Ashley Monroe Is “Unhappily Married”

Ashley Monroe backed by Striking Matches, doing a song first heard on the 2013 Pistol Annies release Annie Up. This video comes from YouTube user Miranda Carpenter, who has a bunch of other songs from the same April 11 concert posted to her channel. (Thanks to Karlie J. for the tip.) You can debate the merits of having what looks to be a full fan-shot show available online, but I will say that the strength of these live clips sent me in a beeline toward Ashley Monroe's tour schedule... … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 04/21/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. Jake's a genuine country fan. He can get up there and do Merle Haggard. He can do T.G. Sheppard. He can do all those old greats, and he does it every day at soundcheck for, like, eight hours. ● - - Jaren Johnston (The Cadillac Three) says Jake Owen is a genuine country fan and also has the world's longest soundchecks. I'm still at that point where I'm trying to uncondition myself to listen with radio ears. I catch myself going there … [Read more...]

Backtrack: Larry Cordle, “Sometimes a Man Takes a Drink”

larry cordle

This review was originally published at The 9513 in February 2011. Songwriters: Larry Cordle and Amanda Martin As a cut on Trace Adkins' well-received X in 2008, "Sometimes a Man Takes a Drink" sounded like a brawny, neotraditional album highlight. In the hands of songwriter Larry Cordle, it sounds like a certifiable country-bluegrass classic - the rare modern composition that would have been right at home on an album by George Jones or the Louvin Brothers half a century ago. In a word, it … [Read more...]

Win Tickets to See Eric Church and James Otto at BottleRock Napa Valley

BottleRock logo

In its second year, Napa Valley's BottleRock Music Festival is under new ownership with an impressive array of "the absolute best music, wine, food and beer the world has to offer." This time around, that includes such country acts as Eric Church, James Otto, and Robert Earl Keen. Scheduled for the long weekend of May 30 through June 1 at the Napa Expo, BottleRock Napa Valley has ticket options ranging from single-day general admission passes to special VIP and Platinum level passes that get … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 04/13/14 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. I love country music. It [wasn't] really a young person's music, when I grew up listening to it. There are some people you're just not meant to understand when you're 17 years old. You're not supposed to understand George Jones records. You're not really supposed to get a Haggard album at that age. You have to have your heart broken to understand George Jones. ● - - Dierks Bentley to Jewly Hight for The Bluegrass Situation. He said, … [Read more...]

Jesse Winchester’s Country Legacy


Rolling Stone reports that singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester succumbed to bladder cancer Friday morning at the age of 69. He had recently completed work on a new album with Mac McAnally. Even if you've had the misfortune of never encountering any of Winchester's own recordings, you are very likely already familiar with his work. By the time the tribute album Quiet About It: A Tribute to Jesse Winchester arrived in 2012, the one-time draft dodger's impressive songbook had already been mined … [Read more...]

Backtrack: Bradley Gaskin, “Mr. Bartender”

Bradley Gaskin

Originally published at The 9513 in March 2011. Gaskin's only release to date is the digital Bradley Gaskin EP featuring this and three other songs. He was dropped by his label in 2012. Here's the backstory as I imagine it. Sensing radio's inborn prejudice against gray hair, Travis Tritt hires some kid from Alabama to be the face of his new music in a homegrown Milli Vanilli-style stunt. The details of this arrangement aren't revealed until several months (or years!) later, by which time … [Read more...]