News And Notes

All posts tagged "Waylon Jennings"

Aug 14

Country Outlaw Tompall Glaser Dead at 79

Country Outlaw Tompall Glaser Dead at 79

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Tompall Glaser (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

GAC extends condolences to the family, friends and fans of Thomas Paul “Tompall” Glaser. Tompall, a singer, publisher and studio owner known for his association with the “Outlaw” country movement in the ’70s, died Tuesday, August 13 at his home in Nashville after a long illness, reports the Tennessean. He was 79.

Tompall and his brothers, Chuck and Jim, owned and operated a studio near Nashville’s Music Row, formerly known as Glaser Brothers Sound Studio but more commonly referred to as “Hillbily Central.” Classic songs like Waylon Jennings’ “Dreaming My Dreams” were recorded within its walls.

“That building was a fortress,” Glaser Sound secretary and publicist Hazel Smith said in Michael Bane’s book Outlaws: Revolution In Country Music. “It was a place where they could go and hide. It was home to them, and there were no Picassos on the wall.” Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:34 am | Permalink
Jun 20

Groundbreaking Music Journalist Chet Flippo Dead at 69

Chet Flippo

Chet Flippo photo courtesy of CMT.

GAC extends condolences to the family and friends of groundbreaking music journalist and author Chet Flippo, who passed away in the early morning hours of June 19 at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. He died unexpectedly of complications from a brief illness. He was 69.

At the time of his passing, Chet served as editorial director at CMT where he wrote the popular weekly column, Nashville Skyline. As a writer and editor for Rolling Stone in the 1970s, he covered artists and subjects such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Joseph Heller, Tom Wolfe and the Who. He also pioneered country music coverage for Rolling Stone, profiling such artists as Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker and Waylon Jennings.

In the forward to The Country Reader, Chet shared the story of Waylon Jennings contacting him after Rolling Stone published “a very critical review” he had written about Waylon’s album Ladies Love Outlaws. Waylon wanted to meet with him in person and Chet admitted being leery as Waylon’s reputation proceeded him. Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:45 am | Permalink
Apr 4

GAC Album Review: Andy Griggs’ Naked

Andy Griggs

Andy Griggs photo courtesy of Webster & Associates.

Andy Griggs’ new all-acoustic album, Naked, opens to the cowboy strum of a Waylon Jennings song. “Old Timer,” a Western-tinged epic, details a man getting back to his roots; a man getting back to the basics and yearning for the foundation of who he is. And more than just a great song, it’s a mission statement about what Andy sets out to do on his first new project in five years.

Through 13 songs consisting of originals and a few of his personal favorites, Andy strips back the layers to a point that can only be described as minimalist. There are no flying guitar solos. There are no back-up singers. In fact the entire album, which is available now, consists of only one man and his guitar with no overdubs. Bearing it all, Naked delivers the kind of intimate, in the room experience that reveals the scars, vulnerabilities and joys listeners can feel. The sad, sad agony of, “Thrown Away,” or the soulful redemption in, “Long Time Coming,” resonate like the guitar strings Andy plays with emotion; soft one moment and shaking the next.

The focus here is on songwriting and the power of an instrument paired with a voice. The dark shades of “Understanding Hank,” where the heavy guitar tones match lines like, Now I find myself on the same lost highway he was on, work together to create stirring atmospheres. The addicted, ¾-time, “You and Cocaine,” and the hunter’s dream, “De’m Boyz,” slip deep into heavy Drop-D tuning while the hidden notes of “Superman” offset the steady chord progression as Andy wonders what it takes to be a man with an impressively soulful touch. And on “Heart Hush” (which Reba included on her 1998 album, If You See Him), the interplay between the steady rhythm of a percussive guitar and a fragile vocal performance is captivating.

Andy covers a handful of his favorite songs on the album, including two originally recorded by Keith Whitley for his 1989 record, I Wonder Do You Think Of Me. “Between An Old Memory And Me,” one of the standout cuts on Naked, is the alienated tune of a barroom loner, while “I Wonder Do You Think Of Me” uses self-deprecating humor to crack a smile through the loneliness. Do you remember those cold football games?, Andy sings before adding with a self-aware joke, I was your hero though I seldom played. Johnny Cash’s “Blue Train” makes an appearance with an entertaining in-studio intro, and the Willie Nelson classic, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” comes across with a tender and unguarded subtlety. However, it’s a cover of a song by Andy’s deceased brother Mason that delivers the album’s most powerful moment.

