Monday, September 23, 2013

Country Music News International September 23. 2013

Country Music News International September 23. 2013

Here is your Country Music News of the day from Country Music News International . Your Country Music News is supported by, Ray Scott , Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , Lucy Malheur

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Hier sind jetzt Eure Country Music News des Tages von Country Music News International . Eure Country Music News werden unterstützt von Ray Scott , Courtyard Nashville Downtown , Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau , Tennessee Tourism, , Steel Guitar Nashville, , Lucy Malheur

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     We put a few more miles on the car this week, had lots of things to do, visit, inform, and be informed.  Before I get too far along this week, I want to tell you that one of our very favorite country performers, who came and performed with us at the Oak Tree Opry many many many times, has passed away.  Marvin Rainwater even performed for us at the little Oak Tree long after he had stopped working the bigger clubs and casinos.  He had a terrific time when he came to Anita, and came back frequently.  He's in our Hall of Fame, and we even have one of his guitars which he so gallantly autographed for us.  He enjoyed talking about his career with us, why he moved to Minnesota, and the fact that even though publicists kept calling him a Native American because of his last name, he told us (he told the same thing to mutual friend Sherwin Linton) he was definitely not Native American, he was a Scotsman through and through.  We will surely miss "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird" this time around.  He wrote that song for his mom, and now he gets to sing it for her personally.
     We're a little concerned about our LeMars Festival, it was down a bit this year, mostly because of the six days of incredibly hot weather, the index in the 100's all week.  So, Sheila and Bobbie Lhea and I have been visiting lots of shows elsewhere trying to gather together some new folks and ideas.  We definitely want to expand arts and crafts, flea market and antiques, so there is more to see and do than 'just' music at LeMars.  We went to Nebraska City where they were celebrating their Apple Fest.  It was extremely crowded at the Morton Farm, and we made contact with about 100 vendors there.  We also went to Irwin on Sunday, to visit the promoters of their steam engine show.  It's some gravel road to get to, but we were quite impressed with how they are saving the old 'farming' traditions of Iowa.  Much the same as Sheila and I are struggling to save Iowa's old-time country music.  Hopefully we have acquired a lady who weaves as well as spins the old-time way, as well as some quilt makers, and even some new music makers.  Same day we went to Missouri Valley (just north a ways) also on a gravel road to the Sawmill Hollow Aronia Berry Festival.  It's a beautiful place, but the aronia berry is just about the same as a choke-cherry.  If you grew up on a farm and were anywhere near a creek, you probably know what a choke-cherry is.  We tasted their wine, and probably wouldn't do that again, but they did have some nice baked goods, entertainment, and vendors which we of course tryed to coerce into coming to LeMars.  Hopefully the weekend will be fruitful.
     There's an Arby's in Missouri Valley, and the TV is swamped with ads about their new 'brisket' sandwich, so off we went.  There is onion rings, lettuce, and cheese on this sandwich, so we decided to drop the cheese for fear it would take away from the 13-hour  smoke-cooked brisket.  The brisket was good, very tender, but very fatty.  We had to trim off the fat, but the end result wasn't bad.  At $5.37 each, we had a great budget-lunch as well as a serving of curly-fries and a couple of drinks.  Not bad for good brisket.
     We had a terrific show at the Oak Tree featuring the Johnson Strings and Betty Rydell.  The Johnson family, mom, dad, and six children are just magnificent on their bowed instruments.  They played a terrific "Beaumont Rag" and a little later a terrific "Orange Blossom Special."  They also play some incredibly good classical music, and even though you might think it doesn't blend well, it does when this family plays.  Betty Rydell was also on (she will be at Fremont with us Oct 4-5-6) along with her husband who is a sitting judge in Minneapolis.  She is an incredibly gifted performer, and her classic country music was a sure hit.  The judge joins her on a number of songs, one of them about seafood, which turned out super funny.  Don't miss our next Oak Tree Show, Oct. 11 with John Rex Reeves, nephew of Jim Reeves, keeping the music alive.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

Marvin Rainwater passed away

Marvin Rainwater passed away
On September 17th.  He was born in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up in the great depression.  As a child he did not listen to the Grand Ole Opry which his father liked, he took classical music piano lessons, which ended after he lost part of his right thumb to a work accident as a teenager.  After returning from World War II, he took up the guitar.  He was fascinated by Roy Acuff, and began playing and writing country music, and formed a band with his brothers.  He sometimes wore a buckskin jacket and a headband.  Publicists later said he was part Native American, and even said he was part Cherokee, but Marvin denied all of that.  Roy Clark worked with Marvin in his early days, and together they recorded several demos.  Then Teresa Brewer recorded one of Marvin's songs "I Gotta Go Get My Baby" turning it into a big hit.  Marvin got his first big break in the music business when he performed on Arthur Godfrey's program.  He one first place on the Talent Scouts show in 1955, and joined the Ozark Jubilee that same year. He signed with MGM records and became a household name.  He was inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame during his appearance with us at Missouri Valley. We have one of his guitars in the Pioneer Music Museum, along with a lot of autographed photos and music, especially "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird.:"  That song sold over a million copies by 1957, and gave Marvin his first gold record. In 1959 he added three more gold records "My Love Is Real" "My Brand Of Blues" and "Half Breed."  He began to have voice problems in 1960 and parted company with MGM.  By 1970 he had throat cancer.  He went to doctors in Nashville who told him he'd lose his voice.  He got a second opinion in Rochester, Minnesota, at the Clinic there, and they not only did not cut his vocal cords out, they healed him.  He moved out of Nashville and built a beautiful home in Aitken, Minnesota, which is where he lived when he died.  He performed many many times for us at our festivals and at our Oak Tree Opry, and at the Walnut Opera House when we owned it.  He and his wife Sherri took a great liking to our (at that time, little) daughter, Bobbie Lhea, and would bring her presents whenever they came to see and perform for us.  He has three daughters; Judi who lives in Wenatchee Washington; Lora who lives in Columbia Hieghts, Minnesota; and Barbara who lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  Two sons, Wade who lives in Minnesota, and Jimmy who lives in Alabama.  We considered Marvin Rainwater part of our family, and we will miss him dearly.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International



