9/29/18 IBMA Awards

Yes, more awards… This time, it’s the biggest of the bluegrass awards. Here’s the full list: Bluegrass Today link. Please do take the time to look up the various winners, nominees, and participants. I’ll post just a few choice videos, but all of these people are good.

The Travelin’ McCourys released a fun album earlier this year that we listened to on our road trip to South Dakota. Here’s a fun video of the IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year with Dierks Bentley and friends: Jackson ( by Johnny Cash) – Dierks Bentley, Elle King, The Travelin’ McCourys and Trombone Shorty

IBMA Song of the Year: Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers – “If Id Have Wrote That Song”

Balsam Range won the IBMA Entertainer of the Year. Here’s one of my favorites of theirs from several years ago: Somewhere In Between.

9/28/18 New Albums

Oh, no ! Not this again ! 🙂

Loretta Lynn, “Wouldn’t It Be Great” – CMT announced that Loretta Lynn will receive an “Artist of a Lifetime” award at the upcoming “CMT Artists of the Year” special.

Various Artists, “Muscle Shoals … Small Town, Big Sound”

Mountain Home Music, various artists, “Come See About Me: A Benefit for the IBMA Trust Fund”

The Louvin Brothers, “Love And Wealth: The Lost Recordings”

The Earls of Leicester, “Earls of Leicester Live at the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame”

Foghorn Stringband, “Rock Island Garage”

Katie Cole, “Things That Break, Part 1”

Nobody’s Girl, “Waterline”

Stanley Records, “Take Me To Town: An Australian Alternative Country Complilation (featuring 47 acts on 3 CDs)”

Stephanie Urbina Jones, “Tularosa”

The Black Lilies, “Stranger to Me”

Amy Ray, “Holler”

Deanna Wheeler, “Deanna Wheeler”

Tony Joe White, “Bad Mouthin'”

Jon Smith, “Run From The Radio”

Matthew Taylor, “Rush The River”

Michigan Rattlers, “Evergreen”

All Them Witches, “ATW”

Kin Faux, “Kin Faux”

Casey Daniels Band, “Memories”

Robbie Walden Band, “When The Rooster Crows”

Masey McLain, “To The Dreamers”

Haley McMillan, “Warrior EP”

Justin Rose, “Justin Rose”

Joey Wray, “Joey Wray”

Ronnie Dean Tinsley & The Dark Horse Rodeo, “Ain’t Livin’ On Luck”

Bryon Simpson, “A Couple Of Things”

Brian Paddock, “Under New Management”

Mark Leach, “Where I Wanna Be”

The Random Strangers, “Old Habits”

The Pistol Annies released the first three songs from “Interstate Gospel,” and NPR First Listen has a feature on Eric Church’s new album, “Desperate Man.”

9/27/18 Bluegrass Updates

The IBMA World of Bluegrass is this week. The awards are tonight, so I’ll probably make a post about the winners this weekend. Bluegrass Today has good coverage.

On Tuesday night, the Steeldrivers were one of the bands on the bill at the Grand Ole Opry. They’ve played the Opry over 50 times. The Steeldrivers’ 2008 Opry appearance was televised, and songwriter John Brocksmith was thoughtful to upload the video. Fans of Charlie Daniels will also want to see that video to see Charlie singing a Flatt & Scruggs cover with the group, and there’s also an Opry promo for Carrie Underwood between songs. This week’s Opry appearance was also special, because they brought out surprise guests Bill Murray and John Prine to sing Prine’s definitive song “Paradise.” There’s some history to soak in. Opry historian Byron Fay wrote an article in 2012 about the opening of the Grand Ole Opry House on March 16th,1974. Note that Jim & Jesse McReynolds performed “Paradise” as part of that grand opening evening. Bill Murray’s history with the Steeldrivers includes the 2010 movie “Get Low.” The Steeldrivers (which included Chris Stapleton at the time) not only performed four songs on the soundtrack, but also appeared in the movie.

The Mark O’Connor Band announced dates for their Christmas tour with Brandy Clark, who shared their bill this summer at the “Americana at the Ryman” series. The O’Connors regularly perform the bluegrass standard “Ruby,” so I’ll note that the Osborne Brothers performed that song at the Grand Ole Opry House grand opening show.

