Merle Haggard remains on tour, and remains on the warpath against the direction of today’s country music, at least when asked about the matter by the press. The Hag was interviewed ahead of a show in Toledo, Ohio at the Stranahan Theater on September 9th, and didn’t mince words when questioned what he thought about today’s country sound and the artists making it.
No more waiting, no more hypothesizing what the British-born Tom Hiddleston will look and sound like attempting to evoke the likeness and sound of the great Hank Williams. Ahead of the world premier of the Hank Williams biopic “I Saw The Light” at the Toronto Film Festival this weekend, we now get to see the very first clip of the movie.
Former professional baseball player turned actor Casey Bond has been cast as Hank’s legendary fiddle player Jerry Rivers. The rest of Hank’s Drifting Cowboys have also been cast, as well as Ray Price and Faron Young. From both the recent casting revelations, and the synopsis found on the Toronto Film Festival’s website, we’re beginning to get a sense of the scope of the film’s focus.
Garth Brooks has been told to hold it just one cotton pickin’ minute when it comes to releasing a new version of his signature super hit “Friends in Low Places.” First announced Thursday, September 3rd, the re-recording to mark the 25th Anniversary of the song includes contributions from Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and George Strait.
That was the firebrand language coming from country music legend Merle Haggard ahead of an appearance Sunday, September 6th at the Bluestem Center for the Arts in Moorhead, Minnesota. In preparation for the show, In Forum talked to the 78-year-old performer, and he felt no need to be guarded with his feelings of where country music is headed.
The autopsy report for Randy Howard has just been released. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the case, and told Saving Country Music Thursday (9-2) that the findings of the investigation had been turned over to the District Attorney General’s office for further review and consideration.
A Jewish-American, Kinky was a seminal part of the Austin, TX music scene in the 70’s when Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and songwriters like Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Ray Wylie Hubbard helped revolutionize country music with their independent spirit and progressive approach. Kinky was one of the hucksters of the movement.
Red Dirt country artist Stoney LaRue has officially been charged with domestic abuse stemming from a July 20th incident where he allegedly pushed his live-in girlfriend Amanda Winsworth down a flight of stairs. The domestic assault and battery charge Stoney faces is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma.
The inaugural Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival set to transpire in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville on September 26th and 27th, just made a rookie move by replacing headliner Willie Nelson with country music interloper/carpetbagger Steven Tyler—a.k.a. the frontman for the legendary rock band Aerosmith.
Legendary member of the Flatlanders and high-flying singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joe Ely is set to release his latest solo record Panhandle Rambler via his own Rack ‘Em Records on September 18th. His followup to 2011’s Satisfied at Last, the new album is said to be inspired by the desolate plains of the Texas Panhandle, the spirited people and stories it produces, and the special sense of destiny its vastness creates.
The nominees for the 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards were announced Wednesday morning (8-12) with the supergroup The Earls of Leicester (Jerry Douglas, Shawn Camp, Barry Bales, Tim O’Brien, Charlie Cushman and Johnny Warren) grabbing the most nominations, Billy Keith and Larry Sparks receiving Hall of Fame inductions, and comedian turned banjo ambassador Steve Martin receiving an award.
“So we started playing music for her on a daily basis, and when I played old country music, she would respond well to it, so we started playing that all the time and she loved it. Any time she was having a bad day, you could play Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash or Ray Price, and her stats would come up, almost immediately.”
This weekend in downtown Nashville, the inaugural Ink-N-Iron Festival is being held in Bicentennial Mall Park. Promoted by the same individuals who’ve been putting on tattoo conventions in Long Beach, California for the last 13 years, the 3-day festival features a diverse mix of performers, including headliner Merle Haggard. Merle also performed at a pre-festival event held Thursday evening.
Beg, borrow, steal, sell a kidney, refinance your student loan, start working a second job if you have to, but either way you’re going to want to have some expendable cash laying around October 7th when Red Dirt legend Jason Boland and his venerable backing band The Stragglers release their eighth studio album Squelch via Proud Souls/Thirty Tigers.
One of the most important, influential, and successful producers in the history of country music has passed away. Billy Sherrill, known as one of the fathers of the “Countrypolitan or “Nashville Sound,” and a Country Music Hall of Fame and Musician’s Hall of Fame inductee, died Tuesday (8-4) morning due to illness. He was 78-years-old.
Billy Sherrill, Charlie Rich, David Allan Coe, dead, died, Elvis Costello, George Jones, Janie Fricke, Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Marty Robbins, Moe Bandy, obituary, Ray Charles, Ray Conniff, Sam Phillips, Sun Studios, Tammy Wynette, Tanya Tucker
Last week it was neck and neck heading into the final tally. Would it be country legend Alan Jackson coming in with the #1 album in country music, or upstart Americana songwriting maestro Jason Isbell claiming the top spot? Either way, the winner was country music by being granted a much-needed reprieve from the dominance of Bro-Country on the album charts, at least for a week or two.
Traditional bluegrass, gospel, and country twin sister duo The Church Sisters have signed a development deal with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records. The 18-year-old sisters from the coal mining region of Dickerson County, Virginia have created a very strong grassroots fan base from their startling harmonies and many years of performing from an early age.
Lynn Anderson, the singer of 12 country music #1’s, and known as the “Great Lady of Country Music,” has passed away according to reports. She died Thursday night (7-30) of a heart attack at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Anderson was 67-years-old.
One of the most important and influential steel guitar players in the history of country music has died. Buddy Emmons, known as the “The World’s Foremost Steel Guitarist” passed away Wednesday evening (7-29) according to reports. He was 78-years-old.
A popular local eatery, and an internationally-important music venue was vandalized Tuesday night (7-28) in Bayport, Minnesota, just east of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Along with serving award-winning barbecue (the restaurant was recently visited by Guy Fieri for feature on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives) it is one of the last remaining Deep Blues music venues in the world.