Will Hoge comes to Indy as Shinedown opener; DBT next album announced

Will Hoge

Roots-rocker Will Hoge stopped by WTTS’ Studio 92 on Monday to play an acoustic set before he headed to the Murat for a show with the band Shinedown. The radio station is usually pretty good about adding live performances to their website for on-demand play – it wasn’t there as of Tuesday night but should be soon, based on their track record of posting audio.

It will almost a year to the day of his Hoge’s last appearance in Indy, for his 2009 tour-ending show at Radio Radio. (read my review of show)

In October, he released an EP titled The Living Room Sessions, a quickie album recorded in two days in Hoge’s living room. It includes songs from his recent full-band effort The Wreckage, including alternate versions of “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Favorite Waste of Time”.

“I like acoustic recordings that try to be different from the album versions,” Hoge told a reporter from the Charleston City Paper. “We didn’t try 50 different arrangements or anything. It was really fun. It was a step closer to the ‘you get what you get’ mentality.”

Will Hoge – from current tour – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”


It has been less than a year since the Drive-By Truckers released The Big To-Do, and already have announced a February 15, 2011 release for their next record, titled Go-Go Boots. It will feature songs recorded during the same session.

Drive-By Truckers

“We recorded nearly 40 songs last year and into this year, and fairly early on divided it into two separate albums,” said DBT frontman Patterson Hood in a news release. “The Big To-Do was the more straightforward rock album (and) Go-Go Boots is what I refer to as our country, soul and murder ballad album.”

Twang Report: Drive-By Truckers, Truth & Salvage Co., Ryan Adams, Dropkick Murphy’s

Maybe the biggest and best-est band playing American Rock?: Drive-By Truckers getting a ton of good press about their new album, “The Big To-Do”, out this week. They’ll appear on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday, March 31st and are releasing a series of webisodes that tell the behind-the-scenes story of each song from the record. Recorded in the studio in Athens, Georgia, plus as the band performs the new songs at sound check and in concert, and it includes interviews with the band. Here’s the first installment and it is damn good – both in content and with the production.

Circle The Date: I wrote about Truth and Salvage Co. last time (from the cuts I’ve heard, maybe the best Americana album of 2010 – to be released in May), and Indiana guy Tim Jones’ contribution to the band. They hit Birdy’s May 6 – a nice “get” for that club. Thought it might make sense to remind you of one of Tim’s other projects, Chevy Downs, before we leave Mr. Jones alone. And, just so you know, I’ve always liked bands that include guitar whiz John Byrne as a member. Remind yourself of their sound here

OK. Shoulda seen this one coming up the highway: Conan O’Brien is taking his act on the road. He announced a 30-city theater tour, and Andy Richter and the former “Tonight Show” band (maybe the best talk show band ever) will join Conan for The “Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour” that begins April 12 concludes June 14. Word today was that a documentary will be filmed around the tour (not exactly a new idea, but makes plenty-o-sense).

Finally, on Ryan Adams’ website, the alt-country crazy man says: “We’re going to begin pressing ORION — my most legit METAL record — on vinyl next week.”

I leave you with this from the Dropkick Murphy’s, wholly appropriate for March 17th.

Roots Rock News: Alejandro Escovedo, Tim Grimm, Drive-By Truckers

Roots Rock and Twang News: All kinds of news ‘n’ notes. I must pass them along before something bad happens, like a new Winger album appears to punish my selfishness. So I share….

While the Grammy’s pounded away at honoring (mostly) commercial success over everything else, there were a few winners of note to us:
Steve Earle won the Grammy Award for best contemporary folk album for 2009’s “Townes.” Loudon Wainwright III (from “Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road” to this…) won for best traditional folk album with “High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project”. Best americana album went to Levon Helm, for “Electric Dirt.” and Springsteen won for best solo rock performance for “Working on a Dream”.

Alejandro Escovedo retreated to Mexico with long-time friend, co-writer and fellow artist Chuck Prophet, for the follow-up to his most recent studio album “Real Animal”. The new record is slated to be released in late June. Escovedo’s next album will come out on Fantasy Records, the former home Creedence Clearwater Revival, and again home to John Fogerty. Escovedo’s in Kentucky making the record with producer Tony Visconti, who also produced “Real Animal.” One of the best americana shows in the Indy area last year was Escovedo’s appearance at the Royal Theatre in Danville.

Eddie Vedder’s cool cover of “My City Of Ruins” by Bruce Springsteen, recorded at the recent Kennedy Center Honors show in DC, is available as a charity digital single through iTunes. Proceeds benefit Artists for Peace and Justice Haiti Relief.

