Rolling Country 2020

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Is it rolling Bob

dow, Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:24 (three months ago) link

Now then: Chuck Eddy's account is still messed up, despite requests---mods too cool---so here's his Nashville Scene ballot re 2019:

Chuck sez:
Sent in my ballot a few weeks ago, before I heard the album by Mike and the Moonpies, which may well have made my list if I had.


1. Miranda Lambert - Wildcard (Vanner/RCA)
2. Heathen Apostles - Dust To Dust (Ratchet Blade)
3. The Rails - Cancel The Sun (Psychonaut Sounds)
4. Kalie Shorr - Open Book (Kalie Shorr)
5. Tom Russell - October in the Railroad Earth (Frontera)
6. Tara Thompson — Hillbilly Christmas (TDT Enterprises)
7. Granville Automatic - Radio Hymns (Granville Automatic)
8. Reba McEntire - Stronger Than the Truth (Big Machine )
9. Billie Davis - Rosie's Cantina (Market Square)
10. Tone Bringsdal — Prologue (Mother Likes It EP}


1. Blanco Brown - “The Git Up”
2. YelaWolf - “Opie Taylor”
3. Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus - “Old Town Road (Remix)”
4. The Highwomen - “Highwomen”
5. Merle Hazard - “(Gimme Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music”
6. Michael Salgado - “Honky Tonk Education”
7. Meat Puppets - “Nine Pins”
8. Paul Cauthen - “Cocaine Country Dancing”
9. Dillon Carmichael - “99 Problems (Fish Ain’t One)”
10. RaeLynn - “Bra Off”


Lone Justice - The Western Tapes, 1983 (Omnivore EP)

dow, Thursday, 2 January 2020 02:27 (three months ago) link

Seems kind of perverse to not rank The Highwomen album (a better LP than Miranda’s, by any measure); and to choose the one song from that album which is essentially a rewritten cover of a “classic” tune... but whatever.

the beer of champagnes (morrisp), Thursday, 2 January 2020 03:05 (three months ago) link

My ballot, as sent---the blogged version (with comments, although most so far were on RC 2019) will prob have some adds, incl. some from Chuck's list, most likely):

(just in the order they come to mind)
1.Tyler Childers: Country Squire
2.Rodney Crowell: Texas
3. Caroline Spence: Mint Condition
4. Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home
5.Kalie Shorr: Open Book
6. Sturgill Simpson: Sound & Fury
7.Kelsey Weldon: White Noise/White Lines
8. Justin Townes Earle: The Saint of Lost Causes
9. Allison Moorer: Blood
10. Patty Griffin: s/t
Hon. Mention: Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis: Beautiful Lie
About Half Good (60-45%), in descending order of Goodness or goodness:
Maren Morris: Girl, Highwomen: s/t, Hayes Carll: What It Is, Tanya Tucker: While I’m Livin’

Trivial Pursuit: Miranda Lambert: Wildcard

Milk Dud: Amanda Ann Platt & The Honeycutters: Live at the Grey Eagle

(in descending order of relevance)
1.Bob Dylan (Featuring Johnny Cash) Travelin Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15
(Cash incl. In credit on listing)
2. Reggie Young: Guitar Session Star
3. Sir Douglas Quintet: The Complete Mercury Masters
(digital-only re-reissue
(scroll waaay down for re-reissue date)
4. Link Wray: Rocks (Bear Family beast).
1.Sheryl Crow: Threads
2.Hot Club of Cowtown: Wild Kingdom
3. Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Dance Chapter Four: Memphis
4.Lillie Mae: Other Girls
5.Arthur Russell: Iowa Dream
6.Lost Bayou Ramblers: Asteur
7. Peter Stampfel & Atomic Mega-Pagans: The Ordivician Era

dow, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:01 (two months ago) link

My take on that Link Wray collection was posted on this redoubtable thread, which I recently discovered:
Rockabilly - essentials?

dow, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 04:05 (two months ago) link

(a better LP than Miranda’s, by any measure)

you got this backward, hoss

alpine static, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:10 (two months ago) link

or at least put an "imo" somewhere

alpine static, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:11 (two months ago) link

Feel free to mentally place an implied "IMO" into every one of my posts, "hoss" ;)

Don’t yell ‘Judas!’ in a crowded theater (morrisp), Wednesday, 8 January 2020 20:22 (two months ago) link

I so suck for typo in Kelsey *Waldon*'s listing on sent ballot. My Matana Roberts comments are on Rolling Jazz Thread 2019
My and other comments on, good discussion of AR's latest here: Ok . MORE Arthur Russell (But This Is Great)

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 04:41 (two months ago) link

Post more Top Tens!

