Sunday, July 29, 2018

Michael Martin Murphey To Release Austinology: Alleys of Austin in October

Artist: Michael Martin Murphey
Album: Austinology: Alleys of Austin
Label: Soundly Music
Release date: October 5, 2018

Fifty years after Murphey helped pioneer the Austin Music Scene (along with Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P. Nunn and more) , his latest offering is a look at the seminal period of Austin’s music history that set the stage for the “Outlaw” movement with Nelson and Waylon Jennings, among others, and the live music scene that is still thriving there.

“Murphey was a key player in the Austin, TX phenomenon,” wrote noted journalist Craig Havighurst for WMOT — The String. “He was a regular at the Armadillo World Headquarters, the iconic venue at the heart of the live scene, where a diverse audience heard a diverse array of roots music, from hard country to traditional blues. Murphey, along with Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and others forged a country-rock hybrid that became the foundation for the progressive folk music field we now call Americana.”

For Austinology, Murphey chose songs — including some by the likes of Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker — that were important to the late 1960s and 1970s when he lived in Austin and created the “Cosmic Cowboy” era.

Murphey is joined on the project by several artists who were integral to that era as well as those influenced by the work they created.

The songs are given a fresh reading by Murphey and his special guests, including Willie Nelson (on “Alleys of Austin” and “Cosmic Cowboy”), Steve Earle (on “Geronimo’s Cadillac”), Lyle Lovett (on “Alleys of Austin,” “Cosmic Cowboy” and “Drunken Lady of the Morning”), Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison (on “Little Bird”), Jerry Jeff Walker (on “Cosmic Cowboy”), Amy Grant (on “Wildfire”), Randy Rogers (“Backslider’s Wine”), The Last Bandoleros (on Guy Clark’s “LA Freeway”) and more.

Murphey, who plays and sounds better than ever, also enlisted some of the finest players in the world, including guitarist Kenny Greenberg (Nelson, Bob Seger, Etta James), dobroist Rob Ickes (Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill), keyboardist Tim Akers (Dolly Parton, Bruce Hornsby, Jimmy Webb) and more. The album is co-produced with Christopher Harris (CeCe Winans, Amy Grant). 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Willie Nelson Tributes Frank Sinatra On Upcoming Album, My Way

Artist: Willie Nelson
Album: My Way
Label: Sony Legacy
Release date: September 14, 2018

It seems appropriate that country music's most-senior star would also be its prolific. My Way, Willie Nelson's new studio album, explores his admiration and connection to Frank Sinatra's art and artistry across 11 fresh, intoxicating takes on songs made famous by the Chairman of the Board.

Recorded in the tradition of 1978s legendary Stardust and 2016s Grammy Award-winning Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, My Way is a warm and personal nod from one icon to another. Included are Willie's takes on timeless tunes like "Summer Wind," "It Was A Very Good Year," "I'll Be Around," "Fly Me To The Moon," "What Is This Thing Called Love" (cast as a duet with fellow Grammy winner Norah Jones) and, of course, the anthemic "My Way."

Add Willie's stalwart backing band plus lush arrangements for full string and horn sections - all produced by Grammy winners Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings - and you've got an album that promises to be as cool as it gets.

Nelson and Sinatra were close friends, musical colleagues and mutual admirers of each other’s work throughout Sinatra’s lifetime. In the 1980s, Sinatra opened for Willie at Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and the two of them appeared together in a public service announcement for NASA’s Space Foundation.

Willie Nelson – My Way Track Listing:
 
01. Fly Me To The Moon
02. Summer Wind
03. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
04. A Foggy Day
05. It Was A Very Good Year
06. Blue Moon
07. I’ll Be Around
08. Night And Day
09. What Is This Thing Called Love (with Norah Jones)
10. Young At Heart
11. My Way