Most of 2020 to right now live music is largely put on hold, but plenty of artists are still finding ways to create. Time off the road and spent at home has meant hardship. but it’s also meant creative ways artists delivered performances to you at home and also time to reflect, write and record new music, which in turn means that fans can expect new albums from some of their favorite country, Americana, bluegrass and folk artists in 2021.
2021 starts off right with releases from Steve Earle honoring the passing of Justin Townes Earle. We can also look forward to new releases from Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Langhorne Slim, Lucero, Aaron Lee Tasjan and many more.
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 add other releases as they come in.
Also if you know of a release not on the list feel free to add it in the comments below.
Thanks for keeping up with Twang Nation and here’s to a better 2021!
Jan. 1: Kandle & Kendel – ‘Birds’ EP (Neil Young Covers)
Jan. 4: Steve Earle & The Dukes – ‘J.T.’ (digital)
Jan. 8: Barry Gibb – ‘Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1’
Jan. 8: The Divorcees – ‘Drop of Blood’
Jan. 22: Jeremiah Fraites (Lumineers) – ‘Piano Piano’
Jan. 22: Justin Moses – ‘Fall Like Rain’
Jan. 29: Langhorne Slim – ‘Strawberry Mansion’
Jan. 29: Lucero – ‘When You Found Me’
Jan. 29: Pony Bradshaw – ‘Calico Jim’
Jan. 29: John Hurlbut & Jorma Kaukonen – ‘The River Flows’
Feb. 5: Aaron Lee Tasjan – ‘Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!’
Feb. 5: Aaron Watson – ‘American Soul’
Feb. 5: Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange) — ‘Witching Hour’
Feb. 17 Jim Keller – ‘By No Means’
Feb. 19: Austin Meade – ‘Black Sheep’
Feb. 19: Spencer Burton- ‘Coyote’
Feb. 19: Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange) — ‘Fable & Fire’
Feb. 19: Catherine Britt – Home Truths
Feb. 19: Ian Fisher – American Standards
Feb. 19: The Dead South – Served Live
Feb. 19: David Olney and Anana Kay – ‘Whispers And Sighs’
Feb. 19: John Paul Keith – The Rhythm of the City
Feb. 19: Veronica Lewis –You Ain’t Unlucky
Feb. 26: Willie Nelson – ‘That’s Life’ (Willie’s second release of Frank Sinatra covers.)
Feb. 26: Clint Roberts – ‘Rose Songs’
Feb. 26: David Huckfelt -‘Room Enough
Feb. 26: Sara Petite – ‘Rare Bird’
March 5: Ottoman Turks – ‘Ottoman Turks II’
March 5: Jason Ringenberg (Jason and the Scorchers) – ‘Rhinestoned’
March 5: Graham Wilkinson – ‘Cuts So Deep’
March 12: Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno – ‘Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno’
March 12: Peter Case – ‘The Midnight Broadcast’
March 12:Southern Culture On The Skids – ‘At Home With Southern Culture On The Skids’
March 12 Valerie June – ‘The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers’
March 12 Israel Nash – ‘Topaz’
March 19: Loretta Lynn – ‘Still Woman Enough’
March 19: Austin Meade – ‘ Black Sheep’ (DEBUT)
March 19: Rob Leines – ‘Blood Sweat and Beers’
March 19: Steve Earle & The Dukes – ‘J.T.’ (physical)
March 19: Mike Barnett – ‘+1’
March 19: Melissa Carper – ‘Daddy’s Country Gold’
March 19: Loretta Lynn – ‘Still Woman Enough’
March 19: Mike Barnett – +1
March 19: Sarah King – The Hour
Joe Pug – The Diving Sun (Side A)
March 19: Mandy Rowden – Parachute
March 19: Janet Simpson – Safe Distance
March 21: Allison Russell – ‘Outside Child’
March 25: The Armadillo Paradox – “Out of Gas in Oil Country”
March 26: Sara Watkins – ‘Under the Pepper Tree’
March 26: Esther Rose – ‘How Many Times’
April 9: Parker Millsap – ‘Be Here Instead’
April 16: Triston Marez – ‘Triston Marez’
April 20: Coleman Williams – “Son of Sin”
April 23: Todd Snider – ‘First Agnostic Church of Hope And Wonder’
April 30: Ashley Monroe – ‘Rosegold’
April 30: Ronnie Milsap – ‘A Better Word for Love’
May 7: Ted Russell Kamp – ‘Solitaire’
May 7: Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram & Jon Randall – ‘The Marfa Tapes’
May 7: Travis Tritt – ‘Set in Stone’
May 14: Alan Jackso – ‘Where Have You Gone’
May 14: The Steel Woods – ‘All of Your Stones’
May 28: Ashley McBryde – ‘Never Will: Live From a Distance’ EP
May 28: Blackberry Smoke, – ‘You Hear Georgia’
May 28: Rider & Rolling Thunder – ‘On the Banks of the Tennessee’
June 4: Turner Cody & The Soldiers of Love – ‘Friends in High Places’
June 18: Amy Helm – ‘What the Flood Leaves Behind’
June 11: Oak Ridge Boys – ‘Front Porch Singin”
June 11: Cory Grinder and the Playboy Scouts – ‘Honky Tonkin’ Beauty Supreme’
June 18: Rory Feek – ‘Gentle Man’
June 25: JP Harris – ‘Dreadful Wind and Rain’
July 9: The Flatlanders – ‘Treasure of Love’
August 27: Jason Eady – ‘To The Passage of Time’
August 27: Summer Dean – ‘Bad Romantic’
Few people these days are aware of the gENius of Roger Miller. If he’s known at all it’s for his deceptively goofy sons like ‘Dang Me’ and Z”You Can’t Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd.” He was also the one of the greatest songwriters to ever work the country music genre snagging 11 Grammy Awards, a Tony Award for writing the music and lyrics for the Broadway play “Big River’ and was voted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995. He performed, and was friends with greats like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
Speaking of Kris Kristofferson, Miller was also the to record and commercially release his “Me and Bobby McGee” a full year before Janis Joplin made it a classic.
