Merchandise sales are the manna of the independent music world. With no disrespect to the musical efforts of your favorite artist, you can boil them down to glorified T-shirt salespeople in the way the lion’s share of their profits come from the merch table. It’s what puts gas in their tank and food on their table, and allows them to make a respectable living.
It’s a little hard to fathom that Chris Issak has never made a country record before. He combines the caramel singing and cool factor of Dwight Yoakam, the crooning capability of Raul Malo, and the lounge-like timelessness of Lyle Lovett into one smooth package that makes the felines swoon and the men hopping jealous. He’s a crooner whose styling cuts across all kinds of borders of taste and influence.
David Rodriguez, a beloved and influential Texas singer, songwriter, poet, and part of an extended musical family, passed away on Monday (10-26) at his home in the Netherlands according to his family. He was 63-years-old. Word quickly spread around the Austin and Texas songwriter community, and the Rodriguez-influenced Lyle Lovett dedicated his final song to Rodriguez at his show at Austin’s Paramount Theatre.
I know you probably receive dozens of these types of letters, and they all make strong cases for who the author wishes you select for the next season. But in the case of Ray Wylie Hubbard, I really think it would not only mean a tremendous amount to Ray, but it would mean a tremendous amount to Austin City Limits to finally and formally recognize one of Austin’s most important performers, and help preserve his place in Austin music.
Without anyone left to please but himself, Pat Green is free to exorcise his demons, get some stuff off his chest, make the album he wants to, and hopefully reconnect with those grassroots in Texas country that once helped carry him to the top, and he once turned his back on. To some his name will continue to be mud, but that doesn’t mean his musical output will be.
Guy Clark is in an Austin area hospital after having a bad reaction to medication right before he was scheduled to appear at an Austin City Limits Hall of Fame induction ceremony on his behalf. On Thursday evening (6-18), Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Asleep At The Wheel, and Flaco JimÃ©nez were all inducted into the long-running TV show’s sophomore class of Hall of Fame inductees.
Written by Johnson and Dan Couch somewhere around 2004 or 2005, “You Can” was kept on the sidelines as Jamey’s major releases The Dollar, That Lonesome Song, and The Guitar Song came out, never making the final cut. But now that Johnson is out from under the thumb of the industry, if he wants to randomly release a single on a cold day in February, he can. Whether it suits his best interests or not.
Tragic news out of Nashville where where prolific and beloved bass player Henry Strzelecki has passed away after being struck by a vehicle while out for a walk Monday, December 22nd. Strzelecki experienced severe injuries including major head trauma in the accident, and was in a coma over the holidays. He eventually passed away from the injuries on December 30th.
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Let’s just start this off by drudging the big elephant right out in the middle of the room and shining a big ‘ol spotlight on it. Mike Curb, Herr Führer of Curb Records—the man who has made millions off of the indentured servitude of many of country music’s most famous names, has thrown his money behind the much-ballyhooed preservation of Music Row’s historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville.
Robert Earl Keen may be best known for his storytelling songs and laid back Texas country style, but for Keen’s next project his grass is going blue. The Houston, TX native has been working on a bluegrass album over the last couple of years, and Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions is scheduled to come out in February 2015 through Dualtone Records.
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Austin City Limits, the 40-year-old Texas music and public television institution, has announced the formation of a Hall of Fame in conjunction with their 40th Anniversary, with an inaugural induction ceremony to be held on April 26th at the shows original home, KLRU’s legendary Studio 6A on the University of Texas campus. Inaugural inductees to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame include…
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Singer, songwriter, Poet Laureate, and the author of the Texas Trilogy, Steven Fromholz passed away Sunday morning (1-19) according to the Texas Music Chart. Fromholz was a towering figure of words and music in his home state of Texas, and amongst his famous music friends. He wrote the song “I’d Have To Be Crazy” made popular by Willie Nelson…
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Watching The Mavericks take the humble, but prestigious Gruene Hall stage, you have to remind yourself that at one time The Mavericks were the biggest group in country music, taking home the Vocal Group of the Year from both the CMA and ACM in 1995. At the same time, this is in no shape or form a band on the skids, or one riding off of their past glory days. The Mavericks feel as relevant and as fresh as they ever have.
Curb Records is releasing yet another album from Tim McGraw; an artist that hasn’t called Curb Records home officially for over 2 years. The album will be called Love Story and will feature Tim McGraw’s “12 biggest love songs,” two previously-unreleased recordings, and will be released exclusively through Wal-Mart on February 2nd, 2014.
You can listen exclusively to Dale Watson’s “Christmas Time In Texas” from the “Angels Sing” soundtrack ahead of the release. And if you leave a comment telling us your favorite Dale Watson song, it will make you eligible to win one of 5 digital copies we are giving away of the soundtrack! Plus find out where you can see, or how you can purchase the “Angels Sing” movie.
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The annual dirge of Christmas movie releases is enough to turn your stomach like a glass of expired eggnog. But there is one movie out this year that may be worth your time, if for no other reason than the cast is built around country music royalty, including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, and appearances by Dale Watson, The Trishas, Ray Benson, & more.
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This is a guest post from Austin-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves. Slaid recently was featured on Saving Country Music after making some critical comments about modern country music in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, and he wanted an opportunity to elaborate on his statements. Slaid’s latest album, the critically-acclaimed “Still Fighting The War” was released in June.
Mike Curb’s repressive stance towards artists and his sharky dealings with other labels is a given amongst the informed country music community, with his latest ploy being the release of a duets album from Tim McGraw two weeks before the former Curb artist is slated to make his debut on Big Machine Records. But Hank3 and Tim McGraw are just the tip of the iceberg.
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Curb Records’ talent roster continues to contract. The latest defector is Jo Dee Messina, whose charted 9 #1 hits and sold more than 5 million records worldwide during her 18-year career. The reason? Just like Tim McGraw, Hank Williams III, Clay Walker, Lyle Lovett, and LeAnn Rimes to name a few, Jo Dee Messina is fed up with Curb refusing to release her music.
Yesterday Tim McGraw announced in a press conference that he had signed with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records after a 20-year career and protracted legal battle with Curb. The symbolism and significance surrounding the signing was striking, and spoke to the titanic shifts that are rearranging the country music landscape in Nashville at this very moment.