Free speech honor for Jackson Browne

links ama1 Free speech honor for Jackson Browne Americana Music News – Jackson Browne has been named the 2014 recipient of the “Spirit of Americana” award for free speech in music, presented by  the  Americana Music Association and the Newseum Institute’s  First Amendment Center.

The annual award, which recognizes artists who have used their music to raise awareness and make a difference, has been presented to a wide range of performers, including Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels,  Stephen Stills, Kris Kristofferson, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, Judy Collins and Mary Chapin Carpenter.

“Jackson Browne has long embraced the power of music to engage and inform,” said Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center. “From his founding of Musicians United for Safe Energy to his work on behalf of Amnesty International, Farm Aid and environmental causes, Browne has never hesitated to say – or sing – what he believes.”

The award will be presented at the  Americana Music 13th Annual Honors and Awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show will be recorded for distribution to PBS stations and a special Austin City Limits presentation.


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Review: Chris Smither’s “Still on the Levee”

Still on the Levee 150x150 Review: Chris Smithers Still on the LeveeBy Ken Paulson
It’s going to be a good year for fans of Chris Smither, the veteran folk-blues artist from New Orleans.
On July 22, his complete lyrics will be published in book form and in September, a tribute CD called Link of Chain is scheduled for release.
Most intriguing though is Still on the Levee: A 50 Year Retrospective, which finds Smither revisiting songs he’s written and recorded throughout his career, beginning with “Devil Got Your Man.” The handsome 2-CD package, with full lyrics in a beautifully illustrated booklet , is a compelling collection.
Smither is a skilled fingerpicker, who draws on both Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt for inspiration. He enjoyed early success when Bonnie Raitt covered his “Love You Like a Man  in 1972, but missteps left him largely under the radar. Still on the Levee shows us what we all missed.

The lyrics are painstakingly crafted and have the feel of truth. They chronicle both troubles and hope. Sobering songs like “Don’t It Drag On” are offset by lighter fare, most notably Smither’s duet with Loudon Wainwright III on “What They Say:” “They say the good die young, but it ain’t for certain/I been good all day, and I ain’t hurtin’.”
Allen Toussaint guests on “No Love Today” and the closing songs with Rusty Belle are among the collection’s best. Their performance with Smither on “Winsome Smile” is as close to rock as he gets and brings John Kay to mind.
Both discs close with different versions of “Leave the Light On” a telling take on mortality and a most appropriate way to close this decades-spanning collection.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Sun 209: 60 years on

NBC Nightly News had a nice feature tonight reminding us that Elvis Presley recorded “That’s All Right Mama” 60 years ago today in a session that led to Presley’s first single. The B-side was “Blue Moon of Kentucky. (Its catalog number inspired the name of this site.)
It’s extraordinary that the studio that ignited rock ‘n’ roll and countless other genres is still open as both a tourist attraction and recording studio. Sam Phillips would be proud.

Americana Festival announces 2014 line-up

Avetts AMA 350x233 Americana Festival announces 2014 line up

The Avett Brothers at the 2011 Americana Awards show

Americana Music News – The ever-growing American Music Association announced today that its annual Nashville festival  will feature an outdoor concert on the city’s riverfront on Sept. 20 with the Avett Brothers as headliners.

The concert will anchor the Americana Music Festival and Conference, scheduled to take place Sept. 12-21. Tickets go on sale June 27 for the riverfront concert. Admission is free to conference registrants.

The Americana Music Association also released this list of 2014 festival acts, with more to come:

Allison Moorer • Amy Ray • Angaleena Presley •  The Barefoot Movement • Ben Miller Band • Billy Joe ShaverBlack PrairieBrennen Leigh and Noel McKay • Buddy Miller • The Cactus Blossoms • Carlene Carter • Caroline Rose • Chatham County Line • Chuck Mead • Danny & The Champions of the World • The Deadly Gentlemen • Del Barber • The Deslondes • Doug Seegers • The Duhks • The Dustbowl Revival • Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo • Ethan Johns • The Fairfield Four • The Grahams • Grant-Lee Phillips • Green River Ordinance • Greensky Bluegrass • Gregory Alan Isakov • Greyhounds • The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer • Hayes Carll • Howlin’ Brothers • Immigrant Union • Israel Nash • Jamestown Revival • Jason Eady • J.D. Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers • Joe Henry • Joe Pug • Joe Purdy • John Moreland • Jonah Tolchin • Jonny Two Bags • Josh Ritter • Joshua James • Lake Street Dive • Lee Ann Womack • Leo “Bud” Welch • Lera Lynn • Marah Presents: Mountain Minstrelsy • Marty Stuart • Matthew Ryan • McCrary Sisters • Nathaniel Rateliff • New Country Rehab • Oh Susanna • Otis Gibbs • Parker Millsap • Paul Thorn • Pete Molinari • Quebe Sisters Band • Rhett Miller • Robbie Fulks • Robyn Hitchcock • Rodney CrowellRuthie Foster • Ryan Montbleau • Sam Outlaw • Sarah Jarosz • Sean Rowe • Shakey Graves • Suzy Bogguss • Todd Snider & Friends • Tom Freund • Tony Joe White • Trigger Hippy (featuring Jackie Greene, Joan Osborne, Steve Gorman, Tom Bukovac & Nick Govrik) • Whiskey Shivers • Willie Watson

Bill Lloyd on NRBQ’s “honest joy”

Brass Tacks 150x150 Bill Lloyd on NRBQs honest joy By Bill Lloyd

I became a fan of NRBQ sometime around 1980.  I was completely smitten with their sound and vibe and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t “gotten it” earlier. I had previously never paid them much attention thinking they were simply a ’50s throwback band. Oh, how I was wrong!

They had already gone through several personnel changes in lineup since their late ’60s beginnings. I felt late to the party at the time, but it really didn’t matter as they were at their peak as an amazing live act and fearless recording artists. Their appeal was eccentric and scattershot and hard for record companies to market, but they deftly hit all the musical touchstones for me.

Their self-described “omni-pop” was a mix of classic rock-pop, country, rockabilly, Monk-inspired jazz and the kitchen sink. If they liked it, it was in the musical stew and they threw in some goofy humor for good measure.

