- Claim and use your free $2 credit at Amazon MP3 before the end of tomorrow. (Hint: The new Pistol Annies single is $1.29 and Amazon has a selection of other songs for 69 cents apiece.)
- Farce the Music: Songs Illustrated #53
- Country Weekly has your exclusive first listen to the title track of Blake Shelton’s upcoming album. “Red River Blue” features Miranda Lambert on harmonies.
- American Songwriter has an interview and live performances (“Racing the Angels,” “Oh Cumberland,” “You and Tequila”) with Matraca Berg.
- Meanwhile, NPR captured a Tiny Desk Concert by The Civil Wars, featuring intimate performances of “Barton Hollow,” “Twenty Years,” and “Poison & Wine.”
- Saving Country Music spoke with Ray Wylie Hubbard about the Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Cowboy Twinkies album, recently reissued without the singer’s support:
So we took the band to Nashville and recorded the same songs, but they said “country radio won’t play this because it’s a folk rock album.” So they put Jett & The Jewels, which was this girl background group on all the songs. And it just wasn’t rootsy or cool anymore. So when it came out we told people we weren’t happy about it, that it wasn’t the record that we made. It broke our hearts. I called my attorney and asked him “What should I do?” and he said, “I suggest you start drinking.” So I did.
The songs were there, but it was recorded kind of “Nashville slick.” So when we heard they were re-releasing it, they hadn’t really talked to us. Of course I guess they don’t need our approval. So I just needed people to know. They’re kind of pretending like it’s some sort of landmark album and that people really want that record, and there’s no reason to want that record at all. It was a mistake, a wreckage of the past. I just couldn’t let people think that it was something that I approve of.
- Hulu has the premiere of the short (33 minute) documentary Marty Stuart in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which covers Stuart’s Mississippi roots and journey through country music. Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives will appear on David Letterman’s show tonight.
- Missouri-based writer Reta Spears-Stewart has attempted the first biography of Red Foley, titled Troubles, Faith and Peace in the Valley: The Red Foley Story. Springfield’s News-Leader has details.
- Joe at the Guitars, Cadillacs blog on Randy Travis’ new Anniversary Celebration:
It speaks to the reach of Randy Travis that he is able to bring such a deep and far-reaching pool of talent together in one place. The fact that it combines so many varied voices and talents and remains cohesive and grounded in Travis’ traditional country sound is impressively rewarding and makes this collection quite worthy of its celebratory billing.
- The 1-to-10 Country Music Review’s Ben Foster is high on “Amen” by Eden’s Edge:
How refreshing it is to hear such an enjoyable display of originality and talent at such an early stage in a career! It’s only their first single, but “Amen” goes a long way toward establishing a distinct artistic identity for Edens Edge. In a radio landscape that could hardly be more slick and predictable, a new act like Edens Edge is a real breath of fresh air.
- Country Universe’s Kevin J. Coyne retro-reviews Shania Twain’s “Dance With the One That Brought You.” You can catch up on the whole Retro Single Reviews series here.
- Free download of “Group Self-Deception (It’s Alright)” off of Angela Easterling’s upcoming Beguiler.
- Justin Haigh with a song that didn’t make his new album: