whose first band was called Patch, a nod to Ronnie's Portland,
Tennessee roots (Portland being the Volunteer State's strawberry capital),
is once again recording- and painting.
Ronnie's newest recording Easy to Love incorporates inspiration from
FREDDIE HART's classic, Easy Loving, while LISA MARIE PRESLEY's passing
was the inspiration for The King Is Gone singer to send PRISCILLA
PRESLEY a painting depicting ELVIS PRESLEY'S daughter being welcomed in the
heavenly simplicity of her father's boyhood home by Lisa Marie's departed loved
ones: Elvis, Lisa Marie's paternal grandparents and her son, BENJAMIN KEOUGH.
BTW, Ronnie's nephew, JODY McDOWELL serves as Portland's current vice-mayor.
Are you interested in receiving the producer's share of FRANKIE BALLARD's sound recording royalties from Ballard's last two recordings (i.e., Sunshine & Whiskey and El Rio?)
If so (realizing that streaming royalties account for 98% of the
earnings with further stability of Ballard's catalog evinced by the
virtually insignificant $63 difference between the three-year average
and last year's royalties), make your best offer here.
Column's sympathy to the family of my fellow JOHNNY CASH and CARTER FAMILY biographer, PEGGY KNIGHT.
Peggy passed away just five months short of what would have been her 80th birthday (on August 14, 2023).
Column's thanks to MADI FLORENCE for inviting yours truly to join THE HAILS on April 15, 2023 at The Basement East.
The occasion is a preview performance of the quintet's debut album featuring their latest single, Breathless.
... to MELISSA MUNATO O'TOOLE for the invitation to attend the March 21, 2023 Stoned Cold Country album release party and panel conversation at Soho House.
(Follow a reception, panelists LAINEY WILSON, BROTHERS OSBORNE, ELVIE SHANE and the producer of "Nashville' love letter to the ROLLING STONES," ROBERT DEATON will discuss the 14-track project and their contributions to it. Other artists featured on the tribute album include ASHLEY McBRIDE, BROOKS & DUNN, MAREN MORRIS, THE WAR AND TREATY, JIMMIE ALLEN, MARCUS KING, LITTLE BIG TOWN, ZAC BROWN BAND, STEVE EARLE, ERIC CHURCH and KOE WETZEL.)
... to Grammy-winning music producer DENNIS SCOTT for inviting yours truly to attend a "private media/industry in-person event in
Nashville" on March 20, 2023 featuring "musical performances by TEEA
GOANS, PARKER HASTINGS and GARY JANNEY."
... and to JENNIFER GROSS for the invite to the March 14, 2023 launch of ADELE BERTELE's latest book, Twist: An American Girl at Skylight Books.
From the emailbag (and used with permission), RAY MATERNICK writes: "Hi, STACY.
"I happened upon your name by googling
Music Journalists in Nashville.
"I have an incredible story lead for you.
On 17 March, an artist by the name of ANDREW NEIL will be opening for the
RAELYN NELSON BAND at the GLEN CAMPBELL Museum, Rhinestone Stage....
"In a town filled with so much music, you might be
wondering why this is so special. Andrew Neil is a... unique artist who
has been compared to DANIEL JOHNSTON and ROKY ERICKSON in many ways. He
is considered an 'outsider artist' and is included on Ranker's list
of Beat Outsider Music Artists. In fact, he is listed among the top five.
"Here is some background: Andrew began writing songs out of nowhere after
sustaining a bad head injury in a car accident in the Spring of 2009.
Since then, he has written nearly 450 songs, in multiple genres... He taught himself to play keys and guitar by
writing songs and has never played a cover. This is what makes him unique
among self-taught musicians.
"To this day, Andrew Neil does not know even the
most basic chord shapes. He has made up his own shapes on the
"Since the accident in 2009, Andrew has battled with
mental illness issues. He was in and out of hospitals where he had brief
stays. Unfortunately, the treatment and help were not consistent.
He basically became a recluse in our basement, writing songs and poetry.
July 2013, Andrew had a very bad psychotic episode and stabbed his younger
brother through the arm. The State of Virginia charged Andrew with felony
"His brother healed quickly, and no major damage was
done to his arm. However, the State pressed charges despite our pleas to
get Andrew help instead of jail.
"Andrew was tossed in a cell in the
Central Virginia Regional County Jail, where he remained for 7+ months until he
was found not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and committed to the Virginia
State Hospital system.
"Andrew remained at Western State Hospital for three
years, until he was conditionally released in May 2017. He finally got
the help he so desperately needed. Following his release, he lived in
group homes for three years.
"While he was hospitalized, he continued writing
songs. He recorded them on a cheap battery powered recorder in his
room. When he got out, he wanted to share his music and his story, so we
decided to put together an album containing a selection of songs he had written
and recorded while hospitalized. We chose 11 songs and released them,
just the way he recorded them, in an album called Code
Purple. Turns out, this is the only complete album ever produced in
which all the songs were written and recorded in a state mental
After Code Purple was released in the
Fall of 2017, Andrew began working with music producer ANDY WALDECK, and his
first studio album Merry Go Round was recorded and released in
2018. This was followed up by an album called Freak in
"During the recording process of Freak, Andrew was diagnosed with a
very aggressive non-Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. Andrew completed the album
in between chemo treatments. A member of the Recording Academy, WILL STENNER,
heard about Andrew's story and the album and submitted it for "Grammy Consideration"
for best alternative album. Unfortunately, it was not nominated, but it
was cool nonetheless to be considered.
