1/31/20 A Few More Videos

2020 has been sluggish out of the gate compared to 2019, but it seems like there’s an increase in video releases, compared to just audio. Here are some videos that are either new today, or that I didn’t find before making yesterday’s post.

Danny Griego and KP Fitz released a very nice 9:15-minute video honoring veterans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez8pn4gAV68

Wood Belly released a new bluegrass album today, and here’s a video for “Can’t Get Behind” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dVwg1_obfA

The Hot Country Knights (Dierks Bentley’s 90s country comic alter ego) released a new video for “Asphalt” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGl_WW5GI64

This sort of comedy won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but Dierks is clearly having lots of fun with this project. It only made sense to put the video link for “Can’t Get Behind” right before “Asphalt.”

William Michael Morgan released a video for “Whiskey Kinda Night” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEil4Xtu37g

Caroline Kole is a name I haven’t heard in quite a while. I saw her as the opener for Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton, and Maddie and Tae in Panama City Beach, Florida in 2015. At the time, she was just coming off tour as Reba McEntire’s opener. Her new video “Freaking Out” is snap-track pop country: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv5Zgm5wTdA

Here’s my huge pile of playlists again: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/

Wood Belly landed some entries on my 2020 Bluegrass Spotify list. Songs continue to trickle in for my 2020 Country Plus YouTube list, including a new one today from The Panhandlers. Country Didgeridoo is the newest in my series of specialty lists on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-i_sy4XAhoeNCRtLJHzJ7b

1/30/20 Tons Of New Videos

Jesse Daniel released a video for “Rollin’ On” https://youtu.be/nmwGBEbfsEY

Sturgill Simpson released a very weird video for “A Good Look” https://youtu.be/8qX02AW48bM

Speaking of weird, Takeo Ischi is back with “Rat Attack – The Yodel Of Justice” https://youtu.be/0qvOImHWne8

I have no idea how to classify this next one, Harpyie ft Annie Hurdy Gurdy: “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” https://youtu.be/DBmoGsiiy24

Edan Archer released a video for “Garden Rose” https://youtu.be/se5s46vjCSs

The Hot Country Knights featured Travis Tritt in their video, “Pick Her Up” https://youtu.be/s91O0GN4Mls

Ashley McBryde has released three songs so far from her next album, with videos for each song. Yesterday, she released the video for “Hang In There, Girl.” https://youtu.be/xGIDhr0viYw

Parker McCollum released a video for “Pretty Heart” https://youtu.be/Ddfyc9GJLVY

Mo Pitney released an acoustic video for “Ain’t Bad For A Good Ol’ Boy” https://youtu.be/voXMs5sIico

Elizabeth Lyons released a video for “24” https://youtu.be/2TvwJSDCZJg

The Grascals released a fan video for “Haggard” https://youtu.be/PKAYHunnOIo

Easy Eye Sounds’ newest video is from Early James, “It Doesn’t Matter Now” https://youtu.be/S09fwuwhhM8

The Next Waltz posted a video from Brent Cobb yesterday, “Shut Up And Sing” https://youtu.be/z6oDXGy7vgM

The Next Waltz, Kelly Willis, “Little Bird” https://youtu.be/771eARw1puY

The Next Waltz, Charley Crockett, “The Party’s Over” https://youtu.be/6CWD2wD0jbQ

1/29/20 Show Plans

I plan to attend Reckless Kelly’s Texas Music Scene TV taping February 10th. There will be another act, too, but they haven’t announced it yet.

Yola will be taping an episode of Austin City Limits on February 4th. I am hoping to win tickets, so fingers are crossed.

We will be seeing her with Chris, Willie, and Jamey in Arlington, Texas in March.

Chris Stapleton announced a huge pile of new tour dates this morning, and as usual, he has some great tour mates. Dwight Yoakam in California ? Hank Williams, Jr in Atlanta ? The Highwomen and Jason Isbell and Mike Campbell at Wrigley Field in Chicago ? Wow !

It’s worth noting that he has now booked shows on June 4-6th, and CMA Fest is June 4-7th, so it appears unlikely that he is playing CMA this year. Luke Combs and Eric Church have each booked one date at a Carolina festival during CMA week, too, so keep an eye open on which stars book events during that time frame.

We are going to CMA again this year. I also have a solo trip planned to Americanafest in September. I looked back, and the first round of CMA performers were announced in early March last year, and the first round of Americanafest performers were announced the last week of May.

It looks like we’ll get to visit Oklahoma City this spring. I’m not sure what we’ll have time for, since my brother will be there for a professional conference, but I do plan to visit the banjo museum.