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 04:44 (two months ago) link

My most strictly thread-relevant Reggie Young comments are on RC 2019, but these are def. Related---from the Sweet Soul Music thread:

First listen to Reggie Young's Guitar Session Man has my headphones spinning: so much to take in, so much goodness coming at me from all directions, and would be so even if there weren't 24 tracks on one CD. Most thread-relevant elements noticed so far:
The only Muscle Shoals-recorded track is Little Milton's '02 version of Vince Gill's '90s country hit "Whenever You Come Around," here with a questing soul orchestra, layered and strong as the ones released like hounds in '60s Memphis, on the Box Tops' cover of Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On" and Elvis's run with Percy Mayfield's "Stranger In My Own Hometown."
Most of this is from Memphis, incl. duh Dusty Springfield's performance of Gerry Goffin & Carole King's "Don't Forget About Me," which was on a single w the Fritts-written "Breakfast in Bed."
Fritts' KK bandmate Billy Swan rolls out of Nashville with a fast version of his own "Lover Please," a big late-doo wop hit for Clyde McPhatter :this take is more like what Ringo was doing at his 70s solo peak.
We also get the prime of James Carr, Solomom Burke, Bobby Blue Bland, and many others---my absolute fave rave at the moment is Jackie DeShannon's departure with "I Wanna Roo You," here a fast crashy waltz, mostly (slowing down for the bridge, but it's a set-up, like the mellow verses on "I'm Movin' On), and she's often, though not always, wailing the chorus as "I want to ruin ruin ruin you. Ruin you tonight."

― dow, Monday, October 21, 2019


― Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, October 21

Yeah! And Ace Records annotator Bob Dunham mentions Young's hot solos on the Swan track as prob not the sort of thing released on Nashville product since Mac Gayden's previous work with Area Code 615, which reminds me that this selection is immediately followed by the Gayden-written "Morning Glory," vigorously presented by James & Bobby Purify---they and the Box Tops also did versions of "I'm Your Puppet," right?

― dow, Monday, October 21,

Yes. They had the hit on that one.

― Beware of Mr. Blecch, er...what? (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, October 21,

thanks discogs:

1 –Eddie Bond & His Stompers* Slip, Slip, Slippin' In
2 –Bill Black's Combo Carol
3 –Bobby Bland A Touch Of The Blues
4 –Jerry & Reggie* Dream Baby
5 –The Box Tops* I'm Movin' On
6 –Willie Mitchell The Champion - Part 1
7 –Solomon Burke Meet Me In Church
8 –Joe Tex Chicken Crazy
9 –King Curtis & The King Pins* In The Pocket
10 –James Carr More Love
11 –Dusty Springfield Don't Forget About Me
12 –Elvis Presley Stranger In My Own Home Town
13 –Jackie DeShannon I Wanna Roo You
14 –Dobie Gray Drift Away
15 –Sonny Curtis Rock'N Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)
16 –Delbert McClinton Victim Of Life's Circumstances
17 –Billy Swan Lover Please
18 –James & Bobby Purify Morning Glory
19 –J.J. Cale Cocaine
20 –Merle Haggard I Think I'll Just Stay Here And Drink
21 –Waylon Jennings / Willie Nelson / Johnny Cash / Kris Kristofferson Highwayman
22 –Natalie Merchant Griselda
23 –Little Milton Whenever You Come Around
24 –Waylon Jennings Where Do We Go From Here

― dow, Monday, October 21

The Joe Tex track is not up to several of his hits mentioned in the notes, where Dunham says they would have picked "Skinny Legs and All," but it's already on another Young-inclusive Ace comp, Memphis Boys. Damm it, whiiiine

― dow, Monday, October 21

dow, Thursday, 9 January 2020 18:25 (two months ago) link

yooo this little big town record

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 17 January 2020 15:37 (two months ago) link

Big thing on them in yesterday's Wall St Journal, which I haven't read yet.
Here's this:

dow, Friday, 17 January 2020 16:22 (two months ago) link

"throw your love away" on the little big town record is so fucking good

J0rdan S., Friday, 17 January 2020 17:57 (two months ago) link

yeah this album is so good

leans hard into the "lost in california" vibes <3

überweiss, Friday, 17 January 2020 23:33 (two months ago) link

it's produced by the golden hour duo

J0rdan S., Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:03 (two months ago) link

Weed & Cannabis?

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 18 January 2020 00:44 (two months ago) link


J0rdan S., Saturday, 18 January 2020 02:10 (two months ago) link

Merle Hazard - “(Gimme Some of That) Ol’ Atonal Music”

ok, my music geek kids got a huge kick out of this

that's not my post, Saturday, 18 January 2020 05:39 (two months ago) link

other amazing songs on the little big town record:

next to you
title track
over drinking
the daughters
river of stars
sugar coat
trouble with forever

ok most of 'em

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 20 January 2020 16:09 (two months ago) link

re: "sugar coat"

and one of these nights i'll meet you in the driveway
and tell you to go to hell
go to hell

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 20 January 2020 16:20 (two months ago) link

the first 5 songs go so hard i've had trouble getting to the rest of the album

J0rdan S., Monday, 20 January 2020 19:28 (two months ago) link

the lord did bless us with another wonderful song titled "bluebird" tho

J0rdan S., Monday, 20 January 2020 19:35 (two months ago) link

'river of stars' is so beautiful

Nourry, Tuesday, 21 January 2020 22:37 (two months ago) link

Effective immediately all music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists. That means 50/50. #CMTEqualPlay

— CMT (@CMT) January 21, 2020

dyl, Wednesday, 22 January 2020 15:04 (two months ago) link

Wonder if that will have any impact on country radio ( where stations can’t even play 2 songs in a row by female acts)

curmudgeon, Thursday, 23 January 2020 16:48 (two months ago) link

Howdy, Edd Hurt here. Wrote a couple things about Reggie Young, mentioned above, last year: and this (listen to "Mercy," referenced below, good example of Young's tact):

Reggie Young
Session guitar legend

Reggie Young, who died in Leiper’s Fork on Jan. 17 at age 82, played guitar on a huge number of recordings that have become country, pop and soul classics. Young added his fluid licks to Dusty Springfield’s 1969 album Dusty in Memphis, and he played on sessions with Elvis Presley, Joe Tex, James Carr, Billy Swan and Dobie Gray. Many of Young’s best-known recordings feature a lick, invented by Young, that defines the performance. Like his fellow Memphis rhythm-guitar masters Teenie Hodges and Bobby Womack, Young was a structural thinker.

