Twang Rock News: The Elms, KY Headhunters, Will Hoge, Springsteen tune, more…

Owen Thomas of the Elms feels the rock and roll
Owen Thomas of the Elms feels the rock

The Elms  (Indiana’s own, from Seymour) have a new album “The Great American Midrange” out, if you haven’t grabbed it yet…It’s loud, energetic rock and roll, informed by Petty/power-pop influences and has a solid Middle America vibe. The best record yet for the group. “Back to Indiana”, “County Fair” “Strut”, and “Unless God Appears First” are my favorites at the moment. Ordered on their website. ( you can get the album and a companion acoustic version for 15 bucks, or 10 bucks on iTunes for the regular release. If you dig Petty, Springsteen, and Cheap Trick, it’s worth a listen. Or four. They play a show a show in Terre Haute on November 12 and headline in Indy at the Vogue on November 13, with supporting acts Green River Ordinance and one of our faves, Henry French and the Shameless.
NOVEMBER 12, 2009: The Verve. $5. 8pm. 21+
NOVEMBER 13, 2009: The Vogue. $10-$12. 8pm. 21+
HEAR  “Back to Indiana”

kentuckyheadhunters2There is a fabulous, honest, intelligent interview with Richard Young of the woefully underappreciated Kentucky Headhunters at The Headhunters had seven studio albums and four straight Top 30 hits in the early 90s – “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine,” “Dumas Walker,” the not-so-big-hit“ Rock ‘n’ Roll Angel” and “Oh Lonesome Me.” They’ve won a Grammy, CMA and ACM award in their long history (not that awards make a band good, but it does show they were, at one time, a big deal in country music. ) They rocked, yet were a bit hard to categorize. I played the shit out of them at a radio station I was working for around 1990.  But they were unique; oddness come by honestly. Read full article

FEATURED MUSIC ARTICLE: I love my Peter Cooper.  The music writer for The Tennessean in Nashville, (and a guitar player of considerable talent – he’s been playing with Todd Snider recently)  has written a great little piece that is called “70 is the New 30”, talking about some great new music from legendary artists. He riffs on Kris Kristofferson Bobby Bare, Loretta Lynn,  Bill Anderson, Tom T. Hall, Willie and Merle too.  Must read

willhoge08SHOW REMINDER: Nashville boy Will Hoge returns to Indianapolis for the first time in more than a year with a show at Radio Radio on November 21. He burns it up live – his gig at the Rathskeller last summer was outstanding.  And he writes a nicely descriptive website blog too.

Bruce Springsteen debuted a new song at Giants Stadium during his run of five shows at the soon-to-be-demolished facility. He has played there more than 60 times in his career…the song’s a testament to how unique Bruce is when it comes to capturing moments in time, making them a metaphor for life, and his strength at writing an anthem.  And we have a pro-recorded version of the song…
HEAR “Wrecking Ball”

Pat Green parted ways with BNA Records after two albums – 2006’s Cannonball and 2009’s What I’m For.  Maybe now Pat will get a little dirtier with his future efforts. I really like him and he is tremendous as a live act. Just would like to see some shine worn off the sound.  Here the link to his site, as his career continues to roll on, label or not.

Not exactly R.E.M., but it was close. Drummer Bill Berry performed with R.E.M. bandmates Peter Buck and Mike Mills onstage recently in  the Athens, Georgia, nightclub the 40 Watt, covering the Beatles “Ballad of John & Yoko” and the McCoys’ classic “Hang On Sloopy.”  Berry, who last played with R.E.M.  in 2007 when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was also joined by frequent R.E.M. collaborator and Minus 5 main man Scott McCaughey on lead vocals.

On the new Rosanne Cash album, The List plays like a tribute to the durability of country songwriting . She argues songs such as Don Gibson’s “Sea of Heartbreak,”(a killer duet with Bruce Springsteen) Harlan Howard’s “I’m Movin’ On” and Merle Haggard’s “Silver Wings” are worth hearing again.– Read more

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

From my blog for NUVO  in Indianapolis ( – 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.

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….

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.

Though he has always been my Bryan Adams of country music, I have liked Pat Green for a long time. 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.

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.

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.