Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Dan Auerbach, Kris Kristofferson To Pay Tribute to Cowboy Jack Clement

Cowboy-Jack-Clement_5Ggx_full“Cowboy” Jack Clement has carved out a storied career as a sinsinger/songwriter having his songs have been recorded by folks such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Carl Perkins, Bobby Bare, Elvis Presley and more. A producer for Townes Van Zandt and Waylon Jennings and DJ with a weekly program on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s Outlaw country)

The Memphis-born, 81-year-old, Clement recently lost his house to a fire in 2011. Now some of his friends are coming together at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville January 30 to help out.

According to American Songwriter “one of those musicians was Artist Growth founder Matt Urmy, who Clement recently produced, Artist Growth joined up with Dub Cornett, a long time protege of Clement’s, to put together Honoring A Legend: A Tribute To “Cowboy” Jack Clement, featuring an all-star list of artists influenced by and associated with Clement.”

Emmylou Harris, John Prine, Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride and more will gather to pay tribute to “The Pied Piper of Music City.”
All proceeds for the concert will go toward The Music Health Alliance and launching the “Cowboy” Jack Clement Fund to help the cost of medical bills for musicians not covered by insurance.

Get tickets

Check out the full list of artists below:

Dan Auerbach
Bobby Bare
Marshall Chapman
Rodney Crowell
Jakob Dylan
Emmylou Harris
Charley Pride
John Prine
T-Bone Burnett
Billy Burnette
Shawn Camp
Mary Gauthier
Kris Kristofferson
Nikki Lane
John C. Reilly

5 Americana & Country Music Christmas Albums – The Nice List

Not too be cynical, but Christmas albums are often little more than a money grab from big artists.They makes perfect business sense but rarely results in laying out hard-earned dollars to add to your collection. Here are 5 that break the opportunistic mold/ The artists here are either so singularly excellent as to transcend the material or they exhibit such sincerity and love for the material that it just moves you.

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An Americana Christmas
is a rootsy 16 song mix of classic Christmas songs and brand new holiday recordings from country and Americana legends, like John Prine, Johnny Cash and Dwight Yoakam, and some new guns Ronnie Fauss and Nikki Lane. This is a nicely balanced CD to sip your nog to.

 

 

 

Christmas With Buck Owens And His Buckaroos – Buck recorded two Christmas albums back in the sixties – Christmas Shopping and  Christmas with Buck Owens. This is the better of the two because the King of the Bakersfield Sound avoids the usual Christmas chestnuts and lends his signature style to a collection consisting  almost all original songs. The songs run from barroom weepers Blue Christmas Tree and It’s Christmas Time For Everyone But Me and the swinging Santa’s Gonna Come in a Stage Coach and Because It’s Christmas Time. This is a great stocking-stuffer for the country traditionalist in your life.

 

 

 

A Christmas Present – How many Christmas albums can you name that resulted in a #1 song? Not many, but this is one of them. Haggard’s  A Christmas Present, released in 1973,  contains the single If We Make It Through December which spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart that December through  January 1974. That song and others like melancholy “Daddy Won’t Be Home for Christmas settles you in for a lonesome Christmas, but Hag does take a light-hearted break with Santa Claus and Popcorn and Bobby Wants a Puppy Dog for Christmas.

 

 

 

 

A John Prine Christmas – The legendary John Prine puts away the satircal knives (mostly) on this excellent, though brief, holiday release. Classics like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and  Silver Bells are done straight-up and  mixed with wry originals resulting in a tasty spiked Christmas nog. Broken relationships in songs like  Everything Is Cool and All the Best are recalled less bitterness then bemused fatalism.

 

 

 

 

 

To: Kate a Benefit for Kate’s Sake – A collection of Americana and alt.country legends came together on this 2005 release partake in one of the greatest of Christmas endeavors; charity.
Jim Lauderdale, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Buddy & Julie Miller and others to put together To: Kate a Benefit for Kate’s Sake to benefit a three-year-old  Nashville girl suffering from a rare genetic disease. Chuck Mead and BR549 do a great Western Swing version of The Christmas Song and Jim Lauderdale tears through a spirited Holly & Her Mistletoe. Buddy and Julie Miller strike the perfect tone for the spiritual Away In A Manger and Joe Ely’s Tejano-tinged Winterlude is as spicy and pleasing as Mexican hot chocolate on a winter night.

