Loretta Lynn is getting ready to release new music, which she hasn't done in a decade. She just signed a new contract with Legacy Recordings, a catalog branch of the Sony Company. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Loretta's upcoming albums will be new material that she has been writing and recording since 2007 with a focus on new songs. She is also going to include some gospel and Appalachian folk songs that she learned from her mother growing up in Kentucky. We're extremely proud to say the sessions were produced by John Carter Cash along with Loretta's daughter Patsy. First album should be out early 2015.
Willie Nelson's nephew Freddie Fletcher owns Arlyn Studios in Austin, Texas, and has tapped his Uncle Willie to host a new musical variety television show called "Inside Arlyn." Willie is going to tape 13 episodes, first one with Merle Haggard along with blues star Gary Clark Jr. Dan Rather is also going to provide interviews with Merle and Willie to help promote the show.
Last Bulletin I told you about Willie being at the White House to perform for President Obama. There's a new video out on that performance showing Obama singing "On The Road Again" with Willie, and even a short focus of Michelle singing and dancing at the side. Looked like they were all having a great time. Good going Willie, who got a nice thank you hug from the President. Nebraskan Chuck Hagel was in attendance in the front row, and among the first to give a rousing standing ovation with ear to ear grins of satisfaction. John Fogarty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival) was also on the show with Willie, which must have been a lot of fun to hear.
You remember T-Bone Burnett? He's the "Oh Brother" creator, has a new project you might be interested in. Basically it's about Bob Dylan's 'basement tapes' that over 100 songs he and his band recorded after his motorcycle accident in 1967. Twenty-four of those songs were used to create "The Basement Tapes" considered by many to be Dylan's best works. Now, some 47 years later, T-Bone dug through the remaining 76 songs to create "Lost On The River - The New Basement Tapes." The cast of characters is impressive as are the re-recorded 50 of the 76 available songs. Even Johnny Depp is on the project, playing electric guitar.
Mark O'Connor, the incredible fiddler who has won just about every fiddle contest imaginable, has announced (even though he thought he might not wed again) will get married to fellow fiddler Maggie Dixon, who he met when he was a teacher, at a rehearsal, and then later at a concert in NYC. Mark asked her to accompany him to Singapore to perform with their national orchestra. So it goes, much congratulations to Mark & Maggie O'Connor. First met Mark when he came to Omaha to participate in the Laurier Birginal contest that Brandeis Store sponsored.
One of our favorite bluegrass bands, the Roys, who have repeatedly performed at our little Oak Tree Opry, are bringing the holidays home with their newest CD "Bluegrass Kinda Christmas" on Rural Rhythm Records. Those that have heard this brother-sister act, Elaine and Lee, know how spot-on they are with their harmonies. They also just won for the 4th time the Inspirational Country Music Bluegrass Artist of the Year award.
Peter Trenholm from Nova Scotia came to LeMars a couple of years ago for Hall of Fame induction. He's a specialist in all thanks Hank Williams Sr., and has spent 51 years studying and collecting the music of Hank. According to Peter, a like-minded friend George Longard put together a condensed story about Hank's life. Earlier this year, Peter recorded a 2-hour tribute to Hank, telling his complete story for the very first time in 61 years. Peter told Hank's real story for the first time since his passing and added a few pieces to the puzzle. This tribute received great attention from Hank fans, historians, and collectors from around the world. Peter and George collaborated on a 14-song Hank recording, adding their own composition "Our Tribute to Hank Williams." It's a long down-load, but if anyone is interested, I'll send it to you.
Bobby Williamson, was a DJ of legitimate country music on Dallas, Texas, radio station KRLD. A tape of one of his shows, a 1951-52 tape originally meant for RCA release, but never happened, is interesting to say the least. What's special about it is, Leon Rhodes (who was born in Dallas) and played guitar for Ray Price, Lefty Frizzel, Bob Wills, and probably most importantly Ernest Tubb, is the monster guitar picker on Williamson's tape. Considered one of the top-3 guitarists in classic country music, alongside Doc Watson and Grady Martin, the 82-year old Rhodes is still alive and lives in Nashville and still plays.
Two new CD's being released by Roughshod Records in Virginia. Our old friend Mike Johnson, has a new CD called "Doggone It, I've Written A Sad Song Again," which I've mentioned in the past. The official release date was November 15th, so I hope you'll be hearing more on this fine traditional country music artist. One of Mike's protégé's, James Adelsberger whose new CD also had a release date of November 15, "Old Time Country Songs )Are They Really Dead And Gone). I will be looking forward to receiving and hearing both of these works. They are also both available at Roughshod Records, P O Box 100933, Arlington, VA 22210. $8 each with the postage paid. A good deal if there ever was one.
Just got a nice e-mail from Harriette Andersen, the bass player with partner Rick, who went to Branson on Veterans's Day to join Jackie Shewey and Lee Muller, to perform at the Dick Clark Theater on the Brett Family Show. I'm sure Jackie opened with "Just Look At Old Glory." Harriette said the large audience was very responsive and Jackie had to take orders for CDs. One of our old Minnesota friends, Marlyce Stockinger (she arranged for Mickey Gilley to make his appearance at LeMars in 2013), was at the show, and invited the foursome to a Veteran's Jam Program. They got to perform there, and Marlyce even sang a song with them. Then she invited them to attend the Mickey Gilley show that evening, with free VIP seats. When the show was over, and they were getting ready to leave, Marlyce gave them presents from Mickey's Gift Shop. What an absolutely neat way to spend Veterans's Day. Much congratulations to Rick, Harriette, Lee, and the inimitable Jackie Shewey for a good job well done, and a big thank you to Marlyce for her kindness. Do you remember her from days gone by. Sheila and I were on a festival in Wisconsin with Jimmy Martin, and Marlyce was there too. After a couple of days of non-stop bluegrass music, we saw her in the bar-restaurant looking a little frazzled. We asked her if she was feeling bad, and she just shook her head and said, "the only place I can find to sleep is behind the juke box."
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine