As the end of the year draws near, it comes time to reflect on all the country music greats big and small, superstars and sidemen, session players and songwriters, who passed away in the past year, and pay our respects to the contributions they made to country music, and to us as fans through the music they shared.
We may never see a year like we experienced in 2016, when such an unmerciful parade of country greats passing away left us with a renewed appreciation for the legends while their still living. But every death, from the often under-heralded songwriters and behind-the-scenes session musicians, to the principal members of huge Southern rock bands, is significant.
It’s like 2016 all over again, only centralized in its grief in the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, Texas. In a span of a few hours, the city, and music, lost two titans that may not rise to the recognition of household names across America, but were seminal to the sound and influence that Austin music is known for.
Long-time and well-known bass player, producer, engineer, and guitarist George Reiff has been diagnosed with stage 4 Cancer in his brain, liver, adrenal gland and right lung. He was scheduled to have surgery Thursday (7-28) or Friday to have a tumor removed from his brain.
For the first time since her recovery, Chelle Rose opened up to Saving Country Music about her trials and tribulations over the last two years and what her plans are now that she’s back on a healthy path. After taking more than a decade between her debut ‘Nanahally River’ album (2000) and her critically acclaimed and Ray Wylie Hubbard-produced ‘Ghost of Browder Holler’ album (2012)…
The Forgotten Outlaw, and the man at the forefront of keeping American roots filled with the rockin’, gritty heart of the 60’s music revolution, has just announced a new album, and has released a new song in conjunction. Ray Wylie Hubbard will release his newest record “The Ruffian’s Misfortune” through his own label Bordello Records.
In the fall of 2012 when Ronnie Dunn (of Brooks & Dunn) was looking to write and record material for his upcoming album, he reached out to Texas music songwriting guru Ray Wylie Hubbard after falling in love with the gritty sound Hubbard imbibes on all his records. Dunn flew into Austin as Ray Wylie wrangled up an A-list of Austin musicians to to participate in a recording session.
Bobby Keys, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Robison, Buddy Holly, Bump Band, Chelle Rose, Faces, George Reiff, Gurf Morlix, Ian McLagan, James McMurtry, Jennifer Nettles, Joe Ely, John Hiatt, Kelly Willis, Lucinda Williams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mary Gauthier, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Dunn, Small Faces, Sugarland, The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Take a Pacific Northwest songwriting gem and refine her with the finest of care by some of Austin, TX’s best master craftsmen, and the result is the 3rd and defining studio album from Seattle-based songbird Zoe Muth called World of Strangers. Backed by her touring band The Lost High Rollers on her two previous releases, Zoe ratcheted up the game with the new album….
Ray Wylie Hubbard and Ronnie Dunn wrote some songs together back in September, and has been in Austin where for the last few days, they’ve been recording with an all-star band of George Reiff, Rick Richards, Ian McLagan from Faces, Brad Rice formerly of Son Volt, and others. “Started recording in Austin yesterday,” Ronnie Dunn posted on Facebook.
When you’re compiling your list of most-anticipated albums for 2012, you’ve got another one to add to the top of the heap. Ray Wylie Hubbard has announced he’s got a new one ready for 2012 called Grifter’s Hymnal, and he’s got an interesting cast of characters helping him, including Ringo Starr, long-time drummer Rick Richards, George Reiff, and his son Lucas Hubbard.
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the most talent-rich event I have ever been to, as the convergence of Willie Nelson’s 38th Annual 4th of July Picnic met up with the finale of this year’s Willie Nelson Country Throwdown tour at the largest honky tonk in the world, Billy Bob’s Texas, in the historic Ft. Worth stockyards.
Amy Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Austin Lucas, Billy Bob's Texas, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Caitlyn Smith, Cathie Guthrie, Folk Uke, George Reiff, Jamey Johnson, Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, Lucas Hubbard, Lukas Nelson, Ray Benson, Ray Price, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Rick Richards, Willie Nelson
In the first part of my interview with Texas songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard, we talked about how he wasn’t proud of the end result of the movie Last Rites of Ransom Pride of which he co-wrote. In the second part we turned out attention to more positive things, namely his latest album A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C) that is up for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year.