First Ever No Depression Festival Lineup Announcement

The news of No Depression’s death have been  greatly exaggerated. In the wake of their widely successful community website the purveyors of all things Americana/roots/ will hold the first ever (that’s hard to believe) all-day festival Featuring Patterson Hood & The Screwtopians, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Justin Townes Earle, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Seattle Roots-Music All-Star Revue, and Zee Avi. The festivities take place Saturday, July 11 at Marymoor Park, Redmond, WA.

Tickets, $45.00 (not including applicable fees), are on sale Friday, May 15th at noon at all Ticketmaster outlets.

No Depression Debuts First Live Chat with Justin Townes Earle

If your part of the No Depression community (and if you’re not and your at this site more that 5 minutes then you ought to be) then you know that chat function on the bottom panel if the online equivalent of Siberia. Well no more friends.

On May 17th (2pm Pacific) that all changes as No Depression hosts its  first live chat with Justin Townes Earle. So tune in and dial up and make the first ND chat session a great one.

Justin Townes Earle and Jason Isbell hit the Bay Area Tonight

If your in the Bay Aarea tonight and are hankering for some riughtous roots flaovored honky-tonk and Southern rock (wheew!) head over to the The Independent tonight in San Franciscoto see Justin Townes Earle opening for ex-Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit.  Personally I think the bill should be reversed, but that’s me…

Justin Townes Earle – Mama’s Eyes – Live at SxSW 2009


Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Soldiers Get Strange



It’s been a long time since I was able to attend the coveted, and now convoluted, South-By-Southwest music festival and conference amnd this year is no exception. But in the nature of bloggy goodwill I will try and list all the Americana-Roots events I have come across. Please feel free to add any I might have missed.

Joe Pug is pretty damn cool. His schedule is:

3/18   SXSW–Stimulus Package Day Party @ Paradise – 3:00pm  (401 E. 6th at Trinity upstairs Free/Public)
3/18   SXSW Official Showcase – 10:30pm Victorian Room at the Driskell Hotel
3/19   SXSW–Schubas Roundup @ Yard Dog Gallery – 12:40pm (1501 S. Congress Free/Public)
3/19   SXSW–Thru Windows Party @ Fado –  11:00pm (214 W. 4th Free/Public)
3/20   SXSW–Bring Down the House Show  – 5:45pm  (Free–email day of  show for address
3/21   SXSW–Reggie’s/Unscene Party @ The Jackalope – 3:45pm and 4:40pm (Free/Public 404 E. 6th at Trinity)

3/18  – Joe Ely’s playing Momo’s

3/19 Aquarium Drunkard and My Old Kentucky Blog’s “Vaya Con Tacos” party featuring Roadside Graves, Those Darlins, The Rosebuds and many more.

Also 3/19  the Yep Roc at the Continental Club is offering one of the best showcases with Dave Alvin, The Iguanas, The Gourds, Giant Sand and BeauSoleil.

3/20 The always lovely Bloodshot Records day party at Yard Dog art gallery (1510 S Congress) – starts at the crack of noon
No invite or badge required!
12:15 Walter Salas-Humara / I’m Not Jim
12:45 Andre Williams
1:15 Charlie Pickett
1:45 Dex Romweber Duo
2:15 Ha Ha Tonka
2:45 Exene Cervenka
3:30 Deadstring Brothers
4:15 The Meat Purveyors
4:45 Justin Townes Earle
5:15 Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
5:45 Waco Brothers w/ Rosie Flores


Bloodshot Records SXSW showcase
Red Eyed Fly (715 Red River by 7th Street)
Saturday, March 21
8p Exene Cervenka
9p Deadstring Brothers
10p Ha Ha Tonka
11p Dex Romweber Duo
Mid Justin Townes Earle
1am Waco Brothers

Hoist a shiner and some BBQ or a taco and enjoy the fine music and hospitality Austin offers.

“Sweet Dreams” Celibrates Patsy Cline

  • Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Ray Price will visit Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum this Saturday, March 7. The velvet voiced balladeer is leaving his Texas home to share personal recollections of his close friend and mentor, Hank Williams, as part of an intimate interview that will get under way at 1:30 p.m. in the museum’s 213-seat Ford Theater.
  • Speaking of Nashville, Justin Townes Earle stopped by Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music on Thursday (Feb. 26) to preview songs from his sophomore release Midnight at the Movies which was released Tuesday (March 3.)  Check out cuts from Midnight at the Movies on Justin Townes Earle’s MySpace page.
  • Washington State female artists  Rachel Flotard, Kim Virant, Star Anna, Kristen Ward and Victoria Wimer Contreras will pay tribute to Patsy Cline with a “Sweet Dreams” concert at Seattle’s  Columbia City Theater tonight on this 46th anniversary of her death. “Sweet Dreams” concert at 8 p.m. tonight at the Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S. (Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 at Information: 206-723-0088 and legendary Nashville print shop, Hatch Show Prints, that made original concert posters for Cline, Johnny Cash and others, has created a poster for the show using the original block from a poster made for Cline’s 1973 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Copies, available at the concert, are $10 each.

Patsy Cline – Walkin’ After Midnight


Justin Townes Earle Needs Your Van

  • The New York Time magazine Domains section has a sprawling Q&A with Lucinda Williams ranging from her favorite cover of one of her songs, misconceptions about songwriting, fictional character she identifies with and her worst day job she ever held downand much more.
  • Paste magazine posts that Justin Townes Earle needs a replacement for his touring van which broke down two days prior his sophomore album, Midnight at the Movies, was released.  If you own a car lot or have a new van or large SUV for sale contact Justin’s manager at: As of yet, no dates have been canceled.
  • posted a 20 questions with former Mavericks frontman Raul Malo. The questions cover Star Trek or Star Wars? and The fictional character most like you? (didn’t we do that above already with Lucinda?!) The offers an interview with Malo that goes into far more depth and covers a lot more interesting ground. Mal’s first release of new original material in seven years, Lucky One will be release tomorrow, 3 March on Fantasy records.

Folksinger Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour

I’ve just  ran across the web site for “folksinger Michael Johnathon’s WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour” which bills itself as a “multi-media celebration of grassroots, Americana music” and “airs on 491 radio stations worldwide, XM Satellite Radio, online and on public television stations across the nation.” Cool! That said the site does offer some great audio archives featuring the likes of artists loke Chris Knight, The Grascals, The Del McCoury Band, James McMurtry, Justin Townes Earle, Kathy Mattea, Cadillac Sky, BR549 and Elizabeth Cook. Great stuff!

The Best of 2008 (For Reals)

Propaganda has been honed to a fine art in the last half century. Americans have been convinced to fight wars, hand over civil and employee rights and consume ever crappier beer, food and, alas, music.

Mainstream Country Music is one of the few genres in the 21st century that tolerates no real deviation from certified Music Row and mainstream radio product. Sure there are exceptions, the Outlaw Movement cooped a largely ignored youth movement, Garth tweaked the business model and stage production and Big and Rich and their “MuzikMafia” was a painfully lame attempt to emulate Hip Hop’s concept of crews. But when it comes to altering the DNA of the music the image driven slickness and paint-by-numers narritives seem as tightly mandated as the McDonald’s Big Mac cooking process. If you don’t fit the hat act mold you are cast into the slums of Americana, folk, roots, or, if the sins were severe enough, rock!

Into this unyielding environment stepped artists that discovered that Cash, Willie and Hank were speaking to them in ways larger then the flavor of the week bands being crammed down their throats. That’s where the wild hillbilly muse dances. That way real beauty and art lay waiting.

Americana/roots/ is attracting new talent that bravely straddles the cultural divide between trad sepia-toned country circa Jimmie Rogers and Carter Family and the current attitudes, sounds and stories of our times. New artists like O’Death, The Felice Bothers, Justin Townes Earle and Star Anna and road-tested warriors like Dale Watson, Eleven Hundred Springs and Tom Russell have Inject new blood, whiskey and adrenaline into a largely lifeless form of music that refuses to be embalmed.

And then there are the genre-crossing big-wigs like  Elvis Costello, Ray Davies, Chrissie Hynde and Robert Plant (who is currently nominated for 6 grammys and forgoing a Led Zeppelin reunion to continue Raising Sand with Bluegrass chanteuse Alison Krauss) that are moving toward a the wildser lands attracted by its proclivity for authenticity and celebration of  experimentation. The only sin is mediocrity, the only transgression is bovine conformity.

There’s no reward for compiling a “best of” list. People will quibble with the selections, the order of said selections will displease many and whether the writer is at all qualified to compile such as list will be questioned. Ridicule and contempt is sure to follow.

I do this to celebrate those that are willing to look past the wanna-be-celebrity choked road paved with pyrite. The Great Ones bent Nashville to their ways or took refuge in other regions far from the industry, Bakersfield California,  Austin Texas, to ply their wares. The Music Row road is not an easy one, it’s just crowded with sheep and the destination is less interesting.

Here’s to the on’ry, ragged, dusty dreamers.


10) Hank Williams III – “Damn Right, Rebel Proud” (Sidewalk Records) -The man with a country music royalty pedigree, and an arguable entitlement to the moniker “Man In Blacker,” burns the middle-of-the-road with another custom hot-rod release. Amazon | MySpace | Official Site

9) Jamey Johnson – “That Lonesome Song” (Mercury Nashville) –  Jamey Johnson does more than redeem himself for helping to pen Trace Adkins maga-seller Honky Tonk Badonkadonk with this brilliant release born of hard living and a love of Waylon Jennings and George Jones.  Amazon | MySpace | Official Site

8)  Sara Cahoone – “Only As The Day Is Long” (Sub-Pop) – Former rock drummer Cahoone has created a melancholy-shoegaze-Americana masterpiece with her rainy-day ready debut release.  Amazon | MySpace | Sub-Pop

7)  Star Anna – “Crooked Path” (Malamute Records) –  On this smoldering debut of Americana-noir Ellensburg, Washington’s Star Anna Krogstie proves she can hold her own with Lucinda Williams and Neko Case. Her voice seems to be the shear definition of longing and heartache.  AmazonMySpace | Official Site

6) Hang Jones – “The Ballad of Carlsbad County” (Self Released) – Hang Jones is the alias for Stephen Grillos and his concept album, set in 1887 New Mexico, takes the typical elements – lust, jealousy, whiskey, gunpowder and blood – and works his gritty magic to deliver a great album.  AmazonMySpace | Official Site

5) Luke Powers – “Texasee” (Phoebe Claire) – Powers stated in an interview that Texasee is a study of a mythical place that lies between Nashville and Austin and is done in a style reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah. Sign me up! Writers in the Western genre celebrate a few that are seen as more “literary.”  Powers like Tom Russell, James McMurty, John Prine and Joe Ely, occupies the mirror space in music.  CD Baby | MySpace | Pheobe Claire Site

4) Felice Brothers (Team Love) -From from the Catskill Mountains to the subways of New York city these actual brothers (and a bass player named Christmas) channel the Basement Tapes and spin  magnificently dark tales of desperation and violence. Amazon | MySpace | Official Site

3) O’Death –  “Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin” (Kemado) – New York’s O’Death is a concoction of parts that if mixed any other way would result into a noxious mess.  Appalachian Mountain music,  Gypsy music, Gothic punk, funk and metal, it all just shouldn’t play nice together. On Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin the sounds meld magnificently in a dark and volatile masterpiece.  Amazon | MySpace | Official Site

2) Justin Townes Earle – “The Good Life”  (Bloodshot) -Before technology allowed us to cheat, musicians were the source of musical synthesis, or what is referred to by the hipsters today as mash-ups. Justin Townes Earle harkens back to these aural alchemists and has created a potent blend of 19th century folk, country swing and hillbilly boogie. Overcoming his Daddy’s long musical shadow (and his inclination towards illicit substances) Justin Townes Earle’s first full length release rejoices in heritage while transcending its creators youth.  Amazon | MySpace | Bloodshot Records

1) Eleven Hundred Springs – “Country Jam” (Palo Duro Records) – If you want a crash course in the best Texas country music over the last half-century the 2008 release from Dallas’ ESL would be a great place to start. From the hillbilly poetry of Mickey Newbury and Joe Ely to the Western Swing of Bob Wills to the pop and rock of  Doug Sahm and Buddy Holly all the influences are there.  And though the sounds are reflective of the Texas greats  ESL makes it distinctly their own on this superior homage to the Lone Star State. Amazon | MySpace | Official Site

Honorable Mention:

Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creations Dark
The Whipsaws – 60 Watt Avenue
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Cipher
Caitlin Rose –  Dead Flowers
The Power of County  – See You In Rock and Roll Heaven
Lucinda Williams – Little Honey
Kathy Mattea – Coal
The Wildes – Ballad of a Young Married Man
Hayes Carll – Trouble In Mind
Joey + Rory – The Life Of A Song
Kasey Chambers and Shane – Rattlin’ Bones
Ashton Shepherd – Sounds So Good
The Steeldrivers – Self-Titled
Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels

Justin Townes Earle Readies ’09 Release reports that Bloodshot Records recording artists, and son to Steve Earle and namesake of Townes Van Zant, Justin Townes Earle, will be releasing a follow up to the excellent Bloodshot debut The Good Life. The new disc is called Midnight at the Movies, and is due out in March of ’09.

If you’re in Texas get yer ass out and see one of the best bar bands in America , The Supersuckers.

Nov 14 2008 – Jacks Patio Bar  –   San Antonio, Texas
Nov 17 2008  – Vortex  –   Beaumont, Texas
Nov 18 2008   – Continental Club  –   Houston, Texas
Nov 19 2008  –  Continental Club   –  Houston, Texas
Nov 20 2008   – Lakewood Bar and Grill  –   Dallas, Texas
Nov 21 2008   –  Scoot Inn  –   Austin, Texas

If you’re in my neck of the woods, San Francisco, CA. get yer ass out and see the one and only Texas Yoda, Willie Nelson at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium. Willie plays Friday, Jan 16,  Saturday, Jan 17, PM Sunday, Jan 18, Monday, Jan 19, and Tuesday, Jan 20. Must be all that good medical marijuana here in town.

Bloodshot Records CMJ Showcase

If you’re in the New York City area for the CMJ be sure to head out to Union Pool in Brooklyn next week for the Bloodshot Records showcase. No invites or badges needed, but you will need a ticket. $8 advance / $10 door, free w/CMJ badge – come early for FREE beer & tacos – Sponsored by Blurt Online & Oskar Blues Brewery.

Saturday Afternoon, October 25
Union Pool – 484 Union Ave. at Lorimer in Brooklyn
12:30 doors
1:00 – 1:40: Dexter Romweber Duo
1:50 – 2:30: I’m Not Jim
2:40 – 3:20: Ben Weaver
3:30 – 4:10: Ha Ha Tonka
4:20 – 5:00: Cordero
5:10 – 5:50: Charlie Pickett
6:00 – 6:40: Justin Townes Earle