LiveDaily Sessions features a exclusive video performance of Hank III doing Smoke & Wine, Six Pack of Beer and Country Heroes. Hank kicks off his Damn Right, Rebel Proud tour on Feruary 15th in New Orleans, LA.
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced nominations for The 2009 JUNO Awards, including first-time nominees, Canadian roots-rock duo Twilight Hotel. Twilight Hotel is nominated in the Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group category. Nominated in the same category are Elliot Brood and NQ Arbuckle, as well as fellow-Winnipeggers, The Duhks and Chic Gamine. Winners will be declared at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, March 28, and The 2009 JUNO Awards broadcast on CTV on Sunday, March 29 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, BC.
Speaking of awards, it was a good night for roots-rock at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards last night. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand strtches Aamericana genres and the 5 Grammys awarded to the albumreflect that. Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album, Record of the Year, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (Killing The Blues) , and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (Rich Woman) as well as the evenings topper, the Album of the Year. I’m sure Plant is even motre comfortable with his decision to forego that lucrative Zep reunion. Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder took home the Best Bluegrass Album award, Pete Seeger won for Traditional Folk Album, Bruce Springsten won Best Rock Song, and Bela Fleck & the Flecktones won for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Sugarland took home the Grammy for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals (Stay), Brad Paisley won for Best Male Country Vocal Performance (Letter To Me) and George Strait won his first Grammy of his career (!) for Best Country Album (Troubadour.) For a full list of Grammy nominees and winners, or to watch the pre-telecast ceremony that highlights the folk, bluegrass, and Americana awards visit Grammy.com
One of the most memorable show I ever attended here in New York was the CMT Crossroads featuring Rosanne Cash and Steve Earle. The pairing of artists from the country and rock/pop genre is getting harder and harder to differentiate from one another but it’s still one of the best shows on CMT. The New York Times has a nice slide-show on Crossroads featuring Joss Stone and LeAnn Rimes, Kid Rock (Bob Ritchie) and Hank Williams Jr., Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett, Bon Jovi and Sugarland and Kenny (Babyface) Edmonds and Trisha Yearwood.
Houston born Beyonce Knowles, former Destiny’s Child frontwoman, current accessory for rapper Jay Z, and daughter of Mathew Knowles, owner of Houston roots and country label “Compadre Records” (home of Billy Joe Shaver and James McMurtry, made an appearance with Sugarland at the American Music Awards. Sugarland was performing a countrified version of her hit ‘Irreplaceable’ which they cover at many of their shows.
Beyonce seems to have also been greasing the wheels for her next career choice.
The R&B star has recently stated that she is currently “working an album of Country And Western songs” and is working on it with the British singer and songwriter Amanda Ghost who was the writer of the decade’s most irritating ditty, James Blunt’s hit “You’re Beautiful”
Kelly Clarkson, Bon Jovi and Jami Fox have all recently tried their hand at country music trying to catch a bit of that Aerosmith/Run DMC genre-crossing lightening in a bottle. But the artists they choose to duet with (Kelly with Reba and Jamie with Rascal Flatts for or the bland material they choose to record (yeah, I’m looking at you Bon Jovi- you helped screw up rock, keep your pop-rock-country meat hooks off country. The Eagles are doing fine on their own.)
And where some artsists can genre jump with grace and dignity and comes out looking pretty damn good (the recent collaboration of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss comes to mind)
Beyonce has said ‘She’s a fan of country music and thought that would be an interesting and exciting way to go.” Being a home girl from Texas gives me a glimmer of hope, but Beyonce’s choice of music in her R&B career and her choice of a Brit to pen the tunes on her upcoming country release makes me think I can put it up there with Cowboy Troy’s.