Loretta Lynn’s Short, Sweet Tribute

In the 1960s and early ‘70s, when Loretta Lynn was at her commercial peak, country hits were notably short musical affairs. “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” ran a quaint two minutes and nine seconds. “Fist City” came in at 2:13. “You’re Lookin’ At Country” was a scant 2:20. So it was apropos that when the Recording Academy honored the Coal Miner’s Daughter Tuesday, it took just 45 minutes — short and sweet and pretty neat. Host Reba McEntire started the night off with a zippy western-swing version of “If You’re Not Gone Too Long,” bolstered by the Time Jumpers’ triple-fiddle section, pass-around solos and a walking stand-up bass. Read More

Loretta Lynn’s Short, Sweet Tribute

In the 1960s and early ‘70s, when Loretta Lynn was at her commercial peak, country hits were notably short musical affairs. “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind)” ran a quaint two minutes and nine seconds. “Fist City” came in at 2:13. “You’re Lookin’ At Country” was a scant 2:20. So it was apropos that when the Recording Academy honored the Coal Miner’s Daughter Tuesday, it took just 45 minutes — short and sweet and pretty neat. Host Reba McEntire started the night off with a zippy western-swing version of “If You’re Not Gone Too Long,” bolstered by the Time Jumpers’ triple-fiddle section, pass-around solos and a walking stand-up bass. Read More

Ralph Stanley & Elton John: Country Is Rockin’

Jaw-dropping. There’s probably not a better phrase to describe an all-star band that’s being put together by producer T Bone Burnett. Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, who sung the Grammy-winning “O Death” on T Bone’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, will share the stage with keyboard players Elton John and Leon Russell, eclectic rocker Elvis Costello, Americana artist Neko Case and actor Jeff Bridges under the banner T Bone Burnett’s Speaking Clock Revue. They’ll be assembled Oct. 24 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., during the second day of Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit. The rock-and-country mix in T Bone’s ensemble is reflective of the multi-genre texture of the event’s larger lineup. Country-rock pioneers Buffalo Springfield will reunite for the weekend, and country’s Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson will play the same stage as Americana’s Lucinda Williams, classic-rockers Jackson Browne and Billy Idol, and modern-rock bands Pearl Jam and Modest Mouse. The link between country artists and their pop and rock peers is strong these days. And it’s in full force in a lot of ways. Among other notable examples: Read More