Archives for category: Billboard Magazine
Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201501, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201501, photo – Brad Hardisty

Last Thursday night, The Kentucky Headhunters definitely rocked the jukebox and the house at 3rd and Lindsley when they celebrated the release of Meet Me In Bluesland [ Alligator Records] which features recordings made with the late pianist Johnnie Johnson [Chuck Berry]years before his passing.

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201502, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201502, photo – Brad Hardisty

Fred Young, Kentucky Headunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201503, photo - Brad Hardisty

Fred Young, Kentucky Headunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201503, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Kentucky Headhunters had a on and off collaboration with Johnnie which lead to a longtime friendship. The band received a call from Frances Johnson wanting to hear those recording that had been stowed away for all those years. They realized that it was time to go ahead and check out that jam session that took place a few years prior and see what was there. It turned out to be as good they remember it and after some mixing time they secured a deal with Alligator Records for this particular gem.

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 05723201505, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 05723201505, photo – Brad Hardisty

Upon its release last month, Meet Me in Bluesland was Number 2 on the Billboard Blues charts.

Greg Martin, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201506, photo - Brad Hardisty

Greg Martin, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201506, photo – Brad Hardisty

It was time for a proper Nashville celebration at a large local venue.

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 07201508, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 07201508, photo – Brad Hardisty

The day kicked off with a morning interview at WSM 650 when the world got a listen of mid-temp Stones rockin’ “Stumbln’” followed by an interview with Richard Young live on the air.

Richard Young, Kentucky Headhunters 0723201508, photo - Brad Hardisty

Richard Young, Kentucky Headhunters 0723201508, photo – Brad Hardisty

It was on thing to hear “Stumblin’” on WSM and another to hear it live. Kind of like hearing The Stones going through “Wild Horses” on a great sounding vinyl recording and then seeing them play it live at LP Field.

Doug Phelps, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201509, photo - Brad Hardisty

Doug Phelps, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201509, photo – Brad Hardisty

The set was heavy on the new album with live takes of “Little Queenie”, “Superman Blues” and plenty of rock and roll rooted in the blues.

Fred Young, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201510, photo - Brad Hardisty

Fred Young, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201510, photo – Brad Hardisty

It’s interesting to think that The Kentucky Headhunters scored big so fast with their guitar oriented Southern Rock at a time when Country radio was hesitant to really give them their due while now, big guitars abound in Country Radio.

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201511, photo - Brad Hardisty

Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201511, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Kentucky Headhunters have been cutting across genres for decades now after their initial success. A lot of fans have followed them through the years while they have picked up many others from their recent successes as could be seen by the wide ranging crowd at 3rd and Lindsley.

Greg Martin, Fred Young, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201512, photo - Brad Hardisty

Greg Martin, Fred Young, Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201512, photo – Brad Hardisty

It was a great night for lots of slide and boogie woogie piano with a tight band that has not only played together for over three decades but lives near each other off Headhunter Highway where US 68 meets Kentucky 640.

  • Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201513, photo - Brad Hardisty

    Kentucky Headhunters at 3rd and Lindsley 0723201513, photo – Brad Hardisty

    Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN

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Ray LaMontagne

Four of the top ten records this week in Billboard are a reflection of  Tennessee on the national charts and music in general these days.  A showcase of different styles that all have one common source.

Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs’  “God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise” with the prominent pedal steel of  Greg Leisz,  may be considered “Contemporary Folk” and could be cross genred with “Americana Music” has its roots in the original Bob Dylan sessions for “Nashville Skyline”  and the phenomenal pedal steel player, Pete Drake. Pete was a first call session player on Nashville Country sessions that became known for his work on “Lay Lady Lay” as well the George Harrison’ “All Things Must Pass” album as well as Producing Ringo Starr’s “Beaucoups of “Blues” .  Greg Leisz work is prominently featured on “New York City’s Killing Me” and the title cut. The record debuts this week at number three on Billboard.

Trace Adkins’ new disc, “Cowboy’s Back in Town” debuts at number five on the national Billboard charts showing his strong audience pull beyond “The Apprentice”.  In a way Trace Adkins, although part of this generations Country Music, represents traditionally Country with his every man and ”what you see is what you get” type persona. He is one of the crop of newer artists that is defining himself much in the way the original icons such as Johnny Cash were able to do.

Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” has gone beyond the country charts with the right pick of material and masterful production and presentation.  “Need You Now”, co-written by Lady Antebellum and Josh Kear spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, before going #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 is now certified triple platinum  and can be heard on just about every radio format. The single has been in the top five on International Charts in Canada, Ireland and Norway as well as a top ten hit in the Netherlands and Norway.  I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t know that song. Again, the pedal steel lick on the chorus is as important as the vocal delivery. I can hear it in my head right now. The follow up singles “American Honey”, “I Run to You” and “Our Kind of Love” have continued the chart topping success.

John at Sun, Memphis

John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett were right on with “No Better Than This”.  The first week on Billboard that album enters at Number 10 in all its ragged glory. “No Better Than This” was recorded in much the same way as Sam Phillips recorded early tracks at Sun Studios by Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. A vintage mono Ampex Reel to Reel fed by a vintage solo RCA ribbon mic figure in a big way in the Sonics of this album. This features great songs by John Mellencamp being heard on rock, pop and country radio.  The single “Coming Down the Road” being played locally as part of their “Americana Files” on WSM 650, “The Home of Country Music”. If you didn’t know it was a new cut by John Mellencamp you would swear it was an obscure but great track recorded at Sun back in 1956 that is now just coming to light. John will be a part of the Americana Music Awards being held in Nashville being held on September 9th at The Ryman Auditorium.

Americana Music, in general, is the new underground. It doesn’t even have its own chart on Billboard yet. WSM 650 in Nashville is paying attention and participating big time with hosting the “Music City Roots” show at The Loveless Barn every Wednesday night. In times like these, with people searching for jobs and worrying about the future, sometimes the familiarity of Country songs themes and the roots of Americana and Folk that go back to the days of The Carter Family are a way of easing and soothing our troubled minds.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN