2/16/19 New Music Thoughts

Since there were dozens of new albums in the last week alone, there’s no way to listen to but a tiny fraction of all the new music that is available. My starting place yesterday was Reba McEntire’s new song Stronger Than The Truth. This is the best song I’ve heard from her in many years. It also happens to fit very well after Leigh Madison’s “Red,” especially since Reba is also from Oklahoma. Target will have a deluxe version of Reba’s album. One of the deluxe songs is either a Stapleton write or has the same title as one of his. Chris mentioned in a Rolling Stone interview that he probably won’t have a new album of his own this year.

Yesterday’s new songs also prompted me to create a three-song “Elvis block.” Ashley Monroe’s Keys to the Kingdom and Dale Watson’s “Tupelo Mississippi & a 57 Fairlane” join the list. TG Sheppard’s Elvis tribute song, which I had trouble fitting on my list before, fits right in with this block of songs.

The Kinky Fingers join my block of western songs toward the end of my 2019 list with Crooked Nose , and I added a bunch of other artists to my list this week. At this rate, I might need to cap it at a hundred and just have a January-February list, and start in with a new one in March ? We’ll see.

One song that doesn’t necessarily fit with “country” or any other genre is Brushy One String’s One String Play. It fits on my list after James Carothers’ “Crazy Man.”


2/15/19 New Albums

After a couple of lighter weeks, we’re back to full power and then some. Here’s more than anyone will have time to listen to:

Charles Wesley Godwin, The Bellamy Brothers, Robbie Walden, Hill Country Revival, Carin Mari, Kalyn Fay, Trisha Yearwood, The Powell Brothers, Buck Fuffalo, Cascade Crescendo, Seth Walker, George Ensle, Addison Johnson, Hayes Carll, Rosie Flores, Dale Watson, Florida-Georgia Line, Ashley Monroe, Angie Lynn Carter, Ottar Big Hand, Jordan Nix & The Day Drinkers, Shook Twins, The Long Ryders, The Earps, Robert Ellis, Ryan Bingham, Markus Sommer, The Natu Band, Boo Ray, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Dan Johnson, Gangstagrass, Haint Blue, J.S. Ondara, Nell & Jim Band, Hot Tamale, Sky Smeed, Steve Conn, Buffalo Blood, Dave Sheriff, Janean Christine Mariani, Ken Kunin & Crooked Sky, John Paul Hodge, Eden Brooks, Kristen Noel, Inscape Band, Markos Morin, Boof & Amy Morgan, John Fusco and the X-Road Riders, Emily Wolfe, Daniel Owen, Quin Galavis, Jonno Read, Uncle Wormwood’s Medicine Show, and L’Ira dell’Agnello.

Carolina Blue has a new bluegrass video that’s over seven minutes. If you like that really old-school sound, be sure to check them out. As previously mentioned, this group is headlining the Southeast Fiddle Fest in Fayette, Alabama in May that my first cousin’s family is involved with: Longing For Home


2/14/19 Valentine’s Day

Milan Miller’s EP “Things People Say” hasn’t received the attention it merits. Here’s a delightfully dark “love” song: I Didn’t Say A Thing

My 2019 Country Plus Showcase includes a number of songs of love and loss, as well. Since I frequently change songs, I’ll simply post the whole list, and let y’all pick through it and hopefully find something you like.

Here’s a new song from Eleri Angharad of Swansea, Wales: Smokey Steel Lights .

Taylor Bryn Jackson lives in Mexico, but her parents are from the U.S. Here’s her latest: I Wish My Boots Were Still Under Your Bed

Marija Droze is originally from Lithuania, but is based in Nashville with her husband, well-known bluegrasser Billy Droze, with whom she wrote this new song: Listen To Your Heart

2/13/19 Articles/Interviews

Filson + Fender: Chris Stapleton brings two of his favorite brands together – Chris Stapleton is donating his artist proceeds from his new signature amplifier to his charity, Outlaw State of Kind.

“Sometimes we have a tendency to let bad behavior be the most visible thing in any business we’re in, and it’s easy to forget that a lot of the really good, professional people that have been around a long time conduct themselves with class and dignity. All the guys I’ve ever met, and ladies I’ve ever met that are heroes of mine and have been around a long time conduct themselves that way. I look for that in people to work with. I think that can help you sustain a career.”

“I would like to be known for being good to people. I want to be a good husband and father, first and foremost. Beyond that, in a musical sense, I’d want to be known for songs that will hold up over time and music that holds up over time. Music that can feel just as good to listen to 20, 30, 40 years from now. Only time will judge me on the front, but if I have a hope for music, that’s it.”

Dolly Parton is always good for quotes, and this Fox News article is no exception:

“”All of my life I have been known for two things. Well, not them,” the well-endowed Parton joked in a bawdy acceptance speech. “I’ve also been known as a singer and songwriter too. Although I’m not complaining. Ol’ Pancho and Lefty’s been pretty good to me. Everybody always expects me to do a boob joke and I like to do that right up front.”

“Of course you know we hillbillies need MusiCares too,” Parton said. “We may not have sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, but two out of three ain’t bad.”

The Country Show With Bob Harris interview with Ashley McBryde . This is an hour-long show that has mostly music, with just a bit of interview thrown in. I was able to wade through it and find the bit or two of interest. Her interview starts around 27 minutes in. Around the 36-minute mark: “If you’re strong enough and dumb enough to think you can do it, then you’ll do it.” After the 43-minute mark, Bob Harris mentions that Ashley McBryde and Kacey Musgraves have cameo appearances in a film called “Wild Rose,” which will be released in the UK in April.

