News Round-Up: Robert Earl Keen Is Ready For Confetti

  • On August 30th, Lost Highway will release Ready For Confetti, the new, and 16th overall, studio album from renowned Texas singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen. Ready For Confetti was produced by Lloyd Maines (Dixie Chicks, Flatlanders), who also produced Keen’s critically acclaimed 2009 album The Rose Hotel (Lost Highway).
  • Special thanks to the extraordinarily gracious  Ms. Rosanne Cash (@rosannecash)  helping me with my 10,000th tweet contest! The 25th new follower and winner was @NKottawafor.
  • The amazing Elizabeth Cook continues her never-ending tour supporting Welder and the fine folks over at Sirius XM are cutting her a break and letting her sleep in a little later by moving her popular radio show “Apron Strings” to 10 am – 2 pm eastern time. Cook says, “I feel like I’m abandoning an old lover, leaving my early birds. But it is my sincerest wishes that with the 10-2 show, “Apron Strings” fans will find new ways to sneak and listen, and having more sleep, I will sneeze less on air.” Beginning on Wednesday, May 4, the Sirius XM Outlaw Country channel will move to channel 60 on both Sirius and XM radios, and Elizabeth Cook and her “Apron Strings” show will now be heard from 10 am to 2 pm ET, Monday through Friday. For more information about additional channel changes go to Elizabeth has some new items in her store for her Beautiful Outlaw listeners. Check out Moonshine (aka her Dad) telling you about the store.


Rounder Records Turns 40

  • The Green Bay Press Gazette has a great interview with Justin Townes Earle. Earle talks candidly about his past addictions and is troubled relationship with his father. as well as his excellent new release Midnight at the Movies.
  • Robert Earl Keen’s Lost Highway debut “The Rose Hotel,” produced by Lloyd Maines, will be released on On Sept. 29
  • Rounder Records will celebrate their 40th anniversary on Oct. 12th at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN with performances from Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bela Fleck and Irma Thomas will join in this momentous celebration along with musical host Minnie Driver and special guests to be announced.
  • Shreveport-based , the Louisiana Hayride (1948 to 1960) will  be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. In it’s day the country music showcase featured Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, George Jones, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.
  • The grave of the late great Texas blues musician, Blind Willie Johnson, is  finally discovered. Johnson’s songs have been covered by everybody from Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.
  • Details magazine sits down with Native Texan and anti-Taylor Swift blond bad ass Miranda Lambert for some Q&A.
  • Nashville Scene‘s newest cover has  “Three Hot Acts Present a New Breed of Female Songwriter” featuring Caitlin Rose, Tristen Gaspadarek and Those Darlins.

Music Review – Rita Hosking – Come Sunrise (self released)

come sunriseRita Hosking might call Davis, CA home (18 km / 11 mi West of Sacramento) but the geographical and cultural influences that shape her excellent new release, Come Sunrise, could plot here anywhere between a rural West Texas roadhouse or the front porch of an Appalachian cabin.

Recorded in Austin with producer, engineer and Robert Earl Keen guitarist, Rich Brotherton and featuring some of Austin’s best musicians – Lloyd Maines on Dobro, Glenn Fukunaga on upright bass, and Danny Barnes on banjo, Warren Hood on fiddle, Brotherton plys several instruments himself and Sean Feder from Hosking’s backing band Cousin Jack on percussion and harmony vocals.

With a vocal style somewhere between Natalie Merchant and Gillian Welch Hosking sings all 11 of her original songs with a delicacy that belies the force of her delivery. This is the kind of music I imagine a few generations ago would have easily landed on bestselling Hillbilly charts before some executive in the 40’s decided the term too degrading (and probably less market-friendly) and changed the name to Country & Western.

Now this music finds its home in the Americana genre, where skilled musicians like Hosking remind us that music that tells tales of people’s lives, with instrumentation and arrangement that also hearken from that heritage, is so wholly satisfying in a world more and more addicted to entranced and irony.

The slow burners are the real stand outs.  Simple pleasures yearn from the title track as Maines’ Dobro and Hood’s fiddle envelope you with the sonic equivalent of a down comforter, Montgomery Creek Blues is a dreamy pedal-steel laced tale of drunken revelry that ends in murder and Hiding Place (my hands-down favorite) is a sparkling ode to solitude that betrays a hint of menace from possible pursuer.

Precious Little, Little Joe and Holier Than Thou
are straight up honky-tonkers that shoudl strike shame in the heart of every Music City big label suit.

With Come Sunrise Hosking gives us a prism that isolates the distinct historic threads of country and folk music and then combines it again
into a wholly satisfying and extraordinary body of work.

Official Site | MySpace | Facebook | Buy