Country Music People October 2017 - Page 25

TheNashvilleSkinny A column by John Lomax III NASHVILLE – John Prine earned the “Artist of the Year” trophy at the 16th Annual Americana Awards, held here at the Ryman Auditorium September 13. Graham Nash scooped up the “Spirit of Americana Free Speech” honor and delivered a nifty version of the Everly Brothers So Sad with the Milk Carton Kids assuming the Don & Phil roles. Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives gained a standing ovation for their performance and won the “Group of the Year” kudos. Other winners included Van Morrison, Robert Cray, Willie Mitchell’s Hi Rhythm Section, Amanda Shires, Sturgill Simpson, Iris Dement, Rodney Crowell, Charlie Sexton and Larry Sloven & Bruce Bromberg, founders of Hightone Records. C.M.A. Awards finalist nominations ignited the Tennessean’s Cindy Watts, normally a shrinking violet for criticism. Her page 2 column lambasted voters for ignoring Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Chris Janson and Dustin Lynch altogether and giving too few nominations to Florida-Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney and Carrie Underwood. Watts gets extra points for using “chart-topping” and “heart-stopping” in the same sentence, really jaw-dropping! The C.M.A. Songwriter Series plans shows in the U.K. and continental Europe October 3-15. Randy Houser, Angaleena Presley, Eric Paslay and Michael Tyler headline stops in London, Liverpool, Gateshead and Glasgow, Brandy Clark joins them for shows in Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm and Oslo. Luke Combs has burst upon the scene, his hit Hurricane helping propel 110,000 album sales of This One’s For You in three months. The 28 year-old North Carolinian, a “Best New Artist” CMA Award nominee, had earlier, now collectible recordings before signing with Columbia here. Radney Foster presents his 11th solo release, For You To See The Stars, a book and/or CD featuring nine new songs plus a remake of Raining on Sunday. “For me, the goal of writing is always to touch that one person so much that they wonder how I got a peek into their living room–, how I understood exactly what they felt,” Foster said. Kenny Rogers will be taking his final bow and making his last performance with Dolly “I’m pretty sure that most folks expect me to write and sing about rainbows, butterflies and unicorns, but that’s just not me,” says EmiSunshine, 13. “I like to write about things that are real and life just isn’t pretty sometimes . . . that’s just the way it is. I also get my song ideas from scary movies (I love scary movies!); I love the ‘shock factor’; it’s just plain fun to see the ‘surprise’ on people’s faces”, she declared as her 4th album, Ragged Dreams was released in August. Parton October 25th in what is touted as a“once-in-a-lifetime show”. Performers include: Little Big Town, Alison Krauss, The Flaming Lips, Idina Menzel, Jamey Johnson, Elle King and “many special guests” for “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration.” Rodney Crowell will receive the ASCAP Founder’s Award, one of the Society’s highest honors. The native Texan joins such previous winners as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris. Don Williams’ passing hurts especially for me as his Volume One album and Bob McDill’s Short Stories were the two main sonic beacons that led me to Music City in 1973. Don realized the importance of England early on and began touring there in the mid-’70s. He was a reticent, understated superstar who won, deservedly so, the highest honors the industry can bestow topped by selection to the Country Music Hall of Fame. “It’s taking a lot longer than expected, but we expect to be open around the end of October or early November”, said a spokeswoman for CabaRay, the new state of the art dinner theater and TV production facility Ray Stevens is building in west Nashville. Get an advance look at the project at raystevenscabaray.com. Big English & Australian contingents here for the 16th Annual Americana Conference. Local daily, the Tennessean ran a huge story about Americana’s progress in England, touting success of the U.K. Americana Honors Show, the 3rd of which is scheduled for February. My famous grandfather, folk collector/author John A. Lomax would have been 150 September 23. In commemoration, UT Press in Austin issued a new edition of his 1947 autobiography, Adventures of a Ballad Hunter. This paperback version keeps the original illustrations but adds 22 photos, a new cover, an index and an introduction written by Dr. Anna Lomax Wood, John Nova Lomax and myself. I will be moving on after my next column, coming in December, my 50th for CMP. It’s been my pleasure to bring you my views of the Nashville news and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have penning them. At 73, I want to tackle other challenges. So, thank you for your time and attention, see you in December! cmp OCTOBER 2017 - cmp 25