Texas country music legend Billy Joe Shaver will receive a lifetime achievement award nicknamed the ‘Rusty’ on November 17th. The award is named for another Texas music legend, Rusty Wier, and is being bestowed by Love & War in Texas. Scheduled to appear and perform at the ceremony are Gary P. Nunn, Tommy Alverson, Mark David Manders, and the Tejas Brothers.
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Any review for Those Poor Bastards should probably start off with a disclaimer that gothic country is not for everyone. Nor do I claim to be an expert of the music; I’ve always felt like I’m on the outside looking in. Having said that, I have really become intrigued and entertained with what Those Poor Bastards do, and think of Lonesome Wyatt as virtually peerless in procuring sounds to set the exact mood he envisions for songs.
83-year-old Charlie Louvin, suffering from pancreatic cancer, is heading out on the road to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Louvin Brothers release of the landmark album Satan Is Real. Charlie, Country Music Hall of Famer and member of the Grand Ole Opry for 55 years, is showing no signs of slowing down. And when he leaves on the road, he will not be playing the usual venues Hall of Famer’s play…
This week it was announced that Toby Keith’s Bullets in the Gun album is the new #1 in country. However this is the worst-selling country music #1 album since stats like this have been kept according to Billboard. A sheepish 71,000 copies sold, and even this is addition by subtraction, as the main reason it’s #1 is Kenny Chesney’s Hemingway’s Whiskey went in a 64% tailspin…
The band that has the strongest candidate for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year so far has officially left their label. Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory has left Gearhead Records after months of minor spats and disagreement between the two sides, and is now working with Rusty Knuckles. “We were afraid that we would get overlooked if we were on a label that wasn’t actively putting out new records,” says lead singer and songwriter Leroy Vrigil.
As lower Broadway became a hoping place in the mid 90’s drawing talent from all around the country, competition for choice time slots at the best bars became fierce, and if you didn’t keep the patrons entertained, there was no money in the tip jar. With so much talent and so few bars and dollars to go around, competition became hyper. In this environment, talent and originality were pushed to their limits and it created some of the most dynamic frontmen in any genre of music at any time.
Exit In, Hatch Show Print, Hillbilly Casino, Jason and the Scorchers, JD Wilkes, Jello Biafra, Joe Buck, lower broadway, Nashville, Robert Plant, Robert's Western World, The Bluegrass Inn, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Ryman Auditorium
Amazon.com has made available 50 country albums for only $5, and once again, they’ve put titles from independent artists and legends right next to the more popular artists. Of course your average consumer will take whatever they can get for however cheap or free they can get it, but the conscientious music consumer wants to make sure that their favorite artists get paid, and that the most music dollars possible get directly into the artists’ hands.
Sometimes Nashville’s major labels behave so ridiculously, they do things you thought could only exist in a make-believe world, and this is the case with Curb Records and their incessant, redundant “Greatest Hits” album releases for perfume magnate Tim McGraw.
This is an important album. It is important for the burgeoning country scene in Michigan. It’s important for Bloodshot Records. And it’s important for all REAL country fans. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but in some ways that’s what makes it so important. It is straightforward, honest to goodness, good old fashioned country music delivered with no frills, and it’s about time something like this found its way back into “New Release” listings.
I know some of you think that I’m a little crazy for touting Austin’s 15-year-old fiddling phemon Ruby Jane so highly. That is because you have never seen Ruby Jane live. If you had (or have), then you know that despite all of my ridiculous accolades, nothing I’ve written about her does any justice to how astonishing a Ruby Jane Show is. It is the best music I have ever seen live.
Every once in a while an album comes along that you can tell the extra effort was put out to make it right. It’s far beyond just a collection of songs, it unfolds like a story, with all the songs together becoming stronger than the sum of their parts. Its an album that shows patience and wisdom. There’s a grand vision, and more importantly, that vision is realized in the final cut. Deguello Motel is one of those albums.
Right now the #1 country song in America is Kenney Chesney’s “The Boy’s of Fall.” How anybody can even take Kenney seriously after he clearly lip synced his performance at at the ACM Awards in April, I have no idea. Well I’m feeling froggy, and I find this song a little offensive, so I think it is time to take the cover off the smoker, get a bag of Kingsford, throw some mesquite chips on top, and do a little roasting.
