Sunday, February 19, 2017

John Mellencamp Collaborates With Carlene Carter On 4/21 Release of Sad Clowns & Hillbillies

Artist: John Mellencamp (featuring Carlene Carter)
Album: Sad Clowns & Hillbillies
Label: Republic Records
Release date: April 21, 2017

The new album features a mixture of songs written by Mellencamp and Carter, along with direct collaborations between the duo. On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, Mellencamp released the brooding political ballad "Easy Target," which addresses income inequality and Black Lives Matter.

Although initially billed as a duets album, Carter has stated in interviews that Sad Clowns and Hillbillies won't strictly consist of duets. “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies is a wonderful conglomeration of [John's] songs and my songs," she told Pacific University. "Some are duets and some are by themselves - it’s different, but really kind of the way John and I roll. We are very like-minded and on musical ground that really feels right. It’s been quite a wonderful ride."

In 2016, Mellencamp told USA Today: "We wrote a couple of songs together, and she wrote some and I wrote some." Mellencamp and Carter debuted "Indigo Sunset" and "My Soul's Got Wings" during their concert in Tulsa on April 1, 2016 (after opening the show, Carter joined Mellencamp during his headlining set for a performance of these two songs during most shows on the two 2016 legs of Mellencamp's Plain Spoken tour). "Indigo Sunset" was written by both Mellencamp and Carter, while Mellencamp wrote the music to "My Soul's Got Wings," giving life to a previously unheard lyric written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie.

Mellencamp said Sad Clowns and Hillbillies was borne out of his collaboration with Carter on the theater play and musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. He said through those that project and their time on tour together that the two became "singing buddies." Mellencamp gave insight into the genesis of the project to Yahoo's Katie Couric when debuting "Easy Target" in January, saying: "It's crazy the way it started - it was going to be a religious record. It started out like 'Look, lets go back and do an old country religious record. We'll try to write songs that sound like those songs, but they'll be new.' And then it just kept evolving and evolving and evolving, and the songs that she was bringing and the songs that I was bringing - they weren't so religious. I write a lot of sad songs, so it's like Sad Clowns and Hillbillies - that's where it came from."

New Music Video From The Band of Heathens - "All I'm Asking"

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Josh Gracin Releases New EP Nothin' Like Us, Part One

Artist: Josh Gracin
Album: Nothin' Like Us, Part One
Label: Revel Road
Release date: Feb 17, 2017

Josh Gracin quietly released a new EP this last week in a project that has this description:
Every sky-scraping chorus on this five-song EP is an opportunity for the Idol alum to showcase his room-filling voice. Forceful electric guitars give these tunes plenty of high-voltage power, but Gracin sounds best when he delivers a heart-on-sleeve ballad, like the triumphant title track and the warmly sentimental “I’m Still Here.”
Gracin's original big break came when he appeared on the television show American Idol during its second season.  A debut album, the self-titled Josh Gracin, appeared in 2004, followed by We Weren't Crazy four years later in 2008. Gracin signed with Average Joe's Entertainment, and issued Redemption, his self-written and produced debut for the label in the fall of 2011.

Nothin' Like Us, Part One Track listing:

1. I Go Crazy
2. I'm Still There
3. Nothin Like Us
4. Me, A Girl and a Radio  
5. Front Porch Kinda Love  
6. On Me

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jason Isbell To Release Live from Welcome To 1979 Special Vinyl-Only Release

Artist: Jason Isbell
Album: Live from Welcome To 1979
Label: Southeastern
Release date: April 22, 2017

Earlier this week in an interview with Rolling Stone, the songwriter announced his upcoming Live from Welcome to 1979, a six-song, vinyl-only concert album recorded directly onto lacquer that will be released on coordination with Record Store Day. A full-length studio album produced by Dave Cobb is also slated to hit later this year.
"Apart from "Never Gonna Change" – a concert staple that was originally released on The Dirty South, Isbell's second album with the Drive-By Truckers – Live from Welcome to 1979 focuses on soul, rock and country covers. Included is an updated take on Candi Staton's "Heart on a Ring" (which first appeared on Live from Alabama, albeit with a much smaller version of the 400 Unit), as well as versions of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City" and John Prine's "Storm Windows.""
Welcome To 1979 is housed in one of the most historic buildings in Nashville. Allen Bubis aka “The King of the Cheapies” built the 33,000 square foot record pressing plant back in 1953 and for the first decade or so recorded knock-offs of hit songs, presses and sold the pirated versions though his mail order catalog before it was sold to Motown and became a legitimate business. By the mid 1960's, the building was pressing records for Motown, RCA, Columbia, Capitol, Atlantic, Arista, K-Tel & Ronco Records. At that time, it was estimated that 90% of all retail stores carried music that was manufactured by what was then called GRT. With vinyl on the comeback, they've pressed over 3,000 different projects over the last couple of years again.

