Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

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It’s not too soon to reserve tickets for Robert Earl Keen’s expanded annual Christmas Tour

If you think it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas, I would agree. The sight of Christmas debris I spotted lining shelves at the local discount store this weekend, pushing Halloween and autumn decor aside, made me inwardly groan. Visions of Kenan Thompson’s now infamous Saturday Night Live skit, in which he declares it’s “too soon” for Yuletide decorations, echoed in my head.

But there is one holiday tradition to plan for that’s never too soon. It’s Americana icon Robert Earl Keen’s annual holiday show and some tickets for this coveted event, “Back to the Country Jamboree,” go on sale Monday, Sept. 18. Continue reading


Taylor Swift left Nashville a long time ago folks

It seems Taylor Swift is everywhere these days except Nashville. The guy selling newspapers on the corner in the nation’s capital  listening to gospel tunes through his ear buds has heard her newest ditty “Shake It Off,” even if it was a muffled version in a passing car.  Since her fifth album release and a public battle with Spotify following her decision to remove her music from the free streaming service, something has shifted. Instead of People and Cosmo, this week Swift is gracing the cover of Time and stories about her are littering news sites such Bloomberg and Forbes. It appears she is finally being recognized for the calculating business woman I think she has always been. It’s just taken others time to catch up and realize it. An editorial she wrote in the Wall Street Journal last summer was a warning shot to Spotify: “My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.” Continue reading

Miranda Lambert robbed

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If you watched the 48th annual Country Music Association Awards, you learned two things: Country music is currently dominated by male artists, all of whom have a similar sound (not surprising given that Nashville has sucked the soul out of most artists in exchange for downloads) and Miranda Lambert was robbed of the Entertainer of the Year Award. I would like the CMA voters to explain how Lambert, who received four awards and surpassed Reba McEntire and Martina McBride for the most best female vocalist wins, was not chosen as Entertainer of the Year. Instead, voters chose Luke Bryan, who didn’t win any other awards, to win the top honor. Is this an example of the “new math”?

As the most decorated female artist in the history of the CMAs, the 30-year-old Lambert now has a total of 11 CMA trophies. On Wednesday, she also took home album of the year for “Platinum,” single of the year for “Automatic” and music event of the year for “We Were Us” with Keith Urban. “It’s really unbelievable,” she told The Associated Press backstage. “I felt like this whole night was about really celebrating music.”

The next chance to catch Lambert performing live is on Dec. 30 at the Belk Bowl at Bank of American Stadium in Charlotte.

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