Americana Music Association Hold Auction

The Americana Music Association are auctioning significant memorabilia items and ticket offers. All proceeds will support the not for profit association’s annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, which takes place in Nashville from September 16th – 19th, 2009. Some of the things up for sales are a Jason & The Scorchers 20 Year Birthday Celebration Autographed Hatch show print and tickets to Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt in the city of your choice.

South Florida’s Metromix recounts Alejandro Escovedo’s 30-plus years long career and his brush with death in 2003 as a result of contacting hepatitis C. Escovedo also discusses how living in Aaustin helps shape his eclectic musical style: “The bulk of my material is influenced by living in the Southwest,” he says. “There are spaces here I love very much. It’s a wonderful place to meditate on all sorts of subjects and things. And music from Texas always influenced me: Joe Ely, Ornette Coleman, Junior Walker, Arnett Cobb, Lightnin’ Hopkins. And then, you’ve got people like Roky Erickson and the Butthole Surfers. It’s an amazing place musically. It lends itself to imagination. You can get lost in the dreamlike quality of it.”Escovedo is currently on tour.

The Los Angeles Chronicle has a nice post on country music legend Kitty Wells‘ influence on women’s careers  in country music, her singles and career as a refection of women in domestic relationships of post-WWII America and how Roy Acuff believed how having a woman headline a live showcase was “financial suicide. ” Wells  is currently enjoying a retrospective at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum entitled “Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music, Presented by Great American Country Television Network,” which remains open until June 14, 2009

John Rich, Badass?

  • It seems that it’s New York Times day at Ranch Twang; the paper features a nice write up on legendary singer/songwriter John Hiatt whom they talked to just before he shared the stage with Lyle Lovett in Greenville, South Carolina.
  • Is McCain supporter John Rich, the shorter, and more homophobic half of Country Music comedy duo Big and Rich, a badass? Maybe. TMZ (THE source of celebrity trash) reports that Rich “hit a guy in the face shortly after 4 a.m. Friday (Oct. 17) at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, Calif. The guy was Jerry Montano, who previously played bass in the metal band Danzig and, more recently, with another metal band, Hellyeah. According to the TMZ report, some sort of disagreement led to Rich allegedly hitting Montano in the nose with a beer bottle.” Wow. If only Rich’s compositions lived up to his off stage hell raising antics.I wonder if he messed up his big fur coat?
  • Men’s Health magazine seems to think that country music is one of the “13 Things a Man Should Never Fear.” Really? The magazine says of country music”Your snobbery betrays ignorance. Some of the greatest songs in the North American canon have come out of this genre. Also, if you think you have problems, just listen to some Merle Haggard. You’ll feel a lot better.” and lists it with hot tea, yoga and allowing the lady in your life to drive. Wierd. It’s like they meant to put John Mayer or James Blunt and ended up putting in Merle Haggard. So ‘cmon guys kick back in your aromotherapy bath with that cup of Darjeeling (spiked with whiskey, natch) and crank on Mama Tried.

Americana Update

When Bob Lefsetz, of the online music industry screed the Lefsetz Letter, writes about you positively you’re
probably doing something really cool. This is just what he has done after listening to the Americana Music Awards on XM Radio while driving in his home town of Los Angeles. I was in attendance at the Nashville’s Historic Ryman Auditorium and though his angel was on Robert Plant;s involvement with the Americana movement his point is an importmnat one, it’s about something all but lost in today’s culture, authenticity.

Sitting in the Ryman is to a country music fan as close to a secular sense of the divine there is to be had. Add a live performances by Ryan Bingham and Joe Ely (together with band leader Buddy Miller), an appearance by Alison Krauss, Robert Plant, Levon Helm, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, James McMurtry and John Hiatt and you’ve achieved, in my opinion, musical nirvana.

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant took top honors with Album of the Year with Raising Sand. The Band’s drummer/singer,now solo artist, Levon Helm won Artist of the Year. The award was presented by Billy Bob Thorton, who was on hand to promote his Americana/Country band The Boxmasters and thier new self-titled release. I caught Billy Bob and the Boxmasters at at the Cannery last night and was surpirised at how well done the music was and how fully invested he is in this musical endevor. Billy Bob also eaned my repect when he invited Charlie Louvin on stage for al acapella duet of the old Louvin Brothers murder ballad “KnoxvIlle Girl.”

A quick shout out to some of my fellow bloggers I caught up with –  Larry Karnowski at Hickory Wind, Greg Geil at AmericanaRoots.com, Justin Gage at Aquarium Drunkard.com and Dodge at My Old Kentucky Blog.com.

Here’s a list of the winners from the awards show …

Album of the Year: Raising Sand, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Artist of the Year: Levon Helm
Duo/Group of the Year: Alison Krauss and Robert Plant
Instrumentalist of the Year: Buddy Miller
New Emerging Artist of the Year: Mike Farris
Song of the Year: “She Left Me for Jesus,” Hayes Carll and Brian Keane (songwriters)

Awards were also given, including …

Spirit of Americana Free Speech in Music: Joan Baez
Lifetime Achievement (Songwriting): John Hiatt
Jack Emerson Lifetime Achievement (Executive): Terry Lickona
Lifetime Achievement (Performance): Jason & The Scorchers
Lifetime Achievement (Instrumentalist): Larry Campbell
Trailblazer Award: Nanci Griffith
Lifetime Achievement (Producer/Engineer): Tony Brown

Billy Bob Thorton and Charlie Louvin – Knoxville Girl

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Af1DwHeV_c[/youtube]