Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Jackin' Around Podcast- Episode 6 - Jack Ingram Interviews Ray Wylie Hubbard (Part 2 of 2)

Jack Ingram has released ten studio albums, six live projects, and charted 12 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Charts, including a #1 hit, during his career. He recently won an ACM for Best Country Song in 2018 as co-writer of Miranda Lambert's "Tin Man," which was also nominated for a Grammy and a CMA award. He also has hosted my Golf & Guitars Music Festival over the years, helping raise nearly a million and a half dollars to help veterans, disadvantaged youth and those with disabilities in Northern California. For that, I'll be forever grateful. This is is his new Jackin' Around Podcast.

On this podcast, Jack interviews the legendary country-rocker Ray Wylie Hubbard. In the 1970s, Hubbard wrote “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” first made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1973 recording.  In 1976, he signed with Warner Bros. Records.  The result was “a botched sound” that Hubbard disapproved of vehemently, but the album was released despite his attempts to block it.

Throughout the 80’s and ’90s, Hubbard recorded albums for various other labels but struggled with the sales of his mix of country, folk, and blues.  Eventually, a steady following began to re-discover Hubbard’s music, and he has been recording steadily since.  His guitar technique uses a strumming by the left (fretting) hand that is very old but not frequently seen in double time without changing the right-hand beat.

Since 2000, Hubbard has released ten records, including ‘Snake Farm’ in 2006.  Most recently, in 2020, Hubbard signed his first major-label release since 1978 on Big Machine Records.  ‘Co-Starring’ is a set of collaborations featuring Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Don Was, and Black Crowe’s frontman Chris Robinson.

This is the second of a two-part podcast. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Write You A Song Podcast - An Interview With James T Slater

This morning we share another new podcast from host Tom Mailey from Bonneville radio station New Country 105.1 KNCI in Sacramento. Tom is a country radio veteran with over 30 years of experience in Seattle and Sacramento and a key partner in our Golf & Guitars Children's Charity Music Festival, a little event in our twelfth year that has raised well north of a million bucks for kids and individuals with disabilities. It highlights the songwriters in our industry and is entitled Write You a Song.
 
It's his hope that this podcast will shine a little overdue spotlight on the talented men and women who, mostly behind the scenes, write the songs that become part of our lives. You know their words and music, but maybe not their names: Write You a Song will feature some of country music’s biggest songwriters--like Jeffrey Steele, Brett Warren, Ashley McBryde, Tim Nichols and more.

"There's nothing like this town. Songs are in the air". That's how James T Slater sums up Nashville, where he's made his home and his living for past 15+ years. Before that though, he lived and worked in a lot of places- and not necessarily places you'd consider "country": Panama. L.A. Switzerland. He wrote a hit song for a European group and played piano standards at a bar owned by Carroll "Archie Bunker" O'Conner. He wrote and sang a Christmas song that became a smash in the city of Atlanta, and nowhere else, and another one of his songs is the "official song" of Key West. And girlfriend of his once thought the guy he was writing with looked "dangerous"...but he and Jamey Johnson managed to write an honest, uncompromising country classic anyway. 

During his time in Nashville, his songs have been recorded by country superstars like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Rodney Atkins, John Michael Montgomery, Lorrie Morgan, Jessica Andrews, and Mark Wills, among others. Songwriter JT Harding helped arrange this interview and said we would love talking with James. He was right, we did. And you'll love listening to him, too. 



Sunday, May 2, 2021

Emily West Preps The Upcoming Release Of The Highly Personal Dear Diary Album

After being rung through the proverbial big-label ringer by Capitol Records Nashville earlier in her career, it would make sense that Emily West would want to follow her own muse and passions from different musical influences in the music she felt compelled to release. Since that time, she's made a statement that she’s found a new career compass and following it down her own yellow brick road (which just happens to be the name of her own label she’s released her own music on.) It’s passionately compelling and personal songwriting at its very best and has drawn from pop, country, big band and more. Her autobiographical 2014 song "Made for the Radio" was this site's Song of the Year for it's visceral and emotional take on her own story.

She received karmatically-charged justice in finishing second in America’s Got Talent and with that, earned a new record deal with Sony in the process. With that behind her, it's on to her next musical adventure and she's back to following that muse again and has a new project that she's put together with her Nashville friends that has just gone live on Kickstarter and will be titled Dear Diary

West hasn't made a record in the last 5 years and never one this personal.  She opened up her personal journals to Leroy Powell & Tim Jones (collectively known as Whiskey Wolves of the West), and  constructed mini-Broadway musicals for each of the tracks on the project. The songs were recorded by Grammy award-winning engineer Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses, The Avett Brothers, Lissie) at his studio the Fleetwood Shack.

Powell assembled an all-star band including AmericanaFest Musician of the Year and multi-Grammy winner Chris Powell (Jamey Johnson, Brandi Carlile), who also happens to be his little brother, on drums, Chase McGillis (Nikki Lane, Nicole Atkins) on bass, and fellow wolf Tim Jones on acoustic guitar.  

