Lady Antebellum Gets Grammy Glory

Hello, world: Just in case anyone was left on the planet that hadn’t figured out how significant Lady Antebellum was this year, the Recording Academy slipped the band into three of the big-four, multi-genre categories on the prestigious Grammy Awards ballot. Finalists in the general-interest categories were unveiled Wednesday during a one-hour nominations special on CBS. “Need You Now” and the album of the same name were tabbed as finalists for Record, Song and Album of the Year, pitting Lady A against such pop, rock and rap acts as Eminem, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire. Miranda Lambert sang her snarky “Only Prettier” on the special, which also saw “The House That Built Me” gain a Song of the Year nomination for composers Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin. As a result, two country titles — “Need You Now” and “House” — are among the five Song of the Year finalists, something that’s only happened seven times in the Grammys’ previous 52 years. 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

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

Rosanne Cash, Desert Rose Band: ‘80s Rewind

Ronald Reagan, the DeLorean and parachute pants. The 1980s were kind of strange — and we’re still paying for the greed-is-good mentality that the ‘80s movie Wall Street embraced. Nevertheless, there were numerous artists worth their salt in that decade who still matter: Reba McEntire, Dwight Yoakam and George Strait had their first hits, for example. And several acts — including Rosanne Cash, Paul Overstreet and the Desert Rose Band — are still making their presence felt. Here’s a look at some of the artists who reached their commercial peak during the ‘80s who are making a creative difference in slightly different ways: 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