News Round Up: Rosanne Cash to Perform “The List” Live

  • Rosanne Cash will perform her new release, The List, live at WNYC, New York on  9/23. The List is a collection of classic country songs culled from a list of 100 songs her father, Johnny Cash, insisted she had to learn.
  • has a great interview with Nashville-based Americana chanteuse Caitlin Rose about her influences and living in the heart of Music City.
  • The ‘Queen of Country Music’ Kitty Wells celebrated her 90th birthday with her fans in Nashville on Sunday at Ernest Tubb Record Shop’s Texas Troubadour Theatre. Wells 1952 hit It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels was a female point of view response to Hank Thompson hit The Wild Side of Life, and paved the way for future female performers like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton.
  • Wall Street Journal’s Jim Fusilli interviews John Fogerty who’s releasing an album of roots and Americana classic covers, The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again.
  • Watched the painful sugary-froth that was the CMA Fest. Can we finally just yank “country” out of Country Music Association? Crappy-pop-rock-with-a-fiddle maybe?

News Round Up: Willie Twitters & A New Langhorne Slim Download

  • Check out the “twitterview”  – a cute way of describing an interview conducted on twitter -  between and Willie Nelson as was gearing up for his MySpace free secret concert in Maui, Hawaii.
  • Speaking of the twitterverse (yeah, I’m gonna get mileage out of this), Charlie Robison won’t have to travel far to play a private living room concert for the winner of his twitter concert. The winner lives in Austin.
  • The Grand Ole Opry will bring back it’s special Opry Country Classics program this fall for an eight-week run beginning Thurs., Sept. 10. Already scheduled to perform are Moe Bandy, Terri Clark, Jimmy Dickens, Larry Gatlin, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, George Jones, Ray Price, Joe Stampley, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, and Tanya Tucker.
  • Rosanne Cash will be the subject of the Americana Music Association’s Festival and Conference 2009 Keynote Interview. The interview will be conducted by author/journalist Michael Streissguth – who has written books on Rosanne as well as her father Johnny, Eddy Arnold and others – will take place Thursday, September 17 from 10:45 until noon at the Nashville Convention Center.
  • Jack Ingram established a new Guinness World Record – most radio interviews in a 24-hour period. Ingram was  promoting his new disc “Big Dreams & High Hopes.” Ingram recorded 215 radio interviews within 24 hours, hitting most of the 50 states, Canada, Ireland and Australia. The previous record was 96.

Music Review: Holly Williams – Here with Me (Mercury Nashville)

holly-williams-here-with-me-coverIt’s one thing to be Shooter Jennings or Justin Townes Earle, but being the Granddaughter of country music legend Hank Williams and the Daughter of the hard-living, hell raising outlaw and legend of sorts Hank Williams Jr., well that’s a whole other mountain to climb.

Like her half-brother Hank Williams III, Holly Williams takes the fundamentals laid down by her ancestors and burns her own brand on the work. Here With Me is much more a country record than her previous release for Universal South The Ones We Never Knew and perhaps the turn in style was a result of the automobile accident that nearly took the lives of her and her sister Hilary. Maybe, like Hank III, the primary motive for moving into the family business was the promise of a ready audience and cash.

Whatever the motive this is a great release that brings to mind the work of another blood kin of country music royalty, Rosanne Cash. Like Cash, Williams does great things with a modest vocal range and brings a sophistication to the songs (many of which she wrote) without completely smothering out the rustic charm with glossy productions and lazy paint by the numbers fluff reaching for a top charting radio hit.

Holly Williams is every bit the outlaw her destiny assumes she’ll be, she just prefers a level of uptown refinement to her country pedigree.

Official Site | MySpace | Buy



“Johnny Cash’s America” Premieres Tonight

HeadS up Twangers, “Johnny Cash’s America” premieres tonight, Thursday night, October 23, 2008, at 9PM ET/10PM PT on The Bio Channel.

The documentary explores the prominent themes of Cash’s life including love of the land, freedom, justice, family, faith and redemption through exclusive interviews, photos and unreleased music and footage. Interviews include Cash’s sister Joanne, son John Carter Cash and daughters Cindy Cash and Rosanne Cash, childhood friends and fellow band mates as well as Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Al Gore, Tim Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Snoop Dogg, Vince Gill, Ozzy Ozborne, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) all of whom are connected to Cash in surprising ways.

The special features 27 of Cash’s songs as well as unreleased and never-before seen footage including the 1965 “Johnny Cash Show” featuring solo performance of “Five Feet High and Rising,” outtakes from the recording studio with Cash and Bob Dylan from his elusive Eat the Document documentary and rehearsal footage for a Highwaymen recording session. The Cash family – Johnny’s sister, son, and other relatives – take viewers to rural Dyess, Arkansas to Cash’s childhood home and visit brother Jack’s grave which elicits a moving, impromptu singing of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”


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Johnny Cash’s First Wife, Vivian, Book Due Sept. 4

Johnny Cash’s first wife, the late Vivian Liberto Distin, will have her book I Walked the Line: My Life With Johnny posthumously released on Sept. 4 by Scribner Books. Before her death in 2005, Vivian told her story to TV producer Ann Sharpsteen, who shares an author credit on the book.

