2015 was another bumper crop year for Americana and roots music, and 2016 show vast signs that the great music will continue to come. As our Cream of the Crop favorites from 2015 makes plain we might be experiencing a new golden age of roots music as a growing influence on our contemporary culture and as a sustainable , and viable, business for young and old artists alike.
That last part is crucial as it provides seed corn for the future of this music we truly love.
The list below is a collection of 2016 notable Americana / roots releases. Some anticipated releases from artists like Sturgill Simpson, Elizabeth Cook, Robbie Fulks, Lydia Loveless, Al Scorch and Brandy Clark have no release dates yet, but when I’m aware of them and others I will be updating the list through the year and will send word through my twitter account
If you know of a release not listed leave it in the comments and I might add it.
Look for new things coming in the 2016 at Twang Nation. With your help it’s going to be a great year folks.
Keegan McInroe – “Uncouth Pilgrims”
Dylan LeBlanc – ‘Cautionary Tale’
Randy Rogers Band – “Nothing Shines Like Neon”
Hank Williams Jr. – “It’s About Time”
Dawn Landes And Piers Faccini – ‘Desert Songs’
The Cactus Blossoms – ‘You’re Dreaming’
Simon Linsteadt – Self-Titled
Aoife O’Donovan – “In the Magic Hour”
Michael Chapman – ‘Fish”
Brad Armstrong – “Empire”
Buddy Miller and Friends – ‘Cayamo Sessions at Sea’
Sierra Hull – ‘Weighted Mind’
Aubrie Sellers – ‘City Blues’
Miranda Lee Richards – “First Light of Winter”
Lucinda Williams – “The Ghosts of Highway 20”
Dori Freeman – ‘Dori Freeman’
Luther Dickinson – ‘Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II)’
The Infamous Stringdusters – ‘Ladies & Gentleman’
Freakwater – ‘Scheherazade’
The O’s – ‘Honeycomb’
Vince Gill – “Down to My Last Bad Habit”
Wynonna Judd – “Wynonna & the Big Noise”
Lorrie Morgan – ‘Letting Go … Slow’
Joey + Rory – “Hymns That Are Important To Us”
Malcolm Holcombe – ‘Another Black Hole’
Wheeler Walker Jr. ‘Redneck Shit’
Alex Dezen – ‘Alex Dezen’
Matt Patershuk – ‘I Was So Fond of You”
Applewood Road (Emily Barker, Amber Rebirth and Amy Speace) – ‘Applewood Road’
Lake Street Dive – ‘Side Pony’
Austin Lucas – ‘Between The Moon and the Midwest”
Mike June – ‘Poor Man’s Bible’
Shooter Jennings – ‘Countach (For Giorgio)’
Waco Brothers – ‘Going Down in History’
Kathryn Legendre – ‘Don’t Give A Damn’
Michael Daves – ‘Orchids and Violence’
Jane Kramer – ‘Carnival of Hopes’
Paul Burch – ‘Meredian Rising’
Bonnie Raitt – ’Dig In Deep’
Caleb Caudle – ‘Carolina Ghost”
Jen Lane – ‘This Life of Mine’
Ashley Monroe – ‘Live At Third Man Records”
Loretta Lynne – ‘Full Circle’
Chris King – ‘Animal’
Anielle Reid – ‘Love Song’
Dead Tongues – ‘Montana’
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – ‘Something Real’
Waylon Jennings – ‘Return of the Outlaw: The Abbott, Texas, Broadcast 1973’
Various – Dave Cobb’s ‘Southern Family
Grant Lee Phillips – ‘The Narrows’
Sean Watkins – “What To Fear”
The Roosevelts – ”The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn’
Parker Millsap – ‘The Very Last Day’
Margo Price – ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’
Elephant Revival – ‘Petals’
Robbie Fulks – ‘Upland Stories’
Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones – ‘Little Windows’
Left Arm Tan – ‘Lorene’
Hayes Carll – “Lovers and Leavers”
