News Round Up: RIP Vic Chesnutt

Welcome to 2010 folks, not let’s get a cup of joe and roll up our sleeves, and get into the latest in music happenings…

  • The New York Times features an article, Nashville Inches, Ever So Grudgingly, Into The Future, where it compares the lack of innovation in Music Row to the stubborn (and suicidal) stance to the recording industry over the last decade. Country music has learned tat “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” in as much as it’s attained it’s current  brand of pop-country. This is where the article overlooks Nashville’s history of of style assimilation over the past 50 years from co-opting the 1940’s crooners to the current filching of bad 70’s rock.
  • New York City twangers need to head over to the always excellent Rockwood Music Hall on Tuesday, January 12 to see friend of  Twang Nation Joe Whyte (the King of NYC Americana)  who will be appearing with his full band, Cat Popper (Grace Potter, Ryan Adams) on bass, Rob Heath (Kevin Kinney, Jill Sobule) on drums, and Dan Marcus (Norah Jones, Ana Egge) on guitar. Whyte will be playing current favorites as well as premiering new music to appear on his follow up to Devil in the Details.
  • American Songwriter’s newest legend’s issue features Townes Van Zandt, Robert Earle Keen, Bobby Braddock, Rickie Lee Jones, Richard Thompson and John Prine.
  • If you didn’t hear, died on Christmas Day at his Athens, Georgia, holidays singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt took his own life by overdose of muscle relaxants.  Paralyzed from the waist down after a 1983 car accident, Chesnutt was wheelchair-bound since the age of 18 and suffered from years of depression. His music is a unique blend of idiosyncratic folk/Americana, bracing in its beauty as much as in its honesty. Here are some tributes:, Online Athens, the New York Times and the

News Round Up: Jerry Lee Lewis Gets Mean with Kris Kristofferson

  • Hey Bay Area twang fans! The San Francisco Weekly features a story on Joe Goldmark and the Seducers and their ongoing Sunday night residency at the Outer Sunset bar Riptide which bills itself as “the Bay Area’s best little honky-tonk.”
  • The Salt Lake Tribune sits down with legendary Texas songer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen.
  • Aquarium Drunkard sits down with Athens, Georgia-based alt.folk legend Vic Chesnutt.
  • Legendary rocker, and label mate of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis has released his first country single since the 1970s, Mean Old Man (you can get it now at Amazon for free.) The song was written by Kris Kristofferson and will be part of a new CD that will be released soon on Shangri-La Music.

Robert Earl Keen

Willie Nelson Premieres New Video for Shoeshine Man

  • Willie Nelson premiered his new video covering Tom T. Hall’s Shoeshine Man (below) The song is not on his upcoming covers album American Classics so I have no idea whay he made this video, but he seems to be having a ball. The Texas Yoda has taken a page from the DIY codger goofing around in front of a video camera recently used by Neil Young for his video Fork in the Road.
  • The Americana Music Association announced the lineup for its 2009 festival,  Sept. 16-19 at around several of  Nashville’s best venues – The Mercy Lounge, The Cannery Ballroom, 3rd & Lindsley, The Station Inn and The Basement.  On the roster is Cross Canadian Ragweed, Angela Easterling, Asleep at the Wheel, The Bottle Rockets, Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Joe Pug, Charlie Robison, Marty Stuart, Patrick Sweany, Those Darlins and many more.
  • has posted an mp3 for Chain, a cut off Vic Chesnutt’s upcoming release At the Cut (Constellation) to be released 22 September (US)
  • Randy Travis, Martina McBride and Ray Price join an International  line-up of over 60 International, UK and Irish acts performing on three separate stages at the UTV CountryFest ’09  August 1st – 2nd  at the Kings Hall in Belfast.