written

Gary Nicholson's New CD, Texas Songbook

Gary Nicholson is a musical renaissance man — a number one hit songwriter, a two time Grammy winning record producer, a guitarist, singer, and recording artist. A consistent presence on the upper reaches of the country chart hit parade for the last three decades, his associations and collaborations read like an honor roll of notable talent in country and beyond: George Strait, Ringo Starr, Garth Brooks, Jeff Bridges, Robert Plant, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Gregg Allman, The Judds, Buddy Guy, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Del McCoury, The Neville Brothers, Vince Gill, Delbert McClinton, Etta James, John Prine, Keb’ Mo’, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson among them. His songs have been heard in the movies Crazy Heart, Major League, City of Hope, Message in a Bottle and Where the Heart Is. “I’m always curious about working with different people and styles,” he says.

He is also a true blue son of the Lone Star State whose love and pride for the place he calls home brims from every track of his Bismeaux Records album, Texas Songbook, due out June 21, 2011. Recorded in Austin with some of the finest players in the state, it features such guest stars as Joe Ely, McClinton, Marcia Ball, Randy Rogers, Ray Benson and Jason Roberts of Asleep at the Wheel on songs inspired by or about Texas by Nicholson himself and penned with Texans like the late Stephen Bruton, McClinton, Guy Clark, Lee Roy Parnell and others. It’s sure to satisfy anyone with a taste for swinging, two-stepping, and dancehall and honky-tonk style Lone Star country music.

The album leaps into a Lone Star state of mind from the opening track, “Texas Weather,” and keeps the theme dancing though “She Feels Like Texas,” “A Woman in Texas, A Woman in Tennessee,” “Lone Star Blues” (with Ely and Benson singing along, and just recorded by George Strait for his next album), “Talkin’ Texan” and “Texas Ruby” (with Ball on piano). The set includes the signature song “Fallin’ & Flyin’” from Crazy Heart, the infectiously swinging “Messin’ With My Woman” (with backing vocals by Benson and Roberts), “Same Kind of Crazy” (written with McClinton, who plays harmonica on the track and cut the song, as did George Strait on his Twang album), and “Listen to Willie” (a tribute to the Red-Haired Stranger with Stoney LaRue and Benson on vocals and Mickey Raphael on harmonica). It wraps up with “Bless Them All” (with the McCrary Sisters), “Live, Laugh, Love” (previously recorded by Texan Clay Walker), and the closing grace note of “Some Days You Write the Song” (the title song of the Grammy-nominated Guy Clark album, co-written with Clark and Jon Randall Stewart).

Nicholson’s impetus for making Texas Songbook was his recent induction into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. “I’ve always wanted to make a truly country record,” he says of his fourth release in his own right. “So I figured, okay, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this in Texas with all Texas players and with songs co-written by Texans. I’m just going to make the most Texas record I can possibly make and have fun doing it.”

To do so, the first and only choice was to “go straight to Ray Benson.” Recorded at Benson’s Bismeaux Studio, the disc features Asleep at the Wheel members and associates Roberts (fiddle), David Sanger (drums), Floyd Domino (piano) and Kevin Smith (bass) as well as steel guitarist Tommy Detamore and accordion player Joel Guzman. “I couldn’t have made this record in Nashville and gotten this music,” notes Nicholson, a Music City resident for now more than three decades. “I could have come close. But I knew I could only make this album in Texas.” Plus for good measure include in the creative mix some honorary Texans from the state’s “north 40” of Oklahoma like guest singer and Lone Star/Red Dirt music scene hero LaRue and Kevin Welch, co-writer of “Listen to Willie” and now residing in the Hill Country town of Wimberley.

The trail that led Nicholson to becoming an integral and pervasive presence in the Nashville music industry and scene — and 26 ASCAP songwriting awards and nomination to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame — begins in Garland in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex where he came of age within the fertile musical context of the mid 1950s.

He soon took up the guitar and started playing folk and country music, making his public debut in his school’s eighth grade talent show and winning it. Then along came The Ventures and Nicholson took up electric guitar. When he later came to believe that the Beatles “were the greatest thing ever” and heard area resident Freddie King, his fate was sealed. As a teen he played in such British Invasion-inspired bands as the Valiants, the Catalinas and the Untouchables.

While studying at North Texas State University in nearby Denton, Nicholson fell in with such other musical students as soon-to-be Eagle Don Henley and pianist/producer/arranger Jim Ed Norman, later president of the Warner Bros. Nashville label. He stayed busy by night in club bands, and was also recruited to tour with the Nazz after Todd Rundgren left the group. “They hired me because I had a Marshall stack and a Les Paul,” Nicholson recalls with a chuckle. Following a night in 1971 hanging out with Gram Parsons on a swing through Dallas by the American-music pioneer, Nicholson left college and, urged on by Parsons, moved with his band to Los Angeles.

His friends Henley and Norman soon followed as Nicholson went on to win his first publishing deal, scored his debut recorded cover by bluegrass star Doug Dillard, and inked a record deal with Kapp/MCA with his band, Uncle Jim’s Music. They rehearsed in the same building as budding star Linda Ronstadt, whose producer John Boylan helmed the first of the band’s two albums of Nicholson’s songs (with Norman on keyboards for the second), prized by collectors.

Not long after watching Henley join forces with Glenn Frey in Ronstadt’s band and then soar to superstardom in The Eagles, Nicholson married his college sweetheart Barbara and headed back to Texas in 1973. Despite the artistic boom in California, “I liked the music back in Texas better,” he notes. One reason why was an album by locals and fellow expatriates to L.A. who would also return home, Delbert & Glen (Clark).

Nicholson wound up doing stints as a guitarist in McClinton’s band throughout the rest of the 1970s. He also started a group called Hot Sauce that melded country-rock and blues and were sometimes joined by his guitar hero Freddie King at their weekly Sunday residency at Mother Blues in Dallas. He also sharpened his Western swing and country chops taking gigs throughout North Texas, and continued to hone his songwriting skills.

Then Norman tapped a Nicholson song, “Jukebox Argument,” for a recording by Mickey Gilley that ended up on the Urban Cowboy 2 soundtrack. His friend then invited him to relocate to Nashville to write for his publishing company in 1980. By 1984 he had joined the roster of legendary writers at Tree Publishing and nabbed his first No. 1 cut with “That’s the Thing About Love” by Don Williams. He has since written or co-written scores of country chart songs including such Top 10 gems as “One More Last Chance” (Vince Gill), “The Trouble With the Truth” (Patty Loveless), “She Couldn’t Change Me” (Montgomery Gentry) and Reba’s “When Love Gets a Hold of You.”

Nicholson showcased his skills as a producer on his 1995 solo debut, The Sky Is Not the Limit. Four albums for McClinton followed, two of them Grammy winners (Best Contemporary Blues Album) and another nominated, and to date the longtime friends have written some 40 songs together that Delbert has recorded. His other noteworthy productions include T. Graham Brown’s acclaimed Wine Into Water, New Day Dawning by Wynonna and the landmark Reunion by the Judds as well as discs by Chris Knight, Seth Walker and Pam Tillis plus Marcia Ball’s latest album, among others.

Soon after arriving in Music City Nicholson did his first session as a guitarist. His credit can be found on numerous albums since, especially when a taste of Texas C&W and blues is called for. He toured out of Nashville in his early years there with Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Tracy Nelson and Gail Davies until Bobby Bare advised him to leave his band and better spend his time at home writing songs. Now that his sons are grown, Nicholson is back out on the road and with his band Fortunate Sons, who put out an album in 2010, as well as gigging and making a record under his nom de blues Whitey Johnson. As Texas Songbook hits the market, he also gathers together a country band to share stages with Asleep at the Wheel over the summer of 2011.

Texas Songbook follows the form of his previous Nashville Songbook album that collected a number of Nicholson’s top country covers in his own versions. Given his Lone Star State roots, his latest disc is a truly special endeavor for the multi-talented musical artist. “I’m really proud of it,” he concludes. “It’s very important stuff for me. As great as Nashville is and has been to me, it will never take the place of Texas in my heart."

The Milk Carton Kids On Tour Now!

Their songs disguise the youth of the members of the band. Befittingly, so do the old guitars they play and old clothing they wear. But to be sure, The Milk Carton Kids have something new to present: harmonies & minimalist instrumentation which are a clear reference to times passed, but with an eye intently on the future; a perspective on coming-of-age in the eye of a present-day storm; and the chronicling of an American struggle for simplicity, at least musically. To present it they use two guitars and two voices, they labor over the arrangements, they record themselves live, and they release their music on their own label, and for free.

A performance by The Milk Carton Kids is a quiet and intricate affair. Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan have enjoyed intently listening audiences across the country and abroad in their respective solo careers, but an even greater sense of urgency and demand of attention is palpable now that they’ve come together as The Milk Carton Kids. Their songs are written together, but you won’t know there is more than one author.  Their history together spans only one short year, but you won’t know that either. They stand close together when they play, facing each other and using microphones instead of plugging their guitars in. And if they looked more alike, they’d fool you that they were brothers.

As solo artists they have 10 releases between them. As a band their career is off to an auspicious start. Starting from a highly regarded position among their peers, they’ve opened for the art-piano-pop critical darling Vienna Teng, Grammy nominated friend and fan Sara Bareilles, and now will take to the entire U.S. and Canada this summer supporting one of the consummate songwriters of their generation, Joe Purdy. Despite the decision to stick to acoustic guitars in their own show, both Ryan and Pattengale are multi-instrumentalists and will also comprise Purdy’s backing band, joining him on bass, pedal steel guitar, piano, and harmonies.

Their first collaborative release, RETROSPECT, is a live album due out March 15th, 2011, that represents the culmination of the past year of live performance. A collection of songs from each of their solo careers, written separately but reinterpreted and performed as the duo now called The Milk Carton Kids, RETROSPECT will be released under the name “Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan”.

The first official release of The Milk Carton Kids, entitled PROLOGUE, is comprised of original songs written by the duo for this project. It is slated for release later in 2011, on their own Milk Carton Records.

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Tour Dates:

May 5 – Doug Fir – Portland, OR
May 6 – Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA
May 7 – The Rio Theater – Vancouver, BC
May 9 – Neurolux - Boise, ID
May  10 – State Room – Salt Lake City, UT
May 12 – Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
May 14 – Bottleneck – Lawrence, KS
May 15 – Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
May 16 – Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
May 17 – Turner Hall - Milwaukee, WI
May 18 – Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
May 19 – Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO
June 8 – Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN
June 9 – WorkPlay – Birmingham, AL
June 10 – The Loft – Atlanta, GA
June 11 – Grey Edge – Asheville, NC
June 12 – Cat’s Cradle – Carborro,  NC
June 14 – Ram’s Head – Annapolis, MD
June 15 – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA
June 16 – Highline Ballroom – New York City, NY
June 17 – Stage One – Fairfield, CT
June 20 – Iron Horse – Northampton, MA
June 21 – Brighton Music Hall – Allston, MA
June 22 – Narrows Center for the Arts – Fall River, MA
June 23 – Higher Ground – Burlington, VT
June 25 – Petit Campus – Montreal, QC
June 26 - Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ONT
June 27 – Rex Theater – Pittsburg, PA
June 28 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
June 30 – Westscott Theater – Syracuse, NY

On tour with Joe Purdy

Brian Setzer Gives Bluegrass a Rockabilly Spin

With its forays into bluegrass and traditional jazz, Brian Setzer's new album 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' (out April 19 on Surfdog Records) has the guitar legend testing new waters and putting his signature Stray Cat stamp on a few instrumental favorites. Setzer didn't set out to create an all-instrumental affair but couldn't resist temptation when the music started heading in that direction.

"I didn’t start writing an instrumental record, per se," says Setzer. "I wrote 7 songs with lyrics, and then all of a sudden I just took a turn and started fooling around with 'Blue Moon of Kentucky,' except without any vocals. I started playing melody chords and thought, 'Wow, this is pretty cool!'  So the direction turned about halfway through my writing. I had never done an instrumental record, but I thought, well, now’s the time."

Setzer wrote six originals and revitalizes five jazz-bluegrass classics – “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” "Earl's Breakdown," "Cherokee," "Be-Bop-A-Lula," and "Lonesome Road." Recording each gave Setzer the chance to revisit old techniques and try new tricks, such as playing banjo on the Earl Scruggs' classic “Earl’s Breakdown,” or substituting jazz chords into traditional bluegrass on the Bluegrass Boys’ “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”

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'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!' Tracklist

(all songs written by Brian Setzer, unless otherwise noted)

1. "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (written by Bill Monroe)

2. "Cherokee" (written by Ray Noble)

3. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (written by Tex Davis and Gene Vincent)

4. "Earl's Breakdown" (written by Earl Scruggs)

5. "Far Noir East"

6. "Intermission"

7. "Go-Go Godzilla"

8. "Lonesome Road" (written by Gene Austin, Nathaniel Shilkret)

9. "Hillbilly Jazz Meltdown"

10. "Hot Love"

11. "Pickpocket"

Brian Setzer Remakes Bluegrass Classic Blue Moon of Kentucky

"Blue Moon of Kentucky," the opening track on Brian Setzer's 'Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL!" (out April 19 on Surfdog Records), has withstood over 65 years of remakes and covers, but it's never been put to the test quite like it is by Setzer.

