– Honoring A Legend: A Tribute to Cowboy Jack Clement, a January 30 concert at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium celebrating legendary producer and songwriter Cowboy Jack Clement. Artists slated to appear include Dan Auerbach, Bobby Bare, T Bone Burnett, Billy Burnette, Shawn Camp, Marshall Chapman, Rodney Crowell, Jakob Dylan, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Nikki Lane, Charley Pride, John Prine and John C. Reilly.
– The music book blog Music Tomes, for coming back to life and offering a nifty collection of author interviews from its earlier incarnation in the form of a free e-book. Featured interviewees include Patsi Bale Cox, Barry Mazor, Robert K. Oermann, Diane Pecknold, and Douglas “Ranger Doug” Green.
– Katie Neal, for penning a lovely remembrance of late husband Chris Neal for the Nashville Scene’s “In Memoriam” cover story. Mr. Neal is still sorely missed, even by those of us who only knew him online.
– Curb Records, for cobbling together a new Tim McGraw duets compilation for release just days before McGraw’s Big Machine debut, Two Lanes of Freedom. A move seemingly designed to confuse.
– The Academy of Country Music, for filling the ACM Awards co-hosting vacancy left by Reba with Luke Bryan. Nothing against Bryan (or anyone else) personally, but he and fellow co-host Blake Shelton are virtually interchangeable. Couldn’t they have come up with anything other than another 36-year-old goofy white Southern guy known for singing Peach Pickers songs? Diversity isn’t a bad word.
– CMT, for a new ‘reality’ series called Swamp Pawn that revolves around Phillips Swamp Seafood in Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana, which “buys and sells anything the bayou serves up, including alligators, turtles, bullfrogs, crawfish and everything in between.” The show is said to include “a colorful cast of neighboring stereotypes.” I mean, swampers. The first episode will debut immediately following the season premiere of My Big Redneck Vacation, which qualifies as a ‘can’t miss’ night of TV in mobile meth labs nationwide.
– The city of Timmins, Ontario, for investing $4 million in taxpayer money on the shifting sands of pop culture by opening its Shania Twain Centre in 2001. When Twain went into an extended recording and touring hiatus shortly after visiting for the first time, they lost some of the momentum that might have turned the center into a major tourist destination. (Also working against it: Located in Timmins, Ontario, population 43,165.) Now, the site is in the final stages of being sold off to a mining company.
– X Factor champion Tate Stevens, for tweeting this:
Writing with johnrich we determined that #jesus did not turn the water into Dr.Pepper!!