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All posts tagged "Guy Clark"

Dec 18

Great American Country’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

While several conversations this year focused on the struggle that women artists face on the country music charts, female artists delivered some of the best albums of 2013. From Kacey Musgraves to Ashley Monroe and Brandy Clark, it’s been a banner year for female country singers. Gritty realism and emotional honesty marked many of the year’s best albums  – be they from women or men – in what has been a tremendous year for the genre. And as the year comes to a close, we offer our look at the Best Country Albums of 2013 in no particular order. As is the case with all Top 10 lists, some very worthy projects can’t be included. So if your favorite album of the year isn’t on here, let us know what you’ve been listening to all year long by leaving a comment!

GAC Album Review: Brandy Clark's 12 Stories

Brandy Clark’s 2013 album, 12 Stories. Photo courtesy of Shore Fire Media.

Brandy Clark 12 Stories

Nashville singer/songwriter Brandy Clark’s debut album is so honest that some listeners might be left speechless. Using mostly traditional arrangements that recall greats from Waylon Jennings to Roseanne Cash, Brandy spins one moral dilemma after another on 12 Stories with a razor sharp eye for character development. Read our original review here >> From cheatin’ songs like “What’ll Keep Me Out Of Heaven” and “Illegitimate Children” to tales of revenge (“Crazy Women”) and addiction (“Take A Little Pill”), Brandy’s ever-so-smart wordplay and talent for rich storytelling are captivating. Country fans might be unknowingly familiar with her songwriting (Brandy co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” in addition to The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” and Reba McEntire’s “The Day She Got Divorced”), and that same wry humor is on display here. In the old school Western “Stripes,” mortal revenge will not be carried out because those prison jumpsuits are just too unflattering. No crime of passion’s worth a crime of fashion, Brandy sings with a sardonic twist as she delivers one of country music’s best debuts in recent memory. Key Tracks – “Stripes,” “Hungover,” “Pray To Jesus,” “Crazy Women”

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Posted at 3:41 pm | Permalink
Jul 17

GAC Album Review: Guy Clark’s My Favorite Picture Of You

Songsmith Guy Clark’s first album in four years is a powerful one that is at times tender, tough and introspective –and oftentimes all three at once.

Guy Clark new album review

On My Favorite Picture Of You, due to release July 23, the 71-year-old Texan fills windswept acoustic landscapes full of brightly poetic images as he reflects on life with a hard-earned wisdom.

My Favorite Picture Of You handles complicated emotions with an ever-present and steady truth. As on the project’s opening tune, the sawdust number “Cornmeal Waltz,” Guy consistently reveals that what others might breeze through with barely a thought is many times worth a second look. And you don’t need to look much further than the album’s cover for this message to resonate. Staring cross-armed into the lens of an old Polaroid camera is a portrait of Guy’s late wife, Susanna, shortly after she found her husband drunk with fellow Lone Star troubadour Townes Van Zandt. Like he’ll go onto explain in the album’s thoughtful and loving title track, It’s just a moment in time you can’t have back, and later, A curse on your lips but all I can see / Is beautiful, referring to the love of his life that passed away last year.

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Posted at 4:04 pm | Permalink
Mar 22

Jason Aldean, Guy Clark, Blake Shelton & More Announced as ACM Awards Off-Camera Winners

Jason Aldean

Jason Aldean photo courtesy of Broken Bow Records.

Today, the Academy of Country Music is announcing the winners of awards that will not be televised during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, due to time constraints. The ceremony will be telecast LIVE from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8 p.m. live ET/delayed PT on CBS. Special Awards, Industry Awards, MBI (Musician, Bandleader, Instrumentalist) and Songwriter of the Year honorees will be feted at the 7th Annual ACM Honors event on September 10, 2013 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.


Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award – Keith Whitley and The Judds have been chosen to receive the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award, honoring individuals who are pioneers in the country music genre.

