- Country songwriter Charlie Craig passed away on July 1. He wrote Janie Fricke’s “She’s Single Again,” Keith Whitley’s “Between An Old Memory and Me,” and Alan Jackson’s “Wanted,” among many others.
- After nearly a decade of indie albums and limited radio support, Dwight Yoakam is back on Warner Bros. Records with a new album due next year. He’s co-producing with Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket, The Shins, The Strokes) and has recently been in the studio with Beck.
- Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott got engaged to Chris Tyrrell, the band’s one-time touring drummer.
- Willie’s marijuana woes might not be over. New development in the case that began with Nelson’s arrest last November, which looked like it was going to end in a simple plea deal:
Hudspeth County Judge Becky Dean-Walker told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she rejected prosecutor Kit Bramblett’s suggestion that Nelson resolve the case by pleading guilty and paying a $500 fine for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Dean-Walker claims the prosecutor “doesn’t do that for anybody else.”
The judge says Nelson should be charged with the misdemeanor marijuana possession, which carries up to a year in jail.
- Young guitar prodigy Ben Hall released a digital EP honoring hero and mentor Charlie Louvin, who would have turned 84 today. It includes an instrumental version of the Louvin Brothers’ “The Christian Life.”
- Breathe magazine’s free July “Trail Mix” includes songs from Pokey LaFarge, Dave Alvin, and Angela Easterling. You can download the whole thing or cherry-pick the songs you know you want.
- As if he wasn’t already busy enough, senior music writer and singer/songwriter/musician/producer Peter Cooper is now writing a regular column for The Tennessean in addition to the usual features and whatnot. His first column is on the fire at Cowboy Jack Clement’s.
- The Onion has some “Music Festival Tips” for you, including:
If at all disoriented, yell, “WOOOO!” until you feel well again.
- Grab a free download of the new Martina McBride song “One Time.”
- NPR has a Tiny Desk Concert (audio or video) from The Blind Boys of Alabama. Good stuff.
- NPR also has a listening party for the new Ashton Shepherd album, out next week. Shepherd will perform title track “Where Country Grows” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tomorrow (Friday) night.
- Entertainment Weekly grades the new Blake Shelton album, also out next week, a solid B:
At times, Shelton’s so charming, he could sing his way down a To Do list — and he kinda does on ”Get Some” (where he gets up, gets paid, gets off, etc.) and ”Drink On It” (where he drinks on it, thinks on it, sleeps on it). Schmaltzy power ballads don’t suit him, and there’s too many here (”Over,” ”I’m Sorry,” ”God Gave Me You”), but mix some goofball into his cornball and he’s golden.
- The Boot has the world premiere of Shelton’s new single, a cover of a Christian rock song called “God Gave Me You.” Shelton will perform that song and “Honey Bee” on the Today Show tomorrow morning.
- American Songwriter caught Chris Young’s solo acoustic performances of “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” and a new song called “You.” His new album comes out next week, too.
- Oh look, American Songwriter has an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired banjer tune from Sarah Jarosz.
- Meanwhile, Paste has a handful of solo acoustic performances from Ryan Bingham.
- Live in the Nashville area? Want Frank Solivan and Music City Roots to set up at your house, cook dinner, and throw a live concert event for you and 25 of your closest friends? Enter the contest.
- Adventures in senseless censorship with Farce the Music.
- Pam Tillis, The Grascals, Eden’s Edge (I refuse to honor their preferred spelling, which omits the apostrophe), and the Oak Ridge Boys will all be on the Opry tomorrow night. Catch the live stream at 7PM CST on WSM Online. Oh, and Music City Roots is back from its break next week.
- Is Blake Shelton the most interesting man in country music?