Field Reportings from Issue #53
I WANT MY AMERICANA TV: There’s good news and bad news for fans of the Americana music channel on the MUSIC CHOICE cable TV service. At the beginning of July, Music Choice altered its lineup and, citing low Arbitron numbers, eliminated its Americana channel. But the company was inundated with phone calls as well as over 500 e-mails, according to Liz Opoka, who programs Music Choice’s Adult Alternative and Country channels, including Americana. The company responded by reviving the channel, which had remained part of their broadband lineup and will be available on their upcoming My Music Choice and Video On Demand services. The bad news for Americana fans is that cable firms typically don’t use all of the Music Choice channels, so there’s no guarantee it will reappear on any given cable roster. Those interested should contact their local cable operator and request they return the Americana station to their lineup.
AND THE NOMINEES ARE: The third annual AMERICANA MUSIC ASSOCIATION Honors And Awards Show will be held September 24, during the AMA’s annual conference in Nashville. Loretta Lynn heads this year’s class of nominees with three, in the Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Artist of the Year categories. Jim Lauderdale, another Artist of the Year nominee, will again host the festivities. Here is a complete list of nominees: Album of the Year — Fate’s Right Hand, Rodney Crowell (DMZ/Epic); One Moment More, Mindy Smith (Vanguard); Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn (Interscope); Wishbones, Slaid Cleaves (Philo). Artist of the Year — Patty Griffin, Jim Lauderdale, Loretta Lynn, Allison Moorer. Song of the Year — “Come To Jesus”, Mindy Smith; “Fate’s Right Hand”, Rodney Crowell; “Portland, Oregon”, Loretta Lynn; “Wishbones,” Slaid Cleaves and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Instrumentalist of the Year — Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Will Kimbrough, Kenny Vaughan. New/Emerging Artist — Greencards, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mindy Smith, Adrienne Young.
IN THE BINS: Hightone is the new home of 80-year-old bluesman CLARENCE “GATEMOUTH” BROWN, whose new disc, Timeless, comes out September 14….
High-octane bluegrass band SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD releases its first record in over three years, Should Have Seen It Coming, September 28 on Bloodshot….
Also due September 28 is the latest from bluegrass great RICKY SKAGGS, Brand New Strings, on his own Skaggs Family label….
Nickel Creek mandolinist CHRIS THILE has finished a solo album scheduled for release in October on Sugar Hill….
WEBB WILDER, who is working on a new record, welcomes the reissue of his 1987 debut It Came From Nashville by Landslide Records on September 21 in a new, expanded version.
IN CAHOOTS: Lucinda Williams joins Emmylou Harris, Shelby Lynne and Jessi Colter as guest female vocalists on The Heroines, the latest from TONY JOE WHITE, slated for a September 28 release on Sanctuary….
The ubiquitous EMMYLOU HARRIS also sings with Steve Earle on his new disc and will appear with Conor Oberst on the next Bright Eyes album….
The Jayhawks’ Gary Louris has collaborated on a song with singer-songwriter JESSI ALEXANDER for her debut disc, coming out on Columbia in January….
Spooked, the latest from ROBYN HITCHCOCK, was produced by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings and is due October 5 on Yep Roc.
LIVE YOU’LL GET IT: A double live disc from LUCINDA WILLIAMS, originally scheduled for a September release on Lost Highway, has been pushed to early 2005….
LOS LOBOS filmed a July concert in San Francisco for DVD slated to be out before Christmas….
RHONDA VINCENT plans to turn a pair of recent St. Louis shows into concert DVD release….
In The Hills Of California, a new two-disc live album from GREG BROWN on Red House, contains tracks recorded from 1997-2003 at the Kate Wolf Music Festival….
Look for a NEKO CASE live album, featuring her Corn Sisters cohort Carolyn Mark, the Sadies and Kelly Hogan, later this year on Anti….
Last year’s SALUTE TO THE BLUES concert will come out as a two-disc set on September 21 from Columbia/Legacy, with a documentary film of the same name hitting the screens October 15….
The reissue of Pearl by JANIS JOPLIN features a second disc of live material recorded during 1970’s infamous Festival Express tour….
July’s GRAM PARSONS tribute concerts in Southern California were filmed for a future DVD release.
THE TRIBUTE TRIBUNE: Jay Farrar, the Bottle Rockets and the Skeletons are among the St. Louis-area acts saluting native son CHUCK BERRY on Brown Eyed Handsome Man. All the proceeds from this disc, scheduled for release October 5 on Undertow, will support community radio station KDHX…
Artemis Records’ upcoming WARREN ZEVON tribute will feature new studio renditions of Zevon tunes by the likes of Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne and the Pixies, while Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen each offer up live tracks….
Kelly Hogan, Rosie Flores, Robbie Fulks and the Asylum Street Spankers are among those paying homage to WANDA JACKSON on a tribute disc coming later this year on Bloodshot….
In October, Compadre Records salutes GEORGE STRAIT with an unusual project titled A Songwriters Tribute To George Strait, in which the songwriters themselves do songs that Strait popularized.
WORDS AND MUSIC: Having already delved into the realm of film, WILCO now plans to venture into the world of books. The Wilco Book will include essays, drawings and photographs by the band, as well as material from outside sources. As a bonus, the book (due in October from PictureBox) will include a CD containing 40 minutes of previously unreleased music from the sessions for A Ghost Is Born…
Singer-songwriters LAURA LOVE and STACY DEAN CAMPBELL have each written novels that have companion CDs. The book and CD versions of Love’s You Ain’t Got No Easter Clothes both are now available, while Campbell’s book and CD Cottonwood come out September 28.
BIG BOX SOUNDS: September 21 sees the release of CAN’T YOU HEAR ME CALLIN’, Columbia/Legacy’s 4-CD set covering 80 years of bluegrass, from Charlie Poole and Gid Tanner through Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers to Alison Krauss and Del McCoury….
September 21 also is the day Sundazed unveils a limited-edition vinyl box set of five BYRDS 45s. These are the mono mixes that Columbia never issued….
DOCTORS, PROFESSORS, KINGS & QUEENS, due October 5 on Shout Factory, documents the colorful sounds of New Orleans with four discs of tracks from Jelly Roll Morton, Sonny Landreth, Buckwheat Zydeco, the Meters and many others.