Tuesday, June 28, 2016

TV Alert - Dr. Ralph Stanley's Funeral To Be Broadcast Live

Dr. Ralph Stanley's funeral will not only be open to the public today, but will also be broadcast live on WYMT (If you click the link it will take you to the live streaming feed of the TV station).

The funeral will take place deep in the hills of Virginia at the Hills of Home Park, where the Dr. Ralph Stanley Annual Hills of Home Memorial Weekend Bluegrass Festival takes place for almost five decades.

Pallbearers will be close family members, son Ralph Stanley II, grandsons Ralph Stanley III, Nathan Stanley, Evan Stout, son-in-laws Bryan Marshall and Jason Armes as well as Walter Carlton. 
Honorary pallbearers will be Ricky Skaggs, Josh Turner, Jim Lauderdale, Dewey Brown, Ralph Murphy, Bobby Hammons, and all Clinch Mountain Boys in attendance.

The funeral starts at 6pm (5pm CDT, 12am Central European Time) and will feature  a Masonic Service (Freimaurer), as Stanley was a member of the masons, Frank Newsome and Eva Murphy will be officiating the funeral and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 8979 will conduct a VFW graveside service to honor Stanley's service in the US Army during World War II.  

Clinch Mountain Boys member and former bassist (1951 - 1966), the late George Shuffler was quoted in the Bristol Herald Courier: 
“That little feller left the mountains and took this music all over the world,” Shuffler said. “But the mountains never left him.” 

The music videos below feature two of the honorary pallbearers together with Dr. Ralph Stanley, Jim Lauderdale in the first one doing "I Feel Like Singing Today" from Merlefest and fiddler Dewey Brown with the Clinch Mountain Boys doing "Orange Blossom Special" at Dewey Fest.

Sources: Bristol Herald Courier, YouTube, WYMT, Ralph Stanley Festival, Ralph Stanley FB

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bluegrass Patriarch Ralph Stanley Passes At 89

Bluegrass Music Patriarch - Ralph Stanley 2/25/27 - 6/23/16 -  -   - Photo © Michael Wilson / Webster PR

Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday from difficulties with skin cancer. He was 89.

Stanley was born and raised in southwest Virginia, a land of coal mines and deep forests where he and his brother formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. Their father would sing them old traditional songs like "Man of Constant Sorrow," while their mother, a banjo player, taught them the old-time clawhammer style, in which the player's fingers strike downward at the strings in a rhythmic style.

Heavily influenced by Grand Ole Opry star Bill Monroe, the brothers fused Monroe's rapid rhythms with the mountain folk songs from groups such as the Carter Family, who hailed from this same rocky corner of Virginia.

The Stanleys created a distinctive three-part harmony that combined the lead vocal of Carter with Ralph's tenor and an even higher part sung by bandmate Pee Wee Lambert. Carter's romantic songwriting professed a deep passion for the rural landscape, but also reflected on lonesomeness and personal losses.

Songs like "The Lonesome River," uses the imagery of the water to evoke the loss of a lover, and "White Dove," describes the mourning and suffering after the death of a mother and father. In 1951, they popularized "Man of Constant Sorrow," which was also later recorded by Bob Dylan in the '60s.

The brothers were swept into the burgeoning folk movement and they toured the country playing folk and bluegrass festivals during the '60s, including the Newport Folk Festival in 1959 and 1964.

But when Carter died of liver disease in 1966, Ralph wasn't sure he could continue. His brother had been the main songwriter, lead singer and front man, and Ralph, by his own account, was withdrawn and shy, although he had overcome some of his early reticence.

"Within weeks of his passing, I got phone calls and letters and telegrams and they all said don't quit. They said, 'We've always been behind you and Carter, but now we'll be behind you even more because we know you'll need us,'" Stanley told The Associated Press in 2006.

After Carter's death, Ralph drew even deeper from his Appalachian roots, adopting the a cappella singing style of the Primitive Baptist church where he was raised. He reformed the Clinch Mountain Boys band to include Ray Cline, vocalist Larry Sparks and Melvin Goins. He would change the lineup of the band over the years, later including Jack Cooke, and mentored younger artists like Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs, who also performed with him.