For many, their records came with the caveat that you had to see them live where they would raise the roof with crazy-good energy. They rarely played to a set list and you never knew what was coming next. They played their own material but there was always a load of unexpected covers that seemed spur-of-the-moment, but were performed with jaw-dropping musicianship. The best part was that there was no fashion or show-biz or pretense about them. It was honest joy pouring off the stage and through the audience. I was hooked and would see them every chance I got.

During this era of the band’s career (1974-1994), NRBQ housed three strong songwriters in Big Al Anderson, Joey Spampinato and founder Terry Adams. The 4-man lineup, along with their great drummer, Tommy Ardolino, is still considered by many fans, as the “classic lineup”.

From this version of the group, Big Al broke rank first and came to Nashville to write songs, play guitar and make records and, without qualification, succeeded on every kind of level. Al’s first replacement for the ‘Q was Joey’s younger brother, Johnny, from The Incredible Casuals. He seemed a perfect fit with some really good songs and fine guitar playing. After a few more years and some wonderful studio and live albums, NRBQ went on hiatus in 2004 when Terry Adams received a cancer diagnoses.

The Spampinato Brothers went off to make their own fine records. As Terry’s health began to return, he made a wonderful record with original guitarist Steve Ferguson shortly before Ferguson passed on and then began playing with his own Terry Adams Quartet. Tom Ardolino would guest sometimes with Terry, but Tommy’s own failing health kept his appearances sporadic. He passed in 2012. Terry Adams decided to reclaim the name of NRBQ in 2011 with the members of his own quartet.

All this history is meant to be a glimpse into the backstory of Terry Adams’ amazing persistence and musical vision of what a band ought to be. I heard the “new Q” live in 2012 with Scott Ligon, Pete Donnelly, Conrad Choucroun and rejoiced that the renamed quartet totally captured the wonderful vibe that every version of the band had before them. At the show, I bought their cd, “Keep This Love Goin’”, and found the spirit of the band still in the grooves. My only disappointment with their recording was that I felt that the songwriting in the new band didn’t have the same depth that the “classic” lineup with Big Al and Joey had. I was, as a fan, a bit judgmental and holding on to old allegiances.

It’s 2014 and there’s a new NRBQ album scheduled for release June 17 called Brass Tacks. As I listened to it, I found my “happy meter” starting to peg. Couldn’t stop smiling as one track played after another. One of the first things I noticed as I let it wash over me is that it’s a great sounding record from a sonic point of view. Really well recorded and mixed with cool and thoughtful sonic touches throughout. The songwriting is spread out among Adams, Ligon and new bassist, Casey McDonough. Longtime sideman/sax-man, Jim Hoke is also represented with the charming Everlys-like “I’d Like To Know”.

All of the music feels and sounds great and, for longtime fans, covers beloved familiar stylistic ground. It’s not fair to compare a new batch of songs to the best of the Spampinato and Anderson songs from years past. Maybe it’s not fair to compare Adams songs to the best of his own work over the years.

As a fan, I’m happy he’s healthy, recording and touring. Throughout the NRBQ catalogue, those guys wrote songs that could compete with their heroes – McCartney, Bacharach, whoever.  The songs on “Brass Tacks” are also informed by their influences. I would guess that, for the newer members of the band, their influences would include Adams, Anderson and Spampinato. It’s not an easy thing to hold your creative ground and hold up a 40- plus-year legacy at the same time.

Scott Ligon must have absorbed every musical nuance the old “Q” had to offer. When you see them live, his voice and guitar covers ground that both Anderson and Spampinato held. He can powerhouse-telecaster his way through jump blues and rockabilly and then turn on a dime and sing some sweet Beatlesque-pop, one of Spampinato’s fortes. Ligon’s songs on “Brass Tacks”, in particular his acoustic “It’ll Be Alright”, transcend imitation and he’s proven to be Adams’ reliable partner in the “new Q”. Adams offers some wonderful new compositions. “Places Far Away” is an atmospheric and lyrical treasure. “Greetings From Delaware” echoes their classic “Green Light,” but is that a bad thing? Nope.

NRBQ has always been as much about taking cover material and making it their own and their take on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s  “Getting To Know You” is such a perfect choice.

Despite whatever musical ghosts are along for the ride, this album holds its own. Excellent singing, playing and bottom line still the joyous feeling that you get when you hear NRBQ play. Thank you Terry Adams for keeping on keeping on.

Bill Lloyd is a Nashville-based songwriter whose songs and own recording career has swung between genres and formats. With country success as part of the Foster and Lloyd duo and power-pop critical acclaim from his many solo records, Lloyd’s appreciation of NRBQ comes honestly. He has also written songs with Al Anderson including “It Came From The South”.


Richie Furay’s talent, legacy go “Hand in Hand”


richie 350x262 Richie Furay’s talent, legacy go “Hand in Hand”

Richie Furay at the Bluebird Café in Nashville

By Terry Roland

The story is by-now a worn-out cliché. It even shows up on network television shows like Nashville. It goes like this: The influential elder statesmen who helped found a form of music popular today, is granted meetings with record label A&R executives ‘out of respect’ to hear their newest, vital work, only to be told ‘no’ to label support for release, promotion and distribution. Oh, they love the music, mind you. “It’s great,” they say. “The best of your career,’ they add. “But, we can’t help you.”

It’s hard to fathom. Especially when the work is as good as Richie Furay’s latest yet-to-be-released album, Hand in Hand. It is reason for pause in a genre known for its appreciation of timeless, age-defying and cross-generational music. That it is happening to the co-founding member of The Buffalo Springfield and Poco, a peer of Neil Young and Stephen Stills, is even more enigmatic and frustrating.

While ageism is all-too-common in the world of music today, the Americana scene has offered shelter from such clichéd responses to many veteran artists like Johnny Cash, Levon Helm, Rosanne Cash and Dr. John. Richie Furay deserves better. His new album is as vital, fresh and passionate as any new releases from younger artists. It stands alongside the best work of his peers today.

Hand in Hand can also serve as an introduction to Richie Furay whose career spans over five decades. The album begins at the beginning of his story.

“We were the dreamers shooting’ high for the stars

Making rock & roll music, playing country guitars.

We blazed a trail for generations to come

We were the dreamers, pioneers pressing on.”

This first song, “We Were the Dreamers,” opens with a lead guitar intro that echoes Paul McCartney’s simple riff from “The Two of Us” on The Beatles’ Let it Be, but then crashes into a familiar electric major 7th chord change, which is unmistakable in its Springfield essence. He rocks us through lyrics reflecting the simple truth of Richie Furay’s legacy, best summed up in the term, visionary. His words are a testament to the sound he helped create and his influence reverberates today.

“We Were the Dreamers” is more than an exercise in nostalgia or a history lesson; it is a quicksilver lightning-lit journey through the past to present day Americana music. Furay starts us with his past glories referring to his earliest days with Poco when they were the hottest country-rock band out of L.A. on the threshold of phenomenal national success.

It’s been 40 some years, 1969

On that Troubadour stage, it just seemed like our time

Laurel Canyon and Sunset that’s where we called home

We made certain our music had a sound all its own.

Then he leads us present day to a country music scene, where acceptance of rock and cultural undertones is a given, that he helped create:

Today out in Nashville, it echoes the sound

But back then redneck and hippie would never be found

On the same stage together, a few got it for sure

Today it’s just music, nothing less, nothing more.”

For Furay, who is undeniably humble and grateful for his place in music history, these words are not a matter of pride or arrogance, but a statement of fact. “We Were the Dreamers” sets the pace as he sings about the redeeming and healing power of music, faith, love and unity in the face of troubled waters ahead.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, who recently turned 70, was an important balancing member of the Buffalo Springfield. He made the all-too-brief historic 2011 reunion possible and creatively plausible. As in times of old, he offered a counterpoint to the critical but often tense creative energy between Stephen Stills and Neil Young, rivaling guitarists and singer-songwriters. Back in 1967 it was Furay who sweetened the sound with high harmony vocals, a dynamic stage presence that usually found him dancing with guitar in hand to his own unique songs. He led the band into a full-fledged country-rock sound.

To many, during the 2011 tour, Furay was the element of surprise, the artist many Springfield fans had lost track of since the times when he first blazed the country-rock trail. As he sang lead vocal on familiar classics like “On the Way Home,” “A Child’s Claim to Fame” and “Kind Woman,” he stepped out from the shadows of the iconic Stills and Young to a spotlight of his own, less worn and tattered around the edges than his Springfield comrades. The reviews of the shows in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and at Bonnaroo in Tennessee, uniformly praised Furay’s presence, energy, vocal power and contributions to the band during the tour. In spite of a scheduled 30 city national tour, the band would return to their 40 year silence after their final appearance at Bonnaroo (a decision made by the ever changeable Young). But Furay was still restless with the creativity the tour had sparked.

Today, as Nashville producers casually bring in elements of rock music with popular young artists, as The Eagles forge ahead on established sold-out arena tours with constant radio and Internet airplay, and as new artists build on the country rock sound forged so long ago under California skies, Richie Furay’s influence is tangible.

Even so, the most common response when people hear Furay’s recent albums is, “Man, he sounds like The Eagles!”   To be more accurate, the opposite is true. The Eagles adapted the sound of Richie Furay long ago. As he tells it today, it was Glen Frey who once helped Poco draw up their set lists for their early appearances. He and Don Henley were present at the band’s early rehearsals.

Poco’s original engagements at Doug Weston’s Troubadour in Los Angeles was a high water point for much of the fledging Southern California country rock scene where artists like Rick Nelson and The Eagles would take their cue from Furay for their own musical direction. The Poco shows and the subsequent tours were dynamic, energetic, passionate and hard rocking performances that took no prisoners. Furay was the undisputed front man for this trailblazing band that saw two future members of The Eagles pass through its ranks (Timothy B. Schmidt and Randy Meisner). Poco never attained the level of stardom found by imitators like The Eagles, but their mark was felt and capitalized on.

Furay was so important to the country-rock sound that Eagles’ label owner, David Geffen, signed him to Asylum Records where he released a pair of albums with ‘supergroup’ Souther, Hillman and Furay (SHF) scoring a top 20 hit with his own song, “Falling in Love.” SHF never quite worked as a cohesive band and disbanded during the recording of their second album. This was followed by a series of critically acclaimed but commercially failed solo albums released between 1975 and 1981, most notably I’ve got A Reason and Dance A Little Light.

It was after 1981 that Furay quietly withdrew from mainstream popular music, raising his family and taking on a Calvary Chapel pastorate at his home in Broomfield, Colorado. During the intervening years he would release two devotional Christian based album, “In My Father’s House” and “I Am Sure” with the help of Poco members, Rusty Young Paul Cotton and Jim Messina.

When he remerged in 2003, the country-rock focused Heartbeat of Love was the fulfillment of his post-Poco career promise. His soulful energy drove the good-time surface of many of the songs. But it is that soul beneath the style that gives his work its timelessness. It was his prodigal return to country-rock. It also included Stills and Young on separate tracks.

Heartbeat was a reminder of Furay’s signature vocal sound. It is the natural, effortless style of his voice that others have built their own vocal styles on. But, while the sound may be similar, it’s the soul beneath that is impossible to recreate. He merges Buck Owens and Otis Redding. In his own unique way he is as much a soul singer as country.

It’s the authenticity of his voice that makes Hand in Hand is such a pleasure. His voice is in full force, driving the melody and the rhythm through familiar territory and into the rough terrain of life today. Not so young anymore, but quite a bit wiser, he is always ready to rock. On this new album, he sounds more like an impassioned artist in his ‘30s rather than a seasoned vocalist who just turned 70.

Hand in Hand adds nuance and dimension to what he started on Heartbeat of Love. It is an album of Furay signature country rock that calls up the best spirit of The Buffalo Springfield and Poco. While the album still carries the expected love songs and good time rockers(“Still Fine” “Love at First Sight”), much of the album reflects his latter day Poco and 70’s solo work. He moves into deeper waters with a global message to America as a country of people divided and disillusioned by economic woes and political controversy.

After “We Were the Dreamers” aptly opens the album, Furay turns back to his ‘kind woman,’ for inspiration on the title track, “Hand in Hand” and delivers another classic love song that stands alongside “Good Feeling’ to Know,” and “Just For You and Me,” from the peak of his Poco days. There is a gospel-soul feel to his interpretation of an obscure Dan Fogelberg song, “Don’t Lose Heart,” that is infectious, inspiring and goose-bump producing.