New Music Video From Steven Curtis Chapman - "I Will Be Here"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Music Video From Marc Broussard - "Somewhere Over The Rainbow"

This week, Louisiana native son Marc Broussard made a live performance music video for a fan of his that lost a newborn child after it was born prematurely. Kelsey Hammond made this special request on the anniversary of what would have been her daughter's first birthday. Here's what Kelsey said about Maley's story and the story behind the request to Marc:
"I found out I was pregnant in September. Everything was perfect in the pregnancy up until I was 24 weeks. In February, I started having blood pressure problems and had to see a high risk specialist in Jackson, MS where I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Maley was measuring much smaller than she should have and there was no fluid around her. That day I was admitted to the hospital to receive steroid shots to develop her lungs and monitor my blood pressure. Three days later, on February 13, 2016 she was delivered by emergency c section. She weighed 1 pound and 1 ounce and was 11 1/4 inches long. Maley fought a long hard fight for 6 days. We had people from all around the world praying for us, the farthest we know of being Slovakia. In 6 days, Maley served a purpose and we know this. I firmly believe she caused people to pray that haven't prayed in a while. Since her passing, we have donated cleaning supplies and money for wish lists to the Ronald McDonald house, hundreds of children's books to our local hospital, and items to the NICU for other parents that are going through bereavement. Keeping her memory alive is what helps us cope. On February 13, 2017 Maley had her 1st heavenly birthday. Marc was able to fulfill our request of singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to celebrate the life of our daughter. More of our story is on our Facebook page."

New Music Video From Willie Nelson - "A Woman's Love"

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Reissue Of Famed Kristofferson/Coolidge Album Full Moon To Include 8 New Unreleased Tracks

Artist: Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge
Album: Full Moon (Expanded Edition)
Label: Real Gone Music
Reissue date: April 14, 2017

It may be hard to believe, but this famed duets album—which went to #1 on the country charts and #26 on the pop charts and garnered a Gold Record—has never been issued on CD or digitally outside of Japan, and even there only in the late ‘90s on a limited run.

This was a love album in every sense of the word, as the two stars had just gotten married weeks prior to the record’s release in 1973; interestingly, though Kris Kristofferson, fresh from recording his country chart-topper “Why Me,” was the bigger star at the time, Full Moon really played to Rita Coolidge’s strengths, as it was produced by her long-time producer David Anderle and set its songs in a higher key more suited to her dreamy vocals. The album scored a huge hit with Kristofferson’s “A Song I’d Like to Sing,” and followed that up with a smash version of Tom Jans’ “Loving Arms;” the duo’s rendition of Kristofferson’s “From the Bottle to the Bottom” also won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

This new Full Moon Expanded Edition not only features notes by Joe Marchese featuring quotes from Rita Coolidge herself, but also adds no less than eight unreleased tracks from the A&M vaults, two of them Kris and Rita duets.

New Music Video From Kiefer Sutherland - "I'll Do Anything"

Monday, February 13, 2017

Save The Date: Record Store Day- April 22, 2017

Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.

This is a day for the people who make up the world of the record store—the staff, the customers, and the artists—to come together and celebrate the unique culture of a record store and the special role these independently owned stores play in their communities. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day. In 2008 a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day and that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small, in every genre and price point. Last year, 60% of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors including releases from Sun Records, Johnny Cash, Lee Ann Womack and more.

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Music Video From Sarah Darling - "Where Cowboys Ride"

Logan Mize & Jessie James Decker Each Announce New EPs

Artist: Jessie James Decker
Album: GOLD
Label: Epic Records
Release date: February 17, 2017

GOLD track list:
1.“Lights Down Low” (Jessie James Decker, Alyssa Bonagura)
2.“Shoot Out The Lights” (Maren Morris)
3.“Girl On The Coast” ” (Jessie James Decker)
4.“Too Young To Know” (Maren Morris, Jesse Frasure, Tiffany Vatanyan)
5.“Gold” (Jeffrey Steele, Alyssa Bonagura, Brandon Hood)

Artist: Logan Mize
Album: Ain't Always Pretty
Label: Big Yellow Dog Music
Release date: February 10, 2017

Ain't Always Pretty track list:
1. "Life's A Party"
2. "Better Off Gone"
3. Ain't Always Pretty"
4. "All Time"
5. "Catch a Fish"