10 Country Music Awards Moments to Remind Us It Didn’t Always Suck

charlie-rich-envelope-john-denver-cma-1975

Remember when Loretta Lynne won CMA Awards with Loretta Lynn announced as Entertainer of the Year? How about when johnny Cash hosted the event.

Of course you don’t. It was decades ago and most of you weren’t even born yet.

There was a time that the Country Music Awards, like the industry and culture itself, had an edge and a spirit of danger. Performers would roll off a couch in a studio somewhere in town to accept their award. Sometimes they were drunk and looking for a fight. Below find some great moments from CMA history to help us steel through the glitter-choked tailgate party it’s become.

The one video I wanted o find most of all was one of Charlie Rich burning the piece of paper announcing John Denver as the Country Music Association “Entertainer of the Year” at the 1975 CMA Awards. Alas that little gem of industry spontaneity has been shut down.

Dolly Parton sneaks up on Randy Travis

Waylon Jennings performs “America” on what looks like an ’80’s CMA

CMA’s hosted by Johnny Cash in 1978
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkbBJE76KU0

Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge perform Me and Bobby McGee at the 1974 CMA Awards
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fujhzkyYias

Sonny James and Bobby Goldsboro present the award for the Country Music Association Instrumentalist to Jerry Reed in 1971.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko39cIFowRY

1974 CMA Awards with Loretta Lynn announced as Entertainer of the Year
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8370bQ5Izo

Willie Nelson Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame by Johnny Cash at the 27th CMA Awards 1993
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMrh7aPaagg

Alison Krauss & Union Station performs ‘My Poor Old Heart’ on the 2005 CMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuGJaU25ZIA

1968 Country Music Awards with an induction of Bob Wills into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Skip over the insipid performance by Bobby Goldsboro.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BYNuPL0Te4

In 1999 George Jones, recovering from a near-fatal car accident, was nominated for Single of the Year for his autobiographical ballad “Choices.”
CMA executives asked Jones to sing a shortened version of the nominated song, but he opted to stay home as a sign of his protest against the request.
Alan Jackson showed class and reverence for Jones worked “Choices” into the last portion of his scheduled performance of his current single, “Pop A Top.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_WmbAek0-4

Randy Travis Admitted to Texas Hospital in Critical Condition

randy_0

I just received an PR email that Country singer Randy Travis has been admitted to a Texas hospital and is listed in critical condition. The email reads “The Grammy winner is suffering from complications of recently acquired viral cardiomyopathy. Travis was admitted into the medical facility yesterday.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiomyopathy is a “disease that weakens and enlarges your heart muscle.” Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.

Randy Travis recently released ‘Tonight I’m Playing Possum,’ a tribute song for the late George Jones he recorded with Joe Nichols.

Te story has been conformed by USA Today and CNN

Acquired viral cardiomyopathy: Country singer Randy Travis’ heart condition explained (FOX)

UPDATE 7/10: Publicist Kirt Webster said Wednesday night that the 54-year-old Travis suffered the stroke while he was being treated for congestive heart failure because of a viral illness. It was not clear what kind of stroke Travis suffered.

Webster said Travis was undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. He remained in critical condition.

“His family and friends here with him at the hospital request your prayers and support,” Webster said in a news release.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/07/10/randy-travis-in-congestive-heart-failure-doctors-say/#ixzz2Yho0Efj0

i will update when I get more news.

Kathy Cash’s Johnny Cash “Forever” Stamp Celebration Speech

johnny-cash-stamp-2

The Johnny Cash “Forever” Stamp celebration took place June 5th at the Ryman Auditorium featured John Carter Cash, The Oak Ridge Boys, Marty Stuart, Randy Travis, Carlene Carter, Wesley Orbison and other members of the Cash family to kick off the release of the limited-edition stamp

A “forever’stamp is a non-denominated stamp that retains full validity postage no matter of price increases.