Tim McNary – ‘Above the Trees’ EP
Hackensaw Boys – “Charismo”
Pauline Andres – “The Heart Breaks”
The Lowest Pair – ‘Fern Girl and Ice Man’ / ‘Uncertain As It Is Uneven’
Crow Moses – “Nightshades”
Nate Leavitt – “Someone Send a Signal”
Derek Hoke – ‘Southern Moon’
Larry Hooper – ‘No Turning Back’
Robert Ellis – ‘Robert Ellis’
Jeremy Nail – ‘My Mountain’
Mary Chapin Carpenter – ‘The Things That We Are Made Of”
Jimbo Mathus – ‘Band of Storms’ EP
Vaudeville Etiquette – ‘Aura Vista Motel’
Crystal Yates – ‘The Other Side’
The Lowest Pair – ‘Fern Girl and Ice Man’ and ‘Uncertain As It Is Uneven’
Bonnie Bishop – ‘Ain’t Who I Was’
Sarah Jarosz – ‘Undercurrent’
Kris Kristofferson – ‘Cedar Creek Sessions’
The Felice Brothers – “Life in the Dark,”
Sara Watkins – ‘Young In All The Wrong Ways’
James Scott Bullard – “Box of Letters”
Mark Chesnutt – ‘Tradition Lives On’
Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley – ‘The Country Blues’
The Earls Of Leicester – ‘Rattle & Roar,’
High Bar Gang – ‘Someday the Heart Will Trouble the Mind’
Chelle Rose – ‘Blue Ridge Blood’
Summer Dean – ‘Unladylike’
Kelsey Waldon – ‘I’ve Got a Way on’
Boo Ray – ‘Sea of Lights’
Lydia Loveless – ‘Real’
John Paul White – ‘Belah’
The Devil Makes Three – ‘Redemption & Ruin”
Dietrich Strause – “How Cruel That Hunger Binds”
Waiting for Henry – ‘Town Called Patience’
Blue Highway – ‘Original Traditional’
Amanda Shires – “My Piece Of Land”
Jesse Dayton – ‘The Revealer’
The Buffalo Ruckus – ‘Peace & Cornbread’
Drive-By Truckers – ‘American Band’
Jim Lauderdale – ‘This Changes Everything’
Shovels and Rope – ‘Little Seeds’
Hiss Golden Messenger – ‘Heart Like a Levee’
The Dexateens – ‘Teenage Hallelujah’
Aaron Lee Tasjan – “Silver Tears”
Various Artists – ‘Highway Prayer – Tribute to Adam Carroll”
Jasmine Rodgers – ‘Blood Red Sun’
Kent Eugene Goolsby – ‘Temper Of The Times’
Miranda Lambert – “The Weight of These Wings”
NASHVILLE 2.0 kicks off the “PBS Americana Music Weekend,” which pairs this documentary with an Americana music concert from PBS’ iconic Austin City Limits (ACL) series. In a special episode, ACL travels to Nashville to capture performance highlights from the 2013 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards. ACL PRESENTS: AMERICANA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2013 airs November 23rd on PBS in select markets (check local listings for broadcast dates and times)
The hour-long film was co-directed by Carol Stein and Susan Wittenberg (the duo behind 2011‘s Women Who Rock) and will feature a lineup of some of the best rising and veteran country, folk, rock and multi-genre artists prominent in building the Americana movement.
The special will incluse includes performances by, and interviews with, Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Laura Cantrell, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rosanne Cash, The Civil Wars, Elizabeth Cook, Rodney Crowell, Dawes, Jerry Douglas, John Fullbright, Shakey Graves, Emmylou Harris, The James Hunter Six, Jason Isbell , Amanda Shires, Jim Lauderdale, The Lone Bellow, The Mavericks, The Milk Carton Kids, Buddy Miller, Mumford & Sons, Shovels and Rope*, Richard Thompson, and Dwight Yoakam.
This is hardly an exhaustive list, and not all of these artists are from, or reside, in Nashville. Buy Music City has become the de-facto hub of the Americana Music industry.
The nominees for the Americana Music Awards and Honors was announced today from the Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. The one-hour ceremony was carried live on AXS TV and featured performances by Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller (with a tribute to the late George Jones) Lisa Marie Presley backed by T Bone Burnett, Elizabeth Cook, and Emerging Artist of the Year nominees The Milk Carton Kids.
The 2013 Americana Music Association Festival and Conference is scheduled for September 18-22, with the awards ceremony being held at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Thursday, Sep. 18. The event awards six member voted annual awards and with Lifetime Achievement Awards, to be announced as the event approaches. Jim Lauderdale is a natural as the proceedings host and Buddy Miller leads the always exemplary house band.
Can’t make to to the event? Understandable as it has sold out in recent years. But do not despair, the Americana Honors and Awards show will shown live on AXS TVa nd an edited version will show up on PBS at a later date. It will also be broadcast via SiriusXM Radio, BBC2, WSM and Voice of America.
South Carolina newcomers Shovels and Rope will lead the field with four nominations, followed by legendary Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller each with three nods. I’m happy to report that a few of my choices made it on the list this year(Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, YES!) and John Fullbright is up for Emerging Artist of the Year. Well if being nominated for the Americana Album of the year Grammy, as Fullbright was before losing to Bonnie Raitt, isn’t emerging the I don’t know what is. Dwight Yoakam’s dominance of the Americana charts earlier this year with his new release Three Pears (my review) also garnered him an Artist of the Year nod.
Here is the full list of the 2013 Americana Music Award nominees. Are your choices here?
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Buddy & Jim, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale
Cheaters Game, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
From The Ground Up, John Fullbright
O Be Joyful, Shovels and Rope
Old Yellow Moon, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Milk Carton Kids
Shovels and Rope
SONG OF THE YEAR
Birmingham – Shovels & Rope
Good Things Happen to Bad People – Richard Thompson
Ho Hey – The Lumineers
North Side Gal – JD McPherson
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
Shovels & Rope
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
Elizabeth Cook and Lisa Marie Presley announce the nominees
Milk Carton Kids Live performing “Hope of a Lifetime”
If you’re a struggling musician I suggest you take a look at the career of Jim Lauderdale. Between early setbacks as a Bluegrass banjo player, and being marginalized in Music Row there were plenty of opportunities to chuck his guitar in the gutter and call it quits. But he persevered and used his songwriting as a musical dowsing rod to move him always forward toward unexpected and exciting places.
If the Americana genre didn’t already exist it would have to be created for Lauderdale. He’s worked in multiple genres (Bluegrass, country, rock, soul) with multiple artists (George Jones, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more), but the music has always been grounded in honesty with a twist of risk. This will to be daring, attention to legacy, while pushing forward has allowed Lauderdale to become something you don’t see music in the music industry, unique.
He’s now a Grammy winning singer/songwriter, the subject of a crowd-sourced biopic (Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts)
He hosts, along with Buddy Miller, “The Buddy & Jim Show” Saturdays 10 pm ET on SiriusXM Outlaw Country. He also hosts the “Music City Roots: Live from the Loveless Cafe”, weekly Americana music show broadcast live on WSM from the Loveless Barn on Highway 100 in Nashville. He is also the MC for the Americana Music Awards and Honors show in Nashville where his catch-phrase “Now THAT’S Americana” is as much of a delight as the stellar performances on the storied Ryman Auditorium stage.
I talked to Lauderdale, through spotty reception, on the road to Nashville the day after his birthday performance at the Music City Roots spin-off, “Scenic City Roots, in Chattanooga Tennessee
Twang Nation: Jim? How are you today?
Jim Lauderdale: Just fine. Driving on a beautiful, crisp spring day heading back to Nashville from Chattanooga Tennessee.
TN: Happy belated birthday, You share a birth with Bob Harris ( “‘Whispering Bob Harris” the legendary is the host of the BBC 2 music program The Old Grey Whistle Test, and a supporter of country and roots music)
JL: Really? It’s also George Shuffler’s birthday, who played guitar for the Stanley Brothers.
TN: Cool. So you’re taking some time off from your tour supporting the “Buddy and Jim” album. How’s that going?
JL: It’s been great! We too some time off because Buddy is producing the Wood Brothers and he also co-produces the music for the TV show Nashville with T Bone Burnett. He’s got a pretty full plate most of the time. Our next date is in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall. I love playing that space.
TN: I’ll be there. The first time I saw you and Buddy working with the new material it was at last year’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. It was a morning slot but the place was still full.
JL: I love that festival. Warren Hellman has done so much for the community. He’ll be missed.
TN: True. So let’s visit your childhood in Troutman, North Carolina. Your father was a minister and your mother was a music teacher. How did this shape you musically?
JL: I believe it helped to train my ears. They were both great singers, so it was a combination of hearing a lot of church music. Hearing my mother, who was a choir director at the church, a chorus teacher, and a piano teacher, I was hearing stuff all the time. My older sister was the first to start buying records like the Beatles when I was in the first grade. At the time music was just exploding and so much was coming from the radio and in North Carolina radio then was a mixture of rock and roll, soul music like Stax and Motown, and then there were peripheral country stations where Bluegrass was being played. So there was just so much great music being played and available. I think Buddy and i share a lot of the same influences. that’s how all these influences made me want to sing. I started singing really early and then started playing drums for a few years when I was 11 and then, when I was 13, I started playing blues harmonica. When I was 15 I started playing the banjo and getting more into Bluegrass music. I always wanted to do a Bluegrass record but it took me a long time to get a deal to do one. When it happened I got to do it with Ralph Stanley and his band, the Clinch Mountain Boys (1999’s I Feel Like Singing Today)
TN: Not bad company to keep for your inaugural Bluegrass venture.
JL: That was kind of a dream because I grew up loving his work. I used to try and play banjo in his style and sing in a tenor like Ralph would. One of the best things to happen out of that was that I began writing with Robert Hunter (poet and lyricist for the Grateful Dead.) A friend of mine, Rob Bleetstein, put me in touch with him in the Bay Area. i knew that Robert and Jerry Garcia were huge Stanley Brothers’ fans, so that’s how I started writing with Robert and since then we’ve created 4 albums. The last two were Bluegrass of stuff we’ve done together. I have an upcoming album with the North Mississippi Allstars coming out in the fall and it has stuff that Robert and I wrote as well. So, even though it took me a long tie to get something out in that world, it was worth the wait because of all the good things that have happened.
TN: Making up for lost time.
JL: Right. And the same with Buddy. We had met back in New York in the early 80’s. We were both living there and both had country bands going and Buddy, to me, had the best band there. There was a nice country scene going on in New York at the time. There were about 5 bars in New York like the Lone Star Cafe that featured country music. So there was a lot of work. Eventually we both ended up on the west coast and started playing gigs together. Then Buddy came to Nashville first and ended up playing with Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris. His career really took off! So we’ve known each other for 33 years and have talked about doing a record for the past 17 years so this new album was also worth the wait. Our schedules just wouldn’t allow it. But last year we started this radio show last summer on SiriusXM Outlaw Country (The Buddy & Jim Show , Saturdays 10 pm ET) and that started moving things toward us sitting down and writing material. It happened pretty quickly, we spent a few days in pre-production and wrote some stuff but we cut the album in three days in his home studio. He produced the album and we’re really happy with it. I love playing with Buddy, he always makes me smile.
TN: There’s a song you wrote that was covered by George Strait called The King of Broken Hearst. It’s got a great story.
JL: I moved to L.A. partly to be in the same atmosphere that Gram Parsons had been in. There was this story that came from (former rock ‘n’ roll groupie and author) Pamela Des Barres, who was a friend of his, who said he had this L.A. party and was playing George Jones records. These people had never heard him (Jones) and he started crying. he said “That’s the king of broken hearts.” It was one of those times when an idea just comes to you. I play that song all the time and I love it.
