Monthly Archives: October 2018

NPR’s “Will the Circle…” American Anthem B-cast Prompts Editor’s Memory

Picture Robert Duvall leading a cast of country legends… with Tom Cruise in attendance. (Above photo NOT from the show, but from the actor’s star turn in the film The Apostle.)

By Fred Mills, Blurt Editor

During drivetime today, during NPR’s daily All Things Considered broadcast, they presented their latest in their wonderful “American Anthem” series of classic American songs that have been deemed, well, anthems worth memorializing and frequent celebrating. Ergo, the Americana country-gospel standard “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” which in the seamless report from contributor Jewly Hight, puts things this way:

The song’s ability to help people feel emotionally, spiritually and musically connected to their present-day communities and those who have died, whether legendary musicians or loved ones, has made it a go-to ritual everywhere from worship services to family memorials, gospel sings, bluegrass picking parties, Americana award show finales and the annual Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Indeed. I had my up close and personal encounter with the song one memorable evening in January of 1990, involving  Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, June Carter Cash, Jessi Colter, Robert Duvall… and Tom Cruise. From my notes (and you can read the entire story here as well):

In January of 1990 Tom Cruise had finished filming his race car flick Days of Thunder at the Charlotte Motor Speedway…Early in the evening, co-star Robert Duvall arrived at the party with four very special friends in tow: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, June Carter Cash and Jessi Colter. Holy shit. I soon enough ditched my undercover-journalist guise and turned into a gushing fanboy, going over to welcome them to Charlotte and shake their hands. Soon enough, Cash and Jennings got up onstage to play with the band [local group the Belmont Playboys] for a couple of songs, followed by their wives, and then by Duvall. Before it was all done, Duvall was leading the entire room in an extended chorus of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The looks of pleasure on Jennings and Cash’s faces were priceless—as was the million watt smile Cruise flashed when I wandered over to him to “casually” ask what he thought of the band and the guests. “Man, they were rockin’!” he replied. Looks like I scored an interview, not to mention one of those once-in-a-lifetime, gonna-tell-the-grandchildren-some-day moments.

An American anthem, indeed.

Tony Joe White 1943 – 2018 R.I.P.

He was the Swamp Fox – the only one, period. And there will never be another. Latest album is Bad Mouthin’, and you need it.

By Fred Mills

Words escape me. When I finally got to see him perform live in Austin, about a decade ago at SXSW (Antone’s, if anyone is interested), I was absolutely flattened. To shake the hand of a hero of mine since the ’60s, well… he had no idea what a fanboy he was looking at through those thick black sunglasses of his.

Like I said, there are no words…

Discogs Online Music Marketplace Starts “Exclusives” Sales Site

Vinyl collectors, and maybe even a few cassette nuts, start your saliva engines!

By Barbi Martinez

The well-regarded music collectors’ portal Discogs – which operates as a user-friendly alternative to eBay and other online marketplaces – has been for months teasing it would be launching its Discogs Exclusive companion site. As The Vinyl Factory details:

The new platform, now in its beta phase, will sell a range of rare and limited release vinyl and cassette offerings including test-pressings, special editions, out of print fare and warehouse finds. So why start a separate marketplace for these items? Discogs’ Jeffrey Smith explains:

“We would have intense conversations with people working within the indie/major label communities; people who were Discogs devotees and passionate collectors themselves. There was a common story evolving. They have access to something neither we nor the Community have access to: test pressings or tiny amounts of out-of-print stock that can be hard to find — even in our own Marketplace. It felt like there had to be something we could do to help bring this stuff into the open for collectors everywhere, not just those with connections.”

Among the initial offerings (some of which have already sold out): limited cassette box sets of filmmaker/scorer John Carpenter, and White Stripes vinyl test pressings. (Guess which sold out immediately….)

Intrigued? Go to: https://exclusives.discogs.com/

Video Interview Exclusive: Thee Hypnotics (in Paris)

VIDEO INTERVIEW BY KIM PHOUNG (more photos/videos: @the_real_kimder)

Ed. note: Our resident Thee Hypnotics fan on the ground in Paris, Kim “Cold Blooded Love” Phoung, recently posted an awesome photo gallery documenting the UK legends’ September 19 performance at Petit Bain in Paris, and now we have the astute correspondent’s post-gig video interview with the group. Check it out below, and special thanks to longtime BLURT staffer Jonathan “Justice in Freedom” Levitt for being our official T.H. liaison and getting this rolling. (Go HERE to read a vintage interview with the band, and HERE for an interview and look at one of the band’s classic albums.)

 

Video Premiere: Fine Lines “Morning Sun”

Young Music City indie rock quartet submits dreamy standout from recent debut album.

 By John B. Moore

The Nashville-based foursome Fine Lines technically may still be the new kids in town – together for under two years – but damn, have they managed to zero on an impressive sound during that short period of time. Made up of refugees from the Alabama and Indiana music scenes, the band’s members came together in Music City, USA and quickly got to work on their debut record, Contact.

After listening to this stellar album, we are stoked to premiere a video for their single “Morning Sun.”

“”Morning Sun” is a song I wrote one snowy weekend while visiting my hometown of Indianapolis,” says singer/guitarist Chris Probasco. “It’s about leaving a place that was once familiar and returning to feel like a stranger. It’s about finding companionship in that loneliness.

The video was shot live in the East Nashville home studio of Don Bates as a part of his “Around the House” series. Don, who was also the engineer on our album, Contact, set the band up in his living-room-turned-studio and operated a single camera, capturing the band in a completely unique setting.”

Along with Probasco, Fine Lines also includes bassist Dustyn Roth, singer/songwriter and guitarist B.L. Reed, and drummer James Thompson.

The band has two upcoming shows, November 9th at Ghost Train Brewing Co. in Birmingham, AL and December 16th at Reggie’s in Chicago. Tour dates and more: https://finelinesband.com/home