Hey, I actually pulled out that second Damone album a month or so ago -- Out Here All Night from 2006, the one with the Iron Maiden cover that I never noticed was an Iron Maiden cover until somebody told me -- and I was really surprised how well it held up. Can't think of many pop-rock albums in the past decade or so that I've liked more. (Their debut, which George had reviewed for me in the Voice, was a lot worse though, iirc.)
Probably still have an advance of the first Meg & Dia CD in a box in the closet. Kept trying to get into that at the time, but it never much clicked. Definitely didn't find it as unstomachable as most shemo/emo/screamo rot, but that's very small praise.
Have heard basically no new country I particularly care about in recent weeks, but then it's not like I've been hunting too hard, either. Got halfway through an advance of the new Connie Smith album on Sugar Hill; thought it was all at least pleasant but I haven't exactly been chomping at the bit to finish the thing, either. (I had never given her a second of thought before; know basically nothing about her old country hits, which seem to have been biggest in the mid to late '60s, then smaller and smaller through the '70s. If I'm reading Wiki right she never got higher than #101 on the pop chart, and that was with her first charting single, in 1964.)
Caramanica gave a good review to the new Ronnie Dunn solo album in the Times the other day, but the one single I heard was a snooze -- and given that Jon perplexingly seems to think Brooks & Dunn peaked with the likewise boring "Believe," he didn't quite persuade me to check that new album out. Maybe eventually.
― xhuxk, Thursday, 9 June 2011 23:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Can Miranda Lambert's new side project, Pistol Annies, bring this thread back to life?
The Ronnie Dunn album is serviceable enough, but there aren't any songs that are as good as his voice would have you believe they are. "Cost of Livin'" is the second single. Can't get on board with the idea that Brooks & Dunn peaked with "Believe." But for a couple of singles, I'd say they peaked with "Neon Moon," which I still love, and then it was all downhill for the next 15 years.
― jon_oh, Thursday, 16 June 2011 18:32 (1 year ago) Permalink
I like the new Ronnie Dunn record, and I'm impressed by Blame Sally's folkie power pop. the latest Nashville Scene has my thoughts on Sally and on local act KORT, who are the Lambchop dude and Cortney Tidwell doing stuff off of Chart Records label in the '60s. Wagner sounds like an anemic, a more anemic Cat Stevens, but I think "Penetration" is an interesting and effective track. anyway, I've been absent from posting anywhere for a while, including here, but have been doing my usual thing for the Scene, and you guys may have read me on Those Darlins in the Voice a couple months ago; they're playing with Old 97's here next month. (Whose Grand Theater records I quite like, altho I am not sure if the first one is better than the second.)
But, want to check out what y'all have been saying before I pitch in much more, except to say I hung out with Charlie Louvin at a Nashville eatery where his guitarist Ben Hall was playing, a month before Charlie passed, and Charlie drove himself to the gig in his Cadillac from 50 miles south of Nashville!
And that I got on a Wynette and George Jones kick and listened to every Tammy LP from '67-'80 with a detour to her '87 bluegrass album, and at last count I think I've listened to 20 Jones LPs from Musicor era thru '92 and the "Walls Can Fall" LP. What a body of work. And Cal Smith, don't forget about Cal Smith...finally, in the vein of the great country past, I've seen now TWO clips of Gary Stewart on the "Pop Goes the Country" show from the '70s, one where he played the piano and scared Minnie Pearl and cut Jerry Lee's cousin to pieces, the other where he played electric guitar and looked totally cool.
See you guys soon...
― ebbjunior, Friday, 17 June 2011 05:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
But for a couple of singles, I'd say they peaked with "Neon Moon," which I still love, and then it was all downhill for the next 15 years.
