Tim McGraw Countersues; Celebrating Bobby Braddock; Americana Awards Nominees

  • Tim McGraw has filed a countersuit against Curb Records, with Billboard’s Ray Waddell reporting:

    In the expansive response filed May 23 in Davidson County Chancery Court in Nashville, McGraw says the material for “Traffic” was recorded and mastered in early 2009-2010 and Curb is holding the album “hostage from country music fans for the purpose of compelling Tim McGraw to serve perpetually under a contract that he has already fully and faithfully completed.” The suit adds that Curb’s “repeated serial releases of what it characterizes as greatest hits albums is obviously a naked attempt to create a perpetual recording contract, forcing Tim McGraw into a repressive environment of indefinite duration.”

  • Given that creator/promoter Ronnie Gilley is fixing to head to prison for a sentence that could exceed 20 years after pleading guilty to bribing legislators for votes, it’s a safe bet that this year’s BamaJam music festival in Enterprise, Alabama is off. Ever the optimist, Gilley vows to bring the festival back next year.
  • “You Light Up My Life” songwriter Joseph Brooks committed suicide at the age of 73. He had been indicted on rape charges and was awaiting trial.
  • Farce the Music parodied Kenny Chesney’s “Live a Little” as “Got No Fiddle.”
  • Dierks Bentley raised more than $143,000 for Columbus’ Nationwide Children’s Hospital during his Miles & Music for Kids charity bike ride on Sunday. He was joined by a thousand other motorcyclists.
  • How do you take your coffee? With a month of unlimited music listening? Coffee-mate and MOG have teamed up to offer one free month of the subscription music service to new customers. That’s double the length of the usual trial period. (via Roughstock)
  • Country Universe wants to know Your Guiltiest Guilty Pleasure. Since they didn’t specify that it has to be of a musical nature, I’ll go with “watching a series of people trip over a curled rug.”
  • Eric Church’s Carolina has been certified gold for sales of 500,000 copies.
  • The Los Angeles Times’ Randy Lewis rates Brad Paisley’s This Is Country Music 2.5 out of 4, saying:

    But in carrying out the idea of touching all the bases of country, he treads into overworked territory such as the stereotypical country girl’s homespun notion of romance (“Old Alabama,” with a guest appearance by guess which ’80s country group?), and Jimmy Buffett/Kenny Chesney south-of-the-border escapism (“Don’t Drink the Water”).

    “This Is Country Music” still has a lot of what keeps Paisley at the head of the contemporary country class, but with several of the 15 songs merely competent, it could have been 30% stronger with a 30% edit.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow record deal not as imminent as previously feared.
  • Joe at the Guitars, Cadillacs blog counted down a dozen pivotal cuts from the pen of recent Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Bobby Braddock. The list includes the expected “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” as well as gems like “I Believe the South Is Gonna Rise Again” (Tanya Tucker) and “Would You Catch a Falling Star” (John Anderson). It’s a good read.
  • Miranda Lambert is getting her very own VH1 “Behind the Music” special, set to air July 13 at 10PM ET/PT. Taste of Country reports Blake, Miranda’s parents, “Nashville Star” judge Tracy Gershon, Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Chesney, and Lady Antebellum‘s Hillary Scott were all interviewed for the show.
  • Taste of Country also has a review and audio of Kristin Chenoweth’s first country single, which is somehow even more grating than reviewer Billy Dukes lets on.

    ‘I Want Somebody’ is a bad performance of a bad song. Chenoweth would be wise to rethink her approach to country music, as none of her natural charm finds room to emerge from beneath this hail storm of noise.

    See, I told you guys Laura Bell Bundy was actually pretty decent.

  • The latest in My Kind of Country’s month-long Diamond Rio spotlight is Razor X’s review of One More Day, “a somewhat uneven collection” notable chiefly for the title cut, “I’m Trying,” and the bluegrass-flavored “Hearts Against the Wind.”
  • Buddy Miller’s Majestic Silver Strings on NPR/WXPN’s World Cafe radio show.
  • Is there something happening on “American Idol” tonight? I hadn’t heard.
  • Tonight on Music City Roots: Buddy Greene, Larry Cordle with Randy Kohrs, Jo-El Sonnier, Farewell Drifters, Iodine, host Jim Lauderdale, and guest host David Hall. Catch the live stream at 7PM CST.
  • Here are the nominees for the 2011 Americana Music Association Honors and Awards, to be held October 13 at the Ryman Auditorium. Glad to see Elizabeth Cook get so much recognition.