TN: Gram is seen as the patron saint of the Americana genre and , I believe, you and Buddy have earned a place at that table. With your work with the Americana Music Awards and Music City Roots would you consider yourself an ambassador of Americana?
JL: Oh, I don’t know about that. But I’m certainly happy it’s out there. The guy I mentioned before, Rob Bleetstein, helped to coin there term (along with Jon Grimson of Nashville) for a trade publication that’s no longer around called Gavin Report. It was like Billboard and R&R (Radio & Records) magazine. They needed a chart for rootsy American music and Rob said “How about Americana?” So that put a name on it. But to me it’s just great that Americana allows a broad umbrella for roots music – Blues, Bluegrass, folk, rock, country – music that is not overproduced and it’s all connected, And it’s a place that, in his later years, someone like Johnny Cash can get played on the radio. And Merle Haggard, and folks like Guy Clark and Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and jimmie Dale Gilmore. Stuff that’s too rootsy for mainstream radio. it’s nice to have a place where people can be recognized.
TN: You’ve worked in the Music Row world and the Americana world and been successful in both. What do you think contributes to your success to work in both of those environments?
JL: Well I had plans but things would work out a different that what I thought. It was accidental in some ways. I wanted to make Blue grass records as a teenager, but it never worked out. Then in my early 30s I finally got a record contract in the country genre. But that record was too country at the time to be accepted in 1988. Dwight Yoakam’s producer and guitarist Pete Anderson did it with me (The unreleased CBS album that later appeared on an overseas label as Point of No Return.) My next album wasn’t as traditional but it was pretty far out there. It was co-produced by Rodney Crowell and John Leventhal (1991’s Planet of Love) Even though that album didn’t have a lot of commercial success, 8 of the 10 songs went on to be recorded by other people like George Strait. So that too me into that world of songwriting though my plan was to have a successful career with my own records. I kept putting out my own records and, when it wouldn’t work out, the only way to rise above of the disappointment was to write myself out of it. I still had a contract for a few more majors, but I started doing some independent labels and was more eclectic. Bluegrass with country mixed with R&B ad soul. The work I’m doing with the North Mississippi Allstars I did with Robert Hunter is more blues, rock and soul. I’m also trying to finish up a stripped down acoustic record that I’m writing with Robert. He’s really important in my like as far as music, so I want to keep that going.
TN: Speaking of Robert Hunter lest year you were in the Bay Area with the American Beauty Project. How did that come about?
JL: Those two albums (Grateful Dead’s) Working Man’s Dead and American Beauty opened up a door in my spirit when I heard them. All the things I’d done before – country, Bluegrass, rock – came together in those two records. To me they were like the Gram Parsons solo albums with Emmylou, those records are touchstones. The New York Guitar Festival which was put together by David Spellman, each year, would choose a different album and then singers and guitar players would play a song from that record. A few year’s ago they chose American Beauty and it went over really well. The singer Catherine Russell, Ollabelle, Larry Campbell and his wife Teresa Williams became the core of the American Beauty project which we took around the country. We still do it occasionally and will probably do some more shows in the future. It’s always a lot of fun.
TN: Tell me about your work with the roots-rock band Donna the Buffalo.
JL: I met them at the Newport Folk Festival while opening for Lucinda Williams on her “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” tour. I met this group of folks that were really friendly, but I had missed their show earlier in the day. We made this friendship and we then jammed together at Merlefest in North Carolina. They then invited me to play their festival that they put on in the summer and offered to back me up during my set. So over the years we’ve worked festivals and sat in with each other. I started to write songs for all of us to do and when i had an album’s worth we went into the studio and did it (2003’s Wait Til Spring) We still do stuff when we can. They’ve got a new album coming out in June which I’ve heard and it’s fantastic (tonight Tomorrow & Yesterday – June 18) They are one of my favorite bands as an audience member and I love to sit in with them. We have a few new songs we’ve written but i need some more material to do another record.
