May 10: The late “Mother” Maybelle Carter was born in 1909

“Mother” Maybelle Carter (May 10, 1909 – October 23, 1978) was an American country musician. She is best known as a member of the historic Carter Family act in the 1920s and 1930s and also as a member of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters.

Perhaps the most remarkable of Maybelle’s many talents was her skill as a guitarist. She revolutionized the instrument’s role by developing a style in which she played melody lines on the bass strings with her thumb while rhythmically strumming with her fingers. Her innovative technique, to this day known as the Carter Scratch, influenced the guitar’s shift from rhythm to lead instrument.
—Holly George-Warren

Mother Maybell Carter performing “Black Mountain Rag” live on The Johnny Cash Show:

Johnny Cash Mother Maybelle Carter – Pick The Wildwood Flower – Johnny Cash Show:

– Hallgeir & Egil

April 14: Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn

Loretta_Lynn

I didn’t know how babies were made until I was pregnant with my fourth child.
~Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is one of the classic country singers. During the ’60s and ’70s, she ruled the charts, racking up over 70 hits as a solo artist and a duet partner. Lynn helped forge the way for strong, independent women in country music.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

The country is making a big mistake not teaching kids to cook and raise a garden and build fires.
~Loretta Lynn

Tibute to Loretta Lynn, Hall of Famer’s Tribute

Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (live):

Wikipedia:

Birth name Loretta Webb
Also known as The Coal Miner’s Daughter
The First Lady of Country Music
The Decca Doll
The Queen of Country Music
Born April 14, 1932 (age 85)
Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, USA
Genres Country, honky-tonk, gospel
Occupations Singer-songwriter, author
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1960–present

Loretta Lynn (Born Loretta Webb April 14, 1932) is an American country-music singer-songwriter and author born in Butcher Hollow, near Paintsville, Kentucky, USA, to a coal-miner father. At the age of 15 she married, and soon she became pregnant. She moved to Washington state with her husband, Oliver Vanetta Lynn, Jr. (1926–1996), nicknamed “Doo”. Their marriage was tumultuous; he had affairs, and she was headstrong; their life together helped to inspire her music.

On their 6 year anniversary, at the age of 21, (1953), Lynn’s husband bought her a $17 Harmony guitar. She taught herself to play and when she was 24, on her wedding anniversary, he encouraged her to become a singer. She worked to improve her guitar playing, started singing at the Delta Grange Hall in Washington state with the Pen Brothers’ band, The Westerners, then eventually cut her first record (Honky Tonk Girl) in February 1960. She became a part of the country music scene in Nashville in the 1960s, and in 1967 charted her first of 16 number-one hits (out of 70 charted songs as a solo artist and a duet partner) that include “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough”, “Fist City”, and “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.

loretta lynn3

One’s on the way (live):

She focused on blue collar women’s issues with themes about philandering husbands and persistent mistresses, and pushed boundaries in the conservative genre of country music by singing about birth control (“The Pill”), repeated childbirth (“One’s on the Way”), double standards for men and women (“Rated “X””), and being widowed by the draft during the Vietnam War (“Dear Uncle Sam”). Country music radio stations often refused to play her songs. Banning 9 of her song. But Loretta pushed on to become “The First Lady of Country Music”. Her best-selling 1976 autobiography book was made into an Academy Award-winning film, Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, in 1980. Her most recent album, Van Lear Rose, was released in 2004, produced by Jack White, and topped the country album charts. Loretta has received numerous awards in country and American music. For over 50 years Loretta has been performing and was honored in 2010 at the Country Music Awards for her stellar career. Loretta has been a member of The Grand Ole Opry for 50 years since joining on September 25, 1962.

loretta lynn4

Honors & Awards

  • Lynn has written over 160 songs and released 60 albums
  • She has had ten Number 1 albums and sixteen Number 1 singles on the country charts
  • Lynn has won dozens of awards from many different institutions, including four Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, eight Broadcast Music Incorporated awards, twelve Academy of Country Music, eight Country Music Association and twenty-six fan voted Music City News awards
  • She was the first woman in country music to receive a certified gold album for 1967’s “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”.
  • In 1972, Lynn was the first woman named “Entertainer of the Year” by the Country Music Association, and is one of six women to have received CMA’s highest award
  • In 1980 she was the only woman to be named “Artist of the Decade” for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music
  • Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999
  • She was also the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors an award given by the President in 2003
  • Lynn is also ranked 65th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll
  • She was the first female country artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1977
  • In 1995 she received the country music pioneer award
  • In 2001, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was named among NPR’s “100 Most Significant Songs of the 20th Century”
  • In 2002, Lynn had the highest ranking (No. 3) for any living female CMT television’s special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.
  • On November 4, 2004, Lynn, who has been a BMI affiliate for over 45 years, was honored as a BMI Icon at the BMI Country Awards.
  • In March 2007, Loretta Lynn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music during her performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • In 2008, Loretta Lynn was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City. To date Lynn had been inducted into more music Halls Of Fame than any other female recording artist
  • In 2010, Lynn received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her 50 years in country music
  • On August 8, 2013, President Barack Obama announced that Loretta Lynn would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Playlist of the day:

Other April 14:

