Drive By Truckers’ The Fine Print Cover

  • Sony Music Entertainment Photo Archives, ICON Collectibles has just released some new Johnny Cash prints for the summer, ICON is offering Cash fans a 20% discount on all Johnny Cash framed and unframed fine art prints (including limited editions) when fans use promo code ICON6PAK at checkout. Offer ends July 31st. Check out the new prints now at the ICON website.
  • Wayne Hancock has  Summer tour dates posted. Hancock will be taking his Texas honky-tonk around the West Coast, back down to Texas and then back up the East Coast. Opening the show will be Joe Buck.
  • 83 year-old country-pop singer Ferlin Husky is in Tennessee hospital in critical condition with an accelerated heart rate and possible pneumonia. Husky topped the charts from the 50’s to the 70’s under various names, including Terry Preston and Simon Crum, a comic alter ego. (via the 9513.com)
  • Chet  Nashville Chet Flippo draws comparisons to the death last week of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Hank Williams. Flippo posits that Williams’ death at the age of 29 in the back seat of his Cadillac on New Years Eve 1953 might have been preferable to the drawn-out publicized deterioration of Elvis and Jackson.
  • A while back I posted that New West records would be releasing The Fine Print, “a 12-track album of previously unreleased and rare songs”by the Drive By Truckers on September 1st. The album will feature  “four covers including “Rebels” by Tom Petty and “Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan which provided Shonna Tucker with her first ever lead vocal performance on a DBT recording.” Many of the original recordings are from the Dirty South era. The Look for a review of The Fine Print soon, but in the mean time check out the cover below painted by their long time cover artist Wes Freed.

Hard Times

These are tough times for America. Wall Street and board room crooks, unnecessary wars, mounting national and personal debt, massive unemployment, terrorists threats.. These are not the toughest times we’ve faced in our history,I think the fisr depression and the civil war were much tougher, but they are hard relative to the lives most people have lived today.

The silver lining is that from hard times comes great music, and country music taps into the populist zeitgeist better than any other genre beside blues. Much has been made about John Rich’s Shuttin’ Detroit Down and Hank William Jr’s Red White and Pink Slip Blues but it’s hard for me to buy populist empathy from a guy that parades around  in mink coats and a guy that puts hotel employees in a choke hold and demands a kiss.

Here is a list of songs that I believe exhibit the best of what it sounds like to live through the worst.

Ryan Bingham – Hard TimesA new artist with an old voice . The name says it all.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg428ZfOMsA[/youtube]

The Drive By Truckers – Puttin’  People on the Moon A stiff shot of old-school Southern rock chased withed populist rage.

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

Jimmie Rodgers  – Muleskinner Blues – A classic of down-on-your-luck and lookin’ for work poetry.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXV9_WilcHs[/youtube]

Johnny Cash – BustedHarlan Howard’s 1962 penned song of working man’s woe was aa hit for Johnny Cash in 1962 on his classic At Folsom Prison live album and was an even bigger hit for Ray Charles the following year.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rnAYYh8gGQ[/youtube]

Merle Haggard – Workin’ Man Blues – Classic Bakersfield rocks this ode to the laborer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbEstJ98TcM[/youtube]

Frankie Miller – Blackland Farmer – A paen to the 1958 farmers that were just starting to get a glipmpse of the industrial farms that were to change thier professions and lives forever.

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

Levon Helm – Poor Old Dirt Farmer –  Helm, the only American in the Americana/rock group The Band, tells the story of his Dad’s farm inTurkey Scratch, a hamlet west of Helena, Arkansas.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBuJB218UvU[/youtube]

Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job and Shove It – it’s not all hand-wringing and woe is me in country music. Paycheck’s cover of  David Allan Coe’s song was a huge 70’s hit and a raised finger to The Man.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knetbVx5A-Q[/youtube]

Patterson Hood Readies Solo Album/Tour

Murdering Oscar (and other love songs), the second solo outing for the Drive By Trucker front man Patterson Hood, will be released June 23, 2009 on Ruth St. Records.

