Author: Americana Music News

Reissue: Don Nix’s “Living by the Days”

By Ken Paulson –The reissue of Living By the Days, Don Nix’s second album, is something of a revelation. It barely charted in 1971 and the single “Olena” just cracked the Hot 100. But 42 years later, the album sounds fresh and soulful. Nix was signed to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records and they had similar musical sensibilities. Nix is backed…

The voices and venues of Tin Pan South

Americana Music News — We saw the diversity of Tin Pan South tonight at two 6 p.m. shows  in distinctly different venues. J.D. Souther hosted an evening at Douglas Corner, where the room was dark and the audience was hushed and almost reverential. The club was packed and the sign outside said the room was at capacity (which happened with…

Thursday schedule at Tin Pan South in Nashville

Americana Music News –– We’re seeing good crowds throughout the Tin Pan South Festival in Nashville. Tonight, we dropped by Tapas for the 6 p.m. show featuring Steve Bogard, Sherrie Austin, Rob Hatch and David Fanning, and it was wall to wall, with people being turned away at the door. There’s another strong line-up Thursday. Among the highlights: The CMA…

Tin Pan South: From Texas to Tennessee

  By Ken Paulson — The Texas songwriter sessions are always a highlight of the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival in Nashville and tonight was no exception. Radney Foster, Wade Bowen, Jon Randall and Bruce Robison showcased their best work and biggest hits at 3rd and Lindsley. Songwriters aren’t always adept vocalists, but all four were first-rate and often disarming…

Opening night for Tin Pan South

Americana Music News — The Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival kicks off tonight with a full and varied schedule, combining songwriting prowess with a little star power. Among the highlights:  It would be easy to just spend the evening at 3rd and Lindsley, with strong shows at both 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. First up is “From Texas to Tennessee,”…

Reissue: Kenny O’Dell’s “Beautiful People”

By Ken Paulson —I met Kenny O’Dell at a press conference announcing the new Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame earlier this year, and mentioned how much I had enjoyed his Beautiful People album, released in 1967. O’Dell, who is a member of the Hall of Fame, was gracious and seemed surprised that anyone remembered the pop album he recorded before…

This week in Nashville: Tin Pan South

Americana Music News — Tin Pan South, an amazing annual celebration of songwriting, returns to  Nashville this week. The concept is simple: Songwriters perform their best and best-known compositions , typically in the round. The festival features both recording artists and those who perform only occasionally, and the mixture makes for great entertainment. You’ll find a full schedule here.  You’ll find past Sun209 coverage of the festival…

Review: Guy Clark in concert

By Paul T. Mueller –There’s no denying that Guy Clark’s March 23 concert at the historic Crighton Theatre in Conroe, Texas, had the air of a memorial service about it. The legendary singer-songwriter, a Texas native who’s lived in Nashville for many years, has been in ill health for several years; it seems likely that his ailments and possibly age…

The Zombies at Fitzgerald’s, Houston

By Paul T. Mueller –You could almost understand it if a band that scored its greatest hit almost 45 years ago – AFTER breaking up – decided to reform for a phone-it-in-and-cash-the-checks reunion tour. That’s been known to happen. No such worries with The Zombies, though. More than 50 years after the band started out in England, these guys are…

Review: Old Man Markley’s “Down Side Up”

By Ken Paulson —Down Side Up from Old Man Markley is a riveting, high velocity bluegrass album, with surprisingly potent political content. There’s been some marketing effort to label this as a cross between bluegrass and punk, but that’s trying too hard. The only Clash-like elements are the highly topical lyrics. “The corporate propaganda paralyzes us with fear, destroying our…

Unsung Hero: A Tribute to the Music of Ron Davies

By Ken Paulson — Unsung Hero: A Tribute to the Music of Ron Davies is a remarkable collection of songs, all written by Davies, and performed by an amazing line-up of artists. I’m not sure I’ve seen a tribute album this deep in talent and most of it is straight out of Nashville. Dolly Parton, John Prine, Alison Krauss and…

Sun209: The week in Tweets

RT @TNMusicNews: .@oprystar and first #CMA male vocalist of the year Jack Greene has died at age 83: tnne.ws/ZFfNAU #nashville19 hours ago RT @DougCox1: Comox Valley Record – Kristofferson coming to Music Festcomoxvalleyrecord.com/entertainment/… via @BlackPressMedia 19 hours ago RT @SteveEarle: US and Europe tour dates are up: April 27th W/The Dukes: Rutland, VT bit.ly/ZcXN2zMay 2nd W/The… http://t. … 5 days ago RT @wmarocks: The Zombies “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” LIVE at…

Nick Verzosa and the Noble Union at the Thirsty Armadillo

 by Paul T. Mueller  –This live set from Texan Nick Verzosa and his bandmates is pretty standard bar-band stuff. Drinkin’, dancin’, lookin’ for love, gettin’ over lost love and so on – you’ve heard it before. But some things here give cause to hope for bigger and better things. Verzosa’s writing is a notch better than the usual for this…

New to chart: Steve Earle, Dawes, Bobby Rush

Americana Music News — For a fourth week, Cheater’s Game by Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison and Carrie Rodriguez’s Give Me All You Got are in the top two slots on the Americana Music Association airplay chart swapping their positions from last week.  The Mavericks’ Suited Up and Ready/In Time remains in third place.  New to the chart this week: Low Highway…

Billy Joe Shaver: Testifying in songs and stories

By Paul T. Mueller—If you were looking for the perfect artist to anchor a concert series called “Songs of Lovin’ and Redemption,” you could hardly do better than Billy Joe Shaver. Legendary songwriter, road-dog performer, one-time connoisseur of chemical excess, committer of serial matrimony, notorious hell-raiser, born-again Christian – you’d have to figure the guy knows everything there is to…

Review: Beth Nielsen Chapman’s “The Mighty Sky”

By Ken Paulson — It’s the rare children’s album that delights adults as much as kids , but that’s certainly the case with The Mighty Sky,  a new album from  Beth Nielsen Chapman. The album offers lessons in astronomy through a wide array of pop songs written by Chapman, Annie Roboff and Rocky Alvey, giving parents the chance to play…

Reissue: Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys

By Ken Paulson — Cat Mother and the All Night News Boys’ The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away (Real Gone Music) is a surprisingly fresh-sounding 1969 release with two claims to distinction: It was produced by Jimi Hendrix and spawned a Top 40 hit in “Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a medley of “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Chantilly Lace,” Long…

Love and redemption with Ray Wylie Hubbard

By Paul T. Mueller — While a church is not necessarily the first place you’d expect to see Ray Wylie Hubbard performing, it does make sense in a way. The Oklahoma-bred singer-songwriter has been called the Wylie Lama, after all, and there’s a certain mystical/spiritual thread that runs through many of his songs. So it’s fitting that he was chosen…

Mike Nesmith on 17-city tour

Americana Music News — Unexpected news release of the week: Mike Nesmith is heading out on tour. While best known as a member of the Monkees (and possibly the most reluctant), Nesmith  write and recorded  Americana music decades before there was a term for it. He wrote “Different Drum,” Linda Ronstadt’s first hit with the Stone Poneys, “Some of Shelley’s…