55th Grammy Awards : John Fullbright – “Gawd Above”

Another Grammy highlight for me was seeing Okemah native John Fullbright perform “Gawd Above” from his Americana Album of the Year nominated “From The Ground Up” at the per-telecast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D6NbD3U1Yi8

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 10 – Chris Knight, Buddy Miller,Jim Lauderdale, John Fullbright, Gurf Morlix

podcastEpisode #10 (alright double digits!) of Twang Nation Podcast pulls from my first 10 of a list of 21, Cream of the Crop selections from 2012. It’s been a great year for Americana and roots music. T Bone Burnett has done a fine job of sliding roots artists like Lindi Ortega and Shovels and Rope within a Music Row soap opera with ABC’s Nashville. The Americana Music Association continues to burnish the brand and their conference and wards show set attendance and submission records. Even that bastion of Music Row glitz, CMT, saw crossover potential and launched CMT Edge which has featured artists like Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle.

2013 shows no signs of slowing down with upcoming releases from Kris Kristofferson, Dale Watson as well as joint releases from Kelly Willis and her hubby Bruce Robison and Emmylou Harris and ex Hot Band member and legendary songwriter Rodney Crowell.

As the Americana music culture and industry grows and becomes more of a mainstream staple, with bands like Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers leading the way, I applaud the advantages and the opportunities for musicians and we who cover them. As I’ve said, I want the performers I cover to get more prestigious gigs, better recording facilities, more gear and to leave their touring vans behind and be bale to afford the relative comfort of a touring bus. I don’t believe musicians should suffer for tier craft (much!) Here’s to mutually rising boats.

In the new year I resolve to do my best not to follow the hyped path most traveled and do what I’ve always done, follow my heart and my ear to places more interesting and authentic for the love of music. I hope you come with me in and enjoy what I discover.

Thanks you for reading the site, following on twiiter , Facebook, Google+ and my work over at Grammy.com.

Happy holidays and a safe and happy New year to you all.

Opening Song – “Mr. D.J” – by Dale Watson
1.Chris Knight– song:”Little Victories”- Album: “Little Victories” (Drifter’s Church Productions)
2.Malcolm Holcolmbe – song: “Gone Away at Last”- Album: “Down the River” (GypsyeyesMusic – out now )
3.Darrell Scott – Song: Hopskinville – Album: Long Ride Home (Full Light Records)
4.Corb Lund – song: Gettin’ Down on the Mountain Album: Cabin Fever (New West Records)
5. Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale That’s Not Even Why I Love You. – Album: Buddy and Jim (New West Records)
6.Iris DeMent – song:Sing The Delta- Album:Sing The Delta (Flariella Records)
7.Dwight Yoakam – song:A Heart Like Mine- Album:3 Pears (Warner Bros. Records)
8.Turnpike Troubadours Song: Gin, Smoke and Lies- Album:Goodbye Normal Street (Bossier City Records)
9.John Fullbright song:Satan and St. Paul- Album:From The Ground Up (Bossier City Records)
10. Shovels & Rope– song:Fire On The Hill- Album:O’ Be Joyful (Dualtone Records)
11. Gurf Morlix – song:Present Tense- Album: Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense – Out March 5, 2013)
12.Robert Earl Keen– song:Merry Christmas from the Family- Album: Gringo Honeymoon

Cream of the Crop – Twang Nation Top Americana and Roots Music Picks of 2012

TNtoppicks2012It seems like I say it every year – so here goes, another bumper year for Americana releases blah blah. but it’s true!
I’ve been sitting on a list of about 50 releases all of which could easily be included in a top 10 list of the best of 2012
until the last final minute of the deadline i set for myself to keep from crapping up my holidays. i had to make a stand.
Here it is.

I finally threw the arbitrary “Top 10” structure out the window and doubled down and made it a top 20 21. The selections are lasted in arbitrary order and are not most best to least best. They all stand on their own as some of this year’s. or any year’s, finest examples of songwriting and performance excellence.

A quick word on the exclusion of mainstream heavyweights like Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers and their upstart competitors the Lumineers didn’t make the cut. Cards on the table, for all my rooting for mainstream acceptance of the genre I’m still a music snob. Like most other genres, I genuinely think that once a person mines the Americana field below the mainstream examples that is where they will discover the real riches lie. This is my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

Here’s a a happy, healthy and twangny 2013! thanks to all of you for reading, following,commenting. And to all the great musicians that reward us every day with riches that I personally am unworthy of.