Keith Whitley brought a blend of traditional bluegrass, classic country and contemporary songwriting influences to his timeless recordings. Although his catalog is regrettably small, this Kentucky native stands as one of the most respected vocalists of his era, thanks to a rich baritone that effortlessly conveyed the emotion of any song. Whitley first entered the Top 10 in 1986 with “Ten Feet Away,” setting the stage for enduring ballads like “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “When You Say Nothing at All” and “I’m No Stranger to the Rain,” all of which reached No. 1 before Whitley died in 1989 at age 33.

The Judds gave country music an acoustic boost in the 1980s, ultimately racking up 20 Top 10 hits. They picked up seven consecutive ACM Awards in the Vocal Duet category, as well as a Song of the Year trophy for “Why Not Me.” Their winning streak began in 1984 with “Mama He’s Crazy,” the first of 14 No. 1 hits. Fans also identified with the ups and downs of Naomi and Wynonna’s mother-daughter relationship, adding another dimension to modern classics like the nostalgic “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)” and the empowering “Love Can Build a Bridge.”

Past recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award include Alabama, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Jerry Reed, Tex Ritter, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Billy Sherrill, Ricky Skaggs, Mel Tillis, Randy Travis, Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr., Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

Crystal Milestone Award – Jason Aldean has been chosen to receive the Crystal Milestone Award, which is given to an artist or industry leader to commemorate a specific, remarkable achievement.

Jason Aldean soared to stadium headliner status in 2012. He sold out his first stadium show last year, moving more than 27,000 tickets for Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. All tickets were purchased more than two months in advance. Aldean’s arena show tickets went quickly too. He sold 24,000 tickets in two minutes for his Indianapolis show, along with 20,000 seats in just four minutes in St. Louis. Aldean is now swinging for the rafters with his “Night Train Tour.” Stadium shows on the itinerary include Wrigley Field in Chicago, Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA, and Boston’s Fenway Park—which sold out in seven minutes, setting a venue record and making Aldean the first country act to headline the historic ballpark. The Academy is honoring Aldean for this remarkable achievement.

Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, Gayle Holcomb, Jennifer Nettles and Taylor Swift.

Gene Weed Special Achievement Award – Blake Shelton has been chosen to receive the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award, which acknowledges unprecedented, unique and outstanding individual achievement in country music.

Blake Shelton stepped into his role on NBC’s The Voice as a well-known figure in country music circles. Now he’s a household name to millions of viewers who appreciate his lively personality, his honest approach toward aspiring talent and his camaraderie with pop stars like Christine Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine. That broad appeal paved the way for a network special to coincide with his first holiday album, Cheers, It’s Christmas. A three-time ACM Awards co-host, Shelton is climbing the charts with “Sure Be Cool If You Did.” Look for his “Ten Times Crazier Tour” starting in July.

Past recipients of the Gene Weed Special Achievement Award include Garth Brooks, George Burns, Jeff Foxworthy, Willie Nelson and George Strait.

Jim Reeves International Award – Lady Antebellum has been chosen to receive the Jim Reeves International Award, which is presented to an artist for outstanding contributions to the acceptance of country music throughout the world.

Lady Antebellum seized the day with their “Own the Night World Tour,” ultimately performing to more than a million fans in 11 countries and three continents. Along with packing venues in the U.S. and Canada, the trio sold out three shows at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Band members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott also accepted the honor of opening for a musical hero, Bruce Springsteen, at London’s Hard Rock Calling. A three-time winner in the ACM Vocal Group category, Lady Antebellum will release its fourth studio album, Golden, in May, likely taking their newest hit “Downtown” around the globe.

Past recipients of the Jim Reeves International Award include Garth Brooks, Dick Clark, Roy Clark, Merv Griffin, Alan Jackson, Charlie Nagatani, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, among others.

Mae Boren Axton Award – Tommy Wiggins has been chosen as the recipient of the Mae Boren Axton Award, which is given in recognition of years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual to the Academy of Country Music.