  • Bob Dylan recorded “Jokerman” (& “Man of Peace”) in 1983.
  • Win Butler (born April 14, 1980) is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and his brother William Butler are both members of the band.win_butler

-Egil & Hallgeir

January 11: Lyle Lovett released Pontiac in 1988

“The preacher asked her and she said, ‘I do’
The preacher asked me and she said, ‘Yes, he does too’
The preacher said, ‘I pronounce you 99 to life
Son, she’s no lady, she’s your wife.’ “

– Lyle Lovett (She’s No Lady)

“Writes like Guy Clark, only plainer, sings like Jesse Winchester only countrier.”
– Robert Christgau

“While Lyle Lovett’s self-titled debut album made it clear he was one the most gifted and idiosyncratic talents to emerge in country music in the 1980s, his follow-up, 1987’s Pontiac, took the strengths of his first disc and refined them, and the result was a set whose sound and feel more accurately reflected Lovett’s musical personality.”
– Mark Deming (allmusic)

This classic country album was Lyle Lovett’s second album, and to me it’s his best still. The Texas singer-songwriter uses the same elements that made his 1986 debut such a delight, dry humour, observational storytelling told in a personal and devastating way. Relationship stories as dark and as funny as they sometimes are…and with great singing and music.

Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris visits on this first of many masterpieces from Lyle Lovett.

Pontiac (official video):

The release date is uncertain, some sites said it was released in 1987, but most reviews started coming out  mid January 1988. Anyway that’s not the important part, what’s important is to celebrate a very fine album no matter if it was released December 1987 or January 1988.

– Hallgeir

November 16: Satan is Real by The Louvin Brothers was released in 1959

satan-is-real

The Louvin Brothers – Satan is Real

What is it about this album?
Why is it so important in the americana /country/gospel music canon?

Satan Is Real is a gospel album by American country music duo The Louvin Brothers.

Released November 16, 1959
Recorded August 8–10, 1958
Genre Country, Gospel
Length 31:54
Label Capitol
Producer Ken Nelson, John Johnson (Reissue)

The gospel/country duo Charlie and Ira Louvin was born and grew up in the Sand Mountain region of Alabama, they lived on a cotton farm south of the Appalachian Mountains, that’s where they developed their distinct harmony style in the deep Sacred Harp tradition of the Baptist church.

Ira Louvin died in a car wreck in 1965. Charlie Louvin died two years ago at 83 just a few months after publishing his story about The Louvin brothers.

In The recently published book, Satan is Real, the ballad of the Louvin Brothers, Charlie talks about their singing style.This is not a straight quote, but it goes something  like this:

…people who saw the Louvin Brothers perform were mystified by the experience. Ira was a full head taller than me, he played the mandolin like Bill Monroe and sang in an impossibly high, tense, quivering tenor. I(Charlie) strummed a guitar, grinned like a vaudevillian and handled the bottom register. But every so often, in the middle of a song, some hidden signal flashed and we switched places — with Ira swooping down from the heights, and me angling upward — and even the most careful listeners would lose track of which man was carrying the lead. This was more than close-harmony singing; each instance was an act of transubstantiation.

I could not find any live footage from Satan is real, but this clip of them singing, I don’t belive you’ve met my baby is a fine showcase for their intricate singing style:

“It baffled a lot of people,” Charlie Louvin explains in his fantastic memoir. “We could change in the middle of a word. Part of the reason we could do that was that we’d learned to have a good ear for other people’s voices when we sang Sacred Harp. But the other part is that we were brothers.”

Continue reading “November 16: Satan is Real by The Louvin Brothers was released in 1959”

Great Album: Ashley Monroe – The Blade

ashley monroe the blade

… I’m proud of it, you know people always ask me, when you were working [on it], did you think about radio, and all of that and I really wasn’t. I don’t think when it comes to music, I just do, and those were the songs that came out. But what I have is something that I am proud of and I think it represents me and if people can relate to it, then that’s all the better
~Ashley Monroe (to nashvilleoverhere.com)

… she rises to the challenge. She belts out “I’m Good At Leavin’” like she was aiming for the cheap seats at the Grand Ole Opry, gently purrs through “Weight of the Load” and “Mayflowers” (the latter co-written by White’s Raconteurs bandmate Brendan Benson), and throws a little Loretta Lynn sass down on the rave-up “Winning Streak.” She knows she’s the star of this show, and she burns brightly throughout.
~Robert Ham (pastemagazine.com)

Bombshell (Official Music Video):

Continue reading “Great Album: Ashley Monroe – The Blade”

Great Album: Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood

Eric Church mr misunderstood

..Either way, Church’s songs are anchored with an authoritative sense of sentiment and place, and they’re brought to life by the precise roar of the Eric Church Band. No longer overwhelming with sheer volume, they dig into the funk of “Chattanooga Lucy” and race their leader to the conclusion of “Mr. Misunderstood,” but they shine by maintaining the mournful soul of “Round Here Buzz” or by building the tension of “Knives of New Orleans” or by keeping the Susan Tedeschi duet “Mixed Drinks About Feelings” at a sweet, sad simmer. Where The Outsiders was designed to dazzle, Mr. Misunderstood is built for the long haul: it settles into the soul, its pleasures immediate but also sustained.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Continue reading “Great Album: Eric Church – Mr. Misunderstood”