Chris Knight – Little Victories
Malcolm Holcombe – Down the River
Darrell Scott – Long Ride Home
Corb Lund – Cabin Fever
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale – Buddy and Jim
Iris Dement – Sing The Delta
Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears
Turnpike Troubadours – Goodbye Normal Street
John Fullbright – From the Ground Up
Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful
The White Buffalo – Once Upon a Time in the West
Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Going to Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
The Trishas – High Wide & Handsome
Gretchen peters – Hello Cruel World
Lindi Ortega – Cigarettes & Truckstops
Patterson Hood – Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance
Chelle Rose – Ghost of Browder Holler
Derek Hoke – Waiting All Night
Shooter Jennings – Family Man
BlackBerry Smoke – The Whippoorwill
Nick Cave / The Bootleggers / Warren Ellis – Lawless (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees – Americana, Country and Related Categories

This year’s National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) 55th Annual Grammy Awards nominees reflect the rich and diverse community of talent that celebrates some of the genres finest old and new. From a CBS prime-time nominations concert LL Cool J and co-host Taylor Swift.

Some history – Nashville hosted the Official Grammy awards in 1973, but this marks only the fist time The Grammys have held the nomination event outside of L.A. This fortuitous event for Music City resulted from a scheduling conflict with the event usual home at the Staples Center but the city rose to the occasion and showed the performers and attendees a great time. Of course I would have preferred to have people from the lists below perform of national televised show but I’m biased by design.

As in recent years social media was a major conduit for the event. Music City was abuzz on mobile phones, computers ad tablets during the hour-long broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (Go Predators!) . Nearly 12,000 posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites mentioned the word “Nashville” in connection with the Grammy nominations

Aside from the usual categories of Americana, Folk and Bluegrass roots music made an impressive showing for the coveted Album Of The Year , which includes a nomination for Mumford & Sons’ sophomore outing Babel, and Best New Artist with Alabama Shakes and the Lumineers.

I got 2 out of 7 of my predictions right for the Best Americana Album category with The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons. The pleasant surprise in this category is John Fullbright who I’m willing to say here I’m pulling for. The legendary Bonnie Raitt is nominated in this category and I’ll also go on record as saying Bonnie has secured her legendary status in Blues and Rock. When there are performers from the community like Justin Townes Earle and Corb Lund have new albums out why poach legends from other genres.

Classic country was also celebrated with Nashville Western swing ensemble the Time Jumpers being nominated for two GRAMMYs for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “On The Outskirts Of Town” and Best Country Album for their latest self-titled release. Best Country Album also has another surprise with Jamey Johnson being nominated for his tribute covers album “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.” The “Gentle Giant” Don Williams is nominated for his duet with the woman that hold the record for the most Grammys by a female artists (27!), Alison Krauss for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with “I Just Come Here for the Music”

Here’s the full list of Americana and associated categories for the 55th Grammy Awards. The Awards will be presented on Feb. 10, 2013. Most of these will be presented in the pre-telecast ceremony before the televised portion that evening on CBS. To find ot the winners follow me on Twitter and watch live streaming at Grammy.com.

Best Americana Album
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
John Fullbright – From the Ground Up
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream

Best Bluegrass Album
Dailey & Vincent – The Gospel Side Of
The Grascals – Life Finds a Way
Noam Pikelny – Beat the Devil & Carry a Rail
Special Consensus – Scratch Gravel Road
Steep Canyon Rangers – Nobody Knows You

Best Country Album
Zac Brown Band – Uncaged
Hunter Hayes – Self-titled
Jamey Johnson – Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran
Miranda Lambert – Four the Record
The Time Jumpers – Self-titled

Best Folk Album
Carolina Chocolate Drops – Leaving Eden
Ry Cooder – Election Special
Luther Dickinson – Hambone’s Meditations
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile – The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Various – This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark

Americana and Roots artists on other categories:

– Mumford & Sons – Album of the Year for Babel, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “I Will Wait”, Best Long-form Music Video for “Big Easy Express” from the Railroad Revival Tour with Old Crow Medicine Show , Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Markus Dravs nominated for Producer of the Year for Babel.”
– Alabama Shakes – Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance for “Hold On”, Best Recording Package for Boys and Girls
– The Lumineers – Best New Artist-
– Bruce Springsteen – Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Album for Wrecking Ball & Best Rock Song for “We Take Care of Our Own”
– The Goat Rodeo Sessions featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile – for Best Folk Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
– Don Williams (feat. Alison Krauss) – Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “I Just Come Here for the Music”
– Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars – Best Country Duo/Group Performance & Best Song Written for Visual Media for “Safe and Sound”
– Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection – Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, Best Historical Album
– Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music: 34 Historic Songs, Ballads, And Instrumentals Recorded In The Great Smoky Mountains By “Song Catcher” Joseph S. Hall – Best Historical Album
– Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire – Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

5 Artists I’d Like to Hear On ABC’s Nashville

As I’ve said,  I believe Nashville ,  ABC’S new evening soap opera , has the potential to be a great vehicle to introduce great Americana and roots artists to a much wider audience of music lovers. After watching the first two episodes I think T Bone Burnett has done a great job of dropping excellent artists like Shovels & Rope and Lindi Ortega into key scenes in the show. If the show can  catch the attention of a large enough audience I predict great things.

