Archive for the Steve Earle Category

Notes: One Wild Weekend Ahead

Posted in Allison Moorer, Brendon James Wright, Chris Knight, Gillian Welch, Justin Townes Earle, Kasey Chambers, Shane Nicholson, Steve Earle, The Felice Brothers, The Steeldrivers, Van Eaton and Friends on August 13, 2009 by AmericanaPulse
This is a HUGE musical weekend in Knoxville, and I’ll tell you all about it… but first…

***I want to start off this post by wishing a Happy Anniversary to Steve Earle and Allison Moorer. The Americana power couple celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary on Tuesday.

I still remember when I first heard the rumours that the two were becoming involved with each other. In fact, I think I probably had the info a little sooner than most outside observers. I got the scoop from my music director at the time, who had heard it directly from an “industry insider,” who probably got it from Allison’s hairdresser’s cousin’s friend. That’s the way these things typically get started… right?

Anyway, I quickly dismissed the rumours as false. He was too old for her, and she was too pretty for him. It couldn’t be true.

Only, it was. And it is. And they still seem to be going strong. So here’s to four years together for Steve and Allison. May there be many more happy years and great music in their future. Here’s a tune Steve Earle wrote about his bride. It comes from 2008’s Washington Square Serenade.

Steve Earle: Sparkle & Shine (Buy Album)

***Now… on to this weekend’s festivities. It’s one of those weekends where you get really excited once you hear of all the shows, and all of the artists, that are coming to town, and then immediately get upset once you realize that there is no way to see them all. It almost breaks my heart to list all the acts I won’t be seeing this weekend.

It starts Thursday night when Brendan James Wright and the Wrongs play a free show as part of the new “Old City Live” concert series. I’m working late at my day job Thursday night… so no show for me.

Friday night is even worse. Chris Knight just added a date at The Shed in Maryville, and there’s also this thing at the World’s Fair Park called The Big Surprise Tour… maybe you’ve heard of it. The Old Crow Medicine Show, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Justin Townes Earle, and The Felice Brothers. Apparently, it’s one of those shows where everybody plays with everybody else and no two shows are the same. It’s a once in a lifetime show with a once in a lifetime collection of talent… and I’ll on the air at WDVX and completely unable to attend.
Never fear though… Payton from This Mornin’ I am Born Again is making the trip from Texas to Tennessee for the Big Surprise show. I’m sure he’ll share his impressions of the show with us once he makes it back to Texas. In the meantime, you can go to his site to hear some live tracks from the Big Surprise participants.

***Saturday night, I finally get to see a show for myself when Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson come to the Bijou Theatre. I’m choosing not to think about the fact that I have to miss out on seeing my friends Van Eaton of Van Eaton and Friends and Chris Stapleton of The Steeldrivers play as part of Stringtime in the Smokies to do it.

Instead, I’m looking forward to finally meeting the artist who probably did more than any other in terms of pulling me into the world of Americana Music. She introduced me to so many great artists, and literally changed my musical world. I’m fairly certain that I would not be writing this blog or working at WDVX if not for my first chance encounter with her music. I’ll be able to thank her for that on Saturday. What’s more… I’ll get to introduce her to the crowd at the Bijou as well. I’ll be emceeing the show.
It almost makes up for missing everything else this weekend.
Here’s one from Kasey and Shane’s 2008 release Rattlin’ Bones (one of my favorites of ’08), and a live track of Kasey covering Lucinda Williams’ “Changed the Locks.”
Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson: Once in a While (Buy Album)
Kasey Chambers: Changed the Locks (Buy Music)

Links: Because it’s been a few days

Posted in Buddy and Julie Miller, Patty Griffin, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle on January 19, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to write this weekend… so here is some other stuff from around the blogs that you might be interested in.

*Ramblings on Music, Texas, Etc… has some more info on the new Buddy & Julie Miller disc that is coming out March 3rd. If you visit, you can see the Electronic Press Kit for the new album and the album cover (which I have posted above).

Ramblings also has some info about the next Patty Griffin album.

*I am Fuel, You are Friends has the scoop on the next Steve Earle project. Earle’s next album will be a collection of Townes Van Zandt covers. Earle already honored his late friend by naming his son (Justin Townes Earle) after him. Now he honors him again by keeping his music alive.

*You can still vote for your favorite albums of 2008 over at No Depression’s new website. I’ve already sent my vote in.

*What’s going on with Ryan Adams anyway? Is he quitting the music biz or just taking a break? This Mornin’ I am Born Again attempts to answer those questions.

Hopefully, he’s just taking some time off to recapture his muse. Here’s one of my favorite Ryan Adams songs from his solo debut Heartbreaker. This is how Ryan sounds when he’s at his best… someplace I don’t think he’s been for a while. Maybe he just needs a break.

Ryan Adams: Come Pick Me Up (Buy Album)

Americana Music Awards: Nominees Super Post

Posted in Alison Krauss, Americana Music Awards, Drive-By Truckers, Hayes Carll, James McMurtry, Jim Lauderdale, Kane Welch Kaplan, Levon Helm, Robert Plant, Steve Earle, The Avett Brothers on September 11, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the upcoming Americana Honors and Awards Show. Since it’s coming up next week, I thought I’d better get back on the ball. You can find my previous posts on the Awards here. A full list of this year’s nominees can be found here (scroll down).

Last month, I started this whole series on the awards nominees by listing the five songs nominated for Song of the Year. Four of the five nominated songs come from albums nominated for Album of the Year. Since I wrote fairly extensively about the artists in that post, I’m not going to write about them again. Instead, here is a list of the nominees with another track from each album.

The nominees are…

Raising Sand from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Just Us Kids from James McMurtry
Trouble in Mind from Hayes Carll
Dirt Farmer from Levon Helm

Robert Plant and Allison Krauss: Fortune Teller (Buy Album)
James McMurtry: Bayou Tortous (Buy Album)
Hayes Carll: Drunken Poet’s Dream (Buy Album)
Levon Helm: Feelin‘ Good (Buy Album)

Out of these four… my vote probably goes to Hayes Carll. If I were betting, however, I would place my money on Levon Helm. I think the fact that he’s making a return from throat cancer, coupled with the fact that Dirt Farmer is truly a killer album will be enough to carry him here. He’s probably the favorite for Artist of the Year as well.

Speaking of which… the nominees for Artist of the Year are…

Levon Helm
James McMurtry
Jim Lauderdale
Steve Earle

John Prine won this award a few years ago when he was making his return from cancer. Levon should take this in a walk. Competition comes from tireless performer and Americana Ambassador, Jim Lauderdale. Lauderdale released two albums during the nomination period (2007’s Bluegrass Diaries and 2008’s Honeysongs), is the long-time host of the Americana Honors and Awards Show, and recently took up hosting duties for the Tennessee Shines radio show. Earle and McMurtry will always get a few votes for their outspokenness and activism. I’ll be shocked, however if Helm doesn’t win this one.

We’ve heard from Helm and McMurtry… here’s a taste of what Earle and Lauderdale were up to over the past year.

Jim Lauderdale: Honey Suckle Honey Pie (Buy Album)
Steve Earle: Sparkle & Shine (Buy Album)

The final group I’ll look at here is Duo/Group of the Year. The nominees are…

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
The Drive-By Truckers
Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch, & Fats Kaplan
The Avett Brothers

Judging by the fact that Plant & Krauss were also nominated for Album and Song of the Year, I’d say this award is theirs to lose. The Truckers put out another stellar album this January called Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. My favorite Trucker, Jason Isbell, left the group before the recording of this album, but the Truckers still deliver with another epic effort. Kane Welch Kaplan continues the trio’s signature sound of bluesy acoustic folk. The Avett Brothers didn’t release anything new during the nomination period, but they continue to tour relentlessly with their high energy show, pushing the limits of their sound and bringing their music to new audiences. The Avetts won this award last year, the first year the award was presented.

The Drive-By Truckers: Two Daughters & a Beautiful Wife (Buy Album)
Kane, Welch, Kaplan: That’s What I’ve Got (Buy Album)
The Avett Brothers: Tear Down the House (Buy Album)

There you go… the nominees for this year’s Americana Honors and Awards Show. The show will take place September 18th at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The ceremony will be broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio’s X-Country Channel.

Americana Music Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award for an Executive

Posted in Americana Music Awards, Austin City Limits, Dave Alvin, Steve Earle on August 23, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

This week, we’ve been focusing on the Lifetime Achievement Award winners at this year’s Americana Music Honors & Awards. The honors will be handed out less than a month from now at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

This year, the Lifetime Achievement Award for an Executive goes to Terry Lickonia from the long-running television series Austin City Limits. Lickonia took over ACL in 1978 and has produced more than 800 episodes of the show in the last thirty years. Under Lickonia’s guidance, ACL became the only television program to ever be honored with the National Medal Arts.

