- Zac Brown launched his own label, Southern Ground Artists, which is “dedicated to developing, introducing and promoting some of Georgia’s brightest rising stars.” His first batch of artists includes Blackberry Smoke, The Wood Brothers, and “Colder Weather” cowriter Levi Lowrey.
- Chris Mateer at the Uprooted Music Revue interviewed Michael Daves about Sleep With One Eye Open, his new album with Chris Thile.
- Triggerman at Saving Country Music reviewed the Dale Watson documentary Crazy Again, which is available (in the US, at least) to rent or buy through Amazon’s streaming video service.
- Speaking of which, there’s a new Dale Watson live session available for free download from the good folks at Daytrotter. Songs included are “I’ll Show Ya,” “Tequila, Whiskey and Beer,” “Who Needs This Man,” and “Mamas Don’t Let Your Cowboys Grow Up to Be Babies.”
- Luke Bryan’s next album has a title and release date: Tailgates and Tanlines is due August 9.
- Colt Ford’s third album, Every Chance I Get, sold 19,145 copies in its first week to debut at #3 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. Is this country rap trend picking up steam?
- Country Universe is rolling right along with the 30 Day Song Challenge: Day 2: A Song You Hate, Day 3: A Song That Makes You Happy, Day 4: A Song That Makes You Sad.
- Mike Stinson, who issued the fantastic Jukebox In Your Heart album last year, was Southern California’s reigning honky tonk king before moving to Texas in 2009. He returned for a few shows last weekend, and LA Weekly’s Jonny Whiteside covered the homecoming for the Houston Press:
It’s no secret that California has long since squandered away a stunning country-music heritage, but for those of us in Los Angeles who give a damn, Mike Stinson represented an almost mystic renewal of the Freddie Hart/Wynn Stewart transplanted-genius equation that damn near redefined the entire genre decades ago.
- The New York Times’ Jody Rosen in a feature on Brad Paisley’s upcoming This Is Country Music:
The influence flows both ways, of course; there’s lots of pop in Mr. Paisley’s big melodic hooks. But listen closely to his new album and you’ll hear more: mariachi, surf rock, Ennio Morricone, Beatles chords, Beach Boys harmonies. Mr. Paisley’s rippling guitar solo in the song “This Is Country Music” begins by quoting the opening strain of one of the masterpieces of classical piano repertory, the “Heroic” Polonaise. Tractors, trucks, little towns, mama — and Chopin? Turns out, that’s country music, too.
- A new exhibit called Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player opens at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on August 11 and will run through June of next year.
- Lady Antebellum parodied “Lover, Lover” as “Mother, Mother” for Webisode Wednesday.
- The Boot’s list of “The Top 10 Country Artists Who Aren’t Superstars… But Should Be” includes Sarah Buxton, Julie Roberts, Hayes Carll, and Elizabeth Cook.
- Grand Ole Opry News: Tonight’s show includes The Derailers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Elizabeth Cook, and Dailey & Vincent. Tomorrow night, they’ve got Joey + Rory, the Del McCoury Band, and Charlie Daniels, along with the cast of regulars like Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, and so on. Find the full schedule here and catch the live stream at WSM Online.
- Here’s a video that’s been making the rounds: An unfortunate mid-solo mishap for stand-up bassist Jon Estes, sharing the stage with Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck at a tour stop in North Carolina. If there were a country version of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” this would make the cut. But since there isn’t, you get to watch the video without an annoying voiceover. Lucky you.
- Alabama performs “My Home’s in Alabama” on last night’s CMT Disaster Relief Concert. Even if you missed the telethon, you can still donate to support the cause by website, by phone (1-800-REDCROSS), or by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Folks still need a lot of help.