Just for fun, I made a playlist of some bluegrass covers of songs that were originally performed in other styles. Here’s a 20-song collection: Bluegrass Covers. Some of these are pretty bad and some are pretty good, but most importantly, some are pretty funny.

9/26/18 Today’s Featured Artist, Bill Anderson

Whisperin’ Bill Anderson has achieved just about everything there is to achieve in country music. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this year, and was already a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He succeeded as a television host and an author, too. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1961, and is as much of a fixture there as the church pews. The bulk of his success as a country artist was in the 1960s and 1970s, so “today’s audiences” might not be as familiar with his body of work as some other artists of comparable age who peaked later in their careers.

Despite his great credentials, his new album, “Anderson,” did not make the top 50 on the Billboard Country Albums chart in its debut week. This is his 72nd album. Although he keeps churning out albums at a regular pace, the last time one of his albums charted in the top 50 country albums was in the 1970s. Hopefully, my readers will take the time to look up some of his work. Pick a random song or album from his vast catalog and enjoy.


9/25/19 Today’s Featured Album, Jason Eady’s “I Travel On”

Carrie Underwood’s new album is the main news story in country at the moment, with the best debut sales week of any country album in over three years.

There’s not a lot I can really add to that, though, so my post today will be about Jason Eady’s August album release, “I Travel On.” Where’s his radio play? I’m not referring to just “mainstream,” either. I looked at the recent Americana radio chart, and he isn’t on the top 50 there. The Americana station in my area, KNBT, does play him quite a good bit, but apparently, the rest of the country is missing out. What about Texas Regional Radio ? He’s nowhere on the recent top 115 airplay chart. How does that happen ? Come on, radio ! Give the guy a chance.

I’ll also mention that I taped the AXS television coverage of Farm Aid. The single best thing I heard from anyone there was Chris Stapleton’s “Scarecrow In The Garden.” To tie back to the other parts of today’s post, I’ll mention that Chris Stapleton’s last show in 2015 before his huge breakout at CMA was with Jason Eady in New Braunfels, Texas, and Morgane Stapleton’s biggest songwriting hit was “Don’t Forget To Remember Me” on Carrie Underwood’s first album.

9/23/18 RIAA Mid-Year Revenue Report

There’s a ton of data in here for all of us nerds to digest: 2018 RIAA Mid-Year Report.

“According to Nielsen, more than 70,000 different albums were released by mid-year.”

“Shipments of physical products decreased 25% to $462 million in 1H 2018, a higher rate of decline than in recent years. Revenues from CDs fell by 41% in the first half of the year, more than offsetting a 13% increase in revenues from sales of vinyl albums. Revenues from shipments of physical products made up 10% of the industry total in 1H 2018.”

9/22/18 Riley’s Tavern’s 85th

Riley’s Tavern  acquired the first liquor license in Texas after alcohol prohibition in 1933, and is throwing a big party for the 85th anniversary of that occasion. Be sure to check out the many country musicians on the lineup. Riley’s Tavern was added this year to the National Register of Historic Places.

Since we’re on the subject of Texas country, here’s a Texas Music Pickers article highlighting many recent songs.

In unrelated news, I’ll mention that AXS TV lists 5 hours of coverage of Farm Aid. It’s a football Saturday, so I’ll save this to watch later.

9/21/18 New Albums

Y’all know the routine. Let’s dig in:

Bri Bagwell, Silo Road, Frank Foster, Amy Helm, Kris Jordan, Rock Bottom String Band (3-song EP from San Marcos), Mandy Barnett, Rosenwall, Kari Arnett, Kristina Murray, Dave Colvin, Scott Joss, Ashleigh Flynn, The Jellyman’s Daughter, John Howie, Jr, Jeff Mamett, Hopalong Andrew, Robert Keelin, Maggie Rose, Frank Trousdell, Almost Pioneers, Twangover, Pony Creek, Lauren Balthrop, Kitty Macfarlane, O&O, and Brooks Forsyth.

NPR First Listen of Loretta Lynn’s album “Wouldn’t It Be Great?” As with her last album, there are some remakes of her earlier hits, but also some new material, including three songs she wrote with Shawn Camp and a couple of songs she wrote with her daughter Patsy Russell, who co-produced the album with John Carter Cash.