Now his friends and new blood that owe him a debt have come together to pay tribute. ‘King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller,’ out Aug. 31 via BMG, pays long overdue respects to one of American music’s premier entertainers and songwriters. The two-disc collection contains new renditions of Miller’s songs by Ringo Starr, Dolly Parton, Eric Church, Loretta Lynn, John Goodman and more than two dozen others, including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard on one track. Produced by Miller’s son, Dean Miller, and Colby Barnum Wright, ‘King of the Road’ offers a fresh look at the work of a creative giant who has been gone 26 years but whose genius continues to shape contemporary music in ways both overt and subtle.
Read more about the project in a new interview at The Tennessean: https://tnne.ws/2toJY7B
Before Miller’s premature death of cancer at age 56, the Country Music Hall of Famer had 31 Top 40 Billboard country hits (10 of which crossed over to the pop chart), including his signature songs “Dang Me” and “King of the Road.” He held the record for most GRAMMY wins in a single night until Michael Jackson and ‘Thriller’ broke it in 1984. Miller wrote songs and voiced a character for Walt Disney’s 1973 Robin Hood film. He also wrote the music and lyrics for the Tony-winning Big River, helping launch the career of actor John Goodman, who reprises the musical’s “Guv’ment” on ‘King of the Road.’ As Dean Miller writes in liner notes accompanying ‘King of the Road,’ “Roger Miller was too gigantic to be contained by genres and definitions.”
‘King of the Road’ includes versions of Miller’s biggest ’60s hits, like “Chug-A-Lug” (Asleep at the Wheel ft. Huey Lewis) and “England Swings” (Lyle Lovett), and lesser-known treasures from a catalog full of gems. As with Miller’s own output, the album contains plenty of unexpected turns — country superstar Eric Church’s playful take on Robin Hood’s “Oo De Lally,” for instance, or Starr’s selection of “Hey, Would You Hold It Down?,” a song from Miller’s long-out-of-print 1979 ‘Making a Name for Myself’ album. By any standard of measurement, Miller was “one of the greatest songwriters that ever lived” — even if he did say so himself. And he did, in the first of a handful of the album’s live-performance interstitials that capture the spontaneous wit of a mind that operated at a breakneck pace.
There is a television event in the works, more information coming soon.
The scope of material and performances on ‘King of the Road’ both capture Miller’s personality and convey an astonishing legacy that’s still felt today. “Roger Miller didn’t have to say much,” Dean writes in the liners. “You were simply drawn to him. He had a magnetic smile, and electric wit and a passion for life and music that transcended generations.”
‘King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller’ Tracklist:
Greatest Songwriter (Banter)
Chug-a-Lug – Asleep at the Wheel ft. Huey Lewis (!)
Dang Me – Brad Paisley
Leavin’s Not the Only Way to Go – The Stellas/Lennon and Maisy
Kansas City Star – Kacey Musgraves
World So Full of Love – Rodney Crowell
Old Friends (Banter)
Old Friends – Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard
Lock Stock and Teardrops – Mandy Barnett
You Oughta Be Here With Me – Alison Krauss ft. The Cox Family
The Crossing – Ronnie Dunn, The Blind Boys of Alabama
In the Summertime – The Earls of Leicester ft. Shawn Camp
England Swings – Lyle Lovett
You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd – Various Artists
Half a Mind – Loretta Lynn
Invitation to the Blues – Shooter Jennings, Jessi Colter
It Only Hurts Me When I Cry (Live) – Dwight Yoakam
Hey, Would You Hold It Down? – Ringo Starr
Engine, Engine #9 – Emerson Hart ft. Jon Randall
When Two Worlds Collide – Flatt Lonesome
Oo De Lally – Eric Church
You Can’t Do Me This Way and Get By With It – Dean Miller ft. The McCrary Sisters
Chicken S#$! (Banter)
Nothing Can Stop Me – Toad the Wet Sprocket
Husbands and Wives – Jamey Johnson ft. Emmylou Harris
I Believe in the Sunshine – Lily Meola
Guv’ment – John Goodman
Old Songwriters Never Die (Banter)
The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me – Dolly Parton ft. Alison Krauss
I’d Come Back to Me – Radney Foster ft. Tawnya Reynolds
Reincarnation – Cake
One Dying and a Burying – The Dead South
Do Wacka Do – Robert Earl Keen, Jr.
