Who knew dogs could clap?

Bonapartes Retreat letter

Six years ago this month, I lost my best friend. He was 16, well beyond life expectancy for a dog of his size and breed. It still sucked. I'll probably have another dog someday, but I'm not ready yet. Thankfully, you don't have to host a dog to help a dog. Today, I'm thrilled to be able to forward $22.77 in Amazon proceeds from stuff you bought in November/December 2014 to Emmylou Harris' dog rescue, Bonaparte's Retreat. If you're feeling especially charitable, you can (of course) support … [Read more...]

Backtrack: Steel Magnolia, “Keep On Lovin’ You”


Review originally published at the late, great The 9513 in September 2009. The couple has since split up and parted ways creatively, but its female half - Meghan Linsey - is included in the batch of new, undiscovered (cough) talent competing on the current season of NBC's The Voice. Never mind that Linsey was previously Taylor Swift's labelmate and Blake Shelton's opening act. As past Nashville Star and American Idol contestants can attest, winning a television singing competition isn't the … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 02/22/15 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. You can ask people in the building, and I can be quoted several times a day, "If you're not on country radio, you don't exist." Again I can't think of one star, much less superstar in country music, who wasn't broken by country radio. It's just a fact. That's where the active audience is. That's where they go to listen to it. People talk about, "It's a media act. It's a groundswell. We're going to build it virally." That's all nice, but I … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 02/16/15 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source. You know, to the country traditionalists, if you do anything that’s not pure country, you’re the devil. For us, it’s just fun to step out. ● --- Jason Aldean. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think I may not do any more Todd Snider. I might start over. I won’t pretend my name didn’t used to be Todd Snider, but I do want to put an end to that body of work. I feel it stands by itself. I want to put a period at the end of all those … [Read more...]

All Hail Whitey Shafer!

Whitey Shafer

Sanger D. "Whitey" Shafer might be a name you've only encountered in liner notes, but the running buddy of the late Lefty Frizzell and writer of hits for Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, George Strait, and many others is a remarkable singer in his own right. A 1989 inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Shafer celebrated his 80th birthday last year. The latest news online is that he was in a Nashville hospital "with acute respiratory distress along with pneumonia" early last … [Read more...]