Support the Jim Lauderdale Documentary Project

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Jim Lauderdale is one of the great characters of Americana music, a tai chi master who writes hits for George Strait and Patty Loveless, makes bluegrass albums with Ralph Stanley, plays in Elvis Costello's band, hosts Music City Roots, and generally seems to show up wherever credible, authentic roots music is being made. But you don't have to be a Jim Lauderdale fan to appreciate Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts, the new documentary project by Seven Shells Media. Rather, you don't … [Read more...]

Saluting Guy Clark and Merle Haggard

Just a couple quick tips on under-the-radar tributes to two country songwriting superheroes, Guy Clark and Merle Haggard. If you 'like' us on Facebook, you might have already checked these out based on links we shared earlier in the week, so this is mostly for all the folks that keep up with us by other means. Guy Clark Week > Shark Week The Los Angeles Americana music blog Turnstyled Junkpiled has named Guy Clark its 'Pimp of the Week,' and festivities over there have so far included a … [Read more...]

Awesome Stuff Department: Hear New Albums from Darrell Scott and Gretchen Peters

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Boy, are you ever in luck. Two of the best-written albums you'll hear all year - which both happen to hit the market next Tuesday, January 31 - are available for streaming right now. Gretchen Peters has Hello Cruel World up at Performing Songwriter. If you grabbed that free sampler we steered you toward last month, you know that you need to give this a listen, stat. I have "The Matador" playing right now and it's a killer. There's a nice duet with Rodney Crowell, too. Don't miss … [Read more...]

See You at the Goat Rodeo?

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I never foresaw writing the term "goat rodeo" in my day planner. But that's just where I'll be on January 31, when The Goat Rodeo Sessions LIVE featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Stuart Duncan and guest vocalist Aoife O’Donovan broadcasts from the House of Blues in Boston to more than 430 movie theaters around the country. Including one just a few miles from Country California headquarters - and at a special discounted Tuesday price, to boot! The ticket price will vary from location … [Read more...]

Stocking Stuffers: Eleven 2011 Country Albums for Cheap

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So you did your best to keep up with 2011, but at some point it got away from you. Amazon MP3 is making it easier than ever to get back up to speed. Among their list of 1,000 albums available for $5 apiece through January are the following worthwhile 2011 country releases, most of which begat a Prime Cut or two. Give them as gifts (Amazon now allows you to gift MP3s) or treat yourself while the price is right. Click any cover image to go to the download page. … [Read more...]

Awesome Stuff Department: Gretchen Peters Retrospective

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As part of the promotional build-up to the new album she's putting out next month (Hello Cruel World), Gretchen Peters is offering a generous 15-song career retrospective for FREE through NoiseTrade. Just punch in your email address and zip code and the download link will appear in your inbox. This is Gretchen Peters, writer of "Independence Day," "Chill of an Early Fall," "The Secret of Life,"and "If Heaven." The same Gretchen Peters whose collaboration with Tom Russell, One to the Heart, … [Read more...]

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2011 Cheat Sheet

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With the 11th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco mere days away - and the full schedule finally available on the event website - it's time for our helpful rundown of where you should be when for the optimal country/roots music experience. Obviously, when Robert Earl Keen, Steve Earle & the Dukes, and the Flatlanders are performing free shows on different stages in the exact same time slot, it's pretty hard to go wrong wherever you might stumble. But here's the itinerary … [Read more...]