King of the Road – Various Artists
– “At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight” – Various artists (Bear Family) $250.
Germany’s Bear Family label has reputation for giving loving (obsessive) detail in creating their box sets and “At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight” continues that osession. The Saturday night music radio show was broadcast by Shreveport, Louisiana’s KWKH-AM from 1948-1960 and rivaled only by the more straight-laced Grand Ole Opry for live radio entertainment.
Country and roots music greats abound – Hank Williams, George Jones, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, Louvin Brothers and many more in their prime.
A 20-CD set gives us a view back to live radio before studio wizardry and music was still wonderfully raw and brazon and done without a net.
Presley’s first TV appearance on the television version of the Hayride in March 1955 features and electrifying performance of his breakthrough single “That’s All Right,” as well as 14 songs includes “Baby Let’s Play House,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and “Don’t Be Cruel” and are just a fraction of the more than 500 tunes stocking At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight. The box set also contains long-buried treasury of like a previously unknown recording of “I’m a Long Gone Daddy” by Hank Williams.
The accompanying 226-page book not only identifies all the performance dates and musicians, but also provides plenty of historical context.
Yeas this sweet collectable clocks in at over $200, but it breaks down to about $.40 a song for these treasured performances. That’s quite a deal.
‘Why Bob Dylan Matters’ by Richard Thomas – Richard Thomas $16.50
Harvard Professor of Classical Literature Richard F. Thomas explores Dylan’s music with a lense on his music influence on society as well as style. Dylan is dealt with in a serious tone usually reserved for classical literary and poetic luminaries. ‘Why Bob Dylan Matters’ set his work in it’s proper place and argues that it’s a work deserving of the ages.
‘Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives’ – Holly Gleason, in Woman Walk the Line ( University of Texas Press) $19.65
Music industry vet Holly Gleason presents twenty-seven extraordinary women scribes writing about twenty seven country music greats that just happen o be women. These personal and uplifting stories dig to the heart of what it means to connect to Music. Yes I still believe that #WomennInMusic is not a genre and that self-segregation is nearly as harmful as outside variety, but damn, this is a great read.
Johnny Cash, “Unearthed” (American) – $228.
THere was a real chance that Johnny Cash might have died in popular obscurity in 2003 had Rick Rubin not had the great instinct to spearhead the Country music legend’s breathtaking late-career albums. This 2003 collection of outtakes
serves a bounty with seven LPs featuring alternate takes and unreleased songs. Cash lends his historic baritone to distinctive renditions of gospel, rock,folk blues, and, of course golden-age country as well as covers by
Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle and others so good you might forget their were sung by anyone before The Man in Black.
Loretta Lynn’s original handwritten lyrics to “Coal Miner’s Daughter,”
– Sure it’s still Summer, but it’s not too soon to think about Christmas when you know that Sunny Sweeney, Jamie Lin Wilson, Courtney Patton and Brennen Leigh will be reuniting for their Hard Candy Christmas Tour for the 2017 season. Tickets for most of the shows are on sale now and the more will be on sale soon. Check out all the dates and tickets right here.
– Check out Mr. Americana Jim Lauderdale performing “You Came To Get Me” off his new album “London Southern” on the Conan O’Brien show.
– Rolling Stone premiered ”If I Could Make You My Own’,’ the new song off Dori Freeman’s sophomore album Teddy Thompson-produced “Letters Never Read’ which will be released October 20th.
– The Legendary Shack Shakers, the band Stephen King described as dynamite and guitar legend Jeff Beck called “a cross between the Yard Birds and the Sex Pistols,” release their new album, ‘After You’ve Gone,’ on Last Chance Records. AllMusic premieres the exclusive stream of ‘After You’ve Gone’ here.
– Loretta Lynn is being honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s newest exhibit, “Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl,” which opens to the public Friday and is scheduled to run through Aug. 5, 2018. The Hall of Fame hosted an invitation-only preview of the new exhibit on Tuesday (Aug. 22) that was accompanied by dinner and acoustic performances by Margo Price, Brandy Clark, (“Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” respectively) and featuring remarks by Kacey Musgraves, museum director Kyle Young and Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn. Unfortunately Loretta Lynn did not attend the exhibit Opening, but her family assures fans she’s making a strong recovery after Stroke
Honky-tonk chanteuse and entrepreneur Nikki Lane has been making the rounds on television as of late to promote her excellent third release, ‘Highway Queen.’ On a stop with a special Saturday CBS This Morning the South Carolinian performed with one of her heroes; the First Lady of Country Music, Loretta Lynn. The two are uncanny mirror images across time, country music and a couch at Lynn’s Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, ranch, with a sleeping dog between them as they perform Lynn’s Number One “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).”
