- The ever-reliable Peter Cooper offers the most revealing (and quotable) article yet on Ronnie Dunn’s solo turn, including the singer’s admission that he was “already gone” for the last year of Brooks & Dunn.
- Honky tonk swing king Wayne Hancock has canceled July and August tour dates to “enter an extended-term recovery facility to address his longtime fight with addiction.” (via email)
- Writing for L.A. Times Magazine, Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson broached the subject of country music in Southern California before the Bakersfield Sound, connecting with several of the scene’s key figures–Marilyn Tuttle (85), Freddie Hart (84), Rose Lee Maphis (88)–in fleshing out the picture. How significant was California country music during the ’40s and ’50s? Kasson recounts a conversation with 82-year-old steel player Billy Tonnesen:
We talked a bit about musicians like Ernest Tubb, who recorded at Decca in Hollywood; Lefty Frizzell; Johnny Cash; and scores more who came here for the work and stayed for years. When asked about the allure of Los Angeles, Tonnesen howled with laughter. “This was country music,” he said. “Nashville had Roy Acuff!”
- My Kind of Country’s Occasional Hope reviewed the new Randy Travis duets album, giving it a grade of A- and saying that the Josh Turner duet “T.I.M.E.” would be good to see recreated live.
- Luckily, Randy Travis and Josh Turner performed “T.I.M.E.” live on Monday’s “Today” show.
- Did Randy Travis show up looking a little tore up and punch a wall backstage at “Fox and Friends” yesterday? Nashville Gab dug up a NY Post story that says so. If it’s a made-up story, it’s at least consistent with another from last year that claimed a return to alcohol as a factor in his divorce.
- Lady Antebellum’s next album has a release date and title: Own the Night is due September 13.
- Congratulations to Grant Langston on successfully funding his next album, Royal Monaco, via Kickstarter. Rosie Flores’ Janis Martin project has made significant strides since last Friday, but is looking like it will come right down to the wire, with about $5,000 more to go by next Friday.
- That Nashville Sound’s Ken Morton gave the new Julie Roberts album a pretty favorable review, singling out “NASCAR Party” (the preview that all but killed my desire to hear the rest) as an aberration.
- Incidentally, AOL is hosting a listening party for the Julie Roberts album. Oh, fine. I’ll give it a try.
- From Angaleena Presley on Twitter:
In the studio finishing Pistol Annies record… I can’t wait [til] y’all hear it… Country as cornbread!!
- Kelly Willis made time for a nice interview with KDHX’s Jessica Lackey.
- Brad Paisley on Walmart’s Soundcheck, including versions of “This Is Country Music” and “Toothbrush.”
- According to CMT, Shania Twain is supposed to make a “big announcement” today at 2PM. Not to steal her thunder or anything, but it’s true: We are eloping.
- Tonight’s Music City Roots show features Gene Watson and Rhonda Vincent(!), Town Mountain(!), Greensky Bluegrass, Geoff Achison, Randall Bramblett, Onward Soldiers, and the always delightful Jim Lauderdale. As if that weren’t enough, I understand one Mr. Jeremy Dylan will be in the audience. If you hear a particularly Australian-sounding clap, that’s him. Catch it video-streaming live at 7PM CST.
- Or will you watch the Kid Rock-hosted CMT Music Awards (8/7 Central) instead? Decisions, decisions. Country legends Gary Busey and Justin Bieber are both set to appear.