For those who don’t know, Austin City Limits is television’s longest running live concert program and, in my house, is must see viewing on Saturday nights. Since I’ve started watching regularly over the past few years, ACL has brought a wide variety of artists into my living room. Nickel Creek, Robert Randolph, My Morning Jacket, Tift Merritt, Patty Griffin, Rilo Kiley, Alejandro Escovedo, and R.E.M. just to name a few. Some were old favorites I’ve seen again and again. Others were artists new to the scene or just new to me.

A few years ago, Austin City Limits and New West Records began releasing a series of CDs and DVD from the ACL archives. You can find out more about them at http://www.acldvd.com/

Here are a couple of tracks from the live Austin City Limits CD series.

Steve Earle: Guitar Town (Buy Album)
Dave Alvin: Dry River (Buy Album)

If a Song Could Be President

Posted in Adrienne Young, Billy Bragg and Wilco, Bruce Robison, Emmylou Harris, James McMurtry, John Prine, Neil Young, Over the Rhine, Scott Miller, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson on August 11, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a Presidential election this November. As we get closer and closer to election day, we’ll hear more and more bile and vitriol directed from one party and one pundit to another until most of us are ready for the whole thing to just go away. On the path to election day, and likely on the day itself, television news channels will be filled with talking heads screaming at each other over how the opposing candidate will lead our country to ruin. It will be anything but melodic.

But what if things were different? What if we could hum on election day and vote for a melody? These are the questions asked by Over the Rhine in their song “If a Song Could be President” from their 2007 release The Trumpet Child.

Over the Rhine – If a Song Could Be President (Buy Album)

“If a song could be President,
We’d hum on election day.
The gospel choir would start to sway,
And we’d all have a part to play.
The First Lady would free her hips.
Pull a microphone to her lips.
Break our hearts with rhythm and blues.
Steve Earle would anchor the news.”

I’ve been thinking about this song quite a bit lately. Not so much about a song becoming President… more about what it would sound like if Steve Earle actually anchored the news. Earle is known to be very opinionated and outspoken when it comes to politics. Would he be able to stay objective behind the anchors desk? Would he expose the stories that other news outlets avoid? A few of Earle’s songs already sound like newscasts….

Steve Earle – Amerika v. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do) (Buy Album)
Steve Earle – The Revolution Starts Now (Buy Album)

In addition to Steve Earle, “If a Song Could be President” also name drops a few other prominent Americana figures and casts them in various government positions.

“We’d make Neil Young a Senator…
Even though he came from Canada.
Emmylou would be ambassador.
World leaders would listen to her.
They would show us where our country went wrong.
Strum their guitars on the White House lawn.
John Prine would run the FBI.
All the criminals would laugh and cry.
If a song could be President.”

Again… this has me wondering what it would actually be like if these artists actually held these positions. Neil Young, like Steve Earle, would fight as a Senator to expose the wrongs he sees around him and work to bring those wrongs, such as the massacre at Kent State in 1970, to light. As ambassador, Emmylou would use her voice and her grace to ask world leaders for assistance when needed. John Prine running the FBI is a more curious choice. He could always disarm the criminals with story or a song, but he’d no longer be able to wear his “Illegal Smile.”

Neil Young – Ohio (Buy Album)
Emmylou Harris – If I Needed You (Buy Album)
John Prine – Illegal Smile (Buy Album)

I’ve also been thinking about other aritsts that might do well in certain government positions. We could appoint Adrienne Young to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Adrienne is a strong supporter of several “green” initiatives including sustainable agriculture. He debut album even came with a packet of seeds so the listener could start his or her own garden after buying the CD… and her boyfriend makes his own biofuel.

Adrienne Young & Little Sadie – Hills & Hollers (Buy Album)

James McMurtry might make a pretty good choice for Secretary of Labor. He has shown a great sympathy for the working man with songs like “We Can’t Make it Here.”

James McMurtry – We Can’t Make it Here (Buy Album)

Scott Miller would be Secretary of Education. Miller has degrees in American History and Russian and Soviet Studies from William & Mary. His background in history seeps into several of his songs including this one about an Allied truck convoy from WWII.

Scott Miller – Red Ball Express (Buy Album)

Just for fun… let’s have Willie Nelson run the IRS. I don’t see what harm it could do.

Bruce Robison – What Would Willie Do? (Buy Album)

Or we could forget all of this and follow the advice of this last song. Words by Woody Guthrie… music by Billy Bragg and Wilco.

Billy Bragg & Wilco – Christ for President (Buy Album)