Wherein we keep you abreast of all the latest news and releases in the world of country music.

Jason Isbell, Alan Jackson Star in Buddy Comedy; Best Country Singles of 1993; Ashley Monroe on Fallon

Okay, not really. Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free edged out Alan Jackson's Angels and Alcohol by a few hundred copies to debut atop Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. Both albums sold in the neighborhood of 46,000 units without much in the way of radio support. It is Isbell's first appearance on the chart. Biggest winner: Fans of good music. You can listen to Isbell's entire hour-long Newport Folk Festival set to celebrate. The Guardian's Grady Smith says that big album sales by … [Read more...]

Clint Black Signs with Thirty Tigers; Nashville’s Top Power Players; Buddy Cannon’s Mom Goes Viral

Billboard published its first-ever ranking of Nashville's Top 50 Power Players. Guess who topped the list? Underground country artist Owen Mays passed away at 32. Clint Black signed with Thirty Tigers and is readying his first full album of new material since Drinkin' Songs and Other Logic came out in 2005. Chris Jones has a list of bluegrass radio show theme ideas you're free to use, like "Drinking songs about different temperatures of corn" and "Live recordings with unrealistic applause … [Read more...]

Shelton and Lambert Part Ways; Rest in Peace, Wayne Carson; Boom Times for Sturgill Simpson

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Wayne Carson, who penned "Always on My Mind" and "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)" among many other classics, passed away yesterday (July 20) at the age of 72. He had been suffering from congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, and gallstone issues, and had been in hospice care for the past month. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert announced their divorce after four years of marriage. Red Dirt artist Stoney LaRue was reportedly arrested on a … [Read more...]

Brody and Bamford Lead CCMA Nods; Rhiannon Giddens Releases Charleston Song; Bros on the Defensive

Rhiannon Giddens released a new song and video in response to the Charleston shooting. Ashley Monroe sang "The Blade" on the Opry. The album named after it arrives next week. Goodnight Hestia considered a Chris King quote about if and how the idea of 'the consumer' should factor into the creation of a work of music or art. Trisha Yearwood's Rarities and Unreleased Tracks: 1992-2012 is not an album anywhere but in the imagination of Country Universe's Kevin John Coyne, but would that it … [Read more...]

Little Big Town Breaks a Record; Luke Bryan Apologizes to Jessi Colter; Rest in Peace, Tom Skinner

Video of young actress Alyvia Lind receiving the news that she got the part of young Dolly Parton in a made-for-TV movie... via a surprise visit from Parton herself. Via Gretchen Peters: "Culture Isn't Free: Expecting artists to work for free hands the reins of cultural production to ruling elites" by Miranda Campbell (Jacobin magazine) Via Carolyn Dixon: "Is it even still possible to 'sell out'?" by Chris Richards (Washington Post) If you've been dying to see Scotty McCreery sing "The … [Read more...]

Willie Nelson Wins Gershwin Prize; Patterson Hood on Confederate Flag; Hear New Isbell, Jackson Albums

Miranda Lambert canceled a Canadian show due to "serious inflammation of her vocal cords." Patterson Hood on Southern heritage and the Confederate flag for the New York Times. Oops. Don't think I've linked to Juli Thanki's lovely obituary for Red Lane yet. NPR has First Listens for two much-anticipated releases: Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free and Alan Jackson's Angels and Alcohol. Cancel all your plans. Holly Gleason had a nice chat with Kenny Chesney for Hits Daily Double. Music … [Read more...]

Sony Nashville Gets New CEO; The Rise and Fall of Toby Keith; Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild Duet

Scott Borchetta had an in-depth chat with Holly Gleason for Hits Daily Double. Randy Goodman, founder and former president of the defunct Lyric Street label, will reportedly be appointed CEO of Sony’s country and Christian division, filling the post previously held by Gary Overton. Goodman worked under Joe Galante at RCA Nashville in the '80s and '90s before leaving to start Lyric Street. So far, he has not suggested that any of us don't exist. Fake News, Canadian style: "Corb Lund … [Read more...]