Kathy Cash , Johnny’s Daughter from his first marriage to Vivian Liberto Distin and sister of Rosanne Cash, posted her heartfelt and funny speech from the event. I re-post it here with a video of a rousing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” from the finale. Enjoy.
___________________________________________________________
Good Morning.

Thank you for being here to celebrate the “Johnny Cash Forever Stamp” in the Music Icon series.

My dad and mom had a 4 year courtship in the early 50’s. Dad was in the Air Force in Germany, mom was a young woman living in San Antonio, Texas. During that 4 year period, they exchanged an astounding 10,000 letters.

Dad was no stranger to licking a stamp.

He loved stamps and we have the letters to prove it.

When dad was on the road until he retired, he sent us hundreds of cards, letters, poems and Valentines, postmarked from all over the world. When he heard a new upcoming artist on the radio and liked what he heard, he always sat down to write a letter of encouragement.

Always postmarked, always mailed.

In a fast paced world of telegrams and faxes, then email and texts, dad always preferred and chose writing. It meant a great deal to him to send a handwritten letter, stamped and mailed to people he cared about.

Dad has been inducted into all 4 Halls of Fame : Country Music, Songwriters, Rock and Roll and Gospel. He received the Kennedy Honor Award, The National Medal Of Arts, and was the first person to receive the Spirit Of Americana “Free Speech Award.” He earned thousands of awards for his musical accomplishments and humanitarian works. There’s even a main street in Hendersonville, TN., named “The Johnny Cash Parkway.”

Dad loved this country. I have no doubt that having his image on a United States postage stamp would be his proudest accomplishment.

If dad were here he’d be beaming with pride, and would say something to the effect of, “Well. Ain’t that somethin’? This face of mine on a postage stamp. A government issued postage stamp. A FOREVER STAMP.” He would love that it’s a forever stamp.

Dad had such an impact on American history. To have him recognized in this capacity is incredible. It means future generations will realize what a monumental part of American history and music Johnny Cash is.

On behalf of the entire Cash family, I want to thank the United States Postal Service, the fans and collectors who initiated and participated in this remarkable effort, voicing their support for a Johnny Cash stamp.

Carlene Carter and Larry Gatlin sing “Jackson”

Johnny Cash Forever Stamp Celebration at the Ryman Auditorium

johnny-cash-stamp-2

The United States Postal Service, John Carter Cash and other members of the Cash family will the release of a limited-edition Johnny Cash Forever stamp June 5, 2013 at historic Ryman Auditorium (116 Fifth Avenue, Nashville) at 10:30 a.m. CDT. Doors open for stamp sales at 9 a.m. and the event is free and open to the public.

Artists set to appear, perform or speak include John Carter Cash, Carlene Carter, Larry Gatlin, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Roys, Marty Stuart and Randy Travis among others. 650AM WSM personality Bill Cody will serve as emcee of the event.
 
“It is an amazing blessing that my father Johnny Cash be honored with the issue of this stamp. Dad was a hard-working man, a man of dignity. As much as anything else, he was a proud American, always supporting his family, fans and country. I can think of no better way to pay due respect to his legacy than through the release of this stamp,” said John Carter Cash.
 
“My family is thrilled that my father will grace a United States ‘Forever’ stamp, a great honor for any American, and an honor that would have particularly delighted him. It is a joy to know that generations will use this stamp, and my father will forever be where he loved to be: traveling the world,” added Rosanne Cash.
 
About the Limited-Edition Johnny Cash Forever Stamp:
Designed by art director Greg Breeding, the Johnny Cash stamp features a photograph captured by Frank Bez during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963).  The stamp is part of the U.S. Postal Service’s Music Icon series, which also includes stamps honoring Lydia Mendoza (available now)  and Ray Charles (to be released in September).
 
The stamps will be available for purchase at the Ryman Auditorium June 5 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the CMA Festival Fan Fair X at LP Field June 6-9, local Post Offices and online at usps.com/stamps.