Young was born Dec. 12, 1936, in Caruthersville, Mo. He made his name in pop and country, and he lived and recorded in Nashville for decades. But I like to think of him as a quintessential Memphis musician. Like Hodges, who devised unforgettable licks for records by Al Green and producer Willie Mitchell, Young knew how to lay back in a rhythm section. You can hear his restraint on an obscure 1967 Willie Mitchell record, “Mercy,” in which Young plays strict rhythm guitar behind Memphis ax man Clarence Nelson’s brief, stinging lead.

I saw Young demonstrate some of his signature inventions at a 2008 program at the Country Music Hall of Fame. He played his intro to Swan’s 1974 track “I Can Help,” and he made it look easy. For Young, it was about the total effect — he never showed off, because he didn’t have to. —Edd Hurt

whatstalker, Wednesday, 5 February 2020 21:59 (one month ago) link

Didn't know he'd died, damn!

From Mary Gauthier's Feb. enewsletter:

David Olney

The world lost a great artist on January 18th. We songwriters lost a dear friend. David Olney was a man with genius and wide-reaching vision. He was the master of perspective. Point of view in his songs was forever original and brilliant. Unparalleled Mastery.

He wrote from the viewpoint of the Iceberg in "Titanic." From the point of view of the huckster ripping people off on the hill next to Jesus in "Jerusalem Tomorrow." From the viewpoint of the dummy, talking to the ventriloquist, in "Who's The Dummy Now?"

I cannot pick a favorite Olney song, but I do come back to this one over and over, written from the viewpoint of a French prostitute, in "1917."
(if this doesn't show up here, it's on youtube)

dow, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:27 (one month ago) link

Wow to "Throw Your Love Away"! Excited to hear the rest of the album.

Here were my 2019 favorites in roughly the order I'd rank them:

Michaela Anne - Desert Dove*
Miranda Lambert - Wildcard
Ian Noe - Between the Country
Jon Pardi - Heartache Medication
Emily Scott Robinson - Traveling Mercies
The Highwomen - s/t

Emily Scott Robinson - The Dress*
Jon Pardi - Old Hat
Madison Kozak - First Last Name*
Miranda Lambert - Mess With My Head
Jon Pardi - Heartache Medication
Joy Williams - The Trouble with Wanting*
Tyler Childers - All Your'n
Hailey Whitters - Ten Year Town
Mike & The Moonpies - You Look Good in Neon
Maren Morris - The Feels
Ashley McBryde - One Night Standards
Midland - Let It Roll
Luke Combs - Even Though I'm Leaving
Ingrid Andress - More Hearts Than Mine
Joshua Ray Walker - Canyon
Caroline Spence - Mint Condition


Indexed, Friday, 7 February 2020 20:44 (one month ago) link

Just put on the LBT. Holy hell "Next To You"!

This is p cool:

“I’ve really never seen any four people work as well together as they do,” says singer-songwriter Lori McKenna, a longtime collaborator. “I’ve also never seen four people write songs to the harmonies. When I watch them write a lyric around a note that they all can sing, it’s mind-blowing. It’s almost like a kind of sign language; they use their hands, point to one another. I don’t know if they know all the names of what they’re doing [when they work together]. But together, when they sing, they flow like water, like liquid.”

Indexed, Friday, 7 February 2020 21:17 (one month ago) link

"next to you" is amazing

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 February 2020 21:53 (one month ago) link

also i interviewed LBT once for a story that wasn't about them and they were very generous w/ their time even when they didn't need to be, so that makes me like them a little extra

J0rdan S., Friday, 7 February 2020 21:54 (one month ago) link

LBT is one of the bigger acts not to have their own ILM thread which makes sense bc i think they're underrated round these parts and maybe operating in a style that isn't one to cross over to other audiences. despite them being generally extremely good especially on their past several albums, which i rarely put on but always enjoy listening to.

omar little, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:00 (one month ago) link

i first was impressed w/their chops on Pain Killer, which was among other things evidence that whatever type of song they wanted to pull off, they could do it. in addition to their way with close harmonies they can really tear shit up when they choose to do so.

omar little, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:02 (one month ago) link

When my wife and I did our Southern road trip to Nashville, Muscle Shoals, Clarksdale, and Memphis, Little Big Town were on the multi-act bill at the Grand Ol Opry. Impressive harmonies. At times a bit too polished for me, but I generally like their country meets Fleetwood Mac sound.

When we were just up in NYC, they were at the Apollo for a couple of shows! We just noticed it after the gigs had already happened when we were touring the Apollo.

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 February 2020 22:48 (one month ago) link

Whitney Rose previews her new album 'We Still Go to Rodeos' with a compassionate spin on the cheating song in "Believe Me, Angela"
Cosmic Canadian cowgirl rolls on

dow, Monday, 10 February 2020 21:27 (one month ago) link

Anyone have a recommendation for a country station, podcast or show worth streaming?