Barbara Higbie begins a run of six consecutive excellent female singer/songwriters as part of the Indy Acoustic Cafe series. She appears February 13 for a 7:30 show at the Wheeler Community Arts Theater (1035 Sanders St.). Catie Curtis is slated for Feburary 27. more info at indyacousticcafeseries.com

Tim Grimm (photo from KDHX Community Media)

Tim Grimm plays February 20 for the Indy Folk Series at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis (615 West 43rd Street). The Indiana singer/songwriter/actor/farmer is the mastermind behind the Hoosier Dylan, Hoosier Holiday and Hoosier Springsteen shows, and this is a nice chance to hear him play his own music. A great voice, filled with relaxed strength, and iy’s sneakily captivating.
more info at indyfolkseries.org

Dixie Chicks and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison will record an album together without their Dixie Chick partner Natalie Maines. Maines father, legendary Texas pedal steel player Lloyd Maines reports that the split is “temporary.

Nielsen rolled out the 2009 year-end music sales and radio airplay, showing album sales were down 8.5 percent. Digital track sales went up 8.3 percent over 2008, and digital album sales up 16.1 percent. Vinyl also grew, with music fans buying 2.5 million vinyl LPs, a 33 percent jump over 2008. Still, music industry revenues in 2009 were $6.3 billion, less than half what they were in 1999, and people spent 32% less in 2009 on music than they spent in 2008.

In 1979, Doug Fieger played rhythm guitar in a band called the Knack and sang a song called “My Sharona” that stayed at No. 1 for six weeks. More recently he’s been a cancer patient, lung and brain and beyond.
Here’s the article

Though Charlie Daniels suffered a mild stroke while snowmobiling in Colorado on Jan. 15th, he says he plans on keepting upcoming shows, on Feb. 27th in Ft. Pierce, FL and Feb. 28th in Brooksville, FL. Daniels was released from Swedish Medical Center on Sunday, Jan. 17th and returned to his home in Colorado. I saw Daniels play a mighty fine pre-race Brickyard 400 show a couple years ago, in the infield at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He still had the energy (he’s 73), some damn good country-rock fiddle and guitar songs, and looked at home on the big stage.

The Drive-By Truckers have a new album set for release this March, and the first song has been released on Stereogum’s website. Patterson Hood told the website that “The Big To-Do” is “very much a rock album,” You can listen to “This Fucking Job” from the Drive-By Truckers at Stereogum. The new album is due March 16.

Rick Rubin produced the new Johnny Cash album “American VI: Ain’t No Grave”, and that record is out later this month, slated for February 23. The set includes one Cash original (“First Corinthians”) and a version of Sheryl Crow’s “Redemption Day”, among the tracks.

Merle Haggard has a new deal with independent label Vanguard Records (where Levon Helm is signed) – and will release “I Am What I Am” on April 20. He’s currently touring with Kris Kristofferson, whose latest album (“Closer to the Bone”) is magnificent – he has finally grown into that idiosyncratic voice of his, and the words and music match up to produce of the best albums from late last year.

Elvis Costello will tour the U.S. this spring in a variety of configurations. Costello will be playing solo on some shows, plus some with his band The Imposters, and others with The Sugarcanes, the musicians who joined him on his 2009 album “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”. Costello will also perform solo with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the end of May.

Here’s one of those Texas festivals that sound like a whole lotta fun: The line-up for Cross Canadian Ragweed’s 4th Annual Red Dirt Roundup has been announced. The festival will be held on two stages at the Historic Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday, Sept. 6. The bands include Ragweed, Charlie Robison, Robert Earl Keen, Johnny Cooper and The Wallflowers.

Willie Nelson will turn to T Bone Burnett, for Nelson’s new album called “Country Music”. It features old-time banjo master Riley Baugus, double bassist Dennis Crouch, and T Bone himself, all musicians featured on “Raising Sand” the 2009 Grammy award-winning Album of the Year by Plant and Krauss. The album will be released on April 13th. And in what has seemingly become an annual tradition, members of Willie Nelson’s band and crew were cited recently for misdemeanor possession offenses after of marijuana somehow came blowing out of the tour bus. Six members were busted in Duplin County, NC for possession of marijuana and three-fourths of a quart of moonshine.

If you don’t know anything else about my quirky ideas on music, understand that I think Cheap Trick, over the past 30 years, has somehow influenced every rock and roll band worth a shit. So I’ll end by passing along word that Cheap Trick will be performing dates with Squeeze during summer 2010 and taped a PBS Soundstage that will air some time in June or July 2010.

Here’s a bit of the Tricksters…

Cancel the Vote: It’s the Country Music Song of the Year from Cracker and Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood

They waited until November, but there’s the freakin’ country music song of the year. Love the sound of the recording too, and the killer lead guitar lines. Buh-rilliant.  Cracker and Patterson Hood team up to blend their stuff together.  And it works.