Candi Staton, Jason Isbell Pay, John Paul White and the Swampers Pay Tribute to Muscle Shoals on ‘Letterman’ [VIDEO]


the Late Show with David Letterman continued it’s support of great music by featuring a special musical performance in honor of the film Muscle Shoals, featuring R&B legend Candi Staton, Jason Isbell, John Paul White (The Civil Wars) and The Swampers (Spooner Oldham, Jimmy Johnson & David Hood).

the ensemble performed “I Ain’t Easy To Love” written by James Leblanc and Angela Hacke, is featured in the Magnolia Pictures film Muscle Shoals, in theaters now & available on iTunes and On Demand.

About the film:

“Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios.

Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio, known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Greg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Candi Staton, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.”

Muscle Shoals movie trailer –

The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams on Nashville’s Lightning 100

Joy Williams - Lightening 100

Joy Williams helps out Lightning 100’s Wells Adams morning show on Nashville
Lightning 100 morning show and discusses her new baby, covering the Smashing Pumpkins, living in Nashville, displays decent skill in a lightening round.

She also talks about, and plays some cuts from, her band’s new chart-topping self-titled Civil Wars album.

There are a few references to the “not the most comfortable time” that she and John Paul White are currently going trough. She says “John Paul and I are in a season where it’s a little bit to be determined.” and “People don’t choose to go into those phases” and “I’m desperate to play these songs. I want to be out on the read” and “I hold out hope.”

Twang Nation Podcast Episode 15 – The Civil Wars, Robbie Fulks, Valerie June

Twang Nation Podcast

Hey Twangers! Here it is, number 15 podcast. In this special episode we feature the latest from The Civil Wars, currently residing on the top of the Billboard charts. Also excellent new music from Robbie Fulks, Valerie June, Aoife O’Donovan and Trisha Ivy. Also er feature a great cut from the master songwriter himself Guy Clark.

We finish up by featuring an older cut by Jim White that is currently enjoying popularity due to placement on a recent placement on FX’s “Breaking Bad.”

As always. I hope you like this episode of the Twang Nation Podcast and thank you all for listening. If you do tell a friend and let me know here at this site, Google+ , Twitter or my Facebook page.


Opening Song – Dale Watson – A Real Country Song

1. The Civil Wars – song: I Had Me a Girl – album: The Civil Wars (Sensibility Recordings/Columbia Records)
2. Robbie Fulks – song: I’ll Trade You Money For Wine album: Gone Away Backward ( Bloodshot records)
3. Valerie June – song: Twined And Twisted – album: Pushin’ Against a Stone (Sunday Best Recordings)
4. Jason Isbell and John Paul White – song: Old Flame – album:High Cotton ( Lightning Rod Records)
5. Aoife O’Donovan – song: Briar Rose – album: Fossils (Yep Rock Records)
6. Court Yard Hounds – song: Phoebe – album: Amelita (Columbia Records)
7. Guy Clark – song: The Death Of Sis Draper – album: My Favourite Picture of You (Dualtone Records)
8. Porkchop Express – song: On My Way Down album: Skin Your Smoke Wagon (self-released)
9. Trisha Ivy – song: Talking in Your Sleep – album: Cotton Country (self-released)
10. Jim White song: Wordmule album: “Wrong-Eyed Jesus” (Luaka Bop)

Listen Up! The Civil Wars – “The One That Got Away”

CW One That Got Away

All right Civil Wars fans, this is what we’ve been waiting for. Proof of the upcoming album that might not have been.

While riding high on the wave of their best-selling, Grammy award winning, Barton Hollow the pop-roots duo abruptly canceled a amidst a UK tour, citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”

Then last month the Civil Wars revealed that they’d completed a new self-titled album, a result of a Nashville recording session last fall with Barton Hollow’s producer Charlie Peacock.

Now a single “The One That Got Away,” (no, it’s not a Katy Perry cover.) It’s got the typical Civil Wars dramatic vibe but with more of an edge. What stands out is Joy Williams is more up in the mix with John Paul White as supporting in contrast to their more equally handling of vocal duties on their earlier EP and album.

“I wish I’d never ever seen your face,” Williams sings convincingly “I wish you were the one that got away.”

The band’s labels, Sensibility Music/Columbia Records, give some context to the song in the accompanying press release “The [new] album was recorded amidst a grueling touring schedule, exhausting workload and a growing disconnect from their families.”

More omens abound with the video for “The One That Got Away,” and the new album’s cover, features nothing more than a billowing cloud of black smoke.

Can all the bad blood be overcome to allow the band to embark on a tour to support the sure to be a huge selling new release? Stay tuned when it’s release August 6th.

The Civil Wars Annouce New Album This Summer

The Civil Wars New Album

The Civil Wars were holed up working on a new album in Nashville last fall with Barton Hallow producer Charlie Peacock. But last February fans were jarred by news that Joy Williams and John Paul White cancelling all of their concerts citing “irreconcilable differences of ambition,” but they left the door open for more music soon.

The band worked with T Bone Burnett for new music for the soundtrack for “A Place at the Table.” the pair also seems unconformable sharing the stage with T Bone and Taylor Swift to accept a Grammy for their contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack.

All this time the band’s Facebook page has been flooded with well-wishing fans begging for new music. They’re going to get their wish this summer.

The best-selling folk pop duo announced today via Twitter, Facebook and their site (which crashed from the traffic on the news) that they will release their their self-titled sophomore album in “late summer” on Sensibility Music/Columbia Records.

“Patience is a virtue,” White writes to fans in a letter posted on the duo’s official website. “Yours has been appreciated. Here’s to the hope you consider it rewarded.

So far there is no official news on public appearances or performances planned around the release.

Muscle Shoals Celebration – Percy Sledge, Brittany Howard and John Paul White and More

Muscle Shoals

An all-Star Concert in support of the film “Muscle Shoals” was held on February 27th, 2013 at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Conference Center.

On hand was John Paul White (The Civil Wars), Candi Staton, Delbert McClinton, Ed King (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes), Christine Ohlman (Saturday Night Live Band), Donna Jean Godchaux (Grateful Dead) and many other legendary Muscle Shoals Musicians joined together to celebrate the great music that came from the area and specifically from Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

Here’s some video of the event. Special thanks to @johnamacie for bringing the White videos to my attention.

Learn more about muscle Shoals the movie, dates and locations here.

Percy Sledge – Dark End of the Street

“Wild Horses” Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section

John Paul White – “Outfit” – Drive-By Trucker’s

John Paul White “No One Will Ever Love You”

John Paul performing “I’ll Be There” co-written by him and The SteelDrivers –

The Civil Wars Release T Bone Burnett Produced Cut , Prepare Full Soundtrack

The Civil Wars Paste magazine reports that The Civil Wars are set to appear on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film, A Place at the Table. the folk is a documentary from Food, Inc. producers that explores American food and hunger issues. The soundtrack will feature 14 new and original tracks from The Civil Wars and T Bone Burnett is set for a Feb. 26 release through Sensibility Music.

“We met T Bone in New York City at the Americana Awards nomination announcements a couple of years ago,” John Paul White said in a press release. “Turns out Rosanne Cash, the sweetheart, had turned him onto the music. He expressed a desire to work together, which was quickly reciprocated.”

The documentary is set for a March 1 release and the band and Burnett are offering 100 percent of the label’s net profits and producer/artist royalties to the Participant Foundation, an organization that “exists to support programs that support a sustainable and peaceful world.”

“Being a part of A Place At The Table opened my eyes to an epidemic that is happening in our country right now—underneath many of our noses,” Joy Williams said. “It’s happening to our neighbors, to our friends, to children. It’s a silent battle that can be won, if we as a nation set our minds to ending it. Linking arms with T Bone Burnett to create music for such a timely and important film as this was an honor.”

The band released a rousing new single from the soundtrack today, titled “Long Time Gone.” Take a listen in the player below.

As previously reported, The Civil Wars unexpectedly canceled their tour let year citing the reason as “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as a touring entity. Many speculated this meant a break-up for the band, but these new studio tracks might make that prediction premature.

Many speculated this meant a break-up for the band, and these new studio tracks could prove otherwise. Though their lack of amicability on the stage Sunday, to receive their Grammy for the song “Safe & Sound,” with Taylor Swift and T Bone, might signal otherwise.

The SteelDrivers – ‘Hammer Down’ – Listen Up!

SteelDrivers - Hammer Down

Adele and i share something in common. We are both SteelDrivers fans. Adele even honored the band by recording a version of their song “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” and included it as a B side to her best-selling “Rolling in the Deep” CD single and has covered that very same song live.

The three time Grammy nominated, Nashville based band are well worthy of such accolades.

The SteelDrivers embody some of the best characteristics of any roots/Americana band performing today. The band fuses often dark lyrics, soul, bluegrass and mature pop to create something new and fresh and somehow comfortably familiar.

The SteelDrivers are banjo player Richard Bailey, bass/vocalist Mike Fleming, guitar / vocalist Gary Nichols, fiddler / vocalist Tammy Rogers and mandolinist Brent Truitt. Produced by Luke Wooton, Hammer Down is a collection of 10 new tunes from Rogers and Nichols as well as original members Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson. The set also includes the songs “I’ll Be There” and “Cry No Mississippi” that Nichols co-wrote with John Paul White of The Civil Wars.

The SteelDrivers’ upcoming Rounder Records’ release “Hammer Down” can be heard below for one week here at Twang Nation.