Disagree with this -- my favorite albums by them are easily Steers & Stripes and Red Dirt Road, probably followed by Hillbilly Deluxe and Cowboy Town, so I tend to think they improved with age until they started slipping a bit -- but I never understood until I moved to Texas the extent to which "Neon Moon" (which I've always liked fine but never loved) is their "Stairway to Heaven" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or whatever. That two-decade-old song is on country radio here ALL THE FUCKING TIME, and I could live without hearing it again. Seriously though, even as far as early B&D hackwork goes, I'd probably take any number of tracks over it -- "Lost And Found", "Brand New Man," "Mexican Minutes," "Texas Women (Don't Stay Lonely Long)," "Boot Scootin' Boogie." Maybe I'm just sick of it.
I'm impressed by Blame Sally's folkie power pop
Me too - mentioned them a couple times upthread already, and it's taking me several listens until I heard the powerpop part (minus much "power," but for once I don't seem to mind much). Real eureka moment was hearing the single, "Living Without You," apart from the album and over the P.A. at a Starbucks, of all places, and thinking "damn I really really like this tune" but not being able to place where I'd heard it before; when I googled it, I was all, "oh yeah, duh, it's on that Blaming Sally CD!" Now it's in the running for my best singles of 2011 list, and the album's been climbing my album list some, too. Last time I played it, something in its sound was even reminding me of what I liked about Chely Wright's album last year. I don't think it's as good as that -- too precious and wimpy, probably -- but it's growing on me. I need to remember to check out your Scene piece -- feel free to post a link here to jog my memory if you want. (And oh yeah, welcome back, Edd! -- though, to be honest, when it comes to this thread, you haven't missed a whole lot. We've all been almost as absent as you.)
In other country news, Randy Montana's album (my favorite of the year) finally has a solid release date, apparently, in late July. Also heard Eric Church's new one, out around the same time, and so far it's as frustratingly uneven as his other two, but it does seem to have at least a few real corkers. I'm starting to think though that I may overrated both Church's "Homeboy" and Martina McBride's "Teenage Daughters" a bit. And otherwise, I've been trying to figure out whether I like or hate Katie Armiger's hit Taylor Swift imitation, "Best Song Ever."
Also, the country album I've been liking the most, by far, this month, is eye-patched Dick Curless's old trucker-song LP Tombstone Every Mile, which I got sent free in the mail from Metal Mike Saunders, and which Joel Whitburn seems to say country-charted in 1965, though the cover of mine calls it "a Capitol reissue formerly titled Hard, Hard Traveling Man", which title doesn't seem to have ever hit the chart. (The 1998 Razor & Tie CD comp I've got by him, The Drag 'Em Off The Insterstate, Sock It To 'Em Hits, is also really amazing.)
― xhuxk, Friday, 17 June 2011 15:46 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hey Xhuxk, here's the text of the Blame Sally pick, a shortie. I really think this is close to a great record, and while I quite like the uptempo numbers, and the r&b one that reminds me a little bit of Los Lobos at their best, and the Spanish-language number ditto, I think the "modal" "Appalachian" folkie guitarisms and harmonies are excellent, and to my ears beats a lot of similar stuff Nashville does. Caroline loves it as well but as usual descries some vocal problems the singers are having, but I don't hear that so much.
I really want to write something here about my adventures in Wynetteania and Jonesboro. My feeling is that the Musicor LPs such as If My Heart Had Windows ("The Stranger's Me" and "Between My House and Town" are just amazing), Sings the Songs of Dallas Frazier and I'm a People and Mr. Country and Western Music may have his best singing, but then '70s records like Alone Again and The Battle and I Wanta Sing (the one with a Jones face on the front of a careening tour bus full of whiskey and cocaine and Donald Duck comics) are just ace too, and I perceive no falloff on One Woman Man and Still the Same Ole Me and even '92's Walls Can Fall. And the 1980 Wynette/Jones reunion Together Again strikes me as a really fine record. (The only Wynette LPs I think are substandard are the covers-filled D-I-V-O-R-C-E and maybe a couple from the later '70s, where the production got a bit gloppy. (And from my interviews with Norro Wilson and others who participated in those Sherrill recordings, I believe the intention of those Wynette records was to update '50s pop--which is what Norro, Sherrill and those guys really liked, not country so much--with, as Xgau rightly says, the most soulful female vocalist in country history. But that's another post, I guess).