 

 

 

Hillbilly Holiday– Unfortunately now out of print, Hillbilly Holiday is an excellent 18-track compilation of classic country Christmas songs. Pioneers like Bill Monroe, Tex Ritter and Ernst Tubb sit beside relative newcomers Willie Nelson. Buck Owens and Loretta Lynn on this often whimsical compilation. If you can find this release is  just the remedy for the pop-country fan in your life.

Taylor Who? – 5 Female Americana Music Artists

Since the release of her new album Red it’s been all Taylor Swift al the time (like that’s different.) I like what I know about Taylor Swift as a person and her diligence to her work and devotion to her fans. It’s her music that leaves me cold. Slap whatever Music City label you want on it she’s in with Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus for the tween pop market.

I prefer my music for adults, even when being performed by a 20-something. I have no problem with style and spangles  but I want it served with substance.  Here are 5 female artists that fit the bill  that I would counter in any “Taylor is awesome!” discussion.

Your choice not here? Leave yours in the comments.

Lindi Ortega – That voice, those songs, that style. Triple threat!

Amanda Shires – All the above with the added awesomeness of being a Texan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv6Oj3zDo6Q&feature=relmfu

Lera Lynn – Caught her show in Nashville last September. Amazing!

Lydia Loveless – If you like your music served neat I would recommend Ms. Loveless

Nikki Lane – Also saw Ms. Lane in Nashville. Great show. I hope to hear something new from her soon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXplet4afOU&feature=relmfu

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki Lane

Twang Nation South-By-Southwest Americana Mix

Circumstances conspired to keep me from attending the music (and tech/film) madness that is South-By-Southwest taking place March 13-18  in  my home state of Texas. In lieu of standing toe-to-toe with strangers an having beer spilled on me I will soldier on from my couch here in the Bay Area to shed light on the Americana and Roots artists tha will be sprinkled in with the indie-darling of the week bands that dominate the scene. Here’s a list of bands/musicians that I’ve collected that are playing the event. Have a listen and check them out live. Then help them out and buy a CD or t-shirt. Guitar strings and gas don’t grown on trees bud!

Twang Nation #SXSW Americana Mix on Spotify

SXSW Americana/Roots list:

Alabama Shakes

Justin Townes Earle
Anais Mitchell
Nikki Lane
Carrie Rodriguez
Hellbound Glory
Rachel Brooke
Ana Egge
Sons Of Fathers
The Trishas
Izzy Cox
Lost and Nameless Orchestra
MilkDrive
Shurman
Warren Hood and The Goods
Treetop Flyers
The Brothers Comatose
Brown Bird
Ghosts Along the Brazos
Joe Pug
Alejandro Escovedo and The Sensitive Boys
The Lumineers
Henry Wagons
Jack Wilson
Have Gun Will Travel
The White Horse
Jon Dee Graham
Shannon McNally
Hurray for the Riff Raff
Greensky Bluegrass
Guns of Navarone
Brett Detar
Owen Temple
Star & Micey
Andra Suchy
Sugar & the Hi Lows
Seth Walker
Carrie Elkin
Lydia Loveless
The Pines
East Cameron Folkcore
the Little Willies
Punch Brothers
Jonny Corndawg
the Gourds
HoneyHoney
Chuck Meadand His Grassy Knoll Boys
Fallon & The Bandits
Deadman
Mickey & The Motorcars

Nikki Lane New Video – “Lies”

Here at Casa Twang we make it no secret that we are big fans of Nikki Lane. The comely raven-haired chanteuse might be only 28 but she delivers a classic country sound with a modern twist that belies her South Carolina upbringing and current home of Los Angeles.

Since her release of her first full-length, Walk of Shame, last year Lane has been busier than a long-tail cat in a room full of rockers. She played two showcases at last year’s  Americana Music Association Festival (which I was lucky enough to catch), toured with Noah & The Whale and the mighty Drive-By Truckers, played NPR’s “Mountain Stage” and recorded a session for the always excellent Daytrotter site. If that wasn’t enough the bustling Ms. Lane has opened High Class Hillbilly  a Nashville vintage boutique.

