Country Music

Ryan Nolan

Songwriters don’t tend to think in chapters, and it’s rare that their characters appear in more than a single song. But Erin Enderlin builds a novelistic world on her latest album Faulkner County. The place name is real - her home ground of Conway, AR - but the love-sick, addicted and generally conflicted people she sings about, or on behalf of, are of the storyteller’s invention, and yet she knows them intimately.

Les Leverett / PBS

In 1996, I sat transfixed through a six-hour docu-series on TBS called America's Music: The Roots Of Country. I'd become a fan of country and bluegrass, but my knowledge was spotty. I'd never seen the story laid out as a cohesive narrative, connecting eras and influences, so that film was a slow-motion epiphany and a life-changing experience. With 16 hours of run time and the intellectual and artistic firepower of Ken Burns behind it, Country Music, premiering Sunday on PBS, is poised to be an even more dazzling and comprehensive revelation for millions of people.

Ed Rode

So far, the artists who've been embraced into the exotic and exclusive world of Easy Eye Sound, the studio and label run by rock star producer Dan Auerbach, have had little if anything to do with Music Row. The Gibson Brothers, Yola, Dee White and others were already pursuing roots music careers, and their Easy Eye projects represented subtle shifts of style. With Kendell Marvel, we hear a successful veteran country music songwriter having his shackles removed.

 

Chuck Mead’s fourth solo album comes out Friday, June 21. And while the title track “Close To Home” is about the power of music to tell uncomfortable truths, it could also apply to Mead's all Nashville album release tour this week, starting Tuesday night, as Mead explained to WMOT last week.

 

"It's nice to have a gig every day for five days and sleep in your own bed,” he said.

 

It’s a time in America when fights that felt settled, struggles that felt vindicated, are back. Maybelle Carter, Loretta Lynn and Reba did not travel and travail to leave to their heiresses a country music business that looks like it did in 2018. Women in Nashville aspiring to write and record country music for a living end the year incredulous and exasperated.

Chris Phelps

Just days after she was nominated for three Americana Music Awards, Margo Price began a three-night run at the Ryman Auditorium. Landing even one headlining show at the Mother Church is part of the holy trinity of country music career landmarks, falling in stature and difficulty between playing the Grand Ole Opry and induction into the Hall of Fame. So when Price said “I feel like I’m dreaming” early in the show, we understood.

Country music and national politics have overlapped awkwardly and combustibly for decades, and in the life of Kurt Bardella the juxtaposition is a daily matter. Bardella is a DC-based political operative, pundit and writer. Most of his career was as a conservative Republican. He worked for Rep. Darrell Issa of California and then for the profoundly controversial Breitbart News. Then, after the Trumpian revolution in the GOP and sparked by the party not separating itself from accused pedophile Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore, he changed parties and became a Democrat.

dollyparton.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (RHIANNON GILBERT) -- The songs of country legend Dolly Parton are inspiring a project at MTSU’s School of Music, but the sound is not at all what you might expect.

“Inspirations from Tennessee,” a 7-track CD of chamber music commissioned by MTSU music faculty and graduates, is set to release in January 2017. Simply called “The Dolly Project,” it aims to unite different art forms and histories of Tennessee through self-expression in music.

cmaworld.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CRAIG HAVIGHURST)  --  Fans of classic country music have complained for years that the CMA Awards and CMA itself give short shrift to the roots of the music and traditional sounds.

This year, those disaffected viewers will have more to watch and listen for when the show airs live Wednesday night from Nashville' Bridgestone Arena on ABC at 7 p.m central time.

Producers are calling this landmark 50th edition a throwback celebration, with performances by George Strait, Reba McEntire, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and 1960s star Charley Pride.

Surfdog Records

Country Music great Glen Campbell has been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease and is currently on a nationwide tour to say goodbye to his fans.

One of the highlights of tomorrows CMA 2011 Awards show in Nashville will be a tribute to Campbell by Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban.

The 45th annual CMA awards take place tomorrow evening at Bridgestone Arena beginning at 8 pm.  The show will be carried live nationwide by ABC.

If your daily commute takes you downtown, be aware that several streets will be closed for the CMAs today and tomorrow.