Anyway, here's the Blame Sally shortie:
The perfection of Blame Sally’s new full-length Speeding Ticket and a Valentine lies in the record’s brilliantly idiosyncratic appropriation of various pop and rock ‘n’ roll idioms. From folk-rock to power-pop, the San Francisco quartet has their own method — their lustrous harmonies and probing piano parts combine with gorgeous acoustic-guitar figures, and these four women write amazing songs. “Living Without You” is a slice of post-Beatles pop that puts you in mind of Matthew Sweet and The Bangles, while “Throw Me a Bone” takes folk-rock into new areas. iSpeeding Ticket is a surprising, funny and quotable record from start to finish: “You might not want to take this melody apart / But I feel changes coming on,” they sing in “Wide Open Spaces.” This is the great folk-pop-rock-country hybrid the world has been seeking, lo these many moons.
― ebbjunior, Friday, 17 June 2011 20:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
as for Those Darlins, I think it's a really good record in many ways. Their manager is a friend of mine, and I heard the record way back late last year as they were homing in on the final mix and track order. So I lived with it a lot before it came out in March. I said this in my Voice review, but I really think they'd benefit from a different (better?) producer; too much goddam echo on the voices, esp. on Kelley's "Boys." The singing falls into my amateur category in some ways, not that I expect studied harmony singing from a garage band. It makes it--I am picky, I know. But I do think "Tina Says" is quite an amazing song and that their hearts are in glam rock. They're really good live, too--a zillion times better than they were back a few years ago.
Doing a lot of shorties these days on quasi-country bands. Here's one that ran briefly in Scene before the show got cancelled, so here it is in its entirety:
[COUNTRY ROCK GRAB-BAG]CHAMBERLINCountry rock continues to mutate in fascinating ways, and the Vermont quintet Chamberlin pulls off an intelligent updating of the form on their new full-length release Bitter Blood. Produced by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals guitarist Scott Tournet, Bitter Blood mixes slow, sad country shuffles with ingeniously constructed songs that recall everyone from Van Morrison and The Band to Band of Horses. With Mark Daly's pained, soulful vocals leading the way, Blood amounts to a post-modernist grab-bag of alienation and glorious fatalism--not to mention weird guitar licks and oddball chord changes. The record has a communal vibe: a track such as "Paper Crown" combines its swamp-rock guitar figure with overtones of gospel music, while "Turn Around" examines ennui and finds it wanting. Chamberlin is an ambitious, experimental band for whom the telling musical detail is as important as the content of their songs. 8 p.m. at fooBar EDD HURT
and here's my piece on Emmylou Harris' latest, which I thought was either over- or under-produced, take your pick.
― ebbjunior, Friday, 17 June 2011 21:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
Finally, before I get out of here, I just want to brag a little and say I got to interview Kris Kristofferson recently--the Nashville Film Festival screened the movie Bloodworth, which stars Kristofferson and Val Kilmer and Frances Conroy. (Despite that, it has to be one of the worst films I've ever seen, sub-Lifetime channel coming-of-age crap based on William Gay's sub-Faulknerian novel set in 1950s Tennessee. So bad the film never opened in Nashville, and my piece on Kristofferson and the movie got kilt.) Anyway, I was real impressed by Kristofferson's easy manner and sense of humor, a real regular guy, and I got to ask him about the film Life and Times of Guy Terrifico, the slapstick mockumentary of Gram Parsons I've mentioned here before, as well as his authoring one of my favorite Faron Young songs, "Your Time's Comin'." He remembered writing the Faron Young song but affected memory loss about Terrifico until I prodded him. But there really aren't any KK solo records worth hearing.
― ebbjunior, Friday, 17 June 2011 21:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thank you Kung Pao Buckaroonies.