TN: Any other new artists that have caught your ear?
JL: There’s a lady that just moved to Nashville, Lera Lynn. There’s another band that just moved from L.A. to Nashville called HoneyHoney that I like a lot. There”s a songwriter named Ryan Tanner I think is really good. And there’s a guy in North Carolina named Daniel Justin Smith that I think is really good. There’s no shortage of new, young singer, songwriter and pickers that are acoustically influenced and have their own style of country and roots music. I’m really encouraged by that. When i host the Music City Roots showcase it gives me an opportunity to be exposed to new performers. There was a band on the other night out of Birmingham, Alabama called St Paul and the Broken Bones. They are a kind of soul review kind of band and they are just out of this world. There’s a woman called Sara Petite out of San Diego who I like a lot. I also love Shovels and Rope, Robert Ellis , Max Gomez and the Milk Carton Kids.
TN: Who would you like to write music with someone that you haven’t?
JL: Gosh, I wish I could work with Eric Clapton. I love his work. I would also like to work with Keith Richards. I got to sing harmony with him on the song Hickory Wind on a Gram Parsons tribute called “Return to Sin City.” Norah Jones was on that, I’d like to work with her. I did a song with John Leventhal called Planet of Love that was pitched to Ray Charles to do with Norah Jones, but that didn’t happen before he passed away. I always wanted to work with Doc Pomus before he passed. And I always wanted to do something with Jerry Garcia and I’m sorry that didn’t happen. I’m slowly getting to work with a lot of folks I hold in high esteem. I got to write with Dan Pen and we’ve been working on some things in England with him and Nick Lowe’s great band. I got to song with George Jones years ago and that was a treat. You just never know in this up and down world of music.
TN: You’ve moved deftly between genres in this time, is there a musical era you would like to travel to and perform?
JL: The 60’s and early 70’s for the soul, country and rock music that was coming out and then the late 50’s early 60’s for Bluegrass. And the 50’s for Blues music. Being able to work in those times at the peak of the music would have been great.
TN: You’re a great singer, songwriter but your also a consummate showman. You’re very personable and funny on stage. Many have also taken note of your rhinestone bedecked clothing when you perform. How many suits do you have and where do you get them?
JL: Oh, I think i have 20 or 25 suits with shirts. I have gotten a few vintage pieces here and there, but i get most of my things new and custom made from Manuel (Cuevas) who is a designer and tailor here in Nashville that used to work with Nudie (Cohn) out of L.A. when he was a teenager. He’s still here producing things for people like Jack White.
TN: Thanks for your time and keep your eyes on the road.
Casa Twang is proud to offer the latest from Jack White’s Third Man Records excellent Blue Series. The 7-inch vinyl features Charleston indie-folk duo Shovels and Rope covering Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” (listen below) on one side and Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” on the other.
The Third Man’s Blue Series brings singers and bands traveling through Nashville by the third Man Studio to record one or two songs. The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl and digitally on itunes. The series also includes releases by Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu, Seasick Steve, Chris Thile with Micheal Daves , The Secret Sisters, Wanda Jackson and others.
It’s easy to enter in the contest, just leave a comment below! The picked at random winner will receive the 7-inch vinyl and a CD copy of the release. Winner needs to be located in the United States and will be picked at on 12 PM Pacific Time on Sunday, April 7th. Comment away and good luck!
UPDATE: Amanda Ramsey is the winner! Thanks all for commenting and look for more contests soon!
It looks like Jack White;s adopted home of Nashville is starting to reflect in the music being released by his Third Man Records label.
The latest is from Charleston indie-folk duo Shovels and Rope. The 7-inch will be released on April 2nd and features a jaunty cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” (off the extraordinary Nebraska, hear it below) on the A side, with a version of Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” on the B.
The release is on on Third Man’s Blue Series, where singers and bands traveling through Nashville are invited to stop by to record one or two songs at Third Man Studio produced by White. The songs are then, as soon as possible, made available on 7” vinyl and digitally on itunes. The series also includes releases by Brittany Howard and Ruby Amanfu, Seasick Steve, Chris Thile with Micheal Daves , The Secret Sisters, Wanda Jackson and others.