I’d love to be a music consultant, so until some Hollywood big-wig rings me up here’s my shot at it. Here’s  5 under the radar artists whose music I’d personally like to see on Nashville. Some have a great country music spirit to echo the golden age, some are spiked with a current sound to drive their sound into the present day. Some have both.

Like any list this one is incolete. Please leave your choices and thought in the comments section. Appreciate you!

I defy you to find a current musician with more soul that Austin Lucas.

Whitey Morgan is pure outlaw, y’all.

Lera Lynne has a little Loretta and a little Bobbie Genrty

John Fullbright is one of the best and purist songwriters I’ve seen in some time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo93cE0U_T0

Jason Eady is the current embodiment classic country and great songwriting.

Americana Music Conference Video Round-Up

I’ve starting posting the few videos from the 2012 Americana Music Conference showcases and it’s awards event at the Twang Nation Twitter and Facebook  accounts. Here is a round up of the ones I’ve found so far. Look for more as I find them. Now take some time to run through all these fine performances and tell me this isn’t the greatest music on the planet.

Zoe Muth: “If I Can’t Trust You with a Quarter”

The Black Lillies “Goodbye Charlie”

Lee Ann Womack & Buddy Miller: “Out on the Weekend” (Neil Young cover)

Lera Lynn: “Ring of Fire” (Johnny Cash cover)

Billy Joe Shaver: “The Git Go”

Mandolin Orange: “Waltz About Whiskey”

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit : “Alabama Pines”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHHFPx195eA

Justin Townes Earle: “Look The Other Way”

Guy Clark, Shawn Camp & Verlon Thompson” “My Favorite Picture of You”

Lee Ann Womack, Peter Cooper & Tom T. Hall : “I Love”

Elizabeth Cook with Bones Hillman and Tim Carroll, along with Dottie Peoples and John Fullbright, – Thirty Tigers’ Gospel Brunch at The Station Inn

Bonnie Raitt & John Hiatt: “Thing Called Love”

Americana Honors & Award Show Tribute to Levon Helm: “The Weight

Americana Music Conference & Festival Picks

Below you’ll find my picks for the 2012 Americana Music Conference showcases. This was one of the the toughest  years to winnow down the performances I’m going to attend. And I still did a poor job! There is too many great acts playing at the same time. Such an embarrassment of riches!

But there is hope! Unlike the misery of traversing the stages at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass where you’re lucky to catch parts of shows at more than one stage, and or even to make it alive in some cases, the Americana Festival has buses to get us to the venues.

Of course I can’t make all the shows unless am able top perfect that time bending and beer making contraption I’ve been working on (SOON!) but you van catch any of these performances and not go wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 11

The 5 Spot
$2 TUESDAYS /Twang Nation Social Club –  Hosted by Derek Hoke : feat.Melody WalkerAlanna ,
Royale Joshua Black Wilkins, Marsha & The Martians (Angel Snow & Robby Hecht) Late Night with Los Colones9pm
$2 cover/$2 Yazoo pints #UnofficialAMA

Mercy Lounge
Somebody’s Darling w/ Buffalo Clover – The High Watt #UnofficialAMA
The Billy Block Show featuring Yo Ma Ma, Erica Nicole, Chelle Rose, Allie Farris, Caroline Rose and The Cumberland Collective  #UnofficialAMA

Two Old Hippies 401 12th Ave. South
The Alternate Root Presents a Pre-AMA Triple-Play of Music with Amelia White, Julie Christensen and Tommy  Womack & The Rush To Judgment #UnofficialAMA
Showtime: 6:00-8:00 pm
No Cover ~ Special Treats
615-254-7999

Wednesday, September 12

Puckett’sGrocery, 5th & Church

5pm & 7pm Allen Thompson Band CD Release Party,
Dinner & show before the AMA Awards at 5 . Later show 7 #UnofficialAMA

