It would be good to hear an update track from Kasey Chambers. She recently won a Golden Globe award with Beccy Cole at the CMAA VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR Millionaires - Beccy Cole & Kasey Chambers. Also Gillian Welch and Matraca Berg's last albums deserved perhaps more spins.
It's hard to make out why Gretchen Peters HELLO CRUEL didn't chart on the Billboard Top 200. Over here with all the airplay, Radio 2 playlisting, pre-orders and promotion a #70 UK Chart spot for 1 week then fell off our album charts.
Andycole, really enjoying the Country Routes item on Earl Scruggs, and the Washington radio interview with him. Haven't had a chance to listen to all of it yet or the other segments but am looking forward to catching up.
Also the details/videos etc of ACM Awards; I previously saw - think it was under some you tube videos of the event - comments by people that a lot of it 'wasn't country' and someone else wrote 'haven't you heard of country rock', all got quite heated! What gets included under 'country' now seems a very wide range. I was struggling to see the logic of 'Kiss' presenting an award to the Lady Antebellum band, no disrespect to them but that appeared an unusual decision.
The competition was pretty tough in many categories, best vocal group it would be hard to know who would have won that. I like the Zac Brown Band a lot, and the Band Perry also nominated.
The other day I saw the video of Toby Keith singing 'Red Solo Cup' live at the ACMs to celebrate it winning the best video category, and thought 'shall I post that on favourite videos here? Perhaps not'. I think it has been seen in the spirit in which it is intended but doesn't always get positive reactions for it, despite it's popularity generally. I thought that was a fun performance, walking through the audience and they seemed to love it.
I thought American Idol was like the X Factor and more pop orientated so the winner being also winner at the ACMs surprised me.
What I found interesting is that some of the bands are probably also classed more as 'alt country' but still considered 'country'; I'm less interested in genres and more just enjoy what I like, without worrying what it is
Hi Isobel, Happy Easter Sunday. Thank you for your kind opening comments. It's nice to gather the good stuff together in blog format. With so many excellent tributes for the Earl Scruggs it allowed me to share them. The WSM Broadcast was quality radio, what a send off for a "great".
Think having KISS as presenters was something of a Vegas stunt at the ACM's. Lady "Just a Kiss" Antebellum seemed to enter into the fun. Now they are opening for Bruce Springsteen are Lady A now rockers. The Band Perry have a backstage KISS photo circulating on the Internet and have spilling about their first Kiss - PHOTO
I like the way Reba hyped up Toby's live performance! Eric Church could be seen with his solo cup and I think Taylor Swift was doing some dance moves. Did you like the fashion at The ACM's? Which dress did you like the best?
Vince Gill is meant to be visiting the UK this April to do media, TV ,press and radio promotion. His album got a UK release this week. Haven't seen any dates yet for his July European Tour.
Traditionalists over here may wish that Wembley Festival hit Will Banister will take up the baton from George Strait but in terms of America I think Scotty McCreery will be the man. He is just a few 1000 short of selling 1-million albums for CLEAR AS DAY. It's pretty well a done deal he will also win NEW ARTIST at the 2012 CMA's. He's outselling Brad Paisley and others by a long way.
After the BBC Trust shake out when specialized music programmes are likely to take a hit perhaps genre-less radio is the future for the UK. 3 categories, GOOD, OK , BAD
Happy Easter andycole, sorry forgot Easter greetings earlier Probably distracted by seeing rain clouds through the windows. Hope you've had a great Easter weekend.
That was quite original thinking I suppose of the Awards organisers,re the Lady Antebellum song title. That still wouldn't have caused me to expect Kiss as their presenter! Amusing those bands are getting their rock n roll credentials. I expect Kiss had fun there.
Dresses, now that is a tough question Actually I really liked the simple elegance of Taylor Swift's dress, I liked one worn by Jessica Aldean and also one worn by half of the Thompson Square. There were quite a few great dresses, although I was primarily looking/listening for music. One I really liked was worn by Jake Owen's date, seen in the video interview. There was a lovely wedding dress shown as well of course! Real one, but I wouldn't count that as an awards outfit.
Scotty McCreery's interview was quite endearing I thought, seems like exciting talent there.
I like your idea of good, OK and bad as categories of music. Those sound good 'genre' substitutes.
Everyone seemed to be having a great time when Toby Keith sang Red Solo Cup; I'm tempted to post the video on the 'favourites' topic now, as I said nearly did earlier in the week.
Just going to flip my roast potatoes in the oven then back to the favourite videos thread.
Hi Isobel, Good you posted The Toby K video. It could become a viral hit on the Whispers board.