Dylan and Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia praised his work and, in the case of Dylan, joined him for a remake of the Stanley Brothers' "Lonesome River" in 1997.

He was given an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in 1976, and he was often introduced as "Dr. Ralph Stanley." He performed at the inaugurations of U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, was given a "Living Legends" medal from the Library of Congress and a National Medal of Arts presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and President George W. Bush. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

But at age 73, he was introduced to a new generation of fans in 2000 due to his chilling a cappella dirge "O Death" from the hit Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" movie soundtrack. The album was a runaway hit, topping the Billboard 200 chart, as well as the country albums and soundtrack charts, and sold millions of copies.

"O Death" - Live

He won a Grammy for best male country vocal performance in 2002 — beating out Tim McGraw, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett — and was the focus of a successful tour and documentary inspired by the soundtrack. The soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, also won a Grammy for album of the year. The following year he and Jim Lauderdale would win a Grammy for best bluegrass album for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines."

Fun moment at the Grand Ole Opry - Jim Lauderdale, Ralph Stanley - She's Lookin' At Me

He said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2002 that younger people were coming to see his shows and hear his "old time music," and was enjoying the belated recognition.

"I wish it had come 25 years sooner," he said. "I am still enjoying it, but I would have had longer to enjoy it."

Despite health problems, he continued to record and tour into his 80s, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin.

Stanley was born in Big Spraddle, Virginia and lived in Sandy Ridge outside of Coeburn, Virginia. His mother was Lucy Jane Smith Stanley and his father was Lee Stanley. He is survived by his wife Jimmie Stanley – they were to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on July 2nd. He is also survived by his children: Lisa Stanley Marshall, Tonya Armes Stanley and Ralph Stanley II; His grandchildren: Nathan Stanley, Amber Meade Stanley, Evan Stout, Ashley Marshall, Alexis Marshall, Taylor Stanley, and Ralph Stanley III; and great grandchild Mckenzie Stanley. Memorial service details are pending and will be announced shortly.

Source: Kirt Webster, YouTube

Bobby Bridger Debuts "Absaroka" video

In September of last year, Texas-based poet-laureate, painter, actor and singer/songwriter, Bobby Bridger released his first album in more than a dozen years "VAGABOND HEART."

Besides seven originals by Bridger, the title of the album came from lyrics to the tune "Stages" one of three cover songs, Bobby recorded:

"I’ve lived my life with a vagabond’s heart."

The whole background story to "Stages" is almost a blog in itself and I will reveal that, when I will be reviewing "VAGABOND HEART," produced by Bobby and Austin guitar great John Inmon, in it's entirety at a later date.

As Bobby Bridger put it on his website:

"Vagabond Heart lyrically explores the migration of the human heart and its love affair with the majesty of nature; its instinctive desire to prophesize unique directions; the ambiguity of the truth; the transient, cyclical nature of the heroic; the magnetic enchantment of the stars; the power of surrendering to change; the love of all sentient beings; a lover’s betrayal; of following beckoning internal voices; and of seeking answers and finding surprises."

To make a video of the opening track "Absaroka," a mountain range and part of the Rockies on the eastern part of Yellowstone Nationalpark, Bobby started looking around to find aerial footage to use with his song. He got lucky and found some beautiful stock videography that beautifully frames his lyrics to "Absaroka:"

Golden Eagle soaring upward

drawing circles in the sky...

Cut and edited by Bridger and featuring his son Gabriel Bridger Durham as harmony singer, like on the album "Absaroka" takes you on a journey, where nature still seems to be pristine and unadulterated, but watch by yourself.

Sources: YouTube and http://www.bobbybridgermusic.com/ where you also find your links to download the song and the album.

Wanna Sell Weed For Willie Nelson? // FarmAid Line Up

When I tell friends that I did Willie two favors in spring of 1988 in Switzerland, their first question always is: "Did you get Willie some pot and what was the other thing you did?" 