The album turns on three songs about the American journey in the second decade of the 21st century, a trilogy of sorts. These are the center piece of the album. Opening with “Don’t Tread on Me,” a call to patriotic unity over the politics of partisanship, it speaks to today’s polarization and divisiveness. This is Furay transcending his familiar love song themes. It’s the same artist who once reached out to his friend, Gram Parsons as he was fading into his own self-destructiveness with the impressionistic epic “Crazy Eyes.” On “Don’t Tread on Me,” Furay sings to the people of America. It is a call to unity as he cries, “My heart bleeds red, white and blue as I recall, united we stand, divided we fall,” and asks us to bypass political bias to remember our collective “heart of gold.” “Wind of Change,” with an underlying fiddle and banjo, speaks to the hope of a new day in the aftermath of today’s discouraged and burned-out America.

 When the sun shines in the morning

Bringing the dawn of brand new day

If we can just hold on until tomorrow

Maybe we can set things straight again

Before we lose it all to the wind…”

“Someday,” completes the trilogy with hope and an upbeat tempo that is danceable in the best Poco sense. It’s a celebration of the soul familiar to Furay’s best work pointing us to healing, hope and faith as we return to our better angels.

Hopefully, the release of this album will be soon. It will, of course, take something more than cliché’s and lip-service for this to happen. It will take A&R people who possess the same kind of heart, vision and energy that Furay exudes on this record to get it out in the light of day where it belongs. It belongs as a part of our national soundtrack as we walk into the dawn of a brand new day.

Hand in Hand is among Richie Furay’s strongest albums with a clear statement of both musical vision and personal growth through dark economic and spiritual times. Its soul rests on the hope found in what Furay has communicated throughout his career; that the heart of musical expression centered on faith and celebration is our greatest resource, be it for a night of good time music or a life built on the hope of things unseen, but known to be true. Its appeal is in the melodic energy and inspiration found in one of America’s founding fathers of country-rock.

 Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Review: The art and craft of “Parker Millsap”

millsap.cover  150x150 Review: The art and craft of Parker Millsap By Paul T. Mueller

 Oklahoma singer-songwriter Parker Millsap put together a very good debut with 2012’s Palisade. His self-titled sophomore effort, released earlier this year, is even better, demonstrating the kind of growth and perspective good songwriters acquire as they mature. It’s a little scary to think about where Millsap might be in a few years, given that he is now all of 21 years old.

 For someone barely old enough to buy a legal drink, Millsap already possesses a phenomenal grasp of the art and craft of songwriting. Consider the album’s fourth track, “The Villain.” In its three verses (there’s no bridge), each constructed around a different theme, Millsap sings a gentle but profound apology and goodbye to a lover. “I don’t wanna be the missing piece of track anymore,” he sings in the final verse. “I don’t wanna be the guy/that straps you to a railroad tie/and listens for the rumble and the roar/I don’t wanna be/the villain in your dreams anymore.” The imagery is straight out of an old silent melodrama, but the emotional impact is immediate and intense.

Some of the album’s other songs – “Forgive Me,” “When I Leave,” “Yosemite” – work this quieter vein as well. But Millsap is equally good at letting it rip. His fuzzy electric guitar fuels “Truck Stop Gospel,” which seems to poke fun at evangelical Christianity – or does it? “I’m Paul the apostle preachin’ truck stop gospel/I’m not angry, no I’m not hostile,” Millsap sings, later adding, “Just wanna modify your behavior/I just want you to love my savior.” Sincerity or satire? You could argue it either way.

Some songs are better than others, but there isn’t a bad one in this collection. “Disappear” tells a sweet story of a young couple moving on to a fresh start (“Leave behind the things that never stood a chance/Like your mother’s good china and all our original plans”), while “Quite Contrary” and “At the Bar (Emerald City Blues)” relocate familiar characters (from nursery rhymes and Oz, respectively) to unexpected settings. The album’s closer, “Land of the Red Man,” is a joyous, resonator- and fiddle-soaked rave-up that takes some good-natured swipes at both Millsap’s native state and its rival to the south. “Maybe Oklahoma’s hotter than hell,” he wails, “but it’s better than Texas.”

Millsap’s performing style is compelling as well. His raspy voice, which makes him sound older than his years, is well suited to the stories and observations in his songs. For some listeners, the occasional yelps and yodels that punctuate his lyrics may take a little getting used to, but there’s no denying the absolute conviction with which he delivers everything from quiet ballads to all-out rockers.

Millsap is also a fine guitarist and harmonica player, and he has some excellent people helping him out here, starting with his touring band, fiddler Daniel Foulks and bassist Michael Rose (who also plays bowed saw). A couple of guys borrowed from fellow Oklahoman John Fullbright’s band make notable contributions – David Leach on trombone (he plays bass for Fullbright) and drummer Giovanni Carnuccio III on a few tracks (Millsap handles drums on the rest). Millsap and producer Wes Sharon also make effective use of a couple of other horn players, Eric Walschap on baritone sax and Marcus Spitz on trumpet.

Millsap was recently named one of five nominees for the Americana Music Association’s Emerging Act of the Year award. One listen to Parker Millsap will tell you why.


Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.



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This just in: The 2014 Americana Music Award Nominees

links ama1 This just in: The 2014 Americana Music Award Nominees
Americana Music News - Robert Ellis, Rosanne Cash and Jason Isbell led nominees for the 2014 Americana Music Awards with three nominations each, including artist of the year,  the Americana Music Association announced today in Nashville.
Ellis’ The Lights From the Chemical Plant was nominated for album of the year, while his “Only Lies” was nominated for Best Song.
Cash’s album The River and the Thread and song “A Feather’s Not A Bird” were nominated, and Isbell was recognized for his album Southeastern and song “Cover Me Up.”
Rodney Crowell rounded out the list of best artist nominees.
The full list of nominees:
Build Me Up From Bones, Sarah Jarosz
The Lights From The Chemical Plant, Robert Ellis
The River And The Thread, Rosanne Cash
Southeastern, Jason Isbell
Rosanne Cash
Robert Ellis
Jason Isbell
Hard Working Americans
Lake Street Dive
“Cover Me Up”, Jason Isbell
“A Feather’s Not A Bird”, Rosanne Cash
“Ohio”, Patty Griffin
“Only Lies”, Robert Ellis
Hurray For The Riff Raff
Parker Millsap
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Larry Campbell
Fats Kaplin
Bryan Sutton
Winners will be announced at the The Americana Honors and Awards on  September 17, 2014 in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium. The event is part of the Americana Music Festival.

