The album leaned more on a traditional country and bluegrass sound, and yelled the band’s best-sellng and best-known single, a cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles.”

During a Boulder Colorado jam session, involving none other than Earle Scruggs and his band, the idea was hatched to head to Nashville to record with some of the living legends of country music. Soon after, the scruffy long-haired California band arrived in conservative to Nashville to collaborate on the album later known as “Will the Circle be Unbroken.” With Scruggs help the the band recruited Roy Acuff, Jimmy Martin, Pete “Oswald” Kirby, Norman Blake and Mother Maybelle Carter.

The performances have a feeling of ease and informality , much like the jam sessions that led to their creation. Some of the greatest songs to music history by Hank Williams (“I Saw the Light,” Honky Tonkin’,” “Honky Tonk Blues”) Jimmie Skinner (“You Don’t Know My Mind,”) as well as compositions by the performers themselves and well-known traditionals.

All the tracks on the album was recorded on the first or second take straight to two-track masters.As great as the music is another tape that ran during the sessions captured the colorful, enlightening, and after hilarious, dialog between the performers.

Before breaking into his “The Precious Jewel,” Roy Acuff confides to his accompanying musicians his “Secret of his policy in the studio.” “Whenever you once decide you’re going to record a number put everything you’ve got into it, because..Don’t say “Oh we’ll take it over and do it again.” because every time you go through it you lose a little something….let’s do it the first time and to hell with the rest of them”

The band then goes on to take his advice and nails the rollicking weeper in one take

The band egg each other on. kid around and discuss song arrangements and origins. Then there’s one-of-a-kind moments like the first meeting of folk legend Doc Watson and the equally legendary Merle Travis, after whom Doc Watson’s son, Merle, was named.

The album was nominated for two 1973 Grammy awards including Best Country & Western Vocal Performance – Duo Or Group for the A.P. Carter title song. More importantly it bridged generations across geography, culture and politics and laid the groundwork for the music that reminds us of our shared heritage and nourishes our souls