Lynn explains the pairs unique chemistry.
“I felt like we always knew each other,” Lynn says, adding that they might have met in a previous life.
In addition to singing with Lynn, Lane also performed her songs “Jackpot” and “Send the Sun.” Watch those below.
Lane is back on tour in Europe through June. She then returns to the U.S. for the Newport Folk Festival and Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival. Lynn’s new release ‘Wouldn’t It Be Great’ will be released on August 18th.
The latest volume of Cash Cabin Sessions, recordings is going to be one by a country music legend.
Loretta Lynn will celebrate her 85th birthday not only by playing two sold-out shows in the hallowed halls of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on April 14th, but by also releasing ‘Wouldn’t It Be Great’ a few months later on Friday, August 18. This latest Cash Cabin Sessions release is produced by Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash at Johnny Cash’s Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tenn.
‘Wouldn’t It Be Great’ will premiere new compositions like “Ruby’s Stool,” “Ain’t No Time to Go” and “I’m Dying for Someone to Live For” and will revisit classics “God Makes No Mistakes,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” that have been written or co-written by Lynn.
“I think you try to do better with every record you put out, It’s just everyday living—and everybody wants to know, ‘Well, what is it about your songs that people like?’ I think you’ve got to tell your stories. I just think it hits everybody, you know, the songs.” Loretta said of the record and her songwriting approach.
Wouldn’t It Be Great Track List and Songwriters
“Wouldn’t It Be Great” (Loretta Lynn)
“Ruby’s Stool” (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
“I’m Dying for Someone to Live For” (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
“Another Bridge to Burn” (Loretta Lynn, Lola Jean Dillon)
“Ain’t No Time to Go” (Loretta Lynn, Patsy Lynn Russell)
“God Makes No Mistakes” (Loretta Lynn)
“These Ole Blues” (Loretta Lynn, Patsy Lynn Russell)
“My Angel Mother” (Loretta Lynn)
“Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’” (Loretta Lynn, Peggy Sue Wells)
“The Big Man” (Loretta Lynn, Shawn Camp)
“Lulie Vars” (Traditional, arrangement by Loretta Lynn)
“Darkest Day” (Loretta Lynn)
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” (Loretta Lynn)
2016 was another great year for Americana and roots music, and 2017 shows signs that the great music will continue to come our way. As our Cream of the Crop favorites from last year makes plain we might be experiencing a new golden age of roots music/ Both as a growing influence on our contemporary culture and also as a viable, business for young and old artists to sustain themselves and thrive.
That last part is crucial as it provides economic and influential seed corn for the future ‘Cream of the Crop’ year-end best of collections.
The list below is a collection of known 2017 notable Americana / roots releases. Some anticipated releases from artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and The Secret Sisters have no release dates yet, but when I become aware of them and others I will be updating the list throughout the year and will send word through my twitter account when I do.
If you know of a release not listed yet please leave it in the comments.
One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a great year folks.
January 13th –
The Band of Heathens – ‘Duende’
Blackie and the Rodeo Kings – ‘Kings and Kings’
Otis Gibbs – ‘Mount Renraw’
January 20th –
Kasey Chambers – ‘Dragonfly’
The Show Ponies – How It All Goes Down’
Rayna Gellert – ‘Workin’s Too Hard’
January 27th –
Delbert McClinton – ‘Prick Of The Litter’
Tift Merritt – ‘Stitch of the World’
Valerie June – ‘The Order of Time’
Bankesters – ‘Nightbird’
Dead Man Winter – ‘Furnace’
February 3rd –
Ags Connolly – ‘Nothin’ Unexpected’
Gurf Morlix – ‘The Soul & The Heal’
Mitch Dean –‘Suburban Speakeasy’
Rose Cousins – ‘Natural Conclusion’
Caroline Spence – ‘Spades & Roses’
February 10th –
Kris Kristofferson – The Austin Sessions (Expanded Edition)
February 17th –
Alison Krauss – ‘Windy City’
Nikki Lane – ‘Highway Queen’
Pegi Young & The Survivors – ‘Raw’
Son Volt – ‘Notes Of Blue’
Son of the Velvet Rat – ‘Dorado’
Blair Crimmins – ‘You Gotta Sell Something’
The Gibson Brothers – “In The Ground”
February 24th –
Curtis McMurtry – ‘The Hornet’s Nest’
Rhiannon Giddens – ‘Freedom Highway’
Old 97s – ‘Graveyard Whistling’
Scott H. Biram – “The Bad Testament”
Shinyribs – “I Got Your Medicine”
Aaron Watson – “Vaquero”
March 3rd –
Grandaddy – ‘Last Place’
Beth Bombara – ‘Map With No Direction ‘
March 10th –
Sunny Sweeney – “Trophy’
Pieta Brown – “Postcards”
March 24th –
Jessi Colter – ‘The Psalms’
Samantha Crain – ‘You Had Me At Goodbye’
March 31st –
Rodney Crowell – ‘Close Ties”
David Olney – “Don’t Try To Fight It”
Dead Soldiers – “The Great Emptiness”
Shoddy Blacktooth — “Don’t Forget To Die”
Malcolm Holcombe – ‘Pretty Little Troubles’
Andrew Combs – “Canyons Of My Mind”
Evening Darling – “Evening Darling’
April 21st –
Angaleena Presley – ‘Wrangled’
Chris Stapleton – ‘From a Room: Volume 1’
Builders and the Butchers – ‘The Spark’
Pokey LaFarge – ‘Manic Revelations’
Tom Russell – ‘Play One More: The Songs Of Ian And Sylvia’
Justin Townes Earle – ‘Kids in the Street’
June 2nd –
Bobby Osborne – ‘Original’
June 9th –
The Secret Sisters – ‘You Don’t Own Me Anymore’
Shannon McNally – ‘Black Irish’
June 16th –
Sammy Brue – ‘I Am Nice’
June 23rd –
The Deslondes – ‘Hurry Home’
Slaid Cleaves – ‘Ghost on the Car Radio’
July 7th –
Randall Bramblett – ‘Juke Joint At The Edge Of The World’
July 14th –
Cale Tyson – ‘Careless Soul’
July 21st –
Whiskey Shivers – ‘Some Part of Something”
Tyler Childers – ‘Purgatory’
August 18th Loretta Lynn – ‘Wouldn’t It Be Great’ POSTPONED
Ray Wylie Hubbard – ‘Tell the Devil I’m Getting There as Fast as I Can’
Caroline Reese – ‘Two Horses’ EP
Willie Watson – ‘Folksinger Vol. 2’
The Lone Bellow – ‘Walk Into A Storm’
Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers – “The Long-Awaited Album”
Billy Strings – ‘Turmoil & Tinfoil’
Anna Tivel – “Small Believer”
Whitney Rose – ‘Rule 62’
JD McPherson – ‘Undivided Heart and Soul’
Becca Mancari – ‘Good Woman’
Nominations for the 2016 Grammy Awards have wee announced with the usual fanfare and one big surprise. let’s get the big one out of the way first, Reluctant outlaw country revisionist Sturgill Simpson might very well be on his way to achieving ‘the biggest country star on this planet‘ status by joining the glitterati ranks shared with Beyoncé, Drake, Justin Bieber, and Adele as nominees for the Album of the Year. there hasn’t been this much attention on the Grammy nominee announcements since Chorney-gate. This would seem improbable except that so many extraordinary things have happened since Simpson’s psychedelic-roots-soul epic ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth’ that it’s hard not to believe that it’s not all part of some master plan.
If Sturgill wins I dare Kanye to climb the stage to contest the decision.
Then there was the nomination of Simpson’s least country album for Best Country Album. But I’ve given on trying to read the recording academy mind a long time ago.
Other surprising nominations include Bob Dylan’s ‘Fallen Angels’ for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Robbie Fulks’s ‘Upland Stories’ and Sierra Hull’s ‘Weighted Mind’ for Best Folk Album, and Loretta Lynn’s ‘Full Circle’ for Best County Album.
Lori McKenna is up for 4 Grammys including Tim McGraw’s ‘Humble And Kind’ for Best Country Song and Best American Roots Performance, Best American Roots Song and Best Americana Album and for her latest solo Dave Cobb – produced effort ‘The Bird & The Rifle.’
The biggest snub was against the only other person to garner almost as much ink as Sturgill Simpson. Margo Price was criminally overlooked by the recording academy for her splendid debut ‘ Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.’
And no love was shown for multiple Grammy-winning ex-Civil War John Paul White for his excellent solo offering ‘Beulah.’
And no Wheeler Walker Jr for best comedy Album? C’mon now!
What are your thoughts on the Grammy noms this year? What did they miss? Let me in know the comments.
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards air Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, on CBS.