    Album of the Year
    Band of Joy, Robert Plant
    Welder, Elizabeth Cook
    Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle
    Blessed, Lucinda Williams

    Artist of the Year
    Buddy Miller
    Elizabeth Cook
    Hayes Carll
    Robert Plant

    New/Emerging Artist of the Year
    The Civil Wars
    Mumford And Sons
    The Secret Sisters
    Jessica Lea Mayfield

    Duo/Group of the Year
    The Avett Brothers
    The Civil Wars
    Mumford And Sons
    Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy

    Song of the Year
    Decemberists with Gillian Welch- “Down By The Water”
    Elizabeth Cook – “El Camino”
    Hayes Carll – “Kmag Yoyo”
    Justin Townes Earle – “Harlem River Blues”

    Instrumentalist of the Year
    Buddy Miller
    Gurf Morlix
    Kenny Vaughan
    Sarah Jarosz
    Will Kimbrough

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  1. Sam G. says:

    I made it a minute into the Kristin Chenoweth song and had to shut that monstrosity off. By way of comparison, I made it all the way through Rebecca Black’s “Friday.”

  2. Rick says:

    Speaking of Elizabeth Cook, I saw her perform last night in a funky LA venue named The Bootleg Theater along with her husband Tim Carroll on electric guitar and Aussie pal “Bones” on a stand up bass guitar. In what was unusual for a LA venue the JBL PA speaker sound system sounded fantastic and the volume level was bearable for me without using earplugs! It was a miracle I tell you! (lol) The tiny crowd of maybe 30 people was very appreciative and Elizabeth performed as if she was in front of a packed Opry House. It was mostly her standard current set of mainly “Welder” album songs, a few goodies off the “Balls” album and “Dolly” as the one nod to her early songwriting career.

    Being in Socal motivated Elizabeth to sing “Today I Started Loving You Again” which was fine by me. Elizabeth mixed in a couple of gospel songs she had just worked up for the Strawberry Festival “Sunday Morning Gospel Brunch” show her manager had roped her into (and which she was none too keen about). I recommended the inclusion of “Mama’s Prayers” at the Strawberry Festival gig and especially the Louvin’s “Great Atomic Power” but that is a long shot as Elizabeth had the Grascals behind her on the “Songs of America” recording session. I’m just glad Elizabeth includes LA in her tour itinerary when she comes to the west coast these days! Go Elizabeth!

  3. Joe says:

    Thanks for the shout out C.M…..I greatly appreciate it.

    It’s almost mind boggling how irritating the vocal on Chenoweth’s single is. I was already with you on Laura Bell Bundy though and have no shame in admitting it. I am eager to hear another album from her.

    Great list of nominees on the Americana ballot. Wish they would televise that event!

    • Jeremy Dylan says:

      While the awards themselves may not be televised, you can see video of the nominations announcement here: http://www.musiccityroots.com/live-stream

      It’s well worth a look, as it includes performances by some AMF regulars, including Jim Lauderdale singing Carter Stanley’s “White Dove”, backed up by Levon Helm and his Dirt Farmer Quartet (including Larry Campbell). Later, they’re joined by Benmont Tench and Rosanne Cash and do a gorgeous version of “The Weight” to close out the show.

  4. Razor X says:

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  5. Leeann Ward says:

    Thanks for the coverage as always. And good for Tim McGraw.

  6. ChurchsChicken says:

    CURB seems to have angered a lot of its artists. I wonder if, as a result, new artists are less likely to sign with CURB. Perhaps some are even being advised not to sign with CURB. At a minimum, I wouldn’t be shocked if the best new artists are likely to go elsewhere if they have at least one other label potentially interested in them.

    I’m not taking sides in this dispute. The courts can decide the merits of McGraw and Curb’s respective claims. But even if CURB is 100% right and McGraw 100% wrong, I’ve got to wonder whether CURB is helping itself by angering so many of its artists.

    • Razor X says:

      Curb seems to be a shady operation, and I would imagine that it is probably the label of last resort for most artists. I can’t imagine that anyone would sign with them if they had the option of going with another label. They all have their problems, but Curb’s artists always seem to leave the label on bad terms.

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