The release will be available on iTunes and vinyl. It;s a measly $6 and you can pre-order here.
Episode #10 (alright double digits!) of Twang Nation Podcast pulls from my first 10 of a list of 21, Cream of the Crop selections from 2012. It’s been a great year for Americana and roots music. T Bone Burnett has done a fine job of sliding roots artists like Lindi Ortega and Shovels and Rope within a Music Row soap opera with ABC’s Nashville. The Americana Music Association continues to burnish the brand and their conference and wards show set attendance and submission records. Even that bastion of Music Row glitz, CMT, saw crossover potential and launched CMT Edge which has featured artists like Jason Isbell and Justin Townes Earle.
2013 shows no signs of slowing down with upcoming releases from Kris Kristofferson, Dale Watson as well as joint releases from Kelly Willis and her hubby Bruce Robison and Emmylou Harris and ex Hot Band member and legendary songwriter Rodney Crowell.
As the Americana music culture and industry grows and becomes more of a mainstream staple, with bands like Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers leading the way, I applaud the advantages and the opportunities for musicians and we who cover them. As I’ve said, I want the performers I cover to get more prestigious gigs, better recording facilities, more gear and to leave their touring vans behind and be bale to afford the relative comfort of a touring bus. I don’t believe musicians should suffer for tier craft (much!) Here’s to mutually rising boats.
In the new year I resolve to do my best not to follow the hyped path most traveled and do what I’ve always done, follow my heart and my ear to places more interesting and authentic for the love of music. I hope you come with me in and enjoy what I discover.
Happy holidays and a safe and happy New year to you all.
Opening Song – “Mr. D.J” – by Dale Watson
1.Chris Knight– song:”Little Victories”- Album: “Little Victories” (Drifter’s Church Productions)
2.Malcolm Holcolmbe – song: “Gone Away at Last”- Album: “Down the River” (GypsyeyesMusic – out now )
3.Darrell Scott – Song: Hopskinville – Album: Long Ride Home (Full Light Records)
4.Corb Lund – song: Gettin’ Down on the Mountain Album: Cabin Fever (New West Records)
5. Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale That’s Not Even Why I Love You. – Album: Buddy and Jim (New West Records)
6.Iris DeMent – song:Sing The Delta- Album:Sing The Delta (Flariella Records)
7.Dwight Yoakam – song:A Heart Like Mine- Album:3 Pears (Warner Bros. Records)
8.Turnpike Troubadours Song: Gin, Smoke and Lies- Album:Goodbye Normal Street (Bossier City Records)
9.John Fullbright song:Satan and St. Paul- Album:From The Ground Up (Bossier City Records)
10. Shovels & Rope– song:Fire On The Hill- Album:O’ Be Joyful (Dualtone Records)
11. Gurf Morlix – song:Present Tense- Album: Gurf Morlix Finds the Present Tense – Out March 5, 2013)
12.Robert Earl Keen– song:Merry Christmas from the Family- Album: Gringo Honeymoon
By now you heard the bad news that The Civil Wars have cancelled all their upcoming shows and are giving each other some space. What’s a lover of melodic Americana duos with lovely harmonies that have possible ambiguous romantic ties to do?! Here are 5 alternatives to quell those nerves until the reunion tour is announced.
Ry Dalee and Evangeline – I don’t don’t much about this Oklahoma duo but I like what I hear!
Caitlin Cary & Thad Cockrell – Begonias – Sure it was a one-off release from 2005 but these two Americana vets released one of the most gorgeous romantic duo albums ever. It even comes through in this crappy video.
Chapel Hill’s Mandolin Orange are the talented Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz whose tunes will soothe your soul.
Charleston, SC’s Michael Trent and Cary Ann are Shovels and Rope and are a bit rougher than The Civil Wars fare, but certainly no less talented.