Setzer goes jazzy, muscled and completely instrumental on the bluegrass standard -- enshrined in 1989 as the official bluegrass song of Kentucky – turning what Bill Monroe wrote as a "country waltz" into a western swing anthem that finds the rockabilly legend picking his way through a series of lightning quick riffs.

Originally written in 1946 for Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Bluegrass Boys, "Blue Moon of Kentucky" has been covered countless times by a number of esteemed artists. Setzer joins a list that includes John Fogerty, Patsy Cline, Ronnie Hawkins, LeAnn Rhimes, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles, Jerry Reed, Jimmy Martin, and Elvis Presley.

Read more about this release on Brian's website.

Edwyn Collins Announces US Tour Dates

On the heels of announcing the US release date of his new album, Losing Sleep, indie music icon Edwyn Collins has revealed his long-awaited return to Stateside shores for some live dates. Shortly after the album hits stores (March 8th; Heavenly Recordings/Cooperative Music USA/Downtown Records), he’ll be stopping by New York and SXSW.  Edwyn’s last American shows were acoustic shows in 2003, and he hasn’t performed any with a full live band since 1997.

2010 was a phenomenal year for Edwyn.  The former frontman of Scottish post-punkers Orange Juice released his seventh solo album in the UK to massive acclaim, and it ended up being one of the year’s best reviewed albums by the British press.  The record features tracks co-written with Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, Alex Kapranos & Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand, Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers, Ryan Jarman of The Cribs, and The Drums - and is the first album Edwyn’s written and recorded since his serious illness in 2005.

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Edwyn Collins US Tour Dates:

03/13:  Brooklyn, NY @ The Rock Shop
03/14:  New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
03/16:  Austin, TX @ SXSW (details TBD)
03/17:  Austin, TX @ SXSW (details TBD)
03/18:  Austin, TX @ SXSW (details TBD)
03/19:  Austin, TX @ SXSW (details TBD)

Delta Spirit Announce US Winter Tour

Let’s start here with a short list of the things that we lose along the way. It seems that the men of Long Beach, Calif., who make up Delta Spirit and who have written and recorded the 11 songs that comprise History From Below, would like this little process. It would make sense to them, this brief focus on what’s gone missing, on what’s been loved and remembered.

It’s not about dwelling on the losses, but recognizing how the losses make all that remains so much more meaningful. It shapes us more than we know – rounding off and enhancing the joys that are still around, that are yet to be made. But we do lose, sometimes without gain, just pain and heartache. So, we lose, in no particular order – chronologically or as importance goes – the following, in varying degrees: our youth, our safety, our comfort, our spirit, our innocence, our grandmothers, our grandfathers, our curiosity, our love, another of our loves, still another of our loves, our wives, our mothers, our fathers, our sight, our hearing, our husbands, our daughters, our drive, our sons, our pets, our time, our hair, our reflexes, our spryness, our brightness, our shine, our guts and we’re just getting started.

We lose nearly everything before we’re done, before we’ve been finished off or written to a stop. We’re wrecked to the point that we need saints and saviors because there’s no doing it on our own. There’s no human being that can get us through these ruts. It must be out of body. It must be something other, something that breathes new breath and something that runs interference with the losses, something that softens them.

Delta Spirit makes music that softens our losses, sure, but it’s a band that makes music to soften their own losses, whatever those may be (see above for a good start). It finds a pleasing heat in a fever and it finds a comfort in a chill, knowing that they will become the other with a long enough wait. They find “churches” wherever they travel and they find those willing to embrace with them in a pageant of the losses, making them feel as if they were three parts sweetness and one part regret. The losses make them realize that so much of our histories come from our hardships, whether we like it or not, and it’s decisive. We can’t help but feel absolutely included and vulnerable when, on “Bushwick Blues,” lead singer Matt Vazquez sings, “My love is strong, but my heart is weak,” with a drawn-out pause, before finishing with the words, “after all.”

