January 17: Steve Earle was born in 1955 – Happy Birthday!

“In a perfect world, Steve Earle would run Nashville.”
– Todd Snider

“If I can get me out of the way, I can do anything”
– Steve Earle

“I don’t really think in terms of obstacles. My biggest obstacle is always myself.”
~Steve Earle

All we do as songwriters is rewrite the songs that have impressed us till we find our own voice. It’s part of learning the craft.
~Steve Earle

One of our  greatest musical heroes

Fort Worth Blues:

Continue reading “January 17: Steve Earle was born in 1955 – Happy Birthday!”

January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968

Sing Me Back Home is the fifth studio album by singer and songwriter Merle Haggard, released in 1968 on Capitol Records.

Sing Me Back Home follows the blueprint of Merle Haggard’s first three albums, balancing a hit single with album tracks and a couple of covers, but there is a difference. Where the previous album Branded Man was a transitional album, hinting that Haggard’s talents were deepening substantially, Sing Me Back Home is the result of the flowering of his talent.”
– Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)

Merle Haggard appeared on Austin City Limits nine times over the course of his legendary career. Here’s “Sing Me Back Home” from his appearance in 1978:

A little slowed down beautiful version! Continue reading “January 2: Merle Haggard released Sing Me Back Home (album) in 1968”

January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997), best known as Townes Van Zandt, was an American Texas Country-folk music singer-songwriter, performer, and poet. Many of his songs, including “If I Needed You,” “To Live is to Fly,” and “No Place to Fall” are considered standards of their genre.

 

Continue reading “January 1: Hank Williams died in 1953 and Townes Van Zandt died in 1997”

September 25: Ryan Adams released Gold in 2001

Ryan-Adams-Gold

“All the songs had to work completely and honestly by themselves on acoustic guitar or on piano. If they didn’t, they weren’t worth putting on the record.”
~Ryan Adams (about ‘Gold’)

“[Gold is] me not buying my own bullshit for two seconds.”
~Ryan Adams

New York, New York:

From Wikipedia:

Released September 25, 2001
Recorded The Sound Factory
(Hollywood, California)
Genre Rock, alternative country
Length 70:26
Label Lost Highway
Producer Ethan Johns

 

Gold is the second studio album by Ryan Adams, released September 25, 2001 on Lost Highway Records. The album remains Adams’ best-selling album, certifying gold in the UK and going on to sell 364,000 copies in the U.S. and 812,000 worldwide. Adams noted that “with Gold, I was trying to prove something to myself. I wanted to invent a modern classic.”

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Jan 26: Lucinda Williams was born in 1953

Like so many, I discovered Lucinda Williams when she released the fantastic album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. I went to the record store (yes, we actually did that in the old days) and bought as many of her albums as I could find. There were four albums before Car Wheels.., great albums, I love them all. Since then I’ve awaited all Lucinda Williams albums with great excitement. She’s always good, most of the time she’s great.

Half an hour of the wonderful Lucinda Williams live at Paradiso Amsterdam (2013):

Continue reading “Jan 26: Lucinda Williams was born in 1953”

Great Song: Nina Simone – Backlash Blues

Langston left us about a year ago.
Before he died made me promise to sing this song wherever I went, I told him that I would because he wouldn’t be around to say it anymore
-Nina Simone

Backlash Blues is the 6th track on one of my favourite albums, Nina Simone’s Nina Simone Sings The Blues.

This was Simone’s first album for RCA Records after previously recording for Colpix Records and Philips Records. The album was also reissued in 2006 with bonus tracks, and re-packaged in 1991 by RCA/Novus as a 17-track compilation under the title The Blues.

Sings the blues

Nina Simone Sings the Blues is a classic record that will stand the test of time; it is a true classic. The best version, in my not so humble opinion, is on the album Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom And Spirit, a fabulous compilation released in 2006.

Continue reading “Great Song: Nina Simone – Backlash Blues”