Ryan Bingham Wins Two Americana Awards

Film makers want very much for the general public to buy in to the magic of movies. You can count Ryan Bingham among those who believe in celluloid’s power. After sharing a Golden Globe and an Oscar Award for Best Song with T Bone Burnett for writing the “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart),” Ryan took home two trophies — Song and Artist of the Year — Thursday during the ninth annual Americana Music Association Honors & Awards in Nashville. The Americana nods only add to the lists in which Ryan finds himself. The Song of the Year Oscar put him in the company of such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Henry Mancini and Irving Berlin — all of whom have won the Film Academy’s Best Song prize at least once. Ryan’s new album, Junky Star, made its chart debut this week, landing at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums list. And the Americana Artist of the Year trophy put him on yet another list among such previous winners as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Neil Young and Jim Lauderdale, who hosted Thursday’s show. Read More

Mary Chapin Carpenter Revels In “Miracles”

Mary Chapin Carpenter filled up a lot of her weekends this summer with tour dates — not surprising because it’s something most artists who’ve built any kind of a career in country music do just about every year. But for Chapin, it’s all a little different this time around. The tour accompanies her first album in three years, titled The Age Of Miracles, and a miracle is a good way to describe her ability to tour at all. In April 2007, she suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the primary artery in the lung. She had to cancel all of her concerts for the year and undergo surgery. It also put her career on a lengthy pause — the constant travel involved in touring can be physically taxing, and weak lungs don’t exactly match up well with that part of the job. Read More

Eli Young Band Primed as Heartbreakers

In an era when Kid Rock and Bon Jovi have found success in country music, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear Tom Petty’s name being thrown around. The Eli Young Band has been covering the rocker’s “American Girl” frequently in concert, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are something of a muse for the Texas foursome as it develops a follow-up to the 2008 album Jet Black & Jealous. Read More