Entries tagged with: country music
"Country for people who don't like country" is having a moment. Country artists like Sturgill Simpson, Kacey Musgraves, ex-Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton are putting out interesting, critically-acclaimed records that are being talked about and listened to by country fans, indie rock and music snob crowds alike. Alt-country has long been a thing, a sort of country-leaning indie rock thing, but this new crop of country artists accepted by alternative people more closely resembles mainstream country. It's mainstream country without being too typical, or too produced. We're huge fans of the four artists mentioned in this paragraph.
The latest country music artist being thrown in this group is more confusing though. We have no hate for Ashley Monroe. She's okay, but her new album The Blade just sounds like another mainstream country album to our ears. Pitchfork, who hasn't mentioned Ashley since she contributed to a Raconteurs song in 2008, suddenly reviewed the album and gave it a good score. Stephen M. Deusner who wrote the review is a longtime Ashley fan ("In 2013, she released what amounts to a comeback, Like a Rose, one of the best country albums of this decade."), but Pitchfork never reviewed any of her previous releases. That includes the records she put out as part of the Pistol Annies, a group she's in with country star Miranda Lambert (who is in the middle of a divorce with The Voice judge Blake Shelton who is also a fan of Ashley's new album). AV Club also gave The Blade a great review, NPR debuted the stream, and fellow 'indie blog' Stereogum even proclaimed: "It doesn't matter when or how you jump on the Ashley Monroe bandwagon, but you need to make that leap."
We tried, but I think we're mostly going to sit this one out, even if Jack White is still a fan and she likes weed. That said, we did think we should at least point out that Ashley just announced a headlining show at NYC's premiere indie rock venue, Bowery Ballroom. It happens on October 27. Tickets go on AmEx presale at noon today (7/29). General sale begins Friday.
Ashley, who also sings on a TRAIN song, also happens to be in NYC tonight (7/29) to join Fiona Apple and Watkins Family Hour at City Winery as part of their three nights at the venue (sold out). You can also see Ashley play her own set much sooner when she opens for... RASCAL FLATTS (when are they getting their Pitchfork review?) in Atlantic City on 8/20.
Ashley was on Fallon this week too. Watch that performance with all tour dates below...
Jason Isbell @ Governors Ball (more by Dana (distortion Yavin)
Sturgill Simpson has not been shy when it comes to talking about Nashville not playing a part in his new-found success as a country singer, but Wednesday night Nashville recognized, as Simpson took home the award for best "Emerging Artist" at the 13th Annual Americana Music Honors & Awards (he beat Hurray For The Riff Raff and Valerie June). The ceremony took place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, and the night's big winner was ex-Drive-By-Trucker Jason Isbell who won best Album, best Artist, and best Song (Robert Ellis and Rosanne Cash were also nominated in all three categories). Check out the full list of winners, and listen to that best song, below. Catch Isbell on tour with Damien Jurado next year.
While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was setting up their new Beyonce exhibit, a new music museum was celebrating its opening weekend down in Bristol...
Bristol straddles the Tennessee-Virginia state line. It is quaint and leisurely, a small town, according to geography and population. Yet to those who know the story, Bristol is enormous.Read more about the town, the museum and openiung weekend at WBIR. NPR also has a feature.
"Nashville is like a child to Bristol," says Jim Lauderdale, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter who performed Saturday night at an outdoor stage on Bristol's Virginia side.
Nashville is the state capital, it is a tourist mecca, and it scrapes the sky. But it would not be or do these things were it not for producer Ralph Peer's recording sessions in Bristol, which took place between July 25 and Aug. 5, 1927. [WBIR]
The Blind Boys of Alabama [released] a traditional country-gospel album for the first time in their 70-year career on May 3rd, 2011. One of country music's most acclaimed and compelling artists, Jamey Johnson, co-produced the album and performs on it along with Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack, and The Oak Ridge Boys.The Oak Ridge Boys join The Blind Boys of Alabama for an intimate show at City Winery in NYC TONIGHT (5/10). It's not cheap, but tickets are amazingly still on sale. All Blind Boys dates, and a video of them performing with Jamey Johnson & the Oak Ridge Boys on "Fox & Friends" this morning, below...
