Kevin Fowler to Average Joe’s; Jeff Bridges Album Out August 16; New Pistol Annies Song

  • Kevin Fowler, who had a hit with “Pound Sign” last year, recently signed to Average Joe’s Entertainment, joining a roster that includes Colt Ford, Corey Smith, Montgomery Gentry, and Josh Gracin.
  • Besides reprising her role as Patsy Cline in Always… Patsy Cline at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium come July, Mandy Barnett is set to release an album of Cline covers called Sweet Dreams on May 24. GAC’s News & Notes has the full track listing.
  • Jeff Bridges will release his first solo album in 11 years on EMI’s Blue Note imprint come August 16. As yet untitled, it was recorded with T-Bone Burnett, includes a song by the late Stephen Bruton that didn’t make Crazy Heart, and features Rosanne Cash on at least one track.
  • More good release news: Gary Nicholson has a new album called Texas Songbook coming out on Ray Benson’s Bismeaux Records on June 21. From the email press release:

    Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, [Delbert] McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

    Besides a bunch of explicitly Texas-themed tracks, the album will include versions of popular Nicholson cowrites like “Fallin’ and Flyin'” (from Crazy Heart), “Same Kind of Crazy,” “Live, Laugh, Love,” and “Somedays the Song Writes You” (here called “Some Days You Write the Song”).

  • An analysis of Willie Nelson’s handwriting yields the following intriguing conjecture:

    It’s possible that Willie Nelson has blood sugar imbalances that he is not aware of. This could cause some of the erratic nature of the handwriting.

    Wasn’t he pulled over with a bundle of “blood sugar imbalances” on his bus just last year?

  • Chris Gray at the Houston Press’ Rocks Off blog on “Americans, That’s Who,” the patriotic Gatlin Brothers track being rushed to radio to capitalize on the killing of Osama bin Laden:

    Wow. Using bin Laden’s death to shill a song that’s been commercially available since September 2009 – now that takes some huevos.

    GAC has a player so you can listen for yourself.

  • Farce the Music counts down 10 favorite The 9513 memories, including that time I wouldn’t stop raving about the excellence of “Brown Chicken Brown Cow.” Hmm.
  • Joe at the Guitars, Cadillacs… blog names Kenny Chesney’s new single, “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter, “one of the summer’s most rewarding country hits and one of the very best ballads to receive a shot at mass airplay in quite some time.” I think he’s right.
  • Meanwhile, Ben Foster at The 1-to-10 Country Music Review calls the new Wynonna single “Love It Out Loud” “a rocking throwback to Wynonna’s ‘No One Else On Earth’ glory days.”
  • J.R. Journey kept the country section of American Noise alive with another single review roundup, with the second highest grade going to Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel.” Second highest? This cannot stand! Also, I’m unclear on why the song’s being released as a single after 7 years.
  • Some interesting thoughts on the American Recordings and the Cash legend in conversation with Tony Tost (who wrote a book on the subject) and Carnival Saloon‘s Nigel Smith.
  • PC Mag gets hands-on with the new music cloud service by Google.
  • Tonight at Music City Roots: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, TN Mafia Jug Band, Andy Friedman, Barry Waldrep, Billy Henson, Johnson’s Crossroad and host Jim Lauderdale. As usual, you can catch the live video stream starting at 7PM Central Time. There’s never any reason to be bored.
  • By the way, you can get instant access to more than 100 free downloads by signing up for the Music City Roots mailing list. And you’ll be in the know about who’s scheduled to appear there every week! Win-win.
  • Snippet of a new Pistol Annies song, which I’m guessing is called “Boy from the South”:

New posts, by email, whenever we’ve got ’em.


  1. Blake Boldt says

    Miranda obviously won’t be satisfied until she’s nominated in all the CMA categories, including Group of the Year. Just wait until 2013 when she draws a beard on her face and beats Brad for Male Vocalist.

  2. says

    I am definitely intrigued by the Jeff Bridges album, especially with Rosanne Cash on the guest list. Also cannot wait to hear more about the Pistol Annies project.

    The sudden release of “Wagon Wheel” is indeed strange. I thought I has initially misread something. Great song regardless though!

  3. Rick says

    Considering the way Mandy Barnett tends to mangle Patsy Cline songs on the Opry these days, I’d instead recommend picking up the original Nashville cast album “Always Patsy Cline” where the young teenage Mandy sang the songs straight. I’ll admit some of the songs get chopped in two or interrupted by the “Louise” character, but overall its a pleasant listen.

    That Pistol Annies song reminds me of “Strawberry Wine”. It would be far more interesting to me if Miranda was to take a back seat in the group and put Ashley Monroe in the spotlight. I like Angaleena Presley as a songwriter but her singing voice just doesn’t do much for me, so singing harmony is perfect for her.

    I like Music City Roots and really appreciate the high quality video and audio feed (when its working properly that is). The artist interviews are always fun and quite interesting. Its nice when they feature acts that are truly worth listening to, like the recent appearance by The Civil Wars. Their bluegrass shows tend to be the best and should happen far more frequently. I also enjoy watching the Vietti Chili Girl Aly Sutton perform, but with the sound turned off…

    I think Willie’s handwriting these days may just reflect he is getting pretty darn old! Hmm…

  4. says

    “Wagon Wheel” is a great song, with a fascinating backstory. I have to admit to not hearing it before I reviewed it last week. With the inclusion of River Road’s excellent new single, it had to take second, though by little more than half a point I’ll add. :)

    I’m really enjoying the revival of this feature here. Great work. Oh, and thanks for the mention!

    • says

      Heh. “Wagon Wheel” has been one of my favorite songs (by anyone) ever since I first heard it in 2004, so I had to give you a little grief about the rating. I like the concise reviews.

      • says

        “Wagon Wheel” has been one of my very favorites for a long time too. J.R., I strongly recommend that you check out that whole album if you haven’t already.

  5. says

    I’m very much looking forward to that Jeff Bridges record. My friend Dennis Crouch is playing bass on it, and I find him an excellent warning sign of quality projects to come.

    Thanks for the MCR reminder. Thankfully, it lines up beautifully time-zone wise for me to be able to tune in live here in Oz. Can’t do without my weekly dose of live Lauderdale.

    Put me down as another eagerly awaiting the Pistol Annies record.

  6. says

    Thanks for keeping the news roundups going, C.M. That was another big reason why I was unhappy about The 9513’s retirement, because I didn’t know where else to get all my country music news in one place, so I’m glad you’ve been carrying it on.

    And thanks for giving a shout-out to my Wynonna review!

  7. says

    Nicholson has written some of the coolest country/blues songs, especially some of those recorded by Delbert McClinton:
    Trouble with the Truth – PL
    Just Lucky That Way – LRP
    Squeeze Me In – GB & TY
    One More Last Chance – VG
    When Love Starts Talking – W
    She Couldn’t Change Me – MG
    Handyman’s Dream – SB
    She Knows What to Do with a Saturday Night – TS
    Old Weakness Coming on Strong – DM
    Too Much Stuff – DM w LL & JP
    Midnight Communion – DM
    Better Off with the Blues – DM
    and many more.

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