It was only a matter of time before marijuana started to become big business, and apparently Willie Nelson is trying to beat the bigger companies to the punch by developing a signature marijuana brand that is scheduled to include storefronts, products such as bongs and vaporizers, and specific strains and blends of marijuana to sell in the states that make possession of the plant legal.
Even though Taylor Swift has 86’d country and said she wants nothing to do with the awards specifically, the ACM’s have minted a special 50th Anniversary “Milestone Award” crafted by noted jewelry designer David Yurman to be handed out to Swift and a few select others. The Milestone Award trophy is made up of more than 1,010 grams of sterling silver, with the top edged with 4.16 carats of black diamonds.
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard are pairing up once again. This was the one nugget of important information squeezed between pot jokes when Willie Nelson made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Friday evening (3-21) as part of South by Southwest (SXSW) festivities in Austin, TX. It won’t be the first time the two country music legends have released an album together, and it may not be the last.
Five beautiful and multi-talented women banding together to break down gender barriers in bluegrass, country, and beyond; that’s the story of the newly-formed female supergroup in Nashville called The Local Memories. It’s all the brain child of fiddle player, Berklee College of Music alumni, and former Outlaw Carnie Lucy B. Cochran.
Even though there wasn’t really ever any evidence to the contrary, except for an unfortunate rumor on Facebook that apparently won’t die now, but wasn’t even really started in the first place, but now has taken on a life of its own and needs debunking. Confused? Like many celebrities, Willie Nelson was the victim of a death hoax, but it turns out the hoax was a hoax in itself.
Musician, songwriter, and member of The Memphis Boys Bobby Emmons has passed away. Known for writing such iconic songs as the #1 hits by Waylon Jennings “Luckenbach, Texas” and “Wurlitzer Prize (I Don’t Want To Get Over You),” Tanya Tucker’s hit “Love Me Like You Used Too,” “So Much Like My Dad” by George Strait, and many more, he was also a well-respected musician…
The 400-page biography is said to be the “unvarnished, complete story of Willie Nelson’s life” that touches on his time in Texas and Nashville to Hawaii, to his legendary bus, his drive to write music, the women in his life, his collaborations, and his biggest lows and highs-from his bankruptcy to the founding of Farm Aid. It is also said to include stories from many of Willie Nelson’s friends.
In the windup to Sunday night’s Grammy Awards presentation, Bob Dylan was the honoree at a Friday evening event (2-6) naming him the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year. During Dylan’s 30-minute acceptance speech, he laid out much praise for his fellow songwriters, while unceremoniously lashing out at others, including Tom T. Hall and Merle Haggard. Merle has since responded.
As the longest running music show on TV enters its 40th season, Austin City Limits has announced its second installment of inductees into its Hall of Fame founded in 2014. The original crew of the Austin City Limits show will also be honored as the 2015’s non-performing inductee. As part of the Hall of Fame announcement, more performers for season 41 were also revealed.
If you watch the video for “We Are The World” (see below) or look at any of the pictures from the recording session, Waylon Jennings is nowhere to be found. That’s because even though he was selected to be one of the 45 artists to participate in the recording session, he walked out in a huff in a moment what would be the most controversial and contentious junctures in the song’s recording.
With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
Is Dolly Parton a “Badass”? You bet she is. And for her birthday (Jan. 19th), let’s articulate 10 reasons (actually twelve) why the the platinum blonde buxom country music legend still kicking ass at age 68 should be considered a badass by everyone. And by the way, yes I know the term “badass” may seem a little strange to reference Dolly Parton with.
“Better Than You Left Me” gets most all of the textures right—the steel guitar, the waltz beat, the swaying back and forth that jars loose the emotions from the heart and sends them racing through the blood stream. It’s pop country, but like Patsy Cline was pop country. Sure I’d love a little bit more dirt thrown on it or for her vocal performance to be a bit more subdued, but it’s more than a start.
Baby New Year all swaddled and cooing dropped a welcomed gift for traditional country fans on New Years Day while many people were busy boiling up New Year feasts and fixated on college football. Jamey Johnson, mere months removed from launching his own record label called Big Gassed Records, offered a free song to his fans called “Alabama Pines.”
Where the last time Sturgill made a stop in Austin he was sporting a conversion van stenching of the road, now there was a big primary blue tour bus idling across the street. the gallery was packed by the time Sturgill took the stage. Tight and well-tuned from playing down-to-the-minute sets on tour with Zac Brown, Sturgill and the boys chewed through their songs like clockwork, with Simpson showing fire…
Once again Roger Alan Wade makes his case for being one of the most criminally-underrated songwriters of our generation, releasing his newest album Bad News Knockin’ right before the end of 2014 through Johnny Knoxville Records, and rocketing himself near the top for the most notable songwriting efforts for all of last year.
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.
2014 was a year of great flux in country music. Where 2013 was dominated by public feuds and outcries by many country performers about the direction of the music, 2014 became the year things began to be done about many of the problems plaguing the genre. With Bro-Country as the battleground, the fight to return some balance to the country format began to make headway.
2014 in country music did not see the passing of titans of the genre like we experienced in 2013 when George Jones, Ray Price, Tompall Glaser, and many more passed away, but was more the story of the vital side players, songwriters, session musicians, and storytellers who are so important to making the country music of others sound great.
From crude videos taken on somebody’s phone, to full production videos with scripts and actors and sets, to animated shorts and everything in between, you never know what’s going to capture the imagination and become the perfect compliment to a song in the visual form. what breaks through the crush of visual material to be called the best in 2014?
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