While most of the songs were co -written by Emily, Leroy, and Tim, "Why Don't You Call Me Baby" an Instant Grand Ole Opry classic, was penned with the inimitable Mindy Smith. Rounding out the album are cuts by the Canadian wonder man Ron Sexsmith, Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues" and the great American Songbook standard "Unforgettable."

Fans of West that would like to help contribute to the project (and receive a digital download or a limited edition vinyl run of the project) can do so at Emily's Kickstarter page HERE

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Jackin' Around Podcast- Episode 6 - Jack Ingram Interviews Ray Wylie Hubbard (Part 1 of 2)

Jack Ingram has released ten studio albums, six live projects, and charted 12 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Charts, including a #1 hit, during his career. He recently won an ACM for Best Country Song in 2018 as co-writer of Miranda Lambert's "Tin Man," which was also nominated for a Grammy and a CMA award. He also has hosted my Golf & Guitars Music Festival over the years, helping raise nearly a million and a half dollars to help veterans, disadvantaged youth and those with disabilities in Northern California. For that, I'll be forever grateful. This is is his new Jackin' Around Podcast.

On this podcast, Jack interviews the legendary country-rocker Ray Wylie Hubbard. In the 1970s, Hubbard wrote “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” first made famous by Jerry Jeff Walker’s 1973 recording.  In 1976, he signed with Warner Bros. Records.  The result was “a botched sound” that Hubbard disapproved of vehemently, but the album was released despite his attempts to block it.

Throughout the 80’s and ’90s, Hubbard recorded albums for various other labels but struggled with the sales of his mix of country, folk, and blues.  Eventually, a steady following began to re-discover Hubbard’s music, and he has been recording steadily since.  His guitar technique uses a strumming by the left (fretting) hand that is very old but not frequently seen in double time without changing the right-hand beat.

Since 2000, Hubbard has released ten records, including ‘Snake Farm’ in 2006.  Most recently, in 2020, Hubbard signed his first major-label release since 1978 on Big Machine Records.  ‘Co-Starring’ is a set of collaborations featuring Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Don Was, and Black Crowe’s frontman Chris Robinson.

Monday, April 19, 2021

ACM Performance of Dierks Bentley, War and Treaty and Larkin Poe - U2's "Pride (In The Name of Love)"

In a night filled with some excellent music and collaborations- the very best in recent memory- I thought this performance stood out above all others on the ACM Awards last night. Dierks Bentley put together a stellar band to revisit his cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love”) at Nashville’s Station Inn. Sibling duo Larkin Poe played Dobro and mandolin, Punch Brother Paul Kowert bowed an upright bass, and Brittany Haas fiddled. But it was the brilliant War and Treaty that stole the show, however. Michael Trotter and Tanya Blount Trotter provided the harmony, chorus and most of all... heart. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Poco's Rusty Young Passes Away At The Age Of 75

Rusty Young has died.

The co-founder of the pioneering country-rock band Poco died on April 14 of a heart attack at his home in Davisville, Missouri.  

Norman Russell Young was born in California in 1946 and grew up in Colorado.  With a love for country music, he took up the pedal steel guitar and played in local bands.  A friend of his, who was also friends with the L.A.-based country-rock band Buffalo Springfield, invited Young to come to Los Angeles.

From there, Poco was born, and country-rock never had a better band. 

While the Eagles are held as "the" epitome of country-rock, in reality Poco's mixing the genres predated the Eagles by four years.  In fact, the Eagles obtained both of their bassists from Poco:  Randy Meisner was on the first Poco album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, but left in a dispute before the album was released.  (The painting of the dog on the cover shows where Meisner was supposed to be in the original artwork.)  Timothy B. Schmit replaced Meisner and stayed with Poco until Meisner left the Eagles in 1977, shortly after Poco's Indian Summer tour had concluded.  The Eagles grabbed Schmit, leaving Poco's future in doubt.

Young, who was by 1977 the only original member left (other notable former members include Jim Messina and Richie Furay), decided to retire the Poco name, and he and longtime member Paul Cotton would continue on as the Young-Cotton band.  Their record label, however, pushed them to keep the Poco name for the next album.

That album was 1978's Legend, which yielded Poco's hits "Crazy Love" and "Heart of the Night."  Both of those songs scraped the bottom of the Billboard country charts while being top 20 pop hits.

In 2013 Young was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.  That year he decided he'd had enough of the road, intending to retire and turn Poco's legacy over to Paul Cotton.  However, Cotton quit and Young's retirement was put on hold. 

"We've been together longer than we have with some of our wives," Young once said about the half-century of Poco's good-time music that was, while "rock," far more country than most of the stuff you'll hear on country radio today.

That opening line from the title song of Poco's first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, describes the history of Poco's music best:

There's just a little bit of magic in the country music we're playin'
So let's begin
We're takin' you back down home where folks are happy
Sitting pickin' and a-grinnin' casually

Rusty Young was 75.

K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.