Dwight Yoakam, Shoves & Rope also among the big winners
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell were among the top honorees at last night's Americana Honors & Awards show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The two revered stars took home the album of the year prize for their collaboration, "Old Yellow Moon." They also shared the duo/group of the year honor.
Another duo, Shovels & Rope, also took home two awards. The Charleston, S.C.-based act won the emerging artist award, as well as song of the year for "Birmingham" from their 2012 album "O' Be Joyful."
Dwight Yoakam, who was not in attendance, won the artist of the year trophy. The Trailblazer Award went to string band Old Crow Medicine Show. Larry Campbell won the instrumentalist of the year prize.
Stephen Stills was the recipient of the Spirit of Americana / Free Speech in Music Award. Hank Williams was the posthumous winner of the trade organization's President's Award. Also, Lifetime Achievement Awards were handed out to Duane Eddy, Dr. John, Robert Hunter and Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz, all of whom were in attendance at the sold-out show.
Plus, Steve Wariner gets artsy; Old Crow Medicine Show gets inducted and more
• Five years after the release of his debut country album, "Ride Through The Country," Colt Ford plans to re-release the set on Oct. 1 with a slightly different title and a new set of guest stars.
"Ride Through the Country Revisited" contains both updated and original versions of Ford’s songs, including the Jason Aldean hit "Dirt Road Anthem." Artists featured for the first time on the updated version are Ronnie Dunn, Wynonna, Joe Diffie, Charlie Daniels and John Anderson. They join the stars already featured on the original album including Brantley Gilbert, Jamey Johnson and John Michael Montgomery.
"'Ride Through The Country" changed my life forever, and here we are five years later putting a new twist on where it all began,” says Ford in a press release. "I have been blessed to have so many stars that were a part of making the first record, and now I have a group of legends that are a part of this one."
Set to hit the road nationwide this fall in support of the new album, Ford will take the stage in 34 cities on Florida Georgia Line's Here's to the Good Times arena tour.
• Singer/songwriter and four-time Grammy Award winner Steve Wariner is also a talented painter, and now his non-musical works are getting a museum exhibition. A selection of 21 of Wariner's watercolors will be on display at the Tennessee State Museum in downtown Nashville beginning Oct. 11.
Says Wariner, "My work has been exhibited occasionally here-and-there over the years but never like this or at this level. This truly is a first for me."
The paintings, including "Rusty Tractor" (pictured on the right), will be on display through Dec. 29. The museum is open to the public free of charge.
• Modern-day string band Old Crow Medicine Show (left) was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Sept. 17 by Opry members Dierks Bentley and Marty Stuart. The band made its Opry debut in 2001 and has made dozens of appearances on the show since then.
Addressing the band during their induction, Stuart said, "You offer a whole new energy and love for country music in the 21st century."
Speaking on behalf of the group, Ketch Secor said, "We the Old Crows are just so proud to be entrusted to carry on the traditions of the Grand Ole Opry's good-natured riot."
After performing their signature song, "Wagon Wheel," the group invited fellow Opry members Bentley, Stuart, Connie Smith, and the Del McCoury Band to join them on the standards "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "I Saw The Light."
• Songwriter Dean Dillon, who has penned many of George Strait’s best-loved hits, will be honored with Broadcast Music Inc.’s Icon Award at the company’s 61st annual BMI Country Awards Nov. 5 in Nashville.
The Icon award is given to “songwriters who have had a unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers,” according to the company. Past honorees include Tom T. Hall, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn.
While best known for his songwriting in recent years, Dillon (pictured above) was also a recording artist in his own right, and charted 20 songs between 1979 and 1993. Strait has recorded 54 of his songs, and Dillon has also written hits for Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius, George Jones, Kenny Chesney and Toby Keith.
Set features guests stars Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, John Prine and more
Rosanne Cash is a readying her first album in nearly four years for a January release, and will promote it with a performance residency at an unlikely venue, the Library of Congress.
Cash's "The River & The Thread," set for release Jan. 14, 2014, will be the singer's first project on her new record label home, Blue Note Records. Cash wrote the album's 11 songs with her husband and longtime musical collaborator, John Leventhal, who also served as producer, arranger and guitarist on the project
"If I never make another album I will be content, because I made this one," says Cash of the album, which includes contributions from ex-husband Rodney Crowell, as well as Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, John Prine, and The Civil Wars' John Paul White, among many other stars,
On December 5, Cash will begin a three-day residency at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Events will include a concert, a round robin with Leventhal, Crowell and album contributors Cory Chisel and Amy Helm and a conversation with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.
Cash's last album, 2009's "The List," was nominated or two Grammy Awards.
Singer set to perform on the Emmy Awards, then star in "The Sound of Music"
Carrie Underwood will be all over network television this fall. First, she'll perform on this weekend's Emmy Awards during a 50th anniversary tribute marking two very different television 1960s milestones—the assassination coverage of President John F. Kennedy and the Beatles' performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" 80 days later. Six-time Emmy nominee Don Cheadle will lead the tribute to television's role in those events, which will include Underwood's performance honoring the music of the era.
"The 65th Emmy Awards" air this Sunday, September 22 at 8 p.m. (ET) on the CBS Television Network.
