News Roundup – Jim Lauderdale, Sunny Sweeney, Jamie Lin Wilson, Courtney Patton, Brennen Leigh, Loretta Lynn

Lynn’s original handwritten lyrics to “Coal Miner’s Daughter,”
Loretta Lynn’s original handwritten lyrics to “Coal Miner’s Daughter,”

– Sure it’s still Summer, but it’s not too soon to think about Christmas when you know that Sunny Sweeney, Jamie Lin Wilson, Courtney Patton and Brennen Leigh will be reuniting for their Hard Candy Christmas Tour for the 2017 season. Tickets for most of the shows are on sale now and the more will be on sale soon. Check out all the dates and tickets right here.

– Check out Mr. Americana Jim Lauderdale performing “You Came To Get Me” off his new album “London Southern” on the Conan O’Brien show.

– Rolling Stone premiered ”If I Could Make You My Own’,’ the new song off Dori Freeman’s sophomore album Teddy Thompson-produced “Letters Never Read’ which will be released October 20th.

– The Legendary Shack Shakers, the band Stephen King described as dynamite and guitar legend Jeff Beck called “a cross between the Yard Birds and the Sex Pistols,” release their new album, ‘After You’ve Gone,’ on Last Chance Records. AllMusic premieres the exclusive stream of ‘After You’ve Gone’ here.

– Loretta Lynn is being honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s newest exhibit, “Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl,” which opens to the public Friday and is scheduled to run through Aug. 5, 2018. The Hall of Fame hosted an invitation-only preview of the new exhibit on Tuesday (Aug. 22) that was accompanied by dinner and acoustic performances by Margo Price, Brandy Clark, (“Fist City” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” respectively) and featuring remarks by Kacey Musgraves, museum director Kyle Young and Lynn’s daughter Patsy Lynn. Unfortunately Loretta Lynn did not attend the exhibit Opening, but her family assures fans she’s making a strong recovery after Stroke

Americana Music and the Big Tent

This morning the Americana Music Association  shared a link to an online (Meet the New Stars of Americana) past covering the Americana scene in Red Hook Brooklyn and touching on the Americana genre in general.

I take a view much like I believe Jed Hilly and the AMA do, since they sent this article out via twitter and their own official email blast, that any press is good press and it helps to lift all Americana boats in the ocean of mass-media and National consciousness.  It takes a real aberration of opinion, like calling Robert Plant the King of Americana or declaring the predecessor to Americana, to be dead , to rile my feathers enough to take use this blog as a virtual soap box..

But the article is pretty much what i would expect from Spin magazine. A 20-something speaking using context of indy-rock and language of 20-somethings to establish shared taste and like-mindedness. Ever generation does this. Have you listened to most 20-somethings on the  train talking to one another? It’s like razor wire, like, for your, like, ears. Right?!

I’m just glade that in this instance Uncle Tupelo , Whiskeytown and Bill Monroe are the topic of conversation instead of the whatever skinny-jean and hoodied is the flavor of the week.

If there’s anything in the article that peeves me it’s the reference to Americana pioneer Gillian Welch, who co-produced of the 9 million unit selling O, Brother, Where Art Thou and Alison Krauss, the most awarded woman in Grammy history (26 awards of  38 nominations) as “niche acts.” I think most musicians would love to have that niche. there is also the painfully ham-handed application of sub-genre definitions – “chillbilly, bootgaze, artisanal rock, outhouse, tin can alley, or hobohemian.”

Fans of Americana share, aside from band-wagoners, share a lot of the same attributes as folk, blues and jazz fans. there is a reverence to a purity and reverence to an idea of “tradition” that sometimes gets in the way of innovation and creativity. But in the case of Americana, a mongrel genre at best, the litmus of genre purity, or as I like to call it the “more authentic than thou” argument, makes no sense for a field that can claim genre-bending acts like Those Darlin’s , Hank Williams III and the Legendary Shack Shakers as members.

Washboard lessons held in Brooklyn, John Deere caps and pearl-snap shirts from Urban Outfitters  and a vague grasp of bluegrass history is no threat to Americana.  Age, geography, wardrobe or other litmus tests aside from the musical variety which I partake in ad nauseam, is pure horseshit.

“It Burns When I Pee” – Episode 10 with Joe Buck

For some Christmas is not a snowy, candy-coated wonderland. Some folks find themselves on Christmas eve. sitting and staring at some lame stop-animation reindeer, topping off a 5 ft PBR can Christmas tree and putting the stamp on that alimony check to send off to your ex in Texas. Well friends, I got something to put the jingle back in your bells.

The 10th episode of “It Burns When I Pee” offers a talk with that merry elf-from-hell Joe Buck, from Hank III’s Damn Band, as he discusses everything from playing with a legacy legend, his time with The Legendary Shack Shakers, the sorry state of Nashville and how to bake the ideal pumpkin bread. That last one is a lie…

Christoph Mueller talks about his love of authetic country music and about some of the projects he is currently working on. Then that online Daisy-Duke Cheyenne helps stuff fans stocking with tons of great music from folks like Creech Holler, Slackeye Slim, Honky Tonk Special, Justin Otto, and lots more goodies for the tube-sock hanging over the space-burner.

The Legendary Shack Shakers – Mercury Lounge – New York City – 11/08/07

If you’re a Legendary Shack Shakers fan try and describe the band to a friend when they ask predictable “What do they sound like?” Just watch as their eyes glaze over and smoke pours out of their ears when you say “They’re kind of a blues, rockabilly, country, punk-rock, Gothic (not goth) with a touch of the occasional klezmer influence.”

The whole sonic-stew is seamless at the ear-splitting, breakneck-pace of a LSS show. Featuring Paducah, Kentucky’s featherweight front-man Colonel J.D. Wilkes singing, playing harmonica and mugging like a vaudeville performer on meth. Stalking the stage, contorting his stringbean form, speaking in tongues and testifying about drifters, the Devil and elusive salvation. Think a Pentecostal Iggy Pop.

South Carolina’s David Lee, the LSS’s heavily tattooed guitarist, mercilessly punished his Gretsch White Falcon guitar like it needed a lesson learned. Lee’s not a flash kind of guy, he approaches the guitar like a construction worker does a jackhammer. He makes the machine a part of him to change the characteristics of the landscape surrounding him.

Mark Robertson slapped his stand-up “outhouse” bass laying a solid slab for Brett Whitacre’s frenetically-controlled drum work.

The hour-and-a-half show packed in cuts from the newly released “Swampblood” (“Old Spur Line,” “Hellwater“) as well as the excellent “Believe” (“Agony Wagon,” “Where’s the Devil When You Need Him?”) and the rest of the bands history that the time seemed go by in a sweaty, frantic, split-second.

For such an aggressive show the New York crowd was impressively animated yet subdued. Lots of yelling and fist-pumping but no moshing in sight.

For most right-thinking folk the Shack Shakers’ firebrand of Dixie-core might be a bit too potent a brew. For others that can trace the cultural link between the 50’s Sun Studio and the 70’s CBGBs, and has a wondering lust for genres, then it’s tonic for the soul.

Alabama’s Pine Hill Haints opened the show with their own brand of backwoods honky-Gothic tunes.