The SteelDrivers are on the road for much of 2013 and an updated itinerary is at

Tour Itinerary to Date:

February 6 Music City Roots/Loveless Cafe Nashville, TN
February 8 The Station Inn Nashville, TN
February 16 Joe Val Bluegrass Festival Framingham, MA
February 17 The Iron Horse Northampton, MA
February 18 Joe’s Pub New York, NY
February 28 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
March 2 Woodlands Tavern Columbus, OH
March 3 Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
March 8 Bluegrass Underground McMinnville, TN
March 9 Mountain View Bluegrass Fest Mountain View, AR
March 21 Carbondale, IL Hangar 9

Grammy Artist Twitter Interview Series – A Fine Frenzy & The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams

joySinger-songwriter Alison Sudol, known professionally as A Fine Frenzy, conducted a Twitter interview with The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams today as part of a campaign for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. The series of interviews are done with participation from Twitter, as part of their Artist Interview series that will also include Miranda Lambert , Reba McEntire and others.

The interview can been see in it’s entirety below. If you, like me, read the exchange looking for clues as to what happened with the Civil Wars sudden hiatus you will be disappointed. The brief interview sums up to two gal-pals sharing holiday plans, food preferences, how they miss each other and intimate photos of woolen socks.

55th Annual Grammy Award Nominees – Americana, Country and Related Categories

This year’s National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) 55th Annual Grammy Awards nominees reflect the rich and diverse community of talent that celebrates some of the genres finest old and new. From a CBS prime-time nominations concert LL Cool J and co-host Taylor Swift.

Some history – Nashville hosted the Official Grammy awards in 1973, but this marks only the fist time The Grammys have held the nomination event outside of L.A. This fortuitous event for Music City resulted from a scheduling conflict with the event usual home at the Staples Center but the city rose to the occasion and showed the performers and attendees a great time. Of course I would have preferred to have people from the lists below perform of national televised show but I’m biased by design.

As in recent years social media was a major conduit for the event. Music City was abuzz on mobile phones, computers ad tablets during the hour-long broadcast from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (Go Predators!) . Nearly 12,000 posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites mentioned the word “Nashville” in connection with the Grammy nominations

Aside from the usual categories of Americana, Folk and Bluegrass roots music made an impressive showing for the coveted Album Of The Year , which includes a nomination for Mumford & Sons’ sophomore outing Babel, and Best New Artist with Alabama Shakes and the Lumineers.

I got 2 out of 7 of my predictions right for the Best Americana Album category with The Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons. The pleasant surprise in this category is John Fullbright who I’m willing to say here I’m pulling for. The legendary Bonnie Raitt is nominated in this category and I’ll also go on record as saying Bonnie has secured her legendary status in Blues and Rock. When there are performers from the community like Justin Townes Earle and Corb Lund have new albums out why poach legends from other genres.

Classic country was also celebrated with Nashville Western swing ensemble the Time Jumpers being nominated for two GRAMMYs for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “On The Outskirts Of Town” and Best Country Album for their latest self-titled release. Best Country Album also has another surprise with Jamey Johnson being nominated for his tribute covers album “Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran.” The “Gentle Giant” Don Williams is nominated for his duet with the woman that hold the record for the most Grammys by a female artists (27!), Alison Krauss for Best Country Duo/Group Performance with “I Just Come Here for the Music”

Here’s the full list of Americana and associated categories for the 55th Grammy Awards. The Awards will be presented on Feb. 10, 2013. Most of these will be presented in the pre-telecast ceremony before the televised portion that evening on CBS. To find ot the winners follow me on Twitter and watch live streaming at

Best Americana Album
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
John Fullbright – From the Ground Up
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
Mumford & Sons – Babel
Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream

Best Bluegrass Album
Dailey & Vincent – The Gospel Side Of
The Grascals – Life Finds a Way
Noam Pikelny – Beat the Devil & Carry a Rail
Special Consensus – Scratch Gravel Road
Steep Canyon Rangers – Nobody Knows You

Best Country Album
Zac Brown Band – Uncaged
Hunter Hayes – Self-titled
Jamey Johnson – Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran
Miranda Lambert – Four the Record
The Time Jumpers – Self-titled

Best Folk Album
Carolina Chocolate Drops – Leaving Eden
Ry Cooder – Election Special
Luther Dickinson – Hambone’s Meditations
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile – The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Various – This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark

Americana and Roots artists on other categories:

– Mumford & Sons – Album of the Year for Babel, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “I Will Wait”, Best Long-form Music Video for “Big Easy Express” from the Railroad Revival Tour with Old Crow Medicine Show , Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Markus Dravs nominated for Producer of the Year for Babel.”
– Alabama Shakes – Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance for “Hold On”, Best Recording Package for Boys and Girls
– The Lumineers – Best New Artist-
– Bruce Springsteen – Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Album for Wrecking Ball & Best Rock Song for “We Take Care of Our Own”
– The Goat Rodeo Sessions featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile – for Best Folk Album, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
– Don Williams (feat. Alison Krauss) – Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “I Just Come Here for the Music”
– Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars – Best Country Duo/Group Performance & Best Song Written for Visual Media for “Safe and Sound”
– Woody at 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection – Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package, Best Historical Album
– Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music: 34 Historic Songs, Ballads, And Instrumentals Recorded In The Great Smoky Mountains By “Song Catcher” Joseph S. Hall – Best Historical Album
– Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire – Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical