Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack and other News"

First, this set of five discs and four shows has just about the best Sound Quality of any Dead recording ever, period. This is the last time the famed "Wall Of Sound" is used. It has been all over the world in '74. So, this four night stand is it's farewell and they now have it tweaked to perfection. I saw the "Wall Of Sound" in Philly in August hanging from the ceiling of the Civic Center in it's single configuration, a huge cylinder of speakers , amps, beyond huge.

There is a distinct clarity to this mix, each musician has control of the volume and tone of their vocals and instrument. Phil's bass is not laying bombs, but it is perfect in the mix. Garcia's vocals sound great. The fifth CD see's Mickey Hart return to the group.

Jerry's "Wolf" sounds big, fat and clear, Weir plays a hollow body Gibson for his parts. I always liked Bobby playing the Gibson, so warm sounding. This is probably a 24 track recording as it is for the Grateful Dead Movie. You cannot compare it to a 2 track Dick's Picks, though some of them sounded very good. There are a lot of great jams on this five disc set. Great jam out of "Black Peter" on (Disc 4 , 10/19).

The material is from "Europe 72", "Wake Of The Flood", and the newly released "Mars Hotel". This was the culmination of The "Wall Of Sound" era, they had to truck 2 of these total sound systems on tour. While they were playing in one town, the crew was in another town setting up for the next show. It just showed the Dead's commitment to their fans, always the best!!

On to the news, which is probably old by now, Rhino Records, The Deads' current label is almost done remixing and mastering every show from the Europe 72 Tour, The 72 discs will sell for $450. The first 7,200 customers get a special wood box for the CDs and a hardcover book, plus other keepsakes. You still order the music only version from the  for the same price. This will be a special box set for sure.

Happy Fourth Of July!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Guilty Pleasure Of Choice, Ice Pilots NWT

I love this show, very personable, down to earth charactors

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Country Hits: Bluegrass style" - Ricky Skaggs - A Review

Ricky Skaggs is an iconic bluegrass, acoustic musician. He is best playing his mandolin, a real hot player. He has made many a recording that I have enjoyed and has a great bluegrass band in Kentucky Thunder with Cody Kilby on Lead guitar. Kilby is a great player. He reminds me a bit of Tony Rice.

Skaggs has a label too with which he helps out other artists like the recently retired Cherryholmes Band after an excellent six CD career. I am sure that we will hear from members of this great group again.

This album has the feel of retro country music with a combo of bluegrass, country sound. Some of the songs are kind of hokey. I read No Depression's website, their idea of bluegrass is stuff like "Trampled By Turtles" (a group), and The Mumford Brothers. These are basically folk music with an acoustic jam band feel to the sound.

  This is the first CD I see of re released stuff by Skaggs. He usually is in to original music. A lot of releases are available today. Skaggs new recording sounds very good and there is some dynamite guitar and mandolin picking, along with some pedal steel. I am familiar with some of the songs, not all of them.

The Internet and the ease of digital recording ruined the music market. With vinyl there would not be an overflow of too much music. It's like The what The NFL would be with 50 teams. Vinyl pared down the recording process to only the best musicians and singers. You needed a good recording studio and a large budget. Lots of Major labels struggle because they can't sell CDs , because folk download them for free from the Internet. I read that last year, 95% of downloads were illegal. Fortunately, the good groups can make a good living by touring.

Lots of folk today, including younger folk like music from the 60s and 70s. I know myself, I buy a lot of music from that era today. The only new genre I really like is bluegrass and some country.

Ricky Skaggs is a class act and this is a good listen with plenty of great singing and guitar. It's just not new music, not a problem.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nashville Memorial Service For Steve Popovich Announced

Nashville Memorial Service For Steve Popovich Announced

Nashville, Tennessee (June 21, 2011) -- A memorial service for Steve Popovich will be held from 6 - 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 30 at United Methodist Fellowship Church (2511 Highway 99, Murfreesboro); a reception follows at the Church from 7 - 9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Stephen C. Popovich Memorial Fund, U.S. Bank, 2504 Old Fort Parkway, Murfreesboro, TN 37128. All funds donated will benefit the various charities that Steve has contributed to throughout his life.

The engaging and unconventional industry legend championed such disparate talents as Michael Jackson, Boston, Johnny Cash, David Allan Coe and polka king Frank Yankovic during a multi-decade career that began in 1962. From unloading trucks at a Columbia Records' warehouse, young Popovich's "foot-in-the-door" mentality would, at 26, see him rise to the position of Vice President of Promotion for the label; a feat that is well-remembered by his "Sony cronies." In 1976, after helping break Bruce Springsteen worldwide, he left Columbia and formed Cleveland International Records. He discovered Meat Loaf and released the BAT OUT OF HELL album, which has gone on to become one of the Top 5 selling albums in the history of the music business. Steve worked his way into Music City hearts while at the helm of PolyGram Records Nashville in the late 1980s, working with Kris Kristofferson, The Statler Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Kathy Mattea, Lynn Anderson, Tom Jones, Johnny Paycheck and others. Steve Popovich (born July 6, 1942 in Nemacolin, PA) leaves behind a son, Steve Popovich Jr., a daughter, Pamela Popovich, a sister, Barb Lemmo, and two grandchildren, Tanner and Stephen Popovich.

Funeral services were held June 13 at St. John of the Cross in Euclid, Ohio; interment followed at Western Reserve Memorial Gardens in Chesterland. Popovich died at his home in Murfreesboro, TN on June 8 at age 68.

Condolences may be sent to the family via email:  .

For Hi Res Image, contact

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"The Dreaming Fields" - Matraca Berg - A Review

Matraca Berg has been writing hit country songs for quite some time. This collection of her performing a set of her material is an ethereal experience. It is such a subtle production, but seething with emotions.

Berg sings songs that are so poetic, yet so real in human experience. The musical textures are subtle yet they so augment her vocals. The art work for the cardboard CD case is beautiful. Dualtone Records released this recording for her. The Musicians are the best that Nashville has to offer. There is a haunting feel to the music with the steel guitar fades and sparse feel. Dan Dugmore gets some sounds out of his steel on "You & Tequila" that are like other worldly.

"Racing The angels" has Suzy Boguss and Gretchen Peters on background vocals and also as co-songwriters.

If you never have heard of Berg, her sound on this CD is a cross between Kathleen Edwards and early Mindy Smith. There is a dark feel to the mood, but there is something deeply personal there you can relate to.

"Clouds" - I love this song, "only like clouds when it's rainin', doin' no good just hangin' round".

The title track is basically just her and piano . With the watered down glut of Discs littering the internet, this is a masterpiece. After I finished doing this review, I saw Kenny Chesney's version of "You And Tequila" on a CMT video, from his last CD, "Hemingway's Whiskey". It is good, I like Berg's version better.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Roys Celebrate New Album At The CMA Music Festival

"The Roys didn't disappoint, piercing through the heat with their crisp traditional sound and elegant harmonies." ~ Mark Shimabukuro, The Tennessean

Rural Rhythm recording artist, THE ROYS, celebrated their hit album, LONESOME WHISTLE with 12 performances during last week’s CMA Music Festival. Excited fans were treated to performances at the WSM/Durango Boots Acoustic Corner Stage; Cadillac Ranch (for Operation Troop Aid); The Power Source Showcase at B.B. King’s; The Gibson Acoustic Stage at the Hard Rock; the Bud Light Stage in the Sports Zone and other stages where they featured songs from their new album.

Since its April debut at #7 on Billboard’s Top 10 Bluegrass Album Chart, LONESOME WHISTLE has also proved to be a radio hit as well. The album made its debut this month on the Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine Top Album chart along with the single, “Coal Minin’ Man” climbing 10 spots to reach #16 this month on the publication’s Top 30 Song chart. The single also appears at #4 on Bluegrass Music Profiles Magazine’s Top 30 Hot Singles and #4 on Power Source Magazine’s Top 10 Bluegrass chart this month as well.

Fans might also want to check out the recent Q&A with Lee and Elaine at Music News Nashville and at 

THE ROYS are currently on tour with upcoming performances at: The Turkey Track Bluegrass Festival in Waldron, AR; Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC; Pigeon Forge Patriots Festival in Pigeon Forge, TN; plus many more. Please visit, via Twitter and on Facebook. Fans can receive the latest updates on The Roys and all their favorite Bluegrass artists now on their mobile devices simply by texting "bluegrass" to 90210.

Rural Rhythm Records

Radio: Sammy Passamano III, email

Airplay Direct

Media: Penni McDaniel, email


Martha Moore, email

so much MOORE media


Tel: 1-800-776-8742


Photo Credit:

Martha E. Moore

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Special Message From Rural Rhythm Records

My father was a major part of the Distribution team with Decca and MCA Records for over 30 years starting in the early 50's. Bill Monroe was a major part of the label's tremendous Country & Bluegrass roster through the years, so I literally grew up enjoying Bill's music and respecting the importance an impact he had on the music world.

Rural Rhythm Records will be showing our respect to the Father Of Bluegrass this year with several tribute album projects starting with the BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY: INSTRUMENTAL TRIBUTE TO BILL MONROE releasing January 25, 2011.

We are proud to also announce Audie Blaylock's next album will be a tribute album with some very special guest artists who performed with Bill through the years. Audie is currently celebrating a #1 single ("Cryin' Heart Blues") on the January 2011 Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine's Top 30 Song chart. The single is the title track from Audie Blaylock & Redline's 2010 chart album.

In June 2011, Rural Rhythm will be recording a live album during the Bill Monroe Memorial Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival held in Bean Blossom, IN. TRIBUTE TO BILL MONROE - LIVE AT BEAN BLOSSOM will feature many Rural Rhythm artists performing some of Bill's special Bluegrass, Gospel and Instrumental gems.

In honor of Bill Monroe and the 100th year celebration for his musical legacy, we have developed a Celebration logo that will be used in the packaging of all our tribute album projects throughout the year. Bill the man and his music was one of a kind and this 100th year celebration is wonderful way for everyone to take time out of their busy days and acknowledge the impact this pioneer had on the music world for much of the past 100 years.


Sam Passamano, Jr.

President, Rural Rhythm Records

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

"I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky" - Audie Blaylock & Redline - Review

This is Audie Blaylock's latest CD. It is a celebration of the music of Bill Monroe. The CD is a delight to listen to. It has the sound of real traditional bluegrass and is a great recording, nothing pop sounding, this has a real authentic sound to it. Blaylock's vocals with backups make you think that you are down in the Mountains of Old Virginia with the High Lonesome sound. He has some distinguished guests in Lou Reid, Ronnie and Del McCoury, Bobby Osbourne, Glenn Duncan, Carl Jackson and Jason Carter.

Recorded at "The Digital Underground" ,it has a real warm sound to the great recording. The first single is "Mighty Dark to Travel", which is an upbeat bluegrass delight with great harmony. Some other great tracks are "Lord, Lead Me On", "Tall Timber", "My Little Georgia", and "I'm In Despair". Listening to this music is one of the most authentic bluegrass recordings that I have heard in awhile. Now, I'm a fan of all kinds of Bluegrass including the more modern groups like The Grascals and Mountain Heart. But for people who think real bluegrass is dead,they need to check this out. This is the real stuff. A great Release by Rural Rhythm Records. Some more good news, looks like last years great recording of "The All-Star Jam - Live at Graves Mountain" will be coming out on DVD this fall, I can't wait. That is a great recording. Word also has it that Carrie Hassler is back in the studio working on a new CD.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Teddy Gentry's Best New Nashville - Review

Teddy Gentry, bass player for for iconic country rock group Alabama has put together a collection of 12 new artists to gain exposure for them. This is a project for the Cracker Barrel Collection, so it has a great chance of good exposure. I enjoy listening to new material like this. Teddy does a little of everything on this disc, He puts together a collection of Nashville's best studio musicians. He helps out with production.

There is an informative booklet that gives each artist a page of background and a picture. This New Nashville for the most part sounds different than what you hear on the country radio today. It has more of a rock sound for most tracks. Some of these artists have been around for awhile as songwriters, actors, performers,

Here is a page where you can check out their info

Some of my favorites are, Jimmy Stewart - "Every Mile I'm Missing You", Brad Long - "Long Last Smile", Amber Shelene - "Are You Ever Going To Love Me", Chip Davis - "In His Hands" and Dillion Dixon - "Chip Away".

It is good to have a veteran like Gentry be willing to give some promotion to up and coming artists like this. Check it out.
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