Review: Luther Dickinson’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues”

Luther Dickinson 150x150 Review: Luther Dickinsons Rock n Roll BluesBy Ken Paulson

Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues, the new album from Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi All-Stars, is the best kind of autobiography.
Country blues and rock ‘n’ roll illuminate these slices of Dickinson’s life, from his first amped-up reaction to punk rock and Black Flag (“Vandalize”) to the ignonimy of dealing with yard work when you’re a big-deal touring musician (“Yard Man.”)
“Bar Band” rings true and could be the anthem for thousands of hopefuls who never were: “Ad in the flyer said local bands needed/ lost the battle of the bands because we got cheated.”
Amy Levere is on upright bass and vocals, and Sharde Thomas and Lightin’ Malcom contribute drums and vocals. The sound is spare, but powerful.
It’s one of those rare albums that you really like and just know that you would like the guy behind it.

Review: Leslie Krafka’s “on.ward.”

krafka cover 150 Review: Leslie Krafkas Paul T. Mueller     

For a testament to the respect Leslie Krafka has already earned in Texas music circles, check the credits on her second album, on•ward. The Houston-based singer-songwriter enlisted a cast of experienced, talented musicians for this project, and the album’s 11 tracks – 10 written by Krafka and one well-chosen cover – for the most part are worthy of the all-star team.

 Krafka has a way with narrative, and many of on•ward‘s songs are stories about love – looking for it (“I Want Love,” “Stay With Me”), finding it (“Magdalena”), saying goodbye to the bad kind (“Wine Women and Song”), saying goodbye to the good kind (“The Pain of Losing You”), and finding a substitute for it (“Whiskey High”). The writing is strong for the most part, and the playing is excellent.

The music has a pop feel, with country and folk overtones courtesy of accordions, fiddles and steel guitars. Co-producer Lloyd Maines’ pedal steel helps turn “South Texas Fall” into a serious country weeper. A couple of songs (“Beauty” and “Jewel”) take a more optimistic tone. For her one cover, Krafka turns “Drunken Poet’s Dream” (written by Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard), into a first-person account, adopting the voice of the title character. The album closes with “Freedom Train,” the story of a slave’s journey west to a new life.

There’s  nice work on production by Maines and his musical partner, Terri Hendrix – the album has a clean, sharp sound that showcases Krafka’s fine voice. Maines and Hendrix also supplied vocal and instrumental parts; other contributors include such Texas notables as Riley Osbourne on B-3 organ, Bukka Allen on accordion, David Spencer on electric guitar, Richard Bowden on fiddles, Rick Richards and Pat Manske on drums, and Jack Saunders on several stringed instruments. It adds up to a successful sophomore effort that holds promise for the future.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.


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Review: “Levi Lowrey” falls a bit short

lowrey cover 150x150 Review: Levi Lowrey falls a bit short By Paul T. Mueller

When a musician’s previous album is excellent, it makes it that much more frustrating when the follow-up doesn’t measure up. Such is the case with Levi Lowrey’s recent self-titled disc. Levi Lowrey isn’t exactly bad, give or take a song or two. A lot of what made Lowrey’s 2012 release I Confess I Was a Fool so good is also there this time. The playing and singing are still excellent and Lowrey still has a crowd of talented musicians helping out. But somehow the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

One problem is the writing. While Lowrey wrote 10 of the 12 songs on I Confess , he takes sole credit on only four of the current CD’s 15 tracks. The result is that Levi Lowrey comes across as less of a personal statement and more of a calculated attempt to appeal to a broader audience. The busier production and glossier sound suggest the same. Not that there’s anything wrong with an overdubbed guitar solo here and there, but the quiet honesty that marked I Confess is not so evident in its successor.

There are some high points. “December Thirty-One” makes the case for moving on from tough times – “Yeah, leave them all behind/Way back there in time/December thirty-one/Eleven fifty-nine.” “Trying Not to Die” is about taking chances instead of playing it safe, while “That Is All” offers a bracing response answer to those who claim to know all the answers when it comes to faith: “I don’t know, I don’t know/Feels so good to say it’s so/That God is God and man is man/That is all.”

There are a couple of songs that could easily have been left off. “High and Lonesome” advocates dealing with romantic disappointment with chemicals – not an original idea, but not really a good one either. And it’s hard to imagine why anyone thought it would be a good idea to close the album with an upbeat rendition of “War Pigs,” Black Sabbath’s hoary antiwar rant from 1970.

Content aside, it’s hard to find much fault with the singing and playing here. Lowrey’s voice and playing (on guitar and fiddle) are as excellent as always, and his core band – guitarist Danny McAdams, bassist Jon Daws and drummer Lawrence Nemenz – provides strong backing. There’s a long list of contributors, led by Mac McAnally on guitar and piano and including co-producers Matt Mangano (guitar and vocals) and Clay Cook (vocals and a long list of stringed and keyboard instruments).

John Hiatt, Patty Griffin headline Cross-County Lines

cross county 262x350 John Hiatt, Patty Griffin headline Cross County Lines

Americana Music News – John Hiatt and Patty Griffin are headlining  the Americana Music Association’s  2nd annual Cross-County Lines festival on May 31 in Franklin, TN.

Also in the line-up: Ashley Monroe, Brandy  Clark, Parker Millsap, Joe Pug and Luther Dickinson.

It’s a 7-hour showcase for roots and Americana music in The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, just outside the offices of the Americana Music Association.

We attended last year’s kick-off Cross-County Lines event, which featured Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and Amos Lee. The 2014 event should be just as memorable.

The music starts at 3:30 p.m. and $35 tickets are available from Ticketmaster and at the Franklin Theatre box office.


Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Review: Rodney Crowell’s “Tarpaper Sky”

Tarpaper 150x150 Review: Rodney Crowells Tarpaper Sky By Ken Paulson

I was listening to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1979 album An American Dream the other day and was reminded of the beauty of the title track, written by Rodney Crowell and included on his first solo album Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This” in 1978.

“American Dream,” ‘Til I Gain Control Again” and “Shame on the Moon” were all big hits in the hands of other artists, a reminder of just how resonant – and yes, commercial – a songwriter Crowell could be.

Crowell has had extraordinary success as an artist in recent years,  including striking collaborations with Mary Karr on KIN and Emmylou Harris on Old Yellow Moon. His last four solo albums have been autobiographical, topical and sometimes stark.

In contrast, Tarpaper Sky, ( New West) his latest, is not a concept album or project and its tone is often joyous and adventurous. It has more of the spirit of Crowell’s  early recordings, possibly due to the co-production of his ‘80s collaborator Steuart Smith.

The album opens with the soaring “The Long Journey Home,” followed by the jaunty “Fever on the Bayou” (When she gets a hold me/Mucho me-oh-my-oh”) and the full-throttle love song “Frankie Please.” This one’s fun.

The reflective Crowell is still here, with the Karr co-write “God I’m Missing You” and the sentimental “Grandma Loved That Old Man.”

Closing out the album are two tributes: “The Flyboy & the Kid,” a tip of the hat to friend and mentor Guy Clark, and “Oh What a Beautiful World,” a nod to John Denver.

It’s been too long since Sex and Gasoline, Crowell’s outstanding and largely overlooked  2008 solo album. Tarpaper Sky is a welcome addition to his rich body of work.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun9com.

Concert review: Eliza Gilkyson at St. Mark’s in Houston

By Paul T. Mueller

Austin-based singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson brought a light touch to sometimes dark material in her March 26 performance at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Houston. The show was the third of five in the church’s second annual “Songs of Lovin’ and Redemption” music series, presented by the church during the Lenten season.

The struggle between light and darkness is an appropriate theme for Lent, and it’s a theme that runs through a lot of Gilkyson’s work, especially on her recently released CD, The Nocturne Diaries. As she explained during the show, which included seven songs from the CD, much of Diaries was written in the middle of the night, when inspiration came at the cost of sleep. Images of night and darkness were featured in such songs as “Midnight Oil” (“Moonlight over the mountains/the midnight oil burns low”), “No Tomorrow” (“And I’ll hold on to you when the world fades to black/Like there’s no tomorrow/No tomorrow”) and “Touchstone” (“When shadows fall where you lie sleeping/In that dark hour before the dawn”).

But just as darkness gives way to light, so Gilkyson balances gloom and doom with hope and optimism. In “Emerald Street,” she sang, “Whole world’s goin’ up in smoke/Love still makes my world go round.” In “Eliza Jane,” a lively song she described as a sort of “doomsday square dance,” she held a kind of self-critical conversation with herself: “Oh Eliza, you try so hard you don’t see nothin’/Blue horizon and you’re expecting rain/Lift your eyes and you just might find/You see something good, Eliza.”

Gilkyson’s humor comes across in live performance in ways that aren’t always obvious in her recordings. She introduced “Beauty Way,” a song about the musician’s life, as “a medley of my hit,” noting that it got some play on an Austin radio station and was covered by Ray Wylie Hubbard. Before “Fast Freight,” which was written by her father, songwriter Terry Gilkyson, she described how he used to put on a suit and tie and commute to an office in Hollywood to write songs, in an attempt to convince her mother that he was just a regular guy. During “Emerald Street,” Gilkyson whistled the chorus and invited audience members to do the same, first congratulating their efforts and then taking her whistling to heights the audience couldn’t match, explaining that “y’all were getting a little cocky back there.” She also followed “The Party’s Over,” a caustic allegory on boom times and their aftermath from a few years ago, with a funny story about a fan at an earlier concert who, despite her enthusiasm, completely missed the point of the song.

Despite a reference or two to her own mortality, Gilkyson was in excellent form throughout the show, holding the church in rapt attention with her strong, clear voice and accompanying herself with skillfully picked acoustic guitar and a small stomp board for percussion.

After thanking the audience for their patience – she noted that some of her new songs were getting their first public performance – Gilkyson closed with “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” combining W.B. Yeats’ apocalyptic imagery (“What kind of beast comes slouching/Slouching towards Bethlehem?”) with the social activism that’s a frequent focus of her work (“You better stand with your shoulder to the wheel/You better band together at the top of the hill”).

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.




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Best bets: 2014 Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival

tin pan 2014 150x150 Best bets: 2014 Tin Pan South Songwriters FestivalBy Ken Paulson

Tin Pan South, the world-class songwriters festival based in Nashville,  begins this Tuesday in Nashville,  and as usual, the line-up of talent is rich and diverse. It’s a particularly well-curated festival, so there are no lame rounds. That said, these shows caught our eye:

Tuesday,  March 25

Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne at the at the Listening Room Café,  6 p.m.

Brandy Clark’s 12 Stories is one of the best albums of the past year, fueled by striking and down-to-earth songwriting. Her songs have been recorded by Band Perry, Kacey Musgraves and Miranda Lambert.  Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne teamed with Musgraves for her hit “Merry Go ‘Round” and won a 2014 Grammy.

Critter Fuqua, Chance McCoy, Chuck Mead and Holly Williams at the Station Inn,  9 p.m.

BR5-49 veteran Chuck Mead has a terrific new album called Free State Serenade, Critter Fuqua and Chance McCoy are members of the Old Crow Medicine Show and Holly Williams is the very talented granddaughter of Hank Williams, who released the fine album The Highway  last year.

Wednesday, March 26

Jessi Alexander, Josh Kear and Striking Matches at the Hard Rock Café, 6 p.m.

We admred Jessi Alexander as an artist, but she’s really hit her stride as a country songwriter, including the much-honored “I Drive Your Truck.’ Josh Kear has had similar success, including writing the monster Lady Antebellum hit “Need You Now,  and Striking Matches is an engaging duo whose songs have shown up on the Nashville TV show.

Thursday, March 27

Jim Lauderdale and friends at the Station Inn, 6 p.m.

This minimalist listing is all you need to know. Lauderdale, an icon of Americana, works and plays with some of the best in the business.