Nikki has also found time to finish a new video for Walk of Shame’s “Lies,” directed by Jared Eberhardt, who also directed the “Gone, Gone, Gone” video. (Watch it below.)

The song has a classic reverbed 70s classic revived by Tarantino films depicting Nikki walking in the desert, signing while lounging in front of a fireplace, lying in a bed, and driving a Trans-Am that was probably manufactured the year she was born. And she makes every frame of it look good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXplet4afOU&feature=youtu.be

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 1

Yes friends, after all these years of talking (and posting the occasional clip) about great music I decided to just into the fray and get out a Twang Nation podcast. Why now? Two reasons. I came back from the Americana Music Association Conference with some great experiences and the technological opportunity fell into my lap. there you have it.

How does it stack up with excellent productions like Freight Train Boogie, 9 Bullets or Country Fried Rock ? I’ll leave that up to you dear listener.There’s a lot of great Americana and roots music out there and I hope I am able to cover just a bit more of it to bring you great music. The production is excellent thanks to my friend (and bartender) Franklyn, the “uh” and “um”marred patter between songs is less smooth (Sorry Brett Deter, at least I got you name in there after the song!)but I take the same license I do as a blogger, you get what you pay for. And it’s untimely not about my sterling delivery, it’s about the music. By chance this maiden episode happen to coincide with the 70th birthday of Guy Clark so I’ve included his classic Dublin Blues to end the program.

Best of all, this was fun and I look forward to doing it again soon. I hope you like it and find some great music , and if you like it please leave your comments below and forward it to friends. Most importantly go buy music and get out and see live shows. if you don’t our greatest fears might be realized,  great music will go away.

  1. Dale Watson – A Real Country Song
  2. Hymn For Her – Slips
  3. Hellbound Glory – Better Hope You Die Young
  4. Amanda Shires – Shake The Walls
  5. Austin Lucas – Sleep Well
  6. Wagons – I Blew It
  7. Sunday Valley  – Sometimes Wine
  8. Nikki Lane – Gone, Gone, Gone
  9. Brett Deter – The Devil’s Gotta’ Earn
  10. Lindi Ortega – Angels
  11. Scott H_ Biram –  Dontcha Lie To Me Baby
  12. Truckstop Dalrlin’ – Down
  13. Guy Clark – Dublin Blues

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 1

On iTunes

Americana Music Association Conference & Festival 2011 Wrap Up

On the night of the 10th annual Americana Music Association Awards, the director of the organization, Jed Hilly, recounted from the stage of the historic Ryman Auditorium a few of the key accomplishment te genre had enjoyed over the last few years. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences included a separate Americana Grammy category and Miriam-Webster added the word Americana to their dictionary: “a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country music.” I was fortunate to be chosen to cover the Grammys as the official Americana blogger this year and so was personally appreciative of that part formal industry recognition and I think the Miriam-Webster definition is imprecise but Hilly’s assessment is correct, movement now feels like progress.

The nearly 50 panels ranged from topics better suited for barroom debates  (Is  Blues Americana?) to tips and insights in booking shows, using Cloud-based, digital distribution,  steaming music services and tips on using social media to expand your fan base.

As great as the America Music Awards program and panels were the real action was around Nashville. A neat definition of Americana was made even more futile by the contemporary variations on display by the 100 bands showcased at five of the city’s best live music clubs throughout the dates of the conference.

Wednesday night started with Austinite power-couple Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison at the Station Inn. I had see their show several months ago at my home in San Francisco and they had honed the songs and patter over the miles. The married pair emanated a presence and rapport that can only be delivered from two people that have been in the thick and thin together. Jokes about marriage counseling followed by numbers laced with classic country was reminiscent of John and June or George and Tammy. Then across town to catch Blind Boys of Alabama and another Austin resident Hayes Carll at the Mercy Lounge. The BBoA are simply one of the most amazing live acts I’ve ever seen. Their version of Amazing Grace performed over the familiar lonesome strains of House of the Rising Sun will give you hope while making you weep. Hayes Carll delivered his learned honky-tonk with spirit and a Texas crooked smile to charged crowd that hung on every word, even when that song was as wordy as KMAG YOYO.

Thursday was all about the 10th annual awards Americana Music Association Honors and Awards held at the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium. Once again Jim Lauderdale performed MC duties and Buddy Miller led the house band once again and also triumphed by winning two awards, Artist of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year. Miller showed the utmost humility by stating after the second hand-made folk-art trophy was handed to him  “Well this is just embarrassing. I feel like I get away with murder,” he said. “I’m really, really not that good. … But I get to play with some wonderfully incredibly talented people.” Emmylou Harris quipped that they should just name the hand-made trophies “The Buddy.” I think she’s on to something.

Robert Plant and his Band of Joy took home the trophy for Album of the Year took acceptation to Miller’s assessment. Saying of his Raising Sand and Band of Joy collaborator “I stole a great deal with my old companions, and I was very fortunate, the last few years, to be welcomed by some spectacular people, especially in this town,” Plant said. “”I’m never going anywhere without Buddy Miller. “ Regarding the Band of Joy win, I would argue that a covers album should not be in the running for album of the year, but if one is Gurf Morlix’s album of Blaze Foley covers “Blaze Foley’s 113th Wet Dream” should have been that album.

Musical highlights included the Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow, the Avett Brothers’ The Once and Future Carpenter and soul singer Candi Staton’s tribute to Rick Hall, founder of Fame Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Ala. with Heart on a String.

Song of the Year winner Justin Townes Earle delivered on an up-tempo Harlem River Blues, the Secret Sisters represented country tradition with Hank Williams’ Why Don’t You Love Me and Scott and Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers provided background vocals during Jessica Lea Mayfield’s For Today.  Other performers included Lucinda Williams (Blessed), Amos Lee (Cup of Sorrow), Elizabeth Cook (El Camino), Buddy Miller (Gasoline and Matches), and Jim Lauderdale (Life by Numbers).

The show closed out with Greg Allman on Hammond B-3 organ leading Plant, Griffin, Miller, Lee, Cook,  and others on an extended version of the gospel standard, “Glory, Glory Hallelujah.”

Post awards activities too place primarily in the Basement under Grimey’s Record Store. I walked in on the winsome Amanda Shires mid-set, decked in a lovely dress and monogrammed boots her fluttering vibrato held the packed house in silence. Malcolm Holcombe followed with a two-piece accompaniment that in no way fenced in his frenetic guitar picking as he strolled the stage and growled songs of love and hope. On advice of a friend I stuck around for Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three. Their country-swing-blues sound was a perfect to close a late night.

Friday I was fortunate enough to catch the great Henry Wagons at the Second Fiddle Australian/Americana lunch showcase. Wagons is one of these guys that was born to perform, and it works to his favor that he’s cool to be around. Later that night I headed over to the Mercy Lounge to catch Robert Ellis playing the opening bill at the Mercy Lounge, “I thought I had gotten the shitty slot.” Ellis said grinning at the nearly packed room. He and his band then proved why they are the one to watch in the coming. years. It reminded me of when I first saw Ryan Bingham in New York City in 2007, great things to come. Amy LaVere followed playing her jazzy folk renditions  with winsome charm and playing, and seeming waltzing, with her stand-up bass. I then spent time catching Elizabeth Cook doing her always excellent set and heading downstairs to the Cannery Ballroom to see Jim Lauderdale & Buddy Miller show how it’s done. Did I mention this is the best Americana conference/festival in the world? Then across to catch the Bottle Rockets do an acoustic show at the Rutledge, where the band proved that even unplugged they are one of the best live acts in America.

Saturday I decided to hit the the Americanarama in the parking lot of Grimey’s Preloved Music Record Store to see a current favorite, Nikki Lane,  perform her blend of 60’s surf rock and country noir. Lane charmed the crowd and then wowed them. She also won extra style points from me for sporing a Waylon Jennings logo tattoo on her forearm. I was suprised by the band Hymn For Her that I judged by their name to be a wispy folk duo. They were anything but as they tore through their set of hillbilly garage-rock with Lucy Tight on cigar-box guitar & Wayne Waxing on guitar, kick drum and harmonica. They blew me away with their cover of Morphine’s Thursday.

Overall this year’s conference seems like the community has come into their own with old friends and new mingling to laugh , argue and celebrate the thing that brings us together. Great music.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3skEpvi09Pc&feature=related[/youtube]