Archive for April, 2009

Singer-Songwriter Vern Gosdin Dies in Nashville at Age 74

Posted in RIP with tags on April 29, 2009 by takecountryback

Original post from CMT

Singer-songwriter Vern Gosdin, who achieved mainstream country success in the ’80s with hits such as “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “Chiseled in Stone,” died late Tuesday (April 28) at a Nashville hospital at age 74. Gosdin, who was often referred to as “the Voice,” reportedly suffered a stroke several weeks ago.

Born in Woodland, Ala., he had already achieved success with his brother, Rex, as the Gosdin Brothers before launching his solo career. As a teenager, his family hosted The Gosdin Family Gospel Show on a radio station in Birmingham, Ala. Vern and Rex Gosdin moved to the Los Angeles area in 1961 and began performing in a bluegrass group, the Golden State Boys. The band evolved into another bluegrass group, the Hillmen, featuring Chris Hillman, who later became a founding member of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothersand the Desert Rose Band. With the demise of the Hillmen, the Gosdin Brothers scored one country hit, “Hangin’ On,” which peaked at No. 37 on theBillboard chart in 1967. Rex Gosdin died in 1983.

In the early ’70s, Vern Gosdin moved to Atlanta, where he ran a retail store, but he continued to perform in area clubs. Emmylou Harris, who knew him from their days in California, teamed with Gosdin to record a demo single featuring two songs — a remake of “Hangin’ On” and a new one, “Yesterday’s Gone.” The demo resulted in Gosdin’s contract with Elektra Records. “Yesterday’s Gone” became his first single for the label and reached No. 9 on the country chart in 1977.

During the late ’70s and early ’80s, Gosdin charted other Top 10 singles for the Elektra, Ovation and AMI labels before scoring his first No. 1 hit in 1984 with “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight),” written by Sandy Pinkard and Rob Strandlund. After moving to Columbia Records in the late ’80s, he quickly scored a series of Top 10 singles with songs he co-wrote, including “Do You Believe Me Now,” “Chiseled in Stone,” “Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time” and “That Just About Does It.” His recordings of two other original songs from that era — “Set’ Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy” reached No. 1. Gosdin’s last Top 10 singles were released in 1990 — “Right in the Wrong Direction” and “Is It Raining at Your House.”

In 1989, Gosdin and one of his longtime songwriting collaborators, Max D. Barnes, shared a CMA Award for song of the year for “Chiseled in Stone.” George Strait enjoyed a Top 10 hit in 1997 with “Today My World Slipped Away,” a song Gosdin co-wrote with Mark Wright. It had been a Top 10 single for Gosdin in 1982.

Ferlin Husky hospitalized

Posted in Artists, News, YouTube on April 20, 2009 by takecountryback

AP: Country singer Ferlin Husky has been hospitalized with congestive heart failure and pneumonia, according to his record company.

Husky, 83, was in stable condition Sunday after being admitted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Mo., on Friday, according to Tracy Pitcox, president of Heart of Texas Records.
Pitcox told The Associated Press that Husky had been on tour in Texas as recently as two weeks ago. He said the singer and onetime movie star has homes in Vienna, Mo., and Nashville, Tenn.
He says Husky’s close friend and touring partner, Leona Williams, is by his bedside.
Husky was country music’s top entertainer in the early 1960s with hits like “Wings of a Dove” and “Gone.” His latest album, released in 2007, is called “The Way It Was,” Pitcox said.

Steve Earle to release “Townes” May 12 – Free MP3 here…

Posted in Americana, Artists, mp3, Upcoming Release with tags , , , on April 14, 2009 by takecountryback

Free mp3 -To Live is to Fly

Los Angeles, CA — Steve Earle is set to release Townes, his highly anticipated follow up to the Grammy Award winning album Washington Square Serenade, on May 12th via New West Records. The 15-song set is comprised of songs written by Earle’s friend and mentor, the late singer-songwriter, Townes Van Zandt. Townes will also be available as a deluxe two-CD set, as well as double Limited Edition 180 gram vinyl.

The album was produced by Earle at his home in Greenwich Village, at Sound Emporium and Room and Board in Nashville, TN and The Nest in Hollywood, CA. The track “Lungs,” was produced and mixed by the Dust Brothers’ John King and features Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine/The Nightwatchman on electric guitar. Earle’s wife, the acclaimed singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, is featured on backing vocals on “Loretta” and “To Live Is To Fly.” Three songs cut in Nashville, “White Freightliner Blues,” “Delta Momma Blues,” and “Don’t Take It Too Bad” feature a bluegrass band consisting of Dennis Crouch, Tim O’Brien, Darrel Scott and Shad Cobb.

Earle met Townes Van Zandt in 1972 at one of Earle’s performances at The Old Quarter in Houston, TX. Van Zandt was in the audience and playfully heckled Earle throughout the performance to play the song “Wabash Cannonball.” Earle admitted that he didn’t know how to play the tune and Van Zandt replied incredibly “You call yourself a folksinger and you don’t know ‘Wabash Cannonball?’” Earle then silenced him by playing the Van Zandt song “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold,” not an easy feat due to its quickly-paced mouthful of lyrics squeezed into just over two minutes of song. Their bond was immediately formed. On Townes, Earle and his son, singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle (named after

Van Zandt) trade verses on the tune, a song the two of them have been playing together since Justin was a teenager.

The songs selected for Townes were the ones that meant the most to Earle and the ones he personally connected to (not including selections featured on previous Earle albums). Some of the selections chosen were songs that Earle has played his entire career (“Pancho and Lefty,” “Lungs,” “White Freightliner Blues”) and others he had to learn specifically for recording. He learned the song “(Quicksilver Daydreams of) Maria” directly from Van Zandt, and taught himself “Marie” and “Rake” specifically for the album’s recording. Once a song he played during his live show, Earle relearned “Colorado Girl” in the original Open D tuning that Van Zandt played it in. Earle recorded the New York sessions solo and then added the other instruments later on in order to preserve the spirit of Van Zandt’s original solo performances to the best of his recollection.

When speaking about Townes, Earle stated, “This may be one of the best records I’ve ever made. That hurts a singer-songwriter’s feelings. Then again, it’s some consolation that I cherry picked through the career of one of the best songwriters that ever lived.” Townes Van Zandt’s debut album, For The Sake Of The Song, was released in 1968. His last, No Deeper Blue appeared in 1995. His life and songs are the subject of the critically acclaimed 2006 documentary film, Be Here To Love Me. Van Zandt died in 1997 at the age of 52.

While being a protégé of Van Zandt, Earle is a master storyteller in his own right, with his songs being recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, The Pretenders, Joan Baez and countless others. 1986 saw the release of his debut record, Guitar Town, which shot to number one on the country charts and immediately established the term “New Country.” What followed was an extremely exciting array of twelve releases including the biting hard rock of Copperhead Road (1988), the minimalist beauty of Train A Comin’ (1995), the politically charged masterpiece Jerusalem (2002) and the Grammy Award Winning albums The Revolution Starts…Now (2004) and Washington Square Serenade (2007). Earle also produced the Grammy nominated album,

Day After Tomorrow, by the legendary Joan Baez in 2008.

Townes Track Listing:

1. Pancho and Lefty

2. White Freightliner Blues

3. Colorado Girl

4. Where I Lead Me

5. Lungs

6. No Place To Fall

7. Loretta

8. Brand New Companion

9. Rake

10. Delta Momma Blues

11. Marie

12. Don’t Take It Too Bad

13. Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold

14. (Quicksilver Daydreams Of) Maria

15. To Live Is To Fly

Steve Earle will be touring in support of Townes with tour dates announced shortly.

Take That Billy Bob!

Posted in News, Video, YouTube on April 12, 2009 by takecountryback

I suppose most of you have heard the ruckus Billy Bob Thornton caused during an interview in Canada this past week. If you haven’t — well take a peek at an adult temper tantrum in action:

Well more than a few people weren’t impressed with his antics but one person in particular, singer-songwriter Nathan Bell put into a format we can all relate to. Take a listen to his stellar and truthful Ballad of Billy Bob Thornton. Someone buy this guy a beer  — better yet, hire him to play your next house concert.

Aubrey Mayhew, Johnny Paycheck’s Supporter and Producer, Dead at 81

Posted in RIP on April 5, 2009 by takecountryback

From CMT

Aubrey Mayhew, who co-founded Little Darlin’ Records with Johnny Paycheck in 1966 primarily as a vehicle for Paycheck’s own music, has died at a Nashville hospice at the age of 81. Time and cause of death have not yet been announced. Despite its focus on Paycheck, Little Darlin’ became a home to such other country artists as Bobby Helms and Jeannie C. Riley. Mayhew also served as Paycheck’s producer, manager and occasional co-writer. Paycheck’s first and highest-charting single on Little Darlin’ was “The Lovin’ Machine,” which went to No. 8 in 1966. In all, Paycheck charted nine singles on the label, four of them co-written with Mayhew. Paycheck would go on to achieve his greatest fame at CBS/Epic Records in the 1970s. He died in 2003. Mayhew’s other passion was collecting memorabilia of President John Kennedy’s assassination, a passion that extended to purchasing the Texas Book Depository building in Dallas from which Kennedy was shot. Some of Little Darlin’s extensive catalog has been released on Koch Records, including the 2004 compilation album A Little Darlin’ Christmas, featuring seasonal tracks by Helms and Paycheck. Other Little Darlin’ artists spotlighted in the Koch re-releases were Riley, Jeannie C. RileyDon Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins and steel guitar player Lloyd Green.

RIP Duane Jarvis

Posted in RIP on April 2, 2009 by takecountryback

Original Article by Peter Cooper/The Tennessean

Duane Jarvis, the amiable singer-songwriter who commanded stages with what Rosie Flores called a “Keith Richards flair and a honky-tonk heart,” died this morning in his Los Angeles apartment. He was 51, and he battled colon cancer for 16 months.

Mr. Jarvis, who recorded five critically acclaimed solo albums, lived in Nashville from 1994 until recently. He played guitar on recordings by Flores, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Dwight Yoakam, Frank Black, Amy Rigby, Giant Sand, Peter Case and many others. He toured with artists including Prine, Black and The Divinyls, and his songs were featured in motion pictures The Horse Whisperer and The Rookie. He was an admirable conundrum: a rock ’n’ roller known for kindness and gentility, and a shy and soft-spoken man known for his electrifying stage presence.


“This is what we live for,” he sometimes told audiences at a concert’s outset, before striking a chord on his electric guitar and beginning to sing one of his self-penned stories.

Mr. Jarvis grew up on the west coast, in Oregon, Washington and California. His father — who often played country records around the house — was in the U.S. Coast Guard, and his mother was a nurse. He was fascinated by music from an early age. As a pre-teen, he lived briefly in Florida, where he saw blues legend BB King in concert. At show’s end, he moved to the edge of the stage, where King saw him and handed him a guitar pick that he kept throughout his life. As a teenager, Mr. Jarvis joined a blues band and then became a member of power pop group The Odds. 

“I was very quiet, and music was my big outlet which helped me communicate with people,” he told interviewer Shuichi Iwami. “I think I would have been kind of lost without it.” 

In the mid-1980s, Mr. Jarvis moved from Oregon to Los Angeles, and he became part of an L.A. country scene that included Flores, Yoakam, Williams, Buddy Miller, The Blasters and Jim Lauderdale. Mr. Jarvis wrote songs and worked in Long Tall Marvin, a band fronted by Lone Justice founder Marvin Etzioni, and his session work included playing guitar on Williams’ Sweet Old World album. He also played club gigs and made demo recordings, and the recordings caught the ear of former Replacements manager Peter Jesperson, who ran Medium Cool Records in Minnesota. Medium Cool released D.J.’s Front Porch in 1994, the same year that Mr. Jarvis moved to Nashville. 

“The careening ‘Good On Paper’ and the wistful ‘Back of Beyond’ sound like lost gems that were left off (the Rolling Stones’) Let It Bleed,” wrote Bob Cannon of Entertainment Weekly in a review ofD.J.’s Front Porch. “Jarvis seems to spit out these evocative country-soul tunes effortlessly, indicating that Front Porch is built to last.” 

For Mr. Jarvis, Nashville offered an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded, left-of-center talents such as Tim Carroll, Amy Rigby, Steve Allen, Joy Lynn White and Dave Coleman. Music City was also a place for him to settle into healthier routines. 

“Los Angeles was a fast track, and I was the one driving the car,” he told The Tennessean in 2000. “I’m the eternal optimist. I feel there’s a place for my songs in Nashville.” 

One of those songs, a co-write with Williams called “Still I Long For Your Kiss,” wound up in a movie soundtrack and was recorded by Williams on her breakthrough Car Wheels On A Gravel Roadalbum. 

He also placed songs on albums by Carroll, White, Greg Trooper, Pinmonkey, Peter Case and others. Mr. Jarvis’ music was a mash of rock, country, R&B and blues, distilled into what is now often called “Americana.” As a staff songwriter for Lieber and Stoller, he scored no major radio hits, but his songs and guitar work were key elements in a street-level movement that offered a creatively compelling alternative to the more sanitized sounds coming from Music Row. 

That movement was synthesized on a Bloodshot Records compilation called Nashville: The Other Side of the Alley, an album that featured Mr. Jarvis’ “Cocktail Napkin” alongside cuts from artists including Carroll, Paul Burch, Phil Lee and Jason & The Scorchers. 

In Nashville, Mr. Jarvis recorded solo albums Far From Perfect (1998), Combo Platter (1999),Certified Miracle (2001) and Delicious (2003). Each album found Mr. Jarvis combining hard-won knowledge with his signature soulful wit. 

“It takes a worried man to sing a worried song/ Had no idea I’d be singing for so long,” he wrote on “Spread My Soul Too Thin,” from 2003’s Delicious. On Certified Miracle’s “Broke Not Busted” Mr. Jarvis sang, “I might not be what you bargained for/ I’m a discount bin, not a money drawer.” 

In 2007, Mr. Jarvis — who by then had moved back to Los Angeles — was inducted into theOregon Music Hall of Fame. That same year, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He endured multiple surgeries and round of chemotherapy, and in March of 2009 he entered hospice care

Music remained a constant through his final days. Friend Billy Block said Mr. Jarvis offered a bed-ridden but note-perfect version of the Ben E King hit “Stand By Me” last Thursday.