― Gorge, Monday, 18 July 2011 22:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
Something I wrote about the new Randy Montana and Eric Church albums:
― xhuxk, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 16:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thank you YouTube for posting an entire pirated copy of Eric Church's Chief so elegantly for us to hear.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 20:19 (1 year ago) Permalink
Probably almost iTunes ready.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 27 July 2011 20:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Eric Church album is definitely a pleasant surprise. He's damn near insufferable in interviews, and I still find "Homeboy" problematic, but the album is solid.
It's also far better than the albums by Chris Young or Blake Shelton. Shelton, in particular, seems to be coasting on the public goodwill he's built up thanks to his Twitter feed and his gig on The Voice. There have been rumblings that, after "Honey Bee" took off faster than anticipated at radio, his album was rushed for a July release after having initially been slated for September; either way, it's just inert, and most of the songs wouldn't have been any better-written in the fall.
Still just a terrible year for country. At least Taylor Swift released "Sparks Fly" as a proper single, but there's not much else to get on board with.
― jon_oh, Thursday, 28 July 2011 02:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
"Homeboy" is serious crap. Not only for the pandering video but, y'know, the heavy metal crunch guitar -- I know something about this -- no guitars ever sound effective like that live.
I won't record stuff that sounds that way although a number of country artists besides Church seem to like it and it has some ability to impress idiots. I can do without anything that sounds Colt Ford-er-ized.
"Country Music Jesus" uses this same contrived supermetal guitar thing. Wow, it's so ... like ... heavy, especially when mixed with the knee-jerk banjo. Ludicrous.
"Drink In My Hand," "Springsteen," "Like Jesus Does" sound like a human being did them.
― Gorge, Thursday, 28 July 2011 04:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Gorge, Friday, 29 July 2011 19:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Interesting reads -- the Washington Post has been running a ubiquitous banner ad which, if you click through it -- leads to pages selling made-in-China counterfeit Gibson Les Paul electric guitars.
― Gorge, Monday, 1 August 2011 18:43 (1 year ago) Permalink
Gibson's domestic Les Paul manufacturing is, of course, in Nashville.
― Gorge, Monday, 1 August 2011 18:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
ebbjunior, please post (at least an excerpt of) yr kilt KK piece here. I've always much preferred him as an actor (Cisco Pike, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Trouble In Mind for inst), but used to listen to The Silver Tongue Devil and I from early 70s and liked some of that okay, ditto the one where he let young Larry Gatlin sing a track (should've sung 'em all of course). also, paste of a gen, shoutout:Hey yall, this year's webcast starts 8/13 at 5 Central, so according to this schedule (which could change), looks at the moment like we'll miss for instance Ray Price (who might reasonably expect Willie to guest) and Billy Joe Shaver. Among those prob past the dinner bell, I could live without Jakob Dylan and Jason Mraz. But even if perennials Willie-Neil-Dave-Mellen do the same old thing (maybe Neil will do something from A Treasure, though), worth checking are somewhut cosmic country picker Lukas Nelson, and roots-popster Will Dailey. Here's the lineup:http://farmaid.blogspot.com/2011/08/farm-aid-2011-schedule.html (all times CST)and here's some Will Dailey-- the video tagged Craig Ferguson is a fun place to start (no, not a song about Craig Ferguson, which would be a good idea, but anyway a good hot shot and worthy, rare exception to Ferg's no-music format)http://www.willdailey.com/Music/index.html
― dow, Friday, 12 August 2011 21:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
and re xpost link to ebbjunior's Emmylou review, here's my Newport Festivus 2011! threadtakes on her Newport set:
I'll catch up with a bunch of downloads etc of these sets later in the week, but back now for Emmylou & band: opening with a Stonesy groove, though milder vocal at the moment on "Six White Cadillacs." Now her cover of Gillian Welch's "I Am An Orphan", with good bass and accordion, drums kicking in.
