Robert Plant & Elizabeth Cook Lead 2011 AMA Nominations

Rosanne Cash announced the list of 2011 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards nominees during an event at the Gibson/Baldwin Showroom in New York City on Monday. The Civil Wars, Levon Helm and His Dirt Farmer Quartet featuring Jim Lauderdale and Rosanne, with Benmont Tench on keys all performed during the event with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean joining [...] Read More

Johnny Cash Opposed U.S. War

The same day Natalie Maines took a public stance that criticized the president for leading the U.S. into the Iraq War in March 2003, Johnny Cash checked into Baptist Hospital in Nashville with pneumonia. The American public went crazy on the Dixie Chicks because of Natalie’s statement, and the incident cost the band its mainstream audience. As it turns out, the Man In Black might well have come out publicly against the Iraq War, too, if he weren’t in such poor health. Daughter Rosanne Cash had put her name on a full-page ad in The New York Times just two weeks prior, joining Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, Dave Matthews and T Bone Burnett among a group of musicians who said, “War on Iraq is wrong and we know it.” 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

Keith Urban Leads Hall of Fame Activities

A year ago, Keith Urban raised $500,000 for the Country Music Hall of Fame when he threw an all-star All For The Hall concert at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. This year, he’s pitching in again, but it’s not the only thing going on in country music with hall of fame overtones. Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn will be celebrated with a tribute album, fellow Hall of Famer Merle Haggard will receive another rare honor, and five composers — including a former Beatle — are being added to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Here’s a rundown of the hall of fame-related events of note: Read More

Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert Honor Loretta Lynn

Country legend Loretta Lynn has been entertaining fans with her singing and songwriting for 50 years. To commemorate that anniversary, Sony Music Nashville is releasing Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn. When the label started putting the lineup together, they turned to the Coal Miner’s Daughter herself to choose which artists would be on [...] Read More