Americana Conference Wrap Up

I’m baaaack. So if you’ve been keeping up with my tweets, or just reading the news,  you know the 10th Annual Americana Association Conference and Festival in Nashville last week was quite a shin-dig. I missed goodBBQ and that laid-back Southern charm and although the conference attendance seemed to be down a bit (well, a lot actually), if my Shiner fogged memory serves me, the showcases were better than ever.

There were a number of memorable nuggets that I wanted to quickly share. For one thing, there must be an aging painting in Jim Lauderdale’s attic becuase the man that is ubiquitous not only at the AMA event but in Americana music in general, still beams with youthful charm.

The performance that made my biggest impression was a serendipitous discovery. A friend’s showcase Friday afternoon at BB Kings brought Dallas’ Somebody’s Darlng to my radar. I should be ashamed of not knowing about them earlier since they hail from my home town and they rocked my ass with a their roots-rock soul sound.

Then there was the two great guitar pulls. The Douglas Corner Cafe featured The Americana Renegades Show with excellent performance by Irene Kelley, Roger Saloom, Joe Whyte and Stoll Vaughan. The club was like a Blue Bird Cafe II with a reverent and attentive audience. Then I lucked into getting out of the rain and a long line at the Station Inn to see Nanci Griffith, Mary Gauthier & Elizabeth Cook in their own audience hushing performance was a great treat.

Seeing Bearfoot do their short set at the Compass records’ notorious Hillbilly Central open house was also a nice surprise. I was not familiar with this newgrass band but they held the packed audience in spellbound attention with their performance and did musch less cocaine than the former Hillbilly Central residents.

There was the spellbinding rustic winsomeness of Amanda Shires. The leather-tough gold-hearted girl  – Angela Easterling (w. Will Kimbrough), and the omnipresence of Austin Texas with The Gourds, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Asleep at the Wheel, Reckless Kelly, Radney Foster and Charlie Robison.

Then there was standing near the stage to behold the wonder that is John Fogerty (along with Buddy Miller) at his semi-secret show at the Cannery. Wow…wow…

It was old-school alt-country at the closing night at the Basement with the ex-singer of Nashville super group BR549, Chuck Mead, and the only band that rivals the Drive By Truckers for a live performance, the Bottle Rockets, sending the whole thing off to a booming, bitter-sweet end.

Then there were the artists, radio, writers, fellow bloggers and general soldiers that, like myself, champion this music each and every day out of love more than riches (Ha!)

You can’t be everywhere all the time, and the four performance spaces for the AMA festival are a considerable distance from each other, so there are tough choices to be made and many show I wish I could have attended. But with a little logistics and a dash of serendipitous happenstance this trip to Nashville was a great party with wonderful memories (from what I can remember!)


The Charlie Daniels Band To Perform Christmas For Kids Benefit Concert

The Charlie Daniels Band will perform at the Mother Church of Country Music – Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium – for the 12th Christmas For Kids benefit concert with Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, Rodney Atkins, and Heidi Newfield. The concert is November 24th and will begin at 7:00 PM and proceeds from the event will go to the Christmas for Kids organization, which funds holiday shopping excursions for underprivileged children.

Prior to the show (5:30PM) Charlie Daniels will meet fans and sign autographs in celebration of his recent DVD release, Preachin’, Prayin’, and Singin’ (Blue Hat/Koch Records) at The Charlie Daniels Museum (110 Second Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee.)

Unknown Hinson Readies Halloween Live Release

Some things just go together..rice and beans…woman and trouble and, Unkown Hinson and Halloween!

