Archive for March, 2009

Duane Jarvis in hospice after cancer battle

Posted in News on March 27, 2009 by takecountryback

From LA Times:

Duane Jarvis, a longtime member of the L.A. roots/alt-country scene who has played with Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin and others as well as releasing several albums of his own, has entered hospice care following a 16-month fight with colon cancer.

“It’s been a tough fight, but Duane has faced it with tremendous grace, never losing his sense of humor or his positive outlook on life,” his brother Kevin wrote in a note sent to family members, friends and fans. “His music has kept him going, and us entertained. In the past five months alone Duane has endured two major surgeries, three rounds of chemo, numerous trips to the ER, and many weeks in the hospital.

“Unfortunately, Duane’s cancer has now reached terminal status and he will no longer be seeking curative treatment,” Kevin Jarvis wrote. “He has recently moved into an apartment near his beloved ocean in Marina Del Rey where he is under the care of loved ones and Providence TrinityCare Hospice.”

A fund has been established to help with the cost of the treatment and emergency room visits, as well as other expenses the musician has incurred. Donations may be sent to the Pray for Tomorrow Fund, 2554 Lincoln Blvd., No. 1010, Venice, CA 90291.

“The love surrounding Duane grows stronger with each contribution, good wish, prayer, song,” his brother added, “and Duane is grateful beyond words.”

— Randy Lewis


Posted in new release, Reviews, Upcoming Release on March 26, 2009 by takecountryback

We’ve got a stack of great CDS sitting here we’re itching to tell you about. Stay tuned to this page for our own version stimulus plan — for country music.

First up will be a review of a disc that arrived in my mailbox two days ago from someone that despite not having  a new release in a few years hasn’t missed a honky tonk beat….


Then stay tuned… 🙂

Wayne Hancock to release Viper of Melody in April

Posted in Upcoming Release on March 26, 2009 by takecountryback

viper1From Bloodshot Records

Viper of Melody
Release date: April 21, 2009

“I want to jump the blues and make the hard times swing.” 

So opens Wayne The Train’s seventh full-length album, and fourth for Bloodshot, and it’s a deft proclamation of his unwavering belief in the curative energy of juke joint swing. Since his 1995 debut Thunderstorms and Neon Signs, Wayne’s fierce devotion to the giants in the county music pantheon and his staunch refusal to acknowledge the dross that has followed make his output and outlook downright radical.

Man, there ain’t a problem that can’t be salved by his brand of stripped down, intensely rhythmic amalgam of hillbilly, roadhouse blues, honky-tonk, rockabilly and hep-cat boogie. It’s an infectious and unpretentious sound telling quotidian tales of driving your life away, throwing your money away, playing the slots and twisting one up with your friends, and rich with a strain of populism that shimmies all the way back to Jimmie Rodgers, one that makes the holes in your roof and holes in your shoes all part of our common humanity. It’s all played with an old school musicianship and a stand-on-the-edge-of-the stage immediacy that rockets out of the speakers.

Yeah, Wayne might be a throwback, but his conviction and energy kick to the curb any preconceived notions about what that means. Just check out that fuzzed out James Burton-styled guitar solo on “Dog House Blues,” the straight up stand-up bass breakdown on “Throwin’ Away My Money” or the jazz inflected git runs on “Freight Train Boogie.” 

Even when he sings on the hard times like “the rich folks call it recession, but the poor folks call it depression” in “Workin’ at Workin’,” this Austin, TX native does it with a big smile and keeps the dance floor full, calling out solos to crack players like a modern day Bob Wills.  Hell, you can even dance to his murder ballads.  Check out “Your Love and His Blood” and “Moving On #3” if you don’t believe us. 

Produced by long time collaborator Lloyd Maines (Joe Ely, Wilco, Uncle Tupelo, Dixie Chicks), Viper of Melody is a tick-tight organic affair full of first takes and a near telepathic interplay by the band. It’s not surprising given that this band clocks in 200+ shows a year.  If you live somewhere between Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon, you’re likely going to get a chance to see for yourself.

RIP Dan Seals

Posted in RIP on March 26, 2009 by takecountryback

From CMT:

March 26, 2009 — Dan Seals, who amassed 11 No. 1 country singles as a solo performer in 1980s and ‘90s, died Wednesday after a long bout with cancer, The Tennessean reported.

Dan’s easy-going nature was well represented in a smooth voice that fit some of the most infectious releases of his era. His recording of the nostalgic “Bop” won the Country Music Association’s Single of the Year award in 1986, the same year he and Marie Osmond claimed Vocal Duo of the Year for “Meet Me In Montana.” Both songs were penned by singer-songwriter Paul Davis, who died last April.

Long before Jewel, Jessica Simpson and Darius Rucker attempted transitions from pop music to country, Dan had one of the most successful shifts ever into the genre. He had previously established himself as one-half of the pop duo England Dan & John Ford Coley, which earned a gold record with its first single, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight,” in 1976. The pair went on to cut such hits as “Sad To Belong,” “Nights Are Forever” and the Todd Rundgren-penned “Love Is The Answer” before parting ways.

Dan released his first country single — “Everybody’s Dream Girl,” written with BlackHawk founders Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson — in 1983. The following year, “God Must Be A Cowboy” led him to country’s Top 10 for the first time, and in 1985, “Meet Me In Montana” began a phenomenal run in which 11 of 12 consecutive releases hit the top of the Billboard chart. Those successes included uplifting hits such as “I Will Be There,” “Love On Arrival” and the Sam Cooke-written “Good Times,” as well as such emotional ballads as “Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold),” “Addicted” and “You Still Move Me.”

Dan was just one success story in a very musical family. Brother Jim Seals was a member of the pop duo Seals & Crofts, uncle Chuck Seals wrote the Ray Price standard “Crazy Arms,” cousin Johnny Duncan had his own solo country hits in the ‘70s and cousin Troy Seals authored familiar songs by Willie Nelson, Randy Travis and Vince Gill. Nephew Brady Seals has been a member of both Little Texas and Hot Apple Pie.

Dan had an unusual distinction in 1990 as the music industry shifted from the LP to CDs: His Love On Arrival was the first Capitol Records country album not released on vinyl.

Hank Locklin Passes at Age 91

Posted in RIP on March 9, 2009 by takecountryback

Hank Locklin, one of the first country music artists to enjoy popularity among pop music fans, died Sunday at the age of 91.

His song, “Please Help Me I’m Falling” reached No. 8 on the Billboard Top 100.

Other hits included “Geisha Girl” and, more notably, “Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On.”

While they did not record it, U2 paid tribute to Hank in concert by performing his song “Wild Irish Rose.”

Hank began recording in the 1950s. By the 1970s, new artists had passed him by.

His final album was “By the Grace of God: The Gospel Album,” released in 2006.

No Depression Shifts From Music News to User Forum

Posted in News on March 7, 2009 by takecountryback

original link

The slow, painful decline of No Depression continues. The magazine, which ceased publication last October and went web-only, has now switched to a “community model,” where website members can post pictures of shows, write blogs, and start discussion threads. Publisher Kyla Fairchild made no bones about the reason for the move in an open letter to No Depression readers:

While traffic to the website has been great and the response positive, we have determined that it is impossible to bring in enough revenue to support our basic business expenses, the largest chunk of that being the editorial budget. We have soldiered on for as long as we can, but are left with no choice but to discontinue the editorial budget at the present time.

While our writers will continue to bring their unique expertise to the community site via regular blogging and forum discussions, we hope that No Depression may continue on as a meeting place where fans of roots music connect and share information with each other, our writers, and the artists behind the music they love.

The jury is out on whether this experiment will work, but alt-country fans are among the most dedicated in the music community. Hopefully they will pull together and keep No Depression viable. While it hurts to see a once proud publication putting out its hat for content, anything that keeps the masthead alive is worth it.

Dylan Records Surprise ‘Modern Times’ Follow-up

Posted in Upcoming Release on March 6, 2009 by takecountryback

Original Link

Dark new disc with a bluesy border-town feel arrives in April

DAVID FRICKEPosted Mar 04, 2009 8:45 AM

I‘m listening to Billy Joe Shaver/And I’m reading James Joyce/Some people tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice,” Bob Dylan sings in a leathery growl, capturing the essence of his forthcoming studio album — raw-country love songs, sly wordplay and the wounded state of the nation — in “I Feel a Change Coming On,” one of the record’s 10 new originals.

Set for late April, the as-yet-untitled album arrives a few months after Dylan’s outtakes collection Tell Tale Signs, and it “came as a surprise,” says a source close to Dylan’s camp. Last year, filmmaker Olivier Dahan, who directed the 2007 Edith Piaf biopic, La Vie en Rose, approached Dylan about writing a song for his next feature. Dylan responded with “Life Is Hard,” a bleak ballad with mandolin, pedal steel and him singing in a dark, clear voice, “The evening winds are still/I’ve lost the way and will.” (The song appears in the film My Own Love Song, starring Renée Zellweger.)

Inspired, Dylan kept writing and recording songs with his road band and guests, with Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo rumored on accordion. Dylan produced the album under his usual pseudonym, Jack Frost.

The disc has the live-in-the-studio feel of Dylan’s last two studio records, 2001’s Love and Theft and 2006’s Modern Times, but with a seductive border-cafe feel (courtesy of the accordion on every track) and an emphasis on struggling-love songs. The effect — in the opening shuffle, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” the Texas-dancehall jump of “If You Ever Go to Houston” and the waltz “This Dream of You” — is a gnarly turn on early-1970s records like New Morning and Planet Waves.

Dylan makes references to the national chaos, as on the viciously funny slow blues “My Wife’s Home Town” (“State gone broke, the county’s dry/Don’t be lookin’ at me with that evil eye”), culminating in the deceptive rolling rock of “It’s All Good.” Against East L.A. accordion and a snake’s nest of guitars, Dylan tells you how bad things are — “Brick by brick, they tear you down/A teacup of water is enough to drown” — then ices each verse with the title line, a pithy shot of sneering irony and calming promise. “You would never expect the record after Modern Times to sound like this,” the source says. “Bob takes all of those disparate elements you hear and puts them into a track. But you can’t put your finger on it — ‘It sounds exactly like that.’ That’s why he’s so original.”

[From Issue 1074 — March 19, 2009]