US Tour Dates:
11/15/10 Jackpot Music Hall Lawrence, Kansas
11/16/10 Mojo's Columbia, Missouri
11/18/10 High Noon Saloon Madison, Wisconsin
11/19/10 Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11/20/10 Legends of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana
11/21/10 Mountain Stage Radio Show Charleston, West Virginia
11/22/10 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, New York
11/23/10 Webster Hall New York, New York
11/26/10 Paradise Rock Club Boston, Massachusetts
11/27/10 The Met Cafe Pawtucket, Rhode Island
11/29/10 OttoBar Baltimore, Maryland
11/30/10 Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
12/01/10 The Mad Hatter Covington, Kentucky
12/02/10 Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall Asheville, North Carolina
12/03/10 Mercy Lounge Nashville, Tennessee
12/04/10 Metro Chicago, Illinois
12/07/10  Fillmore  San Francisco, California
12/08/10 The Music Box Hollywood, California
12/09/10 SOHO Music Club Santa Barbara, California
12/10/10 House of Blues San Diego, California

FOLK-ROCK DUO LONG WOODSON TO RELEASE 2ND CD

Folk-rock duo Long Woodson, the prolific pair whose songwriting prowess extends to book-intricate concept albums, will release its second, ROBYVILLE (Robyville Records; Sept. 21, 2010), with a show in Austin to celebrate just two days later.

Long Woodson backed by its band plays at 10 p.m. Thursday, September 23, at Saxon Pub, 1320 S. Lamar Blvd. Cover is $5; information: 512.448.2552. Matt King will play at 8 p.m. and David Beck at midnight.
ROBYVILLE details a fictional West Texas town full of misfits hiding out from mainstream America, each song written about or from the perspective of one of them. Dark lyrics, harmony hooks and gritty vocals paint a picture of survival and hope behind mandolin, Spanish and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and distorted electric guitar.
Matt Long and Gunter Woodson met at The University of Texas and played together in several Austin rock bands. After a time, the duo began to record some of the songs in what has become a growing catalog of co-written material. The result was its first concept album, the acclaimed GIRL UPSTAIRS, which was released in 2009.
ROBYVILLE promises listeners a stimulating journey and a fascinating visit with a colorful cast of characters — with “Nikki,” “Jimi,” “Creole Man” and nine more tracks.
For more information, visit www.longwoodson.com.

ERNESTO CERVINI QT Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

The Ernesto Cervini Quartet celebrates the release of their new album, “Little Black Bird.” The music from the album was written by Ernesto Cervini in response to day to day life split between Toronto and New York City, and the pieces were composed to compliment the incredible skill and sensitivity of the musicians in the band. Joining Ernesto on stage will be the incomparable Joel Frahm on saxophones, as well as long-time collaborators Dan Tepfer on piano and Dan Loomis on bass. Many of the pieces from "Little Black Bird" are written for people, or situations that have inspired Ernesto, including “Nonna Rosa”, written for his grandmother and the title track “Little Black Bird” which was inspired by the verbose birds of Mexico. The album is being released on Orange Grove Records and distributed by ANZIC Records. Drummer Ernesto Cervini plays with such conviction and fire that it's easy to give him your ears and time.

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Tue  May 25th 8:30PM | Ernesto Cervini Quartet

CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York    212-989-9319
between West 4th and Bleecker Sts, Greenwich Village

Marty Stuart Pays Tribute to Traditional Country Music with New Album

RAMMY-winner and American music icon Marty Stuart is set to release a traditional country album GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) on August 24, 2010. With his 14th studio album, Stuart steadily continues to lead the charge in preserving the roots, culture and history of traditional country music.

