Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Win 5 Grammys

  • 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

Americana at SXSW

  • JamBase contributor Martin Halo  sat down with Drive By Truckers‘ front man Patterson Hood on December 29th. Aat the meeting Hood confirmed that the band would be re-entering the studio, on January 5, to begin work on the next DBT release.

Drive By Truckers – Perfect Timing


Review – Twilight Hotel – “Highway Prayer”

If you like your music nice and neat and fitting within a particular predictable genre or style, then stay far, far away
from Canadian roots-rock duo Twilight Hotel.

Brandy Zdan (vocals, electric/acoustic guitar, accordion) and Dave Quanbury (vocals, electric/acoustic guitar) hail from Winnipeg on the Eastern edge of the prairie region of Western Canada (eight hours north of Minneapolis via 9513).  I don’t know much about the region, but if Twilight Hotel’s new release “Highway Prayer” is any cultural barometer of the area, it seems to be chilly, desolate albeit fertile terrain.

Twilight Hotel are no newcomers to the game. After recording their first self-titled LP in 2003, Zdan and Quanbury have been a hot item in Canadian roots circles and have played more than 200 North American dates in 2007.

Highway Prayer finds Zdan and Quanbury putting all those dues paid on full display as they artfully craft a pan-American
world placed somewhere between Andrew Bird’s jazz-gypsy-folk and and Johnny and June’s soulful-earthy duets. Halfway between the cafe’ and the roadhouse. The stories on “Highway Prayer” unfold like a dark map of the heart and carries on the fine folk/country tradition of storytelling from the point of view of those inflicting or bearing hardships.Recorded in Nashville, TN, Highway Prayer, features noable guest musicians including the late Richard Bell (Janis Joplin, The Band), Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits), and Dave Roe (Johnny Cash).

Things blasts to life with “Viva la Vinyl,” a rave-up-scat-duet ode to the joy of analog music recordings which sounds as joyous and as impromptu porch jam session with plenty of sour mash being passed and hoisted.

On “No Place for a Woman”  MS. Zdan belts out a reverb-draped lament about a family’s rough life in the coal mine. “Impatient Love” is a yearning duet that highlights the couples harmony and shimmers in it’s beauty. The title cut takes us out to the dark, desolate dirt roads made familiar by Neko Case and is made even more forbidding by Richard Bell organ work.

Slumber Queen is a a hard-coiled chacha in the gypsy-jazz vein of Andrew Bird and Iowalta Morningside follows hot on it’s trail with a chilly night-life narrative that Nick Cave would be proud of. On Shadow of a Man Zdan moves us into the gritty junk yard baroque jazz were Tom Waits reigns supreme and she does a fine job of marking her territory.

As mentioned before Richard Bell, the Canadian musician perhaps best remembered as the pianist for Janis Joplin and her Full Tilt Boogie Band, lent his considerable talent to what was to be his last work and “Highway Prayer” is made even more spectacular because of it. The last track Best Buds showcases Bell and dobro player Colin Linden is a great testament to the man and his talent.

 Twilight Hotel- Viva la Vinyl