Record Store Day 2013 – Americana and Roots Music Picks

rsd2013

It’s that time again twangers. Yes, Record Store Day 2013 is upon us. The day when us music fans can snatch up slabs of limited pressing vinyl from our favorite artists and help local independent records store to not become bygone relics. That would stink.

This year’s RSD2013 releases offer some great selections from the roots and Americana side of the fence. Willie Nelson demos? Yes please! Waylon Jennings and Old 97s collaboration? Oh yeah!

Check the hilarious video from RSD1013 Ambassador Jack White below, where he details the shady doings of the music industry, the Masons and the NBA draft (sort of) and on April 20th head to your local independent record store to pick up one of the limited edition goodies below.

Head to the official RSD2013 site to get a complete list of releases and participating stores.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etxYxIfDhXc

Chet Atkins
Black Jack EP
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: SUNDAZED
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
More Info:
Previously unreleased recordings by this guitar master
Midnight, Boo Boo Stick Beat, Blackjack, Blue Moon of Kentucky

The Avett Brothers/ Randy Travis
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Warner Music Nashville
More Info:
Limited edition split single. Randy Travis covers the Avett Brothers’ “February”, The Avett Brothers covers the Randy Travis song, “Three Wooden Crosses.

The Band
The Last Waltz
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Rhino
More Info:
3 180 Gram LPs, Numbered RSD Edition. All original packaging with Embossing and two foils. All original inner sleeves plus 12-page booklet. Out of print for more than a decade.

Billy Bragg
No One Knows Nothing Anymore / Song of the Iceberg
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Cooking Vinyl

Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper Deluxe Reissue
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: LidKerCow, LTD
More Info:
Blitzen Trapper’s debut album from 2003 will be available for the first time on vinyl in celebration of it’s 10th Anniversary. The record was remastered by Bruce Barielle and the lacquers were cut by Jeff Powell at Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN. A very limited edition run, the record is pressed on 180g vinyl with a free digital download of the entire record with five previously unheard bonus tracks from the original sessions.

Joe Bussard
Guitar Rag/Screwdriver Slide
DETAILS
Format: 78 rpm 10″
Label: Tompkins Square

Calexico
Spiritoso
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Anti/Epitaph

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Rattlin Bones
DETAILS
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Sugar Hill

cookisbell

Elizabeth Cook / Jason Isbell
Tecumseh Valley b/w Pancho & Lefty
DETAILS
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: 31 Tigers
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
More Info:
“Tecumseh Valley” b/w “Pancho & Lefty”
Studio versions of both artists covering Townes Van Zandt. They originally performed these songs on Late Night with David Letterman

cooley

Mike Cooley
Too Pretty To Work
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Cooley Records
More Info:
Record Store Day 7″ featuring 2 live tracks recorded at shows in 2012.
1 – Self Destructive Zones (3:36)
2 – Get Downtown (3:12)

Bob Dylan
Wigwam
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Columbia
More Info:
A – Wigwam (Unreleased Demo,) B – Thirsty Boots (Previously Unreleased) — Two previously unreleased Bob Dylan recordings from the Self Portrait sessions. Includes a demo version of “Wigwam” and the previously unreleased track “Thirsty Boots.” Taken from the forthcoming release, The Bootleg Series Vol. 10.

Justin Townes Earle
Yuma
Format: 10″ Vinyl
Label: Bloodshot Records
More Info:
Previously released debut EP from Justin Townes Earle, now on vinyl for the first time. 10″ vinyl. Colored vinyl (opaque gold). Limited to 1000 copies, for RSD.
The Ghost of Virginia, You Can’t Leave, Yuma, I Don’t Care, Let the Waters Rise, A Desolate Angels Blues

Alejandro Escovedo/Chris Scruggs
78 rpm 10
Format: 10″ Vinyl
Label: Plowboy Records
More Info:
78 rpm 10″ A/B single release of two covers of Eddy Arnold standards by Alejandro Escovedo (A side) and Chris Scruggs (B side) for upcoming “You Don’t Know Me: Rediscovering Eddy Arnold” album project due in May 2013
a side : “It’s a Sin” by Alejandro Escovedo – B side: “Just A Little Lovin’ (Will Go A Long Way” by Chris Scruggs