Friday, March 28

Buzz Cason, Austin Cunningham, Alex Harvey and Dickey Lee at Douglas Corner, 6:30pm
There’s some pop and country  history here, with Dickey Lee, who recorded “Patches,” Buzz Cason, who wrote “Soldier of Love,” Alex Harvey, who wrote “ Delta Dawn”  and Austin Cunningham. And it’s not all oldies from the veterans. Cason has a brand-new new album called Troubadour Heart.

Later at the same club at 9:30 you’ll find 3-time Grammy winner Ashley Cleveland, Dave Coleman, Suzi Ragsdale and Bill Lloyd, power pop and country artist and songwriter, and occasional contributor to Sun209. We’ve had the privilege to work with all four, and they’ll deliver a great show.

Saturday, March 29

 Sony Curtis, Mac Davis and Hugh Prestwood at the Bluebird Café at 6:30 p.m.

One of our favorite past Tin Pan South shows featured former Cricket Sonny Curtis, Mac Davis. Jim Weatherly and Bobby Braddock.   This year’s round looks just as promising, with Hugh Prestwood joining David and Curtis.

Curtis is one of our favorites, a rock pioneer who grew up with Buddy Holly, and went on to write songs ranging from “I Fought the Law” to “Love is All Around,” the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore show. I don’t think anyone else can claim they’ve been covered by the Everly Brothers, the Clash and Joan Jett.

Of course, this is all just a start. This is a festival that also features Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Marcus Hummon, Leigh Nash, Kevin Welch, Kim Richey, Bob DiPiero, Shannon Wright, Gary Talley, Dave Barnes, John Oates, Craig Carothers, Larry Weiss, Phillip Coleman, Tony Arata, T. Graham Brown, Brett James, Rivers Rutherford, Jeffrey Steele, Tom Douglas, Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, Tim Easton, Bill Anderson, Steve Bogard, the Stellas, Amy Speace, Jason White, Leslie Satcher, Larry Gatlin, Tommy Lee James, Erin Enderlin, Jack Sundrud, Karen Staley, Luke Laird, Lee Roy Parnell, Sarah Buxton, Kate York, Sherrie Austin, James Otto, the Kinleys and many more.

Full details can be found at Tin Pan South’s website.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Review: Jim Bianco’s ambitious “Cookie Cutter”

By Paul T. Mueller

cds CookieCutterCDfrontshot 150x150 Review: Jim Biancos ambitious Cookie CutterHere’s the recipe Jim Bianco used for his latest album, Cookie Cutter: Send out the same 69-question questionnaire to each of 17 people, collect the answers, and write songs based on those answers. The resulting 18-song album (one song has two versions) proves that, musically speaking, Jim Bianco is quite a chef.

A New York native now living in California, Bianco has produced several albums of distinctive and well-crafted adult pop. Cookie Cutter is no exception. Each song starts with some background – imagined messages on answering machines, re-created phone conversations, slide-show narration and such – revealing some of the details the song is based on. The questions, printed on the inside of the CD cover, cover a wide range of topics: “What’s your name? Where do you live? Do you have any pets? Any tattoos? What was your first car?” And so on.

Taking a little literary license along the way, Bianco turned those answers into a batch of excellent songs, performed in a variety of musical styles. The opener, “Apache,” features a jazzy Latin-tinged arrangement powered by horns. It’s nominally about a woman’s dog that ran away, but it ends up being about much more than that. In “Kilpatrick Man,” Bianco spins some facts about a man’s life and work, provided by the man’s brother, into a believable Irish ballad. “Blue Subaru,” written for a fan’s two young nieces, starts out as a bouncy, repetitive ditty with nonsensical lyrics – and then evolves into a complex and beautiful arrangement that would have sounded at home on Sgt. Pepper.

Bianco has a gift for writing about melancholy and heartbreak, and many of the songs explore serious subjects such as romantic troubles, medical problems and loneliness. But it wouldn’t be a Jim Bianco album without at least one funny song full of double entendres, and on Cookie Cutter that song is “That’s What She Said.” Bianco even throws in a twist by faking a serious beginning before downshifting into several verses of goofy, synthesizer-driven pseudo-rap.

Cookie Cutter succeeds as a songwriting exercise, but this collection is strong enough to stand on its own, even without the backstory.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.




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Sun209: The week in Tweets

The week in Tweets on Sun209:


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Review: Willie Sugarcapps

Willie Sugarcapps 150x150 Review: Willie SugarcappsBy Ken Paulson
We first saw Willie Sugarcapps in the Grimey’s Record Store parking lot in Nashville this spring and for the record, there’s no Willie. This is a band of friends with considerable musical talents and their energy and collective spirit fueled a fun and engaging set in the parking lot.
Willie Sugarcapps consists of  Will Kimbrough, Sugarcane Jane (Savana Lee and Anthony Crawford), Grayson Capps and Corky Hughes, an amalgam in name and spirit.
Their impressive album feels homespun and acoustic, and sounds like someone set up recording equipment on the front porch.
Many of the songs are about life’s basics: celebrating the birthday of a 93-year-old, repairing a relationship and just working your way through life.
Capps’ “Poison” is a particular treat and natural sing-along: “Drink a little poison before you die.”
And then there’s “Willie Sugarcapps,” the title track and self-mythologizing tale of a singer and multi-instrumentalist who we need more than ever:   “Folks are suffering all across this land, Woody Guthrie’s long gone, won’t you give us your helping hand?”
It takes a confident band to name itself, a song and album after a legendary figure they just made up. Bo Diddley would have approved.
Follow Sun209: Americana Music News on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Duane Allman’s “Skydog” issued in “encore” edition

duane allman 150x150 Duane Allmans Skydog issued in encore editionAmericana Music News - The new Muscle Shoals documentary tells the fascinating story of Rick Hall, Fame Studios and the against-all-odds success of two great studios in the same small town. There’s a great moment in the movie when we hear about Duane Allman showing up, ingratiating himself with his style and guitar, and eventually urging Wilson Pickett to tackle “Hey Jude” on the now-classic recording. It’s a reminder of Allman’s gifts and his career in music well before the Allman Brothers.

Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective documents his career in impressive style, ranging from early recordings with the Escorts, Allman Joys and Hour Glass to sessions with Clarence Carter and Aretha Franklin and recordings with Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers Band.

The 7-CD set was released by Rounder Records in a limited edition in March and is now back in an “encore edition.” The packaging is stripped down, but the 72-page booklet and extraordinary music are intact. This should make a lot of “best of” lists for 2013.

