Americana Artists Mix It Up

Levon Helm’s Ryman Ramble Returns
Grammy winner Levon Helm will bring his heralded Ramble on the Road back to the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday April 21. Tickets are on sale now and available at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Ryman box office.

Helm’s first Ramble at the Ryman in July of 2007 was picked as Best Show of the Year by the Nashville Scene. In 2008, the Ramble kicked off the Americana Music Festival and Conference and Rolling Stone described his performances as the “Jam of the Year.” Since that night, Helm has produced two albums (Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt), won three Grammy Awards, including the first-ever Best Americana Album Grammy for Electric Dirt, and garnered the 2008 Americana Artist of the Year award.

Special Guests for the upcoming Ryman show include Gillian Welch and the Dave Rawlings Machine, Rodney Crowell and Sam Bush with more guests to be announced. Past Rambles at the Ryman have included artists Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Sheryl Crow, John Hiatt, Buddy Miller, Ricky Skaggs, Delbert McClinton, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer and Fred Carter Jr. Click here for more information.

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Jim Lauderdale Unveils Patchwork River
Two-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale will release his new album Patchwork Girl on May 11. Lauderdale co-wrote the album with longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Patchwork River was written at Hunter’s California home and produced by Tim Coates and Doug Lancio, who also played guitar. James Burton, Al Perkins, Ron Tutt, Garry Tallent, Kenny Vaughan, and Patty Griffin round out the album’s all-star cast.

This marks the second collaboration between the singer/songwriter and Hunter, who first met when Lauderdale was preparing to record I Feel Like Singing Today, his first album with bluegrass icon Dr. Ralph Stanley.  Lauderdale knew that Hunter and Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia were fans of Dr. Stanley, so he approached Hunter about contributing lyrics to the album. The two became friends and wrote over 30 songs together during Robert’s three-month visit to Jim’s Nashville home in 2001, 13 of which wound up on the 2004 release Headed For the Hills.

Says Hunter of Lauderdale, “I’m proud to call him a friend and I know what I say is true. This man has what it takes. If you don’t like country with a humble jolt of human soul, leave him alone.”
Click here for more information on Jim Lauderdale.

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A New Release From Elizabeth Cook
Grand Ole Opry favorite Elizabeth Cook will release her new album, Welder on May 11. Produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones, Kris Kristofferson), Welder features guest appearances by Dwight Yoakam, Rodney Crowell and Buddy Miller.

Welder is the follow up to Cook’s Rodney Crowell-produced and critically acclaimed Balls from 2007. Cook wrote the majority of the new album herself with a few noteworthy exceptions. “I’m Beginning To Forget” was penned by her late mother, Joyce Cook and “Follow You Like Smoke and “Til Then” by her husband, Tim Carroll. Don Was also brought her “Not California” by NYC indie folk band, Hem.

In addition to her full touring schedule, Cook hosts Apron Strings on XM/Sirius’ Outlaw Country station Monday through Friday 6-10 am Eastern. Every morning, the always witty Cook offers household tips, fashion advice and recipes to legions of devoted fans coast to coast. Click here to preview songs from Welder.

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