DAVE'S DIARY - 3/11/2014 - PREVIEW OF EPISODE 10 - SERIES 24

STURGILL SIMPSON AND SHOVELS & ROPE HEADLINE NU COUNTRY TV

Americana artists Sturgill Simpson and Shovels & Rope headline Nu Country TV Thursday November 6 at 10.30 pm on Channel 31, Digital 44.

Septuagenarian Merle Haggard and veteran western swing band Asleep At The Wheel return to the show repeated Monday 5.30 am and Thursday 2.30 am and filmed and edited by Laith Graham.

Wisconsin singer-songwriter Josh Thompson showcases his latest video and Fitzroy's Rich Webb Band debuts with a spring carnival equestrian metaphor for gambling and pugilism.

Nu Country TV is a highlight of the C 31 streaming list on Digital 44.

Just follow this link on your computer or mobile phone - http://www.c31.org.au/program/view/program/nu-country-tv

STURGILL REVIVAL IN MEDICINE SPRINGS

East Kentucky raised nouveau bluegrass buff Sturgill Simpson performs live at Bunny Glade in Behind Bars with his life saver - Medicine Springs .

Sturgill shares genetics with Texan chart topper Miranda Lambert - they are both children of former undercover narcotics cops.

The former U.S. Marine was born in Jackson in southeast Kentucky and moved to Versailles near Lexington.

Sturgill has recently been touring with the eclectic Zac Brown Band who return here in April with gigs at Byron Bay and Deniliquin Roots festivals and capital city concerts.

The multi-instrumentalist, also a train conductor in a previous life on Union Pacific, released new song Life of Sin with a video of him playing it at the historic Nashville RCA Studio A.

That studio hosted artists diverse as Lyle Lovett, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, Oak Ridge Boys , Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack, Hank Williams Jr, Beach Boys, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves.

I wanted to capture a more reflective, softer, intimate side of the song, Simpson revealed of Life of Sin.

I'm not sure how much of that was the influence of the room or my own short attention span. I think it fleshed out a lot of my obsession with all the late '60s Marty Robbins and Merle and the Strangers albums I love so much.

Simpson made his network TV debut on July 14 on the Late Show with David Letterman, playing Life of Sin, and performed Turtles All The Way Down on the Jimmy Fallon show on October 28.

After singing Living the Dream on Conan O'Brien's talk show Simpson defended himself from critics offended by his singing the word "goddamn."

Living the Dream from Simpson's acclaimed second solo album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music , features the line "I don't have to do a goddamn thing except sit around and wait to die."

"Been some folks coming to my page to chastise me for taking the Lord's name in vain on Conan so figured I should address it," wrote Simpson.

The song is a metaphor comparing the soothing yet completely addictive and damaging effects of hard narcotic opiates to organized religion.

He has also played the Grand Ole Opry , opened for Dwight Yoakam and performs with Shotgun Willie in Austin in December.

Further info - http://www.sturgillsimpson.com/

SHOVELS & ROPE AND THE DEVIL

South Carolina duo Shovels & Rope debut on Nu Country with Satanic satire When The Devil Is All Around from their third album Swimming Time .

Husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst are based in Charleston .

Mississippi born Hearst and Trent wed in March 2009 and continued to perform and record their music in their individual solo careers.

Hearst released the EP Are You Ready to Die in 2010 and solo album Lions and Lambs in 2011.

Trent released The Winner in 2010.

In 2012 they released a Shovels & Rope album entitled O' Be Joyful that reached #123 on Billboard .

The duo made its network TV debut playing Birmingham on The Late Show with David Letterman, January 30, 2013.

On September 18, 2013 Shovels & Rope received Americana honours for emerging artist the year and song of the year for their song Birmingham.

Swimming Time was released on August 26, 2014 on Dualtone Records and debuted at #20 on Billboard.

Further info - http://shovelsandrope.com/

JOSH THOMPSON GONE

Wisconsin star Josh Thompson boomeranged after being dumped by his record label.

This week we feature the vibrant video for his single Wanted Me Gone .

Wanted Me Gone is about a woman but could also be about Josh's former record label

It's on his third album Turn it Up - second album Change was never released.

Josh, 36, should be used to being chopped - he began writing songs in the forests of his home state as a child.

His hometown name was fitting - Cedarburg.

Thompson scored his Columbia deal after writing hits for chart toppers - West Virginian Brad Paisley and Georgian Jason Aldean.

In August 2011, Thompson and label mate Miranda Lambert transferred to RCA in corporate restructuring.

But RCA dumped Thompson whose nature course in Nicolet National Forest prompted a move to Nashville in 2005 to work as a songwriter.

His first cut was Jason Michael Carroll album title cut Growing Up Is Getting Old .

Thompson signed to Columbia and released debut single Beer on the Table in late 2009.

It debuted at #55 on Billboard on August 15 and was followed by a four-song digital EP.

