The year was 1974, and a two-story stucco office building / studio located two blocks from Nashville’s infamous Music Row at 916 19th Avenue South got christened “Hillbilly Central” by a New York-based music writer. Hillbilly Central was the brain child of Tompall Glaser, a member of the Glaser Brothers, who took the the money he earned from some success in the country music business to revolutionize it.
The fight for the purity of country music is almost as old as the genre itself. The conflict between pop and traditionalism, and the fight for creative control for artists runs like a thread throughout country music’s history, defining it as much as the twang of a Telecaster, or the moan of a steel guitar. Here are some of the most iconic images of country music revolution, and the stories behind them.
Andy Gibson, Bill Monroe, Billy Joe Shaver, Buck Owens, burning envelope, Charlie Rich, Dripping Springs Reunion, Earl Scruggs, flipping the bird, Hank3, Hillbilly Central, Joe Buck, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, middle finger, Reinstate Hank, Roger Miller, The Grand Ole Opry, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Jamey Johnson’s Living For a Song is a tribute to his musical hero; a man he met in 2008 when Cochran was already suffering from pancreatic cancer. I’ve always had great respect for Jamey Johnson the man, and his dedication and desire to see this project through elevates him yet another notch. But shoot me that I like my pulse raised when I put on an album.
Alright, so we’ve all now had our yucks over this story of a naked Randy Travis being arrested, and I am certainly not above guilt, but I am seeing some fairly alarming rhetoric surrounding this story that I feel is unhealthy to the country music environment. The details of the story may be funny, but the incident is not. Celebrity or no, Randy Travis is a human being who is clearly going through a moment of crisis in his life.
Bobby Bare, Brantley Gilbert, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Garth Brooks, Johnny Paycheck, Justin Moore, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Travis, Sturgill Simpson, Taylor Swift, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
There’s never been a question in anyone’s mind if Johnny Cash actually shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. But that lyric, and Johnny’s song “Folsom Prison Blues” have gone on to become an iconic piece of country music history. This language was nothing new in 1955. Murder ballads and gunslinger tales trace back to the very roots of country music and America’s Gothic, violent identity.
The long-awaited movie about the last days of Hank Williams called The Last Ride has finally been granted a theatrical release. It will begin to be shown in select theaters June 22nd, and in a series of historic theaters starting June 1st. The Last Ride is not meant to be a historic portrayal of Hank’s final days, but focuses on the interaction between Williams and his young driver.
This album is good both because it is Willie, and because it is good. After years of navigating through a gray area in his career and having to dabble with some record labels probably less able to do a Willie release justice, he’s back with the same company who released Red Headed Stranger, and back to making albums worthy of the world stopping down to pay attention to.
Erich Church wants it both ways. He wants to be considered the “new Outlaw” of country music, but he wants to still use the same pop country machine he criticizes to get success. If Eric Church has such a problem with Blake Shelton, why did he perform his song “Springsteen” at last month’s ACM Awards, that were hosted by, guess who… Blake Shelton.
Country music songwriting legend and original Outlaw Billy Joe Shaver will be releasing a loaded 20-song CD package with companion DVD called Live at Billy Bob’s Texas on July 17th, recorded in the “World’s Largest Honky Tonk”. This will be Shaver’s first album in five years. Billy Joe Shaver will be the 42nd artist to release a “Live at Billy Bob’s” album.
Billy Bob's Texas, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, BR549, David Allan Coe, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Live at Billy Bob's, Merle Haggard, Patty Loveless, Tex Ritter, The Allman Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
From the outside looking in, one may look at the lineup of The Muddy Roots Festival for example, and wonder how all these bands could all be booked right beside each other and it work seamlessly. This illustrates the dramatic sonic and geographical diversity that goes into creating what we know now as the underground country roots, or “Muddy Roots” world.
.357 String Band, Ben Prestage, Black Diamond Heavies, Bob Wayne, Bobby Bare, BR549, Calamity Cubes, Dale Watson, Deep Blues Festival, Emmylou Harris, Fat Possum Records, Greg Garing, Hank3, JB Beverley, Junior Kimbrough, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Kristofferson, Legendary Shack Shakers, Lone Wolf OMB, Loretta Lynn, Los Duggans, Mike Ness, Muddy Roots Festival, Pickathon, Rachel Brooke, Ramseur Records, Restavrant, Reverend Horton Heat, RL Burnside, Rusty Knuckles, Scott H. Biram, Slackeye Slim, Some Velvet Evening, Split Lip Rayfield, Steve Erale, Supersuckers, t Model Ford, Ten Foot Polecats, The Avett Bros, The Black Keys, The Devil Makes Three, The Everymen, The Goddamn Gallows, The Pine Box Boys, The Ryman, Those Poor bastards, Tompall Glaser, Trampled by Turtles, Waylon Jennings, Wayne Hancock, Whitey Morgan & The 78's, Willie Nelson, Yep Rock
Is this a great bluegrass album? Of course not. But a great bluegrass album would also not be a vehicle to introduce a generation of people to Del McCoury, Kris Kristofferson, and bluegrass music in general. Is it the album that Dierks set out to make without commercial consideration or label meddling? I kind of think it is.
Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, Chris Thile, Del McCoury, Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Jason Isbell, Kris Kristofferson, Miranda Lambert, Old Crow Medicine Show, Sam Bush, The Punch Brothers, U2, Up On The Ridge
Last week as I was traveling through Tennessee, I took some time to visit downtown Nashville, where I hadn’t been in a few years, and I brought along one of my best friends named Pointer. Pointer goes wherever I go. Funny thing is, we don’t always like the same things. I thought it might be fun and informative to share Pointer and my pictures of our downtown Nashville trip for those who’ve never been there.
BR549, Brentley Gilbert, Colt Ford, Country Music Hall of Fame, Curb Records, Ernest Tubb, Hatch Show Print, Jason Aldean, Joe Buck, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Layla's Bluegrass Inn, Mike Curb, Music Row, Nashville, Rascal Flatts, Robert's Western World, Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Willie Nelson
One of the standouts in 2011 so far has been Bloomington, Indiana-based singer/songwriter Austin Lucas, and his album A New Home in the Old World. He sat down with me for about a hour to discuss his experience on the Country Throwdown and touring with Willie Nelson, how he got into country, and how his goals are measured and focused on the art of songwriting first, above his own popularity.
On paper, this movie had so much promise: an all-star country cast, a critically-acclaimed novel Provinces of Night to cull a screenplay from, and the omnipresent T Bone Burnett presiding over the music presentation. However Bloodworth falls into the classic dilemma of the movie adapted from a novel trying to develop characters and deep, intertwined story lines in the time it takes to munch down a jumbo tub of pop corn.
The long awaited movie Bloodworth based on the novel Provinces of Night, starring Kris Kristofferson, along with Dwight Yoakam, Val Kilmer, Hillary Duff, Fraces Conroy, and Hank Williams III, has now been released in the United States via Amazon’s Instant Video service. The movie officially opened May 20th, but was only released in 8 cities.
Thursday, August 4, 2011 will be the inaugural run of the “Johnny Cash Music Festival”, put on by Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, with direct help and participation from members of the Cash family. The focus of the music festival is to raise funds for the “Johnny Cash Boyhood Home project” in Dryess, Arkansas. The lineup is star studded to say the least.
May 20th will be the release of the movie Bloodworth, starring Kris Kristofferson, Dwight Yoakam, Hilary Duff, and Val Kilmer. The movie is based off the novel Provinces of Night by William Gay, and originally the movie was going to have the same name. The movie also contains some contributions from some lesser-known country artists.
The first thing you need to appreciate about Outlaw Carnie is that it is country. Forget that it’s on a metal label, and that Hank III’s name is being put out there for context. There’s no fusing of metal and country here. There’s no sludgy BC Rich or Flying V guitars, no screamo, cookie monster lyrics. There’s banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, brushes on snare, if there’s any drums at all.
Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson were part of the recent Kennedy Center Honors festivities honoring Merle Haggard in Washington, and during the numerous functions, the three country music legends apparently had some time to discuss the possibility of a supergroup. Previously Merle had discussed plans of doing an album with Willie . . .
Tonight the Poet of the Common Man, Merle Haggard will be honored with a Kennedy Center Honors award for his contributions to American music. Well, actually he received the award on December 5th, but the ceremony itself from December 5th in Washington DC will air tonight on CBS (as they say, check local listings for times).
When I first caught wind that a movie written by legendary Texas songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard was in the works, and that it starred Kris Kristofferson and Dwight Yoakam, my ears perked to say the least. But as the movie neared release, it was clear something about Last Rites of Ransom Pride was off. Information about the film was sketchy at best, and despite my best efforts to obtain more, emails and phone calls weren’t returned.
Cody Canada, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Deadwood, Dwight Yoakam, Earl Brown, Gary Busey, Gurf Morlix, Hayes Carll, Jack Ingram, Kris Kristofferson, Last Rites of Ransom Pride, Lloyd Maines, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Taryn Manning, Tiller Russell
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.
Last Rites of Ransom Pride, a movie written by Ray Wylie Hubbard, and starring Dwight Yoakam and Kris Kristofferson among others, is finally moving forward with distribution, with the LA Premier this Friday and Saturday and a slew of other dates following (see below for complete list).
And if you don’t see a town near you on the list, you can request the movie to come to your area at www.lastritesfilm.com…
Today is the 4th of July: the birthday of The United States. It is also arguably the birthday of the Outlaw movement in country music. Nailing down an exact date when the Outlaw movement started depends on who you talk to, but a popular one is when Willie Nelson’s legendary 4th of July Picnics started […]
4th of July, Acuff-Rose, Bobby Bare, Chet Atkins, David Allan Coe, Eric Church, Gretchen Wilson, Hillbilly Central, Honky Tonk Heroes, Johnny Cash, Johnny Paycheck, Josh Thompson, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Reshen, Outlaw, Streets of Baltimore, Studio B, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Tompall Glaser, Wanted The Outlaws, Waylon Jenniongs, Willie Nelson