A once-in-a-lifetime event happened on January 12th, 2019 when a wide-ranging assemblage of talent from country music and beyond came together at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to pay tribute to Willie Nelson. Called ‘Willie: Life and Songs of an American Outlaw,’ it’s being released on CD and DVD.
Charley Pride will be the 2020 recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award handed out by the Country Music Association. To be awarded during the 54th Annual CMA Awards set to transpire on Wednesday, November 11th from Nashville and broadcast on ABC.
You may ask yourself why we need even more new versions of old country classics. The answer is that Josh Turner is singing them. From well-known standards to some deeper album cuts, Turner is ready to grace them with his signature bass tone, and will be joined by Randy Travis for his first studio work since 2013.
With the recent death of John Prine at the hands of COVID-19, the question has been posed by many about the legendary songwriter’s prospects of ever being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s an interesting discussion point for sure, and one with a few important qualifiers.
If you thought the story of country music songwriting legend Kris Kristofferson blowing off his own tribute at the 2019 CMA Awards to perform a scheduled show in Davenport, Iowa was a cool story and a sign of the Hall of Famer’s class and character, well the he might have done himself one better a few days before.
That’s right. The 83-year-old is blowing off the 2019 CMA’s and won’t be in attendance to receive is CMA Lifetime Achievement trophy. Instead of walking out on the stage at the Bridgestone Arena, Kris Kristofferson has elected to honor his contract to play the Adler Theater and Apartment Complex that night in beautiful downtown Davenport, Iowa.
When the Ken Burns documentary was first announced a few years ago, the hope was the film could act like a big reset button on the status of country music, and give a boost to many of the songs and artists abandoned by radio in the present day. It has been a big boon in sales and streams for many of the classic country artists featured.
Undoubtedly, you could not tell the story of country music in the late 60’s and early 70’s without broaching the political upheaval and countercultural revolution roiling American society at the time. But the time spent on stories that were only proxies to country music bogged this episode down in stretches.
Billy Sherrill, Bob Dylan, Charlie Daniels, Don Chapel, Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Ken Burns, Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Shel Silverstein, Tammy Wynette, The Byrds, Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
Songwriter and Texas music wildman Jack Ingram has a new album on the way called ‘Ridin’ High … Again.’ It will be Ingram’s tenth studio record overall, and was recorded at Austin, TX’s iconic Arlyn Studios in just two days in what Ingram describes as one “forty-eight hour party.”
Blackbird Presents is at it again planning another huge tribute for a country legend, and this one might be the biggest of them all. Often working with Willie Nelson via tributes to others, as well as his multi-city “Outlaw Fest” tours each summer, now Blackbird Presents is putting together a tribute for Willie himself.
Alison Krauss, Blackbird Presents, Derek Trucks, George Strait, Jack Johnson, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Lyle Lovett, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Sheryl Crow, Susan Tedeschi, The Avett Brothers, Vince Gill, Willie Nelson
There have been many true country music “Outlaws” over the years, and many more that claim to be. But there can be only one original Outlaw, and that is Bobby Bare. Without Bobby Bare, there may be no Waylon Jennings. When Bare discovered Waylon in Phoenix, AZ in 1964, Waylon was still very much a regional act.
It’s not very common that you can preface a 70-year-old folk country songwriter that never had a big hit and the 14-year-olds in your family have probably never heard of as a “hot commodity,” but that’s exactly what John Prine feels like these days. “Beyond Words” is a songbook combined with a photo anthology in big, coffee-table form.
So many of country music’s legendary artists also spent time earlier in their lives serving the country in one capacity or another. And on Veteran’s Day as we pay tribute to ALL the men and women who served in the military and put themselves in harm’s way, let’s have some fun by looking back to see how many of these country legends we can pick out by their pictures.
Though nothing to cheer about itself, according to doctor’s for the songwriter, the misdiagnosis, and all the drugs Kristofferson was taking to stave off his memory loss were actually making his condition worse, creating a downward spiral. It is believed that Kristofferson contracted Lyme Disease in Vermont when he was filming the 2006 movie “Disappearances.”
Muhammad Ali, who passed away on June 3rd, is known for many things, though music is not the first worldly pursuit you would associate with the World Champion boxer and humanitarian. But he was close friends with people all over the music world, including in country music, and especially with the four men that some consider the Mount Rushmore of country music.
This year the event will be held for the second year in a row at the Austin 360 Amphitheater on the grounds of the Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 raceway just outside of Austin, and will feature an impressive list of talent, from Picnic mainstays like Johnny Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and David Allan Coe, to newcomers such as Margo Price and Shakey Graves.
2016, Amber Digby, Asleep at the Wheel, Billy Joe Shaver, Brantley Gilbert, Cody Johnson, Dallas Wayne, David Allan Coe, Folk Uke, Jamestown Revival, Jamey Johnson featuring special guest Alison Krauss, Johnny Bush, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell, Margo Price, Paula Nelson, Raelyn Nelson Band, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Shakey Graves, Willie Nelson, Willie Nelson 4th of July Picnic
Sturgill Simpson sat down with Marc Maron of the WTF podcast recently, and the hour or so interview was released on Thursday (5-12). If you’re a diehard Sturgill Simpson fan, it would be strongly encouraged that you listen. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits from the conversation.
Now that Merle Haggard has passed on, Kris Kristofferson is one of the few remaining links to country music’s most iconic era of classic songwriting. Kristofferson has also been candid about his struggles with deepening memory loss, so any new recordings should be considered a treasure.
Waylon Jennings was just 19-years-ol when Terry was born, and by the age of 15, Terry had dropped out of school and was a regular roadie working for his father. During that time, Terry not only got to witness the rise of his father to the status of a country legend and a Hall of Famer, but he got to see performers like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon’s final wife Jessi Colter do the same.
The mood has swung from concern, to anger, and back to concern by some fans because dates were canceled last minute, and other dates that were announced as canceled ended up being played. But according to the Merle Haggard camp, everything is okay, the sky isn’t falling, and everything will soon return back to normal.
Later it was announced by Haggard’s publicist that all February dates would be canceled to aid Merle’s continued recovery. The publicist said Merle was “still feeling weak from his recent struggle with double pneumonia and has decided to seek further treatment.” But apparently tour plans have changed yet again.
Merle Haggard was forced to cancel his show Tuesday night (2-2) at the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside, California last minute after he was too sick to take the stage. The show was a makeup date for a performance originally scheduled for December 3rd that Merle was forced to cancel with all of his December shows due to a double pneumonia.
The country music Outlaw movement didn’t happen overnight either. It took years and years of gnawing away at the obtrusive oligarchy that had set up shop on Music Row to get to the point where many of the genre’s most prominent stars could call their own shots, and the music could finally open up to new ideas and fresh faces.
Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Brandy Clark, Chris Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Florida Georgia Line, Hillbilly Central, Holly Williams, Jason Isbell, Jessi Colter, Jon Pardi, Kris Kristofferson, Luke Bryan, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Mo Pitney Williams Michael Morgan, Southern Family, Sturgill Simpson, Sugar Hill, Thirty Tigers, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Zac Brown
Friends Till the End will tell the story of The Highwaymen through vintage performances and new interviews about life on the road and in the studio with the supergroup consisting of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. Originally formed in 1985, The Highwaymen released three albums over a decade span, including their Platinum-selling debut.