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Monday, 10 February 2020 21:41 (one month ago) link

New York's Country, 94.7: Haven't listened a whole lot, but seems okay, am told it's usually pretty good; Maura posted link on a previous RC---and hey, commercial-free Mondays!

dow, Monday, 10 February 2020 23:28 (one month ago) link


j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:19 (one month ago) link

Grady Smith's youtube channel is worth keeping an eye on

Indexed, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:36 (one month ago) link

Maren Morris “The Bones” is the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 since Taylor Swift “You Belong with Me” in 2009, per @chartdata on twitter

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:56 (one month ago) link

X-post- for a guy with hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers, that Grady Smith guy didn’t seem that smart or charismatic in his episode on country music TikTok. He seemed clueless that young folks would do karaoke like videos there, and he mocked country songs that have rap inspired vocals .

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 18:22 (one month ago) link

Can't say I've seen that one but I used to read his writing in The Guardian and thought he had a good ear for talent and an unpretentious style. Now primarily follow him on Twitter but occasionally watch his album review videos.

Indexed, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:28 (one month ago) link

He’s unpretentious, which is good, just has those flaws I mentioned.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:12 (one month ago) link

new jason isbell is predictably great

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 16 February 2020 04:47 (one month ago) link

After spending a week with New York 94.7 (thanks, dow!), I wanted less "10,000 Hours" so I looked for local owned stations and came across KBST in Big Spring, Texas. Pretty good station with waaay more character that so far seems to only be about 1/2 current hits. The stream doesn't sound as good, but that seems appropriate. Plus local ads for laundromats and mineral rights consulting!

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 18 February 2020 18:11 (one month ago) link

Cool, and speaking of Texas, should have thought of

dow, Tuesday, 18 February 2020 22:39 (one month ago) link

Maren Morris “The Bones” is the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 since Taylor Swift “You Belong with Me” in 2009, per @chartdata on twitter

― curmudgeon, Tuesday, February 11, 2020 9:56 AM (one week ago)

this is not correct. it's the first solo song by a woman to hit #1 on country airplay AND go top 10 in all-format airplay since "you belong with me"

other songs by any artist to have done the same since "you belong with me":

lady antebellum "need you now" (2010)
florida georgia line (ft. nelly) "cruise" (2013)
sam hunt "body like a back road" (2017)
bebe rexha ft. florida georgia line "meant to be" (2018)
dan + shay "speechless" (2019)
dan + shay & justin beiber "10,000 hours" (2019)

and now "the bones". so this stat is more about crossover than acceptance at country radio alone (which, yes, is paltry for women, but not quite THAT horrendous)

dyl, Wednesday, 19 February 2020 06:24 (one month ago) link

this kicks ass

alee - "no one like you"

canada stand up

J0rdan S., Friday, 21 February 2020 07:17 (one month ago) link

Excerpts from press release about new Maren Morris tour:
Grammy-winning artist Maren Morris will embark on “RSVP: The Tour” throughout North America, including festival dates at Governors Ball Music Festival and Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience and headline stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Colorado’s storied Red Rocks Amphitheatre and many more. Supporting acts James Arthur, Ryan Hurd and Caitlyn Smith are confirmed for select dates. The tour kicks off in June following Maren’s headlining appearance at the Houston Rodeo on March 7, her biggest show to date.
,,,Last week marked the second consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart for Maren’s song “The Bones,” making it the first solo female back-to-back #1 since 2012 and her fourth #1 single to date. It also marks the first solo female Billboard country #1 since her single “GIRL” topped the chart last summer. In addition, Morris recently appeared on the 50th season of “Sesame Street” in an episode titled “Let’s Draw”—watch here.
March 7 Houston, TX Houston Rodeo
May 24 Napa, CA BottleRock Napa Valley
June 5 Boston, MA Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*‡
June 6 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion*‡
June 7 New York, NY Governors Ball Music Festival
July 10 Calgary, AB The Scotiabank Saddledome
July 24 Boca Raton, FL Mizner Park Amphitheatre*‡
July 25 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place*‡
July 30 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*‡
August 7 Kansas City, MO Starlight Amphitheatre*‡
August 8 Indianapolis, IN Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park*‡
August 21 Atlanta, GA Ameris Bank Amphitheater*
August 22 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater*‡
August 22-23 Lexington, KY Railbird Festival
August 27 Detroit, MI Freedom Hill Amphitheatre*
August 28 Grand Rapids, MI Van Andel Arena*
September 4-6 Aspen, CO Jazz Aspen Snowmass
September 7 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre†
September 10 Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre†‡
September 11 Portland, OR Moda Center – Theater of the Clouds†
September 17 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre†‡
September 18 Charlottesville, VA Sprint Pavilion†‡
September 19 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion†‡
September 25 Montréal, QC Corona Theatre‡
October 1 Tuscaloosa, AL Tuscaloosa Amphitheater†‡
October 9 Rogers, AR Walmart AMP†‡
October 15 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU†‡
October 17 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre†
*with Ryan Hurd
†with James Arthur
‡with Caitlyn Smith
For more information, please contact
Carla Sacks, Cami Opere, Reid Kutrow or Asha Goodman at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000;
carla at, cami.opere at, reid.kutrow at or asha.goodman at

dow, Wednesday, 26 February 2020 18:25 (one month ago) link

There's also a new Secret Sisters album out today. I'm a sucker for great harmonies, and they're as good as anyone. Looks like Brandi Carlile produced this one, too.

