From The Archives: Kris Kristofferson, Setting High Standards

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Kris Kristofferson: Rhodes scholar, Army pilot, activist, songwriter.

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Country Music Hall of Fame Announces New Exhibition

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Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame announced its next exhibition, Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City. The exhibition will take a retrospective look at the rock and folk artists of the late ’60s and early ’70s who traveled to Nashville to work with the Nashville Cats, a group of talented session musicians who played […]

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Hillbillies, Outlaws, and Songwriting Legends: The Legacy Of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium

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It was the trash in the streets that finally got the Grand Ole Opry tossed out of War Memorial Auditorium, the radio barn dance’s fourth home since it first aired in 1925. From 1939 until 1943, the popular show had broadcast from one of Nashville’s swankiest downtown venues, directly across the street from the State […]

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The Top 15 Philosophical Songs

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Strap on your thinking caps and get ready to expand your mind. Grant Maxwell, the author of How Does It Feel?: Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Philosophy of Rock and Roll, has compiled a heady list of the 15 greatest songs to incorporate philosophy. Are you ready? Good. Let’s begin. 1. Bob […]

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Carlene Carter Comes Full Circle

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She’s a Carter — first, last, and always. Performing with Grandmother Maybelle, aunts Helen and Anita and mother June, she helped keep a beloved tradition alive that began in 1927 when patriarch A.P. Carter recruited wife Sarah and sister-in-law Maybelle for a sound that would influence folk, rock, country, and bluegrass for generations. But being […]

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Johnny Cash: Out Among The Stars

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Johnny Cash Out Among The Stars (Columbia Legacy) 3.5 out of 5 stars stream the album If you only know Johnny Cash from his rip-snorting 50’s and 60’s heyday or the Rick Rubin-produced recordings at the end, Out Among The Stars provides another view by concentrating on a largely forgotten era of the career of […]

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Makin’ Stuff Up: Satchmo, Cowboy Jack, and Cash

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This article appears in our March/April 2014 issue, which includes several features on the New Orleans music scene. Subscribe here.  Nashville is chicken-fried twang, smothered in white gravy. New Orleans is spicy, multi-colored jazz gumbo. Music City is guitar town. The Big Easy tends to be horny. When a Music Row picker steps into the […]

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Top 10 Performances from Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

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THE LIST: The Best Of Townes Van Zandt, The Band, Radiohead, The Rolling Stones and more…

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The Gospel According To Rosanne Cash

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The last few months of 2013 were busy ones for Rosanne Cash. In September, she previewed songs from The River and the Thread at a showcase in Nashville at the Americana Music Association Music Festival, where she also presented the award for Album of the Year at the Americana Honor and Awards show. On December […]

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Tworopa: U2’s Zooropa 20 Years Later

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As college students in the 1990s, American Songwriter contributor Stephen M. Deusner and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter-sociologist Brady Potts spent hours arguing the merits and demerits of U2, in particular the Irish quartet’s divisive 1993 album Zooropa. Deusner hated it; Potts loved it. To mark the twentieth anniversary of the Irish band’s eighth album, the two […]

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Nine Inch Nails, “Hurt”

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On 1994’s Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral, Trent Reznor’s song “Hurt” came from a dark place that many of us, whether through the pain of addiction or just through life’s circumstances, will visit at some point in our lives. With lines like “I hurt myself today/to see if I still feel/I focus on […]

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