Author: Americana Music News

Tin Pan South Festival: Opening night preview

You’ll find great music in Nashville’s clubs all this week as they host the annual Tin Pan South Festival, a celebration of songwriters. Venues all over town feature singers and songwriters, typically in the round in groups of four. The performances are short on flash and high in talent. The 2012 festival kicks off tonight. Among the evening’s highlights: 6…

Concert review: Spanky and Our Gang

by Terry Roland –The new Spanky and Our Gang played to a sold-out audience at Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, California this month, not so much a reunion as an acknowledgement of the way Americana music connects us to our past and to each other. With the exception of Elaine ”Spanky” McFarlane, the original players are gone. They included Oz…

Review: Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball”

by Terry Roland Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball is the antithesis of his nearly 30 year-old Born in the U.S.A.  As a writer, he has always highlighted the dark edges and ragged truth found in an America that has more kinship with John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie than Ronald Reagan. While this earlier classic was in many ways just as dark…

Lovett, Scott top chart; Janiva Magness debuts

It’s been a relatively stable week on the Americana Music radio airplay chart, with Lyle Lovett again holding on to the top position with Release Me, followed by Darrell Scott’s  Long Ride Home. There’s only one new album on the chart this week, with Janiva Magness’ Stronger For It entering at #36. Tommy Womack’s fine Now What!  is back on…

Review: Chelle Rose’s “Ghost of Browder Holler”

By Ken Paulson —Ghost of Browder Holler is a striking new album by Chelle Rose, a Nashville-based singer and songwriter with roots in Appalachia. Songs like “Browder Holler Boy,” “Caney Fork Tennessee” and “Weepin’ Willow on the Hill” reflect those rustic origins but it also sounds like copies of Beggars’ Banquet and Let It Bleed made their way into the holler.…

Tail Dragger and Bob Corritore – Longtime Friends in the Blues

By Joe Ross The emotion, power and intensity of pure and heartfelt Chicago blues are the elements of Long Time Friends in the Blues featuring vocalist Tail Dragger (aka James Y. Jones) and harmonica player Bob Corritore. The two bluesmen met in early-1976 on Chicago’s west side when they performed at a tribute to Howlin’ Wolf on the day after…

Review: Nathan James & the Rhythm Scratchers

By Joe Ross Nathan James likes to call his genre of music “Washtar Soul.” In 2010, he created an instrument called the Washtar Gitboard that connected a carved guitar neck to a travel-size washboard. He’s also wired and outfitted the gadget with LED lights from an auto parts store and plays a 3-string instrument (Tri-tar) built from a washboard and an…

Charting: Justin Townes Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Todd Snider

Lyle Lovett’s Release Me shot to the top of the Americana Music Association radio airplay chart, edging out Darrell Scott’s Long Ride Home by just seven spins. New to the chart: Justin Townes Earles’ Nothing’s Going to Change the Way You Feel About Me Now at #11, Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Grifter’s Hymnal at #22, Todd Snider’s Agnostic Hymns and Stoner…

Review: Charlie Faye’s “Travels with Charlie”

By Ken Paulson — Charlie Faye’s Travels with Charlie is built on a cool concept – residences in ten different cities for a month each, but it’s no travelogue. With the exception  of the honky tonk song “Two-Timer” cut in Nashville with Chris Scruggs, Kenny Vaughan and Buddy Spicher, the songs don’t reflect their roots. What they do reflect is…

The Steep Canyon Rangers’ “Nobody Knows You”

By Joe Ross— Years ago, I predicted that by the time the members of the Steep Canyon Rangers were thirty, they would be well-known far and wide for their brilliant performances and excellent recordings. Now this tight unit from western North Carolina could be one of the most recognizable bands in bluegrass today. Besides having talent and youthful appeal, their…

Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival sets 2012 line-up

Tin Pan South, the pre-emiment songwriters festival, has just released its line-up for the 2012 event scheduled for March 27-31. It’s a wide-ranging collection of talent, spead over ten venues. Attendees can pay cover at the door or buy a weeklong pass that offers preferred access. Many of this year’s performers are songwriters who have also had successful recording careers, including…

Review: The Hobart Brothers with Lil’ Sis Hobart

By Ken Paulson — Crosby, Stills and Nash offered up a successful template, but the merger of singer-songwriters in a group can have widely varying results.  Souther-Hillman-Furay fell short of their promise; Bryndle never took off; the Thorns (Pete Droge, Shawn Mullins and Matthew Sweet) sounded great together, but that’s apparently as far as the harmony went. And then there…

The Leonard Cohen Economy

By Bruce Rosenstein Leave it to The Economist, and specifically the Schumpeter management column, to find the intersection between Leonard Cohen and entrepreneurship. The February 25th Enterprising Oldies explores, in a neat package, why all of us (no matter where we are chronologically in adulthood) may have to explore entrepreneurship and other forms of self-employment at some point in our…

Tommy Womack: Angst, art and rock ‘n’ roll

We’ve written about Nashville’s Tommy Womack’s inspired, irreverent and deeply personal music on Sun209 in the past, and Tommy has contributed to the site with a piece on his three favorite Kinks songs. Still, his unique style is tough to capture in words. Our friend Peter Cooper succeeded with a fine article in today’s Tennesseean. Cooper wrote about the reaction of…

Sonny Curtis honored at the Country Music Hall of Fame

Sonny Curtis, a first-generation rocker and a highly successful songwriter, was saluted at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville as part of its “Poets and Prophets” series today. The program was a compelling reminder of the many talented contributors to contemporary music who are not household names, but should be. The warm and self-effacing Curtis has had an…