Follow Americana Music News on Twitter at @AmericanaToday.




Americana Music Association’s Top 100 albums

Isbell 150x150 Americana Music Associations Top 100 albumsAmericana Music News - The Americana Music Association has just released its list of the Top 100 most-played albums of the year, based on airplay from November 19, 2012 through December 2, 2013.
Jason Isbell’s haunting Southeastern is at the top of the list, with  the top 10 largely occupied by Americana music’s royalty: Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.
And then there are the surprises: the reunions of Delbert and Glen (after decades) and the Mavericks, the always-great pairing of Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison and top ten finishes by Carrie Rodriguez and Holly Williams.
“Surprises” may be the wrong word. These are all remarkable artists in the Top 10 and we’ve seen their albums dominate airplay much of the year.
The full list from the Americana Music Association:
Artist                                                               Title
1. Jason Isbell                                                      Southeastern
2. Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)   The Low Highway
3. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell           Old Yellow Moon
4. Patty Griffin                                                     American Kid
5. Mavericks                                                         Suited Up And Ready / In Time
6. Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison                       Cheater’s Game
7. Delbert McClinton & Glen Clark                 Blind, Crippled & Crazy
8. Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale             Buddy and Jim
9. Carrie Rodriguez                                           Give Me All You Got
10. Holly Williams                                             The Highway
11. Richard Thompson                                      Electric
12. John Fogerty / Various Artists                 Wrote A Song For Everyone
13. Slaid Cleaves                                                 Still Fighting The War
14. Tedeschi Trucks Band                                 Made Up Mind
15. Mumford & Sons                                          Babel
16. Aoife O’Donovan                                          Fossils
17. Guy Clark                                                       My Favorite Picture Of You
18. Black Lillies                                                  Runaway Freeway Blues
19. Steeldrivers                                                  Hammer Down
20. Steve Martin And Edie Brickell               Love Has Come For You
21. Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson      Wreck & Ruin
22. Dwight Yoakam                                           3 Pears
23. Dawes                                                            Stories Don’t End
24. Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line   Carnival
25. Donna The Buffalo                                      Tonight, Tomorrow And Yesterday
26. Kacey Musgraves                                         Same Trailer Different Park
27. Son Volt                                                         Honky Tonk
28. Sarah Jarosz                                                Build Me Up From Bones
29. Civil Wars                                                    Civil Wars
30. Howlin’ Brothers                                       Howl
31. Sturgill Simpson                                        High Top Mountain
32. Ben Harper w/ Charles Musselwhite    I Don’t Believe A Word You Say
33. Mavis Staples                                             One True Vine
34. Band Of Heathens                                     Sunday Morning Record
35. Amos Lee                                                    Mountains Of Sorrow Rivers Of Song
36. Sons Of Fathers                                         Burning Days
37. Billy Bragg                                                  Tooth & Nail
38. Neko Case                                                  The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight.
39. Kim Richey                                                Thorn In My Heart
40. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors         Good Light
41. Ashley Monroe                                          Like A Rose
42. John Hiatt                                                 Mystic Pinball
43. Wayne Hancock                                       Ride
44. Various – The Music Is You                   A Tribute To John Denver
45. Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott                  Memories & Moments
46. Shooter Jennings                                     The Other Life
47. Jamey Johnson                                         Living For A Song: A Tribute To Hank Cochran
48. Avett Brothers                                          The Carpenter
49. Various – Let Us In Americana             The Music Of Paul McCartney
50. Amanda Shires                                         Down Fell The Doves
51. Iris DeMent                                               Sing The Delta
52. James Hunter Six                                    Minute By Minute
53. Tim Easton                                               Not Cool
54. Mark Knopfler                                         Privateering
55. Wheeler Brothers                                    Gold Boots Glitter
56. Tift Merritt                                               Traveling Alone
57. Pokey LaFarge                                         Pokey LaFarge
58. J.J. Grey And Mofro                              This River
59. Various                                                     Ghost Brothers of Darkland County
60. Chris Knight                                            Little Victories
61. Kris Kristofferson                                   Feeling Mortal
62. Jason Boland and the Stragglers        Dark & Dirty Mile
63. Milk Carton Kids                                    The Ash & Clay
64. Josh Ritter                                               The Beast In Its Tracks
65. Peter Rowan                                            The Old School
66. Marshall Chapman                                Blaze Of Glory
67. Dale Watson And His Lonestars         El Rancho Azul
68. Over the Rhine                                       Meet Me At The Edge Of The World
69. Gibson Brothers                                     They Called It Music
70. Houndmouth                                          From The Hills Above The City
71. Max Gomez                                              Rule The World
72. Time Jumpers                                         Time Jumpers
73. Wood Brothers                                        The Muse
74. Randall Bramblett                                  The Bright Spots
75. Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit            Live In Alabama
76. Willie Nelson                                           To All The Girls
77. Steep Canyon Rangers                           Tell The Ones I Love
78. Various                                                     High Cotton: A Tribute To Alabama
79. North Mississippi Allstars                    World Boogie is Coming
80. Robbie Fulks                                           Gone Away Backward
81. Shannon McNally                                   Small Town Talk
82. Mando Saenz                                          Studebaker
83. Underhill Rose                                       Something Real
84. Departed                                                 Adventus
85. Della Mae                                                This World Oft Can Be
86. Vince Gill & Paul Franklin                   Bakersfield
87. Statesboro Revue                                   Ramble On Privilege Creek
88. Will Hoge                                                Never Give In
89. Elephant Revival                                   These Changing Skies
90. Avett Brothers                                        Magpie And The Dandelion
91. Valerie June                                             Pushin’ Against A Stone
92. Gary Clark Jr.                                          Blak And Blu
93. Willie Sugarcapps                                  Willie Sugarcapps
94. Devil Makes Three                                 I’m A Stranger Here
95. Ryan Bingham                                        Tomorrowland
96. Greencards                                              Sweetheart Of The Sun
97. Buddy Guy                                               Rhythm & Blues
98. Andrew Bird                                           Hands Of Glory
99. Wild Ponies                                            Things That Used To Shine
100. Civil Wars And T-Bone Burnett       A Place At The Table Soundtrack
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