― dow, Sunday, July 31, 2011 5:18 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
So, Emmylou's mostly killer set, with her versatile Red Dirt Boys (incl Will Kimbrough). A few wishy-washy ballads, but mostly spirited, uptempo or not "Hello Stranger", for isnt) New song for/to Gram Parsons is the most immediately engaging of her originals (that I've heard, anyway, although this version of "Michelangelo" very strong; she's mostly and wisely pitching lower in her range in this set), followed by GP's "Luxury Liner", a gospel quartet, "Sin City", "Wheels", Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight", Steve Earle's "Goodbye" (one of the best on her Wrecking Ball), brought out the Civil Wars for "Evangeline", brought out Pete Seeger, who led us through his and God's hit "Turn Turn Turn" as a shuffle, ditto "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", with a verse I didn't remember: "Where have all the graveyards gone/Covered with flowers every one/When will they ever learn?" Zing! George Wein: "We stahted this festival in 195? with Pete Seegah, and he's still heah. Come to Newport Jazz next weekend. Thank you." Meanwhile, catch the posted stream/download (get your NPR while you can)
― dow, Sunday, July 31, 2011 7:01 PM (1 week ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
― dow, Friday, 12 August 2011 21:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
one more, on western swing x bop, which we've talked about on prev years of Rolling Country, re Gatemouth Brown, Charlie Parker jamming with Slim Galliard etc, here's guitarist Bruce Formam's band, Cow Bop:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/05/PKC51KG0M6.DTL&type=music
― dow, Friday, 12 August 2011 22:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
Anybody heard Pistol Annies' upcoming debut album? Miranda Lambert, Angaleena (sic) Presley, Ashley Monroe, whoo-hoo! Brief interview here: http://tasteofcountry.com/pistol-annies-interview-2011/"> http://tasteofcountry.com/pistol-annies-interview-2011/
― dow, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
Dunno what happened with that. Click the second posting of the link.
― dow, Monday, 15 August 2011 20:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Pistol Annies album is really good. Surprised there's not more talk about it here. I wish it *sounded* a *little* messier, but the songwriting is really strong beginning to end -- colorful without being cartoonish.
Trying to decide whether to get the full albums from Ashton Shepherd and Sunny Sweeney. Do they hold-up beyond the singles?
― Hubie Brown, Tuesday, 30 August 2011 18:55 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm wondering too. On a different subject here's Caramanica's NY Times article on Luke Bryan and some other country guys not wearing cowboy hats and what that means
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 30 August 2011 19:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
Hmmm, mulling over the fact that male country artists are strong-looking milchtoasts. Not the most daring observation.
And class rage to boot. “Bossman can shove that overtime up his can,” Mr. Church sings on “Drink in My Hand,” his tart sneer in overdrive. “I got a 40-hour-week worth of trouble to drown.”
Only a true tough guy could come up with that in 2011. Actually, it'd be more honest to sing about how you're stuffing all your frustration up cuz you can't afford to be fired in the new labor market knowing it's a fifty/fifty prospect, or worse, that you'll never work for the same miserable pay again.
In the context of contemporary Nashville, this qualifies as extreme bravery
Where have Mr. Adkins’s country bona fides gone? Here, at least, they’re buried in the bonus tracks: “Semper Fi,” a choked-up Marines love song, and “More of Us,” which, by the time you read this, may already have been adopted by Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. “Don’t you think we’ve taken enough of all this giving in?” Mr. Adkins says, surlier than ever. “It’s about time for pushing back.”
One assumes the record was finished before someone could write a song about Seal Team Six, too.I'd think the New York Times could afford to be a little more assertive on country music's increasingly delusional status as everyman patriotic wallpaper.
<img src=http://www.dickdestiny.com/texaspsychopaths.JPG />
― Gorge, Tuesday, 30 August 2011 20:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'll prob take a chance on Sunny Sweeney again, given the first album (uneven but def worth checking: the young and the restless in Bumfuck TX) and "From A Table Away"(so calmly devastated--her heart is composed and decomposed).
― dow, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 02:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
The Pistol Annies album is great. One of my favorites of the year.
― thinveneer, Wednesday, 31 August 2011 16:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
The new Sunny Sweeney isn't bad at all - it definitely starts out strong. If you merged her debut and "Concrete" you could create one hell of an album.