Below you’ll find my picks for the 2012 Americana Music Conference showcases. This was one of the the toughest years to winnow down the performances I’m going to attend. And I still did a poor job! There is too many great acts playing at the same time. Such an embarrassment of riches!
But there is hope! Unlike the misery of traversing the stages at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass where you’re lucky to catch parts of shows at more than one stage, and or even to make it alive in some cases, the Americana Festival has buses to get us to the venues.
Of course I can’t make all the shows unless am able top perfect that time bending and beer making contraption I’ve been working on (SOON!) but you van catch any of these performances and not go wrong.
Tuesday, September 11
The 5 Spot
$2 TUESDAYS /Twang Nation Social Club – Hosted by Derek Hoke : feat.Melody WalkerAlanna ,
Royale Joshua Black Wilkins, Marsha & The Martians (Angel Snow & Robby Hecht) Late Night with Los Colones9pm
$2 cover/$2 Yazoo pints #UnofficialAMA
Somebody’s Darling w/ Buffalo Clover – The High Watt #UnofficialAMA
The Billy Block Show featuring Yo Ma Ma, Erica Nicole, Chelle Rose, Allie Farris, Caroline Rose and The Cumberland Collective #UnofficialAMA
Two Old Hippies 401 12th Ave. South
The Alternate Root Presents a Pre-AMA Triple-Play of Music with Amelia White, Julie Christensen and Tommy Womack & The Rush To Judgment #UnofficialAMA
Showtime: 6:00-8:00 pm
No Cover ~ Special Treats
Wednesday, September 12
Puckett’sGrocery, 5th & Church
5pm & 7pm Allen Thompson Band CD Release Party,
Dinner & show before the AMA Awards at 5 . Later show 7 #UnofficialAMA
11:00 Blue Mountain
12:00 Shovels and Rope
The Station Inn
11:30 Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
10:00 Gretchen Peters
12:00 Delta Rae
10:00 Corb Lund
11:00 This Wheel’s On Fire: A Tribute to Levon Helm
The High Watt
10:00 Star Anna Thursday, September 13
8:00 Lydia Loveless
9:00 Angel Snow
10:00 Sons of Fathers
11:00 The Deep Dark Woods
12:00 Black Lillies
The Station Inn
10:00 Mary Gauthier
11:00 Richard Thompson
8:00 Turnpike Troubadours
9:00 Billy Joe Shaver
10:00 Steve Forbert
11:00 John Fullbright
12:00 Jason Boland & The Stragglers
The High Watt
10:30 Eilen Jewell
11:30 Julie Lee Cannery Ballroom
8:00 Blue Highway
9:00 Sara Watkins
10:00 Paul Thorn
11:00 Punch Brothers (with a Sara Watkins cameo?)
Friday, September 14
Sheraton Hotel lobby – 623 Union St.
Amy Black, Susan Cattaneo, Rose Cousins and Rod Picott
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
9:00 American Aquarium
11:00 Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys
The Station Inn
8:00 Red June
9:00 Della Mae
10:00 McCrary Sisters
11:00 Steep Canyon Rangers
12:00 Humming House
8:00 Mandolin Orange
9:00 Mindy Smith
11:00 Belle Starr
8:00 Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition
9:00 Holy Ghost Tent Revival
10:00 Dylan LeBlanc
11:00 Darrell Scott
12:00 Reckless Kelly
The High Watt
9:30 Two Gallants
9:00 Amanda Shires
10:00 Robert Ellis
11:00 John Hiatt
Saturday, September 15
9:00 Chastity Brown
11:00 The Pines
12:00 Chris Scruggs
The Station Inn
8:00 Brennen Leigh
9:00 Phoebe Hunt
10:00 Marvin Etzioni
11:00 Rodney Crowell
8:00 Felicity Urquhart
9:00 The Wood Brothers
10:00 Kevin Gordon
12:00 The Trishas
8:00 Lera Lynn
10:00 Tift Merritt
11:00 Buddy Miller & Lee Ann Womack