“What inspires me now, is traditional country music,” says Stuart.  “It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised.  It’s the bedrock upon which the empire of country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility.  It’s beyond trends and it’s timeless.  With all that being said, I found traditional country music to be on the verge of extinction.  It’s too precious to let slip away. I wanted to attempt to write a new chapter.”
That new chapter is GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) which includes such unmitigated country staples as the male-female duet (the gorgeous, heartfelt "I Run to You," written and sung with Connie Smith), the chugging, bluesy—and spooky— fellow Mississippian Jimmie Rodgers-like train song "Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten," steel guitar driven, hardcore heartbreak ballads such as "A World Without You," and "Drifting Apart,” and a no-flinching directness is front and center in the premiere of “Hangman,” a pointed, harrowing tale of an executioner's job and life that Stuart co-wrote with Johnny Cash just four days before the Man in Black passed away.
As the album title denotes, GHOST TRAIN  (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) was recorded in the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville, where Stuart participated in his first-ever recording session at the age of 13 playing mandolin in Lester Flatt’s band.
“Studio B has a profound pedigree; it’s where so much of American music’s legacy was forged, certainly country music’s,” says Stuart.   “And sonically, this is a room that welcomes music.  It seemed to me that in order to authentically stage a brand new traditional country music record we should bring it back to the scene of the crime.”
GHOST TRAIN (THE STUDIO B SESSIONS) TRACK LIST:
  1. Branded
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  2. Country Boy Rock & Roll
    (written by Don Reno)
  3. Drifting Apart
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  4. Bridge Washed Out
    (written by Warner Mack)
  5. A World Without You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  6. Hummingbyrd
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  7. Hangman
    (written by Marty Stuart and Johnny Cash)
  8. Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  9. Hard Working Man
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  10. I Run To You
    (written by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith)
  11. Crazy Arms
    (written by Ralph E. Mooney and Charles P. Seals)
  12. Porter Wagoner’s Grave
    (written by Marty Stuart)
  13. Little Heartbreaker
    (written by Marty Stuart and Ralph E. Mooney)
  14. Mississippi Railroad Blues
    (written by Marty Stuart)

Dierks Bentley Shares Details about UP ON THE RIDGE

Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will release his artistically daring, acoustic new album UP ON THE RIDGE on June 8, 2010.  His fifth Capitol Nashville studio project is steeped in the bluegrass and roots music that moved Bentley to become a country musician in the first place.  The lead single and title track, inspired by time spent on a plot of land in rural Tennessee, will be released to country radio on April 12.

“I fell in love with this kind of music the first time I walked into the Station Inn with a fake I.D. at 19 years old … these guys, who were my age, were playing their instruments so hard it knocked your head back.   After that, I never missed a Tuesday night there in almost eight years,” explains Bentley.  “Without the whole bluegrass community taking me in, I would have had no place to start from.  It is my foundation.”

To preview a short film on the making of UP ON THE RIDGE, click here.
Produced by Jon Randall Stewart and engineered by Gary Paczosa, UP ON THE RIDGE is a document of an artist who’s using some well-earned freedom to write in a fresh vein and cook up collaborations with the musicians who fascinate him the most.  Dozens of talents have contributed in some way to this project.  Besides the five co-written by Bentley himself, the songs come from such varied sources as Bob Dylan, U2 and Kris Kristofferson. The monumental Kristofferson is here as a guest vocalist as well, along with a slate of today’s best traditional country singers, including Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert.  And then there are the players, recruited from the top echelons of bluegrass and acoustic music. Among them: Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers, the Del McCoury Band, the legendary Sam Bush, dobro player Rob Ickes, guitarist Bryan Sutton, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and mandolinist Ronnie McCoury.

UP ON THE RIDGE TRACK LIST:
1. Up On The Ridge
(Written by Angelo Petraglia, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)
2. Fallin’ For You
(Written by Shawn Camp, Paul Kennerly, Background Vocals by Chris Stapleton)
3. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile)
(Written by Bob Dylan)
4. Rovin’ Gambler (with The Punch Brothers)
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley)
5. Draw Me A Map
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background Vocals by Alison Krauss)
6. Bad Angel (Featuring Miranda Lambert, Jamey Johnson)
(Written by Verlon Thompson, Suzi Ragsdale)
7. Fiddlin’ Around
(Written by John Scott Sherrill, Shawn Camp, Jeff Austin, Background Vocals by Vince Gill)
8. You’re Dead to Me
(Written by Tim O’Brien, Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Tim O’Brien)
9. Pride (In The Name Of Love) (with The Punch Brothers featuring Del McCoury)
(Written by Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson)
10. Love Grows Wild
(Written by Julie Miller, Buddy Miller)
11. Bottle to The Bottom (featuring Kris Kristofferson)
(Written by Kris Kristofferson)
12. Down In The Mine
(Written by Jon Randall Stewart, Dierks Bentley, Background vocals by Sonya Isaacs)
Bentley will hit the road for a run of 24 shows in 30 days previewing the new music for fans across the country as part of his UP ON THE RIDGE tour. For a full list of tour dates, visit www.dierks.com.