Tommy Wiggins co-founded the organization that is now the Academy of Country Music. While pursuing opportunities performing on radio and on stage, Wiggins lived in Tucson and Nashville before relocating in 1960 to Los Angeles, where he appeared on local television shows. Along with releasing several singles on Stadium Records, Wiggins launched a radio industry publication titled D.J.’s Digest. In 1964, he teamed with songwriter Eddie Miller and club owners Mickey and Chris Christensen to stage a Los Angeles-based awards show and form the Country Western Music Academy–later renamed the Academy of Country Music–to draw attention to country artists based on the West Coast.

Past recipients of the Mae Boren Axton Award include John Dorris, Rod Essig, Gayle Holcomb, Jack Lameier, Marge Meoli, Ray Pilzak, Gaynelle Pitts, Gene Weed and David Young.

Poet’s Award – Guy Clark and Hank Williams have been selected to receive the Poet’s Award, which honors songwriters for outstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their careers in the field of country music.

Guy Clark has earned the respect of countless songwriters by crafting his compositions with wit, wisdom and warmth. This native Texan made a lasting impression with his 1975 debut album Old No. 1. His extensive songwriting catalog includes cuts by Johnny Cash (“Texas 1947”), Kenny Chesney (“Hemingway’s Whiskey”), Rodney Crowell (“She’s Crazy for Leaving”) and Ricky Skaggs (“Heartbroke”). Meanwhile, his own recordings of “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperadoes Waiting for a Train” make listeners feel as though they know him personally. The 2011 collection, This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, received a Grammy nomination for best folk album.

Hank Williams remains one of the most revered songwriters in history. A native of Alabama, Williams’ commercial style found a champion in music publisher Fred Rose in 1946. Despite a brief career, Williams catalog includes “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Hey Good Lookin’” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart.” His compositions have been recorded by Tony Bennett, Jimmy Buffett, Norah Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charley Pride, Linda Ronstadt and Hank Williams Jr., among many others. The legendary figure was found dead on Jan. 1, 1953. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 and received the 1973 ACM Pioneer Award. Hank Williams will be honored posthumously.

Previous recipients of the Poet’s Award include Bill Anderson, Bobby Braddock, Hank Cochran, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall, Harlan Howard, Roger Miller, Fred Rose, Don Schlitz and Cindy Walker. Continue Reading


Posted at 10:58 am | Permalink
Mar 6

Ashley Monroe Finds Her Own Way

Ashley Monroe

Ashley Monroe’s 2013 CD, Like A Rose.

By Erin Duvall

© 2013 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Though Ashley Monroe is hardly a newcomer to country music, many fans will hear her for the first time on her own with Like a Rose – her first solo effort since she achieved visibility as a member of Pistol Annies, which also includes Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley.

But for Vince Gill, who produced Like a Rose with Justin Niebank, his acquaintance with and admiration for Monroe goes back about a decade.

Read our review of Ashley Monroe’s Like A Rose >>

“I first met Ashley when she had just moved to town. I called her up to figure out a time and place [to write], and she said, ‘By the way, can you come pick me up? I’m not old enough to drive yet,’” he recalled, with a laugh. “I fell in love with the kid right off the bat. There are some people who come along who have old souls. She seems to be that. I can’t champion her talent enough as a songwriter. And then, on top of that, she sings like a bird.” Continue Reading


Posted at 10:42 am | Permalink
Feb 26

GAC Album Review: Ashley Monroe’s Like A Rose

Ashley Monroe's 2012 CD, Like A Rose

Ashley Monroe’s 2012 CD, Like A Rose.

Known mostly to country music fans as one-third of the all girl outlaw troupe Pistol Annies, Ashley Monroe heads solo this time around with her new project, Like A Rose. Produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank (LeAnn Rimes, Vince’s Guitar Slinger), Like A Rose laces stirring traditional country with vivid storytelling and Ashley’s unforgettable voice to create a timeless collection.

She’s got a Tennessee mountain point of view, is how Miranda Lambert describes Ashley on the Pistol Annies’ rollicking single, “Takin’ Pills.” And on Like A Rose, available March 5, that point of view comes across in deeply personal ways. Ashley co-wrote all nine of the songs on the album, and many strike an autobiographical tone. With pristine acoustic steel strings and a meandering rhythm, the title track “Like A Rose” (co-written with Guy Clark) opens the album with the despondent line, I was only thirteen when Daddy died. Ashley goes on to sing of bus tickets and lonely diners, but most importantly, escaping the hard knock life that seemed destined to be. With a sweet, yet ever guarded delivery, Ashley’s voice is rich with the emotional consequences of the song.

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Posted at 6:45 am | Permalink
Dec 14

John Corbett Prepares to Release New Album January 29

John Corbett

John Corbett

Most people know John Corbett as an actor first and a musician second. Growing up Wheeling, West Virginia, just a few miles from Brad Paisley, music has always been John’s first love. As he prepares to release his new album, Leaving Nothin’ Behind, he’s out to show he’s serious about his music career.

“I never for a second dreamed that I could make a living making music, except probably when I was a freshman in high school and would daydream about what it would be like to be in Kiss or Styx or something,” he said. “But I always had a guitar with me.”

He received his first guitar from his mom when he was 7 or 8 years old, around the same time she introduced him to Elvis. John is such a huge fan that he even owns Elvis’ original birth record, handwritten by the doctor who delivered him in Tupelo, Miss. He also sites as his musical heroes the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks, Glen Campbell, Waylon Jennings and Buck Owens, who gave John the last guitar he bestowed to an artist two weeks before he died. Continue Reading


Posted at 1:35 pm | Permalink
Nov 27

Ashley Monroe of Pistol Annies to Release Solo Album December 18

Ashley Monroe

Ashley Monroe’s 2012 Like A Rose album, courtesy of Warner Music Nashville

Ashley Monroe, one-third of Pistol Annies, will release her debut solo album, Like A Rose, to digital outlets on December 18. The physical CD will be available at retail stores January 22, 2013. The album has been a long time coming as Ashley has been creating music more than half of her life, earning praise from the likes of Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, Vince Gill and Jack White along the way.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tenn., Ashley, who is not-too-distantly related to members of the legendary Carter Family, won a talent contest at age 11, singing “I want To Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.” Her father gave her her first guitar two years later, propelling her to develop a passion for songwriting. Shortly after, her father was diagnosed with cancer and died when Ashley was just 13.

After her father’s death, Ashley threw herself into music. She and her mother moved to Nashville so she could follow her dreams. Within a year, Ashley had signed a publishing deal, landed a recording contract and released a single, “Satisfied.” All was going well until her record label merged with a larger company and opted not to release her completed album, Satisfied. The album went on to find a home on iTunes but Ashley was back to square one. Continue Reading


Posted at 2:33 pm | Permalink
Sep 13

Winners of 11th Americana Honors & Awards Announced

The Civil Wars

The Civil Wars won the Duo/Group of the Year award at the 11th Americana Honors & Awards.

Last night at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the Americana Music Association celebrated its 11th Americana Honors & Awards presented by Nissan. Multiple generations of artists were honored, ranging from legends including Booker T. Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson and Guy Clark, favorites Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, and up-and-comers Alabama Shakes, Jason Isbell and The Civil Wars. The night opened with a performance of the Booker T. and the MG’s classic “Green Onions,” led by Jones with guitarists Thompson, Buddy Miller, Larry Campbell, Darrell Scott and Kenny Vaughn.

Album of the Year honors went to This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark, produced by Tamara Saviano and Shawn Camp. The award was made further poignant coming just moments after Clark performed his own, “My Favorite Picture of You,” taking the stage to a standing ovation.

Welch and Rawlings, though both unable to attend, picked up two of the night’s biggest awards, with Welch scoring the Artist of the Year honor, and Rawlings picking up the Instrumentalist of the Year award. Amy Helm and Sam Bush announced Rawlings’ win; Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis presented the award for Welch.

