Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Live at the Grand Ole Opry - Mel Tillis - "The Arms of a Fool"

Mel Tillis performs "The Arms of a Fool" with special guest Eddie Stubbs during what would be his last performance on the Opry stage on December 11, 2015.


Monday, November 20, 2017

John Oates (Hall and Oates) Readies Americana Project Arkansas For February 2018 Release

Artist: John Oates
Album: Arkansas
Label: Thirty Tigers
Release date: February 2, 2018

John Oates has teamed up with an group of accomplished and rising stars in the Americana music world to bring his new album, Arkansas, to life.

The project originally began as a tribute to Oates’ idol, Mississippi John Hurt. It evolved organically, during a series of Nashville recording sessions, into a unique retrospective collection drawing from a wide range of Oates’ musical influences. Asked about the style and sound of Arkansas, he says, “IT’S LIKE DIXIELAND DIPPED IN BLUEGRASS AND SALTED WITH DELTA BLUES.”

The title track is propelled by a driving production that frames evocative images of the mist rising off the mighty Mississippi River and the expansiveness of the cotton fields in American’s heartland. With the essence of roots music at its core, vintage and modern recording techniques are woven throughout the album. A subtle yet unmistakable pop sensibility makes the record a landmark in Oates’ esteemed career.

The sonic glue that holds the project together is called THE GOOD ROAD BAND. The impressive lineup consists of an all star ensemble of amazing Nashville musicians. Their credits include recording and touring with artists like Don Henley, Pretenders, Blake Shelton, Dan Auerbach, Kacey Musgraves, Sam Bush, The Wallflowers, Dolly Parton, Bela Fleck, Florence + the Machine, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Vince Gill, Jennifer Nettles, and Sarah Jarosz. Their versatility has given this talented group a reputation that attracts even more guest stars wanting to sit in.

Combine that ensemble with Oates’ warm and personal storytelling and you have a one-of-a-kind experience that is authentic and unforgettable.

With this incredible band, Oates shines a light on popular songs from America’s past long before the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Fresh interpretations include the Emmett Miller classic “Anytime” from 1924 as well as the classic Jimmie Rodgers tune “Miss the Mississippi and You” from 1932. Reimagined traditional Delta, country blues and ragtime selections salute legendary artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Blake. Four new original songs by Oates (with co-writers such as Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Black and Sam Bush) blend seamlessly with the traditional roots material as well as with Oates’ deep catalog of Hall and Oates hits, creating a show that becomes a retrospective of American popular song.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis Passes Away At Age of 85

K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

We've lost Mel Tillis.

The legendary Hall of Fame singer and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame songwriter died early this morning (11/19) in an Ocala, Florida hospital from respiratory failure.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born in Florida (in Tampa). Her served in the US Air Force before embarking on a career that would see him write some of the most iconic songs in country (and pop) music. Among his classics: "I Ain't Never," "Detroit City," "(Sweet) Mental Revenge," and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." As a singer, he also made the charts with his own songs, and with songs from the pens of others.

Known for his stuttering (his autobiography was titled Stutterin' Boy), Tillis wrote in the liner notes of the posthumous Jim Reeves album Missing You that Reeves had offered to pay for Mel's speech therapy when Tillis was a newcomer to Nashville. The speech impediment was real, although diminished (thanks to therapy).

Tillis had been in declining health for years. In 2016 he underwent intestinal surgery and developed complications. The complications may have contributed to his death.

The lyrics Mel Tillis has given us over the years will continue to amaze and inspire. Consider how he detailed the paralyzed and impotent Vietnam veteran begging his wife not to cheat on him in "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," or the heartbreak from the homesick and lonely man in "Detroit City":

From the letters that I write they think I'm fine
But by day I make the cars, by night I make the bars
If only they could read between the lines

No need to "read between the lines" here. Mel Tillis was a remarkable songwriter and talent, and he will be sorely missed.

Mel Tillis was 85.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

New Music Video From Dillon Carmichael - "Old Songs Like That"

Georgia Native Faren Rachels Drops Debut Project This Week

Artist: Faren Rachels
Album: Faren Rachels
Label: River House
Release date: November 10, 2017

Faren Rachels has a full calendar this week as she releases her self-titled debut EP and joins Luke Combs for the second half of his Don’t Tempt Me With A Good Time Tour. Recently named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need To Know, Rachels is excited to share her new music with fans as she opens a string of 14 sold out dates, hitting markets like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Charlotte before wrapping December 16th in Luke’s hometown of Asheville, NC at the US Cellular Center Arena. The Georgia native also had the honour of opening for Dwight Yoakam several times this year, including stops in North Carolina last week.

The self-titled EP features her first two singles "Free Drinks" and "If It Ain’t Fixed", which were released simultaneously last month. Within a couple weeks, Free Drinks reached over 105k streams and was featured on Taste of Country, which praised the tune as ‘An anthem for every woman.’ Having penned four of the five songs, Rachels is proud to share her long awaited debut project, produced by Aaron Goodvin and Sammy Mitchell.

Faren Rachels track listing:

Nowhere Tonight (Bart Butler, Aaron Goodvin, Faren Rachels)
Free Drinks (Bart Butler, Aaron Goodvin, Faren Rachels)
If It Ain’t Fixed (Tommy Cecil, Jaida Dreyer, Jared Mullins, Cole Taylor)
If I’m Being Honest (Bart Butler, Aaron Goodvin, Faren Rachels)
When Smoking Was Cool (Faren Rachels, Lainey Wilson)

Friday, November 10, 2017

That Nashville Sound Friday Newsbytes: CMA Awards, Sugarland & New Music Videos

The CMA Awards were held this week and Chris Stapleton, Brothers Osborne and Miranda Lambert all were winners, continuing a definitive shift in the country music landscape. What was your favorite part of the performance?

-  Here's a master list of who took home hardware from the event in case you missed it:

WINNER: Garth Brooks
WINNER: "Blue Ain't Your Color" – Keith Urban
WINNER: From A Room: Volume 1Chris Stapleton
WINNER: "Better Man" - Songwriter: Taylor Swift
WINNER: Miranda Lambert
WINNER: Chris Stapleton
WINNER: Little Big Town
WINNER: Brothers Osborne
WINNER: "Funny How Time Slips Away" - Glen Campbell with Willie Nelson
WINNER: Mac McAnally (Guitar)
WINNER: "It Ain't My Fault" – Brothers Osborne
WINNER: Jon Pardi

- Marc Broussard has a new music video for his song "Easy To Love."
- Cody Canada & The Departed performed "Betty Was Black (& Willie Was White)" on the Texas Music Scene.
- Becky Warren has a new music video for her song "I'm Leaving."
- Sugarland is reuniting and will be releasing new music and going out on tour.
- The final album of Montgomery Gentry will be titled Here's To You and will come out on February 2, 2018.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hear It Here: The Texas Red Dirt Choir's "Faith In The Water"

For the writers and singers of “Faith in the Water” this new song is more than a song, it’s a statement. A statement of resolve that’s as big as the State from which it hails. Written by singer-songwriters Roger Creager and Kyle Hutton, the song paints a picture of the despair, hope, and determination on the faces of their friends and neighbors in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and accomplishes a feat possibly unmatched in Texas Music history.... Twenty-five of the Texas's most accomplished artists have joined their hearts and voices to form The Texas Red Dirt Choir in a quest to raise money for those affected by the $190 billion dollar storm.
“Faith in the Water” reflects more than just the generosity of the front-men and women that sing on the project. The song, recorded in famed Bismeaux Studios (Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel), features an incredible list of artists that make up the Texas Red Dirt Choir:
Josh Abbott, Bri Bagwell, Ray Benson, Jason Boland, Wade Bowen, Roger Creager, Deryl Dodd, Kevin Fowler, Susan Gibson, Pat Green, Josh Grider, Kristi Grider, Matt Hillyer, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Kyle Hutton, Jack Ingram, Cody Johnson, Micky and Gary Braun of Micky & The Motorcars, Mike Harmeier of Mike & The Moonpies, Cory Morrow, Kyle Park, Dave Perez, Willy and Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly, Heather Stalling, Max Stalling, Larry Joe Taylor, Koe Wetzel, and Jamie Lin Wilson. Also featuring - Curtis Lee, Sheree Smith, Demetrius D-Soul Davis, Ange Kogutz
 Download, stream, donate, SHARE:  www.faithinthewater.org

Friday, November 3, 2017

New Music Video From Drew Kennedy - "Open Road"

This expansive and breathtaking new music video from Drew Kennedy just might be our favorite of the year... it's just stunning.


That Nashville Sound Friday Newsbytes: Sarah Silverman, Lee Brice, Sarah Darling, Alan Jackson & More

There's lots of news on the table this morning including several new album announcements and a surprise country music performance from one of America's leading comics.

- Actress and comedian Sarah Silverman headed down to Nashville, TN to write and perform a country song with Grammy nominated country songwriter Lee Thomas Miller at The Bluebird Café for her Hulu show, I Love You, America.

- Lee Brice has a new music video for "Rumor".

- Miranda Lambert had a couple performances on Austin City Limits pop up worth watching for "Automatic" and "Tin Man".

- Chris Stapleton released another new song off his upcoming album From A Room: Volume 2 entitled "Scarecrow in the Garden".

- Anderson East will be releasing his next Elektra Records album Encore on January 12, 2018.  East also released a music video for "King for a Day".

- The self-released Winter Wonderland will come out on November 17 from Sarah Darling.

- Josh Kelley will release an album of covers appropriately titled Under the Covers, Vol. 1 on November 17.

- Kelsea Ballerini released a music video for "Roses".

- Donna Ulisse performed "It Could Have Been The Mandolin" over at Music City Roots.

- And my favorite music video of the day, a new music video from Alan Jackson - "The Older I Get".