The self-proclaimed “king of country-western troubadours” will release his new live album “Unknown Hinson Live and Undead” on Halloween. Copies of this sure to be smoking (and hilarious) performance can be purchased when Hinson performs at the 3rd Annual Hallerween Extravaganze at the Grey Eagle Tavern in Asheville, NC. It will also be available at www.unknownhinson. com

Unknown Hinson has toured with Hank3 and Rev. Horton Heat. Billy Bob Thornton names Unknown as one of his favorite songwriters and a genius picker. Matt Groening (the Simpsons) labels Unknown as a guitar maniac (and funny as hell to boot!) Hank3  has Unknown’s face tatooed on his bicep! Marty Stuart introduced him as his illegitimate brother at the Ryman in Nashville, and is placing Unknown on the front cover of his upcoming book of personal photographs. Tom Petty came backstage at a Hollywood event to ask Unknown how he gets his “sound”. The Rolling Stones invited him to participate in the soundcheck session for their latest show in Charlotte, NC.

Official Site |   MySpace

Unknown Hinson Venus Bound


Nashville Fan Fare

I (justifiably) bitch a lot about Music City and tier ongoing campaign to strangle any beauty and creativity out of
country music, but one tradition I do like is the idea of the annual Fan Fare (my contrarian nature won’t allow me
to use the new corporate friendly title “CMA Music Festival”)

This years event features 30 hours of autograph signings, 100 hours of live music, 400 Country Music artists and

Now 90% of these “Country Music artists and celebrities” I wouldn’t cross the street to meet, but I do applaud the
populist spirit of the event (as well as inviting Dwight Yoakam back after an unconscionable 20 year absence.)This is
something you won’t find in any other genre and it speaks to country music’s respect for it’s fans. Now if Music City
only reflected that same deference to tradition and fans’ intelligence when producing the music.

Great American Record Store Day in Nashville

If you find yourself in Nashville this week head over to the Mercy Lounge where the Americana Music Association, Grimeys Records and the Nashville Scene salute Great American Record Store Day with a series of events.

Thad Cockrell (Thursday April 17th), Drive By Trucker’s font man Patterson Hood (Friday April, 18th) and Kathleen Edwards (Friday April 19th) all perform in support of the Great American Record Store Day.

“It Burns When I Pee” – Episode 10 with Joe Buck

For some Christmas is not a snowy, candy-coated wonderland. Some folks find themselves on Christmas eve. sitting and staring at some lame stop-animation reindeer, topping off a 5 ft PBR can Christmas tree and putting the stamp on that alimony check to send off to your ex in Texas. Well friends, I got something to put the jingle back in your bells.

The 10th episode of “It Burns When I Pee” offers a talk with that merry elf-from-hell Joe Buck, from Hank III’s Damn Band, as he discusses everything from playing with a legacy legend, his time with The Legendary Shack Shakers, the sorry state of Nashville and how to bake the ideal pumpkin bread. That last one is a lie…

Christoph Mueller talks about his love of authetic country music and about some of the projects he is currently working on. Then that online Daisy-Duke Cheyenne helps stuff fans stocking with tons of great music from folks like Creech Holler, Slackeye Slim, Honky Tonk Special, Justin Otto, and lots more goodies for the tube-sock hanging over the space-burner.

Country legend Porter Wagoner Hospitalized with Lung Cancer

Porter Wagoner was admitted to a Nashville-area hospital last Monday and diagnosed with lung cancer. On Tuesday, his family released a statement that he was hospitalized and under observation. On Thursday, the family released another statement that he was in serious condition and asked friends and fans to pray for him.

Here’s hoping a speedy recovery to the Wagonmaster. I hope you’re up and back in your boots soon, sir.

Porter Wagoner – Green, Green Grass of Home


Townes Van Zandt To Be Presented with AMA President’s Award

Texas singer/songwriter Townes Van Zandt will be remembered with the President’s Award by the Americana Music Association during their annual awards show on Nov. 1 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The award will be accepted by Van Zandt’s friend, songwriter Guy Clark, who will perform one of Van Zandt’s songs in tribute. Emmylou Harris, who recorded Van Zandt’s “If I Needed You” and “Pancho and Lefty,” has also been added to the list of performers for the awards show. The Hacienda Brothers, Elizabeth Cook, the Avett Brothers and Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby will also perform.