No I didn't get him any smoke, even though I would have had the resources to get him some of the best Black Afghan hash, that was circulating in the air about that time. Which is bragging, that stuff was everywhere at that time and a short tram ride to a street park less than a mile away would have fulfilled his unsaid wishes.

But no, Willie just wanted to put the sweats on and go for a work out. and I organized him a gym where he could go incognito and be not bothered by other patron's of the fitness studio.

My first cover shot on a that day's major newspaper "The Sonntagszeitung" with a Willie  interview I penned with the guy who got me into the paper did it's magic too.

And while all that may have gotten me some perks from Willie and his Family (actually the late Poodie, Willie's longtime road manager)  over the years to go see some of his shows and hang on the bus, it may prevent me from applying for a job for Willie's new endeavor of selling "Willie Reserve" - yes they are currently hiring - for not being connected enough in the smoking business anymore. My THC free lifestyle for over a decade, well almost free, one or two joints a year don't really leave a piss mark on the scale, may take me out for qualifying. And then there are some other hurdles: "This position is open to Colorado state residents who currently hold or are qualified to hold a Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) Badge."

So if you live in CO and have the required MED badge, you may apply for one of the five jobs being offered: Compliance Officer, Bookkeeper/ Admin / Office Assistant, Production Manager, Sales Director or Extractor. I just hope the bookkeeper will be a bit more spot-on with crunching the numbers and less in a haze then the former accountant that left Willie (and some of his friends) financially in the dust and in debt to the I.R.S.

Smoking "Willie Weed" as it is slangy re(e)ferred to in Austin, may get you into trouble and you may besides screwing your math up, miss out on a party you are invited to hang with basketball great Charles Barkley, as Toby had to confess to "True Country TV" in an interview . The good thing about it is though, Toby came up with a funny song, he co-wrote with his hit supplier Scotty Emerick "I Will Never Smoke Weed With Willie Nelson Again," which they presented to him on his 70th Birthday TV show special.

Toby Keith - Interview

And when all is said and done, just "Roll Me Up And Smoke Me." Below is a live encore version from FarmAid 2014.

Talking about FarmAid, Willie also just announced the newest incarnation of the by now over 30 year old benefit event. It will take place September, 17 in Bristow, Vrigina with the following line up. Besides Willie, there will be the three other directors of the non-profit organisation performing: Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds. Other acts include Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Jamey Johnson, Margo Price, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Carlene Carter and Insects Vs Robots. Pre-sale tickets went on the market yesterday and if you want to look at the complete lineup a video stream - you can click on - introduces you to all artists.

The late Merle Haggard was part of the inaugural farm aid concert in Champaign, Illinois on September 22, 1985, so I had to include him in this story too. Roughly a year ago, the two (Merle & Willie) topped the country chart with their duet album "DJANGO AND JIMMIE" their homage to jazz gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and country music father Jimmie Rodgers. It was their second hit Nr. 1 together, the first one being "PANCHO & LEFTY" 32 years earlier. Watch below for the fun Willie and Merle had in recording "It's All Going To Pot," a song written by "DJANGO & JIMMIE" producer Buddy Cannon, together with Jamey Johnson and Larry Shell. But first a live version of another smoking classic by now - "Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die" where Buddy Cannon and Willie Nelson were joined by the original tunesmiths Rich Alves (Pirates of the Mississippi), John Colgin and Mike McQuerry.

Roll Me Up - LIve FarmAid 2014

It's All Going To Pot

Sources: Willie's Reserve, FarmAid.org, YouTube, Recollections

Monday, June 20, 2016

John Prine & Sturgill Simpson - Live tonight!

An "Up Close & Personal" exclusive program session by John Prine and Sturgill Simpson can be watched by livestream tonight (June, 21st, 9.30pm CST) on Grammy Pro's facebook page, according to a press release from the Grammy organisation and Prine.

"The artists will dive deep into their creative process, especially as it relates to songwriting, during an intimate conversation moderated by singer/songwriter and music journalist Paul Zollo."

The session will be followed by a special performance by John Prine and is part of "Grammy Pro Songwriter Week" which is happening this week (June 20 - June 24) at the Grammy museum in Los Angeles. The show at the museum is sold out but is available through the livestream app which is connected to the Grammy Pro page.

Prine, who won two Grammys - one in 1991 for "The Missing Years" as "Best Contemporary Folk Album" and in the same category 14 years later for "Fair & Square" which besides mostly originals also had Prine's version of Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons" on it. Simpson, who is riding high on his current "A Sailor's Guide To Earth" was Grammy nominated for his previous, 2014 released "Metamodern Sounds In Country Music" as best Americana album.

Watch both artists below: John Prine together with Jim James from the band My Morning Jacket with "All The Best" on David Letterman's Late Show and Sturgill Simpson with a live version of "Turtles All The Way Down" recorded at the famous Grand Ole Opry.

Sources: Grammy Pro, John Prine, YouTube, Grand Ole Opry

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Damn Quails Don't Fly Anymore

Gabe Marshall and Bryon White from the Damn Quails start looking into different directions.

In a surprise move, their performing calendar is stacked throughout the whole summer, including a headlining slot at the Woody (Guthrie) folk festival on July 14th, the Oklahoma Red Dirt singer/songwriting duo plus their current band members - Harmonica player Adam Rittenberry, Drummer Walton McMurry and original bassist Dillon Sampson - stalled in flight and call it quits. Gabriel and Byron announced their decision on the Quails facebook page on Sunday morning (6/18/16) out of the blue and stunned critics and their "Convey" of fans alike.

Nested out of a jam session, where different musicians would sit in and join Gabe and Bryon, the duo took to flight with their 2011 release "Down the Hatch" (produced by Mike McClure and Joe Hardy) and found an immediate connection to fans and critics. Three singles of their debut album, "Fool's Gold," "So So Long" and "Me and the Whiskey" got radio airplay and TV time on Asleep At The Wheel frontman Ray Benson's "The Texas Music Scene." (See two video's of the TV music series featuring the "birds" below.)

But as soon as the band took flight, there were legal issues with their management company and record label. Unsolvable lawsuits were filed and the band had to fight to even keep the rights of their own name, music, likeness. Basically everything associated with The Damn Quails was in question. Not giving up and taking off every night with engaging live shows, this was the only way the band was able to survive for the next two years, till the lawsuit was finally settled and the band was given the ownership of the name.

Broke and without a record label, the band turned to their flock or "Convey" as they called it and started a Kickstarter Campaign January a year ago. They raised according to their website, where a lot of information is coming from, almost $55'000 dollars to record a new record and take to flight again.
Reckless Kelly guitarist David Abeyta was enlisted to be the producer of what became "Out Of The Birdcage" which was recorded at 12th Street Sound in Austin, Texas and released in September of last year on their own "Swamp Fyst Records" label.

Fool's Gold - Texas Music Scene

A request to the Quail's publicist about the breakup was not immediately returned. All of Gabe Marshall's social media accounts are closed down. Hundreds of fans have by now commented on the split up, most of them surprised and dumbfounded. Well, I guess all we can say is - "So, So Long" and all the best to Gabe and Byron and their current band members for whatever endeavors they will tackle next. For more of their music, look below the video to "So, so long" and visit the band's soundcloud account.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Clay Blaker's "What A Way To Live" resurfaces on iTunes

As of today singer/songwriter Clay Blaker finally has his own facebook page.

After retiring from the music biz over a decade ago, "Slick" as he is also known, spends most of his time catching the surf off Panama. Yes he had a group where dedicated fans and friends would post a video or memories from his shows in the US or his many tours in Europe. But these fans and friends kept bugging him to at least interact with them from time to time.

And that's exactly what Clay will try to do, as he stated in his first post on his new page: "I promise I’ll try hard to answer all messages and inquiries … at least until it starts cutting in on my surfing time, lol."

Also announced today: Clay's debut album "What A Way To Live" from 1981 which he cut during his second tour in Europe with an A-list of European pickers from the Netherlands and Denmark (list see below) is now finally available in a digital format and can be downloaded on iTunes or 300 other internet sites.

On his first album Clay pretty much stuck with the traditional Honky Tonk and Western Swing sound, he used to be playing at the Broken Spoke, the Split Rail, Cheatham Street or Gruene Hall in Central Texas. He wouldn't start featuring some of his songwriting that then would be recorded by other artists until his second album "Sooner Or Later." Of that album "Lonesome Rodeo Cowboy" and "The Only Thing I Have Left" were both recorded by George Strait.

Besides the title song, Willie Nelson also wrote "Darkness On The Side Of The Earth." Two Johnny Gimble swing tunes - "Under The 'X' In Texas" and "Playin' Around (Fiddlin' Around)" as well as the Leon Rhodes, Buddy Charleton instrumental "Rhodes-Bud Boogie" showcase the excellent musicianship, sometimes with twin steel guitars of the European pickers.

They also shine on Red Steagall's "Lone Star Beer And Bob Wills Music" (a co-write with Glenn Sutton). Another Honky Tonk treat is a medley of Ray Price tunes:  "Touch My Heart" (Johnny Paycheck; Aubrey Mayhew); "The Other Woman" (Don Rollins)  and "Another Bridge To Burn" (Harlan Howard).

Clay Blaker, Vocals

Koos Biel, Steel Guitar

Nils Tuxen, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitars, Steel Guitar

Bob Kelly, Steel Guitar

Maurits Hitijahubessy, Steel Guitar

Ton Trussel, Fiddle

Robert Kramer, Harmonica

Dolf deVries, Piano

Knut Henriksen, Six String Bass, Guitars

Peter Kreynen, Upright Bass, Electric Bass

Steve Mendell, Electric Bass

Dik Boer, Drums

Jelle Biel, Producer

Recorded at Flowertree Studio, Groningen, Holland

But that's still not all, Clay now also have his own YouTube channel, where he presents some of his videos. Besides some live Texas Connection videos (albeit a bit grainy) from the show of the same name, which aired on TNN, and a cut of his second album "Sooner Or Later" there is a superb acoustic version, just Clay and his guitar of the title track of his 2001 album "Rumor Town," a song he co-wrote with Tommy Connors and which was recorded by a TV station in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Chances Are" Lee Ann Womack Surprises You

Quite as a surprise comes the "new" video by Lee Ann Womack of her fabulous 2014 album "The Way I'm Livin'." The featured song, Hayes Carll's "Chances Are" was already featured for almost a year and a half as a record studio performance video by record company Sugar Hill on YouTube and released as a single in October of last year, but with no remarkable chart action. The song and its album performance were also nominated for this year's Grammy Awards for Carll as "Song of the Year" (Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose won for Lady Antebellum's "Girl Crush") and "Best Country Solo Performance" (Chris Stapelton won for "Traveller".)

The record label, Sugar Hill got sold in March 2015 to the Concord Music group and that's where things get a little bit speculative, as the new video is released by user "ccountry93" and not a record label.

But by all means, that doesn't really matter, it's a killer song and Roger Pistole did a great job of capturing the singer in some really nice "high key" shots, with sun almost putting an eerie, blinding light to capture the lyrics of uncertainty:

I have watched the world go by, hand in hand

And wondered why I’m still so alone

Could I lay down my foolish pride

And maybe finally find my heart a home

That it was filmed at Texas oldest dancehall, Gruene Hall in New Braunfels helps too, instead of the flash and thunder this has become a calm, soothing video, putting the emphasis on the song and not on the surroundings. As an extra, it's cool to see Owen Temple's poster on the wall at Gruene.

On her website Womack is quoted: “Roger and I wanted to do something that was a departure, but also captured the essence of Texas, that vibe it has… and also how people can feel so isolated by their own decisions. We knew it was unconventional, but it really captures what the song is holding – and it shows the Texas that’s not so obvious, but has so much soul to it."

