Roots Rock Blog: Pat Green, Henry French, Album Charts, 20 Questions with Cross Canadian Ragweed

From my blog for NUVO  in Indianapolis (nuvo.net) – check it out there a couple times a week for show reviews and info like this:

On the Americana airplay chart from Radio & Records, Otis Gibbs was at #5 with his “Grandpa Walked A Picketline” album. The Gourds “Haymaker!” album is in the top spot, as last week’s #1 album, “Little Honey” from Lucinda Williams falls to #4.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ “Raising Sand,” which won album of the year at the Grammy’s on Sunday, re-entered the Billboard album chart at No. 68, with sales of 9,000 last week. For the chart, most gains are a result of downloads on Sunday night after the show. The Fray earned its first #1 on The Billboard 200 with its sophomore self-titled album selling 179,000. Last week’s #1, Bruce Springsteen’s “Working on a Dream”, slips to No. 2 in its second week with 102,000 sold.

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Great little “20 Questions” interview with personal fave Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed. They blew the roof of the Vogue in late 2008 and defy simple music pigeonholing – they just rock in an American rock and roll way. Check out interview here….

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Choose Only One? Live Show Pick: Henry French and the Shameless  rocked Birdy’s on Saturday night (2.14). They have a great EP “Swagger and Sway”. One of those bands (Bodeans, Swinging Steaks, Replacements) that make hook-filled, guitar-driven, songwriting-strong heartland rock records. Hear more here.

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Though he has always been my Bryan Adams of country music, I have liked Pat Green for a long time. CMT.com says his new song “Country Star” (and watch some sidestage video – they come out to “Eminance Front”…) is “hooky, catchy and funny enough to move him from edgy Texas rocker to full-on Nashville phenom. And it’s about time.”He is great live, and I love Texas music, even if Pat has watered his down for more mainstream success. Jack Ingram has done the same. Still, would rather listen to those two than most of the glossy, sugary, disposable country music that is on the radio and dominate awards shows. Dann Huff produces (Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts are two other clients) so that means no rough edges. Still, worth staying on board with Green. Oh, and I liked Bryan Adams until he started to suck.

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Randy Rogers Band received an Academy of Country Music nomination this week for vocal group of the year. They will lose to Rascal Flatts, but nice to have a rowdy Oklahoma/Texas/Red Dirt band get noticed.

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Finally, an interesting into-the-head blog from Springsteen on his official site. Bruce blogging? Multiple albums in one year? Ten years ago, who would have thought those two could happen? Actually, a terrific blog. (Read it here) Bruce rarely writes prose, instead does interviews and writes songs. So it is a bit unsettling to read. But behind-the-scenes is what we want, right? Plus a striking photo gallery from Danny Clinch.

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