Chris Shiflett’s Walking The Floor podcast is up to 134 episodes, with Shooter Jennings the most recent guest.

Wynonna Judd and Emmylou Harris are apparently big fans of Kree Harrison, per this article on CMT

CMT interview with Kacey Musgraves: “I’m proud to be part of a genre that’s built on real stories, and I’ll continue to always write about what inspires me. And it might not always sound country, but it’s always going to be something that comes from somewhere very real for me.”

American Songwriter interview with Vince Gill

Wide Open Country song premiere: Jaelee Roberts – 17-year-old with a strong bluegrass background.

CMT’s Eleven of the Best Grammy Red Carpet Moments

2/11/19 Grammy Winners

We didn’t watch the show, but here’s the complete nominees and winners list Congratulations to all of the listed names, as well as the many band members, songwriters, engineers, producers, and the friends, families, and mentors of all of the above for the time and effort they put in to achieve this level of distinction.

Obviously, the huge winner is Kacey Musgraves, who is now one of a tiny number of country artists to achieve the all-genre album of the year. Brandi Carlile also won multiple awards in Americana/roots categories. There was an all-star Dolly Parton tribute segment. So, overall, the big winners were women of country & Americana. The biggest loser is mainstream country radio, which doesn’t play them.

Rather than just blather on about it, though, I’ll do what I do best and post some music.

Here’s Ronnie Milsap’s duet with Kacey Musgraves: No Getting Over Me

Willie Nelson won another Grammy, so let’s jog back a few years to this Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson duet: Are You Sure

Shooter Jennings produced Brandi Carlile’s album. Shooter also produced Tommy Townsend’s EP last year. Here’s Tommy Townsend’s very country cover of a Brandi Carlile song: The Eye

I’ve mentioned before that my brother and I took the Travelin’ McCoury’s CD on a road trip to South Dakota last summer, so it’s nice to see Del’s boys pick up a bluegrass Grammy. Here’s their cover of Passenger’s Let Her Go

In non-Grammy news, check out this Lee Ann Womack cover by Maddie & Tae: A Little Past Little Rock . This is the sort of organic sound I hoped to hear from Runaway June’s and Farewell Angelina’s EPs.


2/9/19 Grammy Connections

Grammy Connect

The project collected data from over fourteen million articles to show how various artists are connected, however slightly.

I doubt we’ll bother watching the Grammys tomorrow, because most of the country and roots awards aren’t televised. We’ll probably tape the show, read a recap, and decide if there’s anything worth going back to watch.

The Boot article listing country and roots nominees

In an unrelated note, I’ll note that Jason Isbell posted a link to sign up for the email list for “Shoalsfest.” No details were given, but I can imagine him putting together a very nice festival in northwest Alabama. He’s headlining the Tuscaloosa deal that I’m going to next month, so maybe he’ll give more information then.

Speaking of concerts, I looked into a George Strait concert that went on sale yesterday. The tickets started at $181 plus fees at a new 14,000-seat venue in Fort Worth in November. Even at that, there were only single tickets available, and the next price tier up was $675. Sorry, George, but I’m not paying that to see anyone do anything.

2/8/19 New Music

In addition to the many Austin-area albums mentioned in the article yesterday, there are new albums from Jacob Bryant, Andrea Goodman, Sister Hazel, Sean McConnell, Jason Ringenberg, Amy McCarley, Marley’s Ghost, Spence Koehler, and The Wallens.

Rebecca Loebe’s style is closer to “Americana folk-pop” than “Texas Regional Radio country.” Her video Ghosts shows off the park in Austin where I happen to be while typing this Thursday afternoon. Daisy O’Connor is in the video, and she also has a new album. When I saw Rebecca Loebe was at the now-closed Threadgill’s during SXSW with the group Nobody’s Girl, which released an EP last year. Betty Soo, who is in that group, is also part of Charlie Faye & The Fayettes – yet another Austin act with a new album.

The reason I was in Austin yesterday was to see Colter Wall’s free in-store at Waterloo Records. He started off with a new song, too. IMG_20190207_190429_148

One of the acts scheduled for the Tuscaloosa Bicentennial next month is Moon Taxi. I’m not very familiar with their work, but here’s their new Kacey Musgraves cover video: Slow Burn

From northern Italy, here’s Paolo Nunin Band’s brand new song: Jump The Fence

Also from Italy, Cris Mantello’s new video for “I Wanna Play The Steel Guitar” is on his Facebook page, but doesn’t appear to be available on YouTube yet. Here’s one of his songs from a couple of years ago that I included on a YouTube list: Swiss Mountains Stomp.

Brooks and Dunn announced that they will release an album remaking their hits with current acts. Most of the names are the current radio people like Luke Combs and Kane Brown, but note that Tyler Booth is also on there. The young Kentucky native had a song on my 2018 list.

2/6/19 Carolina Blue

The album “I Hear Bluegrass Calling” will be released on Amazon and other major outlets Friday, but has been on Bandcamp for a couple of weeks: Carolina Blue album

They will be the special guest performers at the southeastern fiddle festival in Fayette, Alabama in May.

Also, we saw Nate Guthrie in San Marcos today. He plays mandolin and guitar, writes and sings, and might even tell a joke or two. Here’s Nate’s page.