CMT picked the video up and premiered it for a week, before it's availability on YouTube. Let's hope that the video creates enough buzz to make that single finally crack the charts and being recognized for what it really is - a "classic" country song.

Here's the original by Hayes Carll recorded at 2010 Americana Music Festival

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mark Chesnutt - Tradition Lives

How can you not like a new album that starts out with a shuffle tune?  The "Tradition Lives," Mark Chesnutt's first album with original material in eight years, does exactly that with the opener "I've Got A Quarter In My Pocket."

The whole album is soaked in Fiddle and twangy Steel Guitar sounds, and solid picked, not "screaming" guitar licks that celebrate the traditional sounds of the late 80's and early 90's before Garth-ification and Bro-ness destroyed Nashville.

Staying true to the tradition, Chesnutt explains on his website, how he and Ritchey met in about 2005 and while they are still working together:  “He and I hooked up at a time when not a lot of people had a lot of faith in me anymore because I stayed ‘country’ when the industry was going the other way. I needed somebody like Jimmy who really believed in my kind of country music.”

To my delight, even most of the songwriters are seasoned pros or artists themselves who stick closer to the old image-invoking form of songwriting. Billy Yates (who was nominated for a Grammy for his song "Choices" done by George Jones) and John Ludowitz (several Gary Allan cuts) penned the opener "I've Got A Quarter In My Pocket" which Allan actually recorded on his 1998 album "I Belong To You." A first single "Oughta Miss Me By Now" was just released on youTube and that's how I found out about the "good news" that tradition is still alive. The single was written by Tony Ramey, who had Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raiit, Doug Stone cuts and Trey Matthews, who co-penned the killer cheating song "Cheapest Motel" for Tracy Byrd. And together they came up with a "beautiful" love gone wrong song. Even though their is no contact at all anymore, he still has that little glimmer of hope, that she will be back:

"As bad as I'm hurting, she oughta miss me by now"

 (John Ludowitz, Billy Yates)

Subtle, stretching notes over several syllables, Mark Chesnutt is a crooner of the old guard and makes us all realize how we miss the old phrasing in country songs. It was about the story and the singing and not about the over-top arrangement, the hip-hop infused cadence and AutoTune. Glad that the "Tradition Lives."

The powerhouse trio of Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and as a surprise Jerrod Nieman came up with another great ode to unfaithfulness "Is It Still Cheating." Talking about Jamey, his co-producer Dan Dodson (with Buddy Cannon) for the Hank Cochran tribute album "Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran" got together with songwriting legend Curly Putnam and Brett Eldredge and the team came up with "You Moved Up In Your World." Don Poythress, a Country & Christian writer, best known for his CMA & ACM "Song of the Year" nominated "A Little More Country Than That" (co-written with Wynn Varble and a number-one hit for Easton Corbin) has four songs on the album, "Hot" another co-write with Varble and three he co-wrote with "Tradition Lives" producer Jimmy Ritchey. On two "Look at Me Now" and "Losing You All Over Again" Blaine Larsen was the co-writer, on the shuffle "Lonely Ain't The Only Game in Town" Donald Skaggs was the third writer. Producer Ritchey can be found as a songwriter on two more compositions "Neither Did I"  and "So You Can't Hurt Me Anymore", the first a co-write with Monty Criswell and Tim Mensy, who had two Chesnutt cuts before with "I Just Wanted You To Know" and "She Dreams" and the other song with Roger Springer and William Michael Morgan, whose new Warner Brothers album Ritchie also produced. Springer, who had a couple of singles out in the 90's, can also be found on the only track Mark Chesnutt helped co-write "Never Been To Texas." The two were joined by Slugger Morisette, who already celebrated a number-one hit success with another Chesnutt single "It's A Little Too Late." Mark's current acoustic guitar player, Cary Stone and songwriter extraordinaire Byron Hill (among many "Fool Hearted Memory" by George Strait and "Born Country" by Alabama), brought a 17 year old tune to the table called "What I Heard."

As a Bonus track there is a tribute to Merle Haggard and the late NSAI-Hall of Fame singer/songwriter Red Lane ("Silver Wings", "Fightin' Side Of Me") who passed away roughly a year ago.  "There Won't Be Another Now" written by Lane was recorded by Haggard twice and can be found on his 1978 album "I'm Always On A Mountain When I Fall" and 1985's "Kern River."  Says Mark: “A few years back, Jimmy Ritchey and I were at his home studio at about 2AM, talking about ‘the Hag’ and his influence on us, and we thought it would be nice to add this song to the album as a tribute to him and to Red Lane, it’s just me with Jimmy on guitar. I hope fans enjoy it.”

To hear samples of all the songs on "Tradition Lives" watch the following video sampler:

Song List

1. "I've Got A Quarter In My Pocket" (John Ludowitz, Billy Yates)

2. "Is It Still Cheating" (Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Jerrod Nieman)

3. "Lonely Ain't The Only Game in Town" (Jimmy Ritchey, Donald Poythress, Donald Skaggs)

4. "Oughta Miss Me By Now" (Tony Ramey, Trey Matthews)

5. "Neither Did I" (Jimmy Ritchey, Tim Menzies, Monty Criswell)

6. "So You Can't Hurt Me Anymore" (Jimmy Ritchey, Roger Springer, William Michael Morgan)

7. "You Moved Up In Your World" (Dale Dodson, Brett Eldredge, Curly Putnam)

8. "Look at Me Now" (Jimmy Ritchey, Don Poythress, Blaine Larsen)

9. "Losing You All Over Again" (Jimmy Ritchey, Don Poythress, Blaine Larsen)

10. "Never Been to Texas" (Mark Chesnutt, Roger Springer, Slugger Morisette)

11. "What I Heard" (Cary Stone, Byron Hill)

12. "Hot" (Donald Poythress, Wynn Varble)

13. "There Won't Be Another Now (Tribute to the Hag)" (Bonus track) (Red Lane)

It's good to hear that Mark, a "Horizon Award" winner in 1993 is back with his 15th album and I'm looking forward on hearing the full one when it comes out on July 8th, Autographed copies can be pre-ordered before the officila launch on July 8th through Mark Chesnutt's merchandising website.- for tour and other information visit his regular website.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

CMT - New Home for "Nashville"?

According to the Hollywood Reporter and UPI, the TV show "Nashville" which got canceled after four seasons by ABC, may have a new home. Rumors are that Viacom company CMT will pick up the show. Obviously producer Lionsgate Television is near a deal with a TV outlet, an announcement may come as early as tonight's "CMT Awards."

Other new "homes" for "Nashville" are rumored to be Hulu, Lifetime, Bravo and E! according to a report by UPI.

The series ended last month on a cliffhanger, the plane Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panattiere) was riding in back from the Academy Awards lost radio contact 90 miles west of Nashville, where her estranged husband Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) was waiting on the tarmac with their newborn Cadence.

"We wouldn't take such a strong position to advocate for (the cliffhanger ending) if we didn't feel good about our chances moving forward," Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate TV's chairman was quoted by UPI.

In the meantime fans started petitions to keep the show alive, with Matthew Nelson's on change.org garnering over 170'000 supporters who would like to keep "Nashville" alive.

One of my favorite songs of the whole four seasons is the Kacey Musgraves, Chip Boyd and Jay Clementi penned "Crazy Tonight." Not only is it one of a rare shuffle in the show, but the little ditty also reflects sounds gone-by; this could have easily been a hit in the late 80s, early 90s before the gentrification of Nashville.

And I guess we all want to know if the on-and-off again relationship between Scarlett O'Connore (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) who crooned "Love You Home" in the finale, will finally expand on a personal level as well and not only as the creative musical duo "The X's." Are Rayna James (Connie Britton) and Deacon Claybourne (Charles Estes) finally able to bury all the demons and have a nurturing, not only creative relationship? Are Maddie & Daphne Conrad (played by real sisters (Lennon & Maisy Stella) gonna record together, or will Maddie continue her path as a solo-artist.