Giant Giant Sand
Return to Tucson
DETAILS
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Fire / Cargo
More Info:
limited to 1000 copies. 12″LP featuring 8 remixes by John Parish and Ali chant from tracks that featured on 2012’s ‘Tucson’ LP.
SIDE A: Lost love (John Parish + Ali Chant Remix); Undiscovered Country (John Parish Remix); Wind Blown Waltz (John Parish + Ali Chant Alternative Mix); Thing Like That (Ali Chant Extended Version) SIDE B: Carinito (Ali Chant Alternative Mix); Not The End Of The World (Ali Chant Alternative Version); Hard Morning in a Soft Blur (Chris Schultz Extended Version(; Forever & A Day (John Parish + Ali Chant Alternative Mix)

Golden Gunn (Steve Gunn + Hiss Golden Messenger)
Golden Gunn
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Three Lobed / Thrill Jockey
More Info:
Golden Gunn is a collaboration between Steve Gunn and Hiss Golden Messenger. LP comes with a download code. Only 870 made.

Jackie Greene
Love Is A Shining Catastrophe/Sweet Somewhere Bound 7
DETAILS
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: self-released
More Info:
7″ Vinyl Single in 4/c jacket with 2 “A” Sides and 5 song digital download.

Patty Griffin
Ohio
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: New West
More Info:
This is a single A-side 7” pressed on heavyweight vinyl. The vinyl is black, hand-numbered 1-500, and Patty will sign Side B on 25 of the records, which will be randomly distributed. This song is from her forthcoming album, American Kid, due out 5/14/13. This will come in an all white sleeve with a stamped logo and a stickered UPC.

IMAGINATIONAL ANTHEM VOL. 6 : ORIGINS OF AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GUITAR
Format: Gatefold Vinyl Ltd 1500
Label: Tompkins Square
If American Primitive Guitar begins with John Fahey and the Takoma School, then the actual origins of this sound is found within this collection of fourteen classic solo guitar performances. Recorded between 1923 to 1930, this set is the “Rosetta Stone” of style and repertoire tapped into deeply by Fahey, Basho & Rose, among many others. Sam McGee, Riley Puckett, Bayless Rose, Sylvester Weaver, Lemuel Turner, Frank Hutchison and Davey Miller are the rural artists included in this anthology. Each one of these showcases a particular technique and sensitivity sourced from the earlier 19th century parlor guitar tradition. Several of these sides are reissued for their first time including Sylvester Weaver’s “Guitar Blues” which is the first solo finger picked guitar solo ever recorded. Stunningly remastered and annotated by Christopher King.

Iron and Wine
Next to Paradise/Dirty Ocean
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Warner Bros.
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release

Sarah Jarosz
Live At The Troubadour
Label: Sugar Hill

tift

Tift Merritt
Markings
DETAILS
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Yep Roc
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
More Info:
4-song 12″ featuring an unreleased track, a live track and two acoustic tracks from Traveling Alone. Covered with a tactile cross-stitched/embroidered record cover.

Mumford & Sons
Live at Bull Moose
DETAILS
Format: 10″ Vinyl
Label: Glassnote
More Info:
“””I Will Wait”” “”Ghosts That We Knew”” “”Where Are You Now”” “”Awake My Soul”” — 3 or 4 songs from their bull moose instore – 10″” version”

WillieNelsonCrazyVinyl.indd

Willie Nelson
Crazy: The Demo Sessions
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Sugar Hill
More Info:
When Willie first got to Nashville he cut some demos for Ray Price and Hal Smith’s publishing company, Pamper Music. Though these cuts were used to pitch songs to artists (including ‘Crazy’ for Patsy Cline) and producers, many weren’t released. These 1960-1966 tracks are raw, real and really good, clearly the work of an artist/songwriter headed for stardom.

Willie Nelson
Someday My Prince Will Come
Label: Legacy

Waylon

Waylon Jennings / Old 97s
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Omnivore Recordings
More Info:
2 x 7″
Two tracks from Old 97s sessions with Waylon Jennings, and two additional Old 97s demo tracks. Cover art by Jon Langford of the Mekons and Waco Brothers, and famed painter of country icons.
Iron Road The Other Shoe, Visiting Hours (1996 demo), Fireflies Take 2 (1996 demo)

Gram Parsons
Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels-Live 1973 7
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: SIERRA
More Info:
Originally released in 1982 as a bonus 7″ EP to Sierra Records “Live 1973” LP release of Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris with full color sleeve.
Side One: Medley- Bony Moronie, 40 Days, Almost Grown Side Two: Conversations, Doing It in the Bus, Broken EBS Box, Hot Burrito #1

Phosphorescent
Aw Come Aw Wry
Label: Misra Records
More Info:
Previously released title from Phosphorescent, and one of the best-selling, on Misra. This will be the first time that it is available on vinyl.

CHARLIE POOLE & THE HIGHLANDERS : THE COMPLETE PARAMOUNT & BRUNSWICK RECORDINGS, 1929
Vinyl w/ Poster Ltd 1500
From 1926 to 1930 one of the most popular rural string bands on record was Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers. Through their 78 RPM discs and their various performances, Charlie Poole was second only to Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. Poole’s uniquely syncopated three finger banjo picking style coupled with his Piedmont vocal inflections eventually colored and defined much of what we consider “old-time” music. The classic configuration of banjo, fiddle and guitar with vocals was encouraged by the main label that promoted Poole but he also wanted to record instrumentals featuring twin-fiddle and piano. As renaming his group The Highlanders, Poole was able to actualize this musical vision. This collection contains all of the sides that Poole made with Roy Harvey, Lucy Terry, and twin-fiddlers Lonnie Austin & Odell Smith. Remastered in beautiful sound by Christopher King and with notes written by old-time musician and scholar Kinney Rorrer.

Punch Brothers
“Ahoy!” – 33 1/3 rpm Vinyl EP
Label: Nonesuch Records
For the first time, the EP has been pressed on 10″ vinyl for Record Store Day, and includes songs by Josh Ritter (“Another New World”), Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (“Down Along the Dixie Line”), Punch Brothers (“Squirrel of Possibility”), and Mclusky (“Icarus Smicarus”), along with one traditional tune, arranged by Punch Brothers (“Moonshiner”). Originall yrecorded during the Nashville sessions for their 2012 album Who’s Feeling Young Now?,

Richard Thompson
Salford Sunday
DETAILS
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: New West
More Info:This is a single A-side 7” pressed on heavyweight vinyl. This song is off of the release Electric (2/5/13). The vinyl is black, hand-numbered 1-500. Richard will sign Side B on 25 of the records, which will be distributed randomly

Frank Turner
Recovery
Format: 7″ Vinyl
Label: Interscope

Various Artists
Yep Roc Hearsay / They Call It Rock
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Yep Roc
Release type: RSD Exclusive Release
More Info:
2 Song 12″ on clear vinyl, 24 Yep Roc Artist performing, DVD of recording session, hand made cover

Yonder Mountain String Band
Format: 12″ Vinyl
Label: Vanguard

Video Feature: Randy Travis with The Avett Brothers “Three Wooden Crosses”

Photo Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

One of the most thrilling performances I’ve had the good fortune to attend  was a New York City based CMT Crossroads, the first filmed outside of Nashville, featuring  Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle.

The premise of the show is to pair country music artists with musicians from other music genres, often covering the other one’s songs and performing duets.  Over it’s decade-long existence CMT Crossroads the pairings have ranged from the aforementioned Earle and Cash show, also Lucinda Williams with Elvis Costello and Travis Tritt with Ray Charles. Some are less inspired, like Sugarland with Bon Jovi and Sara Evans and Maroon 5.

I would put the upcoming collaboration of the Avett Brothers with country music legend Randy Travis in the inspired category. The Avetts are riding high in their new release , The Carpenter. The album threads with themes of mortality and personal trials. These are themes the recently troubled Travis can certainly identify with.

Check this excellent video  Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses.” I hope the rest of the programs reached this level.

Tune in and find out – CMT Crossroads Nov. 23 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.

Music Review: Joe Thompson – Yankee Twang (self-released)

On his second release Joe Thompson takes us on a journey of a man caught between two worlds – the American northeast and the southwest. His birthplace of Western Pennsylvania,  his current residence of New York City and Texas, the source of his lineage (the birthplace of his parents if the narrative in Texas waltz is factual.)  All play a part in the shifting landscapes of Yankee Twang, but it appears that in this struggle of geographic and identity the main source of aesthetic inspiration is the Lone Star State.

With a barroom baritone that would truly make Randy Travis proud, Thompson opens Yankee Twang with Blue New York – a classic George Strait-like ballad of lonely nights and hard love in the city that refuses to let you sleep. The chorus calls out to Texas, Austin specifically, as remedy for the big city blues, but he sounds like a man that would cast his lot with any way out of Gotham –

Lucky Mistake is a Nashville hit as-yet not recorded by one of the CMA chosen hat-acts. Upbeat but not frothy and great to sing to at the top of your lungs. I hope Thompson is lucky enough to have Kenny Chensey pay him for the privilege of ruining it. Next is the song I hope to hear in every tequila bar in America – Luisa! Luisa! sounds has a Texas Tornadoes festive spirit that belies the sad story of the protagonist losing the song’s namesake. Tequila does that for you.

Sweet Texas Waltz is a gorgeous acoustic-led number that really being to bear the duality theme that runs throughout. “My Yankee blood’s rich with that black Texas mud, but a Yankee I am through and through.”  And this longing results  in “I wish I could dance that sweet Texas waltz, the way my mom and dad do.”

Summer ’93 reaches into West Texas and back in time to channel Buddy Holly’s rave-up rockabilly hiccup beat. I Could’ve Slept All Day is a damn fine lovely lament of tear-stained love and regret.

The song that stands out the most to be is the briefest on the release. At 2 minutes and 32 seconds Traction is a moody, menacing window into the heart of a man that gave all to love and recognizes his estranged reined back emotions seemingly in anticipation of, or causing, the end. It’s as stark edge of emotion in song as I’ve hard.

As a Texan that lived for five years in New York City I get a kind of reverse sense of cultural disassociation that Yankee Twang emits. Dirt and blood run thick as as Houston humidity and I feel a kinship to this generation-removed Texan brought up in the rust, instead of the Bible, belt. Thompson recently moved to Austin.  I hope he ventures outside that bubble and the reality matches the mythology this release is steeped in.

For fun Thompson has a cocktail companion to every song on the album.

Official Site | Facebook |  Buy

News Round Up: New Releases by John Prine, Johnny Cash Art Collective

  • In true DIY fashion The Johnny Cash Project is a “global collective art project” that allows fans from all over the world to contribute to a arrogated, user-generated video for the title track from the latest Johnny Cash recording American VI: Ain’t No Grave. The single images are then threaded together into a one-of-a-kind labor of love. I only wish the Man in Black has lived to see this.
  • John Prine fans are about to hit pay-dirt. On May 25th, 2010, Oh Boy Records (founded in 1981 by Prine and manager Al Bunetta) will release the live In Person & On Stage, which will draw from performances spanning the past several years and covering songs from as far back as Prine’s 1971 debut and as recently as 2005’s acclaimed Fair & Square. Then Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine will be released on on June 22nd (Oh Boy) and will feature Prine compositions interpreted by devotees such as My Morning Jacket, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, The Avett Brothers, Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lambchop, Drive-By Truckers, Deer Tick featuring Liz Isenberg, Justin Townes Earle, Those Darlins, and, reprising their respective tracks from In Person & On Stage, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins and Josh Ritter. Oh Boy will begin a pre-sale for In Person & On Stage on April 20thand for Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows on April 27th at www.musicfansdirect.com.
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has announced it will pay tribute to the legendary Tammy Wynette with an exhibit titled Tammy Wynette: First Lady of Country Music. Presented by Great American Country (GAC) the exhibit will open in the Museum’s East Gallery on August 20, 2010, and run through June 2011.
  • More news from the The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. An upgrade to the Hall’s core collection, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, are expected to be completed next month. The updates, which focus on country music’s last five decades, will bring the story of country music forward in time and conclude with a glimpse of the future. They will highlight the country-rock, pop-country, southern rock, full-strength classic country and the “Urban Cowboy” craze. The upgrade includes new oversized portraits, video clips and artifacts such as Dolly Parton’s handwritten lyrics to Jolene, Tom T. Hall’s acoustic guitar he purchased from songwriter Merle Kilgore, and items from Ronnie Milsap, Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis, and Tanya Tucker. Other updates focus on the mid-1980s arrival of artists like Dwight Yoakam, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Randy Travis and Steve Earle. New exhibits celebrate contemporary bluegrass and Americana artists, ranging from Alison Krauss and Del McCoury to Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.

Willie Nelson Premieres New Video for Shoeshine Man

  • Willie Nelson premiered his new video covering Tom T. Hall’s Shoeshine Man (below) The song is not on his upcoming covers album American Classics so I have no idea whay he made this video, but he seems to be having a ball. The Texas Yoda has taken a page from the DIY codger goofing around in front of a video camera recently used by Neil Young for his video Fork in the Road.
  • The Americana Music Association announced the lineup for its 2009 festival,  Sept. 16-19 at around several of  Nashville’s best venues – The Mercy Lounge, The Cannery Ballroom, 3rd & Lindsley, The Station Inn and The Basement.  On the roster is Cross Canadian Ragweed, Angela Easterling, Asleep at the Wheel, The Bottle Rockets, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Joe Pug, Charlie Robison, Marty Stuart, Patrick Sweany, Those Darlins and many more.
  • Popmatters.com has posted an mp3 for Chain, a cut off Vic Chesnutt’s upcoming release At the Cut (Constellation) to be released 22 September (US)
  • Randy Travis, Martina McBride and Ray Price join an International  line-up of over 60 International, UK and Irish acts performing on three separate stages at the UTV CountryFest ’09  August 1st – 2nd  at the Kings Hall in Belfast.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDtaJmrVfx8[/youtube]

The Railbenders to Play Denver’s Mile High Music Festival

  • The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will feature music from their 42 year career to Austin’s Riverside Arena stage at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 18. D.C. Drifters & Friends opens the show.
  • The San Jose Mecury News has a nice piece on David Andersen who plays his 15-year-old Epiphone and greets tourists from around the world in the atrium of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Earl Scruggs said of Andersen “I love your pickin,’ son.”
  • Nashville Skyline’s always excellent Chet Flippo has good things to say about  Randy Travis’ upcoming release “Around the Bend (July 15)
  • For all you with laptop country music asperations Beta Monkey Music has released “Pure Country I: Rocking Nashville” a new set of drum loops targeted to Country music musicians. The loops come in many formats, including Apple Loops, which are compatible with GarageBand and Logic. Just bring a real drummer when you hit the road, folks.
  • There still seems to be some confusion why Tim McGraw dragged Marcus Nirschl 30, a union glazer from Kent, Wash. on stage at a Washington State performance and then had him thrown out of the show. There have been allegations the man assaulted a woman who was in one of the front rows but the YouTube video of the incident is inconclusive (Q: Does McGraw allways look so bored while on stage as he does in this clip?). The ejected fan says he’s still a fan of McGraw. “I still like the guy,” Nirschl said. “The music’s still great. I just don’t know why he wanted to punch me.”
  • Our thoughts go out to Elizabeth Cook on the passing of her mother. Cook has used her MySpace Blog to share her feelings uduring these rough times.