1/30/19 Punkgrass, Psychobilly, etc

500 Miles To Memphis has a new album. Here’s a couple of the songs:  Piggie Boy and  In My Chest

The Thirsty Crows put out a new album a couple of weeks ago. Here’s the title song: Hangman’s Noose

The Madisons released a more country EP entitled “Country Music Sunday” the start of the year, but here’s a selection from their last full-length album: Headache

San Marcos’ own Rock Bottom String Band: Nothin’ Below

Here’s a selection from the Whiskey Shivers: Reckless



1/29/19 David Lee, Dallas Moore, and Tom McElvain

I couldn’t get free to go to Gruene Hall a couple of weeks ago for this songwriter circle, but fortunately, someone taped all the songs and uploaded to YouTube. I have mentioned David Lee and Dallas Moore here before, but  it’s cool that someone took the time and effort to record all of this for everyone to enjoy. I’ll kick it off with one of David Lee’s big songwriting hits: I Need You

Cody Johnson fans will recognize David Lee as the songwriter behind the title tracks on CoJo’s albums, including the new one.

1/27/19 The Toy Hearts & Flat Top Jones at Gruene Hall

img_20190126_160046_269Flat Top Jones plays every month at Gruene Hall, and has for years. The band members are very skilled musicians with vast experience in other groups. Erik Hokkanen’s energetic fiddle playing was especially well received. Here’s a video from a few years back: Flat Top Jones Band at Gruene Hall

Yesterday’s show featured three members of Flat Top Jones together with family trio Toy Hearts from Birmingham, UK. The patriarch of the family plays pedal steel, and still lives in the UK, as does younger daughter Hannah (Hannah and the Broken Hearts). The older daughter Sophia has lived in Austin close to a decade, and I saw her win the Ameripolitan Award last year in Memphis for Western Swing. The family’s all together in Austin for just a couple of weeks to record their next album at Dale Watson’s studio. The sister harmonies are a real treat.

The combined Flat Top-Toy Hearts band entertained a strong crowd at Gruene Hall for close to four hours. Most of the music was really old school country and western swing. Think Bob Wills and Hank Sr. There were bits of bluegrass and rockabilly, too. Each band played just a small number of originals, and one of the new Toy Hearts songs was written by Sophia Johnson and Brennen Leigh.

1/25/19 New Music

Like most weeks, there’s more music than you can shake a stick at. Let’s see what we can find…

I saw both Sundance Head and Farewell Angelina at CMA Fest last year, so I’ll start with mentioning them. Sundance is best known for winning The Voice.

I included songs from Jordan Robert Kirk Pine Box  and Joshua Ray Walker  Canyon   on my 2018 list. Like Sundance Head, they’re Texans, so the Lone Star State is strongly represented again this week. Triston Marez and George Dearborne have new EPs, too.

The Ponderosa Aces from California have a twangy, honky tonk sound: Come Around

Hadley Elizabeth released her album yesterday, so this is one of the few I’ve had a chance to listen to at all. Fairy Tale Family will get some spins on my 2019 list.

Lindi Ortega has a piano instrumental version of her last album.

Bluegrass fans will want to check out Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, and Milan Miller.

EDIT: Milan Miller’s EP isn’t strictly bluegrass, even though much of his previous material is. Check out Eloise

From the UK, Clint Bradley has a new western album. I considered putting his video for Soul of the West on my playlist, but there’s about half a minute of dead time at the end of the video for the credits.

More albums that I’ve seen listed elsewhere that I don’t know much about: Lula Wiles, Travis Howard, If Nothing Else, Pony Bradshaw, Jeff Cramer, Bob Sumner, Amelia White, DBUK, Tango Cowboys , Seckond Chaynce, Jef & Clo, King Calaway, Jess Klein, and Terry Klein.

Long story short is that there’s such a barrage of new music every week that I need to change some songs out to make room. I’m glad for whatever few spins I can give  to lots of artists who receive little coverage, but last year’s list was gigantic and unwieldy, and there are too many people putting out new music to include but a small fraction. What I keep at a given time might not necessarily be what is “best” as much as “best fit” (“blocks” of songs with similar themes, etc).

1/24/19 Unusual Covers & Adaptations

Before we get to all the weird and goofy covers, here’s a brand new video from Daniel Miller, featuring the great Robby Turner on pedal steel: Your Man (not the Josh Turner song of the same name)

Now, for the oddball covers:

I don’t think Skeeter done it this way: Carcass Brook cover of “End of the World”

Conway Twitty singing in Russian: Hello Darlin’

Tennessee Mafia Jug Band: Ghost Chickens In The Sky

Donald Duck & Goofy: Home On The Range

The Cleverlys cover Red Hot Chili Peppers: By The Way

Krisenka’s country cover of Highway to Hell

The Steel Chipmunks  (Steeldrivers “chipmunked”)

Shinyribs’ cover of Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money

1/23/19 Articles

Music Row Magazine interview with Ray Stevens

CBS interview with Marty Stuart

Rodeo Austin concerts announced yesterday

NSAI (Nashville Songwriters) will honor Loretta Lynn and Lamar Alexander

Irish country star Cliona Hagan on Ireland Dancing With The Stars

Keith Urban at Tamworth

Blake O’Connor won Toyota Starmaker award at Tamworth

The artist who designs Americana awards

USA Today – Swiss University offers bachelor’s, master’s degrees in … yodeling

1/22/19 A Few Songs

Randy Rogers released a track list for his new album, and it includes a cover of this Guy Clark/Stapleton song: Hell Bent On A Heartache.

Here’s a fun murder ballad from Linda Gail Lewis & Robbie Fulks last year: Till Death

Annie Marie Lewis and Danny B Harvey with Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butthead, Tales From The Tour Bus): You Win Again

Brand new lyric video from Jade Marie Patek: Love’s To Blame

Here’s some old-time fiddle and buckdancing from Hillary Klug

I haven’t had the chance to check out the new albums from Clay Walker, Joanna Young, Joshua Allen, Tiffany Williams, and Season Ammons, but I’ll make a note of their existence here, so that I might find the time to check them out later.

1/21/19 Sam Moore, Soul Legend

Sam and Dave are receiving a Grammy lifetime achievement award: Commercial Appeal article. They played music before some of Dr. King’s speeches. Sam Moore is still around, so there’s some great, living history for the holiday. He collaborated with a number of country artists over his decades-long career, too, like Vince Gill, Conway Twitty, and Travis Tritt. He has worked some with bluegrass group Nu-Blu. Here’s a 2015 Tennesseean article about Sam Moore’s country roots

Here’s a video of Sam singing some Hank on the Marty Stuart Show: I Heard That Lonesome Whistle