Reviews: Jason Heath, Jerry Reed, Mike + Ruthy, Stilson Greene

Quick hits in Americana, folk and country music: Packed for Exile – Jason Heath and the Greedy Souls: When you hear that a band named itself after a passage in the Old Testament, you don’t expect the energetic, often raucous mix of folk and American found on Packed for Exile. There’s a lot of Bruce Springsteen’s Seeger Sessions here, songs with…

Review: Chris Richards’ Goldenwest

By Ken Paulson — It’s not a surprise that a songwriter who’s logged time in Wisconsin, Nashville and now LA would travel throughout his new album Goldenwest, beginning with “Rubblefields,” a reassuring tale of a road trip gone right. Richards writes smart, compelling narratives and delivers them with a voice and cadence that may bring Gordon Lightfoot and an earlier…

Sun209: The week in Tweets

Plowboy Records Forms With Eddy Arnold's Grandson at Helm http://t.co/SI4t01AK via @TheBootDotCom # What is it about outdoor venues that make people think they can talk loudly throughout a concert and no one can hear them? # 3-minute interview with Kevin Gordon about his latest album "Gloryland" http://t.co/4yXnVJ8d @KevinGordonmuzk #NashvilleMusic # This Wednesday at the @FamilyWash in Nashville : Kevin…

2012 Americana Music Awards nominees announced

The 2012 Americana Honors and Awards nominees were announced today in Los Angeles. They’ll be presented at the Ryman Auditorium on September 12 during the Americana Music Festival in Nashville. The nominees: ALBUM OF THE YEAR Here We Rest – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive – Steve Earle The Harrow &…

Punch Brothers join bluegrass music cruise

The inaugural Mountain Song at Sea, a bluegrass festival on the ocean, just added the Punch Brothers to a line-up that already includes  the David Grisman Sextet, Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Tim O’Brien and Bryan Sutton, the Kruger Brothers, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge, The Travelin’ McCourys, Shannon Whitworth, Della Mae and Town Mountain. The cruise…

Review: Rick Nelson’s “Complete Epic Recordings”

By Ken Paulson — Rick Nelson was best known as a teen idol whose family starred in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, one of the most popular television shows of its era. But he was also one of those rare artists whose best work actually came after his hit-making and television star years. His early hits hold up well…

Interview: Kevin Gordon and “Gloryland”

By Ken Paulson —Kevin Gordon is one of the most respected singer-songwriters in Nashville, which is saying something. Gloryland, his latest album, elicited rave reviews in the New York Times, USA Today and the Tennessean. Here he talks about the album and “Colfax,” a song about both his school marching band and courage in the face of adversity: listen to…

Sun209: The week in Tweets

Lots of snide comments about Mick Jagger on SNL from young tweeters. Did we mock Frank Sinatra? # Two very good -and very different – albums from @ToddSnider http://t.co/H6eQ9KjH #JerryJeffWalker #Americana music # 34 years ago today, Buddy Holly Story premiered in Lubbock. Historically flawed film, but turned a lot of us onto Buddy's music. #BuddyHolly # How did the…

Review: Eljuri’s “Fuerte”

By Joe Ross Eljuri is Cecilia Villar Eljuri, an Ecuadorian singer-songwriter and guitarist who now makes her home in New York. Her world-beat music conveys great strength on her sophomore album Fuerte. It’s been several years since she released En Paz (In Peace) to both U.S. and Mexican audiences. The force of her universal truths and global rhythms brought her…

Music Producers Institute brings artists, fans together in the studio

 One of the more innovative ventures in Nashville’s music community offers a chance for fans and prospective producers to sit in on the recording sessions of some of their favorite bands. Music Producers Institute, directed by Grammy-award winning producer Steve Fishell, gives artists a chance to defray recording costs by inviting in paid guests, and attendees get a rich musical…

Elizabeth Cook tour dates announced

Elizabeth Cook is back on tour, appearing  tonight in Albuquerque, along with husband Tim Carroll and Bones Hillman. She’s also scheduled to perform on Late Night with David Letterman on June 13. Future concert dates: May 24 – KTAOS Solar Center – Taos, NM May 25 – Meadowgrass Festival – Colorado Springs, CO May 27 – Cabaret – Sparks, NV May…

Review: David Naiditch’s Douce Ambiance: Gypsy Jazz Classics

By Joe Ross My first introduction to chromatic harmonica came as a young teenager in the 1960s when I picked up a Music Minus One LP called Blues and All That Jazz featuring world famous harmonica virtuoso Cham-Ber Huang from Shanghai and New York. While many learn harmonica by ear, Mr. Huang’s material was bonafide instruction that brought me many…

Sara Watkins, O’Brien Party of 7 enter Americana music chart

Justin Townes Earle continues to dominate Americana radio with yet another week at #1 with Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, followed by Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Grifter’s Hymnal. New to the Americana music chart: Sara Watkins’ Sun Midnight Sun at #30 and the O’Brien Party of 7’s Reincarnation: The Songs of Roger Miller at #35. Most…

Sun209: The week in Tweets

At the @Ryman tonight, Marc Cohn suggested that it could have been "Walking in Nashville" if he had come to Music City first. #Nashville # Great show by @TheBonnieRaitt at @TheRyman tonight, with plenty of shout-outs to Nashville folks, including John Prine. # Review: Great show from @TheBonnieRaitt at @TheRyman last night http://t.co/kRWk0QGz #nashville #blues # Review: We loved @MarcCohn…

Review: Todd Snider times two

By Ken Paulson –Todd Snider’s new album Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables may put you a little on edge, but thankfully, he’s also provided the antidote. Agnostic Hymns could well be the original cast album for the Occupy Movement, with a fair share of contemporary protest songs and attitude. The opening track “In the Beginning” makes the case that religion…

Free Americana music shows at CMA Festival

Chuck Mead and his Grassy Knoll Boys, Kenny Vaughan and Trent Summar and the New Row Mob are among the Americana artists who will appear at the free BMI tailgate party during the CMA Music Festival June 7-10 in Nashville. Shows begin at 4:30. Mead is performing in support of his new album Back at the Quonset Hut, recorded at…

Todd Snider’s salute to Jerry Jeff Walker enters chart

Todd Snider’s Time As We Know It, his tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker, is the top new entry on the Americana Music Association airplay chart this week, breaking in at #33. The Dunwells are the only other debut, with Blind Sighted Faith at #40. Still at the top of the chart: Justin Townes Earles’ Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You…

Review: Marc Cohn in concert at the Ryman

We’ve seen Marc Cohn in concert a few times, but he’s never been better than last night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Actually it was a bit of a surprise that he was there at all. The night before, he had cancelled a show in nearby Franklin, TN. Cohn apologized to anyone who had tickets to that show, and said…

Review: Bonnie Raitt in concert at Nashville’s Ryman

By Ken Paulson –Bonnie Raitt’s show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville last night was as loose as they come and every bit as entertaining. Whether explaining that she hadn’t found time to do a set list, calling former band member Rick Vito to the stage or saluting Nashville’s songwriters, Raitt was casual, comfortable and in command. She drew heavily…