She does have one song in which she advises a friend, Amy, that her husband would be loyal if she only treated him right. Seems he's been sleeping with Sunny. I eagerly await Sunny's next album where we hear about her being sent to Fist City.
― thinveneer, Thursday, 1 September 2011 19:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Indeed. She's a bit too hard on hersel re her greenhorn status on the first album, though it was obviously traveling on a learning curve. But she effectively used her frustration with that,in expressing her frustration with a lot of thangs, getting though those early days on the fringe of it all. Too hard on herself, I mean, in this recent interview, which is a hoot:http://www.theboot.com/2011/08/23/sunny-sweeney-concrete-new-album-interview/
― dow, Saturday, 3 September 2011 00:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
Oh yeah, and bluegrass stalwart Dale Ann Bradley up next, on the National Folk Festival, streaming this weekend on http://www/folkalley.com
― dow, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
ah hockey, sorry: http://www.folkalley.com
― dow, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:03 (1 year ago) Permalink
I've never really listened to Keith Urban, but the more I hear that "Long Hot Summer" song the more fascinated I am that it is such a perfectly crafted radio song it could have likely been a hit for almost any singer. Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Eddie Money, Bryan Adams, Richard Marx, Lady Gaga ...
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 September 2011 12:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
I like "Hell on Heels" a whole bunch, maybe my favorite Lambert-involved song since 2008.
― Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 4 September 2011 12:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Most of his best singles are like that. In some alternate crazy world where Paul Westerberg made a try for pop stardom he'd probably sound like Keith Urban.
― Jamie_ATP, Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:10 (1 year ago) Permalink
"Put You In A Song" is pretty tremendous
― Jamie_ATP, Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Huh. Verses of "Put You In a Song" are very Westerbergy. The music, at least. The chorus is a lot weaker than "Long Hot Summer," I think.
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 September 2011 13:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
From the thread National Folk Festival--Streaming Live Labor Day Weekend:
Awright, twentysomethings doing vitamins and Granpa's Western swing proud--Marshall Ford Swing Band is fronted by Johnny Gimble's granddaughter, Emily Ann. "Lulu's Back In Town", "My Window Faces The South", "A Shanty in Old Shanty Town" (where"The writing on the wall wouldn't mean a thing"). "We got it from the Slim and Slam version", as well they might; Bob Wills is sailing by a on a falsetto breeze too. "When you see the rosin fly/Sit up straight, don't bat an eye." That's called "Draggin' the Bow"--no drag son, perkier than ever. "Pluck my hearstrings with delight/Away we'll go/That's called draggin' the bow." Down for the ol' man/ ol' lady blues: "When will you ever leave me?"
― dow, Sunday, September 4, 2011 4:25 PM
oops, more rain. Not to say, judging by this set, the Marshall Ford Wing Band necessarily have the older Hot Club of Cowtown's instrumental chops, but they've got the spirit (and the voices). Book one band if you can't get t'other.
― dow, Sunday, September 4, 2011 4:59 PM
― dow, Sunday, 4 September 2011 22:02 (1 year ago) Permalink
Listen here, for one place http://www.marshallfordswingband.com
― dow, Sunday, 4 September 2011 22:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
Gibson's troubles with the government, raided in Nashville, among other things.
― Gorge, Wednesday, 7 September 2011 01:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, September 4, 2011
Richard Marx co-wrote this with Urban.