Next, Underwood will switch from singing to yodeling and will change networks from CBS to NBC when she portrays novitiate turned governess Maria Von Trapp in the latter network's live televised production of "The Sound Of Music," airing Dec. 5.
While the role was previously announced, this week fans got their first look at Underwood in costume when she released this promotional image via Twitter. She will star opposite "True Blood's" Stephen Moyer, who will play love interest and single father Capt. Georg Von Trapp.
Watch the two icons reunite 30 years after their classic duet 'Islands in the Stream'
The song will be featured on Rogers' upcoming studio album titled "You Can't Make Old Friends," due Oct. 8.
Brown calls new Luke Bryan single "The worst song I've ever heard"
Some comments made by Zac Brown in a recent Canadian radio interview are causing a bit of a stir, and necessitated Brown clarifying his intent on Twitter after he appeared to insult fellow country star Luke Bryan.
In a seven and a half minute interview with Vancouver station CJJR (93.7 JR FM) to promote a local show, Brown (left) sounded off with surprising candor on the current state of country music, circling back to the subject several times even as the interviewer attempted to move along to other topics. (Listen to the interview here.)
He began by saying there's "not a lot of the country format I enjoy listening to." Moments later, he added, "If I hear one more tailgate in the moonlight, Daisy Dukes song, I wanna throw up. There's songs out right now on the radio that make me . . . ashamed to be even in the same format as some of those artists." Briefly taking a more conciliatory tone, he added, "There are still great artists that are in the country format, and there's still artists that do a great job with a song and that care about their lyrics and it's not just mindless drivel." But then he went after Nashville's top songwriters.
"You can look on [song credits] and see some of the same songwriters on every one," he said. "There’s been, like, 10 No. 1 songs in the last two to three years that were written by the same people, and it's the exact same words, just arranged different ways."
While Brown didn't single out Bryan on his own, the interviewer asked him, "So are you saying you're not a big fan of Luke Bryan then?" Responding to that, Brown said, "I love Luke Bryan, and he's had some great songs, but this new song ["That’s My Kinda Night"] is the worst song I've ever heard." He added, "I see it being giant commercially successful within what is called country music these days, but I also feel like . . . country fans and country listeners deserve to have something better than that; a song that really has something to say. Good music makes you feel something. When songs make me want to throw up, it makes me ashamed to even be in the same genre as those songs." He added, "I'm opinionated because I care so much about the music and the songs."
Brown also took aim at the country music industry, saying it puts "songs and people on a pedestal that have no integrity to them whatsoever." Citing Sheryl Crow's new album cut "Waterproof Mascara" as an example, Brown said, "There’s all these great songs out there, and they're not going to see the light of day because they're competing with tailgate songs."
After the blog Country Music Is Love first reported on the interview, and it began to get widely disseminated on social media, Brown clarified his comments in a Tweet, writing, "My opinion is not about Luke as an artist, it's about that song. He didn't write it. I'm a fan of Luke, but definitely not that song."
Neither Bryan nor any of the song’s three writers—Ashley Gorley, Dallas Davidson and Chris DeStefano—has commented publicly on Brown's interview. Last week in Nashville, Davidson was honored with the Academy of Country Music's songwriter of the year prize.
Grammy-winning country and gospel band will visit 26 cities
They’ll likely be traveling in a tour bus rather than a sleigh, but The Oak Ridge Boys will embark on their annual Christmas tour beginning with six dates in early November in Branson, Mo. The 34-date tour will hit 26 cities before wrapping on Dec. 22.
The five-time Grammy Award-winning band has done a holiday tour every year for more than two decades. Their set list includes some of the band's hits, as well as holiday classics, many of which the group recorded for its six holiday albums, including last year's "Christmas Time's A-Coming."
"Christmas is my favorite time of the year," says the band’s Duane Allen in a press release. "The Oak Ridge Boys get to take our Christmas tour all over the USA, sharing joy, happiness, gifts, families getting together, and, of course, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Our Christmas shows are the highlight of our year."
Country band will play dates in Europe, Canada and the United States
The Band Perry will embark on its first worldwide headlining arena tour in November, with plans to perform in nine European countries and Canada before resuming the tour in the United States in February. Plans for the family band's international We Are Pioneers Tour were first tipped here in July.
The tour kicks off in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 8 and will crisscross Europe for five weeks before a string of Canadian dates begins in January. The hard-working band, which has been on tour approximately 850 of the last 915 days, is promising an all-new show for this tour, including a new set, sound and lighting systems.
On the European dates, various local acts will be in the tour's support slot. Beginning with first Canadian date on January 9 Easton Corbin and newcomer Lindsay Ell will join The Band Perry on all North American dates.
"We live to play," says lead singer Kimberly Perry in a prepared statement. "In our minds everything we do—writing, recording, interviews, appearances—is the means to the live end. To fully and totally understand our band, you have to see us live. It's the three of us in our element, our living room, our therapy session, our recess. We can't wait to bring We Are Pioneers to the world."
"We are very fortunate that we get to walk on stage and do what we love to do, and it's our fans that have given us that opportunity, adds Reid Perry. "We sincerely appreciate each and every one of them, and we are looking forward to meeting new people across the world and making The Fans Perry a global community."
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