Roger Alan Wade, one of the best songwriters out there, has released his new album called Deguello Motel, created from sober reflection of 30 years of hard living. Wade, known just as much for his irreverent songs and being the cousin of Jackass’s Johnny Knoxville as he is for penning songs for Waylon Jennings and Hank Jr., took a more serious approach with this album than his previous two. . .
I am happy, proud, and humbled to announced that two of the best podcasts out there, Outlaw Radio Chicago hosted by Jashie P, and The Reverend Nix shows of Stink Finger Radio and the Mojo Medicine Show are now permanent fixtures (till I figure out how to screw it up) of the SCM LIVE media channel. Outlaw Radio has been archiving their show on the site for a while, but now it will be broadcast here LIVE!
The Ryman is what lower Broadway revolves around, and it is easy to think that however it goes, so goes lower Broadway. When The Ryman was virtually shuttered in 1974 and The Grand Ole Opry moved to the Opry House, that is when the seeds of the lower Broadway decline were sowed.
This is not music that you sit back and marvel at the eloquence as your foot taps. It is like a chest-thumping ritual that makes you succumb to the carnal cry of the country. Imagine the music you would hear coming out of a ramshackle shack far out deep in the woods in the dead of night, with a dusty light and the raw energy of people and music bleeding out between the cracks of the old boards that are perceptibly pulsing to the sweaty beat. This is Hillstomp.
There’s been lots of talk lately here and other places about what makes an Outlaw, who are the real Outlaws, who are the fake ones. Well Nancy Dunham from The Boot had Merle Haggard cornered and answering questions, and was bold enough to ask him some smart ones, and Merle replied with some bold, smart answers.
Now that we’re all able to take a deep breath after the Justin Townes Earle breakdown in Indianapolis and his subsequent tour cancellation and rehab stint, there’s a few things that need to be said, first and foremost being that with all the allegations and points of justification out there, and with legal matters pending, it is the responsibility of ALL of us to assume that Justin Townes Earle is innocent until he is proven guilty.
Whitey Morgan & The 78’s self-entitled album through Bloodshot Records will not be out until October 12th, but you can get a first listen to the album next Tuesday, Oct. 5th on SCM LIVE at 8 PM Eastern!
This first listen isn’t gonna be some uber-compressed Mp3 type stuff. Oh no. This bad boy is gonna be done by the magic of needle on VINYL for that true, warm, analog sound!
“I would have left anyway because I was not happy with a lot of things. It could have been so easy. Just the way it happened, the way it went down is what made me so hurt by it. Just tossed out like a bugger, or like a groupie.”
“I know it happened for a good reason. I’m happier now anyway. You know, if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t be playing with The Gallows. I’m just thrilled to be with these guys.”
When I went to see Joe Buck a couple of weeks ago in Denton, TX, he was billed as “Hank III’s Bass Player.” Yeah, I know; people need a context to understand why a name on a calendar is something to pay attention to, but Joe Buck is so much more. To people who know his music, there is no peer to the amount of energy and passion he brings, and his songwriting reveals great wisdom once you get past the rawness of the presentation.
The diversity in this insurgent roots movement gives us strength. If you ask me, Scott Biram, Hillstomp, or Larry & His Flask are much more country than most of the stuff you can hear on the radio that flies that flag. Hank Williams and Jimmy Rodgers were both country bluesman, and I see that same spirit, and musical open-mindedness here.
Justin Townes Earle, recently accused of assault charges in Indiana, has canceled his current tour, and will be checking himself into a rehab facility.
His publicist has released this statement:
“Earle is strongly committed to confronting his on-going struggle with addiction, and thanks his family, friends and fans for their continued support through this difficult time.”
Last Rites of Ransom Pride, written by Ray Wylie Hubbard, and starring Dwight Yoakam, Kris Kristofferson, and Lizzy Caplan, is like a Cormac McCarthy novel set to life: brilliant characterization in by-gone, almost mythical settings. This is not a heavily thematic movie, but there is enough plot and artistic attention that you do not walk away feeling like you indulged a guilty pleasure.