“Me On His Mind,” the story of a long-suffering sinner thankful for redemption, strikes a nerve with its Southern Gospel undercurrents and incredibly sharp narrative. Andy’s voice weighs heavy singing his brother’s words, and almost breaks down during the line, Oh God I fall on my knees, for a soul-bearing and transcendent moment. It’s the very essence of Naked, a stirring project that reveals all with an unflinching honesty.

Key Tracks – “Me On His Mind,” “Thrown Away,” “Between An Old Memory And Me,” “Heart Hush”

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Posted at 3:51 pm | Permalink
Mar 15

GAC Album Review: Shooter Jennings’ The Other Life

Shooter Jennings' 2013 album, The Other Life

Shooter Jennings’ 2013 album, The Other Life.

He may be the son of one of country music’s most heralded outlaws, but don’t use that label to describe Shooter Jennings. For the 33-year old Shooter, whose new album The Other Life hit stores on March 12, the current landscape of outlaw-inspired country lacks the fiercely independent spirit of his iconic father, Waylon, and the gang of musicians originally given that name. Seemingly always at odds with the mainstream, Shooter portrays himself more as an outsider by choice on his new 11-song set through a mix of Americana roots/rock, traditional country and a strong dose of 1970s psychedelia.

Many of the cuts on The Other Life came out of sessions for Shooter’s 2012 record, Family Man, which marked a return to a more country foundation after his industrial rock-influenced record, Black Ribbons. Opening with the mostly instrumental sci-fi theme, “Flying Saucer Song,” Shooter proclaims himself a misfit as dramatic piano and a Pink Floyd-esque chord progression fill the air. The rest of the project leans decidedly more country, but this serves as an early sign that The Other Life is Shooter’s most complete record to date, pulling sounds from all over his extremely diverse catalog.

While the finger pointing, “Outlaw You,” was released as a single in 2011, the song was not actually included on Family Man. It is included here, along with the epic, non-conformist, “The Gunslinger,” which opens with a lonely acoustic guitar before completely transforming into psychedelic ’70s soul complete with wailing saxophone. Don’t call me an outlaw, he demands in the chorus after a rhythmic verse showing off his extremely creative timing. Though he’s incredibly frustrated by the current use of the term ‘outlaw,’ Shooter’s really just a man feeling a little out of place as heard in “The Outsider.” It seems the older I get/the less I seem to fit in a young person’s world, he laments over a Waylon-inspired rhythm section.

There’s a consistent sense on the record that alienation is always right around the corner. Whether it’s feeling like he fits in better with the country days of yore while name checking legends like Jimmie Rogers and George Jones on the groove-heavy roots/rock number, “A Hard Lesson To Learn,” or portraying a redneck on the run in the cowpunk, “The White Trash Song” (which could easily be part of Shooter’s “Manifesto” song series) featuring Texan Scott H. Biram, Shooter’s most comfortable in the counter-culture.

Celebrated Americana artist Patty Griffin joins Shooter on the project, adding touching harmonies to the beautiful, “Wild and Lonesome,” a song that displays an introspective singer/songwriter style reminiscent of much of Shooter’s debut record, Put the “O” Back in Country. And on the spacey Southern rock jam, “15-Million Light Years Away,” Shooter trades lines with Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas over a big distorted chorus.

Shooter produced The Other Life with an overall sound that is open and raw, and his slightly flawed drawl fits perfectly with its worn, lived-in feel. The rollicking, “Mama, It’s Just My Medicine,” defends human flaws with a classic rock influence, while the road-weary title track’s stripped down piano-based waltz provides for an intimate setting. However, the songs here are packed with attitude, as on the gritty barn burner, “The Low Road,” which advocates bringing the fight when necessary. Shooter himself brings both the fight and a biting independence on The Other Life, his best record since 2006’s Electric Rodeo, and a rugged outlier in today’s country music landscape.

Key Tracks – “Wild and Lonesome,” “The Low Road,” “A Hard Lesson To Learn,” “Outlaw You”

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Posted at 10:40 am | Permalink
Mar 8

Andy Griggs Releases Naked Acoustic Album

Andy Griggs

Andy Griggs’ 2013 album, Naked. Photo courtesy of Webster & Associates.

Andy Griggs has released his latest album, NAKED. The album is entirely acoustic, just Andy and his guitar, and includes original songs as well as covers from artists who have influenced him such as Waylon Jennings’ “Old Timer” and Willie Nelson’s“Angel Flying  Too Close To the Ground.” iTunes has named the album ‘New and Noteworthy’ on their country page.

“I’m addicted to pure and raw feelings that’s as still and quiet as the wind,” Andy said. “Throwing your heart out whether it’s healthy or broken. Exposing a hurting soul! Bearing and giving it all with that ol’ piece of wood and 6 strings! It’s underwear on the couch, singing until daylight. It’s vulnerability to yourself. It’s vulnerability to your friends. It’s vulnerability to a crowd of strangers. In short, it’s all about bein’ NAKED!” Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:27 pm | Permalink
Jan 28

GAC Album Review: John Corbett’s Leaving Nothin’ Behind

John Corbett

John Corbett’s 2013 album, Leaving Nothin’ Behind. Photo by Bo Derek, courtesy of Funbone Records.

With an open sound stretching from loose country rock to roadhouse barn burners, actor/musician John Corbett heads straight for the Lone Star state on his second full-length album, Leaving Nothin’ Behind. The project, due in stores February 5, revels in Texas country tradition while helping John define a sound that may surprise fans of his TV and film roles in hits including Sex and the City and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Born in West Virginia and counting artists Elvis, Tom Petty and Waylon Jennings as heroes, John tapped Texan Jon Randall Stewart (Dierks Bentley, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) to produce the project that emphasizes rich songwriting, the majority of which comes from the Longhorn State. In fact, only two songs on Leaving Nothin’ Behind come from outside the state of Texas, and the result is a laid-back collection full of acoustic guitars, soulful melodies and sharp narratives that blends influences ranging from Robert Earl Keen to The Eagles.

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Posted at 3:36 pm | 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

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Posted at 1:35 pm | Permalink
Nov 12

GAC Album Review: Aaron Lewis’ The Road

Aaron Lewis' 2012 CD, The Road

Aaron Lewis’ 2012 CD, The Road.

There’s an interesting trend when established hard rock artists crossover to country; the sound can be very traditional. Kid Rock has shown this several times over the past decade, but his impact in the genre started on the ’70s country, outlaw-inspired megahit, “Picture,” a duet with Sheryl Crow. Aaron Lewis, frontman of the platinum-selling rock band Staind, follows a similar path on his first full-length country project, The Road, a collection of 10 traditional-based tunes rich with storytelling, ¾-time and twanging guitars.

Aaron first made moves in country music with the release of his 2011 EP, Town Line, featuring the hit “Country Boy” that included guest spots from Charlie Daniels, George Jones and Chris Young. Backed by some of Nashville’s finest session players, Aaron returns with The Road, which is available now. Guitarist Brent Mason, drummer Eddie Bayers and pedal steel player Paul Franklin lead a band that moves effortlessly between Waylon-esque thump (on the title-track “The Road”) and the pure acoustic beauty of Union Station (“Lessons Learned”) while Aaron’s emotional delivery gives life and feeling to the stories in his songs.

Drawing on troubadour themes, The Road spends some serious time contemplating the touring life and what it does to him and his family. The album opener, “75,” cranks up with classic country guitar phrasing and thick telecaster tones while Aaron laments, This highway ain’t no place for home loving drifters like me, with ¾-time balladry, dropping low into the end of a line with a natural highwayman feel. “State Lines” hints at a Continue Reading

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Posted at 5:19 pm | Permalink
Oct 29

GAC Album Review: Toby Keith’s Hope On The Rocks

Toby Keith

Toby Keith’s 2012 CD, Hope On The Rocks.

Toby Keith is settling nicely into the role of fun-loving, beer-drinking entertainer. Given the success of 2011’s Gold-certified album, Clancy’s Tavern, and its hugely popular keg party anthem, “Red Solo Cup,” it makes perfect sense for Toby to keep the party-friendly vibe and tallboy-tailored tunes on tap like a good draught. On Toby’s new studio album, Hope On The Rocks, he does just that with 10 songs served up full with odes to beer and women, and a splash of sentimental cowboy country.

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Posted at 4:17 pm | Permalink
Oct 5

GAC Album Review: Waylon Jennings’ Goin’ Down Rockin’: The Last Recordings

Waylon Jennings' 2012 CD, Goin' Down Rockin'

Waylon Jennings' 2012 CD, Goin' Down Rockin.' Photo courtesy of Webster PR.

Shortly before his death in February 2002, Waylon Jennings returned to the studio in order to lay down what would be his final recordings. Working with his good friend Robby Turner, who serves as producer of this project, Waylon created an intimate set of performances capturing both the peace and turmoil that accompanied the singer later in life. Though most of those original recordings comprised of simply vocal and guitar, Robby pledged that he would finish the instrumentation and arrangements at Waylon’s request. Now, more than 10 years later, the project is complete.

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Posted at 12:43 pm | Permalink