"In 2021 and 2022, Andrew released two more albums, Sunny Side and Alien respectively.
"Raelyn Nelson heard about Andrew's story and agreed
to have Andrew Neil open for her at one of her concerts. Originally it
was to be in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but that concert was canceled due to various
"So, her manager contacted us and asked is Nashville would be
ok. So....on 17 March we are heading down to Nashville to open for the
Raelyn Nelson Band at the Glen Campbell Museum.
"Here is a recent article written about Andrew.
"Andrew recently formed a band just for this event. The
band has not been named yet."
It might be a first for an aspiring country-music recording artist, but
Minnesotans, or others prepared to make a cross-country or
cross-continent trip, as the case may be, to Paisley Park, have the opportunity to record (Thursdays only) in Studio C. That's just a part of The Ultimate Experience, a package deal available for $160 awaiting those touring the PRINCE estate's Chanhassen museum.
Column's sympathy to RAY PILLOW, Ray's wife, JOANNE, their daughter, SELENA and son, DARYL PILLOW, on the passing of Ray and Joanne's son and Selena and Daryl's brother, RONNIE DALE PILLOW.
Condolences also to Ronnie's widow, JULIE, the couple's three children and all who mourn Ronnie who died while in hospice at age 64.
The family indicates a Celebration of Life is being planned in Ronnie's memory.
GRAYSON HAVER CURRIN
is first to identify the non-family member who was present at the time of NAOMI JUDD's
death as "a mediator who has worked with the entire
Judd family for more than a decade." (Currin does not disclose the mediator's name nor whether the mediator is Rule 31 certified.)
Could be that the mystery mediator is TED KLONTZ. (Vulnerable entertainers, in general, and desperate country-music
artists in particular, are drawn to gurus with credentials, like diploma mills, that may be
claimed by anyone in the largely unregulated coaching industry who
wants to put up a shingle and has the ability to convince a number of big names to fork
over their dough). Regardless, interesting enough, WYNONNA JUDD told Recovery Living Magazine,
prior to her mother's suicide, that "In my family, I tended to be the
mediator, and carry the load, physically with the weight, and
"I felt very responsible for my mom and sister.
"So we're all in this process and Ted facilitates a lot of it."
DR. TAYLOR HAGOOD's
book, Stringbean: The Life and Murder of a Country Music Legend is now available for preorder here.
Thanks to Grandstand Media's KATIE NELSON, SARAH HABERFELD and DEVIN VELEZ for invitations to attend several January and February 2023 events.
Grandstand Media is expanding its Big Apple and Los Angeles presence, having kicked off the New Year in Nashville with ARCHERS OF LOAF's January 15, 2003 appearance at Basement East , followed a week to the day later by BONNY DUNE's performance at the Blue Room at Third Man Records.
prides itself on being the favorite monthly magazine of Nashville's
rich and famous, like the rest of the city's elite only
relatively-recently acknowledging the Music Row community.
The publication's January, 2023 30th anniversary edition includes a captioned photo of Mr. and Mrs. JOHN CARTER CASH, however the embarrassing cutline refers to the couple as "John and Christina Carter Cash."
TRACE ADKINS claims his casting, leading to a starring role in the since-canceled Monarch
television series (that debuted September 11, 2022) began with an
out-of-the-blue phone call from "somebody" that interested Trace enough
to agree to a Zoom audition.
Adkins tells MICHAEL MALONE "Two weeks later I was on the set. It happened very quickly- there wasn't a lot of time to think about it too much."
Opinions differ as to why the series didn't last beyond a single season, but chemistry between Adkins and co-star SUSAN SARANDON
wasn't instantaneous. Far from getting "a chance to know each
other," Trace says he and Susan were "thrown into the fire together.
"I was very nervous going in, of course, working with a legend like Susan Sarandon. I was terrified.
"But I quickly realized that it's the easiest acting gig I ever had"
because Sarandon is "such a pro." Trace says Susan did "all the
heavy lifting," meaning Adkins' only remaining responsibility was "to
to LIBBIE COFFEY
for the invitation to join JARED JAMES NICHOLS at Gibson Garage on January 12, 2023.
The occasion is a party celebrating the release of Nichols' self-titled album.
When most younger country-music fans think of THE HIGHWAYMEN, it's the quartet of JOHNNY CASH, WILLIE NELSON, KRIS KRISTOFFERSON and WAYLON JENNINGS that comes to mind rather than the famed '60s folk quintet of the same name.
That caused a problem for the famous folkies who sued Cash, Nelson, Kristofferson and Jennings.
However, the suit was dropped when the two groups came to an agreement: Though the folk group owned the name, it would
provide Johnny, Willie, Kris and Waylon a nonexclusive, nontransferable
license to continue use of its name.
compromise amicable? Well, the two groups thought it in their best
interests not only to make the terms of their settlement public, they
went one better sharing the stage for "one night only" at a 1990