We really enjoyed the 'big' show at the Oak Tree in Anita.  The Johnson Strings and Betty Rydell put on a super show for us.  If you've seen these acts, you already know that they are both super talented music makers.  The Johnson Strings is mom and dad and six kids who all play bowed instruments.  They come together to play classical music, but they also play super good country music.  Orange Blossom Special is especially good.  Betty Rydell will be at Fremont on Oct 4-5-6, and her show at the Oak Tree was also superdelicious.  She's a great performer, and so is her "Judge" husband.  They do some terrific comedy songs.  Our regulars were up to their normal good music, though they had to shorten up a bit to get everyone on.  You will read in the "On The Road" column about our adventures out looking for new ideas and things for LeMars, so I won't repeat that here.
I get a lot of these 'we need this' kind of musical information, and I'm never very sure just how ligit it all is,  but sometimes it is.  So, for those of you who are composers, here's the latest tidbit I've received.  The Music Ops Board (Music Industry Opportunities for Musicians) you can find them on the internet, is paying $4,000 for a 'country' song for a motion picture company who is looking for a few original melancholy acoustic songs.  Hey hey hey did I read that right "acoustic" song???  Well, yes, that's what they said,.  The song should include no electric instruments, a minimal arrangement (one or two instruments) and be available in a high quality recording.  The lyrics should touch on ending and avoiding personal relationships or persevering through challenges.  Male and female vocals preferred by they are also considering an acoustic guitar track for the film.  No cover songs, has to be original, no explicit lyrics.  Well, if you have something that might fit that you have to get in gear, they want something by September 27.
Here's another one.  I'm pretty sure these are legitimate inquiries, so pursue with caution just in case they ain't.  This one is calling for female lead singers to open for Martina McBride at one of her shows in 2014.  The audition dates are Sept 25 through Nov 15, 2013 in Nashville.  You perform live in Kingston Springs, Tenn., with one of three acts selected by the audience to advance to the next level.  This is from the ReverbNation team, so I suppose you can find out more information from them, or check out Martina McBride Decked Out Selection Showcase.
Most of you know that I traveled as a solo artist all over Europe for many years, and then with Sheila for quite a few more years.  One of the places that I went that was a really thrilling experience was to the Shetland Islands.  I got to go there several times, and enjoyed every minute of it working for the Shetland Country Music Club.  They provided round-trip air, a beautiful hotel accommodation, wonderful food, a really neat 'tourist trip' around the island every time I went there, and decent pay.  It was one of my favorite stops, and I hate to see what just happened there.  Apparently a shady promoter from Ireland, James McGarrity, had arranged for concerts by Ricky Skaggs in February, and Hal Ketchum this October.  Apparently the club sold over 800 tickets to see the two stars.  McGarrity said the club should never have sold the tickets since his management never confirmed the dates.  Sheila Manson, the club chairwoman said' The committee had smelt a rat after speaking to Englis music promoters who said Ketchum had no plans to visit Britain next month.  They then contacted his U.S. manager who confirmed their fears, as did Skaggs management when asked if the February date was likely to happen.  McGarrity was paid a deposit for the two acts, and the club is demanding their money back.  McGarrity says no, simply because the funds had already been transferred and he was not responsible for the cancellations.  He went on to say "Hal Ketchum changed management and I had made a deal with his previous management.  Also, Skaggs would only fly to the UK if He secured six concerts which he was not able to do."
Better news down Oklahoma way.  I've been a fan of Woody Guthrie nearly all my life.  I know he had very liberal leanings, but he was never a Communist which some people claimed, especially some of those Okemah, Oklahoma, folks who lived in the town where Guthrie grew up.  They disliked him so much they tore down his dilapidated boyhood home in the 1970's, the demolition reflecting the strained relationship between conservative folks and the native son who became very famous for his folk singing.  Those tensions persisted for more than a generation.  Marjorie Guthrie (Woody's widow) was a very close friend of mine, and she spoke often of the terrible way Woody was treated in his boyhood home.  But attitudes are now apparently changing in Okemah.  Now developers, working with the blessing of some of Guthrie's relatives, have announced plans to rebuild his 1860-era boyhood home in Okemah, a time-worn town of 3,300 people that is desperately seeking tourism dollars.  Wow, what a change that is.  They ran Woody out of town, and now they want to make money off of him.  Anyway, Johnny Buschardt is a spokesman for the project, and he said, "If you were to put a Mount Rushmore of American music here in Oklahoma, the first two artists would be Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie.  Without Woody there wouldn't be a Bob Dylan, or even a Bruce Springsteen."  High sounding words, but probably both of those artists would have made it anyway. Although revered as one of the best songwriters in American history, he was rarely acknowledged, let alone honored by his home state, let alone his home town.  Another spokesperson, Ric Denney said, "When I was going to school, it was almost like his name wasn't supposed to be mentioned, and when it was brought up in class, the teacher would change the subject."  So, it took over 30 years, but Okemah now celebrates Guthrie with an annual music festival.  The estimated $500,000 reconstruction of Guthrie's childhood home will use original planks salvaged from the run-down property they demolished.  The guy that saved the lumber, Earl Walker, said "In the early 70's and 80's Woody was still a bad name among some residents.  You had some old-timers here in Okemah who were just against Woody, but there's maybe a handful still alive.  The town is coming around," he added, "most people understand the home is a draw, something that is part of history."  Wow, half a million dollars, and I can't raise enough money to fix the roof on the Pioneer Music Museum, which houses a guitar Woody Guthrie once played on, given to me by his widow Marjorie Guthrie.  Maybe I could sell the guitar to Okemah for enough money to fix the roof, but I wouldn't count on it.
One of our Hall of Famers, Maynard Zipf who lives out North Platte, Nebraska, way, was inducted into the Nebraska Country Music Hall of Fame last October.  I didn't know that, so thanks to Yvonne for sharing that.  Maynard, who used to play for our nightly dances at LeMars, still plays the keyboard and sings.  He played at the Rail Fest Celebration in North Platte this weekend (Sept 21 & 22).  Good going Maynard.
The banjo, invented some 400 years ago by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, proved to be remarkably adaptable after it found a home on the North American mainland.  "Classic Banjo" a 30-track anthology released last month on Smithsonian Folkways (the same label we record for) draws on artists as varied as Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Cotton, Bill Keith, and Tony Trischka to trace the instrument's spread into minstrelsy, ragtime, bluegrass, and other musical forms.  "The banjo is not just a stereotype anymore," says Greg Adams, who compiled the album with archivist Jeff Place.  "It is a gateway to understanding the American experience."  You can go to Smithsonian Folkways on your internet, simply type in 'classic banjo' and it will go directly to that information OR you can just type in Bob Everhart, and you can go to the six projects we have recorded for the Smithsonian.  You might even like one well enough to buy it?
Did I mention "ragtime?"  Yes, I did, a couple of times.  The Johnson Strings did a beautiful version of "Beaumont Rag" and the banjo is also related to ragtime.  We also hear some delightful ragtime on the player piano Gary Meschk plays for us at the Oak Tree just before the show begins.  It's terrific, you would really enjoy that if you could just take a few minutes out of your busy life to come see one of our shows.  Next one John Rex Reeves, October 11th, 7pm. Anyway, the Great Plains Ragtime Society is going to have their next 'meet' on September 29th at 2pm, at the First Central Congregational United Church of Christ, 421 S. 36th St., Omaha. The meet will be held in Memorial Hall and will run until 4pm, after that participants are invited to eat out with the hosts at a neighborhood restaurant.  Promoter is Jim Boston at 402-556-3340.  He's like to know if you want to participate so he can delegate time.  Are you knowing about this Calvin Duhasek????  It's a super good time for authentic rag-time on the piano.  We might be there.
Dolly Parton may be a senior citizen at age 67, but there's nothing retired about her upcoming work schedule. She's expanding Dollywood Theme Park to the tune of $300-million.  Wow, and I can't even raise enough money to fix the roof on the Pioneer Music Museum?  She's going to go on tour to Australia in February and Europe in June.  About the Dollywood Park.  She's been asked by several foreign countries to build similar parks in several countries.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

25. Country Night Gstaad

25. Country Night Gstaad

Bereits zum 25. Mal fand heuer die Country Night in Gstaad statt. Das Programm konnte sich durchaus sehen lassen. Zahlreiche namhafte Künstler gaben sich die Ehre und verwöhnten die angereisten Fans aus aller Herren Länder mit abwechslungsreichen musikalischen Darbietungen.

Den Abend eröffnete die Formation Flynnville Train. Die Gruppe besteht aus den Brüdern Brian und Brent Flynn an Gesang und Gitarre, verstärkt durch Joseph Shreve am Bass und Tommy Bales am Schlagzeug. Die Band, die auch schon im Vorprogramm von Toby Keith aufgetreten ist, bot rockige Country Music vom Feinsten. Die meist selbst geschriebenen Songs handeln vom Leben in den Südstaaten. Die Gruppe besticht durch einen sehr treibenden Rhythmus. Flynnville Train sollte dann auch nach Ende des offiziellen Konzertteils im Vorzelt den Abend ausklingen lassen.

Als nächster Programmpunkt war bereits Wunderkind LeAnn Rimes vorgesehen. Die Künstlerin war 2004 schon einmal Gast bei der Country Night. Im Gegensatz zu ihrem ersten Gastspiel waren die Arrangements diesmal erdiger. Die Sängerin selbst will sich ja nicht auf ein einziges Genre festlegen lassen. Entsprechend vielseitig stellte sich ihr Programm dar. Da waren ihre Pop-Hits „I Need You“, „Last Thing On My Mind“ oder „How Do I Live“ ebenso vertreten, wie ihre Country Hits. Stimmlich überzeugend war sie in allen musikalischen Richtungen. Einmal klang sie soulig, durchaus einer Whitney Houston ebenbürtig, dann wieder traditionell Country. Ihr erster Hit „Blue“ klingt nicht mehr wie ein Patsy Cline Klon, sondern die Sängerin hat dem Lied inzwischen ihren persönlichen Stempel aufgedrückt. Rimes stellte auch einige Lieder ihres neuen Albums „Spitfire“ vor. Die Lieder dieses Albums hat sie zu einem Großteil selbst geschrieben. Die daraus vorgetragenen Kostproben lassen auf ein erstklassiges Album schließen. Neben dem Titelsong besonders überzeugend war der Rocker „Gasoline And Matches“, nicht nur vom Titel, sondern auch von der Interpretation her eine explosive Mischung. Besonders schön waren auch die Balladen, wo ihre wunderbare Stimme so richtig zum Tragen kommt. Der diesbezügliche Höhepunkt war zweifelsohne der als Zugabe dargebotene Titel „Hallelujah“ von Leonard Cohen, vorgetragen nur mit einer akustischen Gitarrenbegleitung.

