Marty Stuart Announces Late Night Jam Lineup

Country Standard Time reports – Marty Stuart will host his annual Late Night Jam to benefit MusiCares during CMA Music Fest on June 6 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives (Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson, Brian Glenn) will perform and host the unstructured marathon of live music with guest performances this year by singer/songwriter Neko Case, Muzik Mafia founder John Rich (Big & Rich), Eric Church and Ashley Monroe,Charley Pride, Pam Tillis and Porter Wagoner.

“I try never to lose sight of the fact that Nashville is considered Music City,” said Stuart. “When it is time to book the Late Night Jam, it is always my goal to make every form of music welcome. That’s why the Ryman is such a great setting for this concert. It is the Mother Church. Every year, I always feel like its the best we’ve ever had, and this year proves to be no different.”

Marty Stuart’s 6th Annual Late Night Jam has raised more than $70,000 to date for MusiCares, the philanthropic arm of The Recording Academy.

That same week, Stuart will release “Compadres: An Anthology of Duets,” which includes a lifetime of musical collaborations with friends such as Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, George Jones, BB King, Mavis Staples and others. He will also debut an historic museum exhibit titled “Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odysse” at the Tennessee State Museum that week featuring treasures from the late Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Elvis and more.

Indie Labels In Nashville

The good folks at The 9513 pointed me to this interesting article on the indie labels growing influence in Nashville.

I like the idea of country superstars starting thier own boutique labels to allow them to stretch thier wings, but I would have liked to read about indie labels, Bloodshot, Compadre – that have cultivated and nurtured indie artists all along. Artists that would have never had a phone call returned by the major labels (and probably the superstar boutiques as well.) And what about the legends that had to turn to indies in the later years because the majors saw them as washed up – Cash with American, Charlie Louvin and Tompkins Square, Porter Wagner and Anti/Epigraph. These labels saw these legends and thier legacy and allowed them to release work to regain their musical spirit with dignity.

Let’s hear the whole story on indies.

Fire Destroys Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Home

From the Associated Press – Firefighters were battling flames this afternoon (April 10) in a major fire that has reportedly destroyed the home of the late country singer Johnny Cash. Dispatchers said all but one of the city’s engines had responded to the fire in the Hendersonville suburb northeast of Nashville.

No injuries were reported. Hendersonville Fire Department officials said construction crews were working at the house when the fire started. The cause is unknown.

Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, lived at the house until their deaths in 2003. The property was purchased by the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb in January 2006. Gibb and his wife, Linda, had said they planned to restore the home on Old Hickory Lake and hoped to write songs there.

Gibb’s spokesperson said the 60-year-old singer and his family are “both saddened and devastated by the news” but declined to release further details about the house or the fire.

While the Cashes lived there, the 13,880-square-foot house, about 20 miles northeast of downtown Nashville, was visited by everyone from U.S. presidents to ordinary fans.

“Of course we are all in a state of shock,” Johnny Cash’s sister Joanne said in a statement. “I feel that an era has passed. Just today in prayer, I had decided to move on, even discarding old newspaper clippings not realizing that this terrible thing would happen. My prayers are with the Cash family and especially the Gibb family during this time.”

Bluebird Cafe Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, long a mainstay for singer/songwriters in Music City, will kick off a year-long celebration commemorating its 25th anniversary in May through a nationwide “Bluebird on the Road” tour to 12 cities later this year, a private birthday bash for Bluebird family and friends and a “Superstars of the Bluebird” series in June.

“I set out to open a restaurant 25 years ago, but the music quickly took over,” says owner Amy Kurland. “Nothing could be more special than celebrating this milestone year with some of the same songwriters who were regulars back when we first opened the doors.”

Those original songwriters and many more will be invited to attend a private birthday bash hosted by performing rights organization BMI on May 24. Later, the festivities will be open to the public when a 10-day series titled “Superstars of the Bluebird” takes residence starting June 1. Dierks Bentley is among those slated to appear.

The show will hit the road on a 12 city songwriter tour, kicking off in New York City at Joe’s Pub on May 31 with a few of the founders of the “In The Round” format that originated at the Bluebird; Fred Knobloch, Thom Schuyler, Tony Arata and Jelly Roll Johnson. Additional songwriters, cities and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Garth Brooks’ record-shattering career began at the Bluebird, where a Capitol Records exec saw him substituting at the last minute for a performer who didn’t show up and promptly signed him. “In my opinion, the songwriter is the foundation of music,” Brooks once said, “and the Bluebird is the rock on which that foundation sits.”

Others who have played the Bluebird over the years include Melissa Etheridge, Steve Earle, the Cowboy Junkies, the Indigo Girls and the late Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury. Vince Gill, Janis Ian, John Prine, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Raul Malo, Radney Foster and Pam Tillis also have played the room.