With mostly male presenters for country shows the fashion aspect is hardly ever raised but it is a big part of these glitzy award shows. I think Shawna Thompson's purple gown was the best on the night. She has improved her look tremendously this past year, dark hair suits her better. Thompson Square's new single "Glass" I'm really liking. I'm not hearing it played in the UK though.
I'm afraid Jake Owen is "off limits" for his female admirers. He got engaged to model Lacey Buchanan on Saturday. His videos are hot, This is his latest for #1 single "Alone With You" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=Y3EpArAtGJQ. Jake's music maybe doesn't get the attention it deserves. Very few country artists these days sell a million albums, he has amassed sales of 1,448,000 in America for Barefoot Blue Jean Night.
Did you do any Yorkshire Puds with the roast potatoes ? lol If I'd of know I'd of invited you round for Sunday lunch. Its great to see the rain at long last. Maybe Bob could be a rainmaker with some well choosen tracks. When Luke Bryan's "Rain Is A Good Thing" came out they got 12" all in one go in Nashville.
Hi andycole, amused at the idea of the T Keith video being a viral hit on Whispers Wasn't sure how many Whisperers would appreciate the finer points of the song
It's strange the people who go unnoticed, thinking of Jake Owen, despite that popularity of his music. His date will no doubt have good taste in wedding dresses, judging by her awards ceremony dress
I though Shawna Thompson's dress was very eyecatching and glamorous, but not over the top. The men brush up well at these events as well though, even in 'casual' gear.
No Yorkshires yesterday, just pots. I like Yorkshires, actually quite often I make popovers like Yorkshires but more risen - but last night's meal didn't require them. Too many rain clouds here, bit dreary for Easter! But good for the ground.
My Darling Clementine - As a former trainspotter I feel drawn to their music and sentiments of the session. Yes they are "authentic" and an ALL BRITISH product, creating original songs. Michael Weston King made the point regarding the British Country music scene of saying "if it's good it's good and if it's not its "not". I think Isobel they should be filed in the "GOOD" cateogory. MOJO magazine wrote "The band who must rate as England's very own Uncle Tupelo. A truly thrilling collection.", while www.americana-uk.com said "The British band that played alt. country before anyone knew what the hell it was." It would therefore be great if they received the same ammount of success as The Civil Wars who have now sold over 400K BARTON HOLLOW albums.
Shawn Colvin - Great to get an advance listen to the album which comes out June 5th. The new album was recorded in Buddy Miller's home studio and I read that each song is deeply personal to Colvin. I came across a great video this week by expatriate Australian duo O'SHEA "When The Girls Get Together" it was co-written with Shawn Colvin.
Don Williams - Enjoyed the duet with Alison Krauss. Perhaps it is a single promo as heard it twice elsewhere this week.
Sunny Sweeney's "Just A Table Away" is one of the best tracks that came out last year. I'm pretty sure it made the Top 10, great video too.
I'm sure Bob will be delighted that Eric Church's "Springsteen" is the Billboard #1 Hot Country Digital Track this week with 102K copies being downloaded this week.
Good to hear another advance track by Shawn Colvin but was eclipsed by her friend Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Don Williams - Nice track played. Lots of Google/Ad Choices across music sites and YouTube for his new album and tour. Colm Kirwan son of Dominic is his tour support and has new debut album out recorded in Nashville.
Sweetback Sisters - Good session. I was hoping that The Hello Strangers would be "The Secret Sisters of 2012" Not sure if BHC have played them yet?
I missed the first 20 mins of tonight's show because I'd lost track of time and was busy listening again to iplayer of the Amanda Shires' session on the Sunday show. These light evenings get me every time, just hadn't realised it was 7 pm
Really enjoyed tonight's show, or that bit of it I heard, and looking forward to catching up with the remainder.
Loved that session with Amanda Shires, her songs are really quirky and original, and she has such a great voice but I also love her choice of instrumental backing. It really annoyed me to miss her recent UK tour plus I also missed her close companion Jason Isbell's tour.
Nice story and great Bob Harris debut for the Good Intentions.
Patty Loveless track from an absolutely golden age in the 90's when you could pick a country album blindfold and come home with a gem. If only there were 1000's more songs unearthed in modern era like Sunny Sweeney.
Good to hear Tift Merritt, Keith Urban and Mary Chapin. This week Mary Chapin has a Wedding anniversary date but then I read in some Press blurb yesterday concerning her new album ASHES & ROSES: "They say that the worst, the most traumatic things that people can go through in their lives are a divorce, the loss of a parent and catastrophic illness, she says. All of those things have happened to me in the last few years" - So she is now divorced. Digital tracks now being made available to Radio. The James Taylor duet has already had BBC airings which is a iTunes single in America.