The fourth album from Alabama sibling duo the Secret Sisters is the stunning country-soul opus their talent has always promised. Laura and Lydia Rogers have been at it since 2010, making solid LPs with high-profile producers (T Bone Burnett, Dave Cobb) while lending their Southern church harmonies to legends like Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello. In 2017, the pair enlisted singer-songwriter Brandi -Carlile to co-produce their third LP, You Don’t Own Me Anymore, helping them up their game in a set of songs about piloting life’s hardships, delivered with tender -intimacy. Carlile is back for Saturn Return, a spare, -gorgeous, relatably realistic set. “Late -bloomers on parade” is how the group put it on the Elton John-meets-Dusty Springfield declaration “Late Bloomer.” That well-chosen sentiment is truth in -advertising.

Here's the single they released in November:

Indexed, Friday, 28 February 2020 15:15 (one month ago) link

the katie pruitt is lovely

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 28 February 2020 17:42 (one month ago) link

It really is. The songs are unhurried and the production suits her perfectly.

The background "ooohs" on the opener "Wishful Thinking" sounds just like Miranda's "Running Just in Case" to me.

Indexed, Friday, 28 February 2020 18:35 (one month ago) link

Stream the new Brandy Clark album on NPR:

"Not only did I have some soul searching — I think Jay Joyce, who I made this record with, had a similar (experience). He took some time off and I think he had gotten kind of burned out. I got him in an amazing season for him, because he had just come back and was really, really excited. Somebody like him, who's so known for an electric, kind of heavier sound, I thought, "What would happen if I challenged him to only cut with acoustic instruments?" I didn't expect him to get so excited. He called me with this whole idea to cut it with just four of us: myself, him, Giles Reaves, who plays percussion and piano, and Jedd Hughes, who kind of plays anything with strings. I loved that idea."

Indexed, Monday, 2 March 2020 17:19 (one month ago) link

yeahhhhh boy

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 2 March 2020 18:20 (one month ago) link

Secret Sisters/Katie Pruitt/Brandy Clark really my life lately

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 15:23 (four weeks ago) link

Secret Sisters didn't do much for me on first listen but I'm with you on Katie & Brandy.

Love how honest Pruitt is in grappling with belonging and exclusion. She has lived these songs, their characters, and emotions, most notable on queer anthem "Loving Her":

If loving her's a sin, I don't wanna go to heaven
There's nothing else up there I could need
And if I'm sinning every day, I guess I'll sin all seven
If I can still have her by the end of the week

If loving her's a drug, then I wanna be addicted
Why would I get clean, when the high's this good?
She says I'm the only one who can hit it
And all the other druggies just wish they could
They wish they could

You see I used to be ashamed
To write a song that said her name
'Cause I was too afraid
Of what they all might say

But if loving her is wrong
And it's not right to write this song
Then I'm still not gonna stop
And you can turn the damn thing off

Indexed, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 17:45 (four weeks ago) link

for Secret Sisters, Cabin / Hold You Dear / Late Bloomer / Hand Over My Heart are really hitting my corny AM rock sweet spot; feels like this is catnip for the brandi carlisle crew

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 17:48 (four weeks ago) link

xp about Pruitt, "Normal" is great with that too:

Marchin' in line in the halls of my Catholic school
Seven Hail Marys if I copped an attitude
And God was a word I had spoken but I hardly knew
Kneelin' down at the altar with no clue who I was talkin' to
Stumblin' 'round Athens with frat boys in hot pursuit
Left me starin' at the ceilin', pissed off and feelin' used
Wasted and worn out and wonderin', "Where do I fit?"
And scared as hell 'cause I knew I was different

Did they want what's best or did they want what's easiest?
'Cause I tried my best, but God damn, was I curious
And she had me high as the sun on a Saturday afternoon
With no way to unsee this side of me that she introduced

What's it like to be normal?
To want what normal girls should?
God knows life would be easier
If I could be normal, then trust me, I would

Curled up on the couch, you look just as worn out as me
Tryin' to act certain in a world of uncertainty
And one night, the moonlight took over and I kissed your lips
The world told us to fit in, but we did the opposite

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 4 March 2020 17:52 (four weeks ago) link

loving katie pruitt's record so much.

Nourry, Thursday, 5 March 2020 09:36 (four weeks ago) link

yeah, i think it's time for a thread.
Katie Pruitt

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 5 March 2020 18:11 (four weeks ago) link

Hope recovery efforts in East Nashville and elsewhere from tornado are progressing

curmudgeon, Friday, 6 March 2020 15:44 (three weeks ago) link

So yall may know that Willie's got an album due in April, Dixie Chicks (studio set) in May; first singles from both are out. But this is as far as I've gotten in catching up with email:



Steve Earle & The Dukes will release Ghosts of West Virginia on May 22nd, 2020 via New West Records. The album was produced by Steve Earle and engineered by Ray Kennedy at Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The 10-song set is Earle’s 20th studio album and was mixed entirely in mono, lending a sonic cohesion and punch. In recent years, Earle has experienced partial hearing loss in one ear and can no longer discern the separation that stereo is designed to produce. The recording features his latest incarnation of his backing band The Dukes; Chris Masterson on guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on fiddle & vocals, Ricky Ray Jackson on pedal steel, guitar & dobro, Brad Pemberton on drums & percussion, and Jeff Hill on acoustic & electric bass.

Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history. Investigations revealed hundreds of safety violations, as well as attempts to cover them up, and the mine’s owners were forced to pay more than $200 million in criminal liabilities.

Today, Rolling Stone Country has premiered the first single, “Devil Put the Coal in the Ground.” The song is a tough-minded recognition of the dangers of the mining life and the pride of doing such a demanding job in the face of danger. Rolling Stone Country says, " 'Devil Put the Coal in the Ground,' Earle employs a heave-ho work-song rhythm to conjure the pride of working men as they descend into the mines. With a bluesy, hypnotic musical backdrop, droning fiddle, and pounding percussion, Earle drawls his lyrics in a way that almost sounds like a taunt: 'The good lord gimme two hands/Says is you an animal or is you a man.' It transforms into a psychedelic guitar odyssey, thrilling and anxiety-ridden all at once." Hear "Devil Put the Coal in the Ground" HERE.

Earle started working on the album after being approached by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, a playwrighting team that would create Coal Country, a theater piece about the Upper Big Branch disaster. They interviewed the surviving West Virginia miners, along with the families of the miners who died, and created monologues for their characters using those words. Working closely with Oskar Eustis, Public Theater’s Artistic Director, they workshopped the songs and text for nearly four years. Earle functions as “a Greek chorus with a guitar,” in his words. He is on stage for the entire play and performs seven of the songs that lead Ghosts of West Virginia, including the powerful “It’s About Blood,” in which Earle blazons the names of all the men who died. “The actors don’t relate directly with the audience,” Earle explains. “I do. The actors don’t realize the audience is there. I do.” The songs provide personal, historical and social context for the testimony of the play’s characters. Currently in previews, Coal Country officially opens on March 3rd at The Public Theater in New York City and runs through March 29th. Tickets and more information can be found HERE.

In ten deftly drawn, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle explores the historical role of coal in rural communities. With Ghosts of West Virginia, Earle says that he was interested in exploring a new approach to his songwriting. “I’ve already made the preaching-to-the-choir album,” he says, specifically alluding to his 2004 Grammy Award winning The Revolution Starts...Now. As anyone politically attuned as Earle understands, there are times when the faithful need music that will raise their spirits and toughen their resolve. But he came to believe that our times might also benefit from something that addresses a different audience, songs written from a point of view that he is particularly capable of rendering.

To be sure, Earle’s politics have not changed. He believes in sustainable energy sources and ending fossil fuels. “But that doesn’t mean a thing in West Virginia,” he says. You can’t begin communicating with people unless you understand the texture of their lives, the realities that provide significance to their days. That is the entire point of Ghosts of West Virginia.

“I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did,” he says. “One of the dangers that we’re in is if people like me keep thinking that everyone who voted for Trump is a racist or an asshole, then we’re fucked, because it’s simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin.” He adds, “I said I wanted to speak to people that didn’t necessarily vote the way that I did, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common. We need to learn how to communicate with each other. My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that — and to do it impeccably —is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.”

Steve Earle & The Dukes suffered a major loss when, not long before the band went into the studio, bassist Kelley Looney, who had played with Earle for thirty years, passed away. Beyond the death of a longstanding musical partner, Earle was faced with the prospect of finding someone who could share the telepathic musical communication so characteristic of the band. Happily, Jeff Hill, recently of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, joined the band on bass. “Earle says, “Jeff stepped into the breach, but it was hard. It was really hard.” In addition to the 29 miners killed at Upper Big Branch, Ghosts of West Virginia is dedicated to the memory of Kelley Looney.

Steve Earle & The Dukes' Ghosts of West Virginia will be available across digital retailers, on compact disc, and standard black vinyl. A limited Yellow & Blue West Virginia Swirl colored LP edition will be available at Independent Retailers. An extremely limited to 500 Smoke/Coal Colored Vinyl Edition autographed by Steve Earle is available for pre-order now via NEW WEST RECORDS.

Steve Earle is one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation. A protege of legendary songwriters Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, he quickly became a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, The Pretenders, and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one on the country charts and is now regarded as a classic of the Americana genre. Subsequent releases like The Revolution Starts...Now (2004), Washington Square Serenade (2007), and TOWNES (2009) received consecutive Grammy Awards. Restlessly creative across artistic disciplines, Earle has published both a novel and collection of short stories; produced albums for other artists such as Joan Baez and Ron Sexsmith; and acted in films, television (including David Simon’s acclaimed The Wire), and on the stage. He currently hosts a radio show for Sirius XM. In 2009, Earle appeared in the off-Broadway play Samara, for which he also wrote a score that The New York Times described as “exquisitely subliminal.” Each year, Earle organizes a benefit concert for The Keswell School, for which his son John Henry attends and which provides educational programs for children and young adults with autism. Ghosts of West Virginia is Steve Earle’s 20th studio album.
Steve Earle & The Dukes Ghosts of West Virginia Track Listing:
1. Heaven Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
2. Union, God and Country
3. Devil Put The Coal In The Ground
4. John Henry Was A Steel Drivin’ Man
5. Time Is Never On Our Side
6. It’s About Blood
7. If I Could See Your Face Again (featuring Eleanor Whitmore)
8. Black Lung
9. Fastest Man Alive
10. The Mine