The Basement
11:00 Blue Mountain
12:00 Shovels and Rope

The Station Inn
11:30 Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

The Rutledge
10:00 Gretchen Peters
12:00 Delta Rae

Mercy Lounge
10:00 Corb Lund
11:00 This Wheel’s On Fire: A Tribute to Levon Helm

The High Watt
10:30 Whitehorse

Cannery Ballroom
10:00 Star Anna
Thursday, September 13

The Basement
8:00 Lydia Loveless
9:00 Angel Snow
10:00 Sons of Fathers
11:00 The Deep Dark Woods
12:00 Black Lillies

The Station Inn
10:00 Mary Gauthier
11:00 Richard Thompson

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Turnpike Troubadours
9:00 Billy Joe Shaver
10:00 Steve Forbert
11:00 John Fullbright
12:00 Jason Boland & The Stragglers

The High Watt
10:30 Eilen Jewell
11:30 Julie Lee
Cannery Ballroom
8:00 Blue Highway
9:00 Sara Watkins
10:00 Paul Thorn
11:00 Punch Brothers (with a Sara Watkins cameo?)

Friday, September 14

Sheraton Hotel lobby – 623 Union St.
Wanda Jackson
12:30-1:10pm

Amy Black,  Susan Cattaneo, Rose Cousins and Rod Picott
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

The Basement
9:00 American Aquarium
11:00 Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys

The Station Inn
8:00 Red June
9:00 Della Mae
10:00 McCrary Sisters
11:00 Steep Canyon Rangers
12:00 Humming House

The Rutledge
8:00 Mandolin Orange
9:00 Mindy Smith
11:00 Belle Starr

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition
9:00 Holy Ghost Tent Revival
10:00 Dylan LeBlanc
11:00 Darrell Scott
12:00 Reckless Kelly

The High Watt
9:30 Two Gallants

Cannery Ballroom
9:00  Amanda Shires
10:00 Robert Ellis
11:00 John Hiatt

Saturday, September 15

The Basement
9:00 Chastity Brown
11:00 The Pines
12:00 Chris Scruggs

The Station Inn
8:00 Brennen Leigh
9:00 Phoebe Hunt
10:00 Marvin Etzioni
11:00 Rodney Crowell

The Rutledge
8:00 Felicity Urquhart
9:00 The Wood Brothers
10:00 Kevin Gordon
12:00 The Trishas

Mercy Lounge
8:00 Lera Lynn
9:00 honeyhoney
10:00 Tift Merritt
11:00 Buddy Miller & Lee Ann Womack

The High Watt
8:00 Jill Andrews
9:00 Derek Hoke

Americana Music Festival Announces Confirmed First-Round Performers

Though we might not always see eye to eye the Americana Music Association know how to put on a party. The Americana Music Festival & Conference is annually held in Nashville and this year will mark it’s This 13th year. Each year it occurs in Fall and this year it will run September 12-15. The event has loads of the best Americana music, media and industry people you could ever care to meet. All that and somehow they keep letting me back in!

The AMA has just released an early list of performers a slated to appear. They are:

American Aquarium – Amy Helm – Andrew Combs – Angel Snow – Anthony da Costa – Bearfoot – Belle Starr – Bill Kirchen – Billy Joe Shaver – Black Lillies – Blue Highway – Blue Mountain – BoDeans – Brandi Carlile – Brennen Leigh – Buddy Miller – Buxton – Caitlin Harnett – Chastity Brown – Corb Lund – Cory Branan – Darrell Scott – The Deep Dark Woods – Della Mae – Derek Hoke – The Dunwells – Eilen Jewell – Felicity Urquhart – Fort Frances – Gretchen Peters – Holy Ghost Tent Revival – honeyhoney – Humming House – Immigrant Union – Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Jill Andrews – Jim Lauderdale – Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition – John Fullbright – John Hiatt – Jordie Lane – Julie Lee – Kasey Anderson and the Honkies – Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Kevin Gordon – Lera Lynn – Lydia Loveless – Mandolin Orange – Mary Gauthier – The Mastersons – Max Gomez – McCrary Sisters – Mindy Smith – Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers – Phoebe Hunt – Punch Brothers – Reckless Kelly – Richard Thompson – Robert Ellis – Rodney Crowell – Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Sara Watkins – Shovels & Rope – Sons of Bill – Sons of Fathers – Star and Micey – Starr Anna – Steep Canyon Rangers – Steve Forbert – Teresa Williams and Larry Campbell – Tift Merritt – Turnpike Troubadours – Two Gallants – Wheeler Brothers – Whitehorse – The Wood Brothers – The World Famous Headliners

Be sure to keep your eye on the Americana Music Association official site for more additions and information.

See you there (and bring $, beers are on you!)