- Elizabeth Cook, for eliminating the last excuse one might have for not checking out her music. Grab her new (free) NoiseTrade sampler, which includes favorites “Heroin Addict Sister,” “El Camino,” and “Mama’s Prayers,” as well as a couple selections from her recent gospel EP. You’ll be chasing down her full discography in no time.
- Rodney Hayden, for the series of intimate acoustic performances he’s begun posting to Youtube. “Huntsville” just went up on Monday; “Nuevo Laredo” and “Della’s Long Brown Hair,” both posted last week, have already accumulated 34,000 views between them. It’s nice to see a good thing appreciated. (If you watch to the end, you’ll see that Hayden has a new album called Atascosa Sand coming out October 23.)
- CMT and Music City Roots, for affirming their devotion to good music with a new roots music blog on the one hand – CMT Edge – and a new streaming roots music radio station – Roots Radio – on the other.
- Stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia, for tweeting this to his 170,000 followers: “Just realized @toddsnider has a new album. Nice. You should seek him out—kind of a folksy, funny, storytelling guitarist. Love him.” Hopefully that sold Snider, whose own follower count lingers around 2,000, a record or two.
- The Canadian Country Music Association, for evidently inventing a new award to give to non-Canadian Taylor Swift so that she’d attend their show. From the description of the CCMA Generation Award:
Record sales, growth, expansion of new audiences and creation of new awareness of country music across the globe are all factors in selection of the CCMA Generation Award recipients. This Award of Achievement, selected at the sole discretion of the CCMA Board of Directors, does not require automatic annual presentation. The CCMA Generation Award will be presented at an event during the annual CCMA Country Music Week.
In short, an award for an international country superstar (Swift) that won’t necessarily be given out in future years and, if it is, might be relegated to some portion of CCMA Week other than the awards show itself. Of course, Swift received hers on the televised show. Because she’s Taylor Swift.
- Utah resident Alan Foote, who, figuring that “God Bless the USA” isn’t played quite enough on 9/11, decided to make a patriotic stunt of singing it 911 times in the 48 hours surrounding the sad anniversary. No word yet on whether Foote was successful, or on why Lee Greenwood is hiding out in Utah under the assumed name of Alan Foote.
- The Hollywood Walk of Fame, for giving Rascal Flatts a star. Their piece of pavement will be in the vicinity of Drew Carey and Boris Karloff, which I’m sure makes perfect sense in some way I’m not understanding.