― curmudgeon, Saturday, 10 September 2011 02:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, Keith Urban's "Put You In A Song" made my Top Ten near the beginning of this thread, but wish he'd ease up on the dutiful-sounding positivity and sanitized melancholy. Either way, def needs to play more of that ace showtime guitar on his albums, hell even an all-instrumental set, like Paisley. Also: an exemplary feature, re well-chosen quotes from an uncharacteristically forthcoming interview, in fair ratio with pungent musical excepts--warning to some: it's blue-gr-a-s-s http://www.npr.org/2011/09/12/140366232/bill-monroe-celebrating-the-father-of-bluegrass-at-100
― dow, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 19:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
Also for Monroe's 100th Birthday, a mix, which I thought at first glance incl Alvin and the Chipmunks, but it's another Alvin, dang it. Oh well, the Million Dollar Quartet are in here:http://www.npr.org/2011/09/07/140247673/the-mix-happy-100th-bill-monroe From several years back, Big Mon is an unusually good tribute album--also unusual for spotlighting Monroe's pop-wise elements, especially considering producer Ricky Skaggs' latter-day schoolmaster (and sermonizing) tendencies. But he was Entertainer of the Year back in the day.
― dow, Tuesday, 13 September 2011 20:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
Johnny Horton's version of "Battle of New Orleans" was the first song to pull me into the radio--an awesome epic cartoon, and git that musket ready boy. It was written by Jimmy Driftwood, a schoolteacher who, like many of that calling then and now, had to use lot of his own resources in the classroom. Horton had a big kiddie following, with vivid, sing-along songs, several from movies. This girl I knew had his Greatest Hits, her first LP, and she used to play it with a lipstick rubberbanded to the stylus, to keep it from skipping. Oh, she's long gone...This Ed Sullivan Show version of "Battle", the first link, seems a bit speedy and tinny, but dig the Arctic ballet--maybe cause of his Alaska songs? Links to them after "Battle", also "Whispering Pines":
― dow, Saturday, 17 September 2011 17:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
We are so happy to announce that Justin Townes Earle came home with the Song of the Year award for "Harlem River Blues" at last night's Americana Music Associations 10th Annual Honors and Awards!
There is an American Music Association?
― curmudgeon, Friday, 14 October 2011 19:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yep. Here are the nominees, with winners in double asteriks. Folk Alley has posted this with a stream of the 4/10 ceremony, which I haven't heard yet, so dunno how much actual music can be heard there:
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
**Band of Joy, Robert Plant**
Welder, Elizabeth Cook
Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle
Blessed, Lucinda Williams
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
NEW/EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Civil Wars
**Mumford And Sons**
The Secret Sisters
Jessica Lea Mayfield
DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
**The Avett Brothers**
Mumford And Sons
Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy
SONG OF THE YEAR
Decemberists with Gillian Welch- "Down By The Water"
Elizabeth Cook - "El Camino"
Hayes Carll - "Kmag Yoyo"
**Justin Townes Earle - "Harlem River Blues"**
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
― dow, Friday, 14 October 2011 22:39 (1 year ago) Permalink
Merle's Working In Tennessee is a lot of fun, mostly barroom/boxcar/daydream sing-alongs, with a natcherly blooming windowbox of the fatalist, affirmative and absurd, especially on "Laugh It Off." Flexes some mellow heart muscle too (some, not a shitload).
― dow, Thursday, 20 October 2011 21:21 (1 year ago) Permalink
Favorite song is the homelessness one about Saginaw that shares its name with a much worse Red Hot Chili Peppers hit; "Laugh It Off" second place probably. Solid record, but there's a lot I could quibble about, if I had time to quibble these days.
― xhuxk, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:20 (1 year ago) Permalink
love listening to "if i die young" lately
― surm, Friday, 21 October 2011 05:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, they (the Band Perry) did that on Dancing With The Stars last week, hot stuff (funny given the title, cos song is not country goth or gothic, except in a hot Dancing With The Stars-appropriate way, "die"/"little death"/nice-sized O/musical sublimation way of country wisdom)
― dow, Saturday, 22 October 2011 19:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
Xxhux's aforementioned quibbles with Working In Tennessee might well incl use of sureshot themes, re aforementioned barroom/boxcar/daydream sing-alongs, but his whiff-of-bs-bearing paper airplanes are bullseye or close enough, often enough for lazier me to be impressed--he really is Working it, somewhut. Top Ten? We'll see.
― dow, Saturday, 22 October 2011 19:11 (1 year ago) Permalink