the news:  Trace Adkins, one of the Nashville ‘so called country’
artists, entered an alcoholic rehab treatment facility January 15 after
leaving a country music cruise that included stops in Jamaica. 
Apparently he got in a fist fight with a Trace Adkins impersonator
sound-alike karaoke singer who was singing in one of the ship’s bars.

Latest on Randy Travis is that he is still recuperating
from his stroke.  He is still paralyzed on the right side, he cannot
walk, and can barely speak.  His daily medical care continues with a
nurse that visits every day as well as having long-term caretakers that
take care of his daily needs.  He has to wear a helmet to prevent the
chance of brain injury, he is still confined to bed or wheelchair. 
Prayers are still very much needed for the healing of Randy Travis.
The Great Plains Ragtime Society will have their monthly
meeting January 26, 2pm-4pm, at the Durham Booth Manor, 923  N. 38th St.
in Omaha.  402-556-3340 for more information from Jim Boston.
Randall Franks is sharing a duet recording highlighted by
restored archival tracks featuring the unique harmonies of my favorite
Bluegrass brothers act, Jim & Jesse McReynolds.  You can find it on
Randy’s new CD, “Mississippi Moon – Country Treasures.”
Another book out on Woody Guthrie.  This time it covers his
years 1956-61 when he was a patient at Greystone Park Psychiatric
Hospital.  The book is called “Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty: Greystone
Park State Hospital Revisited.”  It’s by photographer and New Milford
native, Phil Buehlen, in consolidation with Nora Guthrie.  Cost is $75
and it’s available at the website
Allen Karl, originally from Maryland, but now very busy in
Nashville with his Century II recording company has just released his
long awaited new single “Saving It Up For Saturday Night.”  It’s a great
up-tempo ‘real’ country music song, and one of the best Allen has ever
released.  Allen is a master at keeping his country music traditional
and classic, as he has always promised to do.  I hope we get to review
this great new single, and then pass it along to the Rural Roots Music
Getting any ‘real’ country music news is getting harder and
harder.  There’s lots of stories about the country imitators, but that
is all paid for hype, promotion, and self grandizement, and it’s all
over the place AND it’s all pretty much ‘nothing.’  There was one little
tidbit in all the fal-de-rah (which costs a lot of money by the
way)…. Even “Big & Rich” can’t come up with the big bucks.  After
getting the boot from Warner Brothers Records, they have decided to go
even bigger time.  They’re going to start their own record label.  Wow,
big and rich they will need to be.
Kind of nice to see Alan Jackson at the top of the heap
with #1 on the Top-20 country countdown charts with his recording “Blue
Ridge Mountain Song.”
Bluegrass legend Doyle Lawson was honored by his record
label “Mountain Home Music” with an award commemorating Doyle’s song
“Dixie Road,” which topped the Bluegrass Unlimited magazine song chart.
Sheila and I are going to be interviewed by Becky Buller on
a radio station in Nashville.  Becky is the fiddler for Valarie Smith
(we worked with her when we were in Denmark).  Becky just signed with
Dark Shadow Records and is in the process of recording her first album
in ten years using Sam Bush’s band as backing in the studio.
California never ceases to amaze me when it comes to
Bluegrass music.  January 19 is the first California Film Festival,
where they will be screening “Making History with Pioneers of
Bluegrass.”  Held in Redwood City, on two concurrent Sundays, the first
one featuring “Broken Circle Breakdown” a film from Belgium up for an
Academy Award, followed by the films “Story of the Banjo & Midnight
Plowboys,” “Whiskey Rebellion Live in Oregon,” and “The Making of Pa’s
Fiddle.”  January 26 they will feature “Making History with Pioneers of
Bluegrass,’  the “Tao of Bluegrass: A Portrait of Peter Rowan,” and
“Herschel Sizemore, Mandolin in B.”  AND, all of it is free. 
California, it’s something.
The 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering (January
27-February 1) will be held in Elko, Nevada, and it isn’t JUST poetry. 
There’s also old-time cowboy and western music, western theme arts and
crafts, and this year a symposium on ‘How to Keep Them Down on the Ranch
After They’ve Seen Wi-Fi.”  They will be discussing issues affecting
ranching and rural culture, and rural agricultural communities.  Also on
the agenda, “how ranchers are finding balance between traditional
methods and new ideas so they can be good stewards of the natural
environment and keep the ranch running.”  It’s all about “Home on the
Range” and how western ranchers are meeting the needs of a growing
population by producing food in a renewable and sustainable way.  The
Dead Poacher Ranch, by the way, is a 150-acre spread in Boerne, Texas,
and it’s for sale.  $1,200,000.00 will get it for you right away….for
150 acres?  Wow, such a deal.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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