Best Country Solo Performance:
Brandy Clark — “Love Can Go to Hell”
Miranda Lambert — “Vice”
Maren Morris — “My Church”
Carrie Underwood — “Church Bells”
Keith Urban — “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
Andrea Bocelli — ‘Cinema’
Bob Dylan — ‘Fallen Angels’
Josh Groban — ‘Stages Live’
Willie Nelson — ‘Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin’
Barbra Streisand — ‘Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway’
Best Roots Gospel Album:
Gaither Vocal Band — ‘Better Together’
The Isaacs — ‘Nature’s Symphony In 432’
Joey+Rory — ‘Hymns’
Gordon Mote — ‘Hymns and Songs of Inspiration’
Various Artists — ‘God Don’t Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson’
Best Country Duo/Group Performance:
Dierks Bentley Featuring Elle King — “Different for Girls”
Brothers Osborne — “21 Summer”
Kenny Chesney & P!nk – “Setting The World On Fire”
Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton — “Jolene”
Chris Young With Cassadee Pope — “Think Of You”
Best Country Song: (awarded to songwriters)
Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen, songwriters (Keith Urban) — “Blue Ain’t Your Color”
Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur, songwriters (Thomas Rhett) — “Die A Happy Man”
Lori McKenna, songwriter (Tim McGraw) — “Humble and Kind”
busbee & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris) — “My Church”
Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Miranda Lambert) — “Vice”
Best Country Album:
Brandy Clark — ‘Big Day In A Small Town’
Loretta Lynn — ‘Full Circle’
Maren Morris — ‘Hero’
Sturgill Simpson — ‘A Sailor’s Guide To Earth’
Keith Urban — ‘Ripcord’
Best American Roots Performance:
The Avett Brothers — “Ain’t No Man”
Blind Boys Of Alabama — “Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time”
Rhiannon Giddens — “Factory Girl”
Sarah Jarosz — “House Of Mercy”
Lori McKenna — “Wreck You”
Best American Roots Song: (awarded to songwriters)
Robbie Fulks, songwriter (Robbie Fulks) — “Alabama At Night”
Jack White, songwriter (Jack White) — “City Lights”
Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero, songwriters (Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars) — “Gulfstream”
Vince Gill, songwriter (The Time Jumpers) — “Kid Sister”
Lori McKenna & Felix McTeigue, songwriters (Lori McKenna) — “Wreck You”
Best Americana Album:
The Avett Brothers — ‘True Sadness’
William Bell — ‘This Is Where I Live’
Kris Kristofferson — ‘The Cedar Creek Sessions’
Lori McKenna — ‘The Bird & The Rifle’
The Time Jumpers — ‘Kid Sister’
Best Bluegrass Album:
Blue Highway — ‘Original Traditional’
Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver — Burden Bearer
Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands — ‘The Hazel Sessions’
Claire Lynch — ‘North And South’
O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor — ‘Coming Home’
Best Folk Album:
Judy Collins & Ari Hest — ‘Silver Skies Blue’
Robbie Fulks — ‘Upland Stories’
Rhiannon Giddens — ‘Factory Girl’
Sierra Hull — ‘Weighted Mind’
Sarah Jarosz — ‘Undercurrent’
Best Regional Roots Music Album:
Barry Jean Ancelet & Sam Broussard — ‘Broken Promised Land’
Northern Cree — ‘It’s A Cree Thing’
Kalani Pe’a — ‘E ‘Walea ’
Roddie Romero And The Hub City All-Stars — ‘Gulfstream’
Various Artists — ‘I Wanna Sing Right: Rediscovering Lomax In The Evangeline Country’
Best Album Notes
The Complete Monument & Columbia Albums Collection – Mikal Gilmore, album notes writer (Kris Kristofferson)
Label: Legacy Recordings
The Knoxville Sessions, 1929-1930: Knox County Stomp – Ted Olson & Tony Russell, album notes writers (Various Artists)
Label: Bear Family Productions Ltd.
Ork Records: New York, New York
Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, album notes writers (Various Artists)
Label: The Numero Group
Sissle And Blake Sing Shuffle Along- Ken Bloom & Richard Carlin, album notes writers (Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle)
Label: Harbinger Records/The Musical Theater Project
Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890-1900- Richard Martin, album notes writer (Various Artists)
Best Historical Album:
The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series, Vol.12 (Collector’s Edition)
Steve Berkowitz & Jeff Rosen, compilation producers; Mark Wilder, mastering engineer (Bob Dylan)
Music Of Morocco From The Library Of Congress: Recorded By Paul Bowles, 1959
April G. Ledbetter, Steven Lance Ledbetter, Bill Nowlin & Philip D. Schuyler, compilation producers; Rick Fisher & Michael Graves, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
Ork Records: New York, New York
Rob Sevier & Ken Shipley, compilation producers; Jeff Lipton & Maria Rice, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
Label: The Numero Group
Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983
Bernard Horowitz, Andreas K. Meyer & Robert Russ, compilation producers; Andreas K. Meyer & Jeanne Montalvo, mastering engineers (Vladimir Horowitz)
Label: Sony Classical
Waxing The Gospel: Mass Evangelism & The Phonograph, 1890-1900
Michael Devecka, Meagan Hennessey & Richard Martin, compilation producers; Michael Devecka, David Giovannoni, Michael Khanchalian & Richard Martin, mastering engineers (Various Artists)
Label: Archeophone Records
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Are You Serious
Tchad Blake & David Boucher, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Andrew Bird)
Label: Loma Vista Recordings
David Bowie, Tom Elmhirst, Kevin Killen & Tony Visconti, engineers; Joe LaPorta, mastering engineer (David Bowie)
Label: ISO/Columbia Records
Dig In Deep
Ryan Freeland, engineer; Kim Rosen, mastering engineer (Bonnie Raitt)
Label: Redwing Records
Hit N Run Phase Two
Booker T., Dylan Dresdow, Chris James, Prince & Justin Stanley, engineers; Dylan Dresdow, mastering engineer (Prince)
Label: NPG Records
Shani Gandhi & Gary Paczosa, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Sarah Jarosz)
Label: Sugar Hill Records
Billboard.com announced today that the First Lady of Country Music , Loretta Lynn will release her first album in over 11 years on March 4, 2016.
The album is also the first of new album projects for a volume series imagined and created at the Cash Cabin Studio called the Cash Cabin Recordings.
From the post:
The 13-song set is a concept piece to take listeners through a journey of the 83-year-old Loretta’s own musical story, traveling from the Appalachian folk songs and gospel music of her childhood to country standards, new interpretations of her own classic hits and newly-written numbers. The Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash-produced LP will be released on Legacy Recordings and was recorded at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tenn.
Lynn’s last release was her 2004 collaboration with Jack White, ‘Van Lear Rose,’ which won two Grammies including Best Country Album of the Year.
On Full Circle, Lynn performs duets with Willie Nelson on the song “Lay Me Down” and Elvis Costello guests on “Everything It Takes.”
And if that’s not enough fans can also catch a new documentary about Loretta’s extraordinary life and career with American Masters — ‘Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl.’ The doc premieres nationwide Friday, March 4, 2016, 9:00-11:00 p.m. on PBS – check local listings.
‘Full Circle’ is available for pre-order now at Amazon Music
See the full track list below.
Full Circle Track List:
Whispering Sea (Introduction)
Who’s Gonna Miss Me?
Black Jack David
Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven
Always On My Mind
Wine Into Water
In The Pines
Band Of Gold
I Never Will Marry
Everything It Takes (featuring Elvis Costello)
Lay Me Down (featuring Willie Nelson)
It was fitting that on the eve of AmericanaFest 15 I should run into Rob Bleetstein.
Let me explain. Bleetstein is man partially responsible for “Americana” being used as a qualifier for “music.”
As editor at the esteemed Gavin Report Bleetstein informed the radio trade publication that they were missing category of mongrel music he, and others, had been programing while employed at KFAT in Gilroy, California. The result was the first Americana radio chart being published on January 20, 1995.
So of course I asked him what Americana was.
As we joked at the seemingly endless consternation his vague creation had unleashed on geeks like me a capacity crowd streamed out of The Basement around us. They had just witnessed vets Phil Madeira and Will Kimbrough swap songs with the sassy third of the Pistol Annie’s Angaleena Presley and dazzlingly edgy newcomer Caroline Rose. More folks packed in behind them to catch he steamy roots soul/gospel of Mike Ferris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue. The music surrounding us, the fans buzzing about the days of sleepless nights to come. Endless squabbling about genre borders seems irrelevant.
Then Bleetstein mentioned he had read a Rolling Stone where Eric Clapton had given a definition when discussing his newly released project The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Clapton said “In Europe, we heard JJ as Americana, all the roots put together.”
All the roots put together. An imperfect definition for an imperfect form.
Let’s go with that.
Musicians, fans and industry types – figuring how they are still relevant in the cultural value chain – descended on Nashville for the Americana Music Conference, Festival and Awards to witness some of the best, nay THE best, music going. Fueled by BBQ, hot chicken, local beer, bourbon and a variety of caffeine there were endless pow-wows, parties, pre-parties, listening parties, post- parties tet-de-tets and random run-ins.
And yes I did squeeze some music in on occasion.
I say some because there was so many band across multiple venues you had to plan out your evenings in advance. I did. Then I mostly abandoned them for convenience, air conditioning and parking.
First the Awards. I never get over the thrill of walking into the Ryman Auditorium. It is a hallowed place full of ghosts and echoes and, as overwhelming as it is to sit in those church pews I can’t imagine what it’s like to perform on that stage.
But many did on that night and they did it with the passion and reverence due.
Reverence was also what Kacey Musgraves and Angaleena Presley displayed when presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting to legend and pioneer Loretta Lynn. Lynn accepted the award 54 years to the day that she first appeared on the Ryman stage, making her Grand Ole Opry debut. Presley introduced Lynn as “a woman who raised up six children and 70-odd hit singles but, just as importantly, raised everyone’s idea of what a country song could talk about it.” A standing ovation rightly greeted Lynn as she entered the stage in her signature flowing gown. “When they told me I was going to get this award, I said, ‘Naw, you got the wrong one. But it was right, and I was so proud.”‘
Then she sang Coal Miner’s Daughter. on The Ryman stage. Damn.
“Happy birthday to Hank Williams,” Jason Isbell said as he accepted one of the three awards in three categories he won that night for his stellar release of his newest Southeastern . “If it wasn’t for that guy, we’d be doing this in some burned-out Kmart in Murfreesboro.”
While picking up his hand-crafted trophy for song of the year “Cover Me Up” Isbell said “I wrote this song for my wife.” Referring to Amanda Shires Texas singer/songwriter who accompanied him that night on a rousing performance that brought the crowd to it’s feet. “This was probably the hardest song I ever had to write because I wrote it for her and then I played it for her. It was very difficult. Do the things that scare you. That’s the good stuff.”
I’m very happy that Isbell was able to put himself in a place that allowed him to do some of the best work he’s ever produced, and that recognition has rightly followed.