Two other major awards of the night went to what some might consider a new generation of roots artists, though none are strangers to the awards show or the Ryman stage. With original Big Star drummer Jody Stephens and former R.E.M. member Mike Mills presenting, Duo/Group of the Year honors went to The Civil Wars, who just last year were an Emerging Artist nominee and captivated the audience with a stripped down version of “Barton Hallow.” Before picking up the award, The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams and John Paul White also acted as presenters, handing Song of the Year honors to “Alabama Pines,” written by Isbell and performed by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Isbell was formerly of roots-rock workhorse Drive-By Truckers. He also performed the song on the show.

Eliciting a roar of approval from the sold-out audience at the Ryman, The Alabama Shakes snagged the Emerging Artist award, an honor awarded the band by Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers and Sara Watkins. The win capped off a thrilling night for the band, which earlier owned the Ryman stage with guest Jones for a raucous performance of its song, “Be Mine.”

“Tonight was a perfect example of why I love Americana,” said Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association. “From the rock and soul of Alabama Shakes to the perfection of Gill and Dave, all of our winners honor the traditions of American roots music while pushing the form forward.”

Hosted by Jim Lauderdale, the Americana Honors & Awards presented by Nissan also paid tribute to a number of the genre’s progenitors with Lifetime Achievement Awards. Hiatt, himself a Lifetime Achievement Award honoree in 2008 for songwriting, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance to Raitt. The two then joined forces toward the end of the show for the Hiatt-penned, Raitt hit “Thing Called Love.” Raitt was also joined by Al Anderson on “Not Cause We Wanted To,” a song from her last album, Slipstream, written by Anderson and Nashville’s Bonnie Bishop.

In between opening and closing numbers, the show also included performances by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson; The Mavericks; Lee Ann Womack, Tom T. Hall and Peter Cooper, who together performed song-of-the-year nominee “I Love;” The Punch Brothers; Robert Ellis; Hayes Carll and Cary Ann Hearst; the Carolina Chocolate Drops; Sarah Jarosz; Deep Dark Woods; Steve Earle; and Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.

Americana Music Awards and Honors 2012 Award Winners: Continue Reading


Posted at 11:46 am | Permalink
Jan 3

New Book Honors Townes Van Zandt’s Legacy

Townes Van Zandt

Photo courtesy of Tamara Saviano.

To mark the 15th anniversary of Townes Van Zandt’s New Year’s Day death in 1997, the John and Robin Dickson Series will release I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt. The book, written by Brian T. Atkinson, chronicles the impact that Townes’ lyrics had on fellow and future artists.

“I don’t envision a very long life for myself,” Townes once said. “I think my life will run out before my work does. I’ve designed it that way.” Townes penned such classics as “Pancho and Lefty,” “If I Needed You,” “Tecumseh Valley,” and “Lungs.”

Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett and Lucinda Williams are among more than 40 songwriters interviewed for the book. They analyze Townes’ lyrics and share stories of Townes’ rise and fall. The book also includes insight from younger artists such as My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, The Avett Brothers’ Scott Avett, Grace Potter, Josh Ritter and Kasey Chambers, who have all been influenced by Townes’ work. Continue Reading


Posted at 1:17 pm | Permalink
Sep 10

Guy Clark Tribute 70th Birday Tribute Concert Planned in Austin

The 2011 album, This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark. Photo courtesy of Ellis Creative.

The Center for Texas Music History will host the benefit concert ‘Wish I Was In Austin: A 70 Birthday Tribute to Guy Clark’ on November 2 at the Long Center in Austin. The live show also celebrates the release of the double CD This One’s For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark which is slated to be released on November 8. Guy was born in Monahans, Texas on November 6, 1941.

Several artists who recorded tracks for the tribute CD will perform at the concert.  Terry Allen, Shawn Colvin, Rodney Crowell, Joe Ely, Rosie Flores, Radney Foster, Terri Hendrix, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jack Ingram, James McMurtry, The Trishas, Jerry Jeff Walker, Kevin Welch and more are scheduled to perform.  Guy will also perform a set. Continue Reading


Posted at 1:17 pm | Permalink