I usually take in a bunch of unofficial SXSW shows in Austin in March, but we’ll be visiting family that week.

I just found the new EP that Ray Remington released Friday. Here’s the title song “Texas Rose” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9NhFX5Sk6w&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_fegAUAQ0SSPe6xLZaDjdg&index=6&t=0s

1/28/20 Puppets and Ventriloquists

Hank Williams, Jr is called Bocephus after Rod Brasfield’s ventriloquist dummy: http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/get-rhythm/item/30377-hank-jr-bocephus-the-brasfield-connection

The Jimmy Dean Show featured Rowlf the Dog from 1963-1966, which was Jim Henson’s first huge breakthough with his Muppets: https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/The_Jimmy_Dean_Show

“During the run of The Jimmy Dean Show, Dean was offered ownership of nearly forty percent of Muppets Inc., but turned it down, feeling he had no real right to what Henson was doing or had created. Dean stated in a 2004 interview that “I didn’t do anything to earn that. If I had done something to earn it I would have said, ‘Alright, fine.’ But I didn’t. A lot of people have said, ‘Well, I bet you’re sorry now.’ No, I am not. Because I couldn’t have lived with me. I’ve got to do things that let me live with me and shave my face in the morning.” Dean continued to assert right up to his death that “they were an asset to The Jimmy Dean Show and they did good things for us, but I wouldn’t want to take them.”

RFD-TV regularly shows the Jimmy Dean Show episodes from that era. As I’ve mentioned previously, RFD also started showing the Gannaway Opry tapes from the 1950s. I read that there are two dozen episodes. The Opry still had much of the “barn dance,” almost Hee Haw vibe at that time, and I most highly recommend these shows to anyone interested in country music and/or American music history.

RFD very recently added a new production called the Merlin Gene Show, and we watched the first two episodes. The first featured Rhonda Vincent and Aaron Tippin, and the second featured Leroy Van Dyke (90 and still performing and touring). Merlin Gene is a country singer and ventriloquist. Anita Stapleton is a member of the band on the show. Roni Stoneman does comedy bits on the show similar to what she did on Hee Haw. The Stoneman family has a storied place in country music history, of course. Ernest Stoneman’s recordings from 1924 are on my Country Roots playlist. The Stonemans used such instruments as the harmonica and the autoharp early on.

Shotgun Red was one of the most recognizable characters on The Nashville Network, and here’s a link to more of the country puppet’s history: https://www.shotgunred.com/about/

Jeff Dunham has played a huge role in bringing ventriloquism back to the spotlight. Everyone has seen the hilarious skits with Achmed and the rest. In 1991-1992, Dunham was on a short-lived country music show called “Hot Country Nights,” and there are several funny clips on YouTube, including this one with Buck Owens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhF2-rUj2H8

Here’s a clip with Reba: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mXNyYfhe6o

The first recording of a singing ventriloquist, as far as I know, is “Voice Throwin’ Blues” by Walter Buddy Boy Hawkins in 1929: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt5kAfwxDuE

Terry Fator brought singing ventriloquism into the modern era by winning America’s Got Talent, and going on to tremendous success as a Las Vegas performer. My brother and I saw his show therea few years ago, and it is outstanding. Years before America’s Got Talent, Fator had a group called Texas The Band, and several clips from that era are on YouTube, including covers of Hank Williams, Roger Miller, Garth Brooks, etc.

Here’s a very funny clip of Terry Fator as Michael Jackson in country-themed routine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSLikOqvRdA

Years after Fator won AGT, young singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne also won the show. She has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, and she’s playing the San Antonio Rodeo in a couple weeks. She also yodels, and here’s her cover of Patsy Montana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g6-rr3P6Rs

Alvino Rey’s “talking steel guitar,” Stringy, led the way to the later “talk box” effects in popular music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hzDbJHLUK8&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_9hKxf4jatiU6XFX0xY18r&index=17

1/27/20 Roger Miller’s Debut Album in 1964

We tried watching some of the Grammy show last night, and it was so pitiful that we didn’t make it all the way through. So, let’s go back a few decades and enjoy some music from the unique Roger Miller.

Roger Miller exploded onto the music scene in the 60s, winning 5 Grammy Awards for 1964 and 6 more for 1965, giving him a total of 11 for his career. https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/roger-miller

Today, let’s look at his 1964 debut studio album, “Roger And Out.” The album doesn’t appear to be up on streaming services, but someone on YouTube was able to “reconstruct” the album, since the songs were part of various compilatons: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3QK-FeOu2cdNvPMax4XXQmyDv1pidPhh

“Chug-a-Lug” and “Dang Me” are the huge hits that everyone has heard. When one thinks of scat singing in country music, Roger Miller is the first name that comes to mind. Scat singing isn’t the only cool technique Roger Miller used on this album, though. Bob Moore played bass on this album, and he’s the guy who produced the pair of eefing songs for Joe Perkins in 1963.

It is no surprise, then, that eefing also shows up on this album (though if you search anywhere on the internet for Roger Miller eefing, I doubt you’ll find anything, so I guess I’ll be the one to write about it.) It is most prominent on “Squares Make The World Go Around” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLfI9BngLkA&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ096fE889QW0mg4qNjFlhWvD&index=41&t=0s

You can also hear just a bit of eefing on “The Moon Is High (And So Am I)” and “I Ain’t Comin’ Home Tonight.” Listen very carefully to the beginning of “Dang Me,” maybe three seconds in ?

Roger Miller also occasionally employs the frog/Popeye undertone/throat singing technique, most prominently on “Lou’s Got The Flu” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PAwQq0vQhc&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-oK_2M1LD5YNwye1O6MS95&index=15&t=0s

He also uses this technique a bit on “Private John Q.” The combination of “Popeye voice” and scatting reminds me a lot of Billy “Popeye” Costello.

Leroy Pullins was clearly inspired by Roger Miller, and his albums a couple years after employ the frog voice (“Knee Deep” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPe3Qm-stgs&list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0-oK_2M1LD5YNwye1O6MS95&index=79&t=0s ) and eefing ( “Okefenokee” – possibly Jimmy Riddle doing the eefing ?).

Gene Greene’s 1911 recording “King of the Bungaloos” featured a short flurry of scatting, eefing, and Popeye-ing at the end, so there’s a very early precedent.

Roger Miller is widely credited for his use of scat, but his debut album in 1964 also showed off these other techniques.

Here’s my huge pile of playlists again: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/

1/26/20 Grammy Bits

I’m not going to try to cover all the winners, but I’ll add a few notes:

5:54 Update:

I’m With Her won a Grammy in one of the roots categories. In 2018, my brother and I saw them open for Old Crow Medicine Show at Red Rocks in Colorado. Here’s a video someone posted from that show: https://youtu.be/1DYDg0FBJqM

5:24 PM Central Update:

Tanya Tucker has won two Grammy awards so far. She had not won prior. I was in the audience last year for the debut performance of “Bring My Flowers Now” at Loretta Lynn’s birthday party at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena: https://youtu.be/ofuP1cWpsNA

Willie Nelson won a Grammy for “Ride Me Back Home” http://youtu.be/lPYonm2NMZw

This is Willie’s 9th win, but even more impressive is that he has been nominated 52 times: https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/willie-nelson

Here’s a video I found of Willie Nelson with Tyler Childers at the show I attended last spring at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas: https://youtu.be/rJCcfHuch5c

Dolly Parton picked up a Grammy for some sort of religious music collaboration. She’s now up to 8 wins out of 49 nominations: https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/dolly-parton

Michael Cleveland won the bluegrass Grammy. My cousin’s family in Alabama said they remember him at old-time/bluegrass events back he was in his teens (20+ years ago).

1/24/20 Triplets

The Band Trippp released a 4-song EP yesterday, and these young Arkansas triplets show a lot of promise, landing spots on a couple of my lists.

The Haden Triplets have a new, 12-song album out today called “The Family Songbook.” I like the songs they released early, so I expect I’ll like the album as a whole.

How coool is it to have new country album releases from two sets of triplets the same weeek ?

Since it’s a post about triplets, I need to find another set of country music triplets to mention in today’s post. There apparently was a group called Chandler that opened for some huge names in 1999-2000. I can’t find anything about them other than this: http://old.post-gazette.com/magazine/20001122people4.asp

1/23/20 Over 100 Playlists

I finally got around to adding a page with links to my vast array of music lists: https://countryopinionblog.wordpress.com/music-playlists/

Here are some album release calendars:

Billboard: https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8504489/looking-ahead-a-release-calendar-for-upcoming-albums

Consequence Of Sound: https://consequenceofsound.net/upcoming-releases/


NME: https://www.nme.com/releases/albums

1/22/20 Early Country Electronica & Assorted Early Technology

Today’s list is on the opposite end from yesterday’s: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ0_9hKxf4jatiU6XFX0xY18r

The list kicks off with Rick Powell’s 1970 country Moog album. This is a time capsule from half a century ago.

I just found that Gershon Kingsley passed away last month at age 97: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/15/obituaries/gershon-kingsley-dead.html

My degree is in electrical engineering, so I also include “nerd stuff,” in addition to the music. You’ll find everything from early electronic devices to robots on here.