The emerging artist category was the tightest, and best, I has ever remembered it to be. Between Parker Millsap, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Sturgill Simpson and Hurray For The Riff Raff, all whom performed live, it was a tough call. It was anyone’s game. That is until it was Simpson’s as he headed to the podium with a characteristically terse “This is for my family.” Enough said, hoss.
Country music legend and historical memorabilia collector Marty Stuart honored to Jimmie Rodgers posthumously awarding the The Father of Country Music the Presidents Award. Then he and his Fabulous Superlatives
tore through a spirited “No Hard Times” with Stuart and guitarist Kenny Vaughan giving the song a contemporary flair with blazing tandem electric guitars.
Guitarist extraordinaire Ry Cooder sat in with Buddy Miller and the band for the night’s events. His dexterity on the guitar is matched by his ability to move through, or completely around musical styles, tying them together in the process. He took time away from his supporting duties to award his longtime collaborator norteño accordion pioneer Flaco Jimenez with a Lifetime Achievement as an Instrumentalist. They then performed a lovely version of the Spanish-language traditional “Ingrato Amor.” Cooder also teamed up with Artist of the year nominee Rodney Crowell for a delicate version of careful rendition of “God I’m Missing You,” from Crowell’s latest ‘Tarpaper Sky.’
Rosanne Cash brought a sophisticated air to her performance of her “A Feather’s Not a Bird,” and a gritty-folk menace surrounded Patty Griffin as she was joined by Robert Plant to perform “Ohio.”
Emerging artist nominee Hurray For The Riff Raff performed a transfixing version of their murder ballad “Body Electric” while vocalist Alynda Lee Segarra shimmered in a Nudie-style suit. Robert Ellis showed himslef to be one of the industries most creative and astute songwriters as he performed his nominated “Only Lies.”
At the Country Music Museum and Hall Of Fame’s Ford Theatre Outlaw legend Billy Joe Shaver give a brief (but candid) interview about his life’s tribulations. He then rose to perform, with simple acoustic accompaniment,
songs rendered from those hardships. Hardships he assured us made easier early with whiskey and later with Jesus.
Then it was upstairs to a new, beautiful, portion of the Country Music Hall of Fame’s CMA Theater to catch “Honky Tonkin’: Twenty Years on Lower Broad” celebration/showcase of bands that featured Greg Garing, Paul Burch and R.B. Morris and BR549. Performers that helped reenergize Nashville’s Lower Broadway after the Opry moved out of the Ryman and to the burbs. Before performing, upright bassist “Smilin” Jay McDowell walked to the front of the stage and placed a tip jar as a tribute to the days when the band survived on such monetary generosities. Singer Chuck Mead , bedecked in his Nudie Suit best with his cherry-red Gretsch electric guitar and co-frontman Gary Bennett, toned down in jeans and western shirt, then showed hoe their tight harmonies gloriously transported all those that had been there those many years ago. Veteran Lower Broad singer and mentor John Shepherd, attending with wife and singing partner Lois Shepherd, continues tradition as he headed slowly to the stage and dropped the first dollar tip, prompting laughs and applause.
Lee Ann Womack had some shows during the event. I was lucky to catch a song swap with her, Hayes Carll, Bobby Bare Jr. and the legendary songwriter Bobby Braddock high atop the SiriusXM Outlaw theatre. Hosted by Mojo Nixon (outLAAAAAAW country) Carll and Bare shared a laugh on their collaboration “My Baby Took My Baby Away” and , later, Carll looked on with shyness and awe as Womack hushed the crowd with his “Chances Are” which she oncluded on het newest release. The real highlight though was Braddock singing his classics “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Golden Ring” and everyone joining in on the closer “We’re Not The Jet Set.”
But the real gold is the showcases. Stand-outs were Angel Snow (her real name, I asked) playing at a sparsely attended Americana for Movies and Shows. I only caught once song but that’s all it took to render me speechless. Alabamian Mathew Mayfield followed with his brand of rough-hewn catchy folk. The i wa shocked to see bluegrass/folk stalwart Tim O’Brien take the stage. I felt bad that there were so few people but lucky I was one of those few.
A trip to Jack White’s odd Third Man performance space was bathed in calm, blue lighting as a mounted elephant head loomed above the crowd. On the bill was Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear. The mother and son act perform seated, strumming acoustic guitars and singing deep-roots songs that reach far into blues and folks misty past. In the same space on another night Jonah Tolchin hold a folk-jam clinic that surprised many expecting the genteel folk-blues style from his latest “Clover Lane.”
Caroline Rose commanded attention of the crowd with her school-girl outfit and her manically focused folk-rock set that had them screaming for more. While trying to escape the heat of the Mercy Lounge I found myself in the cooler High Watt space watching a performance of Aaron Lee Tasjan. Exhibiting the droll but sharp humor of Todd Snider but the delicate songcraft of Townes Van Zandt the Nashville resident defied all expectations.
How could any of that fit in one neat marketing package? I feel for the marketing rep that handles any of these artists and is asked “What kind of music is it?”