The release has been 15 years in the making and was produced by Hood and long-time DBT producer David Barbe (Sugar). Most of his DBT partners in crime join him on the album as well as Don Chambers, Will Johnson and Scott Danbom from Centro-matic/South San Gabriel. This is also the first time Hood’s father David Hood, famed Muscle Shoals bass player, joins him on a record.

The album was recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA and will also be released on 180 gram vinyl. The vinyl release will include three exclusive bonus tracks. An a cappella version of “Range War” will also be available exclusively with iTunes. “Pollyanna” and “Pride of the Yankees” are available to preview on his Myspace page.

Hood and his supporting band the Screwtopians will start the first leg of their tour in Nashville and end with a headlining slot at AthFest in Hood’s hometown of Athens, GA. Joining Hood on tour will be Brad Morgan (drums), John Neff (guitar/steel), Scott Danbom (keys/fiddle), Will Johnson (guitar) and David Barbe (bass), who has not toured since his days with Sugar. Will Johnson will open the shows.
Tour dates:
June 18 Nashville, TN Grimey’s in-store
June 18 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
June 19 Louisville, KY Headliner’s
June 20 Chicago, IL The Metro
June 22 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
June 23 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 24 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
June 25 Washington, DC The Black Cat
June 27 Athens, GA AthFest

Eat the Rich

I read the ridiculous article in the New York Times about John Rich and believe Rich, and the Republicans he stumped for in the last election, are about as concerned about the plight of the common man as a vegetarian is about the finer points of aged beef.

I believe Rich’s populism is nothing more then window dressing and crass opportunism. My Grandparent’s generation used to call the Republicans the cocktail party because they were the party of the wealthy, for the wealthy. They still are, they just have better PR. Which brings me to Shuttin’ Detroit Down, the new song by the shorter, darker half of the country music comedy duo Big and Rich.

It’s hard for me to buy a song about the common man coming from a guy that wears $1000. fur coats on his realty television show. Shuttin’ Detroit Down oversimplifies the bad guys that led to the economic crisis as cardboard villain Wall Street Fat Cats with nary a lyric spent on the politicians (from both sides) that wrote the legislation that allowed them to do get away with it. For all his righteous bluster Rich forgets thise key words from wayetgatre. Follow the money. Who did Madoff make contributions to? What about the main guys as AIG? I’m thinking thier right in line with Rich’s own financial support.

I think if  I want quality songs about crony capitalism I’ll go to musicians that have been doing it longer, better and with more credibility – Steve Earle,  Kris Kristofferson (who is broadening his market by appearing in the video for Shuttin’ Detroit Down), hell even the Okie from Muskogee has eased up and taken a wider view of the world. Or maybe I’d go with one of the new artists like William Elliot Whitmore or the Drive By Truckers.

Rich is like Ann Coultier in drag, a different mouthpiece to appeal to a different demographic spouting the same old fake populist bullshit while stumping for the very same fat cats he names in his song.

Jeffrey Foucault to Release John Prine Covers Album

  • There seems to be a bonanza of tribute albums coming out recently but few I’m really looking forward to, this is one of those, Jeffrey Foucault’s tribute to John Prine entitled: Moon Right Between the Eyes: Jeffrey Foucault Sings the Songs of John Prine. The album will drop on February 17th from Signature Sounds Recordings. You can hear cuts now at Foucault’s site.
  • The OCRegister.com’s Ben Wener posted a great review of the February 5th show at the Grove of Anaheim. The nights show was a make up gig that was originally to take place in early December. Hag canceled because, as he later revealed, he underwent surgery for lung cancer, ultimately having the diseased portion removed. In attendance for the performance was no other than Kris Kristofferson who was watching from the balcony.
  • Get those DVRs ready folks, The Drive By Truckers and Ryan Bingham will be tonight’s featured performers on Austin City Limits. Check you local directory for air times.
  • The mysterious guest to appear at this years Merlefest is none other than…Linda Ronstadt. Really, Linda Ronstadt? Really?