Vivian describes Cash’s early career, how June Carter entered their life and Vivian and Johnny’s divorce in 1966. Vivian is the mother of Cash’s four daughters. One of the daughters, Kathy Cash, says, “This book is the greatest part of my mother’s legacy as a wife, a grandmother, a matriarch, a mother and, most important, a woman in love.”

The book is based on thousands of letters exchanged by the couple before their marriage while he was overseas with the Air Force, co-writer Ann Sharpsteen said.

“The letters really reveal the real man, unclouded by drugs. Letters were his dreams, fears, a variety of subjects, fidelity, alcohol, faith. It’s like reading someone’s diary,” Sharpsteen said.
Kathy Cash, one of Johnny and Vivian’s daughters, said her mother visited her father in 2003 to tell him she wanted to do the book.

“He said, ‘Vivian, if anyone on this whole earth should write a book it should be you,”’ Kathy Cash said.

Distin was portrayed by Ginnifer Goodwin in the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. According to Kathy, the portrayal was inaccurate and unfair to her mother. John Carter Cash, Kathleen’s half-brother and executive producer of the film, responded that he understood her concerns

CMT Music Awards Review – Still Blows

So I finally held my nose and watched my recording of the suck fest that is the Country Music Television Awards show (you can tell right there how objective this is going to be) and it as predictable and unpleasant as July heat in Dallas.

A Dixie Chicks and Stonewall Jackson slam already. Nice Foxworthy. You’re an ass.

There was a new category, the Wide open Country Video of the Year. It seems like it was a stab at irreverence. But with Jimmy Buffet and Sheryl Crow and Sting as nominees it was more like “Let’s see what we can get by with.” The Johnny Cash video for “God Going To Cut You Down.” Jack Ingram won. Not a great start for the new category.

Everyone that won robotically thanks CMT in their speeches. I mean what are the odds that every winning artist felt truly compelled to thank a network? Tools…

There was a moment of true grace and emotion on the program, but it had nothing to do with the three-ring pyrotechnic circus of bland performances by Toby Keith and Rascal Flatts. It was when Rosanne Cash presented Kris Kristofferson the Johnny Cash Visionary Award. Kritofferson was visibly moved, gracious and his amazing life and legacy was briefly detailed before he accepted. It was a brief moment of sincerity in an otherwise facile showcase of mediocrity.

Rascal Flatts stacks the deck on the Group Video of the Year with two nominations and beats out the crowd favorite The Dixie Chicks. Just joshin.

Foxwothy is giving the last 25% of morons that don’t see Iraq as a fiasco and people who worship a sky god a sloppy one. He’s like the reverse Natalie Maines with less talent.

There, that’s all I can stand. Another year, a lot of make-up and $200 denim and precious little country music.

Oh and Kenny Chesney is a girl.

McMurtry, Cash, Crowell Top Americana Nominees

James McMurtryfrom Billboard – June 16, 2006, 10:45 AM ET
Phyllis Stark, Nashville
tops the nominees for the fifth annual Americana Honors & Awards, announced yesterday (June 15) in Nashville. McMurtry earned three nominations for album, artist and song of the year.

Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell and Marty Stuart each earned two nominations. Cash and Crowell were separately nominated for both artist and song of the year and Stuart got nods for artist and album of the year, the latter for his “Soul’s Chapel” set (Superlatone/Universal South).

The nominees were announced by recording artists Steve Earle and Allison Moorer at a reception hosted by BMI. Other nominees include the Dixie Chicks, Delbert McClinton and Neil Young.

The Americana Honors and Awards show is set for Sept. 22 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It will be hosted once again by artist Jim Lauderdale and will feature an all-star house band led by Buddy Miller.

The show will air on both Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, as well as on BBC Radio 2 and Voice of America around the world.

Here is a complete list of nominees:

Artist of the Year:
Rosanne Cash
James McMurtry
Marty Stuart
Neil Young

Album of the Year:
“Childish Things,” James McMurtry (Compadre)
“Cost of Living,” Delbert McClinton (New West)
“Souls’ Chapel,” Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives (Superlatone/Universal South)
“The Outsider,” Rodney Crowell (Columbia)

Duo/Group of the Year:
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell
The Drive-By Truckers
Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch & Fats Kaplin
Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez

Instrumentalist of the Year:
Jerry Douglas
Tim O’Brien
Bryan Sutton
Kenny Vaughan

New/Emerging Artist of the Year:
The Greencards
James Hunter
Uncle Earl

Song of the Year (presented to songwriter):
“Black Cadillac,” Rosanne Cash; appears on “Black Cadillac” by Rosanne Cash (Capitol)
“Don’t Get Me Started,” Rodney Crowell; appears on “The Outsider” by Rodney Crowell (Columbia)
“Not Ready To Make Nice,” Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson; appears on “Taking The Long Way” by the Dixie Chicks (Open Wide/Columbia)
“We Can’t Make It Here,” James McMurtry; appears on “Childish Things” by James McMurtry (Compadre)