Steve Earle & The Dukes On Tour (More Dates To Be Announced Soon):
May 10th - North Charleston, WV Culture Center Theater / NPR Mountain Stage * Solo
May 31st - Grand Prairie, TX The Theatre at Grand Prairie - The Lonestar Landfest
June 8th - Kent, OH The Kent Stage
June 9th - State College, PA State Theatre
June 10th - Phoenixville, PA Colonial Theatre
June 12th - East Greenwich, RI Greenwich Odeum
June 13th - North Turo, MA Payomet Performing Arts Center
June 14th - Riverhead, NY The Suffolk Theater
June 18th - Salisbury, MA Blue Ocean Music Hall
June 19th - Plymouth, NH Flying Monkey Performance Center
June 20th - Portland, ME Aura
July 4th - Enoch, AB River Cree Casino & Resort
July 26th - Paso Robles, CA California Mid-State Fair w/ Eric Church * Solo
August 7th - Burnaby, BC Burnaby Blues & Roots Fest
August 29th - Shipshewana, IN Blue Gate Theatre * Solo
September 8th - 11th - Big Indian, NY Steve Earle’s Camp Copperhead
November 16th - 20th - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic All The Best Fest * Solo

dow, Sunday, 8 March 2020 21:26 (three weeks ago) link

Earle's theatrical experience also incl. writing (and maybe producing) an off=Broadway play about Karla Faye Tucker, born again on Death Row. Other contemporary albums re coal country seem to mine too narrow a vein; he might should have brought in somebody from that neck of the woods, like Angeleena Presley. But concert presentations should be pretty powerful, at least judging by Dukes when they had Looney and Will Rigby.

dow, Sunday, 8 March 2020 21:33 (three weeks ago) link

I am seeing coal country this week and v much looking forward to it. Will report back.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 8 March 2020 22:07 (three weeks ago) link

So what can any of you tell me about Kelsey Waldon? She's opening for the DBTs this weekend.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 9 March 2020 17:01 (three weeks ago) link

Her latest made my Scene Top Ten, posted above, and here's blogged ballot comments, orig on RC 2019---they do on a while; she's a trip, in her unassuming way:
Another pulsating combo, sonically suggesting proximity to a two-lane blacktop through the mountains: Kelsey Waldon's moderate-budgeteers, especially the unusually prowly but not too nosey pedal steeler Brent Resnick (who performs live "Powderfinger" with her on YouTube) bass guitarist Alex Newnam (sic), and drummer-percussionist Nate Felty, who plays, as does everybody here, with the unobtrusive precision of get-on-with-it confidence, just like their fearless leader, on her latest album, White Noise, White Lines. 2016's I've Got A Way was enthusiastically discussed on Rolling Country, but wasn't quite as together as this, seemed like. (They're both on her bandcamp, with an earlier one I haven't heard yet.) She sounds young, but she's been around---not too much of either: born in "Kentucky 1988," and Daddy don't always do right, she's on record about that, but so is he, and they love each other*. As for the rest, here she jumps right into it: When the sun sinks down and dreams start to drown/And you still don't know who you are/Workin' the ground, pace like a dog in a pound And you still only get so far/And I'd do it again, even if I didn't know how.! Kind of her theme song, because she thinks trying to know it all is a big mistake. Which goes in several directions, like "Sunday Children" ("are bein' lied to"), which sounds like Gil Scott-Heron, although the guest Wurlitzer piano helps .Fave so far is "Very Old Barton": My life is a song; my mind's a picture show/You are the real thing, when you are alone/Drinkin' Very Old Barton with the country radio/Always lonesome, and won't let it go. And if I knew any better, I'd know it's a sin/ But some things are just better, without you knowin' them...How can I be happy, how can I Iove today? Take hold of my own life, and not wish it away? Keep your loved ones close, don't stay far behind...Drinkin' Very Old Barton with the country radio/Always lonesome, and too prideful to show/Have another go-round, don't mind if I do/It's just one of those things we all go through
*daddy's on the/this record, yes---not agreeing/disagreeing with her that he don't always do right, but telling somebody that he heard her on the radio, and sounding moved by that.. The only cover is the closer, "My Epitaph," by the late great Ola Belle Reed (with eerie, hospitable guitar reverb making me think of Pop Staples): When I go from this life, let me go in peace/I Don't want your marble at my head and feet/Don't gather around me oh just to weep and moan/Where that I'm going I won't be alone/The flowers you give, please give them today/Don't waste their beauty on cold lifeless clay/One rose with love could do so much good. Oh and Ola Wave, Ola's songs performed by her nephew, Zane Campbell, yet another mavericky mountain citizen:
From this blog's 2016 round-up:
Kelsey Waldon, I've Got A Way: amen to that. Although don't agree w Powers' First Listen intro: "deadpan"? She's right that it be a pan full o' feeling, but Waldon sounds pretty upfront emotional, without ever emoting---she's still indignant when she thinks about people who have fucked with her, or tried to, but mainly impatient, cos she's on her way, so get out of it---unless you've got some endearing young or old charms; she can take a detour while looping back to where "Life Moves Slow", although she's only passing through and doesn't slow down that much herself, and what she really likes about it is it's where "folks still speak their minds": her true roots, or the ones she wants to claim. Also see freewheeling discussion on thread Rolling Country 2016

dow, Monday, 9 March 2020 19:17 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, bandcamp for the studio albums, YouTube for some good live bits.

dow, Monday, 9 March 2020 19:21 (three weeks ago) link

how the fuck does Willie Nelson's voice still sound this good?!

bold caucasian eroticism (Simon H.), Friday, 13 March 2020 13:10 (two weeks ago) link

Maren Morris “The Bones” hit #1 on country charts.

curmudgeon, Friday, 13 March 2020 16:39 (two weeks ago) link

Totally recommend KBST's daily lunchtime all-requests show, Call-in Cafe.

Streaming now:

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 17:37 (two weeks ago) link

Willie is joining Luck Reunion for Luck Presents: ‘Til Further Notice, a free live streaming event taking the place of what would’ve been this year’s Reunion taking place in Luck, TX. This is a hard time for our industry and fellow artists, so we’re banding together to give the fans a show and rally support around our community - all from our respective quarantine locations. Join us today, March 19 from 6-11 PM Central for a concert to fit the times. You can access the stream via and #tilfurthernotice #stayhome

dow, Thursday, 19 March 2020 18:24 (two weeks ago) link

Katie Pruitt starting now


6:15 PM - Ida Mae
6:25 PM - Nikki Lane
6:35 PM - Thomas Csorba
6:50 PM - Tami Neilson
7:00 PM - Lucinda Williams
7:15 PM - Devon Gilfillian
7:25 PM - Ian Ferguson
7:35 PM - Katie Pruitt
8:00 PM - David Ramirez
8:10 PM - Paul Cauthen
8:20 PM - Randy Houser
8:30 PM - Lucius
8:40 PM - Tré Burt
8:50 PM - Early James
9:15 PM - Margo Price & Jeremy Ivey
9:30 PM - Kurt Vile
9:40 PM - Sunny War
9:50 PM - Paul Simon & Edie Brickell
10:10 PM - Jewel
10:50 PM - Nathaniel Rateliff
11:15 PM - Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson , and Micah Nelson

Hosted By: Ray Benson

dow, Friday, 20 March 2020 00:28 (one week ago) link

Holy Crap, I instantly heard why you guys are swept away by Pruitt, gotta get the album.

dow, Friday, 20 March 2020 00:37 (one week ago) link

Will also have to check more David Ramirez: gearshifting (solo acoustic) melodies, strong vox wothout oversinging, deft twangy vibrato, reminds me of Steve Young, but a little mellower, Chris Smither maybe?

dow, Friday, 20 March 2020 01:16 (one week ago) link

Ramirez is gonna be on the ACL benefit tomorrow too.

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 20 March 2020 03:08 (one week ago) link

Thanks, will check that too: 8 pm Central. Listening to station stream now.

dow, Friday, 20 March 2020 21:01 (one week ago) link

does that Willie livestream live anywhere accessible now? I'd like to send it to my mother-in-law

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 20 March 2020 23:13 (one week ago) link

Maybe at least some of it somewhere. Also liked brief isolation set by Pau Cauthen: very Southern voice x Elton John Lennon piano, then Randy Houser, even more Southern, like he was gonna quaver but too thick an accent, but was agreeable enough for another setette (think he's known more as a writer?) Computer crashed and I went back to Next night checked the xpost ACL benefit for a while: David Ramirez got really sub-Dylan mumblecore on verses, better on choruses (another Dylanette effect, come to think of it). But, based on the Luck's Reunion performances, will still check his albums (on spotify, anyway).

dow, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:19 (one week ago) link

Oh yeah, a couple of Lynn Anderson reissues, Sony Legacy press release here:

dow, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:22 (one week ago) link

Just saw this---if you can't see it, it's Sunny Sweeney livestreaming tonight, 7 Central, on facebook and instagram:

dow, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:39 (one week ago) link


dow, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:41 (one week ago) link

I missed this stream. Read good things about it

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 14:53 (one week ago) link

I saw a photo. They social distanced on stage!

a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:59 (one week ago) link

I don't really know where to post this because it's not really country, but damn if this ain't the best album I've heard this year:

alpine static, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 22:38 (one week ago) link

I mean, it's definitely country in parts.

And other parts, not.

alpine static, Wednesday, 25 March 2020 23:03 (one week ago) link

The isolated Opry set made me v drowsy (as Vince Gill in particular usually does), but this should be a wake-up call---if it doesn't show, it's BRANDI CARLILE, of the so-far healthy lungs, livestreaming during ACM presentation (which may be all livestreams) April 5:

dow, Saturday, 28 March 2020 19:19 (five days ago) link

Joe Diffie, a Grammy Award-winning country music hitmaker, died Sunday from coronavirus complications. He was 61. And Jackson Browne has tested positive.

dow, Sunday, 29 March 2020 21:21 (four days ago) link

John Prine's bad off with it too.

dow, Sunday, 29 March 2020 21:50 (four days ago) link

Fuck. I love Joe Diffie. Prine too, for that matter (everybody does, I guess).

Mule, Sunday, 29 March 2020 22:03 (four days ago) link

I am so sad about Joe Diffie. 8yo crüt was a big fan

rusted (crüt), Monday, 30 March 2020 03:19 (three days ago) link

Kalie Shorr released an amazing album last year---now she says she got c-19 while in quarantine (tho did go for groceries):

Despite being quarantined (except for a handful of trips for groceries) for three weeks, I managed to contract COVID 19. I'm feeling significantly better, but it's proof how dangerous and contagious this is. It's endlessly frustrating to see people not taking this seriously.

dow, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 21:37 (two days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.