Nach der großen Pause kommt der Auftritt der Time Jumpers, einer hochkarätig besetzten Formation aus Nashville. Entstanden ist die Gruppe zufällig, als sich ein paar Studio Musiker in einem Lokal in Nashville zusammen getan hatten und aus Freude an der Musik zu spielen begannen. Dabei beleben sie musikalische Formen, die tief in der Geschichte der Country Music verwurzelt sind. Western Swing, Texas Shuffles und Honky Tonk Music dominieren ihr Programm. Neben zahlreichen Klassikern wird auch eigenes Liedmaterial dargeboten, das aber durchaus an die Tradition anknüpft. Die Gruppe wird von Kenny Sears geleitet. Neben ihm sind seine Frau Dawn Sears, Superstar Vince Gill und Top-Session Musiker Paul Franklin (Steel Gitarre), Larry Franklin und Joe Spivey (Fiddles), Dennis Crouch (Bass), Andy Reiss (E-Gitarre), Jeff Taylor (Akkordeon, Piano) und Billy Thomas (Schlagzeug) mit von der Partie. Die Freude am Musizieren ist offensichtlich. Jeder Musiker sieht sich als Teil des Gesamten und niemand stellt sich in den Mittelpunkt, selbst wenn Vince Gill als das bekannteste Ensemblemitglied den größten Applaus erhält. Die Sänger wechseln ab, jeder Musiker spielt Soli. Derart traditionelle Country Musik mit viel Steel Gitarre und drei Fiddles (!) bekommt man sogar in Nashville nur mehr selten zu hören.

Den offiziellen Konzerteil beschließt Gretchen Wilson. Auf der Bühne ein echtes Energiebündel. Ihre Show ist auch wieder sehr energiegeladen und teilweise rockig. Wilson, die ihre Karriere als Teil der sogenannten Muzik Mafia rund um John Rich und Big Kenny (Big & Rich) begann hat in der Zwischenzeit ihr eigenes Plattenlabel Redneck Records gegründet. Alleine in diesem Jahr erscheinen bei dieser Firma 3 Alben. Den bereits aufgelegten Alben „Right On Time“ und „Under The Covers“ (mit Cover Versionen von Rock Songs) soll im Herbst noch ein Weihnachtsalbum folgen. Wilson, pflegt seit dem Erfolg ihres Megahits „Redneck Woman“ ein Image als „hard drinking“ und „hard partying“ „tough girl“, das sie durchaus mit einem Zug aus einer Whiskey Flasche unterstreicht, ehe sie einen „drinking song“ anstimmt. Dieses Bild sollte aber nicht davon ablenken, was für eine hervorragende Sängerin sie ist. Besonders kommt diese bei Balladen zu tragen. Ein Höhepunkt des Abends war ihre Version von John Prines „Angel From Montgomery“. Bei den letzten Titeln forderte sie das Publikum auf vor die Bühne zu kommen. Das verstärkte die Party Stimmung und die Besucher sangen dann auch lautstark mit, als ihr großer Hit „Redneck Woman“ erklang.

Einmal mehr ist es dem Team der Country Night Gstaad gelungen ein erstklassiges Programm auf die Beine zu stellen. An dieser Stelle sei dem Team der Country Night die Gratulation zum 25 jährigen Jubiläum ausgesprochen. In diesem Sinne auf die nächsten 25 Jahre!

 Siegfried Schneeweiss für Country Music News International

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