He wrote all 10 tracks on 2010 debut album Way Out Here , produced by Michael Knox.

Beer on the Table peaked at #17 and was followed by the title track and two more singles Won't Be Lonely Long and Blame It on Waylon that also featured video clips.

Thompson also co-wrote Church Pew or Bar Stool - recorded by Jason Aldean on his 2010 album My Kinda Party - and in 2011 co-wrote A Man Don't Have To Die for Paisley album This Is Country Music .

Further Info - www.joshthompsonofficial.com

MERLE MISERY & GIN

California legend and former convict Merle Haggard, who turned 21 in San Quentin, returns to Behind Bars with classic hit Misery & Gin .

Merle, 77, played Myer Music Bowl - same locale as the Zac Brown Band - on his only Australian tour in 1996.

The singer has since beaten lung cancer, is working on four new albums and contributed to a Buddy Holly tribute disc.

"If I ever retired, I wouldn't be doing much," Haggard revealed recently.

"I've just been off for six weeks and I was about bored to death. I've fished all my life and I play golf, but that don't substitute for the road and playing shows and the high points of all we've accomplished in 50 years."

Haggard has enough material for four different albums.

"We've got a brand-new studio and we've been recording right along all the way," he said.

"Although the lack of radio play for the new stuff makes it difficult. If they put on a new song of mine, they've gotta take off Mama Tried . So I'm kind of fighting myself on new releases."

Merle, Shotgun Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson performed at 56th Grammy Awards in January and plan trio album The Musketeers .

They played Highwayman, Okie From Muskogee and Mamma's Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys .

The trio album is the first time they have all collaborated on the same project.

Nelson is the common bond as he recorded Townes Van Zandt's classic, Pancho & Lefty , with Haggard and worked with Kristofferson in The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.

The Hag was busted in Bakersfield in the fifties for breaking into a Beer Can Hill nightclub via the restaurant back door while chef was serving desserts.

Haggard, five times wed and long pardoned, was a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Centre Honours on December 5, 2011.

Merle married current wife, Theresa, on September 11, 1993 - they have two children Jenessa and guitarist Ben.

CLICK HERE for a Merle CD review in the Diary on June 14, 2010.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Famed western swing band Asleep At The Wheel take us down an even more famous highway on their return to the show.

Ray Benson's combo prove they're still alive and kicking at Billy Bob's in Cowtown on Route 66 - the old Bobby Troup song.

The band, originating in Paw-Paw , West Virginia , in 1969, is celebrating 45 years on The Lost Highway.

They moved from San Francisco to Austin where co-founder pedal steel guitarist Lucky Oceans, now 63, played with them.

Lucky won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental in 1978 for the Wheel's remake of Count Basie's One O'clock Jump .

In 1977 Oceans, real name Reuben Gosfield, met Christine Haddow - a young Australian photographer from The Boston Globe whom he married in 1979.

They moved to Fremantle and Oceans released solo albums Lucky Steels the Wheel in 1982 and Secret Steel in 2005 and discs with his Australian bands including Dude Ranch and the Zydecats.

He also hosts ABC TV and radio show The Planet .

In 1993 Lucky won a second Grammy with Asleep at the Wheel for the band's collaboration with Lyle Lovett on Blues for Dixie from the 1993 album A Tribute to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys .

Pianist-singer Emily Gimble, grand-daughter of famous fiddler Johnny Gimble, joined Asleep at the Wheel in August.

CLICK HERE for a Willie & The Wheel feature in the Diary on July 4, 2009.

RICH WEBB BAND

The Rich Webb Band showcase their equestrian metaphor in an old style gambling den on Stray Horse Canyon .

There's also plenty of genteel glamour and pugilism in the Visual Culture video for the song that hit local air waves in August.

The Fitzroy group releases its fifth album, produced by Howard Barograph, this month.

It comprises Rich on vocals/guitar, Phil Wakeman lead guitar/vocals, George-Savva Georgiou bass/vocals and brother David Eugene Webb on drums/percussion.

Rich was born near Glasgow , grew up in England 's Scunthorpe with pit-stops in Sheffield and London before landing in Melbourne .

Previous album Beautiful World was recorded at Hannover 's Horus Sound Studio.

Further info - http://www.allkiller.com.au/richwebb/news/

HOW TO KEEP NU COUNTRY ON AIR

We need your support as we celebrate the 24th series of Nu Country TV.

Australian record companies and artists have joined forces to ensure our survival.

We have new CDS by major artists you can win by becoming a Nu Country TV member or renewing your membership.

They include singing actors Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw, Voice judge Blake Shelton, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Gary Allan, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Chris Young, Charley Pride, Slim Dusty, Kacey Jones, Rosanne Cash and more.

We also have the latest John Denver all-star tribute album and DVDS by Lady Antebellum.

CLICK HERE for our Membership Page for full details.

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