Yesterday after Humperdinck flop at Eurovision people are wondering where do "we" go next. Predictably with all his BBC TV exposure the media mentioned Tom Jones. Also that the BBC should consider using The Voice's winner for Eurovision. To me it seems a waste of time. It's held in Sweden next year, a country where Folk and Country music is very popular. Its the roots musically of where ABBA came from. BOB! - As it seems to be the BBC who are putting forth names for our Eurovision entry why don't you have words with the BBC bosses. Can we not have a UK authentic Folk or Country act represent us year? They have nothing to lose(can't do any worse than Humperdinck) and it would raise the profile for both genres and while your at it have Cara Dilion represent Ireland rather than Jedward!
Interesting story behind the Eli Young Band single. Thanks for that Bob!
The Mavericks - I think Manchester City fans would have liked "Blue Moon" instead to get as much noisy mileage over the summer over their neighbours.
I have no objection to the BBC televising Eurovision - I assume they get it "free" as members of Eurovision and stupidly high numbers of people seem to like watching it.
But the money they spend on identifying a song and sending the competitor to take part seems ludicrous given the consistent failure. If they were a sports body spending Sport England public money they they would have had the funding withdrawn by now, or the person responsible for performance would be out on their ear.
I don't understand why the chief BBC suit isn't in front of Parliament being asked to explain how they can justify continuing to spend money on failure when they are decimating local radio programming and have nearly given up with televising sport and have stopped other projects.
For example, Radio 2 dropped the Electric Proms because it didn't have the budget to do it any more. How can the BBC justify the expense of sending Englebert Humperdink to Baku to come nearly last (which 90% of people would have predicted as a certainty).
I totally agree with you Ken, how can they justify expense. It was a predictable outcome and why bother with the 'live' appearance'; if they had to go through with the entry, just send a video link from a studio here.
It surprises me people still watch the Eurovision, it's pretty much a universal joke I think.
But agree, terrible waste of money that could have been better spent on something else. The BBC should be held accountable for the way they waste licence payers' money, it might make them think twice.
I know this is going to sound odd, but I really quite liked our entry this year from the very first listen. Normally, I just dismiss our rubbish entry the moment I hear it, so this made a change!
I'm not sure which I was most surprised by; that I liked a Eurovision entry, or that I liked something by Englebert.
Anyway. I thought to myself, 'that is really quite good and ought to get something by way of recognition in the contest this year'. Well, we all know what happened.
So, I've had it with this whole thing now. It is not about the songs and hasn't been for ages, it's all just a politics fest. It is high time the UK voted with its feet and pulled out. It might encourage others to do the same and then they can scrap the whole stupid idea.
If we pulled out of Eurovision should we pulled out of the EEC period. It would stop the immigration problem too? The voting is political. If it wasn't for Estonia Engelbert would have only 3 points. Surprised that Humperdinck is popular in Europe. Anyone under the age of 50 wouldn't have a clue who he was in this country. Will Bob be inviting the Russian Grannys on to do a Live Session?
If we are to carry on with Eurovision just as well use the opportunity to showcase some UK folk / country acts and forget the votes.
Good to hear MCC on Bob Harris Country. The song is a single in America. I remembered the Merlefest programme from years back when Nickel Creek were hot! Punch Brothers I can't get into but Jools Holland endorsed them.
Humperdinck's tune was slightly reminiscent of the the cult fail "Lesbian Seagull" in terms of vocal phrasing. Listen to the "caw, caw, caw" at 0.31 secs on the underreferenced YouTube clip. A most charming item.
Lovely James Taylor tracks and unexpected for the country show but fitted the Carolina theme this week. I see Radio 2 has "C" playlisted his duet with Mary Chapin Carpenter, possibly the best on a rather low key album which maybe needed more uptempos to lift it.
Chatham County Line - WSM 650, nice track! Strangely listening to the Nashvile station tonight to their CMA Festival Live stage broadcast. Great to hear Donna Ulisse, Sara Darling and Aussie trio The McClymonts. Great shame if all 3 haven't made it onto Bob Harris Country thus far as excellent artists. Donna especially deserves a national break over here in my opinion. Yep Roc Records announced the June 26th release of SIGHT & SOUND, a two-disc audio and video collection from North Carolina based Chatham County Line. Sight & Sound includes 20 live tracks drawing from all five albums of the band's decade-long career. Maybe a copy will get in your hands Bob!
Elizabeth Cook - Has new EP due out very soon. She looked gorgeous at the CMT Awards!
Alan Jackson's new album THIRTY MILES WEST is available to stream in FULL right now. Details in snippets blog post.
I looked at that recommended you tube clip, something slightly insane about a song entitled 'Lesbian Seagull'. There are a large number of gulls around here due to the proximity of the sea less than 20 miles away, and as far as I know, none of them have 'come out'.
After 'caw, caw, caw,' I gave up on it - weird idea!
Back to normal music - going to listen to last week's country show again before tomorrow night, great sounds.
Enjoyed listenning to the Terri Clark "LIVE LIVE" session. Her last album ROOTS & WINGS (2011) was wonderful I liked it more than FEARLESS. She is still very popular in Canada with the fans. Like Terri said now she is an Independent artist she has lost the major label backing and hence sales and airplay in America. There are very few Canadian artists who are signed with American labels. Marlee Scott is one, she is terrific and has a sound similar to Faith Hill, I hope good things for her and all the CanCountry established and new on the scene artists - A wealth of talent. Michelle Wright has a great new single out "Another Good day". It's her birthday on Canada Day 1 July. She was inducted into the Canadian Country Hall of Fame this year
Mary Chapin Carpenter ? Really nice song 'What To Keep and What to Throw Away'. One October date in Dublin so far with Shawn Colvin.
Carrie Underwood - Look forward to her recorded session next week. Saw your "tweet" Bob!" She has had a very busy week. 'Do You Think About Me' was in her unplugged part of her Royal Albert Hall Show.
Thanks Bob for the Carrie Underwood session. Her promotional week in the UK paid off. She made her breakthrough on the UK album chart. The album debuted at # 11 with a healthy 9,595 sales. Did you get a kiss from Carrie? Now she's down under she got one from a kangeroo.
Dixie Chicks - Always thought they did a very good cover of Stevie Nicks' Landslide. It's congrats to Dixie Chicks/Countyard Hound Emily Robison, who is pregnant with her fourth child, and first with boyfriend Martin Strayer.
There was live session/interview with Eve Selis on BBC Radio Kent on Wednesday with Roger Day and Alan Cackett presenting to help promote Eve's tour and Maverick Festival appearances.
I wonder if Gretchen Peter's latest single "Dark Angel" will follow Hello Cruel World onto the Radio 2 playlist. Eric Church's Springsteen I notice is "A" playlisted. His new rather vulgar merchandise is causing something of a storm right now on his Facebook.
Luke Bryan - Yes this guy has sold big the last 2 years. Luke's "Rain Is A Good Thing" this week become the 100th country song to sell 1 million digital copies. He also got caught red handed on Tuesday night he could clearly be witnessed receiving aid from words written on his hand so he didn't mess up the National Anthem. He has a birthday due in the week.
Woody Guthrie - Fans may like to know there is a splendid looking Woody at 100 Centennial Collection out. 3 CD's, 150-page book Box set.
Thanks for the Eve Selis session Bob! Have you tweeted Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell? They are now engaged (announced on Twitter)
Yes I agree, a great contribution from touring artist and journalist for The Tennessean Peter Cooper. Kitty Wells signature song is the only song I know from her. I would say Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and Taylor Swift have carried the Women Of Country torch as pioneers, each wouldn't have had success without those trailblazers before them. Kellie Pickler was one modern day artist who has paid tribute to Kitty. Country music even in 2012 does continue to be Male dominated. There have been times that the Top 20 - 30 on the Billboard chart have been devoid of females. The male demographic are what the major labels seem to focus on. Far too many hot girl in my beer drinking truck anthems where women are just an object, just like a truck and bottle of beer...YAWN. Tim McGraw's Truck Yeah is the latest of this dross.
Sunny Sweeney and Ashton Shepherd have sadly failed to catch fire enough and Kellie Pickler herself just got dropped by Sony after making a more traditional album that wasn't promoted properly by them and hence didn't sell well enough. Female voices are coming from Duos (Sugarland, Thompson Square) and groups (Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Little Big Town)along with Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Taylor to break the male chart and radio monopoly. I love to have a Woman sing to me country radio!
Eli Young Band - You'll be pleased to learn Bob that they celebrated their second No. 1 this week with "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (based for airplay). Little Big Town's "Pontoon" seems to be the summer song, 2 weeks now top of the Billboard Country Digital Charts (based purely on sales)
Its been a mighty week for the Zac Brown Band. Are Robert Plant & Patty Griffin married Yes, No?, much confusion this week.....