Bill Flanagan: How about John Prine?Highly esteemed songwriter John Prine plays The Beach at Governors Island on Friday, September 10th with Todd Snider. Tickets are on sale now (both seated and standing tickets).
Bob Dylan: Prine's stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about "Sam Stone" the soldier junky daddy and "Donald and Lydia," where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. If I had to pick one song of his, it might be "Lake Marie." I don't remember what album that's on.
Earlier this year, some of Prine's fans (Deer Tick, Josh Ritter, Conor Oberst, Drive By Truckers, Those Darlins and My Morning Jacket included) put out a record of his songs, Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows (it's still streaming here). Prine performed with MMJ's Jim James on Letterman in May; that video is posted again below.
Prine released his own album in 2010, a live collection entitled In Person & On Stage. Before his show at the Beach, Prine plays Newport Folk Festival on Saturday, July 31st, and has a sold-out performance at Tarrytown Music Hall on August 1st. He has tour dates throughout August and September in Canada and the US.
Those dates and videos plus an epic, nine-minute version of Bob's favorite, "Lake Marie," are below...
On [Country Music], produced by T Bone Burnett and due April 20 on Rounder, [Willie] Nelson delivers his distinctive, understated take on such classics as "Dark as a Dungeon," "Nobody's Fault but Mine," "My Baby's Gone" and "House of Gold."Willie Nelson will be celebrating the 4/20 release of the record with a special show on May 6th at Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom (a venue that's sort of small for him, as he has a show at Radio City scheduled for this July). The show will be "an all acoustic set of country and gospel songs". Tickets go on AmEx and Fanclub presale Wednesday at 10am. General sale starts Friday at 10am.
"This is a group of songs that when they first came out, it didn't take them very long to become standards," Nelson says. "Just like 'Stardust,' 'Moonlight in Vermont,' 'All of Me' and 'Georgia' are considered standards, so are 'Dark as a Dungeon,' 'Freight Train Boogie,' 'Pistol Packin' Mama' and 'Satisfied Mind.' These are all standard songs from another field of music, but they are still the same category. They are just as good in their own way." [Reuters]
The album's cover is above. Lots more tour dates HERE. Tracklist is below...
Coe was in and out of reform schools, correction centers, and prisons from the age of 9. According to his publicity campaigns, he spent time on death row for killing an inmate who demanded oral sex. A public TV documentary produced by KERA Dallas followed Coe back to the prison where he did time. The show ended with a director's note that prison officials could not back up Coe's claims of being on death row. Rolling Stone magazine questioned Coe about the claim in an article titled "Rhinestone Ripoff", putting Coe in a position of having to prove his own guilt. Regardless of the facts, Coe claimed to have been incarcerated at several prisons, including Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield OH (not the location of Ohio's death row at the time). He claimed to have been paroled in 1967, after which he made his way to Nashville where he embarked on his career, recording for small labels before being signed to Columbia Records.Those in the scenic burg of Ormond Beach, FL will be getting a full week of outlaw country singer David Allan Coe this March. Up in New York City though, we get only one but rare show by the controversial (see above) country music singer - he'll be at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday, June 11th. Tickets are tickets are on sale (@ noon).
Coe recorded two albums in 1978 and 1982 containing racist and misogynistic lyrics of extreme vulgarity and racial crudity: Nothing Sacred and Underground Album. Also available is a best of the X-rated albums compilation entitled "18 X-Rated Hits." Coe has defended the songs (such as one deriding an adulterous wife who leaves her white husband and children for a black man) as bawdy fun which never made him much money--as well as pointing out that his drummer at the time, Kerry Brown (son of blues guitarist Gatemouth Brown) is black and married to a white woman. Napster added to the confusion regarding Coe's racist songs by mislabeling offensive works by other artists, especially Johnny Rebel, whose songs are often mistakenly attributed to Coe.
Coe was a member of the one percenter biker club, Outlaws MC. Very early in his career, Coe was a sideman in the popular Cleveland rock band Eli Radish, founded by Danny Sheridan. [Wikipedia]
Those are just two of the many upcoming tour dates for the 70-year-old. All dates and a video documentary are below...
Rosanne & Johnny...
NY Times: On Tuesday [Oct 6], you're releasing your 14th album, "The List," a stirring leap into the past whose title refers to an actual list of 100 mostly country songs compiled by your father, Johnny Cash, in 1973 in an effort to expand your teenage taste in music beyond the Beatles.Rosanne Cash will debut of her The List material live at St. Ann's Warehouse in NYC on October 9th and 10th. Her album cuts the 100-song list down to 12 tracks. Some tickets to the Brooklyn shows are still on sale. Special guests aren't listed on the bill, but Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Tweedy, Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello all appear on the album.
Rosanne Cash: He realized that I lacked something essential about my own musical genealogy, and he made this list for me. He said, "This is a template for excellence." He would play the songs for me on his guitar, and I sought out the records in the years afterward.
Did you have a good relationship with him?
It's hard to be close to a drug addict when they're active. He was erratic and withdrawn. But when I was 17, he said, Come with me, and I left the day after I graduated high school, went on the road with him. It was wonderful. He was clean and sober by that time. That's when he wrote the list for me, on the bus.
As an acclaimed songwriter who is just releasing your first album composed entirely of other peoples' songs, do you think "The List" will bring new life to old classics and raise the country-music consciousness of a generation of kids?
Not just young people. I have a 50-year-old, culturally astute girlfriend who heard a recording of "Sea of Heartbreak" and said, Did you write that? I said, Hardly. Not even close. The definitive version was recorded by Don Gibson in 1961.
She discussed the album and played material from it on September 23rd at WNYC's Souncheck - that show is streaming online.
More info on the album (art, tracklist) and a schedule of Rosenne's live and TV performances (including Letterman & Today show) are below...
Big Valley Jamboree - sunny on July 31, 2009 (Taylor and Kevin)
Big Valley Jamboree - knocked over toilets on August 1, 2009 (Taylor and Kevin)
"Family has identified Donna Moore of Lloydminster as the woman killed at the Big Valley Jamboree after the festival's main stage collapsed during a severe thunderstorm Saturday.The final day (Sunday) of the Camrose, Alberta festival was cancelled after the tragedy. The next band set to play on Saturday when the storm hit was Kevin Costner & Modern West (yes, that Kevin Costner).
Moore's son, Mike Tebbe, spent Sunday together with family and said he was not prepared to talk about his mother yet.
Moore was a huge country music fan who was at the festival for the weekend, said friend Warne Noyce.
"She was pumped to go to Big Valley. It makes me sick to my stomach because she was such an awesome lady," he said. "She was hanging out watching music with people she loved."...
...Stage speakers fell on Moore, crushing her, after a wind gust of about 100 kilometres per hour toppled stage scaffolding." [Calgary Herald]
NYC had their own storms this weekend too, causing chaos and cancellations for outdoor music, but luckily no tragedies.
Videos from Big Valley below...
The Sixth Annual Brooklyn Country Music Festival will be hosting local country acts for three days (September 17-19) at Brooklyn's Southpaw. Headliners include The Defibulators on Thursday, The Woes on Friday and Alex Battles & the Whisky Rebellion on Saturday. Three-day passes as well as tickets for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are on sale.
the day-by-day lineup, with a pair of videos from returning acts Alex Battles (the Fest's founder who earlier this year put out a live record that's free online) and the Defibulators, below...
photos by Tim Griffin
Aquarium Drunkard: You're living in Brooklyn, which is not exactly known for its country music. Were you worried about the way that the [Willie Nelson cover record] would be received in New York?If you missed Phosphorescent's 'Celebrate Brooklyn' set in Prospect Park on Saturday night (they opened for Dr. Dog), here are some pictures, and info on a second chance to see them... tonight (6/30) (they are the secret guest) in Brooklyn. Everything you need to know, below...
Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent): No. I knew it was a good record and the way that those kinds of things go, I think that Phosphorescent has rarely been considered "hip" or something like that, so it never really concerned me. (laughs)
AD: How do you like the music scene up there compared to Athens?
MH: I really do like it up here. To be honest, scenes and those things have never really meant that much to me. It's always been about doing whatever needs to be done in terms of the music. Brooklyn has a really supportive music scene and there are lots